ANNIEONLI   50,691
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Family pictures

Monday, June 28, 2010

My sisters have been going through old family pics lately. Well, they looked cute, despite all the fashions..I unfortunately do not think so much of myself. This has been something that has plagued me my whole life...the heaviness...the unhappiness...the shyness that, well maybe only I can see in my face. In every picture, when you can find one, I can tell you EXACTLY what I was thinking about my weight at that time in my life....especially around 10 years old and after. I WISH I could sit down and enjoy the pics with them, but it is a bit too hard for me to do....maybe one day I won't feel so ..... ashamed. It's hearbreaking to hear your father say, "Oh Anne" and know exactly what he is referring to in an instant, before the words "I never saw you as that heavy" are spoken.

So, enough of that, back to the present and reality. The pictures are different - go ahead and take them! I don't mind how I look now, even in the more unflattering ones. Go ahead and take them, it documents that I was there - present and accounted for! Go ahead and take them, I will try not to pick myself apart like before!

Part of my maintenance now is accepting things as they are. It's a hard thing to process when your mind has a habit of being negative, even after success in WEIGHT maintenance. Let's call it Body Image Maintenance.

At some point in time, in the past 2 months, I'd say, my mental body image has taken a hit. Not working out regularly brought on the dreaded "bat wing" arms (the kind that keep on waving after the waving has ceased) and the belly pooch that was NOT there 8 months ago. The mental body image...well, it's now at a weight of 165. THAT is NOT good. I can tell you RIGHT NOW that in the past, that type of mental head game made me GAIN weight back times 2!! "Oh, I can eat this, I've been good, it's not THAT many cals" or "oh it all balances out, I can eat that and work on it tomorrow" (big fat liar). Another big fat lie is "Well, I have time to get fit before the reunion (wedding, insert occassion here)".

Hello dear, it is time for a wakeup are lying to yourself again and it is not a good thing to listen to the little devil on your shoulder...she is the one that killed your self image in the first place...knock the crud out of her and bring back the pretty guardian angel that sat there before.

Another reason for this blog is the whole bathing suit thing. I keep picking apart my torsoe - in all it's lumpy, pizza dough glory. So help me GOD (and this IS a prayer here) - help me not pick myself apart! I've had 3 children...a suitcase worth of excess skin...stretch marks since I was 13! PLEASE help me not pick myself apart! It is SO hard not to compare myself to others. It is SO hard not to be ashamed of, what I now consider, battle scars. It is SO hard sometimes. Give me the mental strength to get past this garbage in my head. Amen.

That being said...I'm going to do my strength training now. Baby steps are what I'm back to. My ball and band are my friends. My best friend, Treadmill, has been uncovered in the basement once again and the place has had a much needed cleaning done yesterday. I looked back at my journals from last year for a reality check on what I was and where I was....thank heavens for Spark is all I can say.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DWEXCEL 6/30/2010 8:46AM

    OK stop that right now. No more Negative thinking out of you!!!

You are just REAL, and don't ever forget that. Remember how far you have come on this journey, and put a smile back on your face. If it was EASY all of us would be thin. You are only human, (although sometimes I think you are a super-woman), and it is human nature to back slide every once in a while; it just is. And it is also human nature to beat ourselves up.

But you are way passed that; you are just having one of those moments. I wish I could say I was a maintainer, but I'm on my way. But sometimes, maintenance is the hardest part. I know exactly what you mean when you justify, OH I can eat this because I worked out SO hard today; or I can take today off, because I've been so good this week. Believe me, I've done that route for years, and wondered why I wasn't loosing ....I work out so dang hard, but yet I still let myself have those Margaritas, and that bowl of ice cream, and frankly, I told myself that I deserved it.......

Don't let yourself get caught up in the moment. Step back, take and deep breath, and remember what YOU CAN DO, because you have proven yourself lady. Don't let yourself be sucked in to those old feelings when you look at those pictures. Look at them, and be proud of what you have become, because you have accomplished SO MUCH, not only for you, but for the many other people who YOU INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE. Just remember that you are human, and when you look at those pictures, just smile and say......yes that was part of my journey, but look how far I've come. And feel good about that.

That "leg" of your journey is what gives you your empathy and understanding, that you are so good at spreading to your Spark Friends. And it's also the reason that you are on your way to becoming an RD, and don't ever forget that.

We all get overwhelmed by life, and you've got a lot going on with 3 boys, a husband, a house to keep, meals to plan, work, school, ....and well, you get the picture. But you are an amazing woman, who has proven herself. And just wave at the old Annie, and say thanks got me here, and I can do it.

