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My 4th Sparkversary

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Today is my 4th Sparkversary, so I thought a celebratory blog would be in order. A lot has changed since I first joined, just before Thanksgiving in 2008.

I don’t have records dating back to that time, because I reset something or other and wiped out everything before January ’09. And even before I joined, I had been working on weight loss for 2 years and lost nearly 50 pounds. Here's what I looked like in 2005:

I was eager to maintain that loss and sensed that it could slip away easily. I had been tracking my weight on a NutriSystem site that had become impossible to work with (and still is!), and someone there put me onto SparkPeople. I never looked back.

I can tell you that a few things have changed.

Back then:

- I was averaging around 1600 calories a day, not bad, but a healthy third of it was composed of dessert, wine, and fried food—consumed after 7 PM!

- I wasn’t tracking or drinking any water to speak of. My nonalcoholic drinks of choice were coffee and Diet Coke.

- I wasn’t eating breakfast.

- I didn’t even track exercise for a couple of months.

- I was, however, even then, doing my 15-minute daily pilates routine.

- When I did start, I was walking a 20-minute mile—probably slower than that, because I was walking a desultory dog--and called it an extraordinary day if I did 3 miles.

- I wasn’t active in any teams and had but one close SparkFriend—JANEDOE1234, who welcomed my first blog in March ’09 with open arms. Her wise words, still true today: “Hi Sue, looks like you are new. Get set for a full mailbox! A key to success in weight loss for me is social interaction and Spark is all about lots of help from lots of people. Some of them I would never have imagined getting to know. As time goes by, I find I miss it if I don't get updates from everyone I 'know' here. (Of course it's always easier to email than to clean the kitchen, shine the teapot and brew up tea for real-live company.)” She remains my oldest SparkFriend. Later that year, I would reach out to my soulmate, Morticia, over Thanksgiving, and was thrilled that she actually enjoyed talking with me. I’ve since met Jane in person and talked with Morticia on the phone. One day, the Addams lady and I must meet!

- My “Other Goals” list was empty. I didn’t start tracking those until mid-2009, and then only fruits and veggies.

- I weighed 125, but started dropping rather dramatically once I wised up. It was about a year later that I reached much too low a weight (below 115) because I was so thrilled with my success, then readjusted to a saner weight range bottoming out at 118.


- My target for sensible loss is between 1200-1400. I’m averaging around 1500 calories at the moment, so it’s no wonder my weight is creeping back up again. Too much travel has taken its toll.

- I’ve eliminated wheat from my diet.

- I’m tracking water every day, and actually drinking it, too. Haven’t had a Diet Coke in months.

- Breakfast is my favorite meal every day.

- I wear a pedometer all the time; track steps, mileage, and exercise minutes; and have a regular ST routine.

- I walk a 16-minute mile and aim for a minimum of 5 miles a day. Many days I do 6.

- Some of my very best friends are SparkFriends, and thanks to them, I am a more generous, kind, and positive person than I was before. I’ve lost two of them, Monty and WiseWife, which saddened me more than I can say. But I still have wonderful old buddies, whom I look forward to talking with, like RWETHAIRYET, Scooter, and so many others. And I’ve met new friends who I hope will never go away: MSMOSTIMPROVED; BROOKLYNBORN; my dear old NH teammates Holly, Robin, Doris, and Anne; my new Florida teammates TINKERBELL200 (are there really 200 of you pixies!?) , DMF2012, and CHOCOHIPPO, and their DHs. (Please don’t be hurt if I didn’t mention you by name. I still love ya!) They have seen me through as many ups and downs as my real-life friends, and I want to invite all of them down to Florida for a big party! (Well, okay, not all at once.)

- My Other Goals list is huge, consisting not only of team goals but also of goals like eating only when hungry, stopping when full, doing the thing I least want to do FIRST, writing a to-do list every morning, envisioning positive outcomes for the day, having an evening snack only if hungry, etc. Some of my old goals have fallen off the list because they became so routine or irrelevant.

- I weigh 120 and the same clothes fit me. The learning process of recognizing when my weight is on an upswing, and catching it, continues! But over the past 4 years, my weight has remained within an 8- to 10-pound range, rather than swinging wildly like it used to.

-Perhaps most important, I'm learning that maintenance isn't a point on the scale, but a range of weights, clothes that fit, a food and exercise plan that I can live with, and a feeling of well-being. And I've been in it for 6 years.

Thank you, SparkPeople, all my great SparkFriends, and my teams!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I loved this blog. It's a treat like candy only healthier. It answered a lot of questions for me that I have wondered about and kept forgetting to ask.

