All Entries For success story

Lisa Quit Dieting--and Lost 78 Pounds

Lisa Walton (LUCKEGIRL40)
Weight Lost: 78 pounds
Hometown: Papillion, NE
Occupation: Disaster Recovery Analyst
What was life like before your weight loss?
I have had a weight problem most of my life. I can still remember the first time my mom looked at me and told me I needed to lose weight. I was only about eight years old at the time, so I decided to put my leotard on and run around the house for a while. I took the scale to my mom and showed her that I had "lost" weight. She told me that that's not how it works. My mom was concerned about me and would continually try to get me to lose weight over the years. She tried everything, including bribes. I heard time after time that I wouldn't be able to get a good job or get a boyfriend if I continued to be heavy. I was very stubborn and tried to prove my mom wrong. I tried diet after diet and would experience temporary success only to jump back up to a higher weight again. I got married to my high-school sweetheart when I was 21 years old. Soon, he picked up where my mom left off with the lectures about my weight. I wanted to feel like my husband could accept me for who I was. After that, my weight skyrocketed. I got all the way up to 240 pounds when I was pregnant with my first child. At 5'3", I was pretty big. I lost some weight after giving birth, but began a cycle of yo-yo weight loss and weight gain for a few years.  At a doctor’s visit in July 2010, I felt crushed when I looked at the scale and it read 220 pounds again.  I was almost back at my pregnancy weight.

I felt awful. I couldn't stand looking in the mirror. I continued to feel my jeans getting tighter and tighter. I was grumpy with my kids and my husband. I constantly thought about how other people viewed me as a fat person. I felt self-conscious when I would sit in chairs and worried about whether I was crowding the people next to me or if the chair was going to hold my weight. I thought about my weight most of the day every day. It was miserable. I didn't feel like I was worth the time of day. One day, I sat on the floor during a very crowded meeting, and I had a hard time getting up off the floor. I realized that the problem was getting out of control.   
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
My grandmother was diagnosed with Type II diabetes when she was about 60 years old. She also had macular degeneration and high blood pressure. In May 2010, my grandmother was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, and she passed away on June 1, 2010 at age 81. I was very close to her, and it hit me very hard when she died. I decided that I was going to use her death as the motivation I needed to start my weight-loss journey. I wanted something positive to come out of her death.  I take after her in a lot of ways, and I don't want to develop high blood pressure or diabetes.  I was also at my highest weight at the time of her death, and I couldn't stand myself anymore. I needed a change. I needed to be able to look myself in the mirror and be happy with what I saw. I needed to be able to not dread putting on my pants.
Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey:
Posted 12/8/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 71 comments   28,913 views
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Find Out How Gregg Lost 70 Pounds

Gregg (GREGGWEISBROD) has lost 70 pounds, thanks to running and giving up junk food. Read his full weight-loss story on Huffington Post Canada Healthy Living!  

Congrats, Gregg!
Posted 12/4/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 13 comments   10,892 views
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Mia Walked Off 100+ Pounds

Mia Padilla-Schubert (JADEDCUP)
Weight Lost: 113 pounds
Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Occupation: Artist and Stay at Home Mom
What was life like before your weight loss?
I gained weight slowly after I got married. During my second year of marriage, I had a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy, and my weight gain really picked up. After trying to get pregnant for 10 years, my doctor found I had thyroid cancer. I lost a bit of weight after undergoing surgery and radiation treatments. One year later, I became pregnant. I watched what I ate and had a healthy baby girl!  However, all of this was still not enough to make my changes stick. Using the excuse that I was a busy mom, I regained the 30 pounds I had lost plus an extra 60 pounds on top of that. At age 36, I was the biggest I had ever been, weighing in at 275 pounds.

