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Regain happens. The most important thing is what you do about it.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I started at 335.6 lbs in 2007, got down to 326.2 in late 2008.
I reached my initial goal weight (under 160) in early 2010.
I have been up and down both above and below 160 several times since then.
I eventually moved my target goal weight to 150 and made 160 my “scream weight.”

docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=
0Ah4KrA4GkhKgdEF6dlJkbnNlVEFCZlhxRElCW
DZNUlE#gid=8


Currently my moving average is 12 lbs above my “happy range” between 145.5 and 154.5 (+/- 3% around 150), and 6.5 over my “scream weight” of 160. I haven’t lifted weights regularly in the last four months, and I can tell. This isn’t muscle gain. In fact, according to the BIA trends on my scale, I’ve been losing muscle mass.

While I still am technically maintaining according to some criteria, I’m not happy with where I am at the moment. I’m generally healthy, but not in the athletic shape I was in last year. I wrote last December about why I wanted to get back into my “happy range” and continue getting stronger.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5173009

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry. Unexpected things happened, some of them very positive. Plans changed. Priorities shifted. I briefly did get back into range this spring but did not stay there.

For the past six months I’ve been treading water, trying to balance my new distractions with moderate food control and a mixture of cardio activities, and it has lead to gradual gains. This "strategy" clearly isn't working. The time has come for action.

So what am I going to do about it?

One option is to decide to be happy right here, where I’m at, and try to avoid gaining any more weight. But I suspect that sort of approach will lead to denial and continued weight creep. I know myself. This isn’t my first rodeo. I gained and lost over 100 lbs in my 20s, and regained them plus almost 100 more in my 30s. That’s how I got to 335.6 in the first place. And deep down inside I am not liking what I see when I look in the mirror. I am not liking that I can no longer wear my favorite pants. My self-esteem is taking a hit here, and that can be more damaging than anything else, in the long run.

Another option is to drop the new positive things in my life and go back to the exercise schedule and food plans I had before. That would give me back the body I want, but not the life I want. I LIKE the new things in my life, and I want to keep them there.

My main problem with the way I’ve been trying to manage my food and exercise is that I have been easily distracted from doing the positive behaviors. There hasn’t been sufficient incentive to skip the cookies on the snack table at contra dances, avoid the chips and beer after kayaking all day, stay out of the dried cranberries and almonds in the bf’s kitchen, take the time to lift, etc. So I think the solution is to set something up to help me stay more engaged with the process.

When I lost 160 lbs in 2009 I did it by making a spreadsheet with a whole bunch of little milestones, such that there was always a new goal and reward just around the corner.
docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=
0Au5Li0CuTA4qcklULV9DZEJaMnRVZU1VeFE3V
EctMUE#gid=0


If this strategy worked in the past, then something like it will probably work now because mentally I’m still the same person with the same kind of psychology.

The difference this time is that I don’t want to over-restrict my calories. That leads to bingeing. Losing those last 10 lbs and doing successful body recomposition goes extremely slowly. And over the past six months I have been unsuccessful getting back into my “happy range” partly because the thought of continuing the effort for months is kind of overwhelming.

So my milestones are a lot closer, this time. This is what it looks like:

168.00 (start)
166.32
164.66
163.01
161.38
159.77
158.17
156.59
155.02
153.47
151.94
150.42
148.91

docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=
0Ah4KrA4GkhKgdEFQOTNLZkMxZWpXWi13QnAyV
mtjZXc#gid=0


I have set a mini-goal of losing 1% of my body weight from my recent maximum (167.6). Then another 1%. And so on, until I get under my scream weight (160) and back within my “happy range” (between 145.5 and 154.5). I will use the trend weight from my moving average since that reflects where I actually am, smoothing out water fluctuations.

These mini-goals are measurable and achievable. They are the trail of breadcrumbs I will follow back to my “happy range.” The gap between them is small enough that there’s always another one, if I just go a little bit further.

My rewards will be a new Buff headband each time I get to or below a milestone. I like wearing them to control sweat and keep my hair out of my face during workouts and dances. They come in a bunch of different pretty designs and colors, which is fun.

I will eat between 1500 and 2000 calories per day on my plan:
www.fatsecret.com/diets/member-diet/
Default.aspx?dietid=4355344


I will continue the cardio I’ve been doing (a mixture of contra dancing, Tae Kardio, spin class, and kayaking) and add back in lifting 2x per week.

And I will continue to administer and participate in the maintenance challenges in the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team. teams.sparkpeople.com/maintai
ning

Although I’ve been out of range for the last few of these, the accountability is helpful to me, as is seeing so many of my teammates successfully staying within their own happy ranges.

The fat won’t come off overnight. But I believe the little goals along the way are achievable within every week or two, and that’s what I need to keep myself going over the long haul to get back to where I want to be.

