JILLYBEAN25   26,782
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Fun Weekend Ahead

Saturday, October 15, 2011

So, after a pretty tumultuous Thursday/Thursday night, my friend made me take a cold shower to alleviate symptoms that we were pretty sure were due to heat stroke (not counting the ones that were due to my evil cold). She was right. I felt so much better, slept pretty well, and woke up Friday morning feeling infinitely better! So, I hopped a train to L.A. to spend the weekend with my best friend. We're going to the L.A. County Museum of Art to see the Tim Burton exhibit. Its with a group of people from her Bible study group, so I'm excited to meet them all. I already know 2 of them, and I'm glad to be seeing them again. Tomorrow will probably be pretty chill. :-)

So, now that I'm feeling better, I'm going to get into a routine again. Its been a rough couple weeks. I made the final decision a week ago to quit my job. I don't have another lined up, unfortunately, but I didn't like what I was doing, it wasn't helping me much financially, and it started to feel like a drain on my time. So, I'm praying for something better to come along soon. In the meantime, I'll concentrate on my two classes at school and getting as healthy as possible before having surgery for this gallbladder (whenever that'll be).

I'm going to start with the 28 Day Bootcamp again. It helped me a lot the first time around because it's structured and I'm told what to do. I like having something scheduled. I'm not so good at exercise on-the-fly. I think simultaneously I'll be doing the Couch to 5K program on Spark, too. I wanted to do the Iron Girl Del Mar 5k in November and was well on my way to being able to do so. Then my health took a dive. But, I think I've got it worked out now so I can safely do both. I'm not sure if I'll be up to par by the event, but I'll try anyway. I can always not do it if I feel like I'm not ready for it. There's always next year and there's always another 5k here in the sunny SD!

Well, I'm off. Tim Burton and LACMA awaits!

I'm a HUGE RAVENOUS fan of Futurama!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 10/18/2011 4:37PM

    Super cute pic! Hope you had a fun weekend! Just answered your question about the 5k and I see that you're planning to do the Iron Girl! I was debating between that and Shelter Island but I think I'm gonna go for Shelter Island, more for the scenery. But you have me comtemplating my decision again! ;)

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DSHONEYC 10/17/2011 3:52PM

    Funny how a weekend away can boost your spirits. Glad you had a great time. I am intrigued about your decision to quit your job. My BF1 quit hers in May to start a new business and end her weekly commute from Berkeley to Pine Grove. I know she wrestled with it a long time, but as Merle Haggard once said the "reason to quit, don't outnumber all the reasons why". Life is too short to get sucked into something you hate doing.

emoticon Did you see 60minutes on Van Gogh last nite?
Can't wait to read the new biography...

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RAINYFRIDAY 10/16/2011 10:57AM

    Hope you're having a FANTASTIC time! Even if you don't run the Irongirl I'm sure it'd be a great deal of fun to walk. I still haven't signed up, but I'm planning to.

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MAESTERSTEVE 10/16/2011 3:09AM

    Dammit! I'm so jealous that you get to go to the Tim Burton exhibit! You GOTS to take some pictures while you're there so I might bask in the soft glow of my laptop attempting to portray his awesomeness! BTW, love, love love the photo of you and Bender! Hang in there with the gallbladder thing, my wife had hers removed shortly before our wedding and the lead up to it was pretty horrific! I hope you aren't getting that constrictive feeling around your chestal area! That'd be a bummer! Have a great weekend!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/16/2011 12:22AM

    Cute picture! I am sorry you were so ill...I hate when that happens! Glad you are feeling
better and can go be with friends, that's good medicine! Good luck with 5k and finding another job...you'll find one!
Best wishes!

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CANNIE50 10/15/2011 7:04PM

    Sounds really fun. I am glad you are feeling better. Good plan for the exercise. Irongirl is a good choice for a 5k because they are such a supportive group.

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ERIKO1908 10/15/2011 6:51PM

    Have a great time!!

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What is the verdict? What will become of Jillybean25? *dun dun DUN!*

Friday, October 07, 2011

Side note/unrelated: You know whatís frustrating? Writing an entire blog and having your browser encounter an error and POOF! Itís goneÖ So, take 2!

Thank you to all who left a comment on my blog, page, photos, left goodies, or sent me a private message. I am very thankful to have had such an outpouring of support. I read each and every comment and message, gave them thought, and took them to heart.

And......... I've decided to stay!

I am going to make sure this journey is mine and my responsibility. My success will not be determined by how many friends I have or how much support I received. But, those elements will definitely help keep me on the right path, moving forward to better health and smaller clothes. Iím also going to work on giving support out of love, and not expecting anything in return. Getting something in return would be nice (and very helpful), though!

Iím going through each person (all 32 of them) and leaving a comment on each page to touch base, start something new, and make sure yaíll know Iím serious! If Iím so inclined, and depending on time, Iíll leave a message or two on some blogs or photos. Iíll most likely save the ďextrasĒ for another time, though, when I schedule in SparkPeople to my normal routine.

Individually, Iíd like to thank:


Additional thank yous:

Iíve left comments on some pages already. Iím working my way through the list, so youíre next! If Iíve misspelled your name, missed you entirely, or youíre new to the party, let me know and Iíll amend the list!

Once again, I canít thank you all enough. I feel very blessed.

And, on a lighter note, Iíll leave you with some photos of foods Iíve made this week. (I warn you in advance, I am obsessed with the RetroCam app for Android!)

This is chicken paprikash with whole wheat dumplings (and corn/peas)- from scratch!

This is vegan lentil chili (with a not-so-vegan dollop of sour cream!)

This is my homemade artichoke and kalamata olive hummus!

Hot cocoa... not homemade... in a cauldron mug!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHOSTGRL21 10/17/2011 3:03PM

    Girl that looks amazing! like the other poster I would love to see the humus recipe as I've been looking for a good one ( I love greek food!!)

