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Two pounds gone!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

This morning I weighed in two pounds lighter. I'm more relieved than excited because I thought my weight had plateaued. One of the most difficult aspects of losing weight is even if we do the program perfectly, the rate of our loss is going to be erratic. Lose 1 pound, gain 2 pounds, lose 1 pound, gain 1 pound, lose 3 pounds, lose 1 pound. That's enough to make anyone crazy. But the real challenge is when you KNOW that you haven't been perfect. Maybe you're on program 90% of the time, but the other 10%, well....that's life.

For me, it's been nearly 8 months of change. Some of my new food habits are becoming ingrained, which makes it easier, but I don't think I'll ever completely adapt to being on a food and exercise budget. Not when I was used to being sedentary and just grabbing and eating whatever I wanted with no thought about calories, saturated fat, or high fructose corn syrup. I know that if I return to that freewheeling lifestyle, the pounds will return. So here I am, doing what I'm supposed to be doing 90% of the time. It takes focus, commitment and effort to maintain consistency and the only way I can do that is to blog, read, and record what I do.

If you've ever watched Extreme Makeover--Weight Loss Edition, you'll know how inspiring the stories are. (If you haven't you can catch full episodes on Hulu.com for free) The formula for each episode is that a personal trainer works with a morbidly obese person to help them shed 100 pounds or more in 12 months. The first three months he actually moves into their home and turns their living room into a workout room.

In one episode, a man lost his home and was homeless while working the program. They had to move the exercise machines out of his house and put them in storage. Can you believe it? HOMELESS. Talk about stress. Life was definitely getting in the way, but he stuck to the program because it was all he had. He took up jogging at a nearby park, worked out at a community center gym and used their shower facilities to keep himself clean. By the end of episode, he had lost most of his weight, found work and an apartment and was dating a nice lady.

The lesson for me is that life is NEVER going to stop getting in the way. Stuff is always going to happen. Sometimes I eat more than I should. Other times I'm in environments where there are no good food choices. From time to time, I feel stressed, upset, angry, depressed, bored, worried--the list goes on. I cope by accepting myself as less than perfect. On some days, I will work the program brilliantly. Other days are so-so and other days I will want to forget. Yet here and there in the middle of muddling and struggling, a pound will disappear. I rejoice and then keep pushing.

Anyone who tells me that this or any weight loss program is easy is obviously on a different journey than I am. For me, it's not easy but SP makes it more fun. Somehow, I've managed to find a way to work the program over the long haul. I am only seven to eight months into a healthier lifestyle. I realize there are more lessons and more adjustments I will need to make as life goes on. But I'm ready.

Now, time to go celebrate my two pound loss by going to softball practice.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONYALATRECE 8/18/2012 10:55PM

    Congratulations along your journey!
Another victory...WooHoo!


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RESTORED_ME 8/18/2012 10:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

I agree with your candid, yet reflective perspective on this journey to being healthier individuals. It's definitely a process that is challenging in so many ways... especially if you consider the fact that we have to undo whatever was done to get us to the place where we started this journey. Thanks for sharing and CONGRATZ!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 8/18/2012 9:06PM

    I love that show, real people, real life, no game show to get in the way. Keep on losing, you deserve every pound toward your goal!

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SPARKLE1908 8/18/2012 4:08PM

    I saw that episode (I record it weekly)...I believe that they are going to bring him and a few others back over the course of the show and have them "mentor" others that are going through it...

I agree that life definitely has a way of making you change your goals and we have to be realistic with everything that we are doing...including weightloss!

Congratulations on the 2 lbs gone!

Comment edited on: 8/18/2012 4:08:51 PM

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BABY_GIRL69 8/18/2012 3:38PM

    That's right celebrate those 2lbs with another 2lbs! That's what I'm talking bout! WOOHOO!!

God bless & continued success!!

Dee

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Plateaued?

Friday, August 17, 2012

I wasn't surprised when I weighed in this morning. No change. I'm still bouncing between the same two pounds and have been doing so since August 1st. It's as if my body said, "Let's give her the last pound so she can declare 40 pounds gone, then take another break." My previous plateau lasted about a month. I'm confident that if I can ride out the next two weeks, that I will begin dropping weight again. In the meantime, I'm working hard to stay on program and to keep exercising even when life gets in the way.

This week has been full of temptations that I somehow managed to withstand. My co worker brought lots of cupcakes to a staff meeting. I also went to an event where I ended up surrounded by people eating chocolate cake. I just reminded myself that I'm not a huge fan of devil's food cake, which is strange but true. I also thought about the scale and how I'd have to atone for the dessert eventually. When my colleagues asked me why I wasn't having dessert, I told them I'd eaten dessert for lunch. It was true, but my dessert was half a portion of a Weight Watchers recipe.