Finding strategies that work is all part of the big process of learning how to keep the weight off. While I’ve definitely gotten better at it over the past 3 years, there is still a whole lot more to learn. I won’t even start to think of myself as a “successful” maintainer until I’ve passed the 5-year mark. And even then I’ll still have to stay engaged, because statistically about 20% of maintainers regain after that point. By that time I hope to have a lot more skills and experience under my belt. And kept less body fat under that belt, too!
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UPDATE:
Here is a spreadsheet of my progress
docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=
0Ah4KrA4GkhKgdEF6dlJkbnNlVEFCZlhxRElCW
DZNUlE&output=html


and a graph
docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=
0Ah4KrA4GkhKgdEF6dlJkbnNlVEFCZlhxRElCW
DZNUlE#gid=22


To see more about using trend weights, visit the Hacker's Diet spark team: teams.sparkpeople.com/hackersdiet

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SADWHITEWOLF 8/20/2013 2:16PM

    I too have been struggling past the dreaded re-gain. Starting to bounce back a bit but I now have about 7lbs to re-shed before I can start feel like I am making Real progress again. Still, everyday that we are still her and still trying is a victory!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 8/18/2013 3:56PM

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GOOSIEMOON 8/12/2013 8:05PM

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ADAPTINGANNIE 8/11/2013 9:06AM

    Amazing accomplishment. Amazing tracking! You must be a very motivated and data driven person. Great work. I am in awe.
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LIZZIE138 8/10/2013 10:02AM

    You are so motivating to me! I know you can achieve what you are setting out to do. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. emoticon

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AMARILYNH 8/9/2013 12:40PM

    The interesting question to all maintainers is who HASN'T experienced a gain of more than 5 pounds? I tried very hard to keep it under that and for the most part have, but twice my weight snuck over that mark. So like you I'm not in weight loss mode again.

I find SparkPeople SO helpful in this effort - I'm a member of the BLC (Biggest Loser Challenge) and find that weekly accountability along with support really helps. As does being a member of the Maintenance team - there is a LOT of combined knowledge here! emoticon emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 7/29/2013 5:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WRITINGRUNNER 7/27/2013 10:11PM

    I love this, you have done so well, it's inspiring . Congratulations!

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IS1GAR 7/24/2013 5:50PM

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CORNERKICK 7/23/2013 12:31AM

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LIVELYGIRL2 7/23/2013 12:07AM

  Wow, someone has the guts to figure out a plan to do something or themselves,,, but not be so strict as to be overwhelming. Good for you!!! emoticon

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SCRAPBECCA 7/22/2013 9:59PM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 7/22/2013 3:49PM

    I love your tracking tools. Good for you having the strength to get back on track and following your own guidelines. You are developing great habits that have kept you maintaining for 3 years.

I am going to check out the hacker diet tool...I have been using weightgrapher.com

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 7/22/2013 12:56PM

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RENATA144 7/22/2013 12:45PM

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THEWWWAY 7/22/2013 11:45AM

    I love the charts.

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ROXYCARIN 7/21/2013 10:10PM

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SARAWALKS 7/21/2013 5:01PM

    Excellent plan. You'll get there! Baby steps are the way to go. Love your Japanese dragon background, BTW, and thanks for starting the contra group. Here's to lots of dancing in weeks/months/years to come!

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WATERMELLEN 7/21/2013 2:33PM

    Great blog!! Love the way you use your brains to make your life work -- and your scientific analysis.

Since you reference the (newish!) bf publicly here may I just add one thought -- it took me a heckuva long time to acknowledge that I cannot eat the way my long-term (43+ years) DH can eat. His metabolism is not my metabolism. He is naturally thin and I am not, not even close. So although it's very romantic and enjoyable to organize couple time around shared food/bevvies . . . it won't work for me. If we go out for dinner, he can have the deep fried fish and chips and the beers and the cheesecake and I can have the Moroccan chicken and arugula salad and the single glass of white wine and the berries for dessert!!

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ISHIIGIRL 7/21/2013 9:30AM

    I think your blog is so relevant for many of us who have experienced weight creep. Thanks for being brave enough to write this blog. i can't wait to see where you are in the next few weeks. I love your plan

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SHOAPIE 7/21/2013 8:57AM

    emoticon

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KICKINGKILOS 7/21/2013 8:44AM

    You can do it girl
xo

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MARYJEANSL 7/20/2013 4:16PM

  It sounds like you have a great plan in place. I hope it goes well!

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ANGELFMABV 7/20/2013 10:03AM

    Wow! You are amazing and are doing a great job. Keep up the great work. One day I hope to be in the maintain stage of my lifestyle.

Hugs, Penny

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SANDYCRANE 7/20/2013 7:30AM

    Great blog.

