NANCYANNE55   91,647
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Hard Choices

Saturday, January 28, 2012

There came a point about 3 years ago in my weight loss and fitness journey that I knew if I was going to progress any farther I would have to spend more time in the gym and cooking healthy foods. And in order to do that, I was going to have to give something up. After conducting a rather painful lifestyle self-examination, I realized what needed to go: Sewing.

I am a very good seamstress, if I do say so myself. I have been sewing for about 30 years now. Since I am a perfectionist, I wasn't happy turning out anything that didn't look positively beautiful. And perfection takes time. A LOT of time! I figured as long as I was putting the effort in, it might as well be right. And it was. Here are photos of just a few of my beloved projects (these were done before I lost my weight):

But I had to get honest with myself and reevaluate my priorities. After some internal examination I decided the proper place to focus my energies and time was now on getting healthier for not only myself, but for my family. Additionally, I wasn't able to spend the time helping others like I wanted because my butt was stuck in a chair in front of a sewing machine manipulating fabric. So I finished up the last of my important projects and put sewing on the back burner. That was a couple of years ago, and I haven't regretted the decision since, although sometimes I do get a little melancholy about it.

This doesn't mean I don't ever sew, because in a pinch I do. And I am grateful for my sewing skills. For instance, I made a lovely fully lined wool trench coat for my daughter this winter- She is tall and willowy, and at almost 6 feet tall and 125 lbs nothing was fitting her. (This is not an exaggeration- literally NOTHING fit her even close to properly with those very long limbs.) Marching practices for the high school band would have been miserable without a warm and properly-fitting winter coat. I literally don't know what she'd of done if I couldn't sew. Here are a few of pictures of the project:

But other than the rare project, my sewing maching sits neglected in it's cabinet.

Another thing I have just recently given up is baking. This was an even harder one to abandon than sewing. Baking gives instant gratification and makes my family very happy! This in turn makes me happy! But I eat what I bake, and the stuff sitting around, even if I do avoid it, gets me thinking in a direction that is not good for my health. (I'm sorry, but my experience has been that even with healthier ingredients, it's very difficult to make baked goods that are truly good for you and taste good, too.) So, like sewing, unless it's for a rare occasion, baking is pretty much out of my life.

When people say that living healthy is a lifestyle, they aren't kidding! I'm not saying you have to abandon ALL of your time-consuming or bad-for-you habits right now. I see skinny people who sew and healthy people who bake. I just can't be one of them. At least not for the time being.

Habits are formed gradually and new practices towards healthier living are best added little by little, as you feel ready for the the changes. The truth is that if 5 years ago you'd of told me I'd of all but stopped both sewing AND (bigger shock!) baking, I'd of told you that you were talking to the wrong woman. If you knew me back then, you are nodding your head in agreement. :-)

The moral of my story? Don't be afraid to reevaluate and be honest with yourself about what needs to exit your life. I can pretty much guarantee that over time, as you progress into becoming fitter and healthier, your life will look a lot different than it does today. And that's Ok. Giving up things that slow your progress is not giving in- It's being mature and honest enough with yourself to say "This isn't in my best interest anymore". Your family may balk a bit (my 15-year old is still asking for brownies), but eventually they'll come to accept and appreciate that you made the hard choices in not only your best interest, but theirs as well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LSDALOIA 2/19/2012 3:45PM

    Thank you for your wonderful blog. It's true that we can get distracted with hobbies, work, and other commitments and put what's important to us on the back burner. Congratulations for figuring it all out!

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TOTALREDO2013 2/19/2012 3:18PM

    What a wonderful thought provoking life. I need to reexamine too. I just now reached a point where I am starting a new phase in my fat loss journey. So, I also examine whT needs to go. I have already cut out junk in the house and think my fork in the road is more psychological and letting people influence my direction in life...people affect me when they are naysayers and I seem to be surrounded by that a lot. Think cutting things out needs to be people at this point...need to be surrounded by more positive and like minded people. It's not working for me anymore to be around so many smokers, drinker and non exercisers...really messes with me since I don't drink or smoke and they seem to always single me out for being a fanatic when it comes to becoming better. I am 38 and getting very antsy about losing time.....guess it's my version of a mid life crisis, but am so much happier striving for physicial challeneges. This was a very good blog I will seriously consider.

