RUSSELL1960   32,420
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RUSSELL1960's Recent Blog Entries

Facing a Big Bad Riding Lawn Mower

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My neighbor and I both took on the task of mowing our lawns last evening. We each circled around and around our yards. Our orbits brought us into frequent face to face encounters near the fence before we each turned and went our separate ways. It was not a meeting of equals. My little push mower was no match for his big riding machine. He was in luxury with a daughter perched on his lap. I was sweating. His speed and wide swaths of cut grass left me humbly behind like a turtle making slower progress. It took additional time to collect the grass clippings in my little bag and wheel them to the compost pile for garden mulch. I started my work before my neighbor and I was still working when he parked his machine. I admit to feeling a little silly with my little lawn mower and a bit intimidated by his machine's headlights bearing down on me as we approached each other. But I reminded myself why I chose not to get a riding mower and my reasoning was confirmed when I recorded two and half hours of mowing on my exercise tracker - over a thousand calories burned. The exercise is good for me. I'll keep pushing. I'm sparking!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-SHOREIDO- 5/11/2013 10:30PM

    Great common sense!! You get it!! Pleased to meet you!!
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THOMASINA57 5/7/2013 10:49AM

    I LOVE this blog... you made me laugh.. especially those headlight on the ridem mower!! I had to read this blog to my husband as he's a fan of the little push mowers with no front wheel drive power and still has one of those really old no motor blade types with a roller sitting in the garden shed!!! It's a rusty antique now!!!

I so agree, cutting grass and all the rest is a great workout! emoticon

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WAYNE1997 5/4/2013 9:17AM

    Think also of the gas required to drag your neighbor and heavy mower around and around the yard as well as how much more pollution to the environment! emoticon

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BARCLE 4/30/2013 6:57PM

    Awesome achievement emoticon emoticon

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DWSCHUYLER 4/30/2013 6:38PM

    Good job! Plus you got extra fresh air!

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GODS_TEMPLE 4/30/2013 3:09PM

    Best reason ever to cut your own grass! Keep up the good work on your maintenance.
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JULESJET 4/30/2013 2:33PM

    Good for you!

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JACKIE542 4/30/2013 12:08PM

    emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/30/2013 10:53AM

    Don't you know it, Russell! You had a full-body workout: upper. lower, and abs. The lbs melt away and the muscles firm up and take on shape. Woo-hoo!
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LIFEISPURRFECT 4/30/2013 9:44AM

    Kudos to you for your little push mower. I'm more concerned about the daughter of your neighbor riding on his lap! Lawn mowers are dangerous machines and are not meant for little kids. As a former EMS person, I know that accidents can and do happen!

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STEPHANIE302013 4/30/2013 9:28AM

    wow!! that's fantastic!

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KNYAGENYA 4/30/2013 9:28AM

    Good for you. Every little bit helps.

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The New Experiment Continues!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Well, this "maintenance thing" is definitely an interesting new stage in my healthy living journey. I'm slowly increasing my calorie intake and yet I'm still losing weight. I went from 1800 to 2000. Then two weeks later from 2000 to 2100. Now about two weeks after that, my BMI has dropped to 23.5 - nice! and my weight has dropped to 168 (a total loss of 55 pounds). Woo Hoo! So, I like 168. I like the sound of it. I like seeing that number on the scale. I like how I look and feel. I like the energy I now have. This is a good place to be. Two years from now, this is where I want to be. Ten years from now this is where I want to be. Therefore, its time for another calorie increase experiment. I go now to 2230. This puts me at the lower end of the range my food tracker says I need to stay within to maintain my weight. So I'll try this for two weeks. This way I can start learning whether I need to be on the lower end, the middle, or upper end of the calorie range to stay put. This continues to feel like the right way to work at this - gradually increasing and seeing what happens. I don't need to rush the process. There is no deadline to meet. I've got the rest of my life really to figure this out. I'll find the balance eventually. In the meantime, I'm loving this Spark People challenge and the positive impact it's having on my life! Thanks Spark Friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODS_TEMPLE 4/19/2013 11:56PM

    OK...so when are you going to post a picture of the new you...where you're not on the floor scrubbing a pot?

Genesis 1: 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; ...

