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SINGERA9 SparkPoints: (4,308)
Fitness Minutes: (8,109)
Posts: 105
6/18/13 5:31 P

Other posters have been so positive and reinforcing! Great feedback and ideas from everyone. :)

My other suggestion, and I didn't see it below (sorry if I missed it), is to work on loving yourself just as you are right now. I'm pretty sure you would never, ever call anyone else an elephant or criticize them the way you have criticized yourself. I have found, through bitter experience, that self-esteem is not to be found at a certain size or a certain number on the scale. It's from deep down inside.

I can completely understand about being upset by the picture on Facebook, but maybe you can find a way to turn it into a positive! That could be your "before" picture on a vision board. It could be your motivation for sticking to a consistent eating plan.

I think we all have to find what works for us, but I say positive things to myself first thing every morning about how I'm going to choose to eat healthfully during the day, about how I like myself just like I am, and about how much I'm enjoying this journey.

Best of luck to you! I know you can do this!

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
Fitness Minutes: (31,253)
Posts: 867
6/18/13 2:44 P

I just want to reiterate what Erica said. BE IN PICTURES! Even now, when you don't look the way you wish you looked. Your children don't care. Your friends and loved ones don't care. They want to see *you*! I don't have very many pictures of me with my mother when I was little, because she was always behind the camera (in her case, not because she was overweight--that's just how she was). She died a few years ago, and I can't tell you how much I wish I had more photos of her. Even if she had weighed 14,000 lbs., had three heads, and was covered in warts and scars head to toe, I would want those pictures. She was my mother.

Because of that, even though I hate being in photos myself (like mother, like daughter, I guess), I make an effort to get at least some with my kids whenever I can.

JCWIAKALA Posts: 347
6/17/13 10:02 P

I firmly believe that we need to reach a rock bottom before we're moved to change. Maybe that picture on Facebook was that moment for you. I've read stories of other people who had their "moment" from a bad picture. The truth is we have to be so uncomfortable with where we are that we're willing to endure change (which also makes us uncomfortable).

I would suggest that when you start to exercise, be sure to incorporate strength training. It makes a huge difference in making you smaller (so you won't feel you look so big). I think the increased strength will also help your self esteem.

I'm down 60 pounds or so and while there are some areas of my body I'm happy with, I still have such a long way to do to being satisfied.

ERICADURR Posts: 243
6/17/13 8:37 P

I'm going to add something that few people want to address: there is NO REASON for you to remove yourself from pictures and from living your life in pictures. Years from now, your kids will look back and realize they have no photos of you. You may look back and realize that you didn't think you were good enough to document yourself (regardless of your weight) in your family's life, and that's BOGUS. :) Just because you're not the weight you want to be doesn't mean you shouldn't be in pictures or that you should be ashamed of them or that you're not good enough to be included in them--take those pictures, work on your nutrition, and live your life. :)

WADINGMOOSE Posts: 1,048
6/17/13 4:17 P

I used to hate and resent salads. I still don't LOVE them, but I've embraced them as a healthy part of my diet. But I don't eat them every day. I'd rather be fat. Of course, that's part of how I got here - a complete lack of understanding about moderation and healthy eating :)

And when I eat a salad? It includes things I LIKE. And things that will help make me feel full - protein - check. Salad dressing with some fat - absolutely. A mix of fruits and veggies that taste good - yep.

It isn't lettuce on a plate with a side of guilt :) I'm really fond of balanced eating. And cutting out the junk and processed foods I used to eat too much of.

As for exercise, I'm working at it. I run because I always wanted to do a half marathon. And in training for that, I discovered I LOVE running. Love it. I used to hate it. I'm struggling to add some other exercise like strength and yoga, but I'm getting there. I find that classes make me feel inferior and crappy about my current fitness levels so I avoid them.

I don't need to feel any worse about myself.

Which is also why I do my absolute best to avoid the camera. Those pictures can be devastating.

