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Riding it out... it works!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Well, at least this time it did!

I had been in a foul mood since Wednesday. You can tell from my most recent blog entries. The kind of thing I never would have shared when I was in my 20's... when I could never write anything negative because it wasn't what I wanted to project. In the family of my birth and upbringing it was unacceptable to have a negative emotion.

It's been a lot of work to learn to recognize them for what they are (they are not hunger!) and even more, allow myself to acknowledge and sit with them. Sometimes I still eat over them. Sometimes I successfully navigate back to a balanced view. Right now, this morning, I am rejoicing over that balanced view.

By the way, I want to thank everybody who left me supportive comments throughout my little 3-day episode with self-doubt, irritation, and talking back to books! A good night's sleep and supportive positive people around one is amazing in getting past the bumps in the road of life. Sometimes it takes me a while to get to here, but here is good.

Isn't SparkPeople a great place to be?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRA_T 1/31/2010 12:43PM

    I think it's great that you are able to share anything and everything you want to with yourself and others. The purpose of becoming myself is not to cover up the negative, but to reveal it so that it can be managed. Otherwise, it manages me!

I have to say though, for someone in a bad mood, you're a pretty positive person still.

Cheers, Debra

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MIMAWELIZABETH 1/31/2010 12:17AM

    Were you in a bad mood? I didn't notice... sounded like normal every day life to me! So much of what you wrote speaks volumes to me, and I'm sure to others, so you are definitely NOT alone in that. I'm glad you ARE feeling rejuvenated! Take care, XOXOXO Elizabeth~

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SLENDERELLA61 1/30/2010 6:28PM

    Wow, awesome recovery! Can you bottle that? You'd be a billionaire.

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VSWINGLE 1/30/2010 4:06PM

    I'm glad to hear things seem to have turned around for you!

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KALIGIRL 1/30/2010 3:44PM

    Sorry I missed the last 3 days - will go read them.
Glad you're centered again.

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MR.NET1 1/30/2010 3:39PM


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MOMMA_BEAR_69 1/30/2010 3:33PM

    It is so much easier to be the real you. If others don't like it, so be it. So happy to know that you are back to a more balanced you and you just rode it out. We all have our days. Don't let them discourage you.
Spark People is an AWESOME place to be. Glad you are here!!
Blessings and hugs,

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NELLIEC 1/30/2010 2:04PM

    Definitely all of us do that. You talk back to books and I talk back to TVs! And mutter!

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CONCHA77 1/30/2010 12:10PM

We all have those days.... Glad you are feeling better! Have a healthy weekend!

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SMARTIEBEE 1/30/2010 11:02AM

    I am so glad you are feeling more positive today! Yeah, SparkPeople is wonderful! We all go through a little "funk" now and then, and finding the balance can be hard. It is so great to have all the support from our Sparkie friends!

Keep the Spark!

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SUNNY332 1/30/2010 9:13AM

    Super - good to hear that you are feeling a little more balanced this morning.

I know exactly what you are saying here about not wanting to let other see you any other light except the good one. We all do that at times. Isn't it great you can offer up the real you and no body runs away? I like being real today and being real keeps me a little more balanced. I don't like it when I have those "moods" but they are a part of life and a part of me that I have come to terms with.

Posting about them gives us courage to face the ugly truth at times and we gain "strength for our journey. Have a Super Saturday and again, thanks for being real.

Hugs, Sunny
An original Velveteen Rabbit

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JIMDAB 1/30/2010 8:53AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Fear of success? Fear of maintenance?

Friday, January 29, 2010

What's going on in my psyche? No, I haven't fallen off the program. But I'm having this odd emotional crossroads. It happens about this point in the process for me. I'm only about 4 pounds away from my "new" goal, five pounds under the original. I'll probably reach that goal by the end of February, as long as I don't stop doing what I've been doing.

But there is this sense of "is that all there is?" that kicks in about now for me. I know I need to have new goals. I even wrote some of them down at the beginning of the year, and went through the motions of evaluating them against what I said my beliefs and values are... and still am having this emotion. "Is that all there is?"

For me, losing pounds and driving for a goal that's recognizable, getting applause, or virtual applause of watching a ticker tick towards the goal... is relatively easy. OK, not sit on the couch and eat ice cream easy, but root for your team, go out there and play easy. It's a project. I do well with projects.

But when the project appears to be "finished"... I lose interest. It's time to find another project. I've tried putting out things like an athletic event to train for as my next project, but I've kind of "been there done that". I have put nice rewards up for myself in 2010... and I am doing some of them.

Clearly, losing weight is not a silver bullet. It doesn't solve LIFE. I'm envious of people who have a mission in life. A clear, identified mission. I feel like I lack that. I love my work, enjoy being with the people there, but you don't work 24 x 7.

