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From family photos on December 18th, 2011

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My four children, daughter in law, son in law, grandaughter, and six grandsons

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Me and Sugar

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Hi! My name is Lenella, I am 58 years old as of July 1, 2013, and I am a recovering food addict.

My journey started long ago, and as I look back I can even say it started in my youth. I have done a lot of soul searching of late, and I was surprised at what I found. This is my story…

When I was a child, I was raised in a great environment. I had a stay at home mom, and a dad that worked a 40 hour a week factory job as a machine repair. Not only that, but we also lived on a small homestead of about 33 acres, and we raised most of our own food. We had cows for meat and milk, we raised chickens for eggs and meat, and even had hogs when I was a wee babe. (smiles) We also put out a huge garden every year and canned enough vegetables to hold us over the winter. So where did things go wrong for me?

We still went to the store to buy bread, and as we got older we kids rebelled and wanted dairy milk instead of milking the cows. And then there was the cottage that my mom and dad built along with my brothers, and it was easier to buy hot dogs, potato chips and the like to take for the cottage for the weekend then to bother eating good. After all, what did we know back then that it would hurt us for life? So even though we continued t the garden, the cattle and chickens eventually had to go so we did not have to worry about them on the weekends.

Then there was the candy store at the lakes that we bought from frequently, and a little Souvenir shop my Aunt and Uncle owned at Barbee Lake in Northern Indiana. So even though I ate fairly well, bad habits were already beginning to be formed in me.

Shortly after puberty I stopped being as physically active as I was in the past. Before that, I was taking tap, jazz, acrobats, and baton twirling. Even though swimming was my passion, it was usually only on the weekends. So I put on about 10 lbs. going from 115 to 125 lbs. That wasn’t too bad. But somewhere between then and the age of 18 I put on another 30 lbs. and I weighed 155 lbs. Disappointing, but still not the end of the world for me.

With my first child I gained a whopping 60 lbs., and could not lose it. Then number two came along, and I gained another 40 lbs. Then the third child came along and I found myself at a whopping 225 lbs. which I carried for many years. Somehow I managed not to gain any more weight with my next two children.

Yes I did try to lose weight through the years, starting when I was 18. I would do good for a few weeks, then it would be over. As I grew older, I responded to both the Atkins diet and the high protein diet where I lost 80 lbs. on three occasions, but soon after gained it back and then some.

Now my starting weight is 340 lbs. This is the second time I have been at this all time highest weight. For some reason that is the magic number; I refuse to let myself gain any more than that. I was here once when I started Spark People back in December of 2011. I lost weight and was doing great, then I got distracted. Partially because I accidentally put in a wrong weight that was a hundred pounds off of my original weight and I could not get it fixed. I was embarrassed by that mistake, so then I got frustrated and got tired of blogging, so I quit. I also kept pulling tendons, and continually hurt myself doing my daily exercises. Eventually I was unable to walk without a can and at that pointkI just gave up.

So here I am back at that magic number again. 340 lbs. Well actually, I am 20 lbs. less than that as of today, because I have changed my lifestyle and have been eating right for the last three weeks.

Why am I a recovering food addict you might ask? Because, I have been lying to myself about my weight and eating habits all these years. The first lie was that I I believed that I could get the weight off whenever I wanted to. The second lie was that I believed once I got the weight off, I could return to eating the way I used to eat before losing weight. I know now that these are to of the biggest lies I have ever believed.

To lose weight, and to keep it off, it has to be a complete mindset that includes a complete new lifestyle change. I loved food, and I didn't want to give it up. But I hated what it was doing to me, but I didn't want to give it up. I hated the full feeling I got when I stuffed myself and felt miserable, but I didn't want to give it up. But now, all of that has changed. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!

I have arthritis, and eventually the doctors say I will need a knee replacement. So I take Naproxin which has torn up the lining of my stomach and I now have stomach ulcers. I also take a non-narcotic pain medicine called Tramadol. An amazing pain medicine, and it seems to take care of the pain all over my body. I also take Cymbalta, because I have had to deal with years of tragedies, as well as post traumatic stress syndrome. I have always had major depression and I have had frequent anxiety attacks. Recently my doctor found that I am deficient in vitamin D, so I have been taking a powerful supplement once a week for that. Then another bomb dropped when she told me I now have high cholesterol. She advised me to go on a high fiber, low fat diet to keep from having to take medicine. I was on board with this, because I absolutely refuse to take any more medication!

So that is the reason I have come back to Spark People. I cannot do it without tracking what I eat, and on SP I have been educating myself on what foods I should eat for my condition. I have renewed my friendship with a couple of old friends on here and I have now made new friends as well. I absolutely love the community and the support I get on here.

