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The Spark 28 day challenge: day 1

Monday, February 01, 2010

i received this book in january with the intention of doing the 28 day challenge in february. i'm relieve to learn i'm not alone in this journey. it's an official challenge. i will try to support my fellow sparkers. lets get sparking!

my fast break goals are:
1. track everything i eat everyday
2. workout at least 30 minutes a day
3. listen to a get-up-and-go song daily. start a playlist with these songs.

i have decided to make my spark time at 4 am. at that time i intend to workout, journal, reflect on my progress, enjoy a cup of tea, listen to aforementioned music, rejuvinate and embrace the peace of a new day.

my rewards are a book for fast break success and new jeans for challenge success.

i came up with a few other goals to work on for february. i feel they will greatly help me succeed in this challenge. they are:

1. lose 10 lbs
2. track everything i consume
3. no alcohol
4. 3 liters of water a day
5. workout everyday, 30 minutes min
6. in bed by 10 & up at 4

January was a great month for me. i ate very well, consumed almost no alcohol, worked out almost every day. i also lost 6 lbs, 4 of which were the weight i gained over the holidays. i thought that was a great number for who the month was overall. i know i can accomplish way more in february. january was a stepping stone. february will be lifechanging!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMFAN 2/5/2010 12:26PM

    Love the book!

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PINKGRANNY 2/1/2010 10:49PM

    Good Luck to you! 4:00 is dedication to your goals.

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TOOFATPIA 2/1/2010 8:20PM

Keep up the great work

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SHY1965SJ 2/1/2010 8:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 2/1/2010 8:18PM

    Awesome. Go girl go!!

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HONEYBEAR06 2/1/2010 8:18PM

    You are off to a good start. emoticon emoticon

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MICHELE_L 2/1/2010 8:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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COUNTDOWN710 2/1/2010 8:15PM

  Good luck in February! I am also challenging myself this month.

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SPARKYNAZCA 2/1/2010 8:14PM

    Best of luck throughout this month, with hard work and dedication you can do ANYTHING!!

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on the eve of 30 ~ dissecting 20

Sunday, January 24, 2010

tomorrow i turn 30. i'm unhappy with this for many reasons. one being my current health status. i realize i have spent the majority of my 20's being overweight, unhealthy and unhappy. i don't want to do that anymore! i don't want to spend my 30's in this body. i had a goal to be very close to my goal weight by the time i turned 30. i have come to realize when i put dates on my goals (lose 20 lbs by christmas, etc), i set myself up for failure. so i'm nowhere near my goal. but i'm working hard and losing, i have to be happy with that.
i've been thinking about my weight gain patterns and history the past few days. i'm trying to find the triggers for my weight gain and i think i have done a pretty good job. i'm going to share them as a reminder to not let history repeat itself.

