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Life in the Middle of the Road

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Friday, May 07, 2021

We are all an “Experiment of One” a Sparker phrase that has defined my 12 years here. Losing weight is one thing, a very important thing and while there are similarities, each of us faces different obstacles, roadblocks and potholes on our journey to our goals.

My last blog on Tuesday focused on the “fun” we had as children while getting “exercise.”
Thank you for your stories. I enjoyed reading them.

In my case I continued to see exercise as an enjoyable activity even while working and raising children. I’ve had a gym membership continuously since 1972. Anybody remember Spa Lady? Leotards? Leg warmers?

Still I gained weight. Remember those charts on the doctor’s wall? The recommended weight range for small, medium and large frame allowed a 40 pound leeway for my height (the same range as BMI actually). Over time I rationalized by deciding I really didn’t have a “small” frame. I had a LARGE frame. Then suddenly I edged above that range too. (For the record my frame IS SMALL).

For me it’s all about the food. I LIKE food. I like LOTS of food. I can rationalize how much food I’m eating. I can overeat healthy food.

Fortunately, I also like numbers. They don’t scare me or depress me. They just represent reality.
My weight, my waist size, my blood pressure, my cholesterol levels, percentage of body fat, my checkbook balance. All just numbers. None define me but all give me a point in time from which I can decide what if anything should be done. A few of these require vigilance before they get out of hand. I sure don’t want to bounce a check.

Last week a Sparker wrote “The trackers are, in fact, the single biggest reason why I keep coming back. I have data all the way from 2013 in there! I love seeing my charts from this long timeframe! And I like keeping my data in one place”

Wow, a kindred spirit!
She went on:
Charts will show you if you are going in a right or wrong direction while looking for some middle path.

Yes, that’s what I want a comfortable middle path.
Nothing extreme that will impact my joy in each day.
Just a direction that I hope will increase the number of days I have to enjoy.
(Editing here to paraphrase a great comment: I want to not only add years to my life but LIFE to my YEARS - Thanks Phebe!)

Every morning I take a few minutes to plan my food for the day. The “recent” and “favorites” tab make it easy. It’s not just about the calories for me but the balance of nutrients.

This is last week.

Percentage wise on a typical day. Not bad.

So this is a snapshot of my own “Experiment of One”
My wish is that each and every one of you can find yours.
A Spark Friend once wrote that “Maintenance is the MAIN thing”
That advice that has guided my 11 years of keeping the weight off.

If what you are currently doing isn't working, keep experimenting to find what will work for you.
The solution is out there.

I don’t want any of these numbers to be the focus of my life.
I want to make each day count.

As another Spark Friend reminds us, “Today is the only May 7, 2021 we will ever get.”
It is also a grandson’s 25th birthday.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon helps me too!
    34 days ago
    I still wear leg warmers and yes, they still sell them. I wear mine when I walk outside and it is cold under my sweat pants. For some reason, I have to have my legs nice and warm. When hubby wears pants vice shorts, I know that it is really cold out.<
    40 days ago
    Thanks for a great blog.
    44 days ago
    Exercise is fun for me too! But sometimes, when I meet a new person they ask, "So what do you do for fun? or what are your hobbies?" I get some strange reactions if I tell them I like to jog and exercise. Many react politely, but I can see in their faces that they're thinking," Well, who do you think you are?" It's as if they think I'm bragging or showing off. So usually I just tell them I love to read. That's one of the reasons I stick with Spark, because here it's okay to talk about miles run, pounds lifted, etc. My numbers are respected here. emoticon emoticon
    45 days ago
  • no profile photo JIMMOORE14
    I like your thoughts on keeping track, for long periods of time. I have found that I can only drop weight, if I weigh everything, & chart it. If I don't have the nutritional information, I don't eat it. Whenever I make a recipe, I weigh everything going in and then divide by the portions. Right down to the spices and small stuff like garlic. A pain to put in the tracker, but it works for me. If I lose that discipline, invariably, the pounds don't go away.
    45 days ago
    I like numbers too. Especially low ones when it comes to the scale! Need to check out my chart to see my journey! Maybe I will be encouraged!
    45 days ago

    Make today the greatest day of your life
    Until tomorrow!

    All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners. Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they're not learning, they're not growing and not moving toward excellence.
    Denis Waitley
    45 days ago
    45 days ago
  • NEWNANCY2012
    I have kept records of my weight going back to 1979. I love my Excel spreadsheets where I have posted every weigh-in I had at TOPS, Diet Workshop, Weight Watchers and Curves. It is part of my morning routine to post daily to my Excel spreadsheet; then to my Daily diary on Word; then to do my Daily Spin on Sparks and check my e-mail from Sparks to get inspiration and reminders! emoticon .
    45 days ago
  • MARTHA324
    Numbers do tell a story and maybe that's one reason they work. When I was working as a compensation consultant the numbers (market data, company data, employee data) all told a story.

    Now the numbers help me in my experiment of one to stay on track.

