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People Couldn't Believe What I'd Become

Monday, April 25, 2011


Beware, this is gonna be a whiney blog.

You've got your chance.

You can turn back now.

I mean, I wouldn't blame ya.

Or you can leave a quick comment, get a Spark Point and head back to safer ground.

Here, I will even provide some quick comments for your copying and pasting pleasure:
* jes, you're weird
* jes, what's gotten into you?
* jes, quit yer whining
* Is this the Ceramics class?

Okay, now that we've gotten that out of the way....

Yesterday it was beautiful weather for the first time in what feels like a good six or seven years. My husband and I both went out walking (although not together, and he ended up running more). There were blooming trees. There were friendly dogs with soft, velvety ears to scratch. There cute guys from BC (er, that's Boston College, and not British Columbia, although the two are not mutually exclusive) to ogle.

And today ... feh. Back to dismal drab icky blah-ness.

It seems almost worse that we had a good day as now it's even clearer what we are missing.

It is not just the weather, kids.

It is still being unemployed -- and Unemployment is looking to run out in something like five weeks.

It is 32 weeks now of being stuck at 201 - 206 pounds. It is the increased calorie experiment (I'm not done with the experiment yet, and I am attempting to be patient with it) resulting in an incredibly exciting no change since last week.

It is watching my friends also drowning in sameness and fatigue and losing their motivations or at least seeming to be dragged out and grasping for motivations.

It is a feeling of wondering --

Is that all there is?

And I didn't go with the Peggy Lee song (although I suppose I could have), but the sentiment is similar.

There is a lot of foofaraw given to starting. And I totally get that, because initial inertia is mighty powerful. There is an enormous amount of support given to the new, the fresh, the inexperienced. So much to learn! So much to see! So much to do!

And a bunch of changes are made (assuming that person is committed to losing weight) and firsts are attained. Goals! 5Ks! First size change! First ticker change!

Suddenly that person is eating 8 fruits/vegs in a day! They're drinking eight 8 oz glasses of water! They're walking a good 10,000 steps on average! They're weighing and measuring! They've given up soda! They've joined a gym! They finally said no to cheesecake! They tried quinoa!

And while this is all awesome, folks like me, well, we've been there, done that.

Years ago.

Yanno, Spark has four diet stages. I am in the fourth. I have been so for, I believe, over two years.

There are no other stages. This is it, kids!

And it's hard, after a while, to get up, day after day, week after week, month after month and, yes, year after year, and keep on keepin' on.

There is no more low-hanging fruit to pluck.

There are no more simple lifestyle changes.

There are no more quick or even moderate fixes.

Now it's just work.

Slow, slogging, hopefully steady work.

And people wonder why maintenance is hard, why the success rate (yes, even here) is far less than 25%.

I know, and I'm technically not even on maintenance yet.

It's because it's a lot to sustain, over time.

It is not easy.

It is not pretty.

It is not celebrated, except by those in the know.

Longevity is not an easy accomplishment.

Ask Cal Ripken.

It's not as flashy as big numbers. It's not as exciting as wins, and trophies and newbies on their personal growth roads of discovery.

There is no award here for 100,000 fitness minutes. Should there be? I speak not just for myself but, yeah, I kinda think so. I mean, doesn't that level of commitment warrant some actual recognition?

Hell, there isn't even an award for 10,000 fitness minutes, except for a quickie mention in your feed.

There is an award for attendance, yes, but it feels odd and unglamorous, like Miss Congeniality at the Miss America Pageant. Nice try, Toots, and everybody loves ya, but you lose the tiara and the scholarship to the gal who trained a chihuahua to accompany her on the harp and flugelhorn while the two of them sang "The Girl from Ipanema".

I am well aware that health, etc is the main reward. I do get that. And while this is a whiney blog it isn't, so much, being written by me to get you to recognize me.


It is, I hope, for you to recognize longevity in yourselves.

This is a freakin' marathon.

It goes through every Middlesex village and town of your life. You know, the one where you blame your eating habits on your mother, and then a later one where you forgive your mother and then yet another one where you figure your mother wasn't to blame at all. It's in the town where you get the "I didn't get diabetes" trophy, and the one where you get the "I can still walk upright and with strength and purpose even though I'm eighty" award.

But those towns can seem far away, at times, and so whiney blogs like this one bubble up to the surface.

And, by the way, no, this is not the Ceramics class. That is two doors down, you can't miss it.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD3551825
    You put it into words when I can't. I have felt the same way. The newness is gone and now it's boring.
    3701 days ago

    I can relate. Coming up on two years. Started out in a blaze of glory, hit all my goals and then some. Backsliding the past few months. Stopped food tracking and gained.

