Monday, October 28, 2013
I can't believe how much time has passed since I joined Sparkpeople 2 1/2 years ago. I was a desperate 300 lb. woman looking for a miracle. Not an "easy fix", just some motivation and support to get healthy and lose weight. I was facing health problems and was severely depressed. This website was what I needed.
Sparkpeople was my new, shiny toy. I was sooo amazed and inspired by all the stories. I started tracking my food and drinking water. The pounds started to come off slowly and I was motivated to keep going. Eventually I was able to exercise and in 8 months I had lost 70 lbs!
Then something happened. It was Christmas and I was happy and comfortable with my body. I started "slipping up". I got away with it for a while...I would over-eat or skip exercising and get back on track to cover myself. I would gain and lose the same 2 lbs. for many months. Eventually I started gaining weight and didn't lose it back.
I have a sugar addiction. I found that good nutrition keeps the cravings under control but, once I let sugary treats or extra carbs and artificial sweeteners get into my body...I craved more and more. In addition to that problem, I injured my foot and had to stop exercising for 10 months.
Well, I don't have to tell you that both those things add up to disaster for anyone trying to maintain a weight loss let alone trying to lose additional weight.
I couldn't face gaining weight again so instead of working harder to get through the challenge...I did what I always did in the past...I gave up on myself and ignored my weight gain. I kept telling myself that it would be ok but, I didn't make any changes.
Now I have gained back 50 lbs! I am facing health problems again. I have acid reflux and asthma again. My body hurts. My clothes don't fit and I am depressed again.
I am back on Sparkpeople now. Determined to one day reach my goal.
It's do or die time!
My Sparkpage says "Sparkpeople Motivator!" How can I be a motivator when I am feeling like such a failure right now.
Well, I CAN because I am here to motivate you to keep going.
Don't do what I did. Don't get comfortable and lazy. If you are working your program and losing weight...keep on track! Be scared! Because if you think that you can cheat here and there and make up for it, you may be able to for awhile but, one day you will let it get away from you and where will you be then...right where I am. Morbidly Obese and starting again.
Feeling healthy and confident is a precious feeling. Please don't take your success for granted.
Don't let what happened to me happen to you!
Thursday, January 17, 2013
I have been on this journey since May 9th, 2011. I like to call this my "Magical Mystery Tour".
I call it that because I have experienced the magic of losing 70 lbs., feeling great, achieving fitness goals I never dreamed I could do and finding love for myself. But, the mystery part comes in when I fall off track and can't find my "spark" or when I do everything right and still don't lose a pound for several weeks. I lost my way for 9 months and gained back almost 30 lbs.
I wasn't completely lost...I was still exercising some and trying to eat healthy. I just let myself get depressed again and started eating sugar which makes me crave carbs....which makes me crave sugar...which makes me not want to exercise much and sleep during the day...which makes me depressed. You see the cycle.
I still have the foundation of healthy living that I layed when I first joined Spark. I am not starting from scratch. I am jumping back in before I gain everything back.
I am still determined to reach my goals someday. It is harder the second time because everything is not shiny and new. I am not dropping 5 lbs. the first week like I did in the very beginning. But, I still know...deep down in the "positive" side of my brain, that I CAN do this if I follow the steps. It is a simple plan...just not an easy plan. I have to DO THE WORK.
My goals for 2013 are as follows:
Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. (my plan is to drink 2 glasses with each meal and with a snack)
Exercise 6 days per week. (my plan is to go to Zumba class 2 days per week, walk 2 or more miles 2 days per week and do an exercise DVD with weights 1 day per week)
Eat healthy everyday. (my plan is to log my food, keep healthy food choices on hand, resist buying sweets and junk food that will tempt me, not skip any meals. stay in my calorie range and indulge in a treat once in a while so I don't binge)
Get more sleep. (my plan is to be in bed by 11pm so I can be asleep by midnight allowing for 7 hours of sleep per night...this is the hardest thing for me since I am a night owl)
Staying positive. (Keep positive thoughts in my head and encourage myself with motivational visual aides in the house plus, allowing time to be on Sparkpeople.com)
Staying focused. (keeping myself accountable by weighing once per week, keeping active on Sparkpeople and thinking about the wonderful feeling of being lean and healthy when I reach my goal.)
My goal is to lose 65 lbs. this year. I want to weigh 190 lbs. by Dec. 31st, 2013. I know this is possible if I do the work.
I have already lost 2 lbs. Now I just have to repeat that about 31 more times this year.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Are you feeling defeated because you can't stay on track with your food? Stress and other emotions causing your to make poor choices and have left you feeling like you have no willpower?
