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And the experts' answer to my question is.... (plus I don't have a stress fracture)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Well, predictably, there was not definitive answer. Why do I keep looking for them!
But here are some of the highlights of the coach's response (they don't tell you which coach is answering. I'm sure someone else could figure it out by writing style, but it's not me!)

--They can't get into my logs (food or exercise) due to privacy issues, so they can't give that kind of personal response

--food should be varied, just like exercise

--at least 9 servings of fruits/veggies daily. I am sure I do not get that much. How to do that when I try to eat seasonally, locally? A new challenge to figure out

--alcohol doesn't help anyone. Put this in the 'tell me something I don't know' category. Alcohol (red wine at night mostly) still stands where all the others have fallen. Even coffee I've been mostly without for a while now. But that red wine... I guess I'm still not desperate enough to give it up in trying to live outside of the deprivation realm

--the most surprising thing for me was that they (he? she?) recommended NOT focusing on weight loss while I am injured. That trying to cut calories to make up for lack of cardio is a bad idea. Medically, my body needs the good calories to fight this injury, and cutting them is no good. Also no good is being so frustrated by lack of progress while I am pretty inactive.

A few people have mentioned cutting carbs. My carbs are pretty stable in terms of what they come from: oatmeal, popcorn (air popped), beans, rice, pretzels, and a few pieces of wheat bread a week. My diet, as you can tell, is not that varied. So I'm curious what people would recommend cutting. I'm open (at least I think I am).

I've decided to put the scale away while I'm injured. It's HARD! But it is getting me down in a big way. I reacted to that decision (predictably) by eating a bit too much yesterday. But today I am feeling back on track. We are going to a micro beer fest, so I already figured out my food around that. This is the area where alcohol gets me into trouble, I plan lighter meals to account for it. But I planned for 24 oz of beer. That's 2 beers. It's not like I'm drinking a 6 pack or anything (do i sound defensive?).

The other piece of news--undecided if it's good or bad really, is that I do NOT have a stress fracture. Am I upset that I've spent 10 FREAKING WEEKS IN A BOOT needlessly? No way. That would not serve me. OK, I did whine and cry a bit about it, but I'm looking forward now. Apparently I have an occult ganglion cyst, a cyst on the tendon deep within my foot that is crowding a bone and causing my pain. The thing that made me cry was reading that occult cysts are more painful that visible, more surface cysts. My negative voice has been having a field day telling me that I was being a baby and making this whole thing up. It did now show up on a plain x-ray, so I was feeling a little crazy. $500 and one MRI later and we have the diagnosis. I won't find out until Monday which tendon, which bone, and what the treatment is. I feel fearful, but I'm trying to hold that at bay until I have more information.

Whew! That's a lot.

I hope everyone has a great, healthy weekend, and is in touch with gratitude and positivity!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 10/11/2012 10:56AM

    Good to hear that you're not dealing with a stress fracture. Your carb intake sounds pretty cautious and healthy...hmm, wouldn't know what to suggest in that area. Keep tweaking what you can. Wouldn't worry too much about calories vs. restricted activity as more times than not our workouts don't burn THAT much in the way of calories. I think its good (but tough, I'm sure!) advice not to sweat calories by reducing them while not working out and recovering physically.


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JAMIEHORN20 10/8/2012 11:49AM

    Annjie, you poor thing! I hope your appointment today goes well and that they come up with a good plan. I know it's been a frustrating 10 weeks, and I can't imagine what my negative voice would be saying if I'd gone through all that and didn't have anything to show for it! Good luck and please keep me posted.

The coach's suggestions sound like good ones. I hope you are able to implement them and not get too down on yourself. Sometimes losing weight is just hard, and there's no explanation for why that's the case. You are strong and healthy (well except for that darn foot!), and that's certainly something to be proud of!

All the best to you today!!

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SUSIEGKORN 10/7/2012 5:25PM

    First of all, 9 fruits/veggies a day? I shoot for 5 and don't always make that! Wow, 9 would be a huge challenge, but I can see why it would be healthy. The alcohol is not an issue with me. I quit totally in Nov. 2010 when I got my diabetes diagnosis. I miss the social drinking occasionally, but not too hard to say no. Good for you for putting your scale away while injured. I'll have to remember that when I have my foot surgery.

I CANNOT believe your misdiagnosis....for 10 friggin weeks! Seriously! I had a foot screening about the bump on my achilles and the foot doc said they could take care of it when I have my bunion done ~ that it would go away with the cast I'd have on for the bunion removal. I don't know what kind of cyst it is ~ it was just a free screening ~ hope to get more answers at Friday's appt. I wish you the best news possible at your appointment on Monday. Let me know what the doc says.

