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SUNFLOWER4ME's Recent Blog Entries

Temporary Good-Bye

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

As this was too long to put in a status, I alas have made a small blog.

Sparkfriends it will be awhile until we chat again - I have just finished with school and in preparation for the Peace Corps, I am cutting my electronics for the last bit of time. This is more of a thank you, though! I love spark, and I am going to miss all of you! When I return, I will be back! Promise. And who knows, I hear Peace Corps is one of the best weight loss plans out there emoticon I guess you will have to wait and see!

emoticon See you all later!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAZYWOMAN10 5/19/2013 5:08AM

    Oh my girl ... I haven't been sparking and just came to check on you. I am so proud of you. I pray for your safety and can't wait to hear from you when you get back!

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MELIBUG 5/14/2013 3:07PM

    Good luck on your new adventure!

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CORKYTHEMOM1 5/11/2013 10:15AM

    Alex, I am going to miss you. I am so PROUD of you! Enjoy your new journey into the Peace Corps. Always right by your side, cheering you on. Sending you lots of hugs. Have a beautiful and blessed time.

~ Monika ~ emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SARASMILING 5/9/2013 6:24AM

    OH! I want to go!!! So proud of you for doing this! We'll miss you though. Be safe, Be happy, and fall in love! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALEXSGIRL1 5/8/2013 7:12PM

    wow a true adventure awaits you we will wait for your return . enjoy your time and learn new things hugs

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SISSIE21 5/8/2013 10:38AM

    That's sounds wonderful. We will miss you but wish you much luck on your adventure. And we will be here when you get back! emoticon Sissie emoticon

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IYA_EKUNDAYO 5/8/2013 10:06AM

    Enjoy this adventure Alex, we will miss you, but look forward to your return. Be well and stay safe my friend.

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RYDERB 5/8/2013 10:02AM

    Alex, I'm so happy for you. You're going to have an amazing experience. But I will miss you. emoticon

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TATERCAT 5/8/2013 9:04AM

    Good Luck and stay safe! You are doing a very humble thing. Do you know where you will be going? If you can, check in often so we can know how life is treating you. We'll be here when you return.

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AFTERMYKIDS 5/8/2013 8:50AM

    Best of luck to you & when we see you back again we want another blog with details! emoticon

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Body Image Test: C-

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

I took a spark quiz to assess my body image, how I view myself. Well before I even started the quiz I knew it wasn't looking good. And in the end, it didn't look good.

I didn't need spark to tell me I had poor body image, but it was a nice reminder because I often think that it is "normal" for girls to, that "everyone" does, so it is "okay" if I do. I think, you don't have "that" bad of a body image. Well, wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG.

As I answered each question, knowing it was the wrong answer but how I truly felt, I felt more sad than angry. How limiting is this poor image? It denies me life, it denies me fun. I think I cannot enjoy things, I am self conscious of outfits. Why?

How do you improve your body image?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUEAZZI 5/6/2013 10:18AM

    I struggle with this on a daily basis and continually work on loving the skin I'm in. I think for me there is always going to be self-improvement, wanting better for myself and fighting every little jiggle... it keeps me motivated, driven and on my toes. emoticon

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RYDERB 5/3/2013 5:34PM

    emoticon I wish I had the answer to that question myself. It's more than a number on a scale that for sure, I've struggled with it since I was young and 125 pounds.

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DARLY55 5/2/2013 8:06PM

    We all have things we don't really care for on our bodies, but we are not perfect - no one is perfect. How I feel about myself is like this: I am smart, I care about people, I have talents, and I am healthy. My legs can walk quickly - even with the cellulite. My arms are strong and can lift heavy objects (even if they jiggle a bit) and they can hug those I care for. My hands are also strong and can do my work easily so I can earn a living. My belly is still chubby, and I don't like how it looks with a blouse tucked in, but with my shirts out, it looks pretty good! I don't care much for my neck and chin area, but I love my eyes!
Play up what you like and wear a smile and I promise you, that is all anyone ever notices - a happy, self-confident person is most attractive!
And please remember, you are beautiful, own it! Feel it! Show it by being confident .
and take good care of your insides as well as your outsides!

