SKIRNIR's SparkPeople Blog SKIRNIR's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Thinking About New Year's Resolutions Lately I have been struggling with finding meaning in my life. End of 2012, we moved from Wisconsin to Tennessee for my husbands new job. I have been mostly staying home since then, volunteering, cooking and working on a blog. This has kept me busy enough, but I have had a hard time finding meaning and purpose in my life. My hope is that by thinking about making some new year's resolutions for 2014, I can make my own meaning. I have always felt that we, as people, make our own meaning in... Sat, 28 Dec 2013 10:47:33 EST September 11th Stair Climb Challenge Today, I am going to be doing a September 11th Stair Climb Challenge. For me this means trying to beat my previous floors high of 138 floors on August 12th. My fitbit keeps track of floors climbed in a day and tells me my personal bests, etc. Apparently the fitbit counts 10 feet as a floor, so you could do your own challenge, be counting the stairs and then how many times up them, etc. This is what I did before I obtained a fitbit, or should I say before my hubby bought me one. Let me kn... Wed, 11 Sep 2013 08:07:21 EST Living Up To One's Potential? I am now 40 years old, which I can't deny that that is midlife now. Many, many people don't live to 80. Yes, I am female and females tend to live longer, but I can't deny that 40 is midlife. And the question I keep asking myself is have I done anything at all in my life that has lived up to my God given potential? Or have I squandered or wasted it all? If I have wasted it all, how can I change it? <BR> <BR> In high school, I thought that getting a good education would help me to get o... Fri, 16 Aug 2013 21:23:54 EST 30K Steps in a Day Challenge MostMom1, the hulla hooping sparker, in a reent blog post challenged some of her readers to a 30K step day today. Her blog is here <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5445044 </link> if you are curious. So today, my challenge was to walk 30K steps and then blog about it. <BR> <BR> First, some history. I have walked 30K steps before in one day. I walked a half marathon in April 2012 and since beginning to wear my fitbit around December 2012, I h... Sat, 10 Aug 2013 21:12:29 EST Do Lent Generously Day 3: List Your Blessings So day three is to list out your blessings... I will probably add more to this as time goes on, so this will be a short list at first and will be added to... <BR> <BR> 1. My new home and town. I love our condo and the natural area around it and the nature around the area in which we now live. We live in a valley in Tennessee with mountains and wild areas all over. I still have to get out there and hike and bike more of the local area. <BR> 2. My husband and son. I love them both so mu... Fri, 15 Feb 2013 07:57:45 EST Do Lent Generously Challenge Lent began on Wednesday with Ash Wednesday (Why do we put large ashy black crosses on our forehead and then listen to a verse that tells us not to draw attention to ourselves while we fast and pray?) and I signed up for the Do Lent Generously Challenge. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Day one asked us to set up a generosity bag of stuff to take with us and maybe share some of these items with others. I did this last night. In my bag is: coin change (M... Fri, 15 Feb 2013 07:44:55 EST Two New Recipes Tried and Enjoyed A challenge on the maintenance team asked us to try a new recipe and blog about it/review it. So I decided to try a Thai Peanut Broccoli Chicken Recipe that I found on <BR> <BR> <link><BR>icken/ </link> <BR> <BR> This was my first time working with fresh ginger, but it was very inexpensive and I was able to grab a small piece at the grocery store. One of the members on the team recommended this youtube video on how to peel ginger, w... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 16:30:36 EST Things I Am Thankful For I read someone else's blog about what they were thankful for. They were going to make it a 30 day challenge or something like that. I am not going to do that, but would like to occasionally list things that I am thankful for, as I feel I need to remind myself sometimes. <BR> <BR> 1. My family including my husband and son <BR> 2. My husband's new job that he will be starting around December 3rd. I hope he can be happy again. <BR> 3. The help that we have been receiving from many people i... Fri, 2 Nov 2012 00:03:52 EST Celebration! Time for a positive blog, as my blogs here lately have been downers on occasion. Today was a good day. <BR> <BR> I went for a bike ride and walk. Biked for about 12 miles total and walked in the woods for about 1.7 miles. That is what I had time for, about 2 hours. Wanted to be home to have lunch for a left over garlic beef enchilada. (Delicious, by the way.) Then had someone picking up a table saw that we were giving away as we are moving to Tennessee soon and didn't want to take i... Fri, 5 Oct 2012 19:59:55 EST Making A Difference? If you have read my blog here on Spark for awhile you will have noticed a recurring theme. The theme of how can one tell if they have made a difference? You see my goal as a Christian, is to be a better person today then I was yesterday and to help other people. Not necessarily win them to Christ, because that is God's job, not mine. I am here to try and aid others in their everyday life. The problem is one can never tell if they are succeeding at this. <BR> <BR> My husband has acce... Thu, 4 Oct 2012 19:43:42 EST Goals/Stats, etc. Looks like it will be questions 1 and 2 today, as they seem enough related to me to take together. <BR> <BR> 1: Your stats. Starting stats, current stats, goal stats. Are you currently trying to lose weight, gain weight, or maintain weight or something else? Do you have a goal for the month of September? <BR> <BR> First, I have to say I have always been on the overweight side. I remember wearing about a size 14 out of high school, I think. Was never overly fat in my opinion in high schoo... Sat, 29 Sep 2012 18:09:36 EST 30 Questions I saw a list of 30 questions that some are going to do as they go along and answer in their blogs. I think I will do the same. I do not guarantee I will answer all the questions. But will answer the ones that interest me, etc. The last time I tried to do this I got to about 6 to 9 done and then seemed to quit, so shall see how it works this time. I will not answer one tonight as I have some coupon matchups that I am working on for my other blog. <BR> <BR> <BR> 1: Your stats. Starting st... Fri, 28 Sep 2012 22:13:52 EST BLC 20 Before Photo and Plan <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here is my before image. As I don't own a sports bra, or have any shorts. Jeans and a tank top was best I could do. <BR> <BR> My plan is to mainly work on toning up, as I am at maintenance and am not interested in loosing anymore weight. I will continue doing my cardio including walking and biking. I have been doing one timed 10K per week walking and one longer bike ride of at least more than 12 miles each w... Sat, 15 Sep 2012 14:32:37 EST Bicycling Distance? Ever feel like you just can't go any further? I do. I have walked a half marathon and then started to try and add on some distance to my biking for awhile. Well yesterday, I did a 40 mile bike ride, which is my longest yet. But about 26 miles in, on the way home, my thighs were killing me. I had to get off, stretch and walk a few minutes somewhat regularly to be able to keep going. Any advice on how to deal with this? When I got home I took a pain killer, had a snack and plopped on a c... Sat, 18 Aug 2012 17:15:40 EST Update on Goals/What I want In a recently blog post, I listed when I wanted to be healthy and in so doing, I also listed some things I wanted out of life. I thought I should occasionally share how I am at least trying to work towards some of those goals. <BR> <BR> I had said that biking was a part of my way of exploring new areas and getting a bit more confidence perhaps in being somewhere new. I biked this week to where my music lessons are and then towards Bluemound Road, a road that has a lot of major shopping cen... Sat, 4 Aug 2012 23:37:46 EST Why Did You Decide to Become a Healthier Person and Why Do You Keep At it? I think we all need to be reminded sometimes why we decided to become a healthier person and why do we not want to give that up. <BR> <BR> 1. I did have a few health reasons, as I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant and wanted to hold diabetes off as long as I can. I love food and would hate to have to avoid sugar, etc. And I have seen what the complications of diabetes can be in my Great Aunt who was going blind before she died and had issues with her feet and legs. I also have... Fri, 20 Jul 2012 00:06:46 EST My Walk Today My husband has a very nice DSLR (a digital camera with different changeable lenses) camera and I went for a walk with it today. Only about 6 miles that took me almost 3 hours. Yes, quite a slow walk, but rather enjoyable. <BR> <BR> First, a picture to show you how dry things are here in Waukesha, WI. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> While it is dry though, the heat wave has finally broken here as evidenced by this photo. <BR> <BR>... Sat, 7 Jul 2012 22:24:23 EST Goals for BLC19 and Beyond Been thinking about what this would be for a few days now. As I am in maintenance mode, I don't want to loose anymore weight, etc. <BR> <BR> 1. Remain in my maintenance range around 116 to 120. <BR> 2. Tone up my abs and glutes primarily. (Will be trying a crunch/situp challenge and for now doing the Official Spring Into Shape bootcamp challenge and doing a pushup challenge. So hopefully that will help me get my strength training in, as that is an area of problem for me.) <BR> 3. Sign... Sun, 29 Apr 2012 19:14:48 EST Walked My First Half Marathon, The Trailbreaker I walked my first half marathon today, the Trailbreaker in Waukesha, WI <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Today was a dry, but cloudy and somewhat cool day with a high of 52, but if it got much above 45, I would be surprised. Didn't see any hint of sun, but no rain either. Only a little bit of cold wind, so much better than a few days ago was breeze/wind wise. <BR> <BR> My "race" started at 9:30 AM and bib/race packet pickup was this morning. I planned to g... Sat, 31 Mar 2012 17:53:23 EST My Goals This is a challenge from a maintenance team I am on. Here is what I have thus far and may add to it. <BR> <BR> Skirnir's goals <BR> 1. walk my first half marathon <BR> 2. play something on the piano well, maybe with my son or husband <BR> 3. build up readership/views on my coupon matchup blog (unless we move) <BR> 4. find a church where I can help others <BR> 5. Go on a mission trip somewhere outside Wisconsin <BR> 6. Find ways to regularly help others, more than just giving them a ride o... Thu, 9 Feb 2012 11:10:24 EST Half Marathon Training In my New Year's resolutions/goals a few blogs back, I discusses maybe doing my first half marathon, walking it. I have now signed up for my first ever Half Marathon and I am a bit nervous about it. It is the Trailbreaker HM in Waukesha, WI on Saturday, March 31st. I know I can do the distance, as I have walked just under 12 miles outside before and done 13.1 miles on the treadmill at one time, but can I do it in under 4 hours? My fear is that as a walker, they will bag the finish line an... Fri, 6 Jan 2012 18:16:37 EST Why Play the Piano? I said in my new years resolutions/goals that I wanted to decide if I wanted to continue learning piano. This is an exercise I am doing to see what my motivation is... <BR> <BR> Why do I want to play piano? <BR> 1. I want to be able to play music with my son (viola) and husband (violin). <BR> I sometimes wonder if this is even possible. As it takes such a little thing for me to loose my place, or loose my mind. IE I can get rattled and suddenly every coherent thought from my head is ... Wed, 4 Jan 2012 17:29:14 EST 2012 Hopes and Goals Addendum I forgot one thing. <BR> <BR> 6. I want to continue helping others when I can. This won't be financially as again, I don't have a job, and am not comfortable asking my hubby for money in order to help someone that he often doesn't know or like. Occasionally I may list some of these on my blog, as a reminder to me. I get frustrated, as I want to help others, but what I do seems so little, that I get depressed sometimes, so I may list some of them in blog entries here if you all do not min... Fri, 30 Dec 2011 21:03:13 EST 2011 in Review and Hopes and Goals for 2012 I had a number of stated goals for 2011 including exercising, practicing piano, going to bed at a reasonable hour, keeping the weight that I lost in 2010 off, etc. How have I done on those? Overall, fairly good. <BR> <BR> I have continued to exercise every day for most of 2011. I don't believe I have missed a day of cardio since June or July, from my look back recently, even if somedays it was a very slow walk on the treadmill as I wasn't quite feeling well, or it was a short bike ride, e... Thu, 29 Dec 2011 23:34:09 EST Making a Difference? My whole life I have wanted to make a difference in the world in which I live. This has always seemed to be somewhat insane, but still what I desire deep down. It has been frustrating to want to make a difference so much, but to see so little possibility of it ever happening. I am going to share a quote or two with you that I heard today from the church I am attending at the moment. <BR> <BR> "Yet, with