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Happy Birthday to Me: The Gift of Promises

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
-Henry David Thoreau

I am not anxious about aging. My best days are not behind me; they are ahead. I truly believe that life is what you make it, or rather, life is how you perceive it. I feel like I am getting way better with age. I finally have the independence AND the wisdom to enjoy it. I have learned (and will continue to learn) who and what needs to be in my life. Challenges present learning opportunities--even when the challenges really suck--instead of road blocks. I have learned so much about myself over the past couple of years. Today I start my 34th year of life, and I plan on it being the best year yet.

Last night, I got done working at 11 p.m. and then I popped in a yoga DVD. I finished just after midnight, ringing in my birthday with an excellent yoga session. While I was practicing, I thought about what I would like the next year to bring. I made some promises to myself for the next year.

I promise that I will never apologize for being who I am. I have struggled throughout my life with not feeling like I'm good enough, whether it be centered around my body or my achievements. Now I know I am just fine the way I am, and no one will ever make me apologize for or feel bad about being myself.

I will not berate my body. I will embrace the fact that I have a body that can move freely and can be challenged. I am not trying to get my body to look a certain way, I am trying to get my body to function a certain way. If my body is functioning in the highest health that can be achieved, then it does not matter what my current weight is. This slow process of weight loss will be most beneficial in the long run. In the meantime, I will live my life to the fullest without worrying about the number on the scale. It is guaranteed to go down eventually if I keep working hard.

I promise to make each day the best it can be. This means that I fully enjoy the good days, and keep in mind that a bad day is temporary.

Today I will celebrate my birthday by treating myself to a massage, and then lunch with mom, and then spend the evening with my Jiu Jitsu pals. I am having a healthful start to this "new year." The best part about it is, I ENJOY being healthful and the choices that lead to healthful living come naturally now. Binge eating and sitting around are now unnatural to me and rejected by my body and mind. I am the healthiest I have ever been in my life, and will only keep improving.

I wish a most joyful day to you, too!

My motto this year:

Image from

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 10/3/2012 7:27PM

    Happy belated birthday, Erin! I like your birthday vow. 34 is a fabulous age. Years ago, when I turned 40something, my birthday vow was to stop being ashamed of being human. I have done fairly well at keeping that vow, and I am really good at applying it to others, making me more compassionate, generally speaking. Being human is a messy business. Being alive is a beautiful challenge. I am never one to complain about being given more time on emoticon and I am glad you are embracing getting a little older (but you are still just a wee child, compared to me!)

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APED7969 9/12/2012 1:41AM

    emoticon Looks like you have an awesome day and year planned!!

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SPOONGIRLDEB 9/11/2012 10:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are a real inspiration! With such a great attitude, I am sure your 34th year is just going to be the first of many more great years :-).

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RACEWELLWON 9/11/2012 8:52PM

    Happy Birthday that's right treat yourself like the best present you received . And Many More !

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    Reminds me of a Hannah Montana song that my kids at school love... oh God! It goes... "Life's what you make it, so let's make it rock!" LOL...get it OUT of my head.

You rock, Erin. Keep your chin up. You're doing great.

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ALISHAB3 9/11/2012 6:52PM

    emoticon I am so impressed with the progress you have made emoticon emoticon

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PAMELA6289 9/11/2012 6:48PM

  Happy Happy Birthday, my dear friend! emoticon

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DOODIE59 9/11/2012 4:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I hope you have a blast on your birthday!
You're only getting better:)

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ARCHIMEDESII 9/11/2012 2:40PM


A massage is a wonderful birthday gift !

Enjoy !!

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    Great blog. You are very wise for your 34 years and will continue to grow. Happy birthday.

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JSALERNO 9/11/2012 1:44PM


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JENNIFERH625 9/11/2012 1:08PM

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy the day you have planned :o)

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CHAOSTHEORY635 9/11/2012 12:52PM

    happy birthday, friend! you're awesome. that is all. (and I love the Buddha quote!)

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The Week in Review: I'll try not to injure myself, my dog, or anyone else in the process...