And whatever you do, STOP COMPARING your body to anybody's body. We are all so brainwashed that we think we have to look like the models on the cover of all these magazines. Don't forget.......THEY DON'T EVEN LOOK LIKE THAT!!!! You just continue to take care of the body that you have, and you have all the tools to make it be the best it can be.

To use one of your own phrases...."Pick yourself up by your bootstraps", and remember what your goal is and how much you want it. Remember how far you have come, and remind yourself how many other Sparkers you have helped. And then pat youself on the back, and say " I've got this!" Because, if anybody does, YOU DO!

Love ya!
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SUZYWM 6/28/2010 1:08PM

    Having lost and regained so many pounds, I understand what you're saying. emoticon emoticon

You've accomplished so much, you're not the same person from those pictures and memories anymore. You're raising your family (I can tell how much you love them from your posts!) and getting through school. You have made other priorities important, and only you can say whether that's OK for you.

Be kind to yourself, you'll hold on to what you want to and lose what you don't want. It'll be OK. Besides - you're fabulous and funny and strong! Keep all that in mind. You rock girl!

Comment edited on: 6/28/2010 1:14:03 PM

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OAKBORN 6/28/2010 11:07AM

    My dear friend you are not alone! emoticon

I am still mentally 205 lbs, and I too have been playing the game of, "I'll eat a little extra and it won't hurt anything, or if I don't exercise tonight I can make it up tomorrow." That is why I'm up nearly 10 lbs and my clothes are getting tighter.

I hear you on the skin thing too! I have stretch marks everywhere too! (and have since my teen years)

Yes yes baby steps. New goals. Whatever it takes to get back on track. We can do this!

Remember the old song "Inch by inch, row by row..." though it was written about a garden, it is fitting, it's the garden of you! And the inches can come off, and those dumbbell rows are good for you! emoticon

We are riding a similar rollercoaster! Whoever said that maintenance was going to be easy, I snort in their general direction.

Hang in there girl! You got me hanging right next to you!

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Bridesmaid dresses

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You'd THINK....after ALL THESE YEARS....after ALL THE WEDDINGS...after ALL THE HIGHER SIZES....that I'd be SO PSYCHED to go dress shopping now that I am an average size...
and ya know what...I WAS psyched and had FUN in fact...if not for the fact that EVERY SINGLE DRESS MAKER has their own sizing system!!!!!
I swear to all that is holy....can't these "designers" get a clue as to how women FEEEEEL when they try on a dress that is 3 times higher that their street clothes?? What is the DEAL?

Talk about a self esteem killer.

ANYWAY....I got over the sizing thing pretty quick because now I know LAST! Took me long enough! and we had fun trying on a ton of dresses was H O T HOT! I absolutely love it...wish I could buy it and wear it somewhere fancy all on my own if it doesn't get picked!

So...if you are a designer, or works for a designer, or oh, I don't know, are married to the guy who cooks for the designer....give them a message to them from me: IF you happen to want to boost your sales, try putting a street size on your ticket instead of those twiggy sizes that confuse women and make them feel like poo. You will probably SELL MORE by doing that alone! Imagine "hello saleslady, I am a size 8"..."oh yes dear, right over here..this designer is fabulous" BAM!!! SOLD!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DWEXCEL 6/24/2010 7:04AM are sooooooooo right! In fact, I have been cleaning out my closet, and selling some of my old "cocktail" party dresses. And I remember wearing these....and I was small....but what they are size 12??????? I probably wore a size 8 then.......

Take care,
Donna emoticon

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OAKBORN 6/23/2010 11:57AM

    It seems there is no real rhyme or reason in clothing sizes, they differ from store to store, manufacturer to manufacturer. I wear a 6 @ Old Navy and larger sizes elsewhere.... go figure


Comment edited on: 6/23/2010 11:57:14 AM

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YAMINOKODOMO 6/22/2010 11:27PM

    lol! I totally know what you mean! Thats why I dont go dress shopping unless I have to because I never really know what size I am... But once you get the dress and it looks great, then you think, ok MAYBE its worth it... lol!

Glad you only had one second of poo time and then enjoyed the rest of the dress shopping day! I say buy that hot dress and keep it in your closet juuuuuust in case you do happen to go somewhere where you can be like "OH! I have the perfect dress! emoticon"

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CRISTHIANE 6/22/2010 6:05PM

    Hey, I know how you feel! I went Bridesmaid dress shopping last week! We found the dress too! No matter what the size says, focus on how great you look!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I don't CARE who you thin or thick you are....bathing suit shopping stinks.

