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50 Great Things About Being 50 Pounds Down

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I've lost 48 pounds on SP, but I've lost 55 pounds this year, so I feel like it's OK to jump the gun and post this blog!

1. My favorite black boots zip up all the way
2. I'm no longer encroaching on the seat next to me on the bus/train
3. I've got so much more energy
4. My family and friends are proud of me
5. I can run a 13-minute mile now!
6. I'm less inhibited about being "on top" (yeah, you know what I mean...)
7. The muffin top is a mini-muffin top now, soon to be a nothing top
8. I can bound up 3 flights of stairs without being out of breath
9. My muscles don't ache like crazy after doing strength training now
10. Fewer stares from judgmental people
11. The front desk guy in the gym told me I'm "looking good"
12. I actually savor treats like pizza, chocolate, and ice cream instead of gorging on them
13. I look forward to getting a chance to go for a walk or run
14. I have a lap now!
15. I'm sleeping a whole lot better
16. I weigh less than most of the Biggest Loser contestants now
17. Three pant sizes down!
18. Bring it on, Jillian. Bring it on.
19. All my "tight clothes" are too big now
20. I don't feel deprived or restricted with my food; just satisfied
21. My self-esteem and cheerfulness are up exponentially
22. No longer ashamed of being morbidly obese
23. I've learned to enjoy vegetables on their own, without sauce or dressing
24. My arm isn't bigger than my neck now
25. I'm stronger; both mentally and physically
26. I'm not afraid to try new activities or exercises anymore
27. I will go into 2010 knowing that I'm way ahead of resolution season
28. Snacks are my friends now
29. Two more pounds and I will weigh less than I did in college
30. I know that a 10K will happen for me; maybe even a half marathon
31. I'm no longer a sugar addict
32. My husband offered me his jacket when it was cold and IT FIT
33. I've enjoyed every one of my rewards so far
34. Yoga doesn't scare me. Zumba doesn't scare me. Spinning doesn't . . . okay, spinning still scares me! :p
35. I'm not afraid of sharing my weight anymore. I WAS in the 280s, I've lost 50 pounds. And I'll NEVER be in the 280s again.
36. 1-2 drinks get me tipsy. Don't need more than that!
37. I've learned that "bad days" aren't going to derail me
38. I'm going to ski this year and not be afraid of being the fat chick on the slopes
39. I walk into McDonald's and get a $1 coffee and nothing else tempts me
40. I'm getting more and more excited about my eventual shopping spree
41. I found a belt in the store that actually fits!
42. I have to boost up the resistance on the elliptical machine to 10+ in order to get a decent workout now
43. The armrest doesn't dig into my thigh on the plane or at the movies
44. My "before" and "after" photos are kinda cool ALREADY
45. I'm now confident that the holidays can't break me
46. People on SP see me as a motivator and inspiration (still feels weird typing that!)
47. I am DONE being the fat girl
48. I'm almost ready to bid goodbye to plus sizes
49. Did I mention I'm a RUNNER? :D
50. I've lost about 50 pounds since June. Now I truly believe I can lose 50 more pounds by next summer!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DALMOMOF3 11/20/2009 8:32AM

    Awesome job, you have a lot to be proud of!!!

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SUGARBABY51 11/18/2009 11:44PM

    This was some good reading. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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NICOLEBA47 11/18/2009 8:33PM


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GLOBALKEEWEE 11/17/2009 5:57PM

    Thank you for this. You have experienced many that I relate to directly, and others that inspire me to continue!

I am 5 lbs from my own '50 lb blog' and have been writing in my head already - all the things I have learned about myself so far on this journey.

I can't wait to read your 100 things being 100 lbs down next summer!

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ROSENJ1965 11/17/2009 4:42PM

    All 50 are great, but... I SOOOO remember both the "single seat" day - and finally being able to consider running. Oh, and #6 was great when it happened, too.

And hey, did you know, YOU are a RUNNER! :) Keep the momentum going - you've got that half marathon in you!

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TO.BE.58 11/17/2009 3:56PM

32. My husband offered me his jacket when it was cold and IT FIT ,,,,,,,aaaawwwww Cuuuutttteee emoticon

You Are:

You MADE MY DAAAAY!! Im in love with this blogggggg!!! Thanks for being sooo inspiring, Im very happy because this blog sounds sooo cheerfull that i NOW feel cheerfull. I wanna jump from my seat!!!!!!
Congrats on all that weight coming down!!
Take care and good luck!
Looking forward for more inspiration from you :)


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MADZOE 11/17/2009 2:46PM

    Amazing list! Such wonderful accomplishments. Yay you!

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CARRUN2601 11/17/2009 1:46PM

    That's just so fantastic. I'm totally inspired. emoticon

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SPEECHTX 11/17/2009 10:58AM

    Wonderful, wonderful blog! What an inspiration!

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BESTSELLERS 11/17/2009 9:10AM

  Awesome! Congrats! I am looking forward to sharing some of your experiences!!!! Great attitude!

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W0MANWARRI0R 11/17/2009 8:09AM

    YAY!!! emoticon emoticon

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KIJMISIA 11/17/2009 3:25AM

    Your positive attitude is amazing! Congratulations on how far you've come!

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KLMGSU07 11/17/2009 2:15AM

    What a great list... just AWESOME! Congrats, and keep it up!

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WHITNEYFL 11/17/2009 12:41AM

    Your blog made me tear up! You are so inspiring and just what I need to hear when I'm literally gonna cry at the thought of doing my c25k workout tomorrow.. Only w1d2 too! :( emoticon

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NANAOF3LUVSJC 11/16/2009 10:26PM

    Keep up doing what you are doing and you will lose it before next summer. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon job.

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EMM1116 11/16/2009 9:38PM

    GREAT BLOG! So inspiring... and FYI: There is NO reason to be afraid of spin class! It's a great workout and if you can run a 13 minute mile, you can do a spin class! I feel SO SO SO GOOD afterwards. Try one, I know you can do it. Look at how much you've already done!

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ASHARON 11/16/2009 8:00PM

    Great! You are doing a great job and I just love this great blog!

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CITYLIGHTS__ 11/16/2009 7:58PM

    this is great! congratulations!

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TREVAM 11/16/2009 6:47PM

    AWESOME keep up the great work!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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KITKAT2010 11/16/2009 6:22PM

    If you don't mind I am printing out your list and hanging where I can see it daily. These are exactly the goals I want to be able to list on my 50lbs lose. Especially your #1. I really miss cute boots that zip all the way up! emoticon

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POUNDSTOGO3 11/16/2009 3:54PM

    Congratulations on your determination! I have a GS that lost 100 pounds and he looks great and is rightfully proud of himself so I know how you feel. Keep it going!

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GABRIELLAH99 11/16/2009 3:19PM

    Congrats! Love your list! You ARE an inspiration!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STORMYCHICK 11/16/2009 2:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

Love your list!! Can't wait to write mine too! :) Just 40 more to go... ;)

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RJBUCKEYE 11/16/2009 2:21PM

    You are right, I just came across your blog today and you ARE an inspiration! Way to go!

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WUTADAY 11/16/2009 11:57AM

    Wow! You are an inspiration!! You are doing fabulous!!! You will make your goal! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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LITTLEZEWSKI 11/16/2009 9:27AM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE #7 , #18, #29 and #40! Great Job! emoticon

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0GRANNYPANTIES 11/15/2009 10:04PM

    Cool post!

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ALSEBETE 11/15/2009 10:04PM

    Congratulations! emoticon

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MOONEYE4 11/15/2009 9:58PM

  Great Blog!! Congratulations on the weight loss!! I'm at the same starting point that you were at - thanks for motivating me!!

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TERRIFICLYFIT 11/15/2009 4:57PM

    Way to go! What a terrific list! Thanks so much for sharing! And keep up the AMAZING work!!!

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SWEETERINA71 11/15/2009 4:19PM

    Fantastic post!! It feels great, doesn't it? =)
I'm so excited for you!

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GONE2THEDOGS 11/15/2009 3:39PM

    Another great blog, along with the other 50 great things!

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FLAMINGOSOCKS 11/15/2009 3:25PM

    Your post made me smile! :)

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CABINDOG 11/15/2009 2:01PM

    I already commented on your blog, but I like it so much that I read it again today and emailed it to myself! Kay

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CURVYTEENA84 11/15/2009 12:23PM

    Awesome blog! you go girl! Your almost there to ur goal of 200!!!!

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RASCALOO 11/15/2009 12:20PM

    Excellent list! Congratulations on your success!


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MIMI15757 11/15/2009 12:17PM

    That is awesome, very funny, and very true!! Loved it!

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MIMI15757 11/15/2009 12:16PM

    That is awesome, very funny, and very true!! Loved it!

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CHARLIESANGEL10 11/15/2009 11:17AM

    Wonderful list...I can so relate, except I'm no where near being a jogger....you've done an incredible job!!! So inspiring!