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KELLIEBEAN 4/19/2013 10:23AM

    On Tuesday, it will be five months maintaining for me. I think I'm just starting to get it. You are doing great. Thanks for the inspiration!

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JESS0107 4/19/2013 9:23AM

    emoticon It's all about learning along the way!! emoticon

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NUTRON3 4/19/2013 8:44AM

    Good job!

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KANOE10 4/19/2013 8:43AM

    Great job of maintaining while experimenting with calories. You are doing well.
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RUNNING-TURTLE 4/19/2013 7:23AM

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WELLNESSME09 4/19/2013 7:22AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDICANE 4/19/2013 7:19AM

    Congratulations! I'm at 20 weeks of maintenance now and that balance thing is a bit elusive. Happy journey getting there.



Cheers, Sandi

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Comment edited on: 4/19/2013 7:20:00 AM

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Maintenance - Not What I Expected

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'm not sure what I expected. I guess I expected it to be more cut and dry. I'm learning that this part of the journey will take just as much time and energy to figure out as weight loss did. A very helpful post by MOBYCARP showed me that it could take weeks, even months, to discover what balance of exercise and calorie range will keep my weight stable. I may continue to lose weight until that discovery is made which is perfectly ok with me. I have in fact lost three more pounds since starting to gradually increase daily calorie intake. I went first from 1800 a day to 2000 a day. This past Monday I started eating an average of 2100 a day. This seems to be the right approach that is recommended (i.e. raise calorie range gradually on a two week trial periods to see what happens and then adjust accordingly). What MOBYCARP also pointed out is that there is not likely to be a magical number of calories that will permanently be the "right" amount for me! That too will change over time as metabolism and activity/exercise levels change. So it appears to be like trying to hit a moving target. I'll need to focus more on longer range trends bi-monthly and monthly trends rather than the daily and weekly monitoring I've been doing. I feel like I have a lot to learn and I hope I'm on the right track. I certainly don't want to back-track. I've worked hard to get here and I like the new, more-fit me. I want to keep what I've gained and continue to make progress in learning how to stay fit and healthy. So I'm stepping into this new challenge even though it's turning out to be more complex than I thought it would be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VEGANFITLADY 5/13/2013 8:55PM

    I'm still in the weight loss stage for a while, but this was helpful to think about a bit for the hopeful future :) thanks

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SUSIEMT 5/13/2013 8:18PM

    Woo Hoo good for you! Thanks for mentioning those tips you gleaned from Mobycarp. Very useful. Keep up the good work!

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LOGOULD 5/13/2013 2:50PM

    Maintenance sure is every bit as much of a learning experience as losing weight was, and it seems that will continue for the rest of my life........or as long as I want to feel good and look good. Worth the trade off I'd say!

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HHB4181 5/13/2013 1:20PM

    great info & blog!

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KEEPFIT2013 5/12/2013 10:21PM

    Find I'm doing the same thing...learning as I go and realizing flexibility is the key. I, like Sunshine99999, am sticking with the food and fitness trackers for the short term anyway and setting and tracking short term goals. It seems to be working so far but I'm really only one month in so will see.
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NCSUE0514 5/12/2013 4:10PM

    Can't wait to join you in maintenance!

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FITMOMINNJ 5/10/2013 7:47PM

    emoticon , it is a balancing act:) emoticon emoticon

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DIDMIS 5/10/2013 6:13PM

    emoticon

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MOONCHILD8 5/10/2013 7:01AM

    Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on reaching your goal. It is a little difficult to maintain for me too. I am still working at finding the balance. Best wishes, Linda from bean town emoticon emoticon emoticon

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-SHOREIDO- 5/9/2013 9:49PM

    Your so right!! It's like getting your balance going when you first learn how to ride a 2 wheeler bike!!
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Ginny

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BROOKLYN_BORN 5/9/2013 8:01PM

    Congratulations on your success. You have the right attitude and will figure out the proper balance for you.

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POPSY190 5/9/2013 7:22PM

    emoticon and best wishes for your maintenance!

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CELIAMINER 5/9/2013 1:06PM

    Sincere congrats on reaching your goal and entering the maintenance phase! Glad we have SP support groups, tools, and techniques to help us through any bumps in the road. I just got back from vacation with the predictable weight spike, and returning to basics has helped me shed most of those pounds.

