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Eat the size you want to be

Thursday, January 13, 2011

This blog hit me while I was climbing around on the battleships mentioned in my previous blog and thinking it was a good thing I was no longer super size or I wouldn't fit. One thing I have noticed about my friends who are "naturally" thin is that they practice really good portion control. Wasn't it with the advent of the super size menu that we became a super size nation? As portions at restaurants grew and the ability to super size everything we have lost all perspective on what is a normal portion. When I was at my biggest I always ordered a large. The large burger, the large iced latte with extra caramel, etc etc. I would eat an entire appetizer and an entrée in a restaurant.
So this is my plan for being better about my portion control. I am going to eat the size I want to be. I have completely given up fast food be 1) it is a nutritionally devoid wasteland and 2) I am all set with eating food products treated with things like ammonia to make them edible for human consumption but keep them super cheap. However, in the restaurants I do choose to eat I am no longer going to let them decide for me what goes in my body. I have also found that no matter how hard I try to cook for 2 people I always cook too much food. It makes me insane to throw food away so I am going to start finding creative meal options that can go for lunch the next day as well. It is amazing how much easier healthy eating is when you make the effort to be creative. Last night I made oven baked homemade chicken nuggets in whole wheat panko and steamed asparagus. It was SO good that I wouldn't even want to eat those frozen chicken paste nonsense in the freezer section.
My food scale is also my best friend. As I was packing lunch for today I decided to weigh my chicken breast as it looked kind of huge to me and it was 7.6 ounces! Where the heck do we grow chickens that big???!!! It freaks me out I can't even find small chicken breasts anymore at the store. I only buy organic chicken (do a little research into chicken farming and you will spend the money too) and they are still enormous. I also went out and bought tupperware that is pre-portioned sizing which are awesome. The range from 1/2 cup to 3 cups and they make my life SO much easier when packing lunches. The only thing I find difficult is whole grains as my fiancé refuses to eat them and it is pretty much ridiculous to make a half cup just for myself after doing all that work. I will have to experiment with freezing cooked portions and see how that goes.
Well now that I have rambled for this whole blog, my original point was this. You have control over the food you eat and the size you want to be. So eat your size and it will be easier than you think.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YUMMYCOFFEE 2/9/2011 7:46AM

    You're absolutely right about eating the size you want to be :P good post!

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MGIBSON1964 2/8/2011 8:58PM

  I liked this blog about portion control.

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ALLISON_H 2/8/2011 5:54PM

    I love this blog! Very inspirational! :)

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LAYDEJ 2/8/2011 4:41PM

    great post!

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ELENA_DIEM 2/8/2011 11:03AM

    Great post. Eating large portions is a habit than can be turned around. The body can adjust to those smaller servings which are just what it needs :)

emoticon

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BASOLT 2/8/2011 6:37AM

  THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION emoticon

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SANDYMISA 2/7/2011 11:31PM

    Thank you for sharing!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 2/6/2011 10:55PM

    Tall Nonfat Mocha yeah thats what I want

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LALA0123 2/6/2011 9:46PM

    emoticon

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JASPERANN 2/6/2011 9:29PM

    I'm taking a class by a past (at home) winner of the Biggest loser and this is what he teaches too. He tells us to eat at our goal weight BMR, it really works. I'm kinda shocked at what I use to eat compared to what I eat now. =)

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KTTYK713 2/6/2011 2:23PM

    Wow, what an inspiration! I'm trying to get into the habit of researching and learning which foods are best to buy. Vegetables: fresh or frozen? Is there a difference? Eggs: watch out where they're coming from. Meat: what?! Slaughter houses v. "free range," etc. Chiquita bananas: fund guerrilla warfare in Columbia. There are so many conflicting stories out there, but I'm doing the best I can to sort it all out.

Keep being super conscious of what you're putting into your body. You're doing an amazing job!!!

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HORRORMAEDCHEN 2/5/2011 3:51AM

    This is so true and something I always have to remind myself. Especially drinks and treats is where I tend to go for large cheating myself into thinking it's just a serving but actually it's not.
As for the whole grain portioning problem, I am currently cooking for myself (husband isn't at home at the moment) and therefore always end up with too much. I tend to use left over rice and pasta or bulgur (which I seem to be eating a lot lately) in pasta/ rice salads the next day for lunch. Just add all your favourite veggies to it, maybe some leftover chicken...I add cottage cheese to it as well which also works as a nice dressing and boom a lovely lunch in a few minutes.

