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    KITHKINCAID   37,478
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1 Year of Spark (And 100 Pounds Lost) - A Celebration

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Today has been a pretty incredible day. And yet - it's been just a day like any other day. And I guess in a way, that's what makes it so wonderful.

I stayed up late enough last night to see the midnight hour roll over and officially ring in my One Year Sparkversary before heading to bed. After a good night's sleep I got a knock on my door at 7:15am - Peapod with my grocery delivery for the week. I put away my groceries and crawled back into bed for a few more minutes of shut-eye, my warm cuddle kitty at my side. When I finally decided that it was time to part ways with my flannel sheets, I padded to the kitchen and stepped on the scale. Here's what greeted me:



I ran for my camera and jumped on and off again. Yep - it was solid. Just one year on Spark and EXACTLY 100 Pounds lost. I did it. On the very day of my anniversary. It's serendipity at its best.

I wasted no time in logging onto my Spark Page and updating my status. And that's when it hit me. As I typed: "IT'S OFFICIAL!!! I've lost exactly ONE HUNDRED POUNDS in ONE YEAR on SPARK!!!" I burst into tears. In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm still getting teary eyed just looking at those words. One hundred pounds. And a whole year of doing something that I never thought would happen for me.

All of those moments when I was at my absolute rock bottom, when I had lost all hope of ever being able to dig myself out of the obese hole I was in, never in a million years did I ever imagine that I would accomplish what I just did today. I never thought it was possible to stick to losing weight for a year - my longest previous attempt was about 3 months. And 100 pounds? Forget it! That was a fictional dream number that was only attainable in my worst nightmares of starvation, deprivation and personal torture.

So how did I do it? Well - it's pretty simple actually. For the past year I have:

Enjoyed fries & cheeseburgers, drunk too much wine, lazed around on the couch all day on Saturdays, partied with friends, ate pretzels and drank beer & gluewein in Germany, stayed up way too late, woke up way too early, feasted on my family favorites at Christmas, snuck extra cookies off the cookie tray, ate a giant double chocolate cupcake for my birthday, slept in when I should have been exercising, consumed too much salt, and enjoyed the heck out of every single bit of it!

But I didn't do all of that stuff every single day. What I did do (almost) every single day for the past year is:

Drank 8 or more cups of water, tracked my nutrition religiously in the Spark Tracker, weighed and measured (both my food and my body), took up swimming, took up Zumba, took up running, learned that I LOVED all three of those, reveled in a good night's sleep, ran races, walked EVERYWHERE in Germany, took a run on the morning of my 30th birthday because I could, documented my journey with photos and blogs, made new friends, went to therapy and had some major psychological breakthroughs, supported my friends, went running on Christmas Day because I could, gained confidence and determination, and enjoyed the heck out of every single bit of it!

The biggest realization over this past year, however, is that I haven't changed. I am still the same person that I have always been, and losing weight and Sparking for a year hasn't taken any of that away. The reason I had so much fear about starting a weight loss plan a year ago was because I thought it would mean that I would have to give things up...and not just THINGS, but pieces of myself. But with Spark I have not sacrificed. In fact - I have only gained. I've gained friends, and support, and knowledge and courage. And all of those things that I have gained have made up so much more than 100 pounds of weight. I may be smaller in body - but I am not smaller in spirit. I am FULL of happiness.

Thank you to Spark, and thank you to all of my Sparkfriends who have followed me and supported me along the way. You mean the world to me and I look forward to celebrating many more momentous occasions with all of you. Stay tuned for my official 100 Pound Blog which I plan to post soon after another fun photo shoot with my friend Greg (my official reward for getting to where I am now). My Year of Ones continues with my push for Onderland - only 13 pounds away! I'll also be running my first 10K, first 15K and will hopefully hit my goal of leaving behind Obesity forever.

I have a long way left to go - I have 100 pounds left to lose. However, I'm content that this is my life now and however long it takes me to get there is what it will take. I know that if I keep doing what I'm doing, the weight WILL come off. It has to. I'm not giving it any other choice. But I'm also not giving up any of the fun I've had this year. Every cupcake, every beer, every morning sleeping in was totally worth it. As was every run, every swim, every day within my calorie range. I'm living my life, one day at a time, to the best of my abilities. And I'm enjoying the heck out of every single day of it!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIHEALTHYHAPPY 7/8/2011 9:58PM

    Congrats! You have a lot to celebrate!

