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A Spark Pep Talk

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Sparkfriend is struggling, and wrote me a Sparkmail asking for advice. Here is what I told her -- I hope it helps!!:

First of all, I was REALLY overweight last year. I have lost over a hundred pounds in a year. How did I do it, how am I continuing, and how have I made it work....

First, buy the Beck Book.

The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person
By Judith Beck

This book, chapter by chapter, gives you the tools to stop using food as a comfort, stop using food to satisfy urges and desires, to believe in yourself. It really does help. I believe in Beck's book.

I didn't read this book until I had lost about 60 pounds. I started losing weight by logging in every day, tracking every single thing I ate (and I STILL track every single thing I eat), and finding some exercise that was doable. I had a fractured knee last year, and started from a wheelchair, and just started by getting up. Then I went to chair yoga, riding a bike, and later, when I got more confidence, I started to swim. Swimming was something that I NEVER would have believed I could do last year, getting on a suit, not giving a damn and getting in the pool. I do it all the time now.

I would also say that you have to KNOW you are worth this. Know that there is no food that tastes better than having a great sense of self feels. That there is no food that could possibly beat waking up every day with a smile. It took me a while, my whole life, actually, but now, I feel pretty damned good.

So, Beck, tracking, exercise. And forgive yourself. NOTHING you did yesterday, today or a year ago matters anymore. Forgive everything. Erase that from your mind and start tomorrow, knowing you are worth every single second of this effort.

I don't know if this is what you want to hear, but this is what I have. This is how I feel after losing 125 pounds, and how I feel right now, sitting here typing to you.

I do a bunch of things differently. I do not have anything in my house that could possibly intrigue me. If I say no in the store, I don't have to say no at home. I don't EVER eat fast food. I eat as clean as possible. I make a lot of substitutions. For example, my Daughter lives with me...she's 24. She brought fish tacos home yesterday, and I wanted one (I added up an estimate of the calories of the fried fish, the double tortillas, the cheese, the sauce in my head and realized I couldn't do it). I didn't have one, but bought some corn tortillas, some cabbage and some low fat cheese, baked some fish (no butter), and made fish tacos that were about 120 calories each. I do that all the time.

I make my food. I make bran muffins filled with good stuff, and have one and an orange every breakfast. I have been making yogurt parfaits for lunch...organic vanilla yogurt, raspberries, nectarines, blackberries and a small amount of granola without sugar. I LOVE those parfaits. I also have homemade burritos in the freezer, and have those available anytime. I want to know what I am eating these days.

Make good things to eat, that you can plan on eating. That is and was important to me too.

Last thing, you cannot think of this as a diet. You have to think of it as a change of lifestyle, for, if you don't fix the part of you that wants to eat, you will never keep the weight off. Trust me, I didn't think I could do this, but now I know I not only did, but will continue on this path forever.

Let me know if you need any more help. YOU CAN DO THIS!!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Always inspiring to read your blog - and to be reminded of where you were a year ago. Been sitting here recovering from surgery feeling like a helpless blob. You remind me that that isn't the case at **all**.

    Huge thanks!!!

    1785 days ago
  • SUZYB53
    Wonderful !!! emoticon
    1786 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    1786 days ago
    Well done: what we *do* have to share is our experience, strength, and hope. You captured that in what you offered to your friend. The rest (take what you need, leave the rest) is on the receiver of the message! emoticon
    1786 days ago
    Super duper advice!

    This journey we're all on is not magic, or easy. It takes hard work and dedication. Every single day. Wash, rinse, repeat. It is a lifestyle change and one that we better be happy and make peace with. Being kind to ourselves in mind, body, and spirit goes a long way towards keeping us on the path we need to be on.


    1786 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    1786 days ago
    I loved your blog, Jane!
    It is a great helpful summary of how you got to where you are today, a very good place to be!
    1786 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    I think the most important words you wrote to her were "this is not a diet, it is a lifestyle." These were the most important words that I kept close to my heart and soul every single day and it has become my way of life, and my hubby saw it was really doable and easy and I was not sacrificing good eating. I was just eating good food. My daughters are slowly coming around to this way of thinking but they really need to learn how to cook in order to really benefit from it. But fresh produce is always in abundance and salads are always a part of our meals when they are home.
    You are a true inspiration and I applaud you for doing the job and now sharing all of your knowledge with others and giving them hope that this is a lifestyle that is sustainable!
    Spark on!
    1786 days ago
  • no profile photo JEANNETTE59
    What can I add? Basically nothing, but I can reinforce. Start by making a commitment to yourself, not to anyone else, to follow the plan described above. Now get up and clean out you fridge, freezer, pantry and any and all hidden stashes. Yes that includes the car, pockets, briefcases, and handbags etc.
    While you're getting rid of all junk food red some labels. You will be amazed at what you have been putting in your body. Getting rid of the temptation is path to success.

    You can do this, but you are the only person who can do it for you!

    emoticon as always, Jane!
    1786 days ago
    Great advice! You never sugar-coat what it takes to be successful, but at the same time you make it clear that it is possible for everyone to succeed with the right mindset.

    1787 days ago
    I finally bought The Beck Diet Book and am on Day 4 today. I really like how she goes through one day at a time giving you small suggestions that, when considered in whole, make some big changes. I can do one thing at a time and make it a habit! Thanks for the suggestion.
    1787 days ago
    Great advice!! Judith Beck's book helped me too.
    1787 days ago
  • JANET552
    I love the kindness for yourself that shines through in your blog!!
    1787 days ago
    Great advice for all!
    1787 days ago
    Excellent, excellent advice (as always!) and even better, it is spoken from one who has BTDT and DOING IT!

    Amen to nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels. NOTHING.
    1787 days ago
    I can hear your voice as I read these words. So powerful and so true. We can't just think that the old way is ok, ever. We gained weight because we ate the wrong things, didn't keep track, and didn't exercise. And the guilt over our eating habits and our weight gain caused us to do more of the same. It's crazy!

    The Beck book is amazing. I haven't read it all, but I've read excerpts, and realized that I had been doing those things since the beginning. After my accident, my opinion about myself changed, and I was grateful for the transformation, both physically and mentally. I'm not as strong as you, but I'm on my way.

    You give so much to those around you, and I love you for it.

    1787 days ago
    Great advice! emoticon
    1787 days ago
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