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Spotlight - Blessing?

Friday, January 18, 2008

When I woke up today to see that I had about 60 e-mails from Sparkpeople (as opposed to the typical 5 daily newsletters) I knew immediately "something must be up." I wasn't too phased by it because it has been a year or so since I've lost most of my weight and I have shared my story many times and received much praise.

But as I began to read all of the comments (which I'm still sifting through) and seeing all the adds, my heart felt warmer and warmer. I'm used to the compliments and I'm used to people speaking of what an inspiration I am, but truth be told I really do think being the spotlight today is sort of a god-send for me.

See, the truth is .. I gained the most I have in a while over the holidays. Actually, I gained it directly after the holidays. After struggling between 178-180 for a year or so, I finally climbed up to 189 last week. Yes, it is just about 10 pounds more and I've gone down already but I think what shocked me the most is that when I saw the rise, I was completely okay with it - until I realized I was seeing it at 179 and not 189! My mind was playing tricks on me!

Lately it has just been really tough. My mother was tested for cervical cancer while I was more than 1,000 miles away. She's on a breathing machine at nights now. My father's spinal chord is deteriorating. My sister is trying for her first child and is terrified (She'll be 32 this year, but she has had a lot of trauma in her life). My niece and nephew are growing up without me around. My other brother is struggling greatly with debt and love. I live more than 1,000 miles from all of them. I also found out some very traumatic news while on vacation this winter that really turned my world upside down.

One of the biggest issues for me is that I am graduating after this semester with my Bachelor's degree. Fantastic! I know, but my heart is set on graduate school. I largely want to stay here in NY for it, but that means more and more years away from my family in Florida and even more struggle with money. I don't know if I can afford it, I don't know if I can make it, and I don't know what is the right decision.

These matters have been weighing on me so heavily, especially after a visit to Fl for the holidays. I find myself eating more than ever at night - snacking like I never ever have before. I keep looking for the right trigger to lead me back on track and to motivate me. I bought a little notebook with a daily calendar to write down what I eat every day. I started tracking my food again. But it has made no difference.

This - today, waking up to all of you seeing the progress I have made so far - I think this will finally be what I need. The reminder that there are so many other people out there struggling too - not only with weight loss but with family issues, work issues, school issues. I am not alone. I know I am not, but for some reason I just was keeping to myself. I need to reach out once again. I need to share myself so that I can relieve myself of these burdens.

I know I have come a long way and at times I am still very happy even at 180lbs (despite the fact that according to BMI that is still obese!) but gaining just those 9 pounds put me in a world that I did not like. I felt the gain immediately and felt my body opposing it. I don't feel good when I snack all night, I miss my work outs more than ever. I keep putting it off because classes begin soon and then I'll be working out on campus...but I need to do something NOW.

Thank you SparkPeople. I may not of had my journey here at Spark and may have come only after I had most of my success - but you have motivated me once again to reach for my ultimate goal and find out just how much further I can go.

I am definitely going to try and start involving myself more in the community here once again, even if it is just blogging about my activities. But as of now, I'm going out to rake the leaves :)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This blog is fantastic!! For me it's just nice to find people who are not only struggling and trying to work hard to achieve their goals, but who have made so much progress towards them (despite having a life and all the stumbling blocks that we all universally have!) For me, being at the very beginning it's just so illuminating to see someone on the other side who's made it for the most part, but also to see that it is still a process even at the other side and this will not be an easy or short thing, this will be a life long journey. Thank you for 'opening my eyes' and letting me and others see your journey. I hope that you have continued success and that your family finds blessings and relief (in love, money, health etc.) and that you are able to continue your education!! I also hope to get into graduate school eventually!
    4336 days ago
    Wow, you are such an inspiration. I can only hope to keep up the hard work as long as you have and reach my goal one day. You sound like you have such strong spirit and a good head on your shoulders. Hang in there and come what may, I know you will be okay.
    4771 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2351491
    Wow, I read your story and I am just amazed. I keep feeling like I have such a long way to go, yet I see that you had a long way to go too, and you are DOING it.
    I'm rooting for you all the way!
    4779 days ago
  • LADY36274
    You're not alone :). I have a feeling most of us eat due to stresses and upsets in our lives. I know you love your family and miss them SOO much, and I understand that you're worried. Be there for them and love them, but don't carry their burdens too... that's too much weight (figuratively) to carry for anyone. Trust that everything will work out for the best and take it one day at a time. You can do this! You've already moved mountains with overcoming and conquering your weight. You've done sooo well.