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LALA0123 2/4/2011 5:18PM

    emoticon

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CATWOOMAN 2/3/2011 11:21PM

    You're right. I'm doing good now ... the challenge will be when I hit maintenance. I'll always have to remember to "eat the size I want to be" ... for me and for no one else.

Thanks for the reminder. We can do it!!
emoticon emoticon

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KWRIGHT26 2/3/2011 5:51PM

    "Eat the size you want to be." I like that.

For remembering to stop when I'm full instead of when my plate is empty, I like the mantra, "If you want a little behind, leave a little behind." I think I read it on a Spark blog about two years ago. Can't remember whose for the life of me, but its brilliant.

I'm sorry to hear your fiance won't eat your whole grains. Mine will, most of the time, if he recognizes it (like rice) and the name doesn't "sound funny" like couscous). Maybe it will be time soon to start hiding them in things like soups and stews if you make them?

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STORMYVAWN 2/3/2011 11:39AM

    Great points.

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F1AMEDIVA 2/3/2011 11:18AM

    I also look for humanely raised grass fed beef(they get to range outdoors mostly) and humanely raised pork. Fast food wise-Chipotle has organic/humanely treated meat on the menu(if you like mexican). I personally believe the meat tastes better if the animal was given the chance to roam and do what they do. Great blog!

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MY4KITTIES 1/16/2011 9:31PM

    I constantly battle with portion control. I think that if the portion is the normal size, my body will scream and tell me it's still hungry. I have pretty much given up fast food. However, I still indulge from time to time but have to be careful because when I do have it, I feel nauseated. I love the title of your blog and will try to keep your advice in mind.

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DETERMINEDJANET 1/16/2011 5:52PM

    Great advice!

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38PEARL 1/16/2011 5:45PM

    love this!!!

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LOUANN22 1/16/2011 4:43PM

    so true i am going to follow that advice!

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NITELITE72 1/16/2011 11:22AM

    Great blog...and you are SO RIGHT about the chicken!! I watched FOOD, Inc. and I have issues with eating any chicken that is not organic! I also have issues at my house with whole grains and no one else eating them. Have you tried Seeds of Change quinoa & whole grain brown rice? I like the two of them mixed together.

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HOPE2011 1/16/2011 8:44AM

    Great idea! I'm going to keep this in mind when I'm ordering food. We get in that stupid mindset that we need to be sure we're getting our money's worth, but it's always in regard to quantity it seems. I'm going to switch my thinking!

Thanks!

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JMERLAU 1/16/2011 7:55AM

    WOO HOO - I LOVE LOVE LOVE THE TITLE!! That's all the needed to be said, PERIOD!!

LOVE THAT
LOVE YOU
LOVE YOUR BLOGS!!!

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MCSNYDER1 1/16/2011 7:14AM

    Brilliant! (as usual).

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LUCKYDOGFARM 1/16/2011 12:30AM

    great going Ashley!!

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WATCH_HER_GO 1/15/2011 6:02PM

    This is a great idea. I struggle horribly with portion control when I dine out. I think ordering the size I want to be will be key.

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GIANTMICROBE 1/15/2011 10:46AM

    Portion control has always been my biggest (haha) problem. I like to eat a lot. "Normal" serving sizes look so tiny to me, like "How is that ever going to keep me full?!?!"

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MAYBE_SOMEDAY 1/15/2011 10:06AM

    Great blog post. It's crazy getting a large of anything now. Even a large soda looks like it's roughly a liter of soda. The temptation of fastfood is so hard to overcome. Congratulations on giving it up. I'm attempting to give it up, or at least really limit my potato wedge intake. Getting tupperware in serving sizes is a really great idea.

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MOTIVATEDMB 1/14/2011 10:48AM

    Awesome

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THETHINWIFE 1/14/2011 10:45AM

    BRILLIANT BLOG! Loved it.



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HEALTHYASHLEY 1/14/2011 9:49AM

    Honestly there is not much I haven't tried. I am still searching for the way to make quinoa that I really like. It is pretty bland but I do like the texture. That is why I don't like most grains in general including white rice. They bore me. I would rather have vegetables any day.

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LADYV1781 1/14/2011 9:45AM

    Great blog!! Loved it! Have you cooked with quinoa?? (I feel dumb asking you since you are a foodie.... :) ) I make that and hubby likes it. He hates rice and won't try bulger or anything else like that, but if I toast up the quinoa first, then it's tasty!!!

