SKYWATCHERRS's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=SKYWATCHERRS SKYWATCHERRS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ Girls Aren't the Only Ones Who Binge.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5016366 Good article - remember, women aren't the only ones with unhealthy or disordered eating habits. Guys suffer too. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link>health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth<BR>/binge-eating-equally-common-men-women </link> Wed, 15 Aug 2012 09:45:16 EST A Little Less Active on Spark These Days http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5006396 I've been a bit less active on Spark lately, and it's for a variety of reasons. I'm doing really well, just really busy with school and trying to have a social life and work.... I also don't feel I need the tools as much to stay on track as I once did. I don't need to track my workouts because they are such an ingrained habit now. I don't have to track nutrition because I know now how many calories are in most things and how to check my intake if I've been out of bounds for too long. <BR> <B... Wed, 8 Aug 2012 10:08:54 EST True Dat. (article, excellent point, well-written) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4977783 Great article on some stuff that's been in the news lately about photo-shop and thin-culture. <BR> <BR> Also, the picture at the very, very bottom made me LOL. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link>www.buzzfeed.com/amyodell/why-photos<BR>hop-isnt-as-big-of-a-deal-as-everyone-m </link> Thu, 19 Jul 2012 12:46:14 EST Lately I am Less and Less a Fan of the Gym...? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4974409 How-do, Sparkies? Hope everyone is doing great. <BR> <BR> I am champing at the bit - my vacation/family reunion starts at noon on Friday, so I'm just trying to keep it together a few more days at work. WOOHOO! I feel like a little kid! <BR> <BR> Anyway, I feel less and less like going to the gym the past several months. I've been going in for gym workouts once, maybe twice a week lately. When I was in statistics class and then finance right after that for school, I stopped going to the gym ... Tue, 17 Jul 2012 11:11:58 EST This one DOESN'T make me ill.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4964140 This one balances out the one that made me ill today. Great stuff from Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat (intermittent fasting). <BR> <BR> Read it - awesomeness. <BR> <BR> <link>zenhabits.net/dedicated-but-balanced<BR>/ </link> Tue, 10 Jul 2012 15:32:32 EST Wow. This Makes Me ILL. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4963849 I can't even comment. Just read it for yourself. <BR> <BR> <link>jezebel.com/5924622/kate-upton-is-no<BR>w-considered-fat?utm_campaign=socialfl<BR>ow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel<BR>_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow </link> Tue, 10 Jul 2012 12:08:22 EST Heroes, Kettlebells, and Updates.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4956339 Ok, first let me say that this guy is the hero of the Olympics for me - Oscar Pistorius from South Africa is a double-amputee and is competing in the 400 meter run at the London Olympics. Freaking amazing. That's what. <link>sports.yahoo.com/blogs/olympics-four<BR>th-place-medal/double-amputee-oscar-pi<BR>storius-run-olympics-132145418--oly.html </link> <BR> <BR> Awesome. <BR> <BR> I got a free kettlebell from a friend a few weeks ago, it's about 26.5lbs. I finally worked out with it Tu... Thu, 5 Jul 2012 11:09:58 EST Getting Back To It http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4943169 Ok, Finance class is over - won't have my grade for about a week, but I'm so relieved to be done with that class I can't even express it in words. <BR> <BR> I celebrated over the weekend - ate pizza, drank wine, had a cheeseburger, went shopping.... Was totally self-indulgent. I deserved it after 15 weeks of pure hell. <BR> <BR> Today I started Business Law - so much better, because there's NO MATH. I am just not a math person. I don't think in numbers and we don't get along. Math and I do... Tue, 26 Jun 2012 12:35:49 EST "Teachers" who don't actually TEACH: a betrayal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4936268 I am just days from being done with my finance class and I can't tell you how eager I am to see the end of it. <BR> <BR> It's been a thick slice of hell. <BR> <BR> My "professor" is a real piece of work. He's former Navy, and I would have expected more honor and conscientousness from a member of the US military, but this guy.... Wow. I have asked numerous questions about a concept I am struggling with in class - a concept I have studied for HOURS, that I have asked my other co-workers wit... Thu, 21 Jun 2012 12:42:13 EST Been on the DL This Week http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4928009 I haven't been too active this week on Spark - school has been kicking my rear end. <BR> <BR> I am one week from the end of finance class, and it can't possibly get here as fast as I want it to. I am so ready to be done. <BR> <BR> I've been stressed out since ... um, what month is this? I started my first statistics class back around the end of March, then did another statistics class immediately after that, then got thrown into finance immediately after that. So my stress level has been pr... Fri, 15 Jun 2012 16:05:13 EST All Or Nothing? To H&ll with Moderation? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4914888 This is an amazing blog post by Neghar Fonooni, who is a trainer and fitness/fat-loss blogger, a mom, a recovering disordered-eater, a former fat-girl, and an inspirational founding member of Girls Gone Strong. <BR> <BR> I found Neghar and her fellow Girls Gone Strong last November when I was despairing about ever getting leaner or stronger, despairing about ever truly healing my relationship with food. Following her blogs, her backstory, and those of the other GGS members has helped me get... Wed, 6 Jun 2012 14:16:57 EST Have You Seen This? Japan's DIET GLASSES http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4913001 So this is pretty cool. <BR> <BR> Scientists in Japan have created and are studying the effects of their diet glasses. These goggles manipulate foods and sensory information to produce different eating responses in people. <BR> <BR> For instance, when given a plain biscuit with bland taste, the scientists can use the goggles and sensory information to fool people into thinking that the biscuit is bigger and has different flavors than it really does. <BR> <BR> So far, they report that 80%... Tue, 5 Jun 2012 10:42:25 EST Yoga Revelation at the Chiropractor http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4905905 That's kind of a weird title, no? <BR> <BR> Yoga is awesome and I have to tell you why it's awesome, especially for me. I see a chiropractor every once in a while because my hips tend to get out of alignment. Last night I had an appointment to get an adjustment, and when my doc asked me how I was feeling, I told him "GREAT." I told him my knees don't hurt. He knew immediately what this meant. <BR> <BR> See, in the past I'd know when it was time for an adjustment because my knees would star... Thu, 31 May 2012 13:23:56 EST Carrying Fat Stigma Even When Thin http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4904624 Interesting article on Yahoo today talking about a study looking at the bias women face after losing a lot of fat. <BR> <BR> In the article, it talks about how people viewed women who had lost a lot of fat as less attractive than women who had always been slim. <BR> <BR> Apparently, the obesity bias follows women even after they shed the fat, which I find distressing. <BR> <BR> In my opinion, knowing that a woman faced such a huge, personal task and came out on top makes her more beautifu... Wed, 30 May 2012 16:12:15 EST If I Were a Betting Woman.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4894848 ... I'd say I have a sinus infection. I'm giving 3-to-1 odds, any takers? <BR> <BR> *sigh* <BR> <BR> My allergies went ape-sh*t earlier this week due to the astronomical pollen levels in North Texas right about now, and that means my nasal passages get inflamed, and that means congestion, and then it all goes downhill from there. I have an appointment with my allergist to confirm whether I have a sinus infection or not tomorrow morning. <BR> <BR> I wonder if I will lose my voice. Someti... Wed, 23 May 2012 15:44:16 EST Sleep Strategy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4887078 I've been having trouble sleeping. <BR> <BR> I know it's stress - school has been a bit of a beating the last two and a half months because I've been in back-to-back statistics classes. Thank God I am nearly done, just a couple more days. I've been stressed over personal matters as well, like we all are. Family, relationships, self-development, finances.... <BR> <BR> Thing is, I do not cope well with inadequate sleep. My body really needs those 8 hours, and sometimes on the weekend it nee... Fri, 18 May 2012 10:57:44 EST You Have Much To Learn, Grasshopper... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4873838 Hi SparkLand.... <BR> <BR> I've been off the grid for a while. I was on vacation (staycation) last week and didn't really log into Spark at all. Had a lot going on with personal stuff and school. <BR> <BR> First, a training update: <BR> Nothing much to report. I did buy a kettlebell - I found a 15lb one for $15 and you just don't get them cheaper than that. I tried it out one day last week, doing kb swings. Freakin awesome. Gets your heart going like a locomotive and works the posterior ch... Wed, 9 May 2012 11:31:57 EST Grits and Limits of the Scale http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4844122 Wooohooo for Friday! YAY!! This seems like it has been such a long week. It's felt kinda like a beating, so I'm glad to see it's about over! <BR> <BR> I wanted to write about what happened when I went to the doc the other day. They weighed me like they always do and the scale said 162. <BR> <BR> Did I flip out? <BR> <BR> Nope. <BR> <BR> You know why? <BR> <BR> Well pull up a chair and I'll tell you. <BR> <BR> When I started on Spark, I weighed somewhere between 160-170lbs and was a... Fri, 20 Apr 2012 13:05:21 EST Summary Update 4-18-12 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4840828 Howdy Spark-Land.... <BR> <BR> I didn't have a clear topic to blog about this week so I guess I'll just sum-up what's going on with me. <BR> <BR> Workouts are fine, but I have increased the rest time between strength workouts. I was starting to feel run-down and starting to experience crappy workouts, crappy performance so I increased the rest time to about 4 days between heavy lifting sessions. So far it looks like it was the right choice. <BR> <BR> Still battling with pull-ups - I can't... Wed, 18 Apr 2012 11:05:24 EST Not Bulky, Not Mannish - article on one woman's love affair with powerlifting http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4828830 LOVE!!!! <BR> <BR> I wish more women lifted heavy weights!! <BR> <BR> <link>www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/24/i-<BR>heart-powerlifting-and-im-not-bulky-or<BR>-masculine_n_934453.html?ref=fb&src=sp<BR>&comm_ref=false </link> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 13:56:04 EST The Truth About Overtraining Syndrome (article) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4822123 Good article dispelling the myths about overtraining syndrome. Also discusses the things that may really be going on with you. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link>experiencelife.com/article/overtrain<BR>ing-myths-facts-and-fantasies/ </link> Thu, 5 Apr 2012 16:07:38 EST Tornadoes, dating, and getting leaner http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4820283 So.... Kind of a lot has been going on. <BR> <BR> Yesterday here in the Dallas metro area, Mother Nature went completely crazy on us. There were something like 18 confirmed tornadoes in the area, and several of them were close to the homes or places of business of my family members. I spend two hours holed up in the mail room at work, waiting for the threat to pass. It was miserable not knowing whether my loved ones were okay, or even if I was going to be blown away. <BR> <BR> I'm happy to... Wed, 4 Apr 2012 12:44:23 EST 10 Exercise Myths De-Bunked by Science (article) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4810304 Great article that explains 10 exercise myths and exposes the truth. The one on DOMS being caused by lactic acid build up (which is false) is particularly good, as is the bit on exercising for an hour or more per day. <BR> <BR> <link>lifehacker.com/5895140/10-stubborn-e<BR>xercise-myths-that-wont-die-debunked-b<BR>y-science </link> Thu, 29 Mar 2012 09:06:13 EST Are You a Frequent Eater for Fat Loss? (article) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4807598 Great article from one of Eric Cressey's guys on Intermittent Fasting and eating frequent mini-meals. <BR> <BR> One of the predominant styles of eating when it comes to fat loss is to eat frequently throughout the day; the most common pattern seems to be three meals and two snacks, or 5-6 mini-meals. <BR> <BR> A lot of people do this based on what they read on internet weight loss sites, including here on Spark People. It may interest you to know (or maybe not) that there's absolutely no ... Tue, 27 Mar 2012 15:49:35 EST Meh http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4800040 Not feeling very Sparkly today, folks. I'm having sinus/allergy issues (that seem never-ending) and have a slight sinus headache. <BR> <BR> I am going to get a strength workout tonight even though I don't really want to; I'd rather go home after work, put on some sweats, and be really lazy. Good thing today is my Friday, because I don't feel like doing anything right now. I know I was riding high on my 100lb deadlift the other day (and it is still a great accomplishment), but today I'm just... Thu, 22 Mar 2012 15:55:08 EST Set Two Personal Bests Last Night (and it's just weird) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4790719 Hidey Ho there, Sparkers.... <BR> <BR> Last night I didn't feel all that great owing to major allergy/sinus issues (yes, it's about Springtime in North Texas). I forced myself to suit up and go to the gym anyway. I promised myself that if I wasn't into it after the first set of weights, then I had permission to pack