PLANKWALKER's SparkPeople Blog PLANKWALKER's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I'm Still Here! Hey fellow Sparkers! <BR> <BR> After more than a couple years, I've dusted off my old SP page and gave this a whirl this morning. I've been hanging within a decent range weight-wise, but ultimately that number has been creeping steadily higher. Today was that inevitable moment we probably all know, where I caught myself saying, "Did these pants shrink?" <BR> <BR> No Phil, I told myself, they sure did not. <BR> <BR> So back on the non-lazy-train I go! Or, perhaps more fittingly, I've h... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:29:36 EST A Stretchy Home Stretch Hi SP gang! Hope you're well and moving and warm! Cold enough for ya? <BR> <BR> Since I last checked in, rest assured that my silence in these parts didn't mean I wasn't active and keeping at it. In fact, I'm pleased to report that even accounting for the poundage gained from the holidays and from being sick with flu - I've lost over 40 pounds total since last February! <BR> <BR> It's a great feeling, and although this progress (and efforts) happened over fits and starts during the pas... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 12:14:58 EST Rollin', rollin' ... Long time, no blog! Don't worry; no news is good news. (This time, anyway.) <BR> <BR> Summer came and went, and I gotta say it was pretty swell! In June, I went to London for the first time, for a week - and had a blast. Walked a lot (seriously a lot!), ate well, and saw some great theatre (as it's spelled there). I also made it to Northern California, where I grew up, to visit family and there, too, I walked and did some bike-riding around downtown and along the American River Bike Tr... Sat, 22 Sep 2012 00:11:37 EST Down to the Roots I had a massive toothache on Monday, then it subsided yesterday, and I went to the dentist this morning. The worst kind of surprise awaited me: a root canal! <BR> <BR> Several hundred dollars later, with a numb face and sad spirit (I do have to return to have the endodontist finish the procedure), I was walking a few blocks up to work, taking some comfort in that it's a particularly beautiful spring-like day in NYC. <BR> <BR> Also, another silver lining for this morning was that, before th... Wed, 14 Mar 2012 16:23:44 EST Alive and Kickin' Well hello there! Just a quick note to say that I'm still around - albeit infrequently - and well, I let myself go (and let myself down) a bit in my absence. As work and life got busier and more stressful at times, my resolve to "stick with it" and to keep moving and eating healthy, fell by the wayside. <BR> <BR> As a result, the feeling of, "Oh hey, this [INSERT ARTICLE OF CLOTHING HERE] more snug than usual" gradually progressed to "Wow, this [NOW MUCH SMALLER ARTICLE OF CLOTHING] does... Mon, 12 Mar 2012 17:34:45 EST Not Even a Peep Hey gang - long time, no post, I know! I've been doing OK, though consistency re: exercise has not been great. That said, I'm happy to say that I've been making good food choices when they've come up, so I think the small steps have prevented a huge slide. <BR> <BR> The surefire reminders of snug clothes and getting winded on routine tasks are back in my life, so back to the grind I go. Also, I've been consistently logging on to SP (though lurking!), so know that your presence on the si... Wed, 13 Apr 2011 13:08:17 EST Cold As Ice Reading friends' blogs around here on SP and elsewhere, you'd think it was snowing or something! :-) <BR> <BR> Actually, yes, in NYC it has snowed, and how! It sort of like Christmas to wake up, dreading the commute to work, and to read my email that my school was closed. As someone who grew up in CA (without any snow), the delight I get from "Snow Days" is still palpable. Funny enough, I work not too far from where I went to college - and that campus wasn't as lucky. You win some, you ... Fri, 28 Jan 2011 00:26:36 EST Too Trenta Much? I've been hearing rumblings 'round the interwebs about a new size that Starbucks will soon offer, the Trenta - which is 325 mL larger than their current largest size, the Venti. <BR> <BR> I normally am not one to post on specific food items, as I will admit to indulgent (to put it mildly) food choices that make my SP Food Tracker cry. <BR> <BR> But really: the Trenta? Containing more liquid than an average human stomach generally handles? <BR> <BR> There's an excellent illustrative graphi... Mon, 17 Jan 2011 23:40:44 EST Back At It Hey gang - just a li'l note to say that I'm still around, and the New Year gave me a good kick in the rear to keep up progress I made last year on the health / weight front. <BR> <BR> This past fall - and especially around the holidays - were particularly busy, so I gained about 15 of the pounds I had lost. So a few weeks ago, as I started noticing that I was getting winded doing really mundane things (like walking up subway stairs, running to cross the street, etc.), I figured that I sho... Sat, 15 Jan 2011 17:38:27 EST