Today is my one-year anniversary of starting on my journey with Spark People. I had joined up back in December of 06, after my doctor told me I had to lose 40 pounds, but I hadn't really done anything much different, besides tracking calories and drinking enough water. I went on a trip to New Orleans, and on the way back I was looking at the pictures on my camera and thinking how gross I looked. We stopped at McDonalds and I looked at the nutritional contents on my meal, and was completely disgusted. From tracking some calories on SP already, I knew that I'd just consumed about a day's worth. That was the moment I decided to change. I took out a post it note and started planning my meals for that week, right there in the car. The next day was April 9, when I started "for real."
The past year has been probably the best year of my life. A large part of that has been my journey to become healthy. I feel physically and mentally better than I ever have before. I feel capable of anything. I've accomplished things in the past year I never thought I'd do. I've been able to run 6 miles non-stop, I've been able to play tennis for two hours at a time, I went on a 26 mile hike that had a 2,000 foot elevation change.
But my biggest accomplishment has been realizing that I am the only person who controls my life. I have realized that I can control my eating. I've looked my eating problems in the face and have dealt with them head-on. I haven't "conquered" my tendency to binge-eat, and I don't think I ever will. But I know that I can have a few chips and put the rest back. I know that I can tell myself "no" and have that be the end of it. Up until a year ago, I thought "full" meant "stuffed until the point of being uncomfortable." Now I realize when I've had enough, and I can just stop eating. If I'm hungry later, I can have a snack. I am a person who practices normal eating!! That, to me, is amazing.
A year ago I wasn't eating any fruits or vegetables. Now I never had less than 5 a day, and usually have more like 7-8. I had never considered the importance of fiber in my diet, and yesterday I had 58 grams! (oops. usually it's more around 30g.) I now try to get enough fat in my diet because I know that it's important to have enough carbs, protein, and fat. I never get less than 7 hours of sleep, and usually I need around 9 to really be feeling great. And I know that's okay! I'm not being lazy, I just need a lot of sleep to be able to focus during the day and get everything done and basically be my best. I'm more in tune with my body, and I realize how things like coffee and alcohol hinder my ability to get enough rest and be happy.
I haven't reached my goal-weight yet, and that's okay. I have come so far, and I know I have the ability to do it. There have been many (many many many many many many) set-backs along my journey. I can't count the number of times I've started over. Today I am focusing on what I have done right in the past year, rather than what I've done wrong. I do enough of that as it is. Today is my day for celebrating my accomplishments.
My birthday is on Sunday. For the second year, the best gift I can give myself is the gift of health. I will make my goal weight this year, hopefully within in the next few months, and I will set new goals and achieve them too!
I'm very excited for the next step in my journey.
PS- I couldn't have done this without Spark People. I would have been lost or given up within a few weeks without the guidance of this site and the encouragement of others on it!