JTAMSYN   28,050
25,000-29,999 SparkPoints
JTAMSYN's Recent Blog Entries

Made it to the top! Reached my 3 year goal!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

3 years ago, when I joined SP in 2011, I made a goal of climbing a mountain. The first mountain was a figurative one, losing the weight that was stopping me from climbing a real mountain. On January 8th 2014, I climbed a 13,000ft volcano near my home in Guatemala. This volcano is called, Acatenango, which shoulders an active volcano named Fuego.

Fuego is the smoking one on the left. Acatenango has two peaks, on the right.

I had two fears about this climb. First, I was scared of slowing everyone down and being the one that everyone has to wait for, especially with the 40lb pack on my back. Second, I was scared that my breathing would not allow me make it to the top. The first hour was bad. It was a straight hike up in sand. I questioned my sanity but sheer stubborness and short breathing breaks kept me going.

I remember thinking at this point: what did I get myself into?

But I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. After about an hour, my breathing calmed down and I no longer felt like I was on the brink of an asthma attack. From that point on, I was at the front. It felt so amazing to have to stop for the others!

I've come so far! It was the most amazing and memorable experience. The beauty that surrounded us was incredible. And I realized that I am strong enough! If I just push through the tough times, nothing can stop me! This is one of the most challenging hikes in Central America and I made it to the top in 5.5 hours!

So yes, I was on top of the world!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TECH1960PS 1/28/2014 1:43PM

    Well done, beautiful pictures. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYLANE15 1/23/2014 11:10AM

    Beautiful pictures and what a great goal to achieve!!! Fantastic and exciting!!!Great job!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KABMPH 1/23/2014 8:44AM

    Congratulations!! What a beautiful story and beautiful scenery!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DIANER2014 1/23/2014 12:11AM

    How awesome! Congratulations! Beautiful pictures!

Report Inappropriate Comment
68ANNE 1/22/2014 10:45PM

    I love it
You are so on top of the world!
in more ways than one. . . . . . !

Report Inappropriate Comment
TAICHIDANCER 1/22/2014 9:13PM

    In 1976 I climbed Agua. Great job: congrats on a real achievement.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    What an amazing adventure! I loved the pictures! Congratulations on making your goal!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRENJET 1/22/2014 8:59PM

    Beautiful photos...Amazing accomplishment...Super inspiring!!!! Thanks for posting this for all of us --great motivation!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TARANITUP 1/22/2014 8:31PM

    How amazing! Great feat!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRINCESS_SOFI 1/22/2014 8:21PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MICHSTATE 1/22/2014 7:10PM

    Nice!!!!! Awesome job!!!!
I am sure you noticed my inactivity lately.....I was just diagnosed with a stress fracture in my foot....it had been bugging me for months, but I kept hoping it would just get better on its own!!!! Now I am in a surgical boot for 6-8 weeks !!!!! :-(

Report Inappropriate Comment
EABHA70 1/22/2014 6:49PM

    That's amazing! Climbing a mountain is a goal of mine as well. A couple of years ago I did some (gentle) climbing in Iceland, also near some volcanoes, and it was inspiring. Well done!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADF1981 1/22/2014 6:47PM

    Congratulations for reaching your goals! That is a big achievement!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARNETTELEE 1/22/2014 6:46PM


Report Inappropriate Comment

Progress pics

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I have a few pictures to share since my family took lots of pictures while they were in town. I gained about 4lbs in my 3 weeks of no exercise due to a bad cold and my family visiting for a week. Which isn't bad at all. But I'm back to it. In the past, being away from exercise and perhaps a little indulging, usually led me to a several months or years hiatus. My main goal was to get right back to good habits. So this is what I've been focusing on. I have been doing well. By the end of next week, I should easily be back to the pre-cold weight.

Anyways, here are a few pics. Sorry for the quality of some. I never take pictures of myself, feel pretty stupid when I do it. So I've had to depend on other people's pics and some zooming in...

