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Self-image lags

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I find it interesting that when I was in high school and gaining weight the first time, the image I had of myself was slim even when I wasn't. When I've been heavy for a time (until it seemed normal)and have begun losing weight, I find I've still thought of myself as heavy. This time is no exception. ( I plan on this being the LAST time I have to make this adjustment!) There is a lag in my perception of myself between what I have considered my normal size and what I am now.

I've lost about half the extra weight which has burdened me. (about 15 pounds.) People are noticing enough to comment now. Yet I catch myself thinking I'm still at my heaviest. Certain styles that aren't flattering on my large self are quite acceptable when I'm smaller, but I'm still avoiding them subconsciously. Certain activities which make me feel I stand out in a negative way when I'm "size large me" are merely mischievous/ energetic/ adventurous in "size small me."

I've never really thought about how long it takes for the mind to catch up to the new reality of a smaller, fitter body. I didn't take note before. It must take some time, but how much? I wonder whether this lag bears any part in weight re-gain? I do want to short-circuit that!

Those of you who have maintained for some time, Did you notice this lag? If so, how long before mind and body both believed you were the new size? How long before it was "normal," and you didn't have to struggle to see yourself as you are? Thanks for sharing!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 12/29/2012 9:51AM

    When I first lost weight, I would keep wearing clothes in a looser bigger size. When I finally settled on my goal, I started buying clothes that actually fit me in a smaller size.
At first I would obsess on the way home, thinking what happens if I gain the weight back in a few months and can't fit these clothes? I also worried about styles and felt that I did not understand the new clothes styles as I had spent many years just buying clothes to hide in with dark colors.
In this past year I have calmed down. I enjoy clothes of many styles and colors. I have stopped worrying about whether I will look fat in an outfit.
There are days when I look at myself as thin..many more as time goes on.
However, there are days when I feel fat because my weight might be up over my goal.
I still can worry if I think clothes feel tight..that I am gaining.

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WATERMELLEN 12/27/2012 6:14PM

    That lag thing still jumps out and bites me from time to time . . . even though I lost the first big whack o' weight more than 10 years ago, and the "little bump up" more than 3 years ago . . .

I'm not sure if I'll ever take my current body shape and size for granted. Still sometimes surprised when I see "me" in a reflection and I'm smaller than anticipated . . .

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AMARILYNH 12/27/2012 12:35PM

    I have totally noticed this lag! I've been maintaining for a little over a year and I still find myself reaching for a 12 when I try on jeans. But I have to say its MUCH nicer to find the jeans are too big than (as I've done quite often over the years) having to go back for a bigger size.

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BOOKAPHILE 12/27/2012 12:32PM

    I'm not really talking about remembering how I was as much as being trapped seeing myself that way now, even though I've changed. Are you choosing styles that were what you would have chosen when heavy when that's not what looks good on you now? (Maybe that's more pertinent to women's styles, I guess.) Are you inhibiting your responses to things because you feel huge inside even though you aren't?

I want to know if/when my self image will reflect the current state of my body.

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ROCKMAN6797 12/27/2012 11:51AM

    I don't think that I have ever lost this lag. I am still amazed when I can button a pair of size 34 jeans or wear a size medium shirt! While I can see that I have lost the weight (and kept it off for nearly three years!) my mind still remembers the "bigger me." Quite honestly, I don't think I ever want to forget this part of my life as it provides me the "spark" to continue living the healthy life!

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BUSYGRANNY5 12/27/2012 10:55AM

    Interesting blog.... I've lost a good deal of weight and yet still find my self looking at clothes that are for the "bigger" me... my daughter frequently reminds me that I'm not that size anymore, yet I tend to gravitate toward the larger/bagger/billowing clothes... getting better though....

I'm anxious to see the responses of others!

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The Problem of Abundance

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

These past two days I've been thinking about why I feel "deprived" during Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and any other extended family eating time of the year - even when I'm not "hungry."

Using Sparkpeople to track my food and exercise, I know what I need to consume to lose the extra weight. I'm not usually hungry. Where do these feelings of deprivation come from?

I'm coming to understand that the difference is the ABUNDANCE of MANY kinds of food. I can't even eat just a taste of all of them without going over my calorie range. They don't show up the rest of the year, so they are special in my mind. There are only a few I don't like.

During a normal day I have just 2-5 components to a meal. On Christmas Eve there were choices to be made from 10 meal components and 12 (!) different desserts (not large amounts of each, but requiring decisions or mindless eating.) We have four households contributing to this meal, and some of the desserts are a sharing of what their friends have also shared with them during the last week.

I'd love to taste things I'm not familiar with to know if I'm interested in getting that recipe. But I don't want to spend my limited calories on something I don't know tastes good. It's a problem.

