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MIGCIN Posts: 59
10/21/10 6:15 A

emoticon Wow that is a great strategy - I struggle with temptations and having a husband who would live on pizza makes it harder but one day at a time.
Thanks for your story it is inspiring.

10/21/10 6:04 A

Congratulations for doing so well during the Fall Gauntlet. I find that my small gauntlet starts around when the weather dips down - I guess I am mentally hibernating and think I have to get some extra food in me. I also want to go to sleep earlier because it is so dark. Thank you for sharing your story and for how portion control works for you.

ASTRALL Posts: 1,176
10/21/10 6:03 A

Well done to you. What a great strategy. So close to your goal and not far to go. Really appreciate your perspective. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work! emoticon

TEHNEWYORK SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,175)
Posts: 11
10/21/10 6:03 A

This is wonderful and such sound advice. I need to learn from it, thank you!

10/21/10 5:56 A

This is so motivating!!!! Thanks for sharing. Cheers

YELLOWBRICKRD SparkPoints: (113,284)
Fitness Minutes: (119,529)
Posts: 880
10/21/10 5:53 A

emoticon emoticon You have such a great attitude! Thanks for sharing (and have a happy Thanksgiving!)

KOTTESEN SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,586)
Posts: 597
10/21/10 5:50 A

Thank you so much for your inspiring message. I, too, suffer from such "relapses" and plan to use your message to help me through these times.

Keep up your good work!

10/21/10 5:40 A

I, too, have the fall gauntlet--too many birthdays in Oct, Nov, & Dec, plus Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas! I did not do as well during the first 2 birthdays, but now am back on track and back to my lowest weight! Still have 18 pounds to go--even my husband is doing some strength and toning in the mornings with me. Am so pround of you--I know how hard it is to stay on track, but you know, I do like my walking and toning. Starts my day off with more energy and definitely more positively!

MISSM66 Posts: 95,444
10/21/10 5:39 A

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SEAWAVE Posts: 1,421
10/21/10 5:28 A

I have very much the same gauntlet as you - my DH and my birthdays the same week in September, then birthdays every two weeks after that until after New Year's, Canadian Thanksgiving (which also included my in-laws' 25th Anniversary this year, etc. etc. My approach was different from yours; I tried to make healthy choices, as I don't trust myself to 'just eat a bit' - maybe next year I'll have that self-control. But I have succeeded in continuing my weight loss and return to health. This serves to underscore for me that although we each have our own way of getting there, our paths crisscross very much, and we learn so much from eachother. Thanks for putting it all into words!

BALANCE46 Posts: 104
10/21/10 5:27 A

Good for you!!

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I'm guessing about 90% of us have been through this. Your inspirational story is timely for me as I just slipped for the occasion of my daughter's birthday. Time to re-focus! Thanks for the inspiration!

HEART4HOME Posts: 1,122
10/21/10 5:21 A

emoticon I loved reading that today. You have made huge progress. Congrats on your hard work. I know that this has really inspired me. I wish you continued success. emoticon

JRHEAUME1234 Posts: 1
10/21/10 5:06 A

I am sure you will reach your goal.,, This weight loss thing is definitely a mind game and it is all about portion control. The choices we make are ours and no one else. Great job and keep going!!!

CAROLLYNN49 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (375)
Posts: 147
10/21/10 4:53 A

Your blog has struck a cord with many of us. It seems we all have the tendency to use occasions as an excuse to over indulge. Bravo!!! to you for finding a way to conquer this "mental condition". You should not have any trouble meeting your goal and more importantly maintain the weight as you are definitely using the tools to do so.

KRAFTIJAN Posts: 813
10/21/10 4:34 A

Well done... so encouraging. emoticon emoticon
And SPARK is the way to get that extra help.

CAROL3SAN Posts: 20,126
10/21/10 4:31 A

Great job! I wish you much continued success. emoticon

SRIVERS1 Posts: 24,198
10/21/10 4:09 A

Keep up the great work. You can do it!