i've always been in a healthy weight range, until i was 19. i've never been happy with my weight or my body. i was active in high school and never had a problem with my weight. even though i thought i was fat and ate as little as i possibly could. i gained the freshmen 15 and then some in college. i worked fast food until i was 20. it really started taking a toll on me when i was 19. i had gained weight in college and wasn't as active as i had been. i got lazy with my running, started drinking a lot. depression got the best of me and i just let myself go. i met my future husband and lost the weight i had gained. then gained it back. thus starting the yo-yo of the next 10 years. i quit the fast food business and lost a ton of weight. i was back to my high school weight and felt great!
that was mid-2000. things started changing later in the year when i had moved in with my boyfriend. we partied a lot and my life became less and less active in the fitness area. i still wasn't as heavy as i had gotten when i was 19. we got engaged late in 2000 and i started getting in shape cause i wanted to look good at my wedding.
2001 wasn't bad. i was planning the wedding, losing weight and getting in shape. i was working out every day and looked great! after the wedding i wasn't as diligent as i had been about my health. but still kept active and walked daily.
2002 was when things started going bad. i went back to school and still worked full time. i was gaining weight. i didn't have time to work out daily and dinner usually came from the frozen food section or a can.
2003 was an interesting year. i was really trying to get my weight back in control, yet hanging out and drinking beer with friends almost every night. especially thirsty thursdays in the school parking lot then heading to someone's house to drink some more. partying every weekend and still eating horribly. it all just became a way of life.
2004 was complete and total drama. part of that drama was caused by how horrible i felt about myself. i joined weight watchers and lost 35 lbs. i was 5 - 10 lbs from my goal weight in 2005 when i became over confident in myself and started doing it my way. that summer i was back to my high school weight again and looked good. but i stopped weighing myself cause the scale was not responding the way i thought it should be. i stopped tracking food and points cause by then i knew what i was doing. big mistake. i need accountability!
over the next 3 years i started gaining weight slowly. i kept telling myself i would do something about it. and i did. for like a week. i'd tell myself no more alcohol. then i'd go to a birthday party have a couple drinks and just start drinking on an almost daily basis. i was still trying to get my life back in order from 2004. i was drinking a lot. i was stressed and i hated my job and my life. i was drinking at least a 6 pack a day. plus not eating great almost daily. i felt completely out of control and all i could do was step on the scale every monday and watch the numbers go up 1 or 2 lbs a week.
i never found that motivation and determination to lose weight like i had in 2004 and 2005. i just couldn't get back into that lifestyle. but i knew i needed to. in 2008 my weight hit a plateau at about 230. i kept losing and gaining the same few lbs. which i thought was good: i wasn't gaining! but i wasn't losing either. i was eating so bad! i cut back on the drinking quite a bit, but it was still too much. i focused on eating more healthy, but i would still eat way too much every day. and i have never, even today, been able to get back in that groove where i worked out every day. or even regularly. though i am getting better at it right now.
in may 2009 i joined sparkpeople. it has been a great help. i bought a house over the summer and was just completely busy for months. in october i was finally able to start focusing on myself and what sp could do for me. i started focusing on what i wanted. what i didn't want. how i wanted 30 to be better than the majority of my 20's. it's been a slow, frustrating 7 months, but i've learned a lot about myself. like how i got to where i am today. i know i can achieve my goals, i just need to work at it one day at a time, one hour some days. i can't set goals for the future. i can work on something for a week or month, but i have to focus on the present. the big picture freaks me out too much. i stress, i eat, i hide from my running shoes.
when i step on the scale tomorrow it won't tell me the weight i had set as a goal back in october. but it will show me a better number than where i was in october. and that means something!
i'm not looking forward to being 30 because of the failures in my life. at the same time, i'm looking forward to being 30 because it's an opportunity to start over and fix what i've done wrong in the last 10 years. i will learn from my mistakes and i will make myself a better person because of them. starting tomorrow, when i'm not so hungover from my big birthday party last night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNA_VT 1/26/2010 6:30PM

    Happy Birthday! 30 is just another one of those numbers but a Birthday is a good time to stop and reflect. Yes you may have made some bad choices in your 20's but at least you can recognize them and now it is time to move on. The 30's are going to be great . . . .keep focusing on what you are doing right.

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MOMFAN 1/25/2010 11:42PM

    emoticonHappy Birthday emoticon
Sometimes we have to look at how far we have come instead of focusing on how far we still have to go!

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GETDONE 1/25/2010 11:21AM


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BGMUNCHKIN 1/25/2010 10:18AM

    Life will always happen to you. You need to make the choice of eating right, drinking less and exercising enought to make you feel good about yourslef and then make that your lifestyle choice You can do it, as you know what to do! 30 is another numnber, not a mindset.

Happy Birthday! emoticon

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SEXIMICH 1/25/2010 6:17AM

  Happy Birthday, I just joined this week-end I turned 61 Saturday. THis is a great gift to ourselves, self love. Please enjoy it.

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CXNLITTLE 1/25/2010 2:11AM

    Happy Birthday and good luck on your journey! You can do it! Let the past be the past and move on from today! I always got to overwhelmed with my failures and never could focus on my successes.

