All Entries For weight loss for health reasons

Kim Changed Her Eating Habits and Made a Commitment to Exercise to Drop 95 Pounds!


Name: Kim Phelan
Username: KIMPY225
Amount of weight lost: 95 pounds
Hometown: Richboro, PA
Occupation: Clerical
Age: 28
 
While growing up, Kim played many different sports including soccer, softball and volleyball. In high school, she weighed 140 pounds. At the time, she felt overweight because most of the girls she knew weighed 120 pounds or less. When Kim started college, she weighed 155 pounds. Over the years, she kept gaining more and more weight until she reached 250 pounds. By that point she had stopped playing sports and stayed inside most of the time because she felt out of breath constantly and hated the way she looked. Unfortunately, she also didn't like herself enough to do anything about it.

Once Kim's doctor warned her that she had high blood pressure, which put her at risk for having a stroke, she knew she had to do something about her weight. Kim decided to do whatever it took to lose weight and be a healthier person. Learn how she accomplished so much more in the process.
Posted 4/6/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 29 comments   17,046 views
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Justyna Lost 65 Pounds with a Little Help from Her SparkFriends


Name: Justyna Lawrence
Username: Justyna7
Amount of weight lost: 65 pounds
Hometown: Richmond, Ontario, Canada
Occupation: Bed and Breakfast Owner
Age: 53

Justyna experienced gestational diabetes with her first pregnancy which was complicated by an undiagnosed eating disorder (Bulimia) as well as being an emotional eater. Once her baby arrived she realized she needed to admit her eating was out of control and sought help. Overeater's Anonymous and their 12 steps helped Justyna realize the "dragon" in her life was real. In Alcoholics Anonymous, people learn to slay the dragon but in Overeater's Anonymous, participants have to learn how to walk the dragon three times a day.

Justyna got counseling to help her deal with her demons. She battled with yo-yo dieting through two more pregnancies after which she experienced a steady weight increase that was resulting in a ten pound weight gain every year. At her top weight of 264 pounds, walking was like walking on shards of glass. At 46 years of age, she wasn't the best candidate for knee replacements and found herself spending most of her days in an electric lift chair in a bedroom.
Posted 3/30/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 33 comments   12,285 views
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How Amanda Lost 105 Pounds the Healthy Way


Name: Amanda
Username: POOKASLUAGH
Amount of weight lost: 105 lbs
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Occupation: Stay at home mom
Age: 34
 
Amanda gained weight while dealing with years of medications and illness. Although she would eat healthy portion sizes and exercised regularly, she kept getting sick and kept gaining weight. The larger she got, the more shame she felt because of her size. She avoided photos and going to public places. She found it especially difficult to face people she had known before her illness, when she was more than a hundred pounds lighter. Amanda's body hurt all the time and she was extremely depressed.
 
Once she had fully healed from her illness, Amanda admits that she only tried halfheartedly to lose weight. She was angry, depressed and overwhelmed, and didn't really want to face the long journey ahead of her. Many people dealing with illness find themselves in the exact same situation. Learn how a dream and a slow and steady approach helped Amanda reclaim her life and her health.
Posted 3/16/2014  12:00:00 PM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 29 comments   29,227 views
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Kimberly Dropped 100 Pounds and Took Control of Her Health by Making Small Changes


Name: Kimberly Pinney
Username: KIMBERLY0916
Amount of weight lost: 100 pounds
Hometown: Logan, OH
Occupation: Student
Age: 38
 
Kimberly Pinney transformed her life and her body by making one small healthy choice at a time until they turned into habits that helped her lose 100 pounds and take control of three serious medical conditions: bipolar disorder, IBS and fibromyalgia.
Posted 3/9/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 56 comments   26,558 views
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Eboney Found Herself on Her Journey to Lose


Name: Eboney Lewis Haynes
Username: ebielou
Amount of weight lost: 122 pounds         
Hometown: Piedmont, Alabama
Occupation: Teacher
Age: 28
 
Ebony Haynes has transformed her entire life by taking control of her eating and fitness. After losing more than 100 pounds, she now helps others transition into healthy lifestyles by teaching Zumba and Pound classes and being a walking example of the power of perseverance.
Posted 2/23/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 34 comments   13,681 views
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Erika Lost 90 Pounds and Beat Depression


