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WOW! What an overwhelming response!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thanks to all who have posted saying they are inspired to continue/start; you are the reason I agreed to have the story put out there. I'm still uncomfortable sharing my "before" self with anyone, let alone the whole country. But everyday I find a new reason to convince people that surgery is not necessary, and we are all capable of taking the weight off, and keeping it off, if we stick to our Spark plan. That is the only reason I did this story so publicly, in order to show people that they can do this. I don't know if I'll ever stop flinching when I look at my old self (or someone jokes about how big I was) because it's still such an embarrassment to know how far I let myself go. I don't think I'll ever stop being critical of the way I look, but I'm doing better accepting the compliments; that's progress.

So to anyone who reads this that may be struggling, please continue to work and stick with your plan, you can do this, and if you do, than it will make this all worth if for me.

I have to say, again, that my family is the most amazing! My youngest son, called me at 7 AM to see if I had gotten the paper yet, then he texted me later after he had seen it, his text was followed by those of all 4 of my other kids and each one meant so much to me. My husband, who means the world to me, e-mailed everyone he knows, and told them to check out the article. I would never have been able to do this(the weight loss)without all of them. From day one, they gave me support and confidence and helped me every step of the way. Knowing that they can finally feel proud of me, is the most rewarding part of this entire journey. They have been a huge inspiration to me, and never allowed me to lose focus. Even in the beginning when the losses weren't apparant to anyone but me, they would always have a kind word or compliment, that encouraged me to continue on. And my husband is still a constant source of support. When I pick apart my appearance, or say I want to change this or that, he is always telling me that it will come, that he sees improvement, or just says something nice that makes me realize how self-critical I can be.

My life began when I married my husband 32 years ago, and it's grown and improved everyday since then. My children are my greatest achievement in life, and I'm proud that I have made them proud!

Forgot to post my workout(sorry I've been very lax in logging both my food and exercise since umpiring started-I've not missed a workout and I'm still kicking my butt with the weights!)

decline chest press 3x15 80lbs
cable crossover 3x15 35lbs
pec deck flye 3x15 45lbs
shoulder press machine 3x15 40lbs
front raises 3x15 10lbs (each arm)
straight leg bench dip 3x15 10lbs
kickbacks 3x15 10lbs (each arm)
wrist extensions 3x15 8lbs

30 minutes treadmill intervals
1:45 minutes umpiring

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWBORN1 4/23/2008 12:52AM

    I was searching one day to get inspired by people who had lost over 100 pounds and I found you on sparks. I had added you as a friend because it seemed we had so much in common and here you are again with an article. Congratulations on your huge success. I started at 299 and with the help on your site I am down to 295.5 last week. I have been so scared that at the age of almost 50 I had no chance but it can be done as you have proven so I want to thank you for all your hard work and determination. There is hope.

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DEB0413 4/22/2008 8:17PM

    Wow, I'm so excited that your article was in the paper - - I didn't know until I read your blog here, but hope there is a way I can find the article. I may do a search online to see what I can find! What day was it in?? Anyway, congratulations!! You've been an inspiration to me for over a year now!! Thanks so much!!

Edit: I did a search for USAToday and then "sparkpeople" and your article came right up!! It was nice to read. You're a star!

Comment edited on: 4/22/2008 8:27:42 PM

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LIBRA_RE 4/22/2008 4:11PM

    You are the inspiration most of us need on this journey. I hope that one day I can be an inspiration to others like you are to me. Thanks you so much for sharing your story!!

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MKPQ51 4/22/2008 2:16PM

    As I have told you before, you have been such an inspiration and encouragement to me and so many others. This article will, as you said, convince people that surgery is not necessary, and that we're all capable of taking the weight off and keeping it off. SP is a great program and I am very grateful to have been learned about it. It was through people like you that my sister found out about SP; she in turn has shared the program with others, who in turn will share it with still more people. Thank you again for putting yourself out there as an example!



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DEBBIEDAY 4/22/2008 1:21PM

    emoticon You are a #1 inspiration!!!! Thanks for the extra motivation just when I need it!!! Keep on keeping on!!!

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CARROTCAKE 4/22/2008 12:08PM

  I just want to personally thank you for sharing your story. I am one who always thought the surgery was the only way..and I planned 3 times to have it and something always fell I believe it was god in his own way stating the only way I am going to lose weight is to work for it..and so I am. And it trully gives me hope and inspiration to see someone like yourself go from where you were to where you are now..You look fantastic and extremely happy..Congratulations!!!

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HANNAHV 4/22/2008 10:01AM

    emoticon you did it! Thank you for sharing a very private side of your life with us!

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STARTSPARKING 4/22/2008 6:00AM

    Congratulations on your phenomenal transformation. Your feature on USA Today is definitely a well-deserved honor. Thank you for being such an amazing inspiration to everyone on SP!

