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    MYLOVELYCURVES   50,713
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It's been a year! (What I've learned and my goals for the future)


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Saturday, February 16, 2013

I have been a member of SparkPeople since 2008, but it wasn't until a year ago that I really made the commitment to stick to it. Today, it's been a year since I made myself a promise to turn my life around and start taking better care of myself. Back then, I was miserable. It wasn't just the weight getting me down but it was a major factor even if I didn't realize it back then. I weighed 190 pounds which was my highest weight ever and I knew something needed to change. My eating was out of control and I was in a bad physical shape. After Valentine's Day 2012, I decided I need to love and respect myself enough to make the commitment to be healthy. And after that, I never hesitated.

Along the way, I have definitely made my share of mistakes but I have always walked away from them smarter than before. I have learned so much about myself this year. I'm a lot more aware of what is going on in my mind and my body, and I have a clearer sense of what works for me and what doesn't. I'm very proud of myself for losing weight slowly but steadily and for not gaining any of the weight back even when my life was crazy and stressful and when I sometimes found myself slipping back into my old ways. I have learned to be more forgiving towards myself. I'm only human and it would be unfair to expect to be perfect. Life is what it is, it's rarely perfect, things happen that throw us off the course sometimes and then we just have to find the strength in ourselves to keep on moving forward. A setback is not the same thing as failure. That I have learned.

Today, I celebrated my one year with SparkPeople by going for a run. I ran a 5K in honor of my progress and my healthy, strong body. A year ago, I could not jog for as long as 5 minutes without stopping to catch my breath. I've come a long way since then. I've lost 36 pounds and become so much healthier and I'm in a much better physical (and mental) shape than I was back then. I'm happy and I feel like I'm where I need to be in life. The confidence and strength that I got from changing my life for the better here on SparkPeople also gave me the courage to make some important changes in other areas of life as well and I feel like I'm finally on the road to becoming the person I was always meant to be.

It's an ongoing process and I'm excited to see what my next year with SparkPeople will bring! The thing I want to focus on now is to really turn this into a lifestyle and lose even the last bits of diet thinking once and for all. This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I love how SparkPeople is all about making a lifestyle change and ditching the diets for good, and I've been doing really well when it comes to that, at least for the most part. But what bothers me lately is the fixation on numbers. How many pounds have I lost, how many pounds do I still have to lose? How many calories am I eating? How many calories am I burning? How many inches have I lost? How many inches would I like to lose around my waist, my hips, my thigh...? While measuring all of that is an effective weight loss tool, I've started to feel like I'm putting way too much emphasis on it. It makes me feel like this is a diet and not a lifestyle. I'll do my best to explain what I mean but please bear with me.

Being someone who has a history of eating disorders, obsession and need for control are always lurking near. I have noticed my behavior follows a patter that usually goes like this: I get really motivated to lose weight, a lot of weight. I make all kinds of plans and calculations. I measure everything. I try to weigh myself only once a week and end up weighing myself every morning. Numbers consume me. For a month or so, everything is going well. I'm motivated. I updated my blog every day, I'm constantly online. I'm obsessed with the numbers on the scale and I need to see them go down so I can track it here on Sparks. I compare my results with everyone else and sometimes I feel discouraged when others lose weight more quickly than I do. But then I get sick of it. All of it. This is where I am today. And by that I don't mean that I'm now eating loads of food mindlessly and not working out at all. I still am eating healthy for the most part and working out, but I'm sick of worrying about the numbers. I started this new cycle on the beginning of December. Back then, I was really excited to start losing weight again (I had been feeling unmotivated for a while, actually I was pretty much where I am now) and so focused on the numbers. I kept comparing myself to everyone else on here. I compared my goals with theirs. I changed mine continuously. But then, a few weeks ago, it once again lost its lure.

And this is why I want to learn to find BALANCE. Balance is key. I need it in my life.

It is something I have yet to learn. I want to focus less on numbers and more on improving my health. I want to weigh myself only once a month and maybe change my ticker into one that measures monthly fitness minutes instead of weight. I want to eat healthy but I don't want to be obsessed about it. I don't want to go to extremes. I'm usually very good at avoiding going to extremes these days but I still do it sometimes and I want to stop. I wish I could explain this better but I'm afraid I can't.

My point is: I want to stop comparing myself to everyone else. I don't have to be as skinny as some people are on here. If I want to be curvier, it's okay as long as I'm happy with it. If someone who is my height weighs 120 pounds it doesn't mean I have to weigh that much too to be happy and content in my life. I want to focus on improving my health instead of the numbers on the scale. I want to stop worrying about losing weight - the weight will take care of itself when I'm living a healthy and balanced life. It might take time but I don't mind; I know I will get there one day and by doing it slowly and by making this a real, lasting lifestyle change I know it will stay off, too.

