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Huge day of non-scale victories (pics included)

Monday, January 10, 2011

So this weekend I took my fiancÚ to this battleship museum in Southern Massachusetts. We love road trips and I think learning and exploring together is a great way to keep a relationship from getting stale so we head out on mini-road trips whenever we have the time. You can go inside real battleships that are all docked together and they have made them into a museum so you can learn about US History etc. If you live in Mass and have young boys this is the PERFECT afternoon trip for them. You even get to go down inside an old submarine. You have to climb up and down all of these step ladders and squeeze through tiny doorways. My fiancÚ was super excited, he loves history and anything to do with boats, and I was happy to see him have such a good time. As I was squeezing through the submarine I realized I would NEVER have been able to do this even 6 months ago. I took some pics of the doors just to give you an idea.

You can see how small it is compared to my fiancÚ's butt lol.

Here he is pretending he is a spy. He is such a dork but I love that about him.
I forgot to get a picture of the ridiculously steep ladders we went up and down for the better part of 4 hours but let me tell you my inner thighs were screaming the next day. When I was doing this I was thinking how much joy I have now. Before SP I couldn't have gone up and down the ladders because my knees hurt and I wasn't strong enough to pull myself up. I wouldn't have even fit in the tiny spaces to do it. I would have had to ruin it for him or sit outside by myself and wait. Again on the sidelines. NO MORE! It really helped me keep me motivated and keep moving forward.
Later in the day we went to his friends son's 1st birthday party. When we arrived his friend look at me in shock and said "wow you look absolutely amazing". It was so genuine and so surprising to me. I felt awesome. I am so done being fat. There is not one benefit to being unhealthy, not a single one. Denial kept me there so long. I forgot what it was like to be free. I can't wait to be a normal weight again.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GO-LOEW 1/14/2011 10:49AM

    Very inspiring blog. Getting your mind in the right place will ensure that your body weight gets there too. Your your guy makes a very cool spy!

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CALLISTOANGEL 1/12/2011 4:08PM

    That's awesome. I'm a history buff too. That seems like a really cool trip to make. I'll add it to my wish list.

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R0SYJ3WL 1/12/2011 1:51PM

    You inspire me! emoticon

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J-ALEXIS 1/12/2011 6:40AM

    I loved reading your story!!!!!! You have done an amazing job turning your life around!!! Sending you a million congratulations.

Oh, and I like the sweet idea about close-to-home road trips!! That sounds like fun.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Your story is motivational, and I will think of it, when ever I need to stay focused!!!

Thanks for writing such a well-written, honest, fabulous blog.

Warm smiles,

J.Alexis

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BLONDEPOODLE 1/11/2011 10:51PM

    Great job, I would get claustrophobic even visiting a submarine, never mind worrying if I could fit.

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RAVENSONG37 1/11/2011 10:22PM

    Woohoo! Wonderful insight and awesome job!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/11/2011 10:21PM

    emoticon Sounds like a day full of what I call "giggle points". emoticon

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BELLALUCIA 1/11/2011 9:39PM

    Good for u!

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 1/11/2011 9:36PM

    I love these blogs that use other measurements to show just how far the journey has been. Good for you, girlfriend!

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BOBF15 1/11/2011 6:36PM

    Great job!!!

This kinda stuff beats lbs. and inches sometimes.

It has made me feel good, Ashley, and makes me want to keep on keeping on.

Ever heard the story about how geese honk in a flock to encourage each other, well, this is definitely worth a few honks ...

emoticon emoticon HONK, HONK!!

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COOKWITHME65 1/11/2011 12:26PM

    Sounds like you had a great weekend. Many more are heading your way. Try to stay out of the cold tomorrow. We have a lot of snow heading our way.

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SLFRISBEY 1/11/2011 9:37AM

    "I forgot what it was like to be free. I can't wait to be a normal weight again."

This is true! I can't wait either!

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SIMPLE_TAILOR 1/11/2011 9:00AM

    I've been through a couple of these. They are great fun, but you are so right about the steep ladders.

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KATHLOW 1/11/2011 4:55AM

    excellent!

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BRIAEL 1/10/2011 10:43PM

    That's excellent, it's nice to be complimented on your achievement after the hard work that's gone into it. :)

Glad you had a wonderful outing with your fiance. How fantastic to be able to share it and look back and realise how much difference you have together now. :)

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HEALTHYONE2008 1/10/2011 9:11PM

    emoticon
you sure are doing it! keep it up!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 1/10/2011 7:20PM

    Awesome! I was hoping to see YOU though!!

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MUSTANGMISSY 1/10/2011 7:05PM

    Looks like a fun time! We try to do stuff like that with the kids. Totally agree with you that learning and doing new stuff definitely helps build a relationship.

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PENNYROYALTY 1/10/2011 6:46PM

    what an awesome end to the first week of the year! hope this sets the tone for the rest of 2011!

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MRSSIBRAT 1/10/2011 6:06PM

    that looks like so much fun! I am so proud and excited and happy for you!

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CARILOUIE 1/10/2011 6:05PM

    What a wonderful way to measure how far you've come!!!

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TIGGERJEAN 1/10/2011 5:54PM

    Teared up a little from this... I'm so happy for you! emoticon emoticon

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LEXIE63 1/10/2011 5:32PM

    Great blog! Sounds like a grand day out. :-)
Hugs,
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAURENJAMIE816 1/10/2011 5:24PM

    LOVE THIS!!! It's so great to be able to celebrate victories that aren't just the numbers!!! You are doing so amazing :)

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HEYPINK 1/10/2011 4:45PM

    im so glad that SP has changed your life (or rather, helped YOU to change your life)!!! Keep up the awesome work!

