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WRITINGBLUEHAWK's Recent Blog Entries

Are you anchored?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

If you’ve ever been a member of Weight Watchers, you’ll eventually hear about the concept of the “anchoring.” Weight Watchers defines it as a process for creating cues or triggers that remind you of your weight goal and the inner resources you have to achieve it. An example of anchoring is hearing a song that reminds you of your high school days or seeing a pair of shoes that your child wore as a toddler. We do it every day, and it works equally well when we are trying to lose weight.

In this context, sometimes we need to seek out an anchor and sometimes it finds us. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. Maybe it’s an inspiring song or a pair of sneakers or a key chain. It can also be a specific ritual that reframes and refocuses your thinking.

I don’t know if WW still does this, but they used to award you a key chain when you lost 10% of your weight. The intent was for the keychain to be your anchor. I got one oh, so long ago and was surprised to realize that it’s been on my keychain for 11 years. Why did I never remove it when I regained the weight or switched out keychains? Because over the years, the keychain represented SUCCESS. Me at my best doing my best. I like thinking of myself that way and to remove it would suggest otherwise. So I kept it. Now when I see it, I smile.

My morning smoothie has been an important ritual. Get off track? Start the day with a smoothie. Somehow, it’s become an anchor. The smoothie is nutrient dense and reminds me that I am doing this for my HEALTH—to combat prediabetes, inflammation or whatever else I have. It’s full of omega-3s, antioxidents, vitamins, protein—all the stuff my doctor has recommended I consume regularly. The smoothie is more than just a “diet” it represents a large part of my success and road to better health.

So if you’re off track in your eating, try to find a food ritual that reinforces why you’re doing what your doing here on SP. For you, it may be a cranberry-walnut salad, or that new salmon recipe that made you realize, “Yes, I CAN enjoy my food while I lose weight.”

Whatever anchors you to this program, find and use it to keep you on your path to success.

Onward and downward!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANOFARCTIC 11/15/2012 11:34PM

    hey, I have anchors too! and smoothies are one of them... as well as avocadoes and spinach.

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BABY_GIRL69 11/15/2012 8:57PM

    Well when I am wavering, I go back to pb&j's they are a mainstay when I need to be anchored. My daughter & SIL did it recently, they still give you some type of key chain thingy. lol

God bless & be encouraged!


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X5X52000 11/15/2012 6:54PM

    emoticon TY for sharing!

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MPLANE37 11/15/2012 5:14PM

    My "anchors" are my projects. Anything in my list of projects will get done. Fat loss and muscle building are in my projects. The problem is succeeding in both at the same time seems nearly impossible.

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SONYALATRECE 11/15/2012 2:35PM

    My anchor is logging on to SP daily which reminds me of the choices I make or need to make.


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TONYA46 11/15/2012 10:18AM

    Hello Diva,

You are absolutely correct, when you begin a journey, you shoud have an anchor, the word "anchor" to me means that it's keeping you afloat as well as keeping you grounded and mindful of what you are trying to achieve and accomplish.

I, at this time, do not have an anchor---at least I don't think so, but if I do, it's some-thing that secretely keeps me going.

Thanks for sharing, I am going to share this with my weightloss buddy, my daughter.. she likes when I share other's motivational techniques..

Have a great day, Diva............ emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/15/2012 10:19:05 AM

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What my doctor told me

Saturday, November 10, 2012

This week, I visited my doctor to get the results of a series of preventive care lab tests. The purpose of these tests was to assess my health status and help me understand my risk factors for disease. Many of the measures I understood, such as the A1C test and thyroid panel. There were also other tests that assessed my risk for heart disease and other ailments. After reviewing the results, my doctor told me I had "inflammation". Huh?

Apparently, when we gain weight, the excess fat on our bodies doesn't just take up space. It is metabolically active and negatively impacts all of systems. We are familiar with how it contributes to high blood pressure and diabetes, but apparently it also releases hormones that cause "inflammation". Our bodies become inflamed when we are trying to heal from damage. When our bodies endure sustained damage, the inflammation becomes constant. The blood test I took measures whether or not your body is under siege from constant and chronic inflammation. Mine is.

