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Thursday, March 31, 2011

If you are here because I recently added you as a spark (friend?) - hello. I haven't used SparkPeople in about 2-3 years. I am still not certain if I am ready to venture back into using SP as a weight loss tool but I wanted to finally add those of you who had made the request from me in the past. I apologize for the length of wait.

I made my sparkpage private because my main goal and tool in losing weight was to be completely honest about myself and my life. I didn't feel comfortable having that out in the public to absolutely everyone, especially with my image being available.

I'm currently at work on a lunch break so I can not write too much or change much but when I get home, I do plan on giving SP some consideration again. I have gained 45 pounds back from my lowest weight and have been struggling for the past few years to gain control back. Luckily I have kept off 10 pounds since I started gaining back and I'm slowly working to get back into my groove. I think my number one enemy for healthy weight loss at this point is stress. That's what I'm tackling right now.

Until later...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINERERIC 4/1/2011 3:53PM

    Welcome Back!! You were one of the first people I stumbled upon on here YEARS ago.

Don't be so hard on yourself. Life is stressful, it happens.

Let me know if you need any help!!

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JIMPRYDE 3/31/2011 5:32PM

    Hey Crys. We chatted from time to time a few years ago. Looks like you and I are both back in the Spark saddle again. Welcome back, and feel free to chat it up if you need motivation. Good to see you again.

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JENDOOD 3/31/2011 5:05PM

    Well, this is definitely a good place to start! :) Welcome back!

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No Promises

Monday, May 18, 2009

I am going to take small, slow, and steady steps to getting back on track towards health and life goals. I've been struggling the past year with many problems - family issues, relationship issues, unemployment and financial issues, health issues - the list is endless. I am still trying to figure out who I am and where I am going and it makes this all the more difficult. I would like to begin blogging and sharing again, but I realize now that I can't make any promises because my number one dedication has to be to myself, then my family and loved ones. I am more appreciative than ever for all of the wonderful and kind words from everyone and it has motivated and encouraged me to keep going. To keep finding the ability to improve myself and hopefully inspire others.

Due to depression and anxiety it is very difficult for me to communicate well with others and to reach out in times of need. I am working on this but it too, is a slow and complicated process.

All I can truly say is to not give up and to always be as positive as you can manage. If I can't be there for you - there are so many others that are going through the same struggles with the same fears and hopes - don't ever feel alone. We will all make it somehow, at our own pace and with our own individual pathways as long as we refuse to give up.

Best wishes to all of you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRAGONFLYFAITH 5/28/2009 11:11AM

    If blogging helps to motivate you, great. But the important thing here is that you take care of yourself and meet your own goals. Don't worry about your readers. We're here to give you support in anyway you need it, but you come first.

Just remember where and how you started, one day at a time, one step at a time. Start moving, start working and the rest will follow.

Good luck sweetie! You CAN do this.

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TARYNTAY 5/18/2009 6:01PM

    Here's to getting your life on the right track - you can do it!

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Spotlight - Blessing?

Friday, January 18, 2008

When I woke up today to see that I had about 60 e-mails from Sparkpeople (as opposed to the typical 5 daily newsletters) I knew immediately "something must be up." I wasn't too phased by it because it has been a year or so since I've lost most of my weight and I have shared my story many times and received much praise.

But as I began to read all of the comments (which I'm still sifting through) and seeing all the adds, my heart felt warmer and warmer. I'm used to the compliments and I'm used to people speaking of what an inspiration I am, but truth be told I really do think being the spotlight today is sort of a god-send for me.

See, the truth is .. I gained the most I have in a while over the holidays. Actually, I gained it directly after the holidays. After struggling between 178-180 for a year or so, I finally climbed up to 189 last week. Yes, it is just about 10 pounds more and I've gone down already but I think what shocked me the most is that when I saw the rise, I was completely okay with it - until I realized I was seeing it at 179 and not 189! My mind was playing tricks on me!

Lately it has just been really tough. My mother was tested for cervical cancer while I was more than 1,000 miles away. She's on a breathing machine at nights now. My father's spinal chord is deteriorating. My sister is trying for her first child and is terrified (She'll be 32 this year, but she has had a lot of trauma in her life). My niece and nephew are growing up without me around. My other brother is struggling greatly with debt and love. I live more than 1,000 miles from all of them. I also found out some very traumatic news while on vacation this winter that really turned my world upside down.

