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Originally in 2012 I came here to track my habits & learn some new ones.

I have always been curvy even when I was a teenager and playing sports. I have always loved my body no matter it's shape. The only times I have changed my eating habits or upped my exercise was when I noticed that extra pounds have developed and my body feels weighed down. I have definitely been an emotional eater throughout my life. My mind has been better aligned over recent years.

The Journey:
At the beginning of my journey I was finding my way through putting less refined/processed foods into my body. After the drastic "low carb" diet, it progressed to meaning moderately low carb intake focusing on no wheat products. It is just something I was using to keep myself away from breads and junk food.

Since I made these changes in July 2014 my body feels better and I have shed 30lbs. I am now (May 2016) at my lowest weight at 140.

I have a collection of Low Carb & Healthy recipes: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/cookbooks.a

There is hope for us carb & sweet lovers that want to become healthier. Good luck on your journey. :)

Now I eat gluten free breads/waffles/pancakes, and baked goods. I have to be careful of the added sugars in these products. My next journey is looking at how these carbs also can turn to sugars or be empty/nutrition lean calories. I love eating butter, creams, meats, veges, and fruit.

For the first time I enjoy exercise and being active. I was finally "ready". I didn't say I need to work out anymore. I just didn't feel right if I hadn't done something active for at least 10m/day. That fluctuates now from streaks of motivated regular exercise 3-5 days/wk to 1-3/wk. I can tell the difference when it is a less active week.

Mental Growth:
For a long time I was building and filling my mental cup with writing and reading blogs. Learning from others' journeys and sharing my own. I met some great gals on here that have been very supportive, encouraging, and inspiring. I left in Sept 2015. Coming "back" now May 2016.

If you would like to know more detail see my blog:
My Journey January 2012 to now

Fav Quotes:
"I know what I have to do. I have to keep breathing. And tomorrow the sun will rise, and who knows what the tide will bring in.� Cast Away

"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain!" Vivian Greene

"No, Honey...I'm not doin' that today. I like how I've been feelin' without doing that'." STEPHIGIRL on her spark page.

"When You Break A Few Eggs you wouldn't throw away the whole dozen, right?" Weight Watchers?

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result". Rita Mae Brown not Einstein.
She wrote it in Sudden Death (1983) in turn paraphrasing a NA quote:
"Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results."

Favorite snacks:
-Slice of swiss with 3g butter
-Zoi plain yogurt with 5g honey
-Pomegranate seeds
-Just Mayo(no soybean or bad processed oil) & tuna & chopped carrots or celery

I have come to substitute almond milk in my cereals (hot or cold). It has more consistency & taste than water, less carbs/fat/calories, less nutty flavor than you would think, and allows the flavors of the food to come out. I love whole milk as a drink by itself.. it seems like a luxury. :) I use 1 tbsp unsweetened whipping cream & 1 tsp vanilla extract in my coffee 2x/day. I don't add sugar to anything. Only 1/2tbsp 100% maple syrup to my gluten free waffles/pancakes and madhava coconut sugar in recipes (1/3-1/2 of required).

See my blog series on Sugar:
Glucose vs Fructose

Hormones (Insulin & Leptin)

Sugar Addiction & Stress

Carbs & Fats

Part VI: So Now What For Me?

My Sugar Method

Member Since: 1/10/2012

Fitness Minutes: 35,403

My Goals:
I have hit my maintenance point in my journey between 135-140. Now for transition to calling it a "New Lifestyle". Consistent exercise, and continued mental growth.
Great Article about Regaining WeightLoss/Maintaing:

My Program:
-Daily 10+ min exercise, stretching, and finding mental center.
-Eating foods in it's most original form.
-Take control of my highs/lows that come from sugars/carbs: refined, processed, & simple.
-Turn to nature's candy: fruit & veges.

Calories: 1700-1750
Carbs:30% (127-131g)
Fat:55% (103-106g)
Protein:15% (64-68g)

Personal Information:
-Long term relationship of 6+ years
-Beautiful smart daughter, 10.
-Two fun and cuddly cats 3 & 1.
-Hyperactive b&w border collie mix (walking partner), 6.

Other Information:
Live in nature filled Idaho that has mountains to hike & camp in, rivers/streams /lakes/ponds to fish & wade, & four seasons to enjoy.

Read More About IVYSPARKS - Profile Information moved here. (Updated May 16)

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