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Appreciating Support - Both Virtual and in Person

Thursday, March 03, 2011

While working out today at the YMCA a younger woman went out of her way to stop by and compliment me on my weight loss and increasing fitness. She told me I had inspired her. It made me feel so good. I really appreciate her taking the time and making the effort. These days compliments are not so common. Most of my friends just think of me as someone who lost weight two years ago. So, I savor the compliment and even replay it in my head!

I am used to getting kind words, support, and goodies from SparkFriends. Thank heavens. Without the SP support, I almost certainly would not be where I am now: extremely healthy, at goal weight, and profoundly grateful to all who have helped me so much.

But I do think person to person support is even more valuable. My local SparkTeam is a great group of people. Tonight we had a very good time together enjoying a healthy meal. This support in person is priceless! Thanks, SparkTeam. Thanks, Cyndi, Theresa, Eileen, Jane, Donna, and Jane's daughter -- hope I didn't forget anyone. Even all the hubbies were good tonight!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    WTG! We all know you are awesome - maybe one day you will believe it too!

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AMANDAJCD 3/4/2011 11:00AM

    I'm so sorry we couldn't make the dinner this time around! Hopefully the next -- I'm a sucker for Olive Garden :D

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JANEWATKINS 3/4/2011 10:56AM

    I was so happy to see you at dinner last night! You are truly an inspiration to me, you skinny little thinig!

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HAPPYSOUL91 3/4/2011 10:35AM

    Compliments are a win win to the receiver and the giver. It was nice of the young woman at the Y to say something.

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SNOOKUMS19 3/4/2011 7:49AM

    It is nice to hear a compliment. Enjoy your day!

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JOYINKY 3/4/2011 6:50AM

    I'm glad you have that support;it is important! You certainly have earned it! But, you're right; after awhile people tend to forget you ever really had a challenge to get where you are today. SP will not forget! Be well, Joy

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JIBBIE49 3/4/2011 12:28AM


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JHADZHIA 3/3/2011 9:51PM

    Fabulous!! You deserve lots of compliments! It would be so nice to have local support like that, and yes, it would sure be very influential! Interesting how the hubbies behaved :)
Mom is my one-woman support team and I am very grateful for her! My Spark buddies are helping hold it together for me during trying times. So glad to have you all!

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WATERMELLEN 3/3/2011 9:01PM

    So nice to get that recognition! And direct support!

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I Cheated and For The First Time I Don't Feel Bad About It!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I calculate that I have been on a diet approximately 11.7 years of my life (one third of the time since 1968 minus eight years I did not diet). I estimate I have tracked my food intake on 4,271 days. I estimate that I stuck to my plan, staying within my range probably 40% of the time. I would say on my typical day I went over by 10%, whether my target was 600 calories, 18 points, 25 exchanges, or 1700 calories. I always thought of myself as someone who was never quite in control. Then I would have those awful, awful days where I just totally broke down and was totally out of control and ate more than I could count and would cry and cry and cry and just feel like such a weakling and horrible failure.

Well, I did something this week I have never done before. I cheated in a whole new way. Never before in my 4200+ days of tracking have I not eaten every bite of food coming to me. This week one day I was actually under my calorie range, not hungry and not interested in eating more food! I won't make a habit of it. I truly want to be healthy and that means eating healthy. But I do believe this experience shows that I am thinking more like a thin person. I am establishing a lifestyle, not dieting. My definition of fullness is changing. I know hunger is not an emergency. And I absolutely love feeling totally in control of what I eat!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FREELADY 3/3/2011 11:50PM

    This is very exciting. This gives me a lot of hope about where my path can end up!

It is also encouraging to see your many days of specific choices that have added up to success. I tell myself that if I keep doing these behaviors, like tracking, I will also reap your outcomes such as a healthy weight. Thank you for sharing!

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JHADZHIA 3/3/2011 9:56PM

    This is just incredible!! This is a very big accomplishment!
I am certainly not there yet as I eat everything I am scheduled to have, whether I feel like it or not..
This is why you are so successful and are a thin person!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SNOOKUMS19 3/3/2011 7:39AM

    Good for you! You are feeling more in control! Noticing your own cues for hunger. Enjoy the ride! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 3/2/2011 8:57PM

    This is a HUGE breakthrough! I appreciate your candour about what a struggle eating has been -- including the bingeing times -- and what a transformation this cognitive strategy program has also been.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TBRANCH2 3/2/2011 7:52PM

    Good for you!!! See you tomorrow night at the team dinner!!

