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RAYLINSTEPHENS's Recent Blog Entries

And the winner is.........

Sunday, June 21, 2009

...So I didn't post my weight yesterday - it was 122.6! And I did enjoy myself and did a lot of sampling yesterday! Today is 124.3 for a difference of 1.7 lbs - but I am still under 125! WooHoo!!

I had a reasonable lunch plate too, really stayed mostly in bounds. I had a small plate of deserts, about a spoonful each of maybe 6-8 different deserts - NO COOKIES! I had a couple of bites of each on my plate but I am not ready to tackle cookies yet, lol.
Came home and indulged myself in a coffee mug full of ice cream! But as a free day, I was determined to enjoy and indulge so for dinner (we invited my family to join Ray's) we made hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and I had one hamburger on a bun with a spoonful of baked beans (aren't I naughty, lol), a serving of mixed vegetables and I ate a pickle! Sodium be darned!!
For desert - I was going to end my Free Day in style - I had a reasonable portion of my Dad's famous Junior's Cheesecake with fresh strawberries and fresh pineapple!
My beverage of choice all day was H2O so that doesn't count.

I believe I entered everything I ate and came up with 2400 calories and at least 3800 in sodium! Since I was estimating a 3000 calorie day, there was still room for error.

**6/22/09: OOPS! I forgot my Desert Sampler Plate - estimated calories 600 - so that accounts for the 3000 I had guessed I would consume. Today was 123.3 so the weight is returning quickly to before reunion weight!

I would call my Free Day a total success!

**Last night, while watching TV, I saw a Pizza Hut commercial and I told Ray that the only thing my Free Day was missing was a Pizzone! I have wanted to try one ever since they came out!!

Maybe on my next Free Day. I wonder if it will take until next year's family reunion!
emoticon emoticon

***OMG, I forgot! Everyone was pretty much 'blown away' by the new me! And I managed to hand out half a dozen SparkPeople Cards! One of them joined last night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JERSEYGIRL24 6/25/2009 4:54PM


I will echo the sentiments of Marty and others who have said that they wish they needed only one free day a year. However, you really pulled it off intelligently.

For some reason, I am fascinated about the story of Kirstie Alley's failure (to the point that I may blog about it). As I see it, she needed a little time off and did it in such a disorganized way that it became a disaster. In her words, she "cut herself some slack". In principle, I understand this. I also understand if a person accepts that they want to eat a little more and don't care if they gain a little weight. But you still have to watch yourself. As I am sure you know, there is a very fine line between weight loss and maintenance.

But I still admire how you did this in such an intelligent and organized fashion and then jumped back in the saddle.

BTW I hope you are feeling better.


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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 6/22/2009 10:14AM

    Sounds GREAT!! I'm glad you had an awesome day and still stayed within your weight and calorie range. Way to go Girl!!!

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MEADSBAY 6/22/2009 9:27AM

Sounds like a reasonable free day- like the other skinny people do it, I guess!

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MARTY19 6/21/2009 3:32PM

    Sounds like you had a fantastic day and ate well to boot. I am very impressed. You are still rockin it girlfriend!


Where did you get SP cards to hand out?

Comment edited on: 6/21/2009 3:33:40 PM

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POLARBEARSCAT 6/21/2009 12:31PM

    I'm impressed that this was your first "free day" in a year! You certainly earned it! How long will you go before your next one?

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PALESEPT 6/21/2009 12:21PM

    And I hope you had a TON of fun on your Free Day! You deserve it! You are so awesome! And thank you for all your help! you are a great friend to me!


Comment edited on: 6/21/2009 12:26:27 PM

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MSLZZY 6/21/2009 12:11PM

    So glad you had a free day and could enjoy it in style! Wasn't it fun?
Glad you handed out SP cards-you are an inspiration!

Comment edited on: 6/21/2009 12:12:35 PM

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My first

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Today is my first "Free Day" since May 19, 2008!

Today is the annual family reunion and I decided last week to go ahead and enjoy my day and my new body.

So I am going to track to the best of my ability but I am not going to punish myself or worry about what I eat. Today belongs to me!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JERSEYGIRL24 6/21/2009 1:49AM


Hope it worked out well and that the reunion was a blast. I just returned to the room after my brother's 25th anniversary party. I am in Napa Valley right now but leaving tomorrow. Everything has been amazing. A lot (and I mean a lot) of emoticon. Talk to you soon.

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 6/20/2009 11:24PM

    Happy Family Reunion!!!
You are the most disciplined person I know on SparkPeople!!!
Enjoy your FREE DAY! I have a strong feeling that all the great habits you have accumulated will follow you through the day and even though it may seem like you are going overboard, you will most likely find yourself observing portion control and adding a little walking when you can. That was my experience on my last mini-vacation.
But whatever happens, it is only ONE DAY and I know that you will be right back to business as usual tomorrow. SO ENJOY!!!

