This is way overdue in more ways than one--I can't believe my last blog was in September. There has been a lot that's changed in the last four months:
- i ran another half marathon.
- My job ended and I started looking for another.
- I went to Florida for a convention and squeezed in a visit to Walt Disney World and Epcot.
- The holidays, of course, with a visit from family and a ton of activity that goes along with those.
- Our dog passed away.
- We brought a new dog into the family (that's a blog all by itself!).
- The new year rolled around; how did it get to be 3014 already?!
- I was just offered a new job that I will start in a couple of weeks, doing something completely different.
Oh yes, and the main reason for this blog, my unofficial four-year Sparkversary just passed!
I joined SparkPeople officially in July 2009, but it wasn't until January 11, 2010, that I truly began using SparkPeople to help me lose weight. I know the exact day because that was when I committed to drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day (that's 1466 days ago--yes, I've somehow managed to get that in EVERY DAY since then!). At that time, I weighed 252 pounds and couldn't imagine ever losing the weight and keeping it off, but I decided to not worry about that and just start trying to do a little better with eating and activity.
What a crazy, wonderful, roller coaster journey it has been! While I haven't been on SP every day since then, I have been on at least briefly most of those days. SparkPeople helped me get a handle on what I was eating and how much; I began changing my eating habits, slowly but surely, by weighing, measuring, and tracking my food. I got a Bodybugg armband (and later switched to a BodyMedia Fit armband) to help me get motivated to Get. Off. The. Couch. I quickly discovered that without specific, planned activity, I took way less than half of the recommended 10,000 steps a day, so I began walking, working out at the gym, and eventually running. And I lost weight, slowly but surely. There were weeks where I didn't lose or even gained a little; it's rarely a straight line with weight loss. But overall, I kept losing.
In July 2012, I passed the 100 pounds lost mark, and I hit my initial goal--exceeded it, in fact. I was BEYOND thrilled! Now came the really scary part: maintenance.
Then in July 2013, I celebrated one year of keeping the weight off; that is something I never thought I could do.
So here we are, January 2014, four years of Sparking and 18 months of maintenance; where am I now? Well, obviously I am on SparkPeople less than I was when actively losing weight, but I'm still here, checking in for a few minutes most days, logging food most days. I gained about 7 or 8 pounds over the last three or four months, but those are slowly starting to come off again. I'm still using my BodyMedia armband, still running (though not nearly as much as I'd like!), and more committed than ever to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At this stage, I'm not focused on the scale as much as on being healthy.
I turn 59 in just two days, and I am in better shape than I was 20 or 30 years ago. There are a few more wrinkles and grey hair (my hairdresser takes care of the latter, and I've discovered products that help with the former, too), but I can walk and run and do things today that I would never have attempted 10, 20, even 30 years ago. Today, I am an ACTIVE person; people who meet me now have no idea that I once weighed over 250 pounds. I've tackled 25 half marathons (that blows my mind when I think about it), three Ragnars, walked 60 miles in three days, and taken a chance on a new career as well as started a new business. None of that would have been possible without the things I have learned here.
Thank you, SparkPeople and Spark friends, for helping me go far beyond just losing weight to build a whole new life. It IS possible to reach your goals and more; do not give up and you will make it!