Glad you decided to stay!

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/13/2011 11:29PM

    Thanks for the info on the book you recommended so that this veggie diet doesn't get boring. Also, don't get discouraged with SP. A lot of people have recently written that blog responses seem to be down in general. I've been on here 2.5 years and people come and go. Sometimes they respond, most of the times they don't. I've never had a sense of community here. Just use it for the good stuff the site provides and if you make friends in the process, all the better. Hope you're feeling better.

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SHELPEN 10/11/2011 8:44AM


I've been thinking about that blog a lot since you posted it and I've been really trying to keep up the effort in my friendships. I even called a friend last night who I hadn't spoken to in months. And it was nice! I made it a goal for myself to step outside my social comfort zone 3 times each month.

That chili looks amazing! I've never met a vegan chili I didn't like!

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GABLE227 10/10/2011 8:43PM

    Glad you stayed! emoticon

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ANDEENNATE 10/10/2011 6:27PM

    I am glad you are staying....the food looks so yummy!!

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/10/2011 1:08PM

    Awe shucks !! I'm so happy to hear that you've decided to stay ! You're going to do great !!

Love the photos of the yummy dishes ! Of course, now I'm hungry ! LOL !! I'm a big chili fan too ! Yum !


PS - Pretend the emoticon is a chili emoticon ! LOL !

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/8/2011 8:26PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRAWRS 10/8/2011 6:28PM

    Caldron mug! Awesomeness! Also, the food looks delicious and is making me hungry!

"I am going to make sure this journey is mine and my responsibility."

This was a hard lesson for me to learn. When I wrote that blog I mentioned in your last blog, someone told me some tough love stuff which basically amounted to... it is not our responsibility to make sure you take care of yourself... it is YOUR journey... we are here to help, but we can't do it for you.
I felt that was a little rough to say (not those words, but basically thats what they meant), tho it was true. In the end tho, I stepped back a little, assessed myself and what I wanted out of sparkpeople, and decided to revamp my approach. I would visit everyone's page and read everyone's blogs and respond to them IF I WANTED TO... not because I felt obligated to. Once I did that, it really helped. I do also check in especially on my favorites from time to time (tho i admit, mostly they check in on me first and i remember to return the favor), but again, because I WANT to.

I'm really glad you're staying and I hope you take that lesson to heart.
"I am going to make sure this journey is mine and my responsibility."
This place is really great, even tho people, but if you expect more out of it than it can give, you're bound to be disapointed. In any case, I'm glad you're staying and we can all cheer you on with the rest of your journey!!!

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WOLFKITTY 10/8/2011 10:44AM

    Mmm! I want artichoke hummus! But I can't do the olives. You should give me your recipe. HEehee! :D


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LISAG418 10/7/2011 11:15PM

    I'd love to stop by and check in with you every now and then. Glad you are sticking with Spark! I get frustrated too, but I find I do better with SP than without it. Hope you find it works for you better as you develop a support network with the rest of us that are hanging in there as well :)

PS ... Your hummus looks and sounds delicious, can you share the recipe?

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LUCYLU22 10/7/2011 6:52PM

    MMMM You are trying to make us all hungry, I think--LOL!! It all looks incredibly tasty! I am happy to have found a new sparkbuddy to support, encourage and keep in touch with, I am glad that you decided to stay on Spark.

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KKINNEA 10/7/2011 1:42PM

    Glad you're sticking around. Now your food pictures have made me hungry...

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RUNNER12COM 10/7/2011 12:10PM

    Give without an expectation of receiving in return and you'll find yourself receiving more than you ever could imagine.

So glad to read that you are onboard to stay!

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CANNIE50 10/7/2011 12:08PM

    I came to thank you for commenting on my "Bully" blog (it made me happy to come across your comment). I love that, despite the frustration of losing a blog, you didn't give up, you just re-doubled your effort. I love that you listed all the Sparklers who came to support you and I really like that CatsMeow911 got top billing because she really got the Sparktrain rolling in your direction. I like your recommitment and your recognition that most of it will fall on you, that offering support to others is a big part of being successful on SP (or anywhere, really), and that anything you receive in return is a bonus and a blessing. I think you are going to be just fine, and then some. You are a doll.

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MAESTERSTEVE 10/7/2011 11:51AM

    Spark People is a better place for keepin' ya around! Look forward to checking up on your progress!

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MILLER*TIME 10/7/2011 11:11AM

    ooo I love chili in the fall and winter. I made a huge crock pot of it two weeks ago when we had a cold spurt here in GA and then the next day it was in the 80's! lol oops, so needless to say a bunch of it went into the freezer but there's still nothing like a hearty bowl of chili. YUMMO!!!

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CATS_MEOW_0911 10/7/2011 10:09AM

    Aww, thanks for the shout-out! Glad you're sticking around.

And ummmm...recipe for that artichoke and olive hummus please?


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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 10/7/2011 9:02AM

    I'm glad you're staying and your food looks absolutely delish!

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JSALERNO 10/7/2011 8:14AM


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TRYINGTOLOSE64 10/7/2011 6:24AM

    emoticon I'm glad you're staying and you are right your journey is yours and your responsibility. If I left my journey up to those around me I would've quit along time ago.

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    Very happy you are staying! And, your food looks yummy! emoticon

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JBINAUSTIN 10/7/2011 4:27AM

    I'm glad you're staying.

SP can really help out. I particularly like the health news articles, which I get to from my SparkPoints page every day. I frequently learn something useful browsing the news.

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Is this the last of Jillybean25?

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I have a confession: I'm not sure I'm going to be sticking with Spark or not in the near future. I feel very disconnected from the community on here in general. I know it's no one's job to be my keeper or even my friend for that matter, but I'm feeling lonely and isolated on the Spark webs.

