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    TRACYNOTGIVINUP   32,947
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THIS is why you NEVER GIVE UP!!! At goal, my journey with pics!


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Friday, September 14, 2012

I remember when I first started out on this journey on July 8, 2011. I didn't take any pictures or measurements. I didn't announce my goals or aspirations to anyone in my family or even to any of my friends. I started eating well and exercising. I am sure my family noticed, but not really. I did it mostly when my husband was at work and my kids are kids and don't really pay much attention to me all that much, since I am "just their mom" to the then 15 and 11 year old and the then 1 year old had no clue.

Why you wonder? I didn't think I was going to stick with it. Not to mention I had already lost this weight one time and over 11 years it all came back, so I had doubts that it could happen again. I was excited and it seemed like such a great plan and idea, but I have tried countless things, especially in the year leading into this and nothing ever seemed to last all that long. I didn't want to announce it and draw attention to the fact that "hey one month later and Tracy is back to eating boxes of candy and cookies all day long". So, I kept it to myself. I didn't want people to look at me think that I was going to be obese for the rest of my life because I couldn't stick with something, that I didn't value myself enough. At the time, I didn't really realize that I DID NOT value myself enough, I felt happy with myself and my life. Little did I know huh?

Not even one month in and my in laws were coming to CT to prepare and celebrate my sister in laws wedding. I now kinda had to tell people, they were at my house all the time and people were going to notice that I was eating better and definetly exercising now. I planned on speaking about it as little as possible still, but the words just started pouring out of my mouth to my family. I couldn't stop talking about SP. I finally took a picture on the day of my sister in laws wedding. Here I weigh 279, which is 7 pounds down from my starting weight. That is my husband with me, it is the closest I got to a full body shot.

From there things just started moving, I was taking pictures about once a month and really sparking. The weight was coming off at a good rate, at about a 2 pound a week average. I slowly started to notice that I was happier. I THOUGHT I was happy before, but I was NOT. I felt like I was living now, I was setting goals. In October I signed up for the virtual 5K on SP and decided to try walking/jogging it. Here I weigh 245, 40 pounds gone now.

During my program to walk/jog the 5K, I injure my knee. I felt devestated, but refused to give up, I searched and searched for exercises that would work for me. I enjoyed my daily exercising for the most part, but I needed goals, I enjoy having those too. A friend of mine allowed me to borrow her recumbent bike, best thing ever. I rode and rode and rode. And I was able to set goals with time, distance and pace, so it kept that part of me happy, while healing my knee. Come race time, I did go out and walked it and finished in a pretty good time of 44something. It left a good feeling inside of me.

Through the holidays I continued to stay on track, I lost and a couple of times gained in slightly small amounts, but kept going with it. I longed to run though. The bug really hit me after reading a fellow SP blog about a Disney Half Marathon. I don't know why this appealed to me so much, I have never been a runner, I have never even really tried it. But I kept thinking it was impossible. I was so scared to injure my knee past the point of no return. But I kept following the program. During this time, I had bad days. I had days that scared me into thinking, "What if I can't come back? What if I just keep binging and eating and I gain it all back?" But I kept doing the best I could and then my new name came along one day, I decided that I was NOT GIVING UP on myself. For some reason, pictures stopped in this. I felt pretty good about myself and just for whatever reason, stopped taking them. Here is one from January and I weigh 212 pounds, 74 pounds gone.

May of this year was a big turning point for me. I was running a "Biggest Loser" contest with some friends and knew that I couldn't win, but really what I wanted was to inspire other people to get healthier and find their own happier person as well. I was holding weekly walks at the high school track. One particular week at the end of May, I didn't get much response from people saying they were going over to the track. I said to myself, if no one shows up, I will walk for 4 minutes and jog for 1 minute. I honestly sat there hoping someone came! But, no one did and I set out to try anyhow. I figured I would stop if my knee started bothering me. I went for ONE HOUR straight. This was an eye opener to me. I NEVER believed I was even going to make the half hour mark without my knee hurting or me just not being able to go further, but I did ONE hour. This changed my whole thought process, not overnight, but it was certainly the beginning for me. I realized that I CAN do anything. Mind you that thought would go away and the self doubt would come back again....BUT NOT about losing the weight. At this time, the number on the scale took on less important role in my journey. I still wanted to lose weight and make it to my goal, but I was a happy, fit person who was able to do things I never thought possible and if I could do that day one of the walk jog, what else was in store for me. Here I am at the end of May, which is also when I hit 100 pounds gone, so I weigh 186 here.

