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All Entries For weight loss

Watch: How Dave and Julie Lost 220 Pounds


Dave (dave3977) and Julie (jujumiller) Miller joined SparkPeople in February, just after starting their weight-loss journey. In just 11 months, they have shed more than 220 pounds--137 for him and 87 for her, with another 60 and 30 to go, respectively. What a great success story!

Now the couple is being called "Cleveland's Biggest Losers" by their local TV station WKYC. This morning, they were on the news to show off their slimmer, healthier selves and share the secrets to their success.


Watch the two-part segment here.

Posted 12/18/2013  4:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 45 comments   21,218 views
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How Your Genes Affect Your Jean Size


"I am just big-boned. Everyone in my family is big-boned."

"My Mom is heavy. My Dad is heavy. I'll never be anything but heavy."

"My sister has my Mom's lean body and I have my Dad's stocky body, so I will never be lean like her."
 
At one point or another, you've probably heard your friends or family members utter these phrases. Heck, you may have even said similar things yourself. 

So just how much of a role do genetics play in your body shape and size? If you have heavy parents, are you truly doomed to be heavy forever? When your parents are tall and lean, can you get away with eating more—without consequence? If your mom has wide hips, will shopping for jeans always be the bane of your existence?
Posted 11/7/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 35 comments   30,820 views
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Is the Junk-Food 'Addiction' Study Junk Science?


"I'm fat because of Oreo cookies!" screamed the woman as she entered the weight-loss class I was coaching last week. In hand, she waved the press release from Connecticut College, which blared the warning, "Oreos are just as addictive as drugs!" 
 
 
"I am addicted to certain foods, just like those rats were addicted to Oreo cookies," she continued on.  "It's supposed to be worse than being addicted to cocaine. How am I ever going to be successful with my weight loss?"
Posted 10/23/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Becky Hand : 66 comments   18,222 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 : 57 comments   9,590 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 : 84 comments   24,183 views
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7 Signs You'll Fail at Weight Loss


That headline got your attention, didn't it? Not to worry, SparkPeople hasn't changed our attitude about healthy living and weight loss. But what we have done, for the first time ever, is compile and publish the very best advice, tips and tricks from our "Success Stories"--more than 100 members who've lost weight and kept it off using SparkPeople.com to accomplish their goals. These members know that how you start to lose weight is the most important indicator of long-term weight loss. They shared their struggles and successes so that you can learn from their experiences and remove the guesswork from weight loss.

We compared their success against people who gave up on weight loss within the first two weeks. And you know what? We found quite a few red flags that determined--from Day 1--whether someone would succeed or fail.

Here are our top 7 signs that you'll give up on weight loss--and how to reverse your fate if you have any of these demotivating habits.
Posted 9/16/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Stepfanie Romine : 32 comments   25,917 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 : 34 comments   10,316 views
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'I Started This for My Kids, But I'm Finishing It for Me''


Holly Petras (HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE)
Weight Lost: 140 pounds
Hometown: Fairview, PA
Occupation: Patient Advocate
 
What was life like before your weight loss?
Other than my kindergarten picture, every picture I have of myself is of a chubby child, a fat teenager or an obese adult.  As a kid, I used to play soccer, swim and dance, and I was always the biggest one.  When I got to college, I gained even more weight with late night pizza and beer.  Right out of college, I got married to a man who loved me so much, he thought catering to my every desire would make me happy.  All it did was make me lazy and fatter.  This was in no way his fault, but it wasn't helpful either.  When I got pregnant with my kids, it was just another excuse to eat whatever I wanted. I craved French fries with my son and pizza with my daughter, and ate them most nights.  I didn't know it at the time, but when I look back on things now, I was miserable.  I didn't do anything with my kids or our friends.  I stayed inside on the couch while my husband took the kids out to play.  I hated doing anything that made me sweat, and at that size, everything made me sweat.  I couldn't get on amusement park rides, I hated walking around the zoo, and I didn't want to leave the house.  Physically, my back and feet hurt all the time. My asthma was out of control, and I never went to the doctor.  I didn't want to be told I had high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and diabetes.  I especially didn't want to be told to lose weight.  I am 5 feet tall and at my highest weight, my waist was 59 inches around.  I was as wide as I was tall; it's not a surprise that I was miserable.
 
