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Reflecting on Maintenance and Feelings of Self-Worth

Friday, August 24, 2012

Yesterday I read NancyAnne55's blog entry on maintenance: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_j

Hidden in there with all sorts of things I've already realized about maintenance and come to accept were 3 little words: 'It's worth it.'

The entire blog post resonated with me. Maintenance is hard. Not because exercise is hard. I love it. Not because eating well is hard. I love good, real food. Maintenance is hard because it requires constant vigilance and constant vigilance requires that I make myself a priority. And that, my friends, has ALWAYS been a struggle for me.

I don't know why but I struggle to see MYSELF as 'worth it'. It contributed to my weight gain and to staying overweight for so long. I didn't make time to exercise because it might take away from my availability to meet the needs of my family. I didn't make the time or spend the money to eat right unless my husband was on board because doing that just for myself didn't seem worth it.

Someday I ought to blog about the year that brought me to the place where I was no more afraid to be 'selfish' enough to lose weight than I was to continue to be overweight and inactive. Suffice it to say there were a LOT of years of feeling like I wasn't worth it and I finally got to a point where I realized that if I didn't put myself first no one else was ever going to do it.

That carried me for 3 months. I lost 18 pounds. And then my son had some educational crises and my daughter some medical ones and all of a sudden I really could not put myself so high on the priority list. This is where another line from NancyAnne55's blog post hit home. She said of a weight regain, "Took me years to be ready to lose it again." I had 10 years history of losing and regaining and needing a good long time 'to be ready to lose it again'. My yo-yoing was ALL about me being emotionally ready to lose weight. All about me being able to see my needs as on par with everyone else's. I lost myself in getting my kids back on track and didn't snap out of it until my 40th birthday was less than a month away and I was 30 pounds overweight after saying for YEARS that I didn't want to be overweight when I turned 40. I set a goal of joining the gym before Lent was over. It took me a few weeks to be ready but I did it.

And for months I was in my groove. Seriously successful at saying 'I *am* worth it!' and not letting anyone take that away from me. Loss over loss over loss over loss. I got strong, I got toned, I got lean. I blew past 30 pounds lost and settled in at 50 pounds lost 7 months after my 40th birthday.

Then as I neared my 41st birthday I got a bit lost again. Not like before. A few pounds up. And I cycled up and down at goal for a few months. Spring is always a really hard time for me emotionally. I guess it's not SAD.... it's the wrong time of year, right? But it's definitely not 'situational' because I weathered a LOT of stressful events in the intervening year and nothing major was going on in those months. Just a time where I didn't feel worth it and didn't focus quite so much on eating like I should or exercising with the same kind of focus. As spring became summer my focus returned and I was able to shed those few pounds and 5 more and 'peak' for my cruise in July.

And then I got lost again. This time it wasn't me. This time I had someone saying I wasn't worth it. Gold digger. Selfish. Obsessed with exercise. Comments about how I eat. Comments about how I (don't) drink. Totally unsupportive stuff. And I let it get to me. I'm working on shaking it off. And I've talked to someone who has years of experience with this negative person who told me that that's ALL I can do - shake it off - because he's never going to stop and calling him on it will just make it worse for me. So I'm trying. And it's hard. It's really, really hard to feel like I am worth it when these comments are still bouncing around my head unaddressed. It amazes me that a week of negative messages out of a year of positivity can have this affect. It's almost like being physically assaulted. I need time to heal from it. Every day I am feeling more on top of things again. My eating has calmed down. My exercise is getting more focused.

Looking at the graph of my weight I can see 3 baubles. One big uptick last August when I spent 2 weeks with the negative person. One small broad uptick last spring when I was feeling blue. One small, hopefully narrow, uptick that I'm in right now as I recover from this year's round with Mr. Negative. It's just like all my years of yo-yo'ing only the ups are so much smaller and it doesn't "[take] me years to be ready to lose it again.' It's progress but it does highlight that dealing with feelings of being 'not worth it' is probably going to be the biggest impediment to maintenance for me.

'They' say that losing weight won't solve your problems. That's only partially true for me. Losing weight has NOT fixed whatever causes my spring blues. Losing weight has NOT made me immune to negativity. BUT losing weight has done a LOT to build my self-worth. I set a REALLY big goal and I met it. Now I need to continue to work on feeling like I am worth it. I have a physical in December and I'm going to talk to my doctor about the possibility of taking antidepressants in the spring. With a strong family history of depression, I think it's likely that that is chemical in nature and may only respond to medication. I haven't figured out how to deal with negative people that I can not remove from my life. I've removed a LOT of negative people but some of the negativity is here to stay and I need to figure out how to cope with it.

