JLITT62   52,035
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JLITT62's Recent Blog Entries

TV really is insidious

Friday, December 26, 2008

I consider myself to be fairly intelligent and well educated -- certainly in most things pertaining to weight loss! Yet yesterday I found myself watching one of my tv shows, and thinking, wouldn't it be nice to look like one of the female leads?

And then I thought whoa! Just what am I thinking? This is a woman who either has really good genes, is naturally thin (not to mention a whole lot younger than me), or starves herself and overexercises. I know myself -- I don't have that kind of a body. I know what striving for that kind of a body does to me, too, and it isn't pretty.

We truly are bombarded with the "ideal" woman all over the media, in a variety of ways, and it's amazing how that seeps into our subconsciousness even when we know it's not an ideal we can achieve.

Does it play into many people's desire to go back to a weight they had in high school? A weight that probably is achievable, but at a high cost to our self esteem and possibly health, because what we have to do to get there isn't a healthy lifestyle. Denial is definitely more than just a river in Eygypt!

I'm still probably about halfway through my weight loss journey, and I still haven't picked a final goal weight. I have some numbers in mind, but I'm focusing more on the journey right now than the end result. I do know I won't be picking a number at the low end of what's considered a healthy range for me. Been there, done that, and my body didn't like it. I wonder, sometimes, if it will be easier to go lower if I do pick a higher goal. I'll find out in time.

We all have to be aware of just what is driving our desire to be a certain number.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 12/26/2008 2:46PM

    Besides good genes and starvation, I bet most of those celebrities also rely on plastic surgery to achieve their great looks. It's not just common in Hollywood anymore. Over time I found out that quite a few people at my gym have had work done. I know some people have body role models, but I know that I need to be true to my own body. I can strive to be the best that I can be and look healthy, but I know I can never try to get my body to look like someone else's. Thank you for another great post, my friend. emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/26/2008 1:32PM

    I agree. I didn't set my WW goal weight until the very end......and I kept healthy in mind. I mean my WW goal weight was for life - would I, when I turned 70, still want to weigh 128lbs? probably not. In my 20's I was under 135 and it didn't suit my body - I was too bony, so I went for healthy instead - I'm happy; it's all good.

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CATMAMA216 12/26/2008 7:59AM

  I think you definitely have the right mindset. Actresses put themselves through h*ll to look like they do, and I bet their bodies suffer from it. It seems you are listening to your body and will end up being a healthy and happier you. Way to go. emoticon

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

While it may not always work, it's amazing how just the simple act of tracking something makes you more aware of it. And not just with food.

I've been tracking my spending, in some fits and starts, for several months now. I'll admit I've probably spent too much this last month -- and on me, not family & friends! -- but I've put more thought into it.

I've always put a lot of thought into the vast majority of my purchases, with few impulse buys, and I rarely have buyer's remorse. The reason I've spent so much this month is that I've been taking advantage of the sales and stocking up on more cold weather clothes; I have some, because it does get cold here, but not a lot because it's rarely cold for long. It'll be very cold, for long periods of time, when I'm living in NY.

I went to the mall last week, and I tried on some nice, dressy blouses. And they all fit. It felt so good! But I didn't buy them; I don't need them, and because I've been tracking my spending, I know I've already spend a lot.

Tracking what we put in our mouths can work like that, too. How much will that peppermint bark fill you up compared to say a nice apple or a bowl of soup? Sure, sometimes only the chocolate will do -- but if you concentrate more on the foods that nourish and fill you up, you'll eat less of the foods that taste so good but only make you crave more.

If you're eating for emotional reasons, that's a whole other bowl of wax, but tracking can help you there, too. It at least makes you think about it. Even if you're overindulging, please continue to track. You'll be happy you did.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 12/25/2008 12:50AM

    Merry Christmas, Jlitt!

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STARTSPARKING 12/24/2008 2:43PM

    Thanks for the reminder that tracking is important when it comes to so many areas of our lives. When I first joined SP, I used to track my food at least a couple times a day. Now I would play catch up and sometimes do it a couple days late. Of course I can't recall every morsel I've eaten and the amount. Therefore, it is not nearly as accurate as when I tracked more consistently.

I am going to refocus and push harder to be on track. Wish me luck! Thanks for another brilliant blog post, my friend.

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/24/2008 12:36PM

    I agree - I like to see what I've done on paper. Tracking is very important.

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Taming the sweet tooth

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sweets are one of my nemeses. I have others: portion size and rich food, but sweets are probably the biggest reason I pack on the pounds.

I've still managed to lose my 20 pounds while indulging in home baked sweets on a pretty much daily basis. So here are my tips for those battling a sweet tooth:

1. Make it matter. If you scarf it down and never taste it, you're more likely to overindulge. Put it on a plate. Sit down. Slow down. Savor.

