Wednesday, December 26, 2012
First off, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to any of you that have encouraged me or reached out to me at any point, but more specifically recently when I was struggling!! It really meant so much to know that I have people here who support me and want to see me do well. This has been my most successful year on Spark, and I'm hoping to make 2013 even better!
What I've learned on SparkPeople this year:
: I need Spark People! That is probably the most important thing I've learned all year. I need the nutrition tracker, I need to be accountable for everything I eat, but more importantly I need the support system. I am the type of person that doesn't necessarily share my weight loss efforts with a ton of people in my "real life". I tell a select few but that's it, and most of the time the details are minimal. I also feel the need to encourage others. I get inspired by so many people here, and their success gets contagious.
: When I'm struggling, I have to speak up! In previous attempts, when the scale started creeping up, I would avoid this site like the plague. Who wants to admit they are starting to regain the weight they've lost? I realize now that if I would have been honest with my Spark Friends back in the day, I would have received the support that might have prevented a 5 pound gain from turning into regaining all of my weight lost (on more than one occasion). Coming clean about my recent gain, resetting my weight ticker to reflect the gain, and getting the support from you guys has given me a new found sense of control and has got me right back to where I need to be.
: My plan is MY plan, and no one elses. This has been very hard for me to learn, because I've always felt I needed to be on some conventional program to be successful. Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig, Atkins Diet, No Sodium diet, etc etc. It had to be "go big or go home." This is the first time that I haven't made any food "off limits", everything in moderation, and calories in calories out is the name of my game. Some people might cringe at what I chose to eat, but if I can lose 60 pounds eating what I want (more or less), then they can't really afford to argue with me.
: The scale can suck it! The scale has always been my #1 measure of success or failure, and it has ultimately caused me problems. Sometimes you can be doing everything right, and the scale refuses to budge. When that happens I've learned we just have to . That said I LOVE seeing the scale go down, but I a pay more attention to how my clothes fit or other NSV's.
: Plateaus are the pits!! That goes hand in hand with the scale not rewarding you for hard work at times... I plateaud at 250, 230, 214 (and I'm sure there's many more to come)... it happens! In the past that would have derailed me and sent me right back up to 270ville, but not this time.
: Time lines do not work for me, in fact, they stress me out!! Every previous attempt started with a pen and paper and this: "You weigh 272, you want to get to 180. So that's 92 pounds, if you lose 2 pounds per week, so it will take you 46 weeks which is about 11ish months... BUT maybe if you lose 5 the first week, and 2.5 a week..." Well, you get the idea. That was a recipe for disaster. 1/2 of those attempts would end with "well that's going to take forever, WHY EVEN BOTHER?!" The other half of those attempts would last maybe a month, or 3 months at best, and when I hadn't lost "10 pounds a month like I SHOULD be" I would throw in the towel. This is the FIRST time I didn't do that, and it was the BEST thing I could have done. I have gone from 262 to 212ish in 9 months which is by no means 2 pounds a week or any other "spectacular amount" of weight loss, but I sure am happy with the progress!
: Don't be so hard on yourself! This was a very hard one for me to learn. I would constantly beat myself "If you would have just stuck with it like you were supposed to, you could have been at goal by now". "You gained 5 pounds, what an idiot, I knew you would always be fat!" I would never in a million years speak like that to anyone else, so why was I allowing myself to treat myself so terribly? That has been a long hard process, but I have come a long way and continue to work on positive self talk.
I'm sure there are more things I have learned on my journey these past 9 months, but this was already far longer than I expected. In fact, if any of you poor saps actually read all the way to this point, let me know and I will shower you with a Spark Goodie!
I HAVE to give a huge shout out to my Spark BFF Susan (IMSOOZEEQ)! If you don't have the pleasure of knowing her, I suggest you check out her page, I'm just sayin! I am very blessed to have a handful of amazing Spark Friends that are absolutely amazing and know a lot about me. They are always there to offer support and advice, but this very special shout out to Susan is because she has single-handedly pulled me out of the pit of despair this past week! I was just sinking further and further down into the pit and the scale was just creeping up and up and she reached down and pulled me out! Without her I'd be back in 220ville instead of full steam ahead to Onederland! I seriously do not know what I'd do without you Susan, you are just too amazing for words! And to all my amazing Spark friends who have helped me throughout my journey and continued to support me, lots of hugs as well!
Sunday, December 23, 2012
So the reason for the "sort of" is because I have been on and off of this site since 2009. My weight chart in the last blog showed the roller coaster that has been my weight loss journey. From losing 40 pounds and gaining it back, losing 30 pounds and gaining it back and so on (from the end of 09 through 11). March 20 of 2012 I started Spark yet again, but this time I have stuck with it and I have no plans on stopping. I went from 262 to 212 during this 9 months, but am currently back up to 217ish.
I am so proud that I am still here and I am still trying. Despite a recent 5ish pound gain, I am still here and I am still pushing forward. For the first time in years I am confident that my 5 pound gain isn't going to spiral on to gaining back all of my lost weight.
I am thankful for the great Spark Friends I have, without such a great support system I don't think I'd still be here, fighting to get to my goal. I have firm plans in place for the rest of the month to prevent any further gains, and I am very much looking forward to the New Year and I am hoping to push super hard and make my 2013 my GOAL YEAR! I want to reach 180 pounds, declare victory (cuz that sounds awesome, doesn't it?!), and then possibly see about pushing on to 170. But that is just a glance into the future, and for right now I am just focused on the week ahead and the month of January, and I look forward to a Spark filled year with all of you!
