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MY_AGREEMENT's Recent Blog Entries

Nice summary of weight-loss & healthy lifestyle wisdom!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No, not from me, but from this awesome blog (also great recipes on here):

"The Anti-Diet Post" from The Londoner: A Lifestyle Blog


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSEWAND 3/27/2012 1:10PM

    Thanks! There is a lot of eating wisdom in that
blog. emoticon

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This time it's mandatory.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I had a little scare today.

The university is mostly shut down this week, so I am working from home with no immediate deadlines, no grant applications due, no family-visit pressure. It's the most laid-back holiday season I've had in several years. So naturally I lounged around in my jammies until around 4pm, when I decided it might be nice to have a hot shower. But when I got out and dried off, I felt shaky. Really shaky, like if I didn't eat something I might be in trouble. Low-blood-sugar shaky, or at least what I imagine it must feel like.

I went to the freezer and pulled out the quickest insta-food I could find, but it was a little bit of a challenge just to dump it on a plate, cover it with plastic wrap, and get it into the microwave for 2 minutes. While it was in there, I decided to give myself a sugar jolt with a couple sips of eggnog, right from the carton. It wasn't until several minutes after I finished off the insta-food that I started to feel like myself again.

As the shakiness passed and my head cleared, I sat and pondered my situation. I have gained a stunning amount of weight over the past 20 months, and I am now the heaviest I've ever been. My father is diabetic and both my parents have high blood pressure. If I'm not pre-diabetic yet, I surely will be, before too long. My options are now limited.

When I lost weight before, I said that one of my reasons was that I wanted to be healthy. That was certainly true; although I have never had any serious health problems, I was certainly a lot healthier after losing 70 pounds. But my real health concerns were way off in the future. I knew my family history, but figured I had a nice long time to take care of myself before I developed anything serious.

I don't think that any more.

Now my health is my main worry - much more so than looks, self-confidence, or even feeling "normal" rather than obese. I am *gulp* middle-aged. I am seriously overweight. I am toying with health problems that could, very quickly, change my life forever. I could wake up tomorrow, or next week, with full-blown diabetes. Or I could have a heart attack at 43. No doctor on earth would be surprised to see it happen.

So I opened up my computer and began tracking all my food for the day. (It turns out that because I ate my leisurely - and nutrient-poor - breakfast late in the morning, I had skipped lunch, and it hadn't occurred to me that I had taken in far fewer calories by 4pm than my body was used to having.) I changed my dinner plans from a high-fat Paula Deen wild rice bake (butter and heavy cream, anyone?) to a much healthier wild rice pilaf with chicken sausage. And I went back to the beginning, setting very simple exercise and nutrition goals for myself.

Here I go again. It isn't easy, but this time the alternatives seem much scarier.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAUDON 1/4/2012 10:25AM

    How's it going so far? Sounds like this was a good wake up call, and I'm glad it came before a serious problem.

If you ever want to get together for a walk or hike, just let me know. I don't run anymore (knee pain), but I love to hike!

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DUKEFAN86 1/2/2012 10:16AM

    Good for you for taking charge again!

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TRECECOOKS 12/31/2011 11:03PM

    C'mon kiddo, back in the saddle. I'm right here with ya, shoulder to shoulder, except for not being able to move much. My DD24 is going to diet with me. For us, sadly, this is exactly what it is. We're aiming for 1500 cals a day, and more Mediterranean/South Beach than anything else.

Our downstairs neighbor lost 75lbs. on WW. She lives alone, and says it's a b*tch to keep it off. But she looks great, and this is her first time losing weight. Now she also works for WW, so it is constant reinforcement.

I love ya, girlfriend. We SHALL prevail.

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KAILYNSTAR 12/31/2011 7:32PM

    I guess that was a scare for you. I have suffered from hypoglycemia for years. I used to pass out all of the time.

I'm sure that getting a work up from your doctor and finding out what is going on with your body would be a step in the right direction.

I hope that you feel better soon and make sure that you eat your meals in a timely fashion.

Here's hoping for a healthier tomorrow.

