Cactus Wren & Saguaro flowers -- Arizona state flower & state bird

Saguaro cactus

The Grand Canyon, Arizona


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My weight began creeping up gradually in my late 40s. I became alarmed last February (2008) when my scales first read 170 lbs. I decided it was time to stop the weight gain and pay serious attention to what I was eating.

For the first time in my life, I started keeping track of my calorie intake. I gathered calorie charts and created an Excel spreadsheet to log the nutrition information of the foods I ate. Based on this, I started limiting my calories.

While searching online for more calorie charts, I found I joined SP the first time I visited the site. It offered exactly what I needed, and I found much more than I expected. I abandoned my calorie charts and Excel spreadsheet and started to use the SP Nutrition Tracker instead. Prompted by SP, I also added regular physical exercise to my weight loss program.

Thanks to SP's help -- their Nutrition and Exercise Trackers, informative articles, exercise videos, the advice of their experts on staff, and the community support of their Message Boards -- I have begun to make choices every day that have resulted in not just weight loss, but in a healthier lifestyle. I have safely lost 25 lbs. and have reached, and am maintaining, my goal weight of 145 lbs.

SP continues to be a very useful tool and good motivation to maintain my goal weight. But all the healthy habits that SP teaches -- eating healthy foods, getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and striving to be physically fit -- aren't just a temporary weight loss program, they're my new lifestyle that will keep me at my goal weight.

I've lived in Phoenix, Arizona, for most of my adult life. I love living in the desert, and I see beauty everywhere here. I enjoy hiking and experiencing nature up close.

Some time ago, I realized that most of our tourists have seen more of Arizona than I have, so I decided to get to know my state better by visiting the places so many people come here to see. I am keeping the following list of places that I have visited.

~~~~~~~~~~~Places in Arizona I Have Visited~~~~~~~~~~~

~~The Grand Canyon, South Rim. Well worth visiting; appropriately named one of the seven wonders of the natural world.
~~Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, the world's largest travertine bridge; N of Payson. One of my favorite places in Arizona; waterfalls; trail to the creekbed is difficult, steep, and slippery, but the area is beautiful and peaceful, and kids make the trek all the time.
~~The White Mountains in eastern Arizona. A beautiful, high-altitude place to backpack in the summer.
~~Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock.
~~Phoenix Zoo.
~~Phoenix Botanical Garden.
~~Hoover Dam.
~~Lake Mead.
~~Lake Pleasant.
~~Montezuma Castle.
~~Sedona. Beautiful any time of year.
~~Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Member Since: 2/16/2008

Fitness Minutes: 1,195

My Goals:
To (1) lose 25 pounds at a slow pace of 1 to 2 lbs. a week; (2) find my ideal weight and stay there; (3) exercise 30 minutes, five times a week for the rest of my life; and (4) build healthy habits that support optimum health and fitness.

My Program:
To lose weight, I am counting calories, using the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker, avoiding fad diets, eating every 3 to 4 hours, exercising at least 5 times a week, and exercising instead of eating when I get food cravings.

I am motivated through reading, so I read at least 3 Spark articles every day to stay motivated.

Personal Information:
I am a desert rat ... born in Tucson, Arizona, raised in Nevada, and a resident of Phoenix most of my adult life. I love the desert!! I enjoy gardening (herbs, vegetables, fruits), hiking, taking online college classes, going to work every day, learning more about the software I use at work, quiet weekends, and cat-sitting for a friend. I enjoy learning new things.

Other Information:
I enjoy reading historical fiction, the old classics, and gardening books.

My favorite sources for books are the library and thrift stores.

Recently, I turned off the TV for all but about half an hour a day, and I'm using the extra time to read or do all the little daily chores that were getting out of hand. It has made my life more peaceful and simple.

I didn't take any of the pictures that are in my Photo Gallery. I just collect pictures that I really enjoy.

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 current weight: 145.0 
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