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May Recap and June Goals

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

In the run-up to my one year anniversary on Spark, I'm sharing some of the strategies that have worked for me as I changed my lifestyle from June 2009 to June 2010.

This might be cheating because I do one of these every month, but today is about SETTING CONCRETE GOALS, BEING CONSISTENT, AND LOGGING PROGRESS. Feel free to copy my template if you want!

I'm not going to lie. May was all kinds of awesome. The warm weather improved my mood and my exercise routine considerably. I started the month with a terrific 20-mile Walk for Hunger that rocked hardcore. I shattered my fitness minute record and finally broke the Top 10 on SparkAmerica Boston (#9 baby!). I burned a ton of calories and was able to add more food to my plate. I set a 5K PR at my race that really surprised me. I did very well with sticking to a running schedule. And yesterday I finally went for it and did a 6.5 mile run! I'm a 10Ker!
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RECAP RESULTS:

MAY:
-5 pounds
28 days of cardio exercise
4 days above calorie range
Tracked 31 days
2,285 fitness minutes
19,433 calories burned
Strength training 2x per week (outside gym)
Ran 6.5 miles outside


MAY GOALS:

-Lose 6+ pounds
I lost 5 pounds, but this is OK as I had a big loss the last week of April (-3.5 lbs) and expected less spectacular weigh ins. I did lose at least 1 lb per week and I had to mess around with my calorie range this month too. So I'm liking my weight loss this month despite it being a bit lower than usual.
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-1,800 fitness minutes
2,285 fitness minutes, baby! This actually should be higher due to Spark not fully tracking the 5 hours of hard-core walking during my Walk for Hunger. I'm super happy with my fitness minutes this month.
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-Run the 3.5 mile Race for Women on May 9th
Done! I loved this race! It was 3.5 miles running alongside women of all sizes, fitness levels, and ages. I was astounded to set a 5K PR of 35:23 and a final race time of 38:15. I honestly thought it'd be a long time before I was able to run 12-minute miles, and at this race I actually ran 11-minute miles! I was so super happy. Did I mention I loved this race?
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-Look into an additional 5K for late May/early June
I did look into this, but I decided against another race and instead developed a Serious 10K Training Schedule and committed to running 3-4 times per week. This worked wonders. I nailed the first week of training and adjusted my second week to fit my busy schedule and so far, I'm rocking the third. So I'm considering this a met goal!
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-Run 5+ miles outside by end of month
DONE! I ran my first 5 miles toward the beginning of the month and yesterday I did my first 6+ mile run. I decided to push it a little bit and made it 6.5 miles in an 1:16:30! Extremely happy with my endurance and distance.
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-Run 3x per week
My Serious 10K Training Schedule helped me with this one and I only did ONE treadmill run all month. That's amazing for someone who was scared to run outside when she first started! I'm loving running outside and the feeling in my lungs around mile 4.5! It still astounds me that after working Couch to 5K for 3+ months in order to get up to 3.1 miles that a 3-mile run is a SHORT RUN now.
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-Meet sodium levels 5/7 days per week
I wasn't the best with my sodium intake this month, though I wasn't terrible. A lot of days I went over by 200-300mg which isn't too bad. Week 1 was 3/7 days, W2 4/7 days, W3 6/7 days and W4 4/7 days.
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-No More Trouble Zones or 30 Day Shred 1x per week; Home strength 2x per week
I didn't do my DVD strength like I should which is a shame because I need to tone up! I did home strength 2x per week, but a lot of it was really halfassed, so I can't claim victory here.
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-Go to Thursday night kickboxing every week!
I missed two weeks. One because I had to work and another because I injured my eye. But I loved the other two sessions! Kickboxing is my fave gym class by far!
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JUNE GOALS
I want to continue my Serious 10K Training until the 10K on June 12th as well as my running outdoors. I also want to make a commitment to strength training as well. I need to tone up these arms now that I've lost the weight from them! And back in March, I set a goal to be at 185, which is merely "overweight" and not obese for my body type and height by the beginning of summer on June 21st. I have about 5-6 pounds to go, so if I can do this by the end of the month, I will be happy. My first non-obese summer!

-Lose 6+ pounds to be "overweight" by end of month!
-2000+ fitness minutes
-Run the Market Square Day 10K (would love to do this in under 75 minutes!)
-Meet sodium levels 5/7 days per week
-Run 3-4 times per week
-At least 2 classes at the gym each week (kickboxing + one other)
-Find ways to make strength training routine fun!


PREVIOUS RESULTS:

JULY:
-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

AUGUST:
-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

SEPTEMBER:
-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

OCTOBER:
-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

NOVEMBER:
-7 pounds
26 days of cardio exercise
1 day above calorie range (not counting Thanksgiving)
Tracked 29 days
1635 fitness minutes
13,006 calories burned
Continued strength training 3x per week
Ran 5K outside without stopping!

DECEMBER
-7 pounds
30 days of cardio exercise
3 days above calorie range (not counting Christmas)
Tracked 29 days
1925 fitness minutes
14,819 calories burned
Continued strength training 3x per week
Ran 4.5 miles on the treadmill without stopping

JANUARY:
-6 pounds
29 days of cardio exercise
4 days above calorie range
Tracked 31 days
1,845 fitness minutes
14,926 calories burned
Continued strength training (circuit training and EA Sports Active) 4x week
Ran 4.75 miles on the treadmill without stopping

FEBRUARY:
-6 pounds
20 days of cardio exercise
2 days above calorie range (not including vacation)
Tracked 21 days (due to vacation)
1,170 fitness minutes
10,711 calories burned
Strength training lagged; maybe 1-2x week
Running on hold due to injury

MARCH:
-7 pounds
28 days of cardio exercise
3 days above calorie range
Tracked 31 days
2,330 fitness minutes
16,313 calories burned
Strength training 2x per week (outside gym)
Ran 4.25 miles outside

APRIL:
-8 pounds
22 days of cardio exercise
4 days above calorie range
Tracked 27 days (did not calorie count Easter or NYC)
2,065 fitness minutes
13,907 calories burned
Strength training 2x per week (outside gym)
Running lagged due to injury

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANISMENDOZA81 6/3/2010 2:00PM

    Thanks for sharing. I need to be more specific in my goals if I plan to be a "LOSER" like you lol... emoticon

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MRSSASS2010 6/3/2010 11:22AM

    You can do it girl! I love that you have monthly goals. I think I will start doing that, as well.

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BERGIE8771 6/2/2010 7:25PM

    Thanks for this template. I plan on borrowing it to set better concrete, measurable goals for myself. Without a plan, how can I reach my goals? It's been too nebulous. Appreciate the help!

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SHE_SMILES 6/2/2010 3:50PM

    Awesome idea... I love the way this is mapped out. I think I am going to do something very similar. Thanks!


"Imitation is the best form of flattery"

Comment edited on: 6/2/2010 3:51:05 PM

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PALOMARES05 6/2/2010 1:22PM

    Hey girly thanks for posting this!!! I always have "great intentions" of doing this, and yet I seem to get side tracked. I need to realize that I need to set these for ME and do them for ME!!! Here's to a happy, healthy, goal oriented June!!!!

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ALIMESSA 6/1/2010 11:10PM

    Great way to organize your goals and keep track of them...you are truly an inspiration to so many of us...thanks for sharing your journey and all you've learned with us!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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WISLNDR 6/1/2010 8:58PM

    Told you I'd be back . . .

I love this: I did my 6.5 mile run on Saturday in 1:16:40! (I had to go back and look it up after I read your blog.) It's possible that not only will we be starting our 10Ks at the same time but we'll be finishing at the same too!!

That's so fun!!!!

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STOLTZY64 6/1/2010 8:55PM

    You are an organized DYNAMO! You go girl!

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HOSTALADY 6/1/2010 8:03PM

    Have I told you lately how great YOU ROCK? You are a lean, fit, running machine. All fueled up and plenty of runs to experience. You have done super things with your 1 year journey.
AWESOME goals you have set and will surpass those too!
Thanks so much or sharing!

