POOKASLUAGH's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=POOKASLUAGH POOKASLUAGH's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ End http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5967941 I had a notion of coming back and starting a new journey on Spark, where the majority of my last journey took place. I'd been gone for nearly six months, and then back for a short while on private mode, with access to only a few dozen friends. When I made my page public again, I didn't expect the attention that quickly followed. I put up a blog post on Thursday - a blog post which initially only garnered four comments, two from those people who simply comment on blogs first thing in the morni... Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:02:31 EST The Things I Want to Be http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5965328 "Less fat" is not a thing to work toward. It is a thing to work away from, and as I said in my last blog, I want to work TOWARD something on this new journey. I've thought a lot about what I want to get out of my journey this time around, and what I want to BE when I reach the end of the road. <BR> <BR> I want to be STRONG. I want to build muscle. To be able to do pull-ups again!! It's not just physical strength that I want to build, though. I want to become mentally and emotionally strong a... Thu, 23 Jul 2015 08:38:58 EST MORE, not LESS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5963653 A lot of thought and soul-searching has led me to an unfortunate conclusion: I went about my first weight loss journey in entirely the wrong way. Don't misunderstand - I didn't do anything that would harm my body or make it difficult to maintain my weight loss once I was done. No extreme diets, no extreme exercise, no super-fast loss, nothing. I lost slow and steady over a long period of time, and then maintained my loss for a long time after that, pretty much until I started attacking myself... Mon, 20 Jul 2015 09:22:39 EST I'm back http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5963134 Actually, I've been semi-back since June 7th, but I slimmed my profile down to a handful of friends and have kept my posts and profile private during that time. I am now ready to return to semi-active, public Sparking. <BR> <BR> While I was gone, a lot has happened. The gist of it is: Lots of Stress + Lots of Negative Self-Talk = Lots of Disordered Eating = Lots of Regain. I've worked hard to remove as much stress as possible. The biggest help with that has been moving back to San Antonio an... Sun, 19 Jul 2015 09:49:54 EST Original Journey - Saved Information http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5961190 I've decided to make this new journey of mine a completely separate journey from the first. As part of that, I'm removing the old information, goals, accomplishments, and (most) pictures from my page and putting them here instead. <BR> <BR> ***** <BR> About me: <BR> <BR> My original weight loss journey was a bit unusual. I did not gain weight through overeating or sedentary lifestyle, but instead through illness and medication issues. I also didn't lose all the weight in order to be healthi... Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:28:16 EST Haitus http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5858472 I'm pulling away from Spark for a time. I'm not sure how long. It might be a few weeks, it might be a year. I need to focus on other, more-important things right now. Whether I gain or lose weight in my time off doesn't matter. I haven't thought about Spark in days, and realized I should at least let people know I'm not dead. I thought about putting my page off-line, but decided to simply leave it up with a notice that I'm currently unavailable, not answering emails or goodies or comments. <B... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 07:10:45 EST Belly: A Saga, Part VI (Anniversary) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5853262 Today marks one year since my abdominal surgery. The surgery was to correct muscle and skin damage from my third pregnancy, nearly ten years before. My surgeon removed ~2.5 lbs of skin and moved in my abdominal muscles, which had been separated, about five inches. Recovery was long and hard and painful. I posted about the process step by step in Parts I-V of this blog series, and now, I wanted to talk about how I'm doing one year later. First, I'll start with pictures: <BR> <BR> <img src="h... Tue, 13 Jan 2015 07:19:23 EST She Eats Healthy, She Eats Healthy Not... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5839265 Thaaaat has pretty much been my month since Thanksgiving. <BR> <BR> "Healthy" means something different to each of us. For me, it means cutting out grains and sugars completely, and avoiding alcohol for the most part (mostly because drinking a glass of wine makes me more likely to indulge in grains and sugar...). I feel much better when I cut out all grains and sugars, and I am MUCH healthier in both body and mind. I know this, but grains and sugars are addictive, and this is a particularly ... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 10:55:01 EST Results (a numbers blog) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5828136 I had blood work done this week. It was the first full-panel blood work I've had since Feb 2012. (I had a finger-prick test in Dec 2012, but doc tells me that those numbers are wildly inaccurate, so I'm not counting them.) The blood work in 2012 was the first I'd had done since 2009 when I was morbidly obese. The improvements from 2009 to 2012 were mostly fantastic. The changes from 2012 to now are less clear-cut, but if I were to guess, they are still an improvement. <BR> <BR> Weight: <BR> ... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 13:10:03 EST Grateful for 5 Years on this Adventure! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5823716 Things have been very rough on me for the last 7-8 months, yes. Even still, I have a lot to celebrate this Thanksgiving, a lot to be thankful for. Five years ago, I began my weight loss journey. It hasn't always been fun or easy, but it has DEFINITELY been worth it. <BR> <BR> Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Thu, 27 Nov 2014 07:29:48 EST A Preview of What's to Come http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5819966 My five year weight loss anniversary is a week from today. I've had ups and downs, sure, and I may not be to my ultimate goal, but these last five years have been a HUGE success, and I wanted to give you guys a preview of what's to come when I CELEBRATE that anniversary next week! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l14879331.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <em>334</em> <em>334</em> <em>9</em> <em>9</em> <em>9</em> <em>104</em> <em>104</em> <em>... Thu, 20 Nov 2014 08:39:59 EST Not dwelling on What Could Be http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5819345 This morning, my scale says 157.4 lbs. Y'all, I haven't seen a number lower than 158 since June 6th. I am ecstatic. Over the moon. I am SO CLOSE to being back at that 100 lbs lost line and a healthy BMI. <BR> <BR> Sure, a month ago, when I finished my Whole30, I was at 158.4 lbs - only one pound higher. Sure, if I'd've kept going the way things were then, I might have seen the 157s a lot sooner than this, and might even be at a healthy weight again by now. But you know what? I'm NOT going to... Wed, 19 Nov 2014 07:44:47 EST Fun, exciting news! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5812403 Every year in November, I participate in National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. I've been doing this since 2009 and love the event. This year, however, with all the stress and depression, I decided last minute to drop from the program. I've felt restless and itchy since November began, as I've watched all my fellow Wrimos working on their projects and writing word-counts. <BR> <BR> Back in October, I submitted my synopsis to a contest (of sorts) called 30 Days, 30 Covers. Different amat... Fri, 7 Nov 2014 07:35:44 EST 'Tis SPICE Season! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5807986 The San Antonio Spark Team is starting a new holiday challenge. From Halloween until New Year's Day - 9 weeks total - we will have a friendly little competition to help us keep on track through the holidays. Focus will be on: <BR> <BR> Sparking <BR> Pounds lost <BR> Inches lost <BR> Calorie-adherence <BR> Exercise <BR> <BR> Each earns points toward a team and individual total. <BR> <BR> Now...technically, I'm not in San Antonio anymore. I'm up in Newton, MA, lonely and bored and wishing I ... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:43:30 EST Paleo Convert http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5804525 So. I used to be very anti-paleo, and very skeptical about the whole thing. That skepticism was compounded when I attempted Whole30 back in May, an attempt which led to a 7-lb gain in nine days, my cholesterol shooting through the roof, a lethargy so thick it was terrifying falling on me. After discovering that I'm allergic to coconut, however, which was causing the symptoms, I tried again this past month, and had fantastic results. It wasn't *quite* though to convert me, though. Sure, I thou... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 13:13:31 EST Whole28 - Week 4 - Final Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5800219 Well, the scale barely moved this week, though this was expected. I'm at 158.4 lbs, for a 1.2-lb loss in Week 4 (plus 1.5 further inches lost). The stall-out, I know, is a combination of two things. First, it's TOM week and I'm right in the middle of that, so the scale has been unyielding since that started. Second, I didn't do a whole lot of exercise this week, and all the lying/sitting around majorly contributes to whether or not I lose weight. As usual, exercise is far more important to my... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 07:42:01 EST Whole28 - Week 3 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5796222 This was a very bad week with very bad home things. There was one day I barely ate. I don't have the strength to say more. It's just been a very stressful, awful week. <BR> <BR> However, adding back exercise seemed to help get the scale moving again, just like I predicted, even before the day that I barely ate. On Day 22, three full weeks into the program, I'm at 159.6 lbs (back in the 150s for the first time since mid-June!), for a total loss of 3.4 lbs in Week 3, 10.8 lbs so far on Whole28... Sat, 11 Oct 2014 08:29:36 EST Whole28 - Week 2 - Meals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5792633 I want to say something re: yesterday's blog. Despite what it may have sounded like, and despite what people seemed to think, I do know that 1.4 lbs lost last week is a good thing, and that I've had really good results with this program so far. My frustration has been with the fact that the scale stopped moving entirely after eight days of the program. It fluctuated, but stayed pretty much the same. I know my body very well, and I know all the signs of being stuck. I don't get stuck for a few... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 07:45:02 EST Whole28 - Week 2 - Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5792112 Well, let me just start by saying this week hasn't been nearly as spectacular as Week 1. Actually, a good chunk of the week has been very frustrating. This is scale-frustration, and part of that frustration is uncontrollable (can't keep losing as spectacularly as Week 1!) and part is controllable (I, personally, did not do things as well this week). My original plan was to have a short blip about results and then to go over my meals, but I think I'm going to break this into two posts again as... Sat, 4 Oct 2014 08:07:14 EST Whole28 - Week 1 - Meals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5788864 Two days ago, I talked about my plan. Yesterday, I gave y'all my week 1 results. Today, I will discuss my individual days for Week 1, especially meals. Picture day! <BR> <BR> Day 1 - 170.0 lbs (so *technically* this is my starting weight, because I was down 0.4 lbs from the day before when I did my pre-Whole30 weigh-in, but I'm still counting 170.4 lbs as my starting weight) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/1/l419503312.jpg"> <BR> Breakfast: sweet potato hash, coff... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:33:52 EST Whole28 - Week 1 - Results http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5788300 So yesterday I told y'all what I've been up to. Today, I'll tell you about the results from Week 1 (as of the morning of Day 8, yesterday morning). As I hinted, they have been much better than the last time I attempted Whole30. First, let me give y'all a bit of a recap of what happened on Whole30 Attempt #1 back in May (for those people who don't remember, or who weren't around back then). <BR> <BR> So in May, I started doing Whole30 according to all the rules. I introduced coconut fats as t... Sun, 28 Sep 2014 09:01:59 EST Whole30 - my way http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5787771 I haven't really been on spark for a couple weeks now. Back at the end of August and early September, things got much, much worse in my home situation. My plans to do my 100 days for me challenge went completely out the window, and I spent a lot of time trying to eat-and-drink my pain away. I gained a lot of weight very rapidly - up from 164 lbs on September 1st to 170.4 lbs on September 19th. Yeah. On September 19th, I said (once again) enough is enough. I was closer to being obese than at a... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 08:06:03 EST Getting stronger! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5773156 I've mentioned before that my big strength goal - the one health-and-fitness-related goal I have yet to achieve on this journey - is to be able to do 5+ pull-ups again. Back in high school, I could do 20+, and I would love to at least be able to do 5 nonstop again one day. I got really close before my surgery in January, getting up to 4 pull-ups. Post-surgery, with my abdominal muscles surgically altered, I lost core strength completely. For weeks, I couldn't even sit up from a laying down po... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 08:06:18 EST Reached a milestone this week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5768580 Today marks Day 9 of my 100 Days for Me Challenge. I've thus far done very well: exercised daily even if only a 10-min walk, counted calories daily, had no sugar at all since August 19th (though I still put a little stevia in my plain Greek yogurt in the morning). I've been doing my positive affirmations and personal tasks every day as well. Some of my favorite tasks so far have been attending a wine tasting, asking for a neck/back rub, and Skyping with my good friend Stephanie (INEEDACAT9). ... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 08:50:26 EST 18 months http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5764074 Today is technically 18 months from the day I met my goal weight, but I'm not really sure I can honestly say I'm "maintaining." The last four months have been mental hell, as I was saying in yesterday's post, and consequently, I've regained roughly 17 lbs since the beginning of May. Periodically I manage to lose a pound or two, but then they just come back, plus friends. I'm doing what I can to get myself to a better mental place (see yesterday's challenge), and to get back to where I was 18 ... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 07:55:27 EST 100 Days For Me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5763381 Originally, this new challenge started as a fitness-only challenge. My friend Stephanie (INEEDACAT9) began a 100-Days-of-Exercise challenge, posting a picture of her fitness daily on Instagram. I loved the idea so much that I decided to copy her, and invite other friends to join a secret facebook group dedicated to the 100-day challenge. My hundred days of exercise start today, to end on Nov 27th - both Thanksgiving, and my 5-year weight loss anniversary. <BR> <BR> But this challenge has com... Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:47:13 EST Stress vs Depression http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5744031 One fact about me: I'm extremely susceptible to stress. Actually, chronic stress is pretty much a way of life for me. And chronic stress? It doesn't make me gain weight. Because it is my state of being for 90% of the time, it's the place when I'm most stable, the place when I maintain my weight without trying, and when I can lose weight very slowly and with a lot of effort (more than losing normally takes - losing at about half the rate of my calorie deficit). It's my "neutral." <BR> <BR> T... Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:40:32 EST I need a new me...or, Day 1. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5717129 "I need a new head. I need new teeth. I need new eyes. I need a new me. New head, new teeth, new eyes, new me, new face, no trace. Where did I go?" <BR> --from "I, New" by my favorite band, Stiffs Incorporated <BR> <BR> I am tired of the old me. The old me has spent far too long wallowing in depression, angst, and paralyzed fear. She has stopped moving forward - or even holding still - and has started falling backward backward backward. She hates her body and has no motivation, drive, or wil... Fri, 13 Jun 2014 10:02:29 EST Long Overdue Update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5715649 You guys already know that things have been difficult for me over the last 1-2 months. I'm struggling with a lot of stress and some personal things, and that has resulted in gaining back about 10 lbs. I'm now about 5 lbs over that magic healthy-BMI line, and nearly tipping back into the 160s again - AND that's on my home scale, which is always about 6 lbs lower than a doctor's scale. This is not okay, but every time I try to rein in the damage, something happens: a night where I only sleep 3 ... Wed, 11 Jun 2014 10:14:02 EST Done. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5699038 May has been a very bad month here. I think it was pretty obvious in my last blog that I was in a really bad place, mentally. I won't say much about it, but I'll say that Bad Stuff has been happening in my life for almost a year now (since July 2nd), and that Bad Stuff has stressed me out and worn me down for so long that I have almost no energy left. Recent extra stresses have made the situation worse. We're moving cross country in the next two months, prepping to sell our house, saying good... Tue, 20 May 2014 08:46:59 EST Good Enough http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5693183 For the last 15 months or so, I've been in a strange position. I hit my original goal weight of 155 lbs on February 21, 2013. My goal had changed, by then, to 135 lbs, but no matter what I did over the last 15 months, I couldn't get any lower than about 149 lbs, and I usually stayed right around 152-153 lbs. There were times when I worked my butt off to try to lose more, and times when I gave up and just ate at maintenance level. Either way - eating more or less, exercising more or less - my ... Mon, 12 May 2014 08:34:57 EST Enough is Enough http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5691781 So, I'm done with Whole30. I didn't HAVE to give it up. I didn't slip - I wasn't even tempted to slip - but I know when something isn't good for me. Every day that went by, I felt worse. My sleep got worse, my skin got worse, and I started feeling awful. Lethargic. Very heavy limbs. Unable to move. Depressed. It feels an awful lot like the last time I took iron supplements - I have a high blood iron disorder, so iron supplements are BAD for me! I worried about that, before I started, because ... Sat, 10 May 2014 08:53:34 EST Whole30: Days 1-5 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5688735 Well, I'm on Day 6 of this Whole30 thing, so it's time to check in! <BR> <BR> So far, Whole30 has been pretty easy in terms of food. I'm not really having cravings, and while I'm adjusting to a new schedule for eating, I'm not having TOO much trouble. I had some trouble with hunger for the first few days, but that's dropping off. I feel like I'm eating a LOT more than normal, though, because I'm afraid of getting hungry before I'm allowed to eat again. Instead of stopping when I'm satisfied ... Tue, 6 May 2014 08:42:30 EST Whole30 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5685793 All right. I actually hadn't planned to tell more than a handful of people (privately) that I was doing Whole30 this month. My original idea was to gather a month's worth of data and then present it with all my reasons, reactions, and results once it