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When Does The Skin Catch Up To The Weight Loss?

Saturday, October 01, 2011

My underarms still wave back at me. Not much has changed in that vicinity of my body since posting that blog months ago.
And now my legs seem to 'keep walking' once I stop.
Let's just say that I have great hesitation to jump up and down right now..... Hrrruuummph!

When does the skin catch up to the pound-age lost?
Is this because I am 37? Is that the magical age when gravity gives out? When does 'droopy' kick in?
Did I miss something?

I refuse to think of this as permanent (please NOOOO!)
But I need a time line here; a goal to keep me from using my underarm skin to wipe the tears from my eyes - and perhaps some bungee cords to keep everything strapped down and sane (my brain mostly).

I work out 6 days a week, even though I am quite limited at what I can do these days. I am not back to running yet, or up for the long walks. But even if I was able to run, I'm not sure that I could endure the deflated droopy wiggly slapping sound of my largest organ (my skin) doing some sort of Bionic Woman time delay move to catch up with it's contents (muscle and bones).
Please go away and don't come back. Your time lag moves are not graceful.

I am spending hard earned $ on firming creams that don't seem to touch this dilemma. Self tanning creams work for about a day, but I tend to look silly (and smell like sourdough bread). Me no like-y...

I could certainly fix this problem by gaining all the weight back, but I won't entertain that thought!

So now what?

Do I hide rolled up dollar bills into the folds of my skin, and then wave my arms in the air on the street corner; turning myself into a real live money tree?

Will I be an even slower swimmer due to drag in the water from my excess skin acting as rudders?

Perhaps I could use my body as a literal canvas, and write secret messages on my knees, so that when I sit down, the people in front of me will get a nice surprise? Hmm, that reminds me of the back page of those old Mad Magazines from the past!

I vow to keep my head high, and not dwell on the flap-age (for the rest of today anyway).
Keeping my head high also prevents me from being able to see the droopy bits. : )

'Nuff said'


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRZYKAT3 10/11/2011 9:25AM

    Love your story.

Skin elasticity does change with age. You should talk to your doctor about what to do with excess skin and how long it will take to recover. My niece had surgery and her skin, 4 years later is still recovering, she lost over 100 pounds. NOt sure what you have lost but keep pluggin away , at 37 skin is still vibrant!

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MEDDYPEDDY 10/11/2011 1:23AM

    As I am 59 it is too late for me - if I ever lose that weight I sooo need to lose, I will behave a very defined sharpei-look. The major downside of that will be the danger of eczema in the wrinkles andfolds...otherwise I will go for the "very-wise-woman"-look.. as you are much younger I think there is a lot of hope that the skin will eventually catch up. I would recommend dry-brushing (don´t know if that is the correct word) and exercising) to help the process. Circulation masage would surely be appreciated from all thet skin too...

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GENELDABELDA 10/6/2011 7:04AM

    Bren, While heredity may have something to do with it, so does time. My husband lost a 100 pounds over a year and has now kept it off for 6 months. Some places the skin has recovered, and some are still a little saggy. BUT it all looks better now than it did 6 months ago. Exercising once you lolse will help with the process because although muscle is smaller is still looks much better under skin than does fat. Keep at it and try to focus on something more positive as there is always something to not like.

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LUVBUNNYKK 10/4/2011 9:30AM

    Too funny! From what I have seen and heard from other people, it depends on heredity to an extent. Some people get stretch marks really bad when they are pregnant(like me), some don't get any...Same thing with excess skin. Some of us are just more prone to sagginess. I for one and hoping that by the time I lose all of my weight, I have also won the lottery so that I can have some of it removed! I've had several abdominal surgeries over the past 16 years, and I have a "flap"! Ever see the movie "Click" with Adam Sandler? There is a scene where he keeps playing with his flap and his wife tells him to stop. His reply: "It's my flap and I can do whatever I want with it!" Ha ha...cracks me up every time! Good luck to you!

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MALKS_ARIA 10/4/2011 3:10AM

    I don't know but when you figure it out let me know..... I am not quite there yet even though I have lost 35 lbs.... But I know I will get there sooner or later... cuz I have over 100 more pounds to lose...


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RYDERB 10/2/2011 11:05PM

    emoticon Keep doing your Tracy Anderson. I think those crazy exercises of hers have really helped me.I haven't had any more children ask me why my butt jiggles when I run, at least not lately. emoticon I still have A LOT more weight to lose, but I'm hoping my skin continues to shrink along with my butt. emoticon

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INCTRL 10/2/2011 9:07AM

    Very common problem. I heard it takes about a year after you lose the weight for the skin to shrink up. Mine never has! Unfortunately! Maybe its my age - 49!
I too love the way you write very creative -I am a numbers gal - very straight forward!

Laura emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/2/2011 9:07:52 AM

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AAAACK 10/2/2011 1:03AM

    As usual you crack me UP! I love your blogs, and while I'm gasping for air here while trying to catch up enough to come back to sparking regularly, it's so nice to come by your page and laugh my butt off. Ok, not off. Everything here jiggles too. And just you wait, when you get older, and lose weight, the evil wrinkle fairy begins making nightly visits. But I, too, refuse to put it back on!

