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Monday, March 22, 2010

Dear SparkPeople,

I have a confession to make. You may have read my article, "How I Found my Inner Spark." Since it was written, I lost an additional thirty pounds and completed the P90X program… which may I say, is no walk in the park! I've even managed to keep the weight off for the past two years. This is a list of accomplishments that anyone would be proud of. September rolled around and I quickly found myself neck-deep in the heaps of homework, exams, and labs that accompany a College semester packed full of science and math courses. It started small, as it always seems to. First, I started skipping breakfast in the mornings as I scrambled to gather my books on the way out the door. Soon after, coffee replaced water and I got caught up in the vicious caffeine cycle incited by late nights of studying. Visits to the gym became weekly, bi-weekly and finally non-existent. When my muscles began disappearing, so did the memories of all the hard work that went into forging them. My confidence waned and I could feel myself reverting to the girl I had hoped to forget. One recent morning, I was feeling particularly low following a late night, stress-induced binge involving lots of dark chocolate. Lacking the motivation to even roll out of bed, I picked up my cell phone to check my inbox. After logging in to my account, I squinted to make out the words, "Downloading Message 1 of 30," and wondered how I could have possibly gotten so many e-mails in one day. One by one, I clicked through the lengthy list and was confronted with various messages of thanks, encouragement and compliments. At first, I felt like the last person in the world deserving of such kind words of admiration. However, after giving it more thought, I realized that the things I have done really do help other people, however distant these achievements may seem in my own world. Knowing that my words gave someone the will the step foot in the gym on a day that they were particularly lacking motivation is the biggest accomplishment of all. Just as my past efforts can help pick someone up from a fall off the wagon, they in turn can jostle me out of a rut with their encouragement. Even though I've come a long way, I'm no Super Woman! Every day is full of choices and most of those choices are difficult. Thanks to you all, I'm back at the gym and ready to get back down to business. Let's be there for each other and keep the cycle going, SparkPeople!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo DIASTER
    Thank you
    Have been there we used to go a fat ladies store that one corner for chubbies and believe it or not that is what it was called, oh those memories.
    Thank you for sharing your off times, so many people just write about the success and never mention the slip up days that may have turned into weeks or months, isn't it nice to be human, even with our own mistakes, may each slip be shorter than the last.
    Thank you for the inspiration to carry on for the next 50#.
    3993 days ago
  • CAT5599
    You are an inspiration to so many. Keep up the good work!

    3993 days ago
    Wow Lauren...your article was featured on my Start page this morning, so I read it, and then I followed the link to your page and saw all the pictures where you look amazingly fit and toned...then finally I read this "confession" and I have to say...your story is so much like mine. I lost a lot of weight with SP too...but have so much trouble staying on the wagon. Good thing there's so much social support on this site or I'd be long gone!! You've inspired me today!!
    3993 days ago
    thank you for the encouragement, you are an excellent writer. congratulations on your achievements. emoticon
    3993 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/28/2010 10:57:20 AM
    I am a student as well and I can relate! I was at 201 got to 161 with SP then my busiest semester ever came and i am now 185. I just got back to work on myself again this last week. We will do this and keep the cycle going!
    3993 days ago
    Wow I needed to read that! THank you for sharing!
    3993 days ago
    Love the honesty. I've been on this journey since January 2006. Last year, I put away the scale for a year as an exercise in body-knowledge. I worked out hard and was convinced I'd lost another 15 pounds. Even with all my exercise and accomplishments over the year, you can imagine my shock when I weighed last month and found I'd actually gained 5 pounds!

    So, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again :)
    3993 days ago
    Thank you Lauren. You truly are a gifted writer. And I've spent a lot of time around writerly types.

    So far, I've been able to sustain my Spark habits because I work from home and take a class or two. If I had to work outside the home, I wonder whether I would be able to structure my intake and temptations so well. When busy-ness and stress are high, I know it is challenging to put focus into our fitness and nutrition. I've come to see the paradox now, because during crisis, people say "you have enough to worry about," but good fuel and strength only helps us weather these times.
    3993 days ago
    I can so relate to this story. I guess the biggest goal in this journey, is developing habits that fit into our life style when unexpected changes come up.
    Hang in there we wont fail if we don't quit!
    3993 days ago
    Wow! I just read your motivational article posted on Spark & came to visit your blog. You are so right. The journey is full of ups & downs. And it is amazing to see how ppl can be there to lift one another up when they need it. It does come full circle.

    I admire your hard work & successes, but what I really appreciate in what you wrote is your honesty, vulnerability, & humility. (And you are an excellent writer!) Your story has touched me. Thanks. Keep your chin up. Take care!
    3994 days ago
    3995 days ago
    Every day is a NEW day. Keep fighting the good fight. I am in your corner!
    3998 days ago
  • GILLIAN416
    I've fallen "off the wagon" at many points as well, but at least for me the difference is now knowing what I can do and realizing that I do have the tools to do it, which you do too, obviously! Good luck!
    3998 days ago
  • LDY_ALI_79
    emoticon Glad you're back! We all have our pitfalls but luckily you crawled right out!

    Take care~
    3999 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    3999 days ago
    So glad to "see" you here again!
    3999 days ago
    it's nice to see you back!
    3999 days ago
    Good for you. I also have this problem. Good luck on your journey and your college classes
    3999 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.