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ANEPANALIPTI 6/1/2010 6:08PM

    Way to go!! Just might copy your template! :D

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4EVERADONEGIRL 6/1/2010 5:51PM

    You continue to just totally ROCK!!! Way to go!

Isn't running over 6 miles just totally awesome!?!?! It feels good!!!!!!!

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ZIRCADIA 6/1/2010 5:51PM

    THAT IS A GREAT JOB on your 6.5 er! :) I ran 6.5 miles on Saturday and it took me... 1:24? I think? YEAH! SLOW! YOU ROCK! Anyway -- thanks for the comment on my blog. I'm wondering if we might not be able to make a nighttime park trip a regular thing... I don't have to wake up at the buttcrack of dawn for rowing anymore, so maybe we can get more on a similar sleep schedule if I can get in some running at night if he comes to the park w/ me and walks while I run so I don't feel like I'm all dangerously running in the middle of the night... I'm gonna propose it!

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ESTHERC 6/1/2010 4:56PM

    You go! You are well on your way.

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JEANNETTE59 6/1/2010 4:48PM

  emoticon you rocked May

Love the plan rock on

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GRACEISENUF 6/1/2010 4:29PM

    You killed May and I have no doubt June will be a "great" history month as well.

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RUNNER4LIFE08 6/1/2010 4:20PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


You had an awesome May! And I enjoy reading your monthly recaps and goals for the next one. So inspiring!!!

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MAIA2011 6/1/2010 1:47PM

    My hero!

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FOXXYROXXYD 6/1/2010 1:04PM

    Way to go my friend - Very strong work for May!

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KYMMC3 6/1/2010 1:03PM

    I love reading your blogs. you just continue to inspire and push me more and more with each one. Keep up the great work, and I can't wait to hear how that 10K goes!

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TEAM-SARAH 6/1/2010 12:52PM

    Great job Kristina! 5 pounds is a great number for the month. I wanna lose 6 pounds in June also so lets dooo this!!

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CHICAT63 6/1/2010 12:51PM

    Woohoo you are doing EXCELLENT in your training, you are on our way !!! In all of this don't forget to take time for yourself you deserve for all your determination and dedication. Keep it up Sista you ROCK ! emoticon emoticon

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BAYBELIEVER 6/1/2010 12:32PM

    Way to go! Your May was awesome! Here's to June and your 10K training. You go girl!

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FLYSOHIGH 6/1/2010 11:55AM

    This is so awesome! I honestly feel happy for you and feel better myself after reading this. Your May is almost like the 'happy end' part of a novel or something:-)

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SAMSPARK1 6/1/2010 11:54AM

    GREAT JOB!

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SPACEYTRACY91 6/1/2010 11:38AM

    I love that you do this! Monthly goals and a recap...wow. I am so impressed with your running prowess. I want to start doing this! I think this whole monthly idea is just...out of control impressive...

I am completely inspired! Im going to make my goal list now.

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MBSHAZZER 6/1/2010 11:33AM

    What a fantastic month for you! First off, congrats on the 3.5 miler! Great finish time! And you are very ready for the 10k! I can't wait to read about it! Just around the corner.

I really enjoyed looking at your monthly recap - you have been so consistent every month! I know June will be fabulous!

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CREATINGAMANDA 6/1/2010 11:25AM

    emoticon

May was a spectacular month for you! Nice job especially on the fitness minutes - I'm in awe! I find making goals each month to be very helpful as well. Even if I don't meet all of them, it definitely helps keep me on track!

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CAROLYN1213 6/1/2010 11:24AM

    I love the way you track your progress! I need to do a better job of that. I plan my monthly workout calendar and set goals, but nothing as awesome as this!

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STORMTMB 6/1/2010 11:24AM

    Keep it up! Wow - what an amazing month!

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NOTBLUSHING 6/1/2010 11:16AM

    I hope June is "all kinds of awesome" too!

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SUZANDALE 6/1/2010 11:10AM

    You go girl!! You are definitely an inspiration!! Keep up the good work!!
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BRILLIANTAQUA 6/1/2010 11:04AM

    You had a fantastic May!!! You're going to rock June as well! I'm sure you'll meet your goal & be "overweight" this summer!

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PINKCOCONUT 6/1/2010 10:29AM

    Holy moly! Way to rock May woman!!!

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KNITTINGFROG 6/1/2010 10:20AM

    Slow and steady wins the race! I am in awe of your consistency (exercise, weight-loss and all!) for the past 11 months! Way to go!!

Thank you for being my motivation to give running a try. I do not think I will ever truly love it, but I have proved to myself that I can do it! and it is all thanks to you introducing me to C25K!

Here's to our 1st Spark-iversary and to many more to come!

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BURGHGIRL 6/1/2010 10:13AM

    You are doing amazing!!!! Great job on running the 10k....the distance you have come is unreal!!!!! I am so proud of you!

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JBMT08 6/1/2010 10:03AM

    AWESOME JOB on 6/5 miler yesterday!!!! emoticon

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MERISSA1315 6/1/2010 9:51AM

    Awesome job on your May goals and great goals for June!

WAY TO GO on the 6.5 miles.

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NIELSENSLADY 6/1/2010 9:50AM

    Super duper on fitness minutes! This is my target goal of the month. Making time to increase my fitness! Obviously it pays off so much! Looking forward to a new month and observing your progress!

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WISLNDR 6/1/2010 9:42AM

    Honestly, I didn't even read your entire blog (I'll do it later!) I was so excited to see you got the 6.5 miles in; I did the same thing on Saturday!! WE'RE READY!!! (Kristina, baby, I've got goosebumps!!)

More later . . . . .

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Tackling the Holidays

Friday, May 28, 2010

In the run-up to my one year anniversary on Spark, I'm sharing some of the strategies that have worked for me as I changed my lifestyle from June 2009 to June 2010.

Today, on the cusp of a nice long holiday weekend for those of us in the US, I want to talk about TACKLING THE HOLIDAYS.
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Not just the big ones that come as the weather gets cooler like Christmas or Thanksgiving, but sometimes it seems like every single month there are two or three occasions to celebrate: anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, vacations etc. Seems like there is always a cake being hauled out where I am, and chances are, where you are too!

It's always going to be like that, even when you decide to get healthy. Nobody's birthday is going to go away just because you don't want to be confronted with cake and goodies. Your family is still going to want fried turkey, cherry pie, bacon cheeseburgers, and chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate on all those holidays.

So the way I figure, you can be afraid of them or you can take them on with gusto and say "The holidays can't break me." Seriously, say it aloud. It helps me sometimes! THE HOLIDAYS CAN'T BREAK ME.

Here's what I did.

1. RARE FREE DAYS
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I figured everyone deserves a free day once in awhile. But seriously, this should be RARE. I'm not a huge believer in cheat days and going crazy every once in awhile because that basically reaffirms the idea that my regular 1500-calorie days are a punishment or deprivation. And they're not. I still eat all of the aforementioned "forbidden foods" during my 1500-calorie days, just in moderation. So I gave myself some days were I wasn't going to track and I could eat what I wanted: Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving & My Birthday (sometimes there's only a day between those two holidays, but oh well), and Christmas. That's it. Those are the holidays where it's kind of futile to resist. I can control my urges on those secondary holidays like Memorial Day, Halloween, Valentines Day, etc. I'll have a burger or some chocolate (GOOD chocolate ... I might as well enjoy something from Lindt or Godiva rather than that junky Halloween crap) and fit it into my meal plan.

Here's the kicker. Even on those free days, I try not to eat everything in sight. I'll taste everything and I'll enjoy what I want to enjoy, but I'm not giving myself an excuse to gorge just because it's a free day. I try to stop when I'm full. AND I try to get in a long walk or another activity in on those days because holidays are no excuse for binging and no excuse for laziness either!

