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WRITINGBLUEHAWK's Recent Blog Entries

A Single Step (Originally posted on 12-30-09)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

As I continue to look back on my journey, I've started re-reading some of my earlier blog posts. It's a good way to remember where I was. Thought I'd share a blog I posted a few years ago before I had even started losing the weight. Notice how I still had that black and white thinking about "dieting."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
It is often said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. My first step will start with my official weigh in on Saturday. In the meantime, I continue to prepare my mind and my spirit to begin this journey. I spent the day in prayer and meditation and asked for God's guidance through this time. I consider myself a spiritual person, not overtly religious, so for me a higher power is necessary. Dieting is a mental struggle and requires the sustained ability to give up today's little pleasures for a bigger, more meaningful reward tomorrow. In today's instant gratification society, dieting is especially difficult. I know a lot of experts prefer the euphemism "lifestyle change', and it is. But anytime you are modifying your eating habits to lose weight, dieting is what I call it.

Today, I announced to my friends and family my plans to lose weight. Usually, I'm so private about stuff like dieting, but I need all the accountability I can get. For now, I want to review all the reasons why I'm doing this.
10 reasons I want to lose weight in 2010
1. So I can look nice in my clothes.
2. So I can look younger (black women don't wrinkle as we age; we get fat).
3. So I can feel attractive and confident.
4. So I can be more attractive to men.
5. So I can raise my self-esteem.
6. So I will have more energy.
7. So I can look good in a swimsuit.
8. So I won't be the "big girl" at parties and social events.
9. So I won't wanna hide when someone pulls out a camera.
10. So I can feel a sense of accomplishment.

I'm sure I can think of more reasons but this is a good start. Although I haven't weighed, I like to break up my efforts into smaller "baby steps", so I intend to focus on 10 lbs at a time and build in some non-food rewards along the way. I also need to focus on how I will get my exercise. Should I join a gym? Buy a stationery bike? Move to some DVDS? Walk outdoors in frightful, 20 degree and snowy weather? I need to make up my mind, for real. Also, what time of day? I think mornings are best. I hate gettin' up early, but I think I'll work out more consistently if I do.

I also need to write down what I eat. I don't care for that either, but I need to put my big girl panties on and quit whinin' about what I don't like doin' and focus on my passion for gettin' to goal.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLKLILY 1/24/2013 7:23PM

    Wow...and to think, all of the hard work has truly paid off emoticon

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The Long and Winding Road to Better Health

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How many times have you read that losing weight is not a sprint but a marathon; not a quick trip but a journey. Lots of times? Well, me too. Problem is, I haven't done a good job of internalizing this knowledge on an emotional level. I've wanted all of this weight gone since day 1.

But 385 days later, I'm finally settling down. Sure, I know there's still 12 pounds to go. I'm realizing though that I'm the only one who cares. If I were 5 feet tall, maybe a 12 pound change in my weight would be noticeable, but since I'm taller I know from life experience that people don't notice a weight change on me unless it's 20 pounds or more. What does that mean?

When I was 55 (yes, 55!) pounds heavier, I fantasized about how different my life would be and how all my problems would disappear. Today, while sitting in my office at work, a new self-talk script "clicked" in my head:
Q: How will your life change once you're 12 pounds lighter?
A: I will be proud of myself for achieving a healthy BMI and finishing something I've started.
Q: Good. And then what?
A: Then I'd have to MAINTAIN the loss.
Q: Maintain your weight doing what?
A: Pretty much what I'm doing now.
Q: So what's the hurry?

Isn't that silly; I've been HEARING this message for a long time. Now I'm LISTENING. Finally, I get it on an emotional level.

So now, I'm feeling more at ease. Yes, I still want to lose the 12 pounds in 3 months. I'm not going to lie; but I also know that the habits I've picked up during this long and winding road to better health are habits I'll need to maintain FOR LIFE. What choice is there? Go back to what I was doing before? I KNOW where that road leads;

THAT road leads to...
joint pain
high blood pressure
thyroid medication
hip or knee replacement surgery
needing a scooter to shop at Walmart
covering my stomach with a pillow when I sit on the couch
standing in the back of a group picture so I can hide my body
avoiding swimsuits or swimming
dropping out of the dating scene
low self-esteem
lack of energy
shopping in plus size stores
wheezing after climbing a few flights of stairs
feeling invisible