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MARIO432 5/9/2013 11:07AM

    Congratulations on reaching goal. I didn't realize maintence would be such a juggling act either - but well worth it - isn't it.
Wishing you continued success.

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FELINA 5/9/2013 10:34AM

    emoticon
You're right, there's a lot of trial and error to find the right balance.
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SINGER73 5/9/2013 10:04AM

    emoticon
I'm right there with you.

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MANDELOVICH 5/9/2013 9:15AM

    Congratulations! I'm very happy for you and it's great to read how you are learning exactly how many calories you can eat to maintain.

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MY1FAN 5/9/2013 8:51AM

    Congrats on reaching your goal. I'm still trying to find my calorie balance also. Keep up the great work.

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ELLEKTRA 5/9/2013 4:50AM

    I have been maintaining for 2+ years and still learning!!
Well done on your success! You are truly inspiring!

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_LINDA 5/9/2013 12:50AM

    Well done!! You have that winning attitude which is going to make you a successful maintainer!
Keep up the great work!!

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PHEBESS 5/9/2013 12:01AM

    It's a constant vigil, isn't it?

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MANILUS 5/8/2013 10:51PM

    You can do it!

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BESSHAILE 5/8/2013 9:24PM

    It really is an adventure of discovery - figuring out how to live life at a normal weight. but there you have it - you can do this too!

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DAYSPRING-STAR 5/8/2013 9:11PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss success and moving onward in the next phase of your journey: maintenance. emoticon

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JULIA1154 5/8/2013 8:46PM

  Congratulations on reaching your goal. I suspect you'll be equally successful at maintaining your ideal weight and health; you've worked too hard to get here to get careless.

Maintenance does take attention and being in tune with your body, which are not bad things to do in the first place. The rewards of feeling good are ongoing, however, and certainly help me stay focused on my priorities.

Don't sweat it - enjoy it!

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MKELLY72 5/8/2013 8:40PM

    I like your moving target comment--good visual. I feel like it took a full year to really get the swing of how things shift throughout the seasons--I feel like I may be better prepared this coming year, since I've been through one now--every season has it's own challenges to tackle, and with practice and mindfulness, you will become a master at this!
Michelle

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SLENDERELLA61 5/8/2013 8:37PM

    Very good blog. Maintenance is possible. The way you are doing it, adding gradually, will serve you well. Although you may "need" a few treats you've been wanting, I found that adding more of what your body truly needs (in my case more calcium and healthy fat) will probably serve you best! -Marsha

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WATERMELLEN 5/8/2013 8:08PM

    Maintenance is a bit of a moving target but that's OK: we're trying for a "reasonable range", a few pounds fluctuation!

You've done great with weight loss, you'll do great with the weight loss maintenance too. Congrats to you!

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MOBYCARP 5/8/2013 7:37PM

    I'm glad I was able to be helpful. A year later, I'm finding that maintenance is tricky but not impossible. The *transition* from weight loss mode to maintenance was harder for me than ongoing maintenance seems to be, though maintenance does require regular attention and some effort. But at least I'm not living with uncertainty about where my weight ought to be any more.

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DESERTJULZ 5/8/2013 7:35PM

    It does seem like a moving target! For me, as long as I stay in a 3-4 pound weight range, I feel I am on track long-term.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/8/2013 7:32PM

    In my third year of maintenance I still find adjustments needed from time to time. I think... gasp... perhaps... I have discovered what NORMAL eaters do... i.e. gain a bit over the winter, and lose it back without excessive effort as their activity levels rise in the Spring and summer... this is the second year of modest fluctuation over the season changes!

Vigilance is still required. And I still get scared when I see my HABITS slipping (the scale follows the habits, like a tail).

Good luck with your transition.

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KELLIEBEAN 5/8/2013 7:31PM

    Congratulations on your accomishments!

Next week will be six months of maintainance for me, longest I have maintained a weight loss. You are right, it can be tricky.

Checking in with the at goal and maintenance team every morning really keeps me on track!

I'm so happy for you becoming a healthier version of yourself! Continued success to you!

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/14/2013 9:05AM

    I'm not there yet, but stopped by to wish you the best.