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JUNEGLO 11/15/2009 9:33AM

    You are awesome. I can't wait to write my 50 things.... emoticon

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BUTTERCUP-9 11/15/2009 9:03AM

    I love this post, and relate to a lot of your reasons. I've lost 63 pounds and am at goal now. You ARE an encouragement to others, keep up the great work!

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LKEITHO 11/15/2009 8:16AM

    Congratulations! You're a great inspiration!

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GRT2B46 11/15/2009 8:03AM

You have done a great job. Keep up the good work. Feeling great about yourself is worth all the hard work you put into getting there.
I loved your list. It's very inspiring. I'm close to my 50 as well. Currently at 46 down and loving it. Can't wait to get the remaining 30 off.

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TAKEASTAND2 11/15/2009 12:34AM

    This is an outstanding post!!! Very creative and laugh out loud funny!!! Congratulations on your success. I am certain it will continue.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOLPHINTRNS14 11/14/2009 11:50PM

    Congratulations on your acheivement. It is very encouraging to see people make these changes and share them. I love the confidence that you are gaining with yourself. Good Luck on your continued lifetime journey.

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BILL60 11/14/2009 11:37PM

    Well done. Can you lose the other 50? I'm staying tuned.

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HAPPY_AS_IS 11/14/2009 11:02PM

    I Loved this blog!!

Good for you and keep up the GREAT job!

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AGGIE56 11/14/2009 9:51PM

    I love your list too! What a great way to sum up all the reasons that you've met a wonderful goal. Congratulations! You deserve every happiness!
emoticon emoticon

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CHANA-D 11/14/2009 8:43PM

I love your list. It's exciting to see all the positive things that are happening for you after losing 50 pounds. Keep up the good work!

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KSM1634 11/14/2009 8:20PM

    Congrats! You make me excited to be able to type my 50 things lists!

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Getting Out of My Head

Sunday, November 08, 2009

What a gorgeous Sunday. Finally we had a beautiful and warm autumn day in the Northeast: 60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky!

So I went to an athletic track at a local university this afternoon to get my run in, but I STILL couldn't run very far outside without stopping to walk. There could be many reasons for this, my TOM and my iPod being out of juice being two of them. But I'm starting to think it's a head thing more than anything, because my walking pace is not much slower than my jogging pace and while it is tough on the treadmill, the moving platform both paces me and motivates me to keep running.

I need to get past whatever it is my head that is stopping me. But there is a pacing issue too: I still managed to get up to 4.5 miles in an hour, even while walking, which means my running pace must be around 5 mph. Why is it so difficult for me to run at my much slower treadmill pace, I wonder? If anyone has any tips on this, I would love to read them.

So I finished my hourlong jog and made my way to the field in the middle of the track, did some stretches, and then decided to do some tai chi poses that my friend taught to me ages ago. It was so nice and calming to stretch my arms and legs and breathe deeply. The sun was so warm and I felt all my frustration from my less than impressive jog completely melt away.

Driving home with all the car windows open, listening to my favorite Better Than Ezra CD, my muscles still tingling from the exercise, I just felt so peaceful. I decided to stop and buy some flowers at the supermarket, and I came home to the smell of my beef stew cooking in the Crock Pot and a pumpkin spice candle my husband had lit.

Sometimes it's just those simple sensory pleasures that make my day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COURTNASTY82 11/13/2009 2:08PM

    i'm of the mind that these "walls" we hit as runners are 100% mental - you can push through anything...i've started doing things to take my mind off of the little voice telling me it wants to quit - i think about my grocery list, my plans for the weekend, what i'm cooking for dinner...sometimes whole songs will go by and i realize i didn't even listen to them.

again, you can push through it - you're a monster!

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TNLONGHORN 11/12/2009 9:38AM

    Saw your post and was just wondering if you are starting your first 5-10 minutes of running with a warm-up? And I am asking that even if you walk as a warm-up before running. I actually need about 20 minutes to get up to what is actually a pretty comfortable pace for me. I start out a 5MPH and stay there for at least 5-7 minutes and then gradually speed up until I am at 6.4MPH. While your pace may be different, you might need the same amount of time or more. I am larger runner so I need more time.

Runner's World had an article about this in their mag this month. They recommend a 20-30 minute warmup for a 3.1 mile run.

Anyway, totally disregard if you're already doing this, but if not, it might help.


Comment edited on: 11/12/2009 9:39:22 AM

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FLORIDASUN 11/12/2009 5:13AM

    Just remember the turtle beats out the hare...every time! Yip! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAMAKNITSSOCKS 11/10/2009 11:36PM

    Three cheers for homemade beef stew in a crock pot!!!


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ANEPANALIPTI 11/10/2009 1:18PM

    Aaaaah that sounds so nice....

You'll get the outside thing down, you know why? Cause you are so committed, I have so much faith in you. :)


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WISLNDR 11/9/2009 9:07PM

    You had a great Sunday! Savor it, the winter winds will be blowing sooner than we want. (Or maybe winter will be cancelled this year?? emoticon

Let's hope for more wonderful days like we've been having!

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    What a fabulous sunday. We had a family day of yard work and play. I took a ton of pictures of my kids outside enjoying themselves and nothing feels better then some good old hard manual labor.

I enjoyed myself outside so much that today during my lunch break I went back outside to continue doing some additional yard work. Thanks for your kind words on my blog and I hope I can keep the momentum going. I have a ton of things on my list to get done.

hope you have a fabulous week.

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 11/9/2009 12:59PM

    What a wonderful sunday! I'd be in heaven too if I were you!! Glad you were able to enjoy the day.

I'm no help on your pacing issues. I'm having them myself and haven't figured out what to do. Hmmmmm...

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THREADBENDER 11/9/2009 11:36AM

    Sounds like a wonderful Sunday. It's not in your head, the difference between running outside and running on the treadmill: See myth # 3 in this SP fitness article: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource
(guess you'll have to cut and paste the link since I don't see a link feature here)

However, I have a terrible time getting my heart rate up to my target HR without music.

Have a great week!

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SARANGEREL 11/9/2009 11:34AM

    What a lovely Sunday! Running outside is harder for me too. The treadmill helps propel the runner forward, and I read a long time ago that it is also like running slightly downhill on a treadmill. I've had times when my MP3 player ran out of juice and it really sucks, it can be a great opportunity though to focus on form and breathing. Have a great week!

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STINA6584 11/9/2009 9:51AM

    Sounds like a perfect Sunday.

With regard to the running, keep in mind in addition to keeping you on pace, the treadmill also carries you a little as well.

I would just slow yourself down as much as you possibly can. It took me a long time to adjust to running outside. I still struggle with pacing issues ocassionally. I'll start myself out way too fast and then be dead half way through my planned distance. Saturday morning when I did my six miles, I started myself out so slow I felt like I may as well have been going backward. I finished the 6 miles (plus a short warm up and cooldown) in 65 minutes so even starting out slower, I still averaged a 10:30 minute/ mile pace.

I've also found sometimes when I feel like I'm going super, super slow, I'm not actually going as slow as I think.

Just remember, it is a big adjustment moving from the treadmill to the road or a track. It takes time to get used to pacing so don't let yourself get too frustrated with it. You will find your stride; I promise.

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BETT2U 11/9/2009 8:58AM

    Hey! That sounds like a wonderful Sunday. You are way more advanced than I in the running department. However, I will say that sometimes our bodies just won't cooperate on a certain day. Sounds like you pushed through and were handsomely rewarded.

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 11/9/2009 7:42AM

    Sounds like you had a gorgeous Sunday! On the running thing, I don't have much advice. One thing I have to keep reminding myself of, is to propel myself forward. I have to physically think about springing forward and propelling myself when I run outside vs. the treadmill. I find myself almost jogging in place at times because I need to propel more. Other than that, some run days are just better than others. Some days I feel like I'm running in quick sand, other days, I feel like I'm flying and could run all day. You will get there. Think back to where you started and look how far you've come. Patience, grasshopper, patience :)

Comment edited on: 11/9/2009 7:44:53 AM

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HOKU-ALOHI 11/8/2009 11:19PM

  It's always great to get outside to the track! Fresh air, trees, cool breeze, and fantastic environment for successful training. Rock on C25K Girl!!!

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DRAGONFLY1974 11/8/2009 7:29PM

    The simpleness of it all is relaxing! Sounds peaceful, not like my chaotic day with my kids!!

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HUGMONKEYMOM 11/8/2009 6:38PM

    Sounds like you had a great day!

The first time I did the C25K I did most of it on a treadmill and then had quite the obstacle moving to outside. For me, it took forcing myself (and I do mean forcing) to jog as SLOWLY as possible outside. I think what happens with the treadmill, when you are moving slowly, is that your foot is in contact with the belt longer than someone moving quickly. SO you wind up with a fraction of a second where the belt moves your foot for you - thus affecting your 'pace'.