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ODETOLIFE 4/22/2008 3:34AM

    You look just amazing, and although I haven't seen the article yet...You inspire me. I've been here before, and I can say you really inspire me.

Thanks for loving you enough to take care of your only body!


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HEALTHYDESIRE 4/21/2008 10:57PM

    I,too, am embarassed about how I have let myself go. I am going to take that picture that I always avoid. I have lost 27 pounds already so now I am about where you started. I want the picture to remind me of where I do not want to return someday. I say return because I just know that this time, I will get to my goal. Congratulations on your weight loss success and on your family. emoticon

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LRL564 4/21/2008 10:39PM

    You are a true inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story!!!

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SUEALLI 4/21/2008 8:27PM

    Great job on the weight loss, and an even greater job raising wonderful children and staying in a loving marriage. You ARE an inspiration.

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32 years

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Well, today is my 32nd wedding anniversary! I've been married to my best friend for all these years and wouldn't trade one single day of it. We've raised 5 terrific kids(last two will be seniors in college next fall)and are finding our "alone" time to be most rewarding after all the years we spent on our kids. Finding new and exiting things to share with one another is awesome and there's noone else in the world I'd rather spend time with.

How Do You React to Setbacks?

When problems come up, how do you react? Do you look for blame, or do shoulder what you can and try to repair it? Do you throw up your hands and look for an easier way, or do you learn, adapt and keep pushing? There's a lot of talk nowadays about 'personal responsibility'. That's great. But it's usually brought up only in finding fault. It's true that to show 'responsibility' is to own up to your role in the problem's cause. We don't often hear about the other side of responsibility--an obligation to be part of the solution. Even when a hardship is not your fault at all, you can--and should--do what you can to fix it. Your skills and abilities create an obligation that only your character can fulfill.

Responsibility is one of the keys to being successful with this lifestyle change.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MKPQ51 4/22/2008 2:43PM

    I hadn't visited your page since 4/13/08 and missed your wedding anniversary; but, I still wanted to congratulate both of you on 32 years of marriage.

My husband and I have been married for 29 years now. Every time I tell someone how long we've been married, more times than not, they respond, "wow, that's a long time." The reality is that marriages don't last today; it's so shameful when we think about it. The minute that an obstacle gets in the way, the hands go up in defeat. (Just like what happens a lot of times in the weight battle.)

I once had someone tell me, "relationship takes work; it doesn't happen by chance." That is such a true statement; anything worthwhile takes work!

So, not only have you been an example to many on how it is possible to take off the weight and keep it off, now you're also an example to others on how to remain in a loving, caring, purposeful,... marriage.

Again, belated congratulations on your 32 years of marriage.


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SHELLY_L 4/21/2008 8:20PM

    Hello! I read your info linked from the USA today article. Congratulations on what you've done. I've been married to my best friend for 21 years. It's the best! Thanks for being an inspiration! emoticon

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STARTSPARKING 4/21/2008 4:18PM

    Happy Anniversary! Long-term marital bliss is so elusive to so many people today. It is wonderful that you and your husband now able to enjoy some time to yourselves after raising five children.

Thank you for sharing your insights on how to handle setbacks. All the good intentions in the world won't help me make long-lasting lifestyle changes until I decide to be responsible for my own actions. Thank for for the important reminder!

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ACHOLT21 4/21/2008 3:42PM

    Congrats to you and your hubby. It is wonderful to see a couple stay committed for life. My parents are going on 35 and strong. My husband and I are only in our 5th year, but I remember someone say to me, what do you care if gets hurt it's not you. I said, "He's my husband, I married him for better or worse. He is apart of me."
It is just such a pleasure to see a family care for one another and not take marriage lightly.
=) Aislynn

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KIMANDTONY 4/18/2008 7:56PM

    Happy happy anniversary!! I hope you and your BFF have a great night together celebrating!


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TRECECOOKS 4/18/2008 3:36PM

    Happy Anniversary, Di!! Enjoy!! We'll hit 31 this summer. . .

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Wednesday Workout

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Leg Day
40 degree leg press 3x15 150#
Dumbbell Squats 3x15 30lb
leg extensions 3x15 65lb
adductor 3x15 95lb
abductor 3x15 95lb
ab machine 4x25 85lb

55 minute spin class
90 minutes softball umpiring

I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

- Thomas Jefferson, President and philosopher

Where Luck Comes From

It's interesting. Successful people generally believe they made their own breaks. Meanwhile, the unsuccessful types tend to think that success is more found than earned--that fortune smiles on some and sneers at others. The truth is somewhere in between. With hard work, more doors open, more opportunities come by. Which opportunities show up can be a matter of chance. If your mom's not Naomi Judd, you may never get the chance to sing in Nashville. But whatever "happens by", you still have to be ready and willing to take advantage of it. It's really a matter of confidence and preparation. Belief in yourself will help you rely less on luck and more in your abilities. And a strong foundation will give you the power to bust that door down when opportunity comes knocking. You, too, can be lucky. You just have to work at it.