Good Time Charley Hi gang! Been a while, no? <BR> <BR> Just a li'l hello to say that I'm still alive, around, and kicking. I worked out tonight for the first time in eons, and did I feel it. Still, I'm glad that I made the time to go to the gym, as I organically have felt the need/impulse to go back in recent weeks. As my clothes have gotten a wee bit snug, and my face a tad rounder, I felt like I was missing out by not carrying on a habit that I had developed (in fits and starts!) throughout this past ye... Mon, 29 Nov 2010 23:51:42 EST Beached Hi friends! With August drawing to a close, and with students returning to campus this weekend, it dawned on me that my days of summer excitement are quickly drawing to a close. So my friend K. and I decided a few days ago to make Saturday our day at the beach! <BR> <BR> You may recall as I restarted my SP progress at the beginning of the year, that one goal of mine was to look better in a pair of swim trunks. <BR> <BR> So with me about halfway through my last mini-goal to my final goal w... Sun, 29 Aug 2010 00:49:56 EST Onward + Upward! Hey pals - just checking in to say hello! I had one show/gig to work backstage, after another, so I have a little bit of breathing room now that they're all finished. <BR> <BR> While working my nights/weekends schedule, I found that I have very little time and energy to make actual dedicated time at the gym a real high priority. That said, I was happy that I could still stay the course by making healthy food choices when I could, and really maximizing the time I spent walking my dog in the... Wed, 28 Jul 2010 13:06:38 EST Summer Renewal Hi folks! Happy Summer! I've just recently finished up the job/show I was working on, and so it's taken me a little while to decompress and get back in the game. <BR> <BR> The show I assisted, a new play called "Restoration" at New York Theatre Workshop, had a successful Off-Broadway run well-received by critics and audiences alike. Since my training and background is in backstage theatre production, it was great to be back "on the horse," and to work with my hands everyday among skille... Thu, 24 Jun 2010 02:24:31 EST A Breather & Check-in Hello there! A quick late-night greeting and update on things that are going on in my neck of the woods. <BR> <BR> I've been working at a feverish pace this past week or so on the play that's opening in a couple weeks. We started preview performances last week with audiences, who seem to respond quite nicely to the show. It's a new play, and with the playwright present, we've been able to incorporate changes/revisions to the script almost daily, with new endings or re-stagings going up th... Thu, 6 May 2010 00:50:20 EST Standstill Scale + Update Hey gang! Just wanted to say a quick hullo . . . <BR> <BR> Change is in the wind, as I start work this week on a short-term theatre job as a stage manager, which I haven't done in a little while. I'll be working backstage on a show at New York Theatre Workshop, an Off-Broadway theatre in the East Village neighborhood of NYC. I'm excited! The show is currently in rehearsal, begins previews April 30, opens in mid-May, and closes in mid-June (later if it's extended). Anyway, it'll give me... Mon, 19 Apr 2010 01:03:11 EST End-of-Week + Sweet Tooth Hi gang - hope you had a great week! Mine was productive, and I must admit I was beyond thrilled to wear shorts, sandals, and t-shirts on the unseasonably warm days earlier this week. Between that, and people just generally happier to be outside, and the BBQ's and picnics people were having in the park, it gave a brief taste of the fun that awaits this summer. <BR> <BR> (It also means I have to stay on track to look decent in swim trunks!) <BR> <BR> On the day that it hit 90 degrees in NY... Fri, 9 Apr 2010 14:38:57 EST Sneeze Season, and Easter "We are Easter people, and Alleluia is our song." <BR> - St. Augustine <BR> <BR> <BR> Hello, and Happy Easter! :-) <BR> <BR> In addition to a few days of birthday revelry last week, I was pretty consumed by all the Holy Week happenings at church, so after singing with my choir for services on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil), and Easter Sunday - consider me exhausted! <BR> <BR> But it was a particularly beautiful and blessed time, filled with jam-packed crowds, Ca... Tue, 6 Apr 2010 14:01:15 EST Two-Six! Today is my 26th birthday, and while I have a few minutes left of it, I think I'll list several (of countless) things for which I am grateful: <BR> <BR> - Life and health <BR> - The chance each morning to wake up anew, and to try harder <BR> - The love of my parents, family, friends, and boyfriend - ever forming, transforming, and redemptive <BR> - Freedom to love whomever I choose freely, openly, and safely <BR> - All of God's creation, and human ingenuity to serve and protect it <BR> - The... Tue, 30 Mar 2010 23:59:57 EST Craving a Spark Not gonna lie: this week was a frustrating mess. I can't really pinpoint what exactly had me feeling like I'm in a rut - I was