JEANKNEE   54,811
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Winter Solstice and an emerging sideways weight trend?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

First, happy Winter Solstice to all of you! We've made it. We reached the darkest day of the year and today marks the return of lighter days.

Establishing a sideways trend is 6 months in the making at this point. I thought October would be the month. It was not to be. I hesitate to celebrate too early...but, will December be the month?

As I worked to restore my health and well-being, I lost weight by increasing my physical activity and eventually turning my attention to how I chose to nourish myself. I reached my initial goal weight of 144 lbs on June 15 and the work of establishing the sideways weight trend began. Doing so has been more challenging than anticipated. Once established, maintaining this trend and adjusting it as necessary to support and maintain my health and well-being will continue for the rest of my life.

Yes, my work is cut out for me! Worth it? YES! Beyond any shadow of a doubt!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Below is a graph of my December Weight Trends

The green dots represent daily scale weights. The orange dots represent a 7-day weight average and the faint purple line is the trend line of the 7-day weight averages. In maintenance mode seeing a flat trend line is a good thing! I'm liking what I see.

As I reflect upon my journey of the past 18 months the transformation undergone has been nothing short of amazing to me.

Do dive in ... emoticon



UPDATE: I have been weighing daily since my transition to maintenance began in June 2014. This information has been tracked using excel (7-day & 10-day averages, trend line of 7-day averages), WeightGrapher and HackerDiet

What I have noticed is that the daily weight fluctuations are smoothed out much more in WeightGrapher and HackerDiet. So, the changes generally unfold more gradually. The 7-day average seems to act like the "canary in the coal mine" for me. It is much more sensitive to the day-to-day fluctuations and helps me identify an emerging trend earlier rather than later.

I am especially appreciating viewing the day-to-day, 7-day average, and trend line information on one graph (which is what I posted above) and the Maintenance Challenges where we work to stay within +/- 3% of a chosen center weight as we strive to maintain our weight loss. Do give the team At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team
consideration. I'm glad I did!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 12/22/2014 7:51AM

    Sideways is great. That is good maintaining. You are doing well. The range really helps me stay on track verses just one set number.


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MJREIMERS 12/21/2014 9:37PM

    Sideways means maintenance, right? Then, you are doing well. I think there is always a little up and down, but your sideways trend is great! I need to see a little downward movement, just a little.

Keep up the great work!! I think you're emoticon !

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AUDISP 12/21/2014 5:37PM

    Great job, Jean!

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GABY1948 12/21/2014 4:47PM

    Great on the sideways trend. I am anxious to start one of my own! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 12/21/2014 2:34PM


That's a great start to a sideways trend! As it extends, you'll learn more about the care and feeding of sideways trends, and maintaining that trend will become more routine.

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/21/2014 1:04PM

    emoticon Great trend there! A lot of "sideways" has to do with how broad a range is "in range". I've been crunching my numbers and drawing my graphs, too... one of these blogs I'll do another "State of the Maintenance" and share.

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CATIEMONKEEY 12/21/2014 12:24PM

    Well done!

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Surf's Up

Friday, December 12, 2014

Surf along the Northern California Coast remains high following yesterday's storm.

We need at least another 6 storms like yesterday's for water managers to even think of calling an end to the drought.

As we ran this morning, it was wonderful to see water standing in ponds that have been dry for months to years. After three years of drought, yesterday's rains were a welcomed relief.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJREIMERS 12/14/2014 10:38PM

    Cool photo! I'm glad the rains helped and didn't hurt!

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KRISZTA11 12/13/2014 2:14PM

    Three years, that is really an extremely long drought!
I'm glad there is enough water now for all plants and animals.
Thank you for sharing the picture!

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KANOE10 12/13/2014 8:10AM

    California needed that rain. I hope there is not too much flooding and damage. I liked your picture!

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GABY1948 12/13/2014 7:53AM

    Gorgeous pic! And glad that you got some relief for some of the water shortage.

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/12/2014 8:34PM

    Grateful for the relief from the dry for your part of the country... and WOW! to that surf photo!

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AUDISP 12/12/2014 8:33PM

    So glad for you, hope the rains continue to lessen the drought.

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CAROL494 12/12/2014 6:47PM


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GOLDENRODFARM 12/12/2014 6:39PM

    Sometimes this a a great place to realize that other people are needing something you have had too much of, all this rain is making a mush of us, it rained a lot all fall, and now it is snowing and raining. Glad you are getting the rain you need!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GEORGE815 12/12/2014 6:27PM

    Here comes the water!