This evening, I will have another challenge. Happy hour and the movies. A group of us are going out to see the remake of "Sparkle." I'm old enough to remember the first movie with Irene Cara and it was really good. I'm looking forward to seeing Jordin Sparks and the late great Whitney Houston on the silver screen.

Anyway, somehow I'll muddle through this weekend like I've managed to over the last seven to eight months and get back on track no matter what happens.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLKLILY 8/17/2012 10:41PM

    APPLAUSE... emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 8/17/2012 9:16PM

    Think of a plateau as training for maintenance.

When I hit goal, I had some hard work to figure out how to stop losing. When you get to goal, you'll already know how to do that!

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BARBAELLEN 8/17/2012 4:41PM

    PATIENCE!!!! Have a drink and some movie popcorn tonight, and make up for it tomorrow. Doing that from time to time confuses your metabolism. (The basic concept of the rotation-type diets)

Not to worry. Looking at Jordin Sparks' awesome transformation will be all the motivation you need to keep going in the right direction.
emoticon

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BABY_GIRL69 8/17/2012 3:38PM

    I am like you with chocolate no biggie but candy & cookies are my downfall. An occasional donut might cross my lips but they can't get me much with cake unless it is pound. Also, when I go to the movies I take Red Vines licorice & a bottle of water. If I want flavor I got a crystal light raspberry lemonade in my purse to add to the water. Its just about tricking the mind & even the popcorn at the movies doesn't phase me much. I take a couple of handfuls & leave it at that. You might have to add an hour of cardio to your workout to see the plateau move some...

God bless & enjoy everyday!

Dee

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NIKKICOLE83 8/17/2012 1:08PM

    Plateaus are usually your body screaming for change. So instead of sticking to the plan, how about kicking it up a notch and making a new plan???!!! I can bet you if you increased the weight and/or reps that you do, or jog harder or longer, you will see your weight change. Your body has adapted to your current program and needs to be shaken up.

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WQUEST 8/17/2012 12:20PM

    Hang in there, I think plateaues are hanging around every one I know at the moment! We can all get over it!

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MOM22MS 8/17/2012 11:14AM

   
I hear you! I have been on a plateau for the past month. So frustrating! Let's keep pushing together!

emoticon

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DMEYER4 8/17/2012 8:49AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon on a job emoticon.

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Second workout with personal trainer

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Yesterday, I met up with "Sierra", my personal trainer for the second of four pre-paid sessions. This time, she warmed me up on the stair-stepper, which is a machine I hate, Hate, HATE with a passion. "I noticed that you work out on the bicycle, treadmill and elliptical. I'm going to mix it up a bit for you," she said, smiling. Gee, thanks, Sierra.

After the warm up, we focused on strength training. I did multiple sets of tricep rows, chest presses with dumbbells, lunges, squats, general floor exercises for my legs, and abdominal work. We did not use a single weight machine. "Machines do lots of the work for you," she explained. "These strength train exercises force you to use your balance, which works out more muscles." She noted that my abdominals are weak and that I need to stretch more.

Once again, Sierra tweaked my technique and workouts. She nixed the bicep curls I had been doing by saying, "No one really moves like this. You need to find exercises that move you like you move your body during the day and work multiple muscles." Okay, no more bicep curls.

She also said that I would need to workout a minimum of 5x a week if I want to lose 20 pounds by November. Given that my weight loss has slowed, I might modify that goal to 15 pounds.

Overall, the session went by fast and today, I'm slightly sore. This evening, I will return to the gym and do cardio. That godawful stair-stepper machine awaits.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TACONES 8/15/2012 6:50PM

    Way to go. You are doing a great job.

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SPARKLE1908 8/15/2012 1:51PM

    I don't like the stair stepper/climber either which is why I am making myself get on it...I know I became too comfortable with the treadmill...I meet with my trainer tonight and we are doing arms/shoulders so I feel your pain!!!

Good job!!!! Keep mixing it up!

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JAZZEJR 8/15/2012 1:36PM

    emoticonWell, mixing it up is said to be the key to constant improvement, so good for you. Tell yourself you enjoy the stair-stepper. What did she have you do in place of the bicep curls? Just wondering....

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Moving Forward

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

After all the emotion and bluster of this past weekend, I am glad to be 100% back on program. Unfortunately, my weight is fluctuating between the same two pounds.

