MAXFOCUS's SparkPeople Blog MAXFOCUS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community How did I get so busy? Ever wonder how you can have so much on your plate at once? Between work, a special project for my daughter’s school, working my part time direct sales gig, taking the kids to doctor appointments, having two big end of the year Girl Scout events and wrapping up track season, I am exhausted. Learning I need to take time for myself. I stepped down as leader for next year’s Girl Scouts. My daughter said she wants to focus on other sports and not do track next year - so I won’t coach next yea... Thu, 24 May 2018 18:16:41 EST 46 here I am Today is my 46th birthday. I am lucky to only have two minor health issues - my hypothyroid and the arthritis in my lower back. Two manageable problems for sure. Talk about feeling blessed especially when others around me are going through all kinds of major health issues. I will continue to eat healthy foods and limit alcohol to special occasions. My main focus this year will be to MOVE, a lot. <BR> <BR> With the weather being consistently in the negative numbers, winter is not as fun... Tue, 2 Jan 2018 12:16:55 EST Far too long 87 days?! I was surprised when I read my SparkPeople status and saw that I hadn't updated it in 87 days. Need to take the time to get back on SparkPeople on a much more routine basis. Such awesome motivators on here and I need it. Have been trying to help my daughter with her depression and anxiety and trying not to spiral down with her. We both need more exercise to get those endorphins pumping through our bodies. No time like the present to get back here. <BR> <BR> 5 more days till... Thu, 21 Dec 2017 00:34:02 EST Coaching Track This was my second year coaching my daughter's track team. The team consisted of 2nd and 3rd graders. The key was building their confidence. For the 2nd graders, it was their first year running the 800m. Most needed to build their endurance while for a few it was a breeze. I said we are in this together and we'll practice running it together. After doing this for a few weeks, my excitement for running came back to me. It has been years since I have run due to both an old ankle injury ... Wed, 24 May 2017 00:16:05 EST Find Time to Exercise Needing to carve out time for myself. My life has been revolving around my kids' activities and I need to find some time for me. Even though I have been good with my eating, my exercise has been non-existent. That is the part that needs serious work. <BR> <BR> Time to set little goals to help me reach my larger goals (lose 15 more pounds and increase upper and core strength). <BR> So these next few weeks I will work on <BR> 1) drinking more water <BR> 2) planks and push-ups 4x's a week <B... Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:51:40 EST Halloween Fun! <img src=""> <BR> This year I am a vampire for Halloween. Our family likes to dress up every year. Funny how this year, I have yet to find a piece of Halloween candy that appeals to me. The healthy mindset has taken over and I no longer desire any of those sweet treats. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> A fun non-food center activity we d... Sun, 30 Oct 2016 12:15:01 EST My favorite time of year <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Good bye mosquitoes. Hello beautiful autumn leaves. <BR> <BR> So this summer I did well sticking to gluten free/dairy free eating. My digestive track feels much better and I have more energy. Having a Fresh Thyme grocery store near my home has helped a lot. Lots of fresh produce to choose from and many GF and dairy free options. Yay!! So even though I have been very sedentary I haven'... Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:24:59 EST Thank Goodness for Spring Hello Sparkers! Long time, no blog. My health has not been priority this last year. Time to fix that. Need to get healthy now. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I haven't felt good the last year and I didn't know why. I've had thyroid problems for the last 15 years but this was different. Turns out I'm lactose intolerant. My doctor said I was not unique with this problem happening to me as I'm aging. So ... Tue, 3 May 2016 22:58:06 EST Ready to drop the weight again I'm slowly getting back to Sparking - and by that I mean very slowly. But the good news is I'm starting to get the focus back on myself. I have been so consumed by subbing at school, teaching Sunday school, being a Girl Scout leader and helping out our newest family member that my health has fallen by the wayside. It shows - not just on the scale but walking up stairs and looking in the mirror at my face. Looking forward to being more active this summer and getting my oldest daughter acti... Sun, 24 May 2015 22:56:01 EST Slowly But Surely Change Is Coming Time to break the cycle of my tired body. Fostering/Adopting a special needs child (5 years old) with multiple issues has exhausted me. Fitness has fallen on the wayside. We have to get weight on our daughter so she gets to eat ice cream daily, fried chicken, etc. This has not been good for me because my tired body gives in and takes a bite and then another. Unfortunately these bad habits of mine are now becoming part of my 11 year old's routine too. So time to begin anew with healthy... Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:13:01 EST Excited for a new family member Hi Sparkfriends! Haven't spent much time on SparkPeople lately because I've been busy getting our family ready for our newest addition. We are adopting a 5 year old girl. This weekend was her second time spending the night at our home. We will do this a few more weekends until she is comfortable with us and her new surroundings. It is a very exciting time. We took her to the zoo today. It was her first time there and she really enjoyed herself. I can't wait to take her in the summer w... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 21:53:00 EST 2014 Here I Come So I let emotional eating get the best of me in 2013. Well that ship has sailed. Looking forward to healthy eating and getting a lot more active in 2014. I've signed up for a 5K in April to keep myself motivated. <BR> <BR> Love to all my SparkFriends. Let's make it a great year!! <BR> <em>381</em> <BR> Wed, 1 Jan 2014 16:54:58 EST Exercise Time I put some weight back on after being stressed out by my job last year. It got so stressful that I just had to quit. This year I will be substitute teaching which I haven't done in years. It is nice to have some free time. Luckily this also means that I have exercise time. I'm really excited about this. Looking forward to knocking those numbers back down on the scale. Woo-Hoo! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> July 2013 Disneyland Wed, 25 Sep 2013 11:58:18 EST My New Toy <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My Mother's Day Gift this year was a FitBit from my husband. My daughter made me a clay pot she made in art class and a homemade card. Both presents were awesome! Still learning the ins and outs with the fitbit. It is fun to see how many steps I have taken in a day. My husband was surprised that I was getting over 10,000 steps at work. Not sure why he was surprised - I work with preschoolers all day. I've go... Wed, 15 May 2013 23:39:56 EST Hello NOvember I'm learning to start to say no to people/things. I have a tendancy to go out of my way to help others even when I am stretched out too thin. It is hard to do but I am liking the less stress outcome. So here is hoping I stick with it. <BR> <BR> We had our 14th annual Halloween party last weekend. Our last party I might add. It is another thing that I am saying no to -- it takes me weeks to setup and then a week to clean up after so I'm having to decide to cut that out of my life. <BR> <im... Fri, 2 Nov 2012 17:49:43 EST Morning Exercise Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I am a night owl. I've been one since I was a baby. Mornings are tough on me but I'm vowing to get exercise back in my life. Mornings seem to be the only time to squeeze it into my schedule. So I started with baby steps this week. I got up a little early and was able to do 10+ minutes of cardio before heading out to work. This morning I didn't have to work so I got 30 minutes in before family obligations. I do my strength training in the evenings... Fri, 6 Apr 2012 23:52:46 EST New Year - New Games Wow! It has been since October since I last blogged on SparkPeople. Still trying to find work/life balance since going back to work full time this fall. The job has been good for me as far as eating because I'm so busy in the classroom there is no time for mindless snacking. I have to pack my lunches each night and I make sure the choices are healthy. The sad thing is I haven't gotten