*AMBER512   207,451
200,000-249,999 SparkPoints
*AMBER512's Recent Blog Entries

5 Year Sparkiversary - You Are Worth It

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Every single year my Sparkiversary seems to sneak up on me. I donít think I have ever been fully prepared to reflect on the previous year. And to be honest, this year I have even less ideas as to what to say about it. I think I did a good job covering it after two years:


Then again after my third year:


And again after four years:


Now that it has been five long years since the day that I decided to start SparkPeople, I wonder if there is any more wisdom up in this noggin of mine.

And what I really have to say is this: You can do it. Every single time someone has left me a comment, a SparkGoodie or a message I have always thanked them for whatever compliment they gave me and then immediately added ďIf I can do it, you can too.Ē

I am the most stubborn person in the world. I know I havenít met everyone in the world, but go with me on this one. I like things the way they are. I enjoy getting stuck in a nice comfortable rut. I am uncomfortable with change and unfamiliar situations. But one day I had to decide that I was worth more than I was giving myself at the time. I may suffer from low self esteem at times, but I know that I was beautifully and wonderfully made. And I thank God for everything He has given me. He blessed me with a body and soul and I wasnít treating either correctly for far too long.

You are worth it.

You are worth any and every effort it takes to change yourself for the better. I have maintained my 100 pound weight loss by refusing to allow anyone else to tell me that I am worthless.

I am worth the extra effort to fit exercise in my schedule. I am worth the extra effort to ensure that I have the tools to feed myself and my husband with food that is both good tasting and good for us. I am worth being taken care of.

You are too.

If I can express anything to you after 5 years of sparking through my journey itís that you, dear friend, are worth it.

I found my spark. And I know you can find yours.

You can follow my crazy ramblings and food recipes at www.foundmyspark.com

Me at 40 lbs lost and at 100 lbs lost.

Happy Sparking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

*AMBER512 7/27/2012 2:39PM

    PURRBAL - If you scroll down on this blog: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_p

you can find my recipe for quinoa made with salsa!

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PURRBAL 7/26/2012 9:40PM

  Great job! Hey I saw you comment online that Quinoa was amazing cooked in Salsa... I'm new to quinoa can you tell me if you just substitute the salsa for the exact amount of water or do you still use water too? Very interested in trying this, scared to screw it up. Thanks. emoticon

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JEM0622 3/6/2012 12:42PM

    Happy emoticon


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TINK9305 3/6/2012 12:00PM

    keep up the great work!!!

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ADEWYN 3/4/2012 1:52PM

    you are totally worth it! always proud of you... make sure you check in once in awhile and say hey :) hugs and love

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MSBETH 2/21/2012 8:59AM

    Made me tear up!! Just what I needed to hear. Thank You!!! (and great job!) :)

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GEMSTONE1952 2/9/2012 10:32PM

    Happy Sparkiversary!

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CBAILEYC 2/9/2012 3:46PM

    Fabulous! Congrats on your Sparkversary, and all of your successes!
emoticon emoticon

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KNMMOMMY 2/8/2012 12:40AM

    I can't believe it has been 5 years! It seems like yesterday that we were starting on this journey! I'm soooo stinking proud of your success! Keep motivating and on your maintenance track! You are such an inspiration to me! emoticon

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JODIWHITE19 2/7/2012 11:38PM

    Great Blog!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon!!

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/7/2012 9:45PM

    Congrats and good on you!!

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VENISEW1 2/7/2012 8:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SparkPeople's New Workout DVD

Sunday, January 29, 2012

It has been a really long time since I last updated this blog. So long ago that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years have happened since then. If you havenít been reading my new blog www.foundmyspark.com , you probably have no idea whatís been happening since then.

For a short recap:

I had a great time with family and friends at the holidays and I completely injured my foot on New Yearís. Iíve done everything from sharing my favorite recipe (black bean casserole) yet again to making my own candy at home. A short recap, but you know how I am!

