STEPH-KNEE   71,632
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A Chat With 272-Pound-Stephanie

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I have been having a rough week! When I say rough, I mean disaster area type stuff. emoticon I have eaten, and eaten until I was overly full emoticon, and then eaten some more! I have not done that in several months. I have probably gained 2 pounds this week (will know the damage Wednesday afternoon at weigh in), but more importantly I feel bloated and sluggish. This has ended up affecting my dog Sparky emoticon, because instead of our regular 2-3 mile walks, he's been getting jipped with measly 1 mile walks. He definitely doesn't deserve that... if I won't turn things around for me, I at least need to turn things around for him.

So my girl Susan and I were talking about how lately I've been eating like 272-pound-Stephanie. This means 3000+ calories a day in some cases. Other days maybe 2400, but far more food than I (or anyone for that matter) needs. For a brief second I thought to myself, 272-pound-Stephanie had it GOOD. I mean she could eat whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. She never EVER worried about how many calories were in something or "if she should eat that". She didn't have to worry about finding time to exercise because she didn't exercise. But then I thought there was a lot more that 272-pound-Stephanie had to deal with that I was blocking out. I was forgetting about all of those things. So Susan suggested that I have a quick chat with 272-pound-Stephanie, make a list, and then send her on her way. No offense to her but I don't want her sticking around.


So of course I started off asking her how great it was to be able to eat whatever, whenever with 0 consequences. This was her response:

"Food is great! I eat almost nothing other than fast food and I love eating chicken strips, burgers, and french fries all the time."

I couldn't lie, she had me intrigued... not worrying about food or calories ever? How great is that? She saw the twinkle in my eye, and just as I responded "That sounds great!" She cut me off right there and she gave it to me straight!

"You aren't seeing the big picture. Eating whatever, whenever is the ONLY redeeming quality about the way I am living, and to be honest that is what is causing me the most damage. It is physically exhausting carrying around all this weight. I get winded walking up the 7 stairs to my bedroom. Tying my shoes is a struggle, doing the dishes hurts my knees and my back from all the standing. I can't walk through Target without breaking into a sweat. Each night before I go to bed, and I struggle to turn over, I say to myself I wish I could find the strength to lose this weight. The extra weight sits on my chest, and sometimes it is uncomfortable even just laying down. Having to buy bigger and bigger clothes because I am growing out of them makes me feel even more defeated. So trust me when I tell you, all of that food comes with a lot of consequences."

I immediately remembered how all of those things felt. I chose to block out all of the negative things and focused on the 1 thing that I thought was fun (back then). I had already learned my lesson but before 272-pound-Stephanie left, she let me know all of the things that she was jealous of... and reminded me to be thankful for what I have, and that I need to FIGHT to keep it.

"You do many many things I wish I could do. You can walk up and down the stairs with ease, doing dishes is no big deal for you. You can walk your dog Sparky 3 miles and I can not even walk him to the corner. The physical and emotional exhaustion that comes from carrying this weight is no longer a burden for you. You also have grown much more confident not only in your ability to lose the weight, but in life in general. You do not want to go back to where you were, so stop eating like you want that life back. We both know that it's not the life you want and it is not a place you want to return to. Keep your head up, dust yourself off, and work on getting deeper into Onederland!"

Okay okay, so that might have been a silly way to approach things, I didn't actually have this conversation with myself... but seeing the huge difference between the way I used to live and the way I live now made me realize just how far I have come. I will never forget what it was like to be so far overweight, but sometimes if we don't tap into that part of ourselves and give ourselves a gentle reminder, we can let that part slip away. We have to remember it is worth it and we have to continue to fight for what we want. We didn't set out on this journey because we didn't want to change something, and sometimes we have to go back to the very beginning and get in touch with why we are doing this.

So whether I have a 1-3 pound gain at weigh in, I will take that number, and I will do the work to get the weight off, and to keep doing the work to get to my goal weight. THEN I'm going to do the work, for a lifetime to KEEP the healthier body that I have worked so hard to get. This is going to be a lifetime struggle, but I don't mind struggling to keep something that I truly want. emoticon



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATNCAG 7/14/2014 5:29PM

    Great blog! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GWINNER1 11/18/2013 7:15AM

    Staying on track is not easy but oh so worth it. Great job getting it back together.

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PROVERBS31JULIA 10/18/2013 12:22AM

    Thank you for this swift kick in the rear! I need to have a long overdue talk with the old Julia ...

