SHRINKING_SARA   29,315
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All smiles today

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Today has been a pain. Woke up before I wanted to, got an allergy shot, sat in a horrible meeting from 9:30 to 1:30... but I'm still all smiles.

The weather outside is ridiculous! Its so sunny and warm and it just makes my Vitamin D receptors sing (sorry, nerd alert). And I had a good date last night, so that's probably why I didn't let all of the little annoyances bug the crap out of me today. :-)

The new annoying girl in the lab that I've complained about before, did a horrible presentation, was underprepared, and never asked for help. She's a ball of stress and anger though, so my new policy is hands off. She can ask for help and I will answer her... but I'm not going out of my way to correct her mistakes (since she thinks she's always right) and i'm not going to even try to help her socialize better or fit in more. She throws tantrums and slams stuff whenever she's angry in the lab. She's in grad school... she's in her mid-20s. Grow the eff up already! So if she continues with her scored earth policy I don't know where or who she is going to work with -- but as of today -- not my problem. She can either ask for help, and get help, or go storming off on her own. I don't have to mother everyone -- lesson learned.

So I'm in a great mood. I have another seminar to go to in a bit and I'm going to walk over there instead of drive. And then walk back and enjoy the sunshine... and then go on a coffee date with another guy *eep!* When did I ever get double booked for dates in the same week = never! I really like the first guy though, but I agreed to coffee with this guy first, so I figured I'd go meet him in person just to see if there's a spark or not.

Everyone go out and get some Vitamin D in the sunshine today.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAHJ19 1/6/2012 12:31PM

    Keep smiling girl! Can you believe it is soooo beautiful out! Enjoy your day!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 1/5/2012 7:54PM

  Yay for getting some sun! emoticon Enjoy your day.

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SUSIEGKORN 1/5/2012 4:21PM

    Good for you! Glad you didn't let your co-worker rain on your sunshine today! WTG on the good date last night. Hope the coffee date goes well too. Nice to have options!

I got my Vitamin D in through a 40-min walk outside today. Boy was that nice!

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SCHECK5 1/5/2012 3:43PM

    Enjoy your day and keep smiling..
You do have the right ideal with your co-worker..I feel that way with some of mine also..they just need to GROW UP!!
Have a great coffee date!!

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TREP13 1/5/2012 3:42PM

    Yay for finding the sunshine (literally) in what could be a gloomy day.
emoticon

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Nerves

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I finally updated my fitness goals on the start page... apparently with the increased amount of exercise I have been doing lately, my bottom calorie range jumped up from 1650 to almost 1800! Even though I weigh less, according to Spark with all of the work I am doing, I'm not getting enough calories. I'm going to assume that is the reason for the plateau at 199. I need to eat more, but I've been so focused on only eating healthy and not eating junk, that I guess I've gone to the other extreme lately. I ate when I was hungry, tracked my food yesterday, and only had 1300 calories (and I burned 400 on the treadmill) so *slap* I need to eat more. Which is weird to think about after overeating for 25 years.

But calories shouldn't be a problem tonight. Dating and dieting, how is this going to work? And add first date anxiety into the mix and lunch isn't sounding as appetizing as it should...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIPCY1 1/7/2012 1:47PM

    Don't worry about it! Eat what it suggests, even if it means adding a few higher calorie foods (still healthy ones!) for a while. You'll get there, but you don't want to starve your body.

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IILAAD65 1/4/2012 4:17PM

    If you know where you are going out to eat, check the menu online first.

Boy .. my bottom range isn't that high! lol It must have something to do with age :(

I think Spark will even say HEY.. you need to be eating more if you aren't eating enough and exercising on a regular basis.

You can do it!

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FINDING_MELISSA 1/4/2012 2:37PM

    Good luck on your date tonight!

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DETERMINED_SOUL 1/4/2012 12:59PM

    When you start working out more, your calorie burn will go up. This is good, but your body still needs calories to supply it's basic needs as well.

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Yay for 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Suck it 2011, its time for two thousand dozen to take over.

I had a rough start like most people, aka, hungover. I was doing good and not drinking until the champagne came out... and I had too much. But other than that, 2012 has been pretty darn good (all three days of it).

I went home to help my dad with the basement on the 30th. We got a good deal of painting done (all 6.5 hours of it!) -- and it gave me a good unintentional work out. The next day we finished painting and then I used a floor buffer to help get the carpet glue off the concrete floor -- and that again was a good ab workout keeping that thing in place and not shooting off into a wall. So while I didn't get any cardio in, I think I got some accidental strength training. Everything was going good since my mom was sick and wasn't around to complain.

