Official "Before" Pic 11-09-2009 . . . and then I actually got started on New Year's Day. Thankful!

My hubby and me

My beloved family . . . two grown sons and husband of 32 years!


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Update, 2-26-2010: I'm not a newbie anymore. As of today, I've lost 5 lbs. on SP, but it's not about numbers for me. It's about being and feeling healthy. And yes, of course, I do feel so much better when I drop a few more pounds. It's encouraging and exhilarating!

I sort of fell of the wagon for about a month from mid-January to mid-February due to a two-week nasty chest cold followed by two weeks of being snowed in. Seriously snowed in! Somehow, I still really want to bake when it snows, most likely because it is the way I show my love to the rest of my fit and trim family. I overindulged. I ate 3/4 of what I baked rather than waiting for the three of them to get around to eating it up. (It would have taken them days on end. Ha!)

Four days ago, I decided to get back to diligently using the nutrition tracker, diligently drinking those 8 glasses of water a day, and began walking my dog daily for a 20-minute mile. It worked!

Okay, okay, I can hear you now. Keep it up! And I am. Not "I will," but rather "I am."

I am also thrilled that I will probably be teaching again soon, this time under sub-contract rather than taking a full-time teaching position with any particular school system. This way, I can control the hours I work each week, and I won't be working more than 35. On top of that, every hour will be paid, even my driving time which will most likely be a two-hour round trip. Hallelujah!!!

First entry, 1-1-2010: I'm new to Spark People, and I'm looking for motivation, inspiration, and an effective accountability system for getting fit and healthy again. Being overweight was not a problem until I began taking desperately-needed anti-depressants shortly before my 39th birthday in 1995. In 2000, a medication change resulted in my effortlessly losing 65 lbs. over the course of a year (because the previous medication had caused the weight gain).

Then in 2004, I began a full-time itinerant teaching career teaching children with vision impairments and blindness to use assistive technology and to read and write braille. I felt that my career was a gift from God and loved it so much. However, I let things get out of balance, and I ended up putting my career ahead of everything except the well-being of my family. I had made it my god.

Due to consistently working into the night and on weekends, the teaching and all the braille preparation (which I also loved) equated to an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle. I spent my summers sleeping and trying to recuperate from each exhausting year of teaching. After four years, through, a combination of lack of sleep (about four-to-five hours per night), unrelenting stress (because we were always understaffed therefore overworked), and poor eating habits (grabbing meals at the drive-thru window and the convenience stops) led to another 65-lb. weight gain.

A little over a year ago, I gave up that career because I had allowed it to ruin my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Determined to re-focus on my relationship with the Lord, I decided to become a stay-at-home wife and mother again (and to enjoy the company of my newly retired husband). I redirected my loving gratitude for all God has done for me toward my family and friends by knitting, resuming the cooking (which I had not done in six years), and being mentally, physically, and emotionally available to encourage them.

Within three months, 25 pounds fell off, and I was delighted to be set free! (It's amazing what eating all meals at home and getting a good night's rest every night will do for your health!) I've re-gained five pounds over the holidays now, and I don't want to go anywhere because I feel unhealthy and unattractive. (Talk about vanity!)

I admit that none of this is going to improve without a conscious decision to do something about it and to follow through with that decision. So here I am. I realize no more weight is going to just "fall off." I realize I need to increase my activity level and focus on healthy eating in order to ward off the diabetes and heart conditions that plagued my parents and eldest brother who have passed on.

I'm eager to find a way that captures my interest and sparks my competitive streak which usually lies dormant but can be a tremendous asset! So here goes . . .

Member Since: 1/1/2010

Fitness Minutes: 1,070

My Goals:
. . . to live a healthy lifestyle

*eat healthy foods
*increase activity level
*track nutrition, fitness, and other goals daily

My Program:
To increase my activity level, I'm walking my dog. The goal is to walk her at least once a day or else march in place for 20 mins. I'd rather take the dog for a walk! I'm also making a conscious effort to drink those 8 glasses of water daily. They help flush the pounds away and KEEP them away!

Personal Information:
My real name is Sharon, and I like using my mom's name as my userid for fitness-related activity. She was born and raised and lived most of her life in the Washington, DC, area. She walked just about everywhere and never drove a car. I remember her exercising along with Jack LaLane on TV when I was little, too, or dancing around the house to music on the radio. (I didn't inherit that perpetual-motion gene.) I came to the Fredericksburg, VA, area in 1974 to attend Mary Washington College (now University), and I'm still here. It's home!

Other Information:
I love to knit, and I enjoy watching Biggest Loser and Survivor. I enjoy reading nonfiction and listening to oldies (50's & 60's) and contemporary Christian music. I like winter better than summer because I hate to get overheated. Maybe this coming summer will be easiser to tolerate when I am in better physical condition.

Read More About LUCILEELIZABETH - Profile Information moved here. (Updated February 26)

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    I hope you are well! I'm just stopping by to say hi! Enjoy the Spark!

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    2547 days ago
    Hi ! Just got back here. Still recovering from a fall that resulted in injury to teeth and resulting very bad abscess that swelled up left side of face really badly and my whole body got into fighting it first thing this month. Abscess returned. Penicillin wasn't enough. So was about as wiped out as one can get , but new antibiotic is doing a better job and I will be starting walking again and doing all kinds of easy going stuff for a while , as much outside as I can manage and work on stamina and regularity with walks and going fishing . I really need to actually relax despite not having to work ? emoticon

    Glad to be back too!
    2550 days ago
    I've found that SMILES are contagious. I am trying to start an epidemic. Here's a smile to brighten your day. Thanks for being my spark friend and for being on the journey to better health & fitness with me. Bright blessings to you! Love, Dawn emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2763 days ago
    Can only assume you have taken time off! When you check in, get in touch!
    2767 days ago
    Checking up on my are you doing?? Haven't heard from you in awhile........hope all is well.

    2821 days ago
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