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Monday, December 31, 2012

There was a post on a thread recently that asked “Does anyone have a success story” and this intrigued me and I began to think about an answer. Even though when I start thinking a lot of things can go wrong, I will let you be the judge and jury after you read this blog.

What is it about SparkPeople that works so well for so many? Good question. I am sure that many have asked that question, especially those who have made an attempt to lose weight and improve their health with limited or no success. So why is SP successful for some and not others? Here are some of my thoughts.

SparkPeople is NOT a magic pill that will dissolve weight overnight. It is nothing more than a tool and any tool, not applied with diligence and commitment, is absolutely worthless. An expensive hammer makes not a carpenter.

You know it and I know it. We must work at it every hour of every day. That being said SP is one of those rare tools where one can consistently get more out of it that is put into it. That is synergism and it comes from the great support that each member gives to the others. That is what every other program/diet lacks as far as I know. I honestly believe that without these support systems that we have, maintenance is almost doomed to failure.

I have had incredible (at least for me) success with SparkPeople.

I have been on every diet imaginable and have had success in a few but NONE gave me the support system that is the hallmark of SP.

Many of you know my personal story but I believe it bears repeating here

In the early 80's, I weighed at least 335 lb.( that is the highest my scale would register) and I was a heart attack looking for a place to happen, Well, it did happen and I had my first bypass. Then in 1996 I was diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic and was put on the "Well let’s try this med and see what happens" roller coaster, and what a roller coaster it has been.

. I bounced between the high of 335 to a momentary low of 200 and was back to 235 in 2008 and had my second bypass in 2009. Through brute force, I “trimmed” down to 226 when I found SP in April 2011. Now I am proud to say that I am at 164 this morning and my A1c is 5.7 and I have now been declared diabetes free. Not cured mind you, just in total control! I am not taking any more meds for T2 but as a precaution, I test 3 times a day. Another benefit that I have achieved is that I have gone from 17 prescriptions a day to 3 and I attribute this to weight loss. It can't be from intense work outs as I am a lousy example of being in that category. Being 77, certain workouts are simply not in the realm of realization. Or is that I am rationalizing?

I have dropped from a very tight 54” pant (think Pillsbury dough boy) to a 34”

To me, the answer to my original question of why does SP work so well is, in a word, commitment. Like in a breakfast of bacon and eggs, “The chicken makes a contribution, but the pig is all in with total commitment”. I decided to let SP become an obsession, how about you?

So it boils down to "If it’s to be, it’s up to me" doesn't it? That is what works for me.

And yes, I am proud to be an evangelist for SP.

Have a great 2013 – ONWARD AND UPWARD.
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CYPATAYLOR2 1/24/2013 10:39PM

  Great blog! Thanks for sharing:)

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DAWNSINGS9 1/24/2013 10:39PM

    That is so true. I've had a lot of success as a member of TOPS, for the same reasons - lots of support from friends going through the same things. Finding SP is reinforcing so many of the good things I had already begun to put into practice, but often slipped away from. Thanks to this wonderful "tool" - I am back on track!

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SUSIEMT 1/24/2013 10:25PM

    It's my obsession! Woo Hoo!

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MCKNIGHT88 1/24/2013 10:24PM

  I rarely post, quite simply, I've been in this for so long, I'm my biggest motivator. But you have one upped me :) so inspiring. I am so proud. Most people use age, health, time, energy, etc as an excuse. With you as an example, what excuse do they have? Thank you for sharing your story.

P.s. I've seen plenty of people your age engaged in all types of fitness, yoga, senior fitness, zumba, even boot camp! The key is modify modify modify! Don't do something you know you shouldn't, but by all means, have fun and keep moving! You can do it and so can I! :)

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REBBYREB99 1/24/2013 10:15PM

    It is just incredible that you are now in control of your diabetes and you are no longer taking medication for it. No one who has ever not had a weight problem just do not understand. I too have constantly had to watch every morsel of food that went into my body. Then when I think I have a handle on things I go thru menopause and have to deal with another obstacle. Congratulations and continue the fight because you are so worth it.

