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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Being SparkPeople Motivator of the Day is a double-edged sword.

While it is certainly an honour, and I appreciate the acknowledgement of my contribution to this site over the years, it is impossible to respond to everyone who will visit my page this day in the same personal way that truly sparks the motivation which carries each of us through this journey to our own personal best.

So, if you are reading this today, I thank you, and I hope that you find here something that justifies today's 'motivator of the day' designation. I also hope that you will take what serves you truly, and leave the rest. This is YOUR journey, and yours alone, to craft as you will. Don't let anyone, imply that whatever serves you well is 'wrong' in some way... though, if you are not getting the results you want, perhaps consider that there is another way that may work better.

If asked what has been the most important aspect of this journey for me, I would say blogging, and documenting the journey, is most important. Your blog becomes a roadmap at those times when you lose your way, when you feel overwhelmed or challenged, when you forget why you started this in the first place, and when you can't think of reasons to continue. Looking back helps you move forward when momentum and focus just aren't there... and trust me, this will happen a whole lot more than you will like. My journey here has been fraught with doubts, fears, setbacks, and detours.

It was on one of my less than stellar days that another SPARKling (a woman I already greatly admired... someone whom I thought had it all figured out) offered me words of wisdom that I have clung to ever since, and which have carried me to this day, and my current accomplishments: "I am still struggling, too. But it's the way we do it that's a motivation for others to follow. You know that, right?"

As I carefully pondered that simple statement, I realized that the people by whom I am inspired are those who have struggled, and continue to struggle to reach their goals, often against circumstances I believe would crush me. Suddenly I had many fewer concerns about the specifics of my journey.... and like a little kid tagging along after the grown-ups, I carefully and studiously worked to place my faltering steps into those of others who walked this path before me. As a result...

Perfectionism... GONE.
Worrying about what others may think of me... GONE.
Making choices with one eye trained on how others may be responding or reacting... GONE.
Trying to keep up with the 'big kids'... GONE.
Wanting to be liked... GONE.
Concern about getting it wrong somehow... GONE.
Focussed on results rather than process... GONE.

SHE_LION really has no idea how she irrevocably changed my journey with that simple statement. They say 'close' only counts in horseshoes, dancing and grenades. I think it works with love, too. That grenade she lobbed at me, along with the heart she so generously offers to everyone, blew apart the wall I had continued to maintain between myself and any possible success I could have here.

As you struggle, remember that it isn't your success, or how much you know (or how much you think you know), or how many goodies or points you have, or challenges won, OR EVEN POUNDS LOST that speaks to the hearts of others. That you lost any weight at all will soon be forgotten by most people.

...And I know right now some of you are thinking, "What's it about if not the pounds lost?" "How could how much I lose become irrelevant?"

What it's about is how this process shapes you, moment by moment, throughout the journey... and that doesn't end at 'goal weight'.

What it's about is that you struggle, and that you continue to struggle, and even struggle some more to be authentic... because as you struggle you are learning, and you are inspiring someone else to struggle beside you.

...And if you aren't achieving your goals, consider that perhaps you aren't struggling effectively... insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Find some bigger footprints and place your feet within THEM for a bit and see what happens.

The success and achievement of various goals is self-evident.

That we all struggle in the process is also self-evident.

More importantly, don't be afraid to tell people HOW you struggle.

Don't be afraid to let others see your vulnerabilities... and then allow them to bear witness as you turn your vulnerabilities into strength and authenticity.

Sing your song loudly and unabashedly! Your off-notes will become harmony to those of another struggling along side of you.

It's been eight long, infuriating, frustrating, exhilarating, rewarding, complicated years since I first signed on to this site. If not for that one well-placed comment early on, I'd now likely be off-site, slowly forgetting who I am called to be and that it is HOW I struggle that's important.... how and with what (maybe even with whom) I choose to struggle determines my success... as do those struggles from which I choose to run away.

...And to all of you who find anything I have to say 'inspiring' or 'motivating', just remember that when you're inspired and motivated it's because through the specifics of my journey you are identifying for yourself how you, too, are struggling well.

I'm NOT the 'motivator' ...through considering my experience you are discovering the motivation within yourself (you are SPARKED); and I'm honoured to struggle alongside you.

To those of you who experience an uncomfortable resonance as you read this, consider that perhaps you are identifying a struggle with which you need to engage more fully... and remember that you don't have to struggle alone.

Look for the footprints INTO WHICH your own feet fit...

My greatest hope for you right now is that, despite any and all difficulties, your summer continue be all you need it to be... that good memories abound... that peace and joy run rampant and reign free... that love crowds out worry and strife and fills every nook cranny to over-flowing... that abundance becomes all you remember when you look back from the other side. I pray that the peace which surpasses all understanding becomes like a cosy sweater hugged close under starry summer skies, clothing a heart filled with wonder and awe, and which beats steady faith in all things and possibilities. Amen.

