MUSIC2HISEARS's SparkPeople Blog MUSIC2HISEARS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Struggling to find balance As I write this, I've lost 13 lbs and 10 1/2" since the beginning of November. I'm down from a size 16 to a size 14 and people are starting to take notice. But I'm struggling at finding a perfect balance to sustain this weightloss pattern. <BR> <BR> My THR is to be 121 to 148. On the bike, I'm even at 128/132. But on the elliptical, I cannot sustain myself under 148. I keep jumping to 151. And from what I've been taught, you burn muscle rather than fat at that heart rate. So, what do you do... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:59:26 EST Sleep, they say? Studies show that getting at least 6-8 hours of sound sleep a night helps promote not only a healthy attitude, but weight-loss, too. <BR> <BR> Well, someone forgot to let my dogs know this. Generally, they leave me alone at night and allow me to sleep peacefully all night long. Not last night. They decided that it was play time. Not only did they decide it was play time, but play time in my room with a toy that makes chattering noises!!! <BR> <BR> Luckily, they understand the command "bed" ... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 09:13:30 EST Of weight-loss frustrations and other things I've been doing great these past two weeks, except that I had been sick during most of that time. I've lost very little weight this past week and with official weigh-in looming ahead before the big holiday, my scale has stopped moving. <BR> <BR> Sure, losing 10 lbs in a two week period of time is a huge accomplishment, but I kind of feel like I'm on the Biggest Loser with my chance to stay on at the "ranch" balancing delicately upon my weigh-in. <BR> <BR> Right now, I stand at exactly 10 ... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 07:23:42 EST A big win Well, I just finished my first full week of Onion Camp. I learned quite a few lessons this week, including how much sugar and carb withdrawal can effect the mood (I'm bipolar). It was NOT pretty to say the least. <BR> <BR> But I also learned after the fact, that I wasn't getting enough protein which was feeding my mood swings and irritability. So, yesterday, I added in protein drinks (100 calorie EAS protein drink in chocolate...tastes pretty good, too). Today I feel more "stable". <BR> <B... Sun, 16 Nov 2014 14:08:13 EST The anatomy of weight gain (Photos Included) Today, I made an important step in attempting to shed the pounds I've been so frustrated with over the past 6 years. I joined a group called "The Onion Factory" in Anderson, Indiana. My "friend" suggested it after I had confided in him that I wanted to lose weight. He was relentless in his pushing me to contact this group after his mom, sister, and ex-girlfriend had all seen positive and amazing results from being there. So, Saturday begins that journey. <BR> <BR> But how did I get Thu, 6 Nov 2014 00:17:25 EST Getting Mental I was reading an article about how we need to get mentally prepared for weight loss. This got me to thinking about where I am mentally when it comes to not only getting myself healthy, but in life in general. <BR> <BR> I've been struggling with mood lately and the mood of late is lethargic, uncaring, and unwanting. I do not want to participate in anything right now, and that is not the mind-set that I want or need right now. <BR> <BR> So, how do you get your head back into the game? Good qu... Sun, 2 Nov 2014 11:44:49 EST On a slow train to nowhere I've been sparking for about 6 years now. One of the things that I've been proud of is losing 50 lbs in one year. However, the scale has started to creep upward, and I've gained back almost 20 lbs of that 50 back. I'm stuck in a rut and I don't know how to get out of it. <BR> <BR> Sure, fitness has fallen by the wayside as a myriad of issues had crept up: cancer, endometrial ablation, and other today's knee injury. But it doesn't answer the rest of the days I've been healthy. I... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:21:57 EST 106 flights of pain Saturday morning, I met my coworkers for what was supposed to be a 3 1/2 hour 7 mile hike through the beautiful hills of southern Indiana. What we didn't expect was what our fitbits claimed to be 106 floors climbed in one day. Today, 3 days later, my calves are still screaming at me. <BR> <BR> But that wasn't just it. I felt fine as I met my coworkers. I wasn't even 1/2 way up the first hill and I started suffering what I thought was an asthma attack. I didn't even have my inhaler. In honest... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 14:42:45 EST This is getting old Gaining weight that is. <BR> <BR> I started out the year at 191. Now I'm at 210. This is not the direction I wanted to go. This is definitely not what I wanted. But it is my fault. I've not been as diligent. But maybe not so much my fault. My doctor did change my medication. But I'm still floored that I'm this far above 200 again. <BR> <BR> What can I do? Change my habits? I already eat healthy. Change my workout? Maybe. I had been slacking a little. So, why did this happen. I have no id... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 19:57:51 EST And so it begins... Day 1, week 1. The challenge begins. So, what will become of this all important challenge? Will I lose 10 of the 15 I gained this summer? Will I finally win the battle? Will the 5% be my true goal? We shall see. But I'm already starting off on the right foot. I got in a good workout today, ate a healthy breakfast and dinner (lunch not so much...went over for the day). But tomorrow is also a new day with a new purpose. Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:20:29 EST Renewing My Commitment - 2014 Fall 5% Challenge With the 2014 Fall 5% Challenge looming in just a little over a week, I'm finding that I have a renewed spirit in regards to getting healthy once again. In the Summer of 2013, I reached ONEderland, but since then, I've gained back nearly 18 lbs. Yuck! <BR> <BR> So, with this new challenge in my sites, I need to renew my commitment to a healthier me. Which means I need to answer a few questions: <BR> <BR> What do I want to change? <BR> I want to change how I feel. What does that mean? It m... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:46:22 EST Seeking Peace Something that has been missing from my life these past few months, if not years, is peace. In fact, in recent weeks, the stress and anxiety have become so debilitating that I'm actually on an extended leave of absence from work. It scares me that I don't know what is going on or how I'm going to make it day to day. I just pray that I do make it and that the stress can begin to wane. <BR> <BR> I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with PTSD as my secondary diagnosis. I was molested as a... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:40:49 EST The Last Day - 2014 Spring 5% Challenge Today is the last day of the 2014 Spring 5% Challenge, and while I had some successes, I am ending it right where I started weight wise. It is amazing that I have even been able to maintain considering the trials that I've been through this time around with Kyle's accident and subsequent passing, and then my cancer diagnosis. <BR> <BR> The thing that I think is the greatest aspect of these 5% Challenges is the camaraderie of the teams. Everyone comes together and helps encourage each other ... Fri, 30 May 2014 20:31:06 EST The Scale Hates Me I swear! The scale hates me!!!! I've been within calories...getting steps in and still...the scale goes up! What is up with that? Is it stress? I am leaving for Vegas on Saturday morning, maybe that is it. <BR> <BR> On the Vegas front, I'm not and I am looking forward to it. One one hand, it is for work and I will be in conferences all day. On the other, it is Vegas and I'm going to get to do some fun things. And work is paying for it. Breakfast and Lunch are provided most days there, but d... Thu, 29 May 2014 20:29:52 EST I hate to ask...but... For those of you who don't know, I had surgery on my shoulder last Thursday to remove a pretty substantial chunk of cancerous tissue. With that, I've been put on restrictions from doing much of anything for a month that involves the upper body. With that, I have 2 dogs...let's just say...they shed. So, when the church called and asked if I needed anything (they asked) I said "I need someone to vacuum". Very short. Very blunt. And to the point. <BR> <BR> She laughed off my response and advi... Wed, 28 May 2014 20:37:57 EST That Wasn't Smart I was dumb as they could come today. What in my head thought that it would be okay to walk 2 miles in old running shoes with no socks on? I have blisters the size of quarters now on the backs of my heels. You know, the kind that put you out of commission for a week until they dry up and heal a little more. Yes, they broke and are now open wounds basically. Sigh...why did I do that! Needless to say I got my walk in today. Needless to say it won't be happening again for at least another week. A... Tue, 27 May 2014 19:43:26 EST Debating I've been doing a lot of sitting these past 5 days since my surgery and it is getting old. The nurse told me that I could do anything lower