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Attitude of Gratitude

Sunday, February 24, 2013

There is hour lost!! I had finished a post that was nearly 1000 words but before I could hi enter it disappeared. I'm going to TRY to recreate it.

During the past five years I have so much to be thankful about that I journal in my Gratitude Journal. First of all, I found Spark People and joined. I decided it was time to have a healthy lifestyle and lost a whole person in weight while going on my journey. Then with my cancers, they were not my biggest threat. The poisoning after my treatments was. But they finally found what was causing it and with one treatment of antibiotics I was fine again. With the breast cancer it was found early - in stage 1.3 - and my genetic markers were such that I could have my chemo by pill. With the tonsil cancer, it was contained to the one spot on the one tonsil and was in stage 1. If I had to have it, and obviously I did, things couldn't have been better for me. Through all the radiation and chemo, I was able to keep on getting exercise and eating properly 70% of the time. I was so very fortunate.

Sure I have some bad times in my life, but I've had a lot more good ones. I have had all the encouragement and support from my Spark Buds I've had my wonderful husband, I've had my family, and I've had my faith. That's a lot for which to be thankful! My brother and his children would call and leave messages for me in email or on facebook. My husband supported me with my lifestyle change. He also did all the driving, cleaning, waited during my radiation and chemo treatments, When I was in the hospital, he would update my journal to let all my Spark Buds know what was happening. He also did what I like to call, "held my hair" when i could not keep anything down. He stayed with me in my hospital room, helping me walk from the bed to where I needed to go including walking the halls to keep me walking. He would only go home long enough to tend the dogs, take a shower, and change clothes then would be back. Whenever I would get down, he'd read all of the wonderful message of caring and faith my Spark Buds left for me. They always cheered me and made me smile. They were my prayer warriors! I know all of their prayers, good thoughts, and light, helped me through all of this rough time. He also made sure I had my Bible, prayer book, and rosary. When I had my feeding tube, he would keep it flushed, change my dressing, set up the bag and made sure it was filled so I could get enough nourishment. Now how blessed was I?

Along with all of that, I also have my family, how our parents taught us, my Spark Buds with whom I feel closer than most of the in person friends, and my faith. All of those things I have journaled about in my Gratitude Journal. If I even start to get down, I get it out and always feel better because I am reminded of how blessed I have been.

Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Are you thankful for all your blessings or do you have a negative attitude ? When you post about your problems in your blog or in your teams, do you take the advise of those who have had similar experiences or do you make excuses and say, "I can't"? Do you know how worthy you are of having a healthy lifestyle?

Most of the Buds you make here at Spark are encouraging and supportive, even if you have a bad day of eating or not getting the exercise you need if only for 5 minutes at a time. They truly care for you and want you to succeed. Most are willing to share and help in any way they can. Try to take advantage of that. if your family isn't supportive and make fun of you, bring you candy, sweets, and fried food, keep a tiny bit for a treat and give the rest away. Refuse to eat the fried stuff by pushing it aside on your plate or leave it in it's container. After a while they may see how serious you are and stop doing all of this. You are so worth getting a healthy lifestyle so you can lead a longer, healthier, and more active life. You have already started by signing up for this sight and take part in it. But the fact remains, it is all up to you. No one else can eat properly for nor can they do the exercising you need. I started my journey at 60 and attained goal at 65. I continue to come here and track everything. It keeps me accountable plus I enjoy it. You will need to stay positive rather than negative. You must be grateful for all your accomplishments and the goodness in your life. Most of all you need to believe in yourself and know you CAN do this. If not you, who will? Try to remove negative words from your vocabulary and eventually your life.

Most of the people here on Spark want to help however they can. All you must do is ask. Try to take advantage of their personal experiences. Keep in mind what works for one may not work for you. But then again it might. If one doesn't ask someone else and try their tips. Eventually you will find the proper combination that makes you happy and motivates you. Try to keep in mind how much better you will feel when you reach your goal. Think of how you'll feel when you'll continue on your life long journey. You are special and beautiful and deserving.

Have a terrific time of being positive and working for an attitude of gratitude.

Peace Love Thankfulness
Ev

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVWINGS 3/1/2013 11:41PM

    Thank you for all those kind words! I'm glad my blogs are enjoyed so much! When they are, I want to be even more determined to make them.

