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.
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!
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. :)
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!
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.
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