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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:
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Perhaps our best and most thought-provoking roundup of links yet.
So You're Feeling Too Fat to Be Photographed... Huffington Post Women
A photographer shares poignant thoughts on what really matters when you step in front of a camera. Spoiler alert: It's not what you think!
10 Things I Want My Daughter to Know About Working Out Wellfesto
Whether you're a mom or not, don't miss this empowering list of reasons why exercise is about so much more than aesthetics.
Modern Moms Aren't as Busy as 1960s Moms Were The Atlantic
According to a new report, moms today are busy and feel like they don't have a moment to spare. However, most spend more time watching TV or using the Internet than they do on housework, playing with kids, and exercising combined.
Caroline Berg Eriksen, Fitness Blogger, Causes Stir With Selfie 4 Days After
Giving Birth Huffington Post Parents
A fitness blogger posted a pic of her postpartum belly that's so toned and flat, it's raising eyebrows. What is your reaction to stories like these?
Why a Brisk Walk Is Better NYT
No matter the pace, walking is a good workout, but a new study says that in order to reap many of the health benefits, most of us need to pick up the pace. Slow walking just isn't going to deliver the same results.
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You're probably in full-on holiday shopping mode by now, but don't forget yourself during this busy season. Take a few seconds to enter this week's giveaway from our friends at Live Well 360. One winner will get to choose from their three popular gym bags, which are all amazing and sure to make taking your workout gear with you so much easier!
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As a trainer, I’m a huge fan of squats and lunges, but I know that joint issues can make these common lower-body exercises pretty painful to do. The good news is that there are plenty of other exercises that can help shape up your lower half!
Whether you need to modify for your knees or simply want to try adding a few new leg moves to your repertoire, join me for this low impact, Pilates-inspired, lower body workout that doesn’t require much space and zero equipment. It's just over 15 minutes, so it's also a great option for when you're short on time! (Oh, and feel free to kick off your shoes to further engage the muscles in your feet and ankles.) Check it out on YouTube, or watch via the embedded video below!
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If there's ever a time to wish for an extra hour (or six) in the day, it's during the holidays. In addition to our normal work, family, and home obligations, we have all those seasonal responsibilities. That can leave very little time for yourself--and lead to excess stress that can interfere with your ability to reach your goals. To help streamline your shopping experience this year--which means more "you" time for healthy habits--we're sharing some of our favorite healthy gifts of the season. We think anyone would love unwrapping one of these!
Monster Isport Freedom Headphones: We love everything about these headphones: Bluetooth, wireless, sweat-proof, no cord--great sound. They're perfect for working out and durable enough for everyday use.
Cuisinart Compact Portable Blending/Chopping System: This is such a great gift for the healthy foodie in your life. It makes smoothies and protein shakes easy to make and take on the go!
The Spark Activity Tracker: The Spark is the only wireless activity tracker that fully integrates with the FREE tools, content and community on SparkPeople.com. You won't catch me without mine--I love that not only does it track my steps taken and calories burned, but it also knows exactly which type of exercise I did!
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As you might know, we recently hosted a $10,000 Split-the-Pot Slow Cooker Recipe Contest to celebrate the relaunch of SparkRecipes.com and do our part to help alleviate hunger. We know how much our members love how easy it is to make healthy recipes using a slow cooker, and we wanted to highlight some of YOUR best recipes, so we devised a contest that would allow us to thank you for helping SparkPeople grow into the largest healthy living community in America, while also giving back to those in need.
After weeks of popular voting, we selected 15 finalists, then taste-tested their creations at SP HQ, judging the recipes on taste, appearance, overall healthfulness, and ease of preparation. Today we're thrilled to announce the #1 slow cooker recipe in America is:
It was a hit among our taste-testers:
"I’d definitely make this recipe for my next get-together. It had just enough kick for me, but some people might like to add a little extra hot sauce. It’s great to eat as a soup, but you could also serve it as a dip with chips. Yum!"
"This was truly an easy recipe to make. I was amazed how many produce servings made it in there, and being ground up, the chicken really gave the chili a great consistency and taste."
The recipe's creator, Beth "Biz" Velatini, of Cary, Illinois, will win $10,000: $5,000 for her and $5,000 for her favorite hunger-relief charity, Common Threads. (The other 14 finalists will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.)
Founded by chef Art Smith, who was Oprah's personal chef, and artist Jesus Salgueiro, the nonprofit has been teaching children in underserved communities how to cook healthy, affordable meals during after-school programs for the last decade. Though it started in Chicago, Common Threads is focused on a nationwide effort to get one million kids cooking in the next five years.
Beth, who has a food blog called My Bizzy Kitchen, says she has used SparkPeople to help her manage her diabetes and lose weight. She's thrilled to be helping a program she believes in, and the prize money is much appreciated--she works two jobs to make ends meet, and her husband has been unemployed and dealing with health issues.
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