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Hi everyone! My name is Maria....

A little about me:

Ok, I decided for the sixth or 10th time since beginning Spark that I need to get serious about getting back in shape and losing weight to be healthy.

I used to be pretty active and I enjoy being outdoors. These days I sit behind a computer quite a bit and am lucky if I get 4 hours of sleep a night. No time for exercise. The most I can do is very short walks with my dog 2-3 times a day.

I had the old mindset that I could eat whatever I wanted because I was exercising. Now I am not exercising and even though I try to eat healthy most of the time, I have gained back 15 lbs in the past 5 years (and was only 15 lbs away from my goal weight back then) due to being a full-time graduate student and having a job that requires me to sit. It doesn't help that my husband, who is a runner and cyclist (and is also in the military), can eat whatever he wants and burns it off, while I have a slower metabolism and have to be more careful with what I put in my mouth.

What caused my initial "Spark" is the realization that as I am getting older, now 48, I really need to take care of myself. I've recently lost a few significant people in my life to cancer. Whatever I can do to keep from getting cancer or diabetes, I will make whatever changes that I can with food. I have switched now to mostly organic food, whole foods, and unprocessed foods. Because I am on a tight budget, and some of these foods are more expensive, it is really challenging.

Along with that, I need to get stronger. I struggle on most days to lift my own body weight, and chronic pain has limited my mobility. I am in a Catch-22, movement helps with the pain but movement creates the pain. I have been trained in the Army as a Combat Lifesaver, and that requires that I assist in lifting people that might be twice my weight.

I am in the U.S. Army Reserve, for over 19 years. I know if I do not get myself back into "the game" with my health and fitness, it will be a career stopper. I also want to get back to a healthy weight because when the time comes that I get deployed again, the extra weight I want to be carrying is my gear and equipment, and nothing extra of "me". The gear and equipment can weigh up to 60 lbs., and with me being only 5'1", there isn't enough of me in muscle weight to bear a lot of the load. This is why strength is more important to me than being "thin."

In 2007, I had some significant closed head traumas which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. I had to rehab to get my balance and muscle coordination back. I was not able to drive for at least a year, so I had to walk whenever I could not get a ride. It was so hard at first to even keep my balance to walk. Slowly, I got better. Now I am able to walk for a pretty good distance, and once I even bicycled for 13 miles. I have been passing my physical fitness test for the Army that we have to do 2 times a year. Unfortunately, I found myself in the past 2 years sliding backwards, mostly due to medical issues and back pain.

I want to get back to being "Army Strong" like I was 5 years ago. I was energetic, happy, and definitely more fit. My motivation right now is at an all time low, and I want to get it back, I just haven't figured out how.

There is talking, and there is doing. I want to do what it takes to reach my goals, not just talk about doing them.

Member Since: 10/1/2010

My Goals:
My goal is to get back to a healthy weight. My tracker is set for 121. If I can get to 115-121, I will be satisfied with that.

It's hard to believe that when I graduated from high school 30 years ago, I weighed only 103 lbs!! But at that time, I was rail thin and tiny, I had no muscle tone. I am working on getting myself toned and adding strength.

My Program:
My tracker is set for 1300-1550 daily calories. However, a few months ago, I stopped tracking my food. I just started again with tracking my fitness and food. I got way too busy to track anything over the past 2 years when I was working 3 jobs and attending graduate school!

Personal Information:
I am half Asian and half Irish/Scottish/Spanish descent.
I grew up in SoCal (Southern California), and moved back to SoCal after living in Arizona for 14 months. One of the worst times of my life--very little in the way of food choices and the extreme weather kept me from exercising regularly

Other Information:
I completed a Master's program in Forensic Psychology in 2011 and now I am currently in a Master's in Social Work (MSW) program. I completed my credential as a certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor in 2014. I work as an Alcohol and Substance Abuse counselor.

I love books! I am a total bookworm! I read pretty much anything, but prefer non-fiction over fiction. I am also planning to write a book about my life experiences.

I am trying to balance out being active with my joy of relaxing with a good book.

Read More About MARIA11X - Profile Information moved here. (Updated July 6)

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 current weight: 135.0 
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    Stopping by your sparkpage to say hi and wish you a good week. Also, if you would like to try something different with a little challenge...I have one for you to consider. It's a small private team that competes with others within the larger X-Weighted team. Doing various challenges. Runs for 8 weeks. Stop by my sparkpage and click on the X-Weighted 10 Challenge....Dwindling_Divas team. Join, look it over and add your name to the sign-up thread. Main requirement is to post weight weekly...other activities, all though very beneficial, are optional.

    If you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks.

    1306 days ago
  • v NEWZEE
    Hi Maria! Thank you for the kind words on my post. I think we roughly weight the same & have the same GW!

    Best wishes!
    1450 days ago
    I hope you are feeling better. Have a great weekend!
    1820 days ago
    Thank you for adding me as a spark buddy !
    3111 days ago
  • v TARAHA
    *´¨¨)) -:¦:-
    ¸.♥ .·☆´¨¨)).·*¨)
    ((¸¸.♥´ ..·´ ☆**☆.¸¸.♥´

    "Beautiful Woman Award! Once you've been given this award, you have to paste it on the wall 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"

    ((¸¸.♥´ ..·´ ☆**☆.¸¸.♥´
    ¸.♥ .·☆´¨¨)).·*¨)
    *´¨¨)) -:¦:-

    3694 days ago
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