SHAPESHIFTER09's SparkPeople Blog SHAPESHIFTER09's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Whoa Shopping for clothes has never been my favorite activity. Years ago, I actually swore off shopping (especially at plus size stores) until I reached my goal. Well, I've lost so much weight that nearly all of my pants were falling off of me, so I bit the bullet and went to goodwill. Not sure of what size would be right for me at this point, I grabbed a bunch of different sizes. 16's are too big. 14's generally fit just right. But there were a couple pairs of size 12's that were really nice pant... Tue, 27 Jun 2017 07:34:29 EST Climb Your Own Ladder My full time job is all about encouraging people to actually take steps toward doing the things they dream about, despite all of the things that tend to get in our way. No matter what personal goals we may have, there will inevitably be a myriad of things pulling us in different directions. Obligations to our families, friends, jobs, and just plain old exhaustion have a tendency to crowd out the things that matter most to just us. We make all sorts of excuses for putting our dreams on hold. P... Sun, 11 Jun 2017 20:53:59 EST Another day, another start. Hi there. It's been a while. <BR> <BR> The past few years have been a wild ride of ups and downs. Unfortunately it's been more up than down as far as my weight is concerned. So, after much serious thought and the heavy encouragement of several doctors, I am considering gastric bypass. I'm in the process of jumping through all the hoops to be approved for the surgery, but, truth be told, there's always a little part of me that hopes this time I'll actually make the changes to make weight los... Mon, 5 Dec 2016 15:58:57 EST reset Well, the kids are finally back at school, so I have no more excuses. This summer was a backslide, and while I'm certainly not happy about it, I'm also not feeling anywhere near as awful as I would have a couple of years ago. It's a bump in the road, it's over now, and I need to pick myself up and keep moving forward. <BR> <BR> I've managed to gain back about 10 pounds over the past couple of months. I have a feeling that once I start working out regularly again, it'll come off pretty easil... Tue, 27 Aug 2013 13:44:36 EST excuses Well, it's been a terrible month for me, health and fitness wise. The combination of stifling heat and humidity plus having my children home from school has completely thrown my schedule off. Add to that the fact that my oven decided to conk out, and I've got a whole lot of excuses for why I haven't been doing well lately when it comes to weight loss. <BR> <BR> But that's just it. These are excuses. They're things I can use to justify my lack of commitment and motivation lately. But my favo... Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:52:56 EST stuck Ugh! I am so ready to break this plateau! I've been stuck here for the past several weeks. Really it's been since the kids have been out of school. My exercise routine has been completely derailed and we've been eating out a lot more than we should be. It's my own fault, but I really need to get my act together and get back on track! <BR> <BR> I've still been working out. I've whittled my 1 mile run time down to 10:42, I've been seeing a personal trainer who kicks my butt (heavy ropes and t... Mon, 1 Jul 2013 11:21:34 EST Motivation I did not want to work out today. We were out late last night, I was tired, and we spent the morning at the beach with friends. I forced myself to get dressed for the gym since I had to take the kids there for soccer. Then I forced myself to run just one mile. And I shaved another 7 seconds off my fastest mile time. I'm now at 10:42 and bound and determined to beat a 10 minute mile by the end of 2013. <BR> <BR> Then I had to go work out with my personal trainer. He's definitely crazy, empl... Mon, 17 Jun 2013 22:02:42 EST Parallel universes I had a very bizarre experience this afternoon. I has just finished working out with my personal trainer (who's about 16 years old and has boundless energy) and was walking home when this random guy literally stopped traffic to ask me if I was single. This has *never* ever happened to me in my entire life. It was a supremely bizarre experience, and it got me thinking. <BR> <BR> For so much of my life, I've actively focused on downplaying my looks. As I continue to lose weight, I am going to... Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:36:32 EST shedding layers So I've mentioned feeling a little bit "off" lately, but I haven't really understood what was at the core of that, until I had a conversation with a friend today. We were talking about how lately I've been feeling exceptionally nostalgic and thinking about people and relationships from the past that I haven't considered in years. I dug out all my old pictures, and even read through my old love letters. As a result, lots of long-dormant emotions have been stirred up, for better or for worse. ... Wed, 12 Jun 2013 12:44:18 EST New PR! I've been really struggling lately. I'm still losing weight, eating reasonably well, and walking a lot, but getting to the gym has been a real struggle the past few weeks. It started when I got a miserable cold, and worsened as I realized that there were only a few days of school left. That meant that I had a very small amount of time left to get a lot of stuff done, so the gym took a backseat. <BR> <BR> I haven't been running in nearly a month, but the last time I ran, I was so close to be... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 21:29:47 EST Happy birthday to me! Today I turn 35. It'll be a nice day of quiet celebrations- lunch with a friend and then dinner with my family. I may also try to work on the novel i've begun writing. It's a beautiful day, so I've already gone for a walk, and hope to spend more time outside. In 35 years, it has only rained once on my birthday- the year after my mom died. <BR> <BR> Someone posted this to my spark page, and I was truly astounded by how much of it rings true: <BR> <BR> The Gemini child is born to a father who... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 11:13:48 EST What a wild ride! Long ago, I was a preschool teacher, and we once read a book about a little boy who had something excellent happen to him on one page, and then something terrible happen on the next. I feel like that's exactly what my day today has been like: a complete rollercoaster. <BR> <BR> I was supposed to help out at my kids school for their end of the year picnic, but it rained so the picnic got postponed. That was actually good for me, because a movie I've been waiting 9 years for was released nati... Fri, 31 May 2013 18:16:22 EST another great quote Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. Wed, 29 May 2013 15:17:26 EST Quote of the day "The distance between your dreams and reality is called discipline." Tue, 28 May 2013 20:59:12 EST Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead Over the past several days, I've been watching the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, which follow's Joe Cross's attempt to get healthy through the consumption of micronutrient foods (i.e. fresh plant foods) via juicing. For those who might be interested, the movie can be seen for free on Hulu. <BR> <BR> The changes Joe sees in his body in only 60 days are pretty astounding, and he manages to inspire several other people along the way. The most remarkable of whom is Phil- a truck drive... Fri, 17 May 2013 12:27:14 EST The unexpected hazards of weight loss Yesterday was a big day for me. I reached two exciting milestones: first, I weighed in 70 pounds less than I did when I started this journey so many years ago. Only about 44 of that is "new" loss (since I got serious again in January), but I'm very pleased with my progress. <BR> <BR> I also managed to run my fastest mile ever at 11:05. I tried so hard to beat 11 minutes, but it didn't happen this time around. I'll just have to push harder next time! I still really hate running, but a mile is... Thu, 16 May 2013 07:46:43 EST Spring Into Summer Yesterday began the Spring Into Summer Challenge. I'm really excited to be involved in this one because I'm really feeling the need for a bit of a kick start. I've been actively on this path (once again) for the past 4 months, have managed to lose 43 pounds in that time (even while traveling and dining out quite a bit), and have made working out a daily habit. Still, I'm worried about becoming complacent and slipping into old (bad) habits. I'm hoping the combination of my current Dietbet and ... Tue, 14 May 2013 07:42:08 EST Back, and Moving Forward. We're back from our most recent trip, and while it was a lot of fun, I'm really looking forward to just being home for the forseeable future. I love to travel, but April was a little bit insane. All said, members of my family spent time in 9 different states in the past 6 weeks. <BR> <BR> I did end up gaining a few pounds while at Disney. I expected that, and the good news is that it's already mostly gone. Unlike past vacations, this time around, I got right back on the wagon and immediatel... Sun, 12 May 2013 08:39:26 EST Another benchmark reached My weight loss has slowed a bit this month. Up until now, I'd been averaging about 12 pounds per month, but April's been a bit trickier. Lots of travel combined with things like Easter, birthday celebrations, and other things has slowed my weight loss to about 8 pounds this month. Still, I'm quite pleased with that. <BR> <BR> Today we leave for Disney World. We surprised the kids (we're going for their birthday). They had no idea about the trip, and I recorded their priceless reactions when... Sat, 27 Apr 2013 03:30:24 EST In a funk I've been totally stressed this week as I try to get ready for this Disney trip. The kids still don't know we're going (we leave on Saturday, and will tell them Friday night). So I had to get them all packed without them knowing I'd taken a bunch of their stuff. I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get all the last minute stuff done. <BR> <BR> In the meantime, I feel like I've lost some of my motivation. On Monday, I got dressed to go to the gym, and, on the way ... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 11:40:11 EST 40 pounds down! This morning, I stepped on the scale and was overjoyed to discover that I've officially lost 40 pounds since renewing my commitment to healthier living on January 1. In all, I've lost 66 pounds since I saw the highest weight I'd ever seen on the scale. I'm currently 2.8 pounds away from the goal I'd hoped to reach by the time we leave for Disney on April 27. I'll have to work hard, but I think I can do it. <BR> <BR> I'm a little nervous about our trip to Disney and it's pact on my weight (we... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 08:58:06 EST Today I ran for Boston It's no secret that running and I are not friends. I do it because I *can* (a fact that I continually have to prove to myself again and again each time I do it). I have never once had a run day where I was actually excited about going running. Generally, the self talk goes something like this: "ugh, I've gotta run today. I can do this. I've done it before and it's only a half hour out of my day. Plus, that half hour will add significant time onto my lifespan. I am strong, I am capable of so m... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:55:06 EST And bigger victories Successful weight loss has become a series of smaller victories that eventually lead to much larger victories. Today marked the end of my dietbet. I was nervous because I arrived home from my conference late last night, and wasn't sure what the impact would be on the scale. I wasn't able to get much exercise in while I was gone (as expected), and while I did try to make healthy choices whenever possible, I did go out to dinner a couple of times and didn't always choose the healthiest options.... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 10:36:30 EST Small victories Yesterday I left home to travel to Seattle for a conference that runs through Saturday. I arrived at the airport hungry- I didn't have time to eat lunch, and needed to find something there before boarding my flight. I had already passed up the opportunity to have lunch with my husband and son at my favorite deep dish pizza place. I decided that I needed to be strategic about my choice (especially considering the fact that I have no idea what my food options will be for the next several days).... Thu, 11 Apr 2013 09:25:45 EST Another great quote "A scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. It cannot measure your worth, awesomeness, kindness, beauty, possibility, conviction, strength, or love." Wed, 10 Apr 2013 09:00:26 EST Leaving on a jet plane Tomorrow I leave to go to a conference in Seattle for the next 5 days. I'm super excited about the conference, but it's very intense (from 8am-11pm with few breaks). I'm nervous because I won't have any time to dedicate to exercise. I'll be making the most of those rare breaks- walking whenever possible and doing all the strength exercises I can, but it won't be anything like what I'm used to. <BR> <BR> As for food, I have no idea what will be available (especially in terms of high quality v... Tue, 9 Apr 2013 22:32:57 EST Quote of the day Today I went to work out at a different Y than I normally go to. I found out that a friend of mine just joined and ha been wanting to try a NIA class. My gym doesn't offer NIA, so I agreed to meet her there. I loved the class- it's a dance / tai chi/ mindful movement class that was just so much fun! At the beginning of the class, the teacher asked us to reflect upon the qualities we admire in others. I chose strength, determination, compassion, integrity, and humour. <BR> <BR> Afterwards, I... Mon, 8 Apr 2013 15:54:30 EST This moved me to tears<BR>hey-fat-girl.html?m=1 <BR> <BR> It was exactly what I needed to hear! Sat, 6 Apr 2013 08:27:30 EST It's all psychological I've accepted the fact that weight loss is at least 90 percent psychological. If we get our heads in shape, our bodies will almost certainly follow. <BR> <BR> I did not want to go to the gym this morning. I was so tired. I have blisters on both feet. My knees are sore. My body wants to rest. But tomorrow and Sunday will be rest days for me, so I knew I just had to suck it up and get it done. I went to the gym, got a very sweet pep talk from another regular, and got running. <BR> <BR> 10 min... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 14:36:10 EST Personal Records I've been surpassing lots of previous personal records lately. When I found out that yesterday was National Walking Day, I thought "I've totally got this". I generally average between 10-15 miles per day, so I set a goal of 20 for yesterday. The most I had ever walked was about 22 miles. <BR> <BR> I woke up and walked on the treadmill- 3 miles <BR> I walked the kids to school- 1 mile <BR> I walked to my gym- 1.5 miles <BR> I did couch to 5k, w6d1- 2.5 miles <BR> I walked home from the gym- ... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 07:45:14 EST Seeing results I am really feeling excited about the results I've been seeing lately. <BR> <BR> My clothes are getting loose! I'm currently wearing jeans I haven't fit into for years, and the spring coat I bought two sizes too small now fits perfectly! (It didn't even button when I bought it!) <BR> <BR> My heart rate is rebounding much faster. <BR> <BR> I am really pushing myself to run faster than ever before. The first time I did couch to 5k I did all the running outside. This time around, I'm doing it... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 18:44:24 EST Spring HLC Results & Final Recap For the past 8 weeks, I have participated in a Springtime Healthy Living Challenge on one of my sparkteams. At the beginning of the challenge, I weighed 278 pounds, and I set a goal to lose 20 pounds. As of this morning, I've achieved that (and then some!) <BR> <BR> Here are some of the the stats: <BR> <BR> Starting Week - 2/4/13 <BR> Weight: 278 <BR> <BR> Measurements: <BR> Chest: 46 <BR> Waist: 51 <BR> Hips: 52 <BR> Upper Arm: 16.5 <BR> <BR> <BR> Week 8 - 4/1/13 <BR> Weight: 257.2 <BR... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 07:41:48 EST Vacation Recap We finally arrived home last night after a week-long road trip that took us through 4 different states. Of course, the very first thing I did was to hop on the scale to assess the damages. I figured I'd be up somewhere between 3-5 pounds. Last night, the scale showed me 3 pounds up, but since I typically weigh myself in the mornings, I just re-checked and I'm happy to report that the final verdict is that I gained one pound! <BR> <BR> I consider this a great success! I'm also extremely prou... Sun, 31 Mar 2013 07:46:30 EST History and Mindset I've been thinking a lot lately about where I started out and how far I've come mentally and emotionally in this journey. I wholeheartedly believe that weight loss is about 90% mental and 10% really really hard work. If we don't address the underlying reasons why we became fat in the first place, it's going to be awfully difficult to sustain any weight loss in the long-term. <BR> <BR> I realized long ago that this is something I'll be working on for the rest of my life. Losing all this extr... Fri, 22 Mar 2013 07:24:33 EST Rolling with the punches So today didn't go at all as I'd hoped. I woke up early with the best of intentions, hopped on the treadmill and knocked out three miles before my kids even woke up. Then I packed their lunches for them, helped them cook their breakfast, and made myself a peanut butter banana soy protein shake (which was delicious!). So far so good. <BR> <BR> I got myself ready to go work out at the gym after dropping the kids off at school. Here's where things began to go awry. As the kids were getting out... Wed, 20 Mar 2013 23:43:17 EST Buckling down The past three days, I've really taken things to a new level, both in the gym and by tightening up my diet. I am doing everything exactly as I should be, and I'm seeing results. Over the weekend I measured my arms, and was shocked to discover that I've lost 2 inches off of each arm in the past 6 weeks! I've always really coveted strong muscular arms and shoulders, so seeing that sort of progress is really motivating for me! <BR> <BR> On Saturday, we leave for a week long road trip. I'm defin... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 15:51:54 EST Incentives I recently came across this website that challenges users to lose 4% of their body weight in 28 days. As incentive, participants pay into a "pot" and those who achieve their goals within the time frame split the winnings. Since I've been feeling the need for a little extra incentive, I signed up for the one with the largest pot. There's a $25 buy in (to keep everyone accountable and to raise the stakes). Right now the pot is over $31,000, with 1200+ participants. The challenge starts tomorrow... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 08:10:06 EST Validation First of all, thanks to each of you who've commented on my blogs or my page or offered me encouragement or support. It means more than I can possibly say. This is a challenging journey, and I hope that I'm able to support you all as wonderfully as you've supported me! <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I had a really great workout at the gym. I noticed that my heart rate is not spiking as high, and that it's rebounding much more quickly, even since my workout two days previously. As I was riding the high... Thu, 14 Mar 2013 15:18:54 EST frustrations About 6 months ago, I had just returned home from the hospital after my first major surgery. Although my recovery went well, I wasn't able to exercise or life anything more than 5 pounds for about 8 weeks. Just when I would have been able to start working out again, I learned that I would need a second surgery due to an unexpected cancer risk. Needless to say, I was worried, depressed, and frustrated. I could have attempted to lose weight between my surgeries, but I didn't. I wanted to wait u... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 08:07:37 EST Becoming my best self I recently read another sparker's blog entry that spoke about the need for self-reflection and setting intentions for how to become our ideal self. One of the suggestions was to create a list of qualities that your idea self would have - sort of similar to making a wish list of characteristics you'd like to find in an ideal mate, but for yourself instead. I love this idea because it provides a bit of a "roadmap" to becoming my very best self. <BR> <BR> So here's my list characteristics my i... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 08:19:48 EST Shaking things up This week, one of my spark teams challenged me to try new things in order to shake up my routine. I have to admit I've had a lot of fun thinking of new things to try. Here are some of the things I've done: <BR> <BR> Fitness: <BR> -tried a water aerobics class <BR> -tried a zumba class <BR> -tried a spin class (which I've always been extremely intimidated by) <BR> -tried a cardio sculpting class <BR> -restarted couch to 5k (I completed the program in 2011, but haven't been running since) <BR>... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 23:16:32 EST Hopes and fears I think a lot about my future- both about the things I hope for and about the things I fear. I need to remember that it's okay if my hopes don't come to fruition, and I cannot allow myself to be held back by my fears. <BR> <BR> Today I was reflecting on all the exciting things that are coming up within the next couple of months. Tomorrow I'm going to a much anticipated conference with some friends. In two weeks we leave on our trip to North Carolina. Then comes Easter. Two weeks after that,... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 22:20:41 EST moderation I tend to do things in excess. I live big, I like to eat delicious food, I work out a lot. At this point in my life, I'm very lucky that I'm able to take a few months to really focus on me. My kids are in school most of the day, and my husband works very hard to support our lifestyle. He's been amazingly supportive of me as I've embarked upon this journey to get healthier, but he and I are so opposite that I think it can be challenging for him to truly understand what life is like for me. <B... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 15:19:29 EST Surround yourself with good. I'm realizing more and more that the people we surround ourselves with have an important impact upon our ability to be successful in this journey to lose weight and get healthier. I've written about this previously, but I grew up with a father who was emotionally and physically abusive. I turned to food both as a comfort and as a protection -- if i weighed more, I would be better able to physically stand up to him. My weight also served as an emotional wall or "filter". If people genuinely wa... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 06:59:31 EST Revelation So I've been to the gym every day since I signed up on Friday. Last night, I restarted couch to 5k, and then I took a water aerobics class (something new for me!). Anyway, while I was jogging on the treadmill, I had a realization: you know those people at the gym with the beautiful bodies? Well, the reason they have those beautiful bodies is because they're *at the gym!* it was a nice little reminder that I, too, can have a much nicer, stronger, healthier body. I just have to put in the effor... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 06:39:28 EST On fad diets and food rules: Just a warning, this is going to be a rant. <BR> <BR> It never ceases to amaze me that so many people are happily willing to jump on the bandwagon of so many clearly unhealthy and unbalanced fad diets. Losing weight, building muscle, gaining endurance and strength aren't rocket science. It takes dedication and hard work. Nothing more, nothing less. Fad diets may seem popular and they may even make impressive claims about how they'll change your life, but here are a few of the things I've lea... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 10:21:32 EST Gym membership I've spent much if this past week touring several gyms in my area. The first one I went to had beautiful facilities, but the vibe I got from the sales guy totally turned me off. The second gym was at a JCC, so the facilities were smaller, but it was nice and definitely an option. Then, on a friend's recommendation, I checked out my local Y. I'd been there before, but my friend told me they recently renovated the whole place, so I figured that was worth a second look. It was fabulous! Plus, I ... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 09:23:07 EST Protein One if the things I really struggle with is getting enough protein. As a vegetarian who's committed to reducing my reliance upon overly processed foods, I have a really hard time figuring out what I can eat that's vegetarian, high protein, low carb, and not filled with chemicals and crap. <BR> <BR> I try to have a protein heavy breakfast that includes things like Greek yogurt and Kashi or an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. Dinners usually involve some sort of vegetarian protein like seita... Wed, 27 Feb 2013 11:57:22 EST Coming to terms with changes In the past 6 months, I've had two major abdominal surgeries that have left me with 9 scars that serve as constant reminders of both my mortality and my ability to persevere through even the most difficult situations. i don't mind the scars so much, but the surgeries have changed the shape of my body, and it's sometimes difficult to recognize and accept my new, bloated, lumpy, and much larger stomach. On the other hand, the challenges I faced this past year, have reminded me just how strong I... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 23:07:42 EST nothing about me is average Today I read a factoid that said that the average person walks about 900 miles every year. That's roughly 2.5 miles per day. <BR> <BR> So far, in 2013, I've walked 508 miles. At the rate I've been going, I should hit 900 miles by the end of March. Wed, 20 Feb 2013 22:14:10 EST