NICOLED40's SparkPeople Blog NICOLED40's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community The year so far To say 2015 has been difficult is too kind. It's not been a particularly good year for me so far. I know it's only the end of February but when I think where I was a year ago at this time compared to where I am now, it's pathetic. <BR> <BR> I've been trying to go through the motions - at least attempt to stay on track. Even tracking if I KNOW I'm going over my calories for the day. Most days I succeed. Many days so far this year I didn't even bother logging in. That's been one thing I ... Fri, 27 Feb 2015 14:28:28 EST 3 Things Today's SparkCoach challenge is to write down 3 things I'm proud of that I recently accomplished. So, here they are: <BR> <BR> 1. I spoke to the choir director at my mom's church. I pulled myself together and worked through the "shyness" and actually went up to him to let him know I wanted to join the choir. I've been wanting to do this for almost 2 years now and I finally did it! <BR> <BR> 2. I volunteered at my son's school on Friday night. Every ounce of my being wanted to make s... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:43:29 EST 2015 GOALS Back at it in 2015! <BR> <BR> So this will be my fourth year on Spark - probably the longest I've ever stuck with anything. What started out as a two year plan to lose 50 pounds is now in its fourth year and I am only about 1/2 way there. 2014 started off slow, gained incredible momentum from February through August, then totally tanked out in September. I started gaining some momentum again in October, but that fell apart by November. Needless to say I didn't end the year on a high no... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 16:07:02 EST 2014 Year End in Review - Goals Well, only one day left in 2014 and I have to say...I started strong this past year and finished poorly. I think my surgery in September really took more out of me than I thought it would. So, to recap - here's how I made out with my 2014 goals. I think tomorrow or Thursday I'll post my 2015 goals. Many of which will look very familiar. :) <BR> <BR> 1. Try 5 New Things <BR> - In January we went snowtubing. I've wanted to do it for years and never got up the courage. Well, it was AWES... Tue, 30 Dec 2014 15:44:36 EST 2014 Goals Update - Mid Year This is more of a check in for me than anything. But please feel free to comment! <BR> <BR> 1. Try 5 New Things <BR> - In January we went snowtubing. I've wanted to do it for years and never got up the courage. Well, it was AWESOME! <BR> -Went to a musical at our son's high school...I actually had a lot of fun. I want to do this more! <BR> -There is another new thing - but I can't really post about it. All I can say is a few years ago I would have been mortified, but I did it and I fe... Tue, 24 Jun 2014 13:27:30 EST NicoleD40's A-Z A is for Age: 39 <BR> B is for Booze: Red Wine <BR> C is for Car: Honda Civic <BR> D is for Dad's name: Pete <BR> E is for Ego: Not sure what to make of that...I guess my ego gets in the way when I have to admit I'm wrong. <BR> F is for Favorite song or music: enjoying Florence +The Machine lately <BR> G is for Goof off thing to do: Facebook, BitStrips <BR> H is for Hometown: Allentown, PA <BR> I is for IQ:Not sure <BR> J is for Jam or Jelly you like: Strawberry <BR> K is for Kids: 2 bo... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 16:25:13 EST Thoughts on Two Years of Sparking So on Sparkcoach today, the challenge was to really think about all the changes I've made over the last two years (since I joined Spark). That got me thinking - what has changed? <BR> <BR> My weight has changed. I started at 189 pounds (although I know weeks prior to my first official weigh in I was in the 190's). Now I'm down to 158. That's 31 pounds! <BR> <BR> I know I feel better when I get dressed in the morning. I hated trying to pick out clothing that I felt good in (or at le... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 12:02:07 EST 2014 Goals - Update So some of you have been curious to find out if I've started on any of my goals. The answer is yes, I have. So for you, and for posterity sake (so I remember later in the year) - here's an update! <BR> <BR> 1. Try 5 New Things <BR> - In January we went snowtubing. I've wanted to do it for years and never got up the courage. Well, it was AWESOME! <BR> <BR> 2. Pay off 4 Credit Cards and Close the Accounts <BR> -I'm close to paying off one card (by the end of February) and a second one w... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 11:38:10 EST 2014 So I just want to record my goals for 2014. I rather enjoyed my "Try 5 New Things" goal last year. I'm going to do it again! <BR> <BR> Here they are: <BR> <BR> 1. Try 5 New Things <BR> 2. Pay off 4 Credit Cards and Close the Accounts <BR> 3. Walk/Jog 75 Miles (I came really close this year but was just under 4 miles shy) <BR> 4. Jog a 5K by December 31, 2014 <BR> 5. Volunteer 10 Hours of My Time <BR> 6. Attend Church 10 Times in 2014 (Above Christmas & Easter) <BR> 7. Take More Pictures o... Mon, 30 Dec 2013 13:26:46 EST Those nagging questions So I've not been good again. I ended last week on a really high note as far as activity is concerned. However, I've continued to struggle with my eating as I have all year. So I keep asking myself those questions: <BR> <BR> What's changed? <BR> Why do I feel like I have to eat more? <BR> Why am I eating 10 cookies a day for two weeks? <BR> What's wrong with me? <BR> <BR> Well, I thought I knew the answer. I haven't felt well all year. And when I don't feel well I comfort myself. <BR> ... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 13:37:18 EST Easy does it I would live to say here that things are going great and I'm feeling strong and healthy. But that's just not the case yet. It's amazing how two and a half weeks of doing nothing quickly diminishes my stamina and strength. It's only been a little over two weeks compared to a year and a half of consistent exercise! And yet, here I am starting very near to the beginning again. <BR> <BR> It also doesn't help that I am still dealing with daily bouts of nausea and dizziness. Can't wait to s... Sat, 10 Aug 2013 22:52:40 EST Trying I have been awful lately folks. Just awful. And the scariest part- I convinced myself that I just didn't care anymore. <BR> <BR> Luckily I'm feeling sparked again. The spark is small, but at least it's there. I was worried the light had gone out altogether. Fri, 9 Aug 2013 11:57:48 EST Trying I have been awful lately folks. Just awful. And the scariest part- I convinced myself that I just didn't care anymore. <BR> <BR> Luckily I'm feeling sparked again. The spark is small, but at least it's there. I was worried the light had gone out altogether. Fri, 9 Aug 2013 11:57:48 EST Day 340 So it's almost a year and I have to say I've had quite a year. I've lost somewhere between 30 and 32 pounds (I'm bouncing around lately) - I've taken up jogging (something I could NEVER do...even as a teen!), I've made lots of great friends and built up an amazing support system via Spark, and most important - I've learned to forgive myself for some indescretions and slip ups and move forward instead of getting bogged down in defeat. That's always been difficult for me. And even now I have... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 13:57:38 EST Catching Up So it's been about a month since I last wrote a blog. Things weren't going so well back then and I needed a release for my frustrations. Since then things started picking up. I lost some more weight, started 5K Your Way Rookie training (I can easily walk a 5K, I'm trying to learn how to "jog" a 5K), I changed my diet a bit (I tend to get bogged down with whatever I'm eating...I'll eat the same thing every day for months and be quite happy, then I suddenly get sick of it) and by all account... Wed, 10 Oct 2012 15:06:05 EST Today, I promise I will not quit Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - Fitting pledge for today! <BR> <BR> "Today, I promise I will not quit. <BR> <BR> I pledge that no matter, how many ups and downs I pass through, I will continue on my journey. <BR> <BR> I pledge to make a NEW START today, and forgive myself for my past, and to stop being so critical of myself. <BR> <BR> I pledge to take control of myself, to stop making excuses, and stop blaming other people or situations. <BR> <BR> I pledge to treat myself as I would m... Wed, 12 Sep 2012 14:54:46 EST Disappointed in myself I've just done the math - I've overeaten 4 out of 6 days - the average of which has been about 250 calories more daily than I should be consuming. I didn't even go into the carbs or fat. I'm sure I am over in those categories as well. <BR> <BR> I've also come to the realization that I've been stuck in the 160's for 20 weeks as of today. 