GOLFCHICK2-0   48,094
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by the numbers...

Friday, May 06, 2011

I participated in a Biggest Loser competition at my local gym. Please note... I'm not a big fan of the show. I think that it gives people unattainable goals and says that in health, there can be only one winner. I don't believe that. I believe that we can ALL win. (see previous blog)

Okay, off my soapbox and on to the results:
Start Feb 7 End May 22
Weight 202 195.1 - 6.9 lbs

Upper arm 13.5 13 -.5 inches
Chest 44 43 -1
Navel 43.5 41 -2.5
Hip 48.5 46.75 -2.25
Thigh 26.75 25.25 -1.5
Calf 15.5 15.25 -.5
(-8.25 total)
Fat % 40.9 39.8 -1.1%
BMI 30.7 29.8 -.9 (went from 'obese' to 'overweight')

So, that's what I lost. I didn't move mountains, I didn't win the "competition", but the next week when it was over... I showed up at the gym when most of the other competitors did not. I also did not do any "body cleanse" or "de-tox"

Here's what I gained:
New wardrobe (one more size down!!)
Better health (lower cholesterol and less aches and pains)
I can fit between the arms in the airplane seat.
I don't have to worry if I can fit on a roller coaster
I sleep better
I eat better
When I eat "bad" foods I know that I can limit it
I found out that I LOVE to exercise, to sweat, to move (go figure... NEVER knew that!!)

So I go on Sparking (Oh yeah, I got the word out about SP too!!), eating, drinking my water, exercising. And in the end... I AM a WINNER!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETNEENI 5/23/2011 2:10PM

    I missed this! Great job Gretchen! emoticon

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CHRYS13 5/7/2011 1:06PM

    ...and you've always been a winner in my estimation!
Way to love what's a winning combination for your body!! emoticon

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You are a Winner! That is a great list of things you have gained.


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Red Sox and the weight loss journey...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I was sitting around thinking how happy I am that the Red Sox are playing better and winning like they should. It was like a light bulb went off. There are some parallels between the Red Sox season schedule and our Weight Loss journey.

Before the season started, the Red Sox were lined up to go all the way, win the division and possibly even the World Series. We Sparkers start our weight loss mission thinking we are going to go out there and "win the World Series" by losing weight and getting healthy. We start out thinking, I have a plan, I can do this, no problem.

So then the first game of 2011 finally gets here and the Sox lost... no problem, there are 162 games in the season, 161 more chances to win. Second game... loss. Third game... loss. Next thing you know, they are 6 (that's SIX!) games into the season and not a Win in sight. By the time we get to 12 games... only 2 wins (of course those were against the Yankees, so they were bonus wins :-). but still.. 2-10?!? That's not going to get a team to post season!

The Sox are now one win shy of .500 (14 W - 15 L) season right now. They look good. The Offence is hitting. The Defense is... defending. The Pitchers are getting some good sessions in. They kept working at it and are now seeing success.

So how does this relate to the weight loss? Baseball has a regular season schedule of 162 games. If the Red Sox just gave up and decided that since they had a few bad games they were just going to not try. Show up, give half an effort, just play out the schedule and keep losing. Instead, they keep working on their games, keep practicing, try harder.

There are still no guarantees. You can play hard, give all your effort and lose a game, but you have not lost a season. We eat right, work out and some days the scale still doesn't move.

We have 364 days in a year. If we have a "bad game", it's just 1 in the Loss column. Don't give up your season! The sun will rise tomorrow. We have to stand up tall, grab our gear and take the field.

Get your Offence, Defense and Pitching in line: Drink your water, eat healthy, move your body, build muscles, educate yourself. Find out what works for you. If that doesn't work. Hire a different coach. When you’re having a "losing streak" you can't give up.

Here's the one benefit that we have that the Red Sox do not... WE CAN ALL WIN!!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great blog. So true! I love your line, "Find out what works for you." We are all on this journey together, however our bodies are different. That is what makes each of us so astounding.