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GRAMPIAN 10/13/2013 5:10AM

  Interesting blog. emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 9/17/2013 8:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SERASARA 9/16/2013 5:05PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRSRIGS1 9/11/2013 2:25PM

    What a GREAT blog! I think it IS a GREAT idea to talk to our 'old' self so he/she can remind us why we are choosing a new and healthy lifestyle. We all stumble a bit along the journey BUT the important lesson is to dust ourselves off and NEVER give up on ourselves!

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WHITEANGEL4 9/9/2013 11:06PM

    Great blog , enjoyed readinf

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NETSUE64 9/7/2013 2:47PM

    Thank you for this blog. I have recently really been craving food and missing the way I used to eat. I don't miss how things were, just the food, like MILKSHAKES! Your blog reminded me that what I have is worth all the decisions not to eat the way I used to. It's not one big decision, it's lots of them all day long, every day.

The one thing you didn't mention that pulled me through was: I do NOT miss the way I felt when I ate way too much. Bloated, sick, and only wanting to nap.

Good job and good luck with the next weigh in. You're doing awesome!

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ROUNDTOWNMOM 9/7/2013 9:52AM

    I need to have this conversation with myself....................thanks!!!
!!!! AND Way to go getting to onederland!!!

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CRYSALLIS1 9/6/2013 9:50PM

    Great idea. I'll remember to do the same thing with the old me as needed!!! Thanks for sharing.

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CMCRUZ01 9/3/2013 6:41PM

    Great job getting yourself back on track!

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GRLTAZ 9/3/2013 3:19PM

    Applause (for you) ! It kind of reminds me of the weight loss commercials on tv lately but I wish I had done this the first time I lost the weight and maybe I would not have gained it back plus another 50 lbs. My angels pointed me to spark today when I got called to stay home instead of work and you are just the thing I needed. Thank you !

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MANDYLOVE_76 9/3/2013 12:19PM

    emoticon

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BANDMOM2012 9/3/2013 10:07AM

    Great inspiration for me today :) Thank you!

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VERAMSW 9/2/2013 7:52PM

  This blog was very powerful, the tool of having a dialogue with your prior self is awesome. I especially liked the statement about not wanting to go back to what you were so why are you eating as if you do want to go back there? I have back-slid a lot and keep struggling to get my mojo back. A dialogue with my re-emerging past self sounds like it could be very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

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MILLYDALLY 9/2/2013 6:21PM

    Yeah.. I think I might have to have a conversation with 220-lb Emily...
Great blog!

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JAKENELL 9/2/2013 11:09AM

    I truly needed to read your words today. I have been on the brink of giving up and going back to the "old me." I am sorry to admit that I have done that pounds-wise - but not my ATTITUDE and that is what counts!
I am going to sit down and actually write a list about the "old me" and use it to provide encouragement to myself.
Thank you for the motivation and inspiration.
Sheila

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4GREEN4 9/1/2013 10:47PM

  emoticon

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LUVTOBOWL 9/1/2013 7:53PM

    What a way to look at your journey! emoticon

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LEANMEAN2 9/1/2013 7:09AM

    Good luck with your goals.

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THESHELBSTER 9/1/2013 6:54AM

    Oh Stephanie. This blog made me cry. This is one of the best blogs I have ever read. I loved it.

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MYAKAYAH 9/1/2013 12:32AM

    I needed this perspective, to be willing to fight to get what I want. It may be a struggle (it is) but the payoff is worth it~ emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GINGERGAL12 8/31/2013 9:12PM

  emoticon

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ZAPPATTACK 8/31/2013 5:18PM

    This was so inspiring to read!! Thank you for sharing your perspective :)

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40PUDDLEJUMPER 8/31/2013 1:26PM

    emoticon

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ASCHU2 8/31/2013 12:50PM

    Thank you so much for posting this. It made me tear up, because I've been struggling with the same thoughts this last week. I am a teacher, and the first day of inservice this past week, I ate like "Old Amber," which meant all the food put out in the staff room (even though I'd brought my own healthy choices), in the quantities I used to eat it (probably 2 or 3 times the amount my coworkers would eat), AND I couldn't seem to stop myself with my thoughts. I would think,"you've already had 5 mini chocolates-why are you reaching for more?!?" and I would do it anyway! I thought I had kicked "Old Amber" to the curb, and it was frustrating to know that she's still there. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who has to keep fighting, because some days I feel like I should have "arrived" at listening to my hunger signals. Great job-and thanks for giving me a boost today!!

