HEALTHYASHLEY   20,544
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Constant Anxiety and Self-doubt

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I haven't been sleeping well for weeks. I keep waking up in these fits of panic but have no idea why. Almost like I feel like someone is watching me. Yes, there is some life stress like having to have the clutch done in my car but that hasn't been going on for close to a month. Most nights are filled with nightmares and I don't really know why. Today I am definitely nervous that I will get a call from the mechanic that it is something way worse than the clutch but I am trying to stay positive that is all it is. Here is to hoping. He had the car all day yesterday as well so I would think if it was something horrific he would have already seen that right?? Right? Yes, this is me trying to talk myself into staying positive.
Last week was a perfect week of nutrition and I didn't lose a pound. That combined with the definite of needing a new clutch made me have a mini-meltdown. Actually more than a mini. More like a total meltdown. I am starting to doubt I can do this anymore. It will a year next month since my big initial loss and my grandmother's death and I have floundered since. A lot of feelings of inadequacy and failure and I am having trouble getting my head back in the right place. How if I am measuring my food and doing it all right I don't lose a pound but I can seem to gain it back so freaking easily when I am not trying? Uggh. I know all the reasons but that doesn't change how disappointed I feel. I am scared for my healthy. Scared I will be fat forever and I get even more discouraged when I see people I started with seemingly going along losing week to week. Why am I not able to get that going again? I know this is all mental for me and I wish I could figure out what is holding me back. Why I continue to do this to myself. I feel so lost.
I am not looking for advice, truly. Just to vent. Only I can fix this. Thanks for listening.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEMILLER30 10/5/2011 5:31PM

    Thinking of you Ashley! I hope things get better for you. I know how this is. I was like this for 9 months. It's really hard to pull out of it. You'll get back here. I hope everything is going to be ok with your personal matter. We are here for you! Hang in there!!

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BELLALUCIA 10/5/2011 4:41PM

    Stay the course no matter what my dear. Doubts come when something big is on the way.

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OMINSHEW 10/5/2011 11:07AM

    Thinking of you. Concerned about your status this morning. Don't forget that you are doing amazing. I understand your frustration, I think we all do. emoticon

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ELLIE-1220 10/4/2011 5:59PM

    I made a list once of the reasons I was afraid to be fit... I challenged myself to list 25 things. It's easy to list all of that. And then to counter that list, I attempted the same thing for the reasons I am determined to be fit. That list is harder. But it certainly gets you focusing on the right things, getting your head back in the game.

Comment edited on: 10/4/2011 6:01:54 PM

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JILLYBEAN25 10/4/2011 5:33PM

    Everyone needs to vent and unload sometimes. I sure did last night. I know you'll work through your anxiety and hang-ups to push yourself to success again. Everyone hits a wall at some point and its okay to be angry, disappointed, etc, when you get there. Its how you pull yourself through that you'll back on and be proud of. Good luck and I hope things work out better for you!

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FINALLYBEINGME 10/4/2011 5:08PM

    emoticon I've accepted that there are going to be ups and downs but the key is to always get back to it and if you can't do anything big, settle for a teenie, tiny small healthy change that day and build from it. I'm giving myself credit for every potato chip I *don't* eat :)..Sending lots of positive energy your way! emoticon

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ALOFA0509 10/4/2011 4:28PM

    Things will come up, and put us bk a bit, but honey you've got to remember where you came from, almost 100lbs off your body!!!! OMG-- You know your course, it's gonna come bk to you, it's in you.. it's in all of us-- We got this emoticon emoticon Your the best emoticon

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KRAWRS 10/4/2011 2:22PM

    Its quite possible that both your anxiety and your lack of losing weight are relating directly to your past stresses, not neccesarily because of (or maybe in addition to) your current stresses. Everything you mentioned makes sense... but remember, you just went through a health scare yourself. Even if you're physically fine now after the surgery, you're still probably mentally processing everything. That might have something to do with it too.

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BAILEYS7OF9 10/4/2011 1:24PM

    been there w/ the sleep issues. I take melatonine, non habit forming and over the counter.

Also use an essential oil called Tranquil from Young Living. You don't have to do Young Living, you could find lavander, that is the base, and put a drop on your writs when you go to bed.

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 10/4/2011 1:14PM

    Hi Ashley!

I use to feel anxious when I was going to sleep and I was taught to picture something soothing. Now for me it is a field with lots of horses (I was 20 and horse crazy), other ideas are beaches, forests etc. When you lay down at night draw the picture in your mind, try to hear the noises and do not let the days worries intrude, it will be what your mind is thinking about as you go to sleep. The other trick is to relax all your muscles starting at your toes, breath in and out deeply and steady.

I am off to send you an email that might help with the plateau.

Bo

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OJIBWEEQUAY 10/4/2011 12:49PM

    I feel the same!!! Like I am destine to be the fat frumpy mom and not the hot fit one I desire!!! I start out great in the morning and the EAT all day!! What to do eh? I am with Mama, going back to basics! We got this together friend!!

Comment edited on: 10/4/2011 12:53:07 PM

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BADASSBLONDIE 10/4/2011 12:13PM

    Always here to listen. *hugshard*

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MELLYBEANS0919 10/4/2011 12:00PM

    emoticon I was crazy stressed last week and woke up having panic attacks myself...those 2 are often linked. I hope you can overcome them because it is not fun!

