MCASKEY6's SparkPeople Blog MCASKEY6's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community What’s a “Serving”? So what exactly is a serving of Yellow Squash? Is it a whole yellow squash? A half of one? Is it a cup, or 6 ounces? <BR> <BR> As a kid, a serving was approximately the size of Mom's big serving spoon (or two). <BR> <BR> But again, that's not exactly a hard core measurement. <BR> <BR> So I checked online. <BR> <BR> According to some sites it’s one cup, which would make it 20 calories. But another site put it at 78 calories. <BR> <BR> I usually dice a half a yellow squash and mix... Mon, 4 May 2015 13:06:49 EST We need to stop using BMI BMI was not designed to measure if a person is obese or not. <BR> <BR> This article is a perfect example of how the BMI gets it wrong. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>yne-the-rock-johnson-is-technically-ob<BR>ese-117180855078.html </link> Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:31:10 EST Want to upset people? Attack their drug. Several people around me have been talking about this Listeria outbreak. They keep going on and on, about all the people who have died (3 so far) and all the people who are sick. <BR> <BR> Finally, I got fed up with it. I’m rather sick of the Media’s fear mongering anyway, but these cases annoy me most. <BR> <BR> So I pointed out that the top causes of death in the US are heart disease, cancer, and Chronic lower respiratory illness. <BR> Heart disease alone kills around 1,700 people ... Fri, 24 Apr 2015 12:29:03 EST Apparently Shoes are Important. I’m a country kid. I grew up barefoot. I had a pair of shoes for school and going to town. But on the whole I was running around barefoot, and I liked it that way. I know what a Bullhead sticker feels like when you step on it, I have also had more stone bruises then I can count. There was a time in my childhood when I was proud of the fact that I could run, full out, down our gravel driveway completely barefoot. <BR> <BR> Even now, as an adult, I still strip off my shoes as soon as I... Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:44:07 EST Top 5 Most Addictive Foods Over the weekend I heard a radio personality reading off a Top 5 List of the most addictive foods. <BR> <BR> These were not general food groups, like Pasta/Bread; but actual specific items, that are designed to keep you eating them until the bag is empty, (and you go out and buy a second bag) <BR> <BR> The list was: <BR> #5 Most Addictive Food: Doritos <BR> <BR> #4 Most Addictive Food: Cheetos <BR> <BR> #3 Most Addictive Food: Oreos <BR> <BR> #2 Most Addictive Food: M&Ms <BR> <BR> #1 ... Mon, 20 Apr 2015 16:30:52 EST Why we do what we do? I like cheeseburgers. When I’m at a restaurant with good burgers I always order a cheeseburger. Always. <BR> <BR> Then the other day I got a mixed up order. I got a burger without cheese and only realized it halfway through. <BR> <BR> So I had to ask myself, if I can’t taste the cheese enough to notice that it’s gone, why then, am I wasting a significant number of calories on it? <BR> <BR> This has led me to evaluate a lot of the foods I eat, simply because I always ate them... Mon, 20 Apr 2015 13:46:18 EST That moment... That moment when you’ve spent the previous night saying that you’re going to give yourself a pass and sleep in the next day. But you wake up at 5am anyway, and figure, “Well, since I’m up I might as well go to the gym.” Mon, 20 Apr 2015 12:04:12 EST When, “No, but thank you.” isn’t enough. <BR> Today, we hosted a meeting, during which they had lunch delivered. There were leftovers and the rest of the office was welcome to take them. <BR> <BR> I politely declined. But several people took it upon themselves to come to me to insist that I take some. I went for my walk instead. <BR> <BR> Let’s, pause to rack up today’s tally. This morning we had surprise bagels. They weren’t in my calories, but every once in a while it’s fine; so I had one. <BR> <BR> I also... Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:46:51 EST Last Soda ? I don’t remember the first time I was given a soda. But I always remember begging for a Pepsi, or running to the fridge in the hopes that Mom had bought some, which she did. <BR> <BR> When I was sick, they’d give me Mountain Dew or Seven Up to sip. <BR> <BR> As I got older my soda addiction was pretty engrained. <BR> <BR> When I decided to lose weight I switched over to diet soda. But I still drank far too much. <BR> <BR> On average my soda addiction looks like this: <BR> 1... Tue, 14 Apr 2015 13:32:53 EST A vacation to follow my dream For years, I’ve always dreamed about being a writer. <BR> <BR> The feedback I’ve gotten from my short stories has always been very encouraging. But I’d never been able to expand it into a full novel. <BR> <BR> The major issue has always been time and focus. <BR> <BR> After working 40 hours a week, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, running errands, mowing the lawn, and then