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Why I've Decided NOT To Compete In Figure

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I frequently have people asking me when I will do my first show, or as someone at the gym asked today my "next show" (like there ever was a first!). I had every intention of competing just a few months ago, but my mind has changed on this. Instead of typing out the reasons over and over again, I thought I would blog about it and have a place to send people to read my reasons. I know this doesn't really go along with the general direction of my blog, so please forgive the diversion.

In posting this blog I want to make it very clear that I don't want to discourage anyone else from competing. It's a marvelous venture for so many and if you want to do it, I say go for it! My reasons are simply that: MY reasons. We all have to do what is right for us individually.

When I did my 12-week cutting diet last spring, life became very much about me. I called it the Nancy Show. It had to be: I've never been one who can partly immerse myself in something and still get full benefit. I knew if I was going to be successful I would have to eat, breathe, and live training and eating plan. So I did. And I was successful. But in being very honest with myself I had to admit being that self-focused felt extremely phony for me. You see, I had come to realize before I made the decision to undertake the cutting diet that one of the big purposes my Creator put me here on this earth for is to help others. I had a very hard time being empathetic and giving practical advice when my own life was being lived at such an extreme. (It's hard not to think EVERYONE should abandon carbs after noon if I am doing so.) It felt like I had lost my balance, to a large degree. It really bothered me that my focus was on myself and not others.

Secondly, my main reason for losing all that weight in the first place was to get healthier. While most of the cutting diet was perfectly healthy, there at the end the diet was extremely limited. My coach had me supplementing well, but there wasn't a very wide variety of food, which I think is important for the best nutrient balance. Additionally, in an effort to show as much muscle as possible, I was pretty danged dehydrated by the time the final photos were taken. Quite frankly, I felt weak and like I was about to collapse. This didn't seem to me to be in line with my main directive to be as healthy as possible.

Now, don't get me wrong: This is the very nature of cutting diets (or "leaning in", as most figure competitors call it), and pretty much what people in the industry accept across the board as necessary to look stage-ready. My cutting diet was the most generous and varied of any I have heard of.

The other big reason I decided not to compete is one that I almost hesitate to mention because it's a very hush-hush subject in the figure world, but one that I found out through some research is extremely common: Steroid use among figure competitors. It's present at all levels, but it's downright common and accepted among the figure pros. As a matter of fact, I've read from more than one source that virtually all of the pro figure competitors are using steroids. And one gal in my own gym who competes pretty much copped to the fact that she used them, and seemed to have the attitude that if I wanted to seriously compete I would, too. Another gal at our gym didn't have to admit she did them: We could all tell just by looking at her that she used them before her last show. And this time she finally placed. Go figure. (No pun intended!)

Quick FYI: The figure competitors who use steroids (it's generally very low doses)don't use them for the purpose of muscle gain so much as for the purpose of fat loss quickly before a show.

At any rate, I don't see any point in dropping a lot of money (the least amount I've heard of anyone I know spending for all of the stuff needed to compete in a show was almost $900), to participate in something I simply can't win. I may look good for 43, but I know darned well that with my body type (all my fat on the bottom) the likelihood of me placing without steroid use is slim.

I've never done an illegal drug in my life, and I don't want to be borrow trouble by intentionally exposing myself to others who use steroids.

Lastly, there is the financial aspect. This is a very distant reason for not competing, but it does factor in. At this stage of the game our family needs to be concentrating our finances elsewhere.

I had first considered competing so I could have a goal looming out in front of me to help keep me from gaining weight back. Now I don't know what I will do for a goal, but please don't think I have quit! I'll think about it and find something.

Even though I don't plan to be a figure competitor, I sure as heck want to continue to be mistaken for one!

I know this blog will stir up a lot of controversy, angering some people and making others look at figure competitors in a new light. Please believe me: There are plenty of amateur and near-pro competitors, as well as a few pros, who are not doing steroids, and the figure industry is a marvelous thing that allows women to celebrate and show off their hard work. But for this woman, it's not the right choice. I am going to return to my purpose: Setting an example for and helping others.

Let me know what you think! I always appreciate your comments!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AKMAMA08 10/24/2010 9:48PM

    I really enjoyed this. It's a shame that some of the people in the industry are turning towards drugs to change themselves rather than nutrition. I will not succumb to this & be proud of it! You reasons are very logical. You have every right to your opinion & decision because you have actually done the work and gone through the process of what it takes. KUDOS to you for that.
I can't even imagine what the 2nd coaches cutting down diet would have looked like! I did really well w/ & liked Ruben's. Esp cuz he let me have PB. =)

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MRS_4EVER_AFTER 10/20/2010 10:34PM

  I like your reasons, and if I were at the point were I was abl to do a figure competition, I wouldn't for exactly the reasons listed. It's not for everyone and that's ok. As long as you do what you want, then it's all good!!

