Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year of Maintaining

For me this has been a milestone year; my first year EVER of losing weight, whereas, I didn't have a specific goal or event in mind, I just wanted to lose weight, keep it off, keep losing, maintain, and so on  and so forth.  I also did some other things this year that I said I would never do.
Lost 8 lbs

Lost 3 lbs

Lost 3 lbs
First time I ever ran 10 miles

Lost 2 lbs
First time I ever ran 12 miles

First time I ever ran 14 miles

Lost 2 lbs
Ran my first Half Marathon--Zooma Annapolis 
Weighed: 171 lbs
Time: 3:05

Lost 2 lbs

Lost 3 lbs


Lost 7 lbs
Ran my 2nd Half Marathon-Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank International
Weighed: 158 lbs
Time: 2:46

Lost 1 lb

Lost l lb

The months I maintained was where my weight started off from the previous month, gain a pound, lost a pound.  I am finally getting all my numbers together and putting on a chart for all to see.  I am happy with this past year and had no major crisis, but I am always aware.
My parents are getting older--they will be 79 & 82 in 2013 and they live on the West Coast and I live on the East Coast.  There were a few small episodes with their health this past year.  I am planning to visit this April as I did last year.  I am signed up for a half marathon in late February, so I will be putting in the miles again, starting off this weekend with 10 on Saturday.  
Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

**Update:  I must disclose that I interval run at a 3:1 pace.  It's somewhere on this blog but I wanted to make sure I divulged this.  I started at a 6:1 pace and started hating running again but the 3:1 pace--run 3 minutes and walk 1 minute works for me.  I must like what I am doing so that I will stick to it.  Notice I didn't mention anything about love or loving it; I like it and that's enough to get me out there on these cold mornings.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

By any means necessary...

6/09 200 lbs
I was talking to a friend yesterday about weight, weight loss, diets, gastric bypass, the lapband and she was expressing her displeasure with those who choose gastric bypass surgery.  This person has intimate knowledge of the procedure (read: a family member) indicating that it does not address the need for changed behavior to a level she feels is very necessary.  She indicated that she is for the lapband because it is adjusted with behavior which is better monitored--in her opinion.  I indicated that I am an equal opportunity person, whatever way an obese person needs to get the weight off and keep it off--then just do it.  I realized as I was typing that I may open myself up to ridicule.  I did type "obese person." So I am not advocating for an anorexic person to keep the weight off by any means necessary, just to be clear.

 I am passionate about this because over 30 years ago I was listening in on a conversation between my oldest sister who died of a heart attack due to obesity and my mother.  Back in the early 80s, pre-gastric bypass (or as we know it now) they did stomach stapling--basically cordoning off a part of the stomach to make it smaller with staples.  My sister who at the time was probably over 300 lbs was telling my mother that she was thinking about having this procedure.  She knew she was very large and wanted to do something about it--very courageous, as I look back on it.  Well, evidently this conversation had taken place before because my sister started crying because mother was SO against it.  My mother stated that this surgery was not safe and the staples were known to come out and so on and so forth.  My sisters and I always did what my mother said; her word was gospel, I say "was" because we now think for ourselves but back then our mother had a lot of influence over us.  So my sister is crying, probably even desperate about things we didn't find out until after her death but she thought this would solve all her problems.  My mother insisted that she not get the surgery citing the children and 2-3 years later she was dead of a heart attack due to obesity. Whew!!!! just typing this still takes my breath away.

 I was seventeen when she passed and as I have said before, the word obesity just stuck with me and I developed an internal monitor to always just try to keep my weight down!!!  It is a very long and winding road but with pure determination, it is possible. I always tell people that without that startling revelation at 17 of the word obesity, I probably would be 300 lbs myself.  I feel that, 300 is the new 200 when I watch The Biggest Loser.  Back in the day, 200 lbs was like taboo, no one and I mean no one ever wanted to reach 200 lbs, I remember my second oldest sister (Miss Size 6, 118 lbs) and my oldest sister (they were 17 months apart) arguing over the word "fat" and its use.  Many of you know where I am going with this.  It was a constant battle when I was a little girl and into my teens.  Fat sister, skinny sister.  When I was born they were 13 & 12 years old but I didn't understand their battles, they were my pretty older sisters, one was tall and statuesque, pretty skin and thick hair and one was petite, pretty with hazel eyes and thick hair.  They both married at 20 and my oldest sister had 2 children right away.

