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What it's really about for me...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Well, as of this morning, I actually have less than 10 pounds to go to reach my first major weight loss goal (9 pounds to go). I have officially lost 94 pounds, and did it in 10 months. I have not hit one plateau, even during that time of month (thank you God), and have consistently lost something every week without fail. I never weighed myself more than once a week (to finally destroy my obsession with the scale - which is a "diet" mentality). I have lost 15 inches from my waist so far, and around 20 inches from my hips. I am proud of what I have accomplished, but the best feeling for me comes from HOW I did it, not what I did.

For the first time in my life, I did not diet! I have historically been on every fad diet known to mankind, some more than once. Just to show you that I am not kidding, these have included (but are not limited to anything other than my memory) Atkins (several times), Weight Watchers, Michael Thurmond, Physician's Weight Loss (lost 100+ pounds both times - last time 140 pounds lost), Medifast, Optifast, Beverly Hills Diet, Cabbage Soup diet, hot dog and ice cream diet (one of my faves LOL), SlimFast, etc...basically all of the fads out there. The worst thing was that after each attempt, I only damaged by body and metabolism even more. Talk about yo-yo effect. And I ALWAYS gained back way more than I lost...EVERY TIME WITHOUT FAIL! Except this last time.

I was DONE..DONE being the fat girl, DONE being miserable, DONE being on a diet, DONE feeling worthless, DONE digging my grave with a fork, just plain DONE!

One of the positives, probably the only positive that came from years and years (since age 10) of yo-yo dieting, is actually a "gain" not a "loss"! It is the knowledge I have gained as a result of destroying my body. I have spent many many years learning about nutrition, weight loss, nutrients (both macro and micro), fitness and optimal health. So had I not experienced my past, I would never have arrived at my present, and definitely would not have been able to look forward to my future.

I decided that since I was DONE, there was only one way to do this...only one right way... the right way for me. I need to eat clean, eat smart and treat my body the way it deserved to be treated. I wrote my own food plan, and I have remained consistent every day since then...without fail. I knew that if I resorted back to my old habits and old ways of dealing with food, then I would never reach my goals of being height/weight proportionate, of having a healthy relationship with food, of being strong and muscular with a nice physique, of loving how I feel. The focus was no longer going to be about how many pounds to lose, how many inches to lose or what size I wanted to be. The focus was (and still is) on consistent clean healthy eating, dedication to working out and unparalleled discipline and consistency. And, it has worked...really worked.

Again my goals were to:

1) Have a healthy relationship with food - AND I DO! I no longer eat to "medicate". I eat solely for nourishment...but only physical nourishment, not psychological nourishment. I now deal with my feelings without trying to medicate them away. And I use food the way it should be used - to nourish and feed my body, not my mind. I treat it like a prescription written by my doctor. I do not take more or less than what is prescribed...I eat based on how my plan is written, getting exactly the nutrients my body needs to function optimally.

2) Become strong and muscular with a nice physique - I am 9 pounds away from my 1st goal. I went from a woman's size 26 (tight 24) and a woman's 3X to wearing a junior's size 1 and a misses size 2, and a size 26 or 27 waist size in pants (see the irony - size 26 to size 26?). I have developed muscles that I can actually see. My Phase II goal, once the fat loss is complete, is to continue to build muscles and strength. So I am not there yet, but closer than I have ever been.

3) Loving how I feel - I LOVE how my body feels. I love HOW I eat and I love WHAT I eat (REALLY LOVE WHAT I EAT - I cannot say this enough). I look forward to each meal, and I am pretty creative when I cook. I have created so many clean healthy recipes (see my Spark Page if you're interested in just a peek at some of them). I never run out of wonderful foods/meals to eat.

I am NEVER deprived, like I was in the past, by dieting. The focus was (and still is) no longer going to be about how many pounds to lose, how many inches to lose or what size I want to be. The focus was (and still is) on consistent clean healthy eating, dedication to working out and unparalleled discipline and consistency. This is what works for me.

Many people have asked me what the "secrets of my success" are. They truly are not "secrets". The "Successful Seven" or "A,B,C,D..." major key components of my success are:

1) Accountability
2) Blogging, journaling and chatting - sharing and spreading the "spark"
3) Consistency
4) Common sense
5) Dedication
6) Nurture my metabolism
7) Honesty (keeping it real)

* Accountability: I track everything I eat. EVERYTHING! I do not falter. This keeps me accountable and keenly aware of everything I put into my body. It also keeps me acutely aware of how my body responds to certain foods or nutrients.