If you force yourself to jog SLOWLY (challenge yourself to jog as slowly as possible, and then see if you can slow down) you will last a ton longer.

Trust me...

Now, it's second nature to run outside and the pacing is easy peasy for me.

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ONLY_AS_HIGH 11/8/2009 6:27PM

    Oooh, I'm jealous! Its raining here (rare) and I'm stuck inside working all day anyway. Sounds like a great day for you - congrats for sticking to the run even though it's mentally tough. It'll get easier every time you do it, I'm sure!

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FURBALLDTH 11/8/2009 6:13PM

    sounds like you had a great day for yourself. Just what you need to rejuvenate for the week ahead.

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BOOTS1221 11/8/2009 5:55PM

    Sounds like a great day! It definitely was nice to enjoy some gorgeous weather here in the NE!!

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WILSOCA 11/8/2009 5:41PM

    We had a GREAT day here in Ontario too!!! It was absolutely beautiful !!! We did our clinic run this morning and we were so happy to do it in such great weather.
I hope you can figure out what is hindering your outdoor running. Does that happen every time you try outside ?
Have a great Sunday night !!

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JKSTEIN123 11/8/2009 5:37PM

    Wow you are very in tune today.

I don't know much about running, but maybe you are to fixated on you iPod and TOM.They may be a distraction.

Sound like you may know how to meditate. Maybe you should try just being in tune with nature and your surroundings and your body, when you run. .

Just a thought.

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GRACEISENUF 11/8/2009 5:23PM

    Sounds like a great afternoon and now you can enjoy the stew and hubby! It is beautiful weather here today too.

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PINKCOCONUT 11/8/2009 5:20PM

    What an awesome way to spend a day!

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Watching Others Kill Themselves

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I work a temp job in an office where all of us are in very close proximity to each other. Yep, very glamorous. Luckily, I work with a very cool group of people this go-around. As I've mentioned before, we have an awesome cafeteria where they actually mark the ingredients and highlight smart choices for the calorie conscious. You can get a really wonderful meal here with lots of flavor, color, and nutrition for very little money. It, of course, also has all the really high-fat, high-calorie choices that no cafeteria would be complete without.

One guy that I work with is definitely overweight. He jokes loudly about his high cholesterol and how he needs to buy a new belt. Before, I would have found his jokes really funny, but now it just makes me sad. I'm afraid to say anything lest I be branded as the nosy, holier-than-thou buzzkill. I'm not trying to snoop into other people's business, but since we all work so close, it's hard not to see what people are having for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Yesterday, he consumed:

- One bacon, egg and cheese bagel sandwich
- A large iced coffee with cream (and probably sugar)
- Several fun-sized chocolates from the Post-Halloween stash
- Two cans of Coke
- A small bag of Cheetos
- Chicken Parmesan with a mountain of pasta, sauce and cheese
- A fudge brownie
- A bag of M&Ms

"Just working on my diabetes," he joked. I just felt really, really sad and said "Maybe have an apple next time?" and tried to laugh. His response: "The caramel kind?"

I don't feel like I know him well enough to say anything else, but clearly he knows his eating habits are not great. Anyways, I know I'm supposed to "spread the Spark," but it's kind of hard to do that without sounding like a busybody, you know? I guess I'll just lead by example?


UPDATE (11/12)
Wow, everybody here gave such great advice and suggestions. I agreed with those who said even that even gentle prodding would probably turn him off.

Today, there was finally a breakthrough. He mentioned that he couldn't imagine running a block, nevermind a mile when another coworker mentioned she went running this morning. I immediately told him about how I started running at 275 pounds (yes, I actually shared the number with him!) and now I'm running 5K on the treadmill and working out my outside runs. I think he was extremely surprised. So I sent him links to Sparkpeople and Couch to 5K, and that's all I can do, I guess. I hope a lightbulb went off and he starts to take care of himself.

THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE for your advice on such an important, yet sore subject for many! YOU ROCK!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBSHAZZER 11/13/2009 2:21PM

    I think that's awesome! Perfect way to point him in the right direction without being "preachy"! Way to go! Even if it takes him months to do it, you planted the seed!

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CHLOIANNA 11/12/2009 10:59PM

    My two best friends are obese. Neither one is interested in being healthier. One has diabetes (as do I) and is starting to have kidney problems because of it. It hurts me to see them continuing in their unhealthy ways but I have finally realized I cannot change either of them. I can only work on myself. When and if they chose to change, I will help and support them any way I can. That's all I can do.

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MYFEETHURT 11/12/2009 5:37PM

  You've obviously got him "thinking." And now that you've shared some of your success with him as well as SPARK PEOPLE it really is up to him. When I quit smoking so many of my smoking friends said they would quit...but they LOVED smoking too much. Like you...I found that sad. Still bet you've got him thinking about some life changes. Hope so anyways.

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BETHSHEALTH 11/12/2009 2:10PM

    Sounds to me like he's a lonely person who gets his attention from food. I agree it's hard to watch other people like that. Especially when they actually complain and ask for answers. But don't want to hear the answer. I have one coworker who has been doing just that and she just had a high calorie fast food cold cut type sandwich for lunch.

I ate a leftover serving of my tasteless spaghetti (my sauce didn't turn out right) and a big apple.

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ETHEL_MERMAID 11/12/2009 1:40PM

    So much wisdom and good ideas in the suggestions here! My own vote is for leading by example. He can't fail but notice your success, and when he's sufficiently motivated, he may well follow you. But the readiness really has to come from within him, when all is said and done, I'm afraid.

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KEAKA2 11/12/2009 1:35PM

    One thing I've learned is that being unhealthy is like any other addictive behaviour. Short of a court order, people aren't going to stop until they're good and ready.
I had about 20 years of bad food/health choices before I decided I was ready for a change.
Who knows, maybe your kind words were the spark that this guy needs? But if not, you did what you could and you should be proud of that!!

Ps. I'm not very vocal around here but I do keep up on people and I just wanted to say congrats on all the awesome things you're doing lately. Everything from passing the bar to the DGOTD and all the other things in between!!

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KARVY09 11/12/2009 12:56PM

    Wow, everybody here gave such great advice and suggestions. I agreed with those who said even that even gentle prodding would probably turn him off.

Today, there was finally a breakthrough. He mentioned that he couldn't imagine running a block, nevermind a mile when another coworker mentioned she went running this morning. I immediately told him about how I started running at 275 pounds (yes, I actually shared the number with him!) and now I'm running 5K on the treadmill and working out my outside runs. I think he was extremely surprised. So I sent him links to Sparkpeople and Couch to 5K, and that's all I can do, I guess. I hope a lightbulb went off and he starts to take care of himself.

THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE for your advice on such an important, yet sore subject for many! YOU ROCK!

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FITMAMA1984 11/12/2009 12:33PM

    You know, I see things like this all the time. I often wonder what would have happened if someone would have genuinely tried to mention to me my $15 meal from Wendy's wasn't the most healthy option I could have chosen. You know, I probably would have been 1)embarrassed 2)mad 3)insecure. Even with the best of intentions, usually good hearted suggestions can blow up in your face.

I prefer to just mention healthy options in passing. We discuss what we cook a lot at work and I'll mention how throwing the 98% fat free campbell's soups taste the same, but much healthier.. how mozzarella cheese is a much better option than cheddar.. I endorse "Eat This, Not That" books like a mad woman. But, there's really only so much you can do when you get down to the nitty gritty.

You have such a kind heart and you know that guy is just covering up his insecurities with jokes. Maybe you could mention in passing the great work you've done and how and that will get his mind to turning? It's sad, but only he can make this change.

Comment edited on: 11/12/2009 12:34:34 PM

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LADYNETTIE 11/12/2009 12:25PM

    It is sad to see people killing themselves with food, isn't it? It's just the same as watching people kill themselves with alcohol and cigarettes for me. There really isn't anything you can do or say unless they ask about your health and fitness plan and are open to hearing about it. I actually pushed my daughter further away from diet and exercise by suggesting it too often, so I learned to keep my mouth shut until she was ready and asked me for help. People at my work are asking me questions about how I am doing it also, and I am always ready with my SparkPeople recruiting information! Have a great day and thanks for being a great SparkPerson! emoticon

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STORMTMB 11/12/2009 10:01AM

    As others have said, he knows. But he has to be ready to change. For years I knew, but I had convinced myself that I couldn't lose weight.

One day I made the decision that I had to do it for myself. My mom nagged me for as long as I can remember. I just got sick of hearing it. My doctor, bless his heart, did not say anything to me about needing to lose weight or changing all of my horrible habits, when he told me how high my blood sugar was. It would have turned me off. He made the right decision. I knew what I needed to do and just had to be ready and willing to do it myself.

