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HOOSIERGIRLINDY's Recent Blog Entries

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Wow! The rally in Fort Wayne on Saturday was small, but it was powerful! Thank you to all who participated and made it such a fantastic success. I LIVE for these rallies! I get so little time to be on SparkPeople.com, but I just HAD to check in to let you know how much I loved the privilege of meeting all you wonderful people. You inspired me to stay up past my bedtime to write a blog!

Every single person there was precious! To show what a small world it is...It took going all the way to Fort Wayne from Indianapolis to meet someone in the Indianapolis area who not only lives in the city but also WORKS IN THE SAME BUILDING as I do! I won't mention names...Lisa...you know who you are! LOL

Everyone keep on sparking...I may not be on the website a lot, but I'm sparking right along with you.

Love to all!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUGRAD1995 9/22/2011 11:09PM

    Glad you had a good time. Hoping I can go to the next one!

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CINDHOLM 9/19/2011 10:12PM

    Spark ON, my friend!!! emoticon

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June 3, 2011 - Thank Goodness for SparkPeople!!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Hello, fellow Sparker! I'm Tina. My weight loss (and gain and loss) journey has been fraught with challenges, many of which you have likely encountered, also.

Bariatric surgery was part of my journey at the end of 2004. I had reached a high weight of 382 pounds. I couldn’t walk all the way to my office from the parking garage; needing to sit down and rest about half way there. It was not only a great health concern to my friends, family, and me. It was also terribly embarrassing. On December 6, 2004 I had the bariatric surgery.

By December of 2007, I’d lost about 190 pounds. After some traumatic family events that occurred in 2008, I found a way to start gaining the weight back. I began trying “new” post-surgery things that happened to be part of my old eating habits. They were disguised and tricky because I could no longer eat a huge meal. So I ate very small, 4-ounce meals. This didn’t seem like very much to eat. The problem came when I started eating way too many of those 4-ounce meals in a day. I started drinking with my meals again, which was a big no-no post surgery. I started eating sugary foods again. I stopped getting in enough protein. I started drinking pop again. Sadly, it was like old times.

By mid 2010, I had gained back 70 pounds of that lost weight. It had been gained, unnoticed by me. Only when my clothes started getting tight did I take any notice at all. Then I thought to myself, I still feel pretty good. However, by September of 2010, I was so uncomfortable and I’d started hurting again like I used to. It was not only uncomfortable. It was humiliating. People at work that had been my biggest fans during my weight loss stopped even talking to me. It was almost like they were angry or disgusted with me for having gained some of my weight back. I consoled myself by saying, “I’ve still lost a lot of weight.” But that was denial talking. I was feeling those old feelings of defeat and failure.

I’d been introduced to SparkPeople by my friend Beth a couple of years earlier. I would play around with it, set goals, and then stop using it. However, in September of 2010, I started thinking about it and doing it more seriously. I’d had “The Spark” that I’d pre-ordered at the 2009 Cincinnati SparkPeople convention. I actually read it! Everything that Chris talked about seemed so simple. I thought to myself, “Could it really be this simple?” Well, while it’s not at all easy, it’s simple and it is most certainly doable!

Since September of 2010, I’ve lost 31 pounds of the 70 that I’d regained, putting me at 241 pounds. I don’t have a lot of time to spend on the SparkPeople website due to having a full-time job, a family, and going back to school full-time. So, I visit the SparkPeople website when I do actually have the time. I read the articles and the blogs. Occasionally, I find the time to post something…like now. While I don’t have much time to spend on the SparkPeople website, I do spend a lot of time instituting Spark concepts in everyday life. For instance, even though I don’t track them every single day, I keep my own Spark streaks going…making small changes at a time…then moving on to new small changes, one at a time.

That’s exactly how I’m going to lose the rest of the weight that I need to lose to be healthy! I’m going to read Spark blogs and Spark articles when I have the time. I’m going to refer back to The Spark book when I have time. And I’m going to continue to make small changes until I reach my goal. Then, I’m going to maintain those changes until they are no longer changes, but rather, normal life!

