I haven't posted any blogs before, anywhere. I've thought about it from time to time mainly because I thought that putting my feelings down on "paper" (sorry, I'm old school) might be therapeutic. I've had a rough couple of years. Been through some personal stuff, bouts of depression, economic struggles, marital difficulties. Stuff I'm sure most people deal with on a daily basis.
I sort of hit my bottom last year in March. I just kind of broke down one day when I realised I couldn't go on anymore feeling like I was battling through my life without any support from anyone. I had people in my life. I was far from alone but I didn't feel that way because the people that were around me didn't understand that I was going through a crisis. I am the type of person that puts everyone else first. A people pleaser. I tried to push through and be tough and not let anyone know what I was really feeling. Well that didn't work.
After I started therapy and anti-depressants I started to slowly feel better. I realised that one part of my problem was that I didn't like what I saw in the mirror looking back at me. I was never overweight. I was an athlete, active, adventurous. I always felt positive about my body.
But then almost overnight I was suddenly nearing 50. Married with two very young kids, two dogs and a business that was struggling. Is this what a mid-life crisis looks like?? I don't know for sure but I didn't like it.
So step one for me was counselling, step two was medication to help me get back on my feet. Literally.... because I used to spend days in bed or lying on a couch under a blanket trying to be invisible even from my kids. The step that really gave me the best most effective result was discovering Spark People.
In one year I transformed myself.
I don't need to tell you fellow Sparkers what it means to become part of a community of people that really understand, feel and support you. People in similar situations. With similar struggles and similar goals. When you reach out to someone there will always be a hand there ready to pull you up. Encourage you to go on. Try one more time. Help you through that one bad day and get you back on track. Track.
Tracking for me was a life changer.
I hate to diet. And I hated exercise. I hated doing almost everything.
But when I actually tracked my food, and saw in black and white what I was consuming I really got a clear picture of what I was doing to myself. I became almost obsessed. I literally weighed and measured everything that passed my lips. Then I started doing some small 10 minute videos. Just enough to get me huffing and puffing. And I started to walk. That's it. Baby steps.
In a few months I started to feel different. I had a purpose. I wanted to be healthy again. I wanted to look good and feel good about myself. The workouts increased, so did the walking. I got a Spark Tracker for an extra incentive.
I reached my weight goal in just under a year with Spark People. I have been maintaining pretty well since then. I fluctuate a bit here and there. But I find it easy to keep around my weight goal. Now I'm trying to tone up more. The top half of my body is great, it's the bottom half that I struggle with. I can't believe how much my skin has changed as I aged, where does all that elasticity go. Hanging wrinkling skin is really disgusting. It was worth it though because I have two beautiful children that I adore, and I would go through anything and go up against anything for them. I just have to fight extra hard now to get back to how I want myself to be.
The first six months on Spark when I started to walk more I took my dogs with me for company. I had two, a male and female, Belgian shepherds. My husband and I got Sasha in the fall of 2000 just before we were married. And in the fall of 2002 we found Odie, a cute black abandoned puppy wandering the streets alone who was in miserable shape. As soon as he met Sasha he snuggled between her front legs and wouldn't leave her.
And so we started our family. My kids came much later, I had difficulty conceiving and Sasha and Odie were always there for me. A snuggle, a smile, comfort. I'm starting to cry now as I type this because Sasha wasn't here this morning when I got up. She passed away yesterday afternoon in her sleep. I've been kind of numb but as I type I'm starting to realise that I haven't really let myself feel anything because as usual I'm trying to be tough. I don't want the kids too upset. And my husband is the type who keeps everything bottled up and does not express any emotion.
Odie died in October. He had a stroke and we had to put him to sleep. He was old but it happened so fast. It was hard to lose him, my little boy, but I took comfort in Sasha. I still had my girl. She kept my mind occupied and she helped me not miss Odie so much. She was old. She was having a harder time walking around. And then we found out she was sick. We started to coddle her, and care for her. She couldn't go up and down the stairs so I carried her. She started losing control of her bowels so I kept her in diapers. She started to lose her appetite so I would feed her. But she still had her spirit. She still wanted to get up and walk even though she would fall over. A few days ago I knew it was her time. I could sense it, so could she I think. They are together now, my babies. And this morning I didn't have either one of them here. I think I will mourn them both now, together. They were always together. Sasha was the boss and always got her way. Odie was just a pushover and didn't care what she did to him. He was always so good hearted.
I don't know what I'm going to do now. I haven't been outside today. I haven't walked with them now for months because they weren't able to keep up in the end. But I don't want to go out. I don't want to leave because they won't be here when I get back. I can't believe how much it hurts. I'm going to go have a good cry now. One day at a time isn't that what I've been doing this whole past year on Spark. I'll get through just this afternoon, then tonight, then tomorrow morning. Baby steps will help get me through. Baby steps.