JENAYJ   17,634
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JENAYJ's Recent Blog Entries

Summertime Update

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's been ages since I updated and I have no good excuse. Life has not been too hectic, I was not run over by a bus or abducted by aliens. I didn't even move or get a new job. I did, however, get lured away to counting calories on another site (this feels a bit like confession, no one hold this against me!) and while the food database was bigger and the graphics slicker, I missed the people from SparkPeople. You guys are like a big circle of awesome and it's nice to have people out there who know what you're going through.

I have been buys the past couple months running, I ran my first half marathon in May. I raised over $1,000 for the Alzheimer's Association and it was both the best thing I have ever done (after marrying my husband) and one of the hardest. Training to run 13 miles is no joke. But I did it and it gave me a newfound sense of appreciation for my body and what it is capable of. Once the half was over I cut back on my long-distance running. Running was becoming something I HAD to do, not something I WANTED to do and I cutting back to a few miles a few times a week helped me from feeling burnt out.

I'm also happy to report that I have hardly set foot in the gym this summer. No, I haven't given up on exercise, I've just been able to get most of it done outside. I am not a morning person, but nothing makes me feel happier about being awake at an early hour like being on a walk with my dogs at sunrise. It does a body and soul good.

My goals are still the same. I have a "magic number" that is my goal and I'm working on getting there. It's only 6 pounds away, but sometimes those are the hardest. I'm also working on adding more strength training to my repertoire as well. As for food, I strive to only eat when hungry and stop when full (well, don't we all?), but more importantly I'm trying not to eat when bored, lonely, sad or anxious. Food can do a lot of good, but it can't solve my problems for me and that's sometimes the hardest thing to remember.

I hope everyone out there is having a good summer and enjoying the warmer weather as much as I am!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBANNA 7/26/2013 5:27PM

    Glad you stopped by to give us an upset. I love SP and it's worked amazingly well for me. Keep up the good work! Stop back soon! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 7/22/2013 11:35PM

  glad to see you are doing great

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SEATTLE58 7/22/2013 11:29PM

    It's so good to hear from you and I'm so glad that you're not taken away! haahhahaha! It sounds like you've been having a good summer and that's a good thing too. Good for you with all you've been doing too. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon So now you'll be going onward to reach your goal! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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It Truly Takes A Village

Thursday, January 17, 2013

So, about a month ago I wrote a blog post, then promptly got busy with the holidays and a quick vacation and forgot all about it. A few weeks ago I got an email from someone at Sparkpeople asking if they could include my blog in an email mailer. "Sure", I thought, maybe a few people will see it and it will be helpful. This morning I woke up to an inbox flooded with "you have a new comment on your sprakpage" emails and I can't stop smiling!

You guys are absolutely amazing! I don't know how people lose weight or get healthy without a support system. There are so many things holding us down and pushing us back. We get bombarded with messages and advertisements that tell us to eat junk. We see shows like "The Biggest loser" (which I love and is totally a guilty pleasure, don't get me wrong) that make working out look painful and difficult. But every day we get up and we take a stand and say "no" to unhealthy messages and "yes" to taking time for ourselves and putting our health first. It's not easy, somedays it feels like torture. But we do it because we want something better for ourselves. Support from people going through the same things and experiencing the same trials is crucial. I know that whenever I have a bad day I will come back and read all of the sweet words you all have written. I will be comforted by the knowledge that there are a lot of people out there just like me, struggling like me, fighting like me. we all have different approaches, some of us are walkers, others love yoga, some weights, but our destination is the same. And together we will get there. Keep supporting each other, you guys are awesome cheerleaders and you cannot know the difference you make with even one "you can do it!" comment.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHL82 2/18/2013 1:24PM

  ur blog has been really helpful emoticon

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LOLABLACK69 2/6/2013 9:29AM

    I think you're right when it comes to support system. Honestly, people here are great and sometimes I think they're the only thing that keeps me going. So, if anything - I'm grateful for that support, for such positive thoughts and I plan to return the favour anytime I can to others also. On that note - I hope you'll succeed with your plans, and good luck with your goals! emoticon
Keep up the good work! emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLISE 1/25/2013 12:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MYRTLE811 1/21/2013 10:09PM

  It's safe to express yourself here when you know that you speak for so many who are in the same boat you are and trying so hard to make it happen for them this time. I enjoyed reading your posts and kept thinking about how much you have learned from losing weight the first time and how we all need to seek out positive support to keep going. This site does it for you and I'm happy for your continued loss and your eventually getting to the goal weight you want to achieve.

