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Overcoming Self Doubt

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Do you ever feel like you have set the bar too high? Whenever I accomplish something that I never dreamed of accomplishing, I think that it is a fluke and I am afraid to try again for fear that I will fail. It is a game of chicken. I felt that way when I first started losing weight. Here are thoughts that swirl through my head on not-so-good days.

ē How long can I keep up with my weight loss?

ē What if I canít walk as fast or jog in the future? Maybe I am just having a good few weeks.

ē What happens once Iíve lost all the weight? How can I make sure I donít gain the weight?

ē What if I canít exercise as much as I do now in the future? Is this sustainable?

ē What if I start gaining weight again? What do I do? Will have the willpower to start over again?

I am not used to winning the weight loss battle in the long run so at times I start worrying about how I am going to maintain this momentum. I have felt invincible in the past but then thrown in the towel and I honestly donít know what triggered my failures then. I think I just gradually fell out of motivation.

So what do I need to do to make sure that I donít fail again? I know that I always have the best intentions and can be incredibly focused. But when I lose interest, all hell breaks lose. How do I keep the interest and the motivation?

Here are some options that I think might be viable but are going to be a huge change for me:

ē Pick up a sport that I can stick to for consistency. Right now I just exercise but there is no structure to it and no end goal other than getting some movement in. Set interim fitness goals.

ē Continue challenging myself by increasing the intensity on my exercise. Recognize that I could have good and bad days. Start a more formal exercise log so I can see my progression (Yesterday I only lasted 3 minutes on the treadmill and called it a day! That is ok)

ē Continue to weigh myself regularly and make sure that I take actions if I gain a few pounds once in maintenance mode. Understand that this is not a short term change and realize that I cannot EVER go back to eating the way I did in the past. Continue logging my food Ė probably for the rest of my life.

ē Commit to an exercise schedule for the rest of my life. This means getting up earlier if needed and scheduling exercise like any other appointment.

ē Donít permit myself to regain weight without taking immediate action. This is easer said than done. This goes back to logging my food and weighing myself regularly. I know that I never logged my food in the past so this could be my secret weapon going forward.

I know that I will be tweaking this plan as time goes on. I am also hoping that my age and my health will be huge motivators. I no longer feel that my health will not be affected by my weight. I am much more vulnerable now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINDYD_42 7/9/2009 7:45PM

    WOW! I needed to read this. I'm hoping to incorporate some of your ideas. I suggest you just keep going, only one day at a time and let the future take care of itself. Don't give up. You've already made success and will continue as long as YOU DECIDE to do so. emoticon

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    A lot of great ideas I need to follow as well. LOL.

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GHW1968 7/8/2009 11:18AM

    Who wrote this blog? You or me?! LOL Because this sounds exactly how I am feeling right now. And to top it off, the scale is registering an almost 2 pound WEIGHT GAIN, which is not official until Saturday morning. Regardless, we will get this done, Louisa....TOGETHER!

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SHISHYCAT 7/8/2009 8:44AM

    Hey Louisa: Worrying about the future is part of how our minds work. Planning for the future (which is what you're doing) is good, but wallowing in the fear is a problem (one that we all have! It's our nature!). If you're interested, here is how I deal with worries and anxieties (when I can!). I didn't invent this kind of thinking, it's basically Buddhism. If you have a strong religious faith in another tradition, there is nothing in this that contradicts any teachings from other faiths - it's mostly a form of psychology. I am usually a little too forward in sharing this when people aren't interested, so please forgive me if this annoys you, or if I'm overstepping my bounds.

One thing you might try (when I have enough presence of mind, this is what I do, although not usually about food!) is to bring yourself back from those thoughts is to say to yourself "Is this thought helping me?" If not, then bring your focus back to the trees, the sky, the road in front of you, your body in the chair - anything that is in the immediate present. You can even feel free to have some joy in it! Ah, yes, here I am, on earth - isn't it beautiful!

If the thoughts are valid, but you don't want to keep running them over and over and over in your head, you could tell yourself "oh, yes, there's that old worry again. A teacher that I love (Thich Nhat Hanh) says to greet your anxieties as old friends, with no tension, "hello anxiety, my old friend. You are here again." Fighting the anxiety gives it strength and causes some of the problems that we experience. Then, tell yourself - "I have a plan for that concern, so I don't have to keep rehashing it". Or, if you don't have a plan, write it down and tell yourself that you'll address it constructively at another time. And then do it. The key is to break the cycle of obsessive thinking and tension, which in itself can cause problems. So, (and this is how I interpret it) you don't ignore the issue that your mind is presenting, you release the obsessive thinking, focus on the reality that is literally in front of you at that precise moment, and address the concerns constructively (like you are).