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SLFRISBEY 10/4/2011 11:50AM

    I have truely been there, in fact, I can get there faster than anyone else I think. I don't know why sometimes the loss happens and sometimes not regardless of the numbers. I suffer from anxiety in general and have had those fits of panic. The only thing that has been helping is exercising and I have fallen off that bandwagon but know I need to get back if for nothing else than to keep the anxiety in check. (((hugs))) You can do it. Here if you want to vent more.

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JSPIN74 10/4/2011 11:50AM

    big ears here for listening & hugs...

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REDHEADMOM2U 10/4/2011 11:30AM

    Just listening! Virtual hugs!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 10/4/2011 11:27AM

    I'm sorry you're feeling this way. Know that we're all here to listen. This shouldn't be a question as to whether or not you CAN do it, because you've shown that you can. Don't ever doubt that. I get discouraged too, when I see people losing week after week, when MY scale is bouncing around like a rubber ball. Don't give up Ash! *HUGS*

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MAMADWARF 10/4/2011 11:05AM

    Hi ashley, someetimes trauma resurfaces as we know. What are your dreams about? They are usually just our brains trying to work out unresolved issues. Maybe you need to look at that although it is disturbing. I think it is normal to be thinking about gram a since the anniversary of her death is coming. You were so close and you miss her. As far as the weight loss, most of the friends I have here are struggling right now. That is why I am getting back to basics. I need some stability before I head into the crazy winter months and holidays. I turned to my old friend sugar to get me through the very demanding weekend. Yea the scale is not my friend today, let me tell you. I know one thing about you.... you are not done. You have not finished what you set out to do and neither have I. So we will continue, yes? Yes. I got your back.

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JENN26POINT2 10/4/2011 11:03AM

    I'm sorry you're struggling right now despite doing everything "right". I hope you find a loss soon.

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COOKWITHME65 10/4/2011 10:53AM

    This is why Spark is so great Ashley. We can vent all we want and be understood. We have been there at one time or another. I too am stuck again but I won't give up trying. Remember progress not perfection. Your good nutrition choices not only can help with weight loss but many other things you can't see. Are you measuring yourself? You could be losing inches. Also consider your bloodwork. You have most likely lowered your cholesterol level and steered clear of getting adult onset diabetes. It isn't all about the lbs. I know that is hard but the weight will come off. I need to believe in that as I am in the same boat. Don't give up Ashley! emoticon

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NETTIEDEE 10/4/2011 10:52AM

    emoticon

I'm guessing those feelings of inadequacy and the nightmares are closely tied to one another. My brain likes to work out my "stuff" in dreams before it comes to the surface. Perhpas yours does too? Do you ever write down your dreams? Whenever I go through a bout of nightmares, I record each one in a notebook. THen I go back and read them to see what my brain is trying to tell me.

Sending you hugs and encouragement. :-)

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PGNBRI 10/4/2011 10:50AM

    Venting is always welcome.
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SKYEPHOENIX 10/4/2011 10:47AM

    Vent away. That's what we're here for. :)



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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 10/4/2011 10:44AM

    Ashley, I am so sorry you are going through a hard time! Lots of emoticon!

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LITTLEONEJLC 10/4/2011 10:43AM

    I haven't lost anything in quite awhile either. It feels kind of like I'm in a holding pattern. I'm not gaining tons of weight, but the FEAR of gaining everything back is always lurking. Since I have basically failed at every other attempt at getting healthy, I start to think, "Well maybe this is it. Maybe this is when I start gaining everything back." This is destructive. I know that. What I don't seem to know is how to 'snap out of it'. In the beginning of Spark, it was small, consistent changes that made the difference for me. Maybe we need to start focusing on the small stuff again, and let the big stuff handle itself. Hang in there.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Why regain hurts the most

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. Why we quit as soon as we make a mistake and it is so hard to get back on track. After a lapse in my vigilance and then an unexpected illness I found myself having regained 22 lbs. That hurt more than I ever could have imagined it would. It hurts more than being 345 lbs did. Why? We have short attention spans. Rarely do we remember how awful something truly was. You know how they say if women truly remembered how awful childbirth was that everyone would be an only child? Well it is kind of like that. Maybe the original weight crept on slowly or was the result of a pregnancy. However it was gained it snuck up on us and we grew accustomed to it slowly. Sometimes even barely noticed until we reached a point of wanting to change or a last straw moment. With regain we remember, often with crystal clarity, how it felt to be those 22 lbs thinner. I felt it this morning when I put on work pants that fit at the beginning of the summer and they were unacceptable to be in public tight. I could get them on but you could see everything and it was not pretty. At first I wanted to cry. Then I wanted to weigh myself which I am resisting doing more than once a week because it gets me too worked up. What I decided in that moment was I am done punishing myself. It is ridiculous. Enough is enough. Am I upset? Yes. Am I not so thrilled with my body at the moment? Yes. Does any of this make me a bad human being or a failure at life? Abso-freakin-lutly not. It gave me fire. A fire to get that weight back off and continue on with the healthy life I want to be living and I am currently living.
I understand your pain, I feel it too. It is disappointing but it is not irreparable. It will be more hard work and it will possibly change your "plan". Weight loss is not a race and setting unrealistic goals is how you will make this harder on yourself than you truly need to make it. We can both do this.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSPLACEDAGAIN 10/26/2011 3:20PM

    I am with you! I am stopping a slow regain and recommitting to myself. I am worth it and you are too!
Thanks for sharing and motivating me!
Eden

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NEED2LOSEN2010 10/20/2011 10:53PM

    Great blog! I can so relate. I'm dealing with a 40 lb regain. Thanks for sharing. We CAN do this!

