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BARBARA_BOO's Photo BARBARA_BOO Posts: 9,794
10/5/10 9:28 P

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I was brought up with tough love, too, MIIKIO. Both good and bad effects. I do need to push myself because of my tendency to procrastinate. Learning to do it without self-hatred and negativity is the trick.

The skills you've used with finances seem like they could be transferable to other areas to me, too, MAYA. Spending and eating are both emotional outlets. So, it's worth a shot.

EDIT:
I almost forgot to say I'm glad you mentioned people who push our buttons, ADRIANROSE. There's something I do to myself when my buttons are pushed.

Too often I have let people push my buttons and trigger my desire to overeat.

I have a tendency to want to fix things when my grown children "vent" about their problems. Whenever there's conflict, I feel pressured to fix it. And because I can't control what other people do, think or say, my thought pattern that "I should take care of other people's business" gets in my way. I don't need to keep putting myself under that kind of pressure. I can only control ME, and some days that's "iffy".

Edited by: BARBARA_BOO at: 10/5/2010 (21:59)
Boo, Barb, BSue, Queen Legarathien of Nargothrond

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BIGGIRL2082010's Photo BIGGIRL2082010 Posts: 10,511
10/2/10 4:09 P

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I think my issue is that I can never seem to draw the line between tough love and beat-up-self. :) Or between loving acceptance and a "whatever" attitude.

Anyhow, given that I have yet again managed to mostly turn my finances around completely, simply by paying attention, nothing too ridiculously stringent, nothing that felt overly painful or stern, I am now trying to apply the same sort of tactics to my health. Instead of outlawing any particular food (or food GROUP!), I am simply asking myself at every opportunity to eat: "Am I really hungry?", "Is there a different choice of meals that would give me more energy, vitamins, minerals?"

And, interestingly, it's actually working. So far. I'm only one week into this experiment, so let's see if non-judgemental behaviour modification has a chance of working for me on the physical front quite as beautifully as it does on the fiscal front! :)

Wish me consistency, y'all!

-Maya

Maya

Smile, the world's a funny place!

Quotable quote:
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ARIANROSE's Photo ARIANROSE Posts: 99
9/28/10 1:04 P

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I think the concept of a "sweet spot", when it comes to self-talk (whether we're hard on ourselves or too easy), relates to avoiding emotional extremes.

Think about at work. There's someone you know who consistently does something that drives you crazy, and you need to talk to them. Do you say:

A - "You should be so ashamed of your behavior! I can't believe that you did that again! You'll never learn!" (What some might consider "tough love")

B - "That drives me nuts, but I know that you had a bad childhood/rough day/awful commute, so I'm going to let you do that for the 27th time today. Poor baby. Have a cookie." ("Too easy")

C - "I'm distracted by your behavior, and I think it's self defeating. Here are the specific actions you're taking that bother me, and here are some ways to solve it." (Rational middle)

We wouldn't talk to others the way we talk to ourselves. Finding that sweet spot involves avoiding two extremes (shame/guilt on one end, entitlement on the other) to find the rational response.

I think "tough love" can work, if you don't use that as an excuse to emotionally beat yourself up. If you make stringent goals, and strive to meet them, you may improve by striving (if that's how you thrive). Additionally, if you know you're prone to guilt, perhaps you need to lay off a little and realize that STRIVING for a goal is good, but you can't get to the stars by jumping.




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_VALEO_'s Photo _VALEO_ SparkPoints: (94,400)
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9/24/10 1:53 A

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I have been used to tough love since I was born, I would say. And I have been raised with this idea of reaching what we can translate by the bombastic "French excellence" ("l'excellence la franaise"), meaning you cannot be good, you have to be the best in whatever you're doing.

The idea of "enjoying ourselves" while doing something "important" is not part of our vocabulary. To give you an idea, when a French parent sends their kids to school or even to kindergarden, they tell them "Work hard!" while an American/Canadian parent would say "Enjoy!/Have fun!"

After all, our word for work ("travail") comes from the latine "tripalium" which is a torture tool. Basically, we are there to be put through the mill whatever we are doing.

Having said that, how does it translate on my healthy journey?

My sweet spot is my SP friends, they are, you are, my safety-valve.
Their support and kind words are a great balance to my perfectionism.
I sometimes allow myself to be proud of my accomplishments, but I feel like I'm bragging or fishing for compliments. I am working on this one: being able to say I've done something right, and to hear the compliments.

Having said that, I don't bash myself, and don't use negative words, and I don't belittle me. I am also genetically unable to do the "mea culpa" speech.
Guilt or self-hatred are not part of my vocabulary.

I don't know if I am too loose or too rigid about myself and my goals, I hope I am in-between.