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BADASSBLONDIE 1/10/2011 4:38PM

    Woo hoo!!!! That's one AWESOME non-scale victory!!!

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 1/10/2011 4:26PM

    I'm glad you had such a fantastic day!

I totally understand about not fitting into things. I developed clausterphobia when I really started to put on weight. I can't imagine going into a submarine!

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HEALTHY4ME 1/10/2011 3:42PM

    AWESOME !!!!! good for you . so glad you had a good time, and got that great compliment.
HUGS

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.TARA. 1/10/2011 3:41PM

    That is an awesome accomplishment and a great way to inspire others as well! I love exploring and learning dates. I want to incorporate these more in the coming year!

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TERRYT55 1/10/2011 3:32PM

    I love the pictures.....my hubby would love to be with you on the ship! He loves all things military......ships, planes etc.

Isn't it the best to be able to do things you couldn't just a year ago? For me it was hopping in the backseat of my daughters Honda Civic, next to my grand-daughter's car-seat and having no trouble at all buckling the seat belt.

Happy you had such a great day........thanks for being a great motivator.

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NANHBH 1/10/2011 3:00PM

    Ashley,

What a moral booster this weekend was for you! Congratulations on your amazing accomplishement! You are HOT, HOT, HOT!
emoticon
Nancy

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 1/10/2011 2:58PM

    What a cool date and realization for you :)

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LUCKYDOGFARM 1/10/2011 2:42PM

    Well Miss Ashley, its TRUE! You do look Amazing! you have worked so hard and you have always deserved what you have now. a healthy happy life full of love and a million other positive things!

i keep asking myself, why was i so lazy for all of these years? i could have had this healthy body years ago, but no, i waited til i was 49 to get healthy! I am so glad that you found out the secret early one!

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AMYGEM28 1/10/2011 2:24PM

    that is so great. those are the best kind of victories, so glad you are NOT a side-liner anymore! i know from when i was a tennager visiting my step-dads submarine just how small those doors are.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEESTARS 1/10/2011 1:59PM

    Way to go Ash! This look like a really fun day out.

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AMOHAME2 1/10/2011 1:57PM

    NSVs are WAY BETTER than scale victories I think! They really make you appreciate how far you've come and how much your life is changing! And this is a really awesome NSV!!!

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LJOHN44 1/10/2011 1:51PM

    I think this just might be the best blog ever(and you've written a lot of good ones!). I can feel your happiness all the way over here in WNY and I'm bouncing it back at'cha! Wooo Hooo!

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MAMADWARF 1/10/2011 1:50PM

    Dont you just love it when you SEE the results of all that hard work? Am so proud of you, Ashley!! Sounds like a fun day with your man and you are right, it keeps things fresh so good for you!!

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RIGBY31 1/10/2011 1:41PM

    Love the NSV! Great pics (and, ahemm, great butt shot!). My biggest NSV was this past weekend (see blog). Nothing like joy and happiness!

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GIRANIMAL 1/10/2011 1:39PM

    This is awesome! Looks like a great time, a fun bonding experience with your fiance. But most of all I love the sense of empowerment from you! Keep it up, girl -- nothing's gonna stop you now!

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SPALM01 1/10/2011 1:38PM

    I'm so happy for you, and thank you so much for posting these positive blogs - they really help me put goals into focus! emoticon

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JESSICAW09 1/10/2011 1:35PM

    This is awesome Ashley and I know it made you feel good. You are doing a fantastic job taking care of yourself, getting healthy and steadily losing. Keep it up!

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GREENSCRAPCAT 1/10/2011 1:15PM

    WOOT WOOT WOOT good for you and your accomplishments! What an awesome idea for you and him!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 1/10/2011 1:13PM

    That is so awesome! I've been on a sub like that here in PA. I went last summer and it was REALLY difficult. I was embarrassed because I could hardly get up the ladder, then I barely fit through the doorway. I'm really looking forward to so much more this summer as I'm sure you are! Way to go!

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TWINSMOMMY607 1/10/2011 1:09PM

    I love the pictures! You have come so far!! Keep up the good work!!

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WILLIAMV3 1/10/2011 1:00PM

    Sounds like you had a great time and what wonderful confirmation of the progress you have made. emoticon

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KIMJEWKES 1/10/2011 12:59PM

    I'm so happy for you!

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JESSICAVZ1 1/10/2011 12:56PM

    Congratulations on a great time!

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DUSTYGIRL25 1/10/2011 12:48PM

    Thank you for sharing your weekend with us and it's so fantastic that your feeling so good about yourself.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/10/2011 12:45PM

    What a fabulous adventure!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Stop sucking the joy out of your life

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A friend's blog just made me think of this. One of the reasons people fail at a healthy lifestyle is that they see it necessary to suck all the joy out of their life to do so. SP is not about a life of self deprivation and proverbial floggings. It is about changing your life, read that again, changing your WHOLE LIFE for the better. If you approach eating healthy as a punishment or a do or die kind of thing OF COURSE IT WILL SUCK. Eating one deliciously sinful meal is not the end of the world. It is when all you eat is junk that it becomes a problem. Think of it this way. If your child or niece or some other child in your life that was important to you said "I am going to eat nothing but candy and McDonald's every single day all day" would you let them? Of course not. You would tell them they are treats and they need to put good things in their body to be healthy.... So why do you live that way? The intention of sparkpeople is to teach you how to find a healthy life and a healthy life includes balance. It is learning to plan ahead and say "I am meeting friends for dinner at this taco place and I LOVE TACOS so I better make sure I get in a good workout that morning and drink extra water". It is about looking at your emotional health and learning that if you don't love you and do things to make yourself happy you will continue to self medicate with food and again "fail" at healthy eating. The reality is you are not failing at healthy eating. You are failing to address emotional factors that are the true root of why you overeat. It is hard. It is hard to look at yourself and say "I do this wrong or that wrong. I am still angry with my father/mother/grandmother/abuser and that is why I eat". I was in denial for so long I had a problem. When I realized I didn't love myself and my whole life was crashing around me not because I am cursed but because I didn't have balance is when my life changed for the better. If you allow a specific aspect of your life to suck the joy out of everything it is very difficult to find happiness and it is easy to overcompensate with things that provide temporary relief. Breathe joy back into the empty parts of your life, learn to love yourself even with your flaws and learn to plan ahead for your healthy lifestyle. Soon it will become so natural that you will forget the old way you used to live because everything will be better. I can't believe I waited so long. Don't make the same mistake I did. Don't wait for next Monday, start today.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHRIMPCHIC 2/14/2011 7:42PM

