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    BESSHAILE   47,875
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Why I Read Your Blog

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

The BACK STORY:

A year ago I reached my goal weight and weighed in at my Weight Watcher meeting within the goal range (2 lbs) for 9 fabulous months in a row! woo woo. So proud of me. Still so proud of that.

Since Christmas, though, and TheHeartAttack, and the serious cold weather, and the Bad Employee I Had To Fire, and the death of a cousin, and the New Administration with its New Rules, and the rotator cuff injury - you know - since life tossed me a basket full of lemons - I've struggled with the weight thing for 5 months now. Yes - I touched the magic goal weight a time or two, but I have not been able to stay there. Sometimes I've felt like a failure. Sometimes I've felt like a fraud.

The FRONT STORY:

Most of my time here on Spark People is spent reading Your Blogs, because you guys are the most amazing, inspiring, friendly, encouraging people I know. You have insights that blow me away. You discover ways of coping, ways of winning, and ways of triumphing that I can copy. You give me perspective and a new way of looking at my own situation that can turn my feelings of failure into sources of great pride and I want to thank you, one and all, for that.

Take my friend Steph-knee, who's lost ooodles of pounds and then found herself making friends with some old, bad habits and putting on weight again. "The biggest problem is that, what worked before (simply making a decision to get back on track and DOING IT) isn't working anymore. I need more, I need something bigger." she says in her blog post TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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And if you follow along with her next few posts - you'll see she's found something bigger. But first she had to take the pressure off herself by shifting her focus to actually MAINTAINING her plateau instead of trying to shed lbs. I mean - who EVER read a weight loss article about MAINTAINING PLATEAUS??? And yet - isn't that exactly what you need to do when the world starts crashing in on you?

There is MOBYCARP who was kiboshed by an injury (ask me about trying to press two measly 5 pound weights with my barely healed rotator cuff - - yeah - not happening this week). He has THIS to say:

"Maintenance is not steady state. It requires adjustments from time to time. And once in a while, when Life Happens, the adjustments are more severe and more sudden than they have been in a while. Well, that's life. I need to deal with it, make what adjustments I know I need, and monitor the results to see if I need to make further adjustments. "

in his blog post MAINTENANCE ADJUSTMENTS:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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al.asp?blog_id=5701001

he explores the choices he has had to make now that he can't work out like he wants to.

No doubt about it - these are words I needed to read. I have loved being able to eat more, have a glass of wine today as well as yesterday, and just pound it off at the gym but it's not happening these days. I can still burn calories, but my upper body muscle tone is not what it was. I can only lift so much and I really need to be doing the PT exercises more regularly. I know this. I also know my schedule was totally whip-lashed by changes OTHER people made in my world - changes I have to find a way to live with. But till I find it - I need to make calorie adjustments.

Do I like this?

No.

Can I do it?

I better.

But then there are those feelings of failure - the sensation that I am a fraud because I'm NOT at my goal weight. I'm not even 2 pounds over my goal weight - and have been as much as 6 lbs over my goal weight and if you remember, in elementary school math we learned to average up once we got to 5!! Scary. But reading TINAJANE76 this morning made me realize that I am neither a failure nor a fraud. I am a success story. In her blog ADAPTING TO CHANGES

www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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al.asp?blog_id=5701239


She says "I've spent more time above my goal weight this past year than I'm comfortable with, but in the grand scheme of things, I've achieved even greater success than some magical number on the scale. I didn't let life's lemons get the better of me--and the resulting lemonade is pretty sweet. "

I still fit into the clothes I bought last summer. I even got 3 compliments on how I looked this week. Sweet. As sweet as Tinajane's lemonade, in fact. In the big picture of life - with the rotten stuff that's landed on my plate - to be only a few pounds higher than my goal weight is a pretty good thing. And knowing that everyone is fighting this fight - not just the weight and fitness fight, but the fear of failure one - fills me with confidence - confidence that we will all win so long as we don't quit.

That is why I read your blog. There isn't a THANK YOU icon big enough to express my gratitude. I don't know what I'd do without you.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRUISEBOUND2014 6/17/2014 5:21AM

    I love that you wrote "confidence that we will all win so long as we don't quit. "
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ROXYCARIN 6/11/2014 12:41AM

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LOGOULD 6/10/2014 9:52PM

    Wow! Thank you SO much Bess, for this incredible blog. It's been a tough year for me to with a sister coming home from the rehab hospital more handicapped than before, to my own injuries and the steady creep of the numbers on the scale, surgery, loss of three employees out of five leaving just two of us at work to handle the busiest "busy season" we have ever had. Somehow though, reading that others face just as difficult, or even more so, struggles, makes it easier to accept and to continue to believe that despite it all, as long as I don't give up, I can't fail! Thanks for the HUGE dose of encouragement!