The future is unknown - none of those things may happen, or completely other things may happen. When we obsess, we think we know more than God, the universe, nature, whatever higher power you accept. Perhaps it's just time.

More than you probably wanted - sorry if I'm overstepping! This is how I'm dealing with Liam's surgery. No use obsessing over what might happen. I try to focus on what's in front of me at this moment, and plan as best I can, without obsessing. I'm not always successful, but when I start to get really anxious, I can at least give myself a few minutes of relief.

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DIANECANDOIT 7/7/2009 9:50PM

    Just keep up with the positive attitude.

As long as you don't give up you'll succeed in the end!


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STEPHANIE0904 7/7/2009 5:19PM

    Great post. You have come so far. We all doubt ourselves. You have a plan. The fact that you have addressed your concerns is huge. You have addressed them and have come up with a plan to conquer them as well.

You also have SP now which I think is key (or at least to me it is) and you have me emoticon

My main goal when I joined SP has always been to be healthy and I know that I need to log on each day, log my food and get my exercise in (which I need to get my arse in gear and do better at - I've been slacking on the exercising) I want to be healthy - I know I need to be consistent!!!!

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NEENEE_BEANZ 7/7/2009 11:59AM

    Have I ever set the bar too high? OH YEAH! And did I fail? OH YEAH! So What? That is what tomorrow is for. Today wasn't as good as I planned so tomorrow will have to be better.

You did a great job setting your goals... Now let's get the negative thoughts into positive ones, shall we?

ēI can keep up with my weight loss - I am determined!

ē If I canít walk as fast or jog in the future, I'll adjust my exercise routine according to my needs (too much paid is not good). Maybe I am just having a good few weeks - and the bad ones will come and go and the good will be back.

ē When Iíve lost all the weight - I can make sure I donít gain the weight back. This is my life and I am determined!

ē If I canít exercise as much as I do now in the future (age, health, etc.), I'll adjust my exercise routine to something I can do.

ē If I start gaining weight again - I will evaluate it. (Is it TOM? Is it not calorie tracking?) Then, I will fix it - I am determined! There is no start-over again - this is LIFE.

So when the negative thought come up... Turn them into positive sentences - even ending them with "I am determined" because you are!

I know you can do it - we all can together!


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LILYLA 7/7/2009 11:52AM

    What a great post! I worry about the future, too (and not just re: weight loss). But your strategies sound excellent! And you've proven that you CAN do this because you're having so much success, so just keep on putting one foot in front of the other!


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4EVERADONEGIRL 7/7/2009 11:45AM

    Woohoo! Good job on setting goals. And you know, I wonder the same thing! Just this morning as I was driving into work I was imagining myself being my goal weight and then had the thought of "what will I do if I start to gain it back - AGGGGHHH!!!" LOL So I had to stop myself and remind me that there will definitely be times I gain back a few pounds but it is up to me to remember that this is a lifestyle change - not a diet! But I think we all have those self doubts at time...it's how we handle them that matters!


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CHUBERASER 7/7/2009 11:33AM

    First of all, you never had SparkPeople at your fingertips 24/7 when you attempted weight loss before. That is your first line of defense in maintaining your weight.

Secondly, you didn't have all of your SparkFriends to cheer you on, give you advice, encourage you, and be there for you when you needed an ear.

Third, I think taking up a sport and sticking with it is an excellent idea! Take up jogging/running, tennis, racket ball, swimming...anything that will keep you active and moving and burning calories!

Lastly, you know now that this is not just a "diet"...this is a lifestyle change that will carry you through for the rest of your life and help you make the right choices.

It's not uncommon to feel insecure the closer you get to success. That's just human nature. But, don't let it hinder you from feeling the joy and exhilaration of accomplishment!

You rock, girlie!


