CANNIE50   31,050
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'til fat do we part?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thankfully, no, my husband and I did not part due to fat, but I thought about it at different times. When I was gaining weight, and feeling hopeless, and feeling isolated and alone with my problem, and wishing for support and wanting someone to help me, I thought that maybe I would do better on my own, living on my own. I thought I could start fresh and live in a house without junk food or fast food, and that I would not be disappointed that I wasn't receiving support from the person I was supposed to be able to turn to for support, if I wasn't sitting right next to him. Food, and fat, have long been an issue in our marriage. I gained 60 lbs over the 20+ years we have been together. He has gained about half that amount. I have blogged in the past about the failed attempts, and the pleas for change that fell on deaf ears, but the bottom line is this: I wanted HIM to change so that I would get better. Life, being life, doesn't work that way, of course. The biggest turning point in my struggle with weight and overeating was when I truly accepted that it was up to me to change my ways, regardless of what my husband, or anyone else in my family, chose to do. I accepted that it would be uncomfortable, and that it would be a struggle, but that it was MY struggle. Once my husband saw that it wasn't just talk, that I was actually taking action and changing my ways, he began to offer support. When I stopped asking him to bring me sugary foods, when I turned down offers to bring home pizza so I didn't have to fix dinner, when I cheerfully turned down invitations to go to lunch at fast food restaurants but did not try to stop him from going, he began to take notice. He has always been very accepting of my body and in 20 years I only remember him criticizing my weight one time. For all the hundreds of thousands of calories and fat grams he has brought home, he never once forced one morsel of food in my mouth - that was all me. While it would certainly be easier if he were nutritionally aware, and as committed to an active, healthier lifestyle as I am, the reality is that it is not as much of a priority to him. However, he has become more aware, more supportive, and much less likely to bring home bags of sugary temptations, and I have thanked him for this. If I had continued with my stubborn insistence that he change to make me healthier, I would, at this point, be faced with needing to lose 60 or 70 lbs, rather than the 23 lbs I have left to meet my 50 lb committment. If I had continued to entertain the fantasy that my life would be easier without him next to me, I would have robbed my children of an intact home, and myself of a marriage that goes through ups and downs but contains many blessings. People are like the weather, they do change, sometimes for the worse, often for the better, but never at my behest. I was looking to him to provide me with something he couldn't - support and encouragement from someone who is on the same path. This is where Sparkfriends are so invaluable. Even my dear friends who have known me for years, and felt badly about my struggles, were not able to give me this kind of support. I was led to SP and I am grateful beyond words (though I keep trying to find the words). As I sit here today, next to my husband, and not tempted at this moment to eat unnecessary foods, 27 lbs of excess weight no longer dragging me down, I am content and thankful. Today is our wedding anniversary. We spent the day together, on the beach, going out to lunch, going for a drive, even zooming around a go-kart track. At one point I looked over at him, standing on the beach, and I thought (as I often do) how attractive he is, and how glad I am we are married. Even the days I am not happily married, I am happy to BE married. I am happy we stuck it out through the hard times, through thick (literally) and thin. For better and for worse, we have not given up on each other. The loneliness has dissapated for the most part, and I no longer feel isolated with my food and weight struggles. My husband did not make me fat, and he cannot make me fit and healthy. He can make it easier on me, and I am thankful he has made great strides in that area. While I have a long way to go, more good habits to add, and bad habits to crowd out with the good, I am glad to have my husband at my side, and on my side. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSSCHENCK 6/17/2011 6:00PM

    Happy Anniversary! emoticon Looks like you two shared a wonderful day together.

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REBELBLITZ 6/16/2011 4:15PM

    Happy anniversary!

Your blog is right on target. It brings to mind another type of addiction, like alcoholism. The alcoholic must realize that he must get sober for his benefit. There is no magic person that will do the work for him.

We, that have let food become detrimental to our health and well being must take the responsibility to get healthy.

You are doing that and you are reaping the benefits. I am proud of you. I am sure that your family is too.

Again, happy anniversary to you and your husband. My husband and I celebrated our 45 anniversary in April.

Cheryl

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STORMYZCAT 6/14/2011 2:55PM

    Happy Anniversary! 20 years is awesome. There are days when I don't like my husband, but quite honestly there are days when I do not like myself! Sometimes it's 50/50...some days it's 90/10. My husband has never had a weight issue and I find that very frustrating. He has told me in the past that I "just need to have better willpower". WOW. If it were only that easy. You are absolutely right that YOU are the only one that can change you. We can want to lose weight for so many reasons but ultimately it has to come from within because we want it for ourselves. We deserve it.
Sounds like you had a wonderful day and you are each blessed to have one another! Here's to another 20 years of marriage and 20 more pounds off your body!! emoticon

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JITZUROE 6/14/2011 1:47PM

    I loved this!
I used to try to practically torture my husband to 'want' to be healthier and years ago I had to stop that bad behavior and change my attitude. He will never leap with joy when brussel season hits, or lose that carnivore craving for In N Out Burger, but I am OK with it now (as long as he chooses the healthy eating path most other days.
He has never told me I looked fat, even though I seem to have gained and gained over the past few years. I adore him for that. And he seems to stay the same weight, like your hubbie.




And Go carting! So jealous!!! (bang, smack, zoom!)

