MKELLY72   30,313
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10 Months Maintenance and Holiday Outcomes

Sunday, December 30, 2012

While I love Christmas break ( I work in the school system), I am looking forward to the return of my regular routine. I know I have had a lot of trouble this year steering away from tempting foods. I'm a sucker for sweets and salty, savory foods too. Not fast food or prepackaged stuff as a rule, thank goodness, but I really love all the unique homemade things that people make during the holidays. I also enjoy cooking/baking those things myself.

I feel like I've done a good job of keeping lots of healthy choices in my daily routine too, but I know that if I continued to eat the way I am right now, I would be right back on the gain-train in no time at all. Getting on the scale every day has really helped me to continue to gather information on the trends of my weight paired with the habits I'm practicing over this holiday season. I haven't gotten outside of my maintenance range, and I'm happy about that, but I have been doing some reflecting on my previously practiced habits. I feel reasonably confident that I am just practicing some freedom right now, and I'm not just just leaving all my hard work in the dust.

In the past, I would have looked at some of my recent indulgences as reasons to just give up and give in for the long haul- accusing myself of not being able to really make any real change- so why put myself through it?? Well, I know now that I was wrong about that, and I will not let my recent indulgences become regular habits.

I enjoy food too much, and sharing good food with good company is something that still gives me much pleasure, and I refuse to deny myself that pleasure. I just look at it differently in my new life- these events are occasional- not the rule. I don't beat myself up for indulging in special meals, and I do as much as I can to plan ahead for the splurge- I check online menus/nutritional information before going to a meal out. I bring healthy choices as my contribution to a potluck style celebration, and I take advantage of opportunities to get in extra activity as much as I can.

The last two years, during the holiday season, I have been more restrictive with myself than I have been this year. I was also in lose mode then- not maintenance. My goal during the 2010 and 2011 holiday seasons was to NOT gain, and to possibly continue to experience small loss- which I did. This year, now that I've met my goal, I planned to stay no more than 5 pounds over my goal, and I have stayed under that mark, so I am really happy with that! My confidence in my ability to continue to enjoy my life and maintain my new healthy weight has continued to grow. Finding balance between freedom to indulge some and not crossing the line into oblivious abandon has been a challenge, but I have had success with it these last few weeks.

I am less than two months from my one year maintenance anniversary, and it seems almost surreal to even be able to say that after 20 years of cycling through :lose some, gain it back, gain more, repeat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STRIVER57 1/8/2013 3:18PM

    that's excellent. & i totally agree -- good food (especially homemade treats) and friends are an essential pleasure in life ... and learning to incorporate them reasonably ... in frequency and portion size -- is one of the things i'm hoping to master with maintenance.

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KANOE10 12/31/2012 9:45AM

    Good for you enjoying the holidays and staying within your range! That is wonderful that you are close to one year of maintenance.


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GORIANA 12/30/2012 11:08PM

    Wow. It sounds like your self image has changed and it will not allow you to stray too far from your good habits. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BERRY4 12/30/2012 9:42PM

    Awesome balance! And for me, that IS the challenge of life! -- I keep learning about how my thoughts affect what I do with food. (Sometimes I act like there will never be anymore!?!)

Love to hear about how you have successfully piloted this holiday time of year! -- Keep on keepin' on as you head towards your emoticon mark of maintenance!

Happy New Year!

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MJZHERE 12/30/2012 9:23PM

  Congrats - your blog shares the confidence you have gained this past 10 months. Well done, soon it will be a year.

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WILLOWBROOK5 12/30/2012 6:39PM

    What a healthy, well-balanced approach! Sounds like you are figuring out this maintenance thing. :-) Congrats on 10 months of doing such a fine job maintaining!

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ANNIEONLI 12/30/2012 6:32PM

    You have the right attitude and you are totally going to make the one year maintenance mark with flying colors!!!

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TINAJANE76 12/30/2012 6:26PM

    I think we have a very similar philosophy about food and history of weight loss and regain, so I know EXACTLY how you feel! I'm also looking forward to a year of successful maintenance--my longest streak ever. Now that the holiday season is almost over, let's get cracking and get to our anniversaries at our very best!

