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Why I NEED you (my Spark Friends) - Help.

Friday, November 09, 2012

So I have to question myself.
I love Spark People. I used it several years ago when I needed to loose weight with success and only failed and regained (with a vengeance) because I stopped trying again.
After awhile I just resigned myself to the cycle, I was always going to be kind of overweight. I hate dieting and was tired of the struggle. What was wrong with being curvy? Ok, more than curvy, but whatever. Maybe if I could make myself ok with it psychologically it would not matter.

A year and a half ago when one of my closest friends died at age 40 of a heart attack ( he was overweight, a couch potatoe, and a smoker) I was scared into action.
I stepped back and took a look at myself. I was over weight, I did not feel good, I had no energy, I smoked too much, drank just a little too often, had developed sciatica, and my self esteem was at an all time low.

I decided to start with exercise as I still had no willpower to diet. As I slowly got my energy back, and very slowly started seeing fat melt off I made adjustments to the amounts and types of food I ate. Some of it happened naturally. After all I was devoting a full hour and a half of post work gorging time to getting ready for and then doing my work out. My best friend also joined me and together we conquered the first 10 pounds and the worst of the smoking habit.

Another crash came when I found out my boyfriend of several years was having an affair for at least a year. Talk about a setback. Heart ache and self esteem crash! I very rapidly went into a rebound, that ended abruptly and I crashed more (emotionally). This was all on the heels of losing one of my best friends, & having my salary cut at work. I was facing the Worst depression I had in years. Strangely instead of caving, I tried to make use of some of the negative energy. I got so sick of crying that when I was home in the evening, if that cycle started again, I would punt on music and do aerobics or go out and walk/run until I was too out of breath and distracted to cry.

When the worst of the depression abated a few months later I booked myself a vacation to CanCun. I really couldn’t afford it but I needed a motivator and reward. I kept the vision of myself in a bathing suit in my head and used that as a motivator to keep moving. After my vacation was over, I started a fitness challenge at work via the safety committee.

In the space of a 18mo I lost approx 25-30 lbs (maybe more… I had not weighed myself at my worst but I suspect it was actually more than the 216 I was at when I first joined SparkPeople years ago). Slow and steady, but that actually reassured me that I had a better chance of keeping it off and that my healthy habits where here to stay. I still had the occasional binge, and now and then I missed a workout, but things were going well.

I did all of this without SparkPeople.

But this is bringing me to the point. Why am I suddenly back and feeling desperate?
Well a few things are going on.

I hit a plateau, I have been fluctuating the same 5 pounds for 10 weeks now.

I am dating again. The relationship is very complicated (aren’t they all) but still doing well. The complications are Mostly external (ex’s, he has a child, non matching job, schedule, and ok, some internal, like plenty of baggage on both sides) But still there are both joys and stresses involved as in any relationship.
But the big thing is that fitting him into my schedule has made finding workout time a little more difficult. I have found that on the weeks that he does not have his son I am only working out twice a week.
Then there is the dating food. Dinner out, Baking brownies together, wine and cheese while watching a movie. This I can control a bit but it is going to take will power. MASSIVE will power.

I have suffered a very crippling income reduction, that is feeding into my stress and depression, as well as making it more difficult to invest in things like healthy foods, better workout shoes, replacing my broken pedometer, any form of gym membership, etc.

The approach of winter and the Holidays. I HATE being cold. I have seasonal affective disorder. ALL I want to do when I feel cold is huddle under blankets, eat, and have wine or hot sugar laden beverages. Late Fall and winter would always be problematic for me even if it weren’t for the added temptation of Holiday eating. Last year Holiday eating was not as much of a problem because I was TOO depressed. Really I never felt celebratory. I barely notice the food and revelry around me. This year I am just average depressed and stressed (for me) and I am terrified of turning to the food and drink side of the celebrations a bit too much.

I have already noticed a small rise in my old binging tendencies.

I am out of motivators.
I no longer have the waves of tears and desperate thoughts to hide from.
I have no vacation and no money to plan one.
I can’t get the people at work to join me on another crusade.
The best friend had a few life style and motivation changes of her own is no longer on the fitness crusade with me. My efforts to revitalize this have failed.

I NEED SPARKPEOPLE. I need you guys to help me stay on this. I cannot be alone in this.
I admit it.
It still have a ways to go. I need to get there and I need to stay there.
While it was great to realize that for the first time in years I like the way I looked in a photo, it has actually made me terrified of losing it.
I really am freaking out here. Maybe it is irrational, but there it is.

I have a game plan, but I am going to need encouragement and teamwork to stick to it.
If I sound like I am attention seeking in the months to come, well I am. I will need the support and attention in the worst way to combat the negativity.
I promise to try to be supportive in return. This is a team effort I know.

