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Frequently asked questions

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fellow repeaters in the "losing" game, I'm sure you'll recognize some of these. Sometimes you're expecting them and pull off an answer of grace... other times you find yourself rocking back on your heels.

"You've lost a lot of weight, haven't you? How much?" Uh... which time? Uh, this time not quite 60 pounds. Yeah, I really had backslid from my best self, but I'm back. Let's focus on today, not yesterday.

"What did __(fill in name of significant person in your life)__ say when he/she saw you? Did he/she notice?"

Um, if I was doing this to get someone to notice, maybe I'd have an answer. And it might not have been an encouraging one. If you're changing your habits in an attempt to get a reaction from others, your motivation will not see you through the long term. It really had to be, as selfish as it sounds, "all about me" and my health.

The one whose reaction is most often asked about is of course, my son, newly on leave from a combat zone. Did he notice there was less of mom to hug? Hmmm. Well, if he did, he did not comment.

I have not lost that much more weight since he left (17 pounds). And, he's seen me fit before. When he graduated from BCT three years ago, he saw the change and applauded it. Now, I just look like mom to him... and I really like that he recognizes the fit me AS me! See where this is going? I want *this* me, this size, shape, and level of fitness to be identified as normal, not exceptional.

I think that is the key to long term success: getting the fit self recognized primarily by ourselves and secondarily by others as the normal, everyday self!

So, fellow Sparklers... thoughts on your own frequently asked questions?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNA.MARIE 3/10/2010 4:43PM

    I think for me it is slightly annoying to be asked about it. I would rather someone just comment that I look nice (if that's what they're thinking) or that I look sick (if that's what they're thinking). I have always seen myself as a slim person trapped in a growing body so I guess that's why I find it annoying to be referred to as someone who is "losing weight". Maybe that's silly? Really, unless it's my direct family it's none of their business anyway! Just like Debra said, it's rude.

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    I think some of the questions I get are funny - after losing 90 lbs:

Did you get a new haircut?

New Glasses?

And I respect the people who ask if I was trying to lose weight. It isn't easy to ask someone if they have been sick. I would hate to tell someone they looked fabulous only to learn they had been ill for a year!

I forget sometimes that I have lost this much weight. I am so comfortable with this me that it feels natural!

Great blog!

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SLENDERELLA61 3/9/2010 5:32PM

    Probably the most uncomfortable question I get is, "Were you meaning to lose weight?" or more bluntly, "Have you been sick?" I think I look extremely healthy!! Oh, well.

You are so right to celebrate when those you love accept the slender, healthy you as normal! Way to go! Well said, too.

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WALKINGANNIE 3/9/2010 1:09PM

    "I want *this* me, this size, shape, and level of fitness to be identified as normal, not exceptional"

Barb, this is just the thought I've had in my head for a couple of days. Perhaps this IS the core of the maintenance challenge.

I'm glad that there are a few of us to work through it together.

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JENNIFERP23 3/9/2010 10:48AM

    So very true. At first, I liked the attention I was getting. Now, it is just plain annoying. I am trying to get back to the normal self I remember. It will be nice to be at my normal self again and stay that way.

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KALIGIRL 3/9/2010 9:37AM

    Since I announced to the world (and my wonderful friends), I was losing weight, I didn't have to face any comments/questions. My chiropractor and new physician (specializes in women's as opposed to men's health) both asked, but in a medical vein.

I so agree with you that where we are now is our 'safe place' size - that while our skin will sag, this is the shape that will define our aging temple.

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    I feel the same way ... that I'm losing the weight for me, not to get noticed. I don't mind the questions at all though. I find what's really bothering me lately is people who want to lose weight, yet don't want to do anything in order to do it! I've had people telling me how much they want to lose weight because they're so uncomfortable and blah blah blah, yet they tell me this as they eat a huge helping of fast food ... and I don't really know what to say!

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RENA1965 3/9/2010 9:07AM

    My boys lost their thin dad aged 8 and 10 years.. Kids hurt mentally alot and it gets worse when they get older, my kids will sleep peacefully that my weight won't kill me.. I will past the test and see them into manhood..
I don't care what other people think of me in dresses or if they study me to reunions.. I ain't doing this to conform to others peer pressure- just tired of lossing thin fat people in my family circle..
When thin people with normal BMI die out- it ain't about being fat it is about what we actually eat and think our throats are cut when we don't get it.. I am older and wanted to beat this problem and show myself I can develope into a responsible parent..