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BOSSYGIRL 1/20/2013 2:40PM

    You go girl!! I love reading your emails. I too am trying to get healthy and it is a horrible struggle. Support from others always helps! Keep up the good work and I will be motivated by you! emoticon emoticon

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KATHIC2 1/19/2013 8:08AM

  Thank you for your insight and post.

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CHANGE4THEBEST 1/19/2013 5:14AM

    Hi

Your blog was forwarded to me from a sparkfriend emoticon It is true, I know I have allowed the needle on the scales to dictate my day!

Thank you for taking the time to write your inspirational blog - it helps us on the other side of the fence to accept, acknowledge and move on and get the results we are aiming for.

Keep blogging and have a great week

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MAIZEY 1/18/2013 10:16PM

    Great job on being healthy and reaching your goals in a positive way!

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HALFWEIGHT 1/18/2013 7:46PM

    Hey, thank you for a great post, and for being an inspiration to us all. As I struggle to get "back in the saddle", every person like you who share their tale of success despite difficulties is an encouragement to me. Keep up the good work, for there are even more of us out here to cheer you on now!

:-)

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BARBANNA 1/18/2013 4:55PM

    You do have a great gift for writing! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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JLLOVETT 1/17/2013 3:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPEEDY143 1/17/2013 1:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANGNMIKE 1/17/2013 1:18PM

    Brought me to tears! Great post!

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BEXNEW 1/17/2013 11:23AM

    I just read your blog post and it hit a nerve with me too - thanks for sharing. Way to go!!

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LIVIN2LOVE1 1/17/2013 10:21AM

    I read your blog post and I'm so proud of you for your achievements. Not necessarily the weight loss achievement, though that is amazing in itself, but for your realization that it's not about the size of pants you wear but it's about how healthy you live.

I'm now 40 and it took me many years on the losing and regaining cycle to understand that weight loss and healthy living is more in the mind than in the muscle. My attitude about fitness is holding hands with my desire to prevent those diseases that are linked to poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. That's what gets me moving to fitness DVDs every morning; that's what gets me out the door to Zumba class twice a week; that's what makes me jump off the couch and take the pouch for a walk.

Thanks so much for your blog. You are an inspiration!

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DLDROST 1/17/2013 9:35AM

  emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Going Down This Road Again

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sometimes I guess you have to move backward a bit in order to truly move forward for good. In 2007-2008 I finally decided to do something about my weight. I had been overweight for most of life and at 24 I was being told my blood pressure was creeping up, I had high cholesterol, and I would almost certainly be diabetic before long. I joined a gym and started monitoring my food intake. I joined Sparkpeople and started learning about nutrition and fitness. By 2008 I had lost 80 pounds and I was pretty healthy and active. I got engaged and in preparing for me wedding I stepped up my exercise and started becoming preoccupied with exactly how many calories I ate. I lost another 25+ pounds, but I was pretty miserable. I worked out constantly, ate too little, and was generally unhappy. Soon after I got sick and ended up putting about 40 pounds back on. That was my wake up call. I realized that being healthy was much more important than what size pants I wore.

So, I started using my old Sparkpeople account as a reminder of how far I came the first time-around and how to re-lose in a healthy, sustainable way. No more 2 hour cardio session, but yes to running and weights. No more barring myself from any treats, only to binge and eat as many as I could before getting sick. Moderation is key.

