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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Several years ago I was one of Sparkpeople’s motivators, product testers, and I had my “Success Story” featured on the site. But that was a LONG tome ago. I started here in June 2010 weighing 307 pounds. Over the next few years, by eating well and exercising, I managed to get down to 165. I stayed there for a while and then “life happened.” I’ve always hated that saying. You can’t blame “life happening” for your own poor reaction to emotions. And to me, that’s all it is... Bad decisions based on feelings about circumstances we can’t control. And for me, it was all about food, it’s always about food. I didn’t get to 300+ pounds by being able to deal with things properly. People say it’s an addiction, like an alcoholic or drug addict. I used to think that was garbage… until “life happened” and I dealt with it the “only way” I could... by going back to my drug of choice, food. An alcoholic doesn’t have to buy booze, and junkie doesn’t have to get cocaine, EVERY living being HAS to have food, and unfortunately, that’s MY addiction. Believe it or not, I didn’t even realize that until I was back at it, neck deep in binge eating… because of “life happening.” Fast forward a couple of years… A series of events, some unexpected, and some planned, and here we are. I’m now divorced (planned), living with my kids at my parents (unexpected), had a big shift in my employment, and the result, is a gain of about 60lbs… because I’m SOOO good at dealing with “life happening.” And if I’m being honest, I’m only guessing it’s about 60. I’ve gone from a jean size of 14 to 18, and it’s roughly 20lbs per size, 3 sizes, so I’m settling on a gain of 60lbs. Yes I plan to weigh myself eventually, but I have to get my mind right first, and that’s why I’m back here. Out of ALL the attempts at weight loss over the course of my life, this is the ONLY place that EVER truly helped me. I use a Fitbit, so I’ll be logging food and exercise there, just because I’ve been doing it so long, and I don’t want to be logging two different places. But here, it’s all about the connections and the friendships. That’s what got me within reach of my goal the first time. Being able to connect with people who know and understand what I’m going though... All the ups and downs of this ridiculous roller coaster we’re all on. Yes, I’m a “New Year, New You” starter, but I can honestly say that since the New Year, I’ve been on track with my food and exercise. I’ve made some new goals, and I’ve gotten my daughter and my sister in law involved, because we all need to be healthier. I’m not here to regain “Spark Superstar” status, I’m here to get my life back. I miss the “old Holly” and I want to be her again. I’m finally at a good place mentally, and I’m getting to a better place physically. Clean slates are a good place for making GREAT plans. I’ve wiped my slate clean, and I can’t wait to see where this year takes me. I hope some of you will be along for the ride.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Again, both your blog entry about returning and the other comments have been quite inspirational. Never ever give up!

    Pam emoticon
    1515 days ago
    Congrats on getting back on track. I am in the exact same boat. Lost 80lbs then family health crisis, the passing of my mother, a pregnancy and being a "mommy" sent me off course. But we can do it -did it once we can do it again.
    1536 days ago
  • JENNA54
    Congratulations Holly, fantastic! Keep up the good work. I absolutely agree with everything you say here. You have hit the nail on the head. We who turn to food for comfort, for celebration, for whatever reasons need to find something else that is not damaging to our health. I have a friend who struggles with alcoholism, and I can relate to every step she staggers through. But at the same time there is a little voice inside my head saying that she can at least choose not to drink alcohol fullstop. Not that I am saying it is easy... But everyday we have to make choices about what we eat, and making good choices is not easy either. Because we have to eat! You are an inspiration!
    1557 days ago
  • MARGIEB221
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    1559 days ago
  • KATHRYN217
    Welcome back Holly. You did it before and can do it again. I'm pretty new to Spark People but have already benefited from everything on this site. Learning from people like you, being so honest helps us along with our journey. Good luck and be healthy. emoticon
    1562 days ago
    1563 days ago
  • JULIE1111
    Holly, your story sounds familiar. I was at goal for 2 years, then as you say, life happened. I let circumstances beyond my control send my for my drug of choice, food. Now 50 pounds heavier, my Type 2 diabetes has reared it's ugly head again. Back on meds and really not happy about that. So, I came back to this and am getting my head back in the game. I just started on Tuesday. So far, I am feeling good about it. Hope you can get your losing mind-set back to, or as I call Mojo.
    1565 days ago
    1566 days ago
    Me too. I lost weight and gained back more. But I'm here now and losing again. So will you. It will always be hard but as long as there is hope....there is life and another good choice to be made.
    1567 days ago
  • ISAGIRL2017
    I'm with you! I was doing so well on my journey and then, as you said, "life happened." I lost my birth mom in late July after 11 years in happy reunion. What began as "comfort eating" gradually devolved into simple laziness. Pure and simple. I know what to do and how to do it. I know Sparkpeople works, So, I'm with you - 110%. You've got this because you, too, know in your gut that it works and that you're not alone.

