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    POOKASLUAGH   111,622
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Three years - 95 lbs lost forever!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012



Today marks three years since my weight loss journey began, and a new milestone on the scale - 95 lbs lost! It's been an incredible ride, long and arduous at times, sheer joy at others. I am not done yet, but I have come so very far from where I started.

The beginning: Eleven years of silent tooth infections gave me a huge range of illnesses, from bipolar disorder symptoms to random allergy symptoms to constant throat infections to giant fluctuations in weight (up and down) unrelated to diet and exercise. By the time my teeth were fixed and all my symptoms/illnesses disappeared, I weighed 255 lbs on my home scale, and probably 5-10 lbs higher on a doctor's scale. At 5'6, that's a morbidly obese BMI of 41.2. Blood tests taken a few months before showed borderline high cholesterol, borderline high blood pressure, pre-diabetes levels of blood sugar, and the worst, fatty deposits in my liver. I was miserable.




Soon after my teeth were fixed, I embarked on a journey to lose the weight I had gained in my eleven years of illness. There were a couple false starts, particularly because I kept injuring my feet and hips when I tried to exercise, but things really came together on 11/27/09. That day, two things happened. First, I replaced my treadmill with an elliptical, which didn't hurt my back/hips/knees/feet so much. Second, I met with a group of friends, one of whom told me about mindful/intuitive eating. Thus, my journey began.



Year 1: For the first few months of my journey, I did well. I paid attention to hunger cues, and I exercised consistently. By mid-2010, I was at 235 lbs. My BMI was 37.9 - obese, but no longer morbidly obese. I stalled out then, and didn't lose anything else by November. When my first year anniversary came around, I was depressed and discouraged, and I had binged enough to gain back 5 lbs (240 lbs, BMI 38.7). I no longer believed I would ever be thin again. The above pictures are from about six weeks before my one-year anniversary. Even though I weigh 20 lbs less than in my starting pictures and had dropped a clothes size, I look even bigger than when I started. This was not encouraging. In the following weeks, I considered drastic measures, like lapband surgery, but in the end, decided to give myself one more shot. Defeated and low, I began my journey again.



Year 2: Something clicked in 2011, and my determination shot into overdrive. I began to lose consistently. I was never a fast loser - the most I ever lost in one month was 8 lbs, and that was mostly water weight - and more often than not, I averaged 4-5 lbs lost per month. I joined Sparkpeople in late February that year, which helped me to keep going after my first few months. I worked on healthy habits, particularly on increasing my freggie intake. I gave up fast food halfway through the year. I began running seriously. I worked my butt off, and by my second anniversary, I had lost 51 lbs since my previous anniversary and 66 lbs total, weighing in at 189 lbs. That's only 4 lbs from being overweight for my height, and my BMI was at 30.5. I was on top of the world, and I believed in myself again!!



Year 3: This third year has been very tough for me. I hit a wall about a six weeks before my second year anniversary, and suddenly, my weight loss slowed to 2-3 lbs per month max. I have pushed and worked and struggled all year, but the losses just keep getting lower. Honestly, I had hoped to be done with my journey by my third year, and I had all the confidence in the world a year ago that I would be to my maintenance range by 11/27/12. But I am not. This year I've dealt with accidents, illnesses, injuries, a 5-month-long bout of severe insomnia, a 10-week exercise ban due to a stress fracture, and a bajillion other things that have held me back. I weigh in this anniversary at 160 lbs, 95 lbs lost total, 29 lbs lost in the last year, and with a BMI of 25.8. I have 5 lbs to go until I hit 100 lbs lost, 6 lbs until I hit a healthy BMI, and about 15-20 lbs until I'm comfortably in my maintenance range. Perhaps I will be there by my fourth anniversary.

I am not discounting this year, though. Despite my weight loss slowing to barely a crawl, I have done what most people would not do in this situation: I have kept going. And because I kept going, I am 29 lbs lighter than I was a year ago. I did not regain weight even while I was practically on bedrest this past summer. I know I will still get to the end of this road, even if it takes frickin' forever. I won't give up. Three years is too long to spend working on something only to stop. I will keep going.

To celebrate my third year anniversary, I ran a 5K this past Sunday. Three years ago, I couldn't walk without hurting myself. Two days ago, I ran a 5K in 35:51, a personal best by 1:12, and an 11:34/mi pace. It hurt while I ran it, but when I crossed that finish line, I had the biggest smile on my face.



This is what dedication, determination, and commitment has earned me, and I am very proud of what I have accomplished. Whether or not I reach my goal by next November, I can't wait to see what this next year brings!