Trouble is, I don't know exactly what is causing mine. It could be the bursitis in my hip, for all I know. But one documented cause is excess weight. Translation? My doc confirmed that my weight loss journey is NOT over. "Get that BMI under 25," she said, matter-of-factly.

She also said I needed to eat more omega-3 rich foods, and take a multivitamin and a baby aspirin a day. I also need to exercise 150 minutes a week.

I hate to whine, but I do a lot of it when I blog, so bear with me:

You would think that after losing 50 pounds that I wouldn't be dealing with "inflammation." It makes me feel like I've climbed a mountain, reached the apex, looked out on the horizon and saw 20 more mountains between me and my destination.

Twenty pounds shouldn't sound like so much, but since it's all I have left to lose it seems like a lot because it's going to take awhile. Some days it does seem discouraging--especially when I've been only half-way focused and just barely staying on program.

Nevertheless, I stocked up on veggies at the store, bought my vitamins and baby aspirin and hit a zumba class. Not because I'm feeling especially motivated, but just doing what I need to do to inch forward--even if I'm just crawling.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLE1908 11/12/2012 1:59PM

    Every inch is an inch closer to your goal....you can do this...take care of yourself and follow your routine so you can get the results you deserve!

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SONYALATRECE 11/11/2012 9:51PM

    Milestones you've made, success is yours, and emoticon in Jesus name!


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XANGELSTEARZX 11/11/2012 7:34PM


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MPLANE37 11/11/2012 1:46PM

    Don't get discouraged! You have come a long way, you can surely go the last distance...

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HANDYV 11/11/2012 12:45AM

    emoticon Keep your chin up and focus - but don't STRESS emoticon

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BOBOBOBBI 11/10/2012 8:45PM

    I never heard of this either.I can relate, though. After I lost about 50 pounds I had a horrible pain in my foot for weeks, and ended up going to the dr to find out I have Plantar fasciitis. Apparently losing weight can cause it because I walk on my feet differently (my thighs are smaller)... so i totally understand the extra 20 hills!

Stay positive, and the next thing you know-- those 20lbs will be gone! Best of luck!

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FLEURGARDEN 11/10/2012 6:19PM

    You can do it - I know you can!

Just think how bad your inflammation probably was before you started losing weight. I didn't realize they could test for inflammation, but I have read a lot about how it causes health issues. It's great that you know your status and are working towards eliminating your inflammation and living a long, healthy life.

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KRISZTA11 11/10/2012 4:39PM

    Huh... I never heard of this, weight loss / excess weight causing inflammation...
I hope healthy eating, aspirin, vitamins and exercise make it go away soon.
Don't be discouraged, you made a fantastic progress already, and you don't need to hurry with those last 20 pounds. Take your time and enjoy the journey!

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The Hardest Part

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The hardest part of my goal weight being in sight is that it's so close, yet so far. One of my biggest motivators for losing weight is the pain of overweight. It's those days where I don't like what I see in the mirror, and I feel old and tired. Now, I'm in much better shape, have more energy and like my appearance. Throw in the fast-approaching holiday season and I'm ready to just focus on maintaining my weight.

This weekend, I saw the problem with this way of thinking. In my mind, when I say "maintaining my weight" there's still a part of me that wants to eat without thinking about calories, fat or fiber. Where I just eat with no restraint. Intellectually, I understand that I can't return to that lifestyle, but emotionally, I'm still tempted to do so. Make sense?

Friday and Saturday were two days where I was just eating with nary a thought and no plans to record a thing. Plus, I didn't even get my exercise in. Yes, I was a total slacker and at the time, I was cool with it, but I realized something. Maybe I didn't hurt myself having an "off" day or two, but an "off weekend" can eventually morph into an "off month" that translates to significant weight gain. How do I reconcile the philosophy of a "healthy lifestyle" with "staying on program?" By now, this "healthy lifestyle" should be ingrained into every fiber of my being, because I've been doing this 10 months, right?

