POINDEXTRA's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=POINDEXTRA POINDEXTRA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Another way to look at streaking http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5785725 I've been working on getting ten thousand steps a day since July 22, 2012, but my streak has been broken many times for various reasons. I'm currently 35 days into attempting another streak; this time I hope to beat my longest streak, which was 81 days. Unfortunately the screen capture below isn't very good: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1878026636.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It says: <BR> Current Streak 35 days (from 8/19) <BR> Longest Streak 81 days 4/12 - 7/1 <BR> 3... Tue, 23 Sep 2014 20:49:14 EST A productive weekend http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5306414 It has been a really nice weekend of taking care of ourselves and doing enjoyable things. Yesterday we drove to Old Rag and walked on the fire road for almost 2 hours. We drove there via Sperryville and home via Culpeper, so it was a lovely drive both ways. <BR> <BR> We were going to go outside walking today, but it's been raining, so I've spent time in the kitchen instead. I made the Red Velved Chocolate Squares I love so much: <link>recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai<BR>l.asp?recipe... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 15:13:37 EST One piece of cake is always better than two ... today's NSV http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5295561 I can't take credit for that one - it's one of INDYGIRL's "indyisms" (thought the original may be about pizza:)). Well, today it worked for me. <BR> <BR> Our customer brought in a big cake from Wegman's to celebrate someone's retirement, and after the big meeting, there was almost half a sheet left. So, I cut myself a reasonably sized piece and really enjoyed it. Of course, it was a side piece, and I scooped up some extra icing, too - after all, cake is really just an icing delivery veh... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 22:20:26 EST Brown Rice Triscuit - Part 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5292895 Well, I sent Nabisco an e-mail telling that we were disappointed with the product (see my previous blog entry for why), and got this response today (only 3 days later). This could tempt me to try them again (perhaps a different flavor, though). We'll see: <BR> <BR> "Thank you for visiting our site. <BR> <BR> I'm sorry for your experience with TRISCUIT BROWN RICE SEA SALT & BLACK PEPPER CRACKERS 9 OZ. The problem you described sounds like there was a possible mechanical failure at our faci... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 21:08:52 EST Food Review - Brown Rice Triscuit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5288575 We saw these at the grocery store last night and decided to try them. Unfortunately, what's inside the box doesn't look as good as on the package. <BR> <BR> We bought the Sea Salt & Black Pepper variety - there were several flavors to choose from, but I didn't see a plain option. <BR> <BR> I took one cacker out of the box and ate it. It had a strange greasy sheen to it, which I could feel as well as taste. The salt and pepper seasoning was OK, but I really didn't care for the oiliness... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 09:03:37 EST Bertucci's Cod al Forno http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5288259 We went to Bertucci's tonight for dinner, and I wanted to have a lighter dinner, so I ordered the Cod al Forno, which means Baked Cod (literally from the oven) in Italian. The menu said that it was sprinkled with bread crumbs, and served over marinated tomatoes with roasted potatoes. The picture showed large chunks of tomato surrounding the fish. <BR> <BR> I asked the waiter if they could go light on the bread crumbs, which they did. It was served in the baking dish nestled into a large bo... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 22:51:48 EST Really enjoying my FitBit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5217590 I really like that fb sends me weekly e-mails on how I've done, and also how long the little thing holds a charge! I really wish that their mobile app allowed syncing with my Android phone, but hopefully that will be added in the near future. Today I got an e-mail telling me that I've walked 50 miles since I've started using it! With my hectic schedule right now, it's wonderful not to have to manually log these things. <BR> <BR> I still haven't taken the time to measure my stride so it'... