NIGHTOWLKIM's SparkPeople Blog NIGHTOWLKIM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community venting (and not about dieting or weather for once) There's a writing website I visit nearly everyday to find out which publishers have submissions calls or which publishers I should avoid. For the last several months, one writer has been posting many, many messages about how Publisher X has been mistreating her by not sending royalty statements, royalty checks, not responding to emails, etc. The writer made it appear she was posting not only to vent but to warn other aspiring authors away from Publisher X. I admired this because there are ... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 01:04:12 EST accomplishing a goal I finished polishing a story to submit for an anthology and I'm exhausted. I really need to find a better way to balance my time instead of pushing myself right up until the last minute. I work better under the pressure of a deadline but this frenzy I whip myself into to make the deadline is so tiring. I need to get an earlier start so that it doesn't have to come to this. Sun, 30 Jun 2013 00:22:24 EST Rainy Day Rain in June in northeast Florida is not uncommon but I'd been planning an outdoor workout today and had to postpone because of rain. I worked out inside instead, but it would have been to exercise outside because it feels like I've been cooped up a lot lately. Oh well, as long as I got the workout in, I guess inside or outside doesn't really matter. Wed, 5 Jun 2013 00:34:42 EST Being Disciplined I'm going to a barbecue tomorrow, and as much as I love grilled hamburgers with all the trimmings, I'm not going to pig out. Even though I've been pretty good about my diet lately and rationalizing a little cheating would be easy, I'm going to continue on my path to better health. Sat, 25 May 2013 12:27:29 EST Cool weather! I'm loving the cool weather we're having right now. Usually in northeast Florida this time of year, the heat and humidity is just getting cranked up. I'm scared that cool weather now means an extra brutal summer, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts. At least I won't be afraid to open my electric bill next month since my air conditioner is getting a break. Wed, 15 May 2013 00:28:37 EST Sunshine at last! After almost a week of rain, the sun finally came out. I still worked out inside today because conditions outside aren't that great. There's debris from the storms and standing flood water still around so I still have a few days before I resume the outdoor workouts. Tue, 7 May 2013 01:15:41 EST Exercising in the Rain The weatherman on the news said there will be rain for the next three days so I'll be doing a lot of indoor workouts. It will be good practice for when it gets really hot and humid this summer and it's too miserable to workout outside. Mon, 29 Apr 2013 03:00:12 EST End of a rough week In terms of current events, this is the roughest week we've had in a long time. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected by the tragedy in Boston and to the people of West, Texas who have been affected by the explosion. I hope there are happier and safer times ahead for all of us. Sat, 20 Apr 2013 00:53:03 EST yard work and working out My upper arms are quickly becoming my most troublesome body part but I gave them a workout today by tackling the weeds in my yard with a weedwhacker. I'm just glad that it's not so humid yet that yard work becomes impossible unless you do it early in the morning or after the sun sets. Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:59:18 EST Sleep and Weight Loss I saw on the news where people who suffer from insomnia are more likely to be overweight or have trouble losing weight. I definitely have trouble sleeping, but never really made a connection to weight loss before, except that sometimes I'm too tired to work out. Looks like there are more benefits to getting a good night's sleep than I first thought. Fri, 22 Mar 2013 00:40:07 EST too long I can't believe I haven't written a blog entry since December. I've been busy writing and unfortunately, not working out. Now that the weather's in that great time between being too hot and too cold, it's the perfect time to go walking. I might have gained weight this winter but weight fluctuations will come and go. I won't get depressed or defeated. And I'll definitely do a better job of keeping up with my blog entries. Tue, 19 Mar 2013 00:41:59 EST Happy Boxing Day Since I didn't post a blog in time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, I'm wishing everyone a Happy Boxing Day. I'm not even sure what Boxing Day is except that it's celebrated in Europe. But I really do hope you all had a great holiday and are making plans for a great new year. Wed, 26 Dec 2012 18:04:27 EST Thanksgiving I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving that is full of blessings! Thu, 22 Nov 2012 01:33:36 EST NaNoWriMo I'm supposed to be