2. My WW leader suggests waiting a couple of hours after eating before having dessert. You may find you're really not hungry for it.

3. Personally, #2 doesn't work for me, but it might for you. I do better eating my treat with my meal, because I'm full from my meal and more likely to be satisifed with what I have, as long as I make sure to observe #1.

4. Make it real. 100 calorie packs of Hostess cupcakes don't count. Because really, if you're honest with yourself, how satisfied are you with them after you finished them? Or do you find yourself craving more sweets? I'd rather have some freshly baked cookies, even if they have more calories, than one of those 100 calorie packs any day of the week (and twice on Sundays -- kidding!).

5. Have a treat every day. Follow the rest of the rules, and hopefully you'll stick to just that one treat. By having a treat every day, you take away the forbidden fruit syndrome -- you know you can always have something sweet, and that takes away some of its power.

6. Really think about what you want. Don't grab those M&Ms just because they're sitting there. What is it you're craving? Really craving? Have it. Just follow the other rules.

7. The 3 bite rule. Mine is a reverse of just take a few bites; just leave 3 bites. Just a few bites of a sweet generally doesn't do it for me (there's that portion size problem), but I can often leave just a few bites. Those can add up to a lot over the course of a week! I generally exercise this more with things I don't make myself, when I don't really know what is in it.

I made peanut butter chocolate brownies yesterday. I'm a bowl licker. I still do it. I don't lick it clean, but I will take a few licks. It's probably part of the reason I don't lose weight fast, but I'm okay with that. I still lose weight.

Back to the brownies. These had a fair amount of sugar in them. I must admit, things with that much sugar make me a little bit sick to my stomach nowadays. Don't get me wrong, I ate the end product (and they're good), but I was absolutely satisfied with one. More than one would have made me sick. If I didn't follow the rules, though, I probably would have eaten more than one, and upset my stomach big time. No wonder I used to have stomach problems much more often!

Sweets can absolutely be part of a healthy eating plan. If you can give them up altogether, you are better off for it, but life is meant to be enjoyed and sweets are definitely one of my pleasures. Just in moderation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEPPIESUSAN 12/24/2008 9:07AM

    I totally agree with you... and I am even able to live like that sometimes... and then other times (now) I have no control around the sweets and eat far too many of them. ?!?

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NITAINMN 12/23/2008 3:37PM

    Amen Startsparking! You spoke my mind:) emoticon

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STARTSPARKING 12/23/2008 4:23AM

    Like you, I cannot give up my sweets... or any group of food. That's why I would never be able to do the Atkins Diet, raw foodism, etc. Everything in moderation... I just need to work on the "moderation" part. emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/22/2008 8:46PM

    You're right - Sweets are part of life - we just have to learn how to work them in (in moderation).

I, personally, like the 100 calorie packs because it makes me 'think' I've eaten an ENTIRE bag of treats. Mind over matter? I'm not sure, but it works. Now if I was to bake cookies, it would be very hard for me not to eat the entire tray.....but that's just me. Kudos to you for your willpower!

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What is beauty?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I got to pondering this the other day.

Here in the US, we've been conditioned to think of stick thin actresses as the epitome of beauty. These are often women that have been blessed by genetics with bodies that are unattainable for the rest of us.

But that's old news. That's not really what I was thinking about. I was thinking about my face. Yup, that's right, my face.

Some people are blessed with beautiful faces even when they're very overweight. They have wonderful facial structure. My mother is one of them. Unfortunately, she passed on her thunder thighs to me, instead of her facial structure.

Don't get me wrong, I do like my face -- but it's really hard to love it when I'm overweight. It's one of those faces that's rather long & narrow when I'm thin, but is overly round when I'm not. It shows every single extra pound, with a double chin to booot.

I got to thnking, though, what if I had lived in Italy, for instance? It's the sort of face you'd see in Italy. Would I feel more at home in my skin if I was surrounded by more people who look like me? Would I be considered beautiful there?

Of course beauty comes from within, but we all know that we are judged on how we look, too. People take you less seriously when you're heavy, if they notice you at all.

Here's what I know for sure, though: we have to dwell on the good things, not the things we don't like. It's too easy to list our faults; it's so hard, sometimes, to list the things we like about ourselves.

Despite the fact that I've come so far already, despite the fact that I am so pleased with the changes in myself -- both external and internal -- I am still a little disappointed everytime we take my photo. Because that photo doesn't quite match up to my picture of myself in my head. But I focus on what I DO like about that photo. It may be the collarbones that have finally emerged from hiding, the slimmer face, the definition of my arms, the flatter stomach. That's what I concentrate on.