At this time I also signed up for an actual 5K. I started doing the 5K Your Way on SP and found how much I was enjoying the challenge of completing it and I had some hard times. There were a couple of weeks that I didn't spend one week on that time, I spent two. The program which is supposed to take me 5 weeks, took me almost 8 weeks and I was okay with that. Three days before my race, was the next eye opener for me. My friend Rita who was running the race as well came to run with me. When we started our warm up, I explained I was doing the walk 1 minute jog 4 minutes in the training. She said we were going to try to jog the whole thing, I thought she was CRAZY! But I am not going to say no and so we set out and I did it. I jogged an entire 5K. I honestly would have cried if i was by myself. My race was on July 7th, which I thought was cool, it was one day away from my 1 year Sparkiversary. I went from a girl that could barely walk 30 minutes without being winded and in pain to JOGGING A 5K in one year. I thought it was a great way to end my first year. Here I am at 178 jogging in my first 5K with my daughter aside me and my friend Rita.

Now, I get the running bug. I love it, I don't want to stop, this is when I realize I can do the Disney Half Marathon. I start running more and more. I slowly increase my mileage. Now each time I run, I have doubts about my running and thinking I am INSANE for thinking I will someday run 13.1 miles since I am struggling with 4 miles. I really struggled in August of hitting 4.5 miles, so I took break and did that for a couple of weeks before moving on to 5 miles. This past week I had my next eye opener, I think this one may be a lifetime learning one.....I am running virtually to Disney to keep me motivated....I needed to run 5.95 miles to make it out of New York and into New Jersey. I decide to attempt this, mind you I am not fearful of high goals anymore. I don't care if tried and couldn't run more than 5.25 miles, I tried and I will make it one day. I haven't ever run more than 5.03 miles so far...until that day when I run the whole thing to get myself into Jersey. During that run, I realize if I can run almost an extra mile I WILL be able to run at Disney. I will train and do what I need to do to make it happen. I really can do anything I want. My husband told me the other day a marathon was too much, I told him no. Right now I don't want to do a marathon, who knows what the future will bring, but if I wanted to, I CAN train and run a marathon! I can also do other things that I decide I want to do, whatever they may be in the future.

Today I weighed in and unexpectedly not only lost the .6 pounds I needed to hit 165 pounds, but lost 2 more pounds with it. I am sure I have more weight to lose, but I decided I want to focus on the other things in my life more. If it comes off, it comes off. I am not giving up on any of my new life. I will keep sparking, tracking, running, toning....anything I want to do fitness wise. I will also continue to treat myself, to a bigger dinner or a movie sized box of popcorn or a cone with regular ice cream. I will continue to dream big and set bigger goals for myself rather than things I know I can do. I will continue to live up to my name, TRACYNOTGIVINUP. I challenge you all to do the same, especially if you are reading this and just starting out or feeling like it is going to take forever, or having doubts if you will be able to follow through. NEVER GIVE UP, just do whatever you can for that moment and keep going. Anything is possible!
Here is my pic from today weighing 162.5 pounds.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
KKARENKM 10/11/2012 2:34PM

    your story is quite the inspiration. i too haven't told my family that i started SP cuz i don't want to disappoint them- but hopefully soon. thanks for the blog.

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KATHIC2 10/9/2012 7:50AM

  WOW! You are very inspiring!

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METMEYET 9/26/2012 1:43PM

    That is an extremely motivational story! T emoticon hanks so much for sharing!

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MISTYWADE1 9/26/2012 12:26AM

  emoticon

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HAPPYGIRL_90 9/25/2012 8:43AM

  Wow! What a motivational story! Thank you so much for sharing and inspiring! :)

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SSORENSEN1 9/23/2012 1:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/23/2012 9:07AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEATTLE58 9/23/2012 8:59AM

    Wow, just look at you now. All your hard and fun work has paid off! One of my friends has commented on your blog, so I had to check you out! That is so exciting! You rock! Congratulations to a job well done! Hang in there Girl!!

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GOOSIEMOON 9/23/2012 8:40AM

    emoticon

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LISAHW 9/23/2012 1:17AM

    Thank you for sharing your story. I'm moving in a parallel line, and really appreciate what you've shared. My highest weight was 285 pounds. I fell off the wagon for a long time, but after making some stark realizations, re-committing to losing weight and improving my health, I have lost approx. 62 pounds and have been running for a little while now. I have been using an interval style to training and have been running approx 2 miles a night for the last few outings, which is great! And I have also been thinking about the Disney Princess Half in Feb 2013, which my sister is thinking about doing with me. I know it's a lofty goal, but I believe I can do it! And you've sshown us all that it is absolutely possible! Thank you!

