SHIRE33   32,072
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SHIRE33's Recent Blog Entries

Selfie - yes, enjoy the way down, too.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

So today I took a selfie of me in my new on-sale jean skirt. I'm at 204, which is a long way yet from my goal of 150, but it's ALSO a long way from my starting point of 245. Last time I don't think I appreciated myself enough on the way down from 245 to 152.

I just kept focusing on how good I WOULD look, so I often missed out on how good I DID look on the way.

Here's the photo - a little grainy, and yes, I see flaws (so hard to get over that habit), but I also see a person who's looking way better and very fit, even if still large. And I'm proud of myself.

Today, following my maintenance-diet plan, I ate what I think is a healthy lunch, but also tasty - a chia-seed tortilla, with one slice of muenster cheese, one slice of non-nitrate deli ham, and two thin slices of genoa sausage, with dijon mustard (I'm now addicted to that stuff, over mayo). And a banana and glass of ice water.

If I weren't dieting, I might have added a handful of pretzels or corn chips or something, so that's the calorie cutting part. The point is that I'm eating something for lunch that I enjoy and keep on doing once I've lost the weight.

Oh, and this skirt. Vanity sizing is getting SO out of hand. No way should I fit into a 12 at 204 pounds. Ridiculous. I'm a 16 in most things. Though the 16s are fitting perfectly right now, to the point of being a tad loose, which is cool. I'm not going to buy a lot of clothes between this size and where I'll be in 25 pounds, though, because I still have 8s and below that I can wear then. I can muddle through with a lot of skirts when I start teaching.

Here I am, enjoying my lunch, taking a selfie and sharing it with actual people. :D I *am* making progress.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISAINMS 8/10/2014 2:59PM

    You are making great progress! Keep that positive reinforcement going.

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CHSHULER89 8/7/2014 2:33PM

    Awesome job! Keep it going! We are always a work in progress.:)

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KERELLA 8/7/2014 1:32PM

    Awesome! The skirt looks great!

I've been wondering if the fashion industry has been altering the measurements for sizes over the last 20 years. Maybe they have. Whatever size it is, it looks good!

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TAMMYINPA 8/7/2014 12:25PM

    Way to go! You're looking awesome!!!!

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LALATIDAH 8/7/2014 12:16PM

    Congrats!!! I know exactly how you are feeling. I am down 37 lbs from 220 and am just now realizing that I am wearing a size 14 from a 20!!! Thrift shops are my friend since I still have another 20-30 lbs to go!
Stay proud! Stay motivated!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1JACKIE542 8/7/2014 12:12PM

    Congrats on your weight loss, Looking good! emoticon emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 8/7/2014 12:03PM

    I think you look great in the skirt, whatever size it is! Keep up the good work.

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So, when did your gall bladder problems kick in?

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Well, I know everyone doesn't have gall bladder issues. But I've read that people who lose a decent amount of weight will often have them. I guess that's what I have.

I'm still in the process of figuring it out. Ultrasound yesterday for gall stones. Dr. put me on 40 mg. of Nexium to rule out acid reflux. I was hopeful that maybe that was it, since I don't have all the classic symptoms, but last night, after nearly a week on the purple pill, I had a bad bout, so I'm thinking it's probably GB after all.

The good part is, I miss a meal here and there! But not to be aimed at as a weight loss plan. :D

Basically, I lost 93 pounds in 15 months, which I thought was pretty well-paced, but evidently it's fast enough to cause problems. I didn't even know that's what I had, just occasional bad gas, bloating, belching, nausea. But last week I had a bad one, and it actually hurt where my GB is, and that's when it dawned on me what it probably was.

Eventually I gained 70+ and have lost 23 of that. But the symptoms persist, more active lately.

So, as I said, I'm in the process of figuring out exactly what's going on and what to do about it. And I'm curious about how common this is among Sparkers.

Thanks for your replies!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KERELLA 8/6/2014 9:40AM

    Mine hit me sudden and hard after losing about 40 pounds in 2-3 months on one of those "miracle pills." Wracking pains, chills and fever. Textbook gallstone symptoms, but none of the tests showed any stones. Eventually, the surgeon told me, "We're almost certain that's what's wrong. We can take the gall bladder out now, but if we're wrong, the insurance won't cover it."

