Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I wasn't going to have a SparkPage or a Blog. It took me a while to realize that these are great motivational tools, and that, in itself, is a gift. So here I am.
I've struggle with my weight all my life; I'm 56. Twenty-two years ago I weighed 220 and I lost 90 pounds. It took me years to gain it all back and then some, but I did it. So when I started SparkPeople on May 9, 2012 I weighed 230 pounds. Wow. Today, eight weeks later I weigh 220. I am so pleased. I was aiming for five pounds a month and I did it. Oh, I know it won't always happen that way, but I'm amazed that I could do this.
Six years ago I fell down the stairs and injured my knee. When I went to the orthopedic doctor he said that I already had chondromalacia, that eventually I would need a knee replacement, but the knee wasn't ready for that yet. Well, at first, I had to keep it elevated and be very gentle with it. The doctor told me that I should be able to walk, (no hills, no jogging). He gave me synvisc shots which helped. However, I didn't consistently exercise. Well, the synvisc wore off after eight months and I sat around waiting for the pain and swelling to go away. Not the smartest thing to do.
When we moved to North Carolina five years ago I became more active, but then my blood pressure went up and I started having problems with sodium. Funny, it coincided with the fact that we were eating more fast food than ever! So my doctor put me on medication and I tried to diet and stay away from sodium. I could not lose weight! I would lose five pounds then be starving and go back to eating unhealthy foods. Every summer my feet would swell and the pain was so bad I couldn't move. This May I had had enough!
So I found SparkPeople on a Google Search and joined. I started tracking what I ate and realized that when I was dieting I wasn't eating enough and I was literally starving myself!
I started walking. The first day I walked for 15 minutes at 2 mph. My knee was fine and it didn't swell so the next day I walked at 2.3 mph for 20 minutes. I kept increasing the speed and the time. One day I actually walked 3 mph for 25 minutes. I haven't been able to do that again, but I'm working at it. I started strength training four weeks ago. I can feel the difference. I can see the difference, as well. Between the ST and walking I am losing inches, as well as losing weight.
The best thing about walking has been that my blood pressure is now normal. Yeah! I'm still on a diuretic because it's summer and my feet still want to swell even with my sodium intake lowered. I keep it below 2000 mg, averaging between 1500 and 1600 mg per day. With the heat and humidity here in southern North Carolina I might have to drop that average down lower.
I can go up and down stairs without pain. I can get down on the floor and while it still not as easy as I would like, I can get off the floor without assistance. I have more flexibility and fewer aches and pains and I've stopped getting muscle spasms.
I've noticed that I'm happier. I was depressed and turning more and more inward. Not going out of the house even to go grocery shopping. My attitude was so negative. I was depressed just being around me! But for the last eight weeks (oops, it's really been seven) I've been happy. I don't ever remember being happy on a diet, do you? Well, I'm not really on a diet. I eat meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. I don't eat fast food, but we do go out occasionally. I've found that most of the time restaurants add so much salt to their food that it makes the food unpalatable. Dairy is not on my list of foods because I am allergic to the proteins in dairy. I can manage a limited amount of hard cheese but that's it for the moment.
I joined SparkPeople because I wanted to use the nutrition tracker. I didn't realize I would be getting this amazing flow of positive energy from all these amazing people. I found a place where I can get emotional support. A place where I can find motivation. Here are all the tools I need for my new healthy lifestyle. I can find all the information and expert advice I need.
The people I've met here are more than amazing. They write things that have made me laugh and made me cry. I've been awed by their courage, their honesty , their dedication, and their perseverance. They've taught me gratitude. They've taught me to be more kind to myself. They've shown me that if they can do this, so can I. They've made me go outside my comfort zone and try harder for the things I want to achieve.
I can do this. I can set goals and reach them. I can become the person I want to be. I can't thank SparkPeople enough for giving me back my life.