Where to start?! Hello all! My name is Courtney. I have been overweight since elementary school. I don't remember being skinny, I just have the pictures. My number started rising when I was taken out of PE about 4th grade and was told I could no longer play basketball, which was my love. A doctor said that I could tear my achilles tendon because of the particular growth spurt I was having. She said I could swim to keep up my physical activity, but where we were living we didn't have access to a pool, nor did we have the money to join a gym to have access to one. I know by 6th grade I was not happy with the way I looked. Kids that young shouldn't worry about something like that. I didn't even have bullies telling me that I was fat, but I sure felt it. Especially when I could no longer shop in the girls section... I had to go to the junior section to find clothes that would fit. I've hated shopping since. What girl says that?! The middle of 7th grade we moved. From the cool central coast to the hot central valley. I wore a sweat shirt almost every day. Even on hot days. I hated the way I looked, and being at a new school wasn't helping with my confidence. I continued to have pain in my heels so I continued to be excused from PE. I grew a few inches and thinned out some by my sophomore year. I was 180 and wearing a size 15. Throughout high school I still tried to hide in sweatshirts. I was the biggest girl in my group. By graduation I was still about that same size, but by then I became a little more comfortable with myself. That could be seen as a good thing, but no one should be comfortable with being that #. A year after graduation, I moved back to the central coast to take a class during the summer. I went from being active at work, always walking and moving, to just going to school two nights a week and one full day, sitting 3/4 of the time. Fast food was easy. I put on 20 lbs that summer. I couldn't believe it. 4 years later I am now fluctuating between 205 and 215. I weighed myself at work on Thursday and it said 211.6, when just the week before it was 204.5. April 8 I joined the local gym, and just had my personal training appointment yesterday April 15. I am 135.5 lbs of body and muscle with 75.5 lbs of fat. I learned a lot. I know what I need to do to drop the fat, I just lack the motivation. I need someone to push me, keep me in line. I just wish I had the money to meet with someone a couple times a month to keep me going. I have a few coworkers that go to the same gym, but finding times we could go together is hard becuase of our different schedules. I only work 3 days a week. 4 days I can dedicate to go to the gym. I would like to lose 15-20 lbs before my sister's best friend's wedding June 4th. My goal is 50 by my birthday in September. I think by then I will be ecstatic with the way I look, feel. I hope to be at the most 170. I need some motivation to keep me going. My friend Meghan has lost 95 lbs so far and looks incredible! She is the one who brought me to this site. If she can do it, why can't I?
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Congrats on taking the next step to reaching a healthier you by getting active with SparkPeople - it's a great community, wonderful resources and fantastic support.
Please check out the SparkTeams - I think you will find a lot of others 'just like you' there. You can choose SparkTeams by age group, lifestyle or interests, geographic location or several other ways - some of the teams you might like include the Official 10-minute Daily Exercise Streak Challenge, Starting Over Weekly Mini-Challenge Team, 10k Steps A Day and Motivation & Positive Attitude Plan but there are so many to choose from, you can have a great time looking for the ones that seem to fit you best! In fact, I suggest joining more than one group, post your intro there and write blogs as often as you can - you will find tons of friends and support that way, I promise!!
In my experience, SparkPeople is like a in some ways - it's lots of fun and easy to make friends because we're all in this together. I like the way a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE is emphasized instead of a 'quick fix wonder diet' so it's good for people wanting to lose weight, maintain a previous loss, get healthier, improve fitness and many other goals - it's about waaaaaay more than 'just' losing weight so you have definitely come to the right place!
If you ever need any help using features of the site, there are tutorial videos under the HELP section that can show you how to use the features of the site. You can also find them on the START page and several other places on the site.
If you haven't already discovered The Spark book and/or the SparkDiet linked at the bottom of the START page, check them out - the program is simple but extremely effective. There is a TON of information on this site - so much it might even seem overwhelming but fortunately we don't have to 'digest' everything at once! The FastBreak program is a good way to start.
Another nice thing about SparkPeople is that we have permission to be human - we don't have to change everything at once or be in a hurry to reach our goals. Take a few baby steps and then a few more and before you know it, you'll have completed a long journey - I hope you enjoy this community as much as I do - it teaches us how to make positive lifetime changes because that's the only thing that will work over time!
1893 days ago
1896 days ago
Hey girl! Welcome to Spark People!! There are all kinds of great tools to take advantage of, and we have a FANTASTIC support system here! I wish you all the best on your journey and we're all here for ya if you hit a rough patch =) Sparkrecipes.com is a wonderful tool if you are curious on what kind of recipes to cook. Also, there is a recipe calculator if you have a recipe you want to see the nutritional value of. It has helped me a LOT! Good Luck!!
1896 days ago
Hi Courtney! to SparkPeople! Best wishes to you along your journey to a healthier you!
Be sure to use all the tools available to you. I know there is a lot to this site, but take your time and check every nook and cranny. The extra motivation of interacting with SparkFriends is invaluable. SparkPages, SparkTeams, and community message boards play a significant role. The site's articles on health, fitness, and motivation are extremely helpful. The Success Stories inspire!
Your ‘my SparkPoints’ page is a page worth visiting every day. It’s a quick link to many of the areas you should familiarize yourself with. Accessing the links will help you navigate the site, communicate with other members, and earn SparkPoints.
Be active and be well!
1897 days ago
You've made a great choice in joining Sparkpeople. Take your time and explore all the resources available to you here. Join a Spark Team based on your own interests, hobbies and goals. That way you can give and get lots of support along the way. Use the trackers for motivation. Take each day as it comes and always ENJOY the Journey!!
1897 days ago