Sunny

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SERENAJL 10/20/2011 8:13PM

    6 years ago I had lost 60 pounds. Then due to a job change and injury I slowly marched back up 30 pounds and now I have 20 of those (almost back to where I was). Sometimes maintenance feels the hardest. And yes it is a cruel feeling remembering being fit. Glad it is motivating!

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LORILEEPAGE 10/20/2011 7:06PM

    You are going to succeed. Opening up about this to all of us will empower you to move on and make great progress.
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BRINAGU3 10/20/2011 11:31AM

    Regaining is hard, but the past can not be changed. All we can do is move forward - that we can affect.

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CRYSTALLEAH 10/18/2011 9:42PM

  What a great blog. I completely understand the feeling you are describing. I am re-losing some weight as we speak. Like you I am not beating myself up, just hitting the reset button and moving forward.

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MONIKA1948 10/17/2011 10:43PM

    Thank you so much for this blog. I know exactly how you feel.
After working so hard i have gained back 20 lbs. Today i have started over, so your blog really helps. We can do this, it may take some time but we will lose the weight again. It is like taking a wrong turn on the road, we find our way back again, it is just a detour. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HDHAWK 10/17/2011 9:43PM

    Oh boy, I needed this. I've regained every pound I lost plus 5 more and I keep spinning my wheels. I will get there again. I know that.

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 10/17/2011 10:31AM

    Don't beat yourself up. Life happens and all you can do is go back to the behaviors that helped you lose the weight in the first place. Keep at it and track everything. Good luck!

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 10/17/2011 10:03AM

    I hit my goal weight 6 months ago. Since then I have lost an additional 18 pounds. But once you get down to a certain point, it's not like you say to yourself, "Okay, I have 18 pounds to play with." NO---you want to stay down at that LOWER weight. But, too many people on Spark and elsewhere, even those who have been mostly successful at maintenance, have gained at least a few pounds from their ultimate low, their goal weight, that PERFECT weight that they attained for a little while.
So I anticipate that gain. But I don't look forward to it. I fight every day against it, but I wonder how long can I stay strong, stay motivated, stay determined?
It's so easy to stick that treat in your mouth and think, "I'll worry about this later." But the scale is the one thing that you can't lie to, you can't cheat, and hope it won't find out. The scale is all knowing and all seeing. You might be able to get away with over eating for a day or two, but eventually it's gonna catch up with you on that darned scale. I admit it, I am a slave to the scale. When it goes up, I don't get depressed though. I just get more determined that I will see it go back down. I don't know how else to make this maintenance work. I admire you for your perseverance and getting back on it after a gain. It's not easy. I have been trying to do that too. Oh I haven't gained much weight (YET!), but I have had a few bad days. I am always surprised when after a bad day, I can actually have a good eating day. I was so afraid that ONE bad day would be the end of the weight loss. I would go nuts, eat everything in sight (I fantasize about that sometimes!) and regain the weight overnight.
Good luck as you re-start. Hang in there, we're all in the same boat!

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BRAVEHEART4ME 10/16/2011 11:32PM

  What a great blog! I know exactly how you feel. I reached goal several months back but since then have gained back 14 lbs. I tried on tons of different skirts/pants the other day, throwing each one on the bed, crying in frustration. Your blog has inspired me to be kind to myself and realize that I'm worth treating with respect. Thank You! emoticon

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BARBIE779 10/16/2011 3:23PM

    I feel the same way. I get so frustrated with myself when my pants don't fit like they had. You just have to keep going and not let it get you down.

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NIXY72 10/16/2011 10:44AM

    Wonderful entry. Thanks so much for sharing! I've been up and down for years and now working hard at just going down. But I know that the rises and falls are inevitable and I'm glad to read about your "fire" instead of feeling defeated. You go girl!

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ANEWME42012 10/16/2011 3:58AM

    You are an inspiration. Picking yourself up and getting back into it. I hope I have your courage when it happens to me!
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LOSINGJANE65 10/10/2011 9:40AM

    I so needed to read your post today. I haven't been on Spark for a couple of months and needless to say, regain the little I had lost. Thank you for your posts.

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ALOFA0509 10/1/2011 11:15AM

   
I hear you sista!!!! We can do this emoticon

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SASSYDREAMER 9/30/2011 1:52PM

    Good job on making this understanding and coming to these conclusions. I fully understand you and finally realized that life happens. The best we can do is live it.

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ALICE2003 9/30/2011 1:48PM

    Thank you! This was something I needed to hear. This summer I put all my weight back on, plus a few pounds. It's horrible, and I've been beating myself up over it to the point where, I'm still not really dieting. This needs to change, I'm the only one who can lose my weight. How do I know I can? Because I've already done it.

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SADDYSPOT 9/30/2011 9:00AM

    So true. For me, it's always when I see myself in a picture. I know what I look like now, and I know what I looked like 1 1/2 years ago, after my first serious year with sparkpeople. I looked great. But after my wedding, the weight slowly crept up and up because I was not tracking my food and before I knew it, I was higher than I had originally started at. So, I'm back to tracking my food religiously again and am halfway back to where I want to be.

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KATHLOW 9/30/2011 3:07AM

    yes, the regai sucks more than anything. It gets me down, so thanks for writing this!

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DOGSHOETAT 9/29/2011 11:48PM

    I couldn't agree more. I am two pounds away from being at the weight I was in May; it's taken this long to lose 6 pounds. I felt so dejected when I realized what I'd allowed to happen but then I snapped myself out of it. I can't feel sorry for myself because of something I totally allowed to happen. And it's true--if gaining weight were as difficult as losing it is we would be better at keeping ourselves in check. Sadly, our own bodies like to work against us...

