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5 Years on Spark

Saturday, January 26, 2013

I can't believe I hit my 5 year SparkVersary! Like, wow. emoticon

There are so many things that Spark has helped me with in the last 5 years, I can't wait to see what the next 5 Spark years bring!

emoticon SparkPeople helped me [slowly] lose 45lbs. Thanks to the holidays, I'm sure I've gained some of that back, and I certainly put on weight from my starting weight before I began losing, but overall, I'm happy with what I've achieved with Spark.

emoticon SparkPeople helped me realize one of my passions is helping people through better nutrition. I've been studying nutrition at community college and am looking into graduate programs to become a Registered Dietitian.

emoticon With that realization came confidence to actually pursue it. I mean, in my mind, once I got my Bachelor's Degree in Theatre, that was it for me... That's what my life was going to be about. Even before I had finished that part of my schooling, I was having some doubts about how viable that was going to be. But, knowing I could be healthier and utilize tools and resources left me believing I can change the course my career was to take.

emoticon I made wonderful friends who are health-minded like I am. Sure, we may have different goals, body types, fitness levels, starting weights, goals weights, diet needs, etc. But, having the support and friendship of people who are as conscious about their health as I am is a key to my success! And I'm especially glad I got to meet a lot of these wonderful people in person... and I hope to meet more in the future!

emoticon Spark has kept me accountable for every bite, whether I've tracked it, admitted out loud I consumed it... or none of the above. Thanks to Spark, I know that the slice of cheesecake I'm eating is MY choice and I will also have the choice about what to do about it. Am I going to be self-loathing and ashamed? Am I going to get on the treadmill for an extra 15 or 30 minutes to work it off? Am I going to adjust the rest of my intake for the day? Each bite means something and I am aware of it going in. But, I'm not obsessing over it either.

emoticon I have a healthier outlook regarding diet and exercise. I don't feel shame/secretive/etc for indulging once in a while. That's not healthy to believe you've blown it and allow yourself to screw up more. Nor is it healthy to think that cupcake won't do a little bit of damage, either. Knowing there's a yin and yang to this whole journey is important for me.

emoticon I know what works for my body and what doesn't when it comes to exercise. My body burns fat really efficiently from doing a lot of cardio- usually in sessions lasting around 60 minutes. I don't strength train often enough to know if it burns fat, but I do notice my strength and definition improving when I do it fairly consistently. That's fabulous for me!

emoticon Thanks to Spark I'm exposed to all sorts of different exercises and ideas for exercises. I'm not sure I would have ever tried kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, hiking... All these activities that I absolutely love to do! Without this site, I think I'd still be on the treadmill, trudging away day in and day out. It also gave me the confidence to do these things, knowing there are other people at my level that have tried them too and lived to tell about it!

So, that's my 5 year look back... there are so many things I feel like I'm missing. Like this is so short for 5 years. But, the bottom line is Spark has truly, really, honestly changed my life for the better. I can't imagine what life would be like without this site, and most of all without all the wonderful people that are part of this community with me. I have the most amazing SparkFriends a girl could ask for! Seriously! They always lift me up when I am down. I can only hope they feel like I do the same for them! So, I am looking forward to what life with this site will bring me. With any luck, another 30lb loss, stellar health, and an M.S. in Nutrition/Food Science!


It might not be too much difference, but it certainly is from my highest (around 2010-ish):

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANNHUNT 2/18/2013 1:24PM

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TERRIJ7 2/15/2013 2:18PM

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EFFRAYECHILDE 2/13/2013 12:15PM

    emoticon

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PCASEY7 2/8/2013 6:59PM

    Wow, 5 years and tremendous changes made. Best of luck with the degree and what the next 5 years will bring!

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NUFLIGHER 2/7/2013 10:57AM

    Keep up the great work! emoticon

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MISSLISA1973 2/5/2013 12:36AM

    It's fantastic! More important than the pictures are the confidence and the new lifestyle you are enjoying. Congratulations to you! Happy Sparkversary! emoticon

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 2/4/2013 1:54AM

    Five years is awesome! Congrats on all your success. Looking good :)

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PLUMERIA50 2/3/2013 6:57PM

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AURORAMILLET 2/1/2013 3:29PM

    This is GREAT!!!

Keep going!!!


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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 2/1/2013 2:28PM

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WOLFKITTY 1/31/2013 11:58PM

    Hottie!

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FIRECOM 1/31/2013 12:18PM

    Hmmm. I knew this is a good post because I had to scroll down a very long way but it was worth it.