I'm not doing so well on my journey right now. I'm stuck with a gallbladder that interferes with a decent portion of my life. I get lazy, lose motivation easily, and haven't made it out to a rally in some time. Its the people that are struggling that need the most encouragement, and sometimes (and this is my perspective only- I'm not saying this is the absolute truth for everyone) it seems like people are only congratulating and encouraging people that are doing well on their journey or who have reached their goals. Just how I see it, at least right now... Not always true, like I said.

Not to point fingers, because I know I take a lot of blame for this. I don't get to make it to rallies (I don't have a car and the buses are very limited on weekends) anymore like I used to. I dropped off the face of the SparkPeople earth for a while, so I'm sure many people just forgot about me. And I don't blame them at all. I came back after finding new motivation, a new spark... I completed the 28 Day Bootcamp, but only had a few cheerleaders on that journey (thank you for the encouragement, by the way! You know who you are!) I had a few friends add me, but then where did they go? They already have established SparkFriendships to nurture. I tried to reach out. I left comments on pages and blogs, left some Goodies here and there, huddle with my favorite team- Spark San Diego! I made myself blog a little more than I had been (which still didn't amount to much).

I feel like I put in some effort and got [next to] nothing in return. Hell, I'm not even sure who is actually going to take the time to read this blog.

I've enjoyed being on Spark. I love their trackers, not that I like tracking food, but exercise and other goals are usually worth my while. I read lots of the articles, utilize some of the recipes... I'm always reading people's blogs, but hardly ever comment since it doesn't seem to spark any sort of conversation. I feel like I don't have Spark Friends anymore. And I don't have anyone in my "real" life going on this journey (or a similar one) with me.

I feel like such a whiner with this blog. Like I'm being so negative. Like I'm accusing people of being bad friends. That's not what this blog is about. Its my honest feelings about how I really feel right now.

I can't even guarantee to always be there for someone else, either, and maybe that's the problem. Like a lot of people, life gets in the way sometimes. I get busy with homework or work or life in general and forget that there are people who need encouragement from me. I think I'd be more on top of checking in with people on their journeys if I had a little more consistent/established SparkFriends, too. If they check on me, I'll remember to check on them. And vice versa. Until, like exercising regularly or eating healthy, it becomes a habit- a part of this lifestyle change we're all trying to make.

I'm not asking to be convinced to stay. I'm not asking for permission to leave. I'm not asking for anything except a few minutes of your time to read this blog. Thank you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARGAZIER82 10/14/2011 1:11PM

    Hi Jillybean, I was just reading your blog today. I completely understand where you are coming from and felt the same way. After emailing you about some San Diego stuff I actually felt like you would be a good friend for me on here since I have trouble making friends on the internet world. Its funny actually, I have no problem in the real world but online I just can't seem to connect. I am often looking for weight loss buddies and when I think I found one they disappear. I want you to know I would have completely stayed in touch with you (and remember friendship is always a two way street, I tend to feel abandoned on here a lot) but I got pregnant and have not been using the tools on Sp at all. There were a couple pregnant groups on here but again I didn't find the answers, or support I needed going through my first pregnancy. So I turned to babycenter which has a lot more info and members who post constantly so I can get my questions answered. Once I have the baby I plan on coming back full force and making it my mission to feel a part of this community. I have actually been surprised at how many people have been messaging me since I left. I figured no one would notice if I was here or not. So thank you for your message. It reminds me that people do care on here and I should make an effort, even during my pregnancy, to keep in touch with people who I have felt a connection to at one time. And after this baby is born I would love to take part in more San Diego activites with sp, make new friends out here, and if you are not too far from me I would have no problem picking you up or meeting you for walks. As long as you don't mind babies :) emoticon

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LINDAJ0621 10/8/2011 3:18PM

    I was just checking up on some of my friends today and one of them had blogged about your blog. I usually hear from about 7-10 friends (out of 127) on a regular basis. Not necessarily on a daily basis. I might go for several weeks before I find the chance to touch base with my other 120 friends. I think the more active we get in pursuing our healthier lifestyle, the less time there is to sit at the computer. I am at the point where I usually Spark while working because the rest of the time I am at the gym or shopping or cooking/meal planning. I have recently been struggling with the reverse problem - feeling guilty for NOT being able to keep in closer touch with my friends and wondering if I should leave SP. I think if you decide to stay, work on making friends with a small core group rather than huge numbers of Sparkers. It is easier to stay more personal that way. Good luck!

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PROVERBS31JULIA 10/7/2011 1:31PM

    Oh COOL I just saw your blog for the first time - I didn't know you were from San Diego (think it was another one I just read before this). Very cool place. Lots of great places to eat, or was, 25 years ago when I was on my honeymoon there with my ex-husband. heh. Two of my cousins did their Snowbirds Away From Colorado & Wyoming thing by going to college in San Diego - they really loved Beaches 101! haah!

Take care!

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CORKY982 10/7/2011 7:29AM

  I tend to feel the same way as you're describing! I do the same thing - read all the blogs, comment here and there, and hope to find a friendship to "spark" so that I have someone who I can sort of lean on while I'm struggling with this last friggin 15 pounds. And it's difficult! But in the end, I really do think that this is a good place to be, because if nothing else... I can log on and see that there are so many people who feel the same way as I do, and it makes you feel slightly less alone.

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MAESTERSTEVE 10/6/2011 5:44PM

    Sorry you're kinda feeling down in the dumps lately! My wife is on here all the time and she has that sense of community that you were talking about. She utilizes the tools at her disposal and is constantly on SP blogging, messaging, tracking, reading, and generally trying to stay positive. We go hiking all over San Diego, so if you ever wanna go, the wife, kids, and I are always glad for company!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/6/2011 5:48AM

emoticon emoticon

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LUCYLU22 10/5/2011 11:38PM

    I really admire your honesty!! I think that because there are so many people on SP it is easy to get "lost in the crowd" so to speak, to feel isolated and alone. I only recently, within the last year, have found a group of sparkbuddies who are really encouraging and supportive, and interestingly we all have friends in common through checking out each others' blogs and friend feeds. I think that all of us feel like this sometimes, and it is refreshing to hear an honest admission. I know that for me personally, I tend to isolate myself when I lose motivation and get angry with myself for slacking off in my routine, and then I just shut myself off from any support. I hope things get better for you regarding your health and in finding whatever works best for YOU!!