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EDWARDSC393 2/9/2012 9:34AM

    So true, we do have to make commitments and choices. Mine is this computer, Its old and slow, that my sitting time is too long. So I,ve made a commitment to move more. As you get older, and the kids leave, you don,t have as much to do around the house, its easy to get stuck! You,re doing great! Cherie

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HELENAWF 1/31/2012 12:56PM

    Great blog. Thank you for sharing!

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FITNESSMONSTER8 1/30/2012 3:01PM

    Thanks for the great blog!

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CICI510 1/30/2012 11:00AM

    Awesome post! Definitely has me thinking! I do have to say that your clothes are amazing and that coat is fantastic!!

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LISALGB 1/29/2012 9:07PM

    Great blog and great advice!! Sometimes the best thing we can do in this journey is the re-evaluate our situations. Changes must be made in small stages so everything can't be done all at once. You are doing a great job. And, I'm betting that there is plenty of space in your future for sewing, when the time is right.
You have such great talent. The coat you made for your daughter is fabulous - prettier than anything I've seen in stores. And, I love the clothes you made for yourself. I have always wanted to learn to sew, I even have a great sewing machine. But, I've never learned. Perhaps, one of these days.
Keep up the good work. You are doing great!

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MSBOOTCAMP 1/29/2012 8:57PM

    Excellent and effective self-assessment! Thanks so much!!

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ONEWAYALI 1/29/2012 2:18PM

    My experience has been similar - but with knitting instead of sewing! Before I started exercising 3 years ago I used to knit a lot, but it is also time consuming and now I don't have time for both knitting and exercise since I am in graduate school at the moment. So knitting is on the back burner - but my mental and physical health is very thankful for that!!

And it does look like you are a wonderful seamstress - I love the dresses!

Comment edited on: 1/29/2012 2:18:36 PM

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BOBINVA 1/29/2012 11:26AM

    The jacket you made for your daughter is beautiful. We all have to know our limitations and set priorities. Great blog.

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ROCKMAN6797 1/28/2012 10:56PM

    Very nice blog. You are so right it is hard work being healthy but the benefits are beyond description. I love watching sports on the weekends but I have decided that I want to train for a marathon and the weekends are my best opportunity to run for extended periods of time. So instead of sitting in front of the television I run. I can always catch the highlights later in the evening.
Thank you for sharing!

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HDHAWK 1/28/2012 7:09PM

    Things gradually change as we change our habits.

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REVIVINGFAITH 1/28/2012 6:30PM

    Very thought-provoking. Good post.

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Video Blog Link: A Word About Mainenance

Friday, January 27, 2012

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CELIAMINER 8/26/2012 11:54AM

    The big takeaway I got from your blog is that I can do everything right and still put weight back on. And when that happens, there's no magic cure...I just have to do some serious self-analysis and get outside help if needed. Thanks for a great vlog!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/23/2012 10:04PM

    Sounds familiar! REAL familiar! All of it! LOL

I suspect my unexplained gains (and sometimes losses) are mostly fluid related. When they happen there's usually (but not always) some kind of fluctuation in my BIA measurements, which are sensitive to hydration levels.

My own worst enemy is my own head, so I get what you mean there, about hiring someone else for help if you start to go off the rails. I have some good buddies I can count on to hold my feet to the fire when I need it.


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ROCKMAN6797 1/28/2012 11:11PM

    What you say is so true! When I started this journey I was instructed that this in order to be successful one should not look as starting a diet rather one needs to buy into the fact that this a new way of life. I bought this idea and, I believe, that is the biggest reason for my success. Nevertheless even after accomplishing my weight loss I realized that I could never go back to eating the things I ate in the past. I, too, am eating more healthy than when I was losing the weight and working out harder, too. I have not reached my maintenance weight yet but I have maintained my current weight for almost two years. It is hard work but the rewards are worth it!
I love listening to your life experiences. They validate what I have gone through and provide me with a road map for better health for the remainder of my life. Thank you very much!


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BOBINVA 1/27/2012 5:01PM

    I think your best video blog to date. Really liked it.
I will start by saying you look great. Then go into my little pet peeve about many people but particularly women and fitness. Too many people live by the scale. That is one number. Look at yourself. Are you happy? If you can check your body fat that is a great measure. Measurements of arms, waist, legs etc is also a good tool when you are really losing but not as much in maintenance. Too many things effect weight (water retention, muscle mass, fat, hormonal issues). You can be a stick and not fit. For some people too much focus on the number leads to eating disorders. Please keep blogging and putting the fitness message out. So happy you can be such a positive influence on so many. Keep sparking.

