MORRIGAN11's SparkPeople Blog MORRIGAN11's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Excuses Boy do I have them! <BR> <BR> I tend to blame my weight gain on kids, work, lack of time, lack of energy or any other number of responsibilities I can think of at the time. <BR> <BR> Truth is, I'm lazy, I like laying around, I like fried foods and pasta and chocolate. I just don't like the results. <BR> <BR> Well nothing will change as long as I keep doing the same thing and its going to take a while for the results to show. <BR> <BR> I need to stop making excuses and start thinking of ... Fri, 7 Nov 2014 06:25:36 EST Lovely Limes Fall Challenge What a beautiful morning it is! Week 2 of our biggest loser challenge and I am just trucking right along! <BR> <BR> I took time off from spark and my limes but am back for many reasons! <BR> <BR> 1. Research shows that when you set goals and share them with others you are more likely to succeed. <BR> <BR> 2. The men and women on the limes are not just team mates, these are friends whom I missed! <BR> <BR> 3. I have 50 lbs to lose and have been successful with sparkpeople in the past. <B... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 08:55:40 EST Review Wow, time flues and looking back it has been some time since I was on spark. Sometimes you need to walk away to gain clarity and perspective. <BR> <BR> So I'm back, feeling ready to reconnect and get back down to business. Some pretty big things have happened since last here... <BR> <BR> 1. I quit my job! Tired of being stressed out and overwhelmed, I walked away. It's terrifying, but not as scary as the thought of any more time wasted in that place! <BR> <BR> 2. We took an amazing family... Mon, 25 Aug 2014 02:27:16 EST Babies! We have baby bunnies! Totally unexpected but a happy surprise nonetheless. She delivered 4 but only 3 have survived the first day. We are doing our best to keep mom and babies warm and safe. Ill post pictures soon! Tue, 5 Nov 2013 19:20:52 EST Not starting over Nope, not me, not this gal. I refuse to start over. <BR> <BR> You see, I had never quit so there really is no need to "start" again. I am proud to say though that I was able to make healthier decisions today and that I feel better about myself. I wont say that I started over though. Truth of the matter is that I am pretty sure that I will make at least one unhealthy decision. If not today then tomorrow (probably today) and so it's not about starting over and over and over again. It's about ... Tue, 29 Oct 2013 14:49:35 EST Fall I am growing out my fall sweater and no that is not a reference to hair. I've put on some bulk over the past month and not in a good muscley way. After a week of indulging in PA/NJ foods I can feel my body shutting down into hibernation mode! <BR> <BR> It's not just vacation though as this process started a while back. I have been struggling with my mojo and not sure where I put it down! I did well last spring and then summer took a dive and fall has been the same. So here I am frustrated, ... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 14:53:38 EST New Month I LOVE FALL! It's my favorite time of year! Between fall recipes, cool weather, family activities and beautiful scenery, there really isn't anything i "don't" like about Fall. In honor of Labor day which is the unofficial end to summer I am creating my Fall "to-do" list of things I want to accomplish this season..... <BR> <BR> Go to an apple orchard <BR> Make apple sauce, apple butter and pumpkin butter <BR> Go on a hayride <BR> Have a fire pit with the family <BR> Carve Pumpkins <BR> Make ... Mon, 2 Sep 2013 09:38:23 EST The Power of Words Words have power when you give let them have power. We try hard in our house to teach our kids that no word is a "bad" word as its what your intention is with it that counts. And truly, they are more likely to get into trouble for calling someone a name then they would be for dropping a 4-letter word. <BR> <BR> How does this relate to weight loss? What words do we use when describing ourselves, our efforts and our experiences? Are we using positive, uplifting and motivating words or are we ... Wed, 21 Aug 2013 06:03:33 EST Self sabotage I can't be the only one to have had an amazing week, stayed in range on food every single day, worked out all the days I had planned and as a result felt really great, confident and proud. Even saw a huge jump on the scale! <BR> <BR> Then the next week, your hunger triples and your energy plummets. You skip one workout then two and at the same time you stop for one small cone, the next day a medium. Before you know it your