SLPCOWGAL72's SparkPeople Blog SLPCOWGAL72's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Long Time, No Blog Wow, it's really been 11 months since I blogged on Spark People?!? Time flies, and it has been mostly fun. At least I can say that, overall, it's been good. I need to do some updating on my page, to be sure. I'm no longer 'getting ready to turn 40'; been there, done that! November brought that milestone, and right before that, I met another. I decided early on in 2012 that I wanted to run 4 half-marathons to commemorate my year of hitting forty. I think one of my last blogs detailed m... Thu, 14 Feb 2013 19:13:48 EST Not What I Expected... ...I expected to be running my third half marathon today. I didn't expect to come down with a case of bronchitis and be sidelined. That's what happened, though. I finished my last long run on Sunday. By Sunday night I knew I was coming down with something. By Wednesday I was at the doctor. The doctor told me what I think I already knew- running on Saturday was not a good idea. I really knew it after Thursday, and even though I was starting to feel better by Friday...there was no doubt ... Sat, 24 Mar 2012 12:29:13 EST I.Am.Athlete Had an emotional talk this week with a couple of workout friends. After our long run on Sunday morning, we were stretching and talking about ways to reach out to the teenagers in our community re: fitness. We talked about how many kids don't realize they can be athletes beyond the team sports that are held as the gold standard in our small town. I'm not knocking team sports here, but it was a flashback to my personal experience. I've seen my kids, in their young lives, reap lots of benefi... Thu, 1 Mar 2012 19:44:20 EST Slight Adjustment on the Food Front I came across a program/website called BeyondDiet via the other day. It has a program you can pay for, but I only took in the information provided for free. In a nutshell, they recommend eliminating wheat (even whole wheat) along with oats and replacing them with rice, rice pasta, quinoa, sprouted grains. White potatoes, no...but sweet potatoes, yes. Lots of fruits and veggies. Limited sugar, buh-bye processed foods, soy milk is not recommended. Neither is artificial swee... Sat, 18 Feb 2012 19:29:01 EST Doctor Frustration! I finally decided that I should indeed call the doctor regarding my ankle. It's been a little over a month since I twisted it. I'm still experiencing swelling on the outside of my foot behind the ankle, and now I notice a little swelling on the inside of my foot behind the ankle as well. I've been running. It doesn't 'hurt', but sometimes it's a little achy. So, I gave in and called the doctor's office, hoping I might get an appointment for sometime on Monday since I don't have to work. ... Fri, 17 Feb 2012 15:58:49 EST New Brags and Old Nags Really, all in all, a good week. My ankle is a lot better after a couple days of ballooning up minus pain (not sure what that was about). I got my new pair of running shoes this week. I went back to New Balance. I have to get an inch build-up on my left as that leg is shorter. My Brooks pair that I went with before started turning me out, especially on the build-up foot, for some reason. I'm not going to say it was to blame for my ankle turn and fall a couple of weeks ago- I never have ... Sun, 5 Feb 2012 08:54:18 EST Sometimes Just Getting It Done is Enough I am very pleased and thankful that my ankle is better. It is still a little puffy toward the back of my foot and a bit tender along the outer edge of my foot, but it is soooo much better. I'd say I'm 90% at least. I did go ahead and run my 5K yesterday as I felt it was doable. It was a nice day for January in southwestern IL. A light breeze and right at freezing when the race started, but sunny! Wow, it was great to have a sunny day! I felt like I ran a pretty steady pace. I won't lie... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 09:04:32 EST Intimate Asphalt Encounter Yesterday Went for my first outside run in a while yesterday morning with a couple of running buddies. I found myself stumbling a couple of times, even commented once "I'm trying hard to fall down this morning!" Well, if I was indeed trying, I met with success. My friend was tracking our run w/ her GPS, and we were literally yards from finishing our 5K trek when I turned my ankle a good one, overcompensated and landed on my other side. Those UnderArmour pants of mine provided more than warmth, as m... Wed, 25 Jan 2012 10:43:06 EST Two Half Marathons in a Month's Time? I'm trying to decide if I will sign up for the Alton Half Marathon. It's practically in my backyard (only 15 min. from home). I ran the 5K associated w/ it last year. The weather was awful- cold and snowy. Rare but certainly not impossible around here at the end of March. The weather, I'm not so concerned about. It will be what it will be. In the two half marathons I've run, I was blessed with good weather. I hope my streak continues but I am a realist; if I keep these up, eventually ... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 22:48:45 EST Hungry Girl, I Think I Love You! So I've been setting the DVR for Hungry Girl on Food Network and watching episodes here and there when I have time. I just recently found the website through Pinterest (My new best 'frenemy'- Really didn't need another reason to be on the computer, but it's been a great way to organize some recipes and other stuff online). I made a whole grain macaroni dish today before work and let me say it is quite delish and under 200 calories! I'm eager to try some of the other recipes I've 'pinned'. ... Thu, 19 Jan 2012 12:13:05 EST GI Blues Friday night started out great! Hubby and I took my kids and two of their friends to see the Harlem Globetrotters in StL. We all had a great time. About a half hour after I got home though...let's just say the next seven hours were marked by half hour increments of vomiting and dry heaves, to be disgustingly blunt about it. Ugh, I am not a very good sick person. I don't make it hard on others, but I don't tolerate being incapacitated well. Even after 'the worst' subsided around 6am, I f... Tue, 10 Jan 2012 21:02:36 EST holidays--blah, blah, blah I really don't mean to sound like a scrooge or grinch with my title, but it sums up two things: <BR> 1) The endless drone of excuses I COULD list as to why I have overindulged in the treats of the season for the past month... <BR> 2) How I feel at the moment... <BR> <BR> I want to be someone who can eat anything in moderation, but I am seriously believing that I am a sugar junkie. There is no 'enough' for me once I start going overboard, and good food choices go completely out the window on... Wed, 28 Dec 2011 18:14:10 EST A Fitness Revolution I'm super excited! Last week, my personal trainer and her husband, along w/ another couple, opened Intentional Fitness Center in our community! Our town, population around 2200, now has an awesome 24-hour access fitness facility! The response for memberships has been great, the classes are full and it's just so awesome to see people of all ages and fitness levels joining in and "getting fit on purpose"- the gym motto. There were many of of us who helped w/ getting the gym ready by paintin... Sat, 19 Nov 2011 12:50:24 EST Half Marathon, Part Deux I ran my second half marathon yesterday. It was the Rock n Roll Half in St. Louis. What an incredibly beautiful day for late October in StL! A good course; not too hilly, but more inclines than I experienced in my first half or in any of my training runs. I feel like this race was a little bit of a sophomore slump. I'm pleased, mind you...I finished and my overall pace average was about the same as my first one...but with the first I had nothing to compare anything to. With this race, I... Mon, 24 Oct 2011 11:49:47 EST It ENDS Now! “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” ~T.S. Eliot <BR> <BR> This quote made me say, "Hmmm...." <BR> <BR> I do need to put an end to those things that are keeping me from meeting my goals. <BR> <BR> Here's to a happy ending! :) Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:06:51 EST FALLing Forward I'm back. I've been gone from Spark People since first part of July, I think. Wow, that's a loooong time! I'm not going to dwell on the why and how come of my least not right now. I'm taking this blog moment to tell myself that I need to focus on what I want to do differently and how SparkPeople can help me in that department. I also hope I can reconnect with some of my SparkFriends again...maybe even make some new ones! <BR> Oath to Self: <BR> Tammy, you've been exercisin... Fri, 23 Sep 2011 21:22:13 EST Hello, July..Summer's Flyin' By! So here's where I'm at right now...Pretty much where I was a month ago! Still exercising regularly so I'm happy with that. Still struggling with the eating, but that's no surprise because I haven't initiated what I'd set out to do in that dept. I did start an Advocare Herbal Cleanse on Tuesday and my eating since then has been a bit cleaner, but I need to get off this weird thing I have about WHEN I start things...It doesn't have to be start of a new week, new month, or after major holiday... Wed, 6 Jul 2011 22:40:30 EST Exercise Equals My Excuse I've been more miss than hit in regards to my overall activity with SparkPeople lately. I do not want to keep riding a roller coaster in this department. Start--Stop--Time to Start Again! I feel great that exercise has remained consistent. It's been almost a year since I started doing Fitness Boot Camp 3xwk; I'm still at it. I also do kickboxing 2x wk. and run when I can in between. Even if I don't always love exercise in the moment, I've been at it long enough to know that I