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DETERMINED_SOUL's Recent Blog Entries

6 Years

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Six years truly is a long time. I had not realized how long I had actually been a member of SparkPeople; no wonder they hold such an influential place in my life. I remember starting into my journey with them. Boy was I afraid, but I soon got the hang of the site and made several new friends.

The site itself has changed so much over the years, however the main goal of the site has remained the same. I love coming to SP to engage with my friends and all the great information they have available. Even through my tough times I can improve my spirit just by visiting the site.

SP is also where I discovered my true passion in life. I want to teach others how to lose weight and live a healthy life with their families. So, I embarked on my new business as a weight loss strategist. Without SP I would still be teaching in schools.

Yes, I loved teaching in schools and loved the kids but my passion and purpose in life was much deeper. I now get to teach kids and parents how to live healthy great is that. I want to thank SP for giving me the courage and deep learning of not only health and nutrition, but of myself.

I have been going strong and loving the world of health. I am so blessed to have my life revolve around what I truly love. I am also very blessed to have the community here on SP to help me along the way. A great big emoticon to all of you.

I have been lurking on the site without really doing much commenting and messaging and lately I have really been missing it. I am back now to encourage all my friends (YOU) to continue on your journeys because you never know where they will lead.

Please message me if you need any encouragement or a shoulder to lean on. I have been through a lot on my weight loss journey in the past 6 years and I want to continue to help you in any way that I can.

The best piece of advice that really helped me take control of my weight and my life was that every action you take now can make a bigger difference that you think possible. It is all about right now. So, what can you do right now to begin making a difference in your life?

Have a fantastic day,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELLYBEANS0919 8/16/2014 7:07PM

    emoticon Good to see you're still around now and then too :) Happy 6 yrs.

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CONFUSEDBIRD 8/16/2014 6:49PM

    Keep up the good work! So happy to still have you here!

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ROXYZMOM 8/16/2014 4:35PM

    I am so happy you are on this site. You are a great inspiration and so kind.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLAMING263 8/16/2014 3:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Day 2,099

Saturday, May 03, 2014

I have been a member of SparkPeople for 2,099 days! This is incredible to me; for the first time in my life I have stuck with something until the end and beyond. This site with all the information, wonderful staff, and great new friends that I have made are what keep me together and going strong!

Thank you to everyone who is here showing me support, keeping me inspired, and giving me motivation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROXYZMOM 5/4/2014 4:43AM

    I am so glad you joined 2099 days ago.

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    What an example you are of what someone can do if the only just hang in there. You were beautiful at your heaviest, but now you are truly stunning! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/3/2014 7:34:42 PM

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SUNSHINE99999 5/3/2014 6:53PM

  yes indeed so keep on moving. emoticon

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Snow Day!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I am enjoying a snow day with my family. Since I now live in Alabama, I do not own any sleds. We have been creatively using storage lids and clothes baskets :) Neighbors have joined us since we have a small hill outside of our apartment.

I am inside now, but Richie is still outside enjoying the snow with a ton of new friends. It is funny that being snowed in can bring so many people together.

It is only 1.2 inches of snow, where I am used to feet of snow so the whole thing is a new experience for me. Some of our neighbors did not know what to do so the had fun joining in with us.

I hope you are all having a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROXYZMOM 1/29/2014 4:50PM

    That sounds like fun!! Just enough snow to enjoy!

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Meant to post this before

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So, yesterday (Jan 22) I quit my job! It was really hard, but I really felt it needed to be done. I am working toward building my own business so that I can work from home and have been using this Law of Attraction thing. It is all new to me. I have just finished listening to both The Secret and The Power; they were fantastic and made so much sense.

While listening to them, I began thinking about what I truly wanted to do with my life. I have known for some time, although I have had this fight against myself inside me. Listening to the books and watching the movie helped me realize that it is all inside my head. :) Again, I knew this, I just wasn't listening to myself...I needed that extra push. I have been so grateful for everything I have and everything I am yet to have. When my boss pushed me just a little too far yesterday, that was it!...I decided it was time to be done. Now my 100% focus is on

I have to say that it was hard saying the words, "I'm done" but the outcome has been wonderful so far. I came home to emails about tutoring positions and now I get to work on the best thing in my life. I am truly grateful for everything. I am grateful for my life, my family, my business, and that money comes easily and frequently.

I use what the book suggested and say my thank you's every morning when I wake up, while I go through my routine, then several times through out the day and one last time just as I'm crawling into bed. I am feeling the changes and I truly feel that it was LOA that gave me the push inside to quit my job. Thank you!

I woke up this morning with a whole new life. I feel I am ready to rock-n-roll. I had less arguments with my son this morning, I was able to enjoy my coffee, I got a workout in, and I feel relaxed; it has been a long time since I've been able to experience these things. Life is good! Life is Great!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROXYZMOM 1/29/2014 4:53PM

    I am so excited for you! Can't wait to read about this new chapter in your life!!

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WENDYSPARKS 1/29/2014 2:41PM


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RUNNERRACHEL 1/29/2014 2:11PM

    Great to hear about the changes! Congrats for taking these steps! Have you heard of Chalene Johnson's 30 day push? It's a goal setting challenge. Completely free. Helps set and organize goals. I think it would be a great way to get your goals off and running. You have taken the first steps and are on your way! That is AWESOME!
The website is

I am doing it. It's great.

Can't wait to hear more about your plans. Keep up the great work.

