PAMATX's SparkPeople Blog PAMATX's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 11 Months Hi, Sparkland. I've been a bit absent of late. Life has knocked the $hit out of me, once again. Recall my oldest brother died on April 10, 2012 at age 56. Six months later, on October 18, 2012, my father died. He was 83 and had a long, full life. I spent 5 nights with him in hospice saying my goodbyes. That was a gift. Now, five months later, my remaining brother, age 52, died on Monday March 25 of acute myelogenous leukemia. It came on fast. He was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday, wher... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 08:50:23 EST View from the mountaintop Ventana Canyon <BR> <BR> Here's the view from the top of my hike. Two days in a row. My dogs are tired. What a spectacular way to earn those fitness minutes. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 2 Mar 2013 17:45:49 EST New Year, New Goals Yes, I allowed my eating (and drinking) to get a bit out of control the past two weeks. Yes, I slacked off big time on the exercise. But guess what? I'm going to be okay. Even if I've gained a few pounds, they'll come right back off. So, moving on to my 2013 goals. <BR> <BR> Last year was a super ginormously $hitty year. But I managed to hit my goal of 12,000 fitness minutes for the year. It was a modest goal, but with the year I had, it was a tiny bit challenging. I also did 438 miles of wa... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 16:07:48 EST Confessions of a Holiday Binger The title of this blog post says it all. I have been eating with great abandon. It all started last week with a box of chocolate covered hard toffee sent to me by my financial adviser. The day the package arrived in the mail, I had hefty amount. Since then, I've had a couple of nibbles more here and there. Why just nibbles? Because a few days later a giant box of assorted Dean and Delucca chocolates arrived in my office, including more chocolate covered hard toffee, caramels, cherries, espres... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 13:12:28 EST Adversity I saw this on a Spark friend's page and it resonated with me so much, I just had to share. <BR> <BR> There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity. <BR> <BR> Hat tip CANDOSUE52! Sun, 25 Nov 2012 18:08:42 EST I get knocked down . . . But I get up again! <BR> <BR> This has been a stressful and emotional year. In April, my oldest brother died. In October, my dad died. When my dad was very sick in September, I got shingles. (And Vicodin.) Last week, as I was beginning to find my way back into a groove, I got super sick. Damn stress. A week later, after a course of antibiotics and two cortisone shots, I am feeling better. Except my taste buds are barely working. (Which may help prevent overindulgence tomorrow. Yay!) <BR> <B... Wed, 21 Nov 2012 19:11:57 EST Walk To End Alzheimer's The walk was so uplifting! The turnout was tremendous. There were walkers of all ages. And so many dogs and babies. It was a gorgeous cool, clear morning. My heart sang to see all these people affected by the disease joining together to support the cause. I raised $1525, which made me a top donor! Next year I plan to volunteer. <BR> <BR> Today's walk was an easy 3 miles with a few hills. Tomorrow I shall take it up a notch and get some real cardio. I love fall in Austin! Sat, 27 Oct 2012 17:04:21 EST Unearned Lost Pounds The past few weeks I've been dealing with some very stressful life events. Those events caused me to come down with shingles so I had to take a break from exercise. But still I did my best to keep my eating under control and within my calorie range. Truth be told, some days I was well below my range. But others, well above. Funny how sometimes stress leads to eating more, and sometimes it wipes out the appetite. <BR> <BR> My first four days in Houston (at hospice with my dad) I tracked and ... Thu, 25 Oct 2012 22:30:03 EST My Father Returns To The Sea I am back home in Austin with the kitties after spending ten days in Houston. Last Thursday, 10/11/12, I got a call from my father's doctor. He wasn't doing well after brain surgery to remove a blood clot. The nursing home raised the option of a feeding tube. The doctor advised against it. I awoke Friday morning, hurriedly packed a bag, and headed for Houston. <BR> <BR> When I arrived at the nursing home, there was much discussion amongst the family regarding the tube. Thankfully my mother d... Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:58:52 EST Tools for Life First, I have shingles! WTH? Apparently it's brought on by stress. That makes sense. But it's cool this weekend and I wanted to get some serious miles in. And visit my Dad in Houston. What can you do? Take it easy and listen to my body. Which right now is saying, "Vicodin, dammit!" <BR> <BR> These past two weeks were my worst yet for weight loss. 1.5 pounds. But hey, it went down! I did eat within my range, but the high end of my range nearly every day. And I didn't get enough exercise. I th... Sat, 6 Oct 2012 13:31:45 EST Update On My Father Thank you all for your kind words and support on my last blog. Things have been difficult, and your support is a comfort to me. <BR> <BR> I went to Houston last weekend to see my Dad in ICU. He had a large blood clot on his brain and had surgery to drain it. My father has Alzheimer's, so he could not afford more damage to his brain. Before surgery, he'd been doing okay. He was coherent and knew who everyone was. He could carry on a conversation and get around. He needed help with dressing a... Sat, 29 Sep 2012 15:10:49 EST My Father I'm going to Houston tomorrow to see my father. He hasn't been well. And now he's worse. He had surgery for a brain hemorrhage on Tuesday. I've been holding it together all week. Refusing to go to negative thoughts. My mother said today was hard. Yesterday he was doing well. He had a fever over night. The doctors don't know why. But he wasn't doing well today. <BR> <BR> I'm losing it. After holding it together all week, I'm now falling apart. <BR> <BR> I need to find strength to hold it to... Fri, 21 Sep 2012 23:32:27 EST On Compulsivity Things feel a little different this time around. I'm feeling less compulsive about the exercise. (I'm still being compulsive about the eating, which I'll discuss below.) What do I mean? I used to get anxious when I'd miss a workout. I have no idea why, but that anxiety threw everything off. Missing a day or two (or three) of exercise suddenly snowballed and it felt like climbing mountains to get myself back to it. But this time, I've missed workouts, and I've gotten right back to it when time... Sat, 1 Sep 2012 18:15:04 EST Why is this suddenly easy? For quite some time I'd been out of my groove and struggling mightily to find my way back. I'd fight with myself every step of the way. About eating well and getting consistent exercise. This went on for many months. I'd track for a few weeks halfheartedly, eyeballing and not measuring or weighing what I was eating. I'd argue with myself about getting fitness minutes. I'd drink too much wine or eat too many cookies. <BR> <BR> But over the past two months I've found myself tracking diligently... Sun, 19 Aug 2012 17:11:06 EST Help! My iPod is boring. Don't you hate it when you've got your shoes all laced up and you're ready to hit it, only to find your iPod needs charging? So, I figure I'll use this time to write a blog post I've been meaning to write. It's about my iPod. Ive played the walking/running playlists over and over and over. I need some new juice. Can anyone provide some inspiration? <BR> <BR> What are some of your favorite walking/running tunes? <BR> <BR> A few of mine (which I've grown weary of . . . Sigh): <BR> <BR> Young... Sat, 11 Aug 2012 11:46:55 EST Once in a lifetime walk? I hope so! (Warning--TMI!) Up until Thursday (last week), I've been doing pretty well at walking in the evening, despite the heat. And Thursday started off well. I didn't even have to make a contract with myself to get going. I laced up my shoes and started out on the shady route I scoped out a few weeks back. My goal is to do just 30 minutes. And of course when I'm out there, I always go longer. Thursday was no different, although I wish it had been. <BR> <BR> About a quarter of the way out, my stomach started rumbl... Mon, 