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CAREN_BLUEJEANS's Recent Blog Entries

The Myth of Motivation

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The myth is that successful people get all fired up & stay that way. At some point it comes down to handling the boredom of consistency. I have to fall in love with the process of eating healthy & exercising.

I already love working out almost every day. I found some exercises I totally love, that fit into my schedule. I am a gym rat! Because that is part of my identity, it's not hard to have all the gym-going behaviors:
1. I keep a packing list in my gym bag
2. I pack my gym bag the night before
3. I shop for new gum clothes
4. I make friends at the gym

A 2009 study showed that people who self-identify as healthy eaters were more likely to have nutritional knowledge and eat more fruits & vegetables. Identity leads to self-efficacy.

My self-identity as a healthy eater:
1. I'm an excellent cook, I rarely eat out
2. I like to try new foods & recipes
3. I eat so much eggs, chicken & ground turkey, I ought to sprout feathers!
4. I eat dessert only once a week
5. I love spinach, it's my favorite vegetable
6. Fried foods don't agree with me, they sit on my stomach like lead

But I also have some self identity, well less than healthy
1. I have cheesecitement (excited about eating cheese)
2. I love chocolate
3. I put hot sauce on everything
4. I have a sweet tooth

I will focus on change these up, creating a new identity.
1. I'm good at remembering the calories of common foods I eat
2. I have a kitchen scale & weight my food
3. I don't like feeling stuffed full
4. I don't mind leaving food on my plate
5. I don't mind throwing out food

read more Identity-based habits

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIS193 7/10/2014 12:16AM

    Great blog

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    These are good, Caren. And you see room for improvement. Well done!

I've looked at the same thing in my life and found a very long list of what is simply the norm for me now, with of course a small deviation here and there for good measure. LOL

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    I loved this blog. It was nice today to see something positive. You are good for supplying that. Your approach is realistic - not standing on a box and cheerleading. That may work for some people but not me.

My little baby pet is sick in ICU. I hope he makes it.

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Tough Love Weight Loss

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

After 5 weeks in a row of success on the scale, and getting down to 169, a milestone 40 pound loss, as well as moving from the obese BMI category to overweight, I've had 2 weeks of weight gain, and I'm up to 172. Three pounds may not seem like a big deal, but I feel my motivation slipping away. It's time to take myself in hand, call myself out, and experience a bit of tough love. I'm not talking fat shaming or harsh judgement. Just a gentle prodding in the right direction.

I had overwhelming motivation when I started my weight loss journey 4 years ago, because I was so unhappy with the way I looked, had no stamina, and hit a freak-out point of over 200 pounds. Mostly I was afraid of the obesity related diseases that my mother suffered, like diabetes, high blood pressure, and bad knees. I was approaching 50, another freak out point, because my dear mother died at 56, from cancer of the pancreas.

(pic of my ex, me & my mom)

This kind of "away from" motivation, the kind of pain that you want to run away from as fast as possible, is only temporary. It's good for the beginning of the weight loss journey. Some people find this pain in seeing a picture of themselves that they don't recognize or are disgusted by, an all-time-high on the scale, or bad news from the doctor. Nothing wrong with using this kind of motivation, if it gets you going down a healthy path in the beginning. But, the motivation to move away from pain is only temporary, because once I get to where I look & feel good, the motivation diminishes or goes away entirely. I settle for "good enough."

My final goal is to lose about another 31 pounds, to get down to 141, the top of the healthy BMI range for my height. But I feel so fit & have energy, I get complements on how I look, I'm in the lowest pants size in my closet, sometimes (because of the high occurrence of obesity in Illinois) I'm the thinnest woman in the room, and I'm no longer fear an early death or serious health problems. I wonder if it's just for vanity.

BMI ranges for 5'3"

Normal (108-141); Overweight (142-169) ; Obese (170-226)

Honestly, when I get closer to the normal BMI range, I'll check in with myself & make a final goal. I like the phrase "slim, fit and healthy." It takes the focus away from the scale. Although I certainly feel fit & healthy, I don't look or feel slim. To be slim, I would like to lose some of the lumpy, bumpy bits, especially my pouch and muffin top. I would really like to be in size 8 or smaller pants.

So, I'm looking for the motivation, the big "why," the reason I absolutely have to lose weight. I guess I still have some remnant of health related motivation, because I have knee & bunion pain, and losing weight would put less pressure on those joints. And my cholesterol levels were mildly high. I want to be healthy and fully mobile when I'm an old lady.

