AMSPARKS23's SparkPeople Blog AMSPARKS23's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Oh my Darling, what if you Fly? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> If you have read this quote, there is likely some aspect in your life that you can relate. It could be taking that new job promotion, starting a new hobby, making your health a priority-the possibilities are endless. <BR> <BR> I believe that we hesitate because we have this little nagging thought in the back of our mind, a fear of failure. We would often times rather be content in our disco... Fri, 18 Sep 2015 10:03:39 EST Longevity <img src=""> <BR> <BR> When I think of people that are healthy, it comes from working out and eating right over a long period of time. Some people are naturally prone to be more athletic, this is not a deterrent for me, but a challenge accepted. I am tired of giving up. I'm tired of hiding my body. The progress I have made in this short couple of months has been spectacular. The first photo was about a month bef... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:08:51 EST Perseverance <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today I stepped on the scale and recorded my weight, as is typical for me. I went about my day and didn't think much of it. When I logged onto my app I use for tracking everything I noticed that I have lost 16lbs since June 11. I felt empowered, and like breaking down crying. I've been in the stages of plateauing and frustration... Everything. Seeing this happen made me feel like my goals ar... Wed, 5 Aug 2015 15:14:26 EST Clingy fabric breeds insecurity. Today I woke up and thought, "Today is definitely a sweatpants day." Then my mom called. My niece is getting married, and my mom asked me to go with her dress shopping. It made me feel like I should wear something a tiny bit nicer than joggers. I tried on this dress and decided it looked pretty good. You can see that it isn't very fitted in the bust or at the waist anymore, but sometimes when I turned I could see my tummy pressing against the fabric. <BR> <BR> I am having an insecure day. I ... Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:53:53 EST Sometimes you have to relearn what you know When I started eating extremely clean about a month ago I quickly lost about 10lbs with moderate exercise and whole foods. Then last week hit. I had a chocolate attack that hit me at full force. I decided that fudge brownies would be the absolute thing to satisfy that craving, and it did. For about four days in a row I had a large fudge brownie, lots of other carbs, and I just felt yucky. We had work outings and catered in-I need to be better about saying no, and resisting ice cream runs (whi... Tue, 28 Jul 2015 10:10:12 EST Transformation Tuesday! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Life can take us on some crazy journeys through the years. I like to think through all of the trials and tribulations I am a better person for it. The first photo was taken on a girls night in 2008, and the second a couple of weeks ago after a workout. I remember that dinner in college vividly with my roomies, Brianna & Sarah. Nothing seemed to fit right-so I decided black it is. Now I love ... Tue, 14 Jul 2015 14:37:19 EST Motivation <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I think it is safe to say that we have all had that bout of time where we fell off the wagon, wanted to cry, and just felt awful. Something I did to help myself when I feel discouraged was make a motivation board in my workout room. <BR> <BR> A couple of weeks ago I took the spare room in my house and made it my workout room. It has a few pieces of equipment that I've found for a very rea... Thu, 9 Jul 2015 11:18:32 EST Progress Report <img src=""> I woke up this morning and decided it was time I took another side view pic of my body to see the progress. It has been two months since my last photo, and I've lost 11 lbs since June 11. The differences: 1. Logging every.single.thing I put in my mouth 2. Switching out typical breakfast foods for a "shake" made with two fruits and kale or spinach. Low calorie, raw fruits and veggies=very satisfying.... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 16:39:59 EST Taking Control of My Life Taking back control of your life.... How do you do that when upon reflection there never has been any? <BR> <BR> Warning: This post is going to be very real, and bluntly honest with both myself and readers. These are things that I do not like to admit aloud, let alone put in writing, but I believe I have to for the sake of moving forward. <BR> <BR> Begin at the beginning. When I look at childhood pictures-about 3-5 range I didn't look chubby, but I always remember being told I had a big b... Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:54:29 EST Love Yourself Part II I ran in to one of my friend's mom from high school, when she commented on how she thought I had lost weight. I looked at her a little shocked, because I see myself every day. Admittedly the scale has gone down since I have seen her, and my clothes fit differently, but I hadn't given it too much thought that people would be noticing this soon after my dietary change. It made me feel pretty great. <BR> <BR> I then proceeded to thank her, and tell her about the phrase I heard in another membe... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 15:56:28 EST Love Yourself I love to read other Spark Members' blogs to hear about their successes and challenges that come with the daily choice of being healthy. Today I came across a question that moved me beyond belief, "What would someone who loved themselves do?" <BR> <BR> When I thought of that question I thought about all of the decisions I make every day. I think that I am a good person. I would do anything for my friends and family. I'm a pretty fantastic dog momma, if I do say so myself. I go above and be... Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:37:15 EST Set back I had decided to pretty much cut carbs from my diet to cleanse my body of craving sugar. I made it to day five, and about lunch time my body thought the food I brought sounded disgusting, and I wanted chocolate like a crazy woman. I sat there and I thought about it, and I thought about it. Weighing the pros and cons if I gave in to my want. I decided if I still had a healthy lunch, and a brownie I would see how the sugar changed my body over the past few days. I went to the supermarket and ... Wed, 21 Jan 2015 16:09:17 EST NSV! I have come to terms with the fact that I am a horrible blogger, in the consistency factor anyway. The good thing is, while I haven't been making time every day, or even weekly, to blog about what I have been up to-I've still been seeing results. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I finished Week 6 day 3 of C210K with my longest continuous running time of 22 mins. (Something I wish that app had would be a distance tracker). Tomorrow I start Week 7 Day 1 and will be running 25 mins... the same goes for Day... Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:23:01 EST Days 4 & 5 Yesterday we went to the Iowa State Fair for work (not for working, for a team building day) and we were there for seven hours-walking pretty much the whole time except for lunch-I counted that as my Day 4 activity because I was definitely more active than 30 minutes ;) <BR> <BR> I did get a second wind after I rested when I got home last night and mowed the back yard, did the dishes, a load of laundry, hung some mini blinds (ps-extremely tedious), and a few other household things. :) <BR>... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 10:41:54 EST Day 3 Sometimes I wish I was as excited to wake up and go out in the mornings as my dog. Once I'm up-I'm good... I just hate leaving my very comfy bed lol We got up and went for our run this morning, and it was absolutely perfect weather. They were mowing the park that we went to run around, and my allergies were going haywire. Thankfully it was just some runny eyes/nose, it did not alter my breathing :) <BR> <BR> I was pretty proud of myself because I ran longer and farther than on Monday. Yay! Wed, 13 Aug 2014 10:06:47 EST Day 2 Success! Yesterday I started running again-as was per Day 1 of my schedule, and I didn't die! so that is always good news :) Today I woke up and went to the gym before work-again-I didn't die.. so that's fantastic. It will be good to get into the groove of working out every day again. Some days are lighter workouts than others, but I am dedicating a minimum of 30 minutes of my day to being active, I am definitely worth 30 minutes of my time. (to see the organizers I created look at the blog titled Hea... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 17:28:23 EST Healthy Lifestyle Organizers The workout calendar actually started in August-but I only saved the September template... <BR> <BR> I hope you enjoy these! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:09:02 EST Top Priority I have been thinking a lot lately about my persona-what kind of person I am. I am very detail oriented, a planner, a doer, and I love projects. When I am passionate about something I go all in. I recently purchased a house and I had a fever to get a bunch of things done to make the house feel more like Anna's home. Then I asked myself..Why have I had such difficulty sticking with a workout routine? <BR> <BR> All of the projects I take on I finish. I deem them to be worthy and very important... Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:05:42 EST Everyone is different It seems like such an easy concept to understand-that everyone is different. When coming from a weight perspective-it is actually pretty hard to grasp, at least for me. What I look at my weight, is completely different from what someone else at the same weight looks like. Each of our bodies are composed differently with muscle mass, height, and genetics. It can be discouraging to see people that have less muscle and more fat dropping weight like it is literally melting off in this heat (and h... Thu, 26 Jun 2014 09:50:08 EST Not Guilty! Yesterday was the first day (since I've been counting calories on the tracker) in the past two weeks that I went over my calorie count. My boss was so thoughtful and bought us this super rich chocolate/heath/caramel ice cream...but you know what? I still didn't feel guilty about it. It had been three weeks since I had ice cream, and I don't plan to have it anytime soon again-but it was nice not feeling guilty about it. It did make my tummy queezy feeling, so it didn't add to making me want it... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 10:07:17 EST NSV For those of you that don't know... an NSV is a non scale victory :D Today I put on a tee my parents got me for this past xmas-a ladies medium! I don't remember the last time that I've worn a ladies medium... and I was so excited that right when I got to work I had to take a bathroom selfie-silly I know. :) My family members are huge Green Bay fans-and I just kind of fall into the mix because I really do not have a preference-regardless... I put on this shirt today and it fit better than comf... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 10:11:54 EST Victory Last night was a whirlwind! I had to go to the grocery store right after work to grab stuff to make dinner (taco zucchini boats!), run home, make dinner, workout, and entertain my friend. Needless to say by the time I got home-I underestimated the prep time for dinner. I was able to get in some push ups and jumping jacks with some squat/weight variations... but not the full 30 day shred video-so tonight will be my day 4, or I may go for an extended run. <BR> <BR> I do have to share the taco... Thu, 19 Jun 2014 14:13:06 EST Exciting news! Last night I went home and completed day 3 of the 30 day shred-which wasn't extremely difficult-surisingly enough-since I did not do the workout in 2.5 weeks :-/. I woke up this morning, did my yoga-then weighed myself. Down 5 lbs! Exciting news for me :) Its nice to be able to see on the scale the difference what I feel in my body. The "beginning" of a stronger me, quite literally. I feel very at peace, and calm. I love that yoga does that for me. :) Wed, 18 Jun 2014 09:46:32 EST Today Today: I continue to feel motivated, and really proud of myself. I lost 4 pounds since my last weigh in. woohoo! Other small milestones to feel proud about are: Yesterday the office ordered in Italian from one of the best places in the city... I declined-and did not feel remorseful. I felt excited that I had the will power to turn down the deliciously high in fat foods that typically tempt me into caving. I stuck to my guns and enjoyed my salad. I have found that it helps me to go to the groc... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 12:24:59 EST It's a process. Sometimes it is funny how life happens. For me-I need to block out a time during the day to exercise-no matter what. My time seems to have all been devoted to house hunting-and I found one! There is so much to do. It's been crazy, and its only going to get worse. I've still been active. I just haven't done the 30 day shred program I started, or have been blogging about it. <BR> <BR> The beauty about the process-is that it is a process. I love myself too much to give up on living a healthier ... Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:23:16 EST Day 2 Today was less difficult than yesterday with the week one training. I could definitely feel yesterday's workout in my legs, abs, and arms today. It was a pretty glorious feeling :D My muscles weren't very stiff when I did today's training, and I was more flexible with the cool down and stretching out :) I still had a nice sweat, and feel great! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 31 May 2014 18:45:04 EST 30 Day Shred Today I started Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred-She may in fact be the toughest trainer! I was unbelievably sweaty... and it is a 20 minute workout. She does three circuits of strength, cardio, and abs-I'm pretty excited to see what the end of the 30 days will be like. :) Fri, 30 May 2014 20:41:12 EST Good Decisions They say the choices that are made in your 20s really lay the grid work for your future. Career, location, family decisions, lifestyle and so much more. Upon reflection, and projection, I can say truthfully I am extremely happy where I am. <BR> <BR> Tackling each topic-Career-I finally feel like I am with a company that feels like "home." Annuities and Life insurance may not be the most panty dropping career full of excitement, unless you're into finance like I am-I love it! It also helps th... Fri, 11 Apr 2014 11:16:06 EST Blogging I have been terrible about blogging lately-terrible lol <BR> <BR> On a good note I have been exercising at the gym-3 days of weights a week and training for my 10k. I put on a T and zip up hoodie today...and felt pretty excited that they were quite loose on me. Woot! <BR> <BR> Today I am going to run-to the Gym! lift my weights, and run, or walk back depending. :) Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:41:49 EST Recently I have been doing 10k training. Yesterday I completed day 2 of week 2-and felt great. I run with my puppy-which poses a bit of an experience as the weather gets nicer. People and their puppies and children are following the weather in pursuit of fitness as well. Ryley was much better yesterday than Monday about barking at other puppies. Thank goodness :) <BR> <BR> I need to finish my 30 day challenge. I got sidetracked with nice weather. I will resume and continue to post :) <BR> <BR> <img... Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:02:43 EST Day 21 Today: <BR> <BR> 180 Squats <BR> 0 Push Ups (Rest Day) <BR> 70 Leg Lifts <BR> 150 S Plank <BR> <BR> Woot Woot! I can feel the strength in my arms/back/buns and legs... its pretty fantastic. <BR> <BR> Plank <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 15:16:54 EST Day 20 Today: <BR> <BR> 0 Squat: Rest-(silly after having about a week off.. oops, but I followed the plan for what to do today) <BR> 21 PushUps <BR> 60 Leg Lifts (each leg) <BR> 150s Plank... 2.5 minutes! <BR> <BR> :) <BR> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 15:07:08 EST Yesterday While I did not do my typical exercises-I cleaned my apartment, and my entire closet. This was about 3 hours of nonstop going. I'm pretty sure this counts, especially because I did laundry. I live on the third floor and the laundry facility in my building is the basement, which is four flights, or 44 stairs one way. :) I'll be posting today my workout when it is completed on my lunch :) Fri, 21 Feb 2014 09:49:27 EST Day 19 I would like to say that I am extremely proud of myself for sticking to this... there are only 11 more days of this challenge, and I feel pretty fantastic. Sometimes it can become difficult without seeing immediate results, but one has to remember that this isn't a sprint-its for the long haul marathon-and that makes all the difference. <BR> <BR> For fun I measured my waist and hips-which measured the same as when I started, but I can feel the difference. My body feels much stronger, and it... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 10:35:07 EST Day 18 Today: <BR> <BR> 155 Squats <BR> 16 Push Ups <BR> 100 Leg Lifts <BR> 2.5m Plank <BR> <BR> After work I will again take advantage of the beautiful weather and do day two of my 10k training. :) Tue, 18 Feb 2014 14:20:51 EST Day 17-yesterday. Apparently I am terrible about blogging my progress on the weekend-or at least I was this weekend. <BR> <BR> I took Sunday off because I was exhausted from traveling, and just needed a rest day. Monday I did: <BR> <BR> 150 Squats <BR> 16 Push Ups <BR> 0 Leg Lifts (rest day) <BR> 2m Plank <BR> <BR> I also began my training for 10k as the weather is getting nicer. I alternated 30 mins running walking with my couch to 10k app. Ryley (my puppy) loooved it! He was a complete mess with ru... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:43:09 EST Day 16 I am now on the down slope to this workout! <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> <BR> 0 Squats (rest day) <BR> 15 Push Ups <BR> 100 Leg Lifts <BR> 120s Plank <BR> <BR> Woohoo! Not bad for a Saturday morning :) Sat, 15 Feb 2014 09:45:42 EST Valentines For a lot of single people, Valentine's day is a reminder that they do not have a significant other. I feel that this is a matter of perspective. While I do not have a significant other, I do not need one to love myself, my family, friends-or hopelessly sweet puppy. <BR> <BR> I have never been the person that needed to have a man to make me feel complete, or happy. When the stars align, we'll find each other someday. My Valentines, or loves, are the people I chose to give a piece of my heart... Fri, 14 Feb 2014 11:05:45 EST Day 15 Halfway there!! :D <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> 140 Squats <BR> 13 Push Ups <BR> 95 Leg Lifts <BR> 90s Plank <BR> <BR> My back feels much better today. Thank baby Jesus for Icy Hot :) Fri, 14 Feb 2014 10:50:57 EST Day 14 Today: <BR> <BR> 135 Squats <BR> 0 Push Ups (rest day) <BR> 90 