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LOVEXAVIE SparkPoints: (42,809)
Fitness Minutes: (48,231)
Posts: 2,449
3/7/13 11:00 A

What a great post, CUD333!
To the orig poster, you CAN do this! Never quit. All you need is for one time to have it all *click* and you will be well on your way.
If I had quit trying, I never would have found what worked / clicked for me, and I would still be where I was (or worse) in July 2011.
There are incredible resources of info and inspiration on Spark. Just go for it!!

COREY04 Posts: 80
3/7/13 9:08 A

The journey truly is the destination. Our life just doesn't begin when we are perfect. It is here and now. While we all work toward our goals, it is important to remember that we have amazing things to offer every day and that we have lots of good things in our lives.
Every morning I think about what I can do to make this an amazing day. Every night I think back and find three incredible things to be thankful for. Every day I work my hardest to control what I can control.

PCOH051610 SparkPoints: (89,662)
Fitness Minutes: (82,969)
Posts: 5,805
3/6/13 6:36 P

Is it possible that once you get so far along the weight loss path that you get afraid of who you are turning into? I live with depression and both times I've gotten near to 200 pounds I panic and give up. Like others said we have to shop thinking of this as an all or nothing thing. We should be embracing the little changes that we can each make that will eventually morph into big changes without being upsetting.



QUIXOTIA SparkPoints: (775)
Fitness Minutes: (245)
Posts: 16
3/6/13 2:10 P

Wow, thank you all so, so much for your thoughtful and useful responses! I really appreciate it.

What I'm hearing loud and clear from you all is:
-Make sure my health is in order (It is btw; I've had my thyroid and blood sugar tested in the last year and it's all good).
-Recognize the good things I'm already doing (this is one that's so easy to forget).
-Don't take an 'all or nothing' approach. Start small and be consistent. Don't focus only on weight loss; take all kinds of measurements (physcial and emotional) into account to measure progress.
-Incorporate more fitness opportunities into my daily routine (I especially loved BETHS60's suggestion of running with the dog, and LUMI6234's suggestion of taking a health break at work – I already know the set of stairs I can use to get a burst of anti-sedentary energy). This way it doesn't feel like something that's going to take up more time but is instead making better use of the time I'm already spending doing things.
-Remember I am not alone in this struggle, and that setbacks are part of the process. I always really liked that expression that goes something like, “Fall down eight times, get up nine.”

Thanks again guys. :)

ARCHIMEDESII SparkPoints: (197,206)
Fitness Minutes: (294,448)
Posts: 27,083
3/6/13 12:05 P


I give all new members one piece of advice and it's this,"Don't look at good health or weight loss with an all or nothing mentality". if the only healthy thing you did for yourself today was drink 8 glasses of water, that's still a step in the right direction.

While I firmly believe in the importance of setting goals, I also believe that those goals should be realistic as well as attainable.

Here are my goals for 2013:
- Run a 5k before I turn 31 (in mid-May)
- Lose 30 pounds and/ or 3-4 pants sizes (I want to fit into the clothes I already own)
- Break my binge-eating cycle for good (it gets so bad sometimes that I've found myself mindlessly dipping cashews into straight up butter and eating them)

I won't say that these goals are not realistic, but you may be biting off more than you can chew to start out. Pardon the pun. My recommendation would be to pick ONE goal to concentrate on first. Don't worry about the rest. I suspect that one reason you end up giving up is because you're trying to do too much at one. That's why Spark People encourages its members to start with simple goals first.

Example, if you're not drinking 8 glasses of water, set a goal to drink 2-4 glasses each day for one week. If you're not getting any regular exercise, don't try to do an hour a day, set a goal to take a 30 minute walk each day for one week. If you're not eating 6-9 servings of fresh fruit and veggies each day, set a goal to eat 2-3 servings each day for one week. Once you've achieved these goals. then you set new ones.

Setting simple goals helps a person from becoming overwhelmed and giving up. Because honestly, trying to lose 30-40 pounds is a lot of work. Now you want to do a 5k, beat binging, etc... that's a lot to ask of yourself. So, instead of trying to do everything, why not set some simple goals for the week ?

And if you would like to do a 5K, I'd recommend starting with a good Couch to 5K program. A Couch to 5K assumes no prior running experience and will literally take you from your couch to a 5K road race. Start here....

Also, if you're going to start running, make sure you're wearing proper running shoes. Don't wear any old shoe. If you're going to run, your feet are going to need proper support. Make sure you are fitted by a reputable running store. If you don't have a running store near you, go to a reputable sports store that has people knowledgeable about fitting shoes. Wearing the wrong shoes can cause a lot of problems with your feet. Don't skimp on your feet. You can learn more about fitting shoes here.

When you go to get fitted for shoes, you'll know what the sales person is talking about. And if they don't know how to fit running shoes, go to a store that does.

