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3/6/13

Beating the "Blog Bulge" and a Link Party!

Did you know March is National Nutrition Month?  It is.  Perfect timing for taking a look at what we're feeding our bodies...

If you visit P3 often you've probably figured out that I am constantly working on being a healthy, happy person. Aren't we all? Remember my Scale In Front of the Fridge post? One of my biggest challenges in the battle to being healthy is my weight. It's not something that's easy for me to talk about. Well, maybe it's a little easier here on my blog with you than it is anywhere else.  You are all so positive and supportive to me.  Thank you for that.



My weight is one of my biggest insecurities. My size. I've never been considered a "skinny" person and I guess that's okay. But I have been within what is considered a good healthy weight range for my height and age before. A few times! Ha ha. What does that tell you?



 Let me start from the beginning:

When I was in grade school I think someone must have teased me about being a little thick. I wasn't really overweight in grade school, but like I already mentioned, I've never been "skinny" either. I remember coming home and asking my mom why my legs were thicker than some of the other girls'. My sweet mom told me that my legs were nice and curvy ~ healthy ~ and that I didn't need to worry about it.

You can probably guess which one I am in this pic...the tall brunette in the back row, left.
How did I end up in this group of cute little blonde girls?
And she was right.  But I did.  Worry, that is.

At the time I was a very healthy weight for my height and age. What I didn't understand as a young girl is that some girls were just naturally very thin. I wasn't.

I'm not. To give you some perspective, I am just under 5'8" and I wear a size 10 shoes. I could never be considered petite.  Even at a healthy weight I would not drop down below a size nine. I would look thin in a size nine. I want to be a size nine.

Jump forward to middle school years when EVERYONE was hyper aware of their appearance, not to mention everyone else's. Add in social stresses, puberty, pressure to do well in school and I was already turning to food to satisfy my emotional needs. I found myself eating when I felt lonely. I was eating to ease sadness. Oh, I was eating to celebrate accomplishments too. Each and every social occasion became another opportunity to treat myself to something extravagant and eat way more calories than I needed.

Ugh.  This picture. But I do love grandma's knee highs!  This is my family circa 1985.
That's me in the back, right side.  Ignore my crazy hair . . . I'd just been swimming in the river.
Again, I'm not seriously overweight, but enough that I had a complex about it.
By the time I was in High School I had put on some extra pounds. I was unhappy and insecure about my weight and appearance. My insecurities inhibited me from doing things that I may otherwise have done.  But I also did not know how to change my lifestyle. I had learned to use food to deal with life's stresses instead of eating only to feed my hunger.  I was the poster child for low self-esteem.

Skip ahead a couple more years. By the age of twenty I had committed to losing my extra weight and had done a pretty good job of it.  Partly just from depriving myself of food and also because I was a young working woman out on my own (read broke).  I had gone from a size 18 to a size 9 and I felt so good about  how I looked.  My confidence in social situations had gone way up. It's amazing how much confidence we have when we feel good about our appearance, isn't it?  But this weight and confidence did not last long because at the age of twenty one I became a new mom and quickly put back on all of the weight that I'd just recently lost.  Shucks!

Imagine that.

After the birth of my beautiful daughter in 1990, it took me several years to get the weight off again. This time I did it the right way though ~ eating healthy and exercising instead of just depriving myself.  I kept the majority of the weight off for years. When I got married 13 years ago I wore a size 12 wedding dress. (Oh how I would love to wear size 12 soon.)

 In 2002 I gave birth to my darling baby boy, Alex, and again started the journey to lose that "baby fat" that I'd put on with the pregnancy.  Eventually I did. It took some time though. I'd gotten better at changing my habits and recognizing that I tend to use food as an emotional crutch.  I'd also gotten older and the weight just doesn't come off as quickly as we age.
Me in my early forties
When I turned 40 I started running. I actually ran my first 5k three days before my 40th birthday. It was a challenge for this "non-runner" body of mine, but I made it across the finish line and started a brand new chapter in my life. I like to think of it as the chapter where I finally became comfortable in my own skin and truly happy with who I am. I've been running several 5k's a year and doing other challenges ever since then.

