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I eat by the clock.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

There. I admit it. I eat when the clock says it's time to eat. I know that most weight control programs want us to train ourselves to recognize hunger and eat only when hungry. But how do you do that? If a meal takes an hour to make, how do you know that you will be hungry an hour later if you are waiting for the "hunger signal"? How do you organize a day when you have no idea at what time you'll be preparing or eating food because you have no idea when hunger will strike? To me that sounds like being a slave to your desires rather than master of them.

I eat breakfast at about 8am, lunch at about noon, and dinner at about 6, give or take a half hour. If I'm not hungry I eat anyway, because it's time. Over the years I have trained myself to know how much I need to eat at each meal to get me through to the next one. I find it comforting to know that at a certain time I can eat. Like right now. It's 11am and I would love to eat something. I know that in one hour I can, and I know exactly what it will be. Very comfortable indeed.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTI1LL 11/6/2012 11:57AM

    I eat by the clock because I don't want to let myself get to hungry and end up eating the first thing I see. Plus if I skip breakfast I could go most of the day without eating. Not good for weight loss.

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TIEDYED69PEACE 11/5/2012 4:04PM

    I don't know about maintenance mode, but I have always found that when trying to lose weight, if timing my foods by the clock, I have been the most successful. I'm not good at truly knowing when I am hungry. Like you, when I'm hungry, I don't want to wait for food either. Waiting for me means the temptations of overeating or snacking before meals. The clock is certainly my friend!

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MKELLY72 11/1/2012 11:13AM

    Amen!
I have always felt guilty for not following the "eat only when hungry" rules and instead using the clock....I get too hungry if I don't pay attention to the clock- especially if I'm really involved in my work, and I get myself into trouble. I don't feel I have (and my never) perfected the recognition of true hunger.

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KALISWALKER 10/31/2012 3:47PM

    Good advice!!

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ILOVEMALI 10/29/2012 2:16PM

    I need to stop eating after dinner, no matter what the clock says. In the meantime, I eat little bits all during the day -- generally -- the clock tells me that it's every could pf hours or so!

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NASFKAB 10/29/2012 7:07AM

  great idea I have some snacks in between

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KAYYVAUGHN 10/29/2012 6:11AM

    That is close to how I eat although the hours are different. I eat earlier.
Sometimes I have a healthy snack if I am hungry.

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ZUCCHINIQUEEN 10/29/2012 6:04AM

    You have just validated for me that it's ok to eat by the clock! I have tried so hard to follow the advice of noting your own body's need for food. Doesn't work! I "need" food all the time! Eating by the clock is usually what I end up doing when I am actively following the program.(as opposed to "kind of following the program") Know what? It works! Thanks for the blog saying it works for you, too, Nell!

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123ELAINE456 10/29/2012 12:24AM

  Thank You for Your Blog. I really did enjoy it. This is the WAY TO GO. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Enjoy You Day. Take Care.







>
toGO

Comment edited on: 10/29/2012 12:25:07 AM

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ROSEWAND 10/28/2012 10:59PM

    I, too, eat by the clock, three times
a day without snacks. Our bodies
like routine. Our bodies will prepare
to receive the food when we eat on a
schedule. I do find that I am usually
hungary when it is time to eat.



Comment edited on: 10/28/2012 11:00:14 PM

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--KREN 10/28/2012 10:15PM

    Having a regular schedule is beneficial to your body, no doubt. Most of my family worked nights in law enforcement and was on call a lot. They found it very difficult to stay healthy, sleep well, eat well, etc. Anyone who can have a regular schedule in sleeping, eating, even exercising has a better chance at a healthy body, a healthy lifestyle, for sure!
Karen

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NOMIS1 10/28/2012 10:14PM

    I'm with you.

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BROWNCOFIDDLER 10/28/2012 10:07PM

    Ya know....I do the same thing. I'll look at the clock and think 'OK, now it's time to eat.' Do it all the time and I think that it's one thing that's helped me to lose weight. If you miss a meal time b/c you're not paying attention to the time, then you get TOO hungry and you might blow it. I think it's a good thing to eat on time, not allowing yourself to become famished. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 10/28/2012 7:08PM

    Pretty much my method too: asking myself when I'm hungry and what I want to eat doesn't work for me!!

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AVANELL 10/28/2012 6:31PM

    I prefer to eat that way also! If I waited until I was hungry I would definitely overeat! But if I have a plan I manage to control my eating much better!



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JOANNS4 10/28/2012 6:23PM

    Yes! emoticon


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MANDELOVICH 10/28/2012 2:57PM

    I have a similar pattern. My body gets hungry at the same times every day because I feed it about the same amount at the same time. It's good to be consistent.

