RUSSELL1960   33,517
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RUSSELL1960's Recent Blog Entries

Thinking Long Term

Monday, March 25, 2013

The spark coach challenge today is to think longer term. What are my one, five, and ten year goals? Obviously, I want to beat the odds and keep the weight off. I am thankful for this spark coach reminder to keep thinking ahead. Therefore:
1. Short term, I need to figure out what balance of exercise and calorie intake will keep my weight stable. I plan to do this by gradually increasing my calorie intake in small increments each week until my weight stabilizes.
2. I really enjoy strength training and would like to keep working at toning my body and meeting new physical challenges.
3. In the year 2023, I plan to celebrate ten years of successfully keeping my weight within a range of 168 to 172.
4. I have been thinking about how I might share what I've learned with others. Would there be a way to combine spiritual and physical disciplines for healthier, more meaningful living through a "spark people" community or church group? With my Spanish skills, I could also offer this to our Hispanic neighbors and church friends. Perhaps a good goal would be to explore interest in this idea before the end of the year.
5. Beyond this, there are many interests and ideas I have. It would be wise for me to schedule some retreat time to think further about career and interest pursuits that I want to accomplish. The skills I've gained from Spark People could easily be applied to accomplishing other goals and I would like to take full advantage of what I've learned and apply it to other areas of my life.
Well, this is a start. I will give this more thought. Thanks Spark Coach for prodding me to keep thinking and planning ahead!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODS_TEMPLE 3/25/2013 10:00PM

    What a wonderful idea, to reach out through your Church to help others learn what you have discovered.

I have been through several Church type weight loss programs, but they just didn't help me. Oh I would be good and lose weight, but after the course was over, it would just come back. I don't know if they didn't stress life change enough, or if I just wasn't ready to listen at that time?

God bless you and lead you on your journey.

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Now for the Real Challenge

Saturday, March 23, 2013

This is a day of celebration and caution. This morning I weighed in at 174 (173.8 to be precise). My goal was to get to 175. This puts me well within the healthy range for my height. I have lost 49 pounds from my starting point at 223. My waist is nine inches thinner! Last evening I discovered that I can now wear the suit I wore when my wife and I got married 24 years ago! That was fun! I will lose one more pound just for fun to make my total weight loss an even 50. But there is no need to be in a rush to accomplish that. So, I am now at the point at which I need to shift from weight loss to maintenance. From what I've read, the failure rate at this stage is very high. 90 to 95% of people regain some or all of the weight they've lost. These are sobering statistics which motivate me to say to myself I see the danger and I will beat the odds. I intend to be in the five to ten percent who succeed at keeping the weight off long term. One doctor I heard about from a friend said it takes two years for your body to re-set itself and "accept" your new weight as the new normal. So I want to get myself prepared for the two year tough battle ahead - I'm definitely in this for the long haul. I need to learn how to stay motivated and focused and disciplined. I've learned that 1800 calories with intense exercise is the "magic" combination for me in terms of weight loss. If I eat and exercise consistently at that level I lose weight quickly (2 to 3 pounds a week). I don't know yet what calorie and exercise level will keep me at my current weight. I'll have to experiment with different calorie levels in the weeks to come to figure that out. I think I'll start by moving to a 2000 calorie a day level for a week and see what happens with that. I want to keep the exercise up and hopefully regain any muscle I've lost during the past five months. I welcome advice and suggestions from those who have been successful at keeping the weight off.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODS_TEMPLE 3/24/2013 12:56AM

    Another Spark Friend got to the point of maintenance, and thought she would stay at her weight since she hadn't lost anything for awhile. She quit trying to lose, and has lost several pounds since. Maintenance seems to be a very tricky thing!

Good luck with your experiment.

emoticon on the emoticon accomplishment!

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JUSTDOINGIT101 3/23/2013 11:43AM

    What a great accomplishment! Fear not the days of success ahead, you only have to take care of today's business. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
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ICEANGEL0531 3/23/2013 10:28AM

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! Keeping with good a support and encouragement system long after goals are met are extremely important in maintainging.

