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MANLEYSANDY's Recent Blog Entries

Keep your Spark close and your Spark Friends closer

Friday, June 17, 2011

I was reading a blog the other day written by KITHKINCAID about an amazing date she had and it got me to thinking about what a HUGE part of my life Spark People is and how much I enjoy following the lives of my friends.

For most of us this journey can be joyful, discouraging, hard, tearful, boring, tedious (and the list goes on and on) but at least we are in it together. I have my share of ups and downs, that will never change. I have had days where I don't log my food. I have had weeks were I did not exercise once. I am not going to ever stop eating ice cream and cake or give up my wine. But never once during those days did I not come to Spark People. I logged in, spun the wheel, checked on everyone to share in their joy and tears. By doing this I I feel like I have made a change to my life. I told myself the other day that this was something that will be with me forever, because I CAN"T do it without the tools offered here and support I receive from all of you. Knowing Spark People is here for me brings me great comfort because I know no matter how many times I fall, everyone will be right here to help me back up.

I admit that I have not been working my hardest to maintain my weight. The pounds are creeping back, those old habits are trying to eke their way back in but because I Spark everyday, it keeps it as a constant in my life. It is part of me, just like going to work, or sleeping. Just because I ate McDonald's two days last week does not mean I am not trying to lose or maintain my weight, it just means that I ate McDonald's those days. I make better choices more often then I have had in my life. I can exercise much harder then I ever could before. I have a much better understanding on what drives me to the candy bar then I ever have. All because I chose to Spark through thick and thin.

I would encourage everyone through thick and thin to keep logging in, keep reading blogs, keep spinning the wheel, keep posting on your teams even if you did not log every bit of food (or ate McDonald's) or did not exercise. Keep it part of your life; as it becomes more and more a part of you then you will want to make those better choices, you will want to win those awards, rack up those exercise and spark points, and with that the pounds will be shed and the muscles will be toned!!!

I thank each and every one of you for letting me share your up and downs, your lives, your kids and relationships. It means the world to me.

I said to myself yesterday, I WON'T gain this weight back, and as long as I keep my Spark and keep you all closer I know I won't!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCOTMAMA 8/4/2011 7:37PM

    SparkPeople just inches it's way into your heart and you're stuck with it. But it's one of the benefits of this wonderful site -- where else can you find people so supportive, so warm and friendly, and so helpful? If you think over all your friends and relatives in your real day-to-day life, probably none can come close to some of the friendships you have formed on this site. And the amazing thing is that you've never even met them!

But I'd like to. emoticon

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DESERTFLOWER8 8/4/2011 6:07PM

    What a fabulous blog! You are so right in all you say. I was "gone for 9 months, yet I continued to log in, read, and spin the wheel. Those actions kept me engaged and hopeful that when I was ready to try again, I had a place to turn. I am sorry you are struggling a bit, but I think that is a part of the lifeloing journey. Keep with us and involved, (just as you have described), and I know you will be fine...

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/17/2011 6:06PM

    Wonderful blog!

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Encouraging with Discouragement????

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I have read a few blogs from different people lately about others who are less then supportive on a site designed for support? That completely flabbergasts me????

Even though we post pictures and share very personal experiences, we are strangers. Our knowledge about each other is limited to a small segment of our lives on a whole. That is why I find it amazing that there would be those who find it necessary to be discouraging, or offer anything but support to a person, who for all intents and purposes is a complete stranger. I am a firm believer in the expression, no one should judge anyone until they have walked a mile in their shoes.

I am honored to be able to share in the amazing accomplishments of others. I am also humbled by those who struggle each and every day. I feel the pain of so many people and wish that I could do something, anything to make it better. Offering anything other then encouragement and support is something that would never cross my mind.

Words are powerful, and in the virtual world can be taken and interpreted in so many different ways. I hope that people would take a moment to truly ask themselves if the words that they we are offering to others are encouraging and supportive. There is no argument for anything else.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DESERTFLOWER8 8/4/2011 6:10PM

    I am so with you on this. I, too, am flabbergasted by anyone who chooses to be nasty or unsupportive, in any fashion, when people so generously bare their souls. I have seen this all too frequently in the blogoshpere..not on Spark per se, but on other sites. Blows my mmind! I just love what a good, dear heart you are an amazing human being! xoxox

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KELLI_S 6/14/2011 4:26PM

  The only time I would write anything "discouraging" is if I read where someone is undertaking a dangerously low calorie fad diet that may well do much more harm than good.

