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Thank you, BLC!

Friday, April 19, 2013


Spark People just happened to “spark” for me. I’ve tried everything through the years. Nothing worked because of a combination of my resistance and my reluctance to engage with people. I believed that I needed “food as tranquilizer” to get my through the travails of everyday life.

I had an eating problem before I had a weight problem. I thought about food a lot. I punished myself for indulging in a dessert not by a logical attempt to work out but by taking little fasts. I read diet books perhaps in the way some teen-aged boys seek out porn. I looked at anorexic people and mostly, I regret to say, admired their discipline and tenacity. How crazy is that?

I was perpetually on a diet in an effort to move from 125 or 130, the normal range of my weight, down to 100 or 105.

But I did, finally, become obese. I think that insufficient time for myself was one reason but the greater reason was my failure to see that I needed more time for myself. I fell into obesity almost with a sense of relief. I now had proof that my self-loathing was totally justified.

I tried Weight Watchers and was put off by the cheerfulness of the leaders. I tried exercise classes but I could not keep up with the youthful steppers and striders. I sought, in vain, for “Fatercize” classes. When I dedicated myself to “Sparking” it made complete sense to me. By that time I knew that I was introverted and had to do things quietly and cautiously. I knew that there were some foods that I could never eat (tofu, margarine, yoghurt for example). And I knew that I had to start a serious exercise program.

Then I found the BLC on Spark—the Biggest Loser Challenge. I signed up and did not really know what to expect. It was perfect for me in many ways. I could have friendship and accountability without having to talk to anyone. I could learn new ways of strength training and toning. I could “compete” in a friendly way. And I love that kind of competition where I am not being fierce or unfriendly but just trying to beat my own personal best. For me, that’s not enough. I do not (yet) have enough self-regard to maintain a regimen just for me.

The BLC is perfect because I can compete with a team and for a team and support the team. It makes me want to do my best. Yet it also makes me feel proud of other teams who do well. I get enthralled with their excitement too.
I lost a fair amount of weight in my first two rounds of the BLC (Thank you Shamrock Sheriffs!).

This time round I did not lose as much weight at all but I hit two major goals that I had not thought possible before: I made it to “One-Der-Land” (meaning that I weigh less than 200 pounds) and my clothing suddenly got loose! I hope I never have to buy plus sized clothing again. A year ago I routinely wore a size 3X and now I wear clothing marked “L” or “XL”. I now buy my underwear in the “regular” part of the store, not in the “Plus” Sized part of the store. So BLC-21 (Thank you Violet Venuses) was the one where I found myself wearing clothing easily that would not budge over my ample chest just a few months ago!

Thank you, BLC, and all of the people who work so hard to make it all possible!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I haven't done BLC yet. I signed up before the last one but never received a spark message or anything. I do hope I get on it for the next challenge. I have lots of spark teams, and try to interact with all of them. I've learned a lot about myself in the last six months.
    1861 days ago
  • BOPPY_

    Do you write for a living? You should, you know.

    As always, another interesting blog.

    BTW, I too am always suspicious of exuberantly friendly and positive people, who seem to have no valid content about anything that could matter to anyone. ;-|

    (Actually, "suspicious" is too weak a word, I'm sure they're a time sink. :-|)

    Lee emoticon

    1861 days ago
    Wooohoooo! BLC sparked it for me too!!
    1861 days ago
    Another great blog, Natalie! I so agree - BLC has something for everyone!! emoticon
    1862 days ago
    My challenge worked out in the same way (5% winter challenge) -- the scale was a traitor to me (I lost 5 lbs in 8 weeks and I was hoping for more) but I was able to greatly improve the time I spent exercising each day and my body shape is changing rapidly. I am waffling back and forth over that line of women's and plus sizes, if I keep going I know I will join you on the other side soon. In other words, I have some XL, but still need some 1X items.
    I so loved that you say "regular" and not "normal." I'm borrowing this language for my thinking!
    Thanks for sharing your insight on your experience.
    1863 days ago
  • MELP06
    That is so awesome that you have found what works for you! Great job so far! emoticon emoticon
    1863 days ago
  • KATI5668
    wonderful blog..shows what the support of the team can do...

    but even more it shows what YOU can do & did do & will do !!!

    1863 days ago
    How wonderful that you found the right support, but you merit the greater credit for doing the work, making the changes and discovering that you're worth it.
    1863 days ago
    1863 days ago
    Sounds like you have found the key to success - what works for you.
    1863 days ago
    I am so glad that Spark has done so much good for you. Like you, I enjoy interacting with people without having to be face to face-not that I don't like people (well, truth be told, sometimes I don't, but that's usually because I'm face to face with way too many annoying people!), but I just like being in my little cocoon, while still being part of a larger group. Congrats on making it to ONE-derland, and on continuing on this journey and reaching more goals!
    1863 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    You and I are a lot alike! Keep up the great work and I know you'll reach all your goals. I also agree that Sparks makes it easier for me to "socialize" and reach out. To support and be supported.

    Have a great weekend!
    1863 days ago
  • MONIKA1948
    Great blog, Natalie! I can relate with everything you said. Keep up the good work and you will reach your goal. emoticon on reaching Onederland!! emoticon emoticon
    1863 days ago
  • KPACE7
    emoticon emoticon

    emoticon BLC
    1863 days ago
    Thanks for this blog. I've been interested in something like this so I just signed up for next round. Hopefully they will have an opening.
    1864 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.