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    Totally awesome! Your blog didn't go where I was expecting it to - and I am voting for it!

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MEXGAL1 3/2/2011 6:57PM

    Wow good for you to realize this is your life and lifestyle changes.
Best of everything to you!

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JOYINKY 3/2/2011 4:08PM

    Congratulations on your new lifestyle! WooHoo!

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1AVERY 3/2/2011 2:43PM

    GREAT BLOG!!!! It sounds like you have it all figured out for you. CONGRATS!!!! When we figure out what works for us is the hardest part of the battle. Enjoy your journey now that you know what it takes for you to be on the right track. Teri emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TJCADDO 3/2/2011 2:39PM

    During all this time I know you learned how to read your body signals. Glad that you trusted your own judgement and experimented and saw for yourself that you definitely know what you are doing.

You look so terrific!!! Always take something away when I read your blogs.

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SUZIEQ115 3/2/2011 12:34PM


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PLAYBLUES22 3/2/2011 11:47AM

    Sweetie you rock emoticon emoticon

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MONTY68 3/2/2011 11:45AM

    Hi Marsha
Awesome blog. Your statement "I am establishing a Lifestyle, not dieting" is so powerful. That is what the final step of our journey creates. Congratulations.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 3/2/2011 11:18AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYANNSCH 3/2/2011 10:20AM


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Trophy Day and What You Do Day In and Day Out

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I bet we'll get our monthly trophies today. I should get Perfect Attendance, Consistency, Fitness Minutes, SparkPoints and Trivia A+ Student. In January I did not get the Trivia trophy. I answered 87 out of 97 questions that month and on the Trivia home page it showed me at 90%. Of course, if you do the math, it is not quite 90% and I did not get the trophy.

I believe February makes the seventh month I have gotten that trophy. My all time record is at 87%, 1392 out of 1607 questions. March didn't start out so good. I missed my first question! However, I expect to overcome that error shortly. It's kind of like my food plan. Making one mistake is not very significant. It is what you do day in and day out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONTY68 3/1/2011 8:53PM

    Hi Marsha
Congratulations before the trophies arrive. The one that I don't get is the trivia. I had my best monthly at 88%. When I first started Spark, I was embarrassed at what I didn't know and the low percentage. I learned to accept the fact what little I didn't know and I find it a valuable tool about healthy living. You have done a amazing job each month with the trivia . congratulations on your 7 months of Trivia A+ .
Thank you for sharing.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I seem to get questions where more than one answer can be right and of course, I always choose the wrong one, lol.

WTG on all your trophies this month!!

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JHADZHIA 3/1/2011 10:36AM

    I always answer all the trivia questions every day and that is usually my downfall, as I get a blow out close to the end of the month. I got a very bad 4 questions wrong one day and went from 92% down to 87%. As it was just four days from the end of the month, there was no chance to recover. It takes two days of 100% to move the % up one, but sure falls fast if you get some wrong. The math was cruel to us this month. I will get the other trophies though.
You will no doubt get them all next month!!

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MEXGAL1 3/1/2011 10:13AM

    Good for you. I get all the trophies but the trivia...just not good with that but getting better.

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AQUAGIRL08 3/1/2011 10:10AM

    I love those little trophies too. Getting them is addictive I'm sorry to say. LOL

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JOHAL52 3/1/2011 9:42AM

    I agree, day in and day out is best. But I love that calorie deficit reporter (thanks for pointing me to it!) because if I do slip up, I can track how long it takes me to make it back up. And it motivates me to do it too! Congrats on the trivia. I played it for several months last year but found that too many questions had different answers that were still "correct" and it bugged me to be counted wrong.

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JOYINKY 3/1/2011 8:30AM

    I absolutely agree; consistency is the key!