But the reality is that I'm still a fat person inside a thinner person's body and no matter how disciplined and focused my eating and exercise can be, I'm still going to have days where I just wanna sit around and eat and not think about anything. The only answer I have is to do what I've been doing this whole journey. Get back on track and spend some time blogging, keeping my food diary and exercising for 10 minutes, just to regain a sense of control.

So here I am, after a weekend of candy, pizza, fried junk and barbecue. Doing some menu planning so I'm not so tempted to just grab stuff and eat it. Stocking my kitchen with the staples that helped me shed 50 pounds and trying to figure out how to freshen up my workout.

One other factor that's helping me regain focus was volunteering this morning to hand out water during a local 5K and 8K race. While at the water station, I got to see the runners in their element and speak with other volunteers who enjoy running. I spoke with one woman about my age who shed 30 pounds and completed a half-marathon earlier this year. I also got to people watch. I estimate that about half of the runners were over age 40. One woman who ran the 8K looked to be well into her 70s. One 10 or 11 year old girl ran the 8K. I also realized something else. I didn't judge the people by how fast or slow they were running, or their time. I admired the spirit of each and every participant for showing up and finishing the race. It was this morning where I set a goal to run at least 3 non-competitive 5K races in 2013.

I don't want to return to the couch. I need to have something compelling on the horizon. I think that continuing to work on getting in shape physically sounds more interesting than losing 17 pounds to reach my weight goal.

So today, I will plan my menus for the week, do my grocery shopping, fit in 10 minutes of exercise and keep pushing.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITMOM1969 11/25/2012 5:05AM

    I love your outlook on things and I completely understand losing weight but still being a fat person inside, therefore it's a daily journey to stay on track. And as long as you get right back up after falling down you're still headed in the right direction. Thank you for sharing, this was very motivating to me. Congrats on your success thus far and the 5k's you have set for next year sounds awesome, emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon versus focusing solely on those last 17 lbs as you said. Keep up the great work :o)

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SONYALATRECE 11/4/2012 8:28PM

    Excellent attitude and reflection!
You've got this!

Now work ya mojo.


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BABY_GIRL69 11/4/2012 8:22PM

    It's true but I think we just have to pick our battles when it comes to food. I mean, eat the fries but not drink the shake....Eat the burger but you can't have the fries & pizza too. I think it's all in moderation...when I eat normally i don't gain but hey I don't lose either...So you just have to make sure exercise is ALWAYS part of your life in order to have some of the foods we desire...

God bless,


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MOBYCARP 11/4/2012 4:46PM

    Onward and downward, indeed. Running can be addictive. I've also found it's easier to run faster at 10 pounds below my initial goal weight than it was at the initial goal weight. It doesn't feel like I'm running faster, but with less weight I do.

As far as food, I need to track everything and weigh myself every day. The main thing I notice in maintenance is that my calorie needs change, and the most accurate way to tell they've changed is when I see my weight changing. I can usually correlate this with increased or decreased exercise; but I can't quantify it at all well from just looking at the exercise. Go figure.

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MRFUZZ 11/4/2012 4:05PM

    I really like the part about an off weekend morphing into an off month,etc. that is why I am afraid to miss a workout, for fear it will lead to missing more than just that one time. emoticon

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MPLANE37 11/4/2012 2:12PM

    It is a pleasure to read your blogs, because they are so well structured, so fluent, your expressions are so vivid... Congrats both on losing the fat and writing so well.

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Replacing Old Assumptions with New Truths

Monday, October 29, 2012

Have you ever made an assumption that turned out to be untrue? Have you ever lied to yourself to avoid responsibility for your behavior? I sure have and as my goal weight is in sight, I've realized that a lot of things I had routinely assumed are no longer true. Here is the self-talk I used to replace my old assumptions with new truths:

Assumption: It's impossible to lose weight after 40.
Truth: The weight comes off more slowly, but it's not impossible.

