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Home sweet home!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It's so good to be back! We had an amazing vacation and Greece was absolutely stunning (as always) but it's so nice to be back home! We walked A LOT during our vacation and hiked to a few breathtakingly beautiful places despite the heat and humidity. We swam in the Mediterranean sea and ate delicious Greek food and just enjoyed every moment. I wasn't able to weigh myself for the entire two weeks and didn't track my meals at all while we were there and I was a little nervous when I weighed myself this morning (even though I suspected I hadn't gained any weight while away) and I was soooo happy and pleased to see that the scale said I had actually lost half a pound since we left!! It must have been all that walking!

I have a ton of pictures to show you guys!! I'll post a big picture blog in a few days just to show you how beautiful it was over there.

I'm so happy to be back! How are you, my SparkFriends? I've missed you all!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANES4EVER63 9/15/2012 9:00AM

    Congrats on losing on your vacation, that's a tremendous accomplishment! Way to go!!

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ZANNACHAN 9/4/2012 3:32PM

    Awesome! I'm so jealous (but in a good way) of your trip to Greece... My husband and I are tentatively planning a vacation there but we won't be able to do so for at least a couple of more years. It sounds gorgeous! I can't wait for pictures.

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WHQPHQ 9/1/2012 10:57AM

    Looking forward to the pictures
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WENDY19861 8/30/2012 12:28AM

    Glad you had fun! And lost weight too!


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JADOMB 8/29/2012 6:19PM

    Looking forward to seeing all the pics. My wife and daughter went their with my daughter's highschool class a few years back and really enjoyed it. They even recorded a changing of the guard which was unique to say the least. Glad you had a great time and are back at home sweet home, safe and sound.

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DMANN104 8/29/2012 8:28AM

    That's so great! It makes the vacation even better when you have a weight loss too!
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IUHRYTR 8/28/2012 10:35PM

    Glad to have you back, Annie. Eager to see the pictures. emoticon on losing another half pound! -- Lou

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Busting my stress with exercise (+ big news!)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Today I went for a jog for the first time in over a month. I've been feeling really stressed out lately and I am trying my best to use exercise, regular sleep and meditation combined with yoga as ways to relieve stress. Today I wanted to go for a run. I needed to sweat out my stress and it helped! I'm not used to jogging and usually when I do it, I do intervals of walking and jogging, but today it just felt so good and so easy that I skipped the walking altogether. I jogged very slowly, and I ended up going 2.2. miles in about 23 minutes. It's a pretty good time for me since I think I've never jogged for that long without stopping before. I usually go for walks.

Why have I been so stressed out lately? Here's the deal. We are moving. My boyfriend and I are moving to a new city and I'm transferring to a new college. I decided I wanted to change my life and pursue new goals as I wasn't happy with the direction where I was headed. Last winter was very tough for me because I felt like I was at the wrong place and wasn't pursuing my dreams or living my life with passion and purpose. I was studying hotel management at a different college but it just didn't feel right. It has never been a dream of mine to work in that field and I don't know why I ended up there in the first place! As I started improving other aspects of my life, I discovered that what I wanted to do and study was actually something a lot more creative and artistic. Deep down, I only wanted to follow the one big dream that I've had ever since I was a child: I want to become a writer. I have been too afraid to go after this dream in the past but now as I've already made some huge changes in my life I feel like I finally have the courage to start moving towards this dream. So I'm starting my studies at the University of Turku in September and I'll be majoring in literature and creative writing. A dream come true for me!! I couldn't be more excited!! This is a fresh start, a new beginning. I'm so looking forward to this.

But as exciting as it is, it's also very stressful. Moving can be so tough sometimes. There are so many things to remember and to take care of... I feel like my head is about to explode sometimes! But I feel like exercising regularly and sticking to a healthy meal plan helps A LOT. I'll be doing my best to stay on the right track this month despite the stress! I'll be happy with maintaining this weight until we're done moving and until our vacation is over (in addition to everything, we're going on a two week vacation to Greece next Monday! My goal is to not gain any weight while we're there. That's good enough for me!).

