Wow...I have been here at SP for one year today! I remember the day I joined so clearly: it was a Saturday morning and I woke up feeling terrible about myself, my body, and my health. I stepped on the scale, gasped when I saw my weight nearing 260 pounds, and nearly cried. I told myself that it was no longer a choice, but that I HAD to start losing weight. I went out to the living room, fired up my laptop and googled some weight loss programs I had heard about, but they all cost a lot of money that I didn't have. I searched for free online weight loss programs, and up popped SparkPeople. I created an account, and here I am today.
I have learned so much this year, about improving my health and about myself. A year ago, my goal was simple: I wanted to lose weight. I still want to do that, but I have a lot of other goals now that are all part of the weight loss goal. In fact, instead of focusing on weight loss, I find that I am paying a lot more attention to my goals of racking up fitness minutes, drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and getting 5 freggies a day. That's more motivating to me than waiting and WAITING for the number on the scale to drop.
This year I have discovered that I am an incredibly slow loser. Weight comes off very, very slowly. This may be because I have hypothyroidism and am still in the process of getting my meds at the right dosage. From how my body feels, I think that my dosage is too low right now, and I am scheduled to get some bloodwork soon to see if my doctor can up my meds. That may help. I went for a physical a couple of weeks ago and my doctor was impressed that I have been exercising and making improvements with eating healthier. She said that she could tell by my blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels that I have been making positive changes. That made me feel so good! A year ago I was on blood pressure meds and my cholesterol was 288. Today I am off the bp meds and, while my cholesterol is still high (thanks, crappy thyroid), it had dropped about 30 points. My doctor said, "I can tell that you're very motivated." Motivated! Me! Last year at this time, no one would have ever called me motivated.
Here are a few other things I have discovered about myself over the past 366 days:
1. I am a pedometer junkie. I get really upset if that little device is not in my pocket at all times. Just wearing it makes me more conscious of how much I'm moving. If I pull it out at 3 pm and I only have 3000 steps, then I know I had better get my butt in gear or I'll have to log a low number in the morning. I hate logging a low number.
2. I really, really love spinning the SP wheel. I feel a little silly sometimes at the level of excitement I feel when I get a 25-point spin. My ultimate goal is to win a cool prize, like a DVD or water bottle. I'll be over the moon when that happens. I just looked at my streaks this morning and I have logged in 361 out of the past 366 days. That's awesome.
3. SparkCoach works for me. I need those few minutes of focused reflection and planning every morning.
4. I am way more persistent that I ever thought I was. I have never committed to health goals for more than a few months before now. I have made it a whole year. A YEAR! I have fallen down so many times this year, but I've gotten back up every single time.
5. I realize that I AM CAPABLE OF MAKING CHANGES AND STICKING WITH THEM! Sorry to shout at you, but I'm really excited!
There's no magic pill or shake or gadget that will change my life. I will change my life. I am changing my life.
6. I now see myself as a regular exerciser! A year ago, I felt embarrassed about exercising. I felt like that if people knew I was working out, they would roll their eyes and think, "She's exercising??? As if she thinks she can actually lose weight!" Now I am proud that I work out. I don't care what other people think about it. If they are foolish enough to scoff at anyone's efforts to get healthy, then they are probably just feeling bad about themselves. Now I think of myself as a role model to other people who are struggling.
This is a mega-long post. If you've hung in there until the end, thank you. For all my Spark Friends, I cannot say enough thank yous. You've been with me every step and your love and support and encouragement help keep me going. You are all amazing!
Here's to year 2!