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One Year on Spark W/Pics

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wow, it's been a year since I took the plunge and decided to change myself for the better. I had a hefty goal last April when joined this site; to lose 110 lbs (or more) by March 31 2012. Well, that date has come and gone and I didn't reach my goal. I did however lose over 70 lbs, become much more healthy and regain some of my old confidence. The longer that I travel this path, the more I see the old me. The happy, fun, energetic guy that loved to play sports, be around people and just generally enjoy life.

For the last 15 years that guy that I once was began to disappear. A severe back injury led to depression and rapid weight gain. A failed marriage, being a full time single father and eventually a failed business kept me on that lonely path to ruin.

In December of 2010 I decided to go back to school to get my bachelor's degree in business. This helped me gain some confidence. Then I saw a picture of myself with my brother, dad and grandfather. I'm on the left, in the blue t-shirt, looking like a parade balloon.

I hated how I had let myself go. How could I do this to myself? I had spent years before in gyms and nutrition classes. I knew what it took to be in good shape and yet I wasn't doing any of it. Finally in early April of 2011 a couple I know told me about a biggest loser challenge they were signed up for and I decided I would do it myself. April 12 was the first weigh in day, 317.2 was the bad news. The nice folks at the weigh in had lots of info about websites to help with weight loss and SparkPeople was one of them. I signed up that evening and began tracking my food intake right away. Best thing I have done in years.

Now it's one year later and I am down over 72 lbs. I've had lots of ups and downs but I have continued to move forward. This is not easy, if it were we would all look like movie stars. I still have a ways to go, but I will make it there eventually as will every one of you, if you just stick with it. Rome wasn't built in a day and we didn't all get fat overnight.

Here's me today, after pulling some weeds in the garden.

This trip wouldn't have taken me as far as it has without help. Of course my family has been very encouraging, which is nice (some folks don't have that help at home, that's shame). But the friends that I have made here on Spark have been so instrumental in my success so far. So my hat is off to you guys.

A special thanks to some of the folks that have been with me for the last 12 months: Chris, my brother from another mother; Helene, like the French Canadian sister I never had; Colleen, a strong willed woman who loves to dance; Mary, My dear Spark friend living in Japan; Nadine, a fellow Tough Mudder trainee who is always kept busy here on Spark and Holly, A very busy baker who was my first Spark friend and still encourages me.

Good Lord willing, let's make this year great!

Ken Heaston
Since 1970
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MIMO11
    Congratulations, Ken. It's a great story! 72 lbs is phenomenal and you look great. Keep pulling those weeds. It's a great upper body workout. emoticon
    2227 days ago

    Great blog Ken!!! It has been such a pleasure and an honor to watch you lose the weight and grow in spirit!!!! What a shift over the last 12 months! Its really neat to remember like you that april 12th 2011 I read something we give out to our patients about sparkpeople. I went and signed up that night, probably at the same time you and Chris were!!!! That is so cool!! And that we have stuck with this and learned so much. ITS PRICELESS AND SO ARE YOU!!!!
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    2228 days ago
  • GODSCHILD2_2011
    Wow! One year in and you've already gotten rid of 70+ pounds; very impressive. You’ve done a fantastic job no matter if you didn't meet or exceed your goal.

    Look how far hard work has gotten you. I'm very proud of YOU!!!

    Happy One Year Anniversary Spark Buddy

    2231 days ago
    You look awesome!!! Great wrk over the past yr!! Wishing you continued success in your journey!!!
    2232 days ago

    Man you have done awesome. I think we both had lofty goals and got slapped a little bit by reality and life over the last year. With all that we are so much better off than where we started!!!! You are looking quite slim my brother!!!! Super proud of you!!! Thanks for all your support this last year it has been sooo appreciated!!!

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    2233 days ago
    Ahhh Ken thank YOU. I am renewing my commitment after a shocking dr appt monday. I think i'm steady enough to blog about it stay tuned.

    You, my friend, are HOT. yup. i said it...buff, hot and on top of it a nice guy!!!! I am so happy for you..but as someone else said YOU did it!!! and i am totally, completely proud of you!!!
    2233 days ago
    great job! you look amazing! YOU did this to yourself! you should be soooooooooo proud!
    2233 days ago
    You look emoticon great job on your loss of 72 lbs. emoticon Happy emoticon emoticon
    2234 days ago
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    2234 days ago
    Happy Sparkaversary! I am honored to be listed on your blog-but I think your progress was due to all your hard work you put in! You are quite the motivator to the rest of us. Keep up the good work!
    2234 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.

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