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How My Weight Got Here

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Today, my BLC#11 Captain posed the following questions to our team. Here are my answers...

"How did you get where you are?" - I'm 5' 3" and weigh (this a.m.) about 179. By doctor charts, that means I am carrying about 40 pounds MORE than I NEED to be carrying...

I believe I got to where I am today due to:
1. The way I was TAUGHT to eat.
2. The way I was TAUGHT to live (getting enough to eat is more important than exercise)
3. Genetics
4. And, of course, due to laws of physics...

When it comes to lifestyle, the most influential woman in my life has been my mother. She FED me...(It's all her fault - of course - ha!).

I'm over 50 now, and my mother hasn't FED me in a very long time...(except from that little place she talks to me from inside my head!)!

Now, I'm responsible for ALL of my own habits! So, the #1 REASON I may have gotten to where I am (for the past 30+ years) is, ultimately, due to not taking responsibility for myself - that is, by not paying attention to myself and by not appreciating myself the way I need to - and deserve to - be attended to and appreciated.

"How/What?where do you eat?" - I eat at home (kitchen) and sometimes in car - but not as much now as when my kids were younger and I drove them around more with activities.

"What habits led to eating too many calories?"
1. By eating everything in sight
2. Eating in front of the television (past behavior)
3. Unnecessarily LARGE portions (and seconds)
4. Being too busy to think about food or myself, plan, or breathe.
5. Feeling unloved and unworthy of nurture or care by self or by anyone (a "thinking habit")

"What situations or feelings make you want to eat unnecessarily?"

1. Feeling unloved and unworthy of nurture or care.
3. Feeling lonely.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 11/16/2009 11:42AM

    'Feeling unloved and unworthy of care'. Who rented you space in my head??!!!

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TRILLIUM22 9/26/2009 11:10AM

    Hang in there. I now what you mean about eating when you feel unloved and lonely. It's such a strange solution---as if food could really take the place of those things in out lives that lead to those sad feelings. Still it does distract us from the immediate emotional pain. How do we really change the causes---I really don't know.

Take care

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    Very good blog. Truth mixed with humor. Thank you!

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

My 15-year-old daughter, Lea (pronounced "Lee - ah"), is very petite at 4 feet 9 inches. Last August, a doctor appointment revealed that she and I weighed the same at 182. Her health and weight has been a source of anxiety for our family (and friends) for many years. For the past several years, our county has issued a letter to her father and I, letting us know that Lea’s weight is off the charts and they just wanted to make sure that we were aware (Yes, I find the letters offensive as they infer that I am indifferent to, or unaware of, my child’s condition).

While being careful not to nag, scold, or shame, I have encouraged Lea to be more physically active. She has declined, preferring to color in front of the television after school or listen to music in her room. I have encouraged her to be careful about the amount of sugar and carbs she consumes. She expressed indifference to modify her eating habits. I encouraged Lea to consider using SparkTeens but she thought that'd be stupid.

Lea would lament about how much pressure there was at school to “look the same as all the skinny girls” and she refused to go there. She said that she accepts herself as she is and she wished that I would accept her as she is, too. Of course, I assured her that I do! Lea has had her share of normal-to-acute teenage anxiety and depression, and yet she has fairly good self-esteem and plenty of independent pride. She has continued to resist me and I have not-so-silently worried.

It’s clear to me that "self-love" is the best weight-loss tool. I know that Lea‘s motivation would have come from within herself. So, while being sure to let her know how much I love her and value her exactly the way she is, I have encouraged Lea to understand health and to love and care for herself. I have encouraged Lea’s healthy sense of pride and personal responsibility. I told her that, although she is young and still learning about how her body works, she is the expert and owner of HERSELF. SHE is the one who will be caring for her body from now on. I promised to do my best to support, encourage, offer healthy choices, and get her professional guidance when called for and accepted.

