TORTISE110's SparkPeople Blog TORTISE110's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Anxious? Keeping it short and sweet today. True this! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 28 Jan 2015 09:42:42 EST I HAD NO IDEA: 4 Grams of Sugar in 1 Teaspoon Out of curiosity I just checked into how many grams of sugar there are in a teaspoon. I found out there were 4. And I am now in sugar shock. <BR> <BR> I HAD NO IDEA. <BR> <BR> Today I had some Dannon Greek Yogurt -- flavored and 0 fat -- but it has 19 grams of sugar in it's 130 calories. Just about 5 teaspoons!! OMGosh <BR> <BR> I HAD NO IDEA. <BR> <BR> I don't crave sugar in pastries, cookies, etc. Fortunately, while I loved these things as a child I don't really love them now. S... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 08:22:06 EST Laxidaisical January Wow, it's cold where I live this week. I actually slept in my work out tights last night just to add a layer under my night shirt. Handy when morning came because I was half ready to go to the gym. LOL. <BR> <BR> I'm fighting the laxidaisical trend that hits me in January. I can handle my eating pretty well, but really, really I like go into a couch-centered mode. You know, book, coffee, legs under self with blanket nearby whenever possible? A fire... <BR> <BR> But after a busy day ... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 05:27:09 EST Healthy, Happy 2015! The joy of having hung in with Spark for many years now--3 years in February to be exact--is that weight maintenance is my goal as the new year begins, not weight loss. It felt like a 'little miracle' last January 1, and it feels like a little miracle this year. Well to be honest, having been concerned about weight most of my life, just having a MAINTENANCE goal feels like a little miracle every DAY! <BR> <BR> But of course maintaining a healthy weight is not a miracle. It is consistent... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 06:24:54 EST Living into the Season Yesterday I had lunch with a group of friends in my writing group. It was festive and fun. We know each other's stories and have shared a lot over several years now. Being together is a treat. As we were leaving a few of us were talking in the parking lot about writing goals for the new year. But then my friend, Kim, said, "I'm just living into this wonderful season right now and enjoying it. That's my only goal right now." <BR> <BR> Hearing her say that was a gift. I breathed easier ... Thu, 18 Dec 2014 06:15:11 EST Setting My Mood by the Number(s) At check-in with Spark every morning I score my mood on my start page. It the past I’d consider how I was feeling right then—usually at 5:30 am--and give myself a score. Typically I’d pick a score between 7 and 8. For me that meant I was feeling fine, generally upbeat, but nothing special. After all, the day was just getting underway. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> But these mood ratings felt repetitive and meaningless until one d... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 07:30:53 EST There Will Probably Be Another Meal When I am eating something the I really enjoy I try to remind myself that this is probably not my last meal of "it." I will have another opportunity at some point to eat and enjoy it or something equally as enjoyable. In other words I eat a reasonable portion, telling myself I don't need to stuff myself now because I can have more later. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> At holiday time this is really helpful. There are so many tradit... Thu, 20 Nov 2014 06:54:15 EST Looking for an Apology? I have been taking an on line class that poses powerful questions, life changing questions, every other day or so. Yesterday this one came up: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I realized that I was still upset about a friend who betrayed me many years ago. I don't think she understood how deeply she hurt me. But when I worked with yesterday's question I realized that what I really needed was to recognize for myself that she really di... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 06:44:56 EST Putting My Stamp on Today I drove to the gym this morning at 5:45. It was dark and raining. I felt intrepid as I drove down a suburban street on my way to the fitness center even though I was sipping French Roast and listening to music. Then I saw a man in reflective clothing running outside on the sidewalk. Now I mentioned that it was raining; but actually it was pouring. That runner, I decided, was really INTREPID. <BR> <BR> Still, in some ways that runner and I were both doing the same thing. We were both up ... Thu, 6 Nov 2014 08:11:40 EST Four Miles on a Country Road Somedays are better than others for lacing up my walking shoes and getting outside. This weekend has been glorious. One of my goals on Spark is to get outside every day. I do mean everyday, even when the weather is not the best. Getting out the door reminds me of the kid I once was who could not wait to get home, get out of her school clothes and go outside. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> On my walk a few days ago I saw some things... Sun, 19 Oct 2014 06:41:21 EST Glad to Be a Healthy Nana When I started Spark my goal was to be healthy for my 4 grandchildren. So far so good, except that now I have 6!! Here is our newest little one, Jackson, with me and my DH. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <em>252</em> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 07:12:38 EST A Healthy Day at the State Fair? Yesterday my husbnd and I went with my stepdaughter and grandchildren to the Virginia State Fair. What a terrific day. The children loved the rides the best, of course. I remember how great it felt to be given the freedom to go into the ride section of the fair with $10 for the afternoon! Rides aren't unsupervised anymore, at least not with an 8 and an 11 year old, but still. <BR> <BR> My daughter made this collage of pictures from the day. Note the one with me and the grands in front of... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:00:42 EST Add Fun to My 'To Do' List? Really? I got a suggestion yesterday (in an on-line class) to look at my 'to do' list for the day, to scratch half of it and add one item of "fun." It could be anything. Sticking a flower in a vase, drawing a picture, painting my nails... <BR> <BR> I realized how my original list--which was, by the way, in my head and not written down-- was one of 'obligations.' There was a bill to pay, a stack of paper to organize, an exercise session to get in, etc. When I tried to think of 'fun' I was (I am... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 06:50:26 EST Maintaining as Summer Departs and Fall and Winter Arrive As September moves all too quickly toward October I am thinking about fall and winter weight gain. It is tempting to cling to the lovely fruit and veggie meals of summer, but I noticed lately that local peaches and nectarines have lost their healthy texture and flavor. And yes, the markets where I live have summer fruits all winter, but for me, it is not the same. <BR> I ate a wonderful apple today for a snack. It crackled when I bit in. It was juicy and close to divine. <BR> <BR> <img ... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:44:21 EST Remembering 9-11 Thinking of this date as my husband and I travel to NYC today to visit our son who works in Brooklyn. He was in elementary school in a Washington DC suburb the day the towers were hit and the Pentagon as well. We live close enough to the Pentagon to have had our house shake. He does not remember much about that day. <BR> <BR> We have an older daughter who changed her fitness goals after 9-11. She realized she could not have carried people out of the towers, and it bothered her. <BR> <BR>... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 07:03:11 EST It's the Little Things: Playing with my Spices Twice a year I go through my spices and organize, re-alphabetize (no one in my house, including me seems to consistently put spices back where they belong!!) and evaluate my spice rack. <BR> <BR> Spices get old and stale and need to be tossed. This project helps me decide I'm never going to use something and toss it out: today it was dried basil. It is so readily available fresh now, and dried basil doesn't work the same way at all. I'm not going to use it anymore. I feel the same way a... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:04:46 EST The Fears I've Left Behind by Losing Weight & Maintaining It struck me today that after a year and 11 months of healthy weight maintenance there are a bunch of things I no longer fear. <BR> <BR> I no longer fear the scale. Up a pound or down a pound, I know what to do. <BR> <BR> I no longer fear a pool party or 'swimsuit season'. I own 3 swim suits and none of them promise to make me look ’10 pounds thinner.” I’m happy to put them on. <BR> <BR> I no longer fear going to the gym. I’m one of the crowd there. In fitness classes I keep up when I... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 09:11:10 EST Under Promise and Over Deliver? Ever felt backed into a corner by work or a family member to get something accomplished? Or felt the need to do more until you were exhausted? <BR> <BR> I sure have. My PTA days come to mind! And in many other circumstances when I am thinking, "how can I possibly..." while saying, "sure, I'll do that." <BR> <BR> Then one day a mentor of mine told me to try a bold new approach: "Under promise so you can over deliver." It sure beats the alternative of over promising and under delivering... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 09:08:25 EST Conversations that Feed Me My husband and I start and end most day with a little conversation. In the morning we read the newspaper and chat over coffee and at night we collect our 'stories of the day' and catch one another up on what's happened. We've done this for as long as I can remember, even when we had children. <BR> <BR> I consider this time as necessary and as essential as food and water to nourish and restore ourselves. I suppose we could say we are 'working on our relationship,' but really we are just... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:01:01 EST Health Report Card: IDEAL Something fun happened today. My health care provider, Kaiser Permanente sent me a "Health Log." It said that my blood pressure was within the IDEAL range, that my BMI was within the IDEAL range and that my last LDL Cholesterol test was within the IDEAL range. <BR> <BR> HOW COOL IS THAT? <BR> <BR> I thought you would never ask. It is very cool. It has not always been so. When I started with Spark, now conming up on two and a half years ago, those numbers were anything but ideal. I w... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 17:14:52 EST Four Things I Want to Give Up this Summer 1. Worrying about things that are not my responsibility, even when it involves my children. (only those without children will think this is possible! But maybe in time????) <BR> <BR> 2. Friends who think eating healty and working out are silly, compulsive and show-offishy. (I'm noticing how these folks are simply falling off my radar...and nothing terrible has happened yet!) <BR> <BR> 3. Double Scoops. (One is plenty, delicious and satisfying). <BR> <BR> 4. Thinking that needing the su... Thu, 3 Jul 2014 17:40:47 EST Life Is Full of Interruptions I write a "to do" list every morning. But at the end of the day when I write in my journal I often notice that the best moments are unplanned. Some of my very best moments might even be called, "interruptions." <BR> <BR> A friend calls and asks me to go to coffee. My husband calls about an office conflict and we sort it out. A fat squirrel hangs upside down on the line that holds the feeder in front of my kitchen window. He eats in greedy bites. I think I can see him grow fatter while... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 15:29:12 EST The One Canned Good I Cannot Live Without <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is my choice. I need them a lot for my recipes. Fresh tomatoes are so "iffy" at the store, but canned tomatoes rock. They are saturated with tomato taste. I'm not advertizing Hunts here, but just diced tomatoes. Adding them to zucchini and onions tonight. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 18:08:29 EST Are You a Spark Hero? I am sharing this in honor of all the Spark heroes I know on this site! Love you guys. Thanks for the inspiration. <BR> <BR> "Ultimately, your happiness depends on your self-reliance – your unshakable willingness to take responsibility for your life from this moment forward, regardless of who had a hand in making it the way it is now. It’s about taking control of your present circumstances, thinking for yourself, and making a firm choice to choose differently. It’s about being the hero of ... Tue, 3 Jun 2014 08:39:31 EST Kayaking <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I've spent quite a bit of the weekend on the water in my kayak this weekend. Not only is kayaking a good upper body workout, it is a peaceful way to spend some time. For me, water is one of the best stress reducers and life expanders. My cares fall away around the water--ON it, or IN it! <BR> <BR> My little life seems less important afloat, than I sometimes experience it. Lots of time that's just the rem... Mon, 26 May 2014 06:07:24 EST Loneliness It's been a long time since I've thought of being lonely. I have 4 kids, five grands, a terrific husband. It seems like there isn't time to be lonely. But I know busy doesn't always mean "connected," and when I think about it I realize there are times in the day when I do feel alone and adrift. And those are dangerous time for reckless eating. I know that grabbing something to eat is more tempting then. <BR> <BR> This morning Martha Beck posted this quote on her site, "Loneliness, far ... Tue, 13 May 2014 07:10:17 EST Sparking at 5 AM I've been doing this for awhile, now. I get up early and take the time to check in with Spark and plan my day. When I saw this quote I realized how important "me space" is in my life. It isn't about not loving my family, it's about setting my own course as I go about my day taking care of their needs as well as my own. This impacts eating and exercise, but also my other goals and values. <BR> <BR> Not everyone finds this space in the morning, I'm guessing. Where do you find yours? <BR... Fri, 9 May 2014 06:07:21 EST My Favorite Motivational Quote for Maintenance I love motivational quotes and read many, often. Nothing better for me than a quick saying that turns a day around. What I realized recently though, is that one motivational saying fits maintenance for me, better than all the others. And here it is (ta dah!): <BR> <BR> I will do what it takes. <BR> <BR> Doesn't that just say it all? Wed, 7 May 2014 05:54:16 EST A Little Struggle It's not a perfect day. At this point it is dark and rainy and it is troubling to think that one of my goals is to get outside each day. There would be no harm or shame in staying inside, except that being outside feeds my spirit. <BR> <BR> So instead of starving myself (of a healthy walk), I'm going to either walk in the rain or look for a break in the wet stuff--if only for a few minutes--and get myself outside and moving. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 06:21:51 EST I Admit It: I'm a Flexitarian Thanks to Spark I now have a name for how my eating has changed over the two plus years I’ve Sparked. <BR> <BR> I have changed how much I eat, and I have changed WHAT I eat. While I still eat red meat a couple of times a week I am faithful to eating fish, chicken and a lot more beans and grains as my protein sources. And that’s not taking much effort anymore. It feels natural. So I guess I’m a FLEXITARIAN. Who knew?!! <BR> <BR> Check out this Spark article on becoming a “Flexitarian:” ... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 05:42:57 EST My Little Spring Salad Garden These are my plants that have come back from hibernation. My herb garden "survivors" include: thyme, oregano, parsley, chives and a bit of Swiss Chard. Let the growing season begin! <BR> <BR> This is my front porch "salad" garden that I keep in spring and fall. ( It get's too hot mid summer.) It's a real treat to snip a few salad veggies when I need them. I plan on adding some lettuces, a few radishes (for fun) and some more chard starting from seed. We travel quite a bit so it's hard t... Thu, 3 Apr 2014 13:10:12 EST A Short Poem for a Peaceful Weekend Sending this poem out for everyone's weekend. By Danna Faulds. "Walking Slowly" <BR> <BR> <BR> It only take a reminder to breathe, <BR> <BR> a moment to be still, and just like that, <BR> <BR> something in me settles, softens, makes <BR> <BR> space for imperfection. The harsh voice <BR> <BR> of judgement drops to a whisper and I <BR> <BR> remember again that life isn't a relay <BR> <BR> race; that we will all cross the finish <BR> <BR> line; that waking up to life is what we <BR>... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 08:11:33 EST Mall Meal Upgrade I was so pleased to discover a healthy meal at a local mall. You are looking at kale salad, 1/4 of a turkey pita sandwich and some lentil soup. Who says mall food has to be unhealthy? It was good, by the way. ...though I'm not a fan of kale salad YET. LOL <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 10:10:45 EST My Five Core Spark Habits Spark people provides many opportunities to be informed and try new activities. Over my two plus years on Spark I’ve experimented with pretty much everything on the site. Everyone is different, of course, but for me there are five core things that I believe are the heart of my healthy lifestyle now. I don’t do any of these perfectly, but I do them pretty routinely. With them I think I can continue to maintain a healthy weight and meet my fitness goals. <BR> <BR> TRACKING WHAT I PUT IN MY ... Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:03:30 EST Am I Complaining to the Right People? I'm still thinking about complaining this week, having blogged about how I sometimes lob "nit noi" complaints at my beloved husband without thinking about it and wanting to quit. See last week's blog,<BR>ournal.asp?id=TORTISE110 <BR> <BR> For some reason complaining reminds me of a regular conversation I used to have with my Dad. I'd call and ask, "How are you?" and he would respond, "Can't complain." Then because he was my dad he would add, "Ho... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 07:38:44 EST My Experiment: Holding Back My Complaints <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> A few weeks ago I caught myself complaining to my husband about how long it was taking him to get ready to go to breakfast. We were on vacation. I said, “Took you a while to get ready….” And then had a moment of grace, and added, “and it’s nice to see you relax into our holiday.” <BR> <BR> I liked my turn around and so did my husband. "Really," he said, "you didn't mind?" <BR> <BR> So now I’m looking fo... Wed, 5 Mar 2014 10:15:11 EST When My “Can Do” Attitude Went South & I Sparked On Ten minutes after my Dear Husband flew out of town for a business meeting our bedroom smoke detector started chirping. It is, of course, the highest smoke detector in the house. It sits ten feet in the air on a wall supporting a cathedral ceiling. I knew a “chirp” meant a dead battery. <BR> <BR> I can do this, I told myself. I will fix it! <em>521</em> <BR> <BR> First I put together our ladder. This is one heavy piece of gear. On one hand it is collapsible, on the other it weigh... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 13:15:23 EST My Do Nothing Strategy Lately I'm noticing my hunger more. Especially at my personal "witching" hour, 4 pm. There are many reasons I get hungry then, and sometimes I have a light snack and leave it at that. But often I think my "hunger" is because I am disengaging from my work day mindset and am having a little boredom attack. In other words I'm not really hungry for food, but for something...undefined. <BR> <BR> What I often do then is flounder about, like a real flounder--the fish--laying on dry land. I fl... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 07:50:27 EST Re-Creation Sometimes the last thing we put on our schedules is time for fun, recreation. I saw this once: re-creation. <BR> <BR> A little hyphen forever changed my view of taking time off to play. I realized how much I need recreation to energize and redirect my life. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 15 Feb 2014 06:25:23 EST What Olympians and Sparkers Have in Common <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> • We show up regularly and focus. <BR> <BR> • We set the bar low at first and gradually raise it. <BR> <BR> • We practice, practice, practice and repeat. <BR> <BR> • We find and get support from our team mates as well as educators and coaches. <BR> <BR> • We get up and try again after falling, and live to tell the tale ( We even blog about it!) <BR> <BR> • We adopt healthy mindsets and look for mo... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 08:22:36 EST Vigilance Next week I head into year three on Spark. I’ve been maintaining in a healthy range for a year and a half and while I am proud of this accomplishment, I also know I must be vigilant. <BR> <BR> I weigh myself at least a couple times a week, recording it on Wednesdays. The scale is my “lie detector.” A nibble here, a missed workout there may not seem like a lot, but it can snowball into a bad pattern. The scale reminds me not to fool myself: consistency DOES matter. <BR> <BR> Before Spark... Thu, 30 Jan 2014 07:58:47 EST Sparkin' Before 6 AM Up before dawn, checking in with Spark. It’s amazing how many Spark points I can accumulate before 6 am! <BR> <BR> I am reminded that I need 60 minutes more of active exercise today to meet my weekly goal of 200 minutes. Ah, the sweet little nagging of a Spark goal I set myself. <BR> <BR> I check in with new members. I want to surround them with “You-Can-Do-It-Messages” and I do. I want each of them to feel the great success that comes from taking charge of weight, health. I also wa... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 07:35:24 EST A Day for Just Me & My Clutter “Clutter isn’t just the stuff in your closet. It’s anything that gets between you and the life that you want to be living, whether its in your home, in your head, in your heart, or on your hips.” -Peter Walsh <BR> <BR> I love this quote. I am thinking about what I need to get rid of today to "clear the decks" for a new project. I have the day to get organized and I am looking forward to it. I know I will come away with not only a cleaner desk and file drawer, but a new sense of possibili... Thu, 23 Jan 2014 08:26:19 EST The Power In "Pause" One of my favorite words these days is PAUSE. It works for food, of course. Eating doesn't have to be a rush. Picking our food doesn't have to be a rush. We can "take a minute" and ease into our decisions. <BR> <BR> Likewise neither do we have to know the best thing to do RIGHT THIS SECOND in other parts of life. Maybe it's safe to say that except in competitive sports, speed is way over-rated. I can think of many circumstances where pushing fast does not work. Growing up, comes to mi... Thu, 16 Jan 2014 17:23:15 EST What Are We In Support Of--What Are We FOR This morning I read a quote that really resonated with me: "Everything that you are against can be restated in a way that puts you in support of something." <BR> <BR> I thought I'd play with that idea about some of the things I focus on while I am on Sparkpeople. Here's what I came up with: <BR> <BR> I'm against dieting and for creating a healthy life style. <BR> <BR> I'm against being compulsive about what I eat and for being responsible to know what I put in my mouth. <BR> <BR> I'm a... Thu, 9 Jan 2014 08:02:23 EST Choosing Our Conversations: An Experiment <BR> Awhile ago I gave a talk to a group of over-50 year olds interested in wellness. My hope, in addressing this group of strangers in hard seats, was to explore the relationship between living an intentional life and being healthy. <BR> <BR> I asked the crowd to think of something that made them smile; then I asked them to talk about that “smiling something” with someone in the room they had not yet met. <BR> <BR> I thought I could predict what would... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 14:13:35 EST Always Something Worth Noticing I found this beautiful essay in the NY Times yesterday and am sharing it here. It's a reflective essay about writing and life. As a writer I often feel I get to "live twice," once when taking in an experience and again when I revisit it to write about it. Kind of like having two fabulous meals (without calories--LOL). <BR> <BR> <link><BR>arewell.html?_r=0 </link> Sat, 28 Dec 2013 07:10:14 EST Baby It's Cold Outside: Heading Out to Play Brrrrrrr! It's really cold and wintery outside. Of when the weather is like this I build a fire and settle in. But not today. I'm itching to be outside. So I'm going to bundle up and just do it this time. Ten minutes, 15, who knows how far I'll go or how long. <BR> <BR> I remember being young and coming home from school each day dying to go out of doors. I'd fly in, drop my books and change my clothes and out the back door I'd go. I guess in some ways I still think going outside is he... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 06:02:39 EST 27th Wedding Anniversary: Ups & Downs It's a happy day for my husband and me. We were married 27 years ago today. Since then we've had our ups and downs as any couple does. Today it is hard to think of anything but the good times and the rich container we call "family" with my three step children and our son. And now we have grands as well. We are fortunate. <BR> <BR> But since this is a Spark blog I can't help but notice (and know) that today, thanks to Spark for me, I am in better shape-- but weigh the same healthy weight... Fri, 6 Dec 2013 08:27:37 EST December: Savoring the Season Well here is DECEMBER. One of the things I notice about this month already is how rich everything looks--color, lights, and of course food. It is not an easy time to think of "sparing" myself things. <BR> <BR> I thought I'd start this month by remembering that the season can be a "feast for the eyes" to enjoy and savor and that it isn't all about the food. So if you see me around, I'll be wearing red, smiling and enamored of all the lights, music, and good spirits. And if the weather st... Sun, 1 Dec 2013 10:56:32 EST