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On Losing 152 Pounds

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

This blog is dedicated to my SP Friend WillowWind, who struggled so valiantly with malignant obesity. She was only 44. Rest in peace, dear, dear lady.

In December 2009, I wore a size 52DDD bra, my thigh was as wide as the average man’s waist, and I stood about as tall as I was wide. At 5’6.5” weighing 350 pounds, I was one of only 50,000 Americans who suffer from the most insidious kind of obesity: malignant, or super, obesity.

If you click on “View JINJERLY's Sparkpage,” at the top of this screen, you will have access to 34 pictures, 68 blogs, 402 friends, and 2,372 comments. You will notice that I just celebrated my 4th SPanniversary (a.k.a. Sparkiversary), and if you click “Read More About Jinjerly,” you will find a description of my weight-loss journey: a brief history of my battle with obesity, why I decided to transform my life, how I keep motivated, what I eat, and how I exercise.

A journey usually demands a destination. For most of us, that destination is a number. Mine was 150. I knew that it would take at least 2 years to lose 200 pounds, and 2 years was just too much to bear. So I set my first SP ticker for 20 pounds. When I reached my first destination, my SPFriends and SP Biggest Loser teammates congratulated me and sent me Goodies. I set my ticker for the next destination, and so on and so forth until 18 months passed and I reached my next-to-last destination: 199.

I am excited to be in Onederland, a place I hadn’t seen in over 14 years, but I have set my sights on a new destination. This last destination is not a number but a state of being – healthfulness, which I define as adhering to the food and exercise plan I designed and regularly tweak. Unlike a number, Destination Healthfulness is easy to get to because I don’t have to wait weeks or months to get there. When I wake up in the morning, a new journey begins. Throughout the day, I make dozens of choices which either lead me toward or away from my destination. My body shed 152 pounds of excess stored energy because I reached this daily destination more often than not.

No book, program, or person could draw the route, identify the obstacles, and establish the destination of my unique journey. Only when I reached deep into my heart, mind, and soul and brought to bear the compassion, wisdom, and experience needed to forge a path, did I finally do so. Did I say “I”? I mean “We.” We includes

emoticon My SParklers, who missed me when I dropped out of SP and welcomed me back when I came to my senses. You are each a star, shining light and lending warmth to all who are blessed to know you;
emoticon My sister Christie, who, despite everything, still speaks to me;
emoticon My son Justin, who has on more than one occasion taken food away from me;
emoticon My roommate Janie who hides the cereal and licks the ice cream in the freezer so I won’t eat it;
emoticon Diana, whose compassion and grace inspires me to be the woman I was meant to be, and to her husband Steve who convinced me to believe in me and refused to give up on me;
emoticon The creators and perpetuators of SP: you’ve proven to me, directly and indirectly, that the best things in life are free;
emoticon The 24,653 people who have viewed my Sparkpage: I am humbled that so many of you would want to know me;
emoticon You, the reader, whose comments will guide and support me and others as we struggle to eat right and exercise; and,
emoticon Most important of all, God. I am undeserving of your mercy.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Jinger, So sorry for the loss of your friend and for your present pain from your surgery. You are strong and you will persevere! I totally believe in you! Hugs, from me.
    2142 days ago

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend.

    After leaving this comment, I am going to revisit your photos...I have been amazed and inspired by you so many times in the past, that I know that will only increase.

    YOU have had quite the journey, and have come out healthier, stronger, and to say that you are amazing, would be a gross understatement.

