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Life is an adventure of self discovery if we choose to see it as so

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now that I've been going to Weight Watchers for 2 1/2 months, it really has become a lifestyle for me. I've tracked my food/points every single day since and it isn't a drudgery like tracking used to be for me. I actually enjoy it because it lets me know meal-to-meal and day-by-day that Iím staying on track and can expect to see pounds and inches disappear each week/month. I prefer fresh, natural, made from scratch foods. I am starting to prefer the taste of vegetarian meals and vegan desserts. I love to cook and bake and have acquired a nice collection of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. I try at least one or more new recipes each week and am building up my repertoire of go-to healthy meals and treats.

Iím starting to learn the art of balance and moderation. I havenít given up desserts, but I am more choosey. Since I donít have desserts every single day, when I do itís something really, really good and homemade with fresh ingredients. Whenever I used to go out to eat or to a special occasion that involved a lot of food, Iíd get huge anxiety about it. Iíd freak out about indulging in these luscious foods and it would negatively affect the rest of the entire week. Now I make sure to eat with awareness and thoroughly enjoy the special meal or dessert. Then I compensateÖI eat less the remainder of the dayÖor I eat less the next dayÖor I take an extra walk/work in the garden/etc. to burn off the extra calories. It all balances out. Itís the stinkiní thinkiní that youíve blown it that makes you go off course. There really is no forbidden foods, just bad habit patterns that come out of wrong thinking.

I find that I am making much better choices and food is not ďthe main eventĒ in my life at this time. Last Saturday we went to my grandson's baseball game and out for lunch afterwards. I chose to have a veggie burger and NO FRIES and water to drink. I didn't feel deprived at all. I was very satisfied when I finished. Those other foods are just eye candy...they may look and smell good, but your body doesn't really need or want them. My enjoyment was being with my stepdaughter, son-in-law and grandsons, not the food I was eating.

This new way of life is working beautifully for me. I can honestly say that what I am doing right now is something I can and intend to do for the rest of my life. After an initial loss of 5 lbs. the first week, I've been averaging 2 lbs/week. At 11 weeks, I've lost a total of 28 lbs. I was in a size 18 jean and am now fitting comfortably in a size 14. The best outcome of all is that I feel more energetic and stronger.

Another major accomplishment for me happened last week. It's truly been the week from hell for me. I feel like I've visited the dark side of my life and am so grateful that I made it out the other end, back into the light. Mother's Day is always very difficult for me because I did not have children and have always wanted them. This year was the hardest yet in dealing with the loss and emptiness. I suffered through some extremely painful thoughts and emotions. It was pure agony, but never once did I turn to food. Food had always been my drug. I used it as comfort and to numb my feelings. Because I did not emotionally eat this time, I think the feelings ran even deeper than I felt like I could cope with. But instead of caving in and going into my usual food stupor, I found myself opening up to my husband. To my surprise, he was more supportive than I could have ever imagined. He sat and listened to what I was saying and actually had some very profound statements to offer that helped. I know that sitting there with me at that time was hard for him, because he canít bear to see me sobbing and tries to avoid discussing emotions at all cost. Throughout the week I still had my ups and downs with my feelings. But I worked it out. I came to some pretty amazing revelations and know now that I have a lot to be thankful for.

There are things that happened many years ago that I canít go back and re-do. I made mistakes because at the time I didnít know any better. But there are blessings I have today, staring me right in the face, that I have ignored because I was blinded by regrets and what might have been. Iím still working on making peace with it and coming to complete acceptance. I know I am moving forward because I have had some gut-wrenching days and nights of confronting my demons and I survived it. I survived it without going on a food binge and Iím still alive to talk about it!

Better days are ahead and Iím so grateful for it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHGILLIGAN 5/27/2010 8:35AM

    A great, inspirational blog! Thank you so much for sharing your pain and your plan!! I truly admire you and the gains you have made! emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 5/27/2010 7:21AM

    Great blog! I couldn't agree more with what you're saying and give you a huge round of applause for your accomplishments!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LADYIRIS313 5/26/2010 10:51PM

    Wow. You are doing SO well. I hope you're patting yourself on the back big time... cuz I'm doing it from here!

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OUTLIVING 5/21/2010 4:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

profound thoughts & growth going on here, and i'm glad you realize you did the best you could so you can release the angst about the past, live in the present and thrive (& as usual, had 2 snag a few of those pics ;)


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WILD4STARS 5/20/2010 10:52PM

    What a wonderful path you have chosen. You are an inspiration.