Thank you for agreeing with me about Bob. It took me three times, but I finally got it right and consider my third time a charm! As much as I would have loved to have had him in my life sooner, I believe we met and married when we should have. I was divorced 8 years before I married the second time and 10 years before I married Bob. I was 54!! But I knew what I didn't want and he wasn't a single one of those things! He is truly a blessing!

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PMFISH 2/28/2013 6:28PM

    Great blog Ev! You are truly blessed to have a mate that has done what they are supposed to do. Bob is certainly a keeper. Unfortunately I was not that that fortunate, mine could not handle the cancer. But God is so good, he made me realize later, it was a good thing. God's plans are not our plans, but he has a way of letting us understand most of the time. Your courage has been a great inspiration to many of your fellow sparkers.
Have a great weekend.

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GOLFLADY11 2/28/2013 12:53AM

    Oh thankyou for this wonderful blog!! It is a good reminder to all of us to give thanks for what we have. Sometimes it is so easy to get those negative nasty feelings - self-doubt and self-loathing!! REally important to stay positive and count our many blessings. You are such a courageous person and my heart goes out to you, Ev! Even with all your suffering you look on the bright side and I can only salute you! Truly you are an inspiration to the rest of us!! God bless and keep smiling!! emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/27/2013 12:12AM

    I love your blogs your attitude cheers everyone.Thank you!

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EVWINGS 2/25/2013 9:20PM

    Thank you so much everyone. Sara, I'm so glad I was an inspiration to have you write in November. It is always fun - at least for me. There is also a NaNo team here on Spark. It usually doesn't get really active until closer to November, but it is something for you to consider.

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SARAWMS48 2/25/2013 8:41PM

    So true. I've been on this site for nearly 7 years. I'm not yet at goal, but I've lost more than I ever thought possible with the help of the folks I've gotten to know here. I also want to thank you for inspiring me to try writing a novel in November. Even if I never make it any further, I'll continue because I feel like a new person from all of the changes in me since I joined.

Comment edited on: 2/25/2013 8:44:55 PM

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MISSDAISY23 2/25/2013 10:37AM

    Thank you for sharing! Peace, love and joy to you too! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 2/24/2013 8:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDA! 2/24/2013 7:46PM

    Wonderful blog. emoticon

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What a Day! Short and to the point!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Today was one of "those"days. You know the kind I mean. From when I got up to the end of the day, nothing went right!! Our DSL was out again. When it goes out, we lose our phone, too, as they are linked. It went out sometime early this morning and wasn't back on until late afternoon. This seems to becoming more and more often. We have been getting dropped from our networks for wireless a lot lately, too. This evening it was happening about every 20 minutes. I'm sure Bob knows what is happening with that, but it is only frustrating me. *sigh* Tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning.

I hope everyone was safe in the storms.

Peace Love Warmth
Ev



A cuppa always makes everything better!!


Love my gratitude journal I made! It works really well on days like today!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYVOLSFAN1954 2/24/2013 1:54PM

    I'm having one of those days today! We can do this!

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EVWINGS 2/24/2013 12:56PM

    Thank you, Cheri! Coming from you, that means an awful lot!! emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/24/2013 12:02AM

    Your gratitude journal is lovely!

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MISSDAISY23 2/23/2013 7:36PM

    Yes, tomorrow is a new day and a new beginning. Also, it will be better.

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Take care & have a great day!

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OPALMOON 2/23/2013 6:57AM

    emoticon

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DEBBY4576 2/22/2013 9:27PM

    Hope today was better!!

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1CRAZYDOG 2/22/2013 6:50PM

    HUGS and hope the weekend goes better than today.

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CANNIE50 2/22/2013 5:32PM

    Oh, how frustrating. Your gratitude journal is lovely.

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PMFISH 2/22/2013 4:32PM

    Glad today is better!

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EVWINGS 2/22/2013 12:55PM

    Today is a much better day, so far! LOL!! emoticon Thank you very much.

