June 2010




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I have always had a difficult time talking about myself without making it sound like a personal ad. Additionally, I have a funny paranoia about revealing too much about myself on the internet because I know that web pages are always somewhere "out there." So, I'll try to keep this short and simple, but no guarantees--I'm a writer. It's just what I do.

I've always had weight issues; I remember mentally comparing my thighs with all the other kids in my 1st grade reading circle one day at school, noting that mine were bigger. In 5th grade, my pediatrician had a chat with me to stop drinking so much juice and eating so many sweets. At the time, I didn't know I was eating too much, and my parents didn't take an active role in changing my eating or activity habits, so I just kept going. By 7th grade, I weighed 170 lbs. and I stayed close to that weight for several years. I think by the time I was in college, I weighed about 190, and my senior year was the first time I joined Weight Watchers.

Yes, I said "first time." I don't know that I can give an accurate count of how many times I joined in total, but I'd guess it's around 7. The first time, I did great; I lost something like 35 lbs, well on my way to goal, and I just quit. There were a series of events--both good and bad--that transpired over the course of about a month, and I think that prompted my downward spiral, but that's no excuse for quitting. It wasn't long before I gained some of the weight back. I knew the program worked, so I periodically re-joined WW, only to find myself not fully committed to the program. I stopped journaling what I ate, and I started playing mental tricks with myself, like "Oh, this donut is only 5 points. I can have it as a treat." As time passed, I continued to add on the pounds and re-join temporarily. The cycle went on and on, and I ultimately gained a LOT more weight than I lost over the past 10 years.

That brings me to this time--the last time. My doc reviewed my most recent blood test--my fasting cholesterol test--and the "bad" number was something like 202. I don't remember what the "good" number was, but I know it was too low. He wanted me to go on cholesterol medication to improve both numbers. Given my age and that the number wasn't astronomically high, I challenged him on it, asking him what I could do to improve the numbers without taking drugs. He answered the obvious: eat healthier and exercise more. I told him to give me six months, so I could see what I could do about my eating habits, weight, and those blood levels. His response: Don't let your cholesterol be your reason for losing weight. My cholesterol isn't my reason for losing weight. I'm tired of being overweight. I haven't exactly been given a stellar set of genes (my dad had gastric bypass surgery, and my mom had major cardiac issues), so I want to do the best I can now to prevent future problems. And, I just want to feel better about myself.

Right now, money is an issue. I am having a tough time covering my monthly expenses, let alone pay extra money to have someone tell me what to eat. Weight Watchers worked for me in the past, but I need something that won't put me farther in the red. When I stumbled upon SparkPeople, I loved it! Everyone is great, and the tools on the site meet my needs perfectly. I've set-up my goals, and I'm working on being consistent with using the site.

This is where my journey begins...

Member Since: 1/6/2010

Fitness Minutes: 3,540

My Goals:
At the moment, my main goal is to get back into running. I find I'm easily deterred by the winter weather. If only it could be warm all year long! I signed up for a 5K in the fall, so I have something to keep me motivated.

My Program:
I already walk regularly, and I find it's easy for me to transition to the C25K running program on days when it is warm enough to run.

I'm basing my food choices on the old Weight Watchers Core program, which I followed successfully a few years ago. I enter all the food I eat in the Nutrition Tracker here, so I see areas where I need to supplement my diet.

I look forward to trying new recipes with fresh fruits and vegetables from the local farmer's markets this summer.

My ticker is set in 10% increments, so I can see that fish swimming through the bubbles and feel inspired! :D

Personal Information:
I'm a 32-year-old girl (and yes, "girl" applies due to my maturity level) who lives in the mid-Atlantic. I enjoy passing time by reading, knitting, watching movies and TV shows on DVD, traveling, and hanging out with my boyfriend and three cats. I do a lot of walking, and I enjoy swimming, camping, hiking, skiing, and volleyball (when the spirit strikes). My husband, whom I'm totally in love with, and I were recently married.

Other Information:
I'm always looking for new things to try, like new workout DVDs or new books to read. I welcome suggestions and feedback!

Read More About ATHENASPAL - Profile Information moved here. (Updated August 3)

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