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LALABUMBUM 5/18/2010 10:04PM

    I am so happy you are feeling better, and that everything is going in the right direction. I wish I could fly to NY and give you a big hug, you have been such a great supporter and Spark Friend to me. And I am so happy that the vegan lifestyle is going so well! I think all of your positive energy is really doing you good (and congrats on the weightloss!)

emoticon emoticon

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MAZZYR 5/18/2010 5:53PM

    Oh Mary, this new lifestyle suits you and I'm so happy for you. It's so wonderful to hear about what's RIGHT in your life... especially when you describe how you are taking responsibility for your health and happiness.

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HEALTHY4ME 5/18/2010 3:53PM

    WOW what a great post!! I am so very glad you are doing so great. I wish I was, but with not even walking much on my agenda... I really don't want knee surgery but guess thats the start of it. But ironically the 10 days I was off work didn't help at all, but now that I know I am off 2 months my knee was terrible on sunday really really painfull. yesterday adn today they are both aching but not that pain that I have been having. does that mean it really is arthritis and that work is too hard, or does it mean omg that I will have to have the 2nd knee done too???
I wish I could call the spec. and ask but you never get to talk to them. I just don't want surgery unless nec. it is only arthorscopic to see and while there, if need be will clean the meniscus.
Been doing lots of positive thinking and mantras etc. lol
should have written you a message as seems I decided to chat!!

HUGS and again emoticon

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SPARKIE1964 5/18/2010 3:15PM

    A big virtual hug to you my spark friend...You have made some meaningful revelations and you have gained so much wisdom. This knowledge will carry you on your journey. Your successes are a result of your commitment to making a difference for yourself. Gratitude helps us embrace the moment! WAY TO GO...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Crash and Burn at the Chinese Buffet

Saturday, April 24, 2010

There are certain foods that are triggers and I'm better off to make a different, more benign, selection than risk an overeating episode.

There are certain places that are triggers and it's too much of a test of willpower and strength of focus to be faced with. One of those places for me is the Chinese buffet.

DH wanted to go out to eat last night and I succumbed to his suggestion of one of our favorite Chinese buffets. They have a hibachi chef who cooks up an array of items you choose. I think it's a bit better than the pre-made entrees. It's fresh, hot, and you choose the sauces too so hopefully less MSG. Even though I chose mostly vegetables, I know that I overindulged. I have a weakness for those fried wontons filled with a cream cheese mixture. I had to "sample" a few of the little desserts to have with my hot tea.

Too much foood! And even after I was psyched when I had tried on a pair of jeans that I had not been able to wear for a couple of years. No more 18's! This pair of 16's zipped up, buttoned easily, and fit perfectly. The fact that these jeans didn't have any give in them (like the stretch jeans I used to wear) didn't even deter me from eating too much. When I got in the car, the first thing I did was unbutton them and unzip the zipper halfway. AGH! I hate that feeling!!!!!!

I'm doing WW, so I just guessed and estimated that I probably ate 20 pts. at that meal. So I don't feel like it's a total blow-out because I used my 35 weekly pts. to cover it - now I'm down to 1.5 weeklies left and I have 3 more days before I weigh in. If I refresh my resolve and don't go over my daily allotment, I should still hopefully lose, even if it's a small amount.

Of course, today my sister is coming over and we're going out to eat at Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca. At least they have an asssortment of delicious vegetarian/vegan entrees. My sister recently was diagnosed with diabetes and has to take injections right now to get her sugar down to normal levels. So I won't be tempted to have dessert since she can't.

The thing is, I'm only 2.4 lbs. away from achieving a goal of losing 10% of my original weight. I am dissappointed that I didn't keep that in the front of my mind last night. I could've done better and I have to expect more out of myself. It does not feel good to overindulge and I have to remember that feeling BEFORE I do it.

One real positive is that I am walking every day 4.7 miles in 1 hour, 12-13 minutes. I had to stop wearing my heart monitor because it was giving me an awful heat rash in this warmer weather. But when I was wearing it, this walk burned off around 400 calories.

I know I can still salvage the rest of the week and maybe I won't get my 10% award (WW gives you a key ring), but this is real life and I'm learning how to roll with the punches and get back up immediately to continue on and feel proud.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAPIXIE 5/11/2010 10:21AM

    You are back on track, and those 16's will soon be too loose! I really liked DRAGONZLAYER 's comments about avoiding the temptation/trigger situation. Unfortunately, I do my worst damage when home alone in the evenings
emoticon I will need to rethink how my evenings are spent!