Edited by: _VALEO_ at: 9/24/2010 (03:35)
Valerie

"To do is to be" - Nietzsche
"To be is to do" - Kant
"Do Be Do Be Do" - Sinatra



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BIGGIRL2082010's Photo BIGGIRL2082010 Posts: 10,511
9/23/10 9:02 P

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That brain mapping thing is interesting to me, too. I've definitely seen patterns in the past where I carry out certain behaviours, feel pleased at the results, do more of them, get more gratification, etc. Typically in my finances. And I've seen that well-learned pattern get totally shattered by sudden upsets and then my brain apparently likes to revert to stupid-scared brain maps, where I start making totally dumb choices in some mistaken belief that they will make me feel "better" or will "fix" whatever the problem du jour is.

And, equally easily, I've found that I can then stop and turn around pretty much on a dime and decide "THIS is the way things are going to be"... and that works, too.

Of course, as I said, all of that is in the financial sphere of life.

Haven't yet managed to successfully transplant that kind of brain mapping exercise to the bod.

One of these years, I'll grow some wisdom.

Until then, I'll enjoy experimenting and learning! ;)

Cheers,
Maya


Maya

Smile, the world's a funny place!

Quotable quote:
We're fools whether we dance or not. So we might as well dance.
- Japanese proverb

Try Tabata Today: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AimPOSXe7n4


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SALEE100's Photo SALEE100 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/22/10 7:22 P

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That's interesting, about the brain scan. I'm not up on all that. I wonder if they could tell if I had OCD? I wouldn't mind having my brain scanned...

Speaking of OCD, today I couldn't help but try to remember what I ate the night before last... guess what? I still had a deficit (unless I forgot something).

~ Susan

Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no results, one day a light in the exact proportion to them will flood the soul.
~Simone Weal


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BARBARA_BOO's Photo BARBARA_BOO Posts: 9,794
9/21/10 5:02 P

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Not necessary to write it down. You're well aware of what it was, so you're not deceiving yourself. We just have to learn what we can from the times we do something we hadn't planned to do and then wish we hadn't.

Good for you for getting back on the mechanical bull quickly. Getting back to business as quickly as possible does help us feel better.

I think watching our behavior and thoughts is one of the most important aids to finding the balance we want.

The "neuroplasticity" and "brain mapping" research that shows we can actually make new neural connections and pathways in our brains by "our practice", over time, of new behaviors is neat. We just have to figure out how to keep the food decisions that we know we'll regret to a minimum. Nothing to it, right?
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I'd love to have a brain scan, to see where most of the electrical activity is taking place and which areas could be improved. In Martha Beck's book, "Four-Day Win", she mentioned that she had some brain mapping done. Results told her she had serious attention deficit disorder, and compensated for it with astronomical anxiety. She has since worked to "train down" the anxiety. Fascinating, hopeful stuff.

I think observing what we're thinking, without getting all invested in judging the actual thoughts, can give us lots of clues to help us find our sweet spots. And we can do it without brain scans. It would just be interesting to me to find out more about them. Curiosity.




Edited by: BARBARA_BOO at: 9/21/2010 (17:05)
Boo, Barb, BSue, Queen Legarathien of Nargothrond

"YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO PLAY!"

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SALEE100's Photo SALEE100 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/21/10 4:11 P

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Practice, for sure! Yesterday, I didn't bring quite enough food to work and so ended up eating cake and cookies! That would have been ok if I stopped there but I was feeling stressed and down so in spite of my plan to just put my lunch box stuff away and go to bed I ate nuts, licorice... you get the idea. I don't think I'll ever be able to do my plan 100% of the time. What I'm trying to do now is be nice to myself and not log what I ate, say it's alright, and go out and get some exercise. I'm logging everything to day, just getting right back to it. I know I'll feel better later today, tomorrow, or the next day...

~ Susan

Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no results, one day a light in the exact proportion to them will flood the soul.
~Simone Weal


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BARBARA_BOO's Photo BARBARA_BOO Posts: 9,794
9/21/10 1:45 P

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Yeah, it's like riding one of those mechanical bulls. Hard not to get throwed.
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Boo, Barb, BSue, Queen Legarathien of Nargothrond

"YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO PLAY!"

~Team Leader, Separation of Church and Weight
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
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~Team Leader, The Darker Side of SparkPeople www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
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DALAI_LALA's Photo DALAI_LALA Posts: 2,716
9/20/10 10:03 P

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The SWEET SPOT is hard for me. I tend to take it TOO easy on myself and let too many things pass when I should be taking a good, hard look at my behavior. The past six weeks are evidence of that.

But, like someone said below, I too swing from one extreme to the other. If I get tough on myself, I fall right back into the "fat, stupid, lazy" mentality. The past two weeks are evidence of that!

