Love Motivated Donde to Change Her Lifestyle (and Drop 56 Pounds)!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Name: Donde Moore
Username: DawnDMoore40
Amount of weight lost: 56
Hometown: Marquette Heights, IL
Occupation: Assistant Manager
Age: 43
Donde Moore found the support she needed at SparkPeople to lose 56 pounds before her wedding. She longed to be a beautiful bride and achieved her goal by carefully tracking her food and exercising at home. She still uses the free resources at SparkPeople to maintain her weight without breaking her budget.

What was your "light bulb moment" that made you get serious about losing the weight? When I was 40 years old, my boyfriend asked me to marry him! I was so excited! That is when I found the one goal that really made me want to make changes--when I got fitted for my wedding dress. I had always seen these pictures of women who looked stunning in their dresses and I wanted the same for my wedding day! I decided to research articles about how to exercise and how important it is to keep your carbs, calories and proteins in balance! I never realized there was such a formula to not only dropping pounds, but also losing the fat! I wanted to join a weight-loss program, but I didn't want to have to pay with a credit card and I didn't want to have to attend meetings every week. One day I was typing in "weight loss" on the computer, and that is when the website came up!

Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey: When I was young, my parents and I would always eat pretty healthy because my father was already overweight. We would try different recipes and we would try to eat the right foods and exercise. When I was 29 and had my son, I got on the scale and I weighed 196 pounds. That was the most I had every weighed! I knew I had to kick it into gear if I wanted to make changes in my body. I would exercise and try and eat right, but nothing I did seemed to make the fat leave my body. I wanted to be able to see real changes. The older I got, the more I realized that while I was losing weight, I wasn't seeing the big transformation I was looking for.

I found so many wonderful resources after signing up for SparkPeople. I began tracking all my food and nutrients. The nutrition tracker calculated my carbohydrates, calories and proteins and helped me know where I needed to be every day. It was great to finally have some accountability! There are so many great people on the site that have the same desires and they really want to help you. I still continue to use SparkPeople to maintain my weight. I am forever grateful!

Did you encounter any obstacles during your journey and, if so, how did you deal with them? I did hit plateaus from time to time, but instead of being frustrated and giving up, I would ask for advice from other SparkPeople members, and they would tell me to change up my workout or get a heart rate monitor so I knew for sure how many calories I was burning. I just tried different things until I found what worked for me!

What tools, routines and habits did you find most helpful to stay motivated? I found that the Nutrition Tracker, Blogs and different SparkTeams are what helped keep me accountable and working towards my goals!

What is your typical exercise routine like? I work out 7 days a week. I will change up my workouts so that I am constantly challenging my body with cardio, strength training, plyometric, etc. I usually do strength training 2-3 times a week and have one day that I do Yoga so that I can give my body a rest. I recently joined a gym, so now I have other types of exercises I can do in between my home workouts. I love to run when the weather is nice outside!

How would you describe your typical diet now as compared to before your weight loss? My diet consists more of foods that are high in protein and fiber so that I stay full. I took all of the junk food out of my house so that I would not be tempted to eat it. Also, I think it's important to eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. I try really hard to get in at least 5 servings a day! I monitor my salt intake. Also, I get in plenty of water each day!

What advice would you give to someone just beginning a weight loss program? I would say start out slow! I would set small goals that are attainable so that you're not setting goals that you might not be able to achieve! Also, the scale is not the only thing that determines your success because it's all about how your clothes fit and how you feel! Remember what works for others, doesn't always work for you!

Did you experience any other benefits in addition to losing weight? My relationship changed with my grandson because I had the energy to want to play with him and keep up with him! I also realized that once I felt better, the rest of my life was in balance! You just get this overall sense of joy about how you feel, and it gave me the motivation to accomplish other things in my life that I had put aside for so long! Also, it improved my sleeping habits which in turn improved my sleep apnea.

How has your life changed since losing weight and improving your health? I just look at life with a new attitude and I always feel good about the fact that I am healthy and don't have to worry about not being around for my family!
We are so glad you found our tools and content helpful in reaching your goals! How about you? Are you taking full advantage of all that SparkPeople has to offer?
Have you lost weight and kept it off using We'd love to share your story. Email us: sparkpeoplesuccess (at) gmail (dot) com