These 3 Simple Changes Helped Diane Lose 128 Pounds

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In 2010, Diane (DIANEDOESSMILES) weighed 288 pounds and was confined to her power chair 97 percent of the time. She had depression and an infection in her big toe that led to a diabetes diagnosis. When she went to the doctor seeking help for back issues, he told her that the pain was because she was fat. "I hated him for saying it, but that got my attention," Diane recalls. "What was I doing to myself?"

Because of her health issues, Diane was encouraged to enter an assisted living facility. When she learned she couldn't take her cat with her, though, she decided it was time to start making changes on her own. She tried another online program but had trouble understanding their system. Diane says she was "hit and miss, but mostly miss" with exercise because her pain level was so high. Although Diane went from 288 to 256 pounds, eventually she found herself on a four-month plateau. Feeling like her weight loss shouldn't have stalled already, she decided it was time to reach out for help and joined SparkPeople.

Breaking Out of the Diet Mentality

Even though she joined SparkPeople, Diane didn't initially follow the program. She was eating below her recommended calorie and nutrient ranges and deprived herself of many of the foods she loved. Despite getting down to 174 pounds, Diane was not happy. "Ever notice the first three letters of the word DIEting? I can't help but to think that was on purpose," she jokes.

Diane used quick-fix strategies instead of permanent, sustainable lifestyle changes, so, even though she was still consistently logging into SparkPeople, she quickly gained the weight back. Diane was very discouraged when she found herself over 200 pounds again.

Determined to turn things around, Diane started blogging on her SparkPage. "This is an amazing tool that many people don't use because they think what they say isn't worthy or important to write about. I felt the same way, but eventually, I found it to be a useful tool," she says. "Over time, more people started to read my blogs. It's not about followers, [though,] It's about me getting healthier- physically, mentally and emotionally. I love blogging now."

Diane's 3 Secrets to Success

Over the past six months, Diane has maintained a 128-pound weight loss. She credits her success to three things:
  1. Tracking food and exercise daily. "I eat within the guidelines SparkPeople has set for me," Diane explains. "I am in the diabetes program and know that I need to keep tracking in order to be successful, staying [within] my calorie, protein, fat and carb ranges." Diane also keeps a close eye on her fiber intake, since that helps with her feelings of fullness and satisfaction.
  2. An attitude of "progress, not perfection." "I learned from others who post that phrase in the Community Goal Feed that I don't have to be perfect in order to be successful," Diane says. "I even painted a rock that says 'progress, not perfection' and keep it on my kitchen counter so I see it often." By focusing more on what she has accomplished and what she's capable of achieving, Diane gives herself permission to make mistakes, learn from them and move forward.
  3. The 5% SparkTeam Challenge. "When I joined SparkPeople, somehow I met a most wonderful Sparker (HEALTHYGRAMMY49) who invited me to join the 5% 2011 Winter Challenge," Diane recalls. Since then, Diane has participated in all of the seasonal 5% Challenges, being a "motivational leader" in the challenge for many years. She says the challenge helps her stay on track and holds her accountable to her goals. As a participant in these challenges, Diane started drinking more water, learned to tolerate more fruits and vegetables, and began exercising more. "I am a competitive person who wasn't going to let my team down, [and] that meant I had to exercise," says Diane. "At first, I could only do 10 minutes, three times a week. With help from my teammates, I came up with a plan to do chair exercises and it worked! Now I'm stronger than ever."
Diane even met one of her best friends, MARYANNGI, in the challenge and they were able to meet in person. She encourages others to find SparkTeams that motivate them and give them the support they need.

Setbacks Will Never Stop Her

Throughout her journey to health, Diane has faced health challenges that she continues to overcome. Three years ago she had a bone infection that resulted in a toe amputation. "Despite the hurdles, I know I'm in the driver's seat," she proudly states. "It didn't discourage me because I was finally walking without any aids. Last year, I gave away my power chair and now I can walk more than three miles a day!"
Diane has learned to look for the silver lining on a rainy day. "I had surgery for a brain aneurysm that was found accidentally. It has affected my left eye and I stand a good chance of losing partial sight, but at least I still have the right eye," she says. "Life is always going to throw nasty health issues at me. One thing I've learned from SparkPeople members and content is this quote from Charles R. Swindoll: 'Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.'"