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A Surprising Supplement Rescource

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Could you use another source for your protein-rich dietary supplements? You might want to consider bariatric product suppliers. They have become my surprising source for protein-rich supplements to aid in my quest to be leaner and more muscular.

Bariatric patients (who have had either gastric by-pass or lap-band surgery) have stomachs that have been surgically altered to hold very little food. One of their primary concerns is getting enough protein. They have to pack as much of it as possible into a very small stomach space. Bariatric foods accomplish this. So it follows that these protein-rich foods can also be very handy for weight lifters and people looking to raise their dietary protein levels.

Now don't get me wrong: These supplements aren't cheap. But most of us who buy protein bars and powders have come to accept the expense.

There is a protein powder sold by our local bariatric doctor called Nectar. It's made by the Syntrax company. Per scoop Nectar is 100 calories, all of them from protein. No carbs. No fat. Just protein. And it comes in a dizzying array of flavors! (I love the peach.)

Bariatric places also tend to stock protein bars that are less garbage and more good for you, because they are interested in keeping their patients as healthy as possible. Generally these bars will have not only about equal amounts of carbs as protein, but also some fiber in them, which really helps with feeling full. For bariatric patients these are meal replacements. (Remember- their stomachs hold next to nothing!) For the rest of us, they are between-meal snacks. But they taste good (you aren't going to get an obese person who ate exactly what they liked getting that way to eat food that tastes like crap), and give a good balance of nutrients.

Don't be afraid to walk into your local bariatric doctor and ask if they sell powders and bars. They won't mind having you for a client! This is one avenue of revenue for them and they are happy to sell their products to the general public.

Another thing I like about purchasing from our local bariatric doctor's office is that they have samples of the protein flavors. So I can try out a single serving for $2, instead of spending $32 on an entire tub of powder I may not like the flavor of.

If you don't have a bariatric doctor nearby who sells supplements you can also order online. Here is a site that I use:
. Not only do I like the bars in the link (I've mentioned these a couple of times in my blogs), but they also sell the Nectar Protein powder. And a lot of other stuff, too! They offer a surprising amount of vitamins and various tablet supplements, as well. Take a poke around to see! (Although I would NOT recommend their entree mixes- Not only are they highly processed, but I don't think they taste all that great.) If you order more than $49 you get free shipping, and check out the "discounts and coupons" tags on the left bar, under "Wonderslim", to see if you qualify for any discounts or special offers.

I know this isn't a practical resource for everyone, but thought it might be something some of my wonderful readers might like to know about.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITNESSMONSTER8 1/23/2012 3:18PM

    Thanks for the website link I just ordered a catalog from them. emoticon

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MAJORMOM68 1/23/2012 12:44PM

    What's nice about the Bariatric office is that they have already done, or should have already done, all the foot work in finding decent protein supplements. It's easier than going through the internet or the local health food store. If you don't know what you're looking for this is nice.

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ROCKINROBIN15 1/22/2012 12:02AM

    Great info I'm tempted to try them

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ROCKMAN6797 1/21/2012 10:21PM

    So true, and thank you for the link!

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BOBINVA 1/21/2012 7:23PM

    I never would have thought of that. Thanks.

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_RAMONA 1/21/2012 7:08PM


The issue with soy is actually estrogen.

I'm glad to hear that the bars don't give you any trrouble, though. I am closer to menopause than not (I've had a couple of times in the last two years where I thought I'd actually made it... I can't wait, frankly), but for now I have more issues than ever... it's the hormonal fluctuations... mine seem to be extreme. I'll see what the specialist says about soy before I do anything.

...and I see you've already anticip[ated my next question.. do you use a soy or whey protein supplement? I'll watch the vlog! Again, thanks!

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NANCYANNE55 1/21/2012 6:41PM

    Hi Ramona!

I am not very concerned about soy, but I will say that I am menopausal and have found that when I drink soy milk I have a very weird side effect: My breasts hurt. Odd, huh? I figure it's the progesterone. But I can eat these bars and not have an issue.

However, I limit them to one a day. But I may not be as soy sensitive as you.

So I'd say proceed with caution.

And I don't know if all bariatric doctors carry the products. I'm guessing many do, though. You could call them to see.