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1MYSTERY_LADY 1/24/2013 10:15PM


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ISABELLE31 1/24/2013 10:09PM

    You made some great points. Thanks for sharing this!

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HEYGIRLG 1/24/2013 10:05PM

  You are an inspiration!

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SASSYTHING52 1/24/2013 9:49PM


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IDAHOFLOWER 1/24/2013 9:48PM

    Amen brother...

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CHERYLSBUTT 1/24/2013 9:42PM

    Absolutely on point with your blog

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WHITEANGEL4 1/24/2013 9:34PM

    Great blog....Today in talking with my hair stylist of 15 years she stated that she cannot remember me being a 2X

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HANSBRINK 1/24/2013 9:07PM

  I loved this blog and agree with you about Sparkpeople having great tools to help with the weight loss and weight maintenance. Granted that some people have better success in using the tools than others. But I think that with perseverance, most people will eventually succeed.

And yes, the support from the Spark community is terrific.

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KLEMIE 1/24/2013 9:05PM

    Yes, like many health plans, SP has great tools, and a great program and it takes commitment. But what I find different with SP than with any other weight reduction program I have tried: Support from anyone is available 24/7. You don't have to wait for a once a week meeting if you have a question or problem or just need a shoulder to cry on. Someone is always here to give you some much needed advice.

Congratulations on an awesome job. I'm so glad you are living a much healthier life. May we all have as much success as you have had.

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JANAMP09 1/24/2013 8:20PM

    So true.

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SPARKFRAN514 1/24/2013 8:08PM

    Just found you great blog and agree with you 100%
Spark people is like weight Watchers Slim Fast .... the plan is written tools given you need to be responsible and use them follow the plan track the food work out and you lose the weight . it won't just fall off because you signed up for Spark people . I have to laugh at the commercials fora weight loss clinic that charges for the service and clime no need to diet eat any thing special just listen to the CD's S and the weight just comes off all buy its self. one even claims they lost 92 pounds doing nothing. a friend fell for this and and did lose 30 pounds at first has now regained the weight and more .
she took a break from listening to to CD's and the weight came back and more so you have to work and but effort into the process . Like the saying you did not get over weight over night so it takes work and effort to get it off

Comment edited on: 1/24/2013 8:09:10 PM

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CHARTHESTAR 1/24/2013 7:35PM

    I tell so many people about spark people. you hit it on the nail. it has great tools- but so do other ones. what makes spark special is the people- sharing their stories and all encouraging everyone else to be successful too.

Like anything you buy- it is worth every cent if you use it.
if you don't use it was a waste of money no matter what the cost.
USING IT is the key to success-

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SHELANGRO 1/24/2013 7:31PM

    I will be 72 this year so I definitely agree some of the work outs are not suitable for us.
Ifell off my gym ball the other day trying to do what looked so easy, and hit the coffee table. All I could do was have a good laugh.
It has encouraged me to see how other members are managing, and just making an effort to do my best has helped me loose 2kgs in a few weeks.
Don't give up just plod on . All the best

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DEBIGENE 1/24/2013 7:23PM

    Oh I sooooooo agree with you. !!! I do believe it is first the commitment and then the participation in SP. Heck anyone can be a member but if you don't participate then what's the use, just to make friends???? I know that SP works for me, it keeps me motivated and accountable not just to myself but to others that supportme and that I support as well.

I hope one of my team members reads this blog and is able to get herself back on track too, she is really struggling. I'm not sure why as she really doesn't open up.

Thanks for your awesome words of wisdom !!!!

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JERICHO1991 1/24/2013 7:09PM

    It is definitely up to me/us. Good reminder and encouragement.

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BARBIE66 1/24/2013 6:45PM

    you fired me up..... with lots of motivtion ... thanks needed to read it....

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LINDAGREG 1/24/2013 6:44PM

    You are a total inspiration to me. And I agree it is all up to ourselves. We have to make up our minds to commit to a better life style. I thank you so much for your story. "Congratulations" emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DYNAMICDEB53 1/24/2013 6:41PM

    Right ON!!!