 I didn't witness the anguish of weight (of course I knew the word fat) until overhearing that conversation at 14 or 15 years of age.  After my sister's death and reading the death certificate, I often wondered about that conversation and whether or not it could have saved her life.  I didn't get the courage to ask my mother about the conversation until 3 years ago, yes, 2009.  She took my sister's death really hard and we just didn't add insult to injury back then--no blame games, just grief.  She died on the 4th of July, 1983---so there were no more Fourth of July celebrations in my family, just grief. But in 2009 we were all in a different place, literally.  I was really getting tired of my struggle with 50 lbs, up and down, my mother had had knee replacement surgery but had needed to lose about 50 lbs and was in so much pain that I got angry.  I told her that doctor had no business doing the surgery and that she needed to lose some weight first.  She started crying and said that I hurt her feelings.  I apologized but I meant what I said.  When she was done with rehabilitation or almost done, I took her to Weight Watchers and she is still going and losing.  She says she went to her first few meetings still using a cane.  I was not apologetic about that.  I was feeling courageous and wanting to have the tough conversations and we did.  So one day we were driving and I just asked her if Trena (my sister's name was Trena Therese Marsh-Joiner) were alive now would you be OK with her getting gastric bypass surgery and she said absolutely.  She opened up about ignorance and how we didn't know the gravity of obesity and all it's complications--with something as small as stress(stress did not mean then what it me.  She complimented me on saving my own daughter's life--this felt good coming from my mother---but I felt her pain and heard the crack in her voice.  We continued talking about our processes of losing weight.  Weight Watchers was working for her and I had begun my journey, again, detoxing and trying everything, again with some success and I continue this right now--with much more success. The picture above is of me found on the Internet, good grief.  I attended a meeting at UCLA in June of 2009 and we took a picture  after the 2 day meeting.  I remember vividly standing on the end and trying to turn to make myself look smaller but it made me look worse, in my opinion.  The horror of finding this on the Web just added salt to the wound but I also thought to myself this morning that I should post this everywhere as a reminder.

 I know there are so many stories out there comparable to mine, my grief is not as heavy as it was because July 2013 will be 30 years, she would have turned 60 years old this past March.  I think about her all the time.  I also think about how far we have come with education about fat, calories, consumption and weight.  We are doing worse because there are so many obese children but our First Lady is doing something about this.  Many parents are being educated, something I felt alone with about 10 years ago.  I feel we just have to be vigilant when it comes to our numbers, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol and control them by any means necessary.

**by any means necessary (for me) refers to all the different people and different weight loss methods that are out there.  Everyone has to find their own path, what works for me, may not work for someone else but we have to keep trying!!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Bookshelf

Not only do I have issues with food, I am also a closet foodie.  I call myself closeted because I am unable to dine in some of the places I read about.  I have loved cooking, food, restaurants, newspaper food sections, cooking and food magazines, and now blog forever.  I love when all my worlds collide and they did with Joe Bastianich article in Runner's World.  This article is from 2010, a year before I started running, but I had heard that he used to have a weight problem--here's another one of those moments for me---I just didn't believe it, so I start searching around and saw pictures and frankly, I still can't find his face now in the pictures when he was overweight.  Incredible!!!  So my searches led me to this article and when you read it, although it's in Runner's World, it's a foodie article, love it!!!
And then I found out that that he would have a book coming out, Restaurant Man.  I started reading it over a month ago and just finished it.  It's very revealing, in more ways than one.  He tells trade secrets, a lot of them, I was enthralled.  Now for the good part:  he devotes only about 6 pages to his chubby kid to marathon runner comeuppance.  "The doctor told me if I didn't stop I would have full-on type 2 diabetes in five to ten years and either die of a heart attack while I was sleeping or begin to go blind from glaucoma and start losing limbs.  It was a nice picture he painted for me.  He told me to take a look at my father--he had type 2 diabetes, which he did not control.  He had glaucoma.  He had poor circulation and neuropathy.  I knew I had to change my life.  The real aha moment is when I stopped looking at food as an indicator of social status or as a reward and started looking at it as fuel for my body." (Hardcover p. 228).
I love how his doctor painted him a picture, he got it and did something about it.  Sometimes this is the way is goes for some people.  But what I really wanted to note is that he doesn't seem as though he stresses out about gaining it all back.  And in his world of pasta and wine, that's saying a whole lot.  He states that running improved every part of his life.  I love that!!! " keeps my weight off..."  Again, I just find Maintainers so uplifting and encouraging.  To be reading something about food and to come across him was wonderful and enlightening.  I just wanted to share this.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Maintainer's World Wednesday