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ILIKETOZUMBA 8/31/2013 9:35AM

    That was AWESOME. What a great reminder of why we're all doing this and why we've chosen to take up more exercise, even if it's boring/painful/time-consuming sometimes, and why we've chosen to give up unhealthy foods that don't properly nourish our bodies. Thank you for sharing this. :)

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NANCYTUNBERG64 8/31/2013 9:27AM

    I love the internal dialog. We all have it but are just no honest about it. Thank you for letting us know how important it is to be honest with ourselves.

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ADAPTINGANNIE 8/31/2013 8:49AM

    Thank you for sharing this. Your candid talk with yourself has led me to rethink some recent actions. Going to have that same "little chat" with myself. Enjoy your journey deeper into "One-der-land".
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IMGLAMRUS 8/31/2013 7:38AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SASSYTHING52 8/31/2013 1:13AM

    really emoticon

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CORNERKICK 8/31/2013 1:08AM

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IMTCDZ 8/31/2013 12:13AM

  Great blog! emoticon

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JOANNHUNT 8/30/2013 11:30PM

    CONGRATULATIONS. WAY TO GO. WOO HOO.

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SCRAPBECCA 8/30/2013 11:28PM

    thanks for your candid and honest post!

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JERICHO1991 8/30/2013 10:27PM

    Thanks for sharing. Let's keep struggling and never give up.

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NANCYPAT1 8/30/2013 10:10PM

    How true

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ILUVTHE80S 8/30/2013 9:05PM

    I loved the way you wrote this it is so cute! My heaviest weight was 273 a year ago and now I'm at 256. Not in onederland yet, but I hope to be next year. Excuse me, while I go talk to my 273 pound self.

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ALLEGRO13 8/30/2013 6:22PM

    Loved your post!

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ALIDOSHA 8/30/2013 5:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ELIZABETH5268 8/30/2013 4:59PM

    Your friend had a great idea. Sometimes I get frustrated with being choosy about my food and working out almost everyday. BUt then I eat something I wouldn't eat anymore and I feel sick or I don't work out and then I feel lazy and have less energy. Maybe I should have a talk with my previous self. That could even be a great idea to do when it comes to anything we've come so far from, break ups, jobs, etc.

Thank you so much for sharing! I think this will Spark many people

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TIME-4-TINA 8/30/2013 2:49PM

    Congratulations on all your success. I too, may have a conversation with myself. sounds very motivating. I will put it in my journal instead of a blog, don't want to be a copycat!. ha ha. I find it very motivating to look at old pics of myself. Pics that I thought I looked good in at the time. I realize that I barely recognize the person in the pictures. It's like a puffy blown up version of myself. I never want to be puffy again!! (mmm, that might be the title of my next blog.)
I am adding you as a friend.

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KITTYCAT64 8/30/2013 1:45PM

    Great way to share your struggle with food. I totally get it. You look beau t foul. Keep up the great job. Cathy emoticon

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KITTYCAT64 8/30/2013 1:45PM

    Great way to share your struggle with food. I totally get it. You look beau t foul. Keep up the great job. Cathy emoticon

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JRRING 8/30/2013 11:14AM

  emoticon

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CM_GARDNER78 8/30/2013 10:52AM

    GREAT blog!!!!! This is an awesomely fresh perspective - thank you so much for sharing it! It was just what I needed to read today!!! (((HUGS)))

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CALGALINIOWA 8/30/2013 10:26AM

    Love it! Thank you so much for sharing.

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JIBBIE49 8/30/2013 10:21AM

    Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor.

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 8/30/2013 10:06AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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For My Animal Lovers, Lilo & Stich (Feral Kitties)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


This is just an update, because I had so many fellow sparkers reach out with support and advice on the feral kittens Lilo and Stitch. They are doing wonderfully! I was able to pick them each up and put them back in their crate with no problem. The first time Lilo jumped out of my hand, but not in a mean way, but the second time she was fine. At first we were only petting them from the side when they weren't looking, but now even if they see your hand coming they will let you pet them.

They will still need some work of course, but they are definitely going to make good pets for someone at some point. We are trying to catch the last feral kitten tonight, so wish us luck because each day out there is another day older that kitten is getting. I think the fact that there were always lots of people at my work and the fact that these kittens already kind of associated humans with food has helped us in the taming. :)



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMOS76 9/25/2013 8:31PM

    Did I miss an update on Lilo and Stitch? How are they? Also, how do I get involved in your BLC program and when does it start? Thanks!

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CERTHIA 9/4/2013 5:43PM

    Yay! So happy to hear things are going well. Yes, the taming process probably got a head start from being fed. They are both sooo very cute! :)

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FIRECOM 9/2/2013 11:55AM

    Our two cats are both from feral mothers. They have adapted themselves to being indoor cats.