plenty busy and occupied, and I spent time with some good friends along the way. I stage managed a concert on Wednesday, am now lined up to help produce a Filipino play festival in June-July here in NYC, and accomplished much in choir rehearsal preparing for Holy Week. <BR> <BR> However, I definitely did more than my share of brooding about not getting called back ... Sat, 27 Mar 2010 23:45:00 EST Sunshine and Feeling Fine! Howdy gang! It's been an uneventful few days, save for the dreadful grey weather that really put a damper on my routine and mood - so this springlike sunshine is just what I needed! It's really amazing, how much more active (physically and mentally) I want to be when the day isn't all doomy and gloomy. <BR> <BR> I'm thrilled that I passed my first goal weight! The feeling of earned accomplishment is palpable, and far more real than when I had lost weight solely by dieting before. I look ... Wed, 17 Mar 2010 11:23:34 EST At Day's End OK, so I'm not necessarily off the wagon, but this thing sure was shaky today! <BR> <BR> I think this might have to do with my wacky sleep patterns these days, but today my energy (and mood) was really sapped, and I ate all sorts of things of dubious nutritional quality. My morning started out as usual with my normal breakfast of coffee, toast, and some yogurt - so far, so good. But then since my bf was home today, we went out to lunch at a Thai restaurant around the corner from our place... Wed, 10 Mar 2010 00:48:08 EST Lazy Saturday + Home Stretch The prayer service I was asked to preside at, finally took place tonight (as it was rescheduled due to snow from last Friday). All went well! Despite my forgetting my prepared prayers at home (!), I somehow managed to wing it at the ceremony without sounding too much like a buffoon. For my first time leading the congregation, I was very pleased with the prayerful and meditative mood we had set together. <BR> <BR> In a crazed rush before leaving for church, I realized that all my pants w... Sat, 6 Mar 2010 15:11:55 EST Doggy Duty, etc. When I weighed in this morning, I was a bit bothered - though not necessarily surprised - to learn I gained 2 pounds. I haven't had a good workout since Saturday for a variety of compelling reasons (excuses!), though I could've worked harder to squeeze in a run. <BR> <BR> On Sunday, I sang with my choir in the morning, and then only had a couple hours to myself in the afternoon before heading back to the church to read at the evening Mass. Then on Monday, time escaped me as I helped out wi... Wed, 3 Mar 2010 12:18:35 EST Snow Day, No Way! Well, after a night of snow, I awoke this morning to learn that the prayer service I was to preside at tonight, was canceled. What a bummer! It threw off my day considering I was planning to work on it all day, through the evening. Of course, one can't change inclement weather - nor expect people to endure it unnecessarily - so I shouldn't be upset by it . . . but I was disappointed nonetheless. <BR> <BR> Snow days were great (and very novel) when I was in college, but annoying weather ... Fri, 26 Feb 2010 23:01:51 EST Movin' / Groovin' Hello all you beautiful people! Absence makes the heart grow fonder. <BR> <BR> Well, I wasn't really absent - it's just been a rather uneventful week. Between the job search, and prepping for a prayer service for Lent that I'm leading tomorrow at my church (for the first time! Eep!), I've been keeping on, especially with the workouts which provide some positive respite and structure throughout my week. It looks like I'll meet my first goal/milestone (15 lbs.) pretty soon, though I keep... Thu, 25 Feb 2010 23:33:09 EST Cold as Ice At the suggestion of a choir friend, I stopped by the men's group meeting at my church last night, and it was a really terrific, prayerful evening which spiritually led me further into the season of Lent - just what I needed. <BR> <BR> One thing that really stuck with me through today, as different guys were offering up intentions for the group to pray for, was one remark that something must be so askew in our society and lives that many people in the world barely have enough to eat and ca... Sat, 20 Feb 2010 23:57:20 EST Workout, Interrupted I had the idea last night that since we have the streaming version of Netflix, it might be a neat way to try out some exercise DVD's without having to outright purchase one. I also think it'll be a good way to grow accustomed to this way of exercising, before I join a class at the gym. <BR> <BR> So I lined up some interesting-looking DVD's to try out today, and this morning I tried out a couple fun ones themed as "dance parties." (Don't try these moves at the club!) <BR> <BR> I should poi... Thu, 18 Feb 2010 15:24:35 EST (Low) Fat Tuesday Hi, hi! Today I am experiencing what SP friend CHHHRRRIIISSS has effectively termed a "food hangover." I feel sorta gross after a few days (!) of eating not-so-healthy food. I spent the long weekend with my bf's family, and got a little carried away with them when it