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WATERMELLEN 3/1/2011 8:03AM

    Gotta say, I "play" trivia pretty faithfully most days and . . . I've never come close to qualifying for that A+ student trophy. TRYINGHARDER60 (Sandy) is another star student! My consistent stupidity at trivia (yup, I'm quite capable of getting 3 wrong before I get 3 right on any given day) has to be good for my ego: humbling, that is, and no doubt my ego can use humbling!!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/1/2011 7:59AM

    Gotta love trophy day! Congrats on your streaks. The one I love the most is the Consistency award... and the fitness minutes... because they show that I'm doing my bit, being accountable to check in here at Spark and record them.

This month I started using the fruit/veggie counts instead of logging my full meals, because I am now using another tool to track food. But I still put in my fitness minutes and my water here.

Like you say, day in, day out... it's what we *do*! emoticon emoticon

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Reducing Stress -- the Car Edition

Monday, February 28, 2011

Reducing stress is a great way to reduce the risk of gaining back weight. Yes, it is possible to deal well with food when stressed, but it is definitely more difficult. Both Chris Downie's book, The Spark, and my recent read, the Beck Diet Solution, advocate solving problems to reduce stress in your life.

Several years ago I lost the spare key to my car. I can tell you it was a source of stress in my life that whenever I couldn't find my keys I'd immediately get more panicked. My thinking went something like: and I don't even have a spare! Several times I almost replaced the missing key. The days when you could go get a spare for under $2 kept going through my brain and I just could not bring myself to pay the price.

Well, this week I did. I had a coupon for $11 off which helped. It still came to $71 to get the spare and have it programmed to work on my car. I suspect it is a good investment in reducing my stress for my long term health and weight management. But I still need to keep up with my keys!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 3/1/2011 10:05AM

    Good move Marsha! I am a big believer that one of the biggest gifts that you can give yourself is the reduction of stress. I like to do things in advance for that reason. Yes sometimes things change and plans get messed up but generally if I have that spare key or a plan B or have finished my paper work early, my stress level is much more manageable and I feel so much better.

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MONTY68 2/28/2011 11:56PM

    Hi Marsha

Great blog, You have given a great example of something that doesn't have to be stressful. If we really pay attention to those things that give us stress, we find that what we stressed over could be handled in another way that eliminates the need for the stress. Congratulations on getting a second key, it also got me thinking that I don't have a second key to my car and also my condo.
Thank you for sharing this


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PERSISTANT123 2/28/2011 10:58PM

    You are worth the price of the new key. I find that when I left of set of keys with my daughter in case I locked myself out, I quit stressing about them. Just knowing I had a back up set relieved so much stress, and I rarely even misplace them now. The investment in de-stressing yourself is worth it!

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WATERMELLEN 2/28/2011 7:51PM

    Good thinking: I lose a purple suede glove this morning and was totally panicking until I found it again: car key is much more crucial!

Thanks for your supportive comments on my Beck blog: much appreciated (hated that 1 pound gain, actually . . . . haven't acquired the appropriate weigh-in attitude but I'm trying!!)

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JOYINKY 2/28/2011 3:18PM

    I know where you are coming from! That is money well spent!

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JHADZHIA 2/28/2011 1:23PM

    It is very stressful to misplace your keys without a spare. Good for you for finally getting yourself one. I have given my spare set of keys for my apartment to my Mom, so anytime I misplace mine, its a panic. So I have gotten in the habit of putting my keys down in exactly the same place every time I come into my apartment.
Good luck with finding and eliminating any other things that may be stressing you. You can do it.

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 2/28/2011 11:27AM


Stress is definitely a killer!

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Workout Coincidence

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Yesterday I enjoyed an MP3 treadmill workout from the Baptist Memorial Health Care web site, narrated by Wendy. You may want to download all these free workouts -- bike, walking, elliptical, abs, cool down, and maybe a couple more:

Wendy, whose last name I've forgotten, gives fitness tips throughout the podcast. Funny, but she went over mindset and behavioral strategies to overcome cravings that sounded very familiar. When she cited Dr. Judith Beck and The Beck Diet Solution, as the source, I realized it was no wonder. I've been working on that book for the past six weeks. Wendy also talked about Beck's chapter on changing our definition of fullness. What a coincidence! I was thinking about the Beck strategies and what I needed to repeat as I started the workout.