Then I had a fun New Years Eve with friends (+ champagne). I was so hungover the next day, but I did still start buffing floors again (fully hungover) before lunch the next day. Until that is, when my mom flipped her lid... for no reason. She's got mental issues, and right now I don't even know what to do with her. It might be about time for her to get admitted to a hospital for awhile (again), because she's becoming so violently crazy and alternately comatose. She's never been diagnosed as bipolar though, so this whole new crazy mom thing is hard to manage. As of now we're just watching her, since she hasn't done anything worth committing her over (aka, trying to jump off a bridge like last time). So even though this crazy stressful thing is going on at home, I'm trying to not let it absorb me like it usually does. My other two sisters have usually always stayed out of it, so I'm emotionally distancing myself from her now since she's venomous right now.

But enough of the depressing crap. I am having a good year. While I didn't lose anymore weight this week, I'm maintaining (and I wasn't strict about my diet, so its probably my own fault). And I have a date tomorrow that I'm really excited for, so there's something positive to look forward to.

I managed to come home, run to work for a bit, do some grocery shopping, and do some major cleaning in my house -- so that I can start the new year fresh. I need to run to another grocery store to get some healthier options than aren't at Walmart, and then I'll probably clean some more and try to get an hour in on the treadmill tonight.

I've decided some new goals to work on:

Always drink at least 10 glasses of water a day (I'm usually good, but sometimes it slips...)

Start doing cardio 4 times a week for at least 45 minutes for January and February.

Up cardio to 4 times a week for an hour in March and April.

Goal weight of less than 190 by February 29th (Leap into the 180s perhaps?)

Goal weight of 176 by May 10th (that will be 100 pounds lost total, and on my 27th birthday as a present to me from myself)

Reach a "healthy" BMI range by my 1 year Sparkversary in August.

Starting in February write at least 5 pages of my thesis a week, no excuses (I apparently need to graduate in 2012) I'm going to start sooner, but I need to get rid of distractions in my life first.

I'm trying to not set crazy goals, but instead goals that I know if I work on it I can reach.

I hope everyone stays positive and is enjoying 2012~!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TABBYJO88 1/3/2012 11:25PM

    Great goals and I wish you the best.

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FINDING_MELISSA 1/3/2012 2:57PM

    Great goals! 2012 is off to a good start!

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Things I Never Thought Would Happen, aka a 2011 Review

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Now that 2011 is almost over I can start to reflect on what I've been through.

I had tried just "eating healthy" and wasn't really working out at the beginning of the year. Just making a few small changes though in the early part of the year (pre-Spark) had me around 260ish or so to start.

I didn't get my reality check until April though. I was at a conference, food was limited (and expensive!), I was walking non-stop back and forth through the convention center for five days in a row. Then I went to Disney where I walked a lot and didn't overeat since it was so expensive. I got home from my business trip/vacation and lo and behold I was around 253. Just walking more and eating less had led to a loss.

That got me excited to start doing more. I had lost about 25 pounds a few years earlier, and gained it all back, but I had some exercise equipment. In no way would I ever exercise in public, I'm way to self conscious for that (or well, I used to be!), but at that point I had a few exercise balls, a recumbent bike, exercise bands, some free weights, and a Wii. And I wasn't using any of them.

I started small, a few sit ups a day, some balance ball work, a few exercise videos on instant Netflix, and really watching what I was eating. I wasn't calorie counting, but I also quit eating fast food, didn't go out to lunch as often, and really focused on eating healthy. Then surprise, surprise I lost weight. This led me to keep it up and do more. More miles on the exercise bike, more sit ups. I reached a point where I was doing 2,000 a day. Insane I know, but it was something I could do 100 at a time, in four different positions, while watching TV at night.

My middle sister's wedding was at the end of May, I was around 240 at that point, and I really liked the fact that I had to order a smaller dress to wear. The compliments were great, but I knew I wanted to do more. I had finally dropped from a 18W at Lane Bryant to a 16W at Lane Bryant. (I started the year barely fitting in my 18W, but not wanting to buy a 20W again.)

I kept it up and focused on exercising at home and watching my food. That's it. I didn't do anything crazy, I just kept moving and not over eating. And I lost weight. This constant loss has NEVER happened to me before, but usually its because I start out with too big of a goal, try to do too much, restrict my food, get frustrated and quit. This time was different. I started slowly, I didn't limit food. I still don't diet. I can go out for pizza, but I will only have two slices instead of four, I won't add parmesan on top, and I will blot off the grease with as many napkins as it takes. The small changes added up, and the scale went down.

My oldest sister also got married this summer at the end of June. It was pretty stressful for my family. I put up with the comments and backhanded compliments (aka, maybe you'll get married now too since you're smaller!). I was comfortable in my 16W and then I tried on a 14W and they fit! I had a smaller dress and clothes to wear at that wedding and I felt great.