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WILD4STARS 5/11/2010 9:40AM

    You haven't blogged in a while. Hope you have forgiven yourself and gotten back on track !!
(®`∑.∑ī®) and StarDust
. `∑.ł.∑īł.∑ī)ł.∑ī®) :ł.∑*®``)
:ł.∑ī (.∑ī (łł.∑® Vikki

Comment edited on: 5/11/2010 9:46:12 AM

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DEBC1232 4/25/2010 8:45PM


Even though you aren't happy with how you did I think you did great considering the situation. You had mostly veggies, had a few tastes of dessert and a few bites of some high calorie wontons. The best part is that you are still within your plan for the week so I say you should give yourself a big pat on the back! Next time just plan what you will and wont eat ahead of time. :)


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WILD4STARS 4/24/2010 7:31PM

    It's not good to over indugle. AND it's not good to beat yourself up. You are doing so great, I know you won't let one night sabotage all your hard work. Back on track, back to those size 16 jeans and move forward.

I'll wager a large amount of money that key ring will be yours, and SOON!!

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TERJEGOLD 4/24/2010 6:19PM

    I love that you focus on what you are doing right after taking inventory of where you made less than perfect choices. This is a life-time of fitness we are embarking on here so buffets will be part of your life and they should be if you enjoy them.

So congratulations for seeing your choices as being less than perfect, for acknowledging that you are still on track and for patting yourself on the back for all you are doing "right". That 10% goal will be yours before you know it.

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OUTLIVING 4/24/2010 12:00PM

    k, luv that last paragraph!

Enjoy the visit with sis :)

~ eating out is usually such a traditional part of life with family/friends. it's going to take us a bit to experiment & relearn how we want to participate in that. And I'm thinking that might even evolve over time.

on a personal note, i was talking with someone who's a recovered alchoholic for like a decade. They said something that really hit home with me (i'll blog later) but they said the 1st stage of abstinence is often spent away from trigger situations/people because it's like a dry drunk and there's no sense of empowerment or control to abstain, so better to avoid. she said they call this a dry drunk. and ultimately, the goal is to be able to interact in normal situations again with people (think family parties/weddings, but not the bar, necessarily ;) well, i'm still pondering that, b/c i feel like i'm in the dry drunk stage still...

k, nuff4now :)

(ps, love the new profile pic, u r lookin Hot! ;)

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LALABUMBUM 4/24/2010 9:53AM

    Dont worry about this one little bump in the road....its all part of the journey that we are on. At least you realized that you ate too much and did not decide to just completely jump off the wagon for the rest of the weekend, you slipped, and you have decided to make better decisions, that is what it is really all about.

Maybe get in an extra walk or two this weekend, or get your sister to go walking with you. Dont worry you will make that 10% weight loss goal! I believe in you!

I hope the rest of your weekend goes well.

Take Care... emoticon emoticon

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MAZZYR 4/24/2010 8:59AM

    Oh Mary, you are doing it. You are taking responsibility for your choices and I believe that's what it's all about. Getting back on track is a part of releasing weight and part of a permanent lifestyle change.

You my dear friend can do it and you are doing it.

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Itís for life Ė diary of a former yo-yoer and how Iím rewriting my story

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Warning, this is a long blog. But Iíve thought a lot about this issue and feel like Iíve had some major breakthroughs. I can feel a shift in my thinking, and this time I think itís for real.

Iíll get to me in a bit, but first I want to talk about my brother because heís been a real inspiration to me, and yet heís also an example of the grim reality of dieting.

In October of 2008 my brother Jim reached a major goal of losing 100 pounds. He lives near Atlanta and was using a local doctor-supervised program there, Dramatic Weight Loss Center. In fact, he is featured on their web site and you can see him and hear him speak about the program: http://www.dramaticweightloss.com/success.
His physical transformation was amazing. His enthusiasm and happiness over reaching this milestone was tremendously motivating. He was able to get off his blood pressure meds and maintain a healthy blood pressure without them.

In June of 2009, my husband and I took a trip to Georgia and spent a week visiting with Jim and his family. He was on maintenance and still looked great. He said he had put back on about 10 pounds, but apparently that is typical on the maintenance program where you are still working on finding your right balance. But what struck me is how many snack foods had crept into his daily eating. His words the year before still rang in my ears: ďThis is my new life and I donít miss those old foods that caused me to put on weight. Iíve lost and regained so many times before, and now Iím not going back to eating those foods again.Ē Itís so easy to forget those words once you have lost the weight. There seems to be a switch in your thought process that makes you think you can handle these foods now without allowing it to get out of control. Thatís just plain and simple erroneous, deceptive thinking for a person who has an eating disorder.

I just heard from my sister that Jim had spoken to my nephew (her son) and shared with him that heís now gained back 40 lbs. and was just at the doctorís office getting a prescription for high blood pressure medicine. My heart sank when I heard this. Almost half of what he lost has returned a year later. Can he stop this now and get back to his goal again? I hope and pray he can. Statistics show that only 10 percent of people who successfully lose weight go on to successfully keep that weight off for one year or more. I so much wanted my brother to be in that small percentile of people who were able to keep the weight off. Itís the biggest nation-wide problem and now the largest contributor to early death. According to WikiAnswers, 64% of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.


