JENNAAW's SparkPeople Blog JENNAAW's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Looking Upward and Onward This year has been a year of loss (but not weight!) for me, and I fell into a bit of depression. By nature I am an optimistic person and I hope to utilize this strength to have a good 2018. There have been days when I felt I was on the losing end of everything and I have felt that I am sliding downward in my life. It has been hard to talk to anyone about this. I am constantly working to see positives, such as I am not a person to self-medicate, mope around, or go on drinking or shopping bin... Mon, 25 Dec 2017 10:59:54 EST Happy Birthday to Me I love to hear what people do on their birthdays (I have had good and bad ones over all the years) so I will post how mine goes. I have decided to gift myself with the following: 1) a budget-busting new exercise bra (pun intended) . I usually get the cheapest kind possible from discount places but I think age requires me to have better fitting support at last. My Under Armour capris have been holding out well despite lots of punishing stretching and laundering, so I am thinking of splurgin... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 07:44:04 EST WEC Blog: The person behind my mask Inside me there is a dancer and possibly even a singer. But I wear a rigid mask that prevents me from doing either. I think if that mask ever falls off you would find a wild dance somewhere. <BR> I have worries about being laughed at and looking foolish. Attractive people seem to get laughed at far less than overweight people. I was with a group of people watching one of those "funniest videos" shows once and they laughed the loudest at clips where an overweight man or woman was placed in... Sat, 1 Nov 2014 11:54:19 EST Superhero Strength Here I have had many obstacles thrown my way in life, just like everyone else, I imagine. I am very shy (it runs on both sides of my family) and 99% of the time choose to withdraw from anything that might call attention to me. Throughout school I would crack when assigned to speak. I would either stutter uncontrollably or start laughing and not be able to stop. Really serious problems! I recently was offered an opportunity to volunteer for a cause I believe in as a speaker. I am worried that... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:41:31 EST 10000 Steps At least I think I did 10000 steps. I haven't figured out how to get Map My Walk to show steps. The wind was against me and I had to hold on to my hat. There is still some pretty color although it is past its prime in my area. Came home to make a nice lunch of oven fried potatoes, apple cider, and leftover chicken. Oh and a soak up to my chin in a hot tub of water. <img src=""> <img src=" Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:51:27 EST Exercise Commitment <img src="">My husband confessed to me as we drove home from the gym in the pouring rain (it has been raining since last night and the roads have huge puddles everywhere!) that he would not have ventured out had it not been for me and the Pilates class I take. ( I really hate to miss a class because I lose so much precious ground in a week's time but if he had said he didn't want to go, I would have stayed home.) I also ran on the trea... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:12:40 EST Too little sleep, no rich color change outside but a good day... I had a “freakout” night where I woke up a little after 1 and couldn't fall back asleep. I went downstairs to read until 3:30 and then managed to sleep 3 hours upstairs. Hubby is a light sleeper and he came downstairs to investigate, poor guy. Today was a day off from the gym so we wanted to go on trails to see fall colors. The colors are still far from their peak. First few steps of our hike we started talking about what we will cook for dinner when we got home. Last night we had round st... Sat, 11 Oct 2014 20:25:45 EST Resilience (BLC26 Challenge Log) <BR> I often wished that I had a higher IQ, but one good thing I was born with is resilience. This trait has defined my life. Growing up was tough- both my parents suffered from extreme, untreated depression. My father had serious substance abuse problems during the most formulative years of my life. He was around 70 before he quit that lifestyle. My family was poor and to this day I and my children are the only ones in the entire extended family who graduated from college and married ha... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 09:30:58 EST Last computer access for a while... I will miss you for a while, Amber Amazon Warriors! I hiked in Kentucky today; was 4 hours long and of course I got lost. A hike is not a hike for me if I don't get lost. My original plan was to stay on one trail. The trail was pretty narrow in one part as the photo shows. I feel really, really sleepy but not because of the hike, I was so excited last night about the trip that I slept three (hubby knows I never sleep well before a trip) hours at best. My muscles feel surprisingly good at ... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 19:37:54 EST MY EXPECTATIONS FOR BLC26 <BR> My main goal for BLC26 is to be motivated to a live a healthy lifestyle. I was nervous and shaky the previous rounds; it took me this long to start feeling that the challenges were doable. I feel very comfortable with the team members now and that helps a lot. Every time a new Challenge rolls around I am afraid to open the document and see what it is because I fear not being able to complete it and consequently let my team down. This time I am off to a confident start. My kitchen is... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:24:31 EST THIS IS WHAT I NEED TO SEE A LOT MORE OF! <BR> I am so inspired by this quiet, awesome athlete! Seniors like me need to see lots of people in awesome physical shape. Sadly, many of my peers never made it to their 70th birthdays. When I received my terrifying cancer diagnosis years ago, what kept me motivated to fight on was talking to people who survived advanced cancers. I tried to push out of my mind for the time the memories of friends that I lost (there were far too many good, good human beings who were taken away). I spent a ... Sat, 20 Sep 2014 07:34:37 EST The Silver Lining- BLC Entry The best thing about this BLC round is that I have thoroughly enjoyed being in this supportive group. I need that because I am insecure about my computer skills and had a terrible time finding out what to do and how to do the tasks. This has been a very trying year for me in my personal life, and I would have been back to my original high weight were it not for the support of others. My husband is always supportive, but honestly, it takes more than one person. I did not lose weight, but I kn... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:49:59 EST Plan When I Slip Up (will be many) It is very important to me to be ready for times when I consume excess calories. The more the excess, the more I have to have a clear plan. The days from May 2-17 were and are full of meals outside the home and the Mothers Day holiday. I ate between 2500-3000 calories on the average each day and to top that off I had less time to exercise than usual. So, I have gained between 1 and 1 ½ lbs since last week's WI. <BR> <BR> First, I will remind myself that I CAN do this based on my recent t... Tue, 13 May 2014 08:33:10 EST WOOHOO!!! My biggest NSV happened today! Things got off to a poor start when I set off for the gym. I couldn't find my running top (today is 5K day on the treadmill!) so I had to put on a very, very tight one. I did not look forward to sucking my gut in while jogging for 5K. Then, when I started jogging the cord to my mp3 player got snagged on a clip and that was the end of my music. Two things I need to do my best- music and mint gum. I had neither because in a rush to do errands before the gym I... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 15:01:15 EST My Closet, My Department Store My closet is fun when I get into it now and then (usually when I am confident about losing pounds, which sadly isn't often!). Like a department store, it is full of quite an array of sizes (all in my favorite colors and styles). I tried on what attracted my attention. Some fit well, some are a tad too tight and trying them on gives me incentive to lose a few pounds. Others are way small; they will only fit when I reach my lowest goal weight. I have my eye on a very pretty purple skirt and ... Mon, 21 Oct 2013 11:54:03 EST Cheating yourself by choosing treadmill Spark article Yep, that is me. My husband is trying to coax me into a nice autumn jog with him 1-2 times a week, but he has been going alone. Running on the pavement is so much harder for me, and worse is that my husband has a much longer stride than mine so I tire out quickly. My knees hurt a lot more and for a longer period after running outside too. I might try to run with him this weekend. If I can go even 1 mile without walking, I will be happy as a start. I used to run 10 miles outside one day ... Thu, 17 Oct 2013 06:22:55 EST Aaagggh! This is what stress does. Woke up this morning to find I gained back all the weight I lost since joining the Camo team. I did quite a lot of after-hours stress eating. On the positive side, none of the food I ingested was junk food, it was healthier stuff. I am meeting my other goals- no diet soda again! The weather was nasty all day, so I did (rather reluctantly) 20 minutes of floor exercises (planks, wobble board, yoga). We had loud thunder last night but I managed six hours of sleep, which for me is terrific. Sun, 6 Oct 2013 20:06:33 EST Emotional Eating I just read the Spark article "9 Ways to Control Emotional Eating". It was a good one to read since I am reeling from yet another tragedy in my family. I am getting so much better in controlling emotional eating. I did have things I know are not part of my plan- diet soda and chips- but the triumph for me here is that I was able to not eat the whole bag! For me this is quite an achievement because I ate the entire bag each time for decades. Part of my emotional eating problem involved bein... Wed, 2 Oct 2013 05:33:50 EST My BLC goal My main goal is to reverse the upward trend my scale has been taking these past months. I seemed to have reached a point where my body was more stubborn than a mule, saying it is tired of losing pounds. As to why I am working towards my goal, there are so many reasons I can't even list them- health, my nice clothes waiting, fitness... <BR> Because I have been on a nasty upward-weight trend, my weekly goal has to be a very small one to start with or I will probably quit on myself. I discusse... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 18:01:48 EST Joined a Team... The fat person in me freaked when I started to get "too small" for its comfort, so I put pounds back on and started the dreaded gainback of all I lost. I am focusing on new habits I am acquiring, and one of them is not totally giving up. I have always gained everything back and an additional 5-10 pounds that way. I really need to focus. Wed, 25 Sep 2013 08:19:55 EST Manatee Me Haven't blogged in a while, but have to vent my frustration over the Target dress ad flap. The store insists it was an innocent thing, but in my opinion it only shows how insensitive people are to the plight of people struggling with being overweight. A lot of people probably guffawed over the regular size dresses being heather gray and the plus size of the same dress being manatee gray. That is not what we need. If Target was on its game it would not permit ladies anything to be called ... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 10:41:16 EST restaurant receipt says "fat" customer My wallet will thank me, I think I will stop eating out for a long, long while. I read an article about a restaurant that identified customers as fat people to help them find what table the order goes to. I always wondered how waitstaff can find me at places where they do not ask you for your name when taking an order. I'll bet that had I paid close attention to my receipts, I would have seen something similar on mine! I would faint with mortification and maybe get a head injury. I wonder ... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 08:26:55 EST i am not amish I remember wonderful road trips I used to go on to visit Amish territory in PA, IN, and OH. My favorite foods when visiting included fried chicken and shoo-fly pie. I recently came upon a book of Amish recipes, and that got me to thinking about how eating those foods were not exactly helpful to my weight. I would have never admitted it then, but can today- I cannot get away with a steady diet of such dishes because no way on earth do I do physical labor that can support big meals and big c... Thu, 27 Sep 2012 08:03:41 EST fall fashion emails are rolling in... I have been noticing a flood of emails from stores about fall fashions. I usually open them because I am curious as to what color trends are coming. But now i am thinking I should just start deleting the emails without opening them because the super-skinny models are kind of depressing to me. My ego is rather low at the moment, so it might be best to avoid distractions that might have a negative impact on my progress. Just when I think the models cannot get any thinner, they do! Mon, 17 Sep 2012 09:22:20 EST yes, i am jealous! The coeds are streaming into town for the start of school; today I went shopping for groceries and the store was full of them. Seems like the current fad is to wear very tight leggings. They all looked like Barbie dolls to me. Just thinking of how I look in similar pants; really not safe or appropriate to wear out of the house. I have a lot of pounds to lose... Sun, 16 Sep 2012 18:01:52 EST lots of challenges I haven't blogged in a while, but hope to start up again. I have recently been faced with personal challenges (a good friend left me, plus other stuff I do not have much control over). Through it all I have been able to continue my exercise routines and healthy eating trends. I just need to refocus on positive things and put my hurt feelings on some back burner. I have not discovered how to do this yet; am going to concentrate on that. Fri, 14 Sep 2012 08:11:57 EST I have 2 wrists! Slowly I am beginning to notice some good changes with the sloooow weight loss I am having. I was about to type on my computer this morning when I saw.... wrists! Never knew I had them before because they had no definition. Now they are beginning to show themselves. The first big changes I noticed were that my triple chins turned to doubles then to a single. Then my love handles finally went away. I am starting to see the beginnings of a waistline. The worse area for me is my beer belly... Tue, 10 Jul 2012 09:44:21 EST basking in the glory of virtual 5k I am so proud of myself for completing the virtual 5k yesterday; was not sure I could do this distance after going so long without distance training. I guess there was some transfer from my usual spinning and elliptical work. I do treadmill work every week too, but mostly only 20 minute sessions with jog/run or walk/sprint intervals. Not really the same as training for a 5k. I am very worried about wrecking my old, crunchy knees so I went at a very easy pace for the 5k. I am in no hurry to i... Tue, 3 Jul 2012 08:22:08 EST this has got to be for good I read the featured blog entry from the member who strayed from her eating goals, and it made me reflect on some positive changes I have noticed in my eating habits. These are huge changes for an almost lifetime binge eater like me. In the past, every time I strayed from my planned eating I would revert to unregulated overeating. I would feel guilty and think what the heck, I will wait until things are "better" to get back on track. Of course that resulted in my old binge eating, lots of u... Fri, 29 Jun 2012 08:30:00 EST back home yet again Back from nine days of stressful travel- everything was high stress from the fully packed planes to the sad family events. I don't go home to where my family is very often, so