SLENDERELLA61   148,402
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An Older Woman's Wonders

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It has crossed my mind a time or two, so maybe I'll just put it out here and see what my SparkFriends have to say. It seems to me that my body is responding to my attempts to build muscle far better than at any time in the past. Do you think this could be related to a reduction of estrogen? Like maybe testosterone increases, or ????

It could just be that with the motivation of SparkPeople I am being more diligent than I have in the past. However, it seems to me that I am getting more results for the effort.

And my hair has gotten curly. I wonder if that is related to estrogen. When I was a child I had curly hair. As a teen and young to mid-age adult, my hair was straight. Now that I've passed mid-life my hair is getting curlier and curlier. Anyone else experiencing this phenomenon?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYSOUL91 7/21/2010 12:05PM

    Don't have a clue why your hair started to get curly. Without estrogen, hair is starting on my chin (gee men get it in their ears, women chin). Hormones do some unusal things for sure

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JHADZHIA 7/21/2010 12:25AM

    My Mom had board straight hair for most of her life, then all of a sudden it went really curly. I still can't get over the change. But then, the whole family, except for me, has curly hair, it had to come from somewhere. She thinks her major surgery brought it out -she had a hysterectomy which saved her from cancer as it was detected early enough..She did not need chemo. She hates taking meds anyway. I have had lots of surgeries and strong meds, but my hair remains as flat as ever which goes with my new flat chest where I lost a lot of weight I didn't really need to lol!
Enjoy your changes! Women pay a lot of money to keep their hair in curls when they are seniors (seeing the long parade of them in my building getting perms all the time)

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AQUAGIRL08 7/20/2010 10:10PM

    When I was young and even into my teens, my hair was curly and wavy. I hit my 20s through my late 40s and my hair was a little wavy but no curl. Suddenly about 5 years ago I started getting the curl back in my hair, just like you! Some of it may have to do with the fact that some gray hair is curly. But, the gal who cuts my hair tells me that the hair that is the most curly is either very dark or colorless. So I don't know.....

As for the muscles, I think that fat produces estrogen. When you lost fat, your estrogen level goes down. You can also see your muscles better because the fat doesn't obscure them. Let's face it Marsha, you are just looking good, girl! Who cares why. You look wonderful and have lots of energy to enjoy your life. Take that, run with it and have some fun!

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BESTSUSIEYET 7/20/2010 9:09PM

    Hmmm -- curlier hair would be nice (hasn't happened). Hubby had the post-chemotherapy curl, but it went away after a few months. (PTL for 26 years of cure - and counting!!) I wonder about the muscle-building. I taught aerobics for several years after my 1st weight loss adventure (mid 1980's) -- it didn't have as much strength training as I do now; not sure if I could compare the 2 outcomes. I don't remember seeing my ribs and hip bones like this, though (and I do love seeing those!!) Let's enjoy our results, whatever the cause!

Comment edited on: 7/20/2010 9:10:08 PM

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MARYMAC45 7/20/2010 8:30PM

    Very interesting. My regrown hair after chemo was curly and more managable. Looks good w/o blow drying or curlers. Otherwise, no changes here.

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DONNABRIGHT 7/20/2010 8:20PM

    Nope, no curls but I do have to say clothes fit better - not so many bulges.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/20/2010 6:12PM

    Interesting observations as ever Marsha.

I'm not as diligent as you are with the strength training but I do seem to 'firming up' better than I have ever done before - but then I've never been this slim as an adult. My stomach still needs more work though.

I've also noticed changes in my hair. I lost a lot of it when I was very ill but since I cut it short, it has grown back surpringly thickly with a more coarse texture and a wave.

I'm not sure about the links with hormonal changes as I had a hysterectomy in my late 30s.

Congratulations on all your positive changes.