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BTVMADS 11/12/2009 7:13AM

    I have no idea what I would do in that situation.... Obviously, this man is very aware of his poor habits and weight, of what society thinks of him, and he's very insecure about it. I think that in the cafeteria, if you're next to each other in line or sitting at the same table, you could make a big deal about how delicious your low-cal meals are. Encouraging everyone around to try them (and not singling him out) might mean he'll go out on a limb and see that it's okay not to each just high-calorie junk.

I wish I had better advice though... I have a coworker who is extremely obese as well, except she's in total denial about why and what she has to do to change it. It's so frustrating to watch her talk about how she's watching what she eats, but that really just means she's looking at the food she's eating.

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FLORIDASUN 11/12/2009 5:09AM

    Wowy...that's a tough one. I too am more aware of how overweight some people are around me. It's hard not to notice as you are on your own weight loss journey and want to share the happiness you have learned. One friend has taken notice and is now going to a gym to work out several times a week. She told me I was her inspiration...it's not anything I ever mentioned to her..so it has to be the "leading by example"....I think your on to something with that! emoticon How wonderful you are for caring my dear one!

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KATISONIT 11/12/2009 12:47AM

    I just dropped by because I read your guest blog on snacks. I loved it, so funny and so true!

This situation reminds me of Daniel's encounter with his old partner last night at the end of the Biggest Loser. They were old friends that had supported each other at the ranch last season (I didn't see it, but I'm assuming they did), and from what I've read, his partner is even heavier than he was before.

I've also personally seen this at work. One of my co-workers was significantly overweight, but made it known to the other employees that he wanted to lose weight. They would nag him (nicely, *honest*) about his food choices, give him advice about working out, but from what I saw of his eating habits in the office, he wasn't putting a lot of the advice into action. To make it worse, I felt sometimes that their comments put him off, even though he was the one to initially ask for them.

It was awkward seeing them discuss Daniel's weight loss and his friend's lack thereof, just as it was awkward to sit across the desk from my co-worker during these conversations. And in both instances, their advisors were friends with the best of intentions that had been made aware of the others' intentions to lose weight.

I think that everyone has their own personal true tipping point, when they finally decide to change for their own reasons. Like some of the other commenters have said, it might be hard to bite your tongue, but the best thing might be to support him if he ever asks for your advice.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/9/2009 6:00PM

    I'd find that hard to watch, too. He's obviously uncomfortable with his habits and health and trying to clumsily cover it with jocularity. I've been there too.

I'm of a live-and-let-live philosophy with people; I wasn't ready to get rid of the weight until I suddenly was, and people dropping hints just annoyed me. So I don't usually approach people but rather let them bring up a difficult subject. If I'm asked my opinion I don't mince words, but I usually don't bring it up myself.

Where I work people have definitely noticed that I've lost over 150 pounds just since last December. Some didn't say anything at all, some complimented me, and a few (one just today) came to say she noticed the improvement in my size and I eventually ended up giving her one of the Spark cards that came with my shirt.

So in my case I can just wait for people to come to me if they want suggestions. But then, they've seen a vast change over the past months, and therefore they know I've hit on something.

People at church who met me in March are a different story, because looking at me they probably don't realize I know how they feel, having been there once. So they're probably less likely to approach me and ask. There is one guy who is enormous there, and one day at coffee break I ended up showing him the "before" picture I carry with me for motivation. I think he felt more comfortable talking to me about it after that - although, come to think of it, we haven't seen him since then!

Comment edited on: 11/9/2009 6:02:48 PM

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CASADESPONGE 11/7/2009 3:15PM

    That sounds like my husband and the way he deals with his weight and food. I've tried lots of things...signing him up for SP...cooking and buying healthier food...cooking less food...trying to lead by example. But in the end...he always goes back to what he knows. I hate it...but he won't change until something bad happens...or he just finally gets sick of living the way he is.

He even gets mad at me because I don't allow "junk food" in the house for our kids. We do not have ice cream...candy...chocolate...pizza..
.burritos...etc in the house just laying around. We do eat these things on RARE occasions...but they cannot be spur of the moment things we grab because we are too tired or too lazy to cook.

It's so hard when you see other people living the way we were and we know that the struggle to be healthier is sooooo worth it once we get into it a little bit and see some results and feel so much better.

I agree with DragonFly...do a nice Spark Post It and let him do the rest.

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KNITTINGFROG 11/7/2009 12:49PM

    Oh boy, that's a tough one...I second all the suggestions already made, and maybe can add to organise a post-office hours get together in the park for a game of frisbee or something?
And maybe if you get to the canteen earlier than him make a point of mentionning how delicious and filling the carrot soup (or whatever the healthy option is) was today, and how you could not eat another morsel if you tried.

All that said, I used to work in an office surrounded by slim and fit people when I was too down and depressed to do anything about my weight. I can tell you that most days the call of the warm stodgy dessert was too hard to resist, and when I looked at those balanced people and their light salads I felt guilty. Because we all know that larger people are overall aware of their non-healthy habits.

So maybe start by paying him a compliment (a believable one ;-) ), or stick a feel good quote as post-it on his computer/phone because chances are he has some self-esteem issues...I think I would have freaked if one of my colleagues at the time had started to preach at me how they had found THE way to lose weight and be healthy.

Be patient, do your thing for you...he'll come to his senses, eventually :)

(and yes, I too feel frustrated by people, but then again, I remeber being 'them' not so long ago!)

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LULI_2POINT0 11/7/2009 8:24AM

    Wow. This one's a tough one. You are a great person for caring enough about his health to notice what he is eating. I think leaving SP brochures or sending anonymous e-mails as others have suggested might come across as more offensive than encouraging, but it really depends on his personality. I personally would appreciate it if someone would do that for me because I'm trying to make that change.

Can I suggest "breaking the ice" by bringing in a healthy treat to share with those closest around you? That might just be what is needed to start the dialog about your new healthy lifestyle. Yeah, you'd essentially be a "pusher" but it would be for a noble cause.

Good luck!

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CHANA-D 11/7/2009 8:21AM

    I now find it a bit awkward to be around one of my friend's husband because he is quite large and eats so much, but constantly makes fat jokes about himself. But then again, not long ago, I was making a lot of the same unhealthy food choices, just not making the fat jokes about myself. Unfortunately, you cannot change other people, until they are ready for change themselves. Still, I see hope in leading by example, because I have seen that work for me. As I lost weight over these last 5 months, people at my office have begun to notice, and ask questions. Several of them have now joined with me to work out at lunchtime and then we eat a healthy lunch together. I see big changes in the food choices they are now making, and it keeps me on track because I don't want to disappoint them by making poor choices.
You can only hope that one day - he will be ready to make changes in his life, and if that time comes - and he asks you how you did it - you will be able to give him information to help him.

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SLARTYB 11/6/2009 7:00AM

    I hear those jokes too - usually they are pre-emptive, self-defence jokes; people justifying their life-style choices.

I get that at work too - from people who are threatened by people who are losing weight. They start off hostile & sceptical (under the cover of 'jokes') but then, if you get talking to them - and I agree, you need to have a much better level of personal interaction over a period of time - you find that they are secretly curious and interested. Then is the time to make oh so subtle suggestions rather than dump the whole SP philosophy in one go & scare them off!

People who have now noticed that I have lost 20 lbs in 4 months are starting to ask questions....

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DRAGONFLY1974 11/6/2009 5:32AM

    Have you heard of operation beautiful? They put post its anonymously with kind messages. Maybe a post it with sparkpeople.com and a nice little anonymous well meaning nice message.

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LITTLEFREEZE 11/6/2009 2:32AM

    Wow.. that makes me sad too. Like, maybe he thinks it's impossible for him to lose weight, so he's just "accepted" that. Maybe he makes jokes too make it easier on himself.

I do agree, you should lead by example~!! ^__^ I think that seeing that someone else can do it.... would maybe give someone else a boost.... and help them to think that they can do it as well!!

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RAINTHIEF 11/5/2009 9:43PM

    He might work well with encouragement and direction - I'm guessing he probably hasn't received much encouragement and support and gave up on trying to improve long ago. He probably now uses food and humor to mask concerns about his health. It depends how comfortable and well you know him on whether or not you think you could breach the subject. You could share your own successes with him and let him know that he is fully capable of succeeding as well!

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MYTURN11 11/5/2009 7:25PM

    It is very hard to observe someone eating like this in the workplace especially when they are jovial about it. About 8 years ago I worked with a very large gentlemen and he constantly ate all day long. If we had pizza and sub day he would go and get the foodstuffs. We would all meet, eat and then finish and he would pack up (really neatly) all leftovers and take to the 2nd floor kitchen area fridge. From that point on he would shuffle by my office for the remainder of the day getting more subs and cold pizza. When folks came for leftovers the next day, there was nothing left at all and there should have been enough for one more go around for 10+ people. These pizza and sub events/holiday events continued on and on and folks joked about it and I failed to see the humor. Then my dh dj’d a bb party and this same guy attended. He was first in buffet line ahead of his table even being called and then he ate and went back through the line when his table was called. To make a long story short, he was a real likable guy and he joked that he had a hollow leg. They had to reconfigure the new turnstile at the gate because it was not large enough for him to fit though. It was a union site so he was protected. I later learned 5 years ago that he had suffered a mild heart attack and was on paid disability. Why so that he could sit at home and eat more? Like I mentioned, he was very likable but it was sad watching him destroy himself.

