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    SHERRYLHBB   47,079
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70 Pounds Lighter (70? Really? Yikes!)

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Saturday, January 05, 2013


(Near my 231.5-pound max.)

At 231.5 pounds, the heaviest Iíd ever been in my entire life, I was a big girl. I knew I was big. But as big as I was, I donít think I saw myself as being THAT big.


(Near my 231.5-pound max.)

(How could that be?!) No matter what my mind thought, I was having trouble breathing while seated, because my stomach fat was pressing up on my lungs. In addition, I thought a thinner me might have better luck at finding a job. I started eating more healthfully and exercising (45-60 minutes a day, five times a week), but progress was slow. The more I exercised, the hungrier I was, the more I ate, the less weight I lost. I was frustrated.

In March 2010, still at 228 pounds, I joined SparkPeople and immediately started reading articles and blog posts. I joined a few groups and started writing my own blog posts. I used the nutrition and fitness trackers. I learned about portion control and about daily caloric ranges. The very first week I saw results. From there, I made a slow, but consisted progression downward. Until April 2011 when I found out that I would be moving to England.

My weight slowly crept back up between April and December 2011. I was stressed and busy finish up at my job, then visiting friends and family all over the United States before my move, then packing and moving, then adjusting to a new country and all its wonderful and delicious new foods that I had to try (every single last one of them!).

One year ago, on the first of January 2012, I weighed 194.5 pounds.


(January 2012 at 194.5 pounds)

With a goal weight of 163 pounds (65 pound loss from my 8 March 2010 start date on SparkPeople), I had a ways to go. I rededicated myself to my weight-loss efforts, resolving to reach my goal weight by the end of the year.

I recall the first 8 months of the year as being a slow struggle to lose weight. I ate well, was mindful of portion sizes and calorie counts, and exercised regularly; but I was leaning too much, once again, on food for comfort. I found that each bout of emotional eating set me back, undoing so much of my positive efforts. This led to frustration at my seeming inability to control myself and disappointment in my progress.

In September, I was becoming disillusioned about my ability to reach my goal weight by the end of the year. After all, Iíd lost only 13 pounds in over eight months. A loss is better than a gain or even than staying at the same weight, but how was I going to lose 18.5 pounds in four months when I lost only 13 pounds in eight?


(September 2012 at about 181.5 pounds)

Then something amazing happened.

I was walking on the treadmill at my gym thinking that what I needed was a weight-loss mentor. Someone who was an expert and could offer me guidance. Someone who could show me what I was doing wrong and guide me to a better way. Just as I was thinking this, one of the personal trainers at my gym came up to me (mind you, while I was still walking on the treadmill) and asked me whether I was taking advantage of what they gym had to offer to reach my health and fitness goals. I told him about my challenges and he replied that he actually worked successfully with clients with similar issues. At this point I didnít really believe in the benefits of a personal trainer, because I was self-motivated and knowledgeable about exercise and fitness equipment. I had also tried working with a personal trainer twice before (3 sessions with each trainer), but both trainers worked me so hard that I ended up almost passing out. BUT I had just mentally asked for a mentor so I thought the least I could do was listen to what he had to offer.

A few days later, after hearing about the science behind his program and about the great results some of his clients had achieved, I signed up for five weeks of diet menus, an exercise plan, and personal training sessions (one per week). After the five weeks, I had all the knowledge I needed to continue on my own, but I had such good results (almost 10 pounds down) that I ended up signing back on for an additional 10 weeks.

While working with my personal trainer, I learned new and effective exercises, received diet guidance, including evaluation and menu adjustments, as needed, and discussed diet and exercise struggles, which resulted in a lot of mental-barrier breakthroughs. In 15 weeks, I lost over 22 pounds. Not as much as weíd predicted, but I had to be happy as the time frame included Thanksgiving and a trip to Belgium (think Belgian waffle topped with melted Belgian chocolate and whipped cream! Okay, not a good idea. Think carrot sticks!). In addition to the weight loss and mental-barrier breakthroughs, I also discovered a way of eating based on glycemic load that completely eliminated all my cravings, allowing me to eat real food when I was actually hungry and to avoid emotional eating. This truly was a life-changing development!

By yearís end, not only had I reached my goal weight, but Iíd surpassed it! I lost 33 pounds in 2012 and rang in the New Year at 161.5 pounds! Instead of losing a total of 65 pounds since starting on SparkPeople, I lost a total of 70 pounds since I started my weight-loss journey. Amazing!