Oh, and a holiday is just ONE DAY. It's not the entire period between Christmas Eve and New Years Day.


2. VACATIONS AND THE "ONE BAD MEAL" RULE
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I still track food on vacations, just not calories. I'll keep a little journal and write down what I ate that day to keep myself honest. Again, I enjoy food I probably wouldn't eat when I am at home, but I try to keep it to ONE BAD MEAL per day. Usually it's dinner. I'll go to an awesome restaurant and eat a delicious meal and have a couple of drinks without guilt. The rest of the day, I try to keep it as healthy and veggie-filled as possible, with lots of walking or other exercise! Obviously, it's hard to stay perfect here and forgiveness is key. I made myself a two-drink rule when I went to New Orleans that was handily broken. But I did better than I would have if I hadn't made that rule. I tried to stick to wine and then take "sips" of my husband's higher calorie cocktails. Even when we are "bad" we're probably still using some of our healthy strategies and are not totally off-track, right?


3. HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT IT, REALLY?
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And then there are the ubiquitous birthday celebrations. September is a big one for this in my circle. Seems like everyone decided to get it on in December and pop out a baby nine months later in September! So there is cake after birthday dinner after cake after birthday dinner! I love cake and sweets, especially when encountered with something gooey, chocolatey and delicious from my favorite bakery. How to handle this?

I ask myself "How much do you want it, really?" Is it an amazing artisan-crafted piece of cake or is it a junky sugar-frosted thing from Stop & Shop? If I'm honest with myself, I realize that I'm not going to get anything more out of a huge hunk of cake than I would after a few bites or a small sliver. So on many birthdays, I either take a tiny piece of cake and savor it or I just have a bite or two of my husband's cake. Again, I'm not perfect here. Sometimes only a normal-sized piece of cake will do. But if I ask that question first, I'm forcing myself to confront the issue and make that conscious choice.


4. DON'T TAKE A HOLIDAY FROM SPARK
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Tell yourself you are going to continue to login to SparkPeople every day during the holidays as long as you are near a computer or mobile device (December especially) even if you break every other healthy habit you've adopted before that point. I can't express how sad it is to see friends drift away in December and resurface in January with a blog about the 10 lbs they've gained. It breaks my heart.

Again, a holiday should be one day, two at most. Enjoy that holiday! But don't feel so guilty that you don't come back to Spark for weeks or months afterwards. There's nothing to feel guilty about. We're all struggling with the same temptations during the holidays and a lot of us will not make the healthiest choices! Blogging about it or seeing that you're not alone in this will help you during this tough time and might put you back on track earlier than if you stay away.


Hope my holiday and vacation strategies helped. Tomorrow I'll break my login streak and head to the beach for the weekend. I'll probably have a burger, but I'm going to try to eat mindfully this weekend. For my fellow Americans, enjoy a safe holiday weekend and fire up that grill! And please don't forget to remember our soldiers who died in the line of duty.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 6/2/2010 2:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MCMPOOH43 6/2/2010 11:40AM

    emoticon

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OBURRELL 6/2/2010 9:12AM

    While I read your post, I realize that I subconsciously started doing those things! For example, this Memorial Day my church had a barbecue. I used to see free food as a "free for all" and would eat until I got stuffed. This time I asked myself 'how much do you really want this?' and 'is this any different food from what you could eat at home any other day?' Because of that I was able to stay on track, didn't eat until I was stuffed and still lost weight! I plan on using your vacation rule in August and I do eat a piece of cake at each occasion-just a really small one and only if I really want it-not just because it's there. Great advice!

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GREENSCRAPCAT 6/1/2010 10:22PM

    Thank you thank you thank you for posting this, very needed right now!

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PMWIGGI 6/1/2010 5:29PM

    Nice ideas.

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LYNHALTINER 6/1/2010 5:19PM

    thank you for sharing i have a very hard time when we go on holidays as my husband loves good meals and wine so I always tend to over indulge when on holiday

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SIALIA1 6/1/2010 3:23PM

    Thanks for the sound advise

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MEGHAN2012 6/1/2010 3:18PM

    THanks for sharing. My cousin/future-sister-in-law graduated high school this weekend which meant lots of unnecessary food for me. Considering that I'm already having a hard time, it was horrible, but thanks for givingme a pep talk in a sense :D

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ANNASBF 6/1/2010 2:23PM

    Once again, great advice. Mindless eating and creating a mindset of deprivation is the enemy of a healthy lifestyle. Good for you. I'm thinking the idea of preparedness is the genius of this blog. Going in to the holidays, there is a plan, a sensible somewhat forgiving plan, that guides you along the way. Total deprivation can build character but usually that much character is just a pain in a slimmer but annoying rear end! emoticon

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RUBOWLES24 6/1/2010 1:57PM

    you are so right with saying things outloud to yourself, to make yourseld confront if you really want it or not.. love this, thank you for sharing!

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WHEREDIDIGO3 6/1/2010 12:46PM

    Thanks for this great posting!

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TERRIESA 6/1/2010 12:15PM

  Thanks for the input!! I am feeling dissapointed in myself for going way over in calories yesterday (Memorial Day). I am right back on wagon again today but do feel guilty! I gained 1 pound :(

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TECHGIRL22 6/1/2010 11:23AM

    Great ideas. I'll work on incorporating them into my healthy lifestyle.

Comment edited on: 6/1/2010 11:28:27 AM

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SDKENT79 6/1/2010 11:02AM

    emoticon

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LUCKYONE60 6/1/2010 10:53AM

    Thanks for the thoughts. There are some good tips I'll use. We should both thank our husbands for allowing us "sips" and bites" of their special treats so that we get a taste!

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SKIPPIE123 6/1/2010 10:49AM

    Thanks for the strategies!! Very good points. emoticon

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WINNER1717 6/1/2010 9:48AM

  This was a great blog. I am inspired.
I just started on Spark

How much weight did you lose in 1 year?
What is the one secret that helped you the most?

May I follow your blog? You sound like a fun and
energetic person. Thanks.
Kathy in MS emoticon emoticon

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CMAXSON 6/1/2010 8:46AM

    emoticon

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NAGEM26 6/1/2010 6:54AM

    Awesome blog!!! I especially like the part about not taking a holiday from SP. That is so true. I have been on holiday from SP for a couple of weeks and noticed myself slipping up. But i plan on returning to SP this week and getting back on track.

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MY-2-GIRLZ 6/1/2010 5:00AM

    emoticon

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WNH65K 5/31/2010 11:58PM

    :)

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WNH65K 5/31/2010 11:58PM

    :)

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SUGIRL06 5/31/2010 8:37PM

    Ah I love this blog! I agree with everything you said, especially #4! I always try to log in, even if I can't track or whatever. I try to at least read over my friend feed for some motivation, spin the wheel, and update my status. Because if I leave for more than a day or two, I start to forget. Its amazing how easy it is!
~Ang

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ALYFITN 5/31/2010 8:23PM

    These are wonderful strategies. Thanks for sharing. I am learning to savor one or tow bites of special occasion food. I don't feel deprived and I can join in with others in complementing the chef or whoever.
Good job! emoticon

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JUDIL62 5/31/2010 7:24PM

    Thanks for the strategies. Today being Memorial day and a birthday celebration for me I induldged. A few low cal beers, a piece of birthday cake, and 1/2 a cheeseburger! I logged on here to track and found out I didn't do as badly as I thought I did. Hopefully the scale will not go up. If it stays the same this week I'll be happy. Nice to see we all struggle with the same things.

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SUNNYBR 5/31/2010 7:09PM

    thanks for the tips - they all sound sensible and so do-able!
We can do this!

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TUBLADY 5/31/2010 7:07PM

    Good tips. You have defiantly thought about how to live life normally and still keep fit. Good for you.
If people could get the word diet out of their head, and think healthy food choices and portion control, the going might be easier. At least it is for me. emoticon emoticon

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HOUK46 5/31/2010 11:42AM

    Wonderful Blog with great tips. I am going to keep a copy for future reference and use.. emoticon for sharing this wonderful advice plan.

