GOIN4GR8   12,669
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Tip If You're Just Starting Out: COUNT YOUR DAYS!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I realized something recently that has been a big plus in my most recent attempt to lose weight and get more healthy. Thought I'd share it in case anyone is just starting out on, or near the beginning of, their journey.

I often read blogs of successful Sparkers and notice that they number their entries--Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 ... etc. Usually when I'm reading one of those blogs, the writer has made big progress and is up in the 200's and 300's of days--a place that's always felt nearly impossible for me. How can ANYONE stick to ANYTHING for that long?, I always wondered.

This time, when I restarted for the umpteenth time the day after my 55th birthday, I decided to do the same thing.

It's been more helpful than I anticipated.

You know how lots of us get about 2 weeks into a lifestyle change/diet/new eating plan and feel like we've been trying F-O-R-E-V-E-R and we're just not making any progress? Myself, I've very often quit at just about that point.

Well, think about that. We're trying to undo probably years of poor habits, and it may FEEL like forever--but it's only been two weeks!

So this time, when I started feeling that way, I just looked at my blog (outside of SP) and said, hmmm, even though it feels like I've been doing this forever and I'm not getting anywhere, it's REALLY only been 13 days. So that's NOT forever--I haven't really given myself a fair shot yet.

So I'm gonna keep going.

I kept doing my blog entries, keeping track of what I was eating, and walking. Before I knew it, I was writing this: "Day 28: I'VE LOST 10 LBS IN 28 DAYS!" Whoo hoo! If I had stopped at my usual 14 days, I'd probably only have lost that same dang 5 lbs that I've lost about 47 times in my life--which therefore don't really mean anything to me anymore.

By Day 39, I wrote "Still 'Blasting and Waiting for More Weight Loss" ... seeing the number of days that I'd stayed focused grow got to be more and more motivating, and it somehow gave me patience to keep going. I realized I was doing something I usually find very difficult.

I made more blog entries, noting the number of days on each one, and watched the number of days I'd been at it going UP and my weight going down. Next thing I knew, it was "Day 50: 15 Lbs Down".

I'm still counting the number of days I've been working on the new me--one day at a time; one decision at a time; one foot in front of the other.

And today, to my great surprise and pleasure, I was able to write this entry: "Day 68 - Made it Into the 'Teens!"

Can you believe that? Just because I didn't quit at my usual Day 14-ish, I was able to get from 240 lbs on August 5, 2013, to 219.5 lbs on October 12, 2013. And even though it seems like I've been doing this forever, it's really been just 68 short days!

THAT BLOWS MY MIND!!! emoticon

I'm not sure I explained this real well. All I can say is, if you're just starting out, and like me you have a tendency to peter out around the 2-week mark, do yourself a favor this time and count the days somewhere--like here on a SparkPeople blog--and do it often.

You might find it helps you as much as it has me.

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UPDATE: I just wrote this in response to HEALTHY4ME's comment on this blog entry. I thought I'd add it to this post because it helped me explain better what I was trying to say when I originally wrote this post:

"Hi! I saw your questions on my blog post "Count Your Days". Very important for me--do NOT "start over" every time you do something you didn't plan. That's more like a Spark Streak. I've never gotten far in those, just for that reason--you need to be kind of "perfect", or your number never gets very high. That makes me feel like a failure over and over again.

Rather, this time I wanted to just remind myself that I've "only" been working on better habits for, say, 60 days--so it's ok that I haven't lost 100 pounds yet, lol! See what I mean?

If you go read my blog, you'll see that I've had a few breaks over my 68 days where I didn't do as well as I'd planned, and even one day when I ate cupcakes ALL DAY LONG! But that was just one day among 67 others--so getting right back on the wagon the next morning helped me to keep moving forward in the RIGHT direction even after that stumble.