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KANOE10 4/14/2013 9:02AM

    Yes, maintenance is tricky. It does take work and like Moby Carp said, you may need to change what you are doing as time goes on.

You have done a great job of reaching your goal weight. I am sure you will find the steps needed to keep it off. I do not want to gain my weight back either!

You have a great positive attitude and you will do well in your maintenance.

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LRSILVER 4/13/2013 11:42PM

    It is definitely hard work and there are no short cuts.

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GODS_TEMPLE 4/13/2013 10:41PM

    “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” ~William James

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ~Thomas Jefferson

“The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective.” ~Al Neuharth

I am counting on you to figure this out, so when my time comes, I can use your method to make it easier for me!!! emoticon

Blessings to you. I know you will conquer this as you have the weight loss.



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KSCHRAUT 4/13/2013 6:26PM

    It is different and will take some balancing to figure out what works best for you. Don't give up

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BOB240 4/13/2013 12:43PM

    well see my blog...

In comparison maintenance is far harder than losing weight. If you eat less and exercise more the weight falls off-- the scales and other people constantly "stroke" you and this is encouraging.

In maintenance (8 months for me now) I found that I have to focus on diet and routine fare more -- and noone notices and the scales don't move much.............

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CCBULLDOG 4/13/2013 11:31AM

    I lost 40 lbs 2 years ago and failed miserably at maintenance emoticon I fell into a relaxed state and thought "the weight wont come back" emoticon It did...do everything you can to STAY ON IT!!! emoticon

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VTRICIA 4/13/2013 11:17AM

    It's definitely different from either weight loss or going back to the way things were. Best of luck to you. I guess the thing to watch out for is a thought that might creep in, "This is too much trouble for nothing much happening". Anytime you think that, go look at old photos if you have them or maybe some fat pants.

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SUNSHINE99999 4/13/2013 11:07AM

  I'm finding the same thing. So, I'm continuing to do a number of things i.e. track my food, exercise each day, drink at least 8 cups of water, and hit 10,000 steps and it takes work. I raise my water glass to your success. emoticon

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New Clothes New Commitment

Monday, April 08, 2013

Wow! I had great success shopping last evening! It's good I did because I was getting desperate. My old clothes were hanging on me like bags and I was literally running out of things that I could wear without looking ridiculous. The shopping was great fun for several reasons. First, for once the clearance racks had my name written on them: a pair of pants for $5.75, new shorts for workouts at the gym $7.50, T-shirts for $4.00, nice sweaters for $6.00, dress pants for $15.00 and dress shirts for $8.00. All of this was then blessed with an additional 20% off coupon. I came home with a whole new wardrobe, two large bags of clothing for a total of $140. The bargain hunter in me was very pleased. It was also very satisfying to see what now fits me after losing 50+ pounds. Medium is now my shirt size. Medium! I had to go down to pants with a 34" waist to find a comfortable fit. Even some of the 34s were too baggy depending on the cut. It was interesting to stand in front of the full length mirror in 34 waist pants and see the new me. I'm thin. I don't think I've ever used that term to describe myself before but it's now a true description for me. It's both weird and wonderful and I'm still in the process of getting used to it. Buying the clothes and thinking about giving my old clothes away also feels like a bit of a serious commitment. I've invested now in clothing that won't fit if I regain weight and when I give my old clothes away there will be no going back without cost (not that I want to). I am committed to this for the long haul. Buying new clothes felt a bit like the signing a contract. I've taken another step of commitment to healthy living. This is another milestone in a series of steps I've been taking toward fitness. The commitment and the difference it has made feels good.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARRENLYNN 4/13/2013 10:45AM

    What an awesome feeling to see the evidence of how much progress you've made in your quest for looking and feeling better and being more healthy.

Keep going, you can do it!!

Karen emoticon

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FITMOMINNJ 4/13/2013 9:26AM

    Awesome!!!!! I hope your ditching the the big clothes also:) emoticon emoticon

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SEMISWEETCHICK 4/9/2013 1:51PM

    I am so happy for you!!! And it's awesome that you finally get to truly SEE the new you right now, as you've reached your goal weight! Isn't it amazing? You should be so proud of how far you've come!

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GODS_TEMPLE 4/8/2013 5:28PM

    Thin, huh??? Good for you!

Don't those sales and coupons come in handy when you really need something?

