THEEASYKILL30's SparkPeople Blog THEEASYKILL30's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I just ran 4 miles, why can't I swim 4 yards? I ran a 4 mile race last Saturday with a few friends (see my last blog) and we decided to make post-race a beach hang-out day. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> There was a sandbar out in the ocean that my friends and I wanted to swim out to. However, it was a bit of a distance out there. Now, I can swim. But I only ever learned how to do the crawl and the backstroke. My friend tried to teach me how to do the breaststroke with my head out of the water (I wear contacts so I wasn't dipping my head into t... Sat, 30 Jun 2012 17:05:54 EST The Run Around the Lake - race recap After I took up running, I set a goal for myself: to run one 3 mile (minimum) race per month between April and September. I signed up for races as a way to motivate myself to continue to train and run. I was worried that during the summer, I would slack off due to be being busy with social stuff and that I'd blow off running because "it's too hot." I have a race booked for July, one I plan on for September, and I'm still trying to figure out which race to run for August. Yesterday was race #3... Sun, 24 Jun 2012 22:17:04 EST Summer 5% Challenge Commitment We're supposed to post this as an update to our SparkPages but I really hate how tiny the text and space is on the side of SparkPages. I don't find it aesthetically pleasing. Until SP decides to change the layout, I'm not going to fiddle around with those parts too much. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I participated in the 5% spring challenge as a member of the Cats team. For those of you who may not know, the goal of the challenge is to lose 5% of your starting weight over the course of 8 weeks. Th... Thu, 21 Jun 2012 16:05:38 EST Quick update Thanks guys for all the get well wishes! I'm still not 100% today but I'm slowly but surely improving. I still have a cough that comes and goes but it sounds like it's breaking up now. The unfortunate thing is that I'm still a snot factory. It's seriously disgusting how much mucus one person can produce. I went through 4 (!!!) tissue boxes this weekend. <BR> <BR> <BR> I went back to work today and because of all the walking I had to do, I had a feeling that I would be OK if I ran tonight. ... Mon, 18 Jun 2012 22:32:29 EST Learning not to feel guilty Who catches a cold in the summer time? Apparently, I do. <BR> <BR> <BR> Friday morning, I woke up feeling like I had been run over by a truck. I had a sore throat and terrible nasal congestion. The nasal congestion was giving me sinus pain and a splitting headache and the splitting headache made me feel dizzy every time I moved. I took the day off from work to recuperate and to see the doctor. Luckily it's just a cold and not a sinus infection so I don't need antibiotics. But between the c... Sat, 16 Jun 2012 17:48:33 EST EEEP! I dropped a mouse! Yes, you read that correctly. I dropped a mouse. And I swear that at the end of my (hopefully) amusing story, there IS a Spark relevant observation. <BR> <BR> <BR> For those of you who may not know, I work in a research lab where we use mice as our animal model. [Please no hate mail on this subject. I don't want to get into a debate about animal research here.] Handling mice is not a part of my job that I enjoy but I do it because it's my job. The other day I had to sacrifice some mice for... Wed, 13 Jun 2012 15:17:42 EST ME time Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. <BR> <BR> <BR> All in all, I have to say that my life is pretty good. I have a family who loves me. I have good friends who love me as if I were family. And I am married to a wonderful man who loves me. <BR> <BR> <BR> I've also got my health. Overall, I was pretty healthy before losing 21 lbs. But not carrying around excess weight and exercising regularly is definitely putting me towards a much better health path. I've also got a roof over my head and I d... Tue, 5 Jun 2012 13:21:08 EST May went out with a bang! Race recap I meant to post this on Friday but got swamped at work and then was busy prepping for a party on Saturday, which turned out to be a disaster (although THAT was not my fault). With all the crap I've had to deal with last week and this weekend, I decided that today is going to be about ME. So one of the things I wanted to finish was my blog about Thursday's Wall Street Heart Run. <BR> <BR> <BR> When I got up Thursday morning I was super excited and a bit anxious. I had run a 5K a month earli... Mon, 4 Jun 2012 22:08:40 EST May went out with a bang! OK, so I just got home and I'm kind of tired but I am still so pumped with adrenaline and endorphins from my race. <BR> <BR> <BR> This was only my second race ever and my first chip timed race. I'm eager to find out my official race time tomorrow. 9 am can't come fast enough <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> This is the race I signed up for: The American Heart Association Wall Street Run/Walk <BR> <link> -heart-association-wall-street-run-3m/ race-recap </li... Thu, 31 May 2012 22:21:09 EST A beautiful & healthy new Lily I thought I'd share an inspirational story that didn't come from Spark. I met my friend Lily in college. She has had a really remarkable weight loss journey. She had a wake up call last year when her grandmother past away. Between being overweight, grieving for her grandmother, and dealing with job stress and being laid off, she was in a really terrible state health-wise. It was really scary to hear that someone my age (32) was on blood pressure medication. