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Day 3

Monday, January 03, 2011

What a busy day! I've been so active today. I walked around the town for almost an hour while running errands, and later in the afternoon I went for a brisk walk with my boyfriend. It feels so good to think about all the calories I burned! :) I also noticed that I'm not in a good shape physically and there's a lot I need to work on. I got so winded just getting up a steep hill... A few months and I'll be in a much better shape, I promise!

I ate healthy meals today. Whole grain pasta with veggies and tomato sauce; low fat cottage cheese; grapes; an apple; a tangerine... Lots of fresh produce, complex carbs and lean protein. I can't wait to weigh in next Sunday! I hope I see a change. If not, it's okay, because I already feel AMAZING!

Hope you're all having a great, healthy day!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 1/5/2011 12:13AM

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STSLILLIE 1/4/2011 4:44PM

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IUHRYTR 1/3/2011 9:33PM

    Good going, Annie. Aim for a one pound loss, be proud, then do it again. emoticon -- Lou

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KICKINGIT@56 1/3/2011 6:30PM

    Focus on feeling good. Healthy eating and exercise is not just for moving numbers on a scale.

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HANSRICO 1/3/2011 4:25PM

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ELLEYKAT 1/3/2011 4:21PM

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Day 2

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Hi guys! How is your 2011 looking so far? Mine is off to a great, healthy start! I've been eating right and tracking everything I eat for the past two days and I already feel different :) Silly, I know. But I really feel a difference! I haven't had acid reflux or heart burn for two days. That's a sign that I'm doing something right!

I bought a small kitchen scale so that I can be absolutely sure of how much I'm actually eating. I've always wanted one so I'm really excited. No more guessing! Portion control is so important when you're planning to lose weight. My problem is that I've been eating way too big portions of everything for as long as I can remember. Well, that's about to change now!

I took my measurements and a few before pictures today. I'm taking my measurements again in a month and hopefully I'll see a change, no matter how small. I'm excited! I'll also take pictures every month to track my progress. I really want to use other measurements for success in addition to the scale. A number is just a number, there are so many things that are just as important. How you feel, how you look, how your clothes fit. I'm not going to be obsessed with a number this time.

I signed and printed my SparkPeople Membership & Pledge Card yesterday and put it on the refrigerator door where I can see it every time I'm going to eat. I'm also going to put up some visual motivators and inspirational quotes everywhere I can see them :)

Now it's time for me to take a little walk! Have a lovely day everyone - mine is almost over already, it's 9:38 pm here in Finland.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 1/4/2011 5:34PM

    You know, I don't think I ever printed/signed my membership card. Maybe I should sometime.

the kitchen scale should be a big help! I know that I have trouble estimating amounts--and sometimes I short change myself by thinking I'm getting more of something than I really am (I find that I actually was eating a lot less than I thought--rare for Sparkspeople, I think--and I actually started to lose weight again when I started eating MORE because I wasn't getting enough!

Someone gave me excellent advice on portion sizes. Don't go straight from 8 oz of meat to 3 oz, just shrink it a little bit--maybe 6 oz. And then shrink it again once you get used to that. Eventually you'll reach a point where 3-4 oz seems right and natural and not like this tiny portion to a starving person.

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STSLILLIE 1/4/2011 4:42PM

    Love your blog, thanks for motivating me..

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IUHRYTR 1/2/2011 1:50PM

    I have been a supporter of yours for a long time, Annie and know how much to succeed. You're off to a positive start. Don't get discouraged. Stay focused and determined. Results may come in small increments but they are still results that show you are headed in the right direction. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of every single bit of progress. emoticon -- Lou

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FIORENZA 1/2/2011 1:39PM

    You can feel that something exciting is right around the next corner. You are ready for some sort of catalyst to shake your life loose, but may not know what it is yet. Needless to say, this makes it difficult, if not impossible, to prepare for what's coming up. Your best strategy is to keep reminding yourself to stay in the present moment so that you don't miss opportunity knocking at your door.

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Day 1

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Today is the first day of the new year, and it's also the first day of my new, healthy life. In 2010, I gained back all the weight I had managed to lose over the past few years. I could see it happening, I could feel my clothes getting tighter, and eventually had to buy new clothes because none of the old ones fit me anymore. I felt miserable all the time. I hated myself for letting myself go and gaining all that weight back even though I had promised to keep it off.