Initially it was really hard to see myself regain weight. I would get depressed and think about how I had "let myself go". However, now that I'm healthy again I have a new perspective. Going through such a dark period, and yes re-gaining some weight, was necessary to fully appreciate my health and a reminder to always focus on wellness first. I'm almost in better shape now than I've ever been, and that is entirely due to my outlook.

I only have about 10 pounds left until I hit my "goal weight", and I'd love to get there by my 30th birthday in February. If I do, wonderful, but if not I'm still a better place than I was a year ago, and probably than I've ever been. And that is something I can celebrate.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOGARD11 2/8/2014 8:54PM

  Thank you for sharing your story! So happy for you that you are moving forward!

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SUPERSYLPH 6/24/2013 10:33AM

    emoticon You'll get there in no time!

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ELIZABETH5268 5/3/2013 12:18PM

    Great blog! I hope you met your goal and had a great 30th!

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MISSCALFO 4/18/2013 12:05PM

    emoticon

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ELAINE725 4/16/2013 12:18PM

    Way to go! Keep up the great work!!! emoticon

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LOGOULD 4/8/2013 11:35AM

    Your story sounds so much like mine. I am barely under the goal that Sparkpeople set for me, but 10-15 pounds over my lowest weight. I am trying to loose about half of the 10-15, but am starting to reconsider if it is worth all the hours of fitness etc. I know that I am not getting enough fitness nowk but am still looking for that sustainable balancing point.

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LALALOVELY76 3/27/2013 1:12PM

    You can do it!!! I've gone back and forth and I too realize it's more about health than anything...lost inches and pounds are a bonus!!!

Keep up the good work! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONTHONY 3/8/2013 12:43AM

    You are inspiring! emoticon

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BERTEEW 2/27/2013 9:20PM

  Go Jenay! I could have written this myself, it really hit home, but like you said it takes commitment. And I have found that you cannot ease up on the weighing and measurements. This is my third time trying and I am more determined than ever to stick it out. Thanks for your sharing and encouragement to keep trying till you reach your goal. Good luck and GOD Bless You in reaching your goal.

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CHERYLSBUTT 2/19/2013 4:32PM

    Congratulations on moving forward!

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SERASARA 2/9/2013 7:13PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHIPPEE 2/9/2013 10:54AM

    I, too, am beginning to get back on track again. You have no idea how helpful you have been to me.
Keep up the good work!!! emoticon

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BIGAPPLE16 2/6/2013 10:48AM

    Thanks for sharing! I too am starting again but this time will include exercise along with good food choices. I had lost 30, gained back 10 (emotional eating) and am ready to loss another 30. Slowly and healthily :)

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GRACE923 2/2/2013 12:39PM

  Congratulations on a great job and encouraging those of us who have "fallen behind" and need to start again. Thanks!!

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DOBSONSM 1/30/2013 12:44PM

    emoticon

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CHLOE044 1/29/2013 8:29PM

    You are doing an awesome job with your weight! Enjoyed reading your blog! emoticon

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ZZWILK 1/27/2013 6:55PM

  Thanks for your message! It really helped me to remember that I, too, can start over!

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ROSIE777 1/26/2013 11:12PM

    emoticonjob you are doing GREAT!

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ELIBEC 1/24/2013 11:45PM

  I think the idea of moderate, step by step, a little bit at a time change is really hard. It sounds like you have really got the idea. It is not about being desperate about reaching goals, just keeping on in the right direction over time. well done and thanks for your story.

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MRSTOY1212 1/24/2013 2:35PM

    You go girl! I can definitely relate!

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GRACED777 1/24/2013 11:52AM

    I also seem to still be going up and down--though the up isn't as bad as last time, which wasn't as bad as the time before... I guess getting healthy for some of us can take a lot of time...it's a lifetime learning...

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SPRINGBABY80 1/24/2013 8:56AM

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1954MARG 1/24/2013 8:27AM

  Well done, and thanks. It is helpful to know that someone else has faced the same difficulties and overcome them.

