NOTBLUSHING's SparkPeople Blog NOTBLUSHING's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Helping someone, whether they like it or not My spouse is going to give up junk food and unhealthy (constant) snacking. <BR> There's no use in denying it; he's getting fat. And if there's one area of life in which I have plenty of expertise, it's poor eating habits and getting fat. <BR> <BR> In truth, this is something we were both afraid of... because he QUIT SMOKING six weeks ago. Yay! But the other thing- the risk of weight gain- has turned out to be a very real concern. It seems my spouse can not stop snacking, and we already knew ... Thu, 6 Sep 2012 11:40:19 EST Relost the regain Triumph. It's gone. I'm back where I used to be, before I ditched my exercise schedule and enrolled in school full time to finish my degree. I haven't been this thin in years. <BR> And I get to experience all the wonderful things about weight loss... along with the unpleasant. Like, people offering unsolicited opinions. <BR> Never mind that I have been working hard to drop this weight ALL YEAR (and it's almost SEPTEMBER, yo). People don't know that. They just now noticed that I'm smaller (fin... Thu, 30 Aug 2012 08:54:33 EST I love the Olympics, but I've seen enough Olympic wedgies WHY oh WHY are female athletes forced to wear these demeaning, tiny, buttock-baring outfits? <BR> The men don't have to! WTF. <BR> Excuse my outrage for a moment. <BR> Water polo is a good example. Beach Volleyball is a better one. Or even gymnastics. Aw, heck, it's probably more than half the damned events. <BR> If men can play and compete and win wearing shorts and a tank top, HOW in the world is it justifiable to put women in (almost) a thong? <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.c... Wed, 8 Aug 2012 13:42:01 EST The healthier I eat, the more my spouse's diet bothers me I'm happy to report that I'm starting to look thinner (to myself) again. When I look in the mirror, I see thinner arms and a thinner face. When lying in bed, I see thinner FEET. <BR> I don't see thinner legs and butt, because I don't see them a lot (most of my mirror gazing is shoulders-up), but I *FEEL* loser pants (LOVE that!). <BR> I worked my tail off yesterday, so hubbs was on his own. But when left to his own devices, his diet is AWFUL. He eats like a 10-year old. Yesterday, he chose ma... Thu, 26 Jul 2012 10:27:05 EST Some surprising results from my physical I am Vitamin D deficient! <BR> Vitamin D is known as "the sunshine vitamin", because your skin makes it when you're exposed to sunlight. You would think that someone who spends as much time outdoors as me would not be deficient! I've always heard that it only takes 15 minutes to get the recommended daily allowance. Perhaps this is why I have never taken vitamin D supplements (and I never drink milk). <BR> Since learning my ACTUAL blood levels, I've been doing a lot of reading. It's clear that... Tue, 24 Jul 2012 13:43:40 EST Plateau broken, finally losing again After over two months of a scale stalemate, I'm finally losing weight again. I did great once I graduated, fully REcommitted to losing all the weight I REgained when I REenrolled in school full time. Between December and April, I dropped 30 lbs and 3 sizes... then stalled. I still have a few pounds left to get back to where I left off, when school took over my exercise schedule. <BR> <BR> I'm happy to report that I've dropped another 8. <em>30</em> <BR> I'm back! <BR> Oh, and I have gallst... Thu, 19 Jul 2012 15:02:23 EST Don't worry needlessly about how you look in swimwear! Invariably, I have anxiety about my "public nakedness" that first time out in summer. However, when I look around, I am relieved to see normal, healthy, everyday people in the same state of undress. No supermodels in sight. <BR> I am always especially grateful to full figured women rocking bikinis. And really fat guys without shirts. <BR> Keep this in mind when you're contemplating public swimming: not everyone is skinny. In fact, only a few are. Nobody looks anything like what you were loo... Thu, 21 Jun 2012 19:55:24 EST Successes breed responsibilities The garden tour was a huge success. Nothing bad happened, and everyone had a fantastic time. My neighborhood, which is densely packed with rowhouses (meaning close proximity) has become even closer. I've got more friends and more clients. <BR> Last night, the city tree group met for our monthly meeting (our 2nd meeting since the huge Arbor Day endeavor) and I was suddenly appointed Chair of the Education Committee, by unanimous vote. So for the next two years, I have to plan classes. Not