Lisa

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PATSNOW65 9/22/2012 11:54PM

    Thank you for the inspiration. I joined a few weeks ago but have been struggling to really get started and I think your story have help....I plan to push myself even if it starts as baby steps......on my way.....thanks again.

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RONALANA 9/22/2012 9:50PM

    You look GREAT!

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JENAE954 9/22/2012 9:20PM

  Wow!
Talk about determination. You are a rock star and an inspiration to allSP'rs

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PENOWOK 9/22/2012 6:52PM

    What a wonderful story you have!! That is fabulous and you look amazing!! I love your hair color on you, too! What an inspiration you must be for your children!!Congratulations!!

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ROB704 9/22/2012 4:19PM

    What a great story - this is the sort of thing that keeps me going. My goal is to write my own story soon - until then seeing what you've done makes me realize that it is entirely possible and within me to make it happen.

Thank you!

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PAROBERSON 9/22/2012 2:59PM

    What an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story. emoticon emoticon

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MICNJ43 9/22/2012 10:15AM

  great job

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SASYPANTS 9/22/2012 9:04AM

    emoticon YOU ARE TRULY AN INSPIRATION. LOVED YOUR STORY! I hope one day I can write a similar one. I'm on week 2 and starting to get a down. I want the weight gone NOW. You know...just gotta hang in there.... emoticon

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JAGRIF 9/22/2012 8:36AM

    Thank you. You are amazing.

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EVWINGS 9/21/2012 11:55PM

    Good for you for hanging in there! You look wonderful and healthy. I am so very proud of you for always moving forward.

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PROVERBS31JULIA 9/21/2012 11:38PM

    emoticon

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KATYDID412 9/21/2012 8:27PM

    So motivating! Thank you!

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SEXBOBOMB 9/21/2012 8:18PM

    Super-inspiring, especially since our starting points in this effort are/were about the same!

Hope you don't mind me friending you, I want to "stay-tuned" to the rest of your journey!
emoticon

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KIPPER15 9/21/2012 7:06PM

    Inspiring! Great job emoticon

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DAVIS_6311 9/21/2012 10:47AM

    WHAT AN INSPIRATION!!! Thank you so much for your blog and congrats on being a healthier you! emoticon emoticon

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PARKERB2 9/21/2012 9:29AM

    Thank you for making my day a little better. I realize from your story, I CAN BE DONE. emoticon

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MICKEYMAX 9/21/2012 8:49AM

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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MEH50BEWELL 9/21/2012 8:00AM

    Tracy - Your story is just what I needed today! I have had so many knee issues but I've kept going as well. Your story has re-motivated me to keep pushing and believe in myself even more. At this stage I cannot fathom being able to run or even jog. I struggle trying to get to less than 19 min mile when walking. But as I read your blog and your recap of the past year, I think we all need to do that on occasion so we can appreciate how far we have come from where we individually began. Have a great day - thank you again - keep Sparking!

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SANDEE-SP 9/21/2012 7:41AM

    Great blog. I loved following your story. Congrats on your success.

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LOSE15YES 9/21/2012 7:35AM

    emoticon That says it all!! I did a 5k race once with my grown daughter. The heat was intense and I came in last...but I finished. It is one of my good memories together....




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MIZPAM25 9/20/2012 10:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ABETTERBETTY 9/20/2012 10:09PM

    What a motivating story. Makes me want to amp up my training for my 5K.

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QTEALADY20031 9/20/2012 9:36PM

    Congratulations, you are quite an inspiration and you have had an amazing journey. Thank you for sharing your story and for giving us the confidence to "not give up". emoticon emoticon June

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AMBER281 9/20/2012 12:02PM

    Great blog.
Thanks for sharing and being so inspiring!

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EMILYDOODLE 9/19/2012 9:25PM

  Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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SDNIX60 9/19/2012 2:44PM

    Tracy, what you have accomplished is phenomenal! Not just the weight loss (but that in itself is amazing) but the way you have reached out to try to inspire others, the way you have pressed on through so many times when you just did not think you could do it!! We have all been there and it's just too easy to quit! You hung in there, moved to the next level and set new goals. That's the kind of consistency you have to have on this kind of journey! I'm sure your family notices a different you now!