it up and go home. <BR> <BR> Well, I ended up setting two personal bests. I am now up to 95lbs on my deadlift (no small achievement for someone with back issues) and I am up to ... Fri, 16 Mar 2012 13:38:21 EST Hey Good-Lookin, What's Cookin? -eggplant pasta recipe http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4786939 Hi Spark Land, <BR> <BR> Just a quick entry right now, maybe a longer one later. <BR> <BR> I've been branching out and trying to improve my cooking skills. I'm sharing this recipe I got from a blog I subscribe to, Hungry Girl. This is Hungry Girl's healthy re-make of a Macaroni Grill entree with eggplant, whole wheat pasta, and tomatoes. MMMMM, tomatoes. <BR> <BR> I've made it a couple times and I love it. It's kind of a go-to meal when I want something easy and tasty and healthy. <BR> <B... Wed, 14 Mar 2012 09:16:50 EST Blog About Today's Activity Feed Status (... and other stuff) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4772037 Hey out there, Sparkers, <BR> <BR> I decided I'd dish some deets about my activity feed status since I'm getting lots of comments about it - comments and questions. I had a bad date on Sunday *shudder*.... <BR> <BR> Ok, so I joined E-Harmony around the last week or two of February. I had one date Saturday that went fine, but we just didn't click. No harm, no foul. Had a good time. Sunday's date ... Wow. <BR> <BR> Apparently, you no longer have to dress appropriately to meet someone for the... Mon, 5 Mar 2012 14:19:19 EST Do NOT Feel Guilty For Your Healthy Lifestyle! (great article) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4765688 I have read many message board posts and blogs here on Spark written by mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters who seem to feel guilty for the healthy habits they are creating. If they don't eat or buy the sugary, fatty foods that their kids scream for, they feel guilty. If they get a baby sitter so that they can go work out, they feel guilty. If they take 30 minutes out for a bubble bath so that they can get some stress relief, they feel guilty. <BR> <BR> This makes me sad. <BR> <BR> You are ... Thu, 1 Mar 2012 16:04:42 EST Girls Aren't The Only Ones Who Become Anorexics (article) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4751743 Thought-provoking article on MSN today about the rise in male cases of anorexia. <BR> <BR> Interesting, scary, heart-breaking. It's not just a female ailment, and I think most of us are unaware of that. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link>dailynightly.msnbc.msn.com/_news/201<BR>2/02/22/10477185-boys-dying-to-be-thin<BR>-the-new-face-of-anorexia </link> Wed, 22 Feb 2012 16:34:58 EST Answering the Demonization of Carbohydrates (article) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4743626 Awesome, fair, balanced, and scientifically researched article from Tom Venuto on why you DO need carbs, why extremely low-carb or no-carb diets are BAD, and recommendations on tailoring your carb intake to your needs.... <BR> <BR> <BR> <link>www.burnthefat.com/essential_carbohy<BR>drate_and_low_carb_diets.html </link> Fri, 17 Feb 2012 15:09:30 EST What is a Girl Gone Strong? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4743448 “I am a Girl Gone Strong because I lift, eat, sweat, yell, and bleed. I cry, train, sprint, fail, and succeed. My strengths today, were once my weaknesses. I fail regularly, but try again the next day. If I shed tears, I am crying THROUGH the pain and out the other side. I may give up today, but you bet your ass I will show up tomorrow. My fuel is made up of doubt and fear. My accomplishments are doubt and fear conquered. The confidence I possess today is made up of my accomplishments. My big... Fri, 17 Feb 2012 13:05:05 EST Continuous Improvement and Challenge; Fighting a Good Fight http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4742137 I can't believe I didn't blog at all last week. That is unlike me - I almost always get one posted at the least. Ah well. There's been a lot going on with school and work and such. I guess my blog got shuffled to the bottom of the deck. <BR> <BR> Soooo.... What's going on with me... <BR> <BR> Still making improvements each week on my battle with orthorexic eating habits. I have relaxed so much regarding my nutrition and my attitudes about food - it is just amazing to me. I'm not pigging ou... Thu, 16 Feb 2012 16:18:46 EST RANT: Attitude of Gratitude and Taking Responsibilty for Yourself http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4718674 Sorry in advance guys, I'm gonna kvetch a bit here. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I read a blog on this site wherein the author was ripping on Spark for having advertisements of cheeseburgers. This author was very angry, calling for us all to rise up and protest. The author went on to accuse Spark of "setting us all up to fail." She indicated that Spark's decision to let a hamburger advertisment on the site caused her to want a hamburger. Spark's fault. <BR> <BR> Whoa. Stop the presses. <BR> <BR> Le... Thu, 2 Feb 2012 13:24:50 EST Could This Be Why YOU Self-Sabotage? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4711785 Fantastic article on the mental and emotional parts of seeing your body change when you embark on a fat loss/get healthy/get fit journey. <BR> <BR> This article made a lot of sense to me, and seems to address a lot of the self-sabotage blog-posts and message board posts I see on Spark. <BR> <BR> Part of the article talks about how we can form contradictory interpretations of the same event in our lives, and are more conscious of one than the other. The conflicting feelings arising from that... Mon, 30 Jan 2012 09:19:58 EST Is it Weird? And Pilates and School and Best Friends (update on me) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4706696 The title to this blog entry is a tad schizophrenic, dontcha think? Maybe a little mental, but it piques the curiosity, yes? <BR> <BR> Anyway. It's been a really full month already, and we're still not done. <BR> <BR> Early in January my former college roomie came to visit from California. We holed up in our other friend Diedre's house for the extended weekend (Friday night through Tuesday afternoon) to have bestie time. I was still struggling with my hives and doped to the gills with Zyrt... Fri, 27 Jan 2012 09:31:47 EST How Much Of Your Weight Is Determined Genetically? (article) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4703030 Interesting stuff from fitness/nutrition/fat loss/muscle building guru Lou Schuler today. Some of you reading this might recognize his name if you bought the book "The New Rules of Lifting" and similar titles. <BR> <BR> The article talks about the flaws of set-point theory (the idea that each of us has a pre-programmed low weight and high weight that our bodies will not go past) and sets the definitive answer on how much of your weight or weight problem is determined by your genes. <BR> <BR... Wed, 25 Jan 2012 10:38:35 EST Your Poor Body Image Could Be Hindering Your Fat Loss Efforts (article) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4693398 Absolutely fascinating and awesome article from the folks at Precision Nutrition today. <BR> <BR> This article talks about how having a negative body image and a negative/ obsessive body investment attitude can actually HINDER your fat loss progress. <BR> <BR> The article explains the study done in more detail and the conclusions drawn from it, but long story short: <BR> people who make peace with their bodies and develop positive body images BEFORE or DURING fat loss enjoy far more succes... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 12:58:17 EST "Mommy, I'm Fat." Article - how one mother responded to her 7 year old daughter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4686888 Just read it. <BR> <BR> <link>www.huffingtonpost.com/janell-burley<BR>-hofmann/girls-and-body-image_b_120488<BR>2.html?ref=tw </link> Tue, 17 Jan 2012 13:18:20 EST The Fashion Industry Needs To Get a Grip (like we all didn't already know that) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4678654 I know it's not really anything new, the topic of my blog today, but I saw this video on Yahoo today and it made my jaw drop. <BR> <BR> If you don't want to watch it, the basic gist of it is that the average woman 20 years ago weighed about 8% more than the most successful supermodel (think Cindy Crawford, Elle McPherson, etc). <BR> <BR> Today, the average woman weighs 23% more than the average fashion model. WTF!!?!?! <BR> <BR> That's quite a disparity. And the signs point to models gett... Fri, 13 Jan 2012 15:45:11 EST MRT Article - Work Out Like a BOSS, Y'all!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4675926 I flipping love strength training. I especially love MRT (metabolic resistance training) and circuit style strength workouts. Like my Spark buddy ARCHIMEDES II, I constantly tell women to lift heavy and to not be afraid of getting their strongz on. <BR> <BR> This is a really good article breaking down what MRT is and how you can do it in your own workouts. These workouts are POTENT fat burners and can also get you strong as hell. Translation: leaner, stronger body. <BR> <BR> Check it out -... Thu, 12 Jan 2012 11:19:32 EST Liftin Like a Boss, School, 'n Stuff http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4662114 Just an update on what's going on with me.... <BR> <BR> Pull-up progress: I'm still using the assisted pull-up machine at the gym, and I moved the weight I'm taking off my pull-up to 70lbs last night. So this means that I'm pulling up approximately 80lbs, as I usually weigh between 150-155lbs. I don't weigh myself often (like, at all) so it's just an