sitting on the floor eating cereal out of bag wondering how you got ... Tue, 6 Aug 2013 06:34:31 EST Goal review It's so helpful to continually review your goals to ensure you are actively working towards SMART goals that are beneficial in the long run. As you meet your short term goals you will want to replace them with newer ones and track how much closer you are to your overall goal! <BR> <BR> Current status: weighed in this week at 212 which has me up not down, fitness is nonexistent. I have a desire to workout but little getupandgo when it comes time to do it. My water is spot on more days then n... Sat, 20 Jul 2013 23:27:41 EST my Big Fat Brain I had an amazing training today for work and my favorite one was this afternoon's emphasis on neuropsychology. We discussed neuroplasticity which is essence means that our brains literally change with every interaction we have. While sitting in this training I had a bit of an epiphany. <BR> <BR> Think of your brain and the thoughts---->behaviors you engage in daily as neural highways. This is true of depression, anxiety, addiction and I think weight loss. For years I have been working on cr... Wed, 17 Jul 2013 22:03:32 EST Step 10!! <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=699 </link> <BR> <BR> 4 Steps to Lasting Behavioral Change <BR> <BR> We have come to the end of our 10 steps to end emotional eating. It has been an amazing journey filled with ups and downs. I really feel I have learned a lot in blogging this series and I hope you have as well. <BR> <BR> The last step discusses the 4-stage learning process called "Praxis". <BR> <BR> Observing through self awareness and self monitoring in... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 22:42:38 EST Consistency <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=698 </link> <BR> <BR> Moving onto one of the more important components of a program and still one I know I struggle with. <BR> <BR> People talk frequently about willpower, however (and I have said this before) willpower is a myth. The key is to keep going even when things get tough. Much of the strategies to do this have already been addressed in previous articles and blogs. This is what we call persistence and consistency ... Sun, 7 Jul 2013 19:33:44 EST Reality Check Needed <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=697 </link> <BR> <BR> Continuing on with the 10-article Mind Over Body series, I noticed I hadnt made an entry since June 2. Avoiding Spark is one of my strategies when I am not doing so well int he food and exercise category so I am determined to get back in the game. <BR> <BR> Reading the article for today smacked me in the face. Essentially, stress is bad. Stress inhibits weight loss and causes all sorts of additional he... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 10:49:34 EST Goal-Setting <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=696 </link> <BR> <BR> Continuing with our 10-article Mind Over Body series, today I am researching goal-setting. <BR> <BR> I have done a lot of goal setting in the past few years. Even in my job I make goals on a daily basis with my clients. These have to be "SMART" in order to get paid for by the insurance companys so I have some basic experience with setting goals. And this article's guidelines for goal setting is similar... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 19:26:16 EST Vision Statements <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=695 </link> <BR> <BR> My motivation is not what it could be/should be and as a result I continue to hit the same wall over and over again. I get closer to my goals then sabotage myself and balloon back up. This article in the Mind over Body series address the "why" of weight loss and provides an actual activity to make this more validated and in the forefront of your mind. <BR> <BR> Weight loss is only one part in the bigge... Sun, 12 May 2013 01:20:03 EST Motivation The universe works in awesome ways. This week in the Biggest Loser team, we have been discussing motivation. Many of us are in the same boat and motivation is waning fast. <BR> <BR> Continuing on the Mind Over Body series, today we address MOTIVATION! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=694 </link> <BR> <BR> Quiz time! I answered True to every question and assigned importance on a scale of 1-10 with at least a 5. Eeek! Something tells me that this... Sat, 4 May 2013 03:39:14 EST Taming the Beast... <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=693 </link> <BR> <BR> Continuing on in the 10-article series, today I want to talk about Emotional Eating and how to "Tame the Emotional Eating Beast for Good". <BR> <BR> I have a beast within. She is large, scary and more often then not, she bares those sharp fangs and takes a huge bite out of my motivation. Usually when I am feeling mad, sad, bad and/or glad. Pretty much ANY emotion I am experiencing is an excuse for her t... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 01:44:29 EST Toxic Guilt <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=692 </link> <BR> <BR> Moving on in the Mind Over Body series and today I am reviewing the article titled Toxic Guilt. <BR> <BR> This article speaks to me on such a deep level. I would say on a daily basis I start out with the best of intentions and great plans for nutrition and exercise. Then I get to work and someone brings the doughnuts. Before I know it, it's lunch and I'm eating fast food, drinking pop and by bedtime I ... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 21:34:22 EST Stressful weigh-ins The second article in the mind over body series is one that really hit me hard this morning. It spoke to me and I'm glad it did! "Take the stress out of weighing in" <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=691 </link> <BR> <BR> I was gone this week, participating in Operation Immersion. A 4-day conference designed to give behavioral health providers insight into the warrior ethos and issues our soldiers face. It was powerfully inspiring! I was excited that my nutr... Sat, 13 Apr 2013 08:28:04 EST Putting the "I" back in my vocabulary <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=690 </link> <BR> <BR> I am determined to get through this amazing 10-article series "Mind Over Body" to reduce emotional eating and creating a more healthy lifestyle. <BR> <BR> "I-messages" are familiar to me already. I use these in my therapy practice for various difficulties from depression, anxiety and interpersonal conflict. When you use an I-message, you take your power back. <BR> <BR> Think of it this way, if losing... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 14:53:52 EST Getting results There are as many plans to lose weight as there are people trying to lose weight. I won't go too far in depth here as I have already covered multiple plans in previous blogs. <BR> <BR> I am trying to figure out how to get my rear end back on track which means re-visiting some previous topics. <BR> <BR> I don't believe that you have to give up all things good and tasty in order to lose weight. I believe the word is moderation. <BR> <BR> Some food groups are good to eliminate albeit not al... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 20:41:12 EST Family Every family is a smorgasbord of interesting characters. These are the unique pieces that make up the fabric of our lives. Each individual plays a role and helps to shape us into who we re as adults. <BR> <BR> Maybe you have the eccentric one, who marches to the tune of their own ukulele. <BR> <BR> The meddling one who seems to be everywhere all the time despite your best attempts. <BR> <BR> The know it all who insists on telling you how things should be done. <BR> <BR> The drama king/q... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 08:04:18 EST Motivation What motivates us? <BR> <BR> The psychologist in me wants to say "reinforcers" which is fancy pants speak for rewards and punishers. <BR> <BR> How do these work you ask? <BR> <BR> We change when we become so uncomfortable that there is no other option and what makes us uncomfortable are those reinforcers. Either we see the rewards and strive to do more of whatever it is that got us the reward, or we receive a consequence and try hard to prevent that from happening again! <BR> <BR> So whe... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 07:06:18 EST Fear I'm scared. <BR> <BR> I'm terrified of being successful. I'm terrified of being thin. <BR> <BR> What's that say about my ability to not only lose weight, but keep it off. <BR> <BR> I am noticing that when I do well, I inevitably end up sabotaging myself. To prove my point, last weigh in showed a 3lb loss. So what do I do? I spend the weekend on my couch, eating everything. Now I'm afraid to even go near the scale. <BR> <BR> What am I afraid of? Really? Success? Happiness? Being thin? Bein... Mon, 25 Mar 2013 20:10:23 EST Wishbones <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I can think of so many times that I "wish" for something while sitting on the couch. I wish I was healthier, a better cook, my house to be clean, my desk to be organized, to run a 5k, to be a better therapist. I wish for a lot of things but none of those will happen if I don't make it happen. <BR> <BR> The more we wish without action, the more depressed and anxious we tend to feel. But an amazing thing happens wh... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 08:28:29 EST Saving green by going green I love Pinterest! It is an amazing website where friends can share links to great websites. My favorite categories right now are DIY, recipes and homemade. This weekend I was determined to get started on making some "green" products that will reduce the I pact on the environment AND save us some money in the long run. I made my own laundry soap and lemon vinegar. Vinegar is great as a fabric softener and as an all-purpose cleaner so I'm pumped about it already! <BR> <BR> Homemade powder lau... Sat, 9 Mar 2013 22:38:41 EST Math I hate math, sometimes 2+2=4 but not always (throw some letters in there and see what happens!). <BR> <BR> There are different kinds of math I have come to learn. <BR> <BR> Chicken math is well known in the "backyard chicken" set. You start with 2 or 3 birds and like tater chips (you can't have just one) you end up with 5, 10.....40. HA! <BR> <BR> The math that I am focusing on right now though is weight loss math. <BR> <BR> 3500 calories = 1pound <BR> <BR> So the formula I am trying ... Sat, 9 Mar 2013 03:38:54 EST "That Moment" You know the one. <BR> <BR> That moment right before you pick up the donut. <BR> <BR> That moment right before you hit the snooze button and skip a workout. <BR> <BR> That moment when you say yes to take out instead of cooking at home. <BR> <BR> That moment when you have a split second to choose healthy. <BR> <BR> We know its the right choice, the best choice, and the one that ultimately leads us closer to our goals. So why then do we choose the other one? <BR> <BR> It's easier, more ... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 19:34:40 EST Life lessons They are numerous and often we are reminded at the right time, just when we need them. While watching the animals tonight I had a bit of an epiphany. We should take more advice from our pets, I bet we would be happier! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don't know about you but every night I come home and the dogs act like I have been gone for a year! I get the full on body wiggle greeting complete with doggy slobber. Truthfully, they ... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 03:02:47 EST Leadership I am a Leo, born July 29 and boy do I live up to to my astrological sign! I LOVE the spotlight, the "limelight" and I have a natural tendency to take on leadership roles. I am outspoken and this seems to draw people into me. I have seen this throughout school, at work and here on BLC. <BR> <BR> The advantage for me is that I do better when I am leading others. It's like having to set a positive example forces me to do better then what I would on my own. The last time I was successful I was ... Tue, 26 Feb 2013 19:56:17 EST Goals After looking back over the past 10 weeks I am so proud of how well I did. Now to look forward and see what else I can tackle! <BR> <BR> My long term goal is to be a healthy BMI and an active runner participating in races for charity. <BR> <BR> My next medium term goal is to get below 200lbs and I will do that by reaching my short term goals of... <BR> <BR> Giving up pop <BR> Completing the couch to 5k program <BR> Being an active co-leader of the BLC limes <BR> Logging on daily <BR> Mak... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 10:00:35 EST Rough patch It seems as though for every step forward, I am pushed 2 back. I was on a streak, no pop, was exercising, logging in and getting back on track. <BR> <BR> Then I got a gut infection. Not even sure how. Blood work came back Friday though and my white blood cell count was high. So they started me on antibiotics. Not just one mind you but two prescriptions! I am taking one 2x a day and the other 3x. They have my stomach so upset all I can handle is crackers and some ginger ale. <BR> <BR> It's... Sun, 17 Feb 2013 15:55:27 EST Review of goals I discussed goal setting in Drug court last week and some of it continues to stick with me. I KNOW how to set and track goals but I don't live them the way I need to if I am too succeed. <BR> <BR> Goals need to be SMART! <BR> <BR> Specific <BR> Measurable <BR> Attainable <BR> Realistic <BR> Time oriented <BR> <BR> How can I make my goals smart? <BR> <BR> I plan to lose 15 pounds which will put me under the 200lb mark. I will do this by July 1,2013 which gives me 1lb a week with a week or... Thu, 14 Feb 2013 21:08:12 EST Forgiveness BLC Winter