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RKOTTEK 1/24/2013 12:26AM

  you have the right approach :)

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SLICKEM05 1/23/2013 3:55PM

    Awesome Janay! Your blog blessed me today. It certainly is a hard road, but your consistent, can-do attitude shall determine your INEVITABLE VICTORY. GOOD FOR YOU! BRAVO!


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BKLYNDIVA 1/23/2013 1:46AM

    emoticon

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YICHE12 1/22/2013 11:35PM

    Good show! We all have lessons to learn in this life. Keep up the great work. emoticon

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D7TOHIM 1/22/2013 9:08PM

    emoticon Diane

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EIFIRSICH 1/22/2013 1:57PM

    Great inspiration. Keep up the good work.

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LINDERVEE 1/21/2013 10:28PM

    emoticon

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NEVERMORE74 1/21/2013 9:36AM

    Very encouraging and inspiring!! Thank you for sharing!
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LADYBUG-DR 1/20/2013 10:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TODD4150 1/20/2013 7:35PM

  Thank you for the inspiration! I need all I can get to take off the weight I need to. Congratulations!

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JBHURST 1/20/2013 4:56PM

    emoticon
Great Job, thank you for the inspiration! emoticon

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SLIMGRAM2 1/20/2013 3:58PM

    Wow you truly are an inspiration to us all. Congrats on your achievement s thus far. Great job!

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MANILUS 1/20/2013 2:11PM

    Yes you should celebrate, great job!

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CISCOKID60 1/20/2013 10:38AM

  Jenay you are such an inspirational youngling! You are preparing yourself for a long and fulfilling healthy life! My kudo's go out to you and I know your life will be one of vigor and longevity for yourself and others! emoticon

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YOGANAN 1/20/2013 12:13AM

    Thank you for sharing your story with us here. It's real, honest, uplifting and inspiring. You are figuring out some important lessons about being healthy first. Seems I'm just now learning a lot of that. Better late than never. Thanks again!

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HEALTHYB21 1/19/2013 10:59PM

  Congratulations!!!!

Comment edited on: 1/19/2013 11:00:31 PM

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MARGEMF 1/19/2013 7:42PM

    Congratulations on what you have accomplished & learned along the way!
Continued success in keeping up with keeping your weight down & being healthy! Thank-you for sharing!

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SHIELDAC 1/19/2013 7:35PM

    emoticon

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MISS3EVA21 1/19/2013 7:19PM

    Awesome job. Thanks for the motivation for the rest of us. This is such a wonderful group of people that have encouraged you.

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BERTA6978 1/19/2013 2:53PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate. Thank you for reminding me the importance of health during weight loss.

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ONUTHIN125 1/19/2013 2:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JANIGURL 1/19/2013 2:00PM

    Fantastic story , thank you !!

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KBITZNELSON 1/19/2013 12:42PM

  This was great to read, especially since I'm on my second run as well. Thank you for sharing your story and perspective.

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WHATIF4 1/19/2013 11:20AM

  Good girl!!!!!

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DEBELING 1/19/2013 11:11AM

  Way to go I'm glad I read your post. I also have just come back to Spark People. I had lost 26lb three years ago and I got away from my Spark People program. Now I'm back and hope to stick with it this time. But way to go

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CELTICAT222 1/19/2013 10:54AM

  Jenay~

I, too, can relate. :) I was told over & over again how good I looked at my "ideal" weight. I became consumed with the minutia & wasn't really living. I am heavier now & enjoy life more but still remain steadfast to my goal of maintaining health 1st. You are amazing!

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DAWNIEJ76 1/19/2013 10:31AM

    I can relate to the "starting over." Keep up the great work!

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Tis the Season

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's Lent, and it raises the age old question of what to give up. I look at Lent, not as a season of deprivation and hardship, but as a chance to refocus and think about what really matters. I usually give up something food related because I love food so it is usually something of a struggle and it's pretty easy to do without disrupting your life or becoming a crazy person. Last year Patrick and I gave up factory farmed meat which meant we ate a lot less of it and when we did eat it it came from the Co-Op or Whole Foods. I'm not going to sit here and lecture you on how bad commercially raised meat is for you and for the planet, but just know it's awful. If you're at all curious I recommend reading Eating Animals by Johnathon Safran Foer or The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen.

