A Fond Farewell to SparkPeople and my SparkFriends

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Dear SparkFriends,

I thought I might be coming back to SparkPeople some day. But it doesn't really appear that I will be, afterall. I am too deeply entrenched now in my rejection of the conventional wisdom regarding diet and health to turn back, and SparkPeople is, unfortunatly, too steeped in conventional wisdom for me.

I knew early on my journey, even while I was steadily losing three pounds each week following the "calories in calories out" method, that I would be unable to sustain my weight loss by counting calories and tracking fitness minutes for the rest of my life, which, unfortunately, is all I was truly learning here.

How many times have we heard that we can't just diet, we have to change our lifestyle. But nobody could tell me all these years just what that meant. Counting calories, constantly worrying about food, and constantly feeling hungry was not sustainable. But that was all anybody ever gave me.

In August, I began a different path, finally learning what changing my lifestyle means to me. It means not listening to conventional wisdom. Not trusting the USDA (agricultrurally-driven) nutrition guide. Not believing in the lipid hypothesis or the cholesterol lie.

It means eating whole, real, locally-grown clean foods (as much as they can be found and afforded) in whatever quantity my body needs. This basically means meat, fish, fowl, eggs, limited dairy (but alway high-fat dairy), lots of veggies, and good oils. And it means avoiding poisons, such as grains and grain-derived products, legumes, sugars, vegetable and seed oils.

It also means that while exercise is important - especially regular movement and occasional lifting and sprinting - overall health and body weight/weight loss are 80-90% about eating the right foods and avoiding poisons. Again, it's important, but exercising is not a good weight loss tool.

I will not say that I subscribe to one diet philosophy, but I have gathered and continue to gather elemental truths from the paleo/primal, whole foods, and various low-carb movements, including the low-carb-high-fat (LCHF) movement, as is taking hold in several Scandanavian countries right now.

Since actually changing my lifestyle, I have continued to lose weight effortlessly, without weighing, measuring, timing, or worrying. I eat the best foods I can find and afford, and I eat when I am hungry and only until I no longer feel hungry, and I skip meals whenever I feel like it without any drop in energy level or worries about my body holding onto fat because it thinks I'm in starvation mode. So long as I stay away from grains and sweets, I am free of cravings. I no longer graze. And I never feel that I am denying myself anything. I am satisfied.

Although I feel the greatest freedom now, and although I'm pretty darned sure at least minimizing grain and carb intake is important for every person, I know that there is not one exact solution for everyone. I hope you continue to find value on SparkPeople and that you find your lifelong solution.

Don't be afraid to question conventional wisdom, just like you would question the wisdom of any new fad idea that comes along. Unless you want to study 100% of the available data yourself, though, you'll have to trust someone. Listen to your heart, tho. Realize that since the government started giving us guidelines and advice about health (in the 1970s or thereabouts), the general health of Americans has declined at a rapid rate, and in general, we ARE complying. What must that tell us?

Anyway, I wish you all the best. I just thought I should say g'bye. I'll leave my page up for a week or two more, but I'll be gone by the end of the month.

Happy New Year!
My best.

P.S. K-I-S-S

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD3409143
    WOW I stumbled onto your blog and your site as a result of a search result. I am sad to see anyone leave this group. You are a sincere and intelligent lady who obviously has put a LOT of effort and thought into your quest for health. I will not say I totally agree with some of your premises, I think that there is alot of merit in what you are saying - there is a lot of "marketing" by vested interests and it is interesting that the general health and quality of life seem to be INVERSE to the amount of "knowledge" there is about medicine and the human body / disease.
    I can only hope you might change your mind in the future and sincerely wish you good health , luck and success in all your endeavours.
    3297 days ago
    Hm! I actually agree with all you said. I know that low-fat is extremely bad for you, grains are probably bad for you, limiting dairy is important... These are all things one can figure out by looking at our history and our current state.. I like to eat things local and I just concentrate on eating things that can be grown or were alive, whole foods. I don't use the nutrition tracker, except for when I want to see what my eating habits have been like lately. Calorie counting can be helpful, but only when you are really over or under eating, or just need a wakeup call.
    I'm not really bothered by the misinformation, because I remember, everywhere is misinformation. Every single health website suggests that animal fat causes heart problems etc etc so I'm not surprised that Sparkpeople has some of this. I also heard about the only eating when you are actually hungry, it's nice to hear that's worked well for you.

    I find it a pity that that would make you leave, because, well, you don't need to use Sparkpeople for anything except what you need it for. I don't need to lose weight yet I enjoy the community and tracking my goals.
    But if that feels right, go for it! I just use this place for the nice tools and the friendly community. And the inspiration of people who succeed.
    Good luck and farewell!
    3450 days ago
    What a sad blog to read. I will definitely miss you! I wish you much continued success in the path you choose. I hope someday our paths cross again. emoticon
    3450 days ago
    Sorry to have missed knowing you. I, too, do Primal/Paleo, and it's clear that it's healthy and it WORKS. I ignore the nonsense of the article and Spark recommendations, but I've found LOTS of SparkFriends that share my philosophies, so I'm sticking with the site.