* Consistency: Again, I do not falter. I set very specific goals, and I have not done anything to shoot myself in the foot or keep me from reaching my goals. I remain as consistent today as I did when I began. I know that each choice I make brings me one step closer or one step further away from my goals...the choice is mine.

* Dedication: I have made my goals my number one priority...above everything. I struggled initially, feeling I was being selfish, but soon came to realize that I have to come first. Without a healthy, fit and strong Lisa, I cannot help anyone else. So I made "me" my #1 priority by making my health plan my top matter what. This dedication has been through months and months of holidays, birthdays, food days at work, temptations at every turn including junk food, fast food, media torture, processed garbage, etc. I take a cooler with me everywhere I go, whether it's to work or to NY to visit family for the holidays. I am always prepared. I keep clean healthy portable choices at work, in my purse, in my car and anywhere else I am at risk of being ill-prepared. Others may struggle with my tenacity and determination ("don't you ever cheat?"), but it works for me...IT'S SIMPLE, but NOT EASY! Make sense?

* Common sense: Seems silly, but it's true. Common sense dictates that I know what is good for me, and I know what isn't. I can read nutrition labels, I know what my triggers are, and I am ALWAYS prepared. One of my mantras is that "I must be prepared to fail if I fail to prepare". I am always prepared. Don't get me wrong, there are times where it's VERY difficult to do, but I do whatever I can to avoid pitfalls and any risk of sabotage. Again, this is what works for me.

*Nurture my metabolism: I have destroyed my metabolism by years and years of yo-yo dieting, to the point that it was probably flat-lined when I began my program. I consistently (there's that word again) eat 5-6 small balanced meals every day, roughly 2.5 to 3 hours apart, and do whatever I can to make sure my metabolism is always working and churning away.

* Honesty: I don't make excuses (you know what they say about excuses and what they're compared to). I don't make rationales. I am open and honest with myself and anyone I come in contact with. I am honest about what I eat, why I eat and how I eat. I spent years of making excuses like, "I deserve to eat this...I have done so well", or "it's my birthday or Christmas, Memorial Day or Valentine's Day, and I am allowed and will own this", or my favorite, "it won't kill me". I not only own the choices I make, I make sure to improve and get better when I make the next choice. I don't aim for perfection, but for progress. There was a time where if the diet said "eat 4 oz of chicken", I would only eat chicken, not turkey or any other lean protein. It was maniacal for fear of not losing the most weight possible. Today, I am much different...consistently making progress, and never aiming for perfection...Lord knows I am far from it. But, I am ALWAYS honest with myself, and NEVER make excuses...period!

And finally, the 7th key component is...
* Blogging, journaling and chatting - sharing and spreading the "spark":
For those of you who have come to know me through SP, you know that I am an incredibly private person. I tend to isolate more often than I should, and I struggle to share my thoughts and feelings. That being said, I have come to learn how to do this, and be able to help others, which to me is priceless. I would rather help just one person, than dedicate everything I have to me. It helps immensely to chat, blog, journal and share my "ups and downs" (no pun intended) with all of you. It gives me a window to look through and monitor how I am, where I am at, and how far I have become. It's also a glimpse of where I am going.

I have even been nominated as a Spark People Motivator - can you believe it? I actually motivate others :o) This means the world to me, and I cannot explain that in words. Sense of self-worth is not something that goes hand-in-hand with obesity, so this is HUGE for me (pun actually intended)!

So, I have rambled on more than I ever have, but I am hoping that it helps at least one of you. It helps me to know that you take enough of an interest in me and my life to even read what I have to say. It helps to keep me helps to keep me helps to keep me helps me to reach my goals.

So here is to all of us and our journeys we have chosen to take together. I would not be where I am today without you.

More to come...stay tuned.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BH7272 5/30/2009 1:57PM

    Awesome philosophy, awesome results, awesome YOU as a person!!!

Thanks for the inspiration. You should be required reading on SparkPeople, particularly for newbies who expect the world to change in 2 weeks. They need to know how it's really done, and, more importantly, that it is possible for anyone with your determination.

