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    JILLYBEAN25   23,892
20,000-24,999 SparkPoints
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):
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YOUNMM23 1/27/2013 8:06AM

    emoticon awesome!!

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LRSILVER 1/27/2013 7:36AM

    Well done

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JANAMP09 1/27/2013 7:28AM

    emoticon Congrats on 5 years!

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JGRAY76 1/27/2013 7:24AM

    That is fantastic. 5 Years and still Sparkling!!!

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MIMIDOT 1/27/2013 7:23AM

    Wonderful blog! You're looking good! Success always sound good. Keep up the good work.

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BECKYANNE1 1/27/2013 6:38AM

    Congrats!!! emoticon

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JIBBIE49 1/27/2013 6:29AM

    emoticon emoticon There aren't many of us who didn't quit, so FIVE YEARS is a big deal. The week we joined about 14,000 others joined with us, but they aren't here and we are so that is what matters. Let's keep going.

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PENOWOK 1/27/2013 6:26AM

    Great difference!! Great job!! Spark on!

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-SEVEN- 1/27/2013 6:21AM

    Congrats! I just hit my 5 year too! I feel the same way about SparkPeople, and am so thankful for the wonderful people I've met here as well.
All the best to you, and good luck with your new career! emoticon

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STEVIEBEE569 1/27/2013 5:38AM

    Congratulations! Way to go! Keep up the good work!

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MYGOLDENBOYS3 1/27/2013 5:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERYLDS 1/27/2013 5:15AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIFETIMER54 1/27/2013 5:08AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 1/27/2013 4:16AM

    This is wonderful! Thanks for sharing.

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PIMPINELLAN50 1/27/2013 2:32AM

    emoticon Great blog,You look so pretty,healthy and happy in the "summer photo"! emoticon Happy Spark Anniversary !

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IRISHSAVER 1/27/2013 1:58AM

    Well done emoticon

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NEWSGIRL2177 1/26/2013 3:33PM

    Hooray! Happy anniversary! Sounds like you've grown quite a bit since you've been on here. I can't wait to see what's next for you!

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CANNIE50 1/26/2013 2:56PM

    Happy Sparkiversary, Miss JillyBean! Sparkville is better for you being here. emoticon

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RAINYFRIDAY 1/26/2013 1:04PM

    Hooray! Happy Sparkversary Jill!

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JACKIE542 1/26/2013 10:46AM

    This is great you have done a great job! Congratulations! emoticon emoticon

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FRENCHTOSD 1/26/2013 10:34AM

    I agree with everything you said, Jill. I could not be where I am today without all the Spark help I've gotten over the last 5 1/2 years. This is the place to be for those of us who want to become and stay healthy.

Congratulations on all your success. You look wonderful and your positive attitude will get you to your degree and your weight. Good for you. What a nice thing to read first thing this morning. Sharon

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/26/2013 10:02AM

    Wonderful! Happy anniversary here on SP!

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OLIVIANIGHT 1/26/2013 8:07AM

    Happy anniversary : )

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JSALERNO 1/26/2013 6:20AM

    emoticon I'M ONLY COMING UP ON 2 IN MAY

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BLUENOSE63 1/26/2013 6:09AM

  You look great! Happy anniversary to you! emoticon

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WILSON1926 1/26/2013 5:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Slow and steady..Great job. You look wonderful

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RORYLYONS 1/26/2013 3:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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