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From Vision to Victory (Pictorial Progress)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I took some new pictures this weekend and was totally surprised by what I saw. Although I have only lost 0.9 lbs in the last few weeks, and just a little over 4lbs. for the month I'm obviously losing inches (I've gone down 2 dress sizes). Furthermore, I'm moved to tears by the overall weight loss.

My lifelong dream (vision) is becoming a reality (victory).

Years ago when I lost my first 30 lbs, my Pastor asked me if I was keeping a photo diary of my progress. He said that taking pictures of my progress would help to keep me on track and those same pictures would serve as a testimony to others.

I hadn't even thought about it, but I'm so glad that I heeded his wise advice. Thankfully, I have never been camera shy. Most of the women in my family are full-figured and carry themselves as if they are the smallest people on the planet…so we’re all super model wannabees!!! I have a photo album completely dedicated to capturing my journey and am so thankful for SP where I can now monitor my progress on my Spark Page.

Speaking of Spark Page progress, a few weeks ago, I was visiting someone’s page. This Sparker admitted that she had been avoiding taking pictures with her husband and children simply because she was so disappointed with how she looked, but then she realized the importance of remembering every special moment with her family. I was so happy for her epiphany. It reminded me of my own journey through pictures. Those pictures told me what a scale could not and more importantly I was able to take some good pictures with people who are very special to me (i.e. My Father who is now watching my progress from Heaven).

Another good thing about pictures is that when you're in a weight loss slump or on a plateau comparing your pictures (and measurements) are some good tools to keep you motivated and those same pictures could be a blessing to others.

So, I said all that to say, if you're not periodically taking pictures of yourself...START NOW...regardless of your size, shape or weight!!! You're beautifully and wonderfully made and you're a work in progress...don't forget that!

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEYJAYE 8/18/2007 4:10PM

    I took your advice and posted my photo before and current on my Spark Page. I'm calling it current instead of after because I have not finished my weight loss journey.

I am blessed to have you as a friend on this journey of ours.

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TORINICOLE77 8/13/2007 1:56PM

    Thank you for your entry. What a motivation you are! I was the same way....I've never been the camera shy type, even when I was much bigger, the thing is now that I look back, I now realize how big I was!! Pictures definitely don't lie and they are a great way to track progress.

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CARAMELLADY 8/13/2007 12:17AM

  Like I said previously you are AWESOME and an inspiration!

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CELEST 8/5/2007 3:48PM

    I couldn't agree more about the importance of keeping a photo diary. It is my biggest motivator. When I feel like the scales a lying, cheating, fraud.....I just check out some before and current photos and its enough to put me in first gear again.
You are looking absolutely fabulous. You keep going and you'll still be you.....just better.
Love your smile, it's infectious.


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MSDIVA1128 8/1/2007 9:31AM

    Now you know the DIVA has to check in. You look GOOOOOOOODDDD!!! When are you gonna give that new shell a test drive : ) If I ever had any doubts that this dream was attainable, you just blew them away. I wanna be just like you when I grow up : ) Keep workin' it gurl!

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APPLEBOTTOM4 8/1/2007 7:47AM

    Okay, now you know that I MUST comment on this Blog. First of all WOW!!! You have come soooooo far in your journey. You never stop amazing me.
I am one of those people that avoids the camera, but not anymore. I am going to take a picture today.
I can monitor my progress thus far because of my clothes. Like today I have on a pair of pants that did not go up my thighs and the blouse would not close. The fact that these items now fit me made my day yesterday, when I tried these clothes on and they fit.

I just want you to know that when I look at these two pictures of you, it reaffirms the fact that giving up is NOT an option!!

May you continue to be blessed!!

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NOEILAND 8/1/2007 12:30AM

    You are doing an amazing job on your journey! YOU LOOK GREAT!

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ATR1983 7/31/2007 11:51PM

    You are look good. You better go out there and work it. Keep up the good work. I agree it is important to take pictures. i look at my pictures when I am feeling down and it motivates me to keep going. You are such a inspiration. Keep up the good work.

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LADYBUG1971 7/31/2007 9:03PM

    You're looking great...keep up the good work! What a good idea to keep a pictorial diary. It is important to not only have a vision of the the future, but remember where you came from, too! You will appreciate your success that much more!!!

