WATOGA17   193,552
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WATOGA17's Recent Blog Entries

60 Pounds Down!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I have now lost 60 pounds with SP. That gives me a total loss of 91 pounds since I was at my highest weight. I have a new body, a new attitude and a new zest for life. I have more energy, more patience and more attunement to my own body. I have new habits, new preferences and lots of new SP friends. It is truly amazing what can happen in 7 1/2 months with some commitment, a great support network (SparkPeople!) and a belief in oneself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VRCATON 12/13/2008 12:39AM

    emoticon Jen!! Awesome results .. and you should be so proud of yourself! That is a great accomplishment! Now you need to work on that other issue .. and get yourself happy!! love ya!

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HARRINGTON5 12/11/2008 4:19PM

    WOW, WOW, WOW! What a transformation. You are super and have done such a fantastic job! It sounds like you needed all that new found energy to get through the last few months! Way to go Jen!

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ETAGGEL 12/11/2008 10:19AM

    Congratulations on you weight Loss!! Well done emoticon


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I am in need of your support

Monday, December 01, 2008

My husband is facing surgery soon. He is being sent to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore because the surgery is urgent and risky. He has been dealing with skin cancer for over a year. In fact, we can look back at photos taken two years ago and see the red mark on his face that represented the beginning stage of it.

As early as 1.5 years ago, I was pestering him to have it looked at. He kept saying that it was only a scab. When he finally saw a dermatologist (12-20-07), the doctor didn't take a large enough biopsy and after about 6 weeks of waiting for the lab results, it had to be done all over again. At that point I went with him to the doctor. I asked him to go to someone else because I thought the doctor was not particularly competent. He refused. He even asked me to leave the room, because my questioning the doctor made him uncomfortable.

It was finally diagnosed as squamous cell cancer and a cream was prescribed. He used it for weeks to no avail. He had surgery on 6-4-08. He was in surgery so long that a nurse called me from the operating room to tell me that he was okay.

After the final follow-up visit a new lump began to grow right under the surgery site. Craig returned to the surgeon who said that it wasn't cancerous. Last week (the lump is now the size of a small crabapple) he finally went to a new dermatologist who said it is definitely cancerous. He also said that with all the time that has passed and the level of pain that Craig is having the cancer is most likely into the nerve, bone and/or muscle. It could even be in his brain, though I found that out from reading about it, not from my husband.

This appointment was last Wednesday afternoon so they couldn't reach anyone to schedule the surgery due to the holiday. We are waiting now to hear from the dermatologist about the surgery date.

I am scared and I am also fighting back the anger that I feel because Craig would not take care of this when he should. When I tried to advocate for him, he pushed me away. Even after surgery this summer, he stood outside working on our pool without a hat or sunscreen. Now we face this. I have kept quiet with him. I don't want to add to his stress, but I needed to voice my frustrations somewhere. Thanks for listening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VICKERS08 12/20/2008 6:13PM

    Sorry to hear of this very scary and frustrating journey you are on. My prayer is that you will experience healing.

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HARRINGTON5 12/1/2008 2:22PM

    Jen, With your ankle and arm, this is really a lot to bare. You must be a strong woman though because God doesn't give us more than we can handle. Having lost both parents to cancer, I know the fear and frustration you are going through. It is easy to place blame, but now is not the time. Even macho men need comfort (especially when they are trying to act strong) You are certainly in my prayers and there is power in numbers. You have a lot of people pulling for you and your husband. Cynthia


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shopping trip

Saturday, November 22, 2008

i have such great news! i went shopping today and since i was alone decided to try on a bunch of clothes. i am solidly in a size 14 pants. they look so great, if i do say so myself. i am thrilled. i have two places to thank for the way i feel today-------sp, of course. i would never have fit into a 14 if not for sp and all i have learned. secondly, i must thank tim gunn's guide to style. without his advice i would not have tried on half of the things i bought. he says to try it all on in order to see what looks good. he is so right. i bought several things today that i would never have even tried if not for his advice and they look really good on me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAMMAFROMMT 11/24/2008 6:29PM

    emoticon You gotta love that feeling.

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MARMIZC 11/24/2008 12:54PM

WTG! I remember the joy of slipping into my first pair of 14's EVER and then my first 12's...makes it all worth it.Checking in with you, as I have had hands full with Mom. Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving.


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CASHLESSNCR 11/24/2008 10:16AM

    Fantastic, Jen! Amazing what we can learn from those makeover shows, too.

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TABBERDOODLE 11/23/2008 1:45PM

    emoticon Jen. All that hard work is paying off! WooHoo for the new lifestyle! You go girl!

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VRCATON 11/22/2008 5:10PM

    That is great news Jen! Loving the smaller size! Wooohooo!!

