RIAKING   5,727
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The year 2013 has, so far, been a series of "firsts" for me since my husband passed away in February. The first Valentine's Day and St Patrick's Day alone. The first Spring, and the first Easter without him to share it with. Our Anniversary was May 14th (36 years) and May 24th was his birthday (he would have been 69), both spent without him. Although I go through the motions, and do and say all the right things, these firsts are sometimes so unbearable, I think I am going to explode! I do not know who I am without him. I wonder - when will I be able to stand alone, or feel whole again? I am told, and logically I know, that I have to let myself grieve, and let my faith carry me through each day as it comes - but I'll tell you, those "firsts" are a killer!

My profile says I have been a member of SparkPeople since 2009, but the fact is, that was just the year I joined, only to abandon it weeks later. Losing weight is so hard. I cannot honestly say I know how it is to live a healthy lifestyle – and both scares me to death. I am plagued with the fear of failing once again and wish with all my heart that I had Charlie here to help me - he was my biggest cheerleader!

Thankfully, SparkPeople came at a time when I needed some control over the changes in my life - to make my own "firsts" if you will. The first time to find a diet I can live with, the first time to feel in control of my eating, the first time to lose weight and keep it off. These are "firsts" I can live with. I thank God for directing me once again to this site. I know this is not a miracle cure, and that it is going to take hard work - because it is hard!

I have lost 19 pounds to date. I have not gotten to a place where I can say I have made a permanent lifestyle change, but I know that this is the direction I want to go in and that for right now I am going to push forward until I reach my goal. So...today I choose to have a better day – it is after all, the first day of the rest of my life. (did I really just say that?) Thank you SparkPeople for being there just at the right time!

emoticon Maria

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MT-MOONCHASER 5/26/2013 1:59PM

    I am with you on the "first" happenings, only it wasn't my husband I lost (divorce happened 35+ years ago), it was my younger son who was killed in a car wreck last November.

I miss him so much, he lived with me for the last 13 months of his life and was such a help to me. Supper time is very hard, as he usually fixed supper. I am just now starting to take an interest in fixing more healthy suppers for myself instead of just grazing when I get home from work.

I'm sure that we will get through this one way or the other. It is up to us as to how healthy a lifestyle we choose.

I hope you have a pleasant Memorial Day weekend.



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RIAKING 5/25/2013 1:56PM

    Thank you so much for your kind words - Cheryl, Kathleen and Elsie. You all are the perfect example of why God has directed me to this site! This is truly where I need to be.
I am exited about my weight loss and know that Charlie would have been also - he was always so supportive of my attempts and loved me unconditionally!! Today is truly a good day!!!

With love and gratitude,


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SAINTBERNARD6 5/25/2013 12:36PM

    Having been through the "year of firsts", I do know how hard it is. There will be good days and bad days. Remember God is there even when we can't always feel His presence, he still holds and carries us. I can't say when the pain lessens, I just know that eventually the happy memories will overtake the sad ones. The missing part doesn't go away--at least mine hasn't and my hubby stepped into Heave in 2004.

Blessings and hugs...God's angels will carry you....Elsie

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AKATHLEEN54 5/25/2013 11:10AM

It is so sad reading about your list of firsts, but as a lot of people have told you that I'm sure is one of the steps you take while you grieve. And as hard as it is you are taking the steps toward recognizing that you have to learn how to live differently now, but that doesn't mean it can't be good.... it's just different. Just look at it as a different phase of of your life. It's a new journey with adaptations, changes, but good things will be happening. Just as this new lifestyle is hard, which it definitely is, getting used to going about your daily life without Charlie by your side is very hard, but each day will get easier. The pain will start to fade but you will never forget. So too this lifestyle will get easier as you adapt to new choices but you will never forget about the foods you used to love and sometimes you will indulge (you are not normal if you don't) As as you go along you will get more fit, healthier and stronger I may have told you I joined spark in January of 2012 but that was all I did... I joined and never went to the website again. They I don't really know what changed but when I came back to it a year later I was ready and have stuck with it since. I think the key word is that you have to be ready and it really sounds as though you are. You sound committed, motivated and you should certainly by motivated by your weight loss thus far.... that's amazing. You are on your way to the new you, but deep inside you will always be yourself so don't every let that go!! emoticon

