Sunday, December 27, 2020
January 1, 2017. I returned to Spark after a 6 year hiatus; a 6 year span of building a new home, travelling to the US and then England as my daughter studied at Auburn and then got her first job, facing my husband's diagnosis of prostate cancer and shortly after learning that the tumour had already metastasized, creating a bucket list that we enjoyed together for two and half years and then facing the reality of being a caregiver as his treatment ended and he entered palliative care. Both physically and mentally I was a wreck; overweight and terribly out of shape. He died in late September and by Christmas I knew that to manage on my own I needed to get healthy. I drank the last of the wine supply, ate my last ever steak and reactivated my Spark account. Over the holidays I worked on some goals, basically shedding pounds and getting regular vigorous exercise rather than just a strolll along the road with my dog. I made a promise to myself that I would log into Spark every morning and take advantage of the resources; one of the very first Best of Spark articles I opened appeared again this morning, "Walk Off Up to 20 Pounds in 2 Months". And so it began.
In two years I lost almost 35 pounds and then joined the ranks of the maintainers. I bought free weights and started strength training, I discovered balance and core workouts and then how much better I felt by doing them. Then it was range of motion workouts to keep my arthritic joints happier and pain free. I cleaned up my diet, no longer eating meats and eventually following a vegan diet most days of the week. I walk every day; if the weather is bad I do circuits in my house. This past year I recognized that maintaining a one acre country property was too much for a 73 old fart so I sold our dream home and bought a two bedroom garden home in a condo community near the ocean. I can still garden but now someone else mows the grass!
As we look forward to 2021 and its many possibilities I know that many Spark members are busy setting goals and hoping that they will stay motivated. My advice: just do it, every single day, no excuses unless you are ill. Think of a life with reduced or like me no need for medications. Think about feeling good about yourself, of living longer so that you can see your kids grow up and take flight, of remaining vital and interested in the world around. What an amazing gift to yourself.