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I need help - hanging my head in shame - tough decision ahead!

Tuesday, August 02, 2011


Today was my "introduction" to the Y day during which they kindly used a machine called a "body composition analyzer". Not much of it was really explained and both my cousin and I were handed these slips of paper with a bunch of numbers on them.

Although the woman doing this to us did explain that machines can often be highly inaccurate, I wasn't prepared for the shock of seeing how grossly unfit I am. According to their unit (Tanita TBF-300A), I am...ahem......70 pound overweight, have a BMI of 34.4, and have a fat composition of 50% which equals 106.6 pounds of pure blubber! Yes, I'm calling myself a whale because I'm so ashamed!

I have to research what these numbers really mean but I'm sure none of it can be good! Talk about a reality check........mine not only hit me in the head but also in my heart!

So it is decision time! What do I do? Do I let the numbers rule my life and set me back into a whirlwind of depression, over-eating, and more weight-gain. To be honest, I want to say yes because it would be easier. A lot easier than stepping up to the plate and admitting that I have a bigger hurdle to conquer than I ever thought was possible.

I thought I was doing well on Spark and maybe if I had done this test a year ago the numbers would have shocked me more. But, it is apparent that I have to do more and that means making more of an effort. It can't be all about writing blogs and walking my dogs. I have to put some serious effort into this.

Am I ready? To be honest, I don't know. I really just want to shred that piece of paper with those stupid numbers on it that I can barely look at without the tears rolling down my face. How did I get to this? Do I have what it takes to move forward? Will I make an honest effort at the YMCA or will I just let one session intimidate me so much that I don't ever want to walk in through those doors again?

I know the answers to all these questions. I HATE the Y, I HATE all gyms, I HATE looking at fit people seeming to enjoy themselves, and I'm starting to think I HATE myself for even feeling this way. My past experience is to join something and quit after a few gung-ho sessions. Will I do it again this time? I truly hope not but I think deep down that is what is going to happen. So I'm asking you all....how do I stick with it? Please help me through this because I am just going by past experiences.

How can I push past this feeling of self-doubt? Even while I was on the treadmill today thoughts of doubt crowded my mind. It was like an evil-twin was whispering in my ear that "sure you are doing it now but I bet in two weeks you won't be". Do others feel this way or is this my depression speaking? To combat that evil-twin, I conjured up images of some of my bestest SparkFriends in my mind and could see them all drop kicking my so-called twin in the butt! I really did!

Anyway, I need your help...please! I just want to roll up into a ball and have a good cry but I won't....I have a healthy supper to make! But, please, I need advice!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/4/2011 12:33PM

    Oh Susan, so very sorry to hear this :(( The key to keeping on, getting the exercise in, for me is keeping it fresh. Don't do the same old thing over and over again so that you are bored to tears or it just seems like drudgery work. Make it fresh, exciting and interesting. Challenge yourself to do something you never would consider otherwise, but make it something you can do, after some practice. I think yoga would be a very good thing for you to help with mental stress and focus and to improve your range of motion. Take up bowling, whether lawn or in an alley (although outdoors would be better), you would meet new people and be focused on learning something new. No stress being the newbie, anyone promoting their sport will welcome new people with open arms to keep their sport going.
As for the eating, I am a vegetarian so I love eating my freggies by default, but again, here, do not do the same old thing, keep it fresh and interesting and try new things, I tried kohlarabi and loved it!
Hang in there Susan, this was your wake up call, not a set back, but a beginning.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DARE2LIVE2011 8/4/2011 11:12AM

    Oh sweet lady! My heart goes out to you, but you must remember to ask yourself... do these numbers reflect the REAL you? Your heart? My guess is NO! Nothing has changed, except now you know some facts about your body, and you get to choose if you want to do something about it. Whether you do change physically or don't, your heart is still beautiful and loving, and God still LOVES YOU, no matter your weight, BMI, or blubber. emoticon

Don't let this shake your identity. SparkPeople is the place to be! We're all cheering you on your journey! emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/3/2011 4:39PM

    Reality check is just fine, but never, ever let a number define you or your progress. You are a wonderful person; you've stuck with this for over a year; you've made great progress with mental health issues; you're on the right track as far as nutrition and exercise are concerned. I agree that you should make some mini-goals. The big picture is just too overwhelming. Give yourself some tangible rewards for achieving those goals.

For whatever it is worth, my weight is supposedly normal. The fat analyzer places my fat composition at 31.5 %, which is overfat. The problem is that it really does not measure the total fat, but the fat on my arms only. Duh! Without the gizmo I could tell that I carried a lot of fat on my arms.

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THEWINNER33 8/3/2011 2:14PM

    THESE COMMENTS ARE FULL OF GOOD ADVICE. All I can add is this question. If If I posted this blog, what would you say to me? I know the response would not be full of hate for me. So treat yourself as you would treat me. Love yourself and be kind. Hugs, Marcia

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CALGARYNEWF 8/3/2011 1:57PM

    Susan, I think you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for! The blog itself is testament to that. A weaker person wouldn't have been able to put themselves out there like that. You can do this, not because of the numbers on that little piece of paper but because you want to. I agree with setting small goals, either weight loss or fitness goals.
We didn't accumulate this weight or unhealthy lifestyle overnight and although it may take us a long time to lose the weight, it's the healthy lifestyle that's really important. You are well on your way to that! The Y, even though you may HATE it, is a huge step in the right direction. Put a big calendar on your refrigerator and check off the days that you work out. Visual reminders work for me!
I wouldn't worry about those numbers for now,just concentrate on getting the most that you can out of the Y. In 6months or so, have the tests repeated. Imagine the joy in writing the blog about the next little piece of paper from the Y!!!
That's it from my soapbox!!!!!,Now if I could only practice what I preach! emoticon emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 8/3/2011 1:52PM

    Ok, so here's MY reality check......I found my gym records from July 2010 and guess what my start weight was??????? Two (2) pounds more than I am now!!!! So I should be in your same boat??? I felt terrible! I'd been working so hard ( for a month or two, now and then) but have done a beautiful job of maintaining!!!! UGH!!!
what am I doing about it???? You mean besides kicking my own a$$?????? I am still going to the gym and working my butt off!!! I lowered my calorie level for actual loss instead of maintanence b/c I need to lose 65 - 70 pounds!!! I've been fighting these same poundds what seems forever!!! So, eat your freggies, make sure your calories are within a good range of calories foe weight loss and workout every day!!!!! Look, you don't have to wear yourself out every day, but you DO have to workout every day!!! In some manner!!
So now, I have turned down the wine, so I've not been offered any cheese! So, do you want some emoticon to go with your whine? emoticon emoticon

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DIREXTOR 8/3/2011 12:41PM

    I tried to respond but had too much to say here. Sent you an email. Short version is eliminate the HATE...self hatred that is. You have made great progress, that reality check didn't bounce. Cash it in and used the information to motivate you instead of hating and stagnating.