Take baby steps literally and figuratively if you want to be successful.

LUMI6234 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (13,817)
Posts: 29
3/6/13 11:22 A

Congrats on taking the first steps!

I can identify with a lot of what you said. I am (hopefully) on my final attempt to lose weight and have done a number of things different this go around. I think losing weight is a much different journey for everyone so these suggestions might not help you but I hope they do :)

I have always been an all or nothing, dive super hard core into it and then get frustrated when results weren't up to my expectations type of dieter. I think this kind of approach just sets you up for failure. Especially when your results are only hinged on weight loss.
I am a long time 30 Day Shredder and honestly I never lose a significant amount of weight from it *alone* so I am not surprised that you aren't either. What I DO get from 30 Day Shred is a lot of toning and inches lost. Back in April of last year I did 19 days of Shred in about a 30 day period and my stomach measurement was actually thinner at 172 lbs than it was at my more recent weight of 161. That was shocking to me so I just recently picked that up again, which brings me to my main point and that is that I find it a lot easier to avoid result expectations issues when I track multiple things. So now instead of just weight I track my % body fat and all my measurements. Some weeks I will have very little results scale wise but generally my % BF or measurements will go down so I don't feel as frustrated by it.

Another thing to address results expectation issues is to create goals that have more controllable results that have the side benefit of weight loss. I think the 5k goal is an excellent idea. I have done the same thing! I signed up for the Color Run and I have been doing a C25K program to train. Now my goal is to finish that program which is completely within my control versus just some sort of arbitrary weight.

I would also suggest adding some more smaller goals to your list. When I first started again I did it pretty slow. I also have a desk job and it is so hard to get away from it sometimes but sitting for such a long period of time without moving is so unhealthy and also shuts down your metabolism. So to start I made sure I was getting up at least once every 2 hrs even if it was just to refill my water. Then I started walking the parking lot 2x a day for 10 mins. This was hard b/c at my job there is always such an urgency about deadlines. 10 mins doesn't seem like a big deal (and it really isn't) but the pressure is always there. Now I have progressed to doing 2x 20 min walks in the neighboring parking lot b/c it has a huge hill. I get a significant burn from it so it greatly reduces what I have to do when I get home to reach my burn, keeps my metabolism moving and I just generally feel a lot better at work after. This has required me to say no I am sorry I will need extra time to finish X task but I finally came to the realization that if people can go out and take multiple smoke breaks throughout the day I can take the time for myself to get healthier. Sometimes you just have to fight for yourself. So create some smaller goals for yourself to strive for every day. Also, treat every day as a its own day. Forget about slip ups made the day before and don't think about how far you still have to go. Just keep making the healthiest decisions you can day to day and it will add up to the results you are striving for. It might not happen as fast as you want it to but ultimately time is going to pass whether you are doing what you need to do or not. So you can either choose to give up b/c its not going fast enough and when your goal date arrives have regrets that you stopped (which I have done many many times) or you can keep going slowly whittling down your weight and realizing that you may not reach your goal weight on your goal date but you will be thinner and you will make progress and eventually as long as you don't stop it will happen!

I am not sure what your financial situation is but I also highly recommend the Bodymedia tracker (if you get it from Costco it comes with a free 1 yr sub). It will keep you honest. There are days where I think I busted my bum only to realize that I am still short of my target burn and more times then not I will throw on an exercise video to reach the burn. It has also helped me see what works. When I skip my walks at work there is a HUGE difference in my burn for the day. So when I don't feel like taking my walk b/c it is raining or cold I ask myself "well will you be satisfied with only burning 1550 cals by the time you get home?" (versus the 1800ish I get with my walks) The answer is always no :)

My own personal results aren't what I would consider impressive but they aren't bad either. I have lost about 9 lbs in 7 weeks. There are times when I will rant to my husband about my lack of results when I go through a plateau but I always end with "it doesn't matter I am going to keep going."

I wish you much luck with your journey! It sounds like we will have a similar exercise plan :)

BETHS60 Posts: 569
3/6/13 8:30 A

It sounds like you have a lot going for you. You have a good understanding that you are creating a new lifestyle rather than just losing some weight in the short term. You have set some goals. You're pretty healthy, and from your picture it looks like you might be close to family.

I do think that you might consider the suggestion for getting evaluated by a doctor. Get things like your thyroid and blood sugar checked to make sure that you don't have something weird gong on that is affecting you health and your mood.

It takes 21 days to develop a habit. I am a firm believer in developing new habits slowly rather than trying to do everything at once. For example, if you want to run that 5k, this would be the time to start training. I ran my first 5k at 39, so it can be done, even by a non-athlete. Anything you can do outside and in daylight will help your mood. But if you can get in the habit of running a couple of times a week, it will help. I went running with my husband of whole family every Saturday morning for years. It got to be a habit, something we looked forward to. We went to to a nearby lake that had a 2 mile path around it. We could take the dog on a leash.