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    1567 days ago
    Your reboot is eerily similar to mine. Best news is that the good neural pathways you built to lose are still there and work just a well on your reboot as you did the first time.
    1567 days ago
    You took the first step! Yea You!!! I constantly fight regains of my 178-lb. loss, 30 lbs. one time, 53 lbs. another, and right now, almost 20 lbs. But I really plan to stop it at the not-quite 20 lbs. and not let it get out of control again. Food is truly an addiction. I'm convinced of it.. Just as strong an addiction as alcohol, drugs or cigarettes, and maybe even more difficult to fight, because as you said, you HAVE to eat. Plus food is so readily available, and with the constant commercials, etc., it's hard to avoid temptation! Together, with Spark, we all can do this. I too have been given some unexpected difficulties along the maintenance road, (husband's cancer, son's marriage problems--since resolved--hopefully), but it's so easy to treat stress with food isn't it? Much too easy. We need to find other ways to deal with it, and maybe with each other's help (and by "We," I mean We, as in everybody at Spark), we can find those other ways. Exercise???
    1567 days ago
    Yah. SparkPeople seems to work. So sorry for "life happening." So glad you're managing it and coming out well. Best to you...
    1567 days ago
    You're lucky in one way: I'm short so 5 pounds is a size. I stick to my food plan for one reason: life happening is one problem. Life happening plus weight gain is two problems. I have found it's so much easier to deal with one problem at a time, no matter how hard it seems in that one blink of an eye moment.
    1567 days ago
    Glad you are back and re-energized! emoticon emoticon
    1568 days ago
  • no profile photo CD17058885
    welcome back...just remember that life will always happen, good or bad, when it does, try not to add one more complications to whatever list you may have. You can do this....we know you can, and I think you know you can too!
    1568 days ago
    I'm glad you came back, Holly. You are so right about food addiction.
    1568 days ago
    Great to have you back. Looking forward to hearing more about your return journey. BTW, I kind of did the same thing. I started in 2008. quit in 2011 after losing 40 pounds. Then returned in 2014 after gaining all of it back. I've lost 50 on this journey and I'm here to stay this time. I wish you the best
    1568 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4114015
    SO happy you came back!
    1568 days ago
    welcome back Holly great you are back you are good that you have mentioned your problems here is to becoming healthy again
    1568 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    emoticon It took a great deal of courage for you to post this bog and I applaud you for it! You are right that it is so easy to fall back into old ways without the encouragement and suppot found here on SP. you did it before, and you have an old blueprint you can begin to use, and make the necessary changes and adjustments as you go along. You'll do it again. No doubt in my mind! emoticon
    1569 days ago
  • 52BINCE
    I think it took a lot of courage to put it 'right out there' ......But as I see this group who have read are here to encourage you and cheer you on!! Best wishes ...... I know you can do it!
    1569 days ago
    emoticon Lovely to see all your friends, new and old right here to greet you and cheer you on ........Me for one!! ...... Best wishes and thanks for being so honest .... and mostly for coming back!!
    1569 days ago
  • WBERRY57
    Thanks for sharing Holly. It's really good to have someone like you sharing. Thanks for being so honest and know that I will be plugging for your success! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1569 days ago
    You did it before, you can do it again. Good luck
    1569 days ago
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    1569 days ago
    emoticon Well, for me, you identified a lot of good advice. I'm back for a second time too. Good luck to both of us. Thank you so much for telling your story. This is the best site for support and encouragement.

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    1569 days ago
    Welcome back to the one site I've found it the ONLY place where we are amongst friends who know just where we are coming from when we write about our struggles and successes. We're all here for the same reason - we became Sparkers because 'life happened', but little by little, we made friends, we learned what we needed to do to get back to our former, healthier selves, and we realised that exercise had to form a part of our days - not easy at first, but we learned what we enjoyed, and what was too hard, and from that point, we worked our own routine.

