Saturday, November 24, 2012
I came to SparkPeople and joined when I was at about my highest weight ever. I had been working on my own and had lost about 30 pounds.
I didn't really understand all of the parts of Spark People when I first joined. I didn't quite get Spark Teams or the role of exercise. I didn't understand how to record my exercise minutes and it didn't much matter. I got started by following my eating plan and by really not exercising at all. It was okay because I was losing weight regularly.
As a matter of fact, I lost about 60 more pounds just using my diet and portion control. I was receiving a lot of compliments from people and things were going well. All of this time, I was logging into SparkPeople and I was reading the multitude of articles that were available. I knew I needed to exercise, but I didn't know how to begin. I was disabled from arthritis and complications from treatments for this arthritis. I walked with a walker on my best days.
I had a surgery scheduled that was supposed to help me. However, the big result was that I was left in a wheelchair and I couldn't work a complete day. I also wasn't eating to comfort myself and I continued to Spark. I went to physical therapy to get the strength back in my legs and I was referred to water therapy. It was at this point that I realized I could exercise and that my place was in the pool. It took about 8 months to get me out of the wheelchair this time. (I had been this route once before...) I knew that if I stopped working out because I could walk with my walker again that my weight loss was over. I couldn't do much more with diet alone. I had lost about 120 pounds by this time.
I started going to the pool every afternoon which was pretty easy to schedule at first because I only worked half days. I would work in the morning and then go to the pool and use the program the physical therapists had given to me. I kept at it and kept at it. In three months, I was able to return to work full time.
I kept going to that pool in the evenings. My days were long and it was taking all of my strength to work and then exercise. My family supported me and I kept at it. I also kept losing weight. I finally got to the place that I was back to walking again with my walker and I had lost a total of 130 pounds at this time.
I kept at it and lost more weight and was up to a total of 160 pounds lost when I hit the dreaded plateau that went on for over 6 months. I kept up with my program and I kept Sparking. I tried and tried to stick with things. It was hard and I believe that a plateau is the most destructive thing with a weight loss program. I also believe that they are important because they give the body time to level out and get back to "normal."
I did shift things around and reconfigure both my pool exercise program with help from my physical therapist and my daily menus with help from SparkPeople. About three and a half months ago, I started losing weight again. I am now at a total of 165 lost pounds. I have lost 135 pounds with SparkPoints since I joined and I am very happy with that. I am still losing and I am very happy with that.
The truth is that I had to change my goal because I have a "new" height to address. Between my age and my arthritis and back surgeries, I have lost almost 3 inches in height. It is my goal to have a healthy BMI and that is based on one's height.
Now, I am preparing for a hip replacement surgery and I cannot get to that goal in the remaining three weeks I have left. I can lose at least 3-4 more pounds which will take me within 10-20 pounds of a perfect BMI for my "new" height. I believe I can do it, but I believe that it could be a bit tricky.
My hip replacement could get in the way. I have to be careful to avoid eating when I am in pain or when I am frustrated or bored when I am sitting around, unable to be as active as usual. I am nervous that I could slip back into old habits that I think I have changed. I have had an excellent holiday after planning a great holiday meal that was loaded with great foods and healthy choices so I could easily stay with my plan. I didn't even sniff at the desserts that were present.
I have stuck with this for a few years and I believe that I have made lifestyle changes that are healthy and smart. I am a "work in progress" and am not ready to make any shift into maintenance. I want to get to that perfect BMI and I want to have the best chance at walking both painfree and unassisted that is possible. I cannot let this surgery get in my way.
I have had a lot of success when it didn't seem likely. I am going to plan to continue on this plan. Fattening hospital food with its typical bad choices cannot get in my way. Being unable to go to the pool for my workout or lap swimming cannot get in the way. The fact that new metal joints outweigh the joints that we were born with also won't exactly help me. However, when I think of all of the things I have overcome, I have had a great deal of success when it didn't seem possible.
I can do this. I have come so far that I know I can do this. I may have to call out the cavalry to lend a hand, but I am guessing that the phone number is "sparkpeople.com." I have a lot to do in the next three weeks--report cards, lesson plans, a presentation, project, and an exam in my grad class, and holiday decorations, shopping, wrapping, and planning of meals are all on my calendar along with many doctor appointments and medical tests that are due between now and December 17.
I can do this and I am starting with the best program possible up until December 17. I have 3 more weigh-ins before then. I plan to do well!