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XINIXINIX 3/9/2010 8:04AM

    This is what my brain regurgitated before I could shut the trap door:

"...I don't want to be noticed..oh wait, yes I do. Ok, I only want to be noticed on my wait, I like being behind the scenes..what do you want?..I don't know...I'll just be over here - hidden - until I figure it out..."

I guess my "fit self" still has some work to do.

Kudos on your "gains" towards health and wellnesss!!!

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SHARON2014 3/9/2010 7:58AM

    People are just starting to notice me, and I do get satisfaction from it ...I get the most questions from other women who are overweight, so I really don't mind. Their first question is, "what are you doing"...someone asked, "do you think I can lose 100# by June for a wedding?" and we had a good laugh. When I tell them it has been 1/2#/week, they groan. I don't mind the opportunity to share healthy lifestyle changes, but that's not what most want to hear -- they want it and they want it now and they don't want it to "cost" them anything...I know where they are coming from...I tell them it's a mindset, it has to start in the brain and the heart first...they just nod and go on to another subject. Oh well... emoticon

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DEBRA_T 3/9/2010 7:48AM

    From the fat end of the scale, the most frequently asked question I get is, 'Have you lost weight?" (Yes) "Oh, have you tried the Latest Crazy Diet That I Just Read About/Heard About/Saw on Oprah?" (No, I'm doing my own program using SparkPeople.) Thus commences an extremely tedious discussion of said diet and how "they" have discovered something crazy about how the body "really" works, etc. The obsession continues. *sigh*

I understand, according to etiquette, it is extremely rude to comment on someone's body no matter how much weight they've lost. This is a forgotten rule, I think!

Cheers, Debra

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CONCHA77 3/9/2010 7:42AM

    Love this blog!

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Now this is why we do it!

Monday, March 08, 2010

I cooked Sunday dinner for my son an his wife yesterday, collected a few more hugs, listened to him talk about everything from the Old Chicago beer tour (combining his natural "geekiness" - wonder where he got THAT from? - with beer), to movies the two of them and I have and haven't seen, to the joys of sleeping when you like and waking up when you like.

He played with and groomed the dog. He is having a good leave, in short, and I'm lucky enough to get a glimpse of it, and my share of the hugs.

I have to head to work but bubbling about this and cutting myself a break for a little celebratory eating (without going completely nuts)... THIS is why. Family moments. Being fit means being healthy and being there to relish them!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPENCEMOMOF5 3/8/2010 10:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/8/2010 10:31PM

    The hugs are worth it! Enjoy your time together!

Comment edited on: 3/9/2010 7:41:55 AM

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SUNNY332 3/8/2010 7:32PM

    Awesome! I am so very happy for you all. Enjoy every moment.

Hugs, Sunny

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NELLIEC 3/8/2010 3:12PM

    emoticon for family moments!!!

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KALIGIRL 3/8/2010 2:17PM

    Wonderful weekend!
I'm happy for you and the kids.
I'd say it time to emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 3/8/2010 1:50PM

    I echo the "OMGoodness"...and with everyone else I celebrate with you this special time with your son. Since you're a "new" friend, I'm not so tuned into some of the details of your life, but I had noticed the "Military Mamas and Papas" team in the past, so it all comes together.

Your joy is palpable!

Comment edited on: 3/8/2010 2:05:41 PM

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WALKINGANNIE 3/8/2010 1:43PM

    I'm so glad that you're making the most of your son's leave.

You've given a good reminder that we should keep fit and healthy so that we can live the lives that we want rather than focus all our efforts on tracking everything to the exclusion of important times with the people that are most precious to us.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your time together.


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VSWINGLE 3/8/2010 12:16PM

    I couldn't agree more!

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    I'm so glad you're getting to spend some time with your son while he is on leave. Enjoy these moments! They definitely are the reason why we do all of this!

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PONDERTHIS 3/8/2010 9:36AM

    OMGoodness yes! Joy and rejoicing ~ this is what life is all about. thanks for your happy blog!

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DEBRA_T 3/8/2010 9:31AM

    The ultimate motivation: being alive! I'm so happy you are having these shared moments with your son and that he is having them with you. Awesome, Barb!

Cheers, Debra

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CONCHA77 3/8/2010 8:20AM

    Sounds like a PERFECT day for you,your son, and his wife. How long is his leave?

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Rather Have Sunday ... posted late

Monday, March 08, 2010

Playing Debra_T's game from yesterday, but I didn't get around to it until today:

Gas Logs or Real Fire? Gas starter, real fire.

