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Motivation Board!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I'm so excited that I finally finished my motivation board. It is going to get me through the next half of my journey! I have posted it on the side of my refridgerator so I can see it every time I am in the kitchen. It will remind me of where I used to be and how close I am to where I want to be. Here is a photo of it:

I hope you are having a productive Saturday too! XO

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBBICZ 1/19/2014 9:48AM

    Great job at the board! love it.

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CHANGING-TURTLE 1/11/2014 1:31PM

    How cool, you inspire me to make a new one, my last one on the frig I don't even look at any more

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MCCC75 1/11/2014 1:13PM

    This is great! I need to do one too.....I am almost halfway to my goal as well (need 5 more pounds). I really like this -- thanks for posting the picture. I haven't been good at taking many pictures of myself (too embarrassed to)....but I'll have to dig up something! Have a great day. emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/11/2014 1:13:47 PM

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The true measure of a man...or woman

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Mentality - by one definition means:

Noun 1. mentality - a habitual or characteristic mental attitude that determines how you will interpret and respond to situations
mind-set, mindset, outlook

I've often thought that if I could get "out of my own head" sometimes that I would not have any trouble losing weight. The mentality, or mindset, that most often trips me up is the "all or nothing" mindset - the one that says "you screwed up - do what you want now and start over another day". Where did that come from? How did it become my life's mantra? When did I begin to see something so complex as so black and white?

In an effort to get out of my own head I am seeking to change that mentality this year. So I ask myself "if I make a poor choice or series of choices and it is not an *all or nothing* situation, then what is it? And how can I prove it?"

Let's take a concrete example. Say I have not exercised in days and my food intake has been okay but then I find myself invited to Friday night happy hour where I indulge way more than I should have on food and drink. The scale goes up and my mood plummets the next day. It's Saturday and I decide that I will begin again on Monday. Why? What's wrong with saying - hey, that was fun last night, but now I have to get my butt in gear today? Mental attitude - that is what. Most of the time I find I have a good mental attitude, but sometimes I fall into that pit and can't seem to crawl back out. You know I'm simplifying this of course...But I look over the past several months and I have watched the scale climb back up 15 pounds - how did I let that happen? Mental attitude. "I'm stressed at school (work) it will even out later, I'm just going to get through the holidays", then all of a sudden "I'm ready to "start fresh" it's a new year"! Wait, what? There must be a better way. I want off this teeter-totter. I want a new mindset.

For starters the scale has power - too much power. It's a tool, not Jillian Michaels. It's my friend when I like the number and my screaming degrading enemy when I don't. I'm a smart woman - I know that my body is more than a number on the scale and my success can be measured and proved in many ways. The number is just a number. So in order to change my mindset on what constitutes success I am going to create a motivation board which will help me create a new mindset by constantly reviewing and memorizing quotes I like to replace the "all or nothing" quotes I currently use in my head (start tomorrow, etc) and also keep in the forefront of my mind the success I have had and changes I have made.

Here are some examples of things I want to track and say to myself:

How do you feel today?
Progression with exercise endurance - times and distances, weights
Body measurements
Attitude/Mood/Energy levels
Changes in food prep, additions to help with sugar addiction, ways of eating healthier
Photographic evidence of how far I've already come
Feel good and motivational quotes about exercise and well-being

Change takes time and new habits take practice. Last year I learned how foods affect my body and how my body responds to exercise. I learned and practiced how to like foods not because they taste good, but because they make my body feel good. This year I want to take the next step and for me that is making a change in my mentality about what it means when I over indulge and about how I view success. This motivation board is my first step - my "let's go team"! I will continue to gain control over my health this year. I will post a picture when my board is complete. I'm excited to create a new mindset in 2014!