(November 30, 2012, at 164.5)


(November 30, 2012, at 164.5)


(Christmas Day 2012 at 161.5)

Although I gained so much from working with my personal trainer (who is always motivating and never degrading), I spend only one hour a week with him. The rest of the time I am on my own, so I still find myself logging in regularly to SparkPeople for motivation, information, and support. My trainer, SparkPeople, and SparkPeople's people were all instrumental in 2012's weight loss success. So, thank you!!!!

Even though Iím below my goal weight, which had been chosen somewhat arbitrarily, I know that I want to lose more weight, because Iím still carrying too much fat on my abdomen and back. But Iím feeling very positive about the process and can continue eating as I am doing well into the future. I donít know what weight is best for me, so Iíve decided to set 5-pound weight loss goals, reevaluating as I go, until Iím at a weight where I look and feel my best.

Year-end goal for 2013: Reach the ideal weight for my body where I look and feel my best.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYABIGAIL627 2/1/2013 8:16PM

    What an inspirational story! Good for you!! Best wishes for your future emoticon

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ANDYGIRL1219 2/1/2013 8:12PM

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SINGLEGAL3 2/1/2013 7:53PM

    Wow! That's incredible. Good job on your journey to a healthier, slimmer you - and best wishes as you maintain that weight!

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GRUMPYSGAL 2/1/2013 7:48PM

  Keep up the good work. I take my hat off to the people I see in the gym who are working off their weight!!

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1MYSTERY_LADY 2/1/2013 7:20PM

    emoticon

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SHERICAN 2/1/2013 7:19PM

    Way to go, you are very inspirational! Thank you for sharing your story! emoticon

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NEWMEN2013 2/1/2013 7:11PM

    What amazing results! I was 235 lbs when I started Sparkpeople and have a goal of 165 so I can definitely relate to your experience. Of course, I haven't had near the success you have, but you give me hope that I can!
Thanks for being an inspiration!
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ROSEBRK10 2/1/2013 6:51PM

    Fabulous!!!! I gained 45 since my recent move ,need to lose 45, Thank you for the inspiration!!

:) susan

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MCLYMORE 2/1/2013 6:45PM

    Thank you for sharing; what an inspiration you are!

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TEACHFIRST268 2/1/2013 6:28PM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your story! Your hard work has paid off!

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H20-LADY 2/1/2013 6:24PM

    Congratulations! you help keep me motivated as I continue on my journey. I've thought about a personal trainer and glad to hear how you worked with one. emoticon


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AHARTSOUGH 2/1/2013 6:12PM

  You look great but, more importantly, you have got to feel so much better! Years ago I had to make the decision to change my life and how I used food. It is not always easy but I am happy to say that I am the only child in a family of 5 that has no health issues, am not on any meds and stay within my weight range. I know it is no guarantee for good health but is something within my control and I can say it was one of the best decisions I've made. Keep on keeping on!!

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BEACHBUMHOL 2/1/2013 5:31PM

    what an amazing transformation!!!! thank you for sharing your journey!!

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-LINDA_S 2/1/2013 5:26PM

    You look amazing! I especially like your reference to the glycemic load, since I think many "diets" allow way too many carbs, especially refined ones. Might have to look into the personal trainer thing soon...

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DALI3519 2/1/2013 5:00PM

    Thank you for this blog! It is so inspiring and motivating to see that you reached your goal and that we can do it too!!!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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BIGJOHNVT 2/1/2013 4:26PM

    Awesome blog. Thank you for being an inspiration to me. After kidding myself that I only needed to lose 20 or 30 pounds last week I really looked at the overall picture and I really need to lose 75 pounds. Heaven sent message from you I believe! Thanks

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NEWTINK 2/1/2013 3:07PM

    What an inspirational story ... You have done wonderful and I am happy that you decided to give the Personal Trainer a try .. Sometimes just because we know everything doesnt mean that we know how to apply it to actual application for results lol .. you look amazing emoticon

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SUSHMI 2/1/2013 2:42PM

  You look so good. You have lost years in looks too! GREAT JOB!

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MISSB8604 2/1/2013 2:42PM

    Seriously amazing!

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THEEAGLEWILLFLY 2/1/2013 2:35PM

  Just want to say Well Done!! An inspiring account. Thank you for being willing to share with us. All the best.

