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Friday, December 30, 2011

Most of us are taking the time to reflect on 2011. We take time to look at our successes and our failures. How we react to these reflections can be as different as all the colors in the spectrum. What will we do with these findings? Will we quit? Will we beat ourselves up? Or will we take what we've learned and move forward in a positive manner?

I began 2011 on the scale at 306. When I stepped on the scale this morning I weighed in at 385. Maybe some miracle will occur between now & Sunday morning and a couple of pounds will dissolve away for my "official" Jan 1st weigh in, but the picture is still the same. I've gained significant weight in 2011.

Did I fail? NO. Did I fall? In some ways I did and in others I did not. Let me take the time to share my journey & my reasoning with you.

Before I begin with 2011, let me share with you my "history" as an over weight adult. I have lost & FOUND over 100 pounds a few times as an adult. The first time that I did it, I lost from 325 to 185 in 8 months by over exercising and throwing up a LOT. I ended up sick & barely able to talk. I gained all that weight back and MORE. The second time that I did it, I lost from 375 to 250 in about 2 years by working a strict 12-step program & weighing & measuring my food. I moved away from my support group, stopped weighing & measuring my foods. I gained all that weight back and MORE. There were other times here & there in between those two LARGE weight loss periods where I would lose almost 100 pounds and ALWAYS gain back all the weight and MORE. In 2009, because of a health scare & turning 50, I started on a major weight loss journey again. Part of the journey included finding Spark People and the awesome support offered here. I went from 450 to 300 pounds in little more than 2 years.

THEN IT HAPPENED. I hit a horrible plateau. From Feb-Aug 2011 I fought hard & long to get off the plateau. I exercised my hind end off. I kept tracking my foods and drinking enough water to keep a camel happy in the desert. To what avail? NOTHING. Nada. NO WEIGHT LOSS.

When you have lost 150 pounds and still weigh 300 pounds it's difficult. Others have written about this very thing. You still feel like a fat cow. You still get looks & hear sneers from strangers. You're still FAT. You are usually the fattest or FEEL LIKE the fattest person in the room. Being on a plateau for 7 months while working as hard as you can to beat it is more discouraging than I can express to you. It begins to feel as if things will NEVER change and that you are doomed to fail. What's the point of exercising all the time, eating all the right stuff, doing all the right things if you are going to stay FAT. What is the point?

Add to those self-defeating feelings a less than optimal life. Financial problems. Emotional Problems. Struggles. My husband lost his job. My son, wife & 2 children living with us in a very small house. My DIL got a job for a couple months and then lost it right at Thanksgiving. Struggling to keep food on the table, diapers on the baby and gas in the car. All of this and more just became too much. DEPRESSION set in and set in hard. I stopped tracking my food. I ate what I felt like. I gave up in many respects. The two positive forces in my corner were finding a home church family AND a job that is a blessing beyond & above all my wildest dreams. Prayer and exercise have kept me from gaining all the weight back and MORE. The cycle appears to be broken.

Yes, I gained back almost 80 pounds. However, I lost 150 so "and MORE" has been put out to pasture. I never stopped Sparking. I never stopped exercising and I started praying with all my might.

The exercise helped and hurt me. That may sound funny but I'll tell you why. When you exercise an average of 3 hours per day, often 4 hours, you can gain weight & not "show it". I am still wearing the same size clothes today (including bathing suits) that I was wearing 80 pounds ago. I FEEL heavier, but I don't look that much heavier. You can tell I've put on some weight but you would NEVER have guessed 80 pounds had I not told you. When I finally got honest with myself and got on the scale I admit that I was SHOCKED at the number because I expected to see that I had gained 30 pounds.. NOT 80.
How can we work so darn hard, doing all the right things, and lose 1 pound in 6 months and then gain 80 in less time than that? Unfair? You bet it is. But it just is. It's done. I'm sorry. I'm moving on.

Prayer proved to be the answer in the form of 3 awesome "Spark Sisters" who are helping me to save myself while we are helping save one another. Each of us have similar stories. We've been Spark members around the same amount of time. We all weighed a LOT when we first came to Spark. We all lost a LOT of weight in a fairly short period of time. We all hit the dreaded Plateau... and we all got discouraged. We let ourselves down. The BLESSING is that NONE of us "gained all the weight and MORE" this time. The BLESSING is that we somehow were directed to one another.. at the same time...with the same struggles. We have formed a support group and an alliance that I believe is going to save our lives. We have and ARE turning things around. We ARE going to be successful.

2012 is going to be our year to prove that the cycle of insanity is broken and that we are NEVER going back to where we were when we first started. I can hear "we shall over come" in my mind right now! LOL These 3 ladies & I are going to love & support one another & never let go. I feel it to my bones. I have never felt so safe and confident. I feel more hopeful today than I have in MONTHS.

I've learned some valuable lessons that I want to share here.

1. Use the Spark Food Tracker. Be honest on it. No one else has to see it. Track EVERYTHING
2. Drink plenty of water. It's not just a gimmick!
3. Exercise. Be sure to mix it up. Be sure to do both cardio & strength workouts
4. Do NOT overextend yourself in Spark People. YOU CAN TRY TO DO TOO MUCH. Remember that we want to help one another but that YOU ARE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND. You must take care of YOU first. Don't join too many groups or try to contact too many friends... TAKE CARE
5. Do NOT overextend yourself in REAL LIFE. You can NOT be all things to all people. TOUGH LOVE is something that needs to be learned and should be practiced. My world is about to change because I am learning this. Learn to say NO to other people and YES to taking care of YOU! BE YOUR OWN BEST FRIEND. YOU ARE WORTH IT!
6. Don't let SHAME keep you from being honest, picking yourself up and moving forward. We are not terminally unique. Each of us has had falls. We are not failures if we pick ourselves up and move forward. SPARK ON!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. You may or may not be surprised. You may or may not be disappointed. However, this is coming from my heart and is as honest as I can be. 2012 is going to be different. I have left most of the Spark Teams that I was on. I am going to do as well as I can for the few that I have remained a part of. If I find that I can not succeed in taking care of DAWN while participating in certain teams, I will have no choice but to leave them. I AM WORTH giving 100% to. I am GOING to do just that.

To my precious SERIOUS SISTERS... Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I commit to being there for you and I thank you for your commitment to being there for me.

To my cherished Spark Friends... Thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for supporting and loving me in spite of myself. I commit to giving as much as I can and to sharing the journey with you. I commit to MORE BLOGS, MORE HONESTY, and MORE SUCCESS. Together we can fight the good fight and win this battle to get healthy & fit.

Bright blessings to you all. Love, DAWN

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMILYBBB 1/7/2012 6:06AM


You have made tremendous progress in so many ways not measured on a scale. You ARE different. You ARE stronger--physically and spiritually. Many of us truly love you, Dawn. You ARE going to recoup the progress you had made.


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ALIENANGEL 1/4/2012 10:36AM

    it sure is one day at a time. congratulations on fighting the good fight!

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    Good Luck! Keep exercising--I firmly believe that people who can and do exercise are healthier at any weight than those who do nothing! I'll be watching for your blogs in 2012!

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46SHADOW 1/3/2012 10:23AM

    emoticonThanks for your honesty. Losing the weight is a small part of this journey. Learning to take care of ourselves to keep it off-more difficult.

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1BEACHWALKER 1/3/2012 1:20AM

    It is weird isn't that you can do all the right things and not lose, but eat too much in one week and you can gain 5 pounds! Been there done that! I know what you speak of in all cases-plateaus, financial, & family problems-even death in family and illness and like you I keep moving on, with a hope that things will improve and get better. Sometimes we drift off our path, hit bumps in the road, but as long as you steer back and get on the way again- you will be fine! Sparkpeople does help! Glad you are back and gave us an honest, really great blog! Good for you! Keep going and make 2012 the best ever year for yourself! We do need to take care of ourselves first and foremost!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    What a great blog! I hear your frustration (I've been on a horrendous plateau since July) and also your determination to make this time different. YOU CAN DO IT! Congratulations on your friends and your motivation. You have it so right - take care of YOURSELF first. Spark on!

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ZOEJADA 1/2/2012 7:42PM

    what a great blog; thank you for sharing...and good luck for 2012!

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NPA4LOSS 1/2/2012 7:19PM

    Dawn, so much of your story is mine. I hit my plateau last year and my health continued to go down hill. I have gained back 20 lbs. due in main to medications. I also have two awesome friends I met here on Sparks and talk to daily by phone as we have never met living in different parts of the country.
My Spark Friends from all over the world keep me going and positive when I would so like to give up. I found the most emoticon job for me and the people I work with are teaching me how to let others take care of me.
Be kind to yourself dear friend and stay firm with that tough love. It's OK to say no and take care of You. emoticon emoticon

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WELSTEACH 1/2/2012 6:13PM

    You have succeeded this year, despite 80 lbs. gained. You have been honest with yourself. You have found support. You have decided to WIN this time. Keep telling us how things are going. We are with you.

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CYNDI2012 1/2/2012 10:57AM

    Great insight - and from someone who is only 2 days into Sparkpeople, thank you for that! Putting oneself first is a huge challenge to a lot of women, myself included. It is one of my goals this year as well. Good luck!

