Down 143 Pounds, Ann Shares Her Story*


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  170 comments   :  40,224 Views

Editor's Note: EMMABE1 has lost 143 pounds and counting with SparkPeople. Ann, who is from Australia, recently answered ~INDYGIRL's questions via email.
~INDYGIRL: What was your a-ha moment when you decided to finally lose the weight?
EMMABE1: As far as one single a-ha moment – I really didn’t have one! It sort of snuck up on me.  There was a huge media blitz on "healthy living" and this maybe had some effect. I was also having problems with osteoarthritis in my knees and ankles, so my doctor was talking "knee replacement."  The risks were too high at that weight; however I knew that one day the time would come.  With weight loss, healthy eating and exercise, I have managed to stop all pain in my knees and at this time, replacement is definitely "off" indefinitely!

~INDYGIRL: How much weight have you lost?
EMMABE1: 65 kg (143 lb approx.) I had lost 35 kg (77 lb approx.) in the 7 yrs before joining SparkPeople, but was just "fiddling about" reducing the amount of food and calories I was eating, but not changing my lifestyle.  Consequently I was still wearing the same size clothes despite the weight loss, and because of this I was totally fed up with what I viewed as yet another failed attempt. Then in 2009, I was pointed towards SparkPeople.  In the last 2 1/2 yrs I have lost 30kg (66 lb approx.) but also I have lost a total of 70" off my body from changing my lifestyle.

~INDYGIRL: What made this time different in your mind?
EMMABE1: At first it wasn’t! I was very skeptical that this would work after a lifetime of failed attempts.  The mental change was gradual. At first I hated disturbing my day by getting up and moving, staggering through one exercise in pain, but then the inches started falling off, and as they did the support from the site members increased.  Gradually, "I can’t" became "maybe," then "I will."

~INDYGIRL: What did you do differently this time?

Exercise has never figured in any of the many weight loss programs I have attempted before; they all worked on lowering calories and starving.
Track my foods
Planning in advance and tracking to ensure that the macronutrients and calories are balanced works well for me.  

Increase the amount of vegetables we eat, particularly green leafy veggies and low carbohydrate vegetables.
Portion Control
At the start I was amazed by how little a portion was, having gotten used to large meals. These days I use small plate for meals and find the amount I eat is plenty to keep me full.

~INDYGIRL: How did SparkPeople help?
EMMABE1: The myriad of articles, weight loss tools, information and support available and freely given has made it easy.

~INDYGIRL: Were there any tools that were especially helpful?
EMMABE1: The Nutrition Tracker – I always plan meals for the next day on the day before, though I plan our main meals up to a month ahead. By planning in advance, I can save a lot of money and ensure they are balanced within my calorie allowance – after all, it’s too late after you have eaten the food and then discover you are over calories or unbalanced!

~INDYGIRL: What foods are your go to foods now?
Water – if I am hungry or late preparing a meal, I will have a glass of water. That often takes me to the next planned meal or gives me time to prepare food.
Canned tuna – always in the pantry – use for salads, and a great tasting and very quick Tuna Curry.
Healthy muffins are often in the freezer – my favorite ones – Savory Muffins.

~INDYGIRL: What exercises are your favorites?
EMMABE1: Zumba – I love the rhythm, and because I can do it! I do it at Curves, but also have a DVD set I use at home. I use Chair Exercises often too.  I do Chair Yoga 3 or so times a week, and often get up early and do a Chair Dance DVD before I start the day. I go to Curves 3 times a week now, but for 18 months I only did Chair Exercises, and it is from doing them that I am now able to cope with Curves and do Zumba.

~INDYGIRL: I know you run the Chair Exercise Team, can you tell me more about that?

EMMABE1: There are a plethora of great exercise video links on SparkPeople, however there are a section of society who are unable to use those exercises for many reasons.

Anyone who is handicapped by physical problems, or who is very obese has particular problems with mobility that often prevents any form of standing or walking exercise.

Also people who are excessively overweight have mostly been living a sedentary life often for a time, and the idea of exercise, even of moving much at all, can be totally daunting.
Because the leaders have all been obese, and have physical problems of their own they understand these problems so they can gently guide the members and encourage regular movement that can be done seated, in the safety of their home. That can vary from stretches, through strength, to Chair Dancing and Chair Yoga.