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
At the end of May 2010, I was volunteering in my son's class for his birthday.  We were lining up to go outside and he introduced me to one of his friends.  His friend looked at me, then looked at my son and said "your mom's fat."  My son said nothing.  What could he say?  The little boy was right.  It took everything I had not to break down and cry.  The look on my son's face broke my heart.  I knew right then, I HAD to change for my kids and for myself.  I was NOT going to be "the fat mom." My children have been my biggest motivation since day one.  I was going to get healthy for them because I didn't want them to grow up to be like me.  I wasn't any kind of role model for them.  That weekend, I Googled "counting calories" and that's how I found SparkPeople.  That's when I began the journey that saved my life.  Now as my journey is beginning its fourth year, I can say that getting to goal is a HUGE motivator for me.  I started this for my kids, but I'm finishing it for me.
 
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey: 
Posted 9/8/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 71 comments   12,959 views
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Donna Learned to Love Running--and Herself!


Donna DeGroot (DDHEART)
Weight Lost: 41 pounds
Hometown: Gillett, WI
Occupation: Retired Cardiac Nurse Specialist/ re-retired Passenger Services Manager on a private railcar
 
What was life like before your weight loss?
 I was never hugely overweight, but always heavier than I probably should be.  I grew up being "the big little sister."  My father said he preferred his girls plump (I hate that word!) while my mother had her own weight problems.  Food was the equivalent of love.  No hugging, but here have some ice cream.  Now, that's not to blame my family but it does help to explain the complex relationship with food and the connection with emotional eating.  I love to eat and I eat when I'm unhappy, bored, when socializing, etc.  I have almost no pictures from when I was heavier.  I would avoid the camera like the plague and when I did find that a photo of me was taken, I would often get rid of it if it was unflattering. It's important for me to note, that when I try to look back through photos, I now see pictures where I was not particularly overweight but if you were to ask me I would've said I was ALWAYS overweight.  I did not have an eating disorder, unless you would count the years of yo-yo diets, but during those earlier years, I also wasn't particularly fit.  I certainly wasn't athletic.  Even as a child, I was shy, cautious and aware that I was "the fat little sister.” I was not as coordinated as other children- at least that's what I thought- and I was afraid to try things for fear that I would look foolish.  I missed out on so much.
 
What was your ‘light bulb moment’ that made you get serious about losing the weight?
A few years ago when I retired, I joined Weight Watchers and had to step on the scale.  My ‘OMG moment’ was stepping on that scale and realizing that this weight gain could not keep up.  I lost about 40 pounds and actually wore a size six very briefly.  Alas, I didn't keep it up.  I should have continued to go to meetings, but didn't and soon even size 12’s didn't fit.  I managed to keep some control but just couldn't seem to get myself on track.  I knew I needed to adopt a different life philosophy if I want to fit inside a different body. I don't know if I will ever be a person who likes to exercise more than she likes to eat, but I sure would like to be someone who doesn't fill the empty spaces with food.
 
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey:
Posted 9/1/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 18 comments   9,043 views
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Down 158 Lbs., Lindsay Shares Her 10 Best Weight-Loss Tips!


Lindsay Pobieglo (LPOBIEGLO)
Weight Lost: 158 pounds
Hometown: Mesa, AZ
Occupation: Risk Management Program Manager
 
What was life like before your weight loss?
I began slowly gaining weight at the age of 18.  My parents separated when I was 17 and I was stuck in the middle.  I went to food for comfort.  After the dust settled, I was addicted to food and I was settled into that lifestyle. Life was plain.  I went to work, came home, ate, watched TV and then went to bed- day after day.  I missed out on lake trips, sporting events and other activities due to my weight.
 
What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
My initial motivation to lose weight came in 2008. When my daughter was two, the entire family went to a pumpkin festival.  There was a child's ride, similar to the Dumbo ride at Disneyland, which she really wanted to ride.  As we were about to go on, I was told that there was a weight limit to the cars since they went up in the air.  I alone exceeded the weight limit.  My sister-in-law had to take my daughter on the ride.  I was devastated.
 
My biggest and final motivation came when my co-worker signed up for an at-work weight loss competition.  She wanted support and asked if I would join her.  I refused.  When she asked why, I responded: "I don't want anyone to know how much I weigh".  She quickly retorted: "If it bothers you that much, shouldn't you do something about it?”  That was it.  I realized she was right.
 
Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey:
Posted 8/25/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 147 comments   58,678 views
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You Asked: ''How Do I Create a Calorie Deficit or Burn More Calories Than I Eat?''


It sounds like you're referring to a "calories in vs. calories out" type of equation. First you need to understand that one pound of fat is made up of roughly 3,500 extra calories. So in order to lose one pound of fat, you need to create a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories. 
Posted 8/18/2013  6:00:00 AM By: Nicole Nichols : 8 comments   19,136 views
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From Bedridden to Loving Life, 240 Lbs. Lighter


Beth Donovan (~INDYGIRL)  
Weight Lost: 240 pounds (and counting!)
Hometown: Fishers, IN
 
What was life like before your weight loss?
I have been heavy since childhood.   I became my largest in the early 2000s.    I ate for comfort and refuge from my life.  I had a very controlling mother and watched my father die of a heart attack.  Both were abusive and very heavy, but they sure watched everything I ate.   Then, behind my mother's back, my dad would take me out and challenge me to eating contests.  In my teens and 20s, my weight was kept under control mostly by bulimia.  I always sought comfort in food, and when I got married and things got rough at times, my eating would escalate. 
At my largest, it also was the saddest time of my life.  I lived in my bedroom and could no longer walk.  I became disabled by three herniated disks, two pinched nerve bundles, fibromyalgia, degenerative joint disease, and arthritis.  I had to stop and rest just trying to get around my house to get to the restroom or kitchen.  I also had to quit my job and could no longer fit behind the wheel of a car.  Days became very lonely, as I stayed home alone for years.  Several times, I became so depressed I called the crisis line.  

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
My best friend, Tina, was my biggest motivation to lose weight.  She had weight-loss surgery, which I didn't want to do, but she was out having a life again.  I wanted that too!  Then, I read a book called "YOU: On a Diet."  It taught me how to stay satisfied.  My other friend, Lori, pointed me to SparkPeople and I became an addict.  Every time I feel like eating, I log on.  Let's just say that some days while I'm home alone, I'm on A LOT!

Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey:
Posted 8/11/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 190 comments   23,920 views
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Finding the Best Health & Fitness Apps Just Got Easier


At SparkPeople, we're always on the lookout for useful tools that make it easier to lead a healthy lifestyle. According to the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, there are more than 40,000 health and wellness apps on the market. These days it seems like there's an app for absolutely everything you need to lead a healthy life, from finding healthy recipes to fitness tracking to getting a quick medical reference. But with so many options and possibilities, it can feel a bit overwhelming to know where to start. What apps are most relevant to your goals and what new apps are worth trying? And once you start on your path to a healthier you with these apps, juggling the various tools can get cumbersome. Until now… 
Posted 8/1/2013  12:00:00 PM By:   : 12 comments   12,166 views
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Is Being Really Lean Really Worth It?


Say what?!  Is being really lean really worth it?  This probably sounds like a crazy question coming from a trainer who helps clients reach their fat-loss and physique goals.
 
Before we get started, let me say that I realize this is a very ambiguous question.  ''Really lean'' is relative, and I will tell you up front that I don’t have an answer for you. Only you have that answer for you. This blog post is simply intended to help you realize a few things:

1.    Everybody is different.
2.    Some of us can maintain leaner physiques than others.
3.    Going beyond a healthy level of leanness for YOU is a stressor.
4.    It’s not normal, and it may not even be healthy, to walk around shredded all the time.
5.    How lean do you want to be, and will you sacrifice what it takes to get there?
 
Let’s explore each of these.
Posted 8/1/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 123 comments   102,390 views
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Back On Track: A Consistency Challenge for August!


It's almost August, and whether we like it or not, the days of summer are dwindling. Bathing suit season may be mostly behind you, but that doesn't mean it's time to abandon your healthy efforts now that autumn is in sight! Plus, maybe all those barbecues you've attended this summer are starting to show on the scale. Maybe your vacations and kids' activity schedules have taken precedence over your exercise routine. Maybe, now that the wild ride of the season is coming to an end, it's time to get back on track and consciously recommit to your healthy lifestyle. And we're here to help you do it with a brand new challenge!  
Posted 7/29/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Melinda Hershey : 380 comments   78,571 views
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