SCHWINNER!'s SparkPeople Blog SCHWINNER!'s Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Ups and Downs (and round and rounds!) <em>40</em> I haven't blogged since August. But even then I was slacking on my Sparking! <BR> <BR> <em>224</em> Luckily, I didn't stop working out. Althoughhhhh I've been slacking on dedication. My HRM still will not work and I'm really missing it :( <BR> <BR> <em>267</em> We're cooking at home more than ever! Husband works for an organic produce delivery company now, and we get a complimentary freggie bin every week! Plus he brings home other stuff; we are up to our eyeballs in p... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 21:39:03 EST Re-inspired and excited (for once!)! You guys, I think I found it! Something that has re-energized my motivation and desire to work out and be active. Through my journey it was spinning, then kettlebells, and while I still love those things, I got bored with them and bored with life and I have been slacking off and not even logging into SparkPeople!! <BR> <BR> Through friends, I discovered something wonderful happening in my city - weekly "jams", where hand drummers and hula hoopers get together to dance, drum, laugh, and just ... Thu, 23 Aug 2012 08:06:33 EST Elopement pictures!! The pictures turned out so freaking fabulous! I love them all! Here's just a few of my favorites :) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> How handsome is my husband?? :) Wed, 6 Jun 2012 12:59:03 EST BIG BIG NEWS!!! We eloped!!! <BR> <BR> Thursday, 5/3/12, we took a very secret trip down to the courthouse and tied the knot :) No one knew it was coming - we kept it a secret while we planned! :) Pictures to come. <BR> <BR> 11 years and we finally made it official! Mon, 7 May 2012 08:20:55 EST Great, free training app!! If you have a smartphone, check out Workout Trainer by Skimble. I have it on my Droid (don't know for sure if it's available via Apple) and I LOVE it!! There is a free version (what I have) and a premium, ad-free version that has extra features for a cost. <BR> <BR> You have to set up an account with an email address, which emails you summaries of your workouts. The app offers TONS of free workouts, which you can like or save, schedule on your calendar, and preview. You can browse by body pa... Mon, 27 Feb 2012 21:41:30 EST New water bottle and the BEST DEAL EVER! I finally (finally!!) replaced my old, old Nalgene bottle with a new vessel! I got a Camelbak Better Bottle: <link><BR>tId=3662822&emssrcid=GoogleBase%3APS36<BR>62822&cp=3677334.10765793.3693361&cid=1086066 </link> <BR> <BR> I bought the big 32-oz. one since that's what I'm used to, but I think I may purchase a smaller one too because I love these so much. I LOVE that there is no lid to unscrew or lose - just bite the valve and sip! No tilting, no spil... Tue, 17 Jan 2012 08:00:36 EST High-Intensity Circuit Workouts Lately, I have been all about these killer workouts that combine strength and cardio into one routine. I've been using several different ones, mainly developed by PureFitness, but I've found some other good ones as well. I cobble them together, or make small adjustments to the routine, but each one is crazy hard and even a little fun! <BR> <BR> Here's today's: <BR> <BR> Round One - All Body Workout Round <BR> Squats 1 Minute (with weights) <BR> Bicep Curls 1 Minute <BR> Jumping Jacks 30 se... Tue, 29 Nov 2011 13:19:11 EST Quick HRM Review and the Dog Workout A few weeks ago I used some gift cards to buy a new heart rat monitor from Amazon - I got the Polar FT60: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> First, yes, it looks cute :) But it's super easy to use, motivating, and the price was great (free for me with the gift cards, but about $125 on Amazon). <BR> <BR> It uses a chest strap, and Polar's are really nice because they're soft and elastic, not the rigid plastic or rubber. You don't have to... Fri, 4 Nov 2011 13:46:22 EST Get Serious - Mid Month Check-in I've been tracking all my cardio and strength, plus when we practice/record music and do house projects. I started doing that on Oct. 3 though, so I'm going to do this through Nov. 3. About halfway through the month - 14 days - here are my "stats": <BR> <BR> Cardio: 9 days (64%) <BR> Strength Training: 7 days (50%) <BR> House To-Do List: 6 days (43%) <BR> Music: 6 days (43%) <BR> <BR> Now, I'm glad to see that activity (which includes household work usually!) is the highest percentage. Many... Sun, 16 Oct 2011 