How I Plan to Spread the Spark

By , SparkPeople Blogger
This journey has been incredible.The support and accolades that I have received have been so humbling. I have sat and cried several times over comments people have written me.  I know that what I have been able to accomplish and maintain over the last few years is something to be proud of and I am VERY proud of all I have accomplished.

Can I let you in on a little secret? 

I hate that I ever had to be on this journey in the first place. It is an embarrassment that I had to gain 100 pounds, sleep years of my life away and see myself in the mirror and not like who I was, in order to finally start living my life to its fullest. I hate that my marriage suffered because I simply gave up for a while.I am incensed that when my daughters were little I couldn’t participate with them like they deserved. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand the knowledge that I gained coming through this experience is instrumental in fueling my passion for life now. For that, I am grateful. I truly embrace where life has taken me now, and I will continue to encourage and support all of those who are now on their own journeys and are seeking my help. You probably know the type I’m talking about: those that have reached their lowest point or their highest weight and don’t know where to begin. That is what SparkPeople is all about after all-- supporting each other.

I am adding a NEW project to the list, however. I want to reach out to those that are just starting down this slippery slope. I am probably talking about those folks who are part of the younger age set. Teenagers and twenty-somethings. Metabolism is probably still working to their advantage, so their poor eating habits haven’t caught up to them yet. They can be saved before they have to learn as I did that food should fuel their bodies instead of serving as an emotional crutch or social tool. Some of them might even be active.  I need to encourage them to stay that way. 

I want to break the cycle of obesity in America. I want to educate more folks about healthy nutrition.  I want to show them that it is easy! Did you know that there is a SparkTeens program?  What if we could figure out a way to mentor the next generation?

Let’s face it: America is the largest country in the world, literally.  Our meal sizes, our portion sizes, our drink sizes, you name it, it’s bigger. We are bigger and it’s TIME TO STOP THE MADNESS!!

I am declaring war, friends. I am declaring war on two sides.The first battle will be for those who need the help, and the support NOW!  SparkPeople is an amazing place; we all agree on that and I’m certain you probably support others within the site. How do you do with people outside the safe haven called SparkPeople? Do you offer help? Have you ever offered to sit with someone and show them around SparkPeople? Are you willing to spend a few minutes and share your story? Tell people your story.  Tell people the SparkPeople story. They need to know that they are not alone! I am going to attempt to come from a voice of experience. That is why it’s so important to share our stories. Let others know your story, let them know HOW you found success. I even share with people how I became obese. That is an important part of my story, right? I will let them know how I failed.That gives credibility to when I then share the success of how SparkPeople taught me to eat healthy and be active.

The others I am going to wage war with are those who don’t know that they need help yet. I am going to encourage those folks to evaluate how and what they are eating.  I will encourage them to stay active.I will do this by example. I will teach my daughters the importance of healthy living.Hopefully they will then be able to pass this information on to their own friends. My 6th grade daughter is required to take P.E. every day for 45 minutes.  Sounds great, doesn’t it? There are 120 students in her P.E. class.That is insane!  How can two coaches and one volunteer really get those kids moving? It is my job to take care of them.   

You see friends; I honestly believe that we CAN rid the world of obesity, one person at a time. I strongly believe! I’m feeling lonely standing on this battle field right now. Do I have any Sparkers joining me?

Spread the SPARK.