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Making up for lost time

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

In a small sense I'm making up for lost time because I signed up to go white water kayaking in Costa Rica for a week in January. That will take some of the sting out of losing the entire summer season to rehab my rotator cuff surgery.

In a larger sense, however, my current life is making up for lost time in general. I really go after the things I want now. When I discovered white water kayaking I pushed myself so hard at it I had no idea where my comfort zone even was. Faster, stronger, harder, longer, bigger, better.

It's probably no coincidence I tore my rotator cuff while snowboarding this spring. I am aggressive on the slopes, like I am on the rivers. And on my road bike. Sometimes if feels like I am channeling an inner adolescent boy.

I'm just so grateful to no longer be living in my own personal coffin of flesh at a BMI over 50, with mobility issues already beginning. I lived for about 15 years that way, from my mid-30s to my mid-40s. I was well over 200 lbs from my mid 20s to my mid 30s. And it wasn't fun.

It wasn't horrible; I mean I traveled and had hobbies and friends and enjoyed life. But I didn't enjoy it the way I do now. I can go places now that most of the rest of the human population can't, simply because I have developed unusual skills and I'm in the appropriate physical shape to do it.

4 years ago if you'd told me I'd be signing up for a class III-IV whitewater kayaking trip in Central America I'd have laughed at you. Because it wasn't even conceivable.

So now I'm living out loud and training hard and eating right during the week so that I can enjoy doing the things I love on the weekends and vacations.

Yes, I have to track my food on my iPod. Yes, I weigh myself every morning and log it on the physicsdiet.com tracker. No, I can't just go and eat whatever I want whenever I want, anymore.

But it's worth it. It is so totally worth it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRIE1948 10/17/2011 7:29AM

    Sounds like something you'll enjoy

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CIRANDELLA 10/14/2011 10:16AM

    Smooth and swift healing to that rotator cuff - ouch, ouch, ouch! I've known others who've sustained that injury. So excited about your trip to Costa Rica and upcoming kayaking adventure there! Can you say, "wowzers!"? I can! Spark ON!

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BREWMASTERBILL 10/14/2011 9:36AM

    Glad you're back in the paddle again.

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JOAN_HEO 10/14/2011 9:26AM

    Does THAT ever sound like fun!!!! I'm hoping to get in a Kayak in Singapore at Christmas time.

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REDWRITINGHOOD 10/13/2011 3:39PM

    emoticon Have loads of fun!

I hope to be where you are (emotionally, and physically) in the next year. Thanks for the reminder of how much it's worth the effort.

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DONEGIRL 10/13/2011 6:18AM

    You have done so fantastically well. You are a mighty inspiration to all of us and especially me who can't seem to get this show off the ground.

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SUZY1959 10/12/2011 11:28AM

    Oh, you are just so inspiring! I want to be just like you --healthy and fit and not have the scale be my worst enemy! You look marvelous!
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JEKRUNS 10/12/2011 9:02AM

    Thank you SO MUCH for your blog today. Really resonated with me.

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JENNSWIMS 10/11/2011 8:20PM

    Coffin of flesh. Damn girlfriend, you gave me chills.

You are my hero. I need to put a pic of you on my fridge to remind me that I can live out loud too, as long as I keep moving forward.

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CANNIE50 10/11/2011 5:48PM

    WOW! emoticon You are quite impressive. Two lines of this blog really jumped out at me "channeling an adolescent boy" and "my own personal coffin of flesh" - these are powerful images. I was proud of myself for finally taking a rowing class this summer because when I would see people row crew, I always envied them. It isn't even close to white water rafting but gives me a special appreciation for what you are doing. Again, wow.

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DDOORN 10/11/2011 5:22PM

    Water kayaking in Costa Rica...?!?

Wow! Just WOW! You are SO gonna be in your own personal slice of HEAVEN!!

Looking forward to all the stories you'll be bringing back!

Living life Out Loud and in TECHNICOLOR!! Woo hoo!

Don

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Finally! A ride with DDORN. :-)

Sunday, October 09, 2011


www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=DD
OORN


Don and I have known each other through SP for 2-3 years and although we live not far from each other and we're both pretty avid road cyclists, we've never actually ridden together.

Yesterday we finally did.