Sunday, September 09, 2012

...of writing this blog.

It's been like The 3 Stooges 'round these parts this week. First, my dog apparently whacked his tail on something ("happy tail") and then proceeded to chew off the tip of his tail. Normally I try to treat simple stuff myself (I am a vet tech) but it was clear he needed antibiotics. So, we went to the vet on Friday. He now has a giant cone of shame and a bandage on his tail and looks rather pathetic. Now we just need to hope it heals up well and that he doesn't end up needing amputation.

Poor Dugan...the best treatment for happy tail is to put a giant cone on their head and make them very sad...

I went to Jiu Jitsu right afterwards. I proceeded to stub my pinky toe on the mat during practice. It really hurt, but pain is kind of par for the course in Jiu Jitsu. Well, it continued to hurt enough that I stopped rolling (sparring). Later that day, my toe turned a lovely shade of violet, followed by the surrounding area turning blue.

I started icing it right away and it doesn't hurt too bad. I did figure it was wise to hold off on doing Jiu Jitsu on Saturday, although I still went to the gym and did power lifting. I had to laugh because I was trying to be so careful with my foot and wore shoes during lifting, and then took off my shoes before stepping onto the mat to chat with the guys. The first thing that happened was that one of the guys rolled onto my foot. In any case, the bruising has gone down significantly and it is only mildly sore with certain movements. I am hoping to do Jiu Jitsu Tuesday (my birthday), and it should be okay, although I'll probably wear my wrestling shoes.

I went and watched some of my gym pals compete at a Jiu Jitsu competition last night. It's always fun to hang out with them outside of the gym, get to know them a bit better. My best friend Kristina came with and watched as well. The guys told me I should beef up the story about my foot injury, maybe say that I was fighting off ninja thugs and hurt it while doing an awesome move. Hmmm, it does sound better than, "I stubbed my toe on the mat..."

One of our guys representin' at competition on Saturday.

I don't mean to whine--it was just an entertainingly accident-prone week. This week was decent eating and exercise-wise. I did have a couple of days of PMS-charged eating that I regret a bit, but I got a grip and got back to normal eating pretty quickly. Got in some good workouts, got in 2 strength training sessions, got in my planned cardio, and some good yoga and stretching. The routine feels great.

My hope for this week is to have an enjoyable birthday week with friends and family, and to not get injured or let anyone else get hurt! We'll see how it goes. I really hope you didn't get injured while reading this blog!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGRITTER 9/10/2012 4:42PM

    I am oh so familiar with the cone head action in my house. I finally threw the last one away the other day. It terrifies my dog to even see it. But I am sorry that Dugan's tail is now all wonky and hope they don't need to cut it off any more.

I am also very accident prone. Today marks 8 weeks since I broken my leg, but it is just starting to heal. I didn't heal at all the first 5 weeks, and was gifted with a hard cast on Thursday afternoon. I was not pleased. Oh, and I am still not pleased with it.

I want to be out walking and be able to use that leg in my gym. But I am hoping this is the last month I will have to deal with this cast, or maybe I will need a cone of shame if I don't get this cast off at the end of the month!

Good luck to your toe and to Dugan's tail!

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    Poor baby!! I hope his tail heals quickly!!

Sorry about your toe too.

I hope you have a happy birthday. My hubby's birthday is Friday.

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JILLYBEAN25 9/10/2012 2:46PM

    Poor cone of shamed doggy! I didn't think you were whining in this blog at all, btw. I found it entertaining, although I'm sorry to have to say that. Injuries shouldn't be entertaining! I hope ya'll heal up nicely and stay injury-free for a bit. In case I forget, have a happy birthday on Tuesday!

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SMILINGTREE 9/10/2012 2:03PM

    I will definitely celebrate your birth on Tuesday, even if it from far away. Once, my husband was riding our kids' motorcycle - a tiny, little Honda 50 - and sort of just fell over. The fall broke his collar bone, and everyone asked "Were you going fast? Were you popping a wheelie?" and he had to say, "No, I was barely moving." He really pondered coming up with something more exciting to say.