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MCHILSTR 1/2/2012 10:17AM

  Congratulations on breaking the "and more" pattern - I love your commitment to yourself, your honesty, your willingness share your vulnerability. I wish you all you want in 2012!

Thanks for the bog, it was a great way for me to start my year. emoticon

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CAROLYNINJOY1 1/2/2012 6:43AM

    What a heartfelt & well articulated blog! Thank you very much for your honesty.

I'll do what I can when I can to help & know you'll do the same for me.

Stay strong but be tender with yourself too.

Hugs & prayers. Injoy:) Carolyn emoticon

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MSROZZIE 1/2/2012 2:21AM

    Excellent Blog. Thanks for sharing your journey. Keep the faith. You are in my prayers. Spark On! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HONEYBEADS 1/1/2012 10:08PM

    I thank you for this blog. By continuing your journey you are a super hero. How easy it would be to throw up your hands and stop. But picking yourself up and nurturing hope in your heart you are a winner! God bless your efforts this year. You are a hero!

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GEORGIA_KAY 1/1/2012 9:55PM

    Dawn, you touched my heart with this honest and emotional blog. Not only that, but most of it--the losing, the re-gaining, the depression, financial problems, family problems, are things that I've experienced myself this past year. Thank you for putting so eloquently into words all the things I'm feeling right now too. The tips you share in this blog on how to be successful are all ones you learned the hard way, and I'm so grateful for you for sharing this pool of knowledge with us here. You are helping to light the way for others just starting out on their journey to better health.

2012 will be better for us both, old friend. I can feel it!

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LINDYPOWER 1/1/2012 5:50PM

    Such a heartfelt and honest blog. I can feel your frustrations and defeat, but I know you will not give up on yourself. Spend more time on your life and less time on SP. This is time consuming and we are sitting down while blogging and corresponding. I am going to limit myself to one hour a day on the computer and that means getting down to business and not lingering too much with the frivilous things that we can often become sidetracked with. My dear friend, I am here for you and willing to talk to you anytime you need support. I can private email my phone number to you if you need to talk.

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BILLB000 1/1/2012 5:42PM

    I like your blog and your heartfelt comments. I wish you all the success that you deserve in 2012. I have a feeling you are going to do well. I sense your desire to do well. God bless you in your journey.

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BAYBELIEVER 1/1/2012 5:05PM

    Dawn, I think this is a great blog! You are awesomely honest but also showing signs of forgiveness and understanding of what took you where. Excuses some might say, but if we learn from them, then they are just points of clarifying for each of us who go through this. SERIOUSLY! You are awesome and your honesty will help not only yourself but others.

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EVER-HOPEFUL 1/1/2012 2:55PM

    thanks for sharing and being open and honest not only will it make you feel better and help you to see things more clearly it will also help others like me who take the time to read this post.all i can say dawn is what you always say smile.it really does help.if there is ever anything i can do for you love you know where i am.take care and keep smiling emoticon emoticon

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DARA52 1/1/2012 1:49PM

    Stay true to yourself, Dawn. I gave up. But am now hoping I can climb back on the Spark People train and continue. Never forgot you. Nutrition tracker is going to be my BF!

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THINNER321 1/1/2012 12:59PM

  wow that is some year!! I wish the best for you and your family. I know that 2012 will be the beginning of great times to come. You seem very genuine and a really nice person, I'm sure you are!! emoticon

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MIZCATHI 1/1/2012 7:55AM

    I loved reading your fresh and honest blog today. I know that by taking action and making up your mind, as you have expressed here, will bring you closer to who you want to be - your wonderful healthy and loving self. Happy New Year!

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OPALMOON 1/1/2012 4:15AM

    Brilliant blog, Susie! You are an incredible inspiration to so many people. Thank you for your very honest account of your journey. As you say, you have broken a long-standing pattern, which is in itself an enormous achievement. You have a lot to be proud of! I am sure you will continue to make great progress, which is not only measured by a number on the scales.

Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy and blessed New Year and 2012.



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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 12/31/2011 11:10PM

    You are still an awesome inspiration for me and it has nothing to do with numbers on the scale!! I do know how frustrating it is to work as hard as you can without seeing a single change on the scale - I also had a stretch a few years back where I 'flatlined' for 8 months even though I was eating 'perfectly,' weighing and measuring every single bite and drop that went into my mouth, no cheating, and plenty of exercise - but for some reason, my body just would not respond and when I gave up, I gained it all back and then some.

But like you, I'm feeling hopeful about the future and I feel confident you can come back from this - you are NOT A FAILURE - in fact, I heard something I liked and will share it with you. Here's what FAIL means:



Have a fabulous 2012!!!

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CATEECHER 12/31/2011 10:19PM

    You are loved from near and far and I hope you know that. You do not ever have to say "I'm sorry" for weight gain. As you said, it is what it is. We move forward. I have missed your blogs and I hope you will return to sharing your journey with the SP community in the New Year. Please know that is helps others (including me). Bright Blessings to you, dear heart. Tomorrow is a new day. emoticon

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RFJSJ50 12/31/2011 9:07PM

    Thank you for being so honest. This is definitely a difficult journey with lots of ups and downs - emotionally as well as in pounds!
I had lost 100 pounds in my first year here but gained 30 back. I felt so disappointed and disgusted in myself that I closed my Spark account and totally reverted to old habits. That lasted about a day - I soon realized I needed the friendship and community of Spark to continue trying.
I'm working more on acceptance of myself at this point, learning to love and celebrate the me that I am. That's hard to do when you've never felt any value or worth as an individual, but I'm determined!
I look at 2012 as a new door opening - a new year to make new choices and move forward to the life I know I deserve to live.
Good luck to you and your "Serious Sisters." That support is fantastic and will move you all forward. I envy you!

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IUHRYTR 12/31/2011 8:04PM

    It is disappointing when our weight loss does not show a continuous drop but when that invariably happens the difference that distinguishes winners from others is that, like you, we do not give up but look back at all we have accomplished and push on for our next period of success. Shine on, Dawn. You have come a long way and have brought many of us along with you. When we see you are not giving up, then we don't want to, either. emoticon -- Lou

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 12/31/2011 6:22PM

    You are the brightest success story here at SparkPeople.

It isn't about weight.

It isn't about size.

It's about attitude and you, my dear friend, are a true winner in life!

I am "liking" this blog and hope it becomes a popular blog!

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FORMYDARLINGS 12/31/2011 4:39PM

    Dawn, Thank you for sharing your life with us. It really makes me realize how much more I can be doing for myself. I read you on being on too many teams and am dicontinuing some of mine too. You continue to inspire and I know that you will realize your dreams.


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LINDAKAY228 12/31/2011 4:26PM

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I have gained back 20 lbs over the past few months that I had lost also. I'm still down more than I gained. Although my gain is not as much as yours, and I can't say I feel what you feel because we can never fully feel what someone else feels, I can understand what you mean. I had a very rough year too, with lots of financial problems, one daughter and her 3 kids living with me all year and me supporting them then in September other daughter and 4 kids moving in with me also and I ended up also supporting them. December was a month of severe sicknesses in my daughters. One had to have a major surgery and one had stomach problems that we thought was the flu that lingered but finally found out was a bacterial infection brought on by some kind of tainted food or drink. Because it went on for almost a month before it was found we have no idea what it was. I had to supply presents for the grandkids or there would have been no Christmas. God provided for me when it would have been impossible because I was barely able to keep things somewhat afloat. But all those things added a lot of stress to my life also and I ate because of emotional issues and depression. I read through your lessons learned and some of those I also learned, but some were new and inspiring to me. You are so right in what you say. My support on SP is lifesaving for me. When I was out of town for 8 days while my daughter was in a hospital 2 hours from home in intensive care I blogged daily about what I was going through and the support from my family here really carried me through. But I've also dropped teams or responsibilities on teams that were just too much for me to keep up with. We can get carried away with too much sparking if we aren't careful. We have to stop at some point and take care of ourselves too.
You are always an inspiration. You are an inspiration in your honesty also and your sharing of yourself. May 2012 bring you blessings, and may you take care of yourself or you won't be able to take care of anyone else. I know that firsthand from times in my life. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
You don't have to respond to this because I know you have so much going on and have to limit your time. But I just want you to know that I am here with you in spirit.

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BESTCK 12/31/2011 3:13PM

    Dawn, you continue to inspire me. You've found the key - appreciate the progress you've made and don't give up. I hope 2012 is a spectacular year for you.

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MARYHOLMAN 12/31/2011 1:26PM

    I congratulate you on your positive attitude after enduring so many hardships. A strong support system is a blessing.

Best wishes for success in 2012 emoticon

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DIFROMWYOMING 12/31/2011 12:20PM

    I am so grateful that we are in this together, and I know that we SHALL overcome this year! The support and accountability are just what I needed in my life, and we do have lives worth saving. I love you, hang in thee with us!

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TRAVELNISTA 12/31/2011 11:52AM

    I know this was a very hard blog to write but it was emoticon. It showed all of us that no matter what you have gone through (and you have gone through a lot) to never give up. You are an inspiration to us all.

