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Getting Past the Mindset that Scale Number is our Grade in Life

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

"Getting past the mindset that the number on the scale is our grade in life is a life long challenge for some of us," ONEKIDSMOM responded to my blog yesterday. Those words stayed with me all day, kept resurfacing in my thoughts.

You know I was one of those kids -- perhaps you would call us overachievers -- who put way too much emphasis on grades. I sat very still in class, because being still was being good. My parents were both teachers. Getting good grades was almost everything. As my weight went up, I was embarrassed to run. I didn't want anyone to see my fat jiggle. (Oh, I wish Bigger Loser had been popular then!)

But as my weight went up, I studied more and more. That is where I was having success. Success leads to success, just as Chris SparkGuy says. My "streaks" were all those grades on daily and weekly papers, midterms, and finals.

My attempts to lose weight were over and over again dismal failures. Times I had little successes were short lived. I never felt good about eating; I thought I was too fat to eat anything, but just couldn't help myself. I felt awful about the way I looked.

Now my streaks are water, cardio, fruit/veggies, milk servings, healthy breakfast, etc. I feel good about putting healthy food in my body.

But it does sometimes feel like the scale is the report card. But ONEKIDSMOM put it right into perspective. There is so much more to me than the number on the scale. I know it. But I'm still glad I'm back down to 129.2 today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REDGRAMA 2/5/2010 6:22PM

    ONEKIDSMOM & OLDMOM you are both so RIGHT. But the SAD truth is
Ie She/He is a great COOK, she's such a GOOD MOTHER, her house
is always clean, what a GREAT house KEEPER and on,and on it goes
We have COOKING, BAKING, BEAUTY CONTEST ECT. How can WE NOT grade ourselfs and our lives????

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/3/2010 9:28PM

    Wow... I got quoted! . o O (Blushes)

Seriously, continuing the analogy, and making it work for us. You recognize one day's "grade" as a homework grade and then work a little harder so the exam grade is better... works for me.

I always feel confirmed when the prediction, "it will come back off if you just get back on track for a few days" comes true, too!

Good job not giving in! emoticon

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MONTY68 2/3/2010 6:31PM

    I am certainly glad I had found you and added you as a friend, Again, You are amazing. I guess I could read this looking in the mirror and think it was me, including the teacher. emoticon emoticon
I look forward to each day to see what you wrote and today you just decided to take your longest bike ride. Wow!!!!

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AQUAGIRL08 2/3/2010 4:24PM

    I sometimes let the scale have way toooooo much power over me too. On the other hand, it also holds me accountable. The trick is to achieve a balance and to judge your overall success by many factors. When I was growing up there didn't seem to be as many ways to measure your lifestyle success as there are now. I think changing that mindset may take us a while!

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WALKINGANNIE 2/3/2010 3:42PM

    Similar story from me too. I wonder why there's a group of us who have achieved well academically but who have found the concepts involved in managing weight so difficult to translate into physical results. Until now.

One of the main benefits that I'm getting from SP is that I can now understand and apply things that I already knew, or thought I knew, but that I hadn't really 'got'. Exchanging thoughts by blogs and comments has helped to tease out some concepts and ideas. It's just so good to find people who articulate similar feelings and experiences and share the ways in which they are dealing with them.

I thought your blog yesterday was so very sensible - but I share your joy that the scale has shifted again for you.

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TALLTABBY 2/3/2010 2:26PM

  I am the same way. I keep looking at the scale as my report card. I am trying hard not to let it detirmine how I am doing, but its very hard. I think I am going to start scaling back how often I weigh in.

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PO_PAZZA 2/3/2010 2:11PM

    I can identify with every single word of this blog, right down to being that kid in school. Thank you for putting it in print to remind us.


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Innocent Victim

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

"Hi. How are you?" she asked enthusiastically.

I almost said, "131.6," but I knew that wasn't a good answer. "Fine," I mumbled. I was 129.0 yesterday.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"Fluctuations," I said. "You know. My weight is up a couple pounds for no real reason. Well, maybe I didn't measure exact, or ate a bite I forgot to record, or maybe I was over on sodium, or something like that. But nothing major."

"Then you know, you'll be back down in a day or two," she said. "You shouldn't let it throw you."

"I know, I know," I said. "You are 100% right. It's just that it is so discouraging when I've worked so hard. Seeing that number go up when I didn't do anything wrong. Who is in control here? Major injustice. I feel like a convicted criminal who is innocent."

She laughed, "well, at least I don't have to come visit you behind bars."

I laughed, just a bit, too. "I really know this gain isn't anything. Thanks for confirming it for me. Now, are you ready for the bike ride we planned?"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 2/3/2010 4:20PM

    How true! Sometimes we let the scale define our success. It's really hard not to. You've come a long way and accomplished an amazing amount. I know that you'll continue to be successful despite whatever the scale says on any given day!

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PERSISTANT123 2/3/2010 11:04AM

    Loved your blog. It was a voice of experience letting me know that I'm not alone with the weight fluctuations.

It is for this exact reason that I am trying to avoid the scale except when I weigh in once a week.