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BECKY_ROWE1984 10/7/2010 5:37PM

    You are so logical and rational in the way you look at subjects. It is each to their own and I am glad that you stand so firmly in your beliefs.

I certainly do not see that you have given up just made a concious decision to change the direction slightly. Have you ever considered mentoring or life coaching? I think you would be brilliant at it, you are certainly inspirational and have very wise words to share.

Keep up all the good work and hope you find your new goal soon.

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SUNSHINE667 10/6/2010 2:10AM

    You are still my SHEro and that will not change because you decided not to compete. I admire you, not just for being my mentor, but as my very good friend. I know that if I have a question, you will tell me the truth...honestley! I too have never wanted to compete in any shape, form, or fashion but like you said, I just want to be healthy. Ruben has helped me get back so much of what I thought I lost as far as self-esteem and the "can do" attitude back as far my weight goes. I can't thank you enough for referring him to me.
I admire you for speaking out and informing us on things we may not be aware of. Like I said I never want to compete, but look good in my clothes, feel good about myself, and overall be healthy! I totally understand each and every reason why you decided not to compete and if people disagree, so what they disagree. Can't please everyone, right? These are YOUR feelings not anyone else's.

Thank you for being the WONDERFUL person you are not just to me, but to others...you are an AMAZING Nancy Anne!!!

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REALRADIANT1 10/5/2010 7:09PM

    Hi Nancyanne,

Your journey is very motivating and I have enjoyed watching your progress.

I think it's great that you were able to get down to 10% body fat and go through the process that a competitor would go through.

I have wondered if I might like to compete in the future, and it really gave me some perspective to read your blog. After reading your blog, I realize I might not want to compete, but like you said, I wouldn't mind looking like someone who competes.

I think you have a very wise perspective on this issue and I appreciate you sharing it in this blog.

Hugs,
Raquel

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THEBOOKBINDER 10/4/2010 11:58AM

    Great attitude! Im here with you!

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ILOVEROSES 10/3/2010 7:36AM

    You look emoticonI admire your attitude!

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FITPRIS 10/2/2010 2:23AM

    Having great health is first on the list! Being able to look into the mirror daily and know that you are doing the best you possibly can do is second on the list!!

Do what's right for you and your body!

Excellent blog!

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GODZDESIGN95 10/1/2010 4:20PM

    Not by any mean a personal anything. But I kinda know you mean. things can occupy and over take us sometimes. My diabetes care seems to be getting that way. I so want to break away from all the counting and stuff I have to do. You spoke the truth in the business. I say emoticonfor standing on your principals. Competing or not you are still inspiring. YOU look great!!!

Comment edited on: 10/1/2010 4:20:30 PM

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ROC9612 10/1/2010 9:18AM

    You know I watched the documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster (it's about steroid use) this week. It was interesting and they say how if you want to be something in the athletic world you have to use steroids and performing enhancement drugs. It's sad that it has come to that. But yeah I like do things naturally and I am coming to the conclusion that I could use the use of a nutritionist myself but don't have the money right now. The reason why is cause I am figuring out that I don't know that much about food and cooking so that the family could have different things instead of the same things we have periodically, plus the use of different spices too. Anyway it is a very good thing to stand up for what you believe in. Thanks for all that you do on spark, it is appreciated.

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JOSOP2009 10/1/2010 9:17AM

    If you do the right thing, for the right reason, you will get the right result. You clearly have gotten great results (I doubt anyone would guess your age if you didn't tell us. We'd all be off by 10 years or more).

Keep doing things the way you want to do them. You'll find a new goal soon enough.

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BANKER-CHUCK 10/1/2010 12:10AM

    You have done a beautiful job with your body. It is impressive that you have a very sharpe mind and very rational in your thinking. I think you have made a good choice, for you. Use of drugs are rampant in most competitive sports to get an edge. And to be competitive you should not have to give up your belief system.
Keep working and maintaining for you. Relax and enjoy life and eat nutrition to make you happy. You can always impart your wisdom to those willing to learn.
Good luck to you.