Cheering in advance for your continued success.

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BOVEY63 8/3/2011 12:01PM

    Don't roll up in a ball. You have made so many positive steps forward and there are a lot of us here to help keep you going in that direction.

I could have written the "HATE" paragraph, word for word, so many times (and still have those days). It's on those days that I find my inspiration and motivation here at SP - and, you have been one of those who has given it to me. This is my favorite part of SP, the amazing friends!
emoticon emoticon
Put your chin up knowing that I, along with so many others, think you're pretty darn awesome!
emoticon emoticon

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KITKA82 8/3/2011 11:30AM

    Time for some mini-goals!!!! If you haven't been rewarding yourself for hitting mini-goals (maybe every 5% body fat lost), you should definitely consider it.

I started my journey at around 48% body fat. I've lost over 60 pounds and am now around 27% body fat. I still have some to lose, but it will come off with consistency.

Definitely don't let this news defeat you. If anything, let it motivate you to keep going. Up your protein intake and get in some strength training to build muscle and burn the fat. emoticon

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GRAMLORI 8/3/2011 10:49AM

    Susan, Just one day at a time. You will have those days of not making good choices, and the lbs won't come off as fast as you like, but just one decision, one day at a time. And every good decision you make, every day you make right choices, imagine yourself drop-kicking that evil twin! You've made good decisions to make this a priority.....don't kick yourself when you are down, just pick yourself up and shake it off and do the right thing. This isn't a diet, it's your new way of life.

One day at a time, sweet Jesus,
That's all I'm asking of you
Give me the strength to do everything
That I've got to do
Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus,
And tomorrow may never be mine
Help me today, please show me the way
One day at a time!
emoticon Not a new song, but that's my song!


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    I agree with most of the comments, it is just a piece of paper! Use it as a guide and that is it!!

When I started my exercise program I was walking and walking and more walking. I got nothing but injured feet, I think I was wearing the wrong type of shoes. I then got the correct info from Spark, you will be able to get that kind of help from the Y, and learned how to exercise properly. Use the Y to get yourself started.


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TEMPEST272002 8/3/2011 9:28AM

    You & me, Susan, we are 2 peas in a pod. We're so much a like, we could be twins separated at birth. So... if I can do it, so can you.

I know you're tempted to skip going back to the gym... but I also know that you are NOT going to miss that next workout. I know this because you've blogged about your doubts & now you've put it out there for all of us - and that means you're ready to gather your courage and make the changes you need to.

There is absolutely no reason for you to feel ashamed. NONE. 70lbs or 200lbs overweight - doesn't matter. Society tells us to be ashamed, but it's crap. The more ashamed we are, the less likely we are to take care of ourselves (like skipping the gym). That shame is the depression voice & you know she's a liar.

You were working hard on being healthy all spring - weight is only one part of the puzzle. Don't down play the effort you put in to deal with your depression. Now that you've been able to deal with the more urgent mental health issues, you can focus again on the physical health ones.

I hope I was among the butt-kicking friends! I know you have it in you. I know you are strong and beautiful and deserving. I also know that you can make the changes you need to. Get yourself to the gym, sweetie, because that is where you're going to push through the real tough parts... and come out the other side with more confidence & self respect... and also, hopefully, a smaller waist line.

My favourite quote to encourage you:

Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth. - Kate Mansfield

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SKUNKY4 8/3/2011 8:31AM

    So much good advice here. all I can add is Never give up on yourself...You are definitely worth it. We are here for you and I know you are here for us. Together we will make it. We are all on this journey together, just some are at different places. I bet not every great looking body at the gym started out that way. I am proud that you took that first step and went. That's all this journey is ..step by step, pound by pound. When you start to think of giving up you just call on your sparkfriends cos I know more than one of them will help. I've had some of them kick my butt in the right direction before... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EDWINA172 8/3/2011 6:00AM

    I used to think the same thoughts. One day, I just kept going. I don't know how it happened. I envisioned myself as a little turtle on a dirt road. I might be going slow, but at least I was making progress. There may be days when you think about stopping, but don't! Think about what happens to the turtle if he stops in the middle of the road! You may reach a speed bump (plateau~mentally or physically), just keep on going. You will reach your goal. As long as you keep going. You have to! I didn't start until I was 44 years old. If I can do it, you can do it! Keep us posted. Have a great day. Be the turtle!

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JLITT62 8/3/2011 5:10AM

    Haven't read thru others' advice, but here's mine. Can you afford a personal trainer? Even if it's just a few sessions? Then do it. One of the best gifts I ever gave myself. It gave me a reason to go & a good one will really motivate you.

Don't look at how far you have to go - pick a small goal. Forget about how much you have to lose, concentrate on the next pound - or 5. Throw that all-or-nothing attitude out the window.

And how about a little healthy competition between you & your cousin? The one who goes the most or the longest has to buy the other a manicure, or take her to the movies - something that'll motivate you both.

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BLESSED2BEME 8/3/2011 1:25AM

    I think CHUBRUB3 said it well - not much I can add to that!

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CHUBRUB3 8/2/2011 11:15PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Consider youself Drop Kicked!

Now, pull up your big girl panties and forget about this piece of paper. If it is that depressing, you don't need it. Ask your self this instead: Have you been trying to exercise and eat right? Have you improved yourself from a year ago? YES!!! YOU HAVE!!!



Start by scheduling on your calendar when your going to the gym; with who (because a buddy holds you accountable) and more than one doubles your commitment; what will you do that day? Strength or cardio or a class?

Now make sure your gym bag is packed and ready to grab so you don't have to think about it and forget something. Don't forget your water...if you do they have fountains.

I believe in you. WE believe in you. Now BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
You are a wonderful, beautiful woman! Show the world!

R> emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAYDE53 8/2/2011 10:02PM

    I don't worry about numbers, I just think about how much better I feel when I exercise. I don't have the self-discipline to do it at home, so while the place I go is not exactly a gym, it's a fitness/rehab center, I don't worry about what others look like, think or do!!!
This is something you do for yourself!!! emoticon emoticonGo for it!!! emoticon

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MOSTMOM1 8/2/2011 7:59PM

    Susan, I actually thought of you when I wrote my blog this evening. Seems like we both have pesky little voices in our heads. I'm willing to masking tape my construct paper mask back on, if you'll step aside, so I can deliver a Chuck Norris/Bruce Lee kick to the side of your evil twin's head. Hi-yah!!!

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CODEMAULER 8/2/2011 6:23PM

    Wait a minute... YOU joined the Y, and YOU had the health assessment performed.

That means YOU are in charge and YOU are already making positive, healthy choices!!


