BRUCELANGLEY
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I Hate Writing a Journal

Thursday, August 13, 2020

So today, I am doing what I do not like to do, that is, writing a journal entry. I am a journalist at heart, have a degree in journalism, have won awards for doing so, at one time owned and managed my own newspaper in our small town in Georgia, and have worked as a stringer for several newspapers in our area. Then, why is it that I have such an aversion to writing a journal entry? I believe it is because a journal entry is specifically something about me.

Therefore, I am stepping somewhat outside of my comfort zone to evaluate my Spark People progress, up to this date. I began my journey with SP August 2016, and after a few successful streaks, must have thought I had everything in control and went about my own way for a while. After spending about a year away from the program, I hit my then all-time high weight of 326 even though I was involved in a great support group once a week at our local VA clinic. Something had to change, so I returned to the thing I knew had worked in the past, that is, Spark People.

I believe it was the revelation that exercise would greatly enhance my weight moderation program that gave me the greatest hope (Some of us are a bit slower to catch the obvious). With the combination of consistent logging of food and water coupled with modest exercise goals, I was able to realize a loss of 70 lbs. That was a high watermark for me. I went from that point to face a period of setbacks. With a diagnosis of lymphedema in both lower legs, surgery on a rare neural tumor, one kidney, and a few other physical challenges with my body, I lost heart and slipped away once again.

Then, I had the epiphany. The orthopedic surgeon told me that because of my poor health, I did not qualify for bilateral knee replacements. My weight and lymphedema were contributing factors. My lungs were previously scarred from asbestos exposure, and the VA diagnosed my breathing issues were primarily caused by obesity syndrome. I had climbed back up to 336 and I was going to the ER about 2 times a month for steroids and Xrays. At 67 years of age, I couldn't walk beyond my front yard without losing my breath. At 60 years of age, I could jog 7 miles. Things were going downhill fast.

Thirty-eight days ago I made the necessary decision to return to Spark People, to a known process of support and effective planning format. I have set modest goals of losing 10 lb. increments in a 140 lb total goal, 15-minutes of exercise a day (mostly with low-impact cardio chair exercises and using the peddler), and drinking my 8 cups of water, et al. Today marks my 38th day back in the security of the Spark People community and a wonderful 17 lb loss in that time frame. I know, I know, it's not just about the weight loss (and I believe it), but it is good to see the progress there.

To all those who feel they are on their last chance for change, just know you are not alone. There are many of us out here who know where you are and will be glad to offer support. I hear many voices in my mind that seem to say "Welcome back" and many who have already told me that. I give the credit to God for having provided such a tool of comfort and encouragement to so many and assure that you can count on my prayers for your successful journey.

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