Now that I'm back to morning smoothies and bringing a lunch to work, I expect to see a loss by Friday. Otherwise, I'm on a small plateau. This time, it won't be such a mystery. I haven't been as careful with my eating and have splurged more often on less healthy foods. I haven't lost control of my eating, but just haven't been as disciplined. I started to turn it around yesterday and today, I'm having a much better day food-wise. This evening, I will be working out with my personal trainer. I'm hoping this will pump up my motivation for awhile.

By the way, that "friend" I accidently added on Facebook (see my previous blog, "struggling")? I did unfriend him. His loss. emoticon

Onward and downward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNEMAC5 8/15/2012 1:11AM

    Glad things are improving and you are concentrating on the future emoticon

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DIBANANA 8/14/2012 11:06PM

  I knew you would do it! You really are on the correct path. You are doing so well. Thank you for the goodie. I am glad to have met you too. I like seeing you progress. It gives us all hope. Obviously you have learned a lot on SP. Keep up the good work. I bet you will be down by the end of the week!

Diana

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MPLANE37 8/14/2012 10:40PM

    Congrats. In real life I deal with projects,, and I never succeeded in fat loss until I started to treat it as a project. I suggest that you do the same: Treat it as one of those things that are really important for you. A project, a baby, a flower. Whatever it may be. Then you will never fall off the wagon.

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BLKLILY 8/14/2012 10:00PM

    emoticon for moving on and un-friending! emoticon

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MOBYCARP 8/14/2012 9:20PM

    Welcome back. Sometimes, we have to get past an unhealthy relationship to be able to focus on our own health. I'm glad you recognized that and took appropriate action.

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AJWALKLEY 8/14/2012 5:02PM

    Good for you! I've had a couple tough days eating-wise too - a result of work travel and my bf's birthday celebrations. Back on track for us both! Yay!

emoticon

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Struggling to handle my emotions without food

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Five months ago, I ended a "friendship" with a man I met six years ago. He was in town for a conference, I was on vacation and painting the town red with my friends. We connected and went on several dates. He was an attractive educated, southern gentleman who opened doors and insisted on paying for everything. He returned to town a month later and we went on more dates. He wanted more, but I was still healing from a prior breakup. We settled for phone conversations because of the distance. The plans we made to get together again never materialized; trips to Vegas, trips to the east coast. The years rolled on. We dated other people, but stayed connected as "friends."

In March, I realized that the drawbacks outweighed the benefits of the phone calls and emails. I wanted cake, but I was getting crumbs. The "friendship" was no longer fulfilling and I was unhappy. It was time for this "friendship" to end. But before it could end, I decided to tell him how I felt and ask for what I wanted. It was a tough conversation, but everything was out in the open and I was satisfied that it was time to move on.

Then, mysteriously on Friday, I found myself connected to him on Facebook. I didn't even know he was on Facebook. Maybe when I synched my phone with my Facebook account, it sent him a friend request. Whatever. When he connected with me, I saw pictures of him huddled up with a woman. Not surprising, but Ouch. She wasn't even cute. Ouch again. I spent the weekend feeling miserable and reflecting on all the tough things I've endured in the last two years: job loss, moving from a house to an apartment, becoming a grandmother at an early age, missed promotions, unhealthy relationships and superficial friendships.

Now, given my circumstances, I need to reframe what it means to be successful and to exorcise the feelings I had buried under layers of fat. It's tough but necessary emotional work.

When I was young I dreamed of getting my degree, living a comfortable life in a big house on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs with my successful, handsome husband, prestigious job and well-behaved overachieving children. The classic pipedream of "having it all". LOL. I did get the degree--actually two of them, but I'm also a single empty-nester middle-aged grandmother living paycheck to paycheck in an apartment. Not sure how I got here, but here I am.

So how do I reframe my thinking? Well, after five months of unemployment last year I did find a job. It's not a big job and I'm slightly underemployed, but it's a decent, stable one in a good environment and I can pay my bills. Hey, who needs a house anyway? I don't know how to fix stuff, I don't garden and I hate cutting grass. I like the lock and leave lifestyle and my apartment is spacious and has nice amenities. My daughter and grandson are healthy and she's working hard to get back into college. Although I spent this weekend embroiled in a classic pity party, I do have friends who listened and offered support as I ranted over drinks at happy hour. Most importantly, I exercised and maintained a degree of control over my eating. I'm even planning to play softball this fall. I haven't played softball since I was a teen.

The remaining 27 pounds will be harder to lose because the pain of being overweight has diminished, I'm closer to goal and I'm dealing with these raw emotions that had been hidden under layers of fat. But, I'm still blogging, recording my meals and exercising. I haven't lost weight in nearly two weeks, but it's too early to declare a plateau. Right now, I blame it on monthly water weight gain and salty food.

