RUSSELL1960   31,131
30,000-39,999 SparkPoints
RUSSELL1960's Recent Blog Entries

I'm in ONEderland - Wahoo!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

I had to weigh myself at least a dozen times last night and this morning because I couldn't believe it. Not only did I NOT gain weight over Christmas and New Year's Day, I lost weight, and not just one pound but three!!! Even more exciting, this accomplishment puts me in ONEderland. I now weight 199, I dont' remember for sure when my weight first surged over 200 but I know that I have weighed well over 200 for at least fifteen years and it may have been as many as twenty. So I am thrilled to be under 200 after so many years of feeling utterly defeated.

Here is how I did it. I was determined NOT to gain weight over the holidays. I had worked too hard to lose 20+ pounds and I knew I was close to entering ONEderland. At 202, I wanted to be in ONEderland in January of 2013 and I didn't want to make reaching that goal difficult by gaining weight over the holidays. So each day I reminded myself of the vision of entering ONEderland. I took out a guest membership at the fitness center in my parents' hometown so that I could keep working out daily (cardio each day and alternate days of strength training). This was after starting each day with ten minutes of warm up exercise. I also tracked all my food intake, every crumb! I informed my family of my goal and they helped me by leaving some of the desserts (already prepared) in the freezer and by offering healty choces. I checked out some menu items ahead of time on the food tracker so that I knew how much I could indulge in certain high calorie items without blowing my diet. In this way, I was able to enjoy fruitcake, apple pie, ice cream, cookies, and ice cream pie (not to mention stuffing, gravy, casseroles, mashed and scalloped potatoes and meats of all varieties...). I can't say that I was really deprived at all of anything, I just stayed highly disciplined in terms of portion control and sticking to one serving. I did choose not to eat any bread or rolls for the most part. I drank tons of water and kept in touch with my Spark Friends! I also shared what I was doing with family members and inspired a few of them to join Spark People! That's about it. It worked better than I thought it would.

So don't hate me for losing weight over the holidays. I know its a hard time for many people as it has always been for me in the past and some on the other hand chose to relax and enjoy the season which has its justifiable merits. But it was really important for me this year to not lose ground and in my fear of gaining weight I overshot my goal of maintaing and actually lost quite a bit of weight. I have no regrets about that :)

Well, what's next. I can win the "lost 25 pounds" trophy as soon as I lose one more pound. That's a good short term next-step goal. I've also decided to aim for a 100 day streak of getting at least ten minutes of exercise daily (with the intention of getting 250 minutes of exercise a week). This will help me keep moving forward toward my original goal of getting my weight down to 194. That will be the next milestone (30 pounds lost). But I don't plan to stop there. If I can lose weight during the holiday season, then I can surely go on to meet my latest goal of weighing 184 in time for my birthday in April and a very healthy 175 by summer. It really is great to be in ONEderland. What a fantastic way to start the new year!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 1/4/2013 12:01AM

    "So don't hate me for losing weight over the holidays."
Hate you????? No way!!!!!! Admire you? yep! Envy you? yep, a little. Respect you? Damn right!

Way to go, SparkFriend!

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    emoticon emoticon

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SSDCQUINCY 1/3/2013 1:47PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I remember that feeling of Onederland, and it IS a great feeling!
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ASHPATCH11 1/3/2013 9:08AM

    Love it! You really rocked it out this season not to many people can say that!! Now which way to the beach emoticon !

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GRANNYADA 1/3/2013 7:38AM

    Congratulations!!!!!! emoticon

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CLWALDRO 1/3/2013 7:22AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I would always cheer someone who made goals and despite everything the world throws at them is able to stay the course and succeed.
I look forward to learning even more about your successful journey to better health

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Contemplating a Cheese Curl

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

My son brought a bag of cheese curls to the table and I considered munching on them but first I picked up the bag to consider the cost. One serving is thirty curls and it contains 150 calories - not too bad I thought. Then my son did the math on a smaller scale: "That means five calories a curl," he said. Could that be right? Indeed, it was 30x5=150. So my mind went another direction. I could actually count the calories as I ate them I thought. One curl - five calories. Two curls - ten calories. Three curls - fifteen calories. Four curls - twenty calories. Five curls - twenty-five calories and so on. Somehow as I contemplated the simple crunch collapse sensation of each curl disintegrating in my mouth with the multiplying consequence of calorie intake increasing in multiples of five I lost all interest in the curls. There simply wasn't enough crunch benefit for the trouble. I watched my family consume the bag with no desire whatsoever in burdening myself with all the math involved. Instead, I grabbed a snack of radishes, carrots, and celery and enjoyed the great munching and crunching pleasures provided by these veggies compared to the curls without needing to worry about the math.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 1/2/2013 8:12PM

    Way to go, RUSSELL!!!

