Nola Lost 50 Pounds with a Positive Attitude and a Smile

By , SparkPeople Blogger
"My first piece of advice is to smile more. You will feel better about yourself because a smile helps keep you positive."

Working on a farm, Nola (NOLAHORSERIDER) was used to days filled with chores like unloading hay, cutting tree limbs and fixing fences. As she gained weight, those chores became increasingly difficult. She recalls using rash cream where her skin would rub just so that she could mow the pastures. These difficulties, combined with inspiration from her sister who lost weight, gave Nola the push she needed to begin her weight-loss journey.

Nola joined SparkPeople in 2014 and lost almost 40 pounds in six months. She was proud of herself, had more energy and her clothes were too big. But the celebration was short-lived as the weight started to creep back on. "I got lazy," Nola recalls. "I stopped doing the things I did to lose the weight to begin with. I stopped tracking my food, was eating out too often and fell back into old habits. It took two years for the weight to return, but eventually I regained almost 30 of the 40 pounds I'd lost. I was ashamed and disheartened."

Nola never gave up on SparkPeople, though, and started reading motivational blogs and success stories to find the inspiration to begin again. She developed a new style of eating and utilized the tools offered by SparkPeople Premium to eventually reach her goal weight of 120 pounds, a 50-pound loss. Nola's SparkPage photo gallery shows her amazing progress. "I'm now in maintenance," Nola proudly declares.

Nola's 4 Tips for Weight Loss Success


Nola has plenty of advice that helped her lose the weight and successfully transition into lifelong maintenance.
  1. If you don't lose every week, don't fret. Take your measurements and know that changes are happening even if the scale isn't moving. "I kept my journey visible through pictures, both 'before' pictures and as I lost. My weight didn't come on overnight and it sure isn't coming off overnight," she says. As with any weight-loss journey, expect peaks and valleys. "If I become disappointed with the scale, I just remember that the scale is not going to dictate my life. I really don't care what the scale says. I only care how my clothes fit!" 
  2. Make lists. Make a list of why you want to lose weight and keep that list where you will see it often. Make another list of the small obtainable goals you can reach daily as you start the journey. For example, set small goals like drinking eight glasses of water, exercising for 10 minutes and tracking the food you eat. "Baby steps, always," Nola reminds herself. Nola makes a daily list of her goals and checks them off as she accomplishes them. At the end of the week, she feels proud of all of the good things she's done.
  3. Become informed about nutrition. "Be aware of the ingredients in the foods you eat," she says. Reading labels is so important these days. "Eat lots of green vegetables. I call it going green! I believe that any diet should require lots of green vegetables like kale, romaine, spinach, avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers... you choose what you like."
  4. Attitude is everything. "Some of the important keys to my success have been consistency (tracking daily), determination (preparing for the ups and downs), daily exercise, wearing a smile and removing anything negative from my life," Nola says. "I am told that I am an inspiration to others, not just on SparkPeople, but outside as well. I love to smile and make others smile. I have been able to empathize with people by putting myself in their shoes for as long as I can remember. How would I feel if that was me? One of my best friends says I motivate and inspire her just being with me. I don't know about that, but I do like to make people feel good about themselves."
After more than four years on SparkPeople, Nola has no intentions of leaving. "I have told everyone who will listen that I absolutely love SparkPeople. There are so many helpful tools, videos, exercises, blogs and articles to utilize—all for free! You just need to take the first step to check out the tools and features available that will set you on a path to lose the weight and also to maintain that weight. I have hundreds of SparkFriends who motivate and inspire me. They always seem to have my back, as I have theirs!"

Nola believes that you can do anything you put your mind to—all it takes is that first step.

How do you maintain your smile when times get tough? Share in the comments below and also congratulate Nola for her amazing success!

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Comments

MIYAMO 10/18/2018
Great article. Report
JIACOLO 10/18/2018
Such a great story! Report
2BDYNAMIC 10/18/2018
I am proud to say Nola is a spark friend with an outstanding story!
Thanks for all your tips! (I plan to save this!) Report
JENNMAZZA 10/18/2018
Awesome!!! Report
GABY1948 10/18/2018
Great article Report
CHERYLHURT 10/18/2018
Excellent Report
GWINNER1 10/17/2018
You are a true inspiration! Report
SLIVERBULLET 10/17/2018
well done. great tips Report
CAROLJ35 10/16/2018
We're all so proud of you, Nola!
Keep inspiring others! Report
LYNCHD05 10/16/2018
Nola, great job on losing and maintaining the weight loss. You are a great addition to the Maintenance team and we love hearing your posts each day. You definitely inspire me! Report
TUTUNAN 10/16/2018
Well done, Nola! Your hard work and perseverance are paying off. Report
ONEKIDSMOM 10/16/2018
Congrats on both your success and on sharing your story! Inspiration is what goes around when you share! Report
JEWELZEE- 10/16/2018
Thanks! Report
PEGJW111 10/15/2018
Definitely - peaks and valleys! A great attitude will get you through those crappy days! Keep smiling! ?? Report
SHOAPIE 10/14/2018
Great. Report
BIKE4HEALTH 10/14/2018
Great Report
WONDERGALE 10/14/2018
Great! Report
ARNETTELEE 10/13/2018
Great! Report
NANAW12001 10/13/2018
Fantastic. Report
PLCHAPPELL 10/13/2018
Attitude IS everything. Report
BIKE4HEALTH 10/13/2018
Super info...thanks Report
KHALIA2 10/12/2018
Congrats on a job well done! Report
ANHELIC 10/11/2018
Well done. Report
2DAWN4 10/11/2018
Thank you for sharing your weight loss journey with us! Report
_CYNDY55_ 10/10/2018
Congrats! Report
SPARKLINGME176 10/10/2018
As I've said before, you inspire me daily!!!!! Great for YOU!!!!!! Wonderful words of wisdom! I'm with you! I love Sparks, too! Report
PAINTS5555 10/10/2018
Good job! Report
LIVINGHEALTHY16 10/10/2018
Way to go Nola! You are an inspiration. Report
DIANNEMT 10/10/2018
SO GLAD to have gotten to know you through the 5% Challenge--and the team DETERMINED Daisies!! You ARE a role model, sweetie!! Report
CARMACHAMELEON 10/10/2018
Nola, Girl, you're AMAZING and you've done a wonderful job and I am both blessed and humbled to call you my friend!!!

Blessings!

- Nancy Jean -
GA Report
RHOOK20047 10/9/2018
Good information. Report
NANCYPAT1 10/9/2018
Wtg! Report
NANCYPAT1 10/9/2018
Wtg! Report
NANCYPAT1 10/9/2018
Wtg! Report
MOMWANTSNOWAIST 10/9/2018
Hey Nola! Way to go fellow Daisy!!! GREAT to see you on here! Congrats on the Featured Success Story and on getting on to Maintenance! That is my goal,too~!!!! Report
BONDMANUS2002 10/9/2018
Interesting Report
KHALIA2 10/9/2018
Congrats, Nola on a job well done! Report
DMEYER4 10/9/2018
congrats well done Report
HEALTHYANDFIT27 10/9/2018
Love your tips! Congrats on all your successes! Cheers to you! Report
JANIEWWJD 10/9/2018
Congratulations!!! Report
ZRIE014 10/9/2018
great tips Report