We Are Family...

Monday, March 12, 2012

We are lucky. The Spark Community becomes part of our families. Last year, I was able to improve my health, lose 40 pounds and exercise regularly for the first time in many years. Lots of you were there with me, fighting the same fight with varying degrees of success. We all figured out that with my four magic words (EAT. LESS. MOVE. MORE.) and the support we get here from articles, teams, trackers and most of all, our Spark friends, that we can be successful. We can set goals, meet them, exceed them and this strategy and success can also translate into success with our families, friends, work goals and personal development.
This year has been a far more difficult and challenging year. I am medically fragile, like many of you. Last year, I was rolling faster, stronger and healing up. This year, that wicked roller coaster has been charging downhill, sending me through a spiral of new problems that have seriously interfered with my formerly robust improvement. It's tough. My pain levels ate very high and my function is very poor. I can barely move and require two surgeries. Since I take immunosuppressant infusions once a month, surgery can only be done on two days in the middle of my medication cycle and I heal slowly. It looks like the major back stuff will be done toward the end of April, the knee rebuild in May and I can start exercising in June.
This has happened to me before - twice. I'm chronologically 57 years old, physical health 83 years old and mental health around 6. When you're a china shop and the running of the bulls is going right through you, it is scary, overwhelming, depressing. I shut down for a while, wasn't tracking or posting, trying to get me head around this set back and adjusting my attitude back to high positive. It has been tough but all of you have been my Spark angels: checking on me, encouraging me, sending me goodies, kicking my a$$ ( you know who you are...). You've been family.
So, this time, I have not gained weight and I won't gain weight. Why? I spent a year forming great habits. I can't exercise vigorously but I can strength train and do a few chair exercises. I can stretch. I can track my food intake and adjust it down because of the lack of cardio. I can listen to my friends, my community, my family. I can learn and I can plan for my comeback!
Thanks for watching and caring. Thanks for refusing to let me withdraw. Thanks for the goodies, the notes, the a$$ kicking, the compassion. So, as I sit and wait, get fixed and heal, I will be here. I will be your Spark angel, encouraging you, cheering for you, comforting you and for a few of you, waiting for my turn to kick your behinds! And, come June or July, when I am cleared to go, you'll all be there to watch me charge out of the starting gate like a thoroughbred ready to win the Triple Crown. Just so there's no doubt, let me tell you this loudly and clearly: YOU ARE FAMILY AND I LOVE YOU!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Martha, this is such a great blog (I've written a few like it myself in my four years here... seems every time I get some momentum going, I get slammed with some physical challenge)... I want to drag every newbie over here because so many just can't seem to grasp that it is about lifestyle choices, and no mater what your challenges are, anyone can do this! Thank you for the reminder... I needed it today!

    {{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}
    3306 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    Martha, I am so very sorry to read that you need to have 2 surgeries and are in so much pain right now. But you definitely have a handle on how to do this, and the right attitude. I know that you will soon be up and around and ready rarin' to go!
    3313 days ago
  • TRY2KEEPGOING put the SPARK in SP!!!!! May God give you strength and a return to optimum health. We are all cheering for you too!!! Thanks for being such a wonderful example of optimism and strength!!

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    3318 days ago
  • CHLOESUE are such an inspiration to me.You will be in my thoughts and prayers while you rest and get ready for your surgeries.

    My health and physical being are fine for my age so this gives me more reason that I need to be more active and get in lots of exercise every day.I am starting the Spring 5% Challenge tomorrow and you will be my inspiration.

    I remember how you were able to do the 5K Virtual Walk Run last year.If you can be so active with all of your health concerns I can do much more and have started in that direction once again.

    Please take care and listen to your doctors.You are highly thought of by your Spark Friends.

    3320 days ago
    Well said, Martha. The support systems we have here are invaluable and the other members really do become part of our families.

    3322 days ago
    You are such a sweet, gentle soul. I am so grateful that I am getting to know you. You are so supportive and encouraging to everyone even though you are shouldering so much in you own life. So dear lady, I would love to, in my own clumsy way, be here for you while you heal and wait and when you are ready to work toward that starting gate, I will be there too.
    Love and hugs,
    3322 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/13/2012 4:50:12 PM
    You may feel like an 83 year old physically but you also have the maturity and wisdom that comes from those "extra " years that have piled on your body. You are more mature and wise than my close 90 year old friend! emoticon emoticon
    3323 days ago
  • MICHELLE311106
    You are loved and I'm sure we all will be here to cheer you on as you go through this struggle and heal.
    3323 days ago
    May life treat you kinder and may you sparkle with joy and determination renewed soon.
    3323 days ago
    Fight the good fight Martha we need a leader. I also have had some minor set backs but nothing like yours just some flares, have been on and off good days and bad.

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    3323 days ago
    Ahhhh Sweet Martha,,,, can't say ENOUGH good about ya hon !!! U know how to help me out as I need it, and I hope you know I am 150% behind ya hon !! To laugh , share, learn, grow, and cry as we need it, than to on ward !!!!! We both our own issues, and we DO !! Body wise, I am about 75, though age wise 53, and IF these FOOLISH bones would STOP BREAKING I'd be ABLE TO DO MORE ! With 2 broken toesies now. Thats OK ! I'll paint for now and HAVE FUN with it !! WOOHOOOOO !!! Say at least "we aren't crying over spilled milk !" Thats probably my Moms BIGGEST lesson in life, since I born sickly. "Diane do NOT cry over spilled milk, learn to pick yourself UP and find out what you CAN DO and DO IT !" THANKS MOMMY !!!!!! It HAS taught me things !!!!

    This I also say to you my friend,,, when life has us at our WORSE, think of the things we WANT ! Is what I got out of what Mom was saying,,, (dont cry over spilled milk,,it just needs to cleaned up), learn to pick urself UP (figure out what I WANT TO DO for NO ONE is going to DO THIS FOR ME (us !) and THAN DO IT cos we CAN DO IT !! Martha you CAN DO IT !!! of course somethings we may not be able to, those do NOT matter, for MANY THINGS we CAN !!! U maybe more than me, with my health, but still there ARE THINGS I can DO !!! AND I DO !! WOOHOOOOO LIFE is GREAT depending on our ATTITUDE !! So why cry and be ALL SAD cos of bad health? That just makes it WORSE huh? You've learned it,,,,I SEE it in your writtings !! TY SO MUCH for passing this along, may others read it, and get that HOPE ALSO hon !!!!! I learned it EARLY on. What a DIFFERENCE it has made in being positive for the most part except for some years. And during those I was also learning.

    THANK YOU For being a friend ! And fellah leadah ! This must be Slider behind your page? WOW What a PIC !!! NEAT Dawg !! Looks sooo CUTE !! Where did ALL those FLOWERS come from? PERFECTO !
    3323 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/12/2012 10:43:54 PM
  • no profile photo CD10081037
    Awesome Martha you are such a go getter, way to go!!!
    3323 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10163029
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon methinks we share similar ages! chair exercise will do until u can do more & recover! i just love that you persist... it is a huge turning point, and i understand the start/stop... after i crash, bang, boom, i often pluck naval fuzz a bit and then regroup with just the basics until i'm on a roll again... i do think the mental part is the toughest for me... the rest is mechanics that fall into place when i get the head screwed back on straight! Keep up the fight! U R so worth it :)
    3323 days ago
    I love you too, Martha!

    I have to clear one disagreement: Mental health is more like 31...confident, knowledgeable, caring, and loving........6 is your joy and playfulness!

    My prayers continue for your speedy and effortless recovery, and also in thanks to Him for putting you in my life.

    3323 days ago
    3323 days ago
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