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Confessions of a Success Story

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Confessions of a Success Story:

Details you need to know

• I’ve lost 146 lbs (It took me about 2 years)
• I dropped from a size 22/24 to a 4/6 most days
• I’ve been featured as a Spark Success Story.
• I’ve been on Spark since January 17, 2011

Anyone reading this that knows me knows that I am a fan of Sparkpeople. Do I criticize it? Yes, but only in meaningful ways to try to make the site better. Now, that I have disclaimered (yes, my own made up word) and given you details… on with the blog.

Today, I was perusing Sparkpeople like I do more days than not and I went to the recipe section. I click on a pineapple raspberry coffee cake wondering how the heck that was made healthy. I’m like everyone else; I want my cake and eat it too. However, unlike my former self I know that eating such a decadent dessert can lead to bad bad things (like 20 lbs). I get extremely happy when I can find a good for you skinnied down recipe. That’s what I was hoping to find when I clicked the button. What I found was a cake with almost 600 calories. Onto the confessions…


In January 2011, I asked my husband if we could not go to restaurants for a few months and if he minded going into sections of the grocery store that I deemed danger zones. I also made him hide all his food that was fattening from me. Fine, go ahead and tell me that’s not realistic. And my argument back to you is that no one who has self control gets to be 146 lbs over weight. January 17, 2011 was a day I decided to learn to live healthy. Just because you make that proclamation doesn’t mean you know what to do, that it will be easy or that you need to put yourself in situations that you won’t succeed in. People have to learn self control. We have to learn discipline. We also have to figure out what triggers us to over eat and we have to figure out if food is worth it or not.

We didn’t go out to eat for the first 3 months of my healthy lifestyle. That time gave me a safety net to build my confidence, learn to make good choices, and to have self control. I eventually got there but it didn’t happen just by making the choice to live healthy and it didn’t happen without knowing in some aspects of life you have to ask for help.


People seriously hate to hear this but for the 2 years that I was actively getting to my goal weight, I did not have a single slice of pizza, French fries, fast food, cookies, cakes, doughnuts or candy. I knew that any of those things could derail me and weren’t really necessary in order to live healthy. Guess what? I didn’t miss those things at all. Why? I didn’t miss those things because I was creative and made healthy versions of most things. IF I wanted pizza, I would make eggplant pizza. If I wanted ice cream I made frozen bananas or frozen watermelon. If you don’t believe me, well one of my desserts is kind of famous; it was in First Magazine for Women.

You don’t have to have cake to be happy, I promise you. Actually the first cake I had was on my daughters 3rd birthday and it made me have cravings. I had been normal weight for over 6 months and cake made me crave. There’s your sign.

Life is always going to throw you lemons. You have to learn to make lemonaid (hahaha it’s a play on the spelling). I learned to have resources and to ask for help and part of my help was Sparkpeople and I assure you when I first started the recipe I found today would have made me delete my account. I am not advocating for anyone to not have an indulgence if you are able to, but you can find indulgences everywhere. However, Spark is my health zone… So unless it’s a healthy indulgence, I really wish we could get rid of the 600 calorie cakes. Yes, this site is for everyone, not just those losing weight, however, it’s still a site based on health and if I ate that cake, I’d probably have to start actively trying to lose weight. This journey is so hard ( so make it easy when you can), but it’s so worth it….

I promise you all that I have never said I regret not eating the cake.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow! I only now saw your story attached to one of my emails, so yea, I'm the Julia-come-lately here, sorry. I had to laugh about the descendant cakes posted in SparkRecipes. I see those and think, seriously? they are recommending that as "healthy"?

    But then as I eat poor food choices like candy bars from the store or junk food, and a LOT of that is on the tracker - I realized probably a lot of these "recipes" are what the people ate and posted just to force themselves to see just HOW MUCH fat, sugar, carbs, (yea I know sugars are carbs but there are other carbs too, as you well know, I'm sure!!), sodium etc is in it - and perhaps now, they no longer make that recipe the same way. Maybe it's there as a reminder of what NOT to eat? I don't know. That's just my feeling, based on what I've noticed about the nutritional info of so many junk foods in general already on the tracker.

