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Mental Toughness training - Day 4 homework

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This day was about suffering and responsibility. Ugh! He does not pull punches, this guy. I'm going to go beyond what I wrote on his site for homework for my Spark buds, because y'all know more of my history. So here goes.


1. Are you mentally prepared to suffer to succeed if necessary?

Suffer? Heck, yeah... I know there is suffering here. All of life teaches that. No giving up. No turning back.

* Spark friends, most of us have already experienced suffering in our lives, in some form or another. Steve Siebold (the coach, hereafter) talks about people thinking losing weight will be easy. We all know it's not. Simple, yes. Easy, no. And there are times when to get what we want (weight loss or maintenance and fitness), we have to say "no" to impulses.

2. Are you expecting this to be difficult or easy?

I know this is going to be difficult, especially the 90 days of 100% compliance. You get tired of being "so good". But if I can give up soda (over two years now), I can do this next 90 days.

* That's why I chose the compliance goals that I did. I wanted something that has *not* become so habitual in the mix - the gum thing. Achievable, but challenging. Avoiding binges, even the "little ones"... again, achievable, but challenging in times of emotion and stress. The deal is... taking away the "comfort" of these behaviors forces one to face what one is facing: emotions. And deal.

3. Are you taking responsibility as a role model for your kids and others?

Finally, after years of reluctance, yes. I am the Charles Barkley of weight loss: "I am not a role model"... said it for years, *especially* every time I "failed" (i.e. gave up). But I can tell you from experiencing it, there is nothing more priceless than having your adult son tell you he is proud of you and your journey. Believe it or not, I have observed a change in how people approach and receive my input at work since having dropped the weight and become fit. People are always watching. If I fail at this point, it sends a bad message to those who are watching.

* Spark buds, you have heard me voice in this blog my fear of letting others down when I go on a slippery slide. I *know* people are watching, and I want success for *them* not just for me. I don't want others giving up because something was "too hard" for me. This commitment to the next 90 days is in honor of that, too, of everyone who watches, reads, and also labors on.

WE can do this. And WE are worth it. It isn't all about me.

emoticon Life is good. Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 3/31/2012 9:10PM

    I'm really enjoying all your "mental toughness" blogs: love this fatloser program -- and in particular am interested in your comment about people in the workplace seeing you differently since you lost weight. I've been thinking a lot (and today finally blogged) about how fat affects us at work. The last acceptable area of prejudice!!

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SUE_2U 3/28/2012 11:52PM

    You rock. Your son should be very proud of his awesome mom! emoticon
Sounds like this Fatloser guy is tough!

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COMETER 3/28/2012 7:50PM

    When I read Linda's response, at first I thought she wrote, "awesome reality CHICK." And you are an awesome reality chick!

Great stuff! What you said about having to face emotions when you can't rely on food as a medicator is so true. My brother is facing a liver transplant. When he had to quit drinking and quit eating junk, he was so crabby and depressed. Of course he was. No fun learning to face all that. I've never had the serious health issues he does, but life IS different when you have to ask yourself what's going on that you're standing in front of the fridge--again.

Hang in there, Awesome Reality Chick!

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_LINDA 3/28/2012 12:33PM

    An awesome reality check this is. Nothing like having the eyes of the world watching your every move -and especially those nearest and dearest to you -your loved ones. When you have failed one too many times, it makes it that much harder to make believers out of them. My Mom was skeptical I would keep the weight off, but I think she is coming onside and now respects what I have to do to keep the weight from returning.
I don't believe in absolute perfection -we all know the stressors perfectionists fall into and ulcers aren't my thing, but more power to you if you can keep it up!
Spark on!

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CARRKM 3/28/2012 10:54AM

  Thanks for this great post. I am going to check out Sounds like there is some very motivating info on there! Have a great day!

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1CRAZYDOG 3/28/2012 10:13AM

    You know it is actually daunting to think about how our behaviors influence people, whether we know about it or not! Just a chance encounter with someone can end up being life altering for them (and/or you).

Love this blog. Nothing in life is easy, but there's nothing to lose by trying! HUGS

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/28/2012 9:37AM

    This sounds like a really good program. I'm not ready yet, but I think it would be a good idea to do this at some point down the road, too. First I have to get back to where I was before my "fall from grace."