    Good Job!

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ELENA_DIEM 2/14/2011 2:51PM

    I needed to read this today. I'm not having a good day balance wise and am ready to give up. Thanks for the reminder that I need to take care of ME as a whole, and the tricky stuff will fall into place.

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LADYRK 2/13/2011 3:51PM

    Such true words! Thanks for this. It's something that we all need to be reminded of occasionally.

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LUBAML 2/8/2011 5:04PM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing. emoticonLuba

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MYLIDDLEDALLAS 2/8/2011 2:57PM

    "It is about looking at your emotional health and learning that if you don't love you and do things to make yourself happy you will continue to self medicate with food and again "fail" at healthy eating. The reality is you are not failing at healthy eating. You are failing to address emotional factors that are the true root of why you overeat."

Oh my gosh!! You nailed it with that paragraph. I can tell you've been in the midst of it all and it's good to see you getting ahead of it.

Thank you for sharing this and reminding me again what needs to be done.

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BLACKROSE26 2/8/2011 10:50AM

    You are absolutly right!!!!

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MMCCAIG 1/14/2011 3:35PM

    Very well said!!

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MARATHONBOUND 1/14/2011 2:53PM

    I needed to read this today, thank you!

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KATHLOW 1/10/2011 8:41AM

    true, true, so true

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HEYPINK 1/9/2011 9:43AM

    well said!!!!

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 1/9/2011 2:15AM

    You have spoken the very words I have been thinking the past 24 hours or so. You could have used my name in some places here in your blog.
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I read through some of your blogs, and I love the way you think and write. I definately can learn some things from you.

Amber

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BELLALUCIA 1/8/2011 11:34PM

    Great blog!

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SARAHNICOLE__17 1/8/2011 10:19AM

    Your words are so powerful. And we 100% share the same views. It feels good knowing I'm not alone on this! I use a similar analogy w/ rich foods.

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 1/7/2011 10:35PM

    I have a self professed disease: I'm addicted to thinking about food. Call me a compulsive over eater with an obsession with food. Even with this problem, I've managed to drop almost 50 lbs because I've adapted my thinking and relationship with food. If I can do it, anyone can. Great blog

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WILLIAMV3 1/7/2011 5:06PM

    I totally agree with this. Once this finally sinks in it is so much easier for all involved. emoticon

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CARILOUIE 1/7/2011 3:20PM

    This morning I had a waffle - a giant Belgian waffle - and it was delicious. It was a Snow Day treat for me... and I thought "I will make sure I get in a great workout tomorrow." And that was the end of it. I enjoyed my waffle... no guilt.

While friends and family are moaning and groaning about the New Year's Diet, I am celebrating another year of being able to live a healthy lifestyle without depriving myself of the food I love!

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WORTHEYMOM 1/7/2011 10:25AM

    Love it! Totally the truth! It's a lifestyle change!

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BTRTHANEVA 1/7/2011 8:42AM

    I try to think of lifestyle changes as sucking all the joy out of what HASN'T worked and replace it with what I know I should be doing in my own best interest. Attitude determines altitude!

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TRACY1572 1/7/2011 8:04AM

  Wow I totally understand what you are saying. Thanks for such a beautifully written post.

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RIGBY31 1/6/2011 10:49PM

    Thank you for letting me read the words that I am thinking and are in my heart... you put them together so beautifully.

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SHANNYMEDIC 1/6/2011 10:22PM

    Amen Sister!!!! I totally agree with you...thanks for the blog! Everyone needs positive reminders every once in a while! Thanks!

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GIRANIMAL 1/6/2011 7:54PM

    emoticon

Another SparkFriend recently said to me, "You only gained two pounds over the holidays?! You're doing great." Up until then I had been feeling pretty down about my little uptick and kinda gross.

But I had just figured this out too! It's because I started to let this feel like a chore and a hassle again rather than what it is: the blessing that is a healthful, balanced!

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LIVINGONTHERED 1/6/2011 7:40PM

    You are so right! When we try to be "good" ... we imply if we are not being a strict follower of whatever "diet" we are on... that we are Bad!

So not true! Before becoming ill, I had lost 55 pounds, and I did it by allowing myself the things I loved in my diet. I always, always had calories for Bud Light (2) for after work, just in case work had been crap. I still lost the pounds!

Keep it up Ashley -- You are such an inspiration!

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REM-CYCLES 1/6/2011 7:33PM

    Perfect. It's a matter of reconditioning - even the Spark Book says that punitive diets are a bummer and FAIL - it's the wrong mindset. The better one is to make better choices. I HAVE CHOCOLATE EVERY DAY and have lost 48lbs.

I eat better, I'll even say smarter. I'm typically not hungry! Sparkpeople debunks the punitive diet bit.

Well said Ashley

RJ

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 1/6/2011 7:11PM

    Ab.So.Lutely. No lie. Just truth.

