Friday, August 31, 2012
I'm still not quite back in the swing of things like I need to be, but I will. I have no doubt about that!
And while this is certainly not an excuse in anyway, I wanted to share with you what I've been working on in my Spark absence.
I decided that I want to motivate people. Not just on here. I want to help others realize that it's ok to be yourself and be proud of it - not ashamed because you aren't at "goal" yet.
I want to help others realize that we are all unique and what works for one (or doesn't) may be completely different for another. And that we should never judge someone just because they are different than us.
So, I created a website - a blog. And I want to share it with you all, because all of you helped make this possible... even if you don't think so. I just want to say thank you for giving me the confidence to do something I've always wanted to do.
I love you, Sparkers!
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I disappeared, as one sparkfriend kindly pointed out to me today.
And I thank her for it.
I'm not sure exactly when I stopped logging in, and there isn't a specific reason why.
I wasn't bored. I wasn't overwhelmed. I wasn't burnt-out. I wasn't hiding.
What I WAS doing, was paying so little attention to what I was doing that I ended up doing nothing.
A month and a half ago, I was regularly tracking my water intake, regularly exercising first thing in the morning, and regularly checking/posting on SP. Of course, I didn't realize anything in the moment, but looking back this is what I've learned:
That I CAN NOT *TRUST* that I am doing what I'm supposed to be doing based on FEELING like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.
What does this mean?
I got comfortable. I was doing things so well, so easy, that I got comfortable. And I stopped paying attention. And that once I stopped paying attention I slowly stopped doing things.
8 cups of water was soon 6, and soon 4.
5 days of exercise became 3, and yes, as of the last two weeks, it's been NONE.
Not logging in one day, soon became everyday.
I learned, that I have to pay attention to every thing I do, every single day. Yes, I'm a huge believer in trusting yourself, but you can't just trust that you'll do things exactly right without paying attention. Especially when it's trusting in such a new habit. Autopilot just isn't gonna cut it.
Now what did it cost me?
It cost me all of the progress I made in the prior month, gaining back all 4lbs I'd lost.
I'm more tired than I had been, lacking energy to do much of anything.
It cost me time. Now I have to start over again.
So, moral of this story?
Pay attention. Don't rely on autopilot. Or you'll be starting over eventually, too.
But this hasn't shaken my confidence. In fact, It's boosted it. I now have a much firmer grasp of what I'm doing right, and what I'm doing wrong. I know what I have to do. And that's a good place to be in.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
I've always been interested in reading about food- how it's made, where it comes from, what happens to it before it hits the grocery stores, etc. And the more I read about food and the way our society is (not just with food, but with health in general), the more alarmed I get.
Compare YOUR childhood to that of today's children and you begin to get a picture of what I'm talking about.
Tag vs MarioKart
Campouts vs sugar-filled indoor sleepovers
walking to school vs never being allowed outside alone
Regardless of how valid an action (or lack of action) might be, it's still contributing to this horrible obesity epidemic that the world is in.
So, I was quite please to find something online a few weeks ago.
Did you know that Yale University (and many others including MIT and Stanford) offers free online versions of actual classes taught on campus?
Ok, so you can't get credit for them, turn in work, speak to the professors, or anything like that... but if you're a knowledge hog like me (or want to experience multiple random topics free of charge and free of committment) then these courses are JACKPOT!
I haven't looked into all of the schools, but the Yale course I'm following is pretty simple. You buy the books (or get them at the library for free like I did), watch the videos and follow along, doing assignments if you wish. The videos are simply recordings of the actual professor, teaching a class of actual students.
So anyway, onto the absolutely wonderful thing I found - a class on the food industry and obesity.
It's PSYC 123: The Psychology, Biology and Politics of Food
Here's the Open Yale Course link if you're interested. oyc.yale.edu/psychology/psyc-123#ove
To view other course offerings, click "Courses" in the top left corner and it will show you all the free course offerings.
Anyway, I've just begun. I watched one class and am most of the way through chapter 1 of one of the books Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America's Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do About It by Kelly D Brownell (The other book is called In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan).
What have I learned so far?
* One fourth of all vegetables consumed in the US are french fries.
* Obesity now contributes more to chronic illness and health care costs than does smoking.
*Ronald McDonald is the second most recognized figure in the world, topped only by Santa Claus.
That is exceedingly alarming to me! And I'm not even done with the first chapter yet!
Another thing really bugs me.
People often quote statistics regarding how often people regain weight, regardless of how much they lost.
X percent of people regain all the weight they lost or more.
Who cares? I mean really? Think about it.
All that statement tells me is "It's a waste of time. Don't bother."