Comment edited on: 5/7/2011 1:47:39 AM

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JUDIL62 5/5/2011 1:45PM

    Love it! Great Parallel. I love the sox. Not so fond of Dice K right now, but love the red sox! they will come out winners and so will we.

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7777BEV 5/4/2011 8:03PM

    Great blog! You really drew some great parallels and it is oh so true. Thanks for the inspiration and a good healthy push in the right direction!
emoticon emoticon

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SWIMLOVER 5/4/2011 6:59PM

  Loved this blog! I live in Arizona but grew up in MA so still am a Red Sox Fan! I like
the way you related this to weight loss and our healthy journey! Again, Great Blog!

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THEKATYMAC 5/4/2011 6:06PM

    This is an awesome blog! I'm a Mets fan and share your hatred of the Yankees!

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TOASTERLISA 5/4/2011 6:01PM

    This is excellent! We are Chicago Cubs fans at our house, also a challenging team to follow. Thanks for the great thoughts!

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My jiggly belly and why I love it!!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I started seriously working out. Zumba, Group Power, kick-boxing, walking, weight machines, early last December. I'm still going with it. While the scale is taking it's sweet time moving downward, I AM OKAY WITH THAT.

Yesterday after Zumba two of the ladies that I see sporadically in the class came up to me and asked me how much I'd lost. They told me how much difference they had seen. I had to tell them that I've only lost about 6 pounds overall. But it's all of the other stuff....

I have lost at least one clothing size. My stamina is up. My energy is up. I look down at my thighs, and know that they are more solid and less of them. My calves are more defined. My biceps go up now (the down will start going away soon they tell me emoticon) . I will be doing a full body measurement with fat % at the end of the month for the "Biggest Loser" contest at my gym. (I don't watch the show by the way. I don't agree with their methods.)

35 pounds and countless hours of exercise ago, I had a nice, solid, round belly. It didn't jiggle, it just... was. Now, with the weight lifting, ab work and Zumba, I have done quite a bit of work on the abs and the muscles are getting toned. Right now, those muscles are under a layer of jiggly left over skin and "fuel", and loose belly fat.

All the muscle that I have been building are kicking into action now. That belly fat is now a target for my muscles to start burning. Like gas on a fire. Like moth to the flame (see previous blog). What is now a jiggly layer took years to build and will take time to go away. But there it is, jiggling away when I Zumba, when I walk, when I lift.

I think of my belly as like a deflated balloon. The balloon previously filled with fat, emoticon now half filled with muscle. emoticon Please note that while a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, it sure does take up less space!! So now my balloon is a little wrinkly and jiggly instead of filled solid. emoticon emoticon Soon, with more work, dedication, fun, enjoyment and support from my SparkFriends, my jiggly belly will be smaller, more toned, better shaped, less jiggly.

Until then, my body is a work in progress and I emoticon my jiggly belly!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 4/11/2011 9:57PM

    Me tooooo! So jiggly!! Jiggly jiggle! It used to make me sad, until I realized that it just wasn't full anymore! :D

Way to go!
Perfect blog to describe it!

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BISSA7 4/10/2011 7:50PM


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818VALERIE 4/8/2011 7:14PM

    positive spin - woo hoo

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SHEILAD1963 4/7/2011 8:57PM

    I've never thought of it that way. Maybe next time I pass a mirror in the bathroom, I can look at my jiggly belly differently! Thanks for the inspiration!

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LADY_JUDAH 4/7/2011 7:59PM

    You better GO GIRL!!! lol! How FANTASTIC is that?!?!? I think that's just a blessing and keep it moving! I recently just started to kick up my workout because one of my goals is to become a Zumba instructor by the end of June and I'm positioning myself to BLOW THEM AWAY at the certification training! I love the attitude! Keep it up chica!


