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Metabolic Testing Results And Findings- Part 2

Friday, September 19, 2014

The purpose of these last two blogs is to raise awareness among the weight loss community about this test and the benefits as well as to share what I have learned both through my own trial and error experiences and what has been finally confirmed by science. THIS WILL BE A LENGTHY BLOG.. be forewarned. If you want to educate yourself, read on. If you have been stuck forever like I have, read on. If you are looking for a quick woo-hoo-you-can-do-it, then move on, this post is not for you. I am passionate about this subject simply because I have been fighting this war for years and I am always looking for intel on my enemy and ways to relay that intel so that victory can be achieved by myself and others. We are in this together.

I am heavy in to documentation on stuff like this. First reason is that I don't toss stuff like this out to the world based on "I suppose" or "I think..." there is TOO MUCH of that already. There is too much celeb personality driven fitness marketing in a world that is dying for lack of hard, simple facts and from the inaction caused by frustration from conflicting messages. The disillusionment from the cult of personality that is so prevalent doesn't help matters any.

Before I begin let me bring some explanations and definitions to the role of insulin and weight loss.... in the words of science.... not diet cults.

"When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood.As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage."

www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource
/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood
-sugar/


"Insulin is a key player in the control of intermediary metabolism, and the big picture is that it organizes the use of fuels for either storage or oxidation. Through these activities, insulin has profound effects on both carbohydrate and lipid metabolism...Insulin inhibits breakdown of fat in adipose tissue by inhibiting the intracellular lipase that hydrolyzes triglycerides to release fatty acids....insulin is involved in further accumulation of triglyceride in fat cells....From a whole body perspective, insulin has a fat-sparing effect. Not only does it drive most cells to
preferentially oxidize carbohydrates instead of fatty acids for energy, insulin indirectly stimulates accumulation of fat in adipose tissue."

www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathph
ys/endocrine/pancreas/insulin_phys.html


"Glucose that your cells don't use accumulates as fat."

www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditio
ns/diabetes/in-depth/insulin-and-weigh
t-gain/art-20047836?pg=1



Short version: When your insulin levels rise due to carb consumption ( from "good" or "bad" carbs), the hormonal response of insulin causes your body NOT to utilize fat for fuel.. period. Carbs not readily utilized as fuel turns to fat. Understanding the relationship between carbohydrate consumption and fat storage is key to appreciating how important the test is. The difference between good or bad is how fast it rises... but it still rises and the key to fat loss is to keep your insulin levels down and stable as much as possible. How you restrict and how much is between you and your health care provider or dietitian. This is purely education, not prescription.

What the test measures and why-
The test measures your respiratory quotient (RQ) Your RQ is the ratio of oxygen and carbon dioxide that you are taking in and expelling. The gas exchange that takes place (like a cars exhaust) tells the story of how your "engine" is doing and how it is managing fuel for combustion and at what percentage.

"The relative amounts of the macronutrients oxidized by an individual are reflected in the respiratory quotient (RQ), which varies inversely with lipid oxidation. A high RQ, indicating a relatively low lipid oxidation, and a low activity of the sympathetic nervous system have both been identified as risk factors for body weight gain."
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9814478

" a low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation is associated with subsequent weight gain independent of low energy expenditure and may contribute to the familial aggregation of obesity."
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2240203

... so understanding your RQ is key to understanding what is REALLY going on inside you since your metabolism is going to be individually determined by unique genetic traits as well as lifestyle. This cannot be determined by online calculators, all they can do is provide a generic estimate based on averages and formulas. Can you lose weight without the test? Sure you can. Millions (including me) have done it BUT... it takes a high level of commitment and a dedication to trial and error as well as keen self observation. In spite of that however, as many can attest, you can get stuck... big time (not your typical plateau either).

This is also where even the best of the best can stumble and crash in their resolve. Some lose their minds when they stall out for a month or two. Hang on honey, you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until you stall for years and you are still 60-80 lbs from goal weight with NO logical explanation. This is where the typical "oh its only a plateau", "you just need to change things up" cliche's really fall flat.... as if weight loss veterans haven't actually considered this.... wow *eye-roll*. At that point you need more than a pat on the back or a woo hoo, you need answers and don't even get me started on fitspirational posters. If all it takes is a picture of a never-been-fat skinny chic, her abs, and a cliche' to motivate you, you probably haven't been at this long enough for reality to set in... brace yourself, it's coming, but I digress... back to science.


The RQ numbers and what they mean.

"Because of the differences in composition of food fuels, different amounts of oxygen are required to completely oxidize those foods to carbon dioxide and water. Thus, the quantity of carbon dioxide produced in relation to oxygen consumed varies depending on the substrate metabolized. This ratio of metabolic gas exchange is termed the respiratory quotient (RQ): "

cstl-hhs.semo.edu/jpujol/hl331/HL031
%20RQ%20Lab.pdf


Short version: Since fat has less oxygen than carbohydrate, the amount your body needs to metabolize it varies and that ratio of O2 and CO2 tells us the percentage of carbs and fats is being metabolized at that moment. When this is done in a fasted condition, it tells you what ratio of fat / carbs your body uses at rest. This is key because we know that metabolic functions from day to day is what burns the majority of our calories. Also, knowing this is also key to adjusting our intake of insulin raising carbohydrates to a level that will allow energy for the day yet still allow us to lose weight since we are metabolizing more fat than carbs.

My Number is .83

"During activities that range from bed rest to light aerobic exercise the RER seldom reflects the oxidation of pure carbohydrate or pure fat. Instead, a mixture of these nutrients is used, and the RER falls between 0.7 and 1.00. "

cstl-hhs.semo.edu/jpujol/hl331/HL031
%20RQ%20Lab.pdf


During the review of my results with my provider, it was determined that my RQ was .83. I was advised that for fat loss, I need to get an RQ of .80 or less. She reviewed my stats and determined that I need to keep my carb levels to approximately 150-ish grams a day with light exercise. The amount can be tweaked as we go along but that gets me in the neighborhood. If needed, I can also see a dietitian to get ideas but I got a pretty good handle on this.

0.83 Carbs 43.8% Fat 56.2% at rest

At .83 my leanings are somewhat toward fat burning, I just need to adjust my carb intake and avoid the processed crap. For some others the number may be much higher and thus highlights the need for intervention to properly adjust the diet to levels that will allow for weight loss since they are natural sugar burners.

I hope this helps someone. i know this was long, but I wanted to get this out there because this was such an eye opener for me and I know it gave me the missing link, what i am needing to really get my weight loss going in the right direction again.

*** ADDENDUM ***
I wanted to make 3 additions to this-

1) The above information should also should cast much doubt on the mindset that some have that says a calorie is a calorie when it comes to the simplistic idea of calories in / calories out. 1500 calories a day of stereotypical high carbohydrate low fat diet is going to produce an entirely different hormonal reaction than 1500 cal of balanced (good) fats, carbs and protein. The insulin response and thus the fat hoarding properties of high insulin will be in play here.

2) The above only applies to those engaging in a moderate exercise program that does not provoke the body to require more carbohydrates to properly fuel one's training (running / triathlon etc..) Again proper balance requires the input of a skilled practitioner in nutrition / sports nutrition to eliminate the guesswork. It's pretty tough to train for performance and still keep ones carbs down for weight loss. It probably should be one or the other but not both.

3) Some have commented that low carb is not a sustainable lifestyle and I tend to agree. It is not a lifestyle, it is a weight LOSS methodology. Lifestyle implies day-to-day living and maintenance. We are mistaken if we think that we can flood our system with hormones that block access to our fat stores and still lose weight. The science says no. When it comes to maintenance, that's different. The only way to lose fat is to tap our fat stores and that is nearly impossible when our nutritional choices blocks our body's ability to use its own fuel. End of story.