This post is probably so incoherent because I'm really tired (it's already 1:12 am here in Finland) and my mind is running in circles. I just thought I'd give you guys an update about what's going on in my life at the moment.

Hope you're all doing great! I need to catch up with you guys. I miss you all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 8/10/2012 7:10PM

    Pursuing a dream when you have the opportunity or regretting it forever and staying in a rut you don't want to be in. The decision seems clear. emoticon. As for the moving stress, make a list of all that needs to be done and the deadlines, adding to it as something new comes to mind. That will keep things organized. This is such exciting news, Annie. I wish you much success and happiness. emoticon -- Lou

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JADOMB 8/10/2012 2:21PM

    Go for your dreams. Life is a long time, so either you go for your dreams or accept where you are. There is nothing wrong with giving up some of your dreams when there is a greater good for you and others, but it is a difficult path to pick. The happiest people are the ones that have went for their dreams and took their loved ones along with them.

As far as your lapses in exercise(and I'm guessing maybe nutrition), that you do NOT want to do. Tone it down some to fit your schedule, but don't just stop. It will help you with attaining your goals and with relieving stress. If you allow your health and fitness to slip, you will just increase your stress and make it harder to fulfill any goals knowing you haven't even done that one. Keep the faith.

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LEANJEAN6 8/10/2012 7:11AM

    Wiow!! You are in Finland??--So amazing!!!--- Happy to hear that your exercise program helps you with stress!--- Spark is good!-Lynda emoticon

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BD3269PM 8/10/2012 6:49AM

    Good luck emoticon

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KRISZTA11 8/10/2012 5:58AM

    Good for you!
Congrats on making this huge step and changing your life! I'm sure it was hard and stressful, and I hope you will have a wonderful relaxing holiday.
Almost everybody has dreams, but most people just accept their life is not going that way...
Turku is beautiful : )

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WENDY19861 8/10/2012 2:58AM

    Awesome that you are following your dreams! Cheers on the run! (I can't run yet and I'm jealous hehehe)

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LIZ1147 8/9/2012 11:43PM

    Way to go on the run! I have just started running more, as I usually do run/walk intervals as well. It feels like a great accomplishment to run for an extended period of time and think to yourself "Wow, did I just really did that?". Congrats on following your dreams!

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KDAILEY70 8/9/2012 6:31PM

    Sounds like a great plan. Congratulations on following your dreams.

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FENWAYGIRL18 8/9/2012 6:25PM

    BELIEVE IN YOURSELF YOUR DREAMS WILL COME TRUE! emoticon

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Feeling better today!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thank you all for the comments on my previous entry. Yesterday was not such a good day but when I woke up this morning, I was determined to have a healthy and active day today! I started my day off with a healthy and delicious smoothie and did some yoga. I also went for a short bike ride today, nothing major as I'm still feeling a little ill because of the flu. I had a healthy and nutritious dinner and cleaned the apartment, did some reading... And then it hit! I got the worst cravings for anything unhealthy. Chocolate, ice cream, whatever... It seems this usually happens around 6 or 7 pm so I definitely need to remember to get some healthy snacks that will satisfy my cravings without wrecking my diet! I don't know what's going on. Is it just the anxiety or is it something else? Am I beginning to lose momentum? I don't know what it is but it seems to be becoming a bit of a problem for me. I know it wasn't because I was hungry because I was still pretty full. It was all emotional.

BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS I resisted the cravings and had a healthy dinner instead!! I'm so proud of myself!!! I know I can do this if I just stay focused and alert. It gets easier! I'm sure this is just a phase that I'm going through.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with you guys. I fought my cravings and I won!! WOO HOO!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 7/29/2012 3:41PM

    I'm glad you are feeling better, and congrats to resisting cravings!
I think it is good to blog about bad days too, it helps to understand what's going on and friends can provide comfort and sometimes advice as well.
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WENDY19861 7/29/2012 3:44AM

    YAY! emoticon emoticon I know how hard it is to resist cravings! Be VERY VERY VERY proud of yourself for resisting it. I was able to resist cravings yesterday and so far today it's 5:43pm and I've done well. I've decided to stick a quote on my tv that says "Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret" to remind me to control my cravings while watching tv. GOOD ON YOU!