That's me on the left after running the Twilight 5k in downtown Portland.
The gorgeous lady to the right is my friend Gina.
These events give me motivation to stay active.
After the Warrior Dash last September.  My sister Loma is on the right and I'm on the left.  I do love how the mud patches on her shirt make a frog face!
 When I was asked to take part in this challenge with the other ladies I was nervous. Talking about my weight publicly did not sound appealing. But maybe that's the point. Maybe I just need to come to terms with where I'm at and commit full force to reaching my goals. It's not really a secret that I could be slimmer.   I'm currently between a size 14 and 16.  Cringe.  Anyone who sees me knows I could lose a few pounds (gross under exaggeration here).  And I am a self professed food lover. Yes, it's true. But I love healthy foods too (think salads, lean meats, avocado, fruits and veggies)...

Mmmm . . . very satisfying healthy meal I make called Caldo de camarón, or Shrimp Soup.
I will share the recipe with you very soon.  

So here I am . . . taking part in what I like to think of as DIY for my body and health.  I won't bore you with all the daily details, but I'll keep you posted from time to time on my successes and challenges along the way.  And I'll share my favorite low-cal recipes and healthy tips.  Wish me luck!

 Here are my goals:
  • Eating a healthy diet within my calorie range (1200 ~ 1500 as indicated by my height, age, and sex) 
  • Preparing a weekly food plan to follow 
  • Logging my foods daily (so I can see where I may be getting off track)
  • Running or Cardio exercise 2 -3 times per week 
  • Strength training and core building 2 - 3 times per week 
  • Finding healthy alternatives for my favorite treats (so I'm not feeling deprived and tempted to cheat) 
  • Drinking my suggested water intake and taking multi-vitamins. 
  • Losing 20~30 lbs. 
I've already invested in a gym membership and find this to be an invaluable part of my fitness routine.  Going to the gym and working out with a couple of very encouraging ladies has been vital in getting me back on track.  Now if I can just get my calorie intake down to where I am actually losing weight.

Here is my first TIP for losing weight:

If you are the type of person that needs to follow a plan ~  I have the place for you.  You could use Weight Watchers ~  they have a very high success rate and come highly recommended, but it does cost you.  I've found a site that offers pretty much the same thing and it's FREE . . .

SPARKPEOPLE.


Visit http://www.sparkpeople.com.  It is a FREE weight loss website that has some great resources, including personal Trackers.  Think Food Tracker, Exercise Tracker, Weight Tracker, etc.  You can even record your water and supplement intake and your body measurements if you want.  Their Food Tracker has tons of pre-programmed foods and if your particular food is not listed you can add it in using the nutrition label info.  If you need help staying on track this website is AWESOME.  I like it just to keep tabs on my calorie intake.  They also have meal plans, fitness plans, networking and challenges if you are wanting more options.  Did I mention shopping lists???  Or recipes???  Yeah, they have those too.  Okay, that's my take on SparkPeople.  I love this website.  :)

I hope you will join with me and these other beautiful ladies in changing our lifestyle and improving our health, appearance and self confidence in the process.

If you've already accomplished your goals ~ share your story.  If you are just beginning ~ share your goals and challenges. Come on . . . what are you waiting for?

I would like you to meet the TEAM that will be hosting and encouraging all of us through this challenge:



Top row left me Sherry of Pondered Primed Perfected
Top row center Claire of A Little Claireification
Top row right Tammy of Curb Alert
Middle row left Kristin of 9th & Mayne
Middle row right Amanda of Mommy is Coo Coo
Bottom row left BJ of Joy 2 Journey
Bottom row center Lori of Vintage Charm Restored
Bottom row right Julie of Redhead Can Decorate ~ the Mastermind behind this party!

Go visit them and say HI.  Read their stories and personal challenges.  Let them know you are taking part.  We would love to have you join us on this journey.

The great news is, you are welcome to join us in the private Facebook group if you are looking for some support.  Here is the link to our group if you would like to check it out.
You do not have to be a blogger, and all you have to do is ask to join the group when you go to this link.


"Blog Bulge Babes Group"

The other good news is that if you have a blog, you are welcome to share this "Blog Bulge Link Party" on your blog if you would like to inspire your followers.  We would love to share the code with you if you join the group.

Inserting the code into your post will bring up all of the links below and allow others to link their posts at your place.


Pondered Primed Perfected
<div align="center"><a href="http://ponderedprimedperfected.blogspot.com/" title="Pondered Primed Perfected"><img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wFOoMTBU1kI/UTVaNiCE36I/AAAAAAAAWEw/rv__wI1QNTE/s1600/blog+bulge+image.jpg" alt="Pondered Primed Perfected" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Don't forget to grab this button code and share it on your post or sidebar.