I kept moving and doing the same stuff. I still hadn't joined Spark at this point, but I felt like the support group was missing. While some people noticed the weight loss, a lot people hadn't. That was frustrating. I didn't realize how people couldn't notice a 30-40 pound weight loss, which also made me feel a bit bad in a way. Was I that overweight, that losing 30 pounds wasn't noticeable? I tried blogging and sort of joined Twitter -- but I didn't feel like I had anyone to talk to about losing weight.

Then I reached a blue period, a blue blue jean period. I had become too small to wear Lane Bryant jeans. This was good, but I didn't know where to find new jeans! I'm 5'10" so I need tall jeans. I ended up trying on over a dozen brands of jeans. I ended up with a size 14W Liz Claiborne jean, but it was short. I didn't have anything else so I wore those for awhile. I also managed to get some cheap jeans from Old Navy, but they looked cheap. But since they were only $7, it was fine for awhile. And these were a regular old size 14. Not a 14W.

I joined Spark in August and then got really focused on calorie counting and adding more cardio. I splurged and bought myself a Nordictrak treadmill. I put it on financing so I still haven't paid it off, but I sure am using it. I also found out, I hate running. I don't like to run, and for now that's okay. I bought an incline trainer, so I upped my power walking from a 1.0 incline to a 5.0 incline (I can go up to 15!). If you've ever walked up a really steep hill, you know it burns. I have been flirting with a 10.0 incline for a minute or so, but that is really hard.

I lost a bit more slowly in September and October that I had earlier in the year. My weight loss flatlined for a bit. I got the stomach flu and that helped me inch closer to 200, but I would not recommend that.

I also finally went to the Gap to look for jeans. I am now officially in love with the Long and Lean 1969 jeans. And I was able to buy a 14, so that made me ecstatic. I should have bought longs online, but I was so excited I bought them in the store since they were 40% off.

November went by slowly. I was closer to 200, but also not really losing that much as fast. My shape had changed though. I posted some progress photos, and I was even shocked at how different my body looked.

Then I reached Onderland. Right around the holidays, with the temptation, and stress, and food, and presents of food... Needless to say it has been rough to maintain 199. Yesterday I was 200, but I consider that fluctuation and not a gain. (And amazing since i was sure I had gained 2-4 pounds from overeating) I also hit a size 12 in Gap jeans. That is like mind blowing.

I never in a million years at the beginning of the year would have believed you if you had said I would be wearing a size 12 at the end of the year. I would have never believed that it was possible to lose 60 pounds in 8 months. I would have NEVER thought I'd be online dating. I would have never thought I'd become one of those people who actually like to exercise and feel crappy if I don't get in at least 10 minutes of something a day. I'm also off caffeine and sleeping better. I carry a 1L nalgene bottle of water with me wherever I go, even into restaurants in case my glass ever runs too low. I've become the person who packs healthy snacks before going to a movie or on a trip, just in case.

Honestly if you put the Sara who started 2011 next to the Sara who's ending 2011, I would not know myself. So now I need to come up with some new goals for 2012, and remember small changes do really add up!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RR1_RR1 1/3/2012 4:16PM

    Wow, congratulations- thats an amazing story! Sounds like 2012 will be just as good! emoticon

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SUSIEGKORN 12/30/2011 9:05AM

    What a great story! I'm smiling for you! You made it to onederland during the holidays. WOW! I've had a rough few weeks but am confident I'll be back on track soon. I've lost 55 pounds in 2011 and hope to lose another 50 in 2012. Don't you just love the motivation we get from Spark!!!
emoticon Sara! Good luck with your goals for the New Year! Have a happy one.

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DETERMINED_SOUL 12/29/2011 5:44PM

    emoticonyou did wonderful this year! Keep it up!

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LIZ_JEAN 12/29/2011 4:47PM

    Inspirational story. Keep up the great work. Day 1 for me starts today :D and If I can notice that I have to buy smaller sized clothes, I could care less if others know. :D

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BLUEROSE73 12/29/2011 4:00PM

    Awesome. I found I don't really care what I weigh. Just that it works for me. However, that said, I know 198 works for me, so that's my first goal

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SHRINKING_SARA 12/29/2011 3:53PM

    Not yet, I'm trying to not just put I want to weigh 1XX by date, but I've been reading a lot of blogs today to get some ideas.

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BLUEROSE73 12/29/2011 3:25PM

    That is awesome. I am so glad to hear you had such a successful year. Do you have a plan for what you would like to achieve in 2012 yet?

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Seriously?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

So I had an interesting Christmas. In short, my mom was her usual up and down self, my dad was crabby, and I ate way too much.

