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Where and how are you?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

After many months, changes (some great, some not so great) and many pounds- I'm Sparking again.

Not for reasons that have motivated me before. I've come to the realization that I'm just not myself. I am a happy person by nature but have not been genuinely happy for quite some time.

I am tired of feeling like a visitor (and not a gracious one at that) in this body. Someone asked me recently how things were going and it wasn't until they pointed it out that, they were not asking about my exchanges/experiences with others but how I - just me- was doing.

I didn't get what they were asking me initially. Aren't my experiences going to impact how I am doing? Of course, they replied, but those experiences do not define you. How are YOU doing?

I was taken aback. My lines had become so blurred with others that I lost myself. I didn't know how I was doing because it had been so long that I had even focused on me.

The realization brought some silent tears and realized that I needed to change.

Needed to change the things that made me unhappy. Needed to define my space within my life more. Needed to state and pursue the things I want.

So here I am, working on doing those things. They may not come naturally to me right now, but I'm working on them. Me, Myself and I- I want to be back in my company again and soon.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOGETUMX2 5/1/2014 10:25PM

    Just thought i'd drop by to see how you're doing.

Spark on!!!

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JLDACQ 4/30/2014 8:03AM

    Do you know how fortunate you are to have someone as insightful as that in your life? Many of us don't have that kind of conversations with people we know in our lives. I know, because I tend to be that person around my circle of friends, but rarely will anyone ever ask me that question back.

So, you're not as happy as you thought you were, nor as happy as you would like to be. At least you know it now. What parts of your life need changing, and which one is first? Thes are hard to define sometimes, but as long as you remember it's an evolution of your spirit, those parts will change time and time again, so that you have to re-priortize occasionally.

How are YOU doing today? *hugs*

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TRAVELGRRL 4/27/2014 1:27PM

    Sounds like hard but necessary work. You definitely need to reclaim your happiness and your space in the world! Welcome back to Spark.

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 4/22/2014 1:58PM

    So glad to see you sparking again. Learning to love & value yourself, is a difficult but worthy pursuit. I'm cheering for you. Welcome back!

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_LINDA 4/22/2014 1:03PM

    Sounds very much like you had a great wake up call and intervention there. A lot of people are unable to get healthy and happy because they are unable to put themselves first. The old saw that you have to look after yourself first before being able to look after others is true. If you are too tired and worn out running around, you can't take care of yourself and that will lead to being rundown and open to sickness.
I hope you can start truly looking after yourself and finding your happy place once again..
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Numbers Game

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I am wondering what it is about numbers on the scale that impact my eating.

Recently, I reached a number range that I have not been close to in years.
I was happy.
I made great plans to continue and tried to calculate if I were able to keep it up, where I would be by a target summer date.
I commented that I need to be careful and not think this, while great, milestone was reached, that I was in the clear.
I knew I needed to be diligent and careful and not "slip".

Though... I knew I also had started to slip and instead of allowing myself one cheat day, it easily slipped into a weekend which spilled into 4 days of un-diligent eating.

I stopped doing the things that were proving successful for me.

I stepped on the scale today and thought that I must have left my winter boots on before I stepped on the scale. No, that wasn't it....

Why was I sabotaging myself?
Wasn't I really ready to lose weight?
I was feeling so good about myself, why did I let it slip?

My clothes are not necessarily fitting better, my energy level is about the same. The only thing different was that I was aware of what the number was. WHY did that knowledge loosen my resolve?

Any thoughts Sparklings?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLDACQ 5/1/2013 10:58AM

    Like InspiredMama said, I think it's the diet mentality kicking in, and not the healthy lifestyle changes that are taking over your brain. This isn't easy, changing our lives enough to be able to lose, and maintain, weight.

In my early days of lifestyle changes, I kept mostly on track by asking myself one question: "If I were diabetic or had high cholesterol/blood pressure TODAY, would I eat/do this?" If the answer is yes, then I have to decide how much of it to eat. If it's no, well.... I can put on a good pouty face like nobody's business.

