SH9719's SparkPeople Blog SH9719's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Getting More Out of What You Do is the Key As I was walking my dogs last night I thinking about my almost year long Spark journey. I realized that the key to my success is that I have made an effort to work harder at what I was already doing. It started with my dog walks last summer. Instead of just strolling around the park for 10 minutes with my dogs, I started walking faster and longer. I started walking or riding my bike for trips that I would have taken my car on in the past. When I referee ice hockey there are a lot of oppo... Sat, 20 Jul 2013 01:17:27 EST My Prayers Were Answered Today I have lived through what has been the worst 2 weeks of my life. Last fall I posted a blog that I lost a dog. It was a joke in that I had lost the weight of my 50lb dog. I got a lot of great reactions from that blog and I have thought of reblogging the same joke when I lost the weight of both of my dogs a while back. Unfortunately, I have lived the threat of literally losing my dog for the last 2 weeks. My dog Zoey has been in a shelter for 2 weeks because she escaped through a gate with... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 21:43:45 EST An Old Guy Returns To The Ice Thinner, Fitter and More Flexible Last night I learned the difference between just weighing less and being fit. After a 6 year layoff from strapping on the pads to play goalie I made brief forays to the ice this winter figuring my weight loss would allow me to more easily return to the ice. I was not real happy with the results and at 57 years old I contemplated hanging it up for good. I stayed off the ice for the last couple of months to focus on conditioning and mobility/flexibility. <BR> <BR> Through a combination of a... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 08:00:39 EST My Biggest Day - Proof That Being Fit Pays Off Last Saturday I was blessed with the assignment to officiate the Illinois State Girls U14A state championship game in Bensenville Illinois. In 10 year of officiating I was never assigned to such a prestigious game. It was truly an honor. Without the weight loss and conditioning I would never have been considered for this assignment. Getting in shape for officiating was always part of my motivation for this journey, I never expected such positive results. <BR> <BR> The experience was ever... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 18:21:57 EST 2 Months in Seclusion - 97lbs Down and Feeling Like a Failure I am basically a very up person. In fact sometimes to serious. My success on this journey in losing weight and getting in shape has been unprecedented in my life. Unfortunately, other parts of my life have not been so successful and I have been sabotaging those parts for the last 6 months. Around Christmas I started on a funk which I have been trying to end. <BR> <BR> I have read a number of blogs and articles have said that losing weight and getting fit will not resolve all of your prob... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 17:40:38 EST Tabata Kettlebells Reading SP blogs pays off again. I was reading the recently posted most popular blogs blog. In the list was an article about Tabata. In short Tabata is an exercise technique introduced in the 90s by a Japanese speed skating coach. It is a form of HIIT where you do 20 seconds of absolutely all out exercise and then rest for 10 seconds until you are trashed. The normal repetitions is 8 for a total exercise of 8 minutes. You need to warm up before the Tabata and cool down after it so the ... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 21:58:46 EST 36 in Time For the Big Reveal Huge break throughs in the last 12 hours. I was stuck at 208 for 10 days. For me that is an eternity. This morning I finally broke through to 207. But, that was secondary to the fact that I bought 3 pairs of size 36 pants last night on my way back from my last game. My weight loss buddy reported that he bought 36s yesterday and I am almost 20lbs ahead of him. So, I stopped at Kohls late last night to do something else and thought I would see how close I was to wearing 36s. I was blown ... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 10:31:47 EST And Now a Chef? My upstairs neighbor called today looking for a couple of spices she needed for something she was cooking. I was able to help her with the marjoram, one of my favorite new spices, but not the tarragon. She thanked me profusely and said it was nice to have chefs in the building. I had to laugh to myself. My son is a young trained cook who works on developing new recipe concepts for their clients products to sell to others. I only really learned to cook about 30 years ago when I had to coo... Fri, 21 Dec 2012 01:59:22 EST And it was supposed to be an off day I started yesterday with my status saying "looking forward to no scheduled exercise on Wednesday". NO kettlebells and not games to referee. So I took the dogs for a nice long 40 minute walk figuring that would be my exercise for the day. Then.., I got an e-mail, would I fill in as goalie in what turned out to be a game at 8:30 at the outdoor rink in Elmhurst. Not my favorite rink. Poorly lit, cold and poor dressing rooms. But, what the heck I have been on the ice twice in 6 years I am a... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 10:07:18 EST 75 lbs down started with 29 biscuits Today I reached the 75 lbs loss milestone. As I zero in on my goal I have thought more about what has worked for me. Most of this thought is towards my maintenance plan. We all know that there are a number of factors that have have to go into successful weight loss and then successful maintenance. I am convinced that the biggest factor in my weight loss is portion control. It has allowed me to continue to eat most of the foods I like and still stay within my ranges. I have not strayed f... Wed, 12 Dec 2012 14:49:28 EST Small Spark Meeting in Chicago Spark member XINE78 organized a Chicago meeting of Spark members. There were only three of us, but it was nice to actually put a face on some fellow sparkers. LIVE2RIDE was the third member. We all brought our lunch and at in the food court at a downtown transit center. Both ladies work down town. I skipped kettlebells for the first time in a while but rode my bike the 9 miles to the city. <BR> <BR> It was a nice lunch. It was very interesting to see how different situations affect ho... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 18:30:51 EST Credit to Less of Lee In my last blog I posted a new picture my weight loss buddy Lee took last friday. There is a good motivational story behind my relationship with Lee. This deserves a separate blog and so on the day I hit my 70lb weight loss and he hit his 73lb weight loss and his BMI went below 30 I thought I would share the story. <BR> <BR> Lee and I used to work together as systems analysts/programmers and AT&T. About 6 years ago before AT&T outsourced our jobs to IBM and then IBM moved our jobs to Ind... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 15:59:51 EST I Never Thought.... I have avoided pictures of myself like the plague. I do not even have pictures of myself in facebook, only on my spark page have I been willing to share my ampleness. Yesterday I drove out for lunch with Lee a former co-worker of mine and my weight loss buddy. He is also a semi-professional photographer. He has not even sent me the pictures from his camera, but he took 2 with his IPhone and I was blow away by that fact that it was me in the picture. I never thought I would actually like ... Sat, 1 Dec 2012 09:31:24 EST The turkey carcass is now picked clean I was by myself for TG dinner. My son headed out for dinner with his mom's family. This is not the first time I have been by myself. Last year I treated myself to an expense buffet at a local restaurant. I love TG day flavors a lot. I always looked forward to dark meat, stuffing and pumpkin pie at my mom's house. This year I was beckoned by the siren call of all the SP TG recipes I saw and undertook to make my own TG dinner. <BR> <BR> I had purchased a Turducken on-line and planned o... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 12:23:47 EST Good News on Two Fronts Earlier this year I was once denied the opportunity to give blood because my BP was to high. That means my BP was above 180/100 which is their max allowed. That is Hypertension Stage 2. So, I had been watching it. I can go on-line to track my BP for all of my donations. <BR> <BR> Earlier this year I recorded a 156/100 during a successful donation. Still Hypertension but Stage 1. Eight weeks ago my reading was 142/94. I was still in Stage 1 Yesterday when I donated it was 120/80. ... Tue, 20 Nov 2012 12:11:50 EST I love my new scale - at least today We all know that we need to use the same scale to test our progress. Scales can certainly vary. It is always interesting to see how the doctors office scale varies from your home scale. Today I bit the bullet and went out to buy a new scale. My old one was being inconsistent. I initially had a way to low measurement. I reweighed myself and it was significantly higher. I weighed my self repeatedly getting a weight that ranged about 3lbs. So as soon as Bed Bath and Beyond opened I went ... Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:57:18 EST My exhausting reunion after 5 years with some favorite old friends I remember when I was a child and playing baseball hearing someone refer to a catchers equipment as "the tools of ignorance". I looked up the definition today and one source said "the usage was meant to be ironic, contrasting the intelligence needed by a catcher to handle the duties of the position with the foolishness needed to play a position hazardous enough to require so much protective equipment. " I never played catcher in baseball. Probably in part because I started playing ice hock... Wed, 14 Nov 2012 17:59:25 EST Hit Initial Goal This is me from last Christmas probably somewhere around my highest recorded weight of 285 <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In August I took my first Spark oriented pictures at 262 <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My initial goal when I started Sparking at 275 in July was 225 by 3/1/2013. Today I weighed in at 2... Mon, 12 Nov 2012 18:56:48 EST Chance to give back and be sparked Saturday I was given the opportunity to officiate at the Illinoice Special Olympics Floor Hockey tournament. The spirit and sheer joy I saw from the competitors was a real spark for life. The skinny ref third from the left is me. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 12 Nov 2012 01:44:46 EST I threw a ball today - WOW A little more than 10 years ago 2 injuries left my right shoulder less than 100%. A tear in the rotator cuff and a C5 impingement left my right arm weaker when lifting certain ways and left me unable to throw a baseball overhand with any strength and without a twinge. I was coaching my son's baseball team at the time and I was force to throw the ball underhand. I have gotten so used to it that I do not even think about it. I just accommodate for it. My dog Zoey loves to fetch, but I alwa... Thu, 8 Nov 2012 17:43:50 EST New Perceptions of Skinny I was in a refs locker room over the weekend when a very large ref came in from the prior game. We were chatting about game experiences and game assignment. I made a comment about the assigners limiting larger refs to lower games. I was of course referring to myself also. He said "you mean fat refs don't you" . I immediately said I was fat also to indicate I was not just referring to him. He immediately retorted that I was not fat but skinny. <BR> <BR> I left the conversation at that... Wed, 7 Nov 2012 23:43:50 EST Back to my normal insanity After 3 days, 14 games and about 17 hours on the ice officiating it was back to normal. I got off the ice last night at about midnight after enduring an awful bottom tier mens league game. The boredom was worse than the exhaustion. <BR> <BR> My weekend highlight was my Saturday weigh in for my 5% Challenge. I was a pound under my target in the challenge after 4 weeks with 4 weeks to go. That was cool. Three more pounds before my initial target. <BR> <BR> The hockey highlight of the we... Mon, 5 Nov 2012 21:59:50 EST Long Day Done Six hockey games down. Officiating teams from New Jersey, St. Louis, Chicago, Michigan, Pittsburg and Latvia. Just about froze my hands off during th efirst 4 games. Cold really takes it out of you. The legs held up pretty well. Mostly just tired by the end of the day. Time to go to bed and get ready for Saturday. Only 5 to go. Sat, 3 Nov 2012 01:54:02 EST Down 55 and ready for 2 big days of hockey I weighed in at 229.8 this morning. (To weigh in the 220s today is like a dream.) This puts me down 55 which happens to be my birth year. I am 1lb away from my 5% challenge target half way through the 8 week challenge. 