10/21/10 3:50 A

HI you have just described my own downfall re being consistent when trying not to overindulge but join in the food celebrations at special times! Well done and congratulations, especially as you are 3lbs away from your weight loss goal, of course nobody will notice those 3lbs,, only you know that you have reached a private milestone of success in your weight loss journey,, that is what makes it so precious,, nobody who hasnt had a weight loss goal understands the importance of that number!! Good luck,, I am really stuggling a the moment so your success is inspiring to me,, thanks you for sharing your story and experience!

DAYDAY26 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,502)
Posts: 20
10/21/10 3:25 A

Keep up the great work! Be proud of yourself!

RLMCCUE SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (10,401)
Posts: 4,981
10/21/10 3:25 A

Hello! I think that you wrote a very thoughtful post full of tips and inspiration, and I'm not surprised that it was featured in the Weekly Community Highlight e-mail. By sharing, not only can we learn and take inspiration from you, but we can all share in your victory and root you on as you reach your goal weight.

Thanks so much for sharing!

10/21/10 3:20 A

Way to go!!!! I know I will be as lucky as you as long as I keep spark people on speed dial. Ha ha.

10/21/10 3:09 A

Way to go!!! emoticon

It's amazing how a season can set you back a lifetime...looks like you have learned how to get through it!!! Congratulations and good luck on reaching your goal :)

TLBQUILTS SparkPoints: (48,903)
Fitness Minutes: (83,147)
Posts: 40
10/21/10 2:56 A

Great job! I am also trying to practice portion control. I have found that by not denying myself things like a small portion of the food that I am craving and trying to keep the bad foods to one meal a week is really helping in my weight loss journey because I don't feel deprived.

JSTAREP Posts: 1
10/21/10 2:42 A

well done!

10/21/10 2:34 A

Boy I can identify. Niece and nephew birthdays in November, Thanksgiving, my birthday in December along with 3 friends in a consecutive birthday club, the boy I babysit's birthday, Christmas, which also happens to be another nephew's birthday!

PRYCELESS1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (6,490)
Posts: 93
10/21/10 2:10 A

emoticon emoticon emoticon
Mega well done to you.Im sure you can make it through the rest of the season without a problem.You are inspiration to us all!!

1CRAZYDOG Posts: 397,307
10/21/10 2:05 A

You definitely have the spark! Good job and thanks for sharing;.

BRENDAKAY10220 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (1,391)
Posts: 71
10/21/10 2:00 A

How beautiful and well written! I've blogged about the 'fifth season', which is much like your gauntlet. Don't stop now. Keep your eyes forward and you'll reach your goal! We're all proud of you!

2BEATIT1 Posts: 3,162
10/21/10 1:59 A

Congratulations. Well done.
I have the same problem as a fellow Canadian.

MACHELY2 Posts: 76
10/21/10 1:56 A

I have been there, and I know how hard it is to say no during these time, I also have a son who's birthday is in early October, then Halloween, then US Thanks Giving weekend usually falls on my husband's birthday, then Christmas comes right after by January I'm back to the beginning. Like the yo-yo, being a women and with our hormones I usually gain more than when all this started. Then January comes and my year resolution is always to loose weight, well this year I made up my mind and started walking 3 miles, and working out for almost an hour which helped me loose weight, I also cut on my portions I went from 135 to 125lbs. I felt so good so I can understand what you went through, you should be proud of what you have accomplished.

CUPCAKE192 Posts: 2
10/21/10 1:51 A

Your article is very inspirational to me. I do the same thing over the holidays, especially being a married child of divorce- we celebrate 3 times for Thanksgiving and 3 times for Christmas. This year will be different for me too. I will enjoy the holidays instead of dreading them because of the weight gain I've experienced in the past, and when I sit down to be with my family, I will be comfortable and not in pain from overeating!

