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30 Day Blog Challenge Day 5 - pizza, pasta, pancakes, potatoes

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

5. What is your weight history like? How old where you when you first 'went on a diet'? Have you lost and regained? How is this time different from others?

I was first made aware that my weight was an issue at a pediatrician's visit in 5th or 6th grade. It's telling that I'm not sure which. If you look at pictures from the time period I don't look overweight except for a few pictures. This suggests to me that I put on a LOT of weight quickly - probably as puberty approached. Anyway.... I was not even my adult height (5'3") and I weighted over 130 pounds. The doctor wanted me to weigh 100 pounds for 5 feet and 5 pounds for each inch I grew over 5 feet. My mother was afraid she didn't know how best to help us (my sister, who is 22 months younger than I am, was either already overweight or just along for the ride) and didn't (and never has and still doesn't) want us to follow her path of battling weight 'forever'.

My sister doesn't even remember going to see the nutritionist. I was obviously much more affected by it. (Or else she was just as affected and successful buried it?) ALL I took away from that meeting was that I was never supposed to eat pizza, pasta, pancakes, or potatoes.... but bacon was, surprisingly, OK.... and calories were king. Great. I had a game plan. Rules to follow. A goal to reach.

I was (and hope I am no longer) a horrible perfectionist. There was no such thing as good enough and if I could turn it into a competition.... with someone else or , if that failed because I was at the top, myself I did it. So... someone told cutting calories was good and I cut calories. Boy, oh, boy did cut calories. I don't know how my mother didn't notice that I wasn't eating except when I had to (to keep up the appearance that I was eating). I don't know how she explained away a child who would literally pass out if she exerted herself. But it worked! I lost 25 pounds! The doctor was so pleased! My family was so pleased! I was skinny! I was skinny like my mother had never been able to be. I was an example of HER getting things right for her kids that she had never been able to get right for herself. I don't know how I managed to stop the weight loss at 107 pounds but I did and all through middle school and high school I maintained that 100 pounds + 5 pounds per inch over 5 feet rule. I hated it. But I did it! ALL by calorie control. Lots of sugar-free and low-fat products in the house as my parents dieted often.

I went off to college (Ivy League, of course... perfectionist and all) and put on a few pounds. Probably muscle from walking all those hills. I had one fainting spell after starting and KNEW that up there - all alone on that huge campus - I could NOT be fainting! I ate what I needed and maintained my weight pretty steadily at 117 pounds. I was very happy and proud of my body. I'd gain 3-4 pounds every time I went home for weekends or breaks but it would disappear as soon as I got back to campus. I didn't really have to try to maintain my weight and I was generally healthy and happy.

Then it was off to graduate school (PhD, top-notch school, of course... perfectionist and all). The hours in class and lab and doing problem sets were horrendous. Food choices were HORRIBLE. Cornell has excellent food service. MIT has.... food trucks. I gained about 7 pounds in 3 years. I was a size 5 or 7 instead of a size 3 or 5 but I was OK with my body. Over my pediatricians outdated rule but I was aware of healthy weight ranges by then and I was in whatever healthy weight range I had been given.

I got married at 25 and settled into married life. We both worked insane hours and did not exercise at all, except to walk the streets of Cambridge/Somerville/Boston to and from the train and for fun on the weekends. We drank coffee for breakfast. I ate from the food trucks for lunch. I cooked nice meals for dinner. We usually had a beer each night and wine on the weekends. We made little attempt to 'eat healthy'. By the time we'd been married almost year I'd gained 10 pounds and I was appalled. We started a low-fat diet. It must have been VERY low fat because I can remember getting sick to my stomach after a fatty restaurant meal. It worked though and I got most of those 10 pounds off before we decided to try to get pregnant. I knew that a very low fat was no good for that!

I got pregnant in the upper 120s or lower 130s. I don't remember exactly. I do remember that the doctor told me to gain 35 pounds and I thought that was INSANE. There was NO WAY I could do that! But I did it! And got gestational diabetes along the way. I delivered at 176 pounds. When he was 6 months old I was down to 150. By the time he was a year I was happy with my weight again, although I don't remember exactly what it was. 130-135. I lost that weight very healthily - walking about 5 miles a day pushing him in the stroller and cutting calories in a reasonable way. We quickly, as planned, got pregnant again.