I also tried to lead by example. When I lost 16 pounds with the help of SparkPeople this past year, I shared my excitement, awe, and pride in myself. I made sure to share with Lea and the rest of my family what behaviors I changed to achieve that success: eating breakfast , drinking at least 8 glasses of water everyday, counting and being aware of my calorie intake, eating more vegetables, trying to be more active, and, more than anything, paying attention to - and loving - myself.

Last August, Lea started high school. She had to almost sprint to get to her classes on time. I felt sorry for her on one hand. On the other hand, I thought those intermittent sprints would be good for her, especially, since otherwise, she was pretty sedentary.

Half way through the school year, Lea shared with me what she was learning about food and nutrition in her health class. I listened trying not to remind her too often that I’d been telling her the same things for years. She began to tell me, “Do you realize how many calories are in…?” And, “I don't really NEED that cookie. I will limit myself to one every other day.” And, "You know Mom; I just realized how many calories are in those crackers! I'm going to limit myself to five!" And, "You know what? I can eat smaller portions of food and still feel full!" She started eating breakfasts. After school, in front of the television, she ate more apples, limit her crackers, or opt to just drink a glass of water. These statements and new behaviors warmed my heart and I told her how proud I was of her that she was taking care of herself. I affirmed to her that she was making good, healthier choices.

I began to notice the clothes that were tight on her earlier in the year draped a little looser on her. Noticing that she seemed to be trimming down a little, I praised her and encouraged her.

Last week, Lea stepped on my scales and invited me to come read the results. I braced myself – as I usually do – and looked down to read… 155 pounds! What?!

LEA LOST 27 POUNDS this past year!!! All this time, I've worried and Lea QUIETLY lost 27 pounds! That’s a lot more weight than the 16 pounds that I have been jabbering and bragging about losing!

I am SO, SO PROUD of my daughter! Lea is taking care of herself and I have no reason to believe that she won’t continue! I am relieved and thrilled. With a little education, awareness, and support, LEA IS CHOOSING TO MAKE DIFFERENT and HEALTHIER CHOICES FOR HERSELF. The day-by-day better choices and behaviors have paid off! I am thrilled to know that my child has the vision to care for herself and that she is on her way to more and more success!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VIAFREE 10/11/2011 8:07PM

    What a great story, you led she followed. emoticon

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JOSI1959 6/10/2011 10:24PM

    I absolutely love this story! I'm sure her weight loss has given her a new outlook on her life as well as a boost of self esteem as well as one proud momma.

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LORIELP 7/20/2009 9:19PM

    What a fabulous blog. Daughters are wonderful. She is a very lucky girl to be able to "get it" at such a young age. No crazy diets for her. Congrats. Lorraine

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BEESPARKLE 7/20/2009 4:26PM

    So that was a Gods sent from Doctor to tell you . Even though you thought that was not nice to hear.

Not many doctors will do that. Your Doctor cared enough. Now with the class in health. She got excited as well as you in her thinking. Then is taking action.

It all went together.

How wonderful! Mom and Daughter Celebration. You were the starter to see and she is the surprise for you.

For sure she is the apple in your eye. Now you can enjoy each other in choices of food and places to go out too as Daughter and Mother. emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/20/2009 4:32:06 PM

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TRECECOOKS 6/17/2009 6:34PM

    I can see your joy in Lea's accomplishment! My DDs 19 and 21 have also "effortlessly" lost weight - mostly thru increased activity and no more mindless eating in front of the TV.

Our daughters really are our role models, not the other way around. . .

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JONES0333 6/15/2009 2:09PM

    That is such a wonderful story. I am so proud for her and you! Tell her to keep up the good work and to be proud of her accomplishments. emoticon

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PREDFAN 6/12/2009 5:44PM

    Congrats Lea! and to mom for all her great encouragement!
Thanks for sharing her story!
Have a great day!

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TIME4MEINFL 6/7/2009 4:47PM

    That is so wonderful!! It's amazing what can change a teens mind when they hear it elsewhere. It seems like when we as mom talk about something they choose to not listen to us. When they hear the same stuff elsewhere it clicks. Good Job Mom for being a good role model!!