body, including the Zumba steps. Just no arms. I had opted not to work out because I need to balance myself with my arms as I do. I'm such a klutz! <BR> <BR> But, a friend is talking about going for a walk this evening and I'm seriously debating on it. It would be great to get out and get some exercise, but I'm so afraid of over doing it and making my sh... Mon, 26 May 2014 13:11:07 EST Happy Times! Today, I spent the day with family. Tuesday is one of my 5 nephew's birthday and he will be turning 11. So, we celebrated yesterday and today by playing in the pool. Well, they played in the pool and I sat under the shade of the umbrella. It wasn't the best food day or exercise day for me, but it was a good day all in all. <BR> <BR> I hope you all are having a very blessed Memorial Day weekend!!!! Sun, 25 May 2014 19:57:44 EST Yeouch!!!!! Well, today is day 2 since having the chunk of cancerous skin taken off my shoulder and then some. Ice packs have become my friends. The nice thing is that I do get to be pampered a little. My poor mom has the job of changing my bandages on a daily basis. I'm sure that is not fun for her. My younger nephew looked at it and was like "how did you do that". He's not old enough yet to understand the definition of cancer. <BR> <BR> I'm actually surprised my grandmother has not called today. She ... Sat, 24 May 2014 21:51:04 EST Beating the Big "C" Two weeks ago, after the urging of a close friend, I called my doctor to get a referral to a dermatologist because a spot on my arm had become irregular in size and shape. The doctor said no, that she wanted to look at it first. She immediately proceeded to perform a biopsy and then removed the remaining tissue. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I got the results: Cancer. I had an invasive malignant melanoma. Those were the first words my eyes wandered to when she handed me the paperwork from the pathol... Thu, 22 May 2014 19:23:44 EST Kyle: My heart is breaking This morning has been a very difficult one in my family. Last night around 9:45, my cousin and Kyle's father were called into the hospital. At that point the vitals were showing no brain activity. They spent the entire night as they waited and watched, but no signs. They have not pronounced an exact time of death, but Kyle has gone home to be with God. He is an organ donor, so he will live on in helping others in this difficult time. Please, continue to pray for his mom, Kimberly, and his fat... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 12:40:41 EST 4/22 Update on Kyle I wish I could convey the thoughts and words my cousin uses when explaining Kyle's situation. She's there for each visiting hour at 8, 12, 4, and 8 again. After talking with her on the phone, I just cannot fathom the fear and sorrow she must be feeling right now. She's living every mother's worst nightmare. Her son, lying in an induced coma, struggling for his life. <BR> <BR> The ICP (brain pressure) has been steady around 30, so they are putting him on diuretics again, even though they thic... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:20:11 EST Sunday Update on Kyle Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers for Kyle. He is not doing as well as they would have liked by now, in fact he seems to be doing worse this afternoon. The ICP (brain pressure) is too high, so they have to put him on a diuretic. However, his blood is too thick from the diuretic that it could cause organ failure. Please, continue to pray. Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:45:46 EST Thursday Update on Kyle Kyle progressed today. His ICP (brain pressure) started out at 22 but came down to 15. Unfortunately, it did go back up later this evening. They are going to start a feeding tube to get nourishment in him. They had stopped it because he wasn't digesting properly, but they feel he is ready. They say that if he continues to improve they will start to bring him out of the induced coma and trade the ventilator for a trach. Thank you so much for the prayers and thoughts going out for my cousin's s... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:37:50 EST Wednesday Update on Kyle Things have not been good these past 24 hours. We've learned that Kyle has suffered a stroke caused by the pressure from the swelling. He has also developed fluid in one of his lungs and they are now siphoning that fluid out and putting him on antibiotics. They are having trouble getting him to regulate his temperature right now, and keep alternating cooling and warming blankets. <BR> <BR> We've set up a page on FB for people to keep track of what is going on with Kyle. If you wish to go t... Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:33:48 EST Tuesday Update on Kyle Things are not going well with Kyle. Here is the latest from his mom. Please, continue to keep him in prayer: <BR> <BR> There were even more complications today so we just feel deflated and defeated and we keep reminding ourselves that Kyle's Dr still says not to give up hope, its seriously bad but not over. He has promised he will tell us if that time should come. Again thank you for your comments, prayers, reposting, and support. The Dr told us today of a young man admitted January 1 same ... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 07:26:15 EST More on Kyle: Words from His Mom Below is the message we had this morning from Kyle's mom, my cousin: <BR> <BR> <BR> Kyle is not progressing in the most positive way but not completely unexpected with the severity of injury, and Dr does not want to give us false hope but also is adamant that we don't give up because it is so early in his recovery. Noone but God knows the extent of permanent damage under all the swelling if any. The swelling needs to come down to relieve pressure on his brain. He has a low grade fever that ... Mon, 14 Apr 2014 07:09:04 EST Update On Kyle Kyle has taken a turn for the worse. They are taking drastic measures to relieve pressure on the brain. He is no longer responding to stimuli and eye movement has stopped. Please, continue to pray that this is only a setback. Thank you! Sun, 13 Apr 2014 09:05:07 EST Prayer for Kyle Please, pray for Kyle (my cousin's son). He's in critical condition, but showing improvement. His parents are with him right now (he was in Arkansas...we're all in Indiana). He had a CT scan this morning that was promising and he's responding to prompts and squeezing hands. For those that don't know, my cousin's son, Kyle, was in a serious car accident with head trauma. He has sever swelling on the brain. They say the first 72 hours are the most critical in knowing if he'll recover fully. <BR... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 10:23:26 EST Venus Factor - Not So Appetizing When I first signed up for the Venus Factor, I thought I was signing up for something that would definitely help me improve my weight loss goals. Unfortunately, what I found was that it is a marketing gimmick for you to buy their supplements which are NOT cheap. Secondly, all of the supplements started making me sick to my stomach. Which is not good nor healthy. <BR> <BR> So, my review on the Venus Factor is DO NOT BY IT! <BR> <BR> After reading the paperwork that came with it, the real th... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 09:38:39 EST I'm Impressed I have two dogs: Sampson, a dachshund/springer spaniel mix who is 9, and Boots, a Boston Terrier who is 3. While Sampson was getting his spring grooming on (I let his fur grow over the winter), I decided to take Boots on a long walk down what is called the Monon Trail. I don't remember how many miles long the trail is, but we walked for about an hour (about 3 miles total). <BR> <BR> She has only been on leash on a trail like this once in her entire life. I was impressed. She walked the trai... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 18:37:49 EST Fab, Fit, Fun and Sore So, I signed up for the FabFitFun spring box. One of the things in it was a Stott Pilates mini stability ball with a DVD video exercise to use it. I didn't know what to expect when playing the DVD and doing the exercise, but I can say that while doing them, they seemed easy enough for a beginner to do them, with just enough toughness to make it uncomfortable for each move to feel like it was doing something. <BR> <BR> Well, it has been an hour since I did the workout, followed by my Zumba wo... Sat, 5 Apr 2014 21:19:20 EST A Funny Story, Really I have to tell on my profile photo. I belong to a dating website with a message board that I frequent. One of the men had made a comment about why there were not any June Cleavers in the world. So, I threw on my great-grandma's 1930's apron, grabbed my 1952 edition of Betty Crocker Cookbook and posed for the camera. The only thing missing were the pearls and the heels. It was winter so boots had to do and I had a pretty chain necklace to wear in place of the pearls. <BR> <BR> I posted the p... Fri, 28 Mar 2014 17:10:10 EST My 2014 5% Spring Challenge Nutrition Goals Assignment #1 was to set our commitment goals....done in previous blog. <BR> <BR> Assignment #2 is to set our nutrition goals for the 2014 5% Spring Challenge. <BR> <BR> Well, I've learned in the past what works, and what doesn't. What didn't work for me was not tracking as much as I usually do in the last challenge. This next challenge, I'll step it up and track my calories a little more closely. This will help me understand which foods are eating up my calories and leaving me going over b... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 11:03:36 EST My 2014 5% Spring Challenge Commitment Goals The 2014 5% Spring Challenge is upon us, so it is time to renew my commitment to getting into better shape and in better health. To do this I will: <BR> <BR> I will commit to getting in 30 minutes of cardio a day for the 8 weeks (56 days) of the challenge. <BR> <BR> I will commit to getting in 30 minutes of strength training twice a week for the 8 weeks of the challenge. <BR> <BR> I will commit to following a healthy balanced diet plan and counting calories using SparkPeople. <BR> <BR>... Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:27:55 EST Somebody, Quick! Give Her a Smoothie! Have you heard of Valeria Lukyanova? She's the girl who has proclaimed herself the real to life Barbie doll? Have you heard of her latest antic? Wanting to live on light and air alone (see <link><BR>eatharian-barbie-valeria-lukyanova_n_4<BR>873706.html </link> ) <BR> <BR> The fact that she is making this public scares the daylights out of me! The fact first that she has made the public eye is scary enough, but the fact that she is promoting anorexia is... Sun, 2 Mar 2014 11:23:36 EST Take This Cup Away From Me Ugh...I can't live without my daily cup of coffee. I like it strong and black...a coffee purist I would call myself. The darker the roast the better. They actually make a brand called Jet Fuel and I love it. <BR> <BR> But, after drinking the equivalent of 6 cups of coffee so far today, I'm beginning to think that my daily obsession has gotten a little out of control. So, how does one cut back and wean themselves from this devilish addiction? Do you go cold turkey? Do you just gradually cut b... Tue, 21 Jan 2014 14:51:08 EST 2014 Winter 5% Challenge - Thoughts Before We Start The 2014 Winter 5% Challenge looms in the not so distant future and I'm already thinking about my game plan and getting my game face on. I've been bad about not following the Pre-challenge assignments this time around, but am ready to get my focus on the goal ahead for me: the 180s. <BR> <BR> During the 2013 Fall 5% Challenge, I reached my 5% goal and then some landing me smack dab in the middle of the 190s. ONEderland as they call it. It felt great and it feels even greater that I've maint... Sun, 12 Jan 2014 12:33:34 EST Starting to Look *Average* I'm on a dating website whose name shall not be known. It is one of those sites that makes you choose what your build is: Slender, Athletic, Washboard, Average, I could lose a few pounds, and Large but muscular. For the past 5 years, I had been selecting "I could lose a few pounds". That is like the death knell in the dating world. <BR> <BR> So, last night, I took a long hard look at myself for the first time since being on the site. I still selected "I could lose a few pounds" (which I sti... Sun, 20 Oct 2013 13:11:05 EST Getting so close I've been hovering between 199 and 203 the past two weeks. Kind of frustrating when I feel like a 4 lb yoyo. But there is great news on the horizon. You see, I have a goal skirt. I thought I wouldn't be able to fit into it until I was 165, but look at me at 202 as of today and getting so close to being able to wear it. It is only a fraction of an inch too small. OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH so close! <BR> <BR> Here I am in the skirt 5 years ago: <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 15 Oct 2013 16:42:07 EST Flying Today, Tomorrow, and Everyday Assignments 4 & 5 of the 2013 Fall 5% Challenge pre-challenge assignments has us building a win list for today and tomorrow. Well, for me that is pretty easy to do as I have a daily checklist that is sent to me called a "Flight Plan" set out by the "Flylady" <link> </link> . It's pretty cool. Everything from my morning routine, loving movement (workout), and bedtime routines are mapped out right there for me. All I have to do is tweak them to match my needs or lifestyle. <BR> ... Thu, 3 Oct 2013 14:59:00 EST Diet and Exercise: Keys to my 5% success The 2013 Fall 5% Challenge is looming over the horizon, which means that the pre-challenge activities have begun. If you are in the challenge, I highly recommend you participate in these activities to prep for the upcoming challenge. <BR> <BR> Activity 1 - Fitness: <BR> <BR> I plan on 30 minutes of cardio a day 5x a week <BR> I plan on two 30 minute strength