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/20/2013 4:22AM

    Great job getting back on track to reach your happy weight. I am a maintainer, too and it does take balance and work to stay in that healthy range. I can relate to a lot of things you're saying. Thanks for posting this in a clear, organized way. You are a great planner! emoticon

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SIMONEKP 7/20/2013 12:25AM

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BLUEJEAN99 7/20/2013 12:02AM

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 7/19/2013 8:59PM

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MIMIDOT 7/19/2013 7:47PM

    Good plan. You can do it! Thanks for sharing.

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KIKIMAV 7/19/2013 5:55PM

    Great plan!!! It really made me think about my approach! I also have a reward system , but I think my goals are too far...It is like a reward every 8 lbs or something like this, but it seams that i've lost my momentum...
The 1% goal seems very appealing to me, and much more motivational! I am a little tight on the budget, but still I think if it will help me reach goal, it is worth it!!! emoticon

emoticon for the inspiration!!!

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DIANNEMT 7/19/2013 5:26PM

    I hope you won't mind if I copy this idea!! Come fall (yes, I am putting it off a bit) I am going to focus on the 1% losses to get to my "happy range" as you say. I am close but close is still so far!! Love the mini-rewards--maybe I WILL get an Ipod and then could download a new song every min-goal.....

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LDRICHEL 7/19/2013 5:09PM

    emoticon

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MSBEKANATOR 7/19/2013 4:27PM

    Inspiring! Thanks for sharing. I love the charts and graphs, I think I am going to do some for myself. What a great idea. :)

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LISA_FRAME 7/19/2013 3:53PM

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DEEDEE1102 7/19/2013 3:33PM

    I love how you are attacking this. You may have gained and lost weight in the past, but you are doing just what you need to do to make the yo yo a thing of the past!! Congratulations and I know I do better with plans and charts, etc. so I feel like you will be successful!

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CORNERKICK 7/19/2013 3:13PM

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SUSIEMT 7/19/2013 3:00PM

    Yea you! You can do it! I can do it! We will do it together!

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JOANNHUNT 7/19/2013 2:36PM

    WOW

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PATRICIAANN46 7/19/2013 2:20PM

  emoticon It sounds like you have a very workable plan.........

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FIFIFRIZZLE 7/19/2013 2:08PM

    This is so interesting for me, I am not at maintenance yet but I will be soon and I see that as my biggest task.
So your approach is really relevant to me.
One thing I am doing now is reframing my thinking. I release the weight instead of losing it. I ddn't mislay it and I don't plan to pick it up again later. It is gone. And if I put on weight, that's what it is. NEW weight. It hasn't got resident's rights, it has turned up, and it ain't sticking around long, I'm seeing to that!
Amazing what a difference in attitude this mental trick is making for me!
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JSEATTLE 7/19/2013 1:36PM

  WOW, you have really put all your stats down so well! Great analysis and sounds like you're totally in charge. Good for YOU!!

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_JODI404 7/19/2013 12:30PM

    Breaking it down like that makes it seem so much more doable!

I love all your analysis! I am sure you can have the best of both worlds with the right amount of planning.

Hopefully the new positive things in your life, and exercising and healthy eating don't have to be mutually exclusive!

I believe you will be on track quite quickly. In my last blog, I describe how I had to push a reset button too!

Best wishes, I look forward to cheering on your success!!!

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LILLIPUTIANNA 7/19/2013 12:25PM

    My gawd! You are organized! All those graphs and math made my head spin!

I do like that you see danger approaching, and instead of giving in, you renew your goals, and take action. I tell Sparkers all the time to be strong and to claim their personal power. I'm going to send people to this blog from now on, so they can be inspired by your well organized battle plans!

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JANEMARIE77 7/19/2013 11:25AM

    best of luck

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NEPTUNE1939 7/19/2013 11:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TINAJANE76 7/19/2013 10:43AM

    Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic, realistic and sane plan to get back to where you want to be. I've bookmarked this for future reference so I can have a look at it when the regain monster inevitably comes knocking at my door down the road. I'll thank you again for this when it does!

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CICELY360 7/19/2013 10:42AM

  Good blog

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CHERIJ16 7/19/2013 10:32AM

    You have a good, reasonable plan and right now that is what I need. I can relate to what you've been experiencing because that's me too. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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TERMITEMOM 7/19/2013 9:55AM

    Great ideas. I really like the 1% project, And your tracking graphs are awesome!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

I’m back in my “fat pants.”

Monday, June 03, 2013

Once upon a time, when I was over 335 lbs, I had a favorite pair of 4x batik rayon pants. The colors were subdued enough to work with my (then) very somber wardrobe of blacks, greys, and dark colors that I thought helped me blend into the background. (Which, honestly, is kind of hard to do when you’re that huge. But I did my best.) I loved them because even subdued, the colors were rich and in places even bright. ish. I got them from Junonia, and they weren’t cheap.

Here is a photo of me in those pants in 2006:



I loved those pants so much that when the inner thighs wore thin and tore I bought two more pairs. And I wore THEM until the inner thighs tore. My plan had always been to somehow cannibalize and mend them so I could have at least one pair of functional pants.