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taking a break. eek!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

this is month is terrible as far as bday's and eating bad food goes. december is easier for me to get through than january. my birthday, my bff's son's bday, my mil's bday and my sil's bday. sheesh! so every weekend there is a party or dinner event to attend. my birthday is monday and my party is saturday. so i've decided to take this week off. off as in, not tracking everything and not stressing over what i do end up eating this weekend. i know myself and i know if i am trying to keep track of everything i eat, yet keep saturday in mind and try to be cautious cause of it, i'll eat anything and everything! so far i've made smart choices. i know what i should and shouldn't be eating. i'm getting good at recognizing portions sizes. i've done real well so far!
my biggest fear when i'm really keeping track of everything i eat is when i run into something i can't get info on. like restraunt food. only major chains have online info. it scares the crap out of me to not be able to accurately record what i'm eating. i feel an anxiety attack coming on. with this in mind, i decided to record nothing and see how i do. i have a psuedo healthy dinner planned for my birthday (monday): homemade pulled pork sandwhiches and homemade fries. i just have to get through this weekend and next. then i'll be done and can avoid restraunts til march! i'll get back to tracking next week though. but i'm curious to see how my weigh in monday goes. up, down, the same...i'm totally freaked! it's helping me to stay in line and i hope i can keep this cautious feeling going all weekend.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OBNOXIOUSGIRL3 1/23/2010 8:16PM

  Sometimes you need to get off track so that you feel better when you get back on. The biggest thing is that you are getting back on.

Hang in there. This is only temporary

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MOMFAN 1/21/2010 8:50PM

    Do the best you can. Have you check sparks to see if the restaurant is listing on Sparks with healthy alternatives? I would just put the restaurant name in on the search and see what comes up.

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/21/2010 11:23AM

    Good luck to you!

To help relieve some of the anxiety/stress that centers around the nutrition tracking component, perhaps you can add some extra activity during your "break" from the tracker? Just a suggestion.


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FITKAT2010 1/21/2010 10:58AM

    You have to ask yourself what you want your Lifestyle to be like and if that is what helps you lose weight and feel great, if indeed you want to lose weight and feel great..LOL

This is a battle. More of the mind and our conditioning than what we do/don't do. I'd take a look at that conditioning and see if anything needs to be changed. Such as fitting in with the family and friends. Wanting comfort sometimes wins over wanting healthy and fit.

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soda test: i drank 1 liter of diet dr. pepper

Monday, January 11, 2010

i gave up soda for my 2009 new year's resolution. i had my first rum and diet dr. pepper at 12:01 am january 1. then i had another january 2 cause the other one wasn't as enjoyable due to the alcohol i had consumed prior. those were enjoyable drinks. it's my favorite drink and i had missed it over the year. but i hadn't missed soda. before that year i would drink almost a liter a day. i knew it was doing things to me, but i didn't really know what. i decided in december of '09 i would drink a liter of soda at some point in january to see what it did.
the only concrete conclusion i had come to over the year was my headaches were gone. i would get bad headaches that would leave me darn near immobile for a day. i couldn't do anything but rub my head. they weren't constant, but they were annoying. last year i suddenly realized i wasn't getting them anymore. i rarely got headaches at all! just from allergies and stiff necks. wow! soda was causing my headaches.
going into this test i had a fear my somewhat addiction would come back. i feared my headaches would start again. but i needed to know what i was doing to myself so i could stop. yesterday i decided to give my body the test. i already knew the caffiene would freak me out. i've barely had any over the year. i went to the store and bought a liter of my old friend diet dr. pepper. i came home, poured it in a glass with some ice. and savored the wonderful dr. pepper taste. i sat down on the couch to listen to my body. first thing i noticed was my drunk-like chattering. some weird hyperness took over me. i had the munchies almost instantly. as i made my way through the bottle my stomache started to burn. not in a heart burn sort of way, more in the way your throat burns when the bubbles go down. i recognized this feeling! i had it almost daily in my soda days. then i realized as my tummy got more full of soda i had this hollow, empty feeling in it. like i could actually feel my stomache and knew it was empty. but it wasn't! it had soda and chips in it! i knew if i had been doing this mindlessly i would have found more food to eat. as i went through glass after glass i wanted more. even when it was gone i wanted more! this scared me! i didn't want it to turn into an addiction again. so i drank some carbonated water and tons of cold tap water. this seemed to help. then i ate dinner. my cravings were gone but my body was still feeling the effects. it was 8 o'clock, i should have been winding down. but my body was still feeling the buzz from caffiene. and whatever else was making it feel funny. chemicals, no doubt. i went to bed about 9:30, not cause i was tired, but because i feared i would never sleep. i was in bed with this weird awake and tired at the same time feeling. my body was tired, but my mind was not. luckily my body won over and i fell asleep without too much tossing and turning.
this was a great learning experience. i recognized all the feelings, physically and emotionally that the soda brought on. i had felt them all before. back then they seemed normal. yesterday they were foreign and slightly freaky. i can't believe i was doing that to myself all that time! i woke with a clear mind this morning and realized i wouldn't have an addiction problem of any sort. i was able to easily give it up last january and have no fear that staying away in the future will be a problem any time soon.

