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These are the leather pants I swore I'd get into when I set out to lose weight five years ago!

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Good Lord, how did I let myself (far right) get like that? At my heaviest ever (about 260).

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Woo hoo! I look normal next to my thin friend!

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TINAJANE76 is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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***NOTE: I've just had a baby and have taken a step back from my usual activity here. I am still committed to my healthy lifestyle, now more than ever, but I need to dedicate a bigger chunk of my time elsewhere for the time being. I'll still check in from time to time, but won't be as active as I used to be here, at least for another few months. I'll post updates when I can. My plan for now is to be completely back in the maintaining game by my five-year maintenance anniversary in March 2017, which gives me more than five months to slowly shed any lingering baby weight. Seems reasonable for now. Spark on, everyone!

I don't run marathons and I don't follow an unusual or super-restrictive diet. I'm just a regular girl who's spent the vast majority of her life obese or overweight and has found success at long last. I'm living proof that it is possible to develop moderate habits that will help you to lose a lot of weight and keep it off--even if you've had a long history of ups and downs.

I reached my goal of losing more than 90 pounds in March 2012 and have been successfully maintaining since then--a feat I had never accomplished before. I think that staying very active and engaged here on SparkPeople has helped me to finally keep the weight off and really internalize all of the lifestyle changes I've made. To anyone who has been caught in the frustrating cycle of yo-yo dieting, please know that there is hope. I had nearly resigned myself to a lifetime of obesity, health problems and getting old before my time. When I started my journey in February 2010, I was 240 pounds and 33 going on 80. I had lost and regained hundreds of pounds over the course of my life and had nearly undone all of a 115-pound weight loss from my late 20s when I finally tapped the brakes and decided enough was enough. Over the past four+ years, I've reclaimed my health, my life and my youthful energy. At 38, I feel better than ever and am looking forward to many more happy and healthy years.

My journey has involved lots of ups and downs, but I remained committed to losing the weight slowly and sensibly and am always striving for greater balance in all things. Since I began maintenance, I've worked hard to find what's most sustainable for me, both in terms of my diet and in my fitness routine. I've sometimes gone overboard in pursuit of my goals, but I know that my obsession has often led to burnout and that's something I really want to avoid. Even after passing the two-year mark on maintenance, I'm still finding that there's always room for improvement and that life's challenges sometimes make staying on track very, very hard. I've learned that the most important way to stay on track in tough times is remaining connected to my support systems and not giving up myself and on all of the healthy habits I've developed even when every ounce of me just wants to tear into bags of chips and candy bars to soothe myself. It really is all about being as consistent as possible and not letting little slips totally derail you.

As I was losing weight, I enjoyed participating in the Seasonal 5% Challenges because they gave me an extra push and kept me more accountable. I'm currently one of the leaders on the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team and am working with the other leaders and members of the team to provide more support to my fellow Sparkers as they begin to plan for and continue on in maintenance. The statistics for maintenance are daunting--studies say that as many as 98% of people who lose weight will regain it--and we want to help turn those statistics around by providing more tools, resources and support for people who want to keep the weight off for good.

I also love the consistent support I've received from my SparkFriends. I hope that, with this support system and my continued consistency, I'll be able to continue to maintain my losses in the long-term, something I've never been able to do for more than a few months' time until now. I absolutely do not want to have to restart this process again, EVER!

Member Since: 3/7/2010

Fitness Minutes: 45,429

My Goals:
First and foremost, I'd like to maintain my weight loss for the rest of my life. Once as high as 260, I now try to maintain in a range of +/-3% of 150 and I'm 5'7". Reaching goal has liberated me from feeling constantly self-conscious about my size and appearance, worrying about whether I'll be able to fit in chairs, or worse, break them, and much of the weight-related stress I was placing on my body. I've found that I CAN maintain my weight without total deprivation and feel a deep sense of peace at the balance I've achieved in my life. I finally feel like the image I present externally matches who I am on the inside--young, joyful and full of energy. Now that I've gotten over my initial sea legs of being on maintenance, my goal is to find the spot where good health, aesthetics, and lifestyle intersect. This journey is no longer about losing weight for me, but about trying to live as happily and healthily as I can for as long as I can.

My Program:
I follow a balanced plan that doesn't completely exclude any type of food. Now that I'm on maintenance, I've worked hard to find the right balance between continuing my healthy lifestyle and figuring out where I can loosen up a bit without gaining weight, which I've found to be much harder than it seems. Once a religious tracker, I am trying to move more towards an intuitive eating approach, but I know that I can always fall back on tracking if I find I need to. I am not a fitness queen and haven't developed a great love for any particular type of sport or activity apart from dancing. I do what I do because it works and because I know my health will thank me for it. I generally aim for three to four days of cardio and strength training each week in addition to all of the walking I do living in a city without cars. I have a somewhat short attention span and need to change my workouts regularly to ward off boredom and to keep challenging myself. I also dabble in yoga and Pilates.