My blog is adventureswithnutribullet.blogspot.com. Check it out--it might help."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RANAF222 11/18/2014 7:42AM

    Yes, I feel the same way and have been doing this too. Although I am only day 9, so just starting the journey. Good luck on yours! emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 10/13/2013 4:46PM

    I think your idea makes perfect sense! I follow a girl whose lost 80-90 pounds and is on Day 688 or something! Just because there's a slip doesn't mean you start over -- HEY, WE ARE DONE STARTING OVER! We're in this for the long haul, right?

I can tell you really have your head in the game this time, Goin'! This to me says it all:

"I'm still counting the number of days I've been working on the new me--one day at a time; one decision at a time; one foot in front of the other."



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NHES220 10/13/2013 12:05PM

    Good for you!

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HAPPYJUNEBUG 10/13/2013 11:34AM

    I thought that was a good read.

emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon Junie emoticon
100+lbs Team
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HEALTHY4ME 10/13/2013 8:00AM

    I do find this helpful but one question cos I am 56, lol so similar age, and I too do good, great sometimes then bang....
So when you have a day when you eat too much, or don't execise, or eat some sugar .... is that still day 3, or 40 etc. and you say okay this is what happened today, tomorrow isn't going to be like that and continue on or do you start back at day 1. I know we all have days when it is permissible ( not really the word I am looking for) to have a pc of cake, or not exercise etc. noone is perfect... so what do you do?
I used to start over till I got so sick of saying re start, do over, day 1 that I almost stopped and said to he!! with it all. I haven't ever said it and done it but have gotten were the do over was nearly daily for while...
Just curious... I am on lol day 13 or day 1... had a year end party at the campground we are seasonal at and I had 3 tiny squares and a drink. HMMM lol today there is nothing hre at the trailer and all is fine. Will be going home to start cooking and baking for thanksgiving but it will be gluten free, sugar free pumpkin pie and apple crisp. Rest is veggies and dd doing turkey.
Glad you have found something that works - works for PIXIE-LICIOUS too. she is awesome!

Just re read your page, I am on the list for a new knee, terrified but should be late spring early summer 2014. Frreeeeaking me out I don't do pain well lol alhtough guess should say surgery pain as I live with pain from arthritis daily and fibromyalgia also although it so far isnt too bad.

Comment edited on: 10/13/2013 8:02:23 AM

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    You explained this perfectly well! I'm striving for 36 months. I can go for about 12 and reach maintenance and then KABLOOIE!

Thank you for this wonderful blog not only for the newbies but the oldies too.

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SUSANBEAMON 10/13/2013 1:17AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It occurred to me recently, as I look through photos of me on Facebook, that no matter where I go--to the zoo; on a hike; to work; to a funeral; to the gym; out to dinner; whereEVER--I wear the same freakin' thing: these big, black, stretchy pants. EVERYWHERE.

My closet is packed full of them. And when I get done with these knit ones, I can move on to the 20 or so pairs of polyester, kind-of-stretchy ones. And after those, I can move into the 10 or so pairs of non-stretchy black pants.

That's just SAD.

My body is kind of unusual in that most of my weight seems to be packed into my legs--at least, that's where all the most visibly ugly fat is. I haven't dared wear a skirt in years (except to Dad's funeral, because he would have liked seeing me in a dress rather than pants).

So I eventually got to a point where my legs were so big that I just couldn't bear to have anything that didn't stretch wrapped around them. And now I can't imagine wearing anything else.

So one thing I'm DEFINITELY going to do as part of my celebration once I get to where I want to be--or at least real close--is BURN ALL THESE BIG BLACK PANTS!!!

Anybody else in this same kind of clothing rut?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RANAF222 11/18/2014 7:44AM

    I definitely can relate! ugh!

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XRSIZE18 10/12/2013 11:05PM

    Maybe you should find some new clothing now that will spark you on your journey? Thrifts stores are relatively inexpensive. :) Congrats on the 2 pound loss this week by the way. And what an awesome goal to have. Make some smores over the bonfire you'll create with those pants.

