SMOKINGUN's SparkPeople Blog SMOKINGUN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Grilling out! One of the things I really missed the past 5 years was being able to grill out. Living in an apartment complex negated the ability to pull out the grill and fix an amazing "picnic" meal whenever I wanted. Even though I lived most of my life in the midwest, where winters are winters, we still grilled out several times a week. Quick and easy meals without much mess. <BR> Moving into my digs, I was very excited, I could grill out whenever I wanted once again. The real challenge was goin... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 22:08:53 EST Here we go! I feel this is like one of the many Mondays I have experienced over the past decades. I get on the scale and think OMG, what have I done in such a short period of time. I had become accustomed to the weight gain and how I looked, no matter how much I despised the look. I kept my unhealthy look to myself thinking no one else notices. I have family who were concerned but I did not allow talk about "my Weight'. My daughter is one of my biggest allies in bringing me to realize I should not b... Fri, 18 Jan 2013 20:20:58 EST Excuses! I am one of the best at coming up with excuses for one thing or another. Eating can bring about a landslide of seemingly sound reasons why I need to be engaged in this activity. I could probably be a leading contender for the award of Biggest Excuses, should this award exist. <BR> Think about it. I need the calories so I will be able to exer Fri, 11 Jan 2013 11:30:12 EST Environment It is surprising to myself how significant our environment is in determining the manner we develop. If you grew up in a family who enjoyed the outdoors, chances are likely you developed an interest in outdoor activities. You developed the attributes akin to the activity your family or peer group participated in. Perhaps you did not directly participate, but you attained the likeliness and willingness to partake in every aspect of the activity. To be a part of this, it may have meant indu... Sat, 5 Jan 2013 23:51:44 EST Memories Sometimes life throws us what seems to be unfair, unattainable, unimaginable, unexpected and/or unwanted. Seems we drive our lives like an approaching storm. The wind in the storm isn't deterred by obstacles in its path, rather it circumvents these and travels at will to its end. Is that us? Not choosing the path we should follow but rather the path of least resistance. It is much easier for me to just gather supplies and make something to eat, then to gather supplies after some or much ... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 23:58:43 EST Fitness with Fitbit one I am so happy with the fitbit one in conjunction with my daily workout. I am definitely not in good shape so when I blog I am just happy with the exercise I am able to do. The fitbit sends little messages as prompts to get moving if I have been static for too long. It isn't like a coach yelling to get moving, but more a reminder of where I am at in today's regime. A routine I set daily for myself. It just sent me a messages "smooches Ralph". Nothing negative about that. The goal is to ... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 22:19:12 EST Thankful Many of us seem to dwell on the negative in life rather then the many positives effecting our lives. Don't believe me, read almost any post on spark and you see we dwell on what we had done or had imagined was done to us, diverting us from successfully achieving our goal. We need to be happy with the little successes we gain by just trying to do our best daily. <BR> I was in retail management for 30+ years before retiring, I heard and was an accomplice to negativity. As the economy t... Mon, 24 Dec 2012 22:39:48 EST Making Time Wouldn't that be wonderful, be able to add time to our day. Since I haven't discovered the secret to time travel, the fountain of youth or any other magical solutions, my goal will be to make time. Something we can all do once we set our mind to it. Prioritizing is not something I am good at but must become better at if I am going to find success. I put on loads of weight by not having time in my busy daily life working in retail. I didn't find time to plan out good meals, get proper sle... Sun, 23 Dec 2012 00:21:16 EST Winter Wonderland has arrived. <em>444</em> <em>446</em> <BR> <BR> This is the time of year I hear mixed emotions from my friends about the weather. It is or can be, one of the most beautiful times of the year. When I was a kid, we lived across the street from a park. The city flooded an acre sized rink and my brother and sister put on our skates, walked across the road and skated until our ankles couldn't take any more or we were saved by the dinner bell calling us back home. We didn't know about wind chill, ... Sat, 22 Dec 2012 00:08:18 EST Working to be fit with FITBIT ONE Just received my fitbit one. Never believed in Pedometers as their accuracy has always been suspect, but then I never had a really good advanced model. Thanks to my daughter and her husband for this early Christmas gift. It has come at such a necessary time for me. I am struggling with my weight and general fitness. I think this is the "spark" I need to stay motivated and move slowly and successfully forward. Who would have thought such a