Now we have a absolutely beautiful calico that is attempting to adopt us. I think she is a drop off because she is a total loving female. She wants in when she comes by for her daily feeding and loving. Our big male would like to let her in but his younger male cat will have nothing to do with it.

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VAINVT 9/2/2013 8:31AM

  Adorable! You have given them a good home, and that benefits you, as well as the kittens.

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5KGRANNY 8/29/2013 6:25PM

    Stephanie too cute!! You know you have blossomed in so many ways. emoticon

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SIMONEKP 8/29/2013 11:35AM

    cats are cute, too bad I am extremely allergic

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DEBSZOO74 8/28/2013 6:01PM

    Look at those cute little faces! I'm glad they're doing so well! Thank you for caring enough to do this for them!

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COCK-ROBIN 8/27/2013 10:25PM

    Beautiful!

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HEATHERFREE 8/27/2013 8:29PM

    yay! so happy its working out!

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JACOBSBELOVED 8/27/2013 3:42PM

    Ah! Such good news regarding the kitties!

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CARIOLA 8/27/2013 3:21PM

    Glad it seems to be working out!

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JMOUSE99 8/27/2013 10:53AM

    what gorgeous little guys! Thanks so much for taking them in. I hope you catch their sibling soon.

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SLIMMINGSHAY 8/27/2013 10:42AM

    aww! love animals! good luck!

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TRIXIETEXAS 8/27/2013 10:37AM

    What wonderful fur babies! Bless you for taking care of them!

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SILVER_WOLF1221 8/27/2013 10:36AM

    That is awesome! I don't know if what they would've done had you not taken the time to try. You are emoticon emoticon

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JAKENELL 8/27/2013 10:16AM

    What a wonderful thing you are doing!
Sheila

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WEIGHTING4BABY 8/27/2013 9:14AM

    so cute!

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MERRY_XMAS 8/27/2013 8:48AM

    Awww so cute!
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JACKSGRAN 8/27/2013 8:42AM

    I'm sure it won't take you long. You've had such good progress so far. Thanks for keeping us in the picture

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PATTYKLAVER 8/27/2013 8:35AM

    I love watching kittens play. Thanks for sharing that with us. You're doing a lot of great work with them. I appreciate your efforts.

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BLC Is Coming To A Close...

Monday, August 26, 2013

As BLC comes to a close, I am conflicted about how I feel. I have done great for the majority of the 12 weeks, but this last week has been a struggle and I may very well have to post my first gain on the final weigh in. To go 11 weeks without gaining only to mess it up in the last week really messes with me. I'm trying not to dwell on it because BLC doesn't change things, this is still LIFE and we all have our ups and downs. It happens to everyone and I have to keep my head up and just keep on pushing. My team has opted not to take 4 weeks "off" between rounds because this is a lifestyle change and we have to keep pushing towards our goal weights 24/7. I also have not been able to redo my fit test which has me bummed, but between the kittens and walking Sparky and other shenanigans it just wasn't my first priority unfortunately. :(

So let's focus on the positives...
I've lost 16ish pounds. I can't say for sure because right now I am 196 but hoping to get back to at least 195.something by weigh in. Eek.

emoticon I've lost over 20 inches from all over my body!

emoticon I've had a ton of fitness minutes over the 12 weeks!

emoticon I've struggled but I've never given up!

emoticon My flexibility has also increased!




I can actually see differences in those photos which is always nice, my face has changed so much and my legs get smaller while my stomach just hangs there... but that's part of the process I guess lol. Next round I will wear the same clothes to get a more accurate comparison. :) Live and learn lol.

I really need to get my head in the game and get focused, I received my Hip Hop Abs and I am looking forward to getting more exercise other than walking into my routine. Someone pointed out that nutrition is more important when trying to get abs, so just for the record I am not looking to get abs, I am looking for a fun way to burn some extra calories. ;) I will never be small enough to SEE abs and that is not one of my goals, not even by a long shot. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAMACHAMBS 8/29/2013 7:18PM

    Stephanie, my dear, sweet friend, I'm afraid I totally disagree with you! I BELIEVE YOU WILL SEE YOUR ABS ONE DAY! And more importantly, I think you should believe it too!

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SIMONEKP 8/29/2013 11:37AM

    I'm joining the next round

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HEATHERFREE 8/27/2013 8:32PM

    ugh excuse me missy! Think more of yourself and your body!!!! YOU CAN TOTALLY GET SMALL ENOUGH TO SEE ABS! sheesh, after you get to your final goal weight and you get your long awaited tummy tuck you could totally see abs! lol Think big!