Assumption: I'm too old to jog or run.
Truth: If you're in good health and train properly, you can transition from walking to running.

Assumption: I'm too busy to exercise.
Truth: This is another way of saying "Exercise is not a priority." Make it an appointment on your calendar and honor the commitment.

Assumption: I can't stay on a diet long enough to lose weight.
Truth: If you deny yourself your favorite foods, you will fail. Find a way to include them as part of a calorie-reduced eating plan. Make shifts in your eating habits, not overhauls.

Assumption: I've tried 1,000's of diets and have failed every time.
Truth: Fall six times get up seven. If you "fail" it means you tried to do too much, too soon. Baby steps, baby steps. Food shifts, 10 minutes of exercise. Start where you are.

Assumption: I am an emotional eater. When I'm bored/stressed/depressed/angry, I eat.
Truth: Remember your plan: 1) call a friend; 2) get counseling; 3) go to the gym; 4) do housework.

Assumption: I have no willpower.
Truth: 90% of the time, you can control your food environment. 10% of the time, you can't. Plan accordingly. If you're going to a friend's house for dinner, figure out what you are willing to do. Go ahead and have their world-famous lasagna, but skip the store-bought dessert. Eat a piece of fruit ahead of time.

Assumption: I'm good at dieting/exercise, but can't do both consistently.
Truth: It's tough to be consistent on two fronts. Start where you are and slowly build up better habits.

Assumption: I lose weight too slowly.
Truth: Depends on how you define slowly. One pound a week is average.

Assumption: I'm too impatient to lose weight.
Truth: Find something else to do with your time besides obsess about the scale. Waiting to lose weight is like watching paint dry. Distract yourself.

Assumption: I don't like to eat fruits or vegetables.
Truth: Make a list of the ones you DO like and eat those. Be open to trying new foods and new recipes.

Assumption: Diets are boring.
Truth: Only if you don't plan.

Assumption: I don't like writing down what I eat
Truth: You have to decide if losing weight is a priority. If it is, then you'll track your eating.

Assumption: I can never get below ___ pounds.
Truth: You never know until you try.

And now, my most recent:

Assumption: I can't run 5K.
Truth: You just finished a virtual 5K. You CAN run 5K.

It's all good!

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONYALATRECE 10/31/2012 9:29PM

    Excellent revelations!

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MPLANE37 10/31/2012 6:50AM


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MOBYCARP 10/29/2012 7:11PM

    Assumption: I can't change that much.

Truth: I can't change that much, *all at once*. If I change a little now, then change a little more next month, and keep going in the right direction, it will add up to a good result.

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BABY_GIRL69 10/29/2012 5:30PM

    Real talk...God bless & thanks for sharing! Dee

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FLEURGARDEN 10/29/2012 4:33PM

    So very true..

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ARKPLE 10/29/2012 4:16PM

    Terrific! Right on target!

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NIKKICOLE83 10/29/2012 3:51PM

    Great blog! I think we find any way possible to convince ourselves that we were just meant to be heavy. And I really love when you said that its not that you don't have time to exercise, it is that exercising isn't a priority.

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TACONES 10/29/2012 3:36PM

    I had to share this on my BLC threads because it is good.

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TACONES 10/29/2012 3:32PM

    This is really good. Great Truths. Thanks for sharing.

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KRISZTA11 10/29/2012 3:20PM

    I loved your blog!
I too started out with many of those old assumptions: having lost hope of looking good / being fit at age of 43, living a sedentary lifestyle, eating crap and so on.
And here I am, approaching to 45 and I reached my goal and fitness goals...

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FERGSGIRL2 10/29/2012 3:19PM

    You hit the nail on the head, as my dear Mom used to say! so many assumptions are just not true!!! Thank you for turning a can't into a can and I will!

