RUSSELLORAMA's SparkPeople Blog RUSSELLORAMA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community oh hai, sparkversary! <em>507</em> <em>507</em> <em>507</em> <em>507</em> <em>507</em> <em>507</em> <em>507</em> <em>507</em> <em>507</em> <BR> <BR> Yep, my 5 year SparkVersary was January 14, 2013. <BR> <BR> FIVE YEARS. <BR> <BR> Holy $hit. <BR> <BR> Imagine me, the person who always gives up when it looks like a good thing's happening, who is the Jedi Master of Self-Sabotage, sticking with something that long. Even if it wasn't always consistent, even if it wasn't always pretty, ... Tue, 15 Jan 2013 22:14:51 EST thanks-o-rama In the U.S., Thanksgiving can be a bit nutty. There's the pressure to make everything "perfect", potential drama with relatives that you wished were more distant, and the desire to cover everything you eat in gravy (oh what, that's just me?). And don't get me started on the 4 a.m. shopping. Yikes. <BR> <BR> I'm happy to say that our Thanksgiving was pretty chill. Despite my yearly plea for my father to spend at least part of the day with the two children he still has nearby (me and my older... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 12:21:15 EST checking in from the prairie In which I ramble on about what I've been up to! Sat, 27 Oct 2012 22:08:31 EST whole30 recap So my last blog talked about how I was starting the Whole30 nutrition program. Read up on that if you feel so inclined: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5054797 </link> <BR> <BR> Thanks to a nudge from ABETTERCHERYL, I realized I needed to report. There's been so much going on (new job! new city!) that I haven't had time to tell y'all how it went. In one word: AWESOMESAUCE. <BR> <BR> Now, don't get me wrong, the first couple of days w... Mon, 8 Oct 2012 23:21:45 EST updates, whole30 & mindful balance Hey y'all! <BR> <BR> I know it's been a while since I checked in here. I've been busy with consulting, job-hunting, and lotsa writing! I completed my second Camp NaNoWriMo this summer, wrapping up August 31. In case you don't know, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) is a challenge to write at least 50,000 words in one month. The original event happens each November, but there are also two events that happen in the summer (June & August), hence the summer camp theme. It was su... Tue, 11 Sep 2012 17:07:38 EST is body-shaming the next olympic sport? I really love the Olympics. Despite the fact that NBC is doing all it can to make finding and enjoying coverage darn near impossible, I get so much inspiration from watching these athletes. I think about how much intestinal fortitude it takes to reach that kind of achievement and it's staggering. Even if you're the person that came in last place, it has to be mind-blowing to think about all you had to do to even GET that far. <BR> <BR> But you know what I can't deal with? All of the Olympic... Mon, 6 Aug 2012 17:14:19 EST ups & downs <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We all know that life is full of twists and turns. That's a given. The roller coaster analogy is a fitting one, but I sometimes wish that there was more time between the loops. It's been a crazy summer so far. <BR> <BR> <em>224</em> You got a blogging fellowship! <BR> <BR> <em>46</em> The editor ended it early because your writing "lacked vigor." <BR> <BR> <em>224</em> Two very esteemed colleagues rec... Tue, 3 Jul 2012 16:53:24 EST spring is busting out all over <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This time of year is so distracting. The weather's nicer, people want to hang out more, which usually means food and drinks are involved. There's BBQs, brunches, baseball games, outdoor movies, theater in the park. Plus it's summer beer season! <BR> <BR> That's all awesome stuff, don't get me wrong. But when you're susceptible to nutrition and fitness tomfoolery like I am, sliding off the rails is all too easy. S... Tue, 15 May 2012 18:28:24 EST the latest So what's good SparkPeople? <BR> <BR> I recently updated my status to say that I was too busy moving my butt to spend too much time in Sparkland. It's true! Between gym visits and following the SP bootcamp DVD, I've been logging crazy fitness minutes. So I usually jump on, track some stuff, spin the wheel, check in with a team or two and beat virtual feet. <BR> <BR> Last month, I set a fitness goal for 1,400 minutes and tracked just over 1,500. I'm really proud of that! So this month, I d... Sat, 21 Apr 2012 01:25:34 EST the net appears Man, it's been a while. <BR> <BR> Not that I haven't been getting my healthy living on. Honestly, I feel so good about what I'm doing right now. The Roommate and I are consistently hitting the gym and we just realized that we've cut down our eating out to about once per week and it's usually lunch so that is easier on our budget. We're trying lots of new recipes, especially