Name: Erika Schnure
Username: FATGIRLRUNN
Amount of weight lost: 90 lbs.
Hometown: Oak Park, IL
Occupation: Meeting Planner
Age: 28
 
What was life like before your weight loss? Just before I lost weight, I was in a very bad place personally. I had just lost my job, I was extremely depressed, and I ate for comfort during my days at home. I used a popular weight-loss program to lose 55 pounds in 2010, but once I lost my job and couldn’t pay for the food anymore, I gained every single pound back, and then some. This landed me at 230 pounds at 5 foot 6 inches tall. I was completely miserable. In just my mid-20s, I was on the verge of being categorized as having high blood pressure, and my cholesterol was very high. I had given up. I thought my weight was due to genetics, and there was nothing I could do about it, so why try to eat healthy? Why pay for a gym when working out wouldn't do anything?

What was your ''light bulb moment'' that made you get serious about losing the weight? After losing my job in DC, I ended up moving back in with my parents in the Chicago area for about a year. Shortly after I moved home, my mother, who was also obese at the time, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Obviously, I understood the genetic implications of such a diagnosis, and I knew I was in danger of the same problem. Moving home may have actually been the best thing for me, because living in the far suburbs meant that I could not just walk a few blocks to gorge on burritos and cheeseburgers at my neighborhood restaurants like I could in DC. The closest fast food restaurants were miles away and required a car trip. I realized that eating as poorly as I did was just not worth it. As I made that realization, I discovered that eating well was not only a lot cheaper and easier, it was much more delicious!

Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey. 
Posted 2/16/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 51 comments   30,763 views
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How One Couple Worked Together to Lose 267 Pounds


A couple facing diabetes and other health issues joined together to start a weight loss journey that took them from sedentary and lifeless to vigorous and healthy. They now have many Valentine's Day celebrations ahead of them as a couple thanks to careful food tracking and daily walking!


Names: Steve and Debbie Cartwright
Usernames: Sac-6582 and Debarizona
Amount of weight lost: Steve lost 180 pounds and Debbie lost 87 pounds
Hometown: Peoria, AZ                 
Occupations: Steve is in ministry and Debbie is a facility director for a camp/retreat
Ages: Steve is 54 and Debbie is 52
Posted 2/9/2014  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 46 comments   17,440 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 : 39 comments   11,244 views
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Evelyn Beat Cancer Twice and Is Half Her Size!


Evelyn Cruze (EVWINGS)          
Weight Lost: 150 pounds
Hometown: Crescent City, FL
 
 
What was life like before your weight loss?
There are several things that contributed to my weight gain.  One of the biggest was that we had very little gym or fitness training in school. This made it difficult to add it to my life as I grew older; therefore, I spent most of my life in a sedate manner. Next, I became smoke-free, and I gained about 40 pounds. After that, I had major stress in my life trying to juggle my job and caring for my ailing mother. My income suffered, and I was very afraid.  I would eat and eat and eat some more. Finally, I injured my knee and had to have surgery. During physical therapy, all of the work was blown out and I had to be bed bound for over four months, which also contributed to my weight gain.
 
At my highest weight of 274 pounds, life was awful.  I would cry a lot and after my mother died, I gained even more weight. I felt very useless, especially after my knee surgery.  One good thing was that I had a lot of support from my family.  My new husband was wonderful about my knee injury, which occurred only a few months after we were married.  He said it didn't matter to him what I weighed or what he had to do for me.  He said it was called love and he knew I would do the same for him.
 
What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
I felt so miserable weighing what I did. I didn't think it was healthy and my doctor agreed.  He felt my asthma and sleep apnea could be corrected if I lost some weight. He and I talked a lot and I told him that I wanted to do this slowly to ensure that I would keep the weight off.  He agreed and made some recommendations for me.
 
