At SparkPeople, we love helping people accomplish big goals—but we believe it's equally important to celebrate the small successes along the way. Each week in the Spark Spotlight, we'll in with a featured member about his or her proudest moments, biggest challenges and advice for others on living, thinking and feeling healthier. We hope these quick snapshots will help motivate you to keep moving steadily toward your own goals, week by week.
This Week's Spotlight: Dawn (PENNYLANE15)
Location: Levittown, PA
Dawn's Small Success of the Week"Celebrating five years of 100-pound weight loss!"
What's your overall goal?
To just feel better and be able to live life. I spent almost my entire life just feeling like utter crap, both physically and mentally. I just wanted to change that. And now, years later, I'm so thankful to myself for not only doing, it but keeping myself here.
How is SparkPeople helping you get there?
SparkPeople has helped me every single day for years. Whether it's logging my food to stay on track or even logging it on days when I'm so off track that I've got to find a map to get back, logging food helps to hold me accountable. Seeing a bad day literally broken down in front of me makes it real, and that also means I can change it. I can see the mistake and brush myself off and move forward. Plus, SparkPeople is so much more than a "calorie counting" app: It's a community. When I needed motivation, I'd read through success stories. When I needed encouragement, I reached out to people on the site. When I needed a new perspective, I read blogs from members who have gone through what I was currently going through, and it helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel and understand it's a process.
What's your biggest challenge right now?
Maintenance! When you're in the midst of losing the weight, all you can think of is getting "there," whether that's your goal weight, size or overall feeling. Then you do get there -- and boy, it's TOUGH staying there. Old habits come back, sometimes you give yourself too much slack on certain things, and the next thing you know, your goal jeans are getting tighter, you're feeling alittle sluggish and you feel like you've failed. And that's okay! It happens! That's why this is called a lifestyle change -- you need to work just as hard once you've reached your goal as you did trying to get there. So I take it one day at a time, just as I did in the beginning.
What advice do you have for someone who just joined SparkPeople?
It sounds cliched, but it's true: Don't give up. It's not a straight line from starting point to goal. You will be all over the place. Up, down, zigzag. Your head will spin, you'll lose momentum, you'll cry happy tears and some sad tears. You'll be angry you ate that entire cake, but then next time you won't and you'll be stronger. It's okay to fail. But only if you get back up and try again. See it through. Don't give yourself an unrealistic timeframe. For some, it can take months, and others years. It doesn't matter, as along as you push through and get there. You'll be glad you did.
Want to be the next small success we spotlight? Share your successes on the goal feed or in the comments below, and you might be the next person we contact!
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