I almost feel like a professional dieter. Iíve lost anywhere from 20-60 lbs. numerous times in my life. I lost 63 lbs. on The Diet Workshop in 1980 (from 223 to 160). I lost 25 lbs. in 6 weeks at The Diet Center in 1988 (from 200 to 175). I white-knuckle strict dieted myself from 190 lbs. to 177 lbs. for my wedding in December 1990. I was on Jenny Craig in 1999 and lost 56 lbs. (from 223 to 167). I joined Weight Watchers numerous times throughout the years and always lost while going. I even did WW online-only from Feb to May 2002 and lost 28 lbs. (from 211 to 183). I even tried acupuncture in 2003, but the only thing I lost was A LOT of money. I started SparkPeople on March 1, 2007 and lost 38 lbs. by October 1, 2007 (from 213 to 175). You guessed it, I was back up to 215 lbs. earlier this year.
Iíve now rejoined Weight Watchers, attend weekly meetings, am currently at 198, and still doing well with it. This time, my focus is not as much on losing. I know I can do that because Iíve proved that many times. My focus is on discovering what changes I can incorporate easily and will enable me to continue to stick with it right up to reaching my ultimate goal and on into maintenance.

Itís been the same old story over and over and over again, and I know Iím not alone in this. I go through the same phases of weight loss each and every time:

1. Realization. Itís the point in time when I feel disgusted with the way I look or maybe get some uncomfortable symptoms and become fearful of my health. I start to feel uncomfortable once I get into the 200ís and size 18. My red light weight number is 223. Iíve never gone above that.

2. Getting Starting. Iíve made up my mind and am feeling committed to taking off the weight. I follow some sort of structured program. The first 3-4 weeks are usually somewhat grueling. I feel hungry and/or deprived and downright grumpy. Iím going through some food withdrawal symptoms. Iím not fit, so it feels uncomfortable to exercise. Iím going through all this and Iím still fat Ė itís very depressing. Itís at this point that I require the utmost of determination to power through all the bad stuff Iím going through physically and mentally.

3. Success. Iím starting to really like the healthy foods Iím eating. Iím not missing the old trigger foods as much anymore. My cravings are beginning to fade. Iím getting fitter and am really enjoying my walks. I keep increasing my speed and length of time and my body responds positively. Any health concerns I had before are now gone as I feel more energetic and vibrant. Iíve lost enough weight to notice my clothes start to get looser and Iím now into a size 16. My face is getting slimmer and Iím feeling a bit more attractive. The thrill of success motivates me to keep going.

4. Continuing success. Iíve lost a lot more pounds and inches. Clothes continue to get looser. Iím now into a size 14, then 12. I go from obese to overweightÖfrom XL to medium tops (I always lose a lot in my bust). Iím excited and happy about my progress, almost feeling a bit smug. Now people are really starting to notice and comment. At first, it feels nice to get the acknowledgement and compliments.

5. Discouragement Ė Now Iíve reached the dreaded plateau. Iím still following good eating and exercising, but the weight is coming off very slowly. Iím still a ways from my goal and even though Iím looking and feeling better I havenít finished what I started. At this point Iím typically 15-20 lbs. away from my ultimate goal. Iím still getting lots of compliments. But instead of feeling good about it, theyíre making me feel extremely uncomfortable. I donít like the attention. I fear I canít live up to their praise because of past experience of regaining. Even if I could just maintain for a while at this point, that would be okay. But the discouragement takes over and puts me into a mental funk, which brings me to Phase 6.

6. Backsliding. Now my belief is fading and I have doubts that Iíll ever reach my goal. I get rebellious. I stop tracking my food. If Iím on a program, I stop going and/or following it Ė my inner child says ďI donít want to do this, itís a pain!Ē I start to eat a little more at mealtimes. I re-introduce foods that trigger me to overindulge. Those foods start to become a daily necessity instead of an occasional treat. A 5 pound gain turns into 10 pounds. I panic as itís now 15 pounds, then 20. At this point Iím in a whirling dervish of bad habits and lack of control. I feel like Iím sinking in quicksand and canít get out of it.

7. Throwing in the towel. At this point Iíve gained back most of my weight and feel as though I canít get it together no matter how hard I try. Iím feeling bad about myself again Ė like a complete failure Ė and those feelings only serve to make me eat more. This can often continue for several years of feeling distraught and unhappy but powerless to turn it around.

