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I'm So Thankful I Found SparkPeople!

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Friday, March 21, 2014

I haven't posted a blog entry for a long time, due to time constraints and to the fact that I check in on the daily check-in thread on the Maintenance Team page. Tonight I'm home alone, first night of Spring Break, music on in the background, gum in my mouth to keep me from snacking, and I have a bit of time to myself. So I thought this might be a good chance to catch up on the past 3 months.

I can hardly believe I've been maintaining my goal weight for three months now. A year ago at this time I weighed 175, and felt fat and frumpy and defeated. Now, I weigh 135, am in size 4-6, and feel terrific! Full of energy, and happy with my size. I've had to get a whole new wardrobe. I am still amazed by the fact that my thighs don't rub together anymore! And my stomach looks flat (as long as I'm wearing clothes---nothing will take away the baggy loose pregnancy skin, but that's okay). I am not used to these amazing things. I actually have muscles in my thighs and arms! When I'm in the gym and I see myself in the mirror I can still hardly believe that that slim shape is actually ME!

One step at a time, I feel like I have made so much progress. Learning to track my meals, and fitness. Gradually adding more and different fitness activities. Little by little I have come to the place where now being healthy and fit is my hobby. Instead of dreading exercise, I think of it as the fun thing I get to do for myself. I keep finding more ways to fit a little more exercise into my days. The latest addition has come about from wearing the free pedometer my health insurance company gave to all school employees who wanted one. I was already pretty active, but now I keep finding ways to add in even more steps. During recess duty, for example, instead of standing in one spot and keeping an eye on the kids, I walk around the whole 20 minutes. Makes the time pass a lot more quickly, and I get in a bunch of extra steps.

Another new addition is swimming once a week with my daughter. We are neither of us fond of the water, or very comfortable in it. But we are making progress, and having fun in the process. We are now both the proud owners of goggles, and are learning to swim with our faces IN the water. Our ultimate goal is to actually learn to do the crawl stroke.

SparkPeople has been such an incredible help to me. I never imagined it would help me as much as it has. Setting goals, and looking at them every morning when I check in, has helped me accomplish so much that I would not have done otherwise. And not just nutrition, weight and fitness, either, but other goals, like getting work done on my photo albums. Checking in with the Maintenance Team first thing every morning is a great encouragement. That is an amazing and helpful team, by the way. Learning to maintain my weight is something I had never been successful at before, but with the support, advice, and encouragement from that team it has become a fun adventure. I now feel confident that I'll be able to keep the weight off permanently.

Several other people have joined SP because of seeing what it has done for me. I just found out today that another person I work with just joined yesterday! But the one I'm most happy for and proud of is my own son! He joined just shortly after I did (May, 2013), and has lost something like 65 pounds! Plus, he's gotten VERY fit! His biceps are really amazing. I'm so happy for him, getting things under control now (at age 22) instead of waiting until his 50's like me.

When I started, back in May last year, I was nearly convinced that 53 might just be too old to be able to lose weight and get in shape. I am so very pleased to find out that I was wrong about that! It takes a lot of work, but it is so worth it!

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