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The Crash Not To Be Followed By The Burn - November 25, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Boy, it's been a long time! I just saw the date of my last blog. I was already about a week into one of the craziest ideas of my life.

Weight loss and major life changes are seismic shifts, I have discovered. There is an incredible interconnectedness when one decides to change. Both bring a certain tenacity and a certain inventiveness to the approach of how to answer the question, "What next?"

And don't forget, of course, the people in the outer rings of your life who are very quick to tell you that you are completely out of your mind. That last, is not only in regard to weight loss. It's also in regard to what you propose to do to change the world. Lately, I have been following people who have charted a trajectory for themselves not unlike what I am attempting to do. Every conventional indicator says that they should have failed. No one has done it the way that they chose to do it. The fact that they did succeed, has created new courses in the Wharton School of Business. I laugh wholeheartedly at that notion.

Here is one I particularly love: the story of Sara Blakely of Spanx renown. If you don't know Sara's story, here's a little background for you in case you were sleeping under a rock. I say that because two years ago, Forbes declared her the youngest self-made billionaire (yes, that is with a "b"). Sara was a door-to-door fax machine saleswoman for a stationery firm, making $11,000 a year plus commissions, and had no business background whatsoever, when lightning struck. Long story short she had this idea to invent footless pantyhose. I'm of an age that I do not relate to this generation's notion of footless pantyhose, but that is another story. What is so inspiring is, she had to fail the law school entrance exam twice to realize that this was not to be her path. The cynics out there would say it was Oprah who made Spanx happen. Not true. She finagled Neiman Marcus to take her first order, and subsequently Nordstrom's followed even before Oprah was on the horizon declaring Spanx a "Favorite Thing."

Here's Sara telling her story at The Edge Connection in Atlanta:

Okay. Here's the thing (and Sara mentions this too): There are people who are put on this earth, heaven knows why, that have made it their job to squelch your dreams. It gives them some unknown satisfaction. My last encounter with this "type" was on Sunday last at my niece's wedding. My cousin's wife said as she was leaving, in her goodbyes that whatever I was planning, "Shouldn't you be retiring?" I just noted nonchalantly, that I was just continuing my work in the hospital. I was not going to get suckered into letting her know what I am working on.

Now, here's the secret (come close, and I'll whisper it in your ear): when you endeavor to take on herculean tasks, whether it be weight loss or some new commercial idea, or something else that has meaning to you, the only person you need to answer to is yourself. Let no one derail you from your goals. You define you, no one else.

So, whether it is "life", or weight, you captain the ship. And you make it happen.

Happy Thanksgiving all. Be safe.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 11/26/2014 3:12AM

    We all have different paths in life - too many people think their way is the one and only way. So yeah, get off the path and forge a new one!

And happy Thanksgiving!

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1CRAZYDOG 11/25/2014 1:17PM

    We have to be adventurous and take risks.


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Happy New Year! New Year, New Beginning, Right? Not So Fast. - January 8, 2014

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

People look forward to the new year with incredible hope and newfound tenacity. They make resolutions, join gyms, and hit the elliptical, Stair Master, and treadmill with an acolyte's zeal.

For most, this frenetic level of enthusiasm will last, perhaps, according to my gym, until mid-March, when they will quit and slink away. It was an impossible dream, or was it?

Statistics state that ninety-five percent of us will fail at this quest, ultimately. Some of us diehards know that the only thing that is keeping us from that oblivion is our connection to this community. No, this is not a paid advertisement for SparkPeople. It's truly the one thing that separates this company from its competitors.

But what about the successful ones? Those five-percenters? Success has been attained, and they are in full maintenance mode. And continuing to do it successfully. But, was it all one thought it would be? And here's the interesting part: Many expect that once that magic number appears on the scale, their whole lives will be incredibly transformed. Why wouldn't they? They did their due diligence, revised their whole thinking about food and exercise. The rest should follow, no? It's logical.

