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Making Whoopi or Seeking Joy on the Scales, MY View Is that It's Really All About Give and Take

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016


I am a very boring person, a woman who loves her dull routines and does not enjoy deviations or unexpected interruptions and distractions or even uninvited guests (like the dozen gas company guys in yellow vests who are currently occupying my driveway with drills and trucks and machines for a town-wide revamp). Every morning, I wake up at six a.m. to a TWIN PEAKS ringtone. If I hit snooze on that alarm, the next one rings at seven, the JAWS theme, a bit louder and more intimidating, threatening me out of bed. If I dare to sleep an hour longer, at eight, I'll be audibly assaulted by a VERY loud ringtone that is the old-school Legend of Zelda castle music. When I do get up, I stumble into the kitchen in my PJs, make sure my boyfriend is all turned on, then grab my eggs from the fridge, break them in the flip skillet with some cooking spray, butter spray, pepper, salt, and oregano, then find something to fill in the remaining calories I have; depending on how many eggs I eat, that could be a 60-cal Carbmaster yogurt or maybe a 130-cal pack of low sugar maple and brown sugar oatmeal or maybe a piece of fruit, if my daughter happened to leave any in the basket for me, since she likes to gobble it up before I get to it. Then, I let my dogs back in the house, set up my couch office for the day, pour a big ol' mug of hot-lovin' from my boyfriend, then plop down on the couch and turn on Hulu to see what's landed in my queue. As Coffee wakes me up and I finish up that very routine breakfast, I hop on my lappy and get to work, cleaning out the email, checking bank accounts and Paypal and Ebay watches and auctions, then start editing. While I'm doing all this, Hulu auto-plays through my queue of daily/nightly news shows. Unfortunately, when it gets done playing through my favorites, it then decides what I should watch next. For some reason, it is under the mistaken impression that I want to see/hear THE VIEW, when I couldn't give a flying whoopi about anyone or anything on it.


Today, while I was working and using the TV for background noise (which is something I have to do, as silence annoys me. My daughter's middle name is Alanis because I used to love Ms. Morissette, and there is a lyric in one of her songs that screams, "Why are you so petrified of silence?" I never could answer that question, but I simply HAVE to have TV noise on while I'm working - not music, because I find that too distracting, and... Shoot! There I go again, on one of those rabbit trails that leads to run-on sentences. Sorry.)... Anyhoo, while the Hulu was blaring in the backdrop, I heard something that boiled my blood. One of the hostesses (I couldn't even tell you who any of them are, because I don't care) said something about marriage being give-and-take, to which another of the annoying hostesses answered something akin to, "That's why I don't ever want to get married..." At that point, it was enough to spawn me to get up to find the remote. I cannot stand the cackling women on that show, and I cannot stand the idea that someone would so openly admit that they are not willing to do something that requires give and take. The show IS my aerobics, because hearing it gets my heart rate up, and it forces me to actually walk across the room to get the remote; when we were kids, we had to get up to change the channel, so I leave my remote out of reach on purpose to force a bit of movement. Every burned calorie counts, right? For those of you who are fans of THE VIEW, this is not meant to be insulting. To each his/her own, folks. After all, life is all about give and take, even if Joy Whats-Her-Name or Raven Who's-It doesn't think so.


I can't comment much on marriage, since mine is recently over. (Please send your congrats and not your condolences, as this is a GOOD thing for all involved. While you're at it, if you happen to know a brown-eyed fella who would qualify as my Mr. Neon, feel free to send him too. Now that I think about it, I wonder if one of those yellow-vested boys in my driveway just so happen to be Mr. Neon? Hmm. Maybe I oughtta put on something a little more attractive than my PJs and go out on the porch and pretend to water the fake flower I keep by the front door, just in case...) I do know, though, that EVERYTHING in life that is of any value at all is about give and take, and this couldn't be more true for our weight journeys. In an effort to mentally prep myself for the maintenance part of my own journey, I've been reading a few articles for tips, and I came across one today (http://fitopportunity.com/blo
g/success-and-sustainabili
ty-its-all-about-give-and-take/) that is exactly about this issue. The person who wrote it, Hannah, seems to be very focused on food groups balance, which wasn't/isn't exactly something I've focused on, but I completely agree with her wise assessment:

"By allowing yourself a treat without compromising the balance...you create a certain kind of likeability about your diet. It doesn’t feel as restrictive. Furthermore, because you are allowing yourself to eat what you want (in moderation), you reserve your willpower for harder tasks like saying no to the donuts at a work meeting or grabbing fast food when you are tired and in a rush... This way of eating is not as drastic a change as you might think. All you are doing is making a small shift... It requires a bit of forward thinking: Does my meal have balance? Will that balance be thrown off by something I choose to treat myself to later that day? It can be as simple as adding water to your smoothie in the morning instead of milk because you know you will be having a giant latte at 10 am..."