Comment edited on: 11/5/2009 7:29:41 PM

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TEAM-SARAH 11/5/2009 6:20PM

    Oh man that is honestly tragic. I think his jokes are the classic make fun of yourself so others don't approach. He knows it's bad and he likely feels ashamed and scared. I think it's a cry for help, but the kind where if he were approached he could totally get all defensive and he's just in a huge amount of denial. It's tough to know how to deal with that because it could be a wonderful thing, or it could really backfire. I think it'd be great if you COULD find some way to let him know that you support him if he needs the help. I mean no one joking about very very serious health issues like diabetes and high cholesterol is really laughing on the inside. The man needs to change his life and he knows it.

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/5/2009 5:38PM

    I know exactly what you're talking about.... With the group of people I went out w/ today one of the girls is obese and seeing her eat enough food for 2 people and then get ice cream and then popcorn was like emoticon..... Aaaa its hard, cause you were in their shoes but don't want to offend by suggesting SP! LEAD BY EXAMPLE YES!!

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ZIRCADIA 11/5/2009 5:09PM

    I dunno man -- I CAN'T STAND when people make fat jokes about themselves. It's sooooo awkward because I can't laugh with them. My husband does it and it's sooooooo hard because I LOVE him so much, but I can't laugh and joke with him about his weight because I'd love to see him healthy because I LOVE HIM, you know? I might consider asking him not to say those kinds of things around me because to me it isn't funny. ? That seems mean but at least you're not preaching to him to make him change -- it's almost like asking someone to stop telling racist or sexist jokes... just fatty jokes? I dunno if I'd be able to get up the guts to say something, but anyway. *HUGS*

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    I'm thinking maybe you could go a step farther than just leading by example. Maybe you could print out some of the sparkpeople fliers and place them around the cafeteria if your job permits this. Or, maybe leave one on his desk. You could do it anonymously or leave a note saying something to the effect of being concerned about his health and that this website has some great information when he is ready to change. I definitely wouldn't say anything to him face to face. If he isn't interested in the flier, he can always throw it in the garbage.

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BEARSSTEF 11/5/2009 4:32PM

    I feel the same frustration sometimes, when people close to me know they have bad habits but engage in them anyway. The hardest part is that NO ONE can make you change / be healthier / lose weight, etc, except YOU. So I have to settle for supporting them when they finally make they decision to change.

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 11/5/2009 3:41PM

    When I look at people, instead of saying "what's wrong with you", I like to think "what's happened to you?" Everybody has a story, some of them even rehearse it in their head over and over to drown out the voices that tell them they should be doing something different. I think you should lead by example. Hopefully, he will see the changes in you, and then will become ready to make a change, even if it's a tiny one like replacing one hi-cal snack with an apple. Until he's ready, it'll be hard to convince him otherwise. Joking about it, is his insecurity coming through. Low self-esteem. I know this, because always being the "big girl" most of my life, I have become "the funny girl." That's how I see myself fitting into groups. If I can get people to laugh, then they will accept me. So stay kind, stay strong, be the shining light, that we all know you are :) :)

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    It takes awhile to make cultural shifts. Used to be, not too long ago, people would make sexist jokes in office settings. I remember the switch from 'laughing along with them to be polite' to 'calmly not reacting.' I see a similar mindset in a joking search for camaraderie around eating something decadent--or even just tasty. When we instigate or participate in that, we're reinforcing a norm that these are indulgences but here's an opportunity for us to indulge. The excuse to stray from dieting.

This mindset is a VERY hard thing to shift. I worked in a health promotion setting and couldn't get people away from the excitement of birthday cake for people's birthdays. When you have four people in an office, that's one thing, but when the staff grows to 32, that's a lotta birthday cake!

All that said, I think anything beyond what you did would not be perceived well. If it were a long-term setting, perhaps you could start requesting fruit when it's your birthday, to use my example, but the more temporary the encounter, the less welcome your opinions will be.

Nevertheless, if you want to put something SparkPeople-ish out on the desk where people are just going to have to ask about it, it could give you an opening to talk about your journey.

Keep going.

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AZIUGA 11/5/2009 3:32PM

    I am with you 1000 percent, and totally understand where youare coming from. My boyfriend and I both have coworkers like this, but mine fortunatley does not joke about it...she says she wants to lose weight and then eats 2 breakfasts (one from Mickey D's) and then a snack like frozen taquitos, a lean cuisine, then goes out to lunch, then a frozen pretzel, and who knows what for dinner! My boyfriends coworker orders stuff like almond chicken with no vegetables and fried rice at chinese restaurants.
That cafeteria you were talking about sounds wonderful! How great that they have variety but also point you in the direction of health choices!!!
I think you are right in not directly saying anything to him, as I am pretty sure it would cause him embarassment and also make things a little awkward maybe. What I would do is lead by example, and maybe slip in little things you learned along your journey, or mention your c25k accomplishments, etc. I think that that may make him think a little, and seeing how far you have come might inspire him!
For me, when he was joking around, I would say something like, "you shouldn't joke so much about it, and sell yourself short! You could totally do it!!!" I know for a lot of people, joking about an insecurity makes them feel better somehow!

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PJSTIME 11/5/2009 3:31PM

    I think we have all been in that guys shoes (or most of us anyway or we wouldn't be on the site now) and until he is ready the best thing you can do is show him what you can do in a healthy way and that you can be consistent and keep the weight off. Just like you are doing right now with SP. Until each individual is ready nothing anyone else does is going to do them any good. Just keep doing what you are doing. Thanks for blogging about this issue.
PJ emoticon emoticon

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DIGISCRAPPY 11/5/2009 3:16PM

    Oh yes. I have several co-participants in our company's weight loss challenge that sound like your guy. In fact, the day of our mid-point weigh-in, a co-worker was rejoicing over being down 5 pounds (~2% loss) while still consuming McDonald's Extra Value Meals several times a week. In fact, it evolved into co-workers laughing because my strict eating/fitness habits only translated into my losing 2 pounds more (but a 4.8% loss) than the co-worker who was still eating McDonald's and not exercising. Ugh. Of course, they don't take into account that I've been building muscle as I'm learning to run.

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GIANTPANDA 11/5/2009 3:13PM

    I think you handled it the right way. It is better to lead by example and inspire the person to ask you about what is working for you. I once worked at a place where male supervisors would come in and tell me I needed to go to Weight Watchers like them. The truth was that they often ate unhealthy low-cal food. I knew they were watching what I ate all the time, and they would often comment about it. My sister was terminally ill with cancer, so many things were going on in my life. I found that added stress of knowing how I was viewed by some of the people I worked with made me eat even more--comfort food, junk food, etc.

Meanwhile, I saw people living on Slimfast drinks, carrots, and apples being praised. One person I worked for talked to another woman in the office to tell her she was too plump and she ended up living on protein bars to lose weight.

What I've learned from my own journey is that overeating and poor eating habits can be complex. Are they stress eating? Diving into comfort food? Do they have an undiagnosed medical problem or allergic situation? Trying to eat to stop falling asleep from sleep apnea? Drinking coffee to prevent asthma attacks? The sad thing is the more unhealthy the food, the more people can be hooked on the fat, sugar ,salt, etc.

One thing I find works better is encouragement. For instance, at one job, I began taking yoga classes, very tough for a very plus-sized person. I appreciated the encouragement I got for what I did right.

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ANDREA963 11/5/2009 3:09PM

    Your blog reminds me of my first job out of college which was in a glass plant working with a lot of male engineer co-workers. I'd go to lunch with these older gentlemen at the cafeteria. They kept bothering me for a month about bringing in the 'New Guy Donuts'. But at lunch each day they'd talk about their cholesterol, heart condition, weight, etc... So I brought in a fruit basket and told them that after listening to their health issues for a month, New Guy Fruit is more appropriate.

I have a girlfriend that I have been trying to get involved into Spark. She has a page, but has not gotten into it at all. I worry about her and her husband and how they may be shortening their life span. I've been trying to get her involved, but I know if I push too hard she'll shut me out.

You are doing FANTASTIC. Great advice from everyone on leading by example. I'm hoping that eventually my friend will jump on board with me also.

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KARVY09 11/5/2009 2:59PM

    WOW! Such quick responses! I agree. I would have been mortified if someone commented on my similarly disgusting food choices six months ago. I agree that the laughter is a cover-up for pain. Very sad.