The pain was so bad, I told him I'd risk being on the hook for the surgery costs ($25,000+). They took it out and the surgeon told me that if the insurance company had a problem with it, he'd send them my gall bladder as proof. It looked like a balloon that had been over-inflated and deflated a dozen times, he said.

If you do get it removed, just be aware that the bile duct will occasionally spasm, and it'll feel like a gall stone passing. It's been about 12 years since I had mine out, and I've had the spasms 2 or 3 times in 12 years, one being bad enough to send me to the ER to make sure nothing else was wrong. And not having a gall bladder will change how your body processes fatty foods, too.

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HEALTHY4ME 8/6/2014 8:56AM

    Age 21 after I had my first child. Well actually one severe attack at 8 months that they weren't sure what it was. Then another 2 wks after my son and then 2 weeks after that was in hospital. Had my gallbladder out a month and a day after having my son. Looking back my poor body!!! but at the time it was OH my baby, I want my baby, as had complications and had to stay in hospital for 2 wks. Back then you didn't get to have babies visit!
oh well he turned out great, I had to stop breast feeding, hubby took care of him and wasn't able to visit me, mum came to take over after a snow storm delayed her train. LOL oh well wonder sometimes if my belly aches after eating fatty stuff is from no gallbladder and is starting to catch up as I was fine for years.
lol long story for when! lol

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BA5454 8/6/2014 8:47AM

    I don't have gall-stones issues, but understand about them from a nursing point of view. Hope your doc gets things figured out and gets you on the road to recovery and/or feeling better!

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More kinds of win - a hilly, up-and-down path is NOT success/fail

Monday, August 04, 2014

I've been surfing around on blogs, finding some kindred spirits in the stop-and-start-style journey to a healthy weight.

There are a lot of us, and that's empowering. I don't think any of us need to feel bad about it, either.

For one thing - we're still here!! That's hugely important. We are here, and we're learning more about ourselves and our journey, which means that no matter what we are making progress.

For another, we've learned so much. Some are lessons that I knew in my head, but not in my heart or my body. It does take a long time. It does mean learning to see things differently. It does mean learning to accept some limitations but learning to grow in other directions.

For me, it's about learning maintenance first. I know that sounds bass-ackwards, but it's true for me. I can lose weight really really well. I know that. But I am a dismal failure at maintenance. HOWEVER, the truth is I never got to a weight I thought I wanted to maintain (problem #2, see below). What I've learned is that I need to learn to maintain in the sense of making good choices each day, even if I'm not losing weight steadily.

What does that look like? Concretely, here are some examples. Today I ate breakfast out with Dad (our Monday routine). So I ate a very light lunch, just some fruit, then a normal supper. Balance. Or tonight, I wanted a gin and tonic and just fixed a small one, which made me perfectly happy. In other words, I choose in awareness, in balance, EVERY DAY. As I get back into my program, this has been my prep training.

But not just prep. Now I'm cutting back on calories, in a small way, and I've been losing, still with balanced choices. If I lose 5 pounds a month, I'm thrilled. If I don't gain, THAT'S ALSO VICTORY!! There's way more kinds of win than I gave myself credit for before.

That second problem is recognizing what weight I will be happy with. I blogged about that earlier this week. But basically, I'm shooting for the high end of my healthy range and I'm prepared to be happy with that. Very happy.

So yes, it's an up-and-down path. I live in the highlands of Ohio, so why not expect a hilly ride? :D But I'm still ON that path, and that's the important thing. If you are here, and you are trying, then you are certainly doing something right. We need to be kind to ourselves, supportive of ourselves, and give ourselves permission to enjoy more win.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY4ME 8/5/2014 3:19PM

    Right on !!! I too am still here, eating well but not losing and not impressed, but then I think I am not gaining and being that it has been hot and humid and my joints aren't happy, I am still walking my same amt of steps but much slower... but STILL Walking, still eating well, So some more tweaking but I have to think I will get there!!!

HUGS and I know you can too! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1JACKIE542 8/5/2014 9:27AM

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HOTPINKCAMARO49 8/4/2014 10:49PM

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What if your ideal weight number isn't your ideal weight?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I set my "ideal weight" at 140. The decision was based on a number of criteria - my height (5'6"), my build (medium-large), and a lot of charts. I felt good at that weight in the past, and it was higher than my old college-age weight of 130, so I felt it was realistic.

