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Failure IS An Option (For Women Only - With Pics) - July 11, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

Subtitle: Continuing Where We Left Off At Last Week's Meeting

OK, now that I've got your attention, listen up! I ain't no expert, nor am I pretending to be, but some things bear repeating:

(1) This is a LIFETIME change, not a sprint to glory for:
(a) Wedding
(b) Class Reunion
(c) Family Gathering
(d) Holiday
(e) You pick any remaining excuses

(2) You WILL "plateau"

(3) You WILL back slide (this is to me, too)

(4) This doesn't mean you have to leave SP as an abject failure (your Motivator medallion is non-refundable)

(5) This is the greatest reason TO STAY and STAY THE COURSE! (No, I was never in the military)

This breaks my heart: I see more and more people whose blogs I follow as MIA ("That member can not be found"). They "failed", therefore they must go. They can't bear any more up ticks on their ticker.

OK, here are some "before" pics (camera doesn't lie, and it's doubtful it only makes you ten pounds heavier):


August 29, 2009 234.4 pounds


December 19, 2009 (I'm the one on the left with my new first grandniece)
229 pounds


June 13, 2010 (the "girls" alone must weigh 100 pounds apiece, no?)
225.4 pounds


March 11, 2011 60th birthday (there's honesty for ya!)
214 pounds (and the beginning of what is now known as "The Big Slide")

Nothing else more recent, but you get the idea.

Addendum: I forgot the Fourth of July pics: That clearly shows the weight gain:


230 pounds (so much for full disclosure - =brrrrr= My friend was right: All the pics taken that day are not in the least flattering - she said they can be used "for blackmail".)

When I had a partner at work doing SP with me, I got down to 208.4 pounds back in November. Since losing him, it's been a struggle going it alone. And, yes, I put back about 20 pounds. But the upside is, I'm still down from my starting weight of 255 pounds, and still holding on to that 25 pound weight loss for dear life. In addition, the Stage 1 Hypertension is a thing of the past. As is the pre-diabetic state. My blood work last time at the doctor's was so be-YOU-tifully pristine, I could have cried! I wanted to have it laminated and framed. Never saw such good numbers for me. So there are, indeed, positives to celebrate.

This is my point in all this: We will falter. We will MOMENTARILY fail. It's part of the whole learning thing. The key is deciding if a momentary blip defines the whole game.

I love watching Jeopardy. I find it very telling watching how the women play and how the men play. When the kids play, the girls play as aggressively as the boys. I love it! They do the teen tournament, the girls are still holding their own. Then it happens: When the adults play, the girls step back. Where victory could be claimed the (now) women become more cautious, and more fearful and don't play the game as it is designed. Never the men. They aggressively say to Alex, "Let's make it a true daily double" and shoot the moon. And win. While the women (and you can hear it in their heads, too), bet extremely conservatively and, often enough, Trebek questions them on their miniscule bets. They just cannot do it. When does this disconnect happen? The other night a man was playing who was woefully behind. It looked like he didn't have a chance in heck of ever catching up. Yet, coolly he kept playing, until, sonofagun, he won the darned thing! I just love when that happens.

So, once again, I must ask: Where's the shame in the faltering as long as we don't quit. We women have got to learn to dust ourselves off and begin and relearn all the lessons we know to be true. This whole weight loss thing (and ultimately maintenance) is really not rocket science. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

I really want to retire these weekly "Women Only" meetings. We have the talent, the brains and the wherewithal to keep up with the guys. Granted, physiologically it will be slower for us, but where is it written that it cannot be done?

So once again I ask: Who's with me and when can we stop renting this room?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMPUCATHY 7/15/2011 9:15PM

    I think the key is in not giving up. Take the lessons learned and just keep adding to them. And count your blessings...starting at a lower weight this time. You can totally do this! SP is so awesome...and takes us where we are wanting to go...with no denials...no forbidden foods...just eating in range and creating the deficit with some activity...and losing weight. Thank you for all your encouragement! I hope you have a TERRIFIC weekend! Enjoy! Celebrate your blessings! Spark on! emoticon

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BUTEAFULL 7/13/2011 4:40AM

    I found joining a SP challenge (like the Spring challenge) motivated me to get a video done or I couldn't watch TV until I did do one. It kept me honest and steadfast

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 7/12/2011 6:42PM

    You look wonderful, nice blog!