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CAROLYNINJOY1 5/31/2010 7:13AM

    EXCELLENT blog! Thank you for sharing these very helpful suggestions & ideas. Congratulations on your success.

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ND774748 5/30/2010 11:54PM

  emoticon

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HEATHERHOLT 5/30/2010 11:06PM

  Great blog, great tips! Thanks! emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 5/30/2010 10:16PM

    emoticon blog and well deserved Popular Blog award. emoticon

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CORINNAW71 5/30/2010 8:51PM

    Thanks I really needed this advice after an indoor picnic at work this week and another picnic yesterday!!

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MADDEELOU 5/30/2010 7:29PM

    Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

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LINDABENEDICT 5/30/2010 7:24PM

    Thanks for the insights!

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DEBLYNN323 5/30/2010 6:34PM

    Great tips! emoticon

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VKLINE326 5/30/2010 5:38PM

    Great advice!

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DEPAULGIRL09 5/30/2010 5:27PM

    Loved this blog! Excellent tips!

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MODESTLYBOLD 5/30/2010 1:52PM

  Thanks for the great tips!

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NYARAMULA 5/30/2010 1:24PM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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NICOLE.ALICIA 5/30/2010 12:01PM

    Great blog. Thanks

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COWBOYMAMA 5/30/2010 11:40AM

    Great blog! Now that I am way more aware of what I am eating and what a portion size is, I am trying even harder to make better decisions at holiday times. Today we have a picnic at my mom's and tomorrow is a birthday picnic for my nephew. One place has healthier food than the other, so that makes it a bit easier to make better decisouis. A few small bites of a few worse things isn't going to hurt, but eating heaping scoops will lead to disaster, especially since I broke out of the 180's this morning. Thanks for the encouragement!

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DIVA14K 5/30/2010 10:31AM

    Thanks for sharing! those are excellent ideas. I will definitely not take a break from spark on holidays.

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CHRISSYKNITTER 5/30/2010 10:10AM

    Just what I have been needing to hear.

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ANEPANALIPTI 5/30/2010 9:19AM

    Such an important lesson to not take a break from spark!!!!

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JENNFIELDS4 5/30/2010 9:06AM

    Thanks for another great blog...Have a great weekend

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JOYINKY 5/30/2010 8:51AM

    Great blog! So sensible! Thanks for sharing.

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ANELAKANOA 5/30/2010 8:46AM

  I seriously needed this blog today! Thanks for the advice on what you do. This weekend is especially difficult with all the parties and grill outs. Thanks again! You rock!

Angie

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STOLTZY64 5/30/2010 7:59AM

    This is excellent. I'm just afraid that if I allow myself one little sampling I won't be able to stop-like taking a coke addict to a crack house. I can be around the stuff, but I just tell myself that I choose not to eat it. I bring my own little baggies of snacks...maybe some reduced fat triscuts, or some soybeans, whatever. But..I just can't have junk food. I'm afraid I'd have no self control, and I've done so well for myself so far.

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KRISMG24 5/30/2010 7:45AM

    Thanks for sharing and all the the great ideas. I try to remind myself all the time that Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are all just 1 day like any other holiday! Great blog!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Being Selfish (in a good way!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

In the run-up to my one year anniversary on Spark, I'm sharing some of the strategies that have worked for me as I changed my lifestyle from June 2009 to June 2010.

Today I want to talk about one of the best things you can do for yourself: BE SELFISH.

Whaaaa?
emoticon

No, I'm serious. I strongly believe that if this is going to work for you, you need to be a little selfish. This was easier for me than it will be for others. I don't have children, which makes it so much easier to focus on me and my husband is one of the most easygoing and supportive people you'll ever meet. I'm also an only child, so being selfish comes naturally. So I will put out that disclaimer before I go on.

Another disclaimer is that I LOVE the social networking part of SparkPeople. It's wonderful that you can put out a question or an observation or anything and usually get a comment or answer pretty much instantaneously. And as much as I love that people get a lot of out of my blogs and page, it's all about ME. The blogs (both writing my own and reading others') help me as much as they help others: ideas crystallize, I figure out what works and what doesn't, and I get brand new ideas and information.

But the first thing I do when I login here is spin the wheel and enter my nutrition and exercise and check my goals list. This is the most important thing to me. Because it's about me. And this whole journey is about me getting slimmer, fitter, stronger, faster.

I think a lot of overweight people, overweight women especially, often fit into the role of sidekick or caretaker to our friends and family. We're used to putting others' needs before our own or spending huge amount of time catering to the whims and wants of others. I think a lot of us seek validation to bolster our self-esteem and that's how we find it. I've never really put up with that kind of behavior from my friends. (In high school, I had a "friend" who basically wanted me around as the overweight sidekick to make herself look and feel better and I put a stop to that REAL quickly.) For me, it was my alcoholic mother. She demanded so much of my time and energy to fix all the things she had messed up in her own life that I found solace in sitting on the couch and eating nachos and other junk. In college, when things got really bad, I found myself neglecting my school work and almost failing classes because of this.

Here's some of the "selfish" things I've done in the past year:

-I don't cook as much red meat even though it's my husband's favorite. All of our ground beef is either 93% lean or it's turkey.
-I don't pay as much attention to housecleaning and organization. All that time has been reassigned to exercise.
-We don't go out to eat as often even though my husband would love to.
-We've switched from regular pizza to thin crust.
-Sometimes we eat sandwiches or omelets for dinner because running comes before cooking.
-I've spent money on exercise equipment, clothes, and gear. I decided I was worth a fancy schmancy gym membership.
-I probably call and visit family members less because I have less time during the day.
-I turn down friends' invitations for dinner or happy hour because it interferes with kickboxing class.
-I decided to only speak to my mother when she is willing to take responsibility for her own decisions and have cut "energy vampires" out of my life.
-I catch up with friends on Facebook and SparkPeople only when my own stuff is settled and sorted.

Again, yes, I am lucky that I am embarking on this weight loss journey before I have children, who basically nullify every selfish bone in your body. But I still believe that even for those who have children or other big responsibilities, making time for yourself, time to exercise and plan meals and just chill out is absolutely essential. It might be time for a heart-to-heart with your significant other on how to carve out time to do this huge thing for yourself and how it is worth it because it means you will have more energy and live a longer and happier life in the long run. Maybe this means your significant other has to pick up an extra chore or two. Maybe that means you spend a little extra money on fitness equipment or childcare. Maybe this means you spend a little less time with friends or family or you break ties with the "me" people who are always requiring your attention, advice and validation.

I don't mean you have to become a total jerk who makes the "healthy lifestyle" their whole world and doesn't care about others, but yes, this thing has to become a Top 3 priority. YOU have to become a priority.

You are worth it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMELASUE60 6/3/2010 11:56AM

  You've learned an important life lesson - you have to take care of yourself, love yourself, before you can take care of/ love others. The deck is so stacked against a healthy lifestyle in our culture that we really do have to elbow our way through the clutter to get to the good stuff. If that steps on a few toes, so be it - we are worth it!

Congrats on you self knowledge and your perseverance!

hugs

p

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TENACIOUSTIGER 6/2/2010 8:13PM

    great blog, i'm on the way to doing most of these "selfish" things,but still feel guilty about doing it sometimes, we often have work dinners that are a compulsory option where there is no choice of menu and I've had a few arguements with my husband about these and stopped going to all of them. Also when I'm tired from doing a session after work I just want to sleep and recover not still through a long boring dinner till midnight. Thanks for this, I now realise i'm worth it way to go and thanks for sharing your thoughts emoticon

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SHELLYBELLY21 6/2/2010 11:03AM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this blog :) Lately I have been feeling guilty about making time for myself. I am a mother of 3 and a wife and I will soon be moving closer to home where many "energy vampires" lurk. I have made myself a top 3 priority and I almost to goal because of it. I am glad to hear that other people are doing so too, it helps me to feel less guilty about the time I spend on myself to run, track calories, read articles, and go to zumba. Thanks again for sharing! Congrats on all you have accomplished!!!

