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dealing with loss.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

*Disclaimer- this blog is not necessarily focused on my weight loss journey. I wrote this because I believe that other people do/have felt this way and that should be something our society is able to talk honestly about *

Lately, getting up in the morning has become hard. I want so badly to have a happy post about how positive things are going but if I did that would not be the truth. Last weekend my world was rocked by two major events- the death of an ex-boyfriend in a horrific car accident (at the age of 23.) We ended things (badly) a little under a year ago. I have since seen him a few times- but I have guilt about the way things ended... and I am horrified by the news article and pictures I saw while I was simply doing an internet search to see why my friend was stuck in traffic so long. I can't get the images out of my head and it has been hard for me to focus.
Also, I unfortunately almost ended an extremely important relationship in my life because of their continued alcohol abuse. I won't delve into that too much- other than to say that I am listening to my heart and my counselors' and mother's advice above all else. I believe that things can and will get better but the thought of losing that person as well is weighing on my heart.
I had my dietitian appointment earlier today- and I almost broke down. I explained to her my struggle to focus on my eating and exercise when just getting to class has been hard. She asked me if I have been coping by restricting or binging- which I have not (in part because that requires energy that I don't have!) I feel an intense loss and lack of control of my own life. Her advice was to make sure that I was meeting my nutritional needs but not to add focusing on weight loss to my plate but rather take one day at a time. What do you think? How do you handle a major life event and balance your health? I feel like this trips up a lot of people and that being able to handle huge good and bad life events is one of the keys to long term weight loss. So maybe this horrible experience can help me learn skills that will help me cope in the future. Feel free to let me know what you think.

Having said all this, I will be back with a vengeance. Life can't keep me down for long.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHARTHESTAR 4/19/2013 10:58PM

    Totally agree. you can only work on so much at a time.
You have to choose what needs to be focused on and do that.

Weight Loss is important. Eating healthy IS MORE IMPORTANT. Eat right for your health- maintain your weight and exercise some every week FOR YOUR HEALTH.
when the time is right you can focus on weight loss.
Personally I think it can be good for the body to take a break from loosing and just maintain. I have done that every 15 pounds. lets my body catch up with the weight loss. And gives me time to focus on other areas that I might not have giving attention to.
It all works together.

So focus on a couple of things. being overwhelmed ends up doing more damage than good.

I have realized this- it is not so important to get an 'A' in a class. last semester- even though I had a 10 page paper to write for my final and give a presentation- I took care of me first.
Ended up being a fantastic week for me. my best time to date for a 5k. I felt so good that day I kept going and did over a 10K. then worked on my paper. I gave my presentation and finished my last class. Anyway... if your in school the GPA I think only matters- if you are in the running for validitorian. if not- average works just as good- you get out and you have graduated.

BE true to yourself! emoticon

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DOVESEYES 4/18/2013 10:22PM

    I think you have made the best choice by blogging about it.

We all have these huge struggles and pains, sometimes it's a shocking incident or it lasts a long time and we just go along trying to cope until it eases.

Taking care of yourself as others have so wisely said is the way to go, don't try to figure it all out while you are in it. Your weight loss journey is equipping you to understand yourself better than ever before because you need to analyse your eating habits and figure out how to change things.

It is like growing up and you are getting stronger as your blogs show, you'll be able to cope in each situation.


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LE7_1234 4/18/2013 11:19AM

    So sorry you're going through this.

I think your dietician sounds right--meeting your nutritional needs will help you cope with everything else. (Going beyond your nutritional needs will just give you something else to cope with...)

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BABYSOX 4/18/2013 8:46AM

    You will come out of this as a stronger person. I believe that everything that happens in our lives makes us stronger and that we have the tools that we need but sometimes we just don't know to ask for them or how to use them. Choose to do something that you want or need to do.

