JAOTAO   62,545
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Waited a LONG time ...

Monday, January 20, 2014

… To write this blog. Today I celebrate losing a total of 60 pounds! It has taken me since August 2013 to get here … I didn't have setbacks, just plateaued a couple of times and started losing slower than the first year (I rejoined SP 7/1/2012). What has been important to me is:

1. I didn’t give up … I kept tracking, moving and participating on SP.
2. I focused on NSV – there were plenty. More stamina, more confidence, better sleep, fitting into boots I purchased 7 years ago, rings/necklaces now fitting, looking better, feeling better – just to name a few.
3. I increased my movement gradually – in 2012, I barely could walk 800 steps per day; in 2013, I averaged 3200 steps per day; 2014 – I am up to 4000 steps per day! This is amazing to me.
4. My BFF today told me as a result of watching/hearing me go on about my health, progress, and SP … has decided to create a healthier lifestyle for herself and is now on a lifestyle plan that suits her! She just lost 5 pounds!
5. I learned to let go that I wasn’t losing as fast as I wanted to … but learned to focus on where I am right now. This has put me in more awareness of staying in healthy habits. Sometimes I wonder if in the past where I lost too fast, I didn't haven’t enough time to assimilate the new reality…thereby resulting in gaining again – you know the yo-yo syndrome.

I’m also seeing in my future the ability to travel in an airplane again – to visit my friend, my son, go to meetings, conferences, etc. I thought those days were behind me.

I’ve come a long way … still have at least another 70 lbs to lose… However, I choose to focus on what is right now! And I will celebrate each of those steps I continue to take that keeps me on a healthy road. I can do this … I won’t back down (my mantra :-} ) … For the BEST OF ME IS YET TO BE!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEB42615 4/23/2014 4:50PM

    A trip to Disneyworld :)

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    Beautiful blog and an inspiration. Congratulations on your "stride" toward good health and best wishes for continued success. You're right . . . the best is yet to be. Exhilarating!

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MASTERPIECE8 1/21/2014 1:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

I am so darn happy for you, proud of you, and thrilled to be your Spark Friend!

You are an inspiration. You can do it and you are continuing to do it.

Way to go, Jackie!

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GODS_TEMPLE 1/21/2014 3:00AM

    emoticon emoticon
Such wonderful news about the weight loss and the determination that has put you on a path toward getting better and better each day.

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DJ4HEALTH 1/21/2014 12:49AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOANOFSPARK 1/21/2014 12:03AM

    emoticon emoticon you have done so well.......I am so proud of you.....you are emoticon emoticon emoticon and I know you will lose the rest of it, as well.... emoticon emoticon

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INDIANABON 1/20/2014 6:17PM

    WooHoo Jackie! Keep on pushing forward!


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MTNMOM5 1/20/2014 5:01PM


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SPEEDY143 1/20/2014 4:43PM

    emoticon emoticon YOU have filled me with joy and the determination to lose my next 70 pounds emoticon emoticon emoticon Spark On emoticon emoticon

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IOWAGRAMMA 1/20/2014 3:47PM

    Jackie, I'm so happy for you and so very proud, too! You have done so fantastically well...your learned lessons will go far to help others, too!! Congrats to you and before you know it, you'll have those next pounds behind you, too! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Day 1/Week 1 Tasmanian Virtual Trek

Sunday, January 19, 2014

After a wonderful meet and greet at the exquisite Hotel Windsor - (chocolate fountains! finger sandwiches! champagne!) in my finest afternoon tea designer clothes ... I had to retire early because of the 16 hour time difference. It looks like there is so much to see/do on this Trek, I don't know how in the world I'll even have time to blog about it. It is just beautiful here. Spent a full day touring the city's bazaars, art, an the lovely gardens. I see that CJ from OK is over here too and we had a fantastic time together shopping!

Boy am I glad I lost weight before this trip!

Because I'm such a film buff - the highlight of my tour included the 50 years of James Bond Exhibit. Have a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur

Still not used to the time difference ... so I've got to get some sleep so I can be up early for a plane trip to Kings Island where understand there are long, luxurious beaches. We are booked into Boomerang by the Sea ... Looks like a bicyle tour of the island is in the making as well. So much to do!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILL313 1/19/2014 11:14PM

    Jackie, Enjoy your virtual trip. I did one with the Chair Exercise Team well over a year ago and it was fun. Wouldn't it be great to have the money to travel and see new things and have many adventures. Your going to have fun while you increase your increase and daily steps. I love your new profile picture, you look beautiful. Did you have some blonde highlights put in your hair or maybe it's just the picture lighting. Enjoy a Fabulous Trip and Time. . .Take good care and don't let the Kangaroos scare you--LOL.

