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/ TaiChiDancer checks in http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6273274 Dear SparkFriends, <BR> <BR> I know I have not been a presence on SparkPeople for a little over two months now. Life has been very busy. But I'm still sparking away and I hope you are too. This blog is just to update you on how life is going and to let you know that I'm still thinking of you all. <BR> <BR> You may recall that a year ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My A1c at that time was 11. (A1c is a three month average of blood sugar levels and 11 is astronomically high). ... Mon, 28 Nov 2016 11:43:55 EST Guess who's off insulin??? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6222495 Hi fellow Sparkers, <BR> <BR> I've been away; did you miss me? Spent three weeks in Russia introducing little Sasha to that side of the family. Then a week in Maine visiting an old college friend and hiking the trails of Acadia National Park. <BR> <BR> Now it's back to work, BUT FIRST: I had a three month check-in with my doctor today. Those of you who have read my previous blogs know I was diagnosed with diabetes last December (2015). My A1C was 11! Yes, this New Englander had maple ... Mon, 22 Aug 2016 11:42:14 EST Part 2: Since you asked: The secrets of my success http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6193062 My disclaimer: I've been asked about the secrets of my success, so in this series of blogs, I'm telling you what I am doing and why. I am not telling you what you should do. Please make up your own mind whether it's useful for you. <BR> <BR> In my last blog, I wrote how I decided I wanted a plan based on scientific evidence to the extent that was possible. That decision was "secret" number one. I started reading and one of the first things I came up against was: <BR> <BR> THE GREAT DIET VS.... Fri, 1 Jul 2016 13:58:59 EST Since you asked: The secrets of my success, part 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6187897 A while ago, I posted this picture. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/dfbf00ef-6392-43f2-8203-eb63509d9c66.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I expected that it would be liked, but was astounded at the magnitude of the response. Over 200 people made comments, it was voted a popular blog, and I received a dozen new friend requests. I also received a lot of emails. A number of them asked me about the secret of my success. <BR> <BR> My first response was "there are no secrets." We all k... Wed, 22 Jun 2016 22:14:24 EST Last year's shorts, this year's body (photo) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6173286 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/ea8c9eeb-2227-4c46-bbd6-287a99132bc2.jpg"> Mon, 30 May 2016 20:02:12 EST Listen up, I have something important to say. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6172362 I would like to tell you about the reasons behind May Mania. <BR> <BR> It began with grief, frustration and anger. <BR> <BR> But you need some background to understand that. <BR> <BR> Let's begin with Sasha's older brother, my first child, Andrew. <BR> <BR> Andrew moved to the Pacific Northwest where he met and married a wonderful woman. I have four grandchildren out of this marriage. <BR> <BR> On various trips to visit the family I got to meet my daughter-in-law's father, Sandy. S... Sun, 29 May 2016 09:45:05 EST May Mania Day 29 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6172280 Only three days left in May Mania. Here's what happened on Day 28: <BR> <BR> Steps: 11,482 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 18 <BR> Strength training: Upper Body <BR> <BR> Plus we spent three hours at a birthday party and I ate nothing except raw veggies and drank nothing except water! <BR> <BR> Day 29 outlook: a quiet day at home and then some friends are coming over for a movie night. Sun, 29 May 2016 05:59:53 EST May Mania Day 28 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6171745 Day 27: In the hospital! <BR> <BR> Earlier in May I wrote about going to the hospital to climb stairs on a rainy day. Yesterday I was not so lucky. I have A-Fib (atrial fibrillation) where the atria of the heart decide that they march to a different drummer than the ventricles. If properly treated it is mostly an annoyance, but untreated increases stroke risk, lowers life expectancy etc. I take a medication with greatly reduces the frequency with which A-Fib occurs but yesterday I found ... Sat, 28 May 2016 06:30:12 EST May Mania Day 27 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6171180 Day 26 totals: <BR> <BR> Steps: 12,928 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 16 <BR> <BR> Yesterday was the 100th day in a row of 10,000 or more steps a day, and since April 1st I've been maintaining an 11,000 