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CICI510 9/30/2010 11:21PM

    I admire you for standing up for what you believe in!! You are an amazing woman and you continue to be an inspiration to me. :)

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You Haven't Failed Until You've Stopped Trying.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The title of this blog was posted as a comment by a gal named Christy on one of my earlier blogs on blogger.com. It struck a cord with me and has been rambling around in my head ever since.

I think too many of us have decided that we've failed in the health game. I know I had! I looked at the fact that I was fat and didn't look the way I wanted as failure. But the fact is that I'd never really given up on myself enough to stop trying to be fit and a healthy weight, so I was never officially at "failure" status. And unless you've thrown up your hands and said "I'm never trying to get healthy again.... Please pass the cupcakes!", YOU aren't a failure, either.

I've said before and I will say again that unless a doctor has said to you "It is unwise for you to eat healthy foods at a calorie level that will enable you to lose weight, and you should not do any physical activity of any kind", any reason you have for not taking care of yourself isn't a reason: It's an excuse.

When I tore my rotator cuff I was informed that lifting weights and any jarring motions would be bad for me. The only exercise I was cleared to do was walking.

So I walked.

When I was recovering from surgery, 3 of them in the past 3 1/2 years, I was only approved by my surgeons to walk for exercise.

So I walked.

Did I like walking? No. Did I feel like it was really exercise, after being accustomed to hitting the weights and doing the elliptical at a vigorous pace? No. But did I understand that not following my doctors' orders and doing any more physical activity besides walking could result in big problems for my body? Yes. Did I want to give my body the benefits that would come from something even as simple as walking? Yes.

So I walked.

A lot.

And I'd like to point out that none of my doctors gave me a free pass to eat crap. I probably don't need to list reasons why feeding your body garbage while it's trying to repair itself is not a good idea. So I tried to keep my diet high in nutrient-rich foods.

My point is that I did what I could. And I wasn't failing, even though I was fat for two of the three surgeries, because I had not stopped trying.

As long as you are still trying, there is still hope for you. And there is ALWAYS hope for you.

Youu ARE worth the effort: This is something you have to tell yourself if you are to make positive changes. But whatever you want to achieve CAN be done, one way or the other.

It's never to late!

One foot in front of the other. That's trying..... And that's success!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AGAIN1 2/1/2011 2:30PM

    I loved your post! You look AWESOME!! I love you page period! i am a HUGE wonder woman fan!

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MONET06 10/3/2010 7:43PM

    Thanks for writing and sharing of yourself. I just recently had surgery and I don't want to let myself go and gain more weight. I'm going to take baby steps, even if it walking for 30-60 mins.

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PHEBESS 10/3/2010 11:07AM

    emoticon

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ILOVEROSES 10/3/2010 7:39AM

    emoticon

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KOOZIE1 9/29/2010 9:28PM

    you are SO right and SO positive! thanks as always.........

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KELMAZ 9/23/2010 8:37AM

  Thanks Nancy Anne. I have been struggling forever (at least it seems like it!) and lately I have been feeling like a failure. In fact, my husband and I were just talking about this yesterday and he gently reminded me that I am not a failure just because I haven't reached my goal yet.

BTW, you look awesome and congrats on your endeavor with Flexchef! emoticon

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GONNA_BREAKAWAY 9/21/2010 4:36PM

  I get tired sometimes. The healthier road is the harder road. Thank you for reminding me that I am worth the effort and not a failure and to not quit!

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YOGINIMAMA108 9/21/2010 1:27AM

    Clearly this speaks to many of us! Great blog, and for me...timely.
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ALESHABEE 9/20/2010 7:26PM

    Now that's the truth!

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REDEMILY 9/20/2010 5:57PM

    Thanks Nancy Anne. That was great, and it is definitely something for us to remember!

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ROCKNBUTTERFLY 9/20/2010 5:49PM

    Thanks I needed to read this... Been MIA for a few days surrounded by CAKE my daughter's bday ( posted a pick) . Needless to say I was feeling like a failure. Thanks for the pick me up.. now I'm ready for insanity tonight !!!!

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THEBOOKBINDER 9/20/2010 9:56AM

    Hey that was one great blog, I needed that today, thank you!

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HEALTHDUDE 9/19/2010 10:00PM

    Have I told you that I really like your blogs.

I really like your blogs!

Tony



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RACHEL_MAC 9/19/2010 3:35PM

    LOVE this quote!! It shows that one or two bad cheat days (or a hundred) don't matter as long as you can pull yourself back up and get back in the wagon. It's not failure till you give up. Thanks for the blog, Nancyanne!!!