I won't add more, except to say read the link below ("What No One Tells You About Dramatic Weight Loss"). One person mentioned in the article is a former SP'er. She is now an award-winning photographer, and one of the people interviewed for the article. After you read it, tell me what you think. It's quite an eye opener.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IGNITEME101 2/1/2014 6:49PM

    I was so blessed last time! It would be wonderful if I am blessed again this time. Who knows?

Exercise toned even my skin! In the full picture, however, it's about health. Though my body looked great, my emotions still hadn't arrived.

Thank you so much for this insightful blog.

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JACKIE15108 1/9/2014 5:02AM

    I didn't read the article yet, but
Weight loss is not just the issue.....there are many other factors that have to be dealt with. I've read this in sp already and I'm ony in the first few months of the healthy lifestyle change. There are many other issues, different for every person.
Maybe there is someone doing this for health / illness related issues, maybe someone else has low self esteem, maybe someone else is bored or missing a purpose in life or a goal to work for, unhappy or depressed for various reasons, etc.
Hopefully as everyone loses the weight, they learn what it is that they need to learn.

I'm going to read the article now...

I'm 53 and started at 338 lb like the girl in the story. I've only lost 22 lbs so far. I'm doing it for health reasons, and because I have an illness and don't want to be possibly bedridden at this weight...who can take care of someone so large? I know about the skin flab but my reasons to lose are more important. At 53 now, when I lose, I'm not looking to fit into a bikini as someone of 29 years old. I'd rather be healthier if possible and have more energy and be able to walk to do groceries, etc.

Is sagging skin more important or being alive to enjoy life and be able to run and play with your children?
For the psychological issues of sagging skin and not looking good after weight loss...this is a problem with our society....magazine covers with beautiful thin women and men.....etc.

Should we be putting more emphasis on not gaining weight in the first place because this is what can happen after weight loss, let alone jeopardizing life?
Should we be teaching our children healthy eating and good exercise habits? I read today only 1 in 4 children exercise.
Do we need to learn how to have other goals in life? Then when our weight loss is complete and we are maintaining well (hopefully) we have something else to work towards.

Comment edited on: 1/9/2014 7:36:45 AM

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EDDYMEESE 1/8/2014 11:38PM

    Very interesting, and the photog's website is fantastic. The "Changing Room" series was really fun. The "Half" series was very moving and beautiful.

The article was very interesting. Clearly, weight loss will not fix everything in your life.

"Maybe diet culture could stand to take a page from sobriety culture, too. Just as you don't complete the twelve steps and celebrate with a bottle of wine, the idea that extreme weight loss has an end point after which life reverts to "normal" leaves dieters with very little recourse once the thrill of weight loss has ended. For those who have struggled with food, maintaining new habits is a lifelong, day-by-day process." This is so true and it's taken me this long to accept that fact, so I think that this time, I'll succeed and keep it off.

Thanks for sharing!

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ECOAGE 1/8/2014 10:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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_BABE_ 1/8/2014 9:01PM

    The changing room pictorial is something that moved me as well....brave girl!

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1CRAZYDOG 1/8/2014 8:21PM

    Wow. Powerful article. I can't say I experienced depression, exactly, but I did have to think about what the next phase would require. For one thing that required me to shift my focus from what I look like to being healthy!

I can empathize with the saggy skin, etc., but I guess I look @ it this way. Yes, it is something that has to be dealt with, but if I DIDN'T lose the weight, I would be dealing with far more serious issues, like stroke, heart attack, death from my obesity.

I also wonder, maybe, for me being the age I am (significantly older than the writer), if I've had a few more life events happen that could color my perception of what is a problem . . . or not.

Just a thought. I have been in maintenance for 3 yrs. and, frankly, DO need the connection here. I will do my best not to regress back to the way I was before. For ME, that was a pretty dark place that makes any inconveniences of maintenance seem less important.


Comment edited on: 1/9/2014 8:34:23 PM

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KARL1266 1/8/2014 6:57PM

    Interesting article. Thanks you for sharing it. There were several points that made me pause and consider what was being said. But two stuck out the most...

