Last thankful entry for this year...
Today I am definitely, and obviously, thankful for SparkPeople. I've already praised this website and all it's done for me on this very blog when I hit my 5 Year Sparkversary.
You can read about it there. It's a good read!
But, really, this website has allowed so many wonderful people to be a part of my life. It has been my "safe space" during this bleak period in my life. It has taught me things I never knew about myself. It's given me tools to succeed at being a healthier version of myself... or at least a starting point on that path.
I have wonderful SparkFriends from all over that I interact with regularly. The people here know more than anyone else the struggles, the triumphs, the failures, the binges, the shame, the guilt.... everything about this journey of weight loss and better health. And they're also "real" people, who have lives that impact their struggles, too. And we all know to support each other because that's what we need for this community. Love and support.
As a safe space, I feel like because the Spark community and the people I've befriended here tend to be less judgmental, that I am safe to discuss non-exercise or nutrition related problems, too. Especially being fairly new to crippling depression. I find myself feeling like I don't have a legitimate reason to be depressed... like I don't "deserve" it because there are others that are suffering so much more than I (from terminal illness, poverty, etc) and all I have is a series of terrible things- and possibly a chemical imbalance- that happened to me. And there are well-meaning people that use those things to try to put into perspective YOUR depression to try to cheer you up and it makes you feel guilty and ashamed for being depressed. I haven't experienced that in this community and I am so thankful for that. But, I do it to myself sometimes and at that point, it's just self-abuse.
Spark has given me the jumping off point to becoming a Registered Dietitian. Starting with the simple, basic tools and information found here, I was inspired to seek out more. To further my knowledge, to deepen it. And thus lead me down a path to a Master's Program in Food Science/Nutrition. Assuming I pass this chemistry class, I believe I'll have completed the A.S. in Nutrition at the college I was previously attending in San Diego. Just have to transfer over the credit and viola! Too bad there is SO MUCH CHEMISTRY involved in getting there. :-S Especially since I seem to really suck at it.
Anyway, at the time I wrote my 5 Year blog, I had lost 45 lbs with Spark and my newfound nutrition knowledge. I've gained about 20lbs back, mostly due to the slow onset of depression (before my body decided it was going TOO slow and just jumped into full-blown overnight) and the fact that I live in a desert so my previous outdoor lifestyle was incompatible with 115*F weather.
Anyway, thank you SparkPeople. You've definitely made a world of difference in my life.
Delicious and nutritious! Well... maybe not the pie. But, it's a beautiful pie, isn't it? You can see why I don't want to eat it. ;-)
RIGHT QUICK! Anyone doing the #SparktheSeason challenge for Spark December? I'm going to. I'm going to post a goal tomorrow. And I'll be following along the Photo A Day on Instagram/Facebook (and try to here, maybe posting them all weekly). If you want to join me:
And if you want to follow me on Instagram, I'm llij1983. You follow the hell outta me, and I'll follow the hell outta you right back! ;-)