desserts. It's amazing to me that I can only eat two homemade chocolate chip walnut cookies and be satisfied when I use... Tue, 6 Mar 2012 13:26:32 EST snowbird january Since my dear SHEILA1505 asked for it, here's a recap of January. It was a wacky month but an amazing start to the new year. <BR> <BR> The first week was spent in Orlando, Florida. As a high school graduation present, The Roommate and I took my oldest niece to DisneyWorld. Since we ABSOLUTELY HATE THAT PLACE (sarcasm definitely implied) we were only too glad to make it happen. My mother came along with us and we had a total blast. The look on my niece's face when she saw Cinderella's castle ... Fri, 3 Feb 2012 17:12:50 EST gonna make you sweat It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of SparkPeople fitness videos. When I joined the site four years ago one of the first fitness-related activities I tackled was a month-long fitness bootcamp. I had been rather sedentary for a while (my high school athlete days a distant memory) so I was doubtful that the 10 minute videos would have any impact on me. I was so surprised at the end of the month when I had dropped 13 pounds and lost four inches! <BR> <BR> I've tried many different fitness acti... Mon, 30 Jan 2012 17:24:09 EST ease on down the road I need to update y'all on my December goal (SPOILER: I did it!) but I'm waiting on a very special something to arrive and then I can recap all of my 2011 commitments. Despite what I thought during it, last year was pretty amazing in a lot of ways. I'll also reveal my 2012 theme and whatever other random thoughts pop in my head soon. <BR> <BR> January's been super-busy so far. I'm spending about two weeks this month out of town for work and vacation (and working vacation) while keeping with ... Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:10:11 EST i did this! In my fabulous AB Spark team there's a thread where we can brag about all of the great things we accomplished in 2011. You really think it's been an unremarkable year until you start making a list and before long you're thinking, "Holy cats, I'm awesome!" <BR> <BR> So I'm shutting off my Midwestern humility reflex to share some achievements that I'm pretty proud of. <BR> <BR> <em>321</em> I won a fellowship to attend a major museum conference. <BR> <BR> <em>321</em> I survived nasal ... Tue, 3 Jan 2012 14:14:16 EST no day but today I was scanning the friend feed and saw this from MAMADELIGHT: "Don't start on Sunday. Get your butt in gear today." That's why she's so awesome! <BR> <BR> I understand why she said that. Y'all know what time it is: the New Year's approaching and everyone is starry-eyed and excited about what they're going to do in terms of fitness and nutrition in the upcoming months. You read and hear stuff like this: <BR> <BR> <em>411</em> I'm losing 200 pounds this year! <BR> <em>411</em> I'm exerc... Tue, 27 Dec 2011 14:02:47 EST my day in a nutshell Yesterday was awesome! <BR> <BR> <em>447</em> Exercised: walked until my butt was sore. <BR> <BR> <em>447</em> Weighed: 3 pounds down this month. <BR> <BR> <em>447</em> Feasted: 1/2 price local burgers & beer. <BR> <BR> <em>447</em> Danced: gut-stomping blues band. <BR> <BR> <em>447</em> Revised: 2 chapters done. <BR> <BR> <em>447</em> Baked: chocolate chip cookies. <BR> <BR> <em>447</em> Reclaimed: cute khakis I couldn't wear last year. <BR> <BR> <em>447<... Mon, 19 Dec 2011 02:05:38 EST goal smoothie recap & december's ingredient This will be quick and dirty as I'm on a writing deadline and after last month's goal, which was to write 100,000 words as part of National Novel Writing Month, I'm really surprised I have any words left to give. <BR> <BR> Yes, I'm SUPERSTOKED to announce that I wrote 100,011 words! The final day of writing was a whirlwind of freakouts, caffeine, stretching breaks, word sprints and seasonal beer. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> (I *almo... Thu, 8 Dec 2011 18:54:49 EST the new normal I worried that when I decided to leave my job (with no 9 to 5 new position on the horizon) I wouldn't have anything to fill my days. However, I am pleased that the opposite has happened. I've been so busy during the month since I quit that by the time night rolls around and I'm getting ready for bed, mentally reviewing my day, I realize there's always at least four or five things that I didn't get done. <BR> <BR> Sometimes the tasks are mundane (do laundry) or critical (make car payment)... Mon, 21 Nov 2011 18:55:25 EST goal smoothie recap & november's ingredient <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am sooo proud to report that I achieved last month's goal, which was to exercise 26 out of 31 days. *BRAG ALERT* I actually did 27 out of 31 days! It was a combination of walking, wogging (walking/jogging), Zumba, dance, yoga, water aerobics and strength training. I feel like I kept my body guessing and whittled some more pounds and inches off my frame. My clothes are feeling loose, so that is a good sign. <BR... Sun, 13 Nov 2011 14:34:01 EST random goals To eat a fancy dinner served on one of these. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> To not just fit the airplane seat belt without an extender, but have inches to spare. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> To make these cupcakes. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> To look straight down and see my feet. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak... Tue, 25 Oct 2011 22:36:38 EST dear every woman Novelist Amy Bloom recently penned one of the most beautiful love letters to women I've read in quite some time. Like the "Love Your Body Pledge" on my SparkPage, it will be the gentle nudge I need every time I feel negative thoughts creeping in. You can read the letter in its entirety here <link> </link> , but this excerpt really speaks to me: <BR> <BR> "We need to make friends with the mirror. Even if it's DIY aversive therapy, in which you look at yourself in the mirror f... Fri, 14 Oct 2011 22:03:01 EST goal smoothie recap & october's ingredient <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I used to cringe at the thought of drinking even one glass of water per day. It had no flavor and was aesthetically boring and besides, I could get plenty of water consuming soft drinks and beer, right? <BR> <BR> Fussing about "having" to drink water is definitely one of those First World problems like being pissed off when Netflix stops working (that was me for about an hour last night) or when you can't get a ... Sun, 9 Oct 2011 13:32:09 EST what i'm eating <img src=""> <BR> Saucy scallops (scallops, cheese sauce, mushrooms, peas), puff pastry, organic mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette, wild rice <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Wild rice, fake-fried catfish, hot sauce, broccoli, crescent rolls <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Taco soup (lean ground beef, light kidney beans, black beans, di... Wed, 28 Sep 2011 23:41:29 EST the motivation myth <img src=""> <BR> <BR> "Be miserable or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." ~ Wayne Dyer <BR> <BR> People act like Motivation is some sort of winged creature that magically shows up on your doorstep to chase away sloth and the I-don't-wannas. That would be really cool, but it's a fantasy that ain't gonna happen. <BR> <BR> I totally get it the desire for something outside of ourselves that compels us... Wed, 21 Sep 2011 15:02:26 EST on the brink Oh boy. I know I'm in a funky mood when even the ripped and well-oiled bodies of the WWE eye candy don't make me smile. Hugh Jackman's on there to boot, all sexy arms and accent, and I'm still not moved? I must be sick. <BR> <BR> Actually, I have been sick since probably mid-Friday: low energy, sore throat, body aches. I can't determine if it's physical or mental, but I know a lot of things have been weighing pretty heavily on my mind lately and it wouldn't be unusual for that stress to ... Mon, 19 Sep 2011 23:06:17 EST notes to self <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 13 Sep 2011 14:46:16 EST goal smoothie recap & september's ingredient <img src=""> <BR> [One day I will definitely do this!] <BR> <BR> August's goal was to complete strength training at least three times per week. Hear that scratching sound? That's me checking another goal off the list! <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <BR> <BR> It's no secret that I love ST, so admittedly this was an easy one. The real challenge was finding n... Tue, 6 Sep 2011 21:27:40 EST high plains drifting Even though I was out of town last weekend, I'm already itching for a new adventure. To that end, as soon as I clock out The Roommate and I are heading off to the badlands of Kansas. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> What, y'all didn't know about that? Amazing stuff. <BR> <BR> This weekend is all about seeing new things and rediscovering things long forgotten. <BR> <BR> I may even include a side trip to Victoria's St. Fidelis Churc... Fri, 2 Sep 2011 13:44:25 EST venus de russellorama So The Roommate has been exercising fairly regularly (As I write this it's hard to believe we're finally on the same page fitness-wise) for about three weeks. He's been focused on healthier eating for a while now (frankly, his alternative was starvation as I needed to get crappy foods out of the house) and has dropped over 75 pounds in the past two years, but he's just now starting to incorporate fitness. <BR> <BR> When he checks in with me at work, he gives the rundown for the day and som... Tue, 23 Aug 2011 15:32:28 EST who i am Recently, I experienced a series of disappointments that knocked me back a few steps. <BR> <BR> <em>101</em> Left out of a family event honoring my