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ZOOKEEPERMAMA 6/13/2011 5:12PM

    I have often thought the same thing (that this would be so much easier if I were single) which is maybe true, maybe not. I remember myself as a single. I was pretty desperate. If I had been overweight at the time, I imagine I'd have eaten myself into an even deeper hole... That aside, great insight recognizing that the only one who can change you is you! My husband has also taken notice of my attitude this time and has embarked to lose weight himself. I think he's going to beat me! Congratulations on being "over the hump" on your weight loss and congratulations on taking control!

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KELLYD1958 6/13/2011 1:33PM

    Hi Cannie - Happy Anniversary. I sure relate to this - I think we have emailed about some of the issues. I went through a couple months recently of really resenting/disliking that mine husband wasn't joining me on a path to healthier lifestyles. I also resented him not really recognizing that I was doing something significant. Interestingly - when I started on my travels he started noticing how "different" I looked when he picked me up at the airport - he's much more supportive now! Go figure (pun intended.)
Have a great day - hope you enjoyed graduation and the Field Trip - talk about both ends of the spectrum!

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KACYBEE15 6/13/2011 10:23AM

    First of all, Happy Anniversary!!

I needed to read this blog. In fact, after I'm done writing this comment I believe I will read it again. My husband and I have been married less than a year and I feel like we've weathered more storms than the average couple does in the first three years. Perhaps I was naive before I said "I do", or perhaps I underestimated the effect that a demanding grad school program would have on a fledgling marriage. I can so relate to the feeling of being isolated, misunderstood, misjudged... alone. There have been times when I know I would rather seek comfort from food than from a human being. In fact, when it comes to my weight, my husband has been more of a source of pain than anything. I do believe he still loves me, even with the extra weight, but he's one of those people with the "dream" metabolism. He can eat and eat and eat and eat and gain very little weight, if any. If he wants to drop some weight, he goes for a jog (maybe a mile) does a few situps, eats a couple salads and drops 10 pounds in a week. This is all well and good for him, but it leaves him absolutely befuddled as to why that method doesn't work for me. There have been so many conversations where he's tried to convince me that his method is the right way to go, and I've tried to tell him that it's not that easy for me and the end result is always him feeling frustrated and me feeling like I'm an army of one in a battle I'm destined to lose.

It's very encouraging to me to read that you have been there, on that same battlefield and feeling very much like I have, only to come out on the other side with the realization that the battle can be won and that you aren't alone. I sincerely hope that someday I will feel the same, and that my husband and I will celebrate anniversary after anniversary. There are days when I feel like our future looks bleak (I, too, have found myself fantasizing about how much better I'd be at life if I was just left alone), but hearing stories like yours strengthens my resolve to keep fighting.

Thanks so much for a great blog! I will now read it again!

Have a great day!
~ Kayli

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ON2GOALS 6/13/2011 9:50AM

    Wonderful reflections on your life together, Friend! Thanks for sharing this... "BE the change that you want to see in the world...(or family, or marriage)"; this is what you have done. Congratulations, and may you be blessed with many more happy healthy years together! emoticon

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DOODIE59 6/13/2011 9:33AM

    Happy Anniversary! It's lovely that you've taken the time to think through and write about not just your glorious day but about the life that got you here. Thank you for sharing. It is crucial that we acknowledge that we alone are responsible for our bodies. Mercifully, it's also empowering:)

Have a wonderful week!
Deirdre

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SBATES63 6/13/2011 6:06AM

    Happy Anniversary. Wonderful blog. My husband and are have that same relationship. He respects my dedication to a healthy lifestyle much in the same way yours does. I do join him for the occasional unhealthy lunch and he happily has learned to love a half plate of veggies at dinner. It is all about compromise. I am sure both our men have benefited from the healthier foods being served at home. Keep up the great work.

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DAISY443 6/13/2011 1:21AM

    Wonderful blog! It is so hard to learn that we can't change anyone except ourselves and you have truly learned that lesson and deal with it well! Sounds like you have a winner of a husband. Hold on to him!

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RYDERB 6/13/2011 1:06AM

    Congratulations! 20 years is amazing. It sounds like you had the perfect day, and the kind of anniversary that my husband and I would enjoy. There's a lot for us to learn on this journey. Thanks for sharing yours so openly. You're a wise wise woman. I'm so glad you found your way to SparkPeople, because having your support has really been a godsend for me on my journey. Thank you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon(That's sparkling apple cider)

Comment edited on: 6/13/2011 1:08:15 AM

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halfway house

Monday, June 06, 2011

Being obese was a bit like being in jail. Loss of freedom, loss of dignity, embarrassment at my predicament, wishing I had made other choices, an inability to wear cute clothes (let's face it, though I am a fan of orange, those jammie looking jail outfits do not flatter a figure), and the realization that getting out was not going to be nearly as easy as getting in. So, to further torture this analogy, I am imagining morbid obesity would be like prison: even less freedom, even scarier, and in some cases, a death penalty hanging over one's head. I never became morbidly obese and I do not believe I ever will become morbidly obese. However, I never thought I would become obese, or even overweight. I was very thin for years and did not work at it and I took it for granted. I did not come from an overweight family and I simply thought the rules did not apply to me. I ate junk food and had only a casual relationship with exercise for years, and I was enviably slender, until I wasn't, and without even realizing it, my sentence had begun. So, here I am, 1/2 way to my goal (I am committed to losing 50 lbs and, as of several days ago, I had lost over 25). Basically, I am in a half-way house, no longer in jail, but not yet paroled. So, which way I am going to go? Am I going to engage in the behaviors that took me to obesity in the first place, or am I going to make better choices on a DAILY basis, rather than sneaking bad choices, hoping I don't get caught?