8. Back to Square One. Now Iím right back to Phase 1 again and the whole cycle begins again.

The only way to stop this merry-go-round is to zero in on changes that will prohibit Phase # 6 from occurring. Letís rewrite the scenario from Phase 5 onÖ

5. Discouragement Ė Let it be okay to stay here for a bit to allow my mind to catch up to the physical changes in my body. Iím at a healthier weight. Recall what it was like during Phases 1 and 2 and be grateful that Iíve accomplished so much. Focus on all the benefits of where I am now. Donít be in a rush to get somewhere else. Enjoy the present feelings of well-being and relax into this new lifestyle. Continue to add in more new healthy foods and seek out new recipes. Look for new ways to motivateÖthis is a time to do nice little things for yourself and accentuate the positive. Take extra care of yourself Ė buy some new outfits, get a manicure/pedicure, get highlights or new hairstyle, go to the makeup counter and get a makeover. Do lots and lots of pampering and rewarding at this stage to keep the positive flow going.

6. Recommitment Ė Reach inside and dig even deeper. Keep up your positive attitude and belief in your ability to reach your goal. Spend the time looking at positive images/words that motivate you. Visualize success and repeat affirmations. Continue to add more new healthy foods into your diet. Seek out new delicious recipes for your new-found healthier foods. Challenge yourself even more with exercising. Incorporate more toning workouts. Mix it up. Start transitioning from power walking to a walk/jog. As you stay the course and push yourself even harder, the weight will start to come off again. Now youíre in a whole new territory and this is a very exciting time! Youíve broken through the barrier this time!!! Youíre getting closer and closer to your goal and you can see it not only as a possibility, but as a distinct reality.

7. Goal Ė You made it!!! For the first time ever, you are now in the ďnormalĒ weight category. This is what youíve dreamed of for the greater part of your life. Itís also a very scary phase. Now that Iím no longer overweight, who AM I?? If life isnít centered around losing weight, what IS it?? What in the world do I do now?? Just knowing beforehand that these questions will pop up will hopefully prepare me to have some answers by the time I get here.

8. Lifetime Maintenance Ė This is truly when the work begins, I believe. This is the time of finding that balance of eating and activity that will keep you at plus or minus 5 lbs. of your goal. It has to fit with your likes and lifestyle to be permanent. With good nutrition being the biggest driver in your plan, your diet has changed so much that your taste buds are used to clean, natural foods. Hopefully, the old sugar and fat-laden foods wonít even taste good to you if you try a taste. But itís not good to even flirt with them. They are to be seen as dangerous as drugs. Youíre now fit and still look forward to your regular walks as well as being able to continue to enjoy daily spontaneous activity. A year passes and youíre still maintaining. Two years pass and there are no remnants left of your old habits. This is just the way you live now. No looking back or looking forward. Just present moment bliss.


(of dietingÖthe beginning of a new life)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    This is a brilliant post! You hit the nail on the head.

Can I recommend a book that might shed some light on why so many of us backslide when we get slimmer? It's called The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks and it's all about self-sabotage. Hendricks, a psych prof from Stanford, says that we all have beliefs about how successful we will allow ourselves to be in anything (money, career, beauty), and when we get to our own glass ceiling we invariably do something to bring ourselves back down to where we are more comfortable. He also tells how to get out of that trap. Life changing!

You are doing wonderfully. Enjoy your continued journey!

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SUNNYH99 8/23/2010 8:55PM

    emoticonThank you for taking the time to share this with us, Mary. I can relate completely! Knowledge is power, and you have important knowledge about old dysfunctional patterns and have written changes into your behaviors and thinking to help yourself.
emoticon Sunny

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HAPPYWALKER 8/23/2010 3:52PM

    WOW! Am I glad I wrote this blog when I was inspired to write it. It's the end of August and here I am at Stage 5! 40 lbs. gone and things are getting tougher. Reading this, I feel like I now know how to overcome the obstacles and stick with it this time. I AM rewriting my story and becoming the slim and healthy person I've always dreamed of being.

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DEBC1232 4/19/2010 5:52PM


Thanks for your wonderful blog. It is so good to see you on the right track and enjoying life.

Deb emoticon

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OUTLIVING 4/18/2010 3:49PM

    Very thoughtful and interesting analysis of the various stages. You're so right, there's an important stage 5 where we have to learn to push through the triggers and relapse/regain. Awareness is a gr8 place to start with this, because i would agree that we have to transform & evolve emotionally/spiritually as much as we have to transform & evolve physically. I look forward to celebrating with you as you succeed in this aspect and move into a lifetime of maintenance and balance (instead of regression & repeats ad nauseum). Time to break the cycle.

and you know what? methinks u really can do it!

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KIMSTUTZ 4/18/2010 6:53AM

    very worth reading! i too can relate to the discouragement and back sliding, but like you i have re committed and refocused to make this time MY TIME to be at a healthy weight and to live life to the fullest.