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BEAUTIFUL_REINA 9/17/2013 6:28PM

    I feel you! I was in a bad rut of wearing nothing but sweatpants and big baggy t-shirts for a long time. Everywhere I went I wore them. Then I got kicked out of my comfort zone and into stylish and pretty plus size clothes and I haven't gone back, although its sometimes hard not to.

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BECKYF3506 9/12/2013 8:19AM

    I'll be burning big, baggy SWEATSHIRTS! I'm so sick of those!

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NHES220 9/11/2013 12:29PM

    That will be a celebration! Mine used to be baggy shirts to cover up my belly. Now I am still self conscious about my shirts so the roll does not show, even though it is not as big as it used to be!

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    Baggy t-shirts. With jeans, with skirts, with black pants. I guess I think they hide my belly. I got rid of a LOT of them, but still have many more to go.

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FAVALL 9/11/2013 12:42AM

    Past clothing rut - Yes! now that I am finaly into size 18 I am finding lots of nice clothes that fit and are interesting to me. Have to hold off on buy new items until I'm at goal weight. For now, I am shoping Salvation Army style and its working just great.
Enjoy the changes in your body as you loose weight and get fit!

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THETURTLEBEAR 9/11/2013 12:39AM

    Yes - our black pants. Our uniform! I think everyone on Spark (the women) can relate!!

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TRAVELGRRL 9/11/2013 12:33AM


Like you I wore n big stretchy elastic waist pants at my highest weights... Jeans were completely out of my wardrobe, as were any pants with a zipper and waistband!

But I'm happy to say I am now wearing jeans again and feel pretty good in them.

I think a big bonfire would be in order for you, it would be a personal triumph to burn those big black pants! emoticon

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SUSANBEAMON 9/11/2013 12:29AM

  i used to have to wear a uniform at work. first thing i threw out when i retired. half my closet is empty now, but not really the same thing.

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Wow--I'm Starting to Feel a Little HOPE Again!

Monday, September 02, 2013

For the longest time I was despairing. I have started, made progress, and then abandoned better eating habits and exercise SO many times.

My highest weight has been 241; I remember being 200 at my father's funeral on 4/27/11 (because I fit into a Size 14W dress to speak that day). A few weeks ago I realized I was right back to 241.

Every time I lose more than the initial 5 lbs that I lose EVERY time I start/restart, I seem to get cocky, start feeling "thin", think it's going to be easy to lose the rest, and then let everything go to hell in a handbasket.

As of today, though, I have lost 13 lbs in 30 days! And it hit me tonight, when I got back from my walk--I'm actually starting to feel HOPEFUL again!!

So many times it has seemed just impossible to stick with anything, and I'd make excuses about how stressful my work is, or how unhappy something might be making me, etc, etc.

But for some reason I decided AGAIN a month ago that I just can't spend the rest of my life like this, feeling so many years older than I am, letting life just pass me by while I sit on the couch complaining that my knees hurt or my back hurts or my feet hurt.

I'm very thankful for whatever hit me that night while I listened to the NutriBullet infomercial for the umpteenth time. I felt like maybe this would be my last chance to make a real effort to get healthier. (Oh, yeah--and for the first time in my life, I found out my cholesterol was high--over 260. That was another wake-up-and-try-again call.)

Anyway, this was a 3-day holiday weekend--a time when I usually make excuses to do things like go to our area's annual "Fair" and pig out on fried dough dripping in butter and cinnamon and mini-donuts and bloomin' onions with horseradish dip.

Instead, this weekend I did one hike, 2 long walks, and I turned down pumpkin pie AND ice cream. emoticon

I'm feeling SO much better. Please, Lord, help me keep it going this time!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCOTMAMA 9/8/2013 2:44PM

    We are usually our own worst enemy. You let your mind (stomach) convince you to do something where you know you'll end up eating the wrong things. Or you go some where that will have food temptations.