was over. However, in just one day, I can already see that I will have WAY too much to share at the end of May, plus June is already going to be super busy for me, plus I need a reason to majorly stay connected in the upcoming months as I prep fo... Fri, 2 May 2014 13:02:32 EST News and Announcements http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5684862 I know I've been pretty quiet for the last few weeks on Spark. There have been some really crazy big things happening in my life, and I'm finally ready to talk about some of them. <BR> <BR> First, I'm super happy to announce some writing-related news. I've been writing my whole life, but I began my first attempt at a novel on May 1st, 2006. Yesterday, eight years to the day later, I finished the fourth draft/rewrite of that novel, and finally have a version that I'm happy with. Each draft ha... Thu, 1 May 2014 11:29:36 EST Race Report: YOSA 5K http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5671789 On Saturday, I was scheduled to do a 5K to benefit the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio. I did this one last year, though because I had bronchitis at the time, I had to walk instead of run it. The course is extremely hilly, so I'm not sure exactly why I decided I wanted to run it this year. I don't like running hills, and frankly, I haven't done any real running since August last year. I've literally run a mile three times (one in September, one in January, one in March) and a 5K once (in Decem... Mon, 14 Apr 2014 08:13:30 EST April Thrifting...or, Why Scale and Measuring Tape Don't Matter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5667162 After a couple of bad days this weekend, I decided to get out and do my April thrift store trip. I'd promised myself one thrift store trip per month during my 35th year, and I really needed some cheap-but-fun retail therapy after those few really awful days! I had fun picking out some new skirts and tops, plus some books I've really wanted (Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings, and the first three books of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer - Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress). As usual, I took p... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 08:33:40 EST I WANT to exercise! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5664155 I had a bit of an epiphany yesterday. All throughout this weight loss journey, my main focus has been on fitness, rather than on cutting calories. I'm a huge believer in eating at end-goal maintenance level and taking the weight off with exercise, and that has worked really well for me, even if the loss has gotten slower and slower as my body weight approaches my end-goal weight and maintenance level. Over the last few months, while I am far more satisfied with my body post-surgery, there is ... Fri, 4 Apr 2014 09:46:37 EST Struggling http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5662481 Friends, I will tell you the honest truth. I am really, really struggling right now, and have been since mid-March. I've tried my best to get my head above water, but it's just not happening. I made it through March - the vacation to Portland REALLY helped - but now I've crashed into April, and entered the part of the year where I am most depressed. <BR> <BR> I despise April. For much of the country, it's a time when spring is opening up. For San Antonio, it's a return of the dreaded six mon... Wed, 2 Apr 2014 09:58:05 EST Vacation! And meeting Sparkfriends! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5660705 Last week, Jason and I traveled to Portland, while my mom came to watch the kids. Jason had a conference to attend, and I got to go along for the vacation aspect (yeah!). We were only there for 2.5 days, but I fell in love with Portland nonetheless. It was just so beautiful, and the weather was gorgeous - even though it rained two of the days we were there, it was in little spurts, and I had plenty of time to explore the city! I wish we'd had a few more days to explore! <BR> <BR> <img src="... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:09:04 EST Hydrostatic Body Composition Analysis http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5653017 That's a pretty technical name for the test I took yesterday afternoon, haha! If you've never heard of hydrostatic weighing before, basically it means determining your lean mass and body fat percentage by total submersion in water. It's a VERY accurate method for determining how your body is built, more accurate than any other method out there except DEXA (Duel-energy X-ray absorptiometry), and I've wanted to do it for YEARS. Unfortunately, there isn't a place around town that does it - only ... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 08:46:40 EST Bikini?!?! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5652187 One of my 35 Goals for my 35th Year is to try on a bikini, now that my belly-skin has been repaired. I did NOT make it a condition of my goal to BUY a bikini or wear one in public - just to try one on. Well, over the last month, I've started swimsuit shopping for the summer. All my former swimsuits had gotten too large - despite my weight not really changing since last year - so it was time, especially as it's already starting to get hot here in south Texas. Unfortunately, the shopping has no... Thu, 20 Mar 2014 08:31:58 EST Nearly said something negative... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5650573 Yesterday, I started writing up a blog - twice - that was whiny and negative and depressed. That's how I felt. In the 9 days of spring break, I somehow managed to get exposed to gluten 4 times, breaking a 72-day gluten-free streak. That, of course, led to insomnia, skin rashes, bone pain, severe hunger, binging, fatigue, and major depression - so I FELT whiny and negative and depressed! Both times, I deleted the blog draft before I posted it, because I knew it would do no good. I knew WHY I w... Tue, 18 Mar 2014 08:52:07 EST Hello. My name is Amanda, and I'm a sugar addict. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5644235 Confession: I eat a LOT of extra sugar. More importantly, I didn't realize just HOW MUCH sugar I ate on a regular basis until a few days ago. <BR> <BR> Late last week, I didn't feel good. I had been recovering from a cold, and I had this inflamed feeling in my nose, throat, and lungs. It's a similar feeling to one I get when I've had too much sugar, so I felt very sweeted-out. I started looking back through my food logs to evaluate how much sugar I'd been eating. <BR> <BR> What I found appa... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 08:38:41 EST Belly: A Saga, Part V (After) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5641097 Originally, I'd planned to write a recovery post for weeks 4-6, but not much has happened since my last one. My scar grew a little purple there for awhile but has mostly calmed down. I've been putting silicon-based scar cream on it per doctor's orders, which has helped it to lighten a bit. I still have belly-numbness, but my cat can sit in my lap again, which is nice. Also, in my 6th week, I started getting a lot of internal pain on my upper right core muscles. I worried that I'd developed a ... Thu, 6 Mar 2014 08:09:24 EST 35th Birthday Weekend Fun! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5638360 I don't usually do a whole lot for my birthday, but there are some years when the day feels significant for some reason. This was one of those years, and so my husband put together a full birthday weekend for me! It was very sweet of him. :) <BR> <BR> The weekend started with a walk with fellow sparker and IRL friend Stephanie (INEEDACAT9). Got to get the party started right, with some fitness to balance out birthday treats, right? Jason planned a day of treats I don't normally get to have a... Mon, 3 Mar 2014 09:08:42 EST Fun Goals for my 4th year on Spark http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5635861 The end of another month! February went okay for me. I'm keeping up with my 10% goals, and I'm still at 100% for keeping gluten out of my diet this year, at least when it comes to food. I have some suspicion that an OTC medicine I started taking early in the month might have had slight traces of gluten (the company won't say either way), and after a few weeks of mild gluten-related symptoms, I finally switched brands. That's made some improvement in my sleep and skin and such already! For the... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:32:25 EST 3 Year Sparkversary! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5633215 Three years ago today, I joined Sparkpeople. I was already 15 months and 27 lbs down on my weight loss journey, but I was starting to slip up on my own. I knew I needed a support system, or I was going to fail spectacularly. A few friends of mine had mentioned Spark, so I decided to give it a try. My first day, I nearly quit! The site had so much on it, I felt overwhelmed and trepidatious. But then, a whole bunch of people from my local San Antonio spark team came by my page to welcome me, an... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 08:51:13 EST Race Report: Run 4 Hope 5K http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5631408 Yesterday, I walked in a 5K that benefits the Rape Crisis Center here in San Antonio, which helps men, women, and children who have been victims of sexual violence (rape, assault, abuse, etc). I walked it with my friends Stephanie (INEEDACAT9), Sarah, and Zach, and I represented a 15-year-old female survivor in the walk. I love 5Ks like this, ones where I feel that I am really making a difference with my contribution! <BR> <BR> Last year, I ran this 5K with my dad and stepmom, but this year,... Sun, 23 Feb 2014 09:05:32 EST Celebrations (& Confessions) from my 1st Year of Maintenance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5629871 On this day a year ago, I stepped on the scale to see a number that had eluded me for almost a decade: 155 lbs. It had been my goal for years, and was exactly 100 lbs lost from my highest weight in 2009. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/9/l298838486.jpg"> <BR> <BR> I won't lie. My first year of maintenance was ROUGH. It wasn't the actual maintaining that was difficult, though. In the last year, I've been as high as 157 and as low as 148.6, but for most of the year,... Fri, 21 Feb 2014 08:15:13 EST