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My name is Melissa, and I am a 25 year-old graduate student. I just recently renewed my commitment to a healthier lifestyle. As cliche as it sounds, I made a New Year's Resolution to become a healthier person. In December, I realized that I had gained over 20 lbs in a year and that I felt lethargic and unhealthy all the time. I spent most of my time sitting on the couch reading or writing papers for school, drinking too much alcohol, and eating one or two large meals a day, which were always high calorie as I never had time to prepare anything healthy. I was constantly insecure about my weight, and hated the way I looked. I decided that I was done feeling that way and that it was time for a change. My resolution was to get healthier and to lose weight in the process.

The first step for me was the biggest of all: I had to quit smoking. I only started in May 2007, so it wasn't as challenging as it could have been, but it was still one of the hardest things I've ever done. I knew I had to quit, but I couldn't work on diet and exercise while quitting. One person can only have so much willpower, and though I knew I would gain some additional weight quitting, I had to tackle this problem first. January 1, I started cutting down how much I smoked to break my smoking habits before I stopped having a nicotine fix. January 10, I smoked my last cigarette, and I haven't looked back. Now, I feel as though I never smoked at all, and I could not be happier about my decision. My breathing capacity has increased drastically, and my resting heart rate has dropped significantly; both are health issues that played a big factor in my decision to get healthy.

In February, I felt secure enough as a non-smoker to start a diet and exercise program. I used SparkPeople in the past, and I knew it was a helpful resource that would provide me with tools like the food tracker as well as people for support. On February 8, I weighed in at 185, the most I'd weighed since 2004, and only 5 lbs shy of my all-time highest weight. I started tracking my calories, and by Valentine's Day, I had lost 5 lbs.

B y late February, I began to incorporate more exercise into my plan. I've always hated workout out, so I dreaded this more than anything, even quitting smoking! After experimenting with a few things, I found a few workouts that I didn't hate. I also realized that if I pushed myself when I worked out, I felt fantastic afterward. By focusing on the "high" I got from working out instead of thinking about the exercise itself, I went from loathing the process to not minding it terribly to finally finding a place where I looked forward to my workouts, and where I would work out longer and longer without counting the seconds until I could get off the treadmill. I now work out 4-5 days a week, every week, and before I even officially lost a pound from working out, I could see a huge difference in the way my body looked.

My journey has only just begun in many ways, but I have already fulfilled my New Year's Resolution. My friends are shocked at what a "healthy person" I have become in such a short amount of time, and my boyfriend loves the way I look. What makes me feel happy, though, is that I no longer feel lethargic and unhealthy. I have lots of energy, I'm stronger, my skin looks better, my heart and lungs feel healthier, and I am happy knowing that what I'm doing is the right thing for my body--finally!


SW: 185 (2/8)

3/1: 176

4/1: 173.6
Waist: 33.5
Hips: 39
Thigh: 25.5
Arm: 13
Neck: 12.5

5/1: 166
Waist: 32
Hips: 38
Thigh: 24
Arm: 12.75
Neck: 12.25

6/1: 165.2
Waist: 32
Hips: 37.5
Thigh: 23
Arm: 12
Neck: 12

7/9: 165.8
Waist: 32
Hips: 37.5
Thigh: 24
Arm: 12.5
Neck: 12.5

Member Since: 8/10/2008

Fitness Minutes: 7,579

My Goals:
My goal is to get healthier this year. Losing weight is one part of that goal, but only one.

Mini goals:
180 by Valentine's Day (Met!)
174 (BMI under 30) (Met 3/15)
170 (met 4/27)
167 - 10% goal (met 5/1)
165 - 20 lbs gone (met 6/1)
160 - Halfway Mark! Reward: Pedicure!
Reward: Book
145 (No longer overweight)
Reward: Book
135 Goal Weight
Reward: Trip to New Orleans and shopping spree

My Program:
I strive to stay in my calorie range most days--some days, it just isn't possible. For foods, I focus on eating lots of fruits and veggies. My main food focus right now is getting lots of protein and fiber in my diet.

I try to do cardio 5 days a week, with two to rest. At least two of my five cardio days, I go to the gym, but the others, I work out at home.

Personal Information:

Other Information:

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 current weight: 165.8 
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