  • Please link up healthy recipes, weight loss/gain stories, weight loss tips, favorite exercise plans, anything "getting healthy"  below.
  • This party will run until June 6th unless we decide longer (it takes time to get back on track).  
  • You can keep coming back to link up more than one post and find inspiration on your visits.
  • Please copy/paste the Blog Bulge pink button above and share somewhere on your blog with the image linking back to this party (found under the button).
  • Only family friendly links will be approved.
  • OUR FAVORITES WILL BE FEATURED on Facebook, Pinterest, G+, and Twitter.

And hey, thanks for being here.  :)


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17 comments :

  1. Since I don't have a blogger account, I can't link up for some reason, but my blog is all about being fit and active when you don't have time for things. Right now I am doing an active parent challenge where I am encouraging parents to pledge to be active with their kids a minimum of 20 minutes a day. Check it out and I would love to link up some of my other posts in the future.https://www.facebook.com/events/146612428833326/

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    1. I hope you make it back to link up here too now that I got the linky to work ;) Thanks for coming over and sharing some inspiration,Cara...I'll be over to visit! :)

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  2. This is AWESOME! You did such a great job with this post!!!

    I've become one of the dreaded no replies :( Amanda @ www.mommyiscoocoo.com

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    1. I'm heading over to say hi at your place Amanda! THANKS btw :)

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  3. GREAT Post!! I can relate to this post, except I'm 5'3" and where a 14....blah. I love your tips and would love a bit of that soup. ;)

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    1. Kristin...I am stuck between a 14 and 16. Sixteens are too baggy and fourteens are too tight. I will totally share that soup recipe soon. When my hubby read this post he said, "HEY, we haven't had that soup in a long time!" I guess it's overdue. :) Happy to be joining with all of you awesome ladies on this challenge!

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  4. What a fabulous story (and grandma's knee highs!) :) and congrats on the 5ks, something I have never been brave enough to do. Lookiing forward to sharing this adventure with you!
    Tami @ Curb Alert!

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    Replies
    1. I loved grandma's knee highs! She also could touch her tongue to her nose and I still can't manage that one. (And yes I occasionally try it.) I love running 5k's, but to be honest I barely run faster than a speed walk, so don't be too impressed. ;) It's great motivation to keep running regularly though. Thanks so much Tami!!! This should be FUN!

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  5. Exciting about being a part!! Thanks for hosting!

    Frances
    @ http://www.notionsfromnonny.com/p/healthier-lifestyle.html

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  6. Sherry - I LOVE your post! It's a great story and I think you look beautiful! Glad to be a part of this with you!! :) Claire

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  7. Thank you for sharing this story with us. You are beautiful and always have been. I am on a weightloss journey to try for baby number two and a now down 33 lbs. it's been a long road and still a long road ahead. Thank you again for sharing your story. I keep forgetting to post my weightloss updates. Maybe I will remember one day and linkup. :)

    Thanks for sharing on Bloppy Bloggers for us to see. :)

    Diana @ Nanny to Mommy

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  8. I LOVED your post! I was nodding my head the entire time I was reading.

    One of my goals is to write all my food intake down. It makes a huge difference for me to write it down before I put it in my mouth-makes me more aware and not eat mindlessly (which I can do sooo well).

    Thank you for hosting, I'll be following along and taking part!

    Ali @ Forty before 40
    www.40tasks.blogspot.com

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  9. I can't help but think there won't be anything left of you if you loose 30 pounds, but maybe after half that you'll be at a happy spot with loosing 15. Either way, I have no doubt you will do it.

    Bliss

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  10. Thanks Sherry for sharing... My name is Laurie and I'm a Yoyo! More in the yooooo category right now! Oh boy! I'll follow along and maybe someday be brave enough to start my own story... Similar to yours, I look back at pictures now and think, I look hot, why did I think I was fat!? If my 47 year old could have had a little chat with my 10/20 & 30 year old self, if only... Cheers to you, way to go!!

    Laurie @ Vin'yet Etc.

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  11. I went back to tell you that the code wasn't working and forgot to comment! HOW RUDE OF ME!! ;) Sherry...this was such an excellent post. I'm so happy we did this. I am so motivated this time. Our group is really helping. I need this shrimp recipe ASAP!!!! You go girl!!! Keep up the hard training!

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