We have spoken at length on the phone about this. We have all gained, lost, regained and then some. We have all been there and done that or we wouldn't be on Spark People. I myself have lost 100 pounds twice and then gained back more. Wait there is more I have also done the same thing twice with 75 pounds.

As far as being disappointed in you, I think not. Your honesty has touched everyone's heart and your blogs will be showing everyone that if they too should stumble, you can always bounce back. It may be hard for them to do but you will be their shining example.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DONNA_VT 12/31/2011 10:39AM

    As always your blog is so full of honest reflection that it is inspiring to all who read it. I am glad you are making a plan that gives you more "Dawn time"
I will be wishing the best for you this upcoming year. I am always here for you if you need someone to chat with.

Happy New Year my friend!

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SECRETMUSIC 12/31/2011 9:19AM

    Dawn, I am so happy to hear you are resolving to write more blogs. At some point in your life, I wish for you the courage to make writing a part of your "career," because you do it very, very well!

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SEAWAVE 12/31/2011 8:24AM

    Thank you for being so frank in your blog. For me, it also tells the story of why we shouldn't just look at the weight as our barometer. Don't forget that muscle weighs more than fat; that could explain why you're slimmer but the same weight. I'm also sure you have more stamina and feel better than you did when you weighed more.

Also, I want to second the notion of stepping back (even from Spark) if it means taking better care of yourself. I had to step back when I returned to work because I just didn't have the stamina to do everything yet. Things are getting better, and I hope to be able to Spark more visibly in 2012.

Dawn, you're so awesome in so many ways. For 2012, I wish for you to never forget that but, if you do, we're here to remind you!


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BE-THE-CHANGE 12/31/2011 7:38AM

    You are one awesome lady, Dawn. I know it is hard for you to see, but we will remind you! Love you!
emoticon emoticon

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BARBARAROSE54 12/31/2011 6:32AM

    thank you for your honest blog. I've been down this road also.

All the best to you on your journey towards your healthy life.

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DONNELDA22 12/31/2011 5:34AM

    Dear Dawn

Thanks for sharing with us. It's easy to share when you have something to celebrate, but not so easy when it's confession time, but you did it any ways.
Let this be a wake up call for all of us. I myself managed to lose a bunch of weight and then put back on at least half of it. So I am back on the bandwagon with you.

2012 is going to be the best year ever for all of us.


emoticon emoticon

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WISLNDR 12/31/2011 5:28AM

    Thank you for sharing. I've thought about you a lot lately and wondered how things were going.

Like you, even though the scale has been moving in the wrong direction, I never gave up. Amazing enough, even though my eating hasn't been the best (but nothing like it used to be!) I continue to exercise. The fact that I never gave up tells me that 2011 was a success. I've learned new things about myself and am in a better place than I was a year ago this time. Non-scale victories has taken on a much different meaning for me in 2011.

I can see that 2011 left you in a better place too. So I guess now we take what we learned in the last couple of years and try to put it together to make 2012 our year!!

Let's have an outstanding 2012!!

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 12/31/2011 12:44AM

    Sounds like you have learned lots about you. You have made changes and will be able to make more changes. Keep moving forward. This will be the year to learn even more about yourself.

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VEGGIE_VIXEN 12/31/2011 12:16AM

I fell off the wagon so to speak with SP several months ago!
I am back due to health scares. A dear friend/coworker a year younger than I had a mini stroke and diagnosed with Congested Heart Failure. We had been complaining about the same thing, swelling in our legs!So now I am scared. My husband and I only recently got insurance. Effective Jan 1! So I made appointment to be checked out and I mean I want EVERYTHING checked out. Good, bad, or indifferent..I want to know the truth.
So here I am.
I am over 300 pounds easily. I can ID with all of your concerns and defeats!
We spoke one time before about water aerobics.
I fell out of my water classes letting money be a factor but it really wasnt. I have a Y membership so now I am going to go and just do my own thing in the water.
If nothing else it releases my built up tension.
Thank you for your blog today!
I hear what you are saying and I am here with ya!

Stay strong, breathe deep, and rest well!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRINGUITA 12/30/2011 11:47PM

    Many years ago I lost 100 lbs and then over the years I yo-yoed my way back up and more -- a 100 lbs more. I have always been on a diet -- at one time I think I had been on them all but now there are so many more diets out there that I can't say that anymore. All I can do is what works for me and when I slip and gain then I have to get back on the band wagon and do it again. I have been here on SparkPeople for quite a while now and I weigh less than I did when I started and that was less than I was at my highest. Has my weight loss been straight down? No, not at all. I have hit plateaus, had some gains and some losses. Fortunately the losses have been bigger than the gains and the overall trend is down. Will I ever get down to my lowest weight? -- probably not -- but I will continue to improve my health so that I can enjoy my life and as I get healthier the weight will come off.

Dawn I know you can do it and I know I can do it too. Concentrate on eating for health and the weight will take care of itself.

You continue to be an inspiration to me.

Love and hugs,

Bev Anne


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TEDYBEAR2838 12/30/2011 11:34PM

You are an awesome person. We love you, I love you!
Your store is like so many others. Some come out and
Say it, which I think is a big thing for you. I know in the
End it will help you tremendously!

I will always try to be there for you, my Sister Spark Friend!

I know we can ALL DO THIS! I know you are a success. I know
you have had struggles but GOD is bigger than anything we could
face and we don't have to face it alone! AMEN!


Love, Nan

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GRANDMA_SANDY48 12/30/2011 11:02PM

    Hello Dawn

Thanks for sharing. Your blog is great and inspiring. You are an inspiration. Today I have made the decision to track all food and try my best to stick to the calories.

Sandra emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 12/30/2011 10:58PM

    Dawn you are just incredible. I am glad you are seeing your 2011 with a positive out look, as you should. Am wishing you the best in 2012. Take care of you, as you said you would. emoticon

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SIMPLE_IS_BEST 12/30/2011 10:58PM

    I had no idea everything you've been through this year! You are an amazing woman. You can't take care of anyone else unless you are taking care of yourself first. You need to concentrate on yourself. Keep up the good attitude and keep trying!
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SUSIEPH1 12/30/2011 10:53PM

    I am wishing you all the very best in your quest for Health and Fitness .
Also wishing you and your family all the good things that 2012 can bring ..
Hugs Susie

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LOOZINITNOW 12/30/2011 10:45PM

    Thank you for being so honest and sticking it out no matter what. We are here for you day in and day out and through the good and the bad. Prayers for a very blessed New Year ahead! emoticon

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Brake Failure..... I'm grateful

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Today the brakes went out in my van. Oh, they were grinding earlier in the week & I knew that they needed to be replaced but today.... there were NO brakes! Very scary to have to drive slowly & carefully to work, then dentist, then to the repair shop. By the time that I got to the repair shop I was feeling tense & stressed. I brought the van to a slow but rolling stop at the shop and breathed a sigh of relief. They spent over 6 hours working on the van while I sat in their waiting room and in the end it was still not fixed due to serious complications and one of the mechanics' fiancee drove me home. I won't be able to get the van until sometime late tomorrow.

I am grateful!

Why? Because, despite the fact that the brakes went out and it's going to cost me more money than expected due to the complications: 1. I didn't have an accident. 2. I got the van to the shop safely. 3. I have been able to make arrangements with various people for rides to & from work for Becca (DIL), Paul (DH) and myself tomorrow. 4. The Granddaughters' dad is off work tomorrow so I don't have to pick them up from the bus stop. 5. I actually have money in the bank to be able to pay for the repair work. 6. The mechanics were very nice & helpful and when something got damaged by their machine they agreed that they will not charge me extra for the repairs.

I am also grateful that I got to have a long talk with the mechanic about the van and all the money that I have poured into it this year. I was feeling a bit down about the fact that I have spent more money on the van than I paid for it originally AND more than the blue book value on it now. He made a very positive & valuable point to me. He said that I have repaired the two main problems that vans like mine have and that the money that I am spending now is just to take care of things that will always go wrong, minor things. This is a vehicle that I bought from the original owner, whom I know and trust, and now have been taking care of myself. I know the history of this vehicle and he says that if I keep up with it, it will last me a long time. WOW! This really put my mind at ease during a difficult & stressful event that in the past would have derailed my eating easily. Instead of rushing next door to the fast food joint while waiting... I sat in the waiting room and read my book. I AM GRATEFUL!!!!

I am also grateful that I got back to work at the Y today and was able to get in some good exercise. I woke up very sore this morning (results of yesterday's fall) and it felt really GREAT to be able to workout and stretch those muscles. I have a lot more bruises today than yesterday and was more sore in places that I didn't realize I had hurt yesterday. I am grateful that I have a job that allows me to take care of ME and work out the kinks. I'm also grateful to the ladies in my water aerobic classes that shared good wish with me and told me that they had been praying for me. I feel very blessed that I didn't break anything yesterday when I fell and that I am able to function in my job and my day to day life.

Today is just another example of putting positive thinking into action and remembering to count my blessings and make my gratitude list. I am grateful that I am focused on this right now because it is definitely helping me to stay away from emotional/compulsive overeating and on track. I am so grateful!