    You have always been beautiful even when you were overweight. LOL.

    We started out eating about the same though as a nurse I knew better. I'm not sure how I ever thought I could get away with eating like that. Denial, I guess.

    I loved reading about your plan and it makes me hope that soon I will have time to concentrate on myself. It's amazing that throughout all of the challenges you faced you managed to maintain your healthy lifestyle. You certainly have it together, GF. One of the the many reasons I love you.

    1829 days ago
  • JANEDOE12345
    I think Chubby Sue is cute! You look just as pretty as you are today but without the model-slimness that is now so distinctly your look. Maybe it's just that you are you, no matter what size, and it is always a delight to look at people we like.


    1829 days ago
    Congratulations on your continued success!
    1830 days ago
  • _UMAMI_
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    It's nice to read a success story! You've inspired me to try to get more involved on SP again. I've been trying a few new things, but having trouble getting inspired on SP lately. Perhaps I need to switch up things again.

    1830 days ago
    You have really learned how to live well, healthy, and happy.
    You should sign up to co lead a newbie team as you have so much to offer those just starting to come to terms with their weight loss and healthy live goals.
    Continued success to you.
    1830 days ago
    emoticon I'm so happy for you! Hugs!
    1830 days ago
    Happy Spark Anniversary Sue. Your attitude on how you respond to the good and bad things that have happened to you, are an inspiration to all your Spark Friends.
    I am glad I am one of your Spark Friends.
    1831 days ago
    Happy Sparkaversary, you have done so well, fantastic in fact, I got down to 117 bu could not keep it, and stay around 126 (low) to 128 and this is too much, but, I cant seem to get that desire that I did when I started, not sure but the first of the year, it may be 4 years for me too, maybe 5 and then again maybe 3, I guess I better go in and check to make sure.
    You look great, and what you blogged makes all the sense in the world, I have slowed down, still walk my 60 minutes and get in my 10,0000 steps, but I only do about 2 1/2 miles per hour now, and that is barely aerobic, but I am going to get back down to at least 120 - 122 and stay there, I felt really good at that weight, and my meds were almost non-existant, and now back on a few of them.
    great blog, and emoticon
    1831 days ago
    Happy Spark-iversary!!! You are definitely a success story, in many ways!
    1831 days ago
    This is a wonderful blog Sue,
    congrats for your emoticon .
    Have a wonderful new year on Spark with your teams.
    Debbie emoticon
    1831 days ago
  • DMF2012
    Congrats Suzy, you look fantastic! This was a great blog, and I'm so glad this has worked for you. You are a wonderful supporter and a great inspiration, and I'm glad you are one of my FL SP friends!
    1831 days ago
    What a great blog!! You are such an inspiration to so many and many of us consider you a dear friend. You were the first person I stalked on SP. I just sort of "followed" you around and learned about the site. You inspired me from day one and made me feel welcomed when I felt overwhelmed and confused. Thanks for being you!!!!
    1831 days ago
    Happy Anniversary! Congrats!
    1831 days ago
    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! As the old (Virginia Slims?) commercial used to say "You've come a LONG way, baby!"
    1831 days ago
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    1831 days ago
    Happy Anniversary! You are an inspiration!!!
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    1831 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Happy, happy emoticon Well done with sticking with it for so long!
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    That is awesome you have made contact with some of your Spark friends! It will help keep you motivated!
    Keep up the great work!
    1831 days ago
    Suzy, you are awesome!!
    1831 days ago
    Happy Anniversary!!
    May you continue to live a healthy, charmed life.
    1831 days ago
  • JANEDOE12345
    Sue, you honor me with your friendship. It has been wonderful to follow along as you meet with one success after another.
    I think of you as my friend in Florida, not as a virtual friend or even a SP buddy. You have become a friend indeed.
    Happy anniversary. Thank you for your encouragement, wisdom and wit.


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    1831 days ago
  • GABY1948
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    1831 days ago
    Congratulations Sue! What a wonderful description of your growth and the new life maintainence presents emoticon emoticon .
    1831 days ago
    Success personified!

    1831 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Congratulations on your make over. I started SP because I was losing and gaining the same 10 pounds. Now I control my Diabetes 2 fairly effectively with the diabetes tracker. You look so much healthier.
    1831 days ago
    Congratulations... thanks for sharing your words of wisdom... Wishing you many more happy Spark years. I am happy to consider you my spark friend...
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    1831 days ago
    Loved this!! Thank you for sharing!!! emoticon
    1831 days ago
  • TXTOAD9970
    congrats on your sparkversary emoticon
    1831 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.

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