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ALISHAB3 9/10/2012 12:26PM

    So far, I'm safe. I hope that toe is feeling better. I broke several toes some years ago and I completely commiserate (feel your pain in fancy speak.) I used to tell people I was being chased by werewolves, but for some reason, no one believed me emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/10/2012 12:13PM

    Poor Dugan in his Bonnet! My cat, Mrs. Palmer, often attempts self-amputations and self-mutilations, and self-cannibalism to treat her problems. I've had to put her in an Easter Bonnet from time to time. I think, however, she is learning that teeth are not the very best surgical instruments.

Best wishes!

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DOODIE59 9/10/2012 8:28AM

    Poor Dugan! The cone of shame seems to be working:(

Sorry, too, to hear about your toe -- but it does sound like you're clearing up your calendar for a splendid birthday celebration -- Have a great Happy Birthday:)

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PONYFARMER 9/10/2012 1:03AM

    Ahhhhh, Dugan is so sad in the picture. Apparently the cone of shame is working. : (

As for you, I think that you should bubble wrap your entire body and double wrap the foot. That way, nothing can get you this week. LOL!

Hang in there you two.

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JULIA1154 9/9/2012 11:05PM

  Poor Dugan - there's nothing so awful for a dog as that darn cone.

You were smart to get all the injuries and drama out of the way early so that you can enjoy your birthday week. I hope it's a lovely week, a terrific birthday and a great new year for you! emoticon

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SPOONGIRLDEB 9/9/2012 10:51PM

    LOL no injuries here although I could've strained some muscles laughing over "the best treatment for happy tail is to put a giant cone on their head and make them very sad" - so true!

Try not to injure yourself anymore, and have an awesome birthday week!

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PURSUEJOY 9/9/2012 10:07PM


You really DID have quite a week! ~ And I read the blog totally unharmed!


Hope you have a super evening and a very happy birthday celebration!



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YOBOELI 9/9/2012 10:02PM

    Good Luck and Happy Birthday early

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MAMADWARF 9/9/2012 10:01PM

    Ow! dang it!. I got pimple, a hemmorrhoid and acid reflux all at once. Great, now I have fleas, too.

Hope your week (and your doggy's week) goes better!

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The Week (and Month) in Review: I can't do it.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

"I can't do it."

No word in the sentence has more than 4 letters, but those 4 short words have stopped us from trying and doing so many things throughout our lives. Just the thought of the sentence causes us to lose some momentum when we are trying to decide whether to attempt something. It excuses any attempt to try because we have already shut down the idea that there is a possibility of success. I wonder how many thousands of times I have uttered those 4 little words, shutting out the possibility of trying something new, of pushing my limits. When "I can't do it" is followed up by "It's too hard," then the impossibility is really nailed in.

I still find "I can't do it" occasionally floating through my brain. Instead, I try to say, "I am open to it. I will try my best." I have decided that I would rather show up and risk making an ass of myself than to relegate myself to the realm of "can't." Nothing is too hard. It may be damn hard, but not impossible. When I started losing weight 2 years ago, I fully acknowledged that it would be very difficult. Furthermore, I learned to embrace the difficulty, learn from the mistakes, allowing new doors to open with botched attempts.

The "I can't do it"s started up again when I started Jiu Jitsu. Watching the guys fly across the mat, toss each other around, torque their bodies in seemingly impossible ways, I almost didn't want to try it. When I expressed hesitation, my good gym pal Nick assured me that I could just do what I could and that eventually I would be able to do the moves. I still didn't totally believe him, but started Jiu Jitsu anyways, feeling awkward for months. The concepts of Jiu Jitsu are finally starting to sink in, about 9 months after starting. I felt more confident during August than I have since starting Jiu Jitsu. All of a sudden, moves that seemed physically impossible are coming together. I finally have enough strength and flexibility to pull off more moves.

A couple of weeks ago, my coach Nate grinned as I launched myself, rolling backwards across the mat doing back rolls. "See, and you thought you couldn't do those." We were working on a technique another day that required a lot of flexibility, but I was able to do it. "Remember when you thought you couldn't do that?" The next day, we practiced a technique where you throw your legs overhead, grab the opponent with your legs, and spin around. Had you asked me last year, I would have shook my head and said, "No way will I ever be able to do that."