    I've turned to, and left Spark People four, or maybe five times, because I was sure I could do all those things without anyone needing to remind me how to stay at my goal weight. Each time I was wrong... a few months down the track, and I'd regained most, or several times more, than I'd originally lost, and back I came. The only difference? This time I'm here for life. This time I know there are no more chances. This time I have medical issues which require constant monitoring. Any increase of more than a kilogram or two affects my health, and puts me in the 'risky' category. This time, finally, I learned that Spark People is an essential part of prolonging my life and my health.

    I wish you well, but I know that once you're convinced you can be successful - and what a great way to return, with family members taking the same journey as you are - you will rediscover all those positives Spark People has to offer, and if you make use of those positives, you and your family members will find the whole journey so much easier!
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    1569 days ago
    emoticon Holly! emoticon emoticon
    1569 days ago
    emoticon Holly. It's good that you returned. Good luck with your new journey back to a healthy lifestyle.

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    1569 days ago
    emoticon . You are wiser, stronger, and more determined than before. Life may happen, but it will only win if you let it. emoticon emoticon
    1569 days ago
  • _LINDA
    All the best to you Holly! You can do it again for sure! That is awesome you have relatives on board too.

    I have been maintaining here for seven years and don't plan on leaving. It is great for friendship and accountability!
    1569 days ago
    What courage it takes to examine deeply the motivations behind addictive behaviors. I love the way you take responsibility for your responses to "life happening". That is such a valiant beginning for your new health and fitness journey.
    I would caution comparing recovery from other addictions. As a recovering alcoholic of almost 15 years, it is important to find the similarities, support one another, and respect the inner work, spiritual growth, and courage it takes to recover from any addiction.
    God bless your new path and thank you so much for sharing so honestly.
    1569 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You CAN do it, Holly! KUDOS on just being here!!!!
    1569 days ago
    emoticon I hope this is a great year for you! emoticon
    1569 days ago
    emoticon You are definitely in the right place for success and are well-aware of what it takes. We are here for you.
    1569 days ago
    Welcome Back! You can do it!!!
    1569 days ago
    I can soooo relate! Thank goodness I only gained back 16# because of "Life's little ups & downs" as 1 of my Marionette sings in my show. Welcome back to reality, a place where WE do KNOW how you feel! emoticon
    1569 days ago
    emoticon welcome back! This time it will be different. ..look at all the things you learned while you were away!
    1569 days ago
  • ELAINEB1972
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    1569 days ago
    I'm glad you are back. You knew exactly where to come for support and friendship. emoticon
    1569 days ago
    Welcome Back. Great blog. emoticon emoticon You know it works.
    1569 days ago
    emoticon Holly,

    You've made a great decision and you've started the plan again.

    You are right that "Life Happens" and yes it does but the important thing how respond.

    I know this well too.

    We need to remember one day at a time - one step at a time!


    1569 days ago
  • JOE14250
    We all have to get good at starting again New Beginnings!
    1569 days ago
    welcome back holly - your honesty is so powerful, your presentation of food addiction is so interesting - you can get away from the other things, alcohol, cocaine, etc, but food is indeed always there. i know that "life happens" bit - and you know where to come for the most supportive community around. emoticon
    1569 days ago
    emoticon back! WE are so glad you are here! I was in the same place the last two years where I just let myself go because I thought I was untouchable. After I got to my goal weight I didn't think that a little bit of binge eating would affect me, but I found out I was wrong. I am doing so much better this year and plan on staying on that path! WE can do this together and we will! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1569 days ago
  • THOMS1
    Welcome back and thank you for sharing. It really is about those trigger foods. I have no excuse for buying them but on occasion they do find a way into my basket at the supermarket. (Not too often anymore though) of which I am happy about. I wish you success as you get back on track and continue your journey. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1569 days ago
    Welcome back! Together we can and will do this.
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    1569 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    Holly, I would say you slipped just a little but caught yourself before the total backslide. Life happened but you are making it happen now on your terms!! We know you will be back to the old you in no time.
    We are all so proud of you!!,
    1569 days ago
    Welcome back Holly! I like to think of this as Sanity Central! I didn't think of that until I read your blog! Thank you for that. I have been in that food drugged haze and I never want to go back there. I am not perfect! You have made such a great step. You know what to do and it seems you are on your way. Woo Hoo you! Keep at it hon!

    1569 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.