TEALLEN04's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=TEALLEN04 TEALLEN04'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/ Day 6: Protect your program http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5744340 Today's topic is protecting your program. We all know of certain people and events that tend to pull us off track. Watch out for these situations, and have a plan of how to resist them. <BR> <BR> If someone at work or at a party is pressuring you to try something edible you'd rather not, try the magic words, "Not just yet" or "I'm just going to wait a little while." This indirect route can be more effective than an outright "No thanks" which usually gets the response, "Oh c'mon, just try it... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:38:14 EST Day 5: Magic notebook http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5741113 Day 5 of 100 Days of Weight Loss. Keep a "magic notebook" (if you are into the Fly Lady, you may know this concept as a "control journal"). The magic of writing down your goals and progress each day is that it helps you stay focused on what matters. <BR> <BR> My twist on this is to blog about it! I also keep a journal by my bed so that I can write before I go to sleep, just to "download" as many of the thoughts running around my brain onto paper so that I can rest better. <BR> <BR> Do you... Thu, 17 Jul 2014 23:17:28 EST Day 4: Boundaries, not diets http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5739269 Oh, the dreaded D word: "diet." Most Sparksters are aware that Sparking is a permanent lifestyle change, not necessarily a "diet," which implies something temporary done to lose weight. Still, Spark is a plan with certain boundaries: tracking nutrition, weight, and exercise. <BR> <BR> Today's advice from 100 Days of Weight Loss is to picture your plan as a road or path. You get to define the boundaries of your road by setting the number of calories, grams of protein, etc that you choose to ... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:31:29 EST Day 3: Do It Anyway http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5739252 Today's topic from 100 Days of Weight Loss is "Do it anyway." <BR> <BR> Don't feel like exercising today? Do it anyway. Don't want to track your nutritional choices on Spark today? Do it anyway. <BR> <BR> This topic really hits home with me. So many times I skip the things I know are good for me just out of lethargy or procrastination: "Oh, I'll do it tomorrow." But "tomorrow" never comes. The only possible time we can make a different choice is today. <BR> <BR> What activities or decis... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:09:45 EST Day 2: Interested or committed? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5736624 I'm working through the book 100 Days of Weight Loss. Today's topic is about personal motivation. Ask the question: "Am I completely 'committed' to sticking with my new lifestyle, or am I just 'interested' in it?" <BR> <BR> Here are some things to consider to decide whether you are "interested" or "committed": <BR> (DISCLAIMER: I think we should take all of these points with a grain of salt since there are many other factors at play when losing weight, not just personal motivation) <BR> <BR... Fri, 11 Jul 2014 10:17:56 EST Starting Over Again. And Again. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5736160 Oy, it seems that I am great at starting over, but not great at following through! <BR> <BR> I was down to the 160's last year, and I've managed to gain it all back plus a couple extra pounds. <BR> <BR> This time, I've learned that new habits last only as long as you keep the systems that support them in place! <BR> <BR> For example, I've been skipping my morning workouts for months. Why? Because I no longer keep my exercise clothes and shoes and socks ready to go by my bed each night b... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:08:44 EST Starting Over Again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5703681 Oy. It's been several weeks, and the number on the scale is going in the wrong direction. I haven't been Spark-ing, so I'm not exactly surprised. <BR> <BR> So it's time to get back on the Spark band wagon! <BR> <BR> By the way, the details I promised about the new activity that I tried: I went on a "ride-along" handing out water bottles, hygiene kits, and sneakers to homeless people with Phoenix Rescue Mission. It was very eye-opening, as I learned a lot about the cycle of homelessness an... Mon, 26 May 2014 16:45:06 EST DAY 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5688931 Day 2, here I come! I'll be on the go a lot today, so I made sure to pack a lunch/snacks. <BR> <BR> Today's exercise includes walking around town (in the heat!), so I'm also bringing a big bottle of water and sunscreen. <BR> <BR> So excited to be back on plan, and doing something