    In any case, there's not really a way to prove that theory. Maybe if SparkPeople wanted to completely revamp the recipe section and have a way to toggle a recipe as "not recommended for optimal weight loss" or some such category (hee hee), or "I ate this all the time and lost a lot of weight". There may not really be a way. Likely, this is an area where "personal choice" comes into play, as in, "yes, I personally choose to not eat this 600 calorie slab of chocolate coconut almond cream cheese cake that's only 3" square." For someone else, they might say, "nothing is a bad food - I will choose to fast for two days and eat one of those for breakfast and call it good."

    Oh well. In any case you are totally awesome keeping on with your plan even with a daughter after your ex left you. I didn't do too well after my ex and I split up (and I didn't have any children at all.). So keep on keeping on and I hope your maintenance is going well for you now, some two plus years after you wrote this blog!!



    1770 days ago
    Taken me a long time to find this but this was absolutely awesome. emoticon
    2107 days ago
  • KAREN633
    I know this is an old blog but your story is amazing. Thanks for being leader of the Honey Badgers
    2358 days ago
  • no profile photo GRAMPIAN
    Y emoticon ou've done very well!
    2398 days ago
    Love this blog, I struggle so to lose weight and my nemises is sweets and fried food, I have been staying away from them and just joined a challenge to abstain for 100 days, started Sept 23 and going strong! Maybe one day I will be a success story, I hope so, my small goal now is to get to Onderland, I'm 18 lbs away!

    Elaine emoticon
    2404 days ago
    Chelle, what an amazing and inspiring story! emoticon
    2432 days ago
    Thank you for sharing. We all are basically making the same journey but each on their own trail. I did not give up all sweets, but limit them only to something that I truly want and the serving is a very limited size. I did give up a fast foods fro day one. No drive thrus and I gave up all sodas and replaced with water. It has been successful for me
    2432 days ago
    Thank you for sharing!
    2454 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story you are an inspiration
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    2492 days ago
    I was looking for a great way to start my Monday morning and this was it! Thanks Chelle and congrats on your success! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2503 days ago
    Good for you and I agree with you 100%! Perhaps Spark will listen and make some changes. For a healthy living site, there should only be healthy recipes! emoticon
    2506 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2513 days ago
    2517 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14429867
    When you gave 100%, your body gave back the results of all your hard work. Great blog and great job on getting your health back. emoticon emoticon
    2521 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/18/2014 8:23:16 PM
    what an amazing blog you have NOT regretted not eating the cake way to go
    2522 days ago
    what an amazing blog you have NOT regretted not eating the cake way to go
    2522 days ago
    2522 days ago
    2522 days ago
    Congratulations on all your successes!
    2523 days ago
    this blog was exactly what I needed to read this morning! thanks for the inspiration!!
    2524 days ago
  • LIZ0515
    2524 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14429867
    You have done a fantastic job at losing all the weight. You are to be commended on your hard work that you worked for and in the end succeeded. Kudos to you emoticon
    2524 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13202979
    emoticon emoticon
    2525 days ago
  • MOMMY445
    congrats on your successes! have a wonderful day!
    2525 days ago
    emoticon You look incredible! I am glad you stuck with it and have not given up!
    You are right, that we don't have to indulge ourselves with the unhealthy foods that are out there. However, I do believe that if we can do that now and then, that it will keep us from binging on the bad stuff. I am not perfect, but I exercise 7 days a week and try to eat healthy as much as possible. I have maintained my goal weight for 4 and half years and I am so glad to be a member of Spark People as I can see you are too! We all should be proud of one another because it's people like you that are an inspiration to all of us! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2525 days ago
    WOW!!! You are absolutely amazing and beautiful! ................. So much work and you stayed with it til done!! .............. You look wonderful and emoticon on a most deserved POPULAR BLOG Feature!! emoticon
    2525 days ago
    I agree with you so much ... I know the site is for everyone but when i go look at the recipes some days I am like why would you have that here. I try very hard to live the best I can and to cook one meal that everyone here will eat but it is so hard so when i am looking at the recipes I am like the rest can have that but it still doesnt help me . Thank you for this I am glad that somebody finally said it .
    2525 days ago
  • PJB149
    Congratulations on your outstanding success.

