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WRITINGBLUEHAWK's Recent Blog Entries

Focus, Focus, Focus

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Focus--that's what I have to keep reminding myself these days. Staying focused.

I posted some updated pix on my facebook account and am basking in the congratulations and accolades. Some of my friends are trying to find out how I lost nearly 50 pounds and how I did it so "fast." (Fast??--as IF, LOL). Anyway. I admit I'm enjoying the attention.

Now comes the hard part. Keeping my eye on the prize--a healthy BMI. I'm at a 27 now and I need to get to under 25 (14 pounds away), and my goal weight (18 pounds away). Also, I still have chub around my apple-shaped middle, which is a proven risk factor for diabetes.

I got my body fat tested at a local health fair and it determined that at 5'7" my lean body mass is 115 pounds. For me to be at 18 to 25% fat, I need to weigh between 142 and 156. I've set my goal weight within this range and am giving myself six months to get there.

Why six months? Well, starting with Halloween is a gauntlet of holidays and mini vacations. I struggle to stay on track when my days lack structure, so I'm realistic about my ability to restrict my eating under such circumstances. Plus, after 10 months, I'm not sure how motivated I am to eat 1,200 calories a day so I can lose at a faster rate. Obviously, plateaus drive me crazy so I reserve the right to change my mind on this one.

I have four pounds left to lose this calendar year. Then, I go into maintenance mode until 2013. January will mark one full year of consistency on SP. One year of logging in 90% of the time, tracking my food and exercise and blogging. Hopefully by then, I'll be motivated to lose the last 14 pounds and reach my goal.

In the meantime, I'm fighting to keep myself from slacking off simply because the pain of overweight is largely gone. Maybe I should go somewhere and buy a bikini swimsuit to bring the pain back?? Maybe I should look at those lab tests from January that revealed my pre-diabetic condition?? Something, anything to help me stay focused.

I do plan to run my virtual 5K race this weekend. Maybe if I continue to set fitness goals, I can keep pushing forward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIBUG49 10/26/2012 9:33AM

    You are on the right track, you know what you need to do & know that with the holidays, things are harder. I wrote down my goals of 2 pounds a week & left the few weeks in between staying the same. They say writing it down helps. Good luck - keep focused - you can do it!

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MOBYCARP 10/24/2012 8:13PM

    I lost my weight quickly, then had to learn to not lose when I got to maintenance. I've often thought that it might have been smarter to lose more slowly, so the transition to maintenance would be easier.

Then again, maybe it's hard no matter how you do it.

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GR8TAWK 10/24/2012 5:03PM

    Staying focused is half the battle, thanks for sharing.

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LILSHINE 10/24/2012 9:33AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TACONES 10/24/2012 8:05AM

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KAYE454 10/23/2012 11:43PM

  This time of the year is so important to stay on track

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49 lbs down, 18 to go!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Here I go again. After a plateau that lasted weeks, I am now losing weight again. In the last two weeks, I have dropped 3.5 pounds which is fast for me. This morning's loss means I'm now 18 pounds from goal and 14 pounds from a BMI under 25! emoticon

What is key? Actually there are two keys--persistence and patience. I restarted SP in early January as part of a new year's resolution. Now, it is almost Halloween. It hasn't been easy and if you read any of my other blog entries you will know how impatient and whiny I can be and how many public pity parties I've held. Yet, somehow through it all, I kept logging in and doing what I'm supposed to do 80-90% of the time.

For me, what I think has been different this time has been the storms I've survived in the last two years. Job loss, family crisis, and so forth. When the storm waters calmed, I wanted to do something for once and be successful at it.

Believe me, I haven't been on program perfectly. I've missed workouts, skipped a few days of tracking my food intake (mostly early in the year), and experienced every level of frustration and disappointment when the scale didn't move for three, four or five weeks. I had plenty of moments where I thought, "Well, I wasn't meant to have a BMI under 25 or weigh less than this that or the other."

There are also two major factors. 1) I'm a single, empty nester; 2) I have a low-stress job with flexible hours and tons of vacation time.

So I'm not dealing with a husband that brings home junk or kids that I have to drive to soccer practice. It's all about me, me, me. I have the luxury of being able to focus.

Also, I'm older and wiser. I finally understand that you don't go "on" or "off" a diet. Somehow, I've managed to blur the line between how I eat when I'm on a "diet" and how I eat anyway. That is also key. Going "on a diet" and making extreme sweeping changes where I'm no longer indulging my sweet tooth or eating barbecued ribs sounds punishing. Yet, that's what I would do when I'd "go on a diet." It didn't work for me because it's not sustainable.

