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Me pre-Spark

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April '09 at 138

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Me on top of the podium at my first mountain bike race.

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What a journey this is! In 2008, I committed myself to weightloss and fitness. I achieved some really exciting results. And then I let go, prompted in large part by my mother's cancer diagnosis in 2010 and death in 2011.

For the past several years I was convinced that yummy food was what made me feel good. And it does, but it doesn't. I've decided recently that it's time to stop letting food control me. Making choices for myself to eat less and to eat better is one form of strength. I'm starting to feel physically stronger and more fit too. Together, these actions feel really good and give me self confidence that has been lacking when I let food control me rather than the other way around.

These are the lessons I'm trying to learn (this list is a work in progress) through my journey:

1. Eat anything you want--just in a reasonable quantity. It's easier to do this when you savor every bite!

2. I can get that anytime. The vast majority of food is not unique, so it's not like I won't have a chance to eat it at an appropriate time.

3. Food is not going to make me feel better. Actually, it will for a short while (:-) I'm a food soother), but then I'll just feel bad again, and it'll be compounded by what I just did.

4. Making healthy choices is very empowering. It feels wonderful to know what you're eating, why, and what the results will be.

5. Regular exercise must always be a part of my life. It makes me feel good and helps me manage my weight even when I'm eating more than I should.

6. My work will never be over. Hitting my goal weight will be just another milestone, not the end.

7. On this journey it's ok to take a detour from time to time as long as it doesn't become a permanent relocation!

8. Food is nourishment, not an anti-depressant.

9. Eat mindfully.

10. Having healthy, appealing food on hand is important. It helps prevent the poor choices that I often make when I'm hungry and frantically looking for something to eat.

Progress updates:
6/28/10: In March I was soooo close to my goal. And then I blew up. I made some choices that compromised my feeling of control over my life. I pretty much binged for 3 months and the scale reacted accordingly. I'm now feeling back in control and the scale is moving back down.

7/22/10: Still here! Doing great with exercise, not great with food. I'm thinking it might be a summer thing--am I on vacation from healthy habits? But having this community here keeps me mindful of what I want to accomplish and helps me avoid straying too far from the right path.

1/15/11: At the end of last summer I learned my mom had cancer and let myself go--"comforting" myself with food and giving up most of my exercise. I gained 20+ pounds from my low of last spring. It's a new year, and my focus is back. I DO NOT want to be overweight. I know how to do this, I'm going to do this!

5/27/11: My mom died in April. It's been challenging in recent months to get myself to focus on healthy eating and exercise. I'm lucky I haven't gained even more weight. It's time to focus on me again. For the first time in many months, I don't really have an excuse not to exercise and eat well.

8/15/12: I'm doing reasonably well. The scale is heading in the right direction, and I'm getting close to achieving my goal of attaining a normal BMI (again). I've been cooking my own healthy food a lot, using lots of fruits and vegetables from local farmers. And I'm almost, but not quite, achieving the exercise goals I set for myself. For some reason, I haven't been feeling the love on this front, but I'm not beating myself up too much as long as I keep at it.

6/19/2015: It's time to get back at it. The scale is finally heading down. I really want to achieve a normal BMI this summer and improve my physical strength and fitness.

1/10/16: I haven't yet achieved a normal BMI, though I'm very close and have been pretty successful in staying 10 lbs below my high weight. I have been generally more active and have been cooking more wholesome food at home, which is great, and am using a couple of upcoming trips (one to the beach and one climbing mountains, both of which would benefit from lower weight) as motivation to focus and commit. I started Pilates reformer a few weeks ago and LOVE it.

Member Since: 2/26/2008

Fitness Minutes: 100,395

My Goals:
I am 5'5" and my first goal when I joined SparkPeople was to get my BMI down so that I was not technically overweight. I managed to achieve that on 3/14/08, but have done some backsliding. This is my goal again.

Low to date of 130.5 achieved 3/11/10

Lower my percentage of body fat

1. Eat well
2. Cardio exercise at least 4 hours per week
3. Yoga and/or Pilates 1-2 days/week
4. Strength training at least once per week
5. Get more than 7 hours of sleep each night

My Program:
Eat less, exercise more.

Bicycling (road and mountain) is my main form of warm weather exercise. I have pretty bad low back pain, which I hope to address through yoga, core fitness, and strength training in my legs.

Personal Information:
I live in eastern Mass. I love to road bike and mountain bike in the spring/summer/fall along with an occasional hike. In winter I enjoy every kind of skiing. I'm mostly a vegetarian.

Other Information:

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