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/28/2012 2:04PM

    I'm a bit of a clock watcher too. Thanks for the spot on blog!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 10/28/2012 1:53PM

    I'm pretty much a clock watcher too.
Breakfast between 7 and 8 depending on workout plan
Lunch between 12 and 1
Dinner between 6 and 7.

When I really watch the clock is for my mid afternoon snack between 3 and 4. Without this I would graze all the way through the afternoon - bit by bit by bit.

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PHEBESS 10/28/2012 1:44PM

    My dad is like that, and it works for him. Doesn't work for all of us, but if it works for you, then that's what you do. Makes perfect sense to me.

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SUZYMOBILE 10/28/2012 12:04PM

    Funny, I've tried to train myself to eat by hunger and satiety, but sometimes I have to grab the opportunity to have lunch in between meetings, or I'll have to wait too long and then spoil dinner! And I've been feeling guilty about it, which is really dumb.

I find it even harder to recognize fullness, which makes sense because supposedly it takes your brain 20 minutes to recognize that you're full!

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JEANNE229 10/28/2012 11:41AM

    Exactly!

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FISHINGLADY66 10/28/2012 11:27AM

    I'm guilty of eating by the clock also. It works best for me. Your schedule is the same as mine. emoticon for letting me know I am normal, according to us. LOL

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ZEEDRA 10/28/2012 11:20AM

    It's the "old fashioned" way, isn't it?

Once again, Nell, you are one of the leaders helping us with your sensible, tried and true, no nonsense formula.

I have two of your blogs printed out and stuck to my wall in front of me here. Maybe I'll print this one and then throw out all my best seller health/diet books and magazines. I think they are just making a simple issue waaaaay too complicated. And the fact that I have to see them day in and day out--probably causes guilt and helps to continue the "magical thinking" mentality.

OK. Relocating these cookbooks and diet books that I almost never use will go to the top of my to-do list. I know I'm not up to giving them away yet.

Thanks!
Sandra
R>

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GABY1948 10/28/2012 11:16AM

    I was so glad to see this because that is how I do it...I have to...I don't allow myself to get too hungry or it's ALL OVER. I am so glad to read you and so many do it that way...because especially you, are so much better at all this than I am. But it is what works for me too emoticon

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BOBOBOBBI 10/28/2012 11:15AM

    Nothing wrong with that!! :)

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/28/2012 11:05AM

    I think that's the smarter way to do it, as it reminds me that regularity keeps blood sugar stable.
Otherwise, I tend to get distracted
and not eat a meal, then make up
for it the rest of the day. Big
trouble.

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MEXGAL1 10/28/2012 11:04AM

    I too eat by the clock. I really think it's a great maintenance tool.
Works for me!
Have a terrific Sunday.

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It's not as complicated as I would like

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When I was trying to figure out how to lose weight, I needed to make it complicated enough to be worthy of my attention. I mean, how could I possibly have a problem with something that is simple, so it MUST be really complicated, right? There wasn't much nutrition info back then, but I counted each food to the calorie, as best as I could with measuring cups and spoons. And I wrote it down and graphed it. Today it's possible to count 100 nutrients on a daily basis, and for me it would feel great.....for awhile. It would give me the illusion of control over SOMETHING. In reality, keeping it simple was what won the day, that day and the days in the decades since. The Old Old Old WW Plan gave you a template for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then they switched to exchanges where we got so many of each exchange every day. It's very simple. It is hard to say No to myself, but not hard to understand the Program. I was desperate to think it was complicated in order to vindicate my inability to stick to something. In reality, the Plan itself was simple. I was, and still am, the hard part.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINISANDY 11/8/2012 3:57PM

    Your blog makes so much sense. The biggest problem I have with losing weight is ME. I keep telling myself what I will do tomorrow when I just need to make it happen for today!

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/28/2012 10:26AM

    I think this is true about most things in life; we humans tend to forget to keep things simple. We complicate things more than is needed sometimes. Good reminder blog for me. Thanks!

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FISHINGLADY66 10/25/2012 10:55PM

    I can really identify with your blog Nell. I made Lifetime in 1972 and finally realized it was me that was making it hard. I'm really proud of you and all your efforts to stay healthy and thin in this day and time of overweight America. Being healthy is really to key to being happy. emoticon

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SPIRIT42013 10/24/2012 9:02PM

    Amen, sister. I understand completely! emoticon

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ZEEDRA 10/24/2012 8:01PM

    Thanks again, Nell.

