NEALIO302's SparkPeople Blog NEALIO302's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Need A Prayer... Things are/were going fairly well for me. <BR> <BR> I started Sparking again, not "hardcore" like before, but I started taking baby steps. I log in everyday, I track my fitness as much as I can, I have started eating better. At least, for breakfast and lunch. Dinner is still a bit of a challenge for me. But, I am slowly getting there. <BR> <BR> I even started losing some weight. I am down to 226 (from nearly 240 a month ago). I have been stuck at 226 for a week or so, but I am getting there... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 20:15:38 EST Exercising, Even When I'm Not I don't get to exercise every day. I wish I did, but I just can't. <BR> <BR> However, I DO move around a lot, walking, chasing kids, doing chores, and other similar activities. So, I KNOW that I am active and burning calories. <BR> <BR> Also, due to my BMR, I know that I burn calories just by being alive and awake. <BR> <BR> But, I wanted to know exactly (or as close to "exactly" as possible) how many calories I burn throughout any given day. <BR> <BR> I recently got a FitBit One activity... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 21:49:38 EST Ashamed So, I took my new "before Spark" pictures last night. I know that I have gotten a lot bigger over the last year. I feel it in my clothes. I feel it in my lack of energy. I feel it my fitness level (or lack thereof). <BR> <BR> I know that I need to lose weight. <BR> <BR> I just didn't really grasp how bad I had let myself get. I looked at my previous Spark photos. And I compared them to last night's photos. <BR> <BR> And I immediately felt ashamed. How had I let myself get to this point? Ho... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 22:21:55 EST Reigniting My Spark The past 12 months have been the most difficult that I have faced in recent memory. <BR> <BR> -I was involuntarily separated from the Navy after 10 years. <BR> <BR> -I packed up my life in Virginia and shipped it all down to Florida. <BR> <BR> -My new job is nowhere near what I want it to be and my family and I are struggling everyday. <BR> <BR> -I have been in an out of depression. <BR> <BR> -My weight has increased and my overall health has decreased. <BR> <BR> -My wife and I have bee... Sat, 9 Feb 2013 14:18:29 EST Change The past few months have been hard on me. And the worst is still ahead. <BR> <BR> Among many other things, I have begun the foreclosure process on my house, I had to surrender both of my dogs, I had a brief scare with a Navy drug test, one of my vehicles died, and my overall level of caring has all but ran out. <BR> <BR> Throughout all of this mess, I have completely let myself go. I have found comfort in the wrong kinds of food and have had no desire to exercise. Rather quickly, I let my w... Fri, 30 Mar 2012 10:37:12 EST Acceptance and Moving Forward The past couple of weeks have been a complete roller coaster of emotion for myself and my family. I've had good days, not so good days, and days where I don't even want to get out of bed. <BR> <BR> I have gotten a lot of support from my Spark family, as well as random Spark people up here that just stopped by to offer words of encouragement. For that, I thank all of you. I am so lucky to have such a great group of people behind me. Not just in the Spark and lifestyle part of it, but in the e... Wed, 30 Nov 2011 21:39:29 EST We Regret To Inform You... Why is that phrase NEVER followed up with anything good? <BR> <BR> On Tuesday of last week, I was called in to see the Commanding Officer. The Navy has been facing some pretty severe budget cuts and earlier in the year, I was informed that I would be involved in a "review board" that would determine my Navy future. <BR> <BR> Essentially, they looked at 52 people in my job field. They had 21 available spots. The other 31 would be going home. <BR> <BR> We regret to inform you...that you have... Mon, 21 Nov 2011 22:27:32 EST Navy PRT Weigh-In (Fall Cycle) I have to admit that I was quite worried about this weight-in. I recently went on a week-long cruise to the Western Caribbean where I completely ruined my diet and Sparking was the furthest thing from my mind. I got back and had gained close to 10 pounds. <BR> <BR> I had about 2 weeks to get into some sort of shape. My uniforms were tight on me and my energy level was low. <BR> <BR> I didn't discipline myself nutrition-wise, but I did what I could for exercise. By yesterday evening, I had l... Tue, 27 Sep 2011 19:00:24 EST Feel That Burn? It Feels Fantastic! I skipped my "planned" Insanity workout today and decided to try something different. I read a recent article that claimed kettlebell workouts can burn more calories than running. And combining a kettlebell workout with squats or lunges can burn EVEN MORE! <BR> <BR> Skeptically, I decided to give it a try today. 