back into my exercise routine and the pounds crept back on. <BR> <BR> I've decided not to jump back in... Sat, 14 Jan 2012 14:16:37 EST New Schedule <em>67</em> <em>56</em> <em>465</em> <BR> So as we say good-bye to summer and hello to fall, everything changes. I'm still trying to get used to it. <BR> <BR> Last week I started a new job as a educational assistant in a special needs preschool class. I had forgotten how innocent and adorable those 3 - 5 year olds can be. My daughter is 8 and already thinks she knows it all. LOL!! The nice part about working in the schools is that I will have a similar schedule to what my daught... Mon, 3 Oct 2011 22:30:48 EST Still Here Some of you may think I have fallen off the face of the earth. It was such a busy end of summer and beginning of the school year. As a substitute teacher assistant I figured I wouldn't be working the first two weeks of school -- wrong! I worked with LD/EBD/ASD kids these last two weeks and I don't think I've been this tired in a long time. <BR> <BR> Because my brain is a little fried I will copy a question list that was on a SparkFriend's page. <BR> <BR> A) Age: 39 <BR> <BR> B) Boo... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 19:31:18 EST Time for Change I saw this post on a couple different websites today and thought I should stick it in my blog. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Since February I have let the stress of some friendships get me down and I have let that stress hold me back from exercising. I've realized that I have to make a choice to let go of that stress. I can't control others but I can control my own actions. It is time to make a change and jump back into a regular rout... Wed, 27 Jul 2011 11:10:05 EST Summer Fun Holy cow, I can't believe that April 5th was my last blog entry. Where does the time go??!! <BR> <BR> I have been having a fun summer with my family. <BR> Here is a photo of us when we went to South Dakota for a vacation in mid June. Notice we're wearing many layers. Hard to remember it being that chilly after the heat wave that recently went through Minnesota. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here is a photo I took of my husband and hi... Fri, 22 Jul 2011 01:02:09 EST My 1st Cruise <em>67</em> <em>67</em> <em>67</em> <BR> On March 27th, my husband, daughter and I stepped onto the Disney Dream in Port Canaveral, FL for a 4-night Bahamian cruise. The Dream is a brand new ship that just started sailing in January of this year. Everything about it was beautiful. We opted for the interior stateroom because it was the cheapest. It was a great decision for 2 reasons - 1) we were only in our stateroom to sleep at night or change our clothes during the day; 2) the inter... Tue, 5 Apr 2011 14:09:17 EST Had to go with Plan B this morning I was all excited to get on the treadmill this morning. I think the sunshine has put me in such a fantastic mood and I just want to do a million different things. <BR> <em>67</em> <BR> <BR> That excitement to run came to a temporary halt when I started to get dressed. I opened my bra drawer and it was practically empty. Just two pretty bras that were definitely not going to cut it for running. This has never happened to me before. Oh sure, I've made up some pretty lame excuses not to ... Wed, 16 Feb 2011 12:29:06 EST 28-Day Bootcamp Week 4 Results One more pound gone. <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> I'm so happy that I have continued to workout four weeks in a row. This is a first for a January bootcamp. In the past I have quit the bootcamp after 2 or 3 weeks so I am happy to say I finished it. <BR> <BR> Now my exercise goals are to keep up with my couch to 5K training 3 times a week and I need to focus on some upper body and core strength training. <BR> <BR> I went out to eat last night with some friends. I didn't do too bad - had a w... Sun, 30 Jan 2011 11:50:23 EST Bootcamp Week 3 Results Another pound bites the dust. <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> I honestly didn't think I would lose any weight this week because PMS got the best of me and I didn't run and bike as much as I should have. I account the one pound loss to my daily nutrition tracking. I stick to the numbers and there is no emotional eating. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The XBOX 360 Kinect is keeping exercise fun. Although you may find my husband and I yellin... Sat, 22 Jan 2011 12:24:31 EST Bootcamp Week 2 Results Weighed in this morning. I was pleasantly surprised that I had lost 3 pounds this week for a total of 4 pounds lost since the start of bootcamp. I hope this trend continues. If I faithfully continue to track my food and get that cardio in, it will happen. <BR> <BR> We just received a XBOX360 Kinect from my husband's employer (their holiday gift). It is so much fun to use. I can feel my heart rate rise as I'm jumping up, squatting and side stepping to play those games. Tonight I will... Sat, 15 Jan 2011 11:59:12 EST Bootcamp Week 1 Results I followed SparkPeople's 28 Day Bootcamp and tracked my food for week 1. <BR> The results were 1 pound gone and I'm starting to feel those muscles tone up. <BR> <em>224</em> <BR> Now on to week 2 and a repeat of Couch to 5K week 4. <BR> <BR> Have a great week everyone! <BR> <em>252</em> Sun, 9 Jan 2011 08:50:12 EST Vitamin D, Iron and Bootcamp My doctor emailed me my lab results. Found out I am low in Vitamin D and Iron. That may explain my fatigue. Time to focus on iron rich foods and taking some Vitamin D supplements. I'm looking forward to paging through a few cookbooks to find some recipes using the foods below. <BR> <BR> Foods rich in iron include: <BR> ¡Red meat (I'm not a fan of red meat so I'll stick with the other options) <BR> ¡Pork <BR> ¡Seafood <BR> ¡Poultry <BR> ¡Eggs <BR> ¡Iron-fortified cereals, breads an... Wed, 5 Jan 2011 16:37:55 EST Photos to start out 2011 Today, I turn 39 years old and figured I better get the measuring tape out and take before photos so I can get serious about the Spark Bootcamp. It is disappointing that I have gained 20 pounds back since this time last year but I know what I have to do to get rid of them. <BR> <BR> In the photo I'm wearing my new running shirt that I got from my husband for Christmas. (I had told him the quote I wanted.) It was a funny moment when I opened it. My daughter who is seven years old said, "M... Sun, 2 Jan 2011 13:03:25 EST Tracking It All Well the crazy holidays are behind us now. (insert sigh of relief here) <BR> I hope everyone had a great New Year's. I stayed home with my family New Years Eve since the weather outside wasn't that great. We had fun watching movies and enjoying a nice leisurely dinner together. <BR> <BR> A new month, a new year - time to get back to tracking my food. I haven't done that in awhile. Didn't do too bad today but as usual there is always room for improvement. I actually met my protein goal ... Sat, 1 Jan 2011 22:57:48 EST Thank goodness for birds I didn't run yesterday and this morning I didn't feel like running either. So I thought maybe I would just walk on the treadmill. <BR> <BR> I went downstairs and opened the blinds on the window so I could look outside. To my delight I saw little black-capped Chickadees playfully flying around. That lifted my spirits so I figured I might as well do W3D3 of the Couch to 5K program. <BR> <BR> As I was running I saw the big owl that comes around occassionally. He was being picked on by a... Tue, 14 Dec 2010 14:11:58 EST So Frustrated <BR> About a month ago, I watched the movie "Super Size Me" <BR> <link><BR>me </link> <BR> <em>486</em> <em>489</em> <BR> A few weeks ago I watched "The Future of Food" <BR> <link><BR>of-food </link> . <BR> <em>341</em> <BR> Today I watched "Fox News Kills Story On Monsanto's BGH/rBST Milk" <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <em>466</em> <BR> <BR> It is frustrating to see how... Tue, 30 Nov 2010 13:56:03 EST Couch to 5K - here I go (again) <em>315</em> <BR> I just completed Week 1, Day 1 of the Couch to 5K program. It feels so good to be back to running. I'm going to take it nice and slow this time so I don't re-injure my ankle. I've had a weak ankle since HS basketball, when I twisted it several times. Last year had to wear my immobilizer boot for a few weeks. I don't want to go back to that. <BR> <BR> Previously when I did the C25K, I got to the point where I could run 2 miles without walking. This time I'm determin... Mon, 8 Nov 2010 11:26:21 EST All Aboard the Hogwarts Express My October was mainly consumed by our Halloween party. We had 57 people so there was a lot to clean up afterwards - definitely got my cardio in. haha <BR> <BR> Here are some pics for you Harry Potter fans. <BR> <BR> The sign as you enter the house: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The