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Direction Correction #3- Spark Friends

Friday, January 07, 2011

In the wake of my imminent 2-year Sparkversary at the end of this month, I've become aware of several things that I've gotten a bit misdirected on. It doesn't feel like I've fallen off the proverbial wagon, but just that my healthy two-year track has begun to start making the beginning of what can easily be a U-turn. Yikes! Rather than let that happen, I thought I'd blog about each issue that I need a direction correction on. Each one will begin with this paragraph and lead into the topic of the day.

Prior to these two years on SP, I hadn't blogged. Thus, I'd no idea as to the value that virtual friends would be.

At first, I thought it was nice to have so many nice people around to offer advice, support, and feedback on the journey. But it still seemed like a fairyland with not real people - just others in the ether.

However, it wasn't long before I'd come to understand how invaluable sparkfriends are. And they are very real in many ways. Not only do they provide all of the above-listed benefits, but there are other factors that have helped me.

As many of my friends know, these last few years have seen the loss of many loved ones. When I've read others' blogs, it has helped me to remember that I am not alone in my difficult times. We humans are all on this ship together and all have challenges of our own. NOT to say that misery loves company. That's not at all what I mean. But in my isolation due to loss, sadness and grief, reading others' blogs made me remember to clomp on - even if only baby steps.

I really like that spark site provides unconditional support. We have a common bond that is devoid of the typical societal stereotypes that sometimes barrier friendships. Doesn't matter our age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, etc. It's very nice to not have to worry about anything but connect through our hearts in helping each other.

I've come to be thankful for particular angels that have emerged out of SP who literally came to my aid during my darkest hours. These are lifelong friendships made. Some friends have dropped off of SP throughout these two years, and I miss them. They also helped me along the way.

So, my direction correction has been one of thinking that virtual friends are not real life friends, to realizing that they are. And that they are sometimes more helpful than those in daily "real" life. I wish all of you lived nearby!

My appreciation to all of those in the past and present who have helped me. Wishing all of us a fabulous 2011.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUTUREHOPE49 1/8/2011 4:15PM

    What a lovely blog! I agree spark friends are invaluable! Last year after Christmas I felt really depressed when the family had gone home. But not this year! I just got onto Spark and felt fine!
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Ellen

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CHERIRIDDELL 1/8/2011 11:38AM

    I agree with you 100% besides who has the right to determine what "real" friends are! The friends I have made here are more real than many I have run into in the flesh! This was a wonderful blog and it reminds us "I can get by with a little help from my friends "

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JLITT62 1/7/2011 7:53PM

    I have been involved in online communities for many years, and have had more than one occasion to meet online friends (altho not sparkfriends -- at least not yet) -- and it really is always like meeting long lost friends.

But I have rarely come across a community as wonderful as SP. And I very definitely appreciate your friendship!

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HDHAWK 1/7/2011 7:15PM

    So true. This is the part of Spark I'm not sure other people understand when I tell them about it. They're missing out!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 1/7/2011 5:09PM

    Awesome blog. You are so right about Spark friendships and finding support here. Sometimes from the most unexpected places. I voted for your blog.

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DMATT35 1/7/2011 4:44PM

    I love Sparkpeople and the many friends I have met here!! emoticon

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CARPENSM 1/7/2011 4:10PM

    Great blog and oh so true! I remember the first time I realized that the people on here are real friends... I had reached a big goal in my weight loss (half way, 50 lbs) and a friend posted a comment on my wall that literally brought tears to my eyes. Her support (and so many others) had meant so much over the months.

This really is a great site full of amazing people, I'm so happy to have them in my life and hope I can be that support for others too!

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MY_LIFE_NOW 1/7/2011 3:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MELISSAISAFOX 1/7/2011 2:30PM

    It honestly is one of the best things I've ever done. This is also not my first time on SP and I feel like it will stick so much better (and I will stick with it so much better) because of blogging and spark friends!

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NATPLUMMER 1/7/2011 2:28PM

    I have also come to think of my SparkFriends as real friends. Not just virtual entities. I appreciate all of them, including you, very much!
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Happy Jeans

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Yesterday I bought the slimmer size jeans, thinking I could fit back into them after losing the 8 lbs I've earned back from recent grief eating.

This morning, I tried them on to see approximately how long there'd be until that time. I'm sitting here wearing them as I write this - they fit! Hooray, hooray.

Also, at what point did size 12 become a plus size? I mean, I have never been a tiny female, and I don't aspire to at this point in life. So, hey, I'm happy. Yes, I have a lot of work left to do. But I also have to give myself credit where/when credit is due.

Wishing all a wonderful day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUTUREHOPE49 1/8/2011 4:17PM

    Well done! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Ellen

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CHERIRIDDELL 1/8/2011 11:34AM

    Congratulations !Excellent work and 12 is not plus size!!!

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NANCY- 1/7/2011 10:28AM

    emoticon emoticon
Gotta love those nice surprises.