So happy you have achieved so much and found this satisfaction in yourself. There are many lessons to be had from your experiences. Thanks for the inspiration and insight! emoticon

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CHESAPEAKE60 9/19/2012 1:02PM

    I found your post to be very inspirational to me today. Mostly because it left me with a get-over-yourself and get-on-with-it feeling. I should explain. I have weighed as much as 225 - that was probably about 10 years ago and I have lost and gained since that time up and down. Never as low as my 128# low but never back up over 180#.

Anyway, after a year's absence from this site (after the sudden loss of my husband) I decided it was time to get back to being healthy and taking better care of myself.

So today, ironically enough, I find myself at just about where you are today. Only instead of celebrating my accomplishments (like surviving the last year and finally feeling like me again).....well, I was bemoaning the having 30 or 40 pounds to lose.

And here you have lost over 100#!! What an accomplishment.

So I just want to say thank you for taking the time to post your story. It has re-energized me and given me a much better mindset going forward. As you pointed out, not there won't be difficult times ahead, but I can always come back to this and try to reset.

Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 1:06:14 PM

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AWOLKIEW0809 9/19/2012 12:35PM

    So motivating! Thanks for sharing your story!

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JUSTLYN1964 9/19/2012 12:19PM

  Congratulations and thanks for the motivation!!! emoticon

Cheers!

Lyn

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MANDERS1105 9/19/2012 10:20AM

    Congratulations! You are such an inspiration to me! Thank you for sharing your story of success--I'm sure it wasn't always easy, but I am so happy for you to have stuck with it.

emoticon emoticon

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ZENNITH 9/19/2012 5:18AM

    I only just got to read your blog because we have been away. I remember the things you mentioned but it really is nice to see it all in one blog, it really shows how far you've come!! I remember saying to you at the beginning that I knew you could do this, and (I love being right!) I really meant it, there's something in you that comes across in your blogs, a determination and that was before the new username!

Your pics look great, I love the action shot of you running. I'm glad you've got the running bug too. Congratulations on everything you've accomplished Spark Friend emoticon

Oh no, sorry about the extra comments, my pc went a bit mad!

Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 7:58:27 AM

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ZENNITH 9/19/2012 5:03AM

    I only just got to read your blog because we have been away. I remember the things you mentioned but it really is nice to see it all in one blog, it really shows how far you've come!! I remember saying to you at the beginning that I knew you could do this, and (I love being right!) I really meant it, there's something in you that comes across in your blogs, a determination and that was before the new username!

Your pics look great, I love the action shot of you running. I'm glad you've got the running bug too. Congratulations on everything you've accomplished Spark Friend emoticon

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ZENNITH 9/19/2012 5:03AM

    I only just got to read your blog because we have been away. I remember the things you mentioned but it really is nice to see it all in one blog, it really shows how far you've come!! I remember saying to you at the beginning that I knew you could do this, and (I love being right!) I really meant it, there's something in you that comes across in your blogs, a determination and that was before the new username!

Your pics look great, I love the action shot of you running. I'm glad you've got the running bug too. Congratulations on everything you've accomplished Spark Friend emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZENNITH 9/19/2012 5:02AM

    I only just got to read your blog because we have been away. I remember the things you mentioned but it really is nice to see it all in one blog, it really shows how far you've come!! I remember saying to you at the beginning that I knew you could do this, and (I love being right!) I really meant it, there's something in you that comes across in your blogs, a determination and that was before the new username!

Your pics look great, I love the action shot of you running. I'm glad you've got the running bug too. Congratulations on everything you've accomplished Spark Friend emoticon

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TIME4TRACY 9/19/2012 2:04AM

    Wow

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SHONDREA00 9/18/2012 10:46PM

  This really encouraged me, since I have been going back and forth with my eating. I really needed this.


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LISA_FRAME 9/18/2012 9:42PM

  emoticon

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NINNY165 9/18/2012 9:02PM

    Thanks for the inspiration. I was doubting my ability to run a 5k even though I did ran a marathon 3yrs ago and several min marathons in the past 5 yrs.

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STAYCXL-NOMORE 9/18/2012 7:22PM

    Great Job , love you lived up to your name I am trying to do the same - Congrats your a inspiration :)
Stayc

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MARI-SERV 9/18/2012 6:44PM

    What can I say emoticon you have done a wonderful job and you are an inspiration to all of us.

Marion

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