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Monday, 10/16 How do you stick with your plan?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Hi all,

Somebody asked me a question today that is an interesting one to answer: "How do you do this? How do you stick with it for this long?" My answer is a bit long and I am curious how others do it.

I am well into my thrid year here at SparkPeople. I started out kind of slow, but I got charged up and sparked hard. I had a lot of success when I got that spark and I really lost weight. The hard part is that I have done that before--a few times, hmm, at least four or five that I can think of. I lost over 100 pounds at least four other times, but eventually, I gained it back. I have become a lifetime member at Weight Watchers at lease twice. I got good at losing weight...

This time, it wasn't quite so easy and when I got just over 100 pounds, it got harder again. I hit a plateau and I didn't lose any weight for one month, then two, then well about all of the way to six months. I also didn't give everything up and I watched things, not eating some of the things that I cannot really control.

However, I learned at the end of June that I was going to need a hip replacement and that became my newly found motivator. I really wanted to get to a healthy BMI for my height beofre that surgery came to be. I gave myself a lot of time to lose 30 pounds--from late July until next June.

In the meantime, a funny thing has happened. I started having success again. It is interesting, but I found a "new" formula for my weight loss. It is fruit and I am eating a lot of it...3-4 servings every day with 2-3 meals and snacks. I start my day off with a nice breakfast and at least two servings of fruit and it makes me feel both content and energized. I eat a more vegetarian type of lunch as well. Then, I have a snack with protein in the afternoon, a regular dinner, and another snack with protein in the evening. Obviously, this will not work for everyone, but it is working like crazy for me. I can stick in a few other things from time to time, but this particular meal formula is helping me to lose 1-2 pounds a week again. Yay.

Now, moving my weight in a downward fashion has become more important. I have had to get rid of my 30 pound weight loss goal for the time being because I am having my hip replacement in December now. I am still at it and am hoping to close in on 20 pounds by my surgery date, but if I don't get there, I will get close. And after my hip surgery is past, I am jumping back on this plan and working toward that goal. I am looking forward to maintaining the weight I want to stay at forever very soon--before my 4th Sparkversary.

I am on my way. I motivate myself and I get a lot of help from my Spark Friends. Even though I have several friends and family who I am talking about losing weight and my goals to, it is awesome to have so many spark friends around who are all in a similar situation with me. It is easy to talk to them and to continue to plan for success here.

Thanks, Spark Friends!!
How do you stick with you plan? What motivates you?

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/16/2012 3:12PM

    Your plan sounds great. It's nice to find exactly what you need and to be able to follow it. I need to work harder on tweaking my plan.

Comment edited on: 10/16/2012 3:13:14 PM

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Thursday, 10/11 Dr. told me I had "Skinny...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hi there,

That's a bit of a provocative title. I need to finish that--Today, I saw the surgeon who did my gall bladder surgery--and my biopsy and other things for a general follow up. (I was supposed to be seeing him annually, but I didn't realize that until he and his staff sent me a rather pushy letter about 6 weeks ago.) I haven't seen him since not long after I started sparking. Anyway, today he told me that I had "skinny legs and no butt." He was delighted with my weight which is not something that doctors have expressed to me much in my lifetime. His nurse had quite a time with all of my med changes and finally she deleted everything and just started over. I am kind of at the place with my weight loss that i don't think about it and how I have changed much, so this kind of thing energizes me. If my weight in his office is consistent with what it will be tonight at my weigh in, I will be sharing a nice 2 week loss here today.

Last evening, my professor was ill and we didn't have much of our class. She handed back the exams from last week and I scored 29.5 out of 30. I was a bit surprised because I kind of blanked on one question but it was correct. I lost a part of a point on an important detail I left out on another question that I really knew pretty well. I fretted over that exam a bit more than I needed to--I should keep the idea in my mind that I am taking classes for the knowledge I can get and use with my students. Learning for a purpose like this makes things like exams, grades. and homework a bit easier.

I have already been busy today--I cleaned off our front porch to motivate the guys into putting away the lawn furniture after I went to the store for a few necessities. I am going to go to the pool in just a few minutes to get my work out in early today. I'll come home and prepare dinner before going to my weigh-in tonight. After all of that, I'll be back to spark and share.

Again, for this being a break, I am busy enough!! I need to start on a big assignment for my class tonight or tomorrow. We had to interview three English Language Learners and record their mistakes in using English. then we have to write it up and analyze each error. It will be a way to help me work with ELLs and understand where they are at in learning English. I have done the interviews, I simply need to write the reports up. I think I'll add that to my list for tonight.