I'm not sure how to phrase this:

1. If I had a choice between being the weight I am now in 5 years, or being slim, I would choose slim. I do have that choice. And so what if I'm choosing to lose the last 31 pounds because of vanity, and the wish to be attractive? I think being attractive is great.

2. I think my future self would thank me for not settling for less.

3. Why should I settle for good enough, when I dream of being great?


Motivational Quote:

"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."
-Zig Ziglar


Edited to add:
I have a new lunch-time workout buddy! We did Zumba Monday, Circuit Training today, and we have a date for Zumba tomorrow. She's a math professor at the university I work for. Her son works at Google, my son works for Yahoo, and we live close to each other, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIMOM2TWINS 7/9/2014 2:12PM

    You are doing this for you & that is only thing that matters! I believe that motivation is very personal and what works for you night not work for someone else How you feel is all up to you and you are soaring!! & when you look back and see how far you have accomplished - it will be a feeling like you have never experienced!! - one that you did all on your own for yourself!!


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    Thank you for sharing your story, with all your challenges, ups, and downs!

You are a great inspiration!

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POSITIVEHOPE 7/8/2014 11:04PM

    Loved your honesty. I've been struggling lately and really don't know why. Maybe I need to take stock of myself.

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    I feel that if anyone can accomplish their goals it would be you.

Right now I am going through a rough time. One of my pets is in ICU and may not make it.
I have to force myself to eat, force myself to move. I'm not into it. I guess I will fake it till I make it.

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WATERMELLEN 7/8/2014 9:12PM

    Excellent stock-taking!

For me the health issues are the "serious" impetus but vanity sure helps with the day to day motivation!

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    Caren I really like how you take stock at where you are at. Very rarely do I see people do this and share it on an open board.

Your zany and wonderful and you have your own style. You are not one who settles for less than what you want. You'll find your answers each step of the way on the continuation of your program.

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SWEETCLEANER 7/8/2014 7:43PM

    You know this is a lifestyle, not a diet, nothing will change about you when you reach your ultimate goal, except your health, and knowing YOU are doing what YOU can to maintain health! Nothing wrong with wanting to look your best either!
I am tottering between overweight and healthy weight, and it is a struggle! I still haven't set a goal at WW and I want to wait to see if I can maintain....
But, the changes you have made are working, this is just a blip~! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/8/2014 7:43:46 PM

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BEACHCALSIX 7/8/2014 6:09PM

    the last pounds can be stubborn to lose, I'm in the same boat. Sometimes I just want to "give up" and "settle" Let's push through these last stubborn pounds!

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LAILATN 7/8/2014 2:24PM

    I absolutely love your post. It sounds like you're not willing to "settle." You sound like you have a lot of motivation within. Go for it!

emoticon emoticon

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RENLLY 7/8/2014 1:15PM

    You have done great so far, make sure to celebrate that, so that you know you can keep going.

Motivation is important - what works for you, won't work for me.

YOU can do it !! emoticon

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LIS193 7/8/2014 12:55PM

    Motivation is different for everybody.
You are doing great and those 3 pounds are a temporary set back.
Health is a major motivator and it's not "vain" to want to look good.
Keep at it!!

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MRSCAMACHO 7/8/2014 12:31PM

    I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to look and feel great. Motivation is motivation is motivation, and a little vanity goes a long way to helping us take better care of ourselves. If you're accomplishing your goals in healthy ways, noone (except you) should care why). emoticon emoticon

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Weigh in day 7/6/14

Monday, July 07, 2014

Weigh in 171.8 (+1.2) Oh, sweeties, it's so hard not to be discouraged. Oh well, the scale can't dictate my mood.

My plan to make next week's weigh in better: take small healthy steps (drink enough water, eat every 2-3 hours, limit potions, and workout). Today, I packed a nice lunch to eat after Zumba class at lunch time.

Yesterday I did Zumba in the morning; in the afternoon, I was helping move 160 cinder blocks, about 35 lbs each. There were 5 of us moving them, so I don't know how many I actually loaded & unloaded. but it was a full body workout!

And my bunion is aching again. I didn't eat or drink low-sodium. I'll do better on that today.


Motivational Quote:

"Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go."
- William Feather


Brooke gives herself some "tough love"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    With the weight lifting you did you may be retaining water. I wouldn't really look at this as a baddie.

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LUCYCAN7 7/7/2014 7:08PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon Have a great week!

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    emoticon The good lord gave us mountains so that we can learn how to climb.