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MCMOM11 9/19/2010 1:30AM

    emoticonLoved it, Needed it;)

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/18/2010 3:34PM

    And today is what counts! Not yesterday or tomorrow.

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BECKY_ROWE1984 9/18/2010 1:56PM

    I love this blog and can seriously relate to it!

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CICI510 9/18/2010 1:46PM

    emoticon Such a great blog post with so much truth!

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KAREN8WORCESTER 9/18/2010 1:40PM

  Hi-
First time reading your blog. The title reeled me in. And it's true. As long as we keep trying, ANY progress is just that - PROGRESS. And we always have hope. I'm more determined than ever this time to not stop-to not give in- to my emotions and the way other people can make me feel about myself. I'm NOT going to give any one else the power to make me fail anymore. Please keep writing. Thanks.

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HELLOKITTYRUNS 9/18/2010 1:39PM

    Thank you so much! This is exactly what I needed to hear and at just the right moment too.

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BANKER-CHUCK 9/18/2010 1:22PM

    I am always impressed by your wisdom. You are such a wise motivational person. Myself, I have never considered myself as a failure even 60 lbs. ago at 277 lbs.. Getting fit and losing weight was always on my mind, but I never felt guilty but did feel lazy and unmotivated. I knew I needed to start a nutrition and fitness program, so on Jan. 2010 I got it going and getting results. Following your results and dedication keeps me inspired.

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Start slow!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I am a huge proponent of weight lifting heavy weights for women, but one point I have not focused on at all is that if you are just starting with lifting (or any kind of exercise for that matter), or it has been a while since you've lifted, it's really important that you start slow.

Muscles need time to adapt, and lifting too heavy too soon will fail to give the muscles the time they need to adjust and grow to the load and could very possibly lead to injury.

Also, if you are very heavy, you are already weight lifting on a daily basis- Just your body weight alone is a lot for your skeleton to bear. You REALLY need to be cautious about how much weight you start lifting when your body fat is very high.

A few times in my life I got away from weight lifting for an extended period of time, and each time I came back to lifting gradually, starting with very small weights (10 pounds and below) and building up as my muscles strengthened. For many exercises I started off with no weights at all. For instance, for squats and lunges I just used my own body weight.

I am not meaning that you shouldn't progress, or that some muscle soreness after you've worked out is not a good thing: It is! This usually means that your muscles are repairing stronger, which is a marvelous thing. I'm saying that when you first start out, you really need to ease into it.

I said before and will say again that muscles adapt very quickly. When a weight no longer feels challenging, it's time to up the ante. Challenge yourself! But when you first start, even if it feels too easy, start with low weights. There is no shame in this and you might be surprised how sore you are the next day. And this will give your nervous system time to adapt, as well.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KLYONESS1 9/10/2010 12:02AM

    This is great advice! I have been doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and since all the moves are high rep, I have been forced to use lower weights. My goal for September is to lift heavier weights, which means P90X as opposed to 30DS. I will definitely follow your advice and work my way up! emoticon

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MZOFFICIAL 9/9/2010 10:19PM

    Great information!!!! Keep up the good work!!!

I love reading your BLOGS emoticon

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MOTIVATIONFOUND 9/9/2010 7:46PM

    Good advice! Thanks. :)

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CINNAMONGURL06 9/9/2010 1:32PM

    Thanks for the advice- I am really working on building up my strength training routine- I want muscle gain, tone, and definition but like you said I don't want to overdo it- so thanks for the common sense reminder.

Wishing you continued success in all you do!

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FELLE442 9/9/2010 6:43AM

    Awesome blog...and very good advice!!

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JIBBIE49 9/8/2010 10:10PM

    I had to laugh at your comment about the ex-wife-in-law, since I've never heard that term before, but I guess it certainly does apply when you marry a man who has kids and an ex-wife. Like Lisa Marie Presley told Oprah "It is one thing to marry a man, but to have children with him is a totally different thing, because that binds you to him forever no matter what happens."

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CIERAPOET 9/8/2010 9:17PM

    Good Blog and great to know info. You have really done a great job with your body. Thank God for Sparkers like you who just do it. Also congrats on MOD. You have inspired me. May you enjoy your life in the Love of Christ and be abundantly blessed always.
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ERNURSERN 9/8/2010 9:14PM

    Great advice...I want to lift so bad but for some reason I can't seem to make a commitment to do it...I just need to start!!!