Thanks again, and much joy to you!

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ACTIVE_AT_60 4/25/2009 4:23PM

    I read your blog again. So well said. One of the things you (and others) who are getting close to their goal. What should be the next goal? Yes, I know people will say maintenance, and clearly that is important, but other goals are important as well.

Well written, well said, well done...

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WANNABHAPPY2 4/20/2009 12:36PM

    Hey Lisa!
Thanks for the wonderful blog! I am so glad that you have found a way of living that works for you and your body and is healthy all at the same time. I can't wait to mentally be in the same place you are. You are an inspiration and i admire your honesty!
I can't wait to celebrate your goal with you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANSU12 4/20/2009 12:13AM

    Wow, i dont even know what to say. Yes i do, when is the book coming out! You have helped me tremendously, more than i can ever express. And i know you have helped countless others. You are truly an inspiration! I love to see you out of your shell, too! I can't say thanks enough!!!

EDIT: ohh, and if anyone "deserves" true success, it's you!!!!

Susan AND Toby!

Comment edited on: 4/20/2009 12:13:53 AM

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JENNCRRT 4/18/2009 11:32PM

    Wow, what a blog! Thank you Lisa! emoticon

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KARENCHAPTER2 4/18/2009 9:36PM

    Incredible blog! I am so happy you put this in words and allowed us all to read it! I love it when you open up!

You are one of the biggest motivators I know so it is no surprise to me that you were nominated. You have definitely motivated me (oops I know I am not supposed to use the word motivated from your TOTD, lol) but you have helped me tremendously. I was at the same weight for over a year and after you showed me how to kickstart my metabolism again and start losing weight again. I couldn't have done it on my own!

You are really an amazing person and I hope you know it! emoticon

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ACTIVE_AT_60 4/18/2009 5:17PM

    I totally understand why you are being nominated as a motivator. Just reading this blog was an amazing treat.

Congratulations on your accomplishment - you have many reasons to be proud of you and your accomplishments, not to mention a healthier you.

Continue what you do for you and others.

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RAVON27 4/18/2009 4:53PM

    I am so proud of all your accomplishments and even happier for you that you are proud of them. You definitely deserve to be a motivator because that's what you've been all along. Hope you have a happy and healthy spring!

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MOONLITCHELLE 4/18/2009 4:36PM

    Can I believe you've been nominated as a motivator?
Well, let's see...I'm one of the people who nominated you, and I can't think of anyone else who is MORE motivating than you are.. so yes.. I believe it.

You're amazing.. You've DONE amazingly, and you continue to amaze me. If I had a shred of your dedication and consistency I would be so much farther along. I'm learning..

For what it's worth.. I struggle to have the healthy relationship with food that you've achieved. I haven't had the same yo-yo diet mentality in the past.. so I'm doing all of that struggling now.. but I've learned more from you than you will ever know.

This is a fantastic blog from a fantastic woman. (Who is fantastic, wonderful, worthy, and amazing... no matter which 26 is on the label.) I'm so glad that you shared this. It helps. Incredibly so.
Your Scarecrow.

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IRISHLASS117 4/18/2009 4:33PM

    Fabulous! And thank you for sharing yourself, an inspiration to any who take the time to read your words.

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ATR_1983 4/18/2009 3:13PM

    I love this blog. You have come so far and I am truly proud of you and Kayla is too. You have done a great job and you never altered your plan. You are a motivator for me and many others on SP. Keep up the great work. You are Done! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRISTYSMOM 4/18/2009 1:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Keep up the good work. and way to be there for others!

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Countdown to GOAL! 20 pounds to go!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Well, my journey began with more than 100 pounds to lose, and I am finally down to the last 20, or what I refer to as wrapping up Phase I of my health plan. I rarely, if ever, allow myself to recognize my own accomplishments, so I am using this blog as an exercise in "hats off to me"...trying to learn that I fit in the equation, and that I cannot be there for others if I don't start with a healthy and happy me. So here is some of what I have done on my Spark journey over the last 8 months:

1) I successfully quit smoking and gave up caffeine
2) I successfully donated 80 pounds to the Fat Gods
3) I successfully implemented a fitness plan and have remained faithful to it.
4) I successfully started a nutrition plan and have not strayed from it...not even once!
5) Through rain, snow, sleet, hail, brutal heat, freezing cold, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's...I have followed my plan to bring me closer to....