I went home on Thursday afternoon and managed to reconnect with one of my really good friends and her wife. We had a freezing good time at Wild Lights at the Zoo and we got to talking about some things. Basically all of my friends want to know what the heck is happening with online dating. These two were kind of on the fence about OKCupid since its free, and when I learned how many of my friends had met on eHarmony (like 4 couples out of my distant friends), they kind of talked me into joining eHarmony to meet different more professional/adult men and weeding out some of the creepers common on OKCupid. We went to Starbucks to warm up after the zoo to chat. I hadn't even been gone from my parents house for 3 hours and I got a call from my Mom asking me to come home and take care of my dogs. I'm 26, I don't need a curfew, and honestly my dogs are fine, and my dad would have taken them out. I went home sooner than I planned, and my mom was still up watching TV. There was absolutely no reason I needed to be there. Ugh. Seriously?

Then the next day I went to Josephine's Tea Room in Alton with my mom. She had very specifically demanded that we go. So I went. I put up with random browsing/shopping (which I hate), tried to eat sensibly, and tried to make my mom happy... And then my mom got sick. She had a cold, but she was so determined to go to Tea that we went out. I ended up spending the afternoon taking care of her and doing some laundry/cleaning around the house. I also went out with other friends that night for dinner, and ate too much cheese. I've been avoiding it since I'm lactose intolerant, but at Peel its a necessary evil, and needless to say that got me more focused on what I was eating.

I got up early the next day to workout before people started invading on Christmas eve. My mom yelled at me for wasting time and not helping. Seriously. I was screamed at while working out by the person I had just taken care of the day before. I just ignored her and kept going on. I really didn't feel like wrapping bacon around little smokies I wasn't planning on eating. Its gross, they're unhealthy, and as much as she says she wants to lose weight, she's reeeeally not working on it. She causes me a lot of stress, so I'm trying to ignore her rants and outbursts. (my mom's certifiably crazy, btw)

Then we had a family Christmas Eve. I had a bunch of unhealthy pushed on me, and I was pretty strict about what I ate that night, and had to ignore a few comments about how no one should be on a diet at Christmas. My grandma asked me if I weighed 139 pounds. Very specific, and very off... but I let it go since she's 92. You can really tell this year that her short term memory is gone. I heard the same story like clockwork every five minutes for 40 minutes and then next day another story for a half an hour every 3 minutes...

Since we were having people over on Christmas for bruch we opened our presents that night. My mom gave me a bunch of Fannie May candy. I tried to give it right back to her, and her response was: "What are you trying to make me fat?" and not even two seconds later I responded with, "Well are YOU trying to make me fat?" It was a little awkward and I ended up giving it to my sister.

Christmas day was uneventful. My grandma pissed off my dad by telling him that the only years of her life were the ones where she didn't have a husband or kids to take care of.... he took big offense to that since she probably repeated it every 5 minutes for the hour and a half it took for him to help get her ready out of her assisted living facility to bring her over for Christmas brunch. So he was pretty crabby all day.

I went to see the Muppets again with my Mom and Sister. Its good, but I don't think I needed to see it twice. If you love the Muppets, you'll love the movie though.

Yesterday my good friend drove down to St. Louis with her BF and we went shopping. Her BF is a tool, and arrogant, and bad with his money... but she likes him so I don't say much since she doesn't have anyone to complain about him to, we talk a lot about it. It was a pretty good day except for the beginning. My mom woke me up around 8am SCREAMING at me about "How dare you post a picture of me and put it on Facebook!!!" But a lot louder, and more annoying than you can imagine. What picture you ask? A side view of her Wii bowling in her pajamas. There was nothing bad about it. It wasn't embarrassing. She just flipped her lid over it though. So I was packing and getting ready to leave while they were gone at breakfast, but my friend called and I spent the day with her instead. My mom was still super pissy after I got home... and today she's still pissy, but I just got out of there.

I would have made it back home earlier if the snow hadn't caused so many accidents on 70, but now I'm home and I can relax. And get back on my treadmill. I don't know how much this Christmas has caused me weight wise, but I'm trying to be positive about it and get moving tonight!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RR1_RR1 1/3/2012 4:25PM

    Im also on okcupid. There are a few creepy ones on there. No luck with any dates so far here. Match didnt get me any dates either. Heard good things about e-harmony though.

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KYLESBLUE 12/27/2011 8:59PM

    Family can be pretty stressful especially over the holidays! At least you're looking up!

emoticon

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DOINIT4ME2DAY 12/27/2011 5:39PM

    Sometimes being around family can definitely be draining. I know how you feel! Sounds like you did pretty good overall though! Keep it up!

And not all creepers are on okcupid!

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