came to eating. They're excellent foodies, but the choices are often indulgent - "sometimes foods" become "everyday foods" when I'm with them, and I find it overwhelming after a couple days. My own family is sort of the same... Tue, 16 Feb 2010 15:32:48 EST Candy hearts Hi gang. Currently in CT with my boyfriend and his family . . . nothing much to report, except that while it's nice to be outside the city, watch some TV, and eat heartily, I do feel knocked out of the little exercise routine I'd built for myself. That said, sneaking in the greens and the dog walks when I can have helped. <BR> <BR> I'm not much of a sports enthusiast, but I actually am enjoying watching the Winter Olympics much more than I thought I would! And darn the cliches, but the fi... Sun, 14 Feb 2010 22:36:18 EST Friday + encouragement I forgot that in addition to my snack rant, I was going to post about something else too! I'm really encouraged that upon weighing in this morning, I dropped another 2 pounds! I do realize that I'm losing weight a lot more rapidly in this early stage, but I'm approaching my 10-pound mark a lot more quickly than I thought I would. <BR> <BR> Also, yesterday I noticed that my "fat boy jeans" which I was so upset to purchase when I got them a couple weeks ago (and which were even sort of snug ... Fri, 12 Feb 2010 12:23:46 EST Cheese puffs OK, this post isn't entirely about cheese puffs. I just find the phrase "cheese puffs" fun / funny. Cheese puffs, cheese puffs, cheese puffs. Anyway . . . <BR> <BR> Yesterday, pressed for time between sending out some stuff and needing to make it to choir practice, I didn't have enough time to make something to eat - so I raided the cupboard for some un-wise snacks. Some cookies and low-fat Trader Joe's cheese puffs (35 puffs / serving, 130 cals - huh?) later, I was feeling sort of gross... Fri, 12 Feb 2010 12:08:05 EST A wintry romp <img src=""> <BR> Meet our girl Charley! <BR> <BR> <BR> My bf and I are adopting a dog from a friend nearby, and we're having our first "sleepover" tonight with her. Charley is part Rhodesian Ridgeback, part hound, part pit-bull - all lovable, gentle, and smart. <BR> <BR> At first I was worried that she'd be exceedingly anxious away from our friends, especially since this is her first night without them outside their apartment. However,... Wed, 10 Feb 2010 23:30:32 EST Jump-starting the week (weak?) Between a sort of nutty end to last week, a busy weekend, and generally feeling scatter-brained recently, I wasn't able to fit in a run the past few days. Tonight, however, I made it to the gym well over an hour before it closed, and ran a little longer - and harder - than I normally would. <BR> <BR> It felt good, like I was accomplishing some real work. It doesn't really undo how poorly I've eaten - such as my hearty first dinner cooked in the new apartment, as well as some back-to-back b... Mon, 8 Feb 2010 23:27:16 EST Saving for later We recently moved into an apartment with a little less closet space than we previously had. In identifying the clothes I need to have more readily available, it really irked me that I have so much clothing that I can't fit into anymore. <BR> <BR> As in, really great shirts, pants, sweaters, etc. that I like wearing the most and which represents my style and tastes most accurately - but which have to be put away to make room for other clothes I bought to accommodate my larger self. Booo. ... Thu, 4 Feb 2010 00:37:50 EST Git 'er done Time flies when you're not exercising, and boy do I have the gut to prove it! <BR> <BR> I'm back after an eventful few months, in which I lost my job, went home for the holidays, looked for a new apartment, and endured the purgatory of moving, which ultimately consumed my first month of 2010. <BR> <BR> Moving boxes and furniture - barely, and with much wheezing - was one reminder to get in gear with Spark and exercise again; then my Wii Fit's note that it was 98 days since my last "traini... Wed, 3 Feb 2010 00:03:40 EST Back on the horse (er, bike?) Hello there! Miss me? <BR> <BR> It's kind of strange, getting back into the swing of things yet again with my Spark profile and pages. I keep forgetting how uplifting and helpful these tools, articles, and fellow members' posts are. <BR> <BR> Work continues to challenge me time- and energy-wise, but it wasn't until my bf bought a Wii Fit (of all things) this week, that my interest was piqued yet again in getting myself in shape. Of course, my ill-fitting clothes, unused gym membership, a... Sun, 1 Nov 2009 16:12:49 EST Julie, Julia, . . . and me I forgot to mention that I watched "Julie & Julia" the other week, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Well, I should clarify that the scenes where Meryl Streep channeled Julia Child were the more enjoyable; Amy Adams' half of the movie was okay. <BR> <BR> Regardless, the beautiful food styling throughout the movie really got me thinking about the emotional connection one can have towards food, especially when it's exquisitely