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APPLESBANANAS 4/18/2013 8:19AM

    My heart goes out to you. When I was in my fourth year of college, my roommate from the previous year died from leukemia. Nothing I had expected about grief was what I felt, it was like a cloud descended on me and muted everything. A few days after her death I remember feeling outraged that my parents hadn't called to help me cope - my roommate told me I had multiple conversations with my parents in the past few days, which somehow I had forgotten....it really is a weird experience to be immersed in grief.

That said, I don't know how exactly you are reacting, but just take it one day at a time. I took a lot of thoughtful long walks outside in the weeks following her death. The cloud did not lift for a few months, and still when I think of the unfair loss of her life I feel sad. If someone gave me diet advice at that time, I would not have had the energy to process the information and carry out a diet plan. Just keep seeing your counselor. I saw one, and while she didn't remove the grief, she helped me work out my thoughts, it's really hard to understand why a young person has to lose his or her life so unfairly.

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KARENLEIGH32 4/18/2013 12:32AM

    I don't know how to say it other than you have to take care of yourself first. You need to take the time necessary for you to grieve, if it takes longer than you feel it should then go talk to your medical doctor. Eat only when hungry, don't binge as that will on make you feel worse. Take it a day at a time, your body will tell you when you are ready to get back into full time workouts...

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don't let me get me

Thursday, April 04, 2013

This week, as I've struggled to balance my college class schedule and 3(!) internships while maintaining my commitments to my sorority, boyfriend, family, and tennis partner (we signed up for a tournament next weekend!) I have realized that I may be in slightly over my head. I am a "doer" and usually get energy from being involved... but at this point I feel like my brain is constantly going through what commitments I might be forgetting about! Thank god for planners. This got me to thinking about what my priorities and values are and how they are being expressed every single day.
My natural inclination has been to put my health on the back burner... While I am not doing horrible by any means I have only been maintaining. For (4) weeks. Literally. I am continually frustrated by my inability to kick my butt back into gear. My next appointment with my nutritionist is in 2 weeks and I am absolutely dreading it.
My rut is unlike many that I have ever been in. For one thing, I am not completely out of control. That is usually the case when I "fall off the wagon." I feel positive and happy (and okay, really tired!!) I always used make a dramatic nutrition mistake and spiral out of control. But this? This is more like a consistent ambivalence and lack of focus that I can't seem to shake.
To be honest, I have no idea what to do. Unfortunately, none of my commitments are ones that I can just quit a month before school ends. I do recognize that I am starting avoidance behaviors... I know how to correct my past "all or nothing" mindset but I have not found any way to deal with this yet. Right now I am just taking it one meal at a time and I'm trying to juggle everything in my life without dropping the ball.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 4/6/2013 10:26AM

    Agree with what was said here and esp. CHARTHESTAR: Maintaining is NOT a backwards step- so Kudos for that!

WHen you reach your goal weight, you will need to maintain it so consider this practice maintaining while under stress.

Never a bad thing to get practice with since...stress happens!!

( `♥ ) ♥'
.`.. ♥ Spread the SPARK!!! *`*..♥
..) .*).*. ♥. ♥
(. (. . ♥.`.♥..`. ♥

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BAM19602 4/5/2013 10:28AM

    I would encourage you to focus on your health. Without that, you will not be able to do the things you really want to. You have a lot going on so chose what is really important to you and go with it. For now maybe just focus on either diet or exercise if that is all you can do for now. Don't give up completely.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOVESEYES 4/5/2013 1:32AM

    some really great comments here for you to think over

Have a great day

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CHARTHESTAR 4/4/2013 10:56PM

    Maintaining is NOT a backwards step- so Kudos for that!
I had a lot on my plate my last couple of semesters at school. Sometimes you have to say no. you can only juggle so long before something has got to give. You have to take care of you so you can take care of everything and everyone else. Remember that!

My last month in class I put myself first- and was better for it. I had told my teacher that was what I was doing. She was impressed and told me that she wanted- Needed- to do that to. I had a 10 page paper to write- I made myself do my walk.

You just have to remember- This is the only body you have and you have to give it consideration if it is going to carry you as far as you want to go.

