SANDYB223's SparkPeople Blog SANDYB223's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Ireland 2013 part 3 A few final pics: <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> A beautiful friendly Irish horse <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Our last night at cottage, enjoying a glass of wine and a beautiful fire <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Our last morning, foggy and drizzly <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 29 Sep 2013 16:36:24 EST Ireland 2013 part 2 Okay, after a few days in Dublin, we rented a car and hit the road (on the left side). First stop.... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Rock of Cashel <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Lunch at Granny' chicken soup in the world <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Paul photo bomb of Blarney Castle, and yes, we both kissed the ... Sun, 29 Sep 2013 16:22:28 EST Ireland 2013 Our Irish journey began and ended in Dublin. Here is part one-Dublin. <BR> <BR> <em>137</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Our escort into Dublin city from the airport!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Dublin streets are charming <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Trinity College library, amazingly beautiful <BR> <BR> <BR> <i... Sun, 29 Sep 2013 11:37:28 EST I keep trying, but stuck I am getting frustrated. Problem is...I keep getting motivated to lose this extra weight that has crept up on me, and start logging my food and fitness, eat well, and workout. But if the scale doesn't move in a week or so, I gradually slide off again. Last time in August I got all motivated and did everything right, and I actually gained over a 2-week period. That was a HUGE bummer. <BR> I think my body wants to stay here at 185-188. AND I DON'T. <BR> So I am trying again. I know that... Mon, 24 Sep 2012 16:05:58 EST Never Quit Pledge Never Quit Pledge <BR> Thursday, August 9, 2012 <BR> <BR> Today, I promise I will not quit. <BR> <BR> I pledge that no matter, how many ups and downs I pass through, I will continue on my journey. <BR> <BR> I pledge to make a NEW START today, and forgive myself for my past, and to stop being so critical of myself. <BR> <BR> I pledge to take control of myself, to stop making excuses, and stop blaming other people or situations. <BR> <BR> I pledge to treat myself as I would my best f... Thu, 9 Aug 2012 09:19:56 EST Spark Recipe! It may not seem like much, but I went to Spark Recipes and found one that looked good. Went to Trader Joe's and got the ingredients, and this morning put it together! SPINACH AND TOMATO PASTA SALAD. This will go with my grilled salmon for dinner tonight. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Pasta salad, but with an emphasis on veggies. I added some fresh basil, extra capers, and a splash of balsamic vinegar! <BR> <BR> YUMMY!!! <BR> <BR... Tue, 7 Aug 2012 11:05:33 EST Birthday Reflections Tomorrow makes me 56. I'm okay with that, as I sit quietly this evening and take stock of the past year. This year has contained much joy, and some frustrations. Overall, it's been good. <BR> My joys this year continue to be first and foremost my family. I have worked very hard to keep a close bond with my two adult "kids" and they are the best!!! Love those kids. With more and more time on our hands, hubby and I have really continued to spend lots of Q time, traveling down south to New O... Wed, 22 Feb 2012 21:36:25 EST Gratitude for a Friday morning Long week. But now the weekend has finally has arrived. I am so grateful for many things as I sit here with my first cup of coffee and slowly wake up to meet the day ahead. <BR> ~Looking forward to see my DD and her BF this evening for a game of electronic monopoly--LOL <BR> ~My DH <BR> ~My darling kitty cat <BR> ~Only one client session today at work, so I have time to breathe and catch up on paperwork--Ahhhhhh <BR> ~The support of my colleagues as I work with very sad cases at work (I'm a... Fri, 10 Feb 2012 07:25:34 EST Weekend Aspirations Friday is here again. The weekend brings relaxation and fun, but also temptations not present during the structured workweek. So therefore with fortitude I am setting some goals just for the weekend to help me keep focused on the goal. <BR> <BR> 1. Workout today, Saturday, and Sunday <BR> 2. Attend Yoga class on Sunday <BR> 2. Drink 8 glasses of water each day <BR> 3. One glass of wine on Friday and Saturday and no more. <BR> 4. Make an entry in my gratitude journal each day <BR> 5. If eati... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 12:47:44 EST Week three So I have returned from my spark break, renewed and ready to meet the challenge of finally reaching my goal weight in this year. And week three is just beginning today!! I am very happy with progress so far. And am so happy to have renewed some old friendships and made some new friends too!! Sharing with others makes all the difference!! <BR> <BR> Many positive vibes and gratitude to all my spark friends <BR> <BR> <em>26</em> <em>437</em> <em>216</em> Tue, 17 Jan 2012 13:15:39 EST Water water water Hi Friends, <BR> I did everything right yesterday EXCEPT....I tried my best, but only drank 6 of my 8 cups of water. Any tips for getting the water in? I know it sounds silly, but I just don't like to drink water, especially in the winter. <BR> Thanks for any advice/ideas. <BR> ~Sandy <BR> <em>194</em> <em>274</em> Tue, 10 Jan 2012 07:59:54 EST Week one of 2012...not too shabby! Well, it has been one week since I re-started my program. And, I have dropped 4 pounds, worked out 5 days, and feel so much better already. I think what's important I am realizing is that I have the tools and know what I need to do for success. It's sometimes just putting them in place and being consistent. <BR> I feel confident that this will be the time to finally reach my goals. <BR> Thank you Spark friends for helping me along the way!!!!! <BR> <BR> <em>304</em> <BR> <em>244</em> Mon, 9 Jan 2012 14:08:17 EST Once again Well, here I go again. I have been struggling and yo-yo'ing up and down the scale. And I've been AWOL from Spark for some time now. I hope I still have some friends around the site to support and be supported by!! <BR> It's been hard this fall because I was hit with a bad case of SAD (seasonal affective disorder or seasonal depression) and have not been as conscientious as before. But I can't let that get me down. I just have to pick up and persevere!!!! At least I have managed to still ... Wed, 4 Jan 2012 15:30:11 EST On target! Well, I was able to stick to my calories and my exercise on Monday! I tracked my food and fitness online. It feels good to be back on track and I am SO ready to lose the remainder and get to my goal of 145! To be honest, it seems a little daunting, but I have made a commitment to do this, once and for all! As of this morning, I have 20.5 pounds to go! I will be vigilant and mindful in my food choices and my eating habits. I bought a wonderful book about mindful eating, called SAVOR. <BR... Tue, 25 May 2010 15:09:50 EST Starting Again Well, I lost all but 15 pounds toward my goal in 2009. But I have been going up and down with 5 pounds over the course of 2010. Overall, I have had success in maintaining. I have said this before, but NOW I really want to get the scale moving downward again.... <BR> <BR> I have been a bit AWOL on Spark because I felt like I was overdoing my online time at the expense of spending time with loved ones and getting a good night's sleep. I am now going to try to find some good balance because ... Mon, 24 May 2010 10:32:43 EST Cherry Blossom rundown... Hi All, <BR> <BR> Today began at 5 am with 3 alarms just to be sure hubby and I got up! It was still pitch dark outside. <BR> <BR> <em>128</em> <BR> <BR> Threw our clothes on, quick bite to eat and out the door to Metro by 5:30. Made it to the DC mall by about 6:30, filled with excitement and a tiny bit nervous. The sun was just rising over the Capitol building--pretty cool. Did a quick and fun Zumba warm-up with the crowd and made it to the start areas. And off we went.... <BR> <em... Sun, 11 Apr 2010 20:56:06 EST Mission accomplished Just a short note to say that hubby and I completed our 10 mile training run. It was hard--grueling I should say--for the last 2 miles, but the echoes of your support, my special spark friends, played in my head and pushed me through to the finish. The area we ran was kinda hilly and those hills almost defeated me. I think that actual course in DC is a lot flatter, I hope and I pray. But I feel pretty confident that I can do this race, maybe not as fast as I'd like, but it is do-able. I ... Sun, 28 Mar 2010 14:19:47 EST Tomorrow is the Big 10 Tomorrow I will attempt a 10 mile training run for the Cherry Blossom run in 2 weeks, yes, 2 weeks....I haven't done this many miles in about 10 years. So this run will tell the tale of whether I can accomplish this goal....Wish me luck, my friends. <BR> <BR> <em>312</em> Sat, 27 Mar 2010 22:04:03 EST Birthday Reflections/Whispers of My Heart <BR> Birthday Reflections/Whispers of My Heart <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Another year passes. Today is my birthday #54, and always, birthdays fill me with thoughts and reflections on the year passed, and excitement and hope for the year