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MUSOLF6 2/22/2013 6:10AM

    emoticon

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ILOVEROSES 2/22/2013 2:20AM

    I hope you feeling better now and the internet and phones are working. You're right, a emoticon will always make you feel better.
emoticonAnia

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JUDITH316 2/22/2013 1:58AM

    Sorry to hear this, my prayers are with you, I love the journal you made.. Take care my friend. Sending you BIG HUGS. emoticon emoticon

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EVWINGS 2/22/2013 1:39AM

    We have two separate companies. Bob will call the DSL company with his cell. We are on our third modem and fourth router in 5 years! The DSL lines weren't put in until five years ago. We're REALLY rural!!! They simply tell him they are working in the area and we should be on by the end of the day. Sometimes we are and sometimes we aren't. As far as losing the network goes, no it is from our own router, not someone else's. I wouldn't mind, but I'm usually in the middle of something on the lap top and will lose it!

Oh I'm a Scarlet O'Hara, for sure. Tomorrow is another day and all that!! emoticon I'll be just fine. Hey, i already am!! emoticon

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1STATEOFDENIAL 2/22/2013 1:08AM

    Do you call the phone/DSL company to report the outtage? If so, what do they say? The lines that are used do break down over time and if they haven't replaced the lines in decades that could be the problem. It could also be problems with the lines in your house or your modem. That could mean they need to replace those lines or just the connections. DSL is internet through phone lines, so yes they are connected, and if you have a wireless router then when the DSL/phone crashes so will the wireless... unless you're hooking to someone else's wireless signal. So if the problem continues to happen, contact your phone/DSL company and get them to diagnose the problem and correct it. Otherwise it will most likely continue to get worse.

In the meantime, keep looking towards the positive.

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EVWINGS 2/22/2013 12:28AM

    Thank for your suggestions. Actually journaling about things for which i am grateful and reading oer earlier entries always helps me rejuvinate my better moods. Today everything just happened one right after another. But it's o, we all need days like this tokeep us in the moment and remind us of how human we are!! emoticon

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FITANDFIFTY2 2/22/2013 12:27AM

    Oh those days,,,, thank goodness they are just every once in awhile, right? Hope tomorrow is much better. Hugs, Spark friend!

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FLEMIDG 2/22/2013 12:19AM

    Hope things improve for you tomorrow. Don't let stress get you down.

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SPSPSP1 2/21/2013 11:57PM

    Be sure to take long, deep breaths when you are stressed.

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EVWINGS 2/21/2013 11:50PM

    Amen! emoticon

Thank you for your reminder!!

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LWLAR7 2/21/2013 11:31PM

  Pray that they are

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Things that help motivate me

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

This past week my new thing was to find a new place to walk. I was able to find a very nice area almost into the little town near where I live. While there, I saw this:





I mention this because finding new things to try each week helps to keep me motivated. There are more that have helped me these past few years on all the journeys I managed to be on at the same time! I had many days when I especially didn't feel like doing much of anything. Some days I would give into that and would feel yukie for the next day or two' I had to find new things to look forward to doing to keep me going. A comment made on my blog last week and my page today made me think about this. Some things were retreads of things I had been doing and some were very brand new to me.

So without further ado, here comes my list of motivators!

1. Music. Depending on whether I needed a lift or to ease some pain, the type would vary. If I was in pain, I would play a lot of Yanni or "Healing Harp" by Stella Bensen. If I needed a lift, Sixties on Six played on Sirus. It was always fun as the emcee knows the geography of the US better than anyone I've ever known. It seems most of my favorites have happy moments associated with them, so these tunes always managed to get me moving and feeling happy.

2. Journaling. I started to keep a new to me journal of writing each day about things for which I am grateful. I also kept lists of uplifting quotes and favorite scripture in this journal. I used one I had received as a gift from one of my sorority sisters. It has purple flowers all over the cover and cheered me simply picking it up. To get really motivated, I would often use purple ink pens and add some glitter. I tried to keep it light and girlie since these were such personal thoughts and I didn't want any of it to bring me down, but build me up. It worked!! It's very difficult to feel too bad when you are writing about blessings in a book that is "spring-y" with a purple pen and glitter! I also kept a journal for each treatment from when I was told I needed to have a biopsy, to being told the results, to preparing for radiation right through to when I "graduated". Knowing I was getting closer to the end was motivation itself.

