Yep, this is it, 4 years ago today I joined sparkpeople. After my sister - BigDogMom3, told me about this website the same website the people running her weight-loss study told her about. Now, you have to understand a little bit about sibling rivalry. This is my younger sister, who was always smaller than me, she joined a weight-loss study and was loosing weight. She was using this website with all these tools to help you: track your food so you don't have to write down, they have exercises, recipes, lots of stuff. So we can't have our younger, smaller sister become THAT much smaller - as it is I felt self conscious, like the beached whale at the beach when we took our weekly trip. It would be even worse. I shouldn't even go to the beach.
Rather than giving up I joined Sparkpeople. Used the name I had used when we played around with the CB radio driving looking at colleges, first for me then her. (Calidreamer - The college I ultimately chose and graduated from was California State College in California, PA - and the dreamer - I've always been a day dreamer - still am. Added the 76 cause I think there was another Calidreamer and that is the year I graduated high school).
Jump ahead 4 years - my sister - still uses Sparkpeople and looks awesome. She lives the healthy lifestyle and even has my Dad living it as much as you can get a 92 year old man to change his habits. He enjoys many of the recipes she tries on him. We talk about what exercise we are doing, recipes we've tried, articles we've read.
I am still using Sparkpeople daily - I've logged in 952 our of 955 days! To say I'm a sparkjunkie would put it mildly. I've also referred to this as my safe "cult".
In addition to tracking food and exercise I tried to be active on a few teams. I've gotten so much support and encouragement from people all over the world - yes world. I have grown to care very much for my spark friends - some of whom I've met in person at the convention in Cincinnati and when I entered my first 5K - Just a Short Run. It's so amazing being with such like minded people - totally awesome. When Patricles pulled out nutrition guides for the restaurant we met at totally blew me away - I felt like I was the only one who downloaded and printed them. I take pride in saying I have "friends" in Africa, Canada and from one end of our great country to another.
The experience has:
1. Taught me when I want to do something bad enough and put my mind to it I can do it. (Besides raising 3 awesome children, this is the first thing I've felt truly successful at)
2.Given me confidence that I never had.
3. Improved my self esteem and self image - besides physical appearance achieving the "unachievable" has made me feel so much better about myself.
4. Taught me how to take care of myself.
5. Taught me that I can eat most anything I want as long as I do it within reason.
6. Taught me to change my eating habits and learn that I don't like the way I feel physically, when I eat something like I used to eat in my past.
7. Helped me to be more self-reliant.
I don't know if I ever said Thank you for introducing me to spark people ~ Thank YOU!
Sparkguy, Sparkpeople staff, and Spark friends ~ Thanks for all you've taught me and the support you continue to give.
And expect to see me around here for the duration!
We'll grow old together and being healthy - that will be for a very, VERY long time!