PANDADOT's SparkPeople Blog PANDADOT's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community taking a breath, starting again so, it's been a while. <BR> <BR> I've been on and off SP for the last month or so, trying to be consistent with tracking but failing most of the time. I just didn't have the motivation at the end of the day. <BR> <BR> one thing I was consistent with was the fitness tracker, since it always boosted my pride a bit to see my mileage go up each week while I stuck to my training schedule. <BR> <BR> but mostly, I've slacked. I've been feeling kind of burnt out lately - on SP, on the traini... Tue, 9 Oct 2012 23:10:50 EST 28-hour days would be just swell. so, this is totally me right now: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (note: this is not actually me - that's what Google is for!) <BR> <BR> for the next month and half, I will be out of town every weekend. doing fun things like visiting family and going to weddings, but still - not here, not in my regular routine, not able to do things around the house, eating foods that I have prepared, etc. <BR> <BR> and I'm. Stressing. Out. <BR> <BR>... Wed, 27 Jun 2012 17:18:00 EST The real me (photos!) A funny thing happened on my way to losing some lbs... <BR> <BR> Lately I've been feeling like a "new me," a woman with energy and enthusiasm, excited to make plans with friends and enjoy the summer. A woman with goals and the drive and wherewithal to complete them. A woman who chooses fruit over candy (okay, most days). <BR> <BR> This week, I realized this Colleen isn't the "new me" - it's the REAL ME. <BR> <BR> The real me was always there, but she was hidden by a layer of fat and ... Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:36:23 EST What running can do (with pictures!) Technically, I've been running since I was eleven years old. <BR> <BR> (I guess even more technically, I've been running since I was a little, little kid, as most kids are pretty prone to running.) <BR> <BR> But I've been running as a sport since I was eleven, when I joined my middle school's cross country team. My dad was a runner, he always told me I should be one too, so I signed up. And talked my best friend since kindergarten into joining with me. She turned out to be a magnificen... Tue, 8 May 2012 16:39:25 EST A running superhero This morning, NPR featured the following short article on their website: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/02/149876890/photo-the-first-woman-to<BR>-enter-the-boston-marathon?sc=fb&cc=fp </link> <BR> <BR> To paraphrase, they featured this photo: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> and talked a bit about that historic Boston Marathon 45 years ago, when Katherine Switzer entered the race without revealing her gender, a... Tue, 3 Apr 2012 11:39:43 EST Just signed up for my first marathon! Well, I'm all signed up to run the Chicago Marathon in October! <BR> <BR> It's sort of insane that you have to register so early for this thing - although I understand why, as my dad runs it every year - but luckily, I'm in training for the Kenosha Half Marathon in May, so I'm "getting my mind right" as they say. <BR> <BR> I think I'm a little nervous for both races, but mostly just excited. This is what my dad said when I was contemplating the marathon: "The race is the fun part, when... Wed, 1 Feb 2012 14:31:17 EST Guaranteed Way to Stop a Bummer of a Day in its Tracks: Set a Goal! So, today started out on a couple of bummer notes: <BR> <BR> - Thursdays are my weigh days (I do it once a week at the gym, while in my weight loss mode), and today I showed a gain for the first time since September. It's not much, and obviously due to the amount of pizzelles and kolacki I ate over the holidays, but still - a slight bummer, considering I'd been on such a roll (even through Thanksgiving!). <BR> <BR> - I had to stop my run short - after about 1.5 miles - and walk the rest ... Thu, 5 Jan 2012 19:28:49 EST Something called Gooey Butter Cake? I'm scared. Today, our office intern brought in something called gooey butter cake that she made - it is apparently a "St. Louis thing," and I had to Google it to find out what it is. Well, the first hit from my search was a Paula Deen recipe for it, which pretty much told me all