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TONISTRELEC 6/1/2010 9:20AM

    emoticon emoticon

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C4CHRISTINE 6/1/2010 7:40AM

    Love this! We all need to hear this.....and make it happen!

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SUGIRL06 5/31/2010 8:33PM

    I think I've got the selfish thing down already. LoL. Sounds so shallow! But I pretty much do what I need to do for myself. The only thing I have a hard time with is turning down invitations. I stretch myself thin sometimes that way but I'm learning!
~Ang

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KISSATESSA 5/31/2010 7:24PM

  Good for you. You are worth it and don't ever forget it.

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KLOSH1 5/31/2010 1:11PM

    Good for you! There is nothing wrong with being selfish in this manner. I do have children (3 of my own and 7 daycare children) and I will tell you my favorite quote around here is "If the mama aint happy, aint nobody happy". I have to take care of myself to be happy, and so do you!

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CAROLYNINJOY1 5/31/2010 7:15AM

    Now I'm going to subscribe to your great blogs! emoticon

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ELISADEL 5/31/2010 4:48AM

    You're not 'lucky' that you're doing this now. You're smart. This is a choice you've made, not some crazy chance. Give yourself credit :)

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TRAVELNISTA 5/30/2010 10:21PM

    Another great blog and I really needed to read this too. I am trying so hard to get my act together instead of letting my new job dictate my life. It us time for Yvonne to be selfish and make herself priority.

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TREKKSTER 5/30/2010 9:41PM

  Awesome list! Taking care of yourself should be a priority. I hear you on the toxic people too. After making my health a priority I distanced myself from toxic people and the most amazing thing happened! I made new friends with health conscious and positive people. Another great thing happened too! I attracted people who wanted to know what I was doing and they have taken certain steps to improve their health too. Thanks for taking the time to blog, even if it was just for you, because it helped me remember this! emoticon

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MRSJONESMOM 5/30/2010 9:33PM

  Thank you for very, very helpful, organized thoughts. You gave us a lot to think about.

I just wish there was another word beside "selfish" or "self serving" to use. Not sure what it would be. "self-helping, perhaps?"

Yes, we women are care-takers to the max. It's really hard to put ourselves on the priority list. I appreciated your sharing the very specific changes you are making (not attending other people's dinner invitations, no red or less red meat for hubby, etc.)

I am going to have to make up my own list. emoticon This is my first day on the sparks people.

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ALICEBASTABLE 5/30/2010 8:41PM

    I have a term for this that I use, I call it "Constructive Selfishness". My justification for it is this: When we first take very good care of ourselves, then we will have more to give to other people. If you take care of your needs, you will feel better, be healthier, live longer, and ultimately have more life to share with other people. Celebrate your selfishness! I think it's wonderful.

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JOELYGIRL29 5/30/2010 3:28PM

    emoticon

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NIKKI7727 5/30/2010 12:43PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JAQUILLIN 5/30/2010 7:28AM

    I think we all need to be selfish sometimes so we can be healthy and be able to give to others. Thanks!

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CINDYHN 5/30/2010 1:24AM

    You are right on with this post...I try to put myself first daily, but often fail, and feel guilty. I have that not so helpful DH and 2 lazy teenagers! Trying to change. emoticon

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TWOPAW 5/30/2010 12:20AM

  and thats exactly what i am going to do...make me important too..:)

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MARTINT011 5/30/2010 12:14AM

  Yes, you have to say, this is my time. When I go off and do exercise, often I would put other chores or events in the time frame and now I just say this is my time. emoticon

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ELISADEL 5/29/2010 11:38PM

    Thank you for taking the time to share all of this!

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SWEETMOMMY41 5/29/2010 11:17PM

  what a great blog! i agree that being selfish is indeed necessary. you need that time to take care of yourself and to accomplish the specific goals you have set for yourself. thanks for sharing! have a great day!

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WALKINGDAVE 5/29/2010 11:14PM

    I too have cut the "energy vampires" out of my life, there's nothing worse than being really upbeat and excited about losing only to have a "friend" dump all their negative energy on you. I really can relate to that. I have also recently started going to al anon to get support for a family members drinking problems and the support there is so positive I leave there feeling good. Spark friends are also a great source of positivity and I love them all. You have a great plan and am looking forward to seeing your progress emoticon emoticon

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ANNABELLA007 5/29/2010 9:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ND774748 5/29/2010 8:46PM

  emoticon

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DAYTIMER 5/29/2010 8:33PM

  Great advice. We all need a little reminder now and than to make sure we take care of ourselves. Thanks

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LINDAINALABAMA 5/29/2010 8:28PM

    emoticon

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ANGLEFACE4 5/29/2010 8:21PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MJDEVEREUX 5/29/2010 7:07PM

    Here's to me!

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CHATERJOY 5/29/2010 6:28PM

    emoticon I think you are really great at putting into words things that should be obvious but might not be. Don't you just love it when someone brings something to light that you really already know but just haven't been conscious of? That is kinda what it is like for me when I read your blogs. Thanks! emoticon

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KIMSFITJOURNAL 5/29/2010 6:27PM

    Great blog, and just what I needed to read today.

THANKS!!!

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DAISYVALENTINE2 5/29/2010 4:33PM

    Yes, being selfish is absolutely necessary, not only for your personal health and fitness, but carrying out your dream and aims.
if you can drop or change ANYTHING to achieve these without hurting others, do it!!
I agree with you completely.
emoticon

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DIVASPARK 5/29/2010 2:15PM

    Thank for sharing and,get what you saying. emoticon

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RUNBAREFOOTMAMA 5/29/2010 1:52PM

    Banishing the guilt is sometime as hard or harder than losing the weight...but both need to be done.

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RUNBAREFOOTMAMA 5/29/2010 1:51PM

    Banishing the guilt is sometime as hard or harder than losing the weight...but both need to be done.

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RUNBAREFOOTMAMA 5/29/2010 1:51PM

    Banishing the guilt is sometime as hard or harder than losing the weight...but both need to be done.

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ROBOLIZ 5/29/2010 1:43PM

    emoticon

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CHARLOTTEPI 5/29/2010 12:18PM

    I hear you. Thanks for sharing.

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AALLARD442 5/29/2010 11:12AM

    Thank you so much for your post. I put my family and friends before myself and it generally cuts into my exercise time. I'm going to try and be a little more selfish and make "me" time!

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MELANI4JC 5/29/2010 10:46AM

    True! emoticon

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CINABEE 5/29/2010 10:05AM

    Thank you

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WNH65K 5/29/2010 9:51AM

    emoticon
Love ur post :)

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TUBJUMPER 5/29/2010 8:39AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JANNISH 5/29/2010 7:57AM

  I fell into that trap when my kids were younger. Now, I feel no guilt for thinking of myself and what's best. My kids don't mind a bit either - it takes the pressure off them...

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JOLIENTJE2006 5/29/2010 7:40AM

    Thank you!

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CORINNAW71 5/29/2010 7:02AM

    You are so right! There are many times and areas in life where we do need to be selfish and not feel guilty about it and this is one of those areas! emoticon

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KIMOTHY77 5/29/2010 6:43AM

    This is so true!

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4KIDS_4ME 5/29/2010 6:37AM

    Thanks for the wakeup call emoticon

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MASE72 5/29/2010 6:27AM

    emoticon

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NYARAMULA 5/29/2010 5:26AM

    emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Removing "Can't" From My Vocabulary

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

In the run-up to my one year anniversary on Spark, I'm sharing some of the strategies that have worked for me as I changed my lifestyle from June 2009 to June 2010.

Today it's about nixing the nastiest of the c-words: CAN'T.

