DH (before the H part) and I in 2007. I was probably 138 pounds, although not very toned.

My cat Doogie in his favorite place--on the bed


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I am looking for a healthy way to raise my energy levels, accomplish my goals professionally and personally, and find a "happy place" on a daily basis. I spent my youth dancing, running, and doing gymnastics up to 40 hours a week. No wonder I don't know how to eat well! I found Eat to Live six months ago (Dr. Fuhrman--www.diseaseproof.com). Since then, I would say that I'm about 90% vegan, although it is hard for me to resist cheese. This is even more important for me as I'm a melanoma survivor (August 2007 at age 26). I plan on NEVER having cancer again.

I am 5'7" and have a fairly small frame. I am hoping to lose 10-15 pounds in total and not be tired going up a few flights of stairs. I'm going to make it and stay there this time!

Here are my goals:
1. Work on eating more whole/organic foods. This will include eating more vegetarian dishes--a big task because my husband LOVES meat! I actually try to eat vegan along the lines of Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live for every meal I prepare. When I'm out, I might have a little lean protein in meat form. UPDATE: No meat or cheese during Lent. I'm going to wipe out any and all cravings.
2. Get to the point where I can't wait to get to the gym--working on building a habit where breaking a sweat elicits joy, not dread! :)
3. Break my decade-long caffeine habit. Wake up using yoga, not coffee!
4. Prep myself for success: take my workout clothes to work with me so I have no excuse for skipping the gym, load my work fridge with healthy and tasty snacks, and find rewards that don't include food.
5. Reduce my body fat. I was at 24% in early January 2010. I want to get this down to 20%, even more than I want to get my weight down.
6. Finding PEACE with the size of my thighs and butt. If I gain 10 pounds, 9.5 are going straight there. I want muscle tone in my legs again so I don't hide in pants even in 90 degree weather.

1. New gym membership in downtown Chicago for initial weight loss: January 2010
2. Pedicure for 15 gym visits in January 2010: soon!
3. Massage at Cortiva ($30 for a student massage) for February if I go to the gym 15 times

First 5-K: Children's Memorial, August 22, 2009--28:38
First 8-K: Shamrock Shuffle, March 21, 2010--goal is sub-50 minutes (MADE IT! 49:30)
First 10-K: Run for the Zoo, June 6, 2010--no goal yet

Member Since: 11/5/2008

Fitness Minutes: 5,483

My Goals:
I am hoping to find the balance of a healthy lifestyle and happy mind.
*Starting measurements January 2010: 146 pounds & 25% body fat
*Weight Feb. 1, 2010: 140
*Weight March 15, 2010: 133

My Program:
I joined Lakeshore Athletic Club in Chicago. I LOVE that it is right across the street from work. Here's my current routine:
Monday: Long, slow run for 8K training (4+ miles)
Tuesday: Spin class + short, full-body weight routine
Wednesday: Fast 2 mile run + vinyasa yoga class (I look forward to that class all week)
Thursday: Elliptical for half an hour + long, full-body weight routine
Friday: Long, slow run (4+ miles)
Saturday OR Sunday: workout video at home

As for nutrition, I follow ETL to the best of my abilities and schedule. This means I aim to eat 90% of my calories from plant sources (fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds).

Personal Information:
My name is Amanda. I live and work in Chicago with my husband of a little over two years. We have a spoiled cat named Doogie who we adopted from PAWS in February 2009.

Other Information:
I love British literature from Jane Austen through Sylvia Plath. I would rather be reading than doing almost anything else. I also love to cook and have a secret dream of going to culinary school.

Read More About ONCEAGAINAMANDA - Profile Information moved here. (Updated April 1)

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 current weight: 134.0 
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    It's HOT outside Chicago Women! Remember to stay hydrated today!

    And Stay...

    S Smart Choices
    T Taking Time For Ourselves
    R Reaching Towards Your Goals
    O Overcome Obstacle
    N Never Give Up
    G Getting What We Want

    1926 days ago
    You posted a question on my sparkpage about salad dressings. I don't actually use salad dressing anymore, but I find that a squirt of lemon juice and black pepper tastes really nice, just a little sea salt or a splash of balsamic or red wine vinegar is a nice addition, too.
    2442 days ago
    Thanks for stopping by my Spark Page and the kind words. Give up the cheese, the chocolate is not near as bad for you as the cheese !!

    (`.) and StarDust
    . `...).) :.*``)
    :. (. (. Vikki

    2444 days ago
    I just LOVE Sense and Sensibility, especially Marianne...
    But yes, I also love Pride and Prejudice. Have you ever read the books that tell the story of their lives after they married? It's fun, but I kind of like the idea of only imagining how Mr. Darcy would be as a dad. emoticon
    I hope I can come to you when I have questions about the ETL diet. emoticon
    All the best,
    2451 days ago
    Hi Amanda,
    Thank you for taking the time to reply to my message at the ETL team page.
    Hey, I also love Jane Austen! Do you have a favorite book?
    2453 days ago