My brain works best on logic, and I've had to logically talk my inner perfectionist into shutting the hell up. :-D Repeatedly. And especially since October.

I'm wondering if you're unable to do again "the things that were proving successful for me" because your life situation has changed, and now you need to adapt to a new normal. ("New normal" is becoming a mantra for me these last few months.) The way I ate 4 years ago when I started Sparking and lost weight isn't going to work for me now, because I've changed so many other parts of my eating patterns. That said, I still love crackers & fat free dip. I just can't eat a whole sleeve and a small tub and still lose weight now. So that's the mechanics.

And then there are trigger foods, and that's not mechanics, that's head trippin'. I recently made some cookies at home, thinking I could eat just one every day, and put the rest in the freezer. Within 24 hrs, 48 cookies never made it to the freezer. I can't control how I react to cookies, that's in my head. Cookies are not allowed in my house until I either can better stay away from them, or the guest who brought them is taking the rest home. And that's just one food.

Think about how you're going about your weight loss this time... but don't think too long, or you'll get stuck in thinking mode. Make a plan, a reasonable one, and try to follow it for a whole week. If you succeed, do it a second week, and keep that streak going. If you don't make it to the end of the week, or the streak seems too hard to keep up, change it.

And finally, remember to thank yourself daily for making healthy changes to your life. You'd be surprised how well you can stay on your plan when you re-affirm that this is what you want to do, to be who you want to be.

*hugs*

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 4/25/2013 7:07PM

    Unfortunately, I too often allow the number on the scale to dictate how I will "feel" about myself. I need to stop that. The scale is not a god. We need to take away it's power. We must also be honest with ourselves & stay on track. Less cheats & more feats!

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1INSPIREDMAMA 4/25/2013 5:24PM

    I don't think it's a matter of being ready to lose weight my dear. You ARE ready, that's why you are here and that's why you care about backsliding! It's always easiest to rely or fall back onto what we know best, even if it keeps us broken and bruised. It's comfortable and doesn't require effort. Sometimes we are even consciously aware that what we are doing is counterproductive! Those shadows of selves past whisper "what's the harm in one more indulgent day? you only live once...why not savor a few things?" Those are the voices of the starving fat cells who want to multiply! What else happened in this period of time that may have triggered a need for the reckless abandon of a food frenzy? Was there any compliments that had a jab attached like "you look fantastic, who would have ever thought you could actually accomplish losing weight"? or maybe news about an ex or some other emotional trigger that wasn't overtly presented? We sabotage ourselves for so many reasons! Perhaps by putting the expectation of a short time frame along with your specific number your inner perfectionist freaked out! It no longer becomes a journey for your ultimate health with the bonus of weight loss. That narrow time frame makes it weight loss at all costs without margin for error. If you don't meet that summer goal then you have somehow failed. That's self imposed pressure!

The wonderful side to this whole thing is that you are a determined woman. That is evident by your desire to understand and overcome! Realize that your are not defined by a number. Remember sister of my heart....this is about your health and longevity. It takes as long as it takes, summer, not summer, spring...it's about releasing the inner sparkling being that YOU are inside and having the outside mirror that glow...regardless of the transitional number!

I'm not sure if I helped but you know me....I always have something to say ;)

Keep sparkling!
Jennifer

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TRAVELGRRL 4/25/2013 2:55PM

    I don't know what that is, but it happens to me ALL THE TIME.

I get close to my "lowest" weight and I "celebrate" all the way up to a weight that is uncomfortable, even if it is just 4-5 pounds higher. SLOWLY I am inching my way down, but it's ridiculous -- I've been on Spark since 2009 and I only had 40-45 pounds to lose.

Can we say "SELF SABOTAGE"?

So I have no insights or solutions, just sympathy..... emoticon

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TATTER3 4/25/2013 1:54PM

    What will happen to the me I am now if I lose and don't know me????will I be accepted?

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Insight

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Sparklings- its been an interesting month or so.

