TINASWEEP   71,423
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TINASWEEP's Recent Blog Entries

Out of Habit

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I've had a bit of a breakthrough dealing with the nightly stress eating. I regarded it is stress, avoidance of work at 10pm when I didn't want to be working. I tried using distractions or finding alternate tasks or take my mind off it. It didn't make a difference. I wanted to wait until I didn't have to be working late at night to see if I could stop, but even that hasn't really changed.

At the start it might have just been a result of stress and avoidance, but it's not anymore. Now the late night eating has turned into a habit.

I have plenty of good habits that I've invested much time into developing. But I also need to see through the excuses and recognize that I've developed bad habits as well.

Habits take about 4 to 6 weeks to develop. My body is trained now to eat at night. It is used to the pattern, and it is dependent upon it. I do not need or want to eat at night, but I am in the habit of it. It will not be distracted or detoured away from the want to perpetuate said habit.

I've been going about it all wrong. Instead of trying to distract my habit I need to ignore it. Just sit and do nothing until it goes away. To break a habit will take about 4 to 6 weeks so you can well guess what I'll be doing the next couple of months.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I need to work on forming a new habit with food too. I binge eat. I'm getting better at it. Resisting urges, getting enough calories in, and distracting myself. I always forget that it takes time to form a new habit. I need to keep reminding myself of this when I want to give up. Good tips! Thanks for sharing!

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    Good personal insight. Good luck with breaking the bad habit! You're making me reflect on my nightly eating habits as well.

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KANOE10 5/19/2014 8:07AM

    It is hard and uncomfortable to break a habit, but you can do it! Think of it as developing a new healthy habit and being free of your old habit. You will be much happier.
Despite developing many healthy habits, we can all slip into habits that need changing. You are wise to work on one.

I hope your job is less stressful!


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TORTISE110 5/19/2014 6:10AM

    Boy, you are on it and that's impressive! I wish you the very best. It's hard work to break a habit.

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JULIEABIGAIL 5/19/2014 1:05AM

  ouch. the truth sure can be painful. i share your harmful habit, and all the excuses in the world cannot change the fact that i have indeed established a harmful habit, and it is my responsibility to alter it if i want change. thank you for your beautiful articulation. and i loved jeanknee's response! tonight (actually, monday morning), when i awaken at 3 am and want to head to the kitchen, i'm going to remember that i have a partner in breaking that pattern. emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/19/2014 1:06:09 AM

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JEANKNEE 5/18/2014 11:31PM

    Your determination is palpable.


4 to 6 weeks...old habit broken...new habit instilled...

Comment edited on: 5/18/2014 11:33:09 PM

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Living it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

This has been an important year. This has been the year I stopped working at maintaining my weight as job to do and instead I've made it my life.

Working outside the home I spent a long time trying to hold onto old patterns of cooking twice or more a day, tracking all my food on SparkPeople, and working out every day on top of additional work. It was exhausting. I had to step back, reassess, and cut back to what I could manage versus what I wanted to do.

I tested boundaries of when I could eat as well as what to eat, even skipping snacks or realizing I didn't need to indulge every snack. Altering my diet turned out more forgiving and not as dire as I made it out to be in my head.

It is no longer necessary to enforce that I must exercise each day, too. Instead I bring opportunities for exercise into my day when and where it is most convenient, like strength training at the gym after work or doing cardio on my bike trainer at home, yoga on Fridays.

I learned to be flexible with diet and exercise which opened up further options for my social life and local support system, an area of my life I need a lot of work.

I continue to struggle with stress eating; for that I need to seek professional help. Luckily I now pay for the insurance to be able to do that. This should also help with the challenges I experience coming to terms with my asexuality, mixed with my frustrations for societies standards of sexuality, relationships, and gender.

This summer I will be moving into a new apartment, seeking new and safe relationships, working the jobs I enjoy, having some physical, dental, and mental work done, as well as getting back to a more comfortable size by allocating less time to cooking and more time for exercise.

It feels like a graduation. I haven't meant to disappear but my needs and my goals have outgrown the services that SparkPeople and it's wonderful community provides. I have gained so much here, finally learning to love my body and the bodies of everyone else, finally finding the difference between weight and comfort, sharing the struggles of so many. I will treasure those memories forever.

Being healthy and happy is how I exist. Now for the hard part: platonic dating. Yikes!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINAJANE76 4/29/2014 9:25PM

    Awesome, Tina. Sounds like you've had a nice first few months of the year and I'm really happy that you've been able to find a greater flexibility that's allowed you to expand your horizons in other areas. Good luck with all of your future plans and please give us a holler every now and then to let us know how everything's going!