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JENMAH 12/30/2012 4:14PM

    Amen! I want to know that I can not completely restrict myself from eating cookies during the holidays, and still stay on track for healthy living. I actually did gain over the last week, but I feel confident that I'll lose that weight shortly, now that the hedonism of the season is over.

Congratulations on your successful trek through the holidays!

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BRANDTSGIRL 12/30/2012 4:03PM

    Good for you:)

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Inspiring blog with video

Monday, December 17, 2012

I subscribe to WW CEO, David Kirchoff's blog, Man Meets Scale, and his post this morning must be shared! It's called: Holiday Gifts That Matter: The Human Spirit on Display.
He includes an incredibly inspirational video of a WW member success story.
Read it here:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WENDYSPARKS 12/22/2012 12:24PM


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ELISADENK 12/18/2012 10:49PM


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MAMABUGAZ 12/17/2012 1:42PM

    Oh my. Inspirational.

~ Faith

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Help Coping with Peri-menopause Mood Swings?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 12, 2012
Starting to see some significant trends with my monthly cycle. Today is day 16, and last night I noticed I was starting to feel overly irritable, overly sensitive, having sugar cravings: giving in to it and having a small binge. I looked back through the last 5 months of data I have been keeping at, and it is pretty much on the mark; every significant emotional event I have experience over that period of time had been between cycle days 14 through 20.
Last month I did not have any notes indicating any events, but that might just mean that I didn’t take/have the time to document the events.

What is my take away from this? Well, it gives me the time frame that I know I need to be more aware of these changes. When I was young, I don't remember having significant symptoms associated with my periods, but as I progress toward menopause, I am definitely feeling them, and I'm glad to have the data to show the trends.

I feel like my next step is to identify some concrete, successful coping strategies for myself to use during that time to help me get through it without feeling so out of control and without resorting to fighting with my family and having mean thoughts about the ones that I love, or anyone else for that matter.

What I’m wondering is this, ladies: Does anyone else have some ideas for coping strategies that have worked when dealing with the emotional mood swings of peri-menopause and menopause? I would love to develop a bank of things that I can turn to when I feel this way that do not include binging on sweets, slugging down wine :), etc.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTAGRRL 1/29/2013 10:23PM

    I think I'm going to buy a punching bag, move into the basement, and cry....Maybe not in that order. I hate being in my own body! I feel sorry for my family....

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STEPHLOKI 1/19/2013 1:43PM

    what helps me is keep busy, keep no sweets in the house and make sure BF knows, because he is VERY supportive and the best friend one can want in these situations.

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LIBBYL1 12/22/2012 12:28AM

  Ooh...the worst. I am going through this right now. And I can't remember having a memory (what is that word again?)...But friends who have gone through it and are menopausal now have helped by just telling me that it will pass and that I am not crazy..
And I laughed when I heard my teenage daughter talking to her teenage friends and rolling their eyes about "menopause and mothers"...But did get a stern voice and say - just because we might sometimes go a bit over the top doesn't mean that whatever made us angry/upset etc can be dismissed.... It was still wrong.

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FLEUR_DE_LUNE 12/20/2012 9:49AM

  What helped me during that period is bioidentical progesterone cream a.k.a. natural progesterone cream (as opposed to progestin, the synthetic version).

I read books on the subject by Dr. John R. Lee, such as "What your doctor may not tell you about Menopause" or "What your doctor may not tell you about Premenopause".

In Canada, a prescription is required to purchase natural progesterone cream, whereas according to those books, it is available over-the-counter (natural foods stores?) in the U.S.A.

Dr. Christiane Northrup has a revised edition ot her book: The Wisdom of Menopause. You might have seen her on PBS. I do not agree with all of her beliefs, but I find that her books are useful for self-help and empowerment regarding women's health issues.

Hope you are able to find what suits you best to deal with this new life stage.


