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Not focusing on the scale...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

So I've been saying I wanted to reward actions, not results. I've been saying that I will be proud of my accomplishments and my discipline with my FastBreak goals. I've been saying that the scale doesn't matter to me.

Um, I lied.

My weight shot up since starting my new plan. Like, a lot. Like, an embarrassing a lot.

I have been so focused on the other things, I haven't been tracking my food as religiously as I should have. That must be why, right? I've been going to BodyPump. That must be why, right? I've been eating salty foods. That must be why, right?


I am totally buggin' about this! Not focusing on the scale SUCKS when you're so focused on the scale!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STILLOUT2LUNCH 11/14/2011 12:18PM

    "Step away from the scale" said the diet police woman. Can you go for a whole week? If possible, can you go for a whole month? Take your scale to a friend's so you have to go there to weigh. The only way to take control away from that Digital Monster is to forcibly Take it Back. You are in control of your life, your decisions, your attitude. Journal for a week about your food and exercise choices. Write a positive motivational quote to memorize and focus on all week. Record your high's and low's, but focus on the small achievements. AFTER seven days of doing that, Then go weigh. After that, walk away and start all over again.

Just like you tell me, you CAN DO THIS,

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RUTHXG 11/14/2011 12:10PM

    Brenda, if you're doing a lot of strength training (BodyPump), you're building up muscle & that means you won't lose much weight in the beginning. But it's increasing your metabolism, so soon you should start seeing results, especially if you're making sure to include plenty of cardio. (Or does BodyPump also constitute cardio work, because of the speed?)

If you've just recently started doing these classes, give it a little time.

Also, it's probably wise to reduce your salty foods & track your eating.

The scale IS a useful measure, but make sure to include other measures in the mix. Have you measured yourself (waist, hips, etc.) lately? Are any of your clothes fitting differently? If they're tighter, you do have a problem; if they're getting a bit looser, rejoice & know that the scale will show results soon too.


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/14/2011 11:24AM

    Agreed! Mine is still flip flopping all over the place- I think to not focus on the scale you have to really focus on every other aspect and then you can be like "see not focusing on the scale but still I lost a lb!" but that is so hard and never seems to work for me. So i'm not going to focus on the scale for validating me, but I am going to focus on all the habits that go into getting a good result from the scale...? make sense? I think that's what we're doing but we need to be a little stricter on ourselves. I know I do at least!

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LULUTU 11/13/2011 11:01AM

    I know exactly what you mean. I keep telling myself that the scale isn't the best way to measure health or fitness -- weight is just the easiest, least common denominator by which we can compare ourselves with others. And frankly, comparing myself with others isn't really part of my plan.

That said, I do still care about the scale -- I can't seem to give it up! So keep in mind, you're not alone.

Go Starfish!

Comment edited on: 11/13/2011 11:02:18 AM

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HAKAPES 11/13/2011 1:23AM

    Body fluctuates, weight goes on and off. My strategy is to keep with the process! And my No. 1. priority is to track food. All the time, even if I over eat, or have no time to exercise, or we are under water, I track my food. At least, in my paper diary, and enter it later. And it works!

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BECCIE0524 11/12/2011 5:04PM

    Grrrr! I can relate. Your body can fluctuate so much. Don't beat yourself up. Focus on how you feel because of the exercising. You know that you need to track your feed so get back on the plan and you will see results. emoticon

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HINCTYBEAT 11/12/2011 12:59PM

    Aargh! Me too :) I have a pile of try-on pants that I'm working my way (weigh) through as I get smaller. This week I could wear some new pair, but I"m up 2 pounds? And, there's really no logical reason for the gain.

I LOVE the challenge, but do better with monthly weigh-ins.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/12/2011 10:54AM

    Ouch, that's a tough one. One of the things that has helped me a lot through the upticks on the scale is to remind myself that I'm not in a race to get well by a certain date (even if we are part of an 8 week weight loss challenge!)

Start over doing all the basics that worked in the beginning; track food, log aerobic points, stay within calorie limits....all that simple stuff that helped on those first few days on Sparkpeople to show results.

Keep at it, you can do it!!

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I've Been Spending Too Much Time on Spark...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Yesterday, I was reflecting on the fact that I would not be going to my two hours of classes on Wednesdays but for Mary Ann. I really enjoy them, and I'm still going, even though my "deadline" has passed. Now Mary Ann doesn't make me go. I go because I WANT to, because they are SUPER-FUN. Anyway, I decided I owe Mary Ann some token of my gratitude, and this is how my inner monologue went:

"I owe Mary Ann a token of my gratitude (yes, I do talk to myself like this). Hmm, let's see, how can I thank her? A jump rope? A fruit salad? Wait...those are SparkGoodies."