If you are not willing to give and take with yourself and with your diet, you will not see as much success, and it will be very difficult to sustain any success you do see. I learned this firsthand in 2003, after I lost over 140 lbs. and quickly gave up the give-and-take and started mostly taking. Within a year, I'd gained back all I'd lost. By 2013, ten years later, I'd gained back an additional 30 or 40 lbs. on top of that, resulting in a monstrous, Godzilla-sized person looking back at me in the mirror. I knew better than to take, take, take everything I wanted to eat whenever I felt like it, but I really didn't give a care, until 2014, when I realized I needed to start taking my life back.


I know my blogs about cereal bars and snack cupboards and celebrations and school festivals make it sound like I'm some sort of naughty nibbler who just got lucky and lost weight, but that's not the case. I have given much to get where I am. I have not bought a bag of actual sugar for my household in two years. I have given pasta and pizza away, for the most part. I have given some hours of my day, because there have been times when my cravings for snacks in the evenings were so intense that I literally went to bed early to avoid the binging. I have even given up clothes that I loved; there was something super comfy about the 4X hoodie I used to wear, and I kept it for a LONG time, even when I could have fit in it thrice. I have given up some social times when I knew my willpower was weak and I wouldn't be able to withstand the culinary onslaught and didn't want to sabotage myself. I have given up "real" cheese and replaced it with the lowfat stuff. I've given up Reese's Cups, Big Macs, Ruffles, butter bread, dumplings, Chinese buffets, Coca-Cola, and even the addictively amazing tuna melts from the little Kone Korner down the way (man, how I'd love a tuna salad sandwich with olives and melty provolone all over it right now, but last time I checked, it was 680 calories for a small one!) I've given up some shoes and jewelry that I simply cannot wear any longer (Yes, folks, my feet even got smaller, and my rings and bracelets began falling off). I've given, given, given for the sake of my weight loss, but I've also taken so many things - like better health, more joy and hope, more confidence, the ability to inspire/motivate others, and even a reignited passion for my writing that I'd back-burnered for so long, because so many of you have said such kind things about these blogs. My weight loss journey demanded my giving, but it also gave to me in return. Any worthwhile pursuit is a matter of give and take.

So, if you are just starting out on your journey, please grasp this truth from the forefront: You WILL have to give in order to take the lbs. off. There WILL be foods, places, situations, and even people you may have to avoid or completely give up, especially when you know your will is weak, which happens to us all at times. If you're in maintenance, you already know this, but you will have to keep it in mind each and every day. Still, for all we give, we WILL take a lot out of it, and my personal view is that it is well worth it!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MSDIXIE9
    I just recently started reading your blog and I love it! You are a great writer! And you make so much sense. BTW The View is atrocious. emoticon
    1816 days ago
  • TERRIJ7
    I had to laugh at your assessment and response to The (skewed) View! I feel the same way about that and other similar shows on TV.
    1817 days ago
  • IDICEM
    emoticon
    1817 days ago
  • RAINEY2010
    Great blog! Your message is definitely an important one; success doesn't come for free.
    1818 days ago
  • HEATHER3477
    You are awesome! Thank you for this post! Well put!
    1818 days ago
  • HEALTHYANDFIT27
    emoticon Thanks so much for sharing such wise words!
    1818 days ago
  • no profile photo APPLEGREENGIRL
    Love your blogs. Keep 'em coming!!
    1818 days ago
  • CHEFKAMALII
    Thanks for the wise words. It's the daily give and take that make the difference. What a great reminder!
    1819 days ago
  • no profile photo C8TSON
    Great blog, as always! I agree with you--there must be sacrifices made for better health. It's not easy at first, but it gets easier by the day. When I first gave up sodas, I thought my life was over! Now it's just one of those things I look right past without a second thought.
    1819 days ago
  • SHAWFAN
    emoticon I hate The View also! Can't stand the way they "bring down" just about everything! Yes, to each his/her own.
    Great blog! Thank you for sharing!
    1819 days ago
  • MT-MOONCHASER
    emoticon I quit watching The View when Shrill Lizzy was on it. That was noise I couldn't take either...