Challenge! <BR> <BR> Write a blog on the theme: Can I forgive myself for the past? How will it affect my successful journey to better health? <BR> <BR> Forgiveness is a part of the overall process of healing. We all have things for which we need forgiveness, both from ourselves and from others. Obviously we have no control over others. But we DO have control over ourselves and the ability to forgive. Since this healthy journey is all about healing; healing our bodies, healing ou... Sat, 2 Feb 2013 01:16:48 EST Hungry For Change I had the opportunity to watch some documentaries yesterday on today's food and diet industries. Obviously we all know that American's (in particular) are getting heavier. We love to blame ourselves in this. "I have no willpower", "I am too tired to exercise", "I have a sweet tooth". It's very easy to fall into these mind traps. <BR> <BR> However, it's not your fault. It's not my fault. We are not to blame. There are many reasons why we are gaining weight. <BR> <BR> 1. Evolution <BR> <BR>... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 19:43:08 EST Positive Positivity I am having a difficult time this week, between job frustration and a bout of depression I am not the most positive person in the world... <BR> <BR> It's kind of hard to be a therapist when I can't stop crying and I want to kick everything that comes nears me. Not evoking confidence here people!!! <BR> <BR> So I thought about it and what would I tell myself if I was a client? <BR> <BR> 1. Perspective; look at the bigger picture here (I still have a benefits included/retirement package/ sal... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 20:58:18 EST The only thing certain in life..... is change Change is in the air. At work, we have seen numerous changes of late and not all of them are good. To be honest, most are pretty bad. We have increased requirements for productivity, increased paperwork and increased liability. All this with no balancing increase in pay obviously. Last week, they finally stepped up and admitted that we were hemorrhaging money as a company and as a result layoffs were coming. The eliminated 30 open positions and decided not to fill those. Then they laid off a... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 19:29:37 EST Motivation Monday Wow! This weeks BLC challenge has really increased my motivation. Seeing all the other teams and spreading goodies has got me up and moving! So I thought, what else gets us motivated? For me, I love quotes, they sum up in a few words immense messages of hope. I also love movies; not just any one will do. I want to see movies that inspire me, motivate me and move me. Movies that show what the human spirit can endure and how others with more barriers have overcome hardship. I want to walk out o... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 09:44:16 EST I have a Dream... Martin Luther King Jr isn't the only one to dream big and in honor of MLKJ day tomorrow I want to give homage to some of my own dreams. <BR> <BR> I dream of a day when I can ran with my kids without getting winded or having to sit on the bench to watch instead of joining in. <BR> <BR> I dream of the day when I can workout in cute clothes from Hibbet Sports. Shirts that have motivating sayings and pants that make your butt look cute no matter what. <BR> <BR> I dream of the day when I have ... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 09:57:30 EST Paleo Snacks~ Snack time! But don't reach for that box of cookies or bag of chips! Paleo snacks are not often emphasized as many who follow strict Paleo diets don't always need to snack due to decreased appetite or voluntary fasting. <BR> <BR> Since I do not follow STRICT Paleo style of eating but use it more of a guideline I DO like to snack. I still want to stay as close to whole, un-processed, sugar free and grain free as possible. So what's a girl to nosh on??? <BR> <BR> Fruit salad <BR> Piece of fru... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 19:26:35 EST Paleo Lunch ideas Gah! I hate thinking about lunch! I can do breakfast and I got dinner. But lunch usually leaves me scratching my head and reaching for leftovers. So this is to help me as much as it is to help you <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> Review: "Paleo" refers to a style of eating that mimics our caveman ancestors in the paleolithic era. Hunters and gatherers that ate whole, unprocessed food that they were able to get themselves. Some doctors and researchers speculate that when we turned to agriculture we... Mon, 7 Jan 2013 19:10:41 EST My Meal Plan I will continue with my specific paleo lunches and dinners in subsequent blogs. But today I created a menu plan for our family for the next 2 weeks. It's mostly Primal (80/20) with some adaptations here and there due to financial limitations. <BR> <BR> Breakfasts: <BR> eggs, bacon or sausage, sweet potato hash <BR> Bacon wrapped egg cups <BR> egg muffins <BR> frittata <BR> Coconut Blueberry Smoothie <BR> Banana Blueberry Smoothie <BR> Frozen blueberries with coconut milk and honey <BR> <BR>... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 18:53:00 EST Paleo Breakfasts I have the most success when I plan my meals. I typically plan a bunch of meals and then list them on a white board in the kitchen. The family can look it over with one glance and decide what sounds yummy for that day or the next. This provides some flexibility with planning that has been successful for us. <BR> <BR> It's been a few weeks since I have done this and there is no time like the present time to get back on track. So I just sat down to do a meal plan for the next 2 weeks. I am he... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 02:27:16 EST Quick Fixes Don't Work; Reviewing the Paleo Diet This is the final blog in the "Quick fix" series highlighting how the various diet plans that are being advertised. I have reviewed a number of plans and we put them to the "test of 4" which are the components that I personally feel are the markers for a successful long term healthy eating plan. <BR> <BR> <em>189</em> <em>189</em> <em>189</em> <em>189</em> <em>189</em> <em>189</em> <em>189</em> <em>189</em> <em>189</em> <em>189</em> <BR> <BR> Paleo (caveman) ... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 09:14:47 EST Quick Fixes Don't Work- French Women Don't Get Fat Review If you have stumbled here on accident or by clicking on a friend of a friend of a friend's link then welcome! This is actually a multi-part series I am doing in celebration of the New Year. We often turn to quick fixes in January as we want to get thin and healthy and we want to do it NOW. The First blog explained what I thought the ingredients were for a successful plan. Now we are going through and learning about some of the diets out there and stacking them up against the 4 components that... Sun, 30 Dec 2012 06:26:35 EST Quick Fixes Don't Work- Nutrisystem Review This morning we will be looking at the Nutrisystem plan of dieting. I keep seeing these commercials with actors and non-actors alike who are losing "amazing" amounts of weight with prepackaged foods that take all the guess work out of eating healthy. <BR> <BR> The plan is simple enough, you shell out anywhere from 250-400$$ to have a months worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks shipped right to your house. They are planned around your "glycemic index" which is a popular idea that... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 06:46:22 EST Quick Fixes Don't Work Series- Biggest Loser Review In honor of the Biggest Loser challenge which assisted me in starting this series, let's start by analyzing the Biggest Loser Diet plan. I will provide some basic information about it, then compare it to the 4 components of what I think a successful program has (sustainability, fit, variability and deprivation). <BR> <BR> Biggest Loser Plan <BR> "This is a low-calorie diet based on TheBiggest Loser pyramid of 4-3-2-1 (four servings of fruits and veggies; three of lean protein; two of whole ... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 07:26:41 EST Quick Fixes Don't Work For this week's Biggest Loser Challenge we were given a number of articles to read. The first one was about various weight loss claims in regards to acai, milk, green tea, ect. Here is the link: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1712 </link> <BR> <BR> There are a number of "diets" and "quick fixes" out there. The aforementioned article only hits on a few but let's be real here. There are hundreds other that are being circulated with "evidence" t... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 09:49:12 EST 2013 2012 had its ups and downs. But sticking in the past won't help me to rock my future! <BR> <BR> Here is how 2013 IS going to go!!! <BR> <BR> January is going to see the return of Paleo in our household. I am also going to be interviewed and offered a position with MSU and I will take it! <BR> <BR> February will see the increase in time spent on my fitness, with the new job I already know I will take <em>211</em> I will have more time to spend at the gym and with family! <BR> <BR> Ma... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 19:15:00 EST