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MEXGAL1 10/24/2012 1:11PM

    It is all about you and your self taught but more importantly follow through with the good self taught knowlege. Most of us know what to do...hense the guilt that we have when we splurge and screw up.

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ILOVEMALI 10/24/2012 12:07PM

    Great bolg -- thanks for reminnding me that it really is "all about me!"

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/24/2012 11:04AM

    I love your blog and agree you are such a great inspiration! For me, managing weight is complicated in the short run, but pretty straightforward in the long run. You eat/move a certain amount and you see the results -- eventually if not immediately. Unfortunately, humans tend to think in the short run and not so much about the long range consequences of our actions. Immediate satisfaction/soothing/comfort vs. health issues 20, 30, or more years down the road. Now that I am further down that road, the consequences are harder for me to ignore and the short run/long run are closer together. That is very much in the forefront of my mind.

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MKELLY72 10/24/2012 10:33AM

    Putting this in a simple perspective is what finally worked for me too! It's what continues to work for me now as I progress through maintenance.
Thanks for sharing!

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NASFKAB 10/24/2012 10:19AM

  great inspirational thanks

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123ELAINE456 10/24/2012 1:15AM

  You say it so well. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Enjoy Your Day. Take Care.

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JOANNS4 10/23/2012 5:06PM

    You say it so well. You are an inspiration!

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ZUCCHINIQUEEN 10/23/2012 3:58PM

    You are so good at putting your thoughts on paper, Nell!
If "you" are still the "hard part", then I don't feel so bad that I still sometimes have trouble making myself stay with the program. Gain a little, loose a little, and wish I could just stay in one spot and not have to think about it all the time. I know as soon as I stop putting it at the top of my thoughts, I am in big trouble!

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KAYYVAUGHN 10/23/2012 3:26PM

    I agree with Gaye. You are an inspiration. I try to keep up with you. My will power is not as strong as yours, but I'm working on it.
A plan is so important.

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GABY1948 10/23/2012 2:16PM

    I think that goes for many...I am with you there...when I attempt to do something I have to really THINK about it first and then when I finally attempt it, it's like...DUH what was the problem...totally agree with you but in spite of it all you are doing GREAT...keep on inspiring us!

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VINGRAM 10/23/2012 11:53AM

    emoticon me, too....the hard part!

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MPLSLINDA 10/23/2012 11:03AM

    Your last sentence is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Thanks for telling it like it is.

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JEANNE229 10/23/2012 10:48AM

    I SO agree with that, Nell! I know exactly what to do, but like a kid I sometimes just don't mind myself.

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SUZYMOBILE 10/23/2012 10:42AM

    Amen!

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Thinking through food choices

Friday, October 05, 2012

I hear stories of how people lose weight or maintain loss, and they always involve the details: how many calories or nutritional differentials or exercise. That is WHAT they do, not HOW they do it. I can tell you WHAT I do, but how DO I do it?

I live my life like everyone else, but there is an undercurrent of thought, a second, constant, background line that is made up of my Rules. These are rules I made for myself long ago, primarily so that every food encounter wouldn't become a debate with myself. (Can I eat this? Why can't I eat this? Maybe if I give up dessert on Friday or walk a few more miles?) I always lose debates with myself. I'm not the best debater in the world, and when I am on both sides of the debate, I am doomed.

So to avoid the debate I have rules. They aren't universal, but they were handed to me when I started losing weight and I have incorporated them into my bones. I don't eat between meals. I don't eat junk food. I seldom eat dessert. I rarely eat in restaurants. I would never tell others that these rules are the "key" to successful weight loss or maintenance but they work for me.

And I don't think it's the rules themselves, but the fact that I have them, I follow them, and they are so ingrained in my sub-conscious that I don't have to think about them anymore. Over the years and the decades they have served me well.

There are people who enjoy seeing every instance in their lives as an opportunity for choice, but that way of living would exhaust me. I have enough choices to deal with (need a new doctor, how do I fix my plumbing) that I don't have the emotional energy or confidence to make every food opportunity into a choice. Most are pre-chosen as "No". Most of the rest are "If I have to think about it the answer is No."

I pre-plan my food so that I make my appropriate choices before any longing enters the equation. It's hard enough to buy a house or a car or a dress without emotion bungling up my decision making process. Food choices present themselves far more often in today's life, and at the most inopportune times. Like when I am tired or bored or just want something pleasant to happen. Having rules to help me pre-choose is almost sub-conscious by now. It's taken years of practice to have a reliable sub-conscious, and I can articulate that sub-conscious as my Rules.

