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2011 - The Year of the Ones

Saturday, January 01, 2011

In all honesty, I don't like odd number years. Something about them makes me uneasy since some of the worst years of my life have been on the odds. 2009 was TERRIBLE for me - it was one of the worst health years of my life given that I had let myself balloon to a whopping 313 pounds on my tiny 5'2" frame. I spent many days in hospitals, waiting rooms, and being poked and prodded testing me for any and all possible diseases that I was convinced were contributing to my obesity. Fortunately, the only disease I had was a bad case of "Fat Head Syndrome", but unfortunately, that lead to a lot of pain and huge doctors bills that it would take me until the middle of the following year to pay off. But 2010 was one of the best years I have ever lived having found SparkPeople, reinvested in my health and myself and setting personal goals that I was able to achieve in all aspects of my life - family, health & career. I lost 70 pounds, sunk my teeth into my therapy to treat my "Fat Head Syndrome", and as the General Manager of my company managed to almost double our budget size in one year. Life is now good.

But I'm willing to go out on a limb and end my odd year superstitions with this one starting today - 01/01/2011. I vow that no matter WHAT happens this year - good, bad or ugly - I AM the one that ultimately has the power to make this year truly wonderful and everything I wish, hope and dream it can be.

2011 for me will be "The Year of the Ones".

I have 30 pounds to go until I will have lost ONE HUNDRED POUNDS with SparkPeople. My estimate for that goal is sometime around April, but if I can step things up a notch here with my training and eating schedule, I'm hoping that I may even see it a little sooner.

In April I will celebrate ONE YEAR of Spark - a program that in addition to my therapy has completely changed my life. I cannot express how grateful I am to the whole team at Spark and to all of you who make this program what it is - an absolute gift and Godsend.

Following up that anniversary (and hopefully not long after) I'll be making my debut in ONEderland - a place I have not seen in over a decade. I am so excited to get there - I hear it's ONEderful!

And since I deem that the two little 1s look like a pair of legs, I've decided to put mine to good use, get the most out of the gifts that Santa brought me (a Garmin Forerunner, new iPod with armband, SmartWool socks, YakTrax, and a couple of running magazines - he spoiled me, eh?), and make this the year of running as well! Who knows - maybe I'll run 11 races this year! The first one to kick of the Chicago race season is the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in April with my friend Kathy (LOTUSFLOWER), then I'm thinking about doing the Ravenswood 5K with my friend Stephanie (SLFRISBEY), and I'm definitely doing the Hot Chocolate race again this year - maybe aiming for the 15K this time...eek! To top off all of this running, I am so excited for my trip to the land of the running record holders the world over - Kenya! My African Safari trip will be in September, and it's not lost on me that the top elite runners in the whole world come from Kenya and Ethiopia - two of the destinations in our travel plans. Unless I'm running from a lion, I'm not sure how much training I'll get in over there, but I'm thinking it's almost going to be like seeing the Holy Grail to run on Kenyan soil. Wow.

So there you have it - my year of ONES. Not so unlike a year of Firsts, I think this will absolutely be a year for the memory bank - achieving goals, making new friends and cherishing old ones, seeing places I've never been, and living life every day to the absolute maximum.

Happy New Year Everyone! Let's do this 2011 Style!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RABIDHAMSTER87 1/15/2011 4:50PM

    I can't wait to see you in onederland! I'm hoping to get there this year too.

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    I LOVE YOUR YEAR OF ONES! This is going to be GREAT! I can't wait to see what all this year holds for you. I wish you much success this year!!! I love all your running gear you got for Christmas. Those are GREAT gifts. I'm glad you had a great holiday.

You rock!

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MELTEAGUE 1/5/2011 6:12PM

    Say HI to Africa for me... I was born in South Africa!

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LAURIETAIT 1/4/2011 5:51PM

    I just know that 2011 will be the best year ever for you! You are on a definite roll. I can't wait to hear about your runs but I am soooo looking forward to the Africa blogs!

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CALLIKIA 1/4/2011 2:44PM

    You know, we really should have some April party for the both of us! ;) I can't wait to be able to post both those "I lost 100 pounds with SP" and "One year with Spark" blogs. I'm so excited to see where I'll be by then that I refuse to waste a moment of the time I have now! (Remind me of that later, mmmkay?! *lol*) And, uhm, can I switch Santas with you? Mine didn't really get the memo this year...he tried, but I was still a smidge disappointed. (Got my Kinect, but no BL or Zumba game...dangit!!)