In many cases members start with Chair Exercises and then continue on to "main stream" exercises because the Chair exercises have given them the mobility and flexibility to be able to cope with other forms of exercise.  Others find they get a great workout from Chair Exercises and don’t need other exercise!  Having said this, we have a number of other members too, who find that Chair Exercises solve their exercise requirements, maybe for exercise they can do at their desk, or in their lunch time, or while the children are asleep, or even with the children who love dancing along to the music, as well.

~INDYGIRL:  What advice do you have for those out there wanting to lose weight?

EMMABE1:  To do it! Don’t put it off, thinking you will start next week or next year, waiting for "the right time" because the "right" time never comes – life always gets in the way! Do it for yourself, for your own reasons, but know that once you have made the change to healthy living you will never look back and you will always wonder why you didn’t do it earlier!
Have you put off losing weight for "The right time?"

*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program. 

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  • 170
    Thanks for the inspirational article! - 12/30/2017   9:47:11 AM
  • 169
    wow - 7/7/2017   12:03:38 PM
  • 168
    What an inspiration! Great job getting the weight off. You look wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your story! - 12/19/2014   9:16:21 AM
    Thanks for the story. I hadn't realized you have a chair excercise group. I have so much to learn about this website. I been doing chair excercises because I loose my balance at times I like having the safety net close by. From your story we have much in comment. Thanks so much for sharing..... - 4/8/2012   12:58:44 PM
  • 166
    I am in awe of you! - 11/12/2011   4:14:27 AM
    Thank you for sharing your story!! - 10/28/2011   1:23:20 PM
    Thank you for sharing your story!! - 10/28/2011   1:20:32 PM
  • 163
    what an inspiration you are - 10/1/2011   10:04:19 PM
  • 162
    Great job. Thanks for being such an inspiration for others. - 10/1/2011   2:59:29 PM
  • 161
    Congratulations on your accomplishments! Glad you can motivate others. Well thought out healthy strategies too! - 10/1/2011   10:05:06 AM
  • NJ_HOU
    Thank you so much for writing and Congratulations on your achievements - 9/30/2011   11:43:56 AM
    You have inspired me. Thank you for your incredible story. You show us it can be done if we are consistent in what we do. - 9/15/2011   9:49:06 PM
    I applaud you. I know it was hard and you probably wanted to give up but you stuck in there and it paid off. Keep exercising and you will feel even better. Much love. - 9/14/2011   7:54:08 AM
  • 157
    Congrats. You are great and inspiring! Keep it going! - 9/14/2011   5:10:42 AM
    You are an inspiration. Way to go. - 9/14/2011   3:45:00 AM
    You go girl keep it going. - 9/13/2011   10:31:29 PM
  • 154
    Congratulations on all your success! You deserve the very best! - 9/13/2011   10:04:02 PM
  • 153
    Wonderful Job. Wow that is so awsome. I am so proud of you that you havn't givin up. You have inspired me just like lots others on here. I am so proud to have found sparkpages. I have over lbs to lose and hopefully can be done by next year sometimes. I have already quit smoking and drinking caffine this last year so now on to being a healthier me. Thanks for sharing your story. - 9/13/2011   11:58:10 AM
    Thank You for your sharing. It is a blessing I stumbled on this today. I have been feeling so alone on my journey. You are an inspiration - 9/13/2011   10:03:36 AM
  • DANA5402
    Wow, how amazing. You brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for you and moved to try to make the same changes in myself. - 9/13/2011   9:58:27 AM
  • 150
    thanks for being a great inspiration to others. i love how you started out with chair exercise and my mom has no more excuses! - 9/13/2011   9:40:13 AM
  • 149
    Thanks for your honest answers. You are truly an inspiration!!! - 9/12/2011   5:36:03 PM
    Wow! Hard work does pay off! Way to Go! - 9/12/2011   2:21:36 PM
  • 147
    Thanks for sharing this. I am going to take your advice and stop waiting. - 9/11/2011   7:53:07 PM
  • 146
    Congratulations. You are an inspiration to all of us. - 9/11/2011   5:16:36 PM
    You are awesome and inspiring! - 9/11/2011   11:08:51 AM
  • 144
    What an inspiration!! Thank you so much for publishing your own story. So many people are in the same shape. I want to lose at least 150 pounds but have a lot of pain in my legs and breathing problems. Having some support while walking would help me tremendously and I checked into getting a rollator. I tried one out in the store but the handles do not come up as high as I would like and the seat will no where near hold my weight. So it's back trying to walk a little each day.