Diane's advice to other members is to take advantage of everything SparkPeople has to offer. "Read the articles, use the SparkCoach planner on your Start page, join some SparkTeams and SparkChallenges, blog on your SparkPage and check out the Community Goal Feed." She likes to help new members whenever she can, saying that helping those who are just starting the journey reminds her of where she started and how far she's come.

"I'm doing this!" she declares. "I'm maintaining my weight within a five-pound range. I'm happy, joyful and positive. Who knew life could be like this again?"

How do you deal with setbacks? Share in the comments below and congratulate Diane on her amazing journey to better health!

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Some leave SPARKS after they've hit their goal (I decided to be at GOAL after losing my 128 lbs), but I've stayed and am a leader (Was during my loss) because one you've been SPARKED it's a THRILL to SPARK others and NOT go backwards. I DO Flex with my weight between 168 to 178, but for the past 4 years it stays in this range. I AM NOW AT GOAL.

This was written in 2019 as I write to you all, it's 2021 and my life certainly has changed. I had been able to go back to work!! NEVER THOUGHT I would!! But I did!! Soon after I had to stop because I am now in heart failure, and it's exhausting me. However I had asked the cardiologist if I'd hadn't of lost the weight would I be here? His answer "Probably not." So if you are reading this, please, please take your weight loss seriously. GO SLOW!! As above track your food, make your changes SLOWLY so they last. TY TY For reading my story. Report
LYNXMYNX 5/9/2021
Diane, I always live your enthusiasm and positive attitude. Love this article and glad more people could hear your story and feel the inspiration! 🙌🏼 Congratulations my friend 🤗 Report
VAMARSTON 5/8/2021
Thank you for sharing your story. My best friend of 63 years has challenges almost identical to yours. I am sharing your story with her. She is so depressed with her weight and diabetes and I think your story will be an inspiration to her, as it is to all of us! Report
ATEAMSIS08 5/4/2021
I am addicted to logging into Spark People everyday. Report
WEAVERNI2 4/17/2021
Thanks for sharing this story - you had so many reasons/excuses but it all started with wanting to keep your precious kitty! Report
Woo Hoo Diane! You are an amazing motivator, leading by example. Report
MRK0810 3/11/2021
Progess, not perfection. This is awesome. Each day is new day to progress in the right direction. Report
KARLENE13 2/16/2021
It is encouraging. I cannot seem to get below 235 any more. I am 5' 2" tall. Have cravings, and am sorta homebound. Would love to chat with you. Congratulations to you on your ongoing success! Please reply to sparks mail.
LIVETOEAT70 2/11/2021
Thanks so much for sharing. I have regained weight during the pandemic and I am looking for motivation to loose it again. Report
EVILCECIL 1/30/2021
Great! Report
SNUZYQ2 12/3/2020
Very inspiring story! Thanks so much for sharing! Report
MAKD2056 12/1/2020
THREE, You have inspired me .I'm starting back again today on Sparkpeople. I weighed less when I left last time. I don't even remember my password to my last start, so had to start anew. You have been through a lot. I wish you continued success and good health. May God bless. Report
FARMERGAL4 11/13/2020
Congrats on gaining a healthier lifestyle! Thanks for sharing your story!
FARMERGAL4 11/13/2020
Congrats on gaining a healthier lifestyle! Thanks for sharing your story!
GO_GAL_GROW 10/8/2020
Awesome work Diane! Report
ROBINRS 9/10/2020
Glad to hear of your success and keeping the wight off. Not really a blogger but maybe it is time to start. Report
REDROBIN47 9/2/2020
Congratulations. Way to go. Report
RETIREDSUE 8/28/2020
WOO HOO Diane! I'm really going to miss you on our AWESOME A team but know we'll be in touch. You have had quite the journey and have overcome much while learning how to be successful! Way to go! Report
Congratulations on your weight loss, I Love reading Spark People. Report
What a great story. Amazing Report
Thank you for sharing your wonderful story! Congratulations, I know you worked hard to find your success. I have out of control diabetes and have many health problems due to it. I will take your inspiring story and your wonderful tips to heart. Thank you! Report
