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Results from Week 15 & Musings About My Journey

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Even with the insanity of the past couple weeks, I lost two more pounds. At 37 lbs total, that is equal to my son's weight. It seems weird to think that, as recent as this past summer, I was hauling around a small child.

As I was typing the title for this blog post, it dawned on me that I have been sparking for more than three months. Usually by this point, the whole diet and exercise "thing" is getting old and I just want to be done with it. I definitely have had a mind shift in that I know that what I am doing isn't just for the short term. This is something I need to do for the rest of my life because that's what people do to take care of their bodies.

I've also been thinking about a conversation I had with my little guy some weeks back...

He had come up to me and announced, "You're fat!" and gave me a big grin.

I looked at him and said, "Is that a bad thing?"

He thought for a minute and responded, "Mmmm, no." Then he gave me a hug and kiss before racing off on his next adventure.

You know, I am proud of my son. I am glad that he does not judge people simply because of their outer appearance, and that is something that I will continue to foster (though I will have to work on his tact...)

To be sure, I am working on eating healthily and exercising regularly, and I know I need to be less fat than I am now. By the same token, there is no guarantee that this journey is going to make me thin. And I am OK with that, even if it means that others would be more judgmental than my son.

I have always been a solidly built girl. Muscular. Strong. As a very young child, I had boundless energy. My nickname was “Little Miss 500%” because I ran whenever I had somewhere to go. I always had someplace to go emoticon

I was never lithe, and that was just fine. Until it wasn’t, and my size became more important that what I was doing and could do. When my weight became the focus, I started to be more cautious about how I moved. I didn't want to take up too much space or be the center of attention. Less movement led to more eating and weight gain, and the cycle continued.

Part of this journey for me is about recapturing that little girl. I want to be able to run and jump and play like I did as a child (well, as much as any 40-something *can* do!) I don’t want to feel impeded by the labels that the external world would impose upon me.

Being fat doesn’t mean I am “bad” or “less than.” If, in all my efforts, I am deemed healthy by my doctor and I have the energy to keep up with my two very active kids, then that is great! But I don’t want to be pulled down because my clothing size or the number on the scale is bigger than what some in society would prefer. If I look only at those two measures to determine my worth, then I fear I would always fall short. And that is a sad thing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NSTARSMITH 10/28/2012 1:50PM

    I love your epiphany! I am not wquite sure when I passed that point of realizing this is for life, not another "diet". It is a very important realization and needs reinforcing over and over (and over and over ...) as the months and hopefully years go by. This ends up truly being about health not just being "thin". And for me it is also about self-respect and self-esteem. I can't deny some lingering vanity issues ... sigh ... at my age, given I am not rich enough to get cosmetic surgery, vanity is just not useful! You keep on Sparking for the next three months!

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KENDRACARROLL 10/22/2012 11:24PM

    Great attitude. We come in all forms, shapes and sizes. Healthy comes in all forms, shapes and sizes, too. But a healthy weight is one of the requirements, still.
Congratulations on your loss.

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HEYITSLISA 10/22/2012 6:52AM

    Great attitude. I get hung up by that number on the scale sometimes, and I need to stop. Thank you for reminding me of it's non-importance.

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 10/21/2012 9:40PM

    This is a beautiful blog. I love the image of you as a child, running everywhere. Energy abounding. Keep that at the front of your mind. You are that little girl and she is you.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 10/21/2012 6:37PM

    I LOVE this! I teared up a bit when I read what your son said to you. Not that it was mean spirited, it was just a fact, plan ands simple. That's how kids are. They say what they think, and are as honest and as blunt as they need to be. Your son said to you, exactly what my son's class mate said to me 2 1/2 years ago. Because of that little boy, who's name I don't even remeber, I've changed the lives of myself and my family. I will NEVER be that girl again. I know you won't either. You're doing this for all the right reasons, and you have a great outlook on the whole process.

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_BABE_ 10/21/2012 5:24PM

    I really don't think I will ever be willowy (maybe thats the problem my mindset) but I, like you want to get more out of my life. 37 pounds is phenomenal....I felt good at 20 already..keep up the great effort...and post some pics!