20 WEEKS!!! I thought the 170's were hard but I was able to get through those in 10 weeks (of course, the last 5 pounds were lost when I had strep throat... Thu, 6 Sep 2012 11:39:57 EST Day 31 - Last day of August So, I set out to blog every day in August. Well, I failed. But I didn't give up, so I guess I succeeded. Right? I bloged 27 out of 31 days...that's 87%. I guess I can live with that. Would I have loved to have been at 100%? Sure! But I didn't and I'm not going to let it get me down. <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> Anyway, I have good news! I finally finished my vision collage. I'm not 100% thrilled with it. I could have used a billboard sized poster board in order to get everything on ... Fri, 31 Aug 2012 10:42:09 EST Day 28 & 29 (missed yesterday) I am well on my way to completing my vision collage! YAY! <BR> <BR> I spent last night going through magazines and cutting out pictures. Today I spent a great deal of time finding clip art online and quotes to use. I printed out 44 pages today of more stuff! I think I'm almost ready to actually start laying things out tonight and pasting...I'm PSYCHED! <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Other than that things are going well. I stepped on the scale this morning - it said I gained 4 p... Wed, 29 Aug 2012 16:14:53 EST Day 27 Today is my dear husband's birthday...I'm so lucky to have him in my life! He's funny, intelligent and is so easy-going it's almost a shame that I'm so crazy sometimes. I actually feel badly at times that he ended up with a complete wreck of a person. It's not enough to put any strain on our relationship or anything like that, but still...I tease him that we're a true yin/yang - calm and poised, crazy and frenetic. LOL! <BR> <BR> Tonight DH has his class so I was able to run out after wo... Mon, 27 Aug 2012 20:49:35 EST Day 26 My hope today was to post a blog showing my vision collage. Unfortunately the events of the day overtook me and I didn't get very far at all. In fact, I've purchased a few items and gathered my magazines, but that's all I've done. Yikes! <BR> <BR> Hopefully in the next couple of days I'll be able to show everyone my vision! <BR> <BR> Today went pretty well. I convinced my husband and youngest son to join me for a walk at the was still quite warm, but not terribly humid - lucky... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 20:56:20 EST Day 25 So last night we were at my sister-in-law's boyfriend's parents house for a picnic. It was the first time his family was meeting her family so it was a big get together. We had a very nice time complete with lots of conversation and food and drinks. <BR> <BR> When we left I logged my intake, as best as I could since nothing was really measured out. Well, I went over my calorie threshold by several hundred calories. Geez. And to be honest, I'm sure I went over the other categories as wel... Sat, 25 Aug 2012 08:58:25 EST Day 24 Yesterday was the "kickoff" to our family-filled weekend. We had dinner with my husbands parents and a family friend. Luckily for me, we went to a new restaurant and I really didn't like the food too much. I didn't eat any appetizer, took only a smidgen of the warm bread that was put on the table shortly after we ordered (usually a major downfall of mine) and only ate a very small portion of my meal. <BR> <BR> By the time we left to go home I was just 20 calories over my low-end calorie... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 13:02:17 EST 8/23 - Day 23 So I don't have too much to report today. Although what a difference 23 days makes! <BR> <BR> I'm glad to report that my overall mood has significantly increased. Back on Day 1 I was close to losing my Spark. I was in a bad place. But since then my mood has greatly improved and my motivation has been sparked again. I feel more focused again and I'm looking forward to hitting my goal of being 160 by the end of August! <BR> <BR> I was thinking about that this morning. Being in the 1... Thu, 23 Aug 2012 11:40:54 EST Day 22 Today's sort of a blur. I went back to work and have been quite busy all day. I have to leave here on time tonight so I can take my oldest son to the alteration shop to have his school jeans hemmed. I really wish I knew how to do it myself - and have it not look awful. I'm no good with a needle and thread! <BR> <BR> That's on my bucket list. Learn to sew. Make a few pieces of clothing for myself - a skirt or a dress. Maybe a cardigan if I get good enough. But for now, I go do the dry... Wed, 22 Aug 2012 14:08:14 EST Day 21 So I'm home again from work. Am I the