One of the biggest issues for me is that I am graduating after this semester with my Bachelor's degree. Fantastic! I know, but my heart is set on graduate school. I largely want to stay here in NY for it, but that means more and more years away from my family in Florida and even more struggle with money. I don't know if I can afford it, I don't know if I can make it, and I don't know what is the right decision.

These matters have been weighing on me so heavily, especially after a visit to Fl for the holidays. I find myself eating more than ever at night - snacking like I never ever have before. I keep looking for the right trigger to lead me back on track and to motivate me. I bought a little notebook with a daily calendar to write down what I eat every day. I started tracking my food again. But it has made no difference.

This - today, waking up to all of you seeing the progress I have made so far - I think this will finally be what I need. The reminder that there are so many other people out there struggling too - not only with weight loss but with family issues, work issues, school issues. I am not alone. I know I am not, but for some reason I just was keeping to myself. I need to reach out once again. I need to share myself so that I can relieve myself of these burdens.

I know I have come a long way and at times I am still very happy even at 180lbs (despite the fact that according to BMI that is still obese!) but gaining just those 9 pounds put me in a world that I did not like. I felt the gain immediately and felt my body opposing it. I don't feel good when I snack all night, I miss my work outs more than ever. I keep putting it off because classes begin soon and then I'll be working out on campus...but I need to do something NOW.

Thank you SparkPeople. I may not of had my journey here at Spark and may have come only after I had most of my success - but you have motivated me once again to reach for my ultimate goal and find out just how much further I can go.

I am definitely going to try and start involving myself more in the community here once again, even if it is just blogging about my activities. But as of now, I'm going out to rake the leaves :)

Check out the newest pictures!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMCLEMENS 4/12/2009 10:18PM

    This blog is fantastic!! For me it's just nice to find people who are not only struggling and trying to work hard to achieve their goals, but who have made so much progress towards them (despite having a life and all the stumbling blocks that we all universally have!) For me, being at the very beginning it's just so illuminating to see someone on the other side who's made it for the most part, but also to see that it is still a process even at the other side and this will not be an easy or short thing, this will be a life long journey. Thank you for 'opening my eyes' and letting me and others see your journey. I hope that you have continued success and that your family finds blessings and relief (in love, money, health etc.) and that you are able to continue your education!! I also hope to get into graduate school eventually!

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CRZELADE 2/3/2008 6:30AM

    Wow, you are such an inspiration. I can only hope to keep up the hard work as long as you have and reach my goal one day. You sound like you have such strong spirit and a good head on your shoulders. Hang in there and come what may, I know you will be okay.

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IAMSHAKE 1/25/2008 11:38PM

    Wow, I read your story and I am just amazed. I keep feeling like I have such a long way to go, yet I see that you had a long way to go too, and you are DOING it.
I'm rooting for you all the way!

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LADY36274 1/21/2008 11:31AM

    You're not alone :). I have a feeling most of us eat due to stresses and upsets in our lives. I know you love your family and miss them SOO much, and I understand that you're worried. Be there for them and love them, but don't carry their burdens too... that's too much weight (figuratively) to carry for anyone. Trust that everything will work out for the best and take it one day at a time. You can do this! You've already moved mountains with overcoming and conquering your weight. You've done sooo well.

It's great that you're letting all of your feelings and worries out here. If ya ever need to chat.. shoot me a line!


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DACHSIE1 1/20/2008 2:41AM

    Dear Crys: What an inspiration you are. You've come so far and you can get back to where you were. I lost 60 lbs in the last three years and have another 20 to go. We are all here for you and remember when you feel like eating unconsciously to say to yourself: The most important thing I can do for myself is be healthy. Being healthy is the only way to get by in life. Nothing will work if that's not the case. I applaud you and support you in your journey. All the best, dachsie1

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    Congrats on being in todayīs SparkSpotLight, girl! You have worked hard to get to this point in your life! I empathize with you in regard to being far from your family. I live in South America and my family lives in the U.S. Itīs been challenging and I usually donīt like being so far away from them, esp. when they are struggling. Each one of us is given THIS life of ours, separate from others - itīs our own! WE are responsible for making the choices, or should, in regard to how we use it. Nothing new about that. Trouble is, we sometimes think it would be a whole lot easier if someone else decided for us. The more we allow others to influence our decisions, the less we are actually in control, even if it turns out that our decision(s) were not perfect! It is difficult to know which way to go with our choices, and itīs terribly hard to respond to family and friends who want us around. Thing is, we may not give ourselves the opportunity to find out what our capabilities and capacities are if we choose to not actually follow our dreams. You have a rare opportunity to follow your dreams now. If I were your parent, I would encourage you in the ways I have encouraged my own children, to follow your dreams. I got stuck by entrusting my life to others and could not finish my bachelorīs degree until I was 51. It was a very special moment in my life. So, you are ahead of me in the fulfilling dreams department! Remember, living your dreams is a choice noone else can make for you!