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WEEZIETEE 11/5/2009 2:39PM

    I totally agree with FRIZGIRL - lead by example. Because, at the end of the day, he knows what's what. He knows that what he's doing is slowly killing himself. And the joking is his defense mechanism. Believe me - I know whereof I speak: it was always easier to crack a fat joke immediately upon entering a room so as to avoid someone else doing it first. In my mind, it was my way of saying "yes, I'm aware of the weight situation but I'd rather be the one to talk about it please and thank you." It is sad when you've been there. But I've learned that - much like I would have been mortified/livid/humiliated had anyone spoken to me about my atrocious eating habits - I know that all I can do is lead by example. If someone comes to me and asks how I've lost weight (or what I'm eating or what my workout routine/running schedule is like) I'm more than happy to share. But only then. Because, like your co-worker - adults know that the fries and gravy are the main contributors to their poor health and expanding waistlines. I think your positive attitude & ever-changing physique is a brilliant example of "spreading the spark" - so keep doin' what you're doin'!


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HUGMONKEYMOM 11/5/2009 2:38PM

    I think you're best bet is to wait for him to come to you (if he wants to). With close friends or relatives we can be a little more bold (so long as we are also sensitive), but with people we don't know so well, you just have to wait for them.

Lead by example I say! You are doing so well on your own that if you are really in such close proximity, he'll see your progress eventually. The rest, as they say, is up to him.

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STINA6584 11/5/2009 2:35PM

    I totally hear ya on this. I am constantly wanting to lecture people (friends, co-workers, my boyfriend) on how crappy their eating habits are, but I keep my mouth shut lest I become that annoying holier-than-thou person no one wants to eat lunch with.

Sometimes I'll make suggestions of substitutions or changes they could make if it fits in the context of the conversation; however, generally unless it's solicited I don't offer much.

I was so grossed out by everything that guy ate yesterday. I think I probably would have yakked somewhere in the middle of the pasta mountain.

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SNAPSHOT531 11/5/2009 2:33PM

  Wow...I know the feeling. I work in a hospital and see lots of sick people daily. We are a smaller facility so I actually know a lot of these people. However our facility (staff) is 80% overweight. So daily it really saddens me to watch all of these sick people as well as their caregivers ordering cheese burgers, fries and soda. Plus going outside for smoke break after smoke break and rarely exercising. It is really heartbreaking to watch this but at the same time it is hard to speak up and say something for fear of hurting someone or being the "nosy" person. At this point all I am able to do is take part in our wellness committee, lead by example, and have faith that it might reach somebody.

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PINKCOCONUT 11/5/2009 2:31PM

    Now that I'm conscious of what I eat and do I know exactly how you feel and I pretty much act the same way. Lead by example. If he asks you about what you're doing, then you have an "in" but if they don't care to hear it, all your work will fall on deaf ears.

I always remember when I was at my heaviest and I HATED it when others wanted to "talk" to me about it because I "knew" but I was stuck in a hole.

Others? They just really don't care about their health.

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GRACEISENUF 11/5/2009 2:30PM

    I think that is the wise choice and as you get to know him better then maybe he will ask you how you are losing all your weight.....instant OPEN DOOR. As I read all of those choices it reminded me of how crappy I used to eat. UGH!

Life is so much better since making the choice to eat right and exercise.

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DREAMRUNR 11/5/2009 2:30PM

    OH how I can relate. It's also hard for me in the supermarket. There are times when I want to say something, but I know better. People will not change until they are ready. And alot of times saying anything will just cause more resistance. Lead by example and maybe once he consistantly sees your achievements something will click.

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PAPER_WINGS18 11/5/2009 2:29PM

    Yeah that's a tough situation and hard to see people eat like that, especially when you have already been learning to eat healthfully and exercise. However, I think you handled it right most definitely. It wouldn't be any of our places to tell someone not to eat crappy unless they were like our family members or close friends, and this guy doesn't seem close enough to you to do that. I think that once more weight of yours starts melting off(You are doing so freaking great BTW!!!), maybe he'll start making compliments and then you could be like "oh yeah I found www.sparkpeople.com it's really great! blahblahblah..." And spread the spark to him that way? That way you're being nice and leaving it up to him(which is what this weight loss journey is all about) to jump on board for his health. We all know that getting started w/ losing weight isn't easy, especially if you've been "big" and unhealthy your whole life(like me)! Sometimes people need a little push so hopefully the more weight you lose, the more likely he'll be to compliment you or make a SERIOUS comment asking you how you did it so that he could do it too!

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FRIZGIRL 11/5/2009 2:28PM

    Probably the best thing you can do is lead by example... in another 6 months when you are super svelt, and he is still working on his diabetes, maybe he'll ask you something, and you can tell him about spark and all the hard work and pride and accomplishment you've put in and gotten out of it. You are awesome!

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BETT2U 11/5/2009 2:28PM

    It's funny that you should post this. I ate in our cafeteria today and scooped out a bowl full of chili before reading the label. It had 26 grams of fat and either 300 or 500 calories. I left it on my tray and didn't touch it. I have someone who always brags about my weight loss but when I ask her to come workout with me, she just keeps going like she didn't hear me. This came up on one of my other message boards. My virtual trainer says don't worry about hurting someone's feelings. I wonder if there is a way for you to show him a before or after or casually say, "you know i've recently lost some weight. I would be more than glad to share my secret with you if you are interested." Often laughter is a cover up for pain--Dr. Drew.

Comment edited on: 11/5/2009 2:28:45 PM

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Snack Food: A Tribute

Monday, November 02, 2009

Since the beginning of 2009, I've lost 52 pounds, 45 of those on Sparkpeople in the last 5 months. I credit many people in my life for helping me get this far, including my awesome husband and friends, and my incredible friends on Sparkpeople. (Man, does this sound like an acceptance speech or what?)

I also got a lot of help from some awesome snack foods along the way...

Yes, snack food.

There are some foods that I do not think I would have gotten this far without, and for that reason, I just have to pay tribute to my Top Five in blog form to give them the recognition that they deserve. So here they are, in no particular order.


Oh, String Cheese. I remember you being the snack of choice in the 80s, and we would battle on to see who could eat you the slowest. Yes, the slowest. The only food I know that has a slow-eating component to it, unlike your hot dog- and pie-eating contests and whatnot. Take a tiny string of that cheese stick, savor it, and see if you can get a smaller string than your friend.

That spirit of competition lives on. And the reduced fat version costs me only 70 calories and 4 grams of fat and packs 8 grams of protein. So, I slowly tip my hat to you, String Cheese. Thank you for being such a great snack.


How can you not salute a food that satisfies both your salt and sugar cravings in one luscious air-popped bite? I cannot, so I must applaud heartily for this warm treat with only 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. The bag almost seems endless, which is another plus. You kind of FEEL like you're binging. It also has the ability to annoy every single other person in the office, as its captivating aroma wafts across each and every cubicle, which is great if you don't particularly care for your coworkers.


For every salt and sugar craving, there is a more specific craving for chocolate. While chocolate often has you jonesing for yes, more chocolate, I like to get my chocolate in nut form. These treats are only 75 calories for 14 almonds and gives you that burst of protein too for added fullness. You simply cannot beat it.


Doctors are evil, poking you with things, treating you with derision and scorn, making you feel better and stuff... OK, well maybe they aren't that bad, but who wants to go to the doctor? I sure don't. And we all know that apples are to doctors as garlic is to vampires, right?

We all have our favorite variety. I'm a tart Macintosh girl and the husband prefers a sweeter Gala or Braeburn. But whatever your pleasure, there's such satisfaction in chomping on an apple and getting that little dribble of juice down your chin. Yum. Apples!


Go Greek. You haven't had yogurt until you've had Greek yogurt. And yogurt isn't yogurt if it has aspartame in it. It's just aftertastey. So do yourself a favor, and grab some of this stuff. It is tasty and filling and ranges from 100-160 calories, with tons of protein and calcium. And it has wonderful flavors such as pomegranate, pineapple, and honey! Yes, we Greeks invented both democracy and the combination of yogurt and honey, both which have left this world a much yummier place.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ETHEL_MERMAID 11/12/2009 1:43PM

    I salute the ever-wise Greeks (you're obviously one of them!) for creating their version of yogurt! It's the only kind I'll eat these days. My fave is Fage 0% - the creaminess and low-calorie-ness are incredible! And so much protein and calcium. You remind me that it's time to stock up once again!

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BECKTY 11/12/2009 12:04PM

    Chocolate Quakes mini rice cakes!

And some new great ideas now, thanks to this posting. ;)

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KNITTINGFROG 11/7/2009 12:54PM

    I like to think that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but you may need more if your aim is not so good ;-)

I am envious of your snacks (we can't get most here, apart from the humble apple and plain greek yoghurt). I could do with mini bags of popcorn...when cravings hit, it is only too easy to devour a large (80-100g) bag! Saying that I would not be able to have dinner afterwards...

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MUSHROOM523 11/3/2009 5:40PM

    mmm the cocoa almonds look delish! and amen to the string cheese!! :)

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ONLY_AS_HIGH 11/3/2009 11:16AM

    Oh man, have you tried the honeycrisp apples? Soooooo good!