And OMG you have to run in Kenya and then we'll get you a shirt that says, "I run like a Kenyan!" Yep. Yep. Yep.

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ANDREA963 1/4/2011 2:30PM

    I'd take a wager that you make it all happen! I like the sound of the year of the ones. :) This past year I maintained. So if I could weigh a minimum of 11 pounds less next January 1, 2012, I'd feel pretty good about that. (I'm on the slow plan as you can tell). :)

Have a ONEderful year!

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SLFRISBEY 1/4/2011 10:48AM

    Wow, 2011 is going to be amazing! I love you're plans and especially going to AFRICA!!! I just want to get out of the country this year :) Can't wait to run with you in April!

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LUNADRAGON 1/4/2011 10:39AM

    This is fabulous!

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/4/2011 10:32AM

    I love it!!! You can and will make this a year of 1's, I can't wait to join you in ONEderland! My estimate is around March or April as well, at my slow rate of loss, but I'm hoping for sooner, too. We can do this!! And Santa was good to you! Were you kissing him under the mistletoe? LOL.

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WYND10 1/4/2011 10:29AM

    You will do Onederfully! I have no doubt :).

Happy New Year!!!!

Comment edited on: 1/4/2011 10:34:59 AM

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    You've already accomplished so much, I know you can keep it up!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 1/3/2011 7:13PM

    I love it and yes, Santa was good to you! Here is to a great 2011!

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MANLEYSANDY 1/3/2011 6:14PM

    This is going to be a great year for you!!! You are truly an inspiration!

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HSMOM2FOUR 1/2/2011 8:43PM

    Sounds like a great year ahead of you!

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PHOENIXK26 1/2/2011 7:54PM

    Your blogs are such a joy to read! I think you have done wonders and will continue to do so. Can't wait till you get to One-derland!
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TEENY_BIKINI 1/2/2011 7:08PM

    Wow, sweetie. It sounds like you have a lot to look forward to this year - ONE-derland and 11 races. Holy smokes! Rock this thing.

I can't imagine this year being anything but fabulous for you [whatever the number is.]


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CHICAT63 1/1/2011 10:54PM

    Woohoo on your sucesses so far, wishing you all the best for 2011. You are doing fantastic emoticon

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SWELL10 1/1/2011 10:29PM

    Awesome blog! I'm right there with you on the onederful one's goals. I have 20 lbs to hit 100 lbs and 17 lbs to hit onederland! Lets vow to do it -- the sooner the better! I oneder when that will be? emoticon and so can I!!!!!

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TES5061 1/1/2011 10:07PM

    Fantastic! Truly inspirational! This year will be great for you. I have no doubt about that!

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KRAWRS 1/1/2011 10:04PM

    I was just going to say, break the curse of the odd numbered year! You are way ahead of me though. I love how you took a look at your life, your options, and your attitude and decided that everything about this year is going to be positive. I KNOW YOU WILL DO GREAT THIS YEAR!!!

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RIGBY31 1/1/2011 7:57PM

    Yessss! Let's move it, let's get there in 2011.

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MEADSBAY 1/1/2011 7:01PM

    Yes, ma'am!

2011= emoticon

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ADK_RUNNER 1/1/2011 6:10PM

    What a marvelous way to start the new year! Good luck with all your goals!

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JENJESS48 1/1/2011 5:09PM

    Way to break that old pattern! 2011 is going to be one good year in so many ways!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 1/1/2011 3:59PM

    I raise my arms and do a fist pump in celebration of your goals!

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TEAWONDERFUL 1/1/2011 3:46PM

    Congrats on the great outlook and success so far. You sound like you are doing great. I think this year is going to be your year. Enjoy it.

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It's Never Too Late To Start Again (Put Down The Fork!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I just ate half a cake.

OK - I'm lying. I just ate three quarters of a cake.

Stupid cake.

This is not me falling off the wagon. This is me sitting in the wagon...with my cake.

I denied myself the cookies all day long. I'm trying like mad to get back on a proper eating schedule without all the sweets and treats. But going from 3000+ calories a day over Christmas to 1800 is just proving to be SO DAMN DIFFICULT!

Problem #1 - I still don't have ANY groceries in my fridge. I cleaned out everything before I left for Germany and then didn't restock when I came back because I was only home for a week before going to Ontario for Christmas. And now I've only been home for a day and haven't yet had a chance to shop, so all meals have been out, which means they're high calories and high sodium. Yuck.