Hope you're doing well, despite the flapping. Hey wait, is it musical at all? Maybe you could go on America's Got Talent? Or that new one...with Simon, yeah, he deserves to see someone with musical flappin' skin! I say you should go.

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OCEANBLUESA 10/1/2011 11:06PM

    funny :)

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CYNTHIAMINUS40 10/1/2011 9:56PM

    Great blog! Gosh, I'm 50 and I lost over 40 pounds and I've been wondering the same thing. I'm doing a lot of strength training right now and, while I still see droopy skin, I'm starting to see more muscle tone under there. I'm going to keep it up and see if it gets better over time. I'll keep you posted. emoticon

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/1/2011 5:37PM

    I'm 63 and don't even have hope that my skin jiggles will go away. Just found a turkey neck the other day (didn't see it till I took a pic). Not pretty!! Thinking that your young and with strength training, it should tighten up. I so enjoyed your blog -- it was refreshingly funny!!

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CANNIE50 10/1/2011 2:46PM

    I don't have any great answers for you (though I definitely have my share of skin). I do think, however, that any weight loss NOT accompanied by exercise, especially strength training of some sort, tends to make this problem worse. My theory is that I will displace, or replace, the space that was taken up by excess fat, with increased muscle. I will let you know how it goes..... emoticon PS just promise me you aren't comparing your 37 year old body to your 27 year old body, because that is just not fair to your hard-working body - okay, PROMISE?

Comment edited on: 10/1/2011 2:48:20 PM

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NIAGCHRIS246 10/1/2011 2:09PM

  You are still young, hopefully your skin will bounce back. Building muscle may help. The fat kept skin and muscle apart, it will take time to re-attach.

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LGAR519 10/1/2011 1:17PM

    Absolutely hilarious!!! Honey, I call them my jiggleys! I have lost weight before and never lost them. Best of luck to you.

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DAWNDMOORE40 10/1/2011 11:31AM

    It takes time for the skin to tighten once you start losing the weight! I have exercised and dieted for years and the weight would come off, but nothing was happening to the fact on the surface. This time everything seems to be working in balance. I want to say it again, It Takes Time! You will start to see definition, but even though that happens, I still have loose skin around my middle abs. You just have to keep doing your cardio, but make sure in between that you are doing strength training. That means get you some weights and when the amount of weight your using allows you to do more then 10 reps with good form without feeling tired, then it's time to increase that weight. Also, watch your sodium intake! That is a big one! I don't know why that makes a difference, but I never watched mine before all those years when I was losing weight. This time I did and the fat started to come off too! Maybe just a coinsedince, but it happened! It never hurts to try different things! I wish you the best! May God bless you and keep you motivated for another day!

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LSBETH 10/1/2011 10:48AM

    You're so funny. It is genetic and it does take time but you can also support the integrity of your skin by using natural products that 'feed' your skin and taking supplements. Check out the woman in the link of my last blog - she's 74 and was overweight before she got fit in her 50's.

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HAWKTHREE 10/1/2011 10:22AM

    Thanks for posting. It's made me curious enough to do a bit of research. I wonder if it's like stretch marks -- some women get them even with tiny babies -- other women don't get them even with 10 pounders.

I'm going to do a bit of searching at the National LIbrary of Medicine.

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Merrit Badges

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Some of us Sparkers seem to have uber awesome qualities that we should properly recognize and reward.
We all need motivation to not only get to our goal weight and lifestyle, but also to maintain it amidst our zany daily lives, right?

I vote for Spark Badges! Something that can be shown off or traded like baseball cards. OK, so I’ve never actually even owned baseball cards, but I am drawing a blank here on other items to trade aside from earrings…

All you need to start off with is a proper ‘Miss America’ style sash on your torso, and you’ve got the canvas for the colorful collection of badges to earn.

Strength Training Badge: Only for the hardcore (literally!). You work so hard, pressing and pulling, and it shows! This one is made of steel, since you are too! Now drop and give me 20!

Team Leader Badge (complete with megaphone and pom poms): Have you started up a team? Are you inclined to shepherd the flock; to nurture and encourage all who cross your path? This one’s for you.

The Fisherman (err, woman? Whatever!): You never let another friend fall, and you constantly cast your line into the water to fish for anyone struggling. I was ‘hooked’ right after joining Spark, since I was hanging out with the bottom dwellers and silty muck. Once I was reeled in, my Sparky Fisherman didn’t club me (ha!), but motivated me to succeed! Rather than allocating a sardine smelling badge for this, I vote for a goldfish cracker.

Weight Goal Badge: Congratulations!!! This badge is as light as a Forrest Gump-like feather, so as not to upset the scale by even a hair. Wear it with pride and tell everyone how Spark helped you reach your goal!