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MAIA2011 9/29/2011 11:19PM

    Lady, you are freaking awesome and have accomplished so much. Therefore, I know you can beat this thing! Just remember to take care of yourself and for the love of gosh LOSE the SCALE (except once a week)

! emoticon

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MISHOWIE 9/29/2011 9:48PM

    Great blog. When they say it's a marathon not a sprint they sure weren't kidding, even though I want to punch someone when I hear that. :) It's so hard trying to maintain perfection, so never beat yourself up about it. Be PROUD that you're still here and moving forward. That's a lot more important than having to lose 22 measily pounds again.

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CRESHA20 9/29/2011 9:19PM

    I enjoyed this blog. It's really what I needed to read tonight. It contained some things that my sister was trying to tell me today. I definitely wish you success in reaching your goals.

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MELLABELLAS 9/29/2011 8:08PM

    Wonderful blog. I know you will get the weight off. you are a fighter and a warrior! Thank you for posting this

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OJIBWEEQUAY 9/29/2011 4:50PM

    YES!

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KIBAISREADY 9/29/2011 3:08PM

    Love it! Just a few second ago I was wondering the same thing I just got back for New Orleans and I totally didn't eat good.. I gained weight and I was just thinking I'm tired of regaining this 2 to 3lbs back... I'm trying to get back focus and make it happen again... Good luck and yes we can do it!

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WMMCCRORY 9/29/2011 2:04PM

    I couldn't agree more. I am part of a challenge team and Thursday is weigh-in. When I got on the scale this morning, I had gained...AGAIN. AND I have gained back a lot of what I have lost. It's very hard to see past that emotionally and decide to focus on fixing it instead. It really does make you want to spiral down and instead you have to keep your head up and focus on new goals and a NEW plan.
Thank you Ashley for having such great attitude and somehow always having the blog I need to read.

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 9/29/2011 1:24PM

    What a great outlook! Your attitude rocks!

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KKINNEA 9/29/2011 1:12PM

    Yes, what a great blog!

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 9/29/2011 12:58PM

    I am so with you on this and I needed to hear it myself. You can do and you will lose the weight again and more!! You are always inspiring and your motivation is contagious!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/29/2011 12:23PM

    You are SO right! You can do this, you have done this, and you will do this! I'm here for you, keep sparking!

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PGNBRI 9/29/2011 12:19PM

    Yes we can! I think you pinpointed the feeling exactly.
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BNSUHAS 9/29/2011 12:07PM

    This spoke to me on so many levels. I feel completely ashamed every time I regain weight, but not nearly as ashamed as I'd feel if I gave up the fight for good. You are right.. disappointing, but not irreparable... perfection is unrealistic!

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DEVILICI0US 9/29/2011 11:58AM

    Great blog. I am in a similar position at the moment. We tend to be hard on ourselves because of the work we put into it. It is either all or nothing. You have accomplished a great deal, and it is very inspiring. Sometimes I think that a set back is nothing more than a chance to regain the passion and the fuel to continue.

You truly have been an inspiration and are proof positive that it can be done, and in a healthy happy way.



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BADASSBLONDIE 9/29/2011 11:53AM

    Thank you Ashley!! "It is disappointing but it is not irreparable." So true!!!

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TARANITUP 9/29/2011 11:49AM

    Great points. At one point I regained 5 and was absolutely hammering myself mentally. Only until I stopped that and decided to KEEP MOVING FORWARD did I lose it and start making more progress. You'll get there, girl.

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BEEBEA 9/29/2011 11:43AM

    This is where I'm at right now too. I am frustrated with myself and a little despairing of always having to wage this war. But I take comfort in the fact that six months off track and twenty pounds gained back does not undo a year of work and fifty pounds lost! I'm not back to where I started physically and mentally I am far, far ahead. :)

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JESSIHOVER1 9/29/2011 11:31AM

    I totally agree. The gain is so much worse than anything. Good news is that you can always start a new day a feel positive about the changes you are making. Be upset for a day but don't let it get you down for long! Good Luck!!

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MELLYBEANS0919 9/29/2011 11:31AM

    Great attitude. You will lose as you have before, you can do it.

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GREENEYES2020 9/29/2011 11:29AM

    You are right! I hate going up and down 5 lbs at a time. I also hated losing 30 lbs, then gaining 50 in one year, and now I'm just barely back where I originally was, after almost a year of dieting and working out, and only losing 17 lbs. It is depressing, but you have to keep on keeping on...Don't worry, you will lose it again!

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"Ranking" my sparkfriends

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Last night I was looking at my sparkpage and something really bugged me. I hate the ability to "rank" my friends. It feels very childish to me. The reason I gave in and did it at all was I wanted to be able to actually find the people I interact with the most but there are certainly more than just 6! It makes me feel bad when I go to someone's page and I see my picture on their top 6 and I can't do the same. There are probably 20 or more people I would love to put on my page that I speak with all the time. It makes me feel bad to have to narrow it down to a select few. I also think I am putting way to much thought into this. So here is all I have to say. Just because you might not be on page does not mean you are not important to me or that I don't love to hear from you and value your friendship. End of worrying. Love you all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADVENTURESEEKER 10/6/2011 12:47AM

    I had no idea you could do that! I would never have noticed.