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CATLADY52 12/28/2011 12:55PM

    Better to wake up now than after the diabetes gets hold of you.
Take care of yourself and you'll be here and healthy now.

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RHALES199 12/28/2011 12:32PM

    I, too, have regianed weight, and am worried about the health issues that may come with it, so you and I are in the same boat!! WE can do this!!

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JUDITH1654 12/27/2011 10:41PM

    It's really easy to get complacent when we don't have any immediate health issues, but then they can sneak up on us before we know it.

You're smart - you know what to do. And you also know we are here for you anytime. emoticon

PS: We've missed you!!!

Comment edited on: 12/27/2011 10:41:58 PM

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JP6262AMY 12/27/2011 9:35PM

    You can do this!!


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The yo-yo cliche, and moving on

Friday, August 12, 2011

Yeah, what a cliche. I was doing So Well, and then, well, I wasn't. A couple of injuries, a different job schedule, a busier life, a lot of stress. And after declaring that I had changed my lifestyle forever, I now weigh exactly 10 pounds more than when I started my weight loss journey. My body, true to cliche, has succeeded in returning to its former cushy state, with a little extra cushy just to be safe.

And, not to be overly simplistic about separating my mind and my body - my mind succeeded too, in its own way. As annoyed as I am about the extra weight, it really is nice and cushy. It really is safe. I don't ever, ever have to worry about drawing unwanted male attention. I am again invisible as a body, leaving my nice overachieving brain to shine all on its own. I've been here before and it's very safe.

But I've also been more alive than I feel now. More confident. More energetic. Less concerned about my health as I get older and this weight takes its toll on my knees, my feet, my heart, my kidneys. And so the question is, am I willing to sacrifice this shielded comfort for that energetic aliveness? Am I willing to inhabit my body more fully again, for the promise of a longer and more independent future?

Yes - with caveats. I made a few promises to myself in the past year, and I intend to keep them.

One is that I have promised myself I will never subject me to another diet again. Ever. And with all due respect to my former weight-loss-success self, counting every single calorie every day is not a "lifestyle," it's a diet. It just is. That's how I lost 70 pounds before, and it was very empowering and educational to live through that process. But I won't be doing that again.

I have also promised myself that I will actually deal with my issues rather than bolting from them - with food, with exercise, with distractions of any kind. There is something very dysfunctional going on when a person (that's me) consistently eats in response to emotional overload. That's why I am where I am today, and why no temporarily imposed structure of calories in/calories out will fix it. Perhaps there are people out there who are willing to count every calorie, every day, for the rest of their lives. I am not one of them.

And finally, I have promised myself that I will listen closely to my body and give it what it needs. I will learn its language more fully, so that I can tell the difference between "I'm anxious" and "I'm hungry." I will feed it when it's hungry and stop feeding it when it is satisfied. And when it is crying out for something else that food won't truly satisfy, I will keep listening until I figure out what that something else is.

This is not going to happen quickly. I am not going to lose 50 pounds in 6 months, like I did 4 years ago. I am not going to set any weight loss goal at all, actually. I haven't thrown away all those nice clothes I bought when I lost weight, and I'd love to be able to wear them again. But when and if it happens, it will happen in its own time. The goal this time is to be a whole person, healthy of mind and spirit and body. I don't know yet what she will look like, but she's calling to me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIKOLYNN 9/7/2011 10:07PM

    Marcia! Where are you? You inspired me to run! YOU ARE GORGEOUS AT ANY SIZE. BUT, you have a body that can run! So run, dear one, penguin pace if necessary, but run! Marcia- YOU ARE SO WORTH IT!
Love, Lynn

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KAILYNSTAR 8/18/2011 2:14PM

    Disappointment with oneself is hard to handle at times.

I think that you are approaching this realistically and in that, it will help you tremendously. I feel for you and you and have some really good ideas here.

Here is to your success!

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JUDITH1654 8/14/2011 9:56AM

    Man, can I relate!!! Lost 27 lbs. the first year, put it back on when lost my job; lost 14 lbs. this summer - put 5 of it back on! But like you, I have backed down on the tracking (sort of) and have decidedly taken the stress off of myself. Now, the weight is coming off more slowly but surely. I don't feel deprived nor guilty - just less stressed.