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WENDYANNE61 6/9/2014 1:04AM

    Wonderful blogs like this have changed my mindset, given me that extra oomph, lifted my spirits, given me food for thought and helped me keep on going for the last 21 months! I love it all! Thank you!

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NICKI984 6/8/2014 12:21PM

    Thanks for sharing. This is so true. Reading other blogs helps me gain insight and inspires me as well.

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DSJB9999 6/7/2014 7:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon and emoticon for sharing this wonderful blog, you really are very special!

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ADRIENALINE 6/5/2014 5:50PM

    Man you are a sublime inspiration! Thanks!

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KATIE3908 6/5/2014 11:38AM

    So true. Every day is a challenge but we can do it!!

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 6/5/2014 10:43AM

    I love the blogs too

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MOMMY445 6/5/2014 9:46AM

    what a great blog! so well said!

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CELIAMINER 6/5/2014 9:09AM

    Wishing you some awesome, low-cal lemonade!
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IAMAGEMLOVER 6/5/2014 7:10AM

    I can completely relate. While I have not gained more than 3 pounds I have not been maintaining the healthy habits the last couple months I did while losing the weight and then maintaining for 17 months. My Mom got seriously ill, then things happened one after the other. I am trying to get back on track now and there are days I do it, then there are days I fall back into bad habits. emoticon

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-SHOREIDO- 6/5/2014 6:06AM

    emoticon and keepon reading,writing and Sparking!!

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CHANGINGHORSES 6/5/2014 4:50AM

    Very nice and full of good points!

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MANDELOVICH 6/5/2014 4:01AM

    I loved reading this! You are a huge success and it's your positive attitude, reflective nature, and resilient spirit that assure me that you will continue to shine no matter what gets thrown at you! Bravo!!

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NEW-CAZ 6/5/2014 3:43AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 6/5/2014 3:15AM

    Thank you so much for this super-motivational blog!
Let's keep on fighting the fear-of-failure fight! All together, we're already winners!
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DAWNDMOORE40 6/5/2014 12:41AM

    emoticon on not giving up on yourself when life handed you a basket "full of lemons"! Instead of giving up, you made lemonade! Keep going strong and stay focused and you will get back to your goal weight if that is truly what makes you happy! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MJREIMERS 6/4/2014 10:31PM

    emoticon for not only giving us your great blog, but also highlighting others that have made a difference for you! That is exactly what Spark is all about and you are the epitome of what inspiration is! emoticon

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MICKEYH 6/4/2014 10:08PM

    emoticon so much for sharing this blog. I'm in same situation and this blog was very encouraging. I do not need to feel of gilt nor feeling of fraud. I just need to do best that I can and keep on keeping on. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 6/4/2014 10:02PM

    emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 6/4/2014 9:53PM

    You have definitely made lemonade from the lemons that were dumped on you! I applause your tenacity and fabulous attitude.

I agree with the sense of community here. Blogs like your really help me through a day.

Congratulations on your accomplishments and thanks for being here!

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PEZMOM1 6/4/2014 9:02PM

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THOMS1 6/4/2014 8:52PM

    emoticon Bess! I know about injury and how the stress of it all weighs on your mind when you are forbidden to not do anything but just heal. I too have spent hours just reading blogs and that has gotten me through some really tough times with my weight. I thank you for this blog. emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 6/4/2014 8:38PM

    Really good points you make.I'm glad At Goal & Maintaining Team is highlighting it now, because you deserve an award for this one for sure. You are absolutely right about the importance of linking to other people on SP, especially by reading blogs.

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SUSIEMT 6/4/2014 8:25PM

    Thank you Bess! I also gain lots of strength from reading those same peoples blogs and of course others as well. I know that feeling of"fraud" very well! I always have to tell myself you have come so far! You have kept over 155 lbs off for four years! Keep up the good work Susan! Duh! With that being said I have to say that the At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Challenges have really helped me tremendously! I have stayed close to my goal for the past 6 months! Just recently I have been able to lower my center weight down by 1 lb and haven't had any trouble staying close to it. It makes me feel like such a success! I guess it is truly the little things in life that matter to me! LOL
Have a great day and I also understand about the rotator cuff problems. I just spent the last 6 weeks not being able to do any upper body strength training. All I want is functional fitness for my upper body at this point!
Woo Hoo to you Bess!

