When I started on SparkPeople 5 years ago, I had high ambitions to lose weight. And I did. I started out at 212 and ended at 202 after being introduced to the 8 Week Battles. I was diligent to keep on keeping on by spending frequent days at the gym either doing a strength training workout or cycling the pounds away on the stationary bicycles. I even tried my hand at the elliptical machine. I was a workout machine.
Then, that fateful October after reaching 202 in 2009, I contracted MRSA on my gluteous maximus. Yes, I nearly died from a antibiotic resistant bacteria that I contracted from a spider bite on the booty. The spider bite itself wasn't the biggest issue, it was that I had an open wound when I went to visit someone in the hospital. It landed me in the hospital for a week and included surgery that has left me with 3 nasty looking scars on the backside.
After the infection, I couldn't ride the stationary bicycle for quite sometime and I got bored quickly with the treadmill. It just wasn't the same for me. I was defeated. And because I felt defeated, I ate and did not exercise. Slowly, but surely, I gained back those 10 lbs I had lost and another 30 lbs on top of that. The highest I weighed in at was 242 at the doctor's office a year ago.
Now, don't get me wrong, I did try to lose that weight, but my heart just wasn't into it. I would get bored with my workouts and would avoid the gym at all costs. Sure, the scars had healed enough that I could cycle again on the stationary bicycle, and I had found an aqua fit course that suited me perfectly, but the excuses to not go and do the workouts just kept building up. And the weight just kept staying the same.
Then I discovered the 5% Challenges on SparkPeople. It is an 8 week challenge to lose 5% of your body weight. First I started off on the Casual Travelers team in order to get my feet wet and see what all the hubbub was about. I lost 10 lbs (far from 5% I know) in the course of 3 challenges. That put me at 232. I was stoked, but still lacked the motivation I needed to get the job done.
Then, this past January, at a work employee appreciation dinner, I won an Xbox 360 with a Kinect. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't like to play video games, but the thought of using the Kinect to do my workouts was very appealing. So, the next day I went out and purchased Zumba Rush and Biggest Loser Ultimate for the Kinect. I was immediately smitten with the Zumba moves and Bob Harper's instructions on BL Ultimate. I immediately dropped from 232 to 212 in a matter of weeks! I found my perfect match!
At the same time of winning the Xbox Kinect, I decided to change things up with the 5% Challenge and decided to join the Teddy Bears at the encouragement of a SparkFriend. I was immediately welcomed into the Den and was able to get into a perfect groove with the challenges. I was putting in an average of 30 minutes a day, if not more on the weekends. With my schedule that was definitely a challenge and an undertaking. But the results were glorious! In no time at all, I reached 199 during the current challenge. ONEderland as they call it here on SP.
However, the victory was short-lived. I was sent on a business trip that lasted 2 weeks. I was working 16 hour days and eating out every meal. I quickly gained back 8 lbs that I had lost. Amazing how a hiccup in our schedule and traveling at the same time can really make for a setback. But, I am not going to let this defeat me. I'm not going to let this deter me. No, I'm not.
So far this week, I've lost 2 lbs and am at 205 to end this current challenge. Just 6 lbs shy of 199 and ONEderland. With the 2013 Fall 5% Challenge with the Teddy Bears looming around the bend, I know that I can reach that goal once again. I know deep down that the Zumba steps and Bob Harper's instructions on Biggest Loser Ultimate will once again be triumphant in reaching that 5% goal and pushing me down below 200 again.
In the time that I've been on SP, I've gone from a size 20 (I hated to admit it) to a size 14 (yes, that's what I wear now). I've gone from not seeing my feet because my tummy stuck out too far, to seeing my nicely painted toes once again. I'm able to wear cute styles and feel healthy. I'm reaching my goals and not looking back!
SparkPeople works! I know it works because I have succeeded in reaching goals and sticking with the plan. I'm down 35 lbs in a year's time and continuing to lose. Sure, there are setbacks along the way to this point, but I'm making progress. I'm doing what needs to be done. It is true what they say: it's all in diet and exercise. There are no gimmicks or easy shortcuts to loosing weight. SparkPeople gives you the tools to track your nutrition and fitness minutes. It is just that you need to use them to succeed.
And succeed you will!