AMBER281's SparkPeople Blog AMBER281's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Saving my step at a time! This blog consists of two journal entries that I made a month apart so it’s kind of long. <BR> <BR> <BR> July 15, 2014 <BR> So today is my birthday….I’m turning 34. I was doing some reflecting on my life….what I’ve done, what I’d like to do, and who I am. I came to the realization that I needed to make some changes because my life was not what I wanted for myself and not what I would want for anyone I loved. I also realized that things I was doing were slowly killing me and that if things ... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 00:09:51 EST Fighting for Fitness Week1 Week One Challenge <BR> <BR> Regular (30 points) - Do at least 15 minutes or cardio at least 3 times a week for the regular points <BR> <BR> Bonus (20 points): Blog or write about one thing you think keeps you from reaching your goal at this point. This may stay the same or may change over time so what is happening right at the time of this writing. What are you going to do to overcome it. <BR> <BR> Regular challenge - Done - Cardio consisted of kickboxing and walking <BR> <BR> Bonus: <... Thu, 8 May 2014 23:33:57 EST Starting over...and getting real Well I survived another tax season but not without gaining weight which happens every year and I was so determined to not let it happen this year but it did <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> So today is May 1st and its time to start over. <BR> Back to basics which includes clean eating and daily exercise. <BR> A couple of my friend are starting a challenge that starts today and I start another challenge this weekend with my Sunny Gal sisters so that's just what I needed to get my butt in gear. <BR> ... Thu, 1 May 2014 11:42:59 EST Being open and honest...(heartfelt and emotional) I originally wrote this as a journal entry with NO intention of sharing it with anyone because I was afraid that other people would think that how I was feeling was silly or telling me I didn’t need to feel that way. Just like sometimes you can’t help who you love I can’t help how I feel. However, after thinking about it for a few days I realized that as part of my journey I needed to learn to open up and let others see the real me. Another reason I decided to make this public was for other p... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 17:32:31 EST Accident (pics) and positive changes for the new year So as I mentioned in my previous blog my Christmas day ended with us (dad, mom and myself) hitting a deer on the highway while driving back from my sisters. On Wednesday their car was towed back to the city where my mom and dad live so I was able to take some pictures. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I realize that it could have been much worse and I am so grateful that none of us were hurt. It was just a bad ending to an already bad day. <BR> ... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 18:26:27 EST New Year....Fresh Start! Tonight we said goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014 and I could not be more excited. The last 16 months have been really busy and filled with some unhappy events. Sister's stroke, my eye surgery, loss of my Grandma, and the failing health of my Grandpa. This past Christmas was one of the worst Christmas's of my life which ended with us hitting a deer on the highway and wrecking my Dad and Mom's car one week before they were supposed to leave on holidays. So I was pretty happy to say goodbye to ... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 04:25:53 EST Stepping away from Spark....for a while I just wanted to let all my Spark friend know that after I finish the current spark challenge that I am doing (so in about 2 weeks) I am going to be taking a break from Spark. I'm not shutting down my page, I'm leaving it as is for me to come back to when the time is right. This was not a decision that I made lightly but I really feel like its for the best right now. <BR> <BR> I used to love checking into spark everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, to track everything, read articles, due... Sun, 6 Oct 2013 20:49:29 EST "A year from now you will wish you started today" So I wrote a VERY similar blog to this one 2 months ago and you know what happened.....nothing. No wait I gained 5.5lbs. (Bad Amber) <BR> <BR> Well here I am at my highest weight ever of 