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Jasper and Me, September 2014

Jingle Bell 5K, Dec 6, 2014

My family, Christmas 2013

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"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."

* Update June 2014 *

Six years ago, January 2008 I embarked on a journey that would change my life. I was 43 years old, and I weighed approximately 197 lbs. I had high blood pressure and fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue.

Looking back, the road has been difficult—there have been injuries, illnesses, obstacles, lack of belief in myself—but so very rewarding too. I’ve experienced the the worst of the worst, but also the best of the best—from completing my first mile, to my ...
* Update June 2014 *

Six years ago, January 2008 I embarked on a journey that would change my life. I was 43 years old, and I weighed approximately 197 lbs. I had high blood pressure and fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue.

Looking back, the road has been difficult—there have been injuries, illnesses, obstacles, lack of belief in myself—but so very rewarding too. I’ve experienced the the worst of the worst, but also the best of the best—from completing my first mile, to my crossing the finish line of my first 5K and 15 more after that. For every difficult moment, there has also been a victory. It’s been a hard lesson for me to learn that sometimes life hurts, but I have to make the choice to get back up and keep going in order to get back to the good parts.

As I see my ultimate goal weight on the horizon, within my reach, I can see that every obstacle, every challenge, has taught me that I am stronger than I ever knew and that I am a survivor. I know there will always be set backs, and I also know there is always a way around them; and in return, there will always be victories.

Today, I am 49 years old and weigh 130.4 lbs. My blood pressure is lower and, while I still have fatigue from the fibromyalgia, the pain is managed. When someone asks how I did it, I have to answer that there is no definitive weight loss system that will work for everyone. It’s all trial and error; mistakes and successes. No one else can do it for you. We can share our tips or encouragement, but it’s all you.

It’s finding a workout that you love, so that you look forward to doing it. It’s about portion control and eating in moderation. It’s making the decision about whether that junk food is worth the guilt you will feel after. It’s allowing yourself to make mistakes, and learning from them so it doesn’t happen again. It’s learning to be your own friend.

It’s about persevering in the face of adversity, and learning to be your own champion. It’s learning to be patient and having faith that good things come to those who wait and work hard. Because they do. And I’m proof

*~* Update September 2012 *~*

Here I am again. I fell badly off the wagon after the loss of my furbuddy and walking partner, Sadie. I hate to say that the end of 2010 and all of 2011 was a total loss, and my weight creeped back to over 170 lbs.

What’s important though is that I am getting back on track and I’m losing the weight I gained back. I’m also exercising consistently, both walking and running, and I’m seeing results.

I know I can succeed because I had already done so. I know what went wrong, and I am committed to making sure it doesn’t happen again. And this time, I will be kinder, gentler and more patient with myself. I will listen to my body and take time off when I need to. Success is a journey, not a destination. This is a lifestyle change, and while I will achieve a goal weight, it doesn’t mean that my efforts will stop once I get there. Exercise and healthy eating will need to continue in order to maintain my success.

So here’s to second chances and not giving up. Here’s to me!

*~* Update - January 2010 *~*

As I approach my 2 year Spark-iversary, I continue to celebrate my accomplishments so far. I've learned many things along the way, and I've met many people whose stories continue to motivate and to inspire me. With the support and friendship of my Sparkfriends, I've managed to accomplish things I never thought possible.

I see many possibilities for myself in 2010, including the possibility of completing my first half marathon. So let's make 2010 our best year ever!

*~* Update - July 2008 *~*

Six months ago, on a blustery January day, I joined SparkPeople. I had signed up for the Discovery Challenge National Body Challenge at the end of December 2007, but I had become increasingly frustrated by many difficulties I was having with their website. While browsing through the technical assistance threads, I found a post from someone who said they use SparkPeople.com. I had never heard of SP, so off I went to explore. I joined that same day, and after being initially overwhelmed and a bit intimidated, I found my way to some really great teams and have made some very special friends.

What have I accomplished over the last six months?

1/6/08 weight 168 lbs.; 7/8/08 weight 144.6 lbs.
1/6/08 BMI 28.8-overweight; 7/8/08 BMI 24.8-normal
1/6/08 wore a size 16/large; 7/8/08 wearing a size-8/medium

Most importantly, the past six months have taught me:

*The best way to improve my physical well-being is to improve my emotional well-being at the same time. Achieving better health and fitness are much easier when I love and believe in myself.
*When a goal seems insurmountable, I can break it into smaller goals and it becomes a lot less scary and much more achievable.
*Struggles happen. When they do, it is easier for me to overcome them by maintaining a positive attitude, resting if I have to, and not giving up.
*The number on the scale is not as important to me as being able to walk a bit farther than I could the day before or how my clothes feel.
*In order to achieve the big goal, it is important that I celebrate the smaller victories.
*Have fun and enjoy the view along the way.
*By finding something I enjoy and look forward to dong, it is no longer a "work"out.
*With the help and support of my friends, I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

As I round the bend in 140ville, I can see my goal weight of 133 ahead in the distance. Each day I notice a new and exciting improvement in my life, and I know I will achieve my goal. I also believe in myself enough now to know that I will keep the weight off this time.

