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CAROLSYLVIA's Recent Blog Entries

In a Rut

Saturday, October 05, 2013

September was crazy. Two long road trips, followed by our church missions conference. I'm the missions secretary, so I'm heavily involved in the conference. I love it, but it always leaves me physically and emotionally exhausted. Part of the problem is that I'm an introvert, and even though I absolutely love connecting with our missionaries at the conference, the overabundance of "people time" and the corresponding lack of "alone time" takes a lot out of me.

Monday, I relaxed. Tuesday and Wednesday, I was back at work and really struggled to concentrate. Thursday and Friday i was home, fighting headaches and fatigue. Today I finally made a turn around! Went to the farmers' market and came home with radishes, beets and 30# of carrots. Yes, 30#! It was too good of a deal to turn down - we'll be eating carrots in everything for awhile! emoticon I felt energetic all day and got lots of laundry and cooking done.

So what about the rut? Well over the past month, I have done very little tracking. I'm either too busy or too lazy. I've every good intention of getting back on track in October and really working to shed some pounds, but I find I just don't want to do it. I'm feeling stubborn and cantankerous about it. Maybe it's not so much a rut as an extended tantrum! emoticon

So where do I go from here? Do I cut myself some slack after a crazy month, or give myself a swift kick in the back side and just do it? At least I didn't gain any weight in September, but it's time to start losing again. emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIACOLO 10/5/2013 6:18PM

    No gain and insight into what is going on...sounds like a successful rut to me. You should cut yourself slack AND kick yourself in the back side to get going again. Good luck and track away!

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Changing Direction - Thoughts on my one year SparkVersary

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Today is my one year SparkVersary! So how has the year gone? Well, I was recently looking at the goals I set last August 30 - to lose 40 pounds, and to have enough energy to keep up with my grandkids. At the time, I thought losing a pound a week was a reasonable goal, and to give myself a bit of grace, I set the goal at only 40 pounds instead of 52.

Here I am, one year later, with 15 pounds lost. Yes, I'm eating more fruits and veggies, less processed food, exercising more, blood pressure is down, and I'm feeling MUCH better. All those things should put a smile on my face, and they do. But...there's still that matter of only 15 out of 40 pounds lost. I was determined to put on a brave face and blog about how happy I am to have lost that much - at least I'm heading in the right direction now, and all of that.

So I got to thinking about heading in the right direction .... that implies that I was heading in the WRONG direction and had to make a CHANGE of direction. Which got me to thinking about trains. Yes, trains! I live a couple of miles from a very active railroad track. Just about everywhere I go, I have to cross the tracks. Just a few miles down from my crossing, there is a side track where trains pull over and stop to wait for a train coming the other way to pass by. I have had many opportunities to observe just how looooooong it takes a loaded freight train to slow down to a stop, and how looooooooooooooong it takes a stopped train to start up and get up to speed again. The law of Momentum states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest.

Imagine that you are the engineer of a long freight train, and have realized that you are clipping along in the wrong direction! Can you just flip a switch and immediately be clipping along at the same pace in the opposite direction? Of course not! First, you have to start slowing that train down. Eventually, you will come to a full stop. Next, you have to switch gears and slowly start up again. Your engine starts to move, which gives a pull on the next car, which gives a pull on the next car, and so on and so on, until all of the cars are rolling. You pick up speed very gradually. It's a good long while before you are up to speed again.

One year ago, I knew my train was heading the wrong way. For several years, I had been steadily gaining weight. When I joined SparkPeople, I committed myself to a change. First, I had to learn how to slow down the weight gain process and bring it to a stop. Next, I had to learn how to start the process of weight loss. Neither process happened overnight. But it HAS happened! One by one, I'm getting all my cars in motion.

True, I have only lost 15 pounds. But if I had never made the change in direction, I probably would have GAINED 15 pounds over the past year. So I am quite likely 30 pounds lighter today than I would have been without SparkPeople! And that's reason to celebrate!

