Stop the YoYo, I’m getting off!
I was overweight throughout my childhood and teenaged years and never comfortable in my own skin. Ever since the 2nd grade, I’ve obssessed over my weight but didn’t have a clue how to eat properly–or the resources. Staple foods in my childhood home included corn dogs and tater tots.
In college I gained more weight and by the time I graduated I was in the mid 250s. I joined Nutrisystem a year and a half later weighing in at 268, the largest I had ever been. I lost close to 75 lbs (getting into the 190s) in approximately 5 months on Nutrisystem before I had to quit due to the cost of the food.
Over the next 2 years I gained back about 25 to 30 lbs and when I got married in January 2000 I was somewhwere in the 220s. After that, my diet really went south as my husband didn’t have a clue about what was healthy and what wasn’t and he did most of the cooking and was picky about what he ate. Our budget was too tight to buy and cook separate meals, so I ate what he ate and gained another 30ish lbs over the next year.
Then I got pregnant and lost complete control of my appetite. I ate anything and everything. After giving birth to my 1st born in mid-2001, I was somewhere in the 280s. I maintained that (in spite of trying the 6 week body makeover and quitting 2 weeks in because it was just too strict a diet) until my next pregnancy when I began gaining more. My 2nd baby was born in early 2003, just 19 months after the first and I weighed in at over 300 lbs.
In July 2003, when my oldest was nearly 2 and my middle child was only 4 months old, I found Nutrisystem online. After much rebudgeting we began buying my food through the website again. Once again it worked for me and I lost from around 314 lbs to 235 in just 4-5 months.
Around the holidays, I began getting burned out on the pre-packaged meals and it cost too much to continue buying. So I took a break intending to go back after the new year. But in January 2004 my dad went missing and we found him 2 days later in the local lake. His suicide took a major toll on my emotions and I further complicated the situation by getting pregnant 2 months later. I gained everything back during my 3rd and last pregnancy as I dealt with my grief and the hormones that turn me into a ravenous beast.
My 3rd baby joined us in late 2004. I wanted to rejoin Nutrisystem again but the food had changed and I didn’t like it anymore and the cost of the food was just too prohibitive. I had given up on ever losing weight, believing that I couldn’t do it on my own.
Finally, in January 2006, I decided I was tired of being miserable. It was just too hard. I decided to put the work into making myself happy no matter how long it took. I joined Weight Watchers and while I was not comfortable with the meetings I started using the system and began losing. But within a week of beginning Weight Watchers, someone told me about SparkPeople.com and I checked it out and fell in love with the site. By the end of January, I had dropped Weight Watchers in favor of SparkPeople. I began using all of the tools and articles and learned that I COULD do this using my own food. I just had to use the knowledge I gained there.
I designed my own menu using the information and calorie ranges provided by SparkPeople’s articles and tools and I lost weight. I gained confidence. And in the late Spring/early Summer of 2006, after losing around 60 lbs with Spark People I gained the confidence to make further changes in my life.
Before SparkPeople, I didn’t have any drive or ambition to return to graduate school, but after making quite a bit of progress I was finally able to see myself returning to my dreams.
I consider myself another example of the Spark that can be ignited in one’s life once you begin making positive changes in your health.
Unfortunately, I had not fully learned all of the lessons Spark has to offer and I allowed the stress of graduate school and other life challenges to take over my life, and strayed from the support and tools I had there, returning to old bad habits. I gained all that weight back.
In early 2008, I weighed around 324 lbs. During the spring I lost around 10 lbs. In May of 2008, I returned to using the resources at SparkPeople as well as our new Wii Fit and lost another 25 lbs during the Summer months.
I know what to do. With the help of Spark People, I have the knowledge and the support system and the determination to make these changes permanent. I’m ready to focus on my health–physical and mental–and finally stop the Yo-Yo for good. I’m dedicating this site to achieving that goal by giving me a place to focus on my efforts, record my progress, define my goals, and hold myself accountable.
By the end of 2008 I lost a total of–and maintained a loss of– around 30 lbs. On January 2, 2009 I weighed in at 287.5.
I struggled throughout 2009, and after finally reaching a point where I find myself bordering on diabetes, I have to get serious.
Remember the Japanese proverb: “Fall seven times. Get up eight.”