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“Something happened while the rest of us were making excuses…”

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

“…You did it—you lost weight and have kept it off. And it was so easy for you.”

A co-worker said this to me today. Initially, I shrugged it off, became embarrassed, but then I realized—she’s kind of right. I did do it; but she’s very wrong about it being easy.

I work in an environment with many women who, every January 1, pledge that they are going to eat healthy/exercise/join weight watchers. They go full steam for a few weeks, then by the middle of February, they’re right back to where they started because they didn’t stick to it. A few of them have managed to lose a great deal of weight over a period of time, only to gain it all back quickly. And then the excuses kick in. It makes me sad to watch.

What I’ve done differently is to stick with my healthy eating, which means saying no to take out lunches, and sticking with my lunchtime walks, even in below zero temps, snow, ice and rain. It means spending time on the weekend to plan and prepare healthy dinners for during the week, so I have time after dinner to exercise. It means having a plan in place to keep up the exercising/eating when I’m away on vacation. It’s making the decision to change my life and then sticking to it. It’s deciding that my health and well being is more important than the momentary satisfaction of eating a donut.

Of course, I can’t tell her any of that; she won’t understand until she is truly committed to making the lifestyle changes herself. We all get to that point, and then the magic really happens. If only she had really listened to her own words, she would realize that she already knows that excuses don’t work, action does.

The thing about losing weight and maintain the loss is that there is no end date or finish line. I realize that it’s something I will have to work on and think about for the rest of my life. The best part is that, at least for me, it no longer feels like work; it has become fun and something I look forward to. I get excited about trying new healthy foods that I most likely never would have tried before. Exercise has become my something I love to do; it’s respite, my stress reducer, and some days, my punching bag.

While the journey has definitely not been easy, it has been very, very rewarding. So I guess I did do it…but there is always more work to be done.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CRUISEBOUND4EVR 4/27/2014 6:50AM

    emoticon Great Blog!

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MARCYNA 4/16/2014 5:16AM

    Lovely, great!!!

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ELIZABETH5268 4/9/2014 3:36PM

    So true about maintenance! It's not over once you reach that goal weight and can almost be harder but very well worth it. Great job on your continued success!

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DSJB9999 4/9/2014 2:58AM

    emoticon on your hard work
emoticon for sharing

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HAWKTHREE 4/8/2014 9:23PM

    What a great blog.

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MICKEYJ1961 4/8/2014 12:55PM

  Good for you! Way to go!

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AHEALTHYME0204 4/7/2014 8:32PM

    Great blog!!!! COMMITMENT!!! That's what gets us where we want to be!!! WTG!!!

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MIAMIRN 4/6/2014 3:15PM

    Very nice blog! I like what you had to say! It's good to read what one day I am going to experience. I can feel your confidence and sense of power and pride. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and experiences. You are my inspiration for today and I very much thank you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BABYLOSTBACK 4/5/2014 9:11AM

    Way to go!

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KIMBERLY_Y 4/4/2014 7:28PM

    Wow! Way to go! Congratulations on your weight loss and sticking with it! I find that sometimes others are a bit envious because we did do it and they do not have the same determination, YET. I chuckle when others say to me, "I have friends that track what they eat on their phones." I said, "Oh, I do that." Heehee! If it isn't broke, don't fix it. Best wishes as you continue on your journey. emoticon

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SUSIEMT 4/4/2014 12:29PM

    Yea you!! Yes you really did do it and I agree until someone is ready nothing we say will work. However, we must always mention that without the help and support of we might not have started. I think if they are not ready just the name might send a spark their way. Who knows! It worked for me!

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JANET552 4/4/2014 7:03AM

    We value things we have to work at and we should value our health. I'm happy for you that you found the secret to your success!! emoticon

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THOMS1 4/3/2014 10:01PM

    emoticon blog! emoticon

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    I enjoyed reading your blog very much. You hit many nails right on the head. I've got lots of friends at work that are jealous of my success, but not willing to do the work to have their own success. And it IS work, and it never ends. But I agree, it is WORTH IT!!!

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SLENDERELLA61 4/3/2014 4:02PM

    Great blog! So glad At Goal & Maintaining Plus.... team chose to highlight it, because otherwise I might not have seen it. You are so right. I especially like the "making a decision.... and sticking to it." That's it in a nutshell! Congrats on all your accomplishments and this astute blog!! -Marsha

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IAMAGEMLOVER 4/3/2014 3:48PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYT3 4/3/2014 2:17PM

    You've got your head on straight and I agree with everything you've said. Maintaining is not easy, but it does consist of choices you make every day. Congratulations! emoticon

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SWEET_CAROLYN 4/3/2014 12:13PM

    "The thing about losing weight and maintain the loss is that there is no end date or finish line. I realize that it’s something I will have to work on and think about for the rest of my life."

