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10 minutes a day

Friday, January 04, 2013

This year, my goal is to make this healthy way of life even more of a lifestyle and lose the last bits of 'diet thinking' once and for all. As a part of this process, I want to make fitness a daily habit that no lack of motivation will break. Cardio is not a problem for me as I usually go for a walk every day (well, except this week which has been maybe a bit too lazy..). My downfall is strength training. I just don't like doing it AT ALL. Every time I finish a workout I feel great, but I'd lie if I said I liked it. However, I know it is healthy and beneficial to do some strength training regularly, and I'm now adding just 10 minutes of strength training to my daily routine (excluding the weekends at least for now).

This week, I have done at least 10 minutes of ST and I have to say it's making a huge difference! Not on my physical appearance since it's only 10 minutes and I've only been doing it for a week, but I feel a lot different. I'm choosing exercises I actually like and taking it one step at a time. Maybe I'll even start to like it eventually. Besides, small bits of fitness eventually add up! A fitness goal of 10 minutes of ST a day five times a week is doable and realistic, and it will build momentum for weeks and months to come. I'm trying to get a streak going and I want to do at least 4 consecutive weeks of this :)

I'll give you guys an update later on this month to tell you how the streak is going! Right now I'm feeling very good about it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RODRIGUEZ41508 1/7/2013 12:29PM

    I know, I'm not a big fan of ST either. I do enjoy cardio. My plan each week for this month (Jan.), is to do 20 min. of Turbo Jam (Cardio Kickboxing) at home workout 5 days a week. This past weekend I bought a pair of 2 lb. thumb-lock Wrist Weights (by Reebok) to add to my workout everyday of the week. This way I will add ST to my workouts :)

emoticon emoticon

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JADOMB 1/5/2013 12:11PM

    Not too many people ENJOY exercising, so don't feel alone. Just get it into your mind that it is a very small part of one's day yet a LARGE part of their health. You can do it.

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WALKINGRED 1/5/2013 2:28AM

    Me too, me too!

ST is HARD to stick to, but I need to get into the habit... Great challenge, and I look forward to reading about your progress :D

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JACKIE542 1/4/2013 5:07PM

    I did not do my strength training in the beginning, and now I am catching up. I like the spark videos and I am in the January challenge now. I still don't like it but it would have been so much better if I had done it all along. You are doing this right, good for you. emoticon

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LYNSEY723 1/4/2013 4:59PM

    What a great idea!! A few months ago I made myself goals for different body weight ST moves. Such as squats, planks, push ups.... and that really helped me! Going for a certian number of squats in a month... man, that last week I was doing 20 squats every time I went to the bathroom!!

You can do this!!!

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CHANGINGSAM 1/4/2013 4:30PM

    I think you have a great plan here. Like you said, stick to the ST you do like, and eventually, it won't be so tough to do! Keep it up!

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IUHRYTR 1/4/2013 3:57PM

    A couple of strength training exercise that don't need a gym or equipment are pushups and triceps dips. Pushups can be the full legs straight out kind or ones with the knees bent, wall ones or even inclined by leaning on a counter top and doing them. Triceps dips can also be done using a countertop by turning backwards to it, grasping it with hands facing backwards toward the counter, legs straight out then lowering yourself and pushing back up. Hope these help as you make your goal a regular habit. emoticon -- Lou

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I've missed doing yoga!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I used to take yoga classes and I really liked it, but then I stopped going because they were so expensive. I did yoga regularly on my own and it really made me feel so great but then I stopped that, too - for whatever reason.

I hadn't done it in a while but this week I have started doing it again! It's a relatively short routine, it takes me about 35-45 minutes to complete but I feel so good when I'm done! Like a whole new person. It's really energizing and relaxing, as well as quite a nice workout even though it doesn't make me sweat like jogging does :)

I'm going to make this a regular thing now. My goal is to do yoga for 45 minutes at least three times a week. I'm sure it'll help me relax and deal with my stress better.

Have you guys ever tried yoga? Did you like it? :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAYSMOM77642 1/5/2013 1:41AM

    Go for it! You have come so far and I know you can do anything you set your mind to.