well-crafted, satisfying, and just plain delicious. This connection is p... Sun, 16 Aug 2009 14:58:51 EST Once more, into the brink! After many months, I'm back in the game. I was doing well for a while, but changes in my job knocked me off course. I'm far busier now, and perpetually running low on patience, time, and even strength. A bad combination for shedding pounds, no? So one thing fell after the other: first the conscious eating, then the gym routine. <BR> <BR> But I think my wake-up call never fails: clothes. Once I started seeing my choices of what work clothes fit me diminish, lights and sirens started goin... Wed, 12 Aug 2009 00:35:05 EST Second wind? Not much to report on, except that my schedule is all out of whack right now. Between spending time with friends I haven't seen in a while, work events, and various Church commitments, my evenings have been consistently busy/booked, and I haven't been able to get home before 9pm some nights. <BR> <BR> So of course, I'm tired and want to spend some time with my boyfriend before going to sleep - which turns out to be later than it should. And then I can't get out of bed early enough to squee... Wed, 4 Feb 2009 20:41:56 EST A complete circle So since last post, I've been in fits of stops and starts. Would be doing well for a good streak of days, then would fall off the wagon with a resounding thud! <BR> <BR> Like, last week, everything was going swimmingly, and then I went to dinner with some work buddies (who are, coincidentally, also eating buddies) and we had an awesome dinner - that was really off the charts when I tracked it. And so I figured after dinner, well I fell, so I might as well "fall big" and then bought some re... Tue, 27 Jan 2009 21:10:59 EST A reminder during Mass During Mass this morning, a quote from 1 Corinthians jumped out from one of the readings: <BR> <BR> "Do you not know that your body <BR> is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, <BR> whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? <BR> For you have been purchased at a price. <BR> Therefore glorify God in your body." <BR> <BR> And in other news, I stepped on the scale first thing today, and I lost another 4 pounds! I was pleasantly surprised - and it's kept me motivated throughout ... Sun, 18 Jan 2009 23:18:22 EST Rested/Ready Rest of the week turned out well, SP-wise. On nights I knew I was going out or would have a big meal, essentially I just budgeted my calories/fat/etc, and just (sensibly) had my cheeseburger or party food/drinks as planned. <BR> <BR> I was happy that I didn't have to deprive myself, and that I remained accountable and within my calorie ranges. It's comforting to realize that eating well isn't an all-or-nothing process, but about having some sort of game plan. Such a good safety net. <BR> ... Sat, 17 Jan 2009 14:44:02 EST Day of Rest . . . and Gnawing I went to the gym last night, and I'm not scheduled for cardio today, so no workout today. But my latest eating flubs are gnawing at me, so I've been paranoid about what I'm eating today. <BR> <BR> Learning how to just pick up and move on, accepting that falls happen, is proving more difficult than I thought in this brand-new routine. I mean, I stepped on the scale this morning - the first time since restarting SP/gym/food-log/etc - and was nervous, but was pleasantly surprised to see I ... Wed, 14 Jan 2009 15:29:59 EST Stops, Starts, Pauses Skiing went really well this weekend. I played my cards right prepping the week leading up to my ski trip, both at the gym and by eating right the night before and day of. As I was going down that last run - tired, but not shutting down like last time, I was exhilarated as I picked up speed, and felt really proud of myself. <BR> <BR> I've been struggling with stops and starts since then though. It's taking me a while getting used to the healthier choices part, though. It's like I'll do w... Tue, 13 Jan 2009 19:04:25 EST Pre-Ski. Later: Apre-ski! I'm up much too late for a ski daytrip with my NYC-based ski group, the Ski Bums! Very excited. <BR> <BR> While home with my family in CA, I went up the mountain to ski for a day after a terrible (read: wonderful) snowstorm the day previous. The slopes were gorgeous, and the workout strenuous. So strenuous, actually, that by a few hours in, I was experiencing some serious muscle exhaustion that you only read about in textbooks! <BR> <BR> I was so disappointed having to throw in the tow... Fri, 9 Jan 2009 23:50:58 EST All systems . . . go? Go! Oh boy, here goes. Well I can't say that I have a terribly interesting or earth-shattering, inspirational story about my joining SparkPeople, that will leave you weeping at the end. I read so many of everyone's stories of struggle and success that I must say I almost want to make something up to keep up! <BR> <BR> But of course, I'm joking. This whole endeavor is for me, as your own personal journey is for you - and yes definitely for our families, friends, and other loved ones with whom ... Thu, 8 Jan 2009 01:33:46 EST