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Goals for October

Monday, October 01, 2012

I love it when a new month starts! It's like a clean slate! It always makes me more motivated to make that month count and really focus on making healthy choices when it comes to diet and exercise.

I'm setting a few goals for October to keep me focused and motivated.

Weight loss goals:
- Track your meals every day and make sure you stay within your calorie range (at least 95 % of the time)
- Go for a walk daily and aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio per day
- Eat at least 4 servings of fruit & veggies a day
- Update your blog at least three times per week
- Lose 5 pounds!

Stress relief goals:
- Do yoga & meditate 3 times a week
- Do your relaxation & breathing exercises every day
- Keep a "stress journal"

Writing goals:
- Finish my novella
- Write for an hour every day

I'll come up with small ways to reward myself at the end of each week if I have met my goals. I'm so excited to get back on track for real! I'm so proud of myself for having maintained my new weight for this long but I'm also eager to start shedding these pounds again - slowly but surely. I have a feeling October is going to be the month I finally get my act together! ;)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSCRIMSON 10/7/2012 7:24PM

    This is great!! You have inspired me to blog my October goals as well. Best of luck in achieving everything. We are behind you %100



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JADOMB 10/2/2012 8:42PM

    Staying on track and keeping the faith will do it every time.

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DMANN104 10/2/2012 11:06AM

    emoticon Great plan, sounds like the beginning of a great month!

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IUHRYTR 10/1/2012 9:37PM

    Achievable goals, Annie. I'm confident you will meet them. emoticon -- Lou

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COMMUNITY10 10/1/2012 8:28PM

    Great goals! You'll get back on track in no time!!

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MAGPIE17 10/1/2012 8:23PM

    Great goals! Let's rock October!

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CANES4EVER63 10/1/2012 6:46PM

    These are GREAT, doable goals! You can do it! And 5 pounds this month? That'll put you into the 140s! That's SO exciting!! Let's both get there by November, ok?

Comment edited on: 10/1/2012 6:47:25 PM

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ABILUCHA 10/1/2012 4:55PM

    A new month and a new plan! Love it!

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IGSBETH 10/1/2012 4:28PM

    You can do it!

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Sudden hair loss - I'm freaking out!!! :(

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Well, actually, it's not that sudden. Here's the deal: a couple of months ago I noticed that I was shedding a lot more hair than I normally do during the day. Long strands of dark hair were suddenly everywhere: on the floor, on my pillow, on my shirt and my hairbrush... And when I took a shower, lots of hair fell off. I wasn't sure if it was just a phase (I've read somewhere that people can sometimes shed a lot of hair really quickly but it's normal and the hair will recover) or if it was something to worry about. Over the past month or so, however, the shedding has increased dramatically. My hair wasn't thick to begin with and now it's visibly a lot thinner than it used to be. THIS IS SO DEPRESSING! I don' know what's going on. I dread washing my hair because every time I do, the shower floor is COVERED in my hair and it really scares me :(

I have been eating biotin, multivitamin and calcium supplements since the shedding increased but so far it's not helping. I'm going to see a doctor about this on Monday and he'll probably run some tests (thyroid and hormone levels) to figure out what's going on.

This makes me so sad. I know things could be a lot worse but it's still very scary and depressing. What if I lose all of my hair? I've been reading A LOT (and I'm not kidding, I've been online reading about hair loss for hours almost every day) about this and I know that there is this disease called alopecia and it can cause sudden hair loss. There is no cure for it.

I just hope the doctor finds a reason for this - a reason that can be treated with medication. I know that stress can also cause hair loss and admittedly, I've been very stressed lately with the move and everything else and should definitely look into some stress relief methods. But I don't think stress is the reason for this. Sometimes sudden and drastic weight loss can also cause hair loss but my weight loss has been slow and gradual, and I've been monitoring my intake very closely to make sure I get enough of nutrients as well as calories.

When I style my hair properly it almost looks like I haven't lost any hair at all, but I can feel it and see it when I look myself in the mirror or run my fingers through my hair. It wasn't until now that I realized how much I love my hair (I often used to complain about it for not being thick or long enough) and I swear if this problem goes away I will NEVER EVER complain about my hair again.

I'm trying not to think about this too much but it's very difficult. I can't wait until Monday and I hope the doctor will be able to help me with this.