Hugs & Love,

Jill emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IOWAGRAMMA 1/19/2014 8:44PM

    I've been to Tasmania! We spent 3 weeks there in the late 80s when our son was living there. There is so much to see and do. You'll have a wonderful time, I know! Love, Jeannie

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LJCANNON 1/19/2014 8:18PM

    emoticon I am so glad to meet you this time. Jackie!! The markets are AMAZING!! There is so much to see that I feel like my eyes are bugging out like a little kid at the Circus!!
emoticon That Chocolate Fountain was something else, wasn't it? I would have just dipped my fingers in it and licked them but Ann is really Good at catching behavior like that and making us behave like Adults, LOL!!

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JOANOFSPARK 1/19/2014 7:57PM

    Lovely.......you captured it beautifully, Jackie.....glad you were able to come along this time....we will have a fantastic wonderful time..*grin* :)

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EMMABE1 1/19/2014 6:53PM

    I think the time difference is one of the hardest things to adjust to for most people, and I have to sort it every day - but you will see I often get confused!!
Melbourne has a lot to offer - its one of our biggest cities and the capital and administration centre of Victoria - you will get to come back her right at the end of our trek and maybe be able to stay on to do some private sightseeing at your own speed.

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CJMOK1121 1/19/2014 6:38PM

    Jackie: I'm so glad you are on this Trek with us. We did have a good day. I'm so full of cheese and chocolate, and the fact that its virtual is wonderful. See you in the morning ready to go to Kings Island and see the lighthouse, my favorite.

CJ from OK.

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Do what you wanna do...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

emoticon “Do what you wanna, wanna do
Go where you wanna, wanna go…”

I think that old Mama & Poppa’s song sums it up perfectly for NSV and in weight loss pounds! I noticed that I catch myself saying that I only lost 51 pounds since last July.

Only losing 51 pounds means I have much more energy to go out. I don’t turn down lunches, movies, dinners, concerts or outings anymore.

Only losing 51 pounds means I can walk without a cane/walker without a second thought.

Only losing 51 pounds means that I can stand more than 5 minutes.

Only losing 51 pounds gave me the confidence to try out for Sweet Adelines (I’m in week 3 right now, 3 more to go for a final audition). I had wanted to get back to performing for a while now, but did not have the stamina, since whether it’s plays or singing on risers – there’s a lot of standing involved.

Only losing 51 pounds lets me access my inner Diva – I’m sprucing up more with make-up, pretty clothes and shoes and I just purchased a beautiful turquoise purse. My go-to color had been perennial blacks and greys.

Only losing 51 pounds has seem to release some of my wit and creativity. My BFF told me this morning, “you sound like my old Jackie.” I remember a time when I was in such a fog of ill health, I didn’t know if I even had a brain.

So losing 51 pounds has meant the start of going where I want to and doing what my heart tells me to do. Yes, there is still moderation – still things I can’t do (like workout in karate or tap dance). But I am so amazed at all the things I want to do and actually can!

I hope your day is full of your heart’s desires and that the future is SOOOO bright that you’ve got to wear shades …

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I so loved reading your NSVs and am thrilled for your progress. You are an inspiration to me not only with kind comments and friendship, but on how you walk your path to better health every day. I'm still a little behind you, but I've been enjoying going to concerts that don't have any seats again this year. I have had the good fortune to see Iggy Pop and Amanda Palmer (2 different shows), and people have been great about letting me stand in the front since I'm so short. I really wish I could take in one of your performances and look forward to hearing about this new chapter. Best wishes always.

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IOWAGRAMMA 8/25/2013 1:42PM

    Jackie, what a great blog and affirmation of your progress and achievement! I'm so very happy for you and know that you will continue to have success in the days and months ahead! Love this old Mamas and Poppas song, too!! emoticon emoticon

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GODS_TEMPLE 8/24/2013 1:37AM

    Went to the cardiologist today and he's cutting my BP meds. back some more. He is thrilled at my weight loss and wrote down the website to tell other patients about SP!

Let's continue to ONLY lose weight some more, and no telling what we will accomplish...

Great blog Jackie!

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MASTERPIECE8 8/23/2013 11:12AM

    emoticon 'Only losing 51 pounds' is totally amazing and a lot of work. BUT as you said - look at the benefits you are reaping. Singing. Wearing those beautiful boots. Walking more with your Fitbit. You are 'charged!' Should I say that???