We can ALL do this thing! Join me in what I know will be a successful journey for all of us if we just stick with it!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You look amazing, you have an amazing attitude and friend I am proud for you and of you that you are doing what you are with your life. Sorry about the co-workers, never mind them, they have no idea what you have gone through, put on your best beautiful face and smile knowing that you indeed work hard to do what you are doing!

Mega hugs,

Kristin emoticon

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LYNNAPO 6/10/2011 12:56PM

    keep up the good work!!

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KINSBAILE 6/7/2011 1:06PM

    Sounds like you're kicking BUTT and taking names!

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CINDHOLM 6/4/2011 5:48PM

    emoticon YOU are doing emoticon!!! emoticon

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~INDYGIRL 6/3/2011 11:10PM

    Denial my butt! You did lose weight. So you gained some back, that still leaves a deficit. I'm not Miss Math, but math is supposed to be truth and proof positive. You have done outstanding!
The haters can... well... pet my rabbit Min. (She likes to bite)

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What a wonderful world we have!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The World of Spark is a wonderful place! I've been very neglectful of my beautiful friends who've been so kind and left messages on my page. I want to thank each and every one of you!! I haven't actually been to my page in a long time, and was just there to see all of the marvelous messages. While I don't have time right now on my lunch hour to respond, I hope to be able to very soon!

When I spoke at the rally, I didn't think that anyone would be interested in what I had to say. But the opposite was true. Thank you all for taking such an interest! You are wonderful, exciting, encouraging, gracious, and supportive to me. THANK YOU!!!

Like I said at the rally, I've known about Spark People for a while, but I hadn't been doing much on the website except for food and goal tracking. I had to be drug here...and now...well, I'm so glad that Beth didn't give up on me! Thank you, ~Indygirl! I plan to be on the site much more often, interacting more with all of you wonderful Spark People. You all ROCK!

Thanks for everything. It was such an eye-opening experience at the rally in meeting all of you that were there. We will make it to our goal on this journey and we will maintain a healthy lifestyle. No doubt about it! Keep sparking!

Love to all,

Tina (a.k.a. hoosiergirlindy)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EUPHRATES 5/24/2011 10:44PM

    What they said! (points at all the comments before mine) YOU are an inspiration lady, all by yourself!

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CINDHOLM 5/24/2011 8:10PM

    I agree with what everyone else has said.. and especially what Beth said.."YOU ROCK!!

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THOMS1 5/24/2011 6:23PM

    Tina, you did a wonderful job and it was very informative. Thank you! emoticon

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AMYMOHIO 5/24/2011 5:52PM

    The friends part of Spark seems to be where success lies... It's amazing.

I ditto what everyone has said already, I was completely interested in what you had to say!

Thank you for doing it, and being you!

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LESSISMORE4ME 5/24/2011 5:30PM

    Not want to hear what you had to say???!!!! Did you hear all those questions at the rally? That was a topic we ALL wanted to hear and from someone who knew it completely. You did a great job as a speaker and an even BETTER job as a friend! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you, having dinner with you and just spending time getting to know you, Tina. Now I'm going to make sure and remind you how special you are on a regular basis.

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ELSEEBEE 5/24/2011 1:46PM

    So glad to see you feel like this, Tina! You were an awesome speaker at the Rally! Everyone could see your passion for your family and we all know you have the motivation to accomplish whatever goals you set!

When I started on Spark, I didn't think I would do any "socializing". I was nervous about going to that Cincy Spark convention two years ago- who would want to talk to overweight, out-of-shape me? Then I got there and realized- I've found my soulmates- we're all in the same boat! After that I wrote a blog, then posted a message, which led to an e-mail.... I saw names on the website of people I had met at the convention- IndyGirl being the most inspirational of all, Now my family and friends look at me a little askance when I say, oh, my friend in London/Australia/Indiana said.... emoticon

Tina, you are on the track now. Don't worrry about when you'll get on-line, answer messages, etc. Just do the Spark lifestyle and everything will fall into place (and the weight will fall off!).


