10/13/2014

Weight Loss Progress Sheet: Give Yourself A Star

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

Yesterday, I showed the graph of my weight loss progress, but that isn’t really how I keep track of how much weight I’ve lost. Sure, I put my weight into the Lose It! app every day and that’s how the graph was made, but that’s not the motivating progress that I use.

I use gold stars…

Weight Loss Progress - Give Yourself A Star from Starling Fitness

When I went back to Weight Watchers for the last time, I recorded with shame, my highest weight ever: 231.8 pounds. Weight Watchers gives you stars for each five pound loss and Bravo stickers for sharing in the class. So, I created this weight loss progress sheet to mark off each pound I lost. It works with WW stars, but it also works with the foil stars you can buy at any office supply store.

Click to download: Weight Loss Progress Sheet from Starling Fitness

You can see that I lost my 5% and 10% while I still went to Weight Watchers, but at pound 24, that was my last pound I lost with them. Honestly, MOST of the weight I lost at Weight Watchers this last time was because of Overeater’s Anonymous. I wasn’t willing to give up WW until I was SURE that OA would work, so I went to both meetings for months until I felt safe leaving what wasn’t working behind.

As of today, I’ve lost over 55 pounds, more than half of it after I quit WW for the last time.

There is something incredibly pleasing about putting a shiny sticker in the right spot when I have lost a pound. It makes each pound feel like a huge accomplishment, and honestly, it IS.

No matter how many stars I put on my sheet, however, I know that I am just one binge away from complete and utter failure. All it would take is for me to allow myself ONE binge and I would be right back where I was before. There would be no stopping it.

And the strangest of all is that this time around I’m not starving. This time around, I’m not exercising so much that my toenails fall off. It’s amazing how much weight my body will release when I’m not bingeing. I don’t have to exercise until my toenails fall off because I’m not eating too much. I’m not starving because I have worked through the steps and have had my hunger taken from me.

All I know is that I feel a surge of joy every time I put a little star on my progress sheet…


Overeaters Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog.

10/12/2014

Slow Progress Is Progress

By Laura Moncur @ 12:00 pm — Filed under:

I saw this motivational poster on MotiveWeight today and I wanted to share it.

Slow Progress Is Still Progress from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Some quit due to slow progress, never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress.

Sometimes it’s hard to notice progress because you’re looking at it too closely. I know the scale isn’t the best way to look at your physical progress, but it’s the one we use most regularly. When you look at the Lose It! graph of my weight over the last month, it doesn’t look that good.

Weight Progress One Month from Starling Fitness

In fact, the weight frustratingly goes up and down. I was down to 179.0 and then it popped up to 181.4. Then it went even higher up to 181.9. Up and down. Up and down. When I look at my weight from the distance of just one month, I can see hardly any progress.

When I look at the graph of every weight I’ve logged since October 2011, however, it tells a different story.

Weight Progress for for Three Years from Starling Fitness

Sure, there are ups and downs, but that graph is pretty dramatically headed in the DOWN direction and has been since January of this year, when I joined Overeater’s Anonymous. You can pretty much tell the DATE I joined OA based on this graph alone. You can also see every time I tried and failed. Tried and failed.

It’s hard to see progress when you’re so close to it. Let yourself step away, get some perspective, and then you will see it. Slow progress might be slow, but it’s the kind that sticks around a lot longer than fast progress. Most importantly, slow progress is still progress.

10/8/2014

Want To Eat? Help Others.

By Laura Moncur @ 8:32 am — Filed under:

I found this quote today on The Quotations Page and it really spoke to me.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty...This is my highest and best use as a human. by Ben Stein from The Quotations Page

It reads:

“I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty…This is my highest and best use as a human.”

  • Ben Stein, E! Online, 12-20-03

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that when you want to take your first drink, you should admit your problem to another person and then immediately try to find someone else to help. It doesn’t specify that you need to find another alcoholic. It doesn’t matter WHO you help, just that you help someone else.

This is GREAT advice when I’m thinking of eating when I shouldn’t. If I just pick up the telephone and call someone else asking if they need help, I find relief. I don’t even need to help them, I feel better just calling. Ironically, I don’t even need to TALK to them. I feel better if I just leave a message. All I need to do is try to THINK about someone else and their problems and the desire to eat evaporates.


