175 pounds down!!! woo hoo!!! but still working hard!

May 2011, I'm loving shopping for new clothes now!!! Everything's different when they actually fit!

November 16, 2013. ♥ 176 pounds gone.


SMARTLADY66 is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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After a lifetime of obesity, I finally made up my mind...I'd had ENOUGH! I had to make a change and THIS TIME was going to be different. I could feel it!

I've been dieting for 5 years. I've lost 176 pounds, around 80 inches and I'm down about 10 sizes from a 30/32 to a size 12/14 and a few 8/10's in my workout clothes. I have lost HALF my entire body weight!!! In one year, I lost 131 pounds and in the following year, I lost 45 more. Since then, I have been maintaining my weight (within a 5 - 10 pound range) but I want to lose a little more. I'm still working EVERYDAY to reach my goal weight.

I've had great success on my journey using a couple of "tools". From the very beginning, I purchased a digital food scale. It wasn't very expensive, about $20 from WalMart. It can weigh up to 10 lbs. of food and can also measure in ounces, grams or kg. (There were cheaper ones too but I figured it was a good idea to spend a few dollars more on something that I would be using every day as such an important part of my diet plan.) I weigh everything! It's just too easy to miscalculate when you're guessing. AND MOST PEOPLE GUESS INCORRECTLY! Just be accurate by weighing then there's never any question to how much and how many calories you're eating. (FYI: I ate 1500 cals. a day when I first started at a weight of 351.5 lbs. and I eat 1300 - 1400 now.)
The second tool was a food journal. I still write EVERYTHING down that I eat, BEFORE I eat it. It's way too easy to forget to enter it later and then you've eaten more calories then you realized. I always write it down and there's no question to how I've spent my calories for the day and what I have left to eat! IT KEEPS ME HONEST!!!

In addition to those two things, I would have to say that making healthy food choices like chicken breast, fish, lean cuts of meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat bread instead of white (but even that I've cut down to a minimal amount), drinking lots of water and eating low fat/ low sugar has helped me so much. You can find lots of creative recipes on SparkPeople to help you get through. One of my family's favorites is Taco Soup, yummy! I love to cook and finding ways to prepare foods that my kids like too has been lots of fun. I love seeing them eat healthily.

Exercise too is now a part of my life. I started with a BMI of 56 and now I'm at 27.3! That's still considered OVERWEIGHT but hey, I'm a work-in-progress! Oh well! I still don't enjoy exercising much but I love the results. I can't argue with all the positive things I have gotten from exercising. So just do something... get out there and MOVE. Even if you just start out walking like I did. When I began to walk for exercise at 351 pounds, it was painful. It was more like limping and hobbling around the track at the park. I had severe heel/foot pain and it hurt with each step I took. I couldn't even wear shoes with backs on them. But I am happy to report that as the weight came off, I have NO PAIN AT ALL. It is amazing! (Oh, by the way, now I can wear sexy heels, too!)

I have a little way to go on my journey still. I think I can possibly lose another 20 pounds or so, I'm 5'7 1/2" and want to end up around 155-160 to see how that looks on me. It's a wait and see kind of thing. Won't know til I get there!! Until then I'm going to keep working at it. I want to finish. I need to finish. Then I can work on maintaining and enjoying the healthier life I have created for myself and my family.

Thank you to all of you who share your stories! Your comments, motivation and inspiring stories and photos have given me courage and hope along my journey. You people are awesome! Keep posting those before and after pics. Those are the BEST!!!

A special shout out to my dear Sparkfriends Bill60, Toothful99 and of course my sis Classicalshelly. You guys help get me through each week and you motivate the heck out of me. Hugs!

Good luck to all of you. If I can answer any questions or share my experience further, just let me know. If I can help even one person, it's a blessing. I know what it is to battle with weight since I have fought it and been defeated by it my entire life...UNTIL NOW THAT IS!!!!!!

Member Since: 9/7/2009

Fitness Minutes: 1,835

My Goals:
It wasn't a goal but I did my first 10K in April 2010!!! Ha, who knew I could do that?

My 2nd 10K, April 2011! woohoo!

Completed a HALF MARATHON, March 2012! That's 13.1 miles!

My 3rd 10K, April 2012!

1. My first goal is to lose my excess weight...ALL of it... permanently! That's probably 180-200 lbs! YIKES! But I'm taking it in 10lb increments. Small steps to the finish line.

2. My second goal is to create a healthier body by exercising (which I do not enjoy- but I am doing it anyway).

My Program:
What I've done is pretty straightforward - no tricks, no drugs- just hard work. Basically, I count calories and exercise. I started at my heaviest weight of 351.5 pounds eating 1500 calories a day. I now eat 1300-1400 a day. I've turned my life around and do everything differently than I've done before.

I try to workout 5 - 6 days a week alternating exercises to not get bored.
I joined a gym and workout at least 4 times a week there. I love doing the circuit of weight machines and I'm enjoying seeing my muscles develop! When not at the gym, I do 3-4 mi. (more if I'm feeling ambitious!) of walk/jog intervals at least twice a wk.

Elliptical and Treadmill!!! (Truly it's a LOVE/HATE relationship!) I do 60 minutes at a time and burn a bunch of calories, like 800-1000, depending on incline and speed!

Biggest Loser Last Chance workout DVD and Bob's Bootcamp DVD.

I just keep active and moving!

Personal Information:
I'm a southern girl, 47 years old and getting stronger everyday. I'm a mother of 5 - (3 boys and 2 girls). I have a great family - and some very special friends...they're my support system!

My sister is also on Spark People...look her up, she's Classicalshelly. We have taken this journey together and she's lost 182 pounds! Congrats to her on being named a Sparkpeople MOTIVATOR. I am so proud of her.

Other Information:
"Life is an ever-changing process, and nothing is final. Therefore, each moment and every day is a chance to begin anew."

“Being defeated is often temporary, giving up makes it permanent.”

“Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.”

“The true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good.”

“Things don't go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.”

“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.”

“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily.”

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