    Thank you for sharing with us! You look incredible! emoticon
    2233 days ago
    Hi, Ginger. Took me a bit to get to read your blog but finally made some computer time for me. I love your blog and honesty. You are totally amazing person and I am so honored to be one of your spark friends and the lime team with you. People like you is what keeps me going and keeps me trying. So many people, including my rehab team for my heart say I work harder than anyone they know, and they too, are seeing some of my frustrations of how I go down 4 pounds in a day and the next day bounce back up. Yeah, pretty scary. They had me log my food and got A for nutrition, A on heart healthy, and wow, they understand how I can get so discouraged. Most all have not heard of my disease, and thus, does not help to not know the name, but I am still trying despite it all. I need too do all that I can do to get myself well. My heart depends on it!
    2248 days ago
    I just stumbled on your blog , and i have to say thank you for the inspiration! You are amazing :)
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    2248 days ago
    The fact that you put God first tells the whole story, doesn't it? You inspire me to keep going for the prize of wellness! I loved WillowWind, too. I think it's no coincidence that her last beautiful webpage was butterfly....she's free now. I can't wait to meet her in Eternity.
    2252 days ago
    Congratulations for the amazing will power and determination to turn your life around and get to the place you are now.
    I know it is not easy. I Too was a morbidly obese at 340 or so, my scales stopped at 300. When i finally went to the doctor I was 333 lbs. i have lost 188 lbs in the last 17 months.
    I am living again. Life is beautiful.
    I know I did it, but it was Spark and all the encouragement and friends I have here that helped me along the way.
    I am very happy for you .
    Take care, stay positive and believe in yourself.
    Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2255 days ago
    Wow! You are amazing! Congrats on all you've accomplished. :)
    2255 days ago
    What you've accomplished is just amazing! You look beautiful and you're an inspiration.
    2255 days ago
    God's love to WillowWind and to you for remembering her. This fight we are in is not frivilous. It is a fight for self love.
    Blessings and good things. Thank you for your inspiration.
    2262 days ago
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    2263 days ago
    Thank you Ginger for coming to my Spark page and reminding me (even though I wasn't here) why I should be here and how much it helps me to just show up. Just as I never knew that something I might have said helped you one day, your thank you has helped me today. And of course we are linked by the that Almighty Power that as you said it so graciously - I am undeserving of your mercy.
    2266 days ago
  • HOPE541
    You are truly inspirational! Thank YOU for being one of the Sparkers that has motivated me to get back on track.
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    2269 days ago
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    Wow! You are amazing! Congrats on your accomplishments!
    2269 days ago
    Well done lady! So inspiring! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2269 days ago
    What a wonderful blog. You inspire me, and remind me that I need to thank all the people who helped me lose 180 lbs. in the last 2 years. Sometimes I think it was all me, and I have to admit, without ME, my weight loss would not have been possible. emoticon

    However, I got support from family and friends along the way. Spark was invaluable, and I read numerous weight loss memoirs and other blogs, among them Dietgirl.org, jenful.com (both of whom went on to write books), and numerous others. I read voraciously, anyplace that I could find motivation and inspiration to stay on this journey. I'm still doing it. I live here at Spark and love it when I find someone like you who has lost a significant amount of weight like I have. We are sisters, whether we know each other or not. We are members of that part of society that was morbidly obese and all that accompanies it. The agony of not being able to do things that normal people can, and you know what I'm talking about, there's too many things we couldn't do, to even mention all of them along with the inconvenience of not being able to use normal sized items, lawn chairs, booths in restaurants, seatbelts on planes, CLOTHES! And the horrible knowledge, no matter how much we tried to ignore it, that we were shortening our lives with our poor choices. That's us! and now THIS is us, over 100 lbs. lighter, living a life we never thought possible, doing things we thought we'd never do again (I visited an amusement park with my kids and grandkids this summer, walked all day and rode every ride!). We should have a name for our very exclusive club, maybe something like Former Fatties. No something more distinguished than that. I'm not clever enough to think of anything.

    Anyhow, I'm glad I found you, good luck on the rest of your journey. We've come a long way baby!
    2269 days ago
    congrats you did amazing losing so much weight!
    2270 days ago


    ns on your weightloss emoticon your an inspiration emoticon

    Very moving and heartfelt blog emoticon
    2273 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    2273 days ago
    You are a true inspiration. Your writing is compelling and motivational and witty and wise. Thank you!
    2273 days ago
    emoticon Your blog made me smile. Not sure how I missed this but I'm glad I found it. So proud of you and your accomplishments in your journey. You are wise to set your destination as a state of healthfulness... something we should all be doing. emoticon
    2275 days ago
    I'm so happy for you, Ginger. You really are an amazing woman and I always have felt priveleged to get a glimpse into your world on your spark journey.
    GREAT philosophy on your "destination". Love it.
    2283 days ago
    I am super happy for you and am glad you're my friend! I find such inspiration from you!!
    2283 days ago
    Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments, and thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. You are truly an inspiration! emoticon
    2288 days ago
    I can't believe I haven't commented on this lovely blog yet. Where have I been?!

