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Me 'n my sweetie in TN, May 09 (around 210 here)

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275 lbs (Oct 07) - 231 lbs (Apr 08)

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Bib from my first-ever 5K run, 11/08/08!


MY_AGREEMENT is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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A long time ago, I made an agreement with myself. Some of you may have made the same one. I agreed that I was fat, and that I'd always be fat, and that because of my size I'd never be beautiful or sexy and therefore I should just try to be as invisible as possible.

Well, that agreement just doesn't work for me any more. On October 6, 2007, I made a new agreement with myself - to be healthy and beautiful. Not "someday," but NOW. I decided a while back to stop being invisible - so now I look for ways to be more beautiful, RIGHT NOW. And in October 2007, I transformed my eating and exercise habits, and those habits have gradually had consequences for the way I look, the way I feel, and my body's health and strength. They'll continue to exert their effects, more and more visibly, the longer I continue them - which I plan to do for the rest of my life.

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that almost frightens us.
We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?"
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us;
It's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

--a quote from author and spiritual activist Marianne Williamson, read at Nelson Mandela's 1994 inauguration.

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Update: As of April 6, 2008, I have been on this amazing journey for 6 months and have lost 50 pounds. My "real life" friends and family have been very supportive, but I don't know if I could have done this without my wonderful Spark friends. They have kept me motivated, supported me when I was down, and cheered my victories. I am so thankful to have a positive, encouraging community that is always here for me. Thank you SparkPeople!

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Update: Today (10/6/08) marks the 1-year anniversary of my lifestyle change. (Not my Sparkiversary - I didn't discover SP until about a month later.) In that time, I've lost almost 65 pounds and over 18 inches, walked over 800 miles, and gone from a size 26/28 to a size 18.

I'm not the fastest loser or the most dedicated healthy eater. I'm not the most consistent person at doing all the right things. But I'm living proof that ANYONE can do this. If I can go from struggling with a 2-mile slow walk to being able to run that far without stopping, ANYONE can. If I can go from living on fast food, sodas, and candy (no exaggeration here) to cooking and eating healthful meals every day, ANYONE can. And if I can change from the most diet-resistant person you'd ever want to meet, into a SparkPeople team leader, ANYONE can.

If you're just starting out on this journey, or if you're finding yourself on a plateau, let me assure you that you CAN do this. You don't have to be a certain kind of person; you just have to be willing to learn and adapt to a different way of thinking about food and fitness, and ready to see success as a possibility. If I can do this, so can you!

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Why am I walking to Modesto?

A few people have asked me why I'm walking to Modesto, California. Well, I took up the "Virtual Walk to Meet A Fellow Sparker" challenge (look for our team: "Virtual Walk Challenge"). Every time someone new takes up the challenge, their goal is to walk from where they live to the home of the LAST person who took the challenge ... which for me was Jennie in Modesto, California. (Plus my sweetie lives not too far from there.)

If you want to take a gander at my progress, go to:

or to see other virtual walks that Sparkers meeting fellow Sparkers are mapping:

-- Marsha

Member Since: 11/3/2007

Fitness Minutes: 58,740

My Goals:
I'd like to be more healthy and more sexy! I know I'm more confident and feel better about myself when I'm slimmer.

Lost 10% of my body weight - 1/2/08!
Lost 2nd 10% of body weight - 4/10/08!
Next weight goal: Onederland!

My Program:
My goal is to eat healthy, natural foods. I emphasize fruits and veggies in my daily diet and avoid refined foods like white flour, table salt, and white sugar. I don't eat artificial "diet" substitutes for anything; I try to eat whole, unrefined foods as often as possible; and I particularly avoid refined sugar, sodas, and coffee.

I exercise most days of the week for 30-60 minutes, usually either brisk outdoor walking or running. I have now run two 5K races, and I'd like to continue running short races as opportunities arise. I would also like to strength train 3 times per week; I'm working toward that goal now.

Personal Information:
My name's Marsha. I'm a 41 year old social scientist and occasional musician living in Durham, North Carolina.

Other Information:
"Sing over me, God of the second chance." - Israel Houghton

"There is a crack, a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen

Read More About MY_AGREEMENT - Profile Information moved here. (Updated September 19)

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