5 years is a great milestone. I hope to achieve this as well.

Thanks for the blog.

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FITMOMINNJ 1/31/2013 6:06AM

    emoticon

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HAPPY_TRAVELS 1/31/2013 12:40AM

    Happy Anniversary. Keep up the great work. emoticon

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MOTIVACTION2 1/30/2013 11:37PM

    Happy anniversary!

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MARYHENNIG 1/30/2013 11:22PM

  Happy Anniversary! The pictures show that you truly have something to celebrate! Great progress.

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CM_GARDNER78 1/30/2013 11:17PM

    That is AWESOME!!!!!!!! Way to go and CONGRATULATIONS!!! :-) You look fantastic!!!

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SMARTBLONDE8302 1/30/2013 8:08PM

    Congrats! 5 years is such an accomplishment!

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PINK-SOLDIER 1/30/2013 9:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KWEEKWEK 1/30/2013 9:26AM

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LIFETIMER54 1/30/2013 8:55AM

  I'm speechless and so vvvvvery happy for you!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FATHINSN 1/30/2013 12:32AM

    Happy 5th Anniversary!
Wow, you have learned a lots, gained knowledge and skills in half decade with SP and I'm sure most of us here also experience same things :D

I most agree about accountability and it's not just about nutrition and exercises, it's also other aspects in my life, I think even when my life spirals out of control, I know that I can still get back to track and I also learn not to give up :D

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AARMANI 1/29/2013 9:36PM

    What an inspiration!!! Congratulations :)

emoticon

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KAKA40 1/29/2013 4:29PM

  Congratulations!!!!!

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KRISTINE99 1/29/2013 3:48PM

    Wow! 5 year Sparkversary! That's an incredible achievement. Keep up the good work :)

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MYRTLE811 1/29/2013 3:47PM

  What an achievement in more ways than just weight loss. I applaud your sticking with Spark and monitoring your food intake no matter how torturous it was for you.
You faced what you ate and dealt with it every day. How nice to also find another way of looking for your purpose in life; wow, what a revelation for you and how helpful this will be for all the people you will meet as you finish your goal. They will be so grateful for your help.
Congratulations.

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ARCHIMEDESII 1/29/2013 3:42PM

    emoticon

Happy 5th Sparkaversary !! To quote an old advertisement,"You've come a long way, baby!" Congratulations on achieving so much in these last five years. Time flies !!

Here's to your next five !!

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SMILINGTREE 1/29/2013 3:35PM

    When you think about everything together, it's amazing. I mean, losing weight is good and fine, but making a life decision like what career you want to pursue? That's HUGE. At least as important as a few pounds.

Then there's the whole idea of influence - the fact that your spark friends influence your choices and even the way you think about those choices, and the fact that (knowingly or not) you influence those around you.

You are a wonderful spark friend, and I'm so glad to have "met" you!

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ARUNNINGKAT 1/29/2013 2:19PM

    I didn't see this blog the other day...somehow I missed it. Happy 5 year anniversary! It is amazing what a fabulous tool Spark is to all of us! I can't imagine my life without it! And yes, you are a wonderful Sparkfriend!! I hope to meet you some day in person. Until then, we will continue our journey via the internet. emoticon

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 1/29/2013 2:01PM

    Happy 5 years!! I missed this when you posted it the other day. Spark has given us all so much and it's awesome to read all you have gained from this site and community! Congrats on the featured blog post...you've made it to the big time!

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LUCYLU22 1/29/2013 12:25PM

    Fabulous journey! Happy Sparkversary!!

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NKOUAMI26 1/29/2013 12:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 1/29/2013 12:04PM

    Awesome!
You look fab-u-lous!!!
Love & Hugs!
Mary

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FARIS71 1/29/2013 9:41AM

    What an awesome journey you are on! Congrats!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/28/2013 11:24PM

    Great job! Congrats on your anniversary!

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KIMPAINTS 1/28/2013 10:35PM

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EMILYDOODLE 1/28/2013 9:58PM

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4KWALK 1/28/2013 6:38PM

    This is so inspiring for me. I am losing weight so slowly I wonder if it is worth it to continue but after reading your blog I believe it is. My first Sparkversary will be here in less than 2 months and now I know that I will be continuing on.

Thank you for posting this blog emoticon

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KAZFROMOZ 1/28/2013 5:34PM

  It's always lovely to see someone succeed - very best congrats! AND very inspiring. emoticon



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KWOOD1955 1/28/2013 1:19PM

    Way to go!!