I had a different OB that time. He told me to control my weight gain in the first trimester and I'd likely avoid gestational diabetes. I did. And I did! But I ended that pregnancy at exactly the same weight - 176. My daughter has Goldenhar Syndrome which is incredibly complex. Some of her manifestations are 'severe'. Others aren't 'severe' but aren't easy either. Her first year was overwhelming and absolutely NOT focused on me. I didn't even THINK about my weight until she was nearly a year old and all I thought about it at that point was how much I HATED what I weighed - 163.

160-165 would be 'home base' for years and years of yoyo dieting. I yo-yo'd for almost 10 years. I counted calories. I cut fat. I walked. I did SB. I joined curves. I did fitkick. I did pilates. Mostly what I did is make appointments for physicals and do whatever I could do to get down to 150 by the time I saw the doctor because my doctor said 150 being at 150 was better than yo-yoing between a healthy weight and obese. I didn't tell her that I was yo-yoing between 150 and 165.

After one of my daughter's jaw surgeries I hurt my arm VERY badly doing jaw stretching therapy on her. VERY, VERY, VERY badly. It was so bad by the time that I saw an orthopedic surgeon that he told me that it was too bad to even start PT and that I needed to get the inflammation under control first. I was told not to do anything that made it numb or tingly or painful. So I sat. Literally. I sat as still as possible for months. EVERYTHING bothered my arm. It recovered slowly but by the time I was cleared to start PT I was 176 pounds! OMG. I weighed what I weighed when I went to deliver my baby. And she was 10.

That was IT. That was horrible. If I didn't do something I was going to be buying clothes in the women's department!

I started cutting calories and lost 18 pounds in 2-3 months. I couldn't exercise because of my activity limitations. But I did my PT which forced me to carve 1 - 1 1/2 hours out of my day 3 days a week. My daughter needed ANOTHER surgery (all that damage to my arm and the surgery ended up being a failure anyway!) and my son had a horrible start at middle school and I came undone. I stopped weighing in. I stopped caring. I needed to focus on them. That was November 2010. A few months into what I now call 'the last time'.

I can't say that I TOTALLY didn't care while I was on that break. I cared but I knew that cutting calories alone felt horrible and I decided I'd get serious again when I was cleared to join a gym. That happened in March 2011. On my break I regained about half of my initial loss. I didn't really beat myself up about it. I did what my trainer assigned until I was ready to do The Female Bodybreakthrough. I ate the way I'd learned was healthy from years and years of reading about nutrition. And I lost weight. It was easier than I ever expected. And I love the gym which was (and continues to be) a total surprise to me. For the first time EVER losing weight didn't feel like deprivation!

There are two major things that are different about 'the last time'. The first is that I found a way to lose weight without feeling deprived. I'm sure what I'm doing would feel like deprivation to some people but it doesn't to me and that's what matters in MY journey. The second major thing is that I decided that I was worth the work and that I needed to stop trying to be perfect at everything I did (and also to stop avoiding doing things that I wasn't going to be perfect at). I'm so over beating myself up when I fall short of my unrealistic expectations. I still set goals, and I've reached a lot of them, but when I DON'T make them I DON'T fall apart anymore. I think about why. I think about what would have been more reasonable. And I move on. It's served me well. I hope it serves me well for the rest of my life.

Edited to add:
Jenny's comment made me think that I may never mentioned my daughter's diagnosis before. I don't talk specifics about my daughter's situation because sparkpeople is totally public and she may not want lots of 'stuff' floating around like that. BUT I do think it's important to spread information because the more people understand each other the easier life is for everyone. Here's a link to more info about Goldenhar Syndrome:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDASI 9/11/2012 3:03AM

    Thank you for sharing


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MOONSTORMER 9/6/2012 7:10AM

    wow! what a journey - love these blogs and getting to know all these details better!

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DOGLADY13 9/5/2012 9:37PM

    So often we thwart ourselves when we think we can handle our problems by ourselves or we think that it's our problem and we don't share for whatever reason. Your history has a lot of "I didn't tell..." in it. Once you started going to the gym, you seemed to have turned around. Did you start sharing your struggles with a trainer at the gym?

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/5/2012 7:15PM

    Ditto what Janet said, you are emoticon.