Comment edited on: 5/24/2011 1:47:31 PM

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CAROLJEAN64 5/24/2011 12:47PM

    We are lucky to have found each other, aren't we?

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~INDYGIRL 5/24/2011 12:46PM

    Of course we are interested! You, after all, inspired me to get my duff out and get fit. Without you, I wouldn't have been fitter and therefore there would have been no rally. You rock!

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Spark Rally - Hotel Review - A MUST READ for anyone going to the May 21, 2011 Rally!

Monday, January 17, 2011

When I heard "Microtel" I wasn't really sure what to expect...probably like many of you. The Microtel in Florence, Kentucky was more than I would have thought to expect at a price of $69.99 per night. I'm incredibly pleased to have been able to go to the hotel and see it in person so that I can report to you on the condition and amenities offered. I'm a bit of a germophobe, and with that being said, this is one of the cleanest facilities that I've seen! The hotel not only looked clean, but it smelled clean, as well. That is the most important thing to me when finding a place to stay. Please see the list of amenities below, and then the rest of the review below that. Photos of the hotel are available on my Spark Page at http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_photo_ga

Room Amenities:
•Free Wireless Internet access (Ethernet cables available also)
•Air conditioning
•Free local telephone calls
•Voice mail
•Wake-up calls
•Hair dryer
•Clock radio
•Work desk
•Premium television channels
•Free HBO
•Luggage Rack
•Ironing Board

Hotel Amenities and Available Services:
•Free 18-holes of golf at adjacent golf course (miniature golf & swimming may be available by May)
•Free work-out at nearby health club (show your room card for free work-out)
•Free Continental Breakfast
•Cribs are available at an additional charge
•Rollaway beds are available at an additional charge
•Pay Washer and dryer available on first floor vending area
•Business center access (computer, printer, fax, etc.)
•Discount at select restaurants nearby
•Pets are welcome ($10.00 non-refundable pet fee)

Common Areas:
The common areas of the hotel are simply, yet elegantly decorated, clean, and spacious.

There is a small sitting area centered around the front window. It has a couch and a couple of chairs with a lamp.

There is a business area where there is computer access, a printer, and fax machine. Charges apply to use the printer and fax, etc.

There is a lounge area near the check-in desk where there's a leather couch, chairs, a fish tank, and a television.

There is vending and ice on all three floors. The first floor vending area also has a pay washer and dryer available.

Near the vending area on the first floor is the breakfast area. It's a small room with a few tables. A continental breakfast is served in the mornings.

Conference Center:
The conference center has enough room for roughly 100 people. We will have several rows of tables for guests, and two-three round tables for staff working at the rally. The conference center room is clean, and has adequate facilities for our event: pull-down projection screen, television, sink, two exits, and three temperature control units to keep the room at an even, comfortable temperature.


The first and second floors are all non-smoking rooms. The entire third floor is comprised of smoking rooms only. I couldn't inspect any smoking rooms, as all of them were occupied at the time, so I don't know if they are in a different condition than the non-smoking rooms on the first and second floors. There is an elevator that goes to all three floors.

There are both one-bed and two-bed rooms and suites available. We were shown three different types of rooms: 1-bed room, 2-bed room, and a 2-bed, one-room suite. All of the beds are queen-size. All of the rooms were immaculately clean. The carpeting looked new, and all of the linens were clean (although there was one small stain on one of the sheets). The bathroom was of adequate size and has a hair dryer and the normal bathroom amenities available. The bathroom is the same in each type of room. All of the rooms have one darkened-mirrored wall, which is above the head of the bed(s) in the room. I think the mirrors add to the room in making it appear larger. The mattresses were clean and didn't have any stains or abnormalities of any kind.

Both the one-bed and two-bed rooms are $69.99 per night, so when you call to schedule your room, if you want the two-bed room, be sure to request it. The staff indicated that the two-bed room is the one that they will assign to people when they call, but just to be sure that you get what you want, you should ask for it to reduce the possibility of errors in communication. The two-bed room is adequately spacious. The one-bed room would be adequate for one person, but it is quite small. I would not recommend the one-bed room unless you don't mind being somewhat cramped, especially if you have two or more in your party.