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AKATHLEEN54 1/28/2013 12:15PM

    Congratulations!! great blog. You look great and as a new Sparkey your blog is very inspiring to me. I keep saying that I have never been so motivated to be successful since I joined this site. As you said there is so much support and comraderie out there that you feel like you have a whole bunch of friends doing this with you. ( you do actually you just don't really know them) but there is strength in that and that is what I find so empowering. I hope I achieve the same success that you have. Thanks for the great blog emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEWTINK 1/28/2013 11:49AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GODSBEST 1/28/2013 11:19AM

    Happy Sparkaversary, you look great. Keep up the great work.

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JUDYAASH 1/28/2013 11:02AM

    You look great . I think this was a wonderful blog because it helped identify all those bonuses we get from spark, not just weight loss. emoticon emoticon

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CEEMAY 1/28/2013 10:24AM

    emoticon Congrats!!!

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LIFETIMER54 1/28/2013 6:19AM

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MSKIZ69 1/28/2013 6:04AM

    Fabulous job!!!! So happy for you--can't wait for my 5th!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMANDACOETZER 1/28/2013 5:50AM

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BLUEJEAN99 1/28/2013 1:43AM

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PROVERBS31JULIA 1/28/2013 1:26AM

    Oooooh yea!!!

Happy 5th Sparkaversary!!

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Julia

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Blurgh

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Man, I think I have a few things going on with my body at the mo'. I've been on my irritating and uncontrollable sleep cycle where I get stuck on REM and dream vividly all night, and fail to cycle through the rest of the sleep steps needed for quality, restful sleep. So. Awful. It's been almost a month at my estimation and finally I am to the point where I'm always sleepy. But, if I try napping during the day, the same thing happens. Stuck on REM. No real benefit.

Also, about a week ago... or maybe 5 or 6 days ago... I ended up hitting the back of my calf on a heavy object and it hurt. So I figured it would leave a bruise. Boy, did it ever! I looked at it today (back of my calf, so not readily visible!) and it is UGLY. Purple, black, yellow... hideous! I'm surprised it still looks the way it does and is still the size it is after all this time. Which leads to me believe...

...I may have a bit of an iron deficiency right now. It could also explain my total lack of energy and strength (ya know, aside from the lame "sleep"). I don't eat very much red meat, liver, shellfish, or vegetables that are full of iron. Not that it matters. Your body only absorbs less than 12% of non-heme (vegetable sources) iron at a given time. Heme sources (animals/meats) get absorbed better at about 20%. Eating iron with vitamin C ensures your body absorbs that iron. So, what I need is a big thing of beef liver covered in strawberries. Yum. emoticon

Tomorrow is the last day (I think?) that I can find out whether or not I've gotten into that stats class. I really need to get it. For one, I am terrible at math and having a fun class (photoshop) and a hard class will make this semester bearable. Secondly, all the classes I have to take are going to be hard, so I don't wanna take a million hard classes each semester. This would help to lighten my load. Third, if I drop below half-time status I have to start paying back my loans. With what money? Yeah. Exactly. Not a good situation. Since I enrolled at the college so late, there weren't many classes that were open, so I've literally signed up for all that I could that was still available. There were many, many empty seats in my class on Thursday, I'm now #3 on the waitlist, and if there are still empty seats Tuesday night, I get to be in the class. I'm hoping that's how it goes. Keep those fingers and toes crossed!

I have some disappointing things already going on. Thanks to these classes, I won't be able to sing this semester. Before I moved to SD, the choir I sang with met on Sunday nights at my old high school. Sometime between then and now, they changed that. They now sing on Monday nights at the community college. Unfortunately, at the exact same time as my photoshop class. Then, my old theatre teacher sings with the other group, which is smaller, more "elite" so to speak, with more advanced singers. This group very often sings with the choir at concerts and whatnot, as they both used to be under the direction of one person. The group used to meet at the community college on Thursday nights. Now, it meets at my old high school! Unfortunately, at the same time as the stats class. I really wanted to get back into singing since its been about 5 years. It was something I enjoyed doing as a hobby and wanted to get back into while I'm here. So, boo on that.

