SPUNKYDUCKY's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=SPUNKYDUCKY SPUNKYDUCKY'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/ Risks, Benefits and Hair Color http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5716151 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/2/l82735840.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Busy day today. <BR> I drove up to Pittsburgh (which is about an hour North) to see a GI specialist about my recurrent pancreatitis and liver problems. Without getting all medical on you, I have an anatomical problem that makes it impossible for bile and pancreatic enzymes to empty into my bowels (and hence they back up and start causing pancreatitis - auto digestion or the pancreas eating itself (literally) and he... Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:00:56 EST Desert Soujourn Part 4 (and final): Flowers along the way http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5715330 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1618945304.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I was lucky enough to be in the southwest as many flowers were in bloom. So much beauty...The photos below are just a few of the lovely flowers that made me happy on a daily basis. <BR> <BR> Hope you enjoy! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1184494252.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1488644510.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 22:58:05 EST Desert Sojourn Part 3: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5714534 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1953671176.jpg"> <BR> <BR> From Tucson I drove southwest to Ajo and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument just north of the Mexico border. There I spent the last two days of my trip, basking in the sun in utter isolation from the world. If you ever really want to get away from the world, this is one of the places I would recommend getting lost. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2118546048.jpg"> <BR> <img src=... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 22:01:56 EST Desert Sojourn Part 2: Saguaro National Park http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5713732 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/7/l776178239.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Drove from Joshua Tree to Tucson to start the next part of my adventure at Saguaro National Park. The photo above is from my hike the first evening. I headed up to the saddle on the Sendero Esperanza trail to watch the sunset. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/0/l705688259.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It was a beautiful hike with many interesting cacti: saguaro, chain fruit cholla, teddy bear cho... Sun, 8 Jun 2014 22:02:05 EST Desert Sojourn Part 1: Joshua Tree National Park http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5713114 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1896989579.jpg"> <BR> The Joshua Tree - which incidentally is not a tree at all but an agave plant much like the yucca... <BR> <BR> Those of you who follow my blogs regularly know that I have had a tough spring. One of the things I did to try to keep myself sane was a 9 day sojourn in the souther Arizona desert at the end of April. It was sublime and exactly what I needed. I spent my days hiking until my feet felt like they were going to... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 23:08:26 EST 60 mile ride - Quick photoblog before bed... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5712494 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1524664860.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Drove up to Ohiopyle State Park in PA and jumped on the wonderful GAP trail. GAP stands for Great Allegeny Passage and is 150 miles of Rail Trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland Md. I rode from Ohiopyle to Confluence then on to Markleton and Rockwood where at 32 miles in I decided it was a good time to turn around. It is not unusual for me to do 60-75 mile rides, but after being ill all of April, this is the fir... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 03:19:05 EST More comfort, this time the fluffy, furry kind http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5711735 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/3/l938543672.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yesterday I blogged about the comfort of nature, today I thought I would tell you a bit about what comforts me at home. Meet Sadie and Scout. They are 9 months old and wonderfully curious. Sadie is a true cat - and I am her person, Scout (the fluffier one) thinks she is a dog and loves everyone. They sleep in bed with me and every morning nom on my blanket after the alarm goes off, paddy-pawing and nuzzling eac... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 00:33:03 EST Comfort for the Soul: Photoblog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5710948 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/7/l577881033.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today I had what I can only describe as the perfect ride... <BR> It wasn't the longest <BR> or the fastest <BR> the sun wasn't even shining <BR> but it was comfort for the soul in every way <BR> <BR> The picture above is me starting out - cloudy day but happy to get out of work in time to still enjoy some time outside. <BR> Shortly after a light rain started and suddenly I noticed it... <BR> the air was thick, hea... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 00:34:34 EST Binge over - Help requested http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5710102 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/1/l614298311.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Binging sucks <BR> (You all know that right) <BR> I just finished the longest binge that I have had in about 5 years <BR> 10 days of chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate - I made myself absolutely sick <BR> Getting on the scale yesterday hurt but but I needed to get it to stop <BR> <BR> What I did and will do to prevent this from happening: <BR> 1. Exercised a lot for the past 4 days - cycling, hiking, walking... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 22:46:59 EST Picking myself up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5670561 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l217975386.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Ok, so anyone who has read my blogs recently knows that 2014 has been difficult for me. In fact, at some point I actually started feeling like a victim. One thing added to another and I actually started to believe that I could not escape this circle of hell. Marriage over. Job not satisfying. Finances a mess. Then my health gave out 2 weeks ago while I was at a conference and I ended up in a hospital in New Or... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 14:58:54 EST Finding Reasons to Smile http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5640970 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/8/l884712762.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Admittedly, there have been some days recently that I didn't want to get out of bed <BR> Today was one of those days <BR> But I did it anyway <BR> I figured I would just try to find a reason to smile. The best way I know to do that in winter is to put on a pair of skis and point myself downhill. Today I am happy to say it worked. <BR> <BR> Lovely bluebird day <BR> Sunny, warm (for winter anyway) and not many peo... Thu, 6 Mar 2014 01:57:38 EST Deep Breath... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5639150 Ok deep breath...here goes <BR> <BR> I have been known for positive blogs for several years, and for the past 6 months I just haven't had it in me. Some weeks everything seems to go wrong, and then sometimes those weeks become months. I feel like every time I say "what else could possibly go wrong" the world has been kind enough to provide me with an answer to that question within hours. Some days - it really doesn't feel like it is worth getting out of bed. <BR> I haven't wanted to thi... Tue, 4 Mar 2014 02:19:03 EST Cycling in the November Rain http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5543763 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2144579455.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Rainy, cold, muddy and gray <BR> That's how things looked today <BR> I sat in the car, wishing it would stop and considered just driving home <BR> But with so little of autumn left and snow coming soon I decided to brave it <BR> <BR> 3 hours and a warm bath later I am so glad I braved it <BR> It was a beautiful day in the haunting fog on the river, so different than a sunny day <BR> And I was so proud of myself f... Sun, 17 Nov 2013 20:30:29 EST So Damn Happy! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5469442 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1303556007.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Do I even need to say it? <BR> So <BR> DAMN <BR> HAPPY!!!!! <BR> <BR> <BR> Yup, 2 months and 3 days of no cycling <BR> 10 days in the hospital for freak pancreatitis and liver shock <BR> 1 knee surgery because it wouldn't heal <BR> And here I am, 20 miles into my first ride back yesterday <BR> Mushy legs, totally questionable stamina and still... <BR> Can't <BR> Stop <BR> Grinning!!!!! <BR> <BR> <BR> 63 days... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 00:10:42 EST Ready to Go!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5467764 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1486350494.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I am ECSTATIC to finally be cleared to get cycling again! My accident was June 24th so it has been over 2 months with very limited exercise for me (except hiking and walking, neither of which has been as vigorous as I would have liked). I will admit that not getting my 60-90 minutes of exercise daily was really pretty rough on my mood. My knee is still not completely healed so I will go a little easy for the fi... Tue, 27 Aug 2013 10:44:35 EST Just accountability, no exciting dresses today :-) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5415051 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2131111808.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Well I am slowly regaining energy but still having a hard time not exercising. It is making me a little nuts because exercise serves both as my best source of stress relief but also my motivator. Having to go several weeks without any strong exercise is difficult, so I have vowed to log every morsel, watch my protein and fat intake very closely (pancreas works to digest these and I am trying to let it rest), dri... Tue, 9 Jul 2013 01:44:28 EST Pay Attention to the Green Dress http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5412587 No new pictures this week (except flowers from my yard) while I am in recovery mode so I was trying to think about something to blog about. <BR> <BR> Green Dress! <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/4/l74240865.