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Appalachian Trail in 2010

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At my Friend's Wedding Summer 2010

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I've been a vegetarian for 16 years, but I've only really been eating healthy for half of that time. It took a long time to realize that the most common vegetarian options at restaurants was some sort of fried food, and it has only been in the last few years that they started offering more healthy vegetarian options. 10 years ago you could not get a veggie burger in any restaurant - now it's hard to find one that does not offer it.

I have already cut out fried food, soda, white carbohydrates and vitamin-deficient calories (including milk chocolate - my weakness). I've replaced many of these things with healthier options that I enjoy. I think that was the hardest part - figuring out what healthy things that I like, how I can substitute those for the junk food that I crave, and finding a convenient way to always have them handy when it's just as easy to grab a granola bar out of my desk at work.

The biggest challenges that I face today include having a roommate that weighs 90 pounds but somehow sits on the living room couch all day and eats all of the junk food that I love. Also, having a boyfriend who weighs just as much as me but is 8" taller, much leaner, and craves all of the junk food crap that I have a hard time turning down. Then there's the time factor - working 50+ hours a week, spending half of my time at home and the other half at my boyfriends' house, trying to keep my house in order and somehow finding time to wind down.

Another trouble with weight loss is finding buddies to stay active with. Most of my (now former) friends hang out at bars all day, and although I frequently invited them to go hiking or kayaking, there was always some college football game and Miller Lite special that was more important. If I wanted to keep my friendships, I had to share their habits. It took a long time before I woke up and realized that I was killing myself and wasting my life. I walked away from those "friends" and those habits and never looked back.

I've had so many of those "this time it will be different" attitudes and I have lost hope many times. But this website is so easy and convenient that I have no excuses not to keep up with it. And so, here I go - THIS TIME it WILL be different. THIS TIME I WILL change my life. THIS TIME I WILL reach a healthy weight. And THIS TIME I have what I need to stay motivated.

Thank you, fellow Spark People, for making it so easy to keep me going.

Member Since: 9/5/2011

Fitness Minutes: 5,288

My Goals:
My daily intake is supposed to be 1200-1550 calories per day, but I like to look at things one bite at a time.

This daily recommendation broken down into 3 meals and 2 snacks calculates to 300-387 calories per meal and 150-193 calories per snack.

It seems as though most of my meals fall within that range, but every once in a while I lose sight of my goals, give in to temptation, and revert back to the "clean your plate" mentality.

My goal for eating right is to start slow - one bite at a time, one meal at a time, one day at a time - until it all becomes second nature to me.

My goal for fitness is to follow the same mentality - one squat at a time, ten minutes at a time, one morning at a time, one day at a time.

My Program:
I'm tracking everything as often as possible. I downloaded the application to my phone so I could enter the info before I forget, and for now (hopefully the company doesn't block the site) I log in at lunch time to enter or correct my trackers.

I find whatever time I can to do some stretches or exercises. While I'm showering, I move my hips back and forth the whole time. While I'm brushing my teeth, I do squats or lunges. I even found a way to do squats to strengthen the muscles around my knees (I have problems) - by standing on my toes for one set, then standing on my heels for the second set. I can already feel a difference!!

Personal Information:
I'm from North-East USA in the great state of Pennsylvania, where we are surrounded by mountains, biking paths, lakes and parks. I would love to spend more time enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds me, I just need to figure out how to convince the people in my life to go out and explore as well.

Other Information:

Read More About 16YRVEGETARIAN - Profile Information moved here. (Updated September 12)

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    Hi!! I read your info above and saw that you're a vegetarian. What's your favorite dish to eat? I've often thought of becoming a vegetarian because I love fruits and vegetables so much, but I don't think I would be able to ignore turkey and chicken :) The best of luck on your active endeavors!
    3305 days ago
  • v MRSMILLER777
    emoticon and glad to see you posting on the Lehigh Valley page. If you have any questions feel free to let me know, I'd be happy to help however I can!
    3306 days ago
    Welcome I'm pleased you have chosen to share your journey with us all. If you haven't already you may want to look at joining some of the teams that may be interesting to you. Joining a team helps to bring you together with others who share your interests which helps with accountability, motivation, and support.

    3310 days ago
    emoticon Welcome to Spark!
    I've been here since Nov. 9, 2009 and have really learned a lot about myself, food, and exercising. I truly feel joining Spark was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I've managed to lose over 100 pounds in that time, but I need to be honest and admit that I’ve regained 20 of those pounds the past few months. I was not consistent in tracking my food and exercising daily and it really made a difference! I’m back on track now and hope to reach the 100 pounds gone mark again by my second year Spark anniversary in November.
    One of the best tools is the nutrition tracker. You will be shocked when you enter a typical day's food! Try to track everything you eat and stay within your limits. Don’t panic if you slip - we all do! Just put it behind you, you can’t change it, and move on. One of the main concepts at Spark is to take two steps forward for each step back!
    The fitness tracker is also a great tool. You can track your steps, mileage, cardio exercise, and strength exercises. It will tell you how many calories you have burned.
    Take time to make lots of Friends and tell them when you reach a goal or are having a hard time. They are here with praise and support all the time! Don't be afraid to ask any question, no matter how silly you think it is.
    Take time to explore Spark. Read and respond to message boards, blogs, and other members' pages. Join challenges on teams. The help, support, inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and friendship you will receive is awesome!
    The site can be confusing at times but just keep looking around. There is really a lot of valuable information here!
    emoticon Feel free to contact me if I can help you in any way. Drop by my page to say hi.
    Stay focused, determined, and positive - you will be successful!

    3310 days ago
  • v MOMMA_BEAR_69
    So glad to see you found The Chair Exercise Team!!! I know you will enjoy this great team whose members are very friendly, supportive and encouraging. Will see you on the boards.
    Blessings and hugs,
    3310 days ago
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