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Today I Reached My Goal Weight & A Tidbit of "My Story"

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Three and a half years ago, I stumbled onto sparkpeople thanks to the recommendation of a friend and entered my then-highest weight of about 250 pounds, and a goal weight of about 165. Unfortunately, as we all know this journey isn't always linear, my weight tracker climbed a little higher within the next year and a half, and I topped out at 278 pounds. At the time, the idea of losing 113 pounds seemed completely insurmountable, a mere pipe dream if you will. For the majority of my time on sparkpeople, I watched my weight ticker climb down and back up again, believing in my heart that if I could just lose weight, all of my problems would melt away or somehow become easier to manage, AND believing too that as badly as I wanted it, I was never going to reach my goal. Not ever. NEVER.

I was wrong on both counts.

Confession: sparkpeople is not the only tool I've used to help me meet my goals. After having an incredible experience in March 2009 with an amazing integrative physician, I was inspired to work with a great therapist with an orientation in mindfulness and Buddhist practice--who taught me to live in the now, accept myself exactly as I am, and not delay happiness, peace, or self-love. Through the work I did with her, I learned that my problems with weight and food had very little to do with the food itself and my knowledge of what and how to eat. Instead, my weight and my relationship with food were very much symptoms of bigger problems with the way I was living my life--devoid of self-care, always in the interest of pleasing others, burning myself out, putting others first, and a litany of other imbalances. Through the work I did with this therapist, I was also able to open myself up to something that had been suggested to me numerous times over the years, and I joined Overeaters Anonymous. This program gave me the framework to explore, understand, and tackle the areas of my life that needed to change so that I could develop a life and skill set that didn't require the use of food to get by, provide relief, or feel better. In the course of the following year, I learned to take care of myself physically and emotionally, put the brakes on all activities that were burning me out, developed healthy relationships and healthy boundaries, confronted demons old and new, learned to put myself at the top of my priority list, and developed a whole set of alternatives to using food for comfort, coping, and happiness. In short, I constructed a brand new life.

Sparkpeople has been key in this process, providing me with a community that supports me and whom I can support, allowing me a space to share my journey and share in others' journies, even in simply giving me a space to track the calories I burn and the calories I consume. I've made friends here I will keep for the rest of my life (MSILVER94 and MOJO-RISIN, where would I BE without the two of you in my life?? I hope I never have to answer that question). The journey to lose weight is never easy and never without complications. But the support systems I've had in place truly made the process much more simple than I ever imagined it could be when I was 278 pounds and struggling, alternating between numbing out with food and wishing, truly, for escape and even death.

Thanks to the support systems I have in place, today I've lost 113.5 pounds, come off of all medications, brought my cholesterol down 30+ points, lowered my blood pressure dramatically, went from a size 24 to a size 10-12, went from being "morbidly obsese" to "normal" on the BMI chart, can bike 25+ miles at a time, learned how to swim and can swim over a mile, went from not being able to run a quarter mile to running 7 miles, and am beginning training for a triathlon.

None of these things would be possible without all of the support systems I have in place--that includes you, sparkfriends! From the bottom of my heart, thank you to each and every one of you who have encouraged me, picked me up when I fell down, inspired me, and reminded me every day of who I want to be and just how much the power to achieve that is in my very own two hands. An especial thanks to MONEYGOOSE, my husband, who inspired, supported, motivated, celebrated, sacrificed, adjusted, and did just about everything else humanly and inhumanly possible to help me--his role in this journey for me really forced me to rethink the entire meaning of partnership.

As we all know, the journey doesn't end when we reach our goal weight. In fact, I've already modified my weight loss goals to keep going a little further. I've also got triathlon training on the docket, and MANY fitness goals I intend to work towards in the coming year--including some races and competitions, and some strength training. I also believe the work we do towards being our best selves and keeping our lives in balance is truly never done--and that we only get to keep and enjoy our own successes by sharing and supporting others in theirs; this is not a job I've ever taken lightly.

Anywho, here I am! Thanks for the continued support, sparkfriends. Sending much love and positivity your way. On to the next leg of this journey!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
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    3029 days ago
    I love your post and found myself wishing to one day write something similar. You started at 278, I started at 276; you had 165 in your sights, I'm still aiming for 165; I could go on... I hope my saying that I wish for a transformation as profound as yours sounds as complimentary as I intend: your post details the work I intend to do for myself with the hopes of having a similar ending to my journey. Thank you for showing me yet one more path/tool that is available.
    3034 days ago
    Awesome! So proud of you and so happy for you! Wishing you the best! Keep sparking! emoticon emoticon
    3034 days ago
  • ACUFF1156
    Thank you for reminding me that success is a collection of many things in our lives.... and that the present is where the true balance is.... I am a Libra and everything in my life is about balance... when I don't have it, I turn upside down..... Sparkpeople has been a great hand up in this journey I am on... along with the support of my Hubby and my trainer....