I was achy all the time. My hips hurt and I couldn't sit in any seat for more than 20 minutes. It was humiliating to have to ask for extenders for the belts on plane trips. I had to lean into the center of my car to get my door to close all the way. My arms would go numb all the time from the pressure on them. I couldn't go on many rides anymore at fairs or amusement parks. I couldn't walk very far and had a hard time keeping up with my toddler.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
One day after a parade, I had to roll over on to my knees to get up from where I had been sitting. My in-laws had to help me. I realized that I couldn't do it anymore. I just couldn’t go on living the way that I had been.  I was going around and taking my daughter to all sorts of places, but I couldn't actually do anything with her once we got there. I was always watching, never able to do. I was afraid that I would spend my life watching her grow up, always from the sidelines.
Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey:
Posted 12/1/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 43 comments   20,158 views
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A Health Scare Motivated Carol to Change Her Life

Carol Funke (AWESOMECAROL55)
Weight Lost: 120 pounds
Hometown: Garden Plain, KS
Occupation: Aerospace industry
What was life like before your weight loss?
I have been a yo-yo dieter all my life. In my high school days, I was very active and athletic. My weight gain started for the first time when I left home for college. I became very inactive and developed very unhealthy eating habits.  The weight piled on and I soon started a pattern of weight gain and weight loss that was to be with me throughout my life. Many times I gained substantial amounts of weight, became disgusted with myself, and then struggled to take it off again. I’d get depressed, sit on the old pity pot, and eat everything in sight.
My life was horrible at my highest weight. It was very difficult for me to physically do my job as I was required to be on my feet most of the day. I had knee problems, my back hurt and after a long day at work, I could barely walk.  It was all I could do at the end of a long day to have enough energy to pull myself out of the recliner and spend quality time with friends and family.  So, I sat there and ate. Besides the physical aspects of my weight gain, there were many emotional and mental repercussions. My self- esteem was at an all-time low. I was ashamed of how I looked, how I dressed, and how I ate. When I looked in the mirror, I did not like what I saw! I had no self-confidence and felt weak and inferior. A car full of teenagers actually “oinked" at me one time as I walked down the street. That was a very painful and humiliating incident, but instead of motivating me to make changes, it caused me to sink even lower in depression.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
My biggest motivation to lose weight was a desire to regain control of my life and of my health! My father died at age 46 from a cerebral hemorrhage. He was overweight, had high blood pressure and smoked. At the age of 55, it became crystal clear to me that I had hit bottom and drastic changes needed to be made. I was killing myself and no one could help me until I decided to help myself. My "a-ha" moment came after spending one night in the cardiac care unit at a local hospital. I was taken to the hospital by a friend after experiencing chest pains like I had never felt before. My blood pressure and cholesterol were sky high, and at that time I weighed 235 pounds. They decided to admit me to CCU to run some tests. It was the most horrible, miserable experience of my life. I had a lot of time to reflect on exactly what I had done to get myself into that mess and what I could do to get myself out of there. I decided right then and there that I would do WHATEVER it took to never be in that predicament again!  The cardiologist ordered many tests that night on my heart and luckily everything came out OK!   He did tell me that unless I drastically changed my eating and exercise habits, there was no guarantee where I might be in 10 years.  I knew I had to turn my life around. I simply had no choice.
Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey:
Posted 11/24/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 43 comments   15,648 views
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Nicole’s Rx for Success: Exercise and Healthy Eating

Nicole Lagomarsino-Nguyen (LOSLUNAS)
Weight Lost: 89 pounds
Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
Occupation: Homemaker
What was life like before your weight loss?
I lost my father to cancer and, eight months later, suddenly lost my mother as well. Being an only child and not having any other close family, it was overwhelming for me to deal with the emotional stress and the strain of handling the family estate affairs. I developed severe anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. The panic attacks became so frequent that I had to stop working at the job I enjoyed for 18 years. I was prescribed anti-depression and anti-anxiety medicine. The medications left me emotionally numb and lethargic. The medication caused me to gain 10 pounds per month for a total of 85 pounds. After stopping the medication, I was 189 pounds, 44% body fat, and barely fit into my size 16/18 clothes. I was a shell of my former self, physically and emotionally. I avoided all social interactions, cameras, and mirrors. I was like a walking zombie, feeling as if something was propelling me through each day. I was going through the motions but not really living my life. I had a hard time with anything physical, including walking up and down the stairs. Being 5'2" and having a small frame, carrying an extra 89 pounds was like carrying around another person.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
I thought about my husband who had been so supportive of me through my tough times. I thought about how he deserved a wife who was happy and healthy. I thought about my parents and how sad they would be to see me living my life so unhappy and unhealthy. I also thought about myself, about how I wanted to be the person I used to be and to become the person I was destined to be. After carrying around all of the extra weight and misery for about eight years, I decided to take control of my life on January 1, 2010.  I have never looked back.
Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey:
Posted 11/17/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 37 comments   15,851 views
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Supermom Emily Won't Let Anything Slow Her Down

