Hello, fellow Sparker! I'm Tina. My weight loss (and gain and loss) journey has been fraught with challenges, many of which you have likely encountered, also.
Bariatric surgery was part of my journey at the end of 2004. I had reached a high weight of 382 pounds. I couldn’t walk all the way to my office from the parking garage; needing to sit down and rest about half way there. It was not only a great health concern to my friends, family, and me. It was also terribly embarrassing. On December 6, 2004 I had the bariatric surgery.
By December of 2007, I’d lost about 190 pounds. After some traumatic family events that occurred in 2008, I found a way to start gaining the weight back. I began trying “new” post-surgery things that happened to be part of my old eating habits. They were disguised and tricky because I could no longer eat a huge meal. So I ate very small, 4-ounce meals. This didn’t seem like very much to eat. The problem came when I started eating way too many of those 4-ounce meals in a day. I started drinking with my meals again, which was a big no-no post surgery. I started eating sugary foods again. I stopped getting in enough protein. I started drinking pop again. Sadly, it was like old times.
By mid 2010, I had gained back 70 pounds of that lost weight. It had been gained, unnoticed by me. Only when my clothes started getting tight did I take any notice at all. Then I thought to myself, I still feel pretty good. However, by September of 2010, I was so uncomfortable and I’d started hurting again like I used to. It was not only uncomfortable. It was humiliating. People at work that had been my biggest fans during my weight loss stopped even talking to me. It was almost like they were angry or disgusted with me for having gained some of my weight back. I consoled myself by saying, “I’ve still lost a lot of weight.” But that was denial talking. I was feeling those old feelings of defeat and failure.
I’d been introduced to SparkPeople by my friend Beth a couple of years earlier. I would play around with it, set goals, and then stop using it. However, in September of 2010, I started thinking about it and doing it more seriously. I’d had “The Spark” that I’d pre-ordered at the 2009 Cincinnati SparkPeople convention. I actually read it! Everything that Chris talked about seemed so simple. I thought to myself, “Could it really be this simple?” Well, while it’s not at all easy, it’s simple and it is most certainly doable!
Since September of 2010, I’ve lost 31 pounds of the 70 that I’d regained, putting me at 241 pounds. I don’t have a lot of time to spend on the SparkPeople website due to having a full-time job, a family, and going back to school full-time. So, I visit the SparkPeople website when I do actually have the time. I read the articles and the blogs. Occasionally, I find the time to post something…like now. While I don’t have much time to spend on the SparkPeople website, I do spend a lot of time instituting Spark concepts in everyday life. For instance, even though I don’t track them every single day, I keep my own Spark streaks going…making small changes at a time…then moving on to new small changes, one at a time.
That’s exactly how I’m going to lose the rest of the weight that I need to lose to be healthy! I’m going to read Spark blogs and Spark articles when I have the time. I’m going to refer back to The Spark book when I have time. And I’m going to continue to make small changes until I reach my goal. Then, I’m going to maintain those changes until they are no longer changes, but rather, normal life!
We can ALL do this thing! Join me in what I know will be a successful journey for all of us if we just stick with it!