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 1/6/2011 6:56PM

    This is a beautiful blog! Thanks for sharing :)

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.TARA. 1/6/2011 6:26PM

    Fabulous blog! This is so true. Unfortunately, it is a lesson that is incredibly hard to learn. I have struggled with understanding this for a long time, but now that I finally am getting there, I feel as though amazing. I am seeing success, but what matters to me is that I am feeling much better physically, mentally, and emotionally. Nothing beats that!

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ALOFA0509 1/6/2011 5:31PM

   
AMEN!!!! soo sick of seeing ppl post stuff like OMG I ate a cookie, I hate myself... You know- Sooo love this Blog. You hit it right on the nose!!!!! You Rock



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HANNAH_CALM 1/6/2011 5:26PM

    That's true, planning helps! I'm thinking about planning my meals better, so things aren't so erratic. It seems harder to use the tracker here, so having everything down on paper would be a good idea. I like to blame people for things sometimes, but it's never good to say someone made you eat something... You give up your willpower when you do that, to a lie, because no one's shoving food down your throat.

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BTRTHANEVA 1/6/2011 5:16PM

    Nothing tastes better than filling my body with the high octane food that will fuel it to it's maximum potential! That's why I love the SP food tracker. I can put in my day's food early and make adjustments to that I ensure I'm getting the necessary nutrients my body needs to function well. Eating never tasted so healthy before!

KUDOS for you, Ashley, for putting in words what so many people already know, but for whatever reasons, don't follow. This was certainly excellent FOOD FOR THOUGHT!
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CARYNV07 1/6/2011 4:59PM

    Great blog! You are so right. It took me a really long time to realize that if I wanted to be healthy and happy I had to get up and do something. Once I finally figured that out my life got so much better!

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BLYNN710 1/6/2011 4:48PM

    Well put.

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MCSNYDER1 1/6/2011 4:47PM

    Very true and well said!

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JACQUELINEJO 1/6/2011 4:40PM

    You're so right!

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BADASSBLONDIE 1/6/2011 4:38PM

    Yes. This. 100%.

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MRSSIBRAT 1/6/2011 4:06PM

    absolutly right girl!

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BRIAEL 1/6/2011 3:33PM

    Spot on! :)

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JESSICAW09 1/6/2011 3:32PM

    Nicely put, thanks Ash for sharing another moving blog!

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SLFRISBEY 1/6/2011 3:29PM

    Can you come live inside my head and tell me things like this all the time? :) Thanks again for putting words to what many of us need to hear!

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JENN26POINT2 1/6/2011 3:29PM

    Great point! Thank you for reminding us that this doesn't have to suck!! :)

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SPALM01 1/6/2011 3:25PM

    emoticon I love how encouraging you are! It's so true, and always hard to take a look at yourself, but it's always enlightening!

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JRSGIRL1995 1/6/2011 3:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MUSTLIVE4HIM 1/6/2011 3:23PM

    emoticon you got it right!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 1/6/2011 3:14PM

    AMEN sister! That's why YOU are making it work! That's why so many sparkers make it work. It's a lifestyle.

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FIZZYBALL 1/6/2011 3:12PM

    emoticon That's right...

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CHERRYJONES66 1/6/2011 3:11PM

  Nice! Way to say it!

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AEBROWNSON 1/6/2011 3:10PM

    Wonderful blog today, Ashley! Until we love ourself and treat ourselves as well as we treat other people, we won't be successful in getting healthy!

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MAMADWARF 1/6/2011 3:07PM

    Ashley, I love you. I just printed this out for my daughter. She told me last night she was going to lose some weight and I encouraged her to join me here. I am not sure what exactly she is going to do, I am just trying to let her approach me. It is hard cause I have learned so much that I want to lay it all out for her.
I am giving her this to read. You said it better than I could have.

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UNSTOPPABLEJEN 1/6/2011 3:06PM

    Wow, Ashley, I was having a "beat-myself-up" kind of a day and this blog really helped me to see where I was going wrong. Being healthy isn't about being unhappy - it's about finding balance. I really appreciate you taking the time to articulate this!

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FLGIRL1234 1/6/2011 3:04PM

    LOVED YOUR BLOG! Great job of reminding us why we are here!

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One year, 79 lbs down 2010 was a year of change

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 was my year of change. Over the course of the year I was able to lose 79 lbs and change my life. I didn't join sparkpeople until June and had reached my first plateau. A friend had been a a member off and on before and when I saw the name again in a magazine I decided to check it out. I was very excited by the nutrition tracker. I firmly believe tracking is the key to this for me. I was already making better choices and had shed the first 35 lbs going to the gym 1 day a week and making choices like giving up lattes for iced coffee with skim milk (I never have been a sugar in my coffee person) and giving up muffins at Dunks. Who knew something seemingly so innocent could be so bad for you. My fiancÚ and I found a place we love to live and I started a new job after being unemployed close to a year. Our industry was hit hard in the recession and it was demoralizing to be at home day after day. It was what spurred a desire to change the course of my life. All the heartache and half hearted attempts to lose weight. The broke promises to myself and my family. I decided to do this for me and you know what? It was easier than I ever imagined and the rewards are worth it ten fold. I took a hard look at my flaws and my emotional baggage. Yes, this is hard and as you can see from some of my earlier blogs I poured out my heart to my sparkfriends. Then the weight started sliding off and suddenly, I didn't hate myself anymore. It was ok to be excited about living again because for the first time in 14 years each day after was better not worse. When I looked in the mirror and saw things I didn't like it was ok because in a month I would be smaller and smaller. I look 10 years younger. One of the first compliments I started to get was "what are you doing you look so much younger." I didn't feel like an old lady anymore. The joy in being girly returned. The biggest moment came when I realized I look overweight but not obese anymore. How freeing that was. Yes, I have a long way to go but to be able to work out hard for an hour after a time when I couldn't even walk up the stairs is the greatest gift I ever gave myself. I have 93 lbs left to go to no longer be considered clinically overweight. In 2011 those pounds are going down. Happy New Year everybody. I love all of you. Ash

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SASSYDREAMER 1/9/2011 10:22AM

    Love love love this blog. So exciting. You are a rockstar!