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ITSMATT 1/1/2013 7:56PM

    Encouraged by your evaluation of the real benefit/enjoyment you'd get from those cheese curls. I had one of these moment with my favorite candy, the Twizzler, and was just shocked by how awful they are calorie-wise.

Much much better choices to be had out there.

And yep... you can crunch all kinds of veggies without worrying at all about the calories. Pretty cool.

Make it a great day!

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    Sometimes all it takes is a change of perspective! I am now tempted to do that with all my favorite temptations just to see how much each bite counts.

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Time to Stop

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I have faced the ultimate temptation, walking as I have been these past two days in the midst of tens of thousands of calories just begging to be consumed at two back to back family reunions: nuts, various chocolates, cakes, pies, sweetened drinks, cheese balls, brie, crackers, salmon spread, stuffing, two meats, casseroles, mashed potatos, scalloped potatoes, gravy, breads, cookies, fruit, soup, cranberry salad, apple salad, chips and salsa and more. Thank goodness I looked at the calorie content of one international chocolate placed on the table... 200 per small piece.... I passed. It was not worth it. Yesterday at my wife's family reunion I overshot my recommended calorie intake by just a little. Today, well, I went over by four hundred or so. Not bad, indeed not bad at all considering the total includes apple pie and fruitcake. I also had a very good workout this morning before the feast doing cardio and weight lifting. I'm quite pleased with myself in fact. I bet I ate 7000 calories at each of last year's reunions. So I am thrilled that I could do so much better this year, indulging a bit while maintaining control - I didn't eat any seconds and I limited snacking. Just now I took a little alone time away from the family because I knew I was in danger of blowing it. So I took some time to track my calories and then to write this blog in order to remind myself that I've had enough indulgence for one day - it was fun but enough is enough... NO SNACKING TONIGHT. I am preparing to enter ONEderland in January and there is no point in making that difficult on myself (nor is there any point in making myself miserable tonight by stuffing myself and causing a bad night of sleep). I am quite full and yet still comfortable. My family has noticed that I've lost weight (there's no point in surprising them by gaining all 20 pounds back by tomorrow morning). Therefore, I declare that this day of indulgence was quite successful and on that positive note I'm finished eating for the day - no more - not even a bite, not a nibble, not even a crumb and I'm not kidding, I'm serious! Don't even think about trying to tempt me. So there! I've said it and I've made it quite official by posting it on this blog, and I have thereby made it legal by signing my name (electronically) before all the Spark People witnesses, this 29th day of December, in the year of our Lord, 2012. My lips are now sealed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZAHNASGRANDMA 12/30/2012 10:59PM

    emoticon Wonderful, keep up the good work!

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PDQ1203 12/30/2012 7:29AM


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NUTRON3 12/30/2012 6:21AM

    Go, Go, Go!

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GODS_TEMPLE 12/29/2012 11:22PM

    emoticon And I wouldn't want to find out what happens if you break a pledge that you made to all the Sparkers everywhere!!! emoticon

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EMMAJANEAUSTEN 12/29/2012 8:28PM

    emoticon Sounds to me like you came through this day just fine! Congratulations!

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Twas the Day After Christmas

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It was nice to hear family commenting on my weight loss when I arrived at my parents' home yesterday. My wife has been a wonderful support as I've worked at my weight loss. For Christmas, she got me new sweat pants (size medium - nice change from large) and a nice sweat shirt for my exercises routines. She also got me a food scale, something I wanted to be able to track my food intack better. I enjoyed a fabulous Christmas dinner of scallops and chicken and exquisite sides without overeating - staying with one serving eaten slowlly and savored. The week ahead will test my resolve as we go from one family gathering to the next but I am determined to fully enjoy the special meals by savoring each bite and sticking to one serving - no seconds. I'm also going to track to keep myself motivated. I feel like I'm off to a good start to enjoying the holidays while staying on track with my goals.
I also had fun yesterday adding exercise into the long seven hour drive to my parents' home. I did ten minutes of exercise before leaving for the trip. Then I did isometric exercises in the car off and on. Did some jogging while fueling up (embarrassing my daughter a bit) and ten more minutes of exericise upon arriving. We ate a healthy lunch on the road that we had packed ahead of time. Instead of feeling stiff and sore upon arrive as normal I felt great. It seems possible to enjoy a healthy holiday - so far so good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHIERKEN 12/28/2012 10:13PM


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GODS_TEMPLE 12/26/2012 4:50PM

    emoticon Sounds like you worked your plan.