Three years - 95 lbs lost forever!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CM_GARDNER78 11/29/2012 11:16PM

    Your story is SO inspiring!! Thank you for sharing it - I have been where you were - ready to give up. BUT - I've hung on, and I hope I can share a similar story in 3 years like you!! :-) You look fantastic!! Great job! :-)

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JBELINDA1 11/29/2012 10:18PM

  ty for sharing this. u were at the weight i am now at 43 . your story gives me hope that i too can accomplish this. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NOHA_ALEX 11/29/2012 7:01PM

    emoticon emoticon

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HHB4181 11/29/2012 6:50PM

    emoticon Great Job!

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TINAJANE76 11/29/2012 6:45PM

    So awesome! Thanks very much for sharing your whole story. I can't wait to get you on the maintenance team because I know you'll be such an asset. There's this hard to define quality that successful long-term maintainers have got and I definitely see it in you. You might be having trouble with those last few pounds but I can tell that the ones you've already lost are not coming back. They're gone for good!

Many congratulations on everything you've achieved. Your great big smile tells the whole story!
emoticon

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DOTSONK 11/29/2012 4:08PM

    Don't beat yourself up for it taking longer than you wanted to reach your goal. It is taking me a long time, too-- which I admit, can be VERY discouraging. But, you know, we could still be way above 200 if we had not been so diligent! You have done an awesome job. And you look great. I know how much better you feel. Reading your story gives me -- and so many others -- hope in accomplishing our goals.
emoticon emoticon Thank you so much for sharing!

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MOMMACASSEY 11/29/2012 3:35PM

    Aw, you're makin' me cry! Good tears, though.

You've been an inspiration to me ever since I first came across your sparkpage, and you still are--I'm so far behind, but I'm keeping my eye on the goal, and you've definitely been one of the best motivators I've ever had.

Great work--keep it up!
emoticon

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MAMAOWLS 11/29/2012 2:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 11/29/2012 1:31PM

    BEEEE-utiful! As you said, the most important thing is that you never gave up, no matter how slow the weight loss, you just kept doing what you were doing. I think that's the most important thing to remember. Because let's face it, even when you get to that magical goal weight, your habits can't change much. The scale will stop going down altogether, but you will have to work hard to keep it from going the other way!

NICE JOB!

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GREENCAT1 11/29/2012 1:12PM

    You did great! emoticon

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AMARILYNH 11/29/2012 12:54PM

    You are truly an inspiration!! That's what it takes for permanent weight loss - never, never giving up!!

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KIMBOLEAN 11/29/2012 12:24PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 11/29/2012 12:01PM

    Congratulations. That is a job emoticon . You should be very proud of yourself.

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GRANNYSU 11/29/2012 11:56AM

    great job on perseverance

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SQUIRRELLYONE 11/29/2012 11:35AM

    Congratulations!

I think one of the challenges for those with lots to lose is how slow it comes off closer to the bottom! If I was losing 1lb a week, I was doing well... but I started much closer to my goal. Had I started at losing 8-9lbs in a month I would've been frustrated to go so slowly.

You can do this :)

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KSUITS 11/29/2012 10:45AM

  You should be proud. Your dedication and hard work continue to pay off. Yay for you! Thank you for sharing your story. I am just starting my journey after taking a few years off from trying to lose weight. I have got to the point where I am just miserable and have to do something about it. Stories like yours help those of us just starting so much. Keep it up! Way to go!

Katrina

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STELLASMYBEBE 11/29/2012 10:21AM

    emoticon

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RMSUNSHINE 11/29/2012 10:18AM

  congratulations - you are awesome and so inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing - this helps more than you can know!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JEANNEBUM2 11/29/2012 9:52AM

  I LOVE READING BLOGS LIKE THIS. YEAH, FOR YOU! YEAH, ALSO, FOR PUTTING THAT OUT THERE ABOUT THE TEETH PROBLEMS MAKING YOU ILL. I RECENTLY HAD AN INFECTED TOOTH PULLED, AND THE DENTIST SAID THE INFECTION HAD PROBABLY BEEN THERE FOR MONTHS. I'M NOT SURE I'M COMPLETELY UN-INFECTED YET, BUT I DEFINITELY FEEL BETTER. THANKS FOR THE 'STICK TO IT' INSPIRATION. I'M SENDING YOU A HUG, AND GIVING MYSELF ONE, TOO. TAKE CARE!

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MCHILSTR 11/29/2012 9:48AM

  Great job - congratulations on your persistence and your commitment to health!

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LATOYAP112 11/29/2012 9:17AM

    Congratulations, great job.

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FANCYFREE15 11/29/2012 8:50AM

    You are beautiful and you look terrific! Congratulations on your weight loss! Give yourself a hug! emoticon
You are inspiring - if you can lose so much, perhaps I can lose the weight that I need to lose, too! emoticon

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SPARKLISE 11/29/2012 8:38AM

    Best success story i've heard so far!
You are doing it girl!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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634MEG 11/29/2012 8:22AM

    this is really awesome! great work!

