MCLAFLIN's SparkPeople Blog MCLAFLIN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I'm Curious.... I spark stalk fitness and nutrition trackers. Do you? <BR> <BR> I like to see what people eat, and how they exercise. I have gotten several new ideas for meals by stalking trackers. I have seen people who work out with intensity, and others not so much. I know everyone's journey is different. We start in different places, our roads are different, and we won't end up in the same place. I still can't help but compare my trackers to others. I can't run because of my knees, but I do have a heart... Tue, 18 Sep 2012 14:29:56 EST Some Things I Have Learned over the Last Few Months I hit my lowest weight last November. I liked the way my new clothes fit, and I was excited to be 5 pounds from my goal. Something happened, however, and I really got off track. I have no idea what it was, but I just quit exercising, and I started eating like the old Michelle. I've been struggling to get back on track, and I think I have finally done it! I learned some things about myself over the last few months. <BR> <BR> 1. I STILL like junk food. All kinds! Chips, dips, hot dogs, candy,... Mon, 3 Sep 2012 21:59:47 EST Something to Think About..... Or, maybe a better title: <BR> <BR> Words of Wisdom From Pinterest... <BR> <BR> I saw this in my Pinterest browsing recently: <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "Losing weight is hard. <BR> Maintaining is hard. <BR> Being fat is hard. <BR> <BR> Choose your hard." Wed, 6 Jun 2012 11:32:58 EST I want to Spark like it's a marathon, not a sprint. I joined this site on November 4, 2010. Wow. Seems like yesterday. And nothing I have done in the last 20 years has changed my life so much (other than having children). I had dieted and exercised before, but I was really just bouncing around in the dark. I love the structure and flexibility that SP gives me. I can eat anything I want. Anything. And still lose weight. I just can't eat everything I want. I can exercise how I want. If I want to eat more, I know I can change my goals to lose wei... Fri, 6 Apr 2012 12:32:42 EST Renewed Motivation To say that I have been struggling is an understatement. I haven't been making the wisest food choices lately. The week before my mom and grandmother came to visit, I had turned a corner, but when they were here, I made a u-turn and kind of meandered off course. I could see in the mirror that things were growing. I just avoided the scales, like I am so good at doing. It got the best of me the other day. I had tried on some shorts from last summer that were actually too big at summer's end. Th... Sun, 1 Apr 2012 13:13:48 EST What in the World am I Doing? Lately I've been hit and miss on SP to say the least. Sure, this is a busy time of the year for me, but not every day all day. I spent three days last week in the tractor before the welcome rains came. (We need MORE rain to fill our irrigation ponds!) Then the last two days were spent cleaning my kitchen and "public" areas of my house. I even cleaned the tops of my upper cabinets! Now to tackle the inside of them. All in time..... <BR> <BR> But I get off track. In so many ways. I have been r... Sat, 10 Mar 2012 15:34:19 EST A Food Blog I see food blogs all the time. I love reading about and seeing what other people eat while on their journey to healthier living. After I fixed my quick lunch today, I thought, "I should take a picture of that and post it in a blog." After I logged the calories, I was even more impressed! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had some cooked, shredded chicken breasts in the fridge. (I borrowed that idea from LISAINMS. She cooks up a pan, shreds t... Sat, 8 Oct 2011 15:32:02 EST What a Day! Actually, what a week. Oldest DD had a volleyball tourney last Saturday. Monday she had a vb game an hour away. Tuesday a vb game at home, Thursday a game 30 miles away, and Friday a game 45 miles away. Then this morning we left at 7 am for a cross-country meet. DD has medaled in the two previous meets, but there were 30 schools attending today. And she was exhausted. (Did I mention her 6 am X-country practices every morning, as well?) Her time was still decent. This was the course she will ... Sat, 24 Sep 2011 22:15:36 EST My 5% Fall Challenge Plan I'm feeling more confident about this challenge. I've done one, and so I know what to expect. I've mentally prepared myself for what lies ahead. I know that losing the 5% of my body weight is the ultimate goal, but it isn't the only one. And realistically, I know that the next 10 pounds will come off slowly, and only if I really stick to my plan. That has been a struggle, for sure. I can get the fitness minutes in. I crave those fitness minutes! But sticking to my calorie range can be a big c... Thu, 22 Sep 2011 14:57:43 EST I Raided my Daughter's Closet! Well, not really. She is 5'10" and weighs 130 pounds. BUT, she is the recipient of lots of hand-me-downs from my niece. DN went to Oklahoma State University, too, and we have boxes of OSU apparel that she can no longer