At the same time, work takes about all the energy I've got beyond just taking care of me. When people start suggesting "do more for others", it sounds like just more work to me. And when I start trying, it turns into a second career, without quitting the first. I stop taking care of me, and the whole cycle of regain / have to do it again begins. Somewhere there HAS to be a fulfilling balance.

What do I want out of LIFE? Who am I, and how can I really be the best ME, when I don't even know who that is, beyond what I do, day to day?

I have not started the 28 day program in the book because at this point, it feels like too much. Yes, those three little "fast start" goals feel like too much... time pressure to do something in the next 28 days. It smacks of things that have led me back to downward spirals in the past.

So, yeah, this is a whine and work it out post. My plan: be a little kind and gentle with myself. No program is one size fits all. Spark People is flexible in that regard... I just have to get a grip on my "I want to be a super star" thing. I am who I am, I have my limits, and THAT'S OK!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 1/30/2010 6:26PM

    Oh, can I relate. I tried the 28 day thing, but misplaced my book and couldn't remember my 3 things. And then I found the book with my notes and decided the 3 things weren't it. So, I'm still hitting my calorie range and 8 glasses of water and cardio at least 6 days a week and strength training 6 days a week and attempt 8 hour sleep (at least go to bed on time) and earn at least 100 SparkPoints a day and take my vitamin pill and fish oil and try to reduce to 4 (9 this week) my # of artificial sweetener packets and walk 200 minutes per week and eat lots of those super foods and filling foods....

I guess I have plenty of streaks, but feel a need for new goals. And I want exciting goals. And then I think the real things that count -- like taking good care of my grandchild -- don't really lend themselves to goals, although at 2 (okay, 3 on Feb 5th) she already knows her upper case and lower case alphabet, can count to 15, knows her colors, and I'm sure if we measured her vocabulary it would be way up there, can recognize her name and can make an H and an A and can match the mommies and babies --- well, you get the picture.

Goals are wonderful and powerful. But sometimes I'm afraid I'll miss out because I'm so focused on the goals.

Wishing you inspiration and everything that goes with it! Thanks for your blog.

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WATERMELLEN 1/30/2010 5:04PM

    For me the "maintaining" is much tougher than the "losing" and I've found that the At Goal and Maintaining Team has offered some very helpful techniques to achieve this: because it isn't about weight loss alone (and the external applause for THAT feat) it's about being healthy and well across all the facets of human experience.

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WALKINGANNIE 1/30/2010 4:47PM

    I recognise just what you mean about maintenance. By the time we've got to maintaining we've got good at weight loss, seeing the numbers shift and getting the congratulations.

Several of us are trying to deal with the same issues - which is what's great about SP. We'll all come up with different new goals (or do without goals)and strategies. The main numbers I'm concentrating on now are weeks and months at maintenance. If pounds lost were evidence of being good at creating a calorie deficit then time at maintenance is about (the probably more difficult feat of) being good at getting the calorie balance just right. That's quite a challenge and worth celebrating.

I also set myself a challenge of updating my status every day for a month with a celebration of different benefits of weight loss. This was to remind me to stay on track.

I'd be really pleased to hear about other people's strategies.

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KALIGIRL 1/30/2010 3:48PM

    I can relate to the 'what's next' question. I floundered a good month after reaching goal weight because it wasn't part of a greater plan (it was to avoid having to try on swimming suits). Weight loss is not a silver bullet, but as you've said before being healthy so your family does not need to worry about you is a fabulous goal.

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BURKIEANDEMME 1/29/2010 12:42PM

    It is normal to feel the way you do. It is easy to fear the accomplishment of goals. Because once the goals are accomplished, then what? And the "then what" is very scary.

My suggestion is to look at the "then what" directly in the eye and say "I am proud of what I have done. I am proud of what I am going to do. And no matter what the future holds, I am going to continue to make myself a priority. "

Have a good weekend. Read a book, light some candles, and treat yourself to something wonderful like a pedicure. (Life is always better after a pedicure! )

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SMARTIEBEE 1/29/2010 11:14AM

    Barb, your "project" isn't finished! Your "project" is YOU! You are a work in progress! The weight part is only ONE part of your goals and while you are working on that the rest of you is evolving and growing. (Not growing size wise - but mentally and emotionally!) So, yes, be gentle with yourself, enjoy your success thus far. And don't quit. Don't give up on YOU. Take it at your own pace, but revel in your new found strength - physical, mental and emotional strength.

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SUNNY332 1/29/2010 9:53AM

    Very well said - you are who you are and you do have limits.

All in all, you are achieving your goals and that is awesome. Do not fear
maintenance - enjoy that time and bathe in the sunshine of your success.