If your dog can run, he or she might enjoy coming with you, if you want to turn one of your walks into a training run by upping your speed and distance. Since you already have the habit of walking your dog, it might be a good place to start.

After you have established a habit and don't have to think about it, add a new one.

I used to work at a desk in a fairly large office building. Here are some things that helped me.
1. Take the stairs. I worked on the 4th floor, so I was up and down several times a day.
2. Take the long route. There's no law that says you have to go to the closest bathroom or break room.
3. Find some walking buddies for lunch hour.
4. Keep water on your desk so that you will keep hydrated. Having to refill your glass is a good excuse to get up and walk.

REDMOUNTAIN SparkPoints: (7,926)
Fitness Minutes: (4,770)
Posts: 176
3/6/13 12:53 A

I have a lot of failures in my past with losing and regaining. I find taking it just 1 day at a time helps me.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (247,264)
Fitness Minutes: (41,412)
Posts: 26,811
3/5/13 8:34 P

Hi! First I would suggest that you make an appointment with your Dr to see if there is something medical going on. You c/o feeling older and slower - unfortunately a lot of us can attest to that, however when it start to affect us as it appears to affect you, it really needs to be checked to see if perhaps hypothyroidism or low iron etc., could be part of the problem with sluggishness and depression. Is it possible that you could be going through menopause? Are you on any meds which could be affecting you like this (including anti-depressant/anti-anxiety meds.

You mention being a vegetarian, so it is possible that you aren't eating a really balanced diet with all the nutrients. A referral to a Dietitian might be appropriate for that, and if need be, he/she will be able to get you sorted re supplements. If you don't already, weigh all of your food and enter it into the Nutrition Tracker. Then you will be able to tweak as and when needed. You would also find that by doing this you can take some Nutrition Printouts to the Dietitian which will help him/her considerably.

I have also suffered from Depression in a big way - I went to have a peek at your SparkPage to find out more about you, but it is set to "private". If you don't belong to a team for people with Depression, you may find that you will benefit from it. You can access my signature below to check our team out if you don't belong to one.

As far as your Depression and Anxiety is concerned, have you got a Therapist? If not, you may find it really helpful - particularly with the Anxiety. It often responds really well to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Also, if you aren't on meds, it might be a good idea to talk with your Dr about them, but if you are, then talking with your Dr about how things are going would be great too, because they may need tweaking a bit.

Where it comes to exercise, you don't need to go to a gym. I get the bulk of exercise in my own home, putting my groceries and laundry away one at a time. Sometimes I can get a considerable walk in doing that, and for me it has the added pluses of being on even ground so I don't have jolting/jarring on my spine and hips, and also if fatigue or pain sets in, I can sit without having to go anywhere to sit, or walk back home. Also, it means that I can do it whenever I want with total disregard to the weather. The icing on the cake, tho', is that it doesn't seem like work, but it also doesn't seem like exercise. To me that is a win/win situation.

Only you can truly motivate yourself - YOU need to want this and do it. Remember to just start off with baby steps, changing only one or two things to start with, and only when your mind/body has gotten used to the changes, add something else to the mix. This applies to reducing calories, too. Sudden drops can cause problems for some - I well remember suffering from nausea and lightheaded, and being woken in the middle of the night with it, and with abdominal pain from the hunger. I had to go back up and gradually work down in small increments.

Take care,

HEALTHYNCGAL SparkPoints: (10,967)
Fitness Minutes: (6,105)
Posts: 107
3/5/13 7:22 P

Wow. We have soooooooo much in common. Honestly, I could have just about written your entire post. I see so many similarities in my experiences and in yours. I just thought you'd like to know there is someone else out there battling the same demons. I sure know I feel a lot better knowing someone (you!) understands how it feels.

I have yo-yoed for many, many years. I do really well for a while but can't stick with anything long enough to get to my goal. I have re-started I don't know how many times, and have lost and gained literally hundreds of pounds over the years. For example, a few years ago, I was in a couple different weddings. I'd exercise and eat PERFECTLY (or so I thought) and lose a lot of weight for the wedding. Then I'd take that weekend off. Then the weekend became a week, then a month, then before I knew it I was back up to my high weight again. What I didn't realize at the time was that I was doing too much. I wasn't giving myself any breathing room and then when I got to the day of the wedding I was in, I just couldn't do it anymore. I go about things in the wrong way (I am very all-or-nothing. I either completely deprive myself -ie, no carbs, no 'whatever' -- or I don't deprive myself of anything). I am also vegetarian (but I'm almost completely vegan). I know exactly what you mean when you say small setbacks seem enormous. I'm learning to teach myself balance, and I'm also learning about real nutrition. Like you, I desire a total lifestyle change. The hard part is, when you're going from one end of the spectrum to the other, that can be a very hard change to make. It just takes time, and trial and error. When I find something that works, I want to stick with it. When I "fail" I try not to see it as a "failure" per se, but something that just didn't work for me. I learn from it and move on.

