'I Got Tired of Being the Big Girl'*
How old are you? 43
How long have you been a SparkPeople member? Since September 2009, but really active since January 2011.
How did you find SparkPeople? My sister found the site and became a member. She suggested I check it out. I was doing Weight Watchers at the time I signed up and wasn't ready to make the change until 2011.
What is your favorite feature on SparkPeople? I love SparkRecipes, and I like meeting other members through the SparkPeople Community.
How much weight have you lost? I've lost 42 pounds since becoming serious about weight loss in 2011, and I'm 73 pounds down from my heaviest weight (233 lbs).
How long did it take to lose the weight? It took seven months for me to lose 42 pounds on SparkPeople.
What was your light bulb moment that made you decide to lose weight? I became a black belt in tae kwon do and finally got tired of being the ''big girl'' in the group. I started really tracking on SparkPeople and Weight Watchers together and realized that even though I was within my ''points'' for Weight Watchers, I was still over my calories on SparkPeople. Then I got serious. I decided I was going to work out seven days a week along with really tracking on SparkPeople.
What was your biggest obstacle while trying to lose weight? Being kind to myself and really believing I deserved to be thin and happy. Also getting used to true portion sizes and realizing my body didn't NEED the amount of food I was eating.
What does your weekly exercise schedule look like? I work out six or seven days a week, mostly going to tae kwon do and using workout DVDs at home. I've done P90X twice, and I started Insanity, but then switched to a long distance walking program for the summer (for a 50-mile charity walk). Sometimes I go to the gym and use the treadmill or elliptical for straight cardio. I usually work out after work and right before dinner.
What is your favorite way to exercise? I love to work out at home. The Bob Harper DVDs are my favorite at-home workouts, and I make a point to go to tae kwon do twice a week most weeks. It's a fantastic stress reliever!
Do you have any personal fitness goals coming up? My latest goal is to train for the next tae kwon do tournament in a couple of weeks. I will also be testing for my next level of black belt in December. Then I might do a P90X/Insanity hybrid workout program.
What does a typical day of food look like for you? I start most days with a smoothie, including milk, protein powder, frozen fruit, and powdered peanut butter.
Lunch is usually a salad with chicken, ham, or turkey and I vary what I put in it. I like to top it with sunflower seeds, olives, and feta cheese.
Dinner is usually a SparkRecipes recipe. I've switched to ground turkey instead of ground beef for most of the meals I make. I also use whole-wheat pasta or quinoa, and add some sort of veggie to everything. We also eat a lot of chicken.
Snack choices are: Greek yogurt, almonds, fresh fruit, celery with Laughing Cow cheese, Vitatops muffin tops or Fiber One 90-calorie bars. I almost never eat bread anymore (once my favorite) and when I do, it's whole wheat.
How does this compare to the way you ate before your transformation? I used to eat a lot more than I needed to, and almost none of it was healthy. Almost no fruits or vegetables and mostly pizza, nachos, Chinese food, fast food and anything packaged. Snacks were usually carb-loaded and not healthy at all. When I did have a home cooked meal, I ALWAYS had second helpings and used to let my husband fill my plate for me. He used to make MY plate the same amount as his! He's six inches taller than me! I didn't need that much food!
What is your favorite healthy food? I'm learning to LOVE spicy foods. And I'm trying new vegetables more often. I've found that I DO like veggies (not a fan of most) in certain ways. Like fresh asparagus instead of frozen, etc. I've always loved fruit, and I've come to prefer Chobani Greek yogurt for more protein.
What is your favorite treat food? I love Fiber One brownies or Vitatops Vitacakes (50 calories) for a little chocolate taste. I like Weight Watchers ice cream sandwiches and bars, too.
Who is your biggest inspiration? My sister, Laurie. She lost a lot of weight using SparkPeople, too, and we've been getting our families on the healthy eating bandwagon together.
Do you have a personal mantra/saying/quote that you live by that you'd like to share? I like to tell people that healthy living and losing weight for good takes a ''moment''—the moment when you get to the point where you're so sick of being unhealthy and overweight that you'll do anything it takes to get healthy. You have to be a little selfish and take care of yourself first. Once you're happy and accept yourself for who you are, you will be successful.
*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.
Has Chris inspired you? What tips from her journey can you apply to your own life?
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