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.
- 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!!