My one year Sparkaversary (sp?)
Monday, June 06, 2011
A year on Spark. What’s funny is, I feel like I have been on here forever. Spark is my homepage and one of “those” websites I check every single day. I may not blog every day anymore but I come on here and surf the new blogs of people I’ve been following since I began. I check the health headlines and am constantly playing with the new features. I honestly can say I check Spark every day because no matter what’s going on, it’s that little reminder that says “Hey you achieved a lot, girly, but don’t forget the important practices that got you here have to get you through the rest of your life!”. And that’s why I check Spark every single day.
I’m not going to tell a story about how I lost weight because it’s the same story it was a few months ago. I want to talk about how awesome everyone on this site is and how reading everyone elses blogs has changed me as a person. I won’t name names. One person in particular stands out so vividly in my mind when I think of my Spark friends. She’s got beautiful kids and suffered a horrendous loss but posts the most inspiring and upbeat blogs. I read her blogs and they always fill me with a sense of purpose and meaning. This woman is so strong and so willful and lives a healthy lifestyle and takes care of her kids and ultimately she is who I want to be. I picture my life in the future and I see myself as fit and healthy even through pregnancy and babies and however many kids I have. Being active and healthy has led me down a different path and shown me the things I used to use to take up my time were so harmful. I take care of myself mentally now, or at least I try to, and using activity whether it be walking my dog or riding my bike is like my own therapy. Two years ago, therapy would have been a bag of chips. Do I still have days where ice cream makes me feel better? Yes. But that ice cream isn’t my medicine. It’s just what it is. Ice cream.
One person on this site who also makes me wish for a brighter future is someone who lives in a beautiful location with her partner. She is a real woman with real problems and real expectations of herself. She pushes herself and her body always knowing she can do more. She lives where she decided to live, not where circumstances dumped her. It makes me want that life. I want to pick where I want to live and choose a wonderful life. I want to say I will go away on vacation and spend a week hiking. I want to take my bike to a trail far away and ride and ride and ride. I want to be healthy enough to say I can dive into the ocean and swim as far out as I can and swim back. Her blogs show me what it is to be a strong independent woman who does what she wants and it inspires me every day.
Losing weight is about SO many things. It’s about vanity, size, emotions, mental baggage, clothes, feelings, childhood, and so many other factors that come into play. You don’t lose weight and turn around and LOVE your body. I think this part where I have to settle into this smaller body and accept I am no longer obese but a normal girl is harder than the year I spent counting every calorie that went in my mouth. I know my active lifestyle is keeping my weight where it is, but accepting who I am now is a struggle for me. I deal with low self-esteem every day. I try not to let it ruin events and things I have to go to because no matter what I put on I still see fat. And it’s why I won’t let myself lose any more weight and why I have stopped weighing myself. Because I’m healthy. I can run 8 miles at a steady run and don’t need to lose more weight for my health. I need to get my mental health in check. I am turning into a compulsive exerciser. Do you know how many people have said to me “That’s better than the opposite”. Because people don’t understand what it feels like to spend an entire year of your life BATTLING everything that comes natural to you which is eating. Everything I grew up doing with the huge portions and fast food and high fat and sodium, I had to literally fight. And after that fight turns into a different journey of maintaining, that fear and those images of how it felt to be as unhappy as I was before keeps me at the gym too long. I had a trainer tell me today I am stripping my body of muscle. And it scared me. It scared me really really badly. I need to reevaluate what I am doing and why and begin to change my habits which now instead of eating KFC are exercising myself into the ground until I am falling asleep at 4 in the afternoon because my body is so exhausted. So just because the weight is gone doesn’t mean the problems are gone, they’re just different problems.
Spark means hope. Spark means living your life differently but still living. It means making that better choice and letting yourself know you did it for your health. It means friendship and hope. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and the never ending support that truthfully I couldn’t find anywhere else.