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/ Quick stat update http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5954422 July 1st, 2015: <BR> <BR> Weight: 185.4 <BR> Neck: 13.5 <BR> Upper arm: 12.5 <BR> Bust: 41 <BR> Waist: 32.5 (sucked in), 34 (not sucked in) <BR> Hips: 42.5 <BR> Upper thigh: 24 <BR> Mid thigh: 21.5 <BR> Calf: 14 <BR> <BR> It'll still be a week or two before I'm back here full-time. Have to get the house all together again first. But this is a start. <BR> <BR> Pics taken July 1st: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/696d0c96-8844-4006-a333-e5113bf00e34.JPG"> <BR> <B... Thu, 2 Jul 2015 11:50:21 EST Regain: Fitness http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5950692 So I'm keeping this in one blog because all of my fitness issues boil down to one thing: severe lack of exercise. I admit it. I haven't really been exercising much at all since moving to Boston. There are reasons: <BR> <BR> 1. In my San Antonio house, I had an elliptical, a treadmill, a large living room to exercise in, a bunch of fitness videos, and a weight machine. In our apartment here, I have nothing except videos, and unfortunately, I cannot do them because the only space in which to d... Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:35:04 EST Regain: Nutrition - Part IV http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5950260 Last on the Nutrition front: drinking. I didn't drink for most of my adult life. I just wasn't fond of alcohol. I'd had small amounts of alcohol before, but the first time I sought it out and began to drink it more seriously was in the summer of 2013, not long after my marriage started falling apart. Bad sign, no? <BR> <BR> I didn't drink much while I was still in Texas, but after we moved to Boston, I began to drink more heavily. That grew even worse when I needed to drink 1-2 glasses of w... Wed, 24 Jun 2015 11:37:12 EST Nutrition - Part III http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5949663 Partly due to Paleo restrictions, partly due to being able to eat gluten again, and partly due to my lack of self-confidence and my desire to punish myself with food, I've become a binge eater for the first time ever. I no longer have a healthy relationship with food. It probably doesn't help that I don't have an IRL support group right now. I tend to eat more when I don't have people around me. So yeah, binging has definitely contributed to my weight regain. Aaaaand that's about all I can sa... Tue, 23 Jun 2015 09:43:17 EST Regain: Nutrition - Part II http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5948997 Gluten, gluten, gluten. Discovered it was causing me problems in late summer 2013. Ate as gluten-free as possible for the next nine months or so. Discovered it no longer caused me any of those problems in May 2014. Realized that the entire time I'd been having those particular reactions - none of which happened before summer 2013 or after April 2014 - I'd been on a medication, and thus, the reactions were linked to the medication. Began eating gluten again, reaction-free. <BR> <BR> But, um, ... Mon, 22 Jun 2015 06:41:00 EST Regain: Nutrition - Part I http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5948531 Now we move to regain factors on the nutrition front. <BR> <BR> First up? Paleo. Some of you might say WHAT? BUT I THOUGHT YOU LOVED PALEO!!! Okay, well, yes. Here's the thing. Paleo was VERY good for me. I felt good and lost weight quickly, all while eating plenty of calories and never feeling hungry. Best of all, paleo affected my health numbers in positive ways I never even imagined. My iron and ferrin levels, which had been borderline too high for years, were suddenly in the normal range... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 08:07:06 EST Regain: Mental Health - Part V http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5948084 Probably the largest regain factor on the Mental Health front is the sudden lack of a support system. After nine years in San Antonio, TX, my family moved across the country to the Boston area in early August last year. While I'm not fond of Texas in many ways, I'd spent nearly a decade making a life there. Boston is one of the only places in the country where I know NO ONE and had absolutely no support from friends or family. To make things worse, not long after I got here, I lost the suppor... Sat, 20 Jun 2015 07:23:52 EST Regain: Mental Health - Part IV http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5947604 Body image has always been an extremely difficult thing for me, and it's been much worse over the last year. Some of this is because of regain, some is because of my marriage issues. Some of the regain is because of the body image issues I have because of my marriage issues. Sigh. <BR> <BR> Negative body image has led to beating myself up, not bothering to try to be better, and the worst, forcing myself to eat-to-gain as a punishment for not being good enough. I know this is awful mental he... Fri, 19 Jun 2015 07:37:58 EST Regain: Mental Health - Part III http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5947066 Let's talk medicine. <BR> <BR> So, back in the fall, when my diagnosis was just generalized depression and anxiety, my physician prescribed me Wellbutrin. Wellbutrin = Bad For Me. I first