Friday, May 09, 2014
Today is my 3 Year SparkVersary!
I lost 90lbs with the help of SparkPeople, 80 of them in just under 9 months. During that time, I lost weight every single week with only two exceptions (the day after a party and after a vacation). This was done with laser-like focus. The benefit was that I never lost momentum and ultimately this helped me reach my goals relatively fast and personally made me feel awesome. The disadvantage was that I was less prepared for maintenance than those who have plateaued along their journey. So, if you're just getting started, I wouldn't get too worked up about how long it's going to take or whether you hit bumps along the road, because there are always advantages and disadvantages to any path you take. For me, I'm grateful for my route. Results may vary.
I've maintained my weight loss for over two years. The longer we maintain our weight loss, the more we reduce the probability of regaining the weight. I find comfort and relief in this because I tend to worry about these statistics. Maintaining longer means our odds do get better.
I've tracked my nutrition virtually every day I've been here. This helps keep me focused and has taught me a lot about food and how my body reacts to different nutrients and situations. While I struggle with the necessity of this at times, I think tracking helps me more than it hinders me, so I will continue tracking, for now.
I've logged thousands of miles biked and tens of thousands of fitness minutes since joining SparkPeople. This helps keep me focused, reminds me to exercise when life gets hectic and quantifies my efforts.
I learned a lot from other people and SparkPeople articles during the last three years. A lot of this learning was in the form of remembering. In other words, most of this information wasn't my first exposure to health, fitness, vegetables, positivity, etc. You learn this stuff and then you forget it. This is why repetition is so important.
A gift I've received from a few people, including several SP community members, is hope. Hope is probably one of the more inconspicuous tools available here on SparkPeople. But, if you are lucky enough to find it and accept it, true hope can power you to achieve just about anything. I'm not talking about desperate hope or wishful thinking. I'm talking about the realization that something isn't just a remote possibility, but a real tangible outcome that you or anyone can achieve. A funny thing about true hope is that it's silent. When you really have hope, you don't say "I hope I can do this." You say "I can do this." I guess for me, hope is the spark in SparkPeople.
A few other things that are really important:
I drink a lot of water, and I like it. Water hydrates your body and will make you feel better. If you don't like water, I suggest learning to like it.
I eat a ton of vegetables, and I like them. Actually, I love them! Vegetables fuel your body and will make you feel better. If you don't like vegetables, I suggest learning to like them.
I exercise a lot, and I like it. Some exercise I love (biking); some I like a lot (hiking); some I like a little (strength training); some I don't like much at all (like the KrankCycle). I can do a lot of different things and there are many things I can't do. But, by all measures, I can do a lot more now than when I started SparkPeople. And, because I can comfortably do a lot more exercises now, I tend to like things that I would never have liked to do when I first joined SP. Exercise strengthens your muscles, reduces stress and reduces your chances of illness and injury. If you don't like to exercise, I suggest trying every exercise until you find the ones you enjoy. Then, do those the most often.
So, to recap, those three things: water, vegetables and exercise are what I would say are probably the most important non-negotiables as far as weight-loss or general health are concerned, especially if you like to eat a lot or find yourself eating for psychological reasons. SparkPeople helped me remember them and relearn to like them. And, for that (along with hope), I'm very grateful.
Thursday, May 08, 2014
I guess my intention of starting to make some blog posts again didn't go exactly as planned. Haha! This week I remembered that my three year anniversary at SparkPeople was coming up and today I thought that I should start thinking about what to include in a post to reminisce. Then, I went in and realized it had already been a long time since my last post!
I think the title of my last post might have made it look like I had left SparkPeople and came back (which isn't the case). I was here all along. I was just really quiet for a while, mostly tracking my nutrition/fitness and doing other essentials. I've been under the weather to various degrees since the beginning of the year. And, since I'd rather not complain about my maladies, I just don't say anything at all. Something about "if you don't have anything good to say..." Regardless, I've got a lot to be grateful for, so I'll try to come up with something good for tomorrow (my SparkVersary).
Saturday, March 15, 2014
I haven't made a blog post in a long time. Back in January 2012, I was on the cusp of reaching my 80 pounds lost milestone. To follow-up, I reached -80 two days after that blog post, and then continued to lose another 10 pounds over the next few months. In all, I probably lost a bit more considering my muscle mass now compared to when I started this journey.