a bi... Fri, 25 May 2012 10:09:18 EST The countdown to the garden tour breaks the printer Let me start off by saying I can't wait to get my new printer: <BR> <link><BR> </link> <BR> I've wanted one for a few years. <BR> I finally broke the old printer by printing the flyers for our garden tour. I guess 600 prints was just too much to expect. Good thing the print shop was able to finish the printing for me in a few hours ($200 later). <BR> Speaking of which, the countdown is on. Scarely 4 more days to the tour. And word ... Tue, 15 May 2012 20:43:14 EST Spring Garden Tour season Every spring in our city, we have a series of house and garden tours, sponsored by various garden clubs. I've enjoyed them for years. <BR> A couple of years back, I started daydreaming about doing something like that in my own neighborhood. <BR> So, I did. I started a garden club, talked to my neighbors, and pulled together a tour. In less than two weeks, we'll hold our inaugural event; at the tail-end of the spring garden tour season here in our city. <BR> For months now, my neighbors and I ... Mon, 7 May 2012 22:49:53 EST Arbor Day and the BCMA I survived April. <BR> We had Arbor Day events every Saturday this month- I led half of them- and I survived. It's over. And my spouse finished our taxes (the biggest stress-producer of all). <BR> While I'm on the career subject, I have a few thoughts about my BCMA credential. <BR> Before I achieved this goal, I shared my ambition with a few of my colleagues (all of whom were male). The BCMA is a very exclusive club; there are fewer than 400 in the world. I sensed that the guys who'd achieve... Sat, 28 Apr 2012 11:08:07 EST Lost a pet. Our 15 yr old kitty died suddenly. <BR> :'( <BR> Of course, she was very frail, and we expected that this would be her last year with us, but still. <BR> <BR> It was very sudden. We just found her. We're assuming her heart gave out. <BR> <BR> While I'm glad there was no prolonged suffering, I'm so sad that she was alone when she passed. We were upstairs and heard nothing. <BR> <BR> She was a real sweetie. <BR> <BR> The silver lining? In my sorrow, I revealed one of my bucket list wishes ... Mon, 9 Apr 2012 15:35:36 EST I passed the BCMA exam !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As of today, I am the FIRST FEMALE BOARD CERTIFIED MASTER ARBORIST in my region! Yes, not just in my state, in my whole region! <BR> <em>236</em> Tue, 27 Mar 2012 17:41:49 EST Mudroom wall cabinet hung, finally... before & after After installing new door and window... after gutting to bare beams... after building a new floor... after building walls (installing drywall, taping, mudding, sanding, painting)... after installing crown moulding... we FINALLY have our wall cabinet. There's no glass now, but we have 12 little windows to install on the cabinet doors. After that we begin installing beadboard all around, then, we'll install the base cabinet and the massive cast iron sink. We'll finish with undercabinet lighting... Sun, 25 Mar 2012 13:06:36 EST Replacing a 40mpg car with something that's easier on gas This week I outfitted my new 'grocery getter': my 21-speed bicycle. After paying $126 to fill up the gas tank on my truck, I decided I didn't want to do that anymore. And my spouse (predictably) has not even LOOKED INTO buying another car to replace the one that's now rotting in our driveway. <BR> The warm weather of spring always motivates me to bring the bikes out of their winter home in the basement, inflate the tires, and start spinning. I've walked to get groceries many times (it's exact... Wed, 21 Mar 2012 21:30:15 EST More progress on the New Years Resolution This is week nine of my New Years weight loss resolution, and I'm happy to report that I'm right on schedule. I am over a size smaller than I was in January, and the weight keeps disappearing. <BR> I'm still fighting a horrible upper respiratory infection, so I'm not at my best, but after a week off, I hit the trails again yesterday for a little light jogging. I know that GETTING TO and STAYING IN my target heart rate for a sustained duration is the only way it will come off, and well, the p... Tue, 13 Mar 2012 13:54:50 EST I've been sick since Friday. And it's been raining since Friday. At least it's good bed weather. <BR> And right now, I'm kicking myself for procrastinating on my powerpoint presentation, which I could have had done by now. I have a one-hour speaking engagement NEXT MONTH and I really, really need to be excellent. <BR> <BR> All I want to do is take sinus pills, turn out the light, and roll over. Mon, 5 Mar 2012 13:23:04 EST I've been trying to