The first was the depression on reaching goal weight and then finding that the thrill is gone. The scale stops moving. Whatever the case may be. While I am certainly not at goal weight I have "maintained" my current weight for the better part of a year now. Scale not moving. Feeling like I am failing at this. All similar to the causes that were expressed in the article. So I see the reasoning behind that. It is definitely not something you are told when you start this process.

The second thing was how a certain doctor describes "ideal weight". I really disagree with this definition. I, because I'm using myself as an example, AM eating in a healthy way that I know will continue for the rest of my life. It has become as much a part of who I am as the eyeglasses I put on each morning. According to the doctor's quote...I am now at an ideal weight. As far as I am concerned...not even close.

But the article does point out the negatives of weight loss that are very rarely found in today's culture and media. Like you, I truly believe that is the reason SP works so well for so many. Real people discussing and helping each other along the entire path of weight loss. From the one who just signed up today to the years upon years maintainer.

Again...thanks for sharing that.

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A Message From Your Body, Lovingly Sent To You - November 19, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


You need to remember that when you drink more water, you always feel better. emoticon

When you make poor food choices, you always feel crummy. emoticon

It's that simple, really, sweetie. emoticon

This is just a gentle reminder from someone who loves you very much. emoticon


Your Gut

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CROWDGOESWILD 11/21/2013 2:20PM

    You have been rocking this lately. Thanks for sharing the truth-telling!


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    And I love your guts.

Another thought in the same vein that has been recurring the past few days: Moving feels better than not moving.

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PHEBESS 11/19/2013 7:59PM

    My body knows that, but my mouth forgets too often.

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KARL1266 11/19/2013 6:18PM

    Wow...sure hit home with this person. Thanks for sharing that!


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JLPEASE 11/19/2013 1:12PM

    The pretty much says it all, doesn't it.
Thanks for sharing!!

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1CRAZYDOG 11/19/2013 11:54AM

    What an awesome letter! SOooOOOOOoooo true about that icky feeling after making poor food choices, poor portion size choices, or both! HUGS

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RENATA144 11/19/2013 11:45AM

  I Love you too !!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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The Power Of One - January 7, 2013

Monday, January 07, 2013

In anything I endeavor to do, all I need is one person to help me be the person I wish to be. That person is me. It's nice to have "a little help from my friends", but the real work to make this permanent has to come from me.

Lately, I have been reading about very successful folks on SP, who through sheer will and determination, have lost a considerable amount of weight. Now that they are realizing their goals, and have successfully maintained it for long stretches of time, even years, they are finding themselves bingeing and eating, when the hard-fought results are not being maintained. Chicken and the egg kind of thing. They hit a "plateau", cannot account for it, and then the destructive elements rear their ugly heads. Some have even posted pictures of these "events". It's painful to see. Not the excess of eating, but the pain that is being experienced.

Others have noted about folks who succeeded who are now scarce and wonder why. Is it because they are so successful that maintenance is a breeze and they no longer need SparkPeople, or is it because they have started with the "creeping back up" of the weight lost, that was hard-fought, won, and now show signs of slippage? It's a curious behavior, but far from rare, and I have noticed it, too.

Which brings me to what I have always stated: In order for this to be a lifelong success, deep exploration is really required. I do not believe, as someone told me not so long ago, that "we just like to eat a lot, and that's the way we were taught as children". It's not that simple, I think. Especially with the evidence that abounds about healthful eating, and how adjustments have to be made in poor eating behavior. I still believe one has to go to the dark places, do a sincere analysis of why they have allowed such unhealthy behavior for so long, self-correct, and then see if this doesn't "fix" the problem once and for all. This I truly believe is the key to maintenance, but who wants to explore the dark corners of one's soul? Many are loathe to do so. Hey, I'm with you there. But I really want this to be the last trip to WeightLossVille there is in this lifetime. So.....

.....anyone got a flashlight?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUMD97 1/10/2013 2:11PM

    Sometimes I really need to reread what I wrote. Today is such a day. It's definitely more than just about weight.

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    I think you have hit upon an important truth here. Really, life is all about relationships, and in this case, the relationship that we have with ourselves is what drives us to make changes or to stay the same. To move forward with different habits and a greater understanding of ourselves requires not just willpower, but understanding and growth.

