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!!
p.s. Just for today, in honor of my year, can we NOT write with emojis?