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 20:16:13 EST My New Toy - the Fitbit One http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5197694 I'd been wanting a Fitbit for a while, and Hubby got me the One for Christmas. I must have been using it for just a week, because today I got an e-mail with my weekly stats in it - I wasn't expecting that! So, here are my stats for 12/31/12 - 1/6/2013 <BR> <BR> 20, 326 Total Steps (Daily Avg. 2904, best day 6262) <BR> 8.49 Total Miles (Daily Avg 1.21, best day 2.61) <BR> 11, 753 Total Calories Burned (Daily Avg. 1679, best day 1725) <BR> 10,560 Total Calories Eaten <BR> -1183 ... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 21:01:31 EST Could protein be the key? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5152050 I've always tended to eat more carbs, and recently decided to try getting more protein in my diet, especially at breakfast - I was getting hungry two hours after eating a very generous bowl of oatmeal, milk, and fruit. See my "Tale of Three Breakfasts" blogs if you're interested. So, I decided to make egg sandwiches for breakfast instead for the protein and fat. I've alternated several things, but this work week I ate my egg sandwich breakfast every day (332 calories): <BR> <BR> 100 calo... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 21:28:17 EST I tried a new food: Burger King Apple Cranberry Chicken Salad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5107271 I lost 50 pounds eating a lot of fast food (by choosing wisely), so I'm always excited to try the new healthier options that many fast-food restaurants are offering. <BR> <BR> Today DH wanted to lunch at BK, and I remembered that I've been wanting to try their new salads. So, I had the Apple Cranberry (Grilled) Chicken Salad, and it was quite good. <BR> <BR> This salad has grilled chicken, craisins, blue cheese, and apple slices on a bed of mixed lettuces. It comes with Ken's Apple Cide... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 16:31:26 EST Getting back on track - Again! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5107265 Well, our customer event was a success last week, but the pace is really intense, and invariably, the quality of my diet deteriorates as the week progresses. I did better this month than last, though; I only missed 2 days of exercise, and my eating was on-plan until the first day of the event. Then the call of Costco pizza and candy was too much to resist - I had not one, but 2.5 days of excessive eating, <BR> <BR> Fortunately, I'm at a point where this doesn't derail me for the long-te... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 16:23:59 EST Soy Milk vs. Skim http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5098034 In my recent quest to find the perfect breakfast, I decided to calculate my breakfasts with both skim milk and soy milk. I originally started using soy milk instead of skim when I discovered that I wasn't getting enough fat in my diet. I settled on Silk Unsweetened because I didn't want the added sugar that is in most soy milks, and because it had about the same calories as skim (80/cup). In addition, it has almost as much fat as 2% milk, making it really yummy! <BR> <BR> The drawbacks we... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 22:00:30 EST A Tale of Three Breakfasts - Continued http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5098016 So, I did my breakfast experiment this week - 3 days I had my home-made egg sandwich , 1 day I had almond butter on toast, and the 5th day I had a Dunkin Donuts Ham/Egg/Cheese Wakeup Wrap. All breakfasts also included 100 grams of apple and 1/4c. or 1/2 c. skim milk in my tea (some days I had 2 big mugs of tea in the morning). <BR> <BR> Well, it's been a little difficult to tell the results because the time I ate the main part of the meal varied depending on whether I had my Physical Therap... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 21:48:53 EST A Tale of Three Breakfasts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5089758 Gosh - I haven't blogged in so long - my work life has been hectic, so something had to give:). Anyway, I'd been eating the same oatmeal breakfast for it seems years, but I always get hungry a couple of hours later. So, recently I decided to experiment with some other breakfasts which are higher in protein and fat, to see if that would keep hunger at bay longer. So far I've tried one option, and am gearing up to try another this week. <BR> <BR> For those who don't know me so well, I'm ... Sun, 7 Oct 2012 09:10:00 EST One Small Victory - Avoiding the Caffeine Temptation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4994977 This afternoon after lunch, I felt really sluggish and started to develop a headache. I really wanted to make a cup of coffee, but past experience has taught me that medicating with caffeine and/or sugar is NOT a good idea - it only makes me feel worse later on. <BR> <BR> So, instead I took 2 Excedrin Migraine (store brand - I know it has some caffeine in it) with a big mug of water, and ate my slice of healthy pumpin/coconut pie. Lo and behold, the headache has mostly subsided. <BR> <BR>... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 15:14:39 EST Walk Across America Final Stats http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4973322 My office held a Walk Across America challenge - here are my results: <BR> <BR> Dates: 4/23 - 7/13 2012 (12 weeks) <BR> We counted 2000 steps per mile, to make the contest about steps taken, and to event things out between the tall, short, etc. <BR> Total Miles: 446.94 <BR> Lowest Week: 25.92 <BR> Highest Week: 43.94 <BR> Weekly Average 37.25/week <BR> <BR> Our team of 5 walked a total of 1876.48 miles - not enough to make it all the way across the country, but pretty respectable. I'v... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 18:39:54 EST Back in the swing of things http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4959801 After my last blog, we had a really intense few of weeks at work getting ready for a customer event to be held the last week of June. I'm happy to report that I kept tracking my food throughout, and even kept up with my exercising until the final week. Surprisingly, I even came in slightly under my calorie range about half of the days in the final week. (And the event went really well, which was nice:)). <BR> <BR> I was really suprised that my back didn't hurt at all during the week, even... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 22:05:55 EST Pain Free Progress Report! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4920449 Gosh, it's been a while since I've blogged - life has been HECTIC! However, I'm happy to report that I've reigned in my eating since my last post, and have been sticking with my workouts. We left home for our neice's high school graduation on Thursday, and have done a LOT of walking ever since. So, I'm happy to report the following: <BR> Thursday - walked quite quickly in the airport, since we were running behind schedule, and more walking on our destination end. <BR> Friday - sightseeing ... Sun, 10 Jun 2012 17:48:13 EST A totally erratic week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4901799 Let's see - this was the week of food events, and I simply was unable to restrain myself. It started last Saturday with our guild pot-luck. Then, Thursday we had an all hands meeting at work, followed by an ice cream and pizza social. Yesterday, I went to a friend's where there were lots of chips and ribs, and today I just didn't even bother to track (and ate way too much, too). <BR> <BR> On the plus side, I kept up with my morning exercise, and even got some extra walking in, though my t... Mon, 28 May 2012 21:14:39 EST A totally erratic week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4901798 Let's see - this was the week of food events, and I simply was unable to restrain myself. It started last Saturday with our guild pot-luck. Then, Thursday we had an all hands meeting at work, followed by an ice cream and pizza social. Yesterday, I went to a friend's where there were lots of chips and ribs, and today I just didn't even bother to track (and ate way too much, too). <BR> <BR> On the plus side, I kept up with my morning exercise, and even got some extra walking in, though my t... Mon, 28 May 2012 21:14:35 EST Tried another new food this weekend - TSC All American Breakfast Wrap http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4891195 We've been enjoying going to Tropical Smoothie Cafe lately, so Saturday we decided to try their breakfast. We checked the nutrition info on-line first, and discovered that the All-American Wrap (Junior Size) had 376 calories. Hubby and I both ordered it, and both had the same reactions: <BR> <BR> Minuses: <BR> a. It was REALLY small for the number of calories in it (and 210 of