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I never get tired of telling people about SparkPeople!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Today I was asked by a couple of Wal-mart ladies how I lost weight. This is beginning to happen a lot, everywhere I go. I now print SP business cards to hand out. Some lose interest when I tell them it took 10.5 months to lose 75 lbs but a few ask for the card with the information.

For new members, here is my story yet again:

I quit dieting when I turned 39 and my mother was 78. All the dieting between us hadn't changed the most basic fact - we were both fat. Still fat, always fat. I was not going to spend the rest of my life agonizing over something I could not have; I was never going to diet again and I instead learned how to accept myself and improved my self-esteem. I was worthy of love regardless of my weight and/or size.

So what happened and why have I been dieting for the past 10.5 months? I didn't exactly switch overnight. I was 39 when I quit dieting and 56 when I came back to SparkPeople and started doing the program.

I tried every trick I could think of - only eat out of a soup bowl included, believe it or not a soup bowl is 2 cups and if you make your meals no more than what fits in a soup bowl you can generally lose weight.

Well, nothing worked, not even the soup bowl so this time when I came back to SP I intended to be counting calories. But I was going to maintain control and I was going to eat between 1000-1200 calories to do it. Well, that didn't work according to plan and I would have days of binging 2300-2500+ calories for several days whenever I got below 1000 calories.

3 months later I decided to try using the Nutrition Tracker and discovered that for188 lbs (I did manage to lose 22 lbs) I was supposed to be eating 1200-1550 calories to lose the weight in one year. I started eating more and also losing more. I averaged about 1300-1400 most days and without hunger.

Then I found WATP videos and started burning more calories and SP upped me to 1600 day and I just couldn't handle that so I changed my goal from one year to 2 lbs per week, that put me back to the calories I was already comfortable with. I can live on 1500 for the rest of my life if I had to. And the weight started coming off 2 lbs per week pretty steadily.

I do not follow any special diet plan. I eat whatever fits into my daily calories. If I pig out on ice cream it means it will cost me later in the day to stay within my calorie range. I simply refuse to admit that food has a hold over me, I can be very stubborn. I simply refuse to go outside of my allotted range! I would eat celery soup if push ever came to shove just to eat but not go over on my calories! Thankfully it never came to that, lol.

Over the course of 10.5 months I have slowly starting eating smarter while still maintaining my 2 lbs per week losses. During the summer I was walking 150 minutes daily and eating at the top of my range. Now I am lucky to get 30 minutes daily so I am doing the WATP and eating in the middle of my range and am satisfied with 1 lb per week.

Why have I shown this degree of determination? I have absolutely no idea! But my dad learned this week that he will have to go on dialysis and I find it interesting that his diet is quite similar to the food plan I am now on. His portions are now going to be the same portions that I have had to learn this past year! And now I tell him that if I can do it, so can he.

Anyway, that is my story. That is how I went from no diet to my present food plan.


I just realized I never answered the question, "So what happened and why have I been dieting for the past 10.5 months?" I don't really know. DH asks me a lot and I never have an answer. I just woke up Mar 27, 2008 and said to him, "I've had enough. No more. I am going to take off this extra weight." I told him the only goal I had was it had to be a weight I could maintain - no yo-yo dieting. I am getting too old for yo-yo dieting. I didn't care if it was 180, 165 or whatever, but wherever I stopped and could maintain would be it.

SP was just so easy for me and I never got hungry. The weight just kept coming off and I kept walking more and more. So I just kept lowering my goal. There are days that I still cannot fully realize just what I have done! I am lighter than I can even remember from ever!

But I can tell you, this is doable with SP and the wonderful members of all these awesome teams! But it has to be a lifestyle change. I can never go back to the old way of eating but really I don't want to. I love trying on clothes now, just for myself and DH, but it is so much more fun when clothes get big than when they get too small!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This is terrific, Linda. I have had people ask me how I dropped the lbs. When I tell them it's as a result of SparkPeople I have actually had people ask "how can a website help you that much"? I honestly have had no one EXCEPT my daughter jump on the site & really try it out. Right now I have managed to find some lbs back, so I'm not the greatest example of what Spark can do. But I know it will turn around.
    Your abounding energy is such an inspiration to me!! God bless!
    3417 days ago
  • _VALEO_
    Unlike Dina, I'm not surprised that people get turned off when you tell them how long it took to lose that weight -we now are in an era where everything should go fast, and TV shows persons losing amazing weight in no time. We are also surrounded by diet programs, magic pills claiming to help us to lose all our pounds in a few months without any effort. It didn't take them 2 months to overweight, it won't certainly take 2 months to lose the extra weight.
    But 10.5 months to lose 75 lbs: it's an excellent job to me, and quite fast! (I had to convert it to realize you lost an amazing 34 kilos in 10 months!!! Woo-hoo!)

    You might be not able to answer the question about diet, because it's all about living healthy -you chose a healthy life on last March, and good for you! It's a life commitment! And while reading you, I can feel that there is no turning back.

    I don't like the term diet, it's all about restriction and frustration, and what you described is being aware of nutrition and doing smart choices, and also about exercising. And yes, it demands some effort, and you have spared no effort to achieve it. Kudos to you.

    I checked your Nutrition tracker, and I must say that I was impressed -it's not very often that a nutrition tracker on SP makes sense to me. (Most of the time, when I read entries containing mainly processed food -which don't exist (yet!) where I live- or fast-food, I feel like ET!).
    Your tracker is full of "simple" and varied food I can picture, it seems to me you're a great cook.

    Keep on the good work!

    Edited because of spelling!

    3418 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/8/2009 6:14:49 AM
    It is amazing to me how many people seem to have success with SP when all else has failed. This site really has everything: motivation, tools (trackers), teams, and specific ideas for meal planning and exercise. Personally, I don't use the Spark meal plans, but those looking to be told what to eat will find it here as well!

    Oh, did I mention all the super nice people here (which of course you are one of them)? I have belonged to online diet groups in the past, and there was usually at least one person who would bring the group down. I have not found that here at all!!!!!

    Start spreading the blues~~~~

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3418 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/7/2009 11:56:42 PM
    LOL Sometimes there are no answers to a question... you made me think of my answer to the same question "what was different this time?"

    Well, for me, it was SP! I actually read the advice, used the trackers, opened my eyes to the truth, and most importantly, ACCEPTED MYSELF FOR WHO I AM! March 08 was a huge turning point in my life. Changing your mindset, and actually learning what works best for your body, works better to permanantly lose the fat and keep it off.
    3418 days ago
    Thanks Linda, that's a great reminder that this actually works. Sometimes it seems like we are all in this rat race together, but none of us are crossing the finish line. Well, you crossed that finish line so I know it does exist.
    3419 days ago
    if people only thought about the unhealty overwieght people are they would understand to learn how to lose and to keep it off is a life time commitment but one that brings the joy losing. you go girl give it to them .
    dorene emoticon
    3419 days ago
  • DINA:-)
    i'm surprised that people get turned off when you tell them it took you 10.5 months to lose 75 lbs- i think that's fast! i love hearing your story- i don't think dieting works- it really does take a lifestyle change. way to go, linda!
    3419 days ago
    Bravo! Bravo!!
    3419 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.