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One of our roosters

Our softball team took 2nd place in our church league. My first team sport ever, so much fun!

After a fundraising dinner for the Food Initiatives Group, aka "FIG"-we call ourselves "Figgies"


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I'm just coming back to SP after a 2 year hiatus. My life has completely changed, and I get the feeling sometimes that it has probably been the best thing that could've happened to me, on many levels.

I made the decision to live with my boyfriend Zack on his family's farm. My life in the suburbs could never have prepared me for it! Infrastructure issues, livestock issues, money issues, relationship issues - ! Wow, I had no clue, and the first year + were...well, hell!

But they taught me to look deep inside myself for something I wasn't even sure I had anymore: the very resolve I thought I'd had. Sure, resolve is great for weight loss - necessary, even - but it really comes in handy for life in general, as I discovered.

I realized I had to start taking better care of myself. When I did that - everything changed. I still have a long way to go. Sure, the weight is coming off, but there's so much more now to life, now that I'm paying attention. Finances? Oh yeah, still an issue. Then the pesky matter of doing an exit project so I can get a Master's Degree. But more than that, the very, very important business of finding out, and celebrating, who I am. That's what I hope to do (when I can eke out the time!) on Sparkpeople. And wherever else I happen to be. Maybe then I can spread the elusive Spark. ;)


In February, 2011, I realized I had gained and weighed more than I ever had in my life. At that point, something changed. I'm not sure exactly what turned that around, but I think it was the realization that I simply couldn't afford to gain any more weight.

Whatever it was, over the past seven or eight months, I have been slowly, surely slimming down to where I am now, 20+ lbs. thinner than I was this past February. I wish I could say I'd found a miracle program, but no. Instead, it's just been a slow process of paying closer attention to my body and making little adjustments along the way.

I eat less, portion-wise, than I did before. I'm satisfied with less. I am more careful about my sugar intake, because sugar is truly what seems to make the majority of us fatter, and high levels of fructose are particularly nasty, and harmful to the heart. To that end, I eat a lot less processed food. I don't eat out much anymore.

But above all else, what I'm finding is that I'm giving myself permission to not be perfect, and holding back from beating myself up. I'm am aiming at improved overall health, and that is what's guiding my decisions.

So, in order to support that, I resolve to slowly, and healthfully, take off the excess weight I gained over the past two decades, and restore my life to a state of healthy energy and loving balance. This means:
- I have set my weight loss final goal back to the year 2013.
- I refuse to make choices about my health that are based on fear, or competition with others.
- I give myself credit where credit is due, and a pep talk when that's needed
- I resolve to never let the scale "just start creeping back up."
- I resolve to maintain the weight I have lost, for good.
- I resolve to keep doing this not just until I reach my goal, but for as long as I live, to keep myself healthy.
- In the case where, God forbid, I gain due to illness, injury or severe trauma, I will put my health and well-being first. To that end I will seek the help and support of others to bring my weight back under control if at all possible. I will do all in my power to healthfully bring my life back into stability and balance with healthy food choices, activity and movement appropriate to my situation. I will not give up on my health, or myself.
- I will remember this is a marathon for a lifetime,not a sprint.

Peace all!

Updated goals to reflect my new goals as of 11/5/2011

230 lb. - **attained sometime before 2/7
228 lb. - **attained 2/7 :)
226 lb. - **attained 2/15
224 lb. - **attained sometime between 2/15 and September
222 lb. - **attained approximately mid-October
****fluctuated back and forth for at least a month here******
220 lb. - **attained approximately late-October
218 lb. - **attained Nov. 4, 2011
216 lb. - **attained Nov. 10, 2011
214 lb. - goal date Nov. 24, 2011
212 lb. - goal date Dec. 8, 2011
210 lb. - goal date Dec. 22, 2011
208 lb: - goal date Jan. 5, 2012 - at this weight I will be thinner than I have been in 5 years
206 lb. - goal date Jan. 19, 2012
204 lb. - goal date Feb. 2, 2012 - when I hit this weight I'll be thinner than I have been in over a decade.
202 lb. - goal date Feb. 16, 2012
200 lb. - goal date Mar. 2, 2012
198 lb. - goal date Mar. 16, 2012
196 lb. - goal date Mar. 30, 2012
194 lb. - goal date Apr. 13, 2012
192 lb. - goal date Apr. 27, 2012
190 lb. - goal date May 11, 2012
188 lb. - goal date May 25, 2012
186 lb. - goal date June 8, 2012
184 lb. - goal date June 22, 2012
182 lb. - goal date July 7, 2012
180 lb. - goal date July 21, 2012
178 lb. - goal date Aug. 4, 2012
176 lb. - goal date Aug. 18, 2012
174 lb. - goal date Sept. 1, 2012 - when I get here, I'll finally be about the weight listed on my driver's license! ;)
172 lb. - goal date Sept. 15, 2012 - When I hit this weight I will be lighter than I have in over 15 years.
170 lb. - goal date Sept. 29, 2012
168 lb. - goal date Oct. 13, 2012
166 lb. - goal date Oct. 27, 2012
164 lb. - goal date Nov. 10, 2012
162 lb. - goal date Nov. 24, 2012
160 lb. - goal date Dec. 8, 2012 - in the home stretch now!!!
158 lb. - goal date Dec. 22, 2012
156 lb. - goal date Jan. 5, 2013
154 lb. - goal date Jan. 19, 2013
152 lb. - goal date Feb. 2, 2013
150 lb. - goal date Feb. 16, 2013 ***GOAL WEIGHT****


Hi everyone!