estimate. What bothers me about the assisted pull-up machine is that the bars and handgrips are spaced for a man with wide shoulders. Therefore... Fri, 6 Jan 2012 13:52:56 EST One Week Out of 52 (AKA: Yeah, I'm Eating Cookies) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4643187 I hope this entry finds all my Spark friends enjoying the holidays. I had a very Merry Christmas and Santa was very good to me. <BR> <BR> My only complaint is that I have some kind of skin thing going on - I'm covered in hives. Doc gave me some medicine and I think it's already helping. The medicine is prednisone, a corticosteroid. I was hoping not to have to take it, as it makes me feel like I'm going to come out of my skin and climb the walls, plus it stimulates my appetite, but if it get... Thu, 29 Dec 2011 11:36:36 EST Stress-Free Eating Guidelines from Beautiful Badass Nia Shanks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4635042 One of the blogs I follow on FaceBook and such is Nia Shanks' Beautiful Badass blog. She's pretty incredible - she has a 300+ pound deadlift and weighs less than half of that. Pretty impressive. Anyway, she also has a history with disordered eating, so she knows what it's like to have an unhealthy relationship with food. <BR> <BR> This blog post is one of my favorites because she's honest and shares a no-stress approach to eating for a lean, healthy body. I'm following a lot of her principl... Thu, 22 Dec 2011 10:32:09 EST "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year..." http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4632871 I love Christmastime. It took me a little while to find my spirit, but I've got it now and it just about overflowed this morning. <BR> <BR> I had a bourbon ball at work this morning and it was delicious - and STRONG. A few of those and I wouldn't be able to drive home! Naturally, I got the recipe and fully intend on making my own batch .... <BR> <BR> Still keeping my nutrition in check with tiny treats here and there. Workouts are on track as well - still lifting heavy and concentrating on... Tue, 20 Dec 2011 14:00:47 EST Ex-Marine Sets Record for Longest Plank Hold (OMG!!) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4627790 Holy Cow. Holy Moley. Oh WOW. <BR> <BR> How long can you hold a plank? <BR> <BR> Bet it's not as long as this guy. <BR> <BR> <link>www.thepostgame.com/blog/healthy-liv<BR>ing/201112/george-hood-planking-world-<BR>record </link> Fri, 16 Dec 2011 08:43:24 EST Fascinating Article on Calorie Counts of Cooked Foods vs Raw Foods http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4626564 This is super interesting, Sparkies. I was floored. It makes sense, though. And for anybody freaking out about what it might mean for weight loss, just know that the final analysis is this: <BR> <BR> If you want to GAIN weight, eat a lot of highly processed, cooked food. <BR> <BR> If you want to LOSE weight, eat a lot of unprocessed, whole foods that haven't been messed around with much. <BR> <BR> There, you can release that breath you've been holding. Now check out the article - really f... Thu, 15 Dec 2011 09:38:45 EST Are You SURE You're Doing Push-Ups Correctly? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4625254 Great free article on T-Nation today about proper push-up form. A lot of us who do push-ups don't stop to think whether we're doing them correctly, and as the article discusses there are plenty of mistakes you might be making. Take a look and see if you need to correct your push-up technique. <BR> <BR> <link>www.t-nation.com/free_online_article<BR>/most_recent/the_best_damn_pushups_art<BR>icle_period&cr= </link> Wed, 14 Dec 2011 10:16:35 EST Man Vents on Female Body Issues http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4617710 ***WARNING AND DISCLAIMER**** <BR> <BR> This article is absolutely awesome. It also has VERY strong language, so if curse words and expletives offend you, DON'T READ IT. In fact, if you're easily offended in ANY way, don't read it. <BR> <BR> But, if you're a fan of sarcasm, honesty, and appreciate the well-placed f-bomb, then by all means - ENJOY. <BR> <BR> I sure as F- did. <BR> <BR> <link>www.forgingelitesarcasm.com/2011/12/<BR>about-your-female-body-issues.html </link> Thu, 8 Dec 2011 11:34:21 EST Thank God - Crackin Down on HCG http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4616052 Thank God. The FTC and FDA are cracking down on HCG products sold for weight loss. <BR> <BR> I am so happy to see that HCG's day has come. <BR> <BR> If anybody doing the "HCG Diet" reads this, please don't comment. I will delete them. Nothing you could say will change my opinion of this snake oil weight loss fad. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link>www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/Pres<BR>sAnnouncements/ucm282334.htm </link> Wed, 7 Dec 2011 09:09:54 EST