Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I have lost 73 pounds since I joined SparkPeople. I never thought I would be this successful. But what I really can't believe is that I am frequently asked about diet and fitness advice now! My company recently started another round of the Biggest Loser with the new year, and as part of the quarterly newsletter they asked me to write about how I lost weight! I just can't believe it! So I want to share what I wrote with my SparkFriends. There were before and after pics as well but they are too large to load here.
How I lost 72
I didnít start my weight loss
intending to lose as much as
I have. I was just tired, tired of
gaining weight and more tired
than I should have been. I
found myself thinking of things
I could not do, and knew I
should be able to.
My first step was to stop gaining weight. I was 225 pounds, the
highest I had ever been. I went online searching for tools, specifically
a calorie tracker that was easy to use and that I didnít have to pay
for. I was very lucky that I found SparkPeople. Itís a completely free
health website with nutrition and exercise trackers. It also has tons of
information about health issues, exercise suggestions, videos, recipes
and a supportive community.
I started slowly, initially just tracking my food intake. I was shocked! I
had no idea how many calories were in the foods I was eating. It didnít
take me long to start saying, ďNo.Ē to some of those foods. After about
a week, I started eating within a lower calorie range and I started
exercising. I decided to try to lose 10% of my body weight over a 6
month period, or 25 pounds. My exercise goal was 10 minutes a day.
I joined the Biggest Loser contest in the Fall of 2012. I was down about
25 pounds by then. I set a goal to lose 20 pounds during the contest
(my second 10%) which was far more aggressive than my first goal.
The contest was a great motivator! I knew I had to face the scale, and
Nikki, and did NOT want to have to pay for gaining in a week. I made
my 20 pound goal on my last weigh in and was very proud! Sadly I
didnít win, but the benefit was undeniable.
I have been losing weight since April 30, 2012. I have lost 72 pounds
and I want to lose 75 by March 31. I do not know what my ending
weight goal is, yet. I would like to be at a healthy BMI. I do know that
I am not on a temporary diet. I am building the habits I need to have
so I will never weigh 225 again. I still track all my food, staying within
1400-1700 calories a day. I exercise for at least 10 minutes every day,
but average around 20 (usually at lunch).
The advice I would give anyone who wants to make some changes is
1) Set small goals (tracking food, drinking water, exercise 10 minutes
2) Calories make a bigger difference than exercise Ė donít rely on the
gym only for weight loss.
3) Find what motivates you (like the Biggest Loser contest) and keep
4) Donít think of this as a temporary situation, but permanent, new
5) Donít deny yourself: instead of ďno
chocolateĒ, eat a reasonable portion thatís
part of your calories for the day.
6) Beware of the scale! It is not always a
friend. I had to put mine away and only
weigh in every 2 weeks.
Monday, August 12, 2013
Yes I was. All out crying in the Old Navy dressing room in front of everybody. I was going to ask JeffAllen to write this for me because he's such a good writer but since I felt it I thought it would be better coming from me.
So I wrote in my blog last week that I had tried on some Levi size 12s and was very excited that they fit. I was so motivated that it's been easier to say no to snacks and stuff. Well Saturday Jeff and I had to wait for my daughter to get out of work and I was very tired but didn't want to nap. I thought maybe if I went to the mall I could get my hair done but didn't really expect it because they are always so busy. Well they were. I had mentioned to Jeff that if I couldn't get my hair done that I could go buy the jeans instead. He was a little hesitant because he really wanted his 32s but is not quite ready for them yet. He only hesitated a moment because he's such an awesome SparkBuddy and knew I deserved to get mine even if he couldn't get his. So we went and I grabbed some 12s and headed for the dressing room. I tried on 3 pair but was not comfortable with the rise in the waist. I am very high waisted and the low cuts are just not my thing. So I sadly put them back and decided I could check a couple more stores.
A little way down was Old Navy so I was excited again. Old Navy never had my old sizes so I only shopped there for my kids. I had to ask the stock girl which cut I needed (which was the sweetheart), found some 12s and headed for the dressing room with Jeff in tow.
I put the jeans on and they were fine, but the waist was a little looser than I wanted. I had the fleeting thought that maybe I could fit into a 10 but didn't really expect it. I went out and showed Jeff and he went to grab some 10s just to see. While I waited for him I explained to the girls running the dressing room that I had lost a lot of weight and really didn't know what size I was, and that I hadn't been able to shop in the store before. They were very nice and supportive. Jeff came back with the jeans and I went back to try to squeeze into them.
I started putting them on, they were snug on the way up but they didn't fight me. I got them all the way up and buttoned them just fine. Then I looked at myself. And I started to cry. I was so happy. I was so shocked. I was so PROUD! I ran out of the dressing room bawling, face red, tears running down my cheeks. I saw Jeff through the haze and grabbed him and hugged him hard. I couldn't explain why I was crying. He said "what happened" with a very worried tone thinking something terrible had happened. Then he said "they fit?" and I nodded and he laughed. He finally got to look at me and said they looked great. It took me a couple minutes of laughing and crying but I finally got it together. I turned around and looked in the dressing room and there was a whole group of people there watching me. I said "I'm sorry, I know this is very silly" and they were all saying "No, no, it's great!". One woman was sitting on a bench wiping her eyes a little and said "You're making me cry. I've been losing weight too, not as much as you, but I understand".
I have worked so hard. Sometimes it feels like I'm not making progress at all. I know I am but when that scale won't budge it gets very frustrating. I have been wearing clothes that are too big for me for a long time. I didn't know what I looked like in clothes that fit. I looked good. I looked NORMAL. Not obese, barely even overweight. There weren't globs of fat hanging over the waist band. I had a waist and hips and my thighs looked right. I had curves instead of blobs. I had no idea that this was what I looked like now.
