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No one prepared me for this!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hi - My name is Melly and my Sparkpeople user ID is NAVYMOM133. I have been a member of Sparkpeople since January of 2008. I chose that name because I have two grown sons who serve in our great United States Navy! I also had a goal weight of 133 lbs.

Had?? (is she throwing in the towel??) Heck, no! Today I weighed in at 131.5 lbs !!!
So who am I now, these three years later?

In the beginning of 2008, I was pushing 172 on bad days and was a solid 168. I am only 5'4", so that was a lot of weight to carry around. I arrived here tired and defeated, having gotten through a cancer scare, a total hysterectomy and "surgical menopause" in 2004-2005. I "got through" the menopause that was forced abruptly on my body and mind - GAH! that was rough. In 2004, I was 42 years old, a relatively young thing to be going through massive body changes, but I emerged on the other side.

Bumping along after that, software engineer working out of the home office, eating zero-value foods, drinking alcohol all night and not moving my body put me in a state of really poor health. I quit drinking, thanks be to God. It took another two years to make it here but I fell in love with Sparkpeople! Everything worked! I was making friends! Dear, dear friends who have been with me since the beginning and new friends I've made along the way. I was even friended by REBEL_DOG a few days ago, a lovely beagle who is looking to get fit and healthy with the Sparky family!!

I rapidly lost weight from January 2008 and hung on around 138 lbs through the first quarter of 2009 or so, and then began what I called my "Futzing around in the 140s". I started a "NO MORE FUTZING AROUND!" challenge that revived me a teensy bit, but I just could not attain lower than 138 and certainly wasn't maintaining with grace!

I guess it is no surprise that I slowly undid all the work. Yes, me. I stopped working out after an injury. I had never really developed a new eating plan, it was more of a diet, i.e. "Let's cut out a bunch of stuff" without much thought and pounded down waters. That kind of "eating" with no rhyme or reason doesn't last. Why should it have, there was no basis to my "plan"?!

I had another big push before my other son came home at Christmas this past year; I was back up to the 160s and ashamed. So I dusted off the old dog and pony show (sorry, Rebel) and gave up enough food to drop to the low 150s, and then the full gates opened after he left. I had about two weeks of utter nonsense quite literally under my belt and had steamed my way to 161 lbs (!!) when he called with a very, very important date - July 28th!

GAH!!! I sat with the news for a weekend and then said to myself, "THIS TIME, I am doing it right. THIS TIME, it'll be a real change in ME. THIS TIME, I will succeed!" With my solemn vow to myself, I began the "Six Month and Sixteen Day - Lose Weight and Get Fit Challenge" on January 10th.

My DH snapped this shot as I was studying in January:

My journey this time around has been about nutrient-dense, quality calories. Through shear grit, I streaked my way through January and February on a pretty clean diet. I dropped all sugar, butter and white flour entirely (basically all the goodie baking, then further goodie consumption), dropped pretzels - my all-time favorite snack, and pushed the water.

Then, in March, on a field trip to Whole Foods I picked up Dr. Joel Furmann's "Eat to Live". Oh, yeah. Totally the "Forks over Knives", plant-based nutrition story and diet. Well, I was AT Whole Foods to get inspired to try a few new vegetables, so I picked up this book because there was a LOT of discussion about the principles of getting ALL your nutrition from a plant-based diet. I was fascinated by the discussion. I'll say right now: I am NOT on the "Eat to Live" program!! Eating whole heads of romaine lettuce will never be me, but you know what? I listened. I really listened to what he was saying. I've seen Food, Inc. The veils are being removed and there are healthy, nutrient-dense foods and there are not.

I started following some of the principles involved, with increasing the amounts and assortment of vegetables consumed, and always eating the vegetables First, Middle and Last, with a side of lean protein and a whole grain. No matter what, eat those vegetables first. Before I knew it, I wasn't just having an awesome salad with dinner, I was eating those veggies at lunch. And then breakfast, too!

Guess what happened? The roll I was on turned into Rock and Roll !!! My nutrition is 200% better than it was on January 10th, and the weight continues to almost fall off. Dr. Furmann did not lead me astray when he described the ways that a marked increase in vegetable consumption would bring to my life! All my old cravings have been long gone, but now there's a desire to seek out the best possible food I can eat. I am FULL after each meal. I am exercising again. I am jogging up the stairs. I.MEASURE.AND.TRACK.EVERYTHING
. And I don't even mind, because at the heart of it all is a solid plan. I love tracking. It is empowering! Everything about this second time around is different, better, clearer and oh, so sustainable!!

I wouldn't be here without the support of my dear, dear friends. I am blessed to be working with some really inspiring women who are my ROCK! I love you gals!

So who am I? I'm the vegetable girl, who shouts it from the rooftops! I've lost 29.5 pounds since January and a total of 36.5 since 2008. I may be NAVYMOM133, but I have proven to myself for good that I can do it for REAL. And I'm not going to stop!!

Thank you SO MUCH for reading!! I will close with my two recent progress pictures, a front view and a side view! Eat your veggies, friends!! They work!!


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JEM0622
    Congrats! I found that more fruits/veggies and going gluten free has helped me in the maintenance phase. Plus it's just good for me. WTG!
    3077 days ago
    Congratulations! You've reached your goal and gotten so much more from the journey. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3077 days ago
    Hmmmmm.....I may have to consider eating my veggies too!!

    Thanks for sharing all the great information!
    3077 days ago
    i am SOOO inspired by you Melly!!! you look AMAZING!!! and so healthy!! i think that is the biggie here.. you look AND feel good. VEGGIES!!! yay VEGGIES!! i have no doubt that this is not just a challenge but your way of life-- you absolutely deserve this lifestyle.. hugs forever!! Jen
    3077 days ago
  • LORT-C
    Vegetable Girl--I love it. thanks for blogging and letting us know how its been. So soooooo proud of you and you look great too.

    I off to buy more veggies today! I won't forget the exercise. emoticon
    3078 days ago
  • ELLIE381
    I agree with everything Cindy had to say.

    It is so wonderful to hear the change as well as see the change.
    I can hear how excited you are and that is such wonderful feeling not only for you but for your friends to hear.

    Way to go Melly! You are living the good life.
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    3078 days ago
    Ok, first I had use self control to read the whole blog cause I wanted to get down here and yahoo and squeal after the first paragraph! emoticon
    second the change is astounding, and while your new photos look awesome and noticeably different, the change I am speaking to is the mental change. Thats what I love. I can feel how learning what you have has made a change for all time and I am so happy for you.
    I started writing a blog earlier that had some similarities, but I saved it because it wasn't going the way I wanted.
    So If I ever find that what I am doing stops working for me, ( I don't think it will ) I will have to come to Melly's vegetable boot camp to learn how to incorporate them into my life.
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    3078 days ago
    OMG! OMG! OMG! Excellent, excellent, excellent blog Melly! So proud of all you've learned and persevered at. I'm right on your heals, friend. You've inspired and motivated and taught me to keep eating those PLANT-BASED FOODS!

    Enjoy the sweet success my friend.
    3078 days ago
    You are simply emoticon ! Keep up the great work veggie girl!
    3078 days ago
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    3078 days ago
    You look great! Good for you!
    3078 days ago
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    3078 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.