3 "simple" kettlebell moves, each combined with a squat. The swing...and squat. The clean...and squat. The snatch...and squat. <BR> <BR> Switch arms. Do it again. <BR> <BR> Then, t... Sat, 20 Aug 2011 12:11:19 EST Life Starts Now I took off my shirt in the locker room and was told that I am "shaped like an outhouse". <BR> <BR> I took it in stride, because my buddies and I like to joke around. But, somewhere deep inside, I took it to heart. <BR> <BR> I looked at myself in the mirror. Jesus, they're right! I AM shaped like an outhouse. <BR> <BR> I started my workout routine tonight...again. The past several months have been full of excuses and promises to get back on it. Tonight, I took that first step. <BR> <BR> Da... Wed, 3 Aug 2011 00:59:20 EST Starting Over? I posted this as my "status" a few days ago, but I thought that I would just add a full-blown blog about it. <BR> <BR> I am highly contemplating "starting over" with The Spark. Deleting my page, my pictures, my goals, and everything else. <BR> <BR> A clean slate. <BR> <BR> A fresh start. <BR> <BR> If you have read most of my other blogs up to this point, as stretched out as they have become, you may have noticed a fairly common theme behind them. Basically, it's me whining and moaning. An... Wed, 29 Jun 2011 12:26:58 EST O-H! So, it's been a little bit since I Sparked last. 2 weeks ago, I got BAD poison ivy. <BR> <BR> I went to the hospital and had 4 different doctors tell me that I had BAD poison ivy. I did my best to explain to them that I was geocaching in the woods. They weren't impressed. I was bordering on infection. <BR> <BR> Fast forward to today. I am finished with the meds that they game me. They swelling is gone. The oozing and "infection" is gone. The redness is still there, but now it looks like I h... Thu, 26 May 2011 13:53:10 EST Itchy! Now that the Navy's fitness test is over and I have passed my weigh-ins, it is time to get back on track with my exercise. <BR> <BR> I was planning on starting back up on my "Insanity" program Friday. I brought my gear to work, charged up my Zune player, packed some fruit for lunch. I was ready to go. <BR> <BR> Then came the itching. <BR> <BR> I had gone out geocaching on Thursday night and found myself in the middle of the woods (and later the middle of a bog), wearing a t-shirt, jean sho... Mon, 16 May 2011 00:18:06 EST I Got This! You told me I had it. <BR> <BR> And I did. <BR> <BR> I ended up getting weighed in at 209 pounds, which is my lowest weight since January 2007 (in which I was 208). Unfortunately for me, that is still 3 pounds ABOVE what the Navy says I am allowed to weigh. It's still a personal win for me, seeing as how I was over 230 at this time last year. <BR> <BR> Since I am over my maximum weight, I had to be measured for body fat. My waist was measured at 37 inches, which is a couple inches less tha... Fri, 13 May 2011 18:47:15 EST Note To Self: Stay Sparking 12 months ago, I was pushing 240 pounds. It was the heaviest that I had ever been. My health was in jeopardy. My Navy career was in jeopardy. <BR> <BR> Then, I discovered SparkPeople. I started sparking and started working out. By October of last year, I was down to 216 pounds and in probably the best shape of my life. <BR> <BR> I felt great. <BR> <BR> Then, I got complacent. I stopped sparking. I felt that I had gotten myself into good enough shape, I had accomplished my goal and passed t... Tue, 10 May 2011 02:32:37 EST I'm Back! It's been 37 days since I last logged in to SparkPeople. <BR> <BR> At least, it's been 37 days since I last updated my "status" on SparkPeople. So, I assume that was the last time I logged in. <BR> <BR> I took some unwanted time off. I don't really know the full reason why. I know that it kind of started when my computer went on the fritz, and I lost the ability to log my progress. I bought a new computer, but