6 Aug 2012 17:32:33 EST I made a contract with myself and signed it. Yesterday, all I had to do was walk 2.41 miles to hit my goal of 25 for the week; a goal I haven't hit in a while. Did I walk the 2.41miles? No! Dammit! Here's what happened: <BR> <BR> I had a 10:00 a.m. hair appointment. I was three weeks overdue, which forced me to look at how gray I've gotten. I usually go every six weeks so I don't have to know how gray I've gotten. Sister's got some serious gray working. Gah! I tried to get a later appointment, thinking I'd be hard-pressed to get up, wa... Sun, 29 Jul 2012 18:04:33 EST I got weighed. No, I didn't find a new boyfriend. I actually got weighed. You see, I have this new shrink, and one of her specialties is eating disorders. I've been seeing her for six months, and she often asks me how I'm doing; have I checked my weight. Well, she knows I don't weigh. I threw my scale in the dumpster one day when I realized it had become my god. I was living my life for the number on the scale. And it was making me crazy. So I chucked it. <BR> <BR> I've told my shrink numerous times that I... Fri, 29 Jun 2012 19:42:47 EST 13.1 AT FIFTY? Since my last blog, I've turned 49 and had a Tuscan vacation. Now I'm back (photo blog to come) and feeling that post-vacation/BDay slump. This girl needs something to look forward to. A goal. A specific concrete goal. Msfitchick38 suggested a Half marathon in February. Is it possible to go from couch to 13.1k in 9 months? After healing my PF for nearly a year, my foot is well. So I think I'm ready to start training again. And with the big 5-0 looming, I want to make this year count. <BR> <... Sun, 27 May 2012 10:16:55 EST The Five Stages of Grief My oldest brother died over the weekend. They found him Tuesday morning and told me Tuesday night. They're not sure why, yet. I expect it was prescription medication and alcohol. I wrote this yesterday: <BR> <BR> The Five Stages of Grief: <BR> <BR> Denial <BR> Anger <BR> Bargaining <BR> Depression <BR> Acceptance <BR> <BR> I know them well. I’ve gone through them countless times with both my brothers, but more often with the one who died. He’s been on the brink of death many times. But ... Thu, 12 Apr 2012 10:04:32 EST Be Your Own Valentine. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last night I stopped in at Whole Foods, and the roses and tulips were overflowing the flower buckets. I hadn't intended to buy myself two dozen long-stemmed peach roses, but when I saw them, they were just so lovely. What better way to take care of me, nurture me, celebrate my awesomeness, than to buy myself this Valentine's gift? So I took them to the counter and asked the flower girl to add some baby's breath and... Sun, 12 Feb 2012 11:59:51 EST I Heart 2012 Two weeks into 2012 and let me tell you, I am in a much better place right now this year as compared to last year. It's taken a while to put that mess (and that man) behind me, but I got through it. And here I am a year later, and my days are a bit brighter with each passing day. <BR> <BR> <em>253</em> <em>67</em> <BR> <BR> Currently I'm on Day 8 of the Ashley 15-minutes-a-day-for-30-days challenge. I needed something to give me a little push motivation-wise on Mondays, Wednesdays, and... Sun, 15 Jan 2012 13:13:35 EST Austin Lunch-Time River Run/Walk In Pics <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src="http://photos-ak.s... Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:35:34 EST Who runs in the dark? Houston, we have a problem. I am buried in work. I like to work, so this is not all bad. But it's not leaving a lot of time for exercise. And when I get home at 8:00 p.m., tired and hungry, the last thing I want to do is exercise. I just want some dinner, maybe a glass of wine, and an hour or two to decompress before bed. So I tell myself every day I'll tear myself away from the office at lunchtime for a much-needed river run. It will ease the stress. Remove this permanent knot that's settled... Sat, 5 Nov 2011 16:25:21 EST Patience (and persistence), Grasshopper I felt like a big whiny baby earlier today because of all the back-tracking I've done on the fantastic progress I'd made. Yes, I