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ALEXSGIRL1 5/2/2013 7:45PM

    okay you don't like your body because you have been conditioned not to. you can change that it takes work, start small i bet there are lots of body parts or parts of your body you like. do you have pretty feet than wear some nice sandels and show them off. do you have sexy toned arms then show them off. maybe you have muscular legs . Take what you have and work it and love it. also put up sayings around the house i am beautiful inside and out after a while you will start likeing you all of you . now get started . you can do this.

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FITFOODIE806 5/1/2013 6:44PM

    Mine is best when I wear clothes that fit me well. In my 20s I would buy trendy clothes or buy a pair of pants on sale that were a size 8 or a 6 even though my body wasn't. And I squeezed into them and looked and felt awful. I've become more comfortable with who I am. And that isn't the trendiest girl on the block. I now wear what fits me (size and personality) and I feel and look better because of it. I think the biggest key is confidence. And it's not like all of a sudden one day you have it. It comes and goes!

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JCARDINAL 5/1/2013 1:21PM

    It is something I've struggled with even when I was thin. I think we have to learn to not be so critical of ourselves.

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REVIVED 5/1/2013 9:49AM

    Yeah, I want to know the same thing. Like, what do you do if you genuinely don't find yourself attractive? I've lost over 50lbs now. I still have more to lose but this face isn't gonna get any better from here. How can you start thinking of yourself as pretty when you truthfully don't? It's disturbing isn't it? I mean even beyond the role that the influence of society plays, it's just unsettling. And I don't have a clue how to fix it. I know nothing about make up and all that stuff and it bothers me that I may need to use make up to be acceptable to myself (and I don't even know if that would work).

No idea what the answer is but you're not alone. Funny how I was just thinking of this yesterday.

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PJ2222 5/1/2013 9:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Confessions of a Diet Perfectionist

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Yes. That is me.

I go completely against what almost everyone hears about dieting. Rule 1: Do NOT go all or nothing. Everything in moderation. 3 steps forward, one step back. 80/20. You get my point?

I am an All-or-Nothing girl. I always wanted to be able to eat one chocolate chip cookie at a party and feel happy and satisfied and move on. But no. Here is my situation at that party. Option A. No cookie, drink water. Option B. Eat a cookie, but while eating it think, this is not worth it. I'd rather have stopped after my salmon salad. But I don't want people to judge me for "being on a diet" or option C. Eat the cookie, then another, maybe grab one walking out the door..then go home and have some ice cream, and hell let's just take tonight off and start tomorrow.

Do you see my point? I am so all or nothing. So when I am all good, I. feel. awesome. Because I dramatically see results, the bloating is gone, I basically stick to my protein shakes, eggs, and salad. All water weight drops in a couple days, I kill my workouts. I feel tight and healthy so I want to wear form fitting clothes and go out and do things and have people see me! That is why low carb works for me. It keeps me away from sugar, and I do NOT do well with sugar. And low carb keeps me satisfied. I am full. I need fat, it makes my hair shine, my nails strong - eat fat to lose fat. Also low carb keeps me eating clean. Veggies, fruits, meats - one ingredient foods. Once you start hitting the carbs, the breads, the cereals, the snack bars, you are eating more processed and less natural.

When I am all bad, its the exact opposite of all good. My body has been so used to protein shakes then i hit it with pancakes and butter, pizza, granola, ice cream, and it goes whack. My head hurts, I am bloated and cranky and sweating. I wear yoga pants and giant sweatshirts, even if its warm, because instead of feeling confident and tight I feel self conscious and bloated. I skip my workouts cause my body feels too icky. It's a bad feeling.

Anywho, I've just come off about 3 days of that "all bad" carb binging overload. And each night I did the "start back with induction tomorrow." Yet we all know the more we let it go, the harder it is to break a bad eating cycle. SO I really got a battle set up for myself tomorrow when I try to go for my protein green smoothie over the honey bunches of oats.

I have been stressed lately because I graduate in 1 month. I am done with my college life in 1 month. Then in 2 months, I leave for the Peace Corps for 27 months. So I am trying to balance enjoying life with being healthy. Because after all the "yea..go the pizza.. and have some frozen yogurt won't be getting any of that in 2 months" comes the "i feel nasty, i don't feel confident in this sundress... i feel not going to the pool party..." Trust me, Id much rather leave the country looking pretty and healthy..even if I wont get oreos in Peace Corps...then bloated, cranky, and breaking out..

