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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

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!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Congrats on your weight loss!!! It is not an easy ride but it's worth it! Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels! emoticon
    4665 days ago
  • MARTINEZ1970
    I continue to be extremely proud of you and thank you for inspiring me! emoticon
    4753 days ago
    Way to go girl!...MJ
    4775 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.