What 12 is a plus size! Since when! I don't go by size I go by what looks good and fits right. I don't want to be on that show "What Not To Wear" emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 1/6/2011 7:12PM

    emoticon

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PAQTEQ 1/6/2011 2:02PM

    We celebrate with u. I can hardly wait to get to size 12. God for u!

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JIBBIE49 1/6/2011 1:34PM

    emoticon

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STIPER23 1/6/2011 11:57AM

    Congrats! It's a great feeling, isn't it?

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NATPLUMMER 1/6/2011 11:53AM

    YAY!!!! I have no idea when size 12 became a plus size. Sizes are so random now anyway.

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JLITT62 1/6/2011 11:45AM

    Great job!

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LADYBIRD82 1/6/2011 11:35AM

    I took a pair of my goal jeans out to try them on they almost fit emoticon, I would say good enough to wear out. My husband said they were dated and I should go out and buy new ones. I explained they were goal jeans! Enough said. Anyway I wouldn't consider a 12 a plus size. emoticon I guess it just depends on the store. emoticon Great job being able to wear skinny jeans and be happy at the same time.

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SPARKLERDEB 1/6/2011 11:28AM

    You sure can't go by sizes anymore...just get what fits and don't worry about the number. Good for you fitting in your happy jeans. I have a couple of them in the closet hoping to fit into by summer.

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Losing Weight Is All in Your Head

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

That's the title of a book I passed this morning while shopping with my Christmas gift card. I stopped to thumb through it and smiled as the title really sums up the entire healthy lifestyle enchilada. It's all about the changes your brain makes and how you think and the new patterns you create. I agree that losing weight is all in my head, and will remind myself of that when my heart/emotions drive me toward the sugary stuff.

Wishing all a great day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANCY- 1/6/2011 9:52AM

    Head games. It is true that sometimes it is physical... but our mind rules!!!

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JLITT62 1/6/2011 4:57AM

    I would amend to say it's mostly in our heads. Some of it is physical too, but I like to say you can't control your eating til you figure out what's eating you.

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TMGR2010 1/5/2011 9:48PM

    Yes it is all in our head. I need to remember that thought about patterns. I am trying to make new ones. So far I have good patterns at home but when I visit others or family I am out of control. I need to be consciously think about developing new patterns in these situations. Thanks for reminding me.

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 1/5/2011 6:09PM

    Excellent thought! I voted for your blog today. It was right on target.

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NATPLUMMER 1/5/2011 4:22PM

    So true. I need to use my head to keep me from eating any more M&M's. Not the worst lunch in the world, I guess.
Thank you for reminding me.

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Direction Correction #2 - Sparkpeople Site

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

In the wake of my imminent 2-year Sparkversary at the end of this month, I've become aware of several things that I've gotten a bit misdirected on. It doesn't feel like I've fallen off the proverbial wagon, but just that my healthy two-year track has begun to start making the beginning of what can easily be a U-turn. Yikes! Rather than let that happen, I thought I'd blog about each issue that I need a direction correction on. Each one will begin with this paragraph and lead into the topic of the day.

The Sparkpeople Site. I have appreciated it from Day 1, and supported it by buying products, buying from advertisers, referring the site to friends, etc. HOWEVER,

From the very first week, I resisted joining. I'm not a joiner, I reminded myself. Can't really explain all that entails, but I don't like joining anything. And I realized that I often resist doing what is best for me.

Well, every few months or so during these two years, I was going to quit SP. I found one reason or another that I didn't want to do this daily grind (what I perceived it to be during my immature times of ranting to myself). In fact, the last time I almost did quit for good, I was saved by a wonderful team leader (thanks, EJ) who did not prod me to stay, but gently came after me in a kind and helpful way. Okay, I'll stay.

Now I look back on those times and smile. My resistance to Spark was symptomatic of my life in general. With so much loss these past few years (deaths of loved ones), as well as my own life's bumpy road challenges, I was very ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The "who cares" attitude too over.

Not that I've been a tremendous example of weight loss success over these past couple of years (32 lbs before I got here, and then maintained, but have gained about 8 back over past year during grief eating), but I see that if I hadn't come here daily to track food and exercise (as well as connect with friends), I would have been in much bigger trouble by now. Much.

So, this direction correction is my attitude. Just the other day, I was perusing similar sites and they all cost a fortune (relative to free). For the first time, it really dawned on me how I would have never been able to do SP had it had fees, and what a huge gift this has been.

Being the rebel I am, I may still go through some "I quit" times in the future. But I have to do tough love with myself during those times and know that it is due to SP that I've maintained the lbs lost. And look forward to getting the rest of this hideous stuff out of my gut. Yes, I'm spoiled by lifelong slimness and a harsh unacceptance of how horrible this extra weight feels. (and knowing all the factors that contributed to it helps - mega stress, overwork, less exercise, hormonal stuff, and yes, eating like I always had since I never gained weight.)