I haven't heard about a job. I've sent my resume off to a few places, but without a car, I'm really limited to where I can apply. Especially when the summer hits and the temps soar to 110+ degrees outside. Not really a walkable temp. People die in that kind of heat. Also, there isn't much out here. This area has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the state. I don't know much Spanish, which already puts me at a huge disadvantage. This is the sort of place that you need to know people to get your foot in the door. It's been so long for me, I don't know anyone anymore. I'm still going to try, not giving up... its just discouraging, as it has been so far. Also, I found out I have to go to my previous school IN PERSON to apply for and pick up (when it's ready) my DSS certificate. Really?!?! REALLY?! That is going to constitute taking a trip, on a weekday sometime, and coordinating a ride or a car rental... So seriously disappointed to hear that.

In the meantime, this tiredness and weakness has prevented me from starting on some things I've been wanting to start on, namely finishing up my room organization and such and getting the kitchen up to my standards. Also, figuring out a fitness routine. So, either I gotta get a steak and some oranges, figure out this chemical imbalance effecting my sleep, or I gotta suck it up and prepare to fall on my face to get ish done. Word.


Here's some cat feet. She's still not adjusting well here.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 1/23/2013 5:59PM

    So, are you feeling better yet, dear lovely Jill? I stopped by to thank you for all your comments on my blogs - thank you!! I think you are onto something with the iron deficiency. A few years ago, my daughter was tested for anemia and one doctor said she was "just a little low" but when she did not get better, we got a second opinion and the doctor said her iron stores were dangerously low and the previous doctor did not see that because they only ran the standard hematocrit test. Anyway, I hope you are better and sleeping more restfully. Everything is harder when we are tired! Sweet dreams (and MORE REM!). emoticon

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NEWSGIRL2177 1/23/2013 10:49AM

    Sounds like you're having a stressful transition, chickadee. I'm glad you got into that class and I hope it helps propel you forward. I have trouble sleeping, too, and it's this vicious cycle of stressing out and not sleeping and being more stressed because you're not sleeping....ugh! I hope things start to level off for you soon. And kitty!
I try to be optimistic in times like this, even when it's really difficult and almost feels fake or forced. I *know* things will get better for you. Hang in there!

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ERINBELLOWS1978 1/22/2013 12:59PM

    My darling Jill. You know things have to get worse before they get better. I think you've reached the worse my friend! Things have to start getting better. They will. Here's my advice on the iron. I get extremely anemic when I'm preggo and they always try and give me iron, which of course I cant take because I get seriously backed up emoticon
So my doc said to eat a bowl of total every morning with an orange, and guess what. I was regular and my iron levels came back up. It's not bad actually. I know it's not the best breakfast, but it works when trying to boost those vitamins!

Honey you just keep plugging away, send out your beautiful vibe into the world and something will come back to you. You only get what you put out my dear. You have so much to offer this life, I'm sure something wonderful will happen for you!

Sending you positive thoughts and keeping my fingers(and toes) crossed!
Love ya kiddo!

Erin

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SMILINGTREE 1/22/2013 12:05PM

    It must be the moon or the stars or something. It sounds like you are doing as much waiting as I am: waiting to hear back about jobs, waiting to find out about stats class, waiting to feel better...

Here's what I hope happens: you find some kind of low-stress, easy part-time job that puts a little money in your pocket, you get into stats class and no longer have that set of worries, and you sing alone in preparation for next semester when you can work the choir into your schedule. Oh, and while all that is happening, you start sleeping better. (I'm not including the liver and strawberries, because you have a good enough handle on nutrition to fix that easily.)

There. Now good things will happen. I command them so! ;)

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ARCHIMEDESII 1/22/2013 11:57AM

    I hear ya on that job hunt. I have similar issues. I don't own a car so I need to find something that's at least accessible via the subway system. If you don't hear back, it's not you. The problem is that there are too many highly qualified people fighting for too few jobs. Never take a rejection personally. it's not you. it's the economy.

One thing I've learned is how necessary it is to have multiple types of resumes. These days, a person needs to tailor their resume to whatever job they are applying for. So, if you have a single resume, that may be holding you back. Even if you don't have specific job experience, play up all the experience you do have that does relate to that job.

And once again, never take anything personally.

Now, I'm not a doctor, but it strikes me that some of your sleep issues may be stress related. You're worried about a lot of different things and that sort of anxiety can really mess with our sleep. I know when I'm under stress, I tend to have vivid nightmares too. I find a long walk helps me reduce stress and sleep a bit better. Do you have a nearby park ? I find a walk around a park or resevoir relaxing.

Even though you can't join your choir this semester, how about during the summer or once your classes are finished ? Just because you can't join right now doesn't mean you can't join later.

Things will get better !




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RAINYFRIDAY 1/22/2013 11:37AM

    I hope, hope, hope you get into this class! Keep your chin up and remember it takes a while to adjust and you'll get there, just give it time!

