MCASKEY6's SparkPeople Blog MCASKEY6's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 It’s Called, “The Gym of Life!” No, I didn’t go to the gym Tuesday. My bike tire was still flat so I walked 3 miles to work, then another 2 miles to the bike shop, and another 3 miles to the grocery store (I was out of cat food, and there’s no way I could show my face at home without Fancy Feast) I then walked home, with 2 watermelons (the full size), a bag of cat food, 10 cans of wet cat food, a bunch of bananas, and a bottle of shampoo on my back. And did mention that the temp was around 100. <BR> <BR> And no, I won... Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:39:55 EST What About After? I often read articles about people who have successfully lost weight. Stories with titles like, “Half My Size” or “I Lost Over 100lbs!” are very inspirational. <BR> <BR> However, so often I realize that these people reached their goal weight 6 months ago or maybe a year ago. There don’t seem to be a lot of stories from people celebrating 10 years of maintenance. (I know they have to be out there, I’m just wondering where?) <BR> <BR> I keep running across articles that estimate, that as... Wed, 18 Jun 2014 19:17:42 EST “Eat Less, Exercise More” Isn’t The Answer For Weight Loss An interesting article in "Time" about how simply cutting calories won't actually cut it when it comes to losing weight. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ore-isnt-the-answer-for-weight-loss/ </link> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:40:17 EST Morbid Obesity is a Thief When I’m honest with myself I don’t think about the health side of losing weight. I want to lose weight because I’m young and I want to be attractive. I dream of bikinis and slim-fit jeans. I want to be the “Hot” chick. I want to feel sexy when I look in the mirror. <BR> <BR> But the other day I was talking with my mom and she’s having a rough time. <BR> <BR> As a service for her church, and for her own mental stimulation, she goes around and visits with people who have difficulty g... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 19:01:57 EST Rough weekend Friday: My bike tire went flat for the 3rd time in a week. So I had to push it, in 100 degree heat, all the way home. It took me a little over an hour. <BR> <BR> I got home just in time to have my rather bouncy, overly energetic, immature roommate, eagerly pestering me to go see "How To Train Your Dragon 2", with her....RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!! <BR> <BR> I recovered enough to go to the 10:30pm showing. (it's a good movie, I recommend it.) <BR> <BR> Saturday: My apartment complex decided th... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:18:14 EST A measurement no scale can provide. Back in 2012, I had a shirt that I pulled off the hanger and tossed in the bottom of my closet. It was too small and every time I put it on I would get frustrated and angry with myself. The few times I wore it, I felt like I had to hold my gut in all day to keep it from rolling up. It finally got to the point that I couldn’t even put it on. <BR> <BR> Today, I was wearing this shirt and realized, it fits perfectly. In fact, it looks really good on me. <BR> <BR> Here’s to hoping it ends... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 17:41:32 EST That Moment :D That moment when you catch yourself in the full-length mirror, and have to stop because you suddenly see just how far you've come. <BR> <BR> This happened to me earlier today. I waltz into the bathroom, and caught myself in the mirror and had to pause for a moment, because, man, I'm lookin' good. <BR> <BR> It's so hard for me to see the change, because I see myself everyday. <BR> <BR> And even though the pants are looser, they're still the same pants. The scales have been betraying m... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 19:16:10 EST National Donut Day It always seems that it's the tiny, skinny-mini who remembers it's National Donut Day, and brings in a big box of donuts, insists that you have one (or two), but then she 'just can't possibly have one' herself. <BR> <BR> It's making me paranoid that perhaps they are trying to sabotage me in some way. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Nah, that's silly. Fri, 6 Jun 2014 13:03:00 EST Long Lost Twin? According to my friends and family I strongly resemble this character from Game of Thrones. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I just got my hair cut. I should probably start watching this show. <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Fri, 6 Jun 2014 12:29:52 EST One Size I bought jeans yesterday. I tried on a 12, 14, and 16. The 14 was perfect. The 12 almost fit. The 16 was so tight I couldn’t even get it buttoned. WTF?!!! <BR> <BR> Granted, they weren’t the same brand or styles of jeans, but still WTF?!! <BR> <BR> I guess I just don’t get it. It makes sense to me to have a national size scale. A 16 should be a 16 no matter what brand you try on. <BR> <BR> But I guess when you have different styles that becomes a challenge and designers are crazy... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 12:13:41 EST Too Much of a Good Thing. In an effort to cut down on my TV addiction and increase my workouts I made a rule that I can watch as much TV as I want, as long as it’s on the elliptical at the gym. My all-time record was 3 hours. (Note, I have not come close to that since). Typically, I was doing an hour and a half. <BR> <BR> But I rapidly began to notice that my strength was evaporating. My regular bike commute was becoming significantly more difficult. Hills I used to pop over without a problem where now taking ... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 11:38:16 EST Your Friendly Neighborhood Vampires I just had a visit from my friendly neighborhood vampires. They seduced me with cookies, how could I say no? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 3 Jun 2014 15:13:11 EST It's Monday, but I'm happy I caught myself in the mirror Sunday, and realized how much slimmer I look and I decided to put together a bit of a timeline. <BR> <BR> I still have a distance to go, but it's important to stop and remember how far I've come. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> (I posted this yesterday, but I'm just so pleased with my progress I decided to post it ag... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 11:30:51 EST Update Its important to stop and take stock every once in a while. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 1 Jun 2014 19:43:37 EST Addictive Personality After working so hard to quit my diet soda habit, going through all the withdrawals, struggling, and finally succeeding; I proceeded to fall right off the wagon and pick up my addiction right where I left it. <BR> <BR> So now I’m giving it a third round. Hopefully, third time’s the charm here. <BR> <BR> I started drinking regular soda when I was just a toddler; with three older brothers in grade school there was no way my mother could keep the baby away from it. <BR> <BR> When I sta... Fri, 30 May 2014 12:58:11 EST Soda Vs Water Why is it, that I can drink can after can of diet soda, all day without a problem, but I drink one bottle of water and I feel so bloated I think I might burst? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 29 May 2014 19:49:39 EST The Great Burger Hunt: Spoiler it ended in failure (kinda). Yesterday, May 28th was National Burger Day. <BR> <BR> I decided to see about having a burger for dinner. However, I have a new attitude that if I’m going to waste calories on something like a burger, I want it to be a good burger. <BR> <BR> There’s a Jack in the Box on my way home, however, that’s not a good burger and not worth the calories. <BR> <BR> There’s a In-and-Out Burger, near the mall, but then I’d have to go all that way, on my bike, in 100 degree heat, and who wants a bur... Thu, 29 May 2014 13:23:50 EST Nature, Nurture. Disease, Behavior. Genetics, Lifestyle. It’s all just a big mess. Can a government really make it's people skinnier? <BR> <BR> <link><BR>fat-111740558.html </link> <BR> <BR> I feel like court ordered weight loss classes are a bit like court ordered AA. <BR> <BR> Speaking from experience, with obesity and alcoholism running in my family; the cold hard fact is, unless the individual, decides to change, unless they are truly committed to change and willing to put in the time and effort, there is nothing their family,... Thu, 29 May 2014 12:49:55 EST I did a bad, bad thing. I have a, from scratch, chocolate chip cookie recipe that is The Bomb! It’s one of those old fashioned, butter and sugar recipes that tastes so good but you seriously don’t want to ask for the calorie count on them. <BR> <BR> I get all kinds of complements on them and I have never had a problem offloading two full batches in a day. <BR> <BR> I don’t make them very often, only for pot-lucks, holidays, etc. because they are so rich and waistline unfriendly. <BR> <BR> But I figured th... Fri, 23 May 2014 12:37:51 EST