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

Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints


Thanks for sharing your inspiring story! Report
Very encouraging Roxy.... I am so glad to be on your Mocha Team. Thank you. Report
What a great way to accomplish a WEC task -- an iinspiring one at that!!!

Diane (Prism Panthers) Report
Very inspiring! Report
Congrats!! Report
Great job! Keep up the great work! You look fabulous! What an inspiration! Report
Wonderful story! Keep going!
For me it is so inspiring to see the difference that 69 pounds make. I need to lose 68. This visualises it for me. Report
Roxanne - What a wonderful story! You look amazing and it sounds like you're having a blast with your races. I bet your kids enjoy your energy too. Thanks for sharing your story! Report
You're story is so inspiring to me bc I share your goals of triathlon too! I connected with your strategy to take it one pound at a time - it not only keeps me honest, there's too much temptation to cheat when the goal is too long term, but it stops me from being overwhelmed. Congratulations and thanks for sharing! Report
Way to go! Very exciting and encouraging....thank you! Report
Good for you! Very inspiring! Report
Way to go Roxy!!! Report
You are an amazing woman! Thank you for sharing and for being an awesome example!! You have epitomized spreading the spark. :-)
I have to say, success and example aside, you are a wonderful encourager and generous friend. Report
Very similar stories, you and I. I have once again lost myself and I'm in a dark place. I am ready to find myself once again! Today is my is my tomorrow. It's up to me to take control. Thank you for the inspiration :)
Congrats......You are an encourager Report
Thanks so much for sharing Roxy!.. you are a wonderful encouraging example! Thank You so much! Report
Wonderful example!!! Report
This is encouraging. I have about the same amount of weight to lose. Way to go you, you did it, and you are certainly a role model! Report
What a turn around and a definate example to the students that they can do it too. Report
Wow. I just came from the Dr. office. I saw him check OBESE on my record. :( Thank you for the inspiration. Report
It's one thing to be aware of a problem...quite another to pluck up the courage to handle it the right way. Way to go girl!!! Report
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your story and deciding to be a role model for both your students, your children, and the SparkPeople community. Report
What a motivating story! Thanks for sharing it. Report
Wow, what an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it with us. I am 32 and I have pains in my body that I'm sure aren't supposed to be this way. I've lost some weight already and am looking forward to continuing my journey. I also have recognized that I can't do this alone, I need social and spiritual support. Two vital elements that have long been absent in my healthy lifestyle journey. I pray that I will reach my goals. Thanks again for your blog. Bless! Keep coming back! :) Report
Hey, you guys look great. Keep up the good work and you all will look the way you did years ago. Report
Congratulations! Sparkpeople is an amazing place to learn about small changes adding up to huge success. Report
Awesome! Not only are you a good example, you have your life back and rolling out in front of you and you are really able to enjoy it now. Congratulations! Report
what an inspiring story and happy to hear you truly ARE setting an example to the young people in this world. WTG!!!
Awesome! Continued success! Report
thanks for sharing and REMINDING me to be a better role model Report
Congratulations Roxanne, you are setting a great example for your students and children-enjoy the summer! Mary Report
Wow! Thanks for the motivation to lose some of my weight! I'm dealing with pain in both my feet and knees, and I know that losing weight would help reduce the pain, but I didn't know that even 10-15 pounds is enough to have some effect. 10-15 pounds is so do-able! Report
Wow! I think reading your blog has given me the motivation I need to keep my journey going. Thank You!! Report
Awesome blog! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! Report
Really inspiring story! Great job!! Report
Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story. What a great bunch of goals to meet, congratulations! Report
Way to take control! You look fantastic!
Kudos Roxanne! You are amazing! Report
Great reasons for making the changes in your life, thanks for sharing! Report
Awesome, inspiring story. Good for you !!!!!!!!!!! Report
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your story! Report
Wonderful story, filled with so many great tips on how YOU accomplished this awesome accomplishment! Keep on being healthy! Report
Well great job! I would like to tell you first and to keep up the good work. I know exactly what you mean I am a nurse,mother, and a wife. So I can defently relate But sometimes you have to go through the fire yourself to show someone else to get out of the flames. God Bless! Report
Thank you for sharing your story. Although one feels alone on this journey, we are not. So many of us have experienced this sort of thing. I'm happy for you. Keep up the great work and enjoy life! You really are worth it! Hugs. Lise Report
As a teacher and a mom, I do know that they may not listen to what you say, but they always watch what you do! Your story is such an inspiration !! Thank you for sharing!!!! Report
Awesome! You're an inspiration! Report
Great Job, You rock! Report
Very encouraging. Thank you for sharing your journey and congrats! Report
Great. Report