Posted 8/18/2013  12:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 47 comments   11,872 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 : 199 comments   27,754 views
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Former Figure Skater Reclaims Her Fitness


Pattie Ball (PUPPYWHISPERS)
Weight Lost:  54 pounds
Hometown: Middle Grove, NY
Occupation: Executive secretary

What was life like before your weight loss?
I was an active kid--I was a figure skater and played high school sports, so I was always in good shape. Because of my activity level, I could eat anything and not gain any weight. Once I entered college, I suffered a knee injury that ended my skating career, and caused me to be much more sedentary than I had been in high school. So I began to gain weight. I had knee surgery, and I was off my feet, using a cane for about two years. Gradually, through my own physical rehabilitation program, I was able to walk without the cane. However, I was never able to master the art of losing weight and keeping it off. I was unhappy with myself physically and emotionally. It was hard just to walk or to climb stairs. I missed being active, especially ice skating. I was embarrassed about how I looked. I tried to hide my body under oversize clothes.

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
First, I saw a picture of myself and I thought, "Do I really look like that?"  That's what got me going in 2008.  I lost 60 pounds, but then some personal issues caused me to start gaining it back. Last year, my 30th high school reunion was approaching, and that was the kick I needed to start eating healthy and working out again.  I wanted to be in the best shape possible before I faced my high school friends, who hadn't seen me in 30 years.

Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey:
Posted 7/28/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 55 comments   14,426 views
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'I Became a Fitness Instructor in My 50s'


Sue Carson (BCARSON11)
Weight Lost: 71 pounds
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Occupation: fitness instructor

What was your “a-ha” moment that made you decide to lose weight?
I gained the weight over the years by overeating and not working out. I was tired all the time. I felt like I was getting really old while I was still only in my 40s.  By the time I turned 50, I weighed 175 pounds.  Not long after, a friend of ours had a massive heart attack when he turned 50.  He was a few months younger than I was.  My husband is a couple years older and also has a history of early death from heart problems in his family.  We both had borderline blood pressure and were both overweight and out of shape.  We decided if we wanted to have a longer life we should try to correct our eating habits.

Can you tell us about your weight-loss journey?
My husband and I started slowly trying to eat better.  I used SparkPeople.com to track my food intake and learn more about healthy eating.  Then, our son was home for the holidays and pointed out that we needed to work out if we wanted to really be healthy.  My comment was "I'm too old to start that!"  However, we joined a gym, and we both went every day.  My husband liked to use the machines, and I preferred group exercise.  It was about 6 months before I started doing strength training, and I saw an amazing difference. I had already lost quite a bit of weight, and adding weight training really toned things up.  It took over a year to reach my first goal, which was just at the upper end of my "normal" weight range.  I continued to work out and eat healthy.   Now, at age 66, I weigh just a little more than I did in college and am much more toned.
Posted 7/14/2013  6:00:00 AM By: SparkPeople Guest Blogger : 54 comments   15,427 views
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WATCH: Tracy's Weight-Loss Story Featured on TV!


Many of you will remember Tracy (TRACY31502), the stay-at-home mom from South Bend, Ind., who lost 200-plus pounds (100+ shed using SparkPeople). We shared her story a couple of weeks ago, and the outpouring of support was incredible!
As a result, Tracy, who had "always been obese," has been featured on her local news. A journalist who is friends with another SparkPeople member reached out to her to ask her to share her story with her hometown after reading about her on the SparkPeople Blog. Tracy made her TV debut recently, and we wanted to share it with you:

"I'm still pinching myself from all of this," she said. And Tracy has lost another three pounds, bringing her total to 215 pounds gone!
Posted 7/3/2013  2:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 68 comments   23,948 views
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How Carley Got Healthy--Mentally and Physically


We just heard great news about one SparkPeople member: Carla "Carley" Cooper (SPARKYCARLEY) was featured on Huffington Post Canada this week. Carley lost 60 pounds and has kept it off. Way to go, SparkyCarley!
 
Posted 6/26/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 32 comments   16,052 views
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Learn Lisa's Secret to Weight-Loss Success


After a family health scare on Valentine's Day in 2006, Lisa Thompson (C_ANEMONE) set out to change her life. And she succeeded! Today, Lisa is 100 pounds lighter, and she's sharing her story on Huffington Post Healthy Living. Check it out here.
Posted 6/4/2013  6:00:00 PM By: Stepfanie Romine : 18 comments   18,483 views
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