Maria M. : Success Story

What prompted the change

Maria was really in denial about how much weight she had gained and just felt horrible every day. She felt very helpless and devastated. She just hurt all the time, from extra weight and from what she ate. Then Maria and her husband decided to start a family. She just did not envision bringing a baby into the world with a mother who cared so little about her health and herself. She really felt an overwhelming sense that a child would suffer if she was suffering. For some reason that was a much bigger motivator than all the years of wanting to just look better, (and going up and down). Maria suddenly wanted to do it for the right reasons – for her own health, and to finally have a happy family.

Conquering strategy

Maria focused most of her energy on healing the emotional side of eating and dieting. That has been 75% of her struggle. She worked on correcting her eating habits, her self esteem and just her general obsessive personality. Maria’s diet is fairly low in carbs, lean protein and lots of fruits and veggies. Most importantly, she really started exercising a lot. Maria fell in love with spinning, circuit training and now working out is a daily thing. She believes that all the exercise she did helped her to stay in shape when the diet was no where in sight. She also looks feels better because of it.

How SparkPeople helped

At first SparkPeople helped the most with counting calories and tracking food. That really provided Maria with good information to know what she was eating. So many times she was just guessing and did not know why it was not working. Soon after she started to track other nutrients, such as fiber and exercise. Over a quick period of time, Maria really felt the benefits of being accountable to herself. That structure is a crucial key for her. She loves that it is open to all eating programs and that people speak freely about what they do. The message boards are a great stress reliever on a bad day, or a way to share support. Maria only started posting a few months ago and the people and Coach Joe have really been able to help when she needed it.

Noticeable improvements

Maria was a size 16/14 (“Eeks,” says Maria) and now she is a 6. Maria still has 5-10 pounds left to loose, but the biggest improvement is that she has been able to keep this up since last September. Maria has not slipped back into her old bad habits of thinking horrible thoughts and just giving up. She has been able to get back into the program if she slips up here and there (which she has). Maria thinks that is her biggest improvement. That is the improvement that lets her know this is not a diet, but a new/refreshed Maria.

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Weight Before: 178 lbs.
Weight After: 135 lbs.

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