Leg Lifts <BR> 90s Plank <BR> <BR> I think I must have slept wrong because my back is really achy :( -on a positive note, One more day and I will be halfway done with my first challenge :D Thu, 13 Feb 2014 09:56:40 EST Day 13 Today was pretty brutal-when I was doing my squats I thought to myself-I could just stay down here lol-but I powered through :) <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> 130 Squats <BR> 12 Push Ups <BR> 85 Leg Lifts <BR> 0s Plank (rest day) <BR> <BR> Now that I'm not doing the squat motion... my legs don't hurt-its an interesting sensation, and extremely powerful motivation :) <BR> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 10:35:43 EST Grocery Stores-Food in general Over my lunch break I went to the grocery store so I didn't have to do it after work. I had to go to a different grocery store than is my norm=severely disappointed. First thing when you walk in "shazaaam valentine's day"=Chocolate, cupcakes, unhealthy with a large slab of fat. Of course I'm drawn to this because chocolate is my one dietary Achilles heel... but I stay strong through the grocery store. Up and down the aisles I have to look for the organic stuff-reading labels to be sure-becaus... Tue, 11 Feb 2014 14:32:46 EST Day 12 Today: <BR> 0 Squats (rest day-praise baby Jesus!)- My legs were definitely feeling it <BR> 12 Push ups <BR> 80 leg lifts <BR> 90s plank! <BR> <BR> woot woot! Almost halfway there! Tue, 11 Feb 2014 09:58:27 EST Day 11 Apparently I was discrediting myself when I looked in my journal-I'm one day ahead of the actual date of the month-oopsies! <BR> <BR> Today: <BR> 110 Squats <BR> 10 Push ups <BR> 75 leg Lifts (each leg) <BR> 60s Plank <BR> <BR> My workout came at the right time of day because I was starting to drift into a snooze mode-now I feel energized and good to go :) Mon, 10 Feb 2014 17:48:28 EST Day 9 For my fabulous day of guns buns and abs I conqured 105 squats-10 push ups-65 laying single leg lifts (each leg of course) and a 60s plank. I feel great. I topped it off with my delicious grapefruit juice 8oz/cider vinegar 2tsp/honey 1 tsp-which added to the zesty energy I was already feeling. <BR> <BR> Today-I still need to go to Trader Joes-oops, but yesterday I still ate very healthy. I even turned down chocolate cheesecake and it felt really good to say no with complete control. :) Sun, 9 Feb 2014 13:29:59 EST Day 8 Today I completed those 100 squats like a champ! I also did 9 push ups (I'm surprised the push ups aren't being more aggressive in adding them per the guidelines) 0 leglifts (rest day) and a 60 second plank! As I have promised I am attaching a picture as I am right now-at the end of my 30 day challenge I will post another photo to see the difference :) <BR> <BR> Today-I will be planning my meals for the week and making a trip to Trader Joe's :) <BR> <BR> ps... posting a picture like this is... Sat, 8 Feb 2014 12:07:02 EST Guns Buns and Abs Workout today complete! Rested on the squats per instructions-60 laying single leg lifts each leg-9 push ups-45 second plank.... tomorrow we have 100 squats. EEk! I can conquer this no problem. By the end of this workout I should be doing 250 squats-woot woot. I can definitely feel the difference in my body with the tightening of my thighs and tummy and tush. :D <BR> <BR> Today's Menu <BR> Orange <BR> Banana <BR> Apple <BR> Chili <BR> Green Beans <BR> Pork Loin <BR> <BR> Water to drink :) Fri, 7 Feb 2014 09:40:22 EST Reflection It is interesting to look back on previous blogs and see that it has been since July that I posted! Reflecting on what has happened in the past six months-it has been a crazy adventure! <BR> <BR> Where I'm At: <BR> <BR> Physically-somehow I'm fitting in my skinniest jeans without looking like a muffin (Sz 12 I may add), but I have been slacking on getting my buns to the gym. I have been doing home exercises, irregularly-and walking my puppy multiple times a day. <BR> <BR> Emotionally-Ther... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 11:02:55 EST Fab Ab Day 1 Complete! I completed all exercises in about a minute and a half, 90 seconds! How fast is that for a workout?! No excuses :) I feel energized and fantastic. I feel the workout slightly in my abs... Can't wait til tomorrow! Wed, 31 Jul 2013 18:46:15 EST Fabulous Abs Challenge! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have committed to completing this challenge, of 30 days. Easy Peezy. :-/ It looks to be a definite challenge, but I'm up to the cause! BEGINNING TODAY! I am going to note each day after I complete my workout how it made me feel and my progress. I will also note if I notice any changes physically-and will be posting before and after photos :D <BR> <BR> Feel free to do this workout too! Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:07:52 EST