MCASKEY6's SparkPeople Blog MCASKEY6's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Front Desk Trick I'm the front desk person. So of course, there,s an unspoken rule that the seasonal treats get left in my area..."for everyone". <BR> <BR> Last year, I fought it from Oct. 1st through the middle of January. <BR> <BR> This year I think I may have hit on a better way (at least for Halloween). <BR> <BR> As I was decorating for Halloween I filled one of the decorative candy dishes with ear plugs and face masks (I work in Risk Management, so we have plenty of that laying around.) <BR> <BR> T... Thu, 8 Oct 2015 19:53:44 EST Mini Goal, 177 by 11/10 I know that ideally, I should only lose 1-2 lbs a week. By my next weigh in appointment I should lose between 4-8lbs. However, I really, really want to be 177lbs, on Nov. 10th. <BR> <BR> That means I would need to lose 10lbs in a month. <BR> <BR> I know that’s pushing it; especially with Halloween candy beckoning from every corner. But it’s my goal. <BR> Wed, 7 Oct 2015 12:37:30 EST Checking the label I was at the grocery store this weekend, when I noticed a brand of Black Beans on sale for less than a dollar a can. Plus they were Reduced Sodium, double score! <BR> <BR> I decided to stock up. I piled several cans into my cart, when I decided, on a whim, to double check the New Beans against my Old Brand (which was $1.17 a can) <BR> <BR> The New Brand had 240 mg of sodium, 105 calories, and 23g of carbs. <BR> <BR> My Old Brand had 125mg of sodium, 100 calories, and 18g of carbs. ... Mon, 5 Oct 2015 12:21:33 EST Serious problem, I’ve been eating really healthy. Lots of veggies, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, etc. But there’s a side effect…and I’m sure many know what I’m talking about…gas. <BR> <BR> I eat my lunch of veggies and chicken and by 2pm I swell up like a Thanksgiving Day Balloon. <BR> <BR> I’ve tried taking gas relief medicine, but they always make me worse, as if it’s stopped the gas from exiting but hasn’t stopped the gas from forming, so I cramp and am bloated. <BR> <BR> Is the... Wed, 30 Sep 2015 19:07:14 EST Advice you just can’t take. One year anniversary of my mother’s death. <BR> <BR> Plus, I learned today that while my income hasn’t changed my student loan payments are going to triple. <BR> <BR> Oh, yeah, and my office is still stressing about budget cuts, and how much will be cut, from which programs, and who’s going to be losing their jobs. <BR> <BR> And they keep telling me to de-stress my life, so I can be healthier and fitter. <BR> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 19:43:39 EST The Reward I’ve been swimming, I’ve been lifting weights, I’ve been doing cardio. I bike to work, I use the restroom on the first floor so I have to walk up and down stairs. I take a 30 minute walk at lunch. <BR> <BR> And how am I rewarded for all of my hard work? Last night, while making my bed I pulled a muscle in my arm. <BR> <BR> Granted it wasn’t too bad. I was recovered within an hour. But still, it’s a bit deflating when I can lift weights, but tucking a sheet under my mattre... Tue, 22 Sep 2015 13:26:47 EST Fit Vrs Thin My roommate is 5’4” and 140lbs. Anyone looking at her would consider her very fit and healthy. <BR> <BR> I am 5’6” and 190lbs. I am obese. <BR> <BR> However, that really doesn’t say much. <BR> <BR> My roommate is a “vegetarian”, which for her means she eats a lot of frozen pizzas, bread, cheese and pastas, and sugary snacks. She’s also not a big fan of exercise. <BR> <BR> I regularly consume lean meats, fruit, and vegetables. I also exercise regularly. <BR> ... Fri, 11 Sep 2015 19:51:40 EST Alzheimer's and Exercise. Yes, having a rockin' beach bod that can literally stop traffic would be amazing...but not getting Alzheimer's is even better. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>cerns/how-exercise-can-help-prevent-al<BR>zheimers-disease?cid=soc_Prevention%20<BR>Magazine%20-%20preventionmagazine_FBPA<BR>GE_Prevention__Alzheimer%27s </link> Fri, 11 Sep 2015 19:36:06 EST The evils of entertainment. It’s a long story, but a year ago I cut the cable. I dropped both TV and internet in my home. If I needed to go online, I had to find a place with Wifi, like the local library. <BR> <BR> It did suck sometimes. I’d want to order a pizza, and have to call 411 to get a number rather than just ordering it online. Or getting directions, downloading travel itineraries, etc. But for the most part, my day to day life was uninterrupted by the lack of internet. <BR> <BR> During that time... Fri, 11 Sep 2015 14:21:04 EST Over-doing it. Last night I ran on the elliptical for an hour. I then got home, looked at the pool and thought, "That looks so great." So I jumped in, for an hour. <BR> <BR> By the time I got out I was completely drained, had a headache, and was feeling dizzy. <BR> <BR> I ended up going to bed early, feeling sick and exhausted. <BR> <BR> This morning it was a huge effort for me to get out of bed. <BR> <BR> So I think I'll take it easy today. Thu, 