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_RAMONA 1/21/2012 6:05PM

    Nancy, I just looked at the bar ingredients, and I noticed all of the soy. Do you have concerns about a lot of soy in your diet? I ask because I do. I have hormonal issues, and I worry about soy compounding the problems. I'm going to be seeing a bioidentical hormone specialist at the beginning of February, and I'll be able to ask my questions then, but I'm wondering about your expereince with soy.

Perimenopause... my whole reproductive life, actually... has kicked everything out of me... like I've gone 13 rounds with a prize fighter. I can't afford to risk more problems.

Comment edited on: 1/21/2012 7:00:21 PM

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_RAMONA 1/21/2012 5:58PM

    Interesting idea, Nancy! How does one go about finding a bariatric doctor in one's community? Do they all sell food supplements?

I may have to wait awhile... they may try to sign me up as surgery cliet, LOL!

R>P.S. I also really liked/appreciated your resouces vlog!

Comment edited on: 1/21/2012 7:00:46 PM

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BERRY4 1/21/2012 5:58PM

    Thanks so much for the info! -- I've been finding (from a variety of sources) that I'm definitely low in getting enough protein and the physical trainer said that is why I'm not able to build much muscle. (I'm older and have only done ST for 18 months. But it seems that I don't have much to show for it.)

Anyway, I will check out this resource!

Enjoy your weekend! emoticon

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Video Blog: The Publications I Refer To the Most

Monday, January 16, 2012

Here's a link to a video blog I did this morning where I talk about the published print items I refer to the most:

I hope it works this time. :-) Let me know what you think!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROCKMAN6797 1/18/2012 7:51AM

    Great vblog, thank you for sharing.


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BOBINVA 1/16/2012 3:30PM

    Great job. I was view #6

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Video Blog: What I Wish I Could Say to The Discouraged!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This is a little rough, but I was afraid that if I did a retake I'd lose some of my sincerity.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRIMMIX 5/17/2012 7:38AM

    Anytime things seem impossible, I will revisit this vb. Thanks NancyAnn.

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ONE*BUSY*MOM 3/29/2012 1:16AM

    Nancy Anne, I was feeling really down about my progress tonight and then I found this video. It was exactly what I needed to get myself out of the dumps. Thanks for this!


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BERRY4 1/21/2012 6:05PM

    It worked when I clicked on it! -- Thanks for taking the time to share from your heart.

Yes, I have a body and I'm breathing. Yes this must be possible. Yes I will "get there" if I don't quit.

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TERRRI 1/18/2012 1:35PM

    I just discovered your blog. Your sincerity and honesty are inspiring! Thanks for taking the time to do this!

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HEALTHDUDE 1/12/2012 9:50PM

    Nancy, YOU are a nice, caring person.

I liked the vblog.

I've found that the biggest road block is low self-esteem. It's a hard one to overcome because it's deep rooted. Hopefully your message will break through and reach those folks.


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HDHAWK 1/12/2012 8:02PM

    emoticon I needed the pep talk!

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RASCALRACCOON 1/12/2012 3:54PM

    emoticon you are awesome! everyone needs to see that! :) everyone with a body who is breathing :)

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EXCUSELESS 1/12/2012 3:51PM

    Great Blog! Thanks for sharing. I often feel defeated but refuse to give up hope.

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TERRYT55 1/12/2012 1:13PM

    Excellent blog..........No excuses. Just do up. Nothing is standing in your way except YOU!

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_RAMONA 1/12/2012 1:07PM

    This was great!

Anyone CAN do this... each person simply has to define what 'this' is for themselves, and start moving toward it.

I think the mistake people make at times is to look at someone (you, for instance) and then allow the specifics to frighten them off (specifically what you've accomplished, specifically how you did it) because they think they must do 'it' exactly the same way. The truth is, no matter how much you admire someone else and their accomplishment, you have to find your own way 'there'.

I can learn from you, take advice from you, be inspired by you, but I still have to figure out my own process and journey.

Thanks, Nancy, for another nugget to keep going!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}

P.S. Is the link for sharing?

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DANDRAS 1/12/2012 12:44PM

    Great Blog. Thanks

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_RAMONA 1/12/2012 10:08AM

    Sorry, Nancy... I get an error message, too.

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TERRYT55 1/12/2012 12:44AM

    I wish I could see our blog but I get an error message even if I cut and paste. Would you re-post please? Thanks, Terry

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ROCKMAN6797 1/12/2012 12:07AM

    I love it!
Just do!
That is the comment I left on another SparkFriend's blog this morning. Just do!
Don't let anybody or anything stand in your way of just doing.
Great message!


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