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SORGIN is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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I joined Spark in Jan. 2008. I made great progress until Oct. 2008. In spite of all the running miles I put in, I reached a plateau and gained and lost the same 3-5 lbs. over and over and over and over again throughout most of 2009.

Over the summer of 2010, I added a few extra lbs. Then I added a few more into the first part of 2011. I was still exercising and eating within my calorie range. But the weight continued to creep up.

I was at a point of extreme frustration. And tears.

April 25, 2011 was a new beginning. I made a vow to surround myself with the people and things that enhanced my life and made me a better person. I left the rest behind and marched onward.

It has worked.

UPDATE: January 16, 2013

I got off to a good start in November but dropped the ball throughout the holidays. Then at the end of December, a wise friend said she was going to try the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart program. At first I thought, no, no, no, because I had no desire to go vegan or to do a special diet just to lose pounds. But then I thought - why not?

My biggest problem is my diet. I do not make enough room for vegetables and fruit. I build my meals around meat or dairy, and vegetables and grains are afterthoughts. So why not try a diet that eliminates the things I am dependent on? It would force me to figure out a way to ENJOY vegetables, fruit and whole grains, the things I need to eat to build a truly healthy lifestyle.

I am two weeks in and so far so good. I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is and I am not hungry. Sure, there are some ghastly recipes but there are also some delicious ones. The diet has helped reduce my sugar cravings. I also don't crave meat or poultry. I do miss dairy - eggs, butter, cheese - but it's only a feeling. I can get over it. Who knows where this will go but so far, I am happy with the six pounds I've lost. I am 20 lbs. above my Spark low and that is disappointing but I WILL get back there.

UPDATE: Nov. 20, 2012

Well, it worked for a while. It worked until I reached a plateau Oct. 2011. Then we decided in Feb. 2012 to move to a new state. Frustration with my plateau led to depression about moving which led to comfort eating. For the last nine months, I abandoned many of my healthy habits. Now that I am moved into my new home and everything is as settled as it can be, it's time to put myself back in charge. The good news is that I haven't gained back all the weight. I've done this before and know what to do...

UPDATE: Oct. 31, 2011

I have reached another frustrating plateau and am taking a break from Spark. I will continue to log food/exercise and will come back when I have reached my goal.

UPDATE: Sept. 15, 2011

This is the first summer since 2008 that I've lost weight instead of gaining. I exercised less than I normally do yet was able to lose. I didn't lose as much as I wanted. I thought I'd be closer to my goal but I can't complain. I know I will eventually get there. Why is it working?

1. I've tried to eliminate most white sugar. I started by eliminating it from my coffee and expanded to being more selective about cereals, yogurts and other snack items. I drink black coffee and use honey if a sweetener is required. Or I just go without. The benefit of this is that my cravings have decreased.

2. I've let go of my exercise expectations. This has been suggested over and over again by friends. I tried to listen. Really, I did! I guess it finally hit home. Since April I have worked to make exercise fun and not a regimented (and sometimes disappointing) plan. For the first time since 2008, I am not training for a race. I am just enjoying running, walking, biking, hiking whenever I can. It has been very freeing.

3. I have owned my food issues. Since starting Spark in 2008, I made exercise a habit but never did the work to fully change my lifestyle. That means I was in denial about what and how I was eating. I still have a ways to go but I am miles ahead of where I was just six months ago.

I am including more vegetables, restricting sugar and processed foods and eating @ 1200 calories on most days. I am reading a lot of labels. For me, the key to weight LOSS is my diet. Exercise is great for maintenance but if I want to lose, I have to pay attention to the quality of my calories. With "whole" foods, I am getting the proper nutrients, am less bloated, have more energy and simply look and feel better. The weight comes off. The minute I add sugar and processed foods, my weight stalls or goes up.

4. I am realizing this is a lifestyle, not a temporary diet to drop pounds. This is how it's going to be for the rest of my life. Food is fuel. Sometimes I look to food for love or comfort or calm but I am realizing there are other - more healthy - ways to find those. Food only has one purpose: to provide my body with the proper nutrients.

UPDATE: June 2, 2011

So far so good. I have lost 8 lbs. and with a few slip-ups, I have managed to stay on track. Here is what has worked:

1.) No sugar or cream in coffee. This has helped to reduce added sugar in my diet and my sugar cravings overall. Also, my palate has adjusted to black coffee in spite of LOVING sweet, creamy coffee. This is an example of a small change that can make a big difference.

2.) Visual cues. All unhealthy food options are now out-of-sight-out-of mind. I have also placed mental stop-signs on them in case they come within my view. If my daughter bakes cookies, they are stored in the microwave where I do not see them (and the dog can't eat them, ha!). If I use the microwave, the mental "stop sign" goes up when I open the door to remove the cookies. I have been able to avoid a lot of temptations (and increase my mental fortitude) by keeping foods out of sight and then using mental stop signs when they do surface.

3.) Avoid eating out. My body is super sensitive to sugar, processed foods, white flour and sodium. Any time I eat out, my weightloss stalls. It doesn't seem to matter if I choose the healthiest dinner-out option possible, my body knows I am not at home. Ha!

4.) More vegetables and fruits. This is a no-brainer but it has been very difficult for me. I like fruit but have never truly enjoyed vegetables other than corn, lettuce and broccoli. Even then, they tasted better with cheese, cream sauce or potatoes. I am learning to change my palate and to take the time to prep foods so that fruit and vegetables are always available.

5.) Less meat- or poultry-based protein. Again, this is a no-brainer but difficult for me. The bonus of eating more fruits and vegetables is that now it is easy for me to be satisfied with just 3 to 4 ounces of meat or poultry. Beans, almonds, some grains and fish have become go-to proteins.

6. Silly rules. My go-to rule is that I can't have a dessert (cake, cookies, ice cream, etc.) unless it is in my own home pantry or fridge. Then I don't stock my home with those items. I *can* have them. They just aren't there! Ha!

Member Since: 1/12/2008

Fitness Minutes: 64,050

My Goals:
My goal is to make healthy eating a lifelong habit, not just a short-term way to lose weight.

My Program:
I am reading lots of labels and focusing on real food. At my age, exercise is the route to weight maintenance. Healthy eating is the route to weight loss, added energy and longer life.

Personal Information:
I grew up in the south, got married and lived in the midwest for 22 years and recently relocated to the deep south with my husband and two kids. My interests include stargazing, sailing, art, music, cooking, reading and gardening.

Other Information:
Favorite book: The Magician's Assistant by Anne Patchett

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