JENJESS48   51,293
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What I Did in a Year Here

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Technically I started Spark in November 2009 but I didn't get serious until January 4, 2010, so I'm counting this as my one year Sparkversary.

This year I lost 22 pounds, 24 inches, and 2 pants sizes. This isn't bad, but I feel like I could have - and should have - done more. But then I reflect on my non-scale victories and realize that those have been truly huge.

I reworked my eating habits and learned a ton about proper nutrition. This has been my biggest victory. I generally ate pretty healthy before but fell for the fad diets (oh, the shame of South Beach...) and didn't have a solid grasp of nutrition. I've also mastered the art of portion control, and that has been key. So much so that I maintain my weight even when I'm not working out or paying especial attention to my eating habits.

I completed the Healthy Eating Challenge. The two best things to come of that were meal tracking and kitchen reorganization. Meal planning has been a game changer. Not only do I eat better but I waste less food and money. Grocery shopping is less of a chore because my trips are shorter and more focused. Meal planning has also led me to discover the joys of the crock pot. It's also helped my husband improve his nutrition since he eats supper with me every night. The kitchen makeover was mostly about reorganizing our food storage. DH installed sliding drawers in our pantry so I can actually see - and reach - what's in there. It's a revelation.

I definitely learned about fitness and got in more exercise. But consistency eluded me. That ends in 2011. I learned what kinds of cardio I like and which don't work as well for me - mostly by trying anything and everything I could. I tried zumba, spinning, pilates, yoga, running, and cycling. I bought a bicycle and struggled to become confident riding it.

My balance and coordination both improved. Going up and down the rickety stairs to my basement used to be nerve-wracking; now I bounce along without thinking twice. I can squat down and stay there for a long while without losing my balance. I can easily wend in between parked cars and the ellipticals at the gym. My hand-eye coordination is also better.

I have more self-confidence. This has shown up in how I look: I've bought nicer, better-fitting clothes and pay much more attention to my hair and make up. My friends and colleagues have definitely noticed. As has DH. emoticon

My energy levels are much higher. I used to be exhausted by the end of my (12-hour) day. Now I'm just tired. emoticon Seriously, though, it's a huge improvement. I think working for ten hours with an hour commute on either side will always wear me out. But now I'm consistently alert and energetic during the work day. And I have energy to finish up dinner and do some little things before bed. That was definitely not the case before I discovered SparkPeople.

Upon reflection, I don't feel bad about losing "only" 22 pounds. I have learned - and largely stuck to - healthy habits and made vast improvements in my health and well-being. These are big achievements and I should start recognizing them as such. This year is about building upon this solid foundation. I will continue my good habits, develop a consistent but flexible exercise program, and lose the 40 pounds I have left.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DITZYCHICK 1/11/2011 1:31AM

    That's a fantastic reflection on the year! The knowledge of nutrition and fitness have been big ones too...don't you just love what Spark has given us! Now that we have this knowledge, it really puts us in charge of what we want! CONGRATULATIONS to you and all your successes on your journey to a healthier you. Watch out 2011...we're armed with knowledge and determination!!!

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TEMPEST272002 1/8/2011 1:48PM

    Congratulations on all of the life changes you have made in the past year! 22 lbs is a significant loss when it comes to your overall health. With all you've learned in 2010, you're sure to rock 2011 too!

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/7/2011 4:42PM

    Great job this past year, you are gonna rock 2011 too!!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/5/2011 6:43PM

    I'm beginning to understand that it's not always about the numbers...when we truly change our habits, the numbers take care of ourselves. When we white-knuckle our way down to a lower weight it doesn't work so well and we bounce back up. Good job, girl!

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KITHKINCAID 1/5/2011 3:52PM

    I think you did pretty dang well this year for all your traveling and everything else that you had to do. It's not "just" 22 pounds, it's 22 POUNDS! On top of all of those other accomplishments. I think you've got your game face on for 2011 and you're going to bring it!

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WM_STAR 1/5/2011 2:16PM

    That's HUGE! How amazingly awesome you are - and with such a great attitude, too.

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SLIMSOLO10 1/4/2011 6:57PM

    That is funny, I was just thinking of what 22 pounds of butter would look like as I read your blog!
You have changed so many things for the good and also been a very good motivater to many people. 2011 will be your goal year- I'm sure of it. but you will always remember 2010 as the year you started to create the new you.
Blessings! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/4/2011 6:58:30 PM

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SLIMSOLO10 1/4/2011 6:56PM

    That is funny, I was just thinking of what 22 pounds of butter would look like as I read your blog!
You have changed so many things for the good and also been a very good motivater to many people. 2011 will be your goal year- I'm sure of it. but you will always remember 2010 as the year you started to create the new you.
Blessings! emoticon

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CORTEGA1 1/4/2011 6:05PM

    Only 22 pounds... have you ever put 22 pounds of hamburger in your shopping cart. That's a lot of poundage. Congratulations and keep up the fantastic work.