3. Looking forward to meeting goals. I started looking forward to meeting Spark goals because i had given myself permission for a non-food reward. I did the same for getting to different stages in my treatments. I've continued doing so for every four months I maintain my weight goal. Listing those things really helped, because i knew as soon as I met certain things, there was something very special waiting. I kept track on my Spark Page so I was being accountable. There were other things, too. I got to look forward to seeing my brother and sister -in-law for their yearly visit. I decided to keep a page in my planner for everything. I already used it to keep track of all the treatment times and days, doctor appointments, birthdays, and anniversaries. So I used one of the extra pages for notes to keep track of my goals and when I met them and what my reward would be. My very favorites were when I went below 200, I got a Kindle and when I maintained for the first four months I bought new walking shoes. When I finished each set of treatments, I would treat myself to either a new Vera
Bradley piece. When i was cancer free for a year officially from the PET scan, I gave myself a day of beauty. Along the way, meeting smaller goals I would get new books for my Kindle or a DVD I had been wanting or perhaps a new pair of jeans in a new smaller size! Those were all good.

4. Creativity. Keeping up with writing my fiction, writing poetry, and making collages kept me on a path to reaching and obtaining what i so much desired - a healthier life style. I knew I had to follow this especially since i was being given not only a second chance, but a third chance, too!! When I would start to get down, I gave myself permission to cry for so long, then start creating. By the time I was finished doing whatever, I always felt so much better. Often I would even forget what had gotten me down in the first place! Not only that, but afterwards, I tried to do some exercise, if only for five minutes at a time!

5. Staying positive and smiling. These two things I work on daily as they have motivated me so much. There are plenty of days it would be easier to be a grump, but the end result doesn't go along with a health life style. So, I plaster on a smile and start doing a little more ridding myself and our home with a lot of the extra "stuff" I no longer need in my life. Within an hour, I'm on a natural high again. But that isn't the only reward. Keeping motivated with smiling and having a positive attitude attracts others with same positive ways rather than those who always complain about others and mange to drag one down with them. It sure is a wonderful way to stay as healthy and happy as possible.

All five of these motivators have worked their magic for me. Some more than others, that's true. But with wanting a new, healthier life style to be able to live a longer and happier life, they have worked for me. I'm not going to say that these things will help everyone or even help them in the same way, because that wouldn't be truthful. Each of us is different - not right or wrong - just different, and what works for me might not for you. But we all need to check out suggestions until we find what is best for us. Trying something new can be a terrific motivator itself, as it gives us fresh views and is the best way to discover what we like or don't like along our way. I sincerely hope that this blog may help at least one or even two Sparks to
stay motivated to continue on. Or as I love to say - keep on keeping on.

The best for all my Spark Buds for the days ahead. I love all of you.

Peace Love Life
EV


Ev at target practice 01 Feb 2013.

I forgot to mention trying to continue doing hobbies or things I loved, helped motivate me to keep going forward to attain the joy I have always had in them.





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 2/27/2013 11:59PM

    Your motivators work for me too but one thing that works for me is your blogs ,they cheer me and motivate me !

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MISSDAISY23 2/23/2013 7:34PM

    As usual, your blog is awesome! Thank you for sharing! emoticon

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MINDFULFILLNESS 2/23/2013 11:02AM

    Wonderful post! Beautiful thoughts. You inspire me.

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-COURT- 2/21/2013 9:49AM

    Love your motivators. emoticon

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LOSINGLINNDY 2/20/2013 5:38PM

    This is a beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing.
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1CRAZYDOG 2/20/2013 1:59PM

    Smiling . . . alwasy on the motivational agenda! You are so good at pointing out all the time how it helps!

HUGS and glad your journey is moving, moving, moving.

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BUSYGRANNY5 2/20/2013 7:29AM

    I enjoyed your blog and pictures! Your motivators are some I use as well! Have a great day!

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MUSOLF6 2/20/2013 6:01AM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing

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SNUZSUZ 2/20/2013 4:30AM

    Great post! Thanks for sharing:)

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FLEMIDG 2/20/2013 12:45AM

    What an awesome post. Congratulations on being cancer free. Thanks for the great motivation. You are a true inspiration. God bless you.

Darlene


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JAMER123 2/20/2013 12:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Great motivators and I am so happy that they work for you!! And Congrats on a clean PET scan!! That is the most fantastic motivation for getting to your goals!!