20 DARNED POUNDS TO GO!!!! Truth is that I am scared to death. I am scared to "succeed" (which is why I tried to splatter that word in front of me so much above). I am scared of what life will feel like in this body. I am scared of not being able to reach my ultimate goal.

Phase II will be "maintenance"...a new word for me to fear and conquer.

Thanks to all who are taking this journey with me, and caring enough to follow my story. I could not be doing his without my Spark family.

~More as the days go by....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTLIFE79 3/26/2009 1:55PM

    Lisa, I am so happy for you. I have tears in my eyes, I am so happy for you. Don;t let fear keep you away. Let yourself enjoy where you are. Thanks for being an inspiration for us all!

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JBUGZY 3/24/2009 11:35AM

    I think we all deal with those same fears but it looks like you are going in the right direction!

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RAVON27 2/15/2009 12:14PM

    AWESOME! I am so proud of you. And better yet, you are proud of yourself. Keep up the great job.

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CAREDFORONE 2/7/2009 4:36PM

    Awesome, wonderful, amazing! You are a real encouragement.
Instead of looking forward with fear, try looking forward as the super successful person you are, who will have even more success than you can even fathom at the moment!
Wishing you the very best!! emoticon

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CASHLESSNCR 2/5/2009 9:03PM

    Don't be scared. You've got great habits to lean on and great determination. And most important a great support system. I'll be there for you. I'm counting on you to be here for me, too.

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WANNABHAPPY2 1/26/2009 10:02AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
If there was one that showed pride I would have used that one too! Way to go and keep up the great work!

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JENNCRRT 1/24/2009 11:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Accentuate the positive and eliminate all the negative!!
Lisa, you are awesome!! Love ya!!

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MOONLITCHELLE 1/24/2009 9:00PM

    I am SO PROUD of YOU!!!!!!!
Look at you using such great language about YOU.
Oh, it's like music to my eyes. Read this...every day.
Learn to believe in it, believe in you.
Thank you for this light through my current darkness.

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ATR_1983 1/24/2009 2:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You are doing great Lisa. I am so proud of you for all that you have accomplished. You are a inspiration to me. I can't wait to get close to my goal. I know you will loose your last 20 pounds and I you will maintain your weight. Keep up the great work. emoticon emoticon

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A Treat Worth Dying For???

Monday, October 20, 2008

I just found out that my favorite treats, that I actually crave all the time (M&Ms are my fave), are not worth dying for!

M&Ms along with many other candies like Skittles and Snickers to name a few, those manufactured by Mars Inc., are responsible for the deaths of numerous animals in unnecessary animal tests.

The experiments funded by Mars, including the following examples, are truly the stuff of Halloween nightmares:

Rats have been force-fed chocolate chemicals and had needles jabbed directly into their still beating hearts.

**Rabbits have been cut apart to determine the effects of cocoa on muscle tissue.

**Guinea pigs have had cocoa ingredients injected into arteries in their necks to measure the impact on their blood pressure.

And these are only a few of the tests that Mars has funded.

Perhaps most disturbingly of all, not one of Mars' experiments on animals is required by law.

So, no Mars candy for me! Fastest way for me to stay away from the dreaded Halloween candies! Maybe this will help you the next time you go to grab a Mars candy treat...think of the innocent lives that were tortured for that piece of chocolate.

Here is a list of Mars' products - buying them is your choice:

3 Musketeers
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals (recently renamed to Mars Fish Care)
Buckeye Nutrition
Cesar (Dog Food)
Dove Chocolate
Galaxy (Alternative for the Dove range used in the UK and Middle East)
Marathon (UK name for Snickers until it was renamed in 1990)
Mars Bar
Mars Delight
Mars Planets (newly introduced in the UK)
Medi-Cal (Prescription Pet Food)
Milky Way
Pill Pockets
Royal Canin (Pet Food)
Seeds of Change
Sheba (cat food)
Snickers Marathon Energy Bar
Wisdom Panel MX Mixed Breed DNA Test

Thanks for listening!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBUILDINGME 5/26/2010 9:37AM

    IAMS and EUKANUBA are animal abusers/testers as well..irony ,huh? I especially detest the ones that are makers of pet foods!