This time around I am taking it slow. I believe before I was just too overwhelmed with the site and all it had to offer. I always try to be an over achiever, then I let myself down and go into another major depression. This time I have decided to take it one step at a time. I only belong to one group, because I don’t want to overwhelm myself with trying to keep track of more than one. I always track my weight along with my food intake, and recently I started tracking my exercise. I didn't start them all at once, because once again I did not want to become overwhelmed.

I enjoy tracking Spark Points, because it helps me to stay educated and involved with the Spark Community. I don’t have the income to buy the books and tapes, but there are so many resources on the site that I feel that I don’t need them right now. Perhaps sometime down the road someone will give them to me as a gift.

So this is where I am at in my journey. I would love for you to join me in my journey of success! We can do this together!!!

Lenella Maxwell

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience".
[Pierre Teilhard de Chardin]
[Jesuit Priest, 20th Century]

"Life is a journey back to God." [Lenella]

Member Since: 12/26/2011

Fitness Minutes: 1,493

My Goals:
As of 7/8/2013

My current weight as of today is: 399.5 lbs.

My ultimate goal weight is 149 lbs. But my first challenge is just getting down below 300 lbs., 1 pound at a time.

Then I will start counting the milestones 10 pounds at a time.

Recognize and celebrate 300 lbs., 275, 250, 225, 200, 175, 170, 165, 160, and 155.

Then the final celebration of my goal weight achieved.

Beyond that will come the counting of the months and years of a lifestyle change, confirming that this is My Last Weight Loss Journey!!!

My Program:
Drink 8 glasses of water daily.

Count calories daily staying within my recommended daily allowance.

10 minute walk, stretch and then a 45 to 60 minute work out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week.

Walk at least one mile on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday of each week.

Weigh myself every Monday.

Honestly blog each and every day that deal with victories, frustrations, and revelations about my Final Weight Loss Journey.

Personal Information:
I was born and raised, and live in Muncie, IN. I have four grown children, and eight grandchildren.

I have a Blue Pitt Bull named Sugar who keeps my life going. She is spayed, and there will be no puppies. *smiles*

My life is dedicated to God. Then follows my family including Sugar, friends, and community. I love writing, cooking, gardening, sewing, cardmaking, scrapbooking and swimming.

Other Information:
I have literally learned to live one day at a time. I look forward to seeing what the day holds for me.

I have learned to fly like an eagle in the air streams, instead of life like a turkey in the barnyard flapping my wings but getting no where.

I put all my faith and trust in God everyday, and he never fails to show me His face. I can say I am truly in love with Him, and my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Read More About LENELLA - Profile Information moved here. (Updated October 10)

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    emoticon Lenella! Let’s make this Thanksgiving holiday a great time to focus on our health! Promote healthy nutrition, expand fitness minutes and thrive for emotional wellness to achieve optimum health! Moderation, balance and consistency are the keys to avoiding holiday pitfalls! TOGETHER, we CAN turn our NOVEMBER goals into extraordinary results! Have a happy and healthy holiday month!

    emoticon N = Nothing can replace you because you are a very special person!
    emoticon O = Overcome each obstacle by never giving up and never giving in!
    emoticon V = Visualize and trust that all goals and dreams are possible!
    emoticon E = Embrace inner well-being, healthy nutrition and fitness activity!
    emoticon M = Maintain focus on each goal, daily commitment and follow-through!
    emoticon B = Believe in yourself that you are a winner in all that you do!
    emoticon E = Encourage and inspire others by sharing your success!
    emoticon R = Remember, you are the SPARK that creates extraordinary results!

    ~ Monika ~ emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2786 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Here is an extra emoticon for your emoticon for stopping by my page to pass along some encouragement for me! emoticon Your Spark Goodie brought emoticon shine to brighten my day!

    Keep on SPARKING!!!

    emoticon and BLESSINGS!!!!

    2802 days ago
    Running a little behind!!! Thanks for the goodie, it was very kind of you! I am glad you are back! Also, thanks for the wish of happiness--we can all use some in these times.
    2804 days ago
    Thank you for adding me as a friend--I've added you back. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond, I'm having a bad semester at school and not visiting as much as I should. The semester is half over though, so for better or worse, I'll have more time soon. Meanwhile, I hope the rest of your night is awesome!!
    2809 days ago
  • v no profile image PIXIE-LICIOUS
    "Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it only by the goal. And end goals can seem overwhelmingly huge, daunting, and just plain hard to reach. But if we start measuring our victories by the smaller choices we make each day, victory won't seem so impossible.....
    It's amazing the chain reaction that can start in your life with just one good choice.
    Big things are built one brick at a time.
    Victories are achieved one choice at a time.
    A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.
    Oh sweet friend, you are closer than you think to victory!"
    -Lysa TerKeurst
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Be your own hero, one choice and one step at a time! You might not see visible signs of progress right away, but as long as you keep doing your best, you will make progress and you will be victorious! I'm rooting for you! Remember, you're worth your best effort!
    2811 days ago
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