Hugs, Sunny

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DEBRA_T 1/29/2010 8:26AM

    Good morning and thanks for visiting my blog. Of course, I have to race over here too (and catch up on yesterday's which I somehow missed). This perambulation is a good one and I'm thinking about how it gets at one of the core questions in life, which is, what is life for anyway? Are we here to do something in particular? Or, just here? Do we need to Life Our Best LIfe Ever or can we just live?

I Love the SP so far, but I'm not into a lot of the goal setting and action steps -- some I do, some I leave on the page (where they can sit there and try to accuse me all they want, but I'm not listening, no I'm not, lalalalalalalala). Sometimes, we just need to be.

Yes, by all means get a grip -- you have accomplished an incredible thing. That maintenance of that accomplishment takes forever. I think the Next Thing will occur to you naturally. Rest for now.

Cheers, Debra

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The Spark Chapter 5: Cornerstone Positive Force

Thursday, January 28, 2010

OK, this one I am going to have to either argue with or grow into.

This was the first chapter I felt like talking back to. I mean, seriously talking back to. Yes, for many people, just being a positive influence in someone's life is a huge motivator. Chris has a painfully shy childhood, but I'm convinced he was an extrovert yearning to be let out.

I am no extrovert. I am an introvert with a job that requires a certain degree of courage and mimicking of extroversion! I'm close enough to the dividing line that I can pull this off. But I need some serious alone time to recover. If I add "volunteering" and "community service" on top of the peopling I already do to earn my living, I'm in deep doo-doo.

Building Block: COACHING

Despite my statement above, I do engage in a certain amount of coaching and encouraging. People nowadays come up to me and ask. And I share. I encourage here on SparkPeople, on a community on Live Journal, and in person in the work place and among my family. This helps keep me motivated... BUT...

I have to be careful of my own character flaw of wanting to do it FOR someone else, feeling responsible for "fixing" others. As with oxygen masks on airplanes, I have to be careful to put my own recovery first. If I don't, what kind of role model could I possibly be?


Toddler Barbie is sitting on the floor screaming "I don't wanna" and scuffing up her little patent leather shoes. Teen-aged Barbie is abdicating her throne as empress of the sim-soc country in her 8th grade class. I have never wanted to be a leader... because I'm too selfish... people (especially 8th graders) don't appreciate their "leaders". I wanted everybody to like me, and not everybody likes "leaders".

Flash forward... but it's what I do for a living. I have a team of people who I depend on and who depend on me. I think I'm reluctant to overload myself with the vocabulary of "leadership" more than the actuality of working as a leader of a team. I prefer to think of myself as a peer, although I've come to accept the title and responsibility.

Interestingly enough, as I have worked on my own fitness, so have others on the work team. We may have used alternate "plans", but we encourage one another. They know I'm on Spark People. They are aware (because of my yellow post-it) of my 32 day streak without soda. And three of the five of us take walking breaks, sometimes turning the walk into a work meeting, sometimes just social.


Sorry, gotta wait 'til I retire for this one. Maybe. I have my hands full with my life and work.

So, the important lesson for me, in this chapter is patience... don't expect too much of me too fast. Someday I may get there. Right now... well, what's the old phrase? Two out of three isn't bad?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 1/30/2010 3:50PM

    As I'm reading these backwards (from 1/30), I can see your frustration - believe me, you already perform community service and we're your community.

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DEBRA_T 1/29/2010 8:15AM

    You know what they say, Barb. Take what you need and leave the rest. Plus, if I might be so bold as to suggest, what you are doing in your job, among family and friends, is community service. And, by the way, just because Mr. Downie did it, doesn't me we all have to. It reminds me a little bit of the weight loss ads, "If I can do, you do too!" Well, not really.

I think you have a very good grip on who you are and how to conduct your life. You take care of yourself first. What's left over (if anything) goes to others. Sometimes there isn't any.

Rock on, my sister in Nebraska!


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MSLZZY 1/28/2010 10:05PM

    Positive attitude! I'm still in Chapter 2.

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NELLIEC 1/28/2010 9:42PM

    As an introvert, I feel that you do what you are called to. If something doesn't feel like it would work for you, don't do it.

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CONCHA77 1/28/2010 8:24PM

    2 out of 3 is Great!!! (There is Plenty of time for number 3) Sounds like your life is happy, content, and busy and that is what is important. Life is Good!
You are doing Great in Life.

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Feeling grumpy!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

OK, I recognize that service people get the same questions over and over and over again and probably get tired of hearing complaints they have heard before. But I was a *new* customer, and had never purchased anything from these folks before and the snippy tone of their e-mail back, essentially "YOU SHOULD HAVE READ THE FINE PRINT" has me feeling... attacked.

GRRRRR! Guess I'm just going to have to never buy from that merchant again. Vote with my feet and my dollars. What? Complain through channels? That's what got me the snippy response!