    Look at that beautiful chart. It is in a perfect line going down, down, down. But we well know that perfection was not your goal. Your goal has been to get healthy in all ways-mind, body, spirit. You have fought so hard, Ginger. I am so happy for you. YOU are my hero. I feel so fortunate to share time and all the ups and downs on SP with you.

    When I look back to what you have been through and what you have conquered... and what you continue to fight on a daily basis, I am in awe. It is not easy to overcome the obstacles that have been in your way. Your fight has been so worth it. In your last line you thank God but then say are undeserving of His mercy...the thing is YOU ARE VERY DESERVING. You were created in God's image and God loves you no matter what. God wants you to be the best you can be. You continue to strive to be that person--to uncover yourself and DISCOVER yourself underneath all those past hurts in your life. I think this is what God wants most for you...to be truly happy and experience JOY fully.

    I loved reading what Kathy wrote to you. It was so beautiful and illustrates how your story, journey and sharing affects many of us. Keep sharing, dear Ginger. Your inner beauty and God within you shine in your words and NEED to continue to be shared. Thanks for adding much goodness and inspiration to my "sparklife" which enriches me on a weekly basis!

    Keep fighting and seeking the goodness you deserve...for you are worthy!! VERY worthy. emoticon emoticon

    Congratulations in losing 152 lbs (and counting!), shedding old unhealthy ways, helping many here, and continuing to discover who the real Ginger is. Keep on fighting, dear friend. You are worth all the effort and hard work!!
    2289 days ago
    Thank you so much for not giving up on me and for sharing your story here! You've heard it thousands of times, but I have to say it again... you're a real inspiration to me and to SO many here on SP. Thank you for being open and for being such a light to others.
    2289 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/27/2011 1:18:35 AM
  • ACCT1908
    What a powerful message. The part that stuck out to me is your destination changing from a number to a state of being. That is a total shift of mindset that doesn't happen overnight! Congrats to you on changing your life!!! emoticon
    2290 days ago
    I'm not often moved to tears....but this did it for me. Thanks for the "thank you" you sent to me. I will definitely call on you and your page to see it done!
    This is very touching.
    2290 days ago
    Ginger... I read this a day or so after you posted it and I wanted to be sure to come back and read it again. Yours is a tremendous accomplishment... Tonight I spent over an hour reading only your blogs. I went back in time to see what the Ginger that I have come to respect so much is all about... I only met you here on my second wave through sparkpeople this March and it became immediately apparent to me that you were a special woman who is entirely devoted to the mental work that it takes to make this a permanent transformation.

    Your life is full of many painful events and life long scarring caused by others to a little girl. The fact that you were abandoned twice in your life is more than I could almost bear to read. I shudder to think how difficult your journey has truly been. I am certain that as a 15 year old on the streets of Chicago you had to put a very thick, protective shell around yourself.

    I see your enlightenment shining through! You are truly pushing through all the crap to get to the innocent child so that you can (in a way) begin again.

    I gather that you are seeking a relationship, and I feel certain that this is an eventuality for you... but be kind to yourself in choosing who to share yourself with. You are a very special woman who deserves someone who will see that. Having a mental and heartfelt connection is so important. I am missing big pieces of that with the man I have been married to for almost 30 years... I would seek the mental piece more if I were to choose over.

    I feel blessed to have met you and honored to now know you better. The support that you give others as you pay it forward radiates... I see you supporting and thanking folks all over the place and can feel the warmth from the glow that is flickering.

    Certainly you have had many reasons to pull back, to lose yourself, to shut out the world... but the adult Ginger is stronger than the younger Ginger was. You are amazing and deep and thought provoking and I love that I "get" you... The beauty of your words is poetic and well read.