Track here: ridewithgps.com/trips/414778

It was a comfortable 60 mile loop with his usual group, the Southern Tier Bicycling Club.
www.southerntierbicycleclub.org


Don and I added about 15 miles to the planned loop and started in Port Crane, NY. I left my house at 6:15 am in order to meet him there by 8:30.
We rode over Belden hill and met the rest of the group in Windsor.
At about 10 we all started out in a clump, and as we climbed the hill on the way to McClure we spread out a bit. We regrouped again at McClure (which Don said he had expected to be a "booming metropolis" based on the size of the text on the map - it wasn't. LOL)



Then we all set off again over a nice big hill with lunch in Afton on the other side. I fell in with a nice group of folks, and on the way down we ran into Regina, who was riding out to meet us on her recumbent. Regina is on SP too! (I'll have to get her ID from Don; I don't remember it)
We made our way into Afton and stopped for lunch at a fabulous restaurant / bakery.

www.mainstreetgrillandbakery.com

They reserved tables for us!



Me, Don, Regina

I don't usually gush about food. Seriously. But this was really really well done.

A guy at our table (I think his name is Steve) ordered a piece of German chocolate cake and split it up as appetizers, and (probably because I rarely eat that sort of thing) the tiny piece I had sent my tastebuds spiraling into an ecstacy of sugar, starch, and fat.

The ride leader, Steve Russo, recommended the winter squash soup, and he was right. It was amazing. It was also very rich, and on the ride home both Don and I noticed that we weren't feeling as energetic as usual. I chalk it up to the cream that was probably in the soup. Good thing we each only had a cup of it. LOL

We also had these awesome tuna steak salads with cranberries, feta, walnuts, etc. It was delicious and extremely satisfying without being stultifying.

We got back on our bikes and rode west along 7. At Nineveh Don and I were to stay on 7 while everyone else turned south and headed back toward Windsor. We took some pictures on the bridge over the Susquehanna, then parted ways and Don and I rode back over Belden Hill and to our cars.



It was really nice. More social than the rides I'm used to, but that was a welcome change. And I burned over 2000 calories according to my HR monitor, so that makes me happy too. If that group weren't almost 2 hours away I'd definitely ride with them on a regular basis. I can see why Don does.

On my way back home I stopped in Ithaca and went to the Friends of the Library book sale www.booksale.org and picked up over $30 of used books on kayaking, travel memoirs, nature, and snowboarding (maybe I can pick up tips that will prevent me from tearing my rotator cuff this winter. LOL)

I also found a first edition of the AMC white water handbook for canoe and kayak. Published the year I was born. With awesome pictures of people in the custom fiberglass boats they used to use before plastic was invented. I paid 50 cents for it.

I got home almost exactly 12 hours from when I left, tired and happy.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENACIOUSTIGER 10/16/2011 11:06AM

    sounds like you guys had an awesome day and the food sounds even better. Love the photos for some reason all the sparkers i've stumbled across , are not anywhere near australia. You guys are wearing the biggest smiles

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CIRANDELLA 10/14/2011 10:17AM

    WOW!! What an amazing, inspiring adventure! Thanks so much for this photojournalistic goodie, too - you inspire me!!

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PHEBESS 10/10/2011 12:02PM

    Sounds like a wonderful trip!

And I LOVE your wallpaper!!!!!

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WATERMELLEN 10/10/2011 9:42AM

    Awesome!! Must have been so much fun for you and Don to meet each other . . . and those tuna steak salads sound terrific.

Having suffered frozen shoulder a couple of times, I do a "preventive" rotator cuff strengthening exercise: standing up, hold 10 pound (or so) weight in hand with elbow tucked comfortably into waist: slowly rotate weight across torso to opposite side, then slowly rotate weight out to extend as far a possible to same side, repeat 10 times (or so) and switch. I've had a couple "falls on outstretched hand" or FOOSH since commencing this routine and . . . no rotator cuff injuries.

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DDOORN 10/9/2011 10:38PM

    What a day that was...! SUPER time had by all! And you beat me to blogging it...hoping to serve my volley later tonight...been run, run, runnin' today! :-)

Don

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HDHAWK 10/9/2011 9:54PM

    What a wonderful day! It's always exciting to meet SP friends in person.

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CANNIE50 10/9/2011 9:46PM

    What a day, and the photos are great. emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/9/2011 6:17PM

    That's cuz it's fun but not quite AS fun as whitewater kayaking...