Hubby and I:

My sister in-law and I:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIMITEDGRACE 12/13/2013 4:22PM

    I hope you're on the mend and have to say it's amazing how you've transformed from the pics that are dated 2011! I'm sure you're much stronger inside & out. It's really nice to see and gives me hope that I'll have some progress pics of my own one day! I don't think I've ever NOT been overweight in my life, so it's hard for me to visualize what I might look like once I'm at a healthier weight and kicking butt like you. ; )


Report Inappropriate Comment
PRINCESS_SOFI 12/13/2013 2:14PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MICHSTATE 12/13/2013 9:30AM

    Looking good!!!!! :-)

Report Inappropriate Comment
LCERVERA 12/13/2013 5:28AM

    You look wonderful! My friend's daughter just left for a seven month missions trip to Guatemala yesterday! Looks beautiful.
Keep up the good work and enjoy getting back to your exercise routine. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHERYLP461 12/12/2013 10:44PM

    Great pictures

Report Inappropriate Comment
68ANNE 12/12/2013 10:33PM

    I see a beautiful and smiling woman. Rock on girl!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AURORADAWN5 12/12/2013 7:55PM

    Looking good girl ... and you have exactly the right attitude. Falling off the wagon isn't a disaster. It'll still be waiting for you when you're ready to climb back into the drivers seat. Good luck.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 12/12/2013 5:58PM

    I loved the pictures! You look great and it looks really nice where you vacationed.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Huge NSV!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Like most people, I've bought clothes for my 'estimated' goal weight. Over the years, I've accumulated a few, especially pants. And every once in a while I go through them and try everything on. Today, I did the rounds again and tried it all on.

I'm happy to report that I no longer own anything that is too small!!! Everything fit or was too big! What a weird feeling to not own any clothing that I'm working towards fitting into! WOW! What a feeling accomplishment. emoticon

This really highlighted for me the importance of strength training. In 2011, I weighed about 5 lbs less than I do now but couldn't fit into a certain pair of non-stretch pants (size 6). And yet, even with the extra weight, I can now. Just goes to show that sometimes the scale gives you grief, but it doesn't mean there aren't any changes!

On other fronts, still sick. It's really affecting my breathing which is made worse by living at high altitude. Still not exercising, trying to save my strength. My family arrives on Sunday and Monday. My parents, my grandparents, my brother and sister in law and my great aunt. I haven't seen any of my family in at least 1 year some almost 2 years. So this is a big reunion. We rented a beach house for the week. I'm getting all the groceries bought and organized before they come since there's no grocery stores near the house. Also, I made cabbage rolls today, my Ukranian great grand-mother's recipe. We might be making pierogies also while they're here. So food galore! But I plan on enjoying myself without going crazy. I see some pool exercises will be in order :)

Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend! Rock on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADF1981 12/22/2013 5:50PM

    That is awesome that you are wearing your skinny clothes! Congrats! Sorry that you weren't feeling well. Hope that you are doing better now.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FIFIFRIZZLE 11/28/2013 5:08AM

    Aren't you doing well! Congratulations!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYLANE15 11/25/2013 10:33AM

    Congrats thats so exciting!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRINCESS_SOFI 11/23/2013 1:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon What kind of strength training did you do to start?

Report Inappropriate Comment
ERLYWA 11/23/2013 9:38AM

    Congrats on reaching that milestone! That is awesome!!

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MICHSTATE 11/23/2013 8:19AM

    Awesome!!!!!! I look forward to that NSV too!!!!!
Have fun with your family!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
68ANNE 11/22/2013 10:14PM

    Congrats on the clothes. Going to buy more clothes!?

Report Inappropriate Comment
UNSWEETMAMA 11/22/2013 9:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 11/22/2013 8:35PM

    I hope you are feeling back to 100% before your family arrives and that you have a wonderful visit. Congratulations on getting back into all of your clothes!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Review of my strength training challenge

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

After completing my dietbet in October, I had decided to do a 5 week strength training and squat challenge. I have 3 days left to it and I wanted to share what I've learnt.

First, I've realized that I really need to work on my upper body strength. Don't get me wrong, I can lift heavy things. In fact, I lift 10 pails of 20 liters of water for every load of laundry I do. But I really struggled with the military push-ups. My elbows hurt afterwards. But I like the way it started to define my shoulders. So I really need to keep Upper Body exercises on my list.

The challenge I set for myself was 6 days a week of strength training, 6 days a week of squats (up to 250) and push-ups, on top of my regular 45-60 mins of cardio daily. I've realized that this is a bit much for me. I end up working out around 2 hrs a day, every day. Moving forward, I think that I will reduce my strength training to 3 times a week. Much easier to maintain long term.

I've seen a big difference in the month. I feel stronger and leaner. It has slowed down my weight loss but I've lost an inch each on my waist, hips and thighs. I'm now 1.4 lbs away from goal. It has shown me that losing weight isn't everything. You can stay at the same weight but lose inches and look a lot better, stronger and much more toned. I'm glad that I decided to up my weight goal. I won't feel pressured by the scale and can just focus on getting toned. Any other weight loss will be bonus.