The dark corners of our souls.... not a pleasant place to visit, but necessary. Here's to finding the flashlights in 2013.

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1CRAZYDOG 1/7/2013 1:12PM

    All I can say is this. I have been in maintenance since July 2010. After that I lost another 20 lbs. which I have kept off since January 2011. So this is coming up on my 2nd anniversary of maintaining nearly a 100 lb. loss. Maintenance is, to me, very much more difficult than the weight loss part of this caravan. Why? Simply because I DID have to explore all the nuances of my relationship with food that don't relaly have a lot to do with the food itself, but rather the emotions going on. As you say, though, it is very difficult to explore the deep dark recesses of one's soul!

I believe many things as a result of my continuing journey of getting to know me.

1. Food is my addiction and I have to treat it as such. I have to KNOW what my triggers are, respect those and have a plan in place.

2. I know I needed to boost my self-esteem. Many things in my life left me with "residual feelings" that had to be worked out . . . not stuffed down with food. Hard work! BUT for sure, coming to SP was the baby step I needed to take in order to restore my self-esteem.

3. My relationship with food is not like others'. I have to be vigilant where others might not. In the beginning that made me pout, have hissy fits, be rebellious UNTIL I realized . . . hey, wait a minute . . . the only person I'm harming here is myself! I had to accept reality and I have. I can't take just one potato chip . . . ever! That leads to eating another, and another, and another . . . well, you get the picture!

4. #3 is ok with me! So I can't have potato chips! There are tons of other foods that I CAN eat! I focus on the fact that for me, nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

So, that's just a little of my own "take" on my journey through weight loss and into maintenance.

HUGS and I think you have written a very important blog!

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As Panic Sets In, Points To Ponder [For Women Especially] - September 22, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

As some of you may know, I saw my doctor back in July who sent me "good news" after she received my lab results, that I am now officially prediabetic. That started a flurry of activity and an 82-day quest to lose what I felt was a reasonable amount of weight (twenty pounds to be exact) before the recheck in October. OK. I set out my plan, I wrote my blog and I was determined to see this weight loss in 82 days. Absolutely doable, right? Now here's the kicker [and you women will get this totally], as we start to see progress towards goals that we set for ourselves, not just weight loss ones, we start to feel this overwhelming sense of panic. Am I right ladies? [I see the men in the back of the room scratching their heads and going, "Say what again?"] So many people have written similar blogs to this one, but I have yet to see an answer why this is, and what people have found to successfully combat it. What is it about us, that as we start to check off what we are accomplishing we get really scared, like "Holy crap! I think this time it's gonna work!" Welllll, that's really not something we are terribly used to, and we don't have the coping mechanisms for success. Failure we get totally. That we can write pages and pages about. But when we start winning, we brake to a halt and then more often than not, self-sabotage sets in. We simply cannot handle it. Now, my question is how to abort this behavior, accept that we are fantabulous and get on with the rest of our lives. I have no simple answers, I'm still learning all this myself. So, put in what you think may help the rest of us in the trenches. I'm sure many would be happy with the insight.

All I can say is I have about 17 days left and I will do the best that I can. But I really want to get to the core of this issue, because as many of you already realize, that is why we are here, not because we are overweight. And once I figure that out, I'm going to bottle it, patent it, and make my fortune.

Stay tuned.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLCRC 12/4/2012 7:59AM

    I think setting the "next" life goal helps. You know - "after I lose the 20 pounds I'll start doing xyz..." The weight loss becomes just a stepping stone rather than the "omg what will I do after I hit goal and life still isn't perfect"

Not saying it's a solution - just that it helps a bit.

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SPEEDYDOG 12/4/2012 7:53AM

    Take care of yourself. "Pre-diabetic" is a lot better than "diabetic".

Now regarding the self sabotage part I have a theory from my own experience. What happens if you lose all the weight and become the sleek thing you always wanted to be and nothing really changes? All the nagging life issues are still there? What if it is not "fantabulous"?