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MEOWCATS 4/14/2009 9:23PM

    Whoa. Thanks for this information. I will try to stay away from those products, as there is no excuse for this kind of "testing". emoticon

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DEVIVAK 11/18/2008 7:22PM

    Great info` I am striving to be a conscious AND compassionate consumer and every new bit of info helps!

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MOONLITCHELLE 10/26/2008 8:38AM

    I really appreciate the detailed list. If you are interested, I have other lists. (You probably do too.)
I personally find Proctor & Gamble the hardest to stay away from. They make EVERYTHING. Grr.
About an hour from here is a great store called the "WARM Store" it stands for "Woodstock Animal Rights Movement".. and while you will encounter horrid videos playing (you know the type) and will not be allowed in with leather shoes, it is a joy to shop in a store where you do NOT have to worry in the slightest. You do not have to look at labels or do research on companies, everything in there is totally "Cruelty free".

Justice - Indeed... it is something to consider as well. Did you know that Cocoa Butter as well is something to be wary of? The injustices in the world may not be solved by one person making small choices. But education in what really happens before products get to our shelves is an eye-opener.
We may not make all the difference we want to see in the world. But we can be responsible for OUR actions and OUR choices.

Sorry for the novella... again.

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JESS2BU 10/25/2008 2:01PM

    Shazammmm Royal Canin makes Sensible Choice! Sensible Choice was my dog food for my babies forever. Glad I quit feedin that. Thank you for the list... I generally make every effort to protect all creatures, and this will just be another stand in favor of good choices for me and my babies.

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JUSTICESLIM 10/22/2008 9:55PM

    Also, most chocolate comes from slave labor... so now we have two reasons to not eat chocolate!!

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BLC III Results 10/13 - 12/07

Monday, October 13, 2008

Week #1 10/13 - 10/19
SW: 158
Pounds lost: 1
BLC Super challenge - 105 cups of H2O (2nd place on team GOLD)
GOLD Team mini challenge: 75 freggies for the week (WINNER)
Week #2 10/20 - 10/26
SW: 157
Pounds lost: 2.5 - 1 lb. pass = 3.5 total lbs for wk
BLC Super challenge: 112 cups of H2O
GOLD Team mini challenge: 78 freggies
Week #3 10/27 - 11/02
SW: 154.5
Pounds lost: 1.5 - 1 lb. pass = 2.5 total lbs for wk
BLC Super challenge: 270 minutes of cardio
GOLD Team mini challenge: 2242 calories burned
Week #4 11/03 - 11/09
SW: 153
Pounds lost: 3
BLC Super challenge: 270 minutes of cardio
GOLD Team mini challenge: 2242 calories burned
Week #5 11/10 - 11/16
SW: 150
Pounds lost: 1
BLC Super challenge: 2242 calories burned
GOLD Team mini challenge: 112 cups of water
Week #6 11/17 - 11/23
SW: 149
Pounds lost: 3 + 1 lb pass = 4 lbs.
BLC Super challenge: 2242
GOLD Team mini challenge: 121 cups of water
Week #7 11/24 - 11/30
SW: 146
Pounds lost: 1
BLC Super weekend challenge: 48 cups water
GOLD Team mini challenge: None
Week #8 12/1 - 12/07
SW: 145
Pounds lost: 2.5
BLC Super challenge: There wasn't one.
TOTAL POUNDS LOST IN BLC III: 15.5 (plus 3 from 1 lb loss passes) - TOTAL 18.5

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATR_1983 10/19/2008 10:44PM

    Lisa great Idea, I hope you don't mind if I copy it and use it.

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MISSROCKABILLY 10/15/2008 11:16AM

    I'm also going to copy this, if you don't mind. It looks incredibly helpful for staying on track. Thanks for sharing this! We are going to have a great challenge!

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JEN823 10/15/2008 10:32AM

    Hey, this is totally awesome! Do you care if I copy it? Our stats are 2 pounds different. You are doing a great job! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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CASHLESSNCR 10/15/2008 5:37AM

    I bet this is really helpful. No scrolling for the previous week's weight, etc.

