Body Transformation: The 'Spark' She Needed

Sandra reached an uncomfortable 200 pounds and vowed to lose it. She ditched the love handles and her bad habits/friends and found a positive life in Fitness. See her life change!

Name: Sandra "Sparkie" P.
BodySpace: sparkie

Sandra P Sandra P
AGE 40
200 lbs
AGE 40
165 lbs

Why I Got Started

I am very tall, so I always managed to look okay in clothing without feeling overweight, but once the clothes came off I knew what was waiting for me. I love the gym and it's a part of my daily life, but I have always struggled with the diet, and as many people on BodySpace will repeat, that is where 80% (at least) of the work lies.

After going on a girls' shopping trip to NYC where I took the week off from diet and the gym, I was HORRIFIED to get back home to find out that I tipped the scales at … yikes … a whopping 200! At 5-foot-9, it wasn't too tragic, but I could still grab those love handles and see the new-found stretch marks.

When she reached 2 bills, Sparkie went on a fat-loss crusade. Don't mess with her goals, or she'll break you!

I became sad to see that I had not only set myself back so much, but let people down around me who came to me for motivation to go to the gym. I vowed right then and there, that I would lose 30 pounds in 30 weeks, or die trying!

How I Did It

The first thing I had to do was commit 100% to my goal. There is no one watching you to make sure you are on track, you have to make a personal commitment. It's a gift you make for yourself.

I committed to taking a photo, in my underwear, every single Sunday, and to post it, along with my weight and measurements. This kept me accountable. I also used a phone application to help me track my calories, fat, protein, sugar, etc. This also helped to keep me on track with the program.

For my workout plan, and I know many of you will read this and think there's no way you can get this done - well there is! I split my workout, went to the gym 2 times per day, 6 days per week. I trained one hour weights and one hour cardio (HIIT) and made sure that it hurt! I made no excuses.

I am working professional with a busy career, a single mom to a child with a learning disability, and I am in school part-time. There are NO excuses! You know what I realized I gave up? Television! That's all! I was watching a couple of hours a day, now, I was going home and falling asleep the instant my head hit the pillow.

Everytime you make excuses, you are hindering your own progress. For me, I really wanted to taste what wearing skinny jeans would feel like … and you know what? It is great! I bought a pair (which were quite tight) and tried them on each week. Now those are too big, and I have since bought several pairs! Never again will you see me in fat jeans. I have given those away.

Suggestions For Others

  • Set realistic goals, but do visualize yourself achieving them. For me, it was the skinny jeans. I could almost TASTE how good they would feel, it made me resist the temptation to cheat!

    I booked a photo shoot so I could reward myself for my hard work and also have a countdown. Whether it's a shoot, a competition, a wedding, vacation, etc, setting that special date will give you something to work extra hard for. Just make sure to not fall off the wagon after the date!

  • Surround yourself by people like you, avoid the jealous, the sabotagers … You may have to lose a few friends, but really, anyone who is a true friend would want the best for you, not to see you fail.

    Misery just loves company and for me, my office environment is the worst. It's like they feel better about pigging out if everyone is doing it. I told them that I was on a 'financial and physical diet' and stopped going to the restaurants.

    One time I got mad and said: if I had quit smoking, you wouldn't t offer me a cigarette, so stop pushing your donuts on me!! They are scared of me now, haha!

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare! The secret to success is to plan ahead. I spent about 30 minutes each night preparing all my meals for the next day in containers.

    I pre-measure, I cook food in large quantities, I make sure I have all the ingredients I need. This way, I don't need to think, it's super easy.

    I save plastic water bottles and use them for my shakes, here's the trick, you pour the protein into the empty bottle with a funnel, and there you go, protein on the go!

  • Rock it out! I love my mp3 player! Music helps me so much in my workouts, not only to motivate me, but also to shut out the other people in the gym.

    There is plenty of time to socialize, but during a workout? No way! Get into your own zone and go nuts! I love my metal, alternative, rock, but at times, even some cheesy pop! Whatever gets me through the workout!

  • Most importantly: use BodySpace every day! The community on here is the best! No one judges, everyone is supportive, you get amazing advice, and most of all, you get to pass it forward to others who are just like you were not that long ago!

    The best friends I've ever made are all virtual! I love to be inspired, and I love to inspire. Being chosen as transformation of the week is a dream come true for me and will only push me to go much, much farther!