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TEMPEST272002 4/7/2011 4:52PM

    The scale is an object of mystery & I do best when I disregard it completely. Now the tape measure, that's a different story! Great job on the changes you've made so far!

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DARKTHOR 4/7/2011 4:52PM

    What a fantastic attitude! I'm going to try to think of my jiggly belly the same way as you do. Thank you.

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LASARRE 4/7/2011 4:29PM

    Great blog! Scales don't always tell the truth. I know I feel stronger and healthier and the scale tells me another story so we've stopped talking :) emoticon

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SWEETNEENI 4/7/2011 4:26PM

    That's a great way to look at it. emoticon

Now come stand over here so some of your positivity will rub off on me.

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NEWSGIRL2177 4/7/2011 3:35PM

    Hooray!! This is a great blog.
I have the same kind of thing going on. I've been doing Zumba and ST for 3 months and I've only lost 6 lbs. And I'm so OK with it because I've been taking measurements and progress pics and I know my body is changing.
I'm so happy for you! It sounds like you're feeling strong and happy. And what's better than that?!

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Organ Donation, think about it, talk about it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My friend Stu is a wonderful, incredibly tall, person. He's one of those people who lights up a room just by entering it. The only problem with Stu is that his heart wasn't strong enough to keep pumping his blood. He has been waiting for over a year to have his heart replaced. A few days ago, he finally got "the call". His new heart was on the way to the hospital, and he was to pack his bags and get there ASAP.

All went well with his surgery and Stu is resting, somewhat comfortably. With his fiancé by his side and all of his friends sending thoughts, prayers and wishes, his recovery will still be long. But with fate on his side, he will recover.

It made me think about where his new heart came from. Somewhere, someone had to die for that heart to become available to keep Stu alive. Someone's family and friends had to say goodbye to a loved one. Someone, had to make a decision to let that person live on, in part, by saving the life of another person.

Ever since it was available, I have had the "Organ Donor" option on my licence. But did you know, that your family can override that decision? Did you know, that if your license is not with you in the hospital, the hospital may not have the right to use your organs? Did you know how short of a window there is to harvest your organs for successful transplant?

Talk to your family, talk to your friends, talk to your clergy. Put the information in your advanced directive, will or living will. Don't make your loved ones have to make the decision for you.

Organ donation is a personal and private decision and right. If you wish to provide someone a second chance at life. A second chance of sight. A second chance at being able of living outside of a hospital or being attached to machines. It is your decision and whether you choose to donate or not, you need to let people know.

I understand and respect the fact that some people will choose not to donate, that some religions do not allow organ donation. But if you do choose to become a donor, get registered on the Organ Donation web site. Please take a moment, read what you need to read. Fill out the expanded notice that goes in the wallet.

The following link shows the laws and availability of all of the States in the US. If you are out of the country, take a moment, do a little research. Find out what your laws and choices are.

Thank you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NURSESUSIE51 3/29/2011 11:00AM

    I usually see this from the other end. As a matter of fact, we are sending a young man to surgery in about 15 minutes for the purpose of removing his organs for donation. His death was sudden and unexpected and I pray that his family's generous gift will help ease their sorrow.

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CHRYS13 3/26/2011 5:40PM

    Thrilled to read that your friend is doing so well! I'm an organ donor and have am registered!

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GOLFCHICK2-0 3/24/2011 2:06PM

    Thanks for all of your thoughts! Stu is doing well so far. They even had a picture of him put up on facebook with his new heart pillow (if you've ever had any abdominal/chest surgery, you know why you need a pillow!)
He is smiling, eating a popsicle and in pretty good humor right now! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TINKSMOM1 3/23/2011 6:55PM

    Will say a prayer Stu and his family. Hope he is well on the road to recovery! I have had a long talk with my family to let them know my wishes to donate...I know how tough it is to let a loved one go...but when its time, it does help a tiny bit to know something good may have come for someone else..