blog for days now.... But the busy season gets earlier every year. <BR> <BR> And my pants have gotten looser! GONE is the snug fit of December, and thank goodness for my new "forever" belt or "infinity" belt or whatever you call it (the holes go all the way around) so they no longer fall down. But the calves are looser, and the seat and hips too. And thank goodness for denim with spandex. Between the spandex and the belt, I can save some money on new pants. I have bought other clothes, though. <BR> I recently had... Sun, 4 Mar 2012 23:20:44 EST At what point do you stop repairing a 14yr-old car? When the cost of repairs exceed the cars value, right? <BR> <BR> I dropped off my spouse's ugly old car today for state inspection. The shop called a few hours later and said the frame is so badly rusted in two spots that the car is structurally compromised and won't pass inspection (in other words, the car could fall apart next time we drive across railroad tracks). It also needs 2 tires. <BR> <BR> The mechanic said the repairs were beyond the scope of services they offer (so I know he is ... Fri, 17 Feb 2012 18:30:56 EST Resolutions: so far, soooo GOOD! Yeah, yeah, I've been busy. I haven't been posting much. But just in case there was any doubt, let me take this opportunity to say that I am totally on track with my fitness goals and resolutions. <BR> After a slow start (January 8th) I visited my doctor and warned him that I was buckling down. Okay, I suppose I bounced the idea off of him. Being an easy-going guy, he told me to go ahead with my plan and check back with him in another month. Boy, was he in for a surprise. <BR> Three weeks lat... Thu, 16 Feb 2012 18:14:11 EST More fitness progress! The past week was tough, my weigh loss has been stalled for days. I didn't let that discourage me, because the previous 2 weeks were ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL for fitness progress. <BR> Today, the scale rewarded me with another 2 lb loss. January has been AWESOME! <BR> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> I recently read a spark thread polling readers about their least favorite body parts. I think most people said they hated their abs. <BR> Not me! I may be fat, but I have to admit, I really love my shape. Cl... Wed, 25 Jan 2012 12:24:45 EST How are YOUR New Years resolutions holding up? Mine are doing GREAT! <BR> <em>30</em> <em>30</em> <em>30</em> <BR> My 5k-per-day resolution is still going strong (and so is my weight loss). So good, in fact, I just returned all of my brand new belts, which are now TOO BIG. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was my birthday, so after my 5k, we splurged and went to Shulas, where I had a big 'ole steak and a blue cheese wedge. Yum. <BR> We uncorked a cabernet when we got home, and watched The King's Speech. What a great day. I was so inspired I made r... Sat, 21 Jan 2012 22:24:27 EST Big improvement on my 5k time I can't believe how fast I was yesterday! <BR> I have been using the same trail for years, and I normally associate landmarks along my route with certain times. At my slowest (usually due to having doggie with me) I would be thinking something like '30 minutes, eastern trailhead', then if I was faster, the 30 minute mark was right at the bear enclosure in the nature preserve, after that, it took me 30 minutes to reach the footbridge, if I went a little faster, I could reach the overpass in 30... Wed, 18 Jan 2012 10:58:22 EST How do the celebrities stay so thin? Today on Live with Kelly Ripa, the guest host (an Olympic athlete) volunteered that when he was younger and in training, he ate 3800 calories for breakfast. <BR> Kelly responded "That's a WEEKS WORTH of calories"!!! <BR> <BR> Yeah, maybe she was exaggerating a little, but IMO, not that much. I firmly believe (based largely on my own 40+ years of personal experience) that non-athlete celebrities routinely practice extreme calorie restriction (aka starvation dieting). For celebs over age 40, I... Fri, 13 Jan 2012 10:50:22 EST I had fish, he had pizza Even though I never join him, my spouse still buys full size frozen pizzas. Even though he hates leftovers. <BR> He will bake a pizza and sit down beside me and chow down, but he can only eat half a pizza; so he wraps up the leftovers in foil and refrigerates them. The day after, he ignores them and looks for his next meal. <BR> <BR> I *used* to eat the leftover pizza for lunch to solve this problem. Once I began my weight loss journey, I quit. I'd let them sit in the fridge for a few days ... Thu, 12 Jan 2012 15:54:01 EST My most exciting fashion purchases lately... 