But really, none of that has to do with what this blog is really about. This blog is about the new SparkPeople fitness DVD I just got. I have been through the 20 and 30 minute segments on it and I have to say, itís a good one. To be totally up front I received this DVD for free from SparkPeople and did not receive any form of my payment for my review. All of my opinions are mine and mine alone!

Trust me, only I can convince myself to look like a complete dork for the amusement of others.

But I hope you are informed as well as amused. I actually really liked this DVD. I love workout DVDs that allow you to pick how much time you want to spend exercising. You can follow the 28-day workout plan or choose from workout segments that are 12, 20, or 30 minutes long. I wasnít actually able to do everything in the DVD, but then again, I canít do some moves in most workout DVDs. I live in a top floor apartment and I have to modify most cardio moves. No jumping or kicking or anything that would make the entire apartment building shake and make noise. I donít want to anger any of my neighbors! But I can certainly do floor moves.

I also really liked that there were so many options for the moves. You can follow Coach Nicole or one of two background trainers. One doing beginner moves and another doing more advanced versions. I havenít been following it for long, but I can already feel myself improving. If I keep it up Iíll even try those advanced moves!

I havenít worked my way up to a full side plank yet, but I was able to tuck my bottom leg in and do the full move that way.

The other thing I really like is the countdown timer. Some people might not want to know how much time is left, but I like being able to glance up and know that the end to my confusion is near. I think Iím better at the moves if I watch each segment first, otherwise you can see how easily confused I get.

Trust me, itís not that hard. If I can do it in the slightest, you will be able to do it completely! I just made sure to keep a close eye on the TV at all times. Coach Nicole is really good about explaining each move. She has the voice of your more active best friend who knows what sheís doing and wants to help you become a pro too.

Next time Iíll probably wear shoes because I think I would have been better able to stay up in that side plank if I had some traction under me. Oh, and I should probably invest in some actual weights instead of using the 3-pounders Iíve had for years. That would probably help me sculpt my body even more.

While I do like most everything about this DVD, I donít think anything is perfect. The one downside for me was the music. It wasnít awful, it just left me feeling like I was in a video game. Although, to be honest, once I realized thatís what it reminded me of it wasnít too hard to picture myself earning coins and points for each move. I really am that easily entertained!

You can get a $3 off coupon at www.sparkpeople.com/28daybootcamp. Iím all about saving money in any way that I can. Although Iím already a huge fan of SparkPeople and would have paid full price for this DVD to show my support! Also, you get 250 SparkPoints if you buy it at Target. Sweet!

Do you think youíll try out this DVD? What is your favorite exercise to do at home?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINK9305 3/14/2012 9:17AM

    Great review!!!!! I'll check out the blog

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AMBER32585 2/3/2012 9:34PM

    cute review!

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SHFELKEY 1/30/2012 10:32AM

    Thanks for posting your review of the DVD! Glad to hear you are enjoying it -- love your tall socks too! emoticon

Keep on Sparking!

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Emotional (over)Eating

Monday, November 07, 2011

Hey all. Sorry I haven't posted lately. I have just had a string of bad things going on. I think I'm up about three pounds because of way too much of this:

Although I have been tracking the calories and I know I haven't actually overeaten by the 10,500 or so calories it would take to gain three pounds. So some of this must be some water weight.

It's just been really rough this past week and a half and the hits just keep on coming. Now I'm having to deal with a leaking water heater. You can read more on my latest blog. www.foundmyspark.com/2011/11/07/emot

I don't want to end this on a bummer note, but if you do have any tips you want to share (or things that I really should remember) that deal with emotional eating please do. This is not the first time I have given in to emotional eating, but I am hoping to get a good handle on it.

No one is perfect. Today is a brand new day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

*AMBER512 11/9/2011 2:20PM

    Thank you all so much for your kind comments. I am thankfully taking a much healthier approach to my food thoughts lately.

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ADEWYN 11/7/2011 3:44PM

    emotional eating is the hardest to deal with.. I try and occupy myself with chores errands laundry a phone call to a friend... blogging something other then eating... deal with the emotion and if you still want a treat then let yourself have a treat count it and move on.... his ia tough one but I have to say it works 95% of the time and the other 5% oh well chalk it up to a bad day and move on.. Hug and love!!