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The Pursuit Continues...of that ever evasive sideways trend

Sunday, November 09, 2014

As some of you may know, I began my transition to maintenance in June and declared that I was entering maintenance when I reached my initial SparkPeople goal weight of 144 lbs.

Well, nearly 5 months have elapsed, I have trended down another 17 pounds and am left feeling somewhat discouraged and a bit unnerved. It may sound easy - eat more. For some, establishing the sideways trend may not have been a challenge. For me, establishing that trend may prove to be just as challenging, if not more so, than losing the weight in the first place.

When the stress in my life became overwhelming and the decision to move on a regular basis was initiated in June 2013, weight loss was not consciously on my radar. Improving my health and overall well-being has been the overarching principle guiding this journey. Over the course of the next 6 months my journey would evolve to include a focus not only on movement, but also nutrition. In December 2013, I began tracking my nutritional intake and have continued to do so.

In June 2014 - a year after the decision to move was initiated - I reached my initial SparkPeople goal weight of 144 pounds. At that time I had been tracking my nutritional intake for 6 months. Another 5 months of tracking has taken place and that sideways trend has not been established.

I really thought October was going to be the month it would happen. That was not to be. Instead, I found myself contacting my doctor for advice. Should my thyroid levels be rechecked even though they had been checked in August and found to be normal following a reduction in thyroid medication? Regarding my weight, how low is too low?

My doctor would respond as follows: "I agree that we should recheck the thyroid. You are probably as thin as you should get."

So, off to the lab I went. The lab results indicated normal thyroid function. My doctor responded, "This looks fine. You may very well be burning more calories than you are consuming."

She knows that I began running in June. She has physically examined me twice since June, most recently in late October, and is not overly concerned about my weight. So, I need to take a deep breath and continue to work on increasing my calorie intake.

As far as movement goes...October would see the lowest fitness minutes and mileage in over a year. On the nutrition front, October would see the greatest average daily caloric intake for the month. I am consuming hundreds of calories more per day on average than I was when food tracking began nearly a year ago. At that time I weighed in at 184 lbs. I am consuming well over the daily caloric average of June 2014...and, obviously, it is still not enough.

It is astounding to me what an apparently *turbo charged* metabolic thermostat can do. I have been running 16 miles per week for the past 4 weeks and will continue to do so. At some point, I expect that running mileage will increase. But, I feel a need to halt the downward weight trend first.

The good thing is that I still feel healthy, energetic, and strong. The not so good thing is that I have been dipping in and out of the underweight BMI category for the last couple of weeks. So, this experiment of one (as ONEKIDSMOM likes to say) continues.

Above is a picture of my weight graphs for the last 31 days. The green represents my scale weight and the orange my 7-day average weight. The faint black line is a trend line. This is NOT what maintenance should look like. So, the pursuit continues...and...more calories it is!

P.S. I want to say "THANK YOU!!!" to all of you that have provided encouragement and support. Anja, thank you for the continued Maintenance Challenges that you make available through the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team. I trust that I will eventually be able to prevent the *fall out* at the bottom end of my maintenance range. ;-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GABY1948 12/10/2014 8:08AM

    I came back to your blogs to subscribe. I have subscribed to as many so far of the people maintaining as I can to learn...I'm not there yet. Love the turkeys on your page...we have them here too...the males are SO funny when out strutting!


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SUEARNOLD1 11/16/2014 8:07AM

    Hi Jeanne,

I'm glad that I read your blog. I'm within 3 pounds of my 1st goal. (the weight when I got married, almost 15 years ago).

I just never thought that continuing to "loose weight" could be a problem.

I'm glad that you shared this and are seeking help to stabilize.

I hope that you are enjoying your weekend.

I'm off for my morning walk. It was just to cold yesterday to hit the neighborhood (I did do Walmart).

Thanks again for all your support!

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MJREIMERS 11/11/2014 9:26PM

    It's not always easy to find that "happy medium" in order to maintain the weight that you feel is best for you. It's almost ironic that you had to think about gaining, isn't it? Keep moving, but make sure that you are getting enough nutrition! You'll figure it all out. emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/10/2014 9:23PM



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KRISZTA11 11/10/2014 3:18PM

    First of all, congrats to building up an active lifestyle, to running, to eating well and getting your thyroid gland under control.