I decided that once the year is over, so is my yo-yo dieting. I want to learn to live a healthy lifestyle and stick with a reliable and smart weight loss plan. This time, I'm in no hurry. My goal is to lose about 2.5 kgs a month (about 5.5 pounds) to reach my goal weight by the end of the year. But, most importantly, my goal is to finally give up my unhealthy habits and become strong and healthy. That's way more important than any number on the scale. I'm going to focus on my health and well-being from now on. I'll do all it takes to feel sexy, beautiful and fit again.

I'm also restarting my SparkDiet and going back to Stage 1, FastBreak. I chose three goals I'm going to focus on for the next two weeks:

1) Don't eat in front of the TV
2) Do something active outdoors
3) Write in a journal

I don't want to overdo it this time. I'll take it one stage, one step, one goal at a time. I think that's why I have failed all the previous times: I try to do too much at once. I set too many (unrealistic) goals and have sky-high expectations, and before I know it, I get exhausted. This time I'm really making a point not to try and change everything at the same time. I want this lifestyle change to stick, and it takes time and effort to make it last. I'm not in a hurry. I know I will get where I want to be eventually. And in the meantime, I'm sure the journey will be fun, interesting and such a great learning opportunity!

Happy New Year everyone!! What are all your goals this year? Did you make any resolutions? Let's make 2011 the year we reach all our goals and make our dreams come true! :)

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 1/4/2011 5:29PM

    Happy New Year! Your goals sound very reasonable to me and I think it's a great idea to start small. I know that it's easy when you are starting out to want to think big, but it's easier to maintain real and meaningful changes when you start small and figure out what works best for you.

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MAGPIE17 1/3/2011 8:45PM

    Happy new year! Those are great starting goals!

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IUHRYTR 1/1/2011 10:13AM

    Focus on losing one pound at a time. Anyone can lose a pound. Doesn't matter how long it takes. When you do, congratulate yourself and then aim for one more pound. Each success will build confidence and make reaching your goal weight easier than trying to focus on the total you want you lose. Best of success to you. -- Lou

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LEANNISSTRONG 1/1/2011 7:52AM

    It sounds like you have a plan and the motivation to reach your goals! At five pounds a month, you will be bringing in 2012 at your goal weight! How exciting would that be! Best of luck with all your goals!!! emoticon emoticon

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Just a reminder :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This is a little something I wrote for myself but wanted to share with all of you:

"When things go wrong and you fall down, remember this: be kind to yourself. This is a long, on-going process. This is you changing your way of life and turning your back on twenty years of unhealthy eating habits. Change never happens over night. You're only human, you are bound to slip up and make mistakes and fall back into your old habits when you least expect it. This is reality, and in reality things rarely go perfectly and just as planned. Actually, this is the beauty of the whole process; it's an adventure, unpredictable, possibly filled with detours and potholes but also beautiful landscapes and discoveries along the way.

The most important thing is to keep on going. When you fall down, pick yourself right back up and keep on walking. There will always be a new day and every step you take brings you closer to your goal. Even if you are only moving slowly, you are still moving. Do NOT just stand still and let this opportunity pass you by. No matter how badly you mess up, it's ALWAYS fixable. You can always move on from there. This is a learning process. This is a challenge.

Don't give up.

That's what makes all the difference this time, never giving up on yourself. You deserve this. You deserve a new life filled with beauty, health and happiness. This is your chance. Don't let anything stand in your way. Always keep moving forward, despite the pitfalls and mess-ups. Building up a new life takes time, practice and patience.

Remember this: be kind to yourself, forgive, have patience, believe in what you do, move on.

Never give up."



I hope you all enjoyed it :)


PS. I'm down 4 pounds and I feel amazing! I didn't do as well as I would've liked this week and that's why I'm extra happy for the weight loss! I definitely did not expect it. I'm inspired and motivated to do better this week and keep moving forward!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 10/24/2010 11:12AM

    Great blog! This is something that I know I need to remember--it's so easy to get frustrated by lack of progress, or by all the mistakes I keep making... but you're right. We're human, we're not perfect, and it's a process. The important thing is that we don't give up!

Congratulations on the 4 lbs lost! That's great!

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LINDENSGIRL 10/23/2010 8:25AM

    Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing. You have the attitude for great things!!

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IUHRYTR 10/23/2010 8:11AM

    Four pounds is a terrific loss. emoticon I knew you can do this. Keep up the good effort and always believe in yourself. emoticon -- Lou

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Getting My Spark Back! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thank you all for your advice and insights on my previous entry. I have decided to follow my instinct and restart my SparkDiet. I definitely feel like it is the right thing to do and I'm sure I won't regret making this decision later on. So, bye bye Atkins - hello, SparkPeople! :)

Today has been such a wonderful day. Since it's been so long and I haven't really updated in a while, I feel like there's a bit of catching up to do! I have made a few significant changes in my life since last spring:

1) I quit my English studies in the University of Turku for now (I can always go back there in the future if I feel like it) and moved back in with my boyfriend in Lahti.

