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I promise ... I really didn't go away!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Those who know me well, know that sometimes I must retreat and regroup .... It is good for the soul and strengthens the spirit.

Over a year ago, I impetuously decided that I was going to finish school. I had paid the tuition and was on "short leave" when I had my foot/ankle reconstruction and all that that entailed. Two years passed quickly - my precious cat, Mallory Anna's health deteriorated -- and then there was Spark!!! I make no excuses for my Spark time -- I have met friends on Spark that I have laughed with, cried with, loved and supported -- and whether I ever meet them, it matters not to me.... I am blessed to call them "friend."

I gained the proverbial "Freshmen Fifteen" -- and then some.... I immersed myself in my studies. Again, the person who needed me the most was me .. and I didn't have the time. I had fought long and hard to honor me ... to love and nurture myself. And quickly, easily, without so much as a parade or fanfare, I found myself right back at Square One-- thinking I had licked this thing for once and for all. But this time was different. This time I couldn't do all my usual tricks to lose it quickly ... This time, I had to go back to the basics and find the blessing in all of this.

You see, I had gotten where I was apologizing for being me ... ashamed once again for being fat -- which is really weird considering I was 267 lbs once upon a time. But this extra weight really bugged me big time ... Why??? Because I was judging myself harshly thinking that I should know better. All the things that I espouse and hold dear were causally, carelessly, without a second thought, tossed out the window...

On January 10, 2010, I decided it was time to recommit to me ... To begin the process of forgiving myself for gaining weight and getting into the predicament I found myself. And, perhaps more importantly, to find the blessing in this setback. I had to begin to take care of myself once again -- to nurture, accept, and honor me just as I love and honor those in my life. I had time for everyone -- but me. And, as I always say, If I don't take care of me, then who will????

Back to basics is where I found myself last January. I remember huffing and puffing in the gym barely able to do what I once did with relative ease. I embraced it all. I kept a diary once again ... I critically looked at what I ate (and had to eliminate all soy from my diet); began weighing my food, exercising daily -- and I began losing weight with my weekly weight ins -- sometimes only one ounce at a time -- literally. And I was glad to lose that!! The year before, I was angry because I felt my body had betrayed me ... But the truth be told, I had betrayed it with all the years of abuse, crappy eating and yo yo dieting.

Mid-Spring I was putting dishes in the dishwasher, when my brother Dave (as y’all know, my confidant and diet bud – btw -- everyone should have one!!) sauntered in to have a protein drink with me. He, too, packed on the lbs. -- but he jokingly says he is back on the "Joanne Plan." I shared with Dave what I know to be true -- and that is, there is a moment when a life lesson and life blessing is born --- when everything crystallises and makes itself known. My life lesson was that it is never okay to ever apologize for being who we are ---- ever. Regardless of what we weigh. We all have value and purpose - and we all deserve the same love, honor and respect that we so lovingly, easily, give to those in our lives. And I can say with authority, our value and worth is not contingent on what the scale says …. I promise. The scale is merely a measurement – it is not something that should ever determine who we are and how we show up in the world.

Yup ... I''m back... With more Life Lessons learned to share!!!

Thank you **ALL** for your love, support and friendship ... Your friendship and understanding has sustained me -- more than you know.... God Bless you all.

Special love and appreciation to one of the best friends a girl could ever have -- My Michlea who never ceases to amaze me with her love, understanding and friendship and who stood by my side during Mallory Anna's illness. I could not love and appreciate you more if you and I were related, Mich.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hello Gorgeous....I sure do miss you Joanne. So many blessings have manifested in the past few months that I would love to share with you. Happy Holidays old friend and "May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.
    3879 days ago
    Thank you for reminding me exactly what I need to do for myself and for giving me some valuable tips and for your newfound frindship...I know one day I will be as fit and as strong as you are!!! emoticon emoticon
    3942 days ago
    I almost want to copy and paste this into my page!! Very similar story with the names chaged to protect the inocent!!! I have relized what I need to do for myself! I have so misssed you and your wisdom!
    Love you,
    3944 days ago
    Glad to see you're back....Ive gone through the same problem,without the self-apologies,weighing more now than I ever have without being pregnant.Being overweight does not bother me no as much as it did three years ago. But,like you,I'm not going to pack on any more pounds.