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KARENLEIGH32 4/4/2013 10:17PM

    Unfortunately I think you have taken on toooo much! Plus the fact that you are committed to others, try to maintain until you can get past this point. then in the future take on 1/2 of what you think you can do! However you sound strong, so hang in there!

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GOING-STRONG 4/4/2013 9:57PM

    You do have a full plate. It takes time to exercise, plan meals, prepare food, shop, etc. I am sure you will be a bit more "on plan" when your schedule eases a bit. Hang in there!

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DARJR50 4/4/2013 9:00PM

  You need to cut a slice of "me" time for yourself. Stress is not good for you.

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back from vacation! some wins, some losses...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

So I appreciate everyone's advice about how to stay healthy on vacation! I love reading all the comments and it has been so helpful to me. I feel so supported by everyone and it excites me to log onto spark everyday.
I am writing this particular blog as a snapshot of what I succeeded at/failed at on vacation so that I can adjust and plan better for next time! I hope that by putting it in writing and posting it- I will be holding myself more accountable.

-Walking: Denny and I were able to walk at least 2 miles everyday. Instead of driving, we walked everywhere we needed to go and set off on foot just to explore. The weather (COLD) definitely but a damper on some of my beach exercising plans but I think I did the best that I could!
-Eating (win): I only ate out 1 meal a day- yeay! I am sure I went over my calorie range but I limited the damage by only allowing myself 1 big splurge a day rather than 3.
-Breakfast and Dinner: We woke up too late for breakfast and bought a large pizza that we split over the week together (had a slice and a half every lunch)
Alcohol: limited to 3 drinks or less per day with the exception of our 1 going out night (kept it to 5). Drank REALLY slowly and spread it out over hours each day with a glass of water, at least, in between.

-snack attack: my boyfriend (bless his heart) somehow convinced me to go on a gas station store run and split a pack of king size mini reeses with me (these are my utter downfall- never ever try them if you haven't!)
-tracking: this was an ultimate fail! I was under the impression that I would have internet but it was down the whole time we were at the hotel. I happen to be over on data through my phone was I was unable to track there either. I realize I should have just wrote everything down but apparently I don't know how to do anything without the internet...
-running: yeah, no! I meant to bring my tennis shoes and run every morning. Left them by the door while packing... they never even made it to the beach.

Overall, I am proud of myself for not getting completely off track! I definitely cut myself some slack...and that is okay with me. But this week I am kicking it back into high gear by participating in a spring challenge with one of my spark teams!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LE7_1234 3/27/2013 2:43AM

    Sounds like you learned from it, which is great. AND it sounds like you had fun, which is even better!!

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KARENLEIGH32 3/25/2013 4:40PM

    Look past it and keep going! Glad your vacation was a good one!

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CHARTHESTAR 3/25/2013 2:21PM

    I consider a vacation a success if I don't gain weight. Don't really loose on vacation but not gaining is almost like a loss.

I think you did really well on your vacation. You need to splurge and a vacation is the time to do it. a reward for all your willpower during the everyday challenges!

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DOVESEYES 3/25/2013 3:39AM

    Holidays are for fun and it sounds like you had some so good job!!!

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LINEBACKER1968 3/24/2013 11:51PM

    It sounds like to me you did great. I think you kept a good balance both on your vacation and your reflections of your effort. emoticon

