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    JOHNTJ1   66,361
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I'm A Perfect Example of Why Spark People Works

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Friday, August 05, 2011

You will not find any before or after photo’s here, nor will you find secrets to success. If you have any to share, secrets that is, I am open and willing to listen to them. Most of what I’ve done has crashed and burned. Oh there have been a few moments of enlightenment and many, many good friends, but if you came here to find a magic potion, I apologize. You can close your browser window and move on to something you may deem a bit more fruitful. This isn’t a rant or a cry for help. It’s not even a “poor me.” It’s the best testimonial of why Spark People works. It’s because I am living proof.

When I joined Spark no one made me any guarantees or promises. There was no “quick start” program. There was “fitter and healthier me” in thirty days. No one tried to sell me anything. I was, however, fed a steady diet of support and common sense. Along the way I have made some really good friends, some young, some old and some in the middle. I’ve found that these folks endure the same challenges I do; they do not live in The Magic Kingdom and I have yet to meet the perfect person. At least I know I’m not.

I began my journey here at Spark weighing three hundred twenty six pounds. That was in December of 2009. By May of 2010 I weighed two hundred sixty pounds, by July one of that year I was down to two hundred fifty. I was a rock star!!! As quickly as it started, it stopped. I hit the dreaded plateau. So being the amazingly intelligent person I was I worked harder and exercised longer. Thanks to Spark People I discovered the C25K program. I ran my first 5K in September of 2010. It wasn’t enough. I had to run more often and much longer. I saw people running five miles and decided it had to be me. Never mind that they’d been running a year or more!!

I started to yo-yo. I’d gain five lose three, gain eight lose six. In late October I made a spectacular fall during a 5K that took the skin off my knee very close to my knee cap. It took three months to heal. I gained a bit more weight. I started running again in late December. I ran about a half mile and as I planted my left foot on the track I felt a pain shoot up my knee. The doctor said it was similar to an injury a thoroughbred horse receives when they plant their foot the wrong way. I was just glad they didn’t shoot me.

My PT gave up on me. She’s in business to make money and the results weren’t headed in the right direction. I still love her like a sister and daughter and I understand. Instead of resting and accepting the fact that a fifty seven year old heals slower than twenty seven year old does I decided it was time to train for my first triathlon. (No fool like an old one, right?”) That led me to spinning class. Not wanting to ease into things I decided that I would take three classes a week. The end result was an aggravated preexisting back condition that I didn’t know existed causing a slight bulge between my L2 and L3 vertebrae. I have a hard time walking more than one hundred yards and if I see a set of steps I almost cry. My legs are stiff.

While all this drama is going on guess what happens? I am slowly regaining most of my weight. As I write this morning I weigh two hundred ninety four pounds and yes I am scared. But I’m here. That’s why I’m a living testament to the effectiveness of Spark People. Every morning, right after I say my prayers and balance my check book I log on to Spark. I get up early to read blogs, tips, share with my friends and gain a bit more confidence each and every day. Have I thought about quitting Spark, sure have, about a hundred times a week? Honestly I embarrassed to have lost all that I gained in success. Being a terminally ill people leaser I worried that my one thousand plus Spark friends would drift away.

I’m not going anywhere. I will not give up. It may take a long time but I will regain my balance and equilibrium and I will solve the riddles and dilemmas. I may have regained most of my weight and be unable to exercise much right now but I look back and I know that it was all of my own doing. I threw caution to the wind and over did it!!

Before I joined Spark People I would have simply walked away and been bitter. This is not a cry for help or sympathy. In many ways I write or say what most people think and won’t say for whatever reason. I’ll get this and if you are feeling a little blue or down or defeated today well guess what? So am I!!! But ya know what?

We’ll get this. Stay here, and work the process. I promise.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMONTHERUN1 8/5/2011 10:14AM

    Thanks for this blog today. I am actually a little teary eyed reading it because I am one of those feeling defeated and a little blue because I have regained some weight also. I am not giving up either!! I am still exercising, even though it isn't as much as I used to due to school being out, and I am still trying to make helathier choices.

I am in this for the long run and it is a struggle each and every day, but I will succeed and be a success. And so will you!!

Thanks again John and I know that we can do this!

Lianne

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SHARONKUME 8/5/2011 10:13AM

  I hear you! But the thing is that you are only a loser if you quit. Here is anaffirmation straight from Dr. Phil. Frustration thinking: Change: I am so overwhelmed; I can't do it to: As long as I continue working on my weight I'll achieve the goals that I have set for myself. I'm saying this one a lot lately.

Comment edited on: 8/5/2011 10:15:13 AM

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SUSUSUZZZIE 8/5/2011 10:03AM

    I'm so glad you are here and I think you are very encouraging and motivating even if your journey hasn't been all down-hill! Keep up the hard work!
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GOOFIERNU 8/5/2011 10:03AM

    Slow and steady. Progress, not perfection.
I believe in you.
Thank you for your words, for writing about your mistake of too much, too fast. I will take your words and learn from them.
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RUN4FOOD 8/5/2011 10:02AM

    John, if you were to leave you would surely be missed. I've come to really appreciate your blogs and your struggle. I think we face similar giants but they manifest themselves in different ways. My health and weight have always been very good, but I lack your mental capabilities, your ability to lead a group and to write. I wish there were some words of wisdom I could share with you, but when I went to look for some I went to some of the blogs you wrote a year or more ago. I'm guessing you already know those thoughts.
I can only say you have been an inspiration to me both at my work and with my exercising. I've gained quite a few insights and wish there were something I could do to help you in your struggle. From a selfish perspective I need you to succeed so I too can succeed, or at least continue with my struggle.
You will be in my prayers today.
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GRAMLORI 8/5/2011 9:59AM

    I'm sitting on that plateau with you, John! A very frustrating place to be, but, like you, I know SP works....I'm not quitting, just waiting for my body to catch up with my mind!!

Have a blessed weekend!
Lori

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KERLIN26 8/5/2011 9:58AM

  John, your blogs are so inspiring and help so many people. I hope that you know that all of us who read them are cheering you on! You will do this!

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HDHAWK 8/5/2011 9:41AM

    We seem to be on the same path. I'm starting over from scratch too. This is week one and so far it hasn't been stellar, but I won't throw in the towel. I know you won't either! emoticon

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WANDAH3 8/5/2011 9:28AM

    John, you are a testament to why SparkPeople works. The support and encouragement that you share and reality of living in the real world makes this a wonderful place to be. Thank you. (PS...I believe in you)

Hugs,
Wanda

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STEPHANIE0982 8/5/2011 9:14AM

    you can do it!

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CIVIAV 8/5/2011 9:08AM

    Being smart, we're in it for the long haul!

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SWEETIE81 8/5/2011 9:07AM

    emoticon emoticon

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