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Does anybody enjoy being wrong?! Well, I sure don't, but I've been wrong a lot in my almost 27 years, and I am sure I will continue to be wrong countless times in the future. So I am hereby declaring my "1400 calorie December" a
Okay, okay, fail is a seriously strong word, but I want a cat picture and that one was TOO good to pass up. So please don't think I am beating myself up here. My weight loss journey has been nothing but a bunch of trial an error. There is no better way to figure out what works and what doesn't by trying it and seeing what happens.
When I chose 1400 calories, it wasn't a lot of thought put into it. I put in that I wanted to lose 2 pounds a week, with my amount of calories burned and the range Spark gives me is 1200-1550. So I thought 1400 was a good balance and that MAYBE I could get back to losing 2 pounds a week. That was my FIRST of the bad decisions. My body has not been willing to let go of 2 pounds per week pretty much since the beginning. So what made me think my body was willing to change it up now? Oops.
I also want to add, I am not complaining about the range Spark gave me. It is a tool, and we all need to decide for ourselves what works for us. I had some friends express concern that 1400 was too little, but I just didn't think it was. I felt completely satisfied and full on 1400 calories. Maybe the amount of food or the foods I chose were filling and maybe even though I was mentally satisfied, maybe my body didn't agree. I really don't have the answer.
I've had a handful of super bad days, and a bunch of good days, and I am up about a pound or two. So obviously this is not working. The stubborn part of me wanted to just stick it out and just keep doing it until December was over just to say that I "did it". Then I realized why am I going to waste more time doing something that clearly isn't working.
So instead, I went through my journey from March of this year until now. I found the 3 months where I lost the highest amounts of weight, and found my calorie averages for the week. Here is what I found out and posted in a Journal entry on spark:
My 3 highest months for weight loss were:
June: 8.1 pounds lost.
September: 7.2 pounds lost.
October: 7.8 pounds lost.
June: 5 bad days: ?(not tracked) , 2950, 2256, 2089, 3016.
Week 1 Average: 1700 Week 2: 1723 Week 3 1649 Week 4: 1592
September: 6 bad days: 2131, 2355, 2167, 2311, 2850, 2558
Week 1: 1697 Week 2: 1689 Week 3: 1529 Week 4: 1878
October: 8 bad days: 2230 2265 2165 2387 2919 2243 2388 2121
Week 1: 1742 Week 2 1964 week 3 1849 week 4 1721
Can you believe it, with 8 very high calorie days in October I still lost 7.8 pounds? That is pretty awesome. Not that I want to have super high calorie days like that on a regular basis, but it was quite the eye opener.
So what I am seeing is that for the most part, a comfortable range of 1700 per week seems to be about right for me. I would love to have a 7 or 8 pound month again. Last week I made up a plan for a "treat meal" twice a month and made some rules to accompany it. I am going to start incorporating it in January and see how it works.
So, to end this on a high note and put what has been good about the month so far...
: Admitting I was totally wrong LOL, that's never fun.
: Trying something new, even if it backfired.
: Researching what has worked for me in the past.
: Accepting that something that I really hoped was going to be good for me really wasn't, and being able to let that go and move forward.
In other random news, I have found myself too scale oriented and I need to pull away from that. I am currently in between rounds for BLC so I am going to take that time to have at least some form of break from the scale before that starts again mid January. I think that will help a lot with my sanity, as it has been a rough week for me on many levels.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
So I totally changed my Spark username. When I first signed up in 2009 (IStillLoveJB), I thought it was JUST going to be used as a log on. I had no idea that it would be my username for the world to see. So I finally changed it up and although it still looks weird at times, I really like it. So hopefully ya'll didn't think there was some random creeper on your "friend feed"!
Huge NSV today! I am rocking the blue plaid shirt I have in my before pics (60 pounds ago), it is buttoned and loose and the buttons don't pop open when I sit down. I feel like a million bucks!
!! To everyone that reached out to me when I was struggling, it really meant a lot! I am feeling so much better and back in control. I am making an effort to back away from the scale at this point and just focusing on my actions.
I need to give a HUGE shoutout, , and to JacbosBeloved, BethieBoops and ImSoozeeQ! These girls are amazing, and if you aren't lucky enough to know them, you should try your best to get to know them! They are the most amazing, dedicated and inspiring Spark people you would ever want to meet! Alissa: I thank you so much for putting things into perspective for me. To see the 11 good days vs. the 2 bad days really helped me to get back on track. Elizabeth: Thanks so much for ALL the advice and reaching out to me at a time when I really needed it, it means so much to me! And last but not least Susan, seriously Susan! You know me better than anyone and you know when to call me out on my nonsense and get me back to where I need to be. You are also always there to listen and offer support and you are totally my BFF! to these awesome ladies!
To anyone that has ever commented or given me a goodie, that is what keeps me going. By having all of you to support me, I feel like I am not doing this alone and some days that is the ONLY thing that prevents me from back sliding to an all time high weight. So every little goodie or comment can really mean the world to someone and it is always appreciated!
As for the check in, this is a short one because I posted one not too long ago, but things are looking up!
14th: 1,072 And this was not intentional, I was super sick after the 2, 3,000+ days.
16th: 1,400 1,400 on the nose, so awesome LOL! I was playing around with what I could have and when I saw that I was excited ha ha!
Previous updates, days 1-11 all under 1400. 12-13th over 3,000 calories.
And to everyone who thought 1,400 might have been too low, from now until the rest of the month I am going to make sure I listen to my body. If I feel that I still need to eat more after I've eaten the 1,400 calories, I won't deprive myself. But so far I have felt full and content on the 1,400 by making certain food choices.
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