The two-bed, one-room suite is complete with the same amenities as the other rooms. In addition, it has a sink, refrigerator and microwave. It is quite spacious. This room is $79.99 per night. If you don't mind paying the extra $10.00, this is really nice.

The hotel allows you to bring your pet for an additional $10.00 pet charge per night. The $10.00 pet fee is non-refundable.

Off-site Offerings:
The hotel has deals with some of the businesses nearby that are advantageous to people staying at Microtel. For instance, there is a golf course nearby that allows people staying at the Microtel to play a free 18-hole course. Along with the golf course is a driving range. The golf course is adding a miniature golf course and swimming pool that is expected to be complete in the Spring.

While there is not a work-out area in the hotel, they do have an agreement with a gym accross the street. If you show the gym staff your room card, you can work out for free. I'm not sure what the hours are at the nearby gym, or what the facility offers, but there is a place to work out for those who like to begin or end their day with a work-out.

All in all, I feel that this hotel is exactly what we need for our rally. It's a moderately priced, clean hotel. It has the cleanliness and most of the amenities of a 3-star hotel at a 2-star hotel price. The only thing that would have been nice is to have had a health room and pool on-site. Even without those two items, I think one would be hard-pressed to find a better place to hold our rally. I give this hotel an enthusiastic thumbs-up!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEN-LOVES-LIFE 1/21/2011 11:33PM

    Thanks for taking the time to post the review and pictures. I have stayed in this hotel before (not at this location) and I liked it.

Thanks too for the work you & Beth did to get the rates reduced.

I'm looking forward to meeting you and my other SP friends at the rally. It's going to be a great time!!

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WOLFKITTY 1/18/2011 1:17AM

    Wow!! Thanks for the detailed review and description!! It makes it especially exciting, and I pictured everything very nicely.

Now I just need to go look at the actual pictures. :D
I really hope to meet you!


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EUPHRATES 1/17/2011 11:19PM

    Do you remember which fitness place they have the agreement with? I'm guessing it's Fitworks around the corner on Mall Rd. - that's the closest one I know of. If SO, I was a member (back in 2004-2006) and am fairly familiar with the facility. They have a cardio theater and the standard weight machines - it's pretty decent.

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    Hi, Indianoaks! Thank you for your thoughtful remarks. Indygirl, Euphrates, and I were all able to see it. It was really nice... I'm so relieved! I can't wait to meet you at the rally!!

Spark ON!


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~INDYGIRL 1/17/2011 10:09PM

    Awesome review! I am psyched!

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INDIANOAKS 1/17/2011 9:57PM

    THANKS for your thorough review of the hotel for the Rally!! Makes me even MORE excited for the Rally! We really appreciate you guys making the effort to get there to see it in person before the event!!! emoticon

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Small Successes...One at a Time!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Today was a successful spark day. I think I've found my spark again! Thank you all for your support and encouragement. I LOVE SPARK PEOPLE!!!

This was the very first day in weeks that I went without a Pepsi or a Coke. It was a small success, but the first of what I plan to be MANY!

It occurs to me that blogging is one way to remain accountable to myself...and to get that encouragement and support that Spark People are so famous for...and offer the same to others.

I so hope that I really will be able to offer encouragement, hope, and motivation to someone else and pass on the spark!

Have a beautiful day and keep sparking!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step... and we don't reach our goals if we don't do it day by day! emoticon

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CLEMENTINE72 9/17/2010 10:28AM

  Great job Tina!! Keep up the good work and remember how good think feels...I can't wait to find out...lol

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~INDYGIRL 9/9/2010 12:44PM

    Blogging helps me for sure! It keeps me from eating sometimes. I get all my ick out here on Spark and then I don't need to bury it with food. Message boards are good for that too.

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ULEWIJ 9/9/2010 12:10AM

    YAY! Keep it up!

Soda fix suggestion: Mineral Water with about 10 drops of rootbeer flavored liquid stevia. If you have a Whole Foods around they have about 7 different flavors of liquid stevia. The healthy soda alternative :)

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    emoticon emoticon

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