I really don't know how to make this much easier as long as it's an organized pot-luck that isn't at my home. I can't tell everyone that they can't bring or eat their favorites because it will tempt me. I did reduce the number of dessert items I brought by over half this year. It didn't seem to make a dent in the abundance of that table. I guess I'll just have to repeatedly gear up my motivation to be fit, reserve some extra calories ahead of time, and get back to my regular routine the next meal.

How do YOU handle situations like these?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 12/26/2012 11:35PM

    I so know what you mean. The problem is my Mom does the overabundance. She gets all kinds of food ready hoping my brother and sister and their families will come, but something comes up and they can't all make it, or not all of them, and she is stuck with all this food, so it goes home with me and I have three or four days of 4,000 calorie leftoversto eat before they spoil. My little freezer is already packed with my healthy stuff and I have no room for anything more. Makes it a royal pain. Because I am single and don't cook, she feels she is helping me out, but in the ned I prefer my raw vegetarian food.

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ROCKMAN6797 12/26/2012 7:26PM

    You are right it can be very difficult. I think the best that you can do is not deprive yourself but do limit what you do put in your mouth. I am not a big desert eater so I can easily skip those but the homemade dishes can be quite tempting so I try to taste a little of each and keep my calories within reason. Believe me, it does get much easier with time.

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PHEBESS 12/26/2012 5:52PM

    I host a holiday party once a year (a Chanukah brunch) and make everything I DON'T make the rest of the year - fried potato latkes. Noodle kugel (pudding) full of sour cream (yogurt), milk, cream cheese, cottage cheese - rich and yummy. Sour cream (yogurt) coffee cake. All the foods DH and I love - made with less sugar, low fat dairy, no-yolk noodles.

I eat moderate portions of whatever I want - focusing on my favorites, and skipping anything I find to be mediocre. (Who needs orange juice or bagels and lox when I can have my noodle kugel?)

And then - this is the key - DH and I set aside one or two portions of our faves, and send everything else home with our friends. We have leftovers for one or two meals, and the rest becomes treats for our friends. We don't want it. We don't need it. The friends really don't, either, except it's a treat for everyone - they all have one or two portions to go, and then it's GONE. No more temptation. No food in the fridge yelling out to be eaten. We're forced to go back to "normal" in a day.

I think the key to abundance is SHARING that abundance - and then going back to ENOUGH.

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SLENDERELLA61 12/26/2012 4:33PM

    Interesting blog. I'm trying to figure out why I don't feel deprived.

Our house has been filled with junk food for weeks and weeks now. When I was losing weight 4 years ago, I limited the junk food, treats, and even high calorie healthy foods like nuts allowed in my house. My family rebelled. I have come to realize that it doesn't matter what is in my house, what matters is what goes in my mouth! Having junk food around all the time, some of it disgusting like PopTarts, and some of it homemade delicacies, means that the eating events are not all that different from my everyday existence. I still keep focused on what goes in my mouth.

Right now my motivation is high and I'm not really tempted. I know that when I am tired, and hungry, and frustrated, I'll need to be extra careful. And if I slip, I'll have to work really hard to re-establish good restraint. Sometimes I have just one or two chocolates. Yesterday I had one bite. It was enough.

I really do not feel deprived. When there are healthy things to fill me up and make me feel good, I am okay. Having shrimp and red raspberries and portabello mushrooms and popcorn as my treats are just as good. For the most part, the chocolate and pie don't taste as good as I remembered them.

If I figure out something that might be helpful to you, I'll let you know. I'm thinking that 2 or 3 years ago I might have been feeling deprived at holidays. (This is my 4th year of healthy living at Christmas.) Maybe it just takes more time on maintenance.

Best wishes for growing to love healthy living -- and giving up the feelings of deprivation!! Fitness is better than any treat!!!

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TIFFANIE150 12/26/2012 12:48PM

    I am like watermellen. If I overeat once, it's the trigger effect that gets me. I get on a downward spiral real quick. I'm finding out that I need to abstain for best results. But, that's just me right now. Who knows what the future will hold.

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KANOE10 12/26/2012 11:08AM

    Great blog about abundance..or overindulgence. The holidays do bring out an abundance of food. I like the way you pointed out that there were so many more dishes at those many more snacks and deserts. Everyone has their special holiday foods that they want to share.

My personal solution this year was to cut way way back on what I served. I did not make all of the deserts and appetizers and side dishes that I normally made. I also got rid of the many food gifts I was given.

Great insights... emoticon

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CTMOM2KIDS 12/26/2012 10:13AM

    You are so right! You have made some insights here. It is about the abundance. I had to make choices yesterday. There were so many wonderful and delicious things on the table but I had to choose. I knew I could not eat it all, so I chose. There's lots of leftovers so today I will choose something I did not eat yesterday.