Damn right, I did it.

I try to limit the fear-based "I can't do it" from going through my brain, and remember that I have accomplished seemingly impossible feats. Don't get me wrong, we all have limits, but they cannot be uncovered unless we say, "I'll give it a shot."

I am actually more fit now than when I was thinner and doing triathlons. I overdid the wrong kinds of exercise before, exacerbated my arthritis, and was always in pain. I was also incredibly inflexible. Now, I am not at all saying that triathlon training is bad, but endurance event training did not suit my body. Martial arts training, as rough as it can be and with how long a training session may last (sometimes 2-3 hours), I am more fit now and in less pain than ever before. I am also the most flexible I have been in my entire life. So, despite the fact that I have not lost a lot of weight since starting Jiu Jitsu about 9 months ago, the fitness gains have been incredible.

When I was in school studying kinesiology, I proposed that the benefits of regular physical activity outweigh the benefits of weight loss. However, if one is truly consistent with exercise, the body composition cannot help but change. This usually means that someone who is overweight will lose weight. Well, this has certainly been the case with me. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason when I lose weight. Basically, I try to eat reasonably, and more importantly, eat ENOUGH to support martial arts training. My exercise routine doesn't have anything to do with weight loss, I just lead a lifestyle that is focused on martial arts. I train about as intensely as the pro fighters at my gym, so it is not unusual for me to train 2-3 hours a day 5 days a week.

I had no net weight loss in August, but did lose a few inches. My upper body is starting to look pretty defined and my shoulders and neck are actually rock hard. That is not terribly surprising, since I work my neck and shoulders intensely when defending in Jiu Jitsu. During August, I was consistent with strength training for the first time in a while. I have also started doing more cardio workouts, such as Turbo Jam. I will continue with this routine, switching up my workouts as needed.

I am not setting a weight loss goal for September. Actually, I don't think I will set specific weight loss goals any more. My body seems to know what it's doing, so I will let it do it's thing and I will lose the weight eventually. In the meantime, I will keep doing all of the things I can't do.

So what is it that you can't do? Figure it out, then do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Love it. So many people are afraid to move past "can't". And look at you, you're doing it! I had a private lesson teacher who told me to put "I can't do it" out of my vocabulary. She said NEVER use that phrase again. And I really think that I have tried to remember that in all I do. You CAN do anything if you work hard enough at it. Best advice I ever got. You gotta believe in the process, and that by following the advice of your trainers and by problem-solving, you will be able to do all those moves that you want to do. All in time.

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LYNETTEMOM 9/6/2012 1:49AM


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SMILINGTREE 9/4/2012 10:32PM

    Now I'm not going to be able to stop thinking about what I can't do...

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PAMELA6289 9/4/2012 12:21PM

  Another great post!

I love what you said and it was a great reminder not to set limits on myself. It is alarming how much I tell myself I can't without realizing it.

I love your attitude about continuing to do the right things for your body and being confident that the weight loss will follow. Luv that! Sometimes it can get so frustrating, especially if you're a numbers person like I am. The thought of just relaxing and controlling and tracking my intake and exercise and letting the weight do what it will is a great idea.

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FATBASTICH 9/4/2012 7:25AM

    Excellent post!

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KATYDID412 9/2/2012 11:03PM

    Thanks for posting this blog. I'm glad I read it. I'm feeling very negative about myself right now but need to find the "something" that'll help me keep on going. Thanks for the motivation ... hoping to put it to use this week.

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SPOONGIRLDEB 9/2/2012 9:53PM

    Great blog and so true. I need to keep your words in mind every time I catch myself thinking "I can't". Keep up the great attitude and the great blogs!!!

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SPOONGIRLDEB 9/2/2012 9:52PM

    Great blog and so true. I need to keep your words in mind every time I catch myself thinking "I can't". Keep up the great attitude and the great blogs!!!