This year we decided to give up meat in general. I felt bad because this is much more of a hardship for Patrick than for me. With the exception of the occasional chicken schwarma or Chick Fil A nuggets I could easily be a vegetarian. So I felt that in order to make it equal I needed to give up something that would also be difficult. For a split second I thought about giving up coffee, but I soon realized no one wants that. Not Patrick, not my friends and certainly not the people I work with. I can remain calm in most situations, but take away my coffee and it gets ugly. So with coffee out of the question I had to think of something else. I have a pretty big sweet tooth and I realized that I actually do eat a lot of sweets. I go out for frozen yogurt with friends, someone brings in cake or muffins at work, the occasional cupcake or cookie when I'm out for dinner. And while I'm pretty good about keeping the fridge stocked with only healthy food I sometimes bring home low fat ice cream or fat free pudding. I could give up all sweets, but that seemed like a murky line. Does flavored coffee count as a sweet? What about the granola bars I bake for Patrick? So I decided to give up processed sweets. No cookies, frozen yogurt, ice cream, cupcakes, muffins or candy for the next six weeks UNLESS I make it myself. From scratch. I figure this lets me keep my penchant for the occasional treat without making it readily available. It also makes it healthier because I know I won't be eating as much and I know that what I do eat is made from scratch and from real ingredients that I can actually pronounce. It's not going to be easy, but it will refocus me to think about what goes into my body and what I eat. And that's what Lent is all about, a refocus. And froyo, I'll see you in six weeks.

  


Freakouts and Phantom Fat

Saturday, March 05, 2011

I had a mini-meltdown in Target today. I was shopping with my friend Jill and I saw this adorable black skirt. I needed a new black skirt as A) my old ones are too big and B) under the Draconian new dress codes at work they were too short. This skirt both A) fit and B) was long enough without looking like something my grandmother would have worn. So I'm standing in line staring at my skirt and suddenly I felt a rush or worry take hold. I've recently lost a little bit of weight and the skirt I was purchasing was a size 4, the smallest size I have ever worn. I've bought a few pairs of pants in this size as well and they all seem to fit fantastically. The problem is that I don;t quite believe that I actually wear a size 4 or that I'll stay there. I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that I'm not fat anymore. When shopping I find myself instinctively grabbing the larger sizes and avoiding clothes that I think will cling to the fat that isn't there anymore.

I recently found this article online and I think it describes me to a T. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31489881/ns/he
alth-womens_health/
It basically says that even after people lose weight they have a hard time adjusting their body image to to fit the new shape. Often people assume that by losing several pounds their bodies will automatically adjust and they'll be rocking bikinis in no time. Sadly, this just isn't the case. It's hard to realize that even after dropping over 90 pounds I still don't look like Brooklyn Decker and never will. You start to wonder if you've done enough, should you try to lose more weight? In some ways I feel like I've failed. I start to wonder if I need to try harder, do more. Then reality steps in and I realize that I'm at a point now where I look good, feel good and most importantly can maintain my weight without hours in the gym or missing out on the occasional treat. I'm not perfect, but of course nobody is. It's time to put as much effort into loving the body I have now as I did achieving it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YWATERS1 1/17/2013 2:20PM

  Excellently put!! And I definitely agree!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/17/2013 2:20:29 PM

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ONCEUPONADREAM 3/5/2011 5:15PM

   
First.. Congrats on losing 90 pounds!!!! That's amazing!


I just started having this issue. I wore my first 14 in many many years.. I wore them three days in a row, because I was afraid I'd wake up and they wouldn't fit anymore. Of course it didn't make a lot of logical sense. I have another pair also.. but every morning for the first few, I got the urge to wear them to make sure they fit still.

It is scary. Sometimes it seems like I'll wake up and that 40 pounds will be back on (which could never ever happen over night!). These are fragile things.. and in our heads we know that if we give up control again and don't care, exactly where that IS going to lead.





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