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4 years with Spark - then, now & beyond

Monday, November 21, 2016

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;

Most importantly…
Always let others know how much you love & appreciate them!
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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!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Our familiars, our pets, are always a good source of wisdom when we listen. Mine is telling me right now that I am spending too much time on the computer.


    1253 days ago
    Oh, Kitty, kitty, kitty, GREAT for you for realizing YOU are the most important person. As they say, take the oxygen first, on airplanes! If you want to to co-lead the team, send me an invite. I'll do what I can! I think of you EVERY Wednesday!!!!!! Dolly is VERY wise! Keep listening to her! I'm sure you will be back to yourself, very soon, until then I am sending good ((((((((VIBES)))))))) emoticon emoticon
    1664 days ago
    I'm here for the long haul. Let's stick together. Together we are stronger
    1664 days ago
    You're an inspiration to me. It's been a joy to share this journey with you.
    Dolly couldn't be any cuter!
    1665 days ago
    Hurray for paleo recipes. Ah I have missed your purry little remarks and hump days. You are doing so well! Ha, when I saw your icon come up on your page I was quite excited but I somehow got taken to your last blog and commented on IT... I am so happy to realize the error and see this great update. Food alergies, eh? I think I should look into this. Chronic pain is hard to live with but that is exactly what you are doing, Big emoticon Justyna
    1665 days ago
  • EILEEN828
    emoticon I certainly do understand the need to uncomplicate your life, we all have those times when that's clearly what works best. I know myself that trying to figure out what is best for my health seems like a real roller coaster ride, ups and downs, back and forths. In the end as long as I keep trying and keep learning then I can feel good about the progress I've made. In my case, food allergies have ended up being part of the secret. I didn't use to have them but I sure do now. That could be something you could check out too. My doctor was able to check for about eight most common possibles with a single blood test. When I avoid those foods my health improves immediately. My Psoriasis goes away, my chronic stuffed sinuses clear, and bloat goes away and I start losing weight. Some of these items I knew about, others I did not. It's not easy to change when these items are a major part of your diet like wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggs, soy, and peanuts...ack!

    I know from reading a lot that depression and anxiety are symptoms of your diet, so I would recommend following that path of knowledge. One tip I can offer is to take a supplement that combats candida albicans. It's known to affect your body in this way as well as your bodyweight. For sure it curbs food cravings immediately. Candida lives in your gut in everyone, when overgrowth happens it really starts to take over. I use Now brand called Candida Support and it works very well. I've also picked up tips and knowledge from Chinese medicine and am now looking into Aryuveda. I'm following Paleo type diet trends not because it's trendy it's because that's what will work best to get my autoimmune issues under control.

    In fact the more I read all these varied sources the easier it is to pick out the common denominators that apply to me. The source I follow most is the Healing Psoriasis book by John O.A. Pagano. All the latest medical studies bear truth to following this path. And that path is Leaky Gut Syndrome. Also try reading The Paleo Approach as it is very up to date and explains in detail how your immune and digestive system works.

    Last but by no means least, I love Dolly she is so cute! I love her bundle up coat. Having a pet especially a dog is so good for you on so many levels, give her an extra hug from me. Don't forget to keep in touch because I'd miss you and that just wouldn't do, at all. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1665 days ago
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