'I Just Wanted to Live My Life'

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Angela, a stay-at-home mom from Salem, Ore., used SparkPeople to lose 86 pounds--and gain a better life.

Angela, known as ANG76H, used SparkPeople to stay motivated over the last 2 1/2 years. Her story is featured in this month's Family Circle.

The 33-year-old mother of two took some time to answer some questions for the dailySpark as a way to inspire other members.

dailySpark: Why did you decide to lose weight?
Angela: I was also tired of feeling depressed about my weight and just wanted to live my life to its fullest! I wanted to set a good example for my two young girls.

dailySpark: What were your biggest challenges throughout your weight loss?
Angela: In the past, it was always a matter of sticking with it. I would start a diet and then stop the first time I messed up. Or else I would try to do too much at once and get overwhelmed. That's why I love SparkPeople so much. There is so much help and guidance, whether it be from the Coaches or fellow SparkFriends. Their encouragement keeps me going! I learned that it's OK to mess up as long as you learn from it and keep going. Never give up! You just have to keep working on it every single day. Make small changes in your quest for a healthy lifestyle and keep adding to them...and before you know it you will be at your goal!

dailySpark: Did you hit any plateaus? If so, how did you get over them?
Angela: Yes, I'm in one right now actually. It can be so frustrating, but you just have to keep at it, don't give up! Eventually the scale will catch up! I noticed that I still lost inches, even when the scale wasn't moving, just by being consistent with my eating and exercise.

dailySpark: What is a typical day like in terms of eating? What are your menu staples?
Breakfast: steel cut oats, blueberries, coffee
Snack: yogurt and hand full of almonds
Lunch: salad with lots of veggies & chicken breast
Snack: apple with peanut butter
Dinner: salmon, steamed veggie & quinoa or brown rice
Menu Staples would be fruits/veggies, almonds, low-fat cottage cheese, fish, chicken breast and Hershey's Bliss Dark Chocolate Squares.

dailySpark: How has your life changed since losing the weight?
Angela: I'm not depressed anymore, and I can keep up with my kids. I feel good about myself and feel like the young 33-year-old that I should! I was featured in the June issue of Family Circle for my weight loss and that was just so exciting. I loved hearing my girls say, "Wow, Mommy! You're in a magazine!"

dailySpark: What is your favorite way to indulge now?
Angela: Dark chocolate!

dailySpark: What role does fitness play in your life? How often do you work out?
Angela: I try to stay active every day. I run or walk 3-5 times a week and do strength training almost every day.

dailySpark: What advice would you have for someone who is just starting his or her healthy journey?
Angela: Don't ever give up! I know it's a lot of hard work, but it gets easier and is so worth it in the end! Make small changes towards living a healthy lifestyle and keep adding to them.

dailySpark: What is your biggest inspiration in life?
Angela: My husband, Riley. He has Type 1 diabetes and puts up with so much on a daily basis, shots, finger pricks, always having to be so careful about his blood sugar. I am hoping that by my getting healthy, he will make healthy changes too. I want us to be around for each other for a long time.

dailySpark: Now that you've lost the weight, what are your other life goals?
Angela: I really want to do more races this summer. I am training for a 5K. Had a minor setback with a major sinus infection these past three weeks, but I am ready to start training again.

dailySpark: Do you have any other advice for our dailySpark readers?
Angela: I love these two quotes! They've really helped me keep going.
"There's nothing you've ever been successful at that you didn't work on EVERY day." Will Smith
"It's easy to say you're too tired, too stressed, too busy, too this or too that. Too bad. The only way you'll strip away the fat is to start by stripping away the excuses." -- Dr. Oz & Dr. Roizen- You on A Diet

dailySpark: I know that you have two lovely daughters. What role did they play in your decision to be healthier?
Angela: My family definitely played a role in my desire to get healthy. I wanted to set a good example for my two young girls. I don't want them to have issues with their weight like I have from Jr. High on. I know my healthy lifestyle has rubbed off on them already, they will say, "Look Mom, I'm exercising!" as they run around the house or try to do push-ups. They are too cute!

How did Angela's story inspire you? Don't forget to pick up a copy of Family Circle to check out her story (it's on page 122)!