I'm a recent college grad, now going for my Master's, over 20 years since I graduated high school. I love to read, love coffee, and of course, food!

Of course, I didn't get this way all at once, or overnight. It took years, and a lot of heartache which prompted me to turn to food for comfort. But it's not comfortable to be as big as I am, and not be as able to do the things I used to do, not that long ago. The worst part is that I am so much more afraid to try new things now than I ever used to be. I'm not sure how or when that crept up on me, but I have to say it seems to have accompanied the weight gain....

Getting older, I realize I might not be able to do what I could do in high school, or college the first time around, but being healthier should help me do so much more than I can right now. And fear is something I have to look in the face, if I am to overcome it.

Member Since: 5/18/2006

Fitness Minutes: 20,584

My Goals:
Enjoy overall well-being, energy, and a full range of motion. Be able to do what I love, hopefully for the rest of my life.

My Program:
I don't have a set of rules anymore. I now live on a farm, which my bf and I are gardening, mostly by hand. We are taking time to learn about Permaculture, a method of using perennials and ecosystem-friendly strategies to create environments for plants and desirable insects. This means I work hard! I don't have time - or money - for a gym anymore, but spend hours a day squatting to plant (at least during planting season, lol), and I'm looking forward to expanding my workout repertoire with activities like weeding, hoeing, harvesting, biking to the farmers' market, etc. I eat almost all my meals from home; that alone has helped me lose the additional 20 lbs. since 2011. It's now all about lifestyle, not looks, not guilt. And that has made all the difference.

Personal Information:
I'm farming - mostly by hand - with my bf, Zack, in the Midwest. We live on his family's farm, where we strive to learn and live principles of local farming that nurture the environment and community. For those who are interested, we are looking into putting many of Sepp Holzer's principles about Permaculture into practice on this little patch of land we call home. We would like to be the first - and best - example of Permaculture put into practice in our little farming/university community.

Other Information:
Ha! How things have changed. I just re-read this, and laughed, out loud! See personal information if you're wondering what on earth I mean. Here's the previous entry: "Professionally, I am preparing to be a training and development specialist."

Ha! Not anymore. :D

Read More About MICHELLELEE150 - Profile Information moved here. (Updated April 10)

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  • v CM_GARDNER78
    That is SOOOOOOOOOOO nice when you get a break!! I hope you've had enough time to get caught up!!

    WTG to your workout buddy on keeping you focused!! That's half the battle right there!! It sounds like you're doing great! You NEED to send me that professional organizer - I could TOTALLY use it!! LOL

    I will check out the By the Numbers team. I hadn't heard of that one before! I have some pics from end of January, and I plan to post them once I get them off my camera. Ha. We'll see if I get them up sometime soon!

    Hope you had a good weekend!
    ~ Christa
    2499 days ago
  • v CM_GARDNER78
    Hey Michelle!!
    I sure am trying....some weeks I feel like I have to fight SO HARD to take any weight off.....but I finally have gotten my body into the momentum and it is propelling me to LOSE rather than gain! FINALLY! I feel like it's been forever! I feel so much better now too....

    A professional organizer?!?! You go girl!! When you're done with them, send them to ME! HA! I think that is awesome, and you are doing what is necessary instead of chasing your tail.....you are doing exactly what you need to do!!!! WAY TO GO!!!

    Great job on the working out too!! It's SO much better/easier/funner when you have someone to do it with you!!! You are doing so awesome!!! I'm proud of YOU!!!

    I saw your goals on your page - kicking butt and taking names!! You will do it!!! I can't wait to celebrate all the milestones you have listed on there!! We are still so CLOSE in our goals....I will be moving in the same direction, at about the same rate as you! We can celebrate together!

    Family is good - only one kind of bad cold....but we're over it now. Otherwise healthy - but I'm waiting for that to hit. Pure pessimism there, I NEVER know what's going to happen with illness. I feel like the stomach flu is bound to happen any time.....

    Baby is great - she was 12# about a month ago - she sees the doc again on Friday so I'll see how much bigger she is now. :-) She is so cute. I love having babies in the house......and she's growing so fast, she'll be crawling around before I know it!

    I was going to do bootcamp a second round, but didn't. I haven't signed up for anything yet, but I would like to! I tend to stick with something better if I have it outlined what I need to do daily. And, if I end up missing a workout, then I don't feel so bad if I've done a challenge workout already for the day. I have to search out there for a challenge team - people are always talking about Biggest Loser challenges and stuff....I need to find one!!

    I'm glad things sound like they are going good for you! Hope you're feeling well - and that your workouts are going good!! I'm rooting for you!!!
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    ~ Christa
    2504 days ago
    So happy to meet another Packer fan! Sure hope they play to their capabilities and beat those Steelers. Will be cheering wholeheartedly! emoticon
    2506 days ago
  • v CM_GARDNER78
    Hey busy lady!!! How is school going?? How are YOU doing?? Hope things are going well.....I know how busy you are, but wanted to stop by and say hello and say that I was thinking about you and hope you are doing well!

    Stop by and say hi when you have time!!!

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    ~ Christa
    2520 days ago
    HAPPY NEW YEAR. I hope your year is filled with SparkSuccess and other great things.
    2542 days ago
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