I totally wanted to give my IRL friend a SparkGoodie. I guess SparkPeople has rewired my brain. =)


Side note: Some of the SparkGoodies may not be a half-bad idea IRL...pedicure? Massage? Yes, please!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STILLOUT2LUNCH 11/14/2011 12:10PM

    I'm with you on the real life goodies. That would be so FAB.

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PINKNFITCARLA 11/10/2011 11:29PM


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GETSTRONGRRR 11/10/2011 8:43PM

    Yeah, you may want to invite her over and let her spin the Spark wheel for you...

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FLGIRL1234 11/10/2011 7:44PM

    lol, thanks for the laugh!

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GIRL*IN*MOTION 11/10/2011 2:46PM

  haha too funny! I love it when we think in "spark-terms" lol

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SHRINKINGLULU 11/10/2011 1:25PM


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SEATTLESIMS 11/10/2011 12:38PM

    yeah a little special note of thanks is always appreciated!
Way to go on the 2 hours of classes! you should be training for an event or something, with that endurance!
Keep up the hard work!

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AMYLONGHORN 11/10/2011 11:56AM

    You're silly!!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/10/2011 11:32AM

    I know but I think we need MORE sparkgoodies - or we should be allowed to upload our own pics and send them as goodies :) just a thought!

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LOVEBYRD 11/10/2011 10:58AM

    Too cute!!

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RUTHXG 11/10/2011 10:56AM

    Heehee--when I read the title, I thought you were going to be letting us know that you'll need to scale back your Spark time. Glad that's not it!

Yay for Mary Ann & all motivating friends!


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MMNICKS 11/10/2011 9:48AM


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REBECCAMA 11/10/2011 9:46AM

  LOL! It is fun isn't it? Glad you are enjoying the Spark goodies.

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HOPESINGH 11/10/2011 9:17AM

    That's a great idea, giving such a gift to somebody who helped me be a better me.
Good you enjoy these classes emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 11/10/2011 9:02AM

    I know - I am addicted to collecting points!

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Knees 5 Things

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Yesterday's Knees Challenge was to make a To-Do list for things to be done by Friday. I did it, but figured instead of shoving the scrap paper in my purse to be lost until Christmas when I'm pulling out receipts, I should post it here for myself and the SparkWorld to see.

1. Scrub the kitchen floor.
2. Return my library book and get a new book-on-tape.
3. Job-related one I don't want to post in public
4. Work on my filing.
5. Go to my two classes.

I'm still working on my FastBreak of eating a healthy breakfast. I'm doing well on it. I've also decided on rewards on Saturdays for doing all the things I'm supposed to do for the week. They are:

1. FastBreak goal(s)
2. Not smoking
3. Flossing
4. Only drinking a diet soda after (x+1) cups of water. This week, x is 5.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEATTLESIMS 11/9/2011 11:40AM

    hope you are doing well on these goals a week later!

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ANNASBF 11/5/2011 2:31PM

    Ahhh... I read a book recently... as recently as yesterday... that insisted that weekly goals make more sense than a string of to-do things for a day because it includes a little sumpin came up time.... and you can still complete the list by Friday... which it looks like you are doing which is my way of giving you a compliment in my usual verbose way! In other words, you are as smart as the PhD dude who wrote the book... so, back pat to yourself on my behalf in order pulease... well done you!

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GETSTRONGRRR 11/2/2011 1:24AM

    Good goals.....keep plugging away!


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 11/1/2011 12:20PM

    great goals - i'm with you on the messy purse - perhaps I should make that a goal?

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RUTHXG 11/1/2011 11:47AM

    Great goals (though I have no idea what the "Knees" is about--& I hope you have lots of fun with the Saturday rewards!

emoticon to you!

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BETTERJULIA 11/1/2011 11:18AM

    Great goals! You can do this!

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Back to Basics

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I was planning to switch my SparkDiet stage to one. But then I decided I didn't need to relearn how to use SparkPeople, so I didn't.

But, yes. I'm back to FastBreak goals. I'm going to do one at a time. This week, and I know, Starfish, I should have figured this out last week, is eat a healthy breakfast. Emphasis on healthy, though. I do eat breakfast everyday, but sometimes it's 7-Eleven taquitos or salt and vinegar chips.