What is it with compliments? i cringe when someone says anything. and i think you hit the nail on the head....that u are unsure if you will be able to maintain the loss.

this time IS different emoticon having made so many positive life style changes they are just becoming daily habits and this is the way i have chosen to live now! emoticon

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LALABUMBUM 4/17/2010 9:58PM

    Whatever you visualize, will materialize....I'm so glad you are taking control this time and know that you will succeed. This journey can be hard, but if you have a game plan, and know how to overcome the rocks in the road, anything is possible.

Thank you for the inspiration....your positivity is amazing.

emoticon emoticon

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SIRENRED 4/17/2010 6:54PM

    I love how your re-wrote your story! Congratulations :-) emoticon

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SPARKIE1964 4/17/2010 6:12PM

    I can so relate to all of what you wrote which is precisely the story of my dieting. I too am ready for the dieting to end and for the beginning of a new life. Been adopted small modest changes I can live with. Weighing/measuring/tracking religiously. There are no bad foods. I get to choose what I want to eat so long as I track it & hold myself accountable. I just started blogging daily gratitude and affirmations which is helping to stay focused on the positives. Sounds like you're in a great place and are ready to do it for good this time! You CAN do it...

P.S. Perhaps you want to recommend SP to your brother as well...

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MAZZYR 4/17/2010 4:54PM

    Oh Mary, Your insights are positive and your story has be re-written.

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WILD4STARS 4/17/2010 4:41PM

    emoticon emoticonThere's a shift in you lately and it's a very positive one. You're going to do it this time. I know you are.

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THIS feels better!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Two more pounds down last night. And even with having a piece of chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting when I went out to lunch with a friend last Saturday. I tracked it and counted it in, didn't go over my weekly allotment of points and I earned 32 activity points for the week. So essentially, it is possible to literally have your cake and eat it too. Still, I am so amazed.

On January 1, I declared to myself that this was it. This was going to be the year I lost these extra pounds that were weighing me down in so many ways. But the determination wasn't quite enough because I proceeded to struggle throughout January and February. I was trying so hard, too hard. But trying doesn't ever accomplish anything...DOING does. I wanted to lose weight, but I wasn't willing to measure my food, I wasn't willing to track my food. I was out of shape from sporadic exercise attempts and used the cold weather as an excuse to sit on the couch when I could be walking.

When I signed up for WW on March 1, it was at a point of desperation. I felt that if I kept going down the path I was on, I'd have some scary health issues. Mentally, I was at an all-time low. My energy level was low too. My zest for life was starting to fade.

As soon as my mind turned the corner, everything suddenly became easy. I didn't feel like I was fighting against the current anymore. It just flowed. I was measuring and tracking, but it became a part of my routine and not something I was forcing myself to do.

I think that if anything is difficult, it's a sign you are going down the wrong road. When it's right, things seem to just fall into place. There's no pushing, no forcing, no turmoil, no angst. Now I can see the difference. The biggest difference took place in my mind. The mind is such a powerful thing, especially that part of your mind that rules your unconscious behavior.

The more success I saw, the more successful I became. It started this unstoppable momentum in me that has continued to pick up speed. The downward spiral is just as powerful. That's why it's so crucial to get your head in the right place. It can make or break you.

Last night I broke out of the 200's, YAY! It was a very significant milestone for me because it's been over a year of going back and forth between 210 and 205, never being able to break free of it. I feel so different physically and emotionally. I have a lot more stamina. I no longer have these worrisome sensations in my chest (I kept fearing clogged arteries and my poor heart pumping harder). My self confidence has increased. My overall feeling of well being is improved. That's just with 17 pounds gone. I can only imagine how it will be as I continue to morph into the vision I have of me at my goal weight.

Just as you need to reduce calories as your weight decreases, after this last loss I am at 23 pts. (my initial amount of pts. was 25). I welcome that challenge. One of the things that has contributed to my success is eating more of what WW calls "filling foods". It's the same food that Dr. Fuhrman advocates: lots and lots of fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens; fresh fruit; whole grains, beans & legumes. The biggest factor by far is my walking. I increased my neighborhood route to 4.6 miles that I do in 1 hr. 10 min. Some days I do 2 walks - one with my dog Zac for about 3 miles in 50 minutes (it's slower because he likes to stop & sniff a lot), and then my 4.6 mile fast walk with my ipod. I'm so grateful that I love walking and it's a joyful experience for me. I have a new goal in mind to start running at the high school track, probably in another month or so. I'll start a gradual intermittant walk/run until I build up to running laps.

