SP Premium
100,000-149,999 SparkPoints 135,647

What I've Learned On Spark This Year & My Spark BFF!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

First off, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to any of you that have encouraged me or reached out to me at any point, but more specifically recently when I was struggling!! It really meant so much to know that I have people here who support me and want to see me do well. This has been my most successful year on Spark, and I'm hoping to make 2013 even better!

What I've learned on SparkPeople this year:

emoticon: I need Spark People! emoticon That is probably the most important thing I've learned all year. I need the nutrition tracker, I need to be accountable for everything I eat, but more importantly I need the support system. I am the type of person that doesn't necessarily share my weight loss efforts with a ton of people in my "real life". I tell a select few but that's it, and most of the time the details are minimal. I also feel the need to encourage others. I get inspired by so many people here, and their success gets contagious.

emoticon: When I'm struggling, I have to speak up! In previous attempts, when the scale started creeping up, I would avoid this site like the plague. Who wants to admit they are starting to regain the weight they've lost? I realize now that if I would have been honest with my Spark Friends back in the day, I would have received the support that might have prevented a 5 pound gain from turning into regaining all of my weight lost (on more than one occasion). Coming clean about my recent gain, resetting my weight ticker to reflect the gain, and getting the support from you guys has given me a new found sense of control and has got me right back to where I need to be.

emoticon: My plan is MY plan, and no one elses. This has been very hard for me to learn, because I've always felt I needed to be on some conventional program to be successful. Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Atkins Diet, No Sodium diet, etc etc. It had to be "go big or go home." This is the first time that I haven't made any food "off limits", everything in moderation, and calories in calories out is the name of my game. Some people might cringe at what I chose to eat, but if I can lose 60 pounds eating what I want (more or less), then they can't really afford to argue with me. emoticon emoticon

emoticon: The scale can suck it! emoticon The scale has always been my #1 measure of success or failure, and it has ultimately caused me problems. Sometimes you can be doing everything right, and the scale refuses to budge. When that happens I've learned we just have to emoticon. That said I LOVE seeing the scale go down, but I a pay more attention to how my clothes fit or other NSV's.

emoticon: Plateaus are the pits!! That goes hand in hand with the scale not rewarding you for hard work at times... I plateaud at 250, 230, 214 (and I'm sure there's many more to come)... it happens! In the past that would have derailed me and sent me right back up to 270ville, but not this time.

emoticon: Time lines do not work for me, in fact, they stress me out!! Every previous attempt started with a pen and paper and this: "You weigh 272, you want to get to 180. So that's 92 pounds, if you lose 2 pounds per week, so it will take you 46 weeks which is about 11ish months... BUT maybe if you lose 5 the first week, and 2.5 a week..." Well, you get the idea. That was a recipe for disaster. 1/2 of those attempts would end with "well that's going to take forever, WHY EVEN BOTHER?!" The other half of those attempts would last maybe a month, or 3 months at best, and when I hadn't lost "10 pounds a month like I SHOULD be" I would throw in the towel. This is the FIRST time I didn't do that, and it was the BEST thing I could have done. I have gone from 262 to 212ish in 9 months which is by no means 2 pounds a week or any other "spectacular amount" of weight loss, but I sure am happy with the progress!

emoticon: Don't be so hard on yourself! This was a very hard one for me to learn. I would constantly beat myself "If you would have just stuck with it like you were supposed to, you could have been at goal by now". "You gained 5 pounds, what an idiot, I knew you would always be fat!" I would never in a million years speak like that to anyone else, so why was I allowing myself to treat myself so terribly? That has been a long hard process, but I have come a long way and continue to work on positive self talk.

I'm sure there are more things I have learned on my journey these past 9 months, but this was already far longer than I expected. In fact, if any of you poor saps actually read all the way to this point, let me know and I will shower you with a Spark Goodie! emoticon emoticon

I HAVE to give a huge shout out to my Spark BFF Susan (IMSOOZEEQ)! If you don't have the pleasure of knowing her, I suggest you check out her page, I'm just sayin! emoticon I am very blessed to have a handful of amazing Spark Friends that are absolutely amazing and know a lot about me. They are always there to offer support and advice, but this very special shout out to Susan is because she has single-handedly pulled me out of the pit of despair this past week! I was just sinking further and further down into the pit and the scale was just creeping up and up and she reached down and pulled me out! Without her I'd be back in 220ville instead of full steam ahead to Onederland! I seriously do not know what I'd do without you Susan, you are just too amazing for words! emoticon emoticon And to all my amazing Spark friends who have helped me throughout my journey and continued to support me, lots of hugs as well! emoticon
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Loved your blog! Thanks for sharing! It was very helpful for me. I'm in much the same boat as you. I've been heavy as long as I can remember, and have hit 260 and want to change. Thank you for showing me it CAN be done.
    3092 days ago
    I love this. Once again I can def relate to all you wrote. Esp the part about timelines. Omg I was the queen of them, and then if I didn't do what I felt I should within that timeline I felt like I sucked. But I'm so happy for you. What a great you've had! :)
    3095 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13287288
    Great blog, and it's so great that you are reflecting and making plans and goals for yourself! 2013 is going to be great!

