TRAVELGRRL's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=TRAVELGRRL TRAVELGRRL'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/ No Treadmill Today! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5764423 I TOTALLY SUCK! No one, EVER, has accused me of being graceful! <BR> <BR> On Saturday I was on a 10-foot ladder cleaning the cobwebs/wasps nests on our front porch with a broom...when a GIGANTIC spider came flying out of its web and down the broom toward me! <BR> <BR> I HATE <em>420</em> , so did what any normal person would do -- I jerked back. Then the ladder started tottering, and down I fell. On the concrete porch. Flat on my back. ON TOP of the metal broom handle. <BR> <BR> O... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:55:25 EST Chocolate Chili Recipe http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5763480 This is for Nancy-! <BR> <BR> I would definitely make this again! It gets sooo thick. I made it with 1 pound high-quality turkey and 1 pound of grass-fed ground beef. Next time I will add a can or two of rinsed black beans to up the fiber. <BR> <BR> <link>theclothesmakethegirl.com/2009/02/22<BR>/my-favorite-chili-recipe/ </link> <BR> <BR> I also have to say I enjoyed all the paleo dishes I tried. I will continue to try more of them, but I will be adding back beans and grains and hi... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:56:59 EST The End http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5763436 I had another "digestive attack" yesterday so I have decided to give up the Whole30 plan. There just isn't enough fiber to keep me "regular". <BR> <BR> So this "experiment of one" is over. But was it a waste of time? A resounding NO! <BR> <BR> Here's what I learned: <BR> <BR> * I was eating waaaaay too much "Frankenfood". That is, reduced-calorie breads, buns, cheese, ice cream and other over-processed food that have a zillion ingredients and tons of salt. I was able to give all that ... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:09:09 EST Getting Creative http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5761924 This whole foods diet has been a challenge! <BR> <BR> I've been pouring over recipes on Pinterest and various Paleo blogs looking for recipes. I don't want to buy a lot of expensive ingredients that I may not use going forward, like the soy sauce substitute "coconut aminos" that I paid nearly $8 for at the health food store. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I made something called "Egg McNothin's" which will be great for breakfast! Talk about easy and delicious! <BR> <BR> <link>julesfuel.com/2013/1... Mon, 18 Aug 2014 07:46:29 EST Whole30, Day 9 (Saturday) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5761247 Made a new recipe that was AWESOME! It is Paleo Pad Thai, and here's the link: <BR> <BR> <link>theclothesmakethegirl.com/2011/05/08<BR>/paleo-pad-thai/ </link> <BR> <BR> I did not use chicken thighs; I used a small chicken breast. I did not use spaghetti squash, I used a 12-oz package of angel hair cabbage. I also upped the amount of onion and snow peas because more veggies means more food! <BR> <BR> It made a huge pan full; my hubby had half, I had 1/4, and was going to save the ot... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 07:16:54 EST Whole30 Day 8 (*Epic FAIL*) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5760783 OK, I won't gross you out with the gory details, but let's just say the lack of fiber in the Whole30 diet has played havoc with my digestive system, attaining crisis level two different times during the past week. <BR> <BR> And of course, it occurs at the MOST inopportune moments! Yesterday I was all dressed & ready to leave for a doctor's appointment when I simply doubled over with cramps that continued for an hour. NO WAY could I stray too far from the bathroom! The other time it happen... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 10:03:55 EST Whole30, Day 7! (Thursday) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5760145 OMG, I made it a whole week without any cheating! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/3/l435831760.jpg"> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2069603587.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I did everything I set out to do for the WHOLE week: drink 10 glasses of water. Exercise daily. Take my vitamins. Track EVERYTHING. Be active on Spark. Get in 15,000 steps. <BR> <BR> AND, I lost 7 pounds the first week. Now admittedly, I was coming off a monster two-day bi... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 08:49:21 EST Whole30, Day 6 (Wednesday) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5759417 Still hanging in with the whole Whole30 thing! This about sums it up: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1830905358.