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Then, March 2005

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The Clothes I Wore to Gym in November 2005--How They Look in March 2007.

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Size 10 with 16 pounds to go to goal weight. Maybe.

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MERLINANDME is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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August, 2017

I am back on Sparkpeople because I regained some weight and I need to lose it before it becomes a problem I cannot handle. So I will be here tracking and posting. As of today, I would like to lose 33 pounds, but I will be happy with 22 pounds.

If you need me, I am here.

Six years ago.

Statistics Report

Nov 5, 2005 312 lbs
March 2010 152 lbs
Difference -160 lbs

Waist 58" to 32" loss 26"

Hips 66" to 41" loss 25"

Bicep 14" to 9.5" loss 4.5"

Forearm to 9.75" to 7.5" loss 2.25"

Thigh 26" to 16.5" loss 9.5"

Calf 18" to 13.5" loss 4.5"

Losing weight has never been a problem for me. Heavens! I am a pro at losing weight. I must have lost 1000 pounds in my lifetime.

Sometimes a diet would last a week. Then an encounter with a pint of Hagen Daz or some sour cream and nachos would beckon me to quit. Sometimes a diet would last for many months, and I would actually achieve goal or near goal and toss out my wardrobe and buy all new clothes. I would manage to keep that weight off for months. Then slowly, slowly it would all creep back--again--bringing with it a few new friends, leading to another wardrobe change.

I just got sick of losing weight.

I retired, went on a few trips, had a lot of fun. Then I went on a trip to Scotland with a friend. We were walking around steeply-hilled Edinburgh, she tripping along merrily, me panting and suggesting we stop to enjoy the view. Both the same age, my friend and I. Both non-smokers. The only difference was the 100+ excess pounds I was hauling around.

But I didn't think that was the problem. I came home determined to join a gym to become more physically fit. When I signed on at the gym, the physiologist asked if I wanted to lose weight. OH, NO! I told him in no uncertain terms. I had absolutely no interest in losing weight. Why bother, I thought. I will only gain it back plus a few more.

For the next three months I went to gym, first three days a week, then five, then six. I watched the physiologist work. I saw that I could lift a weight and use the exercise equipment. Maybe I could even . . .

Could I?

I talked to the physiologist about a nutrition plan. And I hit a gold mine. He was not interested in putting me on a diet. He does not believe in diets. He understood that I was very interested in losing weight, but not interested in losing weight only to gain it all back. He believes in changing a lifestyle and finding a way to eat healthfully and realistically for always.

Could that mean I could lose weight and keep it off? For always?

And so I jumped on board for the best journey of my life.

I started down this road weighing in excess of 300 pounds, and wearing size 4X blouses and shirts, along with anything I could find to fit over my ever-increasing bulk. I am now wearing size 10 , and I am working towards achieving my optimum healthy weight. I am comfortable in my own skin. I fit into seat belts and restaurant seats with ease. I don't spend my time at a friend's house worrying about making a clumsy fool of myself when I rise from a low seated chair. I don't moan when I realize I have left something upstairs and have to run back up to retrieve it. My life is so much easier.

I am sixty-eight years old and well-past menopause. I lost all of this weight with untreated low thyroid. I have begun to take a thyroid supplement now. I have problems with my back, arthritis in my neck and hip, and a bad ankle. AND I am steadily and surely losing weight.

If I can do this, anyone can. Just determine to make life as healthy as it can be!

I eat five or six small, balanced meals each day. I track every morsel of food that passes my lips and have been doing that since the day I joined SparkPeople back in January of 2006. I watch the proportions of my macronutrients and make sure each meal contains healthy portions of carbs, protein, and fats. I weigh, measure and count all the food I eat. It is just second nature to me now. I come to SparkPeople everyday to talk with my friends, to read articles, to seek out people who may need my help and who can help me. I still go to gym five or six days a week.

For the first two and a half years of my new lifestyle, I did not allow the physiologist to tell me my weight. I figured paying attention to the scale never did me any good in the past, so I saved that for sometime in my future. When the big reveal came, I had lost 126 pounds. I am losing more slowly now, but I am still delivering--tracking, going to gym, and feeling better all the time. Fueled by compliments from strangers, ease in life, pretty new clothing, I know I can make it to goal.

We don't get many chances in life to correct our mistakes, but SparkPeople is here to show us a way to do that, to help us to find health in our bodies, our minds, and our relationships with each other. My plan is to use all that help to make me into the best person I can be.

Life is full of promises and pitfalls. Do what it takes to embrace the promises and to gain the strength to weather the pitfalls.

Member Since: 1/28/2006

My Goals:
I want to become stronger and healthier through eating well and exercising regularly. I also want to achieve a healthy weight of about 145 pounds. I am 5' 9" tall.

My Program:
I worked with an exercise physiologist in a gym where I worked out five or six days per week following a program he designed for me. He also set up a nutrition program on which I ate 1300 calories per day in five to six meals, with no meal exceeding 500 calories. I use SparkPeople to track every calorie. But I am a social person, and there are days I have to go off program. On those days, I still try to stay within the calorie range and to remember to make the healthiest choice from the choices available.

I continue to work out in a gym and always build new goals to refresh my commitment.

Personal Information:
I am from Pennsylvania A retired teacher, I enjoy spending time with my friends, family and former students. While I have the health and money, I travel. In the seven years I have been retired, I have traveled to Italy, Mexico, Spain, Scotland, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Scandinavia, Estonia, Russia, South Africa, Germany, Greece, Amsterdam, London, Paris. I also made a trip to Rome, Venice and Lake Como, where I met up with my friends from SparkPeople. I am soon off to Turkey and then to Holland for the wedding celebration of a SparkFriend, and on to London and Edinburgh. This is a remarkable world, and there is much to learn. I want to be healthy enough to see it and alert enough to learn and grow.

I owe a great deal to the exercise physiologist who designed my program and advised me about nutrition. He went out of his way to get me in condition to enjoy the trips I make, and I will always be grateful to him.

Other Information:
I had thought these message boards would be strange for me, but I find myself looking forward to hearing from my cyber-friends daily. I am eager to see all of us experience success as we bond in this common goal. It is my friends here who keep me on track. I don't want to report failure to them.

Read More About MERLINANDME - Profile Information moved here. (Updated August 13)

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    Hi Ann! I'm so glad to have "met" you, and really enjoy sharing stories, triumphs and annoyances with you!

    Your no non-sense attitude towards your own weightloss drives me to not make excuses for myself and to just get on with it.
    You will be in Africa in no time.. the only question is... out of all those beautiful countries, how will you choose which ones to see?!?! Life is full of such hard choices ;)
    Cheers to you,
    5541 days ago
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