ERICAANN44's SparkPeople Blog ERICAANN44's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Re-evaluating my "Whys" I have realized that I've completely lost motivation the last four days or so. Four days isn't a lot, as long as I take immediate control of the situation and get back on track before I make too many decisions that I regret. I'm down almost 30 lbs this time around, and I want to keep going. <BR> <BR> With that being said, I think it's a good time to re-evaluate why I'm doing this (again...I lost a significant amount of weight several years ago but regretfully gained it back). <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 19 Dec 2017 21:17:45 EST Three week, pre-holiday challenge! So, I've been giving a lot of thought to this holiday season and what I can do to come out of it happy and focused. There were a lot of things to consider before coming up with a plan. <BR> <BR> I have a birthday coming up (December 26th). That leaves me three weeks until Christmas/birthday celebrations. Also added to the mix, my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. I had wanted to be a little further along in my weight loss journey before trying to get pregnant, but I'm about to be... Mon, 4 Dec 2017 09:15:13 EST October review, November goals! I'd like to take this opportunity to review the goals I set for myself October 1st and set my goals for the upcoming month :) <BR> <BR> My first October goal was to lose a minimum of 10 lbs. I met that goal, but just barely. Don't get me wrong, I'm THRILLED with the loss, but there are things I could have done better in order to have a bigger net loss for the month (I have a significant amount of weight to lose, so I have some time before my weight loss starts slowing down). <BR> <BR> My ... Mon, 30 Oct 2017 11:05:48 EST Dear Erica... Dear Erica, <BR> <BR> I know you're feeling frustrated because you had your first "bad" food weekend since restarting this journey almost two months ago. I know you're angry at yourself and feeling physically ill because of the carbs and fat you've consumed in the past 48 hours. I know this because this is your least it used to be, before you started getting a handle on this weight loss thing. <BR> <BR> When you get on the scale tomorrow morning after you get home from your... Sat, 21 Oct 2017 20:33:00 EST Goals and plans for mom's surgery week. This Thursday is the day that my mom is having right thumb/hand arthroplasty. We've both been hot messes (my mom more than me, obviously) with a severe spike in anxiety. My mom is fiercely independent and despises having to ask for help. I'm going to make myself available for whatever she needs. At the same time, I'm also going to continue my weight loss journey successfully. <BR> <BR> I have a goal of being in the 250s by Saturday, which is my next weigh-in. That means that I'll need t... Sun, 15 Oct 2017 18:45:25 EST A stress-busting blog. So, my mom is having a thumb arthroplasty done next Thursday and I have become increasingly anxious about it. I'm obviously anxious about her making through surgery and about the surgery being successful. I admit that I'm also extremely anxious about how her surgery is going to impact my daily life. My mom is only in her 60s, so she doesn't require a ton of help, but she'll need help with housecleaning and driving to appointments for a while. <BR> <BR> What's causing me anxiety about he... Sat, 14 Oct 2017 06:20:41 EST Did you know it's ok to say, "NO!" and take control? I've noticed a theme lately among other Spark users. A lot of people, including myself, seem to have difficult saying "no" to others and taking control of our own health. Personally, I have historically had a very hard time declining invitations to eat out. I love my friends and family and I always felt guilty declining invitations to go out for dinner and/or drinks. <BR> <BR> Now that my husband has joined me in this journey toward health, we've found it to be easier and easier to say "n... Mon, 9 Oct 2017 21:17:43 EST October goals!!! September was a reset month for me...and a fairly successful one at that. I lost some weight, changed some habits, etc. Now that I *finally* feel like I'm on track, I thought I'd start doing my monthly goal blogs again! <BR> <BR> 1. Lose a minimum of 10 lbs <em>192</em> <BR> <BR> 2. Workout six days/week with Sundays being an optional Yoga day <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> 3. Only one cheat meal MAX on the weekends...if I don't have a special event or an exceptionally intense craving,... Mon, 2 Oct 2017 13:16:05 EST Our thoughts only have power over us if we believe them. Despite