I particularly loved this insight: "I'm so over beating myself up when I fall short of my unrealistic expectations. I still set goals, and I've reached a lot of them, but when I DON'T make them I DON'T fall apart anymore. I think about why. I think about what would have been more reasonable. And I move on."

To moving on, to life-long health for all of us! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    You are awesome. We all have had some things in our lives that have affected us.
We have to find the phoenix within and rise.
I visited the website and decided you already have phoenix-like wings as well as a huge halo.
Good vibes to you and your family. emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/5/2012 5:13:02 PM

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JENNYR0506 9/5/2012 3:18PM

    Thank you for sharing more about your daughter's condition. I hope she is doing well since her last surgery.


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BOMBSHELLY 9/5/2012 1:47PM

    Awesome history there. Isn't it interesting how the way we think can manifest itself outwardly?

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MJZHERE 9/5/2012 10:50AM

  I relate to a lot of what you wrote. Isn't it interesting when we stop "dieting" and eat healthy, often the weight than comes off. I think this will serve you "well for the rest of your life." Very well written!

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CODEMAULER 9/5/2012 10:48AM

    What a journey! It sounds like your road has been rough and you made it through. Thank you for sharing your story!!

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PHONGKONG 9/5/2012 10:44AM

    Amazing and inspiring. Well done. I obviously hope that both your kids are doing well. You look amazing and to me it seems you have had an amazing life. Choosing for children was the right choice but I now also feel that in general it is never OR the kids OR 'me' but it is difficult to strike the balance.

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30 Day Blog Challenge Day 4 - Fears (& Running update)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Day 4: What are (or were) your fears about weight loss?

I have specific fears, which I'll get into in a moment, but I was also afraid of losing weight in general. In fact, it was the subject of the second blog I ever wrote at sparkpeople: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

I wrote that at just under 2 pounds over the weight that I quit at over and over again when I was yo-yo'ing. Part of the entry reads: "I feel like I am on the top step of a high dive. I can turn around and climb back down because it's scary to be here or I can walk out on that diving board. Am I prepared to do the work needed to dive into life as a fit woman? I think I am and I am looking forward to seeing what the swim is like! "

I had not been under 150 for more than a few months in over a dozen years. Before kids. Back to newlywed days. Before I became a stay at home mom. When I was still a young PhD candidate with the whole world ahead of me. I knew that I had not felt at home in my body since my daughter was born. I thought that was because at 30+ pounds over the weight I was when I got pregnant the first time I really was trapped in a body that did not fit. But I feared that I would lose the weight and find out I was trapped in a LIFE that did not fit. That's a really scary prospect for a 40 year old wife and mother!

So.... my fears and how they have played out:

1. I feared that losing weight would reveal that my dis-ease was due to something else.
I don't THINK that this ended up being true. I certainly feel much more comfortable with myself and with my life now than I did during the 10+ years I spent overweight. However, my new found comfort and self-confidence may have as much or more to do with setting a big goal and achieving it than in losing weight per se. Since I'm still not sure if all the great feelings come from being smaller or from being accomplished, I continue to set goals as I work on maintaining my weight loss.

2. I feared that I would gain back everything I lost... and then some.
I think this fear was warranted given my history of yo-yoing. The more I lost the more this fear faded into the background. Eventually I got to the point where my loss was SO large that it dwarfed any other loss I've ever had - including the one when I was a preteen that I managed to maintain until I got married (and started 'eating and drinking like a boy'). I have come to peace with the idea that so long as I pay attention to my weight and make corrections before I get out of maintenance range, nothing I do today or this week will totally undo my progress.

3. I feared that I would succeed at weight loss but dislike my smaller body because of saggy skin.
This ended up not being warranted at all. I have saggy skin and 'flab' around my middle, butt, and thighs but it's nowhere near as bad as I expected. In a bikini you can see my stretch marks and the extra skin and flab. I just don't care. I carried a lot of extra pounds for a lot of years and now they are gone. When I look at the loose skin and stretch marks I imagine what I'd feel like if there WAS enough fat underneath to make the skin taut. Suddenly they don't seem so bad!
However, that does not mean that I love everything about my smaller body. A 50 pound weight loss has destroyed my breasts. I was never large-breasted aside from nursing and being very heavy so it's not that I'm sad that they are smaller. But they are TRASHED. They are like deflated balloons. They look fine in clothes. And that's where I'd like them to stay.