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HEYPINK 1/9/2011 9:44AM

    you are doing such a great job and its awesome to watch you go on this journey and be successful! I hope 2011 brings many more victories!!!

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DEBBIE19580 1/5/2011 5:22PM

    ashley, you have done a awesome job!!!! congrats!! emoticon emoticon

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JO2TOM 1/5/2011 5:02PM

    Awesome blog from an awesome woman. What a wonderful reflection on the past year, and what motivation for the current year.

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TRACYZABELLE 1/5/2011 3:39AM

    You have done great!! may this years releases bring you to goal~

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SWEETNEENI 1/4/2011 2:11PM

    emoticon ASHLEY! emoticon

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MAIA2011 1/4/2011 2:01PM

    I love you, too! That is Sparktacular weight loss and I have especially appreciated your thoughtful and honest as well as well-written (I'm a snob) observations on all the details of weight loss. It's inspiring and interesting!

Rock the New Year!

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RUNNINGOLLIE 1/4/2011 1:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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UNSTOPPABLEJEN 1/4/2011 10:37AM

    Awesome reflection on your progress and declaration of your new goals. Honey, you are gonna ROCK 2011!!!

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ANNA--BANANA 1/3/2011 7:17PM

    I love it! What a positive attitude - that turned into positive ACTION! Or maybe the action brought about the attitude - in any case, you are inspiring!

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29MOMOF4 1/3/2011 5:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 1/2/2011 11:21PM

    emoticon

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LADYV1781 1/2/2011 3:24PM

    Way to go on your progress. I love reading your honest blogs that really help keep me inspired. I wish you nothing but the best in 2011!

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BELLALUCIA 1/1/2011 9:04PM

    Love you Ashley and I'm so proud of you that it's a wonder I haven't burst!

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COMPUCATHY 1/1/2011 8:27PM

    Woo hoo!!!! Congratulations! You are doing great! I am wishing you a rockin' 2011! You're on your way...nothing stopping you now! Enjoy! Spark on! emoticon

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BRAINYBLONDE5 1/1/2011 6:26PM

    2010 was amazing, but I know 2011 is going to be even brighter for you. I am so happy (&& jealous!) because you have come so far! incredible! you inspire me :)

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JOURNEY2DESTINY 1/1/2011 5:08PM

    Good Going Ash!

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COOKWITHME65 1/1/2011 3:43PM

    Ashley what a great blog. You have done fantastic and have a great attitude, Happy New Year!

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RIGBY31 1/1/2011 2:44PM

    Ashley, your blogs have been my go-to place manymany times this year. Up, down, sideways, you always hit the nail on the head with a vengence! Love that you love you! Happy New Year!

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MAMADWARF 1/1/2011 12:45PM

    ashley, you amaze me. and I love you too!

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WORTHEYMOM 1/1/2011 12:16PM

    Happy New Year to you too girl! Thanks for all of the inspiration in 2010 and can't wait for all that we do together in 2011! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PRETTYINPUNK_04 1/1/2011 11:21AM

    Amazing Ashley is what we should call you from now on because you are truly AMAZING! emoticon on not only your weight loss but all the insight you've gained. Thanks for your informative blogs, they keep me going!

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.TARA. 1/1/2011 10:35AM

    You did phenomenal things for yourself this year, which is inspiring to so many! I wish you a 2011 that rocks even more than 2010!

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HEALTHYONE2008 12/31/2010 8:19PM

    emoticon on the 79 pound loss. You have done emoticon and I know that 2011 will bring you the some outcome. emoticon emoticon

Happy New Year to you. Enjoy your evening.

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FUZZY1TOO 12/31/2010 6:37PM

    emoticon
Happy New Years' to you and yours, Ashley! All the best in 2011 and a toast to reaching your goals!
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LEXIE63 12/31/2010 5:12PM

    Nice blog Ash!
Happy New Year. Here's to an even more awesome 2011!
Hugs,
Lex xxx
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LITTLEONEJLC 12/31/2010 3:28PM

    I have no doubt that you are going to make it. Happy New Year!

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CHICAT63 12/31/2010 3:19PM

    Congratulations on your achievements for 2010 ! Happy New Year, best wishes of health, happiness and wellness for 2011.

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BROOKDOESLIFE 12/31/2010 3:15PM

    Ashley, You've overcome so much. You've accomplished so much. You are such an inspiration. I can't wait to see how successful you are in 2011.

Wow on all your success in 2010!!!

Happy New Year!

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SHERYLDS 12/31/2010 3:13PM

    CONGRATULATIONS on your amazing success
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Fantastic! All your hard work is really paying off


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FIZZYBALL 12/31/2010 2:34PM

    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU! emoticon on your achievements thus far. I cant wait to see the changes we will make in 2011.

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NANHBH 12/31/2010 2:03PM

    emoticon emoticon
Ashley,

You are an inspiration to us all! I am so happy for you. It has been most amazing to see your personal growth as your body transformed. Looking forward to seeing more growth from you!

Happy New Year!
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Nancy

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TRIGRAMPS 12/31/2010 2:02PM

    Hey, girlie! Great year! You've shed the hardest pounds to loose. emoticon

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BADASSBLONDIE 12/31/2010 2:01PM

    You are so inspiring! Thank you for being awesome!