1. four new belts. <BR> 2. two pair running shoes. <BR> 3. two new sports bras. <BR> <BR> Is it wrong to be this excited about new sports bras? And a confession: I have more sports bras sitting in virtual shopping carts all over the internet. <BR> Also, I continue to discover how important socks are for runners. I have always resisted paying for expensive running socks, but just before Christmas, I treated myself to 3 new brands of running socks, averaging about $12 each (insane, IMO). Well,... Wed, 11 Jan 2012 10:43:48 EST Twilight is a cultural phenomenon Obviously, the Twilight series is not going away. So instead of ignoring it, burying my head in the sand, insisting that Twilight is for teenagers, and blaming my cultural illiteracy on my age, tonight, we will begin watching the entire Twilight saga beginning with the very first episode. <BR> <BR> Today was cabinet knob day. We installed them all and they look great on the new cabinets, just as I'd hoped they would when I ordered them online. I'll post more pictures after black Friday, when... Sat, 19 Nov 2011 19:25:10 EST Self control isn't just about eating In my virtual shopping cart right now, there are two dresses and a handbag, totaling $834. <BR> This amount might seem huge for only three items, but trust me, I've been coveting them for more than a couple of years, and two of these items are now big bargains. <BR> What will I buy instead? A stainless steel range hood and some cabinet knobs, so I can finish my kitchen remodel. <BR> <em>24</em> Sat, 12 Nov 2011 15:34:39 EST What does addiction look like? Obesity. For the past few years, the subject of "brain obesity", or the study of how the human brain reacts to food in obese people, has fascinated me. <BR> Trying to understand this has been part of my weight maintenance strategy. It's been a tough battle to maintain my weight loss, much to my chagrin; and figuring out the mind-body connection seems to be a critical component that most people, including medical doctors, aren't exploring enough. <BR> Today, sparkpeople featured a health headlines stor... Mon, 7 Nov 2011 10:24:27 EST No, I don't get dressed up for Halloween. If YOU do, knock yourself out. Have fun. <BR> Some people really get into it... more power to them. <BR> But unless you count me dressing up as a middle-aged homeowner who hands out candy whenever I answer the door, dressing up seems ridiculous to me and I just can't be bothered. <BR> <em>221</em> <BR> I don't eat candy either. <BR> To me, Halloween is for KIDS. For me, it's a scheduled block of time (usually about 3 hrs) during which I can't do anything else but stay by the door with the ... Mon, 31 Oct 2011 14:07:43 EST Turning dreams into GOALS: whatever you visualize continually, you shall have. Recently, I read a post on a message board, in which a woman wondered whether she was having a midlife crisis. I read through her post and realized that her feelings of despair stemmed from the fact that she believed she hadn't accomplished anything significant in her life, and as a result, felt unremarkable and ordinary. She lamented that when she died, she would die with no legacy, because she never did anything of importance. <BR> <BR> Many people responded to commiserate and express sim... Wed, 7 Sep 2011 10:33:54 EST Grades are posted, and I'm registered for fall I got straight As in summer school (gasp). <BR> My english teach said I had the best research paper and presentation in the class- she LOVED my topic on the overprescription of SSRIs, and all my horrifying statistical evidence. <BR> I'm registered for my FINAL courses: math, and a "dummy" class, film appreciation. The dummy class was because I needed a class to satisfy the art/humanities requirement, and I couldn't bear the thought of that ghastly art history class (withdrew from it once alre... Mon, 8 Aug 2011 12:13:46 EST Just let me get through this week.... Just let me squeak by. <BR> One day at a time. <BR> No tears. Stay calm. Think POSITIVE and be HAPPY. <BR> This is the last week. <BR> I will make it. I will finish everything, and I will do an excellent job, and get good grades. I will get my As. <BR> The rain will come and next week will be cooler. I will be outside, enjoying life again. <BR> I have time to do this... <BR> I have time to do this... <BR> I have time to do this. Sun, 24 Jul 2011 21:13:39 EST I'm under so much stress, I feel as if I will POP So this week, again, the sadistic teacher tortured me. <BR> This was our last class before finals, and it is clear she does not want to give me an A. She is fighting hard to make me do poorly. <BR> Out of a five hour class, the