Sparking Others Helped Her Lose 142 Pounds*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Barbara June (ARKPLE)
Weight Lost:  142 pounds
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
What was life like before your weight loss?
I gained the weight by not paying attention to my food choices, not weighing in, not moving my body, not putting myself first, not dealing with clinical depression, inviting temptations into my home and totally neglecting the wisdom that is my body for many years. I felt depressed. I relied on a cane to walk even a short distance. I could not climb stairs at all. I had difficulty completing daily tasks with ease.

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
When my weight climbed over the 360-pound mark, I vowed to lose weight. Enough was enough! I wanted to put myself first--that was my biggest motivation for weight loss. Putting others ahead of me led to clinical depression and weight gain. I was tired of remaining on the sidelines. I wanted to participate more fully in life.  I knew I would not have a perfect journey, but I vowed to start where I was and to make slow changes in my eating patterns and gradual changes in movement.

Tell us a bit about your weight loss journey:
To lose the weight, I relied on I weighed in weekly, enjoyed my food choices, savored every bite, competed against myself, engaged in joyful movement, and more!

I believe in the Arthur Ashe quotation, "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." I also believe that we are each capable beyond our imagination and that we need to be compassionate toward our bodies; right where they are, even carrying excess weight. It's so important to stop feuding with our bodies and to thank our thighs and grab those hips to express gratitude versus wishing them away.  Also, I heartily believe that calories don't always account for everything. Outlook counts too!

And, as Maya Angelou says, "Nobody, but nobody, can make it alone." So the journey is best accomplished by buddying up, sharing knowledge, jointly inspiring yourself and others, joining a new SparkTeam, sparking today and sparking often!

I have been very active in the Biggest Loser Challenge SparkTeam (completing nearly a dozen rounds) and I am also a co-captain of a private team. My success was enhanced by my role in encouraging others to eat mindfully, to not seek perfection and to lose pound by pound, inch by inch, bite by bite and step by step.

How long did it take you to lose the weight?
It took over two years; however, it matters little to me how long it took. What matters most is that I’ve not regained my weight.

How has your eating habits/dietary intake changed compared to the way you ate before your transformation?
When it comes to food, I believe that just because you can eat, doesn’t mean you should. SparkPeople helped me check in with myself to feel stomach hunger before eating meals or a snack.

Then, I tune into what my body is asking for and allow myself to eat this without judgment. I eat much more consciously as a result of my participation with SparkPeople. I approach food with an awareness of my senses. Most importantly, I stop eating when I am no longer hungry, before becoming too full. I transition to another activity to help separate myself from the food (often that activity is sparking!).

I now take time to enjoy my food and eat in a calm environment, preferably at a table and not in front of the computer or the TV. I no longer respond to hunger as an emergency. I practice choosing smaller portions, and then I return again for more food should my physical hunger return.

What is your typical exercise routine like?
 I’m new to kickboxing (an activity I never thought I would or could engage in!).  I attend kickboxing class three times a week, and I also include some strength training twice a week.

Who is your biggest inspiration?
The following authors: Geneen Roth, Susan Albers, PsyD, Michelle May, M.D. and more. That is, all authors who share their knowledge about mindful eating.

How has your life changed since losing weight and improving your health?
I do not rely on my cane. I am no longer plagued by hypertension or pre-diabetes. I can engage in joyful movement. Now, I can do a DVD of indoor walking with Leslie Sansone, whereas I could not walk unassisted before the weight release. I sleep better. I wake up more rested than before and with great deal of energy, vitality and aliveness.

Congratulations, Barbara June, and thanks for sharing your story!

*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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Congrats, Barbara! Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story! You are a wonderful inspiration to us ALL! Report
What an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing. Report
You are a wonderful inspiration and reminder for what we are all capable of doing for ourselves! Report
Congratulations. You look great. Keep up the good work. Report
Great blog....congratulations on all you've accomplished! Report
So pleased to read your blog. I started at 375 and in the 260's. I feel so much better and still have a way to go. One day at a time. Report
Congratulations! What A great job and an inspiration! Many more Blessings upon you and ALL you do! Thank you! Report
What a beautiful and inspiring story. I am so proud that you have come so far and that you have kept the weight off. Report
What a wonderful achievement. Love your attitude as well. Thank you. Report
Thanks for sharing. Congrats on your success. :) Report
Thank you for this inspiring article. Report
I love your story, and I'm glad that it's getting out to more Sparkers. Report
Congratulations on your wonderful and successful healthy journey! An inspiring blog! Report
You are awesome! You rock! You inspire! You motivate!
You are a winner!
Love & Hugs,
Mary Report
Congratulations Barb! Many things you stated in this article ring true for me - you are inspiring :) Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing with us new sparks Report
I'm so proud of you! You truly are an inspiration to us True Blues, and now to all of the Spark community. Thanks for helping us remember to love and accept ourselves during our journey toward better health. Report
Congrats Barb, you've done awesome and it is great to see you featured. Report
Awesome! You look fantastic , and I am sure you feel better too! Report
Congrats and thank you.
Barbara - Thank you so much for sharing your story!! You are a true inspiration and have been a great inspiration to me! I am so glad that you are one of our TRUE BLUE leaders!!! I truly love that you are walking the walk and talking the talk through and through. I am so proud!! Report
Barbara ~ I always knew you were a very special person now, the world knows. You have always ben an inspiration to me and I'm so blessed to have met you. I'm very proud of you and I truly hope the True Blue know just what a gem that have on their team.