23:59:59 EST Get Serious October - Part II Okay! I have written down some notes for a sort-of plan for the month. I struggle with settle really concrete goals beyond "do as much as I can" (for example) because I feel like I just always fail on goals. <BR> <BR> But here's my list of do-its: <BR> 1. Get back on track before the holidays <BR> 2. More activity on the weeknights and weekends <BR> a. Tackle more tasks around the house (lots of DIY projects that need done/are half finished) <BR> b. Get our EP recorded (before the 22n... Wed, 5 Oct 2011 07:41:21 EST Get Serious October Working out feels good. Tight pants don't. <BR> <BR> aka: DUH. <BR> <BR> I spent my summer wearing capris, skirts, and jeans to work. If you've kept up with my previous blogs, it's been a hit or miss summer for me health-wise. Imagine my horror when I tried to put on a pair of khakis earlier this week and they were TIGHT. Like, tizz-ight. Muffin top tight. Yikes tight. <BR> <BR> I've gotten rid of anything larger than size 8 because it was all too big. I AM NOT BUYING NEW CLOTHES IN A BIGG... Fri, 23 Sep 2011 12:54:34 EST Overcoming walls and being in the spotlight. So. I feel like I've finally gotten back on track after my extended Idaho trip in spring - yeah, months and months later. But even better, lately I feel like I've finally reined in my eating. I'm tracking again!!! What a difference it makes. <BR> <BR> Brian and I are training for an upcoming race - the Rugged Maniac - on Sept. 10. We've been doing some really fun workouts to get ready for it. We jog through the park behind our house to warm up, then when we reach the playground at the other ... Thu, 1 Sep 2011 08:01:16 EST Where am I again? What day is it? Yes, that was seriously how I felt last week! Literally half the day last Friday I was a week behind and thinking it was the 13th... <BR> <BR> Anyways, yes, I was gone for work - working in Idaho Falls for an entire month doing sampling and field work. It was AWESOME! My regular office job pales in comparison, and the whole experience taught me that that is definitely the route I want to go with my career - applied science rather than the research side. <BR> <BR> On the Sparky front, get ... Tue, 24 May 2011 07:34:15 EST Being selfish My coworker and I have been doing kettlebells a few times a week during our lunch break since early January. I wasn't too keen on getting a workout buddy when she said she wanted to start going to the fitness center, but now I enjoy our time together. However, now other people in the office have expressed their interest, and it's starting to piss me off. <BR> <BR> First of all, I'm sorry, but this is MY workout, and I don't really want to spend it instructing others on their form, leading th... Thu, 3 Mar 2011 13:16:32 EST The ABCs of Me! I borrowed this from ELAINEVDW because it indeed is fun :) I may have done this or something similar already, but oh well. I need a break this morning! <BR> <BR> A. Age: 29 <BR> <BR> B. Bed size: Queen, just the mattress on a futon frame! I want a king so terribly bad. <BR> <BR> C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning litter boxes, washing windows <BR> <BR> D. Dogs: I love them so much! We have Nica, a 2 year old Australian Kelpie <BR> <img src=" Wed, 2 Mar 2011 10:03:13 EST 10 reasons I have to be in a great mood today (aka gratitude!) 1. I just weighed in at 145 - that's down nearly 3 lbs. from last week!!!! Might be a fluke, but I'll take it. It made me happy, dammit! <BR> <BR> 2. I ordered a photobook from Mixbook with a Groupon I bought - $15 for $50 at the website - and made a photobook from our trip to Nicaragua last year. The book should arrive today! Can't wait! <BR> <BR> 3. Brian is off at 4:30 today (as opposed to 8:30), which means we will actually be home at the same time and spend the evening together! <BR> ... Thu, 17 Feb 2011 07:53:28 EST On the road with SparkPeople (with pictures! Everyone likes pictures!) This past week I was in Orlando for work, at a training conference. Sunday afternoon through Friday morning I was living in my hotel room, staffing our booth in the hall, and sitting in training classes (okay, I slept in on Thursday because my boss said I could miss the plenary session. It *was* my birthday after all) <em>211</em> I travel for work several times a year usually, so I have my little strategies to get through the week - I kept up my strength routine all week (though the hotel... Sat, 5 Feb 2011 00:14:38 EST Kettlebell