People who are desperate about weight jump at any plan that promises they can have anything they want "within reason". For me, reason works for a week or a month or a year, but the day will come when emotion wins. I rely on my Rules. And the weight has stayed off for a very long time.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 10/11/2012 12:37PM

    Makes a lot of sense. I know I have built a number of "food rules" over time which have helped me to get as far as I have. The next challenge is to re-vamp those rules so I can reach my goal and STAY THERE! :-)

Don

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LUVSBULLDOGS 10/7/2012 10:14PM

    good info

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VINGRAM 10/7/2012 7:14PM

    Very good advice. I'm subscribing to your blogs. I like your approach! I was at goal for almost a year. Have gained back almost 50 lbs. not very happy with myself!! emoticon

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ZEEDRA 10/7/2012 11:04AM

    Thank you once again, Nell. Like Karen, I've requested your blogs (once I knew that was possible!). I have your previous one on my wall (about LOOOOOOOVVVVVVING). I'll put the rule part of this one up too.

We complicate things so much sometimes.


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BELTONWALKER67 10/7/2012 10:35AM

    Great Blog with Super great information. emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 10/7/2012 6:49AM

    YOur rules sound like a very good plan to me, and they certainly work for you. I wish I had the discipline that you do every day.

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ZUCCHINIQUEEN 10/7/2012 6:27AM

    It's so great to get inside your head and understand how you have maintained for so long. Lots of food for thought there, valuable stuff!
Thanks for sharing, Nell!

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MANDELOVICH 10/6/2012 11:29PM

    I love this. I too have rules and find that they really help me stay on track.

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--KREN 10/6/2012 9:42AM

    Nell, I don't often take time to comment on your blogs, but I want you to know they are really wonderful! You ARE the success story and I love the way your success has continued for so long. All your insights and advice is really good and I am beginning to rely on it. It is seeping into my hard little head and I hope it takes root there and thrives, lol.

I have subscribed to your blog now, so I won't miss any.

I would like to know how long it took for all these wonderful tactics to really "settle in" your mind.

Thank you so much. Keep writing!

Karen

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MEDDYPEDDY 10/6/2012 2:58AM

    Thank you very much, I relly agree!

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123ELAINE456 10/5/2012 11:07PM

  Awesome Blog. Well Written. Thank You for Sharing your Rules with Us. God Bless You and Hava a Wonderful Weekend.

Comment edited on: 10/5/2012 11:08:44 PM

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FISHINGLADY66 10/5/2012 10:23PM

    Great blog and well put. Thanks for sharing your rules.

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MEXGAL1 10/5/2012 7:46PM

    Love your rules. Sounds like a good plan to you. I practice some of them. I rarely eat out. I plan my meals way ahead of time and usually cook my dinner at lunch time so all i have to do is heat it at dinner time. rarely eat between meals. So many of your rules, "rule" for me.
Have a great week end.
Sallie

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JOANNS4 10/5/2012 7:23PM

    emoticon I mean it. What a sensible way to do it. You hit the nail on the head, that's the only way I can say it.
emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 10/5/2012 3:15PM

    What a good reminder! I always do better when I have rules, and I get in trouble when I let them slide a little. We can play all sorts of interpretive mind games with ourselves, The Rules are the nonnegotiables.

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GABY1948 10/5/2012 2:29PM

    I LOVED this, Nell, and I totally thank you. Especially, one sentence JUMPED out at me: "If I have to think about it the answer is No." I actually just had that very argument which did turn out to be no but your way would have saved me at least 45 minutes...

Most of what you say is very true even for me. I have gained back like 30 pounds but that is VERY small compared to the amount I lost to begin with so part of it I am doing and I actually believe with your philosophy you have helped me a great deal and that is worth more than a million dollars to me! Thank you again and have a GREAT weekend!


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NASFKAB 10/5/2012 1:40PM

  you have made it clear what to do THANKS

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MPLSLINDA 10/5/2012 1:30PM

    You write so plainly and matter-of-factly about your weight maintenance. Your blog is the sound of sanity amid the siren calls of miracle weight loss formulas.

Where I get into trouble with food rules is that as soon as I think I can't have something, I want it all the more. And yet, I know that certain foods truly are off-limits for me if I expect to have any control over binge-eating. It's far easier to prevent a binge than to stop one. I also know that eating more than 3 meals a deal doesn't work for me, for the same reason. My life is much calmer when I'm not fighting binges, pre- or mid-.

So what I do is to plan my weekly menus and enter my meals in the tracker ahead of time. That way, every day when I get up, all of my food decisions have already been made and I just have to follow my plan. It's a lot easier for me to say yes to sticking with my plan than it is to say no to food. And since I do my planning at a time when I'm thinking clearly, it's very easy for me to exclude those certain foods. It's not that I can't have them, they're just not in my plan.

