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    JILLYBEAN25   23,867
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5 Years on Spark

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

I can't believe I hit my 5 year SparkVersary! Like, wow. emoticon

There are so many things that Spark has helped me with in the last 5 years, I can't wait to see what the next 5 Spark years bring!

emoticon SparkPeople helped me [slowly] lose 45lbs. Thanks to the holidays, I'm sure I've gained some of that back, and I certainly put on weight from my starting weight before I began losing, but overall, I'm happy with what I've achieved with Spark.

emoticon SparkPeople helped me realize one of my passions is helping people through better nutrition. I've been studying nutrition at community college and am looking into graduate programs to become a Registered Dietitian.

emoticon With that realization came confidence to actually pursue it. I mean, in my mind, once I got my Bachelor's Degree in Theatre, that was it for me... That's what my life was going to be about. Even before I had finished that part of my schooling, I was having some doubts about how viable that was going to be. But, knowing I could be healthier and utilize tools and resources left me believing I can change the course my career was to take.

emoticon I made wonderful friends who are health-minded like I am. Sure, we may have different goals, body types, fitness levels, starting weights, goals weights, diet needs, etc. But, having the support and friendship of people who are as conscious about their health as I am is a key to my success! And I'm especially glad I got to meet a lot of these wonderful people in person... and I hope to meet more in the future!

emoticon Spark has kept me accountable for every bite, whether I've tracked it, admitted out loud I consumed it... or none of the above. Thanks to Spark, I know that the slice of cheesecake I'm eating is MY choice and I will also have the choice about what to do about it. Am I going to be self-loathing and ashamed? Am I going to get on the treadmill for an extra 15 or 30 minutes to work it off? Am I going to adjust the rest of my intake for the day? Each bite means something and I am aware of it going in. But, I'm not obsessing over it either.

emoticon I have a healthier outlook regarding diet and exercise. I don't feel shame/secretive/etc for indulging once in a while. That's not healthy to believe you've blown it and allow yourself to screw up more. Nor is it healthy to think that cupcake won't do a little bit of damage, either. Knowing there's a yin and yang to this whole journey is important for me.

emoticon I know what works for my body and what doesn't when it comes to exercise. My body burns fat really efficiently from doing a lot of cardio- usually in sessions lasting around 60 minutes. I don't strength train often enough to know if it burns fat, but I do notice my strength and definition improving when I do it fairly consistently. That's fabulous for me!

emoticon Thanks to Spark I'm exposed to all sorts of different exercises and ideas for exercises. I'm not sure I would have ever tried kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, hiking... All these activities that I absolutely love to do! Without this site, I think I'd still be on the treadmill, trudging away day in and day out. It also gave me the confidence to do these things, knowing there are other people at my level that have tried them too and lived to tell about it!

So, that's my 5 year look back... there are so many things I feel like I'm missing. Like this is so short for 5 years. But, the bottom line is Spark has truly, really, honestly changed my life for the better. I can't imagine what life would be like without this site, and most of all without all the wonderful people that are part of this community with me. I have the most amazing SparkFriends a girl could ask for! Seriously! They always lift me up when I am down. I can only hope they feel like I do the same for them! So, I am looking forward to what life with this site will bring me. With any luck, another 30lb loss, stellar health, and an M.S. in Nutrition/Food Science!


It might not be too much difference, but it certainly is from my highest (around 2010-ish):
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANNHUNT 2/18/2013 1:24PM

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TERRIJ7 2/15/2013 2:18PM

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EFFRAYECHILDE 2/13/2013 12:15PM

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PCASEY7 2/8/2013 6:59PM

    Wow, 5 years and tremendous changes made. Best of luck with the degree and what the next 5 years will bring!

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NUFLIGHER 2/7/2013 10:57AM

    Keep up the great work! emoticon

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MISSLISA1973 2/5/2013 12:36AM

    It's fantastic! More important than the pictures are the confidence and the new lifestyle you are enjoying. Congratulations to you! Happy Sparkversary! emoticon

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ADVENTURE-GIRL 2/4/2013 1:54AM

    Five years is awesome! Congrats on all your success. Looking good :)

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PLUMERIA50 2/3/2013 6:57PM

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AURORAMILLET 2/1/2013 3:29PM

    This is GREAT!!!

Keep going!!!


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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 2/1/2013 2:28PM

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WOLFKITTY 1/31/2013 11:58PM

    Hottie!

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FIRECOM 1/31/2013 12:18PM

    Hmmm. I knew this is a good post because I had to scroll down a very long way but it was worth it.

5 years is a great milestone. I hope to achieve this as well.

Thanks for the blog.

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FITMOMINNJ 1/31/2013 6:06AM

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HAPPY_TRAVELS 1/31/2013 12:40AM

    Happy Anniversary. Keep up the great work. emoticon

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MOTIVACTION2 1/30/2013 11:37PM

    Happy anniversary!

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MARYHENNIG 1/30/2013 11:22PM

  Happy Anniversary! The pictures show that you truly have something to celebrate! Great progress.