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REM-CYCLES 10/3/2011 6:56AM

    I forgot about that feature...
Ash, I wouldn't be concerned about that... It is the limitation of the dewing for immediate contacts for this site...

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 9/30/2011 1:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Just one more Spark friend sending love your way! Spark is like that! Friends reaching out to Friends! You are stuck with us!

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WMMCCRORY 9/29/2011 2:00PM

    I agree that feeling bad about something so small would be silly. I didn't even know you COULD rate your friends so mine are just there and I figure I will just leave it that way.

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KIMMAS82 9/29/2011 1:04PM

    Huh!! I didn't know that you could rank them!!!

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CHICAT63 9/29/2011 12:30PM

    I totally agree, that's why I take the time to switch them around every month !!!!

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ANDEENNATE 9/29/2011 11:59AM

    I saw your blog on my feed, and the title caught my attention. I feel the same way, all of my friends are important, not just 6. Ugh....

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FLGIRL1234 9/29/2011 11:34AM

    I'm with crazydogladybo. I wish it was 9 or even 12 people that you could have on top.

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KATHLOW 9/29/2011 3:59AM

    hey, don't sweat it! I hope no one would be offended by something this site limits you to, right? It's not like you're deliberately making lists on your main page with good and bad points :-).

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HANNAH_CALM 9/28/2011 11:20PM

    Aww...that's really sweet, Ashley. I don't worry too much about that part of people's pages, unless I try to friend someone who only has a couple people, and I never appear there. Then I feel kind of rejected. But otherwise, I don't think about the order.

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GREENSCRAPCAT 9/28/2011 10:38PM

    I had no idea you could do that!

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CHRISTINA791 9/28/2011 9:22PM

    I actually ended up doing something similar - not because I think certain friends are more important than others, but because when I do a friend crawl, I try to go through everyone. Sometimes I don't make it through the full list. My friend page used to be set up in the order I added people, but I was missing updates from some really awesome newer friends who ended up on the bottom. I ended up shuffling things around so that the more frequent updaters are at the top of my list and the ones who update only every couple weeks (or not at all in some cases) are towards the bottom.

It makes more sense and is more efficient, but I still feel a little bad prioritizing. Still, I like this method better than going through and cleaning out inactive friends. I keep hoping someone will come back after a few months away and I'll be there to catch it.

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GIANTMICROBE 9/28/2011 4:37PM

    How odd. I never knew you could do that. Well, I promise I'm not offended if I'm not in your top 6.

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 9/28/2011 4:10PM

    I sometimes wish it was 9 instead of 6.

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ERIKA05 9/28/2011 3:27PM

    I didn't know you could do that! You always know things about how this site works that I don't.

Friend-ranking, though. What a great tool for me! - I'm constantly ranking my friends (on Spark and in my offline life) according to how I think they're 'performing':
- Don't return that hair elastic I leant you? Deduction!
- Pick up my tab at lunch? Plus one!
- Offer unsolicited advice on my eating/marriage/haircut? Minus one thousand!!!!
After all, how can you tell that you're loved and appreciated without keeping very. precise. track.?
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All sarcasm aside, I doubt a reasonable person would be offended based on where they end up in the sorting and/or attribute it to an intense formula/calculation like the one above. There's a lot of tracking done on this site, but I don't think too many people are tracking that!
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HAPPYCUPCAKE 9/28/2011 2:15PM

    lol i feel ya...seems like the myspace days, Ha ha!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/28/2011 2:02PM

    They are in order by when you add them. I would love an auto sort feature! It just makes it hard to find people now and people spell their names all funky ways so the search doesn't always work either.

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MELLYBEANS0919 9/28/2011 1:47PM

    I had no idea you could do that haha. Not being on somebody's top list would not bother me anyways so don't stress about it.

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REBECCAMA 9/28/2011 1:36PM

  I tried to alphabetize at one point, and then I added new friends. Now my list is just a mess. I wish Spark had some kind of "auto-sort" feature where you could click a button and have it do the work for you... either by "top friends" or "alphabetical" or "on a team with you"... etc... or "Logs in daily... ..vs hasn't logged in for 6 months".. I know it would be a lot of work to develop, but it could be useful if they did it.

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BADASSBLONDIE 9/28/2011 1:35PM

    Ashley - haha true story. I did it at the beginning but the newest ones aren't alphabetized... and I have about 5% of the friends you have LOL.

Comment edited on: 9/28/2011 1:36:44 PM

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BECKY_LYNN84 9/28/2011 1:32PM

    I didn't even know you could do that!

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KKINNEA 9/28/2011 1:23PM

    I didn't even know you could do that! You've clued me in to a feature although not sure how to use it. I would prefer to show no one on the front page and every alphabetically on a separate page - most fair since I value all my friends!

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BECOMING_HOLLY 9/28/2011 1:13PM

    I agree! I always feel awesome when I am there on someone's page then wonder if I am not holding up my end of the spark friendship if I am not on the top of another close spark friend.... Maybe they should have it automate to the people you follow or interact with the most!

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NELLBELLA26 9/28/2011 1:13PM

    I didn't even know there was a ranking. LOL.

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JOSIEISHEALTHY 9/28/2011 1:12PM

    LOL I feel the same way!!!!!!!!!! Here I thought I was the only one haha

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RUNTRILAUGH 9/28/2011 1:10PM

    LOL - I put the ones I have known the longest or see most often in person up towards the top. But NO.... it does NOT mean those are the nearest and dearest, either.....
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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/28/2011 1:08PM

    Lol if I spent time alphabetizing all my friends it would take me a week.