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KALIGIRL 3/28/2012 8:05AM

    Here's to all of as " watche(r)s, read(er)s, and also labor(er)s on" as we become "AWAKE! ALIVE! AWARE! and Appreciative of ALL that IS".

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MSLZZY 3/28/2012 7:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

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So, how "day 1" went

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

emoticon I counted yesterday as my "day 1" of the Mental Toughness 90 days. These probably sound like pretty easy things to stick to for 90 days, but it feels good to get past that first day, always.

A. No "binges". Small splurges OK, as long as I eat at a small deficit in calories compared to what my Body Media Fit tells me I'm using.

* This one was pretty easy. The first day. I expect the challenge to "not binge" to show up next week, actually, based on what's going on in my life.

B. Track everything, even the non-fat creamers and sugar substitutes in the coffee.

* This was the first time that I tracked these tiny bits. Even the ounce of skim milk I put in the coffee at work.

C. No more than one pack of sugar free gum in a day.
* Believe it or not, this was the hardest part... when those stress cravings hit, this had been my go-to thing, but I was going through way too many, because I use a piece up quickly. Yeah, guilty little secret, I swallow them and was massively relieved when I read that this doesn't actually cause damage.

Day 1 is the easiest day of almost any effort. Motivation is high. But if I can give up soda, I can cut back on gum!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 3/28/2012 12:28AM

    My Mom started up on chewing gum to help relieve her stress. I could never stand the stuff, but swallowing it? Wow, can't imagine, eww lol. I haven't read a whole lot on gum other than its a better substitute then reaching for a snack. Maybe if you didn't swallow it instead.. If you could give up soda, I suspect you can give up anything you choose..
Way to go tracking every little thing!

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COMETER 3/27/2012 10:03PM

    Here I am, chewing on some sugar-free gum!

Little things do add up--wishing you well in seeing that happen during your 90 days.

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ROSEWAND 3/27/2012 12:53PM

    Great tip for cravings and even hunger. Keep a bottle
of peppermint or lemon essential oil nearby. When
these urges arise, take several sniffs. This has the
effect of soothing your brain circuitry.

Be sure to use a good quality essential oil. The better
the quality, the more satisfying the result.

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1CRAZYDOG 3/27/2012 11:52AM

    You're so right. Little things add up!

Funny, gum chewing is my "go to" thing too for stress relief, making it through those times when I crave food though food isn't the answer to the problem!

Wish there was a sugar free gum that had long lasting flavor, but I find that the sugar free EXTRA in the various flavors is pretty good. My favorite @ the moment is chocolate chip mint. Delish!

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SPARKARINO 3/27/2012 10:23AM

    I'll think of you and your goals when I reach for the sugar-free gum today -- I would like to cut back on the amount, too (among other things)! Good Luck with your Challenge!

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EBEAMS 3/27/2012 10:16AM

    Yep, Yep, Yep ... You can do it! emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 3/27/2012 9:09AM

    Great job! Developing new habits is never easy - and it makes the day a bit more fun when you challenge yourself!

Didn't your Mom tell you never to swallow your gum!!! lol

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KALIGIRL 3/27/2012 8:57AM

    Here's to cutting back on gum!

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CONCHA77 3/27/2012 8:29AM

    emoticon One day at a time.

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MSLZZY 3/27/2012 8:08AM


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MILLERGIRL719 3/27/2012 7:33AM

    Great job! It's the little things that add up.

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Mental toughness training - Day 3 homework

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Everybody's favorite topic - handling cravings! I have actually thought through a lot of these things before, but it never hurts to take another look.

1. Do you have a strategy to handle cravings?

For the next 90 days, my strategy is to reason my way past cravings. Self-talk is powerful.

2. What three emotional states of mind make you most vulnerable to cheating?

Anxiety, particularly over things I cannot *do* something about. Deadlines and pressure at work, when things are not going well, particularly in "wait" periods.

Boredom at home on the weekend, particularly if I am waiting on a phone call, conserving energy for some promised activity/outing or over tired.

Procrastination moods: the anxious "I don't wannas." Yep, the childish, powerless emotions are my worst.

