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CHANGINGSAM's Recent Blog Entries

#144 - Life.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hi friends!

So much for my comeback to Spark People. I really do miss being on here, but it's been pretty difficult with life getting in the way. Here's a little update:

1. I am now gluten free! About a month and a half ago, I decided to take the plunge and go gluten free. A lot of thinking went into this decision - before choosing this, I was feeling awful. Tired, moody, digestive issues, etc. Although I have only been on this for a short time, I feel a lot better.

I've come to realize just how sick gluten was making me. I have "glutened" myself a few times (usually at restaurants) and afterwards, I was so so sick. I would instantly get a headache, feel sluggish, and nauseated the rest of the day. After these situations, I've realized I have made the right choice!

2. I've been working my butt off (literally!). For the last month, I have consistently been working out. My job has a gym that offers exercises classes. I've been attending: tabata (4x/wk) and abs (1x/wk). I have also been walking, running, and dancing. I've been busy, and I love it!

While those two things are great, I've also been dealing with some very stressful aspects. However, I am just trying to take it one day at a time. I've accepted that that's all I can do.

On another note, I had a setback today. After a long day, I came home and binged on chips (at least they were gluten free!) because one, I was extremely hungry, and two, I was upset that I could not get my run in. I'll be honest - I'm pretty upset with myself, and I never want to deal with it again. I can't say that it won't happen again, but I really am going to try harder. I really want to do better this time around.

Well, that's my life update. Let me know how things are going with you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 3/10/2014 7:00PM

    Sounds like some good things happening! I keep flip flopping on gluten. I definitely have an issue with it but have no been strict lately. There are just too many things on my plate right now to worry about adding such a huge food restriction in, even if it is in my best interest. Good luck with everything!

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WINNIE1978 2/27/2014 6:47PM

    I'm glad going gluten free has you feeling better! Sounds like you've really been working your derriere off! Don't be too hard on yourself about the chips.

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POOKASLUAGH 2/27/2014 7:50AM

    I'm glad the gluten free is helping Sam. It's completely changed my life. I'm finally getting to where I'm not glutening myself all the time, and I'm sleeping so much better, as well as feeling less tired, getting fewer headaches, not having pain in my joints, etc. I've been accidentally glutened enough times that I have no desire to eat anything with gluten in it on purpose, despite missing a few things (especially things made with bran). And I'm so happy that there are so many GF substitutes out there. I found a bread I like, and I'm okay with the noodles, and just recently I found glazed doughnuts that made up for the fact that I haven't had a doughnut in at least six months, probably longer, haha. I'm learning to bake gf desserts pretty well, too, and they don't give me the same bingy feeling as the wheat-based ones!

Also glad to hear you've been exercising like crazy. Dont' worry about a single bingy day. We all have those sometime (I had two days in a row of them last weekend!). Glad to hear from you. :)

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CIPHER1971 2/27/2014 1:53AM

    Great to hear you are make such brilliant changes, and we all binge from time to time,

Have a great day

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CHODGES83 2/26/2014 9:54PM

    I know the that chip binge feeling. I may have done the same the past two nights....

Glad you've made some positive changes. Keep it up!

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#143 - Making a Comeback?

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Hi all - Thanks so much for your support on my last blog. I was truly down and out about gaining the weight back. I haven't exercised or eaten healthy at all since that blog, and oddly, I'm ok with that. I believe that I have finally accepted my body for the weight it is at. I'll be honest though, some days are better than others. It's especially hard when I can't button up my work pants, but I am learning that it is a reaction to my lifestyle that I am currently living.

My fiance (I forgot to say that I am engaged now!) has decided to begin losing weight himself. He's at the highest he's ever been and there have been a lot of health issues as consequences. It helps that he is so motivated - it's rubbing off on me a bit.

Anyways, I'm hoping to be back on here as I have missed all of my friends. I won't be on here as much as I used to but I am hoping that a few times a week will help me to stay committed. I'm ready to actually be healthy this time around and hopefully make good habits.

