A Shocking Diagnosis Leads to Big Health Decisions*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
This blog is a featured "SparkStory," one of the classic posts from our members that provides support, encouragement and inspiration to the SparkPeople Community.

SparkPeople Member:  SHADOWSPARK

I can only describe the feeling as being in a state of shock. I was leaving the doctor's office after learning that I weighed 275 pounds, my cholesterol numbers were high and I was entering the range of being a borderline diabetic. Worse yet, I was holding a prescription for a cholesterol-lowering medication that the doctor had highly recommended I take. 

Driving around after the appointment, I knew I had to make some changes. I did not want to be overweight; I did not want high cholesterol; I did not want to take a prescription medication; I especially did not want to develop diabetes. I came to the conclusion that if I was serious about these concerns, I would have to commit to making the lifestyle changes that would be necessary. 

So, I made a decision--I would do whatever was necessary to get healthy. That afternoon, I went for a walk. I avoided the large Cherry Coke I was planning to drink and turned to water, instead. I started watching my portion sizes during meals. Then, my brother told me about SparkPeople. 

My journey with SparkPeople started in April. I set up my account and explored the myriad of tools offered. I set up my goals and used the Nutrition Tracker to establish my daily range and learn how much of an impact certain foods had on my daily values. My initial goal was to be at or below 225 pounds by October. 

I only needed to strictly log my eating habits for about a month. During that time, I learned what foods were beneficial and which ones I needed to limit or avoid. I found it amazing that during the journey, I actually started losing my cravings for heavy, fatty and overly sweet foods, and started developing cravings for fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats. I reached a point where I actually preferred water to other beverages. 

I started taking a walk every single day. Sometimes my walks were short, sometimes they were longer, but I made it a point to get out there daily. I also concentrated on keeping myself moving. Instead of sitting idle watching television, I would shake my legs, move my torso, run in place or do some form of calisthenics. 

The pounds started coming off at a steady rate. Success breeds success, and each successful week made me excited about maintaining the program over the next week. I had a couple of weekly weights where I gained a small amount, but didn't let that discourage me and have since learned that this is a normal part of a long-term weight loss plan.

By October, I weighed in at 222 pounds, three pounds under my goal weight. Exactly 26 weeks after my doctor's appointment, I had lost 53 pounds. People have marveled at my success and have asked me for my "secret" for losing that kind of weight over a relatively short period of time. The bottom line--I made a decision. Even though I did not have a plan for how at the time, I decided that no matter what, I was going to do whatever it took to get healthy. 

SparkPeople was a big help on this journey, but most importantly--if I could do it, you can do it! 

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