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A Spark People Evangelist

Monday, March 18, 2013

I've become a bit of a Spark People evangelist. It's not possible to be private about losing 46 pounds! There is no way to hide the fact that I'm much thinner now - not that I really want to. But there is a twinge of slightly embarrassed self-consciousness about all the attention my new look generates at times. Still, I'm also excited about what I've accomplished. I do look dramatically different, even my face is thinner! People notice and wonder and ask questions. So I find myself sharing the good news about Spark People. I talk about how it has given me the tools to know how to lose weight. I talk about the improvement in my health and the fact that I no longer need medication to control my cholesterol level and less to control my blood pressure. I share about the motivation SP has helped me find to consistently work at my goals even when I'm sorely tempted not to. I'm eager to explain the 10-minute exercise challenge that got me moving and the encouragement from Spark Friends who get me back on the wagon when I fall off. I especially enjoy telling how I have learned to eat (savor) chocolate most days while losing weight. It's wonderful to see how an occasional 22 calorie (Hershey) kiss fits so nicely into a diet plan!!! I admit it. I'm excited to be so close to my target weight goal. This past week I lost another pound so I'm one down two to go for the final three. I remember how discouraged I was with my decades-long failure to control my weight. Five months ago when I started in earnest to work at this, I had little confidence that I could succeed and only dared set a modest weight-loss goal for myself. Now I'm going for healthy and I see benefits in knowing better how to accomplish other goals in my life as well. I feel spiritually renewed along with the improved physical health and I want others to know it can be done. So hang in there through the plateaus and ups and downs of settling eventually into a consistent routine that works. Draw strength from God and Spark Friends. This is very hard work but its worth it. Interestingly, I've also noticed that the exercise and new healthy habits which were so difficult to start and get established initially have now become an enjoyable and deeply satisfying part of my life. So, while the disciplines continue to take work, I've found they do get easier in some ways the longer you work at it. It can be done. I'm a believer now! I've gotten several others started on Spark People and its great fun to see them making progress as well.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OBIESMOM2 3/23/2013 9:16AM

    emoticon
keep up the good work!!!
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DJ9ERS 3/20/2013 9:15AM

    Fantastic post. It has been a pleasure following your progress and sharing ideas and motivation in this process. I can totally understand your feelings at the beginning, and loved the way your explained it. You have done a marvelous job, and I am anxious to see what have done each day.

Way to go!!

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WAYNE1997 3/19/2013 5:40AM

    Thanks for sharing your journey! It is encouraging for me to hear about your progress and your continued success. My current mini goal is to lose 2 pounds and am looking forward to seeing the 187 on the scale, perhaps this week. Have a good day! Keep on sparking! emoticon

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GODS_TEMPLE 3/18/2013 1:38PM

    I know this has nothing to do with weight loss, but for some reason these verses just popped into my head...and I guess they could be applied to almost anything in life.

James 1: 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

We need to be reminded sometimes of where we came from. Don't be embarrassed, enjoy the opportunities God sets before you to share the SP 'word'.

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BIGPAWSUP 3/18/2013 11:34AM

    Awesome! I know were you are coming from! Keep being amazing!

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I'm not going to blow away!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It is interesting (sometimes annoying) to hear the reaction of people who are noting the difference in how I look now that I've lost 45 pounds. A common comment is "you're going to blow away" as if I've become a dandelion seed that is in some kind of danger of being at the mercy of the wind. I guess people mean well when they say, "I certainly hope you are not going to lose any more weight." Well, as a matter of fact I have not reached my target weight yet and so I do intend to lose three more pounds - maybe five (to make it an even 50 just for fun). If nothing else, I don't want to quit before reaching my goal after having worked so hard for five months to get this close. I am far from emaciated - another comment, "you're going to look emaciated." I'm not seeing any ribs yet - really emaciated? Admittedly my appearance has changed. Perhaps people mean well - giving a sort of back handed compliment. It's a reminder of how we don't always encourage each other well, or know what to do with positive change. I would rather celebrate the fact that my medical tests show remarkable improvement in cholesterol levels and blood pressure. I rejoice in the improved fitness - I can do exercises easily now that were torture in the beginning. This is all good. Why spoil it with words of caution? Why express fear that I will push to highly unlikely extremes like emaciation? Oh well, regardless of all that, I'm pleased with what I've accomplished. I picked up a 45 pound kettle ball at the gym yesterday and marveled that I have lost that much weight. I used to carry that many extra pounds around with me all the time. I have no regrets. This is a good place to be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODS_TEMPLE 3/14/2013 2:13AM

    The only time in my life that i was thin, I got the same thing. My grandmother was the worst. "You look sick." That's what everyone wants to hear after they've struggled to lose weight!

