WATERMELLEN   75,189
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and i also thank you, ee cummings!

Monday, April 19, 2010


i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any -- lifted from the no
of all nothing -- human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

ee cummings

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEODAWG 5/7/2010 9:20PM

    Oh the joys of Spark People. Finding people who know and quote ee cummings!

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PHEBESS 4/27/2010 10:07PM

    One of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets!!!!!

Thank you!!!

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FROSTIERACES 4/24/2010 11:10AM

    Always something refreshing in your blogs : )

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CAROLINECHICAGO 4/23/2010 10:54PM

    Thanks for posting. ee cummings is one of my favorite poets!

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MSSNOWY 4/23/2010 10:53PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/23/2010 10:51PM

    emoticon

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FRACTALMYTH 4/23/2010 2:04AM

    "the birth
day of life and love and wings"

BEAUTIFUL!!!

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WALKINGANNIE 4/20/2010 2:23PM

    'i who have died am alive again today'

Thanks Ellen. This captures the feelings so well doesn't it?

We have so much to be thankful for.

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/20/2010 4:56AM

    Thanks Ellen.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/19/2010 8:02PM

    LOVE this! So much exuberance finely contained.
xo
Usha

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PUDLECRAZY 4/19/2010 7:57PM

    Ah, thank you! I love ee cummings!

Chris

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Running is Making Me Fat

Friday, April 16, 2010

I was interested in a recent article in the Toronto Globe and Mail with this headline; here's the link if you'd like to read it too:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/site-search
/?q=running+is+making+me+fat&x=24&y=20

The gist of the article: many people GAIN weight when they start a running programme or are in training for a 10k or marathon or triathalon -- as much as 10 pounds or more. And for only a small number of people is the weight gain related to increased muscle mass.

Mostly, the weight gain results from people failing to realize how few additional calories they are actually burning because they're running. The average runner burns only about 420 calories for 1 hour of running at an 8-minute pace. And runners find their schedules more time-crunched than ever because they're fitting in the runs. That means less time to plan and prepare healthy foods -- chopping vegetables for salads, and so on. Plus appetite increases and they feel entitled to "grab and go" -- a handful of cookies, a sandwich (there's the 400 calories) because they are, after all, virtuously embarked upon a vigorous workout.

But, according to Joe Friel (in a different article), every pound of additional body fat causes a runner to slow by 2 seconds per mile -- 25 extra pounds means 7-8% slower runs. The lighter you are the faster you go: up to a point. Running coach Simon Whitfield says that persons who are excessively thin because of poor nutrition (about a third of female college age runners) are generally not able to sustain their running careers for long. Not to mention: every extra pound has the effect of about seven extra pounds when you're running and landing on your heels!

Moderation in all things: not a new message, but one I need to keep telling myself. After a month's hiatus (slow recovery from pneumonia, breathing difficulties) I'm back to my podrunner intervals week eight, running a steady 28 minutes after a 5 minute warmup and then a 3 minute cooldown. Using the POSE technique: rapid cadence, short stride, landing mid-foot, vertical posture --and it still looks dorky but is beginning to feel more instinctive. Remembering to stretch after the run. And I've got right back into my strength training too, with attention to the lower body hip flexors, quads and hamstrings to stablize the knee joints and hip joints. No injuries so far: yay!! Plus I've been out on the golf course as much as possible . . . my 'cross training" on non-running days.

When I was running 10 k some 15 years ago, I forgot about the strength training, ran every day, landed heavily on my heels with a long stride, and weighed at least 20 pounds more than I do now. Blew out my hip and knee joints. And I'm determined not to do that again. Gotta stay light so that I CAN run: and not expect that my tentative return to running justifies eating more.