Some of us go through life thinking "if only". If only I had a new cool car, my life would be better. If only I had a big screen TV, my life would be better. If only I could get that promotion, my life would be better

If only I could lose 20 pounds my life would be great. Sometimes the fantasy of how wonderful life could be at an ideal weight is far more pleasant that reality. Self-sabotage is a complex issue, but even guys do it.

This is just my observation. Change can be really scary.

Thanks, Bruce

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1CRAZYDOG 11/21/2012 6:03PM

    For sure if there was one pat answer for that panic that would universally solve that problem we would be bazillionaires!!! And I definitely agree that women are the ones that go thru this as they approach success!!!

I can only say for me, I just kept focusing on "I want to get off my meds and not have problems associated with diabetes". I had check ups every month x 3, then every 3 months x 3 then @ 1 yr. during the 1st year of my diabetic diagnosis. I guess for me knowing that I had to be accountable to my Dr. for whatever the results of my behaviors were helped me stay on focus. does that work for everyone? NOPE.

Wish I had the magic answer.


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LISALGB 9/28/2012 8:49PM

    Please put me down for a bottle of that!!

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FLUTTEROFSTARS 9/26/2012 12:26PM

    I've read your last 3 blogs, and I'm so inspired by your courage to do everything you can to halt or reverse the progression of diabetes! I've seen my mom and grandmother suffer with the disease, and it terrifies me, too. I don't have much wisdom to offer on the self-sabotage front (I do it when I get within 10-20 pounds of goal - although this time, of course, I'm getting close to that range and I'm hoping/planning that I won't let it happen again! Perhaps visualization is the key...).

As for the prediabetes, though - have you considered asking for an OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test - the 2 hr test where they give you the sugar drink)? I'm working on my PhD in diabetes research, and my mentor (an MD / endocrinologist) swears by the use of OGTT. It's a much more sensitive test than A1c in terms of detecting diabetes; it seems to detect disease earlier and thus captures more cases. Also, even within the category of prediabetes, the OGTT can distinguish subgroups by providing the useful information as to whether you have a problem with postprandial glucose (i.e., your cells aren't taking up glucose properly after eating, so the 2-hr result is high) or, arguably worse, you have a problem with fasting glucose (the fasting result is high), or worst of all, you have high results for both.

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YENGLISH100 9/22/2012 11:51PM

    Good question. I think the best way to learn the answer for each of us is to write an inventory of our past. I did that and learned a lot about my current behavior. Good luck and ignore the panic. You deserve it.

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FITLIKENIC 9/22/2012 11:47PM

    So true~ We can see the light yet we are what stops us from reaching it!

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_JODI404 9/22/2012 10:20PM

    I know this is very common. Why? I really don't have any answers. I didn't experience this myself with this weight loss. I know I really *believed* in myself, and that I was definitely going to reach my goals. I think the strength of that belief led me to far exceed what I had even imagined I could accomplish.

Believe in yourself with a strong sense of determination!!

You will get there.... you CAN do it!!!

I wish you well on that patent & fortune part!!

One day at a time, GO FOR IT!!! emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 9/22/2012 6:34PM

    You nailed it! I wish I had the answer to the "why" we feel panicked as we near our goal. I think you're right . . . that we haven't experienced success in the area of weight loss/healthy lifestyle changes and this is something totally new! Maybe it's wondering if we can sustain it? Maybe it is questioning whether others will view us the same way as they did before our weight loss/healthy lifestyle changes.

I know for sure when I 75 lbs. of my weight vanished (hate the word lost, because I do NOT want to find it again!) there were messages given to the affect of (Aren't you done losing weight yet? Don't you think you're thin enough?" Mind you my weight was still deep into the territory of overweight. So . . . on many levels it could be acceptance of the "new you" issues.

All I can say for ME is that this journey was for me and nobody else. I continued to do (and still do) the things that allow me to feel healthy, no matter what somebody else's opinion is.

Keep doing it for yourself. You may NEVER really come to know why this is causing you to panic, but just KNOW the sensible thing to do is continue on.

I hope this makes sense to you.

You are right, that you are not the only one who has struggled with this!

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RAPUNZEL53 9/22/2012 12:15PM

  Good Luck!

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