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LOBO1978_2000's Photo LOBO1978_2000 SparkPoints: (35,735)
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1/24/08 12:44 P

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Here is another motvation story I found.

If someone had asked Kelly Pless to describe herself three years ago, the word "fit" would have never crossed her mind.

Kelly Pless weighed 220 pounds at her heaviest. She lost 95 pounds through diet and exercise.

For most of her adult life, the 31-year-old graduate student from Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, has struggled with her weight. She started gaining as a teenager and by the time she graduated from high school, she was carrying 215 pounds on her 5' 2" frame.

Prom, she says, was a nightmare.

"I had to go to three different stores to buy a dress," Pless said. "I had to buy the biggest, also the ugliest, prom dress the store had because it was the only one that would fit."

After high school, she lost 50 pounds. But because she hadn't done it in a healthy way, her weight crept back up to 220 pounds.

At 28, she started having trouble breathing and doctors told her the weight was to blame. She reached her breaking point.

"I remember being heavy and feeling like being fit just wasn't something I could be," said Pless. "I remember feeling like even if I tried, it wasn't something my body was capable of."

Despite her doubts, Pless decided to do something. Fortunately she didn't have to look far for inspiration.

"My manager at the Kennedy Space Center ran marathons, and he was the same age as my father," she said. Because her own father had diabetes and was in poor health, he seemed much older, she said.

Over the next three to four months, she began walking, without any real goal or expectation. Pless believed that if she just focused on eating less and moving more, everything would fall into place.

"At first, it was hard to start exercising because I was worried people would make fun of me," Pless said. "But then I just told myself, if that's the worst that could happen ... I just got out there and didn't care."

Eventually, she started to run or "shuffle" as she jokingly recalls. She also adopted an "eat to live" philosophy and satisfied her cravings for sweets by eating lots of fruit.

"I changed how I felt about food and what it meant to me," said Pless, who occasionally indulges in a bite of birthday cake or a piece of chocolate.

"One of the first things I cut out was cakes and cookies. That was my weak spot. After a few months of cutting those things out, I focused more on portion control," said Pless. "I pretty much eat when I'm hungry and don't eat when I'm not and really try to pay attention to when those times are. Make sure I'm not eating out of boredom or [at] social events, I try to make sure I'm not overeating, just because everyone else is."

Pless pays close attention to societal pressure, which she believes is the reason many people overeat. Restaurant servings are about three times bigger than a normal portion size, she says. She makes sure she doesn't overeat when dining out simply because the food is there.

"What's hard is to change how you feel about foods that you love or that aren't necessarily good for you, or actually change how you look at food. That was the hardest part for me."

Instead of giving in to the temptation or convenience of calorie-laden or fatty foods such as cheeseburgers from the drive-through, Pless asks herself, "What do I really want to eat? Or, what does my body really want right now?"

All of the hard work and determination paid off. Pless has lost 95 pounds and kept it off for 1½ years. As a result, she says, she's healthier and more confident.

She's also set a new professional goal -- to pursue a doctorate in food and exercise psychology -- so she can help others who are battling obesity and eating disorders.

"[The] negative side to weight loss is that people treat people differently. Being fat was a good filter -- I'm automatically treated better by people because I'm thinner. Society is so hard on people who are overweight or obese," said Pless. "Now, those people think I'm funnier or smarter."

Pless runs about 40 miles a week while she trains for two marathons she plans to run this winter. The first is in November in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the second is in Miami, Florida, in January.


Forty pounds ago, the first thing she wanted to do once she lost the weight was to have a tummy tuck to remove all of the loose skin. But now, she said she can't imagine taking the break from running that recovering from surgery would require.

"Running has become a constant for me and does so much more for me than maintain my weight, which is now about 125 pounds," said Pless.

If her past is any indication of her future success, Pless will certainly cross the finish line.



"Fight the Fat!" ,"Eye of the Tiger!",“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”


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MISSWASHUU's Photo MISSWASHUU SparkPoints: (0)
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1/23/08 12:00 P

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AWESOME idea Lobo. Unfortunately, I can't add anything. It's not others who motivate me - rather it is small things I see within myself. I hope some of our other members can add to this

A hawk selects its prey as carefully as a falcon. Stalks it with the same unerring conviction. And fails as frequently - which is never.