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IUHRYTR 7/28/2012 10:10PM

    I read the previous blog first, eager to read this one and see how you reacted to the off day and not to my surprise you roared back in a big time positive way. See, I knew you could do it. My faith in you never waivers, nor does the inspiration I get from you, Annie. Welcome back to the path to your goal weight. emoticon -- Lou

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JADOMB 7/28/2012 6:03PM

    Great job. Saying NO gets easier with practice. Keep the faith.

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ALYSMAWM 7/27/2012 9:16PM

  Glad you had an easier day. Again, give yourself a break. Not fair to yourself to list so many positives and then focus on the one tough moment. If you'd given in and had some chocolate, would it have ended your world? NO! You'd have gotten on track tomorrow because you're clearly committed to your goal. If you hold yourself to an unreachable level of perfection, you're setting yourself up for certain failure. Be gentle with yourself, look at your photos as we do and see the beautiful girl you are.



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AJWALKLEY 7/27/2012 3:21PM

    Good for you! Have you checked out any of the dessert options from Skinny Cow? I love the ice cream sandwiches and each are only 150 calories - not too bad!

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Had a difficult day

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lately, I've been dealing with a lot of issues that have been stressing me out and creating a lot of anxiety for me. I have had to make some difficult decisions and to ask myself some very tough questions with answers I would rather not always deal with. I know it all sounds very vague right now but I promise I'll blog about all of that very soon. Right now I just don't have the energy. (This is actually a positive thing that's going on in my life although it certainly doesn't sound that way! I'm just trying to adjust to a new situation and it's always difficult for me, even if this is something I actually want.)

Whenever things are changing in my life, I get scared and anxious. Even if it's a good change, a change that I want and choose for myself, it usually still freaks me out in some way. It's difficult to explain, but people who suffer from anxiety probably understand what I'm talking about. Change is powerful. Change is scary and unpredictable. Whenever I go through a change in my life I need something familiar to fall back on - and for me, it's always been food.

It's a difficult habit to break and I know I'm being tested. I should know better by now! I shouldn't let my emotions take over and make such bad decisions. But I did. I'm not proud of it but I did let it happen. It was a conscious decision and I own it. I chose to take the easy way out, so to speak, instead of dealing with the actual issue. I know it's no excuse, but I'm home alone this week because my boyfriend is out of town and I'm also sick with the flu so I haven't been able to go to work for a couple of days. I feel like my head is about to explode! I'm home all alone all day with my thoughts and fears. My boyfriend (with whom I've been with for almost nine years now) knows me better than anyone and I can always talk to him about anything and everything. He has been my familiar thing to fall back on instead of food and now he's not here and I was just feeling so anxious and nervous about everything that I made a very poor decision.

I went to the grocery store and bought some chocolate. Well, a lot of it. I ate it all while watching TV. I recognize this pattern all too well, I've done it hundreds of times before and I know it doesn't help me at all. I feel so disappointed in myself for this but at the same time I know it's not the end of the world. I need to learn from this and come up with healthier and more effective ways to relieve my anxiety (such as going for a run, talking to a friend, or writing about it in my journal). I wasn't even able to work out today because I got the stupid flu! I'm sure a nice long jog would have helped me with the stress. Well, this is a learning opportunity for me and I want to take something positive out of this!

The thing is though, I rarely blog about my downfalls. I share my small victories and the positive steps I take towards my goals, but I feel very ashamed to say "I messed up today". It's as if I'm letting everyone down! But I should blog about these things as well because they might give me some more insight about why certain things keep happening and maybe even help others along the way.

