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Time to Get Back on Track

Thursday, May 29, 2014

In October last year, I achieved "overweight" on the BMI scale. I think I've inched back up to obese - but I'm avoiding the scale, so I'm not sure. I do know I've had to go up a clothing size.

What happened? Well, first it was the holidays - and that means I let the nutrition lapse. Then I got the flu and had to stop working out for a few weeks while my lungs recovered; then my mom got very sick, and I was stressed and overwhelmed and too busy to work out anyways. Then she got better, but I was out of the "eat healthy and exercise" habit by that time.

Then I realized: I'm putting on weight; I'm getting winded walking upstairs; my joints hurt. This is not a good thing.

So, here we go again: Back in the saddle. I've been working out haphazardly for about a month now - so I'm making a regular plan that I'll stick with. And I'm going to start tracking my nutrition again. That nutrition tracker is a great thing - I don't know why I let it lapse!

Right now - the scale matters, but the way I feel matters more. I need to rebuild the habit, so that's my focus.

I'll check back in a week and see how I'm doing.


Overweight, Thank Goodness

Sunday, October 27, 2013

A month or so ago, I read a blog entry from one of our fellow Sparkers who was super excited because her BMI had her at "overweight" instead of "obese." I loved her blog, and today I calculated my BMI and got 29.6... Overweight.

I have all the problems with BMI that I think everyone does -- it doesn't take into account our builds, our muscles, our bones, our overall health... Anything, really. Besides which, I really dislike their classifications -- "normal?" Why not "Healthy?"

But I calculate it anyways, because although it's flawed, it is also useful -- even just as a starting point.

I have three goal weights (170 would be okay, 160 would be good, 150 would be amazing). These are based on my distant memories of being slender and healthy. When I was deciding whether or not they would be okay, I plugged them into the BMI to see if they fit in the healthy range (I won't call it normal, that's offensive). They do. Which kind of suggests that there's something to the BMI, even if it isn't perfect.

On the other hand, my lowest weight - which I reached when I was 19, anorexic, stressed, drinking more than eating, and basically completely unhealthy - is also within the "normal" range, though. Which suggests to me that the BMI is far from perfect. If that was healthy, I'm a pumpkin.

One of my catalysts for getting started on this weight loss journey was realizing that I was approaching morbid obesity by AMA standards, using the BMI. So one of my first goals was to be "overweight" as judged by BMI (which I think is also the AMA standard?) before New Year's... It took 1 year and 6 months, but I made it.

Hopefully, someday, someone will put together a better way for us to really calculate our BMI, and whether we're in a healthy weight range or not. In the meantime, I'll keep following my BMI and celebrating the flawed victories as they come.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWNOMWE 10/28/2013 7:14PM

    emoticon on getting out of OB: BMI is only a guide/or tool and as tools go they are never perfect.

My ideal is that if I jump and nothing jiggles that is not supposed to them I will be perfect.

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LAWANDMUSIC 10/27/2013 6:26PM

    I love your viewpoint!

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LOWCARBRENEE 10/27/2013 5:00PM


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Four A's Status Check

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Part of keeping goals is tracking them, right? So... After a week of my new Four A's approach to this weight loss journey...

I'm doing okay. Not great, but okay. And I'm feeling positive about that.

1. Exercise 20 minutes daily: {{Nope. But I did exercise for at least five minutes every day and made it up to 20 minutes 5 days.}}

2. Go back to the food tracker - it is my friend: {{I'm at 3 days of 7 here; next week I'll aim for 4 days... Little by little.}}

3. Do 3 yoga poses in the morning (thanks Titans!): {{Again, 3 days of 7. I really like this one, so I need to form a real habit here.}}

4. Meditate for 10 minutes every night: {{Nope. But I did meditate twice. Next week I'll aim for four times.}}

5. Keep writing in my journal -- that clearly made the difference here. {{This, yes! Complete success. }}

Also - I'm adding a goal. I've been trying to make my bed first thing when I wake up so I won't crawl back between the covers and end up rushed / late / frustrated / etc, etc. I succeeded at this 5 of the 7 days I tracked it, so that's really good.