As far as maintenance and healthy living goes, I personally believe that there is NO single "best way" to eat. The fact that humans survived and prospered under varying dietary conditions with macronutrients varying greatly should tell us that humans are extremely adaptable. Then again we are talking daily living and thriving, not about creating the metabolic environment for fat loss to occur. The only thing that the varied traditional diets and peoples across the globe have in common is how the dietary wheels fell off when they were introduced to the Western processed food culture. Across the board, many of these cultures never heard of our diseases eating their traditional diet of whatever was local to them. The bad things happened when they traded pineapples and fish for Whoppers or walrus meat and caribou jerky for Chicken McNuggets and Coke.

For further reading on this concept of there not being any one "perfect" way to eat... I highly recommend the book Diet Cults by Matt Fitzgerald.
www.amazon.com/Diet-Cults-Surprising
-Fallacy-Nutrition/dp/1605985600

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVEDAILY 9/28/2014 4:11PM

    Robert - thank you for all of this information. Just as your number is your number, everyone else's number will also be individual. Each person metabolizes things differently. I think the research is very interesting about sugar, and how it blocks your body from metabolizing fat stores. Thank you again.

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SCRAPPYGAMBLER 9/23/2014 7:23PM

    WOW! Thanks for educating the masses! emoticon

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JCMSMILE 9/23/2014 2:43PM

    This was a very eye-opening & thoughtfully written blog post. Thank for all your research and for keeping us on point!!

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NDKARIKARI 9/20/2014 7:00PM

    this blog was incredibly well said and helpful. I am definitely interested in getting this test done, and will chat with my doctor about this. As usual, thanks for the spot on blog.

cheers,
NDKARIKARI

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LE7_1234 9/20/2014 11:57AM

    emoticon

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DONNA_VT 9/20/2014 10:26AM

    Interesting information but I have to wonder how many of our primary care doctors know this information or how to apply it to us as individuals. Thanks for sharing . . . .I love your blogs.

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JAMER123 9/20/2014 12:01AM

    I learned a lot of this being a health care professional but it goes more into the depths of the nutrients as you have and then of course we have learned more about our health now then yrs. ago and I know the information will continue to come out to educate us further. Thanks for a very informative blog!

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CALLIESWEET 9/19/2014 9:26PM

    Great info, well presented as usual! emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 9/19/2014 8:04PM

    Thank you for taking the time to educate me on this. It is so interesting. I can't wait to see how your new info influences your weight loss.

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ROXYZMOM 9/19/2014 8:04PM

    Thank you for taking the time to educate me on this. It is so interesting. I can't wait to see how your new info influences your weight loss.

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GABY1948 9/19/2014 7:41PM

    I agree with the others! This is AWESOME stuff! I thank you for all the time and effort on your part. I have saved it and bookmarked it for reference and to reread it...probably many times over!

emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/19/2014 7:22PM

    By the way, I recommended you to a young man at work who recently joined Spark People. He's also an "in Betweener" and I regularly point to you as an inspiration AND example of someone who has learned much and is never giving up!

You continue to inspire me!

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1CRAZYDOG 9/19/2014 5:35PM

    Ok, I am saving this for reference! Awesome information and your explanations are totally understandable. Thank you!!!

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BLUEROSE73 9/19/2014 4:08PM

    I really need to go through this blog again later when I can think clearly. This one is interesting to me in that I have celliac disease. I can not eat wheat, oats, rye or barley. So basically, no breads, cereals, or pastas. I have been finding when I eat right, I get enough carbs from my freggies, but I wonder how this whole thing is working for me, considering my restrictions.

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WEWRTFO 9/19/2014 4:05PM

    Great post! I can definitely relate to all of this information and is great information that should be known for all. Since I cut out all the processed foods, artificial sweeteners, wheat and added sugar I have noticed how important it is to keep blood sugar levels very consistent, not too low not too high. You really can tell, just by how you feel and difference in hunger after working out really hard is just remarkable. Eating all the processed food, AS added sugar constantly spiked my blood sugar levels form low to high back to low all the time casing incredible hunger and cravings. Now I make sure I keep my blood sugar levels as constant as possible through the entire day. What works best for me is high fat intake diet, plenty of protein, one fruit and two or more more vegetables per meal 4x per day as my source of sugar, which keeps my blood sugar level even all day long, right in the zone that allows metabolism to reach peak efficiency. I am convinced eating the right combinations of foods at the right times of day increases your metabolism greatly. The 120 pounds I have lost since Dec 20th has been effortlessly , averaging 3000 calorie intake per day. Through level blood sugar levels it is very difficult to overeat or go on any food eating binge and the weight just drops off at a higher calorie intake. My range has been 2000-3500 calories for nine strait months, not one binge says a lot. This from a person who had 48 strait years of constant binge eating, endless hunger.

Comment edited on: 9/19/2014 4:06:27 PM

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PHOENIX1949 9/19/2014 1:26PM

    emoticon Very interesting.

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SUBMOM2 9/19/2014 12:21PM

    This is very interesting and you've certainly done your homework! I hope things get going in the right direction again for you!!

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SLIMLEAF 9/19/2014 12:19PM

    Thanks. That was interesting.

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FOR_THE_DUDES 9/19/2014 11:30AM

    This is great. I wrote a blog about six months ago explaining the basic chemistry behind fat loss. (You can find it on my Sparkpage, if you're interested. The title is "What happens to the fat? (Fun with chemistry)" from Feb 20.) The two blogs really dovetail each other well. I love your blog because it takes a slightly different path focusing more on the interaction of hormones and how our food choices actually impact fat loss.

I would be very interested in getting a metabolic test. Where can you get them done? How much did it cost? If you have insurance, was it covered by insurance?

Thanks.

Comment edited on: 9/19/2014 11:32:53 AM

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FINDINGBOBBIE 9/19/2014 11:28AM

    This was really interesting. I have tried low carb diets and not only was I very moody, I gained weight. Not sure why it doesn't work for me, I even tried it following the diabetic diet guidelines. When I followed the diabetic guidelines, I lost weight but lacked the energy level needed for my activity and started having issues with extremely low blood sugar. It would be interesting to have this test done but I assume it would be very expensive.

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LEWILL1982 9/19/2014 11:23AM

    Great research and science. I so appreciate your hard work and dedication on this. I've kept checking this week, looking for this. This makes it seem so black and white, yet we still struggle with the balance that it takes to get the weight off. I'm going to ask my PCP to have me tested when I go in for my physical in December.

So much of our abilities to lose weight and how our bodies handle it is genetic. Science helps explain things too, that we don't understand. We can do all that we can do, but sometimes we'll only get so far. Those fitspiration posters are good for a quote or two, but a lot of us, aren't going to get those chiseled abs and beautiful arms and shoulders, muscular legs, round booty, etc. That's not reality, but numbers don't lie!

Look how close you are, measuring at .83, and needing to be under .8. You are super close, you must be doing something right, great job and way to be focused!

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PATTISTAMPS 9/19/2014 11:12AM

    Wow! that is really good stuff. It makes me realize why low carb diets work so well for some people (myself included) even though they are not really healthy long-term. But I am probably not going to be able to have this test done, and so I will look to making moderate adjustments until I find what will work for me. Thank you for sharing this!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Metabolic Testing Results And Findings

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ever since I have been on this journey I have been using various online calculators to get some sort of a number to base my caloric intake on. For those new to this, we are talking about BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) or RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate). The idea is to determine what our approximate caloric intake should be. The concept is that this is the base caloric need of your body at rest, just existing, breathing, and little else except powering the processes within to support your metabolic functions. I will attempt to break this down into bite sized chunks for the purpose of shedding a little more light on the subject.

General description: This test basically measures your caloric requirement based on your oxygen taken in and the carbon dioxide expelled. As we all know, CO2 is a waste by product of your body. It is generated by the forces at work in your body and science has determined that the body utilizes X Kcals in the metabolic process to generate X amount of CO2 as the "exhaust" of that process. Probably a crude explanation but it's the best I have.

Here is a shot of the screen that measures that..


A hood with a hose used for measuring this process was put on me then I was advised to lie still and keep a relatively natural and steady breathing pattern. Also advised to not fall asleep since that would greatly affect the breathing pattern. Prior to the test I was to be fasting for 12 hrs and not take any stimulants such as coffee since digestion and stimulants would affect the O2/CO2 ratio.


