MELBBART's SparkPeople Blog MELBBART's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Half Marathon...Check! Today I got to check off a big one on my bucket list...I ran my first half marathon. This goal was a big one for me, as I've been wanting to run one for years. In the past I had signed up for 2 different races in which I didn't compete in (first one I had an injury, 2nd one I got pregnant), so getting to this goal has been a long process. Lots of pounds lost, and 2 kids later today was the day. This was my major fitness goal for 2013 and I snuck it in just in time! <BR> <BR> Today I r... Sun, 15 Dec 2013 01:05:03 EST Half marathon goal: 1 step back and 2 steps forward Today is November 10th, the day I had planned on running my first half marathon. That didn't happen. My training was going really well, but then all of a sudden, my schedule got unbelievably busy and I got off course. <BR> <BR> I recently started taking family photos for people to make a little extra holiday cash. My normal long running day got gobbled up by photo sessions and I wasn't able to complete my 10 mile training run. My longest run that I had gotten up to previously was 8, th... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 15:26:03 EST Random victory of the day... It's been a while since I've written a blog so this is a good time to update the world on my progress a little bit. I've been maintaining my weight pretty easily for a while now. In a perfect world, I'd still love to lose a little more, but I'm at a healthy weight, feeling pretty good, and am easily maintaining. This summer was a little bit harder because with the extreme heat here, it is hard to get out to exercise as much. However, now that the fall, I'm back in business! <BR> <BR> In ... Sun, 20 Oct 2013 12:15:30 EST Accomplishments Today on Sparkcoach I was encouraged to focus on the positive and list 3 of my recent accomplishments. If I slip up I can refer back to these and remember the good things that I've done lately! <BR> <BR> 1. I've lost 44 pounds total! <BR> 2. I'm on a great tracking streak right now. 13 days so far! <BR> 3. I've started strength training and have been consistent in the past few months of getting in 2 strength workouts a week. Fri, 5 Apr 2013 10:15:11 EST My tracking week was a success! ...and a message from my chocolate. This past week was the 5% challenge's tracking week. I'm happy to say that I was 100% for tracking every bite and staying within my calorie range. Now that I have a little streak going, I'm going to do my best not to let it die. I'm on day 8 now. If I can make it to 14 days, I'm going to reward myself somehow. I need to think of a good reward. If anyone has any creative ideas let me know! <BR> <BR> So the results from my week of strict tracking are in. I lost a pound! I've been on a ... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 14:49:12 EST Always learning... This week's challenge (food tracking) is always a rewarding one for me, and I'm always learning something new. I try to track my food regularly, but whenever I do it for the challenge, I realize just how many small bites I'm consuming. Those calories do add up. Now if only I could find a way to keep myself as particular when it is not challenge time? <BR> <BR> This time I also learned a hard lesson about sugar! My whole family (besides me) had the stomach flu this past week. Sunday afte... Tue, 26 Mar 2013 11:11:13 EST Day 6: Do you need some motivation or advice? Ask for it! Well I always welcome a little motivational push from others. :) <BR> <BR> I will need it this weekend though, because I have family coming to visit this weekend. My parents are coming and bringing my 2.5 year old niece! I'm so excited to see them and spend time with them, but I always struggle with my eating when I have company in town. I want to be a good hostess and offer lots of food....but then I eat the food too. :) <BR> <BR> Luckily my parents don't eat much and healthy so it s... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 09:02:48 EST Day 5: What can you improve upon? What can you improve upon? <BR> <BR> For me tracking is key. I'm pretty good about it, except for weekends which is where I can improve the most. However, I do sneak in bites of stuff here and there that I should be tracking, or just not eating. <BR> <BR> This year, I've also been trying to focus on more strength training. I'm doing well, but I could still be doing a little more, and also making my workouts more intense in general. I do a lot of exercise, but I don't often break into ... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 09:10:22 EST How much do I weigh? Tonight my husband was filling out a form for our health insurance. He was asking me questions from the other room. How much do the kids weigh, height, etc. Then, "How much do you weigh?" <BR> <BR> In the past I would have hated this question and probably bended the truth a bit with my answer. Tonight I got to shout it out from the other room. And I shouted it extra loud because my answer was one that I'm now proud of! <BR> <BR> Best non scale victory I've had in a while. What a gr... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 21:47:12 EST 5% challenge: Blogging week, Day 4 What are you doing day by day? <BR> <BR> Well first off, I'm check into spark people! I track my food. I exercise about every day, what I do depends on what day it is. I keep a journal that REALLY helps me stay on track. When I have time, I cheer on friends. What better way to motivate yourself than to cheer others on. <BR> <BR> Update: So apparently I misread the question, it was supposed to be HOW am I doing? Well with all that stuff listed above, I'm doing great! A little over my... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 10:34:01 EST 5% challenge: Blogging week, day 3 What are you doing to encourage yourself and keep on track? <BR> <BR> When I was new to SP I was all about giving myself little rewards for the work that I was putting in. Now that most of that "work" has become habit and I don't need rewards as much. One thing that helps me a lot these days is putting it on my to-do list. I'm a big list maker and if it is on there, it MUST get done. Exercise, tracking, and other SP goals are on my list every day. Mon, 4 Mar 2013 09:50:26 EST 5% challenge, blogging week. Day 2 I missed day 1. Not a surprise really because this challenge started on a Saturday. I tend to tune out of Spark People a little on the weekends. In some regards I think this helps me stay sane, but by not tracking my food, I know does not help me progress. I maintain my weight on the weekends at best. <BR> <BR> My goal that I wish to improve (the first blog question), is to be more consistent and involved with SP on the weekends. Isn't that fitting? How am I going to do that? (Today... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 09:03:39 EST Not done yet. New goals. When I originally picked my goal weight, I chose it based on a few factors, but told myself I'd see how I felt when I got there and would readjust it if need be. <BR> <BR> I've been mulling it over for about a week. Now that I'm here, I feel great, my confidence is up, and I'm doing things like buying dresses without trying them on. At my previous weight, that would have been a crazy idea! Anyways, what I'm saying is that I'm happy where I am, but I think that I can still reach a little... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 09:58:24 EST Hello goal weight. This week, I hit my goal weight. If had imagined this moment at the beginning of my journey, I would I would have imagined me running through the streets yelling and giggling with glee, with balloons and confetti flying too of course. <BR> <BR> The reality of it was that I hopped on the scale, saw 147 and said, "Well, there it is." I then hopped off and went about my day as normal. <BR> <BR> Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have finally gotten here. I put in a ton of work to do so... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 09:33:36 EST What 25 lbs looks like on me. Photo update. These past 5 pounds since my last photo update have been tough. All of the holidays, birthdays, family visits had really stalled out my weight loss but I finally hit 148 today...just one pound from my ultimate goal weight! Yay! <BR> <BR> Anyways, here I am! This bikini is officially retired now....because it is way too big now! (woohoo!) Come summer I'll be ready to go get a new one, that I might even feel comfortable wearing! Did I just say that?!? <BR> <BR> LIke always, don't mind... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 10:40:45 EST January Updates Well the holidays are well and gone, but I still feel like they are lingering on the scale. All of the bites here and there, and the extra treats may not have made me gain much weight, but now I'm stuck. Big time stuck! <BR> <BR> This week I've been really focusing though. I am on day 4 of a staying on track with my eating streak. No extra bites here and there and tracking EVERYTHING. When my weight stops moving I know eating is the reason. I tend to take little bites here and there ... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 09:36:30 EST Closet clearing, the good and the sad. I've decided that this year I'm going to put together some monthly goals for myself. Not really related to weight loss, but just items that need to get done, but are easily put on the back burner. For January one of the items was to go through my closet and drawers and get rid of anything that was too big, too old, or just too ugly. Being that I'm a go getter this year, I started today. :) <BR> <BR> I found lots of things that fit into one of the categories of too big, too old, and/or to... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 22:50:23 EST First I'd like to thank my garden, because without you this would not have been possible... The results are in from the holiday season. Here's how it went down: I didn't track my food, and splurged on a variety of treats. On a positive note, I did manage to eat lots of healthy meals in between all of the goodies and I stayed very active. My weight did fluctuate from all of the extra eating, but it easily got right back to where I was before the holidays. I didn't continue losing, but I did maintain and I'm very thankful and proud of myself for that. I have NEVER had a holiday... Sun, 30 Dec 2012 15:51:00 EST 2013 Goals I had a great 2012. I achieved most of my weight loss and fitness goals, and improved most of the lifestyle changes that I wanted to. Woohoo! <BR> <BR> I've been thinking a bit about my goals for 2013 and here is what I've come up with. <BR> <BR> By the end of the year I'll be able to do 5 pull ups. <BR> I'll complete my first half marathon. <BR> I will weigh 138 making my total weight loss 50 pounds! <BR> I won't have the TV on for the kids for more than 2 hours a day. <BR> I will ... Thu, 27 Dec 2012 10:44:01 EST Today I weigh... This morning I weighed in at 150 lbs. That means today I weigh... <BR> <BR> -5 lbs less than I did as a college athlete. <BR> <em>237</em> <BR> -5 lbs more than I did in high school. <BR> <em>150</em> <BR> -what it says on my driver's license. <BR> <em>226</em> <BR> <BR> I used to think of this weight as unreachable. Not any longer! Woohoo! <BR> <BR> <em>244</em> <em>252</em> <em>192</em> <BR> <BR> Tue, 4 Dec 2012 09:40:04 EST A good run is now the reward. I've always enjoyed running. Some times in my life more than others, but ever since my swimming career was over after college, it has kind of been my go-to activity for intense exercise. However, my attitude about it has changed quite a bit over the years. <BR> <BR> I used to think of it as THE way to make me lose weight. If I ran, surely the weight would come off. I even twice signed up for half marathons thinking that as long as I trained enough to finish the race I would lose weight.... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 18:20:46 EST Winter Garden Leafy Green Shmorgishborg Last spring my husband revamped our garden for me. We expanded the main garden and added two beds. This summer we did pretty well even though we planted late for our season. This winter though, we planted on time and I'm happy to report that things are growing great. <BR> <BR> I'm trying not to waste any of my organic-super local food grown with love, so we have been eating LOTS of healthy leafy greens, among other garden goodies. It is a great way to force us to eat lots of veggies an... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 17:35:01 EST Burn off Holiday Calories - Daisies mini challenge Our holidays will be pretty low key this year as we got all of our family visits done in the fall. I've also vowed not to do much holiday baking this year which is always my biggest downfall. So as long as I stay in my basic routine and keep the goodies to a minimum I should be good. <BR> <BR> But just in case I'm always doing plenty of this... <BR> <BR> Loading & Unloading the car (suitcases, groceries, kids): 10 minutes = 32 calories <BR> Carrying groceries: 5 minutes = 13 calories <B... Wed, 28 Nov 2012 09:38:46 EST Today's sparkcoach assignment Has your journey been painful so far--or adventurous? How could you make changes in your habits or your outlook to make the process more fun and exciting? Write a short blog today on this topic. <BR> <BR> I'd say mostly adventurous. Sure there are moments that are challenging, but I try to make changes that I can tolerate and are fun, otherwise I wouldn't have stuck with it this long. So far it is working and I'm enjoying my new lifestyle. <BR> <BR> One thing that works for me is not joi... Mon, 26 Nov 2012 13:15:17 EST What 20 lbs looks like on me... SInce I was brave enough to already share my "before" bikini progress pics, I might as well continue to embarrass myself and share my progress. I finally lost another 5 pounds, so without further adieu, here is what 20 pounds of weight loss looks like on me. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> 173 pounds <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> 153 pounds! Wed, 14 Nov 2012 09:57:11 EST 5% tracking challenge, and my mindful pig out. This past week in the 5% challenge, the challenge for the week was food tracking. In order to get your points for the day you had to track EVERYTHING and stay within your calorie range. I'm extremely proud to say that I got the maximum number of points possible for the week, I was 100%. I lost a pound too. Woohoo! <BR> <BR> My calorie range feels a little low for my liking at the moment however. It is 1200-1550, which leaves me pretty hungry at times. I'm nursing my almost 10 month o... Sat, 10 Nov 2012 15:18:08 EST My Own Fall Challenge One of my biggest obstacles is dealing with eating in social situations. It makes me want to forget all my goals, just relax, and enjoy everything (food). This make things especially challenging for me when we are hosting guests from out of town. <BR> <BR> October was jam packed full of house guests. My in-laws came for 2 weeks, then the day after they left, my parents came for a week. I truly love having people visit, but I just know it is harder for me to stay focused on being in my ... Fri, 9 Nov 2012 18:02:59 EST Consistency One of the most important factors in losing weight for me has simply been consistency. I may not have a perfect day every day, but when you average them out, I'm on the right track much more often than I'm not. <BR> <BR> I had a couple of eureka moments this week when it comes to consistency. <BR> <BR> I started this particular weight loss journey in January, 9 months ago now. While I was pregnant with my daughter, I met a neighbor of mine. She is about my age, has kids, and had simi... Sat, 6 Oct 2012 18:04:26 EST A little update... I am only 9 pounds from my final goal weight now. Woohoo! Single digits! I can tell it is getting harder with these last few pounds, but I'm just staying with the program and staying focused. I've had to make the workout routine more intense, and I've added strength training. I really should have added that a while ago, but better late than never! <BR> <BR> It is funny though, the closer I get, I find myself getting a little nervous that I'm not going to actually get there. I try not... Mon, 1 Oct 2012 14:34:04 EST My Bridesmaid Challenge In a previous blog I proclaimed my dedication to my "bridesmaid challenge." If interested, here is the link. <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4986675 </link> <BR> <BR> In short, I screwed up and was forced to buy a bridesmaid dress a size too small. They didn't have my size available. Good motivation yes, but as it turns out, it made me way too nervous that I would not have a dress to wear when it came to the wedding. I did order it, but took ... Mon, 17 Sep 2012 11:45:18 EST What 15 lbs looks like on me. About 15 lbs ago I started taking pictures of myself in a bikini to track my progress. As painful as it was to see pictures of myself in a bikini at that weight, it is a great tool to track your progress so I'm glad I did it. I only wish I had started taking embarrassing pictures of myself from the very beginning! :) <BR> <BR> So originally I had intended this to be for my eyes only, but I figured I'd bite the bullet and go ahead and share with my spark friends. <BR> <BR> I still don't... Thu, 13 Sep 2012 12:05:25 EST NSV's Today on sparkcoach, it was suggested that I make a list of NSV’s. The past few months, the scale has been friendly to me, I’ve lost 30 lbs. However, the past couple of days it has been a little frustrating when I hop on the scale, so this came at a perfect time. Here are 10 NSV’s for me. <BR> <BR> 1. I have more energy to play with my kids, and I feel myself wanting to actively play instead of feeling like I have to. <BR> <BR> 2. I just had to donate practically my whole wardrobe and ... Wed, 5 Sep 2012 11:44:06 EST Shopping for self esteem. I like to think of myself as frugal not cheap. However, when it comes to buying clothes for myself...the past few years I've been cheap. I'm ok buying things that we need or cute clothes for the kids, but I haven't bought a thing for myself in a really long time. Actually, I know exactly how