10 Sep 2015 12:39:16 EST Learning to cope with stress. I will admit, that sadly, I am a complete incompetent when it comes to money. Managing my student loan debt stresses me out to levels that will leave me tense and anxiety ridden for days. <BR> <BR> I just had to re-do some paperwork, because apparently an electronic signature is not good enough. (Plus I just moved, with all that headache and financial worry, and it’s coming up on the 1 yr anniversary of my mother’s death). It’s all a bit overwhelming. <BR> <BR> My gut is in kn... Fri, 4 Sep 2015 18:41:58 EST Moving weekend. Saturday, I got up bright and early and spent the entire day moving big heavy furniture and boxes, onto a truck and then up a flight of stairs in 100 degree heat. I had a massive, pounding headache by the end of the day. <BR> <BR> Sunday, I continued moving boxes and was also cleaning in order to be out of my old place by noon. <BR> <BR> Monday through Wednesday I was cleaning my new place, moving boxes, unpacking, running all over town trying to find the fiddly bits I needed like draw... Thu, 3 Sep 2015 12:26:17 EST My Week. Moving stress, Allergy Attack, Flu Shot that turned into the Flu. Yeah, it’s been a “fun” week. <BR> <BR> And I have a weekend of hauling boxes, cleaning, and unpacking to look forward to. <BR> <BR> But when it's all done, I will be within walking distance of Downtown, and I'll be less than 4 minutes from my gym. Wed, 26 Aug 2015 13:28:17 EST Hitting a Wall, I’ve hit a wall with my diet. To put it simply, I’m sick of everything. I have always cooked my own meals. And I tend to cook a lot of food, which can then be divided into smaller containers that I can just pop in the microwave during the week. <BR> <BR> The issue is I’m burned out on nearly every recipe I have. I have tried spicing things up, changing things and trying new recipes; but in the end I’m just not interested in it. <BR> <BR> I’ve done internet searches, asked f... Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:08:31 EST How to undo the Dr's fine work in one 12 hour span. I went to a chiropractor to try and help with a bizarre, phantom itch I’ve had on my arms for the last few years. He adjusted me, messaged out my muscles, etc. And I was sent home, were all Hell broke loose and everything relaxing he’d done was completely undone. <BR> <BR> Frist off, I’m moving. So my current super sent over some perspective renters for my old apartment…without warning me. So I have two guys showing up at my door, and I’m just out of the shower, in my PJs, an... Tue, 11 Aug 2015 12:14:02 EST The Original Workout Routine There is no gym machine, no weight training routine, no Pilates class as intense as having to spend a whole weekend cleaning a massively overgrown backyard. <BR> <BR> I had to spending the weekend pulling up a forest of weeds taller than I am and slightly thicker than oak trees, mowing Bermuda grass that’s been growing up fences for years, and dragging around fallen limbs as big as old Buicks. <BR> <BR> My hands are blistered, my entire body aches, and in general I’ve had a very tho... Mon, 10 Aug 2015 12:26:51 EST Laziness, it can be an advantage. My plan last night was to have pizza. I fully believe it’s good to have the occasional “bad” meal in order to develop a healthy relationship with those kinds of food. <BR> <BR> Saying, “I will never have chocolate again.” Is just going to make me want chocolate all the more. <BR> <BR> But if I say," I can have chocolate, on occasion (and I have to do something positive, like walk to the store to get it)", than I don’t want it nearly as much. <BR> <BR> So last night I deci... Wed, 5 Aug 2015 11:42:38 EST Playing the game. I was at the gym the other day, on the elliptical, and I was watching Cake Wars. I like to bake, I love to sculpt, and I’m always fascinated by the creative ideas that people come up with, so this show appeals to me. <BR> <BR> The problem was, I forgot about my yogurt snack before I went to the gym, so I was STARVING. Here I am watching people bake cake, eat cake, sculpt cake, and I’m thinking, “I really want cake!” Also, of course, it was the “Food Network” so every 3 minu... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 19:55:48 EST Cheat meal and compromise I’m due for a cheat tonight. I don’t have regular cheat days, I don’t schedule them into my plans. However, I think it’s good to enjoy the occasional “naughty” meal to help develop a healthy relationship with it, ie you can have cake, but not every night and not a whole cake. <BR> <BR> My issue is, what do I want? I’ve gotten to the point that if I want a burger, I don’t want a drive-thru burger, I want a good, curl your toes quality burger. <BR> <BR> But then I thought... Tue, 4 Aug 2015 19:42:17 EST Huffington Post, Skinny Fat. <link><BR>/why-skinny-fat-can-be-wor_b_7904706.h<BR>tml?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592 </link> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 13:00:34 EST 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