    What's the other option? Put it all back on and quit exercising? I rebooted yesterday. Went back at looked at my first few months on Spark. I have come so far from then. I'll be running my 6th half marathon in two weeks. A 10K was a reach goal when I started.

    Tracked everything yesterday and stayed in range. If that;s the price of success, so be it.

    Love your breezy, irreverant writing style.
    3704 days ago
    And WHY is this blog NOT on the MOST POPULAR BLOG page????? How did it get passed over? (Or did it make it and I'm just out of the loop as usual.)

    You are so funny! And you are so right! (I love your turns-of-phrase, and why are you not working as a writer?)

    My dh gives me good lines and when I was down about 25 lbs and plateauing before getting off another 25+, he said (referring to weight loss) "It is not a sprint but a marathon." Well who the hell knew that the marathon had no frickin ending - no REST stops even??? And that it would loop back on itself so much and you'd ending up running parts of it over and over. NOT FAIR! I hate that "maintenance" feels worse than the diet did in the first place, because of what you mentioned - that loss of the feeling of accomplishment and newness. But it's the reality and probably why almost all of us gain some weight back as an eventuality.

    Patience with the job hunt. The work that will add quality to your life is just around the corner. Keep searching! Never ever give up!
    3704 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4749243
    Sorry. No sympathy. Just amused bemusement. Ditto VeeJay.

    3705 days ago
    * jes, you're weird
    * jes, what's gotten into you?
    * jes, quit yer whining
    * Is this the Ceramics class?

    You have a great sense of humor running throughout your "whiney" blog. I totally sympathize! Here I am, lost all those pounds, got so far, feeling stuck at the "so close to my goal" stage because once you hit stage 4 at SP, there are no more goals to SHOOT for besides maintenance and keep earning them there points. I don't even like my current trophy. I want the one back from my last stage :) Seriously this isn't easy. No matter how far you come, you never stop working. So i keep looking for challenges to push me forward, give me some kind of goal. And hopefully I can remember what challenges I joined each month so I can keep tracking them LOL!

    I love SP and sparkfriends cause we remind each other that we are all human. Just don't get so down you dive into a container of chocolate cookie ice cream and half a chocolate cake. Definitely not worth the extra workouts!

    So, can you point me towards the bootcamp workout room?
    3705 days ago
    Yeahhhh... I hear ya.

    I'm lucky to still have so far to go. I resist those same urges, though, that this is road well traveled. I try to look at things with a fresh eye. I still have a lot of fitness to find in myself, so there are accomplishments, even physical ones, to find.

    I was so motivated by that little "___ pounds lost with SparkPeople" at the start. I was disappointed when it went from 5 pounds to 10 pound increments. And then, for awhile they only had 100 and 100+. Now they have a couple more, but... I thought at first that maybe people just weren't LOSING this weight with SparkPeople, until I started seeking them out. They are! And doesn't everyone deserve the same amount of excitement about their pounds?!

    And don't YOU deserve some maintenance WOOHOOs?!

    If I manage to spin the wheel for the next couple of days I'll get the perfect attendance for the month (for the first time even though I'm here every day for over 3 years). The CONSISTENCY award (step below perfect attendance) is even less glamorous. LOL!

    I'm still trying to learn all I can. In maintenance, I think the goals just have to change in order to be kept real. Maybe there's no "low hanging fruit" of walking the first 5k, but there are personal bests, and time to beat. And I'm sure there are SOME new discoveries out there! Hang in there, we can figure this out.

    3705 days ago
    Totally "get it!" Maintenance is the HUGE elephant in the room, with or without our extra pounds...it's still there! And there are MANY days when "it" gets oh-so-"old"! Yet we do our best to keep putting one foot ahead of the other because it really is all about truly LIVING our lives and not settling for the living death of obesity.


    h agreed re: "dismal drab icky blah-ness" hasn't been much "inspiration" lately...ugh!!
    3706 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your journey. I went back to stage 1 instead of moving into stage 4 since I still can't balance everything the majority of the time. Sending you job finding vibes. emoticon
    3706 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3248497
    I know you are going to stick with it. I agree with you that after you reach stage 4 in the spark diet, that is it. I wish at the time back in 2009 they had more things to help with maintaining the weight, which is WAY tougher. But we will keep at it, the both of us!! Good luck with everything. I know with your unemployment running out, it must be stressful.
    3706 days ago
  • _CYNDY55_
    emoticon *✲*•.¸❤¸.•*✲* Blog Post *✲*•.¸❤¸.•*✲*
    and wasn't very Whiney at all.
    3706 days ago
    You are preaching to the choir, my friend.