Thanks! emoticon

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ONTHEGOMO 2/3/2010 10:05AM

    me, too! In spades. Happens all the time. I usually try to figure it out. Like I ate a cup of soup at a restaurant. Or that extra cup of coffee before bed. Or I ate too much a day or two earlier. I suppose it could be all of that. Not, surely, time of month, any more??? lol. I'm several pounds more than you - 134 is good for me and I panic at 137.

Now, granted, once in a while a lower (and supposedly undeserved) weight will show up. When it's too much lower I will get on the scale a second time. Somehow, when it's higher I don't do that.

And, too, when the weight is lower I relax a little. I tell myself I won't do that (but I do). Coming from 184 and sizes where I was overjoyed to be a 10 I SHOULD be just ecstatic all the time. I was sizes 14 - 16, too. And sometimes tight. So I LOVE my taken-in 4's and 2's when I can find them.

I went long periods not wearing pants or slacks or jeans because my hips/legs were too big.

Somehow logic doesn't work in this area for me. At my age, too!!

Keep on keeping on. The only alternative I can see is to quit weighing myself and I WOULD go back to where I came from and probably more.



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ONEKIDSMOM 2/2/2010 8:41PM

    Getting past the mindset that the number on the scale is our grade in life is a life-long challenge for some of us. Looks like your mind is in charge enough to recognize the reasonableness of your friend's statement: "You'll be back down in a day or two."

Hang in and keep maintaining your attitude! emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 2/2/2010 8:01PM

    Yep, those things happen -- but hooray for you, not letting it get you down and pulling you toward unhealthy choices. Keep up your good work!!

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JOHAL52 2/2/2010 6:09PM

    Measure yourself. See if you have gained any inches. In the grand scheme of things that's all that you and everyone else "sees"--the weight is just a general measurement.

emoticon Val

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MONTY68 2/2/2010 5:00PM

    Brilliant, That's one of the things I admire about you. Logically and I don't have an answer is that in order for you to actually gain 2.6 pounds in one day you would have consumed 8700 calories over what you need. Impossible !!!! so it must be one of those things that have no real meaning. I have weighed myself before I went to bed and maybe 4-5-6 pounds heavier then my AM reading and then wake up and it's gone. Where did it go? The jury is out and you have been found not guilty.
I hope you had a good bike ride.


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WALKINGANNIE 2/2/2010 4:21PM

    Now that surely is the voice of Experience.

This is the proper healthy-lifestyle-and-not-a-diet attitude.

You've got this malarkey cracked!

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JANNIEWANNIE 2/2/2010 4:09PM

    It is all really just a process with inherent ups and downs. We can do the best we can, but the results really are not in our control. Best thing you can do is go on your walk. Hope you are having a great day. Hugs from J

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People on a Diet vs. People Pursuing a Healthy Lifestyle

Monday, February 01, 2010

Page xv of The Spark, paraphrased in my words: People on a Diet Lose Weight; People who Follow a Healthy Lifestyle achieve lasting weight loss, improved fitness, better health, and -- what I wrote about 2 days ago -- the higher level of happiness.

Focusing on the positive is one of the keys to the healthy lifestyle. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies (I am averaging about 8 servings daily now), eating a healthy breakfast, drinking water, getting in at least 2 teaspoons of healthy oil (that one I got from Weight Watchers), getting in 3 servings of milk a day, and enough lean protein are all positive steps I try to take each day. When I include 2 T to 1/4 cup of unsalted nuts I know I've done a good thing for me. When I decide to indulge in a moderate portion of a treat -- and enjoy every morsel and stop -- I know I have done well. I try to listen to my hunger. If I am truly hungry, I eat.

I used to be a dieter all focused on what I couldn't have. I thought that hunger was my friend. But I've found even if I can endure hunger for a while, it will tempt me into overdoing at some point. It just amazes me every day that I don't have to be hungry to be a normal weight. When I nourish my body and pursue a healthy lifestyle, life is so much better. There really isn't anything I can't have in moderation, but I've come to really enjoy -- at least 95% of the time -- eating healthy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REDGRAMA 2/2/2010 1:32AM

    Your comments are ALWAys RIGHT ON THE MARK. You a WRITERS talent
You make a good journalist. Your BLOGS ARE ALWAYS A PLEASURE
TO READ. Thank you for taking the time to make things so clear to the rest of us.
Hugs, Nancy M.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 2/1/2010 6:05PM

    You are absolutely right! Mindful eating is the key to hunger control. Way to go!

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PEGGYANNSCH 2/1/2010 4:26PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 2/1/2010 12:39PM

    Wise words as ever. I agree with all that you've said although I'm still trying to come to terms with an 'all or nothing' approach. I am allowing myself 'calculated treats' now but finding that they're not nearly as enticing as I'd remembered!

Your blogs are very reinforcing and I'm grateful that you keep sharing your observations. Thanks again.

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MONTY68 2/1/2010 12:32PM

    Very good blog, in fact your page is filled with excitement and positive ideas. The statement of those who diet gain it back is correct, I know , been there done that until I reached the age of 67 and said enough is enough. Changed my attitude and learned how to eat properly. that was 2 1/2 years ago. Your positive attitude on life and healthy lifestyle should be inspiring to those that are just starting their new way of life. Your blog absolutely mirrors what you have accomplished. I am glad I found your blog today. Keep writing and keep motivating those that need it. Thank you for sharing.

