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    HLTHYETER   28,626
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My Six Month Sparkversary!


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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I have been struggling for a while to get below 60 lbs. lost and just made it today, as it so happens, 6 months to the day since I joined SparkPeople. So, I think it is time for a little reflection.

Here is a lovely side view of me on a fishing trip before I had lost much weight. (Hate those side views and have avoided pictures of me in my fat state as much as possible!)


The "Razorback Fan" picture on my page shows my front view wasn't so great either! Seriously, I hated having those portraits made--but now I am glad to have my picture made!

As I reflect back I am trying to remember as much as possible about the problems I was facing at that time. Some of them have been chronicled in other blogs. My feet have been and will continue to be a problem--but even they are more manageable now. I am a diabetic, technically type 2, but have been on insulin for many years now. When I lost feeling in my feet due to neuropathy it was a wake-up call and that is when I went on insulin. The bad thing about insulin is--the more you take, the more weight you put on! My favorite form of exercise back then was walking and especially hiking. When I came back from a fairly easy hike with blood in my hiking boots from a blister I had worn but could not feel was when I discovered my neuropathy. Sooo--combine a loss of ability to exercise with added insulin--I have had a huge struggle with my weight ever since.

Another problem I faced was a frozen shoulder. I was dependent on my arms to launch my fat butt out of any chair I sat in, because my knees by themselves would not lift me. When my left shoulder gave out and I couldn't use that arm for leverage it was getting scary. I had already been confined to a wheelchair once when my neuropathy in my feet caused the bones to crumble and reform (Charcot's foot--a percentage of diabetics will get this.) That lasted 6 weeks and led to my next problem--the muscles in my legs atrophied and when I got out of the chair, I was walking down the hall when my knee buckled and gave way and I fell to the floor. That led to arthroscopic surgery on my right knee which looks larger than my left knee to this day--but thankfully it was a success and kept me from facing replacement. So--I was really not looking forward to shoulder surgery--but that was a strong possibility at the time I joined SP.

I have to stop and pay tribute to my local library. They were about to reshelve this bright orange book from 2 week status to longer status and I asked the librarian if it was available for check out and she said yes. Of course, it was the spark. I have read so many diet books before, but I thought--why not try one more. The rest, as they say, is history.

Do I really need to chronicle the many painful and even repulsive things about being "gross morbidly obese?" I couldn't bend over in the shower to wash my feet--I was very afraid of low boy toilet seats and fearing I wouldn't be able to reach around to take care of bodily functions much longer. I couldn't fit in a booth at my favorite restaurant. Forget about getting on a typical airline and having to pay for two seats. I couldn't put my belt on once my slacks were in place because I couldn't get it through the loops in my belt behind my back. Bending over and getting in and out of a chair was literally painful and I would groan and moan every time. Walking to the car was about the most exercise I could stand and when I went to the store, if there was no cart to ride in I just left and went to a store that had one. I could literally go on and on, but you get the point.

Now--how about today, 6 months later? I can get up and down without pain, just a little stiffness from my knee. I can put my belt on AFTER putting my pants on. I can wash between my toes in the shower. I can sit up from a lowboy toilet without having a hand rail to help. I no longer fear the camera, I rather enjoy it. Here is one of my most recent pictures.

I can take a hike at Hobbs Estate through giant towering pines for over a mile and feel great at the end. I do 60 minutes of cardio at least 4 days per week and am adding a lot more strength training to that routine. It HURTS me NOT to exercise. I can stand for long periods of time without feeling pain, and taking a shower doesn't wear me out as before. I can wear a pair of shorts 5 sizes smaller than when I started and a shirt two sizes smaller.

I can eat out without fear of gaining weight and enjoy trying out SP recipes at home. I don't lose my breath just walking down the street. And that booth at my favorite restaurant? NO problem! Friends are finally starting to notice I am losing weight. Next month I will celebrate my birthday, but my sparkversary is more important to me than my chronological age.

I have reduced my insulin to 1/4 of what I was taking and look forward to reducing it more. My cholesterol is in the low normal range, my blood pressure is good, my heart rate is good, my health is a thousand times better.