I needed this today, I've been so busy doing everything for everyone else, until I have neglected me. I WILL TAKE TIME FOR ME TODAY.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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My official 50 pounds down blog

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It's official now. I have lost 50 pounds. I started in January and weighed in this weekend 50 pounds lighter. Here is my journey in pictures.

This is a photo of me from 2007. I love my hair in this picture, but I weigh more than 200 pounds.

In 2009, my weight was starting to bother me. I decided to start a "diet". Here is a "before" picture from that year. I was near my all time high.

I found a rare full body shot of me at more than 200 pounds. My daughter had just graduated from high school so there were cameras everywhere. I couldn't believe how heavy I looked in the pictures. I was certain the camera was adding 30-40 pounds to my image because I didn't "feel" fat.

2010 and 2011 were stressful years. During this time, I gained an additional 10 pounds, putting me well over 200 pounds. When I saw this November 2011 photo of me with my adorable grandson, I was shocked at how heavy I'd gotten. Then, in January 2012 I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. Now, my weight was affecting my health. With a class reunion on the horizon in 2013, I had all the motivation I needed to make a change.

I'm about 25 pounds down in this photo.

My grandson and me. I'm down about 35 pounds here. My face is visibly thinner.

Here's my before/after photo which I took just before I dropped that last pound to make it officially 50 pounds. I weigh less than I've weighed in over 10 years. I've dropped from a size 16W to a 12. Now, I'm only 17 pounds from goal!

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COLUMBINE2 10/31/2012 11:22AM

    Wow....you look wonderful! Congrats on your hard work and the obvious results. And I'll bet your health is so much better..inside & out!

Give yourself a big pat on the back because you deserve it!

Only 17 to go....1# at a time.

(PS you're so wise to lose it now instead of in 5 or 10 years! It's easier now & you benefit from it every day of your life! You rock!(and you're a great role model for your children & grandchildren!)

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JAZZEJR 10/31/2012 4:54AM

    Great blog, and inspirational--a real live success story! You're going to blow them away at that class reunion!

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MRSBLAK27 10/30/2012 9:03AM

  Congrats! I love the pics

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ELAYNE39 10/29/2012 1:40PM

    Awesome!! You look so phenomenal, but then I suspect you always were on the inside. 50 lbs is a major milestone! Well done!!

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FLEURGARDEN 10/29/2012 7:43AM

    Wow - great job! Way to go!

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RUSSELLORAMA 10/28/2012 9:59PM

    emoticon Congrats on your hard work!

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DIANER2014 10/28/2012 5:06PM

    Congratulations on your 50 pound weight loss! You look amazing! emoticon emoticon

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PATTIE441 10/28/2012 4:37PM

    Fantastic blog and fantastic you! Way to go!! You are awesome and so inspiring!! You are beautiful and so is your grandson!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/28/2012 4:44:50 PM

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FITWITHIN 10/28/2012 4:24PM

    emoticon What a beautiful grandson you have in your arms.

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RANDOM00B 10/28/2012 2:34PM


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ANNEMAC5 10/28/2012 2:29PM

    What a difference, you look great. On the last push now. I bet you never thought you could do this. emoticon emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/28/2012 2:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon


Congratulations on losing 50 pounds !!!


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MNNICE 10/28/2012 2:14PM

    Congratulations! I am betting that in addition to looking great, you are also FEELING great and battling that pre-diabetes! Hang in there and never give up on YOU!

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KRISZTA11 10/28/2012 12:48PM

    emoticon to your success!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 10/28/2012 11:34AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BOBOBOBBI 10/28/2012 11:17AM

    You should be so proud of yourself!!! You look amazing!! Way to go!!!

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TACONES 10/28/2012 11:10AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DMEYER4 10/28/2012 11:03AM

  emoticon on your 50 pound weight loss. you look fantastic emoticon

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DIBANANA 10/28/2012 11:01AM

  So glad to see you still doing so well! Fifty pounds! Wow!!!!!

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