I choose, I commit, I pursue, I adhere, I attain. And that, is an absolute.


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LOBO1978_2000's Photo LOBO1978_2000 SparkPoints: (35,735)
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1/22/08 2:05 P

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I though that since one of the goals we can set is reading motivational stories I would like this post be of stories that inspire us to lose weight.

CNN) -- When Maggie Sorrells looks at her husband, Andy, she doesn't see the man she married. In fact, most days, she doesn't even recognize herself.


Maggie and Andy Sorrells weighed 440 pounds and 505 pounds, respectively, at their heaviest.

Before the Franklin, Tennessee, couple met online, both had endured lifelong struggles with weight and emotional overeating. Together, they had a combined weight of nearly 1,000 pounds.

Maggie, who had a family history of heart disease and diabetes, had been warned by her doctor at the age of 27 that she wouldn't live to see 30. But her real moment of truth came when she visited her mother in the hospital.

"The biggest shock of my entire life was stepping on a hospital scale and realizing I weighed 440 pounds," she recalls.

Until that moment, Maggie says she never knew how much she weighed, because she was too heavy to register on a household scale.

Andy, like Maggie, tried countless diets but failed to keep the weight off. At his heaviest, he was 505 pounds and had to have most of his size 64 clothing made by his mother to fit his 6-foot-3-inch frame.

Obesity took an emotional and physical toll on the couple.

Maggie, on the other hand, tried to conceal her misery by making other people laugh.

"I was so depressed and so miserable. I was always the funny fat girl, but on the inside I was miserable," recalls Maggie. "It held me back in many ways and I started to accept it as being genetic and felt this was just the way I was going to be."

Though she never let her obesity keep her from traveling or socializing, it had affected her quality of life. Maggie had to use a seatbelt extension on airplanes and was once asked to get off a roller-coaster at an amusement park.

In August 2002, the couple was married and they soon made a decision that would forever change their lives.

Before getting married, a friend introduced Maggie to The Weigh Down Workshop, a faith-based weight loss program, which teaches people to conquer their addiction to food, as well as other substances and vices, by turning to God.

Maggie says she was never consistent or committed enough to stick with the program. But shortly after their wedding, the couple started packing on the pounds and while Andy tried another diet, Maggie gave Weigh Down another try.

"At the end of 2002 and the beginning of 2003, I called Weigh Down and started taking the classes," says Maggie. "My whole life, I had always wanted somebody to [lose weight] with me. But I knew if I wanted it bad enough, I would have to do it alone."

She began to lose weight.

"I ate whatever I craved, but only when I was truly hungry and then I ate a lot more slowly, so I could tell when to stop," Maggie says.

In February 2003, after seeing his wife's results, Andy stopped counting calories, gave up the low-fat foods and reduced his portion sizes. Fifteen months later, he had lost 257 pounds.

"Once I started this program, it changed my outlook on my entire life. I realized that being happy is a choice. I can either be filled with hate and despair or I can be happy," says Andy, who realized he no longer needed the anti-depressants.

Maggie's weight loss was more gradual. Shortly after starting the program, Maggie became pregnant with the couple's first child. Sadly, she lost the baby when she was seven months pregnant.

"Many of our family members were afraid that we would turn back to food after we lost our first daughter, since we had turned to food to solve our problems our whole lives," remembers Maggie.

Faith, she says, helped her overcome the loss and continue on the program. Three years later, she had not only lost 300 pounds but she also gave birth to another daughter, Lily. Last week, the couple welcomed their son, Jacob.


How has the weight loss changed their lives? Maggie, who now weighs 140 pounds and wears a size six, and Andy, who weighs 220 pounds and wears a size 36, say they had no idea their lives could be this good.

"It blows my mind that we look the way we do," says Maggie.

The couple shares their success and strategy for weight loss by leading online classes for Weigh Down. Maggie believes if just one person's life can be changed by her story then her struggle will have been worth it.

"I want people to know there is hope. I looked for hope my whole life," says Maggie. "I want that person who is just like the old me to look at where I am now and know that you want to be here!"


"Fight the Fat!" ,"Eye of the Tiger!",“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”


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