Your Chance to Be an 'Expert,' Help a New Member

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One morning, Saunya woke up, readied herself and her young daughter, and headed off to work. She was tired, and she was frustrated.

She was overweight and tired of being tired and unhappy. She searched for diet and workout ideas for busy people and found SparkPeople. She immediately joined.

So far, she has been a member for less than two months, and she's already making changes. She's walking during her lunch breaks and trying to say no to food when she's not hungry.

Still, she says she needs help. She saw a call for tips and ideas on the dailySpark, and while she didn't have one to share, she was desperately in need of one. She wrote:

"I honestly really don’t have a tip or idea. I need some help. I’m a 30-year-old mother of a 2-year-old little girl. I have trouble making time and I don’t have a lot of money to afford to buy things. I work from 7-5 Monday-Friday and once I’m home, my child wants all of my attention. We live with my fiancé and his mother in a 3-bedroom cluttered house with absolutely no room to work out even if I had the time. They also like to eat late at night (which I know is part of my problem). Oh, by the way I’m 5’2” and I weigh about 215 lbs. I hate my body, I have ZERO self esteem because I feel like I look horrible! I want to get back down, I really feel like I should lose about 90 lbs. So many of my co-workers (about 5) have done the weight loss surgeries. Once girl has lost a total of 100 lbs in a year. I would love to do that, but I don’t want to do the surgery. Do you have any ideas or pointers for me? I’m tired of being considered obese and not feeling good about myself."

While we are each in a unique situation, we can all relate to how she's feeling. That day, I sent her an email asking if I could share her story with the dailySpark.

We're not doctors, dietitians or trainers, but we've all been there, done that. We've lost weight and kept it off. We've done it on a budget and a tight schedule.

Saunya's looking for tips to help her get started, and she wants to be more active on SparkPeople, too. She says she's already found inspiration here.

What advice would you offer to Saunya?

What tips do you have to share?

Here's a chance to preach what you practice, share what you've learned, inspire a new member to stick with it.

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


The way I overcame my "need" for ice cream, which was my biggest issues, was I started in the grocery store...I'd come to the ice cream section and out loud I'd say, "Yes, I'd like it, but no, I don't need it." Having said that, it made sense to me and I knew I wanted to be healthier so every time it came to ANY kind of junk food, that is what I said...and still do today if I am tempted.
Another tool I use is to NEVER bring junk food into my home such as chips, cookies etc. If I want a treat, I make myself WALK to the store to buy it. Then I have shown that it was a real craving but in so doing, I have exercised as well, not feeling too badly about it. I also walk back home! Best wishes! Report
The best part of this weight lose is you! It is a gift to you from you. I read a saying by yoga girl that I use, it is, "unless you puck , faint ot die, keep going".
Say it's for your little girl if you must but it is for you and that is all right. Take her for walks, play in the park or go bike riding with her, she will love it and you will lose. Just do it. Report
If possible I would carve out some time at work, maybe a break or lunch to start 10 minutes of exercise. Just start there and maybe eat less in the evening since it's so late. You may find like Chris, that those 10 minutes of exercise at work will help to motivate you to make other changes in your lifestyle. We're here to support each other, I know you can do it! Report
It's important to be active for our kids and ourselves. Being tired is a kind of double edged sword because it makes us not want to be active, but not being active makes us have even less energy. Make the effort to do physical activities with your daughter, like playing in the park. It's beneficial for you and her. Report
Save money by buying Organic frozen vegetables and fruits in big bags at Costco or the like. Know that eating unprocessed whole grains (with lots of fiber) will keep you full longer as you are getting nutrients you need. Oatmeal is a great buy in bulk. Organic eggs are an inexpensive source of protein as is tofu and tempeh.

Take a little time everyday to de-clutter. Little by little adds up to results that improve overall mood and self-esteem.