father due to characteristically poor communication. <BR> <BR> <em>234</em> Exciting career opportunity (that I was a front-runner for) inexplicably changed into something that I could no longer accept. <BR> <BR> <em>39</em> Turned down for another writing fellowship. <BR> <BR> All of this happened in about a three-hour timespan. ... Wed, 17 Aug 2011 13:23:33 EST wtf sparkpeople ads! I use Firefox (thank you Adblocker Plus!) at home, so when I'm on SP, I don't see the ads. However, when I check in at work I'm always astonished at the wackadooness that we're subjected to. I know, I know--ads make the site free, yadda yadda yadda. But sometimes I have to wonder if it's not worth paying a few bucks a month just to avoid these trainwrecks. <BR> <BR> FOR EXAMPLE: <BR> <BR> Like I need this - HA! <BR> <img src="">... Fri, 12 Aug 2011 14:28:29 EST never as simple as it seems <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I so adore CREATINGAMANDA, and I thought I couldn't dig her more until I read her last two blog posts. I love it when I have to challenge my assumptions and according to The Roommate (and my mother) I should have been a lawyer because I love to debate. I can defend or refute just about anything, even if I don't believe in its merits. However, after reading her posts, I had so much to say that I didn't want to do... Tue, 9 Aug 2011 12:41:05 EST "because i'm trying to not be fat anymore" Rather than facing the scorn and wrath of the SP community, I dragged my lazy butt to water aerobics last night. That's what I get for sharing my fitness plans like this site suggests. Be warned, people! That sort of thing leads to--gasp!--accountability. <BR> <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> It's been so gawdawful hot here that I was thrilled to be immersed in water, even if it was for exercise. It helped that I was wearing a swimsuit that I bought over a year ago. It was too small then, ... Sat, 6 Aug 2011 17:41:23 EST goal smoothie recap & august's ingredient <img src=""> <BR> ( <link> </link> ) <BR> <BR> July's goal was to write a blog post every day. I think I did really well! I only technically missed four days, and on some days I wrote two posts because I was feeling particularly verbose or I knew I would be busy the next day. I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I certainly feel better when I can process my thoughts and feelings through words. And thanks so much for... Fri, 5 Aug 2011 23:12:46 EST make me fit <img src=""> <BR> fit arms <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> fit belief <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> fit food <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> fit fun <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> fit legs <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spar... Mon, 1 Aug 2011 11:37:34 EST finish strong I'm still giddy over getting over 1,000 fitness minutes this month. On top of that, I burned over 2,500 calories this week! Who's on a roll? <BR> <BR> THIS GIRL! Woot! <BR> <BR> I'm really excited about my progress and I'm ready to end this month on a high note. I haven't decided what my primary goal will be for August, but I know that definitely I'd like to see that 1,000 fitness minute award again. <BR> <BR> I'll have to give it some thought. I'm off to see more plays! <BR> <BR>... Sat, 30 Jul 2011 21:44:21 EST eff the fat tax <img src=""> <BR> ( <link> </link> ) <BR> <BR> So my older brother has always sold things for a living: office supplies, pharmaceuticals (the legal kind), medical insurance, cars. He's great at it, and in an effort to help him succeed, The Roommate and I decided to sign up for some supplemental life insurance through the company he just started working for. <BR> <BR> I have life insurance through work, but since I figu... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 17:46:07 EST 1,017 minutes & counting... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> That is all. Thu, 28 Jul 2011 23:39:45 EST super-busy week Missed yesterday's post due to being at the Sade/John Legend concert. I don't have enough adjectives to describe how fan-FREAKING-tastic it was. Seriously, I 've seen a lot of concerts and that was one of the best. I was nearly brought to tears at the beauty of the music and the realization that I was seeing Sade, one of my favorite artists EVER. Yeah, I'm a nerd like that about music. <BR> <BR> Anyhoo, I managed to get in a ton of core work yesterday. I'm very encouraged by the changi... Wed, 27 Jul 2011 12:44:15 EST working it out Sunday started with me rolling out of bed at 11:00 a.m. We'd been out late seeing theater (bliss!) and I don't even remember what time I went to sleep. But I woke up abruptly and thought, "Crap! I have to go workout." <BR> <BR> That NEVER happens. <BR> <BR> It wasn't just any ordinary workout, but one for my local Spark