So here I sit, cleansing my brain (thanks to this blog and you all) and planning my cleanse of the body tomorrow. It may seem harsh, too all or nothing, but I need to get back to feeling good and confident. So atkins induction tomorrow. And I need a way to motivate myself to make it through the first 14 days. If anyone has an idea, please share. I am currently planning my breakfast lunch and dinner, to be the same each day.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JITZUROE 4/19/2013 2:18PM

    I too can COMPETELY relate to this! For me the south beach diet seems to be the best for my body since its also low carb, and I CANNOT have one gluten free cookies and then keep the insanely nonstop cries for more more more outta my head.
I say good for you for recognizing what does not work for you, and what makes your body feel good.
So, for now, don't take that cookie at the party. and if anyone pesters you, just tell them that you WILL have a cookie, you are not banning them forever, just right now, this moment. What, are they gonna put you in cookie jail? : )))

Keep it up! Stay positive, and a you reminded me with my own words recently, BE GREAT

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TINYRUNNER-GIRL 4/16/2013 4:35PM

    Congrats on the Peace Corps - what a wonderful thing to do for others! It sounds like you are doing well (from your status) and I can't wait to read more about induction!

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PAULJRPBA 4/13/2013 1:50PM

    Congrats on the Graduation soon Sunflower! Also the best of luck to you in the Peace Corps, I know you will make a difference! I was just talking to a friend about something very different but the same principle applies "It's not about the destination, it's truly about the journey". We all are being so empowered with what to do and what to eat to reach optimal health which most of us do, even with a few off days...thank you sincerely to all of Spark World :) Enjoy the path and all of the flowers, fruits, and thorns that are on it, just don't leave the park. Have an Amazing day!!!

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RYDERB 4/13/2013 11:45AM

    Alex congratulations on deciding on the Peace Corps. Way to go! What an amazing opportunity for you. emoticon
I completely relate to your all or nothing thinking and had a rough "nothing" week last week myself. Good luck getting back to the clean life. I know it's a struggle but we WILL get this DONE!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JCARDINAL 4/11/2013 5:59PM

    Great blog! You've got this covered!! emoticon

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CLHENDY1 4/11/2013 7:51AM

    Congrats on your graduation and for going into the Peace Corps. That is something I've always wanted to do. Jealous!!

I definitely understand your "all or nothing" mentality. You have to do what works for you and for you body.

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ALEXSGIRL1 4/10/2013 7:28PM

    congrats on graduation and going into the peace core awesome. you can do this you 've got this i am sure . don't let the stress get to you. hugs

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SOOBIES 4/10/2013 6:08PM

    Nice entry! I thought I was reading something written by myself, seriously! A self proclaimed perfectionist and high energy/stress personality, so when I "let go" boy can I ever... I decided since yesterday was my birthday I'd give myself the week to get all this carb crap out of my system. I'm going moderate carb this week, then lower carb next week, then I'll cycle between moderate and low between workout days as my workouts are pretty intense. If you need a buddy system, I'm your gal. I even let all my baking supplies run out! There isn't any chocolate, sugar, flour, butter, margarine, nothing in my house right now, stocked up on whole foods, low carb filling options and away I go today! :) YOu can do et. Even if it is all or nothing. I tend to eat the same thing everyday as well. PS Reddit has a great forum for low carbers listed under r/keto. I'm thinking of joining over there as well, lots of good reads on lower/moderate carb dieting.

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SUN_N_SEA 4/10/2013 4:21PM

    Agreed. Eating the same thing every day doesn't sound all that appealing, but I believe that is the way to be successful, especially in the beginning. It takes the guess work out of it. It takes away a lot of the temptation. You know what you can have, and when you can have it. Definitely a good place to start. I'm doing pretty much the same thing now.

Plus, I know if I start with those "all-or-nothing" foods, I won't be able to stop! I'd rather not have them, feel good about myself, and reach my goals. My plan is that once I reach my goal, then I can have an indulgence like once a month, i.e. in the form of a date night with BF!