Those are actually out now, because I was so inspired by LOVEBYRD's idea of not eating food from "out" for a month, that I'm doing it now with my husband. We started on Monday, and my plan is to get through all of November and maybe see how far into December we can go. I suppose I could buy salt and vinegar chips at the grocery store, and it wouldn't count, but that's just asking for trouble.

Meanwhile, I'm increasing the amount of water I need to drink in order to allow myself a diet soda. In the past, it's been one diet soda for every quart or water. I've moved up to 5 cups. I'll move up to 6 with my next FastBreak goal. And I'll let SparkPeople's seemingly random setup of FastBreak goals determine my route. I can't really go wrong no matter which ones I choose in any given week.

Tonight is BodyPump and BodyCombat. 2 hours. I hope I do okay. I slacked the last couple weeks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKPORT9 10/28/2011 12:05AM

    I wish you well! I too am fighting my own demons (mainly me) and I need to get back to tracking food and doing better. I know you can do it! emoticon Laurel

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DTOWNSEND1966 10/27/2011 4:06PM

    I need to get back to basics. I start so well and cave by about 3. I'm not quite sure why. I think I've got to just rededicate myself to the idea of self control. I'll be watching you... cause you make me smile!

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GETSTRONGRRR 10/26/2011 8:20PM

    Good on you STARFISH's never too late to be a beginner....sometimes it's good for the soul....and thee body!

We're behind you 110%!!

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RUTHXG 10/26/2011 6:32PM

    Not eating out will be SO great for your budget. Just make sure that you make really good (nonfattening) food that you love, so you don't feel deprived. That's the way I'm living the vast majority of the time now, & it feels really great.

Hurray for your back-to-basics strategy! Sounds like an excellent plan.


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HOPESINGH 10/26/2011 3:58PM

    Back to basics is a great policy when you get a little lost or off the wagon. Good luck with that! No food from outside sounds nice, do tell how it goes.

Comment edited on: 10/26/2011 3:58:29 PM

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SEATTLESIMS 10/26/2011 1:51PM

    workout sounds tough! having that type of endurance is awesome! keep rockin' it!
yes, the no food from "out" is a good idea.. I do that by default 99% of the time (thanks to a tight budget!) but the longer you do it, the easier it gets and you find foods that fit your routine and timeframe..
I always enjoy 2 eggs with spinach and maybe a touch of lowfat cheese or feta or salsa, plus a double fiber bread toast.. filling and healthy, and pretty fast too!

Thanks for the goodie and compliment! I need to update my photos.. hair is short and no more size 14s for me! 10s and on pair of 8s! yay!
have a great day!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/26/2011 12:26PM

    Wow - 2 hours of working out you would think you could treat yourself to some s&v chips... but I know if you're like me those are probably trigger foods which lead to other bad things... plus the salt bloats me. But they are oh-so-good. I would like to do the no eating out thing for a while, I will have to talk it over with john and PLAN it out so we can be successful. Have a great day, Brenda! Healthy breakfast!

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TREASURINGLIFE 10/26/2011 11:43AM

    Back to basics - let's do it!!!!!! :)

- Michelle

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LOVEBYRD 10/26/2011 9:59AM

    I love the idea of reiterating the basics, especially right before the holiday mayhem. I may have to join you, seems I'm falling back rather than progressing forward. And I'm so happy I inspired someone =) I know you can not eat anything "out", it was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be and I lost 8lbs that month and saved some money!

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PINKNFITCARLA 10/26/2011 8:43AM

    Sounds like you have a good plan!

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That was cool. what?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My 10-year high school reunion was this past weekend. I’m pretty sure that I lost no weight from the moment I decided to make it my “deadline,” as it were, to the time of the reunion. I was quite disappointed in myself, truthfully, I mean, I had something like five months, maybe even more, and I couldn’t control my eating, exercising and smoking enough to pull off even a lousy five pounds? Com’on!

It didn’t help that when I got there, everyone still looked fabulous. I noticed two people who had also gained weight from high school, and one had had a baby, so duh. I left the tailgate party not acutely, but noticeably aware that, compared to these lovelies, I was a slob completely incapable of controlling myself to lose even an iota of weight in anticipation of an event months in the future.