participating in NaNoWriMo but I've only written less than a page so far. It's been hard to focus lately, dealing with problems at work and feeling kind of crummy in general. I'm hoping to exercise a little more discipline and catch up on my writing by this weekend. Wed, 7 Nov 2012 18:40:11 EST Cool weather Cool weather has finally come to northeast Florida and it's such a relief. I don't know how long it will last but I'm hoping the 90 degree days are over for a while. Tue, 30 Oct 2012 15:52:56 EST Sandy I hope everyone in Sandy's path has taken precautions and staying safe. For a while last week the weathermen thought it would pass through Florida but it bypassed us. I hope damage is kept to a minimum. Sun, 28 Oct 2012 22:41:51 EST relief from the heat I should have posted this day before yesterday but here in northeast Florida, we finally got some cool weather! It's been in the high fifties in the mornings and mid to low seventies in the evenings. Such a relief from the eighty and ninety degree days. I know it won't last but I'm enjoying it while it does. Fri, 12 Oct 2012 01:00:48 EST Nashville I'm usually terrible at picking new shows to watch but I really enjoyed tonight's premiere of "Nashville." For once, all the hype paid off, it really was a good show. I hope next week's episode is just as good as this one was. Thu, 11 Oct 2012 00:28:35 EST when to ignore part 2 I got more feedback on my post about the reporter's response to the viewer's criticism of her weight than I have for any other post. It's probably because I usually don't write about anything except the weather. I can't say I agreed with all the posts, but was very happy that other members took the time to comment. <BR> <BR> While I still think the reporter shouldn't have dignified the viewer with an on-air response, I'm glad she stood her ground, especially since the viewer has doubled do... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 01:33:35 EST when to ignore I saw a story on the news about a news reporter who took on a blogger/emailer (can't remember which) who called her fat in a post or email. I can understand the reporter being hurt and angry, but instead of giving the insensitive jerk more attention, I would have deleted the email or ignored the post. But that's just me, I don't believe in giving more attention to people who don't deserve it in the first place. Wed, 3 Oct 2012 23:52:07 EST no fall relief yet I wrote a week ago hoping that the start of fall would bring some relief from the heat and humidity. It hasn't really happened yet, but at least I'm going to New England on vacation in a couple of weeks. If I can't find any relief from the weather in Florida, maybe I'll get it from up north. Sun, 30 Sep 2012 01:13:27 EST glad fall is here Fall is my favorite season, mainly because it's a relief from the heat and humidity of summer. Things haven't really cooled off that much here in ne FL but I'm hopeful that it will get to the 60s and 70s soon. Sun, 23 Sep 2012 00:41:46 EST confronting your choices I saw on the news where McDonald's is going to start putting the calorie counts on their menus. So there's no longer going to be a mindless ordering of a quarter pounder value meal, you're going to have to face that you're order 1800 calories, or however many calories are in a quarter value meal. I guess this is a good thing because you are a more informed consumer, but it's going to make 'cheating' that much more guilt ridden and therefore harder to do. Fri, 14 Sep 2012 00:44:58 EST grilled fruit for dessert If you have a sweet tooth, grilled fruit is not the way to go. I tried some grilled peaches and they were tough and dry, not exactly what I want in a dessert. I think I'll stick to eating fruit in the natural state, or a piece of chocolate if I just have to cheat. Wed, 12 Sep 2012 00:35:35 EST post Labor Day I hope everyone had a nice long weekend. I'm sorry to see the summer end but it will be nice to have cooler temperatures. I'm in north Florida so September won't see much cooling off, but I hope there will be fewer 90 degree days. Tue, 4 Sep 2012 01:36:25 EST prayers for everyone affected by Isaac I'm keeping a good thought for everyone affected by Isaac, especially those who have been displaced or have lost property. I can only hope the storm dissipates soon so that the clean up can begin. Thu, 30 Aug 2012 01:06:23 EST hurricane isaac I hope everyone in south Florida is staying safe. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the storm blows through without causing much damage or injuring anyone. Sun, 26 Aug 2012 00:36:49 EST project runway Just finished watching Project Runway and instead of designing for their usual models, the designers had to make clothes for non models, women whose friends thought they needed a makeover. One of the designers pitched a fit from the get go, saying that he wasn't used to designing for "real woman." He was horrified to learn his client was a size 14, like that was an insurmountable and inconceivable size for his aesthetic. Thankfully, Heidi Klum took him to task and called him out for the t... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 00:36:55 EST success! I know I haven't written about my writing lately after promising to blog about it every day, but a) I got distracted and b) writing about writing got boring and tedious. However, I have been writing even though I didn't report it here, and Wednesday I got word that a story I submitted has been accepted into an anthology. It's a small step towards becoming a full fledged "writer" but it's a significant step nevertheless. But just like you can't rest on your laurels for losing 5 lbs when you... Fri, 17 Aug 2012 02:27:09 EST when salad is cool There's a Symon's Suppers marathon on the Cooking Channel now and what surprises me out of all the delicious dishes Michael Symon makes, it's his salads, or the dishes he makes with greens that look the most appetizing. Kale, arugula, carrots, radishes may not sound that interesting, but when you see how vibrant and fresh they look and then combined with a little olive oil and vinegar, it really has your mouth watering. Fri, 10 Aug 2012 01:11:04 EST greek yogurt There was a sale on greek yogurt at the grocery store so I finally decided to try it. And....I was underwhelmed. Maybe I didn't get the right kind (I bought chobani) but it tasted really sour. I know greek yogurt is better for you because of the extra protein it contains but I think I'll stick with the regular low fat yoplait I usually buy. Mon, 6 Aug 2012 00:33:26 EST more olympics viewing (and more complaining) I was very happy to see the women's gymnastics team win the gold medal as well as Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian in history, but it was kind of anticlimatic watching it 6-8 hours after the fact. Maybe when the 2016 games are held in Rio, NBC can get it together a little better. Wed, 1 Aug 2012 00:50:21 EST olympics viewing Track and field are my fav events but I did enjoy watching the synchronized diving earlier. NBC's coverage sucks, but the audio on my computer is even worse, so I'm forced to watch the events on TV. Mon, 30 Jul 2012 01:10:57 EST staying cool with drinks Not drinking soda has been a lot easier to do in this heat. Cherry coke hasn't been quenching my thirst lately, maybe it never has. I've been drinking a lot more tea (unsweetended) instead of soda, although I know water is best. However, plain water doesn't do it for me, I usually end up having to add a low calorie sweetener to make it more palatable. Wed, 25 Jul 2012 00:37:06 EST $10 sparkpeople certificate Anyone won one of these through the daily spins like I did last night? Not sure what to buy with it, if I use it at all. Thu, 19 Jul 2012 01:05:53 EST weird proportion I put on a pair of pants I haven't worn in about a year and they fit. Okay, no surprise since I've lost about 11 pounds. But while the khakis were loose in the leg and thigh, it was still a little tight about the stomach. When I was younger, losing weight was not only easier but it also seem to happen more proportionately. Now, it's taking forever to burn the belly fat even as everything else is coming along slow (much too slow) and steady. Thu, 12 Jul 2012 01:08:15 EST what a difference a week makes This time last week, I was struggling with my writing, trying to make a go of a story that just wasn't working. Now, here I am about 7500 words or so into a new story and the momentum is only building. I know I blogged that I would report on my writing progress regularly, but I don't think I will. It seems to interfere with my production, I get the writer's equivalent of performance anxiety if I feel like I have to post. Tue, 10 Jul 2012 00:28:16 EST getting ready for the 4th of July.... ....which means skipping the apple pie and ice cream. I know there are 'diet' apple pie recipes out there but I haven't tasted any of them yet that aren't sad and sorry replicas. Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs with whole wheat buns are okay but I will miss my pie. Tue, 3 Jul 2012 01:12:11 EST way too hot It's the first of July and it feels like the dog days of August. I know I shouldn't complain because the people in the mid-Atlantic states have it worse with the storms caused by the heat that have knocked out power and killed 9 people. And of course, the heat here in north Florida is nothing compared to what they are dealing with in Colorado and the fires. Hopefully things will cool down for all of us soon. Sun, 1 Jul 2012 21:38:03 EST the weather excuse (again) Instead of it being too hot to go walking, it's too wet! Tropical storm Debby has been making her presence known for the last 2-3 days with lots and lots of rain. Fortunately, no wind and thunder and lightning (so far), but the sheer amount of rain makes it hard to get out to do basic errands, much less exercise, so I've been doing everything indoors. Wed, 27 Jun 2012 