long...2 years, and before that my wardrobe was getting pretty sparse of clothes that fit right and weren't falling apart. After pregnancies and weight fluctuations, I didn't feel like I wanted to spe... Sat, 1 Sep 2012 20:44:23 EST Dear pre-pregnancy weight... Dear pre-pregnancy weight, <BR> <BR> It is so wonderful to see you! It has been 16 months since we've been together and I've missed you so much. I've been thinking about you ever since we departed last, and I feel much better about myself with you around again. <BR> <BR> That being said, we need to part ways again. This time I'm moving on to smaller, more attractive weights. Sorry, it's not you, it's me. I'm in a different place now and I no longer think we're a good fit for each ot... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 23:18:15 EST Some goals As part of my sparkcoach assignment today, I’ve been asked to revise my goals to make sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. <BR> <BR> 1. My long term goal is to be at my goal weight (147 lbs) by the end of the year. <BR> <BR> 2. More short term, my goal is to be out of the 160’s by September 12th when I leave for my friend Mandy’s wedding. That means I have to lose 4 lbs in 3 weeks to be at 159 lbs. <BR> <BR> 3. I will burn at least 1600 calories a we... Tue, 21 Aug 2012 11:20:02 EST Social Eating Fail. Tonight is Sunday evening. I had a great week, stayed on track with my eating, exercised beyond the goals I set for myself, and I felt fabulous all week. This weekend I had trouble though. I would start out the day right. Eating pretty well (for the weekend), I was focused, and made plans in my head for later in the day when I would be in social settings. <BR> <BR> Well there is where I run into settings. Saturday we went to a friend's birthday party. I had already e... Sun, 19 Aug 2012 23:38:57 EST Summer 5% Challenge Well the Summer 5% challenge comes to an end. 8 weeks ago I decided to sign up for a challenge, hoping it would give me a little boost in motivation. I signed up on the 5% challenge page and was placed on the Daisy team. I followed the instructions and determined what my goals should be. I started at 173 lbs making 5% of that 8.65 lbs. I rounded up to a goal of 9 lbs in 8 weeks. <BR> <BR> When I looked at this at first it seemed a little daunting. 9 is a big number when it comes to po... Sat, 18 Aug 2012 16:21:37 EST Vegetarians don't just eat cheese. Warning: I'm going to whine and complain and sound ungrateful here... <BR> <BR> I don't eat meat. When I eat dinner, I typically just eat the side dishes, vegetables, salads, grains, etc. I never feel the need to replace the meat with anything and I'm not hungry because I don't eat meat. <BR> <BR> When I am a guest at someone's house for dinner, don't get me wrong I am thoroughly grateful to be invited over and be fed a home cooked meal, but people really have trouble with this concept... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 09:45:11 EST July update and my bad bridesmaid challenge. First, an update. This summer I joined the 5% challenge, and so far it has been really helpful for me. We are in our 6th week (I think?) and I am already 1 lb away from hitting my 5% mark. I am thrilled! I don't know if it is the friendly competition, the small within reach goal, the team effort, or what, but it is really working for me. I have yet to have something work this well this consistently thus far. So more challenges to come for me. (Go Daisies!) <BR> <BR> Speaking of challe... Wed, 25 Jul 2012 16:58:31 EST Bye Bye Facebook This week I had an eureka moment. I deactivated my facebook account indefinitely. I had been thinking about doing it for a while. In the past I had tried just cutting back on the amount of time I spent on there, but that website is truly addicting. It is all too easy just to quickly check your updates, then just a few minutes later, you are sucked in. <BR> <BR> I have many reasons for doing it, but mainly it is the amount of time that gets sucked away looking at updates from others t... Fri, 1 Jun 2012 10:25:36 EST Birth Story We joyfully welcomed our daughter into the world on Saturday. She was born at home via water birth. Here is a link to my blog with her birth story for those who are interested. <BR> <BR> http://melissafromthegroundup.blogspot.c<BR>om/ <BR> <BR> Lucija and I are both doing great! Thu, 19 Jan 2012 04:42:41 EST 37 weeks! Today I am 37 weeks pregnant. I can't believe the finish line is in sight! This pregnancy has really flown by for me. So far I've stayed true to my goals and