Problem #2 - My office mate gave me a birthday cake and Christmas cookies yesterday. AH MAN! I thought coming back home would rid my life of those things for another year. Not so much. Combine this with Problem #1 and you have the only really edible item in my house being a whole chocolate cake and a batch of cookies. Lord have mercy!

Problem #3 - I stayed at work late unexpectedly tonight which was NOT good for trying to get back on an eating schedule. I was SO hungry by the time I got home that I PLOWED through dinner...and then the cake started staring me down...

I was disappointed to discover that even though I chose a healthy salad and falafel in a pita for dinner, it still put me over my 1800 daily calories. I thought for sure that I'd still have a little room for a post-dinner treat. And for whatever reason that tiny thought of possible sweet treat deprivation triggered the "Well, you've blown it already - you may as well eat cake" voice in my head.

So I ate cake. I almost ate the WHOLE cake. But I stopped. Because IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN!

I may have blown the budget today for sure. But I put down the fork, I brewed a cup of tea, and now I am back on track. Right now. Not tomorrow, not in the morning, RIGHT NOW. In fact, when I was done with the cake, that silly voice in my head - you know - the one that said "Well, you've blown it already - you may as well eat cake"? That voice came back again and said "Well, you ate the may as well have the cookies too". But I put my foot down. No - I'm NOT eating the cookies right now. Why? Because IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN. And I'm starting right now. Which means the cookies will not own me, they will not beat me, and they will not be eaten. I'm taking them to work tomorrow and leaving them for the staff. HA! Take THAT cookies! And the quarter cake that is left? It's in the garbage. With the cat litter. I have come too far and worked too hard to be run down by some sugar, flour and cheap chocolate frosting.

For the record, the colleague who gave me this crap is a food pusher. She's also the one who just lost a pile of weight herself and I honestly think that she's starting to feel a little threatened by my success - it puts her out of the spotlight that she's been enjoying for some time now since people aren't commenting on her appearance so much anymore, but have certainly been commenting on mine. So beware acts of kindness wrapped in foil! She takes every chance she can get to feed me, and now I'm sitting up and taking notice.

But back to the message of the evening, and one that I really feel is SO important for everyone coming back from those high-calorie holidays and for all those who will join this site come January 1st - IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO START AGAIN. We all have bad days. We all have days where we just need to sit in the wagon and eat cake. But you don't have to eat the whole thing just because you took one bite. The choice is yours to start again at any point. No matter how big the snowball, all snow melts eventually with a little sunlight. So no matter how far off the path you've gotten over the holidays, with a little hard work, you can find the trail again. And all your Sparkfriends will be standing here waiting for your return.

This is me picking myself up, dusting myself off and plodding along into the New Year. More on track than I have ever been.

See ya cake!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WYND10 1/4/2011 10:28AM

    LOVE THIS. Such an inspiration!

I have officially put the fork down.

Thanks for an awesome blog.

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LOTUSFLOWER 1/4/2011 10:27AM

    Good for you for getting back on track NOW vs. tomorrow. Tea is so healing, too, isn't it? You will reach your goal in 2011, especially with your strength and attitude!!

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SILVERCHICK 12/31/2010 7:29PM

    Great blog. I loved this line, "This is not me falling off the wagon. This is me sitting in the wagon...with my cake." LOL. You're hilarious.

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KRAWRS 12/31/2010 6:36PM

    I LOVE THIS! OMG. Esp the part about being back on track RIGHT NOW... not tomorrow, not a few hours from now, but IN THIS MOMENT AS WE SPEAK RIIIIIIIIIGHHHHHHHT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!
Beautiful. I think I will share this with a billion people. Because its worth reading.

GREAT JOB on keeping on track, even after you slipped! Fantastic! Way to ring in the New Year! :D I mean it, really good job!

Now go shopping and stock up on good foods and snacks. :p I command you! emoticon

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LAURIETAIT 12/30/2010 4:20PM

    You stumbled but you didn't fall down. Way to go girl! I also find that good food choices go right out the window when I'm low on groceries. Get thee to a grocery store!

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DIASTER 12/30/2010 1:33PM

  Thanks for my laugh of the day. Let us all get rid of that wagon this year. You did so well by quitting when you did, I would have eaten every crumb.
You have just done an awesome job this year, you are a beautiful young lady, love following your progress. You have had us in tears at times and laughing hard enough to have to cross our legs at times. Continued good luck on this very interesting journey.

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SKINNYMISSKASEY 12/30/2010 11:28AM

    I did something similar the other morning with cookies. After eating 5 cookies (that were given to my father as a gift), I realized I can't eat them. I threw them in a bag and tossed them in the trash. Nobody missed them either!

