Motivation Articles

Could You Lose 626 Pounds? *

With the Right Support System, You Might Be Able to As Well!

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When Ann joined SparkPeople over two years ago, she was just looking for a user-friendly food tracker. She never imagined that everything else she found here would become such an important part of her weight loss journey.

Ann considers herself to be a very private person and was skeptical that posting on the Message Boards or getting involved in the other Community features would help her reach her goals. "But SparkPeople persisted, urging me to use the Message Boards. I began by lurking, and then made a couple of timid posts. The more I lurked and posted, the clearer the potential of the Message Boards became for me," she says. Ann started a thread to find others who were interested in a no-nonsense, no-excuse, no-whining approach to weight loss who could share strategies and offer encouragement. She met eight other people who were also interested in this approach. They formed a SparkTeam and together they’ve lost over 626 pounds.

In their private SparkTeam, this small group from all over the world felt free to talk about all the things that worked for them, annoyed them, or got in their way. They wanted privacy to exchange ideas, examine behaviors, complain, or vent without worry about hurting other people’s feelings.

Their group is as interesting as they are diverse:
  • Ann (MERLINANDME) is a retired, 65-year-old school administrator who has lost more than 100 pounds.
  • GRANT_ME_WINGS is a 20-something MD/PhD candidate in Boston who has lost 103 pounds.
  • VEGGIEHEATHER, a 30-something woman, works in finance in Canada and has lost 111 pounds by watching what she eats and walking.
  • FERRET-EYES is an office manager and grandmother from Colorado who has lost 64 pounds tracking her nutrition and working out in her home gym;
  • MIRBAH, an artist from Texas, has lost 62 pounds by heading out for walks with her camera in hand.
  • TSEGOUIN is an au pair from Canada who has lost 35 pounds.
  • BUDDHARUNNER is a medical tech from San Francisco who has lost 48 pounds.
  • ANAUTHOR is a novelist from San Diego (she has a book coming out in December) who keeps her numbers to herself but walks and tracks like the rest of the group.
  • TONKASMOM is a young technology specialist from Boston who works out with a personal trainer and hikes with her dogs, which has helped her lose 60 pounds.
The group uses their Team to share tips about weight loss and exercise. Many of them post their nutrition and exercise trackers so others can look at them and offer advice about what they are doing wrong or get clues about what they are doing right. The two in the group who work with exercise professionals share everything they learn from their trainers—when to eat, what to eat, when to speed up exercise, when to back off exercise. They complain about things that get in their way and then tell each other how to circumnavigate the obstacles. They share recipes and, maybe most importantly, they talk about how far they've come. "We recognize we are on a lifelong journey. We feel genuine joy for one another’s accomplishments because we all feel like we are a part of them. We urge each other on when the going gets tough, and we wave the checkered flag at every lap we finish in victory," says Ann.
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About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, medical exercise specialist and behavior change specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

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  • Wow! I would love to find a team like this! I am inspired! - 4/24/2014 8:17:38 PM
  • God bless you all on this journey we all share. (I can't control the gremllin that puts the wrong letter down...I tried to edit my last comment...couldn'
    t) - 10/31/2013 9:28:56 AM
  • Gos bless you all on this journey we all share. - 10/31/2013 9:26:59 AM
    This is a wonderful article that shows the power of motivation. Everyone needs a little help, a little push and a safe haven to vent frustration. This group will start a trend on Sparkpeople that will go on forever. - 3/4/2013 7:54:26 PM
  • A moving and motivational story. You are all very fortunate to have one another. :) - 3/4/2013 5:25:38 PM
  • Nice to read that others are working toward a more fit and healthy lifestyle.
    There are countless stories here on Spark about fantastic weight loss.
    There are also some great teams that give one another the support and encouragement they need. One of my teams 60 and over with 100-200 lbs to lose, they are the most supportive I have ever known.
    Could I lose 626 lbs ? Yes if I had too, I lost 200 lbs.
    When you reach the bottom, there are no more excuses, you have only one way to go, climb out of the pit of obesity and once and for all live your life as it should be lived.
    Congrats for their private team. But congrats to all Spark members who have taken the first step and continue to keep on steppin'. - 3/4/2013 11:39:26 AM
  • In the photo, I'd love to see 'normal' sized people. I looked at each of the people listed. I know for privacy you would not put their photos, but how about people who were successful --but not sized two!

    Chris - 3/4/2013 10:53:50 AM
  • Great article! Congrats everyone! - 3/4/2013 9:05:10 AM
  • This is a very touching and wonderful article! - 11/20/2009 10:00:32 PM
  • What a great team! - 11/16/2009 12:45:28 AM
  • Great article! - 9/13/2009 3:38:04 PM
  • I Loved this story! Almost envy those on that special team. But I have lots of Spark Friends and do value each and every one! - 8/20/2009 11:28:54 PM
  • It sounds like they have something very special. I'm always heartened by how supportive the environment here is. Congrats to all of you! - 8/20/2009 7:04:59 AM
  • Very motivating. Congrats top All! WooHoo! - 8/20/2009 1:54:45 AM

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