The sampling of my gas exchange ratio was taken over a span of approximately 20 minutes



RESULTS:
*************


My BMR was determined to be approximately 2260 kcals.

Using the Harris Benedict Equation it was predicted that I would be 2558 kcals.


My personal findings:
I pretty much called it. I predicted 2200 kcals simply because of my trial and error experience. When I first started I had a general number to work with but over time as I logged my food and observed my progress or the lack thereof, I began noticing trends. I would make some sort of progress whenever my daily intake was around 2100 and I created a deficit with daily activity and exercise. Whenever I fell below this, I felt like crap and whenever i went excessively over this, things ground to a halt or worse, I would gain if I didn't have enough "insulation from reality" by intense exercise. It takes time to dial in our happy zone of success, be patient.

A word about intense exercise and endurance training - I have observed in my own journey and others is that whenever you throw high intensity into the mix, the reaction can bring mixed results. For me, I feel I need to maintain an exercise level that will produce a meaningful result without crossing the line and provoking cravings and stimulating the need to compensate for the extreme deficit. My personal experience is that the backlash isn't worth it. It's nearly impossible (for me) to maintain a meaningful deficit for weight loss while producing the energy needed for endurance performance.

So where is the line? - Everyone is different concerning this. Some are capable of running a 10k and never feel a twinge in their appetite simply because they are metabolically adapted to that level of intensity through consistent training and their bodies have become efficient in energy usage. For others, (the rest of us) we run a 10k and we are looking to destroy anything that happens to be on the counter at the time we come back. I guess the easiest way to know where you are at is that you exercise at an intensity that allows you to burn a productive amount of calories on a daily basis without provoking your appetite so you can "keep" your deficit at the end of the day.

That's my theory and I am sticking to it.

Mealtime calories - The rate of 2260 is almost 100 kcal per hour (give or take) about every 4 hours-ish when I eat, I have noticed that if I take in less than 400, I feel really lacking. If I take in much more than about 550, I feel out of balance. More than 600 and I am approaching a food coma. By trial and error I have found my efficient happy zone to be between 4-500 kcals depending on time of day and activity level.

The need for quantifiable food - While nothing is perfect when it comes to food logging, the more quantifiable your food is, the easier it will be to hit your goals. What I mean by quantifiable is that you are able to assign a value to it. A chicken breast, an ounce of cheese, 8oz of milk, and other single ingredient foods are easy to assign value to and track and are probably better in the long run. It's where we start running into "mystery" foods that it is prepared and served as a complex dish and you have NO frickin' clue what its value is and thus the food logging frustration sets in.

I have observed in my own experience that the more "mystery meals" I take in (out to eat, traveling, vacation, or just an old fashioned all-out-don't-give-a-crap binge) the more my progress is stalled or reversed. Over time recipes can be adopted and values assigned but when starting out or starting over, simplicity is often best (and boring, but that's tough -how bad do you REALLY want it?) then complexity can be added in over time once a stable operating platform has been established. After all, changing your eating patterns is an awful lot like trying to get a speeding train to reverse directions. All or nothing extremism (a sudden stop) generally ends in disaster and passive ignorance (introducing NO changes) ends in nothing being accomplished at all and arrival at the wrong destination. Start with SIMPLE changes first.

A final note:

While I knew what my numbers were through trial and error, it was really good to get them confirmed since I always felt like I was guessing instead of something solid to go on. It also took a long time to arrive at my conclusions prior to getting the test done. This brings me to one final but important point. Setting weight loss goals are great but ONLY if you have a full understanding that there WILL be a learning curve and that it will take time to narrow down a method and a caloric number that works for your current status and activity level.

What I am talking about is one of those "I'm going to lose 60 lbs by the end of the year or 25 lbs for my reunion in 6 months" sorta goals. Well, that's just great but what if it takes you 3 months of trial and error to finally hone a routine that creates the metabolic environment for weight loss to finally happen? Then what? will you throw your scale through a window and give up? This is where people lose their stomach for the process or they lose 20 lbs then stall out and quit.

Be patient, observe your own journey, collect data and over time you will craft a system that works for you. If you have the opportunity or the resources available, a visit to a medical weight loss practitioner and a dietitian will really advance your understanding as to best approach your weight loss endeavor.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THEVOW2013 9/27/2014 11:22AM

    where did you do the testing?

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REBESANCON 9/25/2014 7:03AM

    emoticon

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MRSRIGS1 9/24/2014 7:51PM

    How interesting! Thanks for sharing.

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WRITERWANNAB 9/22/2014 9:18PM

    After all is said & done, it is a personal journey & we have to figure out what works for us. Great blog & very interesting! emoticon emoticon

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1STBUCKETITEM 9/22/2014 6:02PM

  emoticon emoticon Thanks for sharing your analysis and your opinions. Interesting data. I'll do some more research and see what applies to my body. Looking forward to tracking my progress. emoticon

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JERICHO1991 9/20/2014 1:10PM

    Thanks for the information and advice.

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NASFKAB 9/20/2014 1:22AM

  very interesting & informative thanks a bunch for sharing

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CALLIESWEET 9/19/2014 9:28PM

    emoticon for sharing! Much appreciated!

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MAYBER 9/19/2014 8:27PM

    emoticon Information
emoticon Writing
emoticon One day at a time emoticon

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APRILRUSSELL3 9/18/2014 10:47PM

    I have found what you say to be true by trial and error myself. I too have had to find my true BMR and figure out what works with the endurance running I do. Also, I like what you said about quantifiable food. I call it being on a whole food diet because I have to eat very simply to count my calories. I am very scientific by nature and feel security in knowing that weight loss is a science. Numbers don't lie and everything can be measured and calculated and predicted. I love that about this journey. That's the best part to me.

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TARABEAR 9/18/2014 8:34PM

    Great blog!

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CELLA_P 9/18/2014 7:32PM

    Fascinating, this metabolic science! emoticon

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SHOAPIE 9/18/2014 3:01PM

    emoticon

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GLADGAD 9/18/2014 12:03PM

    Robert - thanks for the informative blog. While I have not ever had to battle any significant amount of weight loss, your blog points out that we all have a meal-calorie threshold that is our optimal, regardless of whether we are heavily exercising, trying to lose weight, or just maintain. This is something I have never before considered, and now that I am at a point where I need to lose, and it has become really difficult for me get any sort of weight loss kick started, this information is a new tool for me to figure out how to best lose the weight, especially since I will be back in training in a week or so.

As always, you rock!

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SDEHNKE 9/18/2014 10:58AM

    Thanks once again for a useful and informative blog.

I first joined Sparkpeople in 2008. Went at it great guns and lost 35 pounds. The problem is I hadn't changed anything in my head. I quit and gained it all back plus 20. I recommitted myself a year ago and it's taken me a year to lose the 35 pounds that came off easily then but I'm looking at it as a lifestyle now. Something I can live the rest of my life with and not be on a "diet". I'm still looking for that sweet spot that you are finding but I'll get there eventually.

(hugs) Suellen


Comment edited on: 9/18/2014 10:59:47 AM

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JRRING 9/18/2014 9:17AM

  wow!

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SPINNINGJW 9/18/2014 7:45AM

    Medical technology fascinates me, and I would love to have this sort of test done on myself. Thanks for sharing that you had it figured out before the testing "confirmed" what you had learned by trial and error.

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BLUEJEAN99 9/18/2014 2:00AM

    emoticon

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JIBBIE49 9/17/2014 10:21PM

    Hugs

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ROCKYCPA 9/17/2014 10:12PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 9/17/2014 9:10PM

  That is complicated Robert.

I can see that since you do these marathons , one needs a bunch of fuel ( calories ). I also notice some people here say, they are eating 1000-1500 calories and why aren't they losing. Their body thinks they are starving.

I hope not all those who wan to lose have to take all these tests.

Many of us wonder how some seem to be able to eat so much more, and get away with it. They claim metabolism and muscles. But we are see whose that we can't figure out.

For example, a friend is doing all these cleanses and green drinks and has lost maybe 12 lbs. in a year. A lot her diet is raw or healthy.