Quite a few of my SP friends and I too dipped under the initial goal weight in the first few months of maintenance.
I remember I was reluctant to add calories, as I was afraid I would regain, and lost another 10 pounds - gained back 4m hopefully most of it muscles, and this is my happy weight.

The difficult thing is that it is easier to eat an extra 800-1200 calories of junk food than adding 3-400 calories of healthy food, and keeping the balance of macronutrients...
My trick to turn around the downward trend was increasing my lunch portion by 50% (same food), then the dinner portion, and finally adding a mid-morning snack.

Good luck to finding your way and your happy weight!

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SHAMROCKY2K 11/10/2014 11:55AM

    I am not in maintenance yet.. probably about the slowest loser out there. This is a good heads up. You obviously love running but perhaps you could replace that with another activity. My neighbor is in the same boat.. his passion being racquetball. He is in a rough patch now with aging, being underweight and the wear and tear on his joints.
Love the term "experiment of one"! Keep giving us the results! emoticon

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AUDISP 11/10/2014 9:55AM

    Sounds like you are doing what you need to do, Jeanne. I'm sure you will be able to find the balance you need to maintain at the level you feel the best. I'm so proud to have you as a friend, you are truly an inspiration.

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KANOE10 11/10/2014 7:43AM

    I am not a runner, but in my first two years of maintenance I dropped to a very low level. I have since gone up and stayed at that weight. I am sure it is your increased metabolism with running. You might try avocados which are higher fat but nutritious. You have done very well and I know you will figure out a way to maintain the weight you want!

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MOBYCARP 11/9/2014 9:00PM

    Yes, regular running requires more calories than just regularly getting 10K steps per day. How many more? That's where the experiment of one comes in. I don't have the answer finely calibrated for myself, and I wouldn't presume to guess what the answer will be for you.

There comes a point where losing more weight is a bigger concern than gaining. At that point, as Barb says, I have added some calorie dense foods. When I was running 15 miles a week, I was eating one egg (plus other things) for breakfast. Now I'm running 25 to 30 miles a week, and it's two eggs (plus the same other things) for breakfast. That's not the only thing going on, but it's an illustrative example. One egg or two at breakfast makes no difference that I can see in my appetite the rest of the day. Two eggs seem to help a little with mid-morning hunger when I'm this active. Min-morning hunger wasn't an issue when I was only running 15 miles a week.

Besides hunger, there's habit. I get used to how I'm eating, then when my activity level changes and I need to eat more, it's hard to adjust. I make the adjustment, and I move more, and it's hard to adjust again. Of course, the downward adjustments are harder than the upward adjustments; but even upward adjustments can be challenging.

One thing that helped me was identifying a weight that was associated with feeling less fit and able to do things. Once I identified that, I had a floor to stay above. Somehow, it's easier for me to act on "I don't want to go below 160," than to act on "I don't want to lose too much weight." That may tell you more about me than about people in general, but there it is.

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/9/2014 5:52PM

    Yes, eventually you will get it figured out. You may find you need to consume more DENSE calories, as your appetite for volume is now less. I moved into nuts and dried fruits and more servings of fruit as opposed to veggies... a little extra protein. The composition of those extra calories can make a difference, too.

I scared myself last summer with heavy training, and all it took was ONE 3-day bingy, inactive weekend to get my two pounds back, and they have stayed when I returned to healthier eating, but the "lapse" days have sort of come back to keep bumping it up when it needed to be bumped. Like you, I'm still working it out... but I am NOT dropping into underweight ranges, thank goodness. I scare myself before I get that far. And when I'm scared? I eat extra.

Good luck on YOUR experiment of one. emoticon

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The Ever Evasive Sideways Trend

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Reading MJREIMERS blog “A Few Pounds [sic] Heavier”

has struck a chord in me.

In June of this year I began my transition to maintenance. At that time, 144 pounds seemed to be a healthy, maintainable goal for me. After all I thought, "I am a menopausal woman with a hypothyroid. It stands to reason that I cannot expect to weigh what I did decades ago when I had a fully functioning thyroid with menopause still decades away." Well, that was not to be.

My weight continues to drop as I increase my calories. I think part of what has made establishing a sideways trend more difficult is the fact that I began training to run in June. I also found it difficult to increase my calories too quickly and was initially fearful of doing so because my doctor had significantly reduced my thyroid dosage which in the past lead to weight gain. Weight gain has not followed the reduction in thyroid dosage and follow up exams indicate that my thyroid is functioning within normal ranges again.