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link>www.huffin... Wed, 30 May 2012 13:05:48 EST What was the number of that bus again? Work has been kicking my butt again and I just haven't had the time to go online and check out what's happening with all of you in SparkLand. I have to confess, I did kind of miss hearing what's going on with all of you. Slowly but surely I'll catch up with you. <BR> <BR> <BR> And the other reason I've felt like I've been out of it is due to one margarita. Si, uno margarita. <BR> <BR> <BR> Wednesday was my husband's birthday. He wanted to go to our local Mexican <em>670</em> place so ... Fri, 25 May 2012 21:33:58 EST The red dress - UPDATE! Two weeks ago I blogged about hitting my goal weight. And I talked about how one of my biggest motivating factors to maintain is to be able to fit into this red dress, which is my favorite dress: <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> November 2008, the day after Thanksgiving, at a friend's wedding <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Yesterday was my mother-in-law's 60th birthday party. The party was a lot of fun. It was good food and even better d... Sun, 20 May 2012 14:38:52 EST Terrible run this morning Today, I officially finished my 5K your way training program. Never mind that I ran my first 5K (at the Bronx Zoo) 3 weeks ago and I actually ran most of it (with a few short walking breaks). I should have been able to finish the 5 week program before my Bronx Zoo 5K but life got in the way so I was only in week 3 by the time the 5K arrived. But I'm not one to quit AND I *really* wanted that SparkPeople trophy (yes, I'm extremely competitive by nature). So I've been using the last 3 weeks sin... Sat, 19 May 2012 11:47:24 EST How being a sports fan turns me into an irrational idiot The blog ideas are swirling in my head but I have been super busy with work, and well, life so I haven't had the time to sit down and write them. But worry not, SparkFriends, the blogs will come because if I let these ideas fester any longer in my head, I think my brain will explode. Even I, the biologist, find explode-y brains kind of gross. Today's blog is not the one I had originally intended to post for today but so be it. <BR> <BR> <BR> I am a HUGE (ice) hockey fan and a die-hard New ... Tue, 15 May 2012 17:25:43 EST A little help from my Sparkfriends? I've got a question for all of you: do you have any recommendations for non-alcoholic no or low calorie drinks that I can order at happy hour? <BR> <BR> Here's the reason why I ask. Tomorrow night, I am going to a networking happy hour event hosted by the professional society of the field I am looking to join. Originally it was supposed to be a Central Park walking tour and happy hour networking event but the walking tour got cancelled in anticipation of rain. <BR> <BR> I really need to g... Tue, 8 May 2012 15:47:12 EST Because you can't stay 25 forever Why it is important for me to get healthy NOW and why I don't want to put it off <BR> <BR> <BR> This is something I have touched upon before and I have meant to blog about eventually. But I might as well do it now since it's a part of the 100 Days of Summer challenge to blog about it. <BR> <BR> <BR> When I was 23, I went on Accutane* to treat my severe acne. This was the first acne treatment that had ever worked for me and its effects have lasted. One of the side effects of Accutane is a... Sun, 6 May 2012 22:29:46 EST Go-o-o-oal!!!! Or a weight loss journey in pictures I've been meaning to write this post for a while and I can't think of a more appropriate time than today, now that I've reached my goal weight. <BR> [I'm also a huge hockey fan and with the Stanley Cup playoffs in full swing, I am totally Cup crazy right now. I couldn't resist putting the goal chant into my title.] <BR> <BR> <BR> Three days ago I got on the scale and the number read 129.6. I did not believe it. 129.6 lbs would mean that I have met the goal weight I set for myself back in J... Fri, 4 May 2012 21:33:29 EST My first ever 5K! First of all, I would like to thank all of my SparkFriends. <BR> <BR> <BR> It was with your encouragement and inspiration that I picked up running and decided to do this 5K. I had been waffling on my decision to start running. I kept thinking to myself "no, I can't run, I can't possibly be able to do that, it hurts too much." But reading your stories helped me to decide that yes, running was worth it. And once I started running, I thought, "there's no way I can compete in a race, I'm just ... Sun, 29 Apr 2012 17:05:52 EST Exhausted but feel great! It may only be 8 pm here on the East coast but I am so ready for bed. Between getting up early for the Wildlife Conservation Society Run for the Wild 5K at the Bronx Zoo today, running the actual 5K, and then spending the rest of the morning/afternoon walking around the zoo and visiting the animals, yeah, I am EXHAUSTED. <BR> <BR> But man do I feel pumped! I feel so awesome that I completed my first ever 5K. I