Weight Lost: 67 pounds
Hometown: Ozark, MO
Occupation: Homemaker
What was life like before your weight loss?
After getting married in 2004, I put on some weight. Then, I had my first child in 2006 and another in 2008. I gained a significant amount of weight with each pregnancy, with very little loss in between the two, which left me with quite a bit of extra weight packed onto my small frame. While pregnant, I developed horrible eating and exercising habits. I ate a lot-- whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted! Plus, my activity level was next to nothing. I was always out of breath just doing the simplest things. I never wanted to go anywhere or do anything because I was ashamed and embarrassed about who I was. I hurt; not just physically but emotionally as well. 
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
One day I put on my “fat pants”, and the loosest hole in my belt had become, once again, too small. I could feel the skin from my rolls touching.  My face had changed so much.  I thought: “This has to stop.”  I couldn't stand myself any longer. The time had definitely come.  The only question that remained was, “how?”

What are some obstacles that you experienced during your weight loss journey and how did you handle them?
Many people fall off the wagon completely, especially those who are in for a quick fix.  Stuff is going to happen: you’re going to make poor food choices occasionally, you’re going to slack off on exercising from time to time, but the difference is you keep going anyway. Forgive yourself and move on. You may blow it here and there, but you don’t fail until you give up.

Thankfully, I never completely fell off the wagon, however I did get extremely frustrated when my weight loss would get “stuck” and I couldn’t seem to move beyond a particular number or size.  I just kept going, trying to up my workouts, being extra cautious of what and how much I was consuming and most importantly, focused on the fact that I was, in fact, healthy. There were times it took months of going back and forth with the same five pounds, but eventually I would break through, just never give up!
Early on in my journey, I experienced a major negative experience.  While I was out trying to go for a run, I was actually taunted and made fun of for my running and it hurt!  Yes, I got upset and yes, it made me consider stopping.  But then, I made my mind up to use that as motivation to keep pushing!  Besides, I was out running and bettering myself; while those people weren’t getting any healthier by teasing me.  People who really care don’t judge those trying to be healthy and the ones who do judge or mock, their opinion just isn’t worth your time.
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey: 
Posted 11/10/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 30 comments   19,912 views
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Renee Took Control of Her Life--and Lost 100 Pounds

Renee Hernandez (MIAMI_LILLY)
Weight Lost: 100 pounds
Hometown: Miami, FL
Occupation: Homemaker
What was life like before your weight loss?
I was an overweight child. Although I was always active, I loved junk food and sweets and had a grandmother that always overfed me. As I got older and had four children, I gained weight from each pregnancy. I was so busy taking care of my family, I didn't have time to take care of myself. I was extremely depressed. I had no energy, and would sit on the couch feeling sorry for myself. One time, I remember our vehicle breaking down, and I had to walk to the supermarket. My hips and ankles hurt so badly on the walk home, I could almost cry.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
My biggest motivation was being healthy for my family, and for myself. I already had high blood pressure, and my triglycerides were higher than normal. I was on a very dangerous road. It was my birthday, and my size 24 jeans were so tight, they were uncomfortable to wear. I had to make a choice, either spend my birthday money on bigger jeans or finally take control of my life. I decided to give myself the best present...a healthier body.
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey: 
Posted 11/3/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 51 comments   24,865 views
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86 Pounds Down, Marsha is One Active Grandma