ahead, listening all the while to heart whispers—to what is truly important in my life. <BR> <em>26</em> <BR> As I sit here quietly this morning, reflecting on this past year, I have done so many things that I... Tue, 23 Feb 2010 07:41:52 EST Cherry Blossom Running <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <em>312</em> <BR> FINALLY, got outside for a run today!!!! WooHoo! And hubby ran along with me, and we covered six miles together. So now I am back where I was before the snows in my training for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler on April 11. I have 7 weeks to build up the mileage to 10 miles. I figured if I can add a mile the next two weeks and then a half mile for the next 4 weeks to my long run, I have a shot. AN... Sun, 21 Feb 2010 15:54:26 EST Will I Ever Be Able to Run Again? We have soooooo much snow everywhere, I don't know when I am going to be able to get out there and train for my 10-miler. It's 2 months from today, and I have not done a long run since Jan. 24 because of all the #$%^&ing snow. I took a drive to check out my running route today, and there is literally 7 to 10 feet of snow on the sidewalks, pushed there from the street by the plows. Needless to say, I am getting a bit concerned about being in shape by April 11. I don't even have access to a ... Thu, 11 Feb 2010 21:24:46 EST 6 Cold Rainy Miles Hello friends...thanks for reading my blog. Today was my second long run in getting fit for the April 11 Cherry Blossom 10 mile race. When I woke up this AM and looked outside, I was so tempted to avoid the cold and the rain, and hang out with my coffee and Sunday paper, BUT that little inner voice said come on girl, get movin'. And so off I went. I was cold for the first mile, but after that, I barely noticed the cold and the on and off drizzle. Just focused on the goal.... <BR> <BR> I... Sun, 24 Jan 2010 12:19:11 EST Ear buds and loose pants I just got back from my Baseline run in prep for the Cherry Blossom 10-mile race April 11. I did 5 miles in 57.33 minutes. Not bad considering I haven't been running since probably August. THANK YOU JAZZERCISE for the aerobic capacity. <BR> <BR> The first mile was a real hoot....with my iPod ear buds popping out every few paces. Then my new workout long pants began sliding down off my butt. What a mess! What to do? solve the ear bud prob, I took the wires and wrapped them around... Mon, 18 Jan 2010 12:36:51 EST Successful week/Race training Well this week went pretty well. I focused on getting water into my body. This is the biggest challenge for me, so I have to consciously work on it, especially in the winter...hoping that in time it will become a habit. I was able to do it 3 days in a row, working on my 4th day today. <BR> <em>274</em> <BR> Also this week I decided to add 2 extra Jazzercise classes to my schedule, so I did 2 classes on Thursday eve, and three classes today. I am trying to build my stamina up, so that wh... Sat, 16 Jan 2010 13:39:53 EST Mindful days <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <em>31</em> <em>437</em> <em>88</em> <BR> <BR> --Sandy <BR> Wed, 6 Jan 2010 22:24:10 EST So long '09--Hello New Possibilities 2009 was one of my best years in a long time. Why is that? Well, regained my health and in so doing my self esteem and self worth. It was a year of real commitment and real change, and in a large part was due to Sparkpeople. My other love is Jazzercise, which I truly credit for getting me started on this journey....with the Jazz It Off challenge starting in early Feb. I guess I have a competitive streak, because wow did I embrace that challenge and lost 32 lbs in less than 3 months. I ha... Sun, 3 Jan 2010 17:00:58 EST Holiday Wine Does wine make you fat?? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Wine does not make you FAT - it makes you LEAN.... Against tables, chairs, floors and walls.... <BR> <BR> Happy Holidays!!!! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sun, 20 Dec 2009 13:35:30 EST Snow day gifts <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Relaxing wonderful much-needed downtime snow gifts...naps, homemade potato soup, hot chocolate, a movie, purring cats, walk around the neighborhood. <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>425</em> <BR> ... Sun, 20 Dec 2009 00:14:58 EST Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment.... <em>425</em> <em>425</em> <em>425</em> <em>425</em> <em>425</em> <BR> <BR> I love my work at the school with the children, don't be confused by my status statements of living for Friday...AND I do savor the weekend downtime and focus on family and soulful endeavors. In that vein, Hubby and I drove up to northern Maryland