MCASKEY6's SparkPeople Blog MCASKEY6's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Food Bully When I first started working for my office, I was stunned by how much food circulates in this place. They would bring in cake and ice cream AND go out to lunch on everyone’s birthday; FYI we have 10 birthdays in December alone, so that was 10 lunches out and 10 cakes and ice cream. <BR> <BR> So I put out the suggestion that instead of having 10 cakes spaced throughout the month, we should just have one cake, at our monthly meeting; we can announce everyone who’s celebrating a birthday t... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:12:53 EST For the love of rowing Not too long ago I read an article that stated that the rowing machines were the gym’s most underrated piece of equipment. So I decided to give it a shot. <BR> <BR> At my gym, the upper level is reserved for cardio workouts. The room is dominated by dozens of high-tech, cutting edge, brand new elliptical machines and an entire wall of treadmills. <BR> <BR> But they only have two, older model rowing machines, located in a dark little corner, away from everything else. <BR> <BR> OMG ... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:12:18 EST My next birthday present to myself. My birthday was this last weekend. As part of that, I sat down and wrote out a list of things I want to have accomplished by my next birthday. <BR> <BR> Some were simple things, like watching less TV. Others are rather huge, like finishing a novel and changing my career. <BR> <BR> Now that the list is complete, I am working on the strategies to accomplish as many of those goals as I can. Rather than just saying, “I want to finish a novel by next year”, I’m working on a plans that wil... Tue, 9 Dec 2014 11:35:03 EST It’s rain, not acid. So granted I live in a desert and rain is a rare thing. But the way people act, it’s like they think its acid falling from the sky and not water. <BR> <BR> I bike commute every day. I bike in 110 degree weather and I bike when it’s 30 degrees and raining. It’s really not that much of a difference to me. Granted getting splashed by cars sucks, but I’m going to be changing out of my bike clothes when I get to work either way. <BR> <BR> What can I say, I’m stubborn. <BR> <BR> So I f... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 10:52:52 EST Small but Simple Update So I didn't reach my goal. I had hoped that by today I would have lost 3lbs and would be at 190 or 189. <BR> <BR> But I'm 191, and I'm ok with that. It's a move in the right direction. Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:13:43 EST I wish I liked to run. I would love, to love to run. I see people jogging and running, and they look so happy. My sister in law and brother love to run. They are always signing up for races and marathons. They have made many great friends running. <BR> <BR> I know all the health benefits of running. I’ve read great books about people’s enjoyment of running; the wonder and freedom of running. <BR> <BR> If I liked to run I could run anywhere, anytime; while on vacation or just a quick jog after dinner. <... Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:51:41 EST Simple and small At my last weigh in, on 11-12-14 I was 193. <BR> <BR> On my next weigh in, on 11-25-14, I want to have lost 3lbs. <BR> <BR> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:11:53 EST Plan B I’ve been in survival mode for some time now. One of my routines that’s fallen by the wayside is going to the gym. <BR> <BR> But this weekend I set my mind to getting back control of my life. I decided that on Saturday I would go to the gym and start working on getting myself back into some routine. <BR> <BR> A little background, I go to a university gym. I didn’t realize Saturday was a game day and the gym was closing early. So I arrived about 10 minutes before they were to close.... Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:03:54 EST The Much Ignored Killer I just read an interesting article about a man who sued Nestle and is pushing the FDA to have stricter policies on food, after his mother died of supposed E.coli poisoning after eating raw cookie dough. <BR> <BR> While his mother’s death is a tragedy, and I don’t wish to undermined his grief in any way. It got me to thinking about the real dangers we ignore every day. <BR> <BR> While E.coli poisoning is terrible and should be avoided, it’s also rare to die from E.coli poisoning. Accordi... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 14:53:52 EST Interesting Video Interesting video on how weight loss advertisement photos can be faked with just posture and lighting. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ke-photo-184800982.html </link> Fri, 7 Nov 2014 11:09:28 EST What do you say? I have a person in the periphery of my world, who actively tries to convince me that they aren't making bad health choices. <BR> <BR> They are morbidly obese and trying to lose weight. So we’ve often talked about our struggles. <BR> <BR> However, this person is constantly sneaking food and trying to manipulate facts to make it appear that they are making good choices. <BR> <BR> But it's so obvious that they aren't. However, it's no skin off my nose. I’m not intimately close to this... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 13:28:30 EST Weekend So my big plan to vegetate fell through, but in a good way. <BR> <BR> Saturday I ended up spring cleaning the entire house by noon, then went shopping. Sunday, I mowed the lawn with a weed-eater, and then spent the rest of the day reading...well, reading and watching Love Actually and Bridget Jones's Diary, but mostly reading. <BR> <BR> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:43:04 EST I really need a weekend <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I really need a weekend. I am planning on doing nothing this weekend. I might, if I work up the energy, I might clean the house. Otherwise, I'm vegetating. <BR> <BR> Next weekend, is my favorite day, followed by several festivals and other fun stuff to do outside in the world. But this weekend, it's my big bottom pants and my TV remote. Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:03:53 EST Fundraisers After two weeks of fighting the Halloween candy invasion, I had a co-worker walk in today with a box of candy bars for his daughter's performing arts club. <BR> <BR> The kicker is, I can't say no to him leaving it on my desk. I've let other employees leave their box of fundraiser candy bars on my desk. So it would be unfair of me to tell him, he can't do the same thing. <BR> <BR> But I'm just so wound up right now, and so susceptible to influence, and so disgruntled about it, that I fin... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:32:23 EST The Oreo Test During lunch yesterday, my boss ran some errands. While out, she bought some Oreo cookies. She then walked around to everyone in the office and offered them a cookie. <BR> <BR> When she came to me, I thanked her, but turned her down. She then proceeded to insist that I have one. I told her, “Yeah, but if I eat one, I’ll want five more. Then I’ll end up stopping at the store on my way home and buying more Oreos.” She then told me that she would keep me from having more than one and sh... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:35:10 EST Halloween Again, That time of year again, when suddenly everyone has a burning desire to buy candy by the pound and dump it on my desk. <BR> <BR> It’s so obnoxious and even rude. Simply because I am the front desk person, does not mean I’m ok with having my work station turned into a candy shop. <BR> <BR> What’s even more annoying is the fact that these people refuse to put the candy bowl in their own office because as they say, “If it’s on my desk I’ll eat it all.” Well guess what, hon, you ain’t the... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:30:21 EST Stress and the dieter Stress is an amazing appetite suppressant, but not one I would recommend for long term usage. <BR> <BR> I have been so stressed. Between the move and all the expense that went with that and my mother’s death, I’ve been a wreck. I’m a bundle of nerves and it’s coming out in my appetite. <BR> <BR> I’ll be starving one minute and completely unable to eat the next. I’ll be feeling nauseated most of the day, then suddenly want to eat everything in sight. <BR> <BR> Same thing happened t... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:46:42 EST Beginning: Take Two I’m finally to the point where I feel like I can give this weight lose thing another, honest, try. I’m back up to 193lbs (granted it’s not the 210+ that I started with in 2012, but it’s also not the 180lbs I was last year). <BR> <BR> It frustrates me to think about where I *could* have been, had I not faltered. But like the saying goes, ‘wish in one hand…. See which fills up faster’. <BR> <BR> It also bums me out to think about the fact that if I lose 2lbs a week (which is recommended... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:30:10 EST Back to life. The universe has a rather cruel sense of irony. I had been thinking of my mother’s health and how her health has impacted my life; the habits I’d learned from her and how the great moments of my life were tangled up with heart attacks and surgeries. After posting a blog about it, I received a call from my brother telling me that my mother had passed away after her last surgery. <BR> <BR> Her funeral was on the 4th, and it hasn’t been the easiest of weeks. <BR> <BR> It’s strange that s... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:15:55 EST Tempting the Dragon I have come to the realization that all of my major life moments were tangled up with my mother’s medical crisis’s. <BR> <BR> I have a picture of my mother when she was around 20. She was gorgeous. She was 5’3”, with naturally red hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. She had a teeny-tiny little body and in that image she was wearing a bathing suit and posing on a picnic table. Marilyn Monroe would have been jealous. <BR> <BR> She kept that figure even after three pregnancies. But someti... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:07:31 EST Kids are not stupid Yes kids do stupid things; like lighting each other’s armpit hair on fire while speeding down a country road. But they aren’t, in fact, stupid. <BR> <BR> I just read an article about how to “fool” kids into eating healthier. One of the suggestions was to make healthy snacks that look (kinda) like unhealthy ones. <BR> <BR> One example was to thinly slice potatoes into rounds, top them with black beans, and tell the kids they’re Chocolate Chip Cookies. <BR> <BR> I think it’s the Super... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:13:20 EST The scrape-heap for the mind AKA: Facebook I received a rather snarky response to a Facebook comment I made today. I was about to respond in kind, when I stopped myself. “Why am I doing this?” It wasn’t a comment from a friend or family member, someone I have a vested interest in maintaining a relationship with. It was some stranger commenting on a group page. <BR> <BR> I realized, here I am, wasting my life by taking guff off random nobodies. This comment will not matter in 50 years, heck it won’t matter in 50 minutes. This ... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:21:01 EST Finally back in the saddle. The last five weeks of my life have been, chaos. Between a sudden and unexpected trip to Portland to moving (and all the details/crisis’s that go along with it) I have just been surviving. <BR> <BR> Taco Bell, fried chicken, toaster waffles, and lots of chocolate flavored comfort, I have not been eating well. <BR> <BR> Then I’ve been doing so much physical labor at home, moving, cleaning, etc, and have had so much to do and so much stress, I haven’t seen the inside of my gym in over a m... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:23:18 EST Our big Hurricane <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> For days, we've been warned about this BIG hurricane Odile that was going to flood the city. We've been getting tips on preparing for floods, stores have been selling sandbags, we even had meteorologists coming in to report on the storm. <BR> <BR> Everyone was buckling down for this massive soaker. <BR> <BR> Well, long story short, our regular monsoons deliver more rain and cause more flooding. The s... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:28:27 EST Stress and weight lose Every time I hear someone bitterly say, “Just eat less and exercise more” I always think, ‘if it were just that easy…’ Stress is such a huge factor in weight loss. It’s easy to lose weight when everything is smooth and right with the world. But try it when you’re stressed out and living in chaos. <BR> <BR> Before August, I was worrying about my apartment. It’s cheap, close to everywhere I want to be, and I’ve never had a real problem finding a roommate. However, over the years the ... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:01:41 EST No internet, No problem I moved into my new place a week and a half ago; and when I moved I requested that they transfer the internet over. Well it’s still not working. I figure there’s something wrong with the cable line, but I just haven’t had the time, money, or interest in having someone come out to check it. <BR> <BR> Truly, I’ve been too busy settling in to notice there’s no access. I have a stack of DVDs and a radio, so I’m not really missing Youtube. And Facebook is just a complete waste of my time. ... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 14:08:09 EST Stress Level 97.5 Got to my new home last night and discovered that the water company had disconnected the water, rather then transferring it to my name. So no shower, no toilet, but most importantly No Swamp-cooler. It was 97 degrees yesterday (which is rather cool for Tucson this time of year). Still it was so hot, my poor cats were panting all night. <BR> <BR> Called the water company and was told there is nothing they can do tonight, but I can call customer care in the morning. <BR> <BR> Called cu... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 11:50:17 EST Stronger today then I was yesterday. I spent a week in Portland, doing so much walking my shins were killing me. <BR> <BR> I got home on Wednesday and on Saturday I found a new apartment and spent the next 3 days packing and moving a two bedroom apartment, nearly entirely on my own (my roommate kinda helped, a little; and I hired a guy to help with the really heavy lifting). <BR> <BR> That's a second floor apartment; two beds, two couches, a huge entertainment center, including a MASSIVE TV, and about 10 million boxes of boo... Wed, 3 Sep 2014 19:52:12 EST Portland It was a good but stressful trip. <BR> <BR> I didn't eat well, burgers and fries mostly, but a big city combined with my absolutely terrible since of direction meant I spent a lot of time walking in circles, up and down hills. <BR> <BR> But I'm home now and back on schedule. <BR> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:16:03 EST Allons-y!!!! I’ve made the commitment. I am heading to Portland this weekend to look for an apartment and a job. This is my first exploratory trip. I will be there six days. <BR> <BR> Deep breaths! <BR> <BR> It’s a big step, but I’m ready for it. I’ve been in Tucson, too long. It’s time to shake up my world and test what I’m made of. <BR> <BR> I keep fluctuating between terrified and exhilarated. I had to skip the gym this morning because I could not get to sleep until nearly 3am. <BR> <BR... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 12:56:29 EST 10 Days Down It’s been 10 days since I gave up sodas, for the third time. This time around I’ve substituted green tea and it seems to be working. The upside is, I get the caffeine (so no withdrawal) but the green tea is all natural so I’m avoiding the PHENYLALANINE. <BR> <BR> I will confess my ignorance, I have no idea what Phenylalanine is, or if there really are any negative health effects associated with it. I’ve heard about weight gain and cancer warnings, but I’ve never researched it to find ou... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 12:20:49 EST Dog's Driving Cars If a Dog can drive a car, anything is possible. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 13:39:25 EST The Great Purge I come from a long, long line of packrats. We cling to bits of wire mesh, scrape fabric, broken lamps, dried out pens, empty spaghetti jars, piles of paper. We horde everything, because we have grand notions of, “one day, I’ll find a use for this.” or “I’m going to fix this.” <BR> <BR> It’s amazing how often someone will say, “I need (insert some unusual item no one else would keep)” and I will respond, “I have one of those!” <BR> <BR> But here lately my horde has been getting on my n... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:55:57 EST Cat approved beverage. In the past, when I’d open a soda, my cats would wince at the noise and run away from the smell. Last night, I was drinking my tea and my cat curled in my lap and kept sniffing the cup. He didn’t try to take a taste, but he didn’t seem offended by it like he was with sodas. <BR> Of course, he’s a cat. He likes to lick his own bottom and he eats bugs he catches. But I’m going to consider his appreciation of tea a good thing. <BR> Tue, 5 Aug 2014 13:33:16 EST Quitting, again. I have tried to give up sodas twice before. The first time I seriously tried to give up sodas, I was off them for nearly a year before I had the disastrous thought, “One won’t hurt.” <BR> <BR> The second time I made it maybe a month before I caved. <BR> <BR> But this time I’m trying a different strategy. I’m trying to replace the sodas with caffeinated teas and water enhancers. That way I can slowly wean myself off of the high dose of caffeine I am used to, without the crash. <BR> ... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 11:33:26 EST The finicky stomach continues I feel completely fine. I'm not having any feelings of hunger. But yesterday, I had a protein shake, three cheese sticks, and a cup of watermelon; and that's it. <BR> <BR> I'm getting enough fluids. But if I try to eat I get a sick feeling in my stomach. <BR> <BR> I don't have a fever. I'm not tired. I'm just not hungry. <BR> <BR> This has been going on, for more or less three days. <BR> <BR> But since I'm not having any other symptoms, I guess, I'll just keep going along as... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:56:21 EST Not good. All weekend I’ve felt just fine, but on Sunday I had a little, finicky stomach. Since then when I eat I find my stomach getting upset. <BR> <BR> Today, I had just started eating my lunch and almost immediately my stomach just seized up and said, “Nope, not gonna happen.” <BR> <BR> Even now, when I should be having my afternoon snack, my stomach is saying, "Don't you, even dare think about it." <BR> <BR> I know I didn’t eat enough, but I still feel like if I try to eat more, it won’t b... Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:27:06 EST They have our number I have discovered that not having commercials has aided me, immensely in my attempt to change my eating habits. <BR> <BR> Out of cheapness and a desire to be all “weird” and “different” I banished my cable TV. I still have Netflix and internet. But without regular TV, I no longer have commercials. <BR> <BR> I had always known, in a way, that the world is oversaturated with advertisements. I also understood, to an extent, that companies spend millions, if not billions, each year perfe... Fri, 18 Jul 2014 14:47:13 EST Sucking it up, so you don’t have to suck it in. As I was brushing my teeth this morning I noticed that if I suck in my gut, I actually have a flat stomach. Now this is huge, because I can’t remember a time when, even sucking in gave me a flat stomach. <BR> <BR> I could actually see how I will look when I reach my goal, and I like it. <BR> <BR> It’s just a little closer to my goal. <BR> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:24:40 EST Just sayin' I'm just saying the awesome part of the morning workout is realizing that at 5pm I get to go home. I get to go home, flop on the couch, and veg. <BR> <BR> I don't have to go anywhere, I don't have to remind myself, and I don't have to work up the motivation, energy, or will power. <BR> <BR> It's just nice. <BR> <BR> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:24:01 EST Fashion is messing with my mind Yesterday, I was wearing a pair of shorts that were a size 14. Today, I'm wearing pants in a size 18. WTF?! <BR> <BR> They fit the same, no delusional trying to squeeze into a smaller size. It's just the brand differences. <BR> <BR> I don't understand why every designer has to have a radically different size scale. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 13:28:47 EST Well, that didn’t work. I’ve been stalled for some time. To try and bust it, I decided to cut my calories from 1600 to 1500. I was surprised at the difference it made; I was ravenous. <BR> <BR> Before I was in a nice zone of never being too full or too hungry. But when I cut the calories, even by 100, I found that I was cheating, a lot. At night I would lose all control and just eat and eat. <BR> <BR> I found that I was constantly concerned with food. For example, before I’d even eaten my lunch I would be... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 13:52:33 EST Changing Taste-buds My roommate bought cupcakes for the 4th. <BR> <BR> I had a couple. But the crazy thing is, they weren't that good. In fact, they weren't good at all. They were rather gross. <BR> <BR> It wasn't that they were bad or off in flavor. It's just that I've been eating fresh fruit, yogurt, and veggies for so long that corn starch, sugar, and butter tastes off to me. <BR> <BR> Not that I'm complaining. It's just another of those subtle changes. <BR> <BR> Sat, 5 Jul 2014 18:02:41 EST Why am I doing this? Every holiday I bring a treat into the office. It’s always something I baked from scratch, brownies, cookies, a cake, etc. <BR> <BR> Well the 4th is coming up and I’ve been trying to come up with something to bake. I was thinking of that layered “Flag” cake. I thought of brownies with red, white, and blue frosting. I even thought about a fruit platter. <BR> <BR> But as I was writing out everything I would need to buy, and dreading having to coordinate going to the store, then rushi... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 20:05:00 EST But it's a Healthy Cookie! This friend of mine has been broadcasting the wonders of the Belvita biscuits/cookie bar things. They are very tasty, you get four biscuits to a serving and they have bits of fruit in them so they have to be healthy, right?! <BR> <BR> Today after lunch I was still ravenously hungry so I stopped by a convenience store. <BR> <BR> The choice came down to the Belvita, at 230 calories and 3g of Protein, or a bag of jerky at 240 calories and 14g of Protein. <BR> <BR> Humm, which is worth ... Thu, 26 Jun 2014 18:04:26 EST Free Will and Well Informed. When I was in Ca. visiting family I noticed the fast food restaurants had their calories listed right on the order board, rather than tucked off in a corner. As I was thinking about what I wanted to order I saw the calories and that became a part of the decision process. <BR> <BR> Granted, there were a few times when I ignored the calories, but the option was there. I was making a free will, informed choice. I like that. <BR> <BR> But I don’t think it should stop with Fast Food. Yo... Thu, 26 Jun 2014 14:27:08 EST New plan Since my terrible weigh-in, I’ve decided to change things up a little. <BR> <BR> 1) I haven’t changed my calorie intake since I started this, 24lbs ago. So I’ve decided to lower that by a hundred calories, down to 1300-1500. <BR> <BR> <BR> 2) I had switched over to working out in the evenings. I did this because it gave me more time to workout, but because life is life, there are days when I have to skip; for example my bike tire has blown for the 4th time this month and I have to get a ... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 16:50:02 EST Remember <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Or, you know, whatever feels right. ;) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 16:47:35 EST Weigh in As I had feared my weigh-in was a dismal failure. <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> Last month I was at 184.5, this month I’m at 186. <BR> I’m 0.7% down in my body fat. So I guess that’s a positive. <BR> <BR> Nancy tried to build me up, telling me not to be discouraged. She reminded me that I’ve lost twenty pounds and kept it off. And I keep telling myself that weight doesn’t matter, my clothes are fitting better, I’m down in my body fat, I’m feeling better, etc. <BR> <BR> But I just felt... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 13:24:07 EST Weigh-in Next Week I’m feeling nervous about my upcoming weigh in next week and that’s making me feel stupid. Last month I learned that my home scale is not anywhere close to accurate; so I’ve been without a scale for a month. That has made me nervous because I can’t weigh myself weekly and I have no idea how much I weigh right now. <BR> <BR> On the other hand, I’ve been feeling really good about myself this month. I keep noticing how my clothes are getting bigger and that I look slimmer in the mirror. My ... Fri, 20 Jun 2014 11:43:25 EST