Marsha West (SLENDERELLA61)
Weight Lost: 86 pounds
Hometown: Lakeland, FL
Occupation: Retired Non-Profit Administrator
What was life like before your weight loss?
I was put on my first "diet" at one year of age. The doctor put me on skim milk. I was heavy throughout my childhood. My parents were very loving and encouraging in many ways but were both overweight and didn't recognize my weight as a problem until I was 11 years old. I then tried diet shakes and diet cola. I tried to lose unsuccessfully for years. At age 16, I finally lost 60 pounds, going from 172 to 112 pounds. It took me nine months to lose it, and I probably did not maintain for even a week. I went back up to 155 pounds within three months.
As a child I didn't want to run, dance, or move fast because I was embarrassed to let others see my fat jiggle. When all my friends were dating, I wasn't. I was so sad not to have a date to the prom. As an adult, I constantly felt less than other people because of my weight. I put up with bad relationships and being treated badly because I didn't think I deserved more. I had given up trying to lose weight to look better.
What was your ‘light-bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
When the doctor told me, at age 59, that I had three months to bring down my cholesterol and blood pressure, I wanted to do it for my health. And then, my daughter asked me to help her lose her baby weight, and I certainly wanted to support her. There was an evening when I was sitting in front of the TV eating dry cereal out of the box when I noticed how empty the box had become with me not even really tasting it. I told myself that if I wanted to live life at the weight that I really wanted to be, then I simply could not continue this mindless eating. For the next week, I felt like I was in mourning the loss of my good evening companion.

Not long after that, I was just about to overfeed my dear dog as usual; I was always afraid she might be hungry. But then I stopped. I wanted her to have the same health and energy I was beginning to enjoy! The light bulb went on and I knew what I wanted for both of us. There were no doubts and no turning back.
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey: 
Posted 10/27/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 48 comments   19,816 views
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A Birthday Surprise Motivated Rachel to Lose 70 Pounds

Rachel Murray (_RACHEL)
Weight Lost: 70 pounds
Hometown: Goldendale, WA
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom
What was life like before your weight loss?
I gained weight during each pregnancy and didn't take it off afterwards.  By the time I had my 4th child, I had gained 78 pounds.    I was an expert dieter and yo-yoed throughout my life between overeating and starving myself.  I needed to stop having a "diet" mentality. Even though I am an extrovert and love people, I hid myself at home.  I kept my social activities to the absolute minimum and relied heavily on my husband, to the point that he even did the grocery shopping.  I hated holidays and trying to find something suitable to wear. I was constantly in tears.  Even buying new clothes was painful.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
The year I turned 50, my sisters schemed to drag me into our community's largest parade.  My husband knew there was no way I would attend because I hadn’t gone for years.  In fact, I avoided going anywhere because I was so heavy. My sister, whose son had just passed away, told me that her granddaughters were going to be in the parade and asked me to watch. How could I refuse her? Little did I know that this was only a ploy to get me there.

I was in turmoil, deeply embarrassed and hoping I wouldn't see anyone I knew.  As a spectator, watching the parade go by, my eyes became fixed on a large banner with my name on it announcing: "Welcome Our Newest Member, Rachel Murray- Happy 50th Birthday!”  There was a small sports car all decorated in the Red Hat Society colors waiting for me.  They drew me out of the crowd, placed a red hat on my head and had me get into the car.  As I rode like a politician seen by everyone at the parade, I literally was dying inside. My sisters did me the biggest favor.  That day was my motivator to get on track and try to lose the weight.
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey:
I started on December 27, 2009. I joined a small SparkPeople group, the Wildflowerr Live~It's.  Our leader created monthly challenges.  I was an active participant and logged my food, water, and exercise daily.  The result was that I lost an average of one to two pounds per week. SparkPeople has taught me how to eat right.  I especially love the tool that shows my daily nutritional feedback. SparkPeople has played a tremendous role in my life.  I have made long-lasting friendships and had the privilege of flying across our nation to meet these wonderful ladies.  We have bonded even more and celebrated our successes.  These relationships still continue even after almost four years on the site.  I have been encouraged, inspired, and strengthened by reading other members’ blogs and achievements.
Posted 10/20/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 53 comments   19,441 views
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From Couch Potato to Hiking the Grand Canyon

Stacey Clampitt (GIRL*IN*MOTION)
Weight Lost: 77 pounds
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Occupation: Accountant