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NASCARGIRL3 6/7/2009 4:28PM

    Congratulations Lea! emoticon

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LADY_DONKEY 6/7/2009 2:37PM

    I wonder if in some respect, your daughter was rebelling against the standard set by society for young women. And I think that she proved to everyone - and especially herself - that by making her OWN choices, she is indeed well on her way to becoming a woman of the world.

WTG Lea!!!!

PS I'm so glad that you posted your brag on my page! This blog made my day! :-)

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TRILLIUM22 6/7/2009 2:15PM

    That is so wonderful! What a tough time --- high school--- I have a 17 yo and a 15 yo --both girls and then a 12 yo boy. It is so wonderful that she took such a positive step at such a tough time in life. You must be so proud of her.

Take care of each other and celebrate her sucess. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/7/2009 2:16:01 PM

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SHELLPRO 6/7/2009 12:42PM


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LOU1DAY 6/7/2009 12:24PM

    She's doing great, and it helps that she's losing at her own pace and incentive. On the other hand, those 16 pounds that you've lost surely helped her see that it CAN be done! She'll probably continue with her success over the summer and I wouldn't be surprised if she's down another 10 pounds before school starts. This calls for a Mom & Daughter shopping trip!

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CECINOAKLAND 6/7/2009 11:33AM

    that is so wonderful! and even better because she did it when she was ready!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Goal total to lose in challenge- 10 lbs.
Weekly Weigh In:

Apr 22 175 (starting weight)
Apr 29 177 (oh, Lord...!)
May 6 (175 Goal)
May 13 (173 Goal)
May 20 (171 Goal)
May 27 (170 Goal)
Jun 3 (168 Goal)
Jun 10 (167 Goal)
Jun 17 (165 Goal)
Jun 24 (163 Goal)
Jul 1 (161 Goal)
Jul 8 (160 Goal)
Jul 15(Final weigh in) GOAL is 165 or LESS!!!
HI-5 (5 things I want to accomplish daily to meet my goals)
2: 5 vegs/fruits
3: 8 Hours Sleep
4: 80 oz. water/day (minimum)
5: Breathe & Pray


What Brought Me to SparkPeople

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A question was posed to me this week by my BLC-9 team: What brought me to Spark? What started your weight loss journey?

For most of my life, I was never too concerned about my weight. I was pretty accepting of myself – and, although, I didn’t give it much attention, I thought my body’s curves and bulges were kind of sexy. However, at the age of 52, I seemed to be going through a fresh growth spurt - right out of my size 14 clothes! For several years, I refused to buy myself BIGGER clothes – believing that somehow – once my body realized what was happening to it (?) - it would see the error of its ways, stop its insane rush to “develop” past a size 14, and shrink to a more acceptable size. That didn’t happen. I was just getting bigger. My clothes were shrinking and getting seriously uncomfortable. It was getting so bad, I didn’t want to leave the house wearing the few ugly (and getting uglier), tight pieces of clothing that I owned. As they say, self-discovery is like peeling an onion. I’m still coming to grips with how truly dysfunctional my denial was.

Something had to give!

Several friends and acquaintances were participating in a grueling but fun, local radio-promoted Biggest Loser-Type team challenge. I was interested in the opportunity. Unfortunately, it was expensive. Participation was free as long as I had a sponsor who would buy $2K of radio advertising… I failed to find a sponsor. The challenge coordinator said the organization was considering how they might incorporate a free website called “SparkPeople” and that I should check it out…

Within the week, I was talking with my friend, Camille, about something completely unrelated to health-and-wellness (Camille is SparkPeople's OILPAINTER). She mentioned that she had recently lost about 65 pounds! I was shocked and asked “HOW?” She said, “SparkPeople.” So, then I heard about SparkPeople twice within a 7-day period – with the second time being a VERY impressive testimonial. I thought, if Camille – an otherwise sedentary artist around my age - could lose that kind of weight, there was hope for me. I immediately got online – looked up SparkPeople and found the BEST –most content-rich, user-friendly, and relevant (for me) website that I’ve seen to this point among internet communities – and I joined. That was September 2008. Since joining, I reversed my growth trend and I have lost 15 pounds!

