UMICH95   22,730
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UMICH95's Recent Blog Entries

Success Story?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Well! Today I got an email from the Spark People Success Stories team asking me to fill out a survey and submit before and after pictures. I've been feeling kind of blah lately since I can't seem to get myself down to a solid 150 - and stay there. Mostly I swing between 157-161 and really.... 147-151 would be much better. But I have only myself to blame for that since I haven't done any dedicated tracking for quite some time and I know that tracking is the key to success!

On the other hand.... 160? Instead of the 200+ that I was for *years*? I'll take it! And digging through old pictures to find "good" (and by that I mean bad) pictures to submit to SP was really a nice bit of motivation. Most of the time I don't feel any different in my mind, but looking back at pictures from just a few years ago was a reminder of just how much I have changed.

That's all for now... my yearly post! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UMICH95 4/18/2012 4:13PM

    Hmmm.... I had a FEELING that there might be someone behind that email! Thanks! I think it would be cool to be chosen to represent SP in some way, I'm obviously a big fan! :)

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GSARTOR 4/18/2012 4:03PM

    You totally qualify as a success story and I hope they pick you! (I might have even had something to do with bringing you to their attention.....)

The best part is the long term changes you have made-I forget the person in those "before" pictures cause that is not what I see anymore. I also love that you do not "grouse" about how hard it is and how deprived you are-I also love that you saved clothes for me to find hope and inspiration on my way down the size chart. That I could button up those pants was a real boost!

Keep it up!

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    emoticon I think it's great that SP wants you to share your success! Just think of what an inspiration you'll be to others on the site emoticon

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JESSALYN1186 4/17/2012 4:19PM

  I've only lost 25lbs in the last few years. It's funny how old pictures or little things remind me of the big picture. I got so close to breaking 150 and then went back up to 153ish. It's so frustrating, but you should celebrate your accomplishments.

Not with food... with like... new exercise equipment or something. But congrats on your success, and soon you'll make some time to get to your next goal.

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Two Years Since My Last Entry?!?!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yikes! I've been here all along, but no blogging so things look kind of stale!

So it's been two years of maintaining. Mostly :) I dropped allll the way down to 145 before my wedding and did a pretty good job of staying between 150-155 for quite some time after that, but for the past 6+ months it's been more like 155-160. I'm mostly okay with that because hey - before Spark People even 160 would have seemed like a miracle. But I've decided I really would rather be around 150 so I'm picking things up a bit!

What I've learned is that I can pretty much control my weight through watching my food intake, but of course I'm not as toned as I was when I was working out on a regular basis - and I liked that feeling. I also feel more optimistic about the scale when I am working out because even if the numbers go up, I know that as long as I keep with it, they will eventually go down. So I'm back on the Wii Fit and becoming acquainted again with some of those muscles that haven't had much attention lately.

People ask me all the time how I did it and my typical answer is "I tracked everything I ate and I walked 5 miles a day."

One thing I figured out fairly quickly with the walking was that it was much easier to get my 10,000 steps in by doing just a bit at a time. In the morning I would get off the bus one stop early and walk the long way around the block. Then I would go out at least twice during the day for 15 minutes and get another 1200-1500 steps. Then I'd get off the bus early again on the way home so that by the time I got home each night I was already done. For me that was *much* easier than devoting an hour or more to exercising every night when I got home.

There are a few other things that I did which didn't seem like such a big deal at the time, but looking back I know they helped a lot -

I started using the "small" version of everything in my kitchen - the smaller glass, the small forks and spoons, and small plates sometimes. This was a pretty easy change to get used to, but I believe it has made a huge difference!

I like sweets and carbs, so I always work my food plan to include treats. Usually that means ice cream at night (slow-churned, but not sugar-free :)), or at the very least a Smart Ones dessert. I know that this has been absolutely critical to my success.

Also critical - sticking around here. It's a bit of a different place for me than it was in the beginning, but still very helpful in keeping me on track. So even though I haven't been blogging very much, I'm not going anywhere!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SGTSUNNY 3/30/2011 10:23AM

    Good advice! Happy Spark anniversary week.

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    Great blog - sorry it took 2 years for you to write it emoticon emoticon

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AJOHNSON27261 3/22/2011 2:49PM

    emoticon! Great tips and advice!

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"You're a Tiny Girl"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Someone actually said this to me a few days ago, and my jaw practically fell to the floor! I don't yet have that image of myself and don't know if I ever will, but I'm okay with other people having it!