Upon completing my first maintenance challenge I dropped my goal (center) weight to 133 pounds. To the best of my recollection this was a stable weight for me in my late teens and into my early 30s. For the past month my 7-day weight average has run below 133 pounds.

This is actually somewhat scary territory for me. In my early 20s I was ordered by my medical doctor to quit playing racquet ball until I gained 15 pounds. I do not want to go there again. I do not want to be directed by my doctor to quit running until I gain X pounds.

Following MJREIMERS blog I posted the following: “Thanks for your blog. Establishing a healthy and maintainable weight is important to me.

I have yet to establish a sideways trend. Keep hoping that it is about to emerge. But just when I think I have it, my weight drops more. I continue to boost calories and am doing my best to notice how I am feeling...Am I fatigued? Feeling sluggish? Not as alert? Feeling weak? The answer to those questions remains "no."

However, I find myself doubting my ability to accurately answer those questions. I am hearing an awful lot of "You need to eat more!" "You're wasting away!" "You need to quit running!" "You're exercising too much!" and the list goes on...

For the past 3 weeks I've averaged in excess of 1800 calories per day and am running about 9 miles per week (+/- 1 mile). “

What contributes to my doubt is the fact that I was definitely underweight in my early 20s and I did not feel sluggish, fatigued, weak, etc. So, my question to myself is “How can you possibly expect to be able to accurately determine a healthy, maintainable weight for yourself?” I’ve wondered if it might be prudent to ask my medical doctor what she thinks would be a healthy weight for me.

I know that I weighed less than I do now when I was married at 26 years of age. However, until my journey began in June 2013 I did not routinely step on the scale. In fact, our home did not have a scale in it for decades. So, how accurate is my recollection of the 133 pounds being a stable weight for myself?

I do know that I have not been one to “fib” about my weight on my driver’s license. I’ll have to go see if I can dig out some of those old licenses. They could support or challenge my recollections. That would be useful information. In the meantime I continue to do the best I can to establish that ever evasive sideways trend.

Thanks again MJREIMERS for sharing your experience. I appreciate you!


UPDATE: I dug out those ol' driver's licenses and ... 130 lbs listed in the 1980s & 1990s, 170 lbs listed in 2000. As a teenager ... 115 lbs and 3 inches shorter. So, I gained 40 lbs in the 1990s and another 40+ lbs between 2000 & 2013.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 10/22/2014 11:53AM

    Initially I lost to a goal I thought was too low for me and then ended up dropping more. Turns up I was undereating - discovered from tracking here and with the help of a spfriend. It has taken me 2 years to decide on a top weight - one that once I hit, I know I need to go no further. There is definitely a lot of learning that goes with maintenance.

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IRISHEI 10/3/2014 8:32AM

    Thanks for sharing. You have really worked hard and are doing well. Keep up your great determination and motivation. It is very inspiring to other. God bless.
hugs, Irish Ei emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALICIA363 9/30/2014 6:45PM

    I haven't figured out my happy weight yet, either. And I'm just discovering running!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 9/29/2014 9:25PM

    Figuring out what your proper target weight should be is a challenge. One thing I would totally disregard is comments from other people about how you've lost too much weight, or need to eat more, or need to stop running. Chances are they are remembering you from some time ago, and you look thin in comparison.

In my case, those comments stopped after I had maintained for about a year and everyone I knew had enough time to get used to my new thin appearance. To be fair, some of those people had known me for a couple of decades, and none of them had seen me at less than 25 pounds over my eventual maintenance weight. I had been carrying that extra weight around for a lot of years.

That having been said, it is possible to lose too much. But you will be a better judge of how much is too much than a third party who remembers you from being 30 pounds heavier will be.

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KANOE10 9/29/2014 7:13AM

    Good luck figuring out your weight. I might consult a dr. You can also have that pinch test at a gym to determine if your body is in a healthy range. I also got comments when I was in the 120s. I am better off in the 130s. However, you are the one who decides the body weight that you are happiest at. I am glad you enjoy your running.