I do a lot of things right in terms of my current lifestyle. I generally go to bed at a decent hour, and get up about 7 hours later. I exercise nearly every day, and I drink a lot of water. I don't drink alcohol which helps, and I gave up soda pop (regular and diet) so that has not been the issue. Fast food, thankfully, is not a temptation for me. I don't eat huge meals and I don't tend to go for seconds. What I DO do, however, is behave like a lunatic around sugar, especially at parties. I am going to a lot of parties these days because it is graduation season, and I have a son who is going to graduate. Macaroni salad, potato salad, burgers and hot dogs, even potato chips, are safe when I am around. I won't throw an elbow trying to grab the last of the ranch dip and big pots of chili don't make me want to swoon. Cupcakes, though? Let's just say I need a Sparkbuddy to follow me to parties and when I approach the desserts table, they need to make like a SWAT team member with a megaphone "BACK AWAY FROM THE CUPCAKES" - "STEP AWAY FROM THE COOKIES" "PUT YOUR HANDS UP WHERE WE CAN SEE THEM (and they better not be holding slabs of cake)".

After behaving like a lunatic around sugar on Saturday, and then doing better (but still not very well) on Sunday, today I was moping around, hearing all the old excuses starting up, blah blah blah and I found myself avoiding the things I need to do that are causing me anxiety by avoiding them until finally, the voice of reason, said "ENOUGH ALREADY". Get up, get busy, get moving. So, I did. I ate some food my body needed, I drank a lot of water, I did some organizing, I did some housework, I did some laundry, and I went for a run. I made sure my 7 y.o. and my dog got some exercise and fresh air, as well. And, guess what, the excuses melted away. I read a couple good blogs (thank you bloggers and those of you who comment on blogs - it really helps), I read a great e-mail from a dear Sparkfriend. I began to do the things that got me to the "half-way house" in the first place, and that will get me paroled - I have done my time, I have spent enough time being punished by fat, and feeling punished for being fat, and for getting fat, and for staying fat. I can choose which direction I am heading. Thanks to the wonderful SParkfriends who blog so honestly and eloquently about their battle out of the morbid obesity prison, I have a better understanding of what it is like to spend time there and I am not tough enough to handle it. For me to be morbidly obese, I would need to weigh about 250 lbs, basically. Everyone who weighs 250 lbs spent time at 167, or 193, on their way up. They got there pretty much the same way I got to my highest weight - one bite at a time, one choice at a time, hour by hour, day by day. I understand the temptations and the pitfalls, the pain and the anxiety - I feel compassion for anyone who struggles with food and weight. Change is not easy but it can be very freeing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZOOKEEPERMAMA 6/9/2011 4:33PM

    This is a great post! My trigger food is party sugar, too (well, not just party sugar, to be honest...). You did the right thing by picking yourself up and dusting yourself off the next day. I love your analogy, too.

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REBELBLITZ 6/9/2011 9:50AM

    That is an awesome blog. You identified your "trigger foods" and that is sugar (cupcakes). Mine is salty and crunchy foods, like tortilla chips or oh my goodness, Fritos! I don't even buy Fritos except a maybe once a year when I know there will be a house full of people who will help them disappear. Otherwise, the Fritos have me spellbound and headed toward them. I guess I become a prisoner like you said you were. I don't like that feeling either. emoticon

Congratulations on making it to the halfway house. I hope to get to my halfway house this summer. emoticon


Cheryl

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WINACHST 6/9/2011 8:43AM

    Fantastic blog. The SAD (Standard American Diet) gives up our sentence, but our behavior can determine whether we stay in prison or not. The halfway house, let out of prison because of good behavior, but not yet free. The choices we make determine which direction we go - back to prison or eventually be free.



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RYDERB 6/8/2011 11:20PM

    SO, another great blog. Lots to think about. But on the lighter side, if I had only been by your side at that party, I would have pushed you down, and eaten all the cupcakes before you could stand back up. Just reading about those things made me hungry emoticon

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JITZUROE 6/8/2011 4:18PM

    Ack! I keep re-reading this and forgetting to tell you how fantastic this was. Too many times I would get sad BEFORE a binge. Literally at the store, before the junkfood hit my cart, so sad because I felt as if my arms were sentenced to take the dark choco and huge king size container of creamy things and put them in my cart. Very sad at the check out, and defenseless while unpacking the groceries and opening up the junkfood craziness. Actually believing that this behavior was my life now, and I would never be set free; my behavior locking me up in the house too, since I felt too ashamed afterward to leave and socialize, even with my hubbie.
This blog is something I can relate to. I choose to get out of this prison, and am so thankful for encouraging stories like this!

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TK421BETH 6/7/2011 6:02PM

    Cannie, i really loved you blog today. You can reach your goal! I'm proud of you, and keep it up!!! emoticon

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ALASKALILLADY 6/7/2011 4:07PM

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderfully honest blog. I will be re-reading this one over and over for sure!