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AMARILYNH 8/27/2013 12:41PM

    You've made AWESOME progress and while I have my fingers crossed for you NOT to have to post a gain, its just one week out of the BIG picture of your life - and you are doing great!! It would be really nice if the journey of weight loss was a graph in which the line goes down in a straight diagonal, but for most of us that doesn't happen!!

But that's ok - I figure its kind of like an analogy I heard about the stock market - the 'trend' in the stock market is like walking up a set of stairs playing with a yo-yo - the trend remains UP but the reality is sometimes down.

So our weight loss is just the opposite - we are doing great as long as the TREND is DOWN!! And you are trending just fine!!

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MERRY_XMAS 8/27/2013 8:47AM

    You have come so far! As you said, we all have ups and downs, the important part is to get back on track as soon as possible!

PS. You should definitely wear skirts all the time! Your legs are amazing!

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BEANIES_MOM 8/27/2013 4:52AM

    You have made GREAT progress. We all hit the bumps I am still trying to get over my latest one. You are an inspiration!!!!! emoticon

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JACOBSBELOVED 8/27/2013 2:51AM

    It's hard not to dwell on this past week since it's been rough. You may have had a really good 11 weeks and one not so good week, but that one week stands out and it's hard to not let it get you down. I get it.

For what it's worth, though, your pictures look fantastic and you really seemed to have done a lot in these past 12 weeks.

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DANCINGFLAMES 8/27/2013 2:09AM

    Great job on the progress.

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JACKSGRAN 8/27/2013 2:07AM

    You have achieved so much! Don't be downhearted. The pictures say it all. I'm not brave enough to take them yet.....

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COCK-ROBIN 8/27/2013 1:44AM

    wonderful!

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MLJSPARK 8/27/2013 1:38AM

    emoticon

Congrats on all of your achievements during the BLC!! To go 11 weeks without posting a gain is emoticon and a wonderful success despite how things turn out this week. I hope the weigh-in goes well for you and best wishes with caring for your temporary kittens!

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MARYBETH4884 8/26/2013 10:34PM

    Your flexibility has really improved!!

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MOTHEPRO 8/26/2013 10:13PM

    emoticon

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CARJAK 8/26/2013 10:12PM

    Great job! emoticon

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Non-Spark-Related, Anyone have experience taming feral kittens?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Does anyone have any experience with feral cats? emoticon I think I got myself in over my head, and I am regretting it big time. I have my mom's help, but this just ugh...

Basically I've worked at my job over 5 years, there were 2 cats. A couple ladies there feed them. Over the years the momma cat has had litter after litter, and all the kittens would always end up dying. I should have done something about it then, but no one seemed to care so I ignored it. Well finally she had a litter of 3 cats survive. Which meant 5 full grown cats. 2 wandered off but 1 recently returned. Then both the momma cat and one of her full grown babies had a litter. One litter completely died, one had 3 survivors and are now 4 months old (give or take).

So of course everyone is complaining because there are 7 freakin cats, it's ridiculous. No one wanted to do anything about it so my mom and I are getting them fixed. The goal was to take home the 3 kittens, but we only caught 2. We have 2 adults fixed, still need to fix 2 adults, and the last kitten might end up just getting fixed and released. There is a Sgt there that wants to have the cats euthanized but I am not taking them to their deaths. I just fixed them, and released them. That has been their home and they are also doing their part to keep away any other cats. Apparently YEARS ago the same thing happened, and they had the cats taken away and these new ones moved in not long after.

I am just so frustrated because everything says after 4 months old you shouldn't try to tame them. I know I have to be patient, I know it takes time and it's only been 2 days. I read that you should have a spoon attached to something long, like chop sticks and try to get them to eat off the spoon through the crate and they refuse to even do that right now. Then on top of it, we gave them flea meds as soon as we got them but of course there are still fleas EVERYWHERE in that bedroom and it is the room with my guinea pigs. My mom is coming over in the afternoon and this is all just a mess. I vacuumed up a bunch of fleas but they are everywhere, and I don't want my guinea pigs getting eaten alive because I brought these stinkin kittens in.

I'm gonna watch some youtube videos on taming feral kittens and doing more research tomorrow, just curious if anyone had any experience with that? I guess I'm just looking for someone to say I did it and it was worth it, it just took time. My worry is that we do this for weeks and they don't get any better, and no one would adopt nasty cats, and I don't blame them. I am not even a cat person, isn't that funny? I guess I am just venting because I am just freaking out, especially over the fleas/guinea pig situation.

Sometimes I wonder why I do stupid crap like this, but I didn't want those cats to have 829038290 more cats and I know I've done the right thing, I love animals, I just wish the right thing didn't have to be so stressful!