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BANKER-CHUCK 9/8/2010 9:12PM

    Great advice from someone who is a pro. Thanks for passing down the information. emoticon

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LIVINGONMYTERMS 9/8/2010 7:34PM

    Great advice! One rule that I came up with a few years ago was this: If you do 3 sets of 10 six times over a 2 week period, then the seventh time do 4 sets of 10. If it still easy then I am ready to increase by 2.5 lbs. I suggested to my husband last week and he was amazed. But again we each have to figure out what works for us.

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SHERRY257 9/8/2010 7:08PM

    Thanks! I started with five pounds and felt like such a wimp! Now I am up to eight pounds for some moves. You look fantastic! Thanks for the info. I need all I can get!

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THEBOOKBINDER 9/8/2010 4:53PM

    I wish I listened to that lesson last year before I had the hernia! lol lesson learned

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PMFISH 9/8/2010 4:21PM

    My daughter is 50 and is in excellent condition. I was in great condition until 45 and developed breast cancer! It has been down hill from there. Chemo and radiation did a real number on my mitral valve which I had to have replaced a couple of years ago.

Looking at your picture if you are weighting almost 150 you must be tall. At 155 I look like a humptey dumptey! You look terrific!!!

Congrats on being Motivator for the Day, I can see why!!

Keep up the good work!

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LINDSAYORTIZ 9/8/2010 3:55PM

  Wonderful advice! I made that mistake when I upped the ante on my leg workouts. I thought they were too easy so I did more. Needless to say walking was a chore the next day. I've kept it down since then but it's always good to get a reminder.

P.S. Love those abs and wish I had some!

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ECHOBLUE1 9/8/2010 3:30PM

    thank you - good advice - sometimes I tend to overdo a little bit more and I know that's not good.

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Maintenance- The Work Will Never End!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I don't mean to be a big downer with this blog, but I want to point something out to help keep people from slipping into the "When I lose this weight I can eat whatever I want" mode: It just ain't true!

The honest truth is that, while I am enjoying being (pretty much) at my goal weight, staying here is a LOT harder than getting here was. I liken it to a balancing beam: It's easier to keep walking than it is to stay in one spot.

The fact is that while I can eat a bit more than I did while losing, I still have to log my food or else I see a rise in the scale pretty quickly. I know this because I've done it in the past. (I'd lost a substantial amount of weight, then gained it all back, plus about 20 pounds. Took me years to be ready to lose it again.) So I know I'll always have to be accountable for what I put in my mouth. And I'll always have to be careful that what I am putting in my mouth is almost all clean foods with plenty of protein. I just feel better and gain muscle better when I eat this way.

Even with these precautions I still find myself creeping up the scale a bit, then having to reign it in and bring it back down again. I've finally come to understand and accept that I will probably be losing and gaining the same five pounds for the rest of my life.

And exercise? THAT will never end! Of course, if you know me at all, that statement didn't surprise you. I plan to be the grandma with muscles who can do pull-ups and strait-leg push-ups. No kidding! Watch me.

So here I am, in maintenance, still doing all of the same things I did while losing. And to stay slim I know I will have to keep it up forever.

But you want to know the truth? It's worth it. Every minute of it- Not only to look in the mirror and like what I see, but also to know that I am doing everything I can to keep diabetes and heart disease, both of which run heavily in my family, at bay.

I'd rather be where I am doing what I am doing than heavy and doing not doing it. It's more work being fit, but it's so very worthwhile.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 8/28/2012 7:36AM

    You are exactly right. We have to keep working on maintenance the rest of our lives..seeing the same 5 pounds go up and down.

The work will not end..but we will be happy and healthier!!!!!

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NUOVAELLE 8/27/2012 2:06AM

    I'm really happy for your blog. Everyone has to understand that maintenance is not just another stage in weight loss that will end some day. It's our transition to the rest of our lives. To the lifestyle we have chosen to lead in order to be healthy, active and never have to worry about weight loss again - except those 2 to 5 pounds that are sure to go up and down depending on life's occurrences.
Congratulations on creating a healthier future for yourself and on inspiring others to do the same!
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NMMAMA2011 8/26/2012 12:11PM

    Not there yet, but this is a great reminder! Anything worth doing is hard, right? I hope you don't mind me adding you as a friend - I will need all the maintenance inspiration I can get when I get there!