Most notably, my fiancÚ and I have separated.

I'm still heartbroken and upset with him. Essentially, he had been, oh how to say this, "partaking in some extra curricular activities"
My Guardian Angels felt it was time I found out and that's what happened 1/21/2013.

Initially, I responded as most emotional eaters might, the first 2 days, I ate nothing, I was literally numb. The following 2 weeks however were a complete "Food Rush Blur"

I could not stop myself from eating.
Despite how much or whatever I ate, the pain wouldnt go away. It felt as though, if I ate enough, eventually, I would fill that void and leave no room for the pain. But that never happened. Of course, I could have kept eating and that void would never have been filled because the pain had nothing to do with my hunger but everything to do with my heartache and feeling betrayed.

I am working on getting back on track, but its a slow process.
I want to support my body and eating the wrong quantities of food isnt going to help.
I want to be able to feel good about my decisions and my food choices.
I am focused and am recommitted to the gym and logging my food entries.

Most importantly: I want to get to a point where I feel the pain- and that's it. I feel pain without trying to mask it or drown it in food.

Initially, with this experience I thought
"I have learned more about the type of person he really is...."

When in actuality, I have learned more about the type of person I am capable of being and I couldnt be any more thankful!



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1INSPIREDMAMA 3/13/2013 2:41PM

    My dear dear Clara....YOU have grown and evolved and your angels were telling you its time to open space in your life for someone better that cherishes YOU. As emotional eaters we tend to fall back on what we know...the more you stuff the less you feel, guilty of that myself for way too long! I am so proud of you for realizing that emotions need to be felt and released! Your insight and determination inspire me :0)

Hang in there lady! Brighter days are just around the corner!!

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JLDACQ 3/6/2013 1:20PM

    Clara, I am so sorry to hear that you've split up, and worse, that he was cheating on you. Like others have said, I believe his level of respect for you wasn't that high, and I can tell you that YOU are worth MORE than what he gave you.

On emotional eating: That numbness and then the return to binge eating.... at least yours was a quick turnaround. The numbness I had lasted until January, when SAD kicked in. Since then, my daily eating has become a disaster, and most days, I'm still not tracking what I eat. Shame over what I eat is strong, which isn't helping. I know what you're feeling, even if the reasons for feeling that way are a little different. But we can get through this, and past the emotional eating. Hon, if you were anywhere in my province, I'd be over to visit you in a heartbeat. I hope you know that.

On feeling just the pain: That's no picnic either, but it's the healthiest way to get better. Loneliness is my worse enemy, so as long as I'm not lonely, I'm ok for not eating over the pain. The pain makes me cry a lot, and I can't eat when I'm upset, never could. It's when the crying stops that I'm in trouble, because that's when I'm most vulnerable to just about everything, including the pain and the desire to eat, drink and smoke a lot more than I should.

Email me when you're in the mood to talk, even if it's just venting. Sometimes being able to talk to someone who isn't going to judge you for your words and thoughts helps a lot, even if it makes you cry in the end.

*hugs*

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ELIZABETH5268 3/6/2013 11:43AM

    I am so sorry to hear that:( I am in a similar situation, began to find out 1/26 and over the span of the following two weeks learned more which was heart wretching. I could barely eat for those few weeks and didn't work out much because I was worried I'd hurt myself due to lack of nutrition but have been able to get back on track some. I'm not completely back to where I was on my eating but working out is getting much better.

Two books I downloaded to my Kindle during that time was The Single Woman's Sassy Survival Guide: Letting Go and Moving On Mandy Hale http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0
0742WT1U/ref=oh_d__o00_details_
o00__i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and

Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You Susan J. Elliott http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0
097CWNSO/ref=oh_d__o01_details_
o01__i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I read the Sassy Girl's Survival Guide and followed her on Twitter and that was the jump start to helping get me out of a fog. I am very glad I read it as a jump start. It was short and I was able to read it in two days I believe. It wasn't a perfect healer but a great start and we all have to start somewhere and see some hope:) I am still reading the second one and I can tell you it's amazing, truley amazing and sticks to it's title.