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NEW-CAZ 9/29/2014 2:45AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUBMOM2 9/28/2014 11:16PM

    I bet it is hard to pin that down. I don't think 9 miles a week is excessive, and it certainly sounds like you are eating enough. Everyone is different, and I am not an expert, but maybe you can get a second opinion on your thyroid function. Or maybe you are just a smaller build. Good for you for continuing the quest for the set point that works for you.

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ELRIDDICK 9/28/2014 9:09PM

  Thanks for sharing

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The Birth of a New Runner

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Saturday, a fellow team member, MOBYCARP of At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance blogged about "Becoming A Runner … "

Based on the thoughts shared by him and his sisters, ALICIA363 “Dreams of Quitting” …

and ONEKIDSMOM “Before I became a runner “…
, I guess one could say that Labor Day’s running of my first 5k saw the birth of a new runner.

June 2013 marked the beginning of what continues to be a very transformative period in my life. At that time I could not climb a flight of stairs without being winded. I committed to regular walking at that time. By November 2013 a desire to run was beginning to stir. I had been a high jumper, long jumper and hurdler in high school. In my late teens or early 20s I remember running recreationally with one of my sisters. My best recollections say we were able to run 6 miles at a time and did so several times a week. Neither of us ever ran a race. I do not recall this running period lasting for long. I do remember enjoying it.

My fitness buddy and I would wait until June of this year to begin training to run. Both of us felt that it would be better for us to wait until we were carrying less weight before we began training to run. So, this June, we began run/walk interval training. Our training began with intervals of run 1 minute/walk 4 minutes and progressed through a number of weeks to eventual intervals of run 2 minutes/walk 1 minute. Following the completion of that plan, we moved to the next plan that began with intervals of run 3 minutes/walk 2 minutes and progressed through a number of weeks to intervals of run 10 minutes/walk 30 seconds with the plan culminating in a goal of running continually for 30 minutes or completing a 5k-Fun Run.

Prior to our Labor Day Race, the longest period of time that I had run continuously was 21 minutes. I had come close to completing a 5k in 31:30 with intervals of run 10 minutes/walk 30 seconds. My goal on race day was to run the entire race in less than 35 minutes, ideally in less than 32 minutes. If I needed to use run/walk intervals, I would use them.

Well, I shocked myself on race day. I ran the entire race. At 54 years of age, I ran my first 5k in 29:29.503 at a pace of 09:30 minutes/mile. I remember running past the clock at the finish line and seeing that I appeared to be finishing the race in less than 30 minutes. I felt both excited and confused. It didn’t seem that this could possibly be happening; but, it was and it did.

For years, I have wanted to run. A couple of times during the past three plus decades I approached one of my health care providers and inquired about whether or not running would be advisable for me. Each time I was told, “No.” At the end of 2013, when the desire to run stirred again, I asked my doctor whether or not it was okay for me to run. My doctor was well aware that my health and well-being were undergoing a transformation. This time I was told, “Yes. Be careful. Do not take on too much, too fast.” I was thrilled to be given the green light.

So, as ALICIA 363 said in her blog, “ … I know the transformative nature of having a child; is participating in your first running event also a transformation? …”

My response to her question would have to be a resounding, “YES!” Running has definitely shaken my preconceived ideas of what’s possible. I know that the running is transforming me in ways yet unrevealed. I can feel it deep within me.

I have learned and continue to learn much from those of you sharing your experiences in your blogs. Thank you!

I would be negligent to not thank my friend, coworker and fitness buddy. Thank You! Thank You! Without her companionship, encouragement and shared wisdom I have serious doubts that this transformation would have occurred.

I hope to run for many years to come and remain injury free. Should an injury confront me, I have experiences of recovery shared here on Spark that can provide guidance. It is wonderful to be experiencing life in a much healthier state with my ‘inner runner’ reawakened...for this, I am grateful.

Have joy!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOMOVER40 12/21/2014 8:54PM

    Yes! I remember that feeling! I never have been quite that fast, I think my fastest 5K so far was probably 35 or 45 minutes, nowhere near 29, but it's still such a good feeling to do something you didn't think was possible. Go you!

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/8/2014 7:23AM

    Missed this one earlier, and when I wandered over to tell you I totally get your security qualms about running in the dark (I have them, too), but now I'm subscribing. You... have... been... assimilated, into the running community!


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ALICIA363 9/30/2014 6:56PM

I too am learning from what others share on Spark!

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MOBYCARP 9/29/2014 9:19PM

From one adult-onset runner to another: Welcome to the club!

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