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Every year I host a graduation for our residents, which is a fun chance to get dressed up. I love fancy dresses and the chance to get all pretty. <BR> <BR> Here are some pics from prior years (and watch me change over the years) <BR> <BR> 2009... Sat, 6 Jul 2013 18:04:19 EST Happy Independence Day! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5410951 <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/7/l67678177.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l193090395.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1499714333.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> This is my 11 year old deaf Boxer, Samantha (Sam most of the time). I think she must know I am not feeling well because she put up with being dressed up and even posed for me. <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> <em>283</em> <em>232<... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 21:02:35 EST Calorie Accountability & Pretty Pics http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5410263 Well in the middle of healing there are not a lot of active things I can do. I did manage to get outside today though and take some pictures in my yard of some of my flowers. I thought in addition to my day to day accountability I would share them with you. <BR> <BR> Accountability July 2nd - 1469 calories <BR> Accountability July 3rd - 1523 calories <BR> <BR> Now the pictures! Let me know if there are any you particularly like - Enjoy! <BR> <BR> Asian Lillies: <BR> <img src="http://ph... Thu, 4 Jul 2013 03:50:55 EST How Cycling Could Have Killed Me...aka the Most Bizarre Case of Acute Pancreatitis Ever http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5409176 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1731815571.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Although I still owe a story of Ghana, I am going to quickly catch you all up on what has happened in the past 2 weeks as it has been quite a difficult journey to where I am now, and will likely change my journey ahead. <BR> <BR> In short, I have been very ill. I am finally home today, but still have a long way to go until I feel healthy again I suspect. I have severe acute pancreatitis and have recovered from ... Wed, 3 Jul 2013 00:34:09 EST Did You Ever Wonder What You Are Capable Of? Maybe it's Time to Find Out http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5389643 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1582772122.jpg"> <BR> <BR> What would you do if... <BR> everyone knows the end of that sentence...if you knew you could not fail. <BR> What if the reason we fail sometimes is because we expect to? <BR> <BR> Let me tell you a little story of a conversation I had with a friend a few days ago: <BR> <BR> Me: "I need to get started running again or I am not going to be able to race this summer." <BR> <BR> Him: "What are you training for, 10... Sat, 15 Jun 2013 03:10:55 EST Rabies, Pierces and a Ride http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5335869 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1949544328.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yes, I promise Ghana blog is still coming...I always have a little reverse culture shock when I return to the states and it takes me a week or two to process the disparities in the world. I have great pics and stories and look forward to sharing them. <BR> <BR> In the meantime - my most eventful things this week include <BR> 1. The joy of getting rabies shots (yeah, I know I am a doctor but I am still afraid... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 00:14:10 EST Back from Ghana! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5328845 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/5/l557634378.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Greetings Sparkies! <BR> This is just a quick note to let you all know that I am back from Ghana. I missed all of you and being able to catch up with things on Spark. Got home yesterday and promptly went to the ER for rabies shots since I had a bat living in the house with me in Ghana and think I got bit. 7 huge shots - ouchie! Today I am a bit jet lagged and trying to get unpacked and organized -back to work t... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 15:19:34 EST Sneaking in a quick ride http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5304622 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/6/l4665316.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I really didn't have time to ride today. The last 24 hours have been spent rushing around trying to make sure that all of my last minute things are in line for my trip to Ghana. <BR> Antimalaria pills, antibiotics - check <BR> Sunscreen - check <BR> Medical supplies - check <BR> etc, etc, etc <BR> Flight leaves tomorrow at 4pm and I won't be back until April 18th! <BR> <BR> However, peaking outside I noticed a few ... Fri, 29 Mar 2013 18:03:06 EST REI is a dangerous place! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5302544 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1099640752.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Drove to Pittsburgh today for a hair appointment and decided to treat myself to a stop at REI for a new pair of Chacos sandals for my trip to Ghana later this week. <BR> <BR> I walked in the door and it was all over! Right as you walk in is all of the shiny new cycling gear. Some of the prettiest cycling jerseys I have seen - clearly I should look it over. As I am about to walk away with my 3 must-have jerseys... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 21:53:38 EST Cold Weather - No problem! Wear your skiing clothes cycling :-) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5297838 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1288089511.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Someone in the universe loves me because the sun was out today!!! It was only 45 degrees out -but you can't have everything right? I actually wore my skiing clothes cycling :-) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l203597914.jpg"> <BR> Yup there I am in thermal pants, layered over biker shorts, layered over long underwear, and of course - my Swix spring ski jacket - not bad for biking... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 01:16:27 EST Invisible Butterfly Wings http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5291705 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1146597294.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Ok, you can't see my butterfly wings in the picture...but they are there! <BR> Thank you to everyone who took a moment to write me last night when I was in my funk. I know these moods come and go, and I agree with all of you that I just need to keep working through it. <BR> I had an epic workout today and the endorphins carried me for part of the day. The scale gave me two pounds, and I did recognize the confide... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 22:13:16 EST The Girl in the Owl Shirt...learning to live comfortably in your own skin http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5290561 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/7/l971068214.jpg"> <BR> <BR> So Sparkies I have to say it has been a rough week. Not really sure why but I feel like I am cloaked in some sadness. It may be clinging to me from work - working in the ER can be an emotional drain...It may be from the ups and downs of travel recently- always hard to be away from home...but I think my dear Sparkies that it is more than that. I think it is a bit of an identity crisis. I look in the mirror and I... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 01:34:59 EST Finally Home...Down 3lbs...Back in the Saddle! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5281679 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/0/l906145721.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Finally home! After 12 days of business travel for conferences in Orlando and Denver I am HOME!!! It felt great to sleep in my own bed last night. This morning the scale confirmed what I was hoping was true - my dedication to exercise and healthy eating while out of town made a difference - down 3lbs (even with water weight from flying!!) <BR> <BR> It was 70 degrees here today so I decided that it was great day... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 21:08:06 EST Adventures in Belize, Part 6: Green Hills Butterfly Farm & Butterfly Falls http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5251074 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1779441936.jpg"> <BR> HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY Sparkies! <BR> <BR> For our final full day in Belize, Ron and I decided to slow down the pace and just enjoy the day. We drove a bit North to visit the Green Hills Butterfly Farm which was absolutely delightful! So many butterflies and hummingbirds it was hard to know where to look. I have been to many butterfly farms over the years and this is one of the best I have been to (other great ones i... Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:00:54 EST Adventures in Belize, Part 5: Rio Frio Cave, Caracol ruins, Rio On Pools http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5249799 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/0/l706158915.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/6/l764116672.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> Awoke to singing birds outside our cottage on Pine Mountain Ridge. The Hidden Valley Inn is truly remote, quiet and peaceful! <BR> <BR> Headed out on what can only be described as a primitive road for the 2 hour ride toward the Mayan Ruins of Caracol. Along the way we stopped and explored the Rio Frio Cave. <BR> <BR> <img src="htt... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 23:55:30 EST Adventures in Belize, Part 4 with Pics: Beach Biking & Belize Zoo http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5248493 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1375478051.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/0/l406036817.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today was our last day on Ambergris Cay. Got up and did a brief nature walk this morning - love the little rustic bridge in the picture above. It is always interesting to see different foliage and vegetation in tropical climates. <BR> <BR> After that we headed out down the San Pedro beach for one last ride. Really enjoyed pedaling in the mornin... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 00:43:55 EST Adventure in Belize, Part III - snoozing in, kayaking & new dress http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5247164 So today's photoblog will be much shorter since I started the day off with something everyone should do on vacation - snoozing in, lol! Once I finally got up I hung out reading and answering a few emails on the couch of our apartment here. Love where we are staying (Xanadu resort). It is about a mile down the beach from San Pedro, so very quiet and it gives me an excuse to walk everywhere. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/6/l761733440.