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One of our roosters

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Our softball team took 2nd place in our church league. My first team sport ever, so much fun!

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After a fundraising dinner for the Food Initiatives Group, aka "FIG"-we call ourselves "Figgies"

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Fortune Cookie
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The Artist's Wa...

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I'm just coming back to SP after a 2 year hiatus. My life has completely changed, and I get the feeling sometimes that it has probably been the best thing that could've happened to me, on many levels.

I made the decision to live with my boyfriend Zack on his family's farm. My life in the suburbs could never have prepared me for it! Infrastructure issues, livestock issues, money issues, relationship issues - ! Wow, I had no clue, and the first year + were...well, hell!

But they taught me to look deep inside myself for something I wasn't even sure I had anymore: the very resolve I thought I'd had. Sure, resolve is great for weight loss - necessary, even - but it really comes in handy for life in general, as I discovered.

I realized I had to start taking better care of myself. When I did that - everything changed. I still have a long way to go. Sure, the weight is coming off, but there's so much more now to life, now that I'm paying attention. Finances? Oh yeah, still an issue. Then the pesky matter of doing an exit project so I can get a Master's Degree. But more than that, the very, very important business of finding out, and celebrating, who I am. That's what I hope to do (when I can eke out the time!) on Sparkpeople. And wherever else I happen to be. Maybe then I can spread the elusive Spark. ;)


In February, 2011, I realized I had gained and weighed more than I ever had in my life. At that point, something changed. I'm not sure exactly what turned that around, but I think it was the realization that I simply couldn't afford to gain any more weight.

Whatever it was, over the past seven or eight months, I have been slowly, surely slimming down to where I am now, 20+ lbs. thinner than I was this past February. I wish I could say I'd found a miracle program, but no. Instead, it's just been a slow process of paying closer attention to my body and making little adjustments along the way.

I eat less, portion-wise, than I did before. I'm satisfied with less. I am more careful about my sugar intake, because sugar is truly what seems to make the majority of us fatter, and high levels of fructose are particularly nasty, and harmful to the heart. To that end, I eat a lot less processed food. I don't eat out much anymore.

But above all else, what I'm finding is that I'm giving myself permission to not be perfect, and holding back from beating myself up. I'm am aiming at improved overall health, and that is what's guiding my decisions.

So, in order to support that, I resolve to slowly, and healthfully, take off the excess weight I gained over the past two decades, and restore my life to a state of healthy energy and loving balance. This means:
- I have set my weight loss final goal back to the year 2013.
- I refuse to make choices about my health that are based on fear, or competition with others.
- I give myself credit where credit is due, and a pep talk when that's needed
- I resolve to never let the scale "just start creeping back up."
- I resolve to maintain the weight I have lost, for good.
- I resolve to keep doing this not just until I reach my goal, but for as long as I live, to keep myself healthy.
- In the case where, God forbid, I gain due to illness, injury or severe trauma, I will put my health and well-being first. To that end I will seek the help and support of others to bring my weight back under control if at all possible. I will do all in my power to healthfully bring my life back into stability and balance with healthy food choices, activity and movement appropriate to my situation. I will not give up on my health, or myself.
- I will remember this is a marathon for a lifetime,not a sprint.

Peace all!

Updated goals to reflect my new goals as of 11/5/2011

230 lb. - **attained sometime before 2/7
228 lb. - **attained 2/7 :)
226 lb. - **attained 2/15
224 lb. - **attained sometime between 2/15 and September
222 lb. - **attained approximately mid-October
****fluctuated back and forth for at least a month here******
220 lb. - **attained approximately late-October
218 lb. - **attained Nov. 4, 2011
216 lb. - **attained Nov. 10, 2011
214 lb. - goal date Nov. 24, 2011
212 lb. - goal date Dec. 8, 2011
210 lb. - goal date Dec. 22, 2011
208 lb: - goal date Jan. 5, 2012 - at this weight I will be thinner than I have been in 5 years
206 lb. - goal date Jan. 19, 2012
204 lb. - goal date Feb. 2, 2012 - when I hit this weight I'll be thinner than I have been in over a decade.
202 lb. - goal date Feb. 16, 2012
200 lb. - goal date Mar. 2, 2012
198 lb. - goal date Mar. 16, 2012
196 lb. - goal date Mar. 30, 2012
194 lb. - goal date Apr. 13, 2012
192 lb. - goal date Apr. 27, 2012
190 lb. - goal date May 11, 2012
188 lb. - goal date May 25, 2012
186 lb. - goal date June 8, 2012
184 lb. - goal date June 22, 2012
182 lb. - goal date July 7, 2012
180 lb. - goal date July 21, 2012
178 lb. - goal date Aug. 4, 2012
176 lb. - goal date Aug. 18, 2012
174 lb. - goal date Sept. 1, 2012 - when I get here, I'll finally be about the weight listed on my driver's license! ;)
172 lb. - goal date Sept. 15, 2012 - When I hit this weight I will be lighter than I have in over 15 years.
170 lb. - goal date Sept. 29, 2012
168 lb. - goal date Oct. 13, 2012
166 lb. - goal date Oct. 27, 2012
164 lb. - goal date Nov. 10, 2012
162 lb. - goal date Nov. 24, 2012
160 lb. - goal date Dec. 8, 2012 - in the home stretch now!!!
158 lb. - goal date Dec. 22, 2012
156 lb. - goal date Jan. 5, 2013
154 lb. - goal date Jan. 19, 2013
152 lb. - goal date Feb. 2, 2013
150 lb. - goal date Feb. 16, 2013 ***GOAL WEIGHT****