She does exercise 3-4 times a week. I'm thinking that maybe her routine is too hard....

Did you get over your injury? emoticon

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JSEATTLE 9/17/2014 7:33PM

  I learned something about this test today. Thank you for sharing your experience and results.

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KLMEIRING 9/17/2014 5:24PM

    emoticon There is a lot of trial and error behind the content of this blog. Thanks for sharing what you have experienced!

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PATRICIAANN46 9/17/2014 4:52PM

  emoticon for the interesting information and the great advice......... emoticon

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CELIAMINER 9/17/2014 4:08PM

    Looking forward to follow-on.

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NONNAOF2 9/17/2014 2:44PM

  My Nutritionist's office offers this test, if it isn't too expensive I would be curious to see what it's findings are for myself! :-)

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JUSGETTENBY42 9/17/2014 1:49PM

    emoticon

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NEPTUNE1939 9/17/2014 1:27PM

    emoticon

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LINDAK25 9/17/2014 11:57AM

    Wow! Great info.

How could you stand the hood?

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123ELAINE456 9/17/2014 11:52AM

  Well Said. Well Done. Thank You.

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BOB5148 9/17/2014 10:32AM

  emoticon

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ALEXSGIRL1 9/17/2014 10:21AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LCRUMLEY81 9/17/2014 9:56AM

  Thanks for the info...very intersting

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TINY67 9/17/2014 9:48AM

    Interesting, thanks.

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SUSIEMT 9/17/2014 9:36AM

    Thank you for the info! Very interesting!

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MARYELA 9/17/2014 9:15AM

    wow alot to absorb will have to read this a few times to get the full benefit of understanding emoticon

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WORKNPROGRESS49 9/17/2014 8:47AM

    emoticon

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STEVIEBEE569 9/17/2014 8:41AM

    thank you for sharing

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TIMEHASCOME56 9/17/2014 8:36AM

    emoticon

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HMBROWN1 9/17/2014 8:16AM

    Great information - thanks!

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DENNIS2014 9/17/2014 8:00AM

    Another great blog.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERYLP461 9/17/2014 7:59AM

    That is very interesting

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1CRAZYDOG 9/17/2014 7:20AM

    Thank you for this information! Glad to see that hose attached to that mask! OY

I appreciate your sharing this information. It is good to know where you need to be calorie wise to plan for attaining or maintaining a healthy weight.

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BESSHAILE 9/17/2014 7:07AM

    Cool. It's good that you point out that extreme variances can sometimes backfire. I have,like you, over time, found my sweet spot and I know what it is. I'm working on staying with it, too.

A very interesting post.

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PENOWOK 9/17/2014 6:40AM

    Isn't science great!

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TRYINGHARD54 9/17/2014 5:47AM

    interesting,, emoticon for sharing

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CHERYLHURT 9/17/2014 5:24AM

  How great to have that done!

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MARYJOANNA 9/17/2014 5:15AM

  That shows why short term goals are best.

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JAMER123 9/16/2014 11:48PM

    emoticon emoticon Good information.

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DALID414 9/16/2014 11:09PM

    I like reading about these types of test, thanks for sharing yours!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

How do we define success anyway?

Monday, September 15, 2014

I was going to write a blog about my experience at the Indianapolis Spark Rally on August 23rd, post pics, and how much fun we had but this is more important. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Beth Donovan (~Indygirl) and something came out of our conversations that really made my blood boil. (I did ask permission to share some of this story first)

Well ok, here is one pic...


Anyway....Let me explain (as best as I can recollect)

Short version: After an astounding weight loss, Beth was approached by a media outlet to have a chance to tell her story. After some discussion, she was ultimately declined the opportunity due to her appearance being "socially unacceptable"

Socially unacceptable? What does that mean anyway? By whose definition?

She was wheelchair bound and this individual brought herself back from the point of no return. Someone in her condition is typically regarded by society as a no-win situation. I mean after all, people with far less issues struggle to lose a few pounds and have full mobility. While this is nothing short of a miracle, the appearance driven media standard of success was applied and an opportunity to spread hope was lost. What an insult to the rest of us normal people.

There is a ray of light in all of this. We have an example of someone fighting back and winning against the same scenario... A woman lost 170 lbs and was invited to share her story with Shape Magazine. She submitted a picture of her "after" in a bikini and it was rejected and she was asked to wear a shirt. Like the 3 Hebrew Children, she refused to bow to the medias "golden image" and ultimately refused to participate. Her refusal went viral on social media and touched off a firestorm that resulted in numerous media opportunities including Shape all because people just like you and me demanded reality, demanded real life examples and not just those that have a perfect appearance.

Read her story here: brookenotonadiet.com/2014/05/02/refu
se-put-shirt/


Read about the resolution with Shape Magazine and watch Today Show interview here: brookenotonadiet.com/2014/05/12/medi
a-whirlwind-and-a-resolution-with-shape/


Obesity destroys the body, pure and simple. Those that have never been there don't get it. In a world filled with nauseating "fitspirational" posters of people who have never been more than a few pounds overweight their entire life, the general perception created by the media sets the expectation that losing weight also involves the creation of a beach body as well. Those without a six pack need not apply. Because of our media driven expectations, we not only look down upon our own efforts because we don't meet "the standard" - whatever the heck that means, and we also miss the everyday miracles such as these because it cannot be paraded down society's catwalk.

This is shameful. There are issues with morbid obesity that no one wants to talk about... never mind the loose skin, the joint issues, the painful reminders, we all want to look like "that guy/gal"... you know what I mean. Comebacks like I mentioned above are almost unheard of. Usually people in said condition are considered lost by society. If they were "lost" then their story of how they were "found again" is crucial not only to a world that needs hope that it IS possible, but to science as well to gain more understanding to metabolic syndrome and how to overcome it.

So again I ask the question how do we define success?

I have been researching this for a while and found some credible, peer reviewed material that will shed some light on the question. Despite the imagery that is thrust in our faces everyday both on the big screen and in print, our ideas of what weight loss success truly is should be defined by those on the front lines in the battle against obesity, the medical community. What does research say? What does science say?

This is only a short list for sure but it is well documented and reputable.

1) It has been suggested that a successful "loser" be defined as an individual that has lost 10% or more of their body weight and maintained that loss for more than a year. It has been determined by the medical community that a 10% loss creates a significant improvement in overall health and reduced risk for chronic disease. If this is you, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!

2) If you have maintained your loss for more than a year, you are considered a successful maintainer and puts you in the top 20% of your peers. If this is you, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!

3) If you have maintained your loss for 2-5 years, Congrats!, you have just made it to EPIC STATUS! Your chances of weight regain (relapse) are dramatically decreased. If this is you, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!

4) Do you have the "apparent ability to adhere to these strategies for a long period of time in the context of a “toxic” environment that strongly encourages passive overeating and sedentary lifestyles."? If this is you, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL and are part of an elite group of weight loss commandos that have successfully navigated their way through the enemy's minefields, overcome psychological warfare and dodged bullets (and doughnuts) Wear your Green Beret with pride.

5) Are you among those who have navigated the "Weight Regain Obstacle Course" and survived? The course consists of the dreaded binge eating mud pit, climbing perceived barriers to exercise, the all or nothing mindset monkey bars, The body image mirage, and of course who can forget the valley of perception? The valley of perception is where you come face to face with strong dis-satisfaction with your achieved weight loss. If you made it through this house of horrors, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!

This list could be much longer but I would run out of room. I highly recommend reading it for yourself. Get your perception from facts and science, not Hollywood. Please care enough about your journey to do your homework before passing judgement on yourself.