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JOYINKY 7/20/2010 5:40PM

    Afraid not, my hair remains poker straight; I'd love a little curl! I'm having better luck responding to exercise too; but never before in my life have I been so consistent in my workouts and weight training. Still, I'm pleased because I didn't expect to be able to tone up this much and with an 80+# weight loss (long story in my blogs) am pleased not to have saggy skin. Isn't life great! Just now reading your blogs; thanks for sharing. My most negative feedback comes from relatives when summer get togethers roll around, your sharing made me feel good. Thanks. emoticon

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Blowing My Own Horn

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I just found a new award on my SparkPage. Celebrate! Celebrate! No modesty here, I'm going to blow my own horn -- just strut and crow -- border on being obnoxious. For the first time, I received a Trivia Leader award for June 2010. I just love awards.

I like this particular award because I believe it means I am retaining and am able to recall a lot of the great health, nutrition, and fitness information I am reading on SparkPeople. And even more significantly, I am using this information to improve my life and my health. Thanks, SparkPeople, for giving me one more form of recognition for me to enjoy and brag about.

If immodesty is a sin, I'm in deep trouble!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONGO2TEN 7/21/2010 5:11AM

    Way to go! Those questions can be hard:)


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BESTSUSIEYET 7/20/2010 9:04PM

    Good for you!!

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JOYINKY 7/20/2010 5:44PM

    Celebrate, Celebrate, Celebrate!! Your blog has introduced me to another activity I wasn't aware of! Sharing your successes helps us all! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOHAL52 7/20/2010 12:43PM

    emoticon Good, good, GOOD for you!!

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AQUAGIRL08 7/18/2010 10:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/18/2010 7:14PM

    Congratulations!!! Way to go!!


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RHONDAHONDA2 7/18/2010 6:29PM

    nice job marsha keep up the awesome work emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONTY68 7/18/2010 5:58PM

Congratulations and your idea of what you have learned and use is fantastic. When I first started playing Trivia I was so angry at missing any. I soon learned how little I knew, My lifetime percentage of 68 will show my knowledge and the nice thing about the trivia, you have times where you get the same questions and finally remember. I think it is a valuable tool, one on one of my teams that we actually share the questions and more opportunity to learn. I saw your name and Said Hey, I know her and WOW, she is brilliant. So toot your horn as much as you want, maybe we will toot with you to honor you.
Congratulations, that award does mean a lot.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/18/2010 4:55PM

    Please, toot, shout and cheer. Awards are great and really keep us motivated

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EDUCGRAD 7/18/2010 4:49PM

    way to go ,I wish I could do better on Trivia,I think I read them too fast as some of them are tricky are you don't watch the wording emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 7/18/2010 3:53PM


You toot that horn loud and clear!

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WILD4STARS 7/18/2010 2:18PM

    I think modesty is highly over rated!! Congrats on yet another award!
I keep saying it, and I mean it, "You are an inspiration to us all."

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JHADZHIA 7/18/2010 2:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon That is very well done! I suck at trivia, even getting questions wrong I have seen before LOL. I am currently at 88%, highest I have ever been. But because I am usually in a hurry and so very sleep deprived, I find I am unable to concentrate and retain much of what I see. Some day maybe I will solve the sleep problem.
Have a great Sunday and do blow your own horn! You deserve it for that!!
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DONNABRIGHT 7/18/2010 1:58PM

    emoticon Wonderful - I'm aiming for the 80's and will be happy with that!

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MARYMAC45 7/18/2010 1:24PM

    emoticon on the award. You should be proud and strut your stuff. I do trivia every day and I'm only at 75. I am not retaining all that much. you are doing a fantastic job. Keep it up. emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/18/2010 1:02PM

    Man oh man.. I need to hang out with you MORE.. That award is no where in my future! So, I will do a vicarious happy dance .. knowing you might just make me smarter!!!

THIS IS FOR YOU! ---- emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/18/2010 1:02:53 PM

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DAWNDMOORE40 7/18/2010 1:01PM

    emoticon emoticonon your award! You are doing an emoticonjob! emoticon

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ANGELBELIEVER 7/18/2010 12:56PM

    Congratulations. You should blow your own horn because it was blown for you first! Enjoy!