wear. Yesterday DD was upstairs looking for sweats that she and DD #2 could wear for their 6 am cross country workouts. (Those 45 degree runs are chilly!) She called down, "Mom, what size bottoms can you wear now?" Ok, that is a trick question. You know sizes vary tremendously,... Thu, 8 Sep 2011 09:22:12 EST Another Reason to Join the 5% Fall Challenge <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I saw this a few years back, different setting of course. Hope you don't think it is distateful, but it is kind of true! Mon, 5 Sep 2011 16:03:43 EST #1 Reason Why I Am Glad I Joined the 5% Summer Challenge About 8 weeks ago, THETURTLEBEAR invited me to join the 5% challenge. I had seen that she and Teresa159 were both part of the spring challenge, and thought it might be cool. Am I ever glad I did! And for several reasons. The top reason, however, is because I felt accountable to my teammates to get those fitness minutes in every day (well, most every day). Fitness minutes are the one thing you track consistently each week. I wanted my team to win (even though we haven't yet)! But, we were rea... Sat, 3 Sep 2011 16:16:34 EST What's Your Weight Story? Here's Mine. Answer "What's your weight story" with these questions! Feel free to respond on your own blog. <BR> <BR> 1.) How old are you? I am 44 years young. <BR> <BR> 2.) How long have you been overweight, obese, or unfit? I was thin until I went to college. I think I gained the Freshman 30 instead of Freshman 15. I did get that weight off, though. At least most of it. My real struggle started when I got married. DH loved to eat, and I loved to cook. We both gained quite a bit of weight those firs... Thu, 25 Aug 2011 10:07:23 EST My Weekend Challenge So this week is our little town's "homecoming," of sorts. I believe it the the 107th Sheldon Old Settler's Picnic. Our town of 500 draws in a crowd of alumni for the weekend activities. <BR> <BR> It started yesterday for me. As oldest DD and I were getting ready to head off to Joplin for Sam's, we discovered that both small trailers were loaded down. One with the Kubota you see in the snow picture on my main page. It was with DH. The other had the rewards of an auction my FIL had been to ove... Thu, 18 Aug 2011 11:11:50 EST True Confessions of an Overeater Wow, I have had tons of success with this website. I have tried all sorts of diets, pills, and supposedly "magic fixes" because losing weight the right way is hard work. It takes time to cook, measure, and log my food, not to mention the hours sweating on the fitness equipment. But, for the past nine months, I have done it. I've not been perfect, but I was doing something right. <BR> <BR> So,why have I given myself free rein to eat whatever I see in front of me for the last week or so? It r... Fri, 12 Aug 2011 11:12:18 EST It is SO hot! Here is what our weatherman blogged yesterday: <BR> <BR> "Here are some stats for you. <BR> <BR> Today: 108 degrees. <BR> <BR> Today is the 21st time we have hit 100 degrees. We only trail now the 39 times in 1954 and the 33 times in 1980. <BR> <BR> In July we had 29 of 31 days above average. <BR> <BR> It was the 3rd hottest July on Record(1st hottest in Pittsburg, KS) <BR> <BR> 10th driest on record." <BR> <BR> Today it is supposed to be 110, actual temp. It will be a record high. I... Tue, 2 Aug 2011 09:29:44 EST My "50 Pounds Gone" Blog Ok, I have always hated having my picture taken, and I still do. It isn't so bad now, though, because I feel a little better about the way I look, and because I want my kids to have pics of me in their scrapbooks. <BR> <BR> I started Spark People on November 4, 2010. I weighed 217 pounds. Honestly, that was down a bit from my normal 220. We had decided to build a pool, and I had been motivated to watch what I ate because of that. As I look back through my digital pics, I find few of me. DH t... Wed, 27 Jul 2011 19:40:12 EST Some Serious Number crunching.... I have always just blindly taken the calorie range that SP has given me, and for a long time that worked. LISAINMS hit a brick wall a few months ago, and recently her blogs, her struggles, and her solutions have caused me to do some serious thinking about my own weight loss plan. In fact, I have been scolding my friend TERESA159 because she was burning as many or more calories in a hike than what she ate that day. So, I decided to do some research myself, and found a very interesting mathemat... Wed, 27 Jul 2011 09:59:37 EST Fair Week, 2011 Well, it seems like a mute point now, but I'm going to blog about it anyway. Our fair runs for a week, and it seems like it takes just as long to recover from it as it does to prepare for it! <BR> <BR> Monday started with checking in projects and the Super Teen contest. Caitlin was on a team, and it is always good for a few laughs. In the end, her team placed in the top 4 on Monday for the chance to compete in the obstacle course on Tuesday (ok, all teams compete, but only the top 4 actually... Thu, 21 Jul 2011 10:42:18 EST Here's What the Doc Said.... I finally had my appointment with Dr. Ogden yesterday. He did xrays (twice because the tech didn't read his orders, took them with me laying down and he wanted weight bearing, of course). <BR> <BR> Big surprise: thinning of the cartilage and rather large bone spurs for someone my age. I actually saw the spurs on the inside, outside, and under my knee cap. Ugh. The cartilage is so worn that my leg now wants to try to go bowlegged. The xray showed brighter white at the top of the lower bone, w... Tue, 19 Jul 2011 08:43:20 EST Some Cold, Hard Facts about Farm Life I love raising my kids on the farm. They learn so many lessons about life. Nothing is sugar-coated. They see the pain of birth, the joys of new life, and learn about death. <BR> <BR> This morning Caitlin came in sobbing. Not something she does without reason. Her goat had tried to escape last night, got his leg caught when he jumped over the fence, and died. She never names her fair animals because it is hard to sell them. But, she gets attached. This year her steer is a butt-head, and her g... Tue, 28 Jun 2011 09:51:51 EST Getting Back on Track The first 6 months of my weight loss journey were fairly easy. I had plenty of time to devote to fitness and nutrition. It was my number one focus. I spent hours on the computer, and I was one of those 100-spark pointers everyday. Then spring came, the rains finally stopped, and it was time to sit in a tractor for hours on end. I developed strategies for eating so that I wouldn't eat everything in my lunch box by noon, and then starve later that night. Often times I was so tired I would just ... Tue, 14 Jun 2011 10:20:09 EST Day 23: A picture of my favorite book, and why it is my favorite <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I found this series a few years ago. When I find a good book, I can hardly put it down. Everything came to a halt until I caught up with the author. It is a love story built around history. I cannot wait for the next book to come out. This is the one series that I would love to own so I could read it again and again. Wed, 25 May 2011 10:15:30 EST Day 22: A picture of something I wish I was better at. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I wish I was better at keeping house. If I followed FlyLady's plan, I would be fine. I hate housework. I can always find something else to do! Mon, 23 May 2011 13:41:14 EST Day 21: A Picture of an Exercise You Can't Do, But Would Like to Try. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Lunges. They are THE exercise for your quads and butt. And because of my knees, I can't do them. Sat, 21 May 2011 08:58:14 EST Day 20: A Picture of Somewhere I Would Love to Travel Until the last 5 years, we haven't taken family vacations. Now, we try to plan our vacations around our National Parks. My family and I love the history and have just never been drawn to theme parks and such. I know we will never make it to ALL the National Parks, but we will do our best to hit the ones the pique our interest. That being said, we probably will never leave the US when we have SO much to see right here! Still, there are things in the world beyond our borders I would like to vis... Fri, 20 May 2011 09:59:49 EST Day 19: A picture of your nicknames, and why you have them. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I spent lots of time with my uncles when I was younger. And I had gerbils. So, they nicknamed me Gerbil. Sometimes they still call me Gerbil! (Notice the rolls and chubby cheeks filled with food? That USED to be me!) <BR> <BR> Another nickname I had was Nells, or Nellie. My best friend in HS was also named Michelle, so the basketball team had nicknames for us to keep us separate. My last name was Nelson, thus the ... Thu, 19 May 2011 09:34:17 EST My Tractor, My Friend! Ok, so here is a picture of me in front of my tractor. I have spent several hours a day in this sucker since FOREVER! Today was the last day of corn planting! Woo-Hoo! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And just for fun, I took a pic of oldest DD in front of a pile of P2O5 (that's chicken poop). Just imagine how many dumps that took! lol <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 16 May 2011 18:57:29 EST I took the day off.... Well, yesterday I wasn't feeling very sparkly. I wanted to eat everything in sight. I think it is that TOM, but I have the Murina (sp?) IUD, so there aren't many symptoms. (That is a positive.) My right knee has been giving me fits, just a constant ache, and I am not sure exactly what triggered it. The only thing I have done differently was help DH take some elevation readings a couple of days ago on a waterway he built. That meant walking through mud and uneven ground. Then we unloaded some ... Sun, 1 May 2011 12:19:01 EST Glad to be Back Home! Well, I had a great time in Oklahoma with my family. We had a nice dinner and egg hunt on Saturday. We did find one surprise, <BR> <img src=""> a copperhead. <BR> Notice the purple egg in the upper left of the pic. Glad my sister was helping her 3 year old, or he would certainly have been bit. My SIL actually got bit last fall on her foot and