Bright blessings to you all. Thank you for being here for me. Love, Dawn

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOATS03 12/17/2011 9:37PM

    Yes, Thank God that you are safe. I love your positiveness..thanks for sharing.

Merry Xmas

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ENUFF81020 12/17/2011 8:22PM

    Hi Dawn,
I have learned that no matter what the vehicle is and if you bought it new or used, and sometimes even its age--you will have things to deal with. It is also a funny thing that each vehicle seems to have its own special irritating needs that seem to be almost repetitive.
I have driven a car that lost its brakes and it is a nerve wracking, intense, and frightening ordeal. You did good to get it to the mechanic. I am blessed with a son and husband who can do the repairs which saves money, but parts are pricey too.
Mostly, even though I haven't been by lately because my life has been hectic beyond reason between going back to school, my kids, work and two surgeries this month--I am thankful that you are here finding the silver lining as always. It is there if we look for it. I am learning one handed typing again, which is an interesting experience. I am lucky to be online and able to type anything!
Gentle hugs,

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LMSTRAW 12/13/2011 11:51PM

    So thankful you got through this safely! I remembe a year ago, when you had no transportation at all, no job and no money. God IS good, Dawn, and He will see you through! Take care my friend, and have a wonderful holiday!

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TRACYZABELLE 12/12/2011 7:10AM

    I am going thisweek to get mine done :)

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MRS*RADISH 12/4/2011 10:43AM

  Love this blog post, Dawn! So sorry I missed it before...It has a wonderful message for all of us to remember! I love your positive attitude - it's contagious!

So glad everything worked out well for you in the end. I have to believe your thought process really helped make it all happen the way it did. Congrats, Dawn...Hope you're enjoying the holiday season!


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SEAWAVE 12/3/2011 10:38AM

    I've come to realize that it's not what happens to you, it's how you chose to react to it. You have such an amazing, positive attitude -- it's inspiring to read your posts.

Keep smiling, and I hope you've healed from your fall...

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DONNELDA22 12/2/2011 7:48AM

    So sorry to hear that you hurt yourself last month.

Hope you are feeling much better now. emoticon

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MELLYBEANS0919 11/19/2011 4:12PM

    You are so positive, I love that. I hope the van is fixed soon!

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NPA4LOSS 11/17/2011 9:56AM

    emoticon emoticon and emoticon

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SECRETMUSIC 11/13/2011 7:33AM

    Dawn, it is so amazing to read your blog, having been on this journey with you since the days you had a serious wound and needed a wheelchair to navigate. You are an intrepid soul!

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SUNSET24 11/9/2011 8:07AM

    thank god you are safe, lawrd. amen! hugsssssssssssssssss

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IUHRYTR 11/6/2011 8:31PM

    Hard to believe the brakes went out again. Let's hope they're fixed properly this time. Glad there were no accidents. -- Lou

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    emoticon attitude!

Love you!

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DONNA_VT 11/6/2011 4:42PM

    Another wacky ride with Dawn . . . . .so glad you are safe and the van is able to be fixed. You are a rock and my idol for the power of positive thinking!

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MMRB7111 11/6/2011 7:43AM

    Dawn, I am so glad you are safe and you were able to get the van to the shop without an accident. Things seems to be working out for your life ........I am very glad too because you truly deserve it.

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1BEACHWALKER 11/6/2011 1:49AM

    Glad you weren't hurt worse in your fall and was able to work out the kinks. You are more fit now and that helps in situations like that! Glad you were able to get the van to the shop and all is going to work out!! Hope your injuries heal quickly! emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 11/5/2011 4:27PM

    WOW, you really do have a lot to be grateful for! emoticon

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DYNAMICDEB53 11/5/2011 12:16AM

    Dawn so glad you are safe and able to afford the needed repairs. Sorry you are dealing with it. Yes there is a lot to be grateful for.
Hugs and smiles

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GRANDMA_SANDY48 11/4/2011 10:55PM

    So glad you were safe in your van and that while you are still sore, you were able to stretch. I too am grateful that I came across your blog emoticon

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SUSAN134 11/4/2011 9:20PM

    Like the others, I'm incredibly grateful that when the brakes failed, you
were able to limp into a shop with it. I'm also grateful that you ALWAYS look on the bright side of things and inspire us to be positive too!

Thank you my friend!


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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 11/4/2011 8:27PM

    I am so glad you are safe! Wow, no brakes could be disaster! I'm also glad your mechanic was reassuring about fixing your van - it's funny how some vehicles just seem to go and go and go! My son bought an old old Ford van for $500 about 6 yrs ago and drove it for more than 3 yrs before it needed any repairs - my husband is driving an old Mercedes with several hundred thousand miles on it, although it has needed some expensive repairs - still less expensive than buying a new one, for sure! Sounds like yours will keep going for a long time - thanks for sharing your gratitudes!!

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LINDAKAY228 11/4/2011 12:43PM

    So glad that you got safely to the shop and that the outlook overall for the van is very positive. My 1999 Nissan Sentra has been good to me (bought it 3 years ago) and has taken me many places and I keep hoping and praying nothing happens because I don't have money to replace it either. In a perfect world we would both be driving brand new vehicles with warranties but this is real life LOL! One time a number of years ago in another car the accelerator got stuck on my vehicle and that was scary riding the brake and trying to keep it slowed down through traffic to get to the shop. I know how tense and stressed you were yesterday dealing with no brakes. But God is good and overall we are taken care of.

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SA9CHI 11/4/2011 11:58AM

    thank goodness you brought your van in the shop when you did!

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BARBARAROSE54 11/4/2011 11:17AM

    emoticon keep staying positive!

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TRAVELNISTA 11/4/2011 9:15AM

    I am just in awe of you and how well you handle obstacles. emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA0818 11/4/2011 8:09AM

    Great way to look at things that happen to you Dawn! A lot of people would be pretty happy to have six hours to read (I'm one of them). Turning every occasion into an occasion to give thanks is a wonderful way to go through life.

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WENDYLEE15 11/4/2011 7:48AM

    So glad you are safe!! What a blessing!! Have a wonderful day !!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 11/4/2011 5:29AM

    Thank goodness you are OK and got to the repair shop safely. It sounds like this is the last of the major van problems so that is great news! I hope your bruises heal quickly.

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WISLNDR 11/4/2011 4:09AM

    Wow, 2 blogs in a row!! You and I are on a roll (It's 6 or 7 days for me!!) I'm glad you got some good news about the van and it's safe again; it's hard to know when it's time to throw in the towel but it sounds like that's not going to be an issue for you!!

Thanks for sharing, have a great weekend!!

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MT-MOONCHASER 11/4/2011 12:29AM

    I am grateful that even though you had a serious problem with your car, it wasn't wrecked and you were able to get it to a mechanic.

I will be forever grateful that I happened upon your blog and Spark page somehow and have been inspired by your story.



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DIFROMWYOMING 11/3/2011 11:00PM

    I'm trying to catch up after being stranded in a storm, but I was grateful we got almost the very last rooms in town so we were safe and dry, and got home safely.
I'm grateful that you are not injured badly, that you arrived safe to the mechanics and that you are finishing some things on your car that will make it a safe mode of transportation for you.
Friends never stop caring.

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SUSIEPH1 11/3/2011 10:13PM

Glad you are safe Dawn .. You are in the best job to take care of you!!
Water is wonderful to help Aches and Pains!
I also love to swim .
Hopefully I can be back in the pool really soon!!
Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon

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VAMANOS 11/3/2011 10:12PM

    I am grateful that you are safe and unhurt, other than soreness from the fall, which I'm sorry about. Years and years ago, I drove a van that would leak out all the brake fluid at varying speeds, so that the brakes would fail without warning. One minute, I'm braking ok at a stop sign and the next, no brakes at all. I would have to run the thing into a curb to stop. Luckily, it was a small town. So glad yours are getting fixed!

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LJCANNON 11/3/2011 10:06PM

    emoticonI am so glad that you are safe, and that the van will be up and running soon.
emoticonKeeping you in prayer that you will heal quickly!!

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46SHADOW 11/3/2011 10:04PM

    Love your attitude! i could use a little of that right now!

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YATMAMA 11/3/2011 10:04PM

    I'm so sorry you fell and got hurt. I hope you will begin to see improvement quickly. That 100 pound difference could very well have saved you broken bones or worse. Thank God for the victories you have achieved!! I am SO proud of you. A good prognosis from your mechanic is as exciting as one from your doctor or computer repairman. lol What a relief that is!! *HUG* I am so happy for you, dear one. I love you to pieces.

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FALLING DOWN..... I'm grateful

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Today I fell. It was a hard fall. I tripped over the dog's chain & landed hard on my knee, the one that I fell on several years ago & crushed. I landed not only on my knee, but on top of some of the grandchildrens' bikes so hard that I knocked the bike handle bars through the front screen & window. SIGH. My ankle is scraped up & bloody. My thigh is bruised badly. My right elbow & shoulder are sore. What a way to start the day.

I am grateful!