But yes, you can start over any time you decide to!

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JENJESS48 12/30/2010 10:40AM

    Good for you! Nighttime is the hardest time of day for me, too: Pat brings goodies into the house and it's harder to resist them when he's chowing down. (Thus "The Underminer.") This time, though, the fault was purely mine. I baked the Christmas goodies, intending to give most of them away. And I ate the leftovers. But you're right: it's never too late to just stop. Why dig the hole any deeper than it already is?

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BALANCINGMACK 12/30/2010 10:30AM

    I laughed the whole time I read this ha ha ha. Your blogs are going to keep me going! You're very animated! I ♥ that about you!! Never too late to start again!

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RIGBY31 12/30/2010 10:14AM

    Chocolate cake sprinkled with cat litter! Love the mental image. My mantra: I will not be the human garbage disposal. I am reading then re-reading out loud your post. You're soooo strong, friend!

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TCPWADE 12/30/2010 9:23AM

    awesome blog and you're right, it's never too late to ditch the cake and get back where you were going! But definitely beware the co-worker/food-pusher.

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KEC1974 12/30/2010 8:12AM

    This is not me falling off the wagon. This is me sitting in the wagon...with my cake.

That line made me laugh out loud. Like, annoying, draw attention to myself loud. Good thing I'm by myself.

Yay, You!

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MESEATURTLE 12/30/2010 5:20AM

    I could totally relate to your colleague at work and your situation . Ditto case with me and a very close friend... And I am invited to go for dinner at her place tonight and I am getting so damn anxious as the day is going by .... I am gonna try some tricks tonight and I promise I will not let her sabotage all my efforts!! Thanx a million!!!

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VEGGIE-FITNESS 12/30/2010 3:59AM

    Okay, I wasn't going to say anything because you don't know me from name is Pam, the one who (in the past) ate ALL the cake and then ALL the cookies. Why? pick a reason and it will do. If you want to really feel empowered, in the future when the food pusher gives you sweets, go ahead and accept the cake, the cookies, whatever and as soon as you leave work, find the nearest dumpster and pitch it FAST. Then don't look back. Whether it goes in your mouth or in a dumpster, it had to end up somewhere and the dumpster is a better place. Don't let the food pusher win. You are beautiful and deserve to choose if and when you eat cake.
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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/30/2010 1:33AM

    Ah, the food pushers of the world ... I think they lurk in all dark corners of the world - waiting. I love that you are not (err, were not) off the wagon but merely sitting on it with your cake and that the remaing cake was tossed off into a bag of poo.

You are a Godess!

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SB3872004 12/30/2010 1:17AM

    Great Snowball analogy :-)

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NLS2013 12/30/2010 1:12AM

    Good job! Love the "sitting in the wagon" thing. Descriptive and true! And you are right, it is never too late to start again...and never too soon! We don't have to wait for the next day! emoticon emoticon

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JENORAMA1 12/30/2010 12:54AM

    Thank you for posting this! I was tempted to eat something, but I am going to have some green tea and call it a night. Good for you- putting down the fork!

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LIALOU70072 12/30/2010 12:40AM

    THANK YOU for this blog post!

I like how it's not falling off the's sitting in the wagon with our cake/cookies/candies/chips/whatever our vice may be!!!


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EMILYD1952 12/30/2010 12:11AM

    Great blog!

I LOL several times, you are a great communicator!

I loved your example of cake eating as well, I only take a piece of end with a big rose LOL and I usually leave the bottom half of the cake uneaten !

I am SOOOO PROUD of you!

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SHARON10002 12/30/2010 12:01AM

    Wonderful blog! Made me laugh, and you are absolutely right!

I also second Teeny's comment: I cannot let frosting be in the same zip-code with me! Give me cake and I eat the frosting every time - Don't really care for the cake at all, and I go for the corner pieces or the ones with the huge flowers! emoticon

You sprung back really quickly and for that you deserve a big emoticon!

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RUNNER12COM 12/30/2010 12:00AM

    You and your self-awareness are more than a match for any dessert. You are a rock star who knows what she needs to do.

Good on ya!


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SASSYBLONDE69 12/29/2010 11:56PM

    Food pushers are awful! They usually mean well, except for the ones who are trying to sabotage OUR success. Good for you throwing the cake away! Have a nice tall glass of water then brush your teeth. Feels so nice I never want to eat and mess it up! lol

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HEATHERLBARTH 12/29/2010 11:55PM

    Thank you so much for this post! Sometimes, it is very hard to remember that you have the right and the ability to stop. I forget often that I am WORTH putting that dang fork down and enjoying spending time with my family, instead of gorging myself on all of the fattening crap they like. So again, thank you, for that slap in the head that said "Shut up and put the fork DOWN!!"