Instead of agonizing over these 12 pounds, I am following the advice of my SP friends and really reflecting more on how far I've come. Thinking about it calms me down and helps me understand that losing the weight is a by-product of my healthier habits. Since I intend to maintain these habits for the rest of my life, the 12 pounds will come off when it's time.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSBLAK27 1/24/2013 9:45AM

  this is sooooo inspiring!

thanks for helping me to see

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LABRATIAM 1/24/2013 7:43AM


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Goal weight is close..but yet so far

Saturday, January 19, 2013

As I continue to obsess about being so close to goal, I realize I've reached familiar territory. During my teens and 20s I agonized over being so "fat". Looking back, I only had about 15-20 pounds to lose, but they might as well have been 100.

I understand now, why that weight was such a struggle. We now know that losing the last 10-15-20 pounds is NOTHING like losing the first 20-40-50 pounds. It's a totally different battle because it's harder to create a calorie deficit when you're close to a healthy weight. So, to continue losing weight you either have to eat less, move more or a combination of the two. And figuring out what combination of behaviors is the most effective and sustainable is tricky.

My 2 week stint on the South Beach phase 1 diet taught me that at this size, there is little room for error in my eating habits. I was averaging 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day and the weight just "fell off." But I can't sustain a diet like that. I like to eat dessert on occasion and I'm addicted to barbecue ribs. So how can I eat less/move more long enough to get to goal? That's the $64,000 question.

When I communicate with other maintainers on SP, they advise me to remove the deadline and focus on a healthy lifestyle because I have the rest of my life to lose the weight. I understand the intellectual argument, but emotionally, I need a goal that has a realistic deadline. Otherwise, I'll procrastinate and meander. Goals and deadlines are motivating and keep me focused.

So, here are some goals:
1) Lose 15-20 pounds by memorial day weekend. (That's less than 4 pounds a month)
2) Run a 12 minute mile by memorial day weekend. (Right now, I am jogging at 4 MPH)
3) Find a 5K race in my community that will take place in May/June and SIGN UP with a friend.

I am going to close this blog so I can google some local websites and find a 5K race.

Onward and downward!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLE1908 1/20/2013 4:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 1/19/2013 6:26PM

    I like the running goal. If you try to maintain your weight, but improve your running, chances are that you'll end up slowly losing weight till you hit a level that your body is happy with for how active you are. That level may or may not be at the number you envision as your ultimate goal.

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ANNEMAC5 1/19/2013 1:48PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SONYALATRECE 1/19/2013 1:43PM


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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/19/2013 11:28AM

    It also helps to remember how far you've come. How did you feel at your heaviest weight vs how do you feel now? Don't focus too much on the number, but keep check on your fitness level.

Your goals sound like they're attainable!

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MYUTMOST4HIM 1/19/2013 11:15AM


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Was "Connie's" Death Preventable?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Was my former childcare giver’s death preventable? I pondered this question during her funeral yesterday. No one plans to die at age 54. “Connie” left behind a loving husband, three grown children and a grandchild. Was her cancer inevitable or could something have happened to prevent it? Being the curious person that I am, I started googling for information and found the following statistics from the National Cancer Institute:

• Caucasian-American women have the highest rates of breast cancer, but when African-American women get cancer, we are more likely to die. For every 100,000 Caucasian women diagnosed, 25 will die. For every 100,000 African-American women diagnosed, nearly 40 will die.

Risk factors associated with breast cancer are: smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, and excessive alcohol intake. Factors associated with higher death rates are: lack of medical coverage, barriers to early detection and screening, unequal access to improvements in treatment, and a higher prevalence of aggressive forms of breast cancer in African-American women.

I don’t have all the details that contributed to Connie’s death. I do know these basic things; her husband had health insurance, Connie did not smoke or drink, but she was morbidly obese for many years and did not exercise. She was also an excellent cook and ate a traditional soul food diet.

During the funeral service, feelings of frustration mingled with my sadness as her friends and family raved about her cooking skills during their tributes. The question that lay heavy on my mind was “Would Connie be alive today if she had changed her diet and started to exercise?” I’ll never know. But there is scientific evidence out there that says it would have removed some of the risk.

