Saturday, June 05, 2010
So...very exciting news!! Today I have officially lost 31 pounds since the start of my Spark Journey on March 9 of this year!! It's unbelievable how much SparkPeople has changed my life for the better and I'm so happy I actually got involved in Sparks this time around (I had joined a couple times over the years and never got involved with the site)!!! I have also met (via this site) some of the world's most amazing and positive people! I truly believe this site/community is one of the greatest things one could have in their life. It makes me appreciate life so much more and makes me WANT to live a healthy lifestyle.
Ahh..it's weird to think about how far I've come in such a short period of time. I started Sparks feeling terrible about my physical appearance and letting myself go (I gained 72 pounds in just 4 years). I quickly realized the biggest benefit of living a healthy lifestyle was actually feeling GREAT--not the weight loss. Of course, the weight loss has definitely been a positive byproduct of my journey and it feels good to be able to fit into lots of my old clothes as well. I also love losing weight because I'm a goal oriented person and it makes me feel accomplished. I love when I can figure out A+B=C (where A is healthy eating, B is exercising, and C is results..hehe).
Whenever I tried losing weight before I was so obsessed with the scale that I would get discouraged and give up. Though I weigh myself everyday (sort of for the science aspect of what happens when I put this in my body or when I do this specific workout), the scale no longer controls me. Sure, I was super excited when I got on the scale and realized I had met my goal..but if the opposite happened I wouldn't be upset about it. I try to remember I have the rest of my life to lose weight...one week isn't going to make a difference!!! I have found when I'm focusing on being healthy (not just weight loss)..the weight comes off so much easier. SO...if you are like I was...remember that the number on the scale is exactly that--just a number!! This makes losing weight SOOO much less stressful and more fun (of course).
Now I am able to stick up for myself when people are mean to me about gaining weight/I am able to put people in their place when they try to judge me--something I would have been way too embarrassed to do before. I have been able to help people who have low self-esteem like I used to, which is an amazing feeling. I finally feel like I can make a positive difference because I have become such a positive person. I have decided I want to be a life coach (which would include weight loss coaching), which I may not have figured out if I didn't join Sparks and realize how much I love motivating and encouraging others. I have also remained smoke-free for 111 days!!! WOOHOO.
Before starting Sparks...I had tried to quit smoking and wanted to lose weight but was constantly sabotaging myself. I stuffed my face to the point of being uncomfortably full at all hours of the day. I never got hungry and it wasn't uncommon for me to have a 3,000 or 4,000 daily intake of calories. I literally did not care about what I was putting into my body...and I felt like it. I was constantly tired and never had energy to do anything--let alone exercising. I drove to class instead of taking the ten minute walk...which is HILARIOUS because I walk for miles now like it's nothing. I literally did a complete 180 of my old reckless behavior and that feels AMAZING. I honestly feel like I can do anything I put my mind to now!
I credit this community for not only being the reason that I have lost weight (instead of gained) for the first time in my life...but even more importantly...for giving me the tools to stay on track with my healthy lifestyle journey. I am a firm believer that this site added YEARS..if not a decade..onto my life. Without Sparks I'd probably still be smoking and obese! So if you are just getting into Sparks...GIVE IT YOUR ALL!!!! This site is the greatest one on the world wide web! Take advantage of it, after all...it's FREE!!!!
People have been asking me how I did it/what my program was. Here are some of the things that I did:
*I followed the Hilton Head Metabolism diet (added about 200 more calories to it a day though by increasing portion sizes just a bit), which is AMAZING. It's a high complex carb, moderate protein, and very low fat diet that is super easy to stick to (no weird foods...just things like veggies, fruits, chicken, tuna, turkey, etc.). The only thing is that it is 5 meals a day (well three actual meals and two "minimeals" that are usually just a fruit or vegetable) so it can be kind of inconvenient because you have to eat every 3 hours. And then you work out 2x a day for 20 minutes after your meals. Even a walk cuts it for the workout. If you would like more information/want to join the team...you can get more info at this link: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=41638 . Some people get scared because it's high carb, but follow it for a week faithfully and I'd personally guarantee you'll lose some weight.
*As far as exercise goes, I usually do the 30 Day Shred and walk lots!! I love walking...instead of driving (if it is within decent driving distance and I have time), I walk! Also making sure I work out at least 10 minutes a day so I don't break my streak helps a lot..I know if I don't work out for a couple of days I start getting lazy and don't want to! It's true what they say...weight loss is all about consistency!
*When I track my food before I eat I usually make better decisions as well..so that is key!!
*WATER WATER WATER!!!!! Learn to love it and drink up!!
*Adding strength training in--it really does make a difference when it comes to boosting your metabolism!!
*Checking in with SP everyday
*Practicing what I preach!!!
I have had a bunch of really bad weeks along the way...gotten in a couple of ruts where I was just so unmotivated...the key is just starting from square one. Resetting goals is a huge motivator for me...reading other people's blogs and seeing what works for them...talking to other members of the community...making sure I still keep up with SP even if I am not eating healthy or working out. All of these things have helped me SO much.
Thanks for all the love and support you guys have given me. You are the best!!!! Here's to the next 30 pounds (I'll finally be in the normal range then!! ahah).