Which is tough. Because: I'm hungry!! But: I'm runing because I really love to run. And there's no way I want to let running make me fat.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 4/24/2010 11:08AM

    Hi Ellen! Catching up on blogs again!...I know exactly what you mean about thinking we need to be as light as possible to be light on your joints with every step we take running. I often think about that and get caught up in then not eating enough! and yeah...it's amazing that the calories burned aren't that high. It still fathoms me when I just got done running 30 long minutes of wow...that was really great!! to see just a tiny number of calories used. Bizzaro! I love running to. You will always run and the new technique your using is really impressive. I need to take more time to look into that. I have these ...what I call, "football" knees...they are just rock solid. My hips do get sore though. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend and ...ya know, I imagined you golf...it so fits!! emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 4/18/2010 4:22PM

    Yes, when I move more, I am hungrier and somehow feel entitled to EAT. Have a fun day.

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MSSNOWY 4/18/2010 11:30AM

    Interesting article, Ellen. Thanks for pointing it out. I think it's pretty much spot on in terms of people allowing themselves things because they think they are taking it into account by whatever they're doing to 'work it off.' But it's not happening. Been guilty of that myself -- not with running, but with activity in general. The only thing I knew that worked was breast-feeding! I could eat anything in those days and never gain an ounce. Trouble was, I got used to being able to do that and, whoops, can't breast-freed forever! And I wasn't quick enough to realize it and make the adjustment before weight started to accumulate. And after letting it sit there all these years, I'm finally making real efforts to get it off. So I love the nutrition tracker where I'm logging it all!

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FOSSE_OF_LOVE 4/18/2010 11:20AM

    I will be coming back and read your blogs again when I get to the running point in my life as I find them sensible and your strategy well thought out. In other words WISE. Thanks for the blog.

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WATERMELLEN 4/18/2010 11:07AM

    P.S.

Read another article in Friday's Toronto Star which says that every extra pound is actually multiplied BY TEN when running or even just walking downstairs -- so the effect of two extra pounds would be like running with a 20 pound weight! Arrgh. No wonder my knees/hips were unhappy when I was running before 20 pounds heavier (ie like running with a 200 pound weight?? Can this possibly be right????).

Yesterday (Saturday) I completed the third session of week eight of podrunner intervals with knees and hips quite happy after the 5 minute warmup, 28 minute run, cool down, stretch. Then upper body weights/core exercises and even found time for a whirlpool and steam room session afterwards (which generally is NOT possible when I hit the gym at 5:30 am before work). Ahhhh, bliss!!

Comment edited on: 4/18/2010 11:07:40 AM

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CMB2048 4/18/2010 10:35AM

    Well, I can believe what is in that article! I think that is what happens to many of us. Especially when we start out to try to lose weight. We think that exercise we got off our butt to do finally makes up for eating some more food but when I see how many calories you burn for different activities and then figure that 1/2 cup pudding might undo that, it is really depressing! :--)

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XENAMY 4/16/2010 9:01PM

  Hey lady! Wow! This just made me cringe. It's an attestation to keeping awareness though and keeping at it. 420 calories? That's it? I can't even run for more than 9 minutes straight without doing the run/walk/run/walk thing on the treadmill. Building up though. Love the POSE technique... must become aware of that.

Hang in there... emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 4/16/2010 12:44PM

    I hope that your recovery continues apace Ellen. Pneumonia is nasty so be kind to yourself.

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You have raised some really interesting issues in this blog. The nuances of the 'eat less, move more' balance are fascinating and the more we share, the more we understand.

Thanks for sharing the information and the link.

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Keep well,

Annie x

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/16/2010 12:01PM

    I like that you have added strength training and stretching into your regimen ... to support your runner's body. As far as eating goes, my hunch is that planning meals ahead of time and eating mindfully would help keep a runner on track (pun intended!)
Hugs,
Usha.

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VALERIEMAHA 4/16/2010 9:58AM

    Hmmmm...interesting grist for the mill or, as we say, "food for thought"...all intended puns OF COURSE!

Melodie makes a good point, AND some caloric increase is justified with major caloric release via exercise.