Wishing all a great day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANCY- 1/5/2011 8:47AM

    I'm glad you are here. Yes, SP is a great gift. One part of that gift is the wonderful people here like you, who are willing to share your journey.
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CHERIRIDDELL 1/5/2011 12:04AM

    I am glad you didn't quit I feel privileged to know you.I have the rebel spirit too.I think you are a good example too , noone is perfect and coming back and keeping on trying is what it is all about .Someone famous once said too many people quit just before the final success ,so never quit !!!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 1/4/2011 6:30PM

    I'm really glad that you have stuck it out...otherwise I would have never gotten to know you. That rebel attitude is so understandable....I get it too.

Here's to us both being here this time next year and proclaiming that we have met our weight loss goals.
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Kay

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DDHEART 1/4/2011 6:08PM

    I agree with Judy, glad you didn't quit, and you are a perfect example of how this journey goes....not a straight line but a zigzag back and forth with life often throwing detours and roadblocks in our way....but you have persevered, you are examining your path and knowledge is power so you will be back on track soon....no, it's no fair that your previously effortless slim body has decided that this half of your life you have to struggle....but you've got the stuff, so you'll do it!

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NATPLUMMER 1/4/2011 3:55PM

    The first step in getting those extra pounds off again is recommitting. We'll be here to encourage or bully you...whatever you need.

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MY_LIFE_NOW 1/4/2011 3:09PM

    That a girl..now look at you...woohoo!

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JLITT62 1/4/2011 1:27PM

    I, for one, am very glad you have resisted all those times you wanted to quit. I also think that you ARE a good example. No one is perfect, we all encounter bumps in the road, and it isn't at all uncommon to regain some of the weight we lose.

But I think being part of SP makes it far easier to get back on track when you do veer off. You always have us to come kick your butt!

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Direction Correction #1 - Blogging

Monday, January 03, 2011

In the wake of my imminent 2-year Sparkversary at the end of this month, I've become aware of several things that I've gotten a bit misdirected on. It doesn't feel like I've fallen off the proverbial wagon, but just that my healthy two-year track has begun to start making the beginning of what can easily be a U-turn. Yikes! Rather than let that happen, I thought I'd blog about each issue that I need a direction correction on. Each one will begin with this paragraph and lead into the topic of the day. FYI, B=before two years ago and healthy lifestyle change, D-during these past two years of healthy eating, and N=now and changes that have to be made to correct returning bad habits. Not all blogs will use these abbreviations, but just in case, it'll save me the explanation.

What better topic to start with than blogging? Wow, for the better part of the two years, I was a daily blogger. At some point, I thought it didn't really matter whether I blogged or not. Why bother? I can tell the difference when I blog and when I don't.

It holds me more accountible and keeps me grounded and in-touch with what's going on with food and fitness, rather than just staying inside my head. I also have to remember that, although it's nice to get comments, these are meant for our own benefit. Which means that I have to let go of the part of me that knows there will be a public eye and might influence me to edit accordingly.

Part of stopping the blog writing, like everything else, is a bit of laziness creeping in and not wanting to always come up with topics. Will try my best to stay connected.

Wishing all a wonderful 2011.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPEISHAPPENING 1/4/2011 9:56AM

    Daily blogs keep me accountable and its the thing I see first after falling off and coming back to spark.So I try to keep it positive, short and relevant.I did succeed in losing weight and then I fell off and gained it back so I failed to maintain.I did try new sports for fitness and enjoyment so I met that goal.I even took swimming lessons and spinning class!I need to settle back down and get back to losing weight.

Spark on!
Hope

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JLITT62 1/4/2011 7:52AM

    There is just something in me that needs to blog . . . I've been doing it in one form or another for about 10 years (long before SP or even the word blog was around!). Yes, they really are for us -- but comments are of course always appreciated.

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NANCY- 1/4/2011 7:26AM

    I truly enjoy your blogs. My blogs help me focus, sort things out and get input when I am stuck and hugs when I need them.
I love your term of "direction correction" it is a term of action.
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LIZZIE13 1/4/2011 1:56AM

    emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 1/4/2011 1:08AM

    You really have a gift for writing and your issues with food will always help someone else even if you just write for the ske of a blog it resonates and is worthwhile ,I have missed your blogs!

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BARCLE 1/3/2011 8:37PM

    Blogging is fun - I'm surprised by how much I enjoy it emoticon

Really like the term 'direction correction' - I'm going to adopt that term too emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 1/3/2011 8:33PM

    I'm glad you have decided to get back to daily blogging. It will be fun getting to know you better.

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MY_LIFE_NOW 1/3/2011 6:26PM

    thanks that make you go hmmmmm......

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THUNDERCAT 1/3/2011 6:10PM

    I think that daily blogs are a great idea. So many time things are more in focus when you see them in black and white.


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