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One of my favorite headshots, from sometime a year or so ago.

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So, my journey has been a long one. It's been an arduous one, but progress is made, in small steps on a daily basis. The road of a thousand miles etc. etc. etc.

It's been almost two years since I joined Spark. My lowest weight has been about 55 lbs below my highest weight. I'm about ten pounds above that again now after one long, busy summer, but it's coming down again steadily.

I've done this by totally making over my lifestyle. It helped that I was living in Europe the first year, but I'm back in the US now. I eat lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein, plus occasional treats when I want them. Nothing is off-limits, but I do try to limit processed junk, and I work to stay within my SP calorie, protein, fat, and carb ranges. I also track fiber and sodium, which I believe to be key to my weight loss. I get plenty of water, seltzer, and drink milk-based coffees, and occasionally V8. A couple of times a week I will have beer or wine.

In terms of exercise, I've gone through a lot of phases, but some of my favorites have included SparkPeople workouts, Turbo Jam workouts, and walking and running intervals. Now, I'm really into my spin bike, which we own, and so it's as simple as climbing on when the urge to burn strikes me. Which is happening fairly often now! I wear a heart rate monitor to accurately assess my calorie burn, and I make sure I meet my goals every week, with few exceptions (moving across the world, for example).

My original text still holds true:

I'm done with diets. I'm done with feeling guilty about what I eat. I'm done with not feeling well, and putting junk in my body. I'm done with scales. I am in this to learn a healthy lifestyle, become more active, and learn to eat right.

Member Since: 10/17/2008

Fitness Minutes: 11,379

My Goals:
Eat five fruits and vegetables a day.
Drink eight glasses of water a day.
Eat between 1300-1650 calories a day.
Eat less than 35 percent of calories from fat.
Eat at least 15 percent calories from protein.
Eat at least 25 grams of fiber a day.

My Program:
I track every bite I put in my mouth. I focus on trying new foods, on enjoying my food, on cooking well and deliciously, and on portion control. I try to eat more low-fat, high fiber, good protein foods, and am eating WAY more fruits and veggies.

When I want to lose faster and feel better, I add in more intense cardio exercise and strength training. I like running, aerobics of all kinds, and my spin bike, although I started with the 10-minute SparkPeople workouts, and those are pretty great too.

Personal Information:
I take things one day at a time, celebrate successes, and try not to focus too much on failures, which, as far as I'm concerned, become less frequent when you don't focus on them.

Other Information:

Read More About GRADXY - Profile Information moved here. (Updated September 10)

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    HAPPY BIRTHDAY 2012!!!
    Where are ya, Done Girl!? I hope no matter where you find yourself in life, you are definitely enjoying it this birthday!!

    All the very best,
    3020 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Happy Birthday to You!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´•.¸ .•*´`•.¸
    .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´Show Your•*´`•.¸ .•*´•.¸ .•*´`•.¸
    .•*´`•.¸Determination & Accountability•.¸ .•*´`•.¸
    .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´•.¸ .•*´`•.¸
    3020 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Happy Belated Birthday to You!!

    Born October 12, you have been endowed with tremendous physical skills, and you will no doubt be known for your natural ability to endure great hardship in your pursuit of personal goals. What is most remarkable, however, is your versatility; you seem to have the kind of body -- and mind -- that allow you to engage in all manner of activities, and to do a variety of things well. Take care, however, that this doesn't result in a lack of singular success; you must focus on one endeavor eventually, if only to enjoy the success you deserve. You don't want to be simply a jack-of-all-trades.

    You are likely to go through several distinct periods of life, each marked by dedication to a different kind of endeavor -- and at least one will be more spiritual or intellectual than physical. The surprising thing, of course, is that it may be this endeavor that brings you the most contentment!

    Today’s Libra Horoscope: The time has come for you to attempt the impossible -- though you know full well that if you can dream it, you can do it!

    You share a birthday with: Bode Miller, Olympic skier; Kirk Cameron, actor; Hugh Jackman, actor; Susan Anton, actress and model; Luciano Pavarotti, operatic tenor.

    Hope your day was wonderful!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´•.¸ .•*´`•.¸
    .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´Show Your•*´`•.¸ .•*´•.¸ .•*´`•.¸
    .•*´`•.¸Determination & Accountability•.¸ .•*´`•.¸
    .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´`•.¸ .•*´•.¸ .•*´`•.¸
    3380 days ago
  • v JIBBIE49
    emoticon Happy BELATED Birthday, DONE GIRL emoticon

    The Libra child is a peacemaker between the parents, so she learns to talk early and greet guests to the home. She is a very bright child, but not at all fragile as she can keep up with the boys. Venus is her ruler, so she loves all things feminine, thus she makes a great interior designer, beautician, make-up artist, artist, furniture saleswoman, judge, arbitrator, counselor, or financial planner. Libra is frugal, but wants quality for her dollar. She is a hard worker, but when she has down time, she wants quiet time to herself, thus others can think she is being lazy, but in fact, she is building back her strength to go at it again full force.
    She gets along well with Leo, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Gemini and Aries. She should avoid controlling Scorpio, who is really her opposite. She fears she will not be in control, like her Virgo sister, who plans and waits to have the best. She needs to learn to be organized, so she is more confident about her goals. She, like Virgo, hates to be criticized, so she needs to know where she is going in her life, so others don't throw her off track because of their jealousy.
    Libra isn't a fat sign, as when she is fat, her scales are off balance. Libra needs harmony in her life, so she should find time for exercise, like Yoga, dance, running, or Team sports with friends.
    In Libra the Sun is tolerant, affectionate, and well balanced. You are a courteous and agreeable person who is considerate of other people's feelings. You have a personal charisma attracting friends. Functioning well when working in harmony with other people, you are an excellent team player. You like being on the winning team.
    You prefer working in a pleasant and very orderly atmosphere, with people who don't put undue pressure on you. You like to see your role as that of peacemaker. Peace and tranquility are so important. The least sign of hostility or discord is very upsetting to you. You refrain from speaking your mind if you fear your thoughts would alienate or start an argument. Always ready to compromise or mediate, you need to be careful not to appear wishy-washy or less than reliable.
    In many ways, you are dependent upon the approval of others. Libra is the sign of relationships. You think of yourself as half a partnership rather than an individual. Because of this feeling of dependence, you put your mate's needs and desires ahead of your own. You may become confused as to what you want at any particular time, versus what your partner wants. Your partner's goals and ambitions become your goals and ambitions. You are the true helpmate. Because of this attitude, Libra is very stable and dependent in a relationship, even a bad one.

    As attached as you are to your partner, you may not really show it much. In your quest for balance and harmony, you rarely have or express strong emotions of any kind. Yours is a very dispassionate demeanor that is detached. You don't invest much passion or feeling in your relationships, loving with your head instead of your heart.
    When cast in a supervisory role you may have some difficulties. This is because you weigh each decision before choosing your direction. You can experience problems if you are called on to make frequent snap decisions for the group. You are an excellent go-between, and not as good at being the leader or boss. Unfortunately, such a balanced view of situations sometimes makes decisive action more difficult. You have a hard time making everyday decisions of little or no consequence. On the big issues, you may vacillate indefinitely.

    One of your main personality traits is a love of justice. You are insistent on fair play. In this too, you have a very balanced and unbiased way of looking at everything in your world. Accordingly, you are often called on to be mediator in family disputes or in disagreements at work. Your impartial judgment can always see both sides of a matter. You can be very cool and detached, keeping your feelings well under control in pursuit of fairness.
    Your love of balance and harmony allows you to appreciate music and the arts. Libra is ruled by Venus, the planet closely associated with artistic endeavors. If you don't have talent yourself, you probably to do have an interest and excellent taste in these matters.
    Courteous and refined, good manners are important to you. You exhibit them and you expect them. You are especially repelled by vulgarity and coarseness. Tactful, diplomatic, refined and socially successful, you strive to say and do the right thing. It is always so important for you to make the right impression. emoticon
    3382 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Happy Belated Birthday! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3384 days ago
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