MKELLY72   28,761
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2013 Goal # 1 and 11 months Maintenance

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January 15, 2013
It’s been so long since I’ve posted a blog. I’m trying not to be too frustrated about not meeting what I had set in my mind for increased frequency. I journal in my own hand on paper, because in my heart, that’s usually my outlet of choice. The end of December through the first week of January was tough for me emotionally, but through the support of good friends and their gentle (sometimes quite forceful actually:) nudging me to be more open with how I’m feeling instead of holding everything in and waiting until I’m so sad and disappointed that the ones I love aren’t understanding what I’ve left unsaid and haven’t magically “fixed” what was broken, I think progress has been made!

During this time, I have also been reading Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst, at the recommendation of someone in a message thread in the Spark team: Perimenopause to Menopause What should You Expect

I have really enjoyed the book, and I feel like I have gained a better perspective on communicating emotions in a more productive way. I’ve learned that, with most people, I’m a stuffer rather than an exploder, but over time and excessive stuffing, I can explode with the best of them. I’m less scared to share what’s going on in my head emotionally a little at a time now than I was. I spent some time examining why I have developed that coping mechanism, and also had a nice long “talk” with myself and with God and pointed out that the situation that encouraged me to develop those habits hasn’t been in place for ten years plus now, and that it’s time to move on to more healthy emotional behaviors.

After an initially difficult conversation to initiate got rolling, and many tears later, I’m happy to report that the person I was having difficulty approaching about my feelings has rewarded me with overwhelmingly warm understanding, love and respect. Why did I wait so long to get to this point?? Everything comes to us when we are ready, I guess. I know that my poor/irrational coping skills have played a major role in my past that have contributed to my yo-yo-ing in the weight department, and now that I have achieved a healthy weight after 19 months of diligent work losing it and another almost 11 months maintaining, I must be willing to identify potential de-railing situations- to an extent. Who can predict all life events? No one, but making “imperfect progress”’ toward better coping skills when something unpleasant comes my way is a great place to start.

So, this is where I start with my first goal of 2013-to improve my emotional communications skills. So far it’s made my current relationships better, and I haven’t even been making a conscious effort to do this for very long. Of course I have willingly invited God to help guide my words and my timing of conversations, and I believe that has made a big difference in my confidence and follow through. It’s funny how reminding myself to put God first is something I have to keep doing over time, because I stray after a while and forget to stop trying to fix everything myself, because I can’t...but God can.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTAGRRL 1/29/2013 10:27PM


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WALKINGMAMMA 1/16/2013 11:40AM


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KAYOTIC 1/16/2013 10:10AM

    Sounds like you have made an important emotional breakthrough, watch as the world opens for you! emoticon

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GORIANA 1/15/2013 11:21PM

    emoticon is n't it awesome to learn about how to live better? That is one good thing about getting older.

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PARKERB2 1/15/2013 7:42PM

    Communicating emotions is hard for me too. I will say a little prayer for you and you do the same for me. Together we will be better.

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MJZHERE 1/15/2013 6:19PM

  Good for you for pushing through. And what an accomplishment - 11 months of maintenance. We are so blessed that God is there so willing to help us - and I know you are in His will. Great start for the New Year!

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LINWASH23 1/15/2013 5:51PM

    You are depending on the right source of power-God. emoticon

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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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