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CNIANE 1/14/2011 8:16AM

    Love the blog. It is so true that our country doesn't want portion control. We want what we want, when we want it. Hence our fast food nation. You are making great choices. Keep up the good work.

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DFROMTX 1/14/2011 8:03AM

    My husband will not eat brown rice or wheat bread, but I do. Some things we both eat: dried beans, lots of vegetables we raised in our garden this summer, salads, etc.

Good blog and emoticon on your progress. emoticon

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CARILOUIE 1/14/2011 7:47AM

    Re: whole grains - I cook a bunch and stick it in the freezer. Rice freezes really well, as does spelt and bulgur.

Isn't portion control a wonderful thing???

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HEALTHYASHLEY 1/14/2011 7:46AM

    Honestly, people don't want smaller portions and healthy food in restaurants. If there was a real demand for it than it would exist. I work in the food industry so believe me this is something we all talk about a lot. People I know who have reduced portion sizes in their restaurants lost business and got so many complaints that they changed them back. Unfortunately it is more of a cultural phenomenon. Americans do not want to pay for good quality food and they want huge portions of it. The people like all of us on SP are the exception not the rule.

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ROSEWCI 1/14/2011 7:41AM

    Size DOES make a difference! I too weigh everything because my eyes "deceive" me most often! And I must agree! Eating out is such a challenge! I try to frequent places that have lower calorie options...& then only eat 1/2 the entree. Portions are always ENORMOUS & not within the calorie allotment for a day! I have to say...I wish the restaurants of this country would get the message that people would LOVE to be eating healthy & nutritious food in proper portions! Food CAN look good...be nutritious...& taste good as well! Geesshhh! If we can do it at home...why can't they!???

Have a great weekend my friend! You're doing such a FAB job, by the way! Keep up the GREAT work!

emoticon Rose

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HANNAH_CALM 1/14/2011 1:36AM

    They've hybridized the chickens, bred them to be larger. However, if you want smaller chicken, you can go around to local farmer's markets and look for a supplier of more traditionally sized birds. I'm a vegetarian, I don't know why I'm writing you about this. I guess because I dislike how they've got the birds so top heavy they can barely stand now. Look for heritage breeds of chicken. There are so many different types of chicken, not just the one that's being used right now by the factory farms, and greedy farmers. Have you tried Whole Foods, or someplace like that, that has a lot of natural products to choose from? Good luck on that. Plus, you might want to try cooking with egg whites more--just to get in a vegetarian advertisement... I'm thinking of buying a scale soon. It would be nice. I usually know what I'm doing in the kitchen, but what if the manufacturer of something has it mislabeled? Or if I want to do my own thing, and experiment my way to something delicious?

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ALOFA0509 1/13/2011 11:21PM

    I hear you girl.. Watching FOOD INC will change the way you look at food.. Huge Eye Opener!!! I recently bought a Hand Held Food saver which comes with zip lock bags!! awsum way to keep left overs lasting for days... You can also buy containers that seal in freshness.. Awsum!!! Love the Blog-

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MAMADWARF 1/13/2011 10:49PM

    You are so smart. That is a great motto.

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 1/13/2011 9:56PM

    Excellent blog! I always say that, "we don't order a size we don't want to be" which means no larges, extra large, biggie, super size, etc. The thing is is that small and medium are plenty but often people feel they're missing out if it's not MORE especially when it's a better *value* financially to get more for your money. But more ends up on da booty so that's not valuable to me!

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BLONDEPOODLE 1/13/2011 9:10PM

    I measure everything right now. Even worst, I tend to do my own comparison by serving the hubby a "normal" portion and myself a measured portion. It's amazing how much portion distortion occurs.

As for skinny friends I sadly know too many skinny girls with amazing metabolisms that eat significantly more than I do. It's kinda madning.

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MAIA2011 1/13/2011 6:50PM

    I am back at measuring. I am despondent again about how small a tablespoon is and even more so to learn about how many tablespoons are in a cup. What's funny is I have more luck when I am eating stuff out of a box or can from TJs with information on it than when I go off the grid and prepare meals. Love the info and great spirit you have!

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CHEF4RENT 1/13/2011 5:21PM

    Ashley I totally agree with your blog. I have a thought about the whole grain thing. Try getting oat flour and mixing it with the wheat flour 3 parts wheat to 1 part oat. It really lightens up the texture a TON. Even my picky kids will eat it then. Also try buying chicken tendrloins (white meat but much smaller portions, if you can find them in organic). I get almost all my chicken from local sources, I know the farmers and their farming practices. Makes it much easier. You should check and see if there are any around where you live.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 1/13/2011 3:42PM

    Hmm... I eat a lot of food everyday, but that's because it's whole vs. processed (usually). I need to think about your blog...