Keep up the great work!

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JULESJET 3/13/2013 8:29PM

    You are doing Amazing! Don't listen to all the negativity! You know what your goal is, so strive for it!

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HEALTHIERKEN 3/13/2013 11:07AM

    "I'm not going to blow away!" Yet : )
And who says blowing away is a bad thing??????? I'm sure dandelion fluff gets a whole new view of the world : )
You're doing the right thing, stick to your guns.
emoticon

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RENATARUNS 3/13/2013 10:53AM

    My mother the other day: "Well, just make sure you don't go the other way and get anorexic." Sure Mom, whatever you say. Would you like to check out my menu for the day?

People are weird. You're doing it! That's great.

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DJ9ERS 3/13/2013 9:46AM

    You have found methods that work, have developed a plan, and have pushed yourself toward making yourself look and feel good.

The other people are saying those things because they really lack the motivation to do it themselves, and they don't understand the commitment involved. They might even be scared to try.

I, for one, am constantly impressed with you. Keep up the great work, and I am anxious to see you meet you goal. (I think you should shoot for 50 lbs)

Comment edited on: 3/13/2013 9:46:31 AM

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KARENE10 3/13/2013 9:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I think people mean well when they say things like"you're going to blow away"~I would take it all in jest. You are doing AWESOME!

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SUNSHINE99999 3/13/2013 9:41AM

  a great place to be. You are doing great so do your best to ignore those not so loving comments. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PMRUNNER 3/13/2013 9:26AM

    Forget the naysayers, you are doing awesome! Keep up the spark!

Besides, you won't blow away in the wind, but you will blow THEM away with your success, motivation, fitness and perseverance!

Comment edited on: 3/13/2013 9:29:15 AM

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NANADERRICK 3/13/2013 9:13AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PJ2222 3/13/2013 9:13AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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It's still hard sometimes

Friday, March 08, 2013

I've come a long way and I've learned a lot. Still, there are hard moments like last evening. The day started off well but we received a surprise invitation to a Guatemalan friend's house for lunch after we had already eaten lunch. They had prepared tacos for us and I felt obligated to receive the gift they had prepared so generously and so I ate (and the tacos were delicious). When I got home I realized I had eaten 900 calories of extra unplanned food. In order to stay within my calorie range for the day I essentially had to skip supper (except for a little tossed salad with balsamic vinegar) and also have a smaller evening snack than usual. It was hard to stay away from eating more when my routine was so interrupted like this. It was hard to get back on track. But fortunately, I did and it paid off. This morning I weighed in found that I had lost two more pounds. I'm now down to 179, four pounds from my target weight of 175. Each hard sacrifice like this moves me closer to my goal. I'm always glad when I make the hard decision even though it's a struggle in the moment. I've really seen the benefit of consistency. I hope to apply this to other life goals as well where I'm not yet as consistent as i would like to be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHPATCH11 3/11/2013 8:38AM

    Consistency noted need to be more consistenat with my eating habits for sure. Thanks for the postive blog great read and you rock already within arms reach of 175!!!! You have some serious stength to do what you did I would have caved into the food temptation. emoticon

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WAYNE1997 3/10/2013 9:37AM

    Irv, Thanks for sharing your thoughts about your experience. I am having difficulty with this recently. Hanna is here with 7 friends from college. We had diner with them last evening and Krista'a mom made a delicious desert. I ate a few more of these cookies bars then I should have and found myself grazing a bit as I put leftovers away. I need to get motivated to stay consistant as you model for me. I have small group this afternoon and we usually have delicious food at these gatherings. Whew, a tough weekend. However, this past week was great and I exercised regularly. Thanks again for the inspiration as I work to be more consistant once again. Congratulations on dropping 2 more pounds!! emoticon

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JULESJET 3/8/2013 8:38PM

    Good for you! You are very close! Keep it up!

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GODS_TEMPLE 3/8/2013 7:17PM

    I am very proud of you! These are life lessons, and will be beneficial even after you reach your final goal. Great news about reaching that mini goal, too! You deserve a non-food reward!

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