Take care--I learned today that it is important to look back and think about those early goals and where I have been. I also need to really see myself as others do. Even after over 3 years, I never have considered anything about me as "skinny." I think my doctor woke me up to my true appearance to others. That is an important thing, once in a while. I lived my life as the "fat" girl, daughter, woman, student, mother, teacher, and so on. I now understand that that adjective no longer applies. I am the one with "skinny legs and no butt." Ha Ha That's amazing. According to his scales, my total weight loss is 155.0 pounds. I also was curious about my total loss. I want to lose 20 more, so that will put me at 175 when I get there. (Remember how in early August that goal was 30? I am 1/3 of the way there already!!)

Did you notice I said "when I get there?" I may get slowed down by my coming surgeries--but I will still get there. I am doing this the right way and I feel good about it. This is what is best for my hip and my back--and my well being. For now, I will celebrate where I have been and where I have come. I no longer celebrate by shoving something in my mouth. I do it by sharing my good news!

Take care--keep on Sparking. My newest mantra is "Together, even big jobs seem small!" We can do this, you and I and our other spark friends!

Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 10/12/2012 9:47AM

    That was awesome to have confirmation of how hard you have worked to lose the weight and can be considered normal weight now! Skinny legs and butt indeed! Sometimes you need that unbiased opinion of someone not close to you to wake you up to the fact that you have arrived!
Well done! Have a fabulous Friday and a great weekend!
Do try to make some time for yourself and have some fun over this break instead of just working!
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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WALKZWDOGZ 10/12/2012 3:56AM

    emoticon How terrific! You must be so proud to get acknowledgement of how far you've come! emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/11/2012 5:14PM

    It's so nice that the doctor could meet the new and improved Sylvia.

It sounds like you are busy as ever even on holiday. LOL.

Congratulations on the weight loss and good luck with future loss. I hope to join you.

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Wednesday 10/10 Cars, Exercise, Pain

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hi there,

These three topics can be a problem, especially if they aren't working right. We have been dealing with issues with both of our cars and it has been a lesson in patience and how to use money budgeted for other very important things. The result is that after a new water pump and replacing the muffler and exhaust system that was damaged when our jeep was taken to the shop, it is running. After replacing the radiator and any number of other things, our car is not working yet. This family cannot manage with one vehicle and this is a problem.

How does that work with other things? Last evening, I decided to let our son use the car to take him and his brother to work and that I would go for a walk rather than going to the pool. It was blustery. We live in the country where there aren't sidewalks and paved roads everywhere. I had quite a time getting in an hour and a half of walking that kind of matched my pool workouts. I have had intense pain in my hip since then that won't let up. I'll be glad to get that injection next week that should hold me over until my replacement in December.

I'm going to go to the pool today before class and work it out. I hurt a lot and my meds and patches aren't doing the trick. I tried some gentle movement and stretching too. Ouch. This cooler weather makes me miserable and I know it is just a tiny step to what is to come.

I think I might try an ice bag next--although, I hate to get cold when the coolness is already bothering me. I will overcome this--I just need to find the right combination of activity, pain meds, temperature, and prayers. I think I'm a candidate to retire in the sun belt. I also don't think that could happen because I won't go that far from my family.

In the meantime, I am wondering if I could take one of our cars and run over the other one. It won't solve anything an would definitely make things worse--but for the moment, just a moment, it might give me a happy rush of adrenaline that would help everything. Ha ha, only in my imagination could such a thing be a solution.

Things could be worse--I might not be on break!!
Take care of yourselves!!
Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/11/2012 3:28PM

    We have a bunch of old vehicles so we are not stranger to car trouble. LOL. I hope you get yours fixed soon.

What helps my pain sometimes is 15 minutes of ice followed by 15 minutes of heat, followed by 15 minutes if ice, etc. It seems to short circuit the pain. I have heard it works for other people too.

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_LINDA 10/10/2012 4:23PM

    So very sorry for your car trouble Sylvia -I sure can't imagine a family of your size being able to get anything done without more functioning vehicles :(( Its a shame you didn't have a relative you could borrow a car from that isn't really using it.
That is terrible your pain isn't being controlled and in my humble opinion, you are waiting far TOO LONG to get that hip replacement. December?? Not good enough. You need it now! I hope the injection works, but I don't have much faith in them..
Just got our first snowfall today, but it is at least its melting as it hits the sidewalk. But have been having bone chilling rides on my scooter to my fitness classes. I have a rain cape to cover and protect my upper body and the scooter (its not supposed to get wet on the console), but I can't lower it to protect my legs & feet because it would catch up in the wheels which it did once when a corner dropped too low. The result is my feet and legs are cold by the time I get there in 25 minutes. With wet sneakers, I run the risk of slipping in the gym. I do have a towel which I mop up with as best I can. I just can't tolerate this cold and it always lasts so long here. Retiring to a warmer place is out of the financial picture here -I can't afford how much it would cost for my medical care I get free here in Canada and also I would lose all my pension and benefits going out of the country. But boy if there was a way, I would be gone lol.
We can only dream...
My thoughts are with you,
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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Monday, 10/8 Fall Break!!