Thank you for sharing your wonderful story! Congratulations, I know you worked hard to find your success. I have out of control diabetes and have many health problems due to it. I will take your inspiring story and your wonderful tips to heart. Thank you! Report
Such a great story and great success! It’s neat you also got to meet one of your spark friends in person. Congratulations on doing such a great job! Report
What a terrific story!!! You have done a wonderful job in changing negative habits in your life to positive ones, Diane. You look and are amazing! Report
Diane, oh my gosh...your story is much like mine...I am sitting in a wheelchair right now as last year I lost my left foot due to my mis-managing my injury....yes, I have Diabetes II and it was not fun tho I had LOTS of support and prayers for me. I started Sparkpeople back in '07(I believe) and loved it...started at 394#...and it helped me with tracking food and activity...I lost successfully for quite awhile. it definitely helped with my Diabetes control. Then I thought I was so smart and life got in the way and I drifted away...but it had already helped me lose about 80#... sooo...about 6 years away and I re-started on 02/02/2020 at 294#(yes, two hundred 94 this time) and your story just hit have done so well!!! I am in a wheelchair because back in September I got hit with anemia and I really haven't gotten my energy back all the way despite doubling Iron intake and doing better on eating--mostly. Well, my beautiful prosthetic was giving me a challenge when I had backed off rehab to allow my leg to seat in it...the good news is that since starting with Spark, re-starting, I have put my leg on first thing every morning and started challenging myself with chair cardio and strength videos here and tracking my food. I am going to be successful and get back to moving on my prosthetic with walker and sooner than I might think be balancing on my good leg and my BETTER prosthetic and out of did it...that's what I INTEND to be able to do too...thanks for this great blog... Report
I’ve lost 32 lbs., but am having trouble losing the last 10 lbs. to reach my goal. I’m reading one success story each day to keep me on the right track, and today I found yours. Thank you for sharing, and for helping me keep going. Report
You are an inspiration to me. Small steps for me. I have to learn that I can't lose the weight today, it takes time and real effort. Report
Awesome! Thank you for the inspiration! Report
Great advice! Report
Great advice - thanks for sharing!!! Report
What an Inspiring story. It reminds me how lucky I am compared to other people. Thank you for your story. Report
You are such an inspiration ... I am disable due to my back and I have limited mobility, after reading this I have hope for myself & regaining some of my life back again. Report
Thank you for the information. Report
Doctors can say some dumb things. I mentioned bladder issues and the doctor slammed his notepad shut and slammed out the door saying he couldn't understand whi y women can't control their bodies. Guess he never had a baby who was upside down, etc. I left his office and never went back. Report
Thank you for sharing your story! What an inspiration you are to all of us! Congratulations! Report
Inspiring! An awesome story as I restart my Sparkpeople journey! Report
Thank You for this Diane. I see now that if I take baby steps the rest will come in due time. Report
Awesome job.Thank you.. Incredible.. Report
Water and honest tracking were the best things for me. Exercising and walking I tracked, but I did at my pace. Helped me get it going. Report
Your story is such an inspiration to us all. Report
Wow, you are really an inspiration to us all. I can't believe you can walk 3 miles after being in a wheel chair. Amazing. Thanks for sharing. Report
Congrats on your success! You touch on two things that keep me going- tracking and being realistic. We all deal with different challenges. Great work! Report
Oh, Diane, you are one of the most infectiously encouraging people I have ever met! Thank you for all you do for the 5% challenges. You really impacted my life for the time I was on your team! Report
Fantastic job, Diane. You inspire me. Keep up your excellent efforts. Report
I will check out this 5% challenge. You've done GREAT WORK DIANE!! Report
Awesome Thanks for sharing!!! Report
Thank you Congratulations Report
Diane thank you for sharing your story & giving us hope to not give up because you didn't ,& that is such an encouragement to me to keep moving no matter what. May God truly continue to bless you : ) Report
thanks Report