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Dr. Worm's Blog, or How I Learned to stop faking it and REALLY Love SparkPeople

Monday, February 22, 2010

If your taking the time to read this, thank you. This is my first SP blog, and I wanted to document the events that convinced me that I could become a healthier people if I wanted to, and that led me to be a dedicated SparkPeple user.

When I joined SparkPeople in June of last year, I was treating like I have treated other diet programs and exercise routines that I have tried in the past. That is to say I was really into it for the first few weeks or so tracking every food and exercise obsessively, but as the summer went on, my interest in the website waned, and I found my self coming back less and less. Of course, I started to slack off on my exercise, and I become less concerned about the food I was eating. I had also just lost my job at the time, and it seemed impossible to job hunt for hours on end, make time for my family, do household chores, and keep up a healthier lifestyle, so I put it on the back burner for a while.

Then in August , I made an important decision that helped me look at my life and my health from a different perspective.

I had picked up a couple of unfortunate habits in college that had stayed with me for many years smoking and dipping. While I was never a pack a day smoker, I did enjoy a cigarette during my morning drive to school, during break in the smoking section of the student center cafeteria, or while having a drink with friends. When I was ready to stop smoking, it was very easy At our annual Halloween Party 3 years ago, I informed everyone that I was smoking my last cigarette, and it was.

The dipping was a more challenging problem. I felt so very mellow with a good Skoal buzz going. I could put in a dip, turn on a video game, and just veg for HOURS. Or dipping on a long drive, or during a movie. I could find a reason to dip very easily. But I was always worried about the effects of dipping. I'd freak everytime I got a bump or sore in my mouth. It would make me sick to see my gum line worn away from my teeth. On top of that, I didn't want people to know that I had such a gross habit. While I had tried to quit many times before, it just never took.

So here it was, August 2009. I had been dipping for 15 years, and I realized I was about to quit for good. No fanfare, no weaning myself off of it, no last time 8 hour gaming session to commemorate the event. I just told my wife that I was done. Then I put up a green post it on my bathroom mirror, and paying homage to the Hulk movie I'd just watched, I wrote "Days Without Incident" at the top, with a single hash make below it. For the next 5 days, every night after I brushed my starting-to-get-healthier teeth, I'd place another hash mark on the green post in note, feeling confident that I was done.

On the seventh day, my willpower caved, and all the post it notes in the world couldn't have kept me from buying a can of sweet, life giving Apple Skoal.

That night, looking at MY post it note on the mirror, I had to scratch out my six day streak. I was back at zero. I knew that I never wanted to lose that streak again. I threw the remainder of the can out, and braced myself for the upcoming week. I made one week, then two. Talking to my doctor about my goal, he told me that it would take about 60 days to brake a habit, but on the bright side, if I never did it again, I would never have to quit again. So I wrote those words on my post-it, and set my sight on 60 days. Then 90. At some point after that, I stopped marking days, but I kept the note on my mirror as a reminder that I can overcome the most difficult of challenges if I stay focused.

While I was in the middle of my tobacco fight, I started reading the SparkPeople e-mails that were piling up in my inbox. I discovered that the site was more than just tracking data, and signing up for teams that I never participated in. I saw people who had never met offering genuine support for others, encouraging them to get those 8 glasses of water in, or congratulating them on another successful weigh in. I knew at that point that I had not only found my next challenge, but I would not have to go this one alone.

It amazes me how much better I feel just logging in to the site and seeing messages from people who are sharing the same joys and frustrations as I am on this journey. It helps me to know that when I am suffering through one more set of jump lunges on EA Active, I can go gripe about it with my team, and then we can all share the success of completing one more workout, burning off another 100 calories, or discuss how we are going to make it through a dinner outing with our friends this weekend.

This is an excellent community, I'd I'm proud to be a SparkPerson!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SUMITH2008
    I did the Push-up test today and ranked at 2. I just finished my first day, its a killer. Looks like i will be repeating day 1 again till i can get through the sets without struggling. Hope you had a great day my friend!
    2984 days ago
  • DRWORM75

    Thank you for the encouragement. I have had my eye on P90X for a while now, and definitely see me adding it to my routine in the near future.

    I'll be looking for your Push Up test!

    2984 days ago
  • SUMITH2008
    Great Blog Bro! Man you should of seen me 2 years ago. It was digusting, i could not believe i let myself go without realizing that i was in really bad shape. After 2 years, I'm still fighting to shred the fat off that accumulated due to years of neglect. I remember about 10 years ago, i used to Eat Mc donalds every day with my buddy during our lunch break. And one of the things we do was to see how many Dollar cheese burgers we could chow down! I was eating close to 10-12 burgers at a time and i still was hungry. This went on for years, till one of my friends started making fun of my double chin. My dad who is vegetarian usually would point to my stomach and kinda make fun of me. While i smiled and made jokes about being fat, it really hurt. When i joined spark in July 08, i started off exercising and about a month later quit spark. I just could not get in to it, months went by and i started gaining weight again. I finally figured, I start off with small steps and ride the stationary bike for about 15 mins-20 mins while watching TV. I guess just doing a little bit of exercise caused a deficit and i started to lose weight. Little by little, i added workouts that i borrowed from the Library and started doing them and lost quite a bit of weight. Even then though, i was not very focused with my Nutrition. I only started to really focus on nutrition last year and I'm still struggling but doing quite a bit better.

    Anyways, thank you for commenting on my Pull-up blog and adding me as a friend. I am going to do a Initial test of my push-ups SOON tm. I hope we can keep in touch and help each other out. You should try out P90X if you haven't. Its a bit tough at the beginning but if you can make it through the first 30 days you will be fine.

    Keep the blogs coming man. Wishing you great success!

    2985 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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