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My journey (thanks SparkPeople!)



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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH
Posts: 619
11/15/12 12:02 P

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Good for you!!!!



DEE0973
Posts: 1,517
11/15/12 11:16 A

What an awesome testimony. You are right, one size doesn't fit all when it comes to getting fit and healthy. Thanks for sharing your journey and congratulations!!!



NINAB4REAL
Posts: 187
11/15/12 11:15 A

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NOMOREFLUFFY1
SparkPoints: (1,164)
Fitness Minutes: (528)
Posts: 19
11/15/12 11:14 A

Thank you for sharing your journey. that was exactly what I needed to read at this time! Congrats and Good job!!



GRANDMAKATHY2
Posts: 4
11/15/12 11:14 A

Thank you, thank you for sharing your story. In reading about your journey I now realize I am an all or nothing person and realize this is why I've been close to my goal three times and my life and always gained a good portion of the weight back. I have just started my journey "again" but I will make it to my goal this time. Good luck to you as your life long journey continues and keep using your all or nothing attitude as a good tool instead of a weapon against yourself.



LMCGLOT
Posts: 12
11/15/12 10:35 A

I am an all or nothing person myself so hearing your journey gave me an "ah ha"! Thank you and best wishes to you!



JRUBY8
SparkPoints: (46,779)
Fitness Minutes: (30,371)
Posts: 141
11/15/12 10:33 A

Thank you for your reflections. Your journey, like most of us on Spark People, encourages us to keep on the path to good health.



CLARALAW
Posts: 496
11/15/12 10:14 A

Kudos to you! I am only about 6 months into my journey of healthy living, eating. Thank you for reminding me that it can be done!
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GONE-BIKING
Posts: 199
11/15/12 9:55 A

What an inspiration! Sounds like you've learned a lot about yourself along the way. Congratulations!



GIRLINMOTION
Posts: 4,787
11/15/12 9:54 A

Thank you for sharing your advice.



STALEYK
SparkPoints: (155,706)
Fitness Minutes: (97,410)
Posts: 3,149
11/15/12 9:43 A

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Letting us know we can do it! One step at a time and things that worked for your! emoticon emoticon



HLOCHRIDGE
SparkPoints: (102,312)
Fitness Minutes: (543)
Posts: 2,402
11/15/12 9:25 A

You are AWESOME!!!!! I am so proud of you!!! Congratulations on being in the "healthy" weight range!!!! Keep up the good work - you are totally an inspiration!!!



PATRISNA
Posts: 2,364
11/15/12 9:18 A

Thanks for writing about your experience. emoticon



ROBINBIRD1014
SparkPoints: (170)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 15
11/15/12 9:15 A

Great job!!! Thank you for sharing your story.



BUDRFLY31
Posts: 2,051
11/15/12 9:08 A

Thanks for the insights...I didn't realize it until now, but the "All or nothing" mentality that is ingrained into my personality is currently biting me int the ass!



CALIFORNIA30
Posts: 12
11/15/12 9:04 A

Congratulations on such a great achievement. Thanks for posting this; I've been "trying to lose weight" but after reading your post I realize I've only been pretending to as I've managed to not take advantage of the tools available to me. Keep it up; you're an inspiration to many of us to stop making excuses and take action



TGILBERT1364
Posts: 22
11/15/12 8:57 A

Thank you so much for sharing your journey! Everything you said is so true and I have that same type of mentality, all or nothing!

Thank you for sharing and keep it up!
Tammy



SJKENT1
Posts: 1,477
11/15/12 8:53 A

Good for you! I think it's awesome how you have fought this battle and are continuing to win!!



ANNE007
Posts: 153
11/15/12 8:49 A

Great observations and very well written! Congratulations on your success and on figuring out what works well for you. To better health!



WILLIACH1
Posts: 34
11/15/12 8:47 A

This is a great article, very inspiring! Stephen is to be commended for the hard work. Keep it up, sir.