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HEALTHYBY20 12/29/2010 11:48PM

    I really liked this blog. I am terrible about making one mistake and then just eating like crap for the rest of the day. I really need to work on that. Your blog helped drive home the fact that no matter when i mess up or what I have forgotten I can always decide what I do NOW.

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/29/2010 11:47PM

    "So beware acts of kindness wrapped in foil! She takes every chance she can get to feed me, and now I'm sitting up and taking notice. "

Stinkin' food pushers = bad, but I am glad you have her number.

Numbers 1 and 2 are really double whammies, but you are coming back strong - and quickly - which is just stellar.

The one thing I have learned over vacation is I cannot be trusted with frosting anywhere near my house. Why is frosting so delicious?!

Anyway, you are spot on - it is never ever too late. Battle on, gorgeous!

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PVILLAGO 12/29/2010 11:27PM

    At least you still have your sense of humor. I know it's hard when you haven't eaten and you come home and you want something NOW and unfortunately you had Cake and Cookies.
I know you've been out of town too so that made it hard to restock the kitchen. I try to always have yogurt on hand when I am in the gremlin gobbling mode. I try and head for that.
I have to make a Hershey Bar Cake for Church Sunday and I sure dread it too. We are all bringing desserts and having coffee. Maybe I can just load up on coffee but I am sure I will taste something sweet.
Once it's in my system it is in my brain and drives me crazy for more, more, more.
Good Luck to you

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Happy Birthday to Me - the best gift I have ever gotten

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Today is my 30th birthday. As I write this blog I am sitting in Greenjeans Restaurant in the Toronto Eaton Centre waiting for my family to descend on me and the party to begin. So before the chaos of Christmas happens, I wanted to take a few moments for a minute of self-reflection today.

When I turned 29 last year I was honestly scared of what would come of this year. I weighed over 300 pounds and though I wasn't unhappy (my therapy has been helping me overcome my unhappiness for a few years now), I wasn't satisfied either. I knew if change was going to happen that it had to happen soon - but I still didn't know how.

In April I discovered Spark and never looked back. Now 72 pounds lighter, I enter my 30s with a hope and a joy that I never experienced in the whole decade of my 20s. I'm down right exuberant! And though this journey has been challenging at times, I'm still doing it - something I never even thought possible given all my failed attempts.

This morning I woke up before my alarm. Even though I was at my brother's house I had been planning to run on my birthday for a few months now. I was excited. Last year I couldn't walk a mile without being winded. Today I ran 2 miles and wanted more. My brother helped me plan my route and watched in amazement as the person I have become headed out the door into the cold morning. What a gift. What an absolute wonder that I have given myself. I have given myself my life back...and this morning I ran 2 miles to prove it.

I have every hope that my 30s will quickly become the best years of my life. But for some reason I don't feel like I need to hope that hard - because I already KNOW they will be.

Happy Birthday Jenn! May you continue to love yourself in the future as much as you love yourself today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 12/30/2010 2:11AM

    Aww... Your "Flirty Thirties"!! HEhee.
You know that I know exactly what you mean. I started SparkPeople when I was 29. Lost 60 pounds by my 30th birthday. And there's still so much more to experience. You have a bright and beautiful future to behold!!

All the best!
Lots of love!

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ABB698 12/30/2010 1:45AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy 30th Birthday! So glad to hear it was DONE just right! Cheers to many more and to good health!
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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/30/2010 1:37AM

    You are amazing! What a fantastic gift you gave to yourself.

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RIGBY31 12/27/2010 8:33PM

    YOU are the gift that keeps on giving! Have a terrific 2011 (and you b-day next!)

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JENJESS48 12/27/2010 2:44PM

    You've done an amazing job this year! And take it from me: your 30s are WAY better than your 20s. Things aren't so dramatic, life-and-death all the time anymore. You know yourself better and are more confident in your own skin. And your journey to health is only going to help with that. Happy birthday!

emoticon emoticon

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SLFRISBEY 12/27/2010 9:52AM

    Happy Birthday!!!!

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CHICAT63 12/27/2010 8:25AM

    Happy Belated Birthday, missed this blog earlier. Turning 30 is a new beginning and you doing amazing, you are down 72 pounds and counting. I am sure 2011 will bring you many joys and triumphs.

