MSMOSTIMPROVED's SparkPeople Blog MSMOSTIMPROVED's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Still Working Sabbatical is coming to an end. I've been on "break" from my plan for 3 weeks while traveling. I knew these last few weeks would be hard. My goal was to maintain and get right back in the game. I walked or worked out mostly- not really maybe sorta lol! I ate poorly some nights but I did my best to keep mornings and lunch decent. I wish I logged my food better but what ya gonna do?!?!?! I slept in for 4 days straight and it was awesome!!! I went to gym this am. My performance was respectable.... Fri, 1 Sep 2017 10:45:10 EST Back At It Again After the ridiculous dinner I had yesterday (fried chicken donut sandwich), I got up extra early today so I could get in my steps. I spent a good part of my walk reflecting on how I can make better choices and I decided I am super impulsive. I want I get it. It's like my emotions take over before the brain kicks in. I get super excited and it's full steam ahead. Sometimes, I don't realize what I've gotten myself into until it is way to late. This isn't just a food issue, it's and everything i... Mon, 24 Jul 2017 19:40:10 EST Soooooo This Happened Today I didn't follow my plan yesterday at a baby shower. We ate, drank and were very merry. Today I made sure I got up so I could walk and try to erase the damage I did yesterday. The weekends are sooooooo hard. I did a great time dancing, skipping, and getting in my miles before noon. It was not as hot as it has been so, I really enjoyed my time outside. <BR> <BR> I walked to the ends of the Earth and when I thought I couldn't go any further, I walked some more. Phone died. Head phones died. I ... Sun, 23 Jul 2017 23:15:45 EST What Can You Do? Today's challenge is to assess what I've accomplished thus far. I can honestly say, I am building better habits. I love looking in the fridge and it looks like people live here that care about their health. If I want a quick snack, I can grab a peach or if I'm naughty some popcorn with a splash of vinegar. I workout almost daily. I plan to workout. I have gym buddies. I make sure my clothes are ready the night before so I am not digging around in a drawer frustrated and ready to quit before I... Fri, 21 Jul 2017 04:54:14 EST Roller Coaster Today was good and bad: <BR> 1. I got to water aerobics on time- good <BR> 2. I walked 10K steps - good <BR> 3. Lunch with a friend - good <BR> <BR> Needs improvement: <BR> 1. The truck key was lost and we've found it in the ignition of vehicle. Need locksmith. <BR> 2. Lost the kid's scholarship check. It can be replaced but OH MAN. <BR> 3. I'm fighting to get to goal and I'm tired... <BR> <BR> Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:09:37 EST Sabbatical- All the Things You'd Do If You Didn't Have to Work For a Living I have been BLESSED with the opportunity to take 2 months off from work. My company does this on your 10th anniversary and then every 5 years thereafter. The first time, I traveled a lot and tried to accomplish a bucket list a mile long. I needed a vacation from my sabbatical once it was over. I am in the middle of week 2 of sabbatical 2 and I am doing things a lot differently. I am focused on self-renewal and self-improvement. Boy have I been busy! <BR> <BR> I am Sparking daily, trying new ... Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:54:52 EST I DID IT I had the best day ever. I made it to ONEDERLAND. Me not 200 anything boo! YAAAAAYY and we're just getting started. My company bought lunch and I did a great job picking out a healthy one. Arugula and fennel salad with asparagus and snow peas. We also had massages for 10 mins that I almost skipped because I was so busy. I am glad I made time for myself. I left early -- my boss encouraged! I was able to see Tears for Fears and Hall & Oates with my mommy, hubby, sister, and bestie! <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 27 Jun 2017 18:27:48 EST Hey Diva! Letter To Myself Challenge We've been down this road before and I know you're worried about where we'll land. You work hard at everything you put your mind to and give yourself freely to others. It is your turn to take care of yourself and your health. Don't worry about the last time. Let's focus on the here and now. <BR> <BR> First, you have done a phenomenal job by making the decision to return to SparkPeople. We've all lost weight and walked with the shame of gaining it. Don't even think about the people who were ... Sat, 24 Jun 2017 21:49:46 EST Weekend Woes I gotta figure out better balance over the weekend. It's nice to have more time to workout and I move quite a bit. I walked on a trail with my sister. I went to the gym. I even jumped on the treadmill to get in the my "final" steps. <BR> <BR> The problem is all the down time in between and the entertainment. I am going to think of a new plan for this weekend. I am exhausted from work, 2 hour commute -- thanks to beltway and super rainstorm, 30min circuit, ab class OH and I walked at lunch. T... Mon, 19 Jun 2017 20:52:30 EST Girl's