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PEWTERBUNNY 9/28/2011 12:47PM

    Pick me, pick me pick me!! Hee hee! It is weird that we can do that but I can see how some people become inactive from time to time so they mey not be available so why not move them down a bit. You are a social butterfly! I can't manage to keep up with everyone's pages and all the teams. I just wait till someone's blog shows up in my feed, like yours today, and then comment.

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LORETTA24 9/28/2011 12:44PM

    emoticon I love being your friend in any order. Keep smillng sunshine.

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IMIN2GENES 9/28/2011 12:41PM

    I'm with you... end to worrying! I don't like the idea of "ranking" either.
Chris

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/28/2011 12:38PM

    No worries! I read a post like this in someone else's blog. I's just that way, and the people you interact certainly know you care!

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IRISHBEANERGAL 9/28/2011 12:33PM

    I know some people put them "ranked" alphabetically... they can find them easily and it's easy to see that it's just a sorting system rather than a "pecking order"

~Irish

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BADASSBLONDIE 9/28/2011 12:30PM

    AHHH DOUBLE POST!

Comment edited on: 9/28/2011 12:30:34 PM

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BADASSBLONDIE 9/28/2011 12:30PM

    Yes to an end of worrying! I was worried about the same thing, so I just put people in alphabetical order LOL.

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Made a self-discovery

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I keep trying to figure out why I self sabotage. I get super into healthy eating, lose weight, have great results and then slowly start to spiral back down. Why? Then I caught myself being angry that I am calorie counting and putting a lot of thought into what I eat. That I am becoming one of "those people". You see for most of my life I couldn't stand the girls I knew who obsessed over every bite and calorie. Who worried so much about their appearance they were nothing more than a pretty shell. I somehow have convinced myself of the same thing. That I will lose me and become one of those people. Nothing left but a skinny body, pretty face and an obsession with myself. That I will be shallow. I have had more than one person comment they are surprised I am intelligent and blond. Imagine a thin, attractive blond. Will I ever be taken seriously again? Will people love me for me? Will they know who I really am?
Yes, the unknown is scary. I don't know what will happen when I am thin but I have control over whom I become. I hope I inspire other people to get healthy and maybe that will be the good outcome of all this. Other people will see they can do it too and I am worrying about nothing. One thing is for sure, I am going to find out what happens.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANHBH 9/30/2011 12:38PM

    I have no doubt that you will find out what happens! Keep on inspiring us!
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SADDYSPOT 9/30/2011 9:10AM

    I caught myself self sabotaging on Monday. I was telling myself that I was down another pound on the scale so I could eat whatever I wanted. I ended up about 1000 calories over my range for the day, but I've been good every day since then. I just kept it to one day. And those days are getting farther apart. Back in the day, a binge day would have resulted in a 2000 or 3000 calorie surplus for the day, so I'll take it as it is and try to remind myself not to punish myself for my successes.

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 9/28/2011 4:12PM

    I don't think you could ever become shallow, you have put too much into you for that to happen.

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KKINNEA 9/28/2011 11:03AM

    I'm certain that the fact you're exploring this means that you will never be just a calorie-counter. You bring up a lot of interesting points but I know you'll work through them!

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HIPPICHICK1 9/28/2011 9:21AM

    What other people think of you is something you will never, ever be able to control. If you can stop attaching yourself to the worry that comes along with wondering what they are thinking and you will find some happiness.
The only person who needs to know your true power is you. With that knowledge you will be able to go far!

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KATHLOW 9/28/2011 4:22AM

    people will have a flash judgement anyway, whether you're blond, brown, 250 pounds or 125... You know you're not shallow, and we do too!

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2BEHEALTHYAGAIN 9/27/2011 10:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GREENSCRAPCAT 9/27/2011 10:06PM

    I do the same thing. You are doing awesome! Geesh, I leave for a few months and all hell breaks loose. You look wonderful!

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SYZYGY922 9/27/2011 8:19PM

    My best friend does this! She was embarrassed to tell me she'd joined a gym and was working out because I guess she worried people would think she was "like those girls."

Anyway, there's nothing shallow about you and (as you know) nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. You do have the added element of being blonde and there are people who assume blondes are dumb (it's 2011, come on people!)

I self-sabotage, too. I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of anyone finding me attractive, so part of me wants to stay fat. Silly, right? Ugh, brains are complicated.

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LADYZOEO 9/27/2011 7:50PM

  self discovery is amazing! I am more in tuned with what I am feeling and how that affects my diet. Not what I am eating! I don't want to be a calorie obsessed person! Good luck!

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CALVIND 9/27/2011 7:40PM

    I self sabatoge sometimes too. I just started reading Made to Crave; Satisfying your deepest desire with god, not food. The auther is by Lysa Terkeurst
I am studying this is my small group at women's group at church. i am only on the 4th chapter and it is very interesting. I am hoping that with reading this and doing Spark i will be able to reach my goals.
Brenda

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IMIN2GENES 9/27/2011 7:39PM

    Ashley you could never be considered shallow! Not by anyone who knows you. Hey, your'e in good company, I'm a blonde scientist. You should see the looks I get from people when they ask what my job is. LOL! Not that I'm a skinny blonde scientist yet; but it's surprising what some people will say when I tell them.