Material documentation :
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:
Weight-loss diets—can you keep it off? ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/5/1185
.full

Long Term Weight Loss Maintenance ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/222S
.long


American Diabetes Association:
Weight Regain Prevention clinical.diabetesjournals.org/conten
t/26/3/100.full


National Weight Control Registry ( The successful losers Hall Of Fame )
Published Research nwcr.ws/Research/published%20researc
h.htm


It is a shame that "Hollywood Fitness" has defined what success truly is. You can do it and you don't need Hollywood's approval.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NASFKAB 9/23/2014 9:10AM

  thanks for sharing this very interesting blog shocking that they would not publish Beth's story at first we all look up to her for turning her life around

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WHITEANGEL4 9/22/2014 10:24PM

    Really enjoyed the blog. Thanks for posting

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MY_FUTURE 9/21/2014 7:34PM

    Great article!!!! Thank you Sooooooooo much for posting. It is VERY inspiring and thought provoking. THANK YOUUUUUU SOOOOOOOOOOO Muchhhhhh.... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 9/19/2014 9:10PM

    emoticon

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KHALIA2 9/19/2014 9:04PM

  emoticon

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MAYBER 9/19/2014 8:06PM

    Dedication Determination Dictates SUCCESS
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ALEXZANDRIA999 9/19/2014 2:18PM

  Excellent, eye-opening post. Thank you.

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PJB145 9/18/2014 10:41PM

    Exceptional blog. I am proud of the weight I have lost but I KNOW, even after I lose the entire 90 pounds I will never be model ready. I won't be magazine perfect but I will be PROUD.

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MARYJEANSL 9/18/2014 8:34PM

  You're right - it is a shame. Beth is a huge success by any standard, and those who turned her down are the ones who ought to be ashamed.

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TINY67 9/18/2014 4:01PM

    Great Blog! emoticon

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ROSES4ME1 9/18/2014 3:58PM

    I lost 70 lbs about 6 years ago and, for the most part, have maintained but I too have loose skin, muffin top, and other reminders of what so much extra weight does to a body. But my daughter tells me often that my journey to get and stay healthy is an inspiration to her and that makes me a "success" regardless of what Hollywood might say.

Great blog.

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BOB5148 9/18/2014 11:27AM

  emoticon

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IDICEM 9/18/2014 11:09AM

  emoticon

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MARYBETH4884 9/18/2014 11:08AM

    This is the reason why SparkPeople is so vitally important! Anyone who has lost huge amounts of weight will never be "pleasing" to the eye. Let's face it, we abused our bodies for years. The weight loss is so not the point of this journey! It's the energy, stamina and ability to do anything you want to do. The freedom from medication, better health and longer life. This is one of the only places to find real motivation! I knew before I started I would never have a swimsuit body but now I have a healthy one! emoticon

Thank you for bringing this issue into the light. You, Beth and many others here have been my motivation. Real people on real journeys getting real and lifelong results!!! emoticon

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NHES220 9/18/2014 10:26AM

    There is an article about the side effect of weight loss - the excess skin - it just does not magically go away. But we're not just doing this for looks, we're going it for the gains in health that we get. Being able to walk around easier, get up and down stairs, fit in an airplane seat easily, get off medications, live longer, etc. Great blog - the media is clueless and don't realize that the average person, me, would love to hear Beth's story!

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KEEPITSIMPLE_ 9/18/2014 10:02AM

    Great blog, and very enlightening too. True success comes in so many other more important forms than mentioned above.

Indygirl is the greatest success story of all in so many aspects, and an inspiration to all. She is beautiful, REAL, and she is a true Overcomer.

Success is not the number on the scale, the size of your waist, or shape of your body, it is so much more.

I used to think success was just when I met my weight loss goal, found my waistline again, and maintained that weight. But there are so many other aspects to this whole journey, and life in general. Until you've gone through this transformation, you can't understand what success really is, no matter how big or small.
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STEVIEBEE569 9/18/2014 10:01AM

    emoticon

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TBOURLON 9/18/2014 9:44AM

    This is ironic - sorry Beth, I can't believe someone said that to you! Then again, why should I be that surprised when someone like Jennifer Lawrence was accused of being fat - Katniss Everdeen is FAT??? Something seriously screwey going on in Hollywood. And I've noticed it's not just the ladies anymore, guys also have to be able to run around shirtless and all beefcake as well. Someone mentioned Chris Pratt, who starred in "Guardians of the Galaxy" was losing his "buff bod" that he apparently had to create for the movie. You know, it takes alot of work to maintain that physique - most of us will never need to do that. I think we should forget about the "Hollywood Ideal" and just try to be our best selves. emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 9/18/2014 7:31AM

    I carried my extra weight for 25 years and will be 5 years in maintenance in November. Still, among sparkers I hesitated to call myself a "success" since it was ONLY 25 pounds. With all the 100+ stories I kept quiet for a very long time. I was a spark hermit even after reaching goal.

So thank you. According to #1-4, I can call myself a success. It was 16% of my body weight after all.

I don't qualify under #5. Thanks to stories on SP, I understood how often regain happens. I've only done this once and that's enough. I want to stay right where I am and if that means logging into spark every morning to keep up my motivation, so be it.

Comment edited on: 9/18/2014 7:32:50 AM

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PENOWOK 9/18/2014 6:52AM

    The media hasn't a clue, though there are some wonderful exceptions!!

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CHERYLHURT 9/18/2014 6:35AM

  emoticon

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LIFEFOUNDONARUN 9/17/2014 9:36PM

    Wow..amazing blog! Thank you for sharing this :)

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MAGGIEROSEBOWL 9/17/2014 3:01PM

    My body is perfectly imperfect. I refuse anymore to be ashamed of the excess skin, varicose veins and bumps and bruises left by being more than 170 pounds overweight for over 30 years. I am proud of what I did to turn myself around and live in a normal-sized body. I have maintained this weight loss for almost 3.5 years. I AM A SUCCESS.

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MRSFANCYLADY 9/17/2014 2:17PM

    Congrats to Beth for such a great job! And thanks to you for sharing. It is a shame that she was treated that way. I'm glad that there was some resolution in the end.

emoticon emoticon

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AJB121299 9/17/2014 2:05PM

    thanks for sharing

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TJOHNOCONNOR 9/17/2014 1:40PM

    Very informative. Thanks

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SANDRA_E 9/17/2014 1:28PM

    It is the stories of great triumph that should make the news. These are the most inspirational. It's time to get real about what is happening and stop the glossed over unrealistic images that are shoved in our faces everyday. Congrats to Beth and congrats to you for posting this blog and calling a spade a spade.

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ATGOALWT 9/17/2014 9:21AM

  First of all, Indygirl is so much prettier than the average girl on the street, (IMHO) and I think looks wonderful today. She would look great in a magazine. Read all the links you provided and all Shape did was damage control after the story went viral. Shape magazine covers still have the bodies from women who have never had much of a weight problem if at all or have had the surgery.

I am curious to see what's on magazine covers in 20 years from now. Will it still be the same or will real women be inching their way on covers. I personally would like to pick up a fashion magazine and see sizes 12 to 14 with all different shapes in those sizes featured. If 14 is the average size for women in the states, I want to see real size 14 women wearing the clothes. We either see stick figures or go the complete opposite and see very obese women in large size catalogues. I'm just asking for a little reality of what the general population looks like.

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LOSER_ZIMM 9/17/2014 9:07AM

    emoticon

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DENNIS2014 9/17/2014 7:08AM

    How do you respond to something like this? What a great blog. I may not be successful yet (as defined in the blog) as I'm still trying to get to my goal weight, but we all need inspiration and this blog sure does it. Thanks

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PATTISTAMPS 9/16/2014 4:48PM

    I am 61 years old.. My skin is not going to shrink miraculously as my fat leaves. In fact, it is going to get more wrinkled. Should I stop losing weight???? I think NOT! This really makes me wild too!! Kudos to 'our Beth", because she IS amazing! And to you for your amazing feats, and to me for trying hard to get there too!

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SUZMANNIE 9/16/2014 2:21PM

    What a horrendous, heartless thing for the media outlet to say to Beth. The media world doesn't care about individuals and their real stories. They deal with people as prospective commodities to generate revenue. It's a heartless world. Beth Donovan is a phenomenal success, and no one can take that from her.

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CARRIE1948 9/16/2014 7:44AM

    I think the media is part of the problem with weight loss.

What an inspirational blog. I have to constantly remind myself that I'm not a failure because I re-gained some of the weight. I have successfully kept off 20% for 4 years. Wow! I never give myself credit for that.