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ON2GOALS 6/7/2011 3:58PM

    Thank you for a wonderful blog! I'm going to read and re-read this one for sure. I know I don't want to stay in this hellish prison any longer - for what, you know? I love how you have reminded us that it's all about small choices - one minute at a time, one bite at a time. That gives me a lot of hope.
emoticon

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HELSANANGEL 6/7/2011 12:44PM

    The is a really great blog! I love the comparisons between prison and being fat. It's very true!

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MARTY728 6/7/2011 12:36PM

    GREAT BLOG! I need a SWAT Team member also! LOL

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KACYBEE15 6/7/2011 12:30PM

    I thought this was a fantastic analogy. As I was pondering it I realized there is one more similarity between obesity and prison - a frighteningly high number of people released from prison eventually end up back in prison, and usually to serve even longer sentences. As sad as it is, this is true for so many people who lose weight. I believe that spending time in "Fat Prison" does something to your head - it changes the way you think the world works... how your relate to it... your own value, much like how prisoners probably think. It's a terrifying, but enlightening thought. That's why I love the analogy of being in a halfway house. So many of us think that if we can just behave perfectly we will be freed from our prison and we forget all of those traps and challenges waiting for us on the way. If we could allow ourselves to realize that this journey is not always easy and to lay down our pride enough accept assistance we will stand a much better chance of remaining free for the rest of our lives.

Great blog!

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KELLYD1958 6/7/2011 5:34AM

    Morning Cannie girl! I love the "Back away from the table!" You are so funny...

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HGSGUY 6/6/2011 10:12PM

    Great blog! I started skinny, way too skinny, got put on a weight management program to fatten up a bit! Did too well fattening up! Almost got on weight management to slim down, but stayed just under that point, then gained a lot of weight with my new job. So I understand 1/2 way house. I lost 50 pounds from my heaviest and I am 50 pounds up from my skinny days! Now if I can just hold it right here.......

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MAMADWARF 6/6/2011 9:33PM

    Great Blog, Cannie, as usual Thought provoking and honest. Loved it.

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NPA4LOSS 6/6/2011 8:52PM

    emoticon emoticon Great analogy!

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KMIRANDA2000 6/6/2011 8:42PM

    good blog

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OOLALA53 6/6/2011 8:42PM

    Nice analogy. I'm amazed that you were once thin but that you, too, were taken over by the seduction of food. Thin people can't always relate. I know what you mean about sugar, but now have many days where it is not an issue, something I doubted would ever happen. I am so grateful! You have achieved a lot, and I want to remember your courage and stick-to-it-iveness when times get rough, esp. your recounting of how you got busy. If we don't find things to do instead of eating, we're lost! emoticon

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DAISY443 6/6/2011 8:18PM

    Good analogy "halfway house". You make some valid points and I totally understand. I don't want to get back to size 4 but at 5'1". I do need to lose more. Thanks for saying it like it is!

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half way there

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I am committed to losing 50 pounds. As of several days ago, I reached my half-way mark. Coincidentally (or serendipitously, as I prefer to look at it) the same weight that brought me to the half-way point also officially brought me out of the "obese" category and into the less frightening "overweight" status. I am not spending too much energy celebrating my milestones because I do not want to become overly pleased with this, lest I be tempted to settle in here. Losing 50 pounds (as if I have to tell all of you) requires commitment and energy and determination. With this in mind, I have recently decided against pursuing other things that would require a lot out of me - running a Ragnar relay (200 miles split among 12 team members, requiring each runner to do three legs over approximately 30 hours, which means running one leg in the middle of the night and one on very little sleep). I am the captain of the team, which means a lot of time spent organizing runners, supplies, money, food, and logistics in general. I did this last year so at least I have some valuable experience to use this year. Last year I determined I wanted to run this year, not be on the sidelines. I set three goals for myself before I would allow myself to commit to being a runner: 1. lose 20 lbs (done) 2. run a 5k in 31 minutes so I knew I could do consistent 10 minutes miles (done) 3. recreate the race conditions by doing the equivalent of three 5-ks in a 30 hour time span (did not do). The first of my three trial runs went very well. The second is where I gained the clarity (which is often the best side-effect of running) to know it would not be prudent for me to commit to running in the race. I have a lot going on in my life, I am already struggling with fatigue and feeling overwhelmed, and, the deciding factor: the aforementioned commitment to losing the rest of this 50 lbs. I do not want to drain off my energy and dedication, already in short supply some days, to pursue a lesser goal at the expense of the greater goal. If it is meant to be, I can hand the captaining off to someone else next year, and just focus on being a runner. Shedding the burden of obesity and figuring out how to live at my "God-intended" size, has been at the forefront of my hopes and prayers for well over a decade. I need to do whatever it takes to see this through. I am very grateful to be half-way. When I began this journey in January of this year, I was coming off a period of increased depression and anxiety which made everything, especially losing weight and gaining some distance from binge-eating, seem hopeless. I feel so much better, I look better, and I move more easily. I don't get a lot of comments about the fact that I have lost weight, and it is a relief to me to realize I don't need a lot of comments (though I certainly enjoy those that I do receive). I still struggle with my disorderly eating, with my avoidance of things like making dinner and shopping for food, with eating too many processed foods, with over-eating at times, and on rare occasions, an outright binge. This is where I remember "progress, not perfection". I have a long way to go - this is an area of anxiety and deeply entrenched habits and I am getting better slowly. This is not the same journey as when I put down alcohol and cigarettes on the same day and have never relapsed. That was a miracle I am still grateful for on a daily basis. Improving my health via weight loss and better eating habits is a series of tiny miracles and incremental successes. I eat less poorly, I take in more nutrients, I consume less calories, and I put food in my mouth less often. As I venture in to the second half of the journey, I know I will need to find the willingness to make more changes. I am so appreciative of SParkfriends who are always willing to offer a suggestion, or encouragement, or share their own experience. I would not have come this far without you, and I cannot imagine going the rest of the way by myself. While I am responsible for all my choices and ultimately have to answer to myself, I don't operate well in isolation and I am very grateful I don't have to.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLYD1958 6/2/2011 8:05PM

