RETIREDSUE's SparkPeople Blog RETIREDSUE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Sparkversary I did post this on a couple of team forums but I think I'll also include it as a blog. <BR> <BR> I consider today to be my <em>503</em> even though I first joined SP in September 2010. It is only over the course of the past year that I have become, and stayed involved in SP and truly had consistent and lasting success. Any other forays on to Spark I guess were just for warm up or practice! <em>211</em> On January 1st 2016 my scales tipped in at 230 (highest weight ever!) and were... Wed, 4 Jan 2017 17:19:25 EST Reflections There are only a few hours remaining in 2016 so I thought I'd better get busy jotting down some thoughts that I've been tossing around in my head for the past while. <BR> <BR> A year ago I felt like a blimp and knew that I had to do something to get rid of some pounds as I'd reached my heaviest weight ever and had even had to resort to purchasing some larger sized pants since nothing else felt comfortable. Long before the new year rolled around, I had vowed to lose those extra pounds and ma... Sat, 31 Dec 2016 22:26:58 EST A little bit of this and that Believe me I thought I'd have this blog done much earlier today but you know, stuff happens, including having a cat between me and my computer having her "after dinner" nap earlier and getting some decluttering done. <BR> <BR> Anyway I thought I had the perfect topic for this blog - The Sandwich Generation - I'm sure many of you can relate and know exactly what I mean! It's hard to be caught between our aging parents (my mom is 95) and our children/grandchildren who may need our support. J... Fri, 18 Nov 2016 20:20:28 EST What to write about? It has been an usually busy day for me, so I've had no time to really even think about a blog topic (I've worn out the 5% Challenge as a topic), let alone actually begin to type something. So what to talk about - maybe just my unusually busy day. <BR> <BR> Once a month I get together with five of my former colleagues (all retired "school marms"!) for coffee. There used to be just three of us getting together in the evenings occasionally but one of my friends is the caregiver for her mom wh... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 22:47:49 EST LTGL This will likely be my last blog specifically about the 5% Challenge. I'll have to try to find something else to natter on about for the last couple of days of the challenge week! <BR> <BR> If you are a 5% challenge participant then my blog title needs no explanation. However I'm sure anyone else is wondering just WHAT does LTGL mean? Those letters stand for "Living the Good Life" and are a part of every challenge. They are intended to help participants develop healthy habits that can he... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 23:00:18 EST My 5% Challenge Team In joining the spring 5% challenge I noticed that there was a "Choose Your Team" thread so I checked out most of the teams that I thought I'd enjoy. However as a new participant to the challenge I wasn't sure where to jump in so thought I'd best post a comment on the "Any Team is Great" thread and see where I landed. Several days before the challenge began I received an invitation to join the "Awesome A's team. I'm not sure that it's a team I would have chosen had I made the pick but I ha... Tue, 15 Nov 2016 18:36:11 EST More on my 5% Challenge Experience As mentioned previously, I felt a bit intimidated at first by the 5% challenge but what I found was a great support group, many new friends and a motivation to increase my daily workouts. I'd been working out 6 days a week and had also done a 30 day Jump start Your Workout challenge (great if you don't do strength training and want a way to get started!) so being challenged to post exercise minutes daily to help my team made me put a bit more time and effort into workouts and ensured that I... Mon, 14 Nov 2016 12:29:37 EST 5% Challenge I'm just finishing up my third 5% challenge and for the final week we've been challenged to blog. It's been a long time since I did a blog but I did a few early on this year when I was getting started on my weight loss journey. When I first saw an invitation to join the spring challenge on one of the forums where I'd begun to participate, I felt intimidated didn't think I'd be successful. My losses hadn't yet come as quickly as I'd hoped and I mistakenly calculated that I'd be attempting t... Sat, 12 Nov 2016 10:46:41 EST I Made It!! (more than once) I recently finished my first 5% Challenge as a member of the Awesome A team (and they were "awesome"!). A true 5% loss when I began would have been 10.6 pounds but liking to round things out, I set a goal of losing 11 pounds. Two days before the final weigh in I had hit my goal - actually surpassed it by .2 - but braced myself in case their was a blip and the weight went up by a bit - not unusual for those who weigh daily. Fortunately the scales stayed steady and didn't jump up a bit until ... Tue, 24 May 2016 21:47:03 EST Goodbye 20! Onderland - Here I Come! I've been hovering just above the weight that would give me a 20 lb loss for close to a week and a little higher than that for even longer - just waiting to see that third number on the scale change. This morning I was really happy to see a drop of .8 on the scales which put me .4 under that "magic" 20 lb loss mark. <em>224</em> Of course those pounds have to STAY away, and it will be tomorrow before I know, but I decided to celebrate anyway. Onderland is getting closer and I hope to be t... Mon, 18 Apr 2016 19:06:44 EST Spring - Finally!! April has been a very "unspringlike" month - at least up until a few days ago. While we got a little taste