learned that more than a decade ago, but I gave it another chance because unlike other antidepressants, it's not supposed to cause weight gain. Ha. Hahaha. Um, yeah. I gained a TON of weight on Wellbutrin, mostly because I couldn't sleep. <BR> <BR> Did you know that severe insomnia is a common side effect... Thu, 18 Jun 2015 07:57:18 EST Regain: Mental Health - Part II http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5946481 Part II = my mental health issues. Back in the fall, I began seeing a counselor whose practice was (thankfully, because my anxiety was so bad that I couldn't drive for about six months) only three blocks away. Alee has been a lifesaver, and it didn't take her long to diagnose me with something I never would have expected: complex PTSD. <BR> <BR> When I hear PTSD, I think veterans. I didn't know about a common-but-not-often-discussed form of PTSD that comes from repeated or elongated trauma ... Wed, 17 Jun 2015 06:47:01 EST Regain: Mental Health - Part I http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5945948 Looking back, I can pinpoint ten major factors behind my regain of the last year. Five of them have been mental-health related, four nutrition-based, and the last one a general umbrella under fitness. I'm going to discuss each one separately, because each has been equally culpable and significant, and each needs to be tackled individually in order to reverse the weight-gain trend. <BR> <BR> So the first one? Let's just call this a general blanket of Other People's Stress. My husband has a ma... Tue, 16 Jun 2015 08:15:55 EST After one week... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5944824 Two pounds gone, exactly. I wish I could say this is re: determination and good habits etc etc, but it's not. Infact, I'd say that probably the opposite is true. After all, when I weighed in last Sunday, I'd gained over 3 lbs from the day before. And in a whole week, only 2 of those 3 lbs disappeared. Either I'm still doing badly, or this just really shows the struggle against my body that I'm having to undertake. <BR> <BR> But really, there were a couple days this week that weren't great. M... Sun, 14 Jun 2015 08:37:28 EST The Weight Roller Coaster http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5944340 I did really well maintaining my 105-lb loss for a long time. Even through some terribly stressful things, and major surgery, and more that I won't talk about, I maintained. Then I hit May of 2014, and my body/health just sort of exploded. There were many factors behind the explosion, which I'll begin to discuss tomorrow. Today's post is just to document the ridiculous roller coaster that I've been on for the last 13 months. <BR> <BR> At the beginning of May 2014, I weighed 151 lbs (old scal... Sat, 13 Jun 2015 07:50:43 EST Recent Pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5943308 I meant to put these in the blog post the other day about where I'm at now, but I forgot. Anyway, just for the accountability - recent pictures that REALLY show my regain: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/a9e8a90b-ae3a-499d-8d69-6b18b5d2d6ea.JPG"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/84ac2bdf-7be3-44df-a048-f7a5922e6957.JPG"> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/9bd7c1da-927e-4e68-99e1-b794d641c89e.JPG"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:22:54 EST About the blogging http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5942347 I've changed up a few things here at Spark. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I'd return to Spark at all. It's not really the same network as it was four years ago when I was first active here, and I doubt it'll ever be the same again for me. I considered starting from scratch, keeping this journey on a blog somewhere, but then decided that would be one more burner to keep lit. At least here at Spark, I'm already established, with a long history, and a core group of friends. <BR> <BR> Which, I'... Tue, 9 Jun 2015 12:28:11 EST And while I've been gone... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5941756 I wish I could say I've held myself together, but I haven't. This last year has been a nightmare. Everything stable and secure in my life fell to shambles, and it was all too much. There has been regain, and lots of it. Some of the reasons for regain have been out of my control, others have been entirely my own fault. I'll go into this in more detail in later posts, as I'm trying to keep these blog posts short/manageable (re: juggling/burners). <BR> <BR> Point is, there has been gain, and l... Mon, 8 Jun 2015 12:07:39 EST Hello http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5941288 It's been...138 days since I last spent any time on Spark. The honest truth? I haven't really missed it. The other honest truth? It was probably unwise for me to disappear. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople.com/guid/2afff64f-a582-48d0-b59a-e3db549f7757.JPG"> <BR> (Hello!) <BR> <BR> I considered coming back on June 1st. That day has been a rebirth sort of day for me since 1999, and I knew I needed a huge reset. Then that day ended up going into the toilet, followed by some ev... Sun, 7 Jun 2015 17:08:02 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 Primarily Paleo #2: Up, But Not Disappointed http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5854845 I'm up 0.8 lbs this week, taking me to 158.4 lbs. I'm not worried about the gain so much, however. It was expected, for two reasons. <BR> <BR> First, I started a new ST program on Monday. Well, REstarted, I should say. I tried to start this program in December, but between traveling, vacation, holidays, the boys being home from school, etc...you get the point. So I started again this week. It's the Modern Woman's Guide to Strength Training, from Girls Gone Strong and one of my favorite women... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 07:38:32 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 Primarily Paleo #1: Tough http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5849250 Isn't the first week supposed to be the easiest?? MAN this week was difficult. I really didn't eat well for most of December, and I'm suffering from a lot of grain/sugar addiction right now. And hunger. I'm REALLY HUNGRY a lot of the time, probably because I've also started exercising for the first time in a month (so stiff and swollen too!). Most of the time, I did manage to fill that hunger with paleo-friendly foods, though I admit to having a bit of cheese now and then. Better than grains/... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 07:41:11 EST Primarily Paleo: An Introduction http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5846354 A new year, a new journey. <BR> <BR> On 2/21/13, I hit my goal of 100 lbs lost. I entered maintenance, dropped a couple more pounds, and then maintained in a +/- 5-lb range for the next 15 months. In May 2014, my personal life fell apart, and I began eating to gain (on purpose). My reasons were complicated and I won't go into them here. I WILL say that it took four months and 15-20 lbs before I stopped attacking myself with food. <BR> <BR> This past fall, I re-lost 10-15 of those pounds (de... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 07:28:22 EST It's That Time of Year... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5842535 ...when people return to the gyms and weight-loss sites for a week or two before they get tired/bored/discouraged. :D <BR> <BR> Okay, I'm just teasing. While there are plenty of people who start off strong and fall off the wagon after a week, there are also plenty of others who are in this health thing for the long haul, who rely on determination instead of motivation, who are truly dedicated to improving their health. Including me. And on that note, I want to talk a little bit about the up... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 07:49:56 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 General Life Updates http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5816576 1. No tooth news yet. Appointment is scheduled for Monday. <BR> <BR> 2. For those of you who have been concerned about my mental health, rest assured. I was finally able to see a doctor and am now on an anti-depressant. I am working to find a nearby therapist as well. (Also note: despite all the stress, my blood pressure is at 100/65, the lowest it's been in years. Awesome.) <BR> <BR> 3. Speaking of therapists, my husband and I are now seeing a marriage counselor. Too early to tell if it wi... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 07:30:13 EST Probable Bad News http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5814696 So things haven't been great for me since May. My family has moved across the country to a place I despise, a place where I know no one. My marriage is completely in the toilet, and my kids are in chaos because of it. My body image issues have flared up terribly, and between the stress and the psychological issues, I've struggled a lot with my weight since May. Things haven't gotten any better - in fact, in some ways, they've gotten progressively worse. And having things so BAD around here ha... Tue, 11 Nov 2014 07:46:28 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 Get Thin, Get Strong http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5811133 For some people, these are simultaneous goals, two things they can do at the same time. There are all sorts of fantastic programs out there for heavy lifting and fat loss. Some of the people I admire and trust most use and/or designed these programs. <BR> <BR> Here's the thing, though. They do not work for my body. <BR> <BR> I don't know why they don't work. Maybe it's because of my body's structure, or the fact that I already have a large muscle base, or because my body associates intense ... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 07:13:22 EST (In)Active http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5809784 It's been a long time since I felt a strong sense of community here on Spark, outside a small particular set of Sparkfriends. This feeling of disconnect started right around the time that I started getting featured as a success story (early 2012). Tons of people started adding me, and I felt obligated to add them back. Of course, I was unable to get to know hundreds of new people all at once, plus I resented the people who wanted me to inspire them without giving me any support in return. (Co... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 07:55:32 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