[I wrote most of this entry in mid-March. Now that's it's the beginning of April, let us return to the thrilling days of yesterweek....]
March 16, 2013 marks the six months I’ve been on SparkPeople. With a few exceptions, it’s been a positive experience. It’s also been exhausting, having not only to pay attention to food consumption and energy expenditure, but also to make sure that it gets recorded on my trackers and challenge boards. Both the increased exercise and SP computer work take time away from the time I would otherwise spend with my family. I warn my daughter on those evenings when she is going to be a “SparkPeople widow”—yep, just like football widows, for the amount of attention I pay to my family when I’m on the SparkPeople site, I might as well be dead.
I’ve lost 32 pounds so far, which is pretty good, but not as good as either I or the SP progress calculator had hoped. According to the “Weight Over Time” report, I ought to weigh 248 on 3-16-2013. I weigh 255, so I’m seven pounds behind. The difference is not insurmountable, but it’s a point of pride thing. I committed myself to losing 1.5 lbs every week, but I haven’t done it. I’m used to being the A student, the super achiever, able to accomplish whatever I set out to do, so I’m annoyed with myself that I haven’t turned in a better performance. Like everyone with a genuine heartfelt commitment to “I’m changing X for me, not because my family, friends, or doctor are telling me to but because I feel unhappy/ scared/ [insert negative emotion here] when I think about the consequences of not changing X.”, I started with a great deal of enthusiasm and early weight loss (I was ahead of the WOT report estimate from September 22 until January 1*), creating a positive feedback loop that was sustained and supported by joining the Fall 5% Challenge.
During the eight weeks of the Fall 5% from Oct 6 to Nov 30, I lost more than 5% of my weight and came in third place on my team. For joining a team and starting a challenge without having a clue about what I was doing in terms of posting to boards, following directions that use SP jargon, et cetera, I enjoyed the process and was thrilled with the results. My team and its leaders were supportive and encouraging, so it seemed fitting to turn the favor. After posting my weigh-in on Saturday morning, I would scroll through the results board, looking for team mates who posted a loss in order to congratulate them on their wall (Facebook could sue, but what do you call it?). I didn’t start out with the mission of being the Encouragement Fairy, it just turned out that way, provided that you appreciate encouragement that can be silly like this one:
We are doing The Wave to honor your weight loss this week, Butterfly! YEAHHHH!!
Or corny and topical like these recent posts:
You lost weight and an hour this week. What's next? Losing more weight and your keys?
With best wishes that only one of those things comes true,
This week’s post:
I could make some corn(beef)y jokes about Saint Patrick's Day, but...
You worked hard and lost weight this week, Firecracker, which is worth celebrating every day!
Here's to celebrating with boiled cabbage, carrots, and potatoes with a smidgeon of corned beef on the side and skipping the green beer.
I joined the Winter into Spring 5% challenge that started in February because I enjoy the support and encouragement of my teammates and I enjoy being the Encouragement Fairy.
*Dec 8-Jan 16: I flat-line at 263, which is the WOT report goal weight on Jan 1. There was no amazing New Year’s Eve party where I gave myself permission to eat and drink with abandon. Given the coincidence that January 1 was the day that I moved from being ahead of the curve to behind it; I kinda wish there had been. And for those of you thinking that I was eating stuff during the holidays that would make the line on the graph not so flat if I was really, really honest, well maybe, but I recovered. No harm, no foul. After all, I’m only hurting myself, yadda, yadda, yadda.