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DSHONEYC 10/5/2011 10:53PM

    I read it, lots of people read it. And you have a lot of valid comments. But there will always be some people who are givers and some who are takers, some who give more and some who take more. I do this for me. I blog for me, to get my thoughts together and to reach out to just 1 person.

You are struggling and many people here are reaching out. Be mindful to take help (I read that in your bio of things you are going to do). I find if you are there for just one person, one person will be there for you (these are not necessarily the same person).

So, it's up to you...hope you can connect.
Genuinely emoticon you are feeling down. Smiles!

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CANNIE50 10/5/2011 7:12PM

    I applaud your honesty. As I read through the comments, I couldn't help but think you may have found a connection or two with people who can keep the Spark going for you. I experience this feeling in real life, too, and when I do, sometimes I "go into the cave" - I just do a little stepping back from everyone until I can lick my emotional wounds a bit and then feel a little stronger again. Then, I focus on others for awhile. It sounds counter-intuitive but the best antidote to loneliness and isolation that I have ever found is to reach out to others to encourage them. That is probably a really obvious statement, but, having said it, I also know there are times I just don't have it in me to keep giving. I am sorry to hear about your health problem, that has to be draining. You must be very tired and everything is harder when we are tired. I'm sorry, sweetie - I hope you feel better soon, both physically and emotionally. Take care.

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JSPIN74 10/5/2011 2:43PM

    hi there :)

i came to SP for the calorie tracker & more knowledge. i wasn't looking for support or friendship at all....that has just been a happy happening...a great bonus...

i didn't think i needed a "community" per se...and i may not have, but it certainly has helped me...

sorry to hear you feel so isolated. you really are in better shape then me...i've never been to a spark rally in my life. lol

i hope you find a rhythm & way that works for you & as previous people have said...sometimes u just need a break! we're here though...u just need to give a yell sometimes...

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KRAWRS 10/5/2011 2:13PM

    It is hard to stay connected. Another friend blogged about your blog, saying it was worth the read. You know what? I think we've all been there. I had written a blog a while ago that is very similar to this one... not about leaving, but about feeling I wasn't getting enough in return. Its hard to keep from sounding whiny and accusative, so I know what you mean. You just want as much back as you put in. I think the key is to finding that "right fit" of sparkfriends, and to do that, you have to reach out more than maybe others reach out to you. It sucks... but its also how you find those gems out there that make it all worthwile. I think you should stick to Spark... at least for the tools and trackers, but hopefully also for those people who make up your own personal sparkcommunity. I think you can do it, and when you do, all these obstacles you mention, you'll have overcome those and come out on top! Imagine how proud you'll be then!!! :D Something to look forward to.

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ANDEENNATE 10/5/2011 2:02PM

    I saw this from a friends feed. I am always looking for a new friend, I am going to add you incase yyou stay.

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/5/2011 1:31PM

    I totally understand how you feel. Being a member of Spark People can be very liberating, but it can be very isolating too. The community is so large that posting a thread feels like you're shouting in a crowd. Does anyone hear you ? The answer is yes, someone did hear you !

You're not as alone as you think. People do pay attention. I think the problem is that we don't always pay attention 24/7. I have over 200+ Spark friends. Some are very active. Some are occasionally active. Some have fallen off the face of the Earth. Others leave and return. They take a sabbatical. I try to be in touch with as many friends as I can, but it's not always possible. That doesn't mean I've forgotten them or they've forgotten me. Some times, life gets in the way. We have other projects that take our focus in another direction.

Some times we need a breather. So, if you need time away from Spark People, no one would think less of you. I won't say that people lose their Spark per se. I think that at first, joining Spark feels like a honeymoon. Well, the honeymoon is over, now what ?

That's the problem with losing weight and maintaining... it's not exciting any more. It's mundane. If you'd like to stay with Spark, you need something that excites your passion for weight loss again. Because I'll say it,"eating right, watching your portions and getting some regular exercise that includes some strength training" does get boring.

Thus the need to find something that excites your passions.

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TRYINGTOLOSE64 10/5/2011 1:14PM

    I've used other sites and believe me... the support on this one is 100% better if not 1,000% better. On the other sites, I've been told that my journey isn't really a journey that it's just a virtual fantasy and that I'm just imagining that I need to lose weight until I prove it by going on national tv. Why should anybody have to prove that they have to lose weight?

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SCHWINNER! 10/5/2011 1:00PM

    Funny that this blog has warranted so many comments when you were worried there'd be none :)

I just want you to know that I totally agree and understand that disconnected feeling. I used to be really active on all my teams, but then I just sort of stopped. Now I'm struggling to get back some feeling of community. My new thing is just to comment on my friends' activities in my feed, and try to connect one-on-one like that, rather than via teams. Several of my Spark friends and I are now facebook friends, and that's helped me even more.

I realize you don't blame other people entirely, and that it does take effort on your part. But maybe just try some other methods of reaching out to people. Focus on the friends you DO have and put your energy into them.

I'm going to add you as a friend - I hope you do the same :)

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GREENIDQT 10/5/2011 12:48PM

    i gotta say i completely agree with you .. i feel the same, and i also have a gallbladder problem, i know the feeling... losing weight is hard enought.. the support your spousta have .. isnt always there.. thats why i joined spark people, thinking .. the extra support will help me on my journey, but honestly, i havent seen much of that support, and ive only been here just about 2 wks, .. im still looking for that spark friend.. that i can get to know and help support, not just for them but for me too,
so keep your head up , seems like u got alot of support from this blog, but its not about that .. u need and want that support .. all the time .. not just when u blog.. that ur unhappy about sp... so again , keep ur head.. up .. smile, and know .. ur trying hard, ... you got a friend in me !