Healthy Food Badge: For some of us, the crossover from overly processed fast food to fresh produce and better choices was not an easy one. You’ve been experimenting with produce that was void in your life for too long and are enjoying the journey. This badge is made out of dried mango to further the point that good food IS yummy too! Just please don’t eat the badge…

Super Parent Badge: This badge is actually a locket. There is a photo of your kiddo(s) on the inside, and an engraving of you on the outside, with multiple arms, juggling it all! Oh, and maybe the super parents should also get a bonus cape. I mean really, you all NEED the cape too!

The Zzz’s Badge: Have you gotten enough sleep to ensure that the day starts off right? Well if so, then pin this fluffy 850 thread count mini pillow badge to your sash. We sacrifice sleep too often when the to-do list is overflowing. It takes skill and the courage to say “no” to protect that time.

Do we really need a Knot Badge? Like the merit badge of the Boy Scouts? I am not sure. I mean, unless you are tying a knot around something and then dragging it around for weight resistance… oh wait! Cannie50 – I remember that you actually DID do that once as a reminder of the weight you lost (and continue to lose). OK then, decision made. We can use a piece of rope for this Knot Badge – for dragging weight around…or small suitcases, and/or small creepy critters….no alligators!

Food Allergy Badge: This badge is made of anti-microbial, sugar-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, nut-free, pollen-free WATER. You see, this is a ‘wet badge’. You pretty much just get dunked. We can’t have your badge contaminating anything (like my DH did once when he accidentally double dipped his knife back into the peanut butter after using it on his gluten-filled bread. D’Oh!) Preparing food for the ones you love (or even yourself) can be a constant challenge. Lots of details to remember; from purchasing a simple can of soup (sneaky and confusing labels!), through serving (no cross contamination!). A well deserved badge.

Chronic Pain ---- Badge: This badge cannot actually be worn I am sorry to say. It is a shoulder to lean on (or cry on) for those of you who battle pain daily (like myself). Since Western / Eastern / Traditional (and non) treatments have not alleviated your ailment(s), some days you just need that shoulder...

Golden Grilled Cheese Badge: OK, so I threw this one in for me. So what!? For those gifted with the talent to wield their griddle pan into creating that perfect yin yang balance of a crispy outside and gooey cheddar center. This badge has an imprint of the spatula you used to create that gooey-ness. And the spatula is melted on one corner like your own spatula likely is at home! : ))

I know there are many more Spark Badges to be added. Any ideas?

‘Nuff Said…


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 10/11/2011 1:27AM

    "Entertaining sparkers all over the world" would be a good one - you would not have room for otherson your sash....

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CLOVER2 9/28/2011 4:44PM

    This is an incredible(I've been using that word like crazy, but it is so true) idea! I'd like to see "Falling on your tushie but then you picked yourself up, dusted yourself off and went back to work!" (Is that too long??) I believe that those brave people who never give up no matter what are worthy, and YOU are at the top of that list!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/28/2011 4:44:55 PM

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1HAPPYWOMAN 9/27/2011 12:13AM

    How about an honesty badge? Because people are so brave and openhearted in sharing their stories and revealing their tender, squishy bits....

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MALKS_ARIA 9/26/2011 10:08PM

    As my son is on the floor working on his ART badge pin Award (Cub Scout Webelos) right now.... I smiled and said... "I qualify for that one" ... "and that one" and "that one...." I wouldn't mind displaying them with my other Spark Trophies.... :) Sounds good!!!

and don't forget the "Lose it Slowly" Turtle Badge... For those of us who are taking our time, and losing a very small amount each month, sometimes the scales don't even seem to be moving....

and the "I did it" badge.. for conquering that thing you negatively thought you would never do (again).

Keep up the good job and the smile on my face!!!

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CANNIE50 9/26/2011 5:50PM

    Hi clever girl. I'm wearing my satiny sash, just waiting for the badge ceremony. I think we should have a "new, smaller undies" badge - wouldn't that be fun, to wear that in public? How about a "brave, intrepid Sparkler" badge? I will pin that one on you, personally. oxoxo

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OWENSAUNT1 9/26/2011 3:36PM

    Very nice plan! And, yes, we all do need to toot our own horns sometimes. When we struggle with something like diet and exercise, it is so easy to fall into negative self-talk when we miss goals, etc. It is always nice to celebrate every small success! Great ideas!

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AAAACK 9/26/2011 11:46AM

    I love this! I can picture the little pillow badge and I want it! I'm going to start trying to earn one.

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WINACHST 9/26/2011 10:12AM

    I think we all show off our "badges" in the things we post here on SP. Thanks for blogging! You are so awesome!


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TO_BE_FIT 9/26/2011 8:30AM

    Love your creativity.


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RYDERB 9/25/2011 7:27PM

    I LOVE it! How do you come up with this stuff. Oh I know, because you're amazing emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LGAR519 9/25/2011 2:21PM

    What an imagination you have. I don't have a creative bone in my body. I'll leave the Badges to you! emoticon

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SUNFLOWER4ME 9/25/2011 1:05PM


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PURESTILLWATER 9/25/2011 12:00PM

    We need a badge for sense of humor, perhaps a rubber duck or something. I would give that one to you for sure.