Here are my goals for January:

1. Drink 2-4 cups of water daily.
2. Cook at home more.
3. Work out 30 minutes daily.

**I know there are some people who eat Paleo; are there any websites with good recipes? I am thinking about trying it.**

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPICEMWE 2/3/2014 11:56AM


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COMMUNITY10 1/5/2014 10:10AM

    congrats on your engagement! enjoy every minute of it, i know i am! i'll be getting married in october!

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BREW99 1/4/2014 8:16PM

    Hooray!!! Congratulations on the engagement! It's hard when you find the love of your life and you get 'comfortable weight' gained. I (along with a lot of people I think), gain weight when we fall in love and make the commitment to be together. emoticon emoticon

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JADAKNOWLES 1/4/2014 5:45AM

    congratulations on getting engaged sam! hang in there- small goals are always better :)

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DJSQUISHIE 1/3/2014 2:24PM

    Congratulations on your engagement! That's so wonderful! Also, welcome back and I'm looking forward to hearing from your more this year!


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CHODGES83 1/3/2014 2:09PM

    Congratulations and Cheers to the New Year!

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IMARUNR 1/3/2014 11:07AM

    Welcome back!! It's amazing when the partnership continues in all areas of life!! I miss it here, and am back to blog, mostly for personal accountability...although I love to see everyone's activities, pictures, things they learn and share, and awesome announcements, like your engagement!!
Cheers to an AWESOME 2014!! emoticon

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POOKASLUAGH 1/3/2014 8:25AM

    It *always* helps when the significant other is on board! It helps to have someone to do this with! Congrats on your engagement. :) It's so wonderful to see you back!

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HIKING-4-ME 1/3/2014 7:27AM


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WINNIE1978 1/3/2014 6:50AM

    Congrats on your engagement!

I find it's much easier to stay on track if you've got someone doing it with you... hopefully the same will be true for you.


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CIPHER1971 1/3/2014 2:49AM

    Congratulations and welcome back.

Great January goals emoticon

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BECCAJ98 1/2/2014 10:27PM

    Good luck and congratulations on engagement!!!

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#142 - Please help.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hi all.

I can't believe it already the middle of November! I also can't believe that it's been well over a month since I have been on here. There are two reasons for that, so let's get into them.

I posted a status over a month ago about starting a new job. I work for BlueCross BlueShield, and I absolutely love it! There are so many opportunities not only to keep me busy during work (my old job never had anything for me to do) but also health-wise. They encourage us to get moving and eat healthy. I love it!

While I am loving the opportunities, I can't seem to get motivated to get back on track. After lots of thinking, I believe I have come up with why it's difficult to get back on track: I am angry that I failed. I was so close to where I had wanted to be, and I lost it. I gained back almost all of the weight, and I lost all the confidence I had. I'll be honest, after all that, I don't believe in myself anymore. I know that attitude isn't going to help me get back on track, but really, I don't know how to shift my thinking.

You would think that since I can't button up my work pants that it would encourage me (embarrassingly, I walk around work with my pants unbuttoned because I can't fit into them; I find ways to cover it up though) but it doesn't. I'm lost. I've looked through my old blogs on here, and I can't seem to find a spark. In fact, it blows my mind that I somehow got down to 140 lbs.

I'm hurting, friends. I'm not typing this as a pity party, but I'm spilling out my heart here asking for your help. If you have been where I am now, please, tell me how you got out of it. I'm all ears.

**I've really shared some intimate details here; ones that my boyfriend (the closest person to me) doesn't even know. Please be kind when responding. Thank you.**

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADAKNOWLES 11/13/2013 1:03AM

    When I gained back weight, going back up to 160+ pounds, I was devastated. I honestly wallowed at that weight for a good two years because I had no spark. I know how you feel. All you can do is make every day better than the last. You had 5 doughnut yesterday? Have 3 today. Set small goals and follow through. That's what I've tried to do and it's slowly working but working nonetheless. I'll be here cheering you on! You got it emoticon

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WINNIE1978 11/12/2013 7:46PM

    I can't really offer much in the way of advice because I'm in the exact same position. Just wanted to let you know that you are not alone. emoticon

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CHODGES83 11/12/2013 5:09PM

    I don't think you failed. You hit a roadbump, a hiccup, in your journey. We've all had them. I keep fighting these same 20#. Idk why I have such a time with this. I can be on track for weeks and then suddenly, I'm done for. There's no secret to how I make myself get back on my plan. I just do it. Idk how or why, I just know it's hard. I wish I had real answers for you. I wish there was a secret answer to finding our spark. I'm here for you. Keep your chin up, try to find a positive attitude, smile, and take the steps. Or get angry...sometimes that works too. emoticon I'm thinking of you and I'm here!