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Shopping Can Be Fun

Monday, July 06, 2009

I used to love to shop. I could spend hours in very store trying on new clothes and used go wild mixing and matching and accessorizing. My closet was always overflowing. Over the years, I had less and less patience trudging from store to store and trying on things. Shopping became a necessity. I knew exactly what I wanted and would walk into one of two stores, buy the items and leave. Much to my old shopping partners°¶ (friends and family) chagrin, I was no longer fun. Forget about spending a cold weekend day in the mall fingering every clothing item. I was ready to leave before they could make it through one rack of clothing. I never thought that my disinterest in shopping was related to the limited selection available to me in the stores. The internet and virtual stores on the web became my best friends.

Well, the tide is turning. In the last few weeks, I had to go shopping (yes, I did!!!) because I was out of clothes. I have been limiting myself to a few clothes at a time since they are transitional as I am losing weight. I was in dire need of work clothes and as many of you know, have been shopping almost every weekend. The kicker is that I have actually started enjoying it. While I could easily go shopping with my husband over the last few years and be done before he could complain, I am now annoyed by his impatience. The problem is twofold: I don°¶t know what size I am at any given moment and thus have to try things on and secondly I now have all these choices. So now I have him standing outside the store, knocking on the window and pointing at his watch. So what°¶s a girl to do?

My solution is to ditch my husband and pick up with my old shopping partners again. I have come full circle. Shopping is fun again. I am visiting stores that I had never visited before. I find myself trying on cute jackets and admiring myself in the mirror. Thankfully, I still had a little common sense in me and put the jacket back. I am hot-blooded and barely wear jackets in the winter let alone in the summer (but the black one really looked good- Éľ) . I tore myself away and tried to be rational and practical, an impossible task these days when there is all this stuff out there and in my size.

So, I have tried to make my summer work wardrobe black and white. It gives me infinite combinations and I can throw in a splash of color here and there to change things dramatically. It also helps me to limit my choices so that I am not overwhelmed out there. But I can already tell that I am heading down a slippery slope. Shopping could just redevelop into a hobby for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHUBERASER 7/7/2009 10:03AM

    I bet you are having the time of your life! Good for you! Call up the girls and set a shopping date! You deserve it!


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GHW1968 7/6/2009 10:25PM

    I am soooo happy for you. This is so great to hear. I have been where you were and I am heading where you are....I just need some spending money. HaHa! Keep up the great work, and keep inspiring me!

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so glad that you have so many choices again and are enjoying yourself. We should reward ourselves for all the hard work.

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BARBIE042 7/6/2009 6:13PM

    I am so happy for you , glad things are moving in the direction that you have worked so hard for . And all your hard work and efforts are now shinning thorugh emoticon emoticon girl. Keep up the good work . I know some of my clothes are getting looser , I have a few things to fall back on . So I am going to wait til I reach below the 200-mark and then I will be as you ready to get a few new items of clothing , can't wait . I hate to shop anymore but things might change once a few more pounds are gone like you . You keep up the good work girlfriend .


Comment edited on: 7/6/2009 6:14:07 PM

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Dance The Day Away

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My new favorite Ďget-your- a$$- moving- and-your- heart-pumpingí exercise of the moment:


I am not talking about planning a night out or reverting back to my twenties when I used to go out until the wee hours of the morning. This is much simpler and so very spontaneous. There is no need to pile on the make-up and to search the closet high and low for the best dancing outfit. You can do this in your pajamas- maybe even in the nude if your heart desires (just donít tell up about it) Heck, you can crawl out of bed and start your day dancing. Itís a mood altering, energizing and fun activity that we all tend to forget about too often.
So, here is what I do any time of the day I need a boost or have been sitting too long. I get my iPod and listen to my favorite dance music and just let loose. I hop and jump and shake my body. I move around and move my hips. I pump my arms and skip across the living room. (a little like Tom Cruise in Risky Business) And the entire time I am grinning from ear to ear. Itís just me, myself and my music. No feeling self conscious, no inhibitions. It makes me feel young, It makes me move. And it even makes me sweat.
Oh, and my husband I now used to be absconding to another part of the house with my iPod in tow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRISH2229 7/4/2009 12:53AM

    You are a dancing fool! I love it! Just what I need another exercise I can do in the nude! Sounds like fun but I might need a glass of wine! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/4/2009 12:54:26 AM

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STEPHANIE0904 7/3/2009 6:59AM

    ha - my children already think I'm insane.......................
R>Happy Dancing my friend

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    I love it too!! I do the same. I have a lot of dance videos. They are really fun!