In other news, I always assume my chicken breasts are 8oz, but I refuse to weigh (because numbers drive me batty). They are gigantic.

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NANHBH 1/13/2011 3:35PM

    Ashley,

Great words of wisdom! Eat the size you want to be - I like it!

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JEWLSM 1/13/2011 2:43PM

    Thanks for sharing this! This is totally true!! I have a close friend who is around 100lbs lighter than me and she eats so much less than I do!

A suggestion for your whole grain problem: You can find Brown Minute Rice, which only takes a few minutes to prepare and if you make too much, you could always save some for later in the week.

Keep it up!

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FLY0NTHEWAL1 1/13/2011 2:42PM

    I got a food scale for christmas (to replace one that broke). It's still in the box, but I think I'll take that lil sucker out today. : )

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MAEST35 1/13/2011 2:23PM

    I started weighing and measuring when I got REALLY serious about losing weight and low and behold - it works!

Great reminders to us all.

And feel free to make enough whole grains for yourself - make 4 servings or so and set them aside for later in the week!

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My victoria secret catalogue arrived yesterday

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I didn't get them for the longest time and then for some reason my name must have gotten entered in the "Hey she is thin again" mailing list so they suddenly started arriving this past summer. At first I would hurl them in the garbage with such anger and force that it was a little dramatic. I couldn't even peak at them without starting a spiral of self hatred running through my head. I am embarrassed to admit I also didn't want my fiancé to see what he should be with instead of the fatty he is engaged too. (No I no longer feel this way but I did for a long time). Last night for the first time I felt nothing when I saw it. Just another catalogue and I happen to receive a lot of them. That is when I realized again how much I have changed for the better. I glanced at it again and studied the cover because I LOVED the outfit. Pretty much what I wear in my little fashionista dreams but would never fit the body I currently have. I looked through the whole thing showing my fiancé pictures of outfits and dresses I liked and wasn't jealous at all. I told him how much I loved the cover outfit and he looked at her for a second and said "you actually look a lot like her". This is why I love him so much. Forget I am a size 22 and she is probably a zero or a 2 he saw that we have the same face shape, eye shape and color and similar hair, not the weight difference.
A few moments ago I sat down with a pair of scissors and cut out all the outfits I really love because I am going to start my dream book. A binder full of all the recipes, articles, pictures etc that I find that are a part of my new found self esteem and healthy life. By the time I can fit in those sizes the clothes will be gone from the catalogue but it isn't about that. It is about finding my style and the things that make me happy and feel good about me. By this time next year I am going to be able to order clothes like these and I can't wait.
www.victoriassecret.com/ss/Satellite
?c=Page&cid=1265386096038&pagename=vsd
Wrapper#/FC-1291548561362/

This is the outfit I love so much. I am going to be so happy when I can wear something similar.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYSCALETIPS 2/10/2011 12:31AM

    I was thinking the same thing! I'm totally stealing that idea too. I think it will be such motivation! Now I want to sign up for the mag so I can see what kinds of clothes I will wear someday! =) Great Blog!

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LADYV1781 1/14/2011 9:48AM

    I LOVE the healthy esteem book idea!!! Hope you don't mind, but I am TOTALLY stealing that from you and using it too!! :)

You really are making such a total transformation!! Way to go!!

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COOKWITHME65 1/13/2011 5:27PM

    Hey Ashley,
You wont believe what just happened. My boyfriend just walked in with the mail and tossed my Victoria Secrets Mag. "very sexy 2011 swim suit" at me and said "heres's what your aspiring too! I'll never see it!" and walked out. He is such a smuck. Be luckiy you have your lovely fiance. I seriously need to rethink this relationship.
- Kristan

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JENNIFER4242 1/13/2011 9:42AM

    haha that's funny b/c i starting receiving the Victoria Secret Catalogue out of the blue too. I even got a birthday coupon and i never signed up for anything with them. Maybe someone is secretly signing us up with them because they know we are getting skinny. emoticon

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AMOHAME2 1/13/2011 9:20AM

    I love the outfit, and I agree that you should order it if you love it! Every girl's got to have a goal outfit she loves, whether she wants to fit it one day (and the way you're going, you're going to be able to wear it soon!!), or wants to keep fitting it forever. One of my favourite things now is being able to buy clothes because I love them and not just because they fit. I love being able to love my clothes!!

