Tis The Season To Gain Weight??? 2011 Challenge

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

A year ago, I wrote a blog on a report that I had read. The report stated that the average American would gain 10 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s Day. I have not seen any articles this year that would show that average dropped. Most articles are concerned with the subject of the weight gain in America . It is said that 2 out of 3 Americans is overweight or obese. It would seem that it is a given that we will gain weight. In the past 2 months , I have seen a number of comments from Spark members that they are concerned that they will gain weight. I think of it as somewhere within our sub conscious, we have permission to gain the weight. The good news is that anyone reading this is a Spark member and that gives us a opportunity to stop the gain. The articles and quizzes supplied by Spark and that great support system that we have with our Spark friends here will certainly help each of us to stay on track. After lastyears blog and the season was over, I had a number of Spark Members tell me that it was the first time they had gone through the season without gaining weight.

I look back at my life, before I started my healthy journey and I can’t recall even thinking about gaining. Starting with Halloween ,eating as much candy as I could find , Thanksgiving Day, a day to enjoy family and have a huge meal. I can remember, loving food as I did, not eating well, I mean, not 1 serving, but 2 or 3 servings of every thing on the table including extra pie and other deserts, coming away from the table feeling so stuffed but happy. Of course, we had our big meal at noon and when the evening came along , more stuffing myself with more of everything. This was every year. As Christmas approached it was a time to bake our favorite cookies and who can eat just one cookie, everyday at work people would bring in special cookies and I love cookies. I wouldn’t have just one, I munched all day ( in fact I would take some and hide them so I could get my share.) Christmas day also had a special meal and of course I took advantage and overate. There were also special parties with lots of food , and of course I had my share. New Year’s is the same, parties, and more food. It is no wonder that I gained weight. After New Years, I vowed to go on a diet and that lasted a few weeks. So If the report is accurate, many people are and will be doing the same thing I did in the past.
I am saying to all of us that this does not have to happen. For those that don’t know me, I will only speak for myself and tell you how it is for me. In 2007, I had started my healthy journey program and in the “Season”, I released weight every week. I followed my plan, did not get off track and did not participate in eating all the goodies that was available.
The next 3 years, 2008 & 2009 and 2010 , I was on maintenance and again, I continued on a daily basis of eating healthy. I did have the traditional dinners, but limited the food to small portions and no seconds or thirds, I had desert, but a small portion. I found I could eat a cookie without the need to eat all the cookies. This year, 2011, will be no different, as I now say I am living life, I am going to do the same as in the past, eating with controls. I don’t feel a temptation that I would revert back to old habits. In fact I have learned that I no longer live to eat, I eat to live. I know when I have eaten enough and no longer continue to eat.
Why am I writing this? I gave my example of how it was and how it is now and I want each person to know that you also can get through this season and continue to release weight. I believe there is no reason to gain weight. I have seen a number of blogs where there are plans being made to keep things under control. That is a great idea, another area to look at, is that I have seen people write that they went off track because of a special event , like a birthday or special night out and it frightens them that in this season it will happen again.
It certainly could, but it does not have to be that way. I suggest that a strong focus be made on our attitudes and what we really believe. This can be the time to put all that hard work that each of us has done and know that it is time that we take control of our lives, If you can vision the weigh-ins with a release of weight, feel what that number would be and get excited. I also feel at this time in our lives as we work towards a healthy weight or maintain what we have accomplished that we need to have a new excitement about our lives. A positive outlook, a knowing that finally we are in control and have the ability to face each special day and enjoy it with a new feeling. I love the idea that I can participate in the special days and meals knowing that I eat healthy.
My purpose is to tell you, that if I could release the 84 pounds and continue for almost 4years now of maintaining it, that all of us here on Spark can do the same thing.
I believe that each person can be successful, but WILL they. I am making a challenge to each of us that this will be the year that we will release or maintain our weight. Make the commitment to yourself that this is the year. Writing makes the commitment stronger, so if you want to, make the commitment on the blog. Lets make this the year that we went through the “season” successfully.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Words of wisdom from a guy so willing to share! Thank you ... my inner child, Janet, and I will be thinking of you every time our fingers approach our mouth this 'season'...
    2264 days ago
    You got it Monty!
    2274 days ago
    You really should be a spokesperson for Spark People. You are great.
    Thanks for sharing.
    hugs heidi emoticon emoticon
    2274 days ago
    Oh yes! I am commiting here and NOW!:
    I have been thinking this very same thing, and have been vowing (and trying to encourage others) that we can buck the trend and either LOSE or maintain through this season. It is possible, and I am committed.
    My plan this week has been to be sure to get my exercise in even tough I am SOOOOOOO BUSY. No matter what, even if it means at 9:00 I am on the elliptical for 45 or more minutes, I am ON IT!
    I am doing this because I am realistic about myself, and know I will eat more than I would when there isn't so much temptation and so many delicious options. So instead of being stressed about it, I am going to eat sensibly but allow myself to enjoy the delicacies of the season. Otherwise, I can go too Black and White with things and could crash and burn only to wake up with the 5 lbs I've worked so hard to release (love your word!) right back on my butt and thighs!
    Thanks Monty, for being the example of what it means to make this the season to TRULY be jolly... because we are all still making it happen!
    emoticon emoticon
    2278 days ago
    Thank you so much. It is always encouraging to know someone else has been successful and not just successful, but continued in that success.
    2284 days ago
    Great read! Thanks
    2285 days ago
    Great blog!
    2285 days ago
    I am with you! I have already declined to participate in the annual cookie baking. My husband and I do not need to have dozens of temptations hiding out in our kitchen. I am commiting myself to losing during this holiday season. I am envisioning how proud I will be on January 1 when I have lost weight!
    2286 days ago
  • DORIE57
    You hit the nail on the head! Congratulations for maintaining for 4 years. That's a wonderful accomplishment.
    2287 days ago
    It's so great to read something that doesn't buy into the idea that during the holidays we're entitled to throw caution to the wind just because it's socially sanctioned and even encouraged.
    Thanks for the reminder that our bodies don't know or care whether it's holiday season. They function the same way every day, and there's no fooling them.
    2287 days ago
    Yay for you for writing this wonderful, motivating and inspiring blog for etch and every one of us.
    You are so very right on every point. I hope we can all stay on track and still enjoy our upcoming holidays with family and friends.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful story!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2287 days ago
    Monty thank you so much for writing this blog. Once again you helped me to put things into perspective. I have a goal to reach 148 by the end of the year. This will only happen if I stay on track. Eat to live...we all need to remember this!

