This week, the 5% Challenges LTGL (Living the Good Life) task was to blog each day. I have used my blogs to get the word out about our wonderful challenge, which will begin on April 4th. This blog is featuring one our long time members, DIANEDOESSMILES, who also happens to be one of our Challenge Leaders of one of our top teams, The Awesome A Team.
Last week, I asked members for brief testimonials about their time with the 5% Challenges. When I read Diane's, and saw she's lost over 100 pounds with the challenges, I knew I had to get her story out for everyone to read. So, I sent her some questions, and here are her replies:
1. I noticed in your testimonial, you have lost over 100 pounds!!! First, Congratulations! Second, can you tell us about your journey?
At this point I've lost 118 lbs from 288. My health was very poor in 2010 and I was being told it was time for me to move into assisted living. I was in my 50's!! But at 288 lbs I could no longer take care of myself properly. I used a power chair due to a very bad foot condition, back condition and of course my weight.
My back Dr (I hated him, and knew he was RIGHT) told me it was my own fault. He wasn't completely right, but he also wasn't completely wrong. So at that 288 lbs (he had a MOST HATED WEIGH IN EVER!! IT SAID YOUR WEIGHT OUT LOUD!) he showed me how my weight was further impacting my spine. I immediately burst into tears at home, started to throw out SOME (not all) junk food. That was in August 2010. I joined Weight Watchers online, but it wasn't making sense so in Dec 2010 I looked to see what else was there? I found SPARKPEOPLE!! I was THRILLED!! I still am.
2. What originally drew you to the 5% Challenges?
I was a brand new member of Sparkpeople. I had written a blog (under diane.smiles, I lost my PW and couldn't recover it) and Healthygrammy49 (she's still a current member!) had invited me!!
3. What part of the Challenge do you think is most helpful to you?
The encouragement!! Plus the LTGLs because they still help me to eat better, have a healthier lifestyle overall!! Being a leader has lead my life to being so much better!! It was the first step towards getting a volunteer job that pays me! Plus when I gain weight, the 5% Challenge has helped me to get back to losing weight again!!! I LOVE the 5% Challenge.
4. Why do you think someone struggling might benefit from joining the 5% Challenges?
OH YES!!! I certainly have!! I've have had many surgeries during these years which can be discouraging, but the 5% Challenge has helped me to handle them, mentally, emotionally and to take care of myself!! I've gained at times,but mostly I've lost!! I hated water, freggies (FRuit/vEGGIES) and I am still not fond of them, but I AM eating some!!
It was the 5% Challenge and wanting to walk again, that URGED me onto at least trying. I took 3 steps one day, than 6, 10 steps to 1 minute, to 2 and up. Now? Over 3 miles at a time!! I average 7,500 steps a day!! I a gave away that power chair! I was on many medications, and now? Only 2!! My highest was 23!! I had diabetes and now? Though the damage is done to my body, I am not an active diabetic now!!
5. Finally, what words of wisdom would you give someone first starting out on their journey?
Joining the 5% challenges is going to change your life. If you feel like quitting, SAY so. If you gain on a week(or more), please do not be discouraged and drop off. Have an open mindset which can be strange at first, but it'll become a way of life. Tracking your food is vital to a successful weight loss no matter what plan you use. I largely prefer Sparkpeople guidelines they set up for me (and my Dr agrees). Drinking water is also so important to losing weight and not the surgery stuff that many of us had to the degree we were.
Guess what? We usually work on water and tracking our food!! With water any glass of water you drink (max of 8 can be counted) helps your team!! We also track our food for a week or 2,,, and when you do (no one expects it to be perfect, perfection is not doable, but to just track it) and that also helps our team. Having your teammates with you along the journey ,, with a common goal, helps to spur many of us on, even if we struggle with it.
Thank you Diane, for sharing your story! We are all so proud of you!!
Are you ready to join us? Race around the world with us to eight exciting destinations this spring! Click the link to join us, we love new members!
This is your invitation: