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These 3 Simple Changes Helped Diane Lose 128 Pounds

By , SparkPeople Blogger
In 2010, Diane (DIANEDOESSMILES) weighed 288 pounds and was confined to her power chair 97 percent of the time. She had depression and an infection in her big toe that led to a diabetes diagnosis. When she went to the doctor seeking help for back issues, he told her that the pain was because she was fat. "I hated him for saying it, but that got my attention," Diane recalls. "What was I doing to myself?"

Because of her health issues, Diane was encouraged to enter an assisted living facility. When she learned she couldn't take her cat with her, though, she decided it was time to start making changes on her own. She tried another online program but had trouble understanding their system. Diane says she was "hit and miss, but mostly miss" with exercise because her pain level was so high. Although Diane went from 288 to 256 pounds, eventually she found herself on a four-month plateau. Feeling like her weight loss shouldn't have stalled already, she decided it was time to reach out for help and joined SparkPeople.

Breaking Out of the Diet Mentality

Even though she joined SparkPeople, Diane didn't initially follow the program. She was eating below her recommended calorie and nutrient ranges and deprived herself of many of the foods she loved. Despite getting down to 174 pounds, Diane was not happy. "Ever notice the first three letters of the word DIEting? I can't help but to think that was on purpose," she jokes.

Diane used quick-fix strategies instead of permanent, sustainable lifestyle changes, so, even though she was still consistently logging into SparkPeople, she quickly gained the weight back. Diane was very discouraged when she found herself over 200 pounds again.

Determined to turn things around, Diane started blogging on her SparkPage. "This is an amazing tool that many people don't use because they think what they say isn't worthy or important to write about. I felt the same way, but eventually, I found it to be a useful tool," she says. "Over time, more people started to read my blogs. It's not about followers, [though,] It's about me getting healthier- physically, mentally and emotionally. I love blogging now."

Diane's 3 Secrets to Success

Over the past six months, Diane has maintained a 128-pound weight loss. She credits her success to three things:
  1. Tracking food and exercise daily. "I eat within the guidelines SparkPeople has set for me," Diane explains. "I am in the diabetes program and know that I need to keep tracking in order to be successful, staying [within] my calorie, protein, fat and carb ranges." Diane also keeps a close eye on her fiber intake, since that helps with her feelings of fullness and satisfaction.
  2. An attitude of "progress, not perfection." "I learned from others who post that phrase in the Community Goal Feed that I don't have to be perfect in order to be successful," Diane says. "I even painted a rock that says 'progress, not perfection' and keep it on my kitchen counter so I see it often." By focusing more on what she has accomplished and what she's capable of achieving, Diane gives herself permission to make mistakes, learn from them and move forward.
  3. The 5% SparkTeam Challenge. "When I joined SparkPeople, somehow I met a most wonderful Sparker (HEALTHYGRAMMY49) who invited me to join the 5% 2011 Winter Challenge," Diane recalls. Since then, Diane has participated in all of the seasonal 5% Challenges, being a "motivational leader" in the challenge for many years. She says the challenge helps her stay on track and holds her accountable to her goals. As a participant in these challenges, Diane started drinking more water, learned to tolerate more fruits and vegetables, and began exercising more. "I am a competitive person who wasn't going to let my team down, [and] that meant I had to exercise," says Diane. "At first, I could only do 10 minutes, three times a week. With help from my teammates, I came up with a plan to do chair exercises and it worked! Now I'm stronger than ever."
Diane even met one of her best friends, MARYANNGI, in the challenge and they were able to meet in person. She encourages others to find SparkTeams that motivate them and give them the support they need.

Setbacks Will Never Stop Her

Throughout her journey to health, Diane has faced health challenges that she continues to overcome. Three years ago she had a bone infection that resulted in a toe amputation. "Despite the hurdles, I know I'm in the driver's seat," she proudly states. "It didn't discourage me because I was finally walking without any aids. Last year, I gave away my power chair and now I can walk more than three miles a day!"
Diane has learned to look for the silver lining on a rainy day. "I had surgery for a brain aneurysm that was found accidentally. It has affected my left eye and I stand a good chance of losing partial sight, but at least I still have the right eye," she says. "Life is always going to throw nasty health issues at me. One thing I've learned from SparkPeople members and content is this quote from Charles R. Swindoll: 'Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.'"

Diane's advice to other members is to take advantage of everything SparkPeople has to offer. "Read the articles, use the SparkCoach planner on your Start page, join some SparkTeams and SparkChallenges, blog on your SparkPage and check out the Community Goal Feed." She likes to help new members whenever she can, saying that helping those who are just starting the journey reminds her of where she started and how far she's come.

"I'm doing this!" she declares. "I'm maintaining my weight within a five-pound range. I'm happy, joyful and positive. Who knew life could be like this again?"

How do you deal with setbacks? Share in the comments below and congratulate Diane on her amazing journey to better health!

