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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:

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    You must be ready to get shredded. emoticon to the team! emoticon
    3509 days ago
  • v BARCLE
    Hi and welcome to the Strengthen and Tone Your Body team emoticon Have a super day emoticon
    3512 days ago
    ......oooO............ Welcome to the 10K Steps a Day Spark Team!
    .....(....)................. Glad to have you walking with us - check out
    ......)../....Oooo...... some of the challenge walks we are sharing!
    .....(_/.....(....) ......
    ................\..)........ ... and we're walking!!
    .................\_)....... Love, Linda
    3516 days ago
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love Pennsylvania! I drive through everytime I go from NC to OH. I always end up on the turnpike due to time constraints but love all the beautiful scenery! emoticon
    3527 days ago
    Hi Smelly Bubbles :)

    I don't know if I have a favorite! Every time I see something new come out, I have to try it, so I have filled my diet with an enormous variety of foods. Recently I've been trying "Fantastic World Foods" brand, because they're all natural, and they come in dehydrated form, so I can just make a little bit with some boiling water and leave the rest in a ziplock bag for later.

    There have been some fantastic chicken substitutes coming out over the past few years, which is great because in '95 when I first started introducing the vegetarian diet to my life, all of the "veggie chikn" foods were really disgusting.

    A couple of brands that I like are Quorn (Naked Chik'n Cutlets) and Morning Star Farms (Sweet n Sour Chik'n). I've also experimented a lot with the Morning Star Farms Meal Starters. They make vegetarian chicken strips which I thaw, then cut into bite-sized pieces and either bake with basil and lemon pepper or pan-cook in olive oil, garlic, cayenne pepper and onions. Then I let it cool and use it to top a baby spinach salad with Gazebo Room Lite Greek Dressing. It makes a fantastically delicious and filling meal, and it's really low in calories!

    My suggestion to you, if you want to go vegetarian, is to start out slow. Maybe cut out red meat and see how that goes. After a few months cut out something else, or start substituting one meal a week for a vegetarian option. If you make the transition slowly, it will help your body to get accustomed to the new diet, and it will give you an idea of whether or not it's right for you. That's how I did it - it took about 14 months for me, but it was easy because I always hated burgers, hot dogs and sea food. I didn't really intend to go all the way, but eventually the thought of eating animal muscle just made me sick, so I went full vegetarian and never looked back :)
    3529 days ago
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