SLENDERELLA61   161,872
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Spread the Message

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Back in March of 2009 when I first hit a BMI of 25 I was really happy. I added some food, concentrated on nutrition, and continued to lose very slowly for over a year down to under BMI of 21. Throughout this journey I had a compelling desire to help other people do what I had done, to share the "secrets" that had finally worked for me after 5 decades of obesity.

I talked to lots of people; maybe 100. One person lost 30 pounds. She looks pretty good but is stuck about 15 pounds over goal. I don't know of anyone else who was successful for very long after "enlightenment" by me. I started a fitness group related to my work. The first month everyone in my group lost some weight. But it didn't last.

So my strong desire to persuade others face to face to undertake this journey has diminished. I understand that each person must find their own way; that my answers may not work for everyone.

On the other hand, I have read enough success stories, maintenance articles, and blogs of other maintainers to know I'm not unique. The strategies I have used successfully are not mine alone -- even the ones I thought were of my own making.

So while I would still like to Spread the Spark (never dreamed I could get this fit; thanks, SP)and put in a good word for Weight Watchers when appropriate (don't think I could have gotten started on my own, thanks WW), I don't have the same missionary zeal that I had earlier. Some of that urge may be met by interacting with my SparkFriends, too. Time will tell whether I'm just settling into the long term phase of lower level recruiting or whether I'll get re-ignited to take the message forward. If I knew what really helps others, I would be more likely to take it on.

Have any of you found good ways to Spread the Spark or otherwise encourage healthier living?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 7/8/2011 3:42PM

    I find myself suggesting it to every doctor that I come in contact with in hopes that he/she will pass it along to patients. I also bring it up if someone asks me for healthy recipes or mentions a need for workout videos. It's a free web site that offers free information. It's a very good resource for someone who needs information. That's usually how I pitch it. You don't have to join Spark People to lose weight. You can join to improve your eating habits, track your exercise or use their diabetic resources. It has a lot to offer. That's why I get offended when it is advertised as a free "diet" web site. It isn't a diet. It's a lifestyle and way of living.

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PEGGYANNSCH 7/8/2011 9:04AM

    I have change my way of eating since I been with Spark People.I have my weight to show that I have started at 260 now 184. Sometimes I get feeling down than I start eating everything in site but than I look at my self and I said NO you don't need to be doing this.

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    Having been vegan for over 20 years, I find that leading by example sends a very powerful message. Sometimes that message is heard most clearly by those you are not actually speaking directly to! :)

Every time you order a healthy meal at a restaurant, the waiter/ess or someone at a nearby table may think, "hmm, that actually does look tasty". The person next to you in line at the grocery store may look at his/her cart full of junk and think, "hmm, maybe next week I will try some of that other food instead".

Your waves of Spark goodness travel further than you know! :)

Comment edited on: 7/7/2011 11:35:21 PM

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WATERMELLEN 7/7/2011 8:48PM

    I had all the missionary zeal of the newly converted and . . . mentioned SP site to quite a number of people who asked about my weight loss and . . . . with the exception of 1 person who uses the nutrition tracker (and nothing else) I've had absolutely no take up. "Too complicated"; "takes too much time"; "not for me" (the community involvement, teams, points, goodies etc.) . . . have been some of the responses.

One of the great benefits of SP for me is the opportunity of interacting with people . . . like you, Marsha . . . who really are committed to fitness and good nutrition for a lifetime. But truthfully, in the general population, that's not a big per centage of people. (Even here on SP, you can't help but notice that some people disappear without notice, having lost weight and having not lost weight: and others get stuck pretty early on and more or less stay the same weight for a long time, but stick around for the sociability or for other reasons not so much related to health and fitness.)

I've also had "real time" friends complain that I've lost too much weight, that I'm too obsessed with weight control, that I'm no longer available for socializing (of the kind which focuses entirely on eating too much and drinking too much); that I'm not prepared to do the conventional "entertaining" high cal formal dinner parties anymore; etc. etc. Some friends are not so interested in socializing through activities -- gym time or hikes, golf and the like. And quite a bit of (sorry, don't think I'm wrong about this) sheer jealousy: apparently our former friendships were based upon being equally fat . . .

So there it is. Makes me a bit regretful some times, but not regretful enough, apparently, to resume by former style of socializing exclusively over food.

And: thanks so much for the photo shoot goodie!! Cute idea!!