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ARCHIMEDESII 1/4/2013 3:28PM

    I love yoga ! I've been doing it for several years. I used to take a class at the gym with a fantastic instructor. Long story short. She left and they canceled the class. Was bummed me out because I really enjoyed my Sunday morning class.

I have a couple of DVDs which I do because I am familiar with the moves. Since you've taken classes before and know the moves, you could do DVDs for now. there are lots out there. some are better than others. Also, check your local morning TV listings. I have a channel that shows a 30 minute vinyasa routine at 6:30am. it's not bad. You can also find some good yoga workouts posted on YOUTUBE.

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JADOMB 1/4/2013 2:25PM

    I've never done yoga, but I do see the value of it. So go for it.

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IUHRYTR 1/3/2013 11:23PM

    I haven't tried yoga but understand it does help relax body and soul. Need to give it a try. -- Lou

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IGSBETH 1/3/2013 7:28PM

    I'n glad you enjoy it! It doesn't do anything for me.

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LYNSEY723 1/3/2013 6:20PM

    I love yoga too and always say I'm going to do it more, but it never happens! I am so bad at getting in workouts at home..... That is my real problem!

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BUNNYSMASH 1/3/2013 5:03PM

    I've done yoga before and I thought it was incredibly relaxing. I've been wanting to start up with it again. I used to love doing Pilates too when I was in good shape. Right now I'm working on getting my cardio endurance and strength back up, but as soon as I'm back into the routine of working out, I'll definitely pull out the yoga and pilates DVDs.

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The Stress Test

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Today I joined the Official Stress Busting Challenge, which is a challenge created by SparkPeople to help reduce stress and to find effective ways to deal with it when it does occur.

I am chronically stressed. I'm not joking. Even when I have no reason to be stressed out, I usually am. I've been trying to figure out what causes it: maybe it's something I've learned growing up (my mother is often stressed out), maybe it's just my personality. Maybe it's because of the fact that I'm also a bit of control freak and like to feel in control of everything (which rarely actually happens, and which ends up causing a lot of stress).

As a part of the action steps of Week 1, I took the SparkPeople Stress Test. When I was taking it, I realized exactly how pointless my stress is. THERE IS NO REAL REASON FOR MY STRESS and yet I don't seem to be able to shake it. The result of the test was: "You may have some vulnerability towards stress."


Based on the answers given, I should be relatively stress-free. Then why am I so stressed out? Here are a few examples of the questions in the test: Are you eating at least one balanced, hot meal a day? (yes), Do you smoke? (never), Do you drink alcohol? (no/very rarely), Do you drink caffeinated drinks? (never), Do you take some time every day just for yourself? (yes), Do you do something fun each week? (yes)...

Seriously. This is crazy. I'm a college student with a fairly easy schedule, I have lots of time for myself, I don't have kids or a big house to take care of, I don't have a job, I have enough money, I'm in a wonderful, loving relationship, I have a few close friends, I'm getting healthier and fitter every day, I'm not abusing alcohol... What is going on here? I really hope to figure that out over the course of this challenge!

My theory is that my stress has a lot to do with a) my need to be in control (I'm a list-writer and a compulsive planner: I need to write things down and plan them out very carefully but I rarely follow through - which obviously causes stress), b) the lack of structure in my daily life and c) my poor time management skills, the never ending procrastinating and the fact that I'm a bit lazy and poorly organized. That's so ironic, actually! To be a control freak who is poorly organized!!

Anyway. I really hope to tackle these issues in 2013 and find ways to manage my stress and enjoy my life as it is - because it is, despite everything, pretty wonderful at the moment :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IGSBETH 1/3/2013 7:35PM

    It's good that you realize this and are addressing it!

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DOTSONK 1/3/2013 2:07PM

    According to your theory in assessing your stress issues, it appears that you are experiencing some inner turmoil. I know this, because I personally recognize and can relate to the personal aspects that you have shared. I too am a list-writer and feel the need to be in control. I too was a little lazy, procrastinated, and seemed to never get organized. I finally accepted that I had to make changes or I would drive myself totally insane. One day I read a Sparkpeople blog that hit me like a bolt of lightning. The gist of it was "You are the one in control of you." It's not like I didn't already know this, but it just hit home that day! Once I internalized this fact, I began making changes to overcome these things I despised about myself and that were holding me back in living a full life. I make a point to spend my time more wisely, which leads to being less lazy-- and more organized. And when you're less lazy, procrastination takes care of itself!

