Down 143 Pounds, Ann Shares Her Story*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Editor's Note: EMMABE1 has lost 143 pounds and counting with SparkPeople. Ann, who is from Australia, recently answered ~INDYGIRL's questions via email.
~INDYGIRL: What was your a-ha moment when you decided to finally lose the weight?
EMMABE1: As far as one single a-ha moment – I really didn’t have one! It sort of snuck up on me.  There was a huge media blitz on "healthy living" and this maybe had some effect. I was also having problems with osteoarthritis in my knees and ankles, so my doctor was talking "knee replacement."  The risks were too high at that weight; however I knew that one day the time would come.  With weight loss, healthy eating and exercise, I have managed to stop all pain in my knees and at this time, replacement is definitely "off" indefinitely!

~INDYGIRL: How much weight have you lost?
EMMABE1: 65 kg (143 lb approx.) I had lost 35 kg (77 lb approx.) in the 7 yrs before joining SparkPeople, but was just "fiddling about" reducing the amount of food and calories I was eating, but not changing my lifestyle.  Consequently I was still wearing the same size clothes despite the weight loss, and because of this I was totally fed up with what I viewed as yet another failed attempt. Then in 2009, I was pointed towards SparkPeople.  In the last 2 1/2 yrs I have lost 30kg (66 lb approx.) but also I have lost a total of 70" off my body from changing my lifestyle.

~INDYGIRL: What made this time different in your mind?
EMMABE1: At first it wasn’t! I was very skeptical that this would work after a lifetime of failed attempts.  The mental change was gradual. At first I hated disturbing my day by getting up and moving, staggering through one exercise in pain, but then the inches started falling off, and as they did the support from the site members increased.  Gradually, "I can’t" became "maybe," then "I will."

~INDYGIRL: What did you do differently this time?

Exercise has never figured in any of the many weight loss programs I have attempted before; they all worked on lowering calories and starving.
Track my foods
Planning in advance and tracking to ensure that the macronutrients and calories are balanced works well for me.  

Increase the amount of vegetables we eat, particularly green leafy veggies and low carbohydrate vegetables.
Portion Control
At the start I was amazed by how little a portion was, having gotten used to large meals. These days I use small plate for meals and find the amount I eat is plenty to keep me full.

~INDYGIRL: How did SparkPeople help?
EMMABE1: The myriad of articles, weight loss tools, information and support available and freely given has made it easy.

~INDYGIRL: Were there any tools that were especially helpful?
EMMABE1: The Nutrition Tracker – I always plan meals for the next day on the day before, though I plan our main meals up to a month ahead. By planning in advance, I can save a lot of money and ensure they are balanced within my calorie allowance – after all, it’s too late after you have eaten the food and then discover you are over calories or unbalanced!

~INDYGIRL: What foods are your go to foods now?
Water – if I am hungry or late preparing a meal, I will have a glass of water. That often takes me to the next planned meal or gives me time to prepare food.
Canned tuna – always in the pantry – use for salads, and a great tasting and very quick Tuna Curry.
Healthy muffins are often in the freezer – my favorite ones – Savory Muffins.

~INDYGIRL: What exercises are your favorites?
EMMABE1: Zumba – I love the rhythm, and because I can do it! I do it at Curves, but also have a DVD set I use at home. I use Chair Exercises often too.  I do Chair Yoga 3 or so times a week, and often get up early and do a Chair Dance DVD before I start the day. I go to Curves 3 times a week now, but for 18 months I only did Chair Exercises, and it is from doing them that I am now able to cope with Curves and do Zumba.

~INDYGIRL: I know you run the Chair Exercise Team, can you tell me more about that?

EMMABE1: There are a plethora of great exercise video links on SparkPeople, however there are a section of society who are unable to use those exercises for many reasons.

Anyone who is handicapped by physical problems, or who is very obese has particular problems with mobility that often prevents any form of standing or walking exercise.

Also people who are excessively overweight have mostly been living a sedentary life often for a time, and the idea of exercise, even of moving much at all, can be totally daunting.
Because the leaders have all been obese, and have physical problems of their own they understand these problems so they can gently guide the members and encourage regular movement that can be done seated, in the safety of their home. That can vary from stretches, through strength, to Chair Dancing and Chair Yoga.

In many cases members start with Chair Exercises and then continue on to "main stream" exercises because the Chair exercises have given them the mobility and flexibility to be able to cope with other forms of exercise.  Others find they get a great workout from Chair Exercises and don’t need other exercise!  Having said this, we have a number of other members too, who find that Chair Exercises solve their exercise requirements, maybe for exercise they can do at their desk, or in their lunch time, or while the children are asleep, or even with the children who love dancing along to the music, as well.

~INDYGIRL:  What advice do you have for those out there wanting to lose weight?

EMMABE1:  To do it! Don’t put it off, thinking you will start next week or next year, waiting for "the right time" because the "right" time never comes – life always gets in the way! Do it for yourself, for your own reasons, but know that once you have made the change to healthy living you will never look back and you will always wonder why you didn’t do it earlier!
Have you put off losing weight for "The right time?"