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Six Months and Counting

Saturday, November 08, 2008

It has been a little over six months since I joined SP. I have lost 53 pounds of flesh in that time and tons of emotional baggage. I think of all the years I spent searching for that "magic bullet" that would make me thin, and all I had to do was live in a state of moderation in all things.

The Spark program gradually introduced me to healthy, moderate living and I began doing it. It is just that simple. I was given a calorie range and a simple way to calculate those calories, and I very rarely stray outside those limits. SP gave me suggestions for exercise, healthy living information and a support system to help me along the way. I have embraced it all and have become a new woman in many ways.

Aside from the weight loss, there have been several other huge benefits of my lifestyle change. The first is that I have at least three times the energy levels I had previously. I never tire in the afternoon as I used to do. I get an incredible amount of work done. I amaze even myself! I also have a much more positive outlook on life and have much greater patience. I never realized that my unhealthy habits was so detrimental in so many important areas of my life.

The other big surprise I got with SP is the realization that I am no longer on "a diet". There is no end to the journey that I am on. I don't want there to be an end. I want to arrive at a healthy weight where I feel and look great, but that won't be the end. I don't ever want to go back to the way I used to live. I want to continue on my new path. When the excess poundage is gone, there will still be new goals to reach. I'll want to tone my body, increase my endurance, strengthen my bones ......who knows, I may run a race, climb a mountain or swim a channel. The whole world has opened up for me, and I am loving life!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TABBERDOODLE 11/11/2008 9:10PM


emoticon on your progress. I have gotten to know you in these past 6 months and I must say you are amazing. You go girly!!

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VRCATON 11/10/2008 1:50PM

    Jen, I'm so glad you are feeling IN CHARGE! I think that is one of the best things about Spark, it enables us to have control over ourselves. It's the best thing that has ever happened to me! Keep on Sparking! Love and hugs! V

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SEESKO 11/8/2008 8:04AM

    emoticon 53 pounds in six moths.....wooo hooo! It sounds like you ahve done great. You have also learned the most important part.....trying to be healthy, not just lose weight. I am so inspired by you this morning.

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Advice to a Friend

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

There is no doubt, you have your hands very full. I totally understand eating your way through stress. I did it my entire life until SP. The best advice I can offer to you is this:

I don't know exactly how it happened, but SP got me to change my habits long enough for me to experience the wonders of good eating habits and exercise. Now I really don't want to eat my stress away because I can clearly see the negative impact that my old habits had on my daily life. Before SP, I had very little energy. I could easily have napped every afternoon. I was nearly always tired and I avoided routine things like running up or down the stairs to get something. I didn't even like walking out to the end of the driveway to get the newspaper or mail. I don't know how I kept up with 3 kids and my job and my home. It is all a blur.

Now I have energy. Even if I have had too little sleep, I jump out of bed and get on with the day. I am in a much better mood all of the time, too. I have more patience and I am less touchy. I never knew that what I put into my mouth could have such a huge impact on every aspect of my life.

I have had tremendous stress at work for the past 6 months. The last three, in particular, have been killers. In 22 years of running my agency I have never encountered this level of problems. If not for SP and my new-found lifestyle I'm not sure that I could have gotten through this. At the very least, I would have been nearly catatonic due to the stress. Instead, I am continuing to take care of myself and the stress is manageable.

I strongly believe that one of the best things you can do is to take care of yourself. It will make you a better person. When you are healthy, you will find more energy, more strength, more patience....... It really has worked for me and it will work for you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTKARON 11/9/2008 5:17PM

    Oh boy JEN...is this ever TRUE.

The amount of energy/time expended in finding healthful food to eat and finding at least 30 minutes to exercise each day brings 10xs reward back to us.

I've lost my way this past year and allowed half my weight loss of 6-7 years ago to creep back on and I can SO feel the loss of energy, self esteem and good health benefits. My recent routine doc visit pointed it up to me rather clearly too since my 'numbers' weren't so good from my bloodwork.

Time to knuckle down.

Thank YOU for the inspiration. And I've already seen that you do a lot of hard work very consistantly for the entire team. Looking forward to getting to know you better.


Comment edited on: 11/9/2008 5:14:52 PM

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VRCATON 11/5/2008 8:19PM

    Hey Jen - Hugs for all your stress! I'm so glad you are working through the stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle! Good for you! Varina

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JENARAGON 11/5/2008 1:20PM

    Sooooo true, your words really touched me, especially after perhaps the most stressful week I have ever had. Taking care of ourselves is the best thing we can do, not only for us, but for everyone around us, especially our kids. Since joining Spark and making some small diet and exercise changes I have found that I look and feel better, I have more energy, am happier, more patient (and patience for me has never been a strength), sleep better, and have a more positive outlook on everything. And I am definitely dealing with my stress better and in more productive ways (see my most recent blog for more details on that).

Thanks for sharing and keep on motivating others!!

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