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GHW1968 6/30/2009 7:51PM

    So you are a wild and crazy woman?! I love it! :)

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SLIMMINGSARA 6/30/2009 1:08PM

    This is great. I have the best visual in my head of you dancing! I haven't danced in ages, and it's something I used to do all the time.

I'm going to turn the music on today and dance my booty off.

Sara emoticon

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CHUBERASER 6/30/2009 12:34PM

    I love dancing around like a crazy person...and, usually, the dogs have to get in on the act, too. They can't stand it if I'm not holding one of them while I dance around the living room...and the other one is close behind...waiting their turn to dance with "Mommy". Ha! I love it!


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Slow Weight Loss Got You Down?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My weight loss has slowed down tremendously and amazingly I am ok with that. I know I am doing all the right things. I am maintaining a regular workout schedule and squeezing in strength training throughout the day. I honestly can say that I have not cheated once on my diet in the last 6 months. Thatís not to say that I am perfect by any means or that I would fold if I were to cheat. But I am perfectly satisfied with what I am eating. I am full of energy all day and literally have to make myself go to bed at night because I am like the energizer bunny who keeps on going and going and going. I am really happy with the changes I have made. I feel great. I can feel my body firming up. I can see muscle definition in places. If I suck in my tummy, I can even see my abs. The transformation is slow but the realization is sudden. My arms are starting to look toned. I can do things that I never dreamed of doing and my endurance is startling to me. Weight loss is an added bonus.
So to all of you out there, who get frustrated with your progress, take stock of how you feel and look. It is so much more than that number on the scale. Itís all about you.

Like I said yesterday, I feel good. No- I feel GREAT!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERENITY68 7/2/2009 9:49AM

    Way to go!!! Good for you!

Thanks for the encouragement!

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    you sound great too. So encouraging and upbeat!!!

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KEAKMAN 6/30/2009 9:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I love how positive and happy you sound!

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CHUBERASER 6/29/2009 1:22PM

    You are absolutely right. It's not just about the numbers on the scale. The things you see in the mirror are just as, if not more, important than numbers falling on the scale. You go, girl! I love reading your blogs!


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KATHYI2011 6/27/2009 5:54PM

    Very well stated! You hit the nail on the head. We have to keep reminding ouselves it takes time and we have to notice the small changes - which lead up to BIG changes.

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BARBIE042 6/27/2009 2:04PM

    Great words of advice , we can all use these words of encouragement to keep us going and motivated when we get the blues.

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HOPE374 6/27/2009 12:28PM

    Thanks for the motivation. I was definitely feeling down and I needed this pick me up. Thanks again.

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Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

Friday, June 26, 2009

Imagine James Brown singing ďI feel good!Ē Well thatís my tune these days. I walk by mirrors and do a double take. Is that really my reflection? Where are the bulges? Where is the protruding tummy? Wow, look at me from behind. There is no fat oozing over the band of my bra? That has to be someone else.
Seriously, I finally got some new workout clothes that fit and I donít look half bad. The mirrors are much kinder these days. Dare I say that I stop and linger (when no one is looking) and check my body out from every angle. And I like what I see. Itís not perfect but I am no longer self critical. If I could whistle, I would whistle at myself. Instead I just ask my husband to do it for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LORI815 6/28/2009 3:48PM

    That is so awsome! I am so happy for you! emoticon

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KALINDA20 6/27/2009 11:02AM

    emoticon. I think that sums it up. Keep going..you are truly an inspiration.

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TRISH2229 6/26/2009 11:44PM

    You're such a Hottie! emoticon

(I think that's what the teenagers call it these days!)

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MORTICIAADDAMS 6/26/2009 11:20PM

    Wow. You are doing great!!!! You have a right to be proud!! emoticon

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CHUBERASER 6/26/2009 10:50AM

    You are doing absolutely awesome...and you deserve all the whistles your husband gives you! It's so nice when you notice your own weight loss. It means you are truly making progress! Keep up the great work!


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SMILINGEYES2 6/26/2009 10:27AM

    Great post. Even models or actresses often have their phots touched up--they are not perfect. Good for your husband being your support system. Keep up with the good work.

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ITSTHYME2LOSE 6/26/2009 10:10AM


You should be proud you have earned it and your story is an inspiration to the rest of us - keep the hubby whistling emoticon

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RUBYSNANA 6/26/2009 9:46AM

    You should feel good. You have done GREAT with your weight loss and now you are seeing the results. You deserve to take pride in your appearance. Keep up the great work! emoticon

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