relaxing enough to regain my sanity, I have maybe 15 minutes a week to write. <BR> <BR> That’s just n... Mon, 6 Apr 2015 13:10:18 EST Wonders of weight lose? I think not. I admit, I'm a sucker for the "Before and After" pictures. I am motivated by the "Success Stories" <BR> <BR> But then I run across these stories. <BR> <BR><BR>cally-sick-after-her-anorexia-photo-11<BR>4596207402.html' <BR> <BR> <link><BR>hysically-sick-after-her-anorexia-phot<BR>o-114596207402.html </link> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:23:41 EST Know, don’t guess. I had a shining example of why tracking your food is so important. <BR> <BR> Last night I wasn’t feeling hungry, plus I was really busy doing some housekeeping. So I ended up snacking on a three granola bars. <BR> <BR> I was a little worried that I was way under my calories for the day, because I had skipped my dinner and my evening yogurt snacks. I was sure that I was probably 400-500 calories under. But I figured if my body was satisfied, then it didn’t need food and I should listen... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 12:34:43 EST Scale Frustration Is there a cheap yet accurate bathroom scale out there? <BR> <BR> I'm really not interested in spending $50-$500 on a bathroom scale. <BR> <BR> But I would like to have one that's at least in the ballpark of my real weight. <BR> <BR> I know, after using my nutritionist's $3,000 professionally maintained, scale that I'm 185lbs. <BR> <BR> However, my home scale is still telling me that I'm between 190lbs and 187lbs. <BR> <BR> This is a pattern with me. I've been through 4 scales in ... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 14:50:51 EST Taking time for something I love. A friend of mine and I have been lamenting our busy lives. We have been struggling to find a way to do more of the things we want, while still doing all we need to complete (like work, dishes, bill paying, all the stuff that gets in the way of pursuing dreams) . Short of winning the lotto or quitting our jobs and living under a bridge, we’ve come up with nothing. <BR> <BR> Then last night, I got home, I was tired, I had a sink full of dishes, dinner, two howling cats wanting attention, a... Thu, 12 Mar 2015 14:08:32 EST It’s a scam! $120 pair of running shoes, specially selected for my foot by a trained specialist = stabbing pain in my arch. <BR> $30 pair of sneakers bought at Ross = pain free. <BR> <BR> Awhile back I decided to try running. My sister-in-law, who is an avid runner, advised me to get a pair of good running shoes before I start running, to avoid injury. <BR> <BR> So I went down to a store that specializes in sporting shoes. Had a salesperson measure my feet, they watched me walk and run, and they adv... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 17:04:01 EST Eat because I’m hungry, not because the tracker told me to. Last night I still had 60 calories to eat to reach my minimum goal of 1400 calories. Usually, I eat around 1500-1600 calories a day. But last night, I went to the fridge to get my last snack, and thought, “I’m not hungry, so why am I eating this?” <BR> <BR> Granted that left me below my minimum intake, which is a habit I don’t want to get into. But if I’m not hungry, why eat? <BR> <BR> When I got up this morning I wasn’t starving. I ate my usual breakfast and I feel fine. It just m... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:37:56 EST It's only 10lbs, but there's a huge difference. I was flipping through some pictures on Facebook and I was struck by a difference in my face. The first photo was taken just after my 1st 5K run in 2013 when I was around 195lbs. The other was taken when I was 10lbs lighter. <BR> <BR> It seems like such a small amount of weight, and yet it has such a huge impact. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 13:48:57 EST I'm out of the woods and into the mountains. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 9 Mar 2015 13:25:32 EST Whoop Whoop!!! Two things. <BR> <BR> One, I reached my goal of 188lbs! Which means I get to buy my movie!!! (I’m so excited) <BR> <BR> And Two, I apparently can’t trust my bathroom scale. I was at around 189-190lbs last week. So I was rather concerned that I wouldn’t hit my goal. But today, on my nutritionist’s professional $3,000, regularly maintained scale, I came in at 185.5lbs! <BR> <BR> So I get my new DVD and I’m only 4.5lbs away from my next goal, which is a book when I reach 180lbs. <B... Mon, 9 Mar 2015 13:11:10 EST Unsolicited I recently read an article about a woman dealing with being pregnant. The main focus of her story was about how being pregnant somehow gave strangers permission to intrude on her personal life and her personal space, as well as offer her unsolicited advice. <BR> <BR> I have been feeling the same way lately. I haven’t made my weight lose goals a secret, yet I find that I’m bombarded by unsolicited “help and advice”. <BR> <BR> The other day I was talking with a co-worker about quitting so... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 18:50:33 EST Countdown Day 3 Woohoo! I caught myself yesterday from slipping into old habits; dealing with stress by eating sugar. I realized what I was doing and stopped myself. Also, instead of going home to stew in my stress (and possibly eating more), I went to the gym and spent a good 40 minutes on the elliptical (that’s ontop of my morning workout). <BR> <BR> By the time I got home I was exhausted and very hungry. But I ate my planned dinner, had a nice shower, and felt really good. I managed to go right to sl... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 11:25:10 EST I may have stumbled, but I caught myself. It’s surprising how fast bad news can send you into bad habits. <BR> <BR> Back in 2009, I was working for a company in charge of their mailroom/ store room. They announced that there would be cut backs and that money was going to be tight. But they kept reassuring us that our jobs were safe and that we had nothing to worry about. <BR> <BR> Then they laid off 15 of the 70 employees in one day (I was one of those 15). A month later they laid off 10 more. <BR> <BR> Well, now I’m hear... Thu, 5 Mar 2015 18:29:14 EST Countdown Day 5 My goal is to be at or below 188lbs by my next weigh-in on Monday, March 9th. As of March 2nd, I was at 190lbs. <BR> <BR> I’ve been having a lot of problems keeping myself motivated lately. Last Fall was just a terrible time, and my weight lose goals along with my motivation went right out the window. My resolve wasn’t much better over the winter. Gain, lose, gain, lose…. <BR> <BR> But I feel like I’ve finally reached a point where I have enough motivation, strength, and energy stored ... Wed, 4 Mar 2015 13:36:05 EST There’s always an excuse. If you look for it there’s always an excuse. I don’t have the money, time, energy, I don’t know how, I have other things to do now….etc. <BR> <BR> No matter what it is, from moving to reading a book, there’s a million easy excuses a person can come up with on why they shouldn’t do it. <BR> Tue, 3 Mar 2015 18:25:14 EST Apparently, it IS the jean's fault. Right around the time that I was 12 years old, I was trying on Halloween costumes; I came out in a vampiress dress and my mother looked me over and said, “You look like a sack of potatoes.” <BR> <BR> Yes, I’d been called fat, ugly, etc before by the bullies in school and I’d been teased by family and friends for being chunky. But that comment, above all others, drilled itself into my brain and sat there as the perfect summation of them all. Every time I looked at my body, those words came ... Mon, 2 Mar 2015 16:41:53 EST Goals and rewards Hit 190lbs. Decided to buy my 1st Victoria Secret bra. <BR> <BR> My next goal is to be 188lbs by the 9th. That's when I get my DVD. <BR> <BR> I haven't decided what my next goal will be. Perhaps 180 or 177lbs. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Mon, 2 Mar 2015 10:52:46 EST Lunch time Epiphany I was doing my lunch walk today, which includes climbing to the 6th floor of my building twice, when it occurred to me, just how far out of my way I have to go every day to be active. My life, or should I say, the American life discourages activity. <BR> <BR> In order to be, even marginally active, I have to make a real, conscious effort to be active; and I have to make that conscious effort every day. If I don’t actually put myself out to be active, then nothing in my life would force ... Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:19:49 EST Eating until you’re full not until the plate is empty, what a concept. Today, I was eating my lunch, and about half way through I felt full. I actually had to stop and say to myself, “It’s ok, just leave the rest for tomorrow’s lunch.” <BR> <BR> I’ve been portioning out my food and watching the calories for a long time now. But I just never thought about it. A cup of this, two cups of that, this is my meal and I eat it; full or not. <BR> <BR> It is something I’m going to have to spend more time working on. <BR> <BR> I know that when I start thinking a... Wed, 25 Feb 2015 18:06:29 EST When did walking become abnormal I spent a summer studying in Italy. I quickly realized why the Italians can eat so much pasta and bread and still be skinny as racks; nothing is built on level ground. Everything is up a 16% slope. <BR> <BR> (That’s only partly a joke, there really was a street in that town with a 16% slope, and the others weren’t cakewalks) <BR> <BR> While there were cars, most people were just so conditioned to walking it didn’t occur to them to turn to a vehicle any kind. Cars or Trains were used ... Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:47:48 EST What is Diabetes? For the last year my 21 year old roommate has had an infected, ingrown toenail. Because she’s socially awkward and immature she has been trying to treat it herself, rather than going to the Dr. <BR> <BR> I finally got fed up and teamed up with her sister. Together we managed to get her to see a Dr. One of the things the Dr wanted her to do, was come back for a Diabetes test. <BR> <BR> She asked me, “Why does everyone think I have diabetes?” <BR> <BR> I explained, that her father ha... Fri, 20 Feb 2015 13:29:10 EST Perspective In the past I fully believed that my eating habits where not that bad. Yeah, I ate too much, and yeah a lot of what I ate involved breads or pastas. But it wasn’t bad. In fact, in my opinion, because I was cooking it myself, it was so much healthier. <BR> <BR> But lately I’ve been looking back on the things I used to eat. For instance, when I first joined Sparkpeople I logged a Chicken Spaghetti receipt that I made often. <BR> <BR> It was Chicken, Spaghetti Sauce, Noodles, and Buttere... Thu, 19 Feb 2015 12:48:24 EST Healthy doesn't mean tastes bad Choosing healthy foods that also taste good is so important. Because if it doesn't taste good, well.... <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 17 Feb 2015 12:49:21 EST The Bargain. My next weigh in is March 9th. That’s 3 weeks away. My goal is to be 188lbs by then. <BR> <BR> That means I will have to lose around 8 lbs. <BR> <BR> If I reach that goal, I will buy myself the DVD, “Dr. Who: Day of the Doctor”, (because yeah I’m a nerd and I think David Tennant and Matt Smith are hot, and they are adorable in that movie.) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 13 Feb 2015 18:30:02 EST Setting the clock. I have a desk job and I get so engrossed in work, I forget to remind myself to stand up every 20-30 minutes. <BR> <BR> Well, I have a co-worker who found an elegant solution. He has set his phone to sound an alarm every 20 minutes. When he hears this alarm, he either stands up or goes for a short walk. <BR> <BR> Well, I decided to do something similar. On my Outlook calendar I set reoccurring appointments for every 30 minutes. I set them so the time appears free if someone looks at ... Fri, 13 Feb 2015 11:36:15 EST Woohoo! I finally made it to the gym this morning. I have been struggling all week to get to the gym, and every day I’ve found an excuse not to go. I kept promising myself that I’d go to the gym after work, which I know will never happen. <BR> <BR> But this morning, I woke up at 5am. But it took me a little while to get myself up and dressed. At 5:38am, I started trying to tell myself that I didn’t have time. I still needed to pack my work clothes, my lunch, eat breakfast; and if I wasn’t on ... Fri, 13 Feb 2015 11:11:21 EST Well I feel like a slacker now. <link><BR>ark-videos-detail.asp?video=121 </link> Wed, 11 Feb 2015 10:21:42 EST Cadbury Crème…ew! My diet has become, sickeningly, healthy. Granted I have a few days, like last weekend when I had Rubio’s and Jimmy Johns in the same day. But for the most part my daily diet is rather healthy; veggies, lean meats, and yogurt. <BR> <BR> I try to steer clear of refined sugars and flours. I don’t eat breads or candies anymore. On occasion I will get an ice cream. <BR> <BR> At the store yesterday I noticed they already have their Easter stuff going on display. As I was going to the re... Tue, 10 Feb 2015 17:58:39 EST Our Problem in a Nutshell <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Right here, this is our problem. Side by side, in a news feed "Stop looking in the mirror and love yourself" juxtaposed against the "newest in extreme beauty" <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We are in one moment expect to believe models and actresses are real, they are just naturally like that, without effort; while also being told that "flaws are b... Wed, 4 Feb 2015 17:49:36 EST Veggie overload? I started doing this bulk, veggie buying. Its $10, you get 60lbs of whatever veggies they happen to have. <BR> <BR> I now have a freezer full of Bell Peppers and Green beans, I also have about 7 spaghetti squashes, 10 cucumbers, two dozen or so tomatoes, and Chilies. <BR> <BR> It’s great in that, because I don’t know what they will offer, I have to be flexible and try veggies I wouldn’t have otherwise tried. However, there’s so much of it that I find myself using veggies as filler in my... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 11:42:03 EST Just an observation <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Wait a second. According to that little fine print at the bottom. <BR> <BR> "Calories shown reflects the reduction for this swap...." <BR> <BR> So the salad isn't actually 420 calories, it's actually 580 calories. <BR> <BR> Now granted that's less then 1000 calories, but it still strikes me as trick advertising. <BR> <BR> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 13:25:29 EST Paying women not to smoke. Both of my parents where heavy smokers all their lives. I know they tried to quit on several occasions. <BR> <BR> But even after years of heart disease, and medical counseling, my aunt’s lung cancer and my dad’s thyroid cancer. After watching my grandfather die of “Black Lung”. And watching our neighbors’ put on oxygen machines and receiving chemo treatments. The addiction was still too powerful. <BR> <BR> Today, I read a short article from NPR, about an experiment in Scotland, where... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 12:59:38 EST A little secret So the biggest hindrance I have found to eating healthy is cost. It is sooo expensive to buy vegetables and fruits, especially fresh. <BR> <BR> And I have a black thumb, so trying to grow my own would be a disaster. <BR> <BR> Well I discovered a program, and I am a huge fan. Here it’s called Produce on Wheels, (In other areas it’s Market on the Move, 3,000 Club, etc). Basically, these organizations “rescue” produce which is donated by supermarkets, restaurants, or farms. The indivi... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 13:20:56 EST Thwarted I am always looking for ways to make doing my workout easier. The fewer things I have to do the more likely I am to stay on autopilot long enough to do my workout before I talk myself out of it. <BR> <BR> One idea I heard, was to sleep in my workout clothes. The idea being, on cold winter mornings, when you’re all snuggly, you won’t have to climb out of warm PJs and into cold gym clothes. Plus that’s one less thing to do when you get up. <BR> <BR> So last night I put on comfy gym clo... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 10:37:13 EST "No Excuse" Rant <BR> OK, here we go. <BR> <BR> I don’t want to bash anyone who is proud of their body. It’s obvious that they’ve worked really hard, and achieved their goal. They have every right to show off their success and be proud. <BR> <BR> Trust me, when I get to my goal, I will be blowing up my social media accounts with pictures of myself. <BR> <BR> But what is chaffing me here, is not her flaunting her success or even the fact that she’s taunting other women with the caption “No Excuse".... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:32:52 EST Small Victories I lost 4.5 lbs!!!! Woohoo! <BR> <BR> After this Fall with all the stress, etc. I just gave up. I stopped going to the gym, I stopped watching what I was eating, and I kept telling myself that tomorrow will be different. <BR> <BR> But this last week I have finally started taking back control. It's not about learning what I need, I already know what to do, I just needed to start doing it. Which I did this week. <BR> <BR> And the results are starting to show. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 10:35:34 EST 30, 60, 90? How much is too much exercise? Last year, I was working out for 30 minutes in the mornings, I was biking 20 minutes (one way) to work every day, I was taking a vigorous half hour walk at lunch, and I was hiking a steep hill three times a week after work. By Friday I was flat exhausted. <BR> <BR> I was told I was doing too much, that 30-45 minutes is the goal, because anything above that is just wasted energy. That after the first 45 minutes, the benefits from working out drop. <BR> <BR> But now I’m reading that it’s n... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 13:39:29 EST Minifasting? I just read an interesting article about Minifasting. <BR> <BR> The general idea is, you skip meals for 14-18 hrs a couple of times a week and it's supposed to help you lose weight, control blood sugar, increase energy, and improve brain function. <BR> <BR> From an evolutionary standpoint eating regularly is uncommon. I know some zoos have "Starve days" where their predatory animals go without food for a day or two. Apparently, it keeps the animals much healthier then if they were fe... Tue, 13 Jan 2015 11:00:42 EST Starting 2015 Jan. 1, 2015: It’s a new year and I am full of new ideas, new plans, and new goals. I am ready to take on 2015 and become a whole new me. <BR> <BR> Jan. 3-11, 2015: I have a terrible cold with a severe cough and I can’t even get out of bed. <BR> <BR> Life; sometimes it can be a real…. <BR> <em>30</em> <BR> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 11:14:46 EST Just keep swimming! On summer I decided to study abroad in Italy. Much of that hot summer was spent on field trips, hiking up and down cobblestone streets with 10% grades, in cities without elevators, while trying to keep up with our long-legged professors. <BR> <BR> Quickly a saying began to spread through our group; red faced and out of breath we’d chock out, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, falalala!” in an attempt to imitate Dory from “Finding Nemo”. <BR> <BR> From then on, anytime I find myse... Tue, 6 Jan 2015 13:26:34 EST Coming off the holidays The holidays are over, but I’m still sidelined by a nasty little cold. The problem is, it’s in my chest, so any vigorous exercise will cause me to start coughing my head off. But I’m going to try and start easing myself back into working out tomorrow. Nothing too rigorous, but just enough to get the routine down, so its easer to jump back in once I feel better. Tue, 6 Jan 2015 11:07:03 EST