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 8/26/2012 11:53AM

    So true! I've been "practicing maintenance" (read - on a plateau) for a year so I'm with you. I only have 10 pounds left until goal and have been really ambivalent about it so at least I'm staying the same (lost 5 pounds since last year at least). So I guess I'm in maintenance, too. Great job!

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CELIAMINER 8/26/2012 11:49AM

    Thanks for calling attention to this blog...and no, you're not an attention hog! I loved the statement "I'll always have to be accountable for what I put in my mouth." That attitude is what helped me stay on track while losing, and it's one attitude I want to keep always. My days of eating what I want in large quantity are a closed-out chapter in my past. I really have to credit my MIL, who is rail-thin. Watching her food choices helped me come to the realization that my body would no longer just process the garbage I shoveled in without storing much of it as fat. Like you, I want to be the old lady with muscles!

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ANDI571 8/23/2012 10:17PM

    You are so right. I have heard that it is harder to maintain than it is to lose, and I find that to be true. I am up around 5 or 6 pounds now, and need to get back on the ball before it gets really out of hand.

So many just see a person after they have lost the weight and just doesn't realize what it is taking to stay there. So thanks for the words of wisdom.

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LJCANNON 8/23/2012 9:41PM

    emoticonIt is true, and it bears repeating. It is harder (or at least As Hard!!) to Maintain as it was to lose. But I would rather be doing the Hard Work of Maintenance than having people push my wheelchair and do my Shopping. Not to mention keeping Disease at bay.

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LOGOULD 8/23/2012 4:47PM

    I'm thinking that maintenance is just that - maintaining (continuing) what has been working. Sure, there will be some small tweeks as we go along, but this is a journey without end.

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TWALKER0475 9/13/2010 3:07PM

    You are so right - the key to success for me was to recognize that I needed to make a lifestyle change, which meant what I was eating and doing to get to goal was not going to change much once I got there! I also realize I need to constantly set new goals for myself - it is easier to stay on track when I am working towards something (more muscle, lower body fat, faster race time, etc.) as opposed to just trying to maintain the status quo. Striving to improve myself in some way keeps things interesting!

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OFEDEOZ 9/9/2010 2:35AM

    thank you for this blog! It's exactly where I am right now and I thought I was alone...

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LRSILVER 9/8/2010 3:13PM

    GREAT BLOG

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TOYASWORK 9/8/2010 1:17PM

    You're an inspiration and keep up the good work! emoticon

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SHANNONSTILLS 9/8/2010 9:04AM

  It is worth it. the mental and physical relief that comes from being fit is SOOOOOOOO worth it!

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BECKY_ROWE1984 9/7/2010 11:55AM

    Ok yes, there is no short term fix in this game, it is a game of life!

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TKADEEPBREATH 9/4/2010 9:35PM

    You know, there is nothing wrong with stating the facts . . you're right, can't go back to old habits that didn't work for you anyway. When it's all said and done, it is a life style that has to change. I stopped being real careful about tracking for a couple weeks. I maintained, but I didn't lose. I'm determined to get the last 10 off. Gonna work at it hard and then work to maintain it. It's ok, I know the drill. Just can't let yourself forget . . .

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MN-MOOSE 9/4/2010 12:02PM

    YES!!
This is something that I have to keep reminding myself. Fitness is a lifestyle choice. It isn't something that I want to try for a year. I want to be able to see the results of the hard work I put in. People can work so hard to just maintain a certain level of fitness....and I can't see any reason that we would ever want to just let those hard worked hours slip away.

You' have EARNED what you have.
No one gave it to you.
It is yours too keep.
Cherish it.
Fight for it.


Comment edited on: 9/4/2010 12:03:14 PM

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AMC120 9/1/2010 11:10AM

    Great bog Nancy Anne!! So much truth here!!! emoticon

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BEYOURBEST1 9/1/2010 10:18AM

    Great blog. Thanks for sharing.

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MASONK 9/1/2010 9:40AM

    I have often heard its easier to lose weight than to maintain. I've never really been at my "goal" weight which according to standards is about 145 to 150 but my own personal goal weight is 155 to 159. I'm the closest now than i've ever been and I already find myself losing focus. If I could count the people that have already told me that I shouldn't lose any more weight I would be rich. Well maybe not rich but I would have a few dollars in my pockets. Subconsciously, those things sink in and then we start feeling that we're ok and there goes the drive.

This is a great reality check for me. I will make it to my goal...period and then the real fun will begin, right?

Thanks so much for this blog.

