Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.


    GEMLADYONE   65,766
SparkPoints
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
 
 
A Journey from Obesity to Lean and Healthy - (2013 in Review)

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This month marks the one year anniversary of my return to Spark People and a commitment to do it right this time. I reached final goal this month and have transitioned to maintenance, so I wanted to recap the year’s progress. Anyone can do this, so I hope that maybe my story will encourage someone who is still thinking about doing it (as I was for 5 years previously).

Here’s what SP helped me do in 2013 (by the numbers):

Weight: 193 lbs to 120 lbs – shed 73 lbs (38%) !
BMI: 31.2 (obese) to 19.4 (healthy) !
Body Fat: 39.3% to 19.3% - cut in half !
emoticon
Chest: (8.0 in)
Waist: (13.5 in)
Hips: (9.5 in)
Thigh: (5.0 in)
Neck: (1.75 in)
Arm: (3.5 in)
Total lost: (41) inches !!

In 2013 I've logged over 3,000,000 steps and 1500 miles according to my Fitbit (which I love).

I’ve gone from a size 16 pants to size 4 and from XL tops to medium or small. My shoes fit once again (who knew your feet get fat too, LOL!). My rings and watches had to be sized down (twice during the year!)

But the best things aren’t really shown in the “numbers”, and honestly I saw many of these well before I got to final goal. Seeing how just a bit of progress improved my life was so important to keeping me motivated and determined to stay on track throughout the year. Here are some of the simple things that last year were impossible for me and that I now rejoice in:
• I can run and play with my grandsons (they get tired before I do!)
• Last year, I couldn’t walk a mile without being tired, with my feet hurting and wanting to rest. This year, I ran a 5K race in April (after only 4 months) and a 10K in December. In training I have done a half marathon distance, and have a 10 miler race scheduled for March 2014. I’m slower than a lot of people but I can finish and it feels good! I want to mention here that I’ve never run before in my life, and it was SP articles that gave me the idea and a dear Spark friend, (thanks GWINNER1), who convinced me that yes, at 49 years old and 190 pounds, I could start!
• I now regularly find that I’ve walked 10 or 15 miles in a day without even realizing it!
• On vacations in the mountains, I can hike any trail up or down, and any distance I want. I’m limited only by how much food and water I can carry and the daylight…woo hoo!
• I can go up 5 flights of stairs in my office (without stopping twice or more to rest), and can actually breathe normally when I get to the top!
• I spend a lot less money on food, and actually eat a lot more than I did before I learned how to change my diet.
• I don’t have to find excuses to not do the things I really want to just because I’m afraid I just can’t do them. I can walk any distance, and can go all day.
• I feel strong and confident in myself.
• I can do anything now!!

I’ve often been asked in the last 6 months by friends and co-workers “how did you do it”? The bottom line is that it is simple, but not easy. I started with a commitment and some small goals (that weren’t easy in the beginning) and kept adding new ones while learning how to make adjustments to my lifestyle to fit them all in. The SP plan gave me all the tools and information I needed both to start and to continue to progress along the path.

So, here’s the big secret of how to do it:
emoticon
All I did was make a decision that I wanted to start improving my diet and fitness. That’s it! I made tracking an absolute priority and set goals and schedules for myself that I could reach most of the time, adjusting them from time to time as I progressed. I’m not always at goal, but I always am honest about what I did manage to do. The quick start goals were a help in the beginning (drink water, get enough sleep, eat freggies, and track, track, track. The 5% challenges were a big part of keeping me accountable for meeting my goals during 2013, and I think they are an excellent way to learn to incorporate new healthy habits into your lifestyle.

I have tracked all my food every day without fail for the entire year. (This is the ONE thing I made non-negotiable for myself). In the beginning the goal was to find ways to stay in the SP recommended calorie range, and it wasn’t easy, nor did I manage it every day until I learned to make adjustments. Later I worked to also be in range for carbs, fat, protein and fiber. With all in balance, I find that everything works better. I had to figure out how to do it and still have the things I really wanted (ice cream most nights, etc.) and how to manage it while traveling for business (not easy but with some planning and creativity it CAN be done so no more excuses).

