JTAMSYN   32,705
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JTAMSYN's Recent Blog Entries

Why do we torment ourselves with sizes?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our goal weight often involves a specific clothing size. We focus on the single digits or we want to be in a size 4 or 6. But here's an interesting story:

Today, I went to a cheap second store that I like. I bought 4 skirts. None had the same size. One was a size 4, another 8, another 12. Did I gain or lose in those 20 minutes I spent in the changing room? Of course not! So why do we torment ourselves with fitting into a specific size?

Instead of focusing on numbers, we should focus on how feel. And never should we let a clothing size ruin our day!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIRAGE727 7/28/2014 8:56AM

    I totally agree. Society has a strange way of determining "size!" I'm not at all impressed with those on the fashion runway! I'm more impressed and inspired by those on the run! It's about being physically, mentally, and spiritually healthy! (Spiritually doesn't necessarily mean running to join a church.) We learn every day of our journey. Thanks for sharing!

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    I totally agree. Clothing sizes are all over the place. Health is important. How we feel is important.

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PUZZLEPOPPLES 7/27/2014 8:34PM

    emoticon I have size 12 jeans in my closet that fit perfectly. I also have size 16 jeans in my closet that won't pull up over my hips. It's crazy!

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68ANNE 7/27/2014 8:12PM

    I did notice that with some shoes. I have different sizes in all of my shoes, too. I like to hope I'm not obsessed with a certain size in clothes

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Seeing sunlight through the clouds

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I haven't written a blog in over 3 months. When things are though, I struggle with finding upbeat words. Same goes with nutrition and fitness, I lose all motivation and self-discipline. So the last few months have been filled with on track and off track moments.

To share a little about my life, I live in a third world country. I teach online to make enough money to survive, and spend my days doing volunteer work. My days are filled with beautiful scenery and lovely people but they are also filled other things. Daily, I see starving people, starving and tortured animals, kids that have beaten up (probably for not selling enough gum, instead of going to school), drunken men harassing me, people hassling me for money. And there's the crime, so you learn to always watch your back. I live in a small village, near a bigger town. To do something simple like go to the movies, I have two options. I can take a bus for 6hrs, or lately due to landslides, it takes 8hrs. Or I can cross the border to Mexico, travelling for about 4 hours. There is nothing to do outside of work and volunteering so our big outing is going to the gym. As we don't make very much money, we can't go away all the time for a break. I mean, we can afford to eat meat twice a week. As I'm allergic to eggs, my main source of protein is black beans, every day, lunch and supper.

None of this is new to me, I've been doing this for 5 years. It has its rewards, for sure. But sometimes the 'dark clouds' block out the sunlight. Sometimes I wonder if there is even any sun above the clouds. This latest assignment has been a lot tougher than we (hubby and I) thought it would be. We feel so isolated from the rest of the world. We are fortunate to have each other but wonder how long we can keep this up. And then there's the feeling of failure if we give up our assignment.

The stresses and worries of life, which I think of as dark clouds, are always around us. Some days they seem to take over the sky and block out the sun. I need to focus on the sun above the clouds and not let the clouds undermine my motivation to be a healthy and fit person.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    It sounds like you have a lot challenges. I'm not sure what your beliefs are but I believe in living an abundant life. My religion states that God wants us to be happy. Perhaps this isn't the right assignment for you. There is no shame in that. We really don't have to worry about disappointing our maker. He knows our heart and wants the best for us.

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68ANNE 7/24/2014 5:42PM

    I know it helps me a lot to be able to get those thoughts and feelings out on paper so to speak. Just writing them down is a tremendous relief. I hope it is the same for you!

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MICHSTATE 7/24/2014 2:54PM

    I am sorry to hear how stressful life is for you, but I am impressed with your dedication!!!
By the way, are you not using your FitBit anymore?

