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DANDYMANDERZ's Recent Blog Entries

I saw that person today

Thursday, August 16, 2012

So, over the weekend with the help of my dad, my boyfriend and I redecorated our living room. We got a new t.v. stand, we moved our couch and we put up some mirrors to make it look bigger since we live in a pretty tiny house. An added bonus of putting the mirrors up is I can see myself when I workout now. Often times when I look in the mirror, even though I have come so far, I see my stretch marks, my loose skin, excess fat that I feel like I need to lose, but today while I was doing my workout I watched myself in the mirror. I saw my muscles, my form, and most of all I saw my determination and strength. I saw the person that I have always wanted to be, the person I knew was in there. I saw how hard I was working out, the sweat just dripping everywhere and I smiled. I smiled because I finally looked in the mirror and saw me. Yes, I do have stretch marks, yes, I do have loose skin, and no, I'm not completely ripped with muscle, but I worked hard for what I do have, and all of those things are reminders of who I once was. Reminders of how far I've come. I am fierce, I am determined, and I am beautiful. So, if you get the chance, look in the mirror and try to see that person. The person you know you can be.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANJEAN6 9/10/2014 7:05AM

    Wow!--You are doing well!

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JUSTSILVIE 8/11/2014 10:02PM

    Great Blog! You look so healthy and Fit, but from the pictures I would say you were always beautiful. Congratulations on a job so well done. emoticon

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SIMONEKP 2/14/2013 3:55PM


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CLH722 10/11/2012 5:47PM

    I loved this blog! I think we all strive for the "perfect" body and don't take enough time to appreciate what we have. No matter what physical flaws you have, there is someone out there who wishes they had your body.

Thank you for your honesty and your insight!


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ROCKMAN6797 8/19/2012 7:45PM

    Congratulations and emoticon

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WILDHONEYPIE1 8/18/2012 9:25PM

    Inspirational! emoticon for sharing.


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BMW9295 8/18/2012 9:08PM

    How great is that! One day I hope to be where you are.

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GOODLOOKIN69 8/16/2012 10:29PM

    Thanks for sharing and know that any loose skin and stretch marks are like battle scars-they will remind you of the fight you fought and the freedom you gained. That's the way I'm looking at mine! emoticon

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DENNISWIFE 8/16/2012 4:32PM

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. It was beautifully said.
Congrats on seeing what others see....

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KATD13 8/16/2012 4:29PM


Sometimes it's hard to see past the flaws. To really see the true you.
I'm glad all your hard work is paying off!

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TATERCAT 8/16/2012 1:57PM

    That is wonderful! You should be proud of your accomplishments because you have come so far.

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KERHOO 8/16/2012 10:04AM

    I have been wondering if loose skin is a problem or not? I see lots of dramatic weight loss pictures on here but haven't seen much mention of that. You look fantastic......keep up the great work!! emoticon

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GINNABOOTS 8/16/2012 9:34AM

    Beautiful blog. I am so happy for you & thanks for sharing.

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PYNETREE 8/16/2012 9:20AM

    emoticon Look at YOU!! You are doing it! emoticon

Go Girl!

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FARIS71 8/16/2012 9:03AM

    That is awesome. I sometimes see that same lady with loose skin and persistence in the mirror at the gym. She's pretty cool.

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Mental Preparation

Friday, August 03, 2012

I have mentioned before that I believe it takes mental preparation before you can make a physical transformation. I thought I would try to make a list of questions to ask yourself, and things to visualize when you are mentally preparing yourself for your weight loss journey.

I consider this to be a form of meditation, so when you have time, find a place that is relaxing and quiet so that you are better able to concentrate.

Sit or lay down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and take a few deep, calming breaths in and out. Ask yourself:

Why do I want to lose weight? Is it for myself, someone else? Do I want to lose weight because I want to be skinny? To be in shape? To be healthier? To look good?

How will I feel after I lose the weight? Will it make me happier? More comfortable? More confident? Am I counting on losing weight to fix my problems, an end in itself?