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ELYMWX 10/9/2011 6:02PM

    You know how BB commented about how your smile when you're kayaking is huge? I think it's almost as large when you're biking!
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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/9/2011 4:07PM

    @Bill

That was on the table, silly. ;-)

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BREWMASTERBILL 10/9/2011 2:52PM

    I thought the first rule about Bike Club was that you were not supposed to talk about Bike Club? You guys have it clearly written on the wall here. yowch.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/9/2011 1:18PM

    @KAYOTIC

LOL more like a greedy hungry cyclist thing.
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Comment edited on: 10/9/2011 1:19:51 PM

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THOMS1 10/9/2011 10:54AM

    That was a great day! I'm lucky to get 10 miles a day on my bike. emoticon

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2LBSATATIME 10/9/2011 9:42AM

    Sounds like a great day emoticon

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KAYOTIC 10/9/2011 9:39AM

    What fun! And German chocolate cake as an appetizer? Must be an east coast thing.... emoticon The ride and group sounds wonderful!

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Back where I belong with my butt in a boat.

Sunday, October 02, 2011



At the beginning of May the surgeon and PT said, "NO PADDLING IN RIVERS UNTIL OCTOBER."
History of all that is here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4483058


So I paddled in lakes and surf until OCTOBER. Which was yesterday. And promptly started paddling in rivers again.
emoticon

We took a group of 6 beginners and 5 experienced folks to Letchworth Gorge. Whitewater kayakers look mostly like normal people when they're off the river.


When we gear up it changes,






We had loads of fun surfing in the little waves, practicing our rolls (and wet exits), and tossing a ball between us all the way down. You can see the GPS track here:
ridewithgps.com/trips/408437
The gorge is so deep the device had trouble acquiring satellite signals, which is why it looks like we're paddling on land in some places. LOL

I'm happy moving toward a future with MORE PADDLING in it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 10/8/2011 1:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TENACIOUSTIGER 10/7/2011 10:19AM

    whoa you are anything but normal you are abosulutely exceptional
i have had a good week got into training again, pump, zumba, weights, rpm and swimming and the body is feeling good, yay back on the way up

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JLPEASE 10/5/2011 1:50PM

    Awesome. It must have been tough to stay out of the water, but I'm sure it was worth it to be back to 100%!


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HAVASUROSE 10/3/2011 8:27PM

  Great to see you back on the river.

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MARTHAWILL 10/3/2011 7:04PM

    emoticon

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NIMNIX 10/3/2011 2:31PM

    WOOHOO! Feels great to be back in it, right?

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ELYMWX 10/3/2011 12:29PM

    Awesome!

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ANNE7X7 10/3/2011 9:42AM

    YAY!!! Looks like a blast!!

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KAYOTIC 10/2/2011 11:20AM

    emoticon emoticongreat to hear your back in the paddle again!

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DDOORN 10/2/2011 10:22AM

    The stuff weekends are MADE FOR! Woo HOO! :-)

Don

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/2/2011 9:42AM

    That's 'cuz I'm so dang happy to be doing it.
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BREWMASTERBILL 10/2/2011 9:25AM

    That's great stuff. You always have a ridiculously huge smile in your paddling pictures.

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SHELLB7 10/2/2011 9:19AM

    Great pictures! Looks like a lot of fun!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATTILYNN224 10/2/2011 9:16AM

    I am so happy for you that you're back to where you've waited so long to get to!!

Yipee!!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Rockstars of Maintenance

Friday, September 30, 2011

The statistics are disheartening no matter how you define weight maintenance.

Here are two extremes:
5% of people manage to stay within about 5 lbs of their goal weight.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1
0224727

20% of people manage to keep off at least 10% of the weight they lost in the first place.
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11375440

But look at these numbers:

NELLJONES has maintained for almost 41 years.
SHIRLEYD1959 has maintained for over 23 years.
JACKIERN and BETH7CAM have maintained over 8 years.
PERSISTENCEMIMI, ZUCCHINIQUEEN, CAROLJEAN64, and JCORYCMA have all maintained over 5 years.

When I'm trying to do something that is hard, I like to have role models. For bicycling, Lance Armstrong is a pretty good one. I like to read about how he eats, trains, and LIVES. I'm not Lance and I'm not going to ride in the Tour de France anytime soon, but I still get good ideas and motivation for my own training. And that makes me a better cyclist.

Weight maintenance, as shown by the statistics above, is also difficult. Unlike world class bicycle racing, or even the world of weight loss, we almost never see maintenance role models acknowledged, let alone celebrated. So how do I even find out who is good at this game so I can learn from their experiences?

I make a list, that's how.