the power of God, the smallest gift can become the greatest change." <BR> <BR> The ... Sun, 23 Oct 2011 23:22:41 EST Love Letter/Mirror Mirror Okay, I have been given the assignment to write myself/my body a love letter. This may seem a tad odd, but I have read a few of them from others to themselves and I like the idea, even if I feel a bit strange or embarrassed doing it. <BR> <BR> Dear Skirnir, <BR> <BR> You have lost a lot of weight in the past year and a half and kept it off. In so doing, you have made yourself healthier with lower cholesterol scores, better fasting blood sugar scores, easier ability to bike up a hill and ... Thu, 13 Oct 2011 10:36:47 EST Motivation? I am thinking through some things and I am curious what others might have to say. <BR> <BR> Lately, I have been making homemade breads more at home, as my job ended on August 7th. As my husband makes a good income and the job market is so bad, I have decided to mainly sit out for now, unless I see a job in the want ads that appeals to me. But this has meant that I have had fun cooking yummy meals and making homemade breads. As of yet, I have been frustrated a bit more often lately at sl... Mon, 10 Oct 2011 20:16:49 EST Days 8 through 10 Day 08 �� Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit. <BR> Day 09 �� Someone you didn�ft want to let go, but just drifted. <BR> Day 10 �� Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn�ft know. <BR> <BR> Here is what Days 8 through 10 are. Not really sure how to answer any of these. I do wish I hadn't completely lost touch from a person or two in college, but I think that is it for Day 9. Day 10, I don't think there is anyone I need to let go. But maybe. So... Mon, 9 May 2011 23:19:03 EST April Review and May Goals 1. Continue exercising about 40 minutes per day about 5 to 7 days a week <BR> I have continued this alternating between stationary bike, treadmill and some outdoor biking and walking. I am slowly adding more time in my bike rides. My last one in April was 25 ish minutes and just over 3 miles. Yes, I am not much of a biker, but trying to get better so I can start biking to work one day a week this summer. (Everything has a hill in it around here and it bothers my asthma, but getting better.... Sat, 7 May 2011 21:38:59 EST Day 07 �� Someone who has made your life worth living for. Hmmm, I am not the biggest fan of this one. IE I think they want me to say my son, my husband, etc. But in the end, don't we all live somewhat for ourselves? What do I have to live for? I have the belief that maybe, just maybe, I can make a difference in the life of someone else. Maybe when I have died and gone on, someone will remember me fondly and will live a better life because I existed. Someone will have found some small amount of happiness because of something I have done. This ... Sat, 7 May 2011 18:48:42 EST Day 06 �� Something you hope you never have to do. This is going to be a short one, I think. <BR> <BR> I hope I never have to survive the death of my child. I do not understand how one can survive the death of their child. It is just unnatural for your child to die before you do. For me, my son is my only child. I am not sure how I would make it, if he died before I did, so I hope I never have to go through that. <BR> <BR> Also, I hope I never have to decide if I would stand up for Jesus, if it required my life. I know I would have to ... Mon, 25 Apr 2011 20:55:04 EST Day 05 �� Something you hope to do in your life. As I wrote a bucket list awhile ago, I will include some of that here. <BR> <BR> 1. See my son grow up to have his own family, career, etc. (I know I will be proud of him.) <BR> 2. Travel (Would love to see many different sights and experiences. No sky diving for me, though, thank you!) <BR> 3. Bicycle more (Every summer I have wanted to extend the range of my outdoor biking, but have not done so.) <BR> 4. Do more geocaching <BR> 5. Go on a cruise. <BR> <BR> This summer, I am hoping to wor... Mon, 25 Apr 2011 19:44:56 EST Day 04 �� Something you have to forgive someone for. This isn't going to be the easiest one to write. I suspect that the person I most need to forgive is my mother. Every time I think I have, she does some little thing that reminds me that I haven't. <BR> <BR> There are a number of things that help me to forgive another human being. One of the main ones is understanding where they are coming from. My step-dad was overly strict and very negative. Whatever we did, it wasn't good enough. We were called stupid and many