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1BEACHWALKER 2/19/2013 11:39PM

    You are looking so good Ev..so happy to hear you are cancer free after 1 year of your Pet scan!! emoticon emoticon
Great motivations-alot are mine too. You are doing great!! You are an inspiration to all of us! emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLY4DHEART 2/19/2013 11:09PM

    emoticon For this awesome post! I will be trying these out. Thank you again for sharing your advice. Best wishes to you! emoticon emoticon Diana

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APRIL_IN_MN 2/19/2013 11:08PM

    Great post! Thank you!

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STUDLEEJOE 2/19/2013 10:48PM

    emoticon post. I really enjoyed it.

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Giving up?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Self Discovery question: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

Yes, there was a time when I felt like giving up on life. It was before I was diagnosed as bipolar along with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). During one of my deep depressions on the down side of the bipolar, was when it happened. I'm guessing this was 2006. I had just started seeing a therapist that my hubby's VA doctor arranged for me. I had the sense to call her and tell her how i was feeling. There are lots of times when I wish i hadn't, as she had me admitted to a counseling center. There i went through treatments that didn't help me at all. As a matter of fact i lost about three months of any memories. It was right when we got Bruzer and I do not remember getting him. I'll ask Bob to tell me the story again and again.

This all came about because I was unhappy with my life starting with my weight. i had injured my knee at the gym and had surgery. it wasn't what the doctor thought it would be, so I had to stay in bed 24/7 for four straight months. When I was finally able to get rehab physical therapy, I was doing very well when a different therapist gave me the wrong exercises and doing them blew out the work the surgery had done and put me back. I wasn't able to do what i used to for years .I could no longer work at my trade (cosmetologist), I couldn't drive, i couldn't clean or cook. I was having a real pitty party. I knew if I could lose weight, I would feel better because it would be easier for me to get around. I believed i would be in my power chair for the rest of my days. I really didn't see much to life anymore. I wouldn't leave the house, I wouldn't talk on the phone - even with my brother, I quit all my activities, I wouldn't get dressed, brush my hair or do much of anything but sit in a recliner and cry a lot. I felt pretty worthless and useless. This was not the kind of life I wanted at all.

Then one day an amazing thing happened. I belong to a web site called my points. It is a site where you earn points for for various activities and then trade those points for rewards such as gift cards. On one particular day, I received an email from them from a place called Sparkpeople. If I visited the site after reading a little about it and signed up I would receive so many points. I think it may have been 25. Anyway, the email said the program was not a diet, but a lifestyle change and challenged the reader to give it a try. I figured, "what the heck. If nothing else I'd get those points". So I clicked through to the site and when I got there, I clicked "join". It was the very best thing I could have ever done for myself. I started slowly with chair exercises, perhaps five minutes at a time. I knew the information on the best way to eat was information I had been receiving all my life. I needed reminded and once I was, I started to give my grocery list a makeover. But it was very slow going. Finally I decided to get serious about it all. i could no longer go on the way I had been.

It was late summer when i returned everyday and got down to doing what i needed to to get healthy and stay that way. I signed up for more teams and started to make friends. The encouragement from others on this site was phenomenal! Most of you know my story of being diagnosed with breast cancer several months after returning and taking control back in my life. Now that control was being taken away again. This time, I wouldn't let it take total control. i didn't go into a depression. Sure, I was scared of the unknown, but decided what was to be would be. I trusted God's plan for me and knew His will would be done, no matter. Accepting that made things a lot easier for me. Between that and all of the support I got from my Spark Buds, I was able to continue following the program. I even managed to get some cardio in most days I was in treatment. i won't go into the second diagnosis right after finishing that treatment and all that happened after that. i want to talk about giving up on life.

Things changed inside me. I had a lot of time to think a lot. Bob would read me the comments on my blog when he would update my journeys with the cancer. I could feel the warmth and concern in those words left for me. I was able to continue taking my meds for the bipolar/PTSD. But i had three close calls with death. It really changes you. As soon as i got the OK, i was back on the Spark program and even joined my first challenge! I loved it. it was great, because i could increase exercise as I went along and was permitted to modify them if i had to do so. I also realized i needed to be positive no matter how I was feeling. I started to get the negativity out of my life. If I tried something and didn't like it after several times, I wouldn't do it anymore. There are too many things to try to tie yourself to one you don't care for. i started smiling all the time and found it brings positive people towards you. This time I chose life rather than giving up on it. I am a a religious person and feel this is why God spared me, to bring the positive and encouragement to others. I met my goal finally, going from my start of 270 to today's weight of 120 pounds. i exercise some nearly every day. i continue to eat properly and in the right portions with moderation. I never did "give up" anything. I did watch how much and how often.