And sweetheart badge, we need one for people like you who just are real sweetie pies. This is a horrible SP badge image but maybe a cream pie LOL

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HIPPIECHIC68 9/25/2011 11:35AM

    This is awesome, Bren!

Sending hugs your way... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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What's Black & White and Red All Over?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Well, I guess that would be me in my black workout capri pants and top : )
I've whimpered and whined enough for all who read this to know that I hurt a lot, every day.

Chronic pain has crawled into my lap like an ugly dirty monster and burrows through my days, igniting a fire in my veins and muscles; increasing as the hours pass. My new nerve condition now co-habitating with my existing monster causes my already inflicted arms and legs to turn dark purple and leave all normal feeling obsolete; just buzzing and jerking with deep pain that you can feel through to your gut.

My 'low pain' portion of the day is in the morning. I read that it has something to do with the longer my heart is over my appendages = more pressure and swelling from my disease, yadda yadda yadda. Let's just say that I can sit upright just fine in the mornings. I can (usually) type my emails and do my job. But by 2:00 p.m., I am just wasted, and counting the minutes until I get home and try to elevate my legs. And it's downhill from there baby.

And it's been really tough these past 2 weeks for some reason. My bag of tricks didn't seem to be working: ice packs under my desk on my legs, consuming only cold liquids (I miss my non fat latte's!), A/C cranked at work while others around complained in their sweaters... The monster just wouldn't let up, and I was exhausted.
Plus I wiggle a lot to distract myself from the pain, so it can be unnerving to people around me.

My husband and I were basically ordered to see a counselor who specialized in 'couples dealing with chronic pain'. I cannot tell you how valuable that was. My husband now knows what to do when I hurt so much that I start to talk like Yoda -"Fire all over. It feels like"- and how to react when I just weep in pain and can't pick up my fork to eat dinner - on't get mad. Don't take it personally. Eat your dinner and let me re-group.

I decided to share some pictures of my current state, which literally snaps back and forth dozens of times per day until the evenings, when the burning just takes over everything. Since I wear tights daily to cover my legs and bury my hands in my pockets when we leave the house, this was a VERY tough step for me to take.
But I owe it to you awesome Sparkers. After all, you share your feelings and fears so openly in this forum.

This is what my hands often look like. Purple from the Complex Regional Pain Syndrome with red areas of Erythromelalgia fire. Until the fury of EM takes over my hands later.

When my monster takes over, and the tabasco like fire fuels my arms and legs, I look like this:

When my CPRS first attacked on Memorial Weekend, my left foot felt like it would pop. This photo is not nearly as bad as it was the day prior to when I took this:

A photo of my hands when touched. They seem to 'hang on to' the imprint of whatever touches my hands:

I have to remind myself to not be so self centered; to recognize that others suffer from things far worse than my ailments. Millions of people are forced to cope with chronic pain. And we all need relief. Being attacked by your own body is a whole lot of no fun.

I jokingly refer to low pain time as my Cinderella time. When it fades and I descend into the pit of fire-like pain, I've turned back into a pumpkin, like the fairy tale. I guess it lightens the mood a bit.

In the meantime, I thought that it would be nice to scold my monsters with proper names so I can curse them directly, don't you think?
Who can say "Bad Erythromelalgia!" or "Stop it Complex Regional Pain Syndrome!" quickly?
My four letter words certainly won't work in public (insert grin here).

Do you have any names you'd like to suggest?

Mmmmm Latte...... : )

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYNINJOY1 9/25/2011 7:39AM

    Thank you for posting photos. My hands & feet both do this. My doctor had suggested it's Raynaud's Syndrome, hmmmm?

I have all the autoimmune cousins running rampant through my body. I like your idea of naming the creatures of torture. I've got Grumpy & Dopey for sure! LOL

Well written blog & thanks for posting it.

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PAMNANGEL 9/21/2011 10:30PM

    I deal with random neuralgia related to a collegan disorder. Never know what will hurt, how bad or for how long. OTC painkillers don't touch it and I can't stomach prescription strength. I've learned to cope with it most days, but there are times when things ache so bad all I can do is to to bed and cry.

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CLOVER2 9/21/2011 10:12PM

    You are one of the bravest, most awesome, beautiful people I have ever been lucky enough to know. The pictures tell such a story...one of pain and bravery. Thank you so very much for sharing, just wish there was something that could be done.

emoticon emoticon

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EVERSTEPH 9/21/2011 11:51AM

    Ow ow ow! Thanks for sharing. I can see how couples counseling could definitely help.

Hope you're having a great day today!

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MALKS_ARIA 9/21/2011 10:47AM


My hands turn colors from the Fibro, too so I understand - not always that extreme... but my B/f is constantly letting me know my lips and hands are "blue" / purple... so I understand!!!

I just recently started taking MSM (Natural Occurring Sulfur), and it is helping a touch with the pain level. I am taking 2000 mg a.m. and the same in the PM. I hope maybe you can find some relief from one of the many ways I suggested pain relief in our wonderful chronic illness thread....

THanx for being a friend... and don't worry about the whining we all do it... and need to do it... to get through the chaos they call our lives!