    Thank you for sharing not only this blog post of the wonderful loss you have accomplished but for sharing yourself completely.

    2290 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/14/2011 1:51:19 AM
    AWESOME!!! Your ultimate destination sounds PERFECT!
    2291 days ago
    emoticon RETT
    2291 days ago
    I'm proud of you big sister. You inspire me. I have reignited the Spark starting today, right now, thanks for all you do for me!
    2291 days ago
  • 26M8J7
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
    It is so inspiring. emoticon emoticon
    2291 days ago
    Congrats your blog is definitely inspiring! All the best. emoticon
    2292 days ago
    I do believe I have just witnessed the definition of persistence in action. wow!
    2294 days ago
    You have an amazing story and you're an inspiration to me!
    2294 days ago
  • JANEDOE12345
    This blog was so loving and beautiful. I feel very privileged to have found you on SP. I only hope to do as well as you have done.
    2295 days ago
  • TERRYT55
    As usual......a great blog, Ginger. I am privileged to know you. You continue to motivate and inspire me........

    Take care, Terry
    2295 days ago
    You are such an inspiration to me!! Keep up the great work!
    2296 days ago
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    2296 days ago
    U are simply an emoticon INSPIRATION!!!! When I need MOTIVATION, I read ur page!!!

    2297 days ago
    Bravissima!! emoticon
    2297 days ago
    People can see your inner beauty when you blog. You are totally inspiring. I know so many people who are 350-400 lbs and killing themselves with food. They need to read your blog to get inspired. You have inspired me, yet again..
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    2297 days ago
    Ginger... you continually inspire me. You have taken your life by the big bull horns and "wrastled it to the ground Ellie Mae!"

    I love the way you did comparisons in this blog of yours... it puts things into perspective and shows how very far you have come my sweet friend. I am anxious to meet you in person, so let's get that set up!

    The chart tells your entire story... persistence shows up in the fact that your loss is directly in line with your goal! The rate at which you lost is in sync with the way it should be... (I am tearing up... sniff!) The power of your desire is strong and mighty and has you in a completely new life... your smile is genuine and the twinkle in your eyes is piercing!

    There is a glow about you... I know you don't always feel it and sometimes the monkeys get you down... but you have developed the skill to throw those chattering monkeys off your back and get on with getting on!

    Funny how in sparkpeople land, we find heros along our paths... you are certainly showing up as one... but you are the biggest hero to yourself... and you and I both know that the journey has just begun... you are now waking up every day as you say... to a new journey, a new day... and the sun will shine every day if you allow it to do so!

    You are simply amazing in countless ways Ginger.. be strong and secure in your mission as you have been... you are a winner! You are invincible!

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    2297 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/7/2011 10:58:23 AM
    You are awesome!! :)
    2297 days ago
    Wow! I really enjoyed reading your blog. Your testament to your journey is inspiring! Thank you for being open and honest.
    P.S. Licking the ice cream is funny!
    2297 days ago
    As always, you put the truth out there and share your struggle. Thank you for the candor and honesty.

    2297 days ago
    Thanks for sharing,it's nice to know that others have made it down this rocky road. I'm going to re-focus and try to reach that destination daily. Thanks for the reminder, guess I got a little lost. emoticon
    2297 days ago
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    Ginger, I've read your blog here about a half a dozen times! You are truly an inspiration! Wow! What dedication and hard work you put forth on YOUR journey! Though I've only "known" you a short time...I am SOOO proud of YOU!
    I love this part! I keep reading it over and over and if I may...would love to "steal" this! "No book, program, or person could draw the route, identify the obstacles, and establish the destination of my unique journey. Only when I reached deep into my heart, mind, and soul and brought to bear the compassion, wisdom, and experience needed to forge a path, did I finally do so." So, So, So TRUE! I LOVE THIS! Great Work! Something I've thought, but never had words for it.
    Thanks for sharing this and Congrats! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2297 days ago
    You are very courageous to undertake such a journey! And then you turn around and bless US with information to teach, and thoughtful words to encourage others. You've been an inspiration to me and many others - THANK YOU!

    2297 days ago
    I love you!! emoticon
    2297 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.