    And yes to leg warmers and leotards. Sheesh!
    46 days ago
    Remember Jane Fonda workouts?
    Happy Mother's day to you
    46 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Happy Mothers Day!
    46 days ago
  • UPTOIT59
    Thanks for your insight . :)
    46 days ago
    You do really well balancing it all out--I've been looking at those charts for the last 2 weeks, and had thought I was doing good on nutrition, when, in fact, I am not!
    46 days ago
    I post my weight every morning on a spreadsheet, the visual representation has helped me to keep my weight in an acceptable range and review the problems I am having with food choices. I have years of records an it is interesting to see the patterns
    46 days ago
    at least I know that I am not the only one who tried to choose a large frame when I was not I also like to see where I make good strides and where I mess up and the charts and tracking help me do that t
    46 days ago
  • THINCPL2004
    Still trying to find out what works! One day I will find the magic to help me!
    46 days ago
    Thank you for your information. I track food but not as close at times....probably why I'm not doing as well on the scale as I should....must keep trying....
    emoticon emoticon
    47 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
    47 days ago
    This is so true. We do it together but in the end we do it for ourselves.
    47 days ago
  • BTINCHER2001
    Oh, I've found another soul-sister! Yup, I've been at this since 2014. With a few ups & downs, I'm zeroing in on my goal weight. I love that expression, "Experiment of One". It's so true! In all this time, I really know what foods work well, which ones will put me in a tailspin, and which ones I can rely on when I have only 150 calories available for the supper meal! Like you, I track my food, my exercise, and my water. I keep a diary for emotional notes, and big family issues. And yes, like you, I have a graph of my weight loss history back to July 2014!!!
    Thank you for a great blog!
    47 days ago
    emoticon your blog hits home for so many others and myself so thank you
    47 days ago
    I love this blog!
    47 days ago
    Good news! emoticon
    47 days ago
    Well said. That is the main thing for me. Quality of life, and in the beginning of my journey, (its only been 7 weeks, but) I've learned a lot, and I'm sure the longer I plug away at this new life style, studying the numbers that I get when I put certain foods together, has been very interesting and educational. I think I'm actually getting better at it and don't have to put as many hours into it as I did in the beginning. But yes, the balance of nutrients so important when the numbers inside our own bodies are working against us, suffering as a result of poor health from genetics or unhealthy lifestyles, and aging. Only one way left to go from here, and that's up. Thank you for sharing your journey. emoticon emoticon
    47 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    47 days ago
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    47 days ago
  • THOMS1
    Good blog. I have to plan my food for the day either the night before or the morning of. It just works for me. I also weigh myself every morning to see keep me honest. emoticon
    47 days ago
    I track for a few weeks then quit for a few weeks, go on a snack binge, go off of it... hubby is a snacker now and won't eat a full meal... hope this changes for him soon as he gets feeling better... I do better eating a full meal and tracking it..
    47 days ago
    It’s a journey. Got to stay the course.
    47 days ago
  • RHOOK20047
    Yes I have been on this journey for a long time as well. I still use my Sweating with the Oldies videos to work out. I know what needs to be done, just don't stick with it.
    47 days ago
    At the end of everyday I look at the "daily nutrition feedback" and "today's full report" to see how to make adjustments. In this way I've increased my protein and calcium, which I needed more of, to get in the proper range. I also track potassium and when my potassium intake is three times my sodium intake I feel like I hit the jackpot!
    (ideal sodium-potassium ratio is 1:3)
    Like you said: Charts will show you if you are going in a right or wrong direction while looking for some middle path.
    And like Dr. Seuss said: You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose!
    47 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    I have been tracking now for 5 years. I enjoy this part of Spark, so I know where I need to watch my macronutrients due my diabetes. To me it is really helpful.

    I don't consider myself a numbers person, but it is important to my well being to pay attention to those numbers.

    Well done blog today!
    47 days ago
  • JUNETTA2002
    47 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    47 days ago
    I still wear leg warmers and yes, they still sell them. I wear mine when I walk outside and it is cold under my sweat pants. For some reason, I have to have my legs nice and warm. When hubby wears pants vice shorts, I know that it is really cold out.

    Happy 25th birthday to your grandson.

    I too love math and I enjoy looking at the numbers. I need to do better at logging comments.

    Nice blog, thanks. emoticon
    47 days ago
    The trackers keep me honest. Now to do something about those numbers!
    47 days ago
    It does give your plenty of information. I can see where I have messed up for me and then I can see what I did well and hope to continue that pathway.
    47 days ago
  • DSJB9999
    I love numbers too and you look fantastic to have a 25 year old grandson! Happy Birthday to him! Great blog. emoticon emoticon
    47 days ago
    Happy Birthday to your grandson.
    Make each day count.
    47 days ago
    All good for thought
    47 days ago
  • LIS193
    Tracking always puts my head in the game. When you have to record everything it’s right there staring you in the face, so better “behave” 😀
    47 days ago
    Hope your grandson had a Happy Birthday!
    47 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    47 days ago
    I am not really a numbers person when it comes to myself - although I love math, even calculus. But I do like to work on constant improvements, and that works for me.
    47 days ago
  • no profile photo GREYTDOLPHIN
    Like many here, I'm a numbers person. My dad was an accountant. I guess the "counting" is in the genes.I mainly use the tracking to keep me living up to my goals for numbers of minutes a day that I exercise.
    47 days ago
    Great blog, with a log of insights. I do find that tracking helps me a lot. And checking in with SparkPeople, and getting support and encouragement from SparkFriends on my wellness journey. I am certainly not perfect, but tracking helps show overall trends, moving in a positive direction!
    47 days ago
    My eating patterns were so crazy, I decided that a weekly average of macro and micro nutrients would give me a better picture of where I stood. The over and under days should balance to the recommended average. If not, review my log and see where to adjust.
    47 days ago
    Happy Birthday to DGS. emoticon emoticon
    47 days ago
    I'm with you on tracking everyday -- I aim more towards 50% fat, 30% carbs, 20% protein.
    I'm also very interested in the micro-nutrient information, so instead of just entering cheeseburger, I'll enter 4 oz. ground beef, 1 ounce cheddar, and so on. That way you get a better breakdown as to micro-nutrients like zinc, B12, B6, and so on.

    48 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.