What we really should be focusing on is:
x percent of those who adopt and stick to a healthy lifestyle succeed.x percent of those who do not, don't.
When I hear that first statistic, what I want to ask is:
"Were they 'dieting' and quit when they reached their goal weight?"
"Did they focus only on pounds/inches/fat/calories and ignore the reasons they got overweight to begin with?"
"Were they eating real food (not packaged diet food) and living an active life (not just exercising for an hour 3x a week and not moving the rest of the time)?"
I don't care HOW MANY people fail at losing weight - I care WHY.
Friday, July 13, 2012
So after I posted my last blog, I decided "wth, might as well get up and move now."
And I did.
I found a cardio video on Netflix and managed 13 whole minutes of it. It felt good to move, but I was huffing much harder than I should be and just felt that 13 minutes was plenty lol.
Then I resumed my PuP schedule.
It was hard.
After waiting over a week between sets, I lost progress that I had made. Note to self: Do not do THAT again.
Wednesday I went a little more calm, doing 35 minutes of Pilates and swimming for an hour. Oh that felt gooooooood!
Thursday was my "active rest day" as part of the Rock It! Done Girls challenge. I went to the pool with the kids. No major cardio, but I did do some gentle underwater stretching, and toning moves.
And yesterday we again went to the pool... for over 2 hours (although one and a half of those hours was spent sunning in a chair and reading this fabulous book I found at the library. More on that below).
And today I did a bit of Zumba. And by a bit I mean a cruel 14 minutes and 44 seconds.
Don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I adore Zumba. I heart it. It's fun, it's energetic, and it's full of spicy Latinness. (IMO, if it's not Latin music, it's NOT Zumba, but that's a whole different post lol).
I suck at it.
At least now, I do.
See it wasn't always like that. Several years ago when I discovered Zumba while attending a gym, I could do it. I couldn't do everything, and it took me a couple tries, and I huffed and puffed like nobodies business..... but I could do it. I found that I could, many times, intuitively guess what they were going to do next and my feet just did it. Course I sure didn't LOOK like the instructor, my moves didn't have much latin feel to them lol.
It's rough! But I figured out the secret, I did! It's trusting your body to do what you tell it to do. See, I don't trust my foot. Haven't trusted it since I started walking again. I am constantly aware of what it's doing, where it's stepping, what it's stepping on, what could possibly interfere... I am terrified of twisting/spraining/breaking it again.
Which doesn't combine well with Zumba. (oh and this was the first time I've tried Zumba since way before the accident). Unless your trained in dance (and probably even then) you have to stop thinking and just do it. Trust your body.
So, now I know what I have to work on. Trusting my foot... and keeping it healthy so that I CAN trust it. Easy peasy right?? lol
And as for that book I mentioned, it's called Perfect Weight by Deepak Chopra.
It's not your typical weight loss book... infact, you can hardly even call it a weight loss book. It's more of a mind/body balance book, where if you achieve that balance, your weight naturally aligns to what it should be for YOU (as opposed to generalized BMI scales, your neighbor, or a fitness mag).
For those dedicated to traditional Western medicince, this book might feel a bit "out there" .... but it's essentially describing what I have always felt (without being able to put words to it) that this journey should be like.
I loathe counting calories and I feel that it's unnatural. I have always felt that if you eat good, fresh food until your full and not stuffed and get your butt up and sweat several times a week, you don't need to count calories.
Stay away from the boxed, chemical, lab created crap and you don't need to count calories. I've always felt this way. But it's not always that easy with lives the way they are these days. I mean, what % of people are going to go home on their hour lunch and cook a fresh meal? from scratch. I'd wager "not many".
But regardless, I am completely in love with this book (I've always loved stuff by Chopra) and I have a distinctly annoying cramp in my left hand from all the notes I've taken since this is a library book. ( yes, I'm old school... I love the feel of writing with a pencil.)
Anyway, so that's what I've been up to lately. Hope everyone is enjoying their Friday the 13th!
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Being sick has really thrown a damper on my activity levels. I went from going to workout/swim daily to nada. zip. zilch. ZERO exercise.
I week or so ago I watched the recorded Live! session that Coach Nicole did for planning workouts - She discussed working out when sick and her recommendation was if it's in the head, its ok to workout, if it's in the chest, skip it.
Well, mine has been all in my head, but dang, the fog and the pressure (and subsequent headache) certainly DID NOT get the memo. I didn't want to BREATHE let alone exercise lol.
I still have some lingering stuffiness, but no headache. I still can't force myself outside into the heat, but I am going to put on a cardio video and do it here in a few minutes. It's time this potato crawled off the couch.
Hope everyone is enjoying their week!
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