At the actual reunion party, there was more mingling and there were more still gorgeous girls, including girls I hoped never to see again. I mean, really? At least THOSE girls could have gotten fat, right? Not a chance.

It was only after the reunion and when I had come home that I remembered a conversation I was part of/overheard at the party and came to a realization. The girl was saying, “…then I lost 40 pounds and gained 15 back.” To my recollection, she had exactly the same figure in high school, but I’m presuming the part I hadn’t heard involved an amount of weight she had originally gained since high school.

And then, it came to me.

My perception is all kinds of skewed! Plus, I haven’t seen these people in 10 years. I haven’t thought of most of them in the same amount of time! And I think that I can remember what they actually looked like in high school? Really? I can tell that they gained exactly zero pounds and still look as tight and taut and adolescent as they did back then? Not a chance. And looking at them through 29-year-old eyes makes me realize that sure, they look fabulous…but for 28 or 29, not 16.

And if I can’t tell, neither can they. They probably see me through 28-year-old eyes, too. Sure, I think it’s crazy-obvious that I am…well, there’s a picture from the tailgate party that I’m not ready to share…but maybe they didn’t notice that I am…well.

And even if they did, it comes back to a quote I heard from Dr. Phil: “You wouldn’t care what other people think of you if you knew how rarely they did.”

Thus, if they remember then, they don’t notice now.

Well, that’s a relief!


I don’t want y’all to think that I had a lousy time at my reunion or walked around feeling sorry for myself or sat in a sauna for the 24 hours immediately prior. I had a good time. It wasn’t an amazing time, but it was cool. I’ll go again in 10 years.

The other thing I’m noticing is a sense of post-apocalypse. This was kind of as far into the future as I had considered with regard to weight loss and the like. I mean, I take for granted of course that I will continue to Starfish, and that I’d like to lose my 5% in a 5% Challenge someday, and I’ll still have all my same SparkFriends and keep track of my SparkAmerica minutes. I mean, I didn’t think about any goals beyond this. And I realize I probably should make them. Even though I’m batting a zero when it comes to meeting goals.

I "just" need to figure that out. Goals that don't make me feel guilty. Goals that get results. Goals that maybe don't focus on pounds so much as other numbers or actions.

Then there's the issue of plans. What do I plan? I still want to go to my BodyPump and BodyCombat classes. But that's all I got.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDABENEDICT 11/14/2011 10:56AM

    OK. good blog ! Glad I was "introduced" to you on the Starfish challenge. I am fortunate !

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COLLINSCJ2012 10/27/2011 2:43AM

    I don't understand why we psyc ourselves out for a group of people that we haven't seen in 10, 20, or 30+ years. Their opinions of us didn't matter then and even less now.

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HOPESINGH 10/26/2011 6:53AM

    I'm glad to read you didn't focus on weight issues instead of having fun. I'm kinda sorry we never had any high school reunion here, and I'm already 36!
About goals: maybe try to think about what you are going to do (go to gym/class, eat more veggies) rather than the results? The results don't always depend only on your efforts, you control your actions much more.
Anyway, good luck!

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DTOWNSEND1966 10/26/2011 4:09AM

    Thanks for the smile. Yuppers I'm actually smiling at you. First, I sat here reading and saying but... but... but... only to find you coming to the same conclusion a bit later on. Good, that's a relief !

The rest of my smile is aimed at the me I see in you. I lost weight before, gave myself deadlines and goals that had to do with events. Uh huh... What I wanted was for people not to see the me I kept seeing. Of course, what I didn't consider was that there was no one in the world as critical of me as I was. I examined every bump, roll and dimple... naked and in harsh light. LOL you get my drift. AS.. IF... THEY... CARED!

So here I am stuck in the 170's since June. I've made a hell of a lot of other progress, accomplished a few things, feeling pretty chuffed about what I HAVE done. I'm not beating myself up about the weight either... just giving myself a bit of a stern word here or there when it's appropriate. Funny, though, it's appropriate more often than I thought. I can't say I haven't been trying but I haven't been trying hard. By the way, I'm still smiling at us both. I'm not angry with myself, I'm amused. Getting into the 160's must not have been as important as the other things I've accomplished. When it is, the weight will go.

So how am I in this place? I actually like myself, I'm amused by my short term failures because I am convinced they are short term and merely reflections of my personality and priorities.

