Saturday, August 13, 2011
I ran into a person I see from time to time through my work. When I first met her I weighed more than 200 pounds. She was very complimentary -- and maybe a little surprised -- that I have maintained my weight loss now for several years.
She made me smile, though, when she said I should be featured on television. Evidently, I am the only flesh and blood person she knows who has lost and kept off 80+ pounds. She thinks it is even more amazing because I was a fat kid, spent more than 5 decades obese, and now weigh less than I did in 7th grade.
Yeah, I'm pretty amazed myself. I never thought I could do it. But I know I am no incredible story. Just go to SparkPeople Success Stories and you'll meet people who have overcome so much more than I have: people who lost hundreds of pounds more than I did, even people who could not walk a step when they started their journey. I'm not taking away my success. No way. I enjoy my success every day. I feel better -- much better -- both physically and about myself. I look better. Some people even treat me a little better, although I'm not saying it should be that way. My blood pressure and cholestrol have come down to normal. But I know that I don't need to write a book about my weight loss journey or go to the media about my accomplishment. I have no weight solution to promote except SparkPeople.
After years of dieting, I was really good at losing weight, but I just could not keep it off. This time I found SparkPeople. I added strength training for the first time. Points and trophies helped me stay motivated, and I even increased my cardio. I saw for the first time meal plans for maintenance specifically for my size and activity level. I tracked 75 nutrients and learned a great deal, cutting my sodium intake dramatically. I gave up lots of pre-packaged and "diet" foods in favor of eating simple and delicious foods. And I never dreamed that setting streaks and joining challenges would be motivating, but it absolutely is.
The biggest surprise was that I would make online friends. I have been inspired by so many people working on health and fitness issues; even people my age working on maintenance. I have found understanding and so much support here. I doubt that I would have even tried running if I hadn't met older people here on SparkPeople who love and benefit from it. Once I ran my first 5K I felt so successful, even before I learned I had won a medal. My local SparkTeam is a godsend, too -- a wonderful group of people I'm proud to be associated with.
As I approach my second Sparkiversary, I am profoundly grateful to SparkPeople. No, I don't need to be featured on television. My story is not different from hundreds of other Sparkers, all of us living healthier and happier because of SparkPeople.