step minimum. Previously I talked about how I once did 100 days of 20,000 or more steps a day and burnt out, but I feel like I could do 11,000 steps a day forever, barring illness, etc. <BR> <BR> On to day 27! Fri, 27 May 2016 06:11:44 EST May Mania Day 26 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6170765 Last night I was laying in bed and suddenly got up and went into the kitchen. I went to the freezer where there was a gallon of chocolate ice cream left over from Sasha's birthday party 10 days earlier. Olya doesn't like chocolate ice cream (honestly, WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER?!?) and the ice cream had been calling my name for 10 days. So I took it, threw it in the trash, and went back to bed. All my up-bringing screamed against wasting food, but it was the right thing to do. <BR> <BR> Yest... Thu, 26 May 2016 12:12:45 EST May Mania Day 25 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6169852 Day 24: Well it rained in the SW corner of NH on Tuesday so it was sorta quiet on the mania front. <BR> <BR> Steps: 11,134 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 16 <BR> <BR> Day 25 looms large with possibility. What will you do today? Wed, 25 May 2016 00:57:26 EST May Mania Day 24 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6169278 Day 23 recap: <BR> <BR> Sasha and I went for a long walk. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/20e70778-f351-45e0-be58-4a29246915c8.JPG"> <BR> <BR> Then in the evening a friend came over to stay with him while my wife and I went salsa dancing. <BR> <BR> Total steps: 14,079 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 17 <BR> <BR> Day 24 outlook: errands, yard work, working out and ??? Tue, 24 May 2016 06:37:45 EST May Mania Day 23 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6168662 First, the totals from Day 22: <BR> <BR> Steps: 16,103 <BR> Flights of stairs: 33 <BR> Strength Training (upper body) <BR> <BR> Today: Who knows what lies ahead??? <BR> <BR> Spark on peeps. Mon, 23 May 2016 09:35:13 EST May Mania Day 22 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6167936 First a report on Day 21: <BR> <BR> Steps: 17,830 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 20 <BR> <BR> Only 9 days left in May Mania, on to day 22... Sun, 22 May 2016 05:23:59 EST May Mania Day 21 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6167655 Day 20 Summary: <BR> <BR> Steps: 15,630 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 18 <BR> <BR> Day 21: This morning we went to the Currier Museum in Manchester, NH. This little museum is a hidden gem. This evening I'll be downstairs working out. <BR> <BR> Here are Sasha and the DW at the Museum (don't worry, this was something it was okay to touch). <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/ebb2a31a-f9f9-4124-8d35-e16f032f2a85.jpg"> Sat, 21 May 2016 16:09:16 EST May Mania Day 20 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6166871 Recap of Day 19: <BR> <BR> Steps: 11,926 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 15 <BR> Strength training: some upper body that I didn't have time for the previous day <BR> <BR> Goals for day 20: more stairs! super strict on logging food! <BR> <BR> Stay manic!! Fri, 20 May 2016 10:26:24 EST May Moderation?!? (May Mania Day 19) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6166442 In yesterday's blog, I talked about how I once had a streak of 100 days where I walked 20,000+ steps a day (including one day over 75,000 steps!). And - in yesterday's blog - I speculated that maybe I should try and break that streak record. <BR> <BR> Enter wisdom in the form of my wife. She reminded me about why that last streak ended. It was so time consuming to try in get in 20,000 steps every single day, that eventually I burnt out. <BR> <BR> She's right (and do I need to add "of co... Thu, 19 May 2016 17:03:53 EST May Mania Day 18 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6165469 Day 17 summary: <BR> <BR> Steps: 11,198 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 16 <BR> <BR> Day 18 goals. Okay, it's time to take it up a notch. This morning I was looking at some of my old blogs and I noticed one from a few years ago where I was talking about how I had walked 20,000 steps (or more) a day for 100 days in a row. I think it's time that that PR was broken, don't you? Well, you know what they say, "A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single 20,000 steps." I won't be able ... Wed, 18 May 2016 09:54:46 EST May Mania Day 17 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6164952 Recap of Day 16: <BR> <BR> Meetings, meetings, meetings. Neuroscience group, followed by Sasha's one-year check-up (3 shots, poor thing), followed by faculty meeting. Aaarrgh! Oh for the "endless days of summer." Still: <BR> <BR> Steps: 11,760 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 