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A Year's Worth of Maintaining.....

Monday, September 19, 2011

So it is May 18, 2009, Victoria Day in Canada, and there I am.

I weigh 212 pounds, on my 5'1", small-boned frame.

I just tried to play my classical guitar for the first time in a long time, and I cannot manage to keep it on my lap....

I am over 60 years old and desperate.

I have had a weight problem my whole life, an emotional eater from infancy I think, and have had some time-limited success with Weight Watchers, but I gained it back and more.

But on May 18 2009 something clicked. WW was available on-line in Canada, which works for me, tech-oriented and not much for self-help meetings.

So I joined.

I cannot tell you why I stuck it out this time. The early WW days, using the old Points system, gave me plenty to eat and I got involved in the on-line support boards.

And I lost weight, and was able to go closet shopping, and eventually had to buy a whole new wardrobe, and had to convince some colleagues that I did not have a fatal disease. I have been treadmilling for decades, and upped the intensity (small increments) and kept up with some weights for the uppr body.

Fast forward to September 19, 2010. I reach my WW goal of 112 pounds, and am terrified--of gaining it back, of keeping losing, of not knowing what to eat, of losing more, you name it, I am terrified.

I got some support from on-line forums, but was pretty much on my own. My WW maintenance was up and down, I still emotionally ate (the day of weigh-in, and then try to lose it all through the week, anybody ever do that :-)). Then WW changed its system and it definitely stopped working very well for me. I got up to 114 and it was not going down.

So, in my ongoing web searches for the perfect pedometer (I've been wearing one for years), I found the fitbit. Not yet available in Canada when I discovered it (wireless license problems, no literature in French!) so I bided my time and bought one when in the US last June. And in getting used to the fitbit, I found folks were mentioning Sparkpeople on the forums. So I gave it a try....

What a relevation! This is an in-your-face, active, happy website, with enough information on maintenance to help me actually maintain! And not only am I maintaining, I am down to 109 and sometimes less pounds.

And today I have maintained for a year. I wrote in a Maintenace Sparkteam forum today:

"I have been maintaining for a year, today!

At first, the scale was the only measure I would use to determine successful maintenance--you can see I still have it as my icon on the weight loss ticker. It was operational, it did not lie, etc.

Now, I am getting into a broader definition, and looking at all aspects of fitness as indicators of maintenance. I have exercised for decades, and have certainly increased my duration and intensity of such. I also take into account my work/life balance (high pressure job, type A personality), sleep patterns (do not do so well here), frame of mind, my music, practice of my faith, doing good in/for this world, relationship with spouse, and other measures of how I am living a fit life.

The scale is still important, and I still weigh myself every day, I love stats and measuring things and that is how using a fitbit is really helpful to me as well. But what I try to do is measure me, how I am I doing on my journey?

And a funny result! I used to think that if I went below 110 pounds I would fall over from low blood sugar. Recently I have moved down to the 108's and I am still standing."

Do I still want to emotionally eat sometimes? Yes! Do I still emotionally eat sometimes? Yes!
One of the contributers on the Canadian WW meantenance message board has a slogan--when you go beyond the beyond, "own it, track it, and move on." Truer words never said.

And I am still scared I will gain it all back, but not as scared as I used to be.

And I am playing and enjoying my guitars (bought a second one), limited somewhat by carpal tunnel syndrome right now but managing.

And I am rewarding myself for the year's maintenance, which feels a heck of a lot more meaningful than my birthday, even.

At the advanced age of 63, I have never owned a personal smartphone. So, and being fortunate enough to have the funds, I went out and got an iPhone with a data plan.

The first app I downloaded was the Sparkpeople one (it's free). Now I can post and track without having to be near my computer.

I hope this was meaningful enough for folks to read right through to the end. Thank you Sparkpeople, and the Spark book, and some on-line friends I am getting to know.....thank you.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BVICTORIOUS 9/23/2011 12:11PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs - congrats not only on the one-year maintenance, but on the self-awareness. Loved your blog about cooking for yourself - WooHoo!!

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ROCKMAN6797 9/21/2011 10:28AM

    Your story is absolutely inspirational! Congratulations on your one-year anniversary and it certainly sounds like you have all the tools to continue maintaining. Simply awesome!

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CASJ57 9/19/2011 11:25PM

    Congratulations! I still have dreams (nightmares?) where none of my clothes fit - and some days I look in the mirror and still see the 40 pound heavier me. Our minds seem to take awhile to catch up to our bodies! Great blog, you have a great perspective on fitness.


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REENIE131 9/19/2011 10:30PM

    Congrats on your maintenance...and your lessons learned. You've done a great job.

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I spread the Spark at work!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Couldn't find any palce else to put this...

I am on my employer's wellness committee and recently I organized a presentation to the committee about websites that folks could use to manage their weight, fitness, general quality of life. We employ about 260 staff.

Results? The following e-mail was sent by the committee today, with a really nice graphic that unfortunately will not copy and paste:

Are you interested in any of the following?
• Personalized diet & fitness plans
• Calorie counter & healthy recipes
• Workout tracker, exercise demos & videos
• Articles and FAQ’s written by registered dietitians & trainers
• Optional groups and message boards allowing you to connect with others like you in support teams

Whether you are looking to lose weight, or simply better understand your eating and exercise patterns, here are some free sites to help you reach your goals and be healthy and fit:
• Lance Armstrong’s “Live Strong” site:
• Spark People site:

So, now 260 more people (and all of them Canadians!) know about the Spark.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERYL_B 9/22/2011 6:33PM

    I am presenting at work next week. Any hints on what people really liked or what didn't work? Thanks!

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    WTG :)..hope they take advantage of the information!

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LISA.LOU 9/19/2011 1:34PM

    That's a huge amount of people who now have access to this site. You did a good thing!

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BRANDISMARG 9/19/2011 1:04PM


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