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ABIZZLE7 9/1/2010 9:37AM

    great blog - i know I do the same thing, and I know that this has to be a lifestyle change, not just sometime i do until I get where I want to be. It's taking me a while, but I'm working on it. thanks so much for the reminder that this isn't a short trip - it's a long ride, and we've got to keep it up for our lives if we want to stay healthy!

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DEVORA4 8/31/2010 11:18PM

  what a great reminder. That's why I was doing a see saw act throught out my life. No more. I am where I want to be but MUST keep the work up. Thanks for reminding all of us. I voted for this blog debby

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PAULAMARIEF 8/31/2010 10:33PM

    For me it's important to hear from someone like yourself who I know is knowledgeable in both nutrition and exercise and gone through their own transition. Thanks for sharing your ongoing strength.

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GONNA_BREAKAWAY 8/31/2010 10:26PM

  Inspiring blog, Nancy Anne. I've been up and down the scale more times than I care to admit and it is time to gain control of my eating and make it a lifestyle. Thanks for the eloquent reminder.

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SUNSHINE667 8/31/2010 9:49PM

    AMEN and I am not even at the maintenance part yet! I know that is so easy to slide back into old habits and gain the weight back faster than you lost it. It'a a lifestyle changed and I am already for it. Who wants to waste time and money...NOT ME!!!

Great blog Nancy Anne!

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CASEYSSS 8/31/2010 9:48PM

    I have an older male friend who I meet for dinner when I am in D.C. It is funny, because he will say things like, "I weighed 180 this morning, so I can have the meatloaf!" Or, "I'm at 185, so I better be good tonight."

He isn't a "dieter" by any means, he just weighs everyday and does his best to stay within the 180-185 range. He too wrestles with that same 5 pounds.

The thing is, he is one of the smartest, most well-balanced men I know. In my opinion, if that is how he maintains his weight as well, then you are on the right track.

Just make sure to have the meatloaf every once in a while. :)

emoticon

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GYMRAT_AT44 8/31/2010 9:39PM

    Yep, vouch for it. At goal now, workout 5-6 days a week, still track my food. I'm with Nancy. Plan on being that hot grandma with muscles! Watch out world.

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MAMAMARY8 8/31/2010 7:49PM

  Very good blog. In order to have long term success, we need to let go of the notion of reaching a certain point where we can eat whatever we want. That's how we got here in the first place, duh! I've made that mistake too many times myself, and I don't want to go there again. Thanks for the reminder!

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BANKER-CHUCK 8/31/2010 7:47PM

    Thank you so much for your Blog. You are so right!! You hit the nail on the head about maintenance. I knew this all along but you have hit me over the head with it. It is much harder to maintain once the "goal" is met. Easy to let your guard down and allow the pizzas, ice cream,....etc, creep back into my food groups and the weight comes in little by little. I have been where you are, only to let my guard down and ballooned back up Plus added pounds. Each time, and there has been several, it is a longer period between diets.

I have concluded over the years that keeping my weight down is tough and I have proved I cannot adhere to a maintenance plan. I had never set a plan before, hence my problem.

I have about 40 lbs more I want to lose. I need my plan in place for when I reach goal, so I need to start one now. My habits are good now but like any addiction it does not take much to fall off the wagon. Food is akin to drug and alcohol addiction. Fitness programs are easy to go on the wayside. I need to figure this out quick because by Dec.2010 is when I hope to be at goal weight. I need to continuously keep building and shoring up my foundation if I am to succeed.I think SparkPeople will help me tremendously.

I was planning to run a similar Blog on mySparkPage but you beat me to the punch. I will however still however Blog about the same subject. It is important for my friends on Spark and Facebook to see what others go through.

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AMBUDMAN 8/31/2010 7:00PM

    So very true. I talked my best friend into joining SparkPeople, it took me awhile, and she is doing great. Someone asked her how long she would keep up the Spark thing and she said, and I quote, "For the rest of my life".

Great blog.

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FITCHICK421 8/31/2010 6:28PM

    I am so with you. I was on a 2 week "break" from everything and luckily didn't gain anything. But I know if it was much longer than 2 weeks, the pounds would be coming back on. Plus I feel better when I'm doing what I know I should. You have done awesome and I'm totally with you. This is part of my life now and I'll be an old grandma still doing it.

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KRISTINARAINES 8/31/2010 4:41PM

  Great blog! So true! Being healthy is a lifestyle not just something you do to lose a couple lbs!