That's it in a nutshell: Eat predominantly wholesome, filling foods - measure & track - walk every single day anywhere from 50 min. to 2 hrs. - keep a positive attitude with the image of my goal clearly in the forefront of my mind at all times. Little side things are that I only weigh once a week at my WW meeting (so that I don't get side-tracked or distracted by an obssession with the numbers) and I take my measurements and weigh on my scale for body fat % once a month. Inches lost and lower fat-to-muscle ratio are even more important to me than pounds.

I'm so happy and pleased with my progress that I just had to capture the feelings in this blog so I can revisit it if I ever do get to a point of either complacency or backsliding. I've done both the struggle & frustration and the victory & elation. This feels much better!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAZZYR 4/13/2010 6:26PM

    *Welcome to Onderland*

I'm so happy to witness your success.
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Comment edited on: 4/13/2010 6:27:44 PM

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SUNNYH99 4/13/2010 12:38PM

    Congrats on getting to Onederland! Enjoy the new terrain, and good for you for having your cake loggin it in, too!

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WILD4STARS 4/13/2010 10:51AM

    "Unstoppable momentum" - best line in this great blog. You've got it!! I am so happy for you to have found your path. Keep up the good work!!

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Success at Last! Attitude is Everything

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I haven't blogged in a while and a lot has happened since. For one, I have lost 15 pounds since March 1!!!

This, after struggling so hard for 2 years and getting nowhere. What changed? No one suddenly sprinkled fairy dust on me. Why was I finally able to do what I had longed to do all those many months before?

The only answer to those questions is that my mind and attitude changed.

It may seem coincidental, but after I said a humble prayer asking for guidance and strength in this particular area of my life, I was prompted to go on the Weight Watchers web site. I felt like it was literally do or die. I had been not feeling well since after Christmas and felt tremendous anxiety over my health. Even though the closest meeting was a 30-minute drive, I concluded that it was worth it to try again. I was just not getting anywhere on my own. To my surprise, there was a meeting being held in my little town - only a 5 minute walk away from my house.

So, on Monday, March 1, I walked over there and was just there to check it out, not really sure if I'd sign up. As I got to the front of the line, I found myself buying a Monthly Pass. There! Now I'm committed for at least a month - we'll see what happens.

Something changed in my brain after that first night. I felt something I hadn't felt in years....I REALLY, REALLY wanted to lose this weight. It was no longer just a wish or a hope. It was a burning desire.

My first week was a complete turnabout for me. I was not only no longer binging on candy, cookies, and ice cream; I was measuring and logging in my points with ease. It was something positive I was doing for myself, not a drudgery. My first week weigh-in was a loss of 5 pounds! To say I was happy is an understatement.

So on to week 2. I was equally as committed. But surely that first 5 lbs. had to be mostly fluid and I didn't expect much of a loss this week. Surprise! I lost 3 more lbs.!!!

Week 3 was a good week too, but I thought that realistically I was not going to have big losses every single week so a pound or half a pound would be perfectly fine. Shock again, I lost 2 more lbs.!!!! I was only 1/2 pound away from my 5% goal !!!

After Week 3, something even greater happened in the vortex of my mind: I had a BELIEF that I could really do this!! I had a knowing, not just a desire.

Week 4 was even easier to stay motivated. I had already gone 21 days without binging and I had lost 10 whole pounds. That 5% goal of 10.5 pounds was right in front of me and surely I could lose a half a pound. I was wrong about that...I didn't lose a half a pound, I lost another 3 !!!!! This is insane, I thought. Yes, I have been following the program. I had also been increasing my walking each week and now I was up to walking 4.6 miles every day. But I never expected the weight to come off like it had. I was thrilled to get my 5% star.

Week 5 was a little more challenging. I ate out twice. I went to Panara Bread on Thursday with my sister and afterwards I looked up everything on their web site. I was shocked to discover I'd eaten a 1270 calorie, 29 pt. lunch. Then DH wanted to eat at Chinese buffet on Friday night. Even with mostly choosing vegetables, it's one of my trigger places and I ate more than I should have. I had to guess at my pts. and decided it must've been at least 20. Then Sunday was Easter and I made a scrumptious brunch for DH and I: Eggs Benedict and asparagus with Hollandaise and silver dollar homemade buttermilk pancakes with fresh squeezed OJ. The thing is, I still tracked and logged in all of my food. And I had walked every day.

When I got to my WW meeting last night, I was just hoping to stay the same. One thing I decided when I joined was that I would not weigh myself at home at all. I didn't want to start obsessing about the numbers and determining my success solely by them. Was I ever surprised when she announced, "you lost 2 pounds!" My grand total is 15!