Thanks for the interesting article -- and your insightful thoughts...as always!

Blessed be!
xox
Maha

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MELODIEO 4/16/2010 9:40AM

    I dont think its so much of eating more its what they are eating. I had the same problem and i had to realize it wasnt that I was just eating more its like you said I was eating fast on the go stuff. I was already barely squeezing in my run time much less finding time to eat right. So I buy bagged salad mix and then add a few quick touches tomato ect. in a closable bowl and eat in the car on my way to my second job. The more fruit and vegs. that I eat the less hungry I am after my run.

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MUSYCLAU 4/16/2010 9:33AM

    I have never heard of the correlation between running and over-eating. Of course sitting on the couch might burn .42 calories and lifting a fork 4.2, so exercising and burning 420 calories sounds good to me.

Comment edited on: 4/16/2010 9:33:56 AM

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RUNNINGPFUHL 4/16/2010 9:17AM

    I agree with that. I have been an injured runner since I started running, because I wasn't paying much attention to strength training. Now I get at least one day a week of ST. And I'm taking it slow and low!

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DEBRA_T 4/16/2010 9:15AM

    I have read in many articles that exercise in general causes a lot of people to gain weight because they rationalize more eating. The trick, as we know, is to exercise without additional eating (unless it supports the exercise program). A trick indeed!

Cheers, Debra
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JOPAPGH 4/16/2010 9:10AM

    Been there, done that!

Now that I am taking my stress fracture imposed break, I as back to focusing on nutrition and am only 2.5 lbs from my original goal weight.

I'll be more aware when I start the running back up this time.

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HAPPYNSMILING 4/16/2010 8:55AM

    I totally agree with you. Running seems to make me hungry, too.
Thanks for the information in your blog, because I really didn't think about the eating more vs not that much more calories burned. I'm not going to let running make me fat, either.
Hurray for you for getting back on track after being sick.
Have a great day!!
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PHEBESS 4/16/2010 8:48AM

    It's all a balancing act. Cals in, cals out. But yeah, lots of intense cardio makes me hungry!

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JETTSTAR999 4/16/2010 8:37AM

  Right on! Reap the benefits!

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A Little Birthday Blog . . .

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

. . . . on the occasion of turning 59. That's FIFTY-NINE!! How can it be possible??

SP sent me birthday greetings: thank you!!

And so far 59 (despite the sticker shock) is looking way way better than 58. I'm 20 pounds lighter and wearing a sleek little size 8 skirt suit this morning -- shortish skirt, French blue shirt, sheer black stockings ("the legs are the last to go") and French blue peep toe heels with little grosgrain bows. We old girls have to keep on trying, doncha know. And my frivolity is in part a recognition that this year's birthday follows upon my return to health: that precious one year all clear!

Later today I have a business lunch. After work a "celebration of life" for one of my former college colleagues who has passed away, way too young. Saddening but also a poignant reminder to live every day -- as she did-- with zest and enthusiasm.

Then home. The robins are singing now, and I expect they will still be singing then. There are scylla in blue bloom under my crabapple tree, and the sticky buds are bursting open on the chestnuts.

What a great time of the year to have been born!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOPAPGH 4/16/2010 9:08AM

    Happy belated Birthday! I hit the big 50 this year.

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HAPPYNSMILING 4/16/2010 9:00AM

    Happy Belated Birthday, Ellen!!
Kudos to you that you made yourself healthy!!
Hope your day was great...sounds like it got off to a good start!!
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TKADEEPBREATH 4/11/2010 8:49PM

    Happy Birthday!!!I'm right behind you . . . it's amazing how "young" sixty sounds these days, LOL!!! No really, don't you think?

I hope you had a great day . . .

Jan emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 4/11/2010 11:41AM

    AW SHUCKS Ellen (like Teeny says)...I missed your Personal New Year too! But I'm a firm believer in the Birthday Season, which spans AT LEAST a week on either side of THE day...and up to a month at times!!!!!!