In an earlier blog, I noted that I visited a pilot wellness program on June 2, 2009 at my doctor's office when I was 279 lbs. The counselor asked me: "Are there things you want to do but you can't or feel like you can't do?"

I didn't think the answer was yes, but it was. I couldn't go skydiving and ziplining because of weight limits. Some amusement park rides and waterslides were also a no go. And then there were the "can'ts" that I imposed on myself. I can't run. I'm too fat. I can't SCUBA dive. I'm too fat. And so on.

So there are two kinds of can'ts: the ones that we genuinely can't do because of our weight or other physical limitations and the ones that we probably could do if we wanted to, but feel like we can't because of our weight or other hang-ups.

This frustrated me to no end. I didn't want to NOT be able to do anything. There are some things I legitimately DON'T ever want to do (ballet dancing or bobsledding for example) but if the opportunity presented itself, I never wanted to say that I couldn't do it. I wanted to decline due to lack of interest instead.

A couple of weeks after discovering SparkPeople, I sat down and made a list. I wrote a list of the things I wanted to do that were off-limits to me simply because I was morbidly obese and a separate list of the things I felt like I couldn't do because I just didn't feel comfortable. I was afraid of what others might say or how I would look or how hard it would be to learn to do it as an obese woman.

The list of the things I genuinely couldn't do was very small. It consisted of the items I mentioned before: extreme sports and amusement park rides mostly. There were some other things. I couldn't walk without my thighs rubbing together. I couldn't cross my legs very well.

The other list was much longer.

-I can't run. (Too fat. People will laugh at me.)
-I can't go to spinning class. (It's intense. Not for big girls.)
-I can't go SCUBA diving. (Me in a wetsuit? C'mon.)
-I can't go skiing. (Do they even have boots wide enough to wrap around my huge calves?)
-I can't do yoga. (Inflexible. Fat.)
-I can't do a long hike. (No endurance)

And so on.

The first list was easier. It just required losing weight. Not that losing weight is easy, but all of the hurdles would be removed once I lost weight. The second list was tougher because if I was honest with myself, I needed to admit that I COULD do all these things TODAY, but I didn't. Why? Because I was afraid of doing them as a obese person. I was afraid of the extra effort that it might require to be a fat runner or a fat skiier. And I was afraid of what other people would think of me doing all those things that overweight people aren't supposed to do, even if they really CAN.

So I looked at the first one on the list. "I can't run." Obviously it was first for a reason. I truly, honestly believed it was an impossibility. I didn't think I could be a runner when I was merely overweight in high school, never mind the 279 lb woman I became 10 years later. Then I faced the fact that when the bus came, I ran the 20 or so yards to the bus stop if I was running late. So if I could run 20 yards, why not 100? Heck, why not a whole MILE.

I'm still ticking things off my list. Some of the things on the list I tried and said, OK, I did it, what's next? Spinning for example. It was a good workout but there were others I liked better and didn't involve a sore derriere. Others have become things I can't imagine living without now, like running and kickboxing. Having a variety of things I have tried and expanding my repertoire of activities is not only liberating ("I CAN get through a spin class but it's not my favorite thing in the world," feels really good to say) and exciting, but it's also great because if one thing isn't happening, like if I have a foot injury and can't run, I know that I can turn to water aerobics or swimming instead because I tried it and I CAN DO IT.

So what CAN'T you do because you have a genuine physical limitation? And what CAN'T you do because you're scared to try or scared of what others might think? Figuring out the difference between the two has made all the difference to me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSFOLK 8/7/2010 12:26AM

    Great article! Some other "cant's" are of a different sort - excuses. "I can't eat just a little ice cream; I'd finish off the carton". "I can't work out because I'm so busy". "I can't cook, so we eat out a lot." "I can't give up my daily Starbucks treat." If the people making those excuses would give them a positive twist, as decisions to make to help them become more fit, the "can'ts" would lose their power.

Smiles, Ann (http://slimvictory.wordpress.com)

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MESEATURTLE 6/16/2010 3:20AM

    need to make my list nooooooooooooowwwwww....thanx emoticonthats what u are!!!

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DREAMSOFSHOES 6/13/2010 10:02PM

    After reading this I am going to go make a list myself, and post it on my wall. What a great way to keep yourself motivated!

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PAPER_WINGS18 6/10/2010 11:30PM

    I LOVE this. I wish I could carry you around in my pocket all day and whip ya out when I need help! You ROCK and I am so happy for you ! Xoxo


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DTAYLORCPA 6/5/2010 11:14PM

  Wow, what a wake up call. I'm always telling my daughter to stop telling me she can't do things, yet here I am telling myself I can't do certain things just because of my weight. Thank you for your post.

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SUGARSMOM2 6/3/2010 8:03PM

  good job gives me hope .

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KITKATSNOTFAT 6/2/2010 12:52PM

    Thanks for sharing. I, too, have spent years weeding the Can't word out of my vocabulary.

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LOSINGWINNER 6/2/2010 11:26AM

  Wow . This was a eye opener and hit me right between the eyes....
you are right .. there is little on my I cant list.....
I am making out my list right now....
thank you and keep us posted.....
I can run 3 miles daily... this will be my 30 day goal...


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CINDY1TWO3 6/2/2010 10:52AM

    Well I can truly say I cannot run - torn achilles tendons that did not heal correctly and I refuse to go through another surgery. And no jumping jacks for the same reason. However I also have the other things that I "can't" do just because I was embarassed.
Last summer - at my highest weight ever - I did one of them anyway, just to make a lasting memory with my teenagers. So even though really fat, I put on a bathing suit and went into the ocean and even let them take a few pictures with me.
Although I still really hate the pictures of me fat, I love seeing my kids smiling and happy in the pictures. And I figure someday when I am 70 or 80 I won't look at the picture and see "fat" I will look at the picture and see "young".

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TECHGIRL22 6/1/2010 11:28AM

    Great blog. I agree with everyone else...got to go make my own list!

Baby steps... emoticon

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NEGRI5 6/1/2010 9:43AM

    emoticon

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QUEEN56 5/31/2010 8:59AM

    Very thought-provoking and timely comments. Excuse me, I need to go make a couple of lists.... emoticon

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FITITGIRL 5/31/2010 2:07AM

    Congrats on being selected as a 'Featured blog'!

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WOLFKITTY 5/31/2010 1:02AM

    You are clearly brilliant! (But we knew that.) It's funny how much of it really does have to do with your mindset.

Hugs, congrats on being featured, SparkiFriend!
Jocelyn

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ND774748 5/30/2010 11:55PM

  Thank you for sharing! emoticon

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TRAVELNISTA 5/30/2010 10:29PM

    You nailed it right on the head. A very inspirational blog, it certainly gets you thinking. You have a great mindset!

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MZLADY77 5/30/2010 9:42PM

    Thank you for sharing emoticon

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KAYALI 5/30/2010 9:18PM

    Thanks for the blog!!!

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MSTALLINGS 5/30/2010 8:39PM

  emoticon

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SATYAGRAHA 5/30/2010 6:11PM

    Wow, this REALLY made me think. I feel compelled to go make a "can't" list of my own. Thanks for sharing your experience and wisdom!

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BESEENU52 5/30/2010 1:56PM

    very interesting! thank you! i like the way you put this! emoticon

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DIAMORROW1 5/30/2010 1:28PM

    So what CAN'T you do because you have a genuine physical limitation? And what CAN'T you do because you're scared to try or scared of what others might think? Figuring out the difference between the two has made all the difference to me.
Profound question!!

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GRACIELOU1960 5/30/2010 11:14AM

  Thank you for your inspiring blog. So often I think of all the things I "can't" do. Now, I'm going to start a list of all the things I "can" do!

Wishing you much happiness in achieving all the things that you "can" do!

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CAMSMOM918 5/30/2010 9:37AM

    Thank you! What a great and inspiring blog.

Continued success on your journey!!