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    The community piece goes in bursts for me, there are days I am SO into it and feel so connected and others that I wonder why I bother. I hope you find what you are looking for but know that others feel the same way.

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    Thank you for being so honest. I sometimes feel the same way. When I do a blog I will get a few comments on it..usually the same people and I appreciate them so much. This past week or so I have felt a bit more connection...though I haven't had any more response to my blogs than usual...I have a few great supports.
I hope that this changes for you. You said you don't have the "real life" support that you need, so maybe hang on a bit longer because it is really difficult to do this alone.


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JSALERNO 10/5/2011 12:20PM


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SMILINGTREE 10/5/2011 11:35AM

    I came to Sparkpeople only for the trackers and information, and didn't really expect to make friends. I've been here for a year and a half or so now, and there are a handful of people who I follow fairly closely - I read their blogs, pay attention to their status updates and so on. "Knowing" them, even only virtually, feels like a bonus.

In many ways, Sparkpeople makes it a little awkward to have a conversation. For example, if I leave a comment on a blog of someone who is not in my friend feed and they reply, I don't even know, so there is no way to go back and carry on the conversation. Comments on status updates are equally awkward, and if you have lots of people in your feed, you might miss replies and comments.

I'm adding you as a friend and will gladly check in on you now and again, offering empathy and encouragement when and if I can. We don't know each other, but I think we both know how it feels to be a little lonely.

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SHELLBELL4281 10/4/2011 5:51PM

    I agree with you 100%. I feel disconnected on here as well. I'm hoping to meet friends on here but I have been unsuccessful so far. I hope you decide to stay. If you'd like, I'll help cheer you on! emoticon

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MILLER*TIME 10/4/2011 3:13PM

    hey there-- i ran across your blog through a friends' and I'm ALWAYS looking for new people to encourage and push through their journeys. I'm here to support you if you choose to stay!! Just send me a message when you feel you've come to a conclusion for what's best for YOU and then I'll do whatever I can to help motivate you forward! You can do this girl, and trust me you're not alone!

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 10/4/2011 2:15PM

    I'm sorry you are feeling unsupported. :( I second all of the below advice and agree that you should stay on! Sparkpeople has so many great resources, you just have to work it!

Since we live so close to each other, we should meet up for a walk sometime. I get home from work around 4:30pm every night, so anytime after that works for me! Let me know.


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YIBYAB 10/4/2011 12:36PM

    I just added you to my small list of SparkFriends, half of which are inactive or on hiatus. You can't leave now.

Can I just say that your post is actually kind of refreshing, despite it's sour message? I'm not really into SparkPeople for it's community, despite the fact that I've made some good virtual friends and even a few Real Life ones. I just get the feeling sometimes that I'm on the SparkPeople Island for Misfit Toys, out on the fringe somewhere. I know the Pleasantville-like atmosphere works for most people, but the "woo hoo" stuff can just seem a bit cultish or automatic sometimes. Reading some introspective, honest, disenchanted thoughts breaks up the illusion that everyone at SparkPeople is in on the party and overcoming their obstacles.

I'd wager there are more people struggling with sentiments like yours than we realize, and I wouldn't be surprised if this blog entry gets a reaction from others sharing your feelings.

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WOLFKITTY 10/4/2011 10:44AM

    I would be sad to see you go. :(

I hope you stay. So, maybe this is selfish, but I have the opportunity to know a lot of people on Spark, but not really KNOW them, as in meet with them, and get a true sense of their identity. (When I recognize a Sparkname, or a comment from someone I know, it holds even greater meaning, whether that is right or wrong.) Also, since I've been on Spark consistently for over 3.5 years, I've seen a LOT of people go. Sometimes they come back, usually they don't. Okay, so that part was about me.

About you: I think HERE you have all of the tools available to you to really accomplish what you want. You just said that no one in your life is going through this process. I was isolated like that too, the first year I was here, and it was SparkPeople and the message boards and blog conversations that got me in the "weight loss/healthy living" mindset, and kept me there. People around me wanted to eat at TGIFriday's (fried cheese topped with cheese with a cheese dipping sauce). I got weird looks for bringing baby carrots as a snack when having coffee with friends. But SP helped me feel normal, and not quit taking care of myself out of being different. You should stay here for you. And for all of the possibilities that await you in your future.

I know you said that this isn't what the blog was about, and you didn't want to be convinced. I just wanted to be sure to share what was on my mind.

I have my Friend Feed set to ONLY show me my friends' new blogs. I have less than 1 hour on SparkPeople each day (usually), so I rarely read them, or reply to people. But sometimes, when I'm on here (okay, it's when I should be doing something else, like the Done Girl Birthday Alert this morning), I can't resist sneaking a peek at a blog. This morning it was yours. You're one of my special SparkFriends.

I've been through a lot this summer... Divorce, homelessness, etc., and haven't been able to be a presence on Spark like I normally am. I recognize exactly what you describe about not getting much encouragement from the community. But *I* think that is directly related to how little *I* was in the community. I wasn't greeting newbies; I wasn't replying to people that commented on my page; I wasn't in the message boards offering support or advice or anything; I rarely read blogs (but I have a rule that if I read a blog I HAVE to comment with SOMETHING, even if it's just a phrase of encouragement, even if just to show the person who has read their blog---That's what I wish people would do on mine; I wasn't blogging as frequently. People didn't necessarily forget about me, but there were days with no comments at all. For me, that can be strange, since I lead a group that has over 16,000 members. And they see my face in their email box from my daily Sparkmail. But I strongly feel that you get what you give out here, albeit maybe half as much. If you give out 40%, you'll get back 20%. It's not an equal ratio, but if you give out 5%, you'll probably only get back 2.5%, and that may feel like nothing. And if you're already in a mind frame that has a touch or more of depression, instead of seeing that 2.5% as a gift, you may only focus on what is lacking. Just like you may have modest healthy success, but only focus on what you're NOT doing or NOT accomplishing.