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AMOHAME2 12/31/2010 1:16PM

    Congratulations on such a great year Ashley!! Hopefully 2011 will be even better!

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SHELLEY147 12/31/2010 1:15PM

    What an awesome year you had!! I so admire all your hard work...it's really paying off!! I may not always comment, but I LOVE reading your blogs! I hope 2011 is even better for you!! ~hugs~

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DUSTYGIRL25 12/31/2010 1:10PM

    Congrats Ashley for all of your accomplishments this year. I know it took a lot of hard work and determination and it really paid off big time. Not only have your lost weight and gotten healthier, but you are so much happier and it comes through to all.
Thanks for being a wonderful SparkFriend! See you next year!
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JRSGIRL1995 12/31/2010 1:08PM

    Congratulations on your success!!! I know you will continue to reach your goals!

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TRIP2HAPPINESS 12/31/2010 1:03PM

    Sounds like a successful year for you Ash. Way to go! 2011 is OUR year! emoticon

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EXCUSELESS 12/31/2010 1:01PM

    That's a great blog. I could relate to so many things you had said. Congrats on your success to date. You will shine even more in 2011. Good Luck!

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LILMISSRED79 12/31/2010 12:59PM

    Wow, you've had quite a year! I can only imagine the amazing things you're going to accomplish in 2011.

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TREASURINGLIFE 12/31/2010 12:58PM

    Congrats - love ya too - and I hope you reach all your 2011 goals! :)

- Michelle

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CALIKIKI 12/31/2010 12:57PM

    Amazing progress!

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TRACY1572 12/31/2010 12:52PM

  What an inspiration you are. I hope next year is as good for you as 2010 was.

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GRACEISENUF 12/31/2010 12:50PM

    I am proud to call you my friend. You had one amazing year filled with really great accomplishments. I wish you continued success in 2011 Ashley.
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EBIELOU 12/31/2010 12:50PM

    Congrats! keep up the good work!

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This isn't a diet, it is my life

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

After the gorgefest of the holidays I was literally dying to get back to my healthy eating. I fantasized about it the way I used to fantasize about cake and I loved me some cake let me tell you. I had fun with my family and I didn't go nuts on the actual holidays but I did eat way too many sweets while I was baking them and certainly not enough veggies the way I usually do. Yesterday I was determined to be back to normal and then I got excited. Normal is healthy. Normal is fruits and veggies and chugging water. I still drank water the way I normally do even when I was eating poorly. My body is so used to it now that I feel off if I am not drinking enough. I had been eating WAY to many simple carbs and not enough protein. I looked back at my tracker to see where I was off track and have made some meal adjustments for the rest of the week. It is shocking to me how those simple carbs make me feel like an addict. Yesterday I was cranky and hungry all day without them and I know it wasn't real hunger. It was the sugar withdrawal. When I cut out all that sugar I don't have the energy highs and lows and my mood is more even.
I have been thinking a lot about the word diet lately because with the new year coming we are going to see A LOT of new members many of whom will last a few days to a few weeks because they are here with a diet mentality. Even the people in my office are going on and on about starting a new "diet". I am excited to say this isn't a diet for me, it is my life, and I am excited and proud. My mom gave me money for my birthday and usually I give any monetary gifts to our savings or pay bills with it but this year I decided to stop depriving myself and doing for everyone else. I am just going to spend it on me. What made me laugh is that almost everything I would want is related to healthy living. I thought of workout clothes, a garmin, new clean eating books, Zumba videos the list goes on. In the past I would have blown the whole thing on a dinner for me and my fiancÚ. I thought a lot about how if he got the money he would spend it on himself. He works hard for his money so when he is rewarded he doesn't have a hard time enjoying it. Why do I? Why do I feel it is selfish to enjoy a reward?
I think the idea of a diet is somehow a punishment. A way to repent for our sins of overindulgence. That is why they don't work. You can't make something good happen when you start out so negative. I am proud of where I am and very excited for my future. I never imagined I could grow so attached to people I have never met. That our friendships could be so complex and deep. Sparkpeople really has helped me to change the direction of my life.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLY0NTHEWAL1 1/6/2011 7:13PM

    I can totally relate to not feeling right about spending money on myself. I'm often the first to be like, oh my sweetheart/sister/bff wants an [expensive item] and I'll save for it as a gift, but I am rarely so kind to myself. I started to come around to thinking, hey, why shouldn't I be my own bff and treat myself like the deserving lady that I AM? I'm glad to see I'm not the only one starting to value herself more.
Good for you!

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RACINGSLUG 1/3/2011 11:31AM

    I love this blog and your positive, realistic attitude. I know just what you mean about ''normal eating.'' I've been sick this week and got some cookie dough thinking it was like this one chance to indulge... it did nothing for me but make me yearn for real food. Sometimes when I'm feeling intimidated about doing this for the rest of my life, I remind myself to focus on just today... but that's really what it is about. Not a temporary change, this is the first day of the rest of our lives!

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PINK-PEONY 12/31/2010 12:38PM

    You are so right to spoil yourself and use your gift money to enhance your lifestyle! It's one more way to take care of you, and another brick in the building of how you live.

Happy New Year, here's to the best year yet!

Melissa

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ALOFA0509 12/31/2010 4:16AM

   
A-men.. Soo glad your taking the money spending it on yourself! Happy Shopping sista friend emoticon

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JO2TOM 12/30/2010 10:51PM

    Diet is like deprivation in my head. I really like the idea of a lifestyle change....not a one day fix, but a real change that improves my whole life. Have fun spending your own gift money...and enjoy. Happy New Years and not just the day...the whole year!!!!

