KARENCRANER   67,985
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Never Quit the Journey!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

While I was growing up, my charismatic dad worked as a high school administrator in some very small school districts in Washington State. He, therefore, gave several (fabulous) graduation addresses to these communities. One of these, “Life is a Journey, Not a Destination,” has taken on deeper meaning since I’ve become a Sparkperson.

My Sparkjourney began over two years ago. I was ready to lose weight. I’d reached my limit. At 328 pounds, I was constantly uncomfortable, in pain, and self-conscious, despite the fact that I put on a brave, indifferent, or smiling face to cover those basic facts. I dove into the Sparkcommunity and swam with vigor. It suited me: I learned about nutrition, fitness, and wellness; I made Sparkacquaintances who soon became Sparkfriends; I changed my lifestyle a bit at a time; I promised to NEVER quit trying to improve my healthy lifestyle because I was worth it; I worked out regularly; I lost 50 pounds over 8 months! I felt strong and empowered by my success, and I knew I’d found a route that would take me where I needed to go.

Then, my journey took a detour. I took a month off from Sparking which led to more time off “for good behavior.” Although I still ate fairly well, I wasn’t getting as much exercise as I should. However, I did maintain the weight loss for several months. When the detour I was on took several nasty turns, I began making really poor choices to cope with the challenges life had thrown at me. The poor choices were along the lines of cookies, vodka (lots, daily), and stuffing my emotions. The tough thing to accept about myself is that I made those choices despite being a well-educated, fairly intelligent Sparkie who’d promised to never quit. But, in the back of my mind I knew with certainty that I would prevail, I would make it out the far side of the dismal detour, I had the knowledge and tools through Sparkpeople to become more healthy, and I would continue what I’d promised.

Thank God, life is a journey and not just a destination. I’ve gained all of the weight back. I have my annual physical in three weeks, and I’m anxious to get a professional opinion regarding what damage I’ve done to my liver. Life’s detour is still dismal, degrading, and depressing, but I’m seldom using food or booze to cope. Each day, I’m making more positive choices. I’m not sure where those choices will lead me, but I’m once again enjoying life’s journey and can’t wait to see what’s around the next corner.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLAMNGLOWDIVA 7/22/2014 1:26AM

    This is an amazing blog. I was so happy to see you back here. emoticon

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PCOH051610 7/17/2014 10:24PM

    emoticon

I know exactly what you mean! I'm sooooooo glad to see you back!!! Let's challenge each other!

Hugs!

Susan

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ODDCOUPLE01 7/17/2014 7:17PM

    Just what I needed to see. I'm an on again/off again sparkperson as well. Glad to see I'm not alone and that you've made your way back. I like that life is a journey, so let's make it a road well traveled! We can do it!! emoticon
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JULIA_211 7/17/2014 7:01PM

    emoticon emoticon I've missed you! I'm so glad that you're back!
I too regained all (plus 5 lbs., for good measure) since coming back to sparkpeople in 2010. It doesn't matter why, what matters is that we are here now, moving forward, and supporting each other. emoticon emoticon
I wish you the best on your journey! emoticon

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Positive Results!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Finally, at long last, the scale is moving down again! I still haven't figured out what caused me to overeat purposefully for all of those months, but it was obviously an emotional reaction. Rather than focusing on the negative, though, I choose to focus on the positive. I've controlled my intake over the last two weeks and eaten within my calorie range on most of the days. With the new tracker that adds calories to my range based on my activity, I just need to aim for the lower end to see results. As I continue this trend, I should be back to my original loss of 50 pounds in about a month. Most importantly: I didn't quit!!! I kept tracking even when my totals were embarrassing, and I never quit believing that a lifestyle change was possible.

God bless my Sparkfriends for their continual support and inspitation. Spark on, Dudes!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2ABBYNORMAL 9/14/2013 12:32AM

    Continue to focus on the positive. I try to focus on the positive but I have to admit that the negative sometimes seeps in.
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BRADMILL2922 9/12/2013 1:49AM

    Yes! You did not quit! Yes! Focus on the positive! Congrats on your loss! Keep your eye on that prize and you will get there in no time!