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JADOMB 1/3/2013 11:43AM

    Good that you are addressing something you know is a weak point in your life. Fact is though, we ALL have stress and at many various degrees. The trick is just to be able to handle it. So hopefully this groups will help you find things you can do to control your stress. Hey, you like to be in control, right?, control your stress. LOL

When I was in college our large 350 person class took a stress test. The teacher pointed out all the scores but asked two of us to come talk to her after class. Our scores were so high she felt the need to see who we were. LOL I really do think that no matter how much stress a person has, if they are going to school at the same time, it doubles it. So take care, take a chill pill and you'll be fine. Keep the faith.

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IUHRYTR 1/2/2013 9:18PM

    I'll be eager to see what answers to cope with stress you discover. Many of your characteristics are ones we share so your journey will be mine, too. -- Lou

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JACKIE542 1/2/2013 8:20PM

    The stress challenge will help you, you seem to know why your stressed and that will be a big help in your challenge. emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLISE 1/2/2013 8:15PM

    At least you recognise it, so now you can work on it! emoticon emoticon

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LYNSEY723 1/2/2013 7:27PM

    I am the same as you in so many areas! I don't have any advice for you, as I often stress myself out for no reason. But, I do know my husband has made a huge difference in my life. He is a calming influence. He helps me to see the calmer side of things (most of the time!). I hope the challenge sheds some light for you!

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BRENDA_G50 1/2/2013 5:12PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Goals for 2013!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

I have to admit I'm one of those people who make New Year's Resolutions. I love the symbolism of the New Year, the clean slate and the beginning of something new. I always set goals for myself for the upcoming year because it makes me feel so good to having something to focus on.

I'm afraid I'm also one of the people who make WAY TOO MANY New Year's resolutions...! But I have narrowed them down and I chose a few that are the most important to me. All of these can obviously be divided into smaller goals as well.

1. I promise to continue my journey to health. I will keep making healthy changes in my daily life, big and small, and make them such a strong habit that no setback can ever set me permanently and completely off the course. This will be the year when I will reach my goal weight of 130 pounds and finally say: "I did it!"

2. I promise take better care of my finances.

3. I promise to write more. I will finish my novella this year and try and find a publisher for it as well (as well as for my poem collection).

4. I promise to stop procrastinating (this is a difficult one!!) and to become more organized.

5. I promise to be a more positive person. I want to do good. I want people around me to feel special and loved. I want to be kind, optimistic and spread joy and light to those around me.

I know that still is a lot! But I have the entire year ahead of me to start working on these goals. I want this to be the year I finally fulfilled my dreams!

I wish all of you best of luck with your New Year's Resolutions!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IUHRYTR 1/1/2013 5:00PM

    emoticon -- Lou

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JACKIE542 1/1/2013 4:49PM

    Great goals, best of luck to you. Keep a positive attitude and you will go far. emoticon emoticon

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CAITLYNRACHEL9 1/1/2013 3:58PM

    These are AWESOME new years resolutions!! :)
I love journaling/blogging! i always feel so much better after i do it!
Keep up the great work, and if you need any encouragement or someone to chat with send me a msg!!


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MM165592 1/1/2013 3:04PM

    Happy New Year!

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JAMBABY0 1/1/2013 2:54PM

    Good luck, and Happy New Years!

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LOTUS0807 1/1/2013 2:52PM

    This is awesome! I am feeling the same way and I started a journal to keep track of my goals and resolutions. Your blog is so encouraging; thanks for sharing it! emoticon

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Bye, bye 2012! (My 2012 weight loss journey in pictures)

Monday, December 31, 2012

This past year has truly been a great one. I have made healthy changes in my life and I feel like I'm so much closer to my dreams than a year ago. I've adopted some healthy habits, learned so much about myself, lost 35 pounds so far, moved to a new city to follow my dreams, realized what my goals are in life and become a lot stronger along the way.

I am excited to start the year 2013 knowing in my heart that I have the power to make my life what I want it to be. I know there are a lot of amazing things yet to happen and I can't wait to see what the new year will bring!