    3097 days ago
    What a great blog. It's filled with insight and sense. I wonder if I, too, dare to construct my own diet and have it work.

    Thank you for the non-caloric food for thought.
    3097 days ago
    You are awesome! You have been a blogging champ lately! I love it! I was going to do another vlog yesterday but I felt too blah! I love reading everything you have learned alot of it hits right at home with me and reminds me that there is a new year to do even better and learn new things on the way to onederland! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3097 days ago
    It's amazing how much things change from the beginning of the journey. You learn so many things. I don't think I'd be able to succeed without SparkPeople. It has really kept me on track this time. When I don't spark for the day.. I go out of my range and eat things I shouldn't. So I am sticking to it! Glad you are able to get back on track. You are so close to Onederland.. and while it is scary, it is an amazing feeling to finally hit it! I agree with you on the timeline thing too. At the beginning that was all I focused on. If I can lose 2 pounds a week I will be this weight by this date.. Definitely not realistic. I do use it sometimes as a range.. but don't focus on specifics. AND I kind of go by if I lose 1 pound a week.. I MAY be near this weight by this time. Like my anniversary.. I was kind of interested in where I'd be. I have 7 weeks.. So I figure I should be about 7 pounds lighter.. or more. But I don't let it get me down if I'm not.
    3097 days ago
    I love this blog!!!!
    3097 days ago
    What a great blog! You've definitely have learned the lessons and I know you will meet and or exceed all of your weight loss endeavors. Good Luck. I'm off to check out your friend's sparkpage.
    3097 days ago
    What a great blog! You've definitely have learned the lessons and I know you will meet and or exceed all of your weight loss endeavors. Good Luck. I'm off to check out your friend's sparkpage.
    3097 days ago
    Good articulation on what you have learned the past 9 months. Sounds like you have learned a lot about yourself and what will work and not work for you.
    It's good that you realize that you need to speak up and get support. I think that many do stop coming to the site and regain the weight. I feel sad knowing that when they need us the most, we can't give them the support that they need.
    Have a good ending to the week. Now I will go and check out your friends page.
    PS: very nice picture
    3097 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/27/2012 6:06:12 AM
    You have said it all. You have a realistic plan and are learning what works for you. You are strong and I know you will succeed. Keep it up Stephanie. You rock star. Woo hoo.
    3098 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12588922
    Wow, just what I needed to read. Thank you for sharing emoticon
    3098 days ago
    Love you blog. I read all the way through. Kudos to me. I haven't qualified for any in any other way. I've gained 10 lbs or so, haven't exercised, have eaten until I'm sick and haven't really cared. But that is far enough. Calling a halt. Must turn this ship around. I appreciate the things you've learned. I'm much better at encouraging than I am at asking for help. To be honest, I still just want to do it myself. And I agree with you...your plan is your plan, and mine is mine. Keep up the good work. emoticon
    3098 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12088077
    Woop! You HAVE grown a lot! And check out all the success it has awarded you. You are doing so so so well and I am so so so so so SO excited to see you hit your goal weight now that it is literally around the corner. :D Yipee!!!
    3098 days ago
    You have learned so much and have put that learning to good work. The success you have had is evidence of that. You have developed a playbook of your own! emoticon

    You know that you don't have to give me a shout out but thanks. I know you say that I have helped you but you help me just a much. I am so inspired and encouraged by you and your success. Your blogs bring me back on track more often that I could even count. They are sometimes the kick in the butt that I need to wake up and do what I know I need to do to have my own success!

    Thanks my friend for sharing your story! Oh and gotta love the emoticon & emoticon !!!

    Much love emoticon

    3098 days ago
  • CRISSA1669
    LOL.......I read the whole way through.........loved the lessons learned...they are personal to you but I could glean off of several of them, especially the "do not be so hard on yourself"'...I only recently let myself have a break...I thought I was going to press hard to loose the last 16-18 pounds or so BUT I actually chose to not focus on it right now and I have been enjoying the seasonal yummies...I'm still working out and whatnot but I really wanted to partake in some of the goodies...such as Peppermint Mocha coffee from 7-11...yep, from 7-11, it's just as good as Starbucks IMHO and it only cost $1.57 while Starbucks gouges me for close to 5 bucks...lol..and then there my favorite Walker Shortbread cookies...wow....and then there's.........haha, ok ok, you get the point....it's been nice to indulge a bit and not make myself crazy about it!! Looking forward to finishing off this journey and watching you kick butt in 2013!!! :) Clarissa
    3098 days ago
    Aw I love all of it! I'm so happy you feel in control again! I absolutely hate that feeling, especially when it comes to my eating and exercise and whatnot. I am so happy for you to be feeling better about everything!

    And props to Susan for pulling you out of the pit of despair! It's hard enough to get ourselves out, so I'm glad you had someone else helping pull you!
    3098 days ago
    3098 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12521998
    Earl Nightingale - "Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."

    3098 days ago
    I love the cat pictures!!

    You are doing such an awesome job!!
    3098 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3098 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    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.