Sunday, August 25, 2013

I've been in this weight loss thing long enough to know that it goes much deeper than shedding a few pounds. The number on the scale is just the tip of the iceberg - it's the part sticking out of the water. You know, the part you can see with the naked eye. But if you only address the part you can see, you will never fix the rest of the iceberg. That is the journey I have been on for the last several years. Here is a diagram I drew to demonstrate what I mean:

In case the image isn't clear (I can't see it right now) - the bottom of the iceberg has these things listed:

Past successes and failures
Biological/physical issues

These are some of the major issues that need to be addressed for permanent weight loss (ie a healthy fulfilling lifestyle) to be achieved. Here is a quick snapshot of where I am coming from on these:

Emotions - identifying triggers and effects of emotional eating

Justifications - my focus for today (see below)

Past successes and failures - here we go again (facing yet another "start" and "falling off the wagon" acceptances

Misconceptions - desperate attempts to follow an unrealistic lifestyle long term. Not understanding how food affects your particular body.

Biological/physical issues - beating candida, diabetes, heart disease, family obesity, physical limitations etc.

Today my focus will be on justification because this is where I am struggling these past few weeks. Justification is just a fancy word for excuses. The excuses I make to justify making choices I should not be making. Let me give you a few real-life examples:

Example #1
My family came to visit last weekend from PA. I had 8 women to feed. Instead of feeding them the foods I claim to have adapted as my new normal, I recipe searched and found lots of delicious casseroles to feed a large crew. They were not in the least bit healthy. I have spent months talking about how I avoid processed foods and make yummy healthy recipes based on meats and veggies and occasional quinoa (the total truth) yet I failed to live by example when they came here for the weekend. I used their visit as an excuse to eat the old way - it's only for a weekend after all! Desserts and pastry and yummy chips and dips - oh boy, did I live it up - all the while saying to them how "its been months since I got to indulge in these things..." Well, guess what? On Sunday one of the ladies told me that she had been looking forward to coming down and trying out some of my healthy recipes - yikes, a knife in the heart. Fail. Epic fail. I missed this great opportunity to be a living example of how you can eat healthy and delicious at the same time. I feel like a fraud. Justification - it's a special occasion - they only come to visit twice a year, enjoy yourself.

Example #2
I returned to work two weeks ago. Leadership development training - all day sitting and listening. Breakfast and lunch provided! Well, again, when feeding a crowd what is the most inexpensive way to feast? Processed food - carbs! Lots of them! Bagels, muffins, coffee cake, donuts - yeah, baby! Pizza, subs, sandwiches - you betcha! Well, again, teachers fussing about how much weight I lost as I eat plate after plate of what I shouldn't eat. Justification - once school starts its all food from home so go for it. Oh, I'll just exercise when I get home (nope, too tired).

Example #3
The pity party. It's Friday night after a long week eating my way through leadership development. I'm tired and don't feel great (wonder why?!) and it's not fair that my hubby can come home and eat pizza and drink a glass of wine and relax his way into the weekend. Poor pitiful me. I'll just workout extra over the weekend - pour me a glass of wine honey and what do you want on your pizza, I'm having chicken and spinach on mine! Justification - I deserve to relax too and I can make it up later.

All three of these examples show just a sampling of how I can talk myself into going down a wrong road very easily. Until I can quiet these voices I won't truly have victory over my weight loss. No wonder I go up and down so much. No wonder I have been struggling to get healthy for over 10 years. I have to get control over the justifications. But how?

I really believe it is practice, planning and accountability.

I need to be held accountable. Don't wait until the end of the weekend to question my cooking decisions - tell me now while I can still do something about it! Draw attention to the fact that I am over doing it - I won't like it but I'd rather face my folly when I can limit the damage than beat myself up later when more damage was done. I need to also hold myself accountable for my choices - I know that Friday nights are typically when friends want to kick off the weekend with happy hour - so I should plan for it by making better choices during the week so I can have some fun on the weekend. Planning in advance helps me to indulge in a healthy way - not a throw in the towel for a days-on-end kind of way. And most importantly, as with anything else, practice makes perfect. I know I'll never reach perfect, but the more I say no to myself the easier it is to follow through and ignore that voice that wants to justify making a bad choice.