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JENIFIREHARP 6/20/2009 10:09PM

    We all need those days... I bet you will still stay on track!!!

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MARTY19 6/20/2009 7:31PM

    emoticon You certainly deserve it. Have a BLAST!


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MSLZZY 6/20/2009 7:08PM

    You deserve a Free Day! You have worked so hard and accomplished so much! Enjoy!

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VEGEFARMER 6/20/2009 6:49PM

    Good on you. Your free day will be great because although you aren't worrying on what you eat or do your habbits are well established now and you would find it hard to go too far off track

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SWEETYKINS012 6/20/2009 6:04PM

    you go girl!!!!! you have done realy well. sometimes you just have to live like a normal person.... you can always cut baCK SOME TOMORROW IF YOU NEED TOO.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSCANDICE25 6/20/2009 4:49PM

    Thats Great You Have Done A Great job So Why Not Have A FREE day?? Enjoy Yourself and Have A blessed Day

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Dealing with negative people...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I received this from OneReallyBigDog today! He gave me permission to use it as a blog. I thought it was cute.

Dealing with negative people...

Here is something to think about when negative people are doing their best to rain on your parade. Remember this story the next time someone who knows nothing (and cares less) tries to make your life miserable...

A woman was at her hairdresser's getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband. She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded:

"Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It's crowded and dirty... You're crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?"

"We're taking Continental," was the reply. "We got a great rate!"

"Continental?" exclaimed the hairdresser. " That's a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they're always late. So, where are you staying in Rome ?"

"We'll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome 's Tiber River called Teste."

"Don't go any further. I know that place. Everybody thinks it's gonna be something special and exclusive, but it's really a dump."

"We're going to go to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope."

"That's rich," laughed the hairdresser. You and a million other people trying to see him. He'll look the size of an ant.

Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You're going to need it."

A month later, the woman again came in for a hairdo. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome .

"It was wonderful," explained the woman, "not only were we on time in one of Continental's brand new planes, but it was overbooked, and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot.

And the hotel was great! They'd just finished a $5 million remodeling job, and now it's a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner's suite at no extra charge!"

"Well," muttered the hairdresser, "that's all well and good, but I know you didn't get to see the Pope."

"Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I'd be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me.

Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand!
I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me."

"Oh, really! What did he say ?"

He said: "Who messed up your hair?"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 6/22/2009 9:26AM

    That is funny!
I think I learned to eliminate those negative and toxic people from my life when I was pretty young because I had a hairdresser who complained about her miserable like for the whole time I was in her chair.
Going to a salon was a rare treat for me in those days and who needed that?

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 6/18/2009 10:26AM

    I LOVE IT!!
I hate it when people say things like that---they spoil all your anticipation. Glad it all worked out!!!

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GYPSYHEART1 6/18/2009 10:10AM

    I agree with Blackheart! This is priceless...thanks for sharing!!

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GRALLEN 6/18/2009 9:13AM

    Oh that is good! lol

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VEGEFARMER 6/18/2009 1:40AM

    I really enjoyed that. LOL
Thank you for taking the time to sharae it with us.

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JERSEYGIRL24 6/17/2009 11:14PM

    I actually heard this one some time ago but forgot about it. Thanks for posting.

I will counter with a hairdresser story of my own (true story). I have used the same hairdresser, Sandy, since 1983. Over the last 25 years she has been one of the steadier influences in my life. I consider her to be a good friend (even though we don't socialize) and love her dearly.

About a year after I started using her I discovered I was pregnant. I went to some early pregnancy classes (not lamaze). One of the things the instructor told us was to find a positive role model. She said that for some reason when you tell people you are pregnant they feel compelled to tell you all the horror stories of their pregnancy (or those of someone else). At the time, Sandy and I were not nearly as close as we are now. In fact, I think I was flipping back and forth between her and another hairdresser.

Anyway, I told her I was pregnant. The first thing she said to me was something like "Congratulations. That's wonderful. My son is the best thing that ever happened to me". Then immediately after that: "I spent the whole pregnancy with my head in the toilet".

We still get a good laugh at that.

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HIBBLER22 6/17/2009 11:05PM

  This made me laugh! I really like this, and by the way I dont care fornegative people as well. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/17/2009 11:06:13 PM

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MSLZZY 6/17/2009 9:46PM

    Adorable-thanks for the laugh!

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GIRLHALFFULL 6/17/2009 9:23PM

    Okay that made me giggle lots... thanks for sharing and thanks to OneReallyBigDog too.


Side Note: Loved Sparrow's trick of getting them to hush up too.