I'll be doing a lot of shopping at thrift stores on my way down the scale. Can't afford a wardrobe in every size. So far, I haven't had to worry. The elastic waist yoga pants and my 3x t-shirts are still doing the job required!

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HEALTHIERKEN 4/8/2013 12:57PM

    Wow, Russell, this is a great blog with great news!

" . . .It was interesting to stand in front of the full length mirror in 34 waist pants and see the new me. I'm thin.. . ."
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DJ9ERS 4/8/2013 9:42AM

    Great job! I look forward to doing some of the same soon. In your case, the fifty pounds is impressive, and I admire your plan to get rid of the other clothes. You have the right attitude there!

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BSHOSH 4/8/2013 9:11AM

    Awesome! Nothing taste as good as being thinner feels! Enjoy the new you! Congratulations!!!

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NUTRON3 4/8/2013 9:02AM

    Yea!!!!!Good job!

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KANOE10 4/8/2013 8:00AM

    Great job of finding new clothes in your new sizes., You are committed to wear your new clothes and to keeping the weight off. You can do it.
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KKKAREN 4/8/2013 6:41AM

    that's fantastic! I'm inspired!

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LABRATIAM 4/8/2013 6:34AM

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Should I Change My Profile Motto?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I really like the motto, "I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday." I joined Spark People on April 18, 2012 but really didn't dig in and get serious about this until October 15, 2012. It was then that I started in earnest, inspired by a friend who shared with me that using the food tracker is what helped her lose weight and then maintain it. I decided I could do that and returned to Spark People determined to make this happen. Now five and a half months later, I've made far more progress than I ever believed would be possible. I went beyond my first goal of losing 30 pounds. As of today, I've lost 50 pounds. I am where I want to be. So I'm wondering if I should change my profile picture. It has sort of become who I am on Spark People. It's my online identity. The motto on the picture has been my inspiration during the past five and a half months of weight loss effort. It has reminded me daily of the value of consistent effort. Each day of discipline got me a little closer to my goal. I like the picture of the guy running up steps in the picture. Running uphill is hard work and a person could get discouraged with the sweat, sore muscles, and the constant tough mental effort required to stay with one's calorie range. But when we keep the goal in mind, the effort becomes worth it. I need to sort out now what the next challenge is. Maybe I should keep the profile picture because I want to maintain at this weight. I understand that statistically, I now have about an 85 to 90 percent change of regaining all that weight. If I can maintain successfully for two years the chance of regaining drops to 50%. So maybe the profile picture can stay as I count the days to that two year milestone. I'm not there yet (i.e. the two year milestone), but I'm closer than I was yesterday. Or maybe I need a new motto for the two year challenge. I'm not sure. I'll ponder that in the days to come. What do you think?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WAYNE1997 4/7/2013 7:10AM

    Congratulations and happy birthday again! I hope you had a wonderful day. I know you had plenty to celebrate. Thanks again for your consistent encouragement as I have worked to lose weight also. I like to change things up on my page from time to time, but I understand and appreciate the reasons for your keeping your picture throughout the process. I hope you choose what works to keep you motivated for the next two years and beyond.

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PMRUNNER 4/1/2013 5:08AM

    Congratulations on hitting your goal! While the aggregate successful maintenance rate is low, by losing smart through long term and sustainable changes in your exercise and nutrition, you have much better odds.

There is a good spark team with lots of resources for maintenance, called "at goal and maintaining + transition to maintenance" TINAJANE76 does a great job highlighting success stories and strategies from within the team.

Good luck, continue to move forward and closer to your goals!

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GODS_TEMPLE 3/31/2013 9:33PM

    There are a lot of things the motto can be referring to besides weight loss:

Your two years. The ten years after that. Your dream vacation.

I don't see why you have to change it. If it inspires you to reach any goal...by all means keep it!

Philippians 3: 12-14 (NKJV)

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

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02SERENE 3/31/2013 6:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I like the way you have reset your challenge to a new one.

I liked when you wrote "when we keep the goal in mind, the effort becomes worth it".

You can always add more mottos to how you feel. Why limit to just one? However, I also have heard of the saying if ain't broke don't fix it. So, it is what make you feel best.

Yay on continuing with the food tracker.

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