~INDYGIRL   98,837
80,000-99,999 SparkPoints

Oct 2004: 460 pounds


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Life is happening now, not 10 pounds from now.

No Weight Loss Surgery
A SparkPeople Story of Joy on a Journey:

Pounds lost total: 230

For extra real life info:
Follow me on FaceBook: Search under Beth Donovan (Indygirl) from Fishers, Indiana / Indygirl4spark. Tell me you know me from SparkPeople please.

I don't have an abundance of will power, nor am I a mega strong person. I am definitely willful and strong-headed, but those aren't exactly the same things. I've tried my whole life to ...
No Weight Loss Surgery
A SparkPeople Story of Joy on a Journey:

Pounds lost total: 230

For extra real life info:
Follow me on FaceBook: Search under Beth Donovan (Indygirl) from Fishers, Indiana / Indygirl4spark. Tell me you know me from SparkPeople please.

I don't have an abundance of will power, nor am I a mega strong person. I am definitely willful and strong-headed, but those aren't exactly the same things. I've tried my whole life to lose weight, yet I gained 100 pounds every decade topping out in my 40's at 460 pounds. The diet clinics love me. I have a lifetime membership to one. Others caught me for 2-3 go rounds, while a major one caught me for over ten.

I will burn with brilliant passion and perfectionism at first, but a slip up meant to me that I was a bad person and I had failed. This perfectionistic outlook led to bulimia in my teens and 20's. While it kept my weight somewhat in check, it made me miserable. I had to be perfect period. My goal? Unrealistic. I wanted to be a size 5/6. I was never meant for that. I was meant to be much smaller than the 460 pounds I arrived at in my late 30's, however.

I have low thyroid (slowed metabolism), fibromyalgia, a degenerating spine, herniated discs, pinched nerve bundles, arthritis, knees needing replacements, and clinical major depression--and the list continues. For several years, the pain and depression were too much for me. It's hard enough to be motivated when you have severe pain, but depression with it was completely crippling, leaving me bedridden and wheelchair bound. I resigned myself to life in my bedroom, where lying down hurt less. Really I was practicing avoidance. I didn't have to deal with the snickers, stares, comments, or pictures being taken of me with camera phones. I also no longer had to deal with the crippling pain as long as I was in bed. In staying home alone, I missed human interaction so badly that I would call the crisis line crying.

My husband became a caretaker. When I say that it makes me cringe. He had to help me in all aspects. He is still my caretaker, as I am still disabled by my illnesses after losing so much weight, but it has made thing more manageable. By staying in bed and not moving and allowing my husband to take care of everything for me, I was perpetuating my own unhealthy lifestyle and losing the chance to walk, shop, work... I remember giving up my choices. That's actually what living an unhealthy life is about. Now I do whatever I can to help myself so that I can further my own independence.

So what changed? I prayed to God that I was finished trying, that I was probably going to just die in my bedroom and could He stop that from happening. I had tried my whole life to lose weight and I failed time and time again. I always gained weight back and then some. I hated the shame that came with every pound and the looks and talks from friends and family members. I was just done. If God could help... I had asked Him before. This time I told Him I was just done. I could not be helped, but would accept ANY loss, ANY help in the right direction.

Not long after I was introduced to a book called "You on a Diet" by Dr. Oz and Rozien. That was a life changer for me, as it talked about how to shut off your hunger hormones. The first thing I tried, with every doubt it would even work, was drinking organic milk. The theory is that the growth hormones they give the cows to make them bigger are passed through the milk and make us bigger, as well. I lost ten pounds in 2 weeks! Hope was alive in me again. It followed that the hormones were in meat and all dairy too. I bought what I could afford on sale.

Then I ran across a website SPARKPEOPLE.COM that was 100% free and I could use it from my home. That was a good thing, considering I had no money and I couldn't get out of the house. There I found a food tracker, exercise trackers, forums, articles, blogs and a community that was there to support me 24/7.

I learned to break everything into small doable chunks week by week. Whether my goal is to cut out sodas, stay withing a calorie range, or just exercise 10 minutes total per day, I make it simple and doable. Big secret- Set goals that you can do for the rest of your life. No more dieting, okay? IF you can find reasonable tweaks to your lifestyle.... adapt your eating to your lifestyle, NOT you lifestyle to your eating, you have the best chance at success.

