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I didn't know you were gonna be this important to me...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016



When I first met you, I honestly didn't know you were gonna be this important to me.

Today is my year anniversary here. What a perfectly awesome year it has been. How THRILLED I am to be in the place I am today, is beyond words.

As many of you know, last May 10, I was just getting out of almost three months in a wheelchair from a knee fracture. I fractured my knee on my birthday, January 22, 2015, and spent a month in a care center after surgery, then two months at home, all in a wheelchair, so the screws attaching my knee back together, could allow my knee bone to develop cartilage and "re'attach" to the knee. It was tough, it was hard, and it made me really look at myself and realize that if I didn't change my weight and my health, I could have another accident, and never be able to recover. I started eating well while in the wheelchair at home. I ordered food from an online grocery store, as I couldn't drive, and the only rule was that it had to be good for me. I started to lose weight before I searched out for something more, and on May 10, 2015, I found Spark.

The tracking on this website was my catalyst. I believe strongly that tracking your food is imperative on this journey. I also believe strongly that if you do not, you will not be made accountable, and you will not be anywhere near as successful. I have tracked food, fitness and water every single day, including when I was in the hospital for my second knee surgery this past January, and never failed to log in, or enter food. You need to know where you stand with calories every single minute of every single day. If you want to have some extra calories to go out to dinner, or whatever, just eat less during the day, and you can eat what you want for any special meal. This is how to live your life. Don't diet. Change the way you look at food. Change your behavior. I did.

The next thing is exercise. Sure, you can lose weight without it, but it will be a longer haul, you will not be fit when you finish, and you will not feel as good. There is a real truth to endorphins released by exercise. I exercised through pain for this entire year. I still have pain from my recent knee replacement. I have rheumatoid arthritis in a lot of spots now. I was just told that the knee pain might last another six months, because of how deep the surgeon had to drill into my bones to anchor my new knee. I feel that every single day. I still do yoga, I still swim, I still go to classes at the YMCA, I still ride the "Nu-Step" knee bike there, I walk and I still lift weights. I feel BETTER when I exercise. It is critical to me.

Become active in this community. Spark is an amazing community of people that all have had their own problems with food. Sadly, most do not succeed here. It requires a discipline and a mind change, that some cannot make. Immersing yourself in the many things that Spark has to offer, helps a lot. Join clubs. Read blogs. Make friends, and cultivate them by reading about their lives, and understanding their challenges. I also think it is important for you to blog. Blog every day about something. It makes you feel good to clear your mind of stuff, and to share. I like being positive, because that is the way I feel. I like blogging, and will continue it for as long as I like to do it.

So, how did I lose 124 pounds in this past year? One pound at a time. One day at a time. One step at a time. Every single pound motivated me. Every single time I put on clothes that became WAY too big motivated me. Every single time I had to take bags, yes, bags of clothes to the thrift store, motivated me. It was obviously motivating to run into people, have neighbors and friends and family be so supportive and kind. It has been fun to shock people, to have people say that they didn't recognize me (not true, but fun). This community has been an awesome contributor to my effort. Those are the NSVs of my life. Those are my bonus points.

I have written a lot about what I eat. I have modified this over time, so I pretty much eat the same things every day with little variation. As I have said, I make bran muffins and have one every day. I have been eating yogurt and fruit and granola for lunch lately, or one of my great burritos, and always have a giant salad for dinner. I have eaten "clean" for months, now. I didn't even know what that meant, and I was doing it. For those of you that don't know, it means eating as close to nature as you can. No preservatives, no sugar, no white flour, no trans-fat, no saturated fat, no garbage!!

Do I miss anything? No. Am I tempted by anything? Not so far. I am very careful to have things in my house that I can snack on, if I get a craving. I have dried cherries, that are awesome, in bags, put in portion sizes. I have dark chocolate squares, if I want chocolate, but I still have almost a full container of them. I don't eat salt, and am not tempted by sugar anymore. I don't eat fat, unless it is mono-unsaturated. By eliminating these things, I believe I have lost the taste for them. Fresh fruit and vegetables are SO much better. Plus, they are great for you, filling and there are millions of things you can do with them.

I am SO happy, I feel so good, and I KNOW that if I can have a year like this, so can all of you. I am no different then any of you are. I have struggles with life, I have overcome obstacles, and yet, I got up every single day, with determination to make every day a good one. I will always do that from now on. Because, it matters to me to be happy, to be healthy, to be as strong as I can be within my limitations.



No excuses. Get going today. This could be YOUR year!!

Spark on.

p.s. Just for today, in honor of my year, can we NOT write with emojis?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • NIGHTGLOW
    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!