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"How Long Are You Going to Do This?"

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On my recent vacation a relative with a history of yoyo dieting similar to mine (until I met SparkPeople) asked me, "How long are you going to do this?" She was talking about what she perceived as my diet. I assured her my new lifestyle is forever. I can't say she scoffed, but the face she made sure let me know she didn't believe me. She clearly didn't think it was possible. I suspect she doesn't even think it is healthy.

However, my lifestyle is a healthy one. And more and more I'm coming to believe that it is sustainable. Living at goal weight does not make life perfect, but for me -- without a doubt -- living life at goal weight makes for a better life. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 7/18/2010 10:01PM

    You are right on target Marsha! It is a lifestyle and not a diet. People who have a diet mentality can't begin to imagine doing "this" for the rest of their lives. I would imagine that they think that once they "get" thin that they can go back to "real" eating again and get on with life. LOL We know better. The only thing that will do is take a person right back to the place they started.

Change is scary and takes a long time, as we all know. Most people don't want to give up the things that they love to eat or behaviors they are comfortable with even if they are not healthy. Your relative is fighting change and looking for ways to prove you wrong. That's okay because it's her choice. You on the other hand have made wonderful healthy choices that enable you to have energy and feel good about yourself. Kudos to you for that!

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MARYMAC45 7/18/2010 1:26PM

    Way to go. You are doing fantastci!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/18/2010 11:38AM

    On the nail as ever Marsha. This can't be temporary or the effort won't have been worthwhile.

When you know all the differences between 'before' and 'after', why would you ever want to go back?!

Here's to optimum health - forever!


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BESTSUSIEYET 7/18/2010 10:46AM

    Hooray for You -- again! (You do so well, I get to say that often!!) For those of us who have lost and gained several times, I'm sure others wonder how long before we go back to the old ways ... can't totally blame them, 'cause those old thoughts "you've failed before - why do you think this time will be different?" do sneak into my mind now & then (esp. when I'm cleaning out the closet and giving away all the x-larges!)
I guess we just need to continue making wise choices for today, and praying that we can do that every day for the rest of our lives. I think SP will help a bunch -- it's hard to get on here without being encouraged to Keep Up the Good Work!

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/18/2010 9:43AM

    How long....for as long as it takes! Was your friend trying to sabotage your effort?

Living healthy as you are doing is not a diet, it is a life style. Am I perfect...not by a long shot, if I was then I would be out creating worlds.

You are great!

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JHADZHIA 7/17/2010 8:52PM

    Hopefully, some day, your relative will see the light. Spark people right from the start says its a lifestyle change needed, not a diet. I get that. I am so happy you do too, and my sister as well. Would love it if everyone else would get on the wagon!
Here is to spreading the Spark of a healthy lifestyle!!

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BITTYGIRL51 7/17/2010 7:36PM

    I couldn't agree more! Does a healthy lifestyle mean that we do everything perfect? Absolutely not! For example: I had two days this past week when I was totally off program...once was Olive Garden where my choice was the delectable ravioli dish that they are advertising and the other was just a bad case of the munchies all day...the other five days I was OP and exercising my fanny off - thus my WI this morning was identical to last week's. Considering the poor choices I made and the diffucult days...I'm happy that I maintained!

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SYLVIALYNN2 7/17/2010 6:03PM

    I am so glad you posted this. It will give you encouragement to over ride the friend's comments. Isn't it great to have such lovely, supportive friends here on Spark People? Isn't it great to have new people whom you didn't know before stop in to add their encouragement? Congratulations on your NEW ATTITUDE! You go girl. Keep on keeping on! Way to go! All your friends and new friends are here to cheer you on, on Spark People.

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Comment edited on: 7/17/2010 6:06:24 PM

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/17/2010 5:26PM

    Way to go on a lifestyle rather than a diet. Diets fade... Lifestyles thrive!