Anyways, this is Lilo & Stitch *SIGHS*


I just wanted to say as a disclaimer, I am not freaking out because they haven't made progress in 2 days, I am prepared for this to take weeks, I think I'm just overwhelmed because I have 0 experience with this, plus the fleas/guinea pig thing is bothering me so much.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERRY_XMAS 8/24/2013 3:05AM

    I never had cats, always a dog person... I hope you'll sort things out! It's a great thing that you took care of the cats, but maybe you could try to put the cage in another room cos:
bedroom+fleas=bad

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DANCINGFLAMES 8/24/2013 2:18AM

    You have a lot of comments here with great information. If you can't get them to be more tame/people friendly, try to find someone who needs barn cats. Some shelters offer programs to get feral cats into enviroments where they will thrive.

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HEATHERFREE 8/24/2013 12:55AM

    Think of it as no different then your weight loss journey lol But with the fleas you HAVE to get that under control ASAP or you will end up like us! We finally went to the vet and got the advantage flea drops which are the ONLY ones that work. other than that vacuum vacuum vacuum and if you have to then get the foggers from the vet also. The fleas stuff from the store does NOT work

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STONECOT 8/23/2013 3:42PM

    While you're waiting for the flea meds to work, take guinea pigs OUT of the room overnight, and use a long acting flea spray like Acclaim on the floor. You want one of the sprays that kills fleas and stops eggs from hatching. One spray will last 6 months, and the guinea pigs can go back into the room in the morning.

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FINCHFEEDER80 8/23/2013 2:43PM

    Good luck with whatever you end up deciding to do! I have heard of TNR programs (from watching My Cat From Hell), and it seems like a good thing to do. I would adopt them all if I could! In fact, probably the only reason I'm not the crazy cat lady is because I recognized that I could only take care of the one I had, financially.

I wish Mr. Piggy luck as well!

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SIMONEKP 8/23/2013 1:03PM

    Not sure they can be tamed into house cats but they may make good outdoor cats if you live in warm weather.

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CARIOLA 8/23/2013 12:41PM

    My daughter works with a rescue group and has raised over 50 kittens for adoption. I took in an abandoned kitten last fall and raised him until he was adopted by a wonderful family. So there is hope and help!

The first thing you should do is see if there is a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) program in your area. They will help you to trap the kittens and adults; they will lend you the special traps that are needed. They will take care of the spaying and neutering and rabies shots, and the cats usually get an ear tipped so they can be identified as TNR cats. Some groups also test for FeLV and FEHIV. If the cats test positive for these diseases, they will likely be put down rather than released.

The younger the kittens, the easier it is to tame them. The three-week old I took in was totally dependent on me for his food—had to be fed with a syringe—so he saw me as Mama right away. It also helped that I had two cats of my own; they learn how to socialize from other cats. These guys are probably pretty set in their feral ways at four months. One helpful group, Alley Cat Allies, says that after five weeks, it is really hard to get feral kittens tame enough for adoption, so you may find that the best option is to get them fixed and release them. I know that my daughter has never had luck taming the older ones, despite all her experience. All the kittens she has raised were either born to pregnant mothers who were trapped and gave birth before being taken in for spaying, or kittens under six weeks who were abandoned. In the first instance, the mother and babies were kept in a cage until the kittens could eat on their own; then the mom was spayed and released and the babies socialized for adoption.

Here is the website for Alley Cat Allies, which may have some useful advice:

http://www.alleycat.
org/page.aspx?pid=289

You have done a good thing for these cats, even if you do have to release them. If they are fixed, you will be helping to reduce the feral cat population, and they will be less susceptible to getting injured in fights and won’t have as much competition for food. Good luck!


Comment edited on: 8/23/2013 12:43:11 PM

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STRONGDJ 8/23/2013 10:53AM

    Stephanie,
Ask the vet about something called Capstar. It helps reduce the flea population. The only thing is, it comes in a tablet form which might be a problem for your situation. Here's a description:

Capstar Flea Treatment Tablets are used to kill fleas on dogs and cats, which begins working within 30 minutes. Capstar will kill more than 90% of adult fleas within 4 hours on dogs and 6 hours on cats, and pets may temporarily scratch as a result of the fleas dying.

One year our entire neighborhood was having a terrible flea problem. Capstar helped us get it under control. You still have to use other flea treatments, but this stuff gives you a fighting chance.

Also SP member CATHUT runs a cat rescue, she might have some useful advice for you as far as the rehabilitation (or not) of the kittens.