    So wonderful to hear about your year. Good timing for me too with stuff in my own life. Thank you and congrats!
    1748 days ago
  • RAZZOOZLE
    emoticon
    1751 days ago
  • LOVENHWOODS
    Happy Anniversary! You've come a long way...that's awesome!
    1751 days ago
  • MINNIEUK
    I'm sorry I'm a day late, but Happy Anniversary!!!
    You are a shining example of what you can achieve when you honestly set your mind to it!
    1751 days ago
  • SRWYLIE
    Happy, Happy, Happy Anniversary, Jane! What you have accomplished in one year's time is nothing short of AMAZING!!! I have a feeling this will get the dreaded "featured blog post" award. It would be well-deserved, even if it's not well-desired. Your story should inspire so many people, and I know that your book will be a motivation to so many who have struggled with their own issues. You inspire me every day. I used to be so good at blogging every day, and the recent stresses at work have squelched that. I will get back to it, because it is as much therapy for me as exercise is. If I don't do it, then I miss it!

    Keep inspiring people, and make them smell the fragrant lilacs on your beautiful SparkPage, and help them to know themselves better so that they too can achieve their goals.

    Together, we can do this!

    XOXOXOXOX
    1752 days ago
  • REGILIEH
    emoticon
    1752 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15665102
    Happy anniversary, and thanks for your positivity and commitment.
    1752 days ago
  • HARRIETT14
    I feel so proud of you. You have come a long way and no one or thing can take that away from you. I hold my glass up to you for another wonderful year!! Be well and be safe.
    1752 days ago
  • KRISZTA11
    Happy Anniversary!
    emoticon

    Your weigh loss and maintenance success is an inspiration for all of us,
    thank you for sharing your journey!

    1752 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    Congratulations on your one year anniversary.

    But even more than celebrating this milestone, I celebrate the open, honest, caring person, my friend, Jane. I can say in all honesty that you have given back to this site as much and even more than you have received from this site,

    Well Done and Keep on Sparking!

    Love ya,
    Dottie
    1752 days ago
  • SWIM4SLIM
    Happy anniversary. I will becoming up on my anniversary for 1 year since hitting goal weight and I pretty much feel the same as you do. I love dragging those bags of clothes that are now too big to the thrift store. Unlike you, I do have trouble keeping my calorie intake down, but with Spark at least I can check myself and correct myself. You have made a great achievement and you deserve to be applauded for it. Great job! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1752 days ago
  • FIFIFRIZZLE
    Well done. It's a real achievement.
    1752 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Well, Happy Anniversary! I never knew that SPark was going to become such an important part of my life. I would never have guessed in a million years all that the site would mean and the people, priceless! I have made so many really good friends here and I never want to leave this site or leave my healthy lifestyle. They had pizza in honor of one of the nurses I work with today and I decided that just for today, I was going to have a piece and it was delicious. I eat everything in moderation because my mindset changed as well 4 years ago and I know that I can eat pizza every once in a while and love it.
    Congrats on your weight loss and all the best on our continued journey!
    We can indeed do this! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1752 days ago
  • MPLSKEN
    But, but, but... I love commenting with emojis! They're quick, they're colorful and a picture says a thousand words, or something like that. Hahaha! But, if I learned one thing from Kimmy Schmidt: I can do anything for 10 seconds. So, in your honor, today only, I'll write.

    Congratulations on your awesome success and your awesome year! I'm so proud of you and inspired by your story and what you share here. Yesterday was my 5 year SparkVersary. I can't believe it's been that long. It's a continuous journey, and one that I'm happy to be a part of here on SparkPeople.

    Well done! Keep up the great work!

    1752 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13354694
    emoticon
    1752 days ago
  • GOLDSWORTHY72
    emoticon
    1752 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Happy Anniversary. What a year you have had! Your inner warrior woman seems to have come fully alive. You are a great example of what one can accomplish when one's mind is in the right place. Sparked Friend here.
    1752 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    CONGRATULATIONS!
    1752 days ago
  • no profile photo CHAYOR73
    emoticon emoticon
    1752 days ago
  • ENDUROVET
    Jes, jes, jes - eventually I'll find a few free moments to type up my "6-yr Sparkaversary" blog...
    I am in awe of your achievements - you are certainly an inspiration to those of us still "down in the trenches"!
    (Your bran muffin anecdote reminds me of one of my favorite inspirational books: "The Philosopher's Diet" by Richard Watson... It' provides Deep Thoughts even while my intellect realizes that his 800/cal/day + 1 hr of running plan is unsustainable at least by this mere mortal)
    1752 days ago
  • OBIESMOM2
    yep - one meal, one decision, one minute at a time

    slow & steady does win the race. And helps in the long term because your habits have changed.

    THANK YOU for sharing so much over the year!
    1752 days ago
  • PACEKA1
    Congratulations on your one year anniversary!
    1752 days ago
  • LIVINGLOVINLIFE
    Thank you for sharing yoûr story. It truly inspired me. You have really come a long way this year. Congrats!!!
    1752 days ago
  • FIVEFOOT2
    Congratulations! You are an inspiration to everyone who reads your blogs.
    Thank you!
    1752 days ago
  • no profile photo CD16110307
    Congratulations. You've done fantastic !!!
    1752 days ago
  • EVIE4NOW
    Outstanding. You have come along way baby!
    1752 days ago
  • DYANNE4293
    Happy Spark-a-versary!!!
    1752 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.