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JOYINKY 7/7/2011 8:48PM

    Success is the attraction; not promotion. I agree with the other posts, your example spreads the word. Then, you can add support if someone is willing to change their lifestyle. Some are not.
I really enjoy sharing with like minded people here and even here there are those that want the results but are not willing to change. I'll be spending a week with family that wants whatever the magic is; until they hear it's eat less exercise more. Nope, not what they are willing to do. I don't bring it up but am happy to share if someone asks.

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    I was going to say the same thing - by example.

I tell people, this is a lifestyle change. If you are going to go back to your old way of eating, you will just put the weight back on.

Then I tell them, when you're ready to commit to eating less and living on it, I will be here to help you all I can.

You have to want it more than anything - more than that donut, cupcake - whatever the demon is.

Until a person is ready to commit, it just isn't going to happen.

On the flip side, I have heard and read that even taking the weight off for a short while can be beneficial to the body. Everyone must find their own way. But I am ready and willing to teach by example. We are proof positive that it can be done.

**FYI, I do hear all the time from people that do not wish to deprive themselves. My only answer to them is, "I didn't tell you to. I really don't care if you lose the weight or not - it is your choice."

I made my choice, you made your choice, everyone that is successful has made their own choice.

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MIRAGE727 7/7/2011 2:47PM

    I totally agree with Linda on this one. I had been driven to leave several teams because there was virtually no activity. I tried to crank it up but to no avail. I was totalled and didn't want to feel the negativity any longer. I had to leave. (which brings debate on being a part of too many teams!)
I feel that I've done well over the last 9 months on SP. (on Jul 17) I walk the walk and have received some great comment from people who are inspired. I'm thankful for that. It also encourages me to do better. But you can only do so much. I can tell you personally that YOU have inspired me to step it up in my training by your accomplishments. I know you will not stop your walk! I know it can wear but know that the people that really want it will recognize your enthusiasm and ride the wave.

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_LINDA 7/7/2011 2:16PM

    You can only lead by example in real life. If someone is truly interested and really ready to make real changes in their life then they will approach you and ask how you did it and keep asking for advice. I have had people ask me, told them about the site and never heard another word from them. Now I am getting some wags who think I have lost too much and shouldn't lose anymore! Hello?? I have been on maintenance for a year and a half and haven't lost more then my goal range lol.
Like the old saying, you can lead a horse to water.. Some people have gone the personal trainer/health coach route..

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Unanticipated Opportunity

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

I have three more days to work before retirement. I planned to work today and the following two Wednesdays with a particular project that needs to be done. However, the new director asked me not to come today because she is in meetings and wants me to come when she is there. So, I'm to go in next Wednesday and then we'll see.

My daughter has a job interview this Friday. If she gets the full time job she wants, I will be babysitting a great deal more. It will probably all work out.

So I have today an unanticipated day off. The first thing I did was sleep in. It was my first time in months sleeping for 9 hours. It really felt good. My back feels the best it has felt in weeks. I think I'll go swimming at the gym this afternoon. I'm looking forward to this next chapter in my life. Being flexible and taking advantage of unanticipated opportunities are strategies I want to continue to use to enjoy my life!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISTYRIVER64 7/7/2011 7:26PM

    Happy retirement my friend. I hope it will be as wonderful for you as it has been for me. Ed & I retired in our early 50's and have been having a blast ever since.
Best wishes

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JOHAL52 7/7/2011 12:51AM

    Nine hours of sleep--bliss! I love semi-retirement and can't wait for the whole ball of wax.

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FRAN0426 7/6/2011 11:36PM

    You will enjoy the next phase of life being retired. Even if you do watch your grandchildren more, you still will have more time to enjoy hopefully sleeping in and more flexability time wise to go to the gym---I have enjoyed retirement, do miss the paycheck tho.

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TBRANCH2 7/6/2011 8:54PM

    Timing is everything! Now you can "enjoy" the grands even more than before!! With two of them, you will wonder how you even had the time to work!!! As we are learning with our grands, "enjoy them now because they grow up faster than our kids did!"!!

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WATERMELLEN 7/6/2011 8:38PM

    Good for you for seizing the opportunity. You'll make the most of retirement, never a doubt about that!!

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    I spoke with my sister this morning and she's definitely feeling the pinch - she's the last one in the family still working.

I love my "retirement" even though it was unplanned.

You will love all the extra hours to do what you want to be doing!