only one that gets sick so much? I feel like I am always out. Of course, I was out a couple times last week but that was for various kids doctor's visits. <BR> <BR> Sometimes I take a sick day if I just need a day to myself. Is that awful? Does anyone else do that? <BR> <BR> Things are otherwise fairly calm right now. I think having a little extra sleep and getting caught up on some things at home are helping my outlook. <BR> <BR> Someone (An... Tue, 21 Aug 2012 08:13:15 EST Day 19 - Highs and Lows Ok - so with this blog entry I'll officially hit Level 12! I'm quite pleased by that. And that is definitely a "high"! <BR> <BR> Unfortunately we were having internet problems yesterday so: <BR> <BR> a) no blog (which means I've missed yet another day in my "blog-every-day" goal; and <BR> b) I lost my 210 day spark log-in streak. That disappoints me greatly. <BR> <BR> Also, some other issues I was dealing with yesterday: <BR> a) our washing machine died and we had to buy a new one (ugh)... Mon, 20 Aug 2012 08:57:34 EST Day 18 Busy busy day ahead today. So this blog will be brief! <BR> <BR> I'm going to work out for 45 minutes this morning...I'm a little nervous because I haven't done that in over two months! But I think I'm ready for it. <BR> <BR> Then I have to get to our Farmer's Market right afterwards. This is the last day they're open until September (which makes me sad) so I have to stock up on meats to get us through the next two weeks! Ka-ching! <BR> <BR> We're meeting my in-laws for lunch today. ... Sat, 18 Aug 2012 08:47:41 EST Day 18 Busy busy day ahead today. So this blog will be brief! <BR> <BR> I'm going to work out for 45 minutes this morning...I'm a little nervous because I haven't done that in over two months! But I think I'm ready for it. <BR> <BR> Then I have to get to our Farmer's Market right afterwards. This is the last day they're open until September (which makes me sad) so I have to stock up on meats to get us through the next two weeks! Ka-ching! <BR> <BR> We're meeting my in-laws for lunch today. ... Sat, 18 Aug 2012 08:47:38 EST Day 17 I'm feeling pretty good. I'm getting back on track with my food intake (less sweets and snacking) and I've worked out for two days in a row now. I feel in control and focused again. <BR> <BR> I swear all of my problems are hormone related. I just know it. And my body is not used to them - so when they flood my system, I have no control over myself. It's a terrible feeling. <BR> <BR> So I'm hoping to get back on track enough (and feel in control enough) to get down to 160 by the end o... Fri, 17 Aug 2012 11:18:04 EST Day 16 - Hormones (be forewarned) Today's blog is going to be graphic. I really need to get this out and get some opinions of what I should do. So I apologize in advance if I upset anyone. <BR> <BR> I have hormonal issues. From the time I went through puberty I've always had problems. I would have terrible pain with my periods and they would be heavy. Then I would miss a cycle here and there. The doctors all said as I got older it would work itself out. Well, it never did. In fact, by the time I was in high school I ... Thu, 16 Aug 2012 12:20:12 EST Day 15 - Realizing that things aren't as good as I thought they were This morning I had a sudden and frightening thought flash into my head...I'm losing my spark. <BR> <BR> I'm currently in an eight week rut. It's been one thing after another, after another. My workouts have been sporadic, at best. And non-existent at worst. My nutritional goals have been mostly adhered to, but at least twice a week I've gone over. And about 4 days a week I've started binge eating (sort of) cakes and cookies and candy bars. Even if I stay within my nutrtional ranges, I ... Wed, 15 Aug 2012 11:31:03 EST Days 12, 13 and 14 Ok, I fully know I've blown my personal goal of blogging every day in August. And I have no good excuses so I'm not even going to go there. <BR> <BR> A few things that have been going on since Day 11... <BR> <BR> 1) I've been eating fairly well (staying within all my nutritional goals) <BR> 2) Have not done much exercise. Well, I've done none at all. <BR> 3) I did clean off our back porch yesterday - something that's been bugging me for far too long <BR> 4) Youngest is still not back at d... Tue, 14 Aug 2012 14:23:24 EST Day 11 Trying to get in a quick one tonight. <BR> <BR> It was an unusual day today. I started the day with an acupuncture visit. I realy think there's something to it. I truly believe I'm getting a good deal