ITALIABELLA1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,777)
Posts: 37
6/17/13 4:01 P

A couple things jumped out at me. The first was you in the class a few years back. I started a class at the beginning of the year similar to that and let me tell ya....I failed, epically. Several weeks in a row. But I kept going and now I see that I'm getting stronger. I still can't keep up when we run and I still have to take more breaks than some others. But I'm way better than where I was, and that's my real competition.

Also, you CAN do it. I know it probably feels like a huge number and seems overwhelming. It has been for all of us. I still have weight to go and feel overwhelmed at times, but I know if I do what I need to, I will succeed. And you will too, you just have to start. And I 100% agree with everyone else. I can drop 2000 calories in a week working out, but it doesn't help if I eat it all back. I remind myself of a saying I once read, "you lose weight in the kitchen, you get fit in the gym." Days that I find myself cheating and eating something I shouldn't, I remind myself of that!

NANLEYKW SparkPoints: (76,244)
Fitness Minutes: (31,253)
Posts: 867
6/17/13 1:35 P

MsDixie, a year ago, I was 42, 5'5", and 199 lbs. I decided it was time to do something about it. I started running (hadn't really exercised much, if at all, before then) and--more importantly--started tracking what I ate. Everything I put in my mouth. I most definitely did not eat only salads; I eat a fairly wide variety of food--just not as much of it as I used to. :) I have consistently stayed within the calorie/nutrient ranges I got here (not without a few bumps in the road, of course--we're human, after all), and I am now 128 lbs. (about 3 lbs., give or take, from my goal weight--I have a very small frame).

It's not always easy, but I agree with others that while the exercise is great and important for general health, for weight loss, it's your diet that counts. You can absolutely get to your goal! And I agree, too, that the most important thing is that you've taken that first step and decided to make a change.

I also want to reiterate that your daughter certainly does not see you the way you see yourself and definitely did not intend anything negative at all by posting the picture of you. She posted it because she loves you and sees you as "Mom," not as "feels like an elephant lady."

You've got this, I promise!

TACDGB Posts: 6,136
6/17/13 1:24 P

Good 4 u in being here. We all had to start some where. I leaned a few personal things in my healthy life style journey. It's my body and I get to choose how it looks. I also believe that God gave me this body so why not take care of it. I do believe that you can do anything that you set your mind to. Since you don't like your body you get to be the one to change it. Go get the body you want........

PERFECTVELVET SparkPoints: (64,713)
Fitness Minutes: (41,031)
Posts: 6,377
6/17/13 1:05 P

You're already doing one thing more than most people: you've come on here to make a change. That, in and of itself, is a HUGE step toward progress. And you don't hate exercise! Whoo hoo!

You know this won't be an easy road. Self-esteem is one of the hardest things to overcome. Me, I'm the opposite. I look at myself in the mirror and think, "Wow, I look really good!" Then I see a shadow of myself, or a side photo, and I'm really surprised by what I see. Either way, I'm here too! We can do this! We're coming from two different schools of thought, but we're here for the same goal: to lose weight.

I know your daughter didn't mean to make you feel bad, but that was a wake-up call for you. Sometimes that's what we need. For me, it was my son. He is a toddler, and I can't keep up with him. I didn't want to be that mom, so here I am again. I used Spark a few years ago and lost 70 pounds! Then I got pregnant, developed a thyroid issue, and, um, gained all that bad. :(

Another thing about BMI. It's crap. I have honestly had a doctor tell me not to drop below 175 pounds (I'm 5'6). My body frame would not be able to handle anything less. At 5'6, 175 pounds is overweight and not that far from obese. I thought I looked amazing at 185, lol, and I can't wait to see 175! That's my goal.

Set rational goals. Start tracking every BLT (bite, lick, taste). Honestly, Mega is right. Losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise. You don't have to live off of salads. Load up on freggies, sure, but you can still enjoy occasional indulgences of your favorite foods. You might even be able to find a recipe making them even more healthy!

