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Clothing and Maintenance

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I'm reviewing blogs from my first year of SparkPeople, my time of achieving a weight I didn't think was possible for me, over 80 pounds below my 1999 high.

In mid-November I wrote two blogs about clothing:
1. My 2X clothes allowed me to gain or lose more than 15 pounds without changing sizes; my size 4's require I stay in about a 5 pound morning maintenance range. Still true.
2. One of my WW friends blames elastic waists for a significant part of America's weight problem. One SparkFriend responded that Dr. Phil said sweat pants are threatening to marriages as you can gain without realizing. I rarely wear elastic waists now and rarely have ever worn sweat pants.

Clothes were a big part of my maintenance effort. I got to know and accept my new body by shopping. Each Saturday after WW free weigh in I felt like I had at least as much as a WW meeting costs to spend on me. I spent a long time on most Saturdays trying on clothes and developing a new sense of style. I usually bought one item on very good sale. It took me months and months before I finally said I have a complete wardrobe at my new size.

I also enjoyed taking my bigger clothes to the thrift store that supports the non-profit literacy and basic needs agency I used to run. It was a very good feeling to be free of those clothes, but to let them go to someone who would benefit from a real bargain, and support an important effort.

I did post a picture of me in shorts and a bicycle helmet and a kind of dressy shirt some time back. One SparkFriend called me on the glamour shirt with the cycling outfit. Okay, that is funny. For a while I felt like I wanted to wear figure-revealing clothes all the time. Now I'm quite content to wear whatever is appropriate. Yesterday I wore really loose-fitting running clothes and noticed how comfortable they were!!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 1/14/2014 4:00PM

    As I lose, I am finding that I am starting to enjoy shopping more too. I have to be careful not to purchase too many new clothes because I am shrinking and clothes are expensive. Still, a great outfit can really lift the mood!

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TAICHIDANCER 1/13/2014 9:00AM

    I'm going through a similar process. When I was morbidly obese, everything had to be baggy. No - even though I'm not at goal yet - I have lost enough weight, and have been lifting weights long enough that I am learning to love my body and I am slowly shifting not only to smaller clothes but to clothes that have a more form fitting cut.

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CELIAMINER 1/13/2014 8:28AM

    When I got to my goal weight, I pretty much followed your pattern of shopping for form-fitting clothes to show that my tummy was much flatter than it used to be and that my arms had definition. Now, I pretty much live in my Lucy Everyday Yoga Pants, because they are so comfortable and nice looking. They are the only "forgiving" pants I have now, since I got rid of all my baggy sweat pants, but I do still wear sweatshirts.

Oh, and I do plan to get a runner's tutu for the Diva's HM in September.
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Comment edited on: 1/13/2014 8:29:26 AM

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NEW-CAZ 1/13/2014 3:01AM

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ALIIDA 1/13/2014 2:46AM

    I'm about the same age and height with about 16 lbs to lose. I know I can get there, but I'm afraid of not being able to maintain. Your story tells me it's possible. Thank you for being such an inspiration. Your running is awesome, too! And I just love your clothes and taste in colors.
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Comment edited on: 1/13/2014 2:51:41 AM

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JOYINKY 1/12/2014 11:21PM

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PHEBESS 1/12/2014 11:08PM

    I think clothes in smaller sizes are the best rewards ever!!!!

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ROCKYCPA 1/12/2014 10:48PM

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PEANUTSDOG17 1/12/2014 10:36PM

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TRAVELGRRL 1/12/2014 10:29PM

    One of the happiest days of my life was giving away the size 16 elastic waist pants! I swear I'll never need to wear them again. Congratulations on being a size 4. That's awesome!

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WATERMELLEN 1/12/2014 10:18PM

    Like you, I find clothes really help me maintain . . . although I'm never likely to fit into a size 4!!

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EDDYMEESE 1/12/2014 9:59PM

    I also agree with a lot of what you said...my "fat" clothes allow me to gain and lose 15-20 pounds but when I was at my lowest, I not only couldn't allow myself to gain, but the way my clothes fit was how I gauged when I needed to be "good" again..