It's all about choices, isn't it?

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WATERMELLEN 12/26/2012 10:06AM

    Christmas Day I ate a moderate breakfast, some appetizers (shrimp, raw veggies, one pasty-type) and then logged Christmas Dinner as 1400 calories. (There are several "Christmas Dinner" listings on the SP nutrtion tracker . . .I think this is the heftiest!!). Had a moderate serving of everything on the table. My brother-in-law brought his fantastic key lime pie and I had a piece of that. Skipped the raspberry pie I had on offer myself.

I have used the SP member-generated "Christmas Dinner" grouping now for several years. How accurate is it? Not sure, but for one day of the year, that's OK. With the "grouping", I clocked in under 2000 calories for the day and high on the fats, and I think that's pretty fair. . Still way too much for me . . I can eat just 1400 calories a day tops to maintain . . . . . but OK.

Woke up feeling "too full". Made coffee, will postpone my first meal for a bit. Otherwise, today I'm back to my regular eating pattern. Will make soup. Will eat salad and fresh fruit. Will head to the gym very soon: would like to ski (we need more snow). .

I can't eat a whole whack of desserts or appetizers of whatev even one time, not just because the calorie count would be too too high but also because for me that particular aspect of "abundance" is triggering . . . potentially days and weeks of out-of-control eating. I know that about me. So the leftovers are all stashed in the freezer . . . where those so inclined can rescue and defrost a single serving -- and if they end up going straight into the garbage eventually, so be it.

Hate waste. Hate expanded waist even more. So that's how I cope, not optimal but . . . working for me.

And: have to find different non-food ways of enjoying abundance. Because that experience of abundance is key to contentment, that's for sure!

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MUNCHNIT 12/26/2012 10:00AM

    Great insights!

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Report on Family Christmas Eve gathering

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Yesterday I had a plan for getting through the family gathering (LOTS of food!) without damaging my Sparkpeople journey. I was not going to bring as many desserts. I was going to eat reasonable portions. There would be a few tastes of high calorie favorites because I had eaten less earlier in the week, so I had a few extra calories I could spend.

Here is what happened:
I brought a batch of cookies and some fudge, as planned. I didn't eat them. (I did bring home more than I had wanted to!)
I had reasonable portions of ham, scalloped potatoes, fruit salad and some carrot sticks with water to drink.
I had 1 medium potato chip with a taste of clam dip (a favorite I don't provide for myself anymore.)
I had a small clump of homemade Caramel Corn.
I had half a cookie my daughter made and was raving about. (I split it with my other daughter.)

I'm pleased with that. It was a large calorie meal, but I didn't go over my calorie range for the day. This morning my scale shows a loss of .2 of a pound.

What I'm not so confident about:
Many of the presents from younger members of the family were homemade cookies or chocolates.

What I plan to do:
The excess cookies I brought home will go into the freezer if I like them.
The chocolate things I don't love will be eaten by my husband or migrated into the compost bin.
The leftover fudge I made, which I do like, will be stored in a container in the fridge where I won't automatically see it, my husband can eat it, it can be offered to guests, and I can enjoy a piece once in a while when I plan for it.

Whew! I think I passed this test!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 12/26/2012 10:43AM

    There, you did great -- it's just the exhaustion of will power under repeated assaults!!

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PURPLE180 12/25/2012 3:29PM

    Awesome job. emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 12/25/2012 2:55PM


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PJBONARRIGO 12/25/2012 10:24AM

    You did pass the test! An awesome, workable, sane plan! i'm going to use some of your ideas. emoticon

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Choices Ahead...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Tomorrow is my extended family's Christmas dinner. I'm committed to making good choices. Those choices started with me NOT making 5 kinds of cookies plus some candies to contribute. I made 1 cookie recipe and 1 batch of fudge - most of which will not be coming home with me. I always bring a fruit salad with yogurt for the dressing.

I'll eat reasonable portions, and probably have a taste of some things I love that are high in calories. I've been eating very close to 1200 calories a day for the past week. (I lost 2 pounds last week.) I should be fine with one meal above the usual calorie allotment.

I've exercised daily as well as making sure I get 10,000 steps and at least 10 flights of stairs in a day. I'll exercise tomorrow as well.

I think I'm ready, and I don't think I'll go up in weight next Saturday. Come back and find out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 12/24/2012 8:39AM

    having a plan is a GOOD start. Publicly announcing it is a GREAT start! Now, when you are tempted think of how proud you'll be when you blog that you got through the day without overeating! It really isn't the end of the world -- you can enjoy family without eating a bunch of junk. emoticon

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SLIMINDOWN31 12/24/2012 1:43AM

    Great plan!! Continue your good work.