of relief from the treatments. <BR> <BR> But I do think it's almost working too well. I'm starting to wonder if the pain I experienced a week or so ago was a response to my first acupuncture treatment. Because with each visit my body is changing bit by bit. My reproductive system was... Sat, 11 Aug 2012 21:20:03 EST Day 10 One third of the way through my mini-goal of blogging daily! <BR> <BR> A few good things happened today: <BR> <BR> 1) I only ate one bagel for breakfast this morning in spite of wanting to eat a second one; <BR> 2) I passed up the celebratory cake at work not once, but three times; and <BR> 3) I was worried I was going to snack too much at work and didn't! <BR> <BR> All in all a pretty good day. <BR> <BR> Now the bad things: <BR> <BR> 1) Didn't work out <BR> 2) Will most likely be orde... Fri, 10 Aug 2012 17:42:24 EST Day 9 - A New Day I guess I'm really starting to feel better. My stomach issue is all but gone; I'm on a 2 day workout streak; I've joined SparkCoach and am starting to utilize the daily visualizations (which I really enjoy); and I'm starting to feel in control again. <BR> <BR> Of course, yesterday that didn't stop me from reaching for the cake and cookies as soon as I got home. (You know, I swear they call to me sometimes! <em>2</em> ) <BR> <BR> But today is a new day. I feel like I'm gaining some i... Thu, 9 Aug 2012 11:23:35 EST Week 2 - Day 1 Alright - well I'm 8 for 8 as of today. So far, so good. There's only been one day that I really felt like scrapping the whole "blog every day" goal. But I found the time and did it. I guess that shows I haven't lost my spark yet! <em>252</em> <BR> <BR> Anyway, so this is how my second week is starting. There are tons of leftover desserts at our house from our family reunion weekend. Cookies, cupcakes and cake. So that's deadly enough. Now, yesterday I mentioned my son was sick. ... Wed, 8 Aug 2012 13:56:44 EST End of 1st Week (Day 7) - Or, things didn't go exactly as I planned Blogging is definitely helping. I feel like I'm getting a lot off my chest by writing the daily blogs. I think that's helping my overall frame of mind. And believe me, that needs all the help I can get. <BR> <BR> I guess I thought that at the end of the week I'd be back to working out again. Yesterday's blog mentioned going for a walk. Well, I didn't do it AGAIN. Ugh. I'm upset with myself for not pushing, but my son was sick and I felt like I should stay by his side the entire time. ... Tue, 7 Aug 2012 08:26:24 EST Day 6 Well I made it through the big family reunion-palloza this past weekend. I wasn't the worst I've ever been, nutrionally speaking, but I wasn't the best either. <BR> <BR> I had my ultrasound this morning. So I'm feeling a little better about that situation. Of course, I'm not in as much discomfort as I was last week. But I still feel better knowing that it's been checked into. Hopefully they find no reason and I don't have to worry about pursuing it any further. )And hopefully I have ... Mon, 6 Aug 2012 10:35:06 EST Day 5's my attempt at a blog today. I'm exhausted. It's been such a crazy weekend. I didn't track everything I ate on Saturday. I blew off a few of my "other goals" today. I know I went way over my nutritional limits on Saturday. And I still haven't done any type of physical activity. <BR> <BR> Yesterday's blog I mentioned that I might try to go for a walk. It was so darn hot and humid I felt sick. That coupled with the stomach issue made me feel like mush. I did absolutely n... Sun, 5 Aug 2012 19:50:13 EST Day 4 So today's the big family reunion (actually, we're having another one tomorrow as well - just my dad's side of the family tomorrow; today it's my mom's side). It's supposed to be close to 100 and this is all outdoors. Should be great. <BR> <BR> Plus, still not really able to walk that great so I'm sure I'll have tons of fun...not. <BR> <BR> But enough negativity. Actually, I'm looking forward to seeing my brother and his family. We haven't seen them since we went to the beach house wit... Sat, 4 Aug 2012 07:57:29 EST Day 3 Cookies, cookies and more cookies! Ugh...why is it when I feel icky I tend to eat junk food more? When things are going well and I feel great, I'm working out daily and in a groove, I can walk right past those cookies and have no second thoughts about it. Then, the moment I start feeling under-the-weather or just plain icky it's like they have a direct line of access to my brain and I can't stop them! <BR> <BR> My therapist says