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JSALERNO 1/22/2013 8:17AM

    emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/22/2013 2:12AM

    Maybe some iron supplements for awhile? When I went to college, I changed my entire program from BS to BA so that I wouldn't have
to take statistics. Hate math. Sorry to
hear your kitty is not adapting well; they
are such creatures of habit who get used to
their environments staying the same.

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All the Things!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Well, I seemed to think I had a semi-interesting or relevant blog to write. Instead, I've been staring at the screen for 10 minutes trying to remember what it was I had to say. Or thought I had to say.

So, I guess I'll just backtrack a bit. My 30th birthday was on Sunday (the 6th). It was a nice day, but almost didn't turn out that way. My sister-in-law ended up coming down with this horrible, miserable cold (maybe even flu) and my brother was afraid he was getting it, too. Well, he was the one that was to cook my birthday dinner. And my mom needed to go to the store to get ingredients for my birthday cake, but wasn't sure she'd have time. So, already off to a bad start. And totally reminded me of why I hate celebrating my birthday. Miraculously, though, my family managed to pull it together and make my day enjoyable.

I requested homemade lasagna with BEEF in it (hey, it's my birthday, I'm worth a splurge!). I don't really like cake, so I requested a cheesecake. The kind with the sour cream layer on the top!!! MMMMM!!! Once again, it's my birthday, I can splurge. I also asked for my favorite salad from a local restaurant that I really adore. It's just a simple green anti-pasto salad with beets, smoked salami, pepperoni, black olives, and pepperoncini. But, the real treat is their vinaigrette. It's super secret. I've tried replicating it before and for the life of me I can't! When my mom was a teenager, she worked as the "salad girl" at this restaurant. Even then, she was not privy to the ingredients in the dressing. Someone would come in overnight to make it, so it was ready for her when she came in during the afternoon to prep salad. Anyway, it is so delicious. They sell it by the quart/pint, so we got an extra quart of it for salads for the remainder of the week/month. Too awesome!



I also remembered to go to Starbucks and get my free birthday drink. Since it was about 6pm when I went to get it, I got a decaf skinny vanilla latte. I gotta say, my Starbucks has been out of the Tazo Vanilla Rooibos tea for a long time. Even in San Diego, I was unable to get my ultimate favorite drink, which is the Vanilla Rooibos tea latte. 6 times in a row, at a few different Starbuck's I have been unable to get this wonderful concoction. Disappointing? In every single possible way. emoticon

My parents gave me money for a haircut (what I asked for), but my stylist down here (who is a wonderful friend of my family) gave me my haircut as a birthday present. She did a fabulous job. Not since my other friend, back in MAY, cut it have I been as happy with my hair. She took her time, listened to what I had to say about my current cut and expected from my newest one, and the result was wonderful! I posted this pic on Facebook and the next day one of my friends commented that her pre-school aged daughter saw my picture on her feed and she said, "Mama, I didn't know you were friends with Tink! (Tinkerbell)" Seriously, that was so adorable and such a unique compliment, it made my day! And I knew the haircut was the right way to go. emoticon



I've been cooking and re-arranging/cleaning my "new" kitchen lately. Since California finally pulled its head out of it's own rectum, kitchen cooks are able to produce artisan "cottage" foods for sale to the public. There is a little farmer's market here once a month where I would love to be able to sell some goods. I'm planning on checking it out this weekend (it's the second Saturday every month). Even if it isn't such a great venue, and knowing this region there's a strong possibility that it isn't- also it's fairly new so it's building itself up- I'd still like to be able to produce goods for sale in the kitchen. You're subject to health inspections, though, so you've got to be maintaining a pretty darn clean & efficient kitchen, which I'm sad to say has not occurred here for some time. Probably not since I left the first time around. My family are not known for their housekeeping skills, I'm sad to say. How I managed to be so clean, organized, meticulous, and efficient is really beyond my understanding. So, that's going to be a work in progress and a medium-term goal.

I sorta start school on Monday. Ugh. The college I just came from doesn't start until the very end of January, so I feel like I'm losing two solid, valuable weeks of rest by having to start in mid-January at this school (my old/new school!). I'm waitlisted for a stats class, and am number 14 on that list, so we'll see if I get in. I also enrolled in a Photoshop class, but really am not all that interested in it. I know I should be so I can improve my blog, which is something I plan to do for a long time, but even with my simple Picasa, I hate editing photos. A lot. A lot a lot. So, trying to learn a program that may actually need me to think about it a lot does not sound like a good time. So, we'll see if I stick with it.