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SAKS20111 12/24/2012 12:35AM

    gd game plan! congrats!

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SUNSHINE99999 12/24/2012 12:33AM

  My wife and I made less this year too. Brownies and two kinds of cookies. A Merry Christmas to you and your family. emoticon

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Fitbit One Update

Friday, December 21, 2012

I've had my Fitbit One for about a month now, and I thought I'd share some observations and insights. I'm really glad I got it!

I've found it doesn't take long to take 1500 to 2500 steps in the evening if my number isn't high enough to reach my 10,000 step goal. I am walking more all day long now with the fitbit's encouragement. (remember I was a 6,000 step a day girl when I got it.)

My Sparkpeople fitness minutes have gone way up due to the fact that the fitbit logs "very active" and "fairly active" minutes on Sparkpeople as opposed to my prior use of the Sparkpeople fitness tracker to only track my exercise (very active) minutes. I'm still doing the exercise time, but the extra walking is burning more calories. And the weight is coming off a bit more quickly than I had planned. emoticon I'm still eating in the range I was before I got the fitbit because my "Official" exercise hasn't changed much.

The fitbit daily calorie estimate is a graphic that looks like the speedometer on a car and has three zones, below goal range, goal range and above goal range. I've got mine set on "sedentary," which means that the calories I can eat (based on the calories I've burned) start out very low in the morning and go up as I move around. The "personal" setting gave me many more calories for the day at the beginning, and then surprised me later in the day by saying I'd have to exercise "x" number of calories off to be in my goal range. (I did!) You have to find what works best for you! I hate feeling I "owe" exercise.

The food that Sparkpeople transfers to Fitbit doesn't always transfer the exact calorie numbers. I don't stress about that. One thing you should know is that if you make a mistake on Sparkpeople, delete a food and add another one, nothing is deleted from your fitbit food entry. I have one day that shows me eating a HORRENDOUS amount, which I didn't, but the deletions from Sparkpeople didn't transfer. You CAN delete something directly from the fitbit site, but not, apparently, after the day that it was added. Thus my HUGE calorie intake for that day. I don't know how to fix it. Eventually it will fall off the graph, I hope!

You can have fitbit friends, much like we have Sparkpeople friends. It lists you your friends on the right side of your screen and shows their weekly step count, highest to lowest. So far I only have one fitbit friend, and she's walking circles around me. The only time I get higher step counts is when she's away on a trip and hasn't synced up for a while. We're both doing what we need to do, and I'm not demoralized that I always come in last. Lol. My scale is moving, and I'm down a size in clothing since early November.

The sleep tracker has made it much harder for me to get credit for 8 hours of sleep! I'm usually in bed that long, but if I toss and turn much, I'll only get credit for 7+ hours of sleep. I have wondered if my husband's tossing and turning jiggles my fitbit and disturbs their concept of my sleeping more than he is really disturbing me. I'm not sure how I'd test that.

I'm still amused by the fitbit chat when I pick it up. It has a large repertoire of short phrases. I wish it would put my name first and the phrase 2nd, because I sometimes forget to watch and only catch my name at the end.

Some people have reported that the fitbit came out of its holder and was lost. Knowing that, I usually try to clip it on a waistband or coin pocket with the bottom inside another pocket. If it falls out, it should go into my pocket. So far I've not had any trouble at all with it.

It is supposed to stay charged for up to a week. I forgot to charge it one week, and it was still going strong at almost 2 weeks, though the battery DID need to be charged then. It hasn't let me down.

If you're at all interested in the Fitbit One, I heartily recommend it as an ongoing source of motivation. It's doing its job very well for me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKMAN6797 12/21/2012 7:50PM

    Very nice review!
With regards to your food issue, you should be able to delete the extra food by hovering your mouse over the food line and on the left hand side of the line there will be an "X." Click on it and it is gone! That is one of the drawbacks for the food transfer but trust me it is a minor drawback as having to log on both sites took a lot of time so this syncing is a godsend for me! I, too, have noticed that the One stays charged for a long time! I love mine and would second your recommendation!


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NWFL59 12/21/2012 7:27PM

    Today I purchased a Fitbit One to help me start my New Year off right. I was glad to see your blog and read about your experiences and tips. I look forward to using it in addition to my regular pedometer and comparing results. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 12/21/2012 7:01PM

    I have the fitbit ultra and LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I finally was getting 10,000 steps with ease and now shoot for 15,000. One of my main Sparkfriends and competitors on Fitbit is AMaralynH, who averages about 27,000 per day! (She must sleep walk is all I can figure.) But my point, is that I totally agree -- it's a great motivator. My favorite chatter is "Stepgeek"!

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RAPUNZEL53 12/21/2012 5:21PM


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