Well I sniffled all the way through checking out. Then I went to another store and bought a shirt that fit too so I would look really good. My daughter said I looked awesome, younger, and that I might be as thin as her. Then she went and got me some jeans out of her closet to try on. A paid of capris DID fit!
Anyway, I now realize I should have taken a picture to go with this blog. I will post one as soon as I can.
Friday, August 09, 2013
This is my version of the trip to the mall already blogged about by my friend JeffAllen. If you get a chance you should read his "32" blog, but this is my side of the story.
In the last few months, I've found myself getting a little bored with the old watch tv or a movie, play on the computer, or read a book past times that used to be all I wanted to do. Now in the evening I find I have more energy to "do" something. So Jeff and I had finished dinner and we didn't really feel like plopping down on the couch yet so we started thinking of other options. Jeff lives really close to the mall and I hadn't been in a long time so we thought we'd go take a walk around the mall for a little more exercise and see some different scenery while we walked. I was more excited about it than I expected to be. It was a little mini adventure, something we don't normally do, and I was looking forward to seeing the sights. I left my purse in the car because I really couldn't afford to spend anything until pay day and figured it would deter me. We also made a rule that we had to do a complete lap (which Jeff says is a mile) before we could stop to look at anything.
As we walked our lap (which took about 13 minutes because Jeff is fast and has really long legs) I was eyeing the clothes in the windows. Understand that I am now down 59 pounds and have only bought a couple pairs of pants and some shorts at Goodwill because I don't want to commit a lot of money to something I won't have for long. I really had no idea what size I was, but I was pretty sure I didn't have to shop only in the big girl stores anymore. I was looking and thinking about some of the outfits I thought would be fun to fit into that I might look good in now. That alone was bringing a smile to my face.
So we finished our lap and went to look at some Dr Who toys at FYE, then we went to Wilson's leather where I tried on ladies jackets. Jeff made me try on a size large in black which I could zip up but felt sort of trapped in, then an XL which fit very nicely. The black was too biker chick for my more hippie sensibilities but then I found the cutest pink leather jacket that made me look so thin. It was amazing that I would even consider something like that! That's an attention getter for sure right? But it was so cute!
Anyway, the jacket really showed that my jeans were way too big because that jacket was so slimming to my top half. I had an idea that we could go to the Levi's store and try on jeans so I could see what size I really was. When I went to Goodwill I was shocked to be a 14, so I was really curious if I could get into 12s any time soon.
Well we walked in and Jeff went one way and I went another. There were so many cuts that I was worried about finding something I liked, but ended up choosing classic regular fit. That was scary. I've always looked for terms like "loose" and "stretch". Anyway, I finally found something I thought I could try then saw Jeff heading my way, so we found the salesperson to let us in the dressing room which was unisex. We had our own little closets but were in the same general room so we could still talk to each other.
I quickly took off my too big jeans and started putting on the 12s. I really didn't think they would make it much over my knees at first, but then the bunches smoothed out and they slid right up. All the way over my thighs! Then over my butt! Then they buttoned right up!!! I couldn't believe it. I didn't have to suck in. Now they did fit like a glove, there was no extra room. My curves were all showing! It was AWESOME! I opened the door and started saying Jeff! Jeff! You have to see this! Jeff! He wasn't answering because he was having his own little moment of shock with a pair of 32s. He opened the door proudly in a pair of great looking 32s that made him look so thin, and I was twirling around in my 12s just grinning like a teenager. We were both so proud and excited that we couldn't stop looking in the mirror long enough to look at each other!
We didn't buy the jeans, and we didn't take pictures darn it! I did however tell the sales girl how excited I was and the whole weight loss story. I have been so motivated ever since! My birthday is coming up, and Christmas, and I will have a list of clothes this year!
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I was a size 20 or so. I tried to avoid looking at sizes as much as possible but I'm pretty sure that's where I got to.
Anyway, 59 pounds is a lot, but it sure is fun to try on jeans that you think are too small and find they fit! It's nice to have a non-scale victory at the mall. And besides, I couldn't have even shopped in that store before, they don't have sizes that large!
Friday, August 02, 2013
I don't have the money or the time to commit to a gym membership or lots of equipment. I'm so glad that with SparkPeople I don't have to spend money or a lot of extra time.
One of the biggest problems I have with exercise is that I don't like it. Well I didn't used to because it hurt and made me sweat, etc. But that's because I was so unfit and unused to the feeling. I like it more now. I like my walks and the time I get to listen to my music and enjoy the scenery.
But let's get past that part. Let's think about gym memberships. They are expensive and if you don't go a lot it's very wasteful. You don't have to go to the gym to exercise. Walking is free! SparkPeople exercise videos are free! YouTube videos are free! Push up, sit ups, yoga, all free and easy to do in my own home!
What about my lack of time? I don't have time to exercise. Well, again thanks to Spark mentality, just 10 minute blocks of time will do. Just 10 minutes? That's right. I can take a 10 minute walk at lunch time and it usually turns into 20 because since I'm out I might as well take advantage of it. I also save a lot of time because I don't have to drive to the gym. Most of the workout I do I don't even have to change out of my clothes! There are lots of 10 to 20 minute video options.
I get bored doing the same thing all the time. Well now, I choose a different video whenever I get a chance. If I've already walked for cardio, then I choose a targeted toning or yoga video. If I haven't gotten cardio for the day then I find one of those. There are lots of options!
Anyway, what I'm saying is I don't need to take the time or financial commitment to join a gym. I just stay home or in my neighborhood and check out all the free options around me.
With this philosophy I am on my 15th day of my streak which is my longest ever!
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