One Year Ago Today . . .
I was in my room getting ready for work and I was watching The Today Show as is my normal routine. There was a segment on about someone who had lost a lot of weight and contributed her success to something called Sparkpeople. As I got dressed and listened, my interest was peaked. What is this Sparkpeople? I had never heard of it. So, I went to my computer and pulled it up. It looked interesting and so I signed up on the spot (something I rarely do). I finished getting dressed and went to work. Like a lot of first timers, I signed up but didn't really get started. At the beginning of 2008, I had made up in my mind that I was going to lose weight and get healthy. I had to. I couldn't stand to look at myself anymore and everything I put on looked horrible. I was 241 pounds. The highest of my life and too much weight on a 5'3" frame. I started to watch what I ate and later added exercise and managed to lose a little over twenty pounds on my own. Then one day I remembered this site I had signed up for and I started logging in more and more. It was great. There were forums and teams and people were encouraging one another - I had never seen such excitement from people trying to lose weight. I had to catch up - I wanted to be a part of it. I pinged around the site until I got the hang of things. I started tracking my exercise and became addicted to something called "sparkpoints". They mean nothing in the real world, but they are nuggets of gold on sparkpeople.com. I started replying to posts and answering questions. I was a full fledged member of Sparktown.
Then one day, a team I was on needed some help and I volunteered. I was now co-leader of a team. Wow, this was exciting. People were now sparkmailing me for advice and help and I could actually lead them in the right direction. I started adding Sparkfriends and joining more teams and all the while, I continued to workout eat right and lose weight.
Now, I am really feeling good. As I would post on the site, I noticed that some people had a special logo that said Community Team Leader. I wondered what that was all about so I clicked it. There it was, a Community of people dedicated to helping any and everyone on the site. I read the requirements and I was pretty much doing them anyway, so I joined. In doing so, I volunteered to be a class team leader. Now anyone who does this knows it is the hardest team to lead. You can potentially have thousands of brand spanking new members that have no clue what to do. Well, wouldn't you know it I was chosen to lead the first team of the new year. Over 30,000 people joined that week. Can I tell you I love every minute of it? They are the best team ever (yes, I say that about each of my teams)! Now I recommend that everyone participate with their class team. I didn't in the beginning, but I am active there now.
January 20, 2009 I received an email from Sparkpeople informing me that I had been voted a Sparkpeople Motivator! You could've knocked me over with a feather. What an honor. I had seen people with that badge on their page, but who knew I would be one of them.
In March, I joined another team: The Done Girls Spring into Summer Challenge team. I had realized that I was spending so much time encouraging others that I really was not focusing on myself. Here was my chance to be led and not lead. That lasted about a week! One of the co-team leads had to step down and recommended that I take her place. LOL!!! And you know I accepted. I am glad I did. The Sandcastle Sisters are amazing. I am having so much fun.
I have lost 40lbs half way to my goal. Some days this journey was easy. Other days I didn't think I would make it, but I have stayed the course. I live alone and I don't have a support system. Sparkpeople is my support system. I have everything I need when I log in. Encouragement is here, my friends are here, my rewards are here, information is here. No wonder my current streak for logging in is 263 days!!! I don't care where I am I log in and at least spin that wheel. Thank you to every person who has ever given me a goodie, responded to a post or left a message on my sparkpage or sparkmail. It is because of you that I made it to my first anniversary. Thank you Sparkguy and the Sparkpeople team for all you do.
One year ago today - I was 40lbs heavier
One year ago today - I was not this happy
One year ago today - I didn't have this many friends
One year ago today - I didn't know I would be here
One year ago today - I didn't get this many compliments
One year ago today - I didn't know what a sparkgoodie was and how much I would love them
One year ago today - I couldn't fit in a size 12 or 14
One year ago today - I became a member of Sparkpeople and I am so glad I did.
Now . . to begin the journey to my 2nd Anniversary. I am excited about what is to come.