What was life like before your weight loss?
My struggle with weight started in high school and continued well throughout my 20s. I worked in restaurants while struggling with emotional eating, and it was a bad combination.  Unhealthy food was always accessible. After high school, when I was no longer in organized sports, all fitness stopped and the young lifestyle of always going out with your friends started. The pounds piled on, and I didn't really even notice. I met my husband in 2004. From there I got really happy and comfortable, gaining 40 more pounds. I was topping the scale at 220 pounds and a size 18. For my 5'5" frame, it was painful for me to look in the mirror. I hid behind layers of clothing, ashamed of just how badly I'd let myself go. I was an emotional eater and drowned my misery in more food, only making the problem worse and worse. I hid behind baggy layers of clothing, avoided cameras and refused to wear anything without an elastic waist. I was the epitome of a junk-food junkie and couch potato. I was unhappy, depressed, and longing for changes that I could never quite make happen. I rarely had the energy to enjoy time with my family. Time at the park consisted of me sitting and watching the kids play because I didn’t have the energy or stamina to keep up with them.

Looking back at my overweight life now, I recognize that I had a lot more problems and issues than I realized at the time. I was constantly out of breath and suffered from insomnia and acid reflux. I was winded after a flight of stairs, avoided mirrors and social settings. I was certainly not a very happy person. I had very low self-esteem and felt very lost.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
My real "aha" moment was a random morning getting ready for work. I realized not a single piece of clothing I owned fit and the thought of having to go shopping for yet another larger wardrobe halted me in my tracks. That was the day I found SparkPeople and began my journey to health and wellness.       
Posted 10/13/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 73 comments   51,509 views
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Mike Lost 67+ Pounds Using SparkPeople--and Now He Works Here

Editor's Note: By popular demand, our Behind the Scenes at SparkPeople feature has returned. Today we're interviewing Mike, who joined the SparkPeople team earlier this year. In addition to being a SparkPeople employee, he used our program to lose almost 70 pounds (and he's not done yet)! Mike, who credits daily use of SparkCoach for his success, learned to love running. Read his story!  

Name: Michael Honkomp (HONKUS)

Position at SparkPeople: Ad Operations Specialist

Age: 38

Family: Married to Erin for 14 years, father of two girls ages 7 and 4

How long have you worked for SparkPeople? 4 months

Tell us your proudest accomplishment at SparkPeople or a fun fact about your job: My proudest moment happens each day when I walk in the door for work. I do everything I can to help SparkPeople spread its message so it can help others as much as it has helped me.

How do you stay in shape?
I do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day: walking, running, free weights, floor exercises. I also eat a well-balanced diet, keeping within the calorie range I have set on SparkPeople.

What's your favorite food?
Pad Thai with tofu

What's your favorite indulgence?
I like to pour a modest glass of scotch while the wife has a glass of wine and just hang out.

How do you feel when you exercise?
Simply put, I feel alive. After a run, when I'm breathing deeply, dripping with sweat, and slightly tired, it makes me feel more alive and in tune with myself than anything else.
What do you do to de-stress?
I read books.  I bought a Kindle a few years back, and have made great use of it.
What is your passion in life?
My family is my main passion.  Providing them with a home and a happy, healthy lifestyle has been what keeps me going each day.  I can’t find any joy greater than the smile and laughter of my girls.

How has working at SparkPeople affected your life?
I love the mission of SparkPeople.  It started to affect my life long before I started working here, but after working here and seeing the employees truly living it day by day has strengthened my resolve even further.

Have you gained or lost weight since starting here?
I have lost about seven pounds since I have started, and I plan to lose 13 more to reach my goal.

Have you started any new habits?
Posted 10/9/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Michael Honkomp : 35 comments   16,156 views
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Cerise Lost 61 Pounds--Read Her Story in 'First for Women'

SparkPeople member Cerise Wade (RENCHERRY) lost 61 pounds--and she's sharing her secrets of success in the latest issue of First for Women magazine. Cerise used a form of exercise that's effective and appropriate for people of all fitness levels. Pick up a copy of the magazine and get the scoop on how this 33-year-old mom from Texas shed the pounds for good!
Posted 10/4/2013  12:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 8 comments   14,609 views
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Barbara Lost 100 Pounds and Became a Triathlete!