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BLUENOSE63 5/25/2013 10:20AM


First of all let me say how sorry I am about your husband's passing. Never an easy thing as my Mom went through the same thing 7 years ago and she said the pain lessens but never really goes away but rather you learn to live with it and through it.....I hope you will be there soon

Congrats on the weight loss.

God Bless


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Get the Spark Solution

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Unless you are reading the Bible, you are not going to get a miracle cure from just reading a book. If that is what you are looking for, than the "Spark Solution" is not for you. There is no miracle cure for losing weight! Becoming and staying healthy is hard work. I do not think there is a person on this site who will not agree. You have to be committed to changing a lifestyle that until now has been literally sucking the life out of you. So then why invest in something that will not in itself change my life? Good question.

I love the book; I love the recipes and the tips, and although I am not following the menus the way they are given in the book I am gleaning what I can use and putting aside what doesn't work for me. It's kind of like chewing on the meat and spitting out the bones (no pun intended).

I found that 1500 calories was way too much food for me to lose weight (I'm under 5'2" and over 50) so I had to cut back to 1200-1300 and that seems to be working better for me. I am learning what works and what doesn't and how to use that knowledge - from reading this book.

"Spark Solution" is easy to read and easy to follow. I would definitely recommend the book even if it was just to confirm what you already know. It is definitely a good reference/guide book for anyone who is serious about losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle. But understand this first! Commitment is the key to making this book a success!

With that being said, all the books in the world will not help if you do not have the support of others who are going through the same struggles you are - and that my friends, you can get right here on this site.

Together ("Spark Solution & SparkPeople) how can We go wrong?



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MT-MOONCHASER 5/26/2013 1:23PM

    We CAN'T go wrong with this combo, as long as we keep using it.

Have a good Memorial Day weekend!



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Up Down

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Have you ever had a song pop into your head out of the blue? It gets stuck there and you just can't seem to shake it. It just keeps going around and around in your head until it makes your mind begin to wander...
Unfortunately this is when past mistakes, past hurts, past anxieties and fears manage to come to the forefront! The triggers are ever so slight, but very effective.
I had a lapse in time today. I couldn't shake the song in my head and then it got me thinking. Except my thoughts were all over the place and I was in danger of going to that dark place that always seemed to engulf me. Only this time it was different. I refused to give into it. A prayer, a determination and an email from a friend, made me realize the importance of friendships and the encouragement they bring, the love and support of family, AND the strength I get from a God who loves me unconditionally. I didn't concentrate so much on the past in terms of setbacks but as as a catalyst to a better future. Wisdom is a wonderful thing. It helps you make better choices and keeps you safe. What have I learned from my past? And how can I apply it now? Wishing I knew then what I know now doesn't help much unless I actually begin to use what I've learned in the here and now.
All these wandering thoughts eventually started me thinking about what I was trying to achieve today, this week and the weeks to come. I have, at my fingertips, the tools and the support I need to succeed right here on this website, with my family and with Christ, through whom I can do all things - Philippians 4:13
I always thought of life as a trampoline - the harder you hit the higher you go! Maybe that's why the song kept swirling in my head causing me to hum through my exercise routine and while I went about my day today. The song? Jump rope by Blue October - here are just a few lines to get you humming too. Good luck to all of us in this journey!