For the first time IN MY LIFE, I was honestly and actually happy to go bathing suit shopping! Last year wasn't bad at all, Kmart did right by me in fact...with a cute skirt and halter top...but alas, the top is now big (bye bye girls) and the plastic clasp broke while kayaking (thank god for a coverup) emoticon

So THIS year - I said to myself: GO FOR IT...Spend the money on a more expensive suit with METAL clasps that will last 2+ there I was today, at a specialty shop, surrounded by swimsuits - name it, they had it.

And the search began. I find a top in my size...there is NO bottom swimskirt (to hide my thighs). I find a bottom, there is NO top. I try a full cup pushup thing....hideous, I try a Miracle was a miracle to even get it above my knees. I try on skinny straps, and finally find a top that I size medium. No suit PART cost less that $57 too. The last swimdress thing I tried on was Donna Karen at $158 and I could see how the straps could possibly work...neither could the help in the store (who were more than ready to help and get a sale).

I gave up.

I headed to Kmart.

Attention Kmart shoppers...where the heck did you put the suits that were there 7 days ago?????

I search and search. I find.....THE CAST OFF DREGS.


I dive in to the measly racks...lo and behold! my size!! a whole slew of them! I grab them and RUN to the fitting rooms, All I need are some tops to go with the black bottoms I already have from last year.,.,and as I enter there is a aqua & gold cute swimdress I immediately like on the "put away" my size!!! I grab that too.

Victory with the aqua....vistory with the black.....vistory with the stripe (I KNOW - stripes are a no no but with my kids, who cares)...vistory with a twist top tankini...THANK YOU JACLYN SMITH!!!!

Out I go triumphant!!!!!!!

At the register....grand total of $53 with $35 (40%) saved.

All LESS then the fancy store where that amount would have bought me a BOTTOM to a top. ends in a happy ending...and not hideous in any (although the TOM bloat is upon me - oh well - and I am just starting to work out again after 6 months - it can only go up from here).


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FULLOFFAITH 6/17/2010 10:40PM

    Yea Bathing suit shopping and jean shopping are not at the top of my list. hopefully they will be one day. emoticon.

Congrats on finding a good deal on a bathing suit you like.



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SUZYWM 6/17/2010 3:09PM

    Aaarrrggghhh! Swimsuits. Wore my mom's old one piece in swim class because I outgrew my last cute skirted tankini. Ah well.

So glad you had success, and I'll use your victory as inspiration! emoticon

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YAMINOKODOMO 6/16/2010 10:16AM

    I actually love the bathing suits at like kmart and walmart! They have some really nice ones and they are not expensive at all! I had gotten one that the bottom was a little skirt and had a plastic clasp on the side so it made it look like there was a little slit. I LOVED that bathing suit!

But yea I dont like shopping for swimsuits thats why I normally order them and just pray that they fit right LOL I ordered one from victoria's secret, it was on sale so I didnt pay a lot teehee, and I still havent tried it on yet... I really should try it on to see how it fits..

But congrats on finding a few nice ones! Yay!

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DWEXCEL 6/16/2010 7:17AM

    You are tooooooo funny, Girl! And I love how it turned out for you, too.
Let me tell you about Bealls Outlet, (in Florida, of course), but it's the only place I buy swimsuits. About 10 years ago, I had won a trip, through work, to go to South Beach. So I went shopping, and bought a new, 1 piece suit at JC penny and paid about $86 for it. I happened to go in Bealls Outlet, (while I was on this trip, no doubt!) and found the EXACT SAME suit for $16.!!!!!!!!!!! So ever since, then, I have only shopped there for suits.
BTW, this year, I, too had to get a smaller suit, so here I went off to trusty Bealls Outlet, and I found a Tommy Bahama tankini, that originally sold for $96 for the top and $58 for the bottom. It was marked $39. Yeah man! And then I had a 20% off frequent shopper coupon, and I bought it on "Senior Day" (if you're over 50, you get another 15% off), so I got this cool this suit for about $25.
So, next time you're back down that way, be sure to check out the Bealls Outlet stores.

Donna emoticon

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    I just love a happy ending!!

WTG on finding your bathing suits and saving money too!!

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SUCHAHOOT 6/15/2010 8:05PM

    YAY! Congrats on your suits! My favorite part of the whole thing is how your top from last year is too big! I'm looking forward to that...smaller girls! I'm only 1.5 pounds away from losing the ELEVEN I gained with this move. Slow but sure.

