These 3 Simple Changes Helped Diane Lose 128 Pounds

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In 2010, Diane (DIANEDOESSMILES) weighed 288 pounds and was confined to her power chair 97 percent of the time. She had depression and an infection in her big toe that led to a diabetes diagnosis. When she went to the doctor seeking help for back issues, he told her that the pain was because she was fat. "I hated him for saying it, but that got my attention," Diane recalls. "What was I doing to myself?"

Because of her health issues, Diane was encouraged to enter an assisted living facility. When she learned she couldn't take her cat with her, though, she decided it was time to start making changes on her own. She tried another online program but had trouble understanding their system. Diane says she was "hit and miss, but mostly miss" with exercise because her pain level was so high. Although Diane went from 288 to 256 pounds, eventually she found herself on a four-month plateau. Feeling like her weight loss shouldn't have stalled already, she decided it was time to reach out for help and joined SparkPeople.

Breaking Out of the Diet Mentality

Even though she joined SparkPeople, Diane didn't initially follow the program. She was eating below her recommended calorie and nutrient ranges and deprived herself of many of the foods she loved. Despite getting down to 174 pounds, Diane was not happy. "Ever notice the first three letters of the word DIEting? I can't help but to think that was on purpose," she jokes.

Diane used quick-fix strategies instead of permanent, sustainable lifestyle changes, so, even though she was still consistently logging into SparkPeople, she quickly gained the weight back. Diane was very discouraged when she found herself over 200 pounds again.

Determined to turn things around, Diane started blogging on her SparkPage. "This is an amazing tool that many people don't use because they think what they say isn't worthy or important to write about. I felt the same way, but eventually, I found it to be a useful tool," she says. "Over time, more people started to read my blogs. It's not about followers, [though,] It's about me getting healthier- physically, mentally and emotionally. I love blogging now."

Diane's 3 Secrets to Success

Over the past six months, Diane has maintained a 128-pound weight loss. She credits her success to three things:
  1. Tracking food and exercise daily. "I eat within the guidelines SparkPeople has set for me," Diane explains. "I am in the diabetes program and know that I need to keep tracking in order to be successful, staying [within] my calorie, protein, fat and carb ranges." Diane also keeps a close eye on her fiber intake, since that helps with her feelings of fullness and satisfaction.
  2. An attitude of "progress, not perfection." "I learned from others who post that phrase in the Community Goal Feed that I don't have to be perfect in order to be successful," Diane says. "I even painted a rock that says 'progress, not perfection' and keep it on my kitchen counter so I see it often." By focusing more on what she has accomplished and what she's capable of achieving, Diane gives herself permission to make mistakes, learn from them and move forward.
  3. The 5% SparkTeam Challenge. "When I joined SparkPeople, somehow I met a most wonderful Sparker (HEALTHYGRAMMY49) who invited me to join the 5% 2011 Winter Challenge," Diane recalls. Since then, Diane has participated in all of the seasonal 5% Challenges, being a "motivational leader" in the challenge for many years. She says the challenge helps her stay on track and holds her accountable to her goals. As a participant in these challenges, Diane started drinking more water, learned to tolerate more fruits and vegetables, and began exercising more. "I am a competitive person who wasn't going to let my team down, [and] that meant I had to exercise," says Diane. "At first, I could only do 10 minutes, three times a week. With help from my teammates, I came up with a plan to do chair exercises and it worked! Now I'm stronger than ever."
Diane even met one of her best friends, MARYANNGI, in the challenge and they were able to meet in person. She encourages others to find SparkTeams that motivate them and give them the support they need.

Setbacks Will Never Stop Her

Throughout her journey to health, Diane has faced health challenges that she continues to overcome. Three years ago she had a bone infection that resulted in a toe amputation. "Despite the hurdles, I know I'm in the driver's seat," she proudly states. "It didn't discourage me because I was finally walking without any aids. Last year, I gave away my power chair and now I can walk more than three miles a day!"
Diane has learned to look for the silver lining on a rainy day. "I had surgery for a brain aneurysm that was found accidentally. It has affected my left eye and I stand a good chance of losing partial sight, but at least I still have the right eye," she says. "Life is always going to throw nasty health issues at me. One thing I've learned from SparkPeople members and content is this quote from Charles R. Swindoll: 'Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.'"

Diane's advice to other members is to take advantage of everything SparkPeople has to offer. "Read the articles, use the SparkCoach planner on your Start page, join some SparkTeams and SparkChallenges, blog on your SparkPage and check out the Community Goal Feed." She likes to help new members whenever she can, saying that helping those who are just starting the journey reminds her of where she started and how far she's come.

"I'm doing this!" she declares. "I'm maintaining my weight within a five-pound range. I'm happy, joyful and positive. Who knew life could be like this again?"

How do you deal with setbacks? Share in the comments below and congratulate Diane on her amazing journey to better health!

