MCASKEY6's SparkPeople Blog MCASKEY6's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Stress Schedule Pick up any dictionary in the world and look up the phrase, “Stress-Eater”, and you’ll find my picture. <BR> <BR> Even before I realize I’m stressed I will start daydreaming of Ice Cream, Chocolate, French Fries, Tortilla Chips and Guacamole, French Bread and Butter, etc. <BR> <BR> Well, I’m stressed. I’m looking to move to a new apartment, which is stressful. I’m having a dust-up with my Student Loan people. My foot is causing me pain. I’m trying to quit soda again, s... Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:19:20 EST Should I Worry About Exercise? I ran across this series. In this episode Richard Hammond of Top Gear talks about Exercise, what kind, how much, and even if we should be going to the gym at all. <BR> <BR> It’s pretty interesting and entertaining. There’s an awesome portion where the 5’7” English Co-Presenter puts his dignity where his mouth is, up against a cover model from Men’s Fitness, to see if you can tell, just by looking at someone if they are fit or not. <BR> <BR> <link> Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:42:53 EST A Question of Gym Etiquette. I was at the gym the other day when I noticed that someone had left the TV on, on one of the ellipticals. I was about to turn it off (I have a touch of OCD when it comes to leaving things on), when I noticed a pair of bright pink ear buds, still plugged in and wrapped around the elliptical in such a way that it couldn’t be used without removing them. <BR> <BR> I left it alone and went to a neighboring elliptical and within a few minutes noticed a woman return, hop on the elliptical and pu... Mon, 20 Jul 2015 17:28:47 EST It’s not failure until you give up. I can’t remember the first soda I had. Being the baby of the family there was no way my parents could keep me from it while the older kids drank it. I drank regular Pepsi all of my life and in large doses. <BR> <BR> A few years ago, I switched to Diet Pepsi as a way to save calories. <BR> <BR> All the research I’ve seen suggests that in moderation Diet Pepsi isn’t nearly the boogeyman the media suggests. However, I drink more than moderation. <BR> <BR> The recommended dose of A... Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:55:57 EST Great, Now What? Sunday, night I must have had a very exciting dream, because I woke up with a sprained ankle! <BR> <BR> <BR> Ok, so maybe it wasn’t an actual sprained ankle. I suspect it might have been my Plantar Fasciitis acting up in a new and depressing way. <BR> <BR> <BR> Sunday, I did a little light cleaning, organized a few things, and lounged around a bit. I went to bed feeling fine. <BR> <BR> <BR> Monday morning, I woke up feeling fine, but the moment I put weight on my left foot (the o... Tue, 14 Jul 2015 12:46:09 EST Old Information Gives New Insight For the last two years I’ve been trying to lose weight and part of that is going to a nutritionist. She weighs me and the machine gives me a receipt with all kinds of data including Weight, Body Fat%, BMI, etc. <BR> <BR> I’ve kept all of those receipts. And I just noticed an interesting pattern. Around July and August of the last two years I dropped a lot of weight. Then as I go through autumn and into winter, I gain a lot of weight. In the spring I stabilize and then the following ... Tue, 7 Jul 2015 14:51:10 EST Mother Nature's Curve Ball Leaves Bruises I have been bike commuting since 2008. I bike in winter, 111 degree heat, and torrential Monsoon rains. Never really had a problem. <BR> <BR> These on the other hand….serious problem. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Luckily, I was wearing a helmet and almost home when it hit; and the hail storm was only a couple of minutes (the couple of minutes it took me to get home and out of the mess.) But it still ... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 13:31:06 EST Do Something. My roommate has been complaining about her stomach. In truth, yes she’s put on some weight. Not enough to be a danger to her health, but her diet and exercise are not the best. <BR> <BR> I’ve told her time and again, if YOU have a problem with your stomach, then do something about it. <BR> <BR> But she continues to ask, “If I put on a bikini, would it look ok?” <BR> <BR> At the shoe store yesterday, I was trying on shoes, she sat down next to me and started poking at her stom... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 20:18:00 EST Running's lasting results When you think of the barefoot country kid; that was me growing up. My shoes were always dime-store cheap, and I spent every moment I could barefoot…still do. I never had any problems with my feet or my knees. <BR> <BR> A few of years ago, I decided to start running. Running just looks so romantic in all the movies, it’s so easy to do, and it’s cheap. <BR> <BR> I just went out my door and started running. After all, humans are designed to run, just like horses, lions, dogs the... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:28:22 EST Any Ideas For A Low Cal, No Fridge Lunch? I’m struggling to find a lunch that can be packed, that does not require a refrigerator or microwave; that isn’t just a handful of seeds or a power bar. <BR> <BR> On the weekends I go to the local library and work on my book. The problem is, how to pack lunch? I don’t have access to a fridge or a microwave, so anything that needs to stay cool or be heated up is out. There are fast food chains around, but I’d rather not be eating burgers regularly. <BR> <BR> What I’m looking f... Tue, 23 Jun 2015 19:33:57 EST I'm so smar....wait @#$%#!!! I was so smart this morning. I had an important meeting this morning, early. So I had to skip my morning workout and I had to drive instead of bike. But I stuffed my gym clothes into my bag and brought it with me. This way I can hit the gym after work. I'm so smart! <BR> <BR> A minute ago I looked over at the bag, thinking, I'm so smart...wait, where's my sneakers? <BR> <BR> Oh, yeah, they're setting by my front door, where I left them the other day. It didn't even cross my mind that... Mon, 22 Jun 2015 12:59:20 EST It’s too hot to eat. I’m no starver. I love food, and that’s my problem. I will never, starve myself. If I’m hungry, I will eat. My problem lately is, I’m not hungry. <BR> <BR> It’s summer, it’s 80 degrees at 6am, when I’m going to the gym. I then bike to work at 7:30am when it’s almost 90. So when I get into work, I’m just not hungry. <BR> <BR> I start feeling hungry around 10, but then I’m only interested in my snack. I’m happy to eat lunch. <BR> <BR> But then I bike home a... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 13:10:41 EST Oh, the 60s! Study showing that the average American woman today weighs as much as the average American man in the 1960s. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ns-have-changed-in-a-big-way-since-the<BR>-121755687423.html </link> Thu, 18 Jun 2015 12:20:13 EST Not proud, but I've been there. Possum breaks into an Australian Bakery. Eats too much and is too full to escape. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 17 Jun 2015 16:32:18 EST Reality Check My little roommate just got a reality check. <BR> <BR> I've talked about her before. She's slim, around 144lbs, but not fit and recently she's been gaining weight. <BR> <BR> This morning I was buzzing around getting read to go to the gym, when she started talking about the folds on her belly and if she could get away with wearing a bikini. I told her it was more how SHE felt in the bikini then what other people thought. <BR> <BR> She kept mulling this over, so I finally asked if she... Sat, 13 Jun 2015 16:06:43 EST When to stop helping. I have a friend, she has a small waist but isn’t very fit (Skinny-fat). Lately she’s noticed that she’s started gaining weight. She’s still well within the realm of “Healthy”. But it’s starting to bother her that she’s gaining. <BR> <BR> So she’s started asking me for advice. The problem is I’ve already had this talk with her. When she was complaining about being tired and weak all the time and asked me why. When she wanted to know why everyone was concerned about ... Mon, 8 Jun 2015 14:51:02 EST Yes, there is a time for comfort food. I had a very rough day yesterday. <BR> <BR> My kitcat decided to wake me up by ripping a big hole in my brand new sheet. <BR> <BR> I then burned my breakfast. <BR> <BR> I was running late to the gym and realized about half way there that I’d forgotten to turn the AC on (100+ degrees = two very unhappy cats and a sweltering house when I get home.) So I had to go back and by then it was way too late to go to the gym. <BR> <BR> As I was biking up the last hill on my way to work, my... Wed, 3 Jun 2015 11:49:29 EST Feeling a bit “uphill” today. I have been struggling. <BR> <BR> I found that having a nutritionist to report to each month helped. It kept me more focused and mindful of what I was doing. However, my nutritionist broke her arm and has been out for a few months recovering. So I’ve been naughty. <BR> <BR> Then I developed plantar fascia in my left foot. Which I’ve been trying to correct without drugs. <BR> <BR> Plus, I’ve decided to follow one of my life dreams of writing a book, which means every spare se... Mon, 1 Jun 2015 14:57:49 EST Junk Science and Diets Awesome story, about a guy who woke up one day and wondered how easy it would be to put out a false study about dieting. <BR> <BR> He learned, its horrifyingly easy. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ournalist-created-a-bogus-study-showin<BR>g-120105844182.html </link> Fri, 29 May 2015 14:36:42 EST 95% failure is a lie. When I started trying to lose weight I had several people tell me that 95% of people who lose weight will gain it back in a year or two. <BR> <BR> Many of the studies I read referenced this fact. <BR> <BR> But now I'm learning the truth. Apparently, the study that publish these findings was flawed and the results are unreliable. <BR> <BR> They were only following 100 people who were in a hospital. Other studies that back it up, also use people who were in extreme cases. <BR> <BR>... Wed, 27 May 2015 14:52:21 EST Finally found a diagnosis for my itchy arms. For years I have had a weird itch on my arms just above the elbow. I can actually mark the exact area of the itch. <BR> <BR> But the problem is I’ve had no idea what it is. There’s no rash, no redness, no swelling, no bumps, no temperature change, nothing. Just suddenly my arm will become unbelievably itchy; so itchy that I can’t ignore it, so itchy that I will scratch until I'm bleeding. <BR> <BR> The only thing that helps is to put an ice pack on my arm until it goes numb. <BR> <BR... Fri, 15 May 2015 13:33:51 EST Not Keeping Track I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, that I’m not keeping track of my workouts. <BR> <BR> Over the weekend I went to the gym every day and I was on the elliptical for at least an hour and a half each day. I worked out at a vigorous level. However, I didn’t bother to track the calories or time. <BR> <BR> I figure if I’m going there, doing it, and having fun, then why do I need to write it down? Also, am I really going to log every workout I have for the rest of ... Tue, 12 May 2015 18:52:17 EST 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