Why? Because when I fell, in 2007 I was hurt MUCH worse. I weighed over 100 pounds more. If I had not found Spark People and lost weight, this morning's fall would have done much more damage than it did. I am very very grateful.

This month, the Alternate Challenge in the 50 Pound Challenge team asks us to write a blog about our gratitudes. I have so many. I would never have the time or the space to write about all the things that I am grateful for. However, I would like to list some of them. I would also challenge you to take tiMme to do the same. FOcusing on the things that bless our lives and make us grateful helps to elevate our Positive Mental Attitudes. Staying positive helps keeps us happy & motivated.

My greatest gratitude is based on my family. I am blessed to have 2 wonderful sons. Wonderful because of the love that we share. Our lives have been chaotic at best. We have never had a lot of money or "things" but we have had a LOT of love. They bless my life daily. I am blessed to have 9 beautiful grandchildren. Five of them are in my life daily and my heart swells everytime that I think of them. There are 4 others in Tidewater that unfortunately I don't get to see very often. In fact, it's been years since I've seen them but they are in my heart daily. In the past I have not been able to give much to them. I have let the fact that there is no money stop me from staying in better contact with them. I have learned, recently, that I need to share my LOVE with them MORE than I need to give them "stuff". I hope to find a way to reach out to them in love and to get to know them better. I am grateful that there are avenues for me to use to do that through the internet & the mail. I am grateful for my grandchildren's parents & step-parents. My grandchildren are the light of my world. I am so grateful for them, words cannot express my true love for them. I have lost my brother but still love him more than I can ever express. He is in my heart always. I am grateful for the life & love that we shared while he was alive. I am grateful for my sister. She lives far away & we rarely talk, but I love her and am grateful that we are able to reach out to one another and are building a better relationship now that we are older. I am grateful for my husband. He is a hardworking, honest and extremely patient man. I love that we never argue. I am blessed to have him in my life.

My second greatest gratitude is my job. I am blessed to be working at the YMCA where I teach both water aerobics and swimming lessons. Most of you already know about my job. For those of you who are just getting to know me, believe this...I LOVE MY JOB! Where else could some one work not only with people that they enjoy working FOR but working WITH people that have become pieces of my heart? The students in my water aerobic classes are precious to me beyond words. I love them. I enjoy teaching the little children swim lessons, but this last session, I have been blessed to begin teaching Adult swim lessons. I AM SO BLESSED! Teaching these very special ladies has blessed my heart and my life beyond measure. Watching them progress, little by little, has touched me.. made me cry with joy.. made me proud beyond words. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would one day have a job that would give me EVERYTHING that I ever needed. It helps me financially, and that is a necessary evil. It helps me physically by helping me get fit & healthy... I get to exercise DAILY! It has helped me emotionally by bringing me friends.. NO FAMILY OF CHOICE.. to love and cherish. I am grateful!

My next big gratitude is for my friends. I am not always a good friend to others. I stay too busy. It seems that I am running all the time. I have become a human-doing for the most part. However, I have been blessed with some very special people in my life who I call my friends. I am grateful to them for being patient with me and for loving me in spite of myself. To all of those who have been my friends through out the years... THANK YOU. To those of you who have become my friends recently... bear with me and KNOW that I am committed to trying harder to be a better friend. I am learning that respect and gratitude are vital to good friendships. I will do my best to reach out more and share more of MYSELF with you. I love you all. Thank you for being a part of my life.

The list could go on and on but these three GRATITUDES are the greatest in my world.

Finally, I am grateful beyond words for Spark People. I have found motivation, support, guidance, friendship, information, and so much more here. The teams that I am on have become vital to my day to day life. The friends that I have made here, despite never having met "in real life" are important to me and I love YOU. My weight loss has been stalled for a long time now but I accept that I am the fault. I have allowed stress to derail my efforts and am committed to making some serious changes. I am grateful for the articles that I read and the information that I get through Spark People. I am grateful for the blogs that I read and the stories that you share. I am grateful for everything that is Spark People and the PEOPLE of spark! Thank you for all that you give to me and to this site. Thank you for sharing your journeys here. We ALL need one another.

Bright blessings to you all. I am so grateful. I love you. Dawn

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEGGIE_VIXEN 12/31/2011 12:48AM

    Isnt it something that as younger people we do not truly appreciate or understand fully what it means to be GRATEFUL??
I was just thinking about myself when I asked that question.
It was not until just recently that I asked myself what I am grateful for in my life! Your listing and naming just a few gives me an idea to post mine on my Spark Page as well.

Thanks for the inspirations and for being YOU!


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HONEYBEADS 12/30/2011 5:57PM

    We are grateful for you, too!

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ENUFF81020 12/17/2011 8:29PM

    Wow, that fall was a doozy. I did one myself the other day at the grocery store made quite a scene. I am bruised and have found places that hurt that are surprising me. (I blogged about my fall too.) I am thankful that I am still able to walk and that I didn't damage the hardware in my knees and back. If I still had another 140 pounds that are gone, I think I would have done a great deal more damage too.
I always love to see thanks for SP. We have found a lifetime keeper in this site and I am blessed to be able to go and touch base with so many good friends who are around and available when I am free to say "hi!"
Merry Christmas to you and all of your family!
Gentle hugs,

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MELLYBEANS0919 11/19/2011 4:14PM

    I am so sorry you hurt yourself, but thankful it was not as bad as it could have been in the past. Take time to heal. Rest. And I am thankful for YOU and your positivity that abounds. You really show me how to look at life.

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MMRB7111 11/6/2011 5:52AM

    Dawn, I am so glad you did not hurt yourself as badly as any fall can cause. Get lots of rest and take care of yourself during this recovery.

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GRANDMA_SANDY48 11/4/2011 10:50PM

    So glad you weren't hurt more badly. It could have been so much worse. I also admire your blog - I have read this one and today's. I will add some things to mine that I am grateful for - and try to do the same each day for the challenge. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BESTCK 11/4/2011 8:30AM

    Another fine example about different ways to look at a situation. I'm glad you were able to work things out and that you have such a wonderful, trustworthy mechanic.

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BE-THE-CHANGE 11/4/2011 5:28AM

    I am grateful for you and your friendship.

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    I am grateful for finding you Dawn. Your adventure continues to inspire me. Hope you heal quickly!

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DYNAMICDEB53 11/3/2011 7:12PM

    HUGS!!!! for your soreness that it will be feeling better soon and just for Dawn exiting in my world and being my friend.
Yes I am grateful to have you!
Smiles and love

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TEDYBEAR2838 11/3/2011 6:13PM

    We all have so much to be grateful for. I'm so glad you shared them with all of us. You have had so many challenges and you come through them all with head held high and a RIGHT ON ATTITUDE!


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SUSUSUZZZIE 11/3/2011 4:02PM

    I am so grateful for finding your blog today. What wonderful gratitudes you have to share. And thank you for sharing how much you love your job - I really-really needed this as well!

I'm sorry about your fall and I hope you mend very-very soon.

Thanks you for taking the time to share!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 11/3/2011 12:32PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your gratitudes - and I'm sorry about your fall, but hope you heal quickly!

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TRAVELNISTA 11/3/2011 10:50AM

    You constantly amaze me how you consistently make lemonade out of the lemons life has handed you.

Mend quickly my friend and thank God you didn't hurt yourself and more than what you did. Also praying the repairs to the window and screen don't cost that much as I know money is tight further adding to your stress. I know it is the least little thing that can push us over the edge. I had a mini meltdown over money this morning and that one little thing which was big to me pushed me right over.
emoticon emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 11/3/2011 10:48AM

    I am so glad that you weren't hurt more seriously. I liked reading through your gratitudes. I also have grandkids that live a few states away and hardly get to see. I have a 5 year old granddaughter I've only seen once a few years ago and a grandson a year and a half I haven't seen at all yet. (I have seen pics of both but it's not the same as being with them, talking to them, hugging them) I have 2 others in another state that I haven't seen in almost 2 years. that's the way life is sometimes. Money is tight and I haven't been able to send them things like I would like or travel to see them. But you are right about the ways to try to stay connected and let them know we love them.

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STARSAPPHIRE57 11/3/2011 10:36AM

    I too am grateful that your injuries were not worse! Wonderful blog-thanks for sharing! Blessings, Pam

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/3/2011 10:14AM

    Wonderful blog!

Sorry you fell but thankful too that you didn't get as hurt as last time!

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DEBRA0818 11/3/2011 9:15AM

    First, I'm sorry you had a tumble and best wishes for a speedy recovery. Those sudden injuries can be quite disruptive. Second, great connection between a lower body weight and less risk for injury. It is one of my great motivations considering that when I had surgery a year ago I was very aware of how every extra ounce made the surgery more difficult and the recovery extra uncomfortable. I don't want to be there again!

Cheers, Debra
emoticon emoticon

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OPALMOON 11/3/2011 9:04AM

    Brilliant blog, Dawn! I hope that leg gets better soon. How wonderful to be able to see the positive things in your life all the same - good on you, you are such an inspiration. I too am so thankful for the support from my Spark friends!
Take care, hope you heal soon.

Hugs and blessings, Nattacia

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SIMPLE_IS_BEST 11/3/2011 8:16AM

    We all have so much to be grateful for! I'm grateful that you were not seriously injured when you fell. Be careful out there, and have a good day!