small device is so complex. This comes from a g... Thu, 20 Dec 2012 22:54:46 EST Monday Monday Remember the song by the Mamma's and Poppas? I sure do; as it was one of my favorites. "Monday Monday cant stand that day. <img src="">" Me either. It seems like every Monday I am starting my diet. It would feel good to make it to Tuesday and still be on the diet. Excuses, I have plenty of them: I cant do it today because it is too hot outside, I can start tomorrow after i have a tiny" piece of dessert, None knows I started, No one ... Sat, 23 Jul 2011 00:52:33 EST New Meds I am finally trying to get answers about the numerous kidney stones i have been producing, Average 2 a week since about christmas. Between that and my knees it has not been a good winter nor spring. After switching my meds and getting on the new rooutine, I have a new complaint. The meds I need to take have a slight problem with some of the perscribees. I am one of them. My ankles are quite swollen, at least for me. Put on five pounds in the last couple of day (in my feet). Anyway I h... Wed, 16 Jun 2010 20:21:58 EST Trout Pond I spent the afternoon at Coopers Rock Trout Pond. The day was sunny and somewhat breezy. Not so cool you would need a jacket but enough you did need a long sleeve shirt. There were already three people fishing when I arrived and no one had caught a fish. Sure enough as soon as i got settled in the fellow to my left caught a golden trout. 30 minutes later the man to his left caught a golden. I thought this was going to be a Golden day. Not to be. After four hours and zero hits I packed ... Mon, 10 May 2010 23:54:06 EST Red Salamander On my first day off I decided to walk in Coopers Rock exploring the new growth, lookin for Deer sign, and mainly trying to find some Morel mushrooms. I started at the Trout Pond; talking to the few fishermen who lined its banks. I was only told of three fish being caught in several hours, so I was glad my decision was to walk and not fish. The weather was about 70 degrees and being this early in the spring the bug count was zero, at least the kind we usually mind. Walking up an old deer t... Wed, 5 May 2010 18:02:34 EST slippin backwards I allowed myself to go in the opposite direction from what I had going. Now I have to get back on track so I can truly enjoy the summer and the small trips i will take. I am fortunate I work three days on and then have three days off so I will be able to take little vacations in the immediate area. Plan on a good fishing trip up to one of the great lakes to enjoy a charter boat excursion. It looks like it would be fun and maybe my luck would change. Haven't caught anything around the hom... Sat, 1 May 2010 21:53:37 EST Cherry Blossom Festival Had a great time going to Washington DC and getting to experience the beauty of the Cherry trees in full bloom. I had never been to DC and wanted especially to see this yearly natural beautification of our landscape. I wanted to see the other national treasures as well. I walked for approximately five hours just taking photos and being amazed at the sights. Need to go back again as it is not something to be truly appreciated on one visit. Hope all of you had a nice day. It was sunny an... Sun, 4 Apr 2010 18:39:52 EST About time! I think I am entitled to set realistic goals and expectations. I know what I need to do and I can say I am motivated by my daughter to have the successes she has experienced. She is very happy with life, with herself and I am entitled to that same feeling. I am the only one who can do this no matter how much encouragement I get from others. I do get a lot of it and it is much appreciated. I am joining a health center for a couple of good reasons. I need the appropriate equipment to wo... Mon, 8 Feb 2010 20:24:16 EST Trippin Thanks for the comments after my blog on setting a destination I was going to "walk to" with the added mileage from my daily walks. It was suggested to find a location I want to visit and once I have achieved those miles in my walks, go and visit that place. Now why didn't I think of that? Now the hard part will be to set a realistic location to go Trippin" to once my mileage adds up. Too often I think we set goals so lofty they are hard to if not impossible to achieve. While Sparkin I w... Thu, 10 Sep 2009 22:54:01 EST new goal to walk to! I decided to a page from my wifes diary when she was alive. She always totaled her walks and then at the end of the year we would tell people which town equaled the distance from our house she had walked. I will have to set a town I want to walk to and then track it as I walk. <BR> <BR> <em>104</em> Tue, 25 Aug 2009 18:21:35 EST Exercise Forgot how good it can feel to have an extended walk. Felt it afterwards but mostly good andorphins flowin. <em>295</em> Mon, 24 Aug 2009 13:40:23 EST Anxious Am a little anxious about tomorrow, but I think I did well today. Avoided the dreaded Apple Fritter frenzy at work and was satisfied with a Yogurt instead. Good thing they have so many neat flavors I can enjoy. Found out i was not the one being transferred to a night shift which I would have hated so I guess the day was Ok. Hopefully will try a different recipe from othe rSpark members. If you haven"t looked there are some very interesting and tasty sounding recipes. We just don't need ... Thu, 13 Aug 2009 20:54:53 EST