    Hey Cannie! Happy Halfway point! So glad for you. This week took me to Harrisburg, glad to be back home for 10 days. My air force boy will be home Saturday for more than a week.
Keep up the great progress!

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ZOOKEEPERMAMA 6/1/2011 6:37PM

    Congratulations! How fantastic to be half way there! And also, good job in staying focused on the main goal. Next year, you'll kick that race's tail! =) You are a great supporter of mine, thank you for that. Keep your eyes on the prize! You can do it, chica!
emoticon

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SUNRIZING 6/1/2011 12:05PM

    this is amazing and you should be sooo proud of yourself! Keep these wonderful changes, cherish the better you! You are worth it friend! This is a new better life! HUGS!

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RYDERB 6/1/2011 10:16AM

    Congratulations on reaching your halfway mark! emoticon and on firmly dedicating yourself to the next half of your journey. emoticon Being able to take pride in yourself for "progress, not perfection" is such an important step on this journey, and in life period. I've learned so much from your accomplishments and your struggles, and the graceful way you handle them. The honesty and deep insights that you have shared through your blogs, has often helped me put my own journey in perspective. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARIOLATRY 5/31/2011 9:11PM

    You are so impressive to me! emoticon

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SUZWARNR 5/31/2011 6:40PM

    This is a journey and you will always learn and discover new things along the way. You can't change everything overnight. You are not expected to do a 180 and change everything about you all at once. When this happens, the changes don't stick because it's too much, too fast. Like what you're doing now, slowly introduce small changes until it starts to become a regular part of your routine. Resolve to say, eat one less processed meal a week, add a fruit or vegetable, etc. I've been out of control with snacking lately. So now, before I eat something I don't need, I pose the question, what would Keena do? (My trainer). I'm hoping this helps me. Try to figure out what might help you. Great job on getting to the half-way point. There are only much better things from this side. Congrats on what you've achieved so far!

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MAMADWARF 5/31/2011 5:53PM

    Ya know, Cannie. I found you a little later in your journey but I sure am glad I did. You are doing soo well and the best part? You know who you are. You know what it is gonna take for you. You are solid. You are commited. You are reasonable. You are gonna make it. LOVE IT!

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DOODIE59 5/31/2011 5:50PM

    Hi Carole
You've already had my "steps of the ladder" peptalk, but I forgot to mention that B vitamins are good for combating stress. The most useful form is the liquid drops under the tongue (sublingual).

I used to joke that food is the worst vice because you have to have it 3x a day ... can't just ban it from your life forever:) For that reason, it is important for all us Sparkers to truly adopt a new way of living. In the end, this is what you are striving for. It will be wonderful to lose the next 25 pounds but the real victory will occur when you put food in its place. Eat for energy, exercise for joy ('cause you're already fit), and sleep for rejuvenation:)

You are on your way. Imagine the freedom once you figure everything out! You will be living the life you were meant to live.

Be good to yourself --
Deirdre emoticon emoticon

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MRSSCHENCK 5/31/2011 3:53PM

    emoticon It must be an awesome feeling knowing that you are halfway to completing your goal.

emoticon

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SBATES63 5/31/2011 3:22PM

    First of all you are so wise about the running. Committing to the race will take all the joy out of it. At least it does for me. Your attitude is wonderful. Keep it up and sooner rather than later you will be at the 3/4 way mark.

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MARTY728 5/31/2011 2:06PM

    Congratulations and keep going. You will get there!

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DAISY443 5/31/2011 1:53PM

    Half way is a wonderful place to be. The second half takes even more commitment than the first half, so stick with the plan and you will succeed! Congrats!