I'm REALLY happy to hear your news about school!! Yesterday I was thinking I wanted to write you to see how school is going & whether or not you could get a little slack this summer. I imagine that is such a HUGE relief! I'm so proud of you for taking this on! I'm glad you can take a breath.


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OAKBORN 6/15/2010 4:21PM

    It's amazing what you can find at the discount stores and what you CAN'T @ the designer ones!

And yay on several suits!!

I have found some great stuff on the very picked over Dillards racks in September... it seems I never need a suit when they are in stock everywhere. LOLZ.

Yay exercise! I feel like I've taken 6 months off... urgh.

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School - it's a learning process too

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm still alive!! Just in case anyone was wondering emoticon

Holy crazy month Batman!

So I got some REALLY awesome news about school when I had a much needed advisement session a few weeks ago....I was told that all of my pre-requisites for the pre-requisites (that I thought would be null and void after this year) will not be at all....the 10 year cap set in place by the school is for the pre-requisites ONLY!! and I am working on them now, so I am GOOD TO GO! which also means that I DO NOT have to make my life a living hell by taking all of these classes within the year just to apply to the January session!!!! I also learned about a few things they look at and stress in the application portfolio - mainly being prerequisite GRADES - SO why???? am I going to bust my butt taking 2 classes at a time to get mediocre B's when I know if I slow down and concentrate I can get A's??? AND if I take an extra year to apply, I can also take some of the other nurtition classes that will lighten up the load for the following year as well!

SO - what I am going to do is this: finish up these 2 classes one at a time to get A's, get applied to the other 2 online classes...and take my fall class as scheduled. The 2 online classes, well, they are of a different sort, with no real deadline and when I get them done, I get them done...but without any pressure. Mind you, I also have to scout out internships too...SO if I get to that in the meantime, I will.....but here is the thing...I am a MOM and a WIFE and I WORK, so doing all of this probably before January is not very realistic (I realize that now), but it won't hurt to try to get into the 2011 class, but most likely, I will extend my learning and make my life easier and apply to the 2012 class instead.

Why am I switching things up like this? well, I CAN BREATHE for the first time in 6 months!!!! I can move my body again!! I can be a happy mom instead of a stressed out mom!! I can have FUN and not worry about a MAJOR LIFE CHANGING DEADLINE!! Things I learned - ask questions, go for my dream even though it might take longer, keep this bigger picture in my mindset than just that one tunnel. When I thought I was on another more doom-like looking path last month and I thought my dream was going down the toilet because of class schedules (lol-this was before my advisement session) I really really realized that I REALLY REALLY WANT and NEED to go for this career...which makes this AOK now that I can take and make my life and (more importantly) my family's life more pleasant in the process. I can honestly say this husband has been WONDERFUL and SO SUPPORTIVE of my career path...he deserves a more pleasant life with me as well too!! Eventually, when the program starts, things are going to be nuts once again, but in the meantime, a little less nuts is better for him too.

This kind of goes into my nutrition lifestyle mindset anyway....two steps forward, one step back, just like Spark.

BTW - for all my buds here...I think of you all everyday...coming back to the fold soon to chitchat!!! Thanks for always being there when I need you! You are all AWESOME and AMAZING people!!!! Glad to call y'all my Sparkfriends!!

MWAH!!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FULLOFFAITH 6/17/2010 10:43PM

    emoticon news. You deserve some breathing room.


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SUZYWM 6/17/2010 10:50AM

    Awesome job You Mom/Scholar You! I had a similar experience, being surprised at getting credit for my REALLY OLD units and being able to jump in mid stream.

Your plan sounds healthy and realistic. But more importantly, it's terrific that you know what you want to do with your education. That alone is a blessing.

I need to find an internship as well, and am frustrated that it's not an easier process, but I suppose it weeds out students who aren't so serious.

We're really enjoying the summer break, with boards games, bike rides, and time to breath. Wishing the same for you and your brood!

Great job sista!!


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DWEXCEL 6/16/2010 7:27AM

    Isn't it funny how things have a way of working out. Good for you, Girl! I can just feel that load coming off of your shoulders, and that smile back on your face! You are awesome!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OAKBORN 6/15/2010 9:41AM

    So glad that life kind of opened a window to remind you that the tunnel ain't the only thing!

So excited for you pursuing your goals! I hope I can find a way to afford to follow that same path soon!