As one way to keep ourselves focused and engaged, we've started celebrating maintenance anniversaries in the At Goal and Maintaining team.
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/t
eam_messageboard.asp?board=0x1111


In the process of finding out when to celebrate those anniversaries we've also ended up collecting a list that can be sorted in terms of how long people have maintained. You can see it here:
tinyurl.com/maintenance-hall-of-fame

Years maintained
40.764 NELLJONES
23.125 SHIRLEYD1959
8.292 JACKIERN
8.292 BETH7CAM
7.244 PERSISTENCEMIMI
6.844 ZUCCHINIQUEEN
6.139 CAROLJEAN64
5.097 JCORYCMA
4.886 POTRIDGE4
4.556 GOLIONS
4.333 PEGGYT3
4.194 -HORSELADY-
4.139 CAROLJEAN64
4.05 DIDMIS
4.017 DLVANCE24
3.958 ANNE403
3.242 ERPARA
3.181 DUBINJL
3.175 LF5517A
3.056 MOM5INFL
3.042 AEHEGE
2.764 SPARKARINO
2.747 LILAC93
2.619 BORN2BLOSSOM
2.558 SLENDERELLA61
2.556 BULBS
2.208 BESTSUSIEYET
2.125 WATERMELLEN
1.906 BAILEYS7OF9
1.875 SHERONN66
1.825 LAURIE5658
1.806 DONNAEDA
1.725 4A-HEALTHY-BMI
1.639 SLOANARTS101
1.55 HUSKYPUP
1.244 MAYFLOWERCHICK
1.239 HAPPYLOSERS1
1.156 ONEKIDSMOM
1.081 ROSEWAND
1.056 CAHUNO2
1.028 GUITARWOMAN
1.022 62NVON
0.911 CHERRYALLIE
0.897 LADYBUG999
0.897 BRONWATER
0.892 CLARKBAR01
0.794 GISSELLET
0.792 MEXGAL1
0.75 SKIRNIR
0.747 HAPPYSOUL91
0.733 ELLEKTRA
0.703 DENISEFULLER
0.639 SHELBSYD
0.556 AGILLASPIE60
0.5 COACHMOMMY
0.478 NORTHWOODSMOM8
0.461 G1NNY7
0.458 MAGGIEROSEBOWL
0.458 MJREIMERS
0.4 MAARTJEBOL
0.392 HEALTHYCALM
0.372 MIRAGE727
0.369 CARTER4414
0.367 LJR4HEALTH
0.314 CARLAKYN18
0.303 STARDUSTD
0.289 LOVINGIT7
0.239 SUSIEMT
0.139 EMEXROSE
0.125 MILEHI52`
0.078 SHERRYJVP

Those long-term maintainers are the folks that the REST of us need around. For their advice, support, and as living, breathing examples of people who are putting in the work every day to keep their fitness. They have life throwing them curve balls too. And they have setbacks. And they overcome them.

Over 60% of us on the At Goal and Maintaining team have maintained less than 2 years.

docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=e
n_US&hl=en_US&key=0Ah4KrA4GkhKgdC1oVGR
kVTA0bUNTZk5zTGtzeHZGRmc&single=true&g
id=9&output=html



docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=e
n_US&hl=en_US&key=0Ah4KrA4GkhKgdC1oVGR
kVTA0bUNTZk5zTGtzeHZGRmc&single=true&g
id=7&output=html


I think if we can figure out how to stay engaged and focused and learn from these people, I think we can beat those depressing published odds.

We've started having maintenance challenges, to see who is good at holding weight steady for two months. And we're brainstorming and investigating other ways to keep ourselves interested and involved.

If you are maintaining and would like to celebrate YOUR anniversary, I encourage you to join the team
teams.sparkpeople.com/maintaining

and also put yourself in our list of maintainers:
docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform
?hl=en_US&formkey=dC1oVGRkVTA0bUNTZk5z
TGtzeHZGRmc6MQ#gid=0


And if you'd like to make maintainers more visible and celebrated, one thing you can do is "like" this post so more people will see it (and them).

---------------
Update: One year later the list is still going strong, with twice the number of maintainers on it!
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5057292

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAMER123 9/14/2012 6:53PM

    WOW!!! Congratulations to all for the great job of maintaining!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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-SHOREIDO- 9/14/2012 12:43PM

    Annual thing!? gets my vote : ) Our maintaining team is there to lean on so why woulden't this turn out a success story? emoticon
G I'm a Sparker!!

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TMW54812 9/14/2012 12:30PM

    The best way to not regress is to never stop trying to improve!