    Definitely, life is about give and take.

    emoticon


    1820 days ago
  • REDROBIN47
    I love reading your blogs and this is another great one. You really have a way with words that makes me stop and think. You make so much sense and I am learning a lot about myself from you.

    emoticon emoticon

    Spark emoticon ~Carol~
    1820 days ago
  • SUSIEMT
    Another good blog. I agree you have to give in order to keep off what you lost or plan to loose. Sometimes I cheat (or feel like I have) but always have to work it in my plan for the day. It's just easier for me.

    emoticon
    1820 days ago
  • THOMS1
    You speak the truth dear lady. emoticon emoticon
    1820 days ago
  • ELATCHEM
    Since I have found you a few days ago I am in awe (hopefully not misspelled) of you!!!! If you write a book or have public motivational debut I would so buy it or be there to see you!! Such a great writer and hilarious! Your such a "real" person and that's why we all comment back on your blogs, thank you for being fresh air that we all need!!!!
    1820 days ago
  • SADIEMYERS
    Love reading your blogs!
    1820 days ago
  • WHYTEBROWN
    Another emoticon blog!!!
    1820 days ago
  • JCMSMILE
    Love it!! It really is too bad reading doesn't burn more calories. If it did, I could turn sideways and disappear emoticon That's okay. I am happy with the body I have. Could be a bit less jiggly and lot stronger, but it works!
    1820 days ago
  • JCMSMILE
    Love it!! It really is too bad reading doesn't burn more calories. If it did, I could turn sideways and disappear emoticon That's okay. I am happy with the body I have. Could be a bit less jiggly and lot stronger, but it works!
    1820 days ago
  • PENOWOK
    So true! I completely agree! Many days, I go brush my teeth so I won't eat anymore. Give and take...in everything we do. That is the truth! Work and play...still requires give and take.
    1820 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/19/2016 3:13:10 PM
  • MAWGI6
    Tremendous!!
    1820 days ago
  • AMYG5025
    Thank you for sharing - this is well said! I love that you are honest, real, down to earth, and have a great sense of humor and perspective on life!
    1820 days ago
  • EISSA7
    And yet another inspiring, thought-provoking blog!! Thank you!!
    1820 days ago
  • TWEDEE777
    I read all the time, and you are definitely a writer. Your words are smooth, and that in itself makes for good reading. Once again congrats and happy maintaining!!
    1820 days ago
  • WALKINTOFIT
    Man o man I love your blogs! im probably one of the people u would love to hate! been the person that was underweight most of my life. until the menopot hit. then went over weight. ate the man size meals and wanted more! appetite went crazy. eat eat and more, i would rather have the eat a few bites and be done back again... would like to have the i don't give a care back too..
    I like your writing , it makes me laugh and its inspiring to know u really lost that weight, and u still have your mojo going on...

    there is a maintenance sparkpage too, come hang out, my sparky friend!
    1820 days ago
  • no profile photo CD16110307
    Wonderful blog. Thank you.
    1820 days ago
  • TREE57
    Yours are definitely the types of blogs that should be the featured blogs all the time. This is why we are here, this is why we need the cold hard truth....not some of the daily
    blogs...."I got up, ran 72 miles in 10 minutes, and you can do it too!"

    You are real. You've been there and done that and your advice is the blog we read word for word to the very last.

    THANK YOU for putting so much time into the "give and take."

    (I totally agree with your view of the View....just saying ;)
    1820 days ago
  • SISSIE21
    That has been my experience. There are some situations I need to avoid, definitely foods I needed to give up because they cause me to binge for days or even weeks.. But the way I feel now after 7 weeks is so much better than 2 months ago, so it is worth it. I remember how I felt when I lost the weight before and I did not stay focused. The weight and extra returned. Don't want to go down that path again...
    1820 days ago
  • GRACED777
    Absolutely! But I gain a lot more than I give --most of the time!
    1820 days ago
  • ARUNNINGKAT
    I like your approach! It really is all about the balance and planning where to use those calories!
    1820 days ago
  • CAPECODLIGHT
    I like your comparison of the give (and take). I don't know if I will totally give up pizza for example, but I haven't had any in 3 months and have resisted it when offered of late. I am sure pizza and I will have a rendezvous in the future, but maybe a slice with a salad.
    I think your blog is sparking me to make a list of the give up's; so I will have that in the back of my mind when tempted in the future. Great blog!
    1820 days ago
  • IAMSUNNYHOWARD
    AWESOME BLOG! emoticon
    1820 days ago
  • no profile photo CD10895053
    Such good advice, once again, and I love it and will take it to heart!! Thank you, Autie!!
    1820 days ago
  • LIS193
    Everything in life is give and take! We all make our choices..

    1820 days ago
  • JJMPLSMN
    I don't use the TV at all and using it for background would drive me nuts. I like quiet. You are just like my daughter, wanting noise, as she did her homework with music on. At first, I thought it was something that she shouldn't do, but she works BETTER with noise.

    That's the joy of the world. We are all different, and find ways to make things work, in our own ways.

    You look FABULOUS.

    Spark on.
    1820 days ago
  • SPARKLINGME176
    emoticon
    1820 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13354694
    emoticon message/blog!!! emoticon
    1820 days ago
  • MEGHNASPARKS
    You are completely right. You do have to give to take off the pounds. After all, we took A LOT to get those pounds in the first place. Well said.
    1820 days ago
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