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SHERRIE_BERRY 9/21/2011 9:58AM

    My sweet friend,

I am so humbled that you chose to share this with all of us. The one thing that stood out to me (more than anything else)...a positive thing...is how you keep the imprint of what touches you...I thought wow, you are blessed (as long as it isn't painful) to have a visual sense of your husbands hand, or your puppy's kiss; It's almost like a memory that you can see. I hope this makes sense...

How about naming your illnesses after Disney villains...kind of playing off of your Cinderella theme...Cruella (101 Dalmatians), Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Jafar (Aladdin), Monstro (Pinocchio). I like Cruella and Ursula...they sound the most wicked and monster like, and you can say them out loud.

I hope you can find some relief at work. Do they make a stocking that would/could fit/hold ice packs? Can you get a modified work environment so that you can raise your legs?

Sending big hugs your way xx emoticon

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H-DOG-8 9/20/2011 8:15PM

    Bren, you never cease to amaze me. First of all, ditto to everything 1happywoman said, and to the last commenter who said "you get up in your Cinderella time and work out"?! Crazy!

On top of all of this, you use your sparkpeople profile to inspire and motivate others! I often feel guilty when I unload all my frustrations without giving anyone a shout out or a kind word. And I ALWAYS think of you and how you try to respond to everyone on our message board. I honestly try to do the same, because you motivated me in the right direction.

I am sorry for your pain and cannot imagine what you must go through each day. I hope you feel good in your heart though because you truly are beautiful and have touched so many of us here as I'm sure you have in your "real" life offline. emoticon emoticon Here's some fall for you ... I hope the heat ends soon too!

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1HAPPYWOMAN 9/19/2011 9:13PM

    Because you are such an amazing writer, I thought I had some idea of what your condition must feel like. After all, you give wonderful, insightful details and use such evocative language.... But I was wrong. Words paint a picture, but a picture says more than words ever can.

I had no idea of the kind of struggle you are enduring. I guess no one but you really can know.

Please don't EVER think you're whining; whining is when a person complains with no reason. You're just sharing, and I hope it helps -- even just a little. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LGAR519 9/19/2011 4:32PM

    I don't know where to begin! How brave you are!! I am a nurse and have never heard of these diseases. Of course, I've been out of the business for awhile. All I can do for you is pray. And I will. God bless you.

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GRAMMACATHY 9/19/2011 1:31AM

    Thank you for sharing. SP is the place to be self -centered and get support so we can put on a happy face for our family and loved ones. Your condition even looks painful. If there is less stress in your life, do you get a longer Goldilocks Zone or I think you called it Cinderella time?

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CANNIE50 9/18/2011 8:56PM

    Oh, honey, this is a brave step to take. When I see the photos of how the diseases affect you, I don't for one second have an urge to look away, or feel any hint of revulsion, I only think "ouch, how painful". I wish I could take a magic wand and sprinkle magical pain-ending potions on you. I am glad you continue to educate us on what you suffer with. It is hard for me to feel powerless to help you so I can only imagine the helplessness that your dearly beloved feels. I can't even fathom what YOU deal with. I am so sorry and I just want it to go away and leave you in peace. You don't deserve this pain.

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AAAACK 9/18/2011 6:02PM

    And thanks for your pics because it might help someone else get to a doctor to get their own self (fingers) checked out!

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AAAACK 9/18/2011 5:59PM

    EM - Ethel (as in Merman). Yeah, Ethel is visiting me right now, I can't pick up my *%&@ fork.
Uh oh, here comes Ethel.

CRPS - well, the first thing that comes to mind is the 4-letter that it resembles...and I can't get that out of my head! So maybe I'll come up with one later.

Bravo to you for sharing your pics. While they look painful, they don't make you look scary or anything. Having a spec ed kid, I know people are RUDE and stare, so I get why you might feel bashful, but we love you here! And maybe we can help you learn to not worry about what other people think! People who stare aren't really the kinds of people you want for friends anyway, right?!

Comment edited on: 9/18/2011 5:59:55 PM

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CTUPTON 9/18/2011 5:23PM

    I do not want to see you hurting but I am glad you are showing us your health problem. From what I understand at this point things don't hurt. Am I correct? Is it in a later stage when you hurt more? I wish I could take this away --forever! Maybe by spreading the word, someone will work on the problem intensely and find a cure!
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RYDERB 9/18/2011 3:49PM

    You have never whined. In fact, you always seem to be thinking of ways to encourage others. Everyday, you reach out to all your SP friends, and send silly wonderful imaginative goodies, that make us smile. You are a beautiful, brave, thoughtful and amazing woman. I'm so grateful to SparkPeople, for giving me the opportunity to get to know you, and I'm so lucky that you've allowed me to be your friend. Thank you for sharing your pictures. Seeing them makes me appreciate you and your friendship even more. You continue to inspire me, not only to reach my goal weight, but to appreciate life, and to face every challenge head on.
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    It's good to know what you're going through! that looks very bizarre to me... I hope that doesn't make you feel bad. I have never seen a person with purple hands before. I had no idea this is what you were dealing with. And to get up during your "Cinderella time" and work out??? You're one crazy girl. I'd definitely be sitting around with my feet up watching a movie or doing something unproductive. You're a trooper!