This fantastic site and book led me to fire my doctors, get new ones and get in home physical therapy. I counted that as my exercise, and it does count. Everything counts. I don't subscribe to the no pain- no gain pish posh. Each move you make readies you for your next and strengthens you.

I wasn't always that open minded. I used to think you had to do X time of cardio and strength training or it did no good. Something is always better than nothing. I started lifting shampoo bottles in bed, thinking "This is a waste of time." I also practiced just lifting my legs off the ground. Soon, I was doing therapeutic yoga poses in bed. Each task readied me for the next.

I chose for myself not to have weight loss surgery because it is stomach surgery, not brain surgery. I am an emotional eater. When I went to the classes to prepare for possible surgery, I realized that most people there still had the same mindset- they were hungry. They complained about wanting to continue to eat after being full, craving things they knew were unhealthy choices, and not wanting to exercise. I was already at that point. That's when I told myself that having my stomach cut open wouldn't fix my particular problem. According to my best friend who had her life saved by the surgery, "If you have to ask the question of when you can eat normally again... the answer is never." Your whole lifestyle has to change after surgery, just as it does without surgery. I am for surgery as a last resort.

I believe "The Spark" by Chris Downie and "You on a Diet" by Dr. Oz and Dr. Rozien are both life changers. Chris Downie is also the great man who started SparkPeople and thus saved my life. His belief that we can achieve dreams and take baby steps is very powerful and true in my life. Baby steps still got me where I was going, just not in misery.

If you can't live up to other people's standards of success ( and really, why should you?) redefine success!

While I may not have time to answer every single comment or Sparkmail that I get, I appreciate and read them all. They strengthen me and I treasure you who write them. I do need them to reach my goals. I lead 6 teams, and also arrange SparkPeople member Rallies and Meetings here in Indiana. It leaves me with a very loaded inbox.

Bless you on your journey!

If you would like to get to know me better or like my blogs, you might like Team ~IndyGirl http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_

Check out Hoosiergirlindy and my website/ event calendar on http://bloometc.com. We list all SparkPeople events and Rallies that we are planning.

Read More About ~INDYGIRL (Updated July 26)

Current Status:
~INDYGIRL is home
set 3 days ago



My Ticker:

 current weight: 224.8 

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Recent Blogs:


Member Since: 1/18/2008

SparkPoints: 98,837

Fitness Minutes: 50,265

My Goals:
Get off some meds.
Get organized.
Cook at home more.
Do less processed food.
Physical Therapy.
Increase activity.
Hit ONE-Derland.

My Program:
Organic meats and dairy
Plenty of fruits and veg. And whole grains

Eat Cleaner- Whole Foods
Less Processed

Portion Control

Vitamin Therapy

Challenge My Linits

10+ fitness minutes daily

New Path Thinking

Personal Information:
FaceBook: Beth Donovan
of Fishers, Indiana. Tell me you know me from SparkPeople please.

Other Information:
Looking for friends in the Fishers/ Noblesville/ Carmel/ Westfield/ Northern Indianapolis area

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Member Comments:
7/29/2014 4:38:05 AM

you always inspire me.. thank you so very much for being here on SP! xo

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7/28/2014 12:30:49 PM

Oh... my... goodness! What a transformation!! You are such an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many other members here at Spark People. I admire your strength and determination. I have 85 pounds to go until I reach my goal, and I am hoping that I can stay strong and motivated until the end.

I have added you as a Spark friend and will continue to support you and read your blogs. You are such a beautiful person inside and out.

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/28/2014 12:32:54 PM

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7/23/2014 1:56:21 PM

Thank you for sharing your story and being such an inspiration! You give me such wonderful hope that I can lose weight and get healthier, too! emoticon You are amazing!

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7/23/2014 12:26:34 AM

Every time I tell myself I can't do it I look at your picture's in give me so much inspiration. emoticon emoticon

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7/21/2014 12:58:01 PM

Your story gives me hope. Reading story shows me that everyone that wants to lose weight can. If you have any advise please let me know.

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