convert! I've always been interested trying kettlebells but had never gotten the chance. My fitness center got some recently... then, the dailySpark posted this kettlebell blog <link><BR>ettlebell_workout_routines </link> and I finally had the push and instruction to try them :) <BR> <BR> I did the Prevention Magazine workout (from the link above) with a coworker, and WOW. I used a 12 lb. kettlebell and it was SO challenging, but FUN! The moves are dynamic and w... Wed, 5 Jan 2011 12:27:18 EST Obligatory turn-of-the-year reflections and resets Following a wonderful Christmas that allowed us to visit a good amount of time with both of our families, I've been feeling very internal lately. This whole week off from work I had hoped to be productive and active and busy... but I was none of those things. <BR> <BR> I think the primary reason is a mixture of post-holiday-missing-my-family-blues and lack of Lexapro due to insurance money running out. THAT made for an interesting week off of moping and absolute zero motivation. Needless to ... Sun, 2 Jan 2011 22:36:37 EST Best friend rant I just need to get this off my chest...I am so frustrated with my best friend. <BR> <BR> She texts me last night with a picture: So I'm getting a dog! <BR> <BR> If you know me, you know I love animals. I wish I could be happy and excited for her, but I'm not. A dog is THE LAST thing she needs. This is the friend who is a single mother of three. With a grandbaby living in the house. Her daughter has 2 cats (mom and son) - neither are fixed. They go outside and are not on flea medication. Ne... Wed, 10 Nov 2010 07:28:10 EST Absolute killer crazy super butt kicking strength workout!!!! Tonight I went to muscle mix class after work for the first time in quite a while. There was a substitute instructor there. I've had her for Spinning a couple times, and she was awesome and tough. I figured tonight would be the same. <BR> <BR> Well, it was, but like, 10x tougher! I'm going to do my best to remember everything we did, because it was a killer workout and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to step up their strength training game (plus I'd like to do it again!). Sets are done w... Thu, 9 Sep 2010 20:31:15 EST Brain vomit Brian isn't so sure of this carpentry gig - the guy has told him not to come in all week. But he has an interview tomorrow that he's excited about, and a couple more things in the works. So I'm proud :) <BR> <BR> Nica is currently wearing a sock. She cut her foot on a walk and kept leaving bloody footprints everywhere. She's taking it like a champ! <BR> <BR> I have eggplant lasagna in the oven right now and I'm really excited about it! Can't wait to see how it came out. EDIT: It was AWESOME... Wed, 8 Sep 2010 19:44:13 EST Wedding Weekend Haha, not mine though :) <BR> <BR> A coworker of mine got married Saturday night, so we hauled it up to Lake Erie for the weekend. I've been excited for MONTHS to wear the dress I bought for the wedding, and let me tell you, I felt so fabulous in that thing! I can't remember the last time I ever felt that good in a piece of clothing! It was a really wonderful feeling, and a good reminder to keep on keepin' on!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <... Sun, 29 Aug 2010 18:53:52 EST It's about time! Here it is, the news we've all been waiting for... Brian got himself a job! <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> He had an interview yesterday for a carpentry job, and after talking on the phone for a bit, the guy wanted him to essentially do a tryout. So Brian worked for him putting in a floor and hanging a microwave, and by the end of the day had a job! He is really excited about this. He said previously he didn't want to do carpentry anymore, but he really liked this guy and felt like he fit in with... Fri, 27 Aug 2010 14:11:12 EST Urban adventuring and getting some groove back I was feeling so tired and blah tonight - I know I haven't gotten enough sleep lately - but since I was in training all day (causing me to miss my usual lunchtime workout), I knew I needed to get out and do *something*. The plan was to just take the dog for a walk, but I stepped it up a notch tonight. <BR> <BR> I walked with Brian and Nica at a nice brisk pace to start. Then I alternated jogging and walking until I got through the park to the ball fields. While I waited for Brian and the dog... Wed, 18 Aug 2010 21:18:36 EST Allllll byyyyyyyy myyyyseeeeelf!!!! But it's cool <em>36</em> <BR> <BR> Brian