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5 Years on Spark

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

I can't believe I hit my 5 year SparkVersary! Like, wow. emoticon

There are so many things that Spark has helped me with in the last 5 years, I can't wait to see what the next 5 Spark years bring!

emoticon SparkPeople helped me [slowly] lose 45lbs. Thanks to the holidays, I'm sure I've gained some of that back, and I certainly put on weight from my starting weight before I began losing, but overall, I'm happy with what I've achieved with Spark.

emoticon SparkPeople helped me realize one of my passions is helping people through better nutrition. I've been studying nutrition at community college and am looking into graduate programs to become a Registered Dietitian.

emoticon With that realization came confidence to actually pursue it. I mean, in my mind, once I got my Bachelor's Degree in Theatre, that was it for me... That's what my life was going to be about. Even before I had finished that part of my schooling, I was having some doubts about how viable that was going to be. But, knowing I could be healthier and utilize tools and resources left me believing I can change the course my career was to take.

emoticon I made wonderful friends who are health-minded like I am. Sure, we may have different goals, body types, fitness levels, starting weights, goals weights, diet needs, etc. But, having the support and friendship of people who are as conscious about their health as I am is a key to my success! And I'm especially glad I got to meet a lot of these wonderful people in person... and I hope to meet more in the future!

emoticon Spark has kept me accountable for every bite, whether I've tracked it, admitted out loud I consumed it... or none of the above. Thanks to Spark, I know that the slice of cheesecake I'm eating is MY choice and I will also have the choice about what to do about it. Am I going to be self-loathing and ashamed? Am I going to get on the treadmill for an extra 15 or 30 minutes to work it off? Am I going to adjust the rest of my intake for the day? Each bite means something and I am aware of it going in. But, I'm not obsessing over it either.

emoticon I have a healthier outlook regarding diet and exercise. I don't feel shame/secretive/etc for indulging once in a while. That's not healthy to believe you've blown it and allow yourself to screw up more. Nor is it healthy to think that cupcake won't do a little bit of damage, either. Knowing there's a yin and yang to this whole journey is important for me.

emoticon I know what works for my body and what doesn't when it comes to exercise. My body burns fat really efficiently from doing a lot of cardio- usually in sessions lasting around 60 minutes. I don't strength train often enough to know if it burns fat, but I do notice my strength and definition improving when I do it fairly consistently. That's fabulous for me!

emoticon Thanks to Spark I'm exposed to all sorts of different exercises and ideas for exercises. I'm not sure I would have ever tried kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, hiking... All these activities that I absolutely love to do! Without this site, I think I'd still be on the treadmill, trudging away day in and day out. It also gave me the confidence to do these things, knowing there are other people at my level that have tried them too and lived to tell about it!

So, that's my 5 year look back... there are so many things I feel like I'm missing. Like this is so short for 5 years. But, the bottom line is Spark has truly, really, honestly changed my life for the better. I can't imagine what life would be like without this site, and most of all without all the wonderful people that are part of this community with me. I have the most amazing SparkFriends a girl could ask for! Seriously! They always lift me up when I am down. I can only hope they feel like I do the same for them! So, I am looking forward to what life with this site will bring me. With any luck, another 30lb loss, stellar health, and an M.S. in Nutrition/Food Science!

It might not be too much difference, but it certainly is from my highest (around 2010-ish):
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