There is nothing to be ashamed about, unless you let those silly numbers on a flimsy piece of paper dictate your goals and attitude. Do nothing and you will achieve nothing. Use this information and set some priorities; put those goals out there; put a few milestones in front of you and start walking. It's OK if the first steps are small and timid; you'll get the hang of it.

As adults we often expect perfection right out of the starting gates. WE ARE WORKS IN PROGRESS!! You can only be great by getting to good, and you can only be good by getting control. It will take more than a day - week - month, but it will take much longer if you do nothing.

Hon, if this was easy, we'd ALL be swimsuit models and rock stars. Just be the best you that you can be, because all the other folks are already taken.


Reach out all you need; we're all here to close the circle and bring you into a well of support!!


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IMIN2GENES 8/2/2011 6:10PM

    It's just a piece of paper and they're just numbers. Don't let them rule you! You can do anything you set your mind to do. Think about the improvements you've seen already. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Try a challenge! I loved the Spring Into Summer Bootcamp here on SP. It's self paced and it's 4 weeks. If I could do it, you can! By the end of the 4 weeks, I was stronger and started the scale moving again. There are tons of workout and strength training videos here on SP that give you a great bang for your buck - so to speak. They have the advantage of being short - a lot of them are 10 minutes or less, so the aren't intimidating. Big plus... you can do them at home! No gym, no Y. If you're worried about that, then try it at home. Keep moving forward!

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GFREERUNNER 8/2/2011 5:54PM

    I am not a fan of gym's either... never have been! I would say ignore the numbers. Do what you love. Find heart pumping exercise that you enjoy... or at least enjoy when it is over :) You can get DVD's to do at home too :)

I loved this - "Do I let the numbers rule my life and set me back into a whirlwind of depression, over-eating, and more weight-gain. To be honest, I want to say yes because it would be easier. A lot easier than stepping up to the plate and admitting that I have a bigger hurdle to conquer than I ever thought was possible."

I have been here... in fact I struggle with this each day. If your reaction to things like this has always been to over eat and get depressed, it is easier. I fight this urge quite a bit.

You can do this, one day at a time ;) I have not read through your page, but just reading these comments it sounds like you have made some amazing progress over the last year :) DOn't lose sight of that progress just because of some numbers on a piece of paper... you are WORTH more than those dang numbers!!


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KAMAPERRY 8/2/2011 5:44PM

    DON'T ALLOW MR FEAR TAKE YOUR FREEDOM AWAY! Yes, you can do this, and ypu can choose that this time will be different and you won't quit! We have faith in you!

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DRGOMTI 8/2/2011 5:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonLook out evil twin!! spark friends are comin thru!!!! Oh Sues! You are such an inspiration to me!! you do alot more walking the dogs than I ever thought of! you cook good healthy meals which I never do, You blog n are much more active here than I am! n yes, I think you're being a bit too hard on yourself right now! I know we all need a good kickstart once in awhile, but, don't let that piece a paper ruin all you've learned at SP!! It works for me better than anything else I've tried cz it allows me some slack n is teaching me to concentrate on the good things I do rather than beating my head against a brick wall n feeling like a failure. That's what I used to do n then I would just give up. Please DON'T!!! You're too important to us here!! Remember, we gotta get rid of the "all er nuthin" attitude! just one day at a time n one little step at a time. Seriously, I would burn that piece a paper n get out another piece n start writing all the things that are good about yourself!! Trust me, there's tons!!
emoticondon't give up! If you have to, take a few days off, n then come back n we'll talk again!! : ))
emoticonyour friendship has helped me thru losing my best lifetime friend, my mom! thank you for all the flowers n kind words!!
emoticon emoticon emoticondr

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HEART_N_GRACE 8/2/2011 5:00PM

    Wow ~ I didn't read all your comments, so some of this may be repeat. Tell yourself it's OK to hate it! Who says you have to enjoy it (at first)... this is WORK!!! It is HARD and you are WORTH IT! Don't presume you know other peoples story... that skinny may be my daughter ~ who REALLY REALLY wants a job, but being able to work out at the Y helps her with stress. Even imagine different scenerios if that helps... or consider that someday... you can be a skinny!!! GRRR you can do it! emoticon

Set realistic goals, and watch those pesky numbers go down! The only shame is if you don't do anything! How neat that you can track it!!!

Comment edited on: 8/2/2011 5:03:22 PM

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BOE4LIFE 8/2/2011 4:53PM

    Ummm guess what? There are a lot of people at the gym that would rather be a t a coffee shop. As for you, are you gonna let this get to you? Are you gonna let this stop you? There is no shame in those numbers, they are just numbers, they do however let you know where you stand. Keep going and soon you will be one of those fit people enjoying themselves. You are worth it it is that simple. One day at a time, one step at a time one decision at a time just never stop. Add me as a spark friend if you like and we can help keep each other accountable. We have your back. We are kicking that twin, don’t you dare let her tell you anything negative. You have come this far just keep coming. We are all here to push , pull, encourage and love you along. We can do this, You can do this.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

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BECCAJ98 8/2/2011 4:47PM

    Everyone else has great words......so here's my 2 cents.

I hate my gym, hate the skinnies, but I love going and sweating more!! I notice them WAY MORE than they notice me. And I feel better after a really good workout!!

You can do it, you have already done so much......don't quit!!!!!!

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JETTANALA 8/2/2011 4:43PM

    Reality bites! however.... just because you now know a number doesn't mean that anything has changed since yesterday. This is a good thing and you need to not think of it as a bad thing!

I would suggest going to some of the wonderful spark pages here of people who have been in MUCH worse situations than you are and have pushed past this...

Attitude is everything and it seems as though right now that is what you are most in need of! again, Reality bites! But what are your choices... you can go ahead and become depressed if you want to, and one of two things will happen. 1) you will get lazier and eat more and feel worse about yourself and perhaps never get completely out of the funk.... or 2) you can realize that you have been given the gift of knowledge, that you know what you are up against, that you have the perfect community to thrive in by utilizing all the tools here in sparkpeople's community, and you have unbelievable examples from whom to learn.

Look at this as information that you should have had before. This is a project, the "me" project. You will now look at your plan of attack as a means to an end. You will now begin registering just why you are the way you are, what causes you to put food in your mouth (i.e., depression... binge eating ... that's my issue) And you will work to find alternative methods to get past your issues.

As I see it, you don't have a choice, if indeed you want to live a long life. You don't need to be one of the people that turns you off at the Y... find what works for you and educate yourself. We all have our pity parties and our moments of discourgment... but we need to get through them... get back on the horse and ride like the wind.