4. I feared that DH would not like my smaller body.
DH looooved busty me. There was a spell of time along the journey where I was no longer busty but I wasn't particularly fit either when I felt a real disconnect from him. This was probably the worst part of my journey. He wasn't all that supportive in the first stretch but he was almost negative during this stretch. Somehow I kept pushing through and, eventually, a very fit person emerged. There are body parts DH likes VERY much now. He's much, much more supportive in maintenance than he ever was during the loss phase of my journey. Phew.

5. I fear that I won't be able to keep up my healthy habits.
I fear that DH will lose his job and our grocery budget will be very limited until he finds a new one. My way of eating is really expensive. I worry that I would gain a lot of weight learning how to eat this healthily on a strict budget.
I fear that I will over commit myself to the point that I can't (won't?) make time for exercise. I used to do a LOT of volunteer work. As the kids have grown the opportunities are fewer and I devoted a good chunk of that time to fitness instead. But I'd like to work at some point - either for pay or in a new volunteer endeavor. I am not sure how many work hours I can take on without jeopardizing my workout time.
I fear that I will go back to putting my wellness last on the list. I don't JUST need to eat right and exercise. I need time to think about things, relax, pursue hobbies. Maybe I'm high maintenance? It seems to be part and parcel of being part of this family :-) My husband works a VERY stressful job and really likes having a wife who is around when he's around. I hate to take time away from our family time to do things for me. My daughter has very complex medical and educational needs. We've been advised to make as few changes to her life as possible during her middle school years since they are tumultuous enough without unnecessary changes. My son has a few educational and medical issues of his own but mostly I feel a need to make extra time for him because he isn't as demanding on my time as DH and DD and I'm afraid his needs will be neglected because he isn't as obvious about them. I really want to 'be there' for my family but sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who makes time to take care of me. It's a real balancing game! My current approach leaves enough time for me to take care of me but some of the things that could upset that balance aren't in my control and that is scary.

Edited after my run since this probably doesn't warrant it's own blog.
Ran 4 miles in 40 minutes on the treadmill (and then did a 5' cool down). I adjusted the pace to keep at 10 minutes per mile at each mile point. I need to work on pacing but I also need to work on running faster. This seemed like a good way to do it. That last half mile was really tough so I think I'm going to keep on running 4 miles at 10:00 per mile until it feels 'comfortable'.

Running for 2012:
80.75 miles + 4.25 miles = 85 miles
19 days until my next 5K.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDASI 9/11/2012 2:25AM

    I absolutly can relate to the fears about having to give up the lifestyle through no control of youre own. I am at times griped by this fear. And it was really bothersome to me that it would keep coming up and i wonder if it led me to eat at times emotionaly the old negative self talk of its bettere to just not do this because it may be taken away from me. It is nice to know i am not the only one who has these thoughts.

I now push these thoughts away as soon as they come because it is just not worth tormenting myself with them it just brings me down. So i tell myself to stay in the moment and focus on the here and now.


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DRAFTLOVER 9/6/2012 6:52AM

    I see myself in so much of that blog....I want to see myself in how you are now: fit, active,and maintaining. You give me hope. Thanks for sharing.

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    Woah, that's a lot of fears.
I am glad you got the self-worth and "me" attitude going.
You have a lot on your plate and juggling your time for "me" sounds familiar.

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EVWINGS 9/4/2012 6:07PM

    Once more you have done a wonderful blog that points out a lot of what many of us feel/felt. I'm happy to hear you worked thru your hard moments. If you ever get discouraged or think you're on your way back to old habits, you have that to look back on and know what you went thru to get to where you are - healthy and fit. It sounds like this is something you did more for yourself than for anyone or any other reason. That's the best way to make something stick!!


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ONEKIDSMOM 9/4/2012 10:14AM

    Well thought out, and echoes of my own fears! Thanks for sharing.

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SUNNYRUTH 9/4/2012 9:21AM

    Thank you for being so eloquent. Body image/weight loss can be a very complex subject and you have many great insights.

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JENNYR0506 9/4/2012 8:59AM

    Let me remind you that you are not only thinner and fitter than you were 10 years ago, you are now 10 years wiser! Whatever comes your way you will deal with from a new perspective of strength AND wisdom. You won't face the future with fear, but with expectation that whatever life throws at you, you can handle with calmness and grace. Look what you have accomplished so far under such extreme pressures.


