I'm still here.
In my own little corner of sparkworld, watching quietly over my precious sparkfriends, being inspired by them and trying not to forget all the wonderful things this virtual community has taught me.
This year has been difficult so far. Or maybe I should say challenging. Because I believe in the great power of positive words. It's been a year of change, of tiredness, but thankfully the good kind, the one that comes from wanted and anticipated house renovations. A year of new adventures as we slowly enter the unexplored world of parenting teenagers. Scary but fun!
But it's also been a year of disease. Of deteriorating illnesses. Of death in the family. Which always finds you unprepared, no matter how much you've tried to come to terms with the reality of terminal cancer. A year of tears. Lots of them.
But I'm still here.
And now that everyday life seems to have gotten off the rollercoaster (hopefully!), and is finally willing to let us take a deep breath for a change, it's time to assess the damage. Not the emotional one. That would be a little hard to do, and those of you who know me well, have definitely realized how much of an introvert I can be. So, I'll just evaluate the other kind of damage. The "sparking" type. The damage to my healthy habits.
Of one thing I'm definitely guilty. Emotional eating. (Ok, you probably now get an idea of the emotional damage, as well.) I turned to food for comfort. Many times. And yes, I gained a few pounds. But that's as far as the damage gets.
I know what you're thinking.
"Isn't that the damage you would most want to avoid?"
"Isn't that catastrophic enough?"
Well, that was my first reaction, too. And I guess everybody feels like that when the scale becomes mean and the weigh-in turns into a source of sighs. But then I said to myself: Think again!
Think about all the things you DIDN'T do.
- I didn't go back to eating junk food and snacking on unhealthy foods. Even though free time, money and mood were not adequate for cooking, I tried hard to keep on making healthy, clean eating meals for me and my family. Even my binges were done on baked goods that I made in my kitchen. No store-bought candies and chips!
- I didn't give in to food delivery. At least I didn't make a habit out of it. Occasionally it happened - on the days my house just didn't have a kitchen! - but it was the exception and I didn't allow it to become a newly-established rule. And even on the days we ordered food, I always chose the least unhealthy option on the menu.
- I didn't quit exercise. I had a couple of big breaks when the going had got really tough, but even then I would soon realize that my body and my mind needed the workout.
And last but not least…
- I'm still here.
I often looked at my friend feed, trying to find motivation at my friends' updates. I often read blogs and found inspiration in your day-to-day battles, struggles and wins. Because I'm a sparker. And that means a lot.
I learned all those things here.
I changed my life one step at a time in this amazing community.
I was taught how to care about my health, how to take care of my body and mind through stories of other people and through the sharing of my own experiences.
I created a new version of myself using the resources on this site.
I fell a thousand times and always found another sparker's hand to grab and get back up again.
I adopted the mindset that sparkpeople was created on. Small changes that can last for a lifetime!
I am privileged to be a real sparker. And once a sparker, always a sparker!
Some of you may think I'm trying to sugarcoat the weight gain and pretend that it doesn't bother me. But that's not the case here. I had originally lost 42 pounds and I regained 12. I wish I hadn't. Of course I do. But beating myself up for it is not going to help me shed them. Relaxing, slowly helping myself out of the emotional eating maze and effectively fighting my way back to my old self, that's what is going to do the work! And it's already doing so. 4 pounds are already gone, 8 more to go. And they will. In time. I'm patient.
If you've been here long, you are a sparker, too. Believe it! You have all the tools you need to make your goals a reality. And if you haven't had any success yet, it's because you haven't put the pieces of your own puzzle together. But you can! And with patience, you will!
Spark on, sparkers!