Money or Happiness? This is one of those "thank you, can I have some of each?" The "some" is the important thing. The concept of "enough" being satisfied (and knowing what that means for me), happiness sort of follows along. More money than "enough" won't make me happier, any more than a surfeit of food will.

Secure Job or Meaningful Job? Again, a little of both. I'm lucky in that my chosen and loved profession also pays the bills.

Blackberry or Paper Planner?: No Blackberry here. Not busy or mobile enough to really need one. I keep electronic planner/calendar at work, carry a paper copy with me.

Bright or soft lighting? Bright.

Lead or Follow? All good leaders first follow something: an ideal. To be a good leader you have to also be a good follower, offering good advice, and also accepting good advice. Natural tendency: lead.

Wine or Beer?: Neither. Teetotaler from birth.

Window or Aisle? Definitely window! I love seeing the world from a different perspective. Love to fly. Don't do it so much these days.

Hat, Ear Muffs or Bare Headed?: Hat! With ear flaps. I get cold easily. Yes, I've turned into my mother.

On the Side or on the Salad?: I am a great fan of undressed salads. My one risque behavior!

Driver or Passenger? Depends on where I'm going and with whom. I figure whoever is more familiar with the route and destination is best equipped to get us there safely. If that's me, fine. If not, I'm content to ride along.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 3/8/2010 7:49AM

    Great post.

How is your son? I bet you are enjoying the moments with him.

Hugs, Sunny

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DEBRA_T 3/8/2010 7:46AM

    When Joe and I moved to Florida from 2002-2006, we always head people native to Naples talk about how much they LOVED people from the Midwest because we were fun, funny, pleasant and filled with common sense. Your answers reminded me of the many great qualities everyone down there raves about!

And, thanks for playing!



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But I'm still me!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Thanks to RAYLINSTEPHENS for a great blog entry today
. This is a good reminder of the inner self and remembering to cherish the good we all have inside us whatever our size.

My last blog mused on how I thought I looked in a mirror. The one before on an attribute I've worked to develop and recognize. So now, what inner qualities do I cherish in myself?

I am compassionate toward others.
I am tolerant of others.
I have a good capacity to enjoy small things and am easily amused.
I am a positive person most of the time.
I have a good mind and use it to help myself past obstacles.
I am kind to animals and small children.

Granted, I have some character traits I'm working to correct, but isn't it nice to know there are some that I'm glad I have?

How about you... what do you prize about your inner self?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 3/8/2010 7:47AM

    Something I like about me is that I am a hard worker and value a good days work in exchange for honest pay. I am proud of who I am and I always want to represent myself and who I work for in the brightest light.

Most days, I shine!


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VALERIEMAHA 3/6/2010 6:35PM

    WOW! I'm just blow away by our *little corner* of the +5 million strong SparkCommunity...and the amazing wisdom reflections that gird and remind and comfort us! I truly bow in gratitude to this synergy of gathered wisdom, and our intent to expand our own consciousness as we freely offer our gifts to one another.

Some things I like about me~~

~ my indominitable spirit

~ that I'm a by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda' womyn (heh heh -- just looked the phrase up and yep, that's me: "Decide a course of action as you go along, using your own initiative and perceptions rather than a pre-determined plan or mechanical aids.")

~ I'm generous-spirited and I'm fed by reaching out to others

~ I have an adventurous nature

~ music nourishes my soul and often makes me start moving or get up and dance like no one's watching

~ I've stopped letting my age bring me down so much (we older citizens are sooooo invisible) and I'm stepping into my crone role

Thanks for this important practice!

Comment edited on: 3/6/2010 6:49:14 PM

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KALIGIRL 3/6/2010 6:19PM

    I've been blessed with what I considered a pleasant exterior, so never needed to deal with the exterior criticism, but have had inner negative thoughts. I think when we get too wrapped up in change and don't make the progress we want, we tend to chose two extreme paths; one positive and one negative. Here's to always remembering we are special unique people - all with a purpose.

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WALKINGANNIE 3/6/2010 5:54PM

    You are wise, intelligent, determined, committed, caring, curious, witty and so much more....

The other people who have responded share these qualities.

It amazes me that in a massive worldwide community like this I've found some people like you that I feel a real bond with. Your personalities are somehow projected across the ether.

Let's not forget though that you all look pretty good too!!

And me? When I look in the mirror I see a spirited survivor and I am profoundly grateful.


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    Great Blog!

It's nice to see we are thinking alike!!