Monday, October 08, 2012

H/i Everyone,

I survived last week and although it was a tricky set of accomplishments, I did all of the things that I needed to do. On Tuesday, I completed my progress reports and got them copied and distributed to the teachers who needed them. I also got to go to the teacher's night at the museum with our son Mitchell. It was a good time. On Wednesday, I took the exam in my class and except for the one question that I drew a blank on, I think I did okay. (That was a question that I actually knew the answer to before I studied. I think pure fatigue set in and blocked my thinking.) On Thursday, after working from 8:30AM until 8:30 PM, I turned in my completed IGP--the paper stating my plan for professional development, part of our new evaluation system. On Friday, I finished my lesson plans before I packed Digger up, and left school for our two week fall break. I did handle everything that came my way and mostly with my typical level of accomplishment.

I don't plan to go to work or think about work during this break. I'll need to go and water my plants at the end of this week, but that is about my plants and not about doing any other work. I haven't ever managed a break with this sort of thinking, but after the way the past summer at school went and all of the stress and effort I put into doing my best, I need some time out. This is not my normal way of doing things or thinking, but it is exactly the place where I am right now. I think it is probably good for me.
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Today, we celebrated Worldwide Communion Sunday. Our church is moving along, but without the energy of having a leader and the vision of a leader. That may soon change. We have a pastoral candidate who is interested in taking the call at our church. She will preach on the 28th and immediately following the service, we will have a Congregational meeting with a vote on offering her the position of pastor in our church. The people on the search committee are absolutely impressed with her as is my son, who is the secretary of our church board. I am excited about this development, as I continue to miss Michael so much. With all of the events going on in my life, I miss him a bit each day, but that is our friendship as much, if not more than our pastoral relationship.

Our parish nurse mentioned my pending surgeries to our interim pastor who talked with me about them and offered her prayers after the service. I do like her--her name is Tammy, but I think I have been afraid to befriend her since I know she won't ge with us long and the grief I have went through without Michael. On a positive note, Mason finally came to church with us since Michael's retirement. He has grieved since June, but he seemed to be okay and he saw that people were glad he was there and he fell back into the helping others routines he has always held. It was good for me to see that. Next Saturday, we are going on the Haunted hayrack ride along with a potluck. On Sunday, we are celebrating our "Heritage Sunday," which is the 100th anniversary of our church building. It will include a German lunch and music and fun after the service. There will be a lot of eating opportunities that I will need to be careful with. I am taking healthy choices to the potluck and I know the menu for Sunday--that information will allow me to make good choices and not break my eating plan. Losing this weight before my hip replacement is an important goal for me. I can have fun without overeating or desserts and other rich foods.
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On a different note, my best friend's husband passed away yesterday--and I haven't quite come to grips with that. He had Alzheimer's and it was one of the saddest things I have ever known in my life. It is hard to understand or "get" the destruction of a condition like Alzheimer's, let alone how such a gifted, wonderful man with a loving family struggles through day after day of having him, but not having him. He was one of the most intelligent, kind and gifted people I have ever known. He was an elementary school principal and he was one whose staff always loved and respected him for his honesty and integrity--as well as his strong work ethic. The world is a better place because he was here. His wonderful family has struggled for a long time as he became more and more lost to Alzheimer's--but his final illness started just over a week ago and now they are preparing for his funeral. It is a lot and I don't know what to tell any of them except that I am sorry, I care, and if they need an ear or a shoulder, mine is always ready for them. I am praying for them all. I am sending prayers above for the entire family. I know when my friend gets off of the overload that I know she is in, she will talk to me about whatever she needs to talk about. We have been best friends for over 25 years. She knows that I'm here for her. Please keep them in your prayers too.
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Best wishes to you as we deal with the strange weather of the coming week--colder to warmer and most likely back to colder. My body is rebelling against all of this. I'm dealing with a lot of OA pain and a fibro flare. This is the beginning of the winter season and I need to get myself together and manage it. I have to honestly admit that I don't like this at all followed by admitting that there is nothing I can do about it except to dress warmly and keep the warmth of the past summer and all that I got to do and enjoy in my heart and mind.
Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 10/10/2012 4:36PM

    Well done getting all your required work done before the break!
I am glad you are using this time to focus on you
You certainly have an active church and congregation! I hope this new pastor works out! That was special the relationship you had with Micheal and I hope you and your son can develop a good one with this new person as well..
So very sorry to hear what your friend's husband is going through :(((
That is just heartbreaking :(( You will be a comfort to her, you are such a loving and compassionate person.
The see sawing of weather extremes is my nemesis too. Stay warm. I already called for the 'Parka' a huge Eskimo jacket for my chilly rides to my fitness classes. Its not waterproof though and has fur, so I can't use it in wet snow.
Stay warm! Fleece is my best friend now, heating pads and warm fuzzy PJ's when at home..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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    As usual I am amazed that you can get all that done in a week but, knowing you, I am always sure that you will too. LOL. It sounds like you have worked hard and deserve this rest.