I hope this isn't starting to sound like I'm berating you - my tone in my head is far, far more gentle than that. I'm merely sharing my experience, not telling you what to do.

You can do this, and have fun, and really be a part of something special! Build your own empire. Some of the most enthusiastic Sparkers are the new people (they are also a gamble since some of them drop off right away). Try to connect with them. Do what they advise in the "Community Member" requirements, and I think you'll be amazed at what you find.

You have the power within yourself to unleash something beautiful in the world. Take your own breath away! You could end up revolutionizing your life.

Hugs and loves,

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SHELPEN 10/4/2011 9:49AM

    I really could have written a lot of what you talk about. I find it SO hard to connect with people (even more so in "real life" than on SP).

I know I am 85% to blame because I'm not great at offering support or picking up the phone to call my friends. I don't know why; I complain that I don't have friends but I don't put in the effort. And I have no idea why. (I'm not AT ALL saying this is what you do, I'm just offering my experience and struggles.)

I guess I'm just such an introvert and shy and slightly awkward that I'm comfortable with my small group of friends (like, 2 or 3), and I need to come to terms with that. Maybe I'm not meant to be one of those people contantly surrounded by lots of people. But I would like to know that if my car broke down at 3am and my husband was unavailable, I'd have someone to call. Right now, I wouldn't.

But back to Spark. I actually had kind of an "a-ha moment" reading JBINAUSTIN's reply about how she gets more connection from message boards and groups than one-on-one conversations. That's totally me! I like to observe from a distance. That said, I do like to keep up with friends about how they're doing, even if I don't always converse with them (but I should do that more!)

Re-reading my response, I realize I'm not a ton of help. But hopefully you feel like you're not alone in your feelings; sometimes I think I'm the only young woman struggling with social issues (online and real life).

I do hope you'll stay on SP; you're my funniest SparkFriend by far! emoticon But of course, you need to do what's best for you and you deserve support. If you do decide to stay, you have my pledge that I'll be a better SparkFriend and offer more support. emoticon

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JBINAUSTIN 10/4/2011 4:33AM

    I read your blog, Jillybean. Thanks for writing. You seem to have a knack for blog titles that catch the eye.

I sometimes think the same thing: I blog and no one notices. But it turns out they do notice; they just don't comment all the time. I wish SP showed the "Like" count on blogs, so you can see how many people stopped by and appreciated your words. You never know about that unless you make it big enough to get sent around as a favorite, which has never happened to me. Not even my blog on sea slugs (how that that NOT go viral?).

I don't get a lot of SparkMail but I get a feeling of connection from the message boards for my teams and from reading blogs. I'm kind of shy and don't need a lot of one-on-one so it works for me. People post in topic threads and games and I get feedback and community that way, in addition to comments on my blogs. Also, I don't really have time for a lot of conversational email, so I don't tend to comment on much unless it really strikes a chord or someone asks for feedback.

I check my friend feed and the scrolling blog/huddle wall every day or so to see what's up with friends and teams. I'm on late at night (even by California standards) so there aren't many people huddling when I'm on either.

I'm sorry you have to deal with gallbladder trouble. I know it's sometimes hard to get a diagnosis and suitable treatment for more complex problems. My husband had a series of strokes last year, so I know how navigating the medical system can take over your life and make it hard to do things like focus on or have time for healthy eating.

I hope you find a community that works for you, whether its SP or elsewhere.

P.S. I'm glad you got a haircut you like :-)

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CATS_MEOW_0911 10/4/2011 3:28AM

    I'm sorry you're struggling with feeling disconnected. I hope you can find what you need, whether that be here on Spark or elsewhere.

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Jillybean A thru Z to Know ME!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I thought since my last blog was rather a downer, not that much has changed from then, I'd post something a little more "fun" and maybe a way to get to know me a little better. I haven't been able to make it to local Spark rallies and I'm not always on message boards these days, so I get the feeling some of ya'll think I may be a "lost cause"... or maybe that's just more feelings of isolation stemming from the rest of things going on in my life. It probably is, but hard not to feel that way when blogs go un-commented, pages go un-commented, status updates go un-commented. You know how it is, I'm sure. Anyway, back to the fun stuff:

A. Age: 28

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you dislike: Vacuuming

D. Dogs: 1 that lives with my parents. He's an old guy and pretty close to the end... but, he is loved!!

E. Essential start to your day: 16oz of water immediately upon waking up.

F. Favorite color: Green

G. Gold or silver: Silver. I've never liked the look of yellow gold on me.

H. Height: 5í 6"

I. Instruments you play(ed): I played flute in elementary school, guitar in high school, and I'm a classically trained mezzo soprano who is seriously out of practice.

J. Job title: Erm... Student? Someday it will be Registered Dietitian. :-)

K. Kids: None, thank goodness.

L. Live: Sunny San Diego

M. Mom's name: Tracy

N. Nicknames: Jilly, Steve, Barf, G, Jirr

O. Overnight hospital stays: Just last summer of '10. My ovaries exploded. Twice.

P. Pet peeves: Arrogance, Ignorance, and Rudeness

Q. Quote from a movie: "Sweet! I like that. Because you don't have... chlamydia. And I know that. And that s--- is everywhere!"

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: 2 younger, but definitely not smaller, brothers.