I like to see those who are setting goals and making plans for the coming year; the year recaps are also great.  I am learning a lot for myself; I have been journaling for while now and I set goals in my head but I have never set out with intention to actually write them down. Also, I am noticing a little bit of beating ones self up out there.  What I want to say is that the New Year will come and you will get back on the wagon.  I just take one day at a time and not take on the entire season.  You are talking from October 31st to January 1st, why, why, why put that much pressure on yourself.  My mother is a very pragmatic woman (just deal with it, it's going to come around whether you want it to or not).  Yes, I am turning into my mother (this can be good and bad), because we know the Holiday season is coming around each year just like Girl Scout Cookie time (which used to be worse for me than the Holidays!!!), seriously.  I mentally prepare for these seasons. I actually gave up Girl Scout Cookies at least 8 years ago (not sure of the exact date).  I said that next year I would not buy any cookies (if I did, they would stay there with the Girl Scouts) and I didn't.  It happens when you consciously make a choice, stick with it and then you just forget about it.  I hadn't thought about Girl Scout Cookies until I needed an analogy to go with the Holiday Season.  And no you don't have to give up Girl Scout Cookies or the Holiday Season but I think for those of us who have issues with food, giving up something and/or paying attention to what goes in our mouths is important. Dr. Berkeley (Refuse to Regain) in her last week post said this:  " trigger foods which are so ubiquitous at this time of year set off the body's addiction pathways.  Sugar gets into your system and it stages a take over.  Before you know it, there's been a coup and you are no longer in control of your eating..."
I know this to be true for ME and I own it.  Sugar may not be the root of all evil for all but during this coming year, explore your triggers, know them and prepare for the seasons because they'll be coming around again!!!

110 Pounds and Counting – Lovely Lebanese
Debby Weighs In – A Bit on This 'n That

Fit to the Finish – The Diets Do Not Work Myth Exposed

Fixing Myself Happy -- A Quick Post

Garden Girl – Narrow carb window in weight maintenance

Half Size Me -- Tune in for the Latest Podcast

Happy Weight After - Just the Sporadic Weight Update...

Hungry Girl -- Chew the Right Thing

It Sux To Be Fat -- Managing Holiday Treats -- Chose, Lose

Keeping the Pounds Off! – I Dropped to Fifty, As Suggested

Lap Band Gal! -- What Day is Today?

Myra's Journey -- It's All In Your Mind

Poonapalooza -- Tis the season to treat your body like the temple it is

Prior Fat Girl -- Reflecting.

Refuse to Regain – Food, Violence and How we Fool Ourselves:  Just My Opinion

Roni’s Weigh -- Which Came First, the Fat or the Crap?

The Fit Bee -- Busy Season

The Anti-Jared -- Because People Will Hate You

Tracy Reifkind's Training Food and Thought -- Stop it! And then Put Something Different  Into Action

Weight Off My Shoulders -- My 30s Freakin Rock So Far...

Welcome to my World - Stop Acting Stupid

Monday, December 17, 2012

Heavy Heart....Weight of the Nation

My heart is very heavy from the senseless loss of lives in Newtown, CT.  My heart goes out to all the families and to the community.
These kind of times makes an emotional eater, eat.  That being said, I was very conscious this weekend, because I can sit up, watch 24 hour coverage and eat.  This is what emotional eaters do.  I did get some popcorn and crunched on that---it helped, I wanted more but just drank water.
"Weight of the Nation" is free on Amazon instant video and probably on Hulu, I just haven't checked.
This is a good  because so many people missed it and the HBO streaming was difficult, just didn't work on many browsers, in my opinion.  I have watched it twice.  I recommend it to everyone.  If you just want to understand the urgency of why we need to keep our weight under control, watch "Weight of the Nation."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Maintainer's World Wednesday

