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Friday, September 14, 2018

I have come to the conclusion from my personal experience, and from observation that success (whatever that looks like) here on SparkPeople comes down to "willingness". But what do I mean when I say willingness? I don't mean blindly following whatever hot trendy diet or fitness craze pops up, or the willingness to "try anything"! I guess I mean more of a willingness to make a choice to learn as much possible... about the process and function of living a healthier lifestyle, about your (my) physical, mental, and emotional needs and motivations, about the honest amount we are willing to invest in ourselves as far as time and effort go (setting aside money concerns for now, as it is possible to live a healthier lifestyle on a limited budget... I am living proof!)... and a willingness to apply what is learned with consistent and determined effort.

I am not saying I am perfect at this. Far from it! It is a process, even in maintenance. There are always new things to learn and discover about myself, about my level of willingness, about my physical, mental and emotional needs. As humans we are not static beings, but rather dynamic beings, always changing, being influenced by both internal and external forces. It is amazing we can function as well as we do amidst the chaos of all the changes happening, lol!

But I can say that I apply fairly consistent, determined effort to this ongoing journey (first to lose the weight, and now to maintain a healthier lifestyle), and when I falter or find myself doubting my commitment or ability I have my Sparkfriends to hold me accountable or bolster my confidence (whichever is needed at the time)... I have seen a lot of people come and go... some use Spark solely to lose a little weight, and once they achieve that objective they drop out of sight and move on, but there are others who seem to use it for continuing accountability, support, and resource for living a healthier lifestyle on an ongoing basis. I am not saying one way is better than the other. Both have their uses. For me, the ongoing support, and the friendships with like-minded people in a supportive online environment has been invaluable in my success at losing the weight AND at living a life that is healthier in the longer term. I have said it before, but those bad habits I exchanged for healthier ones are seductive, and it would be exceedingly easy to be seduced by the easy, convenient, old habits... if it weren't for my personal expectations, and the accountability I have here with my longtime Sparkfriends...

Sorry, if I have gotten all lecture-y in my last couple of blogs. These things have been rattling around in my brain, and they wanted out!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I never think you are preachy...never! Just thoughtful...brilliantly thoughtful, supportive, reflective, and kind! I always blog about whatever is rattling around in my brain..it releases it and then I'm able to concentrate on other things.

    What you have done to make your life better is absolutely amazing! You are truly my role model in what I need to do to drop those pesky pounds. I love that you describe your journey and share your tips and your persistence. I also love that you share your little Cooper buddy...he always makes me smile! emoticon
    158 days ago
    You have mirrored my own thoughts. Definitely! Losing weight and maintenance are definitely processes which we have to be constantly vigilant about.

    That can sometimes be overwhelming, BUT I always, always remember where I've come from and do NOT want to go back to where I was. So, vigilance it is.

    There is so much support here on SP for those who need/want it, and I, for one, am totally grateful for that.
    160 days ago
    I like hearing your thoughts they always sem to come at a good time !
    160 days ago
    Good points!! emoticon
    160 days ago
  • KATIE5668
    excellent...you said what a lot are thinking. And my uncle said if something is on your mind...feels like it needs to come out of your mouth...let it go..someone out there needs to hear it!
    And what better place to roam about in the depths of your mind that with a group of understanding and loving friends...tis a safe place!
    160 days ago
    YES! What a blessing to connect with you and other supportive friends here!
    160 days ago
    I agree. Spark People is a great support community. emoticon emoticon
    161 days ago
    You can teach any time emoticon
    161 days ago
  • MBPP50
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    161 days ago
    Yes, I'm here for life whether I participate a lot or a little. This has to be a lifetime change and while my weight loss is still an up and down thing and I need it to be more down I am not giving up. My journey is slow and I know it would be so easy for me to just throw in the towel and heck with it. That's where SP friends come in with support and encouragement for each other. So, yeah to you, yeah to others, yeah to all of us as we move forward on our journeys. Do not give in or give up. If you fall get up as soon as you can and start moving forward again.
    161 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    I think it’s a great blog!
    161 days ago
    Your blog is helpful for being determined! emoticon
    161 days ago
    And this is a good place to let those thought take shape! we appreciate it! emoticon
    161 days ago
  • EISSA7
    You are so right...the bad habits are always lurking on the periphery enticing you...that is why it is a lifelong healthy journey that we Spark friends have committed to.... emoticon
    161 days ago
    It's a long road for sure. Thanks for sharing.
    161 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.