injured my foot. But I didn't push myself to find some other form of exercise I would enjoy while I stayed off it. I had many excuses. I don't like to swim and the condo pool is tiny. I didn't want to go to the gym and lift weights. What's the point of doing crunches and push-ups at home? Blah blah blah. With no exercise, the stress and irritation had to go somewher... Mon, 10 Oct 2011 22:06:02 EST To achieve your goals, there are 6 principles you should do. To achieve your goals, there are 6 principles you should do: <BR> <BR> 1. REMOVE - all negative people, places, and things from your life. <BR> <BR> 2. DREAM – Every goal starts as a dream. <BR> <BR> 3. BELIEVE –Believe in yourself and your goal(s). <BR> <BR> 4. PLAN – Create a plan or find someone to help create a plan to reach your goals. <BR> <BR> 5. EXECUTE – Put your plan into action, think positive, and work hard. <BR> <BR> 6. INSPIRE – Inspire the people around you with your jou... Fri, 7 Oct 2011 13:10:54 EST Bummed and Hopeful Okay, it's time to spill it. I've been bummed. I'm off track. I'm distracted. I'm not getting enough sleep. I'm not getting enough cardio. I'm spending energy on things that aren't good for me and ending up entirely exhausted. Over the Fourth of July weekend, I felt the Spark. On Friday I had an elliptical workout. But I did it in flip flops as I'd just gotten a pedicure and it wasn't entirely dry and I didn't want to put on shoes and socks and mess it up. Although I didn't know it at the tim... Tue, 12 Jul 2011 22:05:06 EST They Call Me the Streak Maybe you've noticed I'm on a bit of a cardio streak. Day 18 today. Here's how it happened. I signed up for a 5k and decided I wanted to do cardio every single day between now and the race. May 7. Somewhere along the way I decided I want the streak to last until my 48th birthday, May 20. The rules are simple. Do 20 minutes minimum of cardio per day. So far, I've only needed to resort to the minimum once. I've also got a goal of 25 miles per week. I've hit that for two weeks straight now, plus... Sat, 16 Apr 2011 15:18:18 EST Why is it so hard to stay on track when life gets challenging? I have hit rock bottom. I can't stand myself any more. I am so off track. I feel gross. I'm not sleeping enough, I'm not getting nearly enough exercise (and sporadic at that), and my eating has gotten questionable with all this travel and drinking/dining/schmoozing, not to mention the debauchery of SXSW. The second SXSW ended Saturday night (but really in the wee hours of Sunday morning), I got on a plane on Sunday, traveled to Chicago for a meeting, and then turned around and came back to Au... Wed, 23 Mar 2011 12:50:46 EST I Just Want to Celebrate First off, I want to thank everyone who posted on my Why the Resistance? Blog. Your encouragement was the reason I made it through my 24-minute run today. Why I even tried to do a 24-minute run today. I've had it in my head that I'd lost my momentum. The last time I ran a 5k was in late January. Which was also the last time I ran more than 5 minutes without stopping. It's so amazing how much of this is mental. After you guys encouraged me to get off my rear end and just run, I decided today I... Sat, 12 Mar 2011 18:43:31 EST I Live Alone There have been some inquiries of late. Just to clear up any confusion, I live alone. With my two furry kitty babies. I do not live with a man. Not as a friend, roommate, lover, or otherwise. And my kitties are girls. <BR> <BR> Later today, I hope to post a blog about busting through my running resistance. Here I go! Sat, 12 Mar 2011 11:29:19 EST Why the Resistance? Today I did my first lunch-time river run/walk in ages. It's warm. Spring is here. The trees are budding and blooming. In a week or so, it's going to be stunning. I did Week 5, Day 1 of C25k. I've been doing W5D1 over and over and over of late, whenever I have the energy to run. Today I felt pretty good. And I dare say, Thursday it's time to graduate to Week 5 Day 2. This time, when I finish C25K, I'm going to do an official 5K race. <BR> <BR> As I ran/walked today, I felt great. My iPod pe... Tue, 8 Mar 2011 15:54:21 EST Fired Up! The fire is building, my friends. It had petered out to a