I still have not adjusted to the "new" me - the one that I intend to be for the rest of my life. My one-year Sparkiversary is in just 5 days and it will definitely be a day of celebration! I would never in my wildest dreams been able to imagine how much SP has changed my life for the better. I have a whole new arsenal of tools and knowledge, and I'm in full control of my weight and fitness.

Over the weekend I went shopping for a dress to wear for my wedding rehearsal. I started out with a bunch of dresses in size 8 (it's still a whoo-hoo moment for me to even be looking for a single-digit number on those racks). When I got into the dressing room I tried the first one on and found it was actually a little baggy. Ended up leaving the store with a bunch of new dresses - in size 6! Astonishing, incredible, amazing, and sometimes still a little scary. I still have this feeling that it's all a big joke - that somebody switched the tags on me and these things aren't really the size that they are. I don't want to be size-obsessed, but it's such a fantastic feeling! If someone had told me a year ago that I would be buying clothes in this size I would have told them they were insane, but here I am... A SparkPeople Success Story :)



Back on the Bean!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Eek... it's been a long time since I wrote anything here - lame!

Anyway... loss has slowed down a lot since before my surgery, but I'm still on a downward slope. I wasn't very vigilant over the holidays so there was some gain, but I didn't beat myself up about it, just started up again after all of the hubbub was done.

My wonderful sister Gina gave us the Wii Fit for Christmas and I really started to get into it after New Year's. I love it so much! I started out with the Yoga exercises and have begun to add in the corresponding Strength exercise - like the Triangle yoga pose is supposed to help tone your waistline and the Torso Twists combine with that. Then about a week or two ago I resurrected the Bean from its hiding place and started doing the Abs workout again. The greatest thing is that now I can SEE these exercises working. When I first started doing the Bean just over a year ago I could feel the difference in my abs but it was hard to see the change. Now that I have less padding covering up those muscles I can really see the difference. Pretty amazing - I never thought I would have the luxury of looking in the mirror and being able to pinpoint specific muscles that I wanted to build up.

And speaking of the mirror, I really love that it's my friend now. Most of the time I am still surprised when I look at myself. I guess it's like getting a haircut - it takes awhile to get used to the new look. But I would be fine if I never get used to being surprised when I see myself in the mirror because it motivates me every day and it also makes me happy. I feel like my self-esteem has gone up dramatically - not because of how I look physically, but because I *did* it. Because I set some goals and accomplished them, and because I have new goals that I know I will reach.

Now I wish that there were some way for me to pass this on to other people, like a virus or something. I know that when you're on the other end of it you can't really imagine what it feels like. I guess I'm having a hard time figuring out the fine line between being motivating to others and being annoying. I also know that it is probably difficult for people who have known me a long time to adjust their view of me. I think it makes some people uncomfortable and in some cases even jealous. That's hard because I can tell when they're looking at me and I just want to say, "You can do it tooooooo!!!!!!" but I don't want anyone to feel like I care what they look like.

Enough for now. I'm going to have to work on channeling Richard Simmons or something!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VSINGLE72 3/18/2009 11:07AM

    Cara - you have done an amazing job and you should feel good about yourself. For those that are looking at you - tell them to keep looking!

You can keep sending me tips and encourgaing words b/c I need them.


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FIT_4_ME_4_LIFE 3/2/2009 10:36PM

    emoticon Keep up the excellent work!!

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IWAN2BHEALTHY 3/2/2009 8:49PM

    emoticon and thanks for the motivation.

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JERLVAL 3/2/2009 8:34PM

    emoticon emoticon

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I take it all back! This Little Experiment Proves...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This Little Experiment Proves...


So I've been laid-up for almost 4 weeks now (it's been 26 days since my last 10,000-step-day). I thought a lot before my surgery about how it would affect my progress and had been hoping to just start practicing maintenance while I was off my feet. I figured I wasn't going to LOSE anything during my recuperation, but as long as I didn't GAIN then I would be happy.

But look at this - I've managed to lose another 5 pounds while "convalescing". I suppose some of it could be muscle mass, but it's not as if I was all bulked up before and now my limbs have atrophied or anything. I'm not bed-ridden and I'm still moving around (like a tortoise, but moving). The one thing that I have continued to do is TRACK my food - every day. And I've kept losing. Which just makes me even more convinced that SP's Nutrition Tracker is the key to all of this. I'm looking forward to getting active again simply because it makes me feel better, and I know it's important for overall health, but I'm really happy with how things are working out. I had expected to have a bit of a slide after this surgery, so this is great!

Adjusted my goal once again based on a little math equation that will put me almost dead-center in the healthy BMI for my height. I'm not pushing really hard toward that number, but I think it would be a good place to be!



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