So, let the festivities continue for one of the most emoticon , insightful, thoughtful and generous members of this incredible Spark Community!
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Maha

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/10/2010 3:06PM

    Wow. I missed the B-Day - Shucks!!!

Another year fabulous!!!

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CMB2048 4/10/2010 12:41PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I turned 49 on April 1 and I'm saying the same thing about turning 49! I'm hoping to be 50 lbs lighter by my birthday next year. That big 5-0 is going to be a doozy!

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TRAVELGRRL 4/9/2010 5:48PM

    I second all of the warm wishes! Congratulations on a VERY well spent year; 59 is going to be the VERY BEST EVER!!!

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FRACTALMYTH 4/9/2010 4:13PM

    Happy Happy Happy (belated) birthday! I hope you enjoyed the day in all it's (and your) beauty and promise for the future!!! Hip hip hooorayyyy! :D

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FROSTIERACES 4/9/2010 1:33PM

    59! Happy Belated Birthday!!! and thank you for the sweet comment - was just one of those days! I'm better today :) You're so inspiring with YOUR zest for life and ability to appreciate the birds chirping and the sun shining..it's a great reminder for me to do the same. :)

I hope you had a marvelous birthday!!

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/9/2010 5:17AM

    Ah Ellen, I am little late but Happy, happy birthday. I won't forget again as your birthday is on my wedding anniversary. Ken and I have been away for a few days so I missed your post. emoticon You are looking fantastic. Hugs.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/8/2010 10:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Ellen,
Happy Birthday to you ... And wishing you many many many more to come!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

And Woooo Hoooo for being fit and fabulous!
Hugs,
Usha.

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STLRZGRRL 4/8/2010 9:58PM

    WOoHoo!!!
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR EL-LENNNNN!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

And many more!!!

SPEECH! SPEECH!
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TRENTDREAMER 4/8/2010 9:49PM

    Happy Birthday!

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FOSSE_OF_LOVE 4/8/2010 12:30AM

    Happy Birthday Sweetie...you do have some sexy legs there.

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PUDLECRAZY 4/7/2010 10:58PM

    A very happy birthday to you! Isn't it lovely to have Robins ushering in your birthday? I am just leaving my 59th year, and found it to be a very good age - especially since this has been my year to regain my health. Be sassy, wear your short skirt, wink and let the world beware. You are a fabulous 59!
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Chris

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PENNYAN45 4/7/2010 10:06PM

    Ellen,

Happy Birthday! I am happy to have just met and 'friended' you here on SP at your young age of 59. Being your elder of 6 years, I am here to tell you that it keeps getting better!


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WALKINGANNIE 4/7/2010 6:18PM

    Happy Birthday Ellen. It's so good that you can celebrate in good health - the best gift of all.

I'm sorry for the loss of your colleague.

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IMAGINE_IT 4/7/2010 4:40PM

    emoticon Happy Birthday to you... emoticonHappy Birthday to you..Happyyyyyyyy Birthday dear Ellen..Happy Birthdayyyyyyyyy to youuuuuuuuu emoticon
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DSHONEYC 4/7/2010 2:15PM

    Happy Birthday, friend!

You have received the greatest gift emoticon of health!

Trust me, 59 is ok...though its very very close to 60! emoticon

You must look great today (take a pic and post it for us to see)! emoticon

I hope this year is filled with all the health and happiness you deserve, Ellen. 1951 was a great year to be born (well, of course I was also born that year). My office is celebrating someone's birthday today (it was Sunday) with make your own chocolate sundaes...I brought the nuts. In your honor I vow to eat with restraint (hence the raw veggies and lean meat for lunch). I joined you in good health and I want to join you at the size 8 racks!

Happy Birthday! emoticon Hugs, D

Comment edited on: 4/7/2010 2:17:16 PM

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MSSNOWY 4/7/2010 1:42PM

    Happy birthday! And congratulations on feeling so much better at 59 than at 58. May 60, when it comes, be even better! Hope you have a great year.