3. Are you using positive self-talk to interrupt old patterns of thought?

Oh, yes. I'm worth this! My Spark buddies know I use these blogs to get myself pumped. Interesting that Steve Siebold does what he does to keep HIMSELF motivated. Funny how helping ourselves and helping others goes hand in hand, huh?

Life's good, people. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 3/28/2012 12:24AM

    I suspect you have the mental toughness needed to rock your way through the challenge. You are a thinker, and that is what is needed to stop the mindless eating. To talk yourself down from it.
Go Barb!

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KALIGIRL 3/27/2012 8:58AM

    Here's to helping all!

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MSLZZY 3/27/2012 7:27AM

    emoticonAgain, you gave me lots to think about.

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BUGGYS 3/27/2012 7:18AM

    This blog is just what I needed today...although my sweet cravings aren't as strong as they used to be, they still creep up from time to time and I have learned to quickly grab a piece of gum or drink a big glass of water to squash them...if that doesn't work, I will have a small "taste" of the thing I'm craving...I don't need the entire bag anymore!

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BD3269PM 3/27/2012 7:10AM

    Great suggestions to keep ourselves self motivated. I love helping others too with this, it reminds me every time I say something positive about healthy living and Spark, that this is a life journey and we can do it together emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 3/27/2012 6:43AM

    Good for you to figure out the craving thing--- You have done so well Barb-I'm sure you will stay on top of this too---It's a lot of ""mind over matter""---- Lynda

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Mental toughness training - Day 2 homework

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wow! This one is a heavy hitter - commitment to 100% compliance for 90 days. For a maintainer? Well, yes!

Day 2 questions/answers
1. Are you fully committed to 100% compliance on your diet for the first 90 days? (You better answer yes!)

Yes. 90 days. 100% compliance. Even though I'm already at maintenance, I am still toward the top of my range. This is not about weight loss, it's about self-discipline and being mentally tough.

* Of course, fellow Sparkers, I'd best figure out what I'm being 100% compliant TO! And I hereby disclose my definition of the commitment to myself -

A. No "binges". Small splurges OK, as long as I eat at a small deficit in calories compared to what my Body Media Fit tells me I'm using.
B. Track everything, even the non-fat creamers and sugar substitutes in the coffee.
C. No more than one pack of sugar free gum in a day.

2. Habits start out as cobwebs and turn into cables. Can you see how strong your new eating and exercise habits will be in 90 days?


* Although, Spark friends, I am going to have to pay careful attention to the rebel in me, that she doesn't start "saving up" a bunch of indulgences for when the 90 days is up! Non food rewards will continue to be vital to me.

3. Are you mentally prepared to confront people and situations that threaten to interfere with your diet?

Oh, no sweat. I've worked too hard to get where I am to get derailed back to where I've been!

Ready? Set? Let's get mentally tough about maintenance! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMETER 3/26/2012 10:34PM

    Wow--I'm impressed and thinking hard about whether I could make a similar commitment, and what it would mean.

THANKS for that.

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SUE_2U 3/26/2012 10:12PM

    I was just reading about how sugar free gum really helps the digestion and all. I probably should start chewing.
You got it! emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 3/26/2012 8:47PM

    Great goals and commitment.

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_LINDA 3/26/2012 2:36PM

    Wow! That is a powerful commitment! I am not sure sure I could adhere to it! You have my admiration!!
All the best with it!!
Go Barb, GO!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 3/26/2012 1:52PM

    I went to the website and after listening to day 1, I was hooked. I am excited about the coaching and my own resolve to 100% committment. I can do this and we can do this together.

Thanks for "hooking" me up.


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1CRAZYDOG 3/26/2012 10:27AM

    FABULOUS blog! As a maintainer myself (1 yr, 2 mths and counting!) these rules are essential! Thanks. Great reminder.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/26/2012 10:06AM

    It appears that you are "all in," Barb. Way to go! Have a great day.

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CONCHA77 3/26/2012 8:37AM

    Good for you on taking on a new challenge. You are really a inspiration to me and others.
And, of course, emoticon!!! Hugs and Health.

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MSLZZY 3/26/2012 8:20AM

    I admire your courage to take on a 90 day challenge
but you are so inspiring. I know you'll do great! HUGS!