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EMMAJANEAUSTEN 12/26/2012 9:20AM


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Ouch - Reality Check: Obese to Overweight

Monday, December 17, 2012

I was feeling pretty proud of myself for losing 20 pounds and I still do. My long term goal was to lose 30 pounds. I still intend to meet that goal. Nine more pounds to go! But today I'm facing the fact that losing 30 isn't enough. I went onto the government health Centers for Disease Control webpage and used their BMI calculator to see what I should actually weigh.

According to this calculator (and others I consulted) I need to lose, not 9 more but 25 more pounds to be in the normal weight range for my height. This means that when I started this journey with Spark People I was 45 pounds overweight - Obese! Ouch - man have I ever been in denial about my situation! Here are the hard facts:

My starting weight: 224 (BMI - 30.8, Category: Obese)
My current weight: 203 (BMI - 27.9, Category: Overweight) - well that's progress I guess...
My target weight: 194 (BMI - 26.7, Category: Overweight) - Drat!
10 lb. lower target: 184 (BMI - 25.3, Category: Overweight) - Good Grief!
15 lb. lower target: 179 (BMI - 24.6 Category: Normal) - Whew!

I know that when I set my original goal I hardly dared to believe that I could achieve even that. It felt like wild reckless dreaming to think that I would ever weight under 200. I proably knew then that losing 30 pounds was not really enough but I felt so depressed and discouraged about my weight I couldn't muster up the courage to hope for more. I was stressed out about how serious this was for my health - being part of a family with heart attack and stroke risk. But 45 pounds overweight - I was in denial about how overweight I was!
The cool thing is that I have lost 20 pounds - and I expect to meet my original goal of 194 fairly soon, by mid or late February. I am really looking forward to what Grateful-dad calls ONEderland, being in the "land" of weighing less than 200. I'll be there soon. With this new confidence and progress, I can now envision going on to a new goal of 179 (better yet 175). Man, does that sound crazy! Even as I dare to envision it, old doubts creep up within me. But I am on a new path.
So, I've lost 20 in a little less than three months, so I could lose 20 more by my birthday in April. That would be a very nice present for myself - to be at 184 on my birthday! Then moving on I could be looking good in a swim suit in the summer of 2013 at 179 or even 175 emoticon
Well, I now see that the long-term goal is bigger than what I originally dared to believe possible - and I need to dig in here for the long-haul. But I give thanks to God and to the Spark People community and to my wife and family for encouraging me and giving me the tools, motivation, courage, and faith to do this!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUSSELL1960 12/19/2012 11:17PM

    Reality is still stinging a bit today so thanks for the encouragement and perspective to keep focused on healthy living as opposed to too much focus on numbers. Good advice.

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CURTIOSITY 12/19/2012 10:47AM

    I remember the first time I realized that the O word (obese) applied to me. Whoa! check that passport baby, cause it's time for a trip down de Nile! I remember the first time I said that my goal was to be overweight at a Weight Watchers meeting. Under 200 - after 10 years of weighing over 200, that sounds like such a difficult goal!, but my ideal weight (I think - I'm not even sure) is 35-40 pounds below that. You can do it, Russell - and so can I - and "IT" is a healthy balanced life - weight loss is a side -effect.

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ASHPATCH11 12/19/2012 9:58AM

    you can do it!!

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RUNNER12COM 12/19/2012 8:17AM

    Meh, I long ago gave up on that BMI chart. I am focused on eating right, being active, and repeating consistently. And I just have to trust that doing the right things will get my body to the right place.

And good luck on YOUR journey!

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GRATEFUL-DAD 12/18/2012 10:27AM

    You have a good outlook on this. It's common to have to re-evaluate your goals as you make progress. Sounds like you have a little bit farther to go than you realized. That's not a bad thing, it's great that you've recognized that your journey will take you a little farther than you first realized. Now when I first started about a year ago, my doctor told me that the majority of the health benefits come from getting out of the obese range and into the overweight range. So, great job, you've done that! You've already reduced your risk of the diseases you mentioned. Now it's time to get out of that overweight range. And believe me, you are going to feel amazing when you get there. Hitting that normal range and being able to say to yourself that you did it. That you're no longer one of the overweight people in this country. You got up and pulled yourself out of it. That's a great feeling.

Keep fighting. emoticon emoticon

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NUTRON3 12/18/2012 9:13AM

    You can do day at a time

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LEVELPATHS 12/18/2012 3:47AM

    You can do it! So can I!

Just keep doing the right thing. Every little helps.

I too didn't dare believe I could lose so much weight that I'd get to the healthy weight range. But this year I'm planning to get there! :-)

Thanks for sharing your journey with us.


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IMREITE 12/18/2012 12:48AM

    I first joined sparkpeople to lose 15lbs so my pants would fit again. i lost another 15lbs that same year for a total of 30lbs in 1 year. i lost my motivation after that but managed to keep it off for a couple years. i was still obese, but i felt better that i had in a while so i was not worried about it.

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