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    BLUE42DOWN   70,163
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By the numbers - 7 months on the journey


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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My SparkPage says "Member Since: 6/2/2011", but for everything that matters, my real entry and beginning on SparkPeople was 16 September 2011. On that day I posted my first blog and made some plans. On the very next day I tracked everything I ate, and have done so since.

A look at that first day (the 17th) that I tracked:

Breakfast - Raisin Bran and 1% milk
Lunch - Burrito
Dinner - Spinach Souffle' and 1% milk
Snack - Cucumber

Really low at 1263 calories, but actually typical for my weekends back then - I often was low on weekends because I'd get up pretty late and only eat when I got really hungry.

By comparison, today's food was:

Breakfast - Pineapple Orange Juice & String Cheese
Snacks - Fruit Bar, Cereal Bar, Carrots, Celery & Peanut Butter, Pudding
Lunch - Meatball & Sausage Marinara (packaged meal)
Post Workout - Protein powder, Apple Juice, Strawberries, Banana
Dinner - Lean Ground Beef, Green Peppers, Veggie sauce, Spinach

Right in the upper part of my range at 2109 calories, but since I tend to burn more calories than planned some days because I like pushing my workouts, it's fine.


My activity that first day was a 10 minute light aerobic session - I think I did one of the SparkPeople 10-minute videos that was very basic - and 15 minutes of walking to and from my storage space at a 19 minute per mile pace.

My activity today was 30 minutes on the Recumbent Bike, a full body strength training on the weight machines, 25 minutes on the elliptical, then crunches and stretching.

Even more exciting to me, I keep pushing myself a bit at a time, with things like the level of resistance on the bike and the elliptical, and I use the elliptical with incline now. I've been ramping up the weights little by little, so that I'm actually exhausting some of the muscles properly now. My knees do still twinge occasionally, but the improvement is incredible and continuing.


I didn't measure a lot of spots, but:

MEASURED ==== BEFORE ==== AFTER
Waist ========== 46.5 ======= 39
Hips =========== 55 ======== 48
Thigh ========== 29 ======== 26
Upper Arm ====== 16 ======== 14.5

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Nineteen inches just across those four spots. That's honestly the first time I've looked back at those measurements back at the beginning. I can definitely tell the hip difference, especially in the fit of my pants. Not measured there, but I'm also down two bra band sizes (3-4 inches). I was wearing 22/24 clothing from Lane Bryant. I'm now in 16 (Lane Bryant/Torrid) and just picked up some new exercise clothes in an XL, normal sizes.


My BMI when I started (using 5' 7.75") was 38.37 - beyond simply obese. My BMI today is 30.1 - so close to slipping into the realm of just overweight I should be there by next month's check-in.

My scale measures body fat, though it's definitely questionable numbers. However, ignoring whether the numbers are accurate, more important is the change. I started out bouncing between 47-49%. I'm now bouncing between 41-42%. (Those are high compared to the results I get from handheld versions, but those are consistently measured on the same scale.)

Oh, and my SparkStreaks - just the three that it defaults with (I think):

Log in and spin = 214 days
Exercise 90 min = 31 weeks
8 Cups of water = 213 days


All in all a very satisfactory 7 months here on SparkPeople. Made 1000 times better by every fellow Sparker I have the opportunity to interact with in one way or another.

It's funny. I think I could easily have been doing the eating and working out part of this without SparkPeople. I did buy a menu planner that will track all my nutrition. I have a phone app to track my weight training.

But what really sucked me in on SparkPeople was People. I used to regularly check out New Blogs - reading and commenting. I try to make a point of staying active on my Teams, huddling regularly, checking for new members who have posted, giving birthday SparkGoodies. I feel the heartbreak every time I see a listed friend's name go black instead of a link, meaning their page has been taken offline. I get to know people's profile images from my friend feed and miss them when they're away awhile. And I feel the elation when things go right, when something just clicks and they find it easier to make the healthier choices.

emoticon to my many emoticons! You're why I'm here and I emoticon you all.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIGHTPENNY 4/24/2012 4:47PM

    You are definitely making the changes you need so emoticon to you for it's hard work! But you are emoticon , emoticon and you will get to where you want to be!

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SWEDE_SU 4/22/2012 7:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CAPGIRL1 4/21/2012 10:18PM

    You are doing so well and I admire your consistency and dedication! It shows in your photos and tracking figures. Thanks for posting and helping me get inspired! emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 4/21/2012 10:05AM

    Congrats to you on those terrific numbers. Wowwee... what a difference 7 months can make. Spark on!