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    This is an excellent blog, I think. It is wise for us all to examine the real fears that we have and to deal with them. They may vary for all of us. Just a comment about your family....it seems to me that THEY are high maintenance. I don't say that to put them down, just that they have extra needs more than many that require your attention. Just thought that would help you keep your own needs in perspective.

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BUSYGRANNY5 9/4/2012 7:37AM

    I enjoyed your blog! Good for you not ALLOWING your fears prevent you from moving toward your goals!!!

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30 Day Blog Challenge Day 3 - Goal Sharing & Turning the Tides

Monday, September 03, 2012

Day 3 already! It's not too late to join! See my earlier post about the challenge. Jump in anytime. Let me know and I'll add you to the 'Are You In?' blog roll.

Day 3: Who have you shared your weight loss goals with? What has been good about sharing your goals?

I've lost 28% of my starting weight. By the time I was done simply walking into a room announced my weight loss. I really can't remember who I shared with when along the way except in the roughest of ways.

When I started 'the last time' I shared with a very few people and I told NOONE when I started struggling. When the difficult time passed and I was focused on my journey again I had regained about half of my initial loss and decided to do things a little differently and that included telling more people.

At first I did not talk about losing weight. In fact, I wasn't even really thinking in terms of losing weight. My doctor had told me that exercise would help with every single concern I had brought to her so I was focusing on exercise and better coping skills. I did share those goals. I kicked off for Lent of 2011 with two goals. I gave up alcohol for Lent, except for Sunday, because I felt like I used alcohol to relax too often. I also committed to joining a gym before Easter. I shared my goals with a select group of family and friends on facebook. I knew that if I didn't join a gym by the time Lent was over I was going to have to own up to it. By the time Lent was over going to the gym was well on the way to being a habit AND I had started losing weight. I was under the weight I had gotten stuck at over and over and started to feel like maybe, just maybe, I was going to be successful this time. I started to share my weight loss progress on FB and I returned to Sparkpeople for added support. Over time I shared with more and more people on FB until finally, in maintenance, I started sharing with everyone.

Sharing my goals has been a mixed blessing.

Early on it became clear that some of my friends/family were NOT going to be supportive. They weren't going to come out and be negative but they simply were not going to acknowledge my hard work or my progress or support me through the hard parts at all. Over time most of them have acknowledged my success to some degree or another but to this day one of them has still not acknowledged my weight loss except in snarky comments about how she doesn't want to be a size 2 (obviously directed at me). The lack of support is really hurtful because some of these people have relied heavily on me for support through their own struggles. As I've gathered more supportive people around me and realized that others have been inspired because of my willingness to share, I've left the hurt feelings behind but, admittedly, that only came with distancing myself from the people.

On the other hand, sharing my goals has held me accountable, helped me forge new relationships, AND inspired other people to begin their own journey towards healthier living. I need the accountability, especially in maintenance. I know from previous weight loss attempts that it is really easy to just stop paying attention - stop weighing in, stop checking calories, stop making time for workouts. Knowing that I update on my maintenance once per month keeps me on top of things. I don't ever want to have to say I am out of maintenance range. I've also made new connections in real life because of my journey. Some of the people I am closer to now are people who have struggled with their weight and who, I think, have been ashamed to share those struggles who seem to have turned their negative thinking into positive action because I have been willing to share my journey. It's a nice feeling to know that other people understand how hard it is! Some of the people I am closer to now are people who are very fit and who I think saw me as just another overweight housewife. These are people I didn't tell my goals to.... but my progress is obvious and I 'own' it when they comment (instead of downplaying it). One of them was my key IRL inspiration! She didn't even know that and regularly stops me around town to tell me how great I look. I love that! Finally, sharing my goals has inspired other people to make their own healthy living goals. I have local friends who have lost weight partially inspired by me. Others who have take on fitness goals. It's great! I continue to talk about my journey because it keeps me accountable AND inspires other people to not give up on their own journeys.