JACKIE542
SparkPoints: (121,275)
Fitness Minutes: (171,649)
Posts: 4,540
11/15/12 8:46 A

Loved your journey, Congratulations to you, and thank you for sharing! emoticon emoticon emoticon



QUAIL75
Posts: 6,646
11/15/12 8:38 A

Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing and congrats on your success! emoticon emoticon



SPARKMOM6247
SparkPoints: (1,832)
Fitness Minutes: (2,085)
Posts: 20
11/15/12 8:34 A

Great work! THank you so much for sharing your journey and reflections here. I have about 75lbs to lose and everythign you wrote hit home...Thank you!! My last lb was 200, but I was so upset about it and going the wrong way for a diabetic to lose weight, I went to 205 before I started making progress..on the downward path now and super-appreciate your sharing that it IS possible and that you didn't get hurt while achieving your goals...your words really helped me today.



THEIS58
SparkPoints: (139,152)
Fitness Minutes: (47,680)
Posts: 5,234
11/15/12 8:28 A

Great, helpful insights!



MISSMARY3
SparkPoints: (106,199)
Fitness Minutes: (72,846)
Posts: 1,708
11/15/12 8:03 A

You have learned so much about yourself and in so doing have made yourself so much better. You are doing an amazing job! Keep up the good work! You are an inspiration!



LADYDRAGONINN2
Posts: 2
11/15/12 7:57 A

I could copy your post almost word for word, substituting husband for wife. I lost 65 pounds over the last year after many, many, MANY hours of hard work on our treadclimber and tracking every bite that went into my mouth. I could not have done it without my husband...or without the Spark People app on my phone. It feels great, doesn't it! Stay the course and continue to take one day at a time. You took control of your life.



TWNOMWE
Posts: 4,920
11/15/12 7:56 A

emoticon and thanks for sharing. You are right one size does not fit all.
Being honest to oneself is a great tool.




DEBLYNN323
SparkPoints: (100,204)
Fitness Minutes: (50,595)
Posts: 4,919
11/15/12 7:47 A

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Great inspiration...thanks for sharing!



TIME4AFITME
Posts: 13,313
11/15/12 7:24 A

Congrats and thank you for sharing!!



MILLEDGE2
Posts: 3,311
11/15/12 6:53 A

Indeed, you DID inspire another Spark person, so thank you for writing and best wishes for a successful maintenance. Remember that you don't have to maintain the whole rest of your life. Just do it for about 50 years and then you can eat all the butter tarts you want! emoticon



BUTTERFLYBLUE67
SparkPoints: (21,132)
Fitness Minutes: (17,322)
Posts: 1,837
11/15/12 6:35 A

Awesome ! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.



SOON2BEESKINNY
Posts: 3
11/15/12 6:32 A

Great job



SHNERPLES
Posts: 184
11/15/12 5:49 A

I am glad you've seen these results. :)



BRENDARUN
Posts: 130
11/15/12 5:40 A

WOW! Congrats! You should be so proud of yourself!



STEPHEN_NANNY
SparkPoints: (10,496)
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
Posts: 385
11/15/12 5:39 A

Thank you everyone for your support and feedback! For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a 'support system' for maintenance that will help me going forward - the community here at Sparkpeople.

cheers!



SHOOPETTE
SparkPoints: (88,444)
Fitness Minutes: (53,868)
Posts: 3,150
11/15/12 5:34 A

I think you are right on restaurants, even the healthy options can clock in at 500 cal per portion



BUGSYBOY
Posts: 36
11/15/12 5:32 A

Glad I read this. We're similar in what our starting weight and goal weights are. But I'm only just starting. Thanks for the inspiration!



1DRWOMAN
SparkPoints: (62,914)
Fitness Minutes: (24,149)
Posts: 2,134
11/15/12 5:28 A

Omg this is spectacular ! Thank you for taking the time to write this and share your wisdom! Wow! Thank you!



DIETCOLALOLA
Posts: 1,261
11/15/12 5:09 A

Absolutely motivating and inspiring! Thanks! And Congratulations on coming so far!
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MIGCIN
Posts: 33
11/15/12 4:54 A

emoticon Congratulations on achieving so much in just 6 months. You certainly have worked hard and set very high standards for yourself! Your story is very inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with us.



