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SparkPeople: Weekly Community Highlight
  Week of 9/22/2011 - Featured Blog Post

SparkPeople Has Changed My Life!!!

"Hi Everyone! This is one of my favorite stories ever posted to SparkPeople. It's amazing to see how losing 70 pounds has changed so many areas of Elicia's life. I especially love her comments about becoming a better teacher and directly influencing her students. This is what America and the world needs now. WE are all the solution one person at a time!" -- SparkGuy

Lately I have been consumed with joy. I am so happy! I feel so good! I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride and love and true, genuine happiness. Why you may ask? Because...................

SparkPeople has changed my life. SparkPeople has changed my life! Am I still me? Absolutely! Is my life the same? Absolutely not! So how has SparkPeople changed my life?

First of all, if you haven't noticed... I am so stinkin' happy! Am I happy because I am smaller or more fit? Sure... but this happiness can't simply come from fitting into a pair of size 8 jeans (although giddiness certainly does!). This happiness is deep. I feel good in my skin and confident. That makes me happy! I make good choices 95% of the time when it comes to diet and exercise! That makes me happy! I feel healthy! That makes me sooo happy!

I am fit! I can participate in activities that I would have been embarrassed to attempt before! I can run around my classroom and still have energy for a killer workout after school! When we play games with the youth at church, I can hold my own :) I have guns! :) I can challenge myself in ways I never that possible. Amazing!

I am confident! I am not ashamed to hang out with my husband's friends because I'm 100 pounds bigger than their wives. I'm not 100 pounds heavier than them now but gosh darn it, no matter what size I am, I am stinkin' beautiful and I deserve as much love and respect as the next girl! I know this now! I don't have a flat tummy and my arms aren't super tight but I am gorgeous and my husband LOVES me just the way I am! I am 100% confident of these things now!

I am more social! I used to want to stay home all the time. I didn't want to go hang out with friends very often. I was sad about my weight and how out of control it had become. I now love to hang out with our friends and loved ones! We even meet friends on weeknights because guess who isn't tired? This girl! Now this doesn't mean I don't value alone time or lazy cuddly evenings with my husband. Trust me, I still do! But I value relationships and time with friends, as well!

I am a better teacher! It is crazy how awesome it is to teach when you aren't so tired every day! I didn't realize how tired I was. I didn't realize how it was affecting my teaching. I didn't realize it until I started this school year and had a lot more patience and energy for my students. Plus, I am modeling a healthy lifestyle which is so important for young adults these days. My students know about my lifestyle changes and some have asked for advice so they can start leading a healthy lifestyle. One student even approached me because she wanted to start a diet like me. She had this crazy plan and I explained to her that I am not on a diet. I make healthy choices and move my body more but this is NOT a diet. So I counseled her on making healthy eating choices and reminded her that she is beautiful just the way she is.

I am a better wife. There are so many things I could say to describe how joyful this makes me. I have more energy. I am more loving. I am more patient. I create healthy meals so we can be healthy together! I am more giving :) I think there are a lot of things that have changed that make me a better wife. Some of those are private... between a husband and a wife :) But it is so incredible!

I will be a better mom. When the time comes for us to try to conceive again, I will have a better environment for our child to develop in. I will make healthier diet choices that will help our baby grow. I will be stronger. When the baby arrives I will have more energy. I will provide healthy foods for our children to eat. I will model an active lifestyle that will hopefully rub off on our babies :)

And lastly, I now have a passion for living a healthy life and helping others do the same. I love when people ask me to help them reach their goals or ask for advice. I love giving people the confidence that maybe they can reach their goals too! I love when people take the first step to feeling the happiness that I feel. And most importantly, I love helping people realize what they are capable of. They can conquer the world, if only they would believe in themselves.

SparkPeople has changed my life. It is true. When you get down to it, I am still me. (I was pretty awesome before.) I am still the girl with a heart full of love and compassion. A girl with a dream of being a fabulous wife, mother and teacher. But this girl can now realize the abilities and gifts that she has been given and use them to help others. This girl isn't afraid anymore. This girl has been given a gift and she is so thankful!

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Our goal is to make the SparkPeople Community the most positive online community in the world for reaching goals and getting support. In this weekly email, we share an inspiring member post from the millions of posts at SparkPeople each month.