MIDCOASTMOXIE   27,457
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On Being Sparkless

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

As most of you know, I have been having computer problems for a while now. I'd get the laptop "fixed", would use it for a while, then it would go all blue-screen on me yet again. This last episode was it's final gasp, and the laptop that had served me (and others before me) so well for about 10 years was officially pronounced as crashed and unrecoverable. So I have been without a computer and unable to get online and Spark for what seems like forever (a little over a week, lol).

I was surprised to find out that I missed my Spark time. I found myself maneuvering my schedule so I could visit various friends and somehow work in a request to use their computer so I could check my online stuff for a few minutes. Once online, I would quickly give my email a glance, but then would high-tail it to Spark People and try to cram all my Spark tasks into those few precious minutes. (As most of you know, Sparking is often not a sprint but a marathon in terms of time spent, so I always left these borrowed computer sessions feeling frustrated by all the things I didn't have time to do.)

Apparently I do more on the Spark site than I realized---and I now know that my Spark time means more to me than just spinning the wheel, tracking my food, tracking my exercise, etc. I felt very frustrated by not having the time to read and respond to my friends' blogs or postings, and I realized that these new connections had become very meaningful for me. The support I receive from Sparking is now an important part of my overall health and wellness experience, and the connections I have discovered here help sustain me, motivate me, and encourage me.

I am in the process of scraping together some money to get a used, refurbished computer (really can't afford one of the new ones....wish I could, so many cool bells and whistles on the new ones...oh well). So hopefully by this time next week, I will have an easier time getting online to enjoy some Spark time.

Thanks to all of you who have written messages, emails, and sent spark goodies to me during my Spark absence. I appreciate all the support!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 2/26/2013 1:51AM

    I think most don't realize how important that part of Sparking is! Like you said "connections had become very meaningful for me. The support I receive from Sparking is now an important part of my overall health and wellness experience, and the connections I have discovered here help sustain me, motivate me, and encourage me".
It is not until I go to read blogs and go to my page and see who visits do I feel encouraged. I always said, SP is a part health and part social website. To me it is better any day than twitter or facebook. We all have common goals and know what difficulties we face in our journey to get healthier and lose the fat!
Hope you get a computer soon, we all miss you, just like our other spf's that don't come around as often or disappear on us all together. These people touch our hearts and are as real to us as ones we know offline! At least it is for me! Keep in touch when you can. emoticon emoticon

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TERRI289 2/2/2013 11:47PM

    I love my Spark friends...I just wish we all lived closer to each other...how fit we would all be!!!

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NORASPAT 1/25/2013 12:07PM

    Yes, we do have public computers on the first floor of the library. She can just check in at the main desk (top of the spiral stairs) and they will set her up with one. There is sometimes a waiting list for one of the 11 computers we have but not usually more than 5-10 minutes.
Betsy Paradis
Belfast Free Library



I wrote to the library and this is the answer for you.

On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 4:45 PM, plowther22@gwi.net wrote:

Do you have computers people can use for free during the day.
If not do you have any knowledge of where there is a place for people to use computers for free.
I have a Dear friend in Belfast and her computer has finally quit and I would love to stay in contact with her.
Pat Lowther Augusta Maine.


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SPARKFRAN514 1/23/2013 11:34PM

    emoticon i have to agree its hard not having time to Spark and visit with your Spark family and see how nice the wheel is to you emoticon
hope you cna find something soon emoticon

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 1/23/2013 5:40PM

    Hope emoticon your difficulties resolve themselves soon!

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NORASPAT 1/23/2013 4:29PM

    I wish you were closer to us you could Spark on my computer. I am looking at some computers around here IO hope I can find something locally.
I totally understand how important the outside communication is for people like us. I was used to a big family but when the kids moved away it was hard. Harder still when I gave up my business. Now I have these wonderful Spark friends and in the winter in Maine they are a boon to us. HUGS Pat Take care and stay well.
emoticon emoticon emoticon Pat in Augusta.

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DOWNEASTLASS 1/23/2013 3:35PM

    Thanks for checking in with us! Sorry to hear about the problems with your computer --- does the library have them available for use while you're waiting to get another one? You might not have to visit friends while you're without access so often! Although, it is nice to reach out and visit --- I find that during the winter, I tend to be a homebody, especially with it as cold as it is this week.

