ALLEY2300   27,678
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It's a New year!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

I imagine most people start a new year at the end of December. This year, I am starting it over on my birthday. On the 8th, I started a new job! This is the job I left to move to California, (or the same company) and I am finally going to be making strides financially to recover.

This week is my start a new year of my life week. I started a new chapter of my life. A new job brings promise, challenges, and mostly a new outlook on life. I am trying hard to make this change a positive one. After the last year, it is time to put myself back together and move on. It has been a slow process and the healing is still happening from everything, but slow progress is progress none the less right?

My bestie will be helping me in this journey again as I will be helping her. Accountability and check ins and my spark friends and my beachbody team will be there to keep me in check.

Starting over IS healthy, even if you have to start over every day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNINGSUSHI 7/26/2013 2:31PM

    I wish you all the best! Congrats on getting a new job! How is it going so far? Loving your idea of the new year :)

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SPARKLINGHOPE 7/10/2013 12:15PM


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TATERCAT 7/10/2013 10:50AM

    Happy Birthday and Congratulations on your new job, and your new year. It is a very positive outlook to start living your life whenever you want, rather than waiting for something, someday or someone!
Good Luck with your new year and your new job!

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_LINDA 7/10/2013 1:12AM

    emoticon emoticon That is fantastic you finally got the job!! Having a buddy to help you along with your healthy journey is a huge bonus! You are going to rock it! Enjoy this new phase of your life!
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LALMEIDA 7/9/2013 11:09PM

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Starting Over

Saturday, August 11, 2012

After looking at my page, I realized that I have not blogged since January. Maybe that is one of the reasons this journey has been going nowhere at all. Since I have only managed to remain active on one of my teams (and that one was lucky to get about one post a week), I want to apologize to all my Spark Friends out there.

Let me fill everyone in though. If you have read some of the updates and such on my friend feed, you will know that my boyfriend and I have broken up and I moved back to Indiana. It was quite a shock for me and I was pretty much blindsided. This happened in April/May and I moved back to my home state at the end of May. To say my life has been turned upside down is an understatement. I have struggled since May with stomach issues, anxiety, stress, and my RA seems to want to try and flare during all of this. I am trying to make Indiana my home again, although it is difficult. I loved the Bay Area so much and was so very happy there.

On top of all this, my father went into the hospital in February and to make a long story short, ended up having surgery on his neck in March. He has regained the ability to walk and has some use of his hands (which is a huge improvement over what he went in with), enough to feed himself. He will be having another surgery in September, this time to correct the spinal stenosis in his lumbar region.

I wonít go into details, but living at home at the age of 35 with parents that constantly fight (dad is going back on anti depressants this week thank goodness), and forget that you are a grown adult is quite Ö. Stressful. I am grateful they are letting me stay here to get back on my feet. I am blessed to have found a job so quickly (within 2 weeks of being home). I am truly trying to count my blessings rather than feel sorry for myself and at times that is extremely difficult. I am currently living in my motherís sewing room, with a twin size mattress and box springs on the floor, with a small table as my living space. My clothes are in a suitcase and duffel bag. I am hoping to pick up a second job here soon to help me get my bills in order and paid off and/or down in a much shorter time frame.

I will try and keep posting and keep everyone updated. This was an extremely short version of everything that has happened in my life the past few months. The good news? I have been bouncing around with the same 4-5 pounds the entire time. Which means I have not gained and have not let myself emotional eat too much! This is a huge milestone for me and I am forever grateful for Spark for helping me. I know I have not lost, but maintaining my weight within a few pounds after everything I have been through is a huge victory in my book!

So I apologize to everyone for not being around as much and I am hoping to change that. For my Twilight Challenge Team members who read this, I am ready for the BD2 Challenge we are preparing for and I am going to try my hardest to get down a couple sizes by November!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNER4LIFE08 8/13/2012 10:36AM

    "When life gives you lemons... make lemonade"

One of my favorite quotes and it is a great reminder. I hope things start turning around for you soon! Keep your chin up.....

