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4A-HEALTHY-BMI's Recent Blog Entries

Returning to the scene of the accident

Saturday, February 18, 2012


11 months after a rotator cuff injury that took me out of my kayak for 6 months I have tried snowboarding again.

I seem to remember how to turn, which is nice. My form isn't great, but that's not surprising, given that I was a beginner last winter and didn't ride that much, and today was my first day back.

I took it super slow and lightly today - there are too many friends who would rip me a new one if I went out there and hurt myself again! LOL

P.S. That's not MY soundtrack - not my kind of music at all - just what they happened to be playing over the loudspeakers at the time.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CASSIES 4/14/2012 7:13AM

    Graceful;-)

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WOLFKITTY 3/7/2012 12:14PM

    You make the cold look fun. :)
Jocelyn

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TENACIOUSTIGER 3/6/2012 9:44AM

    wow what a sportswomen you are so lucky to have snow it looks like fun


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CARRIE1948 2/22/2012 8:51AM

    Way to go

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AMYNYNJ 2/20/2012 3:01PM

    Woo hoo!

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GRACEFULIFE 2/20/2012 11:34AM

    More speed, more speed!!!

Seriously though, way to get back to it. I'm kind of missing skiing lately... then again we're kind of missing snow around here!

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CHANGEDIN09 2/20/2012 9:58AM

    I love visiting your page...always inspiring. You are quite the daredevil too
Thank you for sharing your journey with the sparkers

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TAICHIDANCER 2/19/2012 10:40AM

    I'm impressed.

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KAYOTIC 2/19/2012 10:24AM

    Good for you for getting back on the "board" again! I remember getting back on my XC skis fthe first time after I had broken my ankle on them.....lots of anxiety! But now I feel great on them....it really does take time to get to that comfort zone.

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RG_DFW 2/19/2012 9:17AM

    Looks like fun!

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NEWKAREN43 2/18/2012 9:50PM

    Very Cool. Very Brave.

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WATERMELLEN 2/18/2012 9:40PM

    You are so cool!! And: courageous!!

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BREWMASTERBILL 2/18/2012 8:09PM

    That's awesome! I think that was my exact speed the last time I went snowboarding except imagine my arms flailing like a fledgling. A big, retarded fledgling.

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WENDYWITKOSKI 2/18/2012 6:57PM

    Looking good!

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Punching it back down - the joys of maintenance

Monday, February 13, 2012

Holy Moley, this maintenance thing takes vigilance. And not just vigilance, but DOING SOMETHING about it when you see a problem.

My last night in Costa Rica involved a painful stomach bug and between that and the ensuing weakness and exhaustion from traveling I was laid low the week after returning. Missed two and a half days of work, even.

I tried to get back into my "normal" routine last week, but the eating was spiraling out of control and by Wednesday I knew there was a problem and I wasn't happy about it.

I started trying to take steps to do something about it, but I wasn't as strict as I apparently needed to be, and it wasn't until the scale told me this morning that I'm overweight, that reality really hit me in the face. Hard.

So now I'm back to doing the things I should have done on Wednesday, but with some extra pounds to push off. I will NOT go there again. I will NOT. I. Will. Not.

When I first hit goal I gradually gained back 30. And pushed it back off. And then gained 20. And pushed that back off.

I will NOT continue the trend and gain back 10 and push it off. I'm going to push it off NOW, while I'm still only 6 above my original goal weight and 11 above my new goal weight. This is going to stop, NOW.

So here are the specific things I'm doing.

1) A "Week of Accountability" with CARRIE1948. We've done these before when we've needed to reverse trends. It's kind of like a spark streak with a definite end. We pick a few habits and then tell ourselves we will do them for One Week. Just One Week. Because forever is too long to contemplate, when I'm in this state. My goals for the week?
a) Stay under 1700 calories every day (current target is 1500)
b) Continue with my normal exercise routine
c) Add in the 30min kayaking yoga routine at least three times
www.amazon.com/Yoga-Kayaking-Anna-Le
vesque-Taft/dp/B004TLCO32?tag=manifold
s-20


2) Follow my new heart rate monitor's recommendations for exercise intensity ranges and times. This means that tomorrow, although I have to help run a kayak pool session, I am going to squeeze in a spin class before I go. So I get more minutes at the "high" cardio zone that the HR monitor is asking for. And I'll be sure to burn calories even if I have to spend a lot of the evening standing in the pool helping people learn to roll.