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CANDIK48 10/21/2012 2:57PM

    Good for you! Love your attitude!

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No Week 14 Results

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The past week and a half have been less than routine, to say the least. Last week, I was in California for a conference. The weather was a welcome change from what we are having here in Wisconsin (as much as I love fall in Wisconsin, it's been rather cold and wet; the 60s and 70s of SoCal were nice).

Here's a shot of sunrise from the balcony off my hotel room, which overlooked Mission Bay:

I had a great time, met some wonderful people, and gained some new insights that will be helpful professionally, but eating was knocked off-kilter and I didn't get as much time for exercise as I had hoped. That didn't come entirely as a surprise.

Coming home on Sunday was a nightmare, to say the least. We ended up being diverted to another airport because of storms in Chicago, and then had to deplane because of a repair that had to be done on the plane (which was related to an issue that we had known about since we took off from San Diego -- a bit unnerving to know that we had been flying for hours with an issue that they suddenly *had* to fix). After many issues, I eventually arrived home roughly the same time that people are starting get their day started on Monday morning emoticon

I got some much needed rest emoticon and then hit the ground running tying up the loose ends from my travel, setting up meetings with a client, and getting back into life at home. As a result, I didn't get a weigh-in recorded. I still made efforts to spark (even if only in spirit), so we shall see what Week 15 has in store!

I hope it has been a good week for you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KENDRACARROLL 10/20/2012 2:02PM

    Glad you enjoyed your stay in San Diego. It is pretty down there.
Yes, these days travel never seems to go as planned. Guess best thing is to expect it and then be pleasantly surprised when nothing happens :)
Enjoy your weekend.

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 10/20/2012 7:23AM

    Travel never seems to go as planned = ) Glad you're home safe!

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MNJONES2 10/20/2012 1:26AM

    Travel is always an adventure!! Glad you are home safe and sound

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Results from Week 13 & the Negative Side of External Recognition

Monday, October 08, 2012

I was doing the happy dance yesterday -- not only did I re-lose the 2.5 lbs from before, but another 2.5 lbs was gone, too! Five lbs and a total of 35 lbs down :) While I was more focused on my goals during the week, part of this loss was due to water weight. Female hormonal fluctuations really wreak havoc on the scale...

I find myself wondering when other people are going to start to notice. My husband has been able to see and appreciate the differences for a few weeks now, but I have not had anyone outside of my immediate family ask me, "Have you lost weight?"

Part of me is relieved about it because I am not sure that I want people commenting about it. It does embarrass me to think that I am being scrutinized, plus it adds a layer of pressure. The negative tapes whisper, "If they notice and then you fail, how can you face them?" Ugh, I hate those negative tapes. Why does something positive like external recognition have to feel like a negative?

But it's going to happen sooner or later. My mom is coming in a couple days to watch the kids while I am at my conference, and the last time she saw me was over the 4th of July (just before I started on SP). She also knows that I have been walking when I am on my marathon phone calls with her. I haven't mentioned weight loss specifically to her, but I know she will see it. Whether or not she comments will be another thing. She loves and supports me no matter what, but I don't know if I want her to say anything.

And then there is my husband's family, who I haven't seen since Memorial Day. By the time Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, I will have lost more weight, and they are sure to notice because they pay attention to that sort of thing. I really don't want them to -- not only will they analyze everything that I choose to eat, but they may say something to my husband and ask him when he is going to lose weight, too. Yes, he would benefit from losing, but I recognize that it has to be his choice, and I will wait patiently for him while continuing to be a mostly good example. He doesn't need the added stress from them.