Night ReCap Let me qualify my rating scale: <BR> 1 = Sucked down as many alcoholic drinks desired and munched on wings, fried okra and sat in the corner working on said consumption. <BR> <BR> 10= Sipped seltzer water with lime, ate a healthy and pre-logged meal, and burned up the dance floor! <BR> <BR> I am giving myself a solid 6. I had 3 vodka with seltzer water and lime, ordered wings but skipped the platter I had last month along with fried okra, and I danced more than I sat. <BR> <BR> What went ... Thu, 15 Jun 2017 22:07:20 EST Ladies Night I am putting this out in the universe. I am participating in my monthly Ladies Night to sing karaoke. It's at a bar. I am working out my plan: <BR> - Dance more than I drink <BR> - Drink Water in between wine and LOG IT <BR> <BR> I haven't figure out my eating plan yet but, I am going to check in tomorrow. This is my first real test. I am counting on a successful Spark tracking and thoughtful eating success story. <BR> <BR> Happy Sparkling! <BR> <BR> XOXO <BR> <em>212</em> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 20:41:45 EST Spreading the Spark I am trying to get my steps in so, I responded to an email by walking over to speak directly with a co-worker. She immediately commented that I looked great and asked what I was doing. I was happy to share the value of Sparking and how these little goals are really helping me. As I talked about this journey, I realized how my thinking has evolved and how I am managing my usual pitfall or streak busters. <BR> 1. The all or nothing attitude had to go. If all I have is 25 mins, make it work. Ca... Tue, 13 Jun 2017 23:53:43 EST Moving and Grooving <em>355</em> <BR> I am excited that I have replaced my FitBit. These gadgets are delicate flowers and don't last long. I mean, let's be for real, it's not like I am a world class athlete. I am at best a very swift walker at my peak. I've killed three of these things but, I still love it. <BR> <BR> Today I was invited to a Work Week Hustle. There is something about my competitive nature that really gets me in gear. I was finding ways to get extra steps all day. I parked at the back of the... Mon, 12 Jun 2017 21:15:49 EST Planning and Prepping Saved the Day I spent the majority of my Saturday afternoon attending my nieces' recitals. One as at 3PM and the other at 6PM. I honestly started thinking ahead about (1) how I was going to move my body knowing I was going to be sitting in a auditorium most of the evening and (2) what am I going to do so I don't feel like I am starving at the end of the night? <BR> <BR> Here is when planning and prepping kicked in. I planned to get my workout done early morning but, I threw socks and sneakers in the car s... Sun, 11 Jun 2017 20:03:24 EST Long term Goals I'm supposed to think and commit to 3 long term goals. I've been flittering through mommyhood and striving to eek out a living, I haven't given this much thought in a long time. I've been mulling this over all day and I still don't think I know what I want. I know I want to live healthier. I'm so over this weight gain and loss cycle. I want my healthier lifestyle choices to come naturally. I want to be rid of blood pressure meds for good. I want to crave fruits and nuts and really look forwa... Thu, 8 Jun 2017 22:38:03 EST SparkTV Fan!! <img src="">I finally started trying SparkTV videos regularly. I like the mini workouts. I still go to the gym and walk (attempt to run), but I find I stay motivated and focused more during the day if I do a quick workout. <BR> <BR> It's harder to eat poorly if you just spent 12 mins doing a ab workout. Being out of breath and struggling to get back to my former fitness level is another reminder I have a lot more... Wed, 7 Jun 2017 20:51:00 EST Energy and Better Sleep I have been plagued with insomnia forever. I have a medication the doctor swore I needed 8 hours to sleep in order to take it. I'd fall asleep but, one bathroom run a 2 AM and I am wide awake the rest of the night. Worst yet, I would finally get sleepy just when the alarm sounded. This left me cranky, sluggish and completely depleted of energy. <BR> <BR> I have consistently worked out for about 4 weeks now and my sleep pattern has greatly improved. I am crawling to bed by the time I get home... Tue, 6 Jun 2017 22:04:32 EST Packing <img src=""> The healthy snack shelf belongs to people who care about their health! I love it. Sat, 3 Jun 2017 23:00:27 EST Mixin' Up Workout I squeezed in my normal after work power walk. It was just ok but then my kid invited me to join her at a local trampoline park. In addition to great music and a different way to move my body, it was cheap. On the week day, it's buy one get one free. I couldn't jump a whole hour- it's really a lot of work. <BR> However, I was panting and sweaty afterwards. I made up my own exercise routine. Lots of jumping jacks and knee raises. I'm excited to go back <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.c... Thu, 1 Jun 2017 22:04:13 EST The Cookout Got Me Today was mixed success. I followed the Spark coaching and prepped my meals