Start everyday by writing 5 things that are going right in your life. Report
No matter how much weight you have to lose, the first step is the same for everyone: just start. So easy to say, but we all know it's hard. The good news is, it is the hardest part. I started by eating more nutritiously and before I even started working out - or found SparkPeople - I had already lost about 10lbs. Then I started with a pedometer. Improve your eating, start moving - as much as you can, whenever you can. Report
The best thing I was ever told - was that I needed to like myself so I could focus on the baby steps it would take to succeed. Spark has taught me to take one day at a time, one meal at a time, one choice at a time, and one step at a time. It doesn't happen over night, but it does happen. You have to trust in yourself and find the reasons you need to stay strong. You are worth it! Take care of you. Report
The great thing is, some of the exercises require no money and little to no indoor room. Walking outside is one of the most recommended exercises. Simple strength training with common household items is cheap, easy to find, and can even be a game with a child. Join Sparkpeople teams for parents and get feedback, support, ideas, etc. Report
It's easier for me to get to my big goal with small, manageable steps. I remind myself that EVERY step matters. Here are some small steps I use:

1) I bought a pedometer and wear it everyday. That gives me measurable progress without really having to think about it. You can log the end of day results in your food journal if you keep one.

2) I park in the lot, but far away from the door of the stores and work. This adds steps to my day.

3) I log what I eat without criticizing myself. I find that I won't lie on my log so there are many times that I won't eat junk just so I don't have to log it! I also find that I want to be proud of me and seeing a list of good choices makes me happy.

4) I eat LOTS of vegetables in season. Buying in season cost less. Maybe you have a local Farmer's Market or a good fruit stand you can use? For easy lunches I have vegetables with 4 oz. of meat and rice.

5) You don't need a 30 minute stretch to start with. Remember small steps. Maybe keep small free weights near where you watch TV to use during commercials. Or use the Spark 10-minute videos. By the end of your day you'll have 30 minutes of exercise worked in!

Remember, every good choice - no matter how big or small - is evidence that you love your self. And when you love yourself you have more to share with others! Report
Take one day at a time and write the pros and cons; the things you're doing right and the things you're doing wrong. Also, I was told if you review your check book and your calendar; that can tell you where your time goes and your priorities. Start cooking heathy for everyone and start with the Sparks recipes. Get some small hand weights and work out in front of the T.V. as it works for me. You can do it! I do the Healthy Choice meals but watch the sodium! Report
I feel your pain and I hear your situation. It is not hopeless. Look at all the positive thing that you do. Most of the time it's the small things we need to change that after time become big changes in our lifes. Know that your daughter is watching your every move. Take this journey on as one day, one step and one meal at a time. You and your family is worth it. HEALTH IS WEALTH Report
Hello, Saunya ! One thing that I'll tell you that I tell other members is that you're going to need to be patient with yourself and your body. This is not the Biggest Loser. You will not see dramatic changes in a short time. In general, it can take 6-8 weeks of healthy eating and regular exercise before a person sees a change in the scale. And that's perfectly normal. Don't expect to see a dramatic loss in the first few weeks.

Weight loss is a slow steady process that takes time. You didn't gain the weight overnight, it will not come off overnight. Thus the need for patience.

Don't try to do everything at once or you will end up frustrated. make small changes. take baby steps. in time, all those small changes will add up into one huge accomplishment, but you have to start somewhere.

Do you drink water ? if not, why not start by trying to drink 2-4 cups per day. For optimum health, 8 cups are recommended. but, if you're not used to drinking water, start slowly. The same with veggies. A person should eat 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies each and every day. If that seems like too much, then start with 2-3 servings. Start with veggies you like and add more later.

Eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies will really impact your health. Remember, there is more to good health than a number that stares at us from between our toes in the morning. Get a tape measure and take your measurements. You'll find the inches drop off long before that scales budges and that too is normal.

There are many different ways to measure success that don't involve the scale. As you begin to eat better and exercise, you'll find that you have more energy. you'll sleep better. you're endurance will increase AND most importantly, your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar should all come down.

Do you know what your numbers are ? Do you know your blood pressure ? If not, you really should have a physical prior to starting your workouts. The quest for good health, starts with a trip to the doctor.

Yes, they are going to tell you that you need to lose weight. that's why you're there ! You're there to learn what your blood pressure is. You're there to learn your cholesterol. Find out what those numbers are !! As I mentioned, as you become healthier. those are all going to change for the better.

Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor. they're there to help you become the healthy person you deserve to be !!

We're all here to support you !