Tammy sounds great and does your church. They seem to offer everything a parishioner needs.

I'm so sorry about your friend's husband. I have had a family member with the same challenges and it's so sad to watch them be robbed of who they are. I am sending prayers for your friend and family. I know you will be there for her.

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Tuesday, 10/2 Calling on good Spark Friends!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Good things happen with prayer emoticonand time! emoticon

Hi everyone,

I am realizing something again in my life. There is no substitute for relationships in our lives. I have a couple of good examples that have touched me today. The first is that I called on an old friend who retired from teaching in our school district about 5 years ago. I have seen her a few scattered times and the last time I saw her happened to be in August when I confirmed her phone number. I called to ask her for an unrelated favor (that she might be able to help me with--and it is big and may require that she change some family plans, wow...) Anyway, I mentioned that I am struggling with this IGP part of the new evaluation that we have to do. It involves us doing a checklist and selecting an area of our professional duties that we need to strengthen and then coming up with a two year plan that consists of a measurable goal to improve our skills. We started sharing the days we worked together and one thing led to another, and I have an idea thanks to her knowledge and creativity. (certainly not mine, lol. I am sick of trying to get to this) All I had was a few really complex and tedious ideas that I did not want to do. I am about to do a bit of research on that before I go to sleep in a few moments.

Another thing came up... I was writing a note to go with my progress reports and I hated the thing. I saved it and decided that I would redo it Tuesday morning. I know what is wrong--it is too antiseptic and misses out on the relationship needed between my parents and me and my students.

Finally, I just read a blog entry from a very good Spark Friend of mine who has been rreally ill and she mentioned that she thinks she has lost spark friends while she has been out of commission. Although it didn't look that way to me, I know that I have while I have been so overrun with things that have had to be priorities. We have to cherish our relationships and keep up with them. They are too valuable to lose.

Good things happen when we pray and when we take the time needed and when we let our good friends help us out. We need our relationships and we need to protect them. I sure hope that some of my spark friends who haven't been to my page in a bit check this out. I want to tell each of them how important they are to me. I want to tell them how valuable they are to Spark People as well.

Please trust me, even if neither I nor anyone else managed to tell you this. We all check to see who wrote notes to us or who left us comments on our pages or blogs or who left us a goodie. You are important--very important!!

Take care of yourselves and thank you for being here!
Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 10/4/2012 12:45PM

    I am still here too, if a little late :( I have been swamped with things and finding it a bit overwhelming and hard to keep up with all my Spark friends. I frequently have midnight hours on Sparks, but get so tired from the constant lack of sleep and insomnia that I just have to shut it down and fall into bed for another night of broken sleep and pain. Its especially hard when all the awards come in and I have four pages of those before I can even start finding blogs I missed. I am thinking it may be just easier to click on each friend's page and see if they have posted something.
I am really trying to keep up my exercise, morning and night, and with transportation time and hot tub time really eat into my time and with so much club work right now, I have very little personal time on the computer.
I certainly have no intention of forgetting you as one of my best, most compassionate Spark friends and I understand when you don't have any time either to make it around to my blogs (which are few and far between because I don't have time to write and deal with responses).
I recently had a blog nominated for popular post thanks to my at goal & maintaining team -its Stand Tall & Walk Proud, worth a read if you can find any spare time.
So glad you had help with that evaluation and connected with an old friend as a bonus!
Do keep us posted on your progress!

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    Those of us who know you well, know that you care for us. We are still here.

I am so glad you found someone to help you with your classroom evaluation. I get such great ideas and advice from my friends like you. Sometimes we have so much to do we feel overwhelmed and it's hard at times like that to keep a clear head. That's when a good friend can really help you pinpoint what you need to do.

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    Glad your friend was able to give you some creative ideas on the report you're needing to complete!

You're right.... relationships are important!

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ANNETTE117 10/2/2012 11:21AM

    Wonderful blog! It is nice to connect with old friends.

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BUSYGRANNY5 10/2/2012 7:57AM

    Sylvia, it's good to read blogs and make connections.. glad you're reconnecting with your former coworker! We/I definitely need connections in life.. I read lots of blogs on here but am not real good at commenting!! Thanks for the reminder that we need to make connections! Have a wonderful day!

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