One of my sons was born today, too. Obviously a fine day to be born!

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PHEBESS 4/7/2010 10:51AM

    Happy birthday!!!!!!!!!

And I love your description of your ensemble!

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BOOKAPHILE 4/7/2010 10:42AM

    Happy Birthday, Ellen! May you have many more healthy years!

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TLGREIG 4/7/2010 8:40AM

    Happy Birthday! Keep up the good work! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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How're we doing, stats-wise?? Calling all SP MAINtainers!!

Friday, April 02, 2010

There was an interesting article in the April 1 Toronto Globe and Mail which I'm pretty sure wasn't an April Fools joke: "Most Canadian dieters can't keep pounds off, poll finds".

If you want the link, here it is:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/most
-canadians-struggle-to-maintain-weight
-loss-poll-finds/article1518421/68/

In a nutshell, a recent Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation poll found that only 17% of those who were overweight and took weight off were able to keep at least five pounds off for five years. For those who were obese, only 8% who lost weight were able to keep five pounds off for five years. And I'm guessing that the US stats are probably comparable.

Why weren't even these modest successes sustainable, according to the Canadian research? What you'd expect: fad diets; too-rapid weight loss; lack of professional advice. But the number one reason why the weight crept back on is lack of support after the initial "diet" plan. To sustain weight loss, people have to stick with the nutrition plan for the long term. And without support most people can't do that.

Over the past 30 years, obesity has doubled in the 40-69 age group and tripled in the 20 to 39 age group. It's a serious health problem: we all know that. And people are spending lots of money to try and lose weight -- 42% of dieters spent more than $500 a year on their efforts to lose weight. The younger the dieter, the more he or she spends.

The article doesn't say so, but I'm cynical enough to believe that commercial weight loss programmes have a vested interest in sustaining -- not weight loss -- but weight recidivism. If their customers pack it all back on, those customers are more likely to come back to the commercial weight loss programme and spend their hefty weight loss dollars all over again. For commercial weight loss programmes, the profit motive may conflict with supporting maintenance.

So: what about SparkPeople?

Are we beating these odds? I'll bet we are. I'll bet that among those who've been on SP for more than 5 years and started in the overweight category, more than 17% have kept more than 5 pounds off. I'll bet more than 8% of those who were obese when they started have kept more than 5 pounds off. Way more. SP is all about healthy lifestyle, slow weight loss, tons of professional advice and above all SUPPORT. And SP is all about free: we certainly know that SP services aren't costing anyone anything. So there's no incentive for SP to withdraw support during the crucial maintenance phase. On the contrary.

I'm not a five year member -- I only started SP in May 2009. But I have maintained weight loss (with just a lilttle blip) for over five years. And yup, I was obese. That initial 80 pound weight loss was accomplished between June 2001 and February 2002. Seven years later, in February 2009, I'd found 20 of those pounds again. That was my blip. And maybe I had some pretty compelling health problem distractions . . . which would be an explanation but absolutely no excuse justifying my temporary loss of focus! Actually, risk of recurrence increases with weight -- all the more reason to keep weight under control .

And I knew that. Which is why after joining SP in May 2009 I'd taken the 20 "blip" pounds off again by July 2009, and I've kept them off since then. With the help of SP nutrition and exercise trackers, expert information and an amazingly supportive community I've sustained my maintenance range of 150-155 for 8 months.

When I huddle on my At Goal and Maintaining team, I regularly signal "MAINtaining!". That's my shorthand for "maintaining is my MAIN goal". And it is. Because maintaining for me is more important than ever. And because maintaining for me will always be harder than losing.

Two things.