I needed to know about it - probably best to stay away, right? <BR> <BR> Judging from all the sugar that goes into it, I'm already envisioning the headache that I would get about 20-30 minutes after consuming it - these days... Fri, 2 Dec 2011 15:19:33 EST I met my first goal! So, thirty days ahead of schedule, I've met my first tier weight loss goal! Thanks to advice from SP, I broke my entire weight loss goal up into two tiers (so it wouldn't seem so overwhelming), and then into smaller sub-tiers that I could give myself mini-rewards for reaching (to keep up my motivation). <BR> <BR> So today, I'm proud to say that I am halfway there on my overall goal! Actually, I'm .6 lbs below halfway there <em>20</em> . <BR> <BR> SO much better than having this numbe... Thu, 1 Dec 2011 15:41:25 EST Peace out, plateau!! Today I had to run on the treadmill at the gym (blargh), because it was rainy outside. The one thing that made me happy about that, however, was that I could weigh myself (I don't keep a scale in the house), and check out my progress. Because I've been stuck at a plateau for about a month, and I was starting to get bummed. <BR> <BR> After reading this: <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=516 </link> , this: <link><BR>_artic... Thu, 13 Oct 2011 13:17:15 EST Wedding Anniversary Two years ago today I married my amazing husband, and it was the most beautiful, festive, music-filled day imaginable. <BR> <BR> My husband is a touring musician, so unfortunately this is the second year that we haven't been together to celebrate (one of these days we will be together for it!). I thought I would wake up sad, but I didn't. Instead I woke up content and feeling loved - he called me very early (well, normal for me, very early for him) to say that he loved me, and we've been t... Mon, 3 Oct 2011 15:16:30 EST, running Today I had a 5 mile run on my training schedule, and I really had to talk myself into it. All I wanted was to laze around in my yoga pants, maybe eat some popcorn, and wait for the 2 hour I Love Lucy block to come on TV. <BR> <BR> But, I did it - I ran 5 miles plus a little extra. It's a bright, sunny day, so I was able to see my shadow on the sidewalk for most of the run. In a weird way, it motivated me - watching myself move down the sidewalk, not very quickly, but steadily. <BR> ... Sun, 2 Oct 2011 18:27:38 EST Control So, today was one of those bad days. <BR> <BR> The weather was gray and rainy. <BR> <BR> The train to the office was crowded and smelled like farts. <BR> <BR> I came in to the office to an unexpected project that sucked up my whole day. <BR> <BR> My checking account hit zero today, and I didn't find out until I tried to pick up a few groceries. <BR> <BR> I spilled hot tea on myself. <BR> <BR> The train home was crowded and moved at a snail's pace. <BR> <BR> I could feel the a... Tue, 27 Sep 2011 22:50:58 EST Upping my running and vegetable consumption So this past Labor Day weekend, I ran a 10k with my mom, dad and sister. Well, technically I ran it with my mom, as my dad and sister were setting a faster pace for themselves. I was just trying to finish, having taken a long hiatus from serious running but beginning to dabble with it again. <BR> <BR> I used to be a runner, and I'm exploring what it means to be a runner again. And finishing those 6.2 miles felt really good. Doing it with my mom, who is also getting back into running aft... Tue, 6 Sep 2011 14:53:43 EST So quick to beat myself up! So, today is Chicago is hot, humid and basically gross. The little window AC unit is doing its best, but I still woke up feeling lazy and wilted. <BR> <BR> I spent the morning doing homework (yay accomplishing something before noon on a Sunday!), and - despite the fact that today is my first "long day" for my Labor Day 10K training - talking myself out of going to the gym. When it's this hot and sunny, running outdoors is torture, so I knew it had to be a treadmill day. But then I found ... Sun, 10 Jul 2011 16:51:59 EST Two Weeks in Bummertown So - for various reasons, which are really excuses - I have somewhat fallen off the wagon for the last two weeks. Not so much nutrition-wise, since I've managed to stay within my nutrition ranges for the most part, but definitely exercise-wise. And