those calories came from the not-whole-grain tortilla). b. It was sort of bland. It contained Egg, American Ch... Mon, 21 May 2012 11:49:35 EST Walk Across America, Week 4 Report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4890891 This week I totaled 35.89 miles - less than last week, but still respectable considering the my continuing limited exercise capabilities. I even got in 14,144 steps on Sunday, which is my 2nd-highest day so far (the first high day was when I was over-doing it!) <BR> <BR> A bright spot in the week was Saturday evening's walk with my husband. We walked for a FULL hour, at what felt like a normal pace, and I had NO back pain the entire time. I wonder if walking on the dirt path instead of th... Mon, 21 May 2012 09:18:08 EST Saturday Report - a mixed bag. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4889036 OK, I'm going to confess. I only tracked a couple of food items today because I really have no idea how much I ate. It's the first time since I had to resume tracking on the weekends that I haven't tracked every single thing I put into my mouth. I'm going to give myself a "pass" for today, and won't even attempt to track it. I just need to not let weekend slippage become a habit again - tomorrow I get back onto plan. <BR> <BR> I actually had planned to have an "off program" day today, be... Sat, 19 May 2012 21:27:51 EST Our tastes they are a-changin ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4881109 It's funny how sometimes things we say come back to bite us in the fanny: <BR> <BR> A Sparker whose blog I follow wrote an entry about trying the McDonald's Filet of Fish after making major changes in her life, and finding that she didn't like it at all anymore. I replied that my DH and I still considered the FoF to be one of our favorite treats, but that we did practice moderation by a) purchasing only when we had a $1 coupon, b) bringing FoF home and eating with a salad and tomato soup, t... Mon, 14 May 2012 15:07:22 EST Walk Across America, Week 3 Report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4880393 This week I totaled 38.6 miles, which is much better than I expected to do while giving my back a break. It was definitely helped by my weekend high-steps days - lots of errand running both days, and an almost hour-long walk with hubby on Sunday helped. My back is feeling much better. I just need to start out really slowly and LISTEN to what it's telling me. <BR> <BR> <BR> M 3.92 / 4.95 / 6.16 <BR> T 6.94 / 7.62 / 5.93 <BR> W 6.02 / 6.62 / 4.32 <BR> R 6.55 / 6.34 / 3.74 <BR> F 5.57 / 6.34... Mon, 14 May 2012 08:22:34 EST I think I've found a to-do system I like - Kanban http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4879927 The past month or so, the weekends have seemed like we've been doing nothing but running running running errands, but at the end, I never felt like I had accomplished much (though I know in my heart that that's a lie that my incarnation of All or Nothing Girl likes to tell me). <BR> <BR> Recently I read about an on-line to-do tracker called Kanban Flow (kanbanflow.com) on Lifehacker, and just started using it this week. I did a little research on the site personalkanban.com, and discovere... Sun, 13 May 2012 21:37:18 EST Walk Across America, Week 2 Report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4871911 I increased my mileage a little this week, totalling 40.99 miles: here are my daily #s compared to last week: <BR> M 3.92 / 4.95 <BR> T 6.94 / 7.62 <BR> W 6.02 / 6.62 <BR> R 6.55 / 6.34 <BR> F 5.57 / 6.34 <BR> S 5.70 / 4.40 <BR> S 5.21 / 4.71 <BR> <BR> I'm sure Week 3's mileage will be considerably less, now that I realize I was abusing my poor back:(. It's a shame, because I was really enjoying the feeling of speed. Oh, well, hopefully I'll get there one day with enough time. I'd be THR... Tue, 8 May 2012 09:16:44 EST I tried a new food today - Bob's Red Mill Organic Buckwheat Creamy Hot Cereal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4868182 I LOVE hot cereal, and saw this mentioned in someone's blog, so I thought I'd try it. <BR> <BR> I followed the microwave directions, using 3/4 cup water to 1/4 cup cereal. The directions said to microwave for 3-5 minutes, but after 2 minutes the water was already almost all absorbed. So, I added another 1/4 cup of water, and nuked for the remaining 3 minutes. Then I added 86 grams of blueberries, a teaspoon of honey, and a 1/4 cup of unsweetened soy milk. <BR> <BR> I'm sorry to say th... Sat, 5 May 2012 21:30:25 EST Listening to my Body (and the consequences of not!