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CJMOK1121 8/23/2013 9:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Jackie: ONLY 51 lbs, Girl, SHOUT it from the mountain top, you are such a great encouragement. I'm so happy you are singing again. I know your DH (Mike is it) is so very proud of you. So next year at this time, I'm going to be writing a blog on Only 51 lbs. ( a goal to work at.).

Thank you for sharing: CJ from OK. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JILL313 8/22/2013 11:04PM

    Wow Jackie, Losing over 50#s takes a lot of consistent daily hard work and you're doing it all and have found you care more about yourself and Life since you're down those pounds. It's obvious you feel much better about yourself with buying pretty things for yourself. I need to copy you as I still mainly wear the drab dark basic colors even in the Spring and Summer. What you're friend told you is very significant and it shows others see a big difference in you since you're healthier and fitter now. . .Keep working it and enjoy your Life as we never know when the curtain will close and neither one of us want to end up with more regrets than Joy. Sorry, that I haven't been here too much for you recently. I'm hoping my life will settle down and I can be on SP more. Thank you so much for the wonderful encouraging comments on my WL and Activity feed not to mention a good scale. You're always there for me and I do appreciate what a great friend you are and we'll definitely have to figure out a good day to talk. Keep up the Great Work!!

Hugs & Love,

Jill emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BELDONDOG1 8/22/2013 9:30PM

    Jackie O'akley, if you get tired of dealing with the lose of 51#, I'll take them off your hands, or legs or tush or where ever! lol
Seriously, I am very proud of you--you go girl and you be the best you can possibly be! (hugs) Noel

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1FARMER 8/22/2013 9:05PM

    I am so excited for you. This is a dream come true because you took one step at a time which led to one day at a time. I think you sharing your dreams with your spark friends has inspired many of us that dreams can come true. You worked hard and now you are seeing your self confidence increase.
emoticon emoticon emoticon Jeanne emoticon

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LAWANDMUSIC 8/22/2013 6:03PM

    Nice piece. Thanks for sharing!

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MAGGIEVAN 8/22/2013 5:15PM

    Congrats on you achievements. Just keep going and remember that life is extra good when we make healthy choices.

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's been a long time coming, but a change finally did come when I released a pound to hit that 50 pounds lost goal! I had been on a plateau since May 26 and I could frequently be found asking "How Long, Oh Long" will this thing keep goin' on. What did I do? I did the usual calorie change-ups but wasn't able to increase my exercise due with my knees and back hurting a lot this summer for some reason. I just focused on maintaining my tracking, keeping up what movement I could do.

I did read somewhere about allowing more pleasure in one's life - from the foods we eat to the things we do. I've been seeking out more ways to get involved musically with others. Right now I'm in the auditioning member mode for Sweet Adeline's. Don't know if I will get in, but an amazing thing did happen in that I was asked to join a local Chorale as well! See there is something to this allowing more pleasure into one's life ... the more we do this, the more attractive we become. emoticon

I wasn't even going to weigh today (Monday is my day) ... but I stepped on the scale to help me stay aware of not overeating when we went out for Mike's birthday breakfast. Surprise to me!

So, I am enjoying my 1st goal victory ... keeping in focus that I have lost 14 pounds since January. Not as fast as I would like, but I DID NOT GAIN!! My NSVs are boundless from clothes, to shoes, to having more energy and oomph to do something. I also read that a Danish study published in the July 2011 issue of "Osteoarthritis Cartilage" found that Weight loss of 50 pounds could reduce knee load by more than 100 pounds. That's good news for my achy knees (and back)!

So, my next goal is to achieve 75 pounds lost ... 25 pounds this time .... I will continue on for I know a change is coming! "Strange fascination, fascinating me ...Ah changes are taking the pace I'm going through." emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Jackie, I hope to be joining you in a month or so after finishing a long plateau. Thanks for the encouragement and congratulations. I wish I could hear you singing . . . you're absolutely right, though. The more I "feed" myself other sensory and intellectual pleasures (challenging reading, music, art, language study) the less obsessed I am with food. I think these activities also "release" something else within that leaves us more satisfied. Congrats again and best wishes to you, dear friend.

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NANCYPAT1 8/13/2013 10:12AM

    I have been on that sort of a plateau for months and months and when I finally lost again, I was back on track. Sometimes MY body needs time to adjust and it doesn't make mathematical sense but it DOES make BODY sense - I often think it is asking if I am REALLY REALLY serious or if by not losing, I will just give up. I battle this kind of thing regularly but especially around "magic numbers" like 25, 50, 75, or even expect it around 100. I am celebrating for you and with you that you had that number FINALLY change. Maybe your body recognized that you don't intend to GIVE UP.