In choosing life rather than giving up on it, has made me a better person. I could never have done it on my own, though. My faith, my wonderful hubby, and all of my Spark Buds made the difference. it feels so very good to live a life that seems more fulfilling than ever.

Thank all of you. Enjoy your Sunday!

Peace Love Life
Ev



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1HAPPYSPIRIT 2/20/2013 6:24AM

    Wonderful blog! Thanks for sharing!

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IAM_HIS 2/20/2013 6:19AM

    Thank you for this beautiful, honest blog!! emoticon emoticon

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GEORGIAGIRL26 2/19/2013 9:37AM

    That was a great blog my friend.
It does make you think.
Thank you so much for sharing it.
Hope you have a good day!
Your sister in Christ/Fitness, Holly emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/19/2013 9:37:48 AM

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MNNICE 2/18/2013 5:13PM

    Your story will definitely be a motivation to others and give hope to some who may have none. I can't say I have ever felt like giving up life, but neither have I had to face the type of challenges you have. I am another who found SP through MyPoints. Congratulations on your progress!

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SCOTMAMA 2/17/2013 11:22PM

    This should be a "Voted Most Popular" blog -- it blew me away. I had no idea you had gone through so much. I doubt that I could have done it. You are an amazing woman, and reading those few paragraphs above is just one portion of your life....to the people reading it like me, I'm sure it will make the majority of us feel like our troubles, trials and tribulations are petty compared to what you've gone through!

You are definitely a MOTIVATOR!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DRUIDPRINCESS 2/17/2013 5:40PM

    What a journey! What a strong person you are! And what a motivation to each of us! Warm, heartfelt hugs to you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSDAISY23 2/17/2013 4:23PM

    I always tell myself "Tomorrow will be better!"

We have another thing in common - I am also a My Points member. The same way I came to know about Spark People. My thoughts exactly - initially, I clicked joined just to get points. After awhile, I got serious with SP too.

Yes, God is the greatest!

Thank you for sharing! Take care & have a great day! emoticon

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LINDA! 2/17/2013 3:34PM

    This is a great blog. You are teaching all of us that we can turn the negative phases of our life into the positive. I am very happy that God spared you. Keep up the good work and all of the encouragement.

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NEWMOM20121 2/17/2013 11:23AM

    Wonderful blog.

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1CRAZYDOG 2/17/2013 11:01AM

    Oh sweetie, you have fought so many battles and been victorious with great effort. You're right. There are LOTS of times in life when we really have to figure out what His will is because THAT;S what is going to make all the difference . . . following that path. I admire you spunk, your love of life, your courage, your tenacity, your willingness to be vulnerable and share such a story as you just have. It will help many . . . I just know it!

Having been thru illness that incapacitated me, it really IS disappointing, disspiriting, deflating, depressing. But if you have the courage to work through it, you come out on the other side stronger.

god bless you for sharing this story.

HUGS always.

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IS1GAR 2/17/2013 9:25AM

    Wow! Lots to recover from but with God's help all is found. emoticon
You are very inspiring to me and I thank you! emoticon

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MUSOLF6 2/17/2013 7:41AM

    emoticon emoticon I also suffer from depression, and I am taking it one day at a time....

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AWESOMECHELZ 2/17/2013 7:26AM

    I suffer from depression and PTSD so I understand what you are talking about and yes, I have felt like giving up in the past too. And like you, I love SP! My life is slowly changing and have a lot of friends here and I am grateful. Keep up the great work you are doing and thanks so much for your honest sharing. God bless. Love, Chelsea emoticon

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SORTIZA99 2/17/2013 3:55AM

    We should keeping moving forward instead of giving up.
Good day.

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/17/2013 1:39AM

    Ev you are an amazing woman and your blogs are so inspiring!