    Glad to have read this,very sorry about Mallory Anna emoticon

    You're a tough cookie emoticon who is very beautiful in many ways...hope you see that emoticon
    emoticon F
    3995 days ago
    I read your blog post and felt I was reading about me. I too have become so ashamed with myself for becoming fat again. The good thing is I have not given up. I am back on this journey once again. I am starting back at the beginning, taking the baby steps necessary. Everyday seems to bring some sort of obstacle to overcome, but these only make me stronger and more determined than ever. Thank you for the reminder to love and respect myself. It is so easy to forget about yourself and so difficult to forgive. Bless you! emoticon
    4050 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3019359
    Wow that is just what I needed to see. I did the same thing, I had to finish my Master's and like you said, the focus on my body was the first to go. My routine of watching my food went right out the window and I was eating whatever I could find that was quick and easy. I am so sorry for leaving Spark, but I am back and hope to get back on track again. But, like you said, regardless of the scales, we deserve love and respect, each of us! I love and respect you my friend!! :) emoticon emoticon
    4055 days ago
  • JULIE2990
    Welcome back Joannie..missed seeing your smile. We can all do the very best we can given our circumstances..this is a journey not a destination....God bless you too!
    4057 days ago
    Hey BEAUTIFUL lady; I am so glad to see your recommitted to you!! I love seeing your wisdom and so enjoyed the e-mails we shared! You truly are the most amazing person I know! Even when I knew you were MIA on SP for sometime I would look at your Picture and read your life lessons that were already posted. It just is so amazing the journey that you have taken. Numbers are that numbers! You my darling ;look absolutely AMAZING!

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    4061 days ago
    It is wonderful to see you back again. I missed you!! I know exactly what you are talking about, I too have gained back weight and am still struggling to get back on track.

    I know you will do well and again glad you are back.

    4061 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4516954
    You're just gorgeous!
    4061 days ago
    4061 days ago
  • ACACIA21
    My sweet friend, you are so beautiful . It's nice to see you here again, and I am happy that you want to share with all of us who adore you. I have taken a break too, but I am also happiest when I take care of me, too. You have been so special to me in these last couple of years and I think of you everyday. The encouragement you give to others is so wonderful and you have such a tender loving heart. I guess this sounds like a love letter. It IS! emoticon
    4061 days ago
    Sounds like you have a great plan. I truly believe that you will accomplish what you are setting out to do. Good luck! emoticon
    4061 days ago
    Dearest Joanne:

    As always, beautifully written and insightful as is your way. Thanks for sharing this journey with me and for being my "exercise buddy" extraordinaire. I salute you for your commitment and dedication. We have been doing this particular part of our personal health and improvement plan "re-booted" if you would for 163 days. I have dropped 44 pounds since December '09 after packing it back on. It was painful and a drag, but I learned much from what being unmotivated, uncommitted and lazy. It is hard work, but then, those things that are valuable and worth something require time and effort. Glad that you have been able to write and post once again. See you in the gym soon. Keep up the great work!

    Love always,

    David emoticon emoticon emoticon
    4061 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/22/2010 6:53:17 PM
    I have missed your smiling face on these pages...but I knew you were taking care of YOU and that was what you needed at the time. Welcome back luv-muffin! Now you are smarter, sexier and more determined than ever before!
    4061 days ago
    My precious Dollface! My life is blessed for having you in it and I am so honoured that I am your friend but as far as I am concerned we are related. I could not ask for a more caring friend to call my sister and you are always there to support me through my struggles. You are a very special person and give so much of yourself to everyone and now it is time for us to give you all the support you need to do this for yourself again. I will be cheering you on every step of the way sweetie!

    Love you

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    4061 days ago
    Yes...what a familiar story.....I do think we are.....any of us...perfect...just forgiven! I'm happy that you have your brother and your sparkfriends. Michela is pretty darn AWESOME! Anyone who can uplift us when we're down, soothe our weary souls....is a good friend. Sounds as though you have it figured out...Now you have to keep yourself in the "site" and carry on, my friend. You are stunning....whatever you weigh, but I know that you'll be happiest when you are healthy, too. You're doing great. I sometimes think that life is supposed to be like this....ups, downs, happiness and sadness. We are supposed to feel it all.....Keep the spark blazin', darlin', cuz I know that you will! XO MaryAnn emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    emoticon blog!!!!!! You are emoticon
    4062 days ago
    Joannie, welcome back! But it sounds like you never really went away! No matter what you weigh, you are truly a special person. A big congratulations for returning to school and feeing your mind AND your body with good stuff!
    4062 days ago
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