5 lbs away from losing my obese status and reaching my first major goal weight. I was swinging a 24kg/53lb kettlebell Tuesday in class and it almost killed me. I cannot imagine my body carrying that around all of the time. I officially apologize to my knees. <BR> <BR> ... Thu, 1 Nov 2012 16:32:59 EST Holy Dorothy I am melting At Kettlebells today on of the regular women who had not been around for a week or so asked me if I came to all 4 class offerings. When I said yes, she told me that I appear to be melting away. It was one of the nicer comments I have had recently. I looked it up and I have lost about 23lbs in the 8 weeks I have been attending Kettlebell class. Given it was the day before Halloween I think a good wicked witch reference was appropriate. Wed, 31 Oct 2012 02:01:05 EST Channeling My Jarrod My referee travels took me to 3 rinks in about 16 hours last night and this morning. (With about 5 hours of sleep in there somewhere.) Traveling between rink 1 and 2 I stopped at Subway for what was going to be my Dinner. Instead of just getting a 6 inch sub I planned ahead and bought their 2 for $5 each sub deal. I had half of one for dinner and then half of the other for my 4th meal. (Which I plan for.) Then this morning at 6:30am I had the 3rd half for breakfast. On the way home I f... Sun, 28 Oct 2012 13:29:43 EST Things I have noticed are better since my weight loss While getting down to 235 from 285 and seeing another inch come off my waste are the most obvious differences over the last 4+ months there are a number of small things that are fun to notice and make life a lot nicer <BR> <BR> - Doing physical chores around the house are no longer exhausting. I have been painting second floor windows the last few weeks. Before all the ladder lifting, ladder climbing, scraping and bending would have torched me for the day. Now it has very little affect on... Thu, 25 Oct 2012 21:03:08 EST 50 down 10 to go to move from Obese to Over Weight <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> After a crazy weekend with 8 hockey games to referee and kettlebells class on friday I was rewarded with a morning weigh in of 235. That is 50lbs down from my peak and 40lbs since I started Sparking 90 days ago. I am 10lbs away from losing the obese status. That is also my initial goal! <BR> <BR> <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> To celebrate I rode my bike all the way to downtown Chicago, 9 miles, to appeal my property taxes and then stopped in to my Kettlebells clas... Mon, 22 Oct 2012 16:33:34 EST Finally a full Turkish Getup I started doing Kettlebells 6 weeks and 17 lbs ago. I knew very little about Kettlebells. Little did I know that the slow progress I would make to get beyond basic dead lifts and swings. It has only been in the last week the I have been allowed to do one armed swings and snatches. Today was the first day I was allowed to do a full Turkish Getup in class. <BR> <BR> The Turkish Getup is a very complicated exercise that involves starting from the fetal position to standing up while extendin... Thu, 18 Oct 2012 16:09:08 EST Exercise day off, sort of It is late and I am tired. No exercise yet today. I had no Kettlebells class and no games to referee today. The last thing I want to do is go out in the rain and walk. Fortunately the dogs need to be walked and I am the only one around to do it. So, I will walk before bed. Wed, 17 Oct 2012 23:31:14 EST Today I Lost a Dog This is Zoey, one of my 2 dogs <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I weighed both of us today and she weighs a healthy 49lbs. Coincidentally when I weighed in today I had lost 49lbs from my peak weight. So I have now lost a dog. <BR> <BR> <em>244</em> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 16:19:44 EST A Very Pumpkin Weekend I am a self taught cook. I have cooked since my divorce 30 years ago, especially for my daughter, but I had a limited range and knowledge. Since starting Spark I have been cooking almost all of my food. As easy as most of the recipes on this site are it has been a hug learning experience for me. I have never tried to cook what was in season until this year. I love squash so when I went to the farmers market Saturday that was my target. While I got a lot of squash I also came home with 2... Sun, 14 Oct 2012 21:46:40 EST Minor Change of Strategy I have blogged about patience a lot. That is ironic because this is now me being impatient. I think I have hit my first plateau in 80 days of sparking. I cannot really complain my 33lb weight loss in that period is beyond my expectations. But, for the last week I have had no movement. I have religiously stayed in my ranges and am averaging at least a 1,000 calorie deficit daily doing cardio and strength training. Today is going to be my first light day, walking only, in a couple of week... Fri, 12 Oct 2012 14:32:12 EST Just one more great benefit for my weight loss One of my exercise routines is also a paying hobby. I referee youth and adult hockey games in the Chicago area. I started 10 years ago when my son was old enough to start officiating. I figured I would rather officiate with him than take him to games and watch. 