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GRANDMABABA 1/12/2014 9:16PM

    I so agree with the elastic waist comment. I wear stretchy things to work out, but wear fitted waists most other times for that reason. I want to know if things begin to be snug so I don't get caught off guard.

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MONANISA 1/12/2014 8:58PM

    I agree the non elastic is the way to go!
Buying clothes at discount stores as I approached goal weight made me feel great and recommit each week.

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MJREIMERS 1/12/2014 7:44PM

    Oh, you are so right about everything in this blog! I don't wear sweats, but I do wear yoga pants that don't have a tie at the waist. If you gain, you definitely see it as well as in my running pants!

Keep up the great work!

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MSLZZY 1/12/2014 7:38PM

    Sweat pants are for sleeping only. I wear fitted jeans and dress pants and I can always tell when I've gained.

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BOOKAPHILE 1/12/2014 6:26PM

    I'm still in the space where I want to wear figure revealing clothes. (covered, but shapely.) You've done so well with your maintenance! Thanks for blazing the way.

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GABY1948 1/12/2014 5:36PM

    I SO agree about the elastic waists on clothes. I NEVER buy them. It IS too easy to not realize something is tight until it is too late!

Marahs, I am SO proud of you! You deserve every moment of glory you get. When I am FINALLY on maintenance and MAINTAINING well like you are then I will too!

God Bless you and thank you for being SUCH an inspiration to so many of us with your beautiful smile! emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 1/12/2014 5:12PM

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No Longer Afraid

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I'm reviewing my blogs from 2009 to look for lessons I need to relearn and to celebrate those areas in which I've improved. I may end up identifying some ongoing issues, areas in which I still need to improve. As I approach the 5 year milestone of maintaining nearly an 80 pound weight loss, I'm not near as afraid of gaining it all back as I was 4 years ago. I didn't lose it overnight and I won't wake up fat tomorrow; I know I won't gain it back overnight either. I have had many, many slips and times when I ate more than I need. At times I could have made better choices, although portions are a bigger issue for me now than trigger foods and cravings.

Here's a rerun of my November 11, 2009 blog:
"My husband does the grocery shopping and I do the cooking. He started shopping probably six months after I began losing weight and eating healthier because I wasn't getting him the things he wanted. Right now his chips and potato salad are not tempting me. Even the leftover Halloween candy is not bothering me right now. A year ago it would have kept calling my name, but I'm comfortable co-existing right now.

"Whenever Gary buys things that are not that healthy, I use a little and add things I need. When he wanted to split a can of Chunky Campbell's soup this week, I gave him 3/4's of it. To my 1/4 I added fresh green beans and organic low sodium black beans. If I had split the can with him I would have been way over on sodium that day. For now, we are both happy with this arrangement."

Current day, it basically still works, although I don't hesitate to have a boca burger and canned low sodium tomatoes with some oregano/basil/thyme on my whole wheat pasta when he's having frozen meatballs and Ragu sauce on his along with Cheesy Texas toast. He might take a couple bites of the salad, while I'll have a big bowl. It works for us!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 1/12/2014 10:21PM

    DH and I seldom choose the same foods -- when I ate what he can eat I weighted 230 pounds -- but we've learned a way to co-exist peaceably.

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MSLZZY 1/12/2014 4:46PM

    Whatever works but you seem to have reached a friendly compromise.

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GABY1948 1/12/2014 9:17AM

    Excellent ideas...and John and I co-exist the same ways with things that are "different" for us! He has always been what I call a "normal" eater and me, not so much...if ever!

As ALWAYS, Marsha, emoticon and emoticon blog!

Thanks and have a wonderful Sunday!

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MAUREENIE1 1/12/2014 5:13AM

    Thank you for the good ideas!

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TIME4CARRI 1/12/2014 2:06AM

    Sounds like a beautiful marriage! emoticon

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_LINDA 1/11/2014 11:23PM

    A common theme here -spouse eats anything they want while their loved one is trying to lose weight -you have got it figured out so you can live in harmony and still maintain!
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GRANDMABABA 1/11/2014 10:00PM

    Awesome!

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MEXGAL1 1/11/2014 9:52PM

    right on!

