Shamrock 8k in Virgnia Beach, VA ~ March 20, 2010

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I joined this site originally with same goal as most people. To lose weight and live a healthier life. Recently, I began to embark on a new health journey, and this site has been beyond helpful in helping make sure that I meet my goals.

I was diagnozed with Endometriosis about 3 years ago after struggling with chronic pain that was misunderstood for years. I had seen countless doctors, endured unnecessary procedures, and was even told at one point that the pain was "all in my head". Needless to say, I had begun to feel a little bit crazy.

With my diagnosis came the understanding that I wasn't alone. Many women struggle with this disease, which causes scar tissue from your uterus to swell, often in other parts of your body like around the ovaries, kidneys, or bladder. Treatments included birth control pills, laproscopic surgery, hormone therapy, or a hysterectomy. The first two approaches only helped my pain temporarily, and the second two options I refused because I'm so young.

Feeling like I was running out of options and had reached my wits end, I began doing some research into alternative methods. I soon learned that many women had found success with managing their pain by following a rather strict but effective diet. The idea of naturally treating my symptoms seemed like a great option. I couldn't wait to get started.

The eating plan (I hate calling it a diet) focuses on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seafood and alternative proteins like soy. It cuts out red meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs and also encourages followers to limit their alcohol, sugar, and caffeine intake. At first I thought, "What in the world am I going to eat?!" But after exploring many Vegan and Vegetarian options, I found that there was a plethora of choices if I was willing to get creative and change my habits.

I've been following the plan for three months now and my pain has been greatly reduced. Instead of spending 7-8 days a month feeling miserable, I now only have about 3 days where I'm in pain. I will continue to use Sparkpeople to help me make sure I'm eating the right balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and to help me continue to track my calories to reach my weight loss goals.

I know that many of my friends think I'm crazy for "giving up" what used to be some of my favorite foods, but I've actually discovered so many new foods that I love! I'm also taking back days that used to belong to my pain. Not anymore! :)

Member Since: 5/6/2008

Fitness Minutes: 4,666

My Goals:
1. To adopt a healthier lifestyle and way of thinking about food.
2. To track my calories daily and control my portions.
3. To lose 11 more pounds and KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF!
4. To improve my running technique and time
5. To use strength training to lower my body fat percentage
6. To incorporate more organic and whole foods into my diet

My Program:
- I plan out my meals for the week and track my calories daily
- I'm training for an 10k by running moderately 2x per week and running a longer distance on Saturdays
- I take Bodypump and Kettlebell classes at the gym for strength training and intense cardio
- I go to Zumba each week and shake what my mama gave me! ;)
- I buy as many fresh and organic foods as possible, and I love finding new, delicious and healthy vegetarian recipes

Personal Information:
- Name: Crystal
- Location: Near Virginia Beach, VA
- Age: 26
- Career: Teacher
- Current Motivation: To tone up and feel more healthy and energized
- Status: Engaged
- Passions: Music, cooking, singing in my car, lazy days at the beach, laughing w/ my friends, going to the movies, bike rides, road trips, the Steelers!

Other Information:
I truly believe...

You should let the goal you have for tomorrow start today! :)

Read More About CLP320 - Profile Information moved here. (Updated August 12)

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  • v RUTHIP
    Wanted to stop by to say hello and see how you were doing. I hope that the new year has been good so far and that you have a fabulous weekend!
    3029 days ago
  • v MEGHAN54
    good luck to you too! you seem to have the motions down and are already seeing results! i love SP because i have found so many people are in the same situations as i am. it definitely helps when you have a support group and people giving you helpful tips along the way. keep up the high spirits!
    3157 days ago
  • v HEATHER4981
    I really love your Changing for Life section, it is very motivating! I just started going back on to sparkpeople again, trying to get in shape for summer and sometimes staying motivated is hard, but it seems like were around the same in weight loss goals, I wish the best of luck to you :)

    3267 days ago