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The Belt (It's a Numbers Game)

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Friday, June 22, 2012



Numbers.

It seems we live and breathe by numbers.

It really shouldn't be this way. Life should be focused on feeling great, having energy, being confident, happy, successful, content. But life, despite everything, seems to be governed by the numbers all around us. Should we really be fighting it?

We often live by the numbers on the clock... needing to be places/do things by a certain time. Our age may define us but preferably not, but despite whatever age our minds may be at, our bodies sometimes "act their age" far more than we'd like. We deal with medical numbers reflecting our cholesterol, blood pressure, temperature; we pay bills and balance bank accounts; we have a shoe size and a clothing size, and those of us trying to consciously lose weight, calculate our daily caloric intake, how much we exercised, and often lament about the number that shows up on our scale.

Numbers are everywhere. They are even on my belt.



Last summer, before I joined SparkPeople, I took my first true vacation in about five years. I travelled to New York City with a friend and had an amazing time. Before I left, I was pretty much at the heaviest I have ever been... about 260 pounds. I am tall and large boned, so most people would never have guessed this number however I definitely felt it and the feeling was not a happy one. I had bought a pair of size 18 jeans that were definitely stretchy and very comfortable for my trip. They were the first jeans I had worn in years as I far too self conscious. However, I was very excited to find a pair that fit well, that were below size 20, and that were flattering. I wore them pretty much day in and day out. The stretch fabric however, was not my friend after a couple of days of walking through the city. Without continuous washing/drying, they basically stretched out which caused me to consistently have to yank them up as at the time, I no longer owned a belt that would fit me. I did however find one at a street vendor near Chelsea Market (you have to love NYC -- hot dogs on one corner and belts on another!). My $5. black cloth belt did the trick but at the time I had to suck in my stomach just to get it to buckle on even the first hole. An extra large belt. Hole #1.

Frustrating.

But this frustration brought me to joining Spark People a few months later and the weight began to drop off by no small feat. By November, I had lost 16 pounds and was on belt hole #2. I was getting excited but also approaching the holiday season... not a good time to be trying to lose weight! However, honestly, there is never really a good time -- or on the flip side, it is ALWAYS a good time to lose weight (assuming that it's in your health's best interest). I was still plugging away and in January, hit my 20 pounds down mark when I got my Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis and pretty much my life came to a screeching halt.

February, March, April and May pass. Priorities are now on cancer markers and getting my thyroid medication numbers to where they should be so I have energy again. Work falls behind and clients start screaming, and everything now becomes a numbers game in a completely new way. But, time marches on and though recovery is slow and stressful, I slowly get a grip on life again though my weight has been yo-yo-ing up and down 10 pounds consistently through this ordeal.

June. The doctors seem to get my meds right, my energy returns, and all of a sudden, my priorities shift. Where I may have killed myself before trying to spend every waking minute catching up from work, I now am balancing out my life differently: still being responsible and getting things done, but also now taking time for me so I can get healthy and truly appreciate what I have.

I get back, with some help from my new FitBit and the support from my SparkPeople family, to my 20 pounds down, and surprisingly, make belt hole number 3!

Progress!

Now, not only am I trying to shed this extra weight, I am trying to find balance, happiness, and confidence again. My cancer markers are fine and I am booked to go for radiation (RAI) in August as a precautionary measure. But in the meantime, my goal is simple: catch up on work in a healthy way, and find "me" again amidst the chaos that is/was my life, my stress, my relationships, my passion.

And really? It seems much easier now. This journey we are doing together is about having a clear vision and respecting yourself... and then reaping the rewards.

Today, admittedly, I did a "bad" thing. I pulled out a pair of jeans that I wore when I moved into this house and started my business 6 and a half years ago. I kept them because I'm determined to fit into them again. I knew not to try them on as it would have developed into a highly depressing endeavour as they are size 12. And a skinny size 12 to boot. And we don't need reminders about how far we've gotten off track.

However, I turned a potentially negative outcome into a more promising one! - I took my wonderful belt off my jeans that I was wearing at the time and strung them through the belt loops of my "thin jeans". Much to my surprise those jeans buckle at belt hole #6! Seriously? I was stunned and realized:

I'M HALF WAY THERE!