P.S. That's awesome that you're joining the Peace Corps! emoticon

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LAGUNAMAMA 4/10/2013 4:11PM

    It's so weird that I happened upon your blog because just last night I was thinking about my very worst 'binge cycle' which was nearly a decade ago after I had graduated from college and was leaving the country to go to graduate school. Those months in between were sooooo rough! I did the same thing- EVERY day telling myself 'ok, start fresh tomorrow' and found myself bingeing nearly every day, sometimes by breakfast!
It sucks, you're graduating, starting your life, you want to feel confident, happy, excited, and you are clearly sabotaging yourself over and over from the stress of it all. My only suggestion is, you're going through one of the most difficult, anxiety-making times of life, go easy on yourself. The very last thing you need in all the stress is to beat yourself up about not being 'perfect.'

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JGIRL5799 4/10/2013 3:48PM

    emoticon Congrats on your to be graduation !!!!

I loved this blog due to the all or nothing, that helps motivate me and I love seeing where others are and how they think!

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/10/2013 3:48:55 PM

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Retreat this weekend

Friday, April 05, 2013

An early morning blog. Yes. I will be leaving this afternoon for a weekend retreat, and I think it came at the perfect time. I am looking forward to the break from my computer, cell phone, and looking forward to my walks, my me-time, group reflections, and coming back to what is important.

Started off the day with another green smoothie, I swear my skin looks better already - maybe its placebo. Then currently have a TON of asparagus cooking in the oven because I forgot I had them and needed to make them before I left for the retreat. So yup, 9:30 am and the hosue smells like asparagus - my roommates must love me. Anywho, making a HUGE salad with them, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and celery - and looking forward to bringing it with me for lunch. Will hit the gym after class, shower on campus, then head to the retreat!

Wish me luck, see you all Sunday evening. Enjoy your weekends emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JCARDINAL 4/9/2013 1:51PM

    I hope you had a fantastic time!

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FITFOODIE806 4/6/2013 7:49AM

    Have a great time. Sounds beautiful!

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RYDERB 4/6/2013 12:46AM

    Sounds like a great weekend! Enjoy your time away. You deserve it!

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ALEXSGIRL1 4/5/2013 8:15PM

    enjoy your retreat just what everyone needs i love asparagus too your salad sounds heavenly

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SUN_N_SEA 4/5/2013 1:25PM

    emoticon Sounds like a wonderful way to spend the weekend, and to recenter yourself.. perfect timing indeed! Enjoy the "you" time!

And hey, I wouldn't mind waking up to the smell of roasting asparagus! emoticon

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Delayed Spring Cleaning

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Feeling better today. I had had a rough week of sugar, sugar, sugar...then some sugar. I hadn't been to the gym, I was tired, cranky, and bloated.

Well just one night and I am feeling better. I had a good workout yesterday, followed by a green smoothie (that's my new diet trick) and some nuts. Had another green smoothie for breakfast, and already feeling a little better. I have been going through a liter of my homeade ginger/peppermint tea each day, some internal spring cleaning. I just finished a solid workout followed by and impromptu yoga class (awesome). I am now sitting, looking up some clean recipes and browsing motivational pages and pictures - I love doing that, very inspiring.

This nice weather has me thinking of all the cute spring clothes I want to wear soon - dresses, tank tops...bikinis. Lot more skin showing, so I want mine to GLOW (cue in green smoothie). Revamped my page, my diet, my mind, my workout. Here we gooooo!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUN_N_SEA 4/5/2013 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SARASMILING 4/5/2013 6:56AM

    emoticon I'm going to have to google a that tea recipe!

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JCARDINAL 4/4/2013 9:31PM

    Sounds like you have a great plan!! emoticon

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RYDERB 4/4/2013 8:58PM

    I feel your sugar stomach pains, only my are from foods like pizza, burgers, and popcorn. Great job getting back on track and cleaning all that sugar out of your system.
Ginger peppermint tea sounds yummy!

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FITFOODIE806 4/4/2013 8:06PM

    Sounds awesome! The tea sounds really good. I need to do that.

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ALEXSGIRL1 4/4/2013 7:38PM

    love that you are revamping as soon as i get more energy i need to have my pacemaker battery replaced soon i think they say maybe for christmas lol i will revamp soon too . love green smoothies thay are my favorite ginger pepermint tea sounds great too, i love green tea all flavors, hugs

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