I've maintained my weight loss all this time and generally hover somewhere between -85 and -90 pounds. Sometimes I get closer to -80, but it's usually water weight caused from eating other people's food too close to my weekly weigh-in. I'm usually closest to -85, which oddly was my original (albeit arbitrary) goal. Sometimes I wonder if I gravitate toward that number because of the amount of intention/attention I originally placed on it. It stands out to me because it's almost magical how my body will shift toward that weight, even when I do things that should move me in one way or another away from it. Right now, I'm focusing on losing a few vanity pounds before summer. I say "vanity pounds" because I've been in my healthy weight range for a long time. So, these pounds are purely because I want to look my best over the summertime (when I'll be wearing less clothing).
So, I've been maintaining a healthy weight all this time, why a blog post now?
A few reasons actually. First, I point a lot of people to SparkPeople since I often get asked how I lost all of my excess weight. I realized that my SparkPage (updated November 2012) and blog posts (updated January 2012) were very outdated and don't really reflect my current story. So, I thought this would help me keep my health and fitness story more current. Second, I've been noticeably absent from the SP Friend Feed lately. I've been busy and overwhelmed, so I chose to ignore that portion of SparkPeople for the time being. I guess I'm hoping that by returning to posting stuff, I'll be able to reconnect with more SparkFriends. How that will pan out with my busyness and overwhelm is yet to be seen. Third, I privately journal from time to time and often notice good bits of info in there, so I think I'll push a little more of that information out into the public. Finally, I still have my share of struggles and writing about them semi-publicly has helped me in the past, so I'll rinse and repeat.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Today I finished SparkPeople's Official January Jumpstart Workout Challenge!
Finishing any challenge always feels great, but for some reason this one feels especially gratifying. Maybe it's because I got one of those shiny trophy icons as a reward. Or, maybe it's because I know I stuck with it even while out of town on a combination business trip and mini-vacation in Las Vegas. Or, it could also be that this challenge took me quite a bit out of my comfort zone as far as exercises go. None of them were really difficult, although the very first one was quite a beast the first time I did it!!! But, a lot of them were new exercises to me and stuff like that always takes me a little time to get used to. I definitely learned that I'm not as coordinated as I thought I was, although I improved over the course of the 4 week challenge.
Unfortunately, this month has also been very hectic and a lot of my forum and team participation waned. Between fitting in a lot of new exercise and a crazy amount of work stuff, something had to get cut. TV time and the more social aspects of SparkPeople both went on the chopping block. And, I definitely missed my SparkPeeps more than the TV!
Anyhow, my big challenge is over and work should be getting more manageable in the next week, so things will be back to normal for me soon.
p.s. I'm getting SUPER close to reaching my 80 lbs lost milestone! I suspect this Monday or the following Monday I'll be celebrating!!!
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Right now I'm in Las Vegas and don't have a lot of extra time to write, so this post is going to be a little different than my others. In fact, I'm probably going to edit it with more info later, but I wanted to get a couple things jotted down here. My partner and I used to go to Vegas quite a bit, but this is actually the first time we have been here in about six years. It's a short work-related trip, but we are also here with friends. Anyway, I have quickly learned and/or remembered a few things:
1) I LOVE LAS VEGAS!!! I absolutely LOVE it!
2) A medium Fatburger and peanut butter shake contain 1,540 calories and are worth every single one of them!!! Granted, this should probably be on a once or twice yearly schedule.
3) If you wait long enough, most cravings will pass. I had ordered some sort of delicious-sounding smores ice cream sundae somewhere. Over 30 minutes later, we hadn't been served and my craving was gone. I canceled my order and probably saved myself well over 1,000 calories. In the past, I would have probably waited and ate it even though I was no longer craving it. So, very happy about this!
4) As much as I love Las Vegas, my skin does not. I'm chalking this up to the hotel detergent, but I'm sure the smoke and desert air could also have something to do with it.
5) You can get a LOT of walking in here. A lot! My feet actually hurt, which is rare for me these days.
6) A run around 5pm can literally give you a new lease on the day. After walking around the Consumer Electronics Show all day on Friday, I was pretty tired. In the past, I might have taken a nap. This time around, I ran for 4 miles in the hotel gym. I think this is the first time I've ever used a hotel gym. It completely woke me up! I showered and felt like a million bucks and lasted until 2:45am yesterday night! Woohoo!
7) It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game. Although, winning is a nice bonus!
8) Time in Vegas goes very, very fast.
- more to come, gotta run -
Get An Email Alert Each Time MPLSKEN Posts