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Unfaithful, Ashamed and Sorry

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

I so appreciate this Spark community. There are so many 'friends' I have made here. Some I have met in person.

I love my friendships here and the ones that have grown to include Facebook and Fabulous Fitness. I sometimes forget just how blessed I am to have this community and start wanting something more. I start looking for people who are pushing the envelope and making things happen in a different way that will challenge me to look at myself in different ways. I purposely try to push myself outside of my comfort zone to enjoy a different perspective.

So, after seeing the posts of some others who were using a body building site, I got curious and decided to check it out. The first time I visited the site, the first impression was "this is a meat market". And I immediately exited. Then I just kept hearing about the site, and I thought 'maybe I wasn't fair, maybe I need to read some threads, get involved and see what is going on here'. All I can say is, it is always a good idea to follow your gut feeling. The first day that I set up my profile I immediately got four friend request, all from big beefy looking guys with names like BigMac and JumboJoe. And the comments to me were "You look hot"!

I'm sorry. I cannot express how this saddened my heart. It made me feel cheap and not appreciated as a person. Don't get me wrong, I love feeling hot and sexy and get a kick out of making those kind of comments to my girlfriends who I 'know' here on Spark or in person. But this made me feel like I had just performed a pole dance and was being thanked for doing a good job. The kicker is, I was fully dressed in the picture so it's not like I was modeling a bikini or showing off my body.

When I scanned through the menu trying to find some women my age that I could connect with they all had profile pictures that looked like porn and names like '2hot4U' or some other name that sounds like they might have another 'profession'. And they are in their underwear in suggestive poses that make it evident that they shave very well. I am saddened.

I love my healthy, strong, toned body and I love that my husband is attracted to it. I love my lingerie and how it looks on me and feel. But that is for me and for my husband. I don't need the whole world to see what I got and think that it cheapens what I got to put it out there for whole world to see. Some parts of my body should be exclusive to only my most intimate relationship. I love the way my husband makes me feel beautiful and that he is attracted to me.

I have seen enough to know that I am right were I am supposed to be, right here in my Spark community. With the mommies who are making it happen despite time struggles, with the grammies who are rediscovering their health and fitness, with the college girls and young women who are making food choices for themselves for the first time and finding a healthy life, with the wives of husbands in the military, with the single moms, with the divorced women, with the women who are finding that their is beauty, strength, fierceness and greatness inside of them no matter what their current size or shape.

I love YOU and I want to be here more than I want to be most anywhere else. I am honored to be amongst such greatness and bow at your beauty and strength.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CHRISS1225
    I couldn't agree more, I too joint a popular BB site because I thought I was somehow missing something but soon found out I was totally in the wrong place! Love all you do for everyone here Carolyn!
    3331 days ago
  • LUVYA04
    3416 days ago
    I love this site and so far have had nothing but great experiences with it. Loved your blog and totally would want nothing to do with a site like that! The only thing I don't like about this site is that everything we put on here shows up in search engines if someone knows your nickname. I too love the ideas that there are lots of "normal" people on here like me (I hope I'm normal!) that are mom's, students, full time working people, etc etc. It's so nice to know that there are so many people facing the same issues as me. Thanks for this blog - loved it (esp. the comment about the people that shave well, that's hilarious!)...
    3503 days ago
    Very well written. It's nice to know there are other women who don't feel that they have to exploit their bodies to make them feel sexy. Although I know I have room for improvement, my other half loves my body just the way it is and I dont need to show it to the world to prove it. His opinion and my opinion are the only ones that count! emoticon
    3507 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3035359
    Loved this blog, especially after thinking about how much I admire those who post pictures along their journey...I do think that this takes a ton of courage, and makes me realize that except for in the magazines, perfection probably isn't going to happen, but a strong healthy body on a confident woman, or man, is a thing of beauty!