I loaded up when there on nostalgic favorites- cream pies, donuts, club sandwich, gourmet cupcake, lots of white carbs. I still ate far less than I used to, so when I got back home I did not register a gain although I certainly did not keep on track with my goals. Before leaving to return home, I discovered a coin ope... Mon, 25 Jun 2012 08:53:44 EST feel so humiliated Yesterday I fainted at the gym after I felt extremely dizzy, nauseated, and had the worst headache in my life. It was a 90 degree day outside but I was clammy and in a cold sweat all the time. (The gym was nicely air conditioned.) My husband knew something was very wrong with me because I push through almost anything at the gym. He stopped his workout immediately and took me to the nearest hospital and I was given an IV; apparently had dehydration. When I was discharged from the hospital, I ... Mon, 11 Jun 2012 08:28:21 EST A doctor noticed! I had an annual visit to one of my many doctors, and he did a quick calculation when he saw my chart. He praised me for my weight loss from a year ago to the day. Sure made my day! There is a different doctor I need to go to in a few months; it would be almost a year and a half since my last visit to him. He is the one who told me I have to lose loads of weight "or else" I would be heading down the path to a host of medical problems. It will be interesting to see how he reacts. Problem ... Fri, 8 Jun 2012 07:45:15 EST I Can’t Believe I Had Just One Dessert! This is the FIRST time since I started my first diet at age 12 that I attended a function with dreamy desserts (pretty tartlets, cheesecakes, and brownies drive me wild) and managed to take only one dessert; a chocolate chip cookie! I publicly announced to my husband that I am done with dieting; instead I am going to do full-focus on new attitudes toward food. I used to have my own version of that portion plate that shows how much of various food groups to have- half dessert, a fourth carbs,... Wed, 6 Jun 2012 09:54:46 EST Still Hanging On It is certainly a lot harder for me to stick to disciplined eating when the seas of life are rough out there. So far, I am hanging on, by the tips of my fingers anyway. The coming weeks will be full of dealing with funeral related affairs, and I will be called upon to be a responsible family member in looking after loved ones while dealing with my own grief, which overwhelms me at times. I also have a bunch of medical appointments. I had to postpone one because I have something I have to d... Thu, 31 May 2012 07:53:28 EST Strategy Time My stress level continues to be sky-high so it is time to develop a strategy to keep on track to my weight and fitness goals. Temperatures this Memorial Day are going to be in the 90s here, so I am revamping my eating and drinking choices. I had my usual oatmeal and protein at 6, but I am going to look at cool foods as the theme for the rest of the day. Time to keep the ice cube trays filled too, because I do not drink unless forced to, but cold drinks in summer are easier to take than warm... Mon, 28 May 2012 06:19:58 EST God help me through this tragedy I am praying for strength. A horrible tragedy has happened in my family to a loved one; something like this could lead me to abandon all my work on achieving a healthy weight and lifestyle. All I can do is pray and hope I can get over this initial shock. I think my blood pressure might be very high and I have quite a persistent headache that aspirin doesn't help. Just need to pray. Wed, 23 May 2012 07:41:54 EST On a positive note I have been down over the pants destruction incident, but to be positive, I am now wearing regular size slacks and the plus size ones are way too big. Yes, it looks like clothes are made so much more flimsier these days. The fabric seems quite cheap in quality, but I paid a lot. I also do not like the dropped waist style; seems like all the pants I looked at were that way. sigh, but I am dropping sizes; love that! Sat, 19 May 2012 18:18:01 EST What Being Fat Does to Clothes I had to buy a new pair of slacks for my trip, and I was dismayed at how expensive clothes have gotten (I have not bought clothes in quite a while because I feel depressed scouring plus size catalogs). A scant few hours into wearing them on a hot, humid day, I noticed that they were pilling badly on the inner thighs!!! I had pilling before, but not until I had worn the pants quite a few times. I was too ashamed to even mention the clothes destruction to my husband, but I was cursing inside, ... Sat, 19 May 2012 06:50:52 EST Stuff I sort of want to do My biggest interests in life are travel, volunteer work and wild animal encounters. I work hard to combine the three things and have had incredible opportunities. But sometimes I start to think about smaller things in life that I am not familiar with but am curious about. One of them, lol, is to go to a casino! Some distant relatives of mine are casino regulars and I think it is a waste of good money to repeatedly gamble. That being said, I wouldn't mind trying the experience once or twic... Fri, 27 Apr 2012 09:36:20 EST FATNISS I am too old to be up on current hot topics, but I did get a copy of “Hunger Games” after the hype because I sure was intrigued by the title. Why, I have been hungry almost all my life because my appetite thermostat keeps telling me I am starving, especially when I am on binges! It