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ELMAYNET 9/14/2012 7:24AM

    Now that I am at goal, I look forward to being added to the list and staying on it for years to come!

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FIREFLY4407 9/14/2012 4:40AM

    I can't wait to be part of this list! I know I can get there, and knowing that there is a group addressing the specific (and unique) challenges of maintenance is very encouraging. I am even more motivated than ever to reach my goal - thank you!

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TINAJANE76 9/10/2012 5:06PM

    Hey, can we make this an annual thing? Rockstars of Maintenance II? It would be great to see how the list grows from year to year.

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CIRANDELLA 10/14/2011 10:20AM

    WOW! Consider yourself a SuperSparked shot in my arm! Thanks for ALL of these links, and yup...I joined the list :) - Susan emoticon

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46SHADOW 10/11/2011 9:20PM

    Thanks so much for putting it in perspective!

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G1NNY7 10/11/2011 12:43PM

    I read my name on the "hall of fame" in this blog -- and I got SO motivated to stay in the maintenance bandwagon. Thanks SO much for doing this analysis. I have a suggestion for SP to help we who are "just" maintaining. Please, SP, add an optional ticker for us to show how long we have maintained (that would be awesome to have instead of, or in addition to, pounds lost.

Thanks again for this blog, I needed it right now (2 or so extra pounds need to pack their bags and leave!).

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CANNIE50 10/9/2011 9:10PM

    Very impressive and thought provoking blog. I immediately looked for Tublady, who is a mighty impressive Sparkler (and maintainer). Perhaps I just missed her name, I will mention it on her page and send her this way. THANK YOU for this.

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BIONICMONARCH 10/8/2011 7:34PM

    AWESOME!

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MOBYCARP 10/8/2011 1:45PM

    As I enter my second day of maintenance, I'm noticing that I still need to keep paying attention to both what I eat and how much I exercise. I have no scientific studies, but I'd guess the low rates of successful maintenance are due primarily to two factors:

1. Insufficient physical activity built into the cultural context, and
2. Too much food built into the cultural context.

Both of these factors can be overcome; but I can't overcome them without paying attention. Today is a big football day. I'm going to miss a lot of football on TV due to exercise, home maintenance activities, and enforcing a strict bedtime.

If I weren't paying attention, today would be a day of maybe 2K steps with no formal exercise, who knows how much untracked junk food, and watching a lot of hours of football. I might still get some time in watching football, but it isn't going to be all day and it's going to be whatever game is on when I have time.

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KRISZTA11 10/8/2011 1:28PM

    I loved this blog, thank for compiling all the data for us.
It is scary to see those 5% in the statistics, but your blog post is a great inspiration to me.
emoticon emoticon

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KIPPER15 10/8/2011 8:49AM

    I am doing better with the Spark then I have with zny other diet plan. I am glad to see the stats. emoticon

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GREENTHUMB70 10/7/2011 9:24PM

    This isn't the first attempt I have made to lose weight but I'm confident that Sparkpeople is helping me make sure this is my final walk down the path to heath. Thank you.

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ROOSTER72 10/7/2011 2:29AM

    I think SP will beat the odds, since it is not a diet.

If you diet hard, and kill yourself exercising - you wont understand how to maintain. If you learn what it is to live a healthy lifestyle - maintaining will be more likely.

I am not saying maintaining is ever easy - but I think SP is giving us the tools to have a better shot at it.

Great you are promoting the maintainers - it gives us all something to aim for!

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SCRAPPINPOLLY 10/7/2011 1:10AM

    Awesome job!!

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DWILCZKO 10/7/2011 12:37AM

  so motivating!

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SEYSARAH 10/7/2011 12:28AM

    Best blog I've read since joining in August of 06. You are absolutely right..we have to find a way to celebrate the maintenance and be around those who are at that pinnacle so we can have a fighting chance of being there and staying there.

I'm joining and will post my anniversary for maintenance as well..and I will definitely like this...it's high time we start liking the posts of the maintainers!

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SHEILA8383 10/6/2011 7:34PM

    Great blog. Good to hear of those who have been able to lose and keep it off.

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BELLALUCIA 10/6/2011 6:58PM

    Great blog!

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BENDIEB 10/6/2011 6:45PM

    With a 1.5 lbs to go, I am looking forward to joining the maintenance teams.
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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 10/6/2011 4:57PM

    What a great post....thanks for sharing....