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Sexy Breakfasts Really Work

Monday, January 03, 2011

Last night I had a bout of insomnia. A bad one. And for no good reason. So when I woke up late this morning I faced a choice: rush through my morning and get to work on time or take my time, do things right, and get to work late. The choice was further complicated by my desire to start the year out right. Do I focus on health and fitness or on being a good employee?

Well, let's see. I got promoted last year and won't get promoted this year. I still have more responsibilities than I get paid for. And I've decided that I want to get to my goal weight this year, which means taking fitness much more seriously. So emoticon work! Sexy breakfast it is!

I pulled on my workout clothes, gathered my free weights and a kitchen chair, and did the Day 3 ST routine of the 28-day bootcamp. I only did one rep, but I did it. And that's what counts. I celebrated by wearing my favorite pink dress, sexy boots, and cashmere sweater. (It's impossible to have a bad day while wearing pink, sexy boots, and cashmere.)

Then I prepped my breakfast (Einstein Bros. good grains bagel and reduced fat honey almond cream cheese with some coffee) and snacks (fruit and yogurt). I didn't pack my lunch because I ran out of room in my lunchbox and know that the cafeteria has good, healthy choices.

So guess what? I sauntered into work only 15 minutes late, with a workout under my belt and healthy food in tow. This set the tone for my whole day. I made a good choice at lunch (broiled cod with broccoli and roasted potatoes) and ate my fruit for a snack. Stuff that would have made me climb the walls on most days rolled off my back today. And now I'm off to the gym for a cardio workout.

Hooray for sexy breakfasts! I'm going to have to do them more often!

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARIE_S 1/26/2011 4:24PM

    What a great idea!

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 1/4/2011 12:27AM

    I have "buy cashmere sweater" on my weight loss rewards list!

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-FEMALE- 1/3/2011 9:30PM

    GO YOU!!! You're amazing!!!

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JDALE528 1/3/2011 6:34PM

    Loved your story! Congrats to you, I completely agree about the boots and cashmere ;)

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SROUS1340 1/3/2011 6:31PM

    Woo Hoo for you! I got day 1 done and am feeling real good!

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WELSTEACH 1/3/2011 6:29PM

    What a great start to a day! Just think what you can accomplish.

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KITHKINCAID 1/3/2011 6:28PM

    Woohoo! Sounds great! I had a sexy breakfast AND lunch today too. Going home to do Bootcamp Day 2 and my cardio and make a Sexy Dinner :)

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Starting Over Starts Now (2011 Goals)

Monday, December 27, 2010

December was a total wash. I didn't lose but I didn't gain. I didn't watch what I ate or exercise much at all, so this is a miracle. However, I'm getting tired of feeling sluggish. So this lackadaisical attitude ends right here and now. The New Year starts now; there's no sense in waiting another week to get started. emoticon

This year I need to push harder and achieve more. 20 pounds is good, but I know I can do better. In fact, I'm aiming for double that. And some other stuff. emoticon

2011 Goals:

emoticon Lose 40 pounds by December 31, 2011.

emoticon Shrink to the point that my hats and gloves aren't the only size S/M in my wardrobe.

emoticon Do 1,000 fitness minutes a month.

emoticon Complete C25K program.

emoticon Raise every indicator in the MicroFit test to "fit" or "excellent."

emoticon Do 3 strength training sessions a week.

emoticon Blog once a week on SP.

emoticon Get 6 Perfect Attendance awards on SP.

emoticon Get more active on the Determination & Accountability Team.

emoticon Complete one challenge on SP.

emoticon Cross one thing off my bucket list.

emoticon Finish all the knitting projects in the Unfinished Object (UFO) cabinet.

emoticon Knit Christmas gifts for all my family members.

emoticon Burn CDs of wedding pictures and print a photo book.

emoticon Beat all my Ravin' Rabbids games.

emoticon Read one book a month.

emoticon Wear one "special garment" for my husband a month.

emoticon Do a monthly goal check-in blog.

January Goals:

emoticon Find or build a strength training workout I can do at home.

emoticon Do two cardio and one ST workout while in the Dominican Republic.

emoticon Don't gain weight while in the Dominican Republic.

emoticon Drop to 179 pounds.

emoticon Do 1,000 fitness minutes a month.

emoticon Do 3 strength training sessions a week.

emoticon Blog once a week on SP.

emoticon Huddle with the Determination & Accountability Team every day.

emoticon Participate in Determination & Accountability monthly weigh-in and fitness minutes challenge.

emoticon Make significant progress on one large project or finish a small project in the UFO cabinet.

emoticon Cast on one Christmas present.

emoticon Read one book.

emoticon Wear one "special garment" for my husband a month.

emoticon Do a monthly goal check-in blog.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMMYSWEETPEA 12/29/2010 12:11AM

    Great goals! You're a very organized lady!

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MJMONE 12/28/2010 12:28AM

    emoticon

you've really thought these out..motivates me..thanks for sharing!!

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LOTUSFLOWER 12/27/2010 8:20PM

    You can do it!!! Great goals, and I have a ST DVd that I totally recommend, it's called "Personal Training with Jackie - Xtreme Timesaver training", it's with celebrity trainer Jackie Warner, Spark did a review on it a few months ago and I purchased it then for about $10 on amazon, it is great! She combines cardio w/ ST which is supposed to be more effective, and it only takes about 20 minutes.