So enter everything in to Spark: weight, height, goal weight, goal date. I originally set mine so I would lose 2 pounds a week, but I wasn't ready for only 1500 calories a day! So I switched it. So what if it takes me longer to lose the weight? I'm going to get there! Fix your fitness calculator too so that it's more accurate to what you plan to burn/exercise each week (more exercise = more food!). Then DO IT! You mess up one day by having a really bad lunch? Eat your regular healthy dinner - don't starve yourself. "Fall down seven times, get up eight." THAT is how you will succeed.

emoticon because you are WORTH IT!

MSDIXIE72 Posts: 9
6/17/13 11:37 A

thank you so much for the encouragement!! your ticker itself is proof it can be done. kudos to you and again your words have been a help to me!

MEGAPEEJ Posts: 732
6/17/13 11:26 A

First of all, *hugs* for you. I'm sure your daughter did not intend to be hurtful posting that picture, and probably doesn't see you at all like you see yourself. I know I've never looked at pictures of family members and thought "ugh, how disgusting" - but of course I've thought that about myself! For me, seeing pictures of myself was a big part of my motivation to want to change, so while I hated it when I first saw them, I look back now and am proud of how I've changed.

As far as the "help" part, you mention that you've been exercising for years, but you don't mention what you've been eating. Weight loss is 80% diet - just think how long it takes to burn 300 calories on the treadmill, and how easy it is to eat a 300 calorie muffin in just a few minutes. That doesn't mean you have to eat nothing but salads though (I would be miserable on nothing but salads). If you haven't already, set your goal weight here in Spark, and start tracking your food. I was shocked when I first started tracking, because I was often eating about 500 more calories daily than I thought I was, and about 750-1000 more than I should have been eating. No wonder I couldn't lose weight! I still eat almost everything I ate before, but I just eat a bit less (and am more careful about those calorie dense foods that sneak 100s of calories in at a time).

You're motivated. You want to see change. You CAN do this.

MSDIXIE72 Posts: 9
6/17/13 11:12 A

my family and i had a gym membership many years ago - 6 i think. i was doing aerobic exercise on the treadmill, which i enjoy (incline), and i was doing several classes. of course there was the mirror across one wall, and i remember deciding i was going to do this one class which was really hard, but i saw everyone coming out and chugging their water, exhausted in a good way - and people of all sizes and fitness conditions. i thought, i can do this. i'm already doing (the incline/hiking, yoga, some weights, etc.) i looked in that mirror during the class, and honestly thought i looked like an elephant, and i could hardly keep up. i made myself do it - and as i've found since then, get nauseous and feel like i'm going to throw up when i'm done. i remember thinking, i'm making an effort and still look like this, and feel like this - i was probably a size 12/14 at the time. i'm 5'7". when i participated in a fitness assesment at work, i was told i was "morbidly obese." i know this is just a term, and it shouldn't have gotten me down, but it did. i was thinking, i'm not doing THAT bad! i'm making efforts! and i was not a horrible eater. really. i was mid-30s and now i'm 40, and teetering just below 200.. haven't touched it, and am terrified i'm going to. i should be about 145 to be in good shape. i'd love to be less, but it isn't realistic for me - i was 136 in high school and was a good size then. anyway... i love zumba, have spent a lot of $ on a new treadmill to have at home, and new fitness games for the wii and xbox.. but i keep going back in my mind to being much smaller than i am now (i'm now a 16/18) and feeling that i couldn't lose then, and was completely out of shape, and it's only gotten worse.

yesterday we grilled for father's day, and my youngest, 20, posted a horrible picture of me (sitting, of course) on our deck. i was mortified - it was on facebook and of course i've gotten good at only posting good, waist-up shots of myself to hide what i've become. this was inescapable - i cried all evening, even though i know she did not intend to hurt my feelings.. she just wanted to include me in the family photos of a memorable day... and she probably doesn't even see me the way -i- do.

when i ws 20 pounds thinner, i felt like an elephant. WHAT NOW???? a salad isn't in my cards, and even if that's all i ate, we all know the road that goes down... it isn't the simple answer. then of course, people love to throw your age at you. can we not blame it on my age? that isn't it either...


Edited by: MSDIXIE72 at: 6/17/2013 (12:47)
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