I think of goal/progress sharing as a rippling out of connections that just might help turn back the tide of obesity in this country. Others shared their goals and progress and struggles with me. I took what I needed from that and share my journey with others. They'll take what they need from that and, I hope, share with still more. You know all those people who encourage you to 'cheat' on fitness or diet? Imagine if slowly all of those people became cheerleaders in support of fitness and healthy eating? I feel like that is what happening in my world. When I started social gatherings were a nightmare for me. Now when we gather there I am never the only person trying to make healthy choices. It's amazing :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDASI 9/11/2012 1:18AM

    I do understand when people do not want to extend suport but it usualy means they feel threatened and or they do not feel good about themselfs at the time.

Ive been on both sides not feeling suported or feeling threatened or envious of people around me who were succeeding and i was not at the time.

At least now i know both sides and so i am much more tolerant and understanding on both sides of the issue and i dont have to personalize negativiy any longer because i know where i stand and what i stand for and what i must do to be happy.

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MOONSTORMER 9/4/2012 1:27AM

    so true - inspiring others outweighs the occasional snarky comments from people who obviously are fighting their own demons about this issue.

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SWEDE_SU 9/3/2012 9:53PM

    you found so much more here than i did, or perhaps i was tired when i wrote my blog yesterday. it is true, i have told many people what i have done to accomplish this, and perhaps some have been inspired. you give much food for thought here!

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CODEMAULER 9/3/2012 7:24PM

    Maintenance is tough. I failed and I'm back as a "loser."

"I need the accountability, especially in maintenance. I know from previous weight loss attempts that it is really easy to just stop paying attention - stop weighing in, stop checking calories, stop making time for workouts."

It's way less fun fun and rewarding to maintain, which feeds into the difficulty. Maintaining is sort of the forgotten challenge. It's hard to be your own cheerleader, though there are those of us that know / appreciate / understand too well.

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DRAFTLOVER 9/3/2012 7:18PM

    We desperately need posts/blogs from people that are in maintenance.....Ones that have done the work lost the weight....got healthier. We (the ones still trying hard to get to where you guys are) desperately need to know that this difficult journey we are on is indeed an attainable goal. You guys are our proof that people DO make it through and you provide us with a candid, truthful idea of the struggles that come from trying to keep yourself where you have brought yourself. Please dont ever let a select few hurtful people cause you to not share when clearly there are so many that need to hear it. Thank You so much for sharing.

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CLCINNOVA 9/3/2012 11:49AM

  From one of those inspired by you, you are a great role model!

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EVWINGS 9/3/2012 10:26AM

    Great blog. I have to tell you that I believe a lot of face the problem of not being supported by those we have helped in the past. I made a choice to remove negative things frommy life. Sadly that has included several friends. I talk to them, but only when they start the conversation. It has been so much better ever since. It is like a weight being lifted. I have shared and it has really helped. Several family and friends have even joined the site!! Great job for you!!


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JENNYR0506 9/3/2012 9:53AM

    Great blog! I agree that it would be a healthier world if the haters would just stop hating.

"Some of my friends/family were NOT going to be supportive. They weren't going to come out and be negative but they simply were not going to acknowledge my hard work or my progress or support me through the hard parts at all."

They don't have to lead the cheers if they are not mentally in a place to do that wholeheartedly, but it would be nice if they just got out of the way of those trying to improve their health and fitness.


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ONEKIDSMOM 9/3/2012 9:49AM

    I loved this part, because it so resonates my own feelings: "Finally, sharing my goals has inspired other people to make their own healthy living goals. I have local friends who have lost weight partially inspired by me. Others who have take on fitness goals. It's great! I continue to talk about my journey because it keeps me accountable AND inspires other people to not give up on their own journeys."

Inspiring others is a GREAT reason to share the journey. You have to DO it for yourself, the motivation... but in maintenance... inspiring others is a key to keeping that motivation alive. It boosts me every time someone in an event tells me I inspire them. It boosts me every blog comment that tells me I've sparked them. That may be all it takes to keep me going through a tough day. Because as all maintainers / and all those of us who have had to lose the weight more than once knows... reaching goal weight is NOT the end of tough days!

Great insights! Thanks for sharing!

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30 Day Blog Challenge - BLOG ROLL

Sunday, September 02, 2012

If you are in on the 30 Day Blog Challenge, would you please comment on this blog?

I will edit this blog to link to the spark pages of people blogging along. Then people can add the bloggers as friends (if they'd like) or just come back to this page and check in (if that works better).