T. Time you wake up: Around 9am if I've gotten an okay night of sleep.

U. Underwear: Black

V. Vegetables you don't like: Raw bulb onion and I go through fresh tomato phases.

W. What makes you run late: The bus and my own exhaustion

X. X-rays you've had: Wrist (and it's still messed up!), feet, knee, teeth

Y. Yummy food you make: It'll probably be easier to list things I've made that weren't so yummy, starting with burnt popcorn balls and rice. I also failed at making a good hot and sour soup.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Flamingoes

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLYBEAN25 10/7/2011 3:20PM

    JS- Its very nice to meet you, too! I hate lima beans, too! I'm so glad I can't eat them any more (I developed a bean allergy in junior high).
Rainy- I love min pins!!! I've always wanted one! Super small dogs (mine is a toy fox terrier) and super large dogs (I've always wanted a great dane!) are my faves. And its nice to officially meet you!

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RAINYFRIDAY 10/7/2011 11:58AM

    I'm a total sucker for these things recently, hehe.

A. Age: 35

B. Bed size: King

C. Chore you dislike: I only get to pick one?!

D. Dogs: 4 year old Min. Pin, Ruby Tuesday. She's sweet funny and she loves her mama ;)

E. Essential start to your day: Waking up. I find it's essential to every day. :P

F. Favorite color: Black

G. Gold or silver: Silver or white gold.

H. Height: 5í 6"

I. Instruments you play(ed): I'm just not that talented.

J. Job title: Home maker.

K. Kids: 2 boys ages 9 and 10. Yeah, its all burps and farts in this house

L. Live: San Diego

M. Mom's name: Penny

N. Nicknames: Nic, Nicci

O. Overnight hospital stays: in my early 20s I had a weeklong stay for an infection then a week when my first was born and 24 hours when my second came along

P. Pet peeves: Liars

Q. Quote from a movie: When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No... don't blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is!

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: 1 older half brother

T. Time you wake up: 5:40 *sigh*

U. Underwear: Yeah.. I wear em :P

V. Vegetables you don't like: I'm sure there are some I don't like, I just haven't gotten around to finding out yet.

W. What makes you run late: My kids!

X. X-rays you've had: knee, wrist, elbow (2 different times!) chest and mouth

Y. Yummy food you make: Thai Beef Noodle soup..so good.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Meercats. Especially when its sunny out and they lay down to warm their soft little bellies. *squee*

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JSALERNO 10/7/2011 7:56AM

    A. Age: 37

B. Bed size: King

C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning the litter box

D. Dogs: NONE

E. Essential start to your day: SPARKING

F. Favorite color: PURPLE

G. Gold or silver: SILVER

H. Height: 5í 6"

I. Instruments you play(ed): guitar,


K. Kids: NONE


M. Mom's name: ROSE

N. Nicknames: JENN
O. Overnight hospital stays:NEVER


Q. Quote from a movie: "GO AHEAD MAKE MY DAY."

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty


T. Time you wake up: 5am.

U. Underwear: HIPSTERS

V. Vegetables you don't like: LIMA BEANS

W. What makes you run late: MISSING KEYS

X. X-rays you've had: Chest, teeth, ulna (broken), ankles.

Y. Yummy food you make: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (I'm a simple man and a kid at heart.)

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Birds of prey...or Dolpins if Seaworld counts as a zoo.

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JILLYBEAN25 10/7/2011 2:27AM

    Its great to meet you, too, Steve! (Funny how we have the same nickname, no? ;-D) Nothing wrong with Vader man-panties!

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MAESTERSTEVE 10/6/2011 6:03PM

    Heeheehee! This looks fun!

A. Age: 28

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you dislike: Changing diapers!

D. Dogs: None :( Soon though!

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee. Lots.

F. Favorite color: Blue

G. Gold or silver: Silver. I always thought yellow gold was tacky...

H. Height: 5í 11"

I. Instruments you play(ed): A little guitar. Awesome at Rockband!

J. Job title: Assistant Store Manager @ Pier 1 Imports

K. Kids: 3 Joey-9 Matt-6 Cailin-2

L. Live: San Diego! Imperial Beach, specifically.

M. Mom's name: Lori

N. Nicknames: Steve, or "That one guy"

O. Overnight hospital stays: Never been that sick, never had a broken bone.

P. Pet peeves: Being bored, people who don't pick up their dog's crap on hiking trails!

Q. Quote from a movie: "Here's a fun fact...You made out with your sister!"

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: 2 younger, brothers.

T. Time you wake up: If the kids are in school? 6:45am(sucks)

U. Underwear: Right now? Lemme check....Darth Vader boxers. Shaddap.

V. Vegetables you don't like: Squash and eggplant. Their consistancy when cooked is gross to me.

W. What makes you run late: My wife most of the time!

X. X-rays you've had: Never had one!

Y. Yummy food you make: Recently I made a killer stew, but I can do chicken in many different dishes.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: I love going to see the orangutans!!! They're like people!

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JILLYBEAN25 10/4/2011 5:52PM

    Its definitely nice to meet you, Yib!!! emoticon (I love Dr. Strangelove!!!)

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YIBYAB 10/4/2011 1:01PM

    I don't normally do these, but...here goes:

A. Age: 50

B. Bed size: California King

C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning the litter box

D. Dogs: Cassie, an 8-year old Golden Retriever and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a Maltese-Poodle.