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ROCKNBUTTERFLY 8/31/2010 4:25PM

    Amen sister.... its hard as heck to maintain... I am finally wrapping my head around the idea that I DONT need to technically lose weight I am at the lower end of my weight bracket.. but this is the dumb side of me that still wants to be a 130.. not gonna happen with a boat load of muscle... and I like the muscle. I do however what to "lean down" more theres a lil fat here and there that could go lol but I would loves to still add some muscle!!! I used to be one of those people and say when I lose weight I am gonna eat a whole can of icing I.... never did it but it sounded good LOL Great blog emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/31/2010 4:25:38 PM

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My Favorite Protein Shake Recipe

Saturday, August 28, 2010

This is a diverse recipe I came up with that even my kids like. Everyone I've made it for asks me for it.

If you leave out the olive oil, this is an excellent post-workout shake. Fats slow digestion, so leaving it out lets the carbs and protein get to my muscles faster. Usually at this time I'll throw half a teaspoon of L-glutamine powder into it, to expedite muscle repair. I can't taste the glutamine.

The secret to making it a milkshake consistency is using frozen fruit. Any kind will work, but my favorite is the berries.

Into a blender put:

1/2 C plain non-fat yogurt
1/2 C skim milk or cold water
1 C frozen mixed berries
1 scoop protein powder, flavor of choice (I like chocolate the best)
1 tsp. olive oil
Sweetener to taste (I use Splenda)
If I'm post workout I'll toss my powdered L-glutamine in, too.

Blend on high. If it won't move through the blender easily enough, add some cold water until it blends.

This is approximately 345 calories when made with the milk and equal amount of carbs and protein with about 7g of healthy fat. If you are on Weight Watchers it is a serving of dairy, 2 fruit/veggie servings, a lean protein, and a serving of healthy fat.

Let me know what you think!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUVYA04 2/3/2012 10:46AM

    emoticon

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1BUGZZY 2/3/2012 8:54AM

    I am going to have to try this thanks for sharing NANCYANNE55's
!! emoticon

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ELECTRICITY3699 2/2/2012 9:59PM

    Never tried the olive oil in a shake before... I also like berries with a little natural peanut butter... YUM!

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A-STRONGER-ME 2/2/2012 7:36PM

    About 6 PointsPlus in WW - depending on your Protein Powder- sounds delish!!

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CINNAMONGURL06 9/9/2010 1:31PM

    Thanks for sharing, I'm going to try this for sure!

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JIBBIE49 9/8/2010 9:59PM

    I would use Coconut Oil in it.

You can buy 4# bags of frozen fruit at Walmart Super Centers for about $7 which is a bargain. I buy the store brand "Great Value" since all of Walmart's "Great Value" items are really name brand products.

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APRILBLESS 9/8/2010 3:27PM

    Speak of the devil. I just saw you posted this!

I definitely shall try this once I get my protein powder purchased... I'm already salivating, with no nevermind to the health benefits... (lol) emoticon

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SUNSHINE667 8/31/2010 9:51PM

    Sounds good, I would like to definitely try that. Chocolate is my fav too!

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PAULAMARIEF 8/31/2010 10:39AM

    Thanks do much for sharing! The oil addition is interesting!

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TWALKER0475 8/30/2010 11:57AM

    You could also add baby spinach to it to sneak in another serving of veggies - I do that a lot when I make protein shakes and you don't even taste it!

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JOURNEY2DESTINY 8/29/2010 1:18PM

    You know Im going to try this. Anything I can do to get the protein and the veggies & fruits up at the same time--is for me. Thanks again, NancyAnne.

Comment edited on: 8/29/2010 1:20:25 PM

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GENKI_WARRIOR 8/29/2010 6:48AM

    Sounds yumm! Thanks for sharing emoticon

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DEVORA4 8/29/2010 12:49AM

  I am just co9ming out of the Dark Ages. I started using frozen fruit just a week ago and I am obsesses with it. I will try yours. I am now into adding green veggies in too. Avacodo or spinach are great. Hugs, debby aka devora4 new leader of t and t team

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GYMRAT_AT44 8/28/2010 10:54PM

    Hey Nancy, I am just about out of the current protein powder I am using. Doing alot of research to make sure I am using the best one for me and there is just so much information out there... which powder do you use?

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KAYE454 8/28/2010 10:46PM

  Thanks for the infro

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SHELLYK972 8/28/2010 10:39PM

    That sounds yummy! I totally agree with the frozen fruit.. You can skip ice when you use it!

What made you think to put olive oil in it?

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