barely perceptible ember, but still I kept logging in and lurking on the site. Slowly, virtually imperceptibly, the embers became brighter, until suddenly they burst into flame. It's odd how the motivation seems all but lost one minute, and the next you're champing at the bit to get back into the race. <BR> <BR> I'm sure spring has something to do with it. The trees are beginning to bud, and so is my desire to rock my fitness points ... Wed, 2 Mar 2011 13:28:53 EST Mopping the Floor Today, for the first time in nearly six weeks, I vacuumed and mopped the floor. Yes, Spark friends, not only have I neglected you for the past six weeks, I've neglected my home, and most importantly, myself. But today, after several days of internal rumblings, my mojo has begun to erupt. It started when I decided I couldn't stand it another moment---I had to vacuum. I know what you're thinking: You haven't vacuumed for six weeks? How the hell did you stand it more than two? It helped that I k... Sat, 26 Feb 2011 15:32:35 EST Deep Auburn After one full year of going without hair color, I now am back on the bottle. As I walked out of the salon, there was a spring in my step. I now am thoroughly convinced that au natural is highly overrated. <BR> <BR> Okay, not the best pics of me, but they do show the color well: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sun, 30 Jan 2011 10:48:33 EST Blast from the Past Monday night I did step aerobics, which also incorporated weights. I couldn't believe it, I've still got it! All my old friends made an appearance: L-Step, Grapevine, Triple-Knee Repeater, Over the Top (and back, again), etc. I was flying around the step like it was just yesterday, rather than over ten years ago. When we finished, my hair was wet, so I know I got a decent workout. Today my calves are sore. Yay! I'd forgotten how fun step classes are. It's a really nice way to mix it up to pr... Wed, 26 Jan 2011 13:02:31 EST Girlfriends and Endorphins Make Stuff Better It's a gorgeous day in Austin, Texas. After much procrastination, and with some encouragement from my Spark friends, I made it out the door and down the street. Since I haven't been running consistently, I decided to pick up at Week 5 of C25k. That means three five-minute runs with three-minute walks in between. I did fine, which was a relief. I thought maybe I had lost too much conditioning and was going to have a hard time. But I did A-okay. And I continued on until I did a total of six mil... Sat, 22 Jan 2011 16:48:13 EST Feeling Fat I feel fat. Funny how a breakup does that. I'm not suddenly fatter in four days. I've been drinking my water, so I'm not bloated. But I feel fat. And unattractive. And gross. Purely psychological, I'm sure. We had to take some photographs today for some firm website bull$hit. That didn't help. If that's one thing Jasper did, he made me feel beautiful and sexy. <BR> <BR> I've been craving carbs and sweets like crazy. I haven't given in. But I have had two glasses of wine every night and no ex... Thu, 20 Jan 2011 13:12:35 EST Running In the Rain Yesterday I did a leg, shoulder, and ab workout at the gym. I left Jasper there to watch football while he did his cardio. I was intent on getting outside and getting some fresh air, despite the cold rainy weather. I'm not a rain runner. Or more accurately, I've never before been a rain runner. Yesterday it was cold (for Texas)--mid 40s with a "feels like" of 40. That, coupled with the rain, made me leery about running outside. But the alternative was running on the treadmill in the gym. That... Sun, 16 Jan 2011 13:35:01 EST Rain, Rain, Go Away! I got up this morning while there still were kitties and a man in my bed. My intention was to go for a run and get some much-needed mileage under my belt. It's been raining all morning. Not super hard, just softly and steadily. I'm so champing at the bit to get outside and go for a run that I would have gone anyway, but for the cold. Currently, it's in the mid-40s, "feels like" 40. My thinking was that the cold coupled with the rain would make it feel doubly cold and might have me catching a ... Sat, 15 Jan 2011 14:49:40 EST My Boots Are Made for Walking Here is pic of my new