new today (full details later). <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> Tue, 6 May 2014 12:10:52 EST Mental health update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5688155 I'm back on Spark, and I'm so happy to say that I've been stable for more than a month now: no more depression :) <BR> <BR> Upping my meds that extra 100mg created an immediate change in my mood that has thank G-d been maintained for the past six weeks. I feel like myself again. <BR> <BR> Now I have the ability to move forward with my weight loss goals. Here are the changes I am committing to: <BR> <BR> *walking on the fitness center treadmill for a minimum of 20 minutes a day <BR> *givi... Mon, 5 May 2014 15:25:27 EST Out of the woods! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5660887 The past month has been really hard for me, as I've been struggling with a depressive episode. Last week, I finally saw a psych(iatrist) and had my med adjusted (she just upped it by 100mg), and I'm now on a 5-day happiness streak! I feel that I'm "out of the woods" now, and I'm hoping that this mood improvement lasts. <BR> <BR> Besides changing my med, I've been more proactive about taking care of myself. Some of the changes I made: <BR> <BR> *walking ten minutes out and ten minutes back... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:10:56 EST Back to walking http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5633440 <em>249</em> <BR> <BR> Today is my Spark re-start day. It's actually the first time I've logged my food and exercise this year. And today was the first time I've walked this year. Oops, where did January and February go? <BR> <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> I stuck to my menu plan yesterday, and the scale was down a pound this morning. Not sure whether that reflects reality, but I'll take it! <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Anyway, I'm not going to play the numbers game with my s... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 12:27:38 EST My Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5631924 It's been a long hiatus, but I am back on Sparkpeople! This week my focus is getting in more vegetables and more protein. Here is my menu plan for this week: <BR> <BR> Sunday: <BR> <BR> Black eyed pea & green cabbage curry with mustard seed, cumin & yogurt <BR> Leftover Thai eggplant zucchini curry <BR> <BR> Monday: <BR> <BR> Harira (chickpea & lentil stew with onion, celery, tomatoes, turmeric, ginger & rice) <BR> Leftover black eyed pea & green cabbage curry <BR> <BR> Tuesday: <BR... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 20:26:47 EST It's my birthday! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5577597 Happy New Year everyone, and Happy Birthday to me. :) Today, I'm turning 32, "the year of the heart" (in Hebrew, "heart" is "Lev" and the numerical value of the letters that spell it, lamed and bet, equal 32). <BR> <BR> May you all increase in love and strength this year, and celebrate many successes! <BR> <BR> <em>26</em> <em>129</em> Wed, 1 Jan 2014 09:45:42 EST Monitoring Sugar http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5573033 I'm combining Sparkpeople's Official Tame Your Sugar Addiction Challenge with an 8-week program to eliminate sugar that my wife found on a food blog. <BR> <BR> So the first step is to monitor my current sugar intake to find out how many grams of sugar I'm currently consuming on a daily basis. With soda, my daily total is coming out way too high, but if I were to eliminate soda, the total would be under the "legal" limit (25g). <BR> <BR> My current plan is eliminate soda and replace it wit... Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:15:08 EST My Stats http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5571783 Here are my stats for my "20 pounds in 20 weeks" challenge: <BR> <BR> Start weight: 176.6 pounds <BR> Start date: Dec 26, 2013 <BR> <BR> Goal weight: 156.6 pounds <BR> End date: May 15, 2014 <BR> <BR> The stakes: If I don't reach my goal on schedule, $200 goes to... to be announced. <BR> <BR> The plan: I've set some mini-goals for the duration of the challenge: walk 20 minutes per day minimum, stay within my sugar/protein/fat/calorie ranges, and drink 8+ cups of water. <BR> <BR> How I ... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 19:11:21 EST New Year's Resolutions...it's almost that time again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5571775 I've been gazing at my Spark goal board and contemplating the very real possibility that I could still reach my weight loss goal on schedule. I need to re-lose about 7 pounds, and then an additional 13 pounds. That's 20 pounds in 20 weeks: I CAN DO IT! <BR> <BR> This is the time to make bets on my weight loss: I am betting myself $200 that I can reach this goal on schedule. If I lose, the $200 goes to...not sure, stay tuned. Some people say that because loss aversion is a great motivator, t... Wed, 25 Dec 2013 18:59:53 EST Holiday Sugar Exposed! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5571192 I've been gaining weight over the past few weeks that I've been neglecting to Spark, and looking at the amount of sugar I'm consuming each day, it's not hard to see why. Here's a quick synopsis of my daily sugar intake: <BR> <BR> Breakfast: <BR> mini coke (7.5oz) 25g <BR> dark choc stars (Tj's) 1 cookie 2.75g <BR> banana 0g (I'm only counting added sugars) <BR> <BR> Lunch: <BR> coke (12oz) 39g <BR> dark choc stars 2 cookies 5.5g <BR> bread 2 slices 2g <BR> roasted red peppers (jar) 1.67g... Tue, 24 Dec 2013 15:19:36 EST 5 month Sparkversary! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5562129 I just realized today is my 5 month Sparkversary :) I've fallen off the Spark wagon lately, but I'm ready to jump back on! <BR> <BR> I'm struggling with staying on track, and here are my most recent excuses: <BR> <BR> 1) Starting a new job, working more hours than before. <BR> 2) My wife is looking for a new job. <BR> 3) Changes are in the works. sorry, can't be more specific than that on this one. <BR> 4) Chanukah involved a lot of donuts. <BR> 5) I went back to drinking sugary sodas d... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 12:35:13 EST I'm back..... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5556001 I haven't blogged in a while, mostly because I was adjusting to my new job and working more hours than usual. <BR> <BR> Tonight will be the seventh night of Chanukah, AND our engagement anniversary. We've been together for almost three and a half years. <BR> <BR> May everyone experience their very own Chanukah miracle! <BR> <BR> <em>500</em> Tue, 3 Dec 2013 13:28:41 EST IT WORKED! (Dairy Fast/PMS Update) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5544476 I'm happy to say that the dairy fast seems to have worked to stop my horrible PMS cramps! <BR> <BR> This is the second successful "trial," so I'm planning to do this every month from now on! <BR> <BR> I'm so relieved to have found something so simple to relieve pain. I wonder if eliminating dairy would also reduce other kinds of pain, not just PMS/cramps. <BR> <BR> Has anyone else tried this and found it helpful? (Anyone doing a vegan and/or macrobiotic diet/lifestyle?) <BR> <BR> Mon, 18 Nov 2013 15:52:31 EST Dairy Fast/PMS Day 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5541928 Yesterday was the first "trial" day of my dairy fast to see if eliminating dairy would eliminate, or at least lessen, my cramps from PMS. <BR> <BR> So far so good! Happily, I didn't wake up in the middle of the night with severe pain like I usually do on the first day of my period. So excited! <BR> <BR> I hope it was the combination of taking Aleve continuously the day before and the first day plus eliminating dairy that did it. I'll have to see if this method stands up to repeated trials... Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:24:24 EST Will eliminating dairy ease PMS? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5541387 Today will hopefully prove the theory that eliminating dairy reduces cramps from PMS. So far, I feel the usual wave of fatigue that I get every month, but my cramps haven't been horrible (they usually are). I've also been taking Aleve yesterday and today, so that's helping, too. <BR> <BR> I haven't had anything dairy all week, except for trace dairy ingredients in some of the processed food I consumed. I'm jonesing for a big cheese pizza, a real milk latte, ice cream, chocolate, you name it... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 20:48:25 EST Bizarre Food Dreams http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5540170 I've been having food dreams lately (a sign that I am hungry?). Usually, the dreams involve me biting into something that tastes amazing, and I actually taste the food in my dream, which seems impossible, but in the moment I'm having the dream feels true! Has anyone else experienced this? One night it was pizza, another time it was a chocolate marble cake. <BR> <BR> Last night was the most bizarre, though, because I dreamt that I had a plate with salmon and CHICKEN on it (I'm vegetarian and... Wed, 13 Nov 2013 13:22:34 EST Good mood today~! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5535998 It's a gorgeous day outside, and I'm happy to be enjoying a good mood! I think running in the morning definitely helps me get in a positive frame of mind, if not the so-called "runner's high" (I don't think I actually run long/fast enough to experience that kind of extreme, but one day). <BR> <BR> Watched a really inspiring Sparkvideo last night about Sparkmember ZIRCADIA (Dana McKeen) and her journey with Sparkpeople. Her accomplishments with running really impressed me and inspired me to ... Fri, 8 Nov 2013 17:12:52 EST Bumping up to 1700 cal/day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5534912 This blog will be a bit repetitive from yesterday; sorry if you've already read the previous blog. <BR> <BR> So.....I reviewed the amount of cardio and strength training (ST) that I 'm currently doing (around 200 minutes per week cardio plus one day ST), and found that I might not be eating enough calories to "encourage" my body to lose weight. I've been strictly staying at 1600 cal/day and achieving more than 600 cal deficits most days. <BR> <BR> The articles I've read all agree that as ... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 12:52:47 EST Confused about Calories http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5534212 Just read that a runner training for a 5K or 10K should aim for no more than a 300 calorie deficit per day, to avoid sending your body into starvation mode. Agree or disagree? <BR> <BR> I ask because lately I've had calorie deficits of over 600 calories several days this week. Should I be eating more? <BR> <BR> I would really like to lose a pound a week on average. That said, I understand that weight fluctuates based on many different factors. I just don't want to sabotage my weight loss ... Wed, 6 Nov 2013 19:06:25 EST Feeling a little down http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5533211 It's been an emotional day. It's been kind of rough all day, and now especially I am feeling in a midday slump. Drank some chamomile tea and ate a small piece of chocolate while listening to soothing music. <BR> <BR> It's dangerous feeling down about one thing because sometimes for me that leads to feeling down about other things, like not yet being at the point I'd like to be at in my career/education. But I'm being mindful about my emotions and making a conscious decision not to follow th... Tue, 5 Nov 2013 19:01:32 EST Free running group http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5532228 So I've been looking into running/training groups in my area, just out of curiosity to see what's available. I discovered that the local running store has free group runs throughout the week. The only catch is that I would need to be able to keep up with the rest of the group (7:00min/mi to 11:00min/mi). <BR> <BR> I just now looked up how fast I would have to go to run an 11:00min mile...5.5 mph! Oy. That is definitely not something I can do yet. <BR> <BR> I also found a trail running gro... Mon, 4 Nov 2013 18:37:55 EST Down! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5530755 My experiment with staying within my ranges for fat and protein worked: I'm down to 168.8 for the first time in years! Best thing was that friends have started noticing, and I got a compliment last night that I looked really good and had I lost weight. My wife said that my face lit up from across the room when I said, "Thank you! Yes I have!" <BR> <BR> Of course, it has also helped that I've been increasing my walking and running mileage, and adding strength training to my routine. So excite... Sun, 3 Nov 2013 09:08:02 EST Happy Exercise Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5528823 Today I discovered "active rest": I can still get in some healthy activities while "resting" from my usual cardio routine. I started my day with a thirty minute yoga video, then went to the gym with a friend and did some upper body strength training followed by light walking for about 20 minutes. Now for a magnesium oil massage and some sleep! <BR> <BR> <em>102</em> Fri, 1 Nov 2013 00:44:49 EST A change of scenery http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5526757 Today I had a lunch date on campus, so I went to the university early and did walk/run intervals: walk4 minutes, run 1 minute. I did that for 37 minutes until it was time for lunch. Sweaty, but feeling good! <BR> <BR> It was exciting to run around campus and see all the college students in their trendy outfits (I have a not-so-secret obsession with clothes & fashion). Plus the campus is full of new interesting buildings that weren't there when I was a student, so it was fun to see the chang... Tue, 29 Oct 2013 19:02:16 EST Finished my first 5K~! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5524803 Crossing the finish line with my friend~! We got separated from our team, but we still had a great time. It was hot and sunny, so fortunately we had plenty of water. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/4/l44596962.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Felt great for this walk despite having spent too many hours on my feet yesterday at impromptu Halloween parties. Oy! At the next walk I'll be sure to rest up the day before, especially if I decide to sign up for the race portion of my next ... Sun, 27 Oct 2013 17:47:06 EST Countdown to 5K! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5520881 I'm counting down to the day of my first 5K: 4 days remaining. <BR> <BR> My wife had the great idea of going down to the site of the walk to see what the route is like. <BR> <BR> I'm excited and a little nervous about the walk. Since I've never done this before, I'm not really sure what to expect. I'm on a team, and the most I've done is read the team emails. Sad to say, I haven't raised any money for the cause yet, although one friend did say they would be willing to donate. <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 23 Oct 2013 00:39:20 EST Guided Meditation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5516602 Tried a guided meditation today. Usually I just meditate for ten minutes with my Insight Timer app going and a lovely temple bell sounds when the time is up. But today I was extra sleepy, so I thought I'd try a guided meditation instead in the hopes it would keep me focused and awake. Actually, it had the opposite effect: the woman's voice was so relaxing that I practically drifted off within the first few minutes! It felt good to be so relaxed though. <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 01:33:13 EST New Shoes~! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5515355 I think I was so excited about getting my new running shoes that I might have forgotten to blog about it. LOL <BR> <BR> I went to Sole Sports Running Zone, and I had the best experience ever. The staff member that helped me was so nice, and he spent probably over an hour assisting me with the process of finding the right shoe. <BR> <BR> First, we did a quick gait analysis (which I've never done before) where I hopped on a treadmill with a video camera attached to it and ran for a little bi... Wed, 16 Oct 2013 16:26:40 EST 3 Month Sparkversary~! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5515171 I didn't even realize until I checked my calendar chart that today is my 3 month Sparkversary! I cannot believe how quickly 12 weeks have flown by since I re-started Spark. <BR> <BR> Twelve weeks ago, I weighed 181.6 pounds. Now I weigh 170.6 pounds. It's amazing what Sparking can do for you! I have more confidence, and I look forward to my workouts now. Best of all, the fact that I've been able to work toward my goal successfully transfers into other areas of my life: now I feel confident ... Wed, 16 Oct 2013 12:34:35 EST Rest and Cross Training http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5515137 I took the day off yesterday from running, and today I'm going to try some lower impact activity (elliptical 20 min and walking 20 min). I used a heating pad to ease slight soreness in my outer ankle (IT band?) and hips/knees. Trying to listen to my body and prevent injury! about a week and a half to go before my 5K. I'm planning to walk it, since it's my first 5K, but I'm fascinated by the fact that there is a competitive run option before the walk. Maybe next year I'll train for that portio... Wed, 16 Oct 2013 11:52:47 EST Walk a 5K? Who.....Me? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5513556 I never thought I would say these words: I signed up to walk a 5K. <BR> <BR> Some background for those who don't know me: I was the kid in high school walking down the hall while reading a book. Never the "athletic type," I dreaded P.E., especially the inevitable day we all were forced to "run" a mile. For me, there was no running on that day, just panting, sweating, dust, and pain. I would struggle across the finish line, usually last, cursing the coaches or the unknown entity who dreamed ... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 19:42:14 EST Happiness Campaign: Day 8 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5512344 It's Day 8 of my "happiness campaign": I've meditated for ten or more minutes each day and exercised for at least 30 min daily. <BR> <BR> So far, my so-called meditations usually feel more like me rehashing the events of the day or worrying about what i have to do at work the next day. <BR> <BR> I committed to doing three "body scans" a week (a guided relaxation exercise), but so far i haven't tried it. They take 40 minutes, so I have been procrastinating trying them. <BR> <BR> Today af... Sun, 13 Oct 2013 13:29:47 EST Happiness Campaign: Day 8 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5512338 It's Day 8 of my "happiness campaign": I've meditated for ten or more minutes each day and exercised for at least 30 min daily. <BR> <BR> So far, my so-called meditations usually feel more like me rehashing the events of the day or worrying about what i have to do at work the next day. <BR> <BR> I committed to doing three "body scans" a week (a guided relaxation exercise), but so far i haven't tried it. They take 40 minutes, so I have been procrastinating trying them. <BR> <BR> Today af... Sun, 13 Oct 2013 13:20:20 EST Meditation Day 4 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5509464 Stayed awake during my