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Smoking The Competition!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I lost sixty-three pounds in my first six months on Spark People, and then gained twenty plus back in four months when I stopped using the site on a daily basis. At that point I realized I just could not allow myself to keep gaining but it seemed almost impossible to get it back down.

So I concentrated on maintaining my weight where I was, still forty pounds down from my heaviest. I fluctuated from month to month, but I didn't regain that forty pounds. I decided if I never ended up losing any more but stayed there, forty pounds lighter, that was much better than the alternative.

After over a year of 'plateauing' I decided I was ready to lose the rest of this weight but I still suffered through several "false starts." While they frustrated me immensely, I tried to look at them in a positive manner and learn more about myself and why food was such a problem for me.

A few weeks ago, my nineteen-year-old son stopped by to visit, with a cigarette in hand. He's tried to quit several times and then started again. I raised him in a non-smoking household, so I can't begin to understand why he smokes, much less understand how difficult it must be to give it up.

As I pondered this after he left, it occurred to me it was probably about as difficult for him as it seemed to be for me to control my eating habits, and it was then the "spark" hit me.

I'd challenge him, I decided. We both needed to do something that would take major effort in order to become healthier and live life to the fullest. I did just that, asking him if he was up for it, and he happily agreed. We shook on it, and set a goal deadline of June 16, 2011, which just happens to be my 51st birthday!

Yesterday, I saw him, and mentioned the six pounds I've dropped. He smiled and said, "and I'm down from a pack a day to just five cigarettes daily."

Yikes! He may be a non-smoker before we reach Halloween! Which would thrill me to bits of course.

Since I got back on track (counting calories, fitness minutes and using this site for inspiration, tracking and support) I'm right on track to reach my goal weight by June 2011.

The most important thing to remember, if you're struggling, is this -- you haven't failed if you don't give up! Look at the setbacks as learning opportunities.

I've charted all my weight gains honestly on Spark People, in the hope that next year, when I reach and maintain my goal weight, my journey will be an inspiration to others who might be struggling with setbacks and wondering if they can ever overcome.

If that describes you, I'll be cheering you on, running right beside you, because we CAN DO IT!

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