So those are my goals for my second year with SparkPeople. I want to thank you all for always being there for me! I couldn't have done this without you. I love you all for being so amazing and giving me so much support and encouragement. WE CAN DO THIS!!!



(Me in July 2011)



(Me in December 2012)

I'll make a picture blog with more (new) progress pics tomorrow :)
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATNCAG 12/18/2013 1:51PM

    Don't be so hard on yourself! You were beautiful before & now u r just off the hook! U look great! I hope & pray to look as good as u eventually! But like u I get obsessed with numbers 2! It's so easy to do!

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SUPERSYLPH 7/24/2013 2:42PM

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ELIZABETH5268 4/21/2013 11:37PM

    I feel myself getting like that. You have a good outlook of where you want to be. Thanks for sharing!

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JUSGETTENBY42 4/1/2013 2:55AM

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ELAINE725 3/27/2013 11:25AM

    Keep up with the great work you are doing!! You can do it!!! emoticon

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AURIANNE67 3/22/2013 1:29PM

    I was really glad to read your blog, I have recently also come to the conclusion that what I want to care about is how well I treat my body and the healthy improvements I am making to my life rather than the actual numbers on the scale or the measuring tape. I think that the mindset of my goal being encompassed by certain numbers contributed to my fluctuating motivation and habits. I would go through periods of intense motivation and then something would come along and I would "fall off the wagon" and feel like I had slipped up so badly I may as well quit entirely. Now I feel I have started again but with the right motivation. It is also really heartening to me to read the story of someone who's weight loss goals were close to mine, while I do find inspiration from reading about people who have lost 100+ lbs it also makes me feel like my need to improve my life is not something worthy of the level of support and encouragement they receive. My wakeup call to start focusing on my life again was the recent revalation on my new all time heaviest weight, 195 lbs. This time I plan to stick with it and in one year I hope to be able to write an honest and heartfelt blog declaring my success similar to this one:)

Congrats! I wish you hope and strength for the future:)

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LOGOULD 3/18/2013 6:39AM

    You nailed it right on the head! Balance is the key. It was my goal last year - and this year for that matter. Seems about the moment you get a handle on it, life will throw you a curve ball and you stumble for a moment and get back on track for the search for that perfect balancing point once again. I don't think I will ever stop tracking, weighing etc etc etc. I have joined the At Goal & Maintaining + Transitioning to Maintenance Team. Not everyone on the team has reached maintenance, but it's a great team to follow and learn from as many have maintained for 5-10-20 years and more. Even after reaching goal there is SO MUCH to learn. You are welcome to join us if you would like.

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UZA77777 3/11/2013 3:21PM

    You wrote: Balance is key.

I too have found this to be true. Hard-earned wisdom.

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AZTLAN777 3/3/2013 10:30AM

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AMANDEES76 2/28/2013 12:22PM

    We all have the same struggles. Me right now I'm just trying to get back on track with cooking every night instead of going out to get something, exercising daily, and just trying to focus on the fact that I want this. I am only on a 6 day streak and I have weighed myself at least 6 times so being consumed by the need to see the numbers change I can understand. Just take it one day at a time and keep taking steps forward and it will all become second nature and the numbers won't matter as much.

Congratulations on your lose you are doing great!!!!

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CHESSARIA 2/28/2013 10:58AM

    It's nice to see I'm not the only one who feels this way. It's aka nice to see how you are combatting these feelings. Thanks for the inspiration!

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IMSUNSHINE 2/27/2013 10:24AM

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EFFRAYECHILDE 2/27/2013 9:43AM

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ROSEBYRD 2/26/2013 12:45PM

    This is very encouraging news. I made this decision in my life at the beginning of this year. I know that it is possible. Thank You. emoticon

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KCHRISTIE4 2/25/2013 12:58PM

    You have done an amazing job changing your body and mind set. Congratulations!!!!!
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NGOZEE1 2/25/2013 12:14PM

  congrats girl, keep it up!!

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WHITEANGEL4 2/25/2013 10:44AM

    Great blog and an encouragement to all of us

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WILSONC 2/24/2013 2:15PM

    You look great! Congrats!

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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 2/23/2013 8:39PM

    emoticon You are looking good. I know you are happier it shows. Keep up the good work. emoticon emoticon

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JULIANEASHLEY11 2/23/2013 1:36PM

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Thanks for sharing your story it truly is inspirational :)
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KATHIC2 2/23/2013 9:07AM

  Awesome blog! So wise and balanced. I will re-read often because you truly helped me.