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three things

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three things - this is the phrase I repeat to myself when I am overwhelmed and under-motivated. I blogged in the past about using timers, telling myself just clean for 10 minutes, or just run for 30 minutes, etc. "Three things" is what I tell myself so that I can get started in the first place. Today, one of the "three things" mantras I told myself: "get dressed, make the bed, eat something". I experienced a rough day yesterday, food and mood wise. I don't spend a lot of time figuring out the why of it all anymore - I spent/wasted too much time on that in the past. I shared with a Sparkler friend I am now spending more energy on the "GET OVER IT AND GET ON WITH IT!" part. So, getting on with it means just that. Get off the couch, shut off the t.v., log on to Spark to blog and track my food, eat something nutritious, go exercise, run errands, return phones calls. The opposite of getting on with it is being overly concerned with taking my emotional temperature, not eating anything today because I overate yesterday, not going near SP because I don't want to face up, or 'fess up. I can turn my attention to others rather than just thinking about myself. The fact is I am very tired, for a variety of reasons, so I am not feeling productive, or energetic or motivated. The nice thing about committing, whether it be to losing 50 lbs, or being married, or raising children, is that feelings are not the main driver. I need to step back and take a look at the bigger picture, rather than focusing on one bad day. If the bad days begin to add up, I will need to reassess. Overall, however, I have made good changes over the past months that I have been committed to SP. I will never approach perfection in my eating habits, or any of my habits. I have always been a struggler so there are few things I do that are smooth or easy. Even if I am struggling, I can struggle forward so that I can gain some momentum. For today, for now, I will focus on the next three things: exercise, errands, and eating nutritiously afterwards. I don't feel like doing any of these things, but I am committed so that will drive me to do these three things, and then three more, in the hopes of re-gaining some energy and momentum to move forward a little more quickly. For now, I will just move forward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBELBLITZ 6/9/2011 9:53AM

    I like the "3 things" approach. I am going to start working on that idea. Thanks! emoticon

Cheryl

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MRSSCHENCK 5/31/2011 4:07PM

    Awesome blog! I'm definitely going to try my own 3 things phrase. I just got up and turned off the tv. That's one. I'm going to go get myself a glass of water. I haven't had one glass ALL day. That's two. And when the sun goes down, I'm going to meditate in my garden while tending to the weeds. That's three.

Thanks.

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MAMADWARF 5/28/2011 9:28AM

    Makes perfect sense. Thanks for talking about that today. When things are overwhelming, we need to SIMPLIFY!

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ZOOKEEPERMAMA 5/27/2011 3:21PM

    Thanks for this post. I really needed this today. I'm straddling the limits of "Screw it" town and "I can do this" ville. Just three little steps in the right direction will get me off the border at least...

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KACYBEE15 5/27/2011 11:10AM

    This sounds like an excellent plan. I have found that I'm a lot more at ease when I repeat the phrase "Life only comes at you one second at a time" to myself. It reminds me that I can handle anything for one second, and it's never coming at me faster than that.

I really like your "three things" mantra. I may have to borrow that!!

Hope you have a wonderful and productive day!

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ON2GOALS 5/27/2011 11:01AM

    Thanks for sharing this - oh, I am such an over-analyzer too... Here's to more DOING instead.... "I'm over it! Urban Dictionary definition: The indication that a negative event (aka a bad day) is no longer bothersome to someone."
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DAISY443 5/27/2011 7:50AM

    You mentioned "perfect". Not possible, not a goal to strive for, and not rational! You are certainly approaching Spark and life in a wonderful and realistic way. Way to go!

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RYDERB 5/26/2011 11:30PM

    Love your 3 things. I'm going to use them! Maybe it's just something in the air these last couple of days. Everyone I know is feeling angry or emotional. I'm both! emoticon No idea why. Luckily, I've used that anger to fuel my workouts. Hang in there!

emoticon emoticon

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DOODIE59 5/26/2011 10:56PM

    Hi Carole,
I'm struggling myself so I'm right where you are. To go along with your "three things" strategy -- I write them down, because the act of scratching them off the list when done is very motivating. You know to keep going ... because ... what IS the alternative? Sometimes that's what it's all about ... Just Keeping Going:) A new day will come and you'll be ready for it. Just hang in!

You're in my thoughts:) --
Deirdre

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JENNSWIMS 5/26/2011 9:51PM

    I love your three things philosophy. Awesome. I think I could really put this to work.

I'm sorry that you are having such a challenging time, but you seem to be handling it with grace and courage!

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STORMYZCAT 5/26/2011 8:33PM

    None of us are perfect so we can not expect perfection from ourselves. I haven't met anyone yet on this earth that can walk on water! Now you just make 3 more little goals for tomorrow and see how that makes you feel. Make them goals you KNOW you can achieve. Girl one day at a time sometimes means starting with one hour at a time. I restarted this week based on advise someone sparked me....minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. I now have day 4 under my belt and it is slowly building my confidence. I have to say the support I have received from SP is amazing. Even though I do not personally know any of these Spark Friends, somehow it means so much to know they care enough to share words of encouragement and support.
Reflect on how far you've come...we will all be there to support you at the finish line and hydrate you along the way! emoticon emoticon

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TWO-TOO-MUCH 5/26/2011 8:31PM

    Oh, I so understand what you mean about spending so much time trying to figure out the "why's" when it really doesn't matter -- one just needs to carry on. My last blog post touched on this very thing and I've come to accept that this is likely the way my entire weight loss journey is going to go...get off track, get on track. Repeat as necessary. Or as Nike says, "Just do it." Hugs!