Thank you for this!! Losing weight is tough, but what's tougher is KEEPING it off!

Thanks for being an inspiration!

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AALLEY2 4/3/2014 9:33AM

    emoticon emoticon What a great blog! I know where you are coming from. emoticon

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DAWNDMOORE40 4/3/2014 8:38AM

    emoticon on all your accomplishments! You are right this journey is not an easy one, but once you make your mind up your going to start the day with a positive attitude about being healthy and end the day with the same attitude, then it becomes easier! I have learned it's not about being a perfectionist, but just starting out slow and working your way up! I love hearing stories like yours because they keep me motivated to maintain my goals and keep working my way towards a healthier me! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMARILYNH 4/3/2014 8:16AM

    Easy? No! Worth the trouble?? OH YEAH!! Great blog, and one every Spark member should read! This isn't a diet with an end date, its a life time of commitment to good health!! Great job!! emoticon emoticon

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KANOE10 4/3/2014 8:15AM

    That was a great blog. I go through the same thing at work. No it is not easy. It is all that you say..getting walks in at lunch, staying on in vacations, cooking ahead on weekends, There is no end date..but there is daily dedication. However, I love that you say that this lifestyle is fun and you enjoy exercise and new foods.

You are a great maintainer and thanks for sharing all of your success.


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OHMEMEME 4/3/2014 7:53AM

    Awesome blog! It just reiterates my exact thoughts lately. Sometimes I get tired or discouraged about having to keep the vigilance it takes to STAYhealthy. Like you, when I hear others who haven't "gotten it" I am sad for them and so happy that it has FINALLY clicked for me. 3 yrs now of still working this out! Thanks for sharing. You an inspiration! Keep Sparking! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/3/2014 7:54:18 AM

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CELIAMINER 4/3/2014 7:18AM

    This is a long reply, but your blog reminded me of a story from Bob Merritt, 7 Simple Choices for a Better Tomorrow:

“Many years ago the legendary golf pro Gary Player was hitting balls off the practice tee one morning, and the first ball he hit went 280 yards straight as a bullet. A guy in the gallery just within earshot said, ‘Man, I’d give anything to be able to hit a golf ball like you.’ Gary walked over to the guy and said, ‘No, you wouldn't.’ The guy said, ‘Yes, I would. I’d give anything to hit like that,’ Gary said, ‘No, you wouldn't. You wouldn't be willing to do what it takes. You have to rise early in the morning and hit five hundred balls until your hands bleed. Then you stop, tape your hands, and hit five hundred more balls. The next morning you’re out there again with hands so raw you can barely hold your club, but you do it all over again. If you do that through enough years of pain, then you can hit a ball like that.’"

Nope, not easy, but so worth it.

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NELLJONES 4/3/2014 7:16AM

    I've been at goal for a long, lost my weight in 1970. People are always telling me I am "naturally thin", it's easy for me. Well, in a way it IS easy in that I don't have to convince myself anymore that I need to stick to a program, I just do it. But it is something to do every day. The more I learned to love my Program, my new life, the easier it became. People want to hear that you did something quick and easy and got back to the Cheetos. They will hear on the day they are ready to hear, not one day before.

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MANDELOVICH 4/3/2014 5:47AM

    Great blog! Way to go!

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TORTISE110 4/3/2014 5:41AM

    Yes, it is NOT easy. And let's hear it for the "magic" kingdom of Spark! Congratulations for all you have accomplished. Enjoy your healthy self!!

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BESSHAILE 4/2/2014 10:01PM

    It's those subtle changes - so that even if you obsess about the donut - when you finally look at it - you don't see an food ... no nutrition ... and then your body just says "uh. no thanks".

That's the lifestyle part isn't it?

you go girl. Congratulations

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MOBYCARP 4/2/2014 8:58PM

    "Of course, I can’t tell her any of that; she won’t understand until she is truly committed to making the lifestyle changes herself."

I find this to be one of the more frustrating aspects of maintenance; people who ask how you did it, and appear to need the knowledge, have their eyes glaze over when I try to explain.

"The thing about losing weight and maintain the loss is that there is no end date or finish line. I realize that it’s something I will have to work on and think about for the rest of my life."