    2288 days ago
  • KIPPER15
    Great blog and inspiring. I am going to do my best in this my first holiday season on my journey. I am learning to say no and to take just a taste not the whole cake! emoticon
    2289 days ago
    I have blogged about my fears-- this blog gave me such a relief. I know I can make it through this holiday season just fine. I'm already envisioning the smaller portions and the tastes I CAN have without guilt... because it's all recorded on my spark nutrition planner. I'm READY!! Thank you so much for your help.
    2289 days ago
    Love this blog!

    We have a fitness center at work, and they periodically come up with "challenges". the next challenge begins this Monday, 11/14, and is all about nutrition from now until the first of the year. You get points for tracking food, etc...and I'd had already signed up for it, but your blog has inspired me to COMMIT to it in addition to signing up to it.

    Thanks for the vision, the example, and the encouragement. emoticon
    2289 days ago
    I will be more aware of what I am eating - one of my problems is going back for seconds. I'm going to be more careful about not doing that. Thanks for sharing!
    2289 days ago
    You are such an inspiration! Good job! emoticon
    2290 days ago
  • MISSB8604
    This gives me hope that it IS possible to not gain weight over the holidays. I'm fearful, but I'm PUMPED!
    2290 days ago
    Very well spoken. I think I will be reading this blog more than once. It is such a great idea to think about seeing a lower number on the scale on weigh-in days, to stay determined when confronted with temptation. emoticon emoticon
    2290 days ago
    Way to go Monty - you are so inspiring and so supportive.
    2290 days ago
  • NANCY1964
    Great blog entry, Monty! Congratulations on winning a Popular Blog award! You're an inspiration to thousands of people, including me. Way to go!