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CM_GARDNER78 1/30/2013 11:17PM

    That is AWESOME!!!!!!!! Way to go and CONGRATULATIONS!!! :-) You look fantastic!!!

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SMARTBLONDE8302 1/30/2013 8:08PM

    Congrats! 5 years is such an accomplishment!

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PINK-SOLDIER 1/30/2013 9:37AM

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KWEEKWEK 1/30/2013 9:26AM

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LIFETIMER54 1/30/2013 8:55AM

  I'm speechless and so vvvvvery happy for you!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FATHINSN 1/30/2013 12:32AM

    Happy 5th Anniversary!
Wow, you have learned a lots, gained knowledge and skills in half decade with SP and I'm sure most of us here also experience same things :D

I most agree about accountability and it's not just about nutrition and exercises, it's also other aspects in my life, I think even when my life spirals out of control, I know that I can still get back to track and I also learn not to give up :D

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AARMANI 1/29/2013 9:36PM

    What an inspiration!!! Congratulations :)

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KAKA40 1/29/2013 4:29PM

  Congratulations!!!!!

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KRISTINE99 1/29/2013 3:48PM

    Wow! 5 year Sparkversary! That's an incredible achievement. Keep up the good work :)

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MYRTLE811 1/29/2013 3:47PM

  What an achievement in more ways than just weight loss. I applaud your sticking with Spark and monitoring your food intake no matter how torturous it was for you.
You faced what you ate and dealt with it every day. How nice to also find another way of looking for your purpose in life; wow, what a revelation for you and how helpful this will be for all the people you will meet as you finish your goal. They will be so grateful for your help.
Congratulations.

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ARCHIMEDESII 1/29/2013 3:42PM

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Happy 5th Sparkaversary !! To quote an old advertisement,"You've come a long way, baby!" Congratulations on achieving so much in these last five years. Time flies !!

Here's to your next five !!

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SMILINGTREE 1/29/2013 3:35PM

    When you think about everything together, it's amazing. I mean, losing weight is good and fine, but making a life decision like what career you want to pursue? That's HUGE. At least as important as a few pounds.

Then there's the whole idea of influence - the fact that your spark friends influence your choices and even the way you think about those choices, and the fact that (knowingly or not) you influence those around you.

You are a wonderful spark friend, and I'm so glad to have "met" you!

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ARUNNINGKAT 1/29/2013 2:19PM

    I didn't see this blog the other day...somehow I missed it. Happy 5 year anniversary! It is amazing what a fabulous tool Spark is to all of us! I can't imagine my life without it! And yes, you are a wonderful Sparkfriend!! I hope to meet you some day in person. Until then, we will continue our journey via the internet. emoticon

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 1/29/2013 2:01PM

    Happy 5 years!! I missed this when you posted it the other day. Spark has given us all so much and it's awesome to read all you have gained from this site and community! Congrats on the featured blog post...you've made it to the big time!

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LUCYLU22 1/29/2013 12:25PM

    Fabulous journey! Happy Sparkversary!!

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NKOUAMI26 1/29/2013 12:11PM

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 1/29/2013 12:04PM

    Awesome!
You look fab-u-lous!!!
Love & Hugs!
Mary

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FARIS71 1/29/2013 9:41AM

    What an awesome journey you are on! Congrats!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/28/2013 11:24PM

    Great job! Congrats on your anniversary!

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KIMPAINTS 1/28/2013 10:35PM

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EMILYDOODLE 1/28/2013 9:58PM

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4KWALK 1/28/2013 6:38PM

    This is so inspiring for me. I am losing weight so slowly I wonder if it is worth it to continue but after reading your blog I believe it is. My first Sparkversary will be here in less than 2 months and now I know that I will be continuing on.

Thank you for posting this blog emoticon

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KAZFROMOZ 1/28/2013 5:34PM

  It's always lovely to see someone succeed - very best congrats! AND very inspiring. emoticon



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KWOOD1955 1/28/2013 1:19PM

    Way to go!!

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AKATHLEEN54 1/28/2013 12:15PM

    Congratulations!! great blog. You look great and as a new Sparkey your blog is very inspiring to me. I keep saying that I have never been so motivated to be successful since I joined this site. As you said there is so much support and comraderie out there that you feel like you have a whole bunch of friends doing this with you. ( you do actually you just don't really know them) but there is strength in that and that is what I find so empowering. I hope I achieve the same success that you have. Thanks for the great blog emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEWTINK 1/28/2013 11:49AM

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GODSBEST 1/28/2013 11:19AM

    Happy Sparkaversary, you look great. Keep up the great work.

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JUDYAASH 1/28/2013 11:02AM

    You look great . I think this was a wonderful blog because it helped identify all those bonuses we get from spark, not just weight loss. emoticon emoticon

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CEEMAY 1/28/2013 10:24AM

    emoticon Congrats!!!

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LIFETIMER54 1/28/2013 6:19AM

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MSKIZ69 1/28/2013 6:04AM

    Fabulous job!!!! So happy for you--can't wait for my 5th!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMANDACOETZER 1/28/2013 5:50AM

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BLUEJEAN99 1/28/2013 1:43AM

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