On my last weight loss journey (which dead-ended), I got down to 152. I felt fabulous, looked fabulous, but I was still determined to get to that number - 140. I didn't. A lot of factors came into play, though two were most important: huge new job stress and the fact that I couldn't exercise 1-2 hours a day anymore. And eating 1350 calories a day for 15 months was getting real old, too.

I gained a lot back, 75 of 93. From Aug. 25, 2012 to January 24, 2014, it just crept back on.

This summer I've lost 20 of it. Yay. And I'm learning, still. Right now, I'm very active on my farm. I work outside 6-15 hours a day. I've built up a lot of my muscle tone again. But once my campus classes begin, I won't be doing that, so I have to replace that with something, which I'm actually looking forward to (I like to run).

So, I'm rethinking my goals. First, I'm trying to do things I can live with. And I'm remembering that fabulous feeling and looking at my old photos. Why in the name of all that's sane did I not realize that at 152 I WAS AT AN IDEAL WEIGHT?!!! Okay, so I had some belly and all, but overall, I was THERE and didn't even know it. How sad is that?

Now I do. I've changed my weight goal from 140 to 150. I'm hoping to lose about 5 pounds a month, but as long as I'm going in the right direction, then I'm happy. Don't ever underestimate the accomplishment of going in the right direction.

The scale = fail.

All it does is tell you you are "good" or "bad," based on a number that we ALL KNOW is arbitrary at best. It doesn't measure water, monthly cycle gain, the full moon, or whatever the pete affects our weight from day to day. So I weigh a lot less these days. Whenever my clothes feel looser! :D

I would urge anybody to really think about the weight goal. If you are looking at a chart, choose the highest number of your ideal weight range. Aim for that. And then when you get there, reassess, based on an honest assessment of how you feel at that weight. And CELEBRATE THAT GOAL!!

You might surprise yourself. I sure did.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KERELLA 8/7/2014 11:28AM

    I can soooo relate to this. The first time I did SP, about six years ago, I got down to around 170. Not that I would say that was an ideal weight - like you, I'm 5'6" and medium-large frame. I just didn't realize at the time how good I felt or how good I looked. I look at pictures taken back then and wonder why I didn't notice it.

This time, I'm only allowed to step on the scale once every-other-week. Instead, I'm focusing on other gains that I have more control over, like running longer or farther, or increasing weight in strength training.

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DOGLADY13 8/4/2014 8:39PM

    I lost 11 or 12 pounds over the winter. I know I gained back a lot of that being sidelined with the back injury. I won't get on the scale because it doesn't matter. The back is much better and I want to start adding more intense cardio to the mix again. Once I feel progress, I will get back on the scale. In the meantime, I just keep doing what I have to do in order to be healthy.

Keep up the good work and the good attitude. You are an inspiration.

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LAURA7051 8/1/2014 3:25PM

    Good for you. Getting hung up on a number for the number's sake, or on a number at which you were at previously happy/content may not be what's best for you.

I'm striving for the weight at the top of my healthy BMI weight range. I want to be healthy, but I don't want to struggle to maintain something that's an ideal in my head. Especially if I'm satisfied with how I look and feel.

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KRISKECK 7/31/2014 1:11PM

    I did the same thing, after losing and the gaining all the weight back again. I am setting my goal 10 pounds higher than last time and when I get there, I am committed to maintaining for 6 months before I even think about whether I want to lose more. The other thing I am doing differently is thinking about maintenance before I get there. I even joined the maintenance Sparkteam and started to think about whether what I am doing to lose the weight is sustainable over time - which is something you mentioned, too. So. it is a different journey this time. But I think we can do it.


You're doing great.