With all the positives that this journey has brought me thus far, negatives like this keep cropping up in my mind. I am certain these are part of the reasons why I have not been successful in the past. I just wish I would get to a point where all aspects of it feel great! Or is there always a "dark side?"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_BABE_ 10/12/2012 12:32PM

    Its a double edge sword this getting recognized for weight loss. I remember my sister in laws mother commenting back when I was 30 about my weight loss ( at the time I lost 77 pounds). Right in front of everyone she asked how much I lost and then editorialized it was a small person......PEOPLE. emoticon

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FIDDYOTR 10/12/2012 7:54AM

    Isn't it funny that we want the acknowledgement, the pat on the back for losing weight, but not the pressures that go along with it. I always feel once people know that they are just waiting for me to fail...but this prob is the farthest thing from the truth, and if so who cares, it doesn't matter what others think. I've lost 100lbs and very few people have mentioned my weight loss, so either they don't notice or they just know how many failed attempts I've had in the past and don't want to falsely congratulate...I'm doing a blog on this next week, still working on it in my head!

Congrats on your loss and just wait to knock their socks come holiday season!!

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DDOORN 10/10/2012 8:26AM

    Kudos to the pay-offs for your efforts!


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MSANITAL 10/9/2012 6:26PM

    Way to go on the weight loss.. I know how you feel that sometimes you would like people to notice.. it is like that poster I have on my page.. it takes 4 weeks for you to notice 8 for your family and 12 for others so keep going.. LOL.. but serious they notice.. good thing that you do too..
Keep up the good work..

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KENDRACARROLL 10/8/2012 9:37PM

    My opinion: There is not always a "dark side".
When they comment on your loss say "thank you". Don't feel like you need to explain yourself. When they comment on your food choices, just think of a smart come-back :)

When they have junk food around at work I always say "too bad it's not Friday, I'll only eat junk on Friday", or something equally "smart".

Beat them at their own game...
emoticon emoticon

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SHRINK_U 10/8/2012 8:21PM

    I can totally relate.. Sometimes I get uncomfortable when people I know ask me if I am losing weight. I also don't want them putting me under the microscope and watching every move I make and watching for me to fail... or looking at my food choices, etc. I don't know exactly how.. but I am developing a thicker skin about it here recently. Way to go on the weight loss!!!!

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KOFFEENUT 10/8/2012 5:13PM

    You're right - having people notice your weight loss can be a mixed blessing. At first I couldn't believe NO ONE had mentioned it (hey, it was 25 pounds!) and then it seemed like EVERYONE mentioned it (once I hit 30 pounds gone). I finally had to remind myself I was losing this weight for ME. Whether people noticed - or didn't - was immaterial. I'm not dieting. I'm making healthier choices. That means no one can judge how I'm eating today; I'm doing what works for ME.

Hang in there!

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Results from Week 12 & Fighting to Stay Positive

Monday, October 01, 2012

This week the scale wasn't so kind -- I regained the 2.5 lbs lost last week emoticon

The battle in my mind rages on. Just so many things to get done before my business trip next week! It makes it hard to be focused.

But, I need to stay positive and to remember "I can do everything through him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13).

A large part of success in most anything you do is related to attitude, and this is no different. If I choose to let the setbacks pull me down, they are just going to grab tighter and it will be even harder to loosen their grip on me. So I grabbed an old Sunday advertiser for Menard's* -- I just love the pearls of wisdom they put at the bottom of each page!

Here's what I found:

-Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.
-Success often comes to those who have the aptitude to see way down the road.
-Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.
-The mind is everything. What you think, you become.
-The key to happiness is having dreams. The key to success is making your dreams comes true.
-Our attitude toward life determines life's attitude toward us.
-If you're doing your best, you won't have any time to worry about failure.
-Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
-What happens isn't as important as how you react to what happens.
-Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.
-Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes, but great minds rise above them.

These quotes gave me much food for thought and are helping me to get appropriately refocused with my efforts.

How do you keep a positive outlook when you hit a bump in the road?

*Menard's is a DIY store found in the midwestern states. It's like The Home Depot.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHRINK_U 10/5/2012 1:40AM

    Ohhh I love those quotes. I have been in a slump for a few weeks. I am trying to get my mojo back. I had a gain this week, too. We can do this girl. We just have to keep getting back up and trucking on. HUGS!!!!!

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HEYITSLISA 10/2/2012 7:14AM

    Congrats on maintaining a positive attitude! What gets me through most days is this: I cannot be perfect, no one is perfect. All I can do is the best I can do! emoticon

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FATBASTICH 10/2/2012 7:08AM

    Attitude is SO important. We are all going to have setbacks. Many of them. The question is how we respond. Just keep getting back up and dusting yourself off. Every day the sun rises is a new opportunity, try and make the most of it. Hang in there!