Hope everything else is going well for you.

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ROSE-LITE 1/23/2013 11:03AM

  that is a tough one!! I like sparkin' too! and you're so right...it takes a bit of time tracking the food and the exercises and then the fun stuff of reading articles, etc. hang in there! hope you can get one!

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Looking at the all-too-familiar road ahead yet again.....

Saturday, January 12, 2013

I'm not really a blogging type of gal, tending to keep a lot of my "stuff" to myself. But right now I find that my fear about a situation is greater than my reluctance to blog....so here's my first attempt at this puzzling activity.

Over the past 5+ years, I have gradually lost over 100 pounds. The extremely slow and frustrating progress was due in large part to the limitations of several chronic and progressive conditions where my activity is often very much curtailed. But bit by bit I was able to do a little more, and during the last 6 months of 2012, I had actually begun to enjoy some relief from the degree of pain and weakness, and had even gotten a part time job that supplemented an extremely tight budget. Things were good. But then I got this flu and then a bout with bronchitis---and all the physical gains that took years to achieve seem to have been wiped away. I am alarmingly weak, and a specialist that treats one of my chronic conditions said that there is a strong possibility that my muscles will never be able to fully recover to the point I was before, and it is imperative that I take my recovery process in a slow and steady manner. Did I mention that (especially as I age), patience is not my best thing?

Now I am back at another starting line, and have a long road ahead of me to regain some degree of my previous stamina and functioning. And yes, I am whining. I am very frustrated. I want to be back at work, I want to get back to my exercise class, AND I do NOT WANT TO GAIN BACK THE WEIGHT!.

My previous weight loss had been mostly dependent on the very hard-earned and slow increase in the movement I could do. It had taken years of effort to progress to a level of movement where I counter the weight-gaining effects of several medications and expend more calories than I took in. Now my movement and strength are curtailed again, and in just the past weeks of my recovery from the recent flu and bronchitis, I discover that I have started to show a slow weight gain. NOOOOOOO!!!!

My diet already follows the nutritionist's recommendations for someone with certain conditions (like HBP, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes), and some other conditions that require certain dietary elements to be included or excluded. There is very little wiggle room for things to exclude. The variable that permitted the previous weight loss was the element of exercise. This subject was discussed at my recent doctor appointment, and the advice was to be patient while my body recovers....and (gasp) not worry about gaining a bit of weight. Am I the only one who views re-gaining the weight (for any reason or for any length of time) with TERROR?

I'm really just venting a bit of frustration here. I've been in this position before in my life, and eventually I find the strength and wherewithal to overcome whatever challenge I have. I'm sure, with a bit of time, I'll reach a point where I'll just face the realityof what I am faced with now and deal with it. But for today, I am frustrated, mad, discouraged, and doubting my ability (or desire) to go through this complicated journey of dealing with weight issues yet again. Without the element of exercise, I feel lost.

Thanks for listening. MM

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 1/20/2013 2:38AM

    I do know the feeling and the frustration of it all! Over the past 3 years I have slowly lost 65 pounds, and have limitations on what I can do for exercise. If it hadn't been for chair exercise and walking- I would not be where I am today! I have bad seasonal allergies, and every year around this time, it goes into a sinus infection and into acute bronchitis..so I know what you are talking about on that matter all too well. Last year I was down for 2 months with it all. Everytime I get to a point of getting ahead, I get sent backwards due to illness or injury! But, the thing is, you have done so well and with determination, finding alternative exercises (like maybe chair exercises) until you get better, and help from the Dr.'s - I am sure you will be ok and not gain the weight back. Even in maintanence it is allowed to be within 5 pounds of your goal weight-that is normal to fluctuate. Just keep thinking like I do...I Will Never Go back to where I was-no matter what!
Glad you blogged and it was a good well written blog- and told us a bit about yourself. We are here for you and just keep focused-this too will be in the past and you can move on! Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Two of my fave quotes that are front and center on my page:
It is better to define your success by the magnitude of the accomplishment, than the minutes on a clock. Fast or slow, we all make our way to the finish line with our own two feet. Celebrate every finish.
-- Coach Jenny Hadfield
"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." Walter Elliott
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NORASPAT 1/14/2013 9:07PM