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MEXGAL1 7/17/2010 5:11PM

    Oh man, do I agree with you. Life isn't perfect but at least being healthy and taking care of yourself allows you to handle life's challenges with strength. Keep up the great work.

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UUCEEJAY 7/17/2010 4:29PM

    I am with you! My lifestyle change is permanent and I am in a very happy place. Every time I start to go back to my old ways, I just need to remind myself of how I felt physically then and how I feel now.

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PENNYAN45 7/17/2010 3:38PM

    Your decision is a GREAT one! It's just where I want to be one day.

Way to GO!!!


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FABANDFITAT40 7/17/2010 2:47PM

    I like that you say it is a lifestyle not maintenance etc. Hopefully someday your relative will find her inner switch and get off the seesaw of yo yo dieting someday. She'll be lucky to have you there. Great blog.

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ONEKIDSMOM 7/17/2010 2:07PM

    Love it! Great blog. This is something we need to do for ourselves, whatever else happens around us. emoticon

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    WTG Marsha! Great blog, I am voting for it!

We can truly live long and happy lives!!

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MONTY68 7/17/2010 1:55PM

    Hi Marsha
You are right, this is a lifetime commitment that we make for our self. I don't think it is called maintaining but actually living life. Your advantages is that you now have knowledge, awareness of healthy eating and living and you put all the things to work living each day in a much greater way than ever before. I don't think once we get there , we lose all that we were learning and doing. It becomes an automatic way of doing things. Just so you know, I have pretty much lived like that for 2 1/2 years. Will we continue? Can we sustain it for the rest of our lives? I would suggest that the only way it would not continue is we would have to have a change in attitude, new negative feelings about life in general, these kind of changes happen every day for 1,000's of people. BUT we always have choice and the ability to stay positive forever, Since I have met you, I have seen nothing but a positive attitude, a motivated and excited woman about life and I see no reason why that will change.
You are fantastic.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Celebrating Vacation Success!

Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm celebrating that I spent 2 weeks on vacation, did not journal, and didn't always have control over what I had to eat. (Church picnic with fatty hot dogs and family get together with greasier hamburgers, pizza, etc.) BUT I think I did pretty good. I haven't done a first thing in the morning weigh yet, but the weight I am now is in my range. If I had any gain at all, it was very small.

I got my milk in every day and got my 5 freggies (fruits/veggies) in almost every day. I had a lot of good sleep. I walked miles and miles and miles. Most days I drank plenty of water. I did a little strength training. I drank too much diet soda and ate too much chocolate, but I'm over that now.

I'm feeling like I just passed a major test. If I can go on family vacation with many emotional and food challenges and come back sane and slender, there is no reason I can't maintain my healthy weight for the rest of my life! -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYINKY 7/20/2010 5:49PM

    Are we in the same family? The emotional challenges are far harder for me than the food challenges, I plan ahead for the food challenges. Family can still blindside me emotionally. Then my challenge becomes holding it all together once I get back home. Happily, I've gotten better at doing that; it just shouldn't be so hard. Passing on that trip this summer. Thanks for sharing. Joy emoticon

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VTORIA3 7/19/2010 5:40AM

    emoticon Your successful vacation is major accomplishment! I have been on many and got myself to the perfect weight before it, only to come back 5# heavier. One day, I hope to be able to write a similar testimony. What you achieved, is one of the hardest of challenges. emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/19/2010 5:40:47 AM

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WALKINGANNIE 7/18/2010 11:33AM

    Welcome back Marsha!

It's great that you managed to deal with all the vacation challenges, including eating some treats and relaxing a bit without going way overboard. You're well on the way to beating 'all or nothing'.

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HAPPYSOUL91 7/17/2010 10:19AM

    Right on girl, you did great. Showed restraint AND did exercise, it doesn't get any better.