Jump Rope by Blue October

Remember how you used to say 
"you couldn't wait till tomorrow for a brand new day" 
No fuss when ya had to ride the bus 
You could add a little blush 
Just to paralyze your school crush 

Now your older and the weight upon your shoulder 
Makes the world a little colder 
No more hidin in the old days 
Be strong 
Don't give up hope 
It will get hard 
Cause life's like a jump rope 

Up down when it gets hard remember life's like a jump rope 

I want to tell you that everything will be okay 
That everything will eventually turn itself to gold 
Keep pushin through it all 
Don't follow, lead the way 
Don't lose yourself or your hope 

Remember life's like a jump rope

emoticon Maria

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAFTSFAN1 5/21/2013 8:11PM

    Very good blog, RIAKING. It reminded me of a thought I used to have to shake dark thoughts of fear, past mistakes, etc. etc. "Right now I have the freedom to pick the thought that I want, either something nice, or a dream, or a hope, or about solutions, etc." Almost all the time it worked!
Sometimes we need reminders and you provided me of one. Thank you. emoticon emoticon

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LASTBASTION 5/16/2013 2:51PM


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Keeping on Track With the Spark Solution

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Yesterday was hard for me, although I was able to stay as close to my calorie range as possible, I was away from home and on the road all day and home very late. That meant three meals out. But...I am completely back on track which is a first for me!!! I am not following the menu exactly as it is given, but keeping the foods and calorie counts very similar. I think what is working the best for me is that I have a Spark Friend that is allowing me to be accountable to her. The extra encouragement really makes a difference.
I do have very strong family support ( they want to keep me around for a long time) but it somehow helps even more when you are getting support from someone who does not have an agenda if that makes sense?
I wish I had done this when I was younger, but what's past is past! I am looking forward to a brighter future.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELMA1913 5/22/2013 8:46AM

    Keep at it!

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ARDINGLO 5/19/2013 8:03PM


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SANDICANE 5/19/2013 6:59AM

    Yep, my SparkFriends are the best!

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TFMNOW 5/16/2013 1:32PM

    Happy to hear you are doing so well keeping with the program. emoticon

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AKATHLEEN54 5/15/2013 9:36PM

    I am so glad that you are finding a way to make this work for you. It really helps when you have someone to be accountable to and there is always more encouragement here whenever you need. it.
I've been considering buying the Spark Solution to help me get to goal. I don't know if it would make it easier or more difficult. I can usually stick to my calorie range, but I never really know what to eat and always end up eating the same. thing. Sometimes I just wish someone would say.... OK ..... eat this and I'm done. Are you finding that it involves a lot of prep and cooking... I heard that from another member.
It is never too late to be making the change. You have a very bright future and your family will be so happy that you will be around for them. emoticon

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SJWILLI83 5/15/2013 6:08PM

    Way to go! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/15/2013 6:08:58 PM

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The Out of Control Spiral

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

There are so many things that have happened over the past few months that I have had no control over whatsoever! The loss of my home and the sense of independence it brought, the love and familiarity of friends when we moved from Vermont to Rhode Island, and then the loss of my husband of 36 years to lung cancer.
I never did have control over my weight in the past. It (control) always seemed to be that elusive butterfly meant to be in someone else's garden! This time however, I am going to take control. I am going to lose the weight and keep it off. I have to. I need to have control of something in my life! But I cannot do it alone and that is why I am here. Hopefully with the help of others I will succeed this time - and take control!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KYLIECAT1 5/12/2013 12:52PM

    I wish you luck on your journey . Every time I say I am going to * take control * I fail ! I have now replaced that word with *take care * . I pick my favorite voice * Angela Lansbery * and do a lot of self talking ! Count me as one of your supporters ! :)

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AKATHLEEN54 5/8/2013 9:38PM

    You have the desire and you have the friends here. This is absolutely something you CAN control. This will make you feel better and I guarantee once that starts to happen a lot of other things in your life will start to get better as well. Everyone here on this site wants to help people. Just stay active in the community and get involved with some spark teams and you will be well on your way!! emoticon emoticon

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