Somehow, I've got to dig deep and find the strength to keep moving forward. Even if my progress slows down to baby steps, I've got to keep on keepin' on and have faith that everything will be all right.

Onward and downward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABY_GIRL69 8/13/2012 6:21PM

    There is not a thing wrong with wanting what you so rightly deserve...

God bless,

Dee

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LILSHINE 8/13/2012 11:01AM

    Venting/blogging is an outlet that you have utilized to express where you are. Sometimes we have to face ourselves in order to make changes. Sometimes we have to clean our closets in order to make space for other things to move in. We learn as we go through things --- it's when we go through things and don't learn from them that we fail. Your dreams are still possible - it just may take you a little longer to get that house in the cul-de-sac with the handsome successful husband and all that goes along with family. Don't give up on the dream just because you've grown older... you've also grown wiser and that husband is waiting patiently on you just like you're waiting patiently on him.

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BARBAELLEN 8/12/2012 11:39PM

    Hey, you've joined the ranks of us who often get little sympathy because we're at the lower end of the scale. It's still hard, and the extra motivation you get because you're way overweight does diminish. Always gotta keep your eye on the ball whether you're still trying to lose or just trying to avoid gaining. Sigh. Yep, it's always a struggle. Sometimes those things that are hard to do are the only way to make yourself better. Your weight loss proves that!

Letting go of unhealthy relationships is another of those hard-to-do things that will make you better, too. I suspect that most of us have had to face the decision to give up on relationships that aren't good for us. Kind of like getting rid of unhealthy weight, huh? You've gotten through other things, and you'll get through this. I know it doesn't feel good right now, but I imagine you'd be dealing with the same emotions whether they were hidden under layers of fat or not. Keep the faith!

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NIKKICOLE83 8/12/2012 11:04PM

    You are speaking your truth no matter how ugly it may be. Even though it will hurt, you are going to have to unfriend him on FB because otherwise you are going to make yourself crazy. Perhaps focusing on your journey and putting your energy there will allow you to get over him faster. Good luck.

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FLEURGARDEN 8/12/2012 6:08PM

    I can so relate to your comment "I wanted cake, but I was only getting crumbs." That totally sums up the last relationship I was in. We had a give-and-take relationship - I gave and he took. It really hurt when our relationship ended, but I didn't unfriend him right away. And then there was the day that a mutual friend of ours started making a play for him right on Facebook. That really hurt and I unfriended them both on the spot. Severing that tie and no longer knowing what is going on in his life has really helped me let go and move on.

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SONYALATRECE 8/12/2012 4:48PM

    Unfriend this guy and keep pushing harder to prevent the dreaded plateau.
In your corner!

~Sonya

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JOURNEY2DESTINY 8/12/2012 4:10PM

    Your blog caught my eye as I saw my friend activity. I was simply taken a back by your story. You seemed like you had really had enough on your plate already and then to find that there was more background to his story, is well, even more depressing.

You are blogging about the situation which gives you an outlet to let go of the past. You really could have bashed this guy, but you didnt. Continue on this course. Let free all those things that can stand between you and your best life. Dont let the world dictate your future. You determine how happy you are in life by the choices you make, and your willingless to let go of the things that were meant to take you down. They are stepping stones to what you really want. Trials are necessary in order to appreciate the REAL blessings that are there waiting for you.

Keep Sparkin

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ANNEMAC5 8/12/2012 2:45PM

    It is great that you are able to blog about this, delete that man from facebook who cares what he does or who he does it with. Concentrate on you and your daughter and grandson. The weight will come off if you keep at it, no giving in failure is not an option. emoticon

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JAZZEJR 8/12/2012 2:37PM

    Amen to BlkLily's response. You are great at introspection. But OK, leave it alone now--onward, upward. Unfriend him on Facebook--you don't care what he's doing. Have you tried walk-jogging to rev up your metabolism? Now that you're smaller, it's going to take more effort to continue to lose weight. Cruel joke on you, right? You can handle it! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/12/2012 2:38:12 PM

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BLKLILY 8/12/2012 12:39PM

    Well written blog! You writing about it shows how far you have come and your strength. You are dealing with things really well considering where you were. The man you were with left the old you. You are a new lady now and deserve a man worthy of that new woman so let the old past be just that...your past. I would not be friends on FB though but instead move on in knowing that not only is he/that relationship over but so is the ALL the fat you've lost!

Funny...when we change inside out, so will the people, places and things around us...for the better!

So hooray to you for being emoticon

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GETRBENTRACER 8/12/2012 12:17PM

  everything will be all right just keep it up

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