for tomorrow. I am a little worried that early tracking mode may get me out of the habit of entering my food as the day goes along. However, I like getting the food on the tracker. <BR> <BR> I managed to get my walking in on my rest day. I didn't do as well at the cookout. I wasn't hungry and I just took a small portion of just the foods I wanted. I ate the hotdog without the bun. However, I found myself tempted by f... Mon, 29 May 2017 23:12:05 EST Holiday Weekend Won't Stop Me I just finished picking up my veggies for the week. We're going to light up the grill and cook for the week. No slacking just because we have a holiday on Monday. Preparation has been essential and helps me get the week started right. <BR> <BR> Time to get to choppin' and measurin'! <BR> <BR> Spark Cheers! Sun, 28 May 2017 11:22:53 EST NewTrail <img src="" <BR> <BR> I walked a new trail today near the airport. It was scenic and the weather while overcast, a great day to be out and about. My only complaint was realizing halfway through the trail, my tracking app wasn't on. I used my sister's to track my mileage but I like the feeling of seeing my numbers. The iPhone also tracked my steps so, I'll live! <BR> <BR> Best of all, I dragged the kid kicking and... Sat, 27 May 2017 21:39:38 EST Week in Review It was a great week! I tried a new fruit ( gooseberries), tracked all my food, and planned meals into my schedule to avoid the last minute drive in runs. I tried a couple of group fitness classes at my gym. It's always weird being the new person in class but, I smiled and everyone was really nice. They've all done this walk before. I worked on redirecting the negative thoughts when I caught myself dwelling on how out of shape I've gotten. I reminded myself this a journey that will not have... Fri, 26 May 2017 09:20:46 EST Gooseberries In order to get a little traction in my house with embarking on this journey with me, I have started picking up new foods to try. Nothing to crazy, just adding a bit of excitement and adventure to our food. If they don't like it, no problem. <BR> <BR> I picked up gooseberries and a dragon fruit. The gooseberry looks like a yellow cherry tomato but it was partially enclosed in a light greenish grey leaf that was easily removed. They are very low in calories and from my research are a super f... Tue, 23 May 2017 20:24:10 EST Hey Buddy, Can I Get A Little Help In Here? I have created a snack shelf in the fridge. It is place where the family can grab a healthy "mommy-approved" snack. I don't have a very adventurous eaters in my family so, the offerings are pretty boring... at least for now. There a variety of yogurts, carrots, cherries, grapes and celery in pre-measured containers. I love that my refrigerator looks like the people that live here care about there health. <BR> <BR> This Sunday, I was really tired from organizing the week. I'd laid out my wor... Mon, 22 May 2017 19:17:29 EST Preparation is Working It is party season and I am a party girl. Well party woman. I can't avoid these celebrations and I love them. Yesterday I knew I was in for a good one because one of my bestie's lil girl was graduating from college and the food and drinks were sure to be delish. <BR> <BR> She never disappoints. <BR> <BR> Upon arrival there were 3 different tables of salads, meats, and desserts. Rather than my normal squeal and customary of grabbing multiple plates from each table, I proceeded to greet every... Sun, 21 May 2017 11:31:44 EST My Three Positives Starting over requires me to keep reminding myself to look forward. It really is easy to fall into a slump of thinking of how much faster I walked, how many more sit-ups I could do in the past and this was much easier the last time. I appreciate the opportunity to remind myself of the positive accomplishments in such a short time: <BR> <BR> 1. Drinking water daily. There really was a time in the not so distant past that my water consumption was far less than wine. No imbibing during the work... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 10:40:35 EST New Orleans I love the Big Easy. It is my paternal family home. Whenever I go back, my family is always incredibly hospitable. This city is made for a foodie and I took full advantage of all she had to give. <BR> <BR> I knew this was going to be a challenge. My cousins will feed you, your momma, your auntie, and everyone in between. Butter and fat are main staples in EVERYTHING. Resistance is futile. I didn't want to set myself to fail so, I gave myself 2 rules: (1) move my body everyday and (2) drink m... Sun, 13 Nov 2016 18:53:00 EST Fat Disaster I've been focused on getting in my calories with proper nutrition. I am not going to live on carrot sticks and dry salad. I have tried to eat well-roundly and mostly at home. This is new for me. I only picked a few quick pre-packaged go to foods. <BR> <BR> This brings me to my FAT DISASTER. Of the pre-packaged foods, I have some fruit/veggie Popsicle bars. I bought Milano dark chocolate cookies in the 2 pack for better control my access to portions. For good measure, I