320lbs and I am DONE. So I have decided to re-start my own 1 year journey to see how I can push myself if I really set my mind to something. <BR> <BR> "A year from now you will wish you started today" is a favorite quote of mine and is going to be my personal mission statement for the next year of my life.... Wed, 4 Sep 2013 19:52:51 EST New hair cut Before pictures <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After pictures <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am loving it so far. Can't wait to try it curly tomorrow! Fri, 30 Aug 2013 23:16:33 EST I'm not beautiful..... ….but I’m an amazing person if you can get past the exterior. <BR> <BR> Society is so focused on the perfect exterior just look at all the magazines, it doesn’t matter if its fashion, fitness or tabloid. They all have headlines “Lose 20lbs and 20 inches in 20 days”, “Get the perfect butt in 10 minutes a day”, “How to look perfect in jeans”…etc. Many industries also use sex to sell music, clothing, perfume, automobiles, etc. Is it any wonder why so many of us have insecurities and self-esteem... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 01:38:09 EST This weekend This weekend was just what I needed.....a couple of days away. <BR> <BR> I'm not sure what exactly happened to me last week but by Friday little things that don't usually bother me were getting under my skin. So when I left work Friday I decided that even though I didn't want to I should go for a walk just to let off some steam. While I was out walking it was like my body let go of everything....I was walking faster than I have in a while and I just started to cry. I was just glad that the r... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 21:07:36 EST July 26, 2013 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast - Egg white omelet with spinach, mushrooms and onion. Banana. <BR> Snack #1 - Greek yogurt, almonds, cucumber (not pictured) <BR> Lunch - Salad with 2 tbsp. of dressing and soup (no bun!!) Went out for lunch and forgot to take an actual picture. <BR> Snack #2 - Forgot at home <BR> Supper - Ceaser salad (only 2 tbsp. dressing), steak and 1/2 a toasted bun <BR> <BR> Fitness: <BR> Walked after work... Fri, 26 Jul 2013 23:26:45 EST July 25, 2013 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast - Egg white omelete with spinach, mushrooms and onion. Banana. <BR> Snack #1 - Greek yogurt, almonds, cucumber <BR> Lunch - Salad with chicken and 2 tbsp. of dressing <BR> Snack #2 - Cottage cheese w/ green onion, almonds, carrots <BR> Supper - Ceaser salad (only 2 tbsp. dressing) with chicken <BR> <BR> Fitness: <BR> Went to Curves on my lunch hour for ST <BR> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 23:23:51 EST July 24, 2013 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast - scrambled egg whites with spinach, mushrooms and onion. Banana. <BR> Snack #1 - Greek yogurt, raspberries, cucumber <BR> Lunch - Quinoa with cucumber, tomato, onion and almonds (not pictured) <BR> Snack #2 - Raspberry/vanilla protein shake made with almond milk, carrots <BR> Supper - Chicken pita <BR> <BR> Fitness: <BR> Went to Curves on my lunch hour for ST Fri, 26 Jul 2013 23:22:49 EST July 23, 2013 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast - Egg white omelete with spinach, mushrooms and onion. Banana. <BR> Snack #1 - Greek yogurt, almonds, cucumber <BR> Lunch - Salad with chicken and 2 tbsp. of dressing <BR> Snack #2 - Cottage cheese w/ green onion, almonds, carrots <BR> Supper - Ceaser salad (only 2 tbsp. dressing) with chicken <BR> <BR> Fitness: <BR> Went to Curves on my lunch hour for ST <BR> Walked after work Fri, 26 Jul 2013 23:20:16 EST July 22, 2013 So....last week my birthday was on Monday and I used that as an excuse to eat crappy all week with very little exercise. So I decided that this week (maybe more) I would do daily accountability blogs to keep me accountable with my nutrition and fitness this week. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast - scrambled egg whites with spinach, mushrooms and onion. Banana. <BR> Snack #1 - Greek yogurt, almonds, cucumber <BR> Lunch - Salad ... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 23:21:02 EST Extreme Makeover Amber Edition - Phase 1 I have been reading Chris Powell's book and watching Extreme Weightloss....and I am inspired to start my own 1 year journey. I know that weight struggles will be life long but I want to see what I can accomplish during the year if I put my mind to it and focus on me for a whole year. Yes that sounds selfish but in the long run its not as I will be better able to help others once I have helped myself. I have all the tools necessary to be successful. I know that there will be challenges (work, ... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 15:06:48 EST Secret Four: Unite I've been reading Chris Powell's book where he talks about the 4 secrets to life transformation: <BR> Secret One: Believe <BR> Secret Two: Keep your Promises <BR> Secret Three: Fall without Failing <BR> and last but not least, secret four: Unite! <BR> <BR> You need support from others to help you believe in yourself and keep your promises. Three positives from group energy are: <BR> 1. Accountability – you are more likely to fulfill commitments to yourself if you share with others. <BR> 2. M... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 20:34:12 EST Power Promises & Secret Three: Fall without Failing From Chris Powell's book " Choose More, Lose More for Life" where he talks about the 4 secrets to a successful life transformation <BR> <BR> Secret One: Believe <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5395823 </link> <BR> <BR> Secret Two: Keep your Promises <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5399347 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Power Promises <BR> <BR> Power promises are realistic promises that y... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 20:42:40 EST Secret Two: Keep your Promises I am reading Chris Powells book "Choose more, Lose more for Life" all I can say is WOW! <BR> <BR> He talks about the 4 secrets to a successful life transformation. <BR> <BR> Secret One : Believe <BR> - check on my blog <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5395823 </link> <BR> <BR> Secret Two: Keep your Promises <BR> <BR> There were two quotes that stuck out from this section: <BR> “The more you honour your integrity, the more dignity you have” <B... Sun, 23 Jun 2013 17:31:13 EST Secret One: Believe I recently bought the book "Choose More, Lose More for Life" by Chris Powell. So far I am amazed by what I have read. It has really opened my eyes to things that I never thought of. One of the quotes from the first couple of chapters is: <BR> "You eat too much and you're overweight because you hate yourself. You don't believe in yourself and you don't know how to love yourself" <BR> As a person who has struggled with self esteem issues for most of my life, this really struck a cord with me. I... Thu, 20 Jun 2013 00:35:49 EST Season of the Beast challenge - Week 1 You'll have four beastly goals to choose from: <BR> <BR> 1) Mastering the Pullup <BR> 2) Completing the 100 Pushups Challenge <BR> 3) Completing a 10K (Walk or Run) / <BR> -K-Training-Guide-Novice-Program <BR> 4) Increasing your Daily Stair Usage <BR> elnge.html <BR> <BR> 1. MAIN CHALLENGE <BR> This week, the main challenge will be to think about these options and pick the goal t... Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:57:08 EST It's time.... Wow....a lot of things have happened in my life the last 9 months. A lot of things have gotten in my way for staying on course for my weight loss journey but last weekend I turned a corner and realized that there would never be a perfect time and that those that loved and cared for me would want me to be happy. The only way to do that is for me to be happy in my own skin....which right now I am not. <BR> <BR> So here is the short version of what has been happening: <BR> <BR> In September 2... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 12:18:50 EST May 2013 - Getting back to basics Hey everyone.....I know its been awhile since my last blog but things in my world have been a little crazy lately. As a tax professional for the last 2 months I have been putting in lots of hours at work but tax season is officially over!!! YAY! I wish I could say that I maintained my healthy lifestyle through this crazy busy time....but that would be lying. The truth is I fell off the wagon and I fell HARD! I am not going to make happened, I can't change that fact and its time ... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 17:20:30 EST March 2013 Vision Board <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This vision board is about keeping myself motivated and remember why I am doing this, especially on bad days. Fri, 8 Mar 2013 21:09:17 EST Workout games I found some neat workout games on pinterest, there are games for every show, event etc. These are the two that I am going to try this week. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I am going to adjust the first one to 15 crunches because I can't do a tuck jump yet. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I am not sure what a Russian Twist is so I am changing it to crunches <BR> <BR> Can't wait to try th... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 19:32:59 EST The ABC's of introduction I posted this in one of my spark team chat threads but I thought it might be nice to share with my other spark friends. If you decided to do your own ABC's let me know so I can check them out! <BR> <BR> A=Available or Married? Available - however not currently focused on looking. Right now getting myself healthy is my top priority. <BR> <BR> B=Book you are reading? The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - Its a great book so far. I started reading it before my eye surgery and with not being ab... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 11:33:38 EST Body fat calculator I was told about a body fat calculator by some spark friends and I thought it would be interesting to check out. I wish my results were a surpise but I really wasn't that shocked. All I need to do is take a look in the mirror to see how out of shape and unhealthy I have been. But its a good starting point. <BR> <BR> My results were: <BR> Body fat % = 62.49% <BR> Lbs of Body Fat = 185.27 <BR> Lbs of lean body weight = 111.23 <BR> <BR> Based on the body fat chart for women <BR> Essential fat ... Fri, 22 Feb 2013 22:29:39 EST Learning to deal with the unexpected Wow it's February 18th and I have have yet to set some goals for 2013...CRAZY. But I will get to that. <BR> <BR> First things first. These past 5 months have been crazy and full of unexpected things and I have really had to learn how to deal with everything. Near the end of September one of my sisters had a stroke. Thankfully she is okay, she is getting better each and every day. She returned back to work January 1st. It was a very frightening experience, especially because before this she w... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 00:03:38 EST My heart is just not in it…I have lost my Spark In August I made a promise to myself to get myself on the right path, and I did….or I was until about 6 weeks ago. I was doing so good, down 22lbs and was feeling great. Then life happened. I understand that life isn’t going to pause and let me get healthy. I know that I need to find a way to work around life and events, especially ones that are out of my control. I tried, I really did….but then I lost my spark. I have desperately been trying to get it back but it doesn’t seem to be happenin... Fri, 14 Dec 2012 21:15:00 EST Fitness Streak - Days 1 - 7 Oh what a week! So I decided to start a fitness steak on November 27 (see prior blog) after reading a blog from MOSTMOM1 called Day 600 - WOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!! about her reaching day 600 of her workout streak. My goal right now is to reach 100 days. <BR> <BR> Well the first week (Days 1 - 7) are complete and what a week its been. I really want this 100 day streak and what this week has taught me is that I need to take it one day at a time. <BR> <BR> On Tuesday my dad went in for what was supposed to be a day... Mon, 3 Dec 2012 11:54:52 EST Fitness streak - DAY 1 So I have really been slacking off in the workout / fitness department lately. I kept saying "oh I'll start tomorrow" and you know what I said when tomorrow came around "oh I'll start tomorrow". Well this has to stop so there are no more starting tomorrows I am starting today. <BR> <BR> So many of my spark friends are doing amazing thing and continue to be inspiring. One blog that I read yesterday was truly inspiring. MOSTMOM1's blog Day 600 - WOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!! is about her reaching day 600... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 13:48:18 EST What a week...and its only Wednesday!! This week so far has been very draining. I have been physically and emotionally exhausted and stressed by the end of each day that I have very little energy in the evening to do anything at all. <BR> <BR> I did get some good news today though. The treadmill down in the common exercise room in my building will be fixed by the end of next week. YEAH!!! I am so excited. I was doing so good when I was getting up and walk/running for 30 minutes before work. It just seems to set me up right for t... Wed, 21 Nov 2012 22:01:09 EST Pulling apology When I got re-committed to this weight loss journey in August I was doing amazing things, not just with my weight loss but my commitment to healthy eat and was pushing myself physically. I was amazed with what I could accomplish if I put my body and mind to it. <BR> <BR> So what happened???? <BR> <BR> Here it is the 15th of November and I have worked out for 60 minutes so far this month, I have gained a little bit of weight back and I have not been meal planning like I should. Did I get laz... Thu, 15 Nov 2012 16:02:24 EST Time to get back on track for November! October started out good and on track but then things got in the way and my life got crazy. I am not making excuses I am stating what happened. I am not happy about it but I can’t change it so its time to let go and move forward. <BR> There have been a few major things that have happened in the last month or so. <BR> We moved my Grandpa into an assisted living facility….good news is that he loves it because there are people around to socialize with. This makes me happy. <BR> My sister had a s... Mon, 5 Nov 2012 19:44:55 EST Amazing Spark fitness articles Article #1 – Think You’re Too Heavy to Exercise? Part 1 <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=584 </link> <BR> Quote: “These obstacles are not just obstacles to exercise—they are the same challenges that stand between you and the life you want for yourself” <BR> How true is that statement?!?! We always hear people say I can’t because… but the truth is if you want something bad enough you can. It’s not going to be easy but it’s doable. You are not going to go... Fri, 26 Oct 2012 22:33:26 EST Goals for Falling For Fitness Challenge This week is the start of the Falling for Fitness Challenge. As part of this weeks challenge we have to establish 2 spark goals that we want to accomplish by the end of the challenge. My overall goal is to prepare myself for the upcoming tax season (Feb - April). I know it seems like a long time away but its really not and for me it's the worst time of year when it comes to my weight loss journey so I would like to build some healthy habits that will carry me through that stressful time. <BR... Fri, 26 Oct 2012 21:12:48 EST Workout playlists - Rock It challenge I have a lot of different music on my iPod so here are the playlists that I listened to the last couple of days. <BR> <BR> Playlist 1 <BR> Alone by Heart <BR> Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood <BR> Brand New Chick by Anjulie <BR> Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen <BR> Celebrity Status by Marianas Trench <BR> Cheers by Rihanna <BR> Cryin' by Aerosmith <BR> Don't Stress by Blake McGrath <BR> Electric by Shawn Desman <BR> Eye of the Tiger by Survivor <BR> Give Me Everything by Pitbull <BR> ... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 20:05:31 EST Still on Track Is it just me or are the months flying by??? I feel like September just started and now its over. I am proud to say that the motivation and drive that I had in August is still keeping me going through September. The last couple of weeks have been unusual with my sister being in the hospital – she is home now and recuperating well. Also, last week the treadmill in the exercise room in my building was broken which completely through off my morning routine. I still worked out in the morning, pul... Sun, 30 Sep 2012 22:40:54 EST Reaching a milestone.... ....and an emotional roller coaster. <BR> <BR> So lets start with the milestone. <BR> Today was weigh in day and it was great news, I am under 300lbs...298.5 to be exact. I have been 300+ lbs for almost 2 years so reaching this goal in less than two months of really getting serious makes me wonder why I did do it before?!? But I am not going to worry about it. I am here now and I am NEVER going back!! Oh and I should mention that I am only 0.5lbs away from losing 20lbs since August 1, 2012! ... Fri, 21 Sep 2012 11:13:23 EST Fast food options This week as part of the Rock It challenge we are supposed to blog about healthy alterntatives at fast food restruants because there are days when your going to be in a hurry and need to grab something fast so it's important to have a plan <BR> <BR> My first, and most used option, is a chicken