HAWAII5YEARS
SparkPoints: (46,092)
Fitness Minutes: (77,443)
Posts: 390
10/20/12 11:10 A

emoticon This post was wonderful. Congrats on your losses. And again, thank you for sharing.



CSWEET12
Posts: 201
10/20/12 9:33 A

I think we have all been on this journey! And it is a daily struggle, but one that is certainly worth doing for your health and well being. I have been doing this for two weeks and am feeling great.



GOPINTOS
SparkPoints: (32,874)
Fitness Minutes: (32,016)
Posts: 6,263
10/20/12 9:30 A

This is fantastic!!! Thank you for sharing!! emoticon



SHAKEUPTAMPA
SparkPoints: (9,500)
Fitness Minutes: (4,545)
Posts: 925
10/19/12 1:00 P

Thank you for posting! You are an inspiration to all!!! I remember seeing the scale hit 200 once in my life and then back to 198 the next day..that got me to lose 32..then gained it back and then some after wedding....205 and I said the same thing NOT ANOTHER G-D POUND!!!! I only hope to keep focused like you and yes we all have our off days, fall off the wagon, but we gotta use our inner strength to climb back on (even if we don't have the arm strength lol)

Keep up the great work!!!



YOJULEZ
SparkPoints: (15,605)
Fitness Minutes: (120)
Posts: 2,171
10/19/12 12:38 P

Congrats Stephen! I can definitely relate to a lot of your reflections especially these:

"- Track everything you eat. But don't lie to yourself. You can lie to your boss, your friends, your family, but don't lie to yourself. If you ate a candy bar, write it down. "

"- I live life all-or-nothing. It is who I am. It often doesn't serve me well, but like a weapon, it can be very helpful if aimed in the right direction. This will be my battleground in keeping the weight off...if I try to deny it, I'll be back to 240 in a year. "

And, even coming from a foodie and a restaurant snob like myself: "- Restaurants are the devil. Of course, because of social rules and just plain fun, they can't be avoided. But for the most part, when my plan went off the rails, I could trace it to restaurant food (yes, even the 'healthy' options). I have to plan around my restaurant visits, being diligent before/after in my other food. "




JENNN77
SparkPoints: (58,517)
Fitness Minutes: (26,693)
Posts: 653
10/19/12 12:33 P

Awesome! Congratulations! I can identify with much in your post, you are so not alone!



MARITIMER3
SparkPoints: (110,498)
Fitness Minutes: (62,896)
Posts: 5,867
10/19/12 11:59 A

You have done lots of things well. A 75-lb. loss in 6 months is great. You had to really work at it to get those results. Congratulations.



SUMMERSHORTS
Posts: 200
10/19/12 11:55 A

Thank you for posting this, I found it very interesting. Congratulations on your progress and success. Well done.



MPLANE37
SparkPoints: (65,001)
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
Posts: 2,166
10/19/12 11:47 A

Congrats.



STEPHEN_NANNY
SparkPoints: (10,496)
Fitness Minutes: (16,232)
Posts: 385
10/19/12 11:27 A

I have finally arrived at a BMI that puts me into a "healthy" weight range. Although I have not quite yet met my final target, I want to post this as a reflection on a journey that started 6 months and 75 pounds ago. I have done some things right, some things wrong, learned alot, gone forwards, backwards...perhaps in reading this, someone can learn something that might helps them, or learn what not to do.

I am a 5'8" 40 year old man who, in April, was 240 lbs (obese using any measure you like), and had BP and cholestrol problems as well as aches, pains, and chronic back issues. As of this post, I am at 167 lbs, run 8kms or rollerblade 18kms five days/week, play rec sports, have ideal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and have lost 12 inches around my waist.

As a caveat, I don't and have never believed in a one-size-fits-all to health. If anyone claims to have the key for everyone, be very skeptical. The lessons learned for me below are applicable to me and my body...and may not apply to you and your body, or your psyche.