62NOV www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=62

AGK3112 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=AG

ANDASI www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=AN

BOMBSHELLY www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=BO

CGG111 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=CG

CODEMAULER www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=CO

CRYPTIC_CYPHER www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=CR

DOGLADY13 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=DO

DRAFTLOVER www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=DR

EVWINGS www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=EV

FISEFTON www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=FI

FIFIFRIZZLE www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=FI

GOSPARK45 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=GO

JENNY0506 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=JE

JLFISH1496 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=JL

KONOHA-NIN www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=KO

MAUITN www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=MA

MINNIEME1114 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=MI

MJZHERE www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=MJ

MOONSTORMER www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=MO

NBARNES www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=NB

ONEKIDSMOM www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=ON

OVERWORKEDJANET www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=OV

SOULOFWELLNESS www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=SO

SWEDE_SU www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=SW

TANYAP71 www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=TA

TEXANS1STLADY www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=TE

TODAYYES www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=TO

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMCBRIDE37 9/11/2012 12:48PM

    I would like to join.

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GOSPARK45 9/5/2012 1:50PM

    I'm in. Never blogged before although I've done lots of commenting. This sounds like a good plan. Thanks.



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ANDASI 9/5/2012 7:06AM

    Yes please

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62NVON 9/4/2012 8:30AM

    I'm in.... starting today.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 9/4/2012 1:56AM

    Hey. I am in! This is perfect timing for me. Thanks a bunch for this idea, I think it is going to really help me along the way, and I love to be seeing what is happening for other people, to get ideas and support.

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CONFIDENTLY_FIT 9/3/2012 11:14AM

    I am in also, but I think I will pick and chose the topics that pertain to me to write about. If that's ok with you and the team:) If not let me know!
Enjoy your day!

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EVWINGS 9/3/2012 10:39AM

    I'm in with having to play catch up. But that is OK.

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MJZHERE 9/3/2012 2:52AM

  I'm in also. Thanks for this great idea.

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    I'm in... Starting today, but playing catchup on yesterday and will include it in today's.

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DOGLADY13 9/2/2012 3:37PM

    I'm in. I think.

I do this all the time. I publicly commit to stuff and then I have to do it! lol

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MOONSTORMER 9/2/2012 1:27PM

    i'm in - although i might combine topics from time to time so that my other 'normal' blogs still get a day emoticon

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CRYPTIC_CYPHER 9/2/2012 1:01PM

    I'm in... and, THANKS!

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BOMBSHELLY 9/2/2012 11:54AM

    ME! ME! ME!

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NBARNES 9/2/2012 11:08AM

    Okay, a day late but count me in. I'll address one an two today and play a little catch-up.

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AGK3112 9/2/2012 10:47AM


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SWEDE_SU 9/2/2012 10:38AM

    emoticon raising two hands! though i will have to go in and out a bit with our trip this week, will try to double up a bit here and there. i think this is a great idea! thanks, tanya!

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JENNYR0506 9/2/2012 10:37AM


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ONEKIDSMOM 9/2/2012 10:36AM

    emoticon Raising hand... I'm here! emoticon

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30 Day Blog Challenge Day 2 - Goal Setting & Rewards

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Please consider blogging along. It's not too late to join! Questions are here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo

2. How did you pick your goal weight? Did you pick an ultimate goal weight at the beginning of your weight loss? Did it change? Did you set smaller goals along the way?

My ultimate goal, at the beginning, was to simply not be overweight and to, finally, maintain. I have been more successful than I ever imagined I could be and, I believe, that is due in large part to deciding to accept myself from the beginning and rewarding myself throughout the process.

My goals along the way have been:
1. Be overweight, not obese. Achieved September 2010.
2. Be at a healthy weight based on BMI. Achieved July 2011
3. Be at a fit body fat percentage (21-24%). Achieved August 2011
4. Be at an athletic body fat percentage (14%-20%). Achieved October 2011
5. Maintaining 50 pound loss since 10/21/11.

When I got to a healthy BMI I did NOT have another goal weight. I switched gears to being lean. I set goal 3 and did not set goal 4 until I achieved goal 3. It just happened to be that dipping below 20% body fat and being at 50 pounds lost were almost the same weight and so I decided to maintain there. It's important to me to maintain that 50 pounds lost but I flip flop between 'fit' and 'athletic' body fat percentage depending on how dedicated I am to clean eating and strength training. I did learn that getting too lean messed with my cycles so I no longer try to get any lower than 19%, no matter how hard I am training.