of more seasonable temperatures last Monday, Tuesday was again very windy and chilly before a gradual warmup resumed. By Thursday, it definitely seemed spring had arrived and the past three days have been more like late, than mid-spring. It HAS to be warm for me to venture out for a stroll in capris! <em>246</em> Now the really good news is that the capris I wore out for walks ye... Sun, 17 Apr 2016 20:14:15 EST 100 Days I realized last night that I would hit a 100 day streak when I signed in today. I'm not sure that I have actually made it to 100 days of straight "sparking" before. While I probably have tracked and logged in for 3 months or so in the past, I likely missed a few days here and there, so it is, I believe, a new record for me. <BR> <BR> I'm a bit amazed at the differences between my previous forays on to Spark and this current one. One major difference is that I have committed to exercise in ... Tue, 12 Apr 2016 22:12:31 EST An Anniversary of Sorts As I was doing my treadmill workout this morning, it occurred to me that it was exactly 3 months ago today (January 4th) that I got myself up, drank my warm lemon water and headed off to the basement for the first time to blow the dust off of the treadmill. I hadn't been near the machine in a VERY long time and had no idea that it was all neatly folded up in a corner. I had to wrestle with it as I tried to remember how to get it set up, acquiring a cut finger in the process. I'm sure once... Mon, 4 Apr 2016 23:10:12 EST The Journey So Far I could probably start this blog entry like I did the last one - but I won't. I have been going to do another entry for ages but somehow just never quite got to it. I should set myself a goal of one a week or every two weeks maybe, as just over two months have passed (2 months 2 days to be exact!) since I my last blog. Winter has "officially' turned into spring, although our weather a few days ago was more wintry than spring-like. Today however is warm, sunny and most spring-like so the s... Sun, 27 Mar 2016 17:49:47 EST Beginning week 4 It seems hard to believe that I am beginning my fourth week of daily exercise and have yet to miss a day! Sundays are my least active day, as I take a break from the cardio workout on the treadmill but I do at least 10-20 minutes of strength training exercises (legs) to keep up with the Jump Start Your Workout challenge While I have been tired and had to push myself a few times, I have never been tempted to skip a workout - yet! Since my main focus for this month was to develop a regular e... Mon, 25 Jan 2016 22:06:13 EST Soup Day It seems that Wednesday (right now) had become a "soup making" day for me. Today it was the Lentil Vegetable Soup that I had seen and wanted to try. I purchased most of what I needed last week knowing that there were a couple of ingredients already on hand - or so I thought. The celery that was in the fridge had been used up by Hubby who does do the cooking I had kept some of the celery leaves and so used them along with a couple of small bell peppers instead. I should have started with ... Wed, 20 Jan 2016 21:54:05 EST Catching Up Doing a blog post daily was not one of my goals although I did start out blogging most days. My main focus is to develop a consistent exercise routine or "habit" which has been lacking for far too long. So far, so good! My back felt fine on Saturday so it was on to the treadmill first thing. I got in some core exercises a bit later although I did take it easy with most of them and switched out one an alternate. <BR> <BR> Sunday is my "day off" more or less. Because I am doing the 31 day... Mon, 18 Jan 2016 21:01:57 EST Back problems Maybe it was the exercise bending over and lifting dumb bells to work my legs yesterday that got things started, but early this morning (5:30) when I had to get up, I tweaked my lower back a bit and immediately was concerned that I would be able to get in today's exercise. Even walking was painful when my weight was on my right foot. I tried to do some gentle stretches when I got back into bed a few minutes later before going back to sleep. <BR> <BR> I have had lower back problems diagnosed... Fri, 15 Jan 2016 22:51:49 EST Adventures in cooking Let me preface this with saying that I DO know how to cook but do very little. Almost 30 years ago before our son was born, my hubby was unemployed and suggested that he stay home with the kids ( we also had a 2 year old daughter). Thus my hubby became a *stay at home dad* and took over all the household duties, including cooking of course. I do make some dishes occasionally and yesterday was one of those times as I decided to make a very easy bean soup. <BR> <BR> Actually the cooking was... Thu, 14 Jan 2016 23:24:26 EST Good Day It was nice to see the scales finally move down a bit today - not a whole lot - but it's a start. Hopefully if I keep moving they will too! <BR> <BR> I knew that I would be walking to the library this afternoon for a weekly knitting group so didn't jump on the treadmill first thing for the third day in a row, Now I have an appointment tomorrow morning near the library - so I could walk - but it will depend on how cold it is and if I have enough time to walk. The forecast is for colder t... Tue, 12 Jan 2016 23:27:41 EST Snowy day It was off to have coffee with some retired friends this morning so there was no time to jump on the treadmill, especially since I woke up a bit late. It was also snowy which around here means snowy streets (even main roads) and extra time needed for driving anywhere. <BR> <BR> While I did begin my day sitting and chatting instead of exercising, I also ran some errands afterwards which kept me moving. Finally arrived home this afternoon, more than ready for some lunch! It was later this a... Mon, 11 Jan 2016 20:03:34 EST Day of Rest Being Sunday I was up and off to church so had already determined I wouldn't get in any cardio since the service starts at 9:30 and I have trouble getting there with much time to spare at the best of times (I was actually a bit late today)! <em>2</em> I did get in my Jump Start workout (some nice lower body exercises) after I came home and had my second cup of coffee, but that was the sum total of my formal exercise.I still was active enough (so far) for my phone to show just over 30 min... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 23:07:27 EST Saturday I slept in (hey it's Saturday) so was a bit late getting to the cardio exercise but even with the extra sleep, my body felt a bit tired and unmotivated and finding some music to correct that seemed to be a problem. I wasn't sure if the tiredness was the result of a longer "fast" since I had eaten so I had a 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce with the water just to give me a little extra boost. <BR> <BR> I had already determined to cut back a bit today on cardio since a week ago my most acti... Sat, 9 Jan 2016 17:47:15 EST Five days and counting So I have managed to hit the treadmill and/or do some aerobic activity for five days in a row now. I have also completed four days of the Jump Start Your Workout challenge and most of the Realistic Resolutions challenge. Hard for me to plan the weeks's meals when my husband and I each make our own breakfast and lunch and he cooks dinner plus does the grocery shopping! Unfortunately he doesn't look at nutrients and thus I was stuck with a 340 calorie beef burger for supper (and that was jus... Fri, 8 Jan 2016 21:55:45 EST So far so good Woke up this morning not really feeling motivated to get up and hit the treadmill, but I did it anyway. I've been battling a slight cold with a bit of a headache all week but so far have not let it stop me. I did have to push myself a bit this morning though but as I got into the workout, found I was able to keep going longer than I had originally planned, I thought I'd do 20-25 minutes but actually spent at least 30 minutes on the treadmill plus warm up and cool down. The first day I was... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 21:04:05 EST Back again Well I'm back again hoping to make 2016 the year that I really and truly do become healthier and more committed to a healthier life style. I knew better than to start on January 1st as I am always still in holiday mode, but attending the funeral of my 64 year old cousin on Sunday certainly strengthened my resolve to begin on Monday. He died from a sudden heart attack New Year's Eve day although with his love of hunting, fishing and outdoor life, I'm not sure how much life style choices cont... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 11:56:59 EST Pleasantly Surprised I originally started to blog to help keep me on track with my exercise. However four weeks ago, my husband and I left on vacation to visit family in Calgary and later in Ohio. We ended up travelling 7300 km over a period of three weeks (plus a day). We spent a total of nine days travelling which of course involved eating out. The rest of the time we were visiting our daughter and later my brother-in-law and family. I knew that would be a challenge and my goal was to try to not gain any wei... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 22:31:07 EST Best laid plans sometimes go astray! So the plan to walk downtown to my hair appointment today (probably a 25-30 minute walk one way) didn't quite work because of threatening skies and lack of time. However I had two or three errands I wanted to accomplish downtown so the alternate plan became to park about two blocks from my stylist's and then get in some walking while accomplishing my other tasks after my appointment. The result was about 20 minutes of walking - considerably less than if I had walked to the appointment but on... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 21:13:51 EST Procrastination Yes I procrastinate about a number of things like making phone calls, answering email, exercise (of course!) etc. All-nighters to complete university essays were common - back in the day. I guess I felt I worked better under pressure. <BR> As a teacher, I definitely learned to plan ahead for at least a few days at a time but I could easily put off marking at times. <BR> <BR> Now I procrastinate about exercise - frequently. I can so easily get distracted by other things. Today was a pr... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 20:08:25 EST Catching up So my goal to blog daily so far is not quite there! lol! It didn't help that we went to Georgetown to our son's on Saturday so that we could attend and cheer him on in his first triathlon of the season in Milton on Sunday. He had his best time yet for the distances he was doing. <BR> <BR> As for me, there was no time to walk, exercise or blog on Saturday before we left BUT I did get in at least 30 minutes of walking on Sunday since it was a LONG trek to the race area from the far end of ... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 22:37:56 EST New to blogging Blogging is not something that I have really gotten into but I have read that keeping a journal can be an important tool to being successful with weight loss and management long term so I will give this a shot! <BR> <BR> I can usually do a pretty good job of staying within my calorie range and tracking food but my downfall is lack of exercise! I usually have to push myself to so something although some days it is easier than others, I find it too easy to get distracted by other things! <B... Fri, 30 May 2014 22:00:33 EST