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BESTSUSIEYET 7/6/2011 1:01PM

    What fun! I'm a bit jealous about the retirement ... part of me would love to retire!
I'm sure God has some new adventures in store for you!

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KALIGIRL 7/6/2011 12:59PM

    Here's to sleeping in!

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    Oh, wow! How wonderful! I am working two jobs right now, and at 52, I really wish it were only one! You must be ecstatic! Think of all the wonderful things you'll be able to do! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEPPIESUSAN 7/6/2011 12:17PM

    Congrats! I'm jealous! I have decades to go before I can retire.

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_LINDA 7/6/2011 12:01PM

    I would say happy retirement, but it looks like you are just heading into a new line of work as a caregiver instead. I would think its pretty tough being a Mom all over again when you should be able to enjoy more sleep ins and rest days like the one you enjoyed today. I sure hope you get the time to enjoy some aspects of retirement. These should be the most fun and relaxing times of your life now with no stress and no worries! Enjoy the pool!

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MIRAGE727 7/6/2011 11:57AM

    Hey Marsha! I anticipate a Super Slenderella in the future! More time for the Granddaughters and working out. That's what happened to me. All the best.

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JOYINKY 7/6/2011 11:38AM

    You're going to love this next chapter! Enjoy your day!

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MADYANKEE 7/6/2011 11:38AM

    Yes there are new opportunities, I semi-retired in 3 years ago, and retired this March. It almost seems as if in some ways I am busier than before. Watch out though, because I have run into a great deal of well you are retired and not doing anything. Keep some time for yourself.
You look familiarly to me, Only In my head you have darker not dark hair. I remember the eyes and the smile. Your either look very much like someone I knew or We have met before. I am from the Northeast but have live many places. I also remember a very upbeat person with a voice to match. Very Happy.

Ok enough. enjoy the rest of your life, it will be full of surprises.

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Knowledge is Comfort

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

For the first time I reset my SparkPeople articles recently. I had read everything except a few gardening articles about things I knew I would never grow. I was thinking that now I've read the SparkPeople library of articles that on second read I may get more out of them.

After the reset the first place I went was to the "Maintaining Your New Weight" center. I've now read six articles about maintenance. It all made sense to me. I was surprised that there was nothing I disagreed with; nothing that was different in my experience. Part of me was hoping for some great revelation that would make it all easier. I didn't find that. But I did find a certain comfort that I know what to do.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNABRIGHT 7/6/2011 7:51AM

    Awesome feeling, huh?

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    Good for you for hangin gin there and keeping on keeping on! Best of luck with your maintenance.

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WATERMELLEN 7/5/2011 9:28PM

    No article about how easy peasy it is to maintain?? How fair is that???

Oh well. Oh well. Oh well.

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ANNIEONLI 7/5/2011 7:25PM

    Knowledge is power!! Glad to hear that you are doing AOK and Sparkin'! emoticon

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JOYINKY 7/5/2011 7:16PM

    Ahhhh, comfort in the knowledge that there is no easy way! Yes, I agree with Raylin; you are knowing AND doing! Congratulations!

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PENNYAN45 7/5/2011 2:58PM

    Congratulations on being a maintainer!


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FROSTY99 7/5/2011 2:47PM

    Isn't it amazing you can get something every time you read an article-knowledge is power and it sounds like you are making the most of your knowledge.

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    I can relate - knowing and doing - not the same thing - you are knowing AND doing!

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Monday, July 04, 2011

One of the many great things about keeping Natalie, my 4 year old granddaughter, is that I get extra time outside. Left to my own devices, I often think that 90+ degrees is just too hot and I stay in the A/C. But Natalie hardly minds the heat, and she gets me outside to enjoy the butterflies and birds, the lizards and the beetles, the wild flowers and the ones we cultivate. I find the bright sun and the shade each have their own virtues. The sky is constantly changing with blues and greys and silver that I simply miss when I stay in. The sunset pink, purples, and golden hues often display without me noticing. There is something so right, so beautiful, comforting, even healing, about nature. So glad that on this Independence Day that Natalie reminded me to enjoy the beauty of our land.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 7/8/2011 9:05AM

    Well my dogs get me outside they are wonderful

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TBRANCH2 7/6/2011 8:46PM

    Good for you! I have two four-legged "Natalies" that demand to go out and "play" every morning and evening so, I am in total understanding in the beauty that we miss while indoors.