meditation this time (barely). Now I definitely feel more relaxed. <BR> <BR> Got a book from the library about Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). Can't wait to learn some new techniques! <BR> <BR> <em>414</em> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 01:08:07 EST Meditation Day 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5508977 I read that depressed people who did an eight-week meditation program increased activity in a certain area of their brains (the left prefrontal cortex) so that their brain activity more closely resembled that of non-depressed people. <BR> <BR> Even more reason to try meditation! <BR> <BR> On day three, I fell asleep halfway through my meditation. <BR> <BR> <em>102</em> Wed, 9 Oct 2013 12:58:55 EST Meditation Day 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5507535 Completed ten minutes of meditation today. <BR> <BR> <em>135</em> Tue, 8 Oct 2013 00:19:29 EST Try a happiness campaign http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5507280 Stumbled across this article by the author of Undoing Perpetual Stress. He suggests trying a three-month "happiness campaign" which consists of <BR> <BR> a) 30 min of daily exercise, and <BR> b) 30 min of mindfulness meditation. <BR> <BR> Sounds fascinating! I've already incorporated daily exercise into my schedule, usually a morning workout of either walking outdoors (now that the weather is nicer), or indoors on the treadmill or elliptical for 30-40 min. <BR> <BR> I'm new to meditati... Mon, 7 Oct 2013 19:03:28 EST Meditation Day 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5506051 For a few months now, I've had a goal set for myself to meditate for ten minutes a day. Every day that I've tracked my Sparkgoals, it's been there staring up at me: meditate for ten minutes. And I just kept ignoring it, feeling slightly guilty that I hadn't checked the box for completion. <BR> <BR> Today, I finally did it! What changed? I've been reading this book called Undoing Perpetual Stress whi talks about the effects of the constant stress of our 21st century lifestyles. It convinced ... Sun, 6 Oct 2013 14:01:41 EST I added strength training! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5503643 I finally took the plunge to add strength training to my workout, and today I can feel that not-so-bad "burn" or soreness in my quads. I tried five different moves yesterday that I had never tried before (and decided today needed to be a rest day): <BR> <BR> Squats <BR> Lateral Lunges <BR> Medicine Ball Squats with Overhead Lift <BR> Wall Pushups <BR> Modified Plank <BR> <BR> I found them on Sparkpeople, I did ten reps of each, and I was surprised at how easy it was to follow the direction... Thu, 3 Oct 2013 15:59:34 EST Cardio Update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5501445 I'm back on track with my cardio workouts. So far I've completed 2/6 for this week. <BR> <BR> I'm hoping to start my strength training routine tomorrow. Wish me luck! <BR> <BR> <em>244</em> <em>236</em> <em>381</em> Tue, 1 Oct 2013 13:22:52 EST Reached the 160's! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5500707 Something I was not expecting after four weeks of holiday meals: I lost weight! And...I've finally broken into the 160's, a number I haven't achieved since 2006! <BR> <BR> So excited, and I'm feeling so happy that I have Sparkpeople in my life to continue motivating me to pass more milestones and strive for a healthier lifestyle. <BR> <BR> This week, my fitness goal is to add strength training into my workouts. <BR> <BR> <em>381</em> <BR> <BR> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 20:43:12 EST Help for PMS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5495038 I've been researching ways to lessen cramps during PMS (aka "dysmenorrhea") because I've always had extremely painful periods. A macrobiotic friend told me that eliminating milk can help. Has anyone else tried this? Did it work for you? <BR> <BR> I did try eliminating dairy for a while, and I didn't have bad cramps that time around, but eventually I slid back into being a dairy-consumer because I've always loved dairy: milk, cheese, you name it. I've even been accused of being a "dairy-ahol... Tue, 24 Sep 2013 15:33:50 EST Last Round of Yontif http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5492419 I am recuperating today after three nights in a row of the "Yontif marathon" we've been on, staying up til 1 a.m. three nights in a row. That may be standard procedure for some, but I'm an early to bed kind of girl, so today I was exhausted. <BR> <BR> Nothing like a restful day at home on the couch reading a book to recover from what I refer to as a case of Tthe Berenstein Bears And Too Much Holiday" (anybody remember those books? a fave of mine as a kid). <BR> <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> ... Sun, 22 Sep 2013 01:33:58 EST