breast pita from Pita Pit. I LOVE Pita Pit. Its fast and healthy. For a small (6") chicken breast whole wheat pita with veggies, swiss cheese and light mayo: <BR> Calories 343 <BR> Fat 12.5 <BR> Proti... Sat, 15 Sep 2012 12:27:16 EST Please help me.... I started doing jogging intervals to my work out routine back at the beginning of August. I was jogging 1 minute walking 4 minutes. I don't do this everyday, I do it every other days. On the off days I walk with no jogging. <BR> <BR> At the beginning of September I decided to increase my jogging interval to 1.5 minutes and leave the walking at 4 minutes. I did not increase the speed that I was going for either the jogging or walking just added 30 seconds to the interval. <BR> <BR> Here's th... Tue, 11 Sep 2012 10:49:04 EST Rock It: Food blog 5 (Friday) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast <BR> - Eggs and cheese <BR> <BR> Snack <BR> - Bagel (minus the cream cheese) <BR> <BR> Lunch <BR> - Wendy's chicken grill <BR> - Side salad (No picture) <BR> <BR> Supper <BR> - Salad <BR> - Mini pizzas <BR> - Vanilla greek yogurt with cinnamon Sat, 8 Sep 2012 19:55:20 EST Rock It: Food Blog 4 (Thursday) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast <BR> - Omlete with cheddar cheese <BR> <BR> Snacks <BR> - Almonds <BR> - Greek yogurt <BR> <BR> Lunch <BR> - Salad with lettuce, tomato, onion, corn, chicken, ranch dressing and cheddar cheese. <BR> <BR> Supper <BR> - English muffins with mozza cheese (they were supposed to be mini pizzas but I forgot to buy tomato sauce.) <BR> - Salad with lettuce, mushrooms, tomatoes, ranch dressing <BR> - Greek yogu... Thu, 6 Sep 2012 20:54:06 EST Rock It: Food Blog 3 (Wednesday) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast <BR> - Oats made with water and a little bit of sweetner <BR> - Eggs <BR> <BR> Snack <BR> - Almonds <BR> - Snap peas and cheese string <BR> <BR> Lunch <BR> - Chicken pita from Pita Pit <BR> <BR> Supper <BR> - Lettuce with chicken, corn, tomato and italian dressing <BR> - Yogurt <BR> - Cheese string <BR> <BR> Totals for the day <BR> Calories 1,388 <BR> Fat 47 <BR> Carbs 147 <BR> Protien 122 <BR> Sodiu... Wed, 5 Sep 2012 21:06:03 EST Rock It: Food blog 2 (Tuesday) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Breakfast <BR> - Vanilla greek yogurt with cinnamon and Fibre One cereal <BR> <BR> Snacks <BR> - Greek yogurt <BR> - Cucumber and cheese string <BR> <BR> Lunch <BR> - Salad made with lettuce, tomato, onion, chicken, dressing, mozzarella cheese <BR> - Yogurt with peach <BR> <BR> Supper <BR> - This picture is the second half of my ravioli that I brought home and put in the freezer. I also had a side ceaser salad a... Tue, 4 Sep 2012 22:30:59 EST Rock It: Food Blog 1 (Monday) <img src=""> Tue, 4 Sep 2012 00:13:18 EST One month and 15lbs lost = Amazing I can’t believe that August is over….WOW where did the summer go?? <BR> <BR> This past month has been amazing for me. Lots of non-scale and scale victories. As you can tell from the title I lost 15lbs this past month. I personally can’t believe it but I worked for every one of those pounds and I couldn’t be more proud. I am finally doing it. <BR> <BR> In the past I would do good for a week or two then by the end of the month I was back to my old habits. Which means I also gained the weight... Sat, 1 Sep 2012 10:30:13 EST What is wrong with me?!?! I sit here on a weightloss website after eating 3 cookies...anyone else see what is wrong with this picture??? Oh and that's just the tip of the iceberg that was this week. <BR> <BR> Last week I did SO good. Planned and tracked my food all week and resisted temptations. Exercised most days, could have been better but I am working on it. Was genuinly happy for the first time in a long time and to make things even better I lost 4.5lbs!! Even my mom commented on how happy I was and how it made ... Fri, 10 Aug 2012 23:28:47 EST 8/3 in review and long weekend hurdles August 3, 2012 <BR> <BR> Weight goals <BR> Highest = 318 <BR> August 1 = 315.5 (Goal to lose 10lbs in August) <BR> Today = 313 Lost 2.5!! <BR> <BR> Working towards August goals <BR> Daily fitness minutes – goal 60 minutes: None – was cleaning house and getting ready to leave for the weekend. <BR> Work on C25K: Tomorrow morning <BR> Track all food: Check <BR> Cook at home: Check <BR> 8 glasses of water: Check <BR> <BR> Eaten 1,511 <BR> BMR* 2,629 <BR> Exercise 0 <BR> Total Burned 2,62... Fri, 3 Aug 2012 21:52:10 EST