TORTISE110's SparkPeople Blog TORTISE110's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Old Dog, New Tricks I'm changing things up. It's Fall and the holiday season is spinning towards me. Because it's harder to get outside, even though I am mostly committed to getting outside, I need variety to keep my spark (and my Spark cred). <BR> <BR> So here's the deal. I started a yoga dvd that I am doing once a week. I know finding a class would be a good idea, but this is inside and handy. So yoga once a week in the middle of my other stuff. <BR> <BR> One or two serious gym workouts a week. <BR> ... Tue, 24 Nov 2015 05:15:41 EST For the Next Time We Fear Speaking Up, Some Wisdom This quote from John Lennon is new to me and I love it. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 21 Nov 2015 12:18:55 EST Mixing It Up It's been a good week for me fitness-wise. I've been consistent and active. I'm feeling good. <BR> <BR> But the biggest thing I did was try something I'd abandoned for a long time: my yoga practice. I popped in a Jillian Michaels yoga DVD yesterday with some trepidation. She tends to be very quick paced and hard. But bottom line is that I loved her DVD, loved getting back to some yoga and felt great for cracking my "forward moving" routine into someting that stretched me out all over. <... Thu, 12 Nov 2015 06:49:33 EST Never Too Old? It's Not That Simple. Every so often I read a post or a blog on Spark about feeling too old to lose weight, or change lifestyles. Often I pick up that concern when I read the Introduction posts on the Message Board. My first reaction is that we are never too old. But that's too easy an answer. Making the switch ups we need over a lifetime is not easy and certainly gets more difficult as we age. We need to find courage just to get started and lots of patience to perservere. <BR> <BR> This is a story about me an... Wed, 4 Nov 2015 08:34:29 EST Happy Halloween! Sharing a pic of our youngest grandson to celebrate the fun of Halloween! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 31 Oct 2015 07:07:22 EST Fall Herbs & Veggies Garden <em>376</em> <BR> <BR> Yesterday I cleaned the basil out of my herb garden--just a big pot on my front porch where I keep some essential herbs. For me these are parsley, chives, thyme, oregano and in the summer, basil. I added rosemary to replace the basil yesterday. In our moderate climate near Washington DC I will probably have these herbs throughout the winter months--though I may have to cover them on hard-freeze nights. <BR> <BR> I also planted seeds for lettuce, spinach and char... Fri, 23 Oct 2015 09:26:12 EST Prank It Forward I found this amazing story on video today and want to pass it along. It is about a young woman who suffered from an eating disorder and then turned her life around to help others. And then someone who knew her played an amazing pay-it-forward kind of 'prank' on her. Prepare to be delighted, as well as to think about how we might do more for others as we achieve our own goals on Spark. <em>252</em> <BR> <BR><BR>t-it-was-a-normal-day-until-a-hid... Sat, 17 Oct 2015 08:54:05 EST Just for Fun I picked this up on social media today and laughed out loud. Any Sparker knows better! But still... <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 7 Oct 2015 17:50:08 EST How Do Others React to Our Changing? Ever notice that when we step out of a pattern to pursue our dreams or state a strong opinion it is common that others exert pressure to keep us as we always have been--or as they have always seen us? I think it is "common" because it is just human to be unsettled by change and to resist it--even when we need it to grow. <BR> <BR> On our Spark journeys the reactions of others are not always supportive. I think the resistance we get is often not mean-spirited, but just fearful. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 27 Sep 2015 08:15:00 EST My Consistency Streak I go along with Woody Allen who is often quoted as saying that showing up is 80% of life. But still, my 518 day streak for checking into Spark surprises me a little. That’s pretty dang consistent. <BR> <BR> Checking in with Spark has become a daily ‘touchstone’ for me, to remind me of what I aim for every day. Of course there is maintaining a healthy weight, and keeping active, those fundamental Spark goals. But there is also showing up to chat with folks who know what I’m trying... Sat, 26 Sep 2015 06:56:19 EST A Little Note to Self about Staying Out of Other People's Business I don't know why I sometimes think other people's problems are mine to repair. I don't actually believe that, but sometimes I act like that. So here's my "note to myself for today. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 1 Sep 2015 07:37:14 EST Thinking of School Starting, Fall Coming... I could feel Fall in the air as I slipped through the water on my kayak this morning. It is coming all too soon. But I do look forward to crisper weather, jackets and sweaters and maybe a fire or two in our fire pit. <BR> <BR> I want to give something fun to each of my grandchildren who are starting school this coming month. I'm thinking of filling mugs with their name or initial on it with little goodies. Maybe some hot chocolate mix, a fun pen and note pad, some great socks. Something... Fri, 28 Aug 2015 09:05:54 EST Slipping Away to Be Outdoors & Active When I get back from the beach I always long to hold just a bit of 'beach life' in my mind and heart to take me through fall and winter. Beach life for me is activity. Slipping away to swim in the ocean, jump in a boat, ski, walk. Sometimes it is only to be briefly outdoors and to return then to cook a simple summer meal or read a book. But it is always active. It seems like the right thing to do surrounded by all that water, beach front. <BR> <BR> I want 'slipping away' to be the 'right... Tue, 18 Aug 2015 08:18:10 EST A Funny Passing this along to my Spark Friends who try to run or work out in any way every day. Loved this cartoon passed along to me by a friend this morning. Enjoy! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 24 Jul 2015 10:31:16 EST Building a Life with Peaceful Practices Sometimes I get so busy I forget how important it is to build in 'peaceful practices' into my days. Reflecting on that this morning got me thinking about what I believe about such activities and here's what I came up with: <BR> <BR> I believe a peaceful practice is like a balanced meal I feed myself to sustain life. A basic. Not a luxury. Not "me time" in a selfish sense. A peaceful practice serves a real need I have to restore my life, replenish my energy stores and build up the reserve... Sat, 18 Jul 2015 06:32:28 EST Sharing a Beautiful Photograph from Spain Good morning, Those of you who know me know my son has been walking the El Camino de Santiago for the past month. This weekend he and his girlfriend finished the 500 mile trek and we were able to catch up some. There was a part of the 'way' that our son walked alone. His girlfriend was not feeling well and so needed to use transport. This is the picture--he says it is the best of his collection--taken at sunset on the Meseta, an arid stretch of the El Camino. <BR> <BR> It is wonderful ... Mon, 13 Jul 2015 06:48:13 EST Enough With Trying to be Perfect Passing along a quote from blog I like alot, Marc and Angel Hack Life: <BR> <BR> "The quest for perfection always ends in devastation. Thinking you have to do things perfectly is like strapping an extra 500 pounds to your back – it absolutely crushes you. Perfection is correlated with depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis or missed opportunities. The fear of failing, making mistakes, not meeting people’s expectations, and being criticized keeps us outside the arena where ... Fri, 3 Jul 2015 08:02:17 EST What It Takes Is Not Boring at All Outside of Spark I don't talk much about weight or eating (just cooking, LOL!). Since we are all 'at it,' Spark is a safe place to vent and smile, complain and celebrate this particular road. So much diet talk away from here is about fad diets or how folks 'should diet,' etc. and frankly the subject I spend so much time on here, bores me in casual conversation. <BR> <BR> I make exceptions when someone asks me what I do to maintain. I tell them I use the fitness site SparkPeople. I know tha... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 06:24:27 EST I Count Gardening as an Activity I came back from my travels to a garden path overcome with weeds. I decided to tackle that instead of a gym workout. It was complely satisfying and while it did not race my heart I moved (!) for many hours. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> In the right corner is my pot of 'porch herbs.' In the fall when it starts to get just a bit cooler I'll fill it with lettuces too. I'm so glad I can do that on my front p... Thu, 11 Jun 2015 05:58:27 EST How Much Should We Sit Each Day? "Metabolism slows down 90 percent after 30 minutes of sitting. The enzymes that move the bad fat from your arteries to your muscles, where it can get burned off, slow down. The muscles in your lower body are turned off. And after two hours, good cholesterol drops 30 percent. Just getting up for five minutes is going to get things going again. These things are so simple they're almost stupid." <BR> <BR> This quote is from an article in the Washington Post today covering research on how m... Thu, 4 Jun 2015 07:13:16 EST Are We Starving Ourselves? A friend of mine posted this on fb today: <BR> <BR> "Just thinking...we spend a lot of thought, effort and money on making sure that the foods we put into our bodies are mostly wholesome, healthy and free from toxins. I wonder how life would change if we developed the same rigor and concern for how we feed our souls and minds?" <BR> <BR> We are careful about the ingredients in our food, what about the ingredients in our day? What makes for a nourishing day? <BR> <BR> Food and activities ... Thu, 21 May 2015 08:19:17 EST Remembering Mom on Mother's Day Sharing a picture of my mom on this Mother's Day. It was taken during a hospital stay a few years before she died. <BR> <BR> It's fitting Mom should be on a Spark blog. She cooked well and cooked with all fresh ingredients. At retirement and until very late in life (she lived to be 93) she walked 2 miles a day, every day. While she was a master pie maker, pie was a special occasion thing in our home, and we did not have dessert every day. And not surprisingly, her weight did not vary mu... Sun, 10 May 2015 06:06:56 EST On Living a Messy Life "All those beautiful, spotless rooms on Pinterest? Nobody lives in them." Patti Digh <BR> <BR> This quote reminds me of things I've done in life to stop myself from living. While I'm not a fan of a completely chaotic house I am trying to be more flexible about inviting people in even when the house is not PERFECT. <BR> <BR> I don't know about you but when I go into a home where everything looks perfect I get downright nervous. I feel like I'm about to make a mis-step at any minute. Wh... Sat, 9 May 2015 07:17:57 EST How Can I Be Kind to Me Today? Not many of us would debate the importance of being kind to others. We know it’s a better world and a better day when we are. But how often do we ask ourselves, “How can I be kind to me today?” <BR> <BR> When I ask myself that question honestly I find the answer that comes is usually something small and doable. Here are some of my ‘answers’ from this week: <BR> <BR> I can sit down and call my friend Karen for a good talk. <BR> <BR> I can drink water