    It's great that you're letting all of your feelings and worries out here. If ya ever need to chat.. shoot me a line!

    4784 days ago
    Dear Crys: What an inspiration you are. You've come so far and you can get back to where you were. I lost 60 lbs in the last three years and have another 20 to go. We are all here for you and remember when you feel like eating unconsciously to say to yourself: The most important thing I can do for myself is be healthy. Being healthy is the only way to get by in life. Nothing will work if that's not the case. I applaud you and support you in your journey. All the best, dachsie1
    4785 days ago
    Congrats on being in today´s SparkSpotLight, girl! You have worked hard to get to this point in your life! I empathize with you in regard to being far from your family. I live in South America and my family lives in the U.S. It´s been challenging and I usually don´t like being so far away from them, esp. when they are struggling. Each one of us is given THIS life of ours, separate from others - it´s our own! WE are responsible for making the choices, or should, in regard to how we use it. Nothing new about that. Trouble is, we sometimes think it would be a whole lot easier if someone else decided for us. The more we allow others to influence our decisions, the less we are actually in control, even if it turns out that our decision(s) were not perfect! It is difficult to know which way to go with our choices, and it´s terribly hard to respond to family and friends who want us around. Thing is, we may not give ourselves the opportunity to find out what our capabilities and capacities are if we choose to not actually follow our dreams. You have a rare opportunity to follow your dreams now. If I were your parent, I would encourage you in the ways I have encouraged my own children, to follow your dreams. I got stuck by entrusting my life to others and could not finish my bachelor´s degree until I was 51. It was a very special moment in my life. So, you are ahead of me in the fulfilling dreams department! Remember, living your dreams is a choice noone else can make for you!
    4785 days ago
    Hope you had a fun time raking those leaves! ;) I really enjoyed reading both your intro & this blog, and wanted to remind you of something that I'm sure you know all too well .... this is such a rollercoaster ride. Hold on to your progress & never lose sight of the fact that you *know* what to do! You *know* how to get back on track! You have a world of sparkies who believe in you and want to see you succeed! Stay FOCUSED! Stay STRONG!
    4786 days ago
    Hang in there Crys. Just remember, God doesn't put more on us than we can handle. Even though it might feel like it sometimes, but from reading your story and blog, you are a very strong person and will make it through!

    Blessings and prayers for and to you and your family.
    4786 days ago
    Honey, you just hang in there. Life will have set backs. Your new pictures are awesome! Look at that little black dress! Do you have some visual motivators up? Old pictures? Quotes? Something you can look at every day? When you stop looking at them, change them? I am asking just because I finally put some up today. They really do help me stay with it. I just did my workout, which I usually do at 6am, but seeing my ab goals, just made me go do it!
    Remember, exercising gets rid of some stress too! Makes you feel good! Think how good you will feel when you are done and stretching!

    You might already know this stuff, and who am I to talk that I may not have even lost any weight yet, but we all need to hear it at these times ;)

    Hold your head High girl. you have much to be proud of and thankful for!
    4786 days ago
    Hey Crys, let me say, I know how you feel. I too have been struggle with a lot on my plate not too unlike yourself. The best to do is keep going. You know what to do and now you know there is a group of people (strangers) that want to see you achieve not only weight loss but also happiness. Stay strong.
    4786 days ago
    Congratulations on all your achievements - your story is incredible! Keep up the good work and stay strong, even through all of your difficult times going on.
    4786 days ago
    wow, I'm so glad you were in the spotlight too so I could read your story. Sometimes we all need a little more encouragement to keep us on the right track, this is something so hard since it's always a process, and never something completed.

    Congratulations on all of your success, I hope you find the right path!
    4786 days ago
  • SONJA14
    Thank for sharing your story. It is definately an inspiration to read. Hang in there and continue to work toward your goal. You have come so far, I know you can do it!
    4786 days ago
    Hi, It is what it is! I gained 14 lbs during the holidays and I have lost most of it. You can do it and you have proven that. Return to your program and recommit to the task. You are inspiring others and for that you must to be grateful. GOD has promised that we can cast our cares on HIM because HE cares for us. Allow the power of GOD to do what you can't.
    4786 days ago
    You definitely deserve the spotlight, gain or no gain, exactly because of reasons like this! You know what you need to do and you do it. You ARE an inspiration! XOXOX - Liz
    4786 days ago
    Wow, what a strong person you must be! Reading your story brightened my day, and although I don't know you I am sincerely happy for you. I hope everything works out for your family and that you continue to love yourself and the you that you are becoming. You should be so very proud of yourself!
    4786 days ago
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