Begin with the food and the nutrition... Understand how the food fuels our bodies. Would you like a great (easy) book to read? Ultrametabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman ($12 or so and I think Target even might have it) This book was a big Ah Ha for me when I read it 3 years ago... and while I don't do absolutely everything he recommends, I now understand my very sluggish metabolism...

Come honey, pull yourself up... it isn't so bad... like I said, nothing is really different than it was yesterday except you now have a number to measure your success by!

I'm going to be watching you and rooting for you!


visit this page if you'd like inspiration..


Comment edited on: 8/2/2011 5:09:35 PM

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KANSASROSE67 8/2/2011 4:42PM

    I like to play the game of taking negative, difficult things and trying to find the positive in them.

So, let's look at it this way. Just think how much worse those numbers would be if you hadn't found Spark, if you hadn't been walking, if you weren't eating healthier. Instead of focusing on how much weight you haven't lost, think about about how much you haven't gained.

There have been people on Spark who have had far, far, far worse numbers and they have lost the weight. You can too. Tell that evil twin to take a hike (literally)!

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CHRISTINA791 8/2/2011 4:41PM

    Okay... deep breath. You can do this.

Here are a couple things that helped me:

1) Information is power. I know... I spent years in denial, getting sicker and sicker and ignoring the numbers. They're scary to look at and sometimes you just want them to go away, but that doesn't make the facts any different... it just makes you blind to them. The known is much easier to handle than the unknown, and now you have some solid things to aim for. Don't let them rule you, but don't lose sight of them either. I know that this doesn't work for everyone, but I find that the more information I have available, the more in control I feel.

2) Gyms are hard, but they can be so useful. Again, it's not something that will work for everyone, but having a set time and place to exercise can be what's needed for the habit to take hold. I'll tell you the truth - I cried the first time I went to the gym. I wore one of my boyfriend's 3XL t-shirts, hid in the corner, glared at the skinny girls, and hated myself the entire time. Then I went back and did it again the next day. Slowly, I started getting hooked on what I was doing and pushing myself to do better. The more selfish I got about my gym time, the more comfortable I felt in the place. I started saying 'hi' to the regulars, trying new things, and even venturing outside to run in front of traffic (always a huge fear, after some dude threw garbage at me and called me 'fatty' years ago). Now I love my gym time, and I never would have expected to say that a year ago.

So, here's a secret: I was sure I was going to quit too. There was no reason this time should have been different than any of the last times, and I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. What I did was ask myself if this was going to be the day I gave up every time I had the urge to quit. I'd answer 'no', commit to that one day, and ask myself again the next. Eventually, I started doing C25K, which gave me an eight week game to play with myself, and by the time I completed that, the gym habit was starting to stick.

I think it's just a matter of repeat exposure. Some people out there genuinely hate the gym and find that it doesn't motivate them at all, but I think a lot of people let self consciousness get the better of them. I'd have lost this weight a lot sooner if I hadn't run away crying every time I saw a treadmill Barbie, and I sometimes wish I could go back in time and tell myself that it really does get easier.

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    You need to turn it on its ear and LAUGH about it. Once you say "machine" you can pretty much add in "inaccurate" and "don't pay too much attention." The type of machines available at gyms that process a zillion people - not to mention the fact that the machines are being run by people with no training - means you can't get too worried about this. You know how you feel. You know the improvements you've made. Don't get hung up on that piece of paper - toss it out. If you want to look at numbers, look at how your blood pressure has likely decreased, along with your cholesterol, and how your fitness level has increased.

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LESLIES537 8/2/2011 4:29PM

    Never allow the possibility of failure to stop you from reaching your goals. When you have a strong belief in your actions and desire to succeed, nothing can stop you. Set your mind to this and DO IT! Tear up that damn piece of paper and focus on your future. This is a starting point. Set your mind to it and never, ever give up on yourself. Believe in yourself, I do! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SKYWATCHERRS 8/2/2011 4:21PM

    Let me ask you this - do you have what it takes NOT to start making better choices and exercising regularly? Do you have what it takes to live the rest of your life feeling bad about the way you look and enduring all kinds of health problems tied to obesity? Do you have what it takes to deal with hurting joints, heart attacks, strokes, cancer, colo-rectal trouble, high blood pressure, and diabetes?

Yeah, you got some shocking numbers. Yeah, it would be easier to eat your feelings about those numbers and numb yourself with calories. What does that accomplish? You will have nothing to show for yourself but worse numbers if you continue that way.

Or, you can take control of it now. You can turn those horrible numbers and make them great. Make YOU great.

You get to decide how you're going to respond to this time in your life. Ask yourself if you're willing to accept the consequences of continuing with bad habits. Changing those habits will be hard, yeah. It will be hard. But it'll also be worth it. Not changing will be easy from an eating point of view, but it will not be worth the consequences to come.

"Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy." –Nicholas Sparks

"You either sacrifice today to reach tomorrow's goals, or you give up your dreams in favor of the fleeting comfort that's distracting you." Dave Griffin

"No one can make you change. Only YOU can CHOOSE to change. But first there must be something inside of you...a deep desire...a reason to change. You must identify that first before you'll be truly ready to change." –Craig Ballantyne

"The greatest obstacle to our success and progress is our own internal resistance. We must ask ourselves what we want and then identify everything that we are doing that gets in the way of our achievement. Then we need to find a way to overcome all of this self-sabotage if we are to truly succeed. A tough task, but one that you'll do if you are serious about your goals." – Craig Ballantyne

"Is the life you’re living worth what you’re giving up to have it?" - Craig Ballantyne

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Well, I've gone and done it now........................

Monday, August 01, 2011


Happy August to all of you! It has turned out to be a beautiful day here in central Newfoundland, sunny and not overly hot. Or, as Newfoundlanders would say "its a nice day for drying clothes". Which is what I plan to do shortly as soon as the washer finishes and I can lug the clothes upstairs and out to our clothesline.

I really haven't been too active with my challenges lately because I was busy doing things other than walking. I think it was almost a week ago that I last walked any distance but I've kept busy. I have been house/cat sitting for a good friend so I vacuumed every room in her house for her on Friday after doing my own on Thursday. Nothing makes me break out the sweat like vacuuming but I'm not sure if it counts as exercise.

We've also been painting whenever we get a clear day. Our two decks are just about finished and today I've decided I'm going to paint our front door. Doesn't sound like much but this is a big step for me....did I mention that I live in an all white house....inside and out. I'm branching out and painting our front door a reddish colour.....wow.....I'm breaking free! Ha!

Okay, you are probably wondering what I've gone and done now....I joined the local YMCA! Not sure what I will do there although this morning I've completed one hour of water aerobics which was a lot of fun. Tomorrow I'm getting a guide tour of the facilities and the equipment so I don't feel so out of place there.