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 2/1/2013 2:29PM

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MERYL000 2/1/2013 2:05PM

    Inspirational! I tend to struggle with some of the same issues so seeing someone break through them gives me more confidence that I can too! Thanks! :D

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MITTENCHOPS 2/1/2013 2:04PM

    Look how cute you are!! Congratulations on sticking to you. You are an inspiration! :)

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CPATRICK9 2/1/2013 1:52PM

    emoticon

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JESSIELABRAKE 2/1/2013 1:36PM

    such an amazing transformation! congrats on finally breaking through your barriers. emoticon

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ALWAYSROSY 2/1/2013 1:30PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Way good job!!! Thanks for sharing!

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JOYFUL452003 2/1/2013 1:19PM

    Thank you for sharing! You have done an awsome job and are an inspiration!
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THANA45 2/1/2013 1:01PM

    Wow! emoticon emoticon

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INSIDEOUT2010 2/1/2013 12:59PM

    You look amazing!! Congratulations.

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ANGELFOOD4 2/1/2013 12:46PM

  Sherry what a wonderful story...you look awesome....I am keeping your story and reading it every day....thanks for the encouragement

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DEBORAHSTUBBS 2/1/2013 12:42PM

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POUNDSAWAY13 2/1/2013 12:41PM

   
Thanks for sharing your accomplishments. How awsome!!!Very inspiring and will help me on my road to goal. emoticon I am a emoticon , but I'll get there.

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BOBBIKAYE 2/1/2013 12:35PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss! That is so awesome! You are an inspiration. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPKRAUSE 2/1/2013 12:19PM

    Congrats on your results and on your inspiring story.

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KAKAKALI4 2/1/2013 12:08PM

    You look amazing! Thanks for sharing and giving me somthing to strive for .. maybe a personally trainer in 2013!

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TWINZMOM7 2/1/2013 11:54AM

  Wow, amazing! YOU are awesome.

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AUGIESMITH 2/1/2013 11:52AM

  Sherry, you have an amazing, inspiring story. Thank you for sharing. Much luck and love to you as you continue on your healthy, weight maintenance journey.

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ARTISTSBRUSH 2/1/2013 11:48AM

    What a great story. Good for you!

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MANDYLOVE_76 2/1/2013 11:29AM

    fantastic.

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TSHIRT24H 2/1/2013 11:15AM

  Great job! you look amazing! Keep it up!

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DARLENEK04 2/1/2013 11:00AM

  Good for you. And congratulations on getting to your first goal and surpassing
it, and also for setting those 5 pound increments.
You look great and thanks for sharing all the pictures. I am curious about
one thing............how tall are you???????

I have lost 45 pounds since Sept. 3rd/2012 by going to a nutritionist who set
me on a healthy eating plan. I don't need a trainer....you can laugh here.....because
I have my husband...........now I am laughing....

He helps me by cooking for me, encouraging me every single day. He rejoices
over my losses, consoles me if I don't lose or hit a plateau, and is always positive.

You ROCK.............
Blessings,

Darlene

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JOANNHUNT 2/1/2013 10:55AM

    emoticon BLOG emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MPARVAZE1 2/1/2013 10:51AM

    Congratulations, look amazing. emoticon

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HOTMAMACANUCK 2/1/2013 10:46AM

    YAY!!
You should be very proud of yourself. great job!
I understand the struggles to lose a large amount of weight(have been there,as high as 260 and as low as 149(i missed those days!" thinking again,again")).
Your blog was just the pep talk I needed today.
I had gained back 20lbs last year,from a loss of 62lbs in 3 yrs. I was feeling hopeless. Now... not so much.
Thank you from the bottom(and top.lol)of my heart.
I hope to write a similar success story myself in future.
BTW...You look gorgeous now!
Cheers to your maintenance!
Sandy

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SEYMOURCHICK 2/1/2013 10:35AM

    Congratulations! Very inspirational.

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CBRIGGS1956 2/1/2013 10:25AM

    Great job and post; your blog lets the rest of know that there is always hope. Thanks,

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KATHY_NATURELVR 2/1/2013 10:24AM

    Amazing job! Congratulations, you look fantastic!

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TORONTOGIRL11 2/1/2013 10:23AM

    Congratulations on your weight loss journey!!!!! emoticon

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LILSHINE 2/1/2013 10:05AM

    Congratulations, awesome blog and story. You look much younger and thanks for sharing your struggles as I really needed that today.

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BTSYGRS 2/1/2013 10:01AM

    Great job. I am starting out at about the weight you started at, and it's great to read about your persistence and willingness to try new things (and a trainer, one more time!). Thanks!


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