spent a few nights in the hospital. It did put a damper on re-hiding eggs and hunting them all ... Sun, 24 Apr 2011 21:30:34 EST Utter Disappointment! :( I was so excited to use my new HRM. My old one was from Wal-Mart, and I just wasn't sure that it was doing what I bought it to do: calculate calories. It had a chest strap, I entered gender, weight, age, & height. <BR> <BR> So, I decide on a Garmin Forerunner 405. I had done some side-by-side comparisons online, and found no differences between it and the 405CX. Well, I get it yesterday afternoon. I read up on it, program it, and workout this morning. To my disappointment, I burned zero cal... Wed, 20 Apr 2011 14:28:24 EST Gentle Rain We have been going nonstop for the last few days. Most of the corn ground has been disked, and we even planted a few hundred acres of corn. Yesterday evening, rain and severe storms were looming. If it rains too hard on corn seed, it forms a crust and the corn won't come up. Watching the radar, my MIL kept us abreast of where the storms were, but eventually we were rained out. Thankfully this morning it looked as if we got nice gentle rains. And we did need a little moisture. The town hit by... Fri, 15 Apr 2011 10:00:03 EST No Rest, I'm Exhausted! Friday night one of the guys who drives a truck for us got back from hauling corn. He has only worked for us about 2 months, and he hadn't driven a tractor before. So, after about an hour of "training," he took my place so I could take both DDs to a goat sale. They both show a steer and a goat in the county fair. We get the steers from our herd, the goats we have to buy. We waited a bit too late to go pick one out from the locals (our fair is huge, and lots of people raise their own "show" an... Sun, 10 Apr 2011 09:17:29 EST It's tractor time! Ok, so the last 5 months have been awesome. I could spend basically as much time as I wanted sparking and exercising. That came to a screeching halt today. Reality hit! We are usually busy planting corn at this time, and have all the anhydrous down (that is a gas used as fertilizer). We haven't been able to get into the field at all because of wet weather, but things dried up enough that we are going strong now. DH is putting down anhydrous, along with another guy. Then we have three people ... Thu, 7 Apr 2011 21:20:31 EST I have the BEST Spark Friends! OK, I spend way too much time on SP. There is no excuse. It has replaced Facebook for me, and I spent too much time on that! Anyway, I am snoopy; I look at people's trackers, their friends, and take note of how many people have just disappeared from SP. The other day I ran across someone who had fallen away, but come back. All of her friends had just disappeared off of SP. Their status hadn't been updated for 130 days, 55 days, you get the picture. <BR> <BR> Now, I have some of those friend... Fri, 1 Apr 2011 09:22:50 EST Day 17: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on my life <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Duh! This was totally a no-brainer! Tue, 29 Mar 2011 21:21:39 EST Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires me <link><BR>sp?id=MCLAFLIN </link> <BR> <BR> If you don't want to follow the link, it is just the page showing all my Spark friends. The nutrition and fitness information is important, but I know these people will be there for me. They give me advice, pep talks, cheers when I lose weight, and hold me accountable. It truly is the community part of Spark People that helps us all be successful. Each one of you inspires me to be better, and I can't say thanks... Sun, 27 Mar 2011 15:34:54 EST Day 15: A picture of something you want to do before you die <img src=""> <BR> <BR> When my DH and I got married, we spent one night in a motel on the trip back to Missouri. We planted soybeans the next day. The summer had been dry, and it rained the day before we got married, so his family decided to plant the beans that they had been holding off planting due to lack of moisture. No honeymoon. Ever. In fact, we have just started taking family vacations in the last three years. <BR> <BR> So, I wan... Wed, 23 Mar 2011 09:02:02 EST Day 14: A picture of me now. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Well, I will swallow my pride and put it all out there. I was feeling pretty good about myself until youngest DD took these pics for me. But, when I compare them to where I have been, and knowing that I have 39 pounds LESS weight on my body, I shouldn't be too hard on myself. Twenty-two pounds to get to my original goal of 155 (154 is the top end of my "healthy" BMI), but I am hoping when I get there, I will be mot... Sat, 19 Mar 2011 11:02:07 EST I wore a pair of athletic shorts (in public)! Yesterday was a beautiful day, considering the weather we have had lately. The temperature reached 70 degrees! I had to pick up my youngest DD after school, and I needed to visit with the principal for a bit. I know it might have been a bit too casual, but I wore athletic shorts! Because I actually own some now, they fit, and I don't feel like a beached whale in