    2290 days ago
    OK, you got me, Monty. 84 lbs! wow! You are entitled to preach every day!
    I do ok with the eating, but the exercising isn't getting done. You inspire me. I WILL do walking, walking, walking. To be followed-up with time at a gym. Promise. emoticon emoticon
    2292 days ago
    emoticon Thanks for the wonderful philosophy, my friend, glad you mentioned that you had written a blog, and even gladder that I got to read it.

    You made a point about we can all be successful, but Will We? That brings to mind that I used to work at the university and one of our perks was to be able to take 2 courses per semester for free. We all had that chance as employees. I tok advantage and successfully earned 2 degrees. People have told me how lucky I was.... NO! All employees had that same opportunity, I put the work in and earned it... Now, to conquer this weight thing and put the work in and be successful at that too! emoticon emoticon

    And also, I did go to a buffet today, thought long and hard about it and made the choice. Went by myself, but I didn't have a "feeding frenzy", I felt good that I stopped after a mouthful, or if it wasn't cooked properly, I didn't eat it... Living to eat, hopefully not for much longer...
    2293 days ago
    Yes, I voted for this blog too. You, Monty are a great inspiration for all of us.
    Thanks for the words of wisdom!

    2294 days ago
    We CAN do this!
    2295 days ago
    Great blog! I'm currently on a loosing streak and have already planned for the holidays. I feel planning ahead helps me a lot so that I don't fail under pressure. I must admit, I want many things that I won't eat this season. I mean, really want them. Bad. But I have healthy alternatives and so, I will be good to my body. I promise to continue to loose this season! Thanks so much
    2295 days ago
    Awesome blog. I am going to weigh in the morning and I commit that I will weigh the same or less on January 1, 2012.
    2295 days ago
    so amazing. thanks for sharing -- u rock ! i am joining the pledge to gain NO WEIGHT during the holidays. Let us celebrate success and HEALTH!!
    2295 days ago
    Monty, Great blog!! I voted for it. Very, very wise. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Mine were/are very similar.

    I commit to gain no weight this holiday season. I'll do my best to follow your example of moderation, Monty. No deprivation here, but an enjoyment of healthy foods in reasonable portions -- an enjoyment of the holiday without the need to overeat. Not only that, I commit to work toward a "a new excitement about our lives." I fully believe that living healthy is exciting!! You are proof -- and so am I!! Thanks for being one of my most consistent supporters and SparkFriends. I appreciate your efforts and wisdom more than you know. -Marsha
    2296 days ago
    Important and timely post...keep on doing and staying great.In
    living a Healthier lifestyle...Monty you Rock!!! emoticon ..
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2296 days ago
  • JANICEB0414
    Hi Monty this is another great blog. I am truely inspired by you!
    2296 days ago
  • CHRIS3215
    Thanks Monty!!!
    This is a great Story that all should read cause YOU saved your life!!!
    YOU got Healthy & now have all the good stuff to look forward too instead of thinking about FOOD!!!!

    emoticon emoticon
    2296 days ago
  • MOMMA48
    What a totally emoticon blog, Monty, and from a totally emoticon friend! You are such an inspiration for us all! And, you got it, We CAN and WILL do it! Living the healthy lifestyle is the way to go and you sure have done it!

    emoticon all the way and emoticon everyone!

    Thank you, Monty, for giving us that extra dose of motivation -- you're the best! Hugs to you!!
    2296 days ago
    Good morning Monty,
    I also am committing not to gain. emoticon emoticon emoticon

    Thank you for your blogs about this each year. You are encouraging many here to think about our Healthy Habits.