What I did do was pay attention to the good habits I already had and started building those up. For example, I seldom eat after 8pm. That's just me. I also am not crazy about chocolate cake. I know it's weird, but for some reason I can resist it so it's easy to give up. But I love ribs and chocolate chip cookies. I gave up eating lots of processed foods. Not all, but most. I still buy those dang frozen meals for busy days. I focused on vegetables I like--salads with cucumber, carrots, red onion and a hint of cheese with lite dressing. Broccoli, cabbage, green beans, spinach, greens. I also eat lots of chicken and lean cuts of beef. I try to stay on track during the work week and indulge a little more on weekends. I'm also somewhat of a food snob, if it's calorie dense but only "okay" I stop eating it. Yesterday I only had a few bites of an ice cream float because it didn't taste that great. Mediocrity is not worth the calories.

Exercise? 4-5x a week for an hour. Some weeks I do better, other weeks are worse. I've morphed into somewhat of a gym rat. I try out different classes and am constantly tweaking my routine. When the weather is nice, I walk outdoors. Now that it's getting cold, I'll probably mall walk (since I'm now a grandma, lol) or something.

I have not been at this weight in about 10 years and it feels great to be back.

It's all good. Keep pushing!

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITWITHIN 10/20/2012 7:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRISSA1669 10/20/2012 7:18PM

    Awesome job...sounds like you've got your groove! Yes, onward and downward...I'm with you :)

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FLEURGARDEN 10/20/2012 12:58PM

    Great job! You'll be at your goal weight before you know it.

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KRISZTA11 10/19/2012 12:57PM

    Wow, you are doing great!
Congrats to your success!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 10/19/2012 10:36AM

    I love that thought, "Mediocrity is not worth the calories." Very true, I've given up cheap chocolate and only indulge in the good stuff.

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JOYANN84 10/19/2012 10:11AM

    Great job!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MRFUZZ 10/19/2012 9:00AM

    Impressive! You've done so well! Thanks for the inpsiration and tips! emoticon

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LAC936 10/19/2012 8:17AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Woo hoo!! My Plateau is Over

Friday, October 12, 2012

This morning when I weighed in I discovered I had lost an additional 1.5 pounds. Considering I had not dropped a single pound since September 15th, this was momentous. So how did I banish the plateau? There are so many factors that I can't attribute it to one particular thing that I did. I'll just list some of the changes I made.

1. With my doctor's permission, I stopped taking my thyroid medicine. Doctors like to deny that a medication could cause weight gain or plateaus. If they admitted it, no one would want to take it. The lesson I've learned is that I have to be vigilant about what goes in my body--even if it's prescribed medication. A doctor is not going to always know how YOU will respond to a certain medication. If you complain and they don't listen--for heaven's sake get a new doctor.

2. Calorie cycling. Jillian Michaels is right. Calorie cycling works. Last weekend, I spent THREE days eating around 2,400 calories a day, then THREE days this work week eating about 1,200 calories a day. What's particularly interesting to me is that I ate all kinds of stuff over that weekend and STILL lost. This calls into question a lot of what I've learned about calorie intake. I think the calorie cycling idea has merit. If you've been eating at 1,200 to 1,500 calories and have not lost weight in a month, I recommend INCREASING your intake so you are eating about 100 to 200 calories above your maintenance level, then dropping your calorie intake down to 1,200.

3. Intense exercise. I took a kickboxing class, did zumba, threw in a couple of bootcamp classes. I started jogging instead of walking, continued to lift weights. I've worked out 5 of the last 7 days and each workout is an hour. Four of the sessions I devoted thirty minutes each to strength training and cardio. My lesson? It's not just about the cardio. Strength training counts. Fortunately, I enjoy lifting weights. I really do. I've also just discovered that I like the rowing machine, too.

4. Focus--I tried to act like I was back to day 1 of the program. I made sure I recorded my intake, drank my water, measured my food, got more sleep.

In a nutshell, what I've learned is to STAY PERSISTENT and WORK HARD. A stroll around the park is not a workout. Pumping your arms and walking so fast that you're about to break out into a run IS a workout, because it's WORK. Especially if you're over 40.

