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Me with my 3 monsters! -126 pounds down! (Mother's Day 2013)

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-100 pounds - comparison pic! 276 lbs vs 176 lbs

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Before: 276 pounds After: A work in progress


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I've struggled with my weight since adolescence. Although I have successfully lost weight a few times in the past I ultimately surrendered to the idea of being fat for the rest of my life... until one day a little SPARK ignited.

I started my journey to health/wellness on 02/04/12. I weighed in at a whopping 276 pounds; the heaviest I've ever been! It was a very sobering moment when I took my "before" picture and didn't recognize myself. The morbidly obese person (me) in the picture was not the same person I saw in the mirror everyday.

I became committed and determined to hatch from my unhealthy cocoon. I didn't set specific goals other than to becoming healthier - regardless of what my weight was. I allowed my body to be my guide.

I ultimately lost a total of 140 pounds (I lost the initial 130 in approximately 17 months - the remaining 10 pounds came off as I transitioned to maintaining the overall weight loss and incorporated strength training as well).

I successfully maintained my weight loss for a full year (2014)- and then I slowly started allowing bad habits back in. I indulged a little too much and a bit too often (always using my excessive exercise as an excuse to eat/splurge more - something I never really did as I was losing weight)... 2015 has been a constant battle - teetering between 15-20 pounds over my "goal weight" (140 pounds).

Now that 2016 is a few short days away - I find myself 35 pounds overweight and struggling to get back into my healthy habits. I've started and stopped countless times this year and each time I'm starting out a few pounds heavier than the last attempt.

I could easily make excuses - but I won't. Excuses will not make me feel any better and will not get me where I need to be... so I'm holding myself accountable once again and I'm determined to see this through.

Surviving Madness encompasses my day-to-day life as a wife, homeschooling mom of 3, and group exercise instructor (I teach Zumba). I literally teeter on the brink of insanity most days - I'm just trying to survive the madness that is me and my life!

Member Since: 3/26/2012

Fitness Minutes: 40,809

My Goals:
TARGET/GOAL: 140 pounds (I prefer to rely on my body to be my "guide" as opposed to the scale... I feel my best when I'm approximately 140 pounds and wear a size 6)

Finish my AFAA Group Exercise Instructor Certification

Become certified in another Group Exercise format - such as TRX or BodyPump

My Program:
I now count calories (I resisted counting calories for a long time and used a modified means to track - see below). I keep a daily food and exercise tracking on my Google Calendar where I can quickly enter in my meals, calories etc... (I know SparkPeople has a tracker but I found it was incredibly time consuming).

My original program: I used a personally modified version of the "OLD" Weight Watchers program ((circa 2004). I've appreciated the WW program taking the guesswork out of calculating how many calories one needs to lose weight. However, after years of really learning about weight loss, calories, fitness, etc... I found there were several drawbacks to WW so I modified it accordingly:

I hate counting calories - I still opt for "points" - however, I calculate points as follows:

~50 calories = 1 pt
~25 calories = 0.5 pt
(If something is 10-15 calories then I won't typically count it as a half point - but if I have several "0" pt items then I

Personal Information:
Serena Michelle - I was born and raised (and currently living) in sunny San Diego, CA.

Other Information:
Licensed Zumba Instructor

Read More About SERENAMICHELLE - Profile Information moved here. (Updated March 11)

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 current weight: 152.2 
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