Like SATYA1234 said, the first thing you have to have is your own space. You live in someone else' cluttered house, so you will have to demand a space that is just yours so you can meditate, exercise, think and plan. From that space, you can start setting the boundaries you need to grow and improve. As you lose weight and firm and change the outline of your body, you will need that space to retreat to and regroup. You will not believe the changes that loosing weight will put you through, and i"m not talking just about the physical ones. People will change how they see you and how they react to you and it won't all be wonderful and supportive. Get your space for your own sake.
I don't know if this would work for everyone, but it has been a tremendous help to me. I spend 3-4 hours every two to three weeks and make up a freezer full of healthy meals. I find the meat that is on sale at the market and find a healthy Spark People recipe that I can freeze. I make chicken soup, stroganoff, meat loaf, beef tips in gravy (that I put over pasta or rice), etc. Make your favorite meals but make 4 times more than you would usually make and freeze it into meal size portions. I use the oven, stove top and crock pot all at the same time. If you are cutting up carrots and celery for soup, cut enough to make a stew in the crock pot at the same time. While you are cutting up the meat for the stew, cut up enough to make beef tips in gravy. Once the freezer is full, you can grab a meal for lunch or dinner and the clean up is a breeze (and you can eat at a decent time). I have also done this with a friend so you have someone to help out cutting/chopping/mixing and it's a fun way to spend time together and come out with some new ideas for meals. Report
I know about the low self esteem. Can't say I'm familiar with 5'2 as I'm 5'8 (little humor thrown in there). I grew up with no self confidence OR self esteem. Takes some work but it will come. Just reaching out signals you have more than you think you do.
It will take time to figure out what's best for you. Of all the advice given, the only thing I can add is that you keep with SP. Take the time to reach all the help it has to offer. I've been on here since Jan, have lost 20 pounds, gone from uncomfortabe 16 to 14 and some 12's. I didn't even realize it was happening.
With that said, I don't have a full time job or 2 year old and that's could hinder things (maybe a little). I have a 24 month old grandbaby and when I have her I use her for my workout (lifting, pony ride, etc). I do exercices all day long as I do routine living.
I go to the salad bar and get (other than salad) cut up broccoli,carrots, peppers, onions,Mushrooms etc... whatever I am in the mood for, and make a stir fry some nights. It is quick easy and the veggies are already cut up for a busy working mom. Report
I am loving reading all these suggestions... I just want to stress the 'love yourself' line you've been hearing. You have to take care of you to take care of your family. Be gentle, keep working it, don't stress too much.
Spark will lead you gently- eat healthy, abundant, low processed foods. Not a diet- a way of life.
Down 150 with 50 to go... and done gently, ever so gently! Report
HI Saunya, You are in a difficult situation because you probably don;t control the preparation of food. Walking during lunch time is a good plus, as for food, are you able to tell your family that you would prefer to eat earlier and prepare your own food? I know that will be hard to do and also preparing for one is time consuming maybe you can prepare some meals during the weekend and freeze them so you just heat them after work. Good luck and keep reading Spark People, it really helps. Report
The first little thing I wuld do is work on 10 minute bits of exercise a couple times a day. I like imaginary jump rope at the moment. Good luck you'll get there! Report
I also eat oatmeal at work. My favorite is maple and brown sugar weight control with a teaspoon of peanut butter. It gives protein to help keep you full. I walk at break and lunch and take the stairs. When my kids were little we would go hiking (we still do). I wish that I would have had a bike with a seat for my kids or a trailer to pull them in. I see lots of kids in them and they are having fun.

My meals I plan a week ahead and cut things to make it easier for the week. My lunches are planned and my kids breakfast are planned.

Not sure if you have the room or money, but when I remarried, we bought a shed (our house is so tiny) and insulated it, put up drywall, a floor for workout, electric, heat and air. Put a tv out there and that is where we worked out. Was great for alot of years, now that the kids are older, we go to a gym.

Good luck and keep positive! Report
Here's a few from me (echoing some of the other comments):

1. Use your work time to do your program "right". The work day has predictable structure to it, and you are not busy with your little one. So you can focus on yourself there. Take advantage of it however you can. Bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes and socks to keep at work. Walk at breaks. Climb stairs. Eat proper meals and drink water. Use lunch time for exercise primarily instead of for eating (indoors if you can find areas at your worksite to do circles around hallways). Make a check list and keep it at your desk at work, with all the healthy things you can do for yourself at work and track it daily as you go. These little steps add up! I was once a busy working mom too and I had very little time once back home.