SP-wise - I haven't been logging in as often, or updating my page, or anything, really. <BR> <BR> I was out of town, then had lots of crazy-packed days, and now I'm in school again, with copious amounts of reading and writing to do every night.... Wed, 1 Jun 2011 12:45:59 EST A setback, wrapped up in a lesson So, Saturday night, my husband and I got Chinese take-out for dinner. It was a gloomy day, we had cleaned the whole house, and the last thing either of wanted to do was cook anything (making yet another mess). So he ventured out in the rain and picked up two orders of Schezwan Tofu with Broccoli. I'd never had it before, but had always looked at his enviously as I had a sandwich from the Subway next to the Chinese place. <BR> <BR> But when he brought it back, something was... different ... Mon, 16 May 2011 11:11:55 EST Just because my day is crap, doesn't mean I should eat crap... So I got some totally bunk news at my job first thing this morning: A schedule switch that I thought was just temporary - and which totally sucks and throws off my whole week - is actually going to be permanent. <BR> <BR> My first reaction: I started to text my husband to tell him to pick up a frozen pizza so I could gorge on it tonight to make myself feel better. <BR> <BR> BUT - I didn't finish the text. I really, really still want pizza, but as I was writing the text, a little voice ... Fri, 13 May 2011 11:45:03 EST National "Eat What You Want" Day Apparently, today is Eat What You Want Day <link><BR>you-want-day </link> . <BR> <BR> My first thought: Man, every day is some obscure holiday, isn't it? <BR> <BR> My second thought: This could be a very dangerous day. <BR> <BR> But maybe not. I don't really believe in depriving myself of foods that I want anymore - I used to believe in the idea of "good" foods and "bad" foods, but now I understand them as "foods that will nourish my body" and "... Wed, 11 May 2011 11:26:35 EST An Accident, and Blessings Yesterday, my husband and I witnessed a pretty horrible accident involving a motorcycle and a Jeep. We were walking home from the gym, waiting on the corner and just chatting, and then suddenly a motorcycle and a Jeep collided, and the motorcycle was tossed like a toy and wound up with both of its passengers underneath an Expedition waiting at the intersection. <BR> <BR> Everything happened very quickly, and people rushed into the intersection immediately following the accident to help. ... Mon, 9 May 2011 22:11:45 EST Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop So it's been five weeks since I had my "a ha" moment and re-ignited my Spark. I'd had enough of hiding my stomach with various concealing dresses, and of sitting on the couch wishing for energy. I started going to the gym again, and returned to counting calories. <BR> <BR> And honestly - aside from a few days sprinkled throughout the five weeks where I wanted to give up - it's been pretty great so far. For most people, this would be a good thing - the journey is relatively easy, and they ... Sun, 8 May 2011 14:22:27 EST Mae West “Cultivate your curves—they may be dangerous but they won’t be avoided.” <BR> &#8213; Mae West <BR> <BR> So I've always been pretty hard on myself. In school, I'm always thinking I could do better on papers and tests - that I could've studied more or read ALL the footnotes. At work, I'm always thinking at the end of the day that I could've accomplished more. At home, I'm always looking around our house and thinking of how much cleaner and more organized things could be. <BR> <BR> But I... Thu, 5 May 2011 10:59:29 EST Freedom Riders Fifty years ago today, a group of 13 very brave individuals - black and white, men and women - traveled on two Greyhound buses into the Deep South, to test the new desegregation laws there. Their mission was simple: travel into bus depots in cities like Montgomery, Birmingham, and Jackson, Mississippi, and attempt to sit anywhere they pleased, or use whatever drinking fountain they wanted. They were met with violence and hatred, they were attacked and beaten, they were arrested, but they ke... Wed, 4 May 2011 11:33:35 EST Colleen Does Life About a month ago, I became slightly obsessed with the blog Ben Does Life ( For those as fashionably late to the Do Life party as I