Monday, May 16, 2011
I usually start my mornings with SparkPeople, idly spinning the SP wheel. After racking up my points for the day, my next stop is to check out the daily blogs. Today was not a good morning. To my horror I noticed my profile staring at me as one of the popular blogs for the day. This never was my intention.
I came to SparkPeople like everyone else here: I needed something to change my "wicked, wicked ways", or I certainly would hurtle into oblivion. My own internist had told me that my body "was starting to complain", and hitting me back with the beginnings of high blood pressure and, for good measure, a pre-diabetic state.
Comparing this site with the "other" popular, PAYING sites, I could see that the structure was very similar, but goodness! It was created as a FREE site! Now, what can be wrong with that? Chris Downie has dedicated himself to maintaining this site as he originally envisioned it: FREE.
As we all know from the Motivational Pages as well as from other bloggers, many have achieved success and are maintaining it BECAUSE of the untiring work of Chris and his team. It really shouldn't have to be said (and some apparently do need the reminder), but they really do deserve our appreciation, thanks, and recognition for what they have created here.
Unfortunately, it seems, that for the past week or so, because of a very negative situation, many have chosen to take keyboard in hand to leave notes on the SP Guy's site, complaining loudly and, I must add, in unseemly terms, how they felt about that situation. This, from where I am sitting, is really unfair. And yet it seems that this situation has taken on a life of its own, and is veering us off in a direction that has NOTHING to do with health, lifestyle changes, exercise, weight loss and maintenance (for those blessed to have arrived at the Holy Grail already).
I see from my own Friend Feed that that individual is still active on SP, still leaving encouragement for people she is in contact with. I admire her continued dedication to helping others. For those that miss her daily blog postings, enough people have provided the links where they can still be found.
Let's take a moratorium on this situation and allow the SP team to work it out with the blogger, and let's rededicate ourselves to the REAL task of why we are here in the first place: Adopting a newer, healthier lifestyle.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Something occurred today that has deeply troubled me: One of the most popular bloggers on this site, one who has truly motivated many, with over 4,000 followers, felt impelled to leave this site.
This is the second instance in as many weeks wherein certain blogs had to be modified to conform to the opinion, seemingly, of the offended few. In the other instance, I actually understood the reasoning behind all the x'ed out thoughts: It, frankly, was racist, albeit directed by the author to the author herself. It, too, caused an uproar from well-meaning individuals supporting the blogger.
But today's instance was totally different: It seemed to involve, as far as I could tell, some well-published web pictures from other sites that, although not pornographic in any true sense of the word, might have offended a few. In the context of weight loss and exercise, it really did not seem inappropriate. But that is my own opinion.
What strikes me as disturbing, is there seems to be a group, hopefully small, of individuals who feel impelled to troll this site, lurking in the background, cloaked in anonymity, hiding behind a computer screen, gathering data to report to the "powers that be", of anything they perceive as "inappropriate." Now, mind you, these folks are not being paid for these "services". They do it of their own volition.
I would like to know when did this site become a forum, seemingly, to "study" the "inappropriate" nature of others' postings? Isn't this site predicated on the fact that there are many here seeking the support of others, as they embark on a major lifestyle change to reach a healthier conclusion, as opposed to the way they have been living in the past? Wasn't that the idea?
How does an individual with well over 4,000 followers become such a threat, on a regular basis, to a handful, who obviously have some deep-seated need to have this incredibly large group conform to their own way of thinking? When did SP become about this elite group?
I really feel that some should re-examine their reason for being here and what their true motives are. Some serious introspection is in order here. It's truly a shame that such an incredible and popular role model (ergo the title, "Can 4,000 People Truly Be Wrong?") who served as a beacon for many, by her own example, is now gone from the site.
Let me ask a question of these shadowy individuals: Did this action on your part to report this person's blog, help you exercise today? Are you now better equipped to lose weight, now that she is gone? Why exactly are you on this site?