Wendy gave nutrition tips from the American Heart Association. She also talked about recognizing real hunger vs. emotional hunger. For that topic she cited the book Think Thin, Be Thin. Anyone read that book? If so, what did you think??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 2/28/2011 12:30PM

    Thank You for sharing

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JIBBIE49 2/27/2011 5:57PM

    There are so many books now using Judith Beck, PhD's work that I find it amazing. Dr. Beck is the daughter of the famous Aaron Beck, M.D. who developed Cognitive Therapy back in the 1960's for depression patients, so her work is based on his for the use of obese patients now.
The other person, Roger Gould, M.D. who wrote "Shrink Yourself" on dealing with emotional eating has a lot of "knock-off' writers now. His 12 week course has been taken by many Sparkers and they have benefited greatly. He says until we learn to deal with stress we will never keep the weight off.
I read ARTHUR AGATSTON, M.D.'s "The South Beach Diet" since he deals with Insulin Resistance/Metabolic Syndrome. He is a cardiologist who had patients dying on the American Heart Association Diet, so he worked with a nutritionist to develop a diet that he patients could lose weight and avoid heart attacks on and from that the SBD developed. He did NOT start out with any intentions of writing a "diet" book. His patients followed the diet and family and friends contacted Dr. Agatston wanting copies of the diet. From that the book developed. The recipes are there because his wealthy clients wanted to eat well even on a "diet" so he took his list of approved ingredients to the chefs of Miami Beach and said "Make some good recipes." So, you don't have to cook that way, but he just shows that you can have delicious food and still lose weight. Bill Clinton dropped 24# on the SBD.

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PAMAPPLE 2/27/2011 5:05PM

    I have a spark friend who has encouraged me to join as she is doing well on the program. I am reading Made to Crave and do the exercises at the end of each chapter. It reminds me that over-indulging in anything is not what God intended for us and to pray when we are tempted. The Beck Solution sounds like a good book to read to retrain your mind to think like a "thin" person. Since I was thin most of my life and now am enjoying and finding comfort in food, the pounds have crept up. Fortunately, we have tools and the help of God to get us back on track. Thanks for sharing the link! I think it will be motivational listening to the audio.

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JHADZHIA 2/27/2011 10:34AM

    What I nice coincidence that was!
Enjoy your workouts!
Have a great Sunday!

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MEXGAL1 2/27/2011 10:19AM

    Thank you for sharing this and have a wonderful Sunday.

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JOYINKY 2/27/2011 10:19AM

    Fun and reassuring when you see things coming together like this! Thanks for the link!

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WATERMELLEN 2/27/2011 7:58AM

    Love these coincidences: a clear indicator that the universe is unfolding as it should!!

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NANCY- 2/27/2011 7:45AM

    The world gets smaller everyday.
I haven't read Think Thin, Be Thin. But it sounds worth a read.
I'm thinking of checking out the bridal workout... though it's been 31 years since I was a bride.
Thanks for the link.

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AQUAGIRL08 2/27/2011 3:15AM

    I always think that if my tummy is growling and a glass of water doesn't make it stop and it has been several hours since the last time I had something to eat, I must be hungry. Otherwise, unless I've been exercising, it is an emotional response. If it's emotional, it's time to connect to someone or do something that will make me feel good or productive. Once I do that, the hunger feeling usually goes away.

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OPHELIA105 2/27/2011 3:05AM

I haven't come across The Beck Solution but it sounds very interseting. The book which really helped me is:

I also like the idea of the MP3s - as I really struggle with exercise I think listening to this kind of mp3 would help motivate me to remember why I'm there!

I'm off to find out about that definition of fullness now - I always find this an interesting topic as I was programmed to feel stuffed and bloated.

Also the different kinds of hunger - the tummy hunger vs the head hunger.

If tis the first one then eat something - if it is the second one then work out why its happening, what triggered it and develop strategies to deal with it. Such as acknowledge its there but also acknowledging I have a choice whether to feed it or not. And both of these actions have consequences. So which do I choose? And more often than not that is enough to leave it.

I do believe 100% that weight gain is all in the mind and by working with out mind we can re programme the way we think about food. I am not saying it works 100% of the time.

But there's no fun in perfection anyway...

Thnx for the blog

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