training sessions each week <BR> I plan on incorporating cycling, walking, Zumba, and BL Ultimate to my workout regimen <BR> I plan on... Tue, 1 Oct 2013 01:12:19 EST Rest In a world where we are pushed to get things done right now regardless of what is already on our plates, it is good to stop and say let me rest. For a body heals and replenishes itself while it is at rest. <BR> <BR> So, why do we often feel like resting is one thing we don't have time for. Next to exercise, it is one of the most important things our bodies need. <BR> <BR> I'm being forced to rest this weekend. I came down with strep and feel horrible. Sure the antibiotics are working now a... Sun, 29 Sep 2013 10:25:41 EST 2013 Fall %5 Challenge Sign up is now open to join the 2013 Fall 5% Challenge. To me, it is one of the best weight-loss challenges here on SP. I've lost nearly 40 lbs within a year thanks to these challenges and the people that make these challenges work. To join the team, go to <link> ndividual.asp?gid=61089 </link> and join the team. <BR> <BR> I'm the Challenge Leader for the Teddy Bear team and am totally in love with this team in the 5% Challenges. They are motivating, e... Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:33:37 EST 5 Years on SparkPeople When I started on SP 5 years ago, I had high ambitions to lose weight. And I did. I started out at 212 and ended at 202 after being introduced to the 8 Week Battles. I was diligent to keep on keeping on by spending frequent days at the gym either doing a strength training workout or cycling the pounds away on the stationary bicycles. I even tried my hand at the elliptical machine. I was a workout machine. <BR> <BR> Then, that fateful October after reaching 202, I contracted MRSA on my gluteo... Fri, 20 Sep 2013 14:24:02 EST Four Hours in the Right Direction I just got home from a golf invitational. I placed last but was still under 100 for the day. I was expecting to be over 100 but being under really made my day. <BR> <BR> What was not expected was to come home and log my four hours on the golf course. It didn't seem right...4 hours on the course came to 1700 calories burned. Maybe a 3rd of that, but that seemed high. But it is still in the right direction. And my body is saying I did more than sit at a desk all day today. <BR> <BR> It was a ... Wed, 18 Sep 2013 19:47:38 EST Wrong Way!!!! My weight is going the wrong way...along with my waistline!!!! I've been on a business trip two weeks in a row, translating into very little exercise and eating out every meal. Sigh...I was really excited about finally breaking that 200 mark and reaching ONEderland. <BR> <BR> But, the long weeks far from home are over for the time being (except for the long awaited trip to Vegas the second week of October). I'm home and ready to resume my healthy lifestyle. This morning has already started ... Sat, 14 Sep 2013 12:06:23 EST And...the Dress Fits!!!!!!!!!! (Photos) Okay, so I had to wiggle into my Spanx to do this, but I got my dress on and zipped ALL THE WAY!!!! And, could breath on top of it. Mostly because my Spanx are not as tight as they really are supposed to be (another purchase?). <BR> <BR> I had lost a lot of water weight over the past two days thanks to eating healthier and being a little more fitness minded. So, I thought, why not slip on the Spanx and see what happens. Yes, I had to fight the zipper a little, but I did it!!!! <BR> <BR> <... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 18:25:45 EST It may not fit, but I'm determined I have a wedding to attend in October out in Las Vegas. I've been determined to lose weight and look great for the wedding. I've been working diligently and even, ever so briefly, made it below 200 lbs. <BR> <BR> A few days ago, I came across an adorable dress on ModCloth. Before, I had been wearing a 1X from their site and those clothes were starting to be a little "too loose". So, I opted to go for the XL in the dress. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 26 Aug 2013 19:44:06 EST Good Night: Excitement for what the new day may bring Tomorrow starts a new day...a new week...a new lease on life! I new chance to take control! I'm a perfectionist by heart having to have every aspect in tip top perfect shape including myself. <BR> <BR> It ain't working. I'm lacking here. I start, get frustrated, and then just turn around scream loudly...I GIVE UP. <BR> <BR> Not anymore. I'm taking a whole new challenge to get it done right. I wrote out a journal of to do lists that include a morning routine (get dressed to shoes, swish and ... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 20:44:03 EST