ZERO2HERO's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=ZERO2HERO ZERO2HERO'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/ Whole30 Day One Debriefing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5971612 It's just about the end of day one, which is described as the "so what's the big deal?" day as per their emotional timeline. It also mentions, "right now you can’t see why anyone thinks this is hard. This delusion is somewhat akin to the first episode of any given reality show." The descriptors continue to indicate you feel good, but that it will essentially come crashing down tomorrow as your body misses the sugar it has indulged in for a very, very, very long time. <BR> <BR> I do not fee... Mon, 3 Aug 2015 20:07:08 EST It's Official: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5971052 Tomorrow I begin Whole30. <BR> <BR> Or at least attempt it. <BR> <BR> I know it doesn't sound very confident - and I know I have the will power - but my less than desirable cooking skills and inability to prepare things in advance (post child) has me reserved upon embarking on this new challenge. <BR> <BR> I also think I might need to make one concession: tracking and measuring. Okay, technically that's two. I can hold off on the scale and body measurement, but I have trouble accepting/und... Sun, 2 Aug 2015 21:48:32 EST Craving or hunger http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5970421 So I'm reading "Whole 30" by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig to determine whether or not the 30 day whole foods eating/cleanse is the way to spend August (I know, I know, it's already August). And it really is EXTREMELY comprehensive. They include the food lists, a week sample, how to cook, what you're eating and why and an entire section of FAQs for anybody (with some delightful humor). <BR> <BR> One of those questions - "My sugar cravings are killing me! What do I do?" - has an answer that I or... Sat, 1 Aug 2015 19:21:38 EST Whole30 Musings http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5969365 I know, I know, to quote my mother, "sh*t or get off the pot." <BR> <BR> Doesn't that say something about my upbringing? <BR> <BR> Anyway, I've been mulling over Whole30 for a few days. I've read some labels and I found the book at the library. I'm about 40 pages in and I still can't decide (which probably means I'll give it a shot). I'm trying to follow the order they present everything in - and they (Melissa and Dallas Hartwig) provide A LOT of details. In fact, right now I'm reading abou... Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:43:35 EST Not so unexpected accomplishments: Month One http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5967858 July brought some unexpected accomplishments - though as I typed "unexpected" I realize that if we're basing the adjective on my work in comparison to previous months, it was expected I just typically don't attribute much self-worth to myself or the effort I put in. So let me re-phrase, July has brought some lovely growth and shrinkage despite my occasional slips "off the wagon". <BR> <BR> I forgot to take my measurements last Thursday, which would have been a month, so I took than today. He... Tue, 28 Jul 2015 08:40:15 EST Thought Compilation http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5967287 I should be working, but my wonderful and crazy weekend has me brimming with thoughts. Not to mention I find procrastination a wonderful thing (when I can). <BR> <BR> My thought compilation: <BR> <BR> 1.) What is it about the extra 20 seconds it takes to put a dish in the dishwasher instead of the sink? It feels like there's a metaphor in there because almost every time I will choose to drop the dishes in the sink, let them build up (especially because my husband is guilty of the same), and... Mon, 27 Jul 2015 08:58:42 EST Sliding Doors http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5966193 I'd like to preface this entry with the delightful fact that my daughter and I had two wonderful days - one with my mother at the beach and the other with my husband at the zoo and little post lunch with my in-laws. They were great experiences for Emilia (my daughter): she had a blast, learned new things, met new people, swam in the ocean, pet a stingray - the list goes on! And to think she's only 13 months old. <BR> <BR> While these two days have been very different and terrific activities ... Fri, 24 Jul 2015 22:19:49 EST "The human heart has secret treasures: in secret kept, in silence sealed." http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5964787 I appear to be getting myself back on track after last week's "stay-cation," which is a silly way to phrase it because I was never "off track" so much as just not tracking. But I'm two days back into the swing of things and tracking (successfully, I might add) and it feels good. <BR> <BR> I've also started visiting my old SP friend pages since I've been so inconsistently here post 2013 and it got me thinking: <BR> <BR> What happens to the pages that go silent? <BR> <BR> There were a handf... Wed, 22 Jul 2015 09:24:18 EST I think. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5963632 This past week I survived a family stay-cation, a birthday, and my mother. <BR> <BR> Within that survival I didn't exactly track food or exercise, but did make the conscious effort to maintain portions and nutrients in at least 2 meals a day and move (stroller jogs, pool time, the beach). The "me of weight loss past" would be sorely disappointed. I mean, when my husband and I hiked Arizona (12-20 miles a day) I was still tracking daily and staying at 1500 calories. And that is how I've alway... Mon, 20 Jul 2015 08:37:27 EST Moderation is the new weight loss. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5960063 My status today indicated that I wasn't able to blog, which was because I knew I needed to leave the house immediately if I was going to commit to a swim workout this morning. And, thankfully, I did. <BR> <BR> I woke up this morning - and quite frankly went to bed last night - simply not giving a sh*t about me. I caught myself questioning tracking if I can't do it every day and whether or not I can really even shed weight at the inconsistent pace I'm moving in. And I write "caught myself" be... Mon, 13 Jul 2015 11:24:50 EST Reflection is a funny thing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5958022 This go around is so much more about moderation than any other weight loss, yet I find the 1 pound loss this week so disheartening. I know this is ridiculous because I'm not throwing myself into an extreme calorie counting exercising like a mad woman routine that I employed during the summer months last time I lost weight. <BR> <BR> And it's funny when I think back to how much I enjoyed the daily routine of work - running - swimming - biking - relaxing - return to work. I would supplement me... Thu, 9 Jul 2015 10:06:51 EST At long last, solitude http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5957412 It's 8:54 and the house is absolutely silent. <BR> <BR> I haven't had the opportunity to sit in solitude since well before my daughter was born, as my husband works from home. But not today. Today he is working in an office and dropped my daughter at daycare for the morning. <BR> <BR> And with this gift, I have little motivation to leave the very comfortable quiet of my home, which does not work in my exercising fervor. I could hop on the at-home elliptical, but really today is a day when t... Wed, 8 Jul 2015 09:04:33 EST A different type of exhaustion http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5956407 Today I am exhausted - from an awesome 2500 yard swim in 40 minutes. <BR> <BR> I was by no means motivated, but I know that while I will be tired and a touch sore in the second half of the day I will feel better. Quite the contradiction, I know. But accomplishing more yardage in shorter amounts of time and resurrecting old workouts that I haven't seen in years (yes, years!) is so satisfying and leads to instantly smarter decisions. I make better food choices and more productive activities th... Mon, 6 Jul 2015 13:23:08 EST I am exhausted. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5955343 It feels selfish to be complaining via blog on the 4th of July. I feel I should preface this writing with that so that if you are reading and thinking, "Wow. How self-absorbed is this girl?" or "Where are her priorities?" - because, after all I envision everyone being so much more judgmental than anyone really is (well, almost anyone) - my conscious can somehow be clear. <BR> <BR> In thankful, wonderment, my husband has taken my daughter with him to run a quick grocery shopping this morning.... Sat, 4 Jul 2015 10:40:49 EST Learning from the past, a narrative cliche. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5953772 Every morning I start with measuring and tracking and weighing and writing. And it's great. But every evening the thoughts creep up, after my daughter goes to bed and the television is finally on - the thoughts that start debating what I should eat. It's become an ugly habit. <BR> <BR> For so long, my daughter wasn't sleeping through the night and required so much of my undivided attention that when she did go to sleep, I took that hour to indulge. That indulgence has been a snack and some n... Wed, 1 Jul 2015 08:34:20 EST Writing for writing's sake http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5952622 This feels very deja-vu, as I've traveled this road so frequently in my life, and so perhaps these blogs are as well. Nevertheless, writing is a component in my weight loss that is absolutely necessary - I've used it to avoid eating, to satiate boredom, to hold the memories, and to purge the memories. <BR> <BR> (And on a memory tangent, I was going to delete the pictures from my last weight loss journey because they feel like falsified information at this point, but then I realized this is ... Mon, 29 Jun 2015 08:58:05 EST Welcome back, Carly http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5950697 I became the cliche - the silent Spark page - and quickly slipped back into old habits and old excuses, despite my very new life. <BR> <BR> And I've had a handful of these blogs over the past year - the biggest mistake being my incessant need to apologize to the wonderful supporters on SP and the off-handed self-deprecating comments towards my well being. And while I do miss the relationships I had begun to build here at SP, it is not them I should apologize to, so much as myself, and the ba... Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:46:55 EST Apologies to my SP friends http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5804767 There are a few apologies I feel should be out there, but really let's just get down to it: <BR> <BR> I have let myself go. <BR> <BR> It's time to start this process over. I've reset all my goals and measurements and will be stepping on the scale first thing tomorrow morning. Things have changed drastically - and WONDERFULLY - in my life, but there's one thing that hasn't. My reflection in the mirror does not accurately reflect how proud I am of my life and accomplishments. Again. <BR> <BR... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 23:14:05 EST Improving http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5761104 So I thought about how yesterday I not only had two forms of exercise and felt invigorated, but also used my pumping time productively enough to blog. And blogging allows me a place to decompress, but also remain accountable to some degree. <BR> <BR> And, yes, I'm pumping now. <BR> <BR> Today I pushed myself out of bed for a 7 am swim and later took Emilia for a two mile stroll around the neighborhood. And I tired now? Absolutely, but my quality of self and day felt so much better having... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 22:30:16 EST Let's be cliche... again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5760525 My, how time flies! <BR> <BR> I resolved over a month ago that I'd get my rear in gear and yet here I am. <BR> <BR> Again. <BR> <BR> There are so many things I'd like to blog about and so this may seem disjointed and half-a$$ed, but I assure you that is not my intent - though two months of sleep deprivation and almost a full year without caffeine might do terrible things to my stream-of-consciousness as well as any type of fluid writing. <BR> <BR> Let me start off with the positive: I am ... Fri, 15 Aug 2014 21:52:19 EST The Art of Decompressing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5736207 First off - I never returned to finish yesterday's blog. I had a feeling that was going to happen only because as much as I love my daughter, once she's up, she's up. <BR> <BR> My mother came to visit today, which has been much less stressful than in years past. Her first granddaughter is clearly responsible for her much less nagging, critical, complaining presence to which I am very thankful. It's actually been a bit of a relief because there's some human contact and an opportunity to pa... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:56:11 EST Finding the Right Track http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5735287 Okay. So it's been a month since having Emilia. <BR> <BR> As you can see I am all over the place emotionally, mentally, physically, and nutritionally. This newborn, first time mom thing is A LOT more everything than I ever gave it credit for. I love her, but she controls my every movement. I know it's part because I let her and part because I'm one of those paranoid first time moms. That being said I need to evaluate my perspective on me - and a little her. <BR> <BR> (I'd like to prefa... Wed, 9 Jul 2014 11:14:24 EST The Dichotomy of Happiness & Frustration http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5729334 Before finding SP, I typically found comfort and expression in food. Not in a "foodie" enthusiast way - like a no one is watching, shovel food down your throat, and find some momentary relief in whatever emotion "plagues" you kind of way. And it didn't matter what emotion it was - upset, excited, bored, overwhelmed - you name it, I felt it and consequently ate it. <BR> <BR> All the way to 225 lbs. <BR> <BR> Then I started with SP and began to process that trigger through moderation, track... Mon, 30 Jun 2014 20:34:19 EST A New Learning Curve http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5725813 This new life is something to learn. Having Emilia has been wonderful, but - wow - is there a learning curve to life. I anticipated changes, but I didn't think I'd need to learn a new life. At least for now, as a newborn who strictly breastfeeds. <BR> <BR> I logged in to write a blog over the weekend. It was entitled, "Carving Out the 'Me' Time". The irony in that experience is that I tried for three days to finished that blog - string together a few thoughts and musings of a week and a... Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:56:59 EST Labor & Marathons http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5720556 I have returned! <BR> <BR> Sort of... <BR> <BR> Last Tuesday - June 10th - my husband and I welcomed a baby girl: Emilia Jane at 6:43 pm, weighing 7 lbs 10 oz and measuring at 20 1/2 inches long. It was awesome, overwhelming, and so very rewarding. So rewarding that I have to share. <BR> <BR> I preface this with the fact that I tried to maintain a consistent exercise routine during pregnancy, though after January failed quite a bit. Some of it was a result of poor balance and low blood ... Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:38:22 EST Day Three - Not too shabby either. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5680314 On my last day of spring break I managed to once again stay within my calorie range and hit the pool. It helped me with my self-worth and really that's a primary focus right now. Besides my health, of course. <BR> <BR> Now onto my new favorite part of SP - the app. I admittedly haven't been on here in a while nor did I own an iPhone, but now, back on SP and with an iPhone, this thing rocks. I can track immediately. I view reports immediately. I can even scan bar codes for nutritional i... Fri, 25 Apr 2014 14:25:52 EST I made it through day two, too! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5679355 Yesterday I expressed my anxiety with hitting up the pool for the first time in a long while AND the first time as a fairly pregnant lady. But, guess what? I did it! <BR> <BR> I admittedly had to talk myself into it and evaluate what I would do otherwise, but made it there. It was a shock to the system - that's for sure. My body doesn't feel the same (for very obvious reasons), but is still very bouyant. It took some time to stretch out and get comfortable with my slightly smaller lung ... Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:17:33 EST Surviving Day One... Again. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5678484 It sounds silly at almost 33 weeks pregnant, but I'm extremely satisfied at my ability to track and stay in range yesterday after such a reckless hiatus from SP. I love this site and all that it has to offer and this new app just guaranteed my ability to stay in touch on the go. (Just got an iPhone so it's kinda of exciting either way.) <BR> <BR> Anyway, according to my tracking yesterday I stayed within all my ranges (even made it into acceptable protein range!) with the exception of calci... Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:20:08 EST 32 weeks & Down and Out http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5677766 I apologize in advance - I appear to be returning to the "down and out" blogs of yore... no blog comments necessary here. <BR> <BR> <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> I've just returned from the OB/GYN and my 32 week appointment. The baby is doing fantastically - heartbeat is always strong, constantly moving, and absolutely nothing alarming has occurred - in fact, the baby is presently measuring 2 weeks ahead of schedule. These are terrific and I feel very fortunate to have such a pregnancy as I... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:16:38 EST Half way there. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5611885 So this time around it's an entirely different half way there. The last time I blogged about something like that it was for weight loss, but now it's pregnancy - I'm 20 weeks and 5 days. <BR> <BR> And, man, are the hormones raging. <BR> <BR> I've been a mess (so this is a totally selfish post - btw - no inspiration here). My ups and downs are so, well, up and down that I find myself extremely frustrated at times. I've been using exercise as a means to process some of this, but the kind o... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 09:05:20 EST Happy New Year, Self http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5577568 A year ago I found SP. I was in a very negative, almost helpless, head space that wouldn't allow me to see anything beyond the immediate future, which was almost always the refrigerator. After that first (I'm sure emotionally draining) blog, I started to take one day at a time. Each day I tracked was a success, each day I stayed in my calorie range was even more success, and the day I entered the gym only moved things along so much more. I remained realistic and within the 24 hours I had ... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 09:31:06 EST I think it's time to re-evaluate this pregnancy thing. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5576046 After the BLC 23 ended, I took a holiday SP timeout. I had made the decision to trust my instincts and embrace this pregnancy with all it brings. Partially because I was frustrated at my inability to figure out how to change my settings to not losing weight and partly because I wasn't enjoying being pregnant because I was expecting the worst. <BR> <BR> In expecting the worst, I set myself up for sabotage. Instead of diligently continuing tracking, logging, etc... I fell into a rushed gain... Mon, 30 Dec 2013 21:31:26 EST pregnant v feeling fat http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5553268 I feel like I've lost myself this month. The 10 months of focused hard work and health education I've provided myself has gone out the window. Not that it has entirely because I can identify the "shouldn't be doing this" moments, but I'm ignoring the inner dialogue and just going for it anyway, which might explain the guilt. And the cycle it's perpetuating. <BR> <BR> I'm having trouble differentiating between cravings/aversions and emotional eating. I've always associated the desire to u... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 08:44:59 EST It's just venting. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5531345 Every so often I think to myself, "hey, I could be one of those inspirational stories in Spark," which quickly dissipates in a (dirty) pool of self-worth. <BR> <BR> Especially now. <BR> <BR> I'm having trouble distinguishing between emotional eating triggers and being pregnant. Admittedly I've now been fluctuating within the same three pounds for about two weeks. One day it says one number and the following it's three pounds less. I realize this is directly proportionate to A.) what I ... Sun, 3 Nov 2013 21:26:56 EST Well that's different. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5517564 A lot has changed since I last blogged, which seem to fewer and farer apart, but alas, such is life. Right? At the beginning of October I was reporting my awesome inches dropped - especially my waist which has whittled a full 13 inches - and pleasant weight loss of 83 pounds, well past my intial goal weight and easy to maintain. Since the beginning of the month I have lost another 5 pounds. It's been melting off suddenly. I'm exercising less and I'm pretty sure I've been eating more. Per... Sat, 19 Oct 2013 08:32:49 EST The Nine Month Result Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5502655 I began this journey on January 2 of this past year at a whopping 225 pounds. I was miserable and lethargic, heavy and in denial. Since that day I have been plugging along with the daily use of SP with rewarding results. SP has provided the tools that allow me to be honest with myself in a safe and welcoming environment. Turns out that's what I needed! <BR> <BR> Without further ado, here's my 9 month progress report: <BR> <BR> JANUARY 2ND: OCTOBER 2ND: <BR> 225 lbs. ... Wed, 2 Oct 2013 16:12:50 EST Welcome to the BLC23 (a not-so-inspiring blog) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5494864 When I last left this blog I was panicky and had lost track of myself in a week gone mad. I'd like to say it's gotten better, but - alas - it has not. I'm learning to let go of the things I can't control and be content with my best at the moment without feeling like a failure, but the perfectionist in me is freaking out. <BR> <BR> As is the sparker in me. <BR> <BR> I still have "The Spark" - trust me - but my life's focus has shifted exponentially in the past few weeks. I began this journ... Tue, 24 Sep 2013 12:42:21 EST Where the heck did my week go?!? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5486406 It's been a full week back to the 9-5 job - high school English - and I'm a mess. I'm unfocused, half motivated, and feeling like a failure. I knew it would be a tough transition; after all, my inability to remain or even find balance is what landed in me in such an unhealthy lifestyle in the first place. I don't do anything in moderation. <BR> <BR> The positives from this first week are that I planned and ate healthy, well-balanced breakfasts and lunches and slept a decent 8 hours every ... Sun, 15 Sep 2013 17:19:38 EST Conversation w/ Myself: Things I Can't Control http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5477513 It's a beautiful morning - the temperature has that slightly crisp fall air that will burn off around noon and the sun is just creeping over the homes around me without a cloud in sight. I should be enjoying this from the vast windows that surround the YMCA pool, but failed to rise early enough. Today is my only day off until November and my body decided it didn't want to wake to an alarm clock (I don't blame it). <BR> <BR> When I don't wake to an alarm that sets me on an immediate and pre... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 08:10:34 EST The Great "Secret" http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5476743 Yesterday was the first day the entire faculty sat together for a meeting at school. It's been about two months since we've all been together and is always full of the "welcome back", "how was your summer", and "you look great" comments so I knew there would be comments about my weight. Some were extremely surprising - a biology teacher told me I'm an inspiration and a math teacher told me he didn't recognize me because I look so much younger. Both of which were great to hear. They had bee... Thu, 5 Sep 2013 12:07:27 EST I.A.B.D.A.I.G.T.B.A. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5472395 I.A.B.D.A.I.G.T.B.A." was the on the back of every swim camp shirt I ever owned. As an adolescent I thought it looked stupid, as a teenager I thought it was obnoxious, and as a young adult I thought it was contrived. Yet here I am thinking, "this is genius." <BR> <BR> I.A.B.D.A.I.G.T.B.A. stands for "It's a beautiful day and it's great to be alive." Every morning the counselors and coaches would swing our dorm doors open and yell, "IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY AND IT'S GREAT TO BE ALIVE" at the t... Sun, 1 Sep 2013 09:46:15 EST The Finish Line http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5468609 January 1st, 2013 I hopelessly created a Spark People account - it felt forced and cliche. It was late; I guessed my measurements and weight, telling myself I'd take care of everything seriously the next day, because I needed to "talk". Getting to the blog portion required establishing