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MAMAWALMART 4/21/2012 12:44AM

    emoticon for the love but mostly for the motivation and support you have given me. Also thanks for the swift kick in the pants when I needed it.
emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon with the emoticon numbers.
You are an inspiration for all emoticon .
You keep me going. emoticon
Keep Smiling
emoticon
Karen

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TONIAP7 4/20/2012 11:57PM

  Great Job, you are amazing! I will be watching your progress and sharing mine!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 4/20/2012 8:13PM

    Way to go on the amazing progress!!

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IMATALOSS 4/20/2012 4:51PM

  These are FANTASTIC accomplishments. Congrats to you! emoticon

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GRLEGRL9 4/20/2012 3:00PM

    emoticon emoticon

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REDSKINGIRL 4/20/2012 11:19AM

    Keep up the great JOB!!!

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HHB4181 4/20/2012 11:03AM

    Congrats on all of your success!! Keep it up!!


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CROWLEY123 4/20/2012 7:18AM

    WOW! That is some journey, and some journal! You have shown us that it all really works if you use the tools and do the work! Great job - keep it up!

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CAROLZ1967 4/20/2012 7:05AM

    Man you've done awesome!! Love all the stats. And I agree about the benefit of this site...l have finally reached my goal wt "range" (although I've been struggling at the top of it for awhile now) & I know Sparkpeople is a necessity (although enjoyable one!) for me. When I originally hit my goal wt, I SLOWLY made changes..like not recording everything I ate in my food journal or on this site. That led to increased fast food visits over time. And slowly I put about 15 lbs back on. Finally it hit me that what I was doing to get back down was not working! (I was just trying to "work harder" on it all.) I knew I had to get serious on the eating again AND track it. It's just the way it is for me. And I'm ok with that. If I can stay in my range, even though the tracking takes more time...if it holds me accountable, I'm MUCH happier! But like you, I LOVE this site and the friends too. :-) Keep up the great work! You are an inspiration to us all.

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THEIS58 4/20/2012 6:48AM

    Great job, and great blog!

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DURANGOREDDOG 4/20/2012 3:48AM

    Love this blog. You have are a motivator to me and your support to me as I have been on SP has been so helpful. Just when I need a little encouragement I have a post from you. Thank you for being a spark friend and keep up your hard work. You are living proof that this plan works. You are emoticon

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CALI_POPPY 4/19/2012 8:56PM

    So sweet! Your encouragement has been nothing less than a blessing to me. Thank you for just being Awesome!

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NORAHNICK 4/19/2012 4:55PM

    All that in 7 months!!!! You're amazing! And an inspiration!

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SAMI199 4/19/2012 1:54PM

    emoticon you,too!

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SBNORMAL 4/19/2012 4:15AM

  I am here cheering you all. Keep up the good work!! You motivate me to keep going on. I know it is possible if you work at it.

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SBNORMAL 4/19/2012 4:15AM

  I am here cheering you all. Keep up the good work!! You motivate me to keep going on. I know it is possible if you work at it.

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RUNNING-LIFE 4/18/2012 5:05PM

    We love you too! I'm amazed at how far you've come- these measurements are great! Keep up the good work- I'm so proud of you!! :) emoticon

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ZANNBEE 4/18/2012 4:18PM

    We emoticon you too!

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WHOWANTS2NO 4/18/2012 11:16AM

  Love the numbers! Love the sharing of then and now food, exercise, measurements etc. It helps those of us that are just starting out to know that we are on track and to know where we may go. It also helps to remind us that we still need to tighten up. I haven't taken any of my measurements yet. So thank you for leading by example!

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AMYTRIPP 4/18/2012 8:16AM

    *big hugs*

You are such an inspiration to me. You've stuck with this for seven months and changed your eating and fitness so greatly.

I agree, the spark friends I have are making all the difference for me. I don't think I'd have stuck with this for even the less than 2 months that I have without all the caraderie.

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BABBINA 4/18/2012 4:16AM

    Honey, I am so in love with the numbers, that's what SP is all abt. When you follow the plan, the #'s just don't lie!! I'm so proud of you, yr inspirational, keep up the great work!! And thanks for all yr amazing comments on my blogs/feed, they're very much appreciated!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/18/2012 4:17:57 AM

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TIFFY0906 4/18/2012 12:13AM

    Congrats - Awesome progress. I agree Sparkpeople and Sparkfriends are the greatest. emoticon

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_JODI404 4/17/2012 11:43PM

    I agree 100%, SparkFriends are the BEST part of the journey!!!