Here are a few pictures from the past year that were taken along my journey to health:

New Years Eve 2011. I weighed 190 lbs and was very uncomfortable in my own skin. I knew I needed to lose weight and get healthier...

...but I really didn't start working at it until February 15th. When I saw the pictures that my boyfriend took when we were having dinner on Valentine's Day I decided it was time for change. And I never looked back.

In the spring, I traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia, for a few days. I felt a lot more confident and had lost about 15 pounds.

Then the summer came and I was excited to go shopping! By June, I was 30 pounds lighter and I needed some new clothes!

In August, my boyfriend and I spent a wonderful two-week holiday in Greece. I felt beautiful and even confident enough to wear a bikini to the beach!

After that, we moved to a new apartment in a new city and I maintained my new weight for a while. I managed not to gain the weight back even though I went through a period of high stress which usually causes me to gain weight.

And this is me today, at 155 pounds, when I went shopping for a nice dress to wear today on New Year's Eve:

I lost 35 pounds this year. My measurements are now 41 - 32 - 41, and I lost 4.7 inches on my hips, 4 inches on my waist, 4 inches on my bust, 2 inches on my upper arm and 3.5 inches on my thigh. Some might say that's not very much to lose in a year, but I disagree. I am so proud of myself for doing this for me and sticking with it. This is my lifestyle now, not a diet. I'd rather lose 35 pounds in a year than to lose 60 and gain half of them back.

In 2012, I went from this:

To this:

I can't wait to see what 2013 will bring!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my lovely SparkFriends!!!! I love you all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOTSONK 1/3/2013 1:46PM

    Best wishes for a wonderful 2013!

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TARANITUP 1/2/2013 1:47PM

    Great job in 2012! I love how the pics tell the story :)

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LYNSEY723 1/2/2013 1:15PM

    2012 was a great year for you, weight loss wise! I'm sure you will meet your goal in 2013 and continue your healthy lifestyle!!

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JADOMB 1/1/2013 1:07PM

    I'm proud of you, you have done great and look great. Stay the path and keep the faith. Happy New Year

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EXPRESSXJEN 1/1/2013 10:27AM

    Wow you look amazing! I also love how you dress (in both your before and afters)

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KENDRACARROLL 1/1/2013 12:36AM

    Great work in 2012!
You look marvelous!

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GEMINIGEM6 1/1/2013 12:33AM

    Congrats! You look beautiful!

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IUHRYTR 12/31/2012 11:42PM

    Wow! Way to go, Annie. Wishing you continued success in the year to come. emoticon -- Lou

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ZAHNASGRANDMA 12/31/2012 8:34PM


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BEBOP4ME 12/31/2012 6:48PM

    Wow! You look great. And you are right that the most important thing is you lost weight and kept it off. Maintenance is the hardest battle of the war! emoticon

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ANDYLIN90 12/31/2012 5:29PM

    You look fabulous! And you certainly do have lovely curves. But most important, you have a great attitude which will certainly keep you on track for 2013. Congratulations on your accomplishments.

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JACKIE542 12/31/2012 4:03PM

    Congratulations, have a great New Year. emoticon emoticon

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NATURALROCKS 12/31/2012 3:35PM

    emoticon You should be proud of your accomplishment in 2012. I wish you continued success in 2013. emoticon

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MOVES327 12/31/2012 2:58PM

    Amazing results! Happy New Year! Great to see the positive changes are affecting your whole life. Great job, and continued success in 2013!


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IGSBETH 12/31/2012 2:46PM

    Happy New Year! You look great!

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FASHIONJUNKIE 12/31/2012 2:33PM

    You definitely can be proud of yourself. You did great in 2012! And you'll be even better in 2013! Happy new year girl!!

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KEEP_GOING247 12/31/2012 2:20PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CC3833 12/31/2012 1:56PM

    Wow amazing! I completely agree with you about the weight loss... I am concentrating on short term nutrition/fitness goals and then I don't have a time to reach my goal weight. The weight will come off when I am eating and exercising right. Go you! You're awesome! I look forward to following your journey!!! Have a happy healthy new year!

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MEDREB68 12/31/2012 1:53PM

    Wonderful!! Congrats on your success! emoticon emoticon

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