How will I begin my weight loss journey? Are the changes I make going to be sustainable over a long period of time? What habits can I change now for the better?

Visualize yourself in a day of your new habits. Picture yourself waking up, preparing and eating a healthy breakfast, putting on your workout clothes and working out. Actually picture yourself working out. Jogging, swimming, running, boxing, whatever it may be, picture every motion. Imagine the feeling you get when exercising.

Visualize using portion control, eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied. Picture yourself measuring out your portions and making healthier decisions.

Some other questions you can ask yourself are: What are the foods that trigger a binge? How do I feel after eating out of depression, or boredom, or happiness any feeling other than hunger. Why do I turn to food for comfort? Most importantly what coping skills can I use to start eating smaller portions and healthier foods.

This may seem a bit silly to some but I believe it can be very effective. Being mindful, I think, is one of the keys of losing weight and keeping it off. You can become the person you want to be just through mental practice.

Being able to sit with yourself can sometimes be uncomfortable especially if you feel guilt after binging or not exercising.

Being mindful is also great when you are having cravings. Before you dive into an entire cake, stay with the craving. Ask yourself some of the questions I mentioned above. Why do I want to binge? How will I feel? Often times if you wait out the craving long enough it will pass.

I am not an expert when it comes to meditation but it has definitely helped me along my weight loss journey, and I hope it can help you too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSANYVONNE68 1/18/2014 7:22AM

    emoticon emoticon
You are wiser then your years. Thanks for posting this, and being so inspiring! emoticon emoticon

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WHYWEIGHT552 4/30/2013 7:30PM

    thank you for these tips I'm so going to ask myself these questions and answer them honestly- weight loss is a huge mental process
keep up the amazing work DandyManderz you're such an inspiration to all!!

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WINDO4 8/15/2012 4:23PM

    Your ideas are good. Your mind must be ready to be in sync with your body in it's weight loss journey. I will take your suggestions to heart and use them. Thank you!

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FAT2GAINHEALTH 8/15/2012 6:10AM

    you r correct ...if u don't set ur mind to the new mindset of i am embracing a new lifestyle of selfcare and health u set ur self for failure. I find that the reason i go so fat was i tried to eat like a mouse for my goal then go off my mealplan when my goals were met. i now am in it for the long hall til i die.

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ROCKMAN6797 8/3/2012 1:30PM

    Excellent exercise, all in all, one has to WANT to make this change. And by that I don't mean just verbalize the desire but actually push in with all of your chips. The best results are achieved by by embracing a lifestyle change and commiting to making changes. These changes don't have to be made at the same time but each change should be done to achieve a lifestyle change. Practicing baby steps repeatedly will produce good habits which will result in the changes you seek.

Just my 2 cents....


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HFAYE81 8/3/2012 10:02AM

    Wonderful exercise in mindfulness!!! emoticon

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PATTOMMC3 8/3/2012 6:08AM


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WHERERMY62KEYS 8/3/2012 6:05AM

  Excellent advice

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What do I eat?

Friday, July 13, 2012

I saw a comment asking me exactly what I eat on a daily basis. I thought I would write a blog to let you guys know what I generally eat so that you can get an idea of some things you might like.

Breakfast: I am pretty routine with my breakfast. I normally buy frozen mixed berries and add them to a cereal like Frosted Mini Wheats, Bran, or some other hearty cereal. I don't drink regular milk. I prefer almond, coconut, soy or hemp milk. It adds more flavor and and usually has fewer calories.

Lunch/dinner: My lunches and my dinners are very similar. I make a list every time I go shopping and I have staples that I like to keep on hand. I buy vegetarian chili, canned soups, eggs, frozen veggies, tuna, canned white meat chicken, and things like bread, rice, and noodles. I like to keep things on hand that are easy to make and that clearly say how many calories it contains on the label.