This is a little odd for me, actually. Because kayaking is WHY I do the spinning (and the weight lifting and watching my food, etc.) But in this case it seems more important to take a half hour away from boating in the pool - or helping others do that and burn off calories to regain the level of fitness I want.

3) I went and entered all my common foods in Lose It in grams. So I can quit estimating what a "large" sweet potato or apple or mango or banana is, and just weigh the dang thing. And I'm back to Very Strict Tracking. No more estimating anything by volume or eye. Something is off with my current calorie burn calculations these past 2 weeks and I suspect it has to do with estimating in my food tracking. I need to figure out what the heck is going on and I can't do that without accurate data.

4) Back on Wednesday when I saw the alarming upward trend happening I signed up for a weight loss challenge at work that begins in March. I wish it started sooner because I am not going to wait to get this junk out of my trunk. I'll just have to pull my 1% per week starting from wherever I'm at, at that point. I wish I hadn't waited until today, even. Because since Wednesday I've already gained 4 lbs. Bah.

So, yeah, it boils down to the two things I figured out way back in 2010:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4323111


1) Frequent monitoring
2) Immediate correction

I seem to be getting better about the monitoring. But I need to work on making the correction happen faster.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TENACIOUSTIGER 3/6/2012 9:41AM

    hey there what is yoga kayaking ? you are amazing and an inspiration for me to get to a point where i am fighting to maintain. at least now I am getting fitter and not fatter and the fitness scales and cms all all going in the right direction

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SPARKLISE 2/18/2012 2:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 2/17/2012 9:49AM

    You are so right..maintenance is constant vigilance. From what I have read the key to success is immediate correction when the pounds go up.
You are right on track in jumping into exercise and tracking..tracking and more tracking.
Planning and more planning.

You can do it.
Hope your day goes well! emoticon
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KAYOTIC 2/15/2012 10:29AM

    You have great clarity in seeing what you need to do to "fix" problems that pop up. And they always do....good for you for catching it earlier and earlier, that is opposite of the "normal" trend we always hear about.



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MOBYCARP 2/15/2012 7:21AM

    I hit maintenance last October, and maintenance sure isn't steady state. I think I've been adding or subtracting calories at least once every month since then, in response to what my weight was doing. Of course, my weight was responding to the net of calories in and calories out, and I can't measure calories out very accurately.

So I need to track calories in as accurately as I can, because that's the only place I can make precise adjustments. Being injured is another learning experience; I knew I had to cut calories, but it's a trial and error process figuring out *how many* calories to cut, and when to add them back.

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FROGGGY13 2/15/2012 6:02AM

    I love the "Week of accountability" idea! We all have so mich to learn from you. I know you'll see results soon.

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1HAPPYWOMAN 2/15/2012 1:31AM

    Thank you so much for sharing the ups and downs of your maintenance journey. It's great to get such a realistic picture of the kind of work it takes to keep it off!
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ROOSTER72 2/15/2012 1:15AM

    Three months maintaining for me, and it is still a learning exercise.
Can I relax? If so, how much?
What is my reaction point?

At the moment I am treating goal not as a number, but a range. My goal range is 58 to 60 kg (127 to 132 pounds). I like to hover about 59kg. If I see anything over 60 it is time for an immediate reaction. (Measuring food again, eating cleaner etc)

Seems to be working so far, but struggling a little at the moment - got a cold, which makes me want to comfort eat! And weighed in at 60.0 this morning!

I will keep an eye on your progress - we can all learn from each other.

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ADVENTURESEEKER 2/14/2012 9:21PM

    This gives me usable ideas for when I hit maintenance. Thanks for sharing! You can do this!



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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 2/14/2012 4:43PM

    It is so amazing how easily and quickly it piles back on isn't it? I like your determination. You WILL get it off!! I also like how encouraging and understanding you are with me, I get tired of hearing people tell me to relax and enjoy the weight loss. RELAX? What's that? Don't tell me stuff like that....I guess they just don't realize what a BIG deal this weight loss was and is, and how hard it is to keep it off. Every single minute of every single day of every single week of every single month of every single year...you get my drift. Coming up on 10 months of maintenance--WOOHOO!!!