Why I'm STILL here... my SparkJourney Saga

No more Mrs. Doubtfire... or Picture UPDATE at nearly 100 lbs. ELIMINATED!

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Losing a Lot of Weight

How I Am Eliminating 'EXCESS Weight'

(ponder this some and you come to see this SPARKjourney in a whole new light)

I'm 155.0 pounds, today!

(I started my journey at 250 lbs. & over 50% BMI... Obese Class III)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for commenting on my page, and for recommending Jason Fung's book - I will add it to my Amazon cart!
    Really appreciate your support and encouragement.
    1236 days ago
    As always, an excellent blog!

    I like all the things that are GONE. I saw myself in many of them...
    So, time to work in my journey!

    Have a nice weekend!
    1250 days ago
    Thank you for your post. You're right, it's the journey that counts... and it's the efforts we put into this each and every day, being mindful about choices and not let ourselves excuse our actions by any sorts of concept. (I just read your "moderation" success tips and it struck hard!)
    Thanks again! And congrats!
    1251 days ago
  • BERRY4
    A neighbor waved as I headed out on my morning walk today. We had a passing chat/comment when she asked why I was doing what I was doing. Instead of saying anything about weight or loss, etc. I said, "for the health of it!" realizing I have different motivations than before. -- So the messages to myself and others is IMO far more balanced as it relates to LIFE!
    ...and yes, sometimes it's just plain "baby steps"...move FORWARD in the direction I want to go!
    1252 days ago
    Motivator of the day...so clueless as to that realm of spark, I did not know it existed. Clearly not your thing, and yet so deserved and appropriately bestowed. The blog you have written in response to this "honor" so beautifully expresses what so many of us need to celebrate in every ounce of us!

    Your spark is pure sunshine, your journey so honest and real. Love that you share yourself with others, you are a blessing and I am humbled and most grateful. A true silversmith...no words!
    1254 days ago
  • KSCOTT528
    This is beautiful. Definitely will be following you.
    1254 days ago
    Thank you what a great blog and road signs to post on the winding trail i call my weight lose journey .
    i also have found many parking places along the way and was getting discouraged with all my parking and road side stops . you reminded me that this is part of our journey. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1255 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    1255 days ago
    I haven't read this blog... but I found you via a comment you left on another's blog.. and have spent the last couple of hours reading another one or two of your blogs, and following a couple of your links...
    I just wanted to THANK YOU... I may have found a KEY to the WHY when I truly believe I have honestly been eating within my range and moving too .... and the scale number not budging but staying consistently within a couple of pound range... for months and months on end.

    Thank you again for being here with a LIGHT and a link to a new way (for me) when I needed and was looking for a 'new path'.
    Thank you, Audra
    1255 days ago
  • GABY1948
    WELL, I KNOW you motivate me and lots of others! KEEP IT UP! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1255 days ago
    What a super blog! So happy to see you recognized (richly deserved) as Spark motivator! And yup: we look to see whose footsteps our own might fit within . . . and we keep moving forward! Because it's a struggle and that's OK: just consider the alternatives . . . giving up??? No no no no no!!!!
    1255 days ago
    Brilliant, simply brilliant. Absolutely my experience has been, and I am sure will continue to be, that the weight loss (while good for my health and well being, and certainly a good achievement) it is really last on the list for me compared to the emotional and spiritual growth that happens daily.

    Will I ever NOT be cognizant of my weight? Probably not, BUT the difference is, that is not my focus! It is the spiritual and emotional issues needing attention that will continue to be my focus. Living in the moment to address these issues is my focus.

    You have articulated such important points and I thank you. And you blog also points to how important it is for each and every one of us to realize that, whether we realize it or not, WE DO HAVE AN AFFECT on others, even if it's just one person . . . you can change that one person's world with what you say (or do, for that matter.)

    As for thanking everyone individually . . . hmmmm . . . don't think that's expected, certainly speaking for myself. Your blog is your gift and I thank YOU!
    1255 days ago
    Thank you for everything you do! I hope that in times of struggles, people will look to you and people like you to find their light in the darkness. The saddest thing to me is when people give up and leave out of frustration, not knowing how close they were to success. Sometimes, success requires freeing our minds to find a solution. There is a right answer for everyone, I believe that. And despite your personal struggles and the mountains you had to climb, thank you for being that example that there IS hope for everyone. They just have to keep digging for the answer.

    1255 days ago
    Fantabulous! 😊 🙇
    1255 days ago
    Wow! That is amazing weight loss
    Go girl, GO!
    1255 days ago
  • JUNEAU2010
    emoticon of course!
    1255 days ago
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