If you are just starting out on this journey, I want to encourage you to keep on, even if your progress seems slow. It's easy to start off with high expectations, and then get discouraged when the pounds don't come off as quickly as you think they should. Hang in there! This is a journey full of ups and downs. First, just get your train stopped, and then started again in the right direction. That's the biggest part of the battle! The momentum will come with time.

Thanks, SparkPeople! And thanks, SparkFriends, for all your encouragement and support!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENIORSWIMMER 8/31/2013 10:56AM

    We joined Spark about the same time. I haven't reached my goal weight yet either. I am happy with the changes I have made. We have actually used most of the produce we have had from our garden this year.

You're right about it being a direction. I like the train analogy. Sometimes you have to sidetrack your train so that another train can pass you (life events). I have found that weight loss cannot be my top priority all the time. There are other areas of my life that need attention too. Lately, I've been focusing on keeping up with the house better.

This week with the pool closed and being on medication that makes me sensitive to sunlight, I'm focusing on working on my posture! I'm a slumper. Horrible habit, and if I don't correct it soon, I'm going to be one of those stooped little old ladies you see at the grocery store.

You're probably right about being 30 pounds lighter than you would have been if you had not started this journey. Congratulations on your weight loss and making the course correction required to live a healthier, happier life. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/31/2013 10:59:30 AM

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OREGONMOM4 8/31/2013 12:44AM

    Very good insights and I'm still glad you are positive about the year you had. Keep up the good work!

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Back on track...again...!

Monday, July 22, 2013

I just read my last blog, written four months ago. I was just coming off a plateau and excited about getting out more when spring came. Unfortunately, I hit a big crash just after writing that.

First, I got sick, which is typical for me in the spring. I had chronic headaches and a feeling like I had a rock in my stomach. I resorted to eating whatever appealed to me, which was mainly bread and potatoes; the only thing that saved me from gaining weight was the fact that I couldn't eat much. I pretty much quit exercising and tracking my food.

Then, our son took a job on the East coast, which meant that our 3 grandkids would be moving 1400 miles away. They were living only about 70 miles from us and we were VERY close to them! Our other kids and grandkids live in the Southwestern US, so they are now really spread out across the country. I went into a real funk - maybe even depression - for awhile. Still wasn't feeling good physically, either, and still couldn't eat much. No exercise at all, and no tracking.

Finally, we had the longest winter I can remember! We had LOTS of snow in April, and the ice didn't go out of the lake until May 2nd. Even then, it stayed cold and windy and rainy until mid June. The weather did nothing but make my mood worse.

By this time I was eating again, but not tracking it. Bad move. I gained back 6 pounds of the 20 I had lost. But I did get back in the lake on June 21st, and have been swimming every chance I get. I am back to tracking and eating much better. Now the garden is starting to produce - just zucchini so far, but the farmer's market is exploding with fresh veggies, so that's a real treat.

I just read an article in National Geographic about sugar. I'd like to say that I've completely given it up, but I don't think I'm ready to completely deprived myself of any one food (even though some people would classify sugar as a drug rather than a food). But I am committing to cutting way back on sugar to see what a difference it makes.

Well, this is a long, boring blog, but I needed to write this for myself, so that I can remember where I've been. My goal is to be back at the 20 pound weight loss level by the end of the summer, and to feel GREAT! Please feel free to hold me accountable!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENIORSWIMMER 7/23/2013 9:41AM

    I am so glad you didn't gain all your weight back. That would have been easy to do. I am glad you are back on track. Enjoy those lake swims.

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SENIORSWIMMER 7/23/2013 9:24AM

    This was not a boring blog! I can relate to what you're going through. I dealt with injuries and a closed pool for most of the winter. I am 58, and I cannot believe how quickly I lose my fitness level at this age, and how long it takes to get it back. I swam 1/4 mile at the end of last week and thought I was going to die. I used to do that for a warm up!

The important thing is I am still trying, even though some days my effort is pretty wimpy.

I am thinking about writing a ranting blog....all the things I am SO frustrated with in this lifestyle. It all boils down to - It should be easier!