I am blessed because I know two women my age who have just gotten knee replacements. Not because they're athletic, but because they are 80-100 pounds overweight and have been carrying all this weight around for years. And here I am in the gym doing jumping jacks, wind sprints, modified push ups and jumping rope. I'm carrying loads of groceries with ease, doing the silly gangnam style dance, lifting and twirling my grandson and bouncing up and down flights of stairs. Me. The most unathletic snail that was left in the dust during my school years. A fit woman.

Now my motivation is back! I'm psyched and hopeful that I'll enjoy another round of steady weight loss.

Onward and downward!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOBYCARP 10/12/2012 7:34PM

It can be hard to figure out what works for you, but it's so worth the effort when you get results!

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SONYALATRECE 10/12/2012 7:05PM

    That's terrific! Keep it up, soror!

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BABY_GIRL69 10/12/2012 4:02PM

    I knew you could & would do it!!

God bless!


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MPLANE37 10/12/2012 3:37PM


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TACONES 10/12/2012 11:04AM

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DABLUECAT 10/12/2012 8:46AM

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ELAYNE39 10/12/2012 8:41AM

    Congrats! Always good to get past a nasty plateau!

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Got rid of my fat clothes

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In January of this year, I was wearing sizes 16W, 18, 1x or 2x. I had one size 14 suit that did not fit. Today, that size 14 suit is the largest size in my mostly size 12 wardrobe.

When I inventoried my wardrobe for the fall season, I tried on just about everything. Most of my clothes from last year were way too big so I folded them up and put them away. They stayed there for nearly two months.

Finally, last weekend I sold some through consignment and donated the rest to the Salvation Army.

I'm nervous about my decision because now I feel like I'm working this program without a safety net. So many times I've relapsed and gained weight. This time, if I do, I would have to spend hundreds of dollars to replace all those clothes I got rid of. The thought of having to do that is anxiety-provoking.

I'm also struggling to rebuild my wardrobe. I've gone on multiple shopping expeditions, so I have several basic outfits, but I still have major holes in my wardrobe. For example, the winter coat I bought new last year is a size 2x. I tried it on and it was a joke. So I don't have a decent looking coat and it's getting cold. Stuff like that.

I don't know where talking about this gets me, but my intention is to document where my head is at during each phase of this marathon. I plan to revisit some of my favorite consignment stores next month or find a good coat sale, so I won't have to wear a coat I'm swimming in.

Onward and downward

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FERGSGIRL2 10/11/2012 7:41PM

    Good for you! You don't need a safety net, you are not looking for the weight to return!
just a little tip for new clothes--thrift stores--consignment shops--I have found really great clothes for small prices.

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SUNSET09 10/11/2012 8:50AM

  emoticon emoticon You have accomplished so much and there is no going back! Good going in getting rid of those fat clothes as they will handicap you. So long as you have them, there’s always that cushion which you no longer need. I would shop at the Goodwill’s until I was comfortable as purchasing clothes can get a bit pricey. The way you’d doing it, those consignments made buying new clothes just a little bit lighter! Enjoy the new you and keep on, keeping on! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ABETTERBETTY 10/10/2012 9:50PM

    I have been culling my clothes as I go along. I have a friend that is one size bigger than me. She started on a lifestyle change at about the same time as me. She has been one size behind me the entire time. So, she is constantly hounding me for my too big clothes. emoticon I have one pair of pants and one top from each size. Just in case. I don't intend to need them again, but I need that safety net right now. I have been going to resale shops that benefit a woman's domestic violence shelter. I have gotten new items with tags still attached for a really good price. And the sales benefit a good cause. Congratulations on having this problem!

Comment edited on: 10/10/2012 9:51:39 PM

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CAKEMAKERMOM 10/10/2012 5:52PM

    That's great you have all that room for flattering new clothes! I tend to buy on clearance, I found some great stuff last month, while it was still hot, for this season. Fashion bug is closing at the end of the year, so you might be able to find some great deals there.

I understand the coat thing, this week it got cold enough to have to put it on. Fortunately it has strings to cinch the waist in so it fits ok, but it definitely makes me look like that xxl woman I was last year. Maybe that will be next year's gift to me, probably at the end of this season when they're on clearance.

I have only been buying one pair of jeans per size and won't get a second pair of the same size until I'm in the size I want to be, it's just too much cost to spend on pants for me, especially when I'm going through a size every few months.

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MOBYCARP 10/10/2012 5:03PM

    It gets better. The most frustrating part of losing weight for me was having to go shop for clothes. I hate that. Then came the get rid of the fat clothes thing, driven by running out of storage space for clothing. I'm not totally done with that phase, but I have enough storage. For now.

