MRS.DOYLE's SparkPeople Blog MRS.DOYLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Saying NO to chocolate.... I started a Spark streak a while ago. It measured how many weeks I could last without chocolate. Well, I never managed a full week. I often managed 6 days out of 7, so I wasn't too perturbed about it. It compared to eating chocolate EVERY day before becoming a Sparkler. <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> A couple of weeks ago, I read "Chocolate Busters" by Jason Vale. It looked worth reading because a lot of the reviewers said that they ate chocolate for decades and gave up as soon as they ... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:27:27 EST 2014 recap and goals for 2015... I just reread the blog post I wrote at the beginning of 2014. I started by saying that 2013 had passed in a blur of sameness and I ended by vowing to go to the gym at least 3 times per week. <BR> <BR> Well, 2014 went fairly quickly as well but there were more highs and lows. The Pilates class that I had been attending for the last 8 years closed down. <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> I applied for voluntary severance from my Sunday job but was turned down as they did not want to lose my skills an... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 05:06:14 EST Santa comes from the North Pole Recently on tv there was a trailer advertising a forthcoming programme. Two children were having a conversation as follows: <BR> <BR> Child 1: Santa comes from the North Pole. <BR> Child 2: There's no such thing as the North Pole. <BR> <BR> It sounded like a completely genuine, unscripted conversation and made me laugh every time I heard it. <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> For everyone who might be worried, let me assure you that there IS a North Pole. <BR> <BR> I will carry on logging... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 11:07:36 EST Six years ago today..... .....I discovered and joined SparkPeople. I was overweight, knew why I was overweight and didn't have any high hopes of losing weight online. How wrong I was. I reached my target weight within 6 months and have stayed in my maintenance range ever since. <BR> <em>244</em> <em>252</em> <BR> <BR> It definitely hasn't been easy. I have to stay motivated by logging in EVERY day. That helps me to connect with some lovely, inspiring Spark friends and helps to ram home the message about ... Wed, 12 Nov 2014 03:40:08 EST 21 today...., not me!! Twenty one years ago today my daughter finally deigned to be born, only 9 days late. She was supposed to be a Libra but ended up as a Scorpio. I take all that with a pinch of salt. But Scorpio sums her up well as she can be very prickly. She has also been very hard work, though there were good times: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As an example of the hard work, the photo was taken just after her first birthday.... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 11:14:57 EST The computer saga rumbles on and keeps me fit..... So...a couple of weeks ago I baptised my laptop and put it out of action. That was annoying <em>24</em> but I didn't lose any documents or pictures as I now backup everything up in lots of places. <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> I went back to using an old laptop. It had gone in for repair a year ago and was working pretty well. Then yesterday the same problem put it out of action. It just isn't worth carrying on repairing something that is on its last legs. <BR> <em>198</em> <BR>... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:21:29 EST Back in the saddle... My last blog post shows me grinning happily. Little did I know that 3 days later my knee would cave in and cause me lots of problems for nearly 2 months. I don't think the knee gave in because I had recently travelled from London to Manchester and back again on the same day. That meant about 6 hours sitting on a train. I was worried it might be a blood clot, but I didn't have the right symptoms. Instead I can only blame jumping up too quickly from a chair when I was doing one of my theat... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 14:35:10 EST A brilliant Corrie tour.... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's me having a fantastic time on the Coronation Street Studio Tour. I am literally standing where hundreds of actors have stood over the last 50+ years. I think I spent the whole tour beaming from ear to ear. <BR> <BR> I recommend the tour to any Corrie fan who can travel to Manchester. It was a bit of an eye-opener as the sets are so SMALL and the actors' dressing rooms and Green Room were very basic. <BR>... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 03:26:09 EST For the knitters among you.... I have designed and knitted a little keepsake or gift bag in memory of the child who touched so many hearts in 10 short years. <BR> <BR> Here is the link to the free pattern: <BR> <link><BR>-precious-moments-gift-bag </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I published it on Ravelry which is a free crafting website and well worth a look for knitting, crochet and other crafting ideas. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:22:06 EST Uplifting triathlon story.... Here is a moving story about an 8 year old boy who brought his disabled 6 year old brother along with him in a youth triathlon.... <BR> <BR> Here's an updated link: <BR> <link><BR>ear-old-boy-carried-his-disabled-broth<BR>er-through-an-en </link> Sat, 26 Jul 2014 15:04:57 EST Just devastated... I had some really sad news today. I volunteer as a reading helper at my local primary school. In February I was assigned to a boy who was identified as likely to benefit from one-to-one reading help. He was the sort of well behaved child who just disappears in a class of 30 children. <BR> <BR> Well, he flourished and his reading level advanced by 3 subgrades which his teacher told me was more than expected. <BR> <BR> Yesterday the boy was almost squealing with excitement about a forthcom... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:49:07 EST Need a bit of advice about phones...... <em>213</em> Hello all you clever people... <BR> <BR> Maybe someone can help me with a query about mobile phones. <BR> <BR> I have a really basic mobile phone that is years old and does not connect to the Internet. I really like some of the Spark People tracking apps, so I am considering joining the 21st century and upgrading my phone. <em>246</em> This would be a big step for me as I like my current museum piece! <BR> <BR> I have always resisted buying a new phone as I didn't th... Sun, 15 Jun 2014 02:33:11 EST Use it or lose it..... How true that expression is! <BR> <BR> Last week I was uber busy and had to miss going to the gym for a whole 7 days. Considering I have been to the gym 4 times per week since I rejoined in December, that was a big deal for me. <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> My 4 visits tend to be divided equally between cardio and weights work outs. I am back in my old routine now and what a difference that missed week has made. <BR> <em>2</em> <BR> <BR> I have had to slightly reduce the weights I a... Thu, 22 May 2014 02:55:05 EST The half-marathon that went pear-shaped..... If this was April 1st I would have thought the following story was a joke. Sadly it wasn't. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>yorkshire-26910318 </link> <BR> <BR> I understand both sides of this story and can quite see why the runners set off anyway. Sun, 6 Apr 2014 12:40:00 EST Moving up a level... I have a busy few months ahead of me and need to be as fit as possible. So I have started tracking my food again. I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to keep within my targets in all nutritional categories on my first day of tracking. That bodes well. <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> To make tracking easier, I have edited my favourite foods list and deleted some items that I never intend to eat again. Chocolate doughnuts have no part to play in a healthy lifestyle. <BR> <em>29</em... Wed, 26 Mar 2014 17:29:33 EST Horrible facts about fast food.... Just in case anyone needs more reasons to avoid fast food... <BR> <link><BR>ast-food-facts-090000818.html </link> <BR> <BR> These facts are stomach-churning. I wish I hadn't been eating my breakfast when I read them. <BR> <em>29</em> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 01:10:39 EST Maybe I should sort out my priorities...... This has nothing to do with fitness and exercise......though maybe my mental fitness needs some work. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> The background to this is that I left home at the age of 18 and have supported myself ever since. My daughter has been threatening to leave home since the age of 16 and now, at the grand old age of 20, is finally financially able to do so. <BR> <em>104</em> <em>244</em> <em>100</em> <em>250</em> <BR> <BR> She has decided to fill a vacancy in a ... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 11:27:11 EST Goals for 2014 Last year was fairly non-eventful for me. It whizzed by in a blur of sameness. I managed to maintain successfully, but always near the top of my healthy range. I think I have learned the art of doing "just enough". <BR> <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> I made an attempt to rev things up when I joined a new keep fit class in September. But, I don't know how else to say this without sounding smug. it is a little too easy for me. The benefits for me are minuscule. <BR> <BR> So on Boxing Day I j... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 01:47:31 EST This made me laugh... I saw this on another forum I visit. (Vegetarians could substitute "nut roast" for "turkey"). <BR> <BR> How to cook the perfect turkey; <BR> <BR> 1. Buy a turkey <BR> 2. Have a glass of wine <BR> 3. Stuff turkey <BR> 4. Have a glass of wine <BR> 5. Put turkey in oven <BR> 6. Relax and have a glass of wine <BR> 7. Turk the bastey <BR> 8. Wine of glass another get <BR> 9. Hunt for the meat thermometer <BR> 10. Glass yourself another pour of wine <BR> 11. Bake the wine for 4 hours ... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 06:40:27 EST Just for fun.....a light-hearted Christmas performance <link><BR>nt-Monks-Does-Will-Make-You-Laugh-2484<BR>.html </link> <BR> <BR> I think all these performers are children or teens and it must have taken them ages to learn this routine. <BR> <BR> I hope everyone has the Christmas and 2014 they are looking forward to. <BR> <em>446</em> Sun, 22 Dec 2013 01:49:22 EST From the mouths of babes...... <em>46</em> <em>198</em> <BR> Botheration.....I missed it. One of the children who I help with reading happened to mention that yesterday was 11/12/13. (This only works in countries like the UK where we put the day before the month). <BR> <BR> It will be another 100 years before that happens again and I missed it! <BR> I'm kicking myself: <BR> <em>216</em> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 11:18:46 EST My cat likes to be spark out on my laptop... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here's the proof that my cat Fleur likes to be spark out all over my laptop while I am trying to use it. She even knows the times of day I'm likely to go online and waits on my desk. Funny cat. Mon, 21 Oct 2013 13:55:19 EST When life gives you lemons..... ....make lemonade .....or make hay while the sun shines. <BR> <BR> Most of the summer we have been knocking down massive hedges and replacing them with walls. This means there has been a cement mixer looming large in my life for about 7 weeks. The rental company wanted it back today. So Hubby pulled out all the stops and finished all the cement work yesterday. There are just a couple of railings to fit and we are done. <BR> <em>244</em> <em>244</em> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> I go... Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:03:42 EST This make me chuckle..... I just had to share this story about a woman who won a marathon accidentally. She intended to run only a half marathon but missed the exit point. She went on to run the whole marathon and won it!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>f-sport/half-marathon-runner-misses-tu<BR>rn-runs-full-marathon-174833121.html </link> Fri, 27 Sep 2013 10:35:37 EST On top of the world..... Today was one of those days that will go down in memory. I treated hubby to a trip up the Shard which is the tallest building in Europe. I took loads of photos....including the area I lived in for the first 4 years, where I went to secondary school and where I volunteer as a theatre steward. <BR> <BR> Here's one of the photos that looks along the Thames towards St. Paul's Cathedral. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It was a glorious ... Sun, 7 Jul 2013 13:33:34 EST Buzzing after joining a new keep fit class... Despite still working on Sundays and having 2 voluntary jobs, I consider myself to be a lady of leisure with quite a lot of spare time. Today I decided to use it wisely and I went along to a keep fit class that runs in my local community centre. I have known about this class for quite a while but thought it might be a bit too easy for me as it is called "Keep Fit for Seniors". That title is something else that put me off going before. <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> I'm really glad I we... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:49:31 EST What 2 typical Sparklers look like.... <BR> I saw this on a blog that I read regularly. It made me think of my Spark friends. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Keep on keeping on. <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> Thu, 23 May 2013 03:35:34 EST Best funny exercise video... <BR> This is a funny video of a walrus exercising with its trainer. At certain points the walrus is actually leading the moves. <BR> <BR> My cat likes to exercise with me, so I believe this walrus is having a genuine good time with treats along the way. Worth a look. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Sat, 11 May 2013 15:29:02 EST Great article about walking v. running I just had to share this with everyone. It's an article about the benefits of walking versus running. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>r-running-benefits-heart-strain--09513<BR>2714.html </link> <link><BR>r-running-benefits-heart-strain--09513<BR>2714.html </link> <BR> <BR> it seems to be good news for Sparklers (like me) who can walk for miles but aren't too keen on running on pavements.......which is all that is on offer in ... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 10:54:30 EST A walk with photos...inspired by Chicchantal! There is a Sparkler called Chicchantal who writes brilliant blogs about her long walks. She wrote one yesterday and it inspired me to do the same today. <BR> <em>213</em> <BR> <BR> I usually work on Sundays and only remembered very late last night that I had booked today as annual leave. Phew! I very nearly went in and that would have been terrible. <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> So to celebrate my unexpected free day, I planned a walk. The weather recently has been grey and cold a... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 11:53:53 EST Restarting my no chocolate streak When I joined SparkPeople 4 years ago I was a chocoholic with a capital C. <BR> <em>493</em> <BR> I ate one and sometimes two bars every day. Needless to say that was the main reason I piled on the pounds. I managed to give up chocolate completely and that was the main reason I reached my target weight in 2009. Easy peasy. <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> I have been maintaining successfully ever since which I am really pleased about. <BR> <em>250</em> <em>252</em> <BR> <BR> However... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 14:27:07 EST By popular demand: a photo of my crocheted scarf <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Especially for Sparkler Slenderclaire: a photo of the first scarf I have ever crocheted. I've been faffing about for the past year trying to learn crochet and finally decided it wasn't going to beat me. I found a lovely pattern, spent ages reading it and then got on with it. I'm so pleased with it that I have just started another one in stripes to use up some wool oddments. <BR> <BR> I'll try to post the link ... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:46:45 EST Review of 2012 and goals for 2013.... I looked for last year's blog and found that my goals for 2012 seemed to revolve around learning to crochet. How very healthy! <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> I'm happy to report that I have made progress and can now do all the major stitches. I have completed lots of little samples. My goal for 2013 is to actually complete a garment or useful item.....possibly a scarf as I need to start with something easy. <BR> <BR> My other goal was to stay within my healthy weight range and "not to turn in... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 04:45:15 EST Food When I was growing up, you ate what you were given and counted yourself lucky not to be starving like "the babies in Africa". Meals were cooked from scratch and fast food restaurants were almost non-existent. Supermarkets were seen as not quite British and most food was bought in the local grocery store. <BR> <BR> Food labelling was misleading and people still believed adverts. Healthy looking children were shown eating chocolate that contained "a glass and a half of milk". Mothers wer... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 19:39:09 EST If I were my own best friend.... One of my special Spark friends...New-Caz...suggested that we should list 5 positive things about ourselves. <BR> <BR> I think, if I were my best friend, I would notice that: <BR> <BR> I am a good listener <BR> I think "outside the box" <BR> I'm happy with what I have <BR> I put 100% effort into whatever I happen to be doing <BR> If I say I'm going to do something, I do it. <BR> <BR> Happy Christmas everyone. <BR> <em>445</em> <em>460</em> <em>446</em> Tue, 18 Dec 2012 11:02:30 EST A burning desire..... Am I nuts or what? <BR> <em>367</em> <BR> (I don't know what that emoticon is supposed to be. But it's the closest I can find to a nut.) <BR> <BR> Anyone who is squeamish about teeth should stop reading this blog now. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I developed a small but persistent gum infection in August. I put up with it for a few weeks in the mistaken hope that my immune system would fight it off. <BR> <em>326</em> <BR> <BR> I then make the mistake of "Googling" it and terri... Wed, 31 Oct 2012 03:13:42 EST Happy me.... I'm sitting here at my computer and looking out at a lovely pink evening sky. Today in London was a perfect autumn day.....sunny, dry and breezy. The leaves are late falling this year....something to do with the wet spring and summer. But I can almost smell the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. <BR> <BR> I've just finished my volunteer theatre stewarding sessions for this year. The theatre is open to the elements so it closes down from now until next April. We found out today w... Sun, 14 Oct 2012 13:29:48 EST Woo hoo!!! I've completed my virtual walk. This is a fantastic day for me. I started my virtual walk around the coast of mainland Britain in October 2009 and completed it this week. I walked approximately 6000 miles in just under 3 years. <BR> <em>331</em> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> All the measurements are a bit approximate. I added up most of my miles walked, but usually didn't include miles walked while mowing the lawn or using my new elliptical machine. The British coastline is very irregular and it was difficult to foll... Sat, 22 Sep 2012 08:23:37 EST My new challenging elliptical machine Inspired by the Olympics, my very non-sporty daughter asked me to buy a cross trainer or elliptical machine. I was delighted that she was showing an interest in keeping fit. She is a brilliant swimmer but my dreams of having her as a hiking partner evaporated when she was about 2 years old and didn't want to walk anywhere. <BR> <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> She is better now and will walk to most places if there is a retail experience promised at the end of the walk. But country hikes are a no-... Wed, 29 Aug 2012 15:02:52 EST Got all emotional on the torch route this morning. :-)) I promised to post some photos of the Olympic torch route through London, or the bits of it I saw anyway. The week started really early on Monday when the torch was carried through my home borough. The torch bearer was running really fast. I think he must have been in training. Consequently, my photo shows his back view and is a better shot of the policeman who was accompanying him!