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KHAYNES_WDE 2/14/2012 11:44AM

    I am right there with you! Sometimes you have to get very strict with yourself to get back to where you want and need to be. Good for you for making the change immediately.

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DDOORN 2/14/2012 8:42AM

    Just KNOW you'll be back on track...most likely in RECORD time...! :-)

Kudos to workin' it!

Don

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CARRIE1948 2/14/2012 6:17AM

    You CAN do this. The real issue is why do we keep having to do it over? As we discussed Saturday, this is a forever thing. I think I'm finally understanding why my friend who lost weight 50 years ago is such a Nazi about food.

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WENDYWITKOSKI 2/13/2012 9:41PM

    emoticon I'll be watching for your blog saying you are back at your goal.

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TAMPATINK67 2/13/2012 9:13PM

    Love the plan and know you will implement and correct the trend immediately!

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WATERMELLEN 2/13/2012 8:26PM

    Love the image of punching it down -- like rising bread dough kinda.

And totally agree that maintaining requires frequent monitoring and immediate correction.

I have to track what I eat. I have to weigh myself -- if not every day, at least several times a week. And I have to take action when I'm up even a couple pounds. Immediately.

Thanks for your comment on my venus blog: absolutely I agree that for the most part, I'd rather look like the photoshopped versions . . . plus a bit of muscle. I want a body that is strong and functional.

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CHOUBROU 2/13/2012 7:56PM

    Wow, I really needed to read this!!!

I'm about to enter a period of punching it back down...I'm really out of my comfort zone because I gave up on some good habits...I really need to think about accountability this week, and get back into my healthy eating and fitness routine.



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BREWMASTERBILL 2/13/2012 6:13PM

    I won't dispute Very Strict Tracking (TM) but I bet this will come off faster than you think. Prove me right :)

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TMW54812 2/13/2012 6:06PM

    There is nothing more powerful than a woman with a plan.....you will succeed!

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A week of kayaking class III-IV rivers in Costa Rica - with pictures!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

As a reward for not desparing and eating everything in sight while recovering from rotator cuff surgery this year (I missed my entire kayaking season which was a terrible blow) I signed up for a one week vacation in Costa Rica, kayaking in January.

The PT and surgeon cleared me for boating in rivers again starting October 1 and I worked hard between then and the trip building back up my strength, agility, and stamina.

The trip was run through a group that are based in North Carolina and primarily run kayak workshops and classes for women:
www.watergirlsatplay.com

They typically run several trips every winter somewhere warm. This was advertised as their "advanced" (and only co-ed) trip for the winter. The minimum requirement for participating was having a 70% successful roll in white water. Since I have almost 100% success rolling in white water on both sides, I qualified, although I've only been kayaking for about a year and a half.

Here was their description of how the week would go:
www.watergirlsatplay.com/womens-kaya
king-retreats/costa-rica/co-ed-week-of
-rivers

All the details were extremely well taken care of. They'd tell us how things would go and it would happen that way. The food was amazing, the guides competent, knowledgeable, friendly, and likeable. I never felt like a number, although there were TWELVE participants. No wonder so many of their trips sell out. (There is still space on an intermediate trip with this itinerary Feb 11-18 if anyone is interested. You only need a 50% roll for that. And you have to be female. Sorry, guys.)

Here is a zoomed-in picture of Costa Rica, showing where we kayaked each day:


I've got detailed GPS maps and lots more photos uploaded here:
www.everytrail.com/my_trips.php?coun
try=Costa+Rica&user_id=399933&order=tr
ip_date

One of the guides took 800+ pictures and they sold us discs of them at the end. Most of these photos are hers.

Just getting out of the Northeast was a challenge - there was snow closing and delaying the airports I was trying to connect in; I ended up having to drive an hour to a different airport just so I could get a flight that changed somewhere outside the stormy area. I didn't end up getting to San Jose until about 10pm and they had to send a couple of guys specially to pick me up; my luggage and gear got lost too and didn't show up until more than 24 hours later.