Anyway, must go and get supper planned, clothes on the clothesline and paint on my front door! Have a great day, you all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/4/2011 12:26PM

    If you have to move furniture around, vacuuming is definitely exercise! I have to take it as easy as possible, slow and careful because of my back, but if you give er nails and sweat, good for you! Wow! New door colour!! Will want to see photos of this!!
Go you!!

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DOLLYHOLLY 8/3/2011 10:50AM

    emoticon Sounds like you're very busy and having too much fun there!



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RIMAJO 8/2/2011 3:18PM

    Looking foward to hearing more about your Y experience.. imagining you there right now, floating around in a pool, enjoying your day. Hope its a good one!

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LESLIES537 8/2/2011 2:28PM

    Good for you on joining the Y! You'll find all sorts of classes and workouts--how fun is that?!! GO YOU! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CALGARYNEWF 8/2/2011 2:27PM

    Great job joining the Y!

I'll bet that red door will look awesome on a white house!


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GAYLE-G-63 8/1/2011 10:28PM

    What a great day. One of those days you can sit back and say, ah, I got so much accomplished today! =)

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KAYDE53 8/1/2011 4:40PM

    Sounds like great exercise & fun too!! Good for you!! I wish the Y was a little closer & I would do that too!!!! emoticon emoticon

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    That's awesome about joining the Y. And what a radical you are with your paint! HA HA!

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JANET552 8/1/2011 1:41PM

    Your day sounds wonderful. Red for a front door sounds awesome. Congratulations on joining the Y. I've never done a water aerobics class but it sounds interesting.

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DRGOMTI 8/1/2011 1:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
WOW! sounds like you're on a roll!! ride that sucker out!!! enjoy!!

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KAMAPERRY 8/1/2011 1:20PM

    Awesome!! Go you!

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RIMAJO 8/1/2011 12:56PM

    Congrats on joining the YMCA.. that sounds like a great idea!! I wish you well with it, did you sign up for any classes? I'm thinking the Y is all about fitness classes, but not sure.

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JLITT62 8/1/2011 12:44PM

    I think joining the Y is a wonderful idea! Can't wait to hear about all your adventures.

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LIZABETT 8/1/2011 12:15PM

    The YMCA is our favorite 'go-to' place for exercise. We go 5-6 days a week. Water aerobics is great, and so many other classes you can go to. My favorite right now is kettlebells, cardio, and sculpt mixes. Zumba is good, too. I can really tell a difference when I mix nutritional eating (I track it all) and fitness (track that too).
You are getting some great exercise at home, too. Count it all! DH and I also walk the Y track and do some weight machines in between the heavier classes.

You are doing wonderful in your beautiful country. Love your page. emoticon

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BOVEY63 8/1/2011 12:08PM

    I love the smell of clothes dried on the line outside - keep saying I will put one up at my house, just haven't done it yet.

Vacuuming isn't in the fitness tracker, but painting is listed under cardio.

Congrats on joining the Y!

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    Yeah to the Y! Hey, post a picture of your door when you are finished please.

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TEMPEST272002 8/1/2011 12:04PM

    Vacuuming & painting can both be tracked as exercise! In the fitness tracker, to go "browse", then "home activities". Vaccumming, mopping floors, etc counts as "heavy cleaning".

Lucky you to have a Y nearby. You'll be able to try different classes & exercise options now.

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SANDYMISA 8/1/2011 11:43AM

    Congratulations on joining the Y! It's a great resource. Sounds like you're getting in the exercise around the house as well.

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DEE0973 8/1/2011 11:38AM

    The Y is an awesome idea. I miss hanging clothes outdoor to dry, will need to get a clothes line soon. Have a Great Day

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DOLLYHOLLY 8/1/2011 11:16AM

    LOL. I wish vacuuming counts as an aerobics exercise. I do that religiously every day, whenever I see hair or fur on the floor.


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MOSTMOM1 8/1/2011 11:12AM

    Red door AND the YMCA? You're living on the edge, my friend. Have fun!

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YJNANA 8/1/2011 11:12AM

    Good for you :) The YMCA is the best

Yes vaccuming does count, look up the exercises and find housework? or something like that, if you can't find it let me know I will find it for you.

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CHUBRUB3 8/1/2011 10:41AM

    emoticon emoticon
Good for you! I am rejoining in the fall.

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CODEMAULER 8/1/2011 10:23AM

    What an awesome investment you're making in yourself!!

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    The Y is a great place to join. So many things to do there! Good Luck!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

I bet I got half of you to check this blog out by the mere two initials M and M and you automatically thought "chocolate"!

Okay, so you were right! I've been MIA the past few days due to an uncontrollable urge to eat the above by the bag. So here I am two bags later (and I'm not talking about the kiddy size bags!) and how do I feel? Well, to be honest I feel okay. I am not regretting my decision (that will come on weigh-in day) but I listened to my body. The funny thing was I was halfway through my second bag in as many days when I realized the ones I had picked up had a) peanuts in them and b) had chocolate. So, call me a dork....it was my first time eating them and it only took me two days to figure out what I was eating!

The reason for this madness? I'm guessing it was TOM as you all like to call that wonderful time of month. Will I also admit that it took me 10 months on Spark to figure out what the initials TOM stood for!? I knew what you meant, just couldn't figure out the initials! I'm telling you, sometimes I think I'm brain dead!

Anyway, with TOM, I had a nasty migraine and even nastier moodiness. Another lightbulb moment.....figuring out what was going on and accepting it! Yes, it was enlightening! So, at 45 I'm discovering that I can move on with life and accept that I am not truly crazy. Hormones will do it to you.

So, I'm back and in the saddle! Here is a funny picture of a migraine (if such a thing exists) but it made me laugh out loud.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOLLYHOLLY 8/1/2011 11:15AM

    Aww, hope your migraine goes away soon. I had vertigo this past w/e, the non-stop merry-go-round type so i sorta know what you mean about going crazy.

Have a emoticon week!


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GAYLE-G-63 7/31/2011 1:35PM


Dearest Susan,

You're sense of humor is contagious! I too have some of those 'ah-ha' moments lately. I've also learned just to accept them and most importantly my dorky side! What should you do but laugh and keep moving forward? =)

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MOSTMOM1 7/31/2011 8:31AM

    Ha ha! TOM will do it to you, for sure!

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CALGARYNEWF 7/30/2011 11:50AM

    Once again Susan...I'm laughing out loud while reading your blog!!!!!

I love Peanut M&M's too but my ultimate weakness is Potato Chips!!!!!!I may as well just sit in the store and eat them because they only last about that long once I get them home!!!


Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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JANET552 7/30/2011 6:34AM

    Been there, done that. Good for you for moving on.