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DJ4HEALTH 1/11/2014 9:31PM

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NATPLUMMER 1/11/2014 7:52PM

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TRAVELGRRL 1/11/2014 7:36PM

    Too bad for him.

My husband's come along on the culinary journey with me, and eats the dinner I prepare. However he does have a stash of extras -- ice cream, donuts, Pringles -- that thankfully don't tempt me in the least.

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HDHAWK 1/11/2014 6:30PM

    Good ideas for the food. My husband does a lot of the cooking and brings lots of junk into the house. He never seems to need to lose weight even while eating junk. You've got a good system going!

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TAICHIDANCER 1/11/2014 3:19PM

    I'm a so glad you are revisiting your blogs and sharing the lessons learned. You have done what so few people have done: to lose a big chunk of weight and keep it off. The rest of us need to listen to what worked and what didn't for you. So, thanks.

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JOYINKY 1/11/2014 2:56PM

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BOILHAM 1/11/2014 2:17PM

    Good resistance to temptation. Good for you. I totally understand. My loving DW had a very hard time stopping spoiling me when i got real serious about diet. She'd continue to buy me the sweets and goodies I love. We talked about it, and i still ate some in moderation. She has gotten so much better now. She occasionally will ask me if I want any beer. LOL. Because I sometimes use beer as a reward to myself.
Keep up the good work!

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ROCKLAND2010 1/11/2014 1:49PM

    Thanks for sharing! What a great idea to look back and reconfirm lessons learned.
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BOOKAPHILE 1/11/2014 1:46PM

    Yep. My DH doesn't really eat the way I do, either. But we get along well. He usually likes high sodium things that I don't like. If he has a candy I DO like, he graciously keeps it hidden. If I don't see it, I'm not tortured by it...even if I know it's around somewhere!

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MNNICE 1/11/2014 1:32PM

    It works for us, too. Hubby is very good about getting at the store what I put on the list, as far as healthy versions. There are many things he's switched to that are "my" foods, but some he still prefers the less healthy versions. He prefers lasagna with ground turkey and whole wheat noodles, but doesn't like the whole wheat spaghetti. Small changes for him and learning moderation for me.

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AQUAGIRL08 1/11/2014 1:22PM

    I can't tell you how helpful it is to me to read your blogs and see that you had slip ups and still managed to achieve your goals. That really inspires me and keeps me from quitting when I feel low about my lack of progress! Together we achieve more!

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NEW-CAZ 1/11/2014 12:51PM

    DH and I have different meals most days, although both healthy I ADORE raw veg/salads even in winter while h favours veg laden casseroles ( too heavy for me).
But Sunday we both tuck into a traditional roast.
He still chomps on treats in "his cupboard" which I avoid like the plague LOL

Remember you're keeping yourself healthy Marsha, as WALLINMW says stay motivated! emoticon

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BLUENOSE63 1/11/2014 12:29PM

  I think one of the biggest struggle that people have in your situation is how to co-exist with a mate who eats whatever they want....all the tempting foods ie. potato chips, sauces on foods etc. Good for you for figuring it out.

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WALLINMW 1/11/2014 12:24PM

  Stay motivated!

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Pictures as Motivators and Moderation in Tracking

Friday, January 10, 2014

On Nov 10, 2009, my daughter took some "after" pictures of me by our bougainvilla which was in full bloom in our front yard. These were my first after pictures and I titled one, "Skinny Me," posted it to my SparkPage and changed my profile picture. I felt proud; it was a good, motivating activity. I had lost 77 pounds total. At the time I could not find any before pictures, but I guess I didn't look hard enough. Eventually I found a bunch and learned how to scan them. I still find "skinny" pictures motivating.

Back in Nov '09 I was about driving myself crazy trying to hit all 75 nutrients I was tracking on SP. By a year later I tracked calories, carbs, protein, fat, fiber, sodium, and calcium. I ate a variety of fruits and veggies every day (still do) and quit worrying so much about all the vitamins and minerals. On days it didn't put me over on calcium, I took a multi-vitamin. (With my history of calcium siliate kidney stones I do not need too much calcium.) Tracking is really fairly rough estimates anyway. A SparkPeople staff RD answered my question on the "Get Help Here" message board and pointed out that many of the nutrients I worried about (like manganese) are not listed on labels and probably are not reflected on many of the foods in the SP database. Perhaps going back to tracking everything for a month some time this year might be a good strategy to see if there are trends I should be aware of and consider.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 1/11/2014 12:19AM

    Another thing to find moderation in. I never tracked much beyond the basic nutrients, but trying to keep in those ratios was hard enough, can't imagine doing all those extras!
You have certainly learned great lessons in your journey!