being a mental health therapist and knowing strategies to help combat anxiety, I can't help but continue to feel anxious about the current state of our world. I'm left in shock on a daily basis by the hate, anger, hypocrisy and judgmental mentality displayed by some. Perhaps it's not so much that there is an excess of hate, but rather that it is the hate and hypocrisy that are always center stage. <BR> <BR> <BR> Something I'm working on is being less judgmental myself. I feel ve... Mon, 25 Sep 2017 21:12:19 EST Some things I'm (re)learning about myself. Anyone who has read any of my blogs over the past several years knows that I lost a significant amount of weight about five years ago. Since then, I've fallen in love, gotten married and become totally complacent. As I refocus on this journey toward good health (with the ultimate goal of feeling healthy enough to have a baby), I am relearning a lot about myself. <BR> <BR> 1. Despite evidence to the contrary, I have incredible willpower. I think willpower is like a muscle...the less frequ... Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:36:33 EST Beyond fed up! Time has marched on and instead of being healthier, I am at my all-time highest weight!!! <BR> <BR> I guess my story is fairly typical. Thin girl gains weight in her 20s, loses said weight in her late 20s and gains it back in her early 30s. I keep thinking to myself, "I have time. I'll re-start tomorrow", but that kind of thinking sabotages me. <BR> <BR> Here is what I know: <BR> <BR> 1. I am at my all-time highest weight <em>192</em> <BR> <BR> 2. Despite having a loving husband... Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:40:31 EST You know that road that's paved with good intentions... ...well, that is kind of how I view "dieting". Of course I never meant to get this fat. I admit that I was naturally lax about my food intake because I spent my entire youth thin. I also admit that I became lax again after losing almost 100 lbs and falling in love with my husband. Clearly, I never intended to gain my weight back, just like I have always intended on re-losing my weight. The first time I lost weight, I was fueled by anger and depression after having been unceremoniously du... Fri, 7 Jul 2017 22:07:18 EST I have my master's!!! I'm so freakin' proud of myself! I received my grade on my 33 page thesis paper today and I can now say that I have a master's in clinical mental health counseling!!! I've always wanted to pursue my M.S. and it feels amazing to finally check it off my bucket list! <BR> <BR> Because I've been so focused on school, I'm NOT where I was hoping to be weight-wise right now. I think it's really time to buckle down and get a few lbs off before I hit Cape Cod in August. I have 8 weeks from Satu... Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:58:48 EST Goals, goals, goals! Ok, so it's been a while since I've written out any specific goals for myself. I've managed to stay off the scale (only because it's in hiding in my mom's guest bathroom), which is a total miracle. I BOMBED during my vacation a couple weeks ago, but in all fairness I really didn't intend to do well. I ate more wayyyyy too many carbs, but we tried to balance it by doing a ton of walking. I've since been back on track, and as a nice bonus, my husband is now back to counting calories with me... Wed, 26 Apr 2017 10:15:33 EST The breakup of a longtime relationship. Before anyone gets too worried, the breakup to which I'm referring is the one I had this weekend with my scale! <BR> <BR> I woke up yesterday morning and the first thing I wanted to do was get on the scale...after eating sodium-laden Chinese the night before, no less! I am a glutton for punishment...a masochist, if you will. Even when I know it's going to be bad, I still get on the scale. So, before leaving to go to my mom's house (25 minutes away), I made a spur of the moment decision ... Mon, 10 Apr 2017 14:12:22 EST Realistic goals! Even though I'm focusing on weekly goals, I just realized that I have some significant dates this summer that I can use as mini-goal dates. In the past, I would place expectations on myself that were barely attainable. When I lost weight the first time around (80 lbs!), I didn't have a significant other and I really didn't have much of a social life. I was 100% focused on losing weight, even if it meant turning down social engagements. I'm married now and have a huge group of friends, so ... Fri, 7 Apr 2017 11:33:35 EST Mid-Week Update Well, I'm actually not hating this week! I've been trying to stay positive, even though I have to deal with that obnoxious 23-year