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Motivation Articles  ›  Inspiring Stories

''100 Pounds Lost, 10 Lessons Learned''

How I Did It, in My Own Words

-- By Chasity Schoonover, SparkPeople Member since 2007
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Editor's Note: After losing more than 100 pounds with SparkPeople, we asked Chasity (CHASITY_ANN) to share her story with you! Her amazing before and after photos are also featured in our New York Times Best-Selling book, The Spark, and in a recent spread in First for Women magazine!

If you’d told me two years ago that I’d be writing an article about health and fitness, I would have laughed until I was blue in the face. Years of poor eating habits and a dislike of physical activity had helped me pack more than 250 pounds on my 5' 2" frame. Growing up, my parents occasionally tried to encourage me to eat healthier and play outside more, but it was a battle—one that this strong-willed girl always won. They constantly reminded me that I was special and loved regardless of my size, and I knew that to be true. While I wasn’t terribly happy about being as large as I was, it never held me back from doing things that I truly wanted to do.

On January 6, 2007, my brother made a decision that would change my life. Our family is very close, yet he and I tend to be more than a little competitive. Shane announced that he had decided to lose 15 pounds by March. I had been considering an attempt to tackle my weight issues, and his announcement lit the necessary fire underneath me. The race was on! With the help of SparkPeople, I began to learn about health, nutrition, portion control and, yes, the dreaded exercise. SparkPeople helped me choose a reasonable weight-loss goal and did the calculations to tell me how much food I should eat every day to lose weight while still staying full and fueled.

My mantra became “Eat less, move more.” I was still philosophically opposed to any formal exercise, but I found that walking briskly through the mall had nearly the same effect as walking around a track (as long as there weren’t any good sales!). Parking farther away from the doors at the grocery store increased the distance that I walked every day and it’s not so difficult to lift weights if you can do it while watching “American Idol.” (And yes, three-pound weights count.) The trick isn’t to start a strict, regimented, complicated program; the trick is simply to START!

With the moral support of my family, friends, co-workers (thanks, Wichita!) and SparkPeople, I have now lost 110 pounds. For the first time in my life, I feel GREAT! I joined the YMCA and I actually enjoy spending a few nights a week strengthening and toning the body that I have slowly uncovered during the past 20 months.
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