    Thanks again for this post.

    Susan - 9/11/2011   4:44:17 AM
  • 501WALKER
    Thank you! I am so proud of you. YOU ROCK!!! Keep on sparkin...!! - 9/10/2011   11:14:05 PM
  • 142
    WOW! EMMABE1, You have inspired me beyond belief! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! - 9/10/2011   10:54:06 PM
  • 141
    I am so happy for you. You look amazing. I am so pleased to have found this blog. It is encouraging me at a point of time when I am having some issues of being disappointed in myself for back sliding. It is so much work to get it off and so fast to put it back on. Well, onward and downward. - 9/10/2011   10:27:05 PM
  • 140
    Congratulations! And thanks for sharing! You really are an inspiration! - 9/10/2011   9:38:24 PM
    You are an inspiration to us all!! Keep up the good work!!!! - 9/10/2011   6:18:06 PM
  • 138
    Amazing - what a transformation. Your story is so inspiring for two reasons 1) You did it and 2) it was a process - the weight loss did not happen overnight. I need to hear that because sometimes I get discouraged and think it wouldn't happen but I do know this time I am not giving up.

    Thank-you for sharing your story - you are a inspiration to many ESPECIALLY me!!

    Purrrpy - 9/10/2011   3:26:33 PM
  • 137
    What an awesome story! Very inspirational! Wishing you all the best as you continue on your journey. - 9/10/2011   3:06:29 PM
  • 136
    Terrific, Ann!!!! - 9/10/2011   1:20:57 PM
  • 135
    You are doing great and your answers are very helpful for me. I want to make a bunch of the savory muffins for my freezer; thanks for sharing so much! - 9/10/2011   12:10:46 PM
  • 134
    Congratulations! And thank you so much for being such an amazing inspiration! - 9/10/2011   11:08:18 AM
  • 133
    you are such an inspiration!!!!!! thank you - 9/2/2011   12:00:31 PM
  • 132
    You have helped me go from feeling defeated to being inspired. Thank you so much! - 9/1/2011   1:47:48 PM
  • 131
    Wow, this is an amazing story and gives me some insight into my own problems with weight. I am considered obese as well, have joined a gym, and do work full time. There are some days I am so tired and my knees hurt and rather than blow off the whole work out, I know I can safely do some chair exercises for that allotted amount of time until I can get myself up to go again. It gives me another option too, and for me, the more options the better. Now I have to find those chair exercises. I have been doing some dumb bell weight exercises for my arms at work when there is a lull. Thanks for your story. - 8/31/2011   3:27:12 PM
    Amazing!!!! Awesome!!!! - 8/31/2011   9:03:06 AM
    What an incredible story and transformation. Thank you so much for sharing!!! - 8/30/2011   7:26:36 PM
  • 128
    This is an incredible inspiration! Thank you do much for sharing your story and wisdom!!! - 8/30/2011   7:21:29 PM
    Congratulations on your succesful weight-loss! Keep up the good work!! - 8/30/2011   11:49:19 AM
    Wow, you do yourself proud!!! When I see what others have accomplished, I feel encouraged. I am new to SparkPeople, but am looking forward to being one of YOU! Ladyslipper8 - 8/30/2011   10:28:47 AM
    Good job!!! Keep it up! - 8/30/2011   6:31:57 AM
  • 124
    Wonderful! Thank you for the inspiration! - 8/29/2011   1:20:02 PM
  • 350POUNDS
    Great job!! You're an inspiration and living proof that anything is possible. You can follow my weight loss on my blog at - 8/29/2011   12:05:13 PM
    what a great story,keep up the good work,I know your story motivated alot of people,you are going great,good luck on your wieght lose. - 8/29/2011   10:01:48 AM
    Awesome work! Thanks for sharing
    - 8/29/2011   9:12:26 AM

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