BLOGGER'S NOTE: Here's the story of my successes so far on SparkPeople. Over time I've shared my story in bits and pieces through my blog, but today decided to update my SparkPage, putting the story all together and here's what I got:
My story is a story about time and a waistline getting away from me, and me finally doing something about it. With each pound lost, Iím turning back the clock.
I was my highest weight of 382.2 pounds on Nov. 23, 2011, when I weighed in for the first time at a TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) meeting. I knew I had to do something.
Of course Iíve known that fact all my life it seems, but it was driven home with a vengeance when I realized I was too out of shape to walk in the Relay for Life.
I wanted to do so because every part of my being wanted to do something to express my gratitude for the care and help a loved one received after being diagnosed with cancer.
I couldnít think of a better way to do so than to participate in an event that would allow me to pay it forward to someone else who may be in need of a cure.
It broke my heart in that moment because I knew that at my weight and in my condition, I could not participate.
My heart-felt sentiment would have to wait.
It was also in that moment that I knew more than ever just how much I had wrecked my health.
I could barely walk across a room, let alone participate in a walking event.
The truth was that I could barely take care of myself; living life was akin to treading water, or so it seemed.
I had millions of excuses as to why I always ate convenience foods, but when it came right down to it, I could barely stand in front of a stove, so cooking wasnít much of an option, unless it was scrambled eggs or a TV dinner out of the microwave.
I could get winded without even standing up.
Thatís no way to live.
And it was in that moment of profound revelation that I knew I had to do better, so I did the only thing I could think of doing, I joined TOPS.
In the beginning it seemed like things might go well, but it turns out that I needed to do more.
I knew what healthy eating looked like, but my portions were all out of wack.
My method was guess-and-by-gosh, I had no idea what level of calories, sodium or nutrients were going into my body.
My fitness was haphazard. I had no regular schedule, I just exercised a little every now and then when I could fit in a minute.
I was putting most of my energy out into the world but I was not putting enough of it into me.
So I floundered.
I needed something more, but what?
My doctor was strongly recommending weight-loss surgery, but I didnít want it.
But occasionally I would entertain the idea. It scared me though.
It just didnít feel right; it wasnít my path.
In September of 2012, I was diagnosed with early-stage diabetes. I was scared. I didnít want diabetes. Who does? I didnít want to face that what I had done to my body could render me a victim to a disease that could potentially ravage my health.
I didnít want to have it.
So I declared war on my early-stage diabetes.
It was around that time that I found my way back to SparkPeople. I think it was accidental, maybe though an article or something that caught my eye. In fact, Iím pretty sure thatís what did it.
I remembered instantly that I had been there before; I was a member, just not an active one.
In an instant, that all changed.
I gave SparkPeople a chance. I started using it religiously and I could see it starting to pay off, and in big ways.
It was the boost that I needed. It added structure where I had none. It helped me to make informed decisions about what I put into my body. I no longer was a guess-and-by-gosh girl.
I bought the book and devoured it.
I bought the cookbook too and gave it a whirl.
I did everything I could to be as active as possible on the site.
Me on Feb. 7, 2013, just .2 of a pound away from 50 pounds lost. I achieved my goal 1 week later.
Me in 2010, the year I joined SparkPeople. However, Sept. 2012 was when I began my journey.
So far, as of Feb. 14, 2013, Iím down 50.6 pounds.
Itís only the beginning, because I have a lot more weight to lose, but Iím gaining my health back.
I feel as if Iím turning back the clock, and I feel like Iím gradually gaining the opportunities and abilities that I lost by having let my body become super-morbidly obese.
And as soon as I can, Iím going to do anything and everything I am able to, to enjoy the new body I am creating.
I want to bungee jump, sky dive, go white-water rafting. I want to walk the EdgeWalk at CN Tower in Toronto, go ice skating at Rockefeller Center. I want to travel again and I want to do it actively. I want to go horseback riding, kayaking, rock climbing, biking, hang gliding and just about anything else I could think of doing.
I donít know how I will do all of these things, but just knowing that I want it and that I am capable of at least making some of these awesome dreams come true, if not all of them, itís enough to keep me going when times get rough or get slow.
And if nothing else, the knowledge that Iíll soon be able to Walk in the Relay for Life, it will keep me going, because thatís the dream that started all of this in the first place and that dream means the most.
My accomplishments so far on SparkPeople:
Oct. 15, 2012, I first noticed my clothing fitting a little differently.
On Oct. 17, 2012, I officially announced my ďBike Around the WorldĒ goal and slow, but steady, Iíve been adding mileage ever since. I have a feeling this will take me years, but thatís the point.
On Nov. 1, 2012, I can dress standing up again instead of always doing it sitting down.
On Nov. 13, 2012, I discover I can wear necklaces again.
In Dec. 14, 2012, just three months after being diagnosed, I was free of early-stage diabetes. That same day I was able to weigh-in for the first time in a long time on an old-style 350-pound capacity doctorís office scale and it felt good. When the nurse later realized how much weight I had lost, she came back and congratulated me, and gave me a hearty, ďYou go girl!Ē
On Dec. 16, 2012, I could walk down the stairs normally again, no longer hobbling down sideways in an awkward fashion.
By Feb. 14, 2013, I was down 50.6 pounds and the next day I lost a little more enabling me to retire my high-capacity bathroom scale and put my old normal capacity scale back into use.
Iím not stopping until Iíve got the job done, and even then, Iím not going to stop, because I have no intention of regaining the weight. I will recalibrate my goals and set them to maintain. And that is where I plan on staying when the pounds are gone and my health is back on track.
And with that, Iíd like to end with my favorite movie quote: ďPeace be the journey!Ē Ė Cool Runnings, 1993
Go SparkPeople! Go TOPS! Woo hoo!