So bring on the next six months!


January 2008

Growing up, I was always underweight and referred to as a "stick" by my friends. People don't realize that comments like that to an underweight person are just as hurtful as they would be if the opposite comment was made to an overweight person. I didn't try to be underweight, I just was.

I was a figure skater, as well as involved in school sports, so I was very active. Because of my activity level, I could eat anything and not gain any weight. Once I entered college, however, I suffered a knee injury that ended my skating career, and caused me to be much more sedentary than I had been in high school. So I began to gain weight. I had knee surgery, which didn't improve my knee, so I was off my feet, using a cane for about two years. Gradually, through my own physical rehabilitation program, I was able to walk without the cane. However, I was never able to master the art of losing weight and keeping it off.

In October 2005, I saw a picture of myself that horrified me, and at a doctor's visit, the nurse told me that my weight was 197. I decided that no way was I going over 200 lbs. That's when my weight loss journey really began. I discovered that, for me, it's mostly about exercising because I was already eating pretty healthy. I began walking everyday, on the treadmill and with my weight loss buddy, Sadie, my dog. I continued to lose until May 2006, when we began construction of our new home, and the stress of dealing with contractors and moving made it very difficult for me to continue to exercise and eat right. I gained back much of the weight I had lost in the seven months I had been losing, and reached a high weight of 188. Then in November 2007, I again decided that's enough.

I had been walking during my lunch break at work. I added my treadmill at night, and I began to build up my walking, with the goal of at least 10,000 steps per day. In January 2008 I joined SparkPeople, which has helped me to be accountable for my food and exercising. I've made so many new friends, and found so much motivation and support from reading other peoples' stories.

I love the increased energy that becoming fit and healthier has given me. And the added rewards of knowing that I am controlling my fibromyalgia and lowering my blood pressure keep me on track. I know that I will reach my goal this time. I can do this, I will do this, I AM doing this!



My Ticker:

55 Days until:  Buffalo Half Marathon


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Recent Blogs:


Member Since: 1/6/2008

SparkPoints: 87,941

Fitness Minutes: 139,222

My Goals:
5/24/15 Buffalo Half Marathon (in training)

10/11/15 Mohawk Hudson River Half Marathon

Walk/Run 2015 miles in 2015

January Mileage: 181.4
February Mileage: 180.04

My Program:
I love walking and running, both outside and on the treadmill. My furbaby, Jasper, is my faithful walking/running partner.

Personal Information:
50 years old, 5'4"

2015 Races

5/24/15 Buffalo Half Marathon

2014 5K Results

4/6 Furry Fun Run 42:02 (with Jasper)
7/19 Silks & Satins 38:03
8/30 Run 4 Reese 35:17
9/28 Run for the ROC 36:15
10/11 Falling Leaves 33:11 (PR)
10/18 Great Pumpkin Challenge 35:15
12/6 Jingle Bell 5K 35:33

Other Information:
Favorite Quotes:
"What I learned is, we all came to running with our own goals in mind, but quickly discovered the great joy it brings to our lives as we overcome the obstacles the sport can bring to us."
Coach Nancy
"A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug. " Patricia Neal
"Success is a year-round choice. You must decide what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it. No one else can, will, or should do that for you. " - Rebecca Pratt
"Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." - John Quincy Adams
"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." - Samuel Johnson

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Member Comments:
3/30/2015 9:39:57 AM

There's an inner beauty about a woman who believes in herself and knows she's capable of the extraordinary.

A beauty in the determination of a woman who dances to the beat of her own drum regardless of the obstacles in her path.

The beauty of a woman whose strength and courage comes in loving and being loved.. unconditionally.

So keep believing, keep dancing, keep singing the song in your heart and most of all.. keep being your beautiful self! All the best on the spring 5% challenge!

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3/29/2015 8:25:00 PM

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Consider making these Affirmations of an Inspired Life a part of your daily expression of intent:

• HONOR - I Honor My True Self
• FORGIVENESS - I Forgive Myself and All Others with Compassion
• GRATITUDE - I Receive ALL of Life with Thanksgiving
• CHOICE - I CHOOSE with Open Mind and Open Heart
• VISION - I Dream with Powerful Intention
• ACTION - I Act with Bold Courage
• CELEBRATION - I Dance with a Light Heart
• UNITY - I Am One With Spirit and All Creation
Have a great day!

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3/28/2015 5:43:45 PM

emoticon I am so ready for the 5% Spring Challenge to start and I look forward to getting to know you and us helping one another reach our goals. I
emoticon you, I would be honored if you befriended me too.
Make it a great weekend

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3/28/2015 4:57:27 PM

emoticon We’re on the Walkers,Runners, Joggers & Gadgeters Spring 2015 team together! emoticon

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3/22/2015 4:29:13 PM

Way to “Spring” into action by joining the Spring 5% Challenge!
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