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ONLY 7 out of 207....No Wonder I'm Tired!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Just like any other day, immediately after work I raced like the speed of light to get to one of my favorite places on the planet. THE Y-M-C-A! It's fun to stay at the.....anyway back to the subject at hand....While driving I felt tired, but dismissed it as another "challenging" day at work. I knew I would feel more energized once I got to the gym--I always do. Afterall, it's Thursday night which means SPIN CLASS~one of my favorites!!!

So I decided to "warm-up" on the elliptical machine--high ramp, high resistance, no hands. Those 11 minutes felt like an hour, doing the elliptical without holding on to anything is no joke! Well then I was off to Spin Class.

Midway through the class I was wondering if I was going to make it, I spent most of the class in the seat even when the rest of the class was off the saddle. Nevermind the fact that I did not adjust the resistance when I first got on the bike!! So the resistance was already high from the last person who rode the bike, then I kept adding more--have mercy. Did I stop....NO! I thought to myself, if I pass out, my Soror (fellow AKA) who happens to be an RN was next to me so I was covered...kept on peddling. At the end of class she commented about how it looked like I was struggling (very unlike me). I told her that I was tired then she asked me when is my rest day? REST DAY...WHAT'S THAT?!

Then I thought about it. When was my last rest day??? I decided that I would check it out ONLY after finishing the rest of my workout. Afterall, along with my morning workout I had ONLY completed 70 mins of cardio for the day!

Well after I finished riding the recumbent bike and doing upper body strength training, I decided to check my activity year to date on the Fitlinxx system. July 26th is the 207th day of the year. I have missed working out ONLY seven days so far and my last off day was June 14th. HAVE MERCY, NO WONDER I WAS TIRED!!!

I had to ask myself, "What's wrong with you girl?" Then the 286 lb. New Year's Eve Deondra spoke up. As it turns out way way deep down, I'm afraid that if I miss exercising even one day, that I'll make it a habit then back to 407 I go. Afterall, it has happened before. As a matter of fact, it happened just last Summer, when I stopped exercising and was heading for 300lbs.

Then I started thinking about all the new and improved habits that I've developed in the past few months the 175 lb. Deondra (I'm claiming that goal weight) spoke up and said, "you've come too far to turn back now~so taking a day off doesn't mean that you'll start slacking, plus it will do this body good."

Good point, so oddly enough, I'm making plans to take a break....we'll see!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2008LYNN 7/31/2007 10:57AM

  My Hero!!! I'm a member of less than a week and starting slowly (walking 10 mins a day). It was an inspirational article that brought me to Sparks in the first place and now your blog has kindled that fire. I'm going to subscribe if you don't mind and add you as a friend, to use your progress as my carrot.

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LINNLAT 7/30/2007 1:09PM

    Well...I'm basically speechless. YOU ROCK! That's what I'm talking about. A woman who gets out there and goes for what she knows and overcomes any obstacles that come her way. You've come so far and you're still grinding. It makes me feel so proud and I don't even know you. You are an inspiration. Only 7 of 207...Now that's some real dedication and hard work. YOU GO GIRL! I'm adding you as a friend. I have to. There's no way around it b/c I gotta let you rub off on me. I'm a newbie and I intend to be here for the long haul even after I reach my goal weight. Holla back when you can.

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SNIKWAD 7/28/2007 11:06AM

    Hahaha! Classic!

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FOXYLOSE30 7/27/2007 8:35AM

    You are doing an awesome job, take a break on Sunday. You are too discipline, I know you will do well.

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APPLEBOTTOM4 7/27/2007 7:50AM

    I can relate. I have been going to the gym two times a day, seven days a week. I then went to sign up for a boot camp and the instructor told me that although he understood my desperation (about working out), I was not allowing my body to recover. He said that you need a minimum of one day off. I have taken his advise but I will tell you the truth, the day I do not go to the gym, I feel bloated and just not good about it.

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LAUNDRYCHICK 7/27/2007 3:41AM

    You've put words to something I've been thinking and wondering about for awhile noe. If I take a day off, will I lose the motivation and will to keep going? It's as if fear of failure keeps me returning to the gym. I want the gym to be a new lifestyle for me, but I've got 38 years history being somebody else and I KNOW it would be really easy to be that somebody else again. Anyhow, I am so impressed with your success so far! You are doing awesome! Keep up the great work!

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ATR1983 7/27/2007 1:27AM

    I was scared of that to when I first started. I usally use the weekend as my rest day. You are doing great. Take time and rest your muscles. You will be fine.

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MSDIVA1128 7/27/2007 1:09AM

    Well what ever you have been doing it is working. You deserve a break. No one said you have to kill yourself during the process of getting healthy. Take some time for yourself.