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LIZZIE138 1/5/2019
You are so inspirational! Thank you for that. Report
FOXYRED05 1/5/2019
Great blog keep up the good work,You are doing great. Report
Hey Diane, you are an inspiration. When my medical issues get me down I think of you and a couple of others on our team, and it jolts me out of my self pity! I know we shouldn’t compare... but I ask myself what Diane say about XYZ... and what would her attitude be? And often the answer is “the opposite of what I am doing!” So I stop what I am doing, and change my attitude... and things usually improve (or at least my perception or reactions improve)... great job Diane! Report
KATIE5668 1/4/2019
Hey gal..what a great story. Your tale should be an inspiration to all that read it. Never give up is your theme song. Thank you for sharing your experience with us all. So glad to be on a team with you🤗 Report
CJC2550 1/4/2019
That is an inspirational story. Thank you for sharing it. Report
DBEAU57 1/4/2019
Girl, you've been an inspiration to me ever since I first joined SparkPeople! I'm so glad to see you get the recognition you deserve after all the work you've done! Report
KAYAKKIM 1/4/2019
Keep up the good work! You are truly an inspiration! Report
KAIMAGUS22 1/4/2019
Wonderful job! And thank you so much for sharing! I needed to read this today! Report
PLADAMS321 1/4/2019
This is my first SparkPeople comment since I joined a few days ago. Your post is very encouraging, maybe because your story sounds so much like mine... without the awesome weight loss! I weigh 270, have lost and gained about 28 pounds a few times, and though I just lost that pernicious 28 pounds again, it is all so discouraging. I have so many health problems, I am also diabetic, and I’m in so much pain every day that I am desperate to lose weight and start to regain my health...NOT my weight! I am working on my first challenge. I am starting to believe I can change my habits...and my life! So thanks for the encouraging words! Report
This is just what I needed to read today. You said exactly what I needed to be motivated and start "one more time." I stepped on the scale this morning and couldn't believe how much weight I have gained. Thank you for your inspiring words. You are such an inspiration. Report
EO4WELLNESS 1/4/2019
Congrats! That's awesome. Thanks for sharing. Report
TARAHA 1/4/2019
Diane is a ROCK STAR!!!! She is such a motivator! I am so grateful for people like her on this site! A true inspiration! Report
LIS193 1/4/2019
Great! Report
CECTARR 1/4/2019
Thanks Report
BELASARIA 1/4/2019
Impactful story and sensible doable strategies. Thank you for the inspiration Report
NEQUILTER 1/4/2019
Wow!! You are an inspiration for all of us with health issues. Report
I enjoyed your inspiring article! I am going to hang those words of wisdom "Progress, not perfection" in a few different places to remind me...we aren't perfect and expecting to be perfect all the time only will set me up for failure! Report
WISDOM73 1/4/2019
Great article. Thank you so much for sharing your journey Diane. Congratulations!! Report
MONIBELLY 1/4/2019
Diane... what an incredible story!!! You really are an inspiration to all of us here at Spark, especially to those of us in the kennel!!! Report
AQUAGIRL08 1/4/2019
Thank you for sharing your story! You are an inspiration to all of us! Report
DESKJOCKEY925 1/4/2019
Diane, you are amazing!!
Glad to see everyone else knows now too! Report
REJ7777 1/4/2019
You've overcome so many challenges! One big challenge when it comes to weight loss is maintenance. Congratulations! I wish you continued success! Report
AZMOMXTWO 1/4/2019
thank you Report
Great Job, you are truly our inspiration. Report
NEPTUNE1939 1/4/2019
ty Report
Wonderful! I love the quote!! Report
PICKIE98 1/4/2019
Congratulations! Report
-POOKIE- 1/4/2019
I have the problem of an all or nothing attitude... Haveto work on progress not perfection instead! Report
BOOKNUT52 1/4/2019
I appreciate the point, "Progress, not perfection"! Report
JERSEYGIRL24 1/3/2019
Diane, you are a rock star. I've known you for lots of years but don't think I ever really knew your story. Keep it up!! Great work!! Report
Very inspirational! Report
Interesting, specially about the DIE in DIET.... Report
BETH110764 1/3/2019
How inspirational!! It's people like you who make me think I can do this! Report
JAVAJULES 1/3/2019
Thanks for sharing your tips & KUDOS!!! Report
DWROBERGE 1/3/2019
Great Article! Report
ZRIE014 1/3/2019
thanks Report
Congratulations, and thanks for the inspiration! Report
MARYGOLD5 1/2/2019
Great! Thanks! Report
MAYIE53 1/2/2019
Thanks for sharing your inspirational story!! Report
NANCYPAT1 1/2/2019
Great Report
EVIE4NOW 1/2/2019
Thank you. I needed motivation today and you were it! Report
GRANNYOF05 1/2/2019
I enjoyed reading your story. Report
This was a good read. Report
MUSICNUT 1/2/2019
Thanks for a great article! :) Report
DMEYER4 1/2/2019
great article Report
JANIEWWJD 1/2/2019
WooHoo, fantastic accomplishment!!! Report
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your story. You are an inspiration! Report
ANHELIC 1/2/2019
Awesome. You are an inspiration. Report
DWROBERGE 1/2/2019
fantastic Report