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JESSIG5 2/17/2013 1:02AM

    emoticon

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JUDITH316 2/17/2013 12:52AM

    emoticon Blog, I cheer you on, keep up the great work emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PINKKITTY65 2/16/2013 11:06PM

    I'm sorry from time to time yes me to you are not alone I was diagnosed with a total vertebral occlusion yes that means one of my arteries going to my brain I occasionally. Get frustrated but the good news is the good one on the other side grew new arteries so I must focus on my health constantly. But I'm only human too take care smile a lot worry less and try and enjoy life emoticon

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PLUMERIA50 2/16/2013 10:49PM

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5TH Sparkiversary - pictures included - tips -a whole person gone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Today is Ash Wednesday and so happens to be my 5th year Sparkiversary!! Yeah!! emoticon emoticon

I have talked about how I took baby steps to lose those pesky 150 lbs and become half the person I was.


Before


After

It took a long time of losing a pound or two a week and having to start building exercise points more than once because of physical treatments. But here I am today - my 5th Sparkiversary - gone from 270 to 120. I reached my goal in June and have been doing well in keeping those pounds off. I feel so much better than I did 5 years ago. Heck I feel better than I did even a year ago. I think part of why I'm keeping it off is coming here daily and keeping track of my everything I eat and how I exercise. I have changed little, except my calories. While reaching my goal I kept them between 1200 and 1600. Now I keep them between 1500 and 1800. I haven't gone over one time! Mostly I average 1600 to 1650.

My greatest desire on this day is for all my Buds who are still struggling to reach their goal weight is that keep on keeping on. If you gain or stay the same for a few weeks, don't beat yourself up. Try to watch how much you eat in both portions and how often. And also try changing your exercise routine a little bit and see if you don't start losing again. Don't forget to reward yourself with a nonfood gift along the way. I would make smaller goals of 10-20 pound goals. I would then get ebooks for my Kindle, new clothes, I even got my Kindle when I went below 200. A day of beauty is always a good gift on reaching a special goal. I know you can do it because you are really special and deserving of being the best you that can be. I'm so proud of you for your contribution to this site and all you have accomplished. I love each and every one of you, too. Without you I would never had made it through this journey, but my health journeys, too. Blessings to all of you!!
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Peace Love Reflection
Ev


Another after

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STORYCRAFTER 3/9/2013 12:03PM

    Thanks for sharing your story, Ev! I have reached my goal weight and am transitioning into maintenance. It is so encouraging to hear of successful maintainers like you, who have continued to eat sensibly and kept the pounds off! Kudos to you.

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APRIL_IN_MN 2/19/2013 11:10PM

    Happy emoticon !!!
You look great! And how wonderful to FEEL great! You are an inspiration, Ev.

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 2/19/2013 2:43PM

    Happy sparkversary!

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BEACHDREAMS 2/19/2013 6:24AM

    Wonderful work--excellent! Congratulations! I wish I could have you come talk to my class!

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EJOY-EVELYN 2/18/2013 12:16AM

    You are such a great role model for the healthy living lifestyle. You've made such great changes that will impact your life positively for years to come.

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FRUITYFUL 2/17/2013 12:25PM

    You are amazing! Thank you for sharing! For people like me who have a long way to go, this gives us hope.

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NEWMOM20121 2/17/2013 11:26AM

    Amazing, you have done and amazing job. Well done and congratulations.

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OVERHAULING-ME 2/17/2013 11:04AM

    LOVE this post and am so glad I stumbled across it! CONGRATS on your accomplishment and sticking with it. True example of determination and dedication! I have started and stopped so many times and am now in a good place of working on taking off a total of 155+ (40lbs gone)

Thanks for the words of wisdom!

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FITGRANDMA120 2/17/2013 10:16AM

    very inspiring

emoticon

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SCOUTMOM715 2/17/2013 9:40AM

    emoticon Happy emoticon You look fantastic!! emoticon

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CAROLIAN 2/17/2013 3:30AM

    emoticon Youre looking spectacular emoticon emoticon

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MISHMOM 2/16/2013 4:33PM

    You are an inspiration! Wow! emoticon

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COACHPENNY 2/16/2013 8:24AM

    You are looking GOOD Ev! You give us all hope. emoticon

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OPALMOON 2/16/2013 8:14AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PMFISH 2/16/2013 1:08AM

    Congrats on your 5th anniversary! You are looking great and so happy that you are feeling so good. Keep up the good work.

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MISSDAISY23 2/15/2013 12:37PM

    emoticon on your emoticon

I am very happy for you emoticon

emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/15/2013 12:37:57 PM

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BLOCKHEAD23 2/14/2013 12:33PM

    Congrats on your weight loss and your 5 year anniversary!!! You look great!