other derogatory nam... Mon, 11 Apr 2011 13:27:47 EST Day 03 �� Something you have to forgive yourself for. I am having some real issues figuring this one out. So here goes some writing and I have no idea what will come out, or if it will be posted. <BR> <BR> Something I have to forgive myself for.... well, I try not to hold onto things that I have done wrong in the past, as it isn't very helpful. It tends to trap me into redoing those things and not breaking out of the pattern. <BR> <BR> As I said earlier my mouth and my head are too closely connected. Whatever I think, I tend to say. T... Mon, 4 Apr 2011 11:21:07 EST Step Goal I am going to make my first ever pedometer step goal 3,000 steps per day for 30 days, so 90,000 steps for the month. (Last month, I did not wear the pedometer for 7 of the 31 days, so hopefully, I will make it, and then raise my goal for next month.) This seemed like a reasonable starting point. <BR> <BR> Oh, and on the daily review thing, I am having trouble with figuring out the thing I have to forgive myself for. Mon, 4 Apr 2011 11:11:38 EST Day 02 Something you love about yourself. The one thing I have learned through all of this weight loss, exercise, etc. While I can't do everything I want to do, because of asthma, or some other reason, I can do a lot. If I work hard at something, and really decide I am going to do the best I can, I can do quite a bit. I have increased the intensity of my treadmill sessions, I managed to do more stair climbing without my lungs feeling like they were on fire as they did the first time. I have sped up my walking speed. And you know... Thu, 31 Mar 2011 23:43:43 EST March Review and Heading Into April 1. Continue exercising about 40 minutes per day about 5 to 7 days a week <BR> I have continued this alternating between stationary bike, treadmill and occasionally climbing stairs. I really want to do more walking outside. One week in March was warm and I went out walking a few times and a short bike ride. <BR> <BR> 2. Practice piano at least 30 minutes 1 time week and 15 minutes 2 times a week for an average of 60 minutes a week. <BR> Still not doing well on this one. Not finding my mo... Thu, 31 Mar 2011 23:37:04 EST Day 01 Something you hate about yourself. Something I hate about myself.... mainly, I am a very nice, compassionate person whose mouth is a little too connected to her head/brain. What does this mean? It means that I often times say things before I think about how they will affect another person. Sometimes I am in the middle of a grocery store alone picking up bananas and I remark outloud "Not good.", etc. Basically I don't seem to have a hesitation or a thought period built in from my thoughts to my mouth speaking. And sometim... Thu, 31 Mar 2011 17:40:55 EST End of March/Early April Self Reflection I saw this on someone else's spark blog and thought it could be interesting for me to try. Not sure if I will do it daily or not, or will I have trouble coming up with an answer and skip one. But going to give it a try and see what happens. <BR> <BR> <BR> Day 01 &#65533;&#65533; Something you hate about yourself. <BR> Day 02 &#65533;&#65533; Something you love about yourself. <BR> Day 03 &#65533;&#65533; Something you have to forgive yourself for. <BR> Day 04 &#65533;&#65533; Something... Wed, 30 Mar 2011 16:50:32 EST New Thing For March As my new year's resolution, I had said that I wanted to try something new for fitness each month. I have added in some stair climbing, and have started doing the hundred pushup challenge program. This month, it looks like I am going to be trying to do a virtual 5k once a week on the treadmill. I am hoping that by summer I will be able to do some outside with much faster times than I used to, even with the hills. Managed to do a 1 incline treadmill 3.1 mile walk in 42:12. For me that is ... Sat, 5 Mar 2011 21:49:02 EST February Review and Looking Ahead to March (and maybe less snow?) 1. Continue exercising about 40 minutes per day about 5 to 7 days a week <BR> I have continued this alternating between stationary bike, treadmill and occasionally climbing stairs. <BR> <BR> 2. Practice piano at least 30 minutes 1 time week and 15 minutes 2 times a week for an average of 60 minutes a week. <BR> Have been failing at this one. Just can't seem to find the interest/motivation. Not sure what my reasoning is on why I am taking piano lessons. I will never be able to play anyth... Sat, 26 Feb 2011 23:40:25 EST Snow and Lots Of It! Here is an image of our shovel width sidewalk with my 13 year old son who is about 5 foot tall. Is that enough snow for you? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 2 Feb 2011 20:05:37 EST January Review and Goals for February Here is how January has shaped up. <BR> <BR> 1. Continue exercising about 40 minutes per day about 5 to 7 days a week <BR> I have continued to exercise about 40 minutes per day. This has changed from my earlier goal, as I am trying to get into a maintenance mode. In December, I kept my calories what they were while trying to loose weight and reduced exercise from 60 to 45 minutes every day. I continued to loose about 3 pounds during the month of December and early January. So the exerci... Sun, 30 Jan 2011 19:22:39 EST The 5% Challenge Weight Loss Challenge The Winter 5% challenge just ended on Friday, but a new one begins in February. The 5% challenge is a team based endeavor, where individuals try to loose 5% of their body weight. The teams record points for exercise and other healthy behaviors each week and have a friendly competition between teams. It helps encourage me to exercise, track calories, etc. dependent on the week. Recently we were encouraged to track and keep our sodium under 2,300 mg. per day. I did it a few days, and the d... Sat, 29 Jan 2011 21:46:29 EST Pep Talk Warning: This is more intended to be a pep talk for myself, than it is for anyone else. <BR> <BR> I have been trying to get into a maintenance mode weight wise since early December. First, I lowered my exercise from 60 minutes per day most days to 45 minutes per day most days and over the course of a month, I lost a pound or two. So then I decided in mid January that I would lower the exercise one more time to 40 minutes per day most days and continue to leave the calories the same. On... Sat, 22 Jan 2011 19:58:30 EST Nervous This morning, I got so dizzy in the shower that I fell. Then I got back up and tried to get my towel, must have turned off the water, I don't know, but I fell again. Then I stayed down a few moments until it dissipated a little. I was nervous all day that I might get dizzy again. <BR> <BR> My husband had a cold a few years ago that gave him some dizzy spells, they kept coming even after the cold was gone. So he went in and they gave him a cat scan and some other tests to make sure nothing... Tue, 4 Jan 2011 23:02:19 EST 2010 Is Almost Over and 2011 To Begin! Been reading other blogs of year wrap ups and what they hope for in 2011, etc. and it has gotten me thinking. <BR> <BR> 2010 was a good year for me. I lost 40 pounds in 2010 which makes for an average of just over 3 pounds a month. This in spite of breaking my toe on May 27th and it took about 5 months to truely heal. Loosing weight was slow, but overall consistent. The last ten pounds though took from July until December. A bit frustrating. Now I am trying to enter maintenance mode... Fri, 31 Dec 2010 23:58:53 EST Why I Am Sticking With the 5% Challenge? As an assignment we have been asked to write a post on why we are taking part in the 5% challenge and what do we hope to get out of it. Now that I am at goal weight, I don't want to loose 5% of my body weight anymore, so I can't entirely take complete part in the challenge. But I have decided to remain in the challenge, even if my weigh ins don't count for the team. Why you may ask? <BR> <BR> Honestly, the challenges are what keep me exercising when I don't want to. Just because I have r... Thu, 2 Dec 2010 23:35:07 EST Last Toe Update, I hope! For my last formerly broken toe update, I believe. Finally, I feel like the darn thing is well. After I broke my toe and had it straightened, I felt like steep inclines bothered me. Well, on Tuesday, I tried incline 8 on the treadmill, an incline that a month ago my toe hurt when I tried it. Guess what? I did incline 8 for 60 minutes on Tuesday and today (Thursday) and my toe does not seem to be bothering me! Woohoo! Finally, is all I can say. It has been 5 months, as of Oct. 27th ish... Fri, 5 Nov 2010 00:09:02 EST Perfectionism? Was reading an article on spark today and stumbled across this... <BR> <BR> "PARADOX 1: Perfectionism does not lead to perfection. <BR> Excellence is a good thing. So is working as hard as possible to create, build, and perform to the best of your abilities. But what you may not realize is that trying to be perfect can actually hinder your chances of being excellent. <BR> <BR> The pursuit of perfection comes with an ugly flip side: a fear of failure, or fear of making a mistake. This fear k... Mon, 25 Oct 2010 22:58:32 EST