as a side note, i only drank diet soda. but diet dr. pepper was my first choice. so i thought it would be a great subject for this test. i'm sure the results would have been the same regardless of the soda i used.

i did not drop a significant amout of weight giving up soda. i only drank diet versions. i did however lose water weight/bloating, whatever you want to call it. and i snacked a whole lot less. that empty feeling i mentioned above was surely the cause of the snacking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DANASEILHAN 2/1/2010 8:18PM

    I cope fine with sucralose (Splenda), but there is no major soda brand out there that only uses that as a sweetener. They all have aspartame or else a combination of sucralose and aspartame. I feel weird drinking any of them, although I love the stuff, much to my sorrow.

But if I'm just having Splenda-sweetened coffee, I'm usually OK. I usually limit myself to two cups a day, though.

My little girl's dad reacts to anything that isn't natural sugar. Even the polyols/sugar alcohols, which means he can't have Purevia or Truvia either, because they're both erithrytol-based. He does fine with plain stevia though.

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SPARKYNAZCA 2/1/2010 8:16PM

    What an interesting experience... I gave up MY beloved diet dr. pepper just this morning, coincidentally. This gives me motivation to give it up again tomorrow!

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TEALADY0531 1/25/2010 12:52PM

    I can't drink or eat anything with aspartame or sucralose in it because it is a migraine trigger for me. My husband used to drink a *lot* of Diet Pepsi; but gave it up when he began having headaches, stiff necks and dizzy spells. Lo and behold, as soon as he gave up the diet soda, those problems went away. Now he steers clear of artificial sweeteners as well. I have done my best to give up regular soda, as well, aside from an occasional glass - but am struggling to give up sweet tea! emoticon emoticon

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TILLIEBEE 1/25/2010 8:27AM

    Soooo interesting.
I gave up soda when I joined SP last year after a lifetime of drinking Diet Coke instead of water. I never connected those side effects, but now I do.
Thank you for writing this!

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MOMFAN 1/16/2010 3:19AM

    Wow! You blog says it all!

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OBNOXIOUSGIRL3 1/12/2010 8:44PM

  Great Blog, Thanks for the info.

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NOEXCUSES4ME 1/12/2010 3:54PM

    Same here! Check out my page and my blog on Aspartame. You'll know exactly why you felt the way you did while drinking soda or pop!

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DEESJOURNEY2FIT 1/11/2010 5:30PM

    I love regular Dr Pepper. I have not had one in a week and am trying to keep it that way. Bravo to you to test yourself and see what would effects you would experience. A liter is a lot of soda. I'm glad you are doing better now!

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FIGHT2SURVIVE 1/11/2010 2:20PM

    I gave up soda last summer. Even though I drank diet, we are still told that may be even worse for us. The last three nights, I have had one de-caffeinated diet pop each night and my blood sugars rose as a result. I never heard of the dangers of diet soda until I joined Spark. Why aren't the doctors telling us these things?

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STITCH777 1/11/2010 1:18PM

    Wow, I am glad I read this. I have been drinking Diet dr. pepper and diet coke for years. It is amazing that some people tell you there is nothing wrong with diet pop and it is better than drinking regular pop. Others say it is not good for you at all. So I have been trying to cut back the pop I was drinking. I have noticed that I get hungry every time I drink it and that it is hard to eat something that satisfies the hunger. I thought this was probably all in my mind just a thought. Now that I read what you said I'm sure it is the pop. I will have to try harder and stop drinking it all together. Thanks for the blog.

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WILDHONEYPIE1 1/11/2010 12:54PM

    Wow, what an interesting experiment/observation. Thanks for sharing.