Overeaters Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous do not endorse anything on this entry or blog.

9/11/2014

Excess Fabric

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

Board Shorts from Starling FitnessBoard shorts. If you’ve never seen them, they’re like regular shorts, but they are made of material that works well with swimming. They dry quickly and they don’t chafe as much when they are wet. They’re shorts for when you are surfing the waves or kayaking the lake. You’re gonna get wet, but you don’t want to do it in a skimpy bikini.

They’re also kind of hard to find if you’re over weight and IMPOSSIBLE to find in the early Fall.

So, when I pulled on my board shorts Labor Day weekend to go boating, I panicked because they were so big that they were falling off my body. I had no idea my body had changed so much since I had last put them on (which was June 2012). I cinched them up with a couple of safety pins and the quick fix worked for the day.

So, when it came time to go boating the next weekend, I planned ahead. I went to the local stores in search of some new board shorts. I could find many swimming suits on clearance, but no board shorts in plus sizes. They’re rare at the beginning of the season, but NON-EXISTENT in early Fall. So, I did what my grand-momma taught me and I took them in.

Excess Fabric from Starling Fitness

I ended up removing a full three inches. THREE INCHES!

That seems like a HUGE amount, and that doesn’t even account for the seams, so I probably took it in a total of three and a half inches. I just measured and on the shorts that I haven’t altered the waist measures 40 inches. On the altered shorts it’s 35 1/2 inches. FOUR AND A HALF INCHES!

How Much I Had To Take Them In from Starling Fitness

Now, a 35 1/2 inch waist is nothing to brag about. It’s a LONG way from anything anyone would write a song about, but there is progress.

Progress that I just CAN’T see. When I look in the mirror, I still feel super fat. Honestly, I AM super fat. I weigh 179.7 lbs. On a 5’2″ frame, that is a lot of bulk. Sure, I used to weigh 231.1 lbs. BOTH of them are obese. Not only that, I feel the exact same as I did 52 pounds ago. I’m sure I could compare pictures, if there were any, but I FEEL the same.

Okay, that’s a lie. I DON’T feel the same, but all the changes that I can feel are inner changes. I’m less likely to bite someone’s head off. I’m more apt to apologize quickly. I’m calmer when someone is rude to me. And I don’t need to eat over any of those things. THOSE are the changes that I can feel.

Until I was confronted with that excess fabric I had shorn from my board shorts, I was unable to see any physical changes. All the changes I had experienced were of the emotional kind. It’s amazing how a few inches of excess fabric can show me what mirrors can’t.

8/16/2014

The Tools of Recovery: Literature

By Laura Moncur @ 2:21 pm — Filed under:

The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous at Amazon.comPart of the reason I have enjoyed so much success with Overeaters Anonymous is because of their tools of recovery. You can read more about them here:

I have to admit that I am VERY pleased with the OA literature. Unlike the Weight Watchers books I bought, which are just celebrity ego-fests “written” by the famous people who have happened to lose weight on the WW plan with the help of personal trainers and multiple chefs, they are written to HELP me. I read something from OA books every day to keep myself focused on what is important.

I especially like that almost ALL of the OA literature is available on Kindle:

  • The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous: This book was the first book I bought because the first meeting I attended was a Twelve and Twelve meeting. My sponsor and I went through it when she took me through the steps. I don’t find it as inspiring as the Big Book, but it is very helpful.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition: This is the most recent edition of the Big Book. It is written for alcoholics, but it’s amazing the similarities between my worst days of bingeing and the worst days of an alcoholic. My sponsor and I went through this book completely and there are many Big Book meetings in OA. I found it incredibly inspiring.
  • Overeaters Anonymous, Second Edition: This is a collection of stories about people with eating disorders and how they came to OA to be helped. Ironically, I don’t find it as inspiring as the Big Book, but it’s still a good read, especially if you’re having trouble getting past Step 1.
  • Abstinence, Second Edition: Members of Overeaters Anonymous Share Their Experience, Strength and Hope: This is a collection of stories about abstinence. Because each person defines their own abstinence, it was helpful to me to feel comfortable with my own definition of abstinence.
  • For Today: This is a GREAT book. It is arranged by date, with an entry to read every day. I find it incredibly inspiring and the daily quotes are lovely. It also has a great index so you can look up words like resentment or guilt and find entries to solve your problems.
  • Voices of Recovery: This is another daily reader, like For Today, that I have loved and read almost every day. Inspiring little stories organized by date.
  • Lifeline Sampler: Another collection of stories gleaned from the OA magazine, Lifeline. Inspiring, but longer stories than For Today or Voices of Recovery.
  • Seeking the Spiritual Path: A Collection from Lifeline: If you are having trouble with Step 2 and Step 3, these stories are quite helpful. Not many of them are written from an atheist point of view. It was NOT helpful to me. I found The God Gene by Dean H. Hamer to be FAR more helpful on my spiritual journey.
  • A New Beginning: Stories of Recovery from Relapse: For those who have found recovery in OA, but “fell off the wagon,” it might be helpful to read these stories about how people found there way back to healthy eating after losing it.
  • Beyond Our Wildest Dreams: A History of Overeaters Anonymous as Seen by the Founder: If you are interested in the history of OA and want more than the initial story written by the founder in the Overeaters Anonymous book, here is an in-depth history.

Only OA approved literature is recommended in the meetings because Tradition 6 states, “An OA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the OA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.” I don’t have that limitation, however, so here are a couple of books that I have found that are also helpful.

Daily reading helps me immensely and I am always a better person when I take the time to read. Set a goal of 10-15 minutes of reading every day and you will have an easier ride on this happy road to destiny.


Overeaters Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog.

3/25/2014

It’s Supposed To Be Hard

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I love this motivational poster:

It's Supposed To Be Hard from Starling Fitness

It reads:

It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.

It’s from A League of Their Own in this scene:

I love that movie and it makes me tear up every time I hear that line. The next time you’re thinking about throwing in the towel and giving up, remember this. It’s SUPPOSED to be hard. Getting past the hard is what will make you great.


I don’t know where this motivational poster came from. I got it here:

If you know who made this image, please leave a comment below so I can give proper credit.

3/24/2014

Lakitu’s Final Lap at a Race

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

When I saw this photograph on Fit, Fast, and Furious I laughed so hard!

Lakitu's Final Lap at a Race from Starling Fitness

Lakitu from Mario Kart from Starling FitnessIt took me a few seconds to realize that this guy was dressed up as Lakitu, who is the nice koopa who tells you which lap you’re on in Mario Kart and pulls you out of the lava, sand or water when you go off the track.

I immediately wanted to run that race. I wanted to throw green shells at the other runners and drop banana peels for the people pulling too close behind me. I wanted to get the Star so I could whiz past everyone else at super speed. I wanted to watch the other runners go off the track and get stuck in the water.

I want to go to there.

3/17/2014

Change Is In The Challenge

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I absolutely ADORE this animated GIF from Believe To Achieve.

Change Is In The Challenge from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Change is in the Challenge.

It is SO right! I only see changes in my body when I challenge myself. If I just keep coasting, everything stays the same. This realization got my butt off the comfy chair today and put my feet right on my treadmill desk where they belong. I made that desk for a reason, so I could work AND move.

Don’t forget, the change is in the challenge!!

2/21/2014

50 Motivational Fitness Quotes

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I found this animated GIF on MotiveWeight. How do you use it? Click and drag on the image to find out which one you get.

50 Motivational Quotes - click and drag to find out which one you get

I’m a big believer in “The Random.” You get the quote you need for the day. It’s the one that will help you on today’s journey. Remember it. Repeat it. Write it down. It will help you today. When tomorrow comes, you can come back here and get another chance.

2/8/2014

Trust Your Power

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I know this is a commercial for batteries, but I still LOVE it.

I love that line:

They didn’t call my name. Told me it was over. But I been deaf since I was three. So I didn’t listen.

Made me cry and inspired me to keep going. Thanks, Derrick Coleman. I sincerely had never heard of you before this Duracell commercial, but good going! I heard you won that Super Bowl thing, so congratulations.

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