    Thanks for reminding me how much I like it here! emoticon
    3511 days ago
  • CAROLYN1213
    Not at all meaning to 'Dis' on men . . . I have met some great guys on Spark and on Facebook, who are truly descent people. But when the first thing a guy says to you is you look hot . . . what do we have in common to build a community of support on in that statement. On the Couch to 5k team I meet guys who are working towards their goals and can cheer them on. On the marathon runners team, there are guys there who have ran numerous marathons and cheer me on and give me great advice. That is a community of support. That is not exploitive or creepy.
    3511 days ago
    I loved this and I loved the truth in all of your statements. There is an admiration of our achievements and a respectful way to say that people admire and respect what we are trying to do, and there is outright disrespect that is intolerable in any setting. Good for you for leaving that site and those meatheads behind. WE are thrilled to have you here and we love all that you have accomplished!
    3511 days ago
    LOL! Its amazing what people will put on the internet.
    3511 days ago
    What great insight. I never blogged before of joined any type of forums before Spark People since I assumed that a lot of it was unfortunately like what you experienced at that other site. I am happy to say that on SparkPeople I totally feel free to blog and join forums to learn about ideas,etc. I also now know that I will stick with Spark People, not that all other sites are like that, but just reaffirming how much I love the safe feeling of the spark people site!
    3512 days ago
    What a difference it makes to be part of a site that is interested in being a clean site. Great blog.
    3512 days ago
    emoticon emoticon for putting it so well.
    3512 days ago
    "And they are in their underwear in suggestive poses that make it evident that they shave very well."

    OMG ROFL. How well put!

    Glad you're here.
    3513 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8689328
    What a beautiful blog! I'm so taken by the fact that you literally stated how some things are better kept private. I couldn't agree with you more. One creep pestered me on SP and I immediately made my page private. I am so thankful for SP because it helped me heal from a past abusive relationship and gave me the confidence to put my best foot forward. More or less I got my voice back and with that came the confidence. I shared my story and I had tons of private messages from other girls going through the same thing. My past has purpose; to help others. I'm thankful for my SP friends!
    3514 days ago
  • ERIN4771
    too funny...i think we visited the same site emoticon ....i was quite turned off as well, so i don't use it at all....i'm not into showing what i got for others either, i started this to feel better about myself, not to impress others, and it saddens me that it seems the other site i was on was all about self promotion.....take care of yourself, keep "looking hot" for yourself and that hubby of yours, that's all that matters....not the opinion of some dude named jumbojim or fishtuna emoticon
    3515 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5826541
    What a great blog. I havent been to one of those sites yet but I have heard about them. wow, what a bad expperience. I guess that is what makes SP so great! It is a great place to be.
    3515 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7542230
    And there are some great guys here on Sparkpeople, too, who are trying to achieve the same things we are: better physical and emotional health, balance between taking care of oneself and looking out for others, and a supportive community.
    3515 days ago
    I dont know why it posted twice but I deleted the 2nd to laugh at you calling yourself unfaithful for chacking another community!! You are too much!! And I love you for it!
    3518 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/5/2011 10:12:28 PM
    "With the mommies who are making it happen despite time struggles"
    Thats ME!!!!

    LOL... its hilarious how happy I felt to see myself included in there! lol

    Just when you feel weary from trying to make it all happen and seemingly failing... someone says something so simple yet so awesome you almost want to cry!!!

    Thanks Caro.... I really LOVE YOU!!!
    3518 days ago
    I too am a certified yoga instructor. Thank you for your posts, they really are motivating. I continue to learn from you every day. Namaste, Mary Ann emoticon
    3528 days ago
    This IS just the most amazing, together, healthy community of like-minded people. So glad you reminded me how lucky we truly are.
    3530 days ago
    Ehhh....I'm glad you are wise enough to pass on something like that Carolyn, but we know you would have stuck with us even if you did like it there.....you like us too darn much! :P
    3531 days ago
    Lesson learned! It's okay to seek out new challenges..and to recognize great supports. I am always so encouraged here at sp. Glad you are here with me!
    3531 days ago
    I just want to reach right through this computer and hug you! We are blessed each day that you share the deep insight and personal journey of your self actualization with us. You are our gift!

    Just love you beautiful lady. Oh, and when I say you look hot, it's just because I know how hard you have worked ...well, and cause you earned that hot body. Sexy is good, but the sexy part is not just the outer packaging, its that inner beauty that you radiate each and every day!

    Again, YOU are our gift!
    3532 days ago
    I've often had similar thoughts... and so thankful that you've written words that summarize it so well!
    3533 days ago
    I am grateful to have you in my life Carolyn on Sparks and on Facebook. They would have been lucky to have you too, nonetheless I understand myself a couple of years back at first got some useful advice, then slowly but surely I received all types of requests and some were lewd/scary.
    3533 days ago
    You ARE right where you belong and Spark wouldn't be the same without you!!!
    3533 days ago
  • REBECCA1354
    What a FANTASTIC blog!!!
    3534 days ago
    YOU ARE right where you belong- and you are awesome, motivating, and strong. Thanks for being my Spark pal and for posting this blog.
    3534 days ago
    emoticon This sight came to me in 2007 when I was getting out of some really bad life issues and I've always come back to it no matter what since then. Yea, I think we've all explored other possibilities out there but when you think about it, SP is the place to really feel at home. Thanks for sticking to your guns and staying here at home where you belong my dear friend! Great blog!