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MISSB8604 4/29/2014 12:37PM

    You are amazing and this blog was wonderful. I'm so happy that you have really found yourself and know the work that you have to do. I congratulate you and wish you the very best.

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KANOE10 4/29/2014 11:34AM

    You have made so many positive changes in your life. Your realization that you need to be flexible in your life instead of rigidly following rules, is invaluable. I am learning that also. It is a lifestyle change. I am glad you are finding yourself in so many areas.

Mainly I am so pleased you are healthy and happy. Plus you are accepting your body as well as those of others.

My warm thoughts go with you as you navigate your wonderful new life. Hugs.

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BILL60 4/29/2014 7:55AM

    Well said and well done.

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ELLIE381 4/29/2014 5:57AM

    You are doing wonderful things. You need time to enjoy life, it is sometimes very short.
So happy to hear the happiness in your words. You can do anything. emoticon emoticon

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ZRIE014 4/29/2014 12:12AM

  just remember that this is the first day of the rest of your life, make the most of it.

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The End Game in Sight

Friday, January 24, 2014

My 3rd year anniversary of maintaining came and passed quietly and happily. The mountainous goals I set out for at the start of everything nearly four years ago have evened out into rolling hills of ups and down, proving challenging at times but manageable.

My biggest fear used to be gaining back any amount of weight. It was a deathly fear, tantamount to failure, indicative of an inability to remain healthy, of a need to backslide into obesity. My measures of success have relaxed since then. The actual success I find is over time being able to maintain a healthy weight range on an intuitive level day to day. When I do gain, I have the tools and knowhow to correct the issue accordingly, as I am practicing currently by tracking my food and increasing my exercise.

I still face difficulties. I continue to deal with a serious food addiction, I struggle reacting to stresses or understanding how much is too much work for me to take on, and I still have trouble maintaining a consistent exercise routine. But the largest hardships of my weight are now behind me, completed during the journey it took to burn off the excess, to learn everything about health, fitness, nutrition, and life that I needed to keep it off on an intuitive level, and the acceptance and love to sustain continued self care as a priority. With it gone, it is so much easier to control and handle a permanently changed lifestyle. It is the light at the end of the tunnel and the start of the larger journey of a healthy and happy life, I just had to take the time to realize I was already living it.

Thank you for joining me during these travels, we are awesome.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRON_RESOLVE 4/6/2014 9:49PM

    I think you're amazing.

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OHMEMEME 1/26/2014 10:53PM

    Congrats on 3 years of maintenance! Inspiring story about REAL life. Spark on! emoticon

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KANOE10 1/25/2014 8:53AM

    Congratulations on your three years of maintenance. It will always be a struggle for all of us to keep this weight off. You have learned so much about yourself and have established healthy habits. I love" I just had to take the time to realize that I was already living it!" You have been living a wonderful healthy life. You are very inspirational.

emoticon emoticon

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BILL60 1/25/2014 7:47AM

    You've come a long way!! Keep up the successes.

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    Congratulations on your success!!

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 1/25/2014 12:16AM

    Wow! Thank you for the blog just 4 months into maintenance and you give me hope.

Congrats on your journey

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FEARLESSNOW 1/24/2014 10:27PM

    Congratulations on your success!

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EABHA70 1/24/2014 8:36PM

    Wow, so inspiring! And thanks for admitting that it is still a struggle.

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ELLIE381 1/24/2014 8:18PM

    Great job!! You have done an amazing job. emoticon

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HOTPINKCAMARO49 1/24/2014 6:48PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Reserving Willpower

Friday, December 27, 2013

As I round up on my third year maintaining anniversary in January I am fifteen pounds above my goal weight. I continue to believe I am maintaining. It is a little regression, it sucks that my pants don't fit but it's not a complete regression.

The lesson I'm taking away from 2013 is that work is the biggest roadblock in my life to maintaining my physical and mental wellbeing. I've been working five parttime jobs, 40+ hours a week. I've increased my income by 1.5% over last year and I'm really good at my jobs but I'm exhausted all the time. I don't have the energy resources to work 40+ hours a week, cook dinner each day, clean, take care of the pets, run errands, and workout regularly.

In fact, I learned that on the days I did fit in a workout I would not have enough willpower left over to complete my work. Maybe some people can just determine the work isn't worth it but it is an obligation I have promised to complete. I also like to pay rent regularly, it's a responsibility thing.

It comes down to a matter of willpower. It is for me an exhaustible resource. Studies show perhaps willpower is something that's all in my head. www.livescience.com/38980-willpower-

That may be true, but I believe in it. And come 9, 10, 11 at night (every weeknight) when I still have work to complete for the day and my willpower is gone, I will replenish it as necessary with glucose. www.scienceandreligiontoday.com/2011

Which is why come 9, 10, 11 at night when I don't want to be working I'm going to stress eat.