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http:/... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 00:03:14 EST Adventures in Belize, Part 2 with pics: Caye Caulker sailing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5245859 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/6/l263922008.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/1/l415670608.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today was our 3rd day in Belize and it was clearly time to spend some more time in the water! We got picked up at the end of our pier and headed out on a catamaran (the SEAduced) toward Caye Caulker. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1283203368.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l13673... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 01:37:25 EST Adventures in Belize, Part 1 with Pics http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5244527 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/0/l703504707.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today was our first full day in Belize on vacation, and I must say it is HEAVEN. It was about 85 degrees today, sunny skies with just a few clouds and a light breeze. We decided the first thing we wanted to do here on Ambergris Cay was get familiar with the island so we took a 2 hour walk, down the beach and through the town of San Pedro. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/9/l491266381.... Sat, 9 Feb 2013 22:43:49 EST Greetings from Belize! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5243411 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/3/l53269345.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Hello sparkies! <BR> I am on a much-needed and earned vacation this week. Ron and I flew into Belize City today and then hopped a small Cessna prop out to Ambergris Cay. Walked on the beach and had a wonderful dinner at a local place (Caroline's Kitchen) - yummy snapper and steamed veggies with some cerviche appetizer. Having recently crossed into Onederland (by about 0.2 lbs) I am dedicated to enjoying my vacat... Fri, 8 Feb 2013 23:07:10 EST Simple Plans for February http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5233873 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/6/l367034067.jpg"> <BR> <BR> February Goals <BR> Back to Basics! <BR> <BR> I am going to be gone for much of February so I think that it will be especially important to stick to what I know will work. Below are reminders to myself: <BR> <BR> 1. Log into spark every day (when out of the country on vacation, journal about Spark if unable to log in) <BR> 2. Log calories... especially on vacation - stop pretending not knowing exactly what it ... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 22:59:21 EST New Swimsuit...winter motivator http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5225323 My new swimsuit arrived in the mail yesterday. It is a cobalt blue one piece with a zipper in the front and a small belt at the bottom (Bond girl style). I am actually excited to wear it! Knowing that I have vacation in 12 days and want to look great in this swimsuit is all I need to keep my on track for the next 2 weeks. I wish I had bought this suit a month ago! <BR> <BR> Overall this month has been much more challenging than the last. Despite daily exercise my weight has only dropp... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 09:08:17 EST Where I am right now - pics and measurements http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5220468 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1833172622.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/2/l225190233.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1097858736.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> I promised myself I was going to take measurements and get some 360 view pics for later comparisons this month. I have been avoiding measurements because I didn't want to see numbers that were bigger than where they used to be...but part of moving forward really is leaving t... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 17:11:11 EST 100 days - 30 lbs http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5215569 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/3/l338796884.jpg"> <BR> Feeling good in a red dress 100 days after recommitting myself to a healthy lifestyle! <BR> <BR> Ever wonder what you could do in 100 days? In 2009 I wondered what I could do with 100 days of consecutive exercise - I lost 40 lbs and decided to keep going ..My first 100 day Challenge is below: <BR> http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public<BR>_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=2525622 <BR> <BR> My 2nd 100 days led to anoth... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 12:53:19 EST Midnight Workouts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5209353 It's late so this one is going to be short & sweet: <BR> <BR> Things that sucked today: <BR> Rough day at work <BR> Late for the theater <BR> Ate a bit too much sushi <BR> Felt cranky....in general <BR> Didn't start my workout til 11:30pm <BR> Body felt bloated, sluggish and slow - every step felt like it was sucking <BR> <BR> Things that DIDN'T suck today: <BR> Knowing that I did it anyway - 1:00am finished my workout <BR> Knowing that the getting on the elliptical tonight will make all t... Wed, 16 Jan 2013 01:13:27 EST Comparison Cycling Photos http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5205696 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1227301162.jpg"> <BR> Left: Oct 2012 at 235 lbs ------ Right: Jan 2013 at 204lbs <BR> <BR> So anyone who has ever followed my blog before knows that I struggle with seeing the difference in the mirror, and honestly - the scale and I have a love-hate relationship. Photos however, have been very effective for me to look back and recognize the changes so that I can adjust my mental image <BR> <BR> I really buckled down and started... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 21:09:22 EST Got snow? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5199750 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1595908377.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Got Snow? <BR> We do but only for a few more days...it is going to be 65 degrees this weekend (awesome for biking, not so much if you want to ski). I suspect given our base is only 14 inches most places we will lose our entire base and unless we are lucky enough to get a blizzard, no skiing for awhile. So...I am planning to ski a lot for the next few days to get my happy on, and when the warm comes, well...I gu... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 00:10:54 EST An (almost there) dress pic http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5192551 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2110005505.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Above is a pic of me in a dress that doesn't quite fit (probably about 10 lbs away from a comfortable fit) that I put on tonight to remind myself how far I have come in the past three months and to inspire myself to do more. <BR> <BR> Pictures like these also help me focus on non-scale related victories. It is crucial to my success not to get too hung up in the numbers but rather to look for many ways to evalu... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 03:23:40 EST Skinny Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5188844 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l2125373696.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Do you ever have a day where you just feel sorta skinny <BR> I am not - skinny... not really even thin, technically I am still too heavy to even hit the "overweight BMI" <BR> But today I felt good. <BR> Hard to know what started it and it doesn't really matter <BR> The feeling is fleeting <BR> I know whatever my weight I will have "fat days" and "skinny days" <BR> Because a lot of how we feel is in our mind <BR> ... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 20:10:11 EST My Body Likes to Play Games on Me... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5187352 One of the best things about losing weight is getting into those clothes that you want to fit so desperately - right? <BR> <BR> Yeah, I think so too. <BR> Could someone give my body a clue??? <BR> <BR> Lol, 3 years ago I was 190 lbs...medium top, size 16-14 jeans (yes, I am a curvy pear, deal with it) <BR> I currently weigh 207 (woot! so much better than the 235 I was three months ago) <BR> So you would think a lot of my "old clothes" from when I was 210-200 would fit right? <BR> Yeah, I w... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 00:31:48 EST A-Z for fun! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5181632 Via Rheynklaw <BR> <BR> A - Available or married: Married for 17 years <BR> B - Book: Stephen's Kings Dark Towers Series <BR> C - Cake or pie: Cake, preferably red velvet <BR> D - Drink of choice: Orange tea, berry flavored water <BR> E - Essential item: Lipgloss <BR> F - Favorite color: Purple <BR> G - Game to play or watch: Euchre <BR> H - Hometown: Holmen, WI <BR> I - Indulgence: M&Ms, peanut butter <BR> J - Job: Emergency physician <BR> K - Kids and names: Nope <BR> L - Life is incomple... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 00:41:45 EST Lessons Learned Skiing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5178308 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1416208673.jpg"> <BR> <BR> 1. It is CRITICAL to bring a ski jacket. Lol, I put on a polar fleece because I was too hot 2 days ago and ended up leaving my ski jacket at home, which I didn't discover until an hour later when I was getting my gear out of the car. Needless to say, I was DESPERATE to ski so I headed into the shop and bought jacket off the clearance rack ($99 dollar stupidity fee). The jacket I got is in the pic above, not ... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 00:26:22 EST Christmas Sparklers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5176681 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/5/l45228386.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l186458459.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/9/l893133114.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/9/l696426819.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1794997904.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l663355077.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/6/l968302902.jpg"> <img src="http:... Wed, 26 Dec 2012 12:46:24 EST Rewarding myself http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5173364 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1942552201.jpg"> <BR> <BR> This is me chilling in Pittsburgh this week on my day off (yes, I finally got a day off!) Ron and I drove up and spent a leisurely day. I travel to Pittsburgh about once a month to get my hair done and shop. We ventured down into South Side and enjoyed checking out some of the edgier shops. I got something I have wanted to get for a long time as a reward so I was very pleased with myself. Then I indulged in a... Sat, 22 Dec 2012 00:42:12 EST