It took me about 4 months to get from barely belt hole number one to an easy belt hole number two. If you discard the "cancer months", and add one more month on for body re-shaping, I get to belt hole #3 at pretty much the same weight. Okay... here comes the flurry of numbers: assuming that 5 months of "effort" have passed to get me to belt hole #3 then it is only logical to think that it might take me 5 more months to get to belt hole #6?? Assuming of course nothing else big and menacing puts me off track again... Too hopeful? Maybe not. I reset my goals on SP to reflect my current state and it says that I should reach my goal weight (if I keep this up, of course) by January 1st, 2013. My goal weight I set was 10-15 pounds under what I was when I wore those size 12 jeans.

This is doable. Wow. I guess I always thought that I would get there "someday" but never realized how close this could actually be. I also never really believed SP's goal date as I had to keep moving it forward due to surgery/injury/cancer, but all of a sudden it feels real. This new year's I may be in a very different place indeed!



Maybe numbers aren't so bad after all.



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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FATHINSN 6/24/2012 8:10AM

    Awesome! Numbers are just numbers, no good or bad, but it does cheering up our mood when we get our favourite numbers :D

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TAMPATINK67 6/24/2012 8:08AM

    Awesome!

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LIBELULITA 6/24/2012 6:10AM

    Congratulations on belt hole number 6!!! How exciting. And even more exciting is knowing that you'll be at your dream weight in January 2013. How wonderful...this is totally doable and you are goung to do it!! emoticon emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 6/24/2012 5:26AM

    emoticon

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EVER-HOPEFUL 6/24/2012 4:36AM

    that is great love.sorry i have been a bit out of things lately life getting in the way,lol.you know how it is. love the photo at the end with skinny me coming soon.that is what i feel like at the moment i am in the middle of working out a new planb of action and tomorrow go shopping and pre cooking etc.(shops arenīt open here on a sunday)also plan to try and catch up with all my blogs and be more on sp.we are both going to get there.let īs see who does it first.i have a funny feeling you will win my love. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TANYA602 6/23/2012 10:10PM

    What a story! I have so much here to catch up on and I am overwhelmed by all you do and how strong you are. January 2013 is my goal date, as well, so I am here cheering you on. I'm glad to hear your cancer markers are in check - keep us posted on your progress!
emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 6/23/2012 7:40PM

    Awesome blog!
And I completely understand. I have had to purchase six belts since I have started this healthy lifestyle! emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 6/23/2012 7:35PM

    next year will be great.

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PASTORMAE5 6/23/2012 5:22PM

    Sounds like next year calls for a vacation

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TONYVAND1 6/23/2012 3:19PM

  emoticon Thanks

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FARIS71 6/23/2012 3:07PM

    Way to persevere! You WILL get to hole #6!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 6/23/2012 3:02PM

    emoticon

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CGARR442 6/23/2012 2:09PM

    For all that you've been through in the last few months you have kept and amazing attitude!
You are doing such a great job with your diet and exercise that I have no doubt you will reach your next goal in no time at all.
Keep up that awesome work!

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AUNTB63 6/23/2012 12:52PM

    Another great blog....you truly are an inspiration to so many. Your positive attitude along with the a sense of humor (numbers ?) are what it takes to keep this journey to a healthier lifestyle moving forward....and YOU are doing that...Congrats!

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MOMMY445 6/23/2012 12:11PM

    congrats! you are doing so well! you can do this! you are worth it!

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HEARTS116 6/23/2012 11:56AM

    Great job!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEH50BEWELL 6/23/2012 10:48AM

    You are doing so great and half way there is a great way of staying positive and moving forward. Getting the thyroid to be regulated is such a trying process, I know - it has taken me 8 months to get my numbers in line? I look forward to reading the next blog that reads "all the way there". emoticon emoticon

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RUMBAMEL 6/23/2012 9:34AM

    Great job on your progress and on keeping positive! The latter is one of the hardest things to do in weight management. Good luck on your future Spark Travels!

rumbamel

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JALITH 6/23/2012 9:20AM

  Good blog! You are doing great!

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KANOE10 6/23/2012 8:31AM

    Great job on losing and staying focused. I thought your focus on numbers was interesting. We are surrounded by numbers..tracking exercise minutes, food, scale..they are an important part of our lives.