    If you come back, look me up!
    3450 days ago
    Best wishes! I am sad to see you go, but will keep up the good fight in Paleo!
    3451 days ago
    Ah, I feel what you feel. I find that I'm just huddling in my primal team lately. Come visit, will you? I'm hoping that our good results will take hold and spread, and that SP will listen and watch us. But yes, it gets hard to take, all the headlines in the SparkNews telling you to eat grains and watch out for low-carb.

    I just LOVE, though, that you are following your own wisdom! That you believe in YOURSELF and your findings! So have a joyous journey doing what you know darn well is best!

    3451 days ago
  • -LINDA_S
    I too just stumbled upon your page and wish I had gotten to know you. I so share your frustrations and only find solace in several teams with wonderful members who think the way that you and I do. It's certainly an uphill battle trying to ignore all the crap and to focus on what we know is the right path, even though this must differ somewhat for each of us as no one is the same. My very best wishes to you in what I know will be continued success.

    3451 days ago
    I just try to ignore "the authorities"
    3451 days ago
    I just happened upon this blog post in my feed (we must be in the same primal/paleo/Leptin Reset) type Spark communities. If you decide to hang around, please add me as a friend as I have only just gotten serious about Primal living and it is nice to be on this path with others who live life outside of the conventional diet world. That said, your blog post has been tremendously encouraging and affirming to me. Yeah for you!! :-)
    3451 days ago
  • PZF144
    I've contemplated leaving SP too, for the exact same reason. What changed my mind was thoroughly reading Dr. Kruse's blog, and his mantra about change. The only way to affect change is for us to make it. Teams like this Primal one and The Quilt, along with Low Carb eating can help shift thinking from CW to Paleo-centric, if enough people join and stay active. I'm constantly amazed by the # of hits on Mark's Daily Apple, in the Leptin Reset thread. I believe it's over 660,000 hits as of today; the thread today is 1350 pages long.

    While I completely agree with you that SP is entrenched in CW (eat healthy whole grains; fat-free, blahblahfreakingblah), the only way for things to change is for us to constantly post our updates, and for the Dr. Kruses of the world to put out the info for us to point to.

    Trust me, I'm with ya. Eating that way got me overweight, tired, cranky, with skin issues. Eating Paleo has cured my eczema, cured me of my massive cravings, cured me of my desire to wolf down a package of Oreos.

    While you and I didn't "know" each other, I would be very sad to see you go. :( I enjoy having paleo friends over here on SP, even if they don't like it. :)
    3451 days ago
    I'll miss you!
    3451 days ago
    Hi there! I came across your page and BUMMER...just to see that you are leaving Spark. I agree with so many we all must find our OWN way. I find it a little off setting that Spark uses advertisers for fake food and sweeteners...but then again I know that if they weren't getting the money from the advertisers they'd have to collect it from us.

    I agree we all must find our own path and the path that you have chosen sounds prudent and wise to me. I am with Spark because of the wealth of warmth that I have found in the community. No where have I ever found the loving support that Spark offers...I wish you'd stay...I really...really do. But you need to do what's best for you...kind of a shame because you seem like a very interesting person and one who could offer some different perspectives for open minded sparkies!


    Bobbi Anne emoticon
    3451 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/8/2012 8:34:42 AM
  • MISSY455
    Best wishes Kelly for continuing success on your journey. If I have learned anything, it is that no one way works for everyone, I hope the path you have chosen continues to provide the results you desire.

    3451 days ago
    3451 days ago
    Sounds as if you've learned what works for you ~ and as I understand it, that's what SparkPeople supports.

    I'm guessing you also have support in place for your changes. SparkPeople is the only place where I get the support I need to live a life that's better for me and I find the support invaluable.

    Enjoy your new freedom and happiness and congratulations on your acheivement.
    3451 days ago
    It sounds like you have a plan that works for you and that you can maintain for a lifetime.

    I wish you continued health and success!
    3451 days ago
    May God bless your continued success on this journey we all still share. Good luck in your chosen endeavors. Sorry you will be leaving. Hope you check in from time to time.
    3451 days ago
  • SHIRE33
    I think some of the advice on SP is also pretty conventional, so I ignore it when I think so. I have been eating "clean" for years now. I'm fortunate enough to be able to raise my own veggies and eggs, and I buy meat and dairy locally. My problem was just eating too much of it and not doing enough cardio. What SP does for me is to give me a community. I really like being inspired by and encouraging other people who are being responsible about keeping track of calories and activity. Fortunately, I find tracking interesting and not a chore, so maybe that helps. Different things work for different people. Congratulations on finding your successful path!

    3451 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10677745
    We are not mutual friends but you are a classy lady for writing a good-bye letter and not just disappearing as some do here. You are the type of person I would want to friend if you were not leaving. I agree with you that you have to listen to your gut even if it is different from what is popular in the media or on spark at the moment. I am glad you found what works for you and I want to thank you for sharing it. Best of luck and happiness to you.
    3451 days ago
    well very sorry to hear it, but it sounds like the paleo thing is working great for you!

    Best of luck....check back in whenever you like!
    3451 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8639152
    Best of luck to you, Kelly! I enjoyed spending time with you here. Thanks for saying goodbye and not just disappearing!
    3451 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1983812
    Best of luck to you!
    3451 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5707126
    Best wishes for the journey you have chosen. WE all must find the way for our own journey. emoticon and emoticon
    3451 days ago
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