is working a side job out of town with his dad this week, so I've got the house to myself!! He'll be back probably Saturday afternoon, not sure (depends on when they get done). I'm really glad he's going to get some money out of this too!!! He just left last night, and I already miss him (mush mush, I know). Luckily I have the dog to keep my company :) I had to get up extra early today to walk her before I left. She gave me pathetic "don't leave me... Thu, 12 Aug 2010 07:46:30 EST Oh crap. Brian lost his job on Friday. He's being accused of theft - an Xbox from a client's house. The company has already fired two guys very recently for theft, and I remember the day Brian came home and told me about it. They had taken couches, some other stuff, and yes, an Xbox. The one guy that was fired pointed the finger at Brian, and for some reason, his boss is believing HIM over Brian. He flat out told Brian he didn't believe him. <BR> <BR> So we have a lawyer (a family friend) helping us... Mon, 19 Jul 2010 08:58:19 EST My family rocks! We had our bi-annual family reunion this past weekend. The siblings (three brothers and a sister) all rotate hosting the reunion - this year was at my uncle's in Pennsylvania. This is my dad's side of the family; his parents are no longer living but we still try to maintain close ties with everyone (my aunts, uncles, cousins, and cousins' kids). <BR> <BR> So Brian, my sister, and our dogs (Nica and cousin Gweni) loaded up my parents' SUV and headed out on an 8 hour road trip to central PA on... Tue, 13 Jul 2010 13:10:08 EST Learning lessons from the most unexpected sources <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Like, the Dog Whisperer, for instance?? <BR> <BR> I've been reading Cesar Millan's "Cesar's Way" and over the weekend really got through the majority of the book. I'm sharing a lot of passages with Brian, reading out loud, and we've been watching clips on YouTube. You know how you read some things and it just clicks? Yeah, Cesar's theories are really clicking for us as we work with Nica. Everything he says just ma... Mon, 7 Jun 2010 08:29:21 EST Pictures from the Camping Extravaganza! I know, two blogs in a row? But I had to share some scenes from our big camping trip. If you missed the other blog where I talked about it, my sister, me, and a big group of our friends go up to my parents' property every Memorial Day weekend to camp and hang out. It's like a mini-vacation and we have a blast - we've been doing it for 9 years or so now! So many of my Sparkfriends I know would fit right in with that motley crew, so here are some fun pics from my weekend! <BR> <BR> To set the ... Fri, 4 Jun 2010 08:45:12 EST Complacency I know there are others who feel this way and can empathize, so someone step in and tell me to snap out of it! <BR> <BR> Lately I have just been feeling too complacent. When I first started Spark I was a madwoman, completely obsessed with my calories and freaking out if Brian added too much butter or something to dinner. I was vigilant. I lost 40 lbs. and was super happy about that. <BR> <BR> Fast forward a couple years. Some of that weight has come creeping back on (8 lbs. or so, which is... Fri, 4 Jun 2010 08:07:25 EST Random musings, observations, and updates 1. Spaghetti squash is ridiculously amazing when made with fresh, homemade marinara sauce and turkey meatballs. Why yes, I'm having leftovers for lunch today, what gave it away? :) <BR> <BR> 2. Shoes make such a difference! I've been running in Pumas and other athletic shoes, but I finally got a pair of running shoes over the weekend. A nice pair of Rykas that I scored for $35. I walked in them on Saturday and they are sooo comfy - then I tried them on the treadmill today and they feel so gr... Mon, 24 May 2010 13:25:53 EST Dogress As in, a progress report of the dog :) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We've had Nica for over a week now, and we're starting to establish a schedule of sorts. Brian takes her out in the mornings for a walk. When I get home from work, I take her for her long walk, usually an hour or so. We walk through the park behind my house, play fetch in the fields, and then continue walking for a while before coming home. Then we try to get her ou... Thu, 6 May 2010 08:16:19 EST Healthy Survey (hey, everyone else was doing it!) 1. What did you eat for breakfast? <BR> Haven't eaten yet, but it will be Kashi GoLean Crisp with craisins (normally I'd have other stuff, but we're going out for Thai for lunch today). <BR> <BR> 2. How much water do you drink a day? <BR> Usually about 10 cups or so. <BR> <BR> 3. What is your least favorite "healthy" food? <BR> Hm...don't really have one? Maybe okra or something?? <BR> <BR> 4. What is your favorite fruit? <BR> Currently, mangoes. <BR> <BR> 5. What is your favorite veg... Fri, 30 Apr 2010 07:41:35 EST New motivation! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Well, it happened! We adopted a dog today! This is Nica (NEE-kah), as in short for Nicaragua ;) We went to PetSmart for clippers so we could shave one of the cats for the summer, and a group called "Recycled Doggies" was there with a BUNCH of dogs. <BR> <BR> We hemmed and hawed, thought about it, looked up some info about her breed went out for lunch, and then came back and got her! It happened awfully fast, and b... Sun, 25 Apr 2010 20:41:29 EST Vacation Rundown and Pictures! Hellooooo SparkFriends! I missed you all! I am FINALLY back from vacation (more on that later), and it was FANTASTIC! <BR> <BR> The island was more beautiful and incredible than we ever imagined. It was everything we wanted in a vacation and more! I can barely find words to describe the experience; suffice to say we will definitely be back. Our suite was a wing of a little farmhouse, which was just steps to the beach. It really was a little rough around the edges (our shower was outside, a g... Tue, 13 Apr 2010 19:14:42 EST Countdown to Vacation and Softball Well, tomorrow's the big day!! We leave for Little Corn Island Friday morning - and I mean EARLY. We have a 6:15 am flight out of Dayton, which is about an hour we'll be getting up at oh, 3 am. It'll be fine though - I probably won't be able to sleep tonight! <BR> <BR> We packed everything up last night, and I've checked us in for our flight. I have copies of important documents, passports, vaccinations, medications, etc. etc. list is almost ALL crossed off, save for one o... Thu, 1 Apr 2010 08:47:08 EST A good start to the week: 192 Technically I'd still consider Sunday the end of my previous week, but SP counts it in the tracker for the following week...anywho... <BR> <BR> 192 is the number of steps (give or take a few) that I ran in the park behind my house. In Cincinnati we have lots and lots of concrete steps that connect streets that are stacked on hill sides. This one goes from the street below mine up to the park, which is behind my house. <BR> <BR> My route went up my street and through the neighborhood behind... Sun, 14 Mar 2010 16:59:09 EST The rear-ending story Since I've gotten some concern from folks over my status update wherein I mentioned rear-ending a BMW, I thought I'd take a minute to explain what happened... <BR> <BR> First of all, I'm fine! Thank you all for your concern <em>41</em> <BR> <BR> I was coming back from the doctor and thought "hm, I'll just go pick up some lunch on my way back" which was actually sort of out of my way. I got stuck in ridiculous stop and go, bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way there - you know, the kind whe... Wed, 10 Mar 2010 07:24:50 EST 3 for 3!!! We did it!!!! I'm really proud <em>334</em> We are 3 for 3 on getting activity all this weekend. <BR> <BR> Friday afternoon we went for a walk (60 mins), yesterday we did a bike ride (90 mins) and today a jog (50 mins). I'm extra proud that I got Brian to join me on all of those!! We just got back from the jog; we met up with our percussionist and did a couple miles run/walk through a beautiful neighborhood and park. Love it! I saw crocuses and other little green sprouts poking through the... Sun, 7 Mar 2010 18:04:50 EST Feelin' pretty good-type ramblings I know I know, my blogs always alternate between good and bad, positive and negative...soooo time for a positive! <BR> <BR> First, Brian and I have been having way too much fun on a shoe binge lately! With some of the tax return money we set aside for vacation, part of that was budgeted for clothes/supplies for our upcoming vacation. So we each got a new pair of tennis shoes (okay, those weren't needed for vacation so much as we're both just big Puma fans and did need some new ones!), Brian... Fri, 5 Mar 2010 08:32:37 EST Lunch disappointement and disgust I have to share this, 'cuz that's what you do when something's gross, right? "Here, taste/smell/look at this, it's disgusting!!" <em>100</em> <BR> <BR> I picked up a new Healthy Choice Cafe Steamer flavor last week - Chicken Pad Thai. Pad thai is one