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BESTCK 11/3/2011 8:07AM

    Owch! Dawn, that sounds terrible, but I know what you mean. It could have been so much worse.

Your blog is inspiring. I wish we lived closer so I could attend your lessons. A teacher that feels this way about what she does is a blessing.

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SECRETMUSIC 11/3/2011 7:52AM

    Hope your injuries heal quickly, Dawn!

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BARBARAROSE54 11/3/2011 6:49AM

    Ouch, hope you are okay. Love your grateful list emoticon

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WISLNDR 11/3/2011 5:22AM

    Falling Down and Getting Back Up - isn't it awesome???? Wonderful blog, I'm grateful for you!!

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PAULAAUTUMN 11/3/2011 4:19AM

    So pleased you are not seriously hurt you sound like a caring person see you at the Chair exercise team take care of that leg emoticon

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SA9CHI 11/3/2011 1:35AM

    Thank goodness nothing is broken! Take care of yourself and give yourself time to heal. emoticon

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GRINGUITA 11/3/2011 1:01AM

    I'm glad you were not more seriously hurt. I, too, am grateful for firiends and I am grateful to call you one of those friends.

Bev Anne

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SUSIEPH1 11/2/2011 11:26PM

    So Sorry Dawn!! That sounds like a bad fall !
I hope you have not done any lasting damage I am so glad you are happy in your life.
Your Job sounds just awesome!
Take Care ...
Hugs Susie emoticon

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DONNA_VT 11/2/2011 10:49PM

    Glad to hear that you were not seriously hurt. You always find the positive . . . I love that about you my friend. emoticon

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LVMAMAW 11/2/2011 10:45PM

    What a great blog!! Thank you for sharing! Praying for your healing. So sorry to hear of your fall. So glad you are mostly okay. Take care. emoticon emoticon

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ANNEBURNELL 11/2/2011 10:20PM

    Wonderful expressions. Thank you for sharing, and I do hope that you are icing your bruises. Yikes!


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Thursday, September 01, 2011

September is normally BACK TO SCHOOL month.... truthfully, my grandchildren all went back to school in mid or late August, but I always went back to school just after Labor Day. We looked forward to the end of the school year because we wanted to enjoy the FUN of summer... then by the end of summer.. we looked forward to Labor day for the big family cookouts followed by BACK TO SCHOOL. Despite my advanced years and having long since stopped going to school, I always feel nostalgic about getting back to the old grindstone and furthering my education.

THIS MIND SET has sparked the idea for my 50 Pound Challenge Team's September Alternate Challenge. It's my idea that we get back to basics...Using our Food & Water Trackers daily, Using our Fitness/Exercise Trackers daily... and then BLOGGING 1 time per week about how we are "furthering our educations" through Spark. I am hoping that folks will use their imaginations and share their experience, strength & hope with all of us. We can learn by reading one another's blogs. We can learn by reading articles here on the SparkPeople website. We can learn be reading the posts of our team members. Remember...it never hurts to try new things, experience new foods & fitness techniques, ask questions, share ideas. OPEN YOUR MIND and expand your program. We're NEVER TO OLD to learn!!!!

August was a very VERY busy month for me. It was stressful & difficult but it was also BLESSED. Paul is still unemployed but has been job hunting daily. He did get approved for unemployment benefits AND he has a job interview on Saturday morning for a full-time position. (Please keep him in your prayers) We were blessed because his boss at AutoZone DID give him an extra day per week so he has been working part-time 2 days a week instead of 1 and that has helped. Becca, my DIL, is still working full-time at her new job and is liking it. She's been up and ready every day and despite the fact that I've been having to get up really early to drive her to work (before 6am daily) it has been a real blessing that she has been working all month AND helping with the bills. The YMCA Child Watch program has just started back up and those hours will help replace the summer outdoor pool hours that I will be losing this week. This is a BIG blessing because every hour counts and I am so blessed to have a job that I LOVE so dearly. The Y has truly saved my life on so many levels. Michael, my son, is not working but has been being "MR MOM" and helping around the house. I have been babysitting Aurora (the youngest granddaughter) daily when I get done working at the Y and that has been a blessing too. She is keeping me young and shows me more spontaneous love than I have ever received. She has definitely got my heart with both hands! The other grandchildren are all back in school & we are back to our routines of meeting the bus, doing homework, playing at the pool and just having fun being together. Despite the stress of all the running around sometimes.... my grandchildren are absolutely the greatest blessing in my life. Savannah, the eldest... was baptised last Sunday... Aurora, the youngest... was dedicated last Sunday... all of my "Martinsville" family was in church at the same time & THAT was amazing.. and followed on the footsteps of a week that included an earthquake AND a hurricane in VA. Speaking of the Hurricane.... I have a son, 5 grandchildren, and my best friend & her family all living in Tidewater VA which was very hard hit by the hurricane. ANOTHER BLESSING is that everyone seems to be safe & sound with little damage that I have heard about. I haven't heard from a couple of them, but I am believing that no news is good news.

It's September 1st. August is behind us. Summer is all but gone. Have I lost weight? NO. Have I worked out daily? YES. Have I tracked my food & fitness? YES. Have I drank my water & plenty of it? YES. Have I Sparked to the best of my ability? YES. AM I HAPPY????? YES YES YES AM I BLESSED? YES YES YES!

My PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) is soaring! I am counting my blessings. I am focusing on doing BETTER and trying harder and letting go of my worries and stress. Thank you for being here for me my friends. WITHOUT YOU... my life would be "less". YOU... my family of choice.. are DEFINITELY counted among my greatest blessings! I LOVE YOU ALL!

Bright blessings to you all, Dawn

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDABENEDICT 10/12/2011 7:43PM

    you are just AWESOME !!!!!

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WALNUT5612 10/6/2011 3:08PM

    ....'My PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) is soaring!'....That's great!!!

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SUNSET24 9/26/2011 7:32AM

    MORE Blessings to you as well sweet angel , hugsssssssss

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MEOWMAMA3 9/25/2011 11:08AM

    Hi Dawn, I think about you so often girl, but my life is awhirl as well and the Sparking time is precious. Glad to hear you're mentally and physically in such a happy place. You are a wonder! Spark on sister! emoticon

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MOMKAT4310 9/9/2011 9:31PM

    I am glad to read that things have been positive. I read many positives in your post here. Having been there many times, I know there are worse things than having lost a job in the family. Blessings to you. And many thanks for your inspiration.

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TRACYZABELLE 9/7/2011 8:08AM

    Sept is back on track time for me with my daddy returning to Fl! ahhhhhh

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    You are such a wonderful inspiration! No matter what the difficulties you always find the positives and make me realize that I'm blessed, too. I'm especially blessed to have you for a SparkFriend!!

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CATEECHER 9/5/2011 12:55PM

    Blessings to you also! Labor day is always the "start" for me, much more than Jan 1. It is always a coming back to center, to routine, to normal. I enjoy having my summer time but I do like to get back to my normal. Hope september is filled with love, laughter and fitness for you. So very happy to hear you talk about your PMA!!! Warms my heart.

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EUPHRATES 9/5/2011 6:52AM

    You never cease to amaze and inspire me lady. :)

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1BEACHWALKER 9/4/2011 10:06PM

    emoticonDawn! Glad things are on the up and up for you and your family. Hopefully your husband will get that job and all will be even better for you! I love that fall is on the way-my fave season!! Now I can start getting out and walking outside more, once it starts to get into the 80's more and not be 117 heat index like it has lately!
I am so glad to have found SP for so many reasons and reading blogs is what really keeps me motivated-especially when I read ones like yours! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/4/2011 10:07:02 PM

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    What an inspiration you are - thanks for sharing yourself with us!!


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IUHRYTR 9/3/2011 8:13PM

    Dawn, you are a sterling example of a person who recognizes that life's positives do not necessarily have to be huge ones. Many people sadly miss out on feeling blessed because they fail to focus on all of the small positives in their lives. Good going! -- Lou

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CELIA1975 9/3/2011 2:36PM

    I love it that you count your blessings and you are truly grateful for the life God has given you. Continue to use your gifts to help others and to inspire. I feel uplifted after reading your blog. And though I am thankful for my life and I communicated that to God today, your blog made me even more thankful for my blessings.

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DYNAMICDEB53 9/2/2011 4:16PM

    Dawn yes remember the big Labor Day weekend and then back to school. Weird today for most kids.
I do your back to basics challenge especially blogging on how we are continuing our healthy education.
I am glad that your family and friends are safe. Keeping good thoughts and prayers for hubby and the job hunt.
You are just wonderful and love to read about your life and your enthusiasum with life. I am so glad you are here.

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LINDAKAY228 9/2/2011 9:34AM

    Kids seem to go back to school earlier and earlier. My grandkids went back August 10th this year. It used to be more around the 20th.
Glad that you're feeling so positive and in spite of some trials you've had so many blessings too. The Lord really does take care of us!

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    You are such a blessing to all of us, here at SparkLand and wherever you shine your inner glow!