    M, you have blogged and we have read your blog. That is great, if you had not made us aware of your difficult journey we would not be coming here to share that many of us have or have had some of these issues. I need to take some time with blogging and taking care of DH. I do not weigh in because it makes me feel like I am not making any progress. I know I am making progress because when I blog people respond and discovering I am not alone makes me feel I can do more and have much less distress.
I hope you will blog again and I hope it does as much for you as it does for me.
Today I am waiting for DH surgery, I have eaten with no thoughts about the calories. It was all good nutrition but it felt good to not think about food and just think about DH and I supporting one another.
With our recent illnesses we prioritized wellness and once we are both strong enough in our minds and bodies we will once again get down to the business of
better maintenance which hopefully will lead to a much healthier lifestyle.
Thanks for your support and thanks for sharing. I hope reading the comments on your blog helps you to have a dialogue with Spark friends that is as satisfying to you as mine are to me. HUGS Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOWNEASTLASS 1/12/2013 10:30PM

    Glad that you were able to share so much with your first blog! It really does help to talk things over with people who have similar problems/issues/and such.

You are very conscious of what you've accomplished and how much you want to stay at your current weight. That's a good thing! Keep working with your doctor and doing what you can, when you can for exercise. You can do it!

Jill

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TERRI289 1/12/2013 10:25PM

    emoticon To lose 100+ pounds over 5 years is one of the most impressive things ever!!! Being able to pace yourself and implement new eating and exercise habits is great.

I understand how you feel about not being able to exercise and worrying if we will lose all our hard won gains...stay strong. Drink water, walk when you can, get quality rest and realize that you did the losing one day at a ime and getting your health takes one day at a time,

It is good that you vented..nothing worse than bottling up feelings, next thing you know that you are eaitng too much of something(at least that is what I do..). I am worried about getting my endless energy back but worrying about it won't make it so. So I am trying to take my own advice..don't worry, you can't predict the future!

Hang in there, you have lots of company with getting over the flu/bronchitis but once you are better, there will be no stopping you!!

WE ARE THE BOMB!!! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/12/2013 10:26:34 PM

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SAD64PSYCH 1/12/2013 9:47PM

    You have my admiration for your perseverance and accomplishments, my sympathy for all you have gone through and all you are presently going through, and my listening ear any time you need it. PLease take things slowly, allow your body to heal, and hang in there.

No, you are not alone in your struggle and fear - I, too, have health issues that contributed to my wieght gains over the past 15+ years, and am scared every time something happens to set me back. I recently had to take a round of prednisone to treat costochondritis that followed a bout with bronchitis, for instance, which was a great contributor to my obesity a few years back (I was on it for years and finally got off it a couple of years back) and was scared terribly to take it, though the pain was such that I knew I needed to follow doctor's orders. I understand your fear.....

We are here to support you, no matter what.







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Comment edited on: 1/12/2013 9:49:00 PM

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RUBYMOM2 1/12/2013 5:04PM

    I am inspired by all that you have done. You stuck with your program for 5 yrs and lost 100 lbs! That's great and you were so patient during that time. Hang in there with your illness. Also, I don't know how much you have gained, but keep in mind that the flu and bronchitis are both inflammatory illnesses. That means your body is retaining fluids. This may be part of the weight gain. Being sick with the flu and bronchitis actually burns more calories than when you are healthy. It takes more energy to breath and cough.
This is a small set back and it is frustrating, but you will get through it like you have other set backs. You are also not alone out there. You have a whole team here ready to support you.

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CAYCESMOM 1/12/2013 3:01PM

    I find your strength and positive attitude admirable. You have done an outstanding job despite many hurdles that you've had to overcome. I sometimes find it extremely difficult to keep plugging along losing weight, so slowly, because my abiltity to exercise isn't what I would like it to be and my metabolism is at a snails pace. Most days, I just chalk it up to Life isn't Fair, but I have to deal with the hand I'm dealt. I know a lot of people have it worse than I do. But, sometimes, it can be discouraging.

Thanks for the inspiring post.
Kelly emoticon

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KDOUG1981 1/12/2013 2:45PM

    Good luck, and I do hope that your health improves and I would discuss with one of your doctors the need to exercise, even if it is in small amounts and what type they would recommend so as not to harm you anymore. Hang in there! Where there is a will there is a way!!

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