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SMURFETTE0725 1/18/2008 9:10PM

    Hope you had a fun time raking those leaves! ;) I really enjoyed reading both your intro & this blog, and wanted to remind you of something that I'm sure you know all too well .... this is such a rollercoaster ride. Hold on to your progress & never lose sight of the fact that you *know* what to do! You *know* how to get back on track! You have a world of sparkies who believe in you and want to see you succeed! Stay FOCUSED! Stay STRONG!

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LWATERH 1/18/2008 5:06PM

    Hang in there Crys. Just remember, God doesn't put more on us than we can handle. Even though it might feel like it sometimes, but from reading your story and blog, you are a very strong person and will make it through!

Blessings and prayers for and to you and your family.

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ODETOLIFE 1/18/2008 4:57PM

    Honey, you just hang in there. Life will have set backs. Your new pictures are awesome! Look at that little black dress! Do you have some visual motivators up? Old pictures? Quotes? Something you can look at every day? When you stop looking at them, change them? I am asking just because I finally put some up today. They really do help me stay with it. I just did my workout, which I usually do at 6am, but seeing my ab goals, just made me go do it!
Remember, exercising gets rid of some stress too! Makes you feel good! Think how good you will feel when you are done and stretching!

You might already know this stuff, and who am I to talk that I may not have even lost any weight yet, but we all need to hear it at these times ;)

Hold your head High girl. you have much to be proud of and thankful for!

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SARARAE 1/18/2008 4:29PM

    Hey Crys, let me say, I know how you feel. I too have been struggle with a lot on my plate not too unlike yourself. The best to do is keep going. You know what to do and now you know there is a group of people (strangers) that want to see you achieve not only weight loss but also happiness. Stay strong.

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MISSBANANA119 1/18/2008 4:03PM

    Congratulations on all your achievements - your story is incredible! Keep up the good work and stay strong, even through all of your difficult times going on.

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CAROL_HOORAH 1/18/2008 3:26PM

    wow, I'm so glad you were in the spotlight too so I could read your story. Sometimes we all need a little more encouragement to keep us on the right track, this is something so hard since it's always a process, and never something completed.

Congratulations on all of your success, I hope you find the right path!

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SONJA14 1/18/2008 2:25PM

    Thank for sharing your story. It is definately an inspiration to read. Hang in there and continue to work toward your goal. You have come so far, I know you can do it!

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M3NOMOFAT 1/18/2008 1:46PM

    Hi, It is what it is! I gained 14 lbs during the holidays and I have lost most of it. You can do it and you have proven that. Return to your program and recommit to the task. You are inspiring others and for that you must to be grateful. GOD has promised that we can cast our cares on HIM because HE cares for us. Allow the power of GOD to do what you can't.

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BRANOWEN 1/18/2008 12:59PM

    You definitely deserve the spotlight, gain or no gain, exactly because of reasons like this! You know what you need to do and you do it. You ARE an inspiration! XOXOX - Liz

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GLAMGREEK 1/18/2008 12:55PM

    Wow, what a strong person you must be! Reading your story brightened my day, and although I don't know you I am sincerely happy for you. I hope everything works out for your family and that you continue to love yourself and the you that you are becoming. You should be so very proud of yourself!

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Back to Tracking!

Monday, December 03, 2007

SO so sooo.. it has been a long time! I've been trying to be more productive on SP but, ugh, so busy. I haven't written in my own journals or anything for months. I will try though, to write more often.

The good news is that I decided to open up a challenge to my mother and cousin, who are both visiting here in NYC for my graduation. My mother has been working on her weight as it is, but I figured maybe if we challenged each other and had a real goal date in mind, it might motivate us better. I put up a simple website for our trackers and motivational pictures. My cousin joined later. Perhaps I should even invite my father? The goal is generally 40-50 pounds by May of next year.