For fitness, I started tracking steps and other activities and set schedules and goals as I progressed. My step goal in January was 5,000 per day and I didn’t make it every day. Now it’s 10,000 per day and there are still days I’m short, but having a goal and working to get there each day is important. If you do it perfectly every day, it’s time to move it up! For me it was important to incorporate exercises that I can so at home, take when I travel and do anywhere (hotel rooms, a guest room when visiting, etc.) I used Zumba DVD’s and SP videos in the beginning along with walking and later on added running and a more comprehensive ST program that is nearly equipment free. You don’t need a gym membership or expensive machines to get and stay fit, there are lots of options available at little or no cost!

So, what’s next? My 2014 will be all about maintenance and enjoying life. I’ll keep tracking (it’s now a habit anyway) and stay in my new maintenance nutrition ranges. I have 2 races scheduled so far for 2014. I’ll stay active with the 5% challenges as a maintainer and will continue as the challenge leader of the Awesome A team, at least for the upcoming Winter challenge. I've changed my lifestyle and will never go back to where I was!

emoticon So, do you want to get healthier, lose weight, and be able to do what you want in life? A great quote from Coach Nancy says “Don't waste your time with ‘could've’, ‘would've’ or ‘should've’. Focus on ‘can,’ ‘will,’ and ‘do.’”

What are you waiting for?! SP gives you all the tools you need and 2014 can be your year! emoticon
SHARE
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECCA315 4/17/2014 8:13PM

    This was great! Thanks for sharing...

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAYBER 4/16/2014 12:11AM

    Thank you for sharing your progress it is inspirational and informative
Has motivated me to keep trying I can achieve
One day at a time
love prayers peace
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FREESIA15 4/13/2014 9:24AM

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARSHAN130 4/12/2014 12:13PM

    Awesome job! and a great inspiration.

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SASSYCO60 3/24/2014 12:22PM

    What a great inspiration for those just starting out, emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NASFKAB 3/22/2014 5:13AM

  AWESOME WAY TO GO

Report Inappropriate Comment
MCJULIEO 3/21/2014 8:37PM

    This is just what I needed to hear! Thanks!

Report Inappropriate Comment
COOLRAIN 3/13/2014 8:29PM

    You're an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LEANMEAN2 3/12/2014 6:02AM

    Congratulations! Good for you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NDKARIKARI 3/9/2014 7:33PM

    fantastic blog! can I ask what those 5% challenges are?


Report Inappropriate Comment
WRITINGDIVA1 3/9/2014 12:20AM

    Good for you! Congratulations!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLASHPINE 3/5/2014 9:02PM

    what an interesting story , just what i needed to reactivate me . thank you emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOYM51 3/5/2014 6:28PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LAINYC 3/3/2014 1:56PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ICANDOIT1220 3/1/2014 7:14PM

    Thanks for the motivation!!!! And, CONGRATULATIONS!!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOVEXAVIE 2/28/2014 11:20PM

  This was perfect! Thanks for sharing and congrats to you.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSIEMT 2/28/2014 12:15PM

    Good job! Woo Hoo to you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MRSRIGS1 2/27/2014 4:18PM

    Your blog is very encouraging! Thank you! Congratulations for all your success's!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAMAWSAUL 2/27/2014 4:01PM

    What an inspirational story. You did an awesome job. Congratulations on reaching your goal.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EVEERDEEVER 2/27/2014 10:50AM

    Such an inspiration!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PANIK257 2/26/2014 2:50PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MILPAM3 2/25/2014 6:56PM

  SUPERIOR WORK! SUPERIOR RESULTS!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEPT124 2/25/2014 11:53AM

    Wow, that is great! I really identified with your story. I'm training for a 5k in April (never ran before in my life). I too want to weigh 120 when it's all said and done. Thanks for sharing your story. It really inspired me and showed me that it is possible.