10 years later he has not officiated in 2 years and I am still at it. <BR> <BR> I used to officiate a whole lot. One year I did around 300 games. In the last few years they changed the scheduling priorities around and started gi... Tue, 9 Oct 2012 22:47:25 EST My to much weekend Saturday <BR> Bike Ride 2 hrs - 20 Miles <BR> Kettlebells 1 hr - Somewhat easy class <BR> Refed Mens League Game - 1.33 hrs <BR> <BR> Sunday <BR> Refed 4 your youth games - 4 hrs <BR> Walked the dogs 30 minutes <BR> <BR> Surprisingly not as physically sore as I expected to be. Just real tired. <BR> Sun, 7 Oct 2012 23:51:27 EST Simple Act, Best Results I usually do not blog this early in the morning but this is going to be a very busy day and I woke up this morning knowing I had to get this off my chest. I have 2 children by 2 different mothers. My 22 year son still lives with me and we have a great relationship. I was divorced from my 32 year old daughters mother before she was 3. It was a contentious divorce mostly about custody and stupid things. But, we lived in the same village and I saw her every Tuesday and alternating weekends ... Sat, 6 Oct 2012 09:51:26 EST I Need Two Clicks to Help a Well Deserved Healthy Food Project My daughter has been a leader in a very successful community garden project project in Chicago that not only helps the neighborhood but provides produce to a local charity. Here is their facebook page. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>erCornerFarm </link> <BR> <BR> They are in a local contest for the best Space In Between. They are in first place but just barely. It takes 2 clicks and no registration to vote for their project. Please help! <BR> <BR> <link>w... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 17:48:33 EST Letter to a dissenter A couple of weeks ago a Chicago Tribune columnist wrote a commentary that appeared as a side bar to an article titled "Do calories count". The business section article analyzed the potential affects of the legislation the caused McDonalds to post nutritional information on its menu. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>24/business/ct-biz-0923-phil-menu-2012<BR>0924_1_post-calorie-information-calori<BR>e-count-menus </link> <BR> <BR> I thought the article did an adeq... Thu, 4 Oct 2012 19:33:36 EST Celebrating 15% My weight loss buddy regularly posts his success on facebook. He recently celebrated a 20% weight loss. While I have celebrated my 5 lbs incremental weight loss milestones this time I have not paid attention to percentages. But, I figured out today that I just crosses over the 15% lost milestone. So today I am celebrating this significant milestone. <BR> <BR> This is my new weight lost pile. The thought of carrying that around 24/7. Makes me literally shudder. <BR> <BR> <img src="htt... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 15:14:35 EST Faith in the System Since the calorie and other ranges are partially based on our estimate of calories we are burning it is pretty important that we get that number fairly accurate. Over my first 10 weeks I have increased my workouts and thus the carlorie burned. Starting Kettlebells 5 weeks ago really increased it, but because the class is a lot of stretching other conditioning exercises and not straight Kettlebells I was not sure what the calories burn was. To add on to that the hockey season started last ... Wed, 3 Oct 2012 01:58:30 EST Something Small But Nice After a physically busy last 4 days I was considering skipping Kettlebells today. But my son arrived this morning back from a business trip to Hawaii. (Tough job right!) He brought me back 2 nice t-shirts. What was real nice and extremely thoughtful was he got them in a size Large. He knew that Large was my target size. I am wearing some larges, but these were a little too body snugging for me. The fact that he thought enough to get me something that was important to me was motivation ... Mon, 1 Oct 2012 23:53:42 EST Spark Withdrawal Yesterday was a very long and hard day. I had my bike ride to class, kettlebell class and 2 games to officiate. I even broke down and stopped at Potbelly for a Mediterranean Chicken sandwich. (I had looked it up a while back and it is pretty decent nutritionally except the sodium and it tasted pretty good). When I came home after my first game I wanted to get caught up sparking because my last game ended after midnight. Unfortunately my Spark was down for me. Not only could I not get ca... Sun, 30 Sep 2012 19:33:55 EST Large at Last All of my older size large shirt are resting in my closet waiting for my shrinkage. Today I went to Sports Authority to pick some misc stuff. I spotted a nice shirt on the closeout rack that was a size large. I decided to purchase it for a little motivational target. After I read another Spark members blog on trying to get into a smaller set of clothes I thought what the heck why not try it on. To my surprise it fit. I suspect that some of my older larges will be a little snug because ... Fri, 28 Sep 2012 23:41:14 EST My Motivation Goes to the Dogs Early in my Spark days my only cardio was my daily dog walks. So I decided that I would get serious about walking them. First I bought a pedometer and then a pedometer app for my ipod. Once I started getting feedback from the pedometer I set my goal to 3,500 steps. Then I worked on getting my rate over 3 miles a minute. <BR> <BR> Now I am doing bike riding, kettlebell training and other lifting. But, the dogs still need walking. Now I do not always get my 3500 steps in, but we walk on ... Fri, 28 Sep 2012 00:17:58 EST Great Omens for an Important Day Big day today. Job interview at 1:30. Finger and toes crossed. <BR> <BR> I went out yesterday and had my hair trimmed and bought a nice pair of dress pants for the interview. Size 42. Hoping I will only be able to wear them for another month or so. Still a good investment. <BR> <BR> Scale today put me at 244.6. Down 30 in 63 spark days. Down 40 in total. Cannot beat that for a great omen for a good interview. Tue, 25 Sep 2012 10:03:40 EST Wishing to be large For most of the last 5 years I have worked from home so clothes were not a big deal. A bath robe covers a lot of acres of skin. Since clothes did not fit to well on my large frame I became in denial about the status of my clothes. I only had to have a few items for the few times I pushed my large frame out the door. <BR> <BR> Finally today I went through all of my drawers and closet. Created a large pile of 2X clothes and clothes I would not wear for donation. Saved some of my nicer 2X ... Mon, 24 Sep 2012 01:07:04 EST Fall 5% Challenge and Hockey Officiating Season Kickoff I have never been one to join these team efforts. Like most people, until they join SparkPeople, weight loss is a very private thing. I once showed up to my parents house down 50lbs since the last time they saw me. I had not told them. Now that I have bared almost all over the last 60 days what the heck I will join in. These are my numbers for the challenge. <BR> <BR> Goal to eat 2090 - 2440 calories per day <BR> Goal to burn 3000 calories per week <BR> Goal to go from 247 to 235 by 11/... Sat, 22 Sep 2012 09:53:53 EST Eating Out With the Homeless My date tonight for dinner was a homeless lady named Cee Cee I befriended last year. We met on the street exactly a year ago today when she stopped me to ask me for directions to a shelter. I helped her get on public transportation that night and now I help her out every once in a while and we have become friends. She called me tonight to remind me of our anniversary and to tell me it was her birthday. <BR> <BR> We ended up at a local Chinese place because she wanted Mongolian Chicken. (... Fri, 21 Sep 2012 22:25:02 EST Disgusted With Myself I posted a before and after picture earlier this month. The former picture was not at my worst. I had a habit of avoiding photography when I was large. I decided I needed a before picture so I asked my brother who was home for Christmas if he had any pictures of me. He had a family picture with 2 of my 5 brothers and sisters. When I saw the picture, all I could think was how the heck could I let myself do that to myself. I knew and know better. Once I got past the disgust I decided it w... Fri, 21 Sep 2012 01:02:22 EST I Cannot Bake I had Raspberries from the Farmers Market so I thought being on a role this week I would try baking raspberry scones. To call it an unmitigated disaster would be an understatement. They are edible, but barely. Now I have 10 more scones I have to either endure or throw away. I cannot wish them on anyone else. Thu, 20 Sep 2012 01:52:56 EST