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    Hurray for Natalie! I love it outside and it's great to see the things God gave us to enjoy! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/4/2011 10:40PM

    Natalie sounds like a lovely little girl: and she'll always remember her special times with her grandmother!!

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_LINDA 7/4/2011 8:13PM

    A child's innocence will always keep you young! Nothing like taking in your surroundings of the awesome mother nature! I have my Mom to thank for my love of the great outdoors, or I too might be a shut in, staying away from the excessive temperatures, bugs and other such nuisances and missing all the beauty there is out there!
Enjoy your Independence Day celebrations!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYINKY 7/4/2011 8:01PM

    Sounds wonderful!

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    Natalie is a true blessing to you!

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-PAULA 7/4/2011 6:03PM

    Oh, the wonders of nature. Thanks for this beautiful blog about the beauty of our universe. So good you get this reminder from your granddaughter.

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Housework: Help or Hindrance?

Sunday, July 03, 2011

There was a time, several years and decades of pounds ago, when it was hard for me to keep my house clean. I was slow and tired. The effort just took a great deal out of me. I hated cleaning and I hated the mess and I hated the dirt. And I'd never imagined when I was growing up that I would have all this housework to do. I don't know who I thought was going to do it, but my vision of my grown up self did not include housework.

Then I lost some weight and got fitter. My favorite activities were walking and Walk Away the Pounds. I thought of my house and neighborhood as the place for me to be active and improve my fitness. I read that the average housewife burned 50,000 calories per year cleaning house and I thought I had to be actively cleaning at least average. Let's see now. 50,000 divided by 3,500 equals 14 pounds per year. So, I came to think of housework as part of my fitness program.

Then I got fitter. I joined a gym. I started running. Now, once again, housework is not so attractive. There are times I want to run or strength train or bike or swim or Zumba and I need to clean house and do laundry. Darn. In case the reader is one who can count housecleaning as cardio, let me assure you my heart rate does not get anywhere near my target rate even when I do my best to sweep fast or scrub hard. So I still appreciate that housework burns some calories and reduces my sitting time, but sometimes I would be burning more calories and getting even fitter if I didn't have so many mundane tasks demanding my attention.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEVELPATHS 1/2/2013 8:32AM

    Good blog! :-)

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DONNABRIGHT 7/4/2011 9:31AM

    I've always been torn on whether housework should count or not as cardio. There are times when I really go at it but they are extremely rare these days. With just the two of us it is fairly easy to keep clean and we do share most tasks so I have stopped counting it and I also no longer count gardening unless it is heavy raking or something like that.
emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 7/3/2011 3:24PM

    I am with you there. Housework is NOT cardio, it doesn't get the HR up high enough..People shouldn't be counting it as such because its considered normal daily activity counted in your basal metabolic rate. Would that we could all afford maid service so we can all enjoy the important things in life!!

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon
we sure are on the same track!

you gotta run when the weather is good for running!
clean when the weather stinks, lol, unless Zumba is calling!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 7/3/2011 2:44PM

    I understand from my hubby that when I used to be able to clean our house, I would be a cyclone. When I was done, I would be dripping with sweat and my clothes would be wringing wet. Granted, the house sparkled but I guess never realized how hard I went at it until I over heard him describing me. It was embarrassing! I used to go from thing to thing to thing. I could go on for hours at a time until I dropped. That's probably why I'm not allowed to do it any more! LOL

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JOYINKY 7/3/2011 12:57PM

    When I really dig in, as I'm about to do soon, nonstop; I count it as cardio. If it doesn't help my fitness it at least helps my attitude about doing it as it's not a high priority for me either. Daily maintenance level I don't count; it is what it is. Yes, I'd just as soon be doing about anything else; especially if it's outside! Have a great 4th!

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WATERMELLEN 7/3/2011 12:01PM

    I am domestically challenged (to put it kindly) and never ever "want" to clean.

Do laundry, do grocery shopping, do some gardening, keep the kitchen counters wiped etc. And indulge myself with a kind and lovely cleaning helper once a week for the major stuff.

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-PAULA 7/3/2011 12:00PM

    I'm with you there!
Like 5 minute bursts of fitness, I do 5 minute bursts of housework and cooking thoughout my work day to get it over with.

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    I agree with you 100%!!! I tell myself that it counts as cardio, but find my mind turning up its nose because it doesn't do what real cardio does! I guess we just have to do it now and then, don't we? emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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