6. Make bed first thing -- don't crawl back in!

There it is. I'm feeling positive and remembering sometimes that this isn't a race! It's a journey.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWNOMWE 7/28/2013 3:02PM

    I am lazy about # 6 so I run out so DH makes the bed every day.
Great progress keep it up.

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BRADMILL2922 7/27/2013 6:42PM

    I enjoy yoga too! Glad you are getting some in the mix. You are doing okay and now you can build on that until you reach great!

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Acknowledge, Accept, Analyse, Advance

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I was musing in my journal recently, and I caught myself wondering (in free thought writing) how to be a happier person, even as I was beating myself up over mistakes I've made (in the same free thought journal entry). Well - how can I be happy if I'm also going to belittle myself? That won't work.

The problem is -- belittling yourself doesn't motivate you; it de-motivates you. So, I thought about it, and thought about it (and read articles on motivation) and here's my solution: Acknowledge, Accept, Analyse, Advance

1. Acknowledge and Accept: Don't say "yes, but...". Just give the facts. Accept that it happened.
2. Analyse. This part is tougher -- yes, that happened; yes, I can do better... But, why did I do it? This is key -- because if I know *why* I did it, I'm less likely to do it again, right? There will be signs to watch for.
3. Advance. Now, make goals so I will be able to move forward. Tangible things.

This past little while has seen me make a number of mistakes, and going into detail on all of them here would take forever. So - here's the first one I wrote down; it's probably the key to most of the others, and certainly has many of the same root causes.

Acknowledge and Accept: I gained weight and got discouraged; I gave up on my healthy, mindful eating, gave myself permission to drink beer again, and backed way, way off on my exercise. Okay. That happened -- You were doing great, then you weren't. You can, and will do better - just get back on the horse, and everything will be fine.

Analyse: What happened? I looked at that scale and got discouraged, and ... well, I had been a bit... panicky... about the changes in me. This journey is a good thing; but it's scary, too. Going from well over 200 pounds to (hopefully, someday) well under 200 pounds is a big move. On top of this, I have other stressors in my life (because I'm moving countries, there are family issues, and I'm trying to change careers), and of course I had a setback. It almost seems inevitable.

Advance: Now, to move on! I'm rededicating myself to the changes. I deserve to be healthy; I deserve to be slim; I deserve to be happy. So - what are my goals so I can be healthy and happy?

1. Exercise 20 minutes daily
2. Go back to the food tracker - it is my friend
3. Do 3 yoga poses in the morning (thanks Titans!)
4. Meditate for 10 minutes every night
5. Keep writing in my journal -- that clearly made the difference here.

Last thing? I'll remind myself every now and again that there's no rush. It isn't a race, it's a journey.

How can I be a happier person? Accept myself as I am.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSINGLINNDY 7/26/2013 9:50PM

    This is just the blog I needed to read. I think you show ways we sabotage ourselves in discussing how to be happier. I like the 4 A's solution. Thank you for sharing your authentic self.

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BRAVELUTE 7/26/2013 11:06AM

    As I read your blog I was reminded of 2 things. One was a parallel to your 4 As.

On Ted Talks, this presenter Talks about the 3 As of Awesome. His 3 As were They are Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity. And he arrived at them when he had 3 life stressors happen, not necessarily mistakes like you were talking about. If I still feel you might like to watch is Ted Talk:

And last week, the morning after I had made a huge mistake, I received a morning inspiration from Martha Beck, author of Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, and others but that's the one I've read.

The article that morning was How to Stop Regretting Decisions:

I didn't understand everything she was saying, but there were several statement which seemed to apply in my situation.

I like your 4 As and think you should make your own VLOG about them here on SP at least. Who knows? Perhaps TED will invite you to present?

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JINLYNN 7/23/2013 1:51AM

    Great blog! Your four A's are well worth taking to heart and implementing in my journey too! Thanks so much Claire, for being honest and sharing what you are struggling with. It was words of wisdom and advise that I needed to hear too!