You are a spectacular sparker, I don't know how you manage to keep up with so much-- but you do a fantastic job. You are a great team leader, write thoughtful and inspirational blogs, and keep up with feeds & friends so well!

Your success to date is wonderful! You are really looking great, congratulations!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MICHELLE_391 4/17/2012 10:30PM

    Jennifer - fantastic progress and inspiration. I'm going to look back at this blog during the times I feel like I need a boost. You have worked hard and it shows!

I'm impressed with your workouts and am looking forward to being able to say that I can work my body like you can.

I'm just so glad I found you on here right away.

Congratulations!
R> emoticon

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AMBERZADE 4/17/2012 9:03PM

    You've accomplished a lot in 7 months! Congrats!! emoticon emoticon

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FRANCES-AGAPE 4/17/2012 7:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are INSPIRING !

Keep up the GOOD WORK !

BLESSINGS!

emoticon emoticon


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KARL1266 4/17/2012 6:57PM

    You are a lady after my own heart. I love numbers and comparisons. And seeing your progress has inspired me to take a good look at some of my numbers. Great job!

And I agree 100% with your comment on the People aspect of this. I know from past experience that my SparkFriends will be there for me just I am there for them.

Great blog!

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KSCHRAUT 4/17/2012 4:51PM

    Great job! I was looking forward to the comparison pictures that you mentioned in your status - but the numbers speak volumes without pictures!!

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RUBEE22 4/17/2012 3:42PM

    Great job! You are truly inspirational...keep it up and let's continue to support each other : )

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CHUBRUB3 4/17/2012 3:08PM

    You are doing a great job my friend!
So positive, inspiring and motivating.
Hugs,
Angela


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MEWHENRYSMAMA 4/17/2012 2:31PM

    Back at you emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are doing a great job!
Continued success!
Mary

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SPARKFRAN514 4/17/2012 12:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thank you for the great and encouraging blogs. this is a down week for me and your blog has me re sparked to keep going. you are so right its the friends and support you get here that helps us stay on track. where else could you push the panic button and so many spark members send notes telling you to hang in and not give up and remind you to share with you buddies they are there for the good and the and not good days we have while here thanks to you i know now a can hobble down the spark trail. thanks for the help. emoticon

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_RAMONA 4/17/2012 12:31PM

    You ROCK, Jennifer, and your enthusiasm and thoughtful insight inspires and encourages me to keep struggling through this leg of my journey (the health stuff along with a now 8 week plateau is starting to wear on me)... the 'sweet spot' has to be here somewhere!

Thanks!

..
.I'm really excited for you and your successes!

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SASSY5468 4/17/2012 11:59AM

    Such fantastic progress!!! It is great to see your success and I look forward to more of my own because of inspiring people like you! :)

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MSSUZZANNE 4/17/2012 11:53AM

    Wow, you have done awesome! Thank you so much for sharing with us. It inspires me even more to keep up with my journey. Congratulations on your amazing progress!

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PGNBRI 4/17/2012 11:52AM

    emoticon
You're doing amazing!

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JENNCABA 4/17/2012 11:45AM

    emoticon You are making great progress !!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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2012ISNOW 4/17/2012 11:43AM

    For many of us, you are the inspiration and the kind support we all need to get us to our goal, whatever that goal may be.

THANKS so much for sharing your story & CONGRATS on all your achievements so far

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LGAR519 4/17/2012 11:04AM

    You are doing great! I am so proud of you. I especially want to thank you for all your help finding me a protein powder to take. I use the same one you do. I had a sore mouth and blisters on my gums . After taking the protein powder , it all healed. I figured my protein intake and it was very, very low. So I think I wasn't getting enough. But I do now. I'm not a big meat eater so this really helped me.

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VALKYRIA- 4/17/2012 10:22AM

    Congratulations!!! You are doing so amazingly awesome!!! emoticon

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TMCLEOD4 4/17/2012 10:10AM

    You're doing great!! Congrats on the awesome success!!

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NEWMOM20121 4/17/2012 9:50AM

    Great job. I love reading your blogs and updates. Thank you for sharing.

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SHELLYK972 4/17/2012 9:35AM

    That's awesome progress! Your meals are so much healthier now!

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emoticon

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AGINNETT 4/17/2012 9:27AM

    Congrats on winning one of the kindle's
that was you right.

Awesome progress.


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RAMONAFLOWERZ 4/17/2012 9:19AM

    YOU ARE KICKING BUTT! Seriously, you are a total inspiration to me! KEEP IT UP, GIRL!



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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 4/17/2012 9:18AM

    You've accomplished a lot in seven months. You should be SO proud. And all those inches lost. emoticon emoticon

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