Monday, January 20, 2014
Confession: I am just like everyone else. In fact, I am so much like everyone else that I'm going to describe a situation below and you're immediately going to start nodding in an emphatic way because you know exactly what I'm talking about.
It's a brand new day. It's the day you decided you're going to change the entire world. It'd the day you're going to try something new. It's going to be AMAZING. In fact, you go out hard and fast and you work so very hard at doing what you planned that by the end of the day you feel blissfully exhausted that you've done so much to accomplish your goals.
Then the next day comes and you attack it again - you're a little bit tired from the day before; but, through sheer strength of will and perseverance you attack your goals and accomplish everything you can - even on a half empty tank.
Three days. Four days. Maybe a week. After a few days you've exhausted your resolve. You've pushed too hard and dove too deep. Suddenly, well, you can't swim anymore. You can't do anything anymore. Suddenly, well, you just don't feel like you can get anywhere.
There are three things that make a difference when it comes to making a behavioral change stick.
First, there is the need for allies and cheer-squads. There's a need for support.
Second, there is a need for restraint. You have to be willing to play the long game.
Third, there is a need to be realistic. The goals you set must be attainable and your plans to meet them must fall under the second guide of restraint.
I went out for a run on Thursday night with the running club - after my usual three mile loop you could have easily convinced me I ran a half marathon. I was soooo sore. I was also kind of disappointed with myself for the amount of struggling I did. And then, well, I reminded myself of the above.
No, I can't go out and run three miles without a stitch of training and expect not to feel it after. No, I can't magically expect to be able to run my planned half-marathon in may without putting in the miles.
I'm easing into this. Getting back into not only the habit of blogging, tracking, and running is taking a fair amount of focus; but, that's okay. It's okay for things to be bumpy, nobody learned how to run before they learned how to walk and without a few tumbles.
Here's my question to you, Sparklers: What have you thrown yourself into only to realize you need to pull back in order to make it stick?
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Two months to the day since I last blogged and I find myself in an odd space.
I find myself