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MSLZZY 1/10/2014 10:02PM

    I try to track those things that are most important and not stress about the rest. Sometimes you can focus on too many things and that isn't good either. You have done great!

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JOYINKY 1/10/2014 8:50PM

    No mindless eating is my motto. My tracking is kinda loose, but works for me. I do know what I eat each day.

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AQUAGIRL08 1/10/2014 8:08PM

    I track certain foods every day. I need to start tracking everything again. Keep up the good work!

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TAICHIDANCER 1/10/2014 6:56PM

    I track calories, the ratio of fats to protein to carbs, fiber and sodium. I take a multi-vitamin and eat tons of veggies and fruits. That's about it for me. You continue to inspire me not only by your weight loss, but by your maintenance as well.

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GABY1948 1/10/2014 5:02PM

    I am a personality like yours but I won't let myself be in this. I take the supplements my doctor tells me to and don't worry about the rest. But if I had a problem with Calcium I would be very careful too. You are doing so GREAT you must be doing something RIGHT! Keep it up!
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Gaye

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DONNABRIGHT 1/10/2014 3:07PM

    I track the basics and find it is enough to keep up with.

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NATPLUMMER 1/10/2014 1:32PM

    I do like to keep an eye on calories, carbs, protein, fat, fiber, sodium, and calcium.

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MIRAGE727 1/10/2014 12:16PM

    I believe there's a delicate balance to all things in life. I am passionate about every single thing I do in life. Sometimes that blurs my vision, physically and mentally. It's important for me to focus on that. I also put undue stress where it's really not needed. Stay strong, stay focused, and be you!
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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 1/10/2014 12:07PM

    I also tracked everything -- but as a learning exercise to find out where these nutrients really were and to develop meal options that I knew would give me what I needed. I thought of it as learning how to budget my calories, i.e. what foods really gave me the best, total nutrition. I would enter my food plan for the day every morning to see where I needed to adjust. When it got to the point that I almost never needed to make a single change, I figured I had truly learned how to eat a balanced, healthy diet. I occasionally spot check myself, but I no longer feel the need to track in this detailed manner.

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NEW-CAZ 1/10/2014 11:43AM

    I used to track EVERY nutrient too Marsha, but I guess now I KNOW what foods are good and suit me and what puts a spanner in the works- so I am not so worried.

As long as I feel fit, energetic and healthy I guess that's enough for me now......well that and getting good numbers on my annual health check up (which I did!)

Have a great weekend hun emoticon

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Looking Back: Weight, Exercise, Eating Out

Thursday, January 09, 2014

My Weight Watcher card they gave me when they went on compute verifies what I remember. When I started with SparkPeople on 9/2/09 I weighed 145.4 at WW; by the end of October I was down to 137.2. Even though I came to SP for maintenance, I found that I could lose more and liked it! The SparkPeople nutrition tracker and articles gave me a big boost. I quit eating so many diet foods (fat free cheese, fat free mayo, fat free sour cream, Weight Watcher treats, reduced-calorie breads) and focused on the SP Super Foods.

I also started strength training seriously, and for the first time made sure I took a recovery day in order to build strength. And I increased my cardio dramatically, partly because I read it helped, and partly because I became almost obsessed with getting SparkPoints!

My blog on Nov 9, 2009, was about going out to eat. I commented that I had become comfortable with estimating WW points at restaurants, but I didn't have a clue how to count all the 75 nutrients I was tracking on SP when nutritional info was unavailable. I ordered blackened redfish without the sauce and a double order of seasonal vegetables and felt good about it the next day, even if I couldn't say how many vitamins and minerals were in it.

What lessons are there for me here?
*Maybe just for nostalgia creating some of those "go-to" foods I originally lost weight on would be fun. But overall, I eat better now.