to see a Christmas parade and do a little low-key shopping today. We purchased some cute gifts for family of chocolates, various flavors of chutney, herbs, and some ... Sun, 6 Dec 2009 01:11:08 EST Cutest thing ever!! Someone posted this on Facebook and I just HAD to share with my dear Spark cute!!!! <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Happy almost Friday my friends!! <BR> <BR> <em>86</em> Thu, 3 Dec 2009 22:19:21 EST A Day to Remember Hi Friends...the day started out at 7 am with a nice cuppa Joe with hubby--a relaxing moment to start the day before the hustle bustle <BR> <BR> <em>106</em> <BR> <BR> Hubby and I got the bird dressed and into the oven in good time <BR> <BR> <em>428</em> <BR> <BR> and then I threw some workout togs on and went to Jazzercise <BR> <BR> <em>216</em> <BR> <BR> There were more Jazzercisers there than ever...the largest most energetic crowd ever at our location. Burned mega calories a... Thu, 26 Nov 2009 20:58:30 EST Precious Saw "Precious" last night and here to tell you what a painful inspiring and hopeful film about the resilience of the human spirit this gem of a film is. It is very raw and doesn't hold back, but it moved me and touched my heart deeply. Part of it is the social worker in me, as I see kids who are abused and neglected, surely not as severely as Precious...but abused just the same. Kids who are hurting and feel unloved, who cry in my office because nobody cared to celebrate their birthday, to ... Sun, 15 Nov 2009 11:04:13 EST Challenging time of year It's that time of year my friends....appetite increase, food goodies everywhere, holidays that revolve around eating, cold weather, short days. Ut-oh! <BR> <em>429</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> I have to say these months of November and December are the most challenging for weight loss efforts. I made a commitment today NOT to touch any of the inevitable treats in my workplace lounge: <BR> <BR> <em>473</em> <em>495</em> <em>494</em> <BR> <BR> And I did it. I see that I will have to recommi... Tue, 10 Nov 2009 21:07:15 EST When in Rome... Well, here is my effort to try to get some more pics uploaded. <BR> <BR> Our first full day in Rome started out a little crazed because we believed in my inner clock, and it failed us. Silly me. We woke up at 8:20 for a 9 am tour of the Coloseum and Forum. <BR> <BR> <em>128</em> <BR> <BR> Threw clothes on and literally sprinted (through the rainy morning) to the tour meeting place. <BR> <em>186</em> <em>257</em> <BR> <BR> 5 minutes late and the tour had left the scene. Drat. But ... Sun, 1 Nov 2009 12:13:28 EST Trouble with photos Hi All, <BR> <BR> I tried to post another blog on my Italy trip, but the site is giving me fits when trying to upload pics. It's very frustrating....but I will keep trying. Tired now, but hopefully in the next few days, or over the weekend, I can get another blog going with some pics.... <BR> <BR> G'night, my friends!! <BR> <BR> <em>424</em> Wed, 28 Oct 2009 22:25:59 EST A few Italy photos After arriving in DC yesterday, I barely got unpacked, went out for a quick dinner (ribs LOL), threw in a load of laundry and crashed. But the good news is that I feel very rested this morning, and that's a very good thing since it's a full day of work today. <BR> <BR> I will post a blog later with more details, but in the meantime, the trip was amazing, really amazing. Hubby and I are birds of a feather as traveling companions, striving to squeak the very most out of our adventures. Our ... Tue, 27 Oct 2009 07:36:40 EST Blessings Just a quick note to say bye bye for 10 days. I am not sure about computer access while traveling, but just in case, I wanted to wish you all well this coming week. I am feeling very blessed to be part of the Spark community and will miss the daily nurturing and sharing. You guys are the best!!! <BR> <BR> <em>250</em> <BR> <BR> I often think how I wish I knew you in person. I have hopes that someday we can all go to a Spark convention and meet and talk and laugh. Maybe, just maybe.... Thu, 15 Oct 2009 22:02:07 EST In a good place Hi dear spark friends....I am feeling very happy and content today, even with lots to do to get ready for the Italy trip coming up this Friday. ((((nervous and excited)))) Went shopping yesterday for a few articles of clothing for the trip, and when I tried on jeans...I GOT INTO AN 8!!!!! This is unbelievable to me. A year ago, I would have laughed and guffawed if a fortune teller had told me I'd be in an 8 skinny jeans. I really and truly thought those days were over. <BR> <BR> <em>9</em... Sun, 11 Oct 2009 11:38:49 EST Just a quick question Question....does anyone out there know where on the