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Note: This was updated in March of 2017.

Greetings from Maryland. I first discovered SparkPeople in December of 2007 and I am so glad I did!

In August of '06 I went to the doctor for a routine check-up. I was days away from my 50th birthday and was looking forward to that milestone. At that doctor's appointment I discovered four shocking facts: (1) my cholesterol was up (it never had been before), (2) my BP was up although I took my medication every day without fail, (3) my glucose levels were significantly elevated (no diabetes anywhere in my family tree) and (4) I was 'clinically' 100 lbs overweight.

Needless to say the first three were directly attributable to the latter. I was horrified and confused. I was a skinny kid who became a slender, elegant young woman with no real weight struggles. How had this happened? With a little reflection I realized that I was one of thousands of Americans who had mindlessly put on about 10 lbs a year (in my case this was during my 40s).

So much for reflection -- clearly action was indicated. The first step I took was to decide that I was 'only' 85 lbs overweight ( I feel that those doctors' office charts are unreasonable - I don't want to be that skinny!). Still, I was confronting an 85 lb weight loss!

My doctor knew how much I love computers and technology so he recommended some kind of e-diet. That was a brilliant suggestion on his part because the very next day I started Weight Watchers on-line. I had tremendous success for the first 50 lbs. By counting those points and walking, walking, walking I dropped 50 lbs.

Then, after about a year, I hit a painful plateau. For months, the scale just seemed to freeze! Finally a little more weight came off here and there, but it was frustrating. My WW membership was coming up for renewal in a few months, but it didn't seem to be working so well anymore. I was aware that one strategy for WW success is to attend meetings. I knew that I did not want to go to meetings. So, I went back to the internet and typed in the search box: "diets on-line, free" and voila, I found SP. I'm so glad I did. I LOVE this site.

From 2006 - 2008 I lost over 65 pounds. Then, in 2009 I finished my doctorate. Over the course of that last grueling few months I re-gained about 30 pounds. After I graduated (hurrah!) and got my wind back, I lost 20 of those.

Then, in 2011 all 'heaven' broke loose. It was the most stressful year of my life in many years (including finishing the doctorate in 2009) and it was all good. That's the thing. It was change after change after change and it was all good. But, it was still stressful. And, all the disciplines I had put in place went out the window as I took on a huge project, which resulted in a huge promotion, so I changed jobs, and changed cities, commuted for the summer, and finally moved to my new home.

I ate whatever I could find to put in my mouth, didn't exercise, didn't sleep enough, etc etc. Every single pound came back plus 12 more. If I hadn't been so busy I would have sat down and cried. Fortunately, I was too busy to feel sorry for myself.

So, this year, I resolved to start over. I am oh, so slowly taking the weight back off. One of the things I proved to myself is that I MUST track my food. For me, everything builds from signing on to the site, tracking my food, and then spending as much time on the site as my busy schedule will allow these days.

Over the past few years I've had ups and I've had downs, weight-wise. It's all directly related to how much attention I pay to this site. Accountability is key. When I stop logging in, slowly I stop tracking my food, then exercising, then the sleep goes and the over-working resumes.

Once again, I've had to re-learn the principles of living a healthy, BALANCED lifestyle of fulfilling work, meaningful relationships, regular exercise, and spiritual growth -- all nourished by healthy, foods that I enjoy.

Life is truly wonderful today. My body isn't where I want it to be, but it really is a journey. I'll get there. Meanwhile, I'm not beating up on myself. I've learned a LOT about how I respond in high-stress situations. Now, I have some new tools for responding. For one thing, I've taken up meditation and that has made a tremendous difference.

Thanks, SparkPeople. And, thanks to all of you on the journey with me. Your support is incalculable!

Member Since: 12/3/2007

Fitness Minutes: 153,941

My Goals:
To be a sizzlin' size 16, whatever the scale says.

Other goals include being healthy, fit and full of life for a long time to come.

My Program:
I track my food religiously. I read SP articles every day to learn about healthy lifestyles.

Personal Information:
I grew up in a military family and have spent most of my life in Washington DC and MD. However, I was raised by southern parents in an area populated mostly by others from the deep South. So, I consider myself a daughter of the South. My "home" is Tampa, FL and most of my relatives are there and in Georgia.

Other Information:
I love books, especially non-fiction history and historical novels.

I share my heart and my home with a 16 year old Jack Russell TERROR. :-)

I am the proud mother of an honorably disharged U. S. Marine who served nearly 13 years and completed three tours in Iraq AND an ECSTATIC new grandmother of the most beautiful baby boy ever born.

Read More About UMUCGRAD - Profile Information moved here. (Updated March 18)

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  • v ISNESS
    Hello! I am Ivana, A German in Florida. I liked your well-written profile text and I am moved how you move through your life offering us honesty and sharing your strength. Also thank you for the note! Hope you had a fabulous long weekend!
    24 days ago
  • v GPALMER29
    Hey dear I hope God is blessing you with a wonderful weekend!! Hope you're feeling good enjoying yourself loving yourself just keep pushing!! GOD BLESS!!! πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ
    118 days ago
    Are you interested in a Challenge?

    The Biggest Loser goes for 10 weeks. It consists of 10 teams participating in weekly Fitness and Nutrition challenges. The Spring challenge will be getting started the beginning of March. It consists of fitness and nutrition challenges that are often in a form of a game. If for some reason you cannot do a challenge then they are modified to meet your needs. Often we do the challenge in a game form, we have BINGO and TIC TAC TOE or seasonally themed. For Winter we had Help Santa Fill His Sleigh, Run Rudolf Run and Super Bowl. If you decide this might be for you you can leave your name on the waitlist for the Spring challenge. To get to the Challenge go to my page and click on the Blue Biggest Loser Icon, copy and paste the link below, or let me know and I can send you an invite. Join the Team then sign up on the waitlist. It’s the thread right below the Frosted Fitness Fun Chit Thread.


    141 days ago
  • v STR458II
    emoticon emoticon for complimenting my before & after photo emoticon
    143 days ago
  • v GPALMER29
    143 days ago
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