I beg your forgiveness. Yes, I've done it again. I written a very long and hopefully interesting and inspiring blog. At least that is my hope. Of course, I wrote is partly for me. Isn't that what all writers do? I always get anxiety when I am about to share something about myself. But share I must do, if I am going to fulfill my dreams. I need to do this so I can be healthy as possible and help others along the way.
WAY TO GO US!!!!!
AWESOME, AWESOME JOB!!!!!
YAY to all the losers!
Really! A big Yay for all who did NOT Lose!!
You know why I say that?
Enter a rather long winded explanation Hopefully with a personal story. I hope some of you will be able to relate to it.. My experience is one of SUCCESS after many years of failure upon failure.
If my story gives just one member a glimmer of insight into what makes success happen, I will be content. If not in this challenge, maybe in the future.
This is my heartfelt hope for you.
I preface my little story telling you, around three years ago,after joining I joined SP in 2012. I was basically a lurker and would only read articles. In 2013 I made a commitment to myself and SP to become as healthy as possible and lose weight. In 2015 I dropped my first few pounds and have continued to lose weight till today. I have six pounds left to lose to reach my goal weight
The fist time I came to the 5% challenge I did not lose one solitary pound. I lost zero, zilch, nada! I was disappointed and felt like a failure. I watched everyone working very hard. They were exercising, Really!?" They were tracking their meals and their exercises, too! Everyone had a different way of doing things, different meal plans, different exercise. Did they do it perfectly? No they did not! Did some members forget to do parts of assignments or did life get in the way and they lost perspective? Of course they did! But they worked very hard and were determined. In contrast,despite being motivated and determined, most if not all, of my effort was fruitless. Back then I was active in my mind, but not in behavior.
After the challenge was over I looked at my performance. Was I exercising? Hmm, I was, but it was strength training and not aerobics. Aerobics is what I needed and aerobics is what I avoided. Was I tracking? Actually, I don't remember it was supposed to. Lol. Jk. I did track on the team site, almost every day. I found it not too painful. Did I message and comment on member's pages. I got the courage to give a high five on their special day, once in a while. Somehow, I didn't see the purpose in praising and helping other's on a personal level. I did do it on the team forum, the little I did post. Did I consider myself a member of the team? Technically, I did, but felt no sense of camaraderie. The purpose of "team" seemed to escape me. I was an outsider and was disconnected. I had little self esteem in the weight department. I began to see the difference between those who were succeeding and me. I began to understand, mental motivation and mental exercise, mental nutrition does not translate to losing weight or getting healthy. The light, a glimmer of reality peered into my mind and said, "If you want to win, you have to do what winners do! Not in my mind, but in performance. Why don't you try to do successful behaviors just like them? Follow the Spark People formula. Come on, give it a try!"
Funny how sneaky denial is. It insidiously causes you to be blind in your most vulnerable areas. Sometimes I wonder what the purpose of denial is. Since it's supposed to be a defense mechanism, what was it protecting me from feeling? Please share your insight if you have an answer. The only thing denial did for me was cause me to stagnate. It caused me to feel failure and reinforce the multitude of excuses I held on to for dear life. It also put a wall between me and others. I felt I was different and did not belong. I learned something from being in denial. I have a name for it. It is called, "the Devil"s Denial". The "Devil's Denial" caused me to believe in lies. My thoughts were logical, but far from rational. Today, I know where the Devil's territory lies. I don't go near it. I don't cross the line, not even to check things out for fun. I never cross the line.
There was another side to me. I most of the time I was swimming six days a week. I went to Tai Chi classes twice weekly (although, I confess I did not practice at home). I taught swim classes to children five days a week. Once a month I went on hikes for over ten miles. To say I wasn't active would not be true. My handle on nutrition had yet to become a reality. In general I was present, but I was not following Spark People's formula, I will praise myself for my commitment to visit the SP site every single day. Something inside of me told me, in order to succeed I had to do this.
Many years later is now. I am not perfect and still learning and trying new ways to tweak my program. I am succeeding. I am feeling a part of everything that SP has to offer.
I am a mere six lbs away from my goal weight! It's odd, I don't feel like I thought I would feel. I thought I would feel on top of the world. But I don't. Not to say, I don't feel great, I do! I feel fabulous! I just believed reaching my goal "number" would be the end all! It's not. What feels GREAT is I feel so much HEALTHIER! I really enjoy being able to do things. I am stronger, I have more endurance and more energy. I'll you a little secret. Shhhh! Don't tell...I really like to look in the mirror and see SEXY ME! I forgot what it was like to feel like a strong and beautiful woman who can hike. In a few short weeks, I plan to start my training so I can go on a 20 mile overnight hiking adventure. It will be on a volcanic mountain in the Philippines. It's hard to believe it's going to actually happen!
Sometimes I feel like I'm in my 30's. At least mentally. Physically, I am a 68 year old woman who battles severe pain on a daily basis. They call me their "text book patient". Lol. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. It is a genetic and inherited, chronic, systemic disease that effects the joints, bones and vital organs. I started and continue with aggressive medication treatment. Medically, I have defied the odds. We all know the medication I am being treated with is not a panacea. I must help it along with a very healthy lifestyle. I often surprise my doctors with what I am physically able to do. They have watched my ups and downs and on occasion say they are truly surprised and very proud of my progress. There is nothing preventing me from my dream of becoming one of the many Centenarians who compete in the "National Senior Olympics". I want to win the Senior Olympic gold medal in the 500 meter, "butterfly stroke" So far no Centenarian has won it. There have been a few who have won the "Gold" in free Style and Back Stroke. I want to be the 1st to win it in the "Butterfly Stroke". I have already started training, but did quit due to a health set back. I will be ready resume in a few short weeks. I am a member of the "USA Masters Swim Association" It is my dream to compete on the international stage one day. With hard work, prayer, the Lord may see me through.
I will continue to strive for better health and happiness and a enjoyable long life.
And of course my journey has not ended. I there will be no end to my adventure. There's maintenance and beyond.
I just want to end by saying I give thanks to you''all, the Spark members who have reached out to me and who have helped me either in word or by good example.
What would I have done without you all, what would I do without you now?
I give you my most heartfelt thanks!