I really applaud you for not going to the fair and taking walks and hikes instead. You keep that kind of stuff up and the "200" will be a thing of the past.

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CATMATT79 9/5/2013 11:49AM

    Hi there! Here's to our BEST start! emoticon

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LARABY34 9/5/2013 1:35AM

    Hope is good but your plan is better. When you put one foot in front of the other your body has no choice to follow you. There is no past, no luck and mystery. You keep going and you will keep being rewarded. You are awesome!

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IMPRECIOUS1 9/4/2013 12:18PM

    Keep up the good work! Your story could be mine. Keep doing what you are doing emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTIFUL_REINA 9/4/2013 11:41AM

    I could have written this blog, it is my story too. I have tried so many times and failed. I always lose some weight and get cocky then gain back more than I lost. THIS time is going to be different, for both of us. We're going to just keep on exercising and watching what we eat. We're going to monitor our food, and not let ANYTHING get in the way. When we feel emotional we're going to exercise instead of eat. When temptation comes along we're going to say "No thank you, I'm making progress and want to keep it that way". We can do it!!!

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FAVALL 9/3/2013 4:29PM

    Acquiring hope is a huge gain for the good! so glad for you

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HOPEFULHIPPO 9/3/2013 10:36AM


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CHANGE4FIT 9/3/2013 10:35AM


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    HOPE. It's truly my motivator too. I am SO glad to hear you are feeling it. You are still here, still Sparking, still trying, never giving up, so you are WINNING! It's like a tug-o-war. You may give a little ground then take it back but you will NOT fall into that mudpit ever again no matter how hard you have to pull. I'm cheering for you!

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HEALTHY4ME 9/3/2013 7:27AM

    Ihope so... think how much better you feel eating well and moving. Blog it and print it out, journal, art journal whatever it takes. and BTW just cos I do those 3 - I still have to keep at it and stop and start way too many times for my own good. HUGS we will get there!!!

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TRAVELGRRL 9/2/2013 10:09PM

    Congratulations on the 13 pounds, and even more impressive -- the 30 days!

Maybe stay off the scale for awhile, so you don't "know" when you have lost enough weight to make you feel thin and cocky? I do exactly the same thing, so I have to work VERY hard to stay off the scale. Every turned down treat, every workout or walk does NOT result in weight loss, so I have to quell my feelings of frustration/entitlement.

p up the good work, you are absolutely goin4gr8!

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GODDREAMDIVA1 9/2/2013 9:03PM


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PIXIE-LICIOUS 9/2/2013 8:58PM

    emoticon emoticon It sounds like your mind is in the right place!

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MERRYMARY42 9/2/2013 8:58PM

    you can do this, just don't give up again, if you gain one week, that is ok, just remember what your goal is, and you will reach it, I know, I have been steady for almost a year, but, now I see a couple pounds drop, and this is good, gives me some motivation again.

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AHTRAP 9/2/2013 8:53PM

    Here's to hope leading the way to permanent results this time!

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I Went on a HIKE Today!!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I'm excited because the #1 thing I wanted to do with my time this holiday weekend was to go on my first hike in 25-30 years.

And I did it!! :-)

I was very sweaty and my DH had to keep stopping so I could catch up, but so what? We were OUT there instead of in front of the TV.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THETURTLEBEAR 9/2/2013 10:33AM


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    Look at you! I'm so proud of you! You are radiant and so happy.

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TRAVELGRRL 9/1/2013 12:19PM

    Congrats!! I love to hike, too. Isn't it a great way to get some exercise in? Way to go!!!

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LARABY34 9/1/2013 12:07AM

    This makes me very happy. I love hiking and my DH has to wait for me all the time to but it is all good. I love that feeling when your mind lets go and you think "wow, I remember this is who I am". Life is so awesome and I'm glad you are out there living it!

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JACKIE542 8/31/2013 11:29PM

    Good job! emoticon

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