last one-on-one workshopping opportunity we have, she gave me 10 minutes, and divided the rest of the class between TWO students, almost doing their whole projects FOR them. More swearing, and more personal jabs. Example: looking at my art supplies, she quipped "You ha... Fri, 22 Jul 2011 22:10:18 EST Another downside to hanging new cabinets in a very old house Our new built in cabinets are hung totally level... on wonky walls. This is NOT a good look! I'm crestfallen. Our walls, floors and ceiling are all so UN-level, crooked, and bowed, that there is a VERY noticeable sloped look to the brand new cabinets. <BR> <BR> We'd have to hang the cabinets on a slope to eliminate this, and make them LOOK level, but of course, that would look awful too, because then the cabinets wouldn't line up flush to eachother. I don't know which would be worse! We have... Sun, 10 Jul 2011 09:19:20 EST My teacher is bullying me I have to admit that I don't get along with her at all. <BR> I'm not the only one- there are only 4 students in the class, because everyone else withdrew after ONE DAY with her. <BR> Just so you know... it's not just me feeling alienated and offended. But I am her 'special' one. Her target. <BR> I tried to ignore this and even to deny that it was true, but last week, one of my classmates commented to me "boy, she really has it in for you, doesn't she?" Yesterday, after another public humili... Thu, 7 Jul 2011 16:43:38 EST My Franklinia tree has flower buds all over it! This is so exciting. I've only had this tree for a year, and have moved it three times (most recently about 3 months ago). <BR> <BR> This tree is just so delightfully unusual- the most common time of year for plants to bloom is spring. And usually it's pretty fast (several days) between buds breaking and full bloom. According to what I've read, the buds on my Franklinia will swell over a few months, and bloom when the leaves are at the peak of fall color (which is a dramatic red)! <BR> <BR>... Sun, 26 Jun 2011 13:28:46 EST It's Saturday. Does your garden need watering? My neighbor, who lives on the corner lot, asked me for a tree. <BR> <BR> I have been maintaining the city easement in front of her house for about 10 years. I had a whiskey barrel with perennials there, but a some drunk driver smashed it up, so she asked me if I had any plans to replant something there. I had a couple of spare trees, so I planted one there- a lovely little Saucer Magnolia. <BR> <BR> Almost every time I plant something for someone other than myself, it dies. Because of inad... Sat, 25 Jun 2011 11:25:24 EST Call in and Ask the Experts I just got back from the local TV station, where the evening news did a story about the trees in our city. They also invited viewers to phone in their tree questions, or "ask the experts". I was one of the four "experts". <BR> I found out there are a lot of crazy people out there watching the five o'clock news. <BR> I did answer a few questions about trees. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 22 Jun 2011 21:14:25 EST My "Half-Years" Resolutions are going great! What can you in one hour a day? LOTS. <BR> <BR> My commitment to fight for my health, and vigorously defend my workout schedule at any cost is paying off. Ten days in, and I'm already feeling better. I will admit, it isn't painless. It's a hot, sweaty, exhausting commitment. It takes a lot out of me. It pounds my feet, my toes, my hips, my legs, and my back. I try not to think about the tough part, and focus on the goal. <BR> I feel especially gratified that in the past 10 days, I have excee... Fri, 10 Jun 2011 17:31:20 EST Hiking in the woods: turtles, snakes, birds, and rodents It's very hot today, but it's much cooler in the woods; and that's one of my favorite places to get my mileage in. <BR> As soon as I made the trailhead, I saw the most beautiful snake. At first glance, it was black and white striped, but as it moved slowly across my path (must have been the heat) I saw it was kind of like a blocky giraffe pattern of black patches with broad white borders in between. I resisted the urge to capture it and make it my pet, and stood still to let him pass. Poor l... Thu, 9 Jun 2011 16:13:17 EST Two 10Ks in two days Yep, I did it. A 10K yesterday, and another 10K this morning. <BR> That's because the auto repair shop is exactly ten kilometers from my house. So, yesterday, I walked home after dropping the car off, and today I walked back to get it. I always get the vehicle inspection done early in June, before the annual trip to Florida; which will be short this year because of our sick pup. No long, drawn-out