No news on the job front. That potential job is still jammed squarely in the potential category. So, the hunt for something in the meantime continues. My DSS Certificate is jammed up in the bureaucracy of the college, so while I've completed all the requirements and it's pending, I don't have the thing in my hands yet.

I really need to get back into an exercise routine, but I'm faced with something I didn't have to worry about previously: lack of space. At my apartment previously and in the house I just moved out of, there was plenty of room to do at-home exercises. Maybe not a full-on step aerobics routine, but enough to do some moves in place (crunches, push-ups, Wii Dance). Here, I don't have that space at all. So, I'm not really sure what to do. I can't go for outdoor walks because I get shin splints from walking on sidewalks. Yes, I even have really good shoes... I just get them due to the surface rigidity. Another hazard will be the heat. Not a problem now, but come March it will be. The summers here get hot, starting at about April/May. I mean like... 118* outside in the shade hot. You trip and fall on the sidewalk and get 2nd degree burns. The news cooks an egg on the sidewalk every year to show how it is outside. Essentially, I'd die working out in the nature. Literally die. Plus, this place is soooooooooo dusty (gee, it is a desert) and pollen-y and air polluted that deep breathing the outside air would send my allergies into a frenzy and probably send me to the ER with an asthma attack. So.......... what do I do? I seriously don't know. I gotta think about that one.

At least now that the holidays are over, I can start going back to eating somewhat healthy. It's going to be a transition to healthy eating since I'm not in charge of grocery shopping (he who has the grocery money gets to buy the groceries- and I don't have ANY money) and I'm trying to teach my family good, healthy eating habits and simple choices to make with ingredients to make things "better" or "healthier". I figure I've put on a few pounds since the holidays, but I'd really like to NOT put any more on... and go the opposite on that and lose more... so it's going to be a huge challenge while I adjust and figure things out. I know it can be done. I just hope it can be done fairly quickly before doing too much damage.


Leading by example. I roasted a chicken for dinner and while that was doing it's thing, roasted some veggies and prepared a salad. The ideal dinner plate: 1/4 lean meat, 1/2 vegetables, 1/4 starchy something (in this case more vegetables). emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMILINGTREE 1/14/2013 5:26PM

    Superdooper cute hair! And hooray? for getting back to school? That seems like something to be excited about but also like you aren't really, so much :)

Does your college have a gym? As a student you could probably use it for free. It might be the answer to your space problem.

Hopefully, your family will be soooo happy to have a cook in the house they will agree to letting you make the grocery list...I totally understand, though. When my husband is in charge of the food I eat a lot of pizza and burgers.

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DIANER2014 1/13/2013 12:02AM

    Glad you had a nice birthday! Cute haircut! emoticon

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ARUNNINGKAT 1/11/2013 11:55AM

    I am glad you had a good birthday! Your cooking project sounds fun! Good luck on the cleaning...that does not sound like quite as much fun. emoticon

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HAWAIIANMAMMA 1/11/2013 11:48AM

    Sounds like you actually did have a lot to say! it's good to get the update! So glad you're birthday went well. And it looks like you're really trying to focus on the positive and make the best of your situation. Keep it up and you'll do great!

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 1/11/2013 11:37AM

    I love that Tinkerbell comment! Such a sweet compliment!

I'm glad you had a nice birthday and got an awesome haircut.

I think teaching your family by example all about healthy living is a great idea. Even though you don't have the money, could you go with the shopper to help pick out the healthy items?

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/11/2013 8:25AM

    Belated happy birthday! Lovely haircut.

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JSALERNO 1/11/2013 6:45AM

    emoticon

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A New Year & So Many Changes

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Well, it's January 1st. I came under my goal for fitness minutes, although the reality is I probably met them with my move. It was only about 300-some-odd that I was under, which would have easily been covered in the whole day of moving. That's like, what... 5-6 hours? Yeah, I started at 7am and didn't sit down until the drive home at 8pm, then unloaded the entire 14' UHaul when we got home at about 11pm. More than enough. I just don't care to track it.

I have yet to fully settle and unpack. I've either lacked motivation, muscle, or have slipped into a depression of sorts. I'm thinking it may be a combo of them. I did have a day where I didn't get out of bed all day- no shower, no brushing teeth, no nothing- just a few bathroom trips and a kitchen trip or two. I'm just already unhappy here. I'm glad I'm with my family and I care deeply about them and I know they need me here, but I'm sad that I'm not in San Diego, living the life I want to live. Doing the things I want to do. Having access to all sorts of products, businesses, activity, etc. I feel suffocated and confined here. And I have to just deal with it for the next few years.