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JHADZHIA 7/16/2010 10:28PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are awesome Marsha!!! You did way better than I did when I went on a vacation!! That shows you have successfully committed to a healthy lifestyle! No more weight creeping back on for you! Well done!

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AQUAGIRL08 7/16/2010 9:15PM

    This is emoticon news Marsha! You've done a great job of taking it off and keeping it off! Congratulations emoticon to you!! I know that it had to be a little scary as you headed into your vacation but you prevailed! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 7/16/2010 9:00PM


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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 7/16/2010 8:17PM

    Making healthy choices and escaping obsession is so important. I'm definitely still working on the latter. Way to go!

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MONTY68 7/16/2010 6:20PM

    Hi Marsha
Welcome home and you had a great time it seems. I think, if you want to call it the next step, you have passed the test. I spent 3 weeks on vacation and ate every meal out and lost 2 pounds. I will say that I feel that yo9u have gone into the world and lived somewhat like people do every day and with your awareness was very successful.
So congratulations on a very successful vacation and welcome back to Spark and your friends.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILD4STARS 7/16/2010 6:14PM

    emoticonI've said it before, and I'll say it again, "You are an inspiration to us all."
emoticonon a job well done.
emoticonGlad you're back, we've missed you.

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BESTSUSIEYET 7/16/2010 6:13PM

    Hooray! Sounds like your new Lifestyle is here to stay! Isn't that a wonderful feeling? emoticon

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LESSME10 7/16/2010 5:43PM

    Great job. Hope when I go on vacation for a week I can control my eating. I plan to do plenty of walking. Pat yourself on your back for a great job done and now - you can get back on your normal routine. emoticon emoticon

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Letting Go of Punitive Dieting

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Days of Punitive Dieting are gone forever. Thank heavens! Starving is just not a smart strategy. Often it doesn't work at all, and when it does work, it doesn't work for the long run. I've read it and I've lived it. Today I want to think about some of my past experiences and old punitive diet strategies that I am letting go forever:

* at one year of age and 31 pounds the doctor put me on my first diet, skim milk
* in fifth grade I unsuccessfully tried to lose using Metracal (precursor of Slim Fast)
* in 9th grade I ended up in the hospital with a mysterious malady that I believe was caused by not eating
* in 10th grade I lost 60 (from 172-112) pounds by pushing my food around on the plate so my parents didn't realize I wasn't eating much. it took me nine months to lose it, "maintained" less than 2 weeks, and gained it all back in 3 months
* freshman year in college my roommate and I rented a machine that was suppose to make you lose weight. It had a strap that went on your backside and jiggled! Like that is going to work!
* junior year of college became a devotee of Adele Davis and "Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit"; ate no sugar for over a year, hung out at the health food store; did not lose weight
* I joined Weight Watchers for the first time in 1968; was not successful first try. In 1970 joined WW again and lost 20 pounds in 14 weeks before going to India as a Peace Corps Volunteer in applied nutrition
* Lost weight gradually and pretty healthy during my 2 years in India and one in Fiji when I was growing my own vegetables and eating whole grains and beans. Quickly started gaining on return to US.
* Foolishly fell for the low carb craze in 1975. Lost no weight on low carb, but ate a ridiculous amount of bacon, eggs, and cheese
* In 1978 got really sick on the "protein-sparing fast"; I lost 21 pounds in 28 days to hit goal and immediately gained it back
* In 1979 I remember trying all kinds of diets (cabbage soup diet, grapefruit diet, food group diet, some kind of expensive injections, etc.) and finding that diet number 7 worked for me - it was Weight Watchers again.

After that, I never again tried truly drastic diets. I tried Curves and South Beach with temporary success. Somewhere upon the way I finally realized at an emotional level what I had known intellectually for a long time, punitive dieting doesn't work. It took coming to SparkPeople to discover healthy eating as a feasible way of life. And I must say for me it is probably the combination of Weight Watchers and SparkPeople that makes it possible.

