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What a difference a few months can make!! I'm here, a better version of the person that I was 5+ months ago. I'm so in love with my renewed healthy lifestyle and I'm reaping the benefits on so many levels!

It is no longer about losing's about inches lost and the fit of my clothes. I'll take muscles gained over pounds lost any day! :-) I've incorporated much more S/T into my program and have been including plyometrics 2-3 times a week. I'm no longer a 'cardio babe'! The results of making this change are astonishing, to say the least! I'm looking forward to updating my SparkPage on my next big goal date...June 24, my 39th birthday!!


Hello. My name is Natalie and I am recovering from a nervous breakdown! Two weeks ago my life changed FOREVER when my partner [and best friend of close to 20 years] decided that she did not want to 'do this' anymore. As if that bit of news wasn't horrible enough in and of itself, she's also been in a new relationship for several months!! DEVASTATED does not even begin to describe how I've been feeling!! I will admit that several times during the first week, I lost the will to live, hence my opening sentence.

But, thanks to the encouragement of my male 'bestie', I am taking baby steps to regain some semblance of normalcy. Had it not been for his support [quite literally], I would not be here. I have started a new chapter in my life, one in which my previously held dreams and plans have been forever altered. This is my 'new reality' and I have to deal with it.

I know that exercising will be a major part of my recovery. After all, it IS something that I can depend on when all else fails. I do not intend to have to depend on medication in order to just get through the day! I've been there before, and have absolutely no desire to revert to that stage!

Note to self: Just keep swimming! (Dora- Finding Nemo)


So, it's official...... I am getting better results by doing less time at the gym! It sounds counter-intuitive, but it's actually true! I am focusing more on my nutrition and have decided to workout 3-4 times/week instead of my normal 5-6. I find that I'm not hungry all the time 'cause I am not putting my body in a constant state of recovery from hard workouts, so I end up being satisfied with much less food!!
I'm down 2 more pounds!


I've revamped my program and have decided to all but eliminate certain foods which do not agree with me, in particular soy and soy-based products. I've noticed such a difference in how I'm feeling! Additionally, I have increased the number of times per week that I have beans/legumes (pretty much everyday, actually) and have committed to having AT LEAST 2 cups of green and/or herbal tea everyday. So far, so good! I've lost 2 lbs in as many weeks since I started doing these things.

On the fitness 'frontier', I have continued to vary my program in order to avoid a plateau/boredom. I am pleased to say that I have reached the stage where I'm more likely to go to the gym and do a S/T session or S/T & cardio mix as opposed to just doing cardio. In particular, I'm loving doing exercises which use my own body-weight, e.g., planks, wall pushups and the basic ballet moves. Aah....back to the basics of my 6 y/o life when I took ballet lessons :-) Who knew it would come back to help me on my fitness journey? Even on the days where I'm just fitting in a quick workout, I make sure to do some S/T. Yay me!!! :-)




Birds flying know how I feel!
Sun in the know how I feel!
Breeze driftin' on know how I feel!
It's a new dawn!
It's a new day!
It's a new life....for me...... And I'm feeling good!

Fish in the know how I feel!
River running know how I feel!
Blossom on a know how I feel!
It's a new dawn!
It's a new day!
It's a new life.....for me...... And I'm feeling good!

Dragonfly out in the sun know what I mean, don't you know?
Butterflies all havin' fun...... you know what I mean?
Sleep in peace when day is done......that's what I mean
And this old world is a new world, and a bold world.....for me!

Stars when you know how I feel!
Scent of the know how I feel!
Oh freedom is mine, and I know how I feel!
It's a new dawn!
It's a new day!

These lyrics sum up exactly how I'm feeling!!

*** I was not very active on SP after re-joining in 2011. I got serious about reclaiming my life when I signed a 1 year contract with a 24hr gym in February 2012. Hands down, that was one of THE BEST decisions I've ever made!

********* PROGRESS ********

Date ***** Weight

02/25 ------ 218/220 (??)
03/10 ------ 215
03/24 ------ 213
04/07 ------ 211
04/21 ------ 209
05/05 ------ 204.4
05/19 ------ 207 (?)
05/31 ------ 203.8
06/10 ------
06/24 ------ 200 (38TH BIRTHDAY GOAL - MISSED IT!!!)
07/08 ------ 6 week break from gym :-(
07/22 ------ No weigh-in
08/05 ------ No weigh-in
08/19 ------ No weigh-in
08/26 ------ 208 (approx) [6 month gym anniversary]
09/09 ------ 204 WOOHOO!!
09/23 ------ 202
10/05 ------ 200 (!) [What changed? See note dd 10/05/]
10/21 ------
11/04 ------
11/18 ------ Goal - 200 (Will re-visit on 11/04 due to
weigh-in on 10/05)
12/02 ------
12/16 ------
12/31 ------ END-OF-YEAR GOAL - 197.5 (Will re-visit if necessary)

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Today, when I awoke, I suddenly realized that this IS the best day of my life, ever! There were times when I wondered if I would make it to today; but I did! And because I did ,I'm going to celebrate!

Today, I'm going to celebrate what an unbelievable life I have had so far: the accomplishments, the many blessings, and, yes, even the hardships because they have served to make me stronger.