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KANDOLAKER 11/29/2012 7:59AM

    Congratulations!! Your determination and perseverance is amazing!! I know you will keep pushing and have a great report for your fourth anniversary. Congrats on all your successes and here's to many more!! Kathy

emoticon

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LIZAPO 11/29/2012 5:26AM

  Congrats on you weight lost journey. You are glowing emoticon

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THESLIMMERME1 11/29/2012 2:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HANDYV 11/29/2012 2:12AM

    FANTASTIC GIRL FANTASTIC !!!!!!!!!!

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BLUEJEAN99 11/29/2012 1:53AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NEWTINK 11/28/2012 11:14PM

    Amazing story .. Congratulations sweetie emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 11/28/2012 10:12PM

    Wow! What determination - good for you! Keep up the good work!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 11/28/2012 10:01PM

    Way to go! A proud accomplishment for sure!

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CRANRANA 11/28/2012 9:54PM

  What a fabulous accomplishment! You look great, and I'm sure you FEEL even better. Remember, when weight loss slowed--or stopped (eek)--you were brave and kept going. Look at the result of all that determination.

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TORTISE110 11/28/2012 9:47PM

    " I have done what most people would not do in this situation: I have kept going."
Listen to your smart self! Your story is remarkable.

emoticon

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PCASEY7 11/28/2012 9:43PM

    Wow what a great success story! Your determination in the face of adversity is very admirable! Keep up the great work and hopefully next year you won't face the same challenges you did this year!

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PEGGYO 11/28/2012 9:28PM

    way to go

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KARRENLYNN 11/28/2012 9:26PM

    What a great job! You didn't quit, even when you had significant challenges. As you've learned it's not how fast you reach the finish line, it's what you learn on the journey. You know it's not a temporary project.

I'm so proud of your hard won success, keep going!!!

Karen emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYSYLVIA1 11/28/2012 9:04PM

  What a great sorry! You are a true inspiration. A few years back I lost 72 lbs and felt great. I unfortunately have allowed myself to gain it all back and I'm truly struggling to get back on track and get rid of this weight again and permanently. My advice to you not that you have asked for it, but give yourself credit everyday for what you have accomplished. And get rid of what I call the "chubby/fat girl syndrome" don't think of yourself as the fat girl remember who you are now, strong and healthy, where you were is in the past. Keep going and keep maintaining. You deserve the happiness and especially the health you are experiencing now.

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CHANGINGHORSES 11/28/2012 8:24PM

    Awesome!!!! emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 11/28/2012 8:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MJ-SHE-BEAST 11/28/2012 5:56PM

    San Antonio Spark Team All Time Biggest Success Story to date!

So proud of you and happy for you, Amanda!

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DIANNEMT 11/28/2012 5:19PM

    So many congratulations to you, I can't count them!! You have made a great commitment to YOU!

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LIVELYGIRL2 11/28/2012 5:18PM

  Thank you for sharing your AMAZING story. I am proud of you and you look tremendous!!! emoticon emoticon

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YOYOSMA1 11/28/2012 5:06PM

    Very inspiring! You have done great! Thanks for sharing your story.

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BONIFIANT 11/28/2012 4:16PM

    I am so happy for you that you have kept going. Good luck as you press on toward the goal.

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ILIKETOZUMBA 11/28/2012 3:50PM

    "I have done what most people would not do in this situation: I have kept going."

AMEN. That's all you need to do! It's hard, but it's obviously worth it, and you are clearly one feisty and strong lady to keep persevering through difficult times. Way to go!! :)

And congratulations on your fabulous 5k!!!!

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VICKLET31 11/28/2012 3:32PM

    emoticon girl!!!! You are doing so awesome and I am so glad you are not giving up. I am just like you in that my weight loss is VERY slow, but I'm going to keep hanging in there too. It helps to see people do it ahead of you!!!! Thanks and great job!!!!!

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REGILIEH 11/28/2012 3:28PM

    WOW!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are so inspiring!!! emoticon

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RANDOM00B 11/28/2012 2:14PM

    Congratulations!!!

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IRONBLOSSOM 11/28/2012 2:04PM

    You look amazing! You ARE amazing! I really don't think you look bigger in your 20-lbs lost pictures than in your original pictures either, I can see a distinct difference.

I need to have you as my weight loss example. I got so bummed that I haven't really lost the 2nd half of this year even though I know I haven't been putting in enough of the right kind of work. It's just that it's SO DANG SLOW!

But that's one reason SP is so great, I can see that you were able to keep going, slowly but steadily, and you've made amazing progress. I can do it too! :-)

Have a great day!

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