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MARSHBTOKS 7/27/2007 12:34AM

    I can relate to alot of what you are speaking on in this blog.............true that ... hands free on the elliptical is no joke........I can also relate to your workout ethics...........I too feel that if I miss a workout day I will slip back into an unhealthy lifestyle.........It's not true cause I have missed some days to rest/recover..........but that unhealthy person that I used to be has been replaced with a new me with a new outlook and understanding........keep doing your thing girl you are well on your way to your 175 lbs goal........

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2B_ME_N_2012 7/27/2007 12:27AM

    U know u r so right!!! Even the exercise tracker on sparkpeople.com recommends you res t a day in between cardio. 1 thing I do is stretch things out a bit b/c like u said....(I thought the same way) if you miss 1 day u won't keep the routine. I must admit I have done that so many times. So back to what I was saying about stretching it out: I do cardio 3 x week and strengthening 2 x week giving my body a complete relaxation on Sunday. Yeah....I know U wondering about the 6th day....LOL...I do something small like take a walk around the block, dance to a good song or play w/my infant. Either way it is recommended to give your body a rest. Muscles need a chance to breathe like we do. Still, keep up the good work!!!

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Praying & Blogging = Zero Calories

Monday, July 23, 2007

Today I'm having a hard time focusing at work, so I decided to take a few minutes to vent/blog instead of snacking (new technique). Late last night I had a conversation with my best friend that's been weighing heavy on my heart. She's been battling breast cancer for a little over 3 years now. We've been best friends since our freshman year of college and is more like a sister than anything else. She is hopeful and optimistic, but to quote her, she's "tired of being the patient."

The cancer started in her breast (lumpectomy performed as well as chemo and radiation), then moved to her skull (part of her skull had to be removed and reconstructed, more chemo and radiation), then it moved to her back and hip (more chemo & radiation). She's had a hysterectomy last year. She fell and broke her hip in several places a few months ago and had to have surgery. So she's currently on a walker and is undergoing her 4th round of chemo to attack the cancer that is "trying" to move to her kidney and lungs. So the specialists that she's been seeing have placed so much emphasis on treating her diabetes (yes, she's diabetic too) and cancer, that they've disregarded her blood pressure. A STILL QUIET VOICE (there's a reason that's in all caps) spoke to her and told her to go see her primary care physician...and it's a good thing she did!!! She was at a level where she was a prime candidate to have a stroke...thank GOD for His Voice!

Anyway, I have and have had so many loved ones go through this cancer fight and I'm soooooo sick of it! I'm the type of person who always likes to have a solution and/or be in control. I feel so helpless!!! Nevertheless, I am encouraged in knowing that GOD is in control and that He is able to do more than I can ask, think or imagine. So, I will continue to pray fervently, not only for Lisa but for every life that is impacted by cancer.

Okay, I feel a little better now. (Praying and Blogging = Zero Calories)

"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things."~Phillipians 4:6-8

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECCA923 8/14/2007 3:15PM

    Wow! I had a tough time thru my "illness", 2 rounds of chemo, 2 weeks in the hospital with 106 temp, blood pressure thru the roof, on one medicine for one thing that causes another issue, then 35 radiation treatments...Your story reminds me that no matter how tough my time was, people are going thru tougher!! And being tired of being a patient, I can relate too also, and I only did it for a year.

I will add your friend to my prayer list for me and the local churches. Keep her positive. In prayer, all things are possible. I believe that's what got me out of that hospital and thru the rest of my treatments!

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OUTCOMEGIRL 7/26/2007 5:33PM

  Baby all I can say is THANK you Jesus for family friends and a word to live by I don't know Lisa but the prayers of the rightoeus availith much. you be that strong tower for her and I thank God you are standing for her when she is weak. God Bless you my Sister

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APPLEBOTTOM4 7/24/2007 11:05AM

    Just remember when man can't HE (God) CAN!!! I feel your pain on this. I will keep you both in my prayers.

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LOVEABLELULU 7/24/2007 9:31AM

    Lisa and I are so blessed to have you as a friend. To have a friend that you can always "keep it real" with is such an awesome blessing. Lisa tries to be strong for so many people, her husband, her kids, her Mother, your Mother, co-workers and church members that I'm sure it wears her out. But for her to be able to tell her best friend in the world that she is "tired of being the patient" speaks volumes to you and the light of the Lord that shines through you. I love you, and I appreciate you so much for the wonderful person you are.