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LIS193 7/7/2014 11:58AM


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    Temporary setback - not a real weight gain. Have a great week. emoticon

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MISTYDAZE42 7/7/2014 9:49AM


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Lost 2 lbs of Water Weight Overnight

Sunday, July 06, 2014

I lost 2 pounds of water weight overnight, just by lowering my sodium, drinking plenty of water, hot lemon water, and eating diuretic foods I enjoy anyway. (see yesterday's blog

I woke up very thirsty! And my bunion doesn't ache. I don't love the hot lemon water, and I think that it's too acidic for teeth. So I'm leaving that off. Tomorrow is weigh in day. I hope all the excess water is gone by then.

I was planning to run this morning, but it's thunder showering, the rec center is closed, so I'll zumba at home. My kids may be a bit judgmental about how I dance, but who pays the rent?

See my Zumba YouTube list:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



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MARYJOANNA 7/6/2014 2:58PM


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    Congratulations on getting some water weight back off. Sounds like it worked.

It's sunny here and still cooler than usual but not as nice as it was the past few days.

My allergies want to at up again.

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LIS193 7/6/2014 11:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Enjoy your Zumba - maybe get the kids to join in, then you can all laugh at each other :)

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PEGGY11 7/6/2014 11:15AM

    Congratulations. You are doing great.

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TIMEHASCOME56 7/6/2014 10:00AM


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JAROL7 7/6/2014 8:18AM

    Ah yes ... it is what our bodies do every night. During the day, we have to control the calories.

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GAYLLYNNE 7/6/2014 8:17AM

    Good for you!! I love when that happens. Sometimes when I see the scale is up I have to stop and think about how much salt I had the day before. It really does affect our bodies.

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Natural Home Remedies for Water Retention

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Water weight and bowel weight can cause HUGE weight fluctuations. Even though it's completely normal to wake up one morning and see the scale go up by as much as 5 lbs, I still freaked out! I started googling "how to lose water weight." I know, I know! I've been fighting this scale mentality for decades. I need to focus on the overall trend, not the day to day weight.

This weekend, I plan reducing my salt, drinking plenty of water, hot water with lemon juice, and food from this list of diuretic foods to help eliminate water retention:

Leafy greens
Juniper Berries
Brussels Sprouts

I'm not going to eat anything completely disgusting! But this list of foods look fine & healthy to me. I'm also not going to do crazy stunts, like go in the sauna in a parka. I'm not going to take diuretic pills, or starve myself. Nothing harmful.

Can I take a moment here to complain about my bunion? That's the swelling of the big toe knuckle. My bunion has been hurting for a week. When I go to get my next cortisone shot in the knee, I'm going to ask the dr to take a look at my foot, too.

Yesterday, 4th of July, I was helping friends build, and someone got his thumb messed up in a table saw, and we had a trip to the ER. I'll save you grisly details. He'll be OK.

How did you celebrate 4th of July?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Let us know how all this worked for you.

Sorry for the friend's accident. One time my mom had her thumb severed by shutting her truck door on it. Ouch! It was reattached.

I celebrated by working, resting and going to bed at the same time I normally do.

I'm getting tired of all these "celebrations" that interfere with life.

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LUCYCAN7 7/5/2014 6:28PM

  Good luck I sure hope it will help you!Hope your foot is better soon. emoticon

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    Actually salt is the chief reason I avoid processed foods - even more than I try to avoid wheat, transfats and sugar. I wish they didn't feel they had to load everything with it.

The list looks like some pretty good foods. i like a lot of them.

I don't have a bunion but my food hurts at the joint by my little toe a lot. I now make sure my shoes fill perfectly.

A man my husband worked with at a sawmill cut his arm off with a saw and a man my hubby worked with at the factory were he works now cut his finger off. Very dangerous.

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LIS193 7/5/2014 11:49AM

    Thank you for posting.
Inflammation (like your bunion) can cause weight gain as well..

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TIMEHASCOME56 7/5/2014 9:20AM

    emoticon , this was helpful

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PEGGY11 7/5/2014 9:04AM

    My husband and I go to a foot clinic every six weeks. The podiatrist has especially helped my husband who had terrible toenails thanks to cows stepping on his feet when he was farming. He didn't know how much it affected his walking until she cut his toenails and thinned them. His toes are now straight, not crooked. She also told us that using vicks around the toenails every day gets rid of fungus in most people. Maybe your doctor will give you a referral to a clinic. In our case it meant we did not have to pay.

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BUSYGRANNY5 7/5/2014 8:59AM

    Thanks for sharing all the different foods that help with water weight!! Hope your bunion is better soon!!! Have a great day!!

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