my "get-up-and-go" kind of got up and went. <BR> <BR> My exercise habits have ki... Sun, 3 Apr 2011 06:06:42 EST Making Progress Yesterday, I started my SparkPeople Virtual 5K training. It was a good workout and I felt better afterward than I usually do when I just run for 30 minutes straight. I pushed myself during the 3-minute jogging portions, because I know that I can do it. <BR> <BR> I signed up for an ACTUAL 5K yesterday, too. The Naval Station Norfolk St. Patrick's Day 5K. I signed Ashley up, too. However, she is going to take the boys in the stroller and fast-walk it. I will be running it. It is right in the m... Thu, 24 Feb 2011 18:06:13 EST Woe Is Me After 2 rough days off, I went back to work today for my 3-day work weekend. <BR> <BR> I woke up feeling decent. Packed some of last night's SparkRecipes "Beef Stroganoff" for lunch, as well as a pretty good breakfast: Organic granola cereal and almond milk. It was quite tasty. <BR> <BR> I packed my PT gear and had my mind set on working out. I have taken enough days off since rolling my ankle, I was falling back into the same funk that I keep griping about. <BR> <BR> Around noon, I went ... Fri, 4 Feb 2011 13:30:53 EST Recovering Last week, I was completely gung-ho about getting back into The Spark. I wrote a nice blog entry about it and got LOTS of positive feedback and encouragement. I was ready to go. <BR> <BR> Then, in the beginning of one of my "Insanity" workouts, I rolled my ankle. I don't think it was a "sprain", but I definitely strained the tendons. I ended up finishing the workout, but I think it was the adrenaline that kept me going. <BR> <BR> The next day, my ankle was really hurting. I could walk on it... Tue, 1 Feb 2011 08:49:45 EST Why Do We Fall? I recently watched Batman Begins, which is a great movie. And in 2 separate parts, this question was asked. <BR> <BR> "Why do we fall?" <BR> <BR> And the answer was so simple. <BR> <BR> "So that we might learn to pick ourselves up." <BR> <BR> And it made such perfect sense to me. <BR> <BR> From July to October of last year, I busted my ass to get into shape, to lose weight. And, it worked. I lost nearly 20 pounds in that time. I started running and eventually improved my run time to a re... Mon, 24 Jan 2011 01:02:37 EST Deja Vu So, it seems over the past couple of months, I have fallen into a routine. A bad routine. <BR> <BR> I haven't been on my "program" since early October. I passed my Navy PRT, and that was it. In my mind, I felt that I had succeeded and didn't need to advance the progress that I had worked so hard to achieve. <BR> <BR> Then, I started feeling like crap, both physically AND mentally. <BR> <BR> I wrote a couple of blogs on here, boo-hooing about this and that. I gave excuses and swore that I w... Fri, 10 Dec 2010 10:05:18 EST December 1st. Starting again...again This seems to be a pattern with me on here. I do awesome, then struggle. Then I do awesome again, and then struggle some more. <BR> <BR> Here we go again. <BR> <BR> I "started again" the day before Thanksgiving. Looking back, that wasn't a good idea. Especially when I had 2 separate Thanksgiving dinners to attend. I set myself up for failure. <BR> <BR> Then, I got down on myself. <BR> <BR> Then, I decided that since it was so close to December, I was just going to wait and start fresh the... Wed, 1 Dec 2010 21:29:46 EST Untitled I don't have a name for this blog entry. It's not because I'm lazy and couldn't come up with one. I just don't feel that there is a title that would suit this post appropriately. <BR> <BR> Over the past month, I have struggled. I have struggled physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially. I have struggled with nearly everything that I have come up against. <BR> <BR> I started October strong. Stronger than I had been in quite some time. I was at a good weight, I was eating decent, and... Mon, 22 Nov 2010 22:28:54 EST Day of Redemption: Part 2 This is the second part of my Day of Redemption for the Navy Fitness test. If you read part 1, you know that I passed my weigh-in portion, with 216 lbs and 21% body fat. My maximum allowable weight is 206 lbs, and my maximum BMI is 22%. So, I am doing pretty darn good on that side of things. <BR> <BR> This afternoon, I took the actual fitness portion, which included push-ups, sit-ups, and a 12-minute ride on the stationary bike. <BR> <BR> I usually struggle