It's very hard to get past things like this but done properly can truly be one of the best things that ever happened. I wish you luck on your journey as you get past this. You will accomplish great things with the positive attitude you ahve shown in this blog!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 3/5/2013 10:13PM

    Sorry for the breakup but glad that you learned his faults ahead of time. One day at a time you'll make it through. Glad to see you sparking with us. emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 3/5/2013 3:08PM

    I am so sorry to hear this, and know that anything I say can't change things or make it better. I assume "extracurricular activity" is cheating on you...and anyone who will do that has NO respect for you, NO regard for you, and NEVER WILL.

Are you better off without him? Absolutely. Of course. Now you are free -- so the person who will really cherish you and thank God every day for bringing you into his life -- can find you!

Continue your journey, dear one, both physically, mentally, and spiritually.
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Motivation!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This Thanksgiving I got engaged- I'm thrilled and scared.

Not the standard, "do I really want this person in my life forever" scared, but the "how am I going to look in the wedding video and pictures" scared.

Shallow? Maybe.
But my life long experiences have always been this:

Whether its one week or 15 years after taking pictures at a happy occasion, I look at the pictures and I'm depressed. I think I look one way, and then I see the photos and I'm saddened by what I see. Worse yet, if I'm looking at pictures or watching the video of an event with others, I'm embarrassed. I spend more time trying to anticipate when I might be on film to distract from the tv or I cringe every second I'm the monitor.

My unhealthy weight is unavoidable.

Even if I'm happy in the picture, clearly I'm not healthy and not someone who is a good role model for my nieces.

I am scared cause I am a secret stress eater. Seems the more vigilant I am about what I eat, the more I want to eat.

As the stress of planning a wedding (our goal is to get married Memorial Weekend 2013- no I'm not pregnant just excited to get married) starts to add up, so too is my negative self talk and cravings for "something sweet"

I need to get this in check and FAST!
Anyone have any suggestions???

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BONNIEBONNEAU 12/2/2012 5:48AM

    bonjour !
i want to congrad u , on finding a wonderful person to spend your life with !! PLEASE take this victory to heart ..do you know how hard that is ?? so give yourself some credit first!! emoticon

next - as for the pics ..i am the same way, i hate pics of myself. i try to avoid them all the time, because it shows , that hard cold truth , that we are overweight- thus here comes a solution ..SP and mind change emoticon

so take it from a slow loser ... if I may toot my own horn . 'the weight did not come onto the hips overnight, and it will not leave overnight' .set up some small goals - a new one every 3 months ?? , and do it !! (walking 3 blocks, then in 3 months walking 6 blocks) and food track , it works.. the stats prove it .

keep in touch - my blog is DixieinParis.com, where are u going for your honeymoon ?? emoticon

au revoir

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JLDACQ 11/28/2012 10:51AM

    Congratulations!!!! Ok, is this the guy you had been seeing sometime last year too? :-D

Being sad over what you see in those pictures isn't going to fix itself when you reach goal weight. Really. I'm not trying to bum you out, but it goes deeper than the outer surface of your body. I know you know that. Whether you were over 100lbs overweight, or within 5lbs of goal, what's in your head is what will decide your mood, and your view on yourself, even in pictures.

It'll take work, but I know you can learn to love yourself just the way you are FIRST, and once you have that, and you improve on what you have and who you are, you will become happy with the woman in those pictures, regardless of the dress size she wears. :-D

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 11/27/2012 9:24PM

    Use the trackers, get active on a team & get a good solid support system rolling. Then DO IT! Congratulations on your engagement. Remember, YOU are worth it!

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TRAVELGRRL 11/27/2012 6:23PM

    First of all, congratulations!

AND, remember that your fiance only sees the beautiful woman you are, not the excess pounds. So be grateful for him, and honor yourself for being such a great woman "despite" what you see as a flaw.