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CIPHER1971 11/12/2013 3:40PM

    Every time I fall off the wagon I redo the fast start, as those little goals help get me started again. I accept now (it took a while that I will sometimes go off the rails, the aim is not to gain it all back each time)

You can do this, and we will be there cheering you on.

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BEELALA93 11/12/2013 2:43PM

    Hey beautiful girl.

Firstly, DO NOT punish yourself for this, it's just a step back but NOT a failure. Never think you've failed, you definitely haven't failed.

Like Elriddick said, forget about weight loss, keep your focus on just being healthy. Healthy eating and exercise. I found I lost the most weight (well, when I was being sensible and healthy about it) was when I stopped thinking about it as a way to lose weight. It was about a healthy lifestyle.

You've done so well so far, despite gaining back some weight. Just take some time to get back into a better mind and positive mindframe.

And think of all the incredible qualities you have - kind, supportive, funny, intelligent, determined and so beautiful!

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TIGER_LILY_613 11/12/2013 1:08PM

    I've been there - having pants that don't zip up and wearing my shirts over them to cover it up. Losing several pounds and gaining them back. Crying to family because I simply couldn't see a way out. I wholeheartedly sympathize.

By reaching out to the spark community, you've done a very smart thing :) You've asked for help ! I didn't, and I got stuck in that rut for YEARS ! Don't do what I did !

Instead, take a good step back, and try to analyze the situation.

Is your goal weight realistic ?

Is it possible that you could have pushed yourself too hard or too fast the last time you reached your goal ? You may simply be burned out. Try making more gentle changes this time around. Remember that this is a lifestyle you are building. If it feels too intense, slow down. It shouldn't feel like a burden. By making small changes, you can make slowly healthy habits second nature.

Don't forget the usual suspects, like stress. You mentioned that you just got a new job (Congrats !) But like all life changes, it's an adjustment, which can be a source of stress and temporary weight gain because the body is pumping more cortisol. In my case, when a new job started, I stress-ate, and that didn't help.

Take it easy. For now take small steps and be kind to yourself. Try to take the focus off weight loss for now and just make it about making small healthy choices everyday - one extra glass of water today, just 10 minutes of exercise today ... little, little things. Soon you'll want to push yourself a little bit further, but take your time.


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MELLYBEANS0919 11/12/2013 11:28AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I can't offer you much advice since I am struggling to figure it all out myself right now. I just wanted to say I am here for you Sam. Feel free to Sparkamil me whenever you want or post on my page. Don't get upset with yourself, as hard as that is. You are doing your best with what you have right now.
I am happy to hear you like your new job!
It is nice to hear from you. I lurk on here a few times a week although I don't post as much.
Thinking of you!

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FITNAPTURAL 11/12/2013 11:26AM

    The fact that you came back here means you atleast have a little spark left in you! Use that to push your self a little further. I've been there and you're not the only one to ever gain weight back. You're allowed to feel angry, disappointed, and feel low but you can't stay there. You got to 140 once so you can do it again. You know what it takes for you to lose the weight. DOn't think of it as starting over. Think of it as continuing on your journey. Get back to doing the small things like drinking your water or watching your portion sizes. Make the small, healthy choices and you'll be buttoning your pants (and buying smaller ones) in no time! Don't be discouraged or ashamed. emoticon emoticon

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POOKASLUAGH 11/12/2013 8:43AM

    Weight loss is HARD. If you lose it slowly, it's demotivating, if you lose it fast, it tends to come back, and there are so many other factors involved besides just the slow vs hard. I know you have a gluten intolerance - I know this is probably not what you want to hear, but this very well may be the reason you "failed" (which I do not consider failing). You know that I have spent the last couple years just unable to lose no matter what I did, no matter how much I tried. As it turns out, this was because my gut was receiving so little nutrition because of the gluten that it held onto every last calorie I fed it that it could absorb. Every time I ate something with gluten in it, I'd be starving an hour or two later - because my gut had this impact of something impeding it from getting any nutrition, and started begging me for more. Forget metabolism - gluten can literally make your body go into starvation mode.