with the push-ups, due to a pre-N... Fri, 15 Oct 2010 17:00:15 EST Day of Redemption: Part 1 Today (well...yesterday) is the first part of my semi-annual Navy fitness test. We do an official weigh-in and BMI measurement on the first day. The second day, we actually run the fitness test. <BR> <BR> I took my last test back in May. My measurements were as follows: <BR> <BR> Height: 73" <BR> Weight: 227 lbs <BR> Neck: 18.0" <BR> Waist: 40.5" <BR> BMI: 22% <BR> <BR> The neck, waist, and BMI measurements were pushing it. The supervisor that taped me was very lenient on those numbers, so... Fri, 15 Oct 2010 07:36:30 EST Judgement Week First off, I have to continue to beat myself up a little over this past weekend. <BR> <BR> Of course, I was in a funk throughout the week. I figured that a nice 3-day weekend would help change that. It did, in a way. A bad way. <BR> <BR> Friday night, I went to a karaoke bar with some friends. I drank WAY too much. I ate a big-ass plate of cheese fries. I ate fried chicken tenders. I sang poorly. <BR> <BR> I woke up Saturday morning after 4 hours of sleep feeling like a train wreck. I went... Mon, 11 Oct 2010 08:14:38 EST Funky McFunkerton Over the past couple of days, I've been in a serious funk. My motivation level has been damn-near empty. I haven't actually "tracked" my food in a couple of weeks, although I have been eating "decently". I am still on schedule with my Insanity workouts. While doing Insanity, I give it my all, pushing myself as hard as I can. But, before and after the workout, I'm just not feeling it. <BR> <BR> I haven't gotten a good run in for over a week. I missed the 5K yesterday. I have been told that th... Fri, 8 Oct 2010 04:52:57 EST Missed My 5K Today was the day of the Pink Ribbon 5K, my first 5K in 3 years, my first 5K since starting The Spark. <BR> <BR> I am working my weird night-watch schedule, 5PM to 5AM, which really screws with my sleeping pattern, especially on my days off. Last night was a "day off", tonight is not. <BR> <BR> The race started at 1130AM, with registration starting at 1030AM. I planned on getting there around 10, to make sure I could actually find the registration area, as well as get a decent parking spot.... Wed, 6 Oct 2010 21:15:01 EST No Cake For Me I have another blog post about the temptations of cake, and this one follows along those same lines. <BR> <BR> I have a sweet tooth. That has been my biggest obstacle while Sparking. It has been extremely hard for me to give up the sweet stuff. I break down sometimes and grab a pack of Skittles. There have been occasions where I have actually baked cookies at home...and then ate most of them. At times, I am my own worst enemy. <BR> <BR> I DO have willpower, though. I have sworn off ice crea... Sat, 2 Oct 2010 23:35:55 EST I Hate My Days Off Yeah, so I have come to the realization that I absolutely hate my days off of work. I have no motivation to do anything. <BR> <BR> I work a very weird schedule: two days work, two days off, three days work, two days off, two days work, three days off. Then I switch to working nights for 2 weeks. Then back to days. <BR> <BR> Confusing? is. After a while, though, you get used to it. <BR> <BR> When I work, my schedule is fairly planned out. For 12 hours a day, I have set times that ... Sat, 2 Oct 2010 03:36:53 EST Big Boy Pants So, yesterday morning, I had to take my mom & 18-month-old son to the airport to fly back to Florida. I had a mandatory morning exercise session beforehand and was running a little late in getting home, thanks in part to lovely 7AM traffic here in the Hampton Roads. <BR> <BR> Anywho, because I was running late, I didn't have time to clean myself up after my session (um...yuck?) and I slapped on some deodorant and threw on my clean clothes. I didn't have a belt on my shorts, but really didn't... Tue, 28 Sep 2010 03:24:29 EST One Day Too Late After yesterday's Insanity workout, I grabbed my Zune MP3 player and relaxed to some music. One of the random songs that came on was by the Christian Rock band, Skillet. The song was called "One Day Too Late". I listened to the song a couple of times over, taking in the lyrics each time. <BR> <BR> The song is essentially about a guy that is reflecting on his life and wishes that he would've done things a little differently in the past (don't we all!). He put things off and realized that if ... Thu, 23 Sep 2010 