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SWEDE_SU 9/16/2014 4:03AM

    emoticon excellent idea to go to the literature to define success. it has been so long since we've watched TV (gave up our satellite subscription about 6 years ago) that i'd forgotten how much it "defines" life - there is so much more beyond the hollywood version.

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ROXYZMOM 9/15/2014 10:26PM

    You are a determined young man -- I have a big feeling Beth will be splashed all over the media real soon!

emoticon

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KOHINOOR2 9/15/2014 8:55PM

    emoticon blog, emoticon emoticon Thanks for sharing.

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SPEDED2 9/15/2014 7:40PM

    It must be the phase of the moon!!!!! This is the second blog I've read today that addresses the insensitivity of people who have never made our journey and have no idea just how stinkin' difficult our travels can be. Thank you for sharing this amazing, although very, very sad, story. I read Indygirl's blogs and look at the pictures on her blog over and over and over...what determination! How motivating for the rest of us!!
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DLDMIL 9/15/2014 5:42PM

    emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 9/15/2014 4:25PM

    Awesome blog! When I worked with senior citizens we had to go talk to legislators to get funding for the programs. One person told us that if you take a child in a wheelchair to the capitol they feel sorry for them and want to help. If you take an older person in a wheelchair they want to avoid them and get away. A child is socially acceptable, a senior isn't. Same of weight loss and other areas in our society. It's awful that it happens!

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DAISYBELL6 9/15/2014 3:04PM

    Fantastic blog!

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JCMSMILE 9/15/2014 3:00PM

    Thank you, thank you!! emoticon

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PHOENIX1949 9/15/2014 1:46PM

    emoticon The voice of reason in an unreasonable world. More, more!

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GINA180847 9/15/2014 1:25PM

    'socially unacceptable' indeed! What kind of hogwash is that? Thank goodness Beth is better than that by far. It is a good thing that she has personal confidence to brush that aside and concentrate on what is really important. I look at that picture and I see such a lovely woman, how can anyone say other wise?

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MPLSKEN 9/15/2014 12:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Powerful stuff.

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LEWILL1982 9/15/2014 12:26PM

    I didn't read through all the responses and missed the FB post, but I think success comes from doing things you never thought you'd do, setting goals and achieving them, setting bench marks and then achieving those. For example, if you run a mile in 15 minutes, set the next bench mark for 14:45. Success can be leaving food on your plate, making a better decision when ordering at a restaurant, practicing self control when you really want that cake, etc. It can be about losing and maintaining, but after awhile, there are other things we have to look towards to keep ourselves motivated and on track. Success can also be mental; not beating yourself up if you mess up, knowing how to get right back on track, it can be contentment or at least not being mad if the scale shows a gain. I am all of the successes you mentioned above and I still have a spare tire, floppy arms and thunder thighs, but I have a strong core, I can bench press pretty well and I have solid, strong runner/cyclist legs. Who gives a damn that I'll never be on the cover of Shape?? :-)

Great job Robert!

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PEGGY11 9/15/2014 11:43AM

    Your blog really hit the nail on the head. The media really needs an attitude adjustment. So glad Sparkpeople helped in this adjustment to some of them.

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DSHONEYC 9/15/2014 11:43AM

    We can't let the media (or even the "other people") define us. emoticon

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SUBMOM2 9/15/2014 11:39AM

    emoticon emoticon
Thanks for helping us re-examine success. So much of what is presented to us as "success" is not real, and not valuable. We are lucky to see genuine success all around us here on Spark People, and now I know that even I fit into that category!
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SUSIEMT 9/15/2014 10:48AM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing this info!

From one successful loser to another!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/15/2014 10:22AM

    I wish you knew how much I needed to read this. I've been considered a success because of my loss, but I've been feeling like such a failure due to the 30lbs I've put back on. I've just celebrated a milestone of keeping off more than 100lbs for 3 years, yet I still see a failure, because I've gained. I've see that article about Shape, and INDYGIRL IS an amazing case, and should be held on a pedestal for what she's accomplished. Thank you soooo much for this blog Robert, it means SO much!
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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

30 day challenge Day 31 -Results And Findings...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Well here we are at the end of 31 days of my personal challenge. For those just tuning in, I am off work recovering from a surgical procedure on my shoulder. I have no competition for my time while I recover and decided to challenge myself to see what I can do in 30 days if I had NO interference from life and the stresses that go with it.

Two Primary Observations:

1) Sleep and stress-

The biggest benefit has been sleep and stress. Without question this has been the most noticeable benefit of stepping away briefly from the insanity that is called life. I never realized how burnt out I was until I had those stresses removed. I now have ambition again and feel re-energized. It wasn't until I had the stresses removed that I began to realize how detrimental stress is. When I get back to the real world, I am going to make it a point to draw lines and safeguard myself. I need to recognize that because I work a non-traditional schedule, I need to be even more careful of my time, my life, and those things I allow myself to take on. I am not super-human, I cannot save the world, and I am not going to throw myself under the bus to do it.

2) Self-Discipline-
As much as I hate to admit it, the daily circus of life forces a certain amount of structure into my life where if I want to accomplish anything, I had better use my time wisely because there is not much of it. I must take advantage of openings and opportunities that present themselves. I have always day dreamed of what I could do if I did not have this *$@#% job to keep screwing up my life. Well I have my opportunity and so far I have been astounded as to how little I have actually done. I can almost say that I have gotten more done when under the pressure of daily living than when I had my freedom. After having lived on both sides of the fence, I think I can safely say that it is a cop-out to blame circumstances or your work schedule on your inability to make strides forward. I have learned that it can be done and the responsibility falls square on our own shoulders. If you and I haven't worked out for a week or ate poorly, more than likely it is because we chose to and chose to not make it a priority.

Any one that knows me, can attest to my sense of self discipline and motivation. I lack neither and have done some pretty epic stuff. I can say honestly that even the most die-hard individual, when given total freedom in their time and life, will have to make a focused, determined effort to make their time count.

After this, I believe that in the end, success does not depend on circumstance, it depends on a daily commitment make forward progress. To always maintain an awareness the clock is ticking and if you ever want to see your objective go from dream to reality, you have to keep your focus, renew that focus daily, and make it a point to live in that reality.

Removing the time based obstacles did not make much of a difference in my personal accomplishments. What made the difference was that in my busy life, I hit the opportunities presented with fervor because inside I knew my opportunities were limited. It seems like humans, in general, act differently when presented with a "blank check". For me, the intensity and sense of urgency lessened when the pressure of life was removed. After all, why hit it hard today if I don't feel like it when there is always tomorrow and the pages on my planner are blank?

I guess in short, success is not dependent on the absence of obstacles, it is dependent on what we choose in the face of such obstacles and how effective we are with the opportunities afforded to every one of us.

I do have an opportunity to continue on with this for another 30 days due to therapy so lets see what the next 30 days brings.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUPERSYLPH 9/22/2014 3:21PM

    emoticon

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NDKARIKARI 9/15/2014 6:53AM

    thanks for sharing! emoticon

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MRSRIGS1 9/13/2014 2:36PM

    emoticon

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NASFKAB 9/12/2014 1:49AM

  great thanks for sharing yur experiences with us

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MOONGLOWSNANA 9/10/2014 12:14PM

  Physically stronger and more mentally aware... A great way to spend your off time.

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2DAWN4 9/8/2014 9:10PM

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me!

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LISALEEBRYAN 9/8/2014 11:46AM

    Well said...This really hit home with me today! Thank you for putting it all into perspective!

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223DAISY 9/6/2014 6:19PM

    Love it! Just what I needed at this very moment...Thanks for the thought provoking blog. I am so overwhelmed, I decided right before I read this blog that I must find a way to stop. This was my confirmation. Day 1 starts today

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GRACED777 9/5/2014 1:12AM

    After a stroke 6 years ago, I had a similar experience, except that I was also dealing with a lot of relearning. For several years life was very tedious, but as I continue to subtly improve, I've had some decisions to make about what's important. I'm still not in a paying job-my voice is very quiet and my driving is limited, and even with lots of exercise, I still "don't work right," but I think and can do the most important things, so actually have more of a voice in this world than before. And I've decided to use it. I am not using it the way I envisioned when I was working and wished I wasn't, but I have adapted. It's either that or go crazy with my "freedom," and going crazy wouldn't be pretty! So learning to bloom where I am planted is my best option.