Here is the view I woke up to at the B&B.


It is up the hill from Turrialba and named La Cascada. It used to be a restaurant so the food was amazing.

The first day we kayaked a couple of short stretches on the nearby Pejibaye River which is named after a particular palm that has fruit. It was easy class II water so they could see what our skills were like.


I borrowed some clothes and gear. It was short sleeved and I forgot to put on sunscreen.


We stopped for lunch at an open air school (it was Sunday so they weren't using it)

The other participants on the trip were a lot of fun too. I hope I get to see them again someday.

That night we had a salsa dancing lesson.


It was really fun until I pulled a muscle in my calf. In the end that injury turned out to be the worst thing that happened to me, even though later in the week I had to swim a class IV rapid because I got stuck upside down next to some rocks where there was no room to roll up. The swim resulted in a few interesting bruises, but my calf is still a little stiff. Darn salsa. More dangerous than kayaking!

The next day we were to go on an overnight trip to the Sarapiqui River. When I got up, my luggage and gear were outside the door. It felt like Christmas to have my Very Own Things. I had no idea I could be so attached to just Things.
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This was the first day on the Sarapiqui (7 miles)


That night we stayed in a beautiful lodge with a pool, gardens, wireless, and a bar that served really interesting mixed drinks. www.hotelaraambigua.com Some of us got together and each ordered a different one so we could figure out the best and get that. I was partial to the Samba, the Pina Colada, and especially (and appropriately) the Pura Vida.


Every morning we did yoga, even while away from the B&B.

I got a DVD so I can continue doing it at home: www.amazon.com/Yoga-Kayaking-
Anna-Levesque-Taft/dp/B004TLCO32?tag=m
anifolds-20


The next day two people headed to a technical and challenging class IV section of the Upper Sarapiqui with one of the guides and the rest of us ran the Lower section again (8 miles).


We drove back and stayed at our regular B&B in Turrialba that night and the following day headed out to the top section of the Pacuare River(7 miles).



That was a pretty nice easy day, except for that swim I took in a class IV rapid that kind of scared me and banged me up a little. It was the only swim I took this week; my roll failed because I was in a narrow channel right between some high rocks and there was nowhere to stick the paddle to get up.

The next two days were long. We drove to the put in for the Lower Pacuare and paddled about 6 miles in to a beautiful camp in the jungle.


The organizers were very good about making sure I had lean protein available so I could stay close to my usual food plan.


The camp we stayed at on the Pacuare was cozy and beautiful. Here is my very own tent:


There were little clusters of them.


We hung our gear out but it rained so I think it might have ended up wetter than it was when it came off the river!


We did yoga there, too!


The last day was very long. We got back into our boats and paddled about 11 miles. Some of the rapids were tough. This one has a name translated as "Lost Indian Burial Ground." It didn't claim me. I did not even flip. I did take an easy line, though.


There were deep gorges in places. This was definitely the most beautiful section we paddled all week.


I got tired during 6 straight days of paddling, but I still had strength to do it.


There was one rapid that 5 of us chose to portage instead of run. If I hadn't had that nasty experience on the Top Pacuare I probably would have run it too, but I'd had enough of those shallow river rocks banging into me, so I decided to just take the good day I'd had and not push my luck.

We got a rainbow on the way home.


The last night we had dinner and all exchanged emails and prepared to leave the next morning. The microorganisms of Costa Rica had one more activity planned for me, however. About midnight it started with pretty violent trots. To which was added projectile vomiting (there was a little waste can next to the toilet, fortunately). Followed by about 4-5 hours of excruciating stomach cramps. I have never gotten sick while traveling. And I've never felt cramps like that before. It was so bad I couldn't help groaning and crying out. I tried taking multiple warm showers to help the pain subside. It helped me be a little quieter while a stabbing pang was happening. But eventually I'd end up back in my bed, moaning again. At times I actually just wanted to die. It seemed like it went on forever. Finally around 5am it stopped.

In the morning I somehow got my stuff sort of packed and took some final pictures and rode the bus back to the airport. My flight wasn't until very early the next day so I stayed overnight in a hotel. I'd kind of hoped to sit by the pool and even out my sunburn but I was so wiped out I just slept and slept and slept. Around 7pm I got up and wandered across the street to a Denny's and had chicken soup, hung out with some friends who also stayed a couple of extra days and then went back to bed. The flight the next day was uneventful, and I arrived home to a couple of very happy cats.

