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I am so proud of myself!!!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Four weeks ago today I heard about this website that could help me to change my life. One of my friends from high school kept posting these messages on Facebook that caught my attention. I emailed her to find out more about this Spark People thing. She got right back to me to tell me that it was free and that it was this awesome website created by someone who put his own earnings into a company with the sole purpose of helping others learn to live healthy and lose weight. She told me about how far she had come and how much she has changed. I must say that this was all it took to get me "Sparked." Racingslug (the friend from high school) urged me not to dive in all at once because if I did there was a good chance that I would become overwhelmed. So I heeded her advice and took the first several days to explore the site, think about what I really wanted from myself for a healthy life, set some goals, and buy this book that everyone was raving about. During this first week I did no exercise, and I didn't keep track of my food. What I really did do was cut out snacking, drink tons of water, be conscious of what I put into my mouth, and obsess over everyone's blogs and the success stories. And in this first week, I lost 8.6 lbs! When I saw that number on the scale, I was hooked!

Since then I have lost another 11.4 lbs. for a total of 20 lbs. in four weeks!I am so proud of myself, and so motivated to keep going. Before this journey began I was not active AT ALL. I was a couch potato that ate everything, and ate constantly. My husband and I made brownies on a weekly basis, and they didn't take a whole week to disappear. I ate at a fast food restaurant around 6 times each week, and I ate 2 hot pocket subs at work usually 4 times each week. Between meals I always had chocolate on hand, usually peanut m&m's. The one thing that I have not had to change is my kraft spirals mac & cheese. I have mac & cheese for lunch at least 2 or 3 times each week.

But now, in just 4 short weeks I have really begun to change my life. I exercise at least 5 out of 7 days per week and my goal is 6 days. I started with a 1.5 mile walk around my subdivision and sometimes a 1 mile Leslie Sansone video when the weather is bad (which in Michigan during January/February is a lot of the time) or it's too dark outside. I've now increased my outdoor walk to 3 miles which I can currently walk in 55 minutes, but have a goal to get to 45 minutes. And I've changed my indoor walk to a 2 miles, 1/2 hour Leslie Sansone video.

I've also begun to change how I eat. I take my lunch to work with me on every possible day. Usually a lean cuisine, or smart ones meal. I eat at least one apple a day most of the time and I track almost every day. I have let myself splurge a few times as long as I bounce right back and work hard the rest of the week. I've only eaten fast food twice since Jan 5th and already I don't even crave it most of the time (of course once in a while)!

One thing that I still struggle with is being hungry. I'm hungry on a fairly regular basis. I try during these times to eat an apple or some raisins. I plan to buy some almonds and low sodium pretzels to help change it up a little, and keep something in my car. But at least I'm not giving into Taco Bell on every night that I'm hungry after work, and I do not allow myself to buy junky snacks. Something that I have discovered is small dark chocolate bars. They are made by Lindt and they are 70% Cocoa. This has helped me on one occasion thus far to satisfy a sweet tooth, and IT WAS SO GOOD!!! And I tracked it to stay within my goals for the day.

The funny part of this website and healthy lifestyle plan is how everyone that has had success says it's so much different than anything they have ever tried or experienced before. I was very skeptical of this statement before, but 1 month and 20 lbs. later I know it's true. I believe that part of this is due to my own motivation and attitude; I am finally trying to be healthy and lose weight for the right reasons, including my own desires. Part of this is also due to the outstanding groups of motivational people that I'm coming to know. And I can't put my finger on the rest of why this works, but something tells me that it has to do with being "Sparked."

Today I am 20 lbs. down and 61 lbs. to go. For all intents and purposes I am 1/4 of my way through this journey, and I am so proud of myself! I must say a very big and special thanks to Racingslug for allowing me to run into her already ignited flame, creating a Spark in me! I have a lot to learn and a long ways to go, but I look forward to making my goals: running a 5k, and meeting my end weight of 145 lbs. I can't wait to be healthy and help lots of others be Sparked along the road.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, thanks! I wasn't kidding when I said this was a really special place. You have made so many enormous changes in such a short amount of time, it just goes to show you were already ready for this before you got here! I am really in awe of your progress and how quickly you have turned things around. There will be challenges ahead, but together we can find the strength to keep going despite setbacks.

    A few suggestions for the hunger issue... this might sound odd, but sometimes when I'm hungry, I eat a tablespoon of peanut butter (sweetened with a few drops of honey.) This contains both protein and (healthy) fat but only 100 calories. Alternatively, I'll eat an ounce of cheese. It's good when you have a snack to get some protein and fat in there, because an apple is just not going to make you feel satiated. I am also really partial to Luna Bars, they are 180 calories per bar and have plenty of protein and fiber. They are also suuuuper delicious.

    Also remember, it usually takes between 10-20 minutes for your body to realize it has eaten, so even if you don't feel full right away, wait it out and you might be surprised how full you feel in a few minutes. IIRC protein is the fastest to register, followed by fat and carbs.

    Hope that helps!
    4153 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/6/2010 11:40:11 PM
    Great blog! You are doing a fantastic job! Just to give you a piece of (unrequested) advice... one thing that helped me with hunger was making sure I got lean protein with every meal and trying to make sure 1/2 of every meal is veggies. I know that you will find what works best for you!!
    4156 days ago
    emoticon Congratulations!! You deserve to feel proud of yourself!! With your drive and determination you'll be one of the success stories someone else reads about when they start their own journey!
    4156 days ago
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    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.