Ultimately this is why I'm not surprised that I can't maintain a workout schedule on top of 40+ hours of work a week, daily cooking, nutrition tracking, cleaning the house, as well as completing necessary errands or appointments. This is why I'm not surprised to be up 15 pounds, although I am surprised I haven't gained more.

I do have a brief break from four of my jobs right now, which I will be taking advantage of. For Christmas I gifted myself with a Precision Dance Pad and set up StepMania with plenty of my favorite Jpop and Kpop songs. I am easing back into workouts that will fit into my schedule and not completely exhaust my willpower. I'm also getting back to tracking my food on SP after I've already eaten, much the same as I did when I was just starting out.

I'm also going to be working less in the Spring. I want to earn a comfortable income, but I also want to maintain my physical and mental wellbeing as a priority. I can best do that when I have less work going on, no matter how much I like the work. I have to draw this line even though I don't want to.

All in all I'm maintaining, even one to two pant sizes up, and that's not too shabby. Now pardon me, I could sit on my butt fiddling around on the internet but I'd rather be on my feet playing StepMania.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHM26 3/14/2014 2:24PM

    That article was really interesting. Thanks for the link.


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OHMEMEME 1/26/2014 11:05PM

    I hear you! Life gets in the way. But so does my mind. I am opposite of your situation. I have plenty time to exercise and have several options. I exercise regularly in spurts but this last spurt has lasted almost 3 years. With that said it is really about the FOOD because I can exercise my *** Off and still gain some weight. I fight the 15 extra pounds more than I care to. THANK YOU for sharing and congrats on maintenance! emoticon You have proven to yourself that emoticon

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Life never goes completely as planned, and it is when we can adapt and still come out ahead or where we want to be, then it is good. Re-evaluate and set up your next phase, which you are doing. You've got this!

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TINAJANE76 12/30/2013 9:12AM

    I totally feel you, girl! Why is it that work has to get in the way of life?

One of the things I've learned in maintenance is that I need to learn to manage my weight pretty much through diet alone and not overly rely on exercise. As a result, my idea of what a realistic long-term strategy for activity has shifted in the past two years. Exercise has tons of benefits beyond helping with weight management, but sometimes it's the thing that has to go when things are really hectic. I have to work, I have to cook and clean and I have to tend to my marriage. But do I have to spend an hour at the gym every day? No. I've experienced the burnout keeping up that kind of schedule can cause and it's not pretty. Daily workouts might not be feasible, but three hourlong gym sessions a week plus as much walking as I can manage is. So, I've had to learn to manage my maintenance around that. There may be periods where I have more time and can up my exercise and adjust the rest of what I'm doing to maintain, but on a more normal basis, I am what I eat.

Good luck in year four of maintenance and in continuing to find balance in all things!

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KANOE10 12/29/2013 9:28AM

    You are maintaining despite a very hard work schedule! You have good plans for figuring out how to get workouts in and are making steps towards it. Good for you tracking again. You are right about will power being difficult when you are exhausted. I know you will have a good 2014 year.


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ELLIE381 12/28/2013 9:34PM

    You are doing so well. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOPEYP 12/28/2013 7:44AM

    I imagine that with all the stress of the 5 jobs is getting from one to another and just the scheduling etc. Wow, you have a lot on your plate. That said, I commend you for not throwing in the towel and looking for ways to make your life, job, tracking, fitness work. Great Job!

What is StepMania? I've never heard of it.

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KONRAD695 12/28/2013 12:34AM

    I ran into the same problem, literally. Working hard for 50 hours per week, plus family, pets, and then running. Didn't work out right. As soon as I added some life stress, it all fell apart. Now I'm up 15 pounds, but am trying to turn it around. A little less work, balanced workouts, and back to tracking. I think this is a difficulty that many of us have.

Great job for catching it, and doing something so quickly about it. emoticon emoticon

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PJ2222 12/27/2013 9:41PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CHANGING-TURTLE 12/27/2013 8:38PM

    Sounds like you have a good plan, emoticon emoticon

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CAROL494 12/27/2013 8:37PM

  Take care!

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Silver Linings.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I made my friends take so many photos of me yesterday, out hiking through a local park in my awesome new Scouting Legion hoodie. It looks so good!

Bit-by-bit I'm catching up on sleep and I'm happy to get a few miscellaneous tasks done today like emails and read the latest Attack on Titan chapter and watering the herbs. Soon I need to bring them inside.

My workout didn't happen today as planned and I'll have to make it up later. I might break out the bike trainer instead of hitting the gym for a treadmill walk/run.