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MAHGRET 10/7/2012 12:29AM

    Hope your foot feels better soon.

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My long question to the Spark Coaches

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I just wrote this long possibly convoluted question to the SparkCoaches (as part of being on the SparkCoach team). Thought I would share it here as well. We'll see what they say.

This is a long question, but I’ve never asked one, so maybe I can use up some unused weeks!

I have a question that is probably one of your most frequently asked—why am I not seeing any progress on the scale? I read Coach Nicole’s article about the most frequent reasons people don’t see weight loss. In the past I have not had as much consistency, so I know that was the reason, but that is not as much the case now. I am working SO hard and still not seeing the scale move.
A quick history about me:
• March 2007 to Sep 2010—lose around 85 pounds (went from around 270 to 184)
• Sep 2010 to July 2011 – don’t really change anything, but go into a plateu; maintain in low/mid 180s
• July 2011 to June 2012 – slide due to a variety of stressors, gain back 10 or so pounds
• June 27, 2012 – decide to really do this again, NOT maintain, not slide, but get to my goal weight (157).

I decided to put everything into it and let nothing stop me. And I have been doing exactly that.
Here’s what I’ve been doing since June 27:
• Eating—More consistent than ever; in range most days. Not perfect, but doing great. And keeping a goal of keeping in mid-range more often, not at the top of my range.
• Exercising—Since August 1, I’ve been in a boot for a stress fracture (running.) I have done cardio during this time (biking, mostly) but no running. In the past 2 weeks, however, my stress fracture has not improved so I gave up all cardio except chair exercises. During this whole time I’ve increased my strength training by a LOT and am doing it most days now.
• Attitude—has been great, very positive. If you take my weight out of the equation, I would say I’m doing awesome. My clothes fit very slightly better , my energy is good, I feel like I am making healthy decisions left and right, I am doing spark coach most days, and keeping my daily list of ways I am awesome and challenges I face. If not for the scale…

But here’s the deal. I really wanted to get down to business this time. I really wanted to not only lose the weight I gained back, but really start losing again and move towards my goal weight. Regarding the scale, NOTHING has happened. It’s been a pound down here, 2 pounds up there, etc. since the end of June.
So I write in desperation. Can you look at my food or calorie range or whatever and see if you have any ideas? Or maybe I need to adjust something with exercise? I feel at a loss, and would be really grateful.
A few things I know:
• I am trying to decrease the alcohol. Even though I always track it and am mostly in range, I think cutting down to one glass of red wine a day would be helpful. (but who wants to do that?!)
• I know the lack of cardio in the past 2 weeks doesn’t help (but I’ve been plateaued for a while now).
• My calories are not 100% in range.

Anything else you see, or ideas you have?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPY-DESTINY 10/5/2012 5:34PM

I believe I have your answer..yet you asked the "Pro's" on the I will wait for their answer to you!

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/4/2012 9:39AM

    I agree with DDoorn. It'll be interesting to see what their answer to you is.

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DDOORN 10/4/2012 9:35AM

    Well you know the old mantra about the NON-WEIGHT accomplishments such as inches lost, improved blood pressure, heart rate and other lab results (triglycerides, etc.)'ve probably been keeping track of those. But for pounds? I think our food choices are the critical piece here, not workouts and cardio. Not to DISMISS these factors, I just believe for weight loss they are way over-rated.

Your mileage may vary, but I always find the best results for weight loss when my carbohydrate intake is roughly HALF as much as the SparkPeople Nutrition Tracker recommends and I keep those carbs very natural, i.e. fresh fruit / whole grains.

I would suggest looking at trying a lower-carb approach. Not necessarily WAY low...although some folks have found this to be helpful such as VHALKYRIE:


Gary Taubes has written about low carb approaches:


As has Michael Eades:


We all have to keep tweaking to find the very best results for ourselves...keep the SPARK! :-)


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BLISTXLEZ 10/4/2012 7:52AM

    Don't you wish weight loss were an exact science! Like "If I do this, I will see this result on the scale" I know it frustrates me when on a day I think the scale should be down and it is up a bit and then on a day when it really should be up, it goes down (not that the down frustrates me!).