Then life intervened, and I eventually lost the excess weight and the pants lay quietly, forgotten, in a box of fabric. Which I opened about a month ago. And a lightbulb went off. I have taken up contra dancing.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5316259

Which means I now like twirly skirts. Which require a lot of fabric. Which isn’t cheap.

Soooo I took those pants and unpicked all the inner seams, leaving the outer seams intact. (The outer seams were securely stitched with Serger overlock, and rayon frays badly, so why undo a perfectly good seam?)

I patched the inner thighs with fabric from the pockets. I turned the legs upside down, made a wedge-shaped pattern that used the old hems as the new waistband, and the widest part including the old crotch for the new hem. I cut 6 wedges out of the repaired leg pieces, and added narrower contrasting wedges from a “blemished” rayon sarong I found on Amazon for $8.95 (it was the best price for rayon yardage I could find anywhere - I looked, and I couldn’t even find what was supposed to be wrong with that sarong).
www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00
2HFQ6W2?tag=manifolds-20


I fed the appropriate length of “no roll” elastic through the waistband, secured it, and wore the finished product this weekend at a dance. And only a tiny segment of one of my new seams frayed after wearing hard and washing, so I guess I did a good job on that, too. (Combination of zigzag and straight stitch.)


Photo by Zoë Madonna

So how is cool is that? I once again get to wear my favorite rayon batik pants while celebrating the fact that they no longer fit!

UPDATE: If you've got 5 minutes, you HAVE to watch this infectiously fun video of the same contra dance from last year (I’m not in it. But the band and the setting and most of the dancers are the same, and the production values are phenomenal.) Check out the overhead shots of people twirling!
youtu.be/STRUiouGqQ4
With music like that, how can you NOT want to join in??? LOL

If you want to find out more and try contra dancing, see my previous blog, where there are links
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_pu
blic_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=53
16259


or a team we now have for contra, square, and folk dancing.
teams.sparkpeople.com/folkdance
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WRITINGDIVA1 11/17/2013 12:47PM

    Awesome! Good for you!

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TERRIJ7 8/27/2013 2:18AM

    I love making upcycled clothing! Great idea on the skirt!

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CASSIES 8/23/2013 7:21AM

    I love the video and I love the transformation of your favorite pants into a twirling skirt! You are always such an inspiration.

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SUPERSYLPH 8/11/2013 12:58PM

    Love it!

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ADAPTINGANNIE 8/7/2013 9:48AM

    This was awesome. Thanks for sharing.
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SKINNYINMYHEAD 7/21/2013 5:36PM

    Very cool! All of it.. the entire thing.. loooooved the video! Heading over to your other blog now..

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BDRFLI 7/8/2013 8:26AM

    i rather enjoyed this blog! thanks for sharing! congratulations on still being able to "re-wear" your favorite pants!

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JACEBEL 7/4/2013 9:25AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TINAXX1 6/30/2013 4:39AM

   
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STANDFIRMAJ 6/24/2013 2:39PM

  great skirt, awesome wieh loss! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TUDAFD 6/24/2013 12:41PM

    Love it! emoticon

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MISSYMOOSE71 6/24/2013 9:05AM

    Awesome job with the skirt!! It's beautiful!

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CFMOSS 6/23/2013 2:38PM

    great skirt - great idea - good job on the weight loss.

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SCRIPTEDFLIGHT 6/23/2013 12:14AM

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BOPPY_ 6/21/2013 12:00PM

    You inspire me, and I don't even need the inspiration. ;-| | emoticon | emoticon

You are amazing. Not just your accomplishments. The things you write about, as well.

Thanks,

Lee emoticon

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MYRNA929 6/19/2013 1:14PM

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing


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MCJULIEO 6/18/2013 11:05PM

    Very Cool!

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-AIMIE- 6/18/2013 10:27AM

    emoticon BLOG!!! Great creative idea and good job on the dancing :)

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KAYYAK1 6/17/2013 9:59PM

  Good for you!

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PAULA3420 6/17/2013 3:05PM

    Wonderful blog. SO MUCH HOPE!! and a FUN ending. Loved it. emoticon

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FEARLESSNOW 6/16/2013 7:37PM

    I got a little misty eyed when I saw your second picture with the skirt. That is awesome.

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NABIT36 6/16/2013 8:50AM

    Way to go green!

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GRAMPIAN 6/16/2013 5:13AM

  Wonderful! emoticon

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ARMANISMOMMA 6/13/2013 3:58PM

    emoticon

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CATNCAG 6/13/2013 11:45AM

    That is incredible! You are so inspiring!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 6/13/2013 9:08AM

    emoticon emoticon
I love the idea of converting fat pants into a killer skirt :)

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CAMSEDGE 6/11/2013 10:21PM

    How wonderful. I love the creativity of taking something negative and turning it into a bright positive.