2) I am now studying something I REALLY, REALLY LOVE: journalism. I am so excited about my studies and I feel like this is something I can really see myself doing in the future as well. I love writing so this really feels very natural to me. It's such a huge difference compared to studying English at the Uni. Back then I felt like every day was a struggle and I didn't find what I was studying interesting. Now it's the complete opposite!!

3) I am so much happier than I was last year when I was living alone far away from my family and my fiancÚ, studying something I didn't feel passionate about. Now I feel like my life has turned around completely: I'm living together with Tommi again, I'm studying something I really love, and I don't feel sad or depressed all the time.

It's amazing how quickly things can turn around. A year ago, I would never have imagined I'd be living this beautiful life I'm living right now. I'm so thankful for everything and I feel really blessed.

The only thing that has not changed yet is my weight. It's still exactly the same. But I'm working on it, and this time I'm only taking baby steps. I feel like today was a huge success since I usually have a hard time on weekends (especially Fridays and Saturdays!). I was so proud of myself for having Greek salad and ciabatta for dinner instead of our usual Friday night pizza or taco routine. It's all about little changes like that! I don't feel deprived at all. I feel content and confident that this is going to be the next big change in my life: I'm gaining control over my food choices and losing weight in the process!

Sure, I could have done better calorie wise (ended up consuming 1890 calories today) but it also could have been a lot worse - and it usually is! Tomorrow is my next big chance to prove that I'm on my way to a healthy new way of life.

Maybe I'll skip the dessert and just enjoy some fruit and a nice cup of peppermint tea :)

Have a wonderful Friday night everyone! It's almost midnight here in Finland and that means its also bedtime. I need my beauty sleep! ;)

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARONA_P 10/19/2010 11:53AM

    I'm sure it is alot easier to make positive changes towards a healthy lifestyles when you are feeling satisfied in other areas of your life. That's wonderful to hear that these other changes are already having a positive impact! Glad to see that you are not letting a high calorie day drag you down - moving forward and make the best decisions you can!

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MAGPIE17 10/18/2010 10:35PM

    Awesome update! Glad you're doing so well! Keep the baby steps up and I'm sure you'll see results!

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ZANNACHAN 10/15/2010 6:03PM

    I'm so glad that things are looking up for you! I know how much you hated the English program--that it wasn't what you expected at all--so I'm especially glad that this new program is working so well for you! Even better, you get to be back with Tommi. Long distance relationships can be successful (my husband and I spent our first 3 years dating living 10 hours apart, as we were at different universities) but it's hard and even harder when you hate the program that you're in. So it sounds like all the way around things are going better for you!

I think you'll be a lot happier and, frankly, more successful (not to mention healthier) in the long run with the sparks diet. I'm really glad that you made that choice!

I've become a big believer in baby steps. Losing weight hasn't been easy for me, and I'm still struggling with bursitis in my hip. I had to go very slowly in my recovery--but it has worked and I'm making progress. My hip doesn't hurt all the time. I'm a lot more active than I used to be--yeah, there are still limitations, but I'm playing soccer tonight with friends--something I wouldn't have been able to do a year ago. I'm fencing tomorrow, and for a long time I thought I would physically never be up to that challenge. And yet here I am! All by baby steps.

Baby steps are also great for helping regain your healthy lifestyle balance, whenever you start sliding off that wagon (or fall off completely, as I've had happen more than once. Because they are small, they aren't so daunting, and yet they make a real difference and make bigger changes possible.

Best of luck! And I hope you have a great weekend!

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WENDYSPARKS 10/15/2010 5:08PM

    You are doing good!!! Good luck with your writing!! I enjoy tea also!! Take things one step at a time.

Wendy :) emoticon

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KAKIPOPUP 10/15/2010 5:05PM

    Here are some (((skinny vibes))) to help you keep on the right track!

Take care.

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IUHRYTR 10/15/2010 5:00PM

    emoticon on making positive changes. It's nice to hear how happy you are now. Fruit and tea will be a good dessert, much healthier than sweets. As you recognized, small steps turn into big achievements. Take it one meal, one exercise and one positive day at a time. Oh, you don't need beauty sleep. emoticon -- Lou

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