SP site I can find the images that say "Lost 20 pounds with Sparkpeople" etc.? I have one on my page, but it is a little out of date. I cannot for the life of me remember where in the heck I found it. <BR> <BR> Thanks friends!! <BR> <BR> <em>304</em> <em>252</em> Sun, 4 Oct 2009 22:29:19 EST Mountain calling Hubby and I spent a few days of peace and renewal in the mountains of Virginia this past weekend (Shenandoah National Park). Feel so at home there, feel myself, away from all the craziness of the Washington DC area. We hiked a few miles in the rain and I felt so fully alive and human. The rain dripping off my hood before my eyes...the sounds of the drops hitting the leaves above our heads....the slippery rocks that made footing a challenge....Ahhh the woods, the trees, the fog and life! En... Mon, 28 Sep 2009 19:46:29 EST Need encouragement Well, here I go again. I keep getting stuck. Last month I was hovering around in the low 170s, trying to get into the 160s. Finally did it. Then I spent several weeks hovering around in the upper 160s, going from 167 to 169, back and forth, up and down. Then the scale was kind, and I moved a little to 165.5. Now I am oscillating between 165.5 and 167.5, day to day, for another several weeks. <BR> <BR> Has anyone experienced this craziness!? <BR> <BR> I am doing all the same things (h... Mon, 31 Aug 2009 16:16:35 EST beach ruminations Having just returned from a week at the shore, I am feeling very tanned and outdoorsy--running and hiking on the beach, kayaking, swimming in the surf. Beautiful sunny weather and savory seafood every night delighted us. Being a bit of a worrier, I worked hard all week at being in the moment, enjoying each moment and just being alive and present. One peaceful evening sitting on the balcony, I watched a young family playing an impromptu game of soccer, kids laughing and running with their p... Tue, 18 Aug 2009 21:46:24 EST 160s here I am!! Hello friends, I finally made it over the plateau and into the 160s after several weeks off teetering on the brink. I admit that i probably became too scale obsessed, but I really needed to prove to myself that I could get under 170. This was where I left off last time I was on this weight loss journey three or so years ago, and I was discouraged and gained and gained and gained. But now I know for sure that this time is different. I can push through and be successful. And I owe a good ... Thu, 23 Jul 2009 06:57:45 EST Need an extra push Hi, I am kinda nervous because at 171 pounds now...nervous because 3 years ago while on Weight Watchers this is where I got weightwise, but stopped losing and ended up slowly gaining 40+ pounds over the 3 years with several ups and downs. I had some medical issues (fibroids) and had to take meds that made it sooo hard to lose weight. But I am menopausing now and been off the meds for a little over a year. Woo Hoo. I am feeling so happy and healthy, better than in a long time. But I need ... Sun, 12 Jul 2009 21:56:45 EST doing okay For some reason I have been a little in the dumps of late. Can't figure out why--just not my normal happy self. But today I am feeling much improved and am about to head off to my Jazzercise class. I went to the podiatrist this morning and am being fitted for orthotics to help the pain in my feet...after a long walk or a couple of Jazzercise classes I get pain in the ball of my foot. I am very hopeful that this well help me increase my distance in walking, so when i travel to Italy in Oct... Tue, 7 Jul 2009 16:45:07 EST weigh in Well, I am trying not to get discouraged today...but my weigh-in showed no loss this week...this is the first time since I started that I have not lost. In the past, when attempting to lose, if I plateaued I would be easily discouraged. This time is different, I hope. I have to remember that this is all part of the process and if I stick with it, the weight will come off. It's amazing how just one day off from exercise and 1/2 slice of my son's b'day cake can affect the whole week. Thu, 18 Jun 2009 22:28:08 EST getting my feet wet with SP I have been working on losing weight since February. But just recently I've been trying to navigate SP website. I have joined a couple of teams and made one friend so far. Any advice on how to best utilize the site would be welcome. <em>38</em> Wed, 17 Jun 2009 13:59:29 EST down 40 lbs, with 32 to go. I am finally over half way there to my goal of 145. It's actually getting easier. I have been trying for several years to get this weight off, and keep losing and gaining, but this time it's different. I feel that I can do it! I feel great and want to continue to feel great. Mon, 15 Jun 2009 21:43:02 EST