What would you tell yourself if someone else came to you with this problem?

I bet you would give advice similar to Christina's, below. I bet you would tell this person to relax, do her best, and not focus on being PERFECT. But even more, you have to dig deep and decide in your heart what's really important to you. Do you want to be thinner on your wedding day? Only you can control what you eat. It is up to you AND YOU CAN DO IT! (You already are!)

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CHRISTINA791 11/27/2012 5:30PM

    Congratulations!

I kickstarted my weight loss for similar reasons - I was determined to like my wedding photos. My advice would be to focus on the process and not the date itself or even a weight goal. I figured out that deadlines were death for me when I was on a perfectionst streak, because if I had one less-than-perfect moment, all I saw was the clock ticking and wasted time, which led to stress and panic. I think the reason I was able to hit my goal weight before the wedding was because I was just focusing on being better. I didn't give myself the pressure of a specific target, and because of that I worked harder to see how much I could accomplish before then.

I don't know if that makes any sense, but saying "I wonder how much I can lose by x-date" worked better for me than saying "I must lose x pounds by x-date".

Good luck!

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TXTOAD9970 11/27/2012 5:30PM

    Congratulations on getting engaged. You can put anything you set your mind to. It's only a six month commitment to buckle down and do your best to get in shape.
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ELIZABETH5268 11/27/2012 5:22PM

    Join a SparkTeam and maybe meet a buddy on here to keep you motivated. Or team up with your finace or a women you have in your wedding shower to lead up to the date to help keep you accountable.

I have a FitBit that I got about two weeks ago. I could not get motivated for fitness at all and this has drastically changed it.

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Its been a year since I wrote a blog...is that even possible?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Its been a year since I had my annual review at my job.
Its been a year since I wrote a blog.
Its been a year that I've been dating someone (ok, next month will be the year but work with me... :)
Its been a year since I bought my home.

Its been a year.....

A lot has happened this past year.

A lot has changed for me.

Yet, in some ways. In the most significant ways in fact, things have stayed the same.

My mindset regarding weight hasnt changed.
I still catch myself feeling uncomfortably surprised by my size everytime I unexpectedly catch a glimpse of myself. Though I still react to these surprise glimpses with unkind words and thoughts.
And while I do enjoy some aspects of it, I still am a background player in my life.

Yet, life is moving` and I'm alive. How is it that I'm so stagnant in the very aspects of my life that I WANT to change?

Why am I so stuck?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BONNIEBONNEAU 9/16/2012 6:05PM

    hi,
and welcome back !!

i agree with the first lady - what this plan is .. is to relearn how to eat, and this is very hard, because, it makes u cut back on your fav foods.. Maybe this why ur stuck - you are not ready to give up these foods ..
plse blog about ur foods .. maybe this will help

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JLDACQ 9/13/2012 1:06PM

    Why are you still stuck? Probably for the same reason I'm working a plan to quit smoking *again*: We want to do the things in life that are fun, and some of those things go against the logic in our brains that talks about healthy living.

A year in review, eh? I hear a lot of contemplation in those words.

How did your review at work go? Did you have a workplan or work goals you had to meet in order to keep your job?

Have you had a yearly review of your healthy lifestyle too? What's in that workplan and working goals, in order to get you healthier?

And I bet you knew I was going to make that connection for ya. :-D

I miss you lots, and I really hope you'll consider coming back online daily again, if only to post your status update. *grin*

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GOGETUMX2 9/13/2012 8:02AM

    Good to hear from you!!!

I believe in the power or prayer, & then visualizing 'whatever' already done. Then moving toward that goal.

You can do it. One day @ a time. One step @ a time.

Mary

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 9/11/2012 11:28PM

    The only way to change is to CHANGE. I'm here for you my friend.

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CHUM48 9/11/2012 11:28PM

    First of all welcome back!

Sometimes being stuck means we should re-evaluate our goals, change things up, or just take a break.

You can do it! Mindset is awesome!

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