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WHITNEYLD 10/2/2012 6:40AM

    emoticon We can do this, no matter what setbacks we face, we keep on trying.

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KENDRACARROLL 10/2/2012 12:29AM

    How do you keep a positive outlook when you hit a bump in the road?

Shake it off and get right back to it.
There will be many bumps in the road. Main thing is that you just keep going no matter what.

emoticon emoticon

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A Belated Entry: Results from Week 11 & the Mental Game

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Time has gotten away from me this week -- it is already Thursday and I haven't done the usual update! Last Sunday, my scale showed a 2.5 lb loss for 32.5 lbs total. Thank you so much to everyone for the support emoticon

As I continue to work toward improved health, I can't help but compare this time with other attempts (and failures) from the past...

- The amount I have lost thus far has just passed what I lost on my first concerted effort. Though I was labeled as fat at age 4 and was put on an externally imposed diet at 7 (that felt like DIE with a T), I was between my freshman & sophomore years of high school and in the 220s when I first said that I wanted to lose weight. I lost 30 lbs, but then I severely sprained my foot, putting me first on crutches and then a walking cast for a total of 4 weeks. It took a good 2 weeks to regain the strength in my leg, and that was all it took to derail my efforts.

- About 3.5 years ago, I was making a sort-of attempt at a healthier lifestyle (I was exercising a lot, but not paying much attention to what I ate). I got down to what my weight is now when everything stalled. The scale didn't budge for months until some significant life stressors came onto the scene and I had a loss of appetite as a result. I dropped another 10 lbs in a month, but it all came back quickly (and then some) when my appetite returned.

The reason why I mention these is because they have been pressing on my mind lately. The negative tapes are trying to take hold -- "You've been at this spot before and look what happened. What makes you think you can do this now?" "This is a lot of work, and look at what you don't have time to do because you are focusing so much on meal planning, tracking your meals, exercising. Wouldn't it be easier to do things on the fly?" "Others are being put on the back burner because of this. How is that fair to them to not come first like they used to?"

Yes, this is a lot of work, but the reality is this: if I don't do this -- if I don't make myself the priority -- there could be long-term consequences that would impact those I love. And taking care of myself is really loving them and putting them first with me because that means I will be around to see their accomplishments and guide them on their own life journeys.

The meal planning also provides a good example for my kids so that they may be less likely to have these issues when they are my age. It's great that my kids, when they see me eating salad, want some, too. Or that the cook at my daughter's school tells me that she goes up for seconds on vegetables. Or that a natural go-to snack for my kids is fruit.

As far as being able to "do it now" goes, I have no idea what is going to happen. I just know that, no matter what, I can't stop. Whether I am losing weight, gaining weight, at a plateau, or at my ideal weight, I need to keep making efforts at living healthy. My body needs exercise and nutritious food for fuel. I need to work toward normalizing the less nutritious food so that I don't go crazy whenever I am around them.

This is just what I need to do, and the negative tapes can just take a flying leap!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KENDRACARROLL 9/27/2012 11:48PM

    Forgot - you're doing emoticon

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KENDRACARROLL 9/27/2012 11:47PM

    I think, sabotaging ourselves is men's (and women's :)) biggest talent.
Here's what's different this time: You have a great support network. Everybody here is either there or has been there. You're not alone.
Just keep plugging away, one day at a time and don't listen to those voices in your head.

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WHITNEYLD 9/27/2012 12:35PM

    I have gained 40 lb. over the past two years, and 30 of it in the past year. I know how you feel. Think of how far you have come! You're a motivation for me! If you can do this, maybe I can, too. emoticon

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HEYITSLISA 9/27/2012 12:23PM

    Everyone has those negative tapes. When I got to the weight that I got to during my last weight loss effort in 2006, I started think those bad things. But I kept going. I am almost to the weight I was after having my last child in 1998. I can't help but think "I've been there before but it didn't stick." Don't worry, you can do this. The power is in you! emoticon

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