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POOKASLUAGH 7/31/2014 9:20AM

    I can relate to this all too well. Back in 2000, after I had my first kid, I was about 30 lbs over what I considered my ideal weight at the time (125 lbs, at 5'6). It had been my weight all through high school and college, and I was only 5 lbs over it when I started my pregnancy. I was so frustrated being at 155 lbs, and felt very fat. When my son was about 10 months old, I joined weight watchers and lost about 20-25 lbs. I got down to around 131 lbs, I believe, before I got pregnant again. Right around 135 lbs, I felt fantastic. I looked great, my body felt good, I felt confident and sexy and happy. But I was still 10 lbs from that magical 125-lb ideal line. I could still see a little wrinkle in my side from side/back fat. I told myself not to get complacent, that 135 was still too fat, and so I kept working on it, kept pushing, and got down to the low 130s. I never got to the 120s, ever again, and frankly, I look back on pictures of myself from back then and 131 was just way too small for my frame! I looked and felt better at 135-140. I have wide shoulders and medium-to-large bones and big assets - I look skeletal at 125 lbs! I never let myself enjoy that feeling of loving where I was at.

And then I never got back, on this journey, to the 130s. I barely got to 149, and that's the lowest I ever got. And now I've rebounded 15-20 lbs with all this moving across the country business and all the depression that's been going on for the last three months. I would LOVE to be at 152 lbs again, even though I know, now, that it's not my ideal, and that I would like ot be lower. But frankly, my ideal might be 145 now, not 135, because I felt pretty good at 149, and I refuse to force myself to keep pushing this time when I feel good! Why do we all have to learn this lesson the hard way??

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BA5454 7/31/2014 7:42AM

    I actually did this yesterday. My goal was set at 140, but looking at my weight loss before SP and since, I realized that might not be attainable--I actually feel great at 150-155. But it's a work in progress and fluid--we'll see how things go. Great reminder to think about what you're doing, though. I'll keep your blog in mind as I go along. Thanks!

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POSITIVEHOPE 7/30/2014 11:33PM

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WORKNPROGRESS49 7/30/2014 8:25PM

    emoticon emoticon thoughts/message!!! emoticon

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Summer Update

Monday, July 28, 2014

I've been working hard every day this summer on the farm. Things look good. I finally figured out how many people I need to be working with me to make this work and keep up with things.

So, being outside nearly every day for 6-15 hours is a good way to stay focused on fitness. But in a more natural way, since "working outside" is not the same as "working out." :D

I've noticed that my legs are strong, my back hasn't been bothering me a lot, my arms are toned, I'm tan, and my hair is sun-bleached. It's good!

I'm still a long way from goal, but some things are different in a good way. Losing 93 pounds enabled me to see my body a new way. Some of that hasn't worn off. Even though I'm still 200+, I feel more attractive than I did before at this weight. I have more confidence in myself. Glad that this feeling didn't go away.

I'm fit in the sense that I can do the work I need to do. I'd like to get more into cardio, though, so that's a goal I'd like to get to. Often my workers come at 7 a.m. when it's hot, and then by evening I'm exhausted, so it's been hard to find the right time slot. Maybe when autumn semester starts and farm work lessens, it'll be easier to carve some time out of my day.

On a less happy note, I had a bad gall bladder attack last week. It was the worst I've had, and it made me realize what it was I've been getting off and one for about the last two years. It's never been that bad, though.

So, after a friend about had a cow because her friend recently died of some kind of cancer that my symptoms are like, I went ahead and made a doctor's appointment for Friday. I'm not worried, but it makes sense to have things checked out.

I think that as long as I avoid evening eating, esp. anything fatty, I will be all right. Just every once in a great while something sets me off. I'm also taking turmeric tablets, which I think helps. Good anti-inflammatory. Helps with soreness, too, from a long day of work.

If the doc gives me a clean bill as far as anything more dire than gall bladder issues, then I will probably just live with it as long as it's this mild (just that one bad night). But if it worsens with time, then I will probably have to address it. One day at at time.

Meanwhile, I feel good. I know I could lose this weight faster, since I've done it, but I very much like doing it slowly. Feels more natural. I'm making better choices day after day, which is what I need. Maybe after all this time what I really needed to do before losing weight was maintenance. :D

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISKECK 7/29/2014 4:09PM

    So glad you're making progress...even if takes longer than it took last time. Everything in its time.




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KAYLEESMEME 7/28/2014 7:59PM

    Make sure you take care of you! I know how hard it can be to make healthy choices when working on a farm, hard work. Sometimes it feels much easier to make something quick, but you really need to maintain your health.

Keep making healthy choices!


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