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JITZUROE 5/26/2011 5:37PM

    It looks to me like you are focusing well on the "E's" today from your blog. YAAAAAAY!
Proud of you. It could be so much worse, like, the M&M's.... Right?
Keep it up! You certainly make a lot of our days shine! emoticon

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DEBRA0818 5/26/2011 5:10PM

    I'm sorry you're coming out of a struggling phase -- just more proof that "no matter how far down the road you are, you're always the same distance from the ditch," (a famous OA phrase). I like the way you approach this kind of distress; it seems very kind to yourself. I am also a struggler and a stagger around a lot too, sometimes in the wrong direction, but I, like you, have committed to this and feelings are not the main driver. I feel them, I acknowledge them and I do what I need to do ... anyway.

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fight or flight

Monday, May 23, 2011

I recently had an encounter at an end-of-year picnic that my youngest son and I attended to mark the end (yippee) of one of his sports. There were a number of families there that I had never met because this is a sport (rugby) that has a number of teams of all different age groups. We had no sooner arrived than I practically bumped into a man who was screaming obscenities in the face of his young son, who looked to be about 11 years old. My own 7 y.o. happily ran off to play with some teammates and was oblivious to the ugly encounter, but I stood frozen for a second, shocked at what I was witnessing. The father was a burly guy with a shaved head and a beard - he had a menacing look but that could have been because he was enraged. Most people look a bit intimidating (and, honestly, often foolish) when they are engulfed in anger. The child's crime? He was not participating in a skills drill. I will be the first to admit, I get frustrated with my children on a daily basis. I have sworn around my children. I have spoken to them harshly, and thusly, have apologized many times when I have let my temper and impatience get the better of me. I have great empathy for parents who are having a bad day with their kids and I have reminded myself, at times, when I am tempted to judge someone for speaking harshly to a a child, "I have no idea what they have been going through". This was beyond frustration. This was bullying, plain and simple. I very quietly, so the child, whose back was to me, would not hear, said to the father "please stop that". He immediately turned on me, which enabled his son to make a quick getaway which was the whole point of me butting into the tirade. He screamed at me to mind my own business (a valid point) to which I reminded him that it became my business when it occurred inches from me. It isn't as if I broke down their door (though, if I had heard what he was screaming coming from behind closed doors, it would have been tempting to do something, anything - it was awful). He told me "I say whatever I want" to which I replied "well, clearly, you do" and, as you can tell, this was not a confrontation that would turn into a useful conversation, and so, it ended - him glaring at me, me glaring back - but no more words exchanged. Believe me, it occurs to me that he may have then taken it out on his wife (who was there but showed no sign of responding) or the son, but I have no control over that and bullies count on people remaining too fearful to act. I pray it never goes beyond screaming, and that they seek help, especially for the children so they know that it is not normal be treated like that. I have no idea what others' were thinking, or observing. For that one awful moment it was just he and I and, for a split second I braced myself for a blow because he was furious and I was now the object of his fury and I was within striking distance. I escaped an abusive marriage when I was a teenager. It was long ago, long forgiven, and taught me many useful lessons, once I had some safe distance. It was interesting to me that such a long forgotten response would come roaring back inside my body. He knew, though, that hitting me would be an instant "do not pass go, proceed straight to jail" card for him. Not too much time passed (with us at opposite ends of the picnic grounds) that I was in front of the buffet table. I chose spinach salad, no chips, no brats, and three tiny desserts. I was aware, when I was eating those petite little sugar-bombs, that I was taking them in much like, many years ago, I would inhale deeply from a cigarette, or take a pull off a bottle of liquor. They offered momentary pleasure, and then, minutes later, I felt like Dorothy in the poppy field on her way to OZ - I was so tired, I just wanted to lie down and sleep. I spoke to a friend later in the day, about what had gone on earlier. She (who is far smarter and better educated than I) said "oh, of course - you had a fight or flight response, and when the body has an acute episode of this the liver dumps glucose and goes looking for more, so the sugar is exactly what your body and brain were searching for". Well, hello, you just described much of my life, especially the past few years. I have had a lot of "fight or flight" for reasons I won't go into here (though I have touched on some of it in previous blogs). My liver has been on a glucose dumping mission for many years and I have accomodated it by being a very accomplished glucose replenisher. This was a lightbulb moment for me. I had known this to some degree, but the incident yesterday put it in stark relief. In order to truly overhaul my eating habits, and restore my body to it's God-intended size, I have to be diligent about examining and treating stressors, both small and large. This has never been more obvious to me. I have some tools that are very useful - prayer, exercise, reading, more exercise, friends, Sparkfriends, blogging, tv (a great diversion if not overused), family (when they aren't providing me new sources of stress, that is). However, I am always looking for new suggestions and willing to learn lessons from my wise Sparklers: what is your most helpful tool for reducing stress? Please share it with me - I will be grateful to lean on your experience and wisdom. Bless you.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KACYBEE15 5/25/2011 1:09PM

    Wow! Thank you for stepping in and sparing that poor child from his verbal thrashing. It makes me sad to think that he will probably continue this pattern with his kids, and it makes me even more sad to think that his father probably endured the same thing. What a tragic cycle!

I, too, think I am a glucose dumper/replenisher. I've noticed a pattern after my husband and I have arguments: I am ravenously hungry after the vast majority of them. The reason for this probably varies; I'm sure that sometimes I'm eating out of spite (especially if the argument involves my weight), but I experienced this very reaction after we resolved an argument last night. I felt a lot better about the fight that occurred a few days ago, but I then felt like I was starving (despite the fact that I had eaten a generous dinner). Perhaps your friend is right - I will keep this in mind the next time I have a reaction like this!!