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COOKWITHME65 1/13/2011 9:02AM

    Ashley,
He is so right. You do look like her.I'd order that sweater. It will fit next fall. You are doing so great. Such an inspiration to us all.
emoticon
- Kristan

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RONIREDD 1/13/2011 8:32AM

    "Hey she is thin again" mailing list - CRACKS me up! Thanx for the giggle!

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CHANGINGMORGAN 1/13/2011 8:25AM

    Love love love the outfit and love love love how you're feeling. Wonderful!

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MRSSIBRAT 1/13/2011 7:55AM

    you remind me so much of me. I hate seeing sexy women on movies etc with my husband because I feel like he will still to feel how not good enough I am. I am so happy he sees you for the beautifull woman you are! I love the outfit!

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KATHLOW 1/13/2011 4:21AM

    your fiance wsn't wrong - there's def somehing similar about the face and hair!

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MOMTORISSA 1/13/2011 1:48AM

    Yeah for you!!

I would have never ever shopped at VS before either... but my sister talked me into going in there and trying on a bra once I reached goal weight. O M G what a difference a good, proper fitting bra makes! I highly recommend a VS bra fitting and purchase as a reward for you. Love them!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 1/13/2011 12:00AM

    your sweetie has a good eye, the model and you do look alike! and i love the idea for the book. i used to do those forever-ago. then i just started tearing the pages out and stacking them in wire baskets and now i have a gazillion baskets with pictures of neat stuff! that is one of my things to work on this year...do something with the stuff!

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HANNAH_CALM 1/12/2011 11:14PM

    Nice sweater! I like the idea of wearing white in winter, even though you're not really supposed to... You might want to wear leggings with that though, or you'll be awfully cold. I'm filling a binder with fitness and health related stuff, exercises I want to do and beauty techniques, etc. I wish you the best of luck with yours! It takes some work, but I think we really should spend a little time thinking about ourselves now and then. And it's way better than saving a ton of magazines.

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RHONDA_11 1/12/2011 10:52PM

    That is lovely. It will look beautiful on you emoticon

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 1/12/2011 10:23PM

    I totally know what you mean. I have recently started looking at Victoria Secret and thinking that I should buy something in the near future (after some lbs lost) as a reward. I used to toss them too. Love the outfit and your dream book :)

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SEESTARS 1/12/2011 9:58PM

    Looks sexy and cozy at the same time. Your book idea is emoticon

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FIZZYBALL 1/12/2011 9:29PM

    I like the idea of the dream book. I might borrow it ;) Your fiance is right...you do favor the model.

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MCSNYDER1 1/12/2011 9:26PM

    Outfit is adorable. YOU are adorable. The two of you belong together!!!!!

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CHEF4RENT 1/12/2011 9:23PM

    Ashley, you rock. You are everything he said, definitely a beautiful woman and strong. Your fiance should be proud to have you on his arm, and it sounds like he is. I am very happy for you. Every woman should have the confidence and a man that appreciates her for who she is.

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JARMOOZLE 1/12/2011 9:20PM

    Cute outfit! You are very lucky to have such a supportive, honest partner :)

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NANHBH 1/12/2011 9:12PM

    Ashley,

Cute outfit -- and you DO look like the model! Keep up the good work. You are making amazing progress!

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CALIKIKI 1/12/2011 9:12PM

    What an amazing realization! And a super man!

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MAMADWARF 1/12/2011 9:07PM

    Muy caliente, Ashley! Muy Bonita, mi amiga!

I love your idea of the dream book.. awesome idea!

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MLRICHARD 1/12/2011 9:06PM

    Great idea. I "dream" in that catalog all the time. I was adding some similar outfits to my "Motivational" poster for my personal challenge.


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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 1/12/2011 9:01PM

    He's right, you DO look like the model. The outfit is super cute, you'll be in it before you know it.

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MAY1787 1/12/2011 8:59PM

    Very good idea about a dream book. I am totally going to start one!

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Huge day of non-scale victories (pics included)

Monday, January 10, 2011

So this weekend I took my fiancé 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 fiancé 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 fiancé'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!

emoticon

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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.

emoticon

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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!

emoticon

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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 fiancé 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:

CHANGINGMORGAN 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!

emoticon

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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!
emoticon

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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
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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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
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
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!
emoticon
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!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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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.
emoticon

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EBIELOU 12/31/2010 12:50PM

    Congrats! keep up the good work!

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