Some random reflections:

- I had to hit rock bottom to do what was necessary to get healthy. "Not a G.D. pound more!" is what went through my head when I saw 240lbs on the scale, after going through much of my adult life around 160lbs.

- I have a very supportive wife, who never pushed me or guilted me into anything. Without her, I'm not sure this would have been possible...or at least, it would have taken much longer.

- I had to block out the chorus of voices telling me "everying in moderation"...at the beginning. Yes, this is a good approach in the long run. But until I saw serious results, "moderation" for me was code for "slacking"...I could easily 'moderate' myself right back to the couch and into the Hagen Daas. So when a friend said "ah cmon, just one bite" or "ah cmon, just one beer", I stuck to my guns for the first couple of months...and am glad for it.

- I didn't realize the body could recover from years of abuse. But it can. Cholesterol levels, BP, fitness, muscle tone...it all gets better. Never think that mountain is too big to climb.

- Track everything you eat. But don't lie to yourself. You can lie to your boss, your friends, your family, but don't lie to yourself. If you ate a candy bar, write it down.

- I didn't know that I could get myself off of salt. Salt was like crack to me. But now I can barely stand restaurant food, for all the salt. This was a shock.

- I now love the taste of veggies without dips, sauces, dressings, or even seasoning. It just took some time to train my taste buds.

- Restaurants are the devil. Of course, because of social rules and just plain fun, they can't be avoided. But for the most part, when my plan went off the rails, I could trace it to restaurant food (yes, even the 'healthy' options). I have to plan around my restaurant visits, being diligent before/after in my other food.

- The more decadent the food, the more slowly I have to eat. I had to be very very conscious of this...because otherwise I could inhale 4 of my Aunt's butter tarts faster than you can say "trans-fat".

- I live life all-or-nothing. It is who I am. It often doesn't serve me well, but like a weapon, it can be very helpful if aimed in the right direction. This will be my battleground in keeping the weight off...if I try to deny it, I'll be back to 240 in a year.

- I like playing games. Your food tracking can be a fun game if your think of it as such. It makes it much easier to say "no!".

- There exist magical foods. Fish, apples, asparagus, brocolli, avacado, spinach. There is so much good in these foods. My mother was right.

- During the last 7 months, I took a 2-week trip to Ireland and also got married. Neither event derailed me, and I treated myself during both, with the goal of "holding the fort". I learned that sometimes holding the fort is good enough.

- I have to ignore the negative voices in my head, because sometimes they lie. Examples:
"If you jog one more step, you will injure yourself."
"I don't need to exercise today...I'll just eat less later."
"Maybe my body just doesn't want to lose more weight, so I can stop trying."
"Maybe the doctors and dieticians are wrong."

- Sometimes it hurts. There is no easy way to lose 30% of your weight. Ever.

- Walking. Lots of walking. Is there an easier, more effective exercise on the planet?

- Like Cortez burning his ships, I have donated to charity every bit of my clothing that no longer fits (even the 'temp' clothes during weight loss). No retreat now. I can't afford to regret that.

- Absolutely essentials:
electric steamer
George Forman grill
a good knife
plug-in cooler for my car
good walking shoes
tupperware
Greek yogurt

- I thought bread was the enemy (I LOVE bread)...but I was wrong. The super grainy cracked wheat flax type stuff tastes great, and hasn't slowed me down at all.

- I thought that fewer calories in always meant losing weight. WRONG. I've learned that, with the right foods, you need to reach those minimum ranges, and go farther when exercising. Too little intake will derail your plan. I got dizzy, needed to suddenly sleep, and hit a plateau before I learned this lesson.

- I was skeptical when my wife tried to get me to join her on SparkPeople. I was tracking on my own spreadsheet, not very scientifically, but getting good results. BUT since using the nutrition/fitness trackers here, and from reading the articles and forums, I have done much better more efficiently. This website has played a major part in my weight loss.

Thanks for your time and support everyone.



Edited by: STEPHEN_NANNY at: 11/15/2012 (12:30)


 
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