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I have strayed

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I have strayed so far over this past year. I have really taken a detour. I have started to feel like a hypocrite; for a few years now I have been the one sharing healthy living advice with others. I have been there as their support and shared many of my secrets that helped me reach success. Now I feel like a horrible person because I have not been able to follow through with my own advice or actions that I know are in my best interest.
My weight has gone up over the last year, more that I wanted it to, but I have stayed below 200 pounds. I would randomly weigh myself and see that it was creeping back up so I would tell myself what I would tell someone else, "cut back on sodium and increase your water intake." This helped, I would also have to tell myself to cut back on carbohydrates as this is my addiction...and it sprung back to life.
I have even strayed from my #1 priority in life which is my family. I really feel in my deepest soul that I am here to support my family as a stay-at-home mom and wife, while helping others learn to live as a healthy family as well. I have also strayed from my workouts. Sure, I've had my workouts here and there, there were even a couple months when I worked out every day. Those workouts were not to my fullest potential...I was definitely in my "I can't do this, I should just give up" stage.
I could blame this on many things...moving (twice since last June), living with those who have unhealthy diets, having my boyfriend's son move in with us, needing to get a full-time job that is not 100% my passion to help make ends meet, having to buy (between my bf and I) 2 new cars (1 in March and 1 last month), and a whole slew of other things. I could blame all my stress, lack of love for life, lack of ambition, lack of time, and even lack of proper nutrition on all of the above items. Unfortunately...well, maybe it's fortunately, I can only place the blame on myself.
I knew what I was doing the whole time, enough so that I would check my weight, nutrition, and even think about ways to better my business from time to time. Nothing came to fruition though.
I had a huge epiphany this morning. It came out of the blue. I even ended up typing this, randomly. My boyfriend took his son out for the day and said that I could have the day to myself. My plan was to work on lesson plans and watch "Blue" (a random show I found on Instead I am here. I decided to jump onto my email accounts and check them out, I have not really looked at them in a few months. I check them from time to time to archive and delete items or check which books I have on hold at the library. Anyway, I got to my business account and was skimming through those emails to clear out the inbox. I came across an email that required me to log onto a few different accounts to relink them as the system had improved. I felt a prick of excitement getting back to work on something business related.
It stopped there for the morning. I then went on to watch the latest episode of "Extreme Weight Loss" which is in my queue on hulu. Oddly enough I stopped to think about that grilled cheese sandwich I was eating while watching it. Then there was this advertisement for an exercise program so I went to check it out...decided that I would finish my show then go back. I went back after my show and filled in all the required information. I decided that I would start tomorrow since it is already midday. That "Oh, it's too late" excuse that many people love to use...even me. I know if I workout after 3pm that I cannot sleep very well because I have too much energy. I for some reason got up and changed into workout clothes and came back out to complete the workout. After all, it was only 1pm.
I started one workout, that I probably would have been able to complete one year ago and could not do after about 5 minutes. I wanted to quit. Instead I found another workout that was less intense and completed that 15 minute workout. It felt great! I began to feel on top of the world. I remembered how great workouts made me feel, and how my favorite thing is that shower afterward.
While in my shower I had the urge to write. I needed to get all my thoughts out....boy I wished I had a recorder in my shower that would type my thoughts for me. Coming back out here to write caused me to lose some of my thoughts, but I think most made it here.
Right before I began to type I started thinking about my last few conversations with my friend Lauren. Then, it hit me! I had spent the year before pushing myself so hard to get what I thought was the best business up and running that I lost myself. I didn't lose myself this past year, I was rediscovering myself this past year. Relearning what is important to me and my life. God said, "I am letting you go. I will be here when you are ready." I was beginning to lose myself. God gave us free will and we cannot use it if we depend too much on him. We have the ability to make our own choices. I was trying too hard and closing everyone out, even Him. I forgot that help is okay, but I have to do some things on my own. I need to ask for help, not just expect it to happen.
Deep Breath!!!!! Now that is all out, I am feeling so much better. I can see now that I can use what I have learned to be much better and proficient. I am feeling really proud of myself right now. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You're not the only one struggling. So, what are you going to change to begin back on a healthy path? I'm batch cooking, but pre-logging it in the SP food tracker.

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BAMAROSE 8/20/2013 3:39PM

  It is great to see you here again!! I have been struggling a lot with my choices and always found you inspirational. Hope to see more of you! emoticon

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GETTINGFIT4HIM 8/18/2013 3:19AM

  Love that you have rediscovered yourself and are allowing yourself to grow in grace.

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LAWANDMUSIC 8/17/2013 4:48PM

    OK. It is done. Start again, love yourself, and take care of that tremendous family of yours!!

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ROXYZMOM 8/17/2013 4:13PM

    I am proud of you, Jessica! You are getting your groove back.

I would think focusing on your health would be so much easier when you lived by yourself - i would be the same way. You didn't have all the extra responsibilities and could eat what you wanted when you wanted and schedule your exercise based solely on your schedule. I have never totally figured out how to "fit" my food and exercise in just the way I really need to with my family. I always feel a twinge of guilt when I go out for a run or don't want to go to a restaurant that has nothing I should be eating. All I can say is st some point I started not feeling so guilty - why should I? - my family should want me to be healthy!

Do you have a girlfriend to hang and talk/text where you moved? Guys ever get where we are coming from, no matter how hard they try. Most of us girls are going through the same thing so it ends up that we support eachother and can cheer eachother on.

I am getting back on the bandwagon myself. If you want to do some kind of daily check in and brag about what we ate doing each day (food and exercise) or give something up for a month (fried foods or ???) let me know. I really miss those live meetings!

Take care! You will get there!

Comment edited on: 8/17/2013 4:15:15 PM

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LWADE1963 8/17/2013 4:04PM

    great that you have learned more than you even realized. use it as a lesson for the future. good job getting back on track!!

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