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HEALTHYBARB1 7/29/2011 9:44PM

    Ha! Ha! Love the cow migraine joke!!! It also took me a while to figure out what TOM meant...go figure. I love peanut M&M's and give my self some every once in a while because....what's not to like about peanuts and chocolate. Yum! Glad that you at least enjoyed your little crazy time and have decided to return to sparking! Thanks for the blog and the smiles. Barb

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CHUBRUB3 7/29/2011 8:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Love it!
Been there done that...am back again!

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TEMPEST272002 7/29/2011 7:54PM

    Ah yes, PMS. I know nothing about that. (said with extreme sarcasm). I'm sure I'd be a twig by now if I didn't PMS-eat each month. I finally figured out that if I can't beat it, I need to at least reduce the calories. My standby favs:

3 cup thawed cool whip, fold in 3 tbsp slightly melted peanut butter & divide into 6 dessert cups. Drizzle with low-cal chocolate sugar & freeze. 120 cal each.

Natural microwave popcorn. 180 cal for a whole bag.

Isn't it interesting how you didn't even taste the M&M's? I've realized the same thing with my binge eating.

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GRANLUND 7/29/2011 5:42PM

    Now I want some pretzel M&M's!

It happens to all of us...move on. You can do it!

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THETURTLEBEAR 7/29/2011 5:42PM

    Glad you have no regrets!

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    Love that picture! I don't miss TOM at all! Only thing to be thankful for about getting early menopause!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 7/29/2011 2:40PM

    My downfall is Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups - by the bag. I still give in occasionally, even though I know I'll be up all night with heartburn. Sometimes we just gotta give in.
Stay positive!

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DRGOMTI 7/29/2011 2:39PM

    I finished my big bag a dk choc peanut m&ms yesterday! :)) at least we got alittle protein. : ))
Ya, n I know the secret is to NOT BUY THEM!! but it caught me at a weak moment last week. I'm doing much better the last few days. at least I'm on here n tracking. thanx for the terrific blog n cute cartoon!!

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BLESSED2BEME 7/29/2011 2:35PM

    I've been here over a year and still didn't know exactly what the initials TOM stood for until I read your blog. Like you, I knew what it was referring to but not exactly so we are both in the same boat - lol! Thanks for helping me to figure it out finally!

Glad you are back:)


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METALLICAT1 7/29/2011 2:03PM

    I've done the same with Edy's Ice Cream. Especially in this heat! But I leave the empty cartons in the freezer, I guess it kinds of reminds me not to get anymore?! So I know how you feel. But life goes on and hopefully it doesn't happen again!! Welcome back!

Comment edited on: 7/30/2011 3:51:42 PM

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/29/2011 1:36PM

    Question? Can I set aside a few days of the month for M&M's, even though TOM left me for a teenager years ago? (That teenager can have TOM; I am well-rid of "him.")

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PAMNANGEL 7/29/2011 1:35PM

    Yeah, you got me. M&M's mmmmmm! TOM tries to sneak in that big bag, but I always beat him down to the snack pack...so far. Must be strong! Must be strong! Don't you sometimes just want to fill a wading pool and swim in M&M's? Maybe that's just me.

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LESLIES537 7/29/2011 1:21PM

    LOL, love that cartoon! I have to tell ya, it took me a while to figure out what TOM stood for, too. I was like, who is this dude Tom and why does everybody hate him so much? emoticon

No regrets about the M&M's!! I did the same thing a week ago! Glad to hear you're human after all. emoticon

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KAMAPERRY 7/29/2011 1:14PM

    I always wanted chocolate with TOM! Glad you are back!

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BOVEY63 7/29/2011 1:12PM

    TOM always increases my chocolate cravings so I totally understand!
Great that you're not beating yourself up about it!

Love the cartoons. Hope you have an awesome weekend!

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WANTS2BAPINUP 7/29/2011 12:56PM

    BLAH!!!!!! TOM is an asshole...WELCOME BACK!

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3016DEBRA 7/29/2011 12:54PM

  emoticon Yup...they're pretty hard to resist sometimes!

Have a great weekend! emoticon

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Husbands Learn By Example (thanks JLITT62!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


A dear SparkFriend, JLITT62, who has stuck with me through the ups and downs of my journey, wrote a blog today about how her husband is starting to vary his potatoes and meat diet because she is setting an example. Her blog got me thinking AND writing!

When John and I first hooked up, (that is truly an awful expression, isn't it?) he was an avid swimmer just finished university and settling into his first job. Straight out of living with a bunch of his friends for five years (and living on Kraft Dinner and wieners!) and then back to living with his parents; talk about a wake up call. Apparently, his mom was never much of a cook and even went so far as to serve canned potatoes!

Okay, and there I was, still living with my parents and basically complaining about my mom who always made sure there were veggies on our plates, fruit for dessert, lean cuts of meat, etc, etc. Yes, I went wild in university (not a drinker) but with junk food. What do you mean I can have a bag of chips every night and Mom wasn't there to push freggies at me!

So, when John and I eventually left our parents home and got married, we varied quite a bit with regards to what constituted a "good" meal. My idea was to eat out and John's idea was to have KD, a banana, and a glass of milk. Honestly, that man drove me insane for the first six months with his "you gotta drink your milk" thing at meal times!

Things quickly changed and I became more health conscious after the novelty of junk food wore off. I was never allowed to cook when I lived with my parents so I was 34 years old and just learning. Luckily I had several great cookbooks and I had a husband who would eat anything!

I've learned to keep meals pretty simple. A piece of chicken, baked potato, lots of veggies and of course that glass of skim milk. Yesterday was grilled salmon, steam asparagus with pine nuts, roasted red peppers and a baked potato.....AND a glass of milk! ha!

Anyway, John has always been appreciative whenever I cook but I wasn't aware of how appreciative. Several weeks ago when we were together with his family, John reached for an extra helping of spinach salad. His mother (bless that woman) pipes up and says, "John you really shouldn't be eating greens because that is what caused my gall bladder to fail" and John basically told her she was full of poop! I had to leave the room! John has already had his gall bladder surgery and eats spinach and other greens several times a week. Then she started in with how raw vegetables were too hard to digest as John was reaching for his second handful of baby carrots.

Then yesterday while painting, I knew we needed something cold to drink. John asked for coke (his weakness) but when I went outside with my fruit smoothie, he said it looked delicious! Sneaky me had one stashed behind me for him and he was very thankful. I put protein powder in it along with 6 kinds of fruit, frozen yogurt and some orange juice. He questioned the protein powder and I told him it would keep him fuller longer.....I think he is starting to love Spark as much as I do!

Anyway, lead by example! Good for you food can taste awesome....just ask my dogs who loved their blueberry, mango and banana freezer pops! Move over Milkbones!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANSASROSE67 8/2/2011 1:34PM

    My step-mom insists that squash makes athritis worse. Go figure! I had never heard the gall-bladder one, though. Keep up the great work!