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BARBIE779 10/6/2011 3:10PM

    Thanks for the inspiration. We often think something is impossible because you hear about all the people who couldn't do it. It's nice to hear about the ones who did and prove that it is possible.

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MARKSTIPANOVSKY 10/6/2011 12:39PM

    Lovely and inspirational. Thank you...

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MCHILSTR 10/6/2011 11:04AM

  I love your analytical approach - the numbers speak to me, and as soon as I hit maintenance (sometime in 2012) I'll add myself to the list!

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 10/6/2011 10:03AM

    WOOHOO! Good on you for making popular blog. Thanks for posting the link to this blog on my page, I had looked at it already. Great info. Like you I am always looking for maintenance role models and you are a great one! I can't believe NellJones has maintained for 41 years. Amazing! That's what I want to do. OF course in my case it would mean living until I'm 100. The way I feel today, I think that's a possibility.

In a little over ONE week, Oct. 15 (which is next Sat.) I will celebrate 6 months of maintenance. HALF a year baby!!! I was trying to think what I want to do to celebrate. Of course food comes to mind first. Old habits die hard. Maybe an under 550 calories entree from Applebee's for lunch, and then a nice hike somewhere. That's how I like to celebrate now--healthy and tasty!!

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GRRARRGH 10/6/2011 8:02AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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BILL60 10/6/2011 7:41AM

    Thank you for sharing. What an inspiration!!

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CORKY982 10/6/2011 7:41AM

  I have 15 pounds to go, and then I'll be on that team!!

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LINDABENEDICT 10/6/2011 7:17AM

    how informative and inspirational ! thanks !

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LAURIE5658 10/6/2011 6:34AM

    For any Sparking Maintainer that would love a Spark Team that is one of the best...join the tried and true At Goal and Maintaining. IMHO Spark does does do good enough with supporting Maintainers, but this Team is chockful of information and support. The leaders are awesome!!

Thank you!

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THEIS58 10/6/2011 3:40AM

    Great! I am 5 pounds from goal, very helpful

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CAROLINA_KOUKLA 10/6/2011 2:13AM

  Great blog!

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STARDUSTD 10/5/2011 9:31PM

  I'm so grateful that there's a team of maintainers I can learn from. It's encouraging seeing my stats above, too! emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 10/5/2011 2:38PM

    Wow! Fantastic! Thank you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 10/5/2011 10:22AM

    Wonderful blog with great information. I really appreciate it. emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 10/5/2011 10:21AM

    Extraordinary in every way. ROCKSTARS INDEED! And you're at the top'a da list, making this important information available and celebrating those among us who are fighting the good fight.

As always,
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Maha

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TEMPEST272002 10/4/2011 4:24PM

    What a great blog. As a get closer to goal weight, I've been thinking about where to find role models for maintaining. Now I know about the team, I'll be sure to join when the time is right. When people mention the 97% stat, I reply that I've already beaten the odds losing 100+lbs & getting healthy. I have every confidence that I'll beat the maintenance stats too.

I wonder about that number. In the past, there was barely any support for dieters, nevermind maintainers. Recent studies have shown that support is a key factor in success. As more sparkers reach goal weight, we can expect that the community of maintainers on here will also grow. I can't see myself giving up my sparkfriends & blogging just because I reach GW! So with more support for maintainence, there should also be more success.

Thanks for addressing the issue so thoughtfully. I liked it & I'm going to mention it in my next blog for my buddies to read too. I think this deserves a popular blog award.

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JOYINKY 10/3/2011 8:41PM

    Great blog! Maintenance isn't the "goal" or finish line; it IS the beginning of a new way of life.

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MARTHAWILL 10/3/2011 7:02PM

    Great blog!!! Thanks for all the effort in putting this together. "Liked" it a lot.
I know I need to stay connected to SparkPeople and groups like AT GOAL AND MAINTAINING to help keep me on track and that's what I intend to do. That still takes a lot of discipline but I'm not going back to where I was.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 10/3/2011 4:58PM

    Best blog I've read in ages! Thanks for the shout out, and even more, for demonstrating so vividly that maintenance is tough but absolutely do-able. We are proof! You are doing an awesome job as team leader. Thank you so very, very much. -Marsha

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RUSSLANE 10/3/2011 4:56PM

    Go for it, 4a!

It's amazing that when I interview other maintainers, two interesting conceptual quirks get revealed:

A) They often don't "think" of themselves as maintainers, even though they clearly are.

B) They rarely know anyone else keeping their weight off, but have lots of dieting friends.