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MARITIMER3 1/27/2020
I’ve lost 32 lbs., but am having trouble losing the last 10 lbs. to reach my goal. I’m reading one success story each day to keep me on the right track, and today I found yours. Thank you for sharing, and for helping me keep going. Report
BLESSED_GIRL73 10/30/2019
You are an inspiration to me. Small steps for me. I have to learn that I can't lose the weight today, it takes time and real effort. Report
JFDISNEY13 10/28/2019
Awesome! Thank you for the inspiration! Report
SUNNYSBACK 9/25/2019
Great advice! Report
MILLER-S 9/17/2019
Great advice - thanks for sharing!!! Report
MJ20191 9/8/2019
What an Inspiring story. It reminds me how lucky I am compared to other people. Thank you for your story. Report
GREEN_EYES2 8/10/2019
You are such an inspiration ... I am disable due to my back and I have limited mobility, after reading this I have hope for myself & regaining some of my life back again. Report
ANHELIC 8/5/2019
Thank you for the information. Report
KERRYG155 7/19/2019
Doctors can say some dumb things. I mentioned bladder issues and the doctor slammed his notepad shut and slammed out the door saying he couldn't understand whi y women can't control their bodies. Guess he never had a baby who was upside down, etc. I left his office and never went back. Report
Thank you for sharing your story! What an inspiration you are to all of us! Congratulations! Report
Inspiring! An awesome story as I restart my Sparkpeople journey! Report
ELFISHER56 6/2/2019
Thank You for this Diane. I see now that if I take baby steps the rest will come in due time. Report
SIMPLY_JAE 5/27/2019
Awesome job.Thank you.. Incredible.. Report
Water and honest tracking were the best things for me. Exercising and walking I tracked, but I did at my pace. Helped me get it going. Report
KEITATP 5/17/2019
Your story is such an inspiration to us all. Report
SORASEEDO1 5/3/2019
Wow, you are really an inspiration to us all. I can't believe you can walk 3 miles after being in a wheel chair. Amazing. Thanks for sharing. Report
PEGJW111 4/28/2019
Congrats on your success! You touch on two things that keep me going- tracking and being realistic. We all deal with different challenges. Great work! Report
Oh, Diane, you are one of the most infectiously encouraging people I have ever met! Thank you for all you do for the 5% challenges. You really impacted my life for the time I was on your team! Report
ADALOUISE 3/26/2019
Fantastic job, Diane. You inspire me. Keep up your excellent efforts. Report
DARCY-B 2/25/2019
I will check out this 5% challenge. You've done GREAT WORK DIANE!! Report
SINGBHAPPY2D 2/24/2019
Awesome Thanks for sharing!!! Report
ANHELIC 2/24/2019
Thank you Congratulations Report
SWEETBUNNIE50 2/23/2019
Diane thank you for sharing your story & giving us hope to not give up because you didn't ,& that is such an encouragement to me to keep moving no matter what. May God truly continue to bless you : ) Report
EVIE4NOW 2/18/2019
thanks Report
PERRYBABE 2/13/2019
Congratulations! Way to go!! I'm having heart surgery on the 22nd, and I know what you mean about life throwing curveballs. I choose to look at this as a challenge and opportunity. Report
TOMORROW-C 2/13/2019
Thanks for this, I may start blogging myself! Report
IOLITE7 2/13/2019
Well done & thanks for the reality check. Keep loving and taking good care of yourself. Report
Inspiring...yep I never like the die ...ting word either LOL

keep focused you sound like you have got this!!!
SUMMER33 2/13/2019
I too stay in the challenges to stay on track...in the 5 percent winter challenge now..then to spring summer etc. You should be so proud of all your success Report
Wow! Way to go girl! I so believe that a healthy and fit lifestyle lasts so much longer than a "diet"! Report
KVD08844 2/13/2019
Thanks for this, I may start blogging myself! At a minimum, it's a good way of journalizing!
ESMITH65 2/13/2019
You look fantastic, and are doing a beautiful job taking care of yourself. What an inspiration to me and others! You go, girl! I'm excited to see what my journey will be like! Report
HRTBRKR2013 2/10/2019
You are definitely a inspiration. Thanks for sharing and God Bless you. Report
MNABOY 2/2/2019
Thanks for sharing Report
MNABOY 2/2/2019
Thanks for sharing Report
ANHELIC 2/2/2019
Thank you for sharing and great information. Report
MNEME2 1/31/2019
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your story. It is truly inspirational. Report
This was very encouraging. Thanks for sharing your story. Report
Awesome Journey! Report
Thanks for sharing your journey with us,it gives me hope.You are a very courageous person. Report
GREAT! Report
Thanks for sharing your journey. Awesome job Report
Good info Report
Thanks....many of us think we have serous issues until we read what others have to challenge themselves with. Thanks for your sharing Report
Well done, Diane!! I love that you shared your story with so many people! Report
Thank you for sharing your story! What an inspiration you are! I love your motto "Progress not perfection". Report
Thanks, Diane - for sharing your story. So so inspiring. Report
Way to go! Report
I hope everyone reads this article. So many of us are struggling with an all or none mentality and quick fix diets. This article was very inspiring Report
Way to go! Report
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