Have a great weekend, and continue with your primary task right now, which is healing, friend!

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ROCKYCPA 9/4/2014 11:10PM

    emoticon

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WHITEANGEL4 9/4/2014 3:50PM

    Way to.....here is to your success

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RHAL1462 9/4/2014 3:11PM

    emoticon I too find that when time is available, I don't use it wisely. Being on a schedule is more motivating than one would think.

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GBSLIM 9/4/2014 3:04PM

    Whew. Had an ah ha moment reading this. Thank you.
Wishing you all the best with your recovery and your freedom.

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NONNAOF2 9/4/2014 2:52PM

  We all need to tweek our lives to make things work for us. I hope the next 30 days will be good days for you and that your recovery is quick! :-)

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FRAN0426 9/4/2014 1:31PM

    emoticon Continued success in your recovery

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REBECKY441 9/4/2014 1:03PM

    emoticon

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MCHILSTR 9/4/2014 11:02AM

  Timely post for me to read - I retired 6 months ago, and am amazed at how little I've accomplished in those 6 months!

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BOB5148 9/4/2014 10:53AM

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CHERYLHURT 9/4/2014 7:08AM

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MARGARITTM 9/4/2014 7:00AM

    Thanks - good thoughts to keep in mind

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THROOPER62 9/4/2014 6:04AM

    emoticon

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_CYNDY55_ 9/3/2014 10:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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FRABBIT 9/3/2014 7:52PM

  Excellent point on the self discipline!

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BALTOCHIC 9/3/2014 2:48PM

    I, too, am a goal-oriented person and I find that the more I have going on, the more I get done. It might be for me because I think, "Well I have plenty of time to accomplish X", whereas if I have more going on, I think, "I can fit X between Y and Z." (Even if it doesn't work in the alphabet, haha..) It's a fine line between over-booking and adding stress and under-booking and feeling like there's plenty of time, thus the procrastination.. for me.

As already mentioned above, Well Said! :-)

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JANEWATKINS 9/3/2014 1:13PM

    Great advice

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AMYSYOKO 9/3/2014 12:52PM

  great read, thanks for the insight

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WENDYANNE61 9/3/2014 8:48AM

    This sentence is so powerful, Robert - "you have to keep your focus, renew that focus daily, and make it a point to live in that reality". Wow, great food for thought today - thank you! Hope the next month goes well and you can achieve some new goals!

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JEB03253 9/3/2014 7:21AM

    Thank you for sharing your insights. Fitting it all in to real life can make stress soar.
Stepping back and realizing that you can't so everything for everyone is huge.

emoticon

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WRITERWANNAB 9/3/2014 12:16AM

    Some great observations & very honest! emoticon

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TIMEHASCOME56 9/3/2014 12:03AM

    emoticon

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TKOCHERA115 9/2/2014 10:42PM

  emoticon Such an insightful posting

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KEEPITUP62 9/2/2014 10:16PM

    a fabulous read again and once again I agree whole heatedly.
The choices we make with our time whether it be squeezed in or given all the time in the day, the choices we make are what determines our outcomes.

Being retired myself , instead of using my time wasting away and growing old, I chose to utilize it to the fullest and grow wiser and fitter and healthier each day.

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CELLA_P 9/2/2014 10:03PM

    emoticon

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PJB145 9/2/2014 9:43PM

    "...in short, success is not dependent on the absence of obstacles, it is dependent on what we choose in the face of such obstacles and how effective we are with the opportunities afforded to every one of us"

WELL SAID, SIR. emoticon It is and will always be about choice. Those put before us and how we respond.



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BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/2/2014 6:11PM

    Looks like you've learned some great lessons! Maybe spend the next month building the life you want around the hours that you'll be working? So that when you do go back to work, you'll have a good schedule in place.

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AJB121299 9/2/2014 4:54PM

    congrats

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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 9/2/2014 3:33PM

    I can only imagine what it might be like to try and refocus your life on 'you' and not on what is needed from a job, and interesting view! Thanks for sharing.


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SPASCAL 9/2/2014 3:00PM

    So true! As a retiree newbie and a recovering back-injured person I can really appreciate your take on the wisdom of prioritizing goals. Get Well Soon. I look forward to hearing about your next 30 days!

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2WHEELER 9/2/2014 1:25PM

    Great and timely blog, especially about using time wisely. I am reminded of the saying, "If you want something done, ask a busy person."

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SLENDERELLA61 9/2/2014 12:49PM

    Brilliant blog! Great observations. You are so right. I contrast my pre-retirement years with my retirement schedule (although I do child care 60 hrs a week - so working in a way for no pay) and I see that you are absolutely right. Setting priorities is super important when you are busy; setting goals and creating positive routines when schedules are flexible are crucial for success!

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SHOAPIE 9/2/2014 12:47PM

    emoticon

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GRANNIEC1 9/2/2014 12:37PM

    Not only a recuperation period but a learning experience as well. Great use of your 30 days! emoticon

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DSHONEYC 9/2/2014 12:35PM

    emoticon and continue to heal!

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RAWCOOKIE 9/2/2014 12:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHARITYAK 9/2/2014 11:55AM

    Interesting how a different set of circumstances can show us new areas of needed growth, new areas where we are stronger than we thought, things we like, things we don't like. Best wishes on the rest of the journey!

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MOVING2LOSE 9/2/2014 11:53AM

    Thanks for sharing. emoticon


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ZINGALOO 9/2/2014 11:48AM

    emoticon

Wonderful blog! Good luck in your recovery.

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STEVIEBEE569 9/2/2014 11:26AM

    emoticon

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MAYBER 9/2/2014 11:21AM

    Thank you for sharing your thought
Sleep Stress and Self Discipline all so very important in life
Best wishes as you continue on
One day at a time
emoticon


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-SHOREIDO- 9/2/2014 11:02AM

    Great write!! Thanks for sharing and best wishes for a speedy & good recovery!!! emoticon

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Day 8 accountability blog - 30 Day Challenge

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So far I have been doing really good. For those just tuning in, I am recovering from shoulder surgery and am off work until I am done rehabbing. I decided to challenge myself to the following:

What would happen if I was to take the next 30 days unrestricted by work demands to eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest, and improve my family / social ties? What effect would that have on my overall health and weight?

-Improvements would give credibility to the idea that we / I live a fast paced toxic lifestyle that is harming our health.

-Continuation of bad habits would give credibility to the idea that we are our own worst enemy and that we need to quit pining away after the ideal situation, the notion of if it wasn't for this or that, I would be successful in my journey.

So far it is Day 8 of my challenge and these are my observations:

Discipline: - When the structure of work demands, deadlines, life stresses is suddenly removed, it takes purposeful effort to reconnect with your goals on a daily basis. It is far too easy to drift because time is received to be unlimited.There is a certain honeymoon where your work life discipline stays in place because of habit but when that which was such a precious commodity is now in abundance, we have a tendency to slow down and urgency goes out the window.

While I have been fairly disciplined in my approach, I have been finding it easier and easier to sleep longer, stay up later, and generally dismiss urgency to tomorrow. Even more so now since I found out I wont even start physical therapy until after September 12th and that will last about a month so overall, I wont be back to work until early October.

Observation: Time is a precious commodity and it takes a great deal of discipline to motivate from within to seize upon every opportunity. It is a challenge to stay disciplined without external forces demanding it. Take away the external forces and you are only left with your character as a driving force.


Stress: My stress levels have gone down dramatically. Prior to my surgery, I was pretty burned out. I knew there were issues but never really realized to what extent until the stress was removed. I was completely flat and my personal ambition had hit the skids. Now after 8 short days I feel totally recharged and ambitious again. Stress can take away your ability to dream and will make a slave out of you. we are only beginning to understand the full effects of stress on our physiology but the information we do have is not good.