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    My father was different. He never allowed me to say the word "can't". If I did he would prove to me that I could. I eventually learned to always do my best because he expected it of me and by doing my best I didn't have to ever feel guilty or apologize. It appears that you have reached that point as well. It's a good place to be.

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JENNIFERH625 9/2/2012 8:30PM

    Very well written and a pleasure to read. September will be great!

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EMFRAPPIER 9/2/2012 6:11PM

    love it!! I've been done with weight loss goals for about a month, and it is so great. I track my food, exercise, and enjoy myself emoticon

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APED7969 9/2/2012 5:58PM

    i think i might take a page out of your book and stop setting weight loss goals for a bit. Clearly marathon training and increased lifting are changing my body composition and I need to just let that happen. I am so happy you've found something you love with martial arts. Endurance events are definitely not for everyone. Learning to say I'll give it a try opens up so many doors in life, not all of them will go to rooms you want to stay in but you wouldn't know that without trying.

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JSALERNO 9/2/2012 4:55PM


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BLUE42DOWN 9/2/2012 4:18PM

    Beautiful blog! These two points from it are ones I want to spread everywhere to everyone:

1) Don't get me wrong, we all have limits, but they cannot be uncovered unless we say, "I'll give it a shot."

2) However, if one is truly consistent with exercise, the body composition cannot help but change.

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The Week in Review: The Girls Take Over Jiu Jitsu (w/ pics)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Group picture of Jiu Jitsu class taken Saturday. We had a record-breaking 4 women in class.

During Jiu Jitsu class this week, a couple of the guys were talking about how they admire women who do Jiu Jitsu. They said they understood how intimidating it must be to walk into a class for the first time. It's intimidating for a guy to start doing Jiu Jitsu, so it must be even more so for a woman. Then we proceeded to get manhandled and tap out constantly. Jiu Jitsu can be extremely discouraging and humbling at first, and continues to be both in waves throughout the journey.

Yet we keep showing up.

I appreciated that our guys conduct themselves in a way that encourages women to keep coming back to class. I haven't dealt with many problems at my gym, and zero problems at all with the "regulars." I appreciate not only that they don't act weird about women, but also that they are not condescending. My guys roll with me like they would any other person--going harder when I go harder, going easier when I go easier. It sure was intimidating as hell to start doing Jiu Jitsu, and I was nervous almost every day for the first 8 months or so. Now I really feel like I'm "one of the gang" and have a roomful of friends every time I show up. Not only can I hang with these guys, sometimes I even kick their butts. emoticon I had a very fun week overall. Everyone in Jiu Jitsu was a little goofy this week, and very high energy. I made it to class 5 days and everyone was on fire, which means I got tapped out a lot, but also learned a lot.

I was surprised to see how much leaner I look in this picture (I'm in the gray shirt walking away from the camera).

My classmate Cassie--at the beginning of summer when we started training together more, I thought we wouldn't get along. We've become good pals and training partners and I have watched her mature greatly.

North-South Choke--if there was ever a reason to do planks, here it is.

I did 3 strength training workouts, which is my weekly goal. I also did a couple of Turbo Jam workouts, and I have missed doing those. They really help my abs. Yesterday, a friend of mine who hadn't seen me in a couple of months told me I was looking good. I do feel like I have a lot more muscle definition, and yesterday I wore a tank top that didn't fit me a few months ago. I am excited to see my body change over the next couple of months with consistent Jiu Jitsu training, regular and varied strength training workouts 3 days a week, and some cross-training. I have also been trying to do a 30-40 minute workout before going to the gym (provided I got enough sleep the night before), such as Turbo Jam, kettlebells, abs, or some combination thereof. I want to increase my aerobic capacity, so I am hoping that will help. I did a workout before the gym twice last week and it was great.

Eating was decent this week. I tracked consistently and am glad to be back to consistent tracking. Yesterday I overdid it a bit, between going out to lunch with some Jiu Jitsu pals and then going to a friend's for dinner. Overall, I only overate by a couple hundred calories, so I never worry about that when it happens 1 or 2 days when I'm training consistently. The scale hasn't budged in a while, but with my muscles becoming noticeable more defined, I will give it a few weeks before I adjust anything.

