Thursday, April 08, 2010

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    thank you for the words of encouragement
    3818 days ago
    I started here in January with 348 pounds to lose. I have done four things consistently:

    1) Log in EVERYTHING I ingest into the Spark Nutrition tracker, even on days when I eat too much or too little

    2) 15 minutes of exercise a day (walking or dancing in my living room, as I don't like the gym)--if you have mobility issues, there are videos and blogs on this site that show how to do chair exercises that will get your heart rate up.

    3) Read Spark articles and respond to other Spark members' blogs and updates.

    4) Blog 3 times a week.

    If you use the Spark tools, you can enter your age, gender, current weight, and desired weight and pick to track your nutrition (if you aren't doing so already) and it will give you a calorie range with suggested ranges of fat, protein, and carbs (I also included sodium) to eat on a daily basis.

    The first two weeks were kind of hellish for me as I was used to eating mostly nutritionally empty calories (jars of nutella, boxes of crackers, litres of ice cream, 2-3 chocolate bars at a time, etc.). I did the first two weeks a day at a time on will power.

    Weeks 2 - 4 were less hellish, although I still really missed my "comfort" (actually, discomfort!) foods. But now I was getting used to eating a big, healthy breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, dinner and tv snack.

    The exercise thing surprises me--I've never enjoyed it, but the benefits of just small walks and dancing showed up really quickly. In less than a month getting off the couch became less difficult. I can now walk up stairs in the normal way, instead of one leg up, drag the next one up, then repeat (still can't go down normally, yet--too much pressure on my knees from the weight).

    There are many, many days when I feel unmotivated. And then I read other people's blogs and often get inspired enough to enter my food, even if I have been bad, or to put on 2 songs and dance as hard as I can.

    If you are anything like me, maybe you have checked out my page and thought, "well, I'm starting from a heavier point than she is, what does she know?" in which case I suggest you check out the blogs and page of Raven2Feathers who is one of the managers of this group! She is awesome and I believe she started her journey at 585 pounds and is now in the 280's!

    A day at a time this is possible. I imagine that, if you used the Spark nutrition and exercise tool, it suggested that it might take about 3 years to get down to a healthy BMI--and I know that my own two years seems waaaay too long when I think about it in total. So I break it down into 10% of my goal. So 20 pounds is my first goal, then 18 pounds, etc. Way more manageable.

    No BS, you will have to work at this--between exercise, Spark group participation, and entering my food (this gets quicker as you get used to the page interface), I probably spend an hour a day or more on Spark. BUT--is an hour a day worth it so that in the same amount of time that has passed in a blink of an eye since Spring 2007, you are at a healthy BMI AND have learned sustainable eating and exercise habits so that you don't put the weight on again? If it is worth it, then do it.

    This unimaginably tough journey is possible. I know, because I am on it and finding success in a way I never have before. No magic bullets, no special herbs, no miracle foods--just the miracle of nutritious food in appropriate portions and a bit of daily physical activity. Calories in / Calories out...

    You can do this. emoticon
    3818 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.

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