I am starting to grow tired of hearing about African-American women becoming disabled or dying in their 40’s and 50’s. I’m tired of opening the community newspaper and seeing all these tributes to middle-age women who’ve passed away, leaving behind broken-hearted families and friends. At some point, whether we’re black, white, American Indian, Latino or Asian, it’s time for us to reach out to the family and friends in our lives and our community and “Spread the Spark” of a healthier lifestyle. We have to find a way to do this without seeming holier-than-thou or preachy. No, it won’t prevent all deaths and disabilities, but it can put all of us on a road to better health.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLE1908 1/20/2013 4:28PM

    Well said...sorry for your loss...some things are preventable but people have to want it for themselves...

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DAPHNE_RUNS 1/19/2013 10:41PM

    So sorry to hear of your loss. I have thought the exact same question this week about my childhood friend of the family.

My friend passed away on Tuesday. She was only 42 (a year older than me). She was morbidly obese, even as a child. We went to 8th grade and freshman year in high school together and back then she weighed around 200 lbs. Her mom is my mom's best friend sister so for a while we would cross paths a lot during holidays and family gatherings.

I too wonder if she would still be alive if she had lost weight or changed her diet. Small changes in your life can add up and make a huge difference.

I will pray for your friend and mine. Their families are missing two moms.

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JAZZEJR 1/19/2013 7:17PM

    Amen! I'm with you. We may not be able to prevent all these diseases, but we have to do our part to try.

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BABY_GIRL69 1/19/2013 5:06PM

    You are so right. A lot of the time the information is available we just need to make sure our loved ones get out there & get the test done regularly. Some times medicaid will pay for these test now what happens after that is up in the air. I think cost is definitely high on the list of not receiving the care we need. We either pay for it now with exercise, eating healthier & taking care of ourselves or we will pay later.....I am so sad indeed.

God bless,


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SONYALATRECE 1/19/2013 1:54PM

My condolences.
There may be preventable measures, but we can't force others to conform to healthier lifestyles. I understand your reflection nevertheless.

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JACKIE542 1/18/2013 10:04PM

    I agree, well written. emoticon

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AANGEL3 1/18/2013 5:01PM

    Well said! emoticon

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Got a free skinfold caliper test today

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

As I continue to ponder (obsess) over my goal weight, I had an opportunity today to get a free skinfold caliper test done by a seasoned personal trainer at my new gym. He weighed me, then took a host of measurements and determined I'm carrying 34% body fat. For women my age, this % is the high end of "average." He determined I have a lean body mass of 111 and am carrying about 35 pounds of extra body fat. When he said that, I protested a bit, saying I had no desire to look like a twig. In a nutshell, here's what I learned about how I would look at various weights:

135--If I ever want to become a body builder/fitness model, this is what I would weigh on the day of a competition. I would need to build muscle while I drop fat. Sounds like an incredible amount of work!

141--This is a lean (angular), athletic size for me. If I played soccer or basketball, this is what I'd want to weigh.

153--I would be at 25% body fat and the low end of "average", but with my curves intact.

164--My bodyfat would be 31% which is the top of a healthy range for me.

Also, an internet search yielded an interesting article about body fat %'s which I'm sharing in the link below. The writer has included some interesting photos of people at various body fat %'s.


Given what I've learned today, I've narrowed my ideal weight to a range of 147-155. This range is healthy, but not so thin that I start looking angular. When apple shapes like me are lean, we turn into rulers--no boobs, no hips, no curvy waist.

No thanks. I want curves.

Okay, so that means I need to lose anywhere from 12-20 pounds to get to my "happy weight". Nice!

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNNICE 1/18/2013 1:01PM

    Interesting information. I've never had a body fat test and would be interested in having one sometime.

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CAKEMAKERMOM 1/18/2013 11:40AM

    Thanks for the link. It was interesting.

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MOBYCARP 1/17/2013 6:58PM

    Thanks for the link to body fat % pictures. I haven't had mine measured, but based on the pictures and discussion, I'm probably in the 12-15% range. That confirms my understanding that I really don't want to lose any more weight from where I am right now.

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SUNSET09 1/16/2013 11:43PM

  I'm with on this all of the way and want curves and a healthy lifestyle. I also have a personal trainer and have a food and workout schedule. Wek now what we need to do and I like how you're broken it down for yourself and caem up with your own weight lost amount! It's all in educating ourselves. Thank you for sharing! So, let's do this! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JULIERAE41 1/16/2013 11:23PM

    Thank you so very much for sharing this! I want curves too! I am planning to build muscle and lose fat but don't want to look stark. My goal right now is 180 only because that it what I weighed before thyroid cancer. I'll go from there when I get there!

Thanks again!


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