Aug 2015 San Francisco Girls Trip 135lbs
Dec 2015 Seeing StarWars for the THIRD time 137lbs
Fishing in our new boat November 2015
GIRL*IN*MOTION is a SparkPeople Motivator!
My name is Stacey, and here is my "Spark" story:
In 2008 I was topping the scales at 220+ pounds, stuffing myself into XXL shirts, and size 18-20 pants. I was the unhappiest I'd ever been in my 27 years. I used food as a band aid, and hid my depression from the world. I was trapped in an abusive marriage, and struggled every day to find the courage and will power to pull myself out of the hole I'd crawled into.
That's when I decided enough was enough. I was tired of looking into the mirror and hating who I saw. I was tired of being the negative person that somewhere along the way had taken over my normally optimistic and positive outlook on life. I was flat-out tired of being tired--in all aspects. I decided it was time to bring back the person I USED to be, to find the light inside me I'd lost along the way, to stop making excuses for my unhappiness and the behavior of others, and start focusing on me for a change.
That's when I found Spark... and as they say.... 'the rest is history.'
I didn't know it at the time, but looking back now at the journey that followed me joining Spark People, it was that 'spark' that put into motion a chain reaction of events drastically changing the course of my life (for the better of course).
When my journey began, I had HORRIBLE eating habits and "exercise" had not been a part of my vocabulary for YEARS! So I did what I could. I started slowly. At first making small changes, then gaining momentum that led to big changes over time.
First, I CUT OUT the fast food. I re-discovered my love of cooking, I tracked what I ate, and practiced 'portion control.'
I also joined a gym, and as embarrassed as I was to be amongst all those "fit" people, I went regularly... and I soon realized the fit people weren't so bad....
All I could handle at first was 15-20 minutes on the elliptical. Over time, I worked my way up to 30 minutes, then 45 etc. After a while, I added in resistance machines. I began to notice I was getting stronger and liked it! (Woo-Hoo! Who knew that was possible?)
Little by little, I started losing pounds, and inches, gaining confidence, and feeling happier with myself. After months of working at it, I built enough stamina and courage to venture into Zumba classes... After realizing the once terrifying group classes with all those "fit" people were actually FUN, I worked my way up to Cardio Kickboxing, falling in LOVE! I also incorporated hiking and other activities along the way. I even managed to hike the Grand Canyon! (There's a sentence the former me never imagined I'd say!)
Over the course of about 14 months, minding my eating habits and exercising regularly, I lost a total of 92 pounds. I went from a size 20 and XXLs, to size 4 and Smalls. More importantly I felt better about myself. My transformation may have looked physical to everyone else, but it was every bit as much spiritual and emotional too.
I had found myself again. I found the strength and courage I didn't realize I still had. I found my positive attitude I thought was gone. I found my determination.... I valued myself again, more than I had in years. I started to question the things going on in my life I had ignored or accepted for so long because I thought "I didn't deserve any better," or "no one else would want me."
All of these realizations led to a different, stronger ME. My husband at the time began to resent the 'new me' who was starting to stick up for herself, and finding happiness in the outside world, outside of him. The jealousy and insecurity that was always there, got even worse. But this time I had crawled out of my hole-of-depression, this time I stood up for myself. This time I valued myself enough to know I deserved so much more.
It was by no means an easy decision, or an easy road, but I had reached an end-pass. And while I was probably at that end-pass for years, the depressed, unhappy, and mentally abused me was unable to see it--until I was ready to love myself enough to do something about it. I had to either move forward as the new me, or continue down the path with the person committed to dimming my light? ... I chose me.
This may seem like all fluff to some, but I truly believe if I had not made these changes for myself, I would still be where I was at the beginning of my story, if not worse off. So yes, in a way, Spark helped me not only lose weight and get healthy, but it changed my life!
Today, 7 years later. I am infinitely happier compared to where I was at the beginning of this story. It was a long road to get here, and it was NOT by any means an easy journey, but it was well worth it. Two years after my divorce, I met an amazing man who loves and supports me. After a year of dating we recently decided to move in together and life couldn't be better! Earlier this year I was approached with a new job opportunity within my company, changing careers entirely! I love my new job in IT. It's given me the financial stability I always struggled to find in my 'former life,' I no longer have to work three jobs to make ends meet, it's given me the opportunities to travel, and I'm challenged on a daily basis!
A lot has happened since I left Spark, much more than I can write here, but you get the jist. I've managed to maintain *most* of my weight loss. I have found my way back to Spark now because I want to regain that healthy focus. I've let some things slide lately and want to lose the 12 pounds I gained back, and get back to working out more regularly. So here I am, back where it all began.
Practice Self Love
See muscle definition
Run A 5k - (non stop)
Complete the Rim to Rim Hike
(For those who ask I am 5'5")
Cook at home often
Make Colorful Meals
Limit Processed Foods
TANK UP ON H2O
I enjoy all types of fitness. Favorites include kick boxing, hiking, biking, & body pump.
Follow me on Instagram @ AZPUGLOVER
Hobbies & Interests:
Anything Star Wars or Sci-Fi
| current weight: 135.8