That's not to say I want to let myself wallow in this muck and icky feelings while I'm here. I'm trying to put together a plan, however tentative, short-sighted, basic, vague, whatever it is. I'm waitlisted, still, for that stats class. I really hope I get it. I'm considering taking a Photoshop class because this computer will not support my previous photo editing program. That will definitely make it hard to continue with my food blog. Which I want to continue doing. Which will also mean doing a major kitchen overhaul in this house. I want to get a job. Somewhere. Anywhere. I want to get a car. I want to either join a gym, take a fitness class somewhere, or something! I haven't heard of anyone doing any boxing training in this tiny part of the world, which is something I've always wanted to do (just the training, not the sparring). It's too late now, but in summer I want to re-enroll in ballet and/or tap dance. And I want to go back to my old community choir. So, I've got things in mind to keep me busy and from completely falling off my rocker. Just need to implement these things.

There are several things that need to be done around this house, too. Everyone needs to get used to having more personal responsibility with the things that happen here. I know it needs to be done and will take some time to do. Just need to do it. Maybe formulate a plan for that, too.

I'm turning 30 on January 6th. Ordinarily birthdays don't bother me. I don't talk about them much. I don't care if my birthday gets celebrated or not. I don't care if I get presents for my birthday or not (usually I prefer NOT to get things!) This time, though... I just feel awful. Not that I'm turning 30. It's that I've lived 3 decades and I thought I'd be further along in my life than I am. I mean, I gotta say... it feels really terrible to be turning 30 and to have moved back in with my parents. To still be in school. To be single. To not have a job or a car. To not be independent. At 30!!! I expect those things in my 20's, but I definitely did not expect them in my 30's. I feel like a failure or a loser or somehow defective. I see people I went to school with who are exactly where I thought I'd be (maybe not the same job, but the same station or level or whatever). Living their lives, working at good jobs, and doing all the things I want to do, like travel because their job allows them to afford it. And to not live with their parents. I just don't feel like I've accomplished much, hardly anything I wanted to, before I turned 30. It feels low.

So. Here I am. Hoping to just make the most of things for the next chunk of life. We'll see.

As I previously stated, I can't do any photo editing, so this was all done on my phone, which is why it appears a bit pixelated. But, maybe you can see a difference in me? It definitely wouldn't have happened without Spark.

We always have family portraits taken at Christmas. I hope Christmas 2013 sees even more of a difference!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARUNNINGKAT 1/3/2013 12:08PM

    Jill, you are looking amazing! I see a huge difference! I am so sorry you are feeling down. Sometimes life doesn't take the path you imagine, but in the end it all works out. It sounds like you have some great plans to put into motion. From my own experience getting a job will really help. It helps to get out and interact with people and have a schedule. I really struggled for awhile with depression and loneliness when I first moved to our very small town. I can't tell you what a difference it made for me to get a job at a local coffee shop. Good luck, girl! We are here for you! emoticon

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 1/3/2013 10:59AM

    I am sorry you are feeling down, Jill, but it's awesome that you are aware of what's going on and are not going to let yourself wallow! All of your plans sound fantastic. It's a different life than you were expecting to be living, but it's your life and you just have to make it the best life possible! I am also having a hard time with comparing my life to others and I know I need to knock it off! :)

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ERINBELLOWS1978 1/3/2013 1:17AM

    Oh Jill honnie you will find your groove! I remeber when you were inbetween places, going to school and working...you were a hot mess remember?? LOL It only took you a little while to find your groove and then your life became magical to me! I was so jealous of your life - Living so close to the beach, your garden, friends a plenty...honnie it will get easier I promise. And EVERYTHING happens for a reason. You will find it there. You are a smart, talented, beautiful woman who can DO anything! Wallow another day or two about turning 30, I did, and then you put on a cute outfit, do your hair and face and go tackle your town girl! YOu got this! I'm here for you my dear...here and FB! MUAH! Hugs from SD!

