Spark 4th -Then & Now –
Four years ago, I was getting ready to get on a plane to visit friends in Las Vegas for Christmas. I had done sufficient research and decided to try out the Spark community to help me get healthier. I was suffering with a string of chronic illnesses on top of my morbid obesity. Intellectually, I knew what I had to do: eat less and move more. A lifestyle that was far from what I had been living. From an early age, I had turned to food for comfort, and ironically, it had become the source of great DIScomfort after many years.
I had a great deal of anxiety about even attempting this as I didn’t think my body could survive yet another weight-loss failure – ie: more weight gain. It’s pretty daunting to consider that “this next big change will have to be permanent.” I surprised myself in that after 10 days over Christmas in Vegas, I came home only 3 lbs up. I also released that excess the following week. This was only the beginning.
By following Spark’s minimum daily nutritional requirements and increasing my activity, I released 65 lb in the first year and felt very good. In the second year, my weight changed much slower but was still moving in the right direction.
As I write today on my 4th Spark anniversary, there have been many more changes and not all to my liking! Illness struck and kept me down for almost a year. I continued to do my best to keep exercising and eating as well as possible, and despite that have ‘caught’ about 20 lbs. (Catch & release as the saying goes). There were and are still many days that I just cannot be as active as I would like. If all things were equal and life were fair – my appetite would immediately drop with that energy! No such luck! And that’s only the physical part of it.
Recently, my greatest struggle has been with anxiety & depression. My mind and body are at war with each other, and it is my challenge to find a healthy balance.
Many wonderfully supportive people in Sparkville have come & gone. I inherited a Spark Group called the Woohoo Jar Lounge, whose founder and co-leader disappeared. We went from a very active group down to a few die-hard loyal members who still make the effort.. It is long past time for me to give up the reigns as I need all the time and energy I can muster to bring myself back to being motivated and as much on track as is possible. As I work on recovery, I will still strive to remain a part of the Spark community that has changed my life forever so positively. While I know I owe so much to this community, it is time for me to take a step back and get my own strong footing again.
I’d be remiss if I did not mention there have been beautiful changes in my life as well. Who would believe that this feline now lives with a dog? “Dolly” is a rescue who has changed our lives tremendously! Not only has she become quite the cuddle-bug, she also encourages her mistress to play & walk much more than she might otherwise. She has taught me so many things about life:
1) Appreciate the great outdoors, even if you don’t stay out long, and dress appropriately for it;
2) Greet everyone you meet as a potential friend;
3) Enjoy your food, even if sometimes it seems like you’re eating the same things every day;
4) Yesterday is gone, today is a new day to have fun;
5) Sometimes you just have to chill;
Always let others know how much you love & appreciate them!
On that note, I just want to say thank you so much for all the wonderful Spark support! I really have gotten to know & love some of you and will always be grateful! No one can actually fully appreciate the road you travel unless they have actually walked it themselves. As life presents different obstacles, it’s our task to find ways to overcome them.
Let’s continue this path together!