It's like I have a hyper-sensitive dial that I can't quite control to find the middle range. I always turn it a bit too much in one direction or the other. I guess it takes practice...

Lala

"Being defeated is often temporary, giving up makes it permanent." - Marilyn vos Savant

"We expect these things to change by waking up, and suddenly there they are." - Toad


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BARBARA_BOO's Photo BARBARA_BOO Posts: 9,794
9/19/10 5:46 P

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Good specific ideas. I like how you plan ahead and make room for play, SUSAN. Having meals planned takes stress out of meal times for me and keeps me from thinking about food too much.

JANENE'S tip about being aware of our red flags is important, too. If I find myself obsessing about food (thinking about it TOO much), I know something's out of balance.

So true about the dynamic nature of life. Learning to roll with the punches or stay on the moving bull to keep from getting thrown is crucial.


The SWEET SPOT can also be about our victories, anything that makes us want to exclaim "SWEET!"

We like to hear about the victories, too, like JANENE'S new driver's license with a much lower weight on it. I'm thrilled that mine finally has the truth on it, instead of a fictitious lie, 15 lbs less than my actual wt.
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Edited by: BARBARA_BOO at: 9/19/2010 (17:54)
Boo, Barb, BSue, Queen Legarathien of Nargothrond

"YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO PLAY!"

~Team Leader, Separation of Church and Weight
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=2072

~Team Leader, The Darker Side of SparkPeople www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
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SALEE100's Photo SALEE100 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/19/10 12:51 P

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Right now I'm interpreting the "sweet spot" question as what I do to stay happy while maintaining or losing weight.

So, here it is.

1) Exercise- without this I can't eat enough to be comfortable.
2) Eat light early in the day (delay breakfast until 10-11am), saving calories for afternoon and evening when I really like to eat. Even when I do finally eat breakfast it's usually under 300n calories. Considering that I'm eating over 1800 calories a day, that's a very small breakfast. I've tried eating large breakfasts and lunches as the experts recommend but it really doesn't work for me, I still eat large amounts in the afternoons and evenings!
3) Eat chocolate frequently. I eat dark chocolate because it's healthy, lowering blood pressure and keeping the vasculature flexible. I eat chocolate at least daily! I weigh it to make sure I know how many calories it really is.
4) Bring pre-planned meals to work for my 12 hour shifts. I'd weigh a ton more if I relied on the cafeteria where I work for my daily meals. I frequently eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks while at work! I bring my own chocolate and other measured desserts with me.
5) Walk during my lunch breaks. Hey, every little bit of activity counts!
6) Strength training keeps my muscle mass high allowing me to eat more without gaining fat. I love having a higher metabolism. I found out how hard it would be to maintain when I stopped strength training for several months. At first, I lost weight (as the muscles went away), then I started gaining fat. My body shape changed in a displeasing way.
7) Find time for myself to keep my inner child happy and excited to be alive. She likes to watch butterflies and even spiders in their natural habitats. She also likes walking and running with friends. She likes spending time with her parrot, always a plus, since her parrot needs this also.
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8) Log my food every day. I really don't think I'll ever be able to stop doing this and maintain my weight. It's not a big deal to me, I guess I'm detail oriented.

That's all I can think of... I'll update this if I think of more...

~ Susan

Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no results, one day a light in the exact proportion to them will flood the soul.
~Simone Weal


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JANENE413's Photo JANENE413 SparkPoints: (16,336)
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9/18/10 9:08 P

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I think that a sweet spot really doesn’t exist for me. We’d all like to get to the place where we live in a “perfect” place where food is never a problem, but that just isn’t realistic. My life is constantly flexing. The kind of “perfection” that we yearn for is really a rigid and inflexible thing. We live dynamic lives that are constantly evolving.

I think it’s important to be open and honest with myself and with others about my weight and food. As soon as I get into the mode of hiding and pretending that I’m not over eating, I know I’m in trouble. That’s why I like the weight ticker and the nutrition tracking. It keeps me honest. I know when I go over my calorie limit. I don’t like it, but I can’t deny it. The naked truth gives me the chance to think and make conscious choices. It's the unconscious thinking and choosing that is a red flag.

Consciously being at a lower weight is a new situation. I’m feeling comfortable with my body at this weight although I originally set a lower goal weight. I’m waiting to see what will work best for me. Dynamic and flexible.

Thanks B Boo for this topic.
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J.

"Be kinder than necessary 'cause everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Mark Twain
I just renamed my tablet to Titanic. It's syncing now.


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BARBARA_BOO's Photo BARBARA_BOO Posts: 9,794
9/18/10 7:29 P

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August and September have been a struggle.