1000 calorie Sunday was what brought me here though it wasn't intentional. When I look back at what changed the way I looked at myself, it was racking up those first couple. I figure that I'm a doer... not a loser. I like to accomplish things and losing weight doesn't feel like an accomplishment to me (please don't extrapolate that to me thinking it's not an accomplishment for others). I'm a box ticking, calories burned counting, adrenaline loving, 'me time' hungry, fitness craving -- you getting the idea? I'm more proud of the fact that I run 5 times a week than of the 80+ pounds I've lost.

It's not always easy, even doing what I love to do. I struggle sometimes in the morning but I've made a deal with myself. I only need to get out of bed long enough to put on my running clothes. That's it... if I don't feel like going, then I don't have to go. LOL I always go.

I don't, however, always achieve what I want to. I didn't follow the training programme as strictly as I should have. I know that cost me time last week. I won't make the same mistake twice (well I might ROFL... that's the way I am). I'm already pushing myself a bit harder. Harder, in and of itself, isn't enough. I have to do it the right way to achieve my goals.

That, my friend, is the end of this mini novel to you. Harder isn't enough, you have to find the right way. Find the RIGHT goals and the weight will take care of itself.

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GETSTRONGRRR 10/25/2011 10:49PM

    Reunion or not, keep Sparking to lose the weight you want to for yourself, so you can walk around knowing you did it....if they notice, it's just a bonus

Keep at it STARFISH buddy!

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SEATTLESIMS 10/25/2011 2:13PM

    Well, good for you for turning it around and realizing the 28 year old's eyes are different than the 18 year old!
Love that Dr Phil quote too.. that makes a lot of sense.
Well, small daily or weekly goals focused on small steps and changes or actions you want to DO.. to mark off and get a sense of accomplishment.. might be a good way to start..
your workout classes sound like a great way to keep at it!
Have fun!

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RUTHXG 10/25/2011 2:12PM

    Yes! In this case I think Dr. Phil is right. Other people--that is, those who don't know us enough to love us--think of us very little. That means FREEEEEEDOMMMMMM!

I'm glad that overall you enjoyed the reunion.

Revising one's routine is a good thing in times of feeling stuck. We need to feel some agency in our lives (though of course we can't control everything)--so have fun dreaming up some new plans. For now I'm finding that refocusing on the week-by-week losses needed to meet the next 5% deadline is enough to keep me in line. But one of these days I'll probably need something more . . .


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BETTERJULIA 10/25/2011 2:04PM

    Great job on evaluating those feelings and letting them go. You are making healthy choices for your life not theirs. Keep it up!

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SHRINKINGLULU 10/25/2011 1:53PM

    I find that when I set goals with distant deadlines it doesn't work for me. There's just too much time to procrastinate!! I try and set daily and weekly goals, and then some fitness related longer goals. Like I'll set a goal to go to my classes x number of days this week, and to drink all my water and not eat any of the halloween candy around the office today. Those are easily attainable, trackable, and make me feel great for acheiving them pretty much right away. Then I'll also have a goal like move up a pound in my freeweights at the end of the month, so I have to work on it all month to be ready, but it's not so far off that I can put off the work. Does that make sense? So maybe some shorter term, non-scale type goals would work for you too?

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TAICHIDANCER 10/25/2011 12:34PM

    Hi. Listen, even if everyone at your high school reunion turned out to be ultramarathoners and fashion models, it still does not impact the good things you are doing for yourself by living a healthy life. I know that you are smart, so I'm sure you know that letting someone else's progress define your sucess or failure is a losing proposition. All of us who know you here on SP are proud of the work you've done and you inspire us. It's time to watch "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" again!

Be well.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/25/2011 12:25PM

    Wow - that is the most useful thing I've ever heard Dr. Phil say! I've said it myself, in different words, over the years, but I need to re-adopt it as my mantra. You're doing this for you, not for the group of people you haven't seen or spoken to in 10 years, and might not again for another 10 years. Sure, it's nice to catch up. But do their opinions matter? Whether or not they think you've gained weight, who gives a flying f? I'm still UP a couple pounds for this challenge, so I'm in the same boat as you - never meeting my 5% goal and feeling really bummed about myself for it. But we're doing this for us... so we can take the few minutes to kick ourselves for not meeting our goals by our deadlines, but then we just have to pick ourselves up and keep going... for us.
I really suggest setting the daily/weekly goals, even if you don't post them publicly. They help keep me on track during the week and weekend - especially if you set something like X # of cigarettes this week - maybe you'll be less likely to go whatever number you want it to be?
ok i'll keep thinking on this...

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