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_LINDA 8/11/2012 6:33PM

    Wow! You are doing really well, holding your own in such stressful circumstances!! Unfortunately, all this upheaval and stress does affect RA. Well done getting a job so quickly! So glad your dad is getting the treatment he needs to make him better..
Will be thinking of you! You can get through this!!
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BRADMILL2922 8/11/2012 3:50PM

    That is a lot of stuff going on. Stay strong and keep pushing! emoticon

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RUNNINGSUSHI 8/11/2012 11:52AM

    Hey! I am glad you are starting over and that your bad days are getting fewer and fewer. Congrats on the job!! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you can accomplish all your goals! emoticon emoticon

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MELLISOND 8/11/2012 11:03AM

    Hi, I found your blog on the Featured Posts page this morning. I am writing to express support to you at this challenging time. You have been through so many high stress experiences in a short time. Congratulations for taking stock of your situation and making the decision to focus on good health. It is a true accomplishment to avoid emotional eating under these circumstances. All the best to you! emoticon

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LIVIE1231 8/11/2012 11:00AM

    Hugs!! Hang in there!!! emoticon emoticon

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2012 Goals

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I seem to be getting a tad bit better at the goal setting and actually making it happen! So I am putting my 2012 goals out there. I will be printing them off also, so I can post them where I can see them daily throughout the year. I totally reset all my stuff here on Spark, so all my previous tracking and measurements are gone. I am starting fresh for the new year!

1. I want to lose at least 35 pounds this year. My eventual goal is to lose 65 more pounds, but that is apparently to big a number for my brain right now. Losing 35 pounds will also put me at another small goal for me, which is to fit into my size 12 jeans (you guys know the ones--that one pair of jeans that do not stretch at all!!).
How: I will be utilizing my January partner from my Twilight Challenge Team, Mamachef, and also using text notifications to cry out for help! I will track my food at least 6 days a week, and stive to keep within the parameters Spark has set for me.

2. I want to run in a real 5K this year. Last year I was able to do the virtual one, and this year I want to experience a run with everyone else!
How: I am re-starting 5k training and taking it slow once again. I am dragging my boyfriend into this one also. I am gonna make him run it with me! We will find a race that we can afford and go from there!

3. I want a nice long streak of exercising 90 minutes or more a week. My record is only a lowly 10 weeks. This is something that I need to become consistent on anyhow. I have not been consistent with exercising in years.
How: I will start by going to the gym or apartment fitness center at least 3 times a week. If this is for my 5k training only to start, I will work up to cross training as the year moves along. I will start strength training at least 3 times a week (to start). I am wanting to join the January Challenge, as soon as I find out what is wrong with me knee.

4. Go to bed earlier.
How: Get the apartment cleaned up and kept clean. Prepare my lunches when I get home from work so I am not running around at midnight trying to get it all done right before I go to work. This will be hard for me to start, as I am a night owl by nature. Being off work for so long spoiled me rotten, and now I have to get back up to at least 6-7 hours of regular sleep.

I am also going to try and post monthly goals for myself and keep those posted on the fridge where I can see them every time I want to go mindlessly eat on the weekends or at night.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNINGSUSHI 1/9/2012 3:06AM

    You've got some great goals. I particularly like the one about sleep as I never get enough myself. How is it going so far?

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SHELOG 1/7/2012 12:18AM

    Hey Alley. Great blog and great goals to have set. You know what you want and you know what you have to do to achieve it. You'll do great.

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BFMONICA 1/6/2012 7:57PM


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PUOKGIRL 1/6/2012 3:44PM

    These goals all sound completely do-able. Just stay focused and you can do it!

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_LINDA 1/5/2012 10:41AM

    Good for you!! That is taking the tiger by the tail!!
Have a accountability buddy -great, having a workout buddy -boyfriend even better!! I wish I had a before photo of me at my heaviest -198 lbs on my tiny frame -and I would put that up in my kitchen as a stark reminder not to stuff my face and mindlessly snack again, but I was very camera shy, and in fact, always took the family photos so I wouldn't have to be in the shot. I also hid behing the tallest members of my family when I did have to get in a photo, very smart, was I.
Wishing you all the best in 2012 for a rocking year!
Elliptical and water workouts would be best to keep the pressure off the knee...
Good luck with your goals!!
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MICHCLEARY 1/4/2012 10:18PM

    Way to go! Putting it out there always helps! Keep on pressing towards your goals and don't give up - we have Breaking Dawn 2 this year and you want to be able to rock the jeans at the last movie right???

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MAMACHEF76 1/4/2012 9:46PM

    Looks good girl!!! Now...I need to go make one of these for me! ;)

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JERSEYFLOWER 1/4/2012 8:52PM

    Fantastic goals! Some of them are similiar to my own. It's amazing how much better it feels to wake up rested.

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FATHINSN 1/4/2012 7:00PM

    You reminds me to update my personal streaks, I think they are too outdated!

Any new Fitness Minute goal for 2012?

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POOKASLUAGH 1/4/2012 4:11PM

    Those sound like reasonable and rational goals! You can do it.

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Back on Track

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So I have not blogged since my Twilight Challenge Team's 100 day countdown to Breaking Dawn. Such a long time, and I know that I need to do this more often. I was losing faster when blogging.

I am finally employed full time AND part time, and we are currently looking for a cheaper apartment. Hoping January brings us a new (and much less expensive) place to live.