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REJ7777 3/26/2012 7:21AM

    90 days? emoticon
That's a pretty tough challenge. I agree that it will be about self-discipline and being mentally tough. In spite of it's being hard, I believe that you can and will succeed. Let's see how good you are at choosing some non-food rewards. emoticon emoticon

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SWAN47 3/26/2012 7:14AM

    Congratulations on maintenance....something I will achieve! What a proud and great place to be! emoticon Mental toughness training - what a great idea to keep you strong and accountable. Have a truly successful and blessed week!

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Bonus blog: It's WATERMELLEN's fault

Sunday, March 25, 2012

emoticon She commented on NANCY-'s blog today, the conclusion of the 21 day Fat Loser challenge. And in the process, I found the beginning of the series because "shiny objects"... I'm me! So I meandered over to and saw it's ... *free* to do the seminar on mental toughness called Fat Loser!

So, even though I'm already in maintenance, I'm going to take it on. I need a shiny new set of pep talks, right?

So, here are my Day 1 Questions/Answers:

1. On a scale of 1-7, 7 being best, how well do you control your emotional cravings for food when you're feeling stressed, depressed, or bored?

I gave myself a 5. I used to be a 1, seriously. Over the past winter/holiday season I was probably running about a 3. I'm probably up to a 5 now. I can't say I never succumb to letting the cravings have their way, but I'm better than half the time lately... I can remember I'm in training.

2. Have you taken full responsibility for getting fat?

Absolutely. Hey, I know it's me... nobody forced the spoon or fork to my lips. Nobody made the food selections for me or piled my plate. I have no excuses, then, and I have none now.

3. Are you mentally tough enough to survive the season of pain?

I believe there is more than one season of pain! There's the "stick with it when stalled" season of pain, and there is the "stick with it after goal has been reached" season of pain! I'm hoping to increase my mental toughness, that's why I'm here.

Spark on, folks! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWO-TOO-MUCH 4/2/2012 7:58PM

    I just started the Fat Loser 21 day program and am happy to find someone else who's doing it. One of my Spark Buddies is also taking part. Good luck -- it's exactly what I needed right now. :)

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REJ7777 3/26/2012 7:29AM

    I'm going to go take a peak at I find the most wonderful WEB sites by just "going where others have trod before". Shiny objects are very inviting - sometimes junk, sometimes treasures!

Wishing you success!

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SUE_2U 3/26/2012 4:50AM

    Magpie syndrome... "Oooh shiny! Go see!" And I'm off. Thanks for the heads up! :)
Oh it looks good but ah pooh! It's not closed captioned. Looks very heavy on the vids. Oh well. Thanks!

Comment edited on: 3/26/2012 4:52:25 AM

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_LINDA 3/26/2012 2:14AM

    Good for you! Feel free to drag us along with you on this new journey of self enlightenment -look forward to hearing of your success!

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DONNACFIT 3/25/2012 10:55PM

    It's Watermellen's fault I'm doing too!!

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MSLZZY 3/25/2012 6:28PM

    Quite interesting. I need to check this out!

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WATERMELLEN 3/25/2012 5:11PM

    Love . . . and today was day two of take two for me, it's that valuable. Right up there with Judith S. Beck. And I sure do agree that maintenance has a great need for mental toughness.

Warning: Siebold says most people have dropped out by Day 4 or so. And those that don't often drop out at Day 13. He takes no prisoners, pulls no punches. Pretty in-your-face: but still, very very generous to have posted this program for FREE (which he used to sell for $500!!).

Thanks for your koala bear comment: I'll be thinking eucalyptus leaves for sure when I chow down on my salad tomorrow at lunch time.

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1CRAZYDOG 3/25/2012 3:42PM

    DEFINITELY agree there are two seasons . . . pain when stalled, and "stick with it after goal is reached" pain. I am in the "stick with it after goal is reached" season of pain.

It is a matter of realizing that this IS a lifestyle change, which is going to be with me forever. And that's alright . . . I don't see that as being overwhelming, because I take it a day-at-a-time. That helps get through the seasons of pain!

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KIM--POSSIBLE 3/25/2012 3:10PM

    Oooh, shiny objects! I am adding this as a calendar reminder to start after grad school settles down in May!

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