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! 

Click here to share your thoughts on this post.

Click here to read more SparkStories.

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

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MALASPI1 10/18/2020
Way to go! Report
WOW... Report
CECELW 10/18/2020
WOW!! That is wonderful. Congratulations Report
AZMOMXTWO 10/18/2020
thank you Report
DGRIFFITH51 10/18/2020
Knowing how many calories we are eating and what foods we need to eat to balance out the macros really makes a difference. Thanks for sharing your story. Report
I, too, would like an update on this Spark member. Thank you. Report
JUNEPA 10/18/2020
Great success story !!
This is a 5 year old blog - how is Shadow Spark doing today? Report
CECTARR 10/18/2020
Good for you! Report
MAREE1953 10/18/2020
These inspirational stories never get old, do they? As a maintainer of a mere 20 lb weight loss, though, which I find a challenge to keep off, I am always interested if/how the author maintained that glorious goal! Report
NEPTUNE1939 10/18/2020
ty Report
NASFKAB 10/18/2020
good Report
BONNIE1552 10/18/2020
It does start with a decision - not just interest, but a solid decision. Report
RCLYKE 10/18/2020
Great job Report
JANIEWWJD 10/18/2020
Good for you!!! Stay healthy because our lives depend on it!!! Report
KITTYHAWK1949 10/18/2020
Thank you for sharing Report
Another story that is 4 years old, if they were updated I would find them more inspiring particularly when the persons page is abandoned

Inspirational Report
SNUZYQ2 4/9/2020
Wow...amazing! I really enjoyed reading your story. Well done! Report
PASQUALE51 1/14/2020
Congrats! Report
it take a determination to reach your goal, wonderful story... Report
Love reading the success stories and what started the journey. Report
Being relatively young & male makes the weight loss journey easier. I think losing 53 lbs in a year is more realistic for most people.
High cholesterol is largely genetics so that is not as important whereas diabetes is primarily diet driven. Report
Thanks for sharing this. I was encouarged... Report
Well done! It is always so wonderful to read about the results that can be achieved when we are motivated. Reading stories like yours help the rest of us stay on course! Report
This is where I am at too. Other than diabetes part. Found out just about a month ago, high cholesterol & meds. I am saying no to the meds too. Adding cholesterol lowering foods to my day, exercise 4-5days a week, and tracking tracking tracking. My goal is 25lbs by Jan 1st 2019. Report
This is where I am at too. Other than diabetes part. Found out just about a month ago, high cholesterol & meds. I am saying no to the meds too. Adding cholesterol lowering foods to my day, exercise 4-5days a week, and tracking tracking tracking. My goal is 25lbs by Jan 1st 2019. Report
Needed this today. Feeling defeated. Will start tomorrow to track better for 1 month to find my food plan. Report
Great inspiration, we reach a point where enough is enough Report
Nice spark Report
Great job Report
Thank you for sharing. Report
I am so inspired. Congratulations on your weight loss and cheers to you. Report
Stories like this ones inspire me...a decision - not even a plan. The decision comes first. Report
I wonder how they are doing today? Report
Props to you for stepping up, taking accountability and making changes. You are an inspiration. Report
Thank you for sharing your story. Report
Great article. What a motivational and moving story. Congratulations on your journey so far. I am motivated and inspired! Report
Great story! Congratulations!!! I read somewhere that when the mind decides, the body follows. Great job taking control of you health. Report
Good for you! Report
Great story. Thank you for sharing and congratulations! Report
Thank you for sharing. Report
Way to go! It helps to push me along as it is proof it can be done. Keep up the good work... Report
Congratulations on taking matters into your own hands and doing what had to be done. Your story is inspirational!!! Report
I'm so happy for you. Your weight loss journey is inspirational. Report
Definitely inspirational! Report
I love that you lost all that weight just by walking. That's an exercise plan that most people could easily adopt, including me. Thanks for the inspiration. Report
Great blog! You are an inspiration. Report
Congrats. You are truly an inspiration Report
I was in the same boat minus the high blood pressure and diabetes. Though I'm sure if I kept down the same path it wouldn't have been far off. It's amazing how making small changes can make such a big difference. It's a lot about being determined to make a change and not giving up...ever. Great job!! Glad your brother shared Sparkpeople with you. I try and spread the spark when and where I can. Report
Your story is such an inspiration. Like you, my goal is to lose weight and avoid the cholesterol lowering drugs. I'm encouraged to continue with my struggle as I read your story. Thank you for sharing! Report