everything else first (as you all know) and I wasn't ready to face "everything else". <BR> <BR> Here's the opening to that blog: <BR> "It's 9 o'clock on January first. I haven't decided if this is poetic jus... Wed, 28 Aug 2013 07:52:16 EST A Return to the Daily Grind http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5468073 School starts a week from today. <BR> <BR> I work all summer, but it's outside with younger kids and allows me more flexibility. There's less "justifying me time" with my summer job. That ends with Labor Day. Big time. <BR> <BR> I began this journey in January so I know it is feasible to invest in myself during the school year, but during my morning swim today it occurred to me that I wasn't doing what I'm doing now. In the spring I was doing 4 - 5 days of 40 minutes cardio and balancin... Tue, 27 Aug 2013 16:38:02 EST BLC 22 Week 12: the after pictures http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5463128 This week marks the conclusion of my first Biggest Loser Challenge. As a part of our final TNT Challenge we are to take after pictures to see our progress. So this morning I found the same top and pants I wore in my before pictures and got to photos. <BR> <BR> For a refresher, here are the before pictures, which were taken at the beginning of June: <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/5/l252798552.jpg"> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/5/l753816385.jpg"> <BR... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 13:35:24 EST I think I'm blogging about a meal... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5460220 After several envious trips to Subway, watching them perfectly dice up my salad, I decided it was high time to splurge on a kitchen purchase: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1775691920.jpg"> <BR> <BR> It's a salad chopper - complete with sturdy bowl and double slicer. Every time I watch the employees at Subway pile my veggies high and then dice it up in a manner of seconds. And every time I think, "that would cut my prep time in half." Plus I'm not too hot w... Mon, 19 Aug 2013 18:27:55 EST Vacation Aftermath http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5456338 I have returned! Before I get into a variety of topics and reflections I thought I should share the last sunset my husband and I shared on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon yesterday: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1280573096.jpg"> <BR> <BR> My current state is exhausted and puffy, which means it's time to blog out the positives and share a few things I've realized along the way. Ten months ago I asked my husband how he would feel about seeing Arizona - prim... Thu, 15 Aug 2013 16:17:22 EST A Conversation with Myself http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5443979 Tomorrow is my 2nd wedding anniversary. I realize there are women on SP who have been married well into, and over, the 20 year mark and I will one day join your ranks, but for now I believe I am still a borderline newly wed. A happy borderline newly wed. <BR> <BR> If you'd like background music to reading this. Here's a link to our first dance (Counting Crow's "Mr. Jones"): http://youtu.be/48sAQnRYMMo <BR> <BR> This got me thinking about my perception and body image over the years. I've... Sun, 4 Aug 2013 09:21:22 EST My Favorite Kind of Numbers http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5442310 It's the end of my 7th month with SP today and as always I've completed my monthly measurements. I only weigh myself on Wednesdays so I'll be using that number as my weight progression; while I only ever measure my waist, hips, arms, and thighs on the 2nd of every month to chart the unsung losses (and, really, the more visual ones). <BR> <BR> The re-cap: <BR> On January 2nd I started this journey in a very negative head space, reluctantly and perhaps a bit desperately. Nevertheless I got o... Fri, 2 Aug 2013 13:04:05 EST Blog myself out of sabotage http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5439887 I've had two health / weight loss issue on my mind lately and thought it best to blog before I drive myself crazy or eat myself out of house and home. <BR> <BR> 1.) I gained weight this week. The other day I had this moment where I thought, "you're not going to have a good weigh day on Wednesday." I don't know what triggered it, but I just had this sinking feeling. I was bloated and feeling not so great anyway. Sure enough I did gain 1.4 pounds from last week. So I tried reflecting this... Wed, 31 Jul 2013 13:54:32 EST Freggies: A Love Affair http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5435479 For the first time in months, we're low on vegetables and fruits. I need to drop by the farmer's market - and will tomorrow morning - because it's slim pickings at home. It got me thinking about the dramatic change my taste buds have made in less than seven months. <BR> <BR> 1.) The old breakfast stand by was a Soy Joy Bar. Now I reach for bananas and apples as my breakfast stand-bys, whether it's mixed in a protein shake or raw. <BR> <BR> 2.) My previous comfort food was homemade macaro... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 18:20:08 EST