50,000-59,999 SparkPoints 53,568
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Two races, three medals, 19.3 miles over two days, and my second best half-marathon time ever! Woot!

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This is my crazy adorable pug who keeps me moving every morning!

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Photo of the partner and me! We clean up well.


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Hi! I'm Melissa.

My journey starts with a scale ... surprisingly enough, I wasn't the one who stepped on it. In March of 2006, my husband and I were visiting a friend, and he came out of the bathroom and said "I need to go on a diet, cause the scale said I was 365lbs", our friend replied, "that scale weighs 20lbs heavier". My husband sighed with relief, and decided that 345 was still too high and he needed to go on a diet.

We started a basic calorie-counting diet, well, he started. I planned out a 1500 calorie diet plan for him, and it was my job to buy the appropriate food, make calorie-counted dinners, and generally be supportive. I was also overweight, but not to that extreme, and I have always had problems with weight loss due to PCOS (see below for more). I still ate normally, except for only having healthy food in the house and eating the same dinners.

Well, 1 year later, my husband had dropped 100lbs and was looking great, but still needed to lose almost 50 more. Unfortunately, about then, we had a rush of insanity, a big vacation to England in March, I was writing my dissertation, then we got married in July, moved in August, and I defended my dissertation at the end of August. However, my husband survived and got it back together, and by the holidays was almost at 230lbs.

So, I started looking at myself, since we had bought our scale by then I did occasionally use it. I was almost 200lbs (~196), and he was 230, and he was 6 inches taller than me! This was not good. I decided I had to get on track. I had done some dieting before with no success, so I went on an internet hunt for a free diet site and stumbled on sparkpeople, I joined in Oct. 2007.

Then the holidays hit, I was getting the hang of spark, but wasn't really doing as much tracking as I should, and pretty much lost my groove until Christmas. I decided that the New Year was it, I needed to be serious about weight loss and exercise, for me, to keep up with (or beat) my husband, and for my health.

I have to eat healthy to live. In theory that's true for everyone, but my health problems cause me to react quickly and badly to things such as junk food and lack of exercise. Let me explain.

I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which manifested when I was about 16, was diagnosed at 18 and has been treated in various ways since then.

The PCOS is caused by an underlying insulin-resistance, meaning that my body can not use the sugars that I feed it. Worse yet, first my blood sugar will spike because they sugars can't be used, then, because it is sitll insulin resistance and not diabetes, my body will catch up to itself and allow my blood sugar to dip too low (hypoglycemia). So, I spent years constantly floating between low and high, until I got on metformin to help fix the problem and discovered how to balance my carbs and proteins.

Now, I stick to the rules: try to eat protein for every carb, limit my simple sugars/carbs to almost none, eat lots of fiber. This is also a good weight loss technique!

PCOS has ended up not being my only health issue. I've also discovered that I'm gluten-intolerant and somewhat fructose-intolerant. I've been gluten-free now since 2009, and the fructose-intolerance mostly means staying low on sugar, which I need to do anyway. I don't think about what I can't eat, but what I can. I can have meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, nuts, rice, corn, and potatoes. Sounds delicious to me. I've also become quite the gluten-free baker.

I know it will take a long time to learn good habits that I can really stick with, but it took a long time to learn the bad ones, so I'm not too concerned. I will learn and I will live a long, happy, and healthy life because of it!

Onward and upward!

Member Since: 10/9/2007

Fitness Minutes: 66,172

My Goals:
To maintain or lose weight so that my body settles somewhere between 125 and 135lbs.

To learn to eat healthy so that it is a lifestyle habit and not a short term diet.

To build strength and muscle mass so that my metabolism increases and my body remains healthy

To look and feel great for the rest of my life!

My Program:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. - Michael Pollan

I do supplement that with meat and cheese and very few grains.

Avoid white flour, refined sugar, and other high glycemic index (GI) foods

Eat. Stop. Eat.
- Brad Pilon

I fast intermittently 1-2 days a week.

Exercise for at least 15min each morning.

Run and enjoy it! I've gotten into half-marathons and I love them!

Yoga, at least two days a week and most mornings when I wake up. I love yoga.

Personal Information:
I am a biologist, a teacher, a musician, a science fiction fanatic, a UU Pantheistic Pagan, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and an aunt.

I'm a hard worker, focused, passionate, and a perfectionist, but I can also be lazy and relaxed when I need to.

After some time in OH, IN, and MA doing the academic training thing, I'm now teaching community college in central NY, but I'm a Jersey girl born and bred and won't ever forget it!

Other Information:
My title is from Rent. I love Rent, it changed my life. My blog titles tend to be song lyrics as well. I think music has the power to change the world.

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