I seriously think you need to take a good, long hard look at yourself (or "yourselves" if you are more than one person), and re-examine exactly what kind of a new life you want for yourself. And can you attain it, without making it at the expense of another individual who has done you no harm and has actually helped motivate many?
Something to think about.
Addendum: How ironic that the two most popular blogs for today are both written by this person. Now what does that tell you? And what is even more ironic, anyone wanting to read the posting cannot reach it because "the member does not exist." Have we crossed over into Alice's mirror world? Does any of this make any sense at all?
One final remark: It occurred to me after I wrote this, that once the blogs went private some time ago, at the discretion of the author, any person wanting to continue reading the blogs had to "friend" the author. That being said, it is now blatantly obvious that one of these "fans" was, in fact, the one that did her in. How sad is that? Where is the PSA for adults who bully their peers?
Thursday, May 05, 2011
This is basic. And, no, it's not my original thought, but one that has always had strong meaning for me.
One has to be strong, confident, a warrior, in fact. One must believe in what one has to offer. No one gets rewarded who cannot exude confidence. I need to revisit that. And often. I have to believe in myself. If I don't, no one will "buy" what I'm "selling". And if that is so, then whose fault is that?
Men, most certainly "get" this. Women really need to get on this bandwagon as well. Perhaps more than they usually do.
The business world loves this. And as I head for Interview #2 today (the more important one), I am reminded of this.
And, yes, I am for myself. And if not now, when?
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Bet you thought I was going to say, "It's so incredibly easy to lose the weight, that it is the maintaining that will prove to be the harder of the two tasks." Well, that's not where I am today.
What is so incredibly easy, is to gain back weight. When we struggle so mightily to lose a pound, even miraculously sometimes, two pounds a week. To put back four in a week is not a difficult task. THAT we know how to do expertly. We've been doing it for decades. What we are seeing now is HOW MUCH, calorie-wise, it takes to put back that amount weekly, if we are religious trackers. That little computation can be positively astounding.
And then there are the games we love to play:
If we eat 500 calories above SP's recommended allowance, can we maintain our current weight? Can we even lose weight by doing that?
How about this:
I can't go to the gym, or go for my daily walk this week, because there is SO much work to do elsewhere, so if I stay CLOSE to the calorie range, that should be okay, right?
It's amazing how much noise we can generate in our own heads. No one else needs to know. It's just "us" in here.
So many, myself included, started "this time" with tremendous passion and dedication to the task at hand. Months and months into it, we get tired of being "so good". We start to lose our way: We don't need to be on Spark anymore, we "get" it. This is the face of addiction: Heavy duty denial, Charlie Sheen-style, if you will. I can just "will myself" to be thin (to paraphrase).
There is a tremendous disconnect with the "tried and true" methods. It's so simple really, at least on paper: Less calories in, more calories out. We need to rekindle our original passion. We know all the reasons why we're doing this, but we also know, at least intellectually, that it takes time. We need to revisit regularly what works and what doesn't. Especially at so-called "plateau" time. If the exercises are becoming boring, routine or monotonous, or the menu, routine fair, mix it up!
Lifestyle changes are fluid not static. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is written in stone. Some activities we promised to accomplish are not as agreeable as we thought they would be. So what? That's not a fail. We tried, it doesn't work for us. Try something else more enjoyable. Again, it's all about calories in, calories out. Can it be simpler?
The biggest issues in weight loss, I believe, is internal. THAT requires a lot of introspection. Once that can be addressed, understood, and conquered, the work with weight loss will get easier. I honestly believe that to be true. As one looks inwardly, one is bound to discover other elements that are also "out of sorts." It's all part of the total gestalt. It doesn't really matter which came first, and which followed, but ultimately, it all has to be addressed. Not overnight. Not in a week, but slowly, like the SP program. One innovation at a time. One day at a time. One meal at a time. One bad habit at a time.
In an extremely crowded stress-filled day, I need to find a measure of quiet time. I need to spend more time with just me. I need to reassess what my goals are, and where I want to go and how I'm going to get there. Not just about the losing of weight, but of the re-finding of me. That, too, is for the long haul.
And it starts with today.
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