It was a good trip, but exhausting. I've never paddled 6 days in a row, before!

Since I'm a novice paddler in years of experience (1.5) I had expected to feel out of place on an "advanced" trip, but among the 12 participants I think I was somewhere in the middle in terms of skill. There were definitely people better than me, and I didn't take a couple of the advanced options offered to us, but only a few actually did, so I was not out of place, after all. Some participants swam several times on what seemed fairly easy rapids compared with things I've run. I needed plenty of combat rolls (on both sides), but fortunately the only swim I had was on a gnarly thing that also claimed a bunch of other people.

And everyone was great, personality-wise. I really enjoyed all of the other participants, as well as the leaders. What a fun group!

Considering that I couldn't even FIT into a boat three years ago, I'm pretty satisfied to be in this kind of shape, now. I'm glad I took the effort to push myself back into shape after the surgery rehab, and I'll take it.

I'm looking forward to improving so next time I go on a trip like this I can style the class IV things rather than swimming, portaging, or turning them down.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADZOE 2/18/2012 7:00PM

    This looks like a pretty amazing trip. Definitely rekindles my desire to really learn to kayak. I've been on one 3 hr sea kayak trip in the San Juans and 2 lake paddles. You make it look so exciting, I better get to it this summer.

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 2/14/2012 4:49PM

    That was ONE AMAZING trip, and some beautiful pictures. I think I would have preferred the B&B to the tents though! I like my beds SOFT.

I had a bug this weekend, sounds similar to yours, maybe not as severe. But had the problem at both ends, and didn't grab the garbage can in time, if you get my drift. What a mess. I too slept away the next day.

I like the part about how you didn't fit in a boat 3 years ago, and on this trip you kayaked for 6 days straight. WOW--what a transformation! You should be PROUD!

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XNANNY 2/3/2012 9:50PM

    You were lucky to have such a good time on your vacation.

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ABETTERSOUL 2/1/2012 12:04PM

    Wow...Looks like a fantastic trip! Thanks for sharing!

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DDOORN 2/1/2012 8:43AM

    Trots and bangs notwithstanding, it sounds like the trip lived up to your hopes & dreams...which you've now fulfilled! Woo hoo!

Thx for taking us along on your journey! :-)

Don

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KAYOTIC 1/31/2012 10:22PM

    emoticon

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WENDYWITKOSKI 1/31/2012 10:08PM

    Wow! So Awesome!

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WATERMELLEN 1/31/2012 9:08PM

    Except for the final bout of illness . . . what a fabulous trip! And what a very fitting way to reward yourself for: getting fit!! Love the pictures and especially that huge grin on your face!!

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JENNSWIMS 1/31/2012 8:04PM

    YIPPPPPPEEEEEEEE!

I'm so happy for you! That sounds fantastic and clearly you enjoyed it! I'm so happy that you decided to reward yourself with what you love, after having it yanked unceremoniously out from under you for the season, and do it in such fine style!

WOOOT WOOT WOOT!

Is it wrong that I had the thought, "well, that is a good way to lose a few pounds quickly"?

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GEE-KNEE 1/31/2012 5:44PM

    Except for the sickness and injury looks like a fun trip... I hope you like yoga :)

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TMW54812 1/31/2012 5:27PM

    Your transformation to Wonder Woman is now complete!....lol

You sure are making the most of being fit and healthy!

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FRENCHIFAL 1/31/2012 4:06PM

    Lovely!!

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WOLFKITTY 1/31/2012 3:58PM

    Wow. I'm in awe.
Simply amazing!

Jocelyn

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KRISZTA11 1/31/2012 3:55PM

    Wonderful! Thank you for sharing the pictures!

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STEVIECAT4 1/31/2012 3:51PM

    You are SO adventurous! I'm so proud of you, girl!!! emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 1/31/2012 2:59PM

    Wow, what an AMAZING trip!!!! :D

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BLUE42DOWN 1/31/2012 2:59PM

    Beautiful scenery. Thank you for the pictures!