Best of luck.
DJ



Comment edited on: 8/23/2013 10:53:56 AM

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AMARILYNH 8/23/2013 9:09AM

    emoticon I have no experience with this either but just want to say how I admire you for trying! And thanks for the giggle: "I didn't want those cats to have 829038290 more cats." Exactly!! Anyone who keeps animals around should be humane enough to have them fixed. Good luck!!

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MADEIT3 8/23/2013 8:58AM

    I wish I could give you some hope. Feral cats tend to remain feral. Even when they look tame for a while, they can turn "wild" on a dime. I don't know where you are, but In Kansas City, we have a wonderful no-kill shelter that has a special program for feral cats. They adopt the cats out as barn cats as long as folks agree to get them necessary shots and vet visits as needed, along with general feeding and watering. We have a barn cat and it's worked out well for us. I do not expect my barn kitty to be overly friendly with me - although he will come up and say help every once in a while. The good news is he keeps our barn free of mice and snakes. I applaud what you're doing, and I'd highly recommend that you look for a similar program or at least someone with an acreage willing to take on a spayed or neutered animal. The very best to you!!

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AMOS76 8/23/2013 8:58AM

    Keep us posted on their progress! I wish you all the luck in the world. You have a kind heart and breaking the cycle of death and reproduction is a start.

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CERTHIA 8/23/2013 8:52AM

    I just wanted to wish you good luck. You are very kind to care for the cats. I wish there were more people like you around!

I hate to be discouraging, but I would think they are probably best off if you let them out again if they don't seem to settle in (after having them fixed and vaccinated ofc). You could try to tame them long term by feeding them on the outside to gradually build trust before taking them in, but they will likely not be content living as indoor cats anytime soon..

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FABAT402009 8/23/2013 8:40AM

    Reach out to Spark member 3_GIANTS_4_ME, she's amazing and rescues cats and dogs.

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JACKSGRAN 8/23/2013 8:33AM

    I have no comforting words or experience sorry to say, but I'm sure it's possible given time. I'm sure there is someone here who knows, or knows someone who knows.... Hope you get the answer.

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COCK-ROBIN 8/23/2013 8:27AM

    May it go well with you.

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There Are No Season Passes To Onederland!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


(^This is the Onederland sign I had in my Onederland pic. It hangs on my wall above my scale so I can look at it everyday to remind me that I worked to get here and have to work to stay here.)

As I said in my status yesterday, I was chatting with my BFF Susan, and we talked about how I had a couple rough days and what not, and being the sweetie she is "At least you are staying in Onederland, so that's the best part!" I told her I am finally realizing that there are no season passes to Onederland! It isn't buy a day get a year free! I wish that was the case, and there were a few times my mind started slipping and thinking I didn't have to work as hard.

When I first got to Onederland last month, it was so much fun, I couldn't believe I did it! I just squeaked on in at 199.6 and was worried that I might see 200 in some of my weighing adventures (because sometimes I get on more than once a week). But I was very lucky that I have not stepped a foot outside of Onederland since I first arrived. That is fine and dandy but it also gave me a little bit of complacency. When I first hit it I had 2 kind of "whatever days" and I recently had 2 more "whatever days", but I have to remember that I still need to DO WORK.

My mind plays tricks on me sometimes, it's like it tells me that "I've got this" and lulls me into this false sense of security where I feel like I don't have to work as hard. What drives me crazy about this is, when I started my journey this time, I was committed for life. This was the first time that I realized that you don't "diet UNTIL you get to your goal weight, then eat whatever you want." I realized I had to make permanent changes, that I could stick with forever. I knew that maintaining my weight would take the same (if not more) effort that I was using to lose weight, and I was fine with this. The kicker of course is that I am not even at maintenance. I honestly don't know when maintenance will be... I'm confident I will know it when I see it. I will wake up one day and FEEL that I am at a good weight for myself and that will be when I maintain. But even when that glorious day comes, I still need to DO WORK. My girl Susan is always good at reminding me I have to do the work. I can't let the little gremlins in my mind tell me it's okay to slack off because I've worked so hard for so long.