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GRACEISENUF 12/30/2010 10:34PM

    No diet for me....it contains the word "die", that sums it up :).

Enjoy every penny of that birthday money!
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FIZZYBALL 12/30/2010 5:50PM

    emoticon What you going to get? I've been enjoying the zumba game.

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NUTS4NUTELLA 12/30/2010 10:39AM

    This blog really made me smile :) I LOVE hearing that people are proud of themselves and happy with their current direction in life!

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AMETHYST73 12/30/2010 1:09AM

    As garfield says, 'diet' is just 'DIE' with a 't' on the end...

Here's to a healthy lifestyle!

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 12/30/2010 12:25AM

    In't it interesting how quickly our bodies adjust? I'm the same way - I miss my veggies and water when I don't get them in.

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BELLALUCIA 12/29/2010 11:38PM

    Cool beans!

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LOVEUNDERLINED 12/29/2010 9:32PM

    The word "diet" makes me cringe, too. I don't feel right using it, but at the same time, I feel like "lifestyle change" or whatever sounds really snobby. So I usually just say "working out and eating better" -- but I do consider it a lifestyle change, for sure.

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SCHENPOSSIBLE 12/29/2010 8:42PM

    Loved this blog. Things just click when treating ourselves better becomes apart of our life, doesn't it? Good for you, girlfriend!

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SARAHNICOLE__17 12/29/2010 7:47PM

    Diets are ridiculous. For one, I believe that diets are a lifestyle and not a life event. So many people yo yo diet and its horrible on your body. If I feel like chocolate... I eat it. I eat a lot of fresh produce and have no choice but to eat well because I refuse to feel like ass if I eat poorly. We deserve to put our best food forward and food choices as you know, are key! We totally have to touch base sometime this week on what we have been discussing lately.

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NANHBH 12/29/2010 7:32PM

    Ashley,

So cool that you finally get that spending money on you is OK. You are WORTH it! And it was a gift to you! You are growing in self-confidence and self-efficacy constantly. I love reading about your growth!

Be well,
Nancy

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/29/2010 7:26PM

    *I* am excited for your new life too!!!

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BTRTHANEVA 12/29/2010 6:39PM

    HEALTHY is your new NORMAL!

Just the word DIEt scares me. You have embraced a whole new lifestyle.

Congratulations and thanks for sharing your wisdom. So young and so articulate. KUDOS!

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BRIAEL 12/29/2010 5:37PM

    Love it, you DESERVE to spoil yourself, you're worth it! :)

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LEXIE63 12/29/2010 5:31PM

    *applauds* Great blog! Enjoy spending on yourself. You deserve it! :-)
Hugs,
Lex xxx
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TRANSFORMWE 12/29/2010 5:16PM

    Great blog! And you expressed perfectly something I was struggling with just recently-- I had to post what reward I will give myself for achieving my goal. And it was hard to come up with one. At first I tried "being healthy is its own reward" but that felt like depriving myself. I finally settled on a new haircut for the thing I had to submit.

Last night, though I rewarded myself in the way I think works best - I made myself a nice healthy dinner and ate it at the table, by candlelight and with flowers, just because. (Then again, that was after I did 40 minutes on the elliptical, so maybe I did earn it.)
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OBSERVERNOMORE 12/29/2010 4:38PM

  Yes! Great blog! So excited that you see yourself as valuable and deserving of a reward! Have fun deciding how to spend it! emoticon

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KRAWRS 12/29/2010 4:27PM

    Woman are like that... we have a really hard time rewarding ourselves for some reason. Its a hard habit to break! And I was never one for the word "diet" either.... Diet implies temporary. We're in this for the long haul! Thanks for all your blog comments on my page recently. I always appreciate when people take the time to read and reply to my blogs!

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 12/29/2010 3:37PM

    It's so difficult to do things for ourselves. I'm really glad you decided to "indulge" and do for you!

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AEBROWNSON 12/29/2010 3:06PM

    Terrific post, Ashley! I've now had two days of eating healthy after a couple of weeks of eating not so healthy, and I feel so much better! My normal eating is now healthy, not something I just do occasionally. Now it's the bad food choices that happen only occasionally.

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TERRYT55 12/29/2010 2:05PM

    You write the best blogs........I, too, will finally enter a new year without the word diet on my lips. This is my lifestyle and has been for almost a year.

I really loved the last couple of sentences about friendships here on SP. Last night I was reflecting on the people I've met here and the friendships I've formed. I've learned so much from so many. I hope to meet some in person this year!

Happy New Year

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LILMISSRED79 12/29/2010 2:05PM

    What a beautifully written blog! I commented to a friend of mine that I was happy to be back at work, back into my routine, and away from all of the sweets and fatty foods at my parents' house. She thought I was nuts, but it's good to know that I'm not the only one who feels that way!

I wish you a very happy and healthy 2011!

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CALIKIKI 12/29/2010 1:58PM

    Definitely a change in the way of life!

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RIGBY31 12/29/2010 1:52PM

    This is a way of life, definately! And you and all my SparkFriends are in my heart. Happy to get holiday things settled.

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WILLIAMV3 12/29/2010 1:48PM

    Yea for you. I feel the same way. This is my way of life. I do not feel like I'm on a diet. I just feel like I'm finally living the way I am supposed to be and the side benefit is the weight is coming off.

Happy New Year! emoticon

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DUSTYGIRL25 12/29/2010 1:46PM

    Yep, you nailed it exactly. I think most of us feel the same way. And yes, reward yourself. You do deserve to feel good. After all this is a life change not just some new diet. I agree with you. It's time to put ourselves first sometimes. You've earned it.
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ANN777 12/29/2010 1:45PM

    So true!