I will go through this day with my head held high, and a happy heart. I will marvel at the Universe's seemingly simple gifts: the morning dew, the sun, the clouds, the trees, the flowers, the birds. Today, none of these miraculous creations will escape my notice.

Today, I will share my excitement for life with other people. I'll make someone smile. I'll go out of my way to perform an unexpected act of kindness for someone I don't even know.

Today, I'll give a sincere compliment to someone who seems down. I'll tell a child how special he is, and I'll tell someone I love just how deeply I care for her and how much she means to me.

Today is the day I quit worrying about what I don't have and start being grateful for all the wonderful things the Universe has already given me.

I'll remember that to worry is just a waste of time because my faith in the Divine Plan ensures everything will be just fine.

And tonight, before I go to bed, I'll go outside and raise my eyes to the heavens. I will stand in awe at the beauty of the stars and the moon.

As the day ends and I lay my head down on my pillow, I will thank the Universe for the best day of my life. And I will sleep the sleep of a contented child, excited with expectation because now tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life, ever!

~by Gregory M. Lousignont

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Thoughts are energy. And you can make your world or break your world by your thinking. - Susan L. Taylor

Don't forget the 3 R's; rest, replenishment and reflection.

Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn. - Harriet Beecher Stowe

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

.....happiness doesn't depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think.
- Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)

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It's a long, hard road and it's going to have its bumps; there are going to be times when you fall and times when you don't feel like going on anymore, times when you're just crazy tired but it takes focusing on that one step you're taking.

- Ryan Hall, on running a marathon

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Nike slogans which I've modified to use as my fitness mantras:-

Play [exercise] your heart out!

If you went running [walking/jogging/biking...whatever] when you first started thinking about it, you'd be back by now.

Others aren't staring at you. They're thinking how they should be running [exercising] too.

Someone who is busier than you is running [exercising] right now.

The road to hell is paved with couches!

It's easier to sleep than run [exercise]. That's why sleeping isn't an Olympic sport.

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The Ten Commandments of Permanent Fat Removal

1. Thou shalt honor and believe in thyself.

2. Thou shalt move thy booty. Move it and move it some more.

3. Thou shalt never go hungry again. Eat small meals and healthy snacks throughout the day.

4. Thou shalt stock the fridge with the right stuff - the fruits and vegetables of the earth, the melba toast of men who walked before us.

5. Thou shalt honestly write it down. If you bite it, you must write it.

6. Thou shalt weigh and measure thyself and thy food.

7. Thou shalt drink enough Holy Water to frighten Noah and map out all the restrooms in thy village.

8. Thou shalt not deny thyself a treat or two now and then.

9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's plate.

10. Thou shalt not eat out of misery, boredom, anxiety ... but should thou over-indulge, forgive thyself immediately.

All Is Forgiven, Move On!

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Don't Quit

When you've eaten too much and you can't write it down,
And you feel like the biggest failure in town.

When you want to give up just because you gave in,
and forget all about being healthy and thin.

So what? You went over your points a bit,
It's your next move that counts...So don't you quit!

It's a moment of truth, it's an attitude change.
It's learning the skills to get back in your range.

It's telling yourself, "You've done great up till now.
You can take on this challenge and beat it somehow."

It's part of your journey toward reaching your goal.
You're still gonna make it, just stay in control.

To stumble and fall is not a disgrace,
if you summon the will to get back in the race.

But, often the strugglers, when losing their grip,
Just throw in the towel and continue to slip.

And learn too late when the damage is done,
that the race wasn't over...they still could have won.

Lifestyle change can be awkward and slow,
but facing each challenge will help you grow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
the silver tint in a cloud of doubt.

When you're pushing to the brink, just refuse to submit,
If you bite it, you write it....But don't you quit!

- Author Unknown

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Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

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Pain doesn't tell you when you ought to stop. Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows [that] if you continue, you WILL change. Don't let pain stop you from being who you can be! Exhaustion tells you when you ought to stop. You only reach your limit when you can go no further!!

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Weight Comparisons

1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human’s skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale’s brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant’s heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner

Member Since: 2/6/2011

My Goals:
Achieve a weight loss equal to or [preferably] greater than 2 lbs/month.

Remind myself ever so often that this is a LIFESTYLE change, not just a weight loss journey.

Enjoy tracking my progress without being obsessive. :-)

My Program:


- ST 2-3 times/week with a minmum of 20 mins/session.

- Alternate my cardio: HIIT/MIT with steady sessions done 3-4 times/week.

- Enjoy 2 COMPLETE rest days.

Above all, ENJOY the process and fall hopelessly in love...... WITH FITNESS!! :-)



- 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.

-Green smoothie 4-6 times/week.

- Beans/legumes as protein source 3-4 times/week.

- Green/oolong teas daily.

- 5:2 daily ratio of veggies to fruits.

- Include a variety of healthy fats at 90% of my meals, eg coconut oil/butter/meat, extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil and avocados.

-Obtain most of my fiber from fruits and veggies as opposed to whole grains.

-Eliminate/reduce intake of foods which my body finds are less than 'agreeable'. :-0

- Take supplements DAILY.

Personal Information:

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