Hang in there! You're doing fine!!! emoticon

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CATLADY52 8/13/2011 6:07PM

    emoticon as the old saying goes "Different stokes for different folks". Do what you can do!

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TRECECOOKS 8/12/2011 3:02PM

    Oh yeah!! Been there, designed and sold the t-shirt. Pretty much that's why I'm rarely seen here. I weigh 305lbs. and have a hord of physical issues that won't be resolved without surgery, it seems. I want to 'lose' the weight; actually I want to be rid of the weight, I don't want to take the chance that it'll 'find' me again. But I am pretty much housebound and sedentary, so it is hard. I still miss you, and think of you often. . .

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Revisiting my problem

Monday, August 09, 2010

Here's my honest, embarrassing, but necessary confession: I have gained a good deal of weight in the last six months. Probably about half of the 70 pounds I originally lost with the help of Sparkpeople - frankly, I'm not quite ready to look at the numbers. It happened slowly at first, then at a pace that was frighteningly rapid. Obviously, it's time to reevaluate my life as it relates to food and health.

So I've been reading some Geneen Roth, and it seems I'm a compulsive eater. I never thought of myself as a compulsive eater - those are the people who go to meetings, for goodness sake. But defined broadly (no pun intended), anyone who habitually eats when they're not hungry is a compulsive eater. That would be me, clearly, since if I ate only when hungry and stopped when I was satisfied, I would not be overweight at all, much less gaining weight like crazy.

I have searched for the answer to this issue of "emotional eating" ever since I adopted a healthier lifestyle almost 3 years ago, with no real success. The solution most people, including Sparkpeople experts, give is essentially distraction: when you feel upset or anxious or mad, do something else besides eat. Go get some exercise. Talk to a friend. Take a relaxing bath. As long as you don't eat to mask the feelings, it's OK to mask them in any other way you can invent.

But then there are still those pesky feelings. I'm discovering that pushing them away by eating, by escaping into a book or a computer game, by doing anything besides facing them, doesn't really solve the problem, does it? They are still there. They come back over and over, and I have to fight the same battle of distraction over and over ... and eventually, inevitably, I lose.

Geneen Roth's solution is unbelievably simple - and very scary. Face them, she says. Just sit with your feelings. Don't allow yourself to run away, don't numb them with food or anything else. Examine them, without trying to change them or make them go away. Just notice their color, their shape, their weight, how old you feel when you experience them directly. Give them space to be felt. At the same time, hear the stories you have told yourself about them, and recognize that the stories are not the same thing as the feelings. No, you will not fall to pieces if you let yourself feel that sadness. No, that anger will not consume you and burn you up if you don't bury it. Yes, you are strong enough to feel that grief, and yes, it will pass.

I have spent so many years keeping feelings at bay that this "solution" seems exponentially more difficult than the "problem" of eating when I'm not hungry. But in the end, I think, the eating is a symptom rather than the problem itself. Geneen Roth says that eating is so fundamental to our identities that it is a doorway through which we can discover amazing truths about ourselves. It's not a "problem" - it's a clue and an opportunity to figure out what drives us.

So I'm embarking on this journey again, at the moment without counting calories or making elaborate meal plans. I know what a healthy diet looks like, and I know what healthy habits help my body be its best. Right now I'm just going to listen to my body and my emotions and work on learning to distinguish between their very different wants and needs. It feels like flying without a net. But if I can't learn to trust myself, I'll never fly at all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIARAG03 8/17/2010 3:24PM

    You are AMAZING!!!!!! Good Luck and let your body be the loudest voice of all!!!!!

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KAILYNSTAR 8/12/2010 5:41PM

    I agree with the fact that one must face the problem. Even if it takes a few days of mulling over it.

I am a compulsive eater as well and I have to handle depression too! It isn't easy. I have always disagreed with the fact that one must have a bath, read, or other things in order to relax. That has never been a solution. (The problem is still there and the choice as to whether to act upon it or not to.)

