My spark journey (condensed version)
Saturday, January 19, 2013
From my high weight of 212 in 2010, I lost 6 pounds mostly by working out. I struggled with the food tracker at that time because I wasn't ready for that level of commitment yet. Then I became pregnant so I went on hiatus from weight management, but a year and a half later I was above my pre pregnancy weight (of 206) so I decided it was time to do something. I was still nursing my baby so I started tracking food as a way to make sure I ate enough. This was January 2012.
I only tracked the food, I didn't try to conform to the suggested ranges initially. But simply tracking made me aware of the calorie density of foods, and I started seeing nutrition as a series of choices. For 100 calories, did I want a piece of whole wheat bread, a slice of cheese, or a dollop of mayonnaise? I didn't follow rigid plans or change what I ate, since I am a foodie and prefer fresh, whole foods. I just tracked the food I liked and learned what was worthwhile and what wasn't; what kept me satisfied, and what didn't. Eventually I was meeting the nutrition tracker goals enjoying most of the foods I already loved but practicing label reading and portion awareness. In July of 2012 I weighed 183.
Regarding fitness I had good intentions, but having been borderline obese for most of my adult life I was unaccustomed to moving very much. When we went on vacation in the summer, I did a lot of walking and decided I wanted to continue being more active. And that was just when SparkCoach came online! At first it was a challenge to do 10 minutes every day, but I have done it at least 6 days a week ever since, and I eventually moved on to 20. I am a big believer in strength training and know a lot about it, but I hadn't really understood cardio before SparkCoach pointed me in the right direction. Once I got my fitbit I was really motivated to do 30 minutes a day and more. On 12/12/12 I weighed in at my goal of 165!
People argue whether nutrition or fitness is more important to weight management, when the real issue is motivation. Chris Downieï¿½s book The Spark lays out the concept of building the habit of success with small, achievable goals. I've come to think of it as a tree that has grown from an almost invisible seed. At first I just wanted to get back to 190, and then I wanted to get to a healthy BMI, and I met people who had lost more weight than me and maintained it for the long haul, and my dream just kept growing bit by bit. It's still a young and tender tree that needs guidance and protection. I'm new to maintenance and have seen some people falter there, but I believe that if I keep up my habits that brought me this far, I can succeed.
And in case you missed the long version: