SPRINKLECHEZ   2,057
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SPRINKLECHEZ's Recent Blog Entries

Diagnosis Codes to ponder...

Thursday, January 09, 2014

I have had many long conversations with one of my good friends this week and this little gem just came out of my mouth and I knew I needed to share it with everyone:

"Am I really this crazy or do I chose to let myself me defined by the diagnosis codes to which I have been assigned?"

I'm just going to leave that with you one to ponder. How would you answer this question if you feel it applies to you? Those of you who know me, how do you think I answered my own question?

Your friend - "Sprink"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGIEN9 1/9/2014 9:09PM

    And to add...I do not recommend going off your medications. Bad things can happen...like ending up in the community hospital on 72 hour hold or committed to the state hospital for 3 months or longer. And just a hint..they are not free just because the state owns them.

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ANGIEN9 1/9/2014 9:02PM

    Sprink,
I think it can be a self fulfilling prophecy, if you let it. I often struggle with knowing a little too much about the way the diagnosis code is given. And you must understand...two separate doctors or professionals can give you a different code on the same day. Very subjective this diagnosis coding although professionals in the field will tell you they are more objective than the patient. Then you have to look at all the different types of treatment. Sometimes certain doctor's like certain medications and use them often. Depends on their pharmacy representative is selling them.

Lots to think about!!
Love ya,

Angie

emoticon And don't forget all the side effects of the medications we are given. (Sorry just had to put that in here. Some are medications that are used for off label uses. I could go on...but do I need to?)

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LARISSA238 1/9/2014 6:26PM

    I know I rely a lot on my diagnosis when things go bad. When things are good, I don't even notice the bad feelings. I hope to talk to you on Skype soon!

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Forgiveness & Acceptance

Saturday, January 04, 2014

It is hard to return after such a long absence. I hope you all know that even in my absence, I have thought about you often. I'd like to tell you that nothing is wrong - and that I've been busy living life in my new body...but I cannot. The truth now revealed is that, I have been a prisoner of my mind and body. First please accept my apology for abandoning my blogging and contact you. This blog is my way of starting to forgive myself. It's a process, and won't happen overnight, but the sooner I retrain my Mentally Unhealthy body, mind, and soul on God, Family, and Friends instead of “the past” I will resume my earthly journey and stop my physical and social isolation.

I think back to prior blogs using my analogy of life as a journey, like a car ride, and you have to focus on today, keep your eyes on the road, learn from the detours and learn the lessons by sharing your experience with your friends (and occasionally a complete stranger). Honestly I don't know how I let this happen, I blinked and 2013 was gone. I don't want to feel this way again. The hole in my heart seems so cavernous and wide that nothing will bridge the divide. For the better part of the last year I haven't even been driving my car, living my journey, or staying connected to God and His plan for me. I have been doing the very thing I warned you of in that car analogy. I kept focus on the rearview mirror, never looked forward, lost myself in pain of the past and disconnected from nearly everyone and everything in my life.

Half my life ago a dear friend from college (Beck, yep that's you) told me (after I told her about my life's successes and failures) said to me, “I’ve never known anyone who’s life is such a rollercoaster, every time you achieve more, you either get bored and try something completely different, or lose everything.” How prophetic she was back then. My “all or nothing, up or down, high, low or manic joys and accomplishments or depressed/suicidal was textbook mental. 49 years later I understand why I feel like I’m always starting over – I live on a Bi-Polar Roller Coaster.

It took 49 years to realize my life has always been Bi-Polar. The first of my “attempts” (a lame one at that), was as a sophomore in College. Combine booze with pills in the bottle that has the warning label telling you not to drink with it. It just came back to me now, that very night, aside from not finding anyone to really confess my actions too, was the first time I saw Jesus’ face. I didn’t even drink that much or take that many tablets that night – a couple hours after which my eyes blurred and then only for a brief moment, I saw His face. I felt forgiven. His forgiveness was limitless and absolute…But fast forward three decades and I am still trying to forgive myself.

Why my mind picked now to remind me of that “vision” 29 years ago is simple – Jesus has always been my Footprints in the Sand…God, The Bible – I felt forgiveness and peace…and the next day continued my life of consumption and excess. It was easier than coming out of the closet…At least back in the 80s. While I did first learn to truly forgive others in College, I couldn’t forgive myself. By January, 1986 my weight had ballooned to 365 lb. I resolved to lose the College weight gain and by Graduation in June I was down to a svelt 220 lb. How did I accomplish this in 5 months? I did two things, I ate 1400 calorie low fat diet under Dr’s supervision and danced at the only Gay night club 3 or 4 nights a week with my female dates. I had a couple of male friends that were Gay and danced with me too, but I seemed to queerest of the bunch – yet always had a female date. During that time I rarely drank nor binged like the bulimic I was in High School. That Winter and Spring of 1986 was the first time I tried to take care of my body and accept my sexuality.

When I graduated, not only did I look fabulous, but my entire immediate family (27 or so) was all in attendance. That day was one of the first and only times I felt truly proud of myself. Up until that moment I was only concerned with making my mother, father and grandparents proud.
Yes I am an only child. Some would say I grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth. Other’s just called me spoiled or pretentious. I guess it was easier than being misunderstood by most and labeled a queer or a fag. So I continued dating great women climbing corporate ladders, jumping off them, owning a bar. At least I came out of the closet in 1998. 90 days in Parkside will do that do to you… I cried when I received Small Business Person of The Year Award for my gourmet store, then lost everything a year later.

Yesterday on TV I heard, “my best thinking got me to this point.” I hadn’t really heard that phrase since my stay at Parkside 25 years ago. I think for many – that simple statement can be a life-changer, a wake-up call, an epiphany even… Not to me!!! Some people live life at ground level, others climb 3, 6, or even 12 steps to happiness. A couple years ago I couldn’t walk up 3 or 4 steps without pain, and the 17 steps I climb to my 2nd floor office and bedroom used to send my heart into overdrive.

“Nothing less than everything I have done” has got me to this point, and finally I feel the hope again. 2012-2013’s blogs contain more truth about who I am than any single person was ever allowed to know – not even my closest friends or family knows me this well, and since my memories come and go as they please – you probably know me better than I do at this point.

I have learned, and come to this conclusion – until I get better at healthy living and stop being so hard on myself, the groundhog days will continue. These past nine months have been the longest mental depression (and I mean literally, depressed my mind, ignored my body) and want to not make these mistakes again. Monday I see my psych and stomach surgeon – both great guys. I am asking the psych to re-evaluate my meds and doses and alternatives because something isn’t right. My stomach surgeon on the otherhand will give me a smile and a good dose of Yiddish guilt when I am completely honest about my narrowly avoided Vertical Gastric Sleeve burn through.

Thank you for reading this dear SparkFriends. Here I have found a forum for positive affirmation with people just like me and completely different than me. You have given me support, understanding and unconditional love. You all have helped me accept, understand, and learn about who I am. I am forever grateful and cherish your presence in my life –

God Bless- “Sprink"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 1/23/2014 4:13PM

    Nice to see you back on Spark - even though this comment comes a while after you blogged. I have been absent of late too, and am trying to get my head back into the game.

Let's do all we can to make 2014 a great year!
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REAGANESQUE 1/5/2014 7:28AM

    Sprink, my friend...so good to have you back! About a year ago you reached out to me and gave me such encouraging words at a time when I was hurting and not feeling good about myself. I have never forgotten it.

I am sorry that the year has been hard, and you must know that there is sunshine ahead...you so deserve it! God loves you, and we do, too.
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HINK2013 1/4/2014 11:06PM

    Thank you for being willing to share yourself and your journey so openly and honestly!

Its certainly not easy to always stay the course, but know that you will find lots of support here from your spark friends!


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LARISSA238 1/4/2014 2:43PM

    Sprink! How I have missed you! I'm sorry your journey has been hard, but I'm here for you every step of the way. I'm glad you are starting over.. Just take it one step at a time. *hugs* Don't be a stranger!

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PATTYR81 1/4/2014 12:32PM

    Yes, your SparkFriends are here for you and Yes, we CARE!
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I've thought of you often over the past months and have greatly missed your posts.

Your courage to explore difficult, tough times with us inspires me to go there myself and do the same. Being the Compulsive Overachiever I am, maintaining that facade of perfection is a tough thing for me to let go.

I'm glad you are back!

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FERRETLOVER1 1/4/2014 8:03AM

    We're so very glad to have you back. You had some rough times - but you have come through them and you are back!

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All your SparkFriends are here for you whenever you need them!

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EFFIEANNIE 1/4/2014 7:53AM

    Welcome back! So sorry to hear about the past few months and your struggles. Today is a new day. I'm glad you have plans to visit your doctors and get things back on track. You are a great person Sprink. Don't sell yourself short. "Just pick yourself up, dust yourself of, and start all over again" as the song says.
Please keep posting, your Spark friends care.

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"The One" - Love, Faith, Peace...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

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When I found copies of two emails I received from a dear friend back in 2008, it really hit me how much my life has changed because of a simple decision, to let my God back in my life and return to Church. I'll touch on just how important this person is at the end of this blog. Here's what he had to say to me after I told him I had returned to my Church and my faith.

"Please follow through with this. You are liked by so many people, you have amazing talents and most of all you are loved by GOD. We care so much about you, please make wise decisions even when they are hard, tough or just downright don't make sense at the time.

YOU ARE NEEDED, YOU HAVE A PURPOSE BIGGER THAN YOURSELF

You and I both know it's all about the journey. The journey is the destination.

Pray like you've never prayed before. For the first time in your life give everything to Him, don't hold on to any worldly thing (food, drink, house, car, attitudes, language, thoughts)."

Those of you familiar with my "story" know that I have used nearly these exact words in one fashion or another to describe my journey since life saving Weight Loss Surgery. Coincidence? I don't think so. It took me some time to lose everything, the car in 2009, the house in 2010 and my mind since 2007. All so I could arrive at this day - to realize just how genuine his love was for me and how accurate his prediction of my future. This is no ordinary friend, he was then and is now "The One." He went on in a later email that afternoon to send me this prayer. I was in tears when I read this:

"How many times have I turned away?
The number is the same as the sand on the shore
But every time You've taken me back
And now I pray You do it once more

Please take from me my life
When I don't have the strength
to give it away to you You Jesus

How many times have a turned away
The number is the same as the stars in the sky
But every time You've taken me back
And I pray You do it tonight"

Although not as often as I would like, we do have long conversations like the old days. Our connection is so natural, so intimate, so honest, that I don't think either one of us knew just how important we would become in each other's lives. I don't have to tell him how important he is to me, it's implicitly understood. While our lives have taken different paths and we are now separated by distance, work and family our love and friendship will endure.

I know that with the same undeniable confidence that I write these words to you today, that the rest of my "journey" will be be as important as the beginning. I don't expect everyone to share this same level of peace through faith as I am right now, or even believe it is possible. I do however pray that some day you will.

I hope you have that special someone in your life that you are inexplicably and universally connected to by a bond that is so strong you will always know that you are loved...that you make a difference...and that we all touch more people's lives than any of us will ever know. Just keep your heart and minds open my friends. Anything is possible - enjoy the journey!

Your friend - "Sprink"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGIEN9 10/11/2013 9:48AM

    Sprink,
I have missed our talks on Skype. I was in the hospital most of the summer. Not fun. I am just now getting back to SP and it is difficult. I was so cut off from it for 3 months and all my great friends on SP. I pray you are doing well. I miss and love you. Get in touch with me. We need to talk.
Angie

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SPARKFRAN514 8/17/2013 10:55PM

    what a great blog . glad you came back didn't know you before but i did benefit from your blog. thanks and keep up the good work.

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SETAGOAL1 8/16/2013 8:08PM

    emoticon emoticon MY emoticon


Janet

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GRAMMACATHY 8/16/2013 7:45PM

    Well thought out and said. Thank you for sharing.

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LARISSA238 8/16/2013 4:51PM

    Sprink, great to hear from you! I'm glad you have found peace. *hugs* it's a hard thing to find.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 8/16/2013 12:43PM

    I'm glad you have a good friend like that. May your journey be long and prosperous (because the final weight will not be the end of your journey).

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PATTYR81 8/16/2013 10:29AM

    The most significant times in my life have been when something I truly loved/valued/thought I couldn't make it without was 'taken away'.

While they (thankfully) have only been a handful of times, each was a COLOSSAL turning point in my life. Each time, circumstances were such that I got to the lowest low low low point that I could be. I had NOWHERE to turn but to God. It's hard to put into words the desperation, hopelessness, helplessness that there was NOTHING I could do. My ONLY choice was to give it to GOD and rely on His answer. He NEVER failed me.

Your thoughts and words always resonate and touch my heart.
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LOVINGAFRICA 8/16/2013 5:48AM

    Bless you, New Friend!!


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KASEYCOFF 8/16/2013 2:34AM

    Hello, Sprink! Life's a roller-coaster even without BP, etc, and sometimes it's all we can do to hang on - it's such a big help, though, when there's someone you can really connect with. Sounds as though your friend is just that kind of person in your life.
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TRACYZABELLE 8/16/2013 12:51AM

    each day is a blessing and as long as we love and are loved-- we will survive it all! emoticon

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GREENGENES 8/15/2013 6:22PM

    Very beautiful sentiment!

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SPRINKLECHEZ 8/15/2013 1:25PM

    Thank you for your comments on my blog and congratulations on the 5 lb loss. I can see how your daughter's words work to rejuvenate you regularly. Whatever it takes, keep your eye on the prize and your heart in His hands.

God bless- "Sprink"

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JLEMUS1 8/15/2013 9:46AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Sprink's Judgement Day - Episode 1 (to be continued)

Friday, July 19, 2013



Hello to all my friends - I hope in my absence that things have been well for you and that you are blessed with more good days than bad. I am temporarily camerless, so the picture above is from June, but I think I look even better now... I finally got the time and the Bipolar Roller Coaster in my head to focus long enough to ask for thoughts on recent traumatic encounter with some of important people in my life.

I went to visit them last Monday, first time in months. I told them how richly blessed I was that God has never turned his back for me, and has always provided exactly what I need at the very last moment. Between an unexpected check and my roommate getting 6 weeks of full time paid training for his new job things look like we're going to get caught up on bills for first time this year.
Next thing I know is that both of them are harrassing me about not having a job to supplement my disability income (they have mentioned this before but not this judgementally). Then I get blasted about how much medication I am on now - and likely will be for the rest of my life. One said to me "I feel sorry for you" taking so many medications and vitamins (which they don't even know one name of).

Needless to say these two people are the same ones who helped lead me back to my Lutheran upgringing and my life here at the Church, and this past weekend's sermon was about forgiveness. The thing that bothers me the most I think - is that they went swung from being proud of all my weight loss and physical & mental transformation - to pitying me in one 15 minute conversation.

People who suffer from multiple mental disorders and dealing with their bodies readjusting to a new hormones, vitamins metabolism and lifestyle have NO IDEA WHAT IT FEELS LIKE, unless they have some or all of the same disorders etc. Sure I would like to go work part time somewhere, but for now, I am getting used to moving around and being out of the house for extended periods of time while my roommate of 12 years is working again.

So I am going to forgive and when the time is right, try to let them understand how BiPolar, Depressed, ADHD, and Impulsive Outburst Control Disorders affect my ability to function on a consistent daily basis - just living.

This is kind of unusual for me to just vent, and thank you for taking the time to read and hopefully respond with your thoughts on the matter and to just say hi. Have a Blessed weekend -
Your friend, "Sprink"

p.s. does anyone have the Fitbit Arm-band/Bracelet or other Fitbit models and how do you like them? Thanks - S

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIFIFRIZZLE 8/17/2013 4:09PM

    I love my fitbit flex. My DH has the fitbit zip and he loves that. I had a fitbit one and I lved it except I was anxious about washing it by mistake. The flex is on my arm all day even in the shower and pool.
Great motivation to move more and to compete with my DH!
There is a scale that syncs with the website, too. Talk about accountability!
You can log on and use the website to see how that works without having a fitbit.
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GRAMMACATHY 7/25/2013 12:51PM

    People even in the best of times are still going to say hurtful things trying to say the right things. With your chemical issues, it will be harder for you to just let the words roll over you without touching you. Forgiving them now and educating them at a later date are excellent plans. You are ahead of the curve.