    My WL journey is about learning to eat everything and not "giving up" food. For me, "If I cannot do it for life, I won't do it to lose." That means learning to incorporate all foods into my WL journey. Obviously, you must exercise control over high calorie foods, even when eating in moderation, but I am changing my mindset and learning to eat within new constraints so I can lose and keep this weight off.

    You are obviously successful and I applaud you for finding what worked for you. emoticon

    2525 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2525 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2525 days ago
    Job well done !
    2525 days ago
    I am very proud of you. No cake is worth losing what you have gained. Thanks for sharing. J
    2525 days ago
  • WALNUTT1961
    So awesome! Thanks for sharing. I thought I was crazy not wanting to go out to eat or have my family hide their food! I'm glad others do the same thing.
    Congrats to you!
    2525 days ago
  • SWAN47
    First- I agree that the 660 calorie cake isn't what I want to see under recipes. Fortunately I just skip it and move on to another that fits my criteria. You're story is an inspiration and shares things that can help us all be successful. Thank you for sharing. I'm so happy for you're success. You have been determined and let nothing stop you. I hope I can learn from you and this blog. I agree with Bobby you are strong. Proud of you and your accomplishments. Thanks again for sharing.
    Blessings -
    2525 days ago
  • GORDON66
    You are a strong person. Good for you!
    2525 days ago
  • BOPPY_

    One teeny, weeny, nit to pick:

    Anyone that has 146 pounds to lose, and figures out how to do it, including getting help from their SO is a darm strong individual with major skills including "self-control".

    I salute you,

    2525 days ago
    Congratulation!!!! You motive me to get back on track thank u!!!!!!
    2526 days ago
    Congratulations you look great!! I want to be where you are! Reading your blog I see all the mistakes I have made over the past three years. I have been eating in moderation and not limiting anything. It was working for me, but now it has not been working. I believe I need to make some drastic changes like you did. I really enjoyed reading your blog and hearing your story. Be blessed!!
    2526 days ago
    I'm just beginning to learn which foods trigger my cravings. I'm the same way with cake, and I hate it when we have some non-healthy cake in the house. No matter how much I tell myself I'll have just a small piece, well, three small pieces later (if not more) I realize that those small pieces add up to more than I wanted. More damage control and more work to not lose it mentally, emotionally and physically. I commend you on your hard work and am truly inspired by you. Thank you for sharing!
    2526 days ago
  • CEIL46
    I'm so glad I happened upon your blog. It was very inspiring, and reminds me why I can't have peanut butter in the house. I haven't had any sweets for two months, and it really does help with the cravings.
    2526 days ago
  • CICELY360
    good blog
    2526 days ago
    emoticon and thank you for sharing your journey.
    2526 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    2 years into this journey and I still don't order a lot of the foods you mentioned because I love them but I don't need them. Congrats on your awesome weight loss journey. It is not always easy, but it is ALWAYS worth it! Awesome job!
    2526 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2526 days ago
    So very true!!!
    2526 days ago
    I emoticon U, you honey badger!
    2526 days ago
    I would have been like you, ooohhh cake. But knowledge is power, before I would have never known it was 600 calories, now I would see that and not even question that it was not a necessity. In the real world there will be 600 calorie cake, but we just click past it, because learning to be healthy meant learning there are so many better alternatives.
    2526 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3990357
    I think we were on a team together at one time so finding this blog was like finding a friend again. Thanks for the story of your success. It gave me food for thought.
    2526 days ago
  • no profile photo CD11628565
    This is great and I agree you don't miss the junk if you replace it with something good but healthy. Great inspiration
    2526 days ago
    ...well said. You've done an amazing job; keep up the good work.
    2527 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.