25,000-29,999 SparkPoints 25,258
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My Mom and I in the shirt we BOTH wore in our BEFORE WLS pictures! We now BOTH fit!

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May 2010, just after starting Spark. 403 pounds.

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Jan 1, 2018 - Here's what will soon be another BEFORE! BEAST MODE ACTIVATED!

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CALLIKIA is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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Finally meeting my goals!

I'm a 30-something year old mother of teenage boys in rural WV. I have a full-time desk job that sometimes sends me on the rural roads of WV and a portrait photographer that makes me love pictures of others way more than any picture ever taken of me.

I started getting into the "fat girl" range at the age of 5. I've struggled with Weight Watchers and diet classes and Sonoma Diets and everything in between for my entire life. It's made me hate myself and my body way more than I should and keeps me from my goals of body positivity. After leaving the nest, I put on weight for the next couple years like it was my job. By 2004, I had ballooned up to 466.6 pounds and considered gastric bypass surgery (my mother had already had it and been successful). 12 months of testing later, we were ready to put everything into the insurance company for pre-cert...and my (now ex-)husband's employer dropped their bariatric coverage.

I vowed then to do whatever I could to control my weight in whatever way I knew how. I struggled. A LOT. I fought an ailing body and crippling self-esteem. I did what I could and eventually got myself down to 360-380.

And then we moved to WV and I had to restructure my life all over again. I was parenting alone at least half the week. I had no work and no friends and nothing in the area to do. I tried to find ways to make it work for me. In 2010, I found Spark, and it did light a Spark. I met some amazing ladies I would never give up in my life who pushed me to be the greatest me I could be. And I was. I was absolutely amazing. And I thought I was unstoppable. I was running 5ks and training for half marathons and putting myself out there and feeling positive about my body.

And then it broke. I got plantar fasciitis and hip bursitis and tendonitis and a million other problems in my back and hips that caused me to have to put a halt to my number one motivator - time in the gym. I went from being on fire to being put out. First Zumba had to go. And line dancing. And boxing. And running. And then even swimming hurt. And, finally, lifting. I spent 6 months at 300.6 pounds, chasing the elusive 200s...and I never found them. Within the next two years, I fell apart emotionally. My marriage took a dive. My kids were growing up and changing and life just felt so completely out of my control. I entered therapy back up in the high 300s and completely broken mentally and physically. I felt like I was steps away from a wheelchair and the end of my life.

I finally made the decision to try the surgery route again. I figured, maybe it would be the tool that would help me get back to those low-300s so I could start my fight FROM there and not spend half as long breaking my body to GET there. I needed help, and it was the only help I knew that was left. Many of my Spark friends had moved on and the support just wasn't what it once was. I started a medically supervised diet in January 2015 at 460.6 pounds. Just 6 pounds shy of my highest recorded weight. I hated myself.

I had surgery on November 2, 2015. The gastric sleeve. Now, more than two years out, I am smaller than I have ever been in my entire adult life! I can tell you that it's mental torture in the beginning. Liquid diets and protein shakes and soft foods for a month. It's literally the hardest thing I have ever done (and I've done Whole 30 TWICE, y'all!). I kept wishing I had the support I once had from my girls here. Even now I look at my body and struggle to see the new me. The mental change will ALWAYS be the hardest part of this entire journey for any of us. But I have hope again.

My hope is to find myself somewhere near 170-190. I feel like I'd be good there. I feel like that would feel like me and I could have my positive self back. Working out truly makes me feel like I'm in control of my life and I'm doing the best things possible for it. (I'm a BEAST in the gym!) But my body is still hurting from the years of physical abuse - even exercise meant to do it go that simply put too much of a strain on already strained joints. If anyone ever tells you that surgery is the "easy way out" tell them to eff-off because it's HARD! And I've done this losing over 100 pounds thing both with and without surgery. It's hard no matter what!

I'm now down over 250 pounds. I haven't been this size since middle school. I am full of a ton of different fears about my body and what it will look like and if I will ever reach my "final" goals...but I'm just going to keep pushing forward and doing my best and see where that gets me. Wish me luck!

Member Since: 4/18/2010

Fitness Minutes: 26,191

My Goals:
Workout 4 days a week, 45 minutes a day CONSISTENTLY!
Eat only 4 meals a day (there is no such thing as snacking!).
Get in 70g of protein each day.
at least 1 protein shakes per day
Meat first, then veggies, and THEN fruit and carbs.
LOW sugar! (Less than 10g per serving.)
Don't be afraid of succeeding!
Don't be afraid of failing - you are already a success story!