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ADRIANA08 10/14/2008 3:06PM

    THIS IS AWESOME! you should show your format to the others and they will understand so much better yours is perfect!and what a wonderful way to see how you do each week!

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BLC II RESULTS 7/14 - 8/31

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Week 1 July 14-20
Pounds Lost: 6
Weekly Challenge Results: 40 freggies for the week
Week 2 July 21-27
Pounds Lost: 2
Weekly Challenge Results: 1134 calories burned
Waist: 37"
Hips: 42"
Week 3 July 28-Aug 3
Pounds Lost: 2.5
Mini challenge: H2O for week: 796 ounces
Weekly challenge results:
Here we go...
1) Power of positive thinking - my cancer biopsy results will be negative.
2) I am worthy.
3) I am a good person.
4) My biopsies were NEGATIVE.
5) I deserve to feel good about me.
6) I deserve to be healthy.
7) I am VERY compassionate.
8) I am VERY real.
9) I love even more than I weigh!
10) I am not my body.
11) My beauty comes from the inside.
12) I am DONE being miserable.
13) I am unique - there is only one me!
14) I am loveable.
15) I am selfless.
16) I am compassionate.
17) I am getting healthier.
18) I am a great friend.
19) I am a great sister.
20) I am a loyal Sparker!

Week 4: Aug 4 - Aug 10
Pounds Lost this week: 2.5 (-1 for 1 lb pass)=3.5
Weekly challenge results: H2O for week - in cups: 95
Week 5: Aug 11 - Aug 17
Pounds Lost this week: 1.25
Weekly challenge results - Hrs of sleep for wk: 51 hrs
Mini challenge: 1563 calories burned.
Week 6: Aug 18 - Aug 24
Pounds Lost this week: 2.75
Weekly challenge #1 results: Stress free challenge

July 1 - reached out for help to my GOLDen friends (5x)
July 2 - Worked up a sweat - worked out (9x)
July 3 - Breathe - VERY stressful week, worked on this a lot (3x)
July 4 - Held hands with fiance - hard with daughter here ;o) (3x)
July 7 - Develop mantra and use every chance needed - (14x) "JUST KEEP GOING!"
July 12 - Tried yoga with sister (1x)
July 13 - Planned ball game, trip on scenic railroad and zoo, and two family nights (4x)
July 14 - Accepted that life is where it is at for today. Asked for a lot of help this week from SP and friends/family - very hard for me to do. (10x)
July 15 - Communicated openly ALL WEEK. Communicated openly re work and personal life in the GOLD forum and with friends/family (7x)
July 16 - Proactive - Plan to reach work goals (challenge with problem employee) (2x)
July 17 - Played cards and Rummy Cube with step daughter to be (2x)
July 18 Take care - I took great care of me every day this week (7x)
July 22 - Take a walk (4x)
July 26 - No to drugs/alcohol - (7x) - gave up smoking, alcohol and caffeine - clean for the week!
July 27 - Cry! MANY times this week - to the point of major cleansing! (5x)
July 30 - Stay present (7x) Tried and succeeded in knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be for today.
Weekly challenge #2 results: hips/waist 41/36 :o(
Week 7: Aug 25 - Aug 31
Pounds Lost this week: 1
Total pounds lost in BLC II: 18 (19 with 1 lb pass)
Weekly challenge: None

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANSU12 9/4/2008 9:21PM

    You did fabulously on the challenge - and i second Michelle - you did more than just lose weight! Thanks for being you!

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SIMPLY_YVETTE 9/1/2008 6:30PM

    emoticon job Lisa! You emoticon some major pounds to the curb! You should be very proud of yourself for accomplishing so much and for being the wonderful person that you are!
emoticon emoticon

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MOONLITCHELLE 8/30/2008 11:58PM

I'm so proud of you.. but you forgot some things..
You were supportive, inspiring, kind, generous, and always conscious of your teammates' feelings and needs.
You accomplished making new friends, touching others' lives with sunshine and compassion, and filling others with hope and goodwill.

I could probably go on, but you're already blushing and embarrassed.. so I'll just say..
I'm VERY proud of you and all you've done for yourself during this challenge...and I'm ever so grateful to have met you through it, and walked with you on this journey. emoticon

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ATR_1983 8/30/2008 2:40PM

    You did great lisa. i am so proud of you. Keep up the great work.

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