Beauty really is strength, I think. Not muscle-bound strength, but the strength to set a goal and reach for it. To know when you've done your best. To celebrate every little victory, no matter how small. Be strong, because you're beautiful. Right now, this very moment.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 12/23/2008 4:13AM

    One thing that jumps out at me when I look at recent photos of myself is the word "older". I know I need to get over that because in a matter of just a few years, I will look back at these photos and think, "Gee... I looked so young back then..." It's all in our perspective.

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SUSIELOVESART 12/21/2008 11:47PM

    I was always one of those chicks that people actually used to say "it's a shame about her weight, she has such a pretty face". That was back when I wasn't even that overweight. Now it's crazy what people think is beautiful. I may not be the size I want to be right now, but I still have good hair, long fingers and nice skin. I think this is pretty good and I use these features to build myself up, when I'm having a bad self image day. Anyway, just wanted to pop in and say hi and remind you that you are beautiful to us.

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MTER67 12/21/2008 7:03PM

    I think what you describe is universal. I wince at pictures of myself. I always see something in my face that looks worried and uncomfortable and I hate that. It bothers me b/c I don't think I feel that way on the inside, but that's what I see when I look at pictures.

I read a Sparkpage the other day, where the woman wrote that her pictures didn't match the young, vibrant person she felt like on the inside. She said that it was time to make the outside match the inside. That's a far more sustainable motivator, I think, than to try losing weight for a wedding dress or b/c a husband wants it.

It is good, I think, to FEEL strong and confident even before your photos reflect it--feeling that way inside certainly "seeps" outside in subtle ways--in the way you carry yourself or in your smile, etc. And these are ways of measuring beauty that are every bit as noticable as being "stick thin."

You are well on your way. It may be a much longer process than you would like, but your photos are documenting your amazing progress. Keep taking 'em!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/21/2008 1:08PM

    Great post! That brings to mind the saying: the grass is always greener on the other side..... You're right we have to appreciate what we have now, at this moment - we are all beautiful! We need to appreciate our strengths and inner beauty too. Unfortunately, for too many beauty is only skin deep. Good post JLITT62!

BTW - I think you are beautiful! I would love to have hair like yours - see, the grass is always greener on the other side.....lol.


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How small losses add up

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's amazing how we get used to looking at ourselves a certain way. In 6 weeks, I've lost roughtly 4 pounds. It doesn't really look like much, does it? The changes are very subtle. It's still a victory, considering those 6 weeks included Thanksgiving and our ever shorter days where motivation can be difficult to come by.

This is what 20 pounds gone looks like (close enough, anyway). Thank you, Coach Nicole, for suggesting we take before photos of ourselves for the bootcamp challenge way back when. I so did not want to post that photo.

I still see a thinner me when I look in the mirror. I suppose the camera does add weight. Even so, I am very happy with what I am seeing. Yes, I still have quite a ways to go -- but in fact, in some ways, that just encourages me. Because if the first 20 pounds can create such a difference, how good will I look when the next 20 pounds are gone?

It's so easy to get discouraged when you lose weight slowly. Time after time, I have seen posters bemoan the fact that it's taken them so long to lose weight (often it's taken them much less time than it's taken me!). But if you truly look at yourself after 10 lbs are gone, 20 lbs, and so on . . . it's extremely motivating. Because you'll look like a different person. You'll feel like a different person!

You may not notice the changes week to week, but keep track of them . . . because all those little changes really do add up.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 12/21/2008 3:40AM

    It is really adding up! You look great and I can really see the definition coming out in your arms! Way to go--and over the holidays, too!

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DIAMNDSPRKLMOM 12/20/2008 10:12PM

    You look Great!!! emoticon emoticon

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STARTSPARKING 12/20/2008 7:37PM

    I am a bit frustrated that I am still 13 pounds heavier than my all-time SP low. I guess I shouldn't think of it that way, or I'd drive myself crazy. Just yesterday I stumbled across a couple of old photos of myself. One was from winter 2006, when my weight was in the high 160's and low 170's. The other one was Easter 2000. I was probably about 185 lbs. (FYI, I am barey 5' tall.) I looked SO bad then, which makes me look that much better now even after regaining almost 15 pounds back. Those photos are great reminders that I NEVER want to be THAT overweight AGAIN.

Thanks for another great blog post! It's great that you are documenting your changes in photos because your progress is quite noticeable. It's such a great motivational tool, isn't it? Keep up your great work, my friend. emoticon

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 12/20/2008 3:31PM

    Wow keep up the good work! You can really see it in the after pictures! Way to go!

Measurements are another way of noticing the difference.......It take mine once a month and track them on paper.

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ASTARB1 12/20/2008 2:50PM

    Looking good!!!

Keep up the great work - you are inspirational! And I think you already know: slow and steady wins the race. You're doing great!


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