Great blog! Thanks for sharing your story!! Hope you have a wonderful day!
~ Kayli

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TK421BETH 5/24/2011 6:10PM

    Cannie! Wow-that took a lot, confronting that dude. You have to remember to be careful, though...there are a lot of crazy people out there! Then again, you weren't alone.

I'm proud of you with your food choices at the buffet table. Keep up the good work! emoticon

I eat when I'm: stressed, happy, sad, excited, etc... LoL!

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STORMYZCAT 5/24/2011 5:55PM

    GOOD for you for intervening in this mans tirade on his child. Physical wounds heal much faster than the emotional abuse he was dishing out. Emotional abuse is something he very well may be trying to overcome his whole life. I am non confrontational by nature but can not stand to see a child abused in any manner. Unfortunately it is impossible to have a constructive dialogue with this type of individual.
Wish I could say I have a useful mechanism for dealing with stress....eating hasn't worked so well for me! emoticon

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ON2GOALS 5/24/2011 2:44PM

    THANK YOU for speaking up! emoticon
This kind of child abuse just kills me. I know you well enough to know you would not be able to NOT say something in the face of something like this. (Ok that was not a great sentence but you know what I mean.) Very good insight from your friend re: the Fight or Flight response! Some of my favorite relaxation go-to's are relaxing music, scented candles (not food scents though, for obvious reasons) and playing with the dog. Oh, and the ocean! That's number one, though I don't get to see it often enough.


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ZOOKEEPERMAMA 5/24/2011 10:32AM

    It has always amazed me to see these Dads at sporting events. Normally level-headed individuals totally losing their sh*t over a "bad" call or perceived imperfection by their kids. I'm glad you spoke up. I don't think I'd have the guts. As far as stress relief goes, sunny days are great for me. I love to sit outside and smell the grass and listen to the trees. That gets rid of about a year's worth of stress for me. We don't get enough of those out here... *sigh*

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JITZUROE 5/23/2011 10:16PM

    You really put yourself out there, and I am sure that will be keeping this dad awake and/or give him a HUGE reality check (let's hope!). I'll bet you anything that his wife is thankful for your actions as well. Maybe she can pull some strength from you. I am sure she knew where your heart was.
You're my hero!

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JAMJOJAM 5/23/2011 8:53PM

    The father was being verbally abusive to his child and when you spoke up, you were that small child's champion. Bravo. emoticon

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KSFITNESS1 5/23/2011 7:42PM

  Your response to that father was so magnificent! You are very brave! As a teacher, I take my hat off to you for standing up to him and giving the child a chance to get away from his tirade. Believe me, the little ones remember when people do such actions for them...I hear about stories like that at work from the children and it makes a positive impact. I applaud you and your courage! I never thought about the body's fight or flight reponses like that...makes sense and worth keeping in mind with stress. As far as stress relief goes, I am such a radio channel surfer, esp. on my way to and from work. Also, set up a little safe "haven" for yourself at home. I have a recliner chair, from it I can see a little decorative table upon which I rotate my favorite decoration--stained glass vases, angle figurines, candles, etc. I also have an end table next to the recliner with scented candles etc. and scrapbooks handy of fun family events. Hate to admit it, but I can see the TV from there also. (reality tv destresses) I top it off with a certain favorite blanet that is incredibly soft! It's all sensory comforting--the rest to the room may have load of laundry, need to be vacuumed etc. but I have a little haven that is peaceful!Good luck!

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PANDARAECASH 5/23/2011 7:39PM

    That totally explains why I am always craving sugary foods!! I am constantly in fight or flight mode at work! I am an auditor and the managers don't like being told that they are doing things wrong so there are usually always arguments of some sort (or they are just plain annoying and driving me insane). Figuring out a different way to deal with this stress on my body sounds like something I need to work on...

You're the best!!

emoticon

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SUZWARNR 5/23/2011 6:11PM

    Wow, that poor little boy. So glad you were able to divert the attention from him, at least for a little while. What a brave thing for you to do. I'm glad he did not get violent in the physical sense (be safe!). It's interesting what you said about the liver/glucose thing. I will have to keep this in mind the next time I am stressed out. I never thought one way or the other how food plays into this. As far as stress relief, I think this varies greatly from person to person. Maybe make a list of the things that calms you down and relaxes you? Then you can refer to this anytime instead of trying to think of something on the spot.

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DAISY443 5/23/2011 5:28PM

    Stress relief??? Being retired, having a feisty little dog, single, my children safely miles away so that visits are relaxing, let me count the ways! BUT I honestly believe that I created stress in my life for the adrenaline rush it gave me in the past. Now the things that stress me are, for the most part, inept customer service people on the phone! I admire that you took the part of the bullied child. I don't believe I could have been so brave. How sad that that child will probably grow up to bully his children. And on it goes!

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RYDERB 5/23/2011 5:08PM

    I'm so proud of you for speaking up! How many other people, just ignored what that man was doing? Crazy! I would have butt in too, but I would not have done with as much grace as you did. I wish I had a trick to dealing with stress. Sadly, I'm still searching. Pulling a blanket over my head and screaming really hasn't done much good. emoticon

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