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SHARJOPAUL 2/14/2013 9:12AM

    Happy Anniversery and Congratulations.

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SENATOR9 2/14/2013 9:00AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CELIAMINER 2/14/2013 8:21AM

    Congrats on your emoticon ! SP needs some more Sparkversary emoticons.

Thanks for hanging in with SP and being a motivator!

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1STATEOFDENIAL 2/14/2013 1:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/14/2013 12:13AM

    You look absolutely wonderful Ev!

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DESERTJULZ 2/13/2013 11:09PM

    You look totally awesome! Congratulations!



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GOLFLADY11 2/13/2013 11:01PM

    You look awesome! emoticon I also love the advice, just keep on keeping on!! I think that way too!! emoticon You are an inspiration! emoticon

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MNNICE 2/13/2013 10:18PM

    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary!

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KARIDIAN1 2/13/2013 10:01PM

    emoticon What an accomplishment!

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FLUFFYWONKENOBE 2/13/2013 10:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONIQUEDVA 2/13/2013 9:02PM

    Congrats on your accomplishment! I hope good health follows you all of the days of your life!!!

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JANRTEACH 2/13/2013 6:26PM

    wow!

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FAT2GAINHEALTH 2/13/2013 6:20PM

    A great success story and you look great and healthy.

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NORASPAT 2/13/2013 6:14PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon EV you look great and I agree on your skinny jeans.
I must admit I do keep track but I have been stuck on a plateau for well over a year after losing 40 pounds. I keep trying I rarely weigh- in because it is always the same.
I bought new scales and it is the same. DH uses them and he is variable but I am so much healthier. I have two medications I take for pain and I know the side effects are weight gain. I try to console myself if I was not on Spark and use these meds I would gain weight so. It's all fair in love and health, I just hide the scale.

emoticon EV you are definitely a success and a motivator too. emoticon

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SCOTMAMA 2/13/2013 6:01PM

    This is a success story if I ever saw one! That last picture you posted of yourself looks like you have on those "skinny jeans" all women dream about!

Hugs, Eve

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SLENDERELLA61 2/13/2013 5:50PM

    WOW, what an inspiring success story!! Thank you so much for posting. You look amazing and I don't doubt that you feel it, too. I am in AWE that you never go over your calorie range. (If you have any hints for me, let me know. I'm going on 4 years keeping off over 80 pounds, but my streak for staying in my calorie range is only 14 days! I really struggle to do it!) -Marsha

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1CRAZYDOG 2/13/2013 5:49PM

    You are my hero! You have not let obstacles get in your way. That's absolutely key! Taking it a day-at-a-time. HUGS and thanks for sharing your wisdom.



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BESCATS 2/13/2013 5:07PM

    emoticon emoticon That is just fantastic, and you look great !!
I love reading the success stories, and you certainly are a "success".
emoticon

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0309COOKIE 2/13/2013 5:04PM

    Congrats on your Sparkversary! Your story is quite inspirational.

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MOM2ACAT 2/13/2013 4:17PM

    emoticon Congrats on your Spark-versary!

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NEVERORNOW 2/13/2013 3:52PM

    emoticon on your weight loss and your 5 years here! You are such an inspiration! emoticon for being YOU and for sharing your journey with us.

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PIMPINELLAN50 2/13/2013 2:54PM

    emoticon to you Ev!You are an inspiration and a motivator. emoticon emoticon

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SWDESERTLOVER 2/13/2013 2:38PM

    Wow, you look awesome. What an inspiration you are. I'm looking forward to the day I can write a blog about how I reached my goal.

emoticon emoticon

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MOM2OR 2/13/2013 2:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BMELT2013 2/13/2013 2:35PM

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KASEYCOFF 2/13/2013 2:30PM

    Fantastic, Evvie!
emoticon

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XANGELSTEARZX 2/13/2013 2:27PM

    emoticon You did an amazing job! Looking great!

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KIRSTENLYNN62 2/13/2013 2:22PM

    You are amazing! Congratulations on your weight loss and on your Sparkaversary! You are a true inspiration!

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BOOKWORM27S 2/13/2013 2:20PM

    Congrats on your weight loss!

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