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RONIREDD 11/7/2011 3:29PM

    I ate a whole box of Girl Scout cookies in 1 sitting! So, now ... the other 2 boxes are in the freezer. And, all the Halloween candy has come to work (and is NOT on my desk!)

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WORTHEYMOM 11/7/2011 2:37PM

    I am soooo there with you! I have been doing just fine resisting all of the stink'n temptations around the house, but the remodeling is getting to me so what do I do - grab a candy bar! grr - I just took them to work with me (despite the crying and whining from the kids and the husband) where I am NOT tempted to eat them at all! I think we are all in the same boat - I think I hear a good workout with lots of sweat calling my name!

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Stir Fry Help Needed!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I have been desperately trying to find a stir fry sauce that I like. I love stir fry, and I love the ones I've had while eating out at restaurants. But trying to find a restaurant with gluten-free friendly sauces has been next to impossible. So, I've been trying out different recipes and I still haven't found that one that makes me go WOW!

I'm still looking.... So I'm asking, SparkFriends, do you have a go-to stir fry recipe that you love that you'd care to share? I don't like soy sauce (and can't eat it anyway since it's not GF), but I'm still trying. Let me know what you like!

If you want to see the blog I posted about the above sweet and sour stir-fry, check out:


Stir-fry help!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BWGIRL36 12/23/2011 11:39PM

    Ginger and Garlic make a nice sauce.

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CORGIGIRL2 12/8/2011 6:53AM

  San-J makes a very good gluten-free soy sauce. That was one of my biggest disappointments when I was diagnosed with celiac disease, so finding a soy sauce I can have was great! I think Kikkoman makes one, too.

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*AMBER512 10/27/2011 2:40PM

    Coconut aminos?? That sounds so good! I'm going to have to look for that.

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PIR8CHIK 10/26/2011 1:56AM

    I can't eat soy sauce either, but I found something you might like! Look for Coconut Aminos. They have it at Whole Foods in their coconut products section, usually in the produce section. It's where the coconut flour etc is. Coconut Aminos is a brown liquid that you can substitute for soy sauce. I use it with rice, shrimp & veggies and throw in some spices like garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes etc. whatever you can have......it doesn't taste exactly like soy sauce, not a strong flavor like soy sauce has.
I get really frustrated trying to find ways to make a sauce of any sort that is gluten & dairy free. I get so tired of dry meat and dry rice etc.
Can you have coconut yet??

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*AMBER512 10/24/2011 5:27PM

    Thanks for the tip! I don't eat meat, so now I'm Googling vegan gluten-free sauces for inspiration. I guess there's a mushroom sauce that's similar to oyster sauce. I don't like mushrooms. Wow, I'm really making this so much harder than it needs to be! Why does Chinese food taste so good at a restaurant and so weird at my house? lol

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DNJEN471 10/24/2011 5:10PM

    Wow- that would be tough. Good luck :)

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    Last night I wanted Chinese. So I stir fried just some meat since we were out of veggies that I could stir fry.

I just took a port steak and cut it up and put it in a skillet. Used some oil - we only had olive oil. Then I used Oyster Sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. I did use soy sauce but you don't have to. I think the oyster sauce and sugar did it for me.

Here is a link to a blog that shows some gluten free oyster sauce. I don't know how available it is in super markets but you could look around?


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It's Been Awhile

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hey all! I have not forgotten about my Spark friends. I've just been blogging more often over at www.foundmyspark.com . It's fun having my own blog site, but I wanted to share some yummy things I've been eating.

Overnight Oatmeal, Apple, Greek yogurt, Chocolate Peanut Butter



Flourless Peanut Butter Banana Cookie (YUM)

Clearly, I need to eat more veggies. Well, take more pictures of them at least!

What have you been eating?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOLLBABE56 10/20/2011 8:05AM

    Cookies!!!!! yummmmm

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KATYMARIA 10/19/2011 7:54PM

    that smoothie looks delish!

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