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4868046 Well, I was so excited that I had gotten up to a 15/15 minute split between the treadmill and elliptical at the gym in the mornings. I was even finding the elliptical so fun that I would often go in time to whatever music was playing, often getting up over 5 miles per hour. I was also trying out short stints at 2.4 mph on the treadmill. <BR> <BR> Then, this week my back started hurting more, and I've determined that while I thought I was increasing slowly enough, I was increasing too fas... Sat, 5 May 2012 18:59:33 EST Walk Across America, Week 1 Report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4858835 Well, I've completed my first week of our office's Walk Across America challenge, and did better than I expected. Between the treadmill, elliptical, and other steps (calculated by pedometer), I totaled 39.9 miles this week: <BR> M 3.92 <BR> T 6.94 <BR> W 6.02 <BR> R 6.55 <BR> F 5.57 <BR> S 5.70 <BR> S 5.21 <BR> <BR> I only achieved my 15/15 minute split between the elliptical and treadmill on Friday, so that will help me to rack up more mileage this week. I'm tempted to keep increasing my ... Mon, 30 Apr 2012 08:45:11 EST Week 10 recap http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4847732 Yesterday marked the end of my 10th week of consistent (yet very moderate) exercise, and about 6 weeks of tracking every single day (including the weekends). <BR> <BR> On 4/16, I weighed 130, and today the scale said 123.1 - just .1 over my ideal weight. <BR> I lost 1.5 pounds each of these last two weeks, this week while averaging 1488 calories/day. <BR> <BR> So, what does this all mean? Now I need to eat more if I don't want to keep losing weight! The quality of my problems to day is SO... Mon, 23 Apr 2012 09:17:34 EST Walk Across America - starts tomorrow, and other news http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4846771 My workplace is having a 12-week Walk Across America challenge starting tomorrow, 4/23/2012. We've formed teams of five people, and the object is to be the first team to reach the 2600 miles. They even got very nice pedometers for us for only $5, and yesterday I accidentally tossed mine in the wash still attached to my sweaty shorts after gardening! I hope there are some left over so I can get another. <BR> <BR> Here's the deal: <BR> 2600 miles / 12 weeks = 216 miles per week. <BR> 216 we... Sun, 22 Apr 2012 15:46:15 EST Feeling a little overwhelmed - but didn't ruin my streak! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4836768 Well, it's 7 minutes past bedtime, but I need to do this journaling. <BR> <BR> Friday was the first day in over 8 weeks that I missed doing my PT exercises. I did do my AM "cardio," but had to go home to mind the landscapers, and it was going to be a busy work (from home) day as well. I told myself that I would do the PT exercises in the evening, but never got around to it. Then I said I'd do them on Saturday, but didn't do that either! And guess what - my back was nagging at me a bit m... Sun, 15 Apr 2012 22:12:31 EST Starting to see results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4829427 I'm now into my 9th week of consistent exercise, and am starting to see more obvious results. My legs have already been feeling firmer to the touch for a few weeks, and now they're starting to look less lumpy/flabby too. <BR> <BR> I think the additional after-dinner walks with hubby are helping as well. I mapped our route yesterday and today in Sparky: Yesterday's walk was 1.7 miles in 41 minutes, and today's was 1.79 in 42 minutes. So, when we walk outdoors we're doing around 2.5 mph... Tue, 10 Apr 2012 21:49:18 EST Exercise = Exorcise? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4825084 My husband has re-started working on some of his health goals this week, and it's trickling over to me, which is wonderful: <BR> <BR> He's going to work early (which means getting up at 6 AM with me). However, he's actually making the effort to have lights out around 10 PM, so **I'm** getting to bed earlier as well. <BR> <BR> He also decided that he wanted to take some after dinner walks - that means that I got FOUR extra walking sessions this week, totalling 139 additional minutes that I ... Sat, 7 Apr 2012 22:38:15 EST Seven (consecutive) weeks of consistent exercise behind me. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4817628 I was setting up my exercise log for the upcoming week yesterday, and realized that I've gone to the gym diligently for SEVEN whole weeks - I can't believe it. <BR> <BR> I started with 10 minutes at a time on the treadmill at 2.0 mph, and a few of my back exercises. I inched my way up to 30 minutes at 2.2 with tiny bits of incline thrown in for variety, and a full half hour or more of the PT exercises, depending on the day. I'm currently experimenting with the elliptical; today I did 21 ... Mon, 2 Apr 2012 22:07:12 EST I tried something new today for dinner http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4809537 I'm trying to use up some stuff from the fridge while DH is away on business, and discovered an aseptic package of silken tofu (soft) that a friend left at our house back in November. I remembered seeing a recipe for a "tofu scramble" somewhere on Sparky, and thought I'd try something similar. <BR> <BR> I sauteed some baby spinach in garlic, and then put half the block of tofu into the frying pan. I chopped/mixed it all up as it cooked, and it did almost look like softly scrambled eggs, w... Wed, 28 Mar 2012 19:39:37 EST Singing the Lower Back Blues, or Hello, Heating Pad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4808011 My back was really nagging at me the last week or so. I really didn't want to believe that I was increasing my exercise too quickly, or that doing five minutes on the elliptical could cause such issues, but the aching didn't seem to want go go away. Then yesterday it dawned on me that I hadn't put any heat on my back in weeks. <BR> <BR> In physical therapy, each session would end with ten glorious minutes laying on the heating pad, and I even bought a heating pad with an automatic shutof... Tue, 27 Mar 2012 21:13:14 EST Tracking really does work! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4806412 I stepped on the scale this morning, and to my surprise and delight, was 1.2 pounds down from last Monday's weigh-in - (after a .8 loss last week). I've written before how I had maintained a 55 pound weight loss for almost 9 years until recently, when a combination of circumstances came together to cause me to gain 5-8 pounds over the weight at which my current wardrobe fits me best. And, there are no longer any large clothes in my closet to fall back on.:) <BR> <BR> I could blame it on t... Mon, 26 Mar 2012 22:19:24 EST Little Victories http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4803072 LV #1: I got some exercise Every Single Day this week - I can't believe it! <BR> <BR> I've made a point to take Sundays off from exercising, but I missed last Wednesday, so decided to get some gardening in on Sunday. Then, I did my 5 days of walk and back/neck exercises this week, and took a walk outside today (no Yoga, since we were at a hotel). I think I'll have to make a point of spending a half-hour in our overgrown garden every Sunday - it really needs it. <BR> <BR> I did 5 minute o... Sat, 24 Mar 2012 19:23:17 EST Dipping my toe into the water ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4797640 I wasn't planning to try the elliptical machine until next week, but I was feeling good on the treadmill today, so I decided to go ahead. Instead of doing 30 minutes at 2.2 mph on the treadmill, I did 25 minutes, and then spent 5 minutes on the elliptical. I didn't push it or try to go fast (and the machine wouldn't tell me RPMs), but I did the 5 minutes without any discomfort in my back. <BR> <BR> So, depending on how I feel on the treadmill tomorrow, I just may try another 5 minutes on... Tue, 20 Mar 2012 22:54:38 EST Weight Maintenance Woes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4794056 Well, I'm in an interesting position after 9 years of maintenance. Due to various circumstances which caused the amount of exercise I was getting to plummet (back injury, changing jobs), I'm now five pounds over my comfortable weight, and about 7 pounds over my lots of exercise weight. I'm still smack in the middle of the healthy BMI range, but all of my pants are now just a bit too snug for comfort. <BR> <BR> So I've been trying to be more diligent with my intake, since the amount of ca... Sun, 18 Mar 2012 22:09:26 EST I felt my abs today! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4792689 Today marks the end of 5 consecutive weeks of exercise. I missed Wednesday this week, but was able to go to the gym today, so I still got 5 days in this week. On the treadmill, I noticed that the TVs were showing the Rock and Roll Marathon - I know at least one of the NoVa Sparkers was there - it seemed like a lovely day for a race. <BR> <BR> Then, as did some cat and dog stretches before the Intro to Yoga class, I actually felt some tightness in my abdominal muscles as I arched my back ... Sat, 17 Mar 2012 22:31:24 EST Four weeks of exercise under my belt! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4781376 Today marks the end of my fourth consecutive week of morning visits to the gym. I was glad to get a 6th day in this week, as going on Saturday doesn't always fit my schedule. When I do go on Saturday, the program is Treadmill followed by a 30 minute Intro to Yoga class. I want to eventually graduate to the full 75 minute Yoga class, but it will be a couple of months at least before I'm ready for that. <BR> <BR> Last week I wrote about how 2.3 mph makes my back start to hurt, so this week ... Sat, 10 Mar 2012 23:10:54 EST Goodbye to a Dear Friend http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4769175 Today I went to the funeral of a dear friend of 18 years, who had been like a second mom to me. It's been an up-and-down two weeks since her death, and today has been one of the sadder days. I'm trying to keep in mind that not everyone is fortunate enough to have had two moms in their lives. She was a wonderful caregiver to so many people, including me. Her kids said at the service that the best way to honor her memory would be to remember to help those around us who need it. <BR> <BR>... Sat, 3 Mar 2012 21:31:06 EST A new habit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4767781 As of today, I have been to the gym every weekday morning before work for 3 weeks! I've increased from 15 minutes at 2 mph on the treadmill, to 25 minutes at 2.2 mph. I've also done my back exercises 3 times each week, and my neck exercises 2 times per week. I'm not at the point where I even sweat yet, but my legs do feel more firm, and I can feel the rest of the muscles I've been using as well. My plan also includes going on Saturday mornings, which I did the first week, but last week a... Fri, 2 Mar 2012 21:25:17 EST Ready to start Week 2! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4746870 Well, I stuck with my exercise plan this week: went to the gym 6 days in a row, and resisted the urge to overdo it. Saturday's Yoga class was a real treat, as part of it consisted of the stretches I do for my back anyway. The best part was the explanation the instructor gave of how to get into Triangle pose without hurting one's back. Hooray! <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I'm glad to be off work, but plan to go to the gym in the morning per plan. This week's program will be the same as last week's,... Sun, 19 Feb 2012 23:08:28 EST Slow is Good http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4744133 Well, today is Friday, and I went to the gym five days in a row this week! Right now it's much more about building a new habit than anything else. I'm not doing enough to make myself sore, but I *can* tell that I'm using my muscles again. I started with 15 minutes on the treadmill at a whopping 2 mph, and have worked my way up to 20 minutes at 2.1. I also did the PT exercises for my lower back on MWF, and the ones for my neck on TR. Tomorrow I plan to do another 20 minute treadmill walk,... Fri, 17 Feb 2012 22:45:40 EST Busy Weekend/Getting ready for Monday http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4735777 And, it's not over yet! <BR> <BR> DH and I did a lot this weekend. Yesterday we went to the gym to sign me up, and it turns out that putting me as an add-on to his membership made it less expensive than it was when I left the same gym 3 years ago. Another perk is that since they're a local franchise members can now use any of the 3 gyms in the area, one of which has a pool. AND, they're opening another branch with a pool sometime soon as well. So, I'm really excited about maybe being ab... Sun, 12 Feb 2012 21:24:12 EST TGIF! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4733033 Well, this has been a stressful week. Am I glad it's Friday. <BR> <BR> First, we found out that our new kitten (only 14 weeks old!) had Coccidia, so had to bring her to the vet to get that treated. While there, we discovered lots of ear mite dirt, and a flea. So, I was sent home with medications for everything but the fleas, which I only realized later they should have given me. Arrrrgh. Then, attempts to do some smell exchange traumatized our older cat so much that she had diarrhea and... Fri, 10 Feb 2012 22:13:02 EST