Three years ago today, I officially joined Sparkpeople. For so long I'd been struggling to figure out a way to lose weight that would work for me. On a message board I frequented, I'd read about Sparkpeople, but never checked it out, just assuming it was another thing I'd fail at. One day I was on the computer and decided to visit the site, and I am so glad I did, because it changed my life.
Before losing weight, I was always way heavier than my husband. For the last 8-9 months, I finally weigh less than him.
Sparkpeople gave me all the information, motivation, and inspiration I needed to change. I could track my food and exercise for free, read inspirational stories from other members, workout to the free videos, and get support from people who knew what it felt like to be overweight. There was no judgement. I didn't have to go sit at meetings and be weighed in, or spend any money.
When I read The Spark, it completely changed how I felt about losing weight, and motivated me to change. For so long I felt like I had to be perfect to lose weight. I thought I needed to eat perfectly, exercise all the time, and could never eat sweets again. Before Sparkpeople, I never believed in myself. Seeing that other real people did lose weight--lots of weight--it made me realize it was possible for me also. I just felt down to my core that this time was different, and just a few weeks into tracking my food and making some progress, I knew I'd never go back.
No matter how much I love Sparkpeople, the truth is that weight loss is hard, and no one can do it for you. They can give you all the tools, but you have to be willing to do the work and commit to being healthier. Your desire for health has to be stronger than your desire to keep your unhealthy habits, and until it is, it will be difficult to change. Looking back, I don't know that I would have ever lost the weight I have, if I hadn't found Sparkpeople. Yes, there are other sites online where you can track your food, but Sparkpeople is different for me. I loved the messageboards, the recipes, and free workout videos. When I first started out, I was very heavy and going to a gym intimidated me, plus there wasn't one near me that was affordable.
Every day I am thankful that I found Sparkpeople, and I am thankful for the friends I've made who take time to comment on my page or blogs, and who are just there for me when I am having a hard time. I feel like the people there really care, and support is so important when you are trying to lose weight and change your life. Sometimes all it takes are the words from a kind person to make you realize you are worth it.
In 3 years, my weight has continued to go down. I've accomplished more than I ever thought possible.
My weight 3 years ago was 325 pounds. I am now 172 pounds, so I've lost 153 pounds.
I was a size 28 and wore a 3 or 4x, now I'm a size 12 and wear a Large.
My cholesterol was high, my triglycerides were high, I had a fatty liver and borderline high blood pressure. All of that has been reversed by eating healthy and exercising.
I used to feel tired walking a mile and wondered how I'd ever improve, and now I run regularly. I have even run a half marathon (13.1 miles) and my PR for a 5k (3.10 miles) is 29:58.
My BMI used to be 54.1, which is considered super morbidly obese. Now it's 28.6, and in the overweight category. Once I lose about 22 more pounds, I will be a "normal" weight for the first time in my entire life (well, since toddlerhood maybe).
I've lost about 47% of my body weight!
After I finished my first half marathon 11-10-12 2:23:33
Finishing my best 5k ever in 29:58..3-9-13
A few years ago I never imagined I'd be where I am now. I'd always defined myself as a fat person, and it seemed everyone else did, too. For a long time I let what other people thought of me be more important than what I thought about myself. It's sad because I really believed I was destined to be obese forever. There were a lot of things I missed out on in my life, and time is gone that I can never get back. That will never happen again. I will continue to be healthy. Your health is so important, and I will never take mine for granted again.
My progression..325, 263, 230, 204, 182, 174
150 pounds lost face comparison
If you want some daily motivation and support, please visit my facebook page, From Fat to Fit, which I update as often as I can. You can do it, too! Don't give up.
Edited to add some people have told me the link doesn't work to my facebook page, not sure why...but if you go to Facebook and Type From Fat to Fit in the search box, it should come up.
If you want to see some of these pictures larger, you can visit my blogger blog The Singing Bird.