Saturday, May 08, 2010
I just realized that I have been a Spark People member for 379 days. I didn't even realize that a year had passed. I have to say, other than school, I have never stuck to anything this long. Quite honestly I didn't think I would need to. I had fully expected to have lost all my excess weight and be on my merry way by now.
I was very sceptical when my nutritionist recommended the site. I did not think it was for me. I thought: I don't have any "issues"; I don't have a problem with food; I just need to lose a few extra pounds. Turns out I do have some "issues"; a lack of knowledge being the main one. SparkPeople has been such wealth of information and education for me. Because of what I've learned here and the guidance and support I've gotten, my first attempt at weight loss may very well be my last. I never had to suffer through diets. I instead learned the benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle. I did not start an exercise program with unreasonable expectations only to throw in the towel when those expectations were not realized. Instead I learned that my weight loss journey has to be multi-faceted and well-paced. I did get discouraged at the slow pace sometimes, but I was encouraged by practical SP information, and by members who share their stories and their own struggles.
Looking at my weight tracker you might not be able to tell, but I have come a long way in the past year. Sure 17 lbs seems low for more than 52 weeks, but it doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn't tell you that my body fat percentage fell from an obese 28% to a fit 23%. It doesn't tell you that I went from a tight size 14 to slipping on size 8 pants this week. It doesn't tell you how I went from hating exercise to looking forward to runs with my neighbor-friend, kickboxing class and yoga. My aptly depicted turtle tracker doesn't tell you how amazing I feel that my excitement about my health and improving body has inspired my mother, cousin and friends to take more care of their body and health. The little turtle doesn't tell you how grateful I am that my life is markedly better, or that I plan to wear a bathing suit on the beach this summer - the first time in almost 7 years.