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NEVA2LATE 7/24/2007 12:08AM

    My heart goes out to you and your friend ... I will be praying with both of you.

God Bless

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D_TERMINED2WIN 7/23/2007 9:01PM

    I am praying with you!!! Tell your friend to keep the faith. God is good all the time!

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MSDIVA1128 7/23/2007 8:29PM

    WOW!! That is such a powerful story. But I know about dealing with cancer, and being a cancer survivor(and when I say survivor,I mean the family of). I have an aunt, who successfully survived cancer. She got so little and weak that my uncle had to carry her everywhere, she didn't even have the strength to walk. We had all really resigned our selves to the fact that we were about to lose her. But GOD said oh no, I am not quite ready for this sister yet. Today she, and my uncle are a little old couple, (TOGETHER).

Then I had a neice who contracted a cancer that started in the back of her throat. She was just 2 years old when she was diagnosed. To make a long story short, she went thru round after round, after round, of chemo, but the cancer spread to her lungs. She was a little fighter though(it runs in the family), and she fought the good fight for the next year, never ONCE complaining about the side affects of CHEMO. That sweet little angel finally succumbed to lung cancer at the tender age of 3 years old.

So you see, it is HIS (GODS) will be done. So tell your friend not to get too tired of being the patient just yet, he will make a way.

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Is it DISCIPLINE or LAZINESS???

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Last night I went to a birthday party that could have been a potential danger zone. The party started at 9pm (we got there around 10pm--too late to be eating) and the menu included fried chicken, baked spaghetti, macaroni & cheese, birthday cake and I'm not sure what else. When I saw the spread I decided to sit on the other side of the room away from the buffet. I knew that I had approximately 350 calories that I could still consume for the day, but I didn't feel like having the servers measure my portions while I tried to calculate calories in my head, Plus, I knew I would get home late and wouldn't feel like loading everything in my nutrition log.

DISCIPLINE or LAZINESS?

I don't know, but as the night went on I didn't feel tempted...instead I found myself calculating how much time I was spending jamming on the dance floor (TWO HOURS OF INTENSE CARDIO!) and how many bottles of water I had consumed. At the end of the night, I felt proud that the old Deondra didn't rise up and inhale everything on the buffet table...instead the new DISCIPLINED Deondra enjoyed the evening which was centered around fun and not food. So I think I've found my answer. YAY ME!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARSHBTOKS 7/26/2007 9:21PM

    You definetly got the discipline girl...........

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MSDIVA1128 7/23/2007 8:03PM

    You continue to inspire. Yay for you indeed!

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SKEEWEEAKA 7/23/2007 7:08PM

    You inspire me girl! Keep up the terrific work and don't know if I could have handled that one. Currently I seem to be inhaling everything and feeling awful but I think after a medication change I might be back on track....

Smooches!

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NEVA2LATE 7/23/2007 2:07AM

    Great job!! ... Discipline it is!! ... Glad you had a fun night!! ... Keep up the good work, you inspire me and soooo many others!!!!

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LISAROUSSEAU 7/22/2007 11:52PM

    Hey, whatever works for you to get you through it!! Congrats to you! Now, when you have a bad day and don't feel like you are making any progress, read YOUR BLOG from today!! Changes are really happening for you- you are an inspiration!

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This Week's Fitness Plan...will it work?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In my pursuit to attain those Janet Jackson Abs, I've decided to modify my workout for the next few weeks. I still plan to work out 7x a week (incl. cardio and strength training); however, I am planning to ONLY do 45 mins of cardio a day and place more emphasis on strength training.

So, I'm only three days in and I have muscles talking to me that I didn't know existed! Plus, I'm amazed by how much strength I've lost. It has been almost a month since I've consistently lifted and I am struggling with machines and weights that were almost effortless a short while ago. At the end of my workouts I'm a little sweaty, but it's nothing compared to the buckets of sweat that I dropped last week when I was doing back to back intense cardio workouts. SO WILL THIS WORK???

I'm hoping that the changes to my fitness plan help to give me the results that I'm looking for...I'll guess I'll see on my next weigh in day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FOXYLOSE30 7/20/2007 2:53PM

    It hope it works for you, just be persistent.

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D_TERMINED2WIN 7/18/2007 2:52PM

    It seems you are on a mission! That is great, I am praying that the changes in your fitness plan will give you the results you desire. You go girl!!!


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