07:29:00 EST I'm Not A Runner... I once heard a little quip from a comic that suits me almost perfectly: <BR> <BR> "Running? Hell, I only run if I'm playing a game...or, if I stole something." <BR> <BR> Well, the stealing part doesn't quite suit me, but I am one of those guys that only runs when the activity calls for it, like football or ultimate frisbee. I don't run just to run. <BR> <BR> I am part of the Navy's "3 Miles Per Year Club". That's 1.5 miles in April and 1.5 miles in October, the distance for our semi-annual... Sat, 18 Sep 2010 11:25:59 EST Good Idea, Bad Idea Good idea: After a fairly healthy dinner (grilled chicken tenders, marinated in zesty italian, and butter-baked diced red potatoes), Ashley and I decided to walk with the kids up to the auto parts store, which was a little less than a mile away. It was a nice evening, so it seemed like the perfect thing to do after a nice dinner. <BR> <BR> Bad idea: While Ashley pushed the kids in the stroller, I decided it would be smart to carry the bad battery from my truck, so I could get the "core charg... Thu, 19 Aug 2010 22:00:05 EST Did You Say Cake? Today marked the occasion of not one, but TWO of my co-worker's birthdays. I work in a pretty busy office for 12-hours a day, so not much thought was put into any type of celebration. One birthday member left early and we all said our "Happy Birthday" wishes in passing. <BR> <BR> Everything was fine until the lunch period, which we call "dead-time", the time which all of the higher authorities go to lunch for 2 hours, the morning work is completed, and time seems to stand still. <BR> <BR> T... Tue, 17 Aug 2010 15:28:21 EST Slow And Steady? I had my official unofficial weigh-in for the Navy today. Once a month, they weigh us and check our body fat percentages. Basically, this is just to make sure that everyone is in standards at any given time. <BR> <BR> Last month, I was 237 lbs, with a body fat percentage of 27%. <BR> <BR> That is when I "officially" started my Spark diet. That is also when I was placed on mandatory physical training. <BR> <BR> Nearly one month later, I have actually made a little progress. I am now 227 lbs... Mon, 16 Aug 2010 13:28:26 EST Best Exercise Day Ever? Thursday night going into Friday morning was, quite possibly, my best day of exercise ever. <BR> <BR> I am on a mandatory exercise program through the Navy, so I have to complete 3-5 monitored sessions per week, depending on what days I am working that week. I was working Thursday night, so that was one of my sessions. <BR> <BR> I ended up going for a 4.5 mile run. <BR> <BR> As I got off work Friday morning, I had to do another monitored session, this time, with a group of people from my w... Sat, 14 Aug 2010 14:46:33 EST Fell Off The Wagon, Ran Over, & Left For Dead This past week has been hell, in regards to my Spark diet. I basically quit for a period of 5-7 days. I didn't log in, I didn't spin the wheel, I didn't monitor my food intake. <BR> <BR> Instead, I ate pizza, I ate chocolate, and I drank soda. I didn't exercise, either. <BR> <BR> It was a stressful week, and I found confort and solace in the food that I ate. I think that in one day, I ate at 3 different fast food restaurants for my 3 meals. was bad. <BR> <BR> I had vehicle troubl... Tue, 3 Aug 2010 01:38:20 EST Good Weekend, Bad Week So, last weekend, I went running. I hadn't run in quite some time and I managed to do 2.4 miles on Friday, and 1.9 miles on Saturday. I was proud of myself. I actually enjoyed the run. <BR> <BR> I thought that it was the turning of a new page in my book. Then I got to mid-week and hit a wall. <BR> <BR> Wednesday night, I went out with some co-worker friends to an Irish pub and forgot all about The Spark. I ate potato skins and cheese sticks. I drank double chocolate beer. And I finished it ... Fri, 23 Jul 2010 10:42:30 EST 6 Days, 7 Pounds At this present moment, I am not 100% convinced of the legitimacy of the weight loss, but I'll roll with it. Maybe it's water weight. Maybe it's because I got a haircut. Maybe it's because I'm not wearing underwear right now. Whatever the reason, I was down 7 pounds when I weighed in today. <BR> <BR> I started The Spark 6 days ago at 236.4 pounds. I followed a meal plan. I tracked my calories and carbs. Most days, I was actually UNDER on my caloric intake, but pretty good on the other "requi... Wed, 14 Jul 2010 21:12:13 EST