In that case, I think it is taking a positive action to discourage someone from embarking on an extreme diet plan that may well damage their health.

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TBID227 6/14/2011 3:48PM

    hear hear. Thanks for being supportive and not discouraging!

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The Cardigan

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I am an insecure person by nurture. Yes, you did not read it incorrectly, by nurture, not nature. When we come out of the womb naked and thrown on the scale for the first time, we don't care about the numbers on the scale or worry about how we look. We don't know any better. It is only by nurture that we develop our sense of self and our insecurities.

I can't really put my finger on when I became insecure (about everything). It is just a feeling I have always had. Ten years ago, if you would have asked me if I could change anything in my life what would it be. My answer would have been that I wish I had gone to college right out of high school. If you asked me that same question today, my answer is totally different. I would now answer that I wish I had the nature to stand up for myself and fight for what I really wanted and needed, which would have allowed me to go to college right out of high school. I let my nurture rule my life for many years, let it define me, let it continue to breed my insecure ways.

With insecurity comes the search for security. Although, I have searched for security in many ways, one of the "security " blankets, or "Wookies" I use quite often is the cardigan sweater. I own tons of them, in every color, style and sleeve length. I hide my insecurities about they way I look behind these cardigans. So much so, that even when it 110 degrees outside, I still wear one. I told my mom the other day, that this was going to be the summer of shorts (also something I don't wear because of my insecurities) but I along with the summer of shorts, I am going to go one step further and make it the summer of NO CARDIGAN sweaters. I have to do this because if I don't become comfortable with the person I am, right here, right now, it won't matter what the numbers are on the scale. I will just keep hiding.

Today was as good as any day to start, and I left the cardigan at home (it is going to be 101 degrees here today). It is tough, I feel like a part of my is missing, I feel exposed. But at the same time it is liberating and cooler ;-).

The ultimate test for me will be later this summer. I am attending two weddings and am determined to wear dresses (maybe even strapless), with no CARDIGAN SWEATERS!! As a breath a heavy sigh, I am up for the challenge. I can do it!

Here's to what I am hoping will be a cooler summer and good bye to my Wookies!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DESERTFLOWER8 8/4/2011 6:12PM

    I totally get what you are saying. Great introspection. I am so proud of you for working to "go beyond"....

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ANDYLIN90 6/2/2011 2:09AM

    Oh, I so identify with the cardigan was okay for me living in Chicago because there were enough cool days, but once moving to Scottsdale, the cardigan became very problematic. It's taken a long time, but I now wear sleeveless and shorts.

You've obviously done some thinking about this and I applaud your determination to reveal your beautiful self and be comfortable and secure with what you see in the mirror. Good for you!

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SANSANDY1 5/27/2011 6:45AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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APATRICIAO521 5/26/2011 2:26PM

    Small steps lead to big ones :)

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KT-NICHOLS-13 5/26/2011 2:16PM

    A great first step!
You've really done some soul searching ... great job.

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Who's really in control?

Monday, May 23, 2011

I had a frustrating week last week and with frustrating situations comes the inevitability of how I am going to handle them. As my weekend began, how I handled them really got me thinking about who is really in control.

When I got home from work on Friday I had the blahs and recognized that I probably should not have more than one glass of wine and watching "Say Yes to the Dress" was out of the question. You see I was in one of those moods where even though I was upset about the way things were going at work, I knew eventually it would turn into how everything in my life (past and present) was upsetting me. Watching "Say Yes to the Dress" in this kind mood always leads me to tears over would could have been and I knew I should not go down that road. It was a good decision, but one I don't make or seem to recognize as often as I wish I would. So, that got me thinking about control. The control so many things in my life have over me. As I was making breakfast on Saturday I thought, I wonder if there will ever be a time in my life where food does not have control over me, but I have control over it? Right now it is controlling me, or rather it is controlling what I can't control in my life. I'm not out of control eating, but I am definitely eating to ease the uncertainty I am going through. So, I started to think back to the beginning of last year, and what changed in my thinking so that I could get control of food. Well, my life was simpler at this time. I was not about to lose my job. At that time, I also started tackling my problems at the choke point, or as I like to say getting to the bottom of what was "eating" me. Flash forward to today, I really have stopped the intense sole searching I was doing because the weight had come off. However as much as I would have liked it to, the problems did not come off with the weight. They are still there, and will always be there to some degree. So, where does that leave me. Back to the choke point. Back to REALLY dealing with is eating me.