It is hard to believe that Christmas is less than a week away. It has not seemed like Christmas since I moved west--I am wondering if the warmer winters are having that effect on me! I have our tree up, it is small, but cute. I got mom's package yesterday, with all the presents (and homemade peanut butter cookies) from the family. At least we will have a few presents under the tree!

I am grateful that I did not have to move back to Indiana. I am thankful for finally finding full time work, even though it will take us a move and a few months to be fully caught up with bills. If we can move in with a friend it will save us a nice $500 a month. Rent out here is exorbitant. We are looking for just ourselves though. Hoping that something comes up soon!

I have missed being on here, and last week I worked about a total of 60 hours. Going from about 15 hours a week to 60 something was overwhelming! I have tomorrow off paid though from my new job, so I can get caught up on some sleep and get some stuff done for the weekend. For the record, working retail during the holidays kinda stinks.

So, hoping after this week i will be able to catch back up with everyone and my work load will slow down to about 50 hours a week. Catching back up on here is the main thing. I am still figuring out how to work in fitness minutes, as I pretty much drop into bed at night right now. Since I work retail, and have worked the shipment and replenishment (ie--moving and carrying boxes all around the store and constantly twisting and turning to fill the shelves with product) I am and have been getting my heart rate up, but not sure just how much. I have arm muscles again--small but they are there! woot!

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season, and wish the best to everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 12/24/2011 11:19AM

    Congratualtions on getting the jobs!! That is great news! But sorry about the high prices to rent :(.. Please take very good care of yourself nutritionally and sleep well -you don't want to run yourself down and get sick! Sounds to me like you are getting all the exercise you need at work!! It probably will ease off after the Christmas rush is over and then you can think of some exercise.
Hope it works out for you to stay with a friend until you can get a more reasonable place! Have a good Christmas!!

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RUNNER4LIFE08 12/22/2011 9:35AM

    Those are long hours you are working and it has to be a shock to your system. I am happy for you though for finding that job and hope that 2012 brings you lots of happiness and joy!

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SUSIEWHITE1109 12/20/2011 11:58AM

    emoticon Great job Alley! So glad you found work, even though I can understand how working retail during the holiday season would really be rough!!! Hang in there and have a very Merry Christmas!!


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Twilight Challenge Alice Blog

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I figured I would knock everything out in one place for this one!

We had a list this week that spelled out ALICE for our Weekly Challenge in our Breaking Dawn Challenge!

A-Accomplishment (non-scale victory) -- I do my measurements at the beginning of every month, and today when I did my measurements, I had definitely lost in places! My running and strength training (which I have just recently started getting consistent with) is starting to pay off again! Hoping by end of challenge I will be able to fit my jeans again!

L--List-write down everything I can think of besides eat and post it! This was kind of easy for me as I have pictures posted on the fridge of me in high school and when I was down at my lowest weight around 125. One of my vision collages is also posted on my fridge!

I--Incentive--Plan a reward for the release of BD! My reward is going to be a new pair of shoes and a mani or pedi--depending on my cash situation!

C--Challenge ourselves this week to do something we haven't done. This past week I finished week 6 and started week 7 today of my running program. That is something that I never DREAMED I would be able to do. I ran for 4 minutes at a stretch today, and next week is week 8!!

E--Expand my knowledge and tell my team about it. I read an article the other day in my Shape Magazine (bought a few months ago-well, November of 2010) about salt/sodium and how in the long term it can really be damaging to our systems. By cutting back to 1500mg a day, it could prevent up to 92,000 deaths a year from heart disease, stroke, and other illnesse.s. I was floored by that and not only that, but the fact that it is such an accumulative effect on our bodies over time.

I didn't do the Burpee part of this challenge. There is something similar to the ones in some of Coach Nicole's videos and when I tried them, my hip started screaming at me. So that is something that I will be working my way up to! I will be trying to get to the point I can do that!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MICHCLEARY 10/4/2011 10:57PM

    Way to go on the running - you are really doing great with that!!!!

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FATHINSN 10/4/2011 10:20PM

    Not sure about what I will reward myself for staying and having improvement during the Twilight challenge. Maybe another trip to a hair salon to have hair wash (I love it!) but this time at another place, a place that I've been before and had a good shoulder, head and back massage, hehe.

Good luck with latest Twilight challenge - WOLVES!

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_LINDA 10/4/2011 8:06PM

    Sounds like you did pretty awesome with most of it! Well done on losing the inches!! Good luck with the next challenge!

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MACKIEFISMOM 10/4/2011 4:38PM


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RUNNER4LIFE08 10/4/2011 3:26PM

    emoticon for an awesome week! Now onto the WOLVES challenge!

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