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LIVELYGIRL2 8/12/2013 1:48AM

  Oh so SUPER GREAT!!! my sis lost nearly 100 and her knees do feel alot better. She still has some damage but the pressure of the extra made it worse.

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KADYSMOM11 8/11/2013 11:00PM

    Jackie.....I am so proud of you and admire your determination! What a wonderful victory for you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JILL313 8/11/2013 10:19PM

    Wow, You waited months for this to happen and I didn't even quite realize it had been since May you've been waiting for that Healthier Big WL Number to show up on your scale emoticon emoticon and now it has!! emoticon You've done an amazing job just since January and with your determination and motivation I have no doubt you will release another 25 pounds sooner than you realize. I am so proud of your success as you're putting your best effort forth to get more enjoyment into your Life. You're a music lover and enjoy singing so I admire you for going out to sing more and who knows what unexpected pleasure singing with a group with give you. Your future is looking very Bright & Happy emoticon . I know your pain will lessen with each pound you drop as I'm also very aware and ready to get going and finally lose the weight. I've been see-sawing up and down a pound or two recently so that means no real WL progress for me in a long time. I'm back on South Beach and it's going great. Give yourself a Big Hug for all you've accomplished from me and yourself.

Hugs & Love,


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KACAR51 8/11/2013 8:25PM

    Awesome! emoticon

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TORTILLAFLATS 8/11/2013 7:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Jackie, I am so happy for you, you waited a long time for its coming but it came when you least expected it! 50 # is am awesome accomplishment. It sure makes me wonder if it had something to do with pleasure in life and emoticon emoticon

Hugs, Gail

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MOM2ACAT 8/11/2013 5:13PM

    emoticon on the 50 pound loss!

I'm sure you will do great for your audition, especially since you've been asked to join a chorale also.

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GODS_TEMPLE 8/11/2013 4:38PM

    emoticon Jackie. 50 is such a nice number...but 75 is even better!

Good luck with the Sweet Adeline's, and the Chorale. I love to sing, too. Church choir is my favorite thing each week.

I keep waiting for climbing steps to get easier. I still get winder going up just one flight! Oh well, my day will come. emoticon

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1FARMER 8/11/2013 4:21PM

    emoticon emoticon This is awesome news and I think you should be proud of the changes you've made. I have a tricky (as in I need it replaced) knee and I admit I feel so much better after losing my pounds. You worked your plan and waited for the plan to do it's work 50 pounds is quite an accomplishment. Your news about the Sweet Adeline's
audition and the local Chorale invitation is so exciting. I am sending positive thoughts for your
success in both endeavors. emoticon Jeanne emoticon

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IOWAGRAMMA 8/11/2013 3:58PM

    You have made tremendous progress and change in your lifestyle, Jackie! emoticon The most important thing may be that you persevered and persisted...did NOT give up or give in! emoticon Proud of you and happy for you! Love, Jeannie emoticon emoticon

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SPEEDY143 8/11/2013 1:57PM

    emoticon emoticon YOU are more than on your way, you've reached a major goal... 50 pounds emoticonMakes a huge difference in so many ways emoticon Enjoy all your NSV and sing it emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRYJESUS2DAY 8/11/2013 1:44PM


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Am I Serious?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

While the discussion debates continue online whether Obesity being a disease or not, I am also having discussions with myself on whether the reason I seem to lose 3-4 pounds, and then nothing for 4 - 6 weeks is due to a set point issue. It’s been 4 weeks since I last dropped 1 pound despite my efforts with tracking, measuring, and movement. And while I’ve had some really nice NSV … I seem to be so focused on the scale and want to reach 50 lbs lost by July 2 – this would be one year since I came back to SP.

I don't think SP adheres to this (set point) theory, but my pattern has been going on and when I keep hitting these weight loss stalls - I am tempted to leave the program, and it takes a lot of will to stay the course. Yes, losing weight when older is harder to do. For me, I cannot stop or take a holiday because that will lead into the weight gain oblivion.

Set Point is this according to some fitness sites:

Most people reach a set point (aka weight plateau) when they lose around 10% -20% increments of their current weight. The idea is that if you wish to re-set your set point, you need to maintain your new weight for at least 6 months. (YIKES!) Increase your calorie intake to your maintenance number or high end of your range (for me it is about 1600 - 1700 calories) while maintaining your current level of exercise and sleeping for 8 hours a night. After 6 months of maintenance (or longer), you can encourage weight loss again by decreasing your intake or by keeping your calorie intake constant and increasing your output via physical activity. Losing weight by this method may take longer, but it is more likely to produce permanent results.