have dried fruit and ... Tue, 8 Nov 2016 20:41:50 EST Overcoming Fear of Public Workout Last Tuesday I was all set to get in my workout while waiting for my son to get out of practice. I was dressed, remembered my headphones and even updated my playlist. However, I walked in the gym and froze when I saw all the other parents loitering in the halls. Plan busted. I'm not really shy but, since I've gained weight, I'm more conscious of everything. The idea of breaking out in squats in the hallway was sheer terror. I was really disappointed because I the old confident me would not... Thu, 3 Nov 2016 20:22:03 EST Fear of Public Workout I have to take my kid to basketball practice which gives me a solid hour and a half to focus on me. What a great time to get in a little extra fitness. I get dressed and put in my sneakers fully intending to get my work out done. Unfortunately, the basketball gym is packed with energetic kids running around. I didn't want to interrupt or distract the kids and coaches. There were parents milling about in the hall so, I didn't feel comfortable just starting my squats there. I think I'm goin... Tue, 1 Nov 2016 20:16:15 EST Slow and steady but not really I'm so lost in this new app. I like it but, I haven't got a flooooow yet. I'm still floundering but I'm not quitting yet. Pep talk: just do it!!!! Fri, 27 May 2016 22:46:43 EST So I Fell Off Time to start again. Cue music! Wed, 18 May 2016 22:56:22 EST The Color Run 3-2-1 Countdown I am totally excited that the Color Run is going down this Sunday at the Harbor. I don't think I am in any shape to run the whole thing but, I will move really fast. Most importantly, I will be completing this race with 2 of my best buddies while wearing AWESOME race swag! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I hope everyone has a healthy and active weekend. I sure am going to try my best! <BR> <BR> Ms Most Improved! <BR> <em>212</em> ... Fri, 16 May 2014 18:12:43 EST Trampoline Fun <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Oh man, I re <img src=""> <img src="">ally did it this time!!! I did the trampoline thing-ee Sun, 11 May 2014 18:34:24 EST Changing the conversation First, I must say I am really happy today. The scale gave me a little wink to let me know I am moving in the right direction. I have a million things to do but, I have a plan of action and I already got my morning walk run out of the way. It is was a little cloudy this morning with that it's gonna rain any minute sky but the temperature was perfectly cool for working up a sweat. <BR> <BR> As I was walk/running, a few thoughts came to mind where I had to challenge myself to change the conv... Fri, 9 May 2014 11:28:19 EST Scales- and other ways to measure up... 1. I finally decided to just jump on the scale this morning. It started with a real stern. " you ain't the boss of me" look followed by " please don't be awful" and lastly "I don't care what it says." <BR> <BR> I'm up. Considering I have spent 8-10 months of eating, drinking and being merry, this should be of no surprise. It wasn't as awful as I thought but nowhere near where I'd like to be. Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. <BR> <BR> 2. I had a revelation today. Whenever I am at my heal... Fri, 2 May 2014 23:33:30 EST Intuitive Eating I am suppose to use my intuition to guide my eating today. It would have been easier to track my steps to the bathroom as I have kicked the water consumption back into high gear. When I ask myself, "are you hungry" my first thought is I am ALWAYS hungry. If I am not hungry, I am thinking about what I am going to eat when I get hungry. <BR> <BR> Listening to my body to figure out when I am going to eat is going to take more than a day. For now, my focus is just to be consistent, drink water a... Thu, 1 May 2014 12:32:51 EST Great Awesome Spectacular & Wonderful News!! I silently wept while standing on the corner at the MVR as I watch her parallel park. She couldn't find the hazards lights. There is nothing more stressful than seeing your baby struggle and not be able to jump in and help make things all better. Today, it was sink or swim for my daughter as she left me all alone to take her driving test. <BR> <BR> She passed on the first try and now she can officially drive to school without a chaperone! Her grandma passed down her gently used car so she i... Fri, 25 Apr 2014 23:20:11 EST Spark Coach Activity- Long Term Goals I almost skipped my workout today. I got so busy at work that I didn't want to even take a potty break and I was drinking lots of WATER! So, as I think about my long term goals there is one central theme that comes to mind: BALANCE. <BR> <BR> 1. I will always put my health and fitness first. No short cuts and no breaks. It is a habit like Suzymobile taking a morning walk. It just gets done. <BR> <BR> 2. I will buy clothes because I like them and not because they hide unflattering body parts... Fri, 25 Apr 2014 00:00:56 EST Poem Scoot you stupid gremlin voice <BR> residing in my head <BR> I swear I don't have time for you <BR> your time with me