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SCRAPPYDOO9 SparkPoints: (4,745)
Fitness Minutes: (4,241)
Posts: 36
6/3/13 10:06 P

The funny thing I have found is that over the last four months my motivation has steadily grown, and I have surprised myself by wanting to make healthier choices and enjoying them! So I guess I would say that after 4 months and 40 pounds gone, I find myself actually enjoying this journey, and my eyes are open to things I never considered before. Just as every class you take is a step toward building your knowledge and obtaining your degree, every healthy step ou take has its own payoff in the long term. I waited until I was 44 to get started...if I knew how wonderful I would feel I wold have done it 8 years ago! I hope that you take your curiosity and desire to change in the same way you get through the stresses of school...that it benefits not only your now, but also your future. Good for you for taking the first step! You can do it!

Oh, and use the nutrition tracker!

Edited by: SCRAPPYDOO9 at: 6/3/2013 (22:07)
COANNIE SparkPoints: (9,512)
Fitness Minutes: (9,064)
Posts: 241
6/3/13 6:17 P

I don't even know how I ended up on Sparkpeople, it was a God-send!

The Spark for me was putting on my biggest pair of fat pants and they were too tight. I got MAD. Not sad, like usual, or depressed, but PISSED OFF. I decided something had to change.

So, I found myself on Sparkpeople and have found that the biggest single thing that has made a difference for me is the nutrition tracker. It forced me to confront the fact that I was eating enough calories for an Olympic heavylifter and not doing anything to work it off. I truly think it is the MOST important and useful tool on SP.

Also, if you take walks, use the route tracker, it's AWESOME. It's my favorite fun thing to do, to click away on my little map and see how far I've gone. It's under the "my Fitness " tracker.

I admire you for wanting to do this in college. I waited until my 40s caught up with me to make a change.


LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
6/3/13 2:10 P

Hello and Welcome!

You've been given some great advice by previous posters about goal-setting and making small changes. I loved what someone said about a bunch of small sparks instead of one big spark that starts a bonfire.

I waited for that spark that would start my bonfire for years. But, it never really happened. It was like my bonfire would get started and then go out. Finally, I realized that I couldn't wait for my bonfire (my motivation) to get started, nor could I depend on it to stay lit once it was started. I've found that motivation is a fickle thing that shows up occasionally, but never really sticks around. So, I decided to just do it whether or not I was motivated. I figured that I do a lot of things in life that I'm not motivated to do. I get up and go to work (thank goodness I don't depend on motivation to get me out of bed in the morning or I'd still be in bed), clean the house, do my laundry, etc. I'm not particularly motivated to do any of these things, but I can absolutely do a great job at things that I'm not really wanting to do and I often really do like the end results (the paycheck, clean house, clean laundry, the A on that research paper, etc.). I decided that weight loss and getting healthier would just have to be like that...something that would provide me with results that I enjoy, but not something that I always particularly enjoy doing in the moment. I made it like a job, a responsibility, something that I was just going to do and make part of my life whether or not I was "feeling it" at the time. That's what worked for me and I lost almost 100 lbs before I decided it was time to take a break and do maintenance for a while.

Throughout the process of losing that weight, my motivation showed up pretty soon after I started seeing results and I really enjoyed feeling motivated (and feeling motivated really does make things easier). Then, it disappeared when life got stressful. Then, it appeared as I got to give away clothes that no longer fit. Then, it went away again. Then, as I approached just being "overweight" instead of "obese" my motivation really appeared to get me to that point. Then, it went away for a while... Right now, it's back and I'm feeling particularly motivated about cooking and eating a healthy diet and exercising. Who knows how long it will stick around. But, I know I cannot depend on motivation. So, I just plug along and tell myself that it's my responsibility.

You can do it too!

6/3/13 12:33 P

Bravo to you for setting a goal and asking for help. I think those are two of the most important steps in accomplishing anything. Too often I've tried to go it alone even though I've been a counselor and coach myself!

My suggestion is to figure out what would be the long-term benefit for the change you want to make and then identify the short term rewards you'd like to give yourself or recognize yourself for achieving. I like fitness goals as opposed to weight loss because you have more control over whether you make the effort than see immediate changes in your body weight.

I hope you find peers at school who will support and join you to make a healthy lifestyle part of the college experience. Best wishes!


ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (198,565)
Fitness Minutes: (296,673)
Posts: 27,196
6/3/13 10:54 A

Online Now  • ))

Welcome to Spark People !!

I give all new members one piece of advice and it's this,"Don't look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". if the only healthy thing you did for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction.

Remember, you're trying to change habits learned over a life time. that's not going to happen overnight, a week, a month or even a year. Change takes time. thus the need to be patient with yourself and your body.

Start with some simple changes first. Don't try to do everything at once or you will end up frustrated. Set some simple goals. Example, if you're not eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies, set a goal to eat 2-3 servings each day for one week. If you're not drinking 8 glasses of water, set a goal to drink 2-4 glasses each day for one week. If you're not exercising, don't start with an hour a day, set a goal to take a 30 minute walk each day for one week. Once you've achieved these goals, then you set new ones.

And that's how we create new habits. No one ever became a healthy eater overnight. it's impossible. It takes time, but portion control and moderation really are the way to go.

Be kind to yourself as you would to others.

BETHS60 Posts: 570
6/3/13 7:29 A

Starting slowing is a great way to make long term changes, so don't beat yourself up about that.

College is really a tough time for improving your health. You are likely have limited food options, are surrounded by people eating badly and drinking too much, and have all kinds of stress with papers and exams. So good for you for starting your weight loss journey.

The good news it that there are probably plenty of options for exercise on campus. There's a ton of walking between classes, a gym, exercise classes, sports clubs.

So keep going to the gym. Make it a habit. It may help to mitigate some of that student stress, as well as burning calories. And add one other positive health habit this week. It can be something simple like drinking water instead of soda, walking instead of riding, making better choices at the cafeteria, like starting with a salad every day, or having fruit for dessert.

Think lots of little sparks, not one spark that starts a bonfire.

SHAPELYSWEETIE SparkPoints: (961)
Fitness Minutes: (38)
Posts: 7
6/2/13 10:04 P

Thank you so much for these sage words of advice my friend! The articles are fabulously uplifting and informative. I will definitely stop by your blog!

RIGEIN24 SparkPoints: (26,707)
Fitness Minutes: (4,747)
Posts: 304
6/2/13 9:47 P

I plan to make a blog post going more in-depth about my "spark" moment, but I wanted to share my top 3 favorite articles from this site that I always keep on hand! Having this wisdom in my head when negativity strikes is invaluable. I hope they help you too when you need it, and feel free to check out my blog (once I get done editing it) if you're curious about my personal journey.

SHAPELYSWEETIE SparkPoints: (961)
Fitness Minutes: (38)
Posts: 7
6/2/13 9:12 P

Hey all!
My first ever Sparkpeople post! I am very excited to join the Sparkpeople community. I have read only wonderful things about the support and camaraderie found here.

I am a sophomore in college and I am in the very beginning stages of my weight loss/health journey.Unfortunately, I find myself really struggling to find that "spark" that will really push me to make some substantial changes. I have started (albeit slowly) to get my rear to the gym more often but the very small gains I have made have been unbalanced by crappy nutrition habits. I am terrified that the weight might never come off...

I suppose I am basically asking what has worked for you, dear Sparkpeople, in terms of motivation/nutrition/fitness? I am very interested in hearing other people's stories. Perhaps then this journey won't seem so lonely anymore.

I look forward to your responses! :)

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