Success Story: 'I Wanted to Be a Better Role Model'*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Name: Roxanne Carrier (ROX5CAR)
Weight Lost: 69 pounds
Hometown: East Syracuse, NY
Occupation: Health Teacher

I gained my weight steadily starting in ninth grade.  I was 14 going on 15 and remembered seeing 150 pounds on the scale. I gained weight because I just wasn't paying any attention to controlling it.  My mom would encourage me to eat--she said I was thin. I had a lot of emotional issues going on in my life at the time.  Exercise was never encouraged, but gaining weight was. Being thin was looked down upon in my family, so my weight continued a steady climb all through high school. When I graduated, I weighed 186 pounds, and by the time I got married about four years later, my weight was 189 pounds  Soon after, I hit 195 pounds. 

I couldn't blame my weight on having kids; I only gained 25 pounds with each pregnancy, and I lost all the weight with each one. I maintained 195 pounds for a few years until my second daughter was 4 years old. At that point, it seemed as though I started putting on weight for no reason.
I had pain every morning getting out of bed. I was only 30 years old when I first noticed that it was difficult to walk. It hurt to stand on my feet and I'd feel this awful pain every morning.       

My biggest motivation and the biggest turning point in my life was when my doctor found a borderline cancerous ovarian tumor.  On my medical record he wrote "morbidly obese."

I thought: How in the world did I come to that?  I'm a health teacher, and morbidly obese is written on my record? What kind of an example is this?  What am I teaching my students: eat healthy and exercise, but the teacher doesn't have to? 
I decided I needed to be a better role model, not only for my students, but for my own children as well.

So, I read a book and learned that all I had to do to reverse plantar fasciitis (the cause of my foot pain) was to lose between 10-15 pounds. My cousin's wedding was that same year.  I was recovering from major surgery, but I knew I could do this.  I did the math and realized that I needed to lose 80 pounds to be in the healthy BMI range. 

I knew I couldn't look at that big number; I had to lose this one pound at a time.
SparkPeople has played an important role in my journey in weight loss.  It has team and group support, which are SO necessary in your weight loss journey.  Tracking food, fitness, weighing in, measuring and so many articles and recipes--I find that all of this keeps me on track.  I meet new people who are in the same boat.  We encourage each other, we see each other's ups and downs, and keep each other on track.  All of this is so essential to reaching your goals.

SparkPeople has wonderful SparkTeams as well! I joined the Couch to 5K Team. I never would have thought I'd be doing this! I printed out the program and with a friend we stuck to it, and now I run several 5Ks a year.  I'm running 5Ks, doing triathlons, biking, and swimming, and I'm just plain having fun doing it. Currently, I exercise six days a week: three days of strength training and daily cardio exercise with lots of variety mixed in. The gym I go to is also very supportive and motivating, and gives me the extra push I need. It's taken me three years, but I am now doing things I never would have imagined I would ever do. I feel so healthy and free. I have some challenging goals set for myself this year, too.  I am training for the Color Me Rad Run 5K, a duathlon, a 40-mile+ bike ride and a triathlon in the fall.    

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

Have you lost weight and kept it off using We'd love to share your story. Email us: sparkpeoplesuccess (at) gmail (dot) com