MCASKEY6's SparkPeople Blog MCASKEY6's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Food Bully When I first started working for my office, I was stunned by how much food circulates in this place. They would bring in cake and ice cream AND go out to lunch on everyone’s birthday; FYI we have 10 birthdays in December alone, so that was 10 lunches out and 10 cakes and ice cream. <BR> <BR> So I put out the suggestion that instead of having 10 cakes spaced throughout the month, we should just have one cake, at our monthly meeting; we can announce everyone who’s celebrating a birthday t... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:12:53 EST For the love of rowing Not too long ago I read an article that stated that the rowing machines were the gym’s most underrated piece of equipment. So I decided to give it a shot. <BR> <BR> At my gym, the upper level is reserved for cardio workouts. The room is dominated by dozens of high-tech, cutting edge, brand new elliptical machines and an entire wall of treadmills. <BR> <BR> But they only have two, older model rowing machines, located in a dark little corner, away from everything else. <BR> <BR> OMG ... Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:12:18 EST My next birthday present to myself. My birthday was this last weekend. As part of that, I sat down and wrote out a list of things I want to have accomplished by my next birthday. <BR> <BR> Some were simple things, like watching less TV. Others are rather huge, like finishing a novel and changing my career. <BR> <BR> Now that the list is complete, I am working on the strategies to accomplish as many of those goals as I can. Rather than just saying, “I want to finish a novel by next year”, I’m working on a plans that wil... Tue, 9 Dec 2014 11:35:03 EST It’s rain, not acid. So granted I live in a desert and rain is a rare thing. But the way people act, it’s like they think its acid falling from the sky and not water. <BR> <BR> I bike commute every day. I bike in 110 degree weather and I bike when it’s 30 degrees and raining. It’s really not that much of a difference to me. Granted getting splashed by cars sucks, but I’m going to be changing out of my bike clothes when I get to work either way. <BR> <BR> What can I say, I’m stubborn. <BR> <BR> So I f... Thu, 4 Dec 2014 10:52:52 EST Small but Simple Update So I didn't reach my goal. I had hoped that by today I would have lost 3lbs and would be at 190 or 189. <BR> <BR> But I'm 191, and I'm ok with that. It's a move in the right direction. Tue, 25 Nov 2014 13:13:43 EST I wish I liked to run. I would love, to love to run. I see people jogging and running, and they look so happy. My sister in law and brother love to run. They are always signing up for races and marathons. They have made many great friends running. <BR> <BR> I know all the health benefits of running. I’ve read great books about people’s enjoyment of running; the wonder and freedom of running. <BR> <BR> If I liked to run I could run anywhere, anytime; while on vacation or just a quick jog after dinner. <... Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:51:41 EST Simple and small At my last weigh in, on 11-12-14 I was 193. <BR> <BR> On my next weigh in, on 11-25-14, I want to have lost 3lbs. <BR> <BR> Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:11:53 EST Plan B I’ve been in survival mode for some time now. One of my routines that’s fallen by the wayside is going to the gym. <BR> <BR> But this weekend I set my mind to getting back control of my life. I decided that on Saturday I would go to the gym and start working on getting myself back into some routine. <BR> <BR> A little background, I go to a university gym. I didn’t realize Saturday was a game day and the gym was closing early. So I arrived about 10 minutes before they were to close.... Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:03:54 EST The Much Ignored Killer I just read an interesting article about a man who sued Nestle and is pushing the FDA to have stricter policies on food, after his mother died of supposed E.coli poisoning after eating raw cookie dough. <BR> <BR> While his mother’s death is a tragedy, and I don’t wish to undermined his grief in any way. It got me to thinking about the real dangers we ignore every day. <BR> <BR> While E.coli poisoning is terrible and should be avoided, it’s also rare to die from E.coli poisoning. Accordi... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 14:53:52 EST Interesting Video Interesting video on how weight loss advertisement photos can be faked with just posture and lighting. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ke-photo-184800982.html </link> Fri, 7 Nov 2014 11:09:28 EST What do you say? I have a person in the periphery of my world, who actively tries to convince me that they aren't making bad health choices. <BR> <BR> They are morbidly obese and trying to lose weight. So we’ve often talked about our struggles. <BR> <BR> However, this person is constantly sneaking food and trying to manipulate facts to make it appear that they are making good choices. <BR> <BR> But it's so obvious that they aren't. However, it's no skin off my nose. I’m not intimately close to this... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 13:28:30 EST Weekend So my big plan to vegetate fell through, but in a good way. <BR> <BR> Saturday I ended up spring cleaning the entire house by noon, then went shopping. Sunday, I mowed the lawn with a weed-eater, and then spent the rest of the day reading...well, reading and watching Love Actually and Bridget Jones's Diary, but mostly reading. <BR> <BR> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 11:43:04 EST I really need a weekend <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I really need a weekend. I am planning on doing nothing this weekend. I might, if I work up the energy, I might clean the house. Otherwise, I'm vegetating. <BR> <BR> Next weekend, is my favorite day, followed by several festivals and other fun stuff to do outside in the world. But this weekend, it's my big bottom pants and my TV remote. Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:03:53 EST Fundraisers After two weeks of fighting the Halloween candy invasion, I had a co-worker walk in today with a box of candy bars for his daughter's performing arts club. <BR> <BR> The kicker is, I can't say no to him leaving it on my desk. I've let other employees leave their box of fundraiser candy bars on my desk. So it would be unfair of me to tell him, he can't do the same thing. <BR> <BR> But I'm just so wound up right now, and so susceptible to influence, and so disgruntled about it, that I fin... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:32:23 EST The Oreo Test During lunch yesterday, my boss ran some errands. While out, she bought some Oreo cookies. She then walked around to everyone in the office and offered them a cookie. <BR> <BR> When she came to me, I thanked her, but turned her down. She then proceeded to insist that I have one. I told her, “Yeah, but if I eat one, I’ll want five more. Then I’ll end up stopping at the store on my way home and buying more Oreos.” She then told me that she would keep me from having more than one and sh... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:35:10 EST Halloween Again, That time of year again, when suddenly everyone has a burning desire to buy candy by the pound and dump it on my desk. <BR> <BR> It’s so obnoxious and even rude. Simply because I am the front desk person, does not mean I’m ok with having my work station turned into a candy shop. <BR> <BR> What’s even more annoying is the fact that these people refuse to put the candy bowl in their own office because as they say, “If it’s on my desk I’ll eat it all.” Well guess what, hon, you ain’t the... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:30:21 EST Stress and the dieter Stress is an amazing appetite suppressant, but not one I would recommend for long term usage. <BR> <BR> I have been so stressed. Between the move and all the expense that went with that and my mother’s death, I’ve been a wreck. I’m a bundle of nerves and it’s coming out in my appetite. <BR> <BR> I’ll be starving one minute and completely unable to eat the next. I’ll be feeling nauseated most of the day, then suddenly want to eat everything in sight. <BR> <BR> Same thing happened t... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 19:46:42 EST Beginning: Take Two I’m finally to the point where I feel like I can give this weight lose thing another, honest, try. I’m back up to 193lbs (granted it’s not the 210+ that I started with in 2012, but it’s also not the 180lbs I was last year). <BR> <BR> It frustrates me to think about where I *could* have been, had I not faltered. But like the saying goes, ‘wish in one hand…. See which fills up faster’. <BR> <BR> It also bums me out to think about the fact that if I lose 2lbs a week (which is recommended... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:30:10 EST Back to life. The universe has a rather cruel sense of irony. I had been thinking of my mother’s health and how her health has impacted my life; the habits I’d learned from her and how the great moments of my life were tangled up with heart attacks and surgeries. After posting a blog about it, I received a call from my brother telling me that my mother had passed away after her last surgery. <BR> <BR> Her funeral was on the 4th, and it hasn’t been the easiest of weeks. <BR> <BR> It’s strange that s... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 12:15:55 EST Tempting the Dragon I have come to the realization that all of my major life moments were tangled up with my mother’s medical crisis’s. <BR> <BR> I have a picture of my mother when she was around 20. She was gorgeous. She was 5’3”, with naturally red hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. She had a teeny-tiny little body and in that image she was wearing a bathing suit and posing on a picnic table. Marilyn Monroe would have been jealous. <BR> <BR> She kept that figure even after three pregnancies. But someti... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 19:07:31 EST Kids are not stupid Yes kids do stupid things; like lighting each other’s armpit hair on fire while speeding down a country road. But they aren’t, in fact, stupid. <BR> <BR> I just read an article about how to “fool” kids into eating healthier. One of the suggestions was to make healthy snacks that look (kinda) like unhealthy ones. <BR> <BR> One example was to thinly slice potatoes into rounds, top them with black beans, and tell the kids they’re Chocolate Chip Cookies. <BR> <BR> I think it’s the Super... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:13:20 EST The scrape-heap for the mind AKA: Facebook I received a rather snarky response to a Facebook comment I made today. I was about to respond in kind, when I stopped myself. “Why am I doing this?” It wasn’t a comment from a friend or family member, someone I have a vested interest in maintaining a relationship with. It was some stranger commenting on a group page. <BR> <BR> I realized, here I am, wasting my life by taking guff off random nobodies. This comment will not matter in 50 years, heck it won’t matter in 50 minutes. This ... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 17:21:01 EST Finally back in the saddle. The last five weeks of my life have been, chaos. Between a sudden and unexpected trip to Portland to moving (and all the details/crisis’s that go along with it) I have just been surviving. <BR> <BR> Taco Bell, fried chicken, toaster waffles, and lots of chocolate flavored comfort, I have not been eating well. <BR> <BR> Then I’ve been doing so much physical labor at home, moving, cleaning, etc, and have had so much to do and so much stress, I haven’t seen the inside of my gym in over a m... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:23:18 EST