TAICHIDANCER's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=TAICHIDANCER TAICHIDANCER'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/ Monkeys on my back http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5648532 For a while (from about June 2013 to Feb 2014) I was the number one "stepper" on FitBit for New Hampshire and also at or near the top for the NH Spark Group in both points and fitness minutes. I also had some pretty impressive Spark streaks going. <BR> <BR> That was then, this was now. <BR> <BR> A couple of monkey wrenches came my way. Or maybe some monkeys on my back would be a better image. The first was that I got sucked into caring about whether I was number one in steps or not. I go... Sat, 15 Mar 2014 16:00:14 EST A reminder that warmer days are coming http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5641373 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1959422344.jpg"> <BR> Mrs. TaiChiDancer is a strawberry picking machine! Thu, 6 Mar 2014 12:35:42 EST This marriage http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5625593 This marriage by Rumi <BR> <BR> May these vows and this marriage be blessed. <BR> May it be sweet milk, <BR> this marriage, like wine and halvah. <BR> May this marriage offer fruit and shade <BR> like the date palm. <BR> May this marriage be full of laughter, <BR> our every day a day in paradise. <BR> May this marriage be a sign of compassion, <BR> a seal of happiness here and hereafter. <BR> May this marriage have a fair face and a good name, <BR> an omen as welcomes the moon in a cl... Sun, 16 Feb 2014 14:06:08 EST My wedding ring fell off! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5622324 ... and I wasn't even in a singles bar! <BR> <BR> Okay, that last bit was a joke. Don't get the wrong idea: TaiChiDancer is VERY HAPPILY MARRIED. But it is true that my ring just fell (flew actually) off when I shook my hand. <BR> <BR> It wasn't totally unexpected: it has been getting looser and and looser as I've lost weight. But today was the first time it came off on its own. <BR> <BR> Yes, I know I can get it sized or I can get a ring guard (and I think I'll do the latter for now) b... Wed, 12 Feb 2014 13:36:59 EST 75,000 steps in one day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5612781 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1432941217.jpg"> <BR> <BR> On the 1st of February, I decided to try and set a new personal best on my fitbit. My previous pesonal best was a little over 50,000. As you can see, I just kept moving the whole day except for a few breaks in the evening. <BR> <BR> Obviously, this was just a one day thing to see what I could do. My real goal is consistency: trying to get 20,000 to 30,000 steps a day. I think 75,000 is the most I can do withou... Sun, 2 Feb 2014 07:51:37 EST Picture worth a thousand words http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5611019 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/0/l809920702.jpg"> <BR> <BR> From XXXL to L. <BR> <BR> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 10:12:41 EST This will surprise you ... the answer http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5608496 Yesterday I posed the question: What do these two statements have in common? <BR> <BR> * You should drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. <em>194</em> <BR> <BR> * You should walk 10,000 steps/day. <em>311</em> <BR> <BR> And then promised the answer tomorrow (i.e. today). <BR> <BR> The first thing I learned is that you are a really creative bunch, because you came up with all kinds of connections that didn't occur to me. But - for what it is worth - here is my answer. <BR> <BR> There... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 18:53:07 EST This will surprise you. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5606957 What do these two statements have in common: <BR> <BR> * You should drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. <em>194</em> <BR> <BR> * You should walk 10,000 steps a day. <em>311</em> <BR> <BR> Aside from the fact that they are both oft repeated recommendations for health? <BR> <BR> And the answer is ... coming tomorrow! (But feel free to speculate) Mon, 27 Jan 2014 09:17:42 EST THE BEST WORKOUT MUSIC YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5605849 Having a Russian wife and having lived at various times in Africa, Asia, and Central America, I tend to have a rather eclectic music library. So, for my North American Spark Friends, here is a collection of... <BR> <BR> <BR> THE BEST WORKOUT MUSIC YOU'VE NEVER HEARD OF <BR> <BR> <em>353</em> <em>354</em> <em>355</em> <em>356</em> <BR> <BR> Turn up the volume, get your feet in gear, and liberate your hips! <BR> <BR> <BR> Suddenly by Arash (featuring Rebecca) from the album D... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 06:10:12 EST Thinking of my wife on our anniversary http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5605045 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1364994084.jpg"> <BR> <BR> My wife is a real night owl and I ... well, I am descended from a long line of farmers. <BR> <BR> So it is 7 AM and she is sleeping in on a Saturday while I have 2,000 steps in and am hoping for a big day. <BR> <BR> Today is our third wedding anniversary. <BR> <BR> Let me brag about my wife for a moment in a way that she would never let me do if she were awake and reading this. <BR> <BR> She is both smart and... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 08:30:44 EST 40 pounds before and after photos http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5602700 I've still got a long way to go to my goal and I've resisted posting "in progress" photos. But a new semester has just started at the college and SO MANY people - who haven't seen me in a while - have commented on my weight loss, so I thought I'd show you why. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/3/l838030141.jpg"> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 20:17:49 EST Using the television for interval training http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5599603 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1663142422.jpg"> <BR> <BR> My friend BRENJET is a real New England Patriots fan. The other day she posted a blog saying that she was going to work out during the game and that way she'd be a winner no matter how the game turned out. <BR> <BR> She inspired me to try and do the same thing. But, although we have a TV at home, it's only connected to a Play Station 3. We can stream Netflix, but had no way to watch the game. So Sunday aftern... Mon, 20 Jan 2014 01:07:46 EST I threw out my fat clothes! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5597184 I can't believe I did it. <BR> <BR> As I mentioned in a previous blog, I now wear either a large or a 16 1/2 shirt. So today I went through my clothes and removed all the 18's, XXXL's and XXL's from my wardrobe. There were some familiar friends there and it was scary to see them go into the donation pile for the thrift store. <BR> <BR> For now, I still kept the XL and 17" shirts and as they aren't too baggy yet, but they'll go after the next big loss. <BR> <BR> In the past, when I've los... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 15:54:19 EST So glad I'm not a woman ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5592991 ... because I'm not strong enough to handle all the sexist b*llsh*t that women have to put up with in this patriarchal world. <BR> <BR> As a fat man, (who used to be a lot fatter), shopping for clothes has always been an opportunity for shame and self-loathing. But - as a man - at least I didn't have to put up with two things that women routinely endure: the message from society that my appearance was the most important thing about me, and weird variations in sizes depending on the manufact... Mon, 13 Jan 2014 22:40:51 EST A Sparktacular Lunch! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5585113 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/3/l837708221.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Some of my favorite cooking occurs when I don't have a recipe, but I just take what is on hand and hope for inspiration. Today, I had some zucchini, summer squash, and red bell peppers that I wanted to use. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/2/l225092953.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I also decided to use some garlic, onion, turmeric, black mustard seed, oregano, feta and a little onion. <BR> <BR> <i... Tue, 7 Jan 2014 00:26:03 EST Training for hiking http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5584164 I love to hike. But - at my weight and age - I find I have to train for it. The best training for hiking is hiking, but I can't always get out there. So every day I put a weight in a day pack: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1953506568.jpg"> <BR> <BR> and then I climb stairs: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/1/l410907345.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Right now I'm doing 20 floors worth of stairs a day and each week I add another flight. Every... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 10:59:30 EST TaiChiDancer is no longer X-rated http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5572694 At my heaviest, I was wearing XXXL shirts. <BR> <BR> I lost 30 lbs before I started SparkPeople but I was still in size XXL. <BR> <BR> Now, after losing another 40 with S.P., the last couple of things that fit me have been L. <BR> <BR> It will be interesting to see where I end up when I reach my goal weight. <BR> <BR> <em>350</em> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 00:45:21 EST Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5570606 It's funny: I was just thinking about these S.M.A.R.T. goals in connection with my New Year's Resolutions for 2014, and then I went to play trivia and the first question was asking what "S.M.A.R.T." stood for. <BR> <BR> It must be fate. <BR> <BR> Well, I'm still thinking about what my goals will be, but what about you? Do you make resolutions? Care to share them? Do you have any for me? Mon, 23 Dec 2013 17:17:17 EST My birthday dinner: a report http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5566734 For my birthday yesterday, my wife took me to a fancy restaurant that we both love. It was a chance for me to put two of my principles into action: <BR> <BR> 1) Since I am not on a diet, but am changing my behavior permanently, there cannot be any forbidden foods and there have to be occasional indulgences. For example, if you told me that I could never eat ice cream or cake again, I would tell you that there was no way I could do that for the rest of my life. <BR> <BR> BUT ... <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 17 Dec 2013 18:49:08 EST It's my birthday... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5565266 ... and I weigh 40 pounds less than I did last year! <BR> <BR> <em>19</em> Mon, 16 Dec 2013 00:22:03 EST Everything about me is getting smaller except ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5564156 ... my feet! <BR> <BR> Since the beginning of June, I've walked more than four million steps. I lost over 40 pounds in the process and all my clothes are loose. <BR> <BR> Except my feet, which for the last 30 years of my life have been a U.S. men's size 10.5, are now size 11. I've heard of this happening to Appalachian Trail Through Hikers and I guess the same thing is happening to me. I had to replace all my shoes! <BR> <BR> ~ Tai Chi Dancer (aka Bigfoot) <BR> <BR> <em>295</em> <em... Sat, 14 Dec 2013 11:10:31 EST Here's something to think about. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5563667 “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. <BR> Willing is not enough; we must do.” <BR> —Goethe Fri, 13 Dec 2013 14:57:57 EST One hundred 20,000 step days http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5550458 Yesterday, I walked over 20,000 steps. <BR> <BR> I did the same thing on each of the 99 days before that. <BR> <BR> In the last 100 days I've walked two and a half million steps (2,491,967) covering over twelve hundred miles. On my highest day I walked 50,580 steps: on my lowest day I stumbled across the finish line with 20,011. And since I first got my FitBit back on June 16th, I've covered 3,527,105 steps ... and counting. That's almost as many steps as I covered in all of 2012 and I did ... Tue, 26 Nov 2013 06:45:21 EST Miles from No Where http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5549855 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1477432095.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Miles from nowhere <BR> I guess I'll take my time <BR> Oh yeah, to reach there <BR> <BR> Look up at the mountain <BR> I have to climb <BR> Oh yeah, to reach there. <BR> <BR> Lord my body has been a good friend <BR> But I won't need it when I reach the end <BR> <BR> Miles from nowhere <BR> Guess I'll take my time <BR> Oh yeah, to reach there <BR> <BR> I creep through the valleys <BR> And I grope through the woo... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 11:04:05 EST A thousand miles http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5548944 <em>186</em> <BR> <BR> But I would walk 500 miles <BR> <BR> <em>182</em> <BR> <BR> And I would walk 500 more <BR> <BR> <em>57</em> <BR> <BR> Just to be the man who walked a 1000 miles <BR> To fall down at your door <BR> <BR> <em>342</em> Sun, 24 Nov 2013 09:34:19 EST Seeing French Fries Everywhere I Look http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5546650 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/7/l479962445.jpg"> <BR> <BR> My nephew on Halloween. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 06:30:22 EST What he REALLY said ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5545301 Thanks to all who gave me your insights on yesterday's blog. I appreciated it all: there is a lot of collective wisdom out there and thank you for sharing it with me. <BR> <BR> I think those of you who suggested that there was a larger context at play were spot on. This guy is well known in the department for stabbing people in the back, so even before he opened his mouth it was true that I wasn't overly fond of him and that I didn't quite trust his intentions. <BR> <BR> I also think th... Tue, 19 Nov 2013 13:30:40 EST When is a compliment not a compliment? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5544342 One of the things that keeps me going is when people notice that I've lost weight and tell me that I look great. As I get closer to 50 pounds lost, that happens more and more. <BR> <BR> So why was I so annoyed when I had the following conversation with a co-worker this morning? <BR> <BR> Him: "You look like you've lost weight ..." <BR> <BR> Me: "Yup." <BR> <BR> Him: "How much have you lost?" <BR> <BR> Me: "A lot." <BR> <BR> Him: "So that's how you're doing it, huh? Not focusing on th... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 13:15:18 EST Moving is a choice http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5537266 My Spark Friend ~INDYGIRL, had a featured blog post the other day that contains this: <BR> <BR> "Moving is a choice, it's a choice to be independent and free of mechanical devices and at least some of the crushing pain that weight gain from not moving can cause." <BR> <BR> What a great thought. Check out her entire blog at: <BR> <BR> http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public<BR>_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5536418 <BR> <BR> I know that as I got heavier, my range of activities slowly be... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 11:16:11 EST FAIL: the danger of deadlines http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5535030 A little over a month ago, flush with victory from a visit to the doctor which showed I had lost over 40 pounds in 4 months, I set my sights on no longer being obese by the first of the new year. To reward my hubris, I immediately went into a plateau. Although I still have most of November and all of December to go, it seems that no longer being obese by the end of the year is mathematically impossible, especially because I'm not going to do extreme temporary measures. <BR> <BR> <em>192</... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 15:32:43 EST Rail Trail Walk http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5531007 My wife and I went to visit my brother the other day and on the way home we stopped to take a hike along the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. The HVRT uses the abandoned rail bed of the Harlem Valley line of the New York Central Railroad. The stretch we hiked runs through Columbia County along the base of the Taconic Mountains. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1796008336.jpg"> <BR> <BR> The trains that ran this route carried passengers and freight from the 1850s to 19... Sun, 3 Nov 2013 14:40:10 EST A Spark Streak I am REALLY Proud Of http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5528876 Yesterday was the 75th day in a row (and the 102nd day overall since the beginning of July) that I have walked more than 20,000 steps a day. In fact, for the last 75 days, I averaged 25,394 steps/day for a total 1,904,550 steps. <BR> <BR> I figured out that if I had been able to walk all those steps in a straight line away from my home in New Hampshire, I'd be in Charlotte, North Carolina right now and I wouldn't have to scrape frost off my car's windshield this morning! <BR> <BR> <img ... Fri, 1 Nov 2013 04:52:04 EST JABBERWOCKY http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5524575 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves <BR> Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: <BR> All mimsy were the borogoves, <BR> And the mome raths outgrabe. <BR> <BR> "Beware the Jabberwock, my son! <BR> The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! <BR> Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun <BR> The frumious Bandersnatch!" <BR> <BR> He took his vorpal sword in hand: <BR> Long time the manxome foe he sought- <BR> So rested he by the Tumtum tree, <BR> And stood awhile in thought. <BR> <BR> And, as in uffish thoug... Sun, 27 Oct 2013 11:38:42 EST Morning in New Hampshire and two NSV's http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5523682 My wife, who is NOT a morning person, had to get up early yesterday. She was stumbling groggily around the apartment. But then she looked out the window, ran for the camera, and snapped this picture. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/8/l988259638.jpg"> <BR> Then she said, "I guess there are some reasons to get up early." <BR> <BR> So I kissed her to give her another. <BR> <BR> I had two non-scale victories this week that made me feel pretty good. The first was when I w... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 07:22:19 EST And then, after miles of hiking, we sat for a spell and watched the clouds drift by. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5522847 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/2/l224225753.jpg"> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 05:10:43 EST Another thing seen while hiking ... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5521985 Crossing the Connecticut River on my most recent hike I saw these two fisherman enjoying the day... <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1972857223.jpg"> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 06:51:49 EST My new dishes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5520871 Lots of research suggests that people take bigger portions when their plates are bigger. So to tip the scales in my favor (pun intended), I went out and bought some new plates. Here is one of the new ones sitting on one of the old ones so you can see the difference in size. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/9/l1906600074.jpg"> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 00:16:17 EST Hiking with a ferret http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5518978 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/2/l42607970.jpg"> <BR> A week after I did the hike described in yesterday's blog (A Cloudy Day Hike w/ Pictures) I retraced the same route. This time it was sunny and on top of Mt. Wantastiquet I came across these two hikers with their pet ferret. Lots of people hike Wantastiquet with their dogs, so I asked if they had any problems. "Oh no" they replied "all the dogs are scared of the ferret." Mon, 21 Oct 2013 00:41:05 EST A Cloudy Day Hike w/ Pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5518276 Last weekend I went for a hike. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l1185686828.jpg"> <BR> There is a trail which connects my hometown of Keene, NH with Brattleboro, VT and passes some pretty spots along the way. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1897474059.jpg"> <BR> Some people don't like cloudy days, but I find the colors of the woods are richer, more saturated. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l664032069.jpg"> <BR> This poo... Sun, 20 Oct 2013 07:26:56 EST Photo from last Saturday's hike http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5517557 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/1/l311290069.jpg"> <BR> I loved the soft pink color of these autumn leaves. Sat, 19 Oct 2013 08:20:47 EST My father's final lesson http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5509709 My father is dying. He has been in the hospital or a nursing home since the beginning of September and on Monday I got a call from his companion that he was unresponsive. <BR> <BR> "Are you back in the hospital?" I asked. <BR> <BR> "There will be no more trips to the hospital" she replied. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I cancelled my classes and my wife and I drove down there. Surprisingly, my father had rallied. He knew who we were and although he was having trouble with speech, he was mostly ... Thu, 10 Oct 2013 09:59:32 EST The Doctor's Visit http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5504327 As you know I have made A LOT of changes in the last four months. If you missed 'em just read my previous blogs. So today was my first doctor's visit since making the big push. The doctor and his nurse were both astonished and delighted. I lost 43 pounds in 4 months and all my blood numbers were in the normal range. My fasting blood glucose - 89 - was the lowest they had ever measured from me. <BR> <BR> Flush with this success, I am making a new resolution, and making it publicly to all... Fri, 4 Oct 2013 11:14:31 EST One problem: many causes, many solutions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5500222 Obesity & overweight. That's the problem: it makes us prone to diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It saps the quality of our lives. We can't keep up with our spouses, or the kids, or the grandkids as we used to. And it hurts our self-esteem whenever we can't find clothes that fit, or we see ourselves in family photos, or when someone makes a thoughtless comment. <BR> <BR> The solution seems simple: burn more calories than calories consumed. A one-size fits a... Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:09:41 EST Now comes the test... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5496816 I've made a lot of changes since May, only some of which you, my dear SparkFriends and readers, know about. I switched to a standing desk at home and switched to drinking my coffee black at about the same time (I gave up sugar in java years ago, but oh how I clung to the sweet taste of half and half!). This summer I started walking 20,000 steps or more a day (something I am still continuing) and while I was in India I also was climbing 40 floors of stairs a day and swimming for an hour ever... Thu, 26 Sep 2013 11:30:41 EST A NSV and a new toy http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5494800 So here's my new toy: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/0/l806343486.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It's a leather punch, because I decided I wanted to keep my old belt to remind me how far I've come, but I'm out of holes. So I bought myself a leather punch. I've dropped FIVE NOTCHES since the beginning of the summer and I'm working on number six. <BR> <BR> Keep Sparkin' Friends. No matter how many setbacks there are, we will keep coming back. We can do this! Tue, 24 Sep 2013 11:45:14 EST Hmmm.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5492875 Saw this on my Spark start page: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l135178334.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Is he trying to say that happiness is grass?!?! <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> Must be from Colorado... Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:51:53 EST Body measurements: the tale of the tape http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5491020 Body measurements: I don't really take them. Is it just me, or is this a "gender thing"? <BR> <BR> Anyway, I came across, the body measurements I actually did take of myself when I first start SparkPeople two years ago. So, of course, I had to retake them. Here are the results: <BR> <BR> Waist: down 7" <em>9</em> <BR> Hips: down 3" <em>244</em> <BR> Neck: down 1" (now if I could only do something about that fat head! <em>334</em> ) <BR> Thigh: down 3.5 inches <em>57</em> ... Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:42:30 EST Playing dress-up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5489246 I've been married to my darling wife for three years. One of our first fights was when we had to go some place that required we dress up. Before I started really Sparkin' along, having to dress up was always a horrible experience. As I got fatter I would gradually reduce my wardrobe to a few tent-like garments that still fit. I did this almost unconsciously, so I never really had to face how big I had gotten. <BR> <BR> But trying to find something to wear to a fancy occasion meant the e... Wed, 18 Sep 2013 12:11:22 EST How I manage more than 20,000 steps every day. Part 2. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5483816 This is the second of two blogs on how I manage to walk 20,000 or more steps every day. As I write, it is pouring rain and that is appropriate because today I want to focus on getting the steps in when nature does not cooperate: when it is too wet, too hot, too muggy, too buggy, too cold, or too smoggy to walk outside. <BR> <BR> <em>27</em> <em>444</em> <em>67</em> <BR> <BR> I will be honest: it is not easy. Today, for example, it is already 2:30 in the afternoon and I only have... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 15:34:25 EST How I manage more than 20,000 steps every day. Part 1. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5478784 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/8/l584132681.jpg"> <BR> Those of you who follow my daily status reports know that since the beginning of summer I have walked more than 20,000 steps (10 miles) every day, with a high of 40,333 steps in one day. Of course, I did some of that while I was on vacation and had made my fitness a priority, but now the school year has resumed (in fact I'll be in the office both days this weekend because I already have papers and quizzes to grade <em>... Sat, 7 Sep 2013 16:06:04 EST