Sometimes what you find in the unknown is awesome. Have fun discovering what's there for you! I'm sure it's going to be good.
Chris


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You are what you eat

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Last night I had to attend one of those industry networking events that is truly the worst part of my job. Let's feed a bunch of restaurateurs and food snobs horrible hotel food and be fake nice to each other. Fun. What was fun was that the EcoCzar and Local Forager for the Northern Atlantic Region from Whole Foods was there and he gave a talk about local and sustainable foods. This is something my company has focused on since before it was trendy but I was happy to see that it has become very mainstream now. He talked about low cost food being low quality and addressed the joke about Whole Foods being called "Whole Paycheck". It made me think a lot about we are what we eat. Our culture has accepted low quality food for so long many people don't even know what food is in season or what a real tomato should taste like. The excuse is always that it is too expensive but the truth is people don't want to change. Yes, grass fed beef costs more but I would rather eat red meat as a rare treat in smaller portions and have it taste like it should and not fill my body full of antibiotics and hormones. I would rather contribute less to poisoning our planet. Did you know at the end of the Mississippi river is a dead zone the size of Massachusetts where nothing can live or grow? It is the second largest in the world. It is the result of the run off of chemicals and pesticides from commercial agriculture. That is something we all have to think about. What we are doing to world our children and grandchildren will inherit. At the turn of the century people ate more than a hundred pounds of local vegetables a year. Now it is 11 lbs. That is a sad number.
All of this made me reflect on my own diet. Fast food scares me but I still occasionally take the easy way out and indulge. I empathize with people on a tight budget or are raising a family. There are 46 million people who are hungry in this country. That is an astounding number. It is about making choices that fit our lifestyle and our budget. Beans are a few dollars a pound. Soak them overnight and throw them on the stove for an hour. Done. My fiancÚ grew up in poverty and told me meat wasn't always available so you had to get creative but they never went hungry and no one was obese because they ate a lot of vegetables, grains and homemade soups. Yes, I have to change my lifestyle. I have to think ahead, I have to adjust to new norms, I have to make an effort but it is worth it to feed my body healthy food. It is a choice. Did you know that how they make food cheap is that is made in a lab? It isn't even food. The meat in a taco at Taco Bell is something like 70% fake meat that is manufactured mostly full of soy and chemicals. Think about what that does to your body.
It is hard, it takes effort but nothing in life that is worth anything is easy. You have the power to change. It gets easier every time you do it, like the gym emoticon. Start slow and make baby steps. Build up a list of meals you and your family like just like you did with the unhealthy stuff. Change is good. We only get one planet and one body and you have the power to decide to fill it with garbage or with healthy stuff.
Now before someone attacks me. This is not a lecture. This is trying to disseminate information to people whom have expressed a similar interest in living a healthy lifestyle. If you don't like what I have said there is no reason to attack or insult me. We are all entitled to an educated opinion.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINA791 9/27/2011 2:10PM

    I've been thinking about this a lot, especially since I've moved from having to go without groceries occasionally to being able to splurge a little more.

It's easy to get into the habit when you're well and truly broke, and I think it's one that sticks. We learn to make sacrifices with food while we're establishing ourselves (the stereotype of the raman and mac & cheese-eating student). I've seen posts from people who almost resent having to pay more for healthier foods, and I've felt that way in the past.

Priorities are so out right now. You get people who pay more for a huge size because it's better 'value', just because they're getting the most per unit for the lowest price. Look at all-you-can-eat buffets. It's almost like a game to go as cheap as possible to fill your belly. Even though you often spend less eating controlled portions of healthy foods.

A few months ago, I was loading up a basket of beautiful veggies, and I questioned why I'd resent paying more. It's better quality. It fuels me better than cardboard crap, and I get more out of it. It's worth more, and when you break it down, it's much better value. Sure, I could get a dirt cheap frozen pizza on sale, but what is it doing for me? The goal with food is no longer to just fill my belly so I don't starve, and that pizza doesn't reach any goals beyond that. As much as I like an occasional fast food treat (and in that case, I still go for something local that uses better ingredients), the really cheap discount stuff doesn't even belong in the 'food' category anymore. It's a whole different beast and isn't compared to the food in my fridge, cheap or not.

Besides, once you do get used to buying certain things as normal, it gets easier to budget. There will be some wasted fresh veggies as you're figuring out how long the last, or some leftovers that get tossed due to poor planning, but there's always a learning curve with new habits.

Thanks for the great blog!

Comment edited on: 9/27/2011 2:13:07 PM

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GRACEISENUF 9/25/2011 7:12PM

    I agree with you COMPLETELY. It is quite obvious from your blog you have done your research too.

I get VERY irritated when I hear people complain about the higher cost of REAL foods and organic foods compared to the crap they call food. Seriously? In the long run a person will shell out alot more on doctor bills, drugs and surgery if they continue to poison their body slowly with pesticides, fake sugar and the long list of food additives, hormones, dyes and the like.

I agree with GIRLABILLY too...."Our priorities as a society are soooo out of whack".

Really glad you took the time to write this blog Ashley...it gets my vote.

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2BEHEALTHYAGAIN 9/24/2011 12:13AM

    Awesome blog! Lots of things to think about. Although I knew some of it, most I hadn't heard before, so was glad you told us.

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IMIN2GENES 9/23/2011 12:25PM

    Great info Ashley! Thanks for sharing it. I really didn't know about the Mississippi basin. That's pretty scary!