Edited by: CUPCAKE192 at: 10/21/2010 (01:53)
MINI_COOP-7 Posts: 3
10/21/10 1:49 A

Your post is fantastic! I'm not handing out treats this year at Halloween. That's usually where I sink my own ship. I love the little trick-or-treaters but I don't want to derail a program I've just started. (I'll catch them next year ... lol)

ATEBAWI SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (20)
Posts: 1
10/21/10 1:44 A

Very inspiring article! We all go through those moments where we reason with ourselves and think, ok after this is over with i'll be good. But that never ends up happening. Its the small choices we make. Like you said you still got to taste that one slice of pizza or cake. Half the time we're eating more than we need to just because we think "its pig out" time, might as well go ALL THE WAY.

GYMRAT41 Posts: 41
10/21/10 1:43 A

What an incentive. I need to get back on the bandwagon and watch my portions before the holidays start. Keep up to good work. emoticon

LUDMILA10 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (720)
Posts: 148
10/21/10 1:40 A

well done! you're an inspiration! emoticon emoticon

WEIGHTHUNTER1 SparkPoints: (4,891)
Fitness Minutes: (5,162)
Posts: 41
10/21/10 1:38 A

This is exactly how I lose my spark too. I have been on this site once before but I have had much more success this time. Thanks for the story and tips that have worked for you.

LOISINOLA Posts: 388
10/21/10 1:37 A

You could be talking about me. My grandson's birthday is Oct.6th, my mom's birthday is Oct.13th, today is my nephew's wife's birthday was yesterday, my nephew's is Oct.25th, my daughter's grandfather's birthday is Friday, their uncle's birthday is Oct.26th. and a very good friend of mine birthday is Oct.29th. In November, my son-in-law's birthday is the 2nd. Then comes Thanksgiving, which I cook. Luckily my oldest daughter takes half the leftovers home with her. Which than brangs us to December, Christmas, were once again, I get to cook. Finally it's New Years, and once again I promise to make this year the year that I lose weight. So far I haven't been too bad, I just hope I can keep it up.

RHONDAANDBUCK SparkPoints: (0)
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Posts: 3
10/21/10 1:35 A

I would like to thank SparkPeople and all of you for the inspiring stories tonight. I had my first seminar for gastric bypass surgery. I should be having it in late Dec or early Jan. I have never been so excited about losing weight EVER! I've spent at least 20 hours on here going through recipes and different sites. I must admit, I joined SP once, but never did anything with it. I guess I wasn't serious enough to reply. NOW, I have the motivation and the desire to be healthy. I quit smoking almost 7 months ago and I knew that was going to be hard, but when I found out that you have to quit for surgery, I thought...girlie, you got this! So, I'm excited about SP and I'm totally excited about being healthy!

NADAWHINCOP SparkPoints: (1,859)
Fitness Minutes: (245)
Posts: 4
10/21/10 1:16 A

Well done Durga!
And thank you so much for your inspiration.

ROSINA135 Posts: 13
10/21/10 1:15 A

Thanks for an inspiring and informative message. I am in a similar situation. I have lot of reasons to eat too much... but I really want to continue my Spark! I love hearing how you are handling your Fall Fest of events. Thanks for helping me to face up to the challenges of Fall celebrations and foods.

ERRLYSPARK SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 3
10/21/10 1:08 A

Way to go! I too am thinking about what I will not only eat, but fix that will be healthy for my entire family. Thanksgiving is also a family reunion. I will make sure to participate in the family walk after the meal too. Keep up the good work!

In His Service,


JAGZ36 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (609)
Posts: 2
10/21/10 1:01 A

Great job! I am already bracing myself for the holidays and am going to use your strategy. I am not going to deny myself everything but eat a sample here and there. I think keeping track of my calories during the day has been keeping me mindful of not eating junk. I actually have been resisting the candy bowl at work so I have enough calories left for a nice dinner.

10/21/10 1:00 A


I am here for the second time on SP (along with my husband/team mate). Take a look at my SparkPage. We didn't make it through our first SP holiday season. We gave up after that and went another year until I found out I was in a diabetic stage (and that was after I lost 25 plus pounds). The holidays are my downfall! I have a family recipe for stuffing that's been passed down through the ages, and no one in my family wants to give up the pecan pie or other things I make (all which add to the bouquet of a very high calorie/high fat meal -- and days after as you mention).