    Smiles for our miles,
    2296 days ago
    Thank you, MONTY, and congratulations on your success. I too have found the motivation with SPARKPEOPLE to maintain this healthy life style. I continue to look forward to seeing your name up the HUDDLE WALL ahead of mine and recently I missed not seeing it but you had reported that you would be out of town. I now carry a laptop computer with me when I travel so that I will not be out of touch.

    I do not plan to gain any weight during the upcoming months and I will not.
    2296 days ago
    This was emoticon
    2296 days ago
  • MIRAGE727
    It's interesting to see that "Montys" have the same mind set!
    I read this and realize that we all become healthier in body and mind from our journey. Thanks for the confirmation and continued inspiration!
    2296 days ago
    Great blog Monty, always enjoy your in depth thoughtful thinking.

    Skeeter emoticon
    2296 days ago
  • DIAMOND102
    Thanks Monty, I read your blog and realized how motivated and encouraged I felt about your journey to healthy lifestyle. I've already started challenging myself each month to change my eating habits and to exercise more and it's working. I plan to carry through on this commitment throughout the holidays. Thank for sharing. I know it can be done and I am doing it. emoticon emoticon
    2296 days ago
  • MISSM66
    Thanks for sharing this blog with us Monty,Lot's of good info you share with us,my doctor just told me That I don't need to loose any more weight and I thought I need,but I think she knows best, I am now at 137,and I was hoping to get to 135 but she said that weight is too low for my height,so now I am Maintaining take care Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2296 days ago
    Great Blog!
    2297 days ago
    Yes,moderation and good choices for the holiday season.
    2297 days ago
    Thanks, Monty. I needed that admonition. Three weeks in a row I have seen a 2# gain. I was discouraged and even cried a little. I said I am what I am and I have tried. I am going to relax mentally and see if that helps, but before I read your blog..I was through. Thanks Friend. emoticon emoticon
    2298 days ago
    Monty you did it again! What an inspiration and what a challenge you put before us.
    If you can do it we can do it.
    We appreciate you Monty.
    2298 days ago
    great blog Monty, I want to read it every day, because I am already going down that road, I had a nice long vacation, on the road, almost the entire time, so no exercise, and lots of snacking in the car and eating in general, I will get back on track and drop my added weight, no gaining more for sure. I like me like I am.
    2298 days ago
    Monty you are an inspiration! Everyone should accept this challenge to better themselves. People can still enjoy the holidays without it being a disaster toward living their healthy lifestyle. They key is to enjoy small portions and it will be less damage control later. Thank you for sharing this blog.
    2298 days ago
    Hi Monty
    Great blog, your right, I am on the same track with you.
    No gains, if anything, I will be in a losing streak up to New Years :)
    When I lost my most wt it was in the middle of July 07
    I reached my Goal at Thanks giving and maintained through the year.
    This year I discovered Weight Watchers, and Wow, it works so well, using all the principals of SPARK GUY and Bestlife Bob Greene, I eat Healthy and eat tons of fruit.
    I WILL bypass my goal in 2007 I reached 152, but struggled a bit this year (Family situation)
    and am on track. I am going for 145.
    The way the Points system is working, I will get there.
    I too, eat what I like, and dont deprive myself.
    Portion control.
    2298 days ago
    Great Blog Monty! I'm right there with you and going into the "season" a few pounds under goal. I fully expect to continue to make healthy choices throughout the holidays and focus on the people rather than the food. I like the way I feel and remember how too much fat, sugar, carbs make me feel. Like you, I will enjoy the family dinners and have an occasional treat. I do that now. It's part of life and can be done well. Happily for me, more and more of my family are making healthy choices! What a gift!
    2298 days ago
    Thanks Monty! I will also join this challenge! I really never thought about the holidays yet, but it's coming! I love cookies too. But I will be vigilant, and stay in control. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2298 days ago
    Monty great blog!! And yes I am making a commitment to a continued healthy lifestyle thru the Holidays!!! I found for me personally if I eat a snack before we go to an event than I eat less because I am not hungry - Simple but it works for me!! Take care & hugs, Moni emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2298 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.