Well, I don't think it is a matter of willpower. I have a strong will in all other areas of my life so it seems to be more about stopping and thinking about my emotions before I turn to food. I have a chemical reaction that happens in my brain when I am upset or nervous and the feeling I get in the moment that I am consuming sugary treats or "comfort" foods, pacifies that emotion for a short while and provides relief.
But, when I am abstaining from the sugar, simple carbs, and fatty foods, and eating more vegetables and drinking water, I seem to be able to think more clearly. When I am eating healthy and exercising and something stresses me out, I can stop, and take a moment, before reaching for the junk food. It is in that moment that I can talk to myself before I act out and binge.
I think we Sparkers have strong willpower. We just need to give ourselves a chance to find our "moment of clarity" before we react. If we can have that one moment to acknowledge that the junk food will not really satisfy us, and in the end, will not solve the problem, we can find something else to occupy our mind until the craving passes.
Just thought I would share my thoughts on the subject.
Hugs to you Sparkfriend!
Thursday, November 08, 2012
Well, I am back on Spark...again. I have not been active on Spark for 9 months.
I joined Spark May 9th of 2011 and hit the ground running. I was ready to do anything to get the weight off. I had hit an all time low in my life and weighed 300lbs. I could hardly move. My joints hurt. I was suffering from sleep apnea and acid reflux. I was sleeping in a recliner. I couldn't pick up toys off the floor. I couldn't trim my toenails. Life was unbearable. I put on a "happy face" around others but, I was miserable inside and often took my frustrations with myself out on my family. I had hit a turning point...I was going to have to get help or I would keep gaining weight and my depression was heading toward unhealthy thoughts of wanting to die.
My first 7 months on Spark were life changing. I was focused and determined to succeed. I was excited to find this website and couldn't believe it was free. I had wasted so much money on weight loss schemes that I didn't trust anything anymore. But, because it was free and "real" people were finding a way to lose weight and live healthier lives, I was sure this was my "miracle".
Inspired by the success of others, I spent several hours of every day focusing on what I would put into my mouth to nourish my body and working on the website. I devoured information from Spark and the support of others and that filled me up instead of turning to food. I started to see and feel the changes and that motivated me to continue working.
After 3 months I had lost enough weight to feel comfortable with trying some exercise. I walked 10 minutes on my treadmill and felt like I would have a heart attack any minute. But, I didn't and the next day I walked again. I continued to challenge myself with exercise and kept logging my food intake. I ate healthy, drank water and stayed close to my calorie range. The weight was coming off.
More important than the physical change that was occuring, was the mental change. I was finally feeling proud of myself instead of ashamed. I made an effort each day to encourage myself with positive thoughts and praise. I reached out to others on Spark to give and receive motivation and found friends. I joined Sparkteams and signed up for challenges.
After 7 months on Spark, I had gone from 300 lbs. to 230 lbs. and had competed in a real 5K race. Life was good! I really believed that I would continue to move toward my goal of losing 120 lbs. but, something happened that changed my direction.
I let stress take over and went back to using food for comfort. A switch in my brain had flipped and I was no longer able to resist the tempting sugary treats I had baked for Christmas 2011. Once the sugar was back in my bloodstream, its grip on my emotions took hold.
I had gained 7 lbs. over the holidays last year but, was able to lose most of it back in January 2012. But, I was never the same after that. I had lost something very precious. I had lost the motivation I had had in the beginning when I first joined Spark. I was still doing pretty well. I was working out 4 or 5 days a week and eating well most of the time but, the sugar was still there adding calories to my food intake each day and messing with my brain.
I was getting depressed again. I felt that I had let myself down and my friends on Spark. The fact that I was a "motivator" really got me upset. I was supposed to be a "success" to motivate others not let myself backslide. I started to turn my back on Spark out of shame and guilt. I didn't want to face that I was back to dealing with my emotions by numbing myself with sweets.
I continued to exercise a couple days a week in the hopes that it would be enough to keep from gaining the weight back but, sadly, it wasn't. The weight has been creeping back on for 9 months now and I have gained back 27 lbs. I feel tired and my clothes barely fit. (I had given away my larger sizes when I lost the 70 lbs.)
I refuse to buy larger clothes so I just wear what will still fit and pray for the strength to motivate myself to lose weight again. I am embarrassed around my friends because I have negative thoughts that they are thinking I am getting fat again and that they probably thought I wouldn't be able to keep the weight off. But, that is just my sick mind playing tricks on me again. I have to change my negative thoughts.
I am a very strong-willed person. I can achieve anything I want to if I am willing to work for it. I want to free myself from depression and food addiction. I have been told that I should be on anti-depressants and that is probably true but, I just don't want to take drugs. I really believe, whether it is misguided or not, that I can heal my depression with weight loss, healthy eating, exercise and positive thoughts.
I am ready to move forward again. After my big step back....I am ready for my two steps forward!
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