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TWNOMWE 7/22/2013 10:38AM

    Excellent blog. Yes it is a journey and we also have to remember that weight was not gained in one day so the taking it off will take the same time or longer. so emoticon emoticon

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DENVERSMSDAWN 7/21/2013 2:44PM

    Claire, Great blog. I'm just coming back from a 6 month vacation from any semblance of healthy mindful eating and I needed to hear this. Thank you!

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CRUISEBOUND2014 7/21/2013 2:13PM

    Excellent blog and excellent goals. I would add one more thing and that would be water emoticon

emoticon You are doing emoticon


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IYA_EKUNDAYO 7/21/2013 2:09PM

    Very empowering.
Excellent blog Claire!
I enjoyed it a lot

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Setting (and Keeping) Goals

Saturday, May 04, 2013

I have two things on my mind today, and they're both goal-related.

I've been reading quite a bit on the SP Motivational articles -- and today, I just read back-to-back articles about how to set goals, and specifically how to set positive goals. And I noticed that while the advice sounds good, the two coaches are contradicting each other subtly. Dean Anderson wants us to not use any negative words in our goals (i.e., "NO, NOT, NEVER, STOP, LOSE, REDUCE, LIMIT, or QUIT.") You can read his post at:
tion_articles.asp?id=448 ) while Melinda Hershey specifically gives "lose" in an example of a clear goal ("I will lose 25 pounds."). You can read her post at (

I guess it's a bit frustrating to have two experts, both offering me advice on how to do something I've never been particularly good at (set goals) and somewhat contradictory advice at that!

I think there's a take-away here. The key isn't whether the advice is contradicted by another expert, but rather whether it works for you.

I'm leaning towards following Dean's advice to a degree -- in that I will keep negative words to a minimum, because I like the idea of staying positive in all things. But I will follow Melinda's advice, because it's more tangible. She gives steps and instructions of what to do that are very easy to follow, and I'm going to print out the goal-setting work sheet and get on it.

So that covers Setting goals... Now if I could just figure out how to Keep the goals once I've set them.

I join the team goals, and I'm finding that those are fairly easy to keep. Because, of course, I'm only really signing up for teams (and, thus, the team goals) that I'm interested in anyways. So, as long as I remember I have them, I can keep those goals. (Must remember to log in to "Track my Other Goals" daily!)

Sadly, I don't do as well on the goals I set for myself.

Yes, the potato struck again. Or, rather, my desire to eat the potato struck again.

I was a full 750 calories over the top of my range yesterday (again), and I'm afraid that while my dietary fat was within range, and reasonable in comparison to my carbs, the only reason carbs were within range was because I drank not one, not two, but *three* beers and, yes, ate half a plate of fries.

I'm actually pleased with myself on the fries, because I did only eat _half_ the plate. But still. I know better. And the beer? It's gotta go -- or at least become a once-a-weekend treat.

So. I'm off to set goals. And read more motivational articles on how to motivate myself to keep goals once I have them. Any suggestions?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAT321123 5/4/2013 2:26PM

    I think one of the reasons setting goals involving "losing" can be hard is that we truly only do have some control over that. You can eat well, exercise lots, and still lose weight really slowly, which means you don't reach a "lose" goal and get discouraged.

So setting goals about things that you have full control over -- calorie goals, exercise goals, etc. -- can be great since you can see results daily. Of course I say this but still set my own weight loss goals =)

Good luck in your goal-setting! You can do it!

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SWIMLOVER 5/4/2013 11:00AM

  You do have to set goals that are right for you and also know that they are reasonable to keep. Take one step at a time and one day at a time. Maybe take one or two goals a week and at the end of the week if you kept to them reward yourself with something small like a book or CD or whatever you like.

emoticon emoticon

Best Wishes!

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JOHGLO2011 5/4/2013 9:54AM

    You are so right - you must set goals that work for you! Also, try setting one small goal at a time and then building in more goals as you become comfortable with the first. Lots of small steps add up to big success! Best Wishes! emoticon

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