Hey, we are all a work in progress. As long as we keep trying, keep reflecting, keep tweaking who we are we will succeed in become a better, healthier, more informed us. I am learning that it is so much more successful when we have a large support group. Thanks for being such an important part of my support group!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NATTY0488 9/30/2013 12:45PM

    AMAZING blog and AMAZING points. Hang in there. You can do it!

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JEAN111766 8/27/2013 1:48PM

    Hey lady,
Love your iceberg pictorial... makes lots of sense. And your examples made me laugh! I have to agree somewhat with TD in that the justification is not necessary (I differ in the faith/religion being thrown out... I totally gain my strength from my faith). We are on a lifelong journey and can eat whatever we want to eat. There are no 'bad' or 'wrong' foods. It is all about portion control and balance. Eat the bagel/ pizza/ dessert... just limit the portion to what is an appropriate amount and balance it with some freggies. This is the mindset I have adopted and have been living by since June. I am so much more satisfied. I gave up 'restarting' because I never quit. If I eat too much on any given occasion, I know the scale will be up because of the sodium mostly. I up my water intake and cut the junk out and before I know it, the water weight is off and I am feeling much better. I am tracking my calories and my exercise and keeping my calorie intake to less than 2000. Something must be working b/c I have dropped close to 20 since the beginning of July... and I feel great.
Check out the SparkCoach... I have gained so much from that program :)

Many hugs Sparksister!!

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DEBBICZ 8/25/2013 8:00PM

    Well said Chris. Thanks for the examples. I find it easier to go with my unhealthy life style words in times like that. But as you said, we are a work in progress. Keep up the awareness and be willing to make the changes your small inner voice is telling you to make. What a great journey this is and I am glad that you are a part of mine! Prayers for continued success.

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TRENTDREAMER 8/25/2013 10:12AM


For me it's about transformation. I ate out pretty much every day last week and felt really horrible Friday and yesterday. Just physically sick. The scale reflected a 2.4 pound gain (One that I knew would vanish fairly quickly).

Yesterday I detoxed and didn't eat out. Ate the foods that have lost me 15 pounds over the past 4 months. This morning, I did an unofficial re-weigh and **i que sorpresa !** I'm back down to a matter of a few ounces over 200. As I kind of figured, most of the gain was water weight (Oh, and I slept really well).

Over the next few months, At least a few of my Wednesday blogs will be about how religion (guilt, confession, "redemption" and "justification") doesn't play out well in weight loss. I've been there.

The reason I have been victorious is that I threw religion out as my main spiritual authority (both in weight-loss and life in general). As a result of doing so, I:
* No longer fall off and get back on wagons (I've overcome the most hindering issue and will overcome the others as necessary)
* Never really worry about the numbers (just kind of know that they'll go down)
* Have victory
* Have resolved most internal conflicts
* Live in greater peace and freedom

For me, justification wasn't an issue in that I would justify bad eating/lack of exercise/etc.. It was that I felt the need to when those happened.

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As ready as I'll ever be, I guess

Friday, July 19, 2013

We leave for the beach on Sunday. I have been nervous about how I am going to handle this beach trip. One part of me is really excited to go and finally look half-decent in a swimsuit - the other half of me is anxious about all the food and drink that will be readily available at all times. There are 15 family members in this group - 90% of which have no weight issues so they thoroughly enjoy snacking and drinking at will. Of the 10% who have weight issues (me and my son-in-law) I am the only one who will be watching what I eat - so basically I am alone in this week-long battle. Here is what I plan to do to battle it:

-I am taking my scale. It really holds me accountable on a daily basis. I know what you are thinking - it's a vacation! Go enjoy yourself! It's only a week! Yeah, but I worked too hard to blow this. I realize that I AM going to gain weight on this trip - how much is up to me and I won't wear blinders then come home and moan about how much I need to lose again. I WILL watch it happen and make adjustments to keep it low.

