Today marks 5 months on Spark for me. I thought it was time for a little reflection about my journey.
When I started this process 5 months ago, I was at my absolute lowest emotionally and the heaviest I'd ever been in my whole life. Spark was the last stop for me before doing something more drastic. I found out about Spark in a magazine and thought what do I have to lose? So between Spark, prayer and a supportive husband here I am today...a new woman weighing in 56.8 lbs. less than when I started.
Back in February, when I first joined Spark I didn't tell anyone about it. Not even my husband at first because I didn't want to fail and have everyone see me as a big fat loser. I hated myself and what I had become. After sticking to my new healthy lifestyle for a couple of weeks I was ready to start sharing my journey with people outside of Spark.
Honestly I was in awe that I was actually losing weight. I was getting in the bare minimum amount of exercise...30 minutes a day for 3 days a week for about the first 2 weeks I was on Spark. I hated exercising, my energy was low and I was just plain grumpy. Two weeks in I gave up diet soda. That was really hard. I had headaches, my energy level went even lower and yes, I became even more grumpy. Coming off of the caffeine was really hard. It took a couple of weeks for me to start feeling a little normal again. Amazingly enough, a lot of my stomach issues went away once I got rid of the diet soda. I don't drink coffee, tea or alcohol so I didn't have that hurdle to cross.
My other big thing that I was addicted to was Hot Tamales. You know, those sugar laden, cinnamon flavored, chewy...you get the idea. I did give those up cold turkey the day I started Spark. I do have to admit though that for a while when I'd go to the grocery store and see a box I'd pick it up and smell it. My daughter thought I was nuts. Now looking back, maybe it was a little nutty, but at least I didn't buy them and eat them.
I became a little obsessive about weighing and measuring my food. To the point of driving my family crazy just a little. For me though it was all or nothing. I couldn't guess...I had to know EXACTLY what I was putting in my mouth. Still do. I soon realized that if I picked up my exercise that I could have more food to eat. Seemed like a win-win situation, so I went to work like gang busters with the exercise. Guess what? I LOVE to exercise now. It helps me feel better emotionally as well as physically. Just so you know, you can over train. There is a balance to all of this and it's taken me a while to find my balance. I am still learning how to take good and proper care of my body before, during and after exercise.
My newest passion is riding my bike. My husband loves to ride and did two 100 mile charity rides this year. One for Diabetes, the other for MS. My original goal was to be healthy enough to be able to join him on one of his rides next year. As many of you know I rode in my first event earlier this year, June 5th, to be exact and rode 80 miles. I volunteered for the MS ride (that was in June as well) and was able to be a Ride Marshall and cycled the 75 mile route. My husband and I did an 80 mile ride together as well as a couple of 50 milers, a couple of 40 milers and I've done numerous 20-39 mile rides with him, girlfriends and on my own. I have ridden a total of 914 miles since May 15, 2010. That is a HUGE accomplishment...914 miles in 2 months and 3 days. I have a 50 miler planned for this Wednesday. I usually ride some every day except for Sunday. I love the way it makes me feel. Probably much like a runner feels when they run. I could go on and on and on about cycling.
Long story short...I love my life now. I still have a long way to go, but it's nothing I can't handle. I just take it one day at a time, one good choice at a time. I owe a lot to my friends on here. The support you all have given me is overwhelming. My heart is full of love and appreciation for you. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart! I wish each of you success in your journey and happiness in your life. We CAN do this!!!!