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JGAL8123 7/12/2011 2:37PM

    Awesome post - thanks for sharing the ups and downs of your journey so far. It takes a lot of bravery to own up to our slips and keep forging ahead...you are a warrior and I am inspired to push on knowing that you and the rest of my Sparkfriends are fighting alongside me. We are gonna get there, picking ourselves up every time we falter and celebrating every success (no matter how big or small) along the way. We are in charge and are gonna make it happen!
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ROCKPORT9 7/11/2011 5:37PM

    This was a great blog for me to read. I am coming up on my one year sparkanniversay and a bit sad that I have lost only 20 lbs. However, that 20 lbs. makes me look better and feel better. I have stayed active with Spark people this whole time and I am ready to recommit and attack again. Thank you for this blog! It is a good reminder to keep fighting toward health. emoticon emoticon-Laurel

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KARE30BEAR 7/11/2011 5:29PM

    Losing all that weight has made you look SO much younger and happier!! Great Post!! emoticon

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QUEENJEANINE11 7/11/2011 5:26PM

    Great blog!! So true its a lifetime change. I have faltered along the way too but each time I keep getting back on track and use that as a lesson to help me along. Hope your having a great start to the week so far1

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It's Finally Happened, Virginia, We've Hit Bottom - July 8, 2011

Friday, July 08, 2011

Perhaps, Viriginia, there is a Santa Claus, but after reading the following article today about a woman who WANTS to be obese and set new Guinness records, I am probably for the first time in my life utterly speechless.

Here's the link: jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/07/07/700
-pound-woman-makes-a-career-out-of-eat
ing-a-lot/?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-w%7
Cdl8%7Csec1_lnk3%7C218280


The Cliff Notes' version is she weighs 700 pounds and is totally dependent on her (get this) four year old daughter for basic activities of daily living including feeding her gluttonously. She cleverly has found a way to commercialize her "quest" by creating a website where one can subscribe and watch her work her way to her own doom. Excited yet? For this she makes close to 100K a year. I will give her credit for her marketing ability. I just wonder when she hits the thousand-pound mark and dies of a coronary, what becomes of her four year old, as she is a single mom.

Articles like this and Nathan's yearly hot dog eating contest (I mean really - over 60 hot dogs engulfed in 10 minutes?), just give me pause.

It's small wonder that the "diet industry" is such a lucrative one.

I still think Chris Downie is a marketing genius, for making SparkPeople a free site, platforming it on sound weight loss principles. We all owe him so much. Because this little cybercommunity is an amazing one, and I, for one, feel blessed to be a part of it.

Because of SP I strongly feel that we can succeed at permanent weight loss. If we utilize all that is here for us and continue to do so well beyond maintenance, then I firmly believe we will be successful.

And with that, I'm off to the pool for my Friday cardio and weigh in.

What do you have planned for a successful weekend?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTEAFULL 7/10/2011 7:15PM

    that is really sad on so many levels
I agree Chris should be given some award for helping people all over the world to live a healthy lifestyle giving all the tools needed freely

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MIQUEY73 7/8/2011 10:49PM

    Wow. That is sad. Great that she brings in that much money but for what? She can't DO anything! And to rely on a four year old is pathetic. That poor child. She shouldn't have to be the "mother" in the relationship!

I am just sickened by that article. :(

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FRANNIEDID 7/8/2011 12:55PM

    Wow, I can't imagine someone wanting to be that self-destructive. But 100K a year, for what, committing suicide slowly!

I too am grateful for Chris Downie and this site.

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For Women Only (Shhhhh!) - July 6, 2011

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Subtitle: The Power Of Belief

OK, women, gather 'round. Let's sit down in a circle and once and for all let's figure this out. Grab a cup of coffee from the back. The urn's still hot. We have some serious work to do here today.

I have noticed, especially lately from blogs I have read, that women, as they approach their goal weight (within a few pounds of where they want to be) are starting to absolutely freak out. For the first time (or maybe the first time in a very long time), in stunning disbelief, they are succeeding where previously they have woefully failed. And the question then becomes, "OMG! Now what?" No, this is not me (not yet anyway). Though I've been there before (sadly).

Realizing this goal, so hard to attain, is now within reach. And many seem not to be able to handle it. Which only confirms for me what a friend said years ago: "Women have no fear of failure. They do have a fear of success." Now, why is that? I asked my brother-in-law some years ago, that when he shaves that small patch of his face in the morning (he's got a full beard), if he ever questions the tasks he has set out for the day with his clients. He looked at me and said (without hesitation, I might add), "No, never."

So I have to ask, why is there so much internal dialog for us women of "Can I? Can't I?" And this is a general statement, not just about weight loss. Men, it seems to me, have this situation about success, for the most part, figured out. Is it nailed to their Y chromosome, and are we forever doomed because we have a pair of X's? I have to believe that the answer is a resounding "NO!"

This whole journey that we all are on (now here's the real secret) has so little to do with actual weight loss. (What?) Think about it: As we are starting to get better (with the help of our friends here), there is a definite spill over effect into other areas of our lives. As we succeed, we start to look around and see what else needs fixing. We start to feel more confident, more "Yes, I can! - ish".

Success breeds success. Of course, it's not a straight and narrow path. There is so much internal "noise". Many on here have written tons of blogs about this internal dialogue. And many, sadly, coming from the distaff set.