beach strolling vacation, no landscape work on my brother's house. <BR> I'm going to school earl... Wed, 8 Jun 2011 11:37:51 EST It's June, and I've decided to make some Why not? Any excuse is good if you want to make positive changes. <BR> <BR> My committment to get back into the 1-hr a day minimum cardio fell apart, along with my health, in January. I have been pretty slack the first half of 2011. <BR> June is a good time to start fresh. <BR> <BR> *************************** <BR> <BR> Rafael Nadal wins French Open <BR> <BR> Is it wrong for me to say I wanted Federer to win because he is easier on the eyes? <BR> Seriously, watching Nadal was tough. He fi... Sun, 5 Jun 2011 14:11:51 EST Exercise really DOES make you feel better But you have got to get up and make yourself do it. <BR> It is amazing how ONE vigorous workout makes you feel better for so many hours afterward. It lasts all day, carrying me all the way to the next workout. <BR> <BR> The thing is, when you miss the workout, you don't feel noticeably bad. You just don't feel much change, one way or the other, which is what makes slacking off so dangerous. But getting up and getting the workout, you DO feel a noticeable change, and you feel it right away. <... Sat, 4 Jun 2011 22:49:45 EST "Beautiful Queen!" That's what he says every time he passes me, riding his bicycle around the neighborhood. It always gives me a lift. <BR> He says it when I know I'm looking good, but he even says it when I am at my worst. And in return, he gets a big smile, and I say 'thank you.' <BR> I have no idea who this man is; just some random neighbor. I only see him a few times a year. But in this simple way, he lets me know, every time he sees me, that he is seeing female loveliness, and he appreciates what he sees. ... Wed, 1 Jun 2011 22:14:03 EST Biggest Loser finale, slow progress on household renovations, and budget cuts First, just let me say that I am WAY pleased with Hanna and Olivia on last nights final episode of Biggest Loser. The hair, the makeup and the fashions all looked SMASHING! Way to go, ladies! Congrats on your stong finish and best wishes on your future FIT lives! <BR> <BR> Last week I bought 4 more fence panels, and began painting them. When the paint dries, the waterproof membrane will be stapled in place, and they'll be attached to the newly pained fenceposts. The fence is almost halfway d... Wed, 25 May 2011 10:31:33 EST In only 2 weeks, my dog has gone blind I knew this was a possibility with diabetes, but I had NO IDEA it could happen SO SUDDENLY. <BR> Two weeks ago, she was looking out the window of the car and barking at people walking dogs. Then, she started stumbling a little... losing her footing. I chalked it up to getting older and the recent decline in overall vigor... even when she walked right off the edge of my neighbor's front porch and tumbled into the flowerbed. <BR> But the following week, she was stumbling more. Literally at eve... Mon, 23 May 2011 15:41:14 EST Civic league suggestions to increase revenues and membership So one of my neighborhood organizations is having another meeting. As usual, the subject of money and membership comes up (there are fewer than a dozen of us in the room). So we "brainstorm" the problem. I suggest that we sponsor a one mile "fun run", since we have a neighborhood exercise trail, and the trail is hands-down our biggest pet project year after year (landscape projects like tree planting and mulching along the trail). <BR> My suggestion is greeted with groans. <BR> Omg, how can I... Wed, 18 May 2011 07:21:40 EST Ever watch Antiques Roadshow? I cannot believe how subdued peoples' reactions are when they are told they own something worth thousands of dollars. I would fall out if they told me grandma's teapot was worth 50 grand. People hear these astounding figures and they seem so underwhelmed. <BR> <BR> This appraiser just told a guy his item was worth 50-70 thousand dollars, and he goes "okay, thanks" and nods his head. WTH? I would pee my pants and faint dead away. <BR> Mon, 16 May 2011 20:30:03 EST Men don't ask for directions, part 2. I think this is pretty much another form of the old 'men never ask for directions' adage. <BR> <BR> I can't count the times we will be shopping at Lowes or HD and my spouse is unable to locate what he wants/needs, or is unable to decide, and the simple errand consumes an hour or more because he won't ask for help. In fact, he can be looking like a deer in headlights, babbling to himself about how they don't have what he needs, when a sales associate comes up and asks if he needs help, and he... Wed, 4 May 2011 13:46:02 EST