Anyway, that's what's going on in my life right now. I'm trying to get past this anxiety now and find ways to be stress-free. I did some yoga today which was good! I plan to do some tomorrow as well (and meditate, too). Let's just hope tomorrow is a better day and I can move past this issue that is bothering me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 7/28/2012 10:07PM

    Ah, the past problem reared its head again and you gave into it. But you know what? We all do one in a while. The success is recognizing what is causing the problem and finding ways NOT to give in to it the next time. And something else? New beginnings may start at any time and are unlimited. You have made such progress this year, be strong against the chocolate temptation. It's difficult sometimes; just keep your goal picture in mind. One more thing: As I've gotten to know you over the past couple of years, I have come to know an intelligent, positive lady with focus and determination, so I know you will bounce back. If needed, look at your new picture with the white slacks and see how far you have come this year. I'm proud of you and happy we're friends. emoticon -- Lou

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ALYSMAWM 7/27/2012 11:36AM

  OH MY! You mean you're HUMAN? Goodness gracious, girl. Cut yourself a break. Funny thing is that you sound a lot like me. I've been in your spot many times and can't promise I'll never be again. Here's what helps me...

Think to yourself about what you'd say if your best friend wrote this. You'd be supportive, defend them, tell them it's ok. Wouldn't you? If yes, then give yourself that same gift. We often treat our friends and family far better than ourselves. Silly, huh?

Hang in there. I sure hope you feel better soon. Getting back to a schedule often helps me combat anxiety because it's something I can count on when other things around me are changing.

It's not crazy that a good change can cause you anxiety. Happens to many of us.

Deep breath. That's my coping tool today. Feel free to borrow it!

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WENDY19861 7/27/2012 1:03AM

    I have been dealing with severe anxiety for my whole life. A lot of mine comes down to my fear of NOT being perfect, so when I make a mistake or do something I regret, my first instict is to feel guilty and ruminate about it. I've learned that it's ok to make mistakes. If I didn't, then I'd have nothing to learn. Also what works for me is just focusing on the day I have. Sure I stuffed up yesterday, but what choice am I gonna make today?

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JADOMB 7/26/2012 7:22PM

    Sometimes it's OK to cut loose, but one had to make sure it is not without control or in a way that is going to start a trend. I pray things get better for you and that you will be able to say NO to those weak moments and lack of control. Keep the faith.

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RBETYOURASS 7/26/2012 6:18PM

    This too shall pass! Believe me we have ALL been in your shoes at one time or another. Like LIZ1147, I like to take my iPod and go for a nice long walk listening to uplifting music and just tune out the entire world to help get my mind back in sync. You will get through this and get stronger through the falls. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move towards a better tomorrow!
You CAN do it! :)
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~Rana


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LIZ1147 7/26/2012 5:05PM

    I'm sorry you had such a difficult day. Making mistakes is all part of being human. We all make them. It's about learning from them and moving on. I don't know if this would work for you, but I find a nice, long workout helps me deal with stress and anxiety. It helps exhaust me and work off some of the adrenaline. You will get through this!

Comment edited on: 7/26/2012 5:06:25 PM

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Just a reminder to myself...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012



I really need to get back to working out regularly again. NO EXCUSES!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADOMB 7/27/2012 1:07PM

    Got that right

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IUHRYTR 7/26/2012 6:55AM

    Yes, don't lose all the momentum you have built up this year. You have made tremendous progress; it's obvious from your pictures and you are well on your way to your goal, so don't let up now. Stay focused and keep the image of the new you in mind. Even a few minutes of exercise when you don't feel like it, adds up. You can do it, Annie. I have confidence in you and draw inspiration from your success and positive attitude. emoticon emoticon -- Lou

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DMANN104 7/26/2012 1:04AM

    emoticon, I mean to say... emoticon emoticon

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KICKINGIT@56 7/25/2012 9:19PM

    We would all like to get into the exercise groove and stay there, but just like the traffic light makes you stop for a while - life happens. Now the light is green again so "step on it!"

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RBETYOURASS 7/25/2012 3:54PM

    Yes indeed!
It is a true key to success so get on it!
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~Rana


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ELLISH 7/25/2012 3:11PM

    That's cool! :)

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