because I always feel a lit... Fri, 1 May 2015 08:32:55 EST A Reflection on Kindness I am reading a memoir I like very much called Bettyville. It's the story about a man--a writer from NYC--who goes home to Missouri--Paris, Missouri--to take care of his aging mom, Betty. I love the book for being so well written and human, but mostly I love it for being kind. She is not easy and he is ceaselessly, but not perfectly, kind. <BR> <BR> I think of my family as a safe and loving place and I don't think I am wrong in that. But I notice sometimes we are more polite than kind to o... Sat, 25 Apr 2015 07:47:40 EST Kayaking Today <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> What a great day on the water. My DH and I went out this afternoon. We watched a very defensive Canadian goose flutter and squak to lead us away--presumably from a nest. A heron took flight about 10 yards away from the nose of my husband's boat. <BR> <BR> It was wonderful to be on the lake, and to be healthy enough to paddle and savor it all. Thank you, Spark life! Fri, 17 Apr 2015 15:17:37 EST Itching for Spring and Summer Living I love how spring makes me 'itchy," and I don't mean seasonal-allergy itchy. I mean itching to MOVE. As soon as the weather turns just a little warm I am drawn outside to walk, to kayak. I also start dreaming of swimming, hiking and the beach. <BR> <BR> The warming trend in our neck of the woods makes me realize how 'pent up' winter was as for me this year. When we weren't cooped up because of difficult weather we were wrapped up in layers of clothing. As I put away my winter stuff I ... Sat, 11 Apr 2015 06:46:13 EST Spring Yoga <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I don't know how many calories are in a "Peep," do you? But this picture made me laugh out loud! Happy Spring and Happy Easter to those who celebrate. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wed, 1 Apr 2015 05:53:23 EST First Paddle Those of you who know me on Spark know I've been waiting for this day. The outside temp got over 55 when my husband and I pushed off. The sun was warm on our backs. The windspeed low. Nirvana! <BR> <BR> It was a quiet trip. We paddled by some trolling fisher-folks. All of us were out just taking in the day. Later in the season the lake will roar with jet skis, motor boats. But for today, the lake was ours. We visited a few coves, waved to neighbors in their yards--some we haven't s... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 14:33:45 EST Watching My Weight(s) This is not another blog about weight. Well it is about weight, but not the kind we talk most about on Spark. <BR> <BR> I'm talking about the weight I use in the gym to strength train. Let me be clear. I am not a body builder. And free weights still kind of scare me. I know, a trainer would help, but I'm not wanting to hire a trainer right now. I do a circuit using weight machines. <BR> <BR> Recently I started paying really close attention to the amount of weight I feel comfortable wo... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 06:51:51 EST I'm Thinking that Sometimes Easy Does It I woke up too early today. 4 a.m. is early even for an early riser like me. But it's my strategy for times when I seem fully awake and can't get back to sleep. I just get up and start my day. Which probably means there is a nap ahead in my day. <BR> <BR> Sleep is pretty important to me. I need it to balance myself: my work, my relationships, my workouts and self control around eating. So I think I'll go a little slower today. I've been on a workout "ramparge" after healing from a kne... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 06:08:15 EST The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Truth about Maintenance I am coming to grips with the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Truth about what it takes for me to maintain a healthy life style. <BR> <BR> The Good (news) is all the great information, the fabulous motivating friends, and the inspiring photos and ideas on Spark that help keep a smile on my face and a bounce in my steps. Tracking is good. I always know exactly what to get back to when I slip up and am doing less-than-healthy things. <BR> <BR> The Bad is that part of my motivation for being here... Mon, 23 Feb 2015 06:52:22 EST Snow Day It's a feet by the fire kind of day. First snowfall of the year where I live. (I know, Boston, you should be so fortunate). But with it comes a delightful pause in metro DC where we all know people could wisely spend a little more time pausing--creating the mental space--to think clearly. And then there are all those neglected political children all over town who may finally get some prime time with their parents! I mean it is really cool when this city slows down. <BR> <BR> <img src="... Tue, 17 Feb 2015 07:13:56 EST A Spark-Like Food Fight <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Remember fighting over the biggest cookie? I sure do. And my husband, one of four boys, sure does as well. But lately something weird in a Sparky kind of way is happening at our house. <BR> <BR> We are trying to get the smallest piece of food instead. "Give it to me!" "No, give it to ME!" <BR> <BR> No one has been forked yet, but it strikes me as hilarious. Fri, 13 Feb 2015 07:56:18 EST Beets! I borrowed a tool called a "Spiralizer" from a friend and have been experimenting with different vegetables. Last night it was beets: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I roasted them and then tossed them in a light vinagrette with some crumbled Feta and Pecans. <BR> <BR> Last week I made zucchini 'spagetti'. I sauteed them in a little olive oil and garlic and topped with Parmesan cheese. Pretty yummy. Sat, 7 Feb 2015 08:06:50 EST 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