Looking back on 2007

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

According to Sparks, I joined just before Christmas, 2006. Must have had one good thought while I was shoveling food in my face. Two days after Christmas, I stepped on the scales and weighed a hefty 160 - the heaviest I've been in my life. I began reading the Spark emails I signed up for, but that was all I did - read. Strangely, I lost six pounds by about the 5th of January. I felt pretty proud of myself before my husband expalined that was because I ran out of cookies and pie! He sure burst my balloon about losing weight simply by reading the articles!

It took me almost two months to figure out the site. The boards were so totally differnt from any I had ever been on and everyone seemed to know everyone else. It was kind of like walking into a party of good friends and not knowing a soul.
I was so afraid of making a boo-boo, I didn't even try to post. I didn't know if I should hit "Reply" or "New Topic". "Sticky Topic" seemed like something I should stay away from. The tracker was confusing until I figured it out. The first time I looked at it, there was watermelon for a snack. Watermelon in Northeastern, Nevada - buried in snow - in January? The produce man would have laughed himself silly!

Once I got up the courage to post, I found out it is just like moving into a small town neighborhood. They welcomed me with open arms. What a wonderful, optomistic group of people!

My weight came off very slowly, but the inches seemed to go fairly fast. I was soon back into my old jeans that I had worn when my weight was much less. I developed the habit of doing my Strenght exercises three times a week - hating it, but doing it. This paid off in August. I fell and broke my left arm in three places. Even with the left arm out of commission, I was able to get down into my flower beds to pull weeds, thin, etc. and get back up without calling for help. I could squat and stand with no problem. I was amazed! I hadn't done that in years!

I have learned through trial and error to be careful what challenge boards I go on. I'm on one now with others just like me! All learning to lead an active lifestyle, doing our best to get our cardio in and cheering each other on! I have learned to "lurk" for awhile before joining! If others are doing things way beyond what I am capable of, I get discouraged. I did this to myself a week ago - see last weeks blog for a real pity party! The support I received was awesome! Not only the comments on my blog, but also private Spark Mail giving me encouragment. What a group! They boosted me out of the blues and helped me back on track!

I reached my goal at about the same time I broke my arm - once again my dear husband teased me that only proved I had been a two-fisted eater.

October 21 - the day after my husbands 67th birthday, I decided to quit smoking. I had smoked since I was 22 years old. I was very hesitant because of the weight gain associated with quitting, but a fellow Sparker encouraged me to join her and between us, we would prove we could do it without a huge gain. I went to a government website on quitting and the first thing I read was to develop healthy eating habits and a regular exercise routine and the weight gain would be minimal. I had that one down - Thank You SP! My weight maintained until Thanksgiving day. It wasn't the metabolism change from quitting but the pumpkin pie that did me in!

During the year, I had two Spark Friends travel through my town and was able to meet both. The minute we saw each other, it was like we had known each other all our lives.

What a great site this is! Now, I try to greet as many "Newbies" as possible and tell them they can Spark Mail me if they need any help navigating the site. I do spend a lot of time on my Spark Mail, but it is so worth it to me if I can help just one person to feel as great as I do today! SP helped me to turn back the clock - I'm younger today than I was a year ago and so is my DH! The healthier way of cooking, eating and the exercise has paid huge dividends for us.

I hope any "Newbies" who read this are wiser that I was when I started. Hit that "Reply", introduce yourself and ask for help if you are confused. The response and postive comments you will receive back will encourage you as nothing else can!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi Donna, Thanks for this blog, which I think mirrors how a lot of us feel in the beginning. The good thing here is that you are showing us how to carry it through. I 'meet' up with you on SP often and you are always a surce of inspiration to me. Thank you! Carole
    4804 days ago
  • RACHEL630
    I read your blog and just wanted to say hi! What a great story. Thanks for posting this!
    4805 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.