There may come a time, after decades of experience, when my Rules will be so deeply engrained in my subconscious that following the Rules won't be hard. In the meantime, I have only one Rule: follow my Plan.

Thank you again, NellJones, for this thoughtful and clear blog. You are leading by example, and I'm grateful for your leadership.

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But I LOOOOOVVVVE it so!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

We have all read stories of women who continue to live with abusive husbands. They come back from another visit from the emergency room, he says he'll change, they believe it.....until the next inevitable time. And those of us watching all wonder "Why doesn't she just leave?" And she will tell us that she LOOOOVVVVES him and just knows he loves her and won't hurt her again. It's never intentional. And it always happens again. And she stays for more. And we observers are astounded that she doesn't see what we see.

Yet some people treat their food the same way. The food beats us up, leaves us sick and unhealthy, yet we stay because we just LOOVVE it so much! We swear it will be different the next time, and it never is. We can't swear out a warrant on pizza. There are no government services to protect us from Big Macs. We have to find the courage (and it takes courage in any of these situations) to just leave, find a safe place, surround ourselves with safe foods, and safe people (like Spark) that can protect us from something that is hurting us every day.

I am able to stay at goal because I still see certain foods as evil, as dangerous, and I avoid them because they are a threat to my health, my goal, and everything I want to be. I know there are people who say that if you forbid yourself something you will crave it more. That isn't any safer with certain foods than it is with an abusive spouse. Love isn't enough to make it safe. I had to make a clean break with Reeses, then find the life that came next. And a wonderful life it is!

Cheetos won't break my jaw, but is obesity any better? Or safer? It isn't as immediate, but the danger is surely there. And I avoid it for my own safety.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RICHARJ 12/27/2012 3:58PM

    P O W E R F U L!!!

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PICKYNICKI 10/18/2012 5:22PM

    What a powerful blog! Thank you so much for your truthfully "spoken" words!

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SLENDERMAMA1 9/28/2012 7:17PM

    very inspiring blog

emoticon

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EBURGITE 9/28/2012 11:31AM

    great perspective. thanks for sharing.

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ALIX_P 9/27/2012 8:49PM

    Never thought of it this way, but it's really true. Also, I agree that some foods are just evil, at least for me, because when I have one bite, I just want more. I think this one may be different for everyone.

I read a suggestion a long time ago to keep a bag of hershey's kisses around and just limit yourself to 5 kisses a day. Yeah Right! That bag would be gone in an hour--I'd keep reaching into the cupboard thinking, "oh just one more won't hurt" until they were all gone.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 9/27/2012 1:40PM

    That's exactly how I feel. Beat up by my food and it's my fault cuz I keep going back. Sigh.

Great blog!

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SUZYMOBILE 9/27/2012 12:49PM

    Well said! I do believe, though, that there are no evil foods, as long as you acknowledge how much of them you're eating and count them. Many foods aren't inherently evil; they just aren't worth the calorie investment.

Comment edited on: 9/27/2012 1:49:52 PM

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COLOMAGIRL 9/22/2012 6:50PM

    Beautifully written.

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MKELLY72 9/20/2012 10:34AM

    I love this analogy. I can relate on both levels, and I actually tap into the same strength that it took me to leave my unhealthy relationship 10 years ago to tackle my unhealthy relationship with food. This blog just forced me to expand on that perspective that I hope helps me to avoid additional incidents like one I had last night with a double serving of ice cream that left me feeling sick. Most of the time, I am able to treat myself without going overboard, but occasionally I return to my abuser, and I was asking myself last night, "what is wrong with me?"...I know better, and I have worked so hard to treat myself better, and I wonder what triggered that binge.
Thank you!

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AUTUMNBRZ 9/19/2012 11:21AM

    Great analogy!

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FARRAH511 9/19/2012 8:57AM

    emoticon

-:¦:-
´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.•´ .•´¨¨))
((¸¸.•´ ..•´ - -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´* Farrah -:¦:-


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JANEMARIE77 9/17/2012 1:48PM

    Was just checking out your page I really like this thought it works for me Thanks

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DDOORN 9/17/2012 10:05AM

    I am SO WITH YOU on your analogy...! Others who can manage to be moderate with all foods, especially trigger foods, they have my admiration. But I just don't think I'm wired that way and doubt I can ever develop those psychological "muscles"...!

Don

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PURPLELVR7 9/17/2012 8:06AM

    Thank you for sharing your analogy. Not sure I agree on all points, but you do make some very good points.