Have any of you ever struggled with this problem? Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 9/28/2012 4:55PM

    As a man, hair loss is a natural occurrence but one that hits our egos and self-esteem hard, too. I hope it is something minor that can be fixed after you see your doctor. -- Lou

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JADOMB 9/27/2012 8:57PM

    I somehow ended up with condition called Lichen Planus a couple years back and it took awhile for the doctors to figure out what I had. It in itself causes hair loss. Then the meds they put me on also caused hair loss. I guess this stuff comes and goes without much notice and for the most part I am over it. But I still have a few spots that I put a cream on so I guess it is still in my system. I think I am still losing more hair than normal and don't know if once I totally get over this(if it's even possible), that my hair will grow back in thicker.

So it is just amazing all the things that cause hair loss out there.

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ABILUCHA 9/27/2012 3:24PM

    Oooh, that's a tough one! I hope they find a solution for you!!

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SQUIRRELLYONE 9/27/2012 8:13AM

    I had this problem when I switched the Pill to a new version which didn't agree with my body chemistry. Of course my hair loss was exacerbated by the fact that I was so oily that I had to shower twice a day if I wanted to not leave smudge marks or lose my makeup. Once we switch pills, everything evened out after about a week.

Hope it's an easy fix for you!

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1STATEOFDENIAL 9/27/2012 4:51AM

    Using a lot of hair product can cause your hair to become brittle and break. Running your hands through your hair a lot can also cause your hair to break. Stress is very bad for hair loss and the more you stress about it the worse it gets. Some shampoo and conditioner can actually cause your hair to become more brittle. Age-related hormone changes affect your hair. If you're missing some nutrients and/or having too many nutrients can cause hair loss. Too much sun can damage the skin and hair follicles. Pulling grey hairs out can cause the hairs around it to become loose and fall out. Waiting longer between showers allows loose hairs to stay in place longer so more 'fall out' at once instead of more often. Taking hot showers can damage hair follicles. Certain medications and supplements cause hair loss. Allergic reactions can cause hair loss. Brushing your hair while it's wet causes your hair to break.

Basically, what I'm saying is there is a ridiculous number of reasons why you could be having hair loss and it could take your doctor awhile to figure out reasons. Before the appointment write down every change you've made in the past few months - food, exercise, hair products, stress, sheets/pillows, medications/supplements, even if there's been changes in your water supply. Also, you might even go so far as to save all the hair from 1 shower to show your doctor; this way they can see how much it really is and have a better idea if there's something to be concerned about or not.

I have incredibly thin, fragile hair already and my medical conditons have caused it to become worse. While we can't cure my conditions, simple tips like not using hair products, being gentle with my scalp in the shower, and following medication protocols does help. But one of the biggest helps is trying to ease stress.

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KRISZTA11 9/27/2012 3:15AM

    It was a good decision to see a doctor, I hope he can help!
Losing about 100 hairs a day is normal, and that looks a lot if your hair is long,
but if you see your hair is thinner it is a good thing to check it out.

Apart from that, there is one thing I can think about: does your diet contain enough fat? Some vitamins that help hair and skin grow absorb only together with fat in food (A, D, E, F, K).

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IGSBETH 9/26/2012 10:36PM

    I hope the doctor finds a solution too! *hugs*

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GARDENQE2 9/26/2012 7:45PM

    Losing your hair is a shock! I happened to me!

When you go to the doctor for tests, ask for one for Hashimoto's disease. It is a thyroid condition they rarely test for. I have read that up to 10% of women have it, so it's relatively common. I learned about a month ago I had it, because I went to a new doctor who actually listened to me. She gave me all sorts of nutrients, and I feel like a kid again. Plus, I've lost a pound this month!

Good luck!


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CANES4EVER63 9/26/2012 5:16PM

    I've been losing a lot of hair over the past few months as well - I'm pretty sure it's due to some sort of vitamin or mineral deficiency. It develops in months, so it takes months for it to go away, so it'll take a while to see any noticeable effects from taking the supplements. Hopefully the doctor will give you some good news and it is reversible!

Also, my friend had alopiecia when we were in middle school and she had a bald spot on the side of her head (she could cover it up and was allowed to wear a hat in school), but the good news is that the hair started growing back again!

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Beach pictures from Greece!

Friday, September 07, 2012

I used to hate wearing a bikini. I was always self-conscious and felt like everyone was staring at me because of my weight. I know I'm not at my goal weight yet and I still have ways to go but when we were on the beach back in Greece and I was wearing my new red bikini I felt really confident and beautiful. My boyfriend had a waterproof camera with him so we took some fun pictures while on the beach! Here are some of them (my favorites, of course ;) !)