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BECOMESTRONGER 12/27/2010 1:31AM

    Happy Belated Birthday! The 30's are WAY BETTER than the 20's! emoticon

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RUNNINGOLLIE 12/27/2010 12:55AM

    What a great blog and a great accomplishment!!!! emoticon emoticon

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MESEATURTLE 12/26/2010 11:44PM

    Happy belated birthday to u!!!!!

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EUPHRATES 12/26/2010 11:31PM


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EAGLE101 12/26/2010 3:07PM


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YINYANGSJM 12/26/2010 2:29PM

    Happy Belated Birthday to you :). What a great present for yourself. I didn't realize until my 40's that I deserve to treat myself well and do things that make me happy, good for you realizing it now. Great job!!!!!

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RABBLEROUSER75 12/26/2010 2:05PM

    Love it!

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HSMOM2FOUR 12/26/2010 1:19PM

    Happy Birthday!! What an awesome start to your day! I hope it only got better from there! I know your 30's will be awesome - how can they not be when they are being started off in such a great way?! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/26/2010 1:19:37 PM

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KELSCATT 12/26/2010 1:12PM

  Happy Birthday and congrats on the weight loss and putting JENN first.
YAY for the 30's :)

congrats on the running - its something that continues to amaze me, like what we can do!!!

Spark on!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/26/2010 1:03PM

    Sweet. 30 has turned out well for me as well! Happy belated birthday to you.

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TEENY_BIKINI 12/26/2010 12:51PM

    Spark on, gorgeous. You deserve the best.


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KRAWRS 12/26/2010 12:47PM

    Fantastic! Happy Birthday (belated)! I love all your new pictures, they turned out GREAT!

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LAURIETAIT 12/25/2010 12:00PM

    Happy Birthday! You look great. You feel great. You're 30's will be awesome!

P.S. You've shamed me into getting out there and exercising. I can't use Winnipeg weather as an excuse. It's pretty nice here!

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MEADSBAY 12/23/2010 9:08PM

    Happy happy happy birthday, Jenn
You are an amazing young woman and you deserve every wonderful thing that has happened to you!
Savor it.
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LOVE your new profile pic- you're gorgeous!

Comment edited on: 12/23/2010 9:09:01 PM

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HDHAWK 12/23/2010 7:50PM

    Happy Birthday to you! You've accomplished so much!

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SYN-CA 12/23/2010 6:48PM

    Kith, what a wonderful story and birthday gift to yourself! One of the things I have owned in my life is that my body nor my weight defines who I am. The body is just the vehicle that carries YOU around! Though I have always been overweight since age 13, up/down/ up/down, it has not slowed me down. Wonderful victory for you in what you have accomplished so far! Happy Birthday and Happy Holidays! xxoo
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KSGROTHE 12/23/2010 6:34PM

    Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday, dear Je-ennnn!
Happy Birthday to you! (And many moooooore!)
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- Karen

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TWOTIMESS 12/23/2010 6:06PM

    emoticon emoticon
Beautifully said! Happy birthday!

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CECE0330 12/23/2010 3:53PM

    What an excellent blog! Happy birthday & Congrats! You're absolutely right: The best gift you can give yourself is good health! Have a great day!

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KAKIPOPUP 12/23/2010 3:49PM

    So far my 40's have been my favorite decade - but the best is yet to be! Happy Birthday! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CALLIKIA 12/23/2010 3:35PM

    I love it! I hope to have a similar experience next month when I hit the big 3-0 (which I'm no longer at all terrified of...I'm looking FORWARD to it now! Who would've thunk it?) Happy birthday to you! Enjoy 30!

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SARAWALKS 12/23/2010 3:23PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to you! Rejoicing!

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TWANGGIRL 12/23/2010 3:07PM

    That is terrific! Congrats and happy b-day to you!

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Holiday Recipe Challenge!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hello my wonderful Spark Friends. I have a challenge for ALL of you! I just did this myself last night, so I'll be all set for going home.

I know that we're all about to embark on a crazy journey of yumminess over the weekend. Cookies, cakes and holiday savories that only come around once a year. And when you see these items so rarely, it's SO difficult not to stuff your face and wish it were Christmas EVERY day. With me in particular, since my birthday is also 2 days before Christmas, I get not only my mom's home cooking for the holiday, but also my special birthday cake (Flaming Baked Alaska) made ever so lovingly on the 23rd.