Angela

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MEGANMOMMEE 5/30/2010 9:30AM

    Thank you, very inspiring emoticon

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ANJAUCH 5/30/2010 8:17AM

    Brilliant!!! Thanks for the inspiration.

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DEVORA4 5/30/2010 7:10AM

  emoticon

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TUDI4480 5/30/2010 2:54AM

    Your blog has given me lots to think about AND do about. Thanks.

emoticon emoticon

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BAY2BAYOU 5/29/2010 10:55PM

    I also took the word "try" from my vocabulary, because, to me, that means, you really don't intend to do whatever you are talking about. Either I will do it, or I won't. Saying you will try is a cop-out. Do. Or Do Not. There is no Try.... (as Yoda says emoticon).

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SHANANSWINEA 5/29/2010 9:29PM

    very inspiring!

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TODDJAMES 5/29/2010 8:36PM

    I like the way you are thinking!

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SPARKIE1964 5/29/2010 8:23PM

    My dad taught me that the only that that can't be is for man to give birth. Anything else is possible if we want it. I live by that rule!

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KTINNC 5/29/2010 7:57PM

    Love this blog post and am going to make my own list of things I "can't" do. Thanks so much!

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NURSEWHO 5/29/2010 7:36PM

    Thanks for sharing this...it really was inspirational. I think it's a good idea to look back and see how far we've come. Celeibrating all the little (and big) victories along the way is an excellent motivation to keep going! I'm taking a page out of your book...thanks again!

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MJDEVEREUX 5/29/2010 7:03PM

    Thanks for this =)

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HCARTZ1964 5/29/2010 5:57PM

    Awesome!!

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IDAMAE1966 5/29/2010 3:28PM

  GREAT JOB.YOU ROCK!

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TEESLIM 5/29/2010 2:29PM

  I love this, one of my mantra's in life is if someone else can do it, then I certainly can! Keep up the good work!

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STAN202 5/29/2010 2:04PM

    thanks for putting some things into perspective...i never really thought of all the CANs before emoticon

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DEJONGEJ 5/29/2010 1:40PM

    People (students) are so limited by the things that they think that they CAN'T do and as a hs teacher this drives me absolutely crazy!

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LINDABENEDICT 5/29/2010 1:03PM

    Great blog !!!!

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OLYGIRL1 5/29/2010 12:46PM

    LOved your blog. I will take a page from you and rethink my can'ts.

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FOUNDER3 5/29/2010 12:21PM

    Great thoughts here. I am working my way around that right now in my journey.

I have a great deal of degeneration in my back, and I require regular chiropractic treatment and massage therapy. The problem I have is that I CAN walk 2.25 miles, but then the next day my back is out, and it has taken several weeks, maybe a couple more after this to get my back to a more stabile condition.

So, I have regrouped. My goal of walking (outside) 5K, has had to be rearranged. It is still my ultimate goal, but first I must do some things to strenghten my back muscles. I can do 2.25 miles on the elliptical in 35 minutes, but I need to go more slowly. I was still doing the ellipitical, and recumbent cross trainer, but I have found that I had to scale back even more to just some swimming and then exercising in the pool.

Now, the goal is, for a week or two, keep in the pool. When I am better then I will work my way to adding the recumbent cross trainer. See how that goes. Then, I am going to work, slowly, up to the 3.1 miles on the elliptical. I will add resistance after a while, then on to the same goal on the treadmill. It may take long enough for me to not be able to do the actual walking outside until next spring, not a good winter person, but I can still have the goal, and am still making my body stronger along the way.

That is the wonderful thing I have learned here at Spark People. If you don't succeed, don't ever quit, just regroup!

Thanks so much for that Spark People and all of the members!

It is the journey that counts!

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DEFININGMYSELF 5/29/2010 10:53AM

  I loved your blog. Can't wait to hear about you crossing the other items off of your list. Enjoy the journey!

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~KIMMER~ 5/29/2010 10:48AM

    Wow, you rock. Keep up the awesome work. I'm trying to figure out a way to incorperate some of your ideas in with my teams to help keep them motivated.

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CNIANE 5/29/2010 10:38AM

    Great message and great blog! Keep it up superstar!

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KAYWEB555 5/29/2010 9:26AM

    Thanks for sharing your blog it was great! There are many things that "I CAN DO", I would rather set my sites on those than looking at all the Ican't do things. Much success with your healthy lifestyle!

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NATOS786 5/29/2010 9:14AM

  im not going to make an actual list but there are some things in my head that i do identif with

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MICHCLEARY 5/29/2010 8:59AM

    Great blog! I ran a 5k and that was the first one in 20 years. I CAN lose weight and once I lost over 70lbs I went in my backyard and did cartwheeels to celebrate. Still working on my list!

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RAGGARWALAX 5/29/2010 8:32AM

    Making a list is a great idea and one that I WILL be doing. Amazing all of the limitations that we put on ourselves and how liberating it is when we remove them!

Great blog!
Reeta

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Lifestyle Change

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's just about a week until my one year anniversary on SparkPeople and in the next week I want to share the things that have worked for me and how I've changed from June 2009 to June 2010.

Today it's about those two magic words: LIFESTYLE CHANGE.

I know we hear that phrase a lot on SparkPeople. "It's not a diet. It's changing your way of life." It sounds so cliche and cheesy, but I can confidently say that I totally buy into that idea now. I can't exactly pinpoint the moment when I felt like this was a lifetime change for me, but I know that it's here and that it's here to stay, but here are a few indicators:

1. I woke up today craving fresh string beans tossed with garlic, mint and lemon and a tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil salad. No idea why, but sounds good, doesn't it? The other day I was fantasizing about my mangoberry smoothie and couldn't wait to get home and make it.

2. I used to love yogurt with a ton of sweetener. Now I chop up some fruit with it and I'm usually good to go. Sometimes I'll add a squirt of agave nectar. I'm not immune to the sweet tooth, but now I honestly think a lot of foods are too sweet (or too salty!).

3. I used to "allow" myself bad foods every so often. Now I don't even crave them all that much and I'm not stressed because a party or get together will have bad foods, but I'm genuinely disappointed I can't just go to the gym and come home to a colorful and healthy dinner I made myself.

4. I feel bad when I genuinely need a rest day or if I'm sick or injured, especially if it's on a beautiful "perfect running" day.

5. I was a complete boredom and emotional eater. I loved going out to eat. I never turned down an invitation to go out even if I'd already eaten! I still like to go out, but I'm more excited about getting a piece of fresh fish or meat or a mango curry or sushi: simpler, cleaner food.

These changes didn't come overnight, that's for sure. It took me awhile to kick the "Special K for breakfast, Lean Cuisine for lunch, Chicken Breast dinner" mentality that failed me so many times before. First, I started by saying there was no food that I couldn't eat as long as I stayed reasonably close to my SparkPeople ranges. Nixing the idea that I was headed for two d-words: (Deprivation and Depression) for the next couple of years was absolutely key to getting my attitude in check.

Then I decided I was going to ban 100-calorie packs from my existence and substitute fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, and yogurt instead. I hate those things. HATE THEM. Yeah, it's great you can make three tiny cupcakes or 13 Cheetos only 100 calories. But they don't stick with you. So you have another and it just spikes your appetite for sugar and salt. I can have a cup of plain yogurt for less than 100 calories. I can have like 20 almonds for 100 calories. I can have 3 clementines or like a few dozen baby carrots or like 5 cups of popcorn for 100 calories. This led me to eat cleaner and feel fuller.

Finally, I made a concrete fitness goal and registered for a race. Well, you know that story and how having that fitness goal completely changed my life.

So with those three tiny tweaks, I set off to change my lifestyle. I ate BBQ and hot dogs and drank beer and margaritas during the summer, but stayed on track 80% of the time and started running and the weight came off. Was it roses, candy and lollipops every day? Absolutely not. I worked hard and sometimes I struggled. In the dog days of August and after repeating Week 5 of C25K twice, I wondered if I would ever run a mile. I stared down the pizza box and lost on many an occasion when I told myself I would only have two slices. But just like food can be an addiction, I've found that success is an addiction. It feels great to win. It feels great to prove myself and others wrong when I and they thought I would fail.