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BHENDRICK2 7/24/2014 1:26PM


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RENLLY 7/24/2014 1:25PM

    The sunshine I find in your post here is the great volunteer work you are doing in a third world country. Thanks for making this world just a little better !! emoticon

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4 month review

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Hello fellow sparkies,

It's been 4 months since my last blog. Time flies! I have been somewhat regular on Spark. Here's whats happened. I received a reassignment mid-Feb which involved moving 4 hours away, nearer to the border Mexico (Northern Guatemala). I had two weeks to pack up, find a place and move. Hectic to say that least. Not to mention that the day before receiving the notice, I started a cold. Well, there was no time for cuddling. I spent the following month packing, moving, unpacking and getting settled in my new assignment. However, this took a serious toll on my health. My cold turned into acute bronchitis which lasted more than 2 months. It got to the point that I was coughing so hard that I would vomit. I bruised my ribs so badly that 2 months, my ribs are still very sore.

About 2 weeks after starting to feel better from the cold, I caught the Typhoid Fever which left me so weak, I could barely walk for days. During the following two weeks, I suffered two relapses. By this point, I was so physically and emotionally destroyed that I was ready to pack up and move back to Canada. My parents heard my distress and paid for my husband and I to fly to Mexico and spend a week with them at the beach. So 13 hours on 5 buses, 2 taxis, 1 plane later, we were by the Carribean, catching our breath. It was exactly what I needed. I was able to recharge, relax and regain my sanity! It was much overdo!

My mother said that I had lost more weight since the last time I saw her (Nov. 2013). This is encouraging considering that I wasn't able to exercise for three months with all the sickness I was dealing with. I know I have lost a lot of muscle which I'm working on regaining. I've reached my goal weight but I'm thinking of lowering it another 5lbs.

To be honest, I'm not super focused on pounds, more on how I feel. I'm actually more concerned with building up my immune system and taking care of my health. I want to feel healthy again and strong, not shattered and weak. So I'm working on doing exercise every day , even if its just 20 mins of sweating, but something!

Anyways, we're back home now and ready. We've decided to make sure we have 1 day a weak off, for resting, time to spend together. The next couple of weeks will be full of work to make up for our holiday. But starting June 1st, my goal is one day off a week. I'm going to call my sanity day! No more working 7 days a week!

So this is has been my life lately. Very, very busy but learning to find a balance.
Oh, and I hiked another volcano in February. That now makes two!

Here's a pictures from our trip. One is of the sunrise where we stayed.

Have a great weekend everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    It sounds like you were really run down and sick. I'm glad you could get away for a rest. You definitely need to make your health a priority.

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68ANNE 5/19/2014 4:11PM

    Very hectic time for you. Getting some sickness' especially when you are stressed does take a horrible toll on your body. Glad you did get some vacation time.
The one day a week off goal is a stroke of brilliance!

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SMILINGTREE 5/18/2014 10:00AM

    Goodness! One day a week is definitely not too much to rest and recharge and spend time with your partner. Take it easy on yourself as you continue to recover and grow stronger. It's good to see you back :)

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SUNSHINE99999 5/17/2014 10:13PM

  you deserve a day off for all your efforts on the other days. emoticon

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EMMACORY 5/17/2014 9:49PM

    So sorry you had so many health challenges....glad that you are on the mend. Yes, do take that one day a week off. You deserve it. emoticon

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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

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PENNYLANE15 1/23/2014 11:10AM

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

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KABMPH 1/23/2014 8:44AM

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

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DIANER2014 1/23/2014 12:11AM

    How awesome! Congratulations! Beautiful pictures!

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68ANNE 1/22/2014 10:45PM

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

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TAICHIDANCER 1/22/2014 9:13PM

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

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

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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

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TARANITUP 1/22/2014 8:31PM

    How amazing! Great feat!!!!

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PRINCESS_SOFI 1/22/2014 8:21PM


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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 !!!!! :-(

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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!

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ADF1981 1/22/2014 6:47PM

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

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ARNETTELEE 1/22/2014 6:46PM


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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. ; )


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PRINCESS_SOFI 12/13/2013 2:14PM


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MICHSTATE 12/13/2013 9:30AM

    Looking good!!!!! :-)

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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

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SHERYLP461 12/12/2013 10:44PM

    Great pictures

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68ANNE 12/12/2013 10:33PM

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

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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.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/12/2013 5:58PM

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

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