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TIRED49 9/11/2013 11:22PM

    emoticon Well I have been tracking and exercising and my weight is going up! I really think it is water at least I hope so..I know I can't gain 3 lbs in a night. My eating is not that bad.
So happy yours is going down and like you I am tracking even when I know it won't look so great.

You keep focusing on that positive, we can do this!

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 9/11/2013 1:44AM

    Yes, bet positive with things. You're figuring it out and will have success.

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PCOH051610 9/10/2013 8:54PM

    Great job! I really can relate to your comment about purposely overeating as I'm going through that right now. I really don't understand why we choose to sabotage ourselves.

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UMBILICAL 9/10/2013 8:19PM

  Persistence

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Good Girl?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I've been a good girl - - fairly consistent the last two weeks, stayed within my calorie range, and chopped plenty of firewood. (I even got a blister; I was so proud!) However, the scale hasn't budged. Am I discouraged? No, I am not! I feel great! I switched my tracking to allow it to modify itself based on my workouts. I think I just need to aim a bit lower than my recommended calorie range, so I can see a bit of weight loss in the next two weeks. I'll keep you posted. :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2ABBYNORMAL 8/27/2013 12:03AM

    Great to hear from you. It sounds like you are doing great. Keep it up.
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JULIA_211 8/23/2013 7:00AM

    emoticon You go, my friend! Focus on the way your body feels, all the good things you've been doing for your body! emoticon emoticon

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BRADMILL2922 8/23/2013 3:24AM

    I love your attitude! Don't go to low on the calories. In fact, you may want to alternate days between lower and higher calorie counts. Just an idea

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 8/23/2013 1:10AM

    That is an awesome attitude to have. You keep pushing and you will have success.

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TIRED49 8/22/2013 11:20PM

    emoticon
I had a great week tracking and exercising last week, and the scale moved, but alas stress is getting it's way this week.
We can do this! Some weeks will go great and some will not, it's just keeping on that will get us to the prize.
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PCOH051610 8/22/2013 4:21PM

    Chopping up all that firewood burned a lot of calories! Are you eating enough? Good job! So very proud of you! emoticon

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CHERIJ16 8/22/2013 2:08PM

    emoticon

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ROBBIEY 8/22/2013 1:08PM

  Keep the faith and keep moving and it will come.
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Finally Back On!

Friday, August 02, 2013

I've finally drug myself back onto the eating healthier and being more active wagon. Yee hah! I even stayed within my calorie range (averaged over the past 7 days). That even included a three day mini vacation and eating at a fabulous buffet every night. I'm pretty proud just because that showed planning and commitment: packing fruit and healthy snacks asks banking calories so I could really enjoy the prime rib, salmon, and tasty deserts!

However, over the past months, actually since Phil was in the hospital in March, I struggled with weird (for me) binges. In the past I gained all my weight with pedestrian overeating, a diet rich in fats and salt. On the day I took him to the emergency room, I didn't eat a thing until he got checked in to the VA hospital at 9:30 that night. I stopped at Safeway on my way home, bought a box of cookies from the bakery and ate all of them before going to bed. I made healthy fast food choices over the next week such as Subway and Panda Express, but continued binging on cookies every night. After he was released, I continued with the sugar, and he joined in. As the spring progressed and the school year school year drew to its ever-stressful conclusion, I added binging on alcohol into the mix and that behavior continued through the 4th of July. I continued sparking, drinking plenty of water, and eating pretty well during the day, but all bets were off in the evening. I has few good days sprinkled here and there throughout the spring and early summer, but most were pittiful attempts. I've been working hard to regain healthier habits through July and finally had a whole week that was successful. Big questions remain: why did I binge, what triggered that behavior, what are the warning signs, how will I avoid that repetitive behavior in the future?

