Sunday, August 26, 2012
DH and I are just back from three days in Ottawa -- or more precisely, a day and a bit, with most of the other time spent driving up and driving back!
I wanted to see the Van Gogh exhibition at the National Gallery before it closed September 3. Some of you may have seen it earlier this year in Philadelphia . . . it's a "joint" US /Canadian project which focuses on work from the last four years of Van Gogh's life, with lots of "close up" details from nature and lots of landscape vistas too . . . . There were early photographs and Japanese prints also exhibited, to show a couple of the influence on this period of his work. I had not realized that the texturing effect of his brush strokes evokes the wrinkled paper of the Japanese print "crepon" technique. The gallery (one of Moshe Safdie's best architectural works) was crowded, even with our reserved tickets. But the crowds did not prevent me from seeing and absorbing images that were new to me and which will stay in my mind: a field of wheat, a field of lavender, a vase of poppies, a branch of almond blossom against an intensely blue background, a couple walking through dense undergrowth in a light dappled forest.
We also attended an open air theatre production under a starry sky in a park adjacent to the Rideau River . . . a glorious Marivaux 18th century French farce, comedia del arte style with highly expressive masks, Offenbach music. It was superbly performed, very silly and light-hearted: perfect for a summer night.
Other than that: walking, talking, reading, paying our respects at some dear friends' burial places in Beechwood Cemetery, a drive into the Gatineaus, some nice meals, a few glasses of wine, a very comfortable hotel: good times. Ottawa is a beautiful, human-scaled city where English and French are spoken everywhere, decked out for the summer with provincial floral banners and imaginatively planted flower beds in all the parks. It's our capital city, with its Gothic Parliament buildings and Art Deco Supreme Court, and it always makes me proud to be Canadian!
We shared the drive back, taking turns so each of us could snooze a little . . . I've filled the fridge again, caught up with the laundry, and feel ready to face the week!
Friday, August 24, 2012
I played golf (not well) yesterday in our annual professional association tournament -- and it was great fun. Sunny day, great company, scramble format -- where at least some of "my" shots were used.
A highlight for me? Candid photo taken at the top of my back swing which was part of a slide show playing during dinner. Great form, great follow through: and looking good for an old gal.
White capris (size 8); horizontally striped white/blue/red sleeveless golf shirt (size small); red visor, red/white/blue golf shoes (anniversary gift from DH, and I'd been looking all summer for a coordinating shirt on sale natch, finally found one!!).
Vanity moment: and yes, it's the vanity moments which help keep motivating my superficial girly self for sure!
Sunday, August 19, 2012
There! "At Goal and Maintaining" has changed its name: it's now "At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance".
So: come on over. Depending upon where we began and how each of us feels individually, "Transition to Maintenance" might be 100 pounds away from "goal" (that elusive concept) or 50 pounds or 20 pounds or . . . . you get it.
It's not necessary to get to goal before we learn about maintenance.
And it's not optimal to wait either.
So many people seem to "get to goal", announce they've reached goal weight with a bit of fanfare and congrats all around and then . . . disappear.
Sure, most of us pretty desperately want to take it off. But we've done that before. A few times. So even more urgently, we want to keep it off.
Best strategy: to learn how. While we're losing. And to continue to learn how, while we keep it off. Permanently.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Following up from my previous blog, and given the desire of the "At Goal and Maintaining Team" to promote weight loss maintenance, I'm wondering if a change of name might help?
Dropping the "At Goal" part and focusing on the learning how to maintain part?
I know that before I'd lost enough weight to meet SP's goal for me (155) I didn't venture to join the team. Felt it would have been a little presumptuous, that "this was not for me". I did, however, begin lurking on the site. And then sought out a well-established At Goal member to mentor me a bit (thanks, TRYINGHARDER!!).
But in retrospect, I'm thinking that learning maintenance strategies while losing weight is key to breaking the weight loss/regain cycle. Key to changing that statistic (only 5% of those who lose weight maintain weight loss) to something closer to 100%.
And in any case, pretty much nobody stays "At Goal". We fluctuate up and down. We change what we define to be "At Goal". We distinguish between lowest achievable weight and lowest sustainable weight.
What do you think? If MAINtaining is the main thing . . . . if we're turning away people during the weight loss phase who aren't At Goal . . . would it help to adopt a different team name?
Thursday, August 16, 2012
There's a great discussion going on among At Goal And Maintaining Team members about the relatively low profile of maintainers at SparkPeople. Even though there are 16,300 of 'em maintaining away on the At Goal And Maintaining Team.
Of course there might be a whole lot more SP members who are maintaining but not engaged in this particular team. And there are probably plenty of maintainers who got to goal weight and left SparkPeople altogether. Don't know.
So, what percentage of SparkPeople members maintain weight loss? Well, how many members are there altogether at Spark People? The site currently claims 12 million registered members. Not all of whom are active either, I suppose. Some of whom (and it would be interesting to know the stats) may have also just left without losing weight.
But these are the numbers we've got. So OK: let's do some math with these numbers.
Conventional wisdom supported by National Weight Loss Registry research tells us only 3-5% of those who lose weight actually keep it off. And that statistic is pretty discouraging for people trying to lose weight, one of the reasons why it's not trumpeted too loudly. (Particularly by commercial weight loss services which depend upon recidivism for profit).
But, I'm thinking that here at SP, 16,300 maintainers out of 12 million total members would be . . . LESS than 3-5%. Way less. My online calculator tells me that 16,300 is only 0.1358333% of 12,000,000.
So: would that mean only 0.1358333% of us here at Spark People keep weight off once we've lost it? That SparkPeople is even LESS successful in assisting people to maintain weight loss than . . . the 3-5% of successful weight loss maintainers in the general population?
I can't believe that's so. Cannot believe that there is any co-relationship between the relatively low profile presently accorded successful weight loss maintainers at Spark People, and this really really really dismal statistic.
However, if only .1358333% of SparkPeople members are weight loss maintainers, that stat would help underline how important the topic of maintaining has to be. For all of us: those still losing AND those trying to maintain.
I get it, if you're not at goal weight right now, you might not feel ready for the topic of "maintaining" just yet. You might even feel it's a bit presumptuous to venture over to At Goal and Maintaining. But: not so. You're welcome right now.
That's because just about nobody who is trying to lose weight is doing it for the first time. We lose, then we regain. We grit out teeth and lose again and then . . . regain. And then again. And again.
Not good for our health. Physically or emotionally or spiritually . . . . .
Been there. Felt the self loathing.
So: here's a modest proposal.
If you're still losing, maybe now's the time to break the cycle of losing and regaining and losing and regaining by joining the discussion about maintaining even before you are at goal. On the At Goal and Maintaining Team message board.
There's a great group of people right there trying to pave the way. With some very hardworking and committed team leaders. Who really want to make a difference.
At Goal and Maintaining is considering the strategies for weight loss maintenance. Learning how to keep it off. Suggesting that it would be optimal to expect weight loss success AND to plan during weight loss how to maintain weight loss.
What's it going to take? How do we develop the resolve to do whatever it takes? And to keep on doing it? Permanently?
If we're not going to regain, then it's pretty clear. Developing the determination to maintain, the techniques, the strategies: all of this has to be incorporated into the weight loss process.
That's how we can give ourselves the best possible chance that we'll never have to lose it again.
That's how we can change the statistic from .1358333% to 3% and 5% and . . . why not as close as possible to 100%??
Weight loss Utopia? Everybody who does the hard work of weight loss gets to keep the weight off!! Forever!! Yeah!!
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