*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program. 

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


YANDI4LIFE 2/14/2021
Thanks for sharing Report
PLCHAPPELL 11/12/2020
Great story Report
CHERYLHURT 9/29/2020
Great Report
Great story. Thanks for sharing Report
EVIE4NOW 4/25/2020
Congratulations. You motivate me. Report
You are such an inspiration! Keep the Spark flowing! I still do chair exercises when pain interferes with my regular routine. I love chair yoga! Let's keep moving. Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
Wow...amazing story well told. Thanks so much fir the tips! Report
Thank you for sharing! Report
Thank you for sharing your story. It inspires me. Report
I went from chair exercise to walking regularly, and I do water aerobics when I have access to a pool. You are right. Habits must be changed. I've lost and kept off 100+ pounds. Sometimes I slip, but Sparkpeople is right there for me to ensure success! Report
Hi Ann!! My old screen name was Dianesmiles. I was on your team for a bit. I kept breaking my foot so I left the team. BUT thanks to your example and care I KNEW I could do this!!

I'm now 120+ pounds lighter and now walk 3+ miles at a time with no problem. Amazing. Its those of you who encouraged me that helped me continue on

I do still have many physical issues but they're so much easier to handle now. Great to read of your success!! Congrats hon and again, TY!! Report
I never even thought of looking up chair exercises! I sit all day at work plus during 2 1/2 hours a day commuting. I am looking forward to trying them at work. Thanks for the idea! Report
thank you for sharing Report
Always inspiring to reread this favorite! Report
Great inspiration for me. I have had trouble with motivation. Thank you. Report
Great inspiration for me. I have had trouble with motivation. Thank you. Report
Thanks for the inspirational article! Report
What an inspiration! Great job getting the weight off. You look wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Report
Thanks for the story. I hadn't realized you have a chair excercise group. I have so much to learn about this website. I been doing chair excercises because I loose my balance at times I like having the safety net close by. From your story we have much in comment. Thanks so much for sharing..... Report
I am in awe of you! Report
Thank you for sharing your story!! Report
Thank you for sharing your story!! Report
what an inspiration you are Report
Great job. Thanks for being such an inspiration for others. Report
Congratulations on your accomplishments! Glad you can motivate others. Well thought out healthy strategies too! Report
Thank you so much for writing and Congratulations on your achievements Report
You have inspired me. Thank you for your incredible story. You show us it can be done if we are consistent in what we do. Report
I applaud you. I know it was hard and you probably wanted to give up but you stuck in there and it paid off. Keep exercising and you will feel even better. Much love. Report
Congrats. You are great and inspiring! Keep it going! Report
You are an inspiration. Way to go. Report
You go girl keep it going. Report
Congratulations on all your success! You deserve the very best! Report
Wonderful Job. Wow that is so awsome. I am so proud of you that you havn't givin up. You have inspired me just like lots others on here. I am so proud to have found sparkpages. I have over lbs to lose and hopefully can be done by next year sometimes. I have already quit smoking and drinking caffine this last year so now on to being a healthier me. Thanks for sharing your story. Report
Thank You for your sharing. It is a blessing I stumbled on this today. I have been feeling so alone on my journey. You are an inspiration Report
Wow, how amazing. You brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy for you and moved to try to make the same changes in myself. Report
thanks for being a great inspiration to others. i love how you started out with chair exercise and my mom has no more excuses! Report
Thanks for your honest answers. You are truly an inspiration!!! Report
Wow! Hard work does pay off! Way to Go! Report
Thanks for sharing this. I am going to take your advice and stop waiting. Report
Congratulations. You are an inspiration to all of us. Report
You are awesome and inspiring! Report
What an inspiration!! Thank you so much for publishing your own story. So many people are in the same shape. I want to lose at least 150 pounds but have a lot of pain in my legs and breathing problems. Having some support while walking would help me tremendously and I checked into getting a rollator. I tried one out in the store but the handles do not come up as high as I would like and the seat will no where near hold my weight. So it's back trying to walk a little each day.

Thanks again for this post.

Susan Report
Thank you! I am so proud of you. YOU ROCK!!! Keep on sparkin...!! Report
WOW! EMMABE1, You have inspired me beyond belief! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Report
I am so happy for you. You look amazing. I am so pleased to have found this blog. It is encouraging me at a point of time when I am having some issues of being disappointed in myself for back sliding. It is so much work to get it off and so fast to put it back on. Well, onward and downward. Report
Congratulations! And thanks for sharing! You really are an inspiration! Report
You are an inspiration to us all!! Keep up the good work!!!! Report
Amazing - what a transformation. Your story is so inspiring for two reasons 1) You did it and 2) it was a process - the weight loss did not happen overnight. I need to hear that because sometimes I get discouraged and think it wouldn't happen but I do know this time I am not giving up.

Thank-you for sharing your story - you are a inspiration to many ESPECIALLY me!!

Purrrpy Report