Snacks: I love Greek yogurt. I like to eat peanut butter sandwiches, fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, grapes etc. I also like nuts, cottage cheese and peaches or apricots, and mixed veggies with some seasoning on top like lemon pepper or hot sauce.

I mentioned I love burritos so I thought I would let you know what I put in mine. I use flour tortillas, re-fried beans, low fat cheese, and salsa or hot sauce. That's it. It's tasty and pretty healthy too. Sometimes I like to add tomatoes, onions, guacamole/avocado and chicken. It really depends on what groceries I have stocked up and what I'm in the mood for.

I know it can be tough deciding what foods to eat, and it can be even tougher to find healthy alternatives. This isn't a complete list as I like to eat out sometimes and sometimes there are things that I am craving that I normally wouldn't eat. I hope this has helped.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOODLOOKIN69 7/27/2012 5:59PM

    It's great to see that even after losing so much weight that you still enjoy healthy foods and seem to be staying on track. Way to go! Very inspiring! emoticon

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LISA-120 7/16/2012 3:55PM

    Thanks for sharing! Congratulations on your success!!!

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ONUTHIN125 7/14/2012 9:28PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LYNETTEMOM 7/14/2012 1:15AM

    you come across as just so matter-of-fact----no bs. I really like that. Tks

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BUSYGRANNY5 7/13/2012 9:31PM

    Very interesting and informative!!! emoticon

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SHANTODD420 7/13/2012 5:51PM

    Hey Thanks for sharing and way to go on the weight loss.

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KICKINGKILOS 7/13/2012 2:48PM

    Hey Amanda!!! Thank you so much:) for this blog.

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4ANEWME2DAY 7/13/2012 12:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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I'm Still The Same Person On The Inside Even Though I changed My lifestyle, Right?

Monday, September 05, 2011

I was thinking about it today, and I have so many emotions about how my lifestyle has changed. Growing up I wasn't too heavy but when I got older and started going through puberty I started putting on a lot of weight. My average weight was between 220 and 240. I was 208 pounds by the time I was 12 years old. I didn't want to be that heavy, but I just didn't know what to do. It was just my mom and I at home and she believed in heaping helpings at every meal. Exercising more and eating less just sounded too simple to me, and even if I tried it for a while I would give up because I didn't see any results. My weight had fluctuated up and down through my teenage years and I felt like I was doomed to be overweight for the rest of my life.
After my boyfriend and I started living on our own together, it was a struggle and food was my comfort. I sat around at home all day and ate, and ate, and ate. It felt so good to have comfort in something. I gained over 40 pounds which brought me close to 300.
Over the next couple of years I started eating less and dropping weight. It was by accident at first but then I started watching what I was eating. Over five years I went from 280 pounds to 198 last year. (I am now plateaued at 150ish) That's when I joined SparkPeople, determined to change my lifestyle and lose the rest of the weight for good.
Since then I have started exercising 5 days a week and I keep a food journal everyday. Sometimes I feel scared of gaining the weight and going back to my old lifestyle. Sometimes I feel like a fake because I was fat for such a long time. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the same person because I eat right and exercise and I didn't before.
I often have to remind myself that I didn't want to be fat before. I feel more comfortable in the body I have now compared to when I was heavy. I have to remind myself that I worked hard to have the body I have, and lose the weight that I did and so I deserve to feel good in my body. I have to remind myself that I didn't choose to be heavy before, I just didn't know how to lose weight, I didn't have the knowledge that I have now. And most importantly I am the same person I was before just smaller. I am the same person, I just like to exercise and eat healthy. Sometimes I feel like I'm not being myself because my lifestyle has changed so drastically. I have to remind myself that my lifestyle is better now than it was before, and not only that but I'm happier now that I eat healthy and exercise.
I often wonder if I'm the only one who feels this way. That's why I love Sparkpeople so much. I feel like I can connect with others that feel the same way. Many of us share the same doubts, and it's nice to have a community where other people went from being couch potatoes to athletes. It's really nice to know that as drastic as my lifestyle is I'm still the same person, in fact I'm even better because I have acquired the knowledge to help me lose weight and keep it off. It's still me, I'm just smaller and I exercise and eat better :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I enjoyed reading this because it shows that the insecurities and self doubt are still a part of us. Even when we change our outer appearance our inner self still is really the same person.
Way to go Amanda, you have done an amazing transformation of yourself. I hope with time that the self doubt will lesson, and you will see you are a star. You have done so well emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 7/13/2012 10:31PM

    I know I've changed, and I'm only 20 lbs down!

