Reflections from a Returned Sparker
Friday, November 16, 2018
It's funny how life sometimes brings you back around in circles. 12 years ago when I first searched on the computer for a calorie tracker - we didn't even refer to it as "Googled", I found Spark People. Informative, user friendly, and hugely motivating, It was my daily companion as I reached my goal. I introduced my sister and best friend to SP and she, too, lost a significant amount of weight. I've plugged it with patients for all these years as well (I work as a urology associate in women's health care).
Like most who've lost weight down to a goal and kept it off, I've learned that the road isn't always smooth. I've had ups and downs with my weight. Periods where like a petulant child, I've been rebellious and decided that I'd eat what I want, thank you very much. Some pounds sneaked back on along with some guilt. I'd avoid Spark People, knowing that once I spent more than a few moments of the site, I'd have to confront what I viewed as my weakness.
Aren't we always our own worse critics?
When my clothes would start getting too snug, I'd be forced to give myself the "come to Jesus" reality check and get busy taking off the extra pounds. After all, I did vow when I lost the weight the first time, I'd never buy bigger clothes again and although out of the prospect of going naked I did fudge on that vow with a wardrobe piece of two, I have stuck with the vow.
So when I felt like I had a handle on re-gaining control over my eating, I'd come back to SP and cheerfully track my pristine eating. I'd supplement with Weight Watchers and attend a local meeting like an alcoholic at AA. Don't get me wrong, they are a marvelous institution. The leader was great. Many, many people succeed and reach their goals. I, myself, am a lifetime member. But, I don't find myself sustaining well on their program. The expense fails to motivate me. And you know how it is, - when in person, you put on your happy face and coo and applaud, but never bare your soul. You celebrate success and others success, but I've yet to see someone break down and say "I feel like a failure".
There just is something about the anonymity of the cyber world that lets you tell it like it is, without direct fear of letting yourself show vulnerability. I've made many, many friends through Spark People over the years and they have motivated me, and consoled me, and shared their same fears and anxiety of stepping on the scale and facing reality.
Like the circle goes around, I am back on Spark People. However, it's different this time. I am coming back needing to take off the 15 pounds that have sneaked back on. The clothes are tight. My eating has NOT been pristine for awhile. I feel the need to purge my guilt and just admit that I'm human, therefore not perfect. After all, fat is not a personality disorder. It's a health concern, but not a failing. And like a true friend, Spark People doesn't judge, so why should I?
I'm happy to be back. I'm once again tracking and looking forward to slipping into a pair of jeans without tugging. I'm also looking forward to recapturing the love of the journey as much as the destination.
Thanks for sharing my journey and letting me bare my soul...