of my Favorite Things Ever (TM), but of course it has to be a limited treat because of how terrible it is for me. In my neighborhood there are two Thai restaurants, plus Chinese places that serve great pad thai. Brian and I have been on a mis... Tue, 2 Mar 2010 14:01:54 EST No blood for you! I had an appointment to donate blood today - they bring the Bloodmobile to my work occasionally, and it's a nice break from the cubicle as a bonus (what does that say about my job? I'd rather get poked with needles than work??). I arrive, fill out my paperwork, and start consulting with the tech. <BR> <BR> As it turns out, I couldn't donate today because my iron level was too low. It was 36 and it needs to be at least 38. She said it wasn't anything to worry about; it's still perfectly heal... Wed, 24 Feb 2010 16:03:59 EST Sponsor me in the March for Babies! Once again, it's time for the March for Babies, courtesy of the March of Dimes. Cincinnati's event is April 25. I'll be doing the 6 mile walk. <BR> <BR> This is my third year doing the walk, and I do it in honor of my neice and nephew, Addyson and Aeron, who were born at 24 weeks. <BR> <BR> They are now about to turn 4, and they are the sweetest, greatest kids ever!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> If I remember, I'll post another pho... Thu, 18 Feb 2010 09:36:29 EST Getting ON IT? Sure. Staying ON IT? Meh. I had a really nice, long, extended weekend! Friday was my day off, then Monday was a holiday, and Tuesday I took a snow day. We went snowboarding on Friday during the day, and then I helped out with my friend Rickii's daughter's slumber party Friday night. My sister was in town Saturday, so we went out with a bunch of friends for a sushi feast, and then came back to our house for a little party and cake. Sunday we lazed around, had band practice, and then my friend Rickii and her kids came ... Wed, 17 Feb 2010 13:14:43 EST A much-needed vacation <img src=""> <BR> A REAL one!!! <BR> <BR> Brian and I are in the midst of booking our trip - I've confirmed our lodging and know which flights we want and other logistics we need; it's just a matter of getting everything booked and finalized! We were worried we'd barely have enough money to cover everything (we've been saving and putting all gifted money towards this), but then I did our taxes the other night, and we're golden now! So now w... Fri, 22 Jan 2010 08:19:09 EST Looking back and looking forward I am back from an extended vacation from work (I was off Dec. 24-Jan 4!), which was awesome. But, I didn't track any food, didn't really worry about what I ate, and I did not exercise one stitch! I totally intended to, but I ended up just letting myself relax because all I wanted to do with my time was sleep, which felt really good! I don't think I got up before 11 the entire week, and the first day I slept until 1:30 pm!! I'm actually sort of glad to be back into my routine now though, and a... Tue, 5 Jan 2010 09:02:06 EST Not playin' out... So we just found out yesterday that the restaurant/bar we were going to play at is closing on Saturday. Boo!! I have to wonder could the owner not know that the restaurant would be closing when he scheduled us in? We just arranged this last week. Weird. <BR> <BR> Anyway, we're pretty bummed, but I think we're motivated to find another gig in the meantime! Tue, 24 Nov 2009 07:27:54 EST Playin' out Brian and I have been playing music with some friends of ours for the past few months. We've been playing pretty regularly, every Thursday night at our house and occasionally on the weekends and other days. We just do it for fun; these are guys I've known since art school 10 years ago (that's where Brian and I met). We jam, play some blues, do some Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead covers, play some oldies and standards, and we have a handful of originals. <BR> <BR> Well, one of the guys has been... Thu, 19 Nov 2009 07:36:56 EST Positive ramblings I was just thinking last night that I should post an update. As I started formulating the post in my brain, I realized how many positive things I can and should write about right now. <BR> <BR> First, the Lexapro the doc prescribed last month really seems to be helping. It's just a very subtle change in mood that allows me to function normally, but prevents me from freaking out and getting anxiety over things like paying bills. Even Brian said he can tell a big difference in my mood/attitude... Wed, 18 Nov 2009 08:03:10 EST