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Changing your mindset

Friday, May 28, 2010

I feel like an expert in the topic...I play with and fight with my head all the time. I know I was depressed at one point in my life (and no, a doctor didn't need to tell me that becuase hindsight is 20/20) and that was probably when I was my most heaviest - well, as a single person at least. But I can remember back to that time and now go to myself - WTF were you thinking? Where was the self-love? Where was the self-esteem? Not once did I think that I'd be anything except heavy and unloved, so that is where I was...stuck in a quagmire of self-pity.

OK - so it might not have been written on my sleeve, or tattoods across my chest, but underlying, it was there - all you needed to do was dig a little and it was there...hiding from everyone's view except my own...which mentally, I thought was really out there for all to see - written on my face. But it wasn't.

Anyway - eventually the story changed...hey, I found an awesome guy - when I was heavy too - who loved me for me, and had 3 great kids! But underneath, something was still there - that cruddy self-esteem of mine. You can laugh at this next part - I still mentally visualize myself as heavy...I'm still working on changing that takes a long time to change that mental image...1.5 years later, still working on it.

So when I started Spark, I had to physically change my mindset. Why do I say "physically" for something mental??? Well, because if you don't say that you are "awesome" and "loved" - "smart" and "funny" outloud - well, then, sometimes the mind just won't hear you. Kinda like a 7 year old going, 'yeah yeah mom' but not really hearing for the 100th time to pick up his room. So everymorning, doing my makeup, I look in the mirror and say those words to myself. Even now I do this when I need a pep-talk. I'm not screaming them, it's just a whisper at times...and I become my own cheerleader.

Now stop - reverse that my depressed stage of life...I was whispering how fat, ugly and useless and unloved I really, it does make a lot of sense to change your mindset in this new way. I'm not even making this up - One of Spark's fast break things to choose is the 5 minute pep-talk...I picked that one and still use it today! I'm just saying - there is something to it.

So if you happen to be really beating yourself up for something? take a minute to look in the mirror - in your pretty eyes and say "hey you, cut it out! stop beating yourself up and move on and do something about it! You can do this!!"

Become your own cheerleader - you'll be glad you did.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OAKBORN 6/1/2010 9:31AM

    As usual my friend, you say something that is cogent to my situation. You have such wonderful insights... sigh...

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FULLOFFAITH 5/30/2010 10:25PM

    Thanks for the blog. I am guilty of beating my self up and not being so nice at times. I am working hard on changing my way of thinking. I have to remind my self I would never talk to others about their weight the way I go on and on about mine. I also realized the other day when thinking when I lost 39 pounds on WW the last time I never saw my self as thin. funny. it took me 7 months to get the weight off and a little over a year to put back on because I never learned to self love.


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DWEXCEL 5/29/2010 8:18AM

    OMG----what stuck in my mind from what you said is that you still mentally visualize yourself as heavy. And knowing you, I know you are working on that.

But you know what's really that I never visualized myself as heavy. Even thirty something pounds ago, my visual image of myself was even thinner than I am now. A friend recently e-mailed us a picture of me and my husband dancing as a party when I was at my heaviest. I was just shocked.....did I really look like that?????(I should probably put that one in my photo gallery) And I know I still have a way to go to get to my goal(maybe 10 pounds, and I know I've been saying that for a while, but at least I haven't gained and am going in the right direction), but even looking at pictures now, I am still shocked that I am heavier than my mental visual image. I guess I should look at these more often, maybe that's what I need to get the scale moving again.

As always, you have tremendous insight, and I love you for sharing!

Take care,

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HEALTH4LYFE 5/28/2010 8:49PM

    I have been doing much more of the negative self talk, shy of confidence and excuses for not treating myself better. My pep talks usually occur when I am on a run and sometimes think I can't make it, or when I feel like quitting.
Your blog has given me some food for thought, which is a calorie free kind of food and much better for my mind. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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SUZYWM 5/28/2010 3:54PM

    I love this, and will start using this as a faithful tool. It's a challenge to make time for myself to do even a bit of this, but that's just about old habits. I can do this.

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USARUNNERGIRL 5/28/2010 3:51PM

    Love this blog. I agree, when I am feeling the blues, I make myself say out loud 10 positives about me. Woot.

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SUCHAHOOT 5/28/2010 12:28PM

    I just LUV you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

This is actually one part of a mini-challenge on one of my teams right now! To take the time to look in that mirror & say something wonderful! Gotta love it!

Comment edited on: 5/28/2010 1:41:35 PM

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SLENDERELLA61 5/28/2010 7:35AM

    Thanks. Seems very wise to me. I just might try it! -Marsha

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