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VIGILANTONE 7/22/2013 10:09PM

    Sometimes just putting those thoughts down on paper is the beginning of change. While you stumbled at times there were other times you were sick...that has a lot do to with gaining at times. I was doing well here on SP and then developed pneumonia....between the inactivity and steroids I gained everything back and then some. But you just have to get back in the groove! A few days of tracking everything and beginning to exercise again and you too will start picking up momentum again and be well on your way to that healthy you that you so deserve! If ever you want to chat...please feel free to contact me! I know you AND I can do this once and for all!
emoticon emoticon

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Friday, March 15, 2013

It has been over three months since my last blog, in which i wrote about hitting a plateau. I guess it's easier to write about a victory, a challenge, or even a defeat than about...a plateau. But the good news is, at long last, I seem to be coming off the plateau! The scale is finally starting to budge, and I feel a new resolve to push ahead.

I gave been thinking back over the past four months, and finding some progress despite the lack of weight loss. First and foremost, I have been eating better, if not less. I have really worked on my fruit & veggie consumption, and am regularly getting six or more servings a day. Not only that, but I have started to actually ENJOY vegetables, not just eat them grudgingly because they are good for me. I incorporate at least one veggie in my breakfast everyday: sautéed veggies in my eggs, spinach in my smoothies, and grated carrot in my oatmeal.

Secondly, I know that even when I hit a rough stretch, I can keep plugging on. i have continued to track my food daily, even the late night binges. I have done fairly well on exercise throughout a pretty tough MN winter. I don't belong to a gym or own any exercise equipment (other than dumbbells), so I mostly rely on getting outdoors. I have walked, shoveled, ice skated, and cross country skied - not as much as I would have liked, but a few sessions each week, at least.

A plateau is not a train wreck, it's just a lull, and it eventually passes if you keep on keeping on. As spring approaches (at least I think it is coming! I haven't seen many signs of it yet!), I look forward to increasing my workouts and being outside more. Maybe by next month I can be poking around in the yard, preparing for some gardening. I will cheer when the ice goes out of the lake. In three months I will be swimming again - my favorite activity! Then the fresh garden veggies will start making their appearances.

Onward! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUEANGELLK 3/16/2013 8:40AM

    Way to go, staying encouraged when the pounds aren't slipping off!

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CATANTIGO 3/16/2013 8:24AM

    Yay for you!!! Over here in Wisconsin, it's snowing again today. Yuck! We sure are going to enjoy spring when it arrives.

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CAROL494 3/15/2013 10:56PM

  emoticon emoticon

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Confessions of a Plateaued Sparker

Saturday, December 08, 2012

It's been over a month since my last blog. I guess I've been a bit discouraged because I have really plateaued on my weight. And it's not one of those plateaus where you have been doing everything right and the weight still won't come off - no, it's because I have been eating too much.

I cut myself some slack for Thanksgiving, and of course now there are numerous Christmas gatherings to face. I really don't want to be too strict with myself at this time of year. However, I am still overeating on just normal days. Why??? I had really been doing well on not overeating i the evening, just a small snack as my calorie "budget" allowed, and then made myself stop. But lately, it's been cheat, cheat, cheat in the evenings! It needs to STOP.

I've been keeping up well on my walking, going further every week. I really need to start adding some strength training, but so far I don't have any motivation to do so. Maybe after Christmas...

So that is my confession. I need some motivation to change before the scale starts going UP. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WASCALLYWONE 12/29/2012 2:03PM

    I find it helps to brush my teeth shortly after supper. Then I'm not tempted to eat more later!

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MNNICE 12/9/2012 2:23PM

    You know what you need to do. Just set some tiny goals to get you started back on track. Don't wait until after Christmas. I struggle with night time over-eating also. SOmetimes it works to say outloud to myself "just go to bed NOW!" and it also has worked to start a streak and see how many nights in a row I can go without splurging at night, maybe give yourself points for each time you succeed, and then be sure to have a (non-food) reward planned! Don't give up! Dig deep for the motivation you need. emoticon

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