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SLENDERELLA61 3/6/2010 12:08PM

    Great Blog! Goes right along with our local Polk County Team Challenge for this month: Love Yourself as You Are Now. I admire your inner qualities and think you are smart to recogize them. I recognize in me that I always (or 99.9% of the time) have good intentions, even when I make mistakes. And when I make mistakes I try to fix them. Many times in my life I have worked very hard and accomplished a lot, often with many other people to thank for their hard work, too. I can site many examples where I had determination and did not give up when there were obstacles. I have been a good mother and a good grandmother. I have almost always been a good student and a good employee. Thanks for asking. -Marsha

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WATERMELLEN 3/6/2010 10:58AM

    I like this -- particularly the stress on kindness and on using your brain to make your life work. I'll subscribe to those!!

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DEBRA_T 3/6/2010 10:50AM

    Good morning, Barb! First, thanks for posting on my blog this morning -- you made me blush! Second, I can imagine that your list should be much, much longer, but perhaps it's a good thing that we don't know all the good things about ourselves and leave them for others to appreciate, admire and emulate.

Third, what do I prize about my inner self: mostly, my extremely vivid inner life which amuses, amazes and confounds me -- how we can be such a mystery even to our own selves is a lifetime puzzle to work on. I value my natural cheerfulness and optimism, sense of humor and natural empathy.

There is so much about me to correct, but why dwell on it! LOL!!!!

Thanks for posting both the link and your reflection.

Cheers, Debra
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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I look taller

Friday, March 05, 2010

Seriously, that first morning glance in the full-length mirror, where you check to make sure the tags are tucked in and you're OK to go out the door and on with your life? I noticed that I look taller.

Well, of course, I'm NOT taller... in fact, on my doctor's measuring stick, I've shrunk a bit from my adult tallest... but since I am not as wide, I do in fact look taller. My shape has changed.

OK, for those of you who have been normal weight all your life, this is probably a "huh?" kind of moment. But you fellow Sparkers who have been up and down the scale, you know what I'm talking about. This different shaped self takes some getting used to!

So I have to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself: "This is me. This is who I am. This is what I look like." Told to oneself with love and acceptance, no matter what is there to reflect back, this can be an incredibly affirming thing to do: "I am worth taking care of. This body is the only one I'll ever have... it deserves my best effort to take care of it, as it has been taking care of me my whole life."

Now, step away from the mirror and go live life to the fullest! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/5/2010 10:09PM

    When you see what a change you've made in your life and like what you see, you even stand taller. You've done an awesome job and should be proud of yourself! You earned it with hard work and dedication. You are a WINNER! emoticon

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MRS.DOYLE 3/5/2010 6:31PM

    Yes, I've had this moment as well and, although the measuring tape tells me I'm the same height, my legs have definitely got longer because my trousers are flapping around my ankles. I think it is all the Pilates I do.

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SMARTIEBEE 3/5/2010 1:55PM

    I know what you mean - I do feel taller too! And sometimes I still don't recognize me when I first see my reflection. It does take some getting used to - But in a good way!

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CELESTIALAXIS 3/5/2010 12:53PM

    Wow I just looked at your pics, impressive! Look at those abs! I'm 28 and super jealous, lol. Keep up the great work!

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    Yup - I feel taller too! All 5'1.5" of me!


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KALIGIRL 3/5/2010 10:13AM

    Very cool - I actually think we are taller (@ least inside).

I'd been struggling with determining what my 'maintenance' weight would be. I reached goal prior to a January trip and kept losing. (Couldn't figure out how to get calorie range adjusted). I liked the new 'weight' and decided to stop - just got over the crud (@ least 95% so) and lost another 4 pounds.

Anyway, I've finally decided I don't care what the scale says - I really like what the body looks like in the mirror. (Well, if you ignore the old saggy skin...) I really like the shape and am looking forward to improving it though exercise!

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DEBRA_T 3/5/2010 8:51AM

    You not only look taller, you look younger, more energetic, more competent, more vital -- there's a tremendous payoff for following your very, em, tall order to take care of yourself. Great job, Barb!

And I love the way you ended your blog because, quite frankly, another change that occurs with weight loss if you're doing your inner work all the way down -- you no longer need to pin yourself to your own self obsession. You're okay, you don't need to check, you can go out in the world and leave the mirror to those who do.

Cheers, Deb
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 3/5/2010 7:53AM

    Yes - great observation!

Necks definitely get longer when we lose weight and I'm sure that we walk taller as we're not being pulled down by excess weight.

You are so worth taking care of and doing a great job of it.

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