E. Essential start to your day: Checking the Duke Basketball fan messageboard.

F. Favorite color: Donít have a favorite, actually. Blue, I guess.

G. Gold or silver: Gold..

H. Height: 5í 6"

I. Instruments you play(ed): Piano, guitar, penny whistle, concertina, hammered dulcimer.

J. Job title: Systems Engineer/Project Manager

K. Kids: Two (thank goodness)

L. Live: San Diego

M. Mom's name: Maggie

N. Nicknames: Bobby, YB

O. Overnight hospital stays: Once; age 6 when I had tonsils removed.

P. Pet peeves: My daughterís Beta fish named Peeves. (Get it?)

Q. Quote from a movie: "Gentlemen! You canít fight in here. This is the War Room.Ē

R. Righty or Lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: 4 younger sisters.

T. Time you wake up: 6am.

U. Underwear: Grey Champion boxers

V. Vegetables you don't like: Okra.

W. What makes you run late: Internet

X. X-rays you've had: Chest, teeth, ulna (broken), ankles.

Y. Yummy food you make: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (I'm a simple man and a kid at heart.)

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Birds of prey...or Dolpins if Seaworld counts as a zoo.

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[Un]necessary roughness...

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The past few weeks have been a rather difficult set to manage. I'm lucky to have friends and family who love me. But, even then, its hard not to feel alone when things go bad.

My financial situation took on an odd change(s) recently. I've made some changes to try to fix it, but I still struggle with it. Some of these changes have left a few members of my family feeling betrayed (not by my actions) and I am left feeling guilty and like an even bigger loser than I already feel. This has also left a sort of rift in the relationships of my close family members. I feel guilty about that, too. And deeply saddened that this is all happening. The end result has been a state of depression and constant stress for me. I don't think there's a way I can rectify the situation unless I were to be miraculously employed full-time, complete with full benefits, and a good car already paid for was thrown in for good measure. Since the rest of the situation isn't my fault, its not my place to try to 'fix' things. And attempting to do so would probably worsen my stress and sadness.

As I struggle to maintain control of myself and emotions, I'm still dealing with this gallbladder thing. I had an appointment with a surgeon that went well... I suppose. It was really more of an informative thing more than anything. I was given adequate details of the procedures of the surgeries (laparoscope and traditional), as well as what was involved in recovery, potential complications, etc. This appointment included a hand-drawn diagram and the use of a chart. Very thorough, indeed. A test was ordered for figuring the function of the gallbladder. I was injected with a radioactive tracer to see the gallbladder. Then I laid under a camera that took multiple pictures of my gallbladder for 30 solid minutes. Then they analyzed it. I got the results of that test today while I was at work. Luckily there were no customers in the store at the time. Turns out my gallbladder is functioning within the "normal" parameters (something like 74 or 79%) and in order for it to be considered a dud it had to be functioning in the 'hood of 30-35%. I was so disappointed when I heard the news I immediately burst into tears. If my gallbladder is functioning so well, why am I in so much pain? Why have I had to continually eliminate foods from my diet (like red meat, oatmeal, peanut butter, carbonated or bubbly beverages, raw hearty vegetables...) because they cause me so much pain when I eat them? Why is it that when I'm already in pain no painkillers help relieve it? That does not sound like a gallbladder that is functioning "normally" to me. Luckily, I get to plead my case to the surgeon. I hope I can persuade him to remove it anyway.

Because of this pain, I feel so stuck and stagnated in my life. I feel like I can't move forward because I don't want to start something I'm going to have to stop or pause to have a surgery/recover. I want to finish up my AS in nutrition so that I can start on the stuff I need for the Master's Program I want to apply for. I don't want to take too many classes in case I have to pause/stop and won't be able to catch up in time before the semester ends. I feel like I can't get another/better job because I don't want to start it and then "Oh, um, sorry, I need to have surgery. I'll be out for a few weeks/months." I don't want to start the Master's program because I have a schedule to stick with when it comes to that. I have 24 months to complete the degree and THAT'S IT. Unfortunately, that schedule isn't conducive to having surgery. I can't take time off.

And another big thing is because of the pain and my limited eating, I don't feel like I'm able to take in enough food to properly fuel a workout. I want to hit the treadmill again, I want to do another bootcamp or take a class, or something. But, if I'm undernourished and tired (and depressed) all the time, I can't expect to gain anything from working out except fatigue. And probably soreness. I was so happy on my path to good health and weight loss. I dropped a pant size. I'd like to drop more pant sizes. But, at this point in time I feel like I'm stuck. Completely unable to do any kind of exercise. This is not a position I want to be in either.

A few other things have just compounded my feelings lately, and simply for the sake of getting them off my chest, here they are: 3 of my closest friends have left San Diego (2 for a long, long, if not permanent amount of time; the other for several months). Its made me happy for them and their opportunities of course, but super sad that they aren't going to be a regular part of my life anymore. I cried [hard] when they left. I'm still sad about it. Also, my glasses finally fell apart completely last week. They were being held together by not much more than hope and some precariously placed super glue. They are almost 2 or 3 years old at this point, so I'm not surprised they've disintegrated on me. It just couldn't have come at a worse time. For realzies. I had my annual ladies' exam and that didn't go so well either. So, I've had to change my strategy some so that I don't screw up my lady bits any more than I may have already potentially. Maybe I'm being dramatic. Right now my plan of attack on this one is to do nothing. Woo! Am taking my first math class in YEARS!!! YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS!!! Its elementary statistics. I'm terrified. I'm not now, nor have I ever been EVER, good at the maths. I did my first homework assignment for the class last night... HOLE. E. CRAP. This is going to suck. A LOT. I tried to have a positive attitude going in, I'm still trying to keep a positive attitude, despite everything ever, but I'm being realistic here. This is going to be an epic struggle. I also found out that thanks to my wonderful, oh-so-useful Bachelor's Degree, I am not qualified for financial aid at school. And apparently I have too much money being "donated" to my living expenses to qualify for government aid (like food stamps).

Okay. I'm done. I feel like I'm being very negative, and hey, ya know what, that's just where I am right now. Life is not working out too great, and that happens. I'm not apologizing for it. I'm trying not to whine about it. I just feel helpless and small in this situation. But, I'm glad for the Bible verse I have written on my bathroom mirror to remind myself of the good that can come from all the b.s.

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. Rom 5:3-4

On the plus side, I got a haircut that I really love. :-)


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