Personal Information:
I'm 39 years old and originally from New York but have been living in Venice, Italy since 2007.

Other Information:
Obviously, I love food. I'm trying to balance that love with being healthy. I'm fortunate that, living in Italy, I have access to wonderful fresh produce year-round. I also love traveling, wine and fresh German lagers, Czech pilsners and English ale, film (especially Pre-Code movies, screwball comedies, pretty much anything French and gritty 70s crime dramas), reading (I'm really into Zola at the moment), music, dancing, camping, the Yankees and spending time with the people I love. I want to be a positive force on SparkPeople and think that everyone here deserves to be treated with kindness and compassion. As the saying goes, "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.�

Read More About TINAJANE76 - Profile Information moved here. (Updated May 30)

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    Just popping in to say hello! Hope all is well with you and the family. :)
    932 days ago
    emoticon Hope all is well with you and yours. Germany must be keeping you busy!
    946 days ago
    Just touching base to let you know that you were a consistent source of inspiration for me pre-baby. I hope you and your family have been well!
    1337 days ago
    Hi.... I saved this all this time....... Hope you are well.

    Week of 06/13/2013 - Featured Blog Post

    Mourning the Loss of a SparkFriend

    One of the best things about SparkPeople is its wonderful sense of community. I've received some fantastic encouragement and support from the people on this site in the 3+ years I've been active here and feel like I've really formed a strong bond with many of my SparkFriends.

    Every once in a while, however, I'm reminded of the fact that this is a virtual community and that our relative anonymity, while often comfortable, makes it easier for people to just fade away when times get tough. In spite of how much we talk about support being a critical part of this process and how useful it is when you're not at your best, it seems like it's even harder to stay connected when you've fallen off the wagon--that being surrounded by other people who all seem to be achieving what you can't just adds to your sense of frustration and disappointment. I've mourned many a loss of people who seem to have taken that route but, the truth is, I often don't really know why they chose to leave SparkPeople because it was a silent departure. I forge on in their absence, but it does make me sad. Every now and then, I'll check on old friend's page in the hopes that they've come back. Occasionally, I'm pleasantly surprised to get a message from an old friend who's decided to come back, but often there's hardly a trace of my old buddy to be found. And, I admit, I feel a bit like a girl who's been stood up on prom night.

    What happens when a person disappears from SparkPeople? Do they choose not to log in and turn off all of their notifications? How do they feel about completely shutting out all of the support that they had once been so reliant on? Sometimes they take down their SparkPages altogether so it's almost as if they never existed even if they were so upbeat and motivating while they were active here. I haven't left SparkPeople since I joined up, but I had previously pulled away from Weight Watchers and here's what happened:

    I reached goal, maybe maintained for a very short time, then experienced a big gain in a relatively short period of time. Rather than using that gain as a wake-up call to take action and lean on the support that was offered to get back on track, I just left. I felt embarrassed, like the shining example I had been setting was tarnished and that I was somehow letting everyone else down. But the truth was, the person I was letting down most was myself. Inevitably, my absence meant that I was rapidly regaining all of the weight I had lost, and often a whole lot more. And what's more, I really wasn't giving the people in my support group the credit they deserved. If support systems existed just for when times are good, then we really wouldn't need them, right? It's when times get tough that we should really feel like we can lean on the people around us to help us pick up the pieces. And there wasn't a single time when I went crawling back with my head down, admitting that I had made a big mistake in leaving, that I wasn't welcomed with open arms.

    If you're on the fence about whether you should stay or go here on SparkPeople, please seriously consider sticking around. There are so many people here who are willing to help and who have been exactly where you are now. WE UNDERSTAND. If you've left, but are silently lurking and happen to read this, please think about becoming active again. This isn't an easy road we're paving for ourselves, but it's so much more difficult when we feel like we're going it alone. If you know someone who's withdrawn, but still has their SparkPage up, think about sending them a little note to see how they're doing and to let them know that they've been missed. Maybe they won't respond, but your message just might be the thing that helps them to realize that there are people here, even in this anonymous virtual world, who care and helps them get back on track. And if you're an old buddy of mine who's been out of touch, please don't be afraid to reconnect. I've probably missed you more than you'll ever know.

    1404 days ago
    Hope you are all fine - your little guy will be running around by now, I bet!
    1429 days ago
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