old student again tomorrow LOL. I'm just going to keep my head down and do my work the best of my ability. I think I let her goad me a little last week so this week I'm just going to remember that it's the last time I have to see her. I'll also keep in mind that even though she looks much older, she's significantly younger than me with much, much less professi... Wed, 5 Apr 2017 13:23:40 EST Recovery! Well, last week was a b!tch. We had a death in the family and were constantly on the run. You all know what that means...horrible food choices. I was so physically and emotionally spent that I honestly didn't care about making healthy choices. I'm finishing my master's in counseling in a couple months and let me tell you, I had to put those skills to use over the last week! Oh, and we had a houseguest this weekend, too. Ugh. Seriously, next weekend is going to be a weekend of NOTHING! <... Mon, 3 Apr 2017 09:45:53 EST The paranoid struggles of a fat girl. Ugh! So, I may have mentioned that I'm doing an internship for grad school. After I was approved for the internship, the counselor I'm working with took on another student who only comes in once/week (I'm here the other four days). Today is the first day our paths crossed and I feel grossly inadequate...emphasis on the gross. <BR> <BR> This girl is 10 years my junior and literally looks like a supermodel. I feel like a fat troll around her. I know, I know...looks don't matter, but I fee... Thu, 30 Mar 2017 12:11:08 EST Hello, gorgeous! After taking some time off from Spark to try Weight Watchers, I'm back! I liked Weight Watchers just fine but I think what's best for *me* is good, old fashioned calorie counting. I know tons of people who have had success on WW, but it just didn't seem to do it for me. I'm not a fan of "free" foods. Yes, I know that veggies are healthy but they still have calories. And don't even get me started on the "free" fruit thing! I was very careful to not over-do it on the fruit, but that $hit ... Fri, 24 Mar 2017 12:15:35 EST Crazy self-sabotaging realization! So, I'm sitting on the couch relaxing after a day full of school work. I'm eating healthy and tracking all of my food. I'm excited for my afternoon workout with my husband. Everything is good. A thought skitters across my consciousness..."Yes! Tomorrow is Friday! I can eat some bad stuff!" Wait...WHAT?!?! That is *not* a healthy thought process. I suddenly recognized that this is my thought process *every* weekend, albeit subconsciously. That's why I spend every Monday and Tuesday g... Thu, 8 Sep 2016 15:07:13 EST Hello, September! Well, I guess I'll start by updating everyone on my successful and unsuccessful completion of my August goals: <BR> <BR> 1. Lose 6 lbs-------------------------I lost 3, so at least that's progress <BR> 2. Track my calories on SP---------------I didn't track as often as I'd like <BR> 3. Exercise 5 days/week------------------SUCCESS!!! <BR> 4. Blog at least once/week---------------Epic fail lol <BR> <BR> I've been in a really good groove the past couple of weeks. My husband is now focusing o... Wed, 31 Aug 2016 11:50:09 EST Ready to get down and dirty! This is my first blog post in a long time. More importantly, it's my first blog post as a married woman...yay!!! <BR> <BR> My wedding was July 23, 2016 and it was the single best day of my life so far! The weather was gorgeous, the setting was stunning and I felt more beautiful than I ever have, despite not having lost all of the weight I planned to lose before the big day. <BR> <BR> The honeymoon was every sense of the word ;) I literally ate whatever I wanted for two wee... Thu, 4 Aug 2016 15:33:30 EST Results of my scale experiment I LOVE not getting on the scale! I stayed off the scale in December and, despite some very bad eating during the holidays and my birthday, lost 10 lbs and a total of 12 inches!!! My hypothesis that I would be able to focus on clean eating and exercise instead of focusing on the scale proved accurate. <BR> <BR> I'm trying to do the same thing again and not weigh myself until February 4th. I've screwed around and yo-yo'd for a year now and I know it's now or never. I have my dress but I ... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 22:41:08 EST The liberation of the scale! I hid the scale and decided to only weigh-in monthly. After daily (or more) obsessive weigh-ins, which inevitably led disappointment, frustration and cursing, I made the decision to STOP! It's been 5 days, and I feel this overwhelming sense of relief. I can focus on my workouts and my healthy eating WITHOUT the constant stress over the number flashing on the scale. <BR> <BR> That being said, I've been on my game. I've been doing anywhere from 2-3 workouts/day, eating clean and focusing o... Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:05:09 EST I bought my dress, now bring on the weight loss! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I finally bought my wedding dress! I am so excited but it is also a sign that it's time to really get serious about my weight loss. No more cheat meals. No more, "I have plenty of time before the wedding...I can eat this Taco Bell". No more, "I can skip this workout...I'm tired today." <BR> <BR> I bought the dress in the largest size they had, which is a 14. It runs small so it's mor... Tue, 27 Oct 2015 13:41:47 EST Restarting and refocusing. After much consideration, I decided to reset my Spark page. I decided to do this because it gives me an official brand new start as I settle down and refocus on my weight loss journey. <BR> <BR> I am so excited to shop for my wedding dress, but I simply cannot do it at this weight. I won't like myself in anything I try on and that will depress me. I actually just got off the phone with a seamstress that is going to do my alterations. I discussed my weight loss plan and she said she rea... Fri, 16 Oct 2015 21:41:46 EST Navigating the turmoil. I'm still here, even though I haven't been very active on Spark. That's going to change, especially because I've gained a couple of lbs back. Literally a it's not too bad. <BR> <BR> Life has thrown me an insane curveball, which hasn't helped me on my weight loss journey. We had to do an intervention for my younger brother. He has a history of drug abuse and was in a bad car accident a couple of weeks ago. I won't go into crazy detail about everything that has happened over t... Sun, 20 Sep 2015 13:13:16 EST Post-vacation blues and regrets... Well, my vacation was amazing but the scale is NOT happy with me! I'm sure I only actually gained 1-2 lbs, but my sodium consumption is making that number much higher today! I'm a bit frustrated with myself, but I know I need to just move forward. I am sick of letting moments of weakness determine my success. <BR> <BR> Luckily my fiance and I started a cleanse today. It's the 3 Day Refresh from Beachbody. I've done it before and it's great. My goal is to continue to follow the cleans... Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:35:42 EST June recap and July goals! I can't believe it's July 1st!!! June flew by! I can't believe it's time for another blog with a new set of goals for the month. <BR> <BR> Let's see how I did with my June goals: <BR> <BR> I will lose 10 lbs-------I lost 7. <BR> <BR> 2. I will work out a minimum of 5 days/week, including two days when I will do 2 workouts per day------I met, and exceeded this goal! <BR> <BR> 3. I will continue to eat lean protein, veggies and small servings of fruit, while cutting out most dairy and car... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 09:03:11 EST Ch-ch-changes... my program. <BR> <BR> After doing so amazing last weekend, my fiance and I stumbled a bit this weekend. It wasn't the all-out, stuff-our-faces, eat-everything-in-sight, don't-taste-our-food free-for-all that it could have been, but I AM up 5.6 lbs from Friday. Obviously I know I didn't gain that much fat and that it's most likely water weight from too much sodium, but it still sucks that I have to work that off before the scale shows any real loss for this week. <BR> <BR> After so... Mon, 22 Jun 2015 13:31:27 EST I'm on a roll, baby! I'm feeling so good right now that I just have to blog! <BR> <BR> My fiance and I stayed on track all weekend, which is quite a feat for us. Our saving grace? TACO NIGHT! It's official...Taco Night is going to replace Stuff Your Face All Weekend. We love tacos and it certainly helps that, made properly, tacos are not an unhealthy meal. Even my trainer is on board with Taco Night. <BR> <BR> I made homemade tomato-tomatillo chutney this weekend (my mom's recipe), that I LOVE on tofu. ... Tue, 16 Jun 2015 11:23:38 EST May recap and June goals! It's the end of May and I've lost another 6 lbs. It's not exactly what I was hoping for, but I choose to look at it as at least I'm smaller than I was on May 1st. I did exercise 5 days per week, except for one week when I was brutally ill with a fever of 103, chills, cough, the works. If I had not been sick, I know I would have gotten in 5 workouts that week. <BR> <BR> I also did a great job limiting my alcohol consumption! We went to a our friend's annual BBQ and bonfire, where I had o... Sun, 31 May 2015 14:35:04 EST Any suggestions for protein powder? I'm