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NAYNAY69 1/24/2013 6:37PM

    You put it so wonderfully!!!

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DONNA5281 1/24/2013 6:30PM

  emoticon emoticon for sharing!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHUGA7 1/24/2013 6:21PM

    It's all about committment & determination.

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PHOENIX1949 1/24/2013 5:55PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LADYABIGAIL627 1/24/2013 5:50PM

    Amen!! emoticon emoticon emoticon


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MELROSE13 1/24/2013 5:47PM

    You hit the nail on the head with this blog...wonderful!!!!!

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GRANNYBB4 1/24/2013 5:31PM

  Boy is that the truth! Way to go!! Together we are stronger!

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CAROLJ35 1/24/2013 5:17PM

    You are sooooo right!!!

My favorite expression is: "Spark People works IF you work it!!!"


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PRAIRIECROCUS 1/24/2013 5:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JENAE954 1/24/2013 5:09PM


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NAVYBUCKEYE 1/24/2013 4:59PM

    Great blog post!!!!!

Being in shape and eating healthy is not a magical wave of the wand. So many people think they can just say "I'm going on a diet and exercise and I will become so thin and in good health"

When in reality it is very hard work. If it was easy everyone would be in great shape with nice toned bodies.

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LESLIESENIOR 1/24/2013 4:53PM

    Oh, oh, oh, bless you for speaking the truth and cutting through the whining that I see on some posts. The tools are provided. It is a choice to use them or not. Awesome!

I feel the same about my recovery from alcoholism. The tools provided in AA are not magic. They are meant to be picked up and used every day. Nothing worth attaining is acquired without work. It is a daily choice for me to use the tools provided by Sparkpeople or Alcoholic's Anonymous. I choose health, sobriety, and happiness.

Thank you for your brilliant words.

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LINDA4442 1/24/2013 4:42PM

    This is an awesome blog! I love SP for the support of the groups. I find that LIFE gets in the way sometimes and gets us sidetracked. It can get us down if we're not careful. We need to make sure the bump in the road just causes us to detour and get back on the right path as soon as possible. We can't quit and don't have to. So stay committed to making good choices and success will be yours!

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SIMOFDIM 1/24/2013 4:41PM

    Well said!

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TIGERESTJEN 1/24/2013 4:40PM


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ALIDOSHA 1/24/2013 4:38PM

    emoticon emoticon

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RODYANNE 1/24/2013 4:36PM

  Thanks for your sharing. I am one week back and I can tell a difference in myself already.

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SMOOTHIEG 1/24/2013 4:01PM

  What a great article. Yes, all so true. Thanks for the inspiration and reality check. emoticon

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FLRED12 1/24/2013 3:44PM

  Congratulations on being a featured blog post. Well deserved! emoticon

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PIPSANDMSMAMA79 1/24/2013 3:40PM

    Great blog! Its true, its what we put into it that matters emoticon

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SUSIEPH1 1/24/2013 3:35PM

    Woo Hoo ! You Did it !
So happy you are doing do well .. Hugs Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POPSY190 1/24/2013 3:21PM

    Very true. Great blog!

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MIATIA1 1/24/2013 2:57PM

    Wonderful blog and congratulation on all your hard work , for I know that is what it takes to get to where you are... emoticon

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FREIDASTUPKA 1/24/2013 2:48PM

    Wow, you hit the nail right one the head! Congratulations, with all you success. Hard never hurt anyone. emoticon emoticon emoticon Freida

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LFRACEK 1/24/2013 2:37PM

    Spark People can keep me honest, but only if I commit to honestly tracking what I eat and how I exercise. Here's to a year of healthy weight control!

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ANDYLIN90 1/24/2013 2:19PM

    Excellent blog full of truth and wisdom. Thanks for posting and congratulations on your success.

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MAXMAMA45 1/24/2013 2:17PM

    What a great post! You're so right, it's all about the willingness to commit! Thanks for the reminder :)

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