(P.S. The attached photo is not me. It's a photo I lifted from the internet... but it's a close image to why I didn't want to leave the house...) [For some reason, the photo I'm referring to would not load...It's not showing.]

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JARNIE 4/16/2009 7:55AM

I just joined today..I am 52 also and your story sounds like mine..I have a few things I wear and will not buy a size 14 I use to wear a 10 and then a 12..I am still in my 12's but for how long if I dont get serious with is serious my mind is not focused...I have tried everything in dieting and it is so frustrating. I think your story is amazing...and if you can do it, I know I can do it also. I would like to lose 30-35lbs I workout regularly and just joined a kickboxing class with my daughter on Tuesday I go again tonight..I worked muscles I didnt know I had. But it feels great....Wish you continued success.

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TAPPANGA 3/19/2009 11:51AM

    I'm very proud of you. Thank you for sharing that story with me!

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Life will not slow down... I've got A LOT on my plate - with many more plates spinning in the air! I'm busy - but I'm fairly happy.

Here's a photo of my daughter, Anna, and I attending a showing of "Pajama Game" in Nashville yesterday. We got all dressed up for a Sunday matinee and had a great time. She's a busy college girl, so I was happy to spend some precious time with her on her terms. She had been wanting to see the musical for months and so, last minute, she found center front row seats - and, though the tickets were expensive, we made a memory.

Since I've added a full-time job search to my repertoire of TO DOs, I've been super busy, happy, and... also NOT so happy. There are circumstances in my life that are NOT so happy...and I think I'm needing to slow down a little - IF I can... (or will!) so that I can attend to the sadness and the draining of those things...

Here are a few strategies that I will try in the next weeks:

1. I think I'll include more FRIENDS in my week. With the busyness I've been experiencing (as per usual - and intensified with a big job search), I've neglected time with my friends. I'm going to take a little time each day to let people know that I appreciate them. I'm needing to "network" right now, so getting together for coffee, lunch, breakfast are good ways to rev up my social networking... - I also want to be sure not to keep my interactions too shallow... I really need friends who I can poor my heart out to right now...

2. I feel a need for more "personal 'quiet' time." I'm not entirely sure on how to get that 'personal quiet time." I feel like I SIT ENOUGH (maybe too much!). There's TOO much on my mind and when I SIT, things just flood into my mind and I can't really get the quiet I need. Walks are nice when the weather is nice but, right now, as long as it's cold and windy, walks don't seem to give me the quiet that I need.

Call me CRAZY...but I THINK that maybe taking the time to wash my wood FLOORS well (getting an important thing done while I'm quieting myself; "wax on, wax off") would give me some of the "mental-downtime" that I need - and it would help me get one more thing that needs to be done off my mind.

3. Whenever I can inject fun into the equation, is always a good way to stay happy. I certainly have FUN with my kids: Lea, Joey, and Anna. I enjoy watching Joey (14) do whatever makes him happy inlcuding playing basketball and his artwork (I even enjoy watching him play video games ...for a little while, anyway). I enjoy talking with Lea (15) and Anna (19) every chance I get. I have to be careful that I LISTEN more than talk... There are SO MANY THINGS that I want to impart to my kids (translated: GET THEM TO UNDERSTAND!!!) - so I DO have to be careful that my time with my kids is FUN and NOT work!

I do ascribe to the notion that simple pleasures are the I will continue to look for those opportunities as I consider how to find those simple opportunities for more pleasure in my life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JO*ANNE*IE 3/2/2009 5:08PM

    My Dearest Jennifer!! Your blog is so beautifully, wonderfully articulated!! And your last sentence says it all --- simple pleasure truly ARE the best!!!
Thank you for sharing this with us!!


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