I am already planning for this holiday season, a month in advance of Thanksgiving. I am going to put everything into a food grouping so we can see just how much of this stuff we can eat. I am also cutting down the recipes to half so we don't have so many leftovers.

And this time, I AM DETERMINED that I am not going to just "let go" and keep the merry-go-round in action.

I truly relate to your subject and just hope that this holiday season I can be as strong as you.

Thanks for posting your message. It tells me that I am not alone, and it tells me that I can do what you are doing too!

Stay cool, you are doing great! emoticon emoticon emoticon

ps -- Congrats on getting a thumbs up from the SPARKGUY, HIMSELF!!!

Edited by: PATTIJOHNSON at: 10/21/2010 (01:02)
LOVINGLINDA Posts: 3,396
10/21/10 12:55 A

awsome!! way to go..

ONELESSPOUND SparkPoints: (21,818)
Fitness Minutes: (39,797)
Posts: 24
10/21/10 12:46 A

Thanks for the inspiration! I have similar trouble during the holidays, so I'll keep your success in mind.

SWTKARSUE Posts: 303
10/21/10 12:22 A

You are doing great and encouraging me to find my Spark again. I had lost 40 lbs, and then have put 20 back on. It is discouraging. Thanks for the good report! Maybe I can get the Spark back too, before the Fall temptations!

SPARKGUY SparkPoints: (69,980)
Fitness Minutes: (58,527)
Posts: 14,444
10/6/10 11:21 A

Woohoo -- thanks for sharing your story. Love hearing that you have The Spark :).


BJW-FARMGIRL Posts: 2,783
10/6/10 9:11 A

Oh, Little Sparkie, you're growing up! emoticon

DWELLS1994 Posts: 1,664
10/5/10 11:17 P

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

DURGA2112 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (12,573)
Posts: 51
10/5/10 9:24 P

At the beginning of every fall, I run through a series of temptations that I have taken to calling the Fall Gauntlet. Here is how the Gauntlet breaks down:

-My son's birthday is on September 24.
-My daughter's birthday is on October 2.
-Thanksgiving (I'm Canadian) falls within one to two weeks after that.

Foodwise, birthdays in our family typically entail a large supper chosen by the birthday boy or girl (pizza is a popular choice), a cake, ice cream, and a variety of salty and sweet snacks. There are usually enough leftovers of each type of food to last for days. Thanksgiving is much the same, but with turkey being the main course and a variety of homemade pies serving as dessert; again, the food lasts for days. This Gauntlet has been the downfall of many of my past attempts at weight loss - with so much food floating so readily available, how could it not have been? I would slip up a few too many times, always thinking that I could get back on track once THIS batch of unhealthy food was gone - the problem was, after THIS batch was gone, it was quickly replaced by something else; before I knew what was happening, it was Halloween, then my own birthday in early December, then Christmas... and on and on it would go.

This time, things have been different. During the birthday parties, I still indulged in everything, but I did so much more intelligently than I used to. One piece of pizza still tasted great, and it also left a lot more room for a tasty salad. A small piece of cake still tasted just as good as a large piece. A handful of chips still provided the same satisfying crunch as a bowlful (especially if eaten and savoured one at a time). And that doesn't even take into account the fact that I actually exercise now, looking for any opportunity I can find to add a little walking, biking, or running to my daily routine.

This time, instead of seeing my attempt at weight loss spiral out of control, I have actually maintained my weight through two thirds of the Fall Gauntlet - a weight that is now only 3 pounds above my goal, which is set for my birthday in December. Looking at the previous paragraph, I notice that I have been practicing portion control, taking my time and enjoying my food, and actively looking for opportunities to exercise; individually, these things are all quite small, but they are just a few of the many healthy habits that I have picked up from this site - habits that have become second nature to me, and that I know will continue to help me in the weeks, months, and even years to come.

This time, things are different indeed; this time, I have The Spark.

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