So... there you go..... the issues that contributed to my weight gain are still here but my success at weight loss and maintenance is giving me the strength to continue to address them :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Great blog. Many insights. I think going into that much detail is helpful in relating and learning from your efforts. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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CASSIES 8/26/2012 7:30AM

    Great blog. I totally relate to how the experience of negative voices can get stuck in my head and mess with ones strength and progress.

When I realize a negative voice is taking over I replace.it with dear, positive voices that got my back. Everytime I "wake up" and do that I strengthen my ability to know I am worth high priority.

Your doing all the right things. This is just not a straight forward process.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/26/2012 12:40AM


As for the negative folks. Yeah, DAWNFIRE has it pegged. Projection.

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KAYOTIC 8/25/2012 9:38AM

    I agree with Dawnfire, negative people are coming from a negative place, and their comments reflect more upon them than the folks they are tying to spray with their negative poison. I've found that if I try to figure out the motivation for them to spew (more than likely whatever you represent to them brings up a bad memory for them) it takes the sting out of it for me, because it's not personal against me, it's about them and their issues.

Great insights in this blog! And congrats on doing so well, and really seeing where you need some fine tuning. I think you are on to something about people failing in dieting and in maintenance because they don't feel "worth it".

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DAWNFIRE72 8/24/2012 12:49PM

    You are worth it and it is unfortunate that we can't get rid of all the negative people in our lives. I sometimes think they are so negative is because they are not happy with themselves.

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WELLNESSME09 8/24/2012 8:54AM

    emoticon blog!

Believe in yourself...you are worth it! emoticon emoticon

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SUNNYRUTH 8/24/2012 7:26AM

    What a great blog! You inspire me. You ARE worth it! Keep up the good work.

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Anyone want to join me in 30 days of blogging?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I am reading the blog of a new friend add here on Spark People and she did a 30 days of blogging activity base on this picture:

I'm thinking it would be fun to do this in September (30 days hath September blah blah blah). Some days might not work ideally for someone into maintenance but I can adapt them or talk about my journey on those days. And if I miss a day, I'll just double up. So NOT into the pressure of having one more thing I MUST DO as a streak. Um, no.

Might keep me from obsessing about weight, measurement, body fat, and fitness minutia. Might.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNYR0506 8/24/2012 2:44PM

    I also found it elsewhere online and it seems to be (at least losely) associated with eating disorders. Thinspo, pro-ana, pro-mia are the terms I'm referring to. It is also directed at a very young audience - Do your parents know? I looked at some of the public blogs from girls following the "Challenge" and some of them were planning on only consuming 500 calories (or less) per day for the entire challenge. I think a 30 day blog challenge is a good idea and will help me to refocus on my eating/exercise goals but I would hate to inadvertently promote something that would lead anyone down a path of unhealthy eating.

How can we alter this "30 Day Challenge" to make it something positive, helpful and healthful?


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MOONSTORMER 8/24/2012 2:22AM

    for anyone like me struggling to read, found the pic again here: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/30-day
BR>seems like an interesting concept, but too many of the days are not a fit for me. wrong age target, goals that don't fit, etc. but quite cool - i look forward to reading your journey!

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 8/23/2012 9:51PM

    Sounds like fun! I am in:)

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JENNYR0506 8/23/2012 7:47PM

    Sounds like fun, but, my old eyes can't read a word of it. Got a better link?


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FEMISLIM 8/23/2012 5:47PM

    Good idea. I will consider it and get back to you. Adding you as a Spark friend so I can link up, if and when I make up my mind.

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Running and stuff.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I've gotten 3 runs in since I last updated. My achilles seems fine. I never deal with shin splints. But now my hips are bothering me the day after I run (and sometimes the day after that). I have no clue what's going on there. Looking online it could be my posture or it could be a leg length discrepancy. I need to do some more reading but for now if I still hurt on Thursday I don't run again on Thursday.

Running for 2012:
67.25 miles + 2 + 2 + 3.25 = 74.5 miles
1 month until my next 5K.