I have to try the greek yogurt!

Great list. emoticon

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AZIUGA 11/3/2009 11:14AM

    I bought that popcorn yesterday at your recommendation, and totally agree with you! I need to find those chocolate almonds for days when I need a bit of chocolate! Or when we have candy at work. I could suck on my almond and ignore the bad food!
Great list! Thanks for sharing!!!

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LISTLOADRUN 11/3/2009 10:06AM

    Great list!

Greek yogurt - ESPECIALLY the chobani brand, is AH-mazing!!!
I second the nomination for the laughing cow light garlic and herb cheese as well and that 100 calorie popcorn bag is heavenly!

I'm a huge fan of apples, pink ladies, gala, granny smith and jazz specifically, but really, apples on the whole make me happy.

Other snacks off the top of my head?
Quaker Rice cakes - chocolate and the caramel corn ones mainly.
Powdered Peanut Butter (yes, really!! http://www.bellplantation.com/ MUCH lower fat and calories)
Clif mini bars (the minis are less than half the calories of the full size ones)
Sunsweet choc covered dried plums

Comment edited on: 11/3/2009 10:07:12 AM

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LITTLEFREEZE 11/3/2009 9:34AM

    Yes~!!! Doctors are scared of apples!! ^__^

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CATISM 11/3/2009 9:17AM

  great blog!

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HEALTHYSASSY 11/2/2009 11:32PM

    Great Blog! Thanks for sharing the snack ideas.

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TRAVELNISTA 11/2/2009 8:54PM

    Oh I LOVE Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt us like milk is compared to skim milk. YUMMY! The Chocolate Dusted Almonds sound great and I have never seen or heard of them before. I will now be on the outlook at the grocery store.

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SARAHF_24 11/2/2009 8:14PM

    This blog is wonderful! And cocoa dusted almonds?!?! Where have those been all my life?! I've never seen those but now I will be on the lookout! And how could I live without my 100 popcorn bags?! Delighful!! I loved the story about the string cheese!

My favorite apple is the Honey Crisp. Being a Minnesota girl I gotta love a Minnesota apple! If you find them try them...they are tart and sweet! Perfectly amazing!

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WILSOCA 11/2/2009 7:08PM

    Ha ha ha .. I love this blog.
Hum ... I don't think we have a couple of these things in Canada .. but fear not .. we do have apples .. ha ha ha ...and I like them tart.
Congratulations on all your success on Spark. You've done a great job !!

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DAPHNERUNNING 11/2/2009 6:02PM

    You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT on all of these!!! String cheese and kettle korn in particular, imho. And yes, I'm also voting for Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb!

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FRIZGIRL 11/2/2009 5:37PM

    lol, this is one of the best blogs I have read in a while.... I will definitely have to add string cheese and chocolate almonds on to my list... I have almonds now, but it could get pretty boring...

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GRACEISENUF 11/2/2009 4:15PM

    I gotta vote a double YES on kettle corn! After reading your blog I will try Greek yogurt and also those cocoa almonds, they sound yummy. Thanks for giving me some new ideas.

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 11/2/2009 4:11PM

    Great Blog! Isn't it funny that we're all alike just a little bit, but then again soooo different. I love laughing cow cheese, almonds, string cheese, apples, 97% FF Orville's popcorn, Lemon water, and tea to snack on. I can't believe I've lived without cocoa dusted almonds and I haven't tried Greek yogurt even though I've considered it a few times. I'm always up for trying something new so I know I'll be checking the shelves for greek yogurt and cocoa dusted almonds--they sound so yummy! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PAPER_WINGS18 11/2/2009 3:13PM

    hahah I love it! Can I ask-what does Greek Yogurt taste like? Is it similar to regular yogurt? I'm not a huge yogurt fan(especially b/c I can taste the artificial sweetners in the LIGHT ones) But lately I have found the Yoplait WHIPS which are ahhh mazing but higher in cals/fat b/c I think there is real sugar in 'em.... To me it's worth it though because there's nothing worse than tasting the fake sweet flavors of aspartame in yogurt. yuck!

I love string cheese too, only I have issues only eating one serving so I try not to buy it frequently :)

I second Stina and the other members that laughing cow rocks my world. mmmmm...On a bagel, toast, crackers, sandwich, whatev, I loooove it!!!

My latest favorite snack is edamame though :) MMMMM!

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FEATHERSTITCH 11/2/2009 2:47PM

    I drive out of my way to get Greek yogurt. It is worth the effort! I will be looking for the coco roast almonds! Laughing Cow wedges are also a must.

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ANGELLACOLE 11/2/2009 2:25PM

    I am soooo with you on the Greek yogurt! I have no idea how I lived without it before.

Great post!

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    This was a funny and great blog. I hadn't see the 100 calorie bags of kettle corn yet, so I will be searching those out, plus I think I would like to try the COCOA DUSTED ALMOND.


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KEEPGOING87 11/2/2009 2:10PM

    i love special k bars!!! and hummus with carrots!!! yummmmmm
and 100 calorie brownies yum,

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STINA6584 11/2/2009 2:08PM

    I would have to second the vote for Laughing Cow - the light Garlic and Herb wedges and the light Mini Babybels! I also have to add basically anything Kashi. I love their crackers (pair with the aforementioned Laughing Cow cheeses) and their various granola bars. Even their cookies have grown on me!

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WANDAC2013 11/2/2009 1:55PM

    Love the string cheese---unfortunately, so do my dogs, so I always have to share! I can get some TINY strings going for them! Ambrosia apples---so sweet and juicy! Haven't had the cocoa dusted almonds but will be looking for them...and I have never tried Greek yogurt but since every one raves about it, I'll have to get some.....I would add beef jerky to the list....GREAT BLOG!!!

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ANGIERUNNER 11/2/2009 1:43PM

    awesome blog..... i think add beef jerky and grapes

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PINKCOCONUT 11/2/2009 1:35PM

    Cocoa almonds?!?!?! I have NEVER seen those! I'll have to keep my eyes out! I do keep unsalted almonds at my desk though and I'm a tart granny smith girl all the way! I've had one a day, five days a week for almost three months now...

Keep it up!

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WISLNDR 11/2/2009 1:23PM

    I love it!! I'd have to add Laughing Cow cheese on Thin Triscuits or Skinny Cow (what's with the cows here?) ice cream treats.

From America's Dairyland (sorry California, that's what it says on my license plate!)


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THREADBENDER 11/2/2009 1:17PM

    First, congratulations. You are progressing so well.

One of my supporting role snack foods would be dry roasted or raw nuts and seeds.

Did you know that you can just make regular popcorn in the microwave in a brown paper lunch bag? I learned that through sparkpeople. Just scoop 1/4 c. of popcorn into the bag. Lay it on its side and roll the top. Put in the microwave for ~2 min. (Stay close by until you've figured out the timing for your microw.) When finished I spray it with the butter flavored spray and a dash of salt. Saves a ton of money and all the extra chemicals they put in the commercial bags. (They are a known asthma trigger and I have asthma.)

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MARATHON_MOM 11/2/2009 1:15PM

    I'm a Fuji apple kind of girl~

Great list! The kettle corn mini bags are ALWAYS in my pantry... and apples and bananas would also be on my list. And lately, frozen blueberries mixed with lowfat vanilla yogurt has been tops for me!

Thanks for a great blog... now I have to get off here... I'm going to meet HUGMONKEYMOM at the store as we hunt for cocoa dusted almonds....


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SARANGEREL 11/2/2009 1:15PM

    Oh man that is one great list!! I eat every one of those things, especially the Cocoa Almonds....drool emoticon And the great thing about greek yogurt, plain, it can double as sour cream....awesomeness!

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 11/2/2009 12:58PM

    Well the mini kettle corn bags make my top 5 too. Hmmm, what else...Oh i like the new yoplait caramel creme delight thingamajiggers. Apples, apples, apples. Always apples. Portable, delicious, perfect. Cottage cheese is probably my string cheese. I can eat a half a cup, and not really make a dent on my calories or fat, which is what i Love!!! Great list, chica. I love these, because it gives me new ideas, so I don't get bored in the food department, sticking with my "safe" foods :) Have a super week :)

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FITMAMA1984 11/2/2009 12:53PM

    I eat a Dole fruit cup pretty much daily, so I would salute them. They have about 5 different varieties so you don't get bored with them quite so quick. I tried the Smart Pop 94% Fat Free butter popcorn this weekend and it was great! You can have half a bag (yes, HALF a regular sized popcorn bag) for 120 calories, so that's a new one on the list for me as well. I need to try those almonds out!

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HUGMONKEYMOM 11/2/2009 12:53PM

    I'm totally with you on the string cheese and apples...and WHOA, hold the ship...did you just say cocoa dusted almonds! I think you've just made my world a better place.