Comment edited on: 12/20/2012 9:51:34 AM

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KATRINAKRAUT 12/18/2012 11:20PM

    And try a tablespoon of almond butter before bed. Helps you stay asleep because it helps regulate your blood sugar. And it is delicious.

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KATRINAKRAUT 12/18/2012 11:16PM

    Sugar makes it worse. Fuzzy brain and bigger swings. Sigh...

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ELISADENK 12/18/2012 10:50PM

    Take a look at some of our Topics on the Peri+ Teams and see if helps.

Keep us posted... we care emoticon

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KAYOTIC 12/18/2012 9:34PM

    I take black cohosh for this, but it may be placebo. Still, I do feel it helped my monthly mood swings. Also helpful: yoga, and meditation. I try to practice most mornings, even if it's just 15 or 20 minutes, I feel a good stretch, and more calm afterward. So double bonus!

Definitely let us know if you find something that helps, it may help us too!

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BRANDTSGIRL 12/17/2012 7:21PM

    Hi I was thinking that you might be interested in natural remedies, you have already been given some good ideas.
I would add what I have done in the past and in my current.
I use to take Estroven this helped with my moods and and emotions. Cause I sure needed it. I would get up set at the little things. Or start to cry, it was not good.
I started to take this Estroven years ago cause my Niece told me about taking it after she had her 5th child and it help with her moods since she suffered from postpartum depression. So I tried it and it helped me:)

But now I take Amberen and oh it helps. Since I'm Post menopause for almost 2 years:)

Hope you can find some thing that can work for you.

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ARCHIMEDESII 12/17/2012 11:08AM

    I second the comment about eating as healthfully as possible. Here's what I've learned from my own experiences with yo yo dieting and now, peri-menopause, "if you eat crap, you'll feel like crap". So, while it's okay to allow yourself a small treat, you don't want to over indulge too often. To keep your moods stable, I concur, you need to keep your blood sugar levels stable. And that means eating plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, foods that are high in fiber and some protein. Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber.

I also find regular exercise helps with the mood swings. I've been dealing with peri-menopausal symptoms for the last year, exercise helps.

I still eat chocolate. I still get cravings. I do my best to be mindful of my portions. If I do happen to eat a bit too much chocolate, I also make sure I eat extraservings of veggies to make a small attempt at balancing things out. Long story short, the better you eat, the better you'll feel. A healthy diet with regular exercise will help.

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SLENDERELLA61 12/16/2012 10:16PM

    If I remember right, eating sugar just makes it worse. Eat protein and broccoli/veggies even if you are craving sugar. Exercise helps, too.

You are really smart to track and know what days you are at risk. Sharing with your family members that you are struggling may help. Asking for their support and understanding may get you an ally or two. Finding a safe place - the bath tub, your bed, a comfy chair - to go when you are feeling emotional may be helpful. Journaling may help.

For me hot flashes at times were just awful. Wearning clothes in layers so that I could strip down really was essential.

Best wishes for surviving. This, too, shall pass.

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MJZHERE 12/16/2012 7:05PM

  I am right there with you. I hate it! One of the motivators to lose weight was to try and get my estrogen down so there wouldn't be a big inbalance between estrogen and progesterone. It did seem to work at first - or maybe it was the lack of processed food or the increased exercise. Whatever - those were good months at first. I know it is not as bad if I am exercising (usually walking/hiking) during the month. Also I know the b vitamins help - if I remember to take them. Even better is a daily vitamin and also b - again if I take them on a daily basis. A spfriend went on progesterone (birth control pill) and says that really helps. Sorry things are rough...wish we had a magic wand to just make all this go away.

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DEBBYFROMMT 12/16/2012 6:02PM

    Ah MKelly, You seem to be experiencing the same things I did! But know that it's only temporary. It won't last forever, I promise! How to cope? When your irrational, irritable, bloated, hungry, and just want to scream? When you find out let us know! LOL!! Hang in there, you are strong. Actually exercise helped me too!
I've had no TOM for over a year, but still have hotflashes. We just laugh and I throw the covers off. I drive DH crazy. Men.... expecially at that time of the month huh?