them! The secretary and I are good friends, though we don't see each other often enough, and she commented on how "skinny" I was get... Thu, 17 Mar 2011 10:18:52 EST Day 13: A picture of my favorite band or artist <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I really like lots of country artists, but if I had to chose a favorite right now it would be Jason Aldean. I saw him in concert a couple of years ago, and he is great live. (We are not big concert goers, but a major league baseball player lives in Ft. Scott, KS in the off season and brings in big name entertainers to play a benefit concert for a local park. Tickets are $25 instead of $75.) <BR> <BR> Tue, 15 Mar 2011 08:10:19 EST My little egg entrepreneur My youngest has really stepped up and surprised me lately. My oldest DD is the typical oldest child. And my youngest is the typical baby of the family. For example, this is the first year she has expressed an interest in showing a steer at the county fair. Oldest DD loves doing it, and has always been very responsible in feeding, watering, etc. her calf. This year, Carly decided she wanted to show a steer. We picked out a gentle one, which is our main requirement, and she has walked over on ... Fri, 11 Mar 2011 09:27:51 EST Day 12: A picture that defines me After some thought, here is the picture that defines me. It is the "home place." Our farm is really based here. We store the grain here, have the shop here, and our homes (mine and my in-laws) are here. I say it defines me because our whole life really revolves around the things in this picture. My family is within my home, and farming really is our only way of life. I've been a farmer's wife for almost 20 years, and before that I knew nothing about this way of life. Now it seems like I don't... Tue, 8 Mar 2011 12:28:12 EST Dear Mrs. Dash, I want you to know that I do not love you. I like you, but you are not in the same league with Lawry's Seasoning Salt, or Lawry's Garlic Salt. I do not like you as well as I like the Six Pepper Blend I WAS using on my morning egg. I have, however, come to the conclusion that you and I need to get better acquainted. (I wasn't even logging the dash of pepper blend on my egg, but I still went over my rda of sodium.) <BR> <BR> So, the next time I go to the store, I am going to be checking you ... Sat, 5 Mar 2011 13:37:21 EST Revamping My Goals Recently I changed my goals for exercise and for desired weight loss. I had originally wanted to lose 2 pounds a week, but I needed to burn 3,000 calories a week to accomplish that. So, I changed it to burn 2,400 calories per week, and now I aim to lose 1 pound a week. Then, if I want to, I can still burn the 500 and not be worried about SparkPeople telling me I am trying to lose too quickly. This change puts me back to September to reach my goal, instead of June. <BR> <BR> Last week I stru... Fri, 4 Mar 2011 08:28:25 EST Day 11: A pic of my IPOD and the first 10 songs on shuffle <img src=""> <BR> This is not MY ipod, but I didn't want to trek to the basement and take a pic. It is just like it. <BR> <BR> I am listing the first 10 songs with the most plays: <BR> <BR> 1. Chillaxin' by Craig Campbell <BR> 2. Anything Goes by Randy Houser <BR> 3. It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere by Alan Jackson <BR> 4. Little Sundress by Chris Cagle <BR> 5. Hicktown by Jason Aldean <BR> 6. Look at What I've Done by Chris Cagle <BR> 7.... Mon, 28 Feb 2011 12:41:41 EST Day 10: A Picture of my closest friend I have to say that my husband is my closest friend. I think that is the way it is supposed to be! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> He was doing dishes while we were on vacation. Mon, 21 Feb 2011 08:26:53 EST Day 9: A picture that motivates me to do more Here is a picture of me around 1990, before I got married (and had children). My DH took the pic, and he found it a few years ago. Since that time, he has kept it in his desk. I guess it should have been a clue to me that I needed to lose weight, but we all know that we have to lose weight for ourselves, not someone else. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I always thought it was unfair to expect a woman to have children and then get back the ... Sat, 19 Feb 2011 10:03:05 EST Day 8: A picture of my favorite color I really love lots of colors: black, navy, true blue... But my favorite is: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> RED! I have a red purse, I am always drawn to red clothing. The deeper the red, the more I like it! Thu, 17 Feb 2011 09:15:58 EST Day 7: A picture of my most treasured item This one is tough. Not because I don't treasure anything, but because I don't treasure any ONE thing. I asked myself what one thing I would want out of my house if it were burning down. So many of the "things" can be replaced, you know. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, this is representative of my scrapbooks. I would want to get them all! Especially the ones that were done before I went completely digital. Now I keep a memory stick ... Wed, 16 Feb 2011 22:19:38 EST