While I had an ultimate goal weight in mind at the beginning I rewarded myself along the way. My minigoals and rewards were:
6 pounds lost - 9/2010 - new clothes that actually fit so I feel good about myself even when heavy
16 pounds lost - 10/2010 - new underthings in proper sizes
21 pounds lost - 4/2011 - new outfit - starting to need smaller sizes
26 pounds lost - 6/2011 - new gym shoes, fat analyzer, and myotape
31 pounds lost - 6/2011 - bras, bikini, size small shirts and shorts
36 pounds lost - 7/2011- shopping spree! - new underwear (size 5), new exercise bottoms (size small), size 4 jeans and jean shorts, size 4 and size 6 capris, size small shirts, yada yada yada!
41 pounds lost - 8/2011 - heart rate monitor, size small racer back bra top and shorts
46 pounds lost - 9/2011 - Living in this body is reward enough! :-)

I think rewards are important! I think small rewards along the way are MUCH more important than a big reward at the end. In fact, as I neared 'the end', I didn't really need rewards for loss but for a while I continued to reward myself, monthly, for maintaining. After a while I didn't even need that.


If something is really hard reward yourself really often! When I joined the gym I rewarded myself EVERY WEEK for getting there the 4th time. A bottle of nail polish or a song download isn't very expensive but it was VERY motivating. After a while I forgot to reward myself. I just didn't need it anymore.

Big rewards at the end may work for some but think about rewarding yourself along the way! I think it helped me keep going to know that my next reward was always just a few pounds away. It kept me from backsliding too :-)

You may even need to reward yourself in maintenance. I know I certainly needed to. Knowing I wasn't going to let myself get a reward if I wasn't maintaining motivated me to NEVER get too far from goal. After a while acknowledging my maintenance anniversary was reward enough but in the beginning I needed the external reward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDASI 9/11/2012 1:08AM

    Rewards are great and i find as i loose weight and get fitter it comes naturaly that i have the inclination to want to buy things for myself. Where as when i am at top weight slughish and not exercising the last thing i ever want to do is shop for clothes or shoes or anything.


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CRYPTIC_CYPHER 9/2/2012 3:43PM

    THANK YOU, for doing this and for encouraging others to join you... I'm so grateful for whatever angel brought me to your blog the other day!

The things I am taking away to consider in light of my own journey:
"My overarching goal is to end September is to feel like I've got my groove back :-) "
"My ultimate goal, at the beginning, was to simply not be overweight and to, finally, maintain. I have been more successful than I ever imagined I could be and, I believe, that is due in large part to deciding to accept myself from the beginning and rewarding myself throughout the process."
"When I got to a healthy BMI I did NOT have another goal weight. I switched gears to being lean."
"I think small rewards along the way are MUCH more important than a big reward at the end. In fact, as I neared 'the end', I didn't really need rewards"
"I think it helped me keep going to know that my next reward was always just a few pounds away. It kept me from backsliding too :-)"
"You may even need to reward yourself in maintenance. I know I certainly needed to. Knowing I wasn't going to let myself get a reward if I wasn't maintaining motivated me to NEVER get too far from goal."

What I've really come to intuitively understand is that maintenance is an integral part of losing... I need to focus on living maintenance NOW... not just 50 pounds from now... otherwise I'll be forever losing and never being 'there'

Again, I really appreciate it!

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DOGLADY13 9/2/2012 3:42PM

    I love the little rewards, like a new nail polish or a music download. I may have to try that because my next reward has been a long time coming and I'm sort of thinking I'll never make it. That can't be good!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/2/2012 10:52AM

    Love the focus on those small rewards. Whenever I find myself slipping, I ask myself if I have rewarded myself lately... if I'm going after "treat" foods, chances are, this might be a clue I have not.

Great Challenge, Tanya... I think we'll all find a lot of cross-benefit from one another's answers! emoticon

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JENNYR0506 9/2/2012 10:36AM

    I agree that rewards along the way are important. I lost my weight on another web site and they didn't have an intermediate goals and rewards system set up like spark does. I agree that rewarding yourself can be a great motivator. But like you say, eventually this just becomes the new norm - although I'm still waiting for that part to fully kick in.


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