*I need to get back into regular strength training. I've been fairly hit and miss, with injuries being sometimes a reason and sometimes an excuse. Even if you have a sore glute AND a sore hand you can still do core exercises, for example.

*I realize I've greatly increased the intensity of my cardio workouts now that I'm running regularly, but I also realize I've cut way back on the length of my workouts. I'm going to spend more time in enjoyable cardio in between running days.

*I no longer fear eating out in restaurants, but I prefer to eat at home where it is easier to eat healthy.

*SparkPoints don't motivate me so much any more, but that is perfectly okay!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 1/10/2014 8:05PM

    I prefer eating at home too. I can control my sodium better that way. :)

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TINAJANE76 1/10/2014 11:56AM

    I've experienced lots of the same shifts that you've described too and think that they're indicators of just how far we've come in really shifting to permanent, healthy lifestyles. It's not about dieting and total restriction, but about happily living with our healthier choices. And you're doing a great job of that!

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NATPLUMMER 1/10/2014 11:13AM

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MEXGAL1 1/10/2014 10:10AM

    I loved your line...Sparks points don't motivate me anymore"

I still like my sparks points and get as many as I can each day...just a fun hobby for me.
Have a terrific day Marsha.
Sallie

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BABYSTEPS123 1/10/2014 7:13AM

    I love read your reflections and re-evaluations! Makes me think I need to write more about my experiences so I can learn from them. Thanks for sharing!

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NEW-CAZ 1/10/2014 2:46AM

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MSLZZY 1/9/2014 10:59PM

    Through the years, you have learned what works and what doesn't and how to adjust. Keep on SParking and do what feels good. And only you know that will be.

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RUN4FOOD 1/9/2014 9:53PM

    Sounds like you are maturing in your health activities. Your running and weight have been great. Hope you can keep that up for yourself.

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JOYINKY 1/9/2014 9:44PM

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SUSANNAH31 1/9/2014 9:25PM

    What a great idea, to look back at your own blogs - and compare them to how you are doing now. It helps us to remember those lessons we learned along the way - that we may no longer think about.

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RUNNERRACHEL 1/9/2014 9:13PM

    I originally came to SP for motivation to not slide back into bad habits after weight lost. I started to love fitness from SP articles, blogs, member stories and got into running! Love that we all came for different reasons but have all found great tools, inspiration, motivation and support! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 1/9/2014 8:20PM

    When I look back (and you are inspiring me to think about where I started) it's true that I lost weigh with "diet foods" but now to a much greater extent I eat "super foods". Real food, not manufactured diet versions of not so healthy stuff.

It's genuinely become a way of life for me too.

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BLUENOSE63 1/9/2014 8:14PM

  Get that sore GLUT on a foam roller! Marsha, I know you have one like every other distance runner I know.

I think you do a great job on SP and as for the points, just think of SP like the bar in CHEERS -- where everyone knows your name!

Bluenose63

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ME_B4_INSANITY 1/9/2014 7:00PM

    You stay active in the community, and when you find a few pounds creep up, all your recipes, trackers and Spark family will be here for support. But what you have accomplished, is truly made a healthy LIFESTYLE so second nature you don't even have to think about it. But by looking back you are realizing where you have been and where you are going, you are inspirational.

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GABY1948 1/9/2014 6:53PM

    I am loving these blogs of yours, Marsha! It helps me to see what you did and where you have been. I have never had a problem eating out....always actually found it easier...but I don't like to cook because I never had anyone to teach me.

After reading this, I also realized that I have been hit or miss on the strength training...so your blogs are VERY good for me, Marsha! emoticon

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DIANNEMT 1/9/2014 6:17PM

    I am still a sucker for Spark points! Wish I could catch the running bug--I do it because I should, not because I love it. But I'd love to lose a bit more--so cardio is likely the way for me to go. You have done a GREAT job!!

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Blog About Life!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

I love what JOYINKY had to say in response to my query about blog relevance, those "off topic" or not specifically about eating and fitness. What I took from her comment is that everything we do to enjoy life is putting food in proper perspective. A healthy lifestyle involves all of life. So blogging about our lives and our projects is not off topic! I feel free to keep on blogging even (am I dreaming?) when eating right and staying active becomes second nature to me.