Now I have another major motivation for this week. I was exactly 200 and I am very much looking forward to getting out of the Two's and into the One's! My next goal after that is to lose 21 pounds, which will earn me my 10% and a key ring. At 25 pounds gone, I'll get a star charm for my key ring. After that, I'll give myself a reward for each additional 5 lbs. lost.

So, what's the secret??? Who knows? I think it can be anything you do to change it up. Like joining a gym or exercise class. Or reading and following a new inspirational book. Or buddying up with someone. For me, Weight Watchers was just a catalyst for me to change my thoughts. I love a saying of Wayne Dyer's: "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." I've always thought that losing weight is 99% mental. That's always the biggest hurdle.

If there's anyone out there reading this who is struggling, I hope I can help you see that it is possible. The last 2 years I was about as discouraged as you can get and spinning my wheels, sinking further and further in the mud. Now I've picked up speed and that momentum is driving me forward.

Yes, I have started, but I also know this journey is far from over and I will encounter sharp curves and hills before I arrive at my goal. But I am feeling confident that I can overcome any unexpected obstacles as long as I keep my eyes on the road and hang on tight.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAJASHREE108 4/14/2010 11:31PM

    Congratulations.. it must be great feeling 15 pounds lighter.. looking forward to your "hundreds" and putting behind the "twos".

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LALABUMBUM 4/11/2010 11:05AM

    Wow, that is so amazing, I am so happy for your success, and that you found the momentum to keep going. You are such an inspiration. WW is such a good tool to use in weight loss. You are so right, this journey is a mental game, we just have to keep our heads in the game and keep trucking through.

Thank you for such a great blog!
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WILD4STARS 4/11/2010 7:32AM

    Awesome! Not only is the weight coming off, but you sound happy and upbeat! Keep that momentum going.

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SUNNYH99 4/7/2010 9:34PM

    Wow! Fantastic job! One meal at a time is all it takes, and you'll probably be in One-derland at your next WW meeting!

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OUTLIVING 4/7/2010 4:01PM

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Go U! i'm so tickled 4 u. I love when we have that deep down inside feeling that it really is possible. I'm glad you are feeling that, because 1 way or another, it is & I believe in U :)

(i also don't weigh at home right now, just at my rw weight loss group. i get caught up in the scale # too easily, and that is just a tool. results follow when we are living it & u are! woohoo!!! :)

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AQUAPIXIE 4/7/2010 12:38AM

    I was mistaken on my spark page quote. It sounds very similar, but dates back a few more years!

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
by Henry David Thoreau

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DEBC1232 4/6/2010 8:43PM


I always knew you could do it, that you just needed the right motivation and focus. Looks like you found it and I'm so happy for you! For me it was just getting started and I've been fine ever since, I suspect it will be the same for you too.


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MAZZYR 4/6/2010 6:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 4/6/2010 6:06PM

    OMG MARY!!!!!!! WOW thats a lot to lose in a month. WOW I am so glad for you. And me as I sit here spinning my wheels and eating an easter bunny.........
I don't know what or when will be my catalyst. it isn't dd wedding, it isnt Thomas's arrival.... oh it isnt even my half brokern messed up knee... I am blah.
But you did make me think should I get my WW stuff out,dig it out from all those books, mag. that I re read and re read and still no lightbulb.
OMG best stop posting cos will just get down. Right now going to go nap, so I can stay up and watch Biggest loser. That was my inspriation but since dr said no walking, and the recumbant bike is hurting my knee I am at a lose. was doing upper weights but that has even slowed down.
anyway need a nap so I can stay up and watch. I am up at 5 and if i want to stay up till 11 to see the end better nap.
Cy and CONGATS again. So glad for you now hope some rubs off on me!

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SIGLED 4/6/2010 2:39PM

    That is KEY is it not? Finding what works for you and then going for it!

We all have that personal responsibility. To take charge of our bodies and our lives and to find out what works. Then follow through and do it!

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AQUAPIXIE 4/6/2010 2:08PM

    emoticon emoticonFABULOUS!!!! I am so happy that you found your ON button. I am in the process of finding mine, but not like yours! Your success only makes me want to succeed as well.

I Love W.D. I have several of his books, and that quote "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." is on my spark page as well.

Please keep posting here so we can share in your victories!

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MORERED 4/6/2010 2:01PM

    Mary, Way to Go!! I'm thrilled to hear that you have turned things around and are seeing success!! There's no stopping you now!!!!!!

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4ANEWME2DAY 4/6/2010 1:49PM

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PIR8CHIK 4/6/2010 1:48PM

    Wow! That's just wonderful! I'm very happy that you have found a program that works and you still hang out here at SP too! That's great!

You are doing amazing and I wish you continued success!!!

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JESSIKA_56 4/6/2010 1:48PM

    Good job on your accomplishments! Attitude IS everything! :)

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