-I have assigned walking partners so I am guaranteed to walk for exercise 5 of the 7 days. No excuses! I am also taking my laptop so I can play my Pilates DVD in the privacy of my bedroom.

-I have vegetable/salad recipes ready for each day of the beach so all I have to do is add some fresh fish or a meat.

-I bought nuts, seeds and flaxseed chips to munch on. I will pre-bag them so all I have to do is toss a couple into my beach bag each day.

-I have crystal lite for my water bottles to keep drinking my water and feel like I am having something other than plain water while everyone else is having a beer or cocktail.

-I plan to have my cocktail in the evening at least an hour after eating any kind of food - per my naturopath.

-I plan to have my small slice of dessert for breakfast then go for my walk - per my naturopath.

-I made my chocolate coconut oil candy to take with me so I can have my healthy choice instead of the other sweets lying around.

-Swim, swim, swim! We are lucky to have a nice sized pool at the house in addition to the ocean. I hear the ocean water has been really cold on the east coast so that pool may come in handy!

But, what I need to remember is that the best and most important part of this trip is not the food - it is spending quality time with those I love. I am in control of what goes in my mouth. I need to decide that good or bad - I will put it there with a clear conscious and not have regrets later. I will enjoy this trip with a clear head, healthy body, and open heart.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AUNTRANDOM 7/24/2013 9:29PM

    Fantastic planning! You've really thought this through, and I bet it really pays off!


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TRENTDREAMER 7/21/2013 10:54PM

    Hope that you are having a great trip!

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JEAN111766 7/20/2013 1:42PM

    awesome plans my friend!!! hope your week is truly relaxing and enjoyable!!! soak in some beach time for me!!! I haven't been since 2009!

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AUNTB63 7/19/2013 9:38AM

    This is a great plan. Pre damage control is a must on a vacation. I do this every year when we vacation. I do stay flexible for one meal a day (the rest being pre determined and on track). emoticon YOU are on the right track. Have fun and enjoy your loved ones.

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PJ2222 7/19/2013 9:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Before and After Pictures

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Here is what I looked like at my highest weight back in 2008 at 282 pounds:

and here is what I looked like now at 222 pounds - 60 pounds lost:

I still have 30 pounds to go for my new goal of 195. Once I am there I will decide if I want to lose more or not. My naturopath says that would be a good weight for me. I know my body has changed after having 2 kids and gaining 100 pounds - the extra skin alone weighs some. We'll see - I am telling myself that I am happy with the weight I am right now and anything more lost will be a bonus!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDY1969 7/20/2013 10:09PM

    You look wonderful, and HAPPY! Have fun on your vacation, wow what I wouldn't give to be able to swim in a pool every day. Lucky Duck!

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TRIING2GETFIT 7/12/2013 12:46PM

    Well what a transformation !

I hope you feel as great as you look ! Keep up the hard work your worth it !

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SYN-CA 7/12/2013 12:30AM

    Chris, you are such a beautiful soul at any weight! Congratulations on your accomplishments, as I know you have improved your health. Continued success my friend! emoticon

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NEELIXNKES 7/11/2013 10:29AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AUNTRANDOM 7/11/2013 6:12AM

    You look fabulous. Great job!

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TRENTDREAMER 7/10/2013 5:29PM

    Major congrats on your progress.

You look great! Thanks for sharing :)

We should start a sparkteam of people whose goal is 195. I couldn't find one when I looked.

Comment edited on: 7/10/2013 5:39:10 PM

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DEBBICZ 7/10/2013 10:53AM

    Excellent pics and it shows great progress!! Good for you Chris. You've worked hard to get where you are and still working it. Way to go!

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COFFEEMUG2009 7/10/2013 10:25AM


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RUKIDDINGME123 7/10/2013 8:48AM

    WOW you look great! I love the top too it's really cute and shows off your little waste.


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GOODLANDGAL3 7/10/2013 8:48AM

  Congratulations! You look emoticon emoticon emoticon

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