This about this - if you gained ALL the weight back that quickly, there is something more going on. People don't gain that fast unless there is something medical happening, or something psychological (like full on, 8000-calories-per-day binges) going on. Most people who look up one day and realize they're overweight wonder where it came from. They gained maybe 5 lbs a year, or 10 lbs a year. Something equivalent to overeating by 100 calories or so per day. Almost nothing. It's so gradual, which is why they adjust to it over time. When weight comes on in rapid bursts, it is NOT generally something YOU are doing.

I don't know your whole story, and maybe I have it all wrong, but I think you're taking too much responsibility onto yourself for this. It is not failure when your body rebels. It's not failure when you're eating at a big deficit for days on end, and eventually your body screams that it needs food and you eat and eat and eat. That is your body's built in defense mechanism. That's why it's easier to stick to something longterm if you keep your deficit much lower, even though that makes for a painfully long weight loss journey. There is NOTHING WRONG with eating junk from time to time. I've fallen into the trap more than once of feeling guilty after overeating one day. Then I look at what I've eaten, and look at the fact that I've eaten, say, 2500 calories, and realize that's NOTHING to be guilty about! Heck, I remember at one point feeling guilty for eating 1600-1800 calories, and that is NOT RIGHT. Not NORMAL. That few calories is a deficit, and I should never feel bad because I didn't eat at a BIGGER deficit.

I hate so much of the way media and even websites that are helpful like this one make us so focused on numbers that we start seeing things in a skewed way. To give an example slightly off topic, I remember the first time I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It was so well written that when Francie gets a job 2/3rds of the way through the book that pays her $10/week, I *marveled* at how much money she was making. Literally marveled. Because in that book, in her situation, in her time period, that WAS a lot. My point is, your brain will adjust to whatever it sees constantly, and if it sees a diet of 1200-1500 calories as the "right" range, it will start feeling like 1600 calories is HUGE, when really, 1600 calories is NOT huge.

Maintenance level, for most people, is between 2000 and 2500 calories, especially if they're active at all throughout the week, including working out. Don't trust Fitbit numbers - they're not even close to accurate for daily burn! So what happens to a person who has a deficit Monday through Friday and then who eats at maintenance level on the weekend? They still lose - maybe at a slower rate than someone who eats at a deficit 7 days per week (and even then, it's iffy, because loss is really helped along by having at least one higher calorie day per week). A weekend "off" does not undo everything done in the week, generally. This is, of course, setting aside binging-type issues. so it's not a bad thing to have your weekends off, especially if it helps you, long term, to stay focused.

*hugs* I wish I could help you more Sam. I wish this was easier. It's not.

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AZMOMXTWO 11/12/2013 7:09AM

  I wish I could tell you some thing to help you out but I can't

I had to force myself to park as far away from the building as possible just to walk more then i started to walk at lunch now I just do it but it was hard to get started

good luck you can do it

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ELRIDDICK 11/12/2013 7:07AM

  Thanks for sharing. You didn't fail, you achieved the weight lost. Gaining it back DOESN"T negate the achievement. Forget about loosing weight. Concentrate on making more healthy food choices. When you get back into a healthy lifestyle the weight will comeback off and stay off.

Comment edited on: 11/12/2013 7:12:28 AM

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#141 - Current State of Mind.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I feel... like I am slowly learning who I am and who I want to become even though I have a long road of healing, forgiving, and patience ahead of me.

I wish... that I could live closer to every member of my family. I miss them so much.

I need... to learn how to choose my battles because sometimes, it isn't worth it to lose someone you love.

I am worthy... of love not only from others but from myself as well.

I am thankful for... everything that I am blessed with even when I don't deserve it. There are so many people that go without every day.

I would like to... leave this world a better place than I found it.