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LOSING107 12/29/2010 1:45PM

    I'm happy for you! And glad to see I wasn't the only one "fantasizing" about getting back to living healthy haha. I used to look forward to the holiday goodies, and this year was the first year I was getting irritable b/c I was finding it hard to fit in exercise and distance myself from food that's terrible for me. My Christmas gift to myself was the Jillian Michaels 6 Week 6 Pack dvd and a Collie Buddz album. So sure thing, go treat yourself, that's what the money is for!

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CARILOUIE 12/29/2010 1:43PM

    Oh I love love love this! Hooray for it NOT being a "diet."


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KBEAR9963 12/29/2010 1:41PM

    I think it's fair to say that all of us probably indulged a little more than we should have, but it sounds like it didn't affect you too bad if you are already getting back on track and enjoying your "healthy" foods again! Great job! Keep that up and you will do awesome! Best wishes for a wonderful New Year and new you! Keep sparking! emoticon

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YOURJONES 12/29/2010 1:39PM

    I know what you mean. Everything on my wish list was fitness related. LOL! Great blog! Happy New Year!
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LCHADBOURNE 12/29/2010 1:30PM

    Oh my gosh! Exactly! On everything!

I didn't go crazy and indulged a little (within range) over the holidays, but even that tiny bit of sugar is making me crabby sometimes and I'm not a crabby person. I quit it cold turkey once and am doing it again, but I was wondering why I was getting so crabby and short of patience and even that little bit must be the culprit!

I am the same way with gifts like that and my husband is the same as yours. Too funny!

I'm excited for your upcoming year and changes. You are such an amazing Sparkfriend. I know you will do great and kick some serious booty this next year!

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ANNE7X7 12/29/2010 1:28PM

    Awesome blog!! I totally agree with healthy = normal now. After a few too many treats, all I wanted for the past two days is SALAD. Yes, the girl that HATED salads last year was majorly craving a salad. It made me feel so much better physically than all that sugar!!

Good for you for spoiling yourself! You deserve it, girl!!

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The Truth About Your Weight Gain

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Please read this article. The most shocking was how they treated ground meat products with ammonia to kill pathogens. Know what you are eating! I want to be sick
health.yahoo.net/experts/eatthis/tru
th-about-your-weight-gain

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZLOIE2 12/29/2010 7:41PM

    Already saw this and told my partner we will never eat burgers from fast food again. Makes us feel sorta sick. Only safe food is what you can really see and cook yourself and grow in your garden.

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PRYDEQUEEN 12/29/2010 4:41PM

    Thank you!

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MARATHONBOUND 12/29/2010 4:21PM

    Great read, especially about the fast food burgers..makes breath a sigh of relief to be vegan. Thanks for sharing!

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LILMISSRED79 12/29/2010 2:10PM

    Disturbing, but incredibly informative. Thanks!

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AMOHAME2 12/29/2010 11:40AM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing that!

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DUSTYGIRL25 12/29/2010 5:17AM

    Thanks so much for the info link. Very helpful.

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GLOWORM1963 12/29/2010 4:17AM

    Gross ~ Wow ~ Unbelievable

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 12/29/2010 12:10AM

    Gross! Thanks for sharing this with us! Information is power.

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ZANNACHAN 12/28/2010 11:10PM

    Ugh. There's a reason we try to buy our meat organic as much as we can. Not only are their issues with processing meat, but a lot of meat at the supermarkets are loaded with hormones and other chemicals. Bleah emoticon

I was surprised though that the fake bacon bits are actually higher in calorie than the real ones. We always get real bacon bits (or make our own, on the rare occasion we have bacon at home) because my husband is allergic to the fake; guess that's not a bad thing! And interesting that turkey bacon, which I know people swear by, isn't much better either. We buy real bacon when we buy bacon--we do it so rarely that I don't really feel guilty about the indulgence.

The one about the fruit on the bottom yogurt is just tragic for me, though! I love the fruit on the bottom yogurt for breakfast in the summer--it's something I can get down (I have a really hard time eating breakfast) and it's tasty and has protein, and calcium etc. But I hate hate hate unsweetened yogurt--just can't stand the stuff. So I don't know what I would substitute for it.

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AMETHYST73 12/28/2010 11:01PM

    Thanks! I used to get your blogs but musta missed one and so stopped getting them - glad to read you again!

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PERFECTVELVET 12/28/2010 8:13PM

    I saw that article and thought the same thing! It's amazing!

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AEBROWNSON 12/28/2010 7:37PM

    The more I read, the more interested I become in clean eating! Organic, whole foods that I can cook from scratch! I need to get a copy of "Eat this, not that"!

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SARAHNICOLE__17 12/28/2010 7:26PM

    This isn't as gross as some things I have read. I watch a lot of documentaries!!!! Holy monkey balls is it ever disgusting. I just recently watched a new doc on GMO foods (genetically modified). It is boycotted out of the UK but North America as a whole allows it. WITHOUT CLEAR LABELING!!!! Something needs to be done. I'm so determined to be self sufficient. SCREW diapers, pre packaged foods, canned foods, etc. They aren't getting any money from me.

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TINA5318 12/28/2010 7:17PM

    wow. That was shocking!! Thank you for posting!

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KIMJEWKES 12/28/2010 6:30PM

    yucky!

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LIVINGPROOF006 12/28/2010 5:18PM

    Hmmm - i think i will be looking at my food differently

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ROLLER-GIRL 12/28/2010 5:03PM

    Very interesting article. I like that the real versions of each thing made with real ingredients are so much healthier than the "low-fat" versions.

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TERRI77 12/28/2010 4:48PM

    Yuck!

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