Thanks, NSTARSMITH! Your comments about racking up the points and virtual goodies is so so true, too. Even hubby sits with me to eagerly help me get some more points, it's daft but so effective. I AM going for it and it's great to know you are on the same bus!
10/7/11 11:38 A
Hey, Chebba! Your long story sounds like mine a bit. I share your enthusiasm for SparkPeople. Though I am just starting Month 3, I believe it is different than everything I have tried in the past. The community alone is different; the ease of contact; the trackers; the mountain of articles and videos; the POINTS - I would never have thought I would enjoy racking up silly little virtual participation points so much! The start small approach, baby steps, two steps forward, one step back; everything here seems ideally designed for me to stay motivated. I am down 18 pounds and delighted to be aware of all the ways to measure success other than the scale. Yeah, it's a big WOW, this site. Go for it!!!
Well, here I go - putting myself into another public commitment in order to challenge myself. Why? Because, whilst I've failed to diet successfully before - many MANY times, you name it, I've done it, the 'failed-then-eaten-more-than-ever-and-put- all-my-weight-back-on-and-then-some' routine, which I bet you now only too well! - I am utterly convinced, even as a 2-week newbie, that SparkPeople is my sanctuary. I feel as if I'm where I'm meant to be and that, like Alice in Wonderland, or the children in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a hidden door has suddenly appeared and given me a fantastic chance to CHOOSE to enter and pass through into a bright and wonderful, slim world. Note the word 'CHOOSE'....
I'm a just-turned-can't-believe-it 60 year old English woman, zippily going on 39 (!) who managed to maintain weight throughout 18 years as an RAF officer but who then had the 'H' op., and had to go onto HRT, whereupon the weight piled on. OK, I know the medics say that there is no scientific proof that this is a cause but I have suspicions that this truly was a contributory factor. The rest was up to me and the CHOICES I made. It forever stuns and bewilders me that we weighty folk know the theory of weight loss probably more than those who are naturally slender, but that we continue to self-destruct as a option of choice. Yes, even the VLCD's with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy didn't work, they made me feel overwhelmed, guiltier than ever and trying to blame someone else for why I'm me. Too much thinking, thanks; it added to the problem - big time. However, I'm not going to beat myself up - it is what it is and now this truly amazing site has come into my life at a time when I thought I'd just reached the Last Chance Saloon, either a gastric band or bypass.....
I'd been for a thoroughly professional consultation with a bariatric surgeon and was, intelligently, back home researching the long-term implications of such surgery. We'd agreed that the band wasn't suitable as it's possible to cheat by eating soft sludgy stuff, like lots of chocolate or ice cream, and my self-confessed relationship with food worried me that I might still find a way around things and blow the huge amount of money spent. Although he said I was really too thin for a bypass (THIN??) we agreed that that would be the way to go if I decided to go at all. So, there I was, in the middle of the night, trawling the internet for the post-operative realities of life apres-bypass, which I quickly realised had many drawbacks that I didn't want, when fate or Divine Intervention stepped in and changed my life. Just like that. If you're still with me, read on...
Here's the ugly truth: I'm fat. Not morbidly obese, but about 70lbs overweight. But it's still fat. Whichever way you want to dress it up, plain old too-high-BMI-to-be-healthy fat. Inside, I have a thin personality, but it's stuck in a fat-suit. BUT, people, I think I can just reach the zip, I've found it at last! My cellulite has cellulite, my flabby 'bingo wing' arms can swing in independent motion, my apron tummy protects me from the risks of my own cooking spits and spats and my underwear is never pretty or sexy, it has to be designed my someone with a degree in civil engineering. My thread veins are like a road map, my feet scream with arthritic pain which isn't helped by having to support my bulk - and I needn't bother to eat doughnuts or cakes, I should apply them directly to my hips! On the outside, people think I'm cheerful, strong and happy - and I've perfected the facade after many, many years. I make the best of myself because people always seem to notice me, and I swear that "She's got a lovely face, though' should be a middle name or a homily on my future headstone. Oh yes, it's the Red Carpet and an Oscar for me, after years of perfecting that impression whilst inside I am dying with humiliation, worry and self-recrimination.
Do you recognise that person? Well, read on, because I believe that I've stumbled on the cure. Even after only 2 weeks, I am utterly convinced that SparkPeople is 'where it's at'. and I'll tell you why: because, EVEN though, after a dedicated nutrition start, I've had an almost non-existent weight loss...my motivation, instead of habitually disappearing out of disappointment, IS EVEN STRONGER!! Yes, it is! So, another 'why?": Well, because of my SparkFriends and the whole way that this amazing site is set up and dedicated to help just about every nook and cranny of the often despairing lives overweight people live. In spite of being alone for most of the time whilst my husband is at work or away, I'm not alone. At the click of a mouse I have everything available to me, in order to help ME make good choices. It is the most astonishing site I've ever found and I only found it by chance - a link at the edge of a gastric bypass item, which led me to a woman who'd lost a huge amount of weight and was talking about it on YouTube. I had to replay it 3 times in order to clarify what she said - "I had the support of SparkPeople throughout'. Sparkpeople? Spark? People? I googled it and the rest is history.
I am now, thanks to SP and, more importantly, my Spark Friends, eating properly. I'm surgically attached to my mouse and nutrition tracker, and making intellectual, analytical choices about what to eat, depending on how the nutrients are clocking up. A quick look at the Daily Report pie chart is a visual indication as to what my choice should be for the next meal or snack. Low on the fats? OK, I'll have a cheese-based meal. Low on carbs? Right - I can fix that. And so on.
In spite of terrible foot pain, I've now done something I never would have done before - thanks to SP and my SF's, I've signed up with a personal trainer at the nearest gym, 12 miles away. I know she'll help me to work through everything and I also can tailor my times so I'm not clashing with pert young things in spray-on lycra, with tanned and toned arms and impossibly bright white smiles. SP and the SF's have given me the inspiration to look at myself and face the music - I can't hide at home and get the exercise sorted, I'm just too feeble to discipline myself and I NEED to be in the right, motivating environment. Maybe when the weight really starts to melt I'll be able to revisit this, but the stark truth is that I need to be in a gym. It's an alien world but SP has made me want to go there!
SparkPeople is like a huge bus which has come along to my stop. There were already lots of people aboard, with spectacular tales of achievement to tell, but there was still room for not-so-little old me. But here's the good news: there's still lots of room on our bus and as the passengers get smaller on this journey, there'll be room for even more! It's early days for me, let's be realistic about that, but I'm going to make that destination, you just watch me. As I said - it's about CHOICES. You can choose to step onto this bus if you like, there's plenty of room, but forgive me when I say I'm not giving up my seat for you! It's mine and I'm sticking! But sit near me and my SparkFriends and we'll give you all the support we can. It'll be a blast!
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