    Love ya gal!!!
    3534 days ago
    IT is good to explore and to get a perspective. I am actually tempted to take some pic of myself before I start the ST. It would be cool to have a before and after. Not sure how to get the good shots that people do. Anyway, I would never even consider posting them elsewhere.

    And know that your knowledge and experience is appreciated here. FYI a new ST team just started and it would VERY much be a beginners group compared to you but your knowledge and motivation would be appreciated (worth considering).

    3534 days ago
    SO well written Carolyn, as always. I wept for, and with you in regards to this disappointment, but I rejoiced for the lesson learned. There's is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting more and looking to better ourselves; nothing to be ashamed of. I love your wisdom. Thanks for sharing.

    emoticon Kelli
    3534 days ago
    The Spark community really is amazing, isn't it? I've never found an online site, even other diet sites, with all of the positivity there is here.

    3534 days ago
    I am totally right there with you, Carolyn!!!! SP is the best! And I love, love, LOVE that I totally do not feel I am in a meat market!! My body and the progress I've made is fir me and my sweet hubby- not some nasty guys on the Internet!! I would NEVER feel comfortable posting pics of myself in just a bikini like I have for SP.

    You checked it out. No harm in trying it. But you came back home where you belong, with you SparkPeeps. emoticon
    3534 days ago
    I hear ya... but unfaithful? nah... you weren't unfaithful.. it's okay.. you were exploring.. there may be a site out there that meets a different need that Sparkpeople does.. and if so, it's okay.. .really.. but clearly that wasn't the one.. and lucky for us!
    3534 days ago
  • TBABY912
    and we're glad to have you hear. sorry you had to go through that!
    3534 days ago
    You are so sweet! And I agree with you about not wanting to be oooogled by the UNWORTHY. It's true we can share innocent things here and it stays innocent. Thank you for articulating the feelings of the majority of us so well. Keep up the great work and thank you so much for sharing with us. It really makes a difference.
    3534 days ago
  • NANNER2121
    Wonderfully written with a great message. We are so happy you are here with us. And the other "meat marketplaces" are not worthy. WooHoo SparkPeople!
    3534 days ago
  • AJBOYER222
    Love this blog and I love SparkPeople!
    3534 days ago
    I think sometimes the people that set up profiles frequent those sites are sometimes so concerned with their outward appearance that they completely forget that people are about more than how they look. I've always felt that Sparkpeople was about maximizing your potential in all areas of your life, not just the physical. I think that's what makes it and the connections made here so special.
    emoticon emoticon
    3534 days ago
    Well said, I love Spark People, too!
    3534 days ago
    Great blog! Yes, this community is amazing. I am completely blown away. Why go anywhere else? You can find like-minded people right here, ones who are sincerely interested in your progress and don't just want to ogle your photos.
    3534 days ago
    Wow, a great reminder why I love Sparkpeople!
    3534 days ago
    This site to me is the one place I feel truly free and amongst like-minded individuals and I too have looked into other health oriented sites but always come back home!
    3534 days ago
    3534 days ago
  • IONA72
    I agree with all you say, but there are some great guys here too, and they don't seem to be looking for someone hot. They are decent folks trying to do the best for their bodies and I appreciate their friendship without having to endure any sexist comments.
    3534 days ago
    Great blog! This is a great site and I would be lost without it.
    3534 days ago
  • EILEEN160
    You are so right on! You are a woman of integrity which is clearly reflected in your blogs!
    This "grammie" is thankful for all your support and encouragement from weight training to recipes! You truly have been my mentor and kept me goin'! emoticon emoticon
    3534 days ago
    Amen!!!!! I love this place!
    3534 days ago
    SparkPeople is such a gem! It's unlike anything else online so I'm very glad you came to your senses and came back! We still love you! :P
    3534 days ago
  • TWALKER0475
    Thanks for always writing what is on your heart. emoticon Totally understand wanting to push yourself and explore what is out there in the big ol' world - no need to apologize! And it is so true - your gut instinct is almost always right!
    3534 days ago
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