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Sept 2008, before Sparkpeople

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Me, shortly after surgery, with my Nico and my Toby

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Fortune Cookie
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Roller Skates
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Stuffed Animal

JUST_SIMONE is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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Paste this link into your browser to check out my roller derby blog: http://thatshowirollerderby.wordpress.com/

They say that weight loss is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. As I get closer to goal, it feels more like 80% mental, 20% physical.

I had some major physical challenges---a heart defect diagnosed last spring, surgery in May to repair the hole in my heart, hypothyroidism, pregnancy and miscarriage, joint problems, an autoimmune disorder that causes hives to break out for no reason...not to mention carrying around an extra 100 pounds.

But in spite of all the physical challenges, the mental and emotional journey has been as important, if not more so, than the physical journey. I'm learning to change my relationship with food. I'm finding my confidence, spontaneity, bravery. I'm recognizing what I need to feel good, and learning to push out of my comfort zones.

I have lost over 85 pounds to date, and am 3/4 of the way to goal.

I recently learned that I have a heart defect which I've had since birth. My heart is not as efficient as a normal heart, yet this didn't stop me or even slow me down. In fact, I didn't even know that that my heart was not as efficient as it could be. My cardiologist predicts that I'll have more energy and endurance after I get this fixed, so watch out! here I come!

I've also made my progress in spite of a thyroid disorder. While my thyroid may have contributed to some of my weight gain, it hasn't prevented me from losing. To those of you who have thyroid issues, please don't give up! This can be done even with a wacky thyroid.

Well, I've decided to update my page, as I've crossed my half-way to goal milestone. I've lost 63 pounds and feel like a new person. I aim to lose 60 more, but we'll see what I settle in on as I get closer to goal. My adult weight has never been lower than 163, so I want to see what that looks and feels like.

I can now hike with my family, chase them up stairs (and win!), play tag, and climb on jungle gyms. I can now fit in airplane seats. I can now find clothes that fit me. I am still just as neurotic and dorky as ever, but I have new confidence to be neurotic and dorky without thinking that everyone is thinking about my weight.

I'm several pounds away from no longer being obese according to the BMI. I feel like I already have the energy of a fit person, now it's just these extra pounds I need to shed. I'm trying to be a runner and I hope that weighing less will take some of the pressure off of my shins, which are gradually accepting the fact that I will, someday, run.


Hi, I'm Simone :) As of September 2, I've been with Sparkpeople for six months. I'm feeling pretty good about this and feel like I can continue the healthy choices I'm making for a lifetime.

I've been heavy since puberty. I think. I'm not sure I was really overweight when I hit puberty, but I became aware that I was gaining weight and was no longer the boney little kid that I was before puberty. As I've gotten older, I've put on more weight. Each time I lost weight, I ended up putting it back on, plus some extra. I'm not a chronic dieter. For me, exercise is key to losing weight. I did my first "diet" in 2003 and lost over 65 pounds, but found it (plus some) again after going through a traumatic marriage, divorce, grad school, etc.

This year, I found myself approaching 300 pounds (at my highest, I was 274--too close for comfort). I wasn't enjoying being active and I would feel embarrassed by how winded I'd get walking up stairs. Photos horrified me because I didn't recognize myself.

At my annual physical with my doctor, I cried in the exam room. I was tired of being fat and I felt like I was in an downward spiral--the larger I got, the more difficult exercise became. I felt like there was no way out. She recommended that I check out Sparkpeople, which I did. That same week, I had an appointment with my endocrinologist who advised that I consider gastric bypass surgery. I was horrified that I'd become large enough to qualify for the surgery, and became determined to lose the weight without surgery. That sealed the deal for me. I've been with Sparkpeople ever since.

Yay! It's working! I'm two months into this and feel like I'm going strong. My strategy was to reward myself heavily for behavior changes in the beginning (I gave myself an ipod touch for two weeks of consistent exercise). Now the rewards are the actual weight loss! The main differences I'm noticing since I started is just an improved fitness level. I can carry groceries up the stairs to my apartment without dying. I actually *like* exercise now and miss it when I can't do it.

As far as feeling thinner, I guess that part hasn't really caught up with my mental image of myself. I look in the mirror and still see an overweight girl. Maybe that's because I never really saw myself as I was at my heaviest. Photos always surprised me, and I always thought "that *cant* be me."

The truth is that I'm fitting into clothes that I haven't fit into for two years, so I have to rely on that and what the scale tells me (and what my boyfriend tells me) to really know that this is working.

Well, I guess I'm here for the same reason as everyone else. I have a bunch of weight to lose and am looking for the motivation to get started. I have a feeling that once I start seeing results, the motivation will grow.

Member Since: 3/2/2009

Fitness Minutes: 26,399

My Goals:
The following are my goals I set when I began this process. I've achieved each of them to a certain extent and plan to keep improving:

Look better
Feel better
Have for room for my butt in airplane seats
Have the confidence to play my drums in front of an audience and not be self conscious of my weight
Better sex
Be able to find pretty dresses that fit me

My Program:
Trying to be more active throughout the day. When I was using a Bodybugg, I found that I burned more calories walking around, shopping, doing errands, etc. on my days off than I was on sedentary days with a 1 hour gym workout.

I'm doing strength training and cardio 4-5x a week to increase my physical fitness. This includes Pilates, Boot Camp, hiking, swimming, Zumba, workout DVD's, and whatever strikes my fancy

Portion control
Avoid added sugar
Aim for 60% carb, 20% protein, 20% fats.

EVERYTHING in moderation. If I want pudding, I will eat pudding, but it will be nonfat. If I want chocolate, I will eat it, but it will be a square of dark chocolate instead of the whole bar.

Personal Information:
I'm 5'8"

I'm originally from Washington state, but now live in Southern California with an 8 year stint in Alaska in between.

I work as a crisis counselor. Long days and an unpredictable schedule have been a few of the excuses I've made for not setting up a healthy routine for myself. Now I bring 3-4 meals/snacks with me to work so I don't go hungry.

I'm working on developing a photography business shooting weddings, portraits, or really anything people want me to shoot.

Other Information:
I live with my wonderful husband, our two dogs, maniacal cat, and my step-daughters on weekends.

Read More About JUST_SIMONE - Profile Information moved here. (Updated May 21)

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