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SUNFLOWER4ME 9/18/2011 3:07PM

    You're precious. emoticon

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KJMAZ2011 9/18/2011 2:38PM

    I know it's getting colder, but most coffee shops will do an "iced latte" They are just as tasty!

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Like Sands Through The Hourglass, These Are The Fads Of My Life...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Although I have not tried EVERYTHING on the market and hot off the gossip trail to lose weight, I have tried (and not lost at) many 'fad diets'. I was convinced that my life would just be grand if one (or any) of these things worked for me.
After all, celebs do them, and look at how fabulous their thighs are, right?
I've summed up my experiences with each below. Feel free to chime in with your input!

Juice Fast Diet: I lasted 6 days on this one. It is amazing how badly the desire the chew something becomes a few days in.

Grapefruit Diet: I didn't have a problem with this one actually. My lips were in a constant pucker though. Plus I was going through so many, that I had to buy them by the case = HEAVY! So I guess this diet DID include weight lifting...

80/10/10 Diet: This one focuses on getting 80% of your calories from produce primarily. The idea looked lovely on paper. 10 Cups of strawberries for breakfast? Sign me up! We practically spent all of our grocery $ on my romps around the weekend farmer's market though - and I don't share. Plus I ended up gaining 15 lbs immediately. My body apparently was not on board.

Hypnosis: Yep, really. I tried this. Not just one session either. The guy was certain that he could remove my cravings for dark chocolate covered yummi-ness. After months (and a lot of $), I saw no change. Bummer.

No Carb: Works for some. Not for me. This was probably the crankiest time period of my life (my poor husband!).

Soup Diet: Not bad, just a bit boring. And back when I tried this diet, there was no such thing as low-sodium soup, so I was quite swollen with chapped lips.

Posting Magazine Pages of Models on My Fridge Door: Why, you ask? Because it was supposed to inspire me not to open the door of the very appliance I was trying to get into, right? Well, once I saw that the photo-shopped model's thigh was the same width as her arm, I promptly got another magnet and posted a big fat sushi stake out menu on top of her. Poor thing needed some protein...

Cabbage Diet: See Grapefruit Diet above. Large heavy round produce.

Baby Food: OK, I chickened out on this one. I stood on the baby food aisle, staring at the little glass cups of beige pasty stuff and just couldn't do it.

Apple Cider Vinegar: I lasted 2 days. I'm surprised I lasted that long. Blechhh.

Fat Burner Pills: They seem to have only one advantage in my book - intense underarm and crotch sweat, complete with heart palpitations that make you flashback to your first true love experience in junior high. Hmm, maybe that was just me.

Raw Food Diet: One word, BURP! The instructor told me that if I was craving popcorn, then I should "try a heaping bowl full of raw cauliflower sprinkled with nutritional yeast to satisfy that urge perfectly". Go to a movie theater with your heaping bowl. Watch how quickly the other people in your vicinity move elsewhere. I dare you.

And then I stumbled onto SparkPeople. I finally came to terms with what I had known deep down all along, but refused to admit:
The change started with ME.
I jumped into the pool completely at that moment, and paddled through all that SP had to offer: teams, challenges, meal plans, and most importantly, supportive Spark Friends!

I made my goal weight too, by my goal date, just as the Spark Tracker calculated. SHAZAM!!!
I'm not done with Spark though. Not by a long shot. In fact, SP has become a part of my daily life, and I love it.
It was a challenge to get back to this weight, and I know it will not be easy to keep that weight off going forward.
but I certainly won't convince myself again that fad diets are the solution.

Now will someone pass me the cauliflower? I'm about to watch something on NetFlix...

"Nuff said..."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AAAACK 9/16/2011 12:50AM

    You made your goal weight AND you're 54 days binge free!? Wow, imagine if you never ever binged again! I mean it could really happen. How incredibly exciting. I'm SO happy for you! What I don't understand is that I keep subscribing to your blogs and Spark keeps handily not sending me notices when you post a new one. Looks like I've missed TWO of these awesomely funny and inspiring entries now. So I'm gonna go read the other one now.

Conga Rats!! (picture little rats dancing in a conga line in celebration of your awesome victories - Spark doesn't have any emoticons that really match up)

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CHOCOHOLIC2276 9/15/2011 9:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I almost fell out of my chair laughing!! The raw food diet comment is priceless!!

I've tried a couple of those, they are all the same- a band aid. You have to find what works for you based on nutrition and exercise.

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THEFITNUTLIFE 9/15/2011 7:17PM

    I've tried every one of those diets... none of them ever worked! Thank God for SparkPeople!

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    Hilarious!!!! OMG busted out laughing about the crotch sweat. Had to. I've tried those pills too...hated those jitters. OH and realizing the model's arms were the same size as her thighs? WOW! glad you covered her up with a menu. i hate that magazines are full of unrealistic body images. what a crock.

