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    CALIDREAMER76   178,330
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Sparkaversary

Sunday, January 02, 2011

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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.

Kathryn ~
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.
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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!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIGHTLYBRAINY 1/25/2011 10:09AM

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope to be like you one day, celebrating my 4th year and my 10th year and my 20th year on Spark living a happy healthy lifestyle.

Terri =)

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COMPUCATHY 1/25/2011 9:42AM

    What a totally cool post. Congratulations! I especially liked what you said about being around here forever and growing old together...for a long, healthy time! Woo hoo! I see myself as being a life-timer too! I saw you went to a rally in Cincinnati. I am going to the Spark Rally in Ohio/Kentucky on May 21st. Are you going? I hope so. I have an extra ticket, if you'd like to be my "guest." Spark on! emoticon

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GINGER_LOSTALOT 1/17/2011 4:18PM

    OUTSTANDING blog! You are an inspiration to us all! emoticon

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MOMGETSSPARK 1/8/2011 10:12AM

    Happy Sparkversary and I love this! I just learned a lot more about the wonderful you that I already knew. Here's to 2011!

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SOLUCKY12 1/7/2011 10:58PM

    Happy Spark-versary! emoticon

You have been a great motivator, especially to see what others say about being in the spark community with you. How wonderful to meet other sparkers and stay with the program for all of these years. It really gives me hope. I've gained some skills, but I really need to gain the skill of moderation in the night snacks.

I'm so glad to be a spark friend of someone who has enjoyed the spark community and the spark healthy lifestyle! (I am the "little" sister in my family, only because I'm the youngest! When my sisters have hinted about my weight, it only made me mad. Now I understand why they were concerned and I am thankful to have found Spark People.) emoticon Ann

Comment edited on: 1/7/2011 10:59:04 PM

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LYNNANN43 1/3/2011 12:15AM

    Happy, Happy emoticon

One of my favorite memories of SPers was meeting you at Phipp's and walking Schenley Park this summer! Our pic still graces my Sparkpage:D

I was just telling Bobby at the 5K on Friday, that you really need to take up running! You walk far faster than I jogged for at least 6 months. LOL

Here's to your accomplishments these past 4 years and to the next many, many more! emoticon

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BOBBYD31 1/3/2011 12:06AM

    Happy Sparkversary - that is a very good blog! JASR is just around the corner and the chance to meet so many more sparkers

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DJS-DEBBIE 1/2/2011 8:35PM

    Happy Sparkversary - great blog! I can't wait to see everyone again at Just a Short Run!

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DOPKIGIRL 1/2/2011 8:21PM

    Congrats!!! What a great journey??!! Keep up the great job! Truly remarkable and inspiring.


Happy New Year!!!

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IMNENA23 1/2/2011 8:05PM

    Happy Spark-versary! Your blog is awesome!

Happy 2011 to you and yours!

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JOPAPGH 1/2/2011 6:27PM

    Great post! Hope to meet you at this year's Just a Short Run.

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BILLALEX70 1/2/2011 6:21PM

    Happy emoticon !

Glad to call you a friend and have met you in person. Hoping it'll happen again this year.

Best wishes for 2011!

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CARILOUIE 1/2/2011 5:58PM

    Four years! How wonderful!

Happy Spark-versary!

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