Observations: In our frantic efforts to do good, to become all things to all people, we inadvertently become nothing to ourselves. I have seen this play out in other peoples lives including my own. We find meaning in giving of ourselves, caring for others, or devoting ourselves to a cause or work. While this is not a bad thing in and of itself, I have witnessed far too many people throw themselves under the bus making sure that their kids have everything they never had, that they build some sort of financial ivory tower for themselves, or never say no to anyone as if this will earn them a coveted spot behind the pearly gates. An axe is only as effective as it is sharp and unless we take care of ourselves first, we will never be effective in delivering meaningful service to others. PERIOD. Time spent recharging and reconnecting with those things we value is never wasted.

In my newly recovered ambition, I completed my Sports Conditioning certification and am now in the process of collecting and compiling information for a book I am planning to write. That has always been a big goal of mine.



I don't feel I have all the answers, neither am I perfect, but I have learned enough about successfully losing weight and maintaining it that I feel a sense of mission and obligation to pass on what I know in hopes that someone will be helped. Maybe what Ishare will be what it takes for someone to make a break through. Knowing that I was a part of that in some small way would be a reward without price.

I am reminded of the motto for Para-rescue and Recovery (USAF)
"That Others May Live"

Some things are simply worth doing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GBSLIM 9/4/2014 3:12PM

    Mission accomplished. Eagerly awaiting more.

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GARDENCHRIS 8/22/2014 11:59PM

    take the time to recover completely and recharge your batteries.

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LIVEDAILY 8/18/2014 7:47PM

    I'm glad to hear that your recovery is going well. It sounds like you are recovering mentally as well as physically. Continue to get stronger every day!

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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 8/18/2014 12:39PM

    Hope you are 'moving' along just fine, and feeling stronger every day! The very best to you,

j


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123ELAINE456 8/17/2014 3:17AM

  Awesome blog and Well Said Robert. So glad that take Care.Recovery from Surgery is going so Well. Keep It Up. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week and Time with the Family. Lots Of Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!Coming Your Way. WTG!!!

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KEEPITUP62 8/17/2014 1:08AM

    Absolutely Robert.I fully agree and have been practicing this for the past couple of years now.

I would like to know when your book is published, I'm certain it will be a great seller and a great read. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/17/2014 1:08:45 AM

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SUBMOM2 8/14/2014 12:41AM

    emoticon
Wow, this really rings true. Finding your balance is key, and enjoying life along the way is essential. Glad your recovery is continuing. Thanks for sharing!
emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 8/13/2014 11:38PM

    All of what you have said applies to all of us that have retired. We realize the freedom from a schedule and the chance to get together with friends long neglected due to constraints of work. You work the same shift as I did and that's another thing that changes with the body. Enjoy your time off but try to continue to be somewhat "scheduled" as it's too easy to get out of sink with work schedules. Plan your research and writing to fit a work day. And take care of the shoulder! You appear to be doing great. Take care and thanks for a great insightful blog!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NDKARIKARI 8/13/2014 9:57PM

    Glad to hear that your recovery is going well. I really appreciate that your blogs take on emotional health, not just exercise or nutrition. You are right that without taking care of ourselves, it is impossible to take care of others well. emoticon Slowly learning this lesson; it takes a while to un-learn a lifetime of values that emphasize the exact opposite of this truth.

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SUSIEMT 8/13/2014 8:24PM

    Well said Robert! Glad your recovery is going well.

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ACTIVE_AT_60 8/13/2014 8:01PM

    Probably no-one will read this, but I want to share it anyway. I am amazed to see how many people on websites like this focus on workout and exercise. It is almost to a point where it is an obsession . Clearly there is more to this journey than working out, working out, and working out. An accomplished ultra runner Lucho have a saying - it is not how much you train, but how much you rest.

Nice to read you are making progress after your surgery.

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GABY1948 8/13/2014 7:58PM

    emoticon for sharing....So much valuable information here! Have a great evening!

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LINDAKAY228 8/13/2014 6:50PM

    Stress can do all those things and so can pain if the shoulder was causing pain. Together such a bad bad combination. I've known people like you describe too. Time is such a precious commodity that we can see slip away if we let it. Glad you are working on the things you know now really matter to you and by the time you go back to work hopefully you'll have more insight how to make them all work. Take advantage of this time! Who knows if you'll get an opportunity like this again.

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KITKATSMEOW17 8/13/2014 6:36PM

    Thank you for the great blog. Glad to hear you are better!

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/13/2014 4:59PM

    The last line says it all, Robert! Best of luck with the book. I know it will be terrific! emoticon

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JAZZII4 8/13/2014 4:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 8/13/2014 2:16PM

    Thank you for this great blog. Glad your recuperation is moving along.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/13/2014 2:03PM

    Thanks for the great reminders!!

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BONNIEB1947 8/13/2014 1:58PM

    As I consider retirement in a few years, your observations on motivation and letting the work fill the time you have really strike a chord with me. I have come to realize that the job I have is giving structure and purpose to my life and also keeping my mind sharp. Working just 4 days a week now seems to be a good fit for me; as long as I can keep on that way I will do so.
I do not have the driving ambitions of a younger person anymore; although I did set goals and keep them in the past. It sounds like you are continuing to progress towards your dreams, even via this setback physically. Getting your certificate is a huge step in the right direction; and I also think your careful consideration of your situation and realization of what is best for you now and as you progress shows you are going to continue to be successful!
I wish you the best...do not get discouraged! We will all be here cheering you on! I am really enjoying Spark People!

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EMMACORY 8/13/2014 1:56PM

    Good reflection and observations. I have noticed that when people take two weeks of vacation at a time they come back refreshed and charged up again. So many folks struggle to find downtime. Have a healthy day! emoticon

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DSHONEYC 8/13/2014 1:53PM

    emoticon on the new certification. Your experiment is most interesting. Keep us posted on your observations, motivations, challenges and results.

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SEATTLE58 8/13/2014 12:55PM

    I believe in you, Robert, so whatever you decide is best in taking care of your life and family, will be alright with me! I believe you will choose what's best and you will succeed in what you do. emoticon emoticon And I'm so happy that you're recuperating so well! Good luck to you in all aspects of your life, for the future! emoticon Karen emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 8/13/2014 12:32PM

    Congrats on the new certification. Yes, it is easy to slip into procrastination when time seems unlimited. But sleeping in is a good thing! And perhaps your personal circadian rhythm is to stay up later - or maybe its a holdover from your shiftwork. But It is good to enjoy this time and look inward. I know how much you would love to never go back to your job, and I understand it totally. But I also know you have a family to support, and you will go back. But maybe this is when you really work on an alternative income stream so that you won't have to continue where you are. Just a thought...


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DEESHAREE 8/13/2014 12:12PM

    " In our frantic efforts to do good, to become all things to all people, we inadvertently become nothing to ourselves. I have seen this play out in other peoples lives including my own."

OMG Robert - this is me. I have been burned out for years. Now I am home recuperating from an illness, and I never want to go back to work ever again. I know I have to go back, but I lost my passion. I too am taking care of myself and it feels good, even though I am not able to exercise. I'm eating right and my emotional eating has literally been halted. Taking a nap in the middle of the day? I never did that before now. So this is self care, self love. I'm gaining a new perspective on how to be my own best friend.

Thank you for this blog, Robert. I'm reevaluating everything about my life and how I've been living.

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DLDMIL 8/13/2014 12:01PM

    Great insight into recovery and learning to accomplish what it truly important in our lives.

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LOVINGKATE 8/13/2014 11:51AM

  emoticon blog!! Sounds like recovery is going well. Good for you.
I had to quit my job do to RA in my hands and feet. I have found after 5 years how easy it is to put off today what you can do tomorrow. Sleeping in and doing exercise later instead of getting up and getting going. I know the stiffness would be much better if I did that yet I put off. I needed to read your blog to get going and doing what I know is best. Thanks so much and congrats on your certification. I would also love to read your book after you have written it. You are pretty darn awesome!!! Take care and recover quickly. God bless


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