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Wow, Do I Feel Great!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I just got back from a 15 minute bike ride in my neighborhood in the crisp air. That would not be so remarkable, except (drum roll here) my husband went with me! It was the first time we have done any activity together for many years. I certainly hope it won't be the last.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TSISQUAUSDI 1/31/2010 9:34PM

    You are so inspiring, and your happiness is contagious - Thank you!

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JOHAL52 1/31/2010 6:35PM

    That sounds wonderful!!

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PO_PAZZA 1/31/2010 6:20PM

    I loved reading that you and your spouse rode bikes together. We need to do more of that, too, because it's fun when we do. My husband likes to do a two-mile very fast walk up and down our hilly road 3 times a week. I don't enjoy running to keep up with him or jumping into ditches when cars speed by so I do most of my workout at the gym or on the beach with a friend. It's always a treat, though, when he and I find something we enjoy together (backpacking or country trail walking). Too far between sessions, though.

I could picture you, rosy cheeks and big smile as you savored the ride.


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REDGRAMA 1/31/2010 6:06PM

    Congratulation on ALL that you have accomplished.
emoticon emoticonfor getting your hubby to go with you.

Hugs, Nancy M.

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ONEKIDSMOM 1/31/2010 4:20PM

    emoticon Good for you! And good for him... glad he's being inspired and joining in the fun.

emoticon emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 1/31/2010 2:23PM


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WALKINGANNIE 1/31/2010 1:45PM

    Sound like a lovely thing to do.

I'm sure that you must be elated about completing Boot Camp as well - and rightly so.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/31/2010 12:23PM

    How wonderful! More fun is in-store, I'm sure. Good for you both!

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AMBUDMAN 1/31/2010 12:19PM

    Sounds like fun. I have been thinking of getting a real bike, my recumbent is just not the same.

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People are Nourished by People as Much as by Food

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"people are nourished by each other as much as by food." - The Spark, page xi

In my day to day life I rarely meet someone who understands, or at least someone who understands and talks about, their struggles with food. When I go to my WW meetings and when I come to the SparkPeople boards I meet people who understand.

Even more wonderful, at SP there are whole groups of us who have -- at least for now -- conquered the fat. We want to keep it that way. If I lived my life day by day I might never meet another person who would talk about losing weight and keeping it off. As I often say, it isn't easy, but it is worth it.

It helps so much to know I'm not alone. Thank you so much for being there for me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTSUSIEYET 1/31/2010 11:03PM

    Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog. I'm proud to 'know' another gal in the same age range who has met her goal and is striving to maintain the loss and improve overall health! Imagine your days are very full with your dear little grand-daughter! I had my 2.5 yr old and 5 yr old grandkids this weekend, and I find it much harder to work in exercise when they're here. Keep up your good work, and thanks for being an encouragement to so many! emoticon

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PO_PAZZA 1/31/2010 6:22PM

    Thank YOU, dear one. It has been a joy to find someone of like mind in the same stage of the process. I hope you don't mind being held up as a role model.


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PEGGYANNSCH 1/31/2010 8:23AM

    how true

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AQUAGIRL08 1/31/2010 6:00AM

    How true! I couldn't have any measure of success without my support community (of which you are a major part!).

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FRAN0426 1/30/2010 4:55PM

    What a wonderful blog and oh so true. Sparkspeople has made so many sparkers friends to help one another,and there when one reachs a tough patch in this journey.

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WALKINGANNIE 1/30/2010 1:57PM

    Agree with you totally. I don't know of anywhere else where such fantastic support is available for people trying to maintain. I've learnt so much from and about other people - and about myself because of other people's wisdom and experience.

You are one of the people whose words and deeds inspire me, so many thanks to you and BIG CONGRATULATIONS ON FINISHING BOOT CAMP!!!!

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REDGRAMA 1/30/2010 1:16PM

    As USUAL dear team member Great BLOG. GREAT TRUTH.
Hugs, Nancy M.
emoticon emoticon

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JOHAL52 1/30/2010 11:28AM

    SP helps to remind me to stay with it because I read about so many people who are moving forward, some fast, some slow. And when I hit a rough patch, I know I am not the only person who has gone through something like that. But we still make it through if we keep connected and keep focused on the goals we've written here.

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/30/2010 11:08AM

    I totally agree that being here with others who understand is invaluable for me and my progress. Have a wonderful day.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 1/30/2010 11:04AM

    ...and thank you for being here for me too!

It does help knowing we are not alone! Food addiction is the toughest to break because we cannot survive without food.

Love you,

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AMBUDMAN 1/30/2010 10:55AM

    I have found since I joined Spark People I talk to more people about eating healthy and taking care of yourself. The more we can interact with other people the more we can make a difference.

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JUSTFOXXY 1/30/2010 9:37AM

    How true! I know that I draw energy from people which is why I try to stay around positive folks. It helps me mentally. emoticon

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