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temptations! (pictures)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The last 2 weeks have been a whirlwind! Between school and work, I have been running around like crazy trying to get everything in order before I left for spring break. On top of that, I have been fostering 2 adorable 2 week old kittens! Feeding them every three hours has caused me to lose sleep but it has been well worth it to know that I have made a little difference in someone's life.
Last weekend was my sorority formal and I had so much fun! I was super excited to be down a dress size (it was super stressful ordering it because they were out of my original size and I was renting the dress so I couldn't do alternations!) But, it fit! So that is a NSW! I will be attaching a photo at the bottom!
Yesterday, I started my spring break right with a HUGE St. Pat's festival in Columbia. It was my first time being 21 on St. Pat's so it was awesome to finally have caught up with my friends and be able to do everything! However, I had way too much fun. If that wasn't bad enough I am going with my boy on a beach trip in three days! We will be packing food for breakfast and lunch and then eating out 1 meal a day (the trip will be 4 days total!)
So that brings me to a question for you all- what are your vacation strategies? is there anything you do that is particularly helpful? I will be staying at a resort with lots of amenities so one idea I have is to really make use of the different exercise opportunities (like the water park!)
Another issue I have been having is combining the healthy life that I strive for with the fact that I just turned 21 and enjoy going out with my friends, partying, and yes- sometimes drinking. I have tried to research ways to drink "healthier" and make better drink choices but most articles I find seem to have NO idea what college is like. AT ALL. Most of the advice seems to be "don't drink (or only have 1) and if you do partake make it a vodka tonic (ew!!) For me, this advice is a recipe for disaster because even if I do follow it I will be pretty resentful about it. There has got to be a happy medium! So with that- what would you suggest I drink on my vacation? Crystal light and strawberry vodka? Rum and Coke?
Let me know any suggestions that you have!

one of the kittens!

formal pic! Love my sparkly dress!

St Pats!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

3016DEBRA 3/24/2013 2:47PM

  Try that sparkling diet Cranberry soda & vodka...YUMMY! You look lovely too! emoticon

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APPLESBANANAS 3/21/2013 5:21AM

    Oh no, I don't know why that posted 3 times! Please delete 2...it wont let me, sorry!

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APPLESBANANAS 3/21/2013 5:18AM

    Great pictures!! Dont ask me for vacation advice, I've never succeeded at eating well on a vacation. My strategy is to do damage control and try not to get too stuffed every day, and try to do activity every day to burn some calories.

As for college drinking, that is why I gained lots of weight during college. I wish I would have been like you and started being healthy in college to curb my weight gain, and not waited until after. I would say sticking to light beer would be a realistic strategy (less than 150 calories in a bottle), and light beer has a lower % alcohol so it wont get you as drunk. That way, you could nurse 3 light beers slowly over the course of the night and not feel miserable and take on too many calories. I saw someone give you advice to drink wine...while it is lower in calories, it's not really always available at a college bar. My roommates and I used to split a bottle w/ the 3 of us, that is not too much damage calorie-wise if 3 people split a 750 ml bottle. Liquour is roughly 100 calories a fluid ounce, and most places will pour 2+ ounces per cocktail, so that's probably the worst choice. Plus, mixed drinks are sweet and go down easily. Avoid manhattans and martinis at all cost, they are typically 100% alcohol...when I make one at home one is about 600 calories. They are meant for sipping too!

Try to find a drinking buddy who has your health in his/her priorities...let them tell you Stop when it's time to stop. Like another poster already said, it lowers your inhibitions, so you might feel more like ordering nachos after a few drinks than if you were sober. I usually am designated driver if I don't have lots of calories left for alcohol, that way I have a reason to drink fizzy water w/ a splash of lemon! I like to ask for it in a champagne glass so I feel like I'm drinking.

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DAYSPRING-STAR 3/18/2013 8:55PM

    Another aspect to consider is that alcohol effects your inhibitions which may lead to eating more than you would like. Wouldn't it be a shame to allow a few drinks to undo any progress you've made on your journey to improved health? Consider the trade offs. Isn't it possible to enjoy college life and have fun without negatively impacting your healthy decisions? Think outside the "we're in college so we drink" box. You can do it. Put yourself first. Put your health first.

BTW, that sparkly dress does not compare to the beautiful sparkly woman inside it! Lovely photo! You are at such a great age to be taking your health seriously.

Enjoy your beach vacation. Yes, take advantage of the amenities and do walk, run, and play in the sand and waves. Sounds like a great plan to only eat out once a day. It's definitely possible to stay within your nutrition plan at restaurants, but it takes more planning. You might want to consider switching a couple days between dinner and lunch. You can usually find more "Sparkful" portions on the lunch menu and save some money in addition.