looking for an all-natural protein powder, preferably whey. I'd like to find something that is as natural as possible, while not tasting like complete crap. Any suggestions? Tue, 19 May 2015 12:42:52 EST Down another 2.4 lbs...hope I don't blow it tonight! Yep, I'm down another 2.4 lbs this week...during a week that I don't normally lose weight :) I was so happy when I stepped on the scale that I screamed "Hell yeah!" Good think I was home alone! <BR> <BR> I'm going to try my very best to not screw it up tonight. My fiance and his friends are going to see The Avengers while my friend Kelly and I have a couple drinks and do a little shopping. I haven't had a drink in weeks, and I've budgeted a couple of nice dark beers into my calorie budge... Fri, 15 May 2015 11:47:30 EST My preservative-free life. It's officially week 2 of my preservative-free life. I won't lie...I did slip up and enjoy a night out Friday night. It was fun, delicious, and a special occasion (college friends in from out of town) and I do not regret it. <BR> <BR> That being said, I'm back to business! It's honestly getting easier and easier to eat clean. It's also getting easier to live without cheese, LOL! I seriously didn't realize how much difference it would make to eat "clean". I know that's a phrase that we ... Tue, 5 May 2015 16:20:00 EST 3 Day Refresh and enlightenment! Phew, what a week it's been! <BR> <BR> I made it through my first week of grad school. I'll admit that I'm still a bit rusty, but I think I made some great contributions and even had a bit of positive feedback from my professor. So far, so good! <BR> <BR> Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows that I'm a Beachbody coach and love their products. Well, my trainer and I both decided to do the 3 Day Refresh so we started on Monday. It's a cleanse, but not in the traditional sense wher... Fri, 1 May 2015 13:12:04 EST I've been bs'ing long enough...and May goals. I realize that I've been bull$hitting long enough. I got engaged December 26th and I've lost a grand total of 5 lbs. Nope...that's not going to cut it. It hit me this weekend that I have about 8 months before I need to start seriously looking for a dress. I should probably start looking December as I'm getting married in July 2016. I need to be close enough to my goal weight that alterations will be possible a few months before the wedding...without altering the integrity of the dress. ... Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:44:22 EST My butt DID fit in the seat! I got back from Florida yesterday, and as the title of this blog mentions, my butt fit into the airplane seats with no problem! Anyone who read my previous blog knows I was a little nervous. It wasn't even a tight fit. Phew! <BR> <BR> Vacation was great, although our flight from Orlando to JFK had to get re-routed due to weather and when we finally could land at JFK...well, it was a scary flight! I'm an incredibly nervous flier as it is, so needless to say I was having a mild freak-out. ... Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:41:45 EST Trying not to snack right now... ...and failing miserably. I've managed to eat healthy snacks so far (a bowl of raspberries and a serving of 34 Degree crackers with a wedge of Laughing Cow). Oh, if you've never had the 34 Degrees crackers, you're missing out! They're delicious! You get 9 crackers for only 50 calories...pair that with a 35 calorie cheese wedge and you've got a nice little snack :) <BR> <BR> So I've come to consciously realize that I have to be even more careful with my food and exercise now that I'm not ... Tue, 7 Apr 2015 16:07:48 EST A picture says a thousand words... ...or in my case, it just said one word a thousand times: fat. That was my first thought when I saw the pictures my future sister-in-law posted from our Easter dinner. Before anyone goes crazy and tells me I'm being too hard on myself or that "fat" is an ugly word, please understand that I'm only facing the truth. I'm not using the "f" word to be derogatory toward myself. In fact, I'm going to own it! If I don't own IT, it will own ME. I am fat and I would like to NOT be fat. <BR> <B... Mon, 6 Apr 2015 11:01:49 EST April goals and graduate school! I can't believe it's April 1st!!! <BR> <BR> I received my official admission decision from Post University...I'm in!!! I start April 27. I'm nervous and excited! <BR> <BR> To review my March goals: I THINK I lost more than 5 lbs by the end of March. The reason I'm not positive is because a couple weeks ago, I realized that the scale I'd been using was NOT accurate. I ended up having to buy a new scale. I think I actually weighed more than my old scale was showing me. So I'm going to s... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 09:41:55 EST Team Beach Body, parties and willpower! Hi Sparkies! <BR> <BR> Let me preface this by saying that I'm not trying to promote any products here or be a salesperson. I'm just super excited about everything I've been doing lately as far as diet and exercise <BR> <BR> If you've read any of my previous blogs through the last few years, you know that I'm a huge Beach Body/Shakeology fan. I've recently been doing the 21 Day Fix and I LOVE the workouts. They are short but intense. I'm going to be starting the 21 Day Fix Extreme as soo... Sun, 29 Mar 2015 12:41:47 EST Game plan for tonight... ...but will I have the willpower to stick to it? <BR> <BR> We're going over to our friends' house for our "Framily" dinner. We pretty much spend most weekends with them and try to cook at home as much as possible. A few weeks ago we made the most unhealthy and delicious dinner...Alfredo stuffed shells. It's shells stuffed with chicken (mine didn't have any chicken of course), Alfredo sauce, Parmesan cheese, broccoli and shredded cheddar with a generous portion of Alfredo sauce coating the... Sat, 21 Mar 2015 07:16:15 EST My butt. Yep. I'll be starting this blog by talking about my butt. Specifically, about how I had a freak-out this morning worrying about whether or not said butt will fit into an airplane seat next month. After talking to my trainer, and yes, measuring my butt, I am almost positive I will :) Luckily I'm still squishy enough to stuff myself into the seat if necessary. And of course I'm going to bust my hump the next 3 1/2 weeks to increase my chances by doing some crazy workouts. <BR> <BR> All jo... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 11:04:16 EST Ch-ch-changes! Anyone who knows me knows I don't do well with change...and boy have had gone through a lot lately! <BR> <BR> My last day at my new job is March 27. I had offered to stay on as long as they needed me, but they opted to hire someone ASAP. I totally would be confusing to the residents to have them get used to me and then have yet another new person step in. <BR> <BR> School won't be starting until the end of April, if I'm lucky. I've had some issues with getting the tra... Wed, 18 Mar 2015 09:50:11 EST I'm doing it! After some soul-searching, discussions with my parents and fiance, and a large dose of courage, I've decided to pursue my degree full time! <BR> <BR> I told my boss and my friend who recommended me for the job. Both were surprisingly ok with it. My friend said that if she had the opportunity to do what I'm doing, she would have done it (she's finishing her MSW after 3 years of part time study). My boss said she'd like me to stay on for a few months so I can have a better grasp of the posi... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 09:23:10 EST Advice, please! Well, I'm a week into my new job and I hate it. It's incredibly slow paced and I'm very isolated. Hours go by without me speaking to another human being and it's making me miserable. <BR> <BR> I may be in a position to quit this job and go to school full time for my Master's and that option is sounding more and appealing. Here's my dilemma: A friend helped me get this job. I definitely won them over at the interview, but she vouched for me. I don't want to ruin the friendship, but I rea... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 15:00:11 EST Day 3 on track Well, it's Day 3 back on track and it's going surprisingly well. My goal to lose 5 lbs by the end of the month should be attainable. Granted, it'll be the same 5 lbs that I've been losing and gaining for 2 months, but it'll be the last time I lose this 5 lbs! <BR> <BR> Wow! I'm munching on a serving of balsamic vinegar and basil Triscuits...deeee-licious! <BR> <BR> I'm actually at my new job right now. My friend, who is also the one training me, isn't here today, so I'm alone. She ha... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 11:22:33 EST March goals I'm going to steal page out of my dear friend, Jaded Chick's, book and do a blog at the beginning of each month with my monthly goals. Thanks, Zana :) <BR> <BR> Before I get to my goals, I just want to fill everyone in on what's been going on with me. I have been yo-yo-ing with the same 5 lbs, but that's about to stop. My wedding day will be here before I know it, and I really want to lose 120 lbs by then. I'm hoping that the good weather will help...I'm so sick of being cooped up inside... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 10:22:33 EST