I'm going to keep working on my baby steps away from the processed; but I'm more determined than ever to do it!
Chris

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KATHLOW 9/23/2011 3:24AM

    I have never agreed more with you. I've been a vegetarian for years but my husband isn't, and I have asked him to spend more on organic meat from small farms, so I know he isn't pumping himself full of antibiotics and crap like that. he likes it more too, and meat is now a three or four days a week meal for him. yay :-)

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FINALLYBEINGME 9/22/2011 9:11PM

    I've slowly been switching from processed foods to whole grains and cooking from scratch. It's not the easiest process but is so worth it! emoticon

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NANHBH 9/22/2011 3:50PM

    Great info! And I'm worth eating real, healthy food!

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HIPPICHICK1 9/22/2011 1:53PM

    I find it quite sad and disgusting that humans are ruining the planet with their greed for profits by creating large agri-businesses. Imagine if everyone had a small garden plot how much greener we could all make the planet just by doing that. We would have little need for commercially grown veggies (in the summer months anyway) and would save so much gasoline driving to the grocery store for veggies that have been sprayed with pesticides. Imagine if everyone supported a local organic beef farmer by buying direct. That's what we do and thankfully we are able to do it because we buy in bulk and we have a big freezer. It's grass fed, no hormones, no antibiotics. It's wonderful to be able to have access to that kind of food and it's affordable too.
Am I ever glad that fast food does not appeal to me and I have managed to only eat at a Taco Bell once in my life.

Comment edited on: 9/22/2011 1:56:12 PM

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OJIBWEEQUAY 9/22/2011 1:07PM

    If we are what we eat, then I am freaking delicious! LOLOLOL! I just had lentils and quinoa mixed with whole grains for lunch! I also feed the girls what I eat! No separate meals in this house!! emoticon We are POOR! Ok a grad student poor? go figure LOL! But we make it work because I always think if you used to pay 3-4 at starbucks then you can by the bison meat and lentils! I am the only partial vegan in the house so the fam still are carneys! But if you are smart and budget you can do it!! Great blog Ash! emoticon

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SMILINGTREE 9/22/2011 12:01PM

    I am always stunned by how people simply accept that the food available is safe and healthy, despite evidence to the contrary. I read about a book called Wheat Belly last week (haven't read the book yet) and was shocked to learn that modern, commercially farmed wheat contains 5 previously unknown proteins. No wonder there is such a rise in gluten intolerance.

Learning about how food is produced and distributed scares me, but also makes me feel motivated to shop as locally as possible. Where I live, that's fairly easy to do - there are CSAs, an awesome farmers' market, several "whole foods" type grocery stores and even a butcher shop that uses both local meat and local spices. There are so many other places that don't have all of that available, though. And, shockingly, people don't seem to care.

Recently, someone left a comment on one of my posts about how the cantaloupe recall was basically a big media scare, and that the media always over plays the importance of food born illness. When people DIE due to completely preventable illnesses, it is newsworthy. How can anyone think that we shouldn't be concerned?

Thanks for this post. It's good to know that people in your industry are thinking about this stuff, because it IS important. I guess the best way we can make change happen is like you said - have the expensive stuff as a "rare treat" and make our demands known with our purchasing dollars.

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GIRLABILLY 9/22/2011 12:00PM

    Thanks for this blog. Really well written, and it's all true...food is an interesting topic. Considering how much we need it, and it fuels us...we sure do put a lot of crap in our body, all the while using the excuse of "it's too expensive to eat healthy."

Nevermind that people will go out and drop money on irrelevant things that cost X 34987348973 what you would pay for some organic meat. Our priorities as a society are sooo out of whack.

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SLFRISBEY 9/22/2011 11:25AM

    Wow, that is eye opening! Thanks for the info, I will be looking at things a little differently now :)

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GODDESSLIL80 9/22/2011 11:21AM

    This is something I think a lot about too (and am also still learning how to make work on a budget). So I found this very helpful and informative. Thanks for posting!

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CYNDERROSE 9/22/2011 11:09AM

    It double posted emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/22/2011 11:10:28 AM

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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/22/2011 11:01AM

    @cynderrose I am glad to hear you are working on the kids as well! One of the things I brought up in a meeting this week at work was paying more attention to the children's snacks and menus we create. No more lazy burgers and fries because it is easy and assumed that is all kids want. I put a fruit cup on a menu and one of my clients specifically pointed out to me how excited she was that I had put healthy food on the kids menu and how much she appreciated that. Something so simple.
@Erin the guy giving the talk became vegan after all the research he did on where our food comes from and he only feeds his family organic meats. Yes, he is lucky to be able to afford it but he had some great points about how to make it affordable and I liked that he practiced what he preached.

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CYNDERROSE 9/22/2011 10:49AM

    Thank you for sharing. While my husband and I have been eating healthier, our children's diet isn't always that healthy. I need to work on changing their diets as well.

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COOKWITHME65 9/22/2011 10:46AM

    Thanks for the info Ashley. I never knew that about taco bell. Yuck!

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ERIN4771 9/22/2011 10:30AM

    educating ourselves is the key...and also the reason i became vegetarian emoticon

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MAMADWARF 9/22/2011 10:26AM

    Very informative and well written and if someone attacks you, let me know and I will sneeze on their lettuce. I got you!

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PGNBRI 9/22/2011 10:20AM

    I have definitely changed my attitude about the "cost" of food. Money is limited, and always effects my decisions, but I now weigh a lot of the other "costs" (nutrition, environmental impact, etc) as well.

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JTAMSYN 9/22/2011 10:15AM

    Very informative! Thanks for sharing!

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KKINNEA 9/22/2011 10:13AM

    Exactly so - I think once people start changing how and what they're eating, the arguments of "too expensive" start going away. I totally agree with your idea on the small changes - it makes things stick better and gives you time to change over to new habits.

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