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.