First of all, it's pretty clear that SP is offering everything that the Canadian researchers identify as essential to weight loss maintenance. Which means that SP has to be beating those kinda dismal 17% and 8% 5 pound/5 year stats, doncha suppose? But by how much? How're we doing, stats wise? How many of us have lost weight and kept it off? How much weight? And for how long??

And second: can the SP site be tweaked to focus even more on maintaining weight loss? I do notice that some members vanish swiftly or drift away a little more slowly once they've accomplished their weight loss. Which is fine if that works for them, of course. But for those "losers" who leave, we can only wonder how successful they are in keeping the weight off without the support of the SP community. What are the stats on "at goal" members dropping out? Regaining? Coming back? And what suggestions can SP members offer SP coaches and site administrators to make the maintenance phase just as cohesive and supportive as the weight loss phase?

We're participating in an amazing experiment, which seems to be completely in accord with the cutting-edge sustainable weight-loss research. When you're losing weight, it's hard work but it's also dramatic and immensely rewarding as the compliments flow in and you can fit into smaller and smaller sizes of new clothes and you feel healthier and healthier. Maintaining can be much less exciting, much less glamorous, attract much less attention -- especially if better appearance rather than improved health was the main goal (vanity is a powerful motivator!!). And it can be a bit dismaying to realize that weight loss doesn't solve all our other problems! That's when weight can creep back on. That's why figuring out how to sustain weight loss has to matter more than the initial weight loss for each one of us. And for our families, our friends, and our communities -- virtual and real!

MAINtaining is my main thing -- and as over time SP builds a community with more and more maintainers in it, I'm guessing that SP will focus more and more on support of weight loss maintenance.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 4/5/2010 5:21PM

    Temporary loss of focus is my blip from time to time....and yes I wish there was an exact cure for maintenance stage - it would have helped while I was there! It really is hard work. You have achieved so much :) You sound at peace with you! :)

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BRIAN36 4/5/2010 10:47AM

    I've been maintaining for about 2 years now and I can honestly say I don't think I would still be going as strong without SP. Maybe it isn't so much the information that SP provides now, but the community that keeps me here and keeps me going. The interactions with others, encouraging some and being encouraged by others. It's the piece to the puzzle that seems to be missing in my "real" life.

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TEENY_BIKINI 4/4/2010 10:07PM

    Great article.

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PENNYAN45 4/4/2010 9:26PM

    I agree that SP has something to offer that no other weight loss systems have. Having tried a bunch of them over the years - I am convinced that Spark People has a winning combination of tools, resources, and a support system.

The SP friends that I have made here are very important to me -- and to my success in losing weight. After my weight loss, I plan to hang around for maintenance as well-- especially now!!

Thanks for your informative blog.

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PS I am adding you as a friend. emoticon

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JOPAPGH 4/4/2010 9:02PM

    I know what I need to do to maintain. I just have to recommit the discipline to do it.

Nutrition tracking for me is the best and worst part of SparkPeople. It is hands down the best way to maintain but is also the first area I neglect.

I'm down 20 lbs for two years. Time to go back after those last five again.

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MRS.DOYLE 4/3/2010 5:58PM

    I think this site is doing a good job of keeping maintainers. When I joined I was overweight and was surprised that the adverts on this site showed slim people as I considered it to be a website for "fatties". Now I am maintaining and can relate to the people in the adverts as I now see it as a site for "fitties".

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WALKINGANNIE 4/3/2010 4:54PM

    Nail on head Ellen! Your analysis of commercial weight loss programmes seems (sadly) to be spot on.

I'm very happy to be in the SP maintenance experiment and a couple of weeks away has given me time to assess my relationship with SP. I know that my new healthy habits have become ingrained now thanks to sustained efforts and tracking over several months but my needs have changed during my involvement with the programme. I now know - if I didn't before - that there are a number of Friends, including you, who help to keep me on track. This is what I value most at this stage and what will keep me focused.

Commercial programmes have never provided me with the same sense of belonging to a group of like-minded people who understand and support each other.

Here's to maintenance forever!