My favorite (not listed) go-to snacks: trail mix (current fav: Back to Nature's Nantucket Blend), and bananas. You also can't beat a tablespoon of the nut butter of your choice on a slice of whole wheat bread. (You can even add the banana and make it a meal!)

Now, off to find me some of them almonds...

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LIFESGR8JOURNEY 11/2/2009 12:51PM

    That's awesome! And I totally agree! I do a 1/2 an apple(GALA for me) and a piece of string cheese for my afternoon snacks just about everyday! Love your snack tribute! emoticon

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KIMMYCABLES 11/2/2009 12:51PM

    i love your list. i also find it funny that i think on my list i would also have apples, string cheese, and greek yogurt. we don't have a microwave so i don't get to eat popcorn ever but i think i might need to get some for work, gotta torture some of those co workers right? oh, and the almonds look awesome. emoticon with your awesome weight loss.

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October Recap & November Goals

Sunday, November 01, 2009

October turned out to be a good month for me on SP. I was ready to have a whole month without one day above calorie range, but of course I blew it last night with a little friend named St. Germain. I had made plenty of room for a couple of glasses of wine, but little did I know that there would be this amazing elderflower liqueur spiking the wine, and that this magic liqueur is 80 calories an ounce. No candy though... I probably drank half of my calories last night, but I guess 2000 or so calories isn't so bad given that I stayed below my calories for the rest of the month. But this end of month trend of having an "off" day needs to change for the rest of the year.


-8 pounds
25 days of cardio exercise
1 day above calorie range
Tracked 31 days
1765 fitness minutes
10,163 calories burned
Continued strength training 2x per week
Ran 3.1 miles at a time


-Continue to track everyday
Acheived. Tracking has become a lot easier, almost second nature. I hope I don't lag here, because I think it is integral to my success.

-Lose 8-10 pounds
I lost 8 pounds this month! Woohoo!

-Increase fitness minutes to 1600+
Yes, I increased my activity to 1765 fitness minutes, and feel great about it. The last couple of days off allowed me to work out for as long as I wanted to at the gym and it just shows that I need to make fitness a huge priority in my life.

-Start strength training at gym and home strength training 3x per week
I slacked on the home strength training, but I did do strength training in the gym twice per week. Maybe I should invest in some resistance bands and dumbells for home.

-Finish C25K and do more runs outside
I finished C25K! Woohoo! I'm running 3.1 miles now. I also did more runs outside, but definitely need to get up to 5K outside by the end of the month.

-Complete the Superhero 5K (Nov. 1), beat my last time, do it without walking
I amended this goal and switched my 5K to Thanksgiving instead, so I'm moving this goal to next month!

-Drink 10 glasses of water per day; breathe while running and stretching
I did better with my breathing exercises, but my water consumption is still not what it should be. I need to drink less Diet Coke and more water, definitely, but honestly, as much as I'd like to cut out the Diet Coke, I know it's one of those things that if I cut it out, I'm more likely to fall off-track elsewhere.

-More healthy cooking at home, less eating out
I did a lot of healthy cooking this month and we ate out less until this last week where there have been a lot of celebrations and dinners at people's houses and out.


November is ALWAYS a tough one. Thanksgiving, of course, and then the leftovers. And then it is my birthday. Great excuses to go off-track for a whole week or more.

-Continue to track everyday
-Lose 8-10 pounds
-Increase fitness minutes to 1800+
-Continue strength training 2x at gym. Get equipment for home training.
-Run 5K outside at least twice a week.
-Complete the 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day
-Healthy cooking at home at least 5 days per week
-Portion control and moderation on Thanksgiving and no leftovers
-Enjoy birthday without big food or drink rewards


-8 pounds
22 days of cardio exercise
5 days above calorie range
Tracked 27 days
1225 fitness minutes
11,190 calories burned
Ran 3/4 mile at a time

-10 pounds
28 days of cardio exercise
5 days above calorie range
Tracked 31 days
1570 fitness minutes
11,587 calories burned
Began strength training
Ran 1.5 miles at a time

-8 pounds
20 days of cardio exercise
6 days above calorie range
Tracked 30 days
1215 fitness minutes
10,831 calories burned
Continued strength training
Ran 2 miles at a time

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DREAMRUNR 11/5/2009 2:36PM

    Congrats on blowing your October goals out of the water.

The November goals seem very obtainable for you and I know you will do great.

I love how you are increasing little by little every month. That's Great.

Congratz on completing the C25K emoticon

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FRIZGIRL 11/2/2009 5:41PM

    wow, you inspire me!!!

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    Way to go on hitting your goals!

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DRAGONFLY1974 11/2/2009 11:24AM

    WOOHOO!!!!! Congrats on a great job at meeting your goals...only 1 day over??? OMG you are amazing!!!!

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ANEPANALIPTI 11/2/2009 11:20AM


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ANEPANALIPTI 11/2/2009 11:19AM

    Can't wait to hear how it goes!!!! :) November's a great month and not only cause it's your birthday, you're going to blow it out of the water darling. ;)


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BETT2U 11/2/2009 10:46AM

    You are so honest with yourself. I really appreciate the way that you look at your days within range, days over range and number of days / minutes exercised. I don't know why I am in self-denial about when I mess up. It's as if by not writing it down it didn't happen. You really are an inspiration. Congrats on passing your exam and big congrats on running for 3.1 straight.I really need to buckle down and face the music (errr scientific proof of how sticking to my calorie range and exercising regularly provide the best results).

Comment edited on: 11/2/2009 10:46:44 AM

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MELTINGMIMI 11/2/2009 7:28AM

    AMAZING job!!!

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HUGMONKEYMOM 11/1/2009 11:52PM

    Look at you go! Keep up the great work and you'll be at goal in no time!

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ROXMATHIS 11/1/2009 4:45PM

    Sounds like you've got those goals down! Congrats on the loss and finishing the C25K!! I'm still working at it, I just don't have time to get on here as much as I use to with my student teaching. I've only got 4 more weeks until I'm finished and I'll graduate December 11th! I'm psyched! Goodluck to you on your November goals!!


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TRAVELNISTA 11/1/2009 3:27PM

    You have done excellent and I know you will continue to do so. emoticon

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ONLY_AS_HIGH 11/1/2009 3:06PM

    I love these recap and goals posts! This is some great work you're doing!!! emoticon

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DANCINGPENGUIN 11/1/2009 12:44PM

    GREAT results! I just found your blog from your link to the August 18 big runner post (congrats on the vote for a member favorite!). Figured if I posted there it would get lost, so I am here.

I feel the same way about the Diet Coke. It's the one noncaloric thing and therefore I don't have to deal with right now.

Also I really don't think there is anything wrong with a day "off" once in awhile, but stretch 'em out to 6 weeks if you're worried. I do like the idea of tracking it anyway.

Sign me --C25K W2D2 done.--

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 11/1/2009 11:50AM

    Wow, great job on your goals! You are doing so well, love the progress report from July. Look how far you've come! It's amazing what we can accomplish when we set our minds to it! I know you will be strong in November and go easy on yourself for any weak moments, you will bounce far higher than you fall, this I know for sure. Happy Sunday and have a great week :)

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TEAM-SARAH 11/1/2009 10:21AM

    You are doing fantastic. You are having a total streak of great weight loss. Keep it up!

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ERMAC22 11/1/2009 10:07AM

    Wow congrats on your progress!! You are definitely dedicated! I loved your idea of a tri state running group! I know I could definitely benefit from knowing other people in the area, as well as the races that are going on!

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RAINTHIEF 11/1/2009 9:54AM

    That is a great way of tracking progress! I might need to make a similar template to help me. You are doing really awesome with the weight loss and hitting your goals each month!
Good luck in November - I'm sure you can do it!

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PINKCOCONUT 11/1/2009 9:28AM

    You are AMAZING!!!! Can't wait to hear how awesome you did at the end of November!

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STINA6584 11/1/2009 8:56AM

    You are doing great girl! You're going to kick November's butt because you've got all us Sparkers to back you up :)

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JSNAPP1 11/1/2009 8:53AM

    Congratulations! This is SO motivating to read! :)

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IFDEEVARUNS2 11/1/2009 8:52AM

    It may actually be good for your body to have that above range day. You're very consistent the rest of the time.

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CUBANJELLY 11/1/2009 8:44AM

    You're so organized! I like that about you...

I like your goal setting too and the way you've accomplished so much - you should be very proud of yourself, I am.

Wish we could run together sometime - maybe virtually...

emoticon emoticon

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DHAZ09 11/1/2009 8:40AM

    You are doing amazing! Only ONE day above your calorie range - I'm impressed at your consistency!! Keep it up!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHICAT63 11/1/2009 8:33AM

    emoticon emoticon you're doing excellent !!!! Although, November might bring you obstacles, you can do this. As you've said up your water intake instead of Diet Coke and your ftness minutes I am confident for you that your November results will be outstanding. Have a great Sunday.....Josée emoticon emoticon

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