I took about 3 weeks away from Sparking. It wasn't a vacation, it was a step back to reevaluate my lack of progress and my dedication. I've been so down about the great amount of weight I have gained over the last 4 months. 3 weeks ago I was at my all time heaviest weight...EVER. During this time I learned several things, most of them productive. I also learned some not so pretty and kind of petty things about myself. They are, in no particular order:
1. I need sparkpeople.com. I need the members and I need the structure.
Not only did I miss the folks I know, I missed meeting new members on the San Antonio team. I missed posting on the team facebook page. I missed feeling a part of things. I missed having a place to dump my feelings without fear of judgment.
2. I cannot afford weight loss surgery.
My insurance has an exclusion clause that cannot be circumvented. Despite 4 of my doctors telling me I seriously needed to consider it, I won't be having it any time soon. I do NOT have $15,000 available at this time. It's something I would do in a heartbeat if I had the money. I've educated myself to see that WLS is NOT the quick fix most folks think it is. Before and especially AFTER surgery requires an enormous amount of dedication and working out to make this path a successful one.
3. I'm disabled/handicapped/have some disabilities.
This is a big one for me to accept and face. I have rheumatoid arthritis which is worsening. I have osteoporosis which is worsening. I have COPD and lupus and heart disease. I have fibromyalgia. My joints are getting stiffer, it is getting harder to walk. My hips ache and my back, legs, and shoulders are hurting worse. Some days I can't walk without pain for several hours after waking up. The stiffness now stays with me most of the day or all of the day. The pain in my legs and hips doesn't go away. EVER. I can no longer bend my knees or climb stairs without pain jolting through me. I can't reach over my head without pain.
4. Being disabled doesn't mean I get to give up.
I can't. The day I give up is the day I start dying and living the life of a dying person. Exercise will keep me feeling better longer. Losing weight will ease some of the pain of my joints. Giving up has NEVER been an option. I'll never run. I can say NEVER and mean it and not cry about it. I can walk. MAYBE I'll never power walk, MAYBE I will. Right now I walk slow and I can't walk for long, but I CAN walk. I still am a very competitive person and I still want to get out there and DO. I will NEVER give up and NEVER give in. I will NOT accept that while there are a few things I cannot do, and some things I cannot do as well as others, that I cannot at least TRY. I can and WILL accomplish things that will astound myself and others.
5. I have to leave Planet Fitness and go back to Gold's.
I love the smaller fees and proximity of PF to my house, but I need the pool. I need water aerobics for my joints and to help me build stamina. I'll also take advantage of all of those beastie boys who live to lift and get them to help me modify my own lifting routine. Those guys absolutely LOVE being asked about what they do and how they do it. You don't have to be a hot young babe to talk to these muscle boys. That's one thing I've never understood about folks, whether they are heavy or fit - Why so shy? If you don't ask, you don't learn! Anyway, strength training has always been a love of mine. I love the feeling of being strong and feeling my muscles working to lift, pull, and push weights. It's good for my heart and it is good for my bones. A stronger body carries you further and burns more fat and fuel. It's also kind of a plus that the treadmills at my Gold's face the weight room so I will be motivated to stay on them longer while I appreciate the view of strong muscles being worked on healthy bodies.
6. I am NOT a person made to accept deprivation.
I've been eating chocolate after staying away from it for a LONG time. I've been eating ice cream after staying away from it for a LONG time. I've been eating kettle corn after staying away from it for a LONG time. Normally I would say this is no big deal, a little treat now and then is a good thing. BUT...eating a snickers bar, a 4 piece Russell Stover's sampler, half a box of milk chocolate covered cherries and one third of a bag of chocolate bridge mix in one evening is NOT a good thing. Eating a pint of Blue Bell Rocky Road one evening and a pint of Mint Chocolate Chip the next is NOT a good thing. Eating a party sized bag of Kettle Corn in one evening is NOT a good thing. I went so far overboard in my "I'm sick of being deprived" mode that I literally had a stomach ache every day of a week and still kept on doing this to myself. I figured I had gained so much weight back I may as well enjoy it. Stupid thinking and stupid actions. Not going to make any food off limits ever again. I will continue to avoid processed foods by serving whole foods more often than not, but once or twice a week I am going to have an indulgence - not as a reward, but because I want it. I never again want to go on binges like the ones I've been subjecting myself to over the last few weeks.
7. I like to motivate, inspire, and lead.
I've sucked at this lately. I like being the She Beast. I like roaring at people in the nicest way possible (like Jillian Michaels without the snarly face) and motivating them by telling them that if I can do it, they can do it. I like to accomplish things that I shouldn't be able to and have people inspired by that. I absolutely LOVE being a leader of the San Antonio team and meeting the members in person and loving them as friends. I've made some of the most incredible friendships in my 3 1/2 years here. Most of them have endured. I've met some of the most amazing people both online and in person. I've stepped out of my comfort zone and done things I never thought I would because you can't lead if you don't practice what you preach. I've done this all as a morbidly obese person who hasn't had a lot of weight loss success but who has had a ton of wonderful and life-enriching experiences.
8. I've been jealous of your success.
I am truly proud of each and every one of you who have had great weight loss and healthy living successes. I'm in awe of you. I applaud you and it is sincere. I know how hard you worked to get there. But...in my catty little heart I'm jealous. My head whispers, "I worked just as hard", and " Why is it happening for him/her and not me?" and "Well, if I were as young as her, as strong as him, could afford a personal trainer, etc...." The truth is YOU worked hard for what you have achieved and NOBODY is the same. The fact that YOU earned the body you have built is NOT a reflection on ME. I have been taking your success personally in the negative and for that I apologize. I need to take your success personally in the positive because it has been my privilege to be a part of your journey. I ask the forgiveness of each and every one of you who has had great success in your journeys. You deserve the accolades and to reap the benefits of your hard earned efforts.
9. It's been an awesome adventure, despite the lack of weight loss.
In the last three years, aside from meeting some awesome people and making lasting friendships, I have done the following amazing things with spark members:
I've climbed and hiked up a big hill when I didn't think I could make it.
I climbed a tower and stepped off and was pulled down by ropes to face my fear of heights.
I zip lined to face my fear of heights and falling.
Had a lot of amazing lunch and dinner meet ups with spark folks - so fun!
Trained almost every Saturday for a year to walk a half marathon by walking between 2 and 6 miles - even 7 and 9 miles once.
Walked 13.1 miles (half marathon) in January.
10. I can't, won't, wouldn't will NOT, NEVER EVER EVER give up on myself.
She Beast is back. Slightly ashamed, slightly humbled by all the soul searching, but back. This is MY world, MY place, MY journey, MY people, and I BELONG HERE. Each and every journey is different, but we all travel the path together. You may pass me up (and I'll cheer for you as you do) but our journeys are richer for having crossed paths.
Never give up. Never give in. As always, I love you all.