    And no, SP still hasn't done anything about it since I wrote this over a year ago. They simply do not see it as a priority. Almost no one does. It is not sexy. It does not sell.

    Maybe if Chris Downey had actually experienced the need to lose weight and keep it off, there would be some kind of interest in this. But there isn't.

    And what kills me is that with the Spark infrastructure there could be so much more.

    I have lots of ideas. Based on the scientific research that correlates behaviors and habits with maintenance. I have shared them with SP's leadership, and exchanged emails with Chris, himself. In the form of specific incentives that could be implemented.

    But they do not see this as a priority. Instead they want to branch out to teens and people with financial issues.

    So nothing has come of it. NOTHING.

    And, BTW, I have read no papers anywhere citing a successful maintenance rate of 25%.

    The best I've seen is 20% and that's people who keep off 10% of their starting weight (i.e. gain back 90% of the weight they lost).

    Less than 5% stay within 5 lbs of their goal weight.
    3706 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/25/2011 4:51:14 PM
  • CECE0330
    Love it! Thanks for posting. emoticon I've been here 3.5 years, so I can totally relate.

    (I suppose the "new territory" will be hitting maintenance, huh?)
    3706 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/25/2011 3:12:41 PM
    Does it defeat the purpose of your Epic Whine if I stand here laughing my head off?
    While my chihuahua toots his horn?
    I do NOT worry about people who are this self-actualized.
    I'm sending you "job" vibes, though. You will be a new woman when you punch a time clock once again.
    3706 days ago
    I can so relate! You know, I signed up for SP almost 4 years ago, and I still haven't gotten the hang of controlling my eating and being consistent, so I never even advanced myself to Stage 4. I've been in Stage 3 of the program for nearly 3 years. I have stayed nearly the same weight for the last 2 years and have not gotten back down to my low in May of 2009, much less gotten to my goal weight. It is definitely not easy to continue slogging away day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

    Are you sure this isn't the Ceramics class? emoticon

    Hang in there! emoticon

    - Karen
    3706 days ago
    ok, so maybe this is the wrong blog to be laughing at, but you cracked me up, especially with the gal who trained the chihuahua.

    Just keep on keepin' on. :)
    3706 days ago
    Loved this blog. Two day ago i got a notice from Spark that I'm now in Stage Four and I felt oddly like they were casting me adrift when I'm not ready yet. I'm nowhere close to the maintenance thing, I'm far from being done losing weight, and I'm well into the slogging part. And I'm feeling the inertia you described so perfectly here. And all I can say is, Hang in there! Now I'm gonna go to the gym and the pool.(I can say this too: You're a really good writer!)
    3706 days ago
    Ok My dear friend yes I am laughing. If we didn't whine once in awhile we would explode. I am the queen of whine. I think it is good to have some bad days so we recognise good ones. Being stuck stinks as I have been there for months. But I have no intention of stopping and never will you. You are an awesome person but you are human and forget that sometime. Now where did you say that ceramic class is.Always wanted to try that.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3706 days ago
    Ah Jes, there seems to be something in the air. I keep going back to stage 1. Because I keep forgetting the things that we are supposed to learn in all the other stages. And I take up all my bad habits again. Or enough of them to regain weight. Ugh. Your whine is funny. Mine won't be so entertaining as you are even when you are struggling, but I think I will go do it anyhow because you give me courage. And maybe it will help. Did yours?
    3706 days ago
    it is hard to keep on keeping on. like you, ive been here years. been in stage four over two years. it is difficult to keep on keeping on when there is no new territory.
    but.... i know that you will keep on..cos, well, you will. you didnt get this far to not keep going. this is life. it is ugly, depressing, boring, hard, difficult, terrifying at times. but, you get up and keep going for those beautiful, thrilling, awe-inspiring times.
    3707 days ago
    Thank you for writing the blog I would have written. I'm wallowing in nothing right now. But I'm ever so thankful that I'm not worse off, and that I'm still moving forward. I don't even weigh myself because I know I will despair over the result. And yet I feel fit and healthy, even if my clothes are getting tighter again. And like you, I will plod on. We not only can do this, we ARE doing this. Soldier on!
    3707 days ago
    Love this post. It's exactly how I woke up too. I feel you. I'm in the same (relatively) area and yes, yesterday's weather was amazing.And today is gloomy. And I have woke up a pound heavier each day for the last five days. (!!!!!!!!!)I wish I could offer some words of encouragement!! I guess we'll have to eait till tomorrow. It's supposed to be in the 70's. (I feel like I should break into Lil Orphan Annie here..) emoticon
    3707 days ago
    Have a woderful day
    3707 days ago
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