STRONGFORLIFE   10,424
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"Change, of any sort, takes courage."

Courage! Even the lion in the Wizard of Oz needed courage! That's why it's one of my favorite character traits to think about. In my life I've come to believe that courage is a trait displayed through persistence and tenacity, especially in the face of living a life that is guided by a set of personal beliefs and core principles.

I've learned so much about myself as I've worked to shed the excess weight I was carrying and become a healthier person. In the last two years, I have ...
Courage! Even the lion in the Wizard of Oz needed courage! That's why it's one of my favorite character traits to think about. In my life I've come to believe that courage is a trait displayed through persistence and tenacity, especially in the face of living a life that is guided by a set of personal beliefs and core principles.

I've learned so much about myself as I've worked to shed the excess weight I was carrying and become a healthier person. In the last two years, I have literally started from scratch to educate myself about how to show the same care and concern for myself on a daily basis that I show to others. This mental agreement with myself to use all of the tools on SparkPeople as well as all of the people in my life as a support network have made it easier ~ not easy, but easier ~ to make the choices for the healthy lifestyle I know I deserve.

Slowly, I set goals and had these ah-ha moments where I realized that I had landed in my current weight range and health situation because of my own actions ~ not inaction ~ and I could change that by choosing different actions. In other words, choices like skipping breakfast and eating portion sizes that were enough for 2 or 3 people were actions that were leading me towards a very negative result. Now, this hard work to learn how to use food and exercise to support the goals I have for a healthy, fulfilling life has brought me to where I am today ~ 40.2 pounds lost and less than 10 pounds left to go to achieve my goal weight and a healthy BMI.

For the past nine weeks, I've also been part of a local weight loss research study. The reason I joined was to keep my weight loss journey as public as possible and to increase the accountability for my personal choices. Being part of this group has reinforced many of the changes I had already made and helped me add some important tools to my toolkit. Actually, I can't believe that I am now weighing myself every day as I would have previously considered that unthinkable, but through education I now understand how to follow the trends on the scale and have it help to guide my food and physical activity choices.

The truth is I've spent lots of years spinning my wheels with my weight, going through weight loss programs and having great success losing pounds, only to end up in no time at all back in an emotional eating cycle. After embracing the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle, I'm on a pathway to a different outcome this time.

In the last 24 months, my body has taken on a new shape (40 pounds lost; dropped 4 pants sizes; blood pressure now 102/60). Not only am I actually noticing weeks turning into months when I feel and think and act like a healthy adult, but I feel like I have truly become a happier person along the way. I'm choosing to go to the gym at least 3 days a week and use the treadmill at home 1-2 other days; I eat breakfast every day; I pack a lunch bag for work every day filled with snacks and meals that are satisfying and keep my energy at a high level. Last, but not least, I ran my first 5K in my life!

One way that I made progress was to set small goals and find meaningful rewards all along the way. I kept those goals right in front of me in my profile so every time I posted to a message board I was sending the energy out there that I was going to accomplish the next target I set. Here are the goals I've already met and the rewards I enjoyed:

Goal Met 6.21.09: 5 lbs lost ~ Add elliptical for 20 minutes at the gym
Goal Met 7.17.09: 10 lbs. lost ~ increase strength workout at the gym
Goal Met 7.23.09: 15 lbs. lost ~ Buy new bathing suit
Goal Met 9.20.09: 20 lbs lost ~ Buy new workout clothes
Goal Met 11.10.09: 25 lbs lost ~ Update family photo
Goal met 1.10.10: 30 lbs lost ~ Indulge in spa treatment
Goal met 4.11.11: 35 lbs lost ~ Plan girls' weekend
Goal met 5.16.11 40 lbs lost ~ New haircut

Not that things are perfect...I'm getting better at making good choices when I eat out, but find that there are still times when I am overwhelmed by the food choices on the menu and the portion sizes delivered to the table. I also find my "old brain" taking over in certain work situations when food is present. Even with these issues still to work on, I know I am living healthier and being a great role model for my daughters and grandsons!






Read More About STRONGFORLIFE (Updated January 11)




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Member Since: 2/18/2008

SparkPoints: 10,424

Fitness Minutes: 14,917

My Goals:
Time to regroup a little bit and get refocused ~ here are the three small things I am targeting right now!

1: Keeping a food journal to be sure I am eating for just one person;

2: Drinking 8 glasses of water every day; and

3: Weighing myself daily to monitor my weight trends

My Program:
Here's what I'm finding helpful right now...

First, I am wearing clothing that accentuates the fact that I am stronger and healthier than I was 24 months ago.

Second, I joined a local weight loss research study to learn more about successful strategies used to maintain weight loss.

Third, getting on the scale daily is a great tool for monitoring my weight.

Ah-ha moments...

I was once eating enough food for at least 2 people ~ but I still need to be careful not to fall into the "portion distortion" trap with healthier food choices.

Keeping clothes in my closet that are bigger than my current size is a statement that I am planning to gain weight ~ I now regularly go through my closet and move out anything that is not the RIGHT size for RIGHT now.

Starting a new workout plan with new exercises makes me feel more athletic ~ tried Anti-Gravity Yoga and ran a 5K~ and felt like an athlete!

Other Information:
Favorite inspirational quote by Maryanne Radmacher:

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

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Member Comments:
CHUNKSTER63
8/15/2011 2:26:38 PM

Thank You for adding me as a friend I am honered.



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MGJARVI
4/20/2011 10:19:17 PM

Thank you so much for the goodie and the comment! I just LOVE the inspirational quote on your page and I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to borrow it and share it with my team! Courage IS persistence, isn't it? Thanks!



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MILLISMA
4/18/2011 1:02:19 PM

Thank you for the goodie and the wonderful comment. I borrowed my intro from my cousin who teaches at a school for troubled children. She has this posted in her classroom.

emoticon on being so close to your goal. emoticon

emoticon Mary Anne



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HEALTHRAY1
4/18/2011 9:58:13 AM

thanks for the sparks goodie :)

Have a great week!!! emoticon



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L*I*T*A*
12/10/2010 11:16:49 PM




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' * ' Christmas . ' * ' '

wishing you and yours all
the blessings of Christmas...
blessings and hugs...........lita



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