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FISHINGLADY66 9/16/2012 8:53PM

    emoticon Blog

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DAISYBELL6 9/16/2012 8:18PM

    Interesting blog! I'll have to think about this a bit.

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KAYYVAUGHN 9/16/2012 7:01PM

    Thanks for the good advice, and you are right Nell. We really need to do away with certain foods.

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 9/16/2012 5:00PM

    Well put! Excellent analogy! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROSGETSSERIOUS 9/16/2012 4:38PM

    Fabulous blog - thanks for posting it - I love your analogy - I have abused my own body for so long - I am the perpetrator!!
emoticon

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PJ2222 9/16/2012 12:19PM

    Great observations!

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ZEEDRA 9/16/2012 11:57AM

    So happy I came across this. As others said above: it's an amazing comparison.
Yes...we keep come back for more of the abuse thinking "this time it will be different...I'll stop it before it escalates." Ha!
I'm going to make this into a poster for my wall over my computer.
Thanks, Nell, for reminding us of the insane rationalizing.
Sandra


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MEXGAL1 9/16/2012 11:02AM

    awesome comparison and very well thought out.
Thanks for taking the time to write.
Have a terrific Sunday.
Sallie

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JEANNE229 9/16/2012 8:42AM

   
what an astute blog! GREAT comparison. Puts our "abuse" in perspective.

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NASFKAB 9/16/2012 8:07AM

  Awesome great thanks for pointing it out

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NUTRON3 9/16/2012 6:44AM

    Wow, never thought of it that way

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ILOVEMALI 9/16/2012 4:20AM

    Interesting analogy!

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MEDDYPEDDY 9/16/2012 1:56AM

    This was great! But... I left alcohol once I understood it was abusive to me, I left nicotin for the same reason but I can´t leave food. I can leave certain foods - and I agree that they are "evil" - but I still have not worked out the whole list and whenever I get tricked the evil ones comes barging in as well...

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SPIRIT42013 9/15/2012 11:36PM

    You've got that right! I was/am that woman... emoticon

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ELSCO55 9/15/2012 10:57PM

    An interesting blog.

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WATERMELLEN 9/15/2012 8:45PM

    Terrific blog! Some people seem to be able to do "moderation" with potato chips etc . . . but I'm not one of them!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/15/2012 3:13PM

    What a great blog; it gives me a superb reference now for those foods with which I have an abusive co-dependent relationship. And I have so many foods that never did hurt the heart that loves them--carrots, apples, and many others. I love your clear analogy.

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GABY1948 9/15/2012 2:46PM

    Thank you for a VERY inspiring blog! You are so right and I love the way you compared it to something we can all understand! Have a GREAT weekend!

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WILLOWBROOK5 9/15/2012 1:25PM

    I love this analogy!!! So true. I plan to think of your words if I find myself wanting to make unhealthy choices with food or not exercising. Thanks!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Maintaining isn't really like Losing, Yet it is

Sunday, August 19, 2012

There has been a lot of wonderful discussion on the At Goal and Maintaining + Transitioning to Maintenance Board, as we try to figure out what maintaining really is. The keeping weight off part is pretty obvious, but the attitudes are very different and not discussed often enough.

I remember years ago when I decided to have a facelift. I went to interview several surgeons. One of them asked me why I wanted it done. He said that if my answer had been to get others to like me more, or to get my husband to love me more, he wouldn't have done it. Anything you do for the sole purpose of eliciting a certain response from another person will never work out the way you think. I know people who buy expensive cars so that people will look up to them (they won't) or put in a dream kitchen to impress the neighbors (it won't) are doomed to serial disappointment.

Most of us started the weight loss process to just lose the stupid weight. Which is fine. But along the way we got a lot of appreciation for something obvious to others, even if their assumptions of how we did it were wrong. We all love positive attention. But if we lost the weight thinking that we would finally live a life with no problems (and that's what any long term, hard fought goal looks like waaaay in the future), and a life of constant adulation, we are doomed to disappointment.

When I first started in WW I was told that I would learn patience; I would learn discipline and know it wouldn't kill me; I would learn that there is life without Reeses. And even though I was busy weighing and measuring and writing things down, and drinking that milk and eating that fish, and going to meetings even though there might be something better to do, I was learning all those things below my radar.

And I learned to have faith in myself. I learned that if I listen to people who know more than I do and listened to them (remember that ago old lament "If only I knew then what I know now?") I would be able to handle life as it came at me, rather than thinking that a certain weight would make me immune to life's challenges.