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COMPUCATHY 7/8/2011 8:50PM

    Congratulations! Tomorrow is my one-year Sparkversary and I am doing a search for good ideas of ways to celebrate. I love your idea of staying up and ringing in the day at midnight! I'm going to do that! I'm so excited. I've lost 67 lbs this year...and am over half-way to goal. Thanks for the inspiration! Spark on! emoticon

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BRUCE1963 4/29/2011 12:42AM

  Good job! Congratz!!!!! emoticon

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LEIGHANNE25 4/27/2011 5:50PM

    Congratulations!!! I have nearly 100lbs to lose and its very inspiring to hear it really CAN be done, and without pills or surgery. Great job!!

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SARAWALKS 4/27/2011 1:05PM

    Jen, this is wonderful! emoticon emoticon
Somehow I got unsubscribed from your blog...but now I'm back...glad I made it in time to celebrate your sparkversary!
Here's to a wonderful trip into onederland! emoticon

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AMELIASEWS 4/27/2011 12:10PM

    Congrats! Way to go!

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WENDYBIRD_ 4/27/2011 12:00PM

    congratulations on your success! I really appreciate your honesty and candor, it's really refreshing to see someone able to lose weight and not lose themselves and acknowledge that every cupcake was worth it in addition to every run.

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LOVINGMYSELF101 4/27/2011 11:54AM

    I was 313 in January, now 290, and reading your story gives me so much hope. You have really made some life changes, and you should be oh so proud. I am proud of you. How do you congratulate someone that has put in a year of work and actually lost a whole 100 lbs? If I could, I would buy you a rose for every pound you lost. Here's a dozen anyway...

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You deserve a big WOOOO HOOOO!!! Too! (((HUGS))) -Rose

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EJMULLER 4/27/2011 11:39AM

    Congratulations! (I'm reading your back entries. Not stalking. Really.)

You are my hero - I hope to be where you are in a year. I've got over 100 pounds to lose too, and I hope I can write an entry like this in a year or so.

Thank you!

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SARAHSSUNSHINE 4/27/2011 10:44AM

    Congratulations! This is SO wonderful, and I'm so happy for you!

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HAPPY_ME10 4/27/2011 10:39AM

  This is such a fantastic blog. I don't even know you and I am so proud of you!! I only became a member of the Spark Community yesterday and it is people just like yourself who are motivating me. Whenever I feel the urge to snack on something I shouldn't, or feel down-hearted as if I can't reach my goals, it's people like YOU who will come to mind and inspire me to be the best that I can be.

Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic accomplishments and good luck with your journey!
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CORDIA72 4/25/2011 1:54PM

    Great Blog and Congrats on reaching your goal of 100 lbs lost! Thanks for sharing!

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KATNANA3 4/24/2011 2:06AM

    Wow! That is so awesome...You Go Girl!!

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KATNANA3 4/24/2011 2:05AM

    Wow! That is so awesome...You Go Girl!!

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JSPIN74 4/23/2011 6:53PM

    Congratulations on all the progress you've made this year, and finding it's still a life well-lived emoticon

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EMILYBBB 4/23/2011 3:29PM

    Congrats! I am so happy for you! What an inspiration! You go, girl!

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FREDDYB29 4/23/2011 1:41PM

    Wow. just lookin at that scale makes me envious. Although I'm not far behind you at 228. you give me hope!

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KIM1198 4/23/2011 1:17PM

    An amazing blog! Loved every word! It made me think of myself and where I want to be in a year! Congrats to you!

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BRIGET66 4/22/2011 7:51PM

    wow..what an amazing job you've done!
I wish you nothing but continued success...100 lbs is no easy feat. But you did it!!
Yeahhhh you!!

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ALLISASSYFRASSY 4/22/2011 4:11PM

    Love it!! Keep your positive motivation! emoticon

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TONISTRELEC 4/22/2011 9:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMRUN4HEALTH 4/22/2011 12:43AM

    Great Blog....I actually cried when I could feel your excitement coming right off this page. Congrats and Good luck on your future weight loss....Though you won't need it!! I feel inspired to stay on track and lose my weight too!! Thanks for the boost I needed it!

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ITALIANSPYCE 4/21/2011 10:50PM

    Fantastic...I could imagine the anticipation when you stepped on the scale and how poetic it must of been to have such a big loss on such an important day...koodoos spark sister!!

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TINYDANCER 4/21/2011 3:14PM

    what a beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes too. Congratulations beautiful.

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GREENMAMA 4/21/2011 2:14PM

    Wow! Thanks for the inspiration! I love your balanced approach.

