I have been reflecting on my journey a lot lately, so I will try not to bore you with all that again. Those that are my Spark friends know I've maintained an 85 pound loss for over a year, and I'm ready to move forward and lose the last 30ish pounds. Today, I am celebrating 3 years on this journey!
I was on and off Spark since 2009, losing 40 pounds only to gain it all back plus more. When I recommited 3 years ago, I had no clue this time would be any different... but somehow it was. It didn't feel that way at the beginning, and I had no idea this would be the last time I will lose this weight.
Having maintained over a year, I am confident in my ability to not let my weight get too far away from me. The biggest regain I have had on this journey was 18 pounds, and I only let it happen once. Several times I regained about 10 pounds to lose it again. The goal in the long term is to cut that range down to 5, so that as soon as I see a 5 pound gain I get things turned right around.
I could talk about how I wished I was at goal already, but the thing is... things are happening the way they are supposed to. Weight loss is a long hard journey mentally and emotionally. To really lose the weight and keep it off, you really have to continue to learn and grow as a person. I am an emotional eater, and I still battle that 3 years later. Sometimes I win the battles, sometimes I lose, but the thing is now I am trying to fight it. I am trying to keep this weight off and I am staying on top of things. Even when I mess up, I know that I can turn it around.
But today is not about the failures, it's about a celebration... and these are the things I am the most proud of on my weight loss journey...
I have been on Spark People consistently throughout the entire 3 years! I never once hid from Spark or disappeared and I have made some great friends.
Despite the gains I have had on this journey, I have always reported them and stayed accountable for them by posting them on Spark. It is really hard to log in and post a gain, but the thing is... if we don't own up to the gain in the first place, we can't celebrate when we lose it again. And who doesn't like to celebrate a loss among Spark friends?
I am proud of becoming and staying active. I can physically do things I couldn't do before. I can walk 10 miles at Disneyland and I never thought in my life I would be able to do something like that.
I am proud of no longer being afraid or ashamed to take photos and look in the mirror. In fact I find I can even compliment myself on my appearance, which I never could do before.
I am having fun and living life. I let my weight hold me back from so many things, but I don't allow that to happen anymore.
I am truly a happy person. Don't get me wrong, I have my sad times, bad times, bad days, the whole she-bang, but for the most part I am a happy person.
In fact I no longer even recognize the person I used to be. As I was going through photos today and putting them in my photo album, I came across this photo of me and Princess Jasmine.
I will admit my very first thought was "look at that gut!" But I am still a work in progress on how I talk to myself. So the second thing I noticed was how happy I looked. For good measure, I pulled out the old photo and that is when reality set in. I have come so far. That person in the bottom picture was truly miserable and uncomfortable in her own body. I don't even register that in my brain as me anymore. I see that photo and I feel sad for that girl. Then I have to remind myself that the girl in the photo is me, and that I don't have to feel bad for her because she has completely turned her life around!
I have to say that while I have been the one to do the work, count the calories, track the food, do the exercise, battle the binge monster, etc etc. I would not be where I am without Spark people. The tools are important, but you can find a calorie counter app anywhere... it is the people and the support that have kept me going. It is the goodies and the comments when I'm feeling down that remind me that I can do this and that this takes work. Most importantly Spark reminds me that I'm not alone in this, and we are all fighting similar battles... and the more we support each other the stronger we become. So here's to many more Sparkaversies and getting to my final goal!