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MZZCHIEF 12/16/2012 5:35PM

    First off, sorry that you are having these problems.
You have my sympathies.

Pycnogenol helps, I never got hot flashes.
I agree with Phebess, but think that a full range of B vitamins is preferable, since B vitamins work in unison. So mabbe take a super B vitamin with C.

C to help your adrenals, they'll be stressed out with all the hormone fluxuations.

Might want to try EFT, (Emotional Freedom Technique) aka Tapping.


There's even a Spark Team for it.

Good luck
: )

Comment edited on: 12/16/2012 5:37:57 PM

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PHEBESS 12/16/2012 4:43PM

    Vitamin B6. I've used it for years, had it recommended by both naturopaths and community health doctors. It works. Start with about 100 mg twice a day, see if it helps. Can increase, but not a lot. (Get the tablets with only B6 - don't go with a multi vitamin, doesn't have enough.)

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WINDSURFNERD 12/16/2012 3:50PM

    I use exercise to cope with some menopausal symptoms; I think my hot flashes are lower intensity and fewer, and it also helps to keep the weight gain under control! :)
Good luck to you on your journey!

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Maintenance Week 42

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I'm pleasantly surprised lately that I seem to be holding about one pound below my first goal weight of 148. Since I have been trying to work to that end for a while now, I'm really quite excited about it. There's just something that really makes me anxious about seeing that scale hit 150- It's perfectly fine too, and I know that, but for some reason I feel all warm and happy inside when it stays in the 140's. I imagine that is rooted in some kind of neuroses, but I think we all have at least one- to some degree anyway.
I've recently gotten back into the groove of regular, planned exercise again after getting off kilter for a few weeks, and I've been feeling pretty good about that. I was actually feeling like I was becoming quite accepting of not going out of my way to exercise, and the little red flags were starting to wave at me. I probably owe that to one of the Spark Teams that I'm active in-At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance (
). Participating in the daily check in thread has really made me aware of how much I've been slacking off- especially when I look at the wonderful example laid out for me from my fellow Sparkers. Thanks bunches, guys!
I have quite a few things I want to accomplish this weekend- one of which is to get Christmas gifts wrapped- and to access what else I need to be shopping for. I'm not finished yet :( I'm also planning to do some more Christmas baking. So far it hasn't been a big temptation- of course I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that what I have already made isn't at my's at my BF's house, so if anyone has to deal with temptations, it's him :)
Must get to bed if I plan to tackle my early morning routine...early meaning...when I get up, and I hope that it's not too late :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARRENLYNN 12/15/2012 9:19PM

    Congratulations on reaching your goal weight. I've never been in the maintaining range - unless you count maintaining my overweight eating / non exercise plan!!

I really like the support and friendship found on SP and the information to be had here.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season,


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WILLOWBROOK5 12/15/2012 7:02PM

    You are doing so great! emoticon

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62NVON 12/15/2012 12:07PM


Feels good to be in control, doesn't it?

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SLENDERELLA61 12/15/2012 9:28AM

    Congrats on your successful maintenance! I also find the At Goal & Maintaining +... team very, very helpful!!

