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My "before" picture: Bob and I, Dec. 2013

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My son, Dan, his wife, Jan and my grandson, Archer, fall 2013

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My daughter, Bekah, with Archer.


MSKELLEY is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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It's been a very, very long time since I logged onto SparkPeople and looked around and still even longer since I actually took my weight gain and loss serious.

Here's a bit of background about me: My Momma was diagnosed with Dementia in 2007 and a few short months later she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. I always knew I was the strong one in the family but this disease has made me realize that I'm stronger than I ever thought I was.

Through it all though, I became a stress eater. I suppose, looking back on my life, and my being overweight, I've always been a stress eater but I never realized till Momma became sick. I had lost 70 lbs in 2008 and began very quickly to gain it back after Momma's formal diagnosis.

It wasn't just Momma that became sick. Our entire family was affected. And I... well, I ate my way through my depression and through all the decisions that no one else wanted to make. I got healthcare in for Momma & my little sister, Lorna, who had Down Syndrome and lived with Momma all of her life. I traveled down to take care of things for Momma every two weeks. I asked for help but never really got it from my siblings. I became bitter, unhappy and depressed.

In 2010, I had to move Momma from her home into a nursing home here near me. I brought Lorna with her so that they would be able to stay together. I was doing all that I could to keep Momma and Lorna safe. 2010 was a tough year. 2011 was even worse. 2012 was better... and I thought we were on the up swing and things were going to be okay.

Then on December 29th, 2012, my little sister, Lorna, who was only 42 years old, became very ill. We admitted her to the hospital, she got better, then took a turn for the worse and slipped into a coma. On January 7th, 2013, she passed away in the hospital.

That began a downward spiral for me when I'd thought I'd already hit bottom. I hadn't. I became more depressed. Sad. Unhappy. I could barely work. I couldn't visit Momma. I was sad and my heart was broken.

Finally a few months after Lorna's death, I realized that I needed help. I called my doctor and made an appointment. I asked for help with my depression. It took a lot for me to do that... however, I am glad I did. The stress of the last five years had taken it's toil on me and the loss of Lorna was more than I could bear. I was inside a black hole and I couldn't pull myself out of it. I needed help.

It took me a long time to realize life does go on... and here we are, 70 + lbs. later... and I'm finally wanting to get on with my life but being weighed down by ... my weight.

This is my journey from a dark, sad place into a brighter, happier and more active one. If I can help even one person, through something like I've gone through... it will make the journey worthwhile.

Old info:

One of the most important things I've learned over the last 18 months is that I eat my stress. I didn't realize that before. Oh, I knew I ate when I was happy and I ate when I was depressed but I didn't realize that I really eat my stress. Totally. Completely. Trying to fill a void? Trying to forget?

Whatever it was, it didn't work. My stressors are still here and my body is still overweight. Not as much as it has been during my life but definitely more than I'd like.

2011 has got to get better...I won't let it pass me by!

I joined SP originally on January 11th, 2008. I was tired of being heavy, tired of not feeling good and tired of not being able to do things I wanted to do with my children and grandchildren.

I couldn't lose weight for me.. so I put them first & lost 70 lbs!! I was unstoppable! I loved life, living & doing things again!

2009 came & my momma was diagnosed with Dementia & then ultimately Alzheimer's Disease & my life turned upside down. I was sad. Depressed. Busy. Worried. STRESS was my partner... it seemed I never went anywhere without feeling it!

Finally, I believe I have my momma & sister "handled". They are safe & as happy as they can be. And I... well, I don't want to focus on the past anymore. Yes, I gained weight. Yes, I was (and still am sometimes) depressed... but it's time to focus on the future and what is possible now... not what happened before... No more looking back & kicking myself for the life I've led in the last 17 months. I will focus on the good & go forward...

I want my children & grandchildren to be proud of me.. I want to be the gramma & momma that they deserve.. and so I will put my children first, I will put my grandchildren first... If I can't do it for myself.. I will do it for them... Because THEY deserve a better momma & a better gramma... They deserve for me to be the best I can be!!

I will win... at this "removing" game. I will gain my health & be more active. I will give myself the chance to be the best I can be.

My goals:
*Do something every day for me. Whether it's reading a book, drinking my water, or just enjoying a fun show on TV... I will do something every day JUST FOR ME.

*I will look forward - not back. I will look at what can be.. not what was or where I was before.

*I will eat more veggies, more fruits & drink at least 12 glasses of water a day.

*I will be proud of who I am & all that I have accomplished.

*I will remember... I am stronger than I ever thought I was!

****************Original Intro*******************

I've decided to do something for me AND to do it the right way. Small steps instead of jumping in and running...I'm taking small steps. The weight didn't come on overnight so what makes me think it will go away that quickly? (Wishful thinking perhaps?) Here I am - Trying something new - and trusting it will work. My name is Kelley and when I begun this journey, I was a 48 year old woman struggling with pounds that keep creeping up. (I am now 49... )


02/28/09: Turned 50 on 2/24 & had my very first birthday party on the 28th! LOTS of my SparkFriends braved the snow and ice to wish me a happy birthday! 70 + lbs thinner and a WHOLE LOT happier & healthier with me!

01/11/09: Sunday, 1/11/09 marked my ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY ON SPARKPEOPLE and I am AMAZED at how my life has changed. A simple photo taken of my son hugging me shortly after Christmas in 2007, changed my life when I, for the first time, in a very long time, saw myself... as I really was. I knew I had to make a change, and I began this lifestyle journey on January 11th, 2008. ONE YEAR AGO TODAY!