Comment edited on: 6/17/2009 9:25:16 PM

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NEBWRITER 6/17/2009 8:38PM

    This is halarious! emoticon

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    emoticon Linda,
I wasn't quite sure how to change that last sentence to be eligible to go on SP. LOL.
Sure glad the consensus is the same as mine, I laughed my fool head off. The punch line blindsided me BIG TIME.

Thanks for posting this for us, you really did not need to attribute where you got it, but thanks anyway.

Have a super great day,
Your emoticon Tony

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SPARROW147 6/17/2009 8:22PM

    I think I DID pee lol. That was a good one. When someone is making negative comments around me, I tell them they are sucking the life from me. They usually stop after that.

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MARTY19 6/17/2009 8:18PM

    I almost wet my pants when I got to the bottom of this blog. So funny.
There will always be people who try to rain on you parade. The trick is to just ignore them. Thanks for the wonderful laugh!


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... but I'm not hungry, why should I eat more?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I recently posted to answer questions from someone I would rather not name. I don't think she would get upset, but I am not comfortable naming anyone.

She is an Under-Eater and wanted to know why should she have to eat if not hungry and went on to say, "But I'm never hungry as it is! I don't want to feed myself when I'm not hungry. Yesterday I hit 1,000 calories and I actually felt ill. And I couldn't stand the sight of myself. I don't feel stomach discomfort at lower calories, and I don't feel hungry either. Ick. I know I'm supposed to get that high, but it makes me feel sick. Physically and mentally sick."

This is a very real problem but one that I cannot really relate to since I am a Compulsive Overeater. Yes, I don't feel like I am now but at Overeaters Anonymous we were told that just like an Alcoholic we must consider ourselves to be permanently as Compulsive Overeaters. And it is worse for us because while you can live without alcohol and drugs, you cannot survive without foods.

I wanted to publish my answer left on the message board because maybe it will help someone else. As I say, this is a very real problem, and one I am seeing pop up all too often now.

My reply:

I have heard of that. There is a team here called Under-Eaters. Perhaps you should look into joining them.

I am not a doctor and cannot differentiate between a mental block or physical problems. If you get sick eating more, you need to speak with people that know what you are going through.

Ok, I found 3 teams for you to look into joining - they will understand what you are dealing with and can offer better support. Your problem is very real and you deserve the best help that I can find.

The one thing that will not change is you will not lose weight if you don't eat enough calories. Not my idea, just factual statistics. Good luck to you. I am here if you need me.

Help for Undereaters Spark Team

Recovering Eating Disorders Spark Team

Eating Disorders Anonymous

P.S. My sister says the same thing you said, "why should she eat if she isn't hungry?" Well, she has been struggling with the same 2 lbs for an entire year and can't seem to go below 139-40.

In the past year I have dropped 85 lbs by eating what my calorie range calls for; more when I need to compensate for my calories burned. I really do average 1900-2100 daily and am losing yet again.

I guess I don't worry about it because I no longer believe in ever allowing myself to get hungry. I eat regular meals during the day and I no longer get hungry ever. I like that.

I wish you only the best!

**edit 6/15: today a thought entered my mind and I wanted to post it. I really don't allow myself to get hungry if I can avoid it. I was just talking with DH when I said, "I don't allow my car to run out of gas before I refill the tank."

Wow, that is an "AHA" moment! I am worth a lot more than my car.

Have a great day everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRALLEN 6/15/2009 11:31AM

    Wow, you are awesome. I wouldn't have thought to go look for Spark teams for her to join.

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SOPHIADARE 6/15/2009 7:56AM

    You are so very right when you say this, Linda!

Our bodies suddenly decide, often very quickly, that they should use fewer calories in case a famine is coming, so we won't lose weight by starving ourselves.

Besides that, today's society bombards us with messages that seem to be intended to confuse even the healthiest mindsets. From Twiggy and Wallis Simpson to the current air-brushing of those who are beautiful as they are, we keep getting messages that 'il faut soufrir d'etre belle,' and even that is not quite enough. Our ideas of beauty are silly: it is not necessary to suffer to be beautiful, and those who are shaping our ideas of beauty are fools.

When we're really healthy and listening to our bodies, hunger is the right guide, but if hunger and calorie counts don't fit over time, it's a signal that we have a problem.

In my case, if I had seen my doctor sooner, I might have been diagnosed with Graves disease sooner. Earlier is always better, and I'm just grateful I don't have eye problems yet. Still, if I had checked on a change in hunger, I might not have lost a lot of muscle strength in my lower body from Graves disease.

AA is effective at allowing the recovering alcoholic to lead a normal life, which makes it a miracle. The model can and does work for other problems.

I might just check out a few of those links myself.

You never know.

I might learn something!


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A few things I have learned this past year.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I have learned a few things this past year.