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My best excuses for not working out

Monday, September 24, 2012

This is the assignment for Spark Coach today--to blog about what my best excuses are when I decide not to work out, and how I counter them.
This is a tricky one right now, because I have, as of yesterday, given up biking for 2 weeks.
Biking was my last bastion of hard core cardio left while my foot is fractured (stress fracture). I obviously gave up running, and then tried the elliptical (not pounding at least, right). When my foot was not getting better, my PT friend urged me to get off the elliptical. No problem, at least I still have biking, right? I was finally honest with myself after my long ride on Saturday (in my new, awesome biking shorts!) and realized my foot was hurting after riding too. I had been riding 4x/week. We decided that for the next 2 weeks, I will do NO wt. bearing activities (aside from necessary walking). It panics me. I don't, like a lot of people, do well with no cardio. My negative voice sees all kinds of opportunity. I tell myself, 'you didn't want to work out anyway, who are you fooling?' and, 'well this is perfect b/c you're LAZY anyway', etc, etc, etc.
I feel crazy that there have been MANY days when I was whining b/c I didn't feel like running or kick boxing or whatever. Now here we are. I would do a lot for a good run.

But alas, my true voice tells me that I am being good to myself allowing further healing.

And so I made some decisions to last me the next 2 weeks:

I'm going to give up coffee! This is SOOOOOO hard for me. But I need to decrease calories anyway (I drink mine with cream and sugar) since I won't be doing cardio. And I need something to make me feel really hard core and awesome. Giving up coffee meets both of those goals. I am dragging and feeling out of sorts (day 2 today), but I think it is a good decision. It is a decision I've made before. We'll see. I'm reading all about the benefits of tea, and feeling good about drinking it. Now if I only like it!

I'm going to really try to do some yoga during this 2 weeks. I've wanted to get into yoga or pilates for a long time, but have a hard time fitting it in with ST and cardio. So get excited about that!

I'm going to come up with a ST goal (I've also said this before). I can't come up with a good one yet, but I'll let you know.

I'm going to use this 2 weeks like boot camp for positivity. I want to really work on feeling good about myself and feeling positive despite not being able to 'earn' the feeling by working out. I'm not sure how this looks either, but I'm excited about it.

SO that doesn't really speak to what I was 'supposed' to blog about, but it's what I need to say tonight. My excuse for the next 2 weeks is going to be--it doesn't matter anyway since it's not cardio. I'll counter this with making a plan and sticking to it, to help my positivity.

Have a great week everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 9/27/2012 10:43AM

    You are really making the most of these Spark Coach exercises / questions! Blogging LOTS too! Love my coffee: black, strong & calorie-free! :-)


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WONDEROONA 9/24/2012 10:11PM

    Great attitude and great plans!!! Keep up the good work!! emoticon

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It's not my fault!!! blame my mother!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Eating most of your calories at one meal--NOT helpful.
I know this, but yesterday it wasn't my fault! Truly! So I probably could have made a few better decisions, but I did pretty well under the circumstances.

All of my mom's sisters are in town, and we had planned for them to come into the city (where I live) around noon, show them my house, the shelter where I work, etc, then go to lunch. I had it all planned. I scouted the possible menus that Mom had mentioned. I planned my meals around it. It was gonna be great! But they didn't show up until 3pm!!! And they weren't answering their phones, so we had no idea if they were almost here, or still an hour away. So I was starving, trying to stave off the hunger but still not eat a meal my snacking on strawberries and pretzels with peanut butter. By the time we got to the restaurant (3:30), I was really hungry, and not at all in the mood for the meager salad I was so inspired about just that morning. And then I thought, well this is gonna be my only meal for the day, so I got a grilled chicken sandwich, hold the cheese (good for me!), do not hold the guac (hmmm...), and season fries. I drank a diet coke (good for me!) instead of the beer I really wanted.
But all in all it was a lunch over 1,000 calories. Plus I was hungry again later that night and feeling miserable about the way I ate. I ate oatmeal with yogurt and some jelly to tide me over for the night.

Looking it over as I write, I really did do pretty well, fries aside. But I still went over my calorie range (I should mention that I don't usually skip my wine at night, including last night). So it is all pretty frustrating and felt beyond my control. But considering I'm having a hard time keeping away from the food and drink these days (but still totally rocking it for the past week), I'd have to count yesterday as a success. But in terms of consistency, not so much. And my little fast break of 'gonna eat in my calorie range every day this week' doesn't really listen to the whole 'it's not my fault' thing.

SO here we are.

Where are we?
I'm gonna ROCK today. I am. I am!
I'm also going to go for a great, long bike ride in my NEW BIKING SHORTS which I'm so excited about, and enjoy the amazing fall weather we are having. I'm going to let some of the stress from the past weeks disintegrate under some sweat and relaxation.
And I'm going to feel tremendously good about my choices!!!