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CMB2048 4/3/2010 11:05AM

    I have been one of those gainers/losers over and over again most of my life. And now I can't seem to figure out how to get the scale to budge again. I could blame my age now. I'm much older and losing is much more difficult but I know that is just an excuse. Lots of women my age lose weight. So I have one year until my 50th birthday and I just have to figure all of this out. Great blog. I still believe and I've said it many times on SP that those of us with weight problems are truly "addicted" to food. Just like alcoholics are addicted to alcohol. Until we realize that and know that we can't ever go back to eating like we used to, then I think your Canadian statistics will always bear out. We have the food industry actively working against us too, wanting us to eat more and figuring out ways to get us to do that. I believe that food addicts like most of us have to swear off certain foods because if we don't, like you said without supports, that one taste of a french frie eventually turns into two the next time, three the time after that until we are back at a full plate! Thanks for sharing.

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TKADEEPBREATH 4/3/2010 9:48AM

    I think you are right on target here. What good is it to reach a goal for weight if you don't maintain it?

Over the last 3 months in the program, I've experienced a slow, steady weight lose. But to me more importantly, is learning what are good solid choices for achieving my goals. I'm very confident these patterns will remain after I meet my goal. I like this new way of eating.

I would love to stay on the site all day, but I've realized that as much there is to do and see here, I do have a very active life. I can't believe how much time I can spend here not even realizing it. I must be obsessed . . .

Great post, have a great weekend!!

Comment edited on: 4/4/2010 7:49:30 PM

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TRYINGHARD1948 4/3/2010 1:43AM

    Fantastic Ellen, I'm still learning how to maintain and am so thankful that SP and community keeps me responsible for my choices. You are so right, SP is about a healthy lifestyle.

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CHRISPYLEE 4/2/2010 10:55PM

    This has got to be one of the smartest things
i have read in a long time!!


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BOOKAPHILE 4/2/2010 7:09PM

    I agree with you. I've only been involved 4.5 months, and I'm fine tuning the final goal weight, but maintenance is right around the corner for me.

I never want to go back and have to re-lose the weight again. I'm planning to keep track and not let myself go.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 4/2/2010 7:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Have just recently joined the MAINtaining team. I do admire the dedication of the people who have achieved their home weight and are staying around to motivate others. I've heard that being team leader is like having a part time job! I agree that Spark is the cutting edge of what is possible with weight loss. The community support together with latest research is phenomenal. We are so blessed.

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STLRZGRRL 4/2/2010 6:56PM

    Ya... I'm coming, Ellen... give me another minute to chisel the rest of the fatness off here and I'll maintain with you...

I have talked to people who tell me the initial SP addiction lasts about 2 years if you have a real virulent case... you can get yourself off the daily rush of spinning the wheel... getting ALL the points... being less active on the site so you can find the hours in a day to be active in YOUR LIFE...

But I can tell you what happened EVERY time I stopped paying attention... and I stopped paying attention for a REALLY. LONG. TIME this last time... and I mean LAST.

I KNOW I can't spend as much time as I'd like to here... and I don't feel strong enough to strike out too much on my own... but I HAVE learnt my lesson:

I'm going to be tracking my fitness and my food 4. EVAR...

Pinky swear.

(And I don't think I can ever let go of the very best people I've found here... a girl really can't have TOO many friends... I've learned THAT lesson, too!!)

HUG-ZUH!!!
Trace

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DSHONEYC 4/2/2010 6:07PM

    I want to join the MAINtainers club and vow to be loyal! This time when I reach goal (this will be the first time) I never want to add those hard-won pounds back on. I have lost & gained the same 5 - 7 pounds tooooooooooooo many times. You are an example for all of us out there still working toward the goal.