Happy Spring Break! emoticon

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ALLIB22 3/18/2013 4:59PM


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GOSPARK45 3/18/2013 4:25PM

    You look sensational! You both do!

A Spark article said wine has the least calories, and wine coolers with sparkling water and other low cal mixers have even less. Beer usually has a lot, a few are better choices. You might put alcohol in at the top of the page and read the articles.
Good luck and have fun.

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DOVESEYES 3/17/2013 11:19PM

    You look wonderful and so happy, SP has an article about food at college. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource
/wellness_articles.asp?id=247R>Here is the link.

About drinking, alcohol has 9 cals and no goodness for you. here is a link to the article


Hope you have a great time

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KARENLEIGH32 3/17/2013 10:05PM

    emoticon Cheers!

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LJOYCE55 3/17/2013 8:25PM

  That gold dress looks amazing on you. Love the kitten pic.

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We run this town! (pictures!)

Sunday, March 03, 2013

I don't know about you but I don't like to be "pegged." I don't want anyone to tell me what I can and can't do... and I like to surprise people! Add to that a propensity to get bored and you arrive at the heart of why I create personal goals that most people would not expect from me. Whenever I feel unfulfilled by life I take on a new mission. Last October that mission was running my first 5K.

For me, running is the total antithesis of how I like to exercise. I generally like sports like tennis that keep my mind busy with points, chasing balls, and socializing. However, my absolute favorite thing to do is DANCE! Zumba, hip hop, ballroom, shag, swing, whatever! I get lost in the music and beat and there is nothing better in the world. It makes me feel beautiful, graceful, and capable. So why did I decide to take running as my next mission? Because running is one of thew few sports where you are dependent on no one else- therefore you have less excuses. Because it is the last thing the people that know me would expect me to do. Because I am so impressed by the endurance of the runners I know. Because I want to turn an "I can't" into "I can!"

Running was never easy for me from the beginning. I am short (5'2) and I have very short legs and a heavy chest. I am jogging by someone who is walking at a brisk pace because my strides are so much shorter. Sidenote: the fitness tracker is forever categorizing my jog as a walk UGH. While I am still slow to this day (which I especially realized when the non-runners I was with wanted me to jog faster...) I have noticed HUGE improvements from where I began.

On Saturday morning, bright and early, I ran The Color Run with my boyfriend, my little brother, and my dad. It was a blast and I would highly recommend it to those of you who would like a non-crazy competitive 5K experience. Except for the part in the middle of the race where I was questioning my sanity and why I ever signed up (read: out of breath) I had a great time! I shaved 5 minutes off of my time and now have a new personal best to beat next time! But more than that- I set a goal and I achieved it.

Now if only my eating was going as well as my exercising! Overall, though, I am proud of how far I have come and I know that the changes I am making now are lasting... and if I add one change to another I will get where I need to be!

The whole running team before the race!

my little brother and I!

Running through the YELLOW!

my little bro after the race!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MANDELOVICH 3/4/2013 10:20AM

    Awesome activity and I bet the good eating will come too!!

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    Yay! Great job!! I too have the fitness tracker calling my run a walk! I don't think I could walk a 13 minute mile though.

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FREEBIRD7100 3/3/2013 11:32PM

    Way to go!

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123ELAINE456 3/3/2013 11:24PM

  AwesomeBlog !!! Be Proud of Yourself and all of Your Accomplishments that You have completed. You are Amazing. Keep Pushing Forward. WAY TO GO!!! God Blessings To Everyone On This Lord's Day. Let's Us All Enjoy It. Take Care. Keep Rocking!!!

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GOING-STRONG 3/3/2013 9:48PM


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KARENLEIGH32 3/3/2013 9:04PM

    You should be very proud of your accomplishments!

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    You are Awe inspiring!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOSPARK45 3/3/2013 8:23PM

    You rock girl! Thanks for the pictures. Great going!!

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DOVESEYES 3/3/2013 8:06PM

    Fantastic effort and what a great family. emoticon emoticon

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