entry way: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Me as Professor McGonagall (my wig is falling off a bit, oh ... Fri, 5 Nov 2010 19:16:14 EST Random thoughts about the gym <em>328</em> I went to the gym this morning - got there around 10:30 am. Normally I go in the evening. Talk about a different dynamic. There were some college aged folks working out vs. the guys and older folks in the evenings. <BR> <BR> <em>344</em> There was one woman there who was in amazing shape - I swear she must have had 1% body fat. All her muscles were well defined. She was there before I got there and was still going strong when I left (I was there for an hour) - no wonder... Tue, 21 Sep 2010 16:21:51 EST Finally Made It Back <em>34</em> <em>328</em> <em>330</em> <em>324</em> <BR> <BR> Yesterday was hot and steamy. I took my daughter and nephews to the park and I didn't want to play with them because of the weather. I felt a bit guilty. So we didn't stay long and we retreated home to have a Bomb Pop Jr. (only 45 calories) and then we got the sprinkler out. Life was good again. <BR> <BR> I haven't gone all summer but I finally made it to the gym last night. Got sick of my clothes feeling too tight. It ... Tue, 10 Aug 2010 08:53:58 EST A New Form of Exercise This Thursday and Friday, I am having a garage sale. I been busy the last few days. I haven't had time to snack and have only been eating when hungry. So that is good. And the exercise - hauling boxes from the storage shed to the garage and running up and down the stairs to the basement. Lifting things, moving things - hmmm....think SP could put prepping for a garage sale on the fitness tracker?? <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> The only down side is that I haven't been getting much sleep. <BR> ... Wed, 28 Jul 2010 15:19:30 EST June Recap I'm barely squeaking in here with a June blog entry (I try to blog at least once-twice a month). This month has been filled with some bad eating choices for me - 7 bday parties, a trip out to Virginia Beach, VA where I didn't have a car and didn't plan the meals, and my husband have a vitrectomy on his right eye (due to his diabetic retinopathy) - fast food and birthday cake filled these days. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Photo Caption... Wed, 30 Jun 2010 14:56:59 EST A Mother's Day Walk <em>146</em> Happy Mother's Day everyone! <em>214</em> <BR> <BR> This morning, my mom, my sister and her family and my family participated in the ChallengeRX 5K Run and Family Fun Walk around Lake Como in St. Paul. It was my daughter's first time participating in a race like event. She was so excited. Then she got really, really mad at me when I told her we were walking and not running. make her happy we started out running a little bit at the beginning. Her energy slowly s... Sun, 9 May 2010 22:06:06 EST My little peanut has a peanut allergy This blog has little to do with my health - just trying to write to relieve some stress that I'm feeling. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I love peanut butter - have since I was a kid. So when my daughter was growing up I was surprised that she couldn't stand the smell of it. Like most parents we were waiting till she was two or three years old before introducing peanuts. Well that time came and she wanted nothing to do with it. She is ... Thu, 29 Apr 2010 16:24:27 EST Food Revolution I don't watch a lot of television since we don't have cable TV or receive a TV signal in our home. Just recently I started watching two shows online. The first is Parenthood which caught my attention because one of the families deals with a child who has Asperger's which is similar to what my daughter has (she is high functioning Autistic). It is a fun little show. <BR> <BR> The second show which I just started watching last night was Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Wow, it was amazin... Mon, 29 Mar 2010 12:07:37 EST Water Damage = Emotional Eating <em>257</em> <BR> We had a leak in our master bath that caused damage in the basement. The plumber came out this morning and found out that the cause was the pump on the jacuzzi tub. So we'll get a new pump, pay the plumbing bill and pay the deductible for the basement cleanup - we're looking at close to a grand in costs. Big time bummer. Guess what I ate for breakfast while taking this all in? Girl Scout cookies - how crazy is that??!! Thank