boots, which I am wearing today. With jeans. No lawyer clothes today! <img src=""> Fri, 14 Jan 2011 10:25:25 EST Ch Ch Ch Changes Too many changes all at once. Work changes. Personal life changes. The double merger. I thought I'd manage it all happily and gracefully. But instead, I'm overwhelmed. And surly. <BR> <BR> Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes <BR> Turn and face the strange <BR> (Ch-ch-Changes) <BR> Don't want to be a richer man <BR> Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes <BR> Turn and face the strange <BR> (Ch-ch-Changes) <BR> Just gonna have to be a different man <BR> Time may change me <BR> But I can't trace time <BR> Wed, 12 Jan 2011 11:55:21 EST Mergers and Acquisitions Mergers are tough. You have to learn a whole new set of rules. You have to adjust to the new rules. You have to figure out which of the new rules you can safely ignore, and which you must follow, or else. You have to learn which of the new requirements is a dealbreaker, and which is just a guideline. <BR> <BR> Why do people merge? What's the point? Wasn't everything just fine before the merger? In my case, everything was fine. But boring. And stagnant. And lifeless. I was complacent. Every ... Fri, 7 Jan 2011 14:20:37 EST Plan Delay Yes, there's been a slight delay in the posting of my official plan. But I have been keeping up with the weight training 3x per week. The next piece on which to focus is upping my cardio/running and mileage. Yesterday was my first day of no wine on weeknights. I was successful in that regard, despite the fact that yesterday was a very rough day. Today does not look as if it will be much better, and may prove to be much worse. But I shall survive. I always do. <BR> <BR> And now back to techno... Tue, 4 Jan 2011 11:29:24 EST Gotta Make a Plan, Stan So I've been screwing around here for about a month now with no goal and no direction. I'm floundering, I tell ya', and it's driving me bonkers. <BR> <BR> I need to make a solid, structured, Type-A Plan for the New Year. <BR> <BR> Things my new plan will include: <BR> <BR> 1. Running a certain number of goal miles per week and per month <BR> 2. Running a certain number of 5ks, including signing up within the next two weeks for my first official race <BR> 3. Structured plan for gearing up... Wed, 22 Dec 2010 12:47:10 EST PAMATX & SPIKEATX The night we trimmed the tree: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Three points! Fri, 17 Dec 2010 20:11:21 EST Our First Tree Here it is! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'll add another one with the lights on as soon as the star we got for the top arrives. Thu, 16 Dec 2010 16:25:09 EST Weekend Meandering Mike and I had a terrific weekend. I'm still basking in the afterglow. Friday night we had an evening in, with lots of needed bonding and sweetness after a very rough week. Saturday, after I did a morning 5k run, we did a little shopping. (More on that in a later blog.) Then we picked out our first tree. It's a lovely tree. After we got it home, I went up into the attic and took down the boxes of Christmas decorations that had not seen the light of day in years. I went through each of them, o... Tue, 14 Dec 2010 14:22:38 EST I Am the Grinch. I must admit that for many, many years now, when it comes to Christmas, I've been a bah humbug sort of girl. I've always dreaded the holidays. Once Halloween comes and goes, I tend to hunker down and await January 2. There are lots of reasons for this, most of which are no different this year. But there is one big difference: I've fallen madly in love with a man with whom I get to share the holidays. Suddenly I'm feeling like the Grinch: My heart has grown three sizes this year. And I want t... Thu, 9 Dec 2010 15:49:16 EST The Dark Side of Testosterone It's Monday night. I'm Sparking while the man watches Monday night football. This is somewhat disconcerting. First baseball. Now football. My tv is going to blow up. <BR> <BR> What's next? Will I start drinking beer? Eating pork rinds? Playing poker? Leaving the toilet seat up? Throwing water melons off tall buildings? <BR> <BR> I think I'd better get a mani/pedi stat. Mon, 6 Dec 2010 23:14:59 EST