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1 Year of Spark (And 100 Pounds Lost) - A Celebration

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Today has been a pretty incredible day. And yet - it's been just a day like any other day. And I guess in a way, that's what makes it so wonderful.

I stayed up late enough last night to see the midnight hour roll over and officially ring in my One Year Sparkversary before heading to bed. After a good night's sleep I got a knock on my door at 7:15am - Peapod with my grocery delivery for the week. I put away my groceries and crawled back into bed for a few more minutes of shut-eye, my warm cuddle kitty at my side. When I finally decided that it was time to part ways with my flannel sheets, I padded to the kitchen and stepped on the scale. Here's what greeted me:

I ran for my camera and jumped on and off again. Yep - it was solid. Just one year on Spark and EXACTLY 100 Pounds lost. I did it. On the very day of my anniversary. It's serendipity at its best.

I wasted no time in logging onto my Spark Page and updating my status. And that's when it hit me. As I typed: "IT'S OFFICIAL!!! I've lost exactly ONE HUNDRED POUNDS in ONE YEAR on SPARK!!!" I burst into tears. In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm still getting teary eyed just looking at those words. One hundred pounds. And a whole year of doing something that I never thought would happen for me.

All of those moments when I was at my absolute rock bottom, when I had lost all hope of ever being able to dig myself out of the obese hole I was in, never in a million years did I ever imagine that I would accomplish what I just did today. I never thought it was possible to stick to losing weight for a year - my longest previous attempt was about 3 months. And 100 pounds? Forget it! That was a fictional dream number that was only attainable in my worst nightmares of starvation, deprivation and personal torture.

So how did I do it? Well - it's pretty simple actually. For the past year I have:

Enjoyed fries & cheeseburgers, drunk too much wine, lazed around on the couch all day on Saturdays, partied with friends, ate pretzels and drank beer & gluewein in Germany, stayed up way too late, woke up way too early, feasted on my family favorites at Christmas, snuck extra cookies off the cookie tray, ate a giant double chocolate cupcake for my birthday, slept in when I should have been exercising, consumed too much salt, and enjoyed the heck out of every single bit of it!

But I didn't do all of that stuff every single day. What I did do (almost) every single day for the past year is:

Drank 8 or more cups of water, tracked my nutrition religiously in the Spark Tracker, weighed and measured (both my food and my body), took up swimming, took up Zumba, took up running, learned that I LOVED all three of those, reveled in a good night's sleep, ran races, walked EVERYWHERE in Germany, took a run on the morning of my 30th birthday because I could, documented my journey with photos and blogs, made new friends, went to therapy and had some major psychological breakthroughs, supported my friends, went running on Christmas Day because I could, gained confidence and determination, and enjoyed the heck out of every single bit of it!

The biggest realization over this past year, however, is that I haven't changed. I am still the same person that I have always been, and losing weight and Sparking for a year hasn't taken any of that away. The reason I had so much fear about starting a weight loss plan a year ago was because I thought it would mean that I would have to give things up...and not just THINGS, but pieces of myself. But with Spark I have not sacrificed. In fact - I have only gained. I've gained friends, and support, and knowledge and courage. And all of those things that I have gained have made up so much more than 100 pounds of weight. I may be smaller in body - but I am not smaller in spirit. I am FULL of happiness.

Thank you to Spark, and thank you to all of my Sparkfriends who have followed me and supported me along the way. You mean the world to me and I look forward to celebrating many more momentous occasions with all of you. Stay tuned for my official 100 Pound Blog which I plan to post soon after another fun photo shoot with my friend Greg (my official reward for getting to where I am now). My Year of Ones continues with my push for Onderland - only 13 pounds away! I'll also be running my first 10K, first 15K and will hopefully hit my goal of leaving behind Obesity forever.

I have a long way left to go - I have 100 pounds left to lose. However, I'm content that this is my life now and however long it takes me to get there is what it will take. I know that if I keep doing what I'm doing, the weight WILL come off. It has to. I'm not giving it any other choice. But I'm also not giving up any of the fun I've had this year. Every cupcake, every beer, every morning sleeping in was totally worth it. As was every run, every swim, every day within my calorie range. I'm living my life, one day at a time, to the best of my abilities. And I'm enjoying the heck out of every single day of it!
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