My Program:
After being sleeved on 11/2, I have strict guidelines for at least the first year, but really until I get to goal.

Protein - 60-79g per day
Liquid - 64oz per day
Low carb
Low sugar (no more than 10g per serving)
Possibly lower in fat

Personal Information:
Esther. 37. WV. Two beautiful boys - Logan (18) and Ethan (15). Two dogs (Joey and Champ) and two cats ("Tiggy" and Link). Finally met the man of my dreams in 2016 - James - and have adopted his beautiful kitty as well (Lil Bit).

Other Information:
I'm a photographer by trade (which I do in addition to my FT job). I love portrait photography! I love to travel and explore. Hiking is awesome! Love rowing. Hoping to find more adventure related likes along the way.

Read More About CALLIKIA - Profile Information moved here. (Updated May 21)

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 Pounds lost: 262.1 
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    You look amazing -- sounds like you have started 2017 off with a bang!!

    1427 days ago
    emoticon I hope your having a wonderful week so far! We've got this!! emoticon
    1638 days ago
  • v AMY_1217
    For anybody interested in participating in a BLC, please go to my page and click the BL Spring Challenge ALL Teams team. You can join the all-teams page and put your name on the list for the Summer challenge! If you'd like to join my team, the Dazzling Diamonds, let me know and I'll get you signed up for our team!
    There are 10 teams, 24 team members each, and it's a 10 week challenge!
    Come join in the fun, meet some great people and work toward your goals!!!
    1664 days ago
  • v JIBBIE49
    emoticon Happy Birthday, DONE GIRL

    In Capricorn, the Sun is strongly goal-directed and persistent. Ambitious, serious and dedicated to duty, life is difficult, but you are the type of person who will triumph and achieve success. Your aptitude to persevere, no matter how difficult the road, sets you apart from most of your peers. You are anxious to climb the ladder of fortune, and you can usually reach your goals because of your sense of the right way of doing everything. Your patience is never ending.
    The Capricorn child has a hard life and is given a lot of responsibility early on and is never able to be "just a silly kid." She is "old when young" but know she will stay young when old. Capricorn gets along well with Virgo, Pisces, Taurus, Cancer and sometimes Scorpio, but she will not allow Scorpio to run her life, so that can be an issue. She can have problems with headaches from stress and trouble with her knees.
    You are a very thoughtful and serious person, thinking everything through carefully before you set off in any direction. You possess excellent reasoning skills, and you can be counted on to select options that are both practical and that provide an economic advantage. Your attitude is conservative; conservative with time, money, and all other resources. Your philosophy is waste not, want not. You are also likely to be conservative in your political and social attitudes, although your age, upbringing, and education perspectives may influence this somewhat.
    You are especially well suited to business and government because of your sense of organization and structure. You combine a talent for management with an ability to carry out instructions with care. You are the quintessential careerist, taking job and duties very seriously. Therefore, you are never one to shirk responsibility and you have very little use for those that do. That which matters most to you is your public image. You show your best face to the public. You enjoy being in a position of power and authority, although you are not very much inclined to enjoy the limelight. You may prefer instead to run your business from an isolated perspective. You are loyal and dedicated, and you demand utter loyalty and dedication from subordinates. Advancing up the ladder of success is all important. You are unconcerned about, sometimes even ruthless toward, those getting in your path as you move upward.
    You don't handle chaotic situations very well. You may need to develop the ability to lighten up a little and not take life, and everything else so seriously. Although you are self-disciplined, responsible, and practical, at times you can wallow in self-pity. It's essential for you to remember that your most important asset is self-esteem, and you should never devalue this. Rigidity and fear of change may be your biggest stumbling block.
    Sober and reserved in your dealings with others, it takes you a good while to warm up enough to anyone to be considered a close friend. Yet once you do, you are a very caring, reliable, and most steadfast ally. Your private side is different from your public side. In private you are shy and sensitive. The harshness of your public image disappears. Emotionally demanding relationships are very difficult. Love relationships may be more like business relationships, and you are unsure of yourself in most intimate situations.
    1788 days ago
  • v BEACHLVRMI0217
    emoticon I hope your day is a groovy one!!!
    1790 days ago
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