I still have my fat suits. They don't take up a lot of room, and I can't see anyone buying a suit secondhand anyway. Perhaps the fattest of them will be used for a documentary picture some day; at one point that suit was a tight fit.

Anyway, that's the way I did it. First, get the wardrobe of clothes that fits. Then, get rid of the stuff I never wear because it no longer fits and takes up too much space. That worked for me, but it's okay if some other pattern works best for you. One size does not fit all.

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RICHILA 10/10/2012 3:19PM

    emoticon Making that step is hard, but so worthwhile. I got rid of my 3X and 26/28's this summer and am now buying only things I love.
Spark On! We Got This! emoticon

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NIKKICOLE83 10/10/2012 2:35PM

    It is scary to give away the clothes but it keeps you mindful of your body all the time. I also began going to a tailor. For 15 bucks a piec I can get my slacks taken in instead of buying new ones all the time. Only good for going down two sizes but it buys you time especially for your more expensive pieces.

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FIGHTINGFORME1 10/10/2012 2:14PM


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KRISZTA11 10/10/2012 2:13PM

    Selling and donating clothes too big is a good positive step.
It helps recognizing your new body shape, and to maintain it.
And now you have plenty of room for the clothes that fit you!

I did it a couple of months ago too,
and didn't regret it.

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LYNSEY723 10/10/2012 2:11PM

    emoticon on getting rid of your old clothes!!! It is a good feeling, as terrifing as it is! I'm sure you will find a great new coat for this winter. And you will fill those holes in your wardrobe! When I was first starting this journey I bought (2) pairs of my favorite pants while they were on sale. One the size that fit, one a size too small. That way I would have something to "shrink" into. Now those are falling off of me too but I don't want to spend more money on clothes until I reach my goal!

Ahhh... the challenges of weight loss! emoticon

Keep up the awesome work!

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Battling impatience and my thyroid

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Today is day two of returning to program after my intentional weekend calorie cycling. After averaging 2,400 calories Friday through Sunday, I'm now eating about 1,200 to 1,400 calories a day.

I also visited my thyroid doctor yesterday. I told her about my plateau and that I believe that starting on synthroid in August might be a factor. She acknowledged the possible link but congratulated me on dropping 10 pounds since June. I told her I was losing weight steadily over the summer, but it's now ground to a halt. I also told her I've felt MORE fatigued and sluggish since starting on the medication, which was intended to reduce an enlarged thyroid.

Why start taking medicine if it's doing more harm than good?

We made a decision together for me to discontinue the synthroid, since my thyroid no longer seems enlarged and it's not helping my fatigue. As long as my lab work shows normal thyroid levels, I should be okay, but I will need to get a new thyroid ultrasound and to test my levels every six months. I will also need to resume treatment if my thyroid enlarges again.

So we'll see.

I'm actually quite relieved to be back on plan after my intentional 2,400 calorie weekend. Still, I'm feeling soooo impatient. When, oh, WHEN will this plateau end????

I'm tired of stepping on the scale and seeing my weight swing between the same 2-3 pounds. I need to see a new number and I'm ready to work hard for it.

My diet is back to the basics. Lots of fruits and vegetables, few processed foods, lots of water. I am also trying to keep my exercise intensity up. This evening is bootcamp (ugh!) and I am hiking on Saturday. I'm also continuing to strength train, jog and workout on the machines.

SOMETHING has to give eventually and I HOPE it's not my SANITY. emoticon

Onward and downward (I hope). emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AANGEL3 10/9/2012 5:34PM

    I talked to my Dr about my thyroid meds. I've been on them for over 30 yrs. I wasn't losing..just seeing the same 2-3 pounds come and go. She checked my levels were OK. But I still feel fatigued some days. I've just learned to live with it and try that much harder to lose the weight. Good luck and don't give up!

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AJS_MOMMY_1985 10/9/2012 2:00PM

    I hope that stopping the Synthroid treatment helps you but it is never a good idea to stop thyroid medication. It is supposed to be a lifelong medication. Not just one to pick up and put down as the levels show normal, as typically they will show as normal BECAUSE of the medication.
However, never put out of your mind the idea of trying a differing medication if you continue to need something for your thyroid.
I understand and know all to well how it feels to stay fatigued even with the medication. I go through this daily myself. You should be tested for gluten intolerance as many people with thyroid issues are also intolerant to gluten and may not even know it. That would be a large factor in your battles.
I wish you the best of luck and hope things begin to look up for you.

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