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PIPSANDMSMAMA79 2/23/2013 2:16AM

    You're right! Sometimes the numbers do start to overwhelm and discourage us. Today I was upset because my pedometer was only half of what I wanted it to be. Then I thought that at least I'm doing so much more than I used to. You're also right about how if you're happy with your curves and you're happy and healthy, there is nothing wrong with that. You look great! I remember how I felt at 159 and it was AMAZING! Not everyone is built the same, or looks the same at a certain weight. You do what is right and healthy for you. You've come so far, so be proud of yourself!

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CHERIJ16 2/22/2013 11:49PM

    Sounds like you have the "right stuff". Your insight is very honest and helpful and you look great too! emoticon

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FOXFIRENDTS 2/22/2013 10:53PM

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SWEETN9705 2/22/2013 4:09PM

    You are looking great! This blog inspires me to do great things. Well said! emoticon

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ADAPTOR 2/22/2013 2:55PM

    I totally get what you are saying, you siad it quite well. There is a lesson in your blog for me to learn. thank you.

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1954MARG 2/22/2013 11:02AM

  Well done. You look so much brighter and healthier in your later pic than in your earlier one.

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MARYM1962 2/22/2013 10:35AM

  ah, the ups and downs of life - do not be too hard on yourself as we all have times when we just want to give up. You don't give in to the impulse and you get back on track, sometimes taking a different angle. Keep up the good work

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VALYNN26 2/22/2013 9:18AM

    emoticon emoticon You look fabulous! emoticon emoticon

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JLEMUS1 2/22/2013 7:42AM

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AMANDACOETZER 2/22/2013 7:40AM

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LIFETIMER54 2/22/2013 6:51AM

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4RASCALS 2/21/2013 8:29PM

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Thanks for sharing. Such an inspiration. Continued success in your journey

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SHANNONY84 2/21/2013 7:51PM

    You look great! We are all our happiest when that little black dress fits! Keep on Sparking!

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SCHOPPEK 2/21/2013 7:43PM

    Awesome! You should be proud!

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ROSGETSSERIOUS 2/21/2013 3:02PM

    You rock - and look amazing - well done!
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PRAIRIECROCUS 2/21/2013 2:52PM

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SSEARE 2/21/2013 1:41PM

  I'm sure there are many of us who remember the shame and horror of gaining it all back and more. The damage to your self-esteem is so deep it can be incredibly hard to overcome and start again. You overcame...and continue to overcome. Don't forget to tell yourself that you've already accomplished something many only dream about and long for. Thanks for your honesty and for the inspiration.

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KATHRYN74 2/21/2013 12:15PM

    Thank you for helping me realize that what will I say about this journey in a year from now instead of focusing on the scale this week.

Keep up the great work.



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GRIZ1GIRL 2/21/2013 11:03AM

    Fantastic! Awesome! Go YOU!

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NILLAPEPSI 2/21/2013 10:36AM

    You look amazing!! emoticon

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DNRAE1 2/21/2013 10:30AM

    Thank you for your blog! It helped encourage me today.

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DW33412 2/21/2013 10:00AM

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MARIFLOWER 2/21/2013 9:50AM

  I hear you and feel much the same way. I don't get so obsessive, in fact it's one of the things I hate about tracking, but it does seem to be the only way I am forced to be aware that I always tend to be low on protein and sometimes high on fat. It also keeps me in line when I know that the whole day has gone really well, so why blow it in the last few hours. I say if you're doing it, you have obviously figured out what works for you, so just keep moving forward and track way less often. Be happy!
mari

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RANDOM00B 2/21/2013 9:35AM

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MSHEL7 2/21/2013 9:30AM

    Great blog, something I really needed to read. I tend to get obsessed with numbers too. Thanks for sharing.

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WALLINMW 2/21/2013 9:02AM

  Great blog!

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DRAGONFIRE4 2/21/2013 8:57AM

    Awesome blog! You are an inspiration to anyone that reads this. Please stop comparing yourself to others. I also have a problem with comparing myself to people who can do exercises & runs when I can't any more. That is what I am working on this year. Keep on working on you and not working on you vs others you will feel much better. emoticon

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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 2/21/2013 8:09AM

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, and concerns... I'll let you compare yourself to me! You will feel WICKED skinny then! I have a long way to go, but folks like you are an INSPIRATION to folks like me! DON'T EVER FORGET THAT...



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MSGO72 2/21/2013 7:40AM

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