Now, all this talk about women and Jiu Jitsu is timely, as MMA star Ronda Rousey has been in the spotlight over the past couple of weeks. This woman is amazing--Olympic judo winner, mixed martial artist, and confident and strong. She is one of my current SHEROS. Goes to show that women can bring it just as much as men.

Have a great week, friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Ronda is beautiful and amazing.

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PAMELA6289 8/27/2012 6:07PM

  I love the pic of you doing that North/South Choke! You look strong and fit and competent.

You are MY Shero for training in a male-dominated sport! You absolutely can and will excel even more!

You are doing a TON of training, don't get burned out or injured, K? XO

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FATBASTICH 8/27/2012 6:51AM

    Very, very cool!

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SMILINGTREE 8/27/2012 12:38AM

    I am intimidated just by the thought of trying any martial arts, nevermind a type where you "roll" like that....congrats on a great week!

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IMREITE 8/27/2012 12:30AM

    it is so great that you tried something new and kept up with it. some people get intimidated by trying something new. it does not look easy but it is great that you seem to enjoy it.

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NIMNIX 8/26/2012 10:46PM

    Next step, MMA. Have you entered any Jiu Jitsu tournaments yet? They can be pretty fun, especially since all the people I've met in them have been very friendly and supportive. Right before and after they try to choke you out.

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DDOORN 8/26/2012 9:35PM

    Hey if women can take the OLYMPICS by storm they might as well take over Jiu Jitsu...! :-)


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SUNNYDAZE9 8/26/2012 9:24PM


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ELPHABABLUE 8/26/2012 8:57PM

    You are amazing. That plank move is killer. emoticon

I was intimidated when I first took Muay Thai, but everyone was so supportive. The gym started to feel like a family. In contrast, my friend was taking Krav Maga at the same time and it sounded like her gym was pretty abusive. I'm glad to see that your Ju Jitsu friends are cool and supportive. It makes a huge difference.

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JENNIFERH625 8/26/2012 7:16PM

    What an awesome workout! Keep up the wonderful work!

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2 Years of Sparkin': 2 Year SparkVersary Celebration!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A little over 2 years ago, I saw the number 298 on the scale. I found this number utterly overwhelming. I knew I could not keep letting that number climb, but I didn't know where to begin. I already enjoyed exercise, but I was debilitated by a bad right knee and could hardly do any exercise. On the other hand, I knew my knee would probably get better if I lost some weight. So, I slowly started picking away at my eating habits and my thought processes. I started to learn how to stop feeling guilty about everything and to love myself instead.

For the first time in my life, neither food nor weight define me. Being an athlete defines me. My life revolves around exercise and training, not around the number on the scale. I have "only" lost about 60 pounds in 2 years, a number which I know to many may seem rather small. However, at no point have I made any major effort to "diet." Those 60 pounds have come off by making small changes and without me having to turn my life upside down to lose the weight. The weight will continue to come off, and for that I am happy...but then again, I have learned to be happy despite my weight.

Near highest weight (290+ pounds in these pictures).

Most recent progress pictures (although it is from March 2012--gotta get some new ones!)--around 240 pounds.

The biggest life-changer over the past year has been Jiu Jitsu. There is the workout factor--Jiu Jitsu works everything...and I mean everything. I trembled and gasped like I never have before when I first started. Grappling is unlike anything else, and rolling (sparring) against another person adds intensity that just isn't there with other workouts. I feel stronger and am more flexible than I have ever been.

I have also found that I am actually a decent grappler and did pretty well in my first competition, taking second place in my division (the winner was a woman who was significantly more experienced, but I crushed everyone else on my level). I had shed the "I'm the fat girl" mentality and started training and acting like an athlete, and the guys at my gym treat me like an athlete. Anyone who thinks they are too heavy to be an athlete has to remember that it isn't how others view you, it's how you view yourself. It's like I've said before, if you think and train like an athlete, then you are an athlete.

The best dudes around! I wouldn't haven't gotten this far without these guys in my corner.