11/11/08: 10 months... and changing my goals! Depressing as it is, I believe in "owning" my weight, "owning" my successes and "owning" my lack thereof. So.. as of today, I've moved my goal date further down the calendar and come to realize that I won't make my original goal by my 50th birthday. Read my blog below for more insight on this, what could have been, a devastating revelation.

10/17/08: I made my mini goal... EARLY! I had wanted to have 65 lbs. off by Thanksgiving... and today... well, today I succeeded. This journey has been lots of little successes... from being able to run with my grandchildren, to my sons & daughter seeing a MUCH, MUCH thinner mom this summer...

I have also found some new loves... I LOVE sliced apples & peanut butter, I love Multi-grain Cheerios (thanks, Dan!), I love sugar free jello with cool whip, I love finding new bones.. I haven't seen in years (today I found my ribcage!), I love buying smaller clothes... I love my new Wii... I love playing tennis... who would have thought it??

A lot can change in 9 months!!

10/11/08: 9 months on SparkPeople, Abby's 1st Birthday party and my enjoying the taste of the BEST CAKE EVER! I've lost a total of 64 lbs (only one lb. shy of my next mini goal) or a total of 256 sticks of butter!

I sometimes can not remember what it was like NOT to be on this journey. Sometimes I can't believe it's been 9 months - over 270 days since I began this journey to improve myself and my life! I can, however, remember why I began... this journey... "To be healthier, To be proud of me, To look GOOD NAKED!"

I wanted my sons to see a thinner mom by summer (they did), I wanted to be able to run and play with my granddaughters (I can and do!), I wanted my daughter to be proud to "hang out" with me (she is and always has been she tells me!)

I'm gaining in so many areas as the sticks of butter are melting off of me... Slowly and for the VERY LAST TIME! I am so appreciative of gaining so much... Without SP.. I would still be huffing & puffing... I'd still be walking BEHIND my children instead of WITH my children... It has been a very incredible journey!

9/19/08: Total lost: 236 sticks of butter (or 59 lbs!) and it's my second day with my new iPod! Read below to hear about my lunch break experience today.

9/11/08: 8 months on SparkPeople! How my life has changed!
What an amazing journey this has been! See my latest blog below for more of my 8 months of insights.

8/27/08: 229 days - ALMOST 8 months: I am in the midst of a major "funk". I have not given up however am just not in the game. After many weeks of knowing my head isn't in the game, my heart is now wondering what are we still doing here?

My Spark friends have been busy today ... slapping my hands and patting me on the back all at the same time. My most recent blog says much and I believe I may take my SP friends advice... and let up for a couple of days. I believe I may try not to be so rigid in my lifestyle and maybe try to have a bit more fun... Perhaps that will be the change both my head and my heart needs!

I will also remember WHY I chose to do this:

To be healthier.
To be proud of me.

I would like for my sons to see a thinner mom by summer... I want to be able to partake of all sorts of fun things with my children... I want to be able to run and play with my granddaughters. I want my daughter to be proud to "hang out" with her mom!

I will continue my lifestyle journey... I will NOT give up!

8/11/08: Seven Month's and 219.2 Sticks of Butter GONE! It doesn't seem like seven month's have passed on this journey. At least not most of the time. I am excited to see the following changes:

Down four sizes in jeans!
Down three sizes in blouses!
My feet are thinner - Strange looking almost!
I have bones sticking out on my wrists!
I walk taller!
I am still being flirted with... how fun is that!
I have more confidence...
...and I find it funny the way people that haven't seen me in quite some time, look at me now... as if something is different.. but not sure what... it's funny!

What a journey this has been... and continues to be. I'm excited to be losing weight, for once -- and for the last time... the HEALTHY way! I hope you'll join me!

7/11/08: Six Month Anniversary & 200 Sticks of Butter GONE and in the process I have gained so much:
I'm happier now!
I have ENERGY!
I have bones I haven't seen in YEARS!
I have more self esteem!
I believe in me more now!
I actually have been the recipient of FLIRTING!
I smile more now!
And slowly... I'm looking better and better NAKED!

163 Days on SparkPeople!! How have I changed? I now have 45.2 lbs. off, my clothing size has decreased as has my closet - since now I have very few clothes that fit well, I've gained in stamina - I do a lot more now, I've found bones I've not seen in several years and I feel so much better! I'm looking forward to losing the next 45 lbs!!

I am amazed that it has been 163 Days and I'm still going strong! I am bound and determined to: be healthier, for my children to be proud to be seen with me, for me to be proud of me, and to finally, after years of covering up, to LOOK GOOD NAKED!

100 + days have passed: And how did I celebrate? I bought a bike! Read my blog below for more insight on my recent purchase.

100 Days on SparkPeople! How have I changed? Well, let's see, I've lost 30.6 lbs and today I bought a pair of jeans that are two sizes smaller than the last time I bought jeans! My face has changed and my stamina has definitely gotten better. My self esteem is coming back and I am walking taller!

Member Since: 1/11/2008

Fitness Minutes: 6,609

My Goals:
DRINK at last 8 glasses of water a day!

Take more "Me" time!

Family is the most important thing!

My Program:
Drink more water! At least 8 glasses a day!

Low intake of Soda & Sweets.

Walk twice a week!

Personal Information:
I was born & reared in Missouri & have lived here all of my life. I love Missouri, however would love to call another state home someday!

I am proud to say that I will turn 55 this year.. I am the proud momma of three & the proud Gramma of two beautiful little girls and a new grandson!!

Other Information:
My all time favorite movie is GHOST. I love, love, love, JAMES BLUNT... and Adele!

I think Sam Elliott is HOT!

Read More About MSKELLEY - Profile Information moved here. (Updated February 28)

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