Nice blog. You are doing great. emoticon

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MSLZZY 6/23/2012 7:51AM

    A wonderful surprise that proves you are a success now
just by doing what you can. Congrats on making a change
in your life. Halfway there but much closer with a very
positive attitude. You are amazing! Have a wonderful
weekend. HUGS!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 6/23/2012 7:21AM

    You are awesome! Congrats on getting half-way there!

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BESSHAILE 6/23/2012 7:16AM

    Congratulations on getting better acquainted with numbers. I have always loved 'em - they're like a box of crayons. You can build almost anything with numbers.
Think what fun 2013 will be for you!

And prayers for continued cancer free health.

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TALENKARR1 6/23/2012 6:43AM

    You are a amazing woman! I don't know If I could do half as well as you. you soar!

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NCSUE0514 6/23/2012 4:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TERRIJ7 6/23/2012 4:31AM

    I love that you're working on meeting your responsibilities with a healthy attitude and keeping a balance.

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1COUNTRY_GAL 6/23/2012 3:26AM

    emoticon JOb! Success of fitting into those jeans is soon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Diana

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ANNEMAC5 6/23/2012 3:23AM

    You are doing great and ILove your blogs. Great inspiration, I also had a fav belt with numbers but when I reached goal there were no holes left so had to give it away.

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 6/23/2012 3:08AM

    You are doing it!!!!!

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NEW-CAZ 6/23/2012 2:46AM

    Great blog and great attitude! emoticon

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DEBK0923 6/23/2012 2:15AM

    a great blog and wonderful attitude

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4RASCALS 6/22/2012 11:04PM

    You display such courage with everything you have gone through. Your attitude
is amazing. Stay the strong beautiful person you are. There is nothing that you can't achieve. Thanks for sharing.

emoticon

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IMSOOZEEQ 6/22/2012 11:01PM

    Great blog! Not that I am surprised. I love reading your blogs.



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HWNHMMBRD 6/22/2012 10:18PM

    Great Blog, and I love how you use that belt as a visual. emoticon

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JAIRIE813 6/22/2012 10:13PM

    emoticon You have a great outlook and I know you're gonna get there!

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RHIANNONTHEWOLF 6/22/2012 10:11PM

    Such a great blog. Your attitude is excellent, and the redistribution of your focus is wonderful. Glad to see you believe your goal is doable and you CAN do it. emoticon we believe in you too.

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KIPPER15 6/22/2012 10:01PM

    emoticon

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VINGRAM 6/22/2012 9:32PM

    emoticon

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DRB13_1 6/22/2012 9:13PM

    hooray for shrinking waistlines! emoticon

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FIRECOM 6/22/2012 8:58PM

    Your talking about the belt is interesting in that I have recently experienced a similiar woo hoo moment. At my peak weight several years ago, I was well over 345 pb and 54 inch jeans were uncomfortably snug.

Long story short, since joining SP in April '11, I am down to 168. I had a belt that used to belomg to my very skinny uncle, repleate with silver buckle. I decided to try it on and darned if it didnt fit. I was astounded and very pleased to say the least.

Thanks for a very will written blog. It rang the bell for me.

Frank

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MESAMA 6/22/2012 8:52PM

    You, my friend, have certainly been through so much but how amazing is it that you are finding your way and making you a priority? More than amazing, it's spectacular.
You are right, we live in a world of numbers. They are going to follow us no matter what we do, we just have to know that they don't define us when they aren't the numbers we want to see. You are doing great and I am so happy to hear that your health is getting back on track.
emoticon on beating that belt that was threatening to be too small.
emoticon emoticon emoticon
Oh and by the way.... I hate that about those stretchy jeans... I totally still have to yank mine up all the time... I did it right before sitting down to read this blog in fact... you reading my mind or somethin?
emoticon emoticon

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SHERYLDS 6/22/2012 8:44PM

    Attitude is everything....
use everything you've got to optimize your health.
You can do this....Stay Strong and keep that fire going emoticon

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GRACEISENUF 6/22/2012 8:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DZDAZR2BGR8T 6/22/2012 8:16PM

    What an amazing testament! You've certainly had your share of trials and tribulation, but you're coming out on the other side & your 'number' is far from up!!!

Thanks for sharing-I'm adding you as a 'friend' so I can follow you on your journey & offer support & 'laughs' along the way!!!
Dee emoticon

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UMBILICAL 6/22/2012 8:12PM

  Whip It!

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MSNOMOREFLUFFY 6/22/2012 8:12PM

    emoticon

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