Now, instead of dieting, I aim to eat healthy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTSUSIEYET 7/16/2010 6:21PM

    I remember the 'jiggle' machine - think Mom had one for a while when we were kids. Bad idea -- but so was her ultimate solution for low energy and staying slim with 6 kids & hubby: Dexadrine (got it from the doctor, so it must be OK, right??!! Thankfully I've never gone to that extreme!) My fist son weighed in a 9#2 3/4 oz, and was 16# at 4 months -- AFTER the Dr. replaced his formula with 2% milk at 2 months old. I ate the cabbage soup, too -- and LOTS of grapefruit. Oh, how thankful I am to have found SparkPeople and learn that healthy foods in healthy amounts are BEST! Thanks for sharing a blog that many of us identify with! You have a knack for that, friend! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/3/2010 7:28PM

    "Punitive dieting doesn't work": amen sister to that!

But have to say, I completely relate to your "diet bio" --

What works for me is eternal vigilance, tracking and above all focus on HEALTHY! Appearance is only a temporary motivator: feeling good is the permanent incentive.

Thanks for your comment on my milkshake blog -- I say, coffee 4ever!! Really love the stuff -- and it's at least a little bit healthy!!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/1/2010 4:02PM

    Yes this has been a lifelong quest.

Your blog says it all. SP works because its sensible. Dieting doesn't because it isnt.

(You didn't mention the frozen cigarettes. I'm still intrigued!)

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JOHAL52 7/1/2010 11:33AM

    Oooh, thanks for the recap! I remember Metracal (yuck, pooey) and those little chocolate squares that were supposed to suppress your appetite. Precursor to the modern ones, eh? And that jiggle belt? I remember that too. Was probably responsible for some of my lumps and bumps back there.
Here's to healthy, sensible eating now!

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BITTYGIRL51 7/1/2010 8:05AM

    What a great re-cap. Many of us have traveled a very similar road...thanks for reminding us.

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MONTY68 6/30/2010 9:06PM

    Hi Marsha
Well some of those sound familiar, my first attempt at losing weight was in 1959 while in college, I ended up in the hospital, my diet consisted of salads, and a small soap, the Doctor figured about 700 calories, Over the years I did most of them and some of my own ideas and probably lost over a 1000 pounds, problem was I gained back 1100. I don't remember the last diet, 3 years ago, I didn't go on a diet, I learned how to eat.

Thank you for sharing, I am sure there are a lot of memories came up today.
You found the answer and are a fantastic example on what to do. Once again, Congratulations.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 6/30/2010 8:53PM

    Maybe the combination of WW and SparkPeople works because it isn't a diet but a lifestyle change instead. What ever you're doing, it's working for you and that's all that matters. Good job Marsha!

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AMANDAJCD 6/30/2010 4:44PM

    I'm so glad that (most) pediatricians have realized you just don't put a baby on a diet! Wow, that's sure a list. I remember the cabbage soup diet.

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OPHELIA105 6/30/2010 3:11PM

    Gosh what an amazing journey - so pleased you finally reached your destination!


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DONNABRIGHT 6/30/2010 2:33PM

    That is quite a journey. The ups and downs must have been hard to bear. Thank goodness you are where you are now!

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KALIGIRL 6/30/2010 1:01PM

    My sis is using the WW/Spark combo and I think it's doing great things for her too. She likes the ease of WW points and the support of Spark.

As I slowly gain confidence that what I'm doing is the 'best' for me, I don't even think about 'dieting' anymore.

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CLOVERR1 6/30/2010 12:33PM

    GOOD post. (One I can relate to!)

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HAPPYSOUL91 6/30/2010 12:13PM

    Ok, you got it together, really liked your blog. While reading, I started to think of all the "old diets" that I have been on and how I gained the weight back because I thought a miracle occured and the weight wouldn't find me.

Glad WW & Sparkpeople works for you and like me, it takes a combination of healthy ways both eating, thinking and physical activity to accomplish the goal.

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