Oh, yes. That's the hard thing to try to explain to someone who is stuck in diet mentality, or (worse!) just wants to lose some weight but isn't serious about changing anything.

Good blog. It strikes a chord, and brings back memories of when I was naive enough to think that people who asked how I did it really wanted to know.

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_LINDA 4/2/2014 8:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Very well done on maintaining and understanding that its a never ending story. One you get to rewrite and enjoy the rewards of every day!
Happy Maintaining!

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ALICIA363 4/2/2014 8:19PM


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MOMMY445 4/2/2014 8:17PM

    congratulations on all of your successes and for your willingness to share! have a wonderful day!

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BIGPAWSUP 4/2/2014 8:09PM

    You are amazing.

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PEZMOM1 4/2/2014 7:31PM


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DIANNEMT 4/2/2014 7:29PM

    You are so right about not understanding WHAT the "secret" is till you find it yourself. I am still doing the right things--sometimes staying the weight i want, sometimes watching it go up but working to get it back down.

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WATERMELLEN 4/2/2014 7:19PM

    Terrific blog. One thing, though: maybe we don't all get to the point you reached of making the decision to stick with the program. . . because that's not easy. Terrific that you did, terrific you're reaping the benefits and modelling how it's done.

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BOPPY_ 4/2/2014 7:10PM

    Nice job. On your program. On your blog post.

Well, and simply stated!

Well, and simply (but with great "heart") done!

Lee emoticon

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AEHEGE 4/2/2014 6:56PM


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LESLIESENIOR 4/2/2014 6:39PM

    I love your no excuses attitude. It is all worth it.
Congratulations on your success. It is nice to share our hope with each other.

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UNSWEETMAMA 4/2/2014 6:32PM

    " health and well being is more important than the momentary satisfaction of eating a donut."

Amen. I'm still working on relearning and accepting that one. Even though I *know* it to be true.

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HOLLYM48 4/2/2014 6:28PM

    I so agree with you! looking back, I can't say it was easy, but it wasn't that hard once I made up my mind and stuck with it and finding SP was the answer that I needed. I think that is the part that made me think that it wasn't that hard because it became a lifestyle that I could live with and learn to love!
Congrats on your great work and the determination to keep this weight right where you want to be!
Awesome job!

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LYNCHD05 4/1/2014 7:29PM

    I really enjoyed this blog as it seems that is where I am now. You are never done. You don't reach that magic number and quit. It takes just as much dedication to maintain as it does to lose.
Thanks for the pep talk!!!

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SCOTIANRUNNER 3/22/2014 10:07PM

    Those that don't stick to their plan always think losing weight comes easy to those of us that do. It doesn't. It stinks sometimes that they won't even consider the work we put into things as the reason behind us reaching our goals. Basically, we all must be genetically blessed. (I wish!)

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PKCTTS 3/22/2014 12:34PM

    emoticon So right.

And, for me, it also has to do with knowing I'm going to get busy sometimes and mess up. The important part is catching it early and getting back to work.

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KELLIEBEAN 3/22/2014 8:10AM

    I used to work in the same type of environment. After their "resolution" lost steam, they would playfully snicker "Oh there she goes again with her gym bag", "I can't believe you run!" "Oh come on, it's my birthday, one piece won't kill ya!"

Good for you. Let's keep it going!


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MJREIMERS 3/21/2014 3:42PM

    You are so right! It's not easy, nor do we ever "stop" watching what we eat or getting off the couch. Keep it up and continue to lead by example. Hopefully, since she's watching, she'll follow your lead someday! emoticon and emoticon

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GLASSART43 3/21/2014 11:51AM

    Very perceptive blog! emoticon

A turning point for me, several years ago, was realizing that I had to take the responsibility for developing my own healthy habits. We all have to figure out what works for us. Congratulations for being persistent!

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GOOZLEBEAR 3/20/2014 7:32PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon great blog and great advice. You are certainly an inspiration to me!!!!

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2BDYNAMIC 3/20/2014 12:02PM

    LOVE the blog!! And your winning attitude ........... They can SEE your success and some may be envious but you did it and maintain!! (went to my Dr. Wed. and she said she loves Sparks and I told her how much I exercise ......... she asked specifics and I gave her the list .............. she said "I wish I could get thru to the REST of my patients ............ some say they CAN'T til the weather gets better!" emoticon One excuse after the other! But kudos to you! emoticon

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GARDENCHRIS 3/20/2014 10:06AM

    Good for you

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