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MOSTMOM1 7/31/2011 8:29AM

    Good for you AND John!

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MSPLACEDAGAIN 7/28/2011 12:46PM

    Amazing! It is so interesting that our upbringings impact us in ways we didn't even know. Too funny about dh and his mom! I've never heard the wives tale that veggies cause gall bladder trouble.
My kids, 15 and 11, always come back shocked from visiting friends. They didn't have "ANY" veggies at dinner! Or, she didn't eat any protein at breakfast! I hope they carry their healthy habits with them!
I went crazy for sugar cereal in college for the same reason. Lol!

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EDWINA172 7/28/2011 5:55AM

    This made me giggle! Love that your hubby told his mom she was full of poop! Its hard to believe that some folks believe "greens aren't good" or "raw vegetables too hard to digest"....what is the alternative? Processed? Yuck! I'm glad that you are rubbing off on your hubby. Happy Thursday:)

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JLITT62 7/28/2011 5:39AM

    I am dying laughing here cause my husband still eats crap at least 50% of the time - andthat percentage would be higher if I didn't feed him breakfast & dinner! Him drinking a fruit smoothie - which I do all the time - instead of a die coke - just might cause me to keel over!

But there are minute changes, very, very slowly.

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_LINDA 7/28/2011 1:18AM

    My sister's husband claims he can't eat fruits and veggies because they upset his stomach. Guess its his lifetime of high fat high carb food and the fact he smokes and drinks like his mother may have something to do with it, the added fiber probably gave him the trots.. There was a huge rebellion in their house when my sister got Sparked to cook healthier meals. My nephew said could I please take her spices away LOL. Their usual fare was bacon 'n eggs, double cheese sandwiches, every artery clogging treat and snack and frozen food you could think of. Fruits and vegetables would rot and go bad uneaten. But now, they are incorporated into every meal serving. They still have their pop and snacks and treats, but at least are getting some healthy meals..
So glad you and your husband see eye to eye on it!! That is so very important being on the same page!! Okay, everyone here now knows how to cook except me, at age 49. Probably won't learn as I don't really need to. My preference is for raw freggies and I don't even use my stove or oven, just the microwave. I have no one I need to cook for. Makes life very simple.
Keep up the fabulous work! And drink your milk ;) Calcium is so very important to get, especially going through the change of life!!

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LESLIES537 7/27/2011 11:59PM

    You're so awesome! I didn't know you were 34 when you learned to cook! That makes me feel a lot better about just now learning at age 32! Keep on leading by example--cuz your example ROCKS!!!

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CHUBRUB3 7/27/2011 11:42PM

    Love it!

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THETURTLEBEAR 7/27/2011 11:21PM

    Oh my gosh - I just said the same thing to another Spark Friend who was trying to fix her husband's habits. I said she was leading by example. Too funny!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/27/2011 2:03PM

    Now I think this is truly a "non-scale victory." What can be greater than having the people you love making and enjoying the same changes that you are embracing.

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TEMPEST272002 7/27/2011 1:57PM

    I'm glad John is starting to see the benefits of eating healthy. We eat much tastier food now that I make almost everything fresh & I know hubby appreciates it. My thing with the food is that I only cook healthy food. If hubby wants something else, he has to cook it for himself... which he is almost never inclined to do. lol Even so, I was really suprised when he told me last week to stop buying him chips & cookies because his body doesn't need that crap every day. Guess husbands so learn by example!

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OLDERDANDRT 7/27/2011 1:40PM

    Great blog! Hard to believe you mil has such a cock-eyed view of raw veggies! Pretty good with the smoothie for the hubs rather than the Cole! emoticon

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BOVEY63 7/27/2011 1:38PM


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KAMAPERRY 7/27/2011 1:12PM

    emoticon Gotta train these guys right!

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JESSIEJUICE 7/27/2011 12:54PM

    I know a good number of people who think that veggies will cause you all kinds of stomach ailments! Funny to me- my tummy gets angry if I DON'T get my freggies!! Looks like your excellent habits are definitely rubbing off on your hubby :). emoticon emoticon

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CHRISTINA791 7/27/2011 12:49PM

    I love this!

My fiancé and I both lived alone and had some pretty poor eating habits when we met. I didn't cook at all. He loved to cook, but got lazy with just himself to cook for, and tended to go for the comfort foods and huge portions. He's been wonderfully supportive as I've been working on this, and has taught me to feel more comfortable in the kitchen, even though my meals are simple. At the same time, my food choices are rubbing off on him, and we're eating healthier meals with tons of fresh veggies. It's shown up with both of our waistlines!

It's so important to do this as a family, even if both/all aren't entirely on the same page. I've said before that it can't just be 'mom's diet' or 'the wife's food thing'... it needs to be how you eat. It sounds like you guys have made some fantastic changes, and they're paying off!

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HEALTHYBARB1 7/27/2011 12:35PM

    Your blog made me smile today. I started making smoothies and my daughter loves them too...healthy for us both and my husband said we needed to talk about ways that we could get exercise while we were on vacation next month because he doesn't want to sabotage my current get healthy accomplishments. He is going walking and bike riding with me and both of us are getting healthy together and having fun too!! Thanks for sharing. Smiles Barb

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DESERTFLOWER8 7/27/2011 12:19PM

    what a beautiful blog! good for you and hubbie..inspiring each other on to healthier lives...(your food sounds darn good too!)

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GRAMLORI 7/27/2011 12:01PM

    He sounds like a fantastic man! Willing to learn AND stick up to his mom!! Good catch!

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A funny thing happened on my journey of self-love! (pictures)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Good Morning!

How fitting this image is to me as I reflect upon the past year of my life. See, a year ago, I wasn't happy. I wasn't happy with anything despite years of therapy and mind-altering drugs taken in the name of depression. I fooled many people but the one I couldn't fool was myself. I knew things had to change or I was going to grow old as a bitter old lady so was so judgemental about herself that it was downright painful.

Thankfully several things happened. First of all I started re-reading a book that has made a tremendous difference to my life which is called "The Highly Sensitive Person ~ How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms you" by Dr. Elaine N. Aron. This book was given to me by a dear friend/psychologist who I started seeing the second time I was quite suicidal. At the time I had skimmed through it but last July I started to really read the book and to understand what others could see in me that I couldn't see in myself. I thought for years that I was flawed because I'm not like a lot of other people but I'm beginning to not only accept myself but to love myself.

Yes, the past may help shape our futures but we can grab that future and gently cuddle, caress and nurture what that future will look like. This is where Spark came in! About the time we decided to formally adopt Louisa, I was at the vet clinic and my vet was talking about how she reshaped her life. She knew me quite well and suggested several websites to me but the one I really loved was Spark. Being the cautious sort, it took me about a month to actually sign up but my life has changed......for the better....and it isn't at all to do with weight loss.