01:28:41 EST heading into the weekend I'm definitely ready for the weekend even though most of it is going to be spent running errands and doing chores. However, I'm looking forward to doing some writing (1200 words last night!) and definitely going to squeeze some relaxation in. I hope everyone enjoys this first weekend of summer! <BR> <em>224</em> Sat, 23 Jun 2012 03:41:26 EST spice makes all the difference I love shrimp, but eating it grilled and broiled has gotten boring. I found a recipe for shrimp creole, which I thought was a diet no-no. But making it with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and fennel made all the difference, so it was delicious and health conscious. The garlic and fennel especially made the dish, almost making me forget it was a so-called diet dish. Tue, 19 Jun 2012 00:35:32 EST progress, or something like it Okay, I've been avoiding blogging because I've been avoiding writing. I was determined not to blog again until I had something major to report, like I'd been consisently writing 500 words a day. I haven't been doing that but I have made some progress (an outline and a 300+ word start) and I have a goal and a deadline. I'm not sure if I'll make the deadline, but I'll do a better job of charting my progress here. Sun, 17 Jun 2012 01:34:44 EST best laid plans Okay, I didn't write 500 words today. Some other things came up and since I have an early start tomorrow, it didn't get done. Despite not meeting my goal on the first day, I'm not discouraged. However, I still want to hold myself accountable so tomorrow I'm upping it to 750-1000 words. Hopefully, I'll be able to report that I got some writing done. Wed, 6 Jun 2012 01:08:11 EST tracking things other than diet & exercise I can't really think of enough about exercising and dieting to blog everyday so I'll write about writing too. I'll keep track of how many pages I write, or what ideas I've come up with, where I've submitted, etc. I hope that keeping myself as accountable about writing as I do about dieting and exercising might help me become more productive than I've been lately. Tomorrow I pledge to write 500 words, i.e. two pages. Hopefully, in my next post I'll be able to blog that I kept my word. Tue, 5 Jun 2012 01:23:59 EST yardwork exercise I mowed the lawn for the first time in years yesterday. I usually pay a yard man to do it but a friend loaned me her lawnmower and I decided to give it a try. It was really simple to use and at first I wondered, why have I been paying someone else to do this? Then as I got through about a third of the yard, my lower back reminded me why. Still, it was good exercise, and it's great to save any money I can save towards a nice vacation. However, I won't be giving up my yoga and pilates anyt... Sun, 3 Jun 2012 02:23:13 EST surviving Beryl Although it's only May, the rains and winds we got last night made it feel like the hurricane season is already here. I'm not sure if it's a sign of progress or not, but I didn't pig out on snacks like I usually do when I'm nervous. Or maybe I was just too busy wondering if the roof would give way from all the branches falling on it to think about eating. Fortunately, everyone and everything is okay, although my tomato crop, i.e. my five tomato plants, were wiped out. But safey is a bless... Tue, 29 May 2012 01:17:56 EST breaking up with cherry coke I have a huge weakness for cherry coke. I used to drink 2-3 of them a day but now I'm down to one a day. And I don't drink them everyday, maybe 4-5 times a week. I thought this would be sustainable but recent reports about soft drinks being one of the direct causes of obesity have led me to think I need to drop cherry coke completely. The 4-5 times a week I drink them is probably impeding the progress that I'm making in other areas. To achieve total health, a break up with cherry coke ... Sat, 12 May 2012 16:21:11 EST instant gratification I'm guilty of wanting what I want when I want it, which is usually yesterday. However, losing weight doesn't work that way. I didn't gain weight overnight and I won't lose it overnight either. Intellectually, I know shows like Biggest Loser, where the contestants lose 10 lbs a week and get eliminated for 'only' losing 1-2 lbs are unrealistic, yet, I sometimes wish I was losing weight faster, like at 10 lbs a clip. But I know that the slow and steady approach is more realistic, healthier, ... Thu, 10 May 2012 14:09:49 EST the weather excuse I live in north Florida and the weather here can be unpredictable, especially in the spring. Some days it is in the 70s, low humidity, i.e. perfect exercising weather. Some days it is in the 40s, which is not bad exercising weather but better stay-in-bed weather. And then there are days like today, when it was in the 80s but the humidity made it feel like it was in the 90s. Absolutely MISERABLE exercising weather, at least for me. And with this being May, days like this one are going to ... Wed, 2 May 2012 00:47:54 EST