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RG_DFW 1/31/2012 2:23PM

    Fabulous!

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CCASKEY37 1/31/2012 2:16PM

    That looked awesome. I'm totally jealous.

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MISSANGELFACE 1/31/2012 1:57PM

  Looks like an amazing trip! Beautiful scenery.

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TAMPATINK67 1/31/2012 1:55PM

    I loved the scenery, and daily yoga sounds amazing. But my favorite would have to be a tie between the smile on your face during salsa dancing, and the hat in the last photo - gotta get one of them!

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BREWMASTERBILL 1/31/2012 1:53PM

    Wow, that looks helluva cool. Do you have a link to the bigger pics?

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I look OK in street clothes, I think. :-)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Here's what I wore to chair my session and give my talk at the conference I'm at this week:


And can I just say "yay" for thrift shops? Because that whole outfit (including the 100% silk skirt and the shoes) came from Salvation Army.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPOOKYTHECAT 2/23/2012 9:29PM

    You look Fantastic! Great outfit~ & I love thrift stores. I shop at Savers all the time! emoticon

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 2/23/2012 9:12PM

    You look so pretty and SLENDER! LOVE the outfit! Bet you wow'd 'em!

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OOLALA53 2/13/2012 6:15PM

    I am so used to getting clothes at thrift stores I can barely stand to buy new. I hardly know how to shop in a department store anymore.

And as others have said, you look a lot better than okay and you know it! But it's okay to crow, too. emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 1/27/2012 12:19PM

    Like we used to sing, "Hubba hubba, ding ding, baby you got EVERYthing!"
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RUSTBUCKET1 1/19/2012 11:24PM

    Smart and fantastic looking! You're ready to go and ROCK that talk! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/19/2012 11:25:28 PM

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SPARKLISE 1/19/2012 8:34PM

    I love to shop there!
You look fabulous!
Have a great day! emoticon

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MIRAGE727 1/18/2012 2:53PM

    Thrift shops goood! And I would have paid attention to your presentation!
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REDSHOES2011 1/18/2012 10:56AM

    I think you look better than okay absolutely wonderful!
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FRECKS96 1/18/2012 10:56AM

    gorgeous!

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DDOORN 1/18/2012 10:20AM

    Great looks at even BETTER prices! :-)

Don

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KAYOTIC 1/18/2012 9:38AM

    Fantastic!

I used to love to shop the consignment stores too.....gotta find some up here!

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WATERMELLEN 1/17/2012 7:15PM

    "OK"???

You are waaaaay too modest. You look terrific!! The clothes are great: even greater, the way you are carrying yourself!!

Like you, I'm a huge fan of thrift stores . . . most recent "score", a pair of brand new, no-scuffs-on-soles, purple leather ankle boots, leather lined: $15.00!!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/17/2012 6:27PM

    @ BMB I started getting my hair cut that way sometime in the spring, if I recall correctly...

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JENNSWIMS 1/17/2012 5:25PM

    You look damn fine, girlfriend. :)

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BREWMASTERBILL 1/17/2012 3:52PM

    did you get yer hars cut too?

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TMW54812 1/17/2012 2:34PM

    You look marv-o-lous dah-ling! emoticon

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KRISZTA11 1/17/2012 2:26PM

    Wonderful! You are very pretty!
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BREWMASTERBILL 1/17/2012 1:39PM

    title correction: I think I look pretty damn hawt in street clothes.

FTFY

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FROGGGY13 1/17/2012 1:19PM

    You look absolutely great!

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NIMNIX 1/17/2012 1:13PM

    You make the clothes look good! emoticon

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.DUSTY. 1/17/2012 1:06PM

    emoticon

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TAMPATINK67 1/17/2012 11:53AM

    I can only hope you posted this this picture because you can see and apprecaite how far you have come and that you recognize what a truly beautiful woman you are.

Stand tall, feel confident - you look emoticon

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RG_DFW 1/17/2012 11:51AM

    emoticon

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WENDYWITKOSKI 1/17/2012 11:49AM

    You look better than ok!
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ZIRCADIA 1/17/2012 11:48AM

    Pretty! :)

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KELLIGIRL523 1/17/2012 11:44AM

    Super Yay for thrift shops!! You look wonderful! Good buy!