goodness my box of Lemon cookies is now go... Tue, 9 Mar 2010 14:47:16 EST Fast Break in March <em>137</em> Happy March! <BR> <BR> <BR> I'm getting refocused. I've decided to get back to basics this March. <BR> <BR> <em>194</em> 8 glasses of water...check <BR> <em>267</em> fruits and veggies...check <BR> <em>324</em> 30 minutes of cardio...check <BR> <BR> I had twisted my ankle last Friday so I was worried that it would have me on the couch for a week or so. Over the weekend, I wore my immobilizer boot (keeps your ankle from bending or twisting) that I had from a previous ... Mon, 1 Mar 2010 22:09:56 EST Mpls/St. Paul February SparkRally <em>67</em> <BR> I was a little worried as I got up this morning to snow flurries. Not a fan of driving in snow but as we drove to the SparkRally the snow disappeared and we had the makings of a beautiful day. <BR> <BR> My husband, daughter and I met up with the SparkMinneapolis/St. Paul team at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park in St. Paul. We saw some very interesting plants/trees. The fig tree was super cool looking and for some reason I forgot to take out my camera an... Sat, 20 Feb 2010 18:43:28 EST Sunshine + "One More" = happy me <em>67</em> I am sooooo happy with this beautiful sunshine we've had these last few days. It has improved my mood and got me excited to workout. It is fun and inspiring to see people out running and walking. <BR> <BR> In addition to the sunshine, music is getting me pumped up. I just added this song by Superchick to my workout playlist. <BR> <BR> <em>335</em> <BR> "One More" <BR> <BR> It feels like I have lost this fight <BR> They think that I am staying down <BR> But I'm not givi... Wed, 17 Feb 2010 18:32:45 EST Breaking Free For the last two weeks, I've been stressed out from adoption training, the washing machine breaking down and other issues. The first week I still did the minimum amount of work required for bootcamp. Then last week I completely stopped doing anything. It was as if stress had it's arms around me holding me down. I didn't even clean around the house. A week without exercise- none at all - was so foreign to me since starting SP. In the past I would at least get down on the floor and do som... Wed, 27 Jan 2010 16:28:20 EST Snowshoeing - Rental & Location Info <em>213</em> How has everyone been doing this winter? <em>38</em> <BR> <em>231</em> I'm still doing the SP bootcamp but my eating is still a bit out of control. <em>29</em> <BR> <BR> <em>425</em> I wanted to keep this info at my fingertips so thought my blog would be a good place for it. <BR> <BR> Three Rivers Park District Snowshoe Rental <BR> around $5/hour at... <BR> Baker Park Reserve (5.2 miles of snowshoe trails) <BR> Carver Park Reserve (3.9 miles) <BR> Elm Creek Park Reserve... Sun, 17 Jan 2010 23:07:08 EST It's Good to be Back Had a wonderful Christmas, New Year's and Birthday. I'm really excited for the weather to warm up so I can use my new Christmas present - LEKI Nordic walking poles. The weather lately has been below zero most of the time so I'm more apt to hop onto the stationary bike or treadmill. But soon I'll be using those poles and having fun. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm participating in the Spark Your Body Bootcamp. I hope it keeps me on track... Tue, 5 Jan 2010 16:48:47 EST Wrapping Up 2009 <em>213</em> Hey SparkFriends! <BR> Hope you are enjoying the holiday season. My family is all set for Christmas so before I take a little SparkBreak (I'll be back Jan 4th) to enjoy the Christmas Season, New Year's and then my birthday - thought I would put together some thoughts on this past year. <BR> <BR> ** Fun with SparkMpls/St. Paul Team <BR> I've had a blast leading the SparkMpls/St. Paul team these last 22 months. SparkRallies were the best. I met up with these co-leaders to pas... Thu, 17 Dec 2009 23:13:46 EST SparkMpls/St. Paul Summit Brewery SparkRally Today was the "best SparkRally yet," according to Bester8472. We had a fun time at the SparkMinneapolis/St. Paul team's December SparkRally at Summit Brewery in St. Paul. We took an hour tour and then got to sample the beers. An occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle. Just watch your calories so you don't sabotage your weight loss plans. Here are some photos from our day. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> BESTER8472 in fro... Sat, 5 Dec 2009 17:43:13 EST