It's still a challenge to make exercise a day-to-day part of my life. Starting out I learned how to overdo exercise, going at it 7 days/week to burn 500 calories per workout. Of course then I hit maintenance and needed to find how to stop losing. At one point I was able to consider any movement like errands or running tasks to be exercise and still maintain.

Then I started eating more (about 100-300 calories per day) and light errands didn't cut it. If I want to eat what I eat, I need to always work out in a regular fashion.

It's just difficult; I get bored with exercise. I keep switching as I become interested in different types of cardio, related to my ability to multitask during the activity and how many calories I would burn. Wii Fit I could work out during and watch TV. Then biking I could even accomplish errands outside, or I could set up the bike trainer and watch TV. Right now running/walking on the treadmill or on the elliptical at the gym I can watch TV and read. I like doing that because during a workout is typically the only time in my day I have for actually watching TV and reading.

And I must say, strength training is the ultimate bore. It's just do a few reps rotating through many machines to burn maybe a few extra calories. There's no where in there that I can multitask and watch TV or read, and those are the incentive I need to keep working out.

Yoga is good not only for my mind but also my flexibility, but the classes are not conveniently scheduled to be able to fit into my day. I work at 6am, 8am, or 9am depending on the day, workout in the afternoon, come home to make dinner, do laundry, menu plan, and then work until midnight or 1am. Sleep, repeat. Off on Saturdays, usually to spend time with friends.

I also want to attend martial arts classes, but the same issue makes it impossible right now.

Sometimes I can also get excited about a new cardio regime because I'm training to participate in an event, like a 5K. But not very often since I'm already in pretty good condition, enough so to be able to run such events without a great deal of advance training.

I just keep getting bored and I can't stick with anything. This is why exercise must be a job for me, a set obligation that I have to account for. It's a work in progress, but identifying the underlying obstruction helps me attain a true solution.

This is the same for when I binge. Binging is a problem, it happens with regularity and is something I have been working on to varying success. At one point I was able to prevent binging by asking myself whether I would feel better or worse if I ate what I was seeking to put in my mouth just then. That solution is no longer working which is understandable because it didn't necessarily identify and attack the underlying cause.

I think I have stumbled on that just this weekend by discovering there are different varieties of binge eating. It sounds obvious yet it's never quite examined in a way that I've been able to discern. Instead there is a focus on binging in general such as how to identify and deal with it, as well as emotional eating specifically.

None of which actually has helped me deal with my form of binging: stress eating. When I need to work but it is stressful I escape by making food and eating. Then I feel more stressed, so I eat more, adding more stress and more of a need to hide behind the act of eating and continue to avoid actually dealing with the original source of stress.

Maybe the information about this cycle of avoidance through eating is already out there and I just wasn't yet in a place to recognize it. But now I have been able to understand it as the culprit in order to help myself better.

Granted much of the act of binging is nurtured by the toxic chemicals of addiction, but at least in knowing the trigger I can potentially head off a new cycle before it gets that far.

Looking for those underlying causes can be hard, we have to break down our defenses and really own up to our mistakes. But there's a silver lining, letting us understand the problem and giving us the weapons we need to effectively fight back.

It's good I've found this during a time when I greatly need it. The holiday season is amping up with work on top of online meetings on top of tutoring on top of workouts on top of movie parties, 5Ks, pumpkin carving parties, mozzarella making class, pie making plans, and car repairs. That's just for October and November, December will probably be even more nuts.

I'll keep doing my best!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FEARLESSNOW 11/30/2013 12:45PM


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JAIMESIZED 10/14/2013 1:40PM

    I do the same thing... binge from stress. It's the most difficult thing in the world to conquer, and I have yet to accomplish it. I hope you get through it, because I definitely know how it feels. We can do it!

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KANOE10 10/14/2013 8:23AM

    I think you are correct about bingeing being a cycle of avoidance. Finding the original source of stress would be helpful. I also think you are right about the addiction factor and staying away from trigger foods. I have stopped bingeing by removing the binge foods from my life for 3 years. I do have substitutes that satisfy me. Good luck on the holiday season that is filled with challenges. I also watch tv on the elliptical. Have you tried the lateral machine? It is a good change for me.

I know you will do well, Spark Friend!


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BILL60 10/14/2013 8:06AM

    Hang in there!!

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DEVINSHIRE1 10/14/2013 3:45AM

    It's all a work in progress, isn't it? I'm going through similar processes to try and find out some things about myself. Best of luck to you.

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    Keep on keeping on! Figuring out the binge triggers and finding an equally rewarding method of coping with the triggers is a very important thing. I wish you success.

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