was, I highly recommend you read the blog from the beginning - Ben Davis has had a very inspiring weight loss journey, and has kept the momentum going for two years, now touring the country to help others. <BR> <BR> Anyway, the reason I bring this up: Ben Does Life came at exactly the right time for me. I was "starting again" on my j... Mon, 2 May 2011 12:57:54 EST hello again... so, I took a little vacation. ok, so it wasn't so much a vacation as quitting the whole "healthy eating and exercise" thing for about, oh... four months. <BR> <BR> BUT - I've realized that even though I've eschewed exercise - I ditched it like that annoying guy at the bar who won't leave you alone - the healthy eating didn't take a total nosedive. I'm still often refusing the seemingly endless train of treats at work; I'm still choosing fruit for dessert. I'm still working hard to get my ... Wed, 14 Jan 2009 11:07:49 EST I'm back, baby! No matter how many times I do it, I'm still befuddled and in awe by my ability to lose the motivation to get and stay healthy. <BR> <BR> I'll have a terrific week or two, then one little bump in my path (in this case, out-of-town travel several weekends in a row) causes everything to derail. Suddenly I don't care what I'm eating, I don't bother to exercise (or I tell myself that I don't have time), and - lo and behold - I feel gross and out of shape. <BR> <BR> But today I woke up earl... Wed, 27 Aug 2008 11:56:32 EST ok, ok... ... so I gained .5 pounds over the past week. no biggie. I'm following the advice given to me today by Spark, and I'm remaining an optimist about this whole fitness thing. I won't let his (albeit very minor) setback get to me, because: <BR> <BR> * My new vintage style swimsuit fit like a glove this past weekend, and I felt just lovely in it. <BR> <BR> * Both my mom and sister remarked several times about 'how good you look!' and it made me feel (and still makes me feel) like a million bu... Tue, 5 Aug 2008 12:53:11 EST !!! I'm in the 120's!!! <BR> <BR> what a good way to start my week, and *just* before my birthday, too! Mon, 28 Jul 2008 12:53:28 EST I sweat, therefore I lose... so, I'm noticing a link this week: I'm staying nicely nestled within my goal numbers (all of them! even carbs!), and it's also hot as Hades outside. <BR> <BR> coincidence? I think not. <BR> <BR> when it's this hot and humid (as I'm sure anyone familiar with Midwestern summers can relate), my appetite takes a little vacation. I wake up and I'm not ravenously hungry as on mid-winter days. it's mid-afternoon and, rather than thinking about a little snickety-snack, I'm thinking about whe... Thu, 17 Jul 2008 18:15:19 EST vacation, part deux. after spending time with family over the holiday, you could have colored me shocked this morning to discover that I had LOST 1.5 pounds. that's right - LOST... <BR> <BR> but I chalk it up to the following: <BR> <BR> 1.) playing with my two small nephews, who require lots of picking up, carrying around, wrestling, jumping, bouncing, and - as it is summertime - swimming. <BR> <BR> 2.) having a guinness here, a glass of wine there, but not going nuts. usually when the family is all together... Mon, 7 Jul 2008 12:04:36 EST vacation. why does something so positive (time off from work, traveling to the west coast, visiting with family) turn into something so negative once I'm back home? <BR> <BR> nearly two weeks ago, I journeyed to California on a long weekend vacation, flying out for my cousin's high school graduation. when I left, I felt confident with my fitness progress, and committed myself to write down everything that I ate, to be tracked online when I had access to a computer. I felt sure I could stay on track.... Mon, 23 Jun 2008 11:33:05 EST I'm no novice... so, I've been doing the weight loss thing for a while now, so I'm not exactly *new* at it. <BR> <BR> I went the typical route for weight gain: ate lots of pizza and drank a fair amount of booze in college, while ignoring the entire of idea of exercise and drinking lots of soda to stay awake. <BR> <BR> after college, I got a desk job, still turned my back on exercise as though it was a vicious ex-lover, and started to notice that my clothes were cutting off my circulation at various strat... Thu, 22 May 2008 14:50:31 EST