    Have a blessed day!

    Here's your smile. emoticon
    3035 days ago
    love all you write and have done for yourself. You are at the beginning of life...enjoy every moment in your slender body. Mwah!
    3037 days ago
    Awesome post. Thanks for sharing your story.
    3038 days ago
    thanks for sharing you are awesome
    3038 days ago
    well said
    3039 days ago
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    3040 days ago
  • CBACH71
    I love your story and when I'm back in the States I'm going to check out Overeater's anonymous. I have a feeling that will really help. Great job and way to open yourself up to possibilities. It's not everyone who can see an opportunity and try it or recognize its worth. Bravo!
    3043 days ago
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    3045 days ago
  • LALA0123
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    3046 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your story!!! You are awesome!!!
    3048 days ago
    Way to go! Great blog. Thanks so much for posting.
    3048 days ago
    Great blog! Thanks for sharing! emoticon Luba
    3048 days ago
  • no profile photo DEB4HIM1
    Another great blog. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.
    3048 days ago
    AMAZING story girl! LOVE it!
    3048 days ago
    Wow! What a phenomenal journey. Your blogs are a joy to read. Congratulations and best wishes for your continued success!
    3048 days ago
    Thank you for sharing this. You are very inspiring.
    3048 days ago
    Well written and it came from the heart. Awesome blog.
    Thanks for sharing.
    You made me think about the path I have been on.
    Time to start fixing me again.

    Wonderful journey you have been on.
    All the best to you with your continued goals.

    3049 days ago
    Great support system. I've worked the OA program for 16 years. It really made a difference in my life, too!
    3049 days ago
    Thanks for a great blog and very insightful words. All the best to you and your journey!
    3050 days ago
    This is simply amazing. I am so proud of you, a complete stranger, yet in your words I see someone I know.. me! In part at least!
    I was wondering if you could recommend some buddhist reading for me? I study buddhism on my own because I live in a rural area with zero groups or resources for this. I buy my books online! I am really interested in delving into this journey and learning more about meditation etc and would appreciate any insight you can give!
    3050 days ago
    Your story and pictures are so inspiring and motivating. Thank you so much for sharing them! emoticon
    3050 days ago
    What a wonderful weight loss story, and so much more than that! I have no doubt you will continue what you have started and live your life as a healthy woman. That's my goal too--wish me luck in getting there!
    3050 days ago
    3050 days ago
    You are amazing. Thank you for sharing. emoticon
    3050 days ago
    You have done an emoticon job with taking control of your life!! You are completely and totally inspiring. I salute you!! emoticon I just read a motivational quote yesterday that completely fit what you said:

    "Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another." - John Dewey

    You are well on your way to knocking more goals down.

    3050 days ago
    You are such an inspiration! If you can do it, we all can. We all have it within us! Thank you for sharing your journey!
    3051 days ago
    When is your "How to Book" coming out! emoticon
    Congratulations, Rockstar!
    3051 days ago
    You are awesome!
    3051 days ago
    3052 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    What an awesome feeling it must be to reach goal weight!! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments! Your story is very inspiring! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3052 days ago
    I can't believe that I missed this blog until now! I continue to be in awe of your accomplishments! Your willingness to achieve your goals, no matter the obstacles that you may face, or the changes that meeting them requires is incredible.

    I feel so lucky to have watched you on this journey and to have benefited from your insight. I'm also thrilled to watch as you take on the next part of this journey! I truly believe that if anyone can make this a true lifestyle change, it's you.

    I thank you for sharing your story-- your strength and positivity truly shines through!

    Thank you for being part of my ever continuing journey-- I haven't told you enough how much I appreciate all of your support, encouragement, and ideas. You have truly made a difference in my journey.

    Can't wait to hear about the triathlon!
    3053 days ago
  • DYA177

    It was a honor to read yor blog because in a sense we are all in your former thinking kind of mode. For me, I have lost 72 lbs but i have another 72 pounds to go ( more or less...actually more) but neverthless it's an inspitation to be in your company because you know that your journey does not end once you hit that elusive " number", I hope to one day enter a marathon, swim a mile and probably hike a mountain. Those are my fitness goals for the next ten years. And I can't wait.