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SEARCHINGNANA1 6/11/2013 9:04PM

    Very inspirational!! I've yo-yoed for more years than I care to admit. Reading encouraging blogs like this really are a help.

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FROMNDTOGA 6/11/2013 11:53AM

    Looks like a lot of fun. I, too, have tried to 'recreate' some of my fat clothes. Have decided to stop messing with them, though, and give them to a needy charity instead.
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MANDYLOVE_76 6/11/2013 11:53AM

    Fantastic.

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ACTIONHEROFOX 6/11/2013 9:40AM

    emoticon

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PAM_COOPER 6/10/2013 9:28PM

    Great story and very creative! --- I've got rid of all my fat clothes, but understand the sentiments of having a special item of beloved clothing. I've worn some clothes thin, just because I liked them so well and they were comfy.

Now, I have so many clothes from new to not so new that I have acquired since losing weight (many hand-me-downs from friends and family too) that I don't have room for them all. I am in clothes heaven at least until I figure out which items are going to become my favorite wear-until-they-rot items . . . but then again, I may not need to become so attached to certain clothes 'just because they fit' as I once was.

Cute skirt, btw!!!!

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RUSSELS8 6/10/2013 5:43PM

    emoticon

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KGWINDER 6/10/2013 4:42PM

    The genius of getting in shape is that it literally recreates you just like you did with the pants. Anyone who has struck with it fir more than six months understands the creativity with meal plans, clothing (i once ran darts down a jacket back and a sean down the bottom part of the sleeve to end up with a darling mutton sleeve and flare bottom jacket), transpirtation, time management and rediscovering that does into the journey.

You story is particularly wonder because you are a good writer;also because it embraced the fact that you don't throw yourself away in this progress rather bring forth the best parts. Well done. Btw are you ready to make some big bucks making exercise clothing for large sizes with a double ply inner thigh?? How many pounds of is it going to take..and better yet weigh lost pants that would cover three sizes sizeswith adjustable seams....rather like the jackets they make for growing kids now. Yea for you!!!!!! I hear a crowd of woohoos.

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TEASCHERTZ 6/10/2013 1:42PM

    When getting back into your fat pants is usually a sad thing this was totally the opposite, Love your story and experience! Awesome!

Thanks for sharing it with us.

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KARENKANDO 6/10/2013 8:01AM

    Oh my, what fun! Thanks so much for sharing the video. As I watched, it reminded me of square dancing - something I haven't done since 8th grade! Only this dance is done with more excitement and pizazz! Great blog. Huge congrats to you on your accomplishments. You are an inspiration.

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MSLADYBUG3 6/9/2013 11:18PM

    Good job....way to go!

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STLOUISWOMAN 6/9/2013 10:19PM

    Love what you've done with your "fat pants." The contra dancing looks like a real workout but fun at the same time.m Thanks for sharing with us.
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SHAN09 6/9/2013 1:42PM

  What a great inspiration! Loving your 'fat pants' in a whole new way is fabulous! emoticon

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SPECIALGURL7 6/8/2013 10:39PM

    I liked the video. The band was really having a good time.

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VABUTSY 6/8/2013 10:15PM

    Great story and great YouTube video -- love those fiddlers!

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MAKINANIMPACT 6/8/2013 9:00PM

    WTG!!! Keep up the great job!


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EABL81 6/8/2013 7:28PM

    What a clever idea! Congratulations on your weight loss, your new passion, and a beautiful new skirt.

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PMFISH 6/8/2013 5:55PM

    m emoticon emoticon

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MARYALICE61 6/8/2013 5:09PM

    You are truly an inspiration! I too, right now over 300 pounds. I've lost over 51 pounds and have a long way to go, but with stories like yours - it keeps me going!

You are AWESOME!

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DONDAIN 6/8/2013 5:07PM

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DELLMEL 6/8/2013 2:33PM

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MAW_OH 6/8/2013 1:05PM

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ROCKLAND2010 6/8/2013 1:00PM

    WOW! What a wonderful story! Congratulations, you inspire all of us.

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KIMMARIE11 6/8/2013 10:52AM

    I loved the repurposing of the pants and how amazing is it that you took something that had certain emotions attached to it and changed it into something else entirely so you could attach new fun and exciting emotions to it. Definitely an inspiring blog post.

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Contra Dancing - burning calories and socializing...

Monday, April 08, 2013

A little over a month ago XC ski season was winding down and the rivers hadn’t really thawed enough to kayak on safely. And socially I’ve been a bit of a hermit over the winter, not really getting out there and meeting new people.



