My before and during progress photos.
My byline photo for a local magazine, taken 2009. Can't wait to have a new one taken!
Me and the kids our first time at the Grand Canyon Spring Break 2011
Shared Food & Fitness Trackers
I was overweight throughout my childhood and teen-aged years and never comfortable in my own skin. Ever since the 2nd grade when someone called me Miss Piggy, I''ve obsessed over my weight but didn''t have a clue how to eat properly--or the resources. Staple foods in my childhood home included corn dogs and tater tots.
In college I gained more weight and by the time I graduated I was in the mid 250s. I joined Nutrisystem a year and a half later weighing in at 268, the largest I had ever been. I lost close to 75 lbs (getting into the 190s) in approximately 5 months on Nutrisystem before I had to quit due to the cost of the food.
Over the next 2 years I gained back about 25 to 30 lbs and when I got married in January 2000 I was somewhwere in the 220s. After that, my diet really went south as my husband didn''t have a clue about what was healthy and what wasn''t and he did most of the cooking and was picky about what he ate. Our budget was too tight to buy and cook separate meals, so I ate what he ate and gained another 30ish lbs over the next year.
Then I got pregnant and lost complete control of my appetite. I ate anything and everything. After giving birth to my 1st born in August 2001, I was somewhere in the 280s. I maintained that until my next pregnancy when I began gaining more. My 2nd baby was born in March 2003, just 19 months after the first and I weighed in at over 300 lbs.
In July 2003, when my oldest was nearly 2 and my middle child was still my baby and only 4 months old, I found Nutrisystem online. After much re-budgeting we began buying my food through the website. Once again it worked for me and I lost from around 314 lbs to 235 in just 4-5 months.
Around the holidays I began getting burned out and the food cost too much so I took a break intending to go back after the new year. But on January 14th my dad went missing and we found him 2 days later in the local lake. His suicide took a major toll on my emotions and I further complicated the situation by getting pregnant 2 months later. I gained everything back during my 3rd and last pregnancy as I dealt with my grief and the hormones that turn me into a ravenous beast.
My 3rd baby joined us in October 2004. I wanted to rejoin Nutrisystem again but the food had changed and I didn''''t like it anymore and the cost of the food was just too prohibitive. I had given up on ever losing weight, believing that I couldn''t do it on my own.
Finally, in January 2006, I decided I was tired of being miserable. It was just too hard. I decided to put the work into making myself happy no matter how long it took. Someone told me about Spark People and I checked it out and fell in love with the site. I began using all of the tools and articles and learned that I COULD do this using my own food. I just had to use the knowledge I gained here.
I designed my own menu using the information and calorie ranges provided by Spark People''s articles and tools and I lost weight. I gained confidence. And in the late Spring/early Summer of 2006, after losing around 60 lbs with Spark People I gained the confidence to make further changes in my life.
Before SP I didn''t have any drive or ambition to return to graduate school, but after making quite a bit of progress I was finally able to see myself returning to my dreams.
I consider myself another example of the Spark that can be ignited in one''s life once you begin making positive changes in your health.
Unfortunately, I had not fully learned all of the lessons Spark has to offer and I allowed the stress of graduate school and other life challenges to take over my life, and strayed from the support and tools I had here, returning to old bad habits. I''ve lost and gained the same 20-50 lbs over the past 9 years. My struggle now is in my head.
I know what to do. With the help of Spark People, I have the knowledge and the support system and the determination to make these changes permanent. I''m back working full time in a field that I love and have completed my MA in History.
I''m ready to focus on my health--physical and mental--and finally stop the Yo-Yo for good.
Remember the japanese proverb: "Fall seven times. Get up eight."
1st 10% mini-goal losing 32 lbs, weighing 290
Reward: hair cut/color
2nd 10% mini-goal losing
29 lbs, weighing 261
3rd 10% mini-goal losing 26 lbs, weighing 235
Stay within calorie ranges of 1350 to 1750 a minimum of six out of seven days each week.
15 - 30 minutes of cardio a minimum of six days a week. aiming for an average of 8k steps per day (keep it in the range of 5-10k throughout the week)
15 minutes of strength training 2-3 days a week.
I try to use the food tracker every day regardless of whether I stay within my calorie ranges or not. I eat a balanced diet of healthy nutritious foods and allow myself room in my calorie ranges for a low fat low sugar treat at the end of the day so my sweet tooth does not feel deprived. I incorporate as much of the knowledge I have gained using SP's resources as I can. I drink a LOT of water. I divide my body weight by 2 and use that number of ounces as my benchmark. I try to be active in some way everyday.
Happily married for 13 years, we have three children spaced 19 months apart.
I am trying to learn to balance a healthy lifestyle between taking care of my family, work, and being active in my community.
Secrets of Success
This user doesn't have any secrets of success.
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