2. My magic cheap breakfast which I make and eat at work almost daily is oatmeal and fruit, like a banana, apple or orange which I bring from home. If your work has a microwave and a sink in a break room, you can get a box of quick-oats and keep it at work along with a 1/2 c measure, deep bowl or large mug, and spoon (I also keep a package of raisins and no-cal sweetener at work). Depending on the micro, it'll take 1-2 minutes to cook with it until you have the exact time so it doesn't boil over. It'll cost pennies a day and be good for you! maybe bring a jar of cinnamon too, to sprinkle over. I top off my breakfast with green tea (I keep tea bags at work). I save tons of money this way.

3. You have lots of company in the area of 5'-2" or 5'-3" and over 200 lbs. Try to remember that if you persist and keep doing what you can, you WILL lose weight. Try not to compare yourself to your friends who've had gastric surgery! Their weight loss is dramatic and it might seem effortless, versus what we Sparkers do. But it is an illusion. You have the tools and abilities already, and patience will pay off. Sadly, your friends have no guarantee that weight will stay off or that they will not pay some price in health for their method of weight control.

P.S. I am miserable too whenever my weight goes over 200! Unfortunately, it is where I have been many times. I'm only 5-3 and my heaviest was 208. My waist gets enormous which makes it real hard to buy pants and skirts. I have not lost all the weight I want and it's slow going, but I've lost about 12" from my waist. It is gratifying to know that I made this happen. You can too, and you can look forward to better times. "Without hope the people will perish" (from scripture, can't recall where). Peace. Report
When I decided to lose weight, since I have been down this road before with such failure, I made the decision that this would be my LAST TIME. I acturally started with looking at success stories to get motivation. Alot of people talked about how important it was to know what they were eating by weighing their food, counting calories and cooking.

At this point I was sick and tired of using diet pills that made me fatter, eatting cookies trying to lose weight, starvation, and subjecting my self (and wallet) to informercial schemes. So I went out and bought a food scale, started cooking and slowly but surely (errors included) I started tracking my food.

For the first time I was doing it! Something that did not feel like deprevation, something that was healthy for me and something that was teaching me a way to have a better healthier life- I did Sparkpeople!

It is not all daisys and rainbows but slowly and surely I am doing it, getting better and I am finally getting the results I can be proud of.

I guess my advise would be stick to the right way of losing weight, it may not be glamorus but the truth will set you free. Sticking with the program is key and when you mess up dont give up - keep going. Best of all know that you are in the right place and have found the best tool to help you on this journey (Sparkpeople).

Good luck, you can do it - Starting is the hardest part and you have already started!!!! Report
One great easy and fast my family loves is steel cut oats. If you don't like regular rolled oats that's fine, these taste so much better. what I do is I take 4 cups water and 1 cup steel cut oats and 1 teaspoon salt (optional) and put them in my crock-pot. I cook it on low but high it okay if you don't have as much time. On low it usually takes mine about 4 hours to cook and I stir them about once every hour. Once they're done cooking I put them in a covered dish in the fridge for eating during the week.

I measure out 1 cup and add either a small amount of brown sugar or some fruit for sweetness and if I'm feeling really hungry I'll have some scrambled egg whites with it for extra protein. The batch of oatmeal will last for up to a week in the fridge and if you have some leftover at the end of the week just toss it into some meatloaf.

If you contact me I can provide you with tons of recipes for inexpensive soups and other dishes that I've made up over the years. All very healthy and easy to make. Plus, I cook large batches so there is always plenty for a few days to plan your meals. Report
I am picking up a few things that need to be addressed in order for you to move forward and gain self-confidence and self-esteem.
1. Find a space that's only yours
-- this may mean, cleaning a closet, or renting a storage space, to put the stuff you move out of the closet.
-- next put some lights in there. Remove shelves. Put a little altar or candle, and a pillow and some aromatherapy.

2. If that doesn't work: announce bath time boundaries, where (if you have a bathtub), you can relax in the tub and clear your mind, and your heart, and "just breathe". Epsom salts, lavendar oil, some ivory soap liquid dishwashing detergent keeps the cost down. No disruptions, no phone, unless the building is on fire, etc..
3. Walk after dinner. Even if you can only run the steps in your building. Get some motivational music, and let everyone know this is your private time, unless they'd like to join you.
4. Connect: find out if there are other neighbors who like to walk and join in the fun. this might also mean going on to to find other women who can also support you.
5. Reserve: Reserve some space in the fridge for your things only. Spend a few minutes in the AM, getting up a little extra early to cut up some carrots, make or buy some hummus, get your fresh fruit out.
6. Drink: Studies show women who drink a glass of red wine after dinner, gain less weight than non-drinkers. If you are luck to have a trader jos in the area, and you and your family members don't have an alcohol problem, that could be a great mechanism to relax and kick back.
7. BOUNDARIES: This is pretty much the theme for this response. Create / demand / assert "you" time, and stick to it. Before long others will be impressed at your discipliine and how much you've accomplished and will probably want to join in!

In health, Satya Report
Wow, I know so much how you feel. With drive time I work about 70-80 hours a week, and I don't make the money to show for it. I am working on going back to school and then I add to it eating heathly and loosing weight when I don't even get home on Tuesdays, at all. It has been so easy to drive thru and grab something from the dollar menu, but that is what kills you. I am just getting started too. I have found the best thing to do is plan ahead. Making food, weighing and packaging up snacks like nuts, yogurt, cheese, fruits and veggies... So I can just grab them and go. I don't know what part of the country you live in, but in AZ we have great dollar stores which will have fruit and different veggies, along with cheep storage options. When I lived in MI, there were farmer's markets and veggie stands on the side of the road. Even some food banks have mini grocery stores with food at a reduced rate that anyone can buy. Look into what's available in your area, and buy out two-three hours somewhere in your week to prepare food ahead of time. You said your daughter wants all of your time, do it with her. Teaching her how to make and eat healthy will be one of the best gifts you ever give her. And just remember, you can do it. Report
Not sure where you live but a 2 year old is old enough to take for a walk or a trip to the park and you can get a little excercise while she plays, either walking some short laps or playing with her on the equipment. It doesn't need to be a formal workout to count.
Also a calorie is a calorie no matter when you eat it.
Also when I was working full time I took advantage of my breaks to walk stairs in the next building over for 10 minutes everymorning and afternoon. Report
You have taken the first step already, asking for help - Start small type of exercise for 10 minutes a day - If you can buy a resistance tube, there's alot you can do with one in tight area - second if you are a pop drinker, stop, drink more water - You will be on your way - Best of luck to you Report
I just started and don't have a lot of time either. Since your daughter wants all of your time. Take her outside and play with her. Take her for a walk, toss a ball, crawl in the grass, take her to a park and push her on the swing, all this counts and you will be developing a good habit with her. The other thing that costs nothing is to pick maybe 5 things to do each day. Perhaps 3 push ups, 3 squats, 5 leg lifts, etc. Something that is fairly easy and plan to do that 5 days a week, next week up each item by one or two. That way you are starting small and workign your way up. Report
Take your breaks at work and walk or if you get an hour lunch, eat for 30 and then take a casual helps! Report
I know if I lived somewhere where it was really cluttered it would not be conducive for me to exercise there. Now that the weather is getting nicer, maybe when you get home, change right into tennis shoes and walking clothes and go for a 30 minute walk to give yourself some down time. After that you will feel more like sharing yourself with your daughter and the others in the house. I find it difficult to "give all day" at work and then immediately begin doing that at home. You deserve and need to make some time exclusively for you. You can add wrist and ankle weights as you want for your walks to become more like a workout. Hang in there, you'll get into the groove that feels just right for you! Report
Start small, set a timer for 15 minutes and do something. Once you start seeing how 15 minutes can make a difference you will feel better. is a great site for encouraging baby steps for decluttering and using a timer.