You truly can be an athlete (and a winner) at any weight. More pictures from the tournament in this blog post:

I don't want to think of where I would be without SparkPeople. I started in a very dark place, and picked away until I started seeing glimmers of light. From there, the light started pouring in. I can't wait to see what I can accomplish over the next year.

Very proud moment!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Gotta agree with SMILINGTREE. You've shown us all that healthy living is more than just pounds lost and exercise minutes completed. It's about living your best life in all that you do.

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MUGGLE_MOM 8/23/2012 8:47AM

    You are soooo AWESOME!!! Huge Kudos to you!!!
Happy Sparkversary!!!!!!!

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RUNNER12COM 8/23/2012 1:36AM

    Happy Anniversary!

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SPOONGIRLDEB 8/22/2012 1:48PM

    Happy (belated) SparkVersary! I hope I can accomplish as much by the time I reach my 2 year SparkVersary (in one year), and can't wait to see what you accomplish in another 2 years!!! You truly are an inspiration!!

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PAMELA6289 8/22/2012 1:13PM

  Umm, I beg to differ, my darling, 60 lbs is in NO WAY a small #.

You have added years to your life, and you have completely changed your way of thinking. That is a HUGE accomplishment!

I am very inspired by and proud of you.

Way to go!

PS: I love the pic of you at the grappling tournament. You look fit, strong and badass - and you know I mean that in a good way!

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DOODIE59 8/22/2012 12:56PM

    I love, love, LOVE that last photo of you with your arm up. That tells your story. So far. Let's see where you are two years from now. Your journey is very inspiring. Keep growing, girl:)

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SMILINGTREE 8/22/2012 11:38AM

    The thing about your journey that I find most inspiring is that it has encompasses so much of your life. When we talk about a "lifestyle change" we sometimes forget that our lives are made up of so much more than what we eat and how often we exercise.

You have talked about meditating, playing the saxophone, writing, clearing clutter, stabilizing your finances, gardening, loving your home, dating, belly dance, and so many other facets of your entire life here. You remind us all that there is much, much more to this journey than calories in/calories out.

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us over the last couple of years.

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JENNIFERH625 8/22/2012 10:23AM

    You have accomplished so much and should be so proud! Keep up the amazing work!

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TAICHIDANCER 8/22/2012 9:39AM

    Happy Sparkiversary to you!

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DDOORN 8/22/2012 9:38AM

    What an awesome couple of TRANSFORMATIVE years it has been for you!

The most important thought in your blog, which I continue to strive to hold onto and maintain?

"It's how you view yourself"...Major kudos to your success in this area!!


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CMCBRIDE37 8/22/2012 8:30AM


Wow...Your path is your path. Sixty pounds isn't insignificant no matter how long or how short of a time it takes you that is 60 pounds gone.


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MRSSCHENCK 8/22/2012 6:38AM

    Happy emoticon! What an inspirational blog!

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FANGFACEKITTY 8/22/2012 5:55AM

    emoticon Happy Sparkversary!!

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JSALERNO 8/22/2012 5:08AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JILLYBEAN25 8/22/2012 4:29AM

    Happy emoticon!!! You've done amazing things on your journey to health. You deserve to be rewarded with wonderful things in your life and to be recognized as someone who is inspirational to others on this site. Super awesome!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 8/22/2012 2:29AM

    Awesome! You see the light...and that says way more than the weight loss!
Continued success on your journey, Erin! I am so proud and happy to be your SparkFriend!
S. Love the last picture with the winning arm up!

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EATVEGAN 8/22/2012 12:07AM

    emoticonYou have accomplished so much. emoticon emoticon

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SYZYGY922 8/21/2012 11:59PM

    Happy Sparkversary! It's great to see how much confidence you have gained! I LOVE that picture of you at the tournament!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 8/21/2012 11:54PM


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BLUE42DOWN 8/21/2012 11:40PM

    A very merry emoticon to you!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/21/2012 11:14PM

    Happy sparkversary!! You have some a long way!!

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ELSCO55 8/21/2012 11:08PM


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