Funny story: last night I wore a dress that was tight in August and fit fine in September. Its a tailored dress, no stretch. I had it made so it basically fit me like glove. Anyways, I asked my husband to zip me up and he says: the dress is kinda loose on you, honey. Actually, looks like you're wearing a paper bag. Haha! It now has about 6 inches of extra fabric. Anyways, others made comments last night about it too which is the first time anyone has said something. A great feeling! Perseverance pays off!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAICHIDANCER 11/20/2013 10:59PM

    Good for you on the dress. Reminds me I have some shirts that need to be taken in.

Report Inappropriate Comment
68ANNE 11/20/2013 9:28PM

    Awesome on the dress.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 11/20/2013 9:12PM

    Great blog. All good news. You are doing fantastic!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MICHSTATE 11/20/2013 1:42PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
PRINCESS_SOFI 11/20/2013 11:50AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
JUNA89 11/20/2013 10:57AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Learning to deal with life's struggles

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I don't want to bore you with what's been going on lately but I've been feeling really down for over a month. Struggling to get out of bed, get out of the door, have human interactions. Even seeing the weight going down doesn't even make me smile. I don't want to be a debbie downer so I won't dwell on why, just that I've having a hard time seeing myself as a valuable person. Anyways, despite these negative feelings, I have still persevered with my 5 week challenge, daily cardio and healthy eating habits.

Its really easy to drown your 'sorrows' in wine and chocolate. But part of this process and making better choices is learning how to process your feelings in a less self-destructive way. I am working on finding ways to deal with the negativity in a positive way. Because isn't this the vicious circle? You're faced with something that drags you down and then you try to make yourself feel better with poor food choices, which ends up making you feel even worse... Its so hard to break that destructive cycle. I think that that's half the battle.

I was reading something the other day about learning to love yourself. Self-love shouldn't be conditional on how much you weigh or what size clothing you wear. If you hate yourself when you're fat, then you still won't love yourself skinny. I need to love me for what I am and not what I'm not.

Take a moment to love yourself for what you are, what you've done, where you've been and where you're going. Its what makes you beautiful!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNABOY 11/7/2013 7:15PM

    You are a very strong person to deal with these issues without falling back on comfort eating.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIMITEDGRACE 11/7/2013 4:42PM

    Something I pinned. Funny, but true:

Hang in there. I think we all battle this because it's EASIER to eat chocolate than deal with whatever is really going on, or turn that energy into a positive action. Acknowledging the battle helps too. emoticon

“Compromise built upon compromise equals failure. Instead, resisting temptation allowed promise upon promise to be built up in my heart, and that creates empowerment.”
― Lysa TerKeurst

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHRINKING_SARA 11/7/2013 11:13AM

This is often the hardest part of the journey... and often why some of us (me) got to where we got on the scale in the first place. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENNYLANE15 11/7/2013 8:30AM

    I'm sorry to hear you're going through some things. Know that you ARE a very valuable person!!! All of your spark friends, myself included, are here if you need a shoulder to lean on!! Great job on sticking with your diet and exercise b/c it is extremely easy to get back into old habits when we're feeling down. Keep your head up, friend! You can get through this !

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANALOVES2CAMP 11/6/2013 10:39PM

    I have been blessed by your posts and your commitment to your challenge. Cheer up sending prayers and hugs your way!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DEB9021 11/6/2013 10:25PM

    When I feel stressed, down or overwhelmed, I try to think in terms of action items. If I'm feeling stressed, I avoid the couch, get some exercise and try to get to bed early after I've burned of the negative energy. if I'm overwhelmed, I grab some paper, start listing all the things I have to do, prioritize them and then tackle the most important stuff first. If I'm hating my job, I spend some time perusing help wanted ads (which sometimes just makes me realize I like the jobI have more than I thought, but I feel better making a choice even if that choice is to stay put.

Focusing on what I can do to fix a situation is way better than just stressing over it. Not sure what it is that's getting you down, but hope you can find a way to take control of it and make things better for yourself. You are totally worth it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRENJET 11/6/2013 8:57PM

    You are such an amazing person! You have inspired me when I lost motivation, you have made me smile, you give me something to aspire to...and now you encourage me to love myself....Here's my promise: I will, if you will!!!
Be well, my friend, you are FABULOUS!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I hate to see someone so beautiful feeling so down on themselves. You have so much going for you. I hope you take your own advice and recognize your worth. I think you are great! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TAICHIDANCER 11/6/2013 5:57PM

    I believe ... no ... I know that you are a valuable person.

Report Inappropriate Comment
68ANNE 11/6/2013 5:13PM

    Very well said

Report Inappropriate Comment

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Last Page