So the challenge is this:

Pick THREE of your absolute favorite, cannot possibly say "No" to, Holiday items that you KNOW will be on the table this Christmas. Call you mom, or your Grammy or your funny Uncle Ted and ask them for the recipe for that wonderful dish - every scrap of lard, every pound of butter that is in it. And then enter all 3 recipes as they are in their original form into SparkRecipes and figure out a serving size.

Now - come Christmas morning - you are all armed and ready! You know exactly how many calories, grams of fat and hidden nutrients are in your favorite dishes! So go ahead and EAT THEM! But make sure when you do, you track them as well! And we'll all make a promise here to track those items every time they cross our plates. Since so many things WILL cross our plates, knowing what's in just THREE of them will be a huge help.

Once you're done entering your recipes, post a blog and a link to them. I'm really interested to see what all your favorite items are!

I still need to get the recipe from Mom for my Baked Alaska, but here are two of my other absolute favorites!

Christmas Morning Quiche -

Aunt Edith's Welsh Cakes -

Merry Christmas Everyone! Happy Eating (and Healthy Eating!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RIGBY31 12/22/2010 3:38PM

    This is a great, scarey idea. I don't know how I'm going to wrap my brain around calculating ... Tamales... but I'll give it a shot. btw... our pbs stations showed Germany and their Christmast Markets and I immediately thought of you! I totally get gulwhein now!! And Happy Birthday tomorrow!

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LAURIETAIT 12/21/2010 1:46PM

    Great idea. Now I just need to narrow it down to three! emoticon

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WYND10 12/21/2010 1:22PM

    Great idea!!! I am entering the great unknown with Christmas spent with (I need a great moniker for my SO!) my SO and his family. I've asked what traditions they have and he basically described what we eat for Thanksgiving here, so I think I will be ok. But Christmas Eve is grazing through Appetizers, so that will be interesting.

But in honor of this challenge...I will track as best I can. Promise.

Also, did I mention you Rock? :D

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SARAWALKS 12/21/2010 1:14PM

    What a great idea! I am going to try to find time to do this with my mom's Cherry old Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe that became a family tradition for us. emoticon emoticon

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Slow Down

Monday, December 20, 2010

So I'm definitely NOT on vacation any more. The jet lag has faded, the memories are growing distant, and WORK will not let up long enough to let me breathe let alone get anything accomplished before Christmas. I MISS Spark, I miss reading articles and tracking throughout the day, and updating my status and wishing the Done Girls Happy Birthdays. I'm afraid that my time away from this community has become a little permanent and since I got in the habit of NOT logging in every day while I was away, it's no longer as second nature as it was before I left. I need to make that better!

I've been on the scale a couple of times this week and it hasn't budged an inch since my fantastic post-trip weigh-in. No chance of shedding a little vacation water weight I guess. Like I said - I'm pretty sure the reason I dropped weight in the first place was because of that flu bug I got the day before I came home, so I shouldn't be surprised that my body has fluctuated back up this week, but it's disappointing! I was really hoping for that magic 75 pound weight loss by Christmas. But I really should be happy with 70. I should. So 70 pounds gone is what I'm taking home with me for Christmas. In a Size L sweater from the Gap.

Since getting home I have tried to resume my running routine, and since the pool is closed until the New Year, I have added back in my 3rd day of weekly running. But for whatever reason (most likely that I am fighting a really bad chest cold), I have been hitting a wall at 1.5 miles and just can't seem to run any further than that before having to walk. I'm on my 5K route, so I'm only run/walking 3.1 miles anyway, when before I left for my trip I was up to running a full 4 miles. So 3 times this week I've gone out, 3 times I've stopped running just past 1 mile, walk for 5 minutes, run again, hit another wall, walk, run - and so it goes for the full route. It's FRUSTRATING!!! Yes, I know the weather has been 9 degrees when I'm running outside. Yes, I know I'm fighting a cold. But I HAVE to break through this wall if I'm to keep training for my 8K in March.

I guess I am just realizing how important my cross-training with swimming and Zumba have been for my running as well. I'm feeling flabby all over. Running is great for my legs and my core, but Zumba had me toned nicely and swimming is amazing for my arms. I might be smaller than I was before my trip, but I don't FEEL smaller and that's really getting to me - especially since the compliments on my appearance have kicked in to high gear since coming back to town. You leave for 3 weeks and people forget what you looked like, and then coming back and clearly being smaller than the last mental picture they had of me has shocked a few people I think. My office mate actually exclaimed "OMG your face is so thin!" So that makes me feel good I guess, but guilty at the same time because I'm just not in "Top Shape" right now in comparison to where I was before I left.