It certainly points to an absence of a "maintenance community" to speak of. Fascinating to me.

Certainly blogging and clever marketing terms ("fatosphere" *gag!*) help promote this, but having some role models, someone taking a stand in some manner (even if only for themselves) is so important.

This rocks. Keep it coming!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/3/2011 4:39PM

    Very good point, Nell!

You never know someone's history just by looking at him or her.

When I see someone in the gym who looks good, I am often reminded that he or she probably works very hard to maintain that level of fitness. And if I want something like it, I can work hard at it, too.

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AEHEGE 10/3/2011 4:31PM

    Thanks for the diligence it took to sort this all out and make a blog. Thanks for sharing -- this is a good one to pass along!

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NELLJONES 10/3/2011 3:09PM

    I'm only on that list because I am on Spark. When you walk through your life and see thin people, do not assume they were always thin, or that they stay thin without effort. There are a million hidden success stories out there. You might be standing next to one in line at the store.

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WATERMELLEN 10/1/2011 1:22PM

    I not only "liked" this blog, I think it's one of the most important blogs (definitely in the top 5) which I've read in all my time at SparkPeople. And that's not just because of the shout-out, although yup I appreciate it. (I also appreciated the recent "goodie" in recognition of maintaining from the At Goal and Maintaining Team too . . . although wasn't sure how/to whom that appreciation could be expressed!)

This blog is full of hard-hitting statistics, helpfully presented in a graphic format to underscore the evidence: maintaining is tough.

SparkPeople is different from "commercial" weight loss services (Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, all the rest) because -- it's free! There's no profit to be made! And that also means no profit to be made out of recidivism! SparkPeople is purely interested in helping people take weight off AND KEEP IT OFF, to combat and to reverse that alarming 95% "off the rails" thing.

Personally I've gotta say: taking weight off wasn't so so tough. Keeping the weight off: very tough. Absolutely one of the hardest things I've done because I continue to have to do it, 200 + food choices every day . . . a food choice at a time.

As grateful as I am for all the existing and amazing SparkPeople resources, I'd be happy to see SparkPeople focus more effort and attention on weight loss maintenance.

In the meantime, 4A-HEALTHY-BMI is doing an awesome job as Team Leader, At Goal and Maintaining! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!



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KAYOTIC 10/1/2011 11:07AM

    Great blog, hope lots of folks see it!

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DDOORN 9/30/2011 10:59PM

    Kudos to ALL of you RockStars, but ESPECIALLY to YOU, Anja for fighting the good fight for weight loss maintenance!

Not "there" yet, but can't wait to join the club! :-)

Duly Tweeted & Dugg (still haven't jumped into the world of FB yet...lol)!

Don

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MIRAGE727 9/30/2011 3:10PM

    I congratulate all the winners on this team. I thank 4A-HEALTHY-BMI for her effort and the great education!

Here's my brutal truth. I never want to be as close to death as I had been in the past! I WILL maintain my healthy weight no matter what. I feel good, I look good, I have my wife and granddaughter, and I live in Paradise. I'm not losing any of that! Spark? I'm a raging fire!

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Free Will versus Genetics?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last month there was an article published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association that caused a flurry of response in the world of weight control. It had to do with the idea of reframing obesity as a result of genetic tendencies in a toxic food environment rather than a failure of will power.

There is a nice summary of the article, here:
www.drsharma.ca/obesity-is-it-time-t
o-abandon-the-notion-of-personal-choic
e-in-dietary-counseling.html


Before you jump to dismiss this as yet another "health at any size" platform or an article absolving the individual of any free will, please read it.

The idea is not to throw up your hands and accept that you're "meant to be this size," but rather adopt strategies that will help someone with these biological urges manage their weight. For example, avoiding temptation and exposure to highly palatable foods by sticking to grocery lists and actively avoiding challenging situations such as buffets.

In other words, it's not a character or moral failure for someone to have difficulty with temptations. It's legitimate to avoid them.

I like Dr. Sharma's closing analogy: "recognising that someone has a hypersensitive bronchial system that predisposes them to asthma should lead them to avoiding and eliminating air-borne pollutants in their immediate environment rather than simply trying to breathe less."

This rings pretty true for me. When I'm vulnerable I have to purge my house of things that I'm tempted to overeat. I don't have cable TV because TV makes me want to eat. I limit my exposure to restaurants and try to stick to ones I know have something on the menu I can enjoy without going over my calories.