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JLPEASE 1/17/2012 11:42AM

    Wow, you look terrific! I hope your talk was a huge success!
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I have 50-50 odds of regaining my weight! Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Doesn't sound like very good odds, does it?

Flip a coin. Heads I gain, tails I keep it off.

But I'll take it.

Because I've reached the 2-year mark in my maintenance and it's a whole lot better than the odds I was staring down two years ago.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing. At one point I gained back 30 lbs and got it back off again. This past summer I gained back 20 lbs and then got it back off again. Right now I'm about 7 pounds less than I was when I reached goal two years ago. here's a graph, in case anyone wants to see the gory details:

docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=e
n_US&hl=en_US&key=0Ah4KrA4GkhKgdEF6dlJ
kbnNlVEFCZlhxRElCWDZNUlE&single=true&g
id=8&output=html


As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, the chances of regain when you actually hit goal are about 80-95%. The scientific references are linked.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4512102


So now those 50-50 odds aren't looking so bad, are they?

And it gets better. By the time you've maintained for 5 years, your chances of regain drop to 25%.

Here is a reference for the 2-year and 5-year odds:
clinical.diabetesjournals.org/conten
t/26/3/100.ful


No one really knows what the odds are beyond 5 years because it's very hard to track that long for the purposes of a scientific study and given the relatively high proportion of relapse you'd have to have a huge dataset to get decent statistics.

The best estimate we have is from the National Weight Control Registry, who published that after you've maintained for 15-20 years the chances of regain are about 20%.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_pu
blic_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=29
55689


By the way, you should join the National Weight Control Registry if you've lost more than 30 lbs and kept it off for more than a year. www.nwcr.ws Because it aids research in weight management, and the more we know, the better we can get at it.

I aim to continue doing everything I can to keep this weight off. If it means being hypervigilant. I don't care. I LIKE being this size, and I LIKE being able to do the things I can at this size.

Some have even described as eating disorders the lengths that folks go to to maintain weight loss.
www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2011/1
2/29/the_new_york_times_magazine_the_f
at_trap_and_the_impossibility_of_lasti
ng_weight_loss.html


I've made the comparison myself on occasion:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4100841


The difference here is that I'm aiming for optimal athletic performance. A high strength to weight ratio. I don't want to look "skinny" although I admit I'm happier with what I see in the mirror when my percent body fat is around 20. It's not about looks, or clothing sizes. It's about being able to kayak and XC ski and snowboard and ride my road bike well.

In the At Goal and Maintaining team we acknowledge and celebrate these milestones with our own database. If you're in maintenance, feel free to join us! You can sign up here:
spreadsheets0.google.com/spreadsheet
/viewform?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&formkey=dC
1oVGRkVTA0bUNTZk5zTGtzeHZGRmc6MQ

Lots of really kind people have dropped by to give me a pat on the back when I hit my anniversary yesterday. I'm still catching up on thanking all of them!

We keep track of our statistics, too. We have a Maintenance Hall of Fame (one person on there has maintained for over 40 years!),
spreadsheets0.google.com/spreadsheet
/pub?hl=en_US&key=0Ah4KrA4GkhKgdC1oVGR
kVTA0bUNTZk5zTGtzeHZGRmc&hl=en_US&gid=6


and a graph showing how many pounds people have lost and how long they have kept it off:

docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=e
n_US&hl=en_US&key=0Ah4KrA4GkhKgdC1oVGR
kVTA0bUNTZk5zTGtzeHZGRmc&single=true&g
id=10&output=html

Eight people on there have lost over 150 lbs! One has kept it off for 3.5 years!

I'd like to thank collectively the folks here at Spark people and especially members of the At Goal and Maintaining team and the High Intensity Thinkers for supporting me in this.

You guys have been great. Watching me, prodding me, noticing when stuff goes well and asking me what's up when it doesn't. And helping me figure out what's going on when it's not right. The Broscience Free Zone is awesome.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OOLALA53 2/13/2012 6:58PM

    Your information on probablility of relapse has helped me so many times even though I haven't reached goal yet! It's because I don't want to get involved in doing things I won't keep doing. I'll think, "If I depend on that behavior to lose, will I be willing to do it forever to maintain, or will I relapse?" I'm lucky enough that it is not an emergency for me to lose weight. I'm whittling my way down and it actually gets easier because the habits feel comfortable and doable. And having models like you who have faced down much greater odds is a huge boon. emoticon

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MOBYCARP 1/15/2012 5:04PM

    emoticon
I think you'll beat the odds.