PS I think the failure is mostly attributed to people not really changing how, why, where and what they eat. It's a lifestyle. emoticon

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Saturday Morning -- more prosaic AND more upbeat than Wallace Stevens

Saturday, March 27, 2010

My microwave omelette maker is a wonderful invention. Today I whisked two large Omega + eggs with a tablespoon of water, salt and freshly ground pepper, sprayed the omelette maker, poured the mixture equally into both sides and microwaved on full power for 1 minute. Next, I stirred in the liquid edges, thinly sliced two fresh mushrooms on top (one for each side) and added a scant handful of fresh arugula. Back into the microwave for another minute, and then I closed the omelette maker to let it rest while I chopped three red and three yellow cherry tomates for garnish.

Breakfast "dessert" was a few fresh blackberries, three large fresh sliced strawberries and a half cup of fresh raspberries with a dollop of non fat sugar free vanilla yogout.

Visually quite marvellous. Both hunger and soul satisfying. And (let's get technical) total price just 253 calories. For which I bought 19 gm protein and all kinds of vitamins/minerals zinging around my system for sure.

Speaking of zinging there were also three cups (yes, three!!!) of black coffee. Freshly ground Columbian beans made in a French press. Served in my special snowdrops mug, in honour of the snowdrops outside my door. As I've told STLRZGRRL, coffee is my only remaining sin.(And I just wish it were true).

All of this savoured with a good read of the Toronto Globe and Mail.

OK, not entirely dolce far niente. Because this was while I fed Charlie and tidied the kitchen and did the laundry and started a fresh pot of soba edamame soup simmering on the stove.(Yup, multi-tasking r us).

It's sunny, it's Saturday, and yesterday I saw my first robin. The rotw (rest of the weekend) stretches ahead. Time hasn't picked up speed just yet. Simple simple pleasures.

What's not to like??



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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 4/5/2010 5:07PM

    wait a minute...microwave omelet maker? is this a device all by itself ...don't tell me I'm behind on yet another kitchen gadget! Sounds delicious! and berries too..yum!

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WALKINGANNIE 4/3/2010 4:41PM

    This sounds yummy Ellen.

Thanks for your messages while I've been away. Hope you have a good weekend.

Love,

Annie x

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CMB2048 3/28/2010 8:47PM

    I love omelets and coffee is also my vice! You sound happy!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 3/27/2010 11:34PM

    I LOVE the idea of having dessert for breakfast ... and berries is fantastic. Wow! 19 grams of protein ... well done! Mine was a veggie burger with beans chased down with a mug of cardomom and cinnamon tea (made by the hubs). Tea is one of my not guilty pleasures.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
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FRACTALMYTH 3/27/2010 11:07PM

    MMmmmmmMMmmmm. Delicious! Thanks for sharing :D

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TRYINGHARD1948 3/27/2010 7:42PM

    Nutritionally fantastic, visually delightful and is your friend salivating, you bet. I can smell that coffee, oops no, it's morning coffee being prepared by hubby. Loved the blog, enjoy the weekend, it sounds blissful so farand long may it last.

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Just a few spring tulips to add to the delight.

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STLRZGRRL 3/27/2010 10:36AM

    Oh, Ellen... you ARE living the dolce vita...

I personally killed the organic Weetabix I bought on my last Amish scratch and dent trip (12 biscuits @ 69 cents not to rub it in!) by downing the last one with 4 oz. of Organic Valley drinkable vanilla yogurt poured over top and... well... way too much coffee... not your way cool French-pressed Columbian but another of the candy-flavored packets I picked up in Reading/Birdsboro... (Butterfinger flavored... I KNOW!) while I fed and watered the hounds and started plinking away at my Spark points...

Today... I'm committing to riding Troy for a full hour and getting this hovel vacuumed before trying to get a walk in with the creatures today... and there IS this report I have to pencil whip between now and Monday... but that is a far distant point this morning...

Ahhhh. Weekends.


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DEBRA_T 3/27/2010 10:04AM

    Sounds like a wonderful morning -- had somewhat similar but my omelette maker is named Joe. LOL
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