proved to myself I can do it. Totally tooting my own horn here but I feel like I ... Sat, 28 Apr 2012 20:10:58 EST How I sneak in exercise at work I think an issue that almost all of us face is how to find the time to exercise when there are so many other life obligations that have to be met first. We all have families to look after, errands to run, and, of course, we spend a good portion of our day at work. <BR> <BR> <BR> I don’t have a typical desk job, which can be both a good and a bad thing. I work in lab and by work I mean performing experiments. <img src="">This means that... Fri, 27 Apr 2012 12:43:47 EST The Duck Pond I just thought it'd be nice to post some pictures of the Duck Pond where I have been running. I really enjoy running in this beautiful spot and thought it's too pretty not to share. <BR> <BR> <BR> I've been running here and at the local high school's track but I much prefer doing my laps around the Duck Pond. The track still has its uses though as it gets ambient light from the surrounding buildings so if I get home kind of late in the evening, I can still go there to run. But I find runni... Tue, 24 Apr 2012 21:59:45 EST I signed up for a 5K! It's official! I've signed up for a 5K and I will be "competing" next Saturday, April 29th! This is my first 5K! <BR> <BR> <BR> A friend of mine told me about a 5K walk/run that the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is hosting. Get this... It's at the Bronx Zoo! The official race name is WCS Run for the Wild. It's a benefit for endangered lions. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> My friend will be competing in the run portion and I ... Fri, 20 Apr 2012 16:06:05 EST It's starting to feel a lot like summer This blog is an update on the craziness that was this past week and a reflection on the future. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As I had posted earlier, I had gone out to eat Thursday and Saturday night, Sunday was a 60th birthday celebration dinner, and again yesterday because my husband wanted to eat out. I don’t know why since we’ve spent the last few days eating out so much but whatever. Yesterday and Saturday I think I managed to stay just under or barely over my caloric range based o... Thu, 19 Apr 2012 20:25:25 EST Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden Today turned out to be beautiful weather. It was sunny and warm - a perfect day to spend at the New York Botanical Gardens. We don't live very far from the Gardens and my husband and I go there so much, we eventually became members. In fact, this is where my husband proposed. <em>129</em> So yes, we LOVE the Gardens very much. <BR> <BR> <BR> The Orchid Show is one of our favorite exhibitions. If you ever happen to be in NYC during March/April, I highly recommend seeing this exhibit. For... Sat, 14 Apr 2012 23:07:11 EST Some good news Dinner last night at Kang Suh was <em>345</em> . My 2 friends had never had Korean BBQ before and they really liked it. Not only did they like the food but they also said it was a fun eating experience, getting to cook your meat <em>496</em> yourself at the table. <BR> <BR> <BR> We got the kalbi, bulgogi, and chicken and it came with an assortment of kim chi. It wound up being not that much meat for 3 people but we also split a bi bim bop and a kimchi pancake between the 3 of us. I know... Fri, 13 Apr 2012 14:55:44 EST It's going to be a bad weekend I admit that I’m dreading the end of this week: lots of eating out with little time for exercise. I know my body has some bounce back but I think I’ve exhausted that pool of bounciness. I’ve noticed that if I am bad food-wise, I might gain a pound or two but if I stick to my normal eating and exercising routine, the weight disappears again. But I don’t know if my body can handle what I’m about to put it through. Besides, I think I used up the bounce back-ness already with Easter dinner. <BR>... Thu, 12 Apr 2012 15:07:20 EST Thank Goodness for Frozen Veggies! Ugh, this has kind of been the week from hell work-wise. Usually when I work such long hours, it's because I'm running experiments that have an hour incubation here, another 30 min there, and another 40 min there. Usually, I'll take that time <em>56</em> to sneak in exercise while I'm at work but today I was on my feet running around the lab all day. <BR> <BR> I know I was running around the lab like crazy because I've managed to hit 20,000 steps today. I only hit that mark when I walk to... Wed, 11 Apr 2012 21:27:13 EST Success! This has been a weird week for me fitness and healthy eating wise. I caught some sort of cold, which just knocked me out for Monday and Tuesday. Not only did I not exercise but I also had no appetite whatsoever. My body seemed to be repulsed by protein <em>496</em> of all sorts and was craving carbs <em>480</em> . So I was under-eating as well as eating unbalanced meals. <BR> <BR> <BR> By the time I felt better mid-week, it was still hard to do any cardio and all I could handle were my ... Sat, 7 Apr 2012 19:47:56 EST The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of yesterday’s run As I’ve mentioned before, I took up running a few weeks ago as a way to help me break through a plateau and also to continue to challenge myself. Some of the exercises I was doing were getting too easy and I knew I wasn’t