I was doing great all summer, thought I was completely over the cravings and desires to overeat. Yeah, right.
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I have had too many days like you describe, WILDFLOWER. A day, here and there, isn't a problem for me, either. But when they gang up on me, I have to really work to hold my own. I'm up 4 lbs since the first week of August.

It's frustrating to me that the social events with lots of food so often come in clusters. It makes me want to stay home, but then I miss the people. And I don't HAVE to eat EVERYTHING.

I'm SURE there are no easy answers to finding the sweet spot. That's why I thought we could muddle through finding it, together.

I, too, want to believe that one day it will become second nature to eat the foods that keep us at a healthy weight.

I had glimpses of it this summer, and I know I have more skills to help me than I used to and so do you.

Sometimes the mind takes the body to places it doesn't want to go and vice verse. I don't like the times when I start obsessing about food. That makes me feel weak and that I'm slipping back to old habits, very fearful thing.

When I'm over-tired and/or stressed, I try to relax and no matter how serene I think I'm getting, it's not enough to keep me trucking along like I was this summer. Motivated, on task, not obsessing.

Today, I have been re-examining my exercise, food, priorities, goals and wardrobe (like was suggested in the Daily Spark) to add back some excitement. Just thinking about all of that has me feeling some of that missing spark. It's a start.

This sentence seems to help:
"Decide what you can do today to move forward."

Also, the line from the "Healthy Reflections" that I quoted earlier, seems to have enough zing in it to energize me, without demoralizing me and making me feel like a failure. "Lip service" and "wishy-washy" and "may never reach your goal" keep popping into my head. Them's fightin' words. No way!

"Often your wants turn into lip service and because of that wishy-washy determination, you may never reach your goal."

I'm glad I lured you in to discuss this, with the word "SWEET".
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Boo, Barb, BSue, Queen Legarathien of Nargothrond

"YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO PLAY!"

~Team Leader, Separation of Church and Weight
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=2072

~Team Leader, The Darker Side of SparkPeople www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=89


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WILDFLOWER-'s Photo WILDFLOWER- Posts: 1,389
9/18/10 9:52 A

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What a wonderful topic! This has been on my mind a lot lately. I was doing really good - maintaining a comfortable +/- 3 pound weight change for several months - and then Labor Day weekend happened. I went to a clam bake where they cooked 620 clams. Of course with the clams came all of the home made salads, appetizers, and two tables of home made desserts to pick from. I knew better than to even count calories on that day -

Normally this wouldn't have been a problem for me. I'd give myself that one day off and get back to the program. Except the sweet tooth cravings have been killing me ever since .... I've been obsessing about sweets. And I've gained 6 pounds that I just can't seem to shake.

The frustrating thing is according to the charts I should be able to eat around 2100 calories to maintain. I've been eating around 1400 - and have been barely maintaining. Talk about frustrating.

I don't know if there's an easy answer to this one. I'm struggling to find balance - and it sucks that this has to be such a struggle and it just can't come second nature as I would assume my body would need it to be.

Be Peaceful. Shine On.
~ Debra

Do or do not... there is no try. - Yoda, Star Wars

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 4 BC AD 65)


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BARBARA_BOO's Photo BARBARA_BOO Posts: 9,794
9/18/10 9:08 A

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This is a new place to just "talk".

Here's our first topic. It is THE question for all time:

What do we need to do in order to find our "sweet spot" between being gentle with ourselves (absolutely necessary) and "too many free passes" (got us here in the first place)?"

Self-bashing makes things worse when we've made a mistake. So, we try to be kind to ourselves. And yet, at times, we feel like we're going overboard with the "positive", giving ourselves excuses.

What gives us accountability, without fueling self-hatred? Do we think some Tough Love is in order? If so, we're not trained to administer Tough Love and will not be rushing to volunteer any "a$$-kicking". How DO we find that BALANCE between being too "loose" or too "rigid"?

This topic came up in a discussion of the following sentence from a SparkPeople "Healthy Reflections" this week:

"Often your wants turn into lip service, and because of that wishy-washy determination, you may never reach your goal."



Today, this suggestion was made: "I'm wondering if we can turn this into a thread posting -- "Sweet Spot" or some such. Accountability with a bow on it."

Good idea. The more input on this question, the better.

Let's talk. Help us find our elusive "sweet spots" (That's what they call it when one hits a tennis ball just right, dead center of the racquet, I believe).
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ANOTHER PURPOSE FOR THE SWEET SPOT: Come here to brag about the accomplishments that make you want to exclaim, "SWEET!"

Edited by: BARBARA_BOO at: 9/19/2010 (17:51)
Boo, Barb, BSue, Queen Legarathien of Nargothrond

"YOU'RE NEVER TOO OLD TO PLAY!"

~Team Leader, Separation of Church and Weight
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=2072

~Team Leader, The Darker Side of SparkPeople www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=89


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