16 <BR> <BR> Tuesday: piano lesson, Spanish lesson, and lots of errands. <BR> <BR> Spark on. Tue, 17 May 2016 15:18:35 EST May Mania Day 16 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6163773 Over 45 people showed up to Sasha's first birthday party! There were acres of cake and mountains of ice cream as well as lots of other decadent treats, but I stuck to the veggie platters and the sparkling water. Sasha didn't have any cake either, for that matter, and - like all one year olds - was more interested in the wrapping paper than the presents. Here are my totals: <BR> <BR> Steps: 12,235 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 15 <BR> <BR> On day 16, I only have one meeting with the neu... Mon, 16 May 2016 00:11:59 EST May Mania Day 15 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6163222 I've reached the halfway point for May Mania. When I get to the end, I'll post a blog explaining what it was all about. <BR> <BR> First, a report on day 14: <BR> <BR> I didn't have much free time but managed to get my minimums in: <BR> <BR> Steps: 13,019 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 21 <BR> <BR> Looking ahead to day 15 - this is the last of three days in a row where I won't have much free time. Today is a party to celebrate Sasha's first birthday. There will be about 40 people at the... Sun, 15 May 2016 06:57:32 EST May Mania Day 14 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6162890 About Day 13: it was ... interesting <BR> <BR> I knew it would be a tough day going in. My department held their end-of-the-semester retreat and that meant sitting for hours. I knew I wouldn't be able to be manic, I was just hoping I wouldn't lose my streaks. For a long time now I've set myself a daily minimum of 11,000 steps a day and a minimum of 15 flights of stairs climbed. I'm proud of those streaks and I didn't want to break them. <BR> <BR> In the first hour of the retreat there w... Sat, 14 May 2016 15:04:10 EST May Mania Day 13 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6161954 Day 12 wasn't that many steps but a lot of them were stairs: <BR> <BR> Steps: 11,585 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 29 <BR> Strength training: Lower body and core <BR> <BR> Today on day thirteen: my end-of-the-year departmental retreat: lot's of sitting with a bunch of people, some of whom are nice and ... well, best stop there. <BR> <BR> Doing anything manic? I'd love to hear about it. <BR> <BR> Fri, 13 May 2016 06:45:24 EST May Mania Day 12 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6161196 First, a report on Day 11: <BR> <BR> Steps: 15,778 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 40 <BR> Strength training: Upper body <BR> Other: Tai Chi class <BR> <BR> Day 12: I have no idea what this day will bring except that it will be manic. Of course, if I don't get to bed soon, nothing much will happen! Thu, 12 May 2016 00:31:05 EST May Mania Day 11 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6160484 Even the May Maniac needs a rest day now and then, so on Day 10, I took it a little easier: <BR> <BR> Steps: 12,009 <BR> Flights of stairs climbed: 15 <BR> Strength training: Lower Body & Core <BR> <BR> Day 11: Sasha turns one! Happy Birthday Sasha! <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/7a415d65-ba14-4ecd-97e3-04222ea015d4.JPG"> Wed, 11 May 2016 00:10:42 EST May Mania Day 10 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6159817 As usual, I start with a report on the previous day. <BR> <BR> Day 9: <BR> <BR> Steps: 36,508 <BR> Floors of stairs climbed: 45 <BR> Strength training: Upper body, 3 sets of each exercise to failure <BR> AND I FINISHED GRADING!!!!! <BR> <BR> Coming up on Day 10: Now that grading is done, I want to reintroduce myself to my wife and son, answer some mail and do chores around the house. Oh yes, and MORE MAY MANIA. Tue, 10 May 2016 01:52:21 EST May Mania Day 9 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6159180 As usual, I first look at the previous day's results: <BR> <BR> Day 8: <BR> <BR> Strength training: rest day <BR> Steps: 38,239 <BR> Floors of stairs climbed: 44 <BR> <BR> Coming up on Day 9, I HAVE TO FINISH GRADING. I HAVE TO FINISH GRADING. I HAVE TO FINISH GRADING. (Gosh, I hate grading). <BR> <BR> P.S. I've had enough comments as to how I do it, that I'll explain. My office is on the second floor of a two story building. I have a treadmill desk in my office. So I read the paper... Mon, 9 May 2016 07:19:45 EST May Mania Day 8 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6158512 Well, today is Sunday (one minute past midnight) and Sunday is my first official May Mania weigh-in. But that will have to wait until I get up in the morning. Now I'll just give my totals from day 7: <BR> <BR> Strength training: upper body <BR> Steps: 22,709 <BR> Floors of stairs climbed: 37 <BR> <BR> Update: It's now morning and the weigh-in has taken place: <BR> <BR> Weight loss during week 1 of May Mania: 3.4 pounds. <BR> <BR> On to week 2! Sun, 8 May 2016 00:04:03 EST May Mania Day 7 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6157936 First, a report on Day 6: <BR> <BR> Friday was a mixture of sun and rain. Unfortunately, I spent most of the sunny period in a hardware store as I fought with my lawn mower. Replaced the spark plug and the air filter and still the thing won't start. Any suggestions, Spark Friends? <BR> <BR> Still, that didn't slow down May Mania! I finished the day with: <BR> <BR> Steps: 21,801 <BR> Floors of stairs climbed: 27 <BR> Strength training: Lower body and core <BR> <BR> The plan for Day 7 is... Sat, 7 May 2016 00:08:31 EST May Mania Day 6 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6157276 Report on Day 5: <BR> <BR> Strength training: Upper body, 3 sets of each exercise, reps until failure <BR> Steps: 20,840 <BR> Floors of stairs climbed: 26 <BR> <BR> Day 6: More grading, more mania. Fri, 6 May 2016 00:11:46 EST May Mania Day 5 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6156630 A report on Day 4: <BR> <BR> Yet another day of rain dampened the clothes, but not the spirits, of the May Maniac. <BR> <BR> Steps: 13,540 <BR> Floors climbed: 24 <BR> Strength training: rest day <BR> <BR> Coming up day 5: the exams are done, now it's just grading, grading, grading. <BR> <BR> Be manic friends! Thu, 5 May 2016 00:13:50 EST May Mania Day 4 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6156037 First a report on Day 3: <BR> <BR> Tuesday was the first day of May here it didn't rain. Took Sasha for a long walk in the stroller and finished the day with: <BR> <BR> Steps: 24,146 <BR> Floors climbed: 21 <BR> Strength training: core workout <BR> <BR> Day 4 will be a rest day from strength training. It will also be busy as I'm giving a final exam as well as some make-up exams. But the May Maniac will find a way, I promise you. <BR> <BR> I'm looking forward to the first official weigh-... Wed, 4 May 2016 07:00:27 EST May Mania Day 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6155322 I begin with a report on Day 2. <BR> <BR> It was another rainy day. I spent some of the day in the hospital. No, there's nothing wrong with me - I didn't even make a co-pay - it was for May Mania. Often when its rainy or cold, I head to the "big box stores" to get my steps in, but because May Mania is about pushing a little bit harder, I wanted more of my steps to be vertical and the hospital has the tallest staircase in town. Not only that but they painted murals to encourage people to us... Tue, 3 May 2016 06:37:44 EST What is May Mania? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6154652 Fitness is a permanent change in the way we live our lives, not something we do for a time and then stop like a "diet" (as in "I want a bikini body by summer". Of course, if you ever saw this hairy old man in a bikini, you'd die laughing. Wait, am I digressing? Focus, Steve, focus.). <BR> <BR> But every once in a while I think it is good to do a temporary "surge" (any comparisons to the Bush administrations surge in Iraq are not intended!). May Mania is about shaking up your old routines... Mon, 2 May 2016 10:11:29 EST May Mania Day 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6154410 Results from day 1: Core workout, plus 12,592 steps and 32 floors climbed. <BR> <BR> Coming up on day two I'll be doing upper body ST. I'll have to work around office hours and giving a make-up exam but that's not a problem because I'm a May Maniac! Mon, 2 May 2016 00:20:33 EST May Mania Day 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6154099 Rainy day here, but that couldn't dampen my spirits for May Mania. Did core work today: farmer's walks, planks, mountain climbers, ab wheel, crunches and more. I'll post step and stair totals tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Mother's Day is coming up. I'm thinking of having this pic of Sasha printed and framed for Olya's first M-Day. What do you think? <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/28d283a7-274f-4358-9e0a-9a9fc5dd1e40.JPG"> Sun, 1 May 2016 14:26:02 EST Get Ready for May Mania http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6153654 Classes ended on Friday. Now there's a week of exams and a frenzy of grading and then it's summer. I'll have more time to play with Sasha and focus on my health. <BR> <BR> To celebrate I've decided to make a real push this month. I'll be stepping, lifting, tracking, and all those good things. I'll post daily updates here and I encourage you to follow my progress. If you are going to do your own May Mania, let me know and I'll cheer you on. <BR> <BR> - TaiChiDancer Sat, 30 Apr 2016 21:42:29 EST The Power of Tracking (Pictures of the baby) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6151291 I want to tell you about my recent experiences with food tracking. During my wife's pregnancy, I put on quite a bit of "sympathetic" weight gain. Then my wife gave birth to our son, Sasha, and I was still pregnant. <BR> <BR> In December I got my first ever smart phone (I'm not exactly on the cutting edge of technology) and starting using the My Fitness Pal app to track my diet. No offense is intended to the SparkPeople app, it was just that my brother and my son were both using the MFP ... Wed, 27 Apr 2016 08:24:21 EST Sasha goes for a hike (photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6139209 We took Sasha for a hike around Goose Pond. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/45b07975-6308-4c9d-834d-d2151521b57f.jpg"> <BR> <BR> We saw evidence of beavers but from the current year ... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/aab26bf9-6924-4b7e-b243-bfbef4595c5f.JPG"> <BR> <BR> So maybe the beavers have moved on. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/3ecc7420-b4f4-41e8-b975-8b4ecb55665c.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Goose Pond was pre... Sun, 10 Apr 2016 15:19:18 EST Sasha's first swimming lesson http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6134393 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/7bb6ecf1-19c3-420d-899f-0beb07d0e5ac.JPG"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/1aa06b81-52dc-4906-a88b-727026d0af5e.JPG"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/cf467841-53b4-4160-b986-087cdacc42d9.JPG"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/ff870d09-88a6-4918-af87-eae4d9c8c3ca.JPG"> <BR> <BR> Good job Sasha! Mon, 4 Apr 2016 00:45:58 EST Be a leader (lots of baby pictures) part 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6105301 I have one son who is 32 and has kids of his own. Now at the age of 60 I find myself a father for the second time. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/8057aac8-f63f-4fe7-ac95-40df20a63fa9.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I'm very aware of the need to live a healthy life, not only so I'll be around long enough to see Sasha graduate from college, but also to set a good example for him. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/795b3c3d-980f-46d9-810e-a86548d4f939.jpg"... Fri, 26 Feb 2016 10:19:07 EST He ain't heavy, he's my baby http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6103192 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/9353e9f4-0e33-47c1-9ff0-062c06b77682.jpg"> <BR> Sasha is now 9 months old and close to 21 pounds. I have a back carrier and take him for a walk everyday. It gives him some fresh air, us some time together, and me some practice for backpacking. Of course, I can't see how he's doing back there so every once in a while I take a selfie to check on him. This pic is from today's walk. Tue, 23 Feb 2016 19:14:57 EST Tai Chi Dancer's Virgin Bloody Mary http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6101143 I've reduced the amount of alcohol and salt that I consume, but I like Bloody Marys which have lots of both. So I came up with this alcohol-free low sodium version which I really like. Try it, you'll like it: <BR> <BR> 8 oz. Low Sodium V8. Read the labels and compare with regular V8 and tomato juice. This really is low sodium. <BR> <BR> Add the following to taste (I tend to use them generously): <BR> <BR> Coarsely cracked black pepper <BR> Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle <BR> Extra hot ho... Sun, 21 Feb 2016 09:56:42 EST Stop waiting http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6088330 Dear Spark Friends, <BR> <BR> This is a note to myself, but you're welcome to read along if you wish. <BR> <BR> Stop waiting! Stop thinking that when you get to your goal weight things will be great. Stop thinking that then you'll reward yourself with a whole new wardrobe and suddenly there will be no stress in your life, the bread will always land butter side up and life will be great. <BR> <BR> You are already at goal. Each day that you eat healthy foods in appropriate amounts you are... Fri, 5 Feb 2016 08:02:58 EST Motivation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=6077589 <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/e75db74b-23c8-43f3-ac93-aeb152a068b4.JPG"> <BR> <BR> I'll be honest, this blog is just an excuse to post a picture of shopping with my little bear. I tried to upload this to my status, but the photo uploader kept flipping it upside down for some reason. <BR> <BR> Still, since I'm here, I would like to say that it is amazing how much motivation Sasha provides to eat healthy food in appropriate amounts and to exercise every day. Through an ... Sun, 24 Jan 2016 07:00:45 EST 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