Barbara Whitehead (ONEKIDSMOM)
Weight Lost: 100 pounds
Hometown: Lincoln, NE
Occupation: Computer Programmer/Analyst
What was life like before your weight loss?
I have been a compulsive eater since childhood, raiding my parents’ food stores and downing large volumes of candy when I could get it.  I was a fairly active child, so didn't start actually gaining the pounds until adolescence.  I lost with an unhealthy fast/feast diet cycle between high school and college, which is the last time I was in the 120s before this current lifestyle change.  I was the classic yo-yo dieter.  I’d try for a while, lose some, and then gain it all back. I was so unfit that walking five steps across the room to answer the telephone caused my mother-in-law to ask me whether I had been running.  I was afraid that if my young son would hurt himself on the playground, I would be unable to get to him to help him.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
My motivation to lose weight was to save my life.  I also wanted to manage the stresses in my life in a healthier way and to be happy. The “a-ha moment” came when I realized it was not losing the weight or the number on the scale that made me happy.  It was the behaviors that gave me weight loss and a healthy weight as a side effect that truly made me happy!  I firmly believe that this is the revelation that will enable me to keep it off for life.
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey with SparkPeople:
Posted 9/29/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 63 comments   15,754 views
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From Size 22 to 6, Michelle Can Accomplish Anything Now!

Michelle Miller (JUSTCHELLE75)
Weight Lost: 140 pounds
Hometown: Houston, TX
Occupation: Paralegal
What was life like before your weight loss?
My weight has had vast fluctuations my entire life.  I maintained at 135 pounds for about three years and then I steadily went up.  I gained the most recent weight when I was pregnant with my daughter.  I gained about 100 pounds while pregnant with her and then had a C-section.  I was so out of control I wouldn't even let the nurse tell me what I weighed. I didn't even realize how large I had gotten. I no longer looked at myself in the mirror and when I did, I didn't see what I was becoming. I got married and had a baby all in the span of one year while working full time and going to school. I had many changes and didn't know how to take care of myself. My husband and I were so busy that we turned to fast food or eating out much too much. I was winded to the point of thinking I had asthma just walking up the stairs.  We would take my daughter out in her jogging stroller and I would hurt.  My husband would tell me how beautiful I was but in my head I just didn't want to believe him. I didn't feel beautiful or secure.
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
I saw a picture of myself with my daughter in December 2010. It's the first time I really saw myself and how out of control I was.  I decided I needed to lose weight and get healthy so my daughter would never have to go through what I did.  I also wanted to feel comfortable taking pictures with her and our life. I had become happy with myself.
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey:
I joined Weight Watchers and SparkPeople on the very same day. That day was January 17, 2011. That’s the day I have dubbed my ‘Healthiversary’.
Posted 9/22/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 92 comments   52,394 views
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Tricia Made Healthier Choices and Lost Over 50 Pounds!

Tricia Voss (VTRICIA)
Weight Lost: 57 pounds
Hometown:  Salt Lake City, UT
Occupation: Mother and Student
What was life like before your weight loss?
I thought of myself as pretty healthy even though I have been overweight most of my life and crossed the line into obese now and then.  I figured I was just big-boned or had heavy genes.  I wore baggy clothes and people said my pregnancies didn’t show for seven or eight months.  I thought eating right meant adding protein to whatever I felt like eating and maybe some vegetables at dinner.  I didn’t do very much in the way of fitness, even though I have a ton of exercise equipment around the house.  As I approached 40, it felt like it was all downhill, especially after I had a few injuries and became less mobile during my recovery.
What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
I hadn’t weighed myself in a couple years, but one day I was helping my sister weigh her baby and was shocked at what I saw.  I was 212 pounds, 22 pounds over my “fat but fit” ideal of 190 pounds.  I started using SparkPeople and lost 6 pounds, but then I got pregnant.  After the pregnancy, I had blood work done for life insurance and was confronted with elevated LDL cholesterol levels, higher than usual blood pressure numbers and other risk factors that prevented me from getting the best rate. 
About this time, I also had an "a-ha" moment about my relationship with sweets. One day I was going along eating one of my personal favorites out of the bag, and I thought: "I just love these things! I don't know how I would ever get along without them."  And I realized that if one of the best things in life was some candy, I had a serious problem.  That was the beginning of my willingness to put boundaries on my eating.
On New Year’s Day 2012, I decided to resume my activity on SparkPeople and started with tracking my food.
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey: 
Posted 9/15/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 36 comments   17,138 views
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