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WISLNDR 9/2/2011 7:05AM

    So many thing to be grateful about!! I'm happy that things are looking manageable for you and that you've had some nice family times. Good times, keep 'em coming!!

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MS_SWEETHEART 9/2/2011 1:11AM

    Love that positive attitude! Congratulations on all of you and your family's blessings, and I wish Paul much success on his interview. Stay positive, and have a beautiful weekend. emoticon

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    Love your positive attitude. Keep my fingers crossed that your husband gets that job. Have a great Labor Day Weekend.

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-ICANDOIT- 9/2/2011 12:27AM

    I love your attitude!
You are an amazing person- and a blessing to so many of us!!
Happy September!

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YATMAMA 9/1/2011 9:09PM

    I am so thankful that the whole family is safe. Thank God!! I love, love, love this time of year, settling into school routines, leaving for the pool at 7 every weekday morning, football games to watch on the weekends, and hopefully, eventually, MAYBE some cooler temps. Please, God! lol What an incredible blessing to have your grandbabies baptized and dedicated, and with the whole family together, no less. That is AWESOME!! I pray the doors open for Paul's new job quickly. Thank God for the unemployment relief. I know that helps a bit. Love you bunches, my friend!!



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MMRB7111 9/1/2011 9:01PM

    Dawn, i am happy members of you family are working. I will be praying Paul interview go well and an job offer.


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TEDYBEAR2838 9/1/2011 8:58PM

    You definitely are a bright light in a negative world.!

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TEDYBEAR2838 9/1/2011 8:52PM

    Thanks for having such a positive outlook!

Richest blessings are wished for you.

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BARBARAROSE54 9/1/2011 8:40PM


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DONNA_VT 9/1/2011 8:33PM

    So happy to see a blog from you today . . . .I have often wondered how you are doing but didn't want to pester you . . . glad to hear that you are still smiling . . . good luck to Paul this weekend! Miss you on our team!

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SUSAN134 9/1/2011 8:19PM

    I love reading your writings Dawn. Your *PMA* is contagious and shines through every word. I always feel better after one of your postings. We are so blessed to have you here on Spark People!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 9/1/2011 8:12PM

    You always find the positive in whatever curveball life throws you. That is why you are so inspirational my friend. Happy to hear things are looking better. Praying that Paul does get that full time job. Sending hugs and prayers your way. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 9/1/2011 7:50PM

    This really made me smile. I hope things continue to go so well and even get better.

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    Your blogs always make me smile Dawn. Your family is finally working together to help your family survive. I am so glad you are at the Y and I just know your DH will find more work very soon. You deserve a blessed life and I believe you have one.


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NPA4LOSS 9/1/2011 7:43PM

    emoticon for all the positive thoughts. Let's keep positive thoughts about leaving our plateaus behind! emoticon

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NO_SNOW_BODY 9/1/2011 7:22PM

    Enjoyed the blog. Glad you have a positive attitude.

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CTUPTON 9/1/2011 7:22PM

    You are the bright dawn that shows up regularly! emoticon


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BE-THE-CHANGE 9/1/2011 6:53PM

    Great blog, Dawn! I am looking forward to weekly ones from you!

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Monday, August 01, 2011

July was a rough month for me. I spent most of the month overstressed, overtired, run ragged, depressed and frustrated. TOO MUCH DOING & not enough "being". I used to have a therapist who would remind me that I needed to spend more time as a Human BEing and less of a human DOing. I've spoken before about my feelings that if I keep moving "they can't get me"... whomever they may be.

The worst of July was the HEAT combined with the fact that I spent 5-nights a week sleeping in the van in Stuart where my DH was working. It was really dragging me down. I was hurting all the time & it was getting worse. I was having to use my cane all the time again. Much prayer was lifted up that I would not have to continue to make that long drive & sleep in that van.....

Be careful what you pray for..... Thursday my DH lost his job. On the bright side.. I no longer have to make that long drive & I don't have to sleep in the van anymore! emoticon That is DEFINITELY prayers being answered. The fact that I now have to figure out how to support a family of 6 on less than $800 per month adds to stress... but after only 3 days of sleeping in my own bed, I am already hurting less & able to leave the cane alone more and more.

The positives in my life for July....

I had 4 grandchildren celebrate birthdays! Mallory, Lilianna, McKayla & Aurora. That's something to be grateful for!

My friend Ruth, who also celebrated a birthday in July, came out of the coma that she was in & while she is suffering from pretty extensive brain damage, she is doing much better than was expected. More answers to prayer. I got to visit her on Saturday at an assisted living facility where she is now staying. We had a wonderful visit & she DID recognize me while I was there so that was special. I made her a photo album through the 25 years of our friendship & she & I spent a long time going over and over the pictures... sometimes she'd recognize folks and sometimes not. I hope that it will help her. I am so grateful that she is doing as well as she is. It is a GREAT blessing to remember July for.

I didn't lose any weight in July but I didn't GAIN any weight in July. Another blessing considering all the birthday parties & the stress I have been under.


1. It's still hot so I am concentrating on drinking plenty of plain clear water!
2. Fruits & veggies are plentiful so I am enjoying them to the fullest!
3. The outdoor pool is still open so I am spending as much time there as I can enjoying the fun & fitness I find there.
4. I am saving gas by not having to drive to Stuart!
5. I have the opportunity to get better & MORE sleep. I am going to TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY & try to let this old body do some healing.
6. I have put my foot down & told all the ADULTS in my house that they need to get JOBS! I am going to keep that foot down.... or perhaps I should put on a boot and apply it to some bottoms!
7. I am remembering to be grateful for all the many blessings that I have... a great job, family & friends that love & support me, grandchildren who are all healthy, a house to live in, a vehicle that is drivable... life is GOOD!
8. August is going to be the month that I break this plateau. I AM DETERMINED!

Bright blessings to you all. I'm committing to posting MORE blogs and to doing more Sparking. Let's ROCK August! Love, Dawn

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FURBALLDTH 8/27/2011 9:01AM

    I'm glad I read this. I've stopped everything. This will inspire me to get going again. I'm back to square one out of breath by the end of the driveway.
Have you tried changing the locks on the doors and locking them out 8am to 6 pm. That way the grand kids have a place to sleep but the adults can't lounge around all day. Baby birds would never leave the nest unless the mama bird pushes them out...lol.

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ENUFF81020 8/24/2011 1:01AM

    Hi Dawn,
We share many of the same issues or "demons." As usual, you have said it correctly as we are human beings rather than humans doing. I believe you can do this--I suspect a "plateau can be of our charged efforts needing time to recharge. I think you are recharging now and you will get back to the place you are craving to be. Again, I am on this same path.
You're the best!!

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CATEECHER 8/18/2011 12:18AM

    Thank you thank you thank you. Love to read your thoughts and, yes, I am working on August being somewhat better as well. Today is looking good!

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QUIETUDEAGAIN 8/15/2011 12:03PM

    Thank you for being a great inspiration. I often give up and leave SP for awhile but then I start to miss YOU and so I come back. That's how much you mean to my life. I am sorry that your stress level has risen but I know the old story of women from the 50's, everybody else comes first, it's so difficult to break that habit but I'm glad to see that you are acknowledging that you operate within in it. Now, all you have to do is break it, LOL, ya, right! LOL. I don't know how you slept in a van for a week at a time, I would have gone home and told my hubby he was on his own. Well, actually, that's what I did even though he stays in a motel room I now stay home. It's so much easier. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

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DEEDAYE 8/15/2011 10:26AM

    YOU ARE a bright blessing!!!!

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NANASAMM 8/15/2011 2:40AM

    I'm sorry about your husband's job loss but I'm glad you get to sleep in your own bed. And grandchildren are definitely a blessing especially during times like these. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers for better times ahead.

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PATTILYNN224 8/14/2011 12:35PM

    Praying for work for some of the other 5 that live with you.

Also wanting to comment on how great a friend you are by going through old photos. What a great way to stir up memories and help with recovery. You are an inspiration Dawn!

Happy for you too that you don't have to sleep in that darn van anymore.

Happy August!!

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CANBDONE 8/13/2011 8:20PM

    You have not had it easy...and that makes your indomitable spirit even more inspiring! May this month be easier than last. emoticon

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NO_SNOW_BODY 8/13/2011 5:02AM

    I hope that things have changes a bit since you wrote this, like you I count my blessings.

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    Dawn I don't know how I missed your blog. I am sorry you had a rough month of July and hope this month will be better for you.
I will pray that your husband finds another job. Have a great weekend and do something special for yourself because you deserve it.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMKAT4310 8/11/2011 11:36PM

    Thanks for this blog Dawn. Hope things are looking up or at least not down. I read this post much earlier but came back to add a note of thanks and support.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KIKI0531 8/10/2011 11:07AM

    Sounds as though you plan on August being a much better month for you !! I think that is great. Stay strong and don't waiver and if you feel the need to do a little more bottom-kicking ... go for it !!

Quick story: My cousin was out of a job staying with my aunt and uncle for a few months and he started to get a little less interested in pursuing employment ... lol. Well, my aunt woke him up every day at 8am and handed him the classifieds/want ads until after about 2-3 weeks he got so tired of her doing it and being reminded of his lack of JOB that he ultimately found himself one real quick !!