Team, SparkKansas City. We had a citywide fitness challenge against the Independence Sparkers and since we racked up the most fitness minutes, our "reward" was an hour-lo... Mon, 25 Jul 2011 02:25:35 EST disco sweat, good theatre & bad sleep Yesterday I went from work to dinner to the theatre to bed so I missed posting on this blog. I'm not mad about it, though. I had a great time soaking up all that creativity and seeing some dynamic stuff. <BR> <BR> The Roommate is reviewing Fringe Festival ( <link> </link> ) shows for a local magazine called KC Stage. Each year during the Festival, anyone can submit reviews to their website for free (normally the site requires a paid subscription.) Last year, he submitted... Sat, 23 Jul 2011 13:01:12 EST crazy day Today went by in a blur! <BR> <BR> Awake, put on workout gear, brush teeth, get water, go to the gym, walk 1.6 miles, shower, get dressed, struggle with new undergarments, go to work, try to eat breakfast, curse what the heat is doing to my appetite, deal with crazy parents, tell people where to find the bathroom when it's right next door, do some work, get interrupted a lot, laugh as random men flirt with me and talk about coveting somebody else's wife, eat lunch, go to meeting, go to a me... Fri, 22 Jul 2011 00:40:23 EST shady pines, ma! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hi, my name is Adrianne and I'm a "Golden Girls" addict. <BR> <BR> *whew* <BR> <BR> Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. By the way, "Shady Pines, Ma" has become the go-to threat in my house whenever somebody gets outta line. Keep on [insert offense here] and I'll send you to the home! <BR> <BR> Hee hee. <BR> <BR> Whoo, I'm punchy. <BR> <BR> <em>33</em> <BR> <BR> It's only been... Thu, 21 Jul 2011 00:55:18 EST goal me So my goal was to get up this morning and exercise. <BR> <BR> Done! <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <em>248</em> <BR> <BR> It wasn't easy. As y'all know, I am NOT a morning person. And I admit to contemplating rolling over, burrowing down under the covers, and eking out another hour of sleep. But I thought about all of the people I know that are pushing past their limits, demolishing their comfort zones, doing something new... Tue, 19 Jul 2011 23:52:01 EST wakey wakey Does anyone actually get out of bed feeling like this? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> ( <BR> <BR> Ha! I'll settle for not wanting to hit the snooze button. I've struggled with this sleep thing forever, practically my whole life. I've always LOVED sleep and am a night owl. I'd much rather work out at midnight than at seven in the morning. But I'm starting to wonder if I'd be better off trying to do something, even ... Tue, 19 Jul 2011 00:17:20 EST back to life <img src=""> <BR> ( <link> </link> ) <BR> <BR> Thanks for checking in on me while I've been sick. I'm not sure if I had a cold or allergies or what, but I was weak, congested and wobbly, accompanied by one of the worst migraines I've had in a long time. The pain was so intense it woke me up around 6:30 a.m. on Friday morning, and it's finally starting to taper off in the last few hours. <BR> <BR> The first day was the w... Mon, 18 Jul 2011 00:53:02 EST ergh. Still sick. <BR> <BR> Ugh. <BR> <BR> Going back to bed. <BR> <BR> <em>39</em> Sat, 16 Jul 2011 23:12:30 EST uber-cranky & under-caloried Gah. Work today was super-busy. I usually have a bit of time to catch up with SparkVille, but nope. Not that I mind actually having to DO the work I'm being paid for, but the pace today was so hectic that I found myself not eating until wayyy later than I intended. That made me super grumpy. I did make a point to get away from my office later on in the afternoon and take a walk inside since it was blistering hot outdoors. It was really nice to take some time to just walk around and not ... Thu, 14 Jul 2011 23:58:19 EST be prepared I used to skip breakfast routinely (usually to get extra sleep) and skid into work barely on time, scouring the vending machines for "Most Important Meal of the Day"-worthy items. Of course, I rarely found them. I would subsist on Coke, Zingers, Chocolate or Powdered donuts and the occasional granola bar. <BR> <BR> <em>102</em> *cue 10:00 a.m. blood sugar crash* <BR> <BR> Then I would rush out at lunch time, hitting up the nearest fast food joint for cheeseburgers, coney dogs, fren... Wed, 13 Jul 2011 22:12:16 EST on & poppin' <img src=""> <BR> (Tonight's dinner: baked flounder, seafood stuffing, peas & carrots) <BR> <BR> Thanks y'all for your support on my post yesterday. I am feeling good today, buoyed by your kind words. Plus how can you be down when it's Upper Body Strength Training Day? Ring the alarm! Whoop whoop! <BR> <BR> No, I'm not crazy. I enjoy strength training. I've been fortunately blessed with good muscle tone or something, because I can s... Tue, 12 Jul 2011 20:46:30 EST