Happy weekend, everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JJAQUES41 9/22/2012 7:34PM

    Glad you were able to visit with family and friends, sorry they showed up so late. It's hard when you're plans don't quite go as you anticipated. The meal was just a hiccup, and you were cognizant of your choices so that's good. Let it all go while you're riding your bike, become one with the bike, ohhhmmmm (that's my effort at meditative humming sound :))

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BEARGODDESS 9/22/2012 7:21PM

    These things will happen irrespective as to whether you have a streak going or not. I think that you did VERY well actually! You can probably balance things out a bit with calories over the next few days and fun bike rides in new shorts. emoticon

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SAINTBERNARD6 9/22/2012 1:21PM

    count your time doesn't make a failure, just a bump......glad you enjoyed your family.....hang the guilt cover on a tree outside and enjoy your ride...

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SUSIEGKORN 9/22/2012 11:35AM

    Hope you at least had a good visit after all that! What made them 3 hours late? And no phone call! Boy, have roles reversed! LOL

Enjoy your bike ride today! Beautiful day to be outside! I planned a family reunion for today at Balducci's Winery and we are expecting around 35-40 people! I'm thrilled! I'll miss Jamie though ~ it's her birthday today, and she had other plans. Hope she has as much fun as what I am anticipating!

Have a nice weekend!

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MAHGRET 9/22/2012 10:19AM

    Have a great ride!

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YOBOELI 9/22/2012 9:52AM

    Good Luck on your calories today, Hope it is better for you.

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Defying Gravity

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On SparkCoach, SparkGuy posed the following question (paraphrased):
if gravity did not exist, and scales had not been invented, how would you rate your fitness or health? How would you know how you're doing?

When I went into that particular coaching session, the title about maintaining motivation despite the scale made me a little ho hum. For those of us who have been on SP a while (going on 4.5 years now), there are a lot of repeating themes, and I was pretty sure this would be more of the same. But that question really caught me off guard. It gets at more than what other measures I would use to rank my success or failure. It gets to a deeper place for me.

A long time ago I saw a counselor who encouraged me to act for one week as if 'it' (insert anything here really) was not my fault. For a week she told me to act as if there was no shame to be had, that I was blameless. What a wonderful week it was! Even though I didn't really believe her, I acted the part, and the freedom I felt was immense!

Another flashback--when I was a kid (an obese kid), I lied to a friend of mine and told her that my weight was due to a genetic issue, and that every one calorie for her was 5 for me. For the rest of that day, I lived in that reality with her. Again, the shame and burden lifted off of me. It was amazing, living like it wasn't my fault!

That's kind of how I felt with the question about gravity. If there wasn't a scale, how would I feel about my life and how I'm living it.
Because the answer is pretty damn good!

I just reread my first ever blog from 2008. In it I hesitantly state my goal of weighing 150 my age 40. In that blog I write that I know I will probably look back in shame when I turn 40 about making that goal. I knew that I would turn 40 once again wishing that I could get myself together and not be fat anymore.
I got tears in my eyes as I read that. I remember SO WELL writing it. I remember SO WELL feeling embarrassed to write anything positive b/c I knew it was just another phase.

The scale has not been moving for a long while. But if the scale wasn't there?
This 41 year old can look back with so much love at that 37 year old writing in 2008. At 41 I do not weigh 150 pounds, but I don't weigh 297 anymore, not by a LONG stretch! I have been so frustrated at stagnating in the upper 180s and lower 190s. My 2008 self would have laughed and wept in delight to imagine that life---THIS life.

Without the scale here is what I know:
I am fit and active. My body moves so well, and carries me through all the things I want to do. I am a runner; one of those people who LOVES to run!
I don't have pain anymore unless it is from a sports injury! I stand up straighter and walk taller (with my abs engaged:).
I feel younger and more energized in my 40s than I did for much of my 30s.
I feel proud of myself!
Possibly most importantly (and probably the main reason for my success), I focus a lot of attention on hearing that negative tape rolling through my head. The one that says I am to blame; the one that says I deserve the shame. I finally started to hear that voice instead of just letting it roll on unchallenged in my unconscious. Then I started to counter it with the truth of my strength and courage.

My life is transformed. But I needed the extra reminder to dig into that shame, and realize the effect the scale was having on me. Taking the scale out of the equation, my life is an amazing example of health and wellness. But because of the scale, I don't let myself believe it.

What a good reminder!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITFRANNIEK 9/25/2012 8:25AM

    this blog is wonderful! thank you for the reminder that the scale is just a peice of equipment. making my morning a little bit more beautiful :-)

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JAMIEHORN20 9/19/2012 11:01AM

    Wow. I needed to read this. I'm going to come back and reread it many times. Thanks for the insight. This is so true!!!

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BEARGODDESS 9/19/2012 10:36AM

    Great blog and great attitude! emoticon

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