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HINK2013 7/22/2013 11:13AM

    I have learned on this journey, that some people in your life don't realize that their WORDS have a huge impact on people and that they may think in their minds that they are trying to help you, by giving their opinions, but in reality they aren't helping at all!! I encourage you to keep on your path that is working for you, to trust in God, and everything else will fall into place!

To answer the fitbit question - I have a fitbit "one" model, that I got in May and I LOVE IT!! I really do think it has helped me to stay more on track as far as being active, getting my exercise and focused on what food I eat each day. In fact my weight loss has been way more consistent since getting the fitbit.... My husband also got a "fitbit one" for father's day and is really loving it as well! So we would highly recommend one!!

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LOVINGAFRICA 7/20/2013 4:51AM

    Hello Teamie!
Glad you are back. Yes, forgive. You have to or it will add more weight onto your shoulders. And PATTY is right. At the right time the right job will come.
Bless you!

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BOVEY63 7/19/2013 5:00PM

    Take care of you, and all else will fall into place!
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PATTYR81 7/19/2013 10:56AM

    One thing that has been 'revealed' to me on my journey is that I need to be mindful and realistic in what I 'expect' from others in my life.

Specifically, I have to keep reminding myself not to expect people to give me what they can't /won't. When I do, I set myself up for a bunch of negative stuff: disappointment, resentment, anger, depression, blah, blah, blah.

Carefully 'choose' your audience - and gage what type and level of sharing you want to do that will get you positive support.

I'm still a bit 'foggy' this a.m., but was so happy you posted, I wanted to reply right back!

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Maybe I'll blog on this....THANKS for the thought-starter!
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LUVHUMMINGBIRDS 7/19/2013 7:47AM

    Hang in there Sprink, you are doing great! The rest will come when it's time.

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EFFIEANNIE 7/19/2013 7:12AM

    So sorry about your "friends" reaction to you. You know yourself best and if you are not able to handle a job, then so be it. Take one day at a time and stay true to yourself. I am glad your roommate got a job and things are looking up for you.

I have a fitbit. I love it. I have the little one and need to carry it in a pocket or it does have a clip on it. When this one bites the dust I will probably try the wrist band one. It works well and downloads my steps automatically to Spark fitness tracker.

Glad to see you ack on Spark~I was worried about your absence. Hope you do have a wonderful week-end. emoticon

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TRACYZABELLE 7/19/2013 5:50AM

    You know what we need to do about toxic people in our lives... it is the only way for us to survive..If you feel getting a job may hurt your health then you need to wait until you feel like you can handle it. And as far as your meds go-- your Drs are the ones to judge your dosages... not to worry your spark family is behind you-- and beside you.. and in front of you to catch you if you fall!

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Success Feels Like...

Friday, June 07, 2013



Wow, what a difference a year makes - right? I've been trying to come up with a way to summarize a few of the major changes this last year has blessed me with - putting a picture in there really drives the point home. I honestly don't remember what it felt like at 340+ lbs, other than I dreaded the nightly climb up 17 stairs to go to bed - and wheezing for ten minutes before bed.

When I look at any of my old pictures, it is as if I am looking at a stranger. In many ways that is true, since I feel like now, at age 48 I am finally discovering who I really am, meeting that person buried for so long under years and pounds of emotional compensation and overeating.

Because of your support and positive inspiration and comments along the way this last year, I have a new-found feeling of acceptance and self confidence that has kept me smiling since shortly after surgery. Early in 2012, I would wake up every day lifeless, numb, without purpose or direction. Today, my life is much different. I wake up ready to take on the day - and discover the blessings the Lord has placed in it for me. And while I still battle with my Bipolar, Depression, and ADD - I treat them as superpowers instead of disabilities. When I am manic I get things done, when I am "down" I focus on nutrition and sleep, and when I am focused, I find my voice and can sit down and blog for a bit. It's a balancing act which frankly, I am quite good at.