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
AALLEY2 2/25/2014 8:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon keep up the great work!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BABS4625 2/25/2014 5:14AM

  emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
STANSANGEL 2/24/2014 9:08PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATSON595 2/24/2014 4:12PM

    That is amazing. I had many distractions this year. The big one moving across the country. I hope I have the focused vision that you have to make the same accomplishment. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LLEIGHT67 2/24/2014 10:50AM

    You are truly an inspiration to me...thank you! WTG!! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
1GROVES2 2/24/2014 10:49AM

    Congratulations! I have got to get myself back into the mood and get a routine down! I lost 25lb the first 6 mon. I was on Sp, but then.....I hurt my foot & had to stay off my feet for nearly a yea rand at the same time I took on a new very stressful & seditary job....now to make myself work again!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANGELDELINKWENT 2/24/2014 8:45AM

    emoticon Your an inspiration to me!

Report Inappropriate Comment
AMANDACOETZER 2/24/2014 4:19AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MASE72 2/24/2014 4:14AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FINNLANA 2/24/2014 3:48AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWAN47 2/24/2014 1:17AM

    Thank you for sharing. I need some inspiration.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CETANISTAWI 2/24/2014 12:57AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUDDYDAGGERWING 2/23/2014 8:10PM

    What a wonderful life change. Congratulations on meeting your goals. Your story is very inspiring and I think the "secret" is inherent in your post...small changes add up to a big change and without self-discipline, it is impossible to meet your goals. The tracking of what we eat and when is a huge visual awakening.

All the best!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BABY77A 2/23/2014 7:23PM

    thanks for posting. well said.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CFPUNKIN 2/23/2014 2:51PM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing. It was well said and has given me a boost I needed for a challenging week coming up. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOALSETTER733 2/23/2014 9:59AM

    I am starting "again" with a new commitment to getting healthy and back to an active lifestyle. I sit most days at a computer and the last few years I've just quit trying. Your blog is so encouraging and inspiring to me! Thanks so much for going to the trouble to post it. It gives me such hope that I really, really can do this. Thank you! And congratulations on a job well done! That is truly awesome!

Report Inappropriate Comment
223DAISY 2/23/2014 9:38AM

    Thanks for the encouragement emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GERRYVIGUS 2/23/2014 8:57AM

  I love how you said "its simple but its not easy" I am going to put this up on my board to rememeber emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WRITERWANNAB 2/23/2014 12:19AM

    You've done a wonderful job! Congratulations! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRATEFUL_DAWN 2/22/2014 11:50PM

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Your success gives me hope.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SPORTSMOM_OF_2 2/22/2014 10:14PM

  What an encouraging story. You are an inspiration to many people. Good luck on your races. I'm sure you'll do as great as you have in your weight loss journey! Thank you for your story. emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LUCKYBUG29 2/22/2014 10:00PM

  You are such an inspiration to me and to others. I thank you for sharing your success with others on SP. I agree that the key to success is knowing exactly what and how much goes into your mouth. The reason that I have given up in the past is the entering food part. I do not have a smart phone, mine is somewhat of a dino.

Wishing you further success on your journey to maintenance !!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CLAUD1313 2/22/2014 7:46PM

    Your story inspired me. But do tell how you balanced carbs, protein, etc.
Thank you,
Claudine

Report Inappropriate Comment
MRSKATEDUVALL 2/22/2014 5:26PM

    congratulations

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEAUTIFUL_REINA 2/22/2014 5:23PM

    I'm so encouraged, by your blog. Thank you for sharing it!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MICHELE142 2/22/2014 5:20PM

   
Awesome and very well out! Work hard an maintain that maintenance weight!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLONDIE218145 2/22/2014 4:51PM

    I really needed to read this today. Ty

Report Inappropriate Comment

Add Your Comment to the Blog Post


Log in to post a comment.
Member Comments Page (415 total):  1 2 3 Next > Last >>