You CAN do this! Report
I'm 5'2", I weighed 270, lost 60lbs so far. What I've learned:
1. You don't have to do anything perfectly - just do something
2. Even a little bit counts. If you march while waiting for the microwave (a plus), if you eat a little more salad dressing (a minus) - it all counts
3. Come to the site every single day, no matter what is going on. You will eventually find exactly what you need to get you where you want to go. Report
You can lift weights while watching TV or playing with your child, and you don't even need to buy the weights, I re-use the bottles from bottled water (or any bottled drink) by re-filling them with tap water and using them as dumbells to curl with while watching TV - takes up minimal space, costs nothing more than the original cost of the drink, and builds muscle which helps burn more calories! Easy, small, and cheap, what could be better? Good luck, you CAN do it! Report
First, congratulations on reaching out for this important help. There are many of us who have been where you are now. Its by taking little steps & make simple changes to our daily routine that have allowed us to be where we are now. Congrats on using your lunch to take walks -- that is a positive step in the right direction. Also, make sure to track your walks, water & nutrition --this will help you see if there are specific areas in your routine that need tweaking. Take it one day at a time ---you can do this! Report
You have been given a number of great ideas. Fill in the trackers. Even 10 minutes of exercise at a time can add up. Drink the water. Hang in there and good luck. Report
First of all I would just like to say Praise you for having the courage to come forward and share your story with all of us! Secondly, you don't have to have a whole bunch of extra money to eat healthy. I think simple changes in what you eat can make a world of difference. For example: I think when you eat a sandwich and you switch from white bread to whole wheat bread it can make a big diffence in calories. Also, try eating mustard instead of mayonnaise on the sandwich. Also, involving your children in your weight loss in a very good idea. Maybe have your children exercise with you. It is nice weather outside right now so all of you could take a walk together. The other day I saw a women pushing her baby in a stroller and along side of her walking was her two other kids, one on each side. I know it is hard to find a balance between your job, kids and doing good for yourself, but with a little bit of planning eventually everything becomes a routine and you can leave time for yourself. I wish you the best of luck and that your situation gets better. I will pray for you! Have a happy Easter! Report
For your self esteem, you have to find at least one thing you do like about your body and play it up. Make that your magic charm. Wear your favorite clothes that make you feel the best.

For the rest, the Spark diet is pretty much a walk through process of how to set up shop from simple winning streaks to healthy diet habits and on to lasting lifestyle changes. If you need me to send you the link, I will. Fast break- stage one, will give you the confidence you need and build your esteem to keep going.

Night eating is tricky, and who wants carrots when there are other goodies around? PLAN your night eating into your food tracker first thing. Then plan the rest of your day.

As for no gym, your daughter would probably love to go play with you and any activity is better than none. It honestly just takes 10 minutes a day to see a difference.

I've lost 114 pounds and once felt like you, so I really do understand. This is what helped me. Report
With a young child, take her to the park, get a bike with a child seat at a garage sale & take her for a ride. She'll get outdoors & you'll get the excercise in. Report
Start with things that are in your control. For example, water intake. You can definitely manage what and how much you drink. I started with 8 cups a day and gradually increased that up to a gallon, which I've maintained for a year now. My body actually knows and tells me when I haven't had my gallon a day. I made a routine to measure how & when I drank that gallon as well. Before I left for work, I had to have drank 4 cups, and then before noon another 4, before I went home from work, another 4, before bed another 4. It was easy then, and not nearly as daunting. Report
Baby steps! Report
I've been on Atkins for over 2 years, I've lost weight, gotten off my diabetes meds & almost off my BP meds. I stay at induction levels, and my doctor tells me I've 'cured' my diabetes. I workout every night (elliptical) and walk a mile 5 days a week during lunch. I have more energy now at 55 than I did at 25, and despite fighting another health problem I'm feeling great!
WW Report
You sound just like me when I joined. 1st step if you ask me is LOVE YOURSELF-Speak nice to you and build you up. Don't be mean to you. Would you say the ugly things you say to yourself to someone else and hurt their feelings no you wouldn't. Step 2 no matter how bad you mess up keep pushing on...Everyday you start over new and fresh. Step 3 encourage others and you will never run out of support. For me these are the things I had to learn to go from 200 after giving birth to my 3rd child. I had to learn to LOVE MYSELF regardless of my weight-you don't have to like your weight but you can stll love you till you get to your ideal weight. I learned that encouraging others keeps you going as well. Most of all I learned training for a race eeps you focused and on track. I wish you well and I know you can you can do. Report
As far as tips about SparkPeople, from my observations those who lose consistently here are:
active in the groups they belong to
belong to no more than two or three groups
Set and reset their intention all through their days.