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-FEMALE- 12/27/2010 6:43PM

    You're so right!! Why wait until the New Year! Lets get back to it NOW. I LOVE your goals, I'm definitely adding some of those to my list.

Happy Holidays!!

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PERSONALTRNR 12/27/2010 5:32PM

    Awesome!! We're with you all the way!

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KITHKINCAID 12/27/2010 5:19PM

    Way to go Jen! We got your back!

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ZZYYGGY 12/27/2010 5:02PM

    great goals. You can do it.

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~!~SUCK IT CHALLENGE ENTRY CARD AND DAY ONE CHALLENGE~!~

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

~!~SUCK IT CHALLENGE ENTRY CARD AND DAY ONE CHALLENGE~!~


emoticon Pick any 5 things to measure that you will measure again on New Year's Day.

A. Weight 185.4
B. Days I stay in my calorie range per week: 5
C. Days I get my heart rate up to 125 for at least 30 minutes: 4
D. Waist Measurement: 35.5
E. Thigh Measurement: 24.25

emoticon Declare yourself. Do so by choosing one or more of the following.

A. I declare myself independent from imminent failure, guilt, and pressure. I will reward consistent effort even if my measurements do not budge. I will not beat myself up for one setback but instead get right back on the horse.
B. I will post a current body shot.
C. I will post an even better profile picture of myself.
D. I will redo my sparkpage with flair and determination. Freshen it up. Because I'm done with the tired same old same old.

emoticon Make the decision that no matter how many times you fall in December, you wont wait 24-48 hours to make up for it. Make sure your next act, after falling, is standing up straight. Immediately. State one victory you have already had today.

I told the "empty" cupboard and fridge to suck it. DH and I have been on vacation and therefore haven't gone grocery shopping in two weeks. So we've been eating out a lot and my choices have been pretty lousy. This morning I decided there were probably more edibles available than I thought and raided the pantry and fridge. I found frozen homemade whole wheat pumpkin muffins; yogurt; smoothies; fresh apples, pears, and clementines; jarred artichokes, dried cherries, cheese, turkey, and even some spinach that I made into a salad. (DH says the spinach is a Hannukah miracle because there's no logical explanation for why it's still fresh.) I loaded the aforementioned into a grocery bag and will munch on it all day. Suck it, cafeteria and vending machines! I also found some dried goods and frozen chicken to turn into a crock pot dinner for tonight. Suck it, bad food choices!

Also, I avoided Cherry Coke Zero's siren call and instead opted for black tea. Suck it again, vending machine!

emoticon Tell me what you are absolutely going to do right today.

I am going to do my first session with the personal trainer this afternoon.
I am going to have a healthy crock pot dinner tonight.
I am not going to eat too much dessert and blow my calorie budget. Suck it, TOM. You're sticking to the plan.

THEN I will lounge on the couch like a potato because I was victorious TODAY. Oh, and keep working on knitted Christmas presents.
emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONKEYSNUFFER 12/2/2010 12:42AM

    I wish I could join this team...it seems so fun!

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KITHKINCAID 12/1/2010 4:37PM

    Good for you for finding the healthy stuff!!!

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LOTUSFLOWER 12/1/2010 3:06PM

    You've GOT THIS girl!!

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 12/1/2010 2:50PM

    You've got a great plan for December!

Love the Hannukah miracle too! Sounds like your hubby has a great sense of humour.

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Packing Win

Thursday, November 18, 2010

DH and I are leaving for an anniversary cruise on Saturday. So today I started packing. He's at work today and I'm not, so I started by packing the things I don't want him to see: his anniversary present, my fancy "special garments" and my formal dresses.

The formal dresses always give me trouble. Last year I bought two to wear on our honeymoon cruise but I gained so much weight that neither of them fit me. emoticon I shrunk down into one of them by Valentine's Day and wore it then. The other one should fit me now but it has somehow gone missing. I tore apart the closet and my clothes storage in the basement looking for it with no luck.

But I found something better: an ankle-length black dress I had made for me 4+ years ago for a friend's wedding and haven't been able to wear since. (I was technically a groomsman, and the bride asked the groomsladies, as she called us, to wear black.) And it fits like a glove! Like it was, er, made for me.

emoticon emoticon

The best part, though, is that I then weighed 15 pounds less than I do now. Goes to show what exercise and muscle mass will do for you!

I also found a few more items in that box that I plan to bring with me. DH hasn't seen them: he's never known me that small. So he'll think I went shopping. I can't wait to tell him no, these came out of storage. emoticon

Now I'm looking forward to the cruise even more than I already was!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOTUSFLOWER 11/30/2010 2:48PM

    How was the cruise?

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KITHKINCAID 11/18/2010 2:51PM

    Hurray! NSV!!! Thanks for the jeans. It's a good clothes karma day. Jealous you're going on your cruise. I'm sitting in my office FREEZING right now.

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LOTUSFLOWER 11/18/2010 2:34PM

    That is emoticon! Congratulations and have a great time!!!!!! Take some pics of you in that dress!!

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