Sparkhugs to my Sparkbrothers and Sparksisters!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PCOH051610 8/22/2013 3:44PM

    Sorry I missed this! emoticon

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ANGIEC77 8/4/2013 10:40PM

    My dear friend,
I too struggle with making good choices when the going gets tough. Well actually I even struggle during times of celebration. But I think the most important thing is you haven't given up!!!! We can help eachother out if you'd like? I know we have a little distance so can't go for walks, or be active together as much as I would like. However, we can sort of sponser eachother and if we're having a challenging day or week perhaps call eachother? We are a lot alike and tend to keep to ourselves when the going gets tough. We both know that we would be there for eachother. So how about from now on if we are feeling like we may be out of control with food or alcohol we dial a friend? It may sound a little korny but I think it's worth a try.

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2ABBYNORMAL 8/4/2013 12:22AM

    I believe what the others are saying. Stress can be a great factor in binge eating habits that we don't realize it. Eating well all day and then binging at night, I believe, is a stress relief. But that's okay. You know what it is. You are getting back on track and that's great. We've all been there.
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MOM2ACAT 8/2/2013 4:38PM

    I think that when we are worried about a loved one, craving comfort foods, such as cookies, is a natural reaction to the stress. I've spent my share of time before waiting around hospitals when I've had family there; and often it's hard to find healthy snacks in a hospital, especially if the cafeteria is only open certain hours and all you are left with is vending machines.

Kudos to you for getting back on track!

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BRADMILL2922 8/2/2013 10:47AM

    That is great that you are back on! Sorry to hear that you have had such a hard time. One day at a time...you can do it!

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PCOH051610 8/2/2013 7:57AM

    So glad to see you back on! Yay!

I've never been a drinker so I don't know about the alcohol bingeing but I do know I binge a lot at night! It's something I'm trying to work on.

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JULIA_211 8/2/2013 5:10AM

    When I was taking care of my mom, I didn't eat, I didn't have time. I survived on coffee and/or grapes all day long and lost 21 lbs.

When I had to leave her in a nursing home, and I'd come back from visiting her, that's when my binge eating started again, and I have regained the 21 and then some. I was stuffing down my emotions with food.

I'm sorry that you've been having such a tough time, I know how that is.

Congratulations on your on-track week, and coming back to sparkdom! emoticon Keep up the great work! One day at a time! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 8/2/2013 1:49AM

    It's good to have you back and to get yourself back on track. I think stress and the unknown are HUGE reason for overeating at times. You had a lot of that, but now you can put some focus back on you now.
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The Wedding!

Monday, April 29, 2013

The wedding went great! I was able to control my voice and keep it from cracking with emotion, and we got through the formalities all right. Here's part of the script I used, which talks about the difference between the days, weeks, and months before the wedding and the wedding itself.

A moment ago, I referred to this ceremony as a formalization of their vows, and that, really, is all it is. When I spoke with Sarah regarding her wedding ceremony, she emphasized that she wanted something short, so they could enjoy food, drink, dancing, family, and friends: the things that they really care about. Robert Fulgum, author of “All You Ever Needed to Know, You Learned in Kindergarten” and a Unitarian minister might agree, as he has this to say about the wedding ceremony: “You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of ‘yes,’ to this moment of ‘yes,’ indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, ‘You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant them all, every word.’”

So, I think Robert Fulgum would agree that the ceremony isn’t the main event; it’s just a prelude to the party and the remainder of Bryan and Sarah’s life together.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIRED49 5/3/2013 10:52PM

    What wonderful words of wisdom you shared. Glad your wedding went well, precious memories. Have a great weekend. And yes I am still here.
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2ABBYNORMAL 4/30/2013 11:01PM

    Very good wisdom and words. I concur.
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PATRIC8 4/30/2013 3:02PM

  The Reverend Karen,
Well Done!!!!! Lovely sentiment expressed, short and to the point, covered all bases....GOOD JOB!!!! Love Ya. emoticon

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KATHYBERKLEY 4/29/2013 9:04PM

  Hi Karen, I am so happy the ceremony went well. I had zero doubt that your part would be anything but sensational and meaningful. I did see one picture of you so far that was so impressive. Every person in attendance will remember your part in this start to a new union. Feel the love! Kath


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MOM2ACAT 4/29/2013 7:14PM

    emoticon I'm glad it all went great!

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