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today, I went to... Thu, 26 Jul 2012 09:10:09 EST Happy with my blood pressure So I had a check up at the doctor's and the nurse took my blood pressure. Thirty years ago it averaged an excellent 110/70. Today it was 115/73. Considering I don't like going to the doctor's and the nurse surprised me as I wasn't expecting to have my blood pressure taken today, I was more than happy with that reading. <BR> <BR> I have a little blood pressure monitor that I sometimes use at home, but I'm never sure how accurate it is. It has been giving me similar readings, but it's n... Thu, 28 Jun 2012 12:19:14 EST Chuffed to bits... A couple of months ago a lady who hasn't seen me since the age of 7 recognised me. <BR> <BR> Today I took a bag of old clothes to a charity shop. The lady there also recognised me and she hasn't seen me since primary school! <BR> <BR> As I was leaving the shop I overheard her colleague say "That's a very attractive lady. Do you know her?" Considering I was wearing very ordinary clothes and my hair was still damp from the shower, I was pretty chuffed with that. <BR> <BR> <em>244</em> Tue, 22 May 2012 13:24:04 EST Piccies of some of my recent knitting projects..... I discovered a new hobby a few months ago....well rediscovered it really because I used to do it when I was younger and then gave up when Daughter proved to be such a handful....KNITTING. <BR> <BR> I keep a tally of how many items I have knitted. Since December the figure has risen to 49 items. That is made up of things ranging in size from a large blanket that took weeks to knit to a tiny hat that I finished in less than an hour....each item counts as "1" no matter what size it is. <BR> ... Thu, 29 Mar 2012 03:50:18 EST The power of numbers....coincidence or something more meaningful? On the way home from my Pilates class on Wednesday, my mind randomly dredged up a fact that I have been aware of for some years. <BR> <BR> In the past 31 years I have lived at 3 addresses. The door numbers were 154, 91 and 82. <BR> <BR> 1+5+4 = 10 <BR> 9+1 = 10 <BR> 8+2 = 10 <BR> <BR> Then I started to think about other numbers in my life and this is what happened: <BR> Daughter was born on October 28th <BR> October is the tenth month <BR> 2+8 = 10 <BR> <BR> I was born on August 12th <BR... Sat, 17 Mar 2012 12:38:01 EST Review of my personal 2011 and plans for 2012 I looked for the blog I wrote this time last year and here is a quote from it: <BR> <BR> "2011 will be very challenging. I genuinely don't know what the year will bring or where I will be working this time next year. I can see lots of positive benefits to "changing" my job. I would not have done it this year if it wasn't being done to me. But the world is now my oyster. I can afford to get out of the rat race and settle for a part time job if I can get one. I have already applied for a volun... Sun, 1 Jan 2012 07:15:10 EST The true meaning of Christmas ...with photo So I spent a couple of hours putting up the Christmas tree and decorations which some of you might know is not my favourite job of the year. We keep everything from year to year and some of the items, thought what I call tat, have sentimental value. I had forgotten about some of the pieces and it was nice to see them again. <BR> <BR> I like Christmas but there is a lot wrong with the way we celebrate it and the general mad panic in the shops is part of it. I have already decided that as... Fri, 16 Dec 2011 06:56:54 EST November review and goals for December November was quite a hectic month. I still seem to have the knack of taking on more than is good for me. I know when that happens because I can no longer relax and settle to read a good book. <BR> <BR> In November I had a job interview and was offered the job verbally but will have to wait until after Christmas for the written which stage I might accept it or not as the case may be. I haven't seen the job description yet and don't know if it is a job I will be able to do. <BR... Sat, 3 Dec 2011 14:19:24 EST Happy Sparkversary... I can't believe I have been Sparking for exactly 3 years. I have been maintaining for 2.5 years and shudder at the thought of what would have happened if I hadn't found this wonderful site and met so many wonderful Spark friends. <BR> <BR> Thank you everyone. <BR> <BR> <em>505</em> <em>304</em> <em>247</em> <em>212</em> <em>212</em> <em>220</em> <em>252</em> Sat, 12 Nov 2011 12:32:26 EST October review and goals for November Well October has gone and November is here though you would never know it from the good weather we have been having. It has been a joy to be able to go out in the sun as opposed to looking at it through my old work place's grimy windows. I don't miss work, but I do miss some of my colleagues. I am in touch with some of them by email and will eventually meet up with them again in the future. <BR> <BR> I have spent the last 4 weeks trying to get into a routine which is not an easy thing aft... Tue, 1 Nov 2011 18:02:48 EST This exciting discovery will change my As promised, here is a piccy of the exciting discovery I made on yesterday's new walking route. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had read about these free adult gyms that are being built in parks, but never expected to find one only 15 minutes walk away from my front door. This photo was taken at 10.45 on a glorious morning in the half-term school holidays. As you can see, it is completely empty and just waiting for me to do my stu... Tue, 25 Oct 2011 12:39:36 EST