I have been a blog stalker (there is a better word I could of used) for a very long time.  I read many of the popular blogs (hint: one made into a movie) from the beginning.  I have always been fascinated by what makes a person this, or what makes a person that, or how did she do this or that, hence my fascination with blogs.  It's been very hard for me to start one because I wanted to first be consistent and second, authentic.  I wanted to know what I wanted and what I didn't want.  I love when I am compiling this post and reading what's going on in the Maintaining World, it truly gives me strength.  My favorite is to read everyone's story, where they came from,  how much they have lost, and how they are Maintaining.  I love that everyone has come to this juncture from different paths.  I am for all different diet plans and weight loss regimens (the path) and there are plenty; but Maintaining is truly where my heart is.  It's so hard to be out here (and we're not famous people) and lose weight, gain it all back, lose weight, gain it all back....  We have to start promoting Weight Maintenance, yes, we have lost that 40, 50, 60+ lbs and we want to keep going or just stay the same and we want to do it within the same context of weight loss, with enthusiasm and encouragement.  I think the thing about maintaining is that for the most part it's invisible.  Many people are maintainers and don't even know it or think of themselves that way.  I am always amazed, astonished when I have been around a person for a while and say something like, "Oh you're skinny, you haven't had to ever worry about your weight" and they retort that they used to heavy and offer pictures.  Again, it's invisible, I would have never known this (btw over the summer I had peaked at this person's blazer and the tag said Size 0, wowza!!!) 

110 Pounds and Counting – Healthier Holiday Snacking
Debby Weighs In – Single Minded

Fit to the Finish – Have You Taken the Time to Measure Lately?

Fixing Myself Happy -- Mid Week and Moving Day

Garden Girl – 10 Months Weight Maintenance update

Half Size Me -- Tune in for the Latest Podcast

Happy Weight After - Just the Sporadic Weight Update...

hopfulandfree -- of fairy tales, thin privilege and dominant social discourses (part two)

Hungry Girl -- Chew the Right Thing

It Sux To Be Fat -- Pack a Snack - Weekly Weigh In

Keeping it Off -- Whole 30: Week 1

Keeping the Pounds Off! – Process This Part II

Poonapalooza -- Tis the season for burning quads

Prior Fat Girl -- Finding relaxation.

Refuse to Regain – Drop and Give Me Fifty!

Roni’s Weigh -- Do You Ask for the Support You Need?

Tracy Reifkind's Training Food and Thought -- The Day I Stopped Being a Compulsive Overeater (part one)

Weight Off My Shoulders -- Girls on the Run and Walter's Run 5K

Welcome to my World - The Weight of the World Off My Shoulders

Monday, December 10, 2012


 I have a cute story about time management that I learned at my daughter's college orientation.  In summer of 2006 we traveled to Washington DC for my daughter's 2 1/2 day freshman orientation at GWU.  The first day late morning session we enter the auditorium and there is a flip chart with the number 168 written on it, the only thing on the stage.  It was a prop for the Dean of Students' talk with students and parents.  So he comes out asking us what the number represented and there was all kinds of answers; he told us that everyone had it and even Oprah.  I guess in 2006 no one knew what he was talking about and I am wondering if many people know about it now.  Anyway this goes on for about 5 or 10 minutes but no one in the audience guessed.  Then he stated that this is the number of hours everyone had in a week.  Yep, we all have 168 hours a week, 24x7.  Then he breaks down the numbers and I start writing on my piece of paper also and when he was done the students still had about 52 hours left to do whatever; classes, sleep, studying and a few other things were covered. I found this fascinating because if we break down the hours in a day, it doesn't seem like we have any time left.  I learned a lot from this session and I had taken a few time management classes just for me as a young wife and mother and it helped tremendously but this was 15 years later and I learned something new.
I know a lot of people who really don't want to hear this but it's true and I think every one should seriously look at how they are spending their time.  My one day that I don't worry about time is Sunday, unless I am working on a project.  So even on Saturday, because I kept running out of time on Saturdays and it was getting frustrating to me, I manage my time.  I get up very early to get my runs in usually somewhere between 3-10 miles or more if a race is close.  I also try real hard to get 7 hours of sleep a night.
I really feel sad when I hear a person is overwhelmed and do not have time for themselves.  I am sure everyone does the best they can but we can all do just a little bit more with figuring out our 168.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Maintainer's World Wednesday

If you are like me, just needing some inspiration to make it through the Month of December (MOD), take a look at this edition of A Maintainer's World Wednesday.  The following links are full of just what we are all needing at this time.  This is my therapy putting these links together each week.  I don't do a lot of commentary but I do make comments on some individual blogs.  As usual this is a work in progress, if I am missing a maintainer that should be on this list, then feel free to let me know.  I also have a To Watch list that I am working on.