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SOUTHPONDCAMP 9/15/2011 1:54PM

    Love it. What I'm really giggling at is the typo though. Sushi stake out? heh heh. Just picturing the cops in cars littered with coffee cups watching a building to make sure the sushi don't wander unexpectedly. :)

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WINACHST 9/15/2011 8:15AM

    I once heard someone say, "Diets don't work for everyone, that is why there are so many; you have to find the one that works for you" --I think you blog goes to show diets don't work --period. You need to make a lifestyle change so you can stick with it. "Diet" in many people's mind is translated to "Something I do on a temporary basis".

emoticon on reaching your goal weight - now comes the hard part: maintaining. Keep at it!

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CANNIE50 9/15/2011 12:27AM

    Okay, the fat-burner pills and raw food diet made me burst out laughing. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people suggest you eat something not even remotely like that which you are craving - SO ANNOYING. Craving chips? Eat celery! Oh, right, because if I shut my eyes, I will never know the difference. I have to say, however, the dumbest substitution suggestion I have ever heard is the one you were given - cauliflower for popcorn. Sheesh. Please tell me you did not pay money for this kind of "wisdom"..... emoticon Oh, dear, I sound grumpy, don't I? I'm not actually, I really enjoyed this blog. Keep 'em coming, honey.

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RYDERB 9/14/2011 11:54PM

    Wow! Compared to you, I haven't tried anything! I've "considered" Tracy Anderson's homemade baby food diet, but no way I'd be able to eat those jars of Gerber's. Yuck! emoticon I better to get work.

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PURESTILLWATER 9/14/2011 11:32PM

    Great blog.

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LSBETH 9/14/2011 11:26PM

    What a great blog Bren. I hope some people here will read this and really hear what you're saying. Although I didn't go for fad diets, I did try most of lifestyle ones like South Beach, Eat Right for Your Type, etc. with the same results. I'd shed unwanted pounds of fat only to have them reappear and bring some friends so my weight kept climbing up and up and up. Familiar story. Maybe others won't have to go through what we've been through before they get it.
The sushi/protein and model was hilarious.
Els emoticon

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SHERRIE_BERRY 9/14/2011 11:24PM

    OMGosh the cauliflower is too funny and the fat burning pills...sweaty crotch and pits....ewwww, no thanks! I'll take your tested and true method failures as even more reason to stay here and work off the weight the good old fashioned this-is-gonna-work way!!!


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REDSHOES2011 9/14/2011 11:12PM

    The celebs have personal trainers and omg- also photo shop makes their photo's look better then they really are. Stick to sparkspeople, it is good reliable info.. They are giving people free safe info- I paid to learn how all this- to keep the structure composition of meals and exchange stuff I didn't like for something I could tolerate on my plate.. Moderation sucks, but the way I see it as long as I get a treat now and again.. I can live with the rules of healthy eating..


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SUNNYDAZE9 9/14/2011 11:10PM

    Thanks for the chuckle! emoticon

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MALKS_ARIA 9/14/2011 10:15PM

    Cauliflower, green peas (Fresh or frozen or dehydrated).... and some corn/popcorn.... sure pass it to me, I will snack on it, and some fruit.... :)

Sounds good to me!


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Hey, you forgot the avocado on my burrito...

Friday, September 09, 2011

I just reached my weight loss goal. Wahoooooooo......... right?
I dunno. I'm feeling a bit...like someone forgot the avocado in my lunch order, and I just opened the container at home to that cruel reality. Doh!

I feel a lot better physically, as I know that the weight loss on my body means less burden for my current health issues. Less weight literally translates to less 'acreage' if you will, for my vascular disease and nerve condition to attack.
I look a lot better to myself too (most importantly), and am so thankful for the tremendous support and virtual ears from SparkPeople friends (you know who you are).
I am certain that I would not have made it to this weight on my own without the perks of Sparlk- "No way, no how, uh uh", as said by the wonderfully funny Sinbad in the movie Houseguest - Ha!

But in all seriousness, I was broken when I came to SP. Broken and in dire need of something to pull me back together. I found it here at SparkPeople.

I have still stumbled with my emotional eating often in recent months, and when I fell and scraped my virtual knees, it was the Spark teams and pals who comforted me and told me that while it would likely happen again, that was no reason to give up on my weight loss goals.

I naively thought the weight loss would go hand in hand with overcoming food issues.
It certainly does not.
At first I was confused and sad by the goal # on the scale.
Like a chick being pushed out of the nest too soon, chirping out, 'wait, are you SURE I can use these flimsy wings to fly???'

I'm currently reading The Four Day Win by Martha Beck. It's not a thick book, but it's got a lot of good fiber to chew on (don't worry, I am not EATING it). It's chocked full of contemplative exercises that are truly enlightening. Plus, it's not another diet book that I would inevitably fail (again).