I did workout A of base phase of The Female Body Breakthrough yesterday. I got sweaty and I really feel it today, especially in my biceps and deltoids. So... I guess I don't need to worry that going back to the base phase means I'll get nothing out of those workouts! I just upped the weights and - bam - real workout. So, for now, I will likely do FBB workouts 2x a week and try out other things for my third strength training day (the Power class, workouts from magazines, workouts from my trainer, etc). I'll keep my Centergy and running schedule the same.

I emailed and then spoke with the gym manager about wanting a small group class at the gym. Turns out the gym can not offer them. ONLY the contracted personal training company can offer small groups. I've already talked to the manager of that company about my desire to be part of a small group focused on strength training with either a particular focus (ie shoulders/arms, butt/legs, core) or a particular type of workout (TRX, kettle bells). Nada. It seems the only want to work one-on-one in 30' sessions and I.am.not.interested. (1) I have a trainer and I don't want to switch. (2) I workout for an hour. Not 30'. A 30' ST session with a trainer is a waste of a ST day for me! I am frustrated. I even wrote to one of the trainers who I have seen leading small groups in the past and let her know what I'm after. Next I'll talk to my trainer. I suspect he doesn't have a large enough client base to have call for what I'm after during the hours that I'm after it.... but it's worth asking him about. If I never ask for what I want, I'll never get it, right?

Edited to add: I talked to my trainer and he just might be able to put something together! Woo! I think he 'got' what I am after. A little bit of social connection through fitness.... without it turning into socializing in the guise of fitness. I'm hopeful!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ISHIIGIRL 8/23/2012 9:18PM

    Have you tried stretching your IT band for the hip pain? My hips always hurt after I run so I really try to stretch them well. They will really start aching after a few hrs of sitting at my desk so I will get up and do a few stretches and that seems to relieve some of the pain. Coach NIcole has a video on stretching for runners. You may find that helpful as well. Paige

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RBETYOURASS 8/23/2012 11:51AM

    Exactly! You never know unless you ask! Good luck to you!
And great job on the running mileage! I just completed my first 5k this year. Forgot how much I love running races and running in general. Awesome idea to track mileage! I will def start tracking mileage too, thank you!
Hope you find the solution to your hip problem, that's gotta suck!

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Heavy Lifting

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I still haven't made a plan for what I want to do fitness wise when school starts but I have made a few decisions -

1. I don't want to do the Boot Camp Challenge. I watched some promo videos on YouTube and it looks like the very kind of exercise I hate - rushed, pressured, jumping, no weights. Shudder. Reminded me of all the parts of fitkick that I hated (and none of what I loved - the heavy bag work).

2. I want to lift. Heavy. So I need more than the large groupex 'power' class.

I wrote to the manager of my gym to tell him what I was after. Maybe he can make it happen. In the mean time I restarted the base phase of The Female Body Breakthrough simply because I know the moves. In an hour I got in 10' on the bike, all 3 sets of all 8 moves, and 10' of stretching. Perfect :-)

Maybe it's the easy way out but it feels good for now. And it doesn't add to my fitness costs.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUN_BAKE_BLOG 8/22/2012 5:00PM

    No, you have to do what feels right!
Hopefully the manager can help you out.
I have an appointment with a personal trainer on Friday morning...
A first for me!
We will see how that goes!

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SEATTLESIMS 8/22/2012 1:26PM

    Well, sounds like you are making progress figuring out what WON'T work for you.
My bootcamp class does some weights and body weight ST, we do cardio in between to keep the heart rate up, but it isn't heavy lifting.

Good luck with the current routine, sounds like a good one.

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NELLJONES 8/22/2012 12:59PM

    You aren't talking tattoos here. Try it out, you might like it, you might not. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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PENNYPACKER3 8/22/2012 9:48AM


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Emotional Eating - How Do YOU Stop It?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Do you deal with emotional eating? If so, how do you deal with it?

Emotional eating was a contributor to my obesity. I have two issues. I overeat to a small extent over multiple days when stressed and I binge when extremely stressed. I've learned to deal with one but not the other.

The multi-day overeating in response to stress has been tamed by my fitness habits. I'm either balancing out the over eating or eating less because of the effects of exercise on my mood. I think it's a little of both depending on the stresses and particulars of our lives while dealing with them. Day-to-day, so long as I CAN exercise, I don't worry about this one even though I suspect it is the bigger of the two problems.