For those who are struggling, try one of my three tweaks. Tweak it out.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAPER_WINGS18 6/10/2010 11:37PM

    Ok I'm going to make a book of Kristinaisms lol then carry it around with me and when I feel crappy read some and make better choices... A SP bible if u will :)

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TRAVELNISTA 5/30/2010 10:24PM

    emoticon Oh what a difference a year makes! emoticon

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TUDI4480 5/30/2010 3:02AM

    Good job. Thanks for sharing. emoticon emoticon

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KALIMAKAI 5/30/2010 2:15AM

    Thank you for your blog! You are very inspiring to me! :)

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KALIMAKAI 5/30/2010 12:47AM

    Inspirational! Thank you for sharing and congrats on your Sparkiversary :)

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SLY_REDUX 5/29/2010 5:12PM

    Ooooooooh.... (that's about as eloquent as I can get after reading this!)

Lady, you inspire me! And if you don't mind, I'm going to both add you and subscribe to your blog!

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NIKKI7727 5/29/2010 3:19PM

    emoticon

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ACUMPTON2010 5/29/2010 2:44AM

    Way to go! Thanks for sharing!

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ACUMPTON2010 5/29/2010 2:44AM

    Way to go! Thanks for sharing!

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REVJVH 5/28/2010 11:03PM

    Well done! I've made some of the same realizations you have. It makes a huge difference.

Happy Anniversary!

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JASSY5 5/28/2010 9:37AM

  thanks for sharing this=)

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JUSTFOXXY 5/28/2010 6:48AM

    I discovered when I exercise that I crave healthier foods so I let that be my guide. I don't crave as much sweets anymore. I will even drink milk when I would normally have a pop. And after I found that yogurt contains quite a bit of protein, I look for that to help with my muscle recovery.

Great blog. Thank you!

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MARIHOTTI 5/27/2010 7:23PM

    awesome story, thanks for sharing! emoticon

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81AMANDAWALKER 5/27/2010 6:43PM

    I have found the healthy food cravings have been coming. I was driving down the street and juicy tomatoes on top of romaine and avocado quarter sounded amazing! I love planning suppers now. It is so empowering to be creative in the kitchen and eat healthy! emoticon

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RED_WRITINGHOOD 5/27/2010 6:32PM

    You are definitely on your way girl! Loved the blog... thank you so much for sharing with everyone!

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LIGHTHOUSE23 5/27/2010 5:05PM

    Thanks for sharing. Awesome blog! I hate those 100 calories snacks, too. I'd much rather have yogurt with fruit instead!

We'll both be celebrating our upcoming 1st anniversary! emoticon

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ANOUSKAISONLINE 5/27/2010 12:01PM

    Thanks for sharing your journey... I'm not so far along in the SP programme but I can already notice some of the changes you mentioned. Processed foods taste bland and cardboardy... I'd much rather have a fresh salad.

emoticon

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TB20101949 5/27/2010 11:08AM

  Thanks for sharing your story!

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JANC319 5/27/2010 8:06AM

  Interesting story.


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BOOTYLISCIOUS3 5/27/2010 6:49AM

    great blog!

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MY-2-GIRLZ 5/27/2010 4:08AM

    Thanks for the great blog

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DESERTFLOWER8 5/27/2010 1:18AM

    fantastic blog!! absolutely inspirational..i am going to read and re-read and re-read again..i need to KNOW this!!! thank you for your wonderful wisdom, and congratulations on your success!

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SWTLDY 5/27/2010 12:51AM

    wtg!!! what an inspiring blog. Thanks for sharing

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MEGHAN2012 5/27/2010 12:27AM

    Love the comment about 100 calorie packs lol

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COLORMEK8 5/26/2010 11:58PM

  Thank you for your inspiration, it reminded me to remember the small improvements.
Congratulations on your bright future! emoticon

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SPARKANN 5/26/2010 11:22PM

    What an awesome blog entry! Thank you for sharing! Congratulations on your upcoming anniversary!!!! emoticon

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ANNE1123 5/26/2010 11:15PM

    This is great and totally inspiring!! Thanks for the blog!

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TONIABLAKE 5/26/2010 11:08PM

    I loved your story. I just celebrated a year too and your story sounds a lot like mine. It's all about the lifestyle changes. emoticon

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SCROOKS26 5/26/2010 11:02PM

    Very inspiring and I am so glad someone else saw the devil in 100 calorie snacks!

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GF4249 5/26/2010 10:56PM

    Thank you for your thoughts!

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MGRIFFITH32 5/26/2010 10:52PM

    Tweak it out. I love it. You have a strong writing voice. Very inspiring. :)

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MADALYNWRIGHT 5/26/2010 10:39PM

    Thanks so much for the inspiration and motivation!
And congratulations on doing so well!

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MISST311 5/26/2010 10:38PM

    I really enjoyed this blog. I just joined the site so I love reading blogs from members who are meeting their goals. Very inspiring!

emoticon

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MIS2101 5/26/2010 10:20PM

    emoticon

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CUPCAKE_LIL 5/26/2010 10:01PM

    Yes, I find it hard to kick the Special K, Lean Cuisine, chicken breast dinner as well. It's always my fall-back. Some amazing changes have led you to some amazing results. I loved the pics on your page. Bravo and Happy Almost-Anniversary!!

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CUPCAKE_LIL 5/26/2010 10:01PM

    Yes, I find it hard to kick the Special K, Lean Cuisine, chicken breast dinner as well. It's always my fall-back. Some amazing changes have led you to some amazing results. I loved the pics on your page. Bravo and Happy Almost-Anniversary!!

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CUPCAKE_LIL 5/26/2010 10:01PM

    Yes, I find it hard to kick the Special K, Lean Cuisine, chicken breast dinner as well. It's always my fall-back. Some amazing changes have led you to some amazing results. I loved the pics on your page. Bravo and Happy Almost-Anniversary!!

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DONTBFLAT 5/26/2010 9:56PM

  congratulations on a great year of change! And for an inspiring blog. I am completely in agreement about the 100 cal. packages. As well, all that packaging drives me crazy. emoticon emoticon

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STAR898 5/26/2010 9:14PM

    Oh my goodness! This was very inspiring and I 100% feel the same way about the 100 calorie packs. They make you think it's good but in reality it just makes you crave more!!! I totally am trying to go with more fruits and veggies and it really makes you feel so much better to detox yourself from the grease, salt, and sugar.
Thanks again for your post!!

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CHARMAINE53 5/26/2010 9:09PM

  Way to go, very inspiring.

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MOMMAKNOWSBEST 5/26/2010 8:43PM

  great job...happy anniversary!

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FINOMENAL1 5/26/2010 8:18PM

    I appreciate the fact that you were able to reach your goals without complete deprivation. That really means that it's a lifestyle change!

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PATSYJO46 5/26/2010 8:14PM

    emoticon

I found it very motivating to read your blog. I'm looking forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing your success story and first three tweaks. Lifestyle changes is what it's all about.

emoticon

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DELGADITA69 5/26/2010 8:06PM

    WOW, congratulations. Your share is awesome and very inspirational. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PPD2429 5/26/2010 7:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Keep it up!!!!

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MIAJOEB 5/26/2010 7:05PM

    keep it up you should be proud of yourself.

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EM1MITZIE 5/26/2010 7:00PM

    Well done. Rock on!

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CRANN33 5/26/2010 6:48PM

    You are inspirational, thank you for sharing this. I look forward to your future posts.

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MRSSASS2010 5/26/2010 6:26PM

    Thank you so much for sharing; looking forward to your future blogs!

Congratulations on your Sparkversary and all your success!

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MALONE545 5/26/2010 6:16PM

    Congratulations on your continued success! emoticon

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