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ODALIS1 1/11/2010 11:02AM

    That's incredible. Our bodies really do tell us what they need and want. I'm so glad you rid yourself of a habit that was hurting you. Now keep going and do other amazing things!

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a long time ago we used to be friends

Thursday, January 07, 2010

a little over a month ago i wrote a blog about putting myself first and weeding out my toxic friends. yesterday i was texted by one of these toxic friends. we were best friends 10 years ago and in the past few years we've grown apart. this causes great heartache to me. especially since i'm the one who caused it and i can't do anything to fix it. it is what it is. he moved to florida in september and is back here now, though i didn't realize it. i just thought he was here for christmas. apparently he's staying here till he can move to california. this is how his life is. i just go with it.
he texted me yesterday to find out if i had a cd he wanted to copy. this is the only reason i knew he was in town anymore. he tends to contact people when he needs something from him. so yesterday i guess i sort of freaked out! i didn't work out. i bought potato chips and french onion dip! and this morning i didn't work out telling myself i'd do it after work. which is doable, but i haven't! and i didn't yesterday. ugh, my latest streak, as i mentioned yesterday, is over before it even got started!

guess i found one of my emotional eating triggers. i'm feeling pretty low right now and the chips just aren't cutting it. i was doing so well with my eating too! perfect since sunday morning! that's ok. i can pick myself up and brush off the dust before this gets the better of me.

even with all this i'm doing pretty well staying away from my more toxic friends while i get myself in order. this one just threw me off. i wasn't expecting him to make contact like that.

back to my isolation. haha! sounds worse than it is. i'm learning a lot about myself right now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JESSYVIRGINY 1/8/2010 9:38AM

    don't worry, we al have friends like that. it gets better with time.

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/8/2010 7:26AM

    That was a beautifully written and honest post about real issues we face in life. Even though your friend is toxic, he helped to make you aware of a trigger and this is useful information. Knowing how to deal with our triggers is important - maybe that is a small positive to come out the situation. Also, you've learned something about yourself. So don't be so hard on yourself. You'll be okay. Get back on the wagon right away. And keep fighting for change.

You've accomplished a lot! You are awesome! And you can turn this situation around and come back even stronger.

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REMCMFA 1/7/2010 9:26PM

    We all have friends like that. It seems that he texted you because he wanted something from you (to borrow a CD?). It didn't sound like he wanted to re-connect. Put the chips down and start your diet and exercise stuff now! Have a good day. Let him go.

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OAHARRIS 1/7/2010 8:40PM

    I also have a toxic friend. I felt so used by her. I finally let go. Recently, I've been thinking of her and wanting to call and see how she is doing but I know where it will lead. Can you do this or that? I've even eaten over it but I've moved on and until she figures out what she has done I'm going to continue to work on my own goals.

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ATHENA130 1/7/2010 8:33PM

    I think we all have some of those friends. It's funny because I had a similar thing last summer. Out of the blue, a friend from high school tracked me down and called me up on my birthday. Huh? There is a definite reason we lost touch - she wasn't really a friend and about 10 years ago, I made the mistake of going for lunch only to be subjected to a comparison to see who was doing better and then an all-out assault on what a terrible person I am because she wasn't doing better than I was and that I was to blame for everything wrong in her life. Ok... So needless to say when she contacted me I wasn't too thrilled to meet up because I figured it was another opportunity for a comparison and judging by the phone conversation, I know that I was right. She wanted to meet up again and being caught off guard, I told her maybe later and provided my email. She emailed me around the time I said that I might be able to meet up. I really didn't want to so I replied that I wasn't interested. And I got a nasty response back which just shows I was correct and I don't need toxic people like that.

But I know what you mean about it causing you stress and looking to food for comfort. But it does get easier! You deserve to have people in your life who truly are your friends and who care about you. Anyone who just wants something from you or who drains your energy is toxic and get rid of them!

Next time one of them contacts you, remember to put yourself and your needs first and no matter what they say/do, you are looking after yourself and that's the most important thing!

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FINDINGNIKKI 1/7/2010 8:18PM

    It's ok!! I have a few of those frinds.. sometimes I think that's all that's out there...Tomorrow is a new day

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