If you think this sounds like an impossible dream, I assure you it is not. Read the articles, read the motivational pages, try the recipes, do whatever exercise you can do and chronicle it, write a blog, share your success on Facebook, let people know you are serious, plan ahead, join a gym, participate in a team challenge, but most of all BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! You have the power to change your situation. Whatever problems you are facing, determine that you will keep on keeping on!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
ANDYLIN90 10/7/2010 11:24PM

    Loved seeing the before and after pictures, but the most important things are how much improvement you have made in your health. Congratulations on your successes!

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MNBRIDGE 9/30/2010 12:02PM

    Thanks so much for sharing and reinforcing in me that I do NOT want to become diabetic. It would be so much easier to lose another 20 pounds instead of going through some of the things you described. I had lost my urgency on that front. Since losing a little I am no longer sure if I'm back in the normal range or still pre-diabetic. Not scheduled for another doc visit until next Feb., but not knowing may be a good thing as the doubt will motivate me to try harder.

So happy for you and the success you've had and the health transformation. Thanks for sharing to give us both a wake up call and encouragement! You rock!

Dee, emoticon

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CUSH1932 9/19/2010 2:34PM

    I say ditto to everything above. Thanks so much for sharing. emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/19/2010 2:35:33 PM

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REGGIE2009 9/17/2010 10:17PM

    emoticon You are emoticon

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BECKA525 9/17/2010 4:30PM

    Thank you for sharing . You are such a great inspiration. Great job you deserve the most popular blog. emoticon emoticon

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BSTELLING 9/17/2010 1:48PM

    That is so wonderful! I am so impressed. I also have had huge success bringing down the numbers to the normal range. A1C 5.1, Cholesterol 144. The only one still up there is BP, but not as bad as it was and nearing normal. You are so right about everything and an inspiration!

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YICHE12 9/17/2010 1:20PM

    What an inspiration you are! I'm so happy for you. You are doing great. emoticon emoticon

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JANIE724 9/17/2010 12:52PM

    You are absolutely amazing! Congratulations on all your hard work and dedication - aren't you glad you stuck with it?!!!!!! emoticon

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AGAPEJOY 9/17/2010 12:07PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing! The best to you on your continued success. emoticon emoticon

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Comment edited on: 9/17/2010 12:08:27 PM

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69NURSE 9/17/2010 9:36AM

    Gary I am so proud of you and all you have accomplished!! emoticon What an example you are to others - we need to get this story out to the general public somehow. People need this type of positive information...they need to really see/hear and understand THEY hold the key to their dominion. THEY make the difference in their health. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 9/17/2010 9:20AM

    You really show what can be done when determination and drive kick in

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MINDY517 9/17/2010 8:31AM

    You are such an inspiration!! Way to go!! emoticon

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HICIM705 9/17/2010 6:37AM

    Thank you for writing this blog - what a great story!!!

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RUNNINGOMA 9/17/2010 6:02AM

    Your blog was extreemly motivating. Thank you so much for sharing!
Congrats on all your achievements!

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AMYCOOLJ 9/16/2010 11:39PM

    Thank you for sharing your story! You are a true inspiration! This is what sparkpeople is all about, I love it!

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CERIUSLY 9/16/2010 11:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

What an inspiration you are! May you enjoy continued success!

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LRRSNDRS 9/16/2010 8:30PM

    WOW! You are such an inspiration. I think , like most of my diabetic friends, I use taking insulin as an excuse for not losing weight. But I am working on it and I can do it too.

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GEMINISUE 9/16/2010 8:08PM

    You have excellent writing skills, and you know how to extend your life story, so it is heartfelt, like it is/was, for you at the time. I know, I'm there, and I'm also diabetic, with many health problems, you mentioned.

Sparks, is the place to be, It works! Congratulations!

Linda

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CAROLJ35 9/16/2010 7:51PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
What an interesting story! I read every word! You are certainly a wonderful example for others and a true spokesperson for Spark People.