It is too bad about you gaining back some weight, but with it, there will be learning. I have lost 40 lbs and then gained back 20. I then joined Spark when I noticed that I was really starting to let go and gain even faster. Now, I am basically where I was when I joined Spark. I haven't gained anymore nor have I lost lots. I am not impressed with myself, but I am content with the fact that I don't have to figure out in the clothing store what will fit me.

Life is always about new things and challenges and just when you think that you have everything figured out about doing something...It doesn't work out.

I think that listening to your body is a great idea. Just don't do go deaf when it shouts at you! emoticon

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JUDITH1654 8/11/2010 9:27PM

    Hang tough, my friend. Every revelation gets you one step closer to your goal. emoticon

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MY_AGREEMENT 8/10/2010 9:14AM

    Thanks everyone for the supportive comments!

I have done the Beck thing (not that book but another) and it didn't exactly work for me because it was all disciplining yourself, imho. Building up the part of you that sticks to a plan and weakening the part that gives in to temptation, and sticking to a plan no matter what. I'm finding that I need to go deeper, to what's behind all that. I desperately want to be able to listen to my body and trust it when it says that it needs 2000 calories today, but tomorrow it will only need 1600. I'm not particularly interested in a "food plan" per se, but in finding a way to take food out of the spotlight and breaking the cycle of deprivation, indulgence, and guilt that centers around it now.

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ROYALETBONE 8/10/2010 1:28AM

    I've been doing a ton of work with Beck's 4 Day Win book.
I totally hear you on this.
And- fyi-, there's a team called 'Seperation of weight & Church" (you can get it off my main page) that has a 2010 challenge that natters on and on and on about this stuff with one another. The -you have to change the way you THINK stuff- they way you FEEL- and her stuff has sort of neuological challenges that help to reset your brain to more of a thin person... Take a peek. It's a great and way too active team!

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JAUDON 8/9/2010 11:04PM

    First - good to see you on SP again! :) We have missed you!

I totally understand where you are coming from, by not quite accepting the 'emotional eater' label. In fact, I wrote a very similar blog about a year ago! I love what you say about facing your emotions, instead of trying to bury them. Burying never works. Facing them is hard, but in the long run, it's the only thing that really makes sense.

Good luck sorting through this. If you want to meet up for a walk/coffee/whatever, I've got a few weeks before classes start! :)

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RHALES199 8/9/2010 1:56PM

    I've re-gained some weight in the last year, too, so please know you're not the only one who has :)!

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MERRYWON 8/9/2010 1:04PM

    I am a compulsive over eater as well. I can't tell you how many times I have taken off a large amount of weight and put it back on. I am learning that making lifestyle changes are the only thing that will really work for lasting weight loss. I have to quit making exceptions to go on and off my food plan and give up the all or nothing attitude and forgive myself when I make mistakes and move on. There are lots of us out there but we can do this!

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Friday, July 09, 2010

Thanks to posting my goal to walk this morning, I forced myself to do it, even though I got to sleep too late, was awakened in the night by a huge thunderstorm, and then hit the snooze button twice this morning. I walked 20 minutes, showered, fixed my fruit and yogurt for breakfast, and still made it to work 5 minutes early. :-)

So - tomorrow I plan to get up and walk early, before it gets too unbearable out there. A longer walk, since I don't have to be at work: at least 45 minutes. After that, we'll see how hot it is. Thanks to my Sparkbuddies for posting encouragement and holding me accountable for sticking to my goals!

The wonderful treat will be that after the walk and a shower, I get to go hang out at the pool with a friend. Ahhhh.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOPAPGH 7/11/2010 9:49AM

    Great job!

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JAUDON 7/10/2010 1:49PM

    Oooh, a pool. That sounds fabulous in this sweltering Southern heat and humidity! Glad you got your walk in, and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

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ROYALETBONE 7/10/2010 2:08AM

    Oh, I so know what you mean--- if I say it on Spark, I have to do it... them's the rules.
Accountability and cheering section- woot, woot!

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FRENCHTOSD 7/9/2010 10:56PM

    Good for you, Marsha. I'm glad to see you posting again. I started with 10 minutes a day - every day and it has really worked for me. You just have to develop the habit again, which I know you will!


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