With a set point, it's like my body hunkers down into a waiting/debating contest with me, thinking "is she serious about losing this time? I think I'll just stay where I am till I know whether she really means business this time. “ Can’t blame my ego/body, as I've lost and regained enough over the years to feed a village.

So, I will continue with my tracking, weighing and movement and announce to my ego (or anyone else who cares to listen) - Darn Right I am Serious!

What do you think?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thanks for raising this issue. I have not been losing in the last month . . . I have lost the same 1 lb over and over. Your blog is so helpful as are the comments and thoughts shared by others. It is more difficult to stay on course without the motivation of pounds lost (or in my case tiny increments lost) and I have to fight with myself to stick to the tracking. I am going to look into the set point, because I experienced this a few months ago after I cracked one-derland.
The set point theory is interesting and maybe that is where our bodies are at right now. I'm glad you're not letting it get you down and you continue to stay strong! As for me, I think I need to review the benefits I've experienced in the last couple of months.

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JILL313 6/27/2013 8:47PM

    Hi Jackie, It's also very hot here and even with our AC on it's still hot to me. . .I I do like the sunshine but it's too hot recently for m emoticon
I can't imagine being happy with my weight and try to maintain it for 6 months without expecting to lose a few pounds every couple of weeks. I've been Sparking for 3 1/2 years and I've never seriously thought about quitting as I know myself well enough that that would spell Disaster for me. Even though it's taken me years to do what you've been able to do in a year. I still feel like I'll get to my healthy weight even if I'm 102 by then--LOL! I've learned nothing quick sticks with me as much as plodding away and remembering how far I've come and the many NSS victories I've enjoyed. Today at my Dr's office I thought of how I used to dread getting up on the exam table as it's kind of a stretch for me and I'm always afraid of losing my balance. Well, another NSV as I had no fear or problem getting myself up there and down again. . .it's these small non-scale victories that keep me motivated to continue on. You have to be so proud of all you've accomplished getting healthier and moving better plus a breath away from the 50# Goal. Recently I've been losing the internet and my son and I share a wireless connection via a Router. I need to call Verizon and find out how much it would cost to replace it. So, until I get paid which hopefully is tomorrow we just have to be on when we can. I am very Proud of You and so happy your looking and feeling Good. You are Awesome in my book! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MASTERPIECE8 6/26/2013 1:38PM

    I see where you're coming from. Definitely makes sense.

But I think you have made so much progress, you've come so far, your NSVs have been terrific. Smaller sizes. Better mobility.

Yes, I know you're serious about losing the weight, getting healthier and feeling better.

It's so hard. I've also been told that when you hit these 'set points' or 'plateaus' your body thinks you're starving it.

Keep up the good work.

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GODS_TEMPLE 6/25/2013 11:49PM

    Believe you can and you're halfway there. ~Theodore Roosevelt

OK Jackie...let's stop any negative thoughts right now! You know you can lose this weight. You've proven it to yourself and everyone else!

Now...let's think positively! I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE, I BELIEVE!

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JODROX 6/25/2013 10:41PM

    It kind of makes sense. I lost about 30 pounds 2 years ago and then stalled... more due to my lack of dedication. Now that I'm re-motivated, I am losing again.

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BELDONDOG1 6/25/2013 8:38PM

    Jackie O'akley, who are you kidding? You know as well as I do that there is no way that you would quit after coming so far. You're not a quitter and I'm sure you have never been in any capacity of your life. It will move, believe me. You have no idea how long it has been for me. So, I would say in the next week the scale will move and you will be down the 50# by the 2nd. ((hugs)) Noel

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TORTILLAFLATS 6/25/2013 8:11PM

    Sounds about right Jackie--But I don't want to stay at this weight so I will keep fighting no matter how long it takes. So will you!

Hugs, Gail

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NEWME1027 6/25/2013 8:10PM

    I belonged to Weight Watcher some time back. Our leader would suggest when the plateaus happen to change something. Possibly eat a few more calories. I know I know sounds crazy. Change what foods you are eating or type of exercise. Our bodies are smarter than we are so she would say we have to be tricky to get it moving again! Best of health to you.

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  Each and everyone of us is different.

You have to do what works for you.

Take what you weigh right now and multiply that by 12 and that is the top range of your calories to maintain your current weight and anything under that will cause you to lose.

You have to try different eating patterns and food patterns and activity patterns and levels and never forget how good you feel with exercising and eating more healthy.

You should be able to figure out what works for you and what does not work.

Keep on experimenting but just don't give up or quit because the feeling of good health is too good to throw away. emoticon

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