# 1. Don't be in a hurry. 2 lbs per week is a lot of weight to be losing and will still add up to 100 lbs in a year.

# 2. Don't be hungry! Never allow yourself to become hungry. Hunger will lead to an uncontrollable binge every time!

# 3. Believe in yourself.

# 4. Be honest with yourself. Hold yourself accountable. No one else matters but if you lie to yourself you will have problems.

# 5. Eat what you need to eat to not be hungry. If the SP range leaves you hungry, eat more. Eat 2000 calories daily. Eat 2500 calories if you need them. If we had all eaten just 2000 calories per day we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. So you will still lose weight, just a little more slowly. Slow weight loss is not a bad thing.

# 6. Love yourself for who you are. Not for your outer shell but for your inner beauty. And let your inner beauty show to the world. Smile. Smile a lot. Smile at everyone. If someone says something hurtful, smile and wish him or her a pleasant day. You will feel better for it.

Be true to yourself. You are worthy. You are worthy of being loved and respected.

Love you for who you are,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GYPSYHEART1 6/18/2009 10:30AM

    I just read this blog, Linda, and I loved it. I really need to read this at this point in time. I have been so down on myself, but this little learning lesson is just wonderful. Thanks for sharing it. emoticon emoticon

Pam (aka Gypsy Heart)

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JSMILE50 6/16/2009 4:03PM

    Linda, this and another post you wrote convinced me to start tracking my foods. I also changed my goals to reflect what I really want - a year-long weight-loss process. I know from experience that the slower I lose it, the more permanent the weight-loss is. And I really do want the changes to my lifestyle to be permanent too. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

Jsmile emoticon

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LIVNFITNHAPPY 6/16/2009 1:03PM

    Wonderful Blog! I voted for it!
You have gained a lot of insight over the past year and continue to be a
Thinspiration for us all!

Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

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FINDINGREALME 6/15/2009 5:28PM

    Great list -- thanks for posting this! #3 and #4 are so true...in the past, I have not logged my WW points or my food in SP...now exactly who was I lying to?

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 6/15/2009 12:41PM

    Thank you Linda! It's so nice to benefit from someone else's wisdom. You've been through this battle and won. You're a great role model. I was trying to decide which point I felt was most important, but I can't. They're all excellent.


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GRALLEN 6/15/2009 11:59AM

    Excellent points! I'm glad you posted this.

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SHEWWIMONSTER 6/13/2009 8:22PM

    This is a great blog. :) I tend to have trouble with a few of these from time to time. I think not lying to yourself is SUPER important and something I try to do too often. #1 is great also and something I tend to forget---it's going to take me longer than I'd like it to to get there, but that's okay.

Thanks for your comment. :) I've had trouble with the 1000 cal cap in the past, which is why I was hesitant to count cals when I first started here. But my low range is in the high 1500s, and the very few times I haven't made it to my low I was in the 1300s. I'm handling the counting very well and also learning to embrace shorter workouts!

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_VALEO_ 6/13/2009 7:36PM

    Great points!
I second the #1, I've been told several times that I should have lost my 22lbs in less than 3 months by persons around me. I've been on Spark since last October, I have lost nearly 15 lbs -it's about 2 lbs a month.
I'm no longer in my 20 summers, my health is what it is and I don't have time for yo-yo, but I'm satisfied with my turtle way of losing. I don't "cheat" because I'm not dieting, I'm simply trying to eat healthy without any forbidden food. And I do believe, I'll reach my goal before the end of this year.

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MARTY19 6/13/2009 7:21PM

    I believe in #3. As bad as it might have been, being honest with myself has really saved me. But I also know that in order to succeed, you must believe that you are worthy of the changes. As hard as it may be, embrace the changes and love the new you that emerges.
As usual, you blog inspires me to be more than I am.


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JERSEYGIRL24 6/13/2009 6:57PM


Thanks for posting this. Your insights never cease to amaze me. I especially like #6. So many overweight people don't think they are beautiful and have major self esteem issues. I also like #3, which relates to the cheating issue we have talked about in the past. You are only cheating yourself (if you want to call it that).

Anyway, keep those cards and letters coming!!! I love them!!!


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MOLLYJ96 6/13/2009 5:06PM

    So true!! Thank you for the post!

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TILLIEBEE 6/13/2009 5:00PM

    Thank you!
This is beautiful.
I've already been making progress thanks to reading about your journey on your SparkPage and your additional tips about walking a little at night.
You are an inspiration!


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MSLZZY 6/13/2009 4:33PM

    Wonderful-thanks for posting.

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JAZZYJUDE 6/13/2009 4:26PM

    This is an AWESOME blog ~ thank you for posting this motivating message. It's all so true, as we have to live our lives as well. Even if we average a pound a week, that's 52 lbs a year! That is even cool too!
emoticon Jazzy!!

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