It was such a beautiful beach and we often went there around sunset. My boyfriend is an amateur photographer and he has like six or seven different cameras and he literally took thousands of pictures (!!) during our vacation. I've been trying to go through them but it's hard work! Haha. I wanted to share these earlier but I've been busy with the move and my classes starting etc. But I'm going to be posting another picture post in a few days!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXNMOM67 10/17/2012 9:58PM

    These were beautiful pictures, you look great, Greece is one of my favorite places.


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GIANTOCR1 10/4/2012 3:31PM

    These pictures are beautiful. And you look so sexy in that red bikini...

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CANES4EVER63 9/15/2012 8:59AM

    Great pictures and congrats on the bikini!! Keep up the great work!

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ABILUCHA 9/14/2012 5:04PM

    You look gorgeous! That red bikini is smokin'!

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ANELAKANOA 9/9/2012 11:57AM

  I wish I looked like you in a bikini! You look amazing! It looks beautiful there!

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HIKINGSD 9/8/2012 5:57AM

    Absolutely gorgeous! You look great!

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IUHRYTR 9/7/2012 8:49PM

    Bright red has always been a favorite color of mine. Beautiful picture, beautiful scenery, and a beautiful lady. -- Lou

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JADOMB 9/7/2012 1:30PM

    Beautiful scenery, and it would be lacking without you in it. God bless

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-DYET- 9/7/2012 12:49PM

    Looks like an amazing time!!! Love the red bikini!!

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ELISELOVE1 9/7/2012 11:56AM

    what a fun trip for you.

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KRISZTA11 9/7/2012 11:10AM

    What a beautiful place!
I'm glad you have fun : )
You look very pretty on those pics.

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DMANN104 9/7/2012 10:07AM

    Glad that you enjoyed your vacation!! Nice pictures - can't wait to see more!

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KKKAREN 9/7/2012 9:43AM

    Nice pics looks like it was a good vacation!

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GARDENCHRIS 9/7/2012 9:36AM


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A fresh start in a new city

Monday, September 03, 2012

I'm so happy to say we are DONE MOVING! Well, we still have a lot (!!) of unpacking to do and it'll take some time to get everything done but the worst part is now over. I have been carrying boxes for days now and I'm definitely feeling it today! My entire body feels a little sore like after a really good workout. Moving is great cardio!

My life is so crazy right now. I feel like I'm constantly moving and working and walking and running errands and there just aren't enough hours in a day!! I feel guilty for not updating more and not tracking my meals online. I have been using a small notebook where I jot everything down but I just haven't had time (I know it's just an excuse though) to track it online. I have been weighing myself every couple of days and I've been maintaining my weight which is good enough for now. Once we are settled in and things get back to normal I'll definitely start tracking everything again.

I just wanted you all to know that I am fine and so happy with my life right now! We have a beautiful new apartment in a beautiful new city and I'm so excited about this new chapter for both of us :) I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us!

I also wanted to let you know that I'm still working hard towards being healthier and losing weight. Right now I'm okay with maintaining my new weight (it's a lot better than my usual weight gain which happens when I'm going through a period of change in my life) but my goal still is to lose about 20 more pounds. I haven't given up on my goals or on myself even though I haven't been updating as regularly as I used to. I promise that will change very soon!

Take care of yourselves! I miss reading your blogs and checking your SparkPages!!! Maybe I'll soon have time for that too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JADOMB 9/5/2012 12:41PM

    Moving can be stressful, I hate doing it. I would actually rather help others do it than do it myself. LOL But the nice thing about it is getting that new fresh start and finding all the things you forgot you had. Keep up the good work in maintaining and I know once you get settled in, you'll continue on your journey. Keep the faith.

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ZANNACHAN 9/4/2012 3:33PM

    Whoo hoo for the moving part being over! It sounds like I'm really out of touch in what is going on in your life--sounds like major but exciting changes! I hope you enjoy the new city. It sounds like a good move for you.

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MAGPIE17 9/4/2012 12:34PM

    Can't wait to see pics of your new place and your new city! Congrats on maintaining through the stressful move...I know I've struggled with that!

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IUHRYTR 9/3/2012 7:45PM

    Looking forward to pictures of your apartment and the city and hearing about your classes. Glad you have finished moving the boxes. emoticon emoticon -- Lou

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MYSTERY-LADY1 9/3/2012 6:13PM


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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!


  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!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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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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