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Yesterday TC and I got up early-early and were on our city trail by 6:30 am. We did 8 miles including 4 miles of intervals (1 minute jog, 1 minute fast walk). <BR> <BR> Breakfast: 2 medium eggs, 1 link turkey sausage, 2 cups honeydew melon. <BR> <BR> Lunch: Tuna salad and tomato over lettuce; baby carrots with avocado ranch dres... Thu, 14 Aug 2014 07:38:23 EST Whole30, Day 5 (Tuesday) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5758950 Yesterday was another good day although I admit I had cravings. FOR WINE! <em>181</em> <em>181</em> <BR> <BR> TC and I had just finished up a boatload of yardwork yesterday afternoon. I dragged some lawn chairs out and we sat where we were, overlooking the valley. We were sitting in the shade and there was a cool breeze blowing. We got to watch the turkey buzzards soaring on the wind currents. They are a disgusting bird but beautiful to see in flight. But I digress! It woul... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:22:16 EST Whole30, Day 4 (Monday) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5758057 Without a doubt this Whole30 plan takes planning! I had a good day yesterday "on plan". <BR> <BR> After-dinner snacking has always been my downfall, but with this diet's emphasis on lean protein and good fats I simply haven't been hungry at night. That's amazing to me; some nights I would be rummaging for my first evening snack before my husband was even done cleaning the kitchen. So this is HUGE for me. <BR> <BR> Today I pick up the book for this eating plan from the library called, ... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 07:37:05 EST Whole30, Day3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5757639 Sunday was another good day completely on plan. I've made some interesting observations about what I've seen on my nutrition tracker. <BR> <BR> I am over my target for fat. I am using a LOT of olive oil where I would normally use a cooking spray. That adds a lot of calories but I guess it's just the nature of the beast. In response to this I'm trying to limit avocado and nuts and other fats. <BR> <BR> On the positive side, my sodium intake is VERY low. Just cutting out processed diet f... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 14:47:38 EST Whole30, Day 2 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5756719 Had another awesome day yesterday. Can't believe how NOT hungry I am. <BR> <BR> I made the Avocado Ranch Dressing and it was good, but it had a whole can of full-fat coconut milk in it (600 calories). I thought it would be VERY calorie dense but it isn't -- only 27 calories a tablespoon. It does have a coconut taste, which I'm not used to. Next time I will swap out some of the coconut milk for olive oil. It has a good texture and all in all I'm pleased with it, but will try a different... Sun, 10 Aug 2014 06:50:05 EST Whole30, Day 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5756159 I don't usually follow diet plans because I can't stick with them. I prefer a variety of foods. But I decided to try Whole30 for a couple of reasons: some Sparkfriends have had good results with it, and I can't seem to lose any more weight doing what I'm doing. Time to shake things up! <BR> <BR> <link>www.whole30.com </link> <BR> <BR> Whole30 is just a 30-day commitment to eat whole foods, nothing processed or artificial. Here's basically what you CAN'T have: <BR> <BR> *alcohol <B... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 07:33:46 EST Give Blood! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5755580 It didn't take long for the Red Cross to find me again now that we are back from our trip! I am happy to give blood and do it faithfully every 56 days when we are home. Today I have an appointment at 11:30. <BR> <BR> Blood donations are always down in the summer and the need is always up. I have O positive blood which is the most common blood type, and Type O is considered a universal donor, so I'm especially popular at the blood bank! <em>333</em> <BR> <BR> So if you can, consider ... Fri, 8 Aug 2014 08:09:51 EST Death of a Treadmill http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5755169 Last week my treadmill belt stopped dead while I was at 3.7 MPH, throwing me backwards completely off of it. <BR> <BR> Luckily I was able to keep my head raised so I didn't crack it on the basement floor. <BR> <BR> Yesterday a repairman came out and gave me a quote for fixing it: $689, which is out of the question since it only cost $800 14 years ago. The service call was $107. <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> I asked him which brands he recommended and he said SOLE. I had never heard of them... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 14:20:06 EST Report on Week 1 of "Back on Track, Jack!" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5754216 Home a week, and it was a very good week indeed. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> Got back on the diet wagon, and lost some bloat-pounds. I am in my size 8 jean shorts this morning, snug but wearable, so feeling MUCH better! <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> Started a brand-spanking new diet notebook and have kept up with it for all 7 days. I have tracked every bite of food, even my snack-happy evening of a few nights ago. That's really a breakthrough for me -- in my quest for perfectionism I OFTEN qui... Wed, 6 Aug 2014 09:13:02 EST FLABBERGASTED and INSPIRED! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5753702 Yesterday we got a visit from a friend & neighbor who lives about a mile away. She's about my age, and it's only the third time I've seen her this year. <BR> <BR> When I saw her in January she said she and her husband were going back on their diets; could she borrow my Leslie Sansone "Walk off the pounds" DVD? I was very encouraging, and of course lent her the DVD, but I'd heard this before. She weighs close to 300 pounds and her husband weighs even more. <BR> <BR> Then I saw her again... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 14:36:45 EST Sunday Review http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5752942 Sunday was Day 4 of my "back on track, Jack!" initiative. <BR> <BR> On Sunday we were off our meal schedule; I had a light yogurt with fruit around 6:30 am, came home from walking/jogging 5 miles and had an egg white/veggie omelette with more fruit around 10. I definitely wasn't hungry for lunch, so had an iced coffee around 12:30. <BR> <BR> Then I was so busy I didn't think about food until about 4:30! <em>198</em> Waaay too late for lunch so we had a fairly early, normal dinner of ... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 13:19:49 EST The Countdown! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5752211 Oh, we got a huge laugh over all the comments about my MELON(s) yesterday! Thanks for joining in the fun! <BR> <BR> I bought TWO of them and chunked up one and froze it for smoothies this winter. They are just the way I like them -- very sweet, juicy, and ripe! I'm eating melon morning, noon and night because TC hates canteloupe. (Yum, more for me.) Too much canteloupe -- what a delightful problem to have! <BR> <BR> It feels so good to be home and be back in a routine. Our yard is... Sun, 3 Aug 2014 11:39:23 EST My Melon! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5751774 My GINORMOUS melon! It is called an Athena cantaloupe and it weighs 4.5 pounds! <BR> <BR> WHO takes a picture with her melon? I DO! <BR> <BR> Of course, TC wanted to have a sexier pose and label the blog "MY MELONS!" <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2084899330.jpg"> <BR> <BR> You gotta have a sense of humor in life, dontcha think? <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Sat, 2 Aug 2014 16:52:44 EST Day 3 Post Vacation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5750859 Oh, I enjoyed my hour-plus in the grocery store yesterday! My crispers are bursting with fresh fruits and veggies. My freezer is brimming with healthy choices! In fact, I'm going back again today to load up on the sale items (frozen berries for smoothies, Boca products). <BR> <BR> I'm losing the vacation bloat and it feels good to see the scale come down. I ate really well yesterday and enjoyed fresh sweet cherries, cantaloupe, yellow squash, garden-grown tomatoes. <BR> <BR> Today's my ... Fri, 1 Aug 2014 07:04:21 EST A Million Things... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5750219 ... still to do! <BR> <BR> I got a huge number of things done yesterday, but I still have much to do today. Bank, phone calls, cleaning out the trailer, continuing to pull weeds and work on the yard, etc. <BR> <BR> And Grocery Shopping! YAY! <BR> <BR> It feels so decadent to be back to my large refrigerator AND garage freezer! I fired up the freezer yesterday so I am ready to hit the stores and buy to my heart's content! In fact, I was so excited that I woke up at 4 a.m. and browsed th... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 08:47:51 EST Home Again! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5749836 OMG, we drove home like crazy people: 8 hours the first day, 11 the second, 9 the third. Driving while pulling a trailer is waaay slower and waaay harder than just driving a car. But once the decision to leave was made, we were ready for home! <BR> <BR> The Mormon Tabernacle Choir on Sunday morning was AWESOME. The program is called "Music and the Spoken Word" and it is simply meant to be a ministry, to be an uplifting combination of music, song, and message. It was not meant to try to ... Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:53:56 EST Day 74/90 - Adios, Vacation! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5746297 I understand water leaks are onerous to diagnose. <BR> <BR> But after two repair shop visits and replacement faucets & showerhead that we apparently didn't need, the leak is still with us! <BR> <BR> So we will be leaving on Sunday for home, so we can get the trailer into our trusty repair shop where we are on a first-name basis with the technician, where we tip him generously for service above-and-beyond. He will take care of the leak! <BR> <BR> But we will stay long enough in SLC to hear... Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:20:52 EST Vacation Day 72/90 - What Else Could Go Wrong? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5745170 So today was our move day to Salt Lake City. <BR> <BR> TC went to move the truck...and it wouldn't start! Apparently he had left the keys in the vehicle and the radio on. Oh well! Called our Roadside Service and they arranged for a guy to come out...problem #1 solved! <BR> <BR> Then we went to a "quarter" car wash to blow the worst of the dirt off the trailer. Pulling out, we hit a pothole, scraped bottom, and broke off a stabilizer. Ack. Problem #2. <BR> <BR> Traffic through Salt ... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:26:57 EST Vacation Day 71/90 - Last Hike in Moab http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5744342 We have enjoyed our time here; we are 10 minutes outside of Arches National Park and about an hour away from Canyonlands National Park. We have hiked both parks pretty extensively and enjoyed them immensely. As we wind our way from one national park/national monument to another, I truly understand why these areas have been set aside for the enjoyment of all. They are beautiful and unique. I am so grateful for these national treasures. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, on an impulse, we turned down a ... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:40:14 EST Vacation Day 65/90 - Random Thoughts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5740005 I am down another pound, so happily I am now below my ticker weight! Yay! <BR> <BR> Watermellen wrote a great blog today about celebrating her 5-year maintenance anniversary, and in it she talks about many of the things she's learned to do to maintain her 90-pound weight loss. <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal.asp?id=WATERMELLEN </link> <BR> <BR> The thing that spoke to me this morning is that we have to understand that our weight WILL fluctuate, that upt... Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:46:13 EST Vacation Day 64/90 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5739501 Thanks for the comments on my hiking blog yesterday! <BR> <BR> Yes, I guess I am "fit" but I see a difference in my body since it's now been 2 months without strength training or any kind of ab work. YES, I could do planks, pushups and situps in the trailer but...I don't. I just don't! <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> Also, I've not been Sparking as much, not been tracking...not been watching what I eat very much...and it's starting to show up, especially now that we've not been doing the long,... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:28:42 EST Vacation Day 63/90, Hiking in Utah http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5738947 Yay, heat wave in Utah! The truck temperature gauge registered 106 degrees when we were driving through Valley of the Gods. YE GODS! <BR> <BR> Hiking has been difficult! It is 80 degrees by 8:30 am, 90 degrees by 11:30 am, and hotter than that in the afternoons. We're about 6000 feet above sea level so that adds to the level of difficulty. <BR> <BR> ANYWAY. We got up at 4:00 this morning to do a 8.6 mile hike in Natural Bridges National Monument. We started on the trail at 6:45 am. ... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 22:19:31 EST Vacation Day 55/90 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5732354 We enjoyed Great Sand Dunes National Park. We walked on the sand dunes one day, but MAN! Walking UPhill on sand at 8,000 feet is not my idea of fun! We made it 2/3 of the way up to the top and called it quits. The next day we did a GLORIOUS hike up to Mosca Pass. It was 7 miles round trip and passed a babbling brook, through alpine meadows with lots of wildflowers in bloom. Glorious! The altitude gain was 1,400 feet (from 8200 to 9600) but it was gradual and we took our time. Pictures... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 08:34:54 EST Bad Things Come in Threes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5727888 I was going to write a blog about the last two weeks in Rocky Mountain National Park, and upload some pictures, but my heart is heavy. I'm sorry this blog will be a downer. <BR> <BR> My father died on May 11, 2013 from cancer that invaded the nerves in his face. <BR> <BR> My former sister-in-law, married to my brother for 15 years, died of skin cancer on August 13, 2013 at the age of 51. <BR> <BR> Yesterday my mother was positively diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer. She never smoked a c... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 18:40:04 EST Correction about Devils Tower http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5719404 Well, I found out that DT isn't a volcanic extrusion it is an igneous INTRUSION. Ha! Who knew? <BR> <BR> I thought it was going to be kind of lame, just a big rock sticking out of the ground! But I was wrong -- it is beauiful! You can see it 15 miles away! <BR> <BR> We first took the Red Beds trail (3.5 miles) and then were able to take the paved Tower Trail (1.3 miles around the Tower) with a park ranger who was from the Lakota Tribe. He was EXCELLENT and explained so much about his c... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 21:42:55 EST Vacation Day 35/90: Devils Tower, Wyoming http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5718918 Today we are off to see Devils Tower in Moorcroft, Wyoming. My husband is a big geology fan so passing up a volcanic extrusion just wasn't going to happen! It also is a national monument so I can get my National Parks passport stamped, which is the highlight for me! Love looking through that book, seeing all the national parks, monuments, and historic sites we've been to. <BR> <BR> Of course we'll hike today also! We are hoping to do all 7 miles of trails around the tower. We will NOT b... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 08:09:36 EST Vacation Day 28/90 - Buffalo Encounters of the Close Kind http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5714411 We went to Mt. Rushmore today. I hate to admit it, but it PALED compared to Crazy Horse. It's just so...small! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1587553561.jpg"> <BR> <BR> But we enjoyed the video and the visitor's center and the president's walk, and then we came back to the campground and decided on a 5.5 mile hike. <BR> <BR> I packed our lunches and we started on the loop. We got about 1/2 mile and saw....places in the grass that were all matted down (bu... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 18:24:46 EST Custer State Park and My First (But Definitely Not Last) Volksmarch http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5713003 As avid a walker as I am, you'd think I'd know about a national -- no, INTERNATIONAL -- walking organization! <BR> <BR> But you'd be wrong! <BR> <BR> Today was such a serendipitous day, I can't believe it. <BR> <BR> We are at Custer State Park in South Dakota. It is an incredible park with 1500 wild buffalo who have the entire run of the park. Seriously. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1330538917.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 19:45:55 EST Vacation, Day 21/90 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5708779 We are currently in Garretson, South Dakota at Palisades State Park. The quartzite cliffs are beautiful: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/0/l904020921.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Tomorrow it is off to Mitchell, SD for one night to see the famouse Corn Palace and on Wednesday we drive to Custer State Park in Custer, SD to spend 11 nights. They have the largest bison herd in the US and lots of hiking trails. We'll also be doing a lot of siteseeing -- Crazy Horse, Badlands Nat... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 09:55:28 EST 12th Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5698160 Did our 12th half marathon in Midland, Michigan, with my brother and his girlfriend. Had a great time! She ran, my brother walks like a maniac, and we did our walk/jog thing. We finished about a minute behind our best time, but we had TWO potty breaks so we did a great job! 2:59 minutes. Here's the 4 of us: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l114925919.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Then we went to pick up my other two brothers at the airport. When we arrived at my mother's... Mon, 19 May 2014 07:50:34 EST Vacation, Day 4/90 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5696207 We finally arrived in Michigan yesterday and set up camp midway between the town where my mother lives and the town where TC's family lives. It was 3 days of driving in the rain, but we made it without incident so we are grateful! <BR> <BR> The weeks before leaving on an extended trip are always stressful and difficult. There is SO MUCH to do in shutting down a house for three months and packing for three months on the road. Every time I crossed one thing off my list I thought of two m... Fri, 16 May 2014 08:31:19 EST Tough Day for Me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5692743 Yes, today is Mother's Day, but it's a tough day for me. <BR> <BR> My father died one year ago today. This is the photo of the two of us I've had on my computer desktop for most of the past year: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2078828034.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I talked to my mother today. She and my two siblings that still live in state went to Mass this morning, then lunch, and then the cemetery to plant flowers on my dad's grave. My nephew also went. His mothe... Sun, 11 May 2014 17:18:23 EST Travel Prep http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5687358 Hi fellow Sparklers! <em>283</em> <BR> <BR> Things are well in my world but getting busy. <BR> <BR> We are leaving in a week for our 3-month trip. We are taking our smallish travel trailer to Michigan to visit family for 2 weeks, and then off to South Dakota and points west for a hiking and siteseeing vacation. <BR> <BR> My husband is a geography/history major so this is "his" trip. But I am in for the ride! <BR> <BR> I have a zillion things to do in the next week: pack clothes fo... Sun, 4 May 2014 17:29:46 EST Half Marathon - Personal Best! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5681541 Hello fellow Sparklers, <BR> <BR> I haven't been feeling the Spark much lately, which is why I haven't blogged. But now that this half marathon is over I'm feeling like I have a fresh start. <BR> <BR> This was the first half marathon in my hometown. TC and I signed up along with a lot of people from our fitness center, including many of the group fitness instructors and the HIGHLY competitive woman who made me feel so badly about our February half marathon time. I blogged about that for ... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 11:06:44 EST Is It Worth It? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5669677 This was the discussion topic in Weight Watchers last night. <BR> <BR> Before automatically grabbing for something, <em>227</em> <BR> <BR> and ask yourself: IS IT WORTH IT? <BR> <BR> * Is it an occasion? <BR> * How often do you eat this food? Can you get it any time? <BR> * Does it look delicious and amazing? <BR> * Do you have the calories to "spend" on it? <BR> * Can you control how much of it you eat? <BR> <BR> I thought these were excellent points, and honestly, ones we can't he... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:14:45 EST April Plans! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5663835 OMG, WHERE did the first quarter of the year go?? <BR> <BR> I haven't made any forward progress, BUT: I've stabilized at 137-138. I'm still exercising a lot but as usual, my eating has been inconsistent which is why I haven't lost any more. <BR> <BR> Isn't it true that we have to keep things fresh on our journey, that we need to find ways to continually motivate ourselves? So to shake things up I rejoined Weight Watchers tonight! <BR> <BR> Fully-dressed and after drinking all my water... Thu, 3 Apr 2014 21:40:14 EST 2014 Travels http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5635046 Writing a blog for the third and final day of the challenge! <BR> <BR> Nothing weight-related though. I'm doing well with exercise; I've been averaging 18,000 steps per day and keeping up with my classes. I've been sloppy with my nutrition and I've been up and down the same 5 pounds all of February. I hope I can get some traction in March! <BR> <BR> We are planning our trips for the year. <BR> <BR> In March we will take our travel trailer for Tennessee for a week. We are going to do a ... Thu, 27 Feb 2014 08:29:46 EST Hump Day Funnies http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5634107 I have to write a blog today for a challenge, so thought I'd share a mid-week chuckle! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/0/l503736524.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/2/l225751001.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l668853829.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1674915733.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1251862953.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 08:35:06 EST Head Hunger http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5633060 I am reading through "100 days of weight loss" by Linda Sprangle with a group of Sparkfriends. We have a discussion thread on the Emotional Eating Spark team. <BR> <BR> Today's topic is "Head Hunger". <BR> <BR> The author contends that there are times when we crave crunchy or chewy foods when we are feeling angry, frustrated, or resentful. She says when we have the desire to eat these kinds of foods we should ask ourselves, "What do I really want to chew on?" <BR> <BR> I'm not sure that ... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 01:32:55 EST Last Thoughts on the Race Before Moving On http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5629324 Thanks to everyone for their support on my blog Tuesday. I can always count on fellow Sparkers to be in my corner and have my back! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/0/l2048091652.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I guess I didn't realize how much that woman affected me with her disdainful "OH" at the fitness center on Tuesday. I really felt crushed! You see, probably unlike her, I've never been athletic. AT ALL. Not until about ten years ago had I even walked a mile for fitness... Thu, 20 Feb 2014 14:21:29 EST More Thoughts on the Half Marathon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5627455 I forgot to mention a couple of cool things that happened during the race. <BR> <BR> First off, about Mile 9, a woman & man passed us and she turned around and said, "Are y'all married?" I gasped, "YES." <BR> <BR> She said, "I want to be just like y'all. Y'all are awesome!" She and the man (presumably her husband) were a few years either side of 30, and her taking the time to say that? It JUST MADE MY DAY! <BR> <BR> After the race TC said, "People are really friendly around here. ... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:46:56 EST Our 10th Half Marathon! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5626507 It was in Texarkana, Texas & Arkansas. It swung back and forth between the states. Kind of fun! <BR> <BR> Before the race: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/2/l820162493.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Ha! In front of the Arkansas Razorback HOG! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1350051877.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Now why did he take my picture with the hog's rear end? Just sayin'. <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 13:58:44 EST Would You Pay? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5623032 LOVED yesterday's comments on the appropriateness of the Spark article on "Making Your Own Girl Scout Cookies." <BR> <BR> Like all of us, I ignore a lot of what I see on Spark -- I just felt this was particularly egregious-- we are bombarded by unhealthy food EVERYWHERE in our culture, it is the cause of a rapidly-advancing obesity crisis, and ... I'd like to think that Sparkpeople was better than this. <BR> <BR> AND, this was NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT -- this was an article by a Sparkpeople em... Thu, 13 Feb 2014 10:48:27 EST