    3053 days ago
    This needs to be a popular blog post. Congratulations on not only losing the weight, but becoming a brand new you. you've jumped leaps and bounds throughout this journey and have found balance and peace with yourself. This road is not just about losing weight but finding our best self and being happy with that person. Sounds like you've done that and more. Best wishes on continued success and a spark that keeps on burning bright! xoxo
    3053 days ago
    You've done a great job. I hope that you keep in touch by posting a blog now and then about your training, your teaching and just life in general.

    Congratulations on a job well done!


    p.s. Kudos for having the wisdom to use as many tools as you needed to keep on you program.

    3054 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/7/2010 6:16:16 PM
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon , I am so happy for you!

    3054 days ago
    Congratulations. You are well deserving of this success, and have been such an inspiration and source of support to me and to so many others here. Thank you for your often frank and deeply personal insights on your own journey, and thank you for being you. I owe a great deal of my own success to you.
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    3055 days ago
    What a lovely heartfelt blog.
    You describe your transformation in technicolor. We are here for the ride of your life and left speechless and in awe.

    Congratulations! What a fabulous goal to have met!
    You are an inspiration!

    I am so thankful for you that you found who and what you needed to help you become who you truly are.

    I can't wait to read all about your triathlon training. Do you know which tri you'll be signing up for?

    Congrats again on all you've accomplished. You totally Rock!!!!
    3055 days ago
    Congratulations what an inspiration you are!!!
    3056 days ago
    you have brought the spark to many areas of your life, you have cleaned house of an old unhealthy life and started your own new and positive path, you inspire others to join you, you offer support and advice, you are candid and real, you are SPARKTASTIC, congrats and i know you will enjoy continuing to push your limits and set new fitness goals, woohooooo!

    3056 days ago
    Wow, I really got chocked up reading that, I am so proud of you!!!! I know God sent you to me and me to you!!! I am so blessed by your friendship and you as a role model, inspiration to me. You have always been my cheerleader, so positive and helpful to me. I love you. I am so happy and excited for you, words can not say. My eyes are still watered up. You deserve this success. You have completely turned your life around and put in ALL the work. You have had so many chances- like your knee injury to fall back in the shadow, or slip off altogether! BUT WOW!!! You didn't!!! You refocused, made changes accordingly and kept on trucking!!!! You deserve a magazine feature!! lol ...You keep me going and show me I can do it too. Thank you so much for sharing that with us!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3056 days ago
    Thank you for sharing such an deeply inspiring story! Truly, it give me (and no doubt many others) hope. Congratulations on all your hard work! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3056 days ago
    Congratulations on reaching your weight goal. It has been amazing to the the transformation in you over time. May your life be filled with peace and joy.
    3056 days ago
  • BANAN2
    I love that you celebrated this milestone by writing this blog. Reading all of those details of your journey in condensed form like that was so powerful. I hate the way people throw around the word "miracle" for things that are simply good fortune or happy occurrences, but reading this, it was the word that popped into my mind. It's not unlike how little the butterfly resembles the caterpillar it once was. It's hard to take in that they are the same being. You have changed so profoundly in the whole spectrum of who you are and how you operate in the world, it is actually thrilling to contemplate, and to acknowledge what is possible for the human spirit, with help, to achieve if a person sticks with it and never gives up. I am so proud of you, Melissa! Training for a triathlon! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3056 days ago
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    3056 days ago
  • no profile photo MONEYGOOSE
    I cannot even express in words how happy I am for you. After what has felt like a lifetime of ups and downs as well as shooting for and abandoning goals for reasons that we can now see were all wrong (hindsight is always 20/20, right? though I suspect deep down we knew it), it is with immense joy that I can say, "Congratulations on meeting your goal!"

    I am honored to have been (and continue to be) part of "Your Story". I look forward to seeing what you are going to do next!
    3056 days ago
    Melissa - your journey has inspired me! I am so happy to hear that you've found "yourself" in this journey - isn't that why most of us start anyway? I know that's one of the reasons I'm here.

    You've made incredible strides and I'm so, so grateful to have you as a spark friend!

    Keep working toward those fitness goals! I know you'll do GREAT in that triathlon.

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    3056 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/5/2010 11:55:42 AM
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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.

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