To anyone who made it through this crazy long blog post I thank you.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good for you for coming here and asking for the help you are looking for! You can do this - and it sure helps to have support wherever you can find it. I came to sp towards the end of my weight loss and boy, am I glad for the support I've gotten here. Always being a yoyoer, maintenance is now a crucial time for me, and right before I reached maintenance, I ran into major stress in my life (which is still occuring) along with an injury. I am sure to come here as it keeps me focused and reminds me of what I really want. For the first time ever, I am doing this almost totally for myself and using sp is part of that. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2048 days ago
    This is a very powerful blog because you are so honest and because by being so honest, you made it very clear in your mind what it is you need and are looking for. SP is a fantastic place to find support and like-minded people. The fact is, not everyone in our lives is going to be in the same place we are when it comes to health, diet and fitness. Sometimes, no one in our life is in the same place and the most we can hope for is their support for our efforts. I have a couple friends who are working on losing weight, but I don't see them very often. Everyone else has minimal to zero interest in discussing health, fitness and diet.

    I am just starting the book Full Filled which is about changing our relationship with food and the author talks about motivation being both Away From and Towards. Away from motivation (clothes not fitting, lack of energy, feeling unattractive, health problems, etc.) is important but by itself does not last. Towards motivation (feeling more energetic, fitting into cute, smaller clothes, going off medications, etc.) is crucial. So maybe you need to be looking on what your Towards Motivation is right now?

    Also, please give yourself a lot of credit for all you have accomplished in the face of a LOT of stress! And please be gentle and patient with yourself as you figure out your plan and build your motivation. You deserve to be treated with kindness, respect and care, including by yourself! Good luck!!!

    2048 days ago
    None of us are in this alone. We all need the help and support we receive from others. I know I do. I appreciate the honesty of this blog. I won't repeat advice you have received from others. I just want to encourage you and let you know that you can do this.
    2048 days ago
    emoticon on how far you've come. We're here for support any time you need it. My successes happened when I put me first. I didn't care what DH and the kids thought. I needed to do this for me and no one else. I've gone thru some major health issues the last couple of yrs. One that could've taken my life, but I worked thru them with exercise and eating right. The more stress I had, the more I walked. Then I started running. It has saved me many times. Plateau's aren't fun. Sometimes it takes a bit of adjusting your food or exercise to get things going again. Good Luck! emoticon
    2048 days ago
  • SLEE103
    you are stronger than you know, even though it may not feel like it sometimes, or most times! emoticon emoticon
    2049 days ago
    I am so proud of your for your honesty about why you are here and what you need to succeed! That is precisely what it takes!!
    I know the situations that are going on in your life are not optimal for weight loss and fitness. It sucks that we can't all be paid to work out every day and eat right (like celebrities and olympic trainees). But the great thing to know is that optimal conditions are NOT required for success! All that is required is determination.
    Yes, it's going to suck that you can't make (and eat) brownies often.
    Yes, it's going to suck when you can't mindlessly munch while watching tv or movies.
    It definitely sucks that you don't have good workout shoes.

    But just take it as it comes and make the best with whatever situation you find yourself in at the moment.
    Have a talk with your bf about your desire to lose weight and be as honest with him about what you need to succeed as you are being with us. I'm sure he'd understand!
    And if you can't get more than 2 workouts in per week than so be it! If that's the only time you have, then just make the best of the workouts!
    I have found that just doing some quick crunches or squats really help. It doesn't take long and there's no excuse not to do it.

    And if you every need advice or support, feel free to drop me a line! emoticon
    2049 days ago
    I can sure relate, having been on and off diets my entire adult like. I have found that I, too, have a cycle to mood that affects my choices regarding health. But I am working at smoothing that cycle out. I am also working at ditching the word and the entire concept of a "DIET". Dagnabbit, that is an ugly four-letter-word! I stick with my exercise plan always and manage the food issues carefully. It is hard AND it is worth it to keep on trying! I took the Never Quit Pledge twice ... no more "giving up" and "losing it". Keep on Sparking, no matter what!!!
    2049 days ago
    Attention seeking? Hey, that is part of what SP is all about...who better to ask for attention than your sparkfriends? Step one in any challenge is knowing what you're up against and you have done a very good job of mapping that out. Step two is creating the plan. Sounds like you've done that as well. Step three is actually doing it...yeah that can be the hard one, but ever so much easier when the preceeding steps are in place. You cn do this! I am amazed and terribly impressed that you were able to go out and do aerobic exercise when you were fed up with crying....the colder weather is really a tiny hindrence compared to that. I also suffer from SAD and we both know that hard as it can be to get out the door, doing so is always the way to beat it...fresh air and sunshine even at this time of year when the sunshine is harder to see.
    2049 days ago
    First off, congrats on the weight loss you made without spark. You are not attentin seeking are using your tools for help. I think what makes spark something we turn too is that we can ask for help from strangers. It is a lot easier to tell people you don't know that you are struggling.
    I think you have come through so much and maybe you just need to take a deep breath and find something that is for you. Something that makes you relax: a walk, a hot bath, blaring the music in your car and singing at the top of your lungs!
    As for motivating yourself....I see someone who has a lot of desire. Find a picture or a quote that motivates you and hang it on a mirror or fridge or somewhere you will see it could help. I where a piece of yarn on my is my reminder of what I want. I also like to read other peoples blogs. they inspire me and offer me hope.
    Please know that I am here for you. What ever you need ...let me know.
    2049 days ago
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