Hi everyone!

I'm a recent college grad, now going for my Master's, over 20 years since I graduated high school. I love to read, love coffee, and of course, food!

Of course, I didn't get this way all at once, or overnight. It took years, and a lot of heartache which prompted me to turn to food for comfort. But it's not comfortable to be as big as I am, and not be as able to do the things I used to do, not that long ago. The worst part is that I am so much more afraid to try new things now than I ever used to be. I'm not sure how or when that crept up on me, but I have to say it seems to have accompanied the weight gain....

Getting older, I realize I might not be able to do what I could do in high school, or college the first time around, but being healthier should help me do so much more than I can right now. And fear is something I have to look in the face, if I am to overcome it.

Member Since: 5/18/2006

Fitness Minutes: 20,704

My Goals:
Enjoy overall well-being, energy, and a full range of motion. Be able to do what I love, hopefully for the rest of my life.

My Program:
I don't have a set of rules anymore. I now live on a farm, which my bf and I are gardening, mostly by hand. We are taking time to learn about Permaculture, a method of using perennials and ecosystem-friendly strategies to create environments for plants and desirable insects. This means I work hard! I don't have time - or money - for a gym anymore, but spend hours a day squatting to plant (at least during planting season, lol), and I'm looking forward to expanding my workout repertoire with activities like weeding, hoeing, harvesting, biking to the farmers' market, etc. I eat almost all my meals from home; that alone has helped me lose the additional 20 lbs. since 2011. It's now all about lifestyle, not looks, not guilt. And that has made all the difference.

Personal Information:
I'm farming - mostly by hand - with my bf, Zack, in the Midwest. We live on his family's farm, where we strive to learn and live principles of local farming that nurture the environment and community. For those who are interested, we are looking into putting many of Sepp Holzer's principles about Permaculture into practice on this little patch of land we call home. We would like to be the first - and best - example of Permaculture put into practice in our little farming/university community.

Other Information:
Ha! How things have changed. I just re-read this, and laughed, out loud! See personal information if you're wondering what on earth I mean. Here's the previous entry: "Professionally, I am preparing to be a training and development specialist."

Ha! Not anymore. :D

Read More About MICHELLELEE150 - Profile Information moved here. (Updated April 10)

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  • v CM_GARDNER78
    We homeschool! All the kids are always home! :-) We school through the summer too - so it's nice because we can take breaks whenever we want!

    We finally have a hot day today...first one all summer! It's over 90! But, by the beginning of the week, we'll be back in the 60's! :-( Ugh! How's your weather been?
    2582 days ago
  • v CM_GARDNER78
    Hi Michelle!! :-) How are you doing? Thanks for the messages on my page! I'm SOOOOOOOOOOO happy for you that things are going well!! :-) Isn't funny how things can change so much...and go in a direction you never imagined? I love it!! (((HUGS))) Thank you for your encouragement! I'm so glad to see you back!! :-)
    2582 days ago

    You are the recipient of the Beautiful Woman Award!!

    Once you've been given this award, you have to paste it on the page of 8 women who deserve it. If you receive more than 3, you know you're really beautiful! If you break the chain, nothing will happen, but it's always good to know someone thinks you're beautiful inside and out!
    2597 days ago
    Thank you for the lovely comment on my blog "Progress pic"

    Your support means so much to me! Let's do this together!
    2598 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/12/2014 9:29:43 AM
    Thank you for taking the time to make a long comment on my blog today. I really enjoy wordiness, as you can tell! I'm sorry you're having a rough slog. And hope we can both soldier on as best we can. And, yeah, I'm a fan of cutting ties that hurt us.
    2610 days ago
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