The binging bothers me though. I've read the descriptions of binge eating disorder and I don't come close. I binge but not even once a week and never on things extremely fatty or sweet but I do have times when I overeat to an extreme when stressed. I do it knowing I'm going to do it. I do it knowing I'm not hungry. I do it knowing that, so long as I can rationalize it (it fits my calorie budget, it's while grain, it's vegetables, etc)' I WILL feel emotionally better after. It hasn't affected my maintenance and it works (emotionally) but it still feels wrong and I wish I could stop. I can't just not bring binge foods in the house because I will binge on whatever IS around.

So.... If they aren't messing with maintenance and aren't making me ill... Is there a reason to stop these binges? Is a bag of light popcorn so bad? A bag of baby carrots? A bowl of grapes? A box of berries? A bowl of peanuts in the shell? Is the problem what I'm doing? Or how I'm feeling about it?

As for just getting the stress out of my life? Not going to happen. It's just my life. I need to learn to cope with it, not beat myself up because I can't get it out of my life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYHENNIG 8/27/2012 3:46PM

  My work hours fluctuate nearly every day. So, unfortunately, my eating is all over the place. I do eat a sensible breakfast and lunch most days, and a sensible dinner too. It is the stuff in between I have an issue with. No snack seems to satisfy me. I work in a golf pro shop, standing for my 8 hours a day. There is a beverage cooler at the end of the counter. I am a 53 year old menopausal woman, and am always warm. I am thirsty all the time...just needing something cold. I bring in ice water, slimfast shakes, diet pop, low calorie juice, iced green tea, and silk chocolate almond milk. I need to drink all of the time. Just had a complete physical and blook panel and everything is in check. Except my weight. It is coming back down slowly.

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JENNYR0506 8/21/2012 1:33PM

    I agree with you that being out of control with your eating isn't good even if you are binging on carrots. I have struggled with binge eating for years. Not to the point of it being a disorder, but like you, it was a major contributor to my weight gain.

What scared me was the seeming, inability to stop once I started. I would become uncomfortably full and still be pushing food in my mouth. I don't think it got worse when I started 'dieting', it was just more apparent in contrast to my new healthy eating habits.

It wasn't until I got off of wheat products entirely that I have felt real control in my eating. I get hungry, but I don't obsess over food like I used to. I get to a point of satisfaction and fullness and I stop eating. (Before I rarely got a feeling of being truly satisfied with my meals - just fullness and sometimes, like I said before, I would never feel satisfied.)

It's only been three weeks since I changed my diet, but I am so happy with the results so far. I am in control now. That is a great feeling.


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NELLJONES 8/21/2012 10:01AM

    I do not eat between meals. Period. I know some people can plan snacks throughout the day, but I can't do it. Too often, even a planned, measured snack gets out of control. As gut wrenchingly difficult as it may be to forge through to the next of my three meals a day, it's easier than stopping eating some days once I start. The fantasizing about the next meal gets me through. I wrote a blog about it not long ago. The very anguish you are going through now is what I want to avoid. I've suffered enough of it to last a lifetime.

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 8/21/2012 8:18AM

    You and I both know that it is a binge. What makes it a binge is the not really being able to stop overeating (even if it IS healthy). I do the same thing.
I have have problems with binge eating and purging in the past. I haven't seen those actual episodes in a long time. Besides, there is a different mental aspect to that. I know it because it feels different.
That being said, I still consider what I do now from time to time, a binge.
9 times out of 10, it doesn't bring me over my calories or anything like that.
I just hate knowing that there is still a lack of control in it and it scares me.
I have followed your blogs enough to know that you and I have some of the same things going on...
We both control our eating to a point that (to be honest), it probably isn't 100% healthy either. But I know that it is what I have to do to be where I am. I suspect you are in the same boat.
I actually attribute the binge, in part, to the ultra control I have over everything else. It is a bit of a mental release from it. Does that make sense?
Since I have started running, I have been able to really start to feel like I have a bit more control over the situation.
I do a lot of self talk. I have to physically walk away. Yeah, I throw a lot of food away. But for my 'recovery', it is what I have to do.
I feel a healthier mindset. I am not there yet, but I feel like I am getting there.
Just out of curiosity, do you get an odd sense of comfort in being full to the point of discomfort? (Hope that makes sense!)
You can always email me!

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DHUNTER67 8/21/2012 6:41AM

    i emotional eat out of boredom or depression. What you do, doesn't sound unhealthy. As long as you make healthy choices, maybe at that moment there's something your body needs and you're fulfilling that need. Berries, peanuts, popcorn... I wouldn't consider that a binge.

A whole pizza, 3 slices of cake, etc... Now, we've got a problem...


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