Time to hop on the treadmill and work off the GRRRR before I turn this into a binge excuse.

Edited To Add: After the first couple of responses, I decided that naming the merchant without giving them one more chance was not quite right, so I sent a second response to their first note (my first response wimpily accepted that it was in fact my fault) telling them how I really felt.

That felt good. At least now they know I'm upset with them! Sometimes I am just so ready to accept any trash people throw my way. And then beat up on myself for being a wimp. Today... NOT!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRA_T 1/28/2010 7:10PM

    You get 'em darlin'! With the advent of the credit card, merchants just don't need to care as much about customers; there's a line of them regardless. It's important to give you voice a workout sometimes, too, and let 'em know how you feel. Even if they don't care, it's great not to just take it sometimes.

Cheers, Debra

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NELLIEC 1/28/2010 3:34PM

    I think it is good that you wrote back and let them know how you feel.

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MSLZZY 1/28/2010 7:13AM

    Customer service should be able to deal with issues or get a different job. LOL!

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SUNNY332 1/27/2010 7:53PM

    Sorry - I just hate it when someone uses that tone. Today, I went to Hannibal to spend the day with my Father but I came home without my Jeep. It is still in the parking lot at Lowes. AAA came out and tried to start it but no going - not a energy problem. More than likely it is a computer chip. I can't wait to deal with Jeep over this. Hehehe AAA will tow it tomorrow.

BTW - a letter should be written to this company. Sometimes, it takes putting it in writing for them to realize their service representatives are not exactly representing the company in it's best light.

Hugs, Sunny

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    Who is the merchant so we can all be aware? I hate it when they get snippy, like the customer is supposed to know everything. I have worked in customer service and I hated it when a co-worker did that to a customer, and vise versa. Exercise is great anger management and binge management. Don't let em beat ya emoticon

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CSDAYS 1/27/2010 6:57PM

    You could have shared the name? I get upset if I think I've been taken advantage of.


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The Spark Chapter 4: Cornerstone Fire

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I think this chapter was written for me. You see, my biggest hurdle, looking back over the years, has been retaining my motivation. I battle to success, then something happens and I no longer see myself as worth the effort... an injury breaks training, and I have trouble coming back for it... overwork leads me to drop exercise... stress gets swallowed up in overeating... and I find myself back at the beginning of the journey. Or close to it.

And yet...

Building Block: Personal Leadership

Over the years this has grown. By the one step back, two steps forward method. Now, in my 50's, I feel more in control of my destiny, and less afraid. What may be surprising is that each time I have gone through the exercise of getting fitter I have discovered something about the fit me that I like. I may have slipped backwards, given up for weeks, months, even years on end, but never completely... motivation always returned eventually, if I was patient.

Building Block: Consistency and Momentum

During each of my successful periods, this has been the wind beneath my wings. Only when something relatively big got in the way did I lose my focus. Big? Yeah, injury that I'd have trouble coming back from. Job changes adding to stress, subtracting from time. Marriage falling apart... now wait, that was the beginning of a successful program. I did not deal well with the sea changes of life, in general, though.

But each time, I have got a little better at dealing with my own flaws... accepting my humanity makes the lapses shorter, and the restart quicker.

Building Block: Motivation

The older I get the closer the connection between good nutrition and activity and my health becomes. What do I want the quality of my life to be like for the rest of my life? It's an old fashioned concept, perhaps, but I don't want to be a burden on my son and his wife. I don't want them to worry about my health and independence... Oh, I've said that before, haven't I?

But it never hurts to remind ourselves of what motivates us! Why am I going to all this effort? Sure my health, but why do I care about my health? Because my health supports everything I do... from the good I do at work to the good I can do for my family to any good I can do to give back to my community and the world.

Health is more than physical... it's mental and emotional, too. And that's where the fun comes in. Can never let the fun go out of the motivation picture!

What sets your motivation on fire?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 1/27/2010 11:41AM

    As my mother said, "A woman doesn't even come into her own until she's 45" - Here's to growth in health as we age.

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SUNNY332 1/27/2010 7:46AM

    My Motivation is my health. I not only want to look good but feel good too.

Awesome post today and hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday.


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MEDDYPEDDY 1/27/2010 1:38AM

    It is true that even if I īm not succeeding in reching the goals I want, I learn a lot trying!
Thanks for sharing.

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DEBRA_T 1/26/2010 10:47PM

    A good reflection on the chapter, Barb. They used to say that outside motivations don't last, but I think, for some of us, they are more powerful than the internal ones we should have but somehow don't.

My motivation, aside from my own feeling of strength and well being, is to be a role model for my husband who had a mild heart attack a few months ago and perversely is ignoring almost all of the doctor's orders for his recovery. Rather than nag and worry, I decided to be the change I want to see in him.

And, it's working.

Cheers, Debra

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