So I forced myself to go to a local contra dance, as a way to burn some calories and socialize. There are videos from that dance on YouTube.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBPnc1NfQ14
www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGNVbs-dlIU

I had such a good time I’ve been doing them pretty much weekly, ever since. And I even MET SOMEONE there. We have so much in common enjoying dancing and the outdoors that we eventually decided to become An Item. So, win. It worked beyond my wildest expectations. LOL

A brief search on Sparkpeople.com for “contra dance” turns up no entries in the past year.
tinyurl.com/contra-dance-blog
tinyurl.com/contra-dance-forums
This is kind of surprising, given how friendly and inclusive the contra dancing community is - very much in line with the Sparkpeople.com ethic.

So perhaps an explanation is in order (because many may have never heard of it). It’s a form of social North American folk dancing similar to square dancing, but a bit more athletic, and done to live traditional music. It’s family-friendly and usually alcohol-free. You can get more information at this page. www.sbcds.org/contradance/whatis
There are some helpful tips here:
www.wikihow.com/Contra-Dance

There are dances scattered all over North America, and other places too. You can probably find one nearby:
- tedcrane.com/DanceDB
- www.contradancelinks.com
- www.thedancegypsy.com/dancesComplete
.php

- www.cdss.org/upcoming-events.html

Or just go to Google and search for your state and the term “contra dance.”

It’s a fun way to spend an evening. Admission at the door is typically between $5 and $10, depending on the event. For some of them, if you bring snacks they will waive admission. You don’t need to know what you’re doing, and you don’t need to bring a partner. Just bring a pair of soft-soled indoor shoes to dance in (so you won’t scratch or mar the wood floor).

You typically pair up with a different partner for each dance (women can ask men as well as vice-versa) and end up dancing with many people, as you and your partner progress down the line (sort of like in the Virginia Reel).

It is a fairly low-level cardio activity (compared with something like spin class), but the calories add up - according to my heart rate monitor I burn about 500 calories at a typical 3-hour dance (including breaks). I try to stay away from the cookies at the snack table (I sometimes bring a protein bar or two), so it’s pretty safe food-wise. Perhaps I will start bringing baby carrots and hummus or sliced bananas as a healthy alternative.

The moves aren’t terribly complicated, and the events are always beginner-friendly, and people will show you what to do and help nudge you in the right direction if you get lost. Sometimes there are lessons half an hour before the scheduled dance begins, so arriving early can be helpful. If you can walk, you pretty much can contra dance. I have arthritis in one of my knees and as long as I wear flats (no heels) it seems to be OK.

And here’s an added benefit - I can get used to how my “new” body moves, and dress it up in fun twirly skirts I find at Salvation Army. As a tomboy most of the time, it’s neat to have an excuse to channel my Inner Femme. And I get used to physical contact with others, in a friendly, non-threatening format.

As someone who likes traditional acoustic folk music, I also find it enjoyable to hear (and dance to) live Irish, English, and Old-Time tunes played on guitars, fiddles, and other instruments (one recent band had a didgeridoo).

So, if you haven’t tried it before, I encourage you to give contra dancing (or any other form of folk dancing) a shot. You have nothing to lose, and you might find a new way to enjoy burning some calories with your friends and family. You might even make NEW friends.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KIMMARIE11 6/8/2013 10:56AM

    Thank you for offering another way to burn calories and have fun at the same time. I will be checking local meetup groups (meetup.com) to see if there are any contra-dancing groups in my area.


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FITFRIT 6/5/2013 11:26PM

    Going to have to check this out

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MOMKAT4310 6/5/2013 2:27PM

    Fantastic, and great to find an alternative activity. Loved your links.

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LRSILVER 6/4/2013 8:13PM

    Awesome thanks

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KAB7801 6/4/2013 7:32PM

    Thanks for the tips
Kim
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VALERIEMAHA 6/4/2013 6:42PM

    What a trip! I would have had no clue about this blog, but I noticed Francesca had commented on YOUR blog about CONTRA dancing. And since I was still basking the the good vibes of your earlier note to me, AND was just about to send you one back, I decided to go to this blog (not knowing it wasn't written today! You already shared lots in your wonderful supportive note to me...and this blog gives me even more info. Funny, even before reading your blog about the batik "tailoring job" I had already started looking for contra dancing possibilities...and found one that meets twice a month about 40 min. from here. Sooooooo...the universe works in wondrous ways its wonders to perform! WATERMEllen wrote a series of awesome blogs about "Leaving It!" And Don (DDOORN) commented about being touch deprived and thus looking at dance and massage as ways to deal with that. I too need more touch, Don's response really resonated with me, and for that reason, among others, I decided to look into it..

So, my friend, again bowing in gratitude for the solidarity,
xox
Maha

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FRANCESCANAZ 6/4/2013 6:28PM

    Great!!! emoticon

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JACKIE542 6/4/2013 1:55PM

    What fun, thank you for sharing the links emoticon

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WINE4GIRL 6/4/2013 10:47AM

    How cool! Thanks for the links!
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BOPPY_ 5/20/2013 3:19PM

    You go girl! emoticon

Wait, you've already gone. emoticon

Didn't wait. emoticon

Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Lee emoticon

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BESSHAILE 5/7/2013 7:34AM

    sounds like so much fun!