I am ready to kick this up a notch, I am ready to get the rest of this weight off, no matter how much weight that might be. I ordered Hip Hop Abs and I'm super excited to start that... it looks like a lot of fun and it's definitely my kind of exercise. I don't know if I have shared this publicly in a blog, but after getting to my mystical goal weight, and maintaining for a bit, I am going to have a tummy tuck. I already have the money saved up and it is a choice I have made based on my body, and the amount of hanging skin I seem to have. The "apron" as you will just continues to get worse and worse as I lose the weight. A lot of people say "you'll be fine, it'll go back up", but I can honestly say that seems very unlikely at this point. I was overweight my entire life, the skin is stretched to the point of no return in a lot of places. If I can get to goal and my body magically takes care of itself then yay, but I am prepared financially and emotionally for the inevitable and being privileged enough to have that as an option has taken a huge load off my mind. I don't know that I would be able to push forward as hard with this weight loss if I didn't have that option, because my stomach getting worse and worse would probably start to discourage me. So I'm ready emotionally and financially for that, but I'm not at my goal and so that is my focus to get the rest of this weight off once and for all. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIXIETEXAS 8/27/2013 10:40AM

    You are doing great and you have the right mindset! I'd love to hear your review of Hip Hop Abs after you start it!

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KATHANN2 8/23/2013 3:47PM

    I know a lot of people love hip hops abs. But remember its your nutrition first before the abs will come out!

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SIMONEKP 8/23/2013 12:59PM

    I hear you. I tried Hip Hop Abs and it wasn't my cup of tea, too cheesy for my taste. Good for you re: the surgery. When I get to where I think I want to be, if I have the apron thing, it was be a must do for me as well.

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LYNNWANNABE 8/22/2013 7:48AM

    I'm trying not to focus on the hanging skin.. I probably won't have the money in the end to spend on it; plus, we've got other more important expenses that really, my husband needs before me [like new dentures, as he's using a temporary partial right now]. I already have sagging skin but won't give up because I know I'm going to feel better if I keep going. (I'm glad because of your youth that you planned and saved for it!!!) emoticon emoticon

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MERRY_XMAS 8/21/2013 5:10PM

    You reached a milestone and moving beyond that is always tough! But it seems you are determined to do so! You have come this far, I'm sure you can do it!

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MILLYDALLY 8/21/2013 1:53PM

    I hear ya!!
Good luck!!

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JESSYJAINES 8/21/2013 1:05PM

    Wonderful blog. I feel sometimes we hit plateau's in our mind. We feel awesome and motivated and then something happens and we have to re-motivate ourselves. Good for you, being prepared and knowing that this is your new lifestyle. You got this! emoticon emoticon

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MKLEINSC 8/21/2013 10:30AM

    Wonderful blog! I am so proud of your progress and your commitment to yourself! Keep up the hard work and you will get to that skin removal surgery!

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AMARILYNH 8/21/2013 9:41AM

    Another great blog, Stephanie!! You are SO right - there IS no 'Season Pass' to our weight goals. And YAY for planning ahead so you are ready for that tummy tuck if it is needed! You ROCK and you are SO inspiring to those of us out here in SparkLand who are following your journey!! emoticon emoticonYou are emoticon emoticon

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ZAPPATTACK 8/21/2013 9:15AM

    You can do it!!

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DEIDRESH 8/21/2013 8:40AM

    You've got this and you CAN and WILL reach your goals! emoticon emoticon

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MONKEYSTAR28 8/21/2013 8:17AM

    It is so true, it takes constant planning, work and dedication to get there and stay there. I love your sign above your scale. What a great visual reminder of your goal, and you achievement. emoticon

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JACKSGRAN 8/21/2013 2:09AM

    This is a first class post. Not only are you being honest, you are also showing that you have thought things through. I'm really looking forward to following your next steps and offering any support I can. GO FOR IT!

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COCK-ROBIN 8/21/2013 12:05AM

    Wonderful!

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DIRLI8 8/20/2013 11:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DANCINGFLAMES 8/20/2013 11:19PM

    Great blog, we all need to be reminded that this is a life long committment and that we have to work for the things we really want.

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CIROHIO 8/20/2013 11:03PM

    Great blog! You are so right you can not relax and let them gremlims get the best of you. I to made it to onederland not to long ago maybe 3 weeks or so ago. I have not lost since then so I am being extra careful. Guess I have been lucky that with being on all these antibiotics and steroids for the past weeks that I have no gained. Thank goodness. Just stay focused and keep your eye on the prize!

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JUJIFRUIT 8/20/2013 10:47PM

    Great attitude!

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WORKNPROGRESS49 8/20/2013 10:02PM

    emoticon

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FITFRIT 8/20/2013 9:42PM

    For the longest time my goal was to get back below 230, and I did! Then it crept back up on me and I'm over it again. Time to recommit!

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MOTHEPRO 8/20/2013 7:53PM

    Good for you! I have a way to go before getting to my goal, but I worry about the extra skin. My stomach is not bad right now, but my arms and especially my thighs are sagging a lot. I'll have to start saving up so I can get it taken care of too.

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