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JANCARD 6/4/2014 8:01PM

    You are SO right. Sharing our struggles with each other provides so much insight and support. Loved your message and sending a big emoticon your way!

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MALAMI518 6/4/2014 7:51PM

    Fantastic blog! I am just beginning maintenance and having a few struggles with it. All of these blogs are helping me so much. Thank you for sharing!

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DEADCENTER 6/4/2014 7:33PM

    Wow....... I really needed that.... Excellent.... Thank you.

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GLORIAMAJDI 6/4/2014 7:09PM

    What you say is so true...the community here can't be beat. And we all support each other when LIFE HAPPENS! I know I couldn't do this without my SparkFriends and my teams!

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BOOKAPHILE 6/4/2014 7:09PM

    I needed to hear this today! I'm above my goal weight and struggling with stuff that has been thrown in my lap by life. My clothes still fit well, so I'm done with the self-flagellation and on to concentrating on maintaining the exercise and moderating the eating.

Thanks, my friend!

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ECCOVISION1 6/4/2014 6:33PM

    Thank you so much for this blog!!!

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HOLLYM48 6/4/2014 6:25PM

    Congrats on being the featured blog this week! I totally agree with everything you say and we will do this with the help of one another! Keep up the great work!

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AMARILYNH 6/1/2014 2:06PM

    Love this blog!! Its a perfect description of the reality of weight maintenance - its not 'one size fits all' and we have to roll with the punches as we live our way through it! Like you, I gain so much inspiration from the blogs of others. You mentioned Steph-Knee - she inspires me every day! As does TinaJane76 - what would we do without her leadership in the Maintenance team?

I feel SO VERY BLESSED to have found SparkPeople because with the help and support of my SparkFriends and Spark Teams I feel, for the very first time in my adult life, that THIS TIME I can really do it - I can KEEP the weight off. If my being here can help someone else on their journey, what more can I ask?? Blessings!! emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHY-SPARK 5/29/2014 4:09PM

    This was really fun to read -- thanks for posting!
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CLAIREINPARIS 5/28/2014 1:17AM

    Such a great blog! And I am really glad all these blogs/people have helped you to see things differently and to focus on what you have achieved (and are still achieving today despite very difficult circumstances) rather than on the very few lbs you may have gained. Great attitude!

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BRADMILL2922 5/27/2014 3:49AM

    The Spark Community is so great for so many reasons! At the front is the amazing people and stories that we find here! Thanks for sharing!

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TORTISE110 5/26/2014 2:57PM

    You contribute so much to the spirit I love on My Spark and are such a good Spark friend. THANK YOU. (There seems to be an echo....)

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AJR2013AJR 5/26/2014 10:44AM

    What a great blog! I am going to read the other blogs you suggested when I have time! I'm nowhere near my goal, but I still feel good about maintaining my loss all year, and your blog confirmed that I am doing just fine at my own pace! Thanks again!

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SHEILA1505 5/26/2014 4:01AM

    Loved this, Bess! It really hits the mark
Big hugs xxx

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MPETERSON2311 5/25/2014 11:21PM

    Hugs

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TANYA602 5/25/2014 10:43AM

    Maintenance is one of the toughest roads on this journey, especially with any curve balls thrown your way. I truly believe that we are constantly learning from one another and you are a Rock Star in your wisdom and so far from being a failure.
I love what you've said here!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/25/2014 9:54AM

    Great blog and, oh, so true!! I get so much inspiration from others on here. At times, it's what keeps me going! Yours is one of the blogs that inspire me and make me smile!! Thank you for sharing!

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MSLZZY 5/25/2014 7:24AM

    And you keep me grounded, knowing that success and failure go hand in hand on this journey! HUGS!

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STRONGERLEANER 5/24/2014 11:17PM

    ...and we read your blog for inspiration as well!
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MLC721 5/24/2014 7:49PM

    Thank you for giving me a different perspective on maintaining. Great blog! Thank you.

Marsha/TN

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 5/24/2014 7:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ANGELBELIEVER 5/24/2014 2:38PM

    What a great blog. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/24/2014 11:31AM

    What a fabulous blog!

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