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WATERMELLEN 5/1/2013 9:09PM

    Hey, how'd I miss this great blog? Sounds like so much fun . . . good exercise AND socializing and girly clothes (you look great) and becoming a new "item" too!! What's not to like?

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DDOORN 5/1/2013 9:53AM

    The Swing Dance society down here in Endicott every Tues. is very similar: open, accepting, supportive anyone dancing with anyone. No smoking, no drinking, just people getting out to have a blast dancing the night away!

www.stnyswingdance.com


I'll have to catch up with Contra sometime...!

Don

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VTRICIA 4/26/2013 11:37AM

    I'm so checking this out.

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WOLFKITTY 4/24/2013 11:02PM

    Love it!

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SEPPIESUSAN 4/18/2013 10:26AM

    That sounds like fun!! Especially the part where you met someone, congrats! Not sure if it's anything like line dancing but my aunt does that at least three times a week to maintain her weight loss and she loves it.

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ILOVEMALI 4/15/2013 2:58AM

    looks so fun!

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KATHIC2 4/14/2013 10:04AM

  It is great fun!

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KANOE10 4/10/2013 8:16AM

    Thanks for sharing. That sounds fun and I am glad you met someone to enjoy it with.



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STARDUSTD 4/9/2013 8:47PM

  This blog gets an A simply for the fact you incorporated "didgeridoo."

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CARRIE1948 4/9/2013 8:50AM

    When I'm out of casts, I'm coming along

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NEW-CAZ 4/9/2013 3:02AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KRICKET4 4/9/2013 12:02AM

    emoticon
Awesome Anja! And good luck!!!

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MARILYNROBERT 4/8/2013 8:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEADSBAY 4/8/2013 8:28PM

    How absolutely emoticon
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and
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MKELLY72 4/8/2013 8:03PM

    This looks so fun!! Thanks for posting this! I wonder if there is anything around my neck of the woods.
Michelle

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MAUITN 4/8/2013 7:43PM

    Win win. Exercise and meeting someone!

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VHALKYRIE 4/8/2013 7:35PM

    Sounds neat! So glad you have found something interesting to do!

And hurray for meeting someone!!

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MANDELOVICH 4/8/2013 7:19PM

    I love it - socializing and burning calories and having fun all in one! Great!

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SUZYMOBILE 4/8/2013 7:10PM

    That sounds fabulous all around! A fun new activity, a fun new SO, getting out and about! Can't beat it!

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TINAJANE76 4/8/2013 7:07PM

    Sounds awesome! Glad to hear that you're enjoying it so much.
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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/8/2013 7:05PM

    @LESLIELENORE

DO IT!!!

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Or convince your bro to come out with you for one out here. We can kayak during the day and dance at night...

Comment edited on: 4/8/2013 7:07:14 PM

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LESLIELENORE 4/8/2013 7:03PM

    That is awesome that you Met Someone! There is contra dancing ay our local Grange, usually on the first Friday of the month. I have thought about going, but have chickened out every time.

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Report on a 1 Rep Max test

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

BREWMASTERBILL has been bugging me to do a 1 rep max test so I inserted one into my lifting schedule.

Since I usually lift at home alone in my basement, I generally do the 18 or 24 reps that the New Rules of Lifting for Women has prescribed.

I'm visiting my sister (HAVASUROSE) in AZ at the moment and this afternoon visited her local gym to get some real 1 rep max numbers, in a place where there were folks who could spot me, or at least call 911 if something went wrong. LOL

I used this form to estimate the numbers based on the last time I did any of these lifts in the NROL4W program: www.strstd.com

Here were the results:

1) Squat first.
6x 115lb as a warmup
155 (easy)
165 (easy)
175 (barely got up, so called it)
The original sheet estimated I had 158 in me. So, WIN.
According to strstd.com I'm intermediate at this.

2) Bench second
6x 75 lb as a warmup
85 (easy)
95 (almost got it but the spotter "helped" so I tried again)
95 (almost, but just couldn't quite get it up)
90 (all me)
The original sheet estimated I had 103 in me. So, FAIL.
According to strstd.com I'm a novice at this.

3) Deadlift third
6x 135 as a warmup
175 (easy)
180 (easy)
185 (easy)
190 (harder but doable)
195 (hard but doable)
I probably had 200 in me but the spotter said he thought I'd done too
many today to get a fair test.
The original sheet estimated I had 182 in me. So, WIN.
According to strstd.com I'm intermediate at this.

4) Overhead press fourth
6x 65lb as a warmup
80 (almost made it but weakness in repaired shoulder stopped me)
75 (all me)
The original sheet estimated I had 98 in me. So, FAIL.
According to strstd.com I'm a novice at this.