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Reality Checks

Thursday, December 06, 2012

December 6, 2012
It's been a struggle lately for me to be happy with my weight progress. I know it's fine. I'm still within range, but it seems so difficult right now to stay here. The scale swings back and forth every day lately, and the trend seems to be more in the up direction than in the down/maintain. I have aimed to drop to 143 (my original goal weight has been 148), because in my mind I want that extra 5 pounds for security. This is the first time in my life I have ever re-claimed a healthy weight since beginning my upward movement in the mid-nineties but not the first time I have experienced weight loss throughout that time, so it’s really important for me to do a good job of maintaining it this time.
I have never- since before adolescence- been this thin in my life, and I am very comfortable in my clothes, and with my general appearance. Is everything as tight and smooth as it was in my youth?? Absolutely not, but the general population would only know that at my admission.
I don't really know if my struggle comes from the temptations/worries of holiday insane food opportunities or if it's partly from stress. I feel like I’m doing pretty well with the knowledge that a fair number of my family members have been dealing with some really significant health issues lately, but I wonder in the back of my mind- am I allowing this sadness/ worry/etc covertly to influence my emotional food appetite.
I want to remain positive about the things my family members are facing, because I know that no good comes from excess worry, but it has really made me think more about the reality of aging and the impact on health along with the decisions we make about our health while we are young. The health issues of age have just made themselves abundantly clear to me that they have moved one degree closer to me than they were a decade was great grandparents and grandparents who were in this category- not my uncles...which allows me to make the logical lateral move to my parents.
My takeaway from this- in this moment- it is the personal responsibility of each and every one of us to take active steps to value our health every day and to learn the steps and habits that make the best health possible a reality for all of us for as long as possible. I have been blessed with good health my entire life- and I intend to continue to treat that as the gift that it is by doing everything in my power to remain in my best possible health. The truth is, I believe I’m doing that, so would it be fair so say that a reality check is in order for me to quit fixating on the minutia of my up and down daily weights....probably.
I still would like to see my weight stay in the 142-147 range instead of the 147-151 range that it’s been bouncing in, but I’m going to work on being more accepting of where I am (as long as it doesn’t exceed 151).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 12/11/2012 2:22PM

  I relate to your blog in not liking the fluctuations on the scale. But having tracked them daily for the past 11 weeks, I am seeing that this appears to be the norm so am working on not letting it cause me worry. Maintenance is such a new place for me - always yoyoed and accepted that as the norm. It definitely takes some new learning.

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KAYOTIC 12/9/2012 4:00PM

    Seems like a lot of us are in the same boat this time of year. I think the shorter days and colder temperatures make it easier to indulge and not work it off as well as the summer lets us! But we can do it, we can maintain if we focus on what we need to focus on, eating healthy, moving more.

I've been letting my maintenance range creep up over the past year, and while I too am happy with the way I look, and my clothes are fitting fine, I'm seriously considering lowering the range again. I'm going to maintain at my current range until January, and then try to drop down to a lower range and see how that goes. Maybe that's what you want to do too?

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CHARITY1973 12/7/2012 11:50PM

    I am just learning this lesson, that health is a gift not to be squandered on youthful insouciance (what an awesome word, my 12yr old to the tee). It is to be treasured and nurtured. Today I aim to place health at the head of the table!

And thank you for the reminder about running tunes. I used the song list on my HM today to good avail. 2:04min, 25 minutes off last year's time!

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KANOE10 12/7/2012 8:09AM

    Maintenance is hard. I am in the up zone of my range. I would rather be in the lower range. You are so right. You need to live as healthy as you can in this life.

Good luck with staying within your range in the stressful holiday season. You can do it. emoticon

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RUDITUDI2000 12/6/2012 7:45PM

    H Maintenance is hard! I lost 40 and gained some back...Now on downward spiral again. You do not want to have to buy bigger clothes like I did , that stinks!! So the struggle is one worth fighting, as you are living proof! Its hard either way. Pick your hard is what I keep telling myself... Health is the one thing that makes everything better. Taking care of ourselves is worth the effort.
emoticon : )

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FIT12BEE 12/6/2012 6:48PM

    Life is a bumpy road at times but WW has taught us to wear a seat belt. I know you will get through this stretch. emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 12/6/2012 1:52PM

    Oh, I can relate. I'm also fluctuating about 5 or 6 pounds over what I was a year or so ago, and yet 80 pounds below my all time high.I've been at a healthy BMI now 3.5+ years. I'm proud and yet scared. Maintenance isn't easy. I still believe it is worth it. Finding the happy weight and the strength and will to live there is a tremendous challenge.

Treating your good health as a gift is very wise. Best wishes for continued success!

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CHUM48 12/6/2012 11:48AM

    It seems the things I want to say to everyone is please be kind, please be gentle to yourself! Everything in our life is a process, it calls on you to just take a step, its one step and then the next and the next becomes easier! Please be kind to yourself!

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