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BOOKWORM27S 7/13/2012 4:05PM

    Your story sounds a lot like mine. I was over 300 lbs. at 15 years old. I've always struggled with my weight....

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EBURGITE 7/13/2012 10:54AM

when you have so much to lose, there is an upside to it....it's a journey of years, not weeks or months. by the time you reach your goal, you really have changed your life, not just white-knuckled your diet for a while. thanks for your honesty. emoticon

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NIAGCHRIS246 9/5/2011 6:49AM

  Old habits die hard. Sounds like occasionally they still speak to you, but they are not who you are now. While your body has grown smaller your charactor has grown stronger.

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Reviewing my weightloss so far

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's been a while since I've really done much on Sparkpeople. I have limited internet access so I now keep a food/exercise diary in a paper journal. I have lost 46 pounds since October of last year, and 129 pounds from my highest weight. I have recently reached somewhat of a plateau. I haven't been losing weight as fast as I would like to and I have to remind myself that this is a lifelong journey not a goal set in stone. I still have about 20 or 25 pounds until I reach my goal weight, but when the scale won't budge for weeks at a time it can be frustrating.
I have learned that changing up my exercise routine is a must. My body will get used to the same workout over a few weeks, so now I go to my library and check out exercise dvds to change up my routine every week or everyday if I like.
I have also learned that eating too few calories is just as bad as eating too many. My body was craving more calories for a while there and I finally realized that eating more was what worked for me.
Lately I have been scared. I am so proud of myself for losing as much as I have so far. Sometimes I am so focused on my goal weight that I forget to pause and look at all the fat that has come off already. I often worry that I will gain all the weight back, which I'm sure anyone who has lost a large amount of weight is. I worry that I will binge eat, and stop working out, but then I realize I have come so far. I love eating healthy foods (although I don't deny myself), I LOVE working out, and finding the right exercise for you is really what it's all about. If you hate pushups, don't do them. Do as many different workouts as you can and find what you like. If you hate broccoli, try mixing it in with other foods, or find a vegetable you do like, there are plenty of them out there.
Weight loss really is a personal thing. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. I suppose this blog entry is not just to let people struggling know that it is possible, but a reminder to myself that it is possible to lose the weight and keep it off. One of my biggest fears is gaining it back, but I believe that with a great support system, and really just a change of lifestyle is what will keep it off. I look at how I live now, and I have no desire to eat an entire pizza in one sitting, or just sit on the couch and not do my workout. It really is the little things that you change over time that make the biggest difference. For anyone struggling, it truly is possible, and for anyone doubting you will get there. It will take time, and a lifetime of commitment but if you put your mind to it and really stick with it you can lose the weight, and keep it off.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEMAR2 7/19/2012 12:07PM

    I loved your blog. Good luck on your journey.

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SHIRE33 7/19/2012 7:45AM

    I'm with you. I have lost 88 pounds and have 17 to go. I worry all the time about maintenance. But like you, I really do like working out and my runs. I'm going to work hard to discover what calorie range I need to stay within when I reach goal. But it's definitely scary.

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WNTMOREOFLIFE 6/30/2011 7:04AM

    Thank you for this encouraging post today!

These are things all of us need to think about on our weight loss journey, and it really does help to hear from people who are making it work, with realistic and self-loving ideas built in.


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NOMUFFINTOP3 6/30/2011 7:04AM

It is great that you have got a handle on things. Very good
blog and inspirational. It is all in how you look at things,
staying positive, changing things up! emoticon

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