There are people who keep getting advanced degrees in order to avoid going out into the big, unfamiliar world. We don't have that choice: we CAN"T keep losing weight. We MUST make the transition to doing all the work without all the outside applause. But we have a group right here on Spark to hash it all out with.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee and check us out.
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=1111

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEENADEE 10/8/2012 10:01AM

    Hi - I know I'm a little late commenting on this blog; but, I just recently joined the team you mention and somehow that helped lead me to you. I really appreciate your thoughts in this blog. Maintenance can be so difficult if we don't put ourselves in the right mindset and work at it.

Thanks!

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SLENDERMAMA1 9/28/2012 7:27PM

    emoticon

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JAZZEJR 9/15/2012 9:21PM

    Glad I found you through the featured blog. You're a true inspiration. And thanks for the link.

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CAMAEL100 9/15/2012 3:53PM

    This blog has inspired me in more ways than one!! Really we have to live life for ourselves not for others!

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GOPINTOS 9/15/2012 8:33AM

    Loved this! thank you!

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BRAINNOISE 9/14/2012 8:33PM

    Great post!


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MANDELOVICH 9/14/2012 8:28PM

    You are an inspiration!

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WILLOWBROOK5 9/8/2012 9:11PM

    Great post!

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LEALOWE 9/8/2012 2:54PM

    Hear hear!

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PENOWOK 9/8/2012 8:58AM

    Well said

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MEXGAL1 9/6/2012 7:50PM

    Fabulous blog...great thoughts that I can really identify with. thank you so much for posting.
Have a terrific evening.
Sallie

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GOTTAPLAN4U 9/4/2012 9:45AM

  However you got there, you are a very wise woman. Thanks for making the effort to share your wisdom.
Kate

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ELOQUENTZ 8/30/2012 1:40PM

    Good post.

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KASPER10779 8/28/2012 12:00PM

    I am not at the maintaining point just yet, but I really appreciated the insight you give here :). It will definitely be a help for me in the future!!

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MISSB8604 8/27/2012 6:52PM

    I've been really worrying about this myself and am glad you brought it up. I guess I never realized how much of a battle maintaining is. It's actually quite scary to me.

Thank you.

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FRUITCASE 8/26/2012 5:03PM

    I agree, this maintaining malarkey is a difficult journey and I for one need help along the way.So I welcome the support available on this site to keep me going. emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 8/26/2012 4:15PM

    thanks for sharing!

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MARTHAWILL 8/25/2012 8:43PM

    Thanks for the insights. Very well put and so true. I had so much faith in myself and am looking for it back. It's a roller coaster ride- would like it to be straight and narrow again. Not going to happen because LIFE happens and you can never let up your guard - knowing the facts/truths/pitfalls alone doesn't do it. It's what you allow to take over between the ears.

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REENIE131 8/24/2012 10:53PM

    Very helpful. Thank you!


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EMILYDOODLE 8/24/2012 10:07PM

  Great blog! thanks for sharing, it really is a journey to maintain your weight. it really is hard!
emoticon

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MNABOY 8/24/2012 8:45PM

    Still have a way to goal but still enjoyed and learned from your words. Thanks for sharing.

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AEHEGE 8/24/2012 5:50PM

    Wise words!

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IFEOMA4 8/24/2012 5:30PM

  i agree

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MANILUS 8/24/2012 11:38AM

    There are so many issues in this life that we must deal with, if weight is not an issue, we can deal with those better! Thanks for sharing that maintenance holds issues.

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ESME25 8/24/2012 9:58AM

    emoticon

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KOMTRIA 8/24/2012 8:45AM

  Helpful posting. Lots to think about.

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JESSJESSB 8/24/2012 7:40AM

    This is one of the smartest, most insightful statements I've heard so far: "We MUST make the transition to doing all the work without all the outside applause."

I've found myself slipping into unhealthy habits to maintain- I lost all 119 lbs the smart, healthy way, but now I'm picking up unhealthy behaviors to try to be able to eat crap and still keep it off. I never dreamed that would be something I struggled with on THIS side of the goal line. I'm trying to be more active in the forum.

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THETROUT 8/24/2012 7:08AM

    Wow! I'm looking forward to getting to your side of this journey. Thanks for sharing.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/24/2012 6:52AM

    Great blog, Nell! And thanks for your continuing commitment to help us maintainers. -Marsha

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SHERRYBETH84 8/24/2012 3:43AM

    I finally realized why the others keep calling this their journey, rather than their accomplishment. It is all a journey through life, with new goals and speed bumps and wrong turns at every moment, with or without the added weight on our body. I read blogs like yours to help keep me mindful of the pitfalls and get directions as I traverse through new areas in my journey. Thanks for the alert. Thanks for the heartfelt blog.