One more thing I wanted to share with you is new outlook on clothing. When I was larger, I spent thousands on new Polo Shirts and Pants. Since I had to shop at the Big N Tall stores the last decade things got even more expensive. But now, I have a closet filled with literally 20 different polo and golf shirts, six cable knit sweaters, three new pair of pants and three new pair of shorts. The cost for my makeover? About $100. Over the last two months (and especially while in Florida) I hit every thrift shop I could find. I now have the most beautiful shirts, in every color, I now have to think about what I want to wear each day. That makes me feel so good about myself, to have never spent so little or looked so good as a result.

While shirt shopping I also found a like new, never been sat in Lazy Boy recliner, which I really needed since the larger me broke the last recliner. Guess what I paid for it? Would you believe $40? I feel asleep in it the first day I got it - perfect. And did I mention how nice it is to "fit" into a chair or recliner without bursting out the sides? Awesome!

Today, right here right now, in my recliner and cable knit sweater, at 4am, I am content with the world, and my place in it - and I wanted to share that with you, and thank you all for being a part of my new world...where anything is possible as long as you believe...

God Bless - your friend, "Sprink"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 6/13/2013 11:23AM

    Looking good man!! emoticon

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BOVEY63 6/12/2013 3:13PM

    Thrift stores are my favorite place to buy clothes and.......
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You have so much to be proud of, and that content feeling is well deserved!
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WHOVIANGIRL23 6/10/2013 12:31AM

    What an awesome blog to read, especially since I'm lacking motivation! Keep up the awesome work!

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CORTNEY-LEE 6/10/2013 12:13AM

    wonderful job Sprink!



Comment edited on: 6/10/2013 12:14:14 AM

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MOTHEPRO 6/8/2013 9:52AM

    emoticon emoticon

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IACTA_ALEA_EST 6/8/2013 9:36AM

    I love thrifting too! me and my sissie, who is visiting, are rooting for you!

Go pop some tags, sparkfriend!

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BAMAJAM 6/7/2013 12:02PM

  Ohhh--- From shame to pride, Fabulous!!

... and that chair was meant for YOU, Sprink!!! Hearty Congratulations!!!

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SETAGOAL1 6/7/2013 9:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon




Janet

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REAGANESQUE 6/7/2013 9:03AM

    Sprink- i can hear the happiness in your voice! And it's inspirational to me as I'm on my own journey. Congrats on your success...it's great to hear from you.
I will have to give Goodwill a try myself!

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AKATHLEEN54 6/7/2013 8:44AM

    As I was reading I found myself smiling. I love to hear success stories and I could "feel" your happiness at having found the new you. I am always amazed at all of the good that comes out of weight loss. It is so just not about the weight.... it opens up so many doors and so many new emotions and discoveries. You many be 48, but your life is just beginning!! Go out there are enjoy every moment the good Lord has blessed you with in this new life!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANGIEN9 6/7/2013 7:59AM

    Sprink,
You look great! The measurements bring it home while looking at the picture cements how much you have changed. Your the same person only way healthier!! Hope you have an absolutely great day!!

Angie
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FERRETLOVER1 6/7/2013 7:26AM

    Congratulations! You look fantastic! I feel so lucky to have been along for the ride to success!

Keep up the great work!

Oh, and I can TOTALLY understand how great it feels to fit in that chair!

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EFFIEANNIE 6/7/2013 7:10AM

    You have truly made a transformation this past year. You look great and your health is so much improved. It is good to see you back Sparking.

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KARENKANDO 6/7/2013 6:28AM

    Wow! Huge congratulations! What a story. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with all of us. You are an inspiration my friend and I have to say, I can't wait until I'm right there - where you're at - from "shame" to "pride".


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LOVINGAFRICA 6/7/2013 5:45AM

    This is such a beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing it. You look amazing, your stats are amazing and I love your new hobby- thrift store shopping!
Life is a balancing act and you are living well.
Bless you!

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