it has really helped me feel great this whole time. I seriously have no complaints. <BR> <BR> I've gained a few more pound than I had intended to (surprise surprise) but I've stayed very active and kept my eating pretty under control so I'm not too worried about taking it off afterwards. I'll hopefully have gained between 35-40 l... Sun, 18 Dec 2011 20:16:28 EST No complaining!! I've mentioned in previous blogs a few times that my goal for the summer was to not complain about the heat. It may not seem like a big deal, but in Arizona the summers are hard and I typically have lots of complaints every year. The summers drag on and on and living here makes you really sick of the sun sometimes. Summer is over (although it is still above 100 this week) and I stuck with this goal. Let me tell you, it made a world of difference! I felt like Dory in finding Nemo, "Just... Thu, 29 Sep 2011 17:18:00 EST 24 weeks I'm 24 weeks this week. I am very happy that my midwife told me to expect a big growth spurt with baby this month or else I would probably be shocked at how much my belly has grown in the past few weeks! I finally look pregnant and not just like I have a beer belly. :) <BR> <BR> I've gained 6 lbs in the past 4 weeks. I was aiming to just gain 1 lb a week but I still think I'm doing pretty well so I'm ok with the extra weight. It is starting to get cooler here so I have been able to up ... Fri, 16 Sep 2011 12:40:33 EST Lovin' my fat pants. You know what is great about losing weight before you get pregnant? You don't need maternity clothes for a good while! I've officially hit the double digits in the weight gain department this week. I'm up 10 lbs at 21 weeks. My fat pants finally fit nicely again. I never thought I would be excited about my fat pants, but I love that I don't need to spend money on clothes at the moment! <BR> <BR> Sat, 27 Aug 2011 00:33:21 EST Happy half way! I'm about 20 weeks pregnant now marking the halfway point in my pregnancy. I really feel fantastic this time around. I'm getting a belly and feeling the baby move these days, but otherwise I keep forgetting I'm pregnant. <BR> <BR> We had our ultrasound this week and baby is healthy and normal and the gender is still a surprise. I also had my appointment with my midwife today and it went great. Our hour long appointment flew by with all of the things we were talking about. I'm getting ... Thu, 18 Aug 2011 14:19:54 EST Surprising myself. I'm almost 18 weeks pregnant now and I'm feeling great these days. I've only gained 6 lbs so far so that puts me right on track for my goal of gaining 25-30 lbs. I'm very interested to ask my midwife to look at my old chart to see how much I had gained at this point last time. I'm pretty sure it was a lot more than 6 lbs! <BR> <BR> Since I moved to Arizona 10 years ago, I've always found it difficult to stay consistent exercising in the summer. It is amazingly hot most days and althoug... Thu, 4 Aug 2011 18:48:47 EST An Aha! Moment So if anyone read my earlier blog entry from today you would know that I'm struggling lately with exercise. Not only am I feeling crappy but I should also mention that summer is here in Arizona and it makes me want to hide inside and not move even more. <BR> <BR> Ok so enough aha moment... <BR> <BR> So needless to say my running routine has dwindled away lately. My little 3.3 mile running workout has seemed like a daunting task. I decided that running the whole thing w... Thu, 9 Jun 2011 23:51:43 EST The good and the bad of me lately So here I am almost 10 weeks pregnant. Nausea is in full swing and I have about as much energy as a three-toed sloth. I've had to cut back my exercise from burning 2500-3000 calories a week plus strength training to struggling to get in 1500 calories burned. I have also almost completely stopped tracking my food intake. Oh and water makes me nauseous. <BR> <BR> I know poor me. <BR> <BR> Ok so the good news... <BR> <BR> I have managed to stay on my daily exercise streak. I'm on day ... Thu, 9 Jun 2011 12:47:18 EST My big news and new goals. My total weight loss goal was to lose 20 lbs. My final reward was to start trying for baby #2. Well I got to 4 lbs away from my goal and we figured we wouldn't be so lucky as to get pregnant on the first try. Well we did and we are THRILLED to be expecting a baby in January! <BR> <BR> I do however feel a little guilty for not making it to my goal as I was so close. Although, now I know that I CAN lose weight and I WILL make that goal a reality in 2012. For now, here are my new goals: ... Tue, 24 May 2011 10:18:18 EST