So, what is eating me? Let's start with just something simple like the fact that I am worried about finding a new job. Anyone would be in this economic uncertainty. But as I said above, it is always so much more than that to me. One simple problem opens up my flood gates. When the flood gates open I start to lose any sense of self-esteem I have. I begin to doubt who I am, what I am and what I truly deserve. Then I shut down and the flood gates keep gushing. I try plugging them up with the various things that I usually use but stuff just keeps seeping through. I am NOT in control.

Of course, food is a huge issue for me. But when those flood gates opened up, like they did this weekend, another common theme reared its wet ways; If you let me, I can prove to you I am good enough. This is a common theme in the relationships in my life. As far as romantic relationships go, I always seem to be interested in men that are unavailable, either emotionally, or just plan not available (to young, involved, you get the picture). You see if I can prove to them how wonderful I am, then maybe they will become available??? If I can prove to them how wonderful I am, maybe I can finally believe it myself??

It really hit me hard this weekend, but I am finally coming to the realization that when my life is out of control the only way I know how to be in control is to eat (over eat, under eat or purge) and shop. If I feed what seems like hunger on the inside and make the outside look good then no one will ever know I am not in control, right? WRONG!

So, who's really in control of my life, lack of self esteem/confidence, that is who. This lack of self esteem/confidence has been in control for as long as I can remember, and quite frankly, it is exhausting. Can I gain control over something I have never had. I am not sure? I will tell you this though, I have to to try. I want more for myself, I really do.

Where do I start? The first place is to stop feeding the hunger with food and start feeding it with acceptance.

Can I do it...stay tuned!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TBID227 5/24/2011 4:39PM

    What a great post! A very wise person once told me that while I cannot control outside factors, I can control me. Or how I choose to feel about something. This was not saying that I cannot have emotions, just that I can either choose to control the emotions or let the emotions control me. Slowly, very slowly, I am making tiny changes in order for me to control food and to not let it control me! It has not been easy. It has not been fast. But it is working. THat being said, I know it can be done! And I know you can do this, as you have taken the first steps to making it so! And as silly as this sounds, an old trick for confidence and self-esteem is to look at yourself every morning in the mirror and say I am worth it, I am beautiful, I am smart, I will rock today. Eventually, by telling yourself it is so, it builds the confidence and esteem. Keep on doing what you are doing and keep on exploring your emotions and your triggers! Thanks for sharing this!

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DARRISBEE 5/23/2011 8:25PM

    excellent insights about yourself!

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L-OSTER8 5/23/2011 8:15PM

  We Are Always In Control Of Our Own Lives!

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What does "limbo" got to do with it....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Last night I was feeling uneasy and what I eventually said to myself was a feeling of limbo. In the midst of this analyzing I was eating, and saying to myself, "you know you are going over your calories for today, but you know what, that is ok, because once you are out of this state of limbo, you can really put the pedal to the metal, and lose those six pounds you need to lose". Then I thought, what does limbo have to do with it? Does limbo mean that you don't have to watch what you eat or exercise? I am pretty sure I can answer my own question, which is no, that is not what limbo means. I am laughing and shaking my head as I write this because it is so funny how often I do this. You know, trying to justify one behavior with another. If I really thought about it, isn't life always going to have some sort of limbo in it? So does that mean I will never have to lose those six pounds, or exercise, or do anything I need to do, because I will always be in some sort of limbo? Again, I think I know the answer to that question.

I have said it before and I am going to have to say it again, old habits die hard, and this is one of the worst habits for me. I always think of this quote from Gone with the Wind, "After all, tomorrow is another day" when I think about how I approach things with a later rather then now mentality. That is what I am doing really, putting of what I can do today until tomorrow. That comes in part from this extremely annoying habit of mine to be perfect. If I can't do it perfectly, then why do it at all. Did you pick up on that, another one of my justification. Why walk when you can run, right?

My son got an award in 6th grade from a teacher for his enthusiasm. Instead of just saying "here" when the teacher was calling roll, he would said, "here and ready to learn". I need to take a lesson from him and say "I am here and ready to learn." Learn that I can't be perfect, I just have to be me. Learn from my Spark friends. Learn what works and does not work for them. Learn that my past behaviors do not work, and that putting off what you can do today until tomorrow serves no real purpose. Now, I know that six pounds does not seem like much, and in the grander scheme of things it is not. But six pounds can become sixty really quick, that I do know!!!

Knowing that things are in limbo in my life is a good place to start. I just have to learn how to deal with it better then with justifications, cookies and shoes.

I am here and ready to rather then tomorrow!


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