is dead <BR> <BR> Today is for moving and grooving <BR> Getting my tummy tight <BR> You can not defeat me for <BR> I will win the fat fight <BR> <BR> BOO YAH!!! <BR> <BR> Ms Most Improved -- heading to bed so I can have another good day!!!! <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:06:58 EST I can walk! After 6 months of doing almost nothing, I have spent the last 3 weeks trying to move my body more. The first week was painful as you might expect. I could barely drive home from the gym and I crawled into the bed in sweaty gym clothes because I was to tired to bathe. Week 2 wasn't much better since I worked out sporadically. Happily, I can report I may be hitting my stride this week. <BR> <BR> Once again, I am craving my workout. Instead of summoning a kid to bring me food or drink to my of... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:55:42 EST My Do Over I have taken 206 days off from Sparking and I am officially back to my original highest weight. There wasn't any really reason I stopped. One day turned into a week and then into a month. You get the idea. <BR> <BR> At first I was depressed, sad, and embarrased that I let all my good habits fall by the wayside. This morning I decided either I permanently stay in my fat clothes and get used to barely making it up the steps or I get back on track. <BR> <BR> So here I am again. I love the new... Mon, 7 Apr 2014 12:54:16 EST Tsk Tsk Tsk I'm a firm believer in explanations don't excuse and excuses don't explain but, after being off the grid for nearly 8 weeks I should at least let you know I'm alive and well. I started using this Sonic Boom wellness tool through my company because there were all sorts of lucrative incentives attached. For a while, I tried to do my Spark and my Boom but, tracking on one website is hard enough to be consistent. Trying to do double tracking of food and fitness was stupid. I was completely overwh... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 11:10:52 EST Is It June Already So we're already into the month of June? Geez Louise, who knew. I am glad I am going to get another chance to do this thing over again. It's a little past my bedtime but, I wanted to pack my bag, catch up with my lovelies, and drink one last glass of water. <BR> <BR> I am listening to the rain and it is so very soothing. I am going to sleep knowing everything starts anew in the morning. <BR> <BR> Happy and healthy wishes dear Peppers! I am sending you only the best and brightest wishes for... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 22:03:34 EST Bonafide Meltdown I haven't done anything since last Friday. I don't know why. I feel really sad and I know I need to get it together but, I am having the hardest time. The crazy fitness lady has even started to check up on me. I think she might miss a little bit. <BR> <BR> I think I'm the saddest cheerleader ever. I am not doing what I was meant to do but, I don't know what my end game is. There are so many people that need employment and income that I am ashamed and saddened that I complain about my circu... Fri, 31 May 2013 15:29:27 EST OK Sue Me <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I ate cookies. I devoured way more Snickerdoodles and almond butter cookies than any human should dare. They were so sweet that I'm not sure I enjoyed them. The smell hooked me and my weakness sucked me in. I have avoided most temptation like the plague. Today I just threw in the towel. I wish I had a good excuse like a bad day or stress but this was plain ole greedy fat lady wants a cookie deal. <BR> <BR> So, th... Wed, 22 May 2013 22:24:28 EST Busiest Blog Ever <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> Without boring you to tears, I'd like to share a few highlights from May: I took the kid to get her license and for a round of laser tag. Both were scary. <img src=""> Then I got a shiny gold bathing suit for Mothers Day. <BR> <BR> I brave... Sun, 19 May 2013 19:03:10 EST Sweet 16 Not me silly! My baby girl will be 16 on Friday. Where did the time go? I am going to do the mommy/ daughter spa date tomorrow and then I will be forced to chaperone a gaggle of teenagers through dinner and laser tag way past my bedtime. Pray for my sanity and patience. <BR> <BR> On a more somber note, my spouse is off work for a whole week due to a bad foot. The doc's tentative diagnosis was degenerative arthritis and possibly gout. It is scary to see him wake up nearly beddridden overnight... Wed, 8 May 2013 22:35:08 EST Mini Triumphs I dragged myself out to gym for first bootcamp of the Spring season. It was hard as heck! I mean you take a couple of weeks off and all your muscles melt. OK those cheesy goodies and wine might have contributed some but let's just leave the past in the past. <BR> After a killer bootcamp session complete with basketball drills, jump rope, stability ball, and resistance band torture err ummmm fun, fat burning fitness session, I squished all of these jiggly bits into a swimsuit for hydrospin. Mr... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 22:18:07 EST