So that has motivated me a bit more. I did gain a bit over Thanksgiving but I am back down to 180 as of yesterday so I'm looking to a successful weigh in at the end of this week.

I also just found out that my boyfriend and I are going to FL for Christmas! So this is giving me even more motivation to get my butt in gear. I realize that I haven't been focusing on small goals so much or specific dates - which really helped me in the past. I kept track of ever week and had a goal for every holiday or major event. I didn't always make it but it still kept me quite on track.

The other thing I've decided to start doing again is tracking calories. I quit doing this for a while online because I really do know the calorie ranges for most foods and I can calculate it in my head. I still do it, but I often let myself slide. I think tracking will help keep me responsible again.

It'll be hard since most things I eat aren't really made by me but I really want to work on this and I will make the best decisions I can.

My goal for the Christmas trip is to be at 175 which is about 6 pounds at 2pounds a week. With my new jobs and finals coming up it has been really difficult to find time to work out, but I've been trying my best to squeeze in squats, sit ups.. sometimes I run up and down the stairs a few extra times.. raking leaves, etc :)

By the way, thank you ALL - yes, all of you - for your kind words and comments. I really wish I had more time to reply to everyone and I probably will after classes end (right now I'm procrastinating on two papers!) but I just want to let you all know that I am really motivated by the replies and messages and everything. I do read them all and I do go to your sparkpages and look at everything. I only wish I could do more. Thank you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITBARB2 1/18/2008 12:38PM

    WOW!!!!!! What an inspiration you are.... You look fantasitic.

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PARIS2009 12/6/2007 11:31AM

  You're doing a great job keeping at it - your dedication is inspirational! Good luck
with your classes & papers [I started 'Procrastination Station' over on the Just Do It team just to
have a place to kick myself off the computer and get things done...] ~ Keep going! You're going to be so proud
of yourself in Florida, for sure! Take care, Shawn

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FAMDIET 12/4/2007 11:31PM

    Just so you know...
YOU are a HUGE inspiration to me!

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BRANOWEN 12/4/2007 9:13AM

    Glad to hear you're still doing so great! I think that losing the weight you gained over Thanksgiving ALREADY is a huge achievement! I'm still working on mine ;) And also, WTG getting your family involved. That's a great way to connect and bond, as well as being motivated to do something positive together. You're so awesome! XOXOX - Liz

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Be A Snack Sleuth

Friday, October 19, 2007

This is an article from iVillage TotalHealth "Conquer your Cravings" newsletters that I get in e-mails every day. I thought it was very fitting to my current challenge so I wanted to share - especially since many of the steps are the exact ones I've been taking.

Be a Snack Sleuth

You've probably heard suggestions like, "go for a walk," or "take a class," or even, "try knitting" for avoiding snack attacks. But according to Diet Detective Charles Stuart Platkin, JD MPH, the key to conquering your munching issues isn't avoidance, it's insight. Try his 6 step approach for establishing healthier snacking habits:

1. Explore Your Patterns: When do you snack? At work? In front of the TV? Does your snacking increase with certain moods?

2. Keep Track: Get to know your snacking habits even better by tracking them for several days in a journal. Don't try to change anything yet, just observe.

3. Examine Your Choices: According to your journal, what snacks are you drawn to? Salty foods? Sweets? Fats?

4. Identify Alternatives: Based on your snacking preferences, look at your options. For example, say you choose chips. Try buying them only in single serving bags (portion control), choosing lower calorie versions (soy chips, baked chips, etc.), or substituting (salted low-fat popcorn).

5. Prepare: Clear out unhealthy snack options, replacing them with the alternatives. Always keep healthy choices on hand.

6. Evaluate: See if your strategy is working. Are you just eating more of the low calorie snacks, or has your plan succeeded? Refine as needed.

I think I'm on step 6 at the moment :) Week two is going okay by the way. I slipped up a bit yesterday (and I have noted that it was in response to emotional issues) but I'm satisfied with my overall efforts. Especially since this is Aunt Flow's week! I don't really tend to play into the idea of "cravings" for this but I really do notice an emotional change in myself around these two weeks every month, which probably counters for a lot. But I'm focusing and paying attention and trying my best.

In other news, I'm finally bringing my own website together which may take still a couple of months but it means that I may drop from SparkPeople almost entirely upon its completion. I will miss everyone but I feel that my own website will better fit my intentions for helping to inform and motivate others :)


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