It is not a personal or moral failure in me that I need to track my food to keep from overeating and control my size. It is a simple fact.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNE7X7 10/3/2011 9:40AM

    This weekend, I ate a lot of garbage, instead of healthy, nutritious food. Why? Because it was there. Not because I was hungry, or was craving it. But simply because it was a few feet away.

Love quote by Dr Sharma. So true!!!

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PAULINLIM 9/30/2011 5:08PM

    I liked this article a lot. It jibes with a book I just read by researcher Brian Wansink, Ph.D., called "Mindless Eating". So much of what we do is driven by our subconscious. He tells us that since it's so easy to mindlessly eat an extra 100 calories per day, we can design our environment so that we mindlessly eat 100 calories LESS. There are many tips and tricks to doing this; I have found them really helpful. The book was entertaining and funny. I recommend it.

I am also glad that people are acknowledging our "toxic food environment". When I want to avoid a "dangerous" food situation, I tell people I feel like an alcoholic in a bar, and I have to get out of there.


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ALYFITN 9/28/2011 1:05PM

    I LOVE the asthma analogy. I do best when I control my food and exercise environment. I avoid old situations to keep me on track---that has included hangin with new groups of friends that enjoy activities I enjoy.

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BILL60 9/26/2011 8:08AM

    Great blog and article. It gave me an opportunity to view your Spark Page. Your transformation is an incredible accomplishment. Your will to overcome obstacles is indeed eye-opening. I congratulate what you've overcome and pray that you continue your journey.

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DDOORN 9/25/2011 8:51AM

    It's the ONLY way to go for people like us if we want to keep a safe environment for ourselves...great to see science backing this up!

Don

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PATTILYNN224 9/23/2011 7:45AM

    Good article. Thanks for sharing. Love the asthma analogy. Something very close to home for me and helps bring it all into perspective.

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TENACIOUSTIGER 9/22/2011 5:54AM

    hey there interesting reading, Im feeling good just reset my ticker, and goals to managable ones. I avoid the breakfast buffet when I travellling as I end up eating too much even if its all "healthy food" I dont really need 15 sorts of protein for breakfast. Hope your week is good.

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ROSEWAND 9/21/2011 4:04PM

    While the idea that genetics predetermine our behaviors or
results is changing in the scientific community, it is still prevalent
in the lay community. The new approach to genetics is
called epigentics. We can shift the genetic programing by
changing the environment. We do have control over our
genetic predispositions.

We can do this with food. Think of what you eat as software
for your cells. You can literally turn the genes on and off
by what you give them. Eating healthy foods will turn on
the genes that will support your new lean body. Eating
unhealthy foods will reactivate your old programing that
kept you fat. We do have more choice than we think.


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CARRIE1948 9/21/2011 2:03PM

    Amen to that. I'm finding the need to keep very little in the house.

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NIMNIX 9/21/2011 1:19PM

    I've always found it weird when people tell me I have a lot of discipline or willpower because I eat the way I do, work out the way I do, or lost so much weight and kept it off. I basically redesigned my life to avoid the things I know will trigger my unhealthy habits, and to surround myself with more of the healthy things I enjoy. There's no need for willpower against potato chips when you don't have any near you. And after a few months without them, once I tried them again I was overwhelmed with salt and the overall heaviness, so there was no need to fight any cravings. There's no need for willpower to get me to the gym for 2-3 hours a day when I just enjoy the workouts I do so much.

When people are talking to me about their eating habits and such, "willpower" and language like that doesn't enter into the conversation, because from my perspective, I wasn't relying on some random strength of character. It's about redefining options, availability, convenience, your lifestyle, and how to get what you want without sacrificing either health or flavor. I generally don't even have cheat days because my normal meals involve things like home-cooked steak.

What meat-eater would ever want to cheat on steaK???

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THINAGIN2 9/21/2011 1:05PM

    This is one area that mystifies me. My first husbands mother was a very large woman who was often in the hospital so that they could watch what she ate. My first husband and his younger sister were also heavy but the oldest sister never had any problem with her weight and still is slender after 40 years. I had 4 children from this marriage and the second and the last born have both had trouble with their weight all of their lives while the other two had no problems at all. It makes me think that there might be some genetic predisposition to being obese.

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WOLFKITTY 9/21/2011 12:38PM

    I think this is an utterly healthy way of looking at environmental and mental factors as well as the predetermined genetic factors. I don't see it as an excuse or other kind of reasoning at all.

Fantastic. I wish more people understood it this way. Thanks for sharing the article.
Jocelyn

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