I'm a big believer in the hard work aspect, and I'm learning to take advantage of opportunities without fear of failure. I've always played things safe during my lifetime, but now I'm ready to try things without the fear of failure or embarrassment. That's a very liberating thing! So, while I'll continue to work hard, I'll constantly be looking for new and exciting opportunities.


Are You Giving Your Goals Your Best Effort?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

There are only two options regarding commitment. You're either IN or you're OUT. There's no such thing as life in-between.

- Pat Riley, basketball coach

Are You Giving Your Goals Your Best Effort?

Your dreams deserve better than a half-hearted effort. Meet your goals with a weak handshake and they'll soon be waving you goodbye. Since you probably don't want to look back on a life full of "almost made it" memories, it's time for total commitment. Leave it all on the field, don't hold anything back. Is there anything more satisfying than pouring out your entire being, straddling the cliff, reaching your total limit, then looking up and realizing that oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-I-really-did-it
? And is there anything more tragic than failing and realizing you could have done more? If you feel "tuned out" of your current life, that's okay. Make your first goal to build a life that you can get "in"-to. Then don't look back. Make every day count and live purposefully, live energetically, live completely.

If anyone is looking for the key to losing weight and getting fit--this is it! Committing to doing it 100% is the only way. By trying to go half-heartedly you are cheating yourself and certainly setting yourself up for another failure. Whenever I would begin the weight loss venture in the past, I always kept in the back of my mind, "when I'm done" with this I'll do...and of course I was not committing to the lifestyle change that I needed in order to get, and stay fit. If you don't throw out all of your bad past behaviors and adopt new healthy ones, then eventually you'll end up where your began--"obese" again. I'm not willing to do that so I've bought into this new way of life for good!

Views on Aging by George Carlin

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

"How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, ore even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life! You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Ooooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40 REACH 50, AND MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90's you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!

How to Stay Young

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5 Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love, whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10 Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away!

Yesterday's workout: sets reps weight
decline bench press 3 15 80
cable cross-over 3 15 30
Pec Deck flye 3 15 45
overhead press 3 15 25
shoulder front raise 3 15 10
tricep pulldown 3 15 55
tricep pulldowns-straight bar 3 15 55
wrist extensions 3 15 5


Softball 90 540

Spinning 55 466.4
Softball 90 540

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVEBEAM 4/21/2008 2:11PM

    Ohh my goodnesss...this left my mouth WAYY open..thanks for the reality check

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Good Things

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Who Can Help You Reach Your Goals?

It's true. You're surrounded by people who want nothing more than to see you succeed and fulfill your dreams. They're out there watching as you go after your goals, hoping you make the right decisions, silently cheering each victory, wincing at each setback. Some of them may even want to join you on the journey to a particular goal. The kicker is that you don't know for sure where the source of this help may come from. It could be your spouse, a cousin, your dentist--even your mom. The only way to bring help out of the shadows is by talking. Tell people about your goals, and why they're important to you. Let them see your enthusiasm, and ask them to help keep you motivated and accountable (while you do the same for them). Get a goal buddy or a personal coach. You're in the midst of well-wishers.

I never would have been able to get to this point and lose all this weight without the help of my family. My husband is always doing things to make sure that I have healthy food. He's the resident chef and he prepares things the way I want them. My kids have been a constant source of encouragement and totally supportive of what I'm trying to accomplish. I know there are many people who don't have such a support system in place, and I know that makes this process that much harder. But, there really is no reason for your loved ones to not get on board with your food choices and life changes. All families can benefit from eating healthy and exercising, but even if they are reluctant, you still must fight for yourself.

I became even more aware of my DH's support this past Friday when the photographer from USA TODAY came to photograph us. He was really great, even though we were both apprehensive, and thought some of the poses were really contrived and odd. I'm hoping she uses action shots, as I'm not very good at "posing". I always have a pained expression on my face, when I'm trying to "smile" and I never know where to focus my eyes when they tell you to look this way or that. I just hope I look like I've lost the weight I have lost, because I don't want people to see the pictures and say, she lost how much? She's still fat...

The bottom line is that other people will find out about this website, or find some inspiration from my journey. I hope they look at me and say, "if she can do this, there's no reason I can't". I know that feeling of desperation when you have carried around all those extra pounds for so long, and you think that's how you'll be for life. Seeing all the ads, and promotions for this diet, or that weight loss program, or this surgery of that gimmick, can make you start to believe that you must use this or that in order to get the weight off, but if people look at what I've done and realize that it can be done without any of those products, than all of this is worth it.

Even though I didn't post, I kept my workout schedule all last week. My Friday workout was awesome in both amount of weight lifted and the complete program that included extra exercises for triceps and shoulders, even though I worked them out Monday, I added a little extra and then of course I did spinning class and had my game in the afternoon.


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