110 Pounds and Counting – Skirt's Too Tight
Debby Weighs In – Taking One Hat Off, Putting the Next One On

Fit to the Finish – Monday Morning Restarts

Fixing Myself Happy -- More Than A Week Gone By

Garden Girl – My transition from weight loss to weight maintenance

Half Size Me -- Tune in for the Latest Podcast

hopfulandfree -- of fairy tales, thin privilege and dominant social discourses (part one)

Hungry Girl -- Chew the Right Thing

It Sux To Be Fat -- Day at a Time December – 360, and go!

Keeping it Off -- Whole 30, Day 1/30

Keeping the Pounds Off! – Process This Part One

Myra's Journey -- Back To School

No Celery Please -- I Feel Pretty

Poonapalooza -- Concave arm pits and skinny butts

Prior Fat Girl -- The Day My Life Changed...

Refuse to Regain – The Calm Before the Serious Holiday Storm

Roni’s Weigh -- Tough Mudder Florida 2012

The Fit Bee -- Where My Heart Belongs

Tracy Reifkind's Training Food and Thought -- Namaste

Weight Off My Shoulders -- 2012 Road Races

Saturday, December 1, 2012

What's new in weight maintenance research?

I received the following citations in my inbox this morning from PubMed.  I found 3 of them interesting, my notes are below in red. #s 2, 3 & 5; my search is keyword and pertains to "weight maintenance." What is good about the 3 articles that I like is that they are also freely available to read full-text.

1.Inactivation of Socs3 in the Hypothalamus Enhances the Hindbrain Response to Endogenous Satiety Signals via Oxytocin Signaling.
Matarazzo V, Schaller F, Nédélec E, Benani A, Pénicaud L, Muscatelli F, Moyse E, Bauer S.
J Neurosci. 2012 Nov 28;32(48):17097-107. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1669-12.2012.
PMID: 23197703 [PubMed - in process]
Related citations
2.Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women.
Klempel MC, Kroeger CM, Bhutani S, Trepanowski JF, Varady KA.
Nutr J. 2012 Nov 21;11(1):98. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 23171320 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] Free Article
Related citations --the focus here is on Cardio Protection, so the severity of a one day fasting/week is understandable.  I am sure many will disagree with me because it's been said that not eating will throw off a person's metabolism.  They said the same about low calorie or high fat diets for years also.  I feel every body is different and if this helps to protect an obese woman's heart and possibly jump start weight loss, well....again, this is only my opinion. (my Disclaimer is above)
3.Group dialectical behavior therapy adapted for obese emotional eaters: a pilot study.
Roosen MA, Safer D, Adler S, Cebolla A, van Strien T.
Nutr Hosp. 2012 Aug;27(4):1141-7. doi: 10.3305/nh.2012.27.4.5843.
PMID: 23165554 [PubMed - in process] Free Article
Related citations--found this abstract to be fascinating and hope to have the time soon to read the entire article, I read up a little on dialectical behavior therapy and thought it makes perfectly good sense to apply this to obese emotional eaters, I like these results: "The ability of DBT to limit the upward trajectory of weight gain in obese patients with high degrees of emotional eating suggests that DBT may also help limit the increase or even prevent onset of obesity related morbidity in these patients."
4.Developing and Piloting the Journey to Native Youth Health Program in Northern Plains Indian Communities.
Brown B, Noonan C, Harris KJ, Parker M, Gaskill S, Ricci C, Cobbs G, Gress S.
Diabetes Educ. 2012 Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 23150531 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Related citations 
5.Body weight changes and outpatient medical care utilisation: Results of the MONICA/KORA cohorts S3/F3 and S4/F4.
Wolfenstetter SB, Menn P, Holle R, Mielck A, Meisinger C, von Lengerke T.
Psychosoc Med. 2012;9:Doc09. doi: 10.3205/psm000087. Epub 2012 Oct 25.
PMID: 23133503 [PubMed] Free PMC Article
Related citations--I think there are a lot of things going on in this study done in Germany according to the abstract.  I do feel that there is a ton of data to be lifted from this study with respect to whether those who seek outpatient medical care and if they gain or lose weight.  I think maybe they even have data on whether or not they sought more or less outpatient treatment because of co-morbidity's like diabetes, heart/circulation problems or breathing/asthma problems. I would love to find out what they mean in their conclusions of "weight development."