I dream about... a day when I am in absolute peace with my body.

I enjoy... the moments after a good, hard run. I love feeling accomplished.

I listen... to others when they need me because it's essential for every person to know that they are important, that they are loved.

I appreciate... my parents more and more as the days goes on -- how intelligent, loving, and forgiving they are. I need to be more like them.

I know... that it will take patience and dedication to reach every goal I have set for myself. (Patience is not my strength!)

I remember... what I was doing 12 years ago today. I remember not only the pain but also how we came together to support and love one another. I'm remembering the heroes, victims, and their families today.

Source Unknown

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WIFEALF2 9/12/2013 8:02PM


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#140 - You're Never Too Old to Learn.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Here's what I am learning while on this journey:

1. Progress, not perfection -- In the last post, I said that I refuse to worry about my food. I'm not going to stress myself with calorie counting; it doesn't help me at all. However, I can't help but stress *a little* when BJ and I eat out a lot. This weekend is a great example. We were pretty busy, so we ate out fair share of fast food. Even though my food choices weren't perfect, I found ways to make progress -- getting the small combo instead of the medium or large, choosing water instead of soda or alcohol, and eating until I felt full. So, I choose to celebrate the progress.

2. Dedication & commitment -- These two are essential to this lifestyle that I am seeking. So, when 7:15 AM rolled around on Saturday morning, I knew I had to get up for a run. It wasn't easy, but I have goals that are important. I was very happy that I remained committed because I got to see this amazing sight:

While enjoying this, I also enjoyed my first barefoot run on the beach! It was a great experience because it felt good when the water splashed on me while I ran.

3. Listen -- My body has ways of telling me things, and it's my job to listen. I went for a run on Thursday afternoon, and I felt so sick during it. Now, I know why:

In addition, after a busy, exhausting Saturday, I decided to go to bed at 9:30 PM because my body wanted sleep. It craved it so much so that I slept until 8 AM.

Since my feet were sore from my barefoot run, I decided to rest the remainder of Sunday instead of going for another walk. In fact, I took time to soak them in a warm Epsom salt bath and massage them afterwards. Sometimes, my body just needs a bit of pampering.

4. I will struggle -- I've been struggling with not weighing myself. There's a small part of me that wants to jump on that scale, but for what reason? To see a number for all of a second that could make or break my day, week, or month? I'm proud to say that I am fighting that urge and staying dedicated to the fact that I am more than a number.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

G.I.JANE 9/10/2013 11:49PM

    Keep fighting. (Winners never stop!) Very proud of you & your motivational blog! emoticon emoticon

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C8TSON 9/10/2013 4:18PM

    This is excellent! I really do enjoy your approach with this. Spark sent out a quote once that I wrote down and it's on my desk: "When you take the focus off the scale, amazing things can happen." It's so true! You are living evidence of that my friend! Thank you for sharing your progress with us! emoticon

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DAMEGRIS 9/10/2013 8:07AM

    I hear you on the calorie counting stress! And I'm so proud of you both for running barefoot (I still can't do that) and for winning against the scale! I've tried and failed every time, haha.

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FITNAPTURAL 9/9/2013 9:20PM

    These are great things to keep in mind. Sometimes we all need a reminder to slow down and enjoy the journey :)

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MEGAN6277 9/9/2013 8:14PM

    Loved the picture Sam! Reminds me of just how small we really are in this world and have no control over anything. (Nature wise anyway) I wish I could go to the beach more often, I've only been there maybe 3 or 4 times in my 40 yrs but its very cleansing to go see it. Did you know that the waves are the "maids" that clean the ocean? Cleaning the ocean floor constantly. A good song to listen to is called "There is a God" written by Carman. Its sooo worth the look up...think you can find it on youtube if I'm not mistaken. Have a good one!

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MELLYBEANS0919 9/9/2013 7:55PM

    Way to go! emoticon

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JADAKNOWLES 9/9/2013 3:32PM

    great post sam!

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JUSTCHELLE75 9/9/2013 3:27PM

    Great insight

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CHODGES83 9/9/2013 3:26PM

    Beautiful! The pictures, your attitude, everything! Beautiful!

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