This morning I was reading about researching my life. In it, Martha says, "your perfect body is a jewel, the setting is your life. Until the setting is ready to hold the jewel, it won't stay where you want it". The setting is literally the setting you are in; the job you hold, the friendships you keep, your health, the love(s) in your life, etc. All of these things directly affect your weight - and I was in denial of that.
I thought that if I could hire someone to yell at me and berate me into submission, that the weight would come off, and that was the the only real issue, right?
I even tried to conn my husband into acting as a kitchen drill sergeant with my food, which is really NOT his responsibility (and bashes your self confidence in the process by the way).
Have you tried to force your spouse / lover to rule over your eating habits? Soooooo un-sexy!
If your goal is to ruin your romantic encounters, then do this - No good!

I am a work in progress, who also happens to have reached her goal weight.
I am not cured of emotional eating.
Although I was saddened to find that the gap in my pants didn't equate to the lack of emotional triggers in my noggin, I will stand tall against the daily challenges when food is a factor.

Hmm, maybe if I 'stand tall' in my old pants, they might fall to my ankles and SCARE away those junkfood cravings - BONUS!

'Nuff said...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1HAPPYWOMAN 9/18/2011 12:34PM

    CONGRATULATIONS! You have not only achieved your goal, but you're looking forward, working on ways to stay successful. I'm so grateful to have you to learn from, and I look forward to many more blogs about your maintenance and continuing to vanquish emotional eating!

I know what it's like to achieve a long sought after goal. There's this weird kind of emptiness and this feeling of: Ummm, now what?

Sorry for being so late to comment.... I've subscribed to you blogs, but I don't seem to get the email reminders, even though I get them for other blogs....

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AAAACK 9/16/2011 1:04AM

    Wow, you rock! I swear, you just keep inspiring me over and over and over again. You are absolutely and truly my new hero. You fight so many obstacles every single day and your attitude and sense of humor are always so close at hand to buoy the rest of us up. You have quietly marched on to victory and just kicked serious ass. Your physical challenges are insane, and yet you have hit your goal. On TARGET. You, my most awesome Sparkler, deserve to wear the superhero outfit. I wish I could give you a real cape to wear every day as you walk around, but I'll bet that people who know you already know this about you. The cape would just be redundant.

Keep Sparking, please! We definitely need your amazing power and style, your contagious attitude, and your coattails to ride on!

For you who just rocked, I salute you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CLOVER2 9/14/2011 7:13PM

    emoticon on reaching your goal! Reading what you wrote I couldn't help but see the wisdom that you bring to share with all of us. You say that you still need to work on the emotional side of eating, but how many others are not even aware that their "wings" are still a work in progress? You are fighting an incredibly brave fight, one that most of us would curl up in a corner and hide from! You pat yourself on the back properly, and know what a marvelous work in progress you are!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WINACHST 9/11/2011 8:28AM

    emoticon on reaching your goal weight. I knw exactly what you mean by not having the emotional eating under control. I have surpassed my goal weight and am currently maintaining a weight I don't even know when in my childhood I weighed. I am currently less than my high school weight. But I still struggle with that sweet tooth and eat too much and too often of the wrong thing. It is said that maintaining is harder than losing and I find that to be true for me. It is hard and the daily struggles are still there so even though I have reached my goal weight I still need to keep on with the plan to be healthy and fit as I age.


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MALKS_ARIA 9/10/2011 10:49PM

    Wooohoooo!! You reached your goal!!

But you are right... weight loss doesn't change the "UnHealthy Thinking" that brings on the weight to begin with... You can work on Your weight without working on *YOU* ... but this is a process and you will be able to work on YOU now that you know there is a difference and they aren't fully intermingled!

You can do it!!! May I encourage you to Juggle your feelings in a Journal, blog, or another method, or i at times need a guidence of a workbook... maybe there is one you can find that can work on your "unhealthy thinking" to bring around an emotionally healthy You to go with the beautiful lady you are physically!


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RYDERB 9/9/2011 9:39PM

    "your perfect body is a jewel, the setting is your life. Until the setting is ready to hold the jewel, it won't stay where you want it" Maybe I should order that book. Thanks for reminding me that there's so much more to this journey we're on to be healthy and happy, than reaching the number at the end of our tickers. I've been so focused on that number that I've never thought about what would happen, or what it would feel like to get there. Congratulations (again) for reaching your goal, and for being wise enough to know that your journey isn't over. A whole new journey has begun. I'm so glad that you allow me to be along for the ride.

By the way, Cannie is ALWAYS so smart. I read her comment and wanted to delete mine. We're both lucky to have her share her perspective.

Comment edited on: 9/9/2011 9:47:00 PM

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CANNIE50 9/9/2011 9:29PM

    emoticonFirst things first, CONGRATULATIONS. It happens to be weight, but the bigger point is that you have accomplished something that was difficult: you set out to do it, you doubted whether you actually could, and you did it! So, I am hoping that you can take some time and soak in the satisfaction of having acheived something that was not easy, and that has improved your ability to fight back against the monstrous diseases that you so bravely fight. As you know, I know all too well how insidious disorderly eating is - I deal with it most days of my life. We will just keep moving forward on this path, arm in arm, knowing the trek is made just that much easier thanks to the company of friends. emoticon

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    Awesome news!! emoticon

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