getting the workout (and calorie burn) that I needed. <BR> <BR> When I started the 5 week Walk/Run your way to a 5K program, the Northeast was having some unseasonably mild weather. It was so much fun running outside along the East River in Manhattan (by work) or by the Du... Sun, 1 Apr 2012 11:01:32 EST Women's health is an issue near and dear to my heart Please take a look at today's featured Spark Health News article: <BR><BR>th_news_detail.asp?health_day=662867 <BR> <BR> Women's health is an issue near and dear to my heart. <BR> <BR> When I was in graduate school, I'll come out and say it: I was poor. Maybe not poverty-line poor but every penny I made went straight to paying for necessities. There was no margin for error. Graduate students don't exactly make a lot of money and living in the NYC m... Tue, 27 Mar 2012 11:45:29 EST Not so hungry at the Hunger Games So a bit of a shamless plug for the Hunger Games movie… My best friend loaned the books to me last year and I devoured the trilogy in 3 days. So obviously we were both super excited the movie came out. I also made my husband read them (which he also read in 3 days) and the 3 of us went to see the movie last night. Since my best friend wanted to get a soda and a popcorn, I went with her to pick up a buttered popcorn for my husband (his request). <BR> <BR> I was really proud of myself for NOT ... Sun, 25 Mar 2012 17:44:48 EST Do not feed the geese Spring may have only officially started on Tuesday but here in the Northeast we've been having a pretty mild winter (in direct contrast to last year where it snowed EVERY week). So it has felt like it's been spring for about a month now. <BR> <BR> I have been thoroughly enjoying the weather. I recently took up running and it's been so much fun running outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather. I work long hours in a lab and am usually hardly ever outside during daylight hours. I have noti... Sat, 24 Mar 2012 16:05:09 EST What girl doesn't need new shoes? I rewarded myself yesterday by buying not one but two (!!!) new pairs of shoes: a pair of sneakers solely for running and one for everything else. My old pair of sneakers were wearing out but then I decided to take up running and that's when I knew it really was time to get a new pair. I walk almost 3 miles a day for work in sneakers because they're the only shoes that don't destroy my feet. Since I walk so much on a daily basis, I figured that my running shoes need to be different from my re... Sun, 18 Mar 2012 21:39:49 EST 5% Spring Challenge Today is the start of the 5% Spring Challenge and I admit, it's a bit daunting joining a challenge and a community where so many people are already so familiar with. It's hard breaking in as a newbie and figure out what the h*ll I'm doing but so far, my fellow Cats have been amazing and super supportive. <BR> <BR> For me, the reason why I joined the 5% challenge is because I've got about 10 lbs to go and these last 10 lbs have proven somewhat stubborn. I'm not discouraged or anything becaus... Sat, 17 Mar 2012 20:05:30 EST Day 1 of 5K Your Way Walk/Jog Training Program So I finally did it. I finally did what I've been saying I want to do for the last several weeks. No more excuses. I finally just got off my butt and did it. I started the 5K training program. <BR> <BR> It was a high of 60 (although it felt warmer than that) and sunny today. Spring really does feel like it's right around the corner. So yeah, the weather being beautiful and all certainly was an incentive for me to just go out there and train. I went to the local park that's by the Bronx Rive... Sun, 11 Mar 2012 19:18:32 EST An interesting conversation with the doc For the last week and a half, I have been getting severe headaches. I wake up with them and they don't go away all day no matter if I take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). They weren't related to dehydration (thanks to SP, I'm keeping track of how much water I drink) or caffeine-withdrawal (yeah, I know I should stop drinking coffee but I'm addicted). They were bad enough that I scheduled an appointment with an internist to figure out what the hell was wrong with me. <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 6 Mar 2012 14:49:15 EST No quiero Taco Bell Today's daily Spark blog has a feature on the menu changes that Taco Bell is implementing. <link><BR>ething_new_coming_south_of_the_border </link> I thought this would be a good time for me to blog about how Taco Bell was a factor in my initial decision over 7 years ago to give up fast food. <BR> <BR> I am certainly no saint when it comes to eating healthy and I used to be a regular fast food eater. As a graduate student, I worked long hours in the lab... Mon, 27 Feb 2012 16:52:40 EST Met my February 2012 fitness goal I decided back in December that I needed to (re)-lose the weight I gained during my honeymoon and the holidays. I thought it was awesome that SparkPeople issued a challenge for January (the January Jumpstart challenge) because it was the exact kind of thing that I needed to kick my butt back into gear. <BR> <BR> The first week wasn't really all that hard since the challenge was only to do 10 min of cardio at least 5 times a week and although I am out of shape, I do walk nearly 45 min/day to... Fri, 24 Feb 2012 20:52:00 EST