Not surprised at the results given a number of factors:

1) I used to carry around 250-350 lbs or so for most of the last 20
years so every time I sat down and got up was a squat. DL same
concept.
2) Repaired shoulder (rotator cuff surgery in 2011) is clearly still not at 100%
3) NROL4W just started having me do bench presses, and there have been overhead presses only once in the program so far.

These results make me think that the next time NROL rotates back
around to DL and Squat, I need to increase the weight by a LOT.

Also, I think it's pretty cool that I can now deadlift more weight than I've lost off my body.
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Anyway, just thought you guys might think this was a fun idea too.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMKAT4310 6/5/2013 2:33PM

    Wonderful, even your FAILs are inpressive and give you great information. I so can understand. Have been heavy many years, and have super storng legs and thighs. I worked out with the college football team when I was in college, I was 35 at the time, a non traditional student. Not on purpose, that was just the time I could fit Body Management into my schedule. Any thing I could do with my legs was superior, and I never knew why. Live and learn. Thanks.

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GABBY98_80 4/4/2013 2:02PM

    what is a one rep max test?

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TEDYBEAR2838 2/28/2013 8:48PM

    WEIGH-2-GO!

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MEXGAL1 2/27/2013 9:06AM

    very very cool!

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STEVEX1 2/15/2013 10:30AM

  Awesome!

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BREWMASTERBILL 2/13/2013 7:55PM

    This is all very interesting, but how much do you squat? Oh wait, you mention that here. DIER? :)

Seriously, when people say "I do strength training", 99% of 'em ain't doing what you're doing. You're getting strong and you got numbers to prove it. Official bad ass stamp.

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MKELLY72 2/13/2013 3:07PM

    I have never even tried to lift as much as I can! That is amazing.
Michelle

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CHERYLL1949 2/13/2013 12:48PM

    Wow, you inspire me to get off my butt and do something! emoticon

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CARRIE1948 2/13/2013 7:40AM

    As usual, you astound me

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KATHIC2 2/13/2013 7:19AM

  I will try it! Really appreciate all your blogs and great info!

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SUZYMOBILE 2/13/2013 7:10AM

    Amazing!

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TINAJANE76 2/13/2013 6:13AM

    I've gotta try this too. Just need to find a spotter as I also usually lift on my own. I know the overhead press will do me in. I've dislocated my shoulder a few times and have worked a lot on strengthening it up but I seriously doubt I could get anywhere near the 100 lb. mark. Great job!

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NEW-CAZ 2/13/2013 2:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/12/2013 10:24PM

    Those are great numbers and show how really dedicated you are, congrats!

I've been torn about the whole 1-max rep thing for a while.....not sure it gives me any useful info and not sure if it's worth training for.

Three years ago when I decided to so some serious ST (I had hip surgery), I made the commitment to get strong and to not worry about the amount of weight. For me it's all about the form and the strength that comes.

My son is a gym rat (25 year old) and bugs me all the time to "test my one-rep max". I tell him to keep lifting and to look me up when he's 53 to see if he's still lifting!

You're doing great, keep at it....btw, a book I like a lot is called "Starting Strength" by Mark Rippetoe.....great details on how your body works to do squats, deadlifts, presses, etc

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KAYOTIC 2/12/2013 9:52PM

    Cool stats, love that you can deadlift more than you lost!

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DALID414 2/12/2013 9:20PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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IMAVISION 2/12/2013 9:02PM

    I am impressed!

God bless you with continued success!

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LESLIELENORE 2/12/2013 8:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 2/12/2013 8:41PM

    emoticon

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Gun Show!

Sunday, January 13, 2013



Enjoyed catching up with NIMNIX, WOLFKITTY, and GEE-KNEE this evening after hours.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMKAT4310 6/5/2013 2:34PM

    Love it!

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MEADSBAY 3/9/2013 11:15AM

    hahahahahaha!
Got me!
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NIMNIX 1/14/2013 5:36PM

    Pretty sure the other chick in the pool was thinking "Where did these psychos come from? Why am I suddenly holding a camera?"

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ARCHIMEDESII 1/14/2013 12:18PM

    Now that's how you flex some muscle !

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MKELLY72 1/14/2013 11:40AM

    Fun:)

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BLUE42DOWN 1/14/2013 2:38AM

    emoticon Guns!

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JLPEASE 1/13/2013 7:23PM

    emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 1/13/2013 12:49PM

    emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 1/13/2013 11:08AM

    All right!

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MAUITN 1/13/2013 11:04AM

    Great shot - Strong Women!

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SWEDE_SU 1/13/2013 9:21AM

    terrific:-))

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TINAJANE76 1/13/2013 9:19AM

    Love it! You've certainly all earned the right to bare arms!
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KATHIC2 1/13/2013 9:02AM

  Fun!

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ANNIEONLI 1/13/2013 6:32AM

    emoticon Too cute!

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NEW-CAZ 1/13/2013 2:53AM

    emoticon

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DALID414 1/13/2013 2:21AM

    Intimidating pool!

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