is so contradictory, but that is how my body works. The more I overeat, the hungrier I feel. I hope they hurry and do research that might explain this bizarre phenomenon because this had made my life miserable. ... Tue, 24 Apr 2012 08:14:06 EST Eight Days to Travel Time I will have to leave the comfort of my house, my gym, Spark friends and trackers, and normal routines in just eight days! I doubt I will have access to a computer or scale. I am not sure I am 100% ready to deal with foreign foods and a country I have never been to. I will be on small planes with strict weight restrictions, so I am not sure if my TRX straps will be able to crowd in with the clothes. I will weigh my carry on within a few days after the final things are packed in. No more ... Mon, 23 Apr 2012 07:23:00 EST Reality Checks When I look into the mirror, I see that I am beginning to look like a regular human woman! But I cannot let myself slip into former eating habits. I found one way to do a reality check is to try clothes on that I think I fit in to; only to find that oops not yet... I have some "danger days" when I am worried about going on an eating binge. Maybe there are too many tempting things in the house. Then it helps to actually put on a pair of short that don't zip up fully (I bought a pair in a fi... Wed, 18 Apr 2012 12:12:47 EST Are There Clothing Styles You Do Not Dare Wear? I am envious of people who are heavier than I and wear certain clothes beautifully that I have censored myself from. I do not have a self-concept high enough to wear strapless tops or exercise wear. I see overweight women who look fabulous and confident in chic workout wear. I cannot stand to look at myself in the fully mirrored gym wall. I tried on a tube top today and a sleeveless tank, both black of course. I was pleasantly surprised that I might be within striking distance of feeling g... Mon, 16 Apr 2012 12:31:26 EST Easter Pigout The past two days were eating disasters for me. Tomorrow is my weigh in day, too. I am looking for positive things to say about myself; at least I am recording everything I ate and am committed to facing the scale tomorrow. I just can't bear to tonight. I have workmen coming in early tomorrow morning, which will probably create another stressful day. My poor choices today were at family Easter gathering. <em>39</em> <em>46</em> Sun, 8 Apr 2012 20:45:11 EST Stress Eating is My Biggest Enemy So far so good; I read some inspiring blog posts here and have been able to resist an eating binge. I have been thinking about what my biggest obstacles have been throughout the years as far as controlling my weight goes, and have reached the conclusion that stress eating has undermined me countless times. I have been retired a number of years but now am finding I must re-enter the work world. That thought alone causes me quite a bit of stress. I have been having dizzy spells for two week... Mon, 2 Apr 2012 13:00:46 EST Fighting a Craving I can think of nothing else but chocolate today! It is dragging me down because it keeps coming up in my thoughts as I try to go about all the work I have to do. Here is how not having money actually might help me! I maxed out my credit card over the weekend having to buy a new microwave and coffeemaker because both broke, and after buying groceries for the week there is nothing left over to go to the store for a chocolate bar. I have some cocoa powder in my cupboard; am going to try mixin... Mon, 2 Apr 2012 10:54:01 EST Tired Saturday I am pretty tired. I broke my coffee maker (my fault) and my microwave exploded (not my fault). I stayed up to research affordable replacements, but ended up paying so much I felt faint. My original coffee maker cost around $20; a comparable new one cost me $31. The old microwave cost $25; the cheapest I could find was $74! This was grocery shopping day so we maxed out our credit card on these two things. These are appliances we use 7 days a week, so I had to replace them. I am mentally... Sat, 31 Mar 2012 16:38:02 EST The Woes of Being Short and Stout It would boost my self esteem immensely if for once in my life I can find dress slacks and workout pants that fit decently. I wear dresses and never slacks because I can't buy any anywhere. I work out in either baggy, hot sweatpants or exercise tights that might result in a wardrobe malfunction of explosive proportions. There are many catalogs offering beautiful clothes for average height and tall plus sizes, but we shorties are a neglected bunch. That is my lament as I try to decide wheth... Wed, 28 Mar 2012 11:25:32 EST Travel Without Spark? I am off to a positive start with filling my trackers every day. In May, June, July and August, and I will be doing a lot of traveling, mostly without Internet access. What can I do to keep in touch and keep my motivation up? Tue, 27 Mar 2012 22:35:41 EST I Love Food and... I intend to make food my lifelong friend instead of enemy. I personally am not one of those people who think of food as fuel, like gasoline for a car. Food has such strong ties to my mother and father to me. They recently passed away, and I have the fondest memories of meals with them. My mom was a fantastic cook, and she passed along her recipes for most of the things I liked, but not too many baked goods ones (because I forgot to ask!). But when I think of cinnamon sugar cookies, I ver... Sat, 17 Mar 2012 20:35:19 EST