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69NURSE 4/21/2011 2:06PM

    Needless to say, your blog brought tears to my eyes as well. I love success stories - not just of weight loss, but of life lessons. It is super when someone realizes life is worth living and you can do just that and still eat healthy, be stronger and more fit no matter what age you start your journey. I started my journey at age 61 and I didn't have nearly the obstacles you have dealt with, but I still am happy to be 20#s lighter and able to do 2 sets of 15 modified push-ups....LOL Enjoy this great success and the joy it brings. YOU DESERVE IT. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SASSYJAERAE 4/21/2011 2:02PM

    Congratulations!!! Keep up the great work!

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LUV4CHOCOLATE 4/21/2011 1:18PM

    Amazing accomplishments!

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MICHCLEARY 4/21/2011 1:18PM

    A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. What a great blog! Congrats and keep on going!

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TWOBOYS3503 4/21/2011 1:16PM

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE YOUR POST!!!!

Congratulations are definitely in order and well deserved.

Keep up the great work!!!

A true inspiration, indeed!!

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MARATHONBOUND 4/21/2011 1:10PM

    Amazing post!!!! You are AWESOME! emoticon emoticon

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MARMAT23 4/21/2011 12:46PM

  You sound so young, so happy, and so very, very full of life. Good for you. I need to read these blasts of excitement to recreate the love of life within myself. Thank you for sharing your success and your bubble of energy. You inspire me!

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WIZBANGLIZZY 4/21/2011 11:52AM

    Congrats on the success!!! GREAT JOB!!!! You are such an inspiration :)

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CARLA-216 4/21/2011 11:49AM

    Congratulations on your remarkable achievement!

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WILLIAMV3 4/21/2011 11:46AM

    Fantastic! Congratulations! emoticon emoticon

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KARLYNCANDOIT 4/21/2011 11:38AM

    emoticon You are a success story!!

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HELEN_BRU 4/21/2011 11:33AM

    Good work . . . great results!

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JOYMEDSALE 4/21/2011 10:06AM

    How wonderful! Congratulations! You are a great motivator for the rest of us!!

How proud you must be!! Woo Hoo!

There are not enough good adjectives to describe how great an accomplishment you have achieved.

Keep it up! Thanks so much for sharing!

Hugs,
Joy
>

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SHARON-MARIE 4/21/2011 8:23AM

  I love you attitude, Jenn! Wow

Congratulations on all your hard work and its results!

Be blessed,
Sharmie

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JODIWHITE19 4/21/2011 12:29AM

    Congrats!! wonderful blog!! Truly inspirational emoticon

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CHICAGOHEALTHY 4/20/2011 11:39PM

    emoticon

I am so proud of you! Did you play the lottery on Friday? I mean really 100 lbs on your 1st Anniversery! What a day. Definitely serendipity at its best!

emoticon on an incredible journey so far!

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THICKS4U 4/20/2011 11:04PM

  Great Job! I really enjoyed reading your blog. Your comments were real life and powerful. Anyone striving to lose weight should be inspired. Deprivation is not the answer, living each day to the fullest, making positive changes in eating, exercising and journaling is the answer. You inspired me to stay focus and have fun doing it! Eat a cupcake every now and again! emoticon

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THICKS4U 4/20/2011 11:03PM

  Great Job! I really enjoyed reading your blog. Your comments were real life and powerful. Anyone striving to lose weight should be inspired. Deprivation is not the answer, living each day to the fullest, making positive changes in eating, exercising and journaling is the answer. You inspired me to stay focus and have fun doing it! Eat a cupcake every now and again!

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JERSEYGIRL24 4/20/2011 10:22PM

    Very impressive. You should be extremely proud of yourself

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LADYANDREA2012 4/20/2011 10:12PM

    emoticon Great, inspirational Blog!!!! Your journey sounds great!!! Keep it up and keep sharing with us. I hope you do not mind: I added you as my friend!!!

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TRFHMS 4/20/2011 9:21PM

    This was an inspiring post for someone who is just starting this journey. Thank you!

Oh and emoticon

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SHARILEE_OHIO 4/20/2011 7:23PM

    Congratulations

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ROYALTY1022 4/20/2011 6:11PM

    Enjoyed reading your blog and thank for sharing your amazing journey. Congrats on reaching your current goal and must success in the future. Peace... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BELLASMOMMY2008 4/20/2011 6:09PM

    Wonderful story!!! GREAT JOB GIRL!!!

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