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ILOVEMALI 8/24/2012 2:55AM

    Great thoughts--inspiring!

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NUOVAELLE 8/24/2012 2:28AM

    "My late knowledge, I wish I had you earlier!" That's a proverb in my country, one I've used a lot in my life and, I believe, a common human behavior. We've all wished at some point in our lives that we knew back then what we know now. But when there are people like you, who decide to devote time and effort to helping others reach this knowledge earlier than they would by themselves, life gets easier.
I just read about your journey in the team's e-mails and all I can say is that you are a REAL motivation!
Thank you!
emoticon

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JAZZEJR 8/23/2012 10:37PM

    I'm struggling with maintenance. Maybe I need to focus on something different than the lbs. But that's the only thing I'm having a problem with....

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MYSTERY-LADY1 8/23/2012 9:17PM

    emoticon

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EASH5M 8/23/2012 8:43PM

    I agree!

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 8/23/2012 7:05PM

    And that's the Truth!!!
Thanks for summing it up in print! emoticon

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STARWARSFAN2 8/23/2012 6:23PM

    Congratulations on reaching this stage of your fitness journey! Thank you for articulating the maintenance step so well.

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ADRIENALINE 8/23/2012 6:10PM

    Wow the truest words on SP

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POSEY440 8/23/2012 3:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRAZYWOMAN10 8/23/2012 3:16PM

    Very well put...Something I need to focus on for sure :)

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GLASSART43 8/23/2012 3:15PM

    emoticon for your blog!

I couldn't lose weight and keep it off until I decided to put my health first and make it a priority in my life. No waiting around for other family members to get onboard, just do what I could to get healthy.

Maintenance is a struggle - SparkPeople is a lifesaver.



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GRANDMAPATTYV 8/23/2012 2:22PM

    Thanks for the encouragement and insight! I'm working on the maintaining part of life, and it is hard.... I do find myself wondering if people even realize how hard this journey is? But it's not for them, it's for me that I do this, and continue to record my food, and journal my achievements and stay with my teams!! You are totally an inspiration! Thanks Nell!!! - Patty emoticon

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DIANEDOESSMILES 8/23/2012 2:16PM

    SO TRUE !! SO TRUE !! I myself am FAR from this point, but I am a leader for a team, where many are soooooooo fortunate to hit ths ! WOOHOOOOOOOO Includin WONDAHFUL TINAJANE76 !!! GOOO TINA !! We are SO PROUD OF YOU !!!!!! She was NOT even near this when she joined the 5% challenge, but with so much help from the team,,,her OWN Determination of which Tina has SO MUCH OF !! GOOO TINA GOOO ! We are VERY BLESSED and HONORED to have Tina with us !

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CHANSEN_20001 8/23/2012 1:20PM

    I need to keep this blog for when the day comes and I'm maintaining. It's something to look forward to.

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RUSSLANE 8/23/2012 12:33PM

    Nell, would you hate me if I said I really want to put you in a helicopter, shove a bullhorn in your hand and let you have at it?

You're totally my hero.

I think you hit on the biggest difference between weight loss and maintaining -- having faith in yourself, and building that muscle just as much as you would a bicep.

Weight loss, in its strictest sense, is about following a structured eating and/or exercise plan. Ultimately, you're being told what to do. And that's needed -- if you didn't, you wouldn't need to lose weight, right?

Maintaining is learning to call the shots, I found, and think for yourself, tweak, problem solve and build a life that's makes your weight loss the least of your accomplishments. It's a different context, but also a highly individual one.

Would you agree teaching the transition, and devising a method that bridges the gap between being-told-what-to-do and rugged individualism be a key component of increasing the 5 percent?


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JEANSHEP2 8/23/2012 12:29PM

    Whoa, Nell. When I first came on Spark, 4 1/2 years ago, I lost 50 lbs the first year and was so proud to be at goal. But I did not have anyone to encourage me to maintain so I have gained back nearly 30 lbs. I am now anxious to lose that re-gained weight and get to your team. Your blog is what I needed when I reached goal before! Now I have another reason to lose...going for it.

Jean

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MNJONES2 8/23/2012 11:29AM

    So happy for you Nell. You are the best!!


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LVMAMAW 8/23/2012 11:27AM

    Great Blog! Thank you for sharing! You are so right! emoticon

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TRAINER_T 8/23/2012 11:14AM

    emoticon

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MANDELOVICH 8/23/2012 11:14AM

    Great tips! I'm not quite at goal, but I'm so happy to know that when I get there, I will be able to learn from and support this group!

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