xoxoxoxo Report
OMG! Barbara, you are my inspiration & I'm so proud of you! Keep up the GREAT work! Report
Barbara you are a TRUE inspiration for me! I, too, have over 100 lbs to lose and am just getting started. It seems like such a big mountain to climb but your story helps me to believe that I can really do it too. Report
Barbara, you're totally amazing! You have always been such a great inspiration to me - and now, to all of SP! You go, girlfriend!! Report
Barbara I am so proud of you. You set your mind to make the change and you did it! Keep smiling, shining and be happy! Love and hugs😃 Report
Wow! Awesome! You said some things that really hit home to me. I have several huge hurdles to overcome: emotional eating, tracking, portion control and stop eating when I am full! It sounds simple to stop eating when you are full, but boy it is not! Thanks for sharing your story, you are an inspiration!
Congratulations! My favorite line from you story really hit me:

"When it comes to food, I believe that just because you can eat, doesn’t mean you should."

Emotional/mindless eating is an issue I'm trying to overcome; and reading that really opened my eyes. As logical as it sounds, it's hard for me to actually DO it... but that's one of my goals =)

Congratulations Barbara and thank you for sharing your story! Report
Thanks for sharing your story, Barbara. I am a member of the BLC, too, and I am just so motivated by your story. Report
WOW! You are awesome! That's really inspiring. I love your honesty as well! Report
What a breath taking story! Thanks for sharing! Report
Amazing! Report
you are a great inspiration Report
Thank you for sharing your story. You are very inspiring. Congratulations on your journey. Report
You've done wonderfully !! Good job and thanks for being an inspiration ! Report
Congrats on all yr wonderful are an awesome inspiration!!! Report
Congrats!!! Barbara, you truly are an inspiration! Report
Whoo Hoo! Way to go, Barbara! We are all so proud of you! Report
You were living my life. You give me hope. Thank you. Report
Ps...Thanks for the 5 Sparkpoints!!! See...Always helping other's!!! HUGZ Report
Geeze My Finger hurts from having to scroll through all of your Comments! YAY FOR YOU!!! I am So Happy for you and your Wonderful Success...I know first hand how dedicated you are to not only your own Success, but that of so many others...You INSPIRE and we are all So HAPPY that the Spotlight is shining on one of our Very Own SUPERSTARS!!! It is even more Wonderful all of the lives that you are touching and inspiring through this well deserved recognition....You are AMAZING and Now even more people know it too!!! CONGRATULATIONS...You ARE a SUCCESS Story!!! Report
The BLC is proud of you!! What a great story and just loving the before/after comparison photos, just amazing!! You just glow with CONFIDENCE! Thanks so much for all that you do for so many others!! Report
I am so proud of you! You have come so far since that first BLC! I am so happy to have been a part of this journey with you. Your kind words and attitude toward everyone has made you a great inspiration to so many. I know you have gone through a lot of struggles but you kept pushing and growing and look at you now! So very happy that others saw it too and put you in the spotlight you so very much deserve! Stay true my friend and Congrats to you for your many accomplishments! Report
Thank you for sharing your inspirational story! Report
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story! Report
You are an inspiration and a blessing to have in the Biggest Loser Challenge! We're ALL so proud of you and how you continue to pay it forward by helping so many others!! Report
Barbara, that was quite an inspirational story! I am so proud to be on a team with you. When I hit the 270 mark and couldn't walk up my stairs without losing my breath, I knew it was time to lose weight. Keep up the good work and keep those pounds off you! Report
You are an inspiration!! Report
That's great Barbara.Congratulations!!! As they say, "You have come a long way baby." Report
A great big thumbs up for your success and friendship. I'm proud of you, gf. Thanks for all your encouragement and fellowship, Barbara. Congratulations!! Report
Barbara you are an amazing woman! It is so inspiring to read your story of your journey. You always have the best words of wisdom. I am thankful to call you friend. I hope that you continue to get recognition for all the you have done and are continuing to do. Report
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