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JSALERNO 1/2/2013 6:01AM

    emoticon

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ABB698 1/2/2013 1:53AM

    Sorry to hear you're going through so much emotional turmoil at the moment, but like Malia said, you are where you need to be right now and it sounds like you are taking steps to make things the way they'd benefit everyone, including you. Give it some time, I'm sure you will find your niche and hopefully even a fitness buddy to keep you motivated. Hang in there, 30 is what you make it, so go get em girlie!! ;)

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/2/2013 12:18AM

    If I can lend a shoulder in tough times, please let me know. So many people share similar feelings these days for many reasons. You
are not alone. I totally understand where
you're coming from. Better days are ahead.
BTW, you're making terrific progress, judging
from your photos.

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HAWAIIANMAMMA 1/1/2013 9:26PM

    Oh, Jill, I'm sorry you feel so down. Try to remember that everyone's path is different. You can't compare your journey to anyone else's. The important thing is that you are where you need to be at this point in your journey. Maybe not where you want to be, butyou'll get there when the timing is right. In the meantime, you've got a spark buddy in east county who would love to meet you in Julian anytime for some wandering, hiking, pie eating, or apple picking. Just ask. emoticon

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MA_KING69 1/1/2013 9:18PM

    Great blog

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Quick Moving Update

Sunday, December 23, 2012

So, I'm in El Centro now. 90% of my possessions are in the garage (unfortunately that includes my clothes!) and a few things are scattered between my room and the living room. It was a hectic move and a very, VERY long day. It ended with many, many tears shed saying good-bye to my BFF for the last 5 years.

Now, MeowMeow and I are working on settling in to our new/old home. She's doing okay. I haven't introduced her to the other pets in the house, although she knows they're out there. She's only been in my room so far, so she hasn't explored the rest of the house, which is in shambles at the moment anyway. I don't believe this will be an easy transition for her. She's never had other pets around and was pretty territorial at the SD house. She's been able to go inside and outside, but here she'll be strictly indoors. We'll see how this goes. I think I'm in for a loooooong adjustment.

As for me, I'm already registered and waitlisted for one class (stats, yikes!) at the community college down here. That starts in mid-January. I haven't heard from the job I applied to, but it's also not as though I've had the time to follow up. I've just now gotten a computer that works. My old laptop that was a lemon from the moment I took it out of the box 5 years ago has been given a bit of a makeover. My brother wiped it clean and installed a new operating system- Ubuntu. Thank goodness it's user friendly 'cuz it's not like Windows at all, which is all I've ever used (I'm not a Mac person at all). Now I can continue on my job search.

For the rest of the day I want to move some furniture into my room, as all that's in here is my bed and nightstand. And find my clothes for goodness sake! Also the Christmas present I bought for my brother (I'm his secret Santa this year... again...) as it needs to be wrapped and, ya know, given to him on Christmas!

That's it for me in a nutshell. Lots left to do.

This is baby on our first night at "home".

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINYFRIDAY 1/1/2013 10:47AM

    Gah! I was so involved in our move that I totally missed yours. :\ I'm glad you're there all safe and sound. Hopefully since this post you've gotten yourself all situated. I'll miss you here at the Spark rallies! Happy New year :)

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SMILINGTREE 12/26/2012 3:24PM

    Hope you are settled in and feeling good about things (and Meowmeow, too!).

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 12/23/2012 7:43PM

    My dear Friend! You are in my thoughts and prayers! Yes, this is all a big adjustment and it takes time...I hate waiting of any kind and waiting to feel better sucks!
I am in your corner...
Hugs & Hot Chocolate (with marshmallows, if desired)!!!
Love,
Mary

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 12/23/2012 6:29PM

    Moving is never fun! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family! Good luck to Meow Meow! :)

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OLIVIANIGHT 12/23/2012 4:10PM

    Well I'm glad you got there safely, even if it was a hard move. Hope you settle in soon : )

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/23/2012 4:09PM

    I didn't realize you'd moved already. Will be interested to hear about new adventures. Merry Christmas.

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LJOYCE55 12/23/2012 2:39PM

  Wow, moving at Xmas must be the most stressful time of all. I like that you are still up for unpacking and celebrating the holidays. Maybe the fact that you have holiday deadlines is what is urging you onward. Good luck and I hope you get to take a deep breath at least one day this week.

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ARCHIMEDESII 12/23/2012 2:37PM

    I would love to chuck Windows in favor of Linux !! Linux is much more stable. Even Mr Meowmeow could use it. That's how user friendly it is. LOL !!

Moving is never an easy thing. The stress would explain the mild headache. Some herbal tea will help. So, will a decent night's sleep. Don't worry, things will settle down before you know it.

Oh and if you're looking for a great little stats book, go to the library and find "Lying with Statistics". Great book.

Happy Holidays !

emoticon emoticon emoticon


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