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CTUPTON 8/9/2011 1:40PM

    Dawn, You are so inspiring. But you also should be able to lean on others. Lets' hope those adults get jobs and do their part! I have 2 in my family that are the same way. I don't get it. Where is their self motivation!

Stay cool in the pool! Praying for your situation! Chris

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1BEACHWALKER 8/7/2011 10:22PM

    Hopefully your husband will find a job real soon and August will be even better than ever! Happy to hear your friend is doing better! And good to hear you are feeling better too!!! Keep going! Never give up! emoticon emoticon

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LGAR519 8/7/2011 7:46PM

    So sorry you had such a stressful July. It wasn't my best month either. I'll be praying for you and your family.

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QTEALADY20031 8/7/2011 11:08AM

    Dawn, I am glad that July is behind you. I am sorry that your husband lost his job but hopefully he will find another job close to home and you will not have to sleep in the van.
I know there is quite a challenge these days with finances.
I hope you continue to feel better physically and please know that you and your family are in my prayers for special blessings. emoticon June

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    My friend Dawn. You are an amazing woman. I agree with you about putting the boot to some bottoms. We had to do the same in July. This IS the month you break that plateau by changing your exercise. Find a way to use your YMCA to help you make the change that your body needs. Take a zumba class OUT of the water. Yes, I know you ae the local mermaid, LOL But change will help you get that ticker moving.
Keep the faith and I know you will be cared for. Know you are loved by many,


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MMRB7111 8/5/2011 11:16PM

    WOW July was a busy month for you, no wonder you were stressed. I hope August is a lot better for you.

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NPA4LOSS 8/5/2011 9:12PM

    Your therapist sounds like mine. Her favorite saying was " You're running on empty. You need to take time to fill yourself up." Take care my friend. Don't let others take advantage of you, even your own family. Glad you are back to walking better again. emoticon

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FUNGRANNY72 8/5/2011 6:21PM

  It sounds like you and I have a lot in common. I have suffered from depression for most of my adult life. I will usually just wallow in it for about a day and then I start talking myself out of it. I have also gone through therapy and even tried to commit suicide once. I didn't even do that right thank goodness. I will never do that again. So just keep putting one foot in front of the other and we can keep trucking along.

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JAMER123 8/4/2011 11:10PM

    I am so glad for you that July is gone forever and is the past. You can now look at the present and keep that positive attitude you have, going. I know you are a strong person and this to shall pass. Your prayers are being answered and we are all sending the up yet for you. I am thrilled your friend Ruth is doing so well. It is such a blessing for her and you. I will continue prayers that the adults in the house find jobs and help with the finances, that you begin to heal, that Ruth continue her improving health. God bless you all. My thoughts are with you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOTTALUVPINK 8/4/2011 10:41AM

    Wishing you a successful August!!!

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ROSAMARCELLE 8/3/2011 3:25PM

    Sorry your DH lost his job and hope he gets another quickly, which doesn't mean you driving so far and sleeping in the van. Hope August is good for you and the plateau breaks. It's miserable when that happens. emoticon

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SA9CHI 8/3/2011 1:48AM

    It was a BLESSING in disguise! emoticon

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TEDYBEAR2838 8/2/2011 5:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

My life seems so NORMAL after reading about yours!

Love & Hugs

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NO_SNOW_BODY 8/2/2011 5:33PM

    I am sorry to hear about your hubby losing his job, that is a hard thing to take. I can relate tpo having adults living in the house that do not work, but want all the benefits of living at home. I am lucky my hubby is working overtime, we would not make any bills any other way.
It is great to hear about your friend Ruth, that is a miracle in itself. Prayers asked and answered. She is lucky to have your friendship.
I will keep praying for you and adding a few of my own for other situations that arise.

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DYNAMICDEB53 8/2/2011 5:19PM

    HUGS!!!!!!!! I am sorry you are dealing with so much right now. I know that there are good things happening too.
You and yours ane in my thoughts and prayers.
Sending you love and smiles

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BESTMEICANBE51 8/2/2011 4:12PM

    It seems when we are at a low point in our lives we can always look around and find many ways that we are blessed.

May God keep sending Blessings your way.

Sending prayers your way.


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YATMAMA 8/2/2011 1:28PM

    Oh, honey, I'm so sorry to hear about the job. I am praying for doors to open for a new job that will have better pay, hours, and benefits for your honey. What blessed news about Ruth. You are such a good friend to make such a special gift. Peace, lovie. I pray for you to have peace through and through, that blessed rest that comes from knowing that, just for today, you can resign as general manager of the world and let God carry the load for you. I love you so much.



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MARYHOLMAN 8/2/2011 1:14PM

    You have such a positive attitude for a person in your situation. That's great.

Wow! How are you ever going to support your family on $800? Can your husband collect unemployment? Can you get food stamps in your state?

Get those kids out working so at least they can foot their own expenses.

I feel for you emoticon

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SUSAN134 8/2/2011 12:31PM

    Dawn, here is to brighter happenings in August. I'm sorry that your hubby lost his job, but am glad that you are now back in your own bed! And yes...the older people in your house should definitely be out looking for employment. If they could all contribute a bit, it would take a lot of stress off of you. Dawn, you have such a wonderful attitude about life and that (I think) will see you through this tough time.

Sending you lots of positive thoughts and wishes for 'mass' employment for your family!


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BIBS4664 8/2/2011 11:10AM

    Sorry about DH's job loss. I am glad your friend is improving. Love and friendship and the Divine love can bring changes. Best wishes on your journey. May the healing waters cleanse your soul. We will get there...Onward!!!

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JOSEPHINE1231 8/2/2011 10:50AM

    So sorry to hear about the job loss. But it will be good to not have to make that trip, and hopefully he will get unemployment to help.


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LINDAKAY228 8/2/2011 10:41AM

    So sorry your husband lost his job. Hopefully he'll find something closer to home and where you don't have to sleep in the van. I'm glad you're feeling better and keepng a positive attitude. Something will work out. Good for you for putting your foot down with the family. Take care of yourself and have a great day today.

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SECRETMUSIC 8/2/2011 10:20AM

    I'm sorry to hear about your husband's job loss. My thoughts are with you, and I'm pulling for all the adults in your home to be successful in finding paying work, which would certainly lighten your load!

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LOOZINITNOW 8/2/2011 9:52AM

    So sorry to hear that your DH lost his job. I'm happy that your friend is doing better than expected. You are a great friend for spending that time with her. Hang in there and I will be sending up prayers for you! emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 8/2/2011 7:57AM

    I am so sorry that DH lost his job. Sending you plenty of emoticonand emoticon. I am happy to hear that you put your foot down as far as the others getting a job in the household. I know that was some tough love but hopefully your son got the message. If everyone got jobs that would make the financial stress go way down and perhaps the scale may start moving again. Stress and sleepless nights work against weight loss.

Hoping August really changes things for you on so many levels!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/2/2011 10:05:45 AM

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BE-THE-CHANGE 8/2/2011 7:52AM

    Sorry to hear about DH. My DIL was laid off from her teaching job in June. Sounds like there is a lot of that going around.

I love your positive attitude about the whole situation. If anyone can make it work, you can!

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DONNA_VT 8/2/2011 7:35AM

    Now that July is over I am hoping for a better August for you. You certainly deserve a great month or 2 or 3. emoticon

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BESTCK 8/2/2011 7:04AM

    What an inspiration you are. To find all that positive energy in a month that probably would have had me curled up in a corner with my blankie!! So strong. I will pray that August brings blessings to you and your family.

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GEORGIA_KAY 8/2/2011 5:55AM

    July has been a rough month for us all. I'm sorry that your DH lost his job. My son did as well. We're all struggling to make ends meet. You do it with a grace I can only envy.
Good job on not gaining any weight, and also for your wonderful attitude. You are such a nice person, Dawn. I wish I knew you better :)
Here's to a better August!

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DIFROMWYOMING 8/2/2011 12:30AM

    Sorry about DH losing his job, but I am experiencing the same here and neither he nor my son home from college have found work yet. Not easy, but we move on. July was not a great month for me at all, that seems to happen sometimes. I know you will keep that foot down....or you WILL put the boot on! Keep taking care of you, I love you.
Hugs, Di

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PRINCESS1959 8/2/2011 12:16AM

    My prayers are with you and I am positive there are more blessings to come. Stay cool and keep your 'Foot down'

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BARBARAROSE54 8/2/2011 12:06AM

    Hoping your August is a much better month emoticon

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LVMAMAW 8/1/2011 11:05PM

    I like your August plan!! I so agree August is the month to break plateaus! I am with you!! Praying for you and your family and jobs all around!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BAYBELIEVER 8/1/2011 10:57PM

    Will pray for jobs for everyone, close to home! My thoughts are with you and your family! And, I am with you! Let's make August the month we break plateaus! This is getting ridiculous! But, we are still here, still doing well, and you are awesome! Just BE this month. Let others do some of the DOing! (yeah, I need to listen to that too...)

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    Sending good vibes out to you and yours and hoping August is the best month ever!

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