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MISSHARTUNG 3/22/2011 4:40PM

    I too am an organ donor.
My dear friend/college roommate is on day 92 of waiting for a double lung transplant and my colleague's son is living proof of an an amazing heart transplant as an infant.

GIVE LIFE. Be an organ donor!

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ALASKALILLADY 3/22/2011 2:38PM

    I will keep Stu in my prayers. I am an organ donor and have included that info on my drivers licence, medical living will, advanced directives and have notified all of my family as well. I can't use them once I'm gone so I want to make sure someone else can go on with their life if they need to.

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TINATC26 3/22/2011 1:47PM

    Will keep your friend Stu in my prayers, my friend. And thanks for this blog, you are so right. I also have the notation on my license..

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Like a moth to the flame....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

That used to describe me and my attraction to foods that I should have eaten less of, as well as my love affair with my couch, when I could have been active.

Now, I visualize something else…

Since mid December, I’ve been working out almost daily, sometimes 2 hours plus per day. Zumba (2+) times per week, Group Power (weight lifting/toning to music, 2 X per week), contact cardio kickboxing, yoga, walking, weigh lifting machines, dreadmill, recumbant bike… Whatever it takes, whenever I can.

And until the last two weeks, I hadn’t been losing weight. And I am truly okay with that. I even had to do something COMPLETELY CRAZY and eat MORE food. Some people call this a plateau, I call it storing power. I KNOW that I am losing inches, that I am feeling stronger, that my muscles are getting more defined. I KNOW that my fat is going away and being replaced by “fit”.

The way I picture it, fat cells are like lazy, stupid, slow moving moths. Just sitting there, hanging around with no purpose other than to make me unhealthy.

Muscles are like a bug zapper. My muscles before December, were just sitting there, unplugged, at a wattage that was too low to zap even the slowest of fat cells. Right now my muscles are gaining power, getting charged up and ready to start frying fat cells, left and right.

I can’t wait (weight?) till the end of our fitness challenge that I joined at my gym. (-3 lbs and 1 dress size in 4 weeks with 4 more weeks to go!)

When my body gets to the point where I have built my muscles up to “full charge”… Let the Fat Fry begin!!

Spark on!! Or would that be Zap on?!?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KWB4747 3/24/2011 8:57PM

  Gretchen- Can TOTALLY relate to this- my trainer and I are trying to find the right "formula" of exercise and calories- I have been losing inches, not a lot of weight, and it is FRUSTRATING!!!. But as long as I am losing inches, I guess. I am still waiting for the fat fry.... emoticon

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DFROMTX 3/19/2011 9:15AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Love the comparisons!!

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CHRYS13 3/19/2011 8:51AM

    Love the analogy! You're so right about the muscles! I've lost my 30+ lbs mostly through strength training! emoticon to you!!

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COMAMABEAR 3/11/2011 6:33PM

  Great post! Thanks for the encouragement.

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NEWDAYGIRL23 3/11/2011 5:33PM

    Thanks for this! I have really been struggling with this today and I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one and that there is actually a good reason for it. I have to keep reminding myself of that! so important to keep up the good work!

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SUCCESSIN2011 3/11/2011 5:04PM

    Great blog - just what I needed - I am "stuck" but my clothes are definately fitting better and I bought a size today that I haven't been able to wear for a long time. I like the reference to "Fat Fry" - can't wait for that to happen. Thanks for your blog.

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CHEETARA79 3/11/2011 2:04PM

    Slow and steady wins the weight loss race!

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ERIKO1908 3/10/2011 11:49PM

    so great that you know that even if the scale isn't doing anything major all of this is wonderful for YOU!! keep up all your hard work!! you are doing an AMAZING job!!

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TINATC26 3/10/2011 7:05PM

    well, to spark is to zap, or to zap is to spark, so either way, you, and we, win!! You go girl!!

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SWEETNEENI 3/10/2011 2:28PM

    SHAZAAM! emoticon

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CHAMPAGNEKISSE7 3/10/2011 2:01PM

    great blog!!!

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