I don't think your expecations are unrealistic. (If they are, then mine are too! LOL) I think it's totally easy to get discouraged when you don't see the results you want to see in the time you want to see them. I am the SAME WAY.

PS. I did (some of) Jillian Michaels' Shred too! Holy cow that workout is hardddddddddddd.

Edited by: HEALTHYNCGAL at: 3/5/2013 (19:23)
STARDUST2K4 Posts: 1,376
3/5/13 7:19 P

Hey! Just wanted to let you know that you're not alone! I suffer from depression and anxiety too (and oddly, I'm studying sociology to get into a graduate program in the near future for social work! Lol!)
Anywho, I've had issues starting, stopping, and restarting so many times it makes me ill. One important thing thing I've learned is that everyone is different and what might work for one person may not work for another. That being said, one thing that most people CAN agree on is the fact that this is NOT all or nothing. I've tried the all or nothing, and it didn't work. Yet I tried it more than once expecting to get a different result (the definition of insanity? Lol) .I ended up getting discouraged, and quitting, and then gaining the weight back. You don't have to be extreme to start-nor is it advised. Though being that you are already fairly active, it sounds like you might have to actually push yourself a little bit physically. Try maybe going even 5 minutes longer on your walks. Maybe challenge yourself to beat your last time on the same route?

There are lots of little things that you can do that will add up. Even if you don't see results right away, each decision is a chance to better your health. It's not just about what the scale says. It's about how you feel too!

QUIXOTIA SparkPoints: (775)
Fitness Minutes: (245)
Posts: 16
3/5/13 6:14 P

Hi all,

This is long so thank you in advance for reading it. I'm seeking advice for how to do things differently this time around so that I can meet my goals but I'm feeling like I don't know how to keep motivated. I've started out lots of times but never kept this lifestyle change I'm looking for going. I read the stories of Sparkers who've succeeded with far loftier goals than my own, and I'm hoping to pick your brains for getting started and keeping-going strategies.

In the last 5 yeas, after graduating university and becoming a social worker (a high stress field) as well as battling with challenging anxiety and depression, I've gained about 40 pounds through binge eating, working at a desk job, and stress. My problem with that gain isn't just about weight. It's about feeling older and slower, getting sick more often, getting winded walking up stairs, having a lagging libido and a plummeting self esteem. Not to mention having to buy new clothes because none of mine fit!

I live fairly healthily. I'm a vegetarian, ride my bike or walk to work, walk the dog 2-3 times a day. But I don't do well at pushing myself to do anything harder than that. I was super never played sports as a kid so don't have that experience to draw from.

I'm ready for a full lifestyle change and I've been doing well at parts of it. I'm managing my time crunches and stress better these days with meditation, time saving activities (like cooking my meals for the week on the weekend), and other self care things. I'm looking for little ways to get more active during the day (sitting less, especially). I've been doing Jillian Michaels' 30 day shred every few days for a couple weeks. But I get discouraged quickly by not feeling like I'm seeing results. Maybe my expectations are unrealistic?

I want to become a fit person as I get older; both of my parents have serious health problems as a result of failing to take care of themselves well earlier in their lives, and I'm determined not to let that happen to me. I want to invest in my future well being. I also want to look hot in a bathing suit, honestly (I got a taste of that feeling when I was younger and I sure liked it). I want to be strong and energetic. I want to keep up with my friends who do things like run races, go on cycling vacations, and hike the 47km West Coast Trail on their long weekends (I stayed home when they did that last summer because I didn't think I could handle it and didn't want to be embarrassed).

Here are my goals for 2013:
- Run a 5k before I turn 31 (in mid-May)
- Lose 30 pounds and/ or 3-4 pants sizes (I want to fit into the clothes I already own)
- Break my binge-eating cycle for good (it gets so bad sometimes that I've found myself mindlessly dipping cashews into straight up butter and eating them)

And here are my barriers:
- Depression; while I have it managed quite well, some days this illness makes me debilitatingly sad and/or self-critical and/or anxious. It makes small setbacks feel enormous.
- A record of giving up - my longest streak was going to the gym regularly for 4 months; then I had a panic attack in a yoga class and quit for over a year. I'm back now, but sporadically.
- Failure to integrate a fitness routine into life. I need *discipline* and I don't have it!

So I guess I'm wondering - what advice and/or information can you give me to help me get (and keep) going?

Many thanks in advance.

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