6/6/13 was my 1 year Sparkversary. Wow. Can't believe it has been a whole year. Where did the time go? I have learned so much this year and can't believe how much my life has changed.
Am I where I thought I would be at the end of a year? No, but I am OK with that. Before joining Spark People I had already lost 22 pounds. After joining I lost an additional 18 pounds and thought for sure I would hit my goal weight by June of this year. After losing 40 pounds I took a detour from my weight loss to quit smoking. In 3 days I will be smoke free for 7 months. Needless to say I gained 7 pounds the first 5 months. Since the end of April I have lost 6 of the 7 pounds gained and am almost back to my 40 pound total weight lost. What I learned was goals help keep you moving forward but are not set in stone. Slow and steady still gets you there.
I have learned that to be in this for the long haul you have to be flexible. When I first started Spark People I was very strict on always staying within my goals for food tracking and fitness tracking. I drove myself crazy trying to get the numbers in range every single day. What I learned is you don't have to be perfect every day. Looking at your average at the end of the week or month is a better indicator. As long as the good days way outnumber the bad it all balances out in the end. Once in a while it is OK to completely indulge.
I initially joined because it was so awesome to find a web site where I could track what I ate and how much I exercised and it was all free. In the beginning I did not participate very much with the community. As I found my way around the site I began to participate more and more with the message boards, adding friends, commenting on friend feeds, and sending spark goodies to my new friends. I learned it is OK to put yourself out there with all your hopes, fears, and goals for the world to see. I have made some awesome friends that have been so supportive that it is amazing.
The biggest lesson I have learned is that losing weight and shrinking in size doesn't make you healthy or happy. A few months ago I was sadder than I have been ever in my life even though I was smaller than I have been in over 20 years. When I talked to my doctor about my sadness and how much stress I was feeling at work and home, he put me on some anti-anxiety medication. It took awhile to start feeling a difference, but I eventually started feeling like my old self again. A big Thank You to all my Spark Friends who were there for me.
So my adventure continues and I am excited as to what the next year will bring.
Thanks for sharing your lessons learned. I can relate to them very well. The stop smoking has been several years for me now but I do remember how hard it was. Also the pressure I put on myself to get those numbers right every day had to go. May you have continued success! 1865 days ago
Fantastic blog with so much insight! You are an inspiration....So much of what you said hit home for me....Still trying to let go of my perfection attitude.....Getting there! Great job of quitting smoking, too....You are doing VERY well on your journey...wishing you continued success. 1865 days ago
You are so amazing! To take on a weight loss journey and then to throw in quitting smoking was such a task, but you did it! on all of your success, you are truly amazing and I think with all you have learned you will reach your goals in due time. I am learning too that it is more about the journey, our health, our happiness, and not so much about getting to a certain weight by a certain time. You are amazing and I look forward to seeing what year 2 on Spark People brings you! Cheers! 1865 days ago
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.