To continue the review of my old blogs:
11/1/2009 - Double Pleasure Walk told of a friend I've known over 30 years. We walked in her neighborhood, a beautiful spot with canopy oaks near a lake with many birds. I remember the time we saw an eagle fly into the tree above us. That reminds me. I should call this friend. Haven't seen her much recently.

11/2 and 11/3 - Marvelous Monday and Terrific Tuesday told about activities with Natalie. She was just 2 years old and we did things like Hokey Pokey, Ring Around the Rosy, and chasing bubbles. She'll be 7 next month and now loves gymnastics. Her little sister is 3 and we do some of those games when Natalie is in school now. I should enjoy these activities as the time will pass shortly ---

11/4/2009's blog pointed out that as a kid I never wanted to run, dance, or move much because I was embarrassed for people to see my fat jiggle. I recognized that I no longer had the embarrassment and didn't even have much fat to jiggle any more!

Every blog had at least one comment. Every comment was positive and a jewel to keep me blogging and focused on success! Again, thanks, SparkFriends.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 1/9/2014 4:07PM

    Yup, this journey is about all of life -- and it's great to see your exuberance and commitment in every area of yours.

Plus I get to enjoy your grandgirls vicariously, right?

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DNRAE1 1/9/2014 3:06PM

    Wonderful blog! Joyful memories help us in all sorts of ways. There are also learning memories from mistakes or mistaken ideas that help us grow! Keep on blogging on whatever you want!!!!

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DONNABRIGHT 1/9/2014 1:38PM

    Blogging about other stuff keeps us in balance and not so focused on food - that is a very good thing!

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AQUAGIRL08 1/9/2014 9:52AM

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring stories with us!

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TERI-RIFIC 1/9/2014 9:11AM

    emoticon focusing ONLY on weight is a sure way to doom yourself.

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RUNNERRACHEL 1/8/2014 10:55PM

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BOOKAPHILE 1/8/2014 9:18PM

    I'm loving how you see growth from where you were as well as reminders to do some things today you might not otherwise have thought about. This is a bit reminiscent of ONEKIDSMOM's comparing her answers to questions today with those of 2 years ago. Growth is apparent.

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MSLZZY 1/8/2014 5:06PM

    That is what is the most fun about looking back-all the great support. Just think of all the lives you have touched and those who have touched you during the years. HUGS!

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GABY1948 1/8/2014 3:59PM

    I think MOST of us can relate to so many of your statements in your blogs! You sure brought some things up in my life that I had not thought about for a LONG time! emoticon emoticon

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ME_B4_INSANITY 1/8/2014 12:33PM

    Our journey is about where we come from, it's amazing to look back on where you come from.

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PEGGY11 1/8/2014 11:31AM

    Everything we experience impacts our feelings and that influences our food intake and exercise. They are inseparable. emoticon

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_LINDA 1/8/2014 11:29AM

    Every little thing we do, experience and think affects our lifestyle choices. So its all relevant. Personally, I would like to hear more of my Spark friend's personal lives rather then just their struggles with the scale. Its nice to get to know you!

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LAILATN 1/8/2014 11:07AM

    How great to revisit those good memories - I do that with my paper journals once in a while. You're right - these blogs should include more than just weight loss/maintenance. Our lives are so much more!

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TRAVELGRRL 1/8/2014 10:58AM

    I too have been a member of Spark since 2009 and I'm sure would be amazed at what I blogged about if I were to go back! I'm enjoying your reviews!!!

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JOYINKY 1/8/2014 10:44AM

    emoticon When I was a kid, entering double digits, I didn't want to try new things because I didn't want to look like "a beginner"! Silly now, but it wasn't to me then. Love being older and wiser! Quirky even, when I'm out in the yard hooping with the neighbors trying "not" to watch! Smiles.

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MEXGAL1 1/8/2014 10:42AM

    I think this is such a safe place to blog about what ever....it all seems to effect how we feel and what we put into our mouths. I think this is a great place to get things out in the open and helps us make plans and goals.
Have a terrific day Marsha.
Sallie

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NATPLUMMER 1/8/2014 10:22AM

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