So, now what?

The power of belief is a very strong one. We really have to dig deep (very deep). There have been years (decades?) of self-destruction going on here. I cry when I see women who are otherwise very accomplished by society's standards (whatever the heck that means) in other areas of their lives: Successful moms, supportive spouses, great coworkers. Is there no stuff left over for "self"? And why not? When women fail, they are there front and center to tell the world all their sins. When they succeed, less so. And the self-flagellation is downright brutal and very painful to read. Obviously, they are doing SOMETHING right or how did they get the support of loving spouses and friends in the first place?

Why can't we just BELIEVE until it gets attached to our double X's? Why must we live in fear of actually succeeding? We all, every single one of us, want this so badly. For all the right reasons. As well as other good reasons (who says vanity is a bad reason?).

What will it TAKE for us to feel self-worth? Ten pounds lost? Fifteen pounds? One hundred? And once there, is our fat former self still along for the ride?

WORTHINESS (OK, OK, I'm a little preachy), is the key to this whole shebang. Once we figure that part out, the rest will follow. It's the key to the kingdom. It's not about the weight. It's not about 100 pounds to go. It's about who we are as people.

Let's start with self-love. Let's get there together. Let's make this happen. And if we need to meet in this room regularly, well, there's plenty of coffee to go around. We don't want this to be a lifetime struggle. We want this to be one chapter.

We have other goals to conquer.

So, are you in, or out?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPY-DESTINY 7/8/2011 5:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NUMD97 7/7/2011 10:44PM

    I'm thinking we might have to meet weekly to really get a handle on this thing.

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JGAL8123 7/6/2011 4:22PM

    You had me at "coffee"...count me in!
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BUTEAFULL 7/6/2011 11:40AM

    AMEN sister

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TANYAP71 7/6/2011 7:14AM

    I am in! And I know exactly what you are talking about! This fear was the theme of one of my first blog posts here. Here I sit 2 1/2 pounds from my first goal. For 2+ weeks. I'm not sure if it's the family wedding, mini vacation, 4th festivities, and week with company OR 'the fear' of finally... After 13 years overweight... Of not being overweight. oh my goodness I might actually end up fit and trim? It's exciting and I'm trying not to let it be scary!

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Firecrackers And Freedom - July 1, 2011

Friday, July 01, 2011

No long blog today. No deep thinking. Just a wish that all take a moment on The Fourth to remember how we got here as a country and how many made sacrifices to preserve our freedom.

No other country in the world can say that.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUTEAFULL 7/1/2011 4:40PM

    yes a lot has happened for us to enjoy our long weekend of celebration
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JENNSWIMS 7/1/2011 10:29AM

    :) I like it.

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The Evolution Of A Congresswoman - June 12, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Today I saw the long-awaited pictures, finally published, of Gabrielle Giffords. I have been waiting expectantly since first hearing of the awful shooting back in January, when we would be able to catch a glimpse of how her recovery was progressing. In five-months' time her progress is nothing short of miraculous. Her hair is shorter, probably growing back in after it was shaved for the surgeries she needed. Except for a small, hardly noticeable depression along her left temple, and her tracheotomy scar, you would never guess that she was so close to death back in January.

But what struck me the most about the pictures was her smile, and the unmistakable brightness of her eyes. Her face was positively radiant. Before January, I honestly had never heard of her. Since January, I have followed her progress quite closely. Her determination, her spirit, her drive, her dedication to the task that was put before her shows an amazing capacity of will. Even her doctors have said that she has defied the odds, that her recovery has amazed even the most seasoned amongst them.

And here I sit. Trying to lose weight. Trying to fashion a better life. So much of what we are trying to do here is so under our control, bound by our will, if we would only allow it to happen. I am so humbled today by this middle-aged congresswoman, who has taken on a herculean task to recover from such devastation, and still with a long road ahead of her.

In the larger scheme of things, I have to ask myself, why is this weight loss thing, so hard then? Why is there such an internal struggle to capture the essence of what I need to do, to harness this untamed beast once and for all? In my own mind, it does not measure the struggles of others I see around me. And I'm not referring to weight loss.

I think that for myself, I have to rededicate myself daily to the boundaries of that one day. And if each day is planned well, the rest should follow.

At least that is my hope for tomorrow. What do you have planned for tomorrow's success?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUMD97 6/15/2011 3:34PM

    You are absolutely correct: I like your word for it, luminosity. She still has a very long way to go. But she is quite remarkable. Makes the whole weight loss thing kind of dull by comparison, don't you think?

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JENNSWIMS 6/15/2011 3:20PM

    I had the same reaction to her new photos... she looks lovely. Radiant. She has a luminoscity or a glow or something. Whatever it is, she looks wonderful, and it gave me hope that she would get better. Really better.



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