I know you are not living in your own home but by quietly setting a good example by doing rather than telling, you will also give your family an opportunity to walk the journey to health.

and get a pedometer :) My best friend is my peddie! It speaks honestly when my brain would give me lies.
All the very best on your journey. Report
Most of all.... Just take it One Day at a Time. Report
You have so many wonderful comments and ideas on what to do. I'll keep mine simple- easy mini goals- logging your food, walking outside (or many times I walk around inside my home to make sure I'm getting the time in) and drink your water. Three easy things that will get you started. Good luck- Spark People is a great resource! Report
Welcome to Spark! It is a very courageous thing that you are doing for yourself! I applaud you! You can do this!

Small Steps. Walk for part of your lunch, I get an hour and I walk for 1/2 of it. You can track your route on Spark and add it.

Log your food. I was a tremendous help in seeing what I was putting into my body.

Walk with your daughter in a stroller, she'll get the benefit of fresh air with you. Play outside with her, you will be modeling a more healthy lifestyle to her while you are getting healthier.

Get some hand weights or resistance bands ( some can be found in second hand sporting goods stores) use them while you sit and watch tv, or take them to work and use them on breaks.

Pack your own healthy lunches, AND snacks! This way you control what you eat.

Don't get discouraged! It took you many years to get where you are at, and it will take some time to correct that.

Check the teams that you have joined and share yourself and your concerns with the group, they WILL help you get through whatever you are going through. We have all been where you are at! Each of us is in a different place along the path, and we will come along side of you and help you along the same path. Before you know it YOU will be helping someone else along the same path that you WERE on.

Hang in there. Nothing changes unless SOMETHING changes. Report
Start with small mini-goals. Pick one thing that you really want to work on and set a small mini-goal for that 1 thing. Do it for 1 day then add another day and another. Once you have worked on that 1 mini-goal for a bit add another small mini-goal.

This has really helped me. I wanted to do everything all at once and I would fail at something and then feel like a failure and give up.

Once I started working on small mini-goals and seeing some success it helped me to keep going.

Right now I've got a bunch of small mini-goals going. If I don't complete one of those goals one day I keep on going because I've got 5 more that I did complete!

Be kind to yourself. Know that you are worth it and that you can do it. Learn to forgive yourself and realize that you are not perfect!

Use the nutrition tracker also. Even on days where you might eat too much. Track everything! Every bite that goes in your mouth. That has really helped me!!! Report
First off a hug from me to you! I'm proud of you for taking this hard road... it is hard but it is worth it!(I say that and I'm only 2 weeks in) One thing which has gotten me through the past 20 years of my life are a series of questions that a friend/doctor once gave me they are: 1. What do you want? 2. What are you doing? 3. Is what you are doing going to get you what you want?

Those questions are to the point... some days I still choose to have a pity party (I got the above questions to help me change my lifestyle dealing with chronic clinical depression) but when I do I usually know it is a choice!

Know that there will be days when you fail to reach your goals and love yourself anyway. Don't quit at the first downfall, weather it lasted a meal, an hour, a week or a month. Once you've noticed it, just pick yourself up and try again. Because as I have learned, the only real failure lies in not trying and giving up. Good luck to you! Report
Welcome to SP--you can use the site as little or as much as you like and it has some wonderful things to do and "listen" to. I started with tracking my calories, which is why I got on the site to begin with. I still do the tracking daily. Read the articles and do the featured exercises. I also walk at least 30 minutes a day and taking your daughter out with you is a great idea--it is amazing how that little time can make such a difference. I can really relate to the cluttered house and just spent a week repacking, throwing out and rearranging things in my basement as my son and his pregnant wife have moved in (with a noncustodial 14 month old that visits regularly)--so much for empty nest!!! Try to pick a corner or a wall to go through, with the help of your fiance and his mother--it is amazing what can be thrown or stored instead of having to be out in the open creating more of a mess. Keep a positive attitude and use the SP site for encouragement--there are many people who have "been there-done that". Good luck and stick with us--you will succeed!!! Report
Visit the Fly Lady community group on Spark People and get started with the Fly Lady program. It will help you get organized in your home. It is a great start to getting organized in your life and seeing clearly to start making powerful life changing choices. It really works. Your surroundings have a lot to do with your motivation for so many things. Report
Close email sign up
Our best articles, delivered Join the millions of people already subscribed Get a weekly summary of our diet and fitness advice We will never sell, rent or redistribute your email address.

Magic Link Sent!

A magic link was sent to Click on that link to login. The link is only good for 24 hours.