love how I... Thu, 16 Jun 2011 15:25:04 EST Song That Reminds Me of an Event... OK, this would be "Freebird" by Lynrd Skynrd (my apologies to the band if I didn't spell that correctly!!) because, my sophomore year of HS, they used this song as the prom theme and decorated the gym with black garbage bag-like material on the ceilings and walls with these cheesy plastic white doves suspended from the ceiling. Looked like a macabre of dead birds from one basketball goal to the other! Wed, 15 Jun 2011 10:11:03 EST Song That Reminds Me of Somewhere... This would be "American Pie"; I think Don McClean is the artist? Sorry, I'm just too lazy at the moment to look it up to be certain; how sad is that?!? <BR> This song reminds me of a bar we used to visit on the U of I campus called O'Malley's. It was basically a cellar; one of those places you'd go to not to impress, not to dance, just to...partake of beverages! At the end of the night, they'd play this song at closing time and it was one big sing-along, with some altered/added lyrics. Th... Fri, 3 Jun 2011 12:01:22 EST Song That Reminds Me of Someone... "Come On Come On" by Mary Chapin Carpenter reminds me of my really good friend and our college days...We both loved this song back in the day! Thu, 2 Jun 2011 11:28:32 EST A Song That Makes Me Sad This is not as easy as picking a song that makes me happy. Mainly because I can honestly find a lot of good in even the songs that carry some sadness. I guess I'll go with "Hurt", the remake of the NiN tune by Johnny Cash. It's a combination of his haunting, distinct voice AND the visual of the the music video that replays in my head every time I hear it. Even if you aren't a Cash fan, I HIGHLY recommend you YouTube the video for this if you've never seen it. Leaves me with goosebumps ju... Wed, 1 Jun 2011 10:59:28 EST A Song That Makes Me Happy "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley. Puts a smile on my face every time! Thu, 26 May 2011 22:48:17 EST Least Fave Song This one is easy for me (or at least easier than picking my favorite song!) Now, I like some of Sugarland's songs, but their "All I Wanna Do (ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)" is like nails on a chalkboard for me. I do not possess the reflexes necessary to change the radio station fast enough when this song comes on the radio. Ugh, I'm getting an icky feeling just thinking about it...Time to wrap this one up!!!! <BR> <em>29</em> Thu, 19 May 2011 17:50:04 EST Fave Song of All Time Wow, this is a tough one right out of the gate...I'm not going to get too deep on this, so what's a song that I can't resist when I hear it? One that I have to turn the radio up even if it's already loud? Something that's timeless in my music library? Hmmmm...... <BR> <BR> "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton (especially the live version on the 28 Nights album!!) <BR> <BR> This song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Yep, works for me! Wed, 18 May 2011 20:37:33 EST Song a Day layout, etc.... First off, a super huge THANK YOU to all the support I've received w/ my recent expressed challenges regarding food. I'm still battling, but at least I'm doing that instead of complete submission to bad choices. I have been somewhat hit-or-miss with my sparking the last week or so, but this too shall pass and I am on my way to getting back in the groove of tracking. <BR> Secondly, shame on me for starting another daily blog when I haven't even finished my photo blog challenge- which I WIL... Wed, 18 May 2011 20:27:10 EST Need to Rebound So, two weeks ago I was able to accomplish something I never thought possible...I ran my half marathon and met each personal goal associated with it that I had set. Why, then, am I struggling soooo much in the eating dept.? The first day or two after the race I chalked it up to being wrung out....and in all honesty justified my bad choices as a result. Since then, I have been on bad carb overdrive. I am incredibly frustrated with myself. I also know that with the crazy schedule I've had... Wed, 11 May 2011 20:11:10 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 30 MY FAVORITE LOL ANIMAL PICTURE... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Funny, and for me kinda inspiring as well...This little guy packs a BIG roar! We can be as powerful as we allow ourselves to be!!! And the other little guy just taking it in and not backing down- Sometimes our strength is in our silence!!! <BR> <BR> LOL and love it! Thu, 5 May 2011 23:49:09 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 29 It's time for me to get caught up with my photo blogs again! This week has flown by, so I do have a lot of catching up to do. This will be a start, at least... <BR> <BR> SOMETHING THAT ALWAYS MAKES ME SMILE... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> OK, here's the story...This is a picture of the first letter my son wrote to Santa back in Kindergarten. He insisted that he do it himself, and I can remember him sitting at the little school desk we... Thu, 5 May 2011 23:20:06 EST First Half Marathon- Burn, Baby, Burn! I did it!!! I was really nervous that maybe I wouldn't be able to, but I accomplished what I set out to do- No stopping, No walking and finish under 3 hrs. My time was 2:46. <em>30</em> <BR> I took a personal day from work on Friday, and headed up to Champaign-Urbana that afternoon. My husband wasn't able to join me so I flew solo. That really didn't bother me. It's about 2 1/2 hours from my home. By the time I booked my hotel room not much was available in C-U proper so I stayed in ... Sat, 30 Apr 2011 23:25:17 EST A Week's Worth- PHOTO BLOGS, Days22-28 Wow, this became a crazy week, and I admit that the further behind I got, the harder it was to start again. However, I've allowed this type of attitude to get me before; that's why I'm back to finish what I started! <BR> <BR> DAY 22: SOMETHING I WISH I WAS BETTER AT: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Definitely not my strength to begin with, but compound that with a poor attitude toward the subject at a very early age and you've got remedial sk... Wed, 27 Apr 2011 23:00:55 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 21 AN EXERCISE I'D LIKE TO BE ABLE TO DO SOMEDAY... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Let me tell you, I have almost non-existent arm strength! I would LOVE to get to a point where I could do this...Definitely not there yet!!! <BR> <em>104</em> <em>234</em> <em>198</em> Wed, 20 Apr 2011 23:20:24 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 20 UGLIEST CHRISTMAS SWEATER: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I had to go online for this one. I have owned some ugly holiday sweaters in my day, but luckily there doesn't appear to be a lot of photographic evidence! <BR> <em>30</em> <BR> This one was pretty bad, IMO...And ya gotta love his 'thumbs up'! Wed, 20 Apr 2011 16:45:33 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 19 PICTURE OF MY NICKNAME... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> OK, so I didn't know what I would be able to come up with on this one. In college, my nickname was T-squared, as my first and last name started w/ 'T'. There were probably some people that would've been hard-pressed to come up w/ my actual given name! <BR> So, I googled and came up with this guy, who is also nicknamed Tsquared- Tom Taylor. Evidently, he's a big gamer. Didn't know him be... Tue, 19 Apr 2011 22:23:36 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 18 MY BIGGEST INSECURITY...AND WHY... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is not an easy picture for me to post. My battle with acne is a big insecurity. I took this picture several months ago, hoping that someday I will be able to have a great "after" photo. Still waiting for that day. I feel somewhat vain to say this is my biggest insecurity, but it wears on me when I wake up to some variation of this every day, and it's always staring r... Mon, 18 Apr 2011 20:58:21 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 17 SOMETHING THAT HAS RECENTLY IMPACTED MY LIFE: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I started doing fitness boot camps last June when my personal trainer started offering them. They have made all the difference in my fitness journey. 3 days per week, it pushes me to go beyond what I thought I could do. This is what has worked for me in terms of getting a routine and actually wanting to exercise. I'm in the back row (fourth from L), with a very stran... Sun, 17 Apr 2011 23:09:23 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 16 A PERSON WHO INSPIRES YOU: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My mom was an inspiration to me way before she fought her battle with cancer. She was a hard-worker, kind-hearted, and unassuming. Through the last 9 1/2 years of her life, she was a quiet warrior with unshakable faith. She continues to inspire me to see the best in people and situations, keep moving forward and to never give up. <BR> <BR> Sat, 16 Apr 2011 17:56:38 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 15 SOMETHING I WANT TO DO BEFORE I DIE... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> ...Grow old! I'm working on doing that as gracefully as possible! :) Fri, 15 Apr 2011 19:40:21 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 14 ME, HOLDING A SPARK PEOPLE SIGN... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Thanks to my daughter, photographer in the making, for helping out on this one! Fri, 15 Apr 2011 19:34:46 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 13 FAVORITE BAND... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Breaking Benjamin. I just love them. "Breath" and "Diary of Jane" are two of my favorite tunes, but there's many more! <BR> <BR> <BR> FAVORITE ARTIST... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Johnny Cash. A true artist whose work is timeless. He maintained his artistic integrity throughout his lifetime. Much respect. Fri, 15 Apr 2011 19:08:03 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 12 A PICTURE THAT DEFINES YOU... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> One word defines me best, I think...FAMILY. This is a picture taken in Oct. 2010 w/ my hubby and kids, my in-laws and my husband's paternal grandparents. All part of our family farm. Grandma passed away this past Sept. They were married a little over 60 years; the lilac bush that gave her the flowers for her wedding day still blooms in our front yard. Love the legacy that family le... Fri, 15 Apr 2011 18:55:54 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 11 MY IPOD ON SHUFFLE AND THE FIRST TEN SONGS TO PLAY... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Oh, goodie! This is right up my alley....I love music! Can't wait to run tomorrow with my Just Run It playlist. These songs are all on there; they just earned a playlist of their own as well! Fri, 15 Apr 2011 18:47:22 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 10 OK, a little whining first...Feel free to skip over this part if you simply aren't in the mood for it...Our internet was knocked out for a few days here at home, which hindered me from keeping up w/ my daily photo blogs (GRRR) and then last night I tried to download pics to Spark People but it was soooo slow (GRRR) and then I did some super cute (if I do say so myself!) photo edits on but they didn't save to my computer with the edits. (GRRR) So I finally had to walk away from t... Thu, 14 Apr 2011 19:19:22 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 9 A PICTURE THAT MOTIVATES ME TO DO MORE... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Apparently this little guy didn't get the memo that it wasn't possible.... <BR> IF I CAN BELIEVE IT, I CAN ACHIEVE IT!!! <BR> <BR> I'm a little ahead of the challenge on this one, but a very busy day tomorrow away from home means do it now or be late...I decided to go with now! :) <BR> Fri, 8 Apr 2011 21:48:27 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 8 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Probably not a big shocker if you've glanced at my Spark Page....I LOVE orange! It is the signature color of my alma mater, but I also like it because it's full of energy. It's a little spicy, a bit bold and it can stand out in a crowd. My cat, Oreo, is obviously not naturally orange, but she can have a very orange personality at times! <BR> <em>30</em> Fri, 8 Apr 2011 21:28:16 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 7 <img src=""> <BR> To the left is my engagement ring/wedding band set. To the right is my mom's wedding band. Not a day goes by that I don't wear them at some point. Both are very special to me; reminders that love never has to end! Fri, 8 Apr 2011 20:45:01 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 6 A PERSON I'D LOVE TO TRADE PLACES WITH FOR A DAY: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Just call me Luciana (a.k.a. Mrs. Damon) for a day, thank you! <BR> I've always found him to be rather adorable, and the added bonus is I could wear a single digit dress size and know what it's like to have naturally dark hair and a lovely olive skin tone. Well, I guess if I trade places with her I wouldn't exactly get to BE her, but you get the idea!!! ... Wed, 6 Apr 2011 19:34:56 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 5 A PICTURE OF MY FAVORITE ANIMAL: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We just call her "Priss". This picture was taken at our farm. We raise registered Holstein cattle, and she's the star of our herd. I know I'm biased, but I think she's beautiful!!! With an username like SLPCOWGAL72, I would be remiss to not give props to my fave bovine! Tue, 5 Apr 2011 23:05:28 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 4 PICTURE FROM MY FAVORITE TV SHOW: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Can't help it, I still love Little House on the Prairie (hence my boxed set of the entire series, all 9 seasons!). Brings back good memories of my childhood, and now I can watch it with my kids as well. Mon, 4 Apr 2011 00:35:11 EST PHOTO BLOG, Day 3 This is a picture of my inspiration for weight loss... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wow, this challenge is really going to reveal my tech ineptness! I don't know how to rotate this, but you get the idea... <BR> My kids! Shelby will be 9 at the end of this month; Tyson is 10. I want them to see that living a healthy lifestyle is attainable! I want to be here for them for a VERY long time! Sun, 3 Apr 2011 18:18:31 EST