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SHANTODD420 1/15/2012 4:35PM

    Congrats on maintaining that for two years.

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FROGGGY13 1/15/2012 3:30PM

    Thank you for doing all of this for the group, and congratulations on your 2 years!

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KRISZTA11 1/15/2012 3:17PM

    Great blog!
Thank you for compiling all this information for us, especially the Wall of Fame, and the milestone celebrations.
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KITT52 1/15/2012 1:30PM

    thanks for sharing the info, I have kept 200 pounds off for just over 2 years, I gain 5 then loose it..it's not easy but i think thats how it's going to be.....once I get over the 7 pound mark I cut way back on calories till I get to my goal weight....
it works for me

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JESPAH 1/13/2012 9:58AM

    Congratulations!

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RUSTBUCKET1 1/13/2012 1:13AM

    I loved that you charted all of this and provided citations. It is good to see the data and it can help a lot of people. Great and thanks for sharing. emoticon

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FRENCHIFAL 1/12/2012 10:05AM

    emoticon

Great job! I hope that soon I'll be maintaining like you! Keep it up, the odds are DEFINITELY in your favor!

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KAYOTIC 1/12/2012 9:59AM

    You always come up with such great info and tools, thanks for all you do to bring all that to our attention, and congrats on 2 years!

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TRAVELNISTA 1/11/2012 9:03PM

    You are doing emoticon

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KNH771 1/11/2012 7:02PM

    Awesome! I'd never seen the stats for two and 5 years. In March I will have maintained for three years. I just got paperwork for the Weight Control Registry over the holidays. Still have to send it in though...

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ZIRCADIA 1/11/2012 12:19PM

    1/15 is my 5 year sparkiversary... :) 4 years of maintaining a healthy weight as well. So I'm getting there!

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DDOORN 1/11/2012 9:59AM

    You most decidedly have MUCH cause for celebration!!

Love to cheerlead, but WOW do you deserve SO much credit for walking (kayaking, swimming, cycling, etc...!) that tough walk!

Thank you for your unflagging inspiration!

Don

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AZURELITE 1/11/2012 7:33AM

    Great blog. Thanks for posting this!

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TAMPATINK67 1/11/2012 7:02AM

    No need to reply -
Thanks for sharing your story and the information.

Congrats on your anniversary - it's awesome! And Inspirational!

PS - from what I know about you... I'd say your odds are way better than 50/50!

Comment edited on: 1/11/2012 7:04:56 AM

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SALSIFY 1/11/2012 6:15AM

    It must feel so great to go from 5-15% odds to 50%. It's good to know that probability is getting on your side!

(there should be a 'happy dice' emoticon for this kind of occasion :)



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ADVENTURESEEKER 1/11/2012 12:50AM

    Those odds are much better than the 15% odds! Woohoo!! You can do it!

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KIYOSHI04 1/10/2012 10:31PM

    awesome links... and awesome blog. great job, you.

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WATERMELLEN 1/10/2012 9:23PM

    Fantastic!! Don't care what the "odds" say statistically: I'd bet on you to maintain that weight loss anytime.

You are determined. Knowledgeable. Thorough. And you know why you want to do this. Because it feels good to be strong and healthy. The very best reason of all.

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BREWMASTERBILL 1/10/2012 5:54PM

    I like dem odds. I second the nomination for the Maintaining group. We've got questions, they've got answers. I'm with you, kid. I *LIKE* this size. I *LIKE* what I'm capable of doing and will do whatever I can as long as I can to maintain or better yet improve.

We're lucky to have had helpful people along the way. I wish I could be helpful, but unfortunately, I'm sarcastic and unhelpful. (sound the wah-wah trumpet).

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JENNSWIMS 1/10/2012 5:18PM

    Congrats! Your hard work, dedication and stubborn streak have paid off! :)

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