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Introduction and Goal

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


This is my first SparkPeople blog so I want to introduce myself and give a bit of history. Then I am going to list my 2013 goals for everyone.

I am Jennifer. I am 32, approaching 33. I have apparently reached the age where the number does not matter to me anymore since I now have to actually stop and think about how old I am. I am blessed to look younger than I am even if I used to think that was horrible.

I am East Tennessee born and raised but currently living in Northern Virginia and working in Washington, DC. My job in DC ends in August and I will be moving back to Tennessee. I will return to a similar job as I had before the temporary (3 years) assignment in DC.

I am currently engaged but we have not set a date yet. Since my fiancé is in Tennessee we saw no reason to get married but live in different states. We are probably looking to get married sometime in 2014. I have been married before but he has not. My first husband was killed by a drunk driver on July 3, 2007. We were high school sweethearts. I still have good days and bad days but certainly more good than bad.

I am also still a student. I am finishing my Ph.D. in chemical engineering with graduation planned for May 2013. It will be a huge accomplishment and relief to that finished.

And since I apparently need lots of things going on in my life at the same time, I am renovating a house in Tennessee that I will move into when I move back from Virginia.

Now for the weight loss story…
I was a skinny child and somewhat tall for my age until puberty then it all fell apart. I stopped getting taller and started filling out. I have ended up being only 5’4” so definitely not tall. My weight fluctuated through high school but I was able to keep it under control exercising. Then I went to college in 1998, started working, and stopped exercising. So I gained the freshmen fifteen and a sophomore fifteen and then maybe a junior thirty. By my senior year, I was at least 60 pounds over what I started college at. I started exercising three days a week at the university fitness center and lost about 30 pounds. I graduated and moved back to my parents’ house and went to graduate school (that was 2002). I was mostly able to maintain the weight loss but not able to lose more which I really needed. In 2003, I got married and my husband and I bought a house. I finished my master’s degree in 2004 and starting working for the company I work for now. When I got married I was still down the 30 pounds I had lost my senior year, but then the weight started to pack back on. My husband and I were eating out regularly and I was not exercising. When he was killed in 2007, I weighed 210 lbs. That was the heaviest I have ever been and I looked and felt terrible. I lost 15 lbs from shock and grief. I had a trainer at the time and had been exercising since earlier that year when he and I had joined a local gym together. I used exercise as therapy and lost 45 lbs in about a year. Then it was like my weight loss hit a brick wall. My now fiancé (then boyfriend) and I had been exercising together for a few months. I started gaining weight again. In 2010, I moved to Virginia and I have gained 20 lbs since then. So here I am back at 200 and feeling terrible. I am back on SparkPeople which I used to lose some weight over the last few years but I have trouble sticking with anything for a long time.

So here are my issues, let’s make that excuses since that is what they are.
1. It is really hard for me to lose weight. I know it is hard for everyone and the weight did not come on overnight and it won’t come off overnight either.
2. I travel a lot for work, at least 1 week a month and sometime 2-3 weeks a month. This makes it really hard to stick with any plan.
3. I generally eat healthy. I do not drink soda, try to avoid heavily processed food, etc. But I love sweets.
4. I enjoy exercise but I like sleep more.

Here is how I am going to deal with the above issues.
1. Use SparkPeople for tracking food and exercise. It is a great motivator and it can show me where I am falling short.
2. With travel, I am going to be reasonable with myself. I know I cannot control everything when traveling but I am plan. I can take healthy snacks or shop when I get there. I can make healthier selections at restaurants. I can walk or use the hotel gym for exercise, and I can pack my exercise bands and use SparkPeople videos.
3. I will limit sweets to a few times a week instead of having something every day. I will have fruit if I want something sweet.
4. I will remind myself that exercising will make me feel better and help me sleep better that night. So I will suck it up and get up and do some exercise even if it is just 10 minutes.

Finally, my goal for 2013 is to lose 50 lbs by the end of December. I am going to use SparkPeople for tracking and for support and motivation which is why I am writing this blog.

Thanks for reading and good luck on your journey. emoticon
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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