Such a wonderful site - the first one that worked for me in over 60 years of trying to lose weight!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIJJETT 9/16/2010 5:04PM

  Congrats that is so awesome wish me luck maybe I'll get there too! emoticon

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FOXYLOSE30 9/16/2010 8:08AM

    Look at you, you are doing such an awesome job!! Awesome results!

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GIRLLOVESGOLF 9/16/2010 7:29AM

  GREAT JOB!!! I hate those side view pics too!

22 lbs down here.....28 to go.

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PAULINLIM 9/16/2010 7:27AM

    Wonderful, wonderful story! You have inspired me!!

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FEELS*LIKE*RAIN 9/15/2010 4:18PM

    I am genuinely so happy for you! You have done great! Good luck on the rest of your journey.

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CHAOSDAD71 9/15/2010 8:45AM

    emoticon

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SHELLPRO 9/15/2010 1:03AM

    emoticon

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RIVENDE11 9/15/2010 1:00AM

    Inspiring, well done :)

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LIBBYL1 9/15/2010 12:03AM

  wow. congratulations!

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SUSIEMT 9/15/2010 12:02AM

    Well said! Good for you! Keep up the good work.

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KENAZFEHU 9/14/2010 10:57PM

    That's so awesome! (and I thought I had challenges)

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DIVALICIOUS7 9/14/2010 8:56PM

    Isn't the same guy!!!! what a great blog - you are awesome - & an inspiration!!! & the perserverance - woo hoo

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YVONNE2001 9/14/2010 8:52PM

    emoticon

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BORNAGAINBRAT 9/14/2010 6:42PM

    Amazing blog. I have a friend that is where you were. He complains the doctors can't tell him what is wrong with his knees. I try and tell him they are not designed to carry 400 pounds. I am just waiting for him to notice my weight loss so I can turn him on to SP. I wish I could email him your blog. Well done and congrats! emoticon

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 9/14/2010 5:16PM

    You brought tears to my eyes! Congratulations on your journey so far and I'm sure you'll have many more accomplishments in the future!!

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NOLACHERIE 9/14/2010 1:29PM

    Again, you are my inspiration! Congratulations, m'friend!! Keep up the great work!

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SPOOKYTHECAT 9/14/2010 12:57PM

    That is wonderful! emoticon for you!!!

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STAYCXL-NOMORE 9/14/2010 11:00AM

    Congrats on your weight lose emoticon
Stayc

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CLAYKEEPER 9/14/2010 9:45AM

    Fantastic... congratulations..... emoticon

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ANASAB 9/14/2010 9:19AM

  You are absolutely awesome. CONGRATULATIONS emoticon

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WILLIAMV3 9/14/2010 9:06AM

    Awesome blog! What an inspiration you are! emoticon

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JNPRGR8T 9/14/2010 9:06AM

  good job!

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22PHAT 9/14/2010 1:57AM

    Congrats on your achievements!!! Enjoyed your blog. Much success as you continue on your journey!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NYARAMULA 9/14/2010 1:46AM

    Well Done!

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LIZZYS100 9/14/2010 12:18AM

  emoticon emoticon keep up the good work your story is the best iV read

Comment edited on: 9/14/2010 12:20:41 AM

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SP_COACH_NANCY 9/13/2010 10:44PM

  CONGRATULATIONS!!!


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L*I*T*A* 9/13/2010 9:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKANN 9/13/2010 9:50PM

    Congratulations!!! That's AWESOME!!!

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LINDABENEDICT 9/13/2010 9:33PM

    Way to go !!!!!!!!

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JENAANN3 9/13/2010 8:00PM

    Wow, love your testimonial. Congratulations on your weight loss. Keep on sparkin!

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MIRAJOTOM 9/13/2010 7:03PM

  Congratulations on your success and thank you so much for posting. I work in my husband's medical office, and we are seeing more and more patients with diabetes and obesity problems. Our patients are so upset when they are first diagnosed with diabetes, many of them feel the diagnosis is the beginning of a downward spiral. I try to keep a file of success stories, and my husband tries to encourage them to use the blood test results as a wake-up call to lead a better and healthier life. Thank you again for posting, and best wishes for continued health and happiness.

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