I can stop them. I just choose not to. I'm not sure how I ... Fri, 3 Aug 2012 11:22:06 EST Day 2 Day 2 of my daily blogging in August goal! I'm sort of psyched about it. <BR> <BR> The one thing that doesn't psych me up is that I have to do this at work and I'm always worried that someone is going to get upset and complain to the bosses. Ugh. So forgive me if some of these blogs are short or don't sum up my thoughts neatly. <BR> <BR> So I'm more convinced the discomfort I've been having in my belly is uterine/ovarian in nature. I've had nothing but problems in that area since I went... Thu, 2 Aug 2012 11:31:51 EST Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired I don't even know where to start. I'm completely writing from the heart so I may ramble, rant, rave, and make absolutely no sense whatsoever. So please bear with me. <BR> <BR> The honest to goodness truth is that I've been in a funk since getting back from vacation on 6/25. I gained 4 pounds in the 2 weeks that I was in Florida, even though I was going for 3-4 mile walks every other day, and swimming. So I was pretty ticked off with myself (Why did I eat that fudge? Did I really need th... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 12:42:39 EST Friend Feed - WOW Just got through going through my friend feed - you know, "I like this" or putting a comment if I had one to make. I was absolutely AMAZED by how many of my friends all received Consistency Awards, Perfect Attendance Awards and 250-1000 Fitness Minutes in Month for June! You know how lots of magazines and medical professionals state how important it is to have a support system in place for being successful (not just in weight loss, but in every avenue of life)?? Well, I feel completely ble... Tue, 3 Jul 2012 09:46:21 EST My Vision Statement Within the next year I would like to see myself having an easier time of making good choices and decisions - I'm talking food intake, exercise, reactions to how people talk to me - EVERYTHING. I'm hoping to feel more energetic and happier. I'm looking forward to putting on anything in my closet and feeling good in what I'm wearing. And I'd like to see myself being more of a role model for my kids - the example of what to do, not what NOT to do. <BR> <BR> In the next 5 years I hope to main... Thu, 7 Jun 2012 16:22:36 EST Is it just about the end of April already?? I just realized that I haven't blogged in almost a month! I guess I had reason enough - I started out this month with a really bad case of strep throat. That was followed by a week of a stomach bug. Last week was the first week that I really felt "normal" again. I was so worried because during my illnesses I lost 5 pounds because I was averaging 300-500 calories a day. I didn't know what would happen once I started eating at my normal level again (1200-1500) - well, I've managed to keep ... Sat, 21 Apr 2012 07:45:57 EST Feeling Blah I was so looking forward to getting back out on the trail today - we've been planning it all week! Unfortunately the weather isn't cooperating and we've been forced to change plans. This is so difficult for me. I want to feel energized and be out in the sun, but that's difficult when there's no direct sunlight per se. Yes, I could put on a workout dvd - I know. But I don't want to. I wanted to be outside, away from home, away from tv's and phones and computers, in the sunlight - hiking ... Sat, 24 Mar 2012 16:33:22 EST Realizations I had a couple of realizations over the past week. First, I found that my weight loss goal of losing 50 pounds by December 31, 2013 was allocating a weekly weight loss of anywhere from 1/4 pound to a pound. I also realized that week after week I was disappointed with my weight loss. So, I've changed my goals. My new goal is to lose 37 pounds by the end of this year. SP has appropriately changed my calorie range It's only been since Sunday that I've been in the new calorie range, but ove... Thu, 22 Mar 2012 09:41:54 EST Back to Reality Well hubby and I are finally back from our anniversary weekend. Let me tell you - we had a ton of great fun and relaxation. But I must say my nutritional goals were toast. I think out of 4 days I only stayed within my range one day! So a little R&R included lots of dining at our favorite restaurants and some delicious desserts. Luckily I was able to really get some good outdoor exercise but still, it wasn't enough. My caloric differential was all positives (except for that one day). Bu... Tue, 13 Mar 2012 10:23:50 EST