I had a great photo session yesterday for a show I have coming up. The photographer is a friend of mine and he took some REALLY beautiful shots of me (I get a disk tomorrow so I'll be sure to post a couple). But again, it was yet another reminder that no matter how fabulous I feel about where I am right now, I still have a long way to go. The great shots are great and made me feel really pretty, but there were definitely a few outtakes that had me saying "Oh God - I look like THAT? Where'd THAT roll come from? And I thought my double chin was on the way out?" I have certainly come a long way since 313 pounds, but I'm not even half way yet. There is so much work left to do.

So I'm on autopilot through the holidays. I have come to the conclusion that if I can make it to New Year's Eve and still be down 70 pounds, that's a huge accomplishment and I should take that and be happy for it. But we all want MORE don't we? We all want to be super fabulous AND lose weight during really stressful holiday times. I think I'm perfectly normal to feel a little "blah" about the scale not moving when I'm rocking it out as hard as I can right now! And I haven't forgotten about my WW2 Challenge which I won't now see the end of until well into the new year.

I just don't want this Slow Down to become a trend. I fear trends like this. I was on a roll, and even though I didn't gain in Germany, I need to stay on that roll into the new year. I still have 125 pounds to lose! I need to hit that perfect balance of food and exercise again to see those results on the scale.

So tomorrow I'm aiming to run at least 2 miles without stopping. After Christmas I'll be back at Zumba every Saturday. And then back in the pool shortly after - on track to being down 100 pounds by April at the latest!

I just have to ride this frustration through the holidays, do the best I can with what I am given, run, run, run like a rockstar, and HOPE that everything I'm doing now will continue to work when the stress of the season wears off in January.

Wishing all of you as little stress as possible over this next week. We'll all make it through - good or bad - but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing less of all of you in the New Year! (In the best of all possible ways!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLIGIRL523 12/23/2010 10:01AM

    You just make me smile.


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WYND10 12/21/2010 11:44AM

    Ain't no shame in maintaining through the holidays! That's my plan. MAINTAIN. And hon, it certainly not a trend, if it were you wouldn't be worried about getting back to running more, Zumba and all that fun sweaty stuff! And seriously, getting down on yourself because you are ONLY running 1.5 miles. In the cold. With a chest cold. Umm...can someone say YOU'RE STILL A ROCKSTAR???? ;)

I want to be you when I grow up. Seriously.


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KRAWRS 12/21/2010 11:03AM

    I'm not worried! I know you're frustrated, but I SO ADMIRE YOU for all your hard work in Germany. Yes, you played just as hard as you worked, but you utilized that all important principal... that this is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE... so in Germany, you weren't on a diet. You watched what you ate when you could and did the best you could when there were no "good" choices. So now you're back and a little slow to get back in the routine... so take those little baby steps again to get you back where you were, and in no time, you'll be back where you started and then some!

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LOTUSFLOWER 12/21/2010 10:29AM

    You are beautiful.

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CHICAT63 12/21/2010 10:05AM

    2011 is going to bring on even more great things for you ! 70 pounds lost is 70 pounds, euh that is 7 x 10 pounds of potatoes that is frigging awesome. Do not get discouraged, you can do it.

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KARVY09 12/21/2010 7:26AM

    You're a rockstar. 2011 will be great for you!

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-POOKIE- 12/21/2010 1:48AM


Sometimes when you look at the far off picture of losing so much... I know it made me feel daunted and put off. But you have already lost more than a lot of people ever do, which makes you an amazing success.

Don't beat yourself up for being ill either, I am feeling super guilty about not going out yesterday, but since I can't even walk around my flat without feeling ill... yet still feel guilt! Far cry from the girl who would happily do nothing for days.... and same for you, you are still running, just get well before taking it up a notch again.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/20/2010 10:33PM

    You're doing awesome. I certainly understand the frustration ... but being aware is part of the battle. Girl, you got this!

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SARAWALKS 12/20/2010 10:01PM

    Maintaining looks pretty good to me right now.
And you do need to be good to yourself so that you can get rid of the illness.
Wow, 8K! I'm impressed! I don't think there's any way you're going to backslide, so just get back in your tracking habit and welcome that NEW YEAR! emoticon

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LAURIETAIT 12/20/2010 9:40PM

    I hope to see less of you in the new year too! Don't sweat the slow downs. It will all come right in the end. Just keep doing all the things you have been doing and you will be down 125 in no time. Here's to us all surviving the season and maintaining the status quo. I really don't thing I'm capable of more.

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