Yes, I'm trying to lose some weight but more importantly, I'm learning (at age 45!) to love myself through acceptance!

I fully accept that I have depression which requires daily medication. It is not a character fault (check)

I fully accept that I have the body I have now due to neglect, lack of exercise and pure ignorance (check)

I fully accept that while I'm no supermodel nor athlete, my friends like and accept me for being me and not because they have to (a work in progress)

I fully accept that my husband was not forced to marry me. He did because he loved me and continues to love me warts and all (again, a work in progress)

I fully accept that what I eat and what I do for exercise is my own free will and only I can take responsibility. So each day I try to show my body that I love it..... by making smarter food choices.

And finally here is a picture that somebody took of me just last week that I initially cringed at. Not only is my toothy gap quite noticeable but I have at least three chins but you know what.....I am a work in progress and I am posting this picture to show you all that I can accept my self-perceived failings and turn them into blessings!

In conclusion, here is a quote I recently discovered and which I have posted throughout my house.....a gift to me from me!

“You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.”

Thank you to all of you who have been part of my journey of self-discovery! This chickie is pretty cool afterall, who would have thought that a year ago?!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSPLACEDAGAIN 7/26/2011 12:22PM

    Love the picture and love you! Your thoughts resonate with me and I appreciate you sharing them. Sounds like you and your husband have a great relationship and it's time for you to have a good relationship with yourself too!


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KATHRYN1955 7/26/2011 8:18AM

    "You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.”

If we put even half the effort into loving ourselves as we do into counting calories, fussing with out diets and exercise etc., this whole weight thing would become a non-issue. Thank-you for the reminder and I do love your last picture...the warmth and friendliness just leaps off the page!!
Take care,

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HEART_N_GRACE 7/25/2011 9:04PM

    Thank you for your beautiful honest blog!

Your photo brought an instant smile to my face what could be more beautiful than that! Thanks for sharing!

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THETURTLEBEAR 7/25/2011 8:12PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CHUBRUB3 7/25/2011 8:01PM

    Love your blog, quote and your picture! You are gorgeous!

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_LINDA 7/25/2011 7:39PM

    The best photo in the blog is the one at the bottom! My first reaction when I saw it was I LOVE it! Only noticed the stuff you commented on because you pointed it out. But the first thought was, what a happy, warm inviting face! This is someone I would love to be friends with (and I am happy I am!!) Note: everyone is going to have a second chin with their head ducked down! It is like you were shrugging towards your right shoulder..
I am so glad you are well on the way to the journey to accepting yourself! That is truly the most important step to a healthy lifestyle. You won't treat your body with respect until you truly love it..
Keep up the great work!!

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DONNAJZ4241 7/25/2011 5:44PM

    You are a beautiful person, both inside and out. So often, we are our own worse enemy. I have always looked at myself and would only see my faults. Since joining Spark, I feel as though I have a place where I belong and am accepted for who I am. I felt both sad and happy reading your blog and it truly touched me. So happy you have found Spark and that it has made a difference in your life. Donna


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RONOSOF 7/25/2011 5:17PM

    you are a beautiful woman! emoticon emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 7/25/2011 3:54PM

    You are an inspiration to me and I'm so glad you're becoming an inspiration to yourself, too!

Wonderful blog!!!

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CHRISTINA791 7/25/2011 3:48PM

    Beautiful emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 7/25/2011 2:28PM

    Beautiful blog. Made me a little teary. You are a beautiful person & that shows through in your photo. I see your smile & your pretty hair. You see me looking like a teenager, but the signs of aging are pretty clear to me in the mirror. We're way more critical of ourselves than other people. Glad we have each other to learn & get support from along the way!

Really liked the heart plate image. Meals are an opportunity to show self-love. The healthier I eat, the more I enjoy my food & the better I feel.

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CALGARYNEWF 7/25/2011 2:23PM

    I think you should be giving yourself a big checkmark for the absolute joy you bring into the lives of your spark friends and other sparkers who are fortunate enought to read your blogs!!!!I'm mot much of a blogger myself but one of the first things I do after I log in is to check and see if you have added a blog because I almost guaranteed a smile (or more often than not a huge laugh). Thank you for sharing with us!!!!!You are way more insprational than you even know! emoticon emoticon

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CODEMAULER 7/25/2011 1:31PM

    How's this - my horoscope today dovetails very well with what you shared:

This is a day that you will never have again, Aries. Every day of your life is unique. It would be a shame to spoil it by thinking you can take advantage of these moments because there are other moments coming. You have an opportunity now. It doesn't look like much perhaps, but in your hands it could become monumental. Seize this day, and wring out every bit of joy, luck, and beauty, and make the most of every single opportunity - no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. You may now be underestimating a chance to get ahead. Don't.

Have a super day, SparkFriend!


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KAMAPERRY 7/25/2011 1:24PM

    Totally awesome. Just beautiful. emoticon

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BOVEY63 7/25/2011 12:20PM

    A truly awesome blog! You are beautiful!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/25/2011 11:26AM

    I love the picture. You look open, friendly and happy. That's way more important than 3 chins.

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DOLLYHOLLY 7/25/2011 11:06AM

    What an insightful blog! I LOVE your self-love and acceptance.

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 7/25/2011 10:33AM

    I agree with Leslie: Fantastic, amazing, spectacularly inspirational blog!!

You keep moving forward and that to me is very inspirational!

I too was very ignorant about what I needed to do for myself to see changes. Thanks to spark and people like you, I now have a better understanding of me.

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LESLIES537 7/25/2011 10:19AM

    Fantastic, amazing, spectacularly inspirational blog!! I loved it! I admire you so much and feel very blessed to have been on this journey with you! Thank you for taking me along for the ride! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 7/25/2011 9:41AM

    What a great blog & thank you for sharing that quote with us!

Ok, yes, I notice the chins - but not the gap - but you know what I noticed first? Your wonderful smile. And guess what? I still have more than one chin in a lot of photos too! I don't share the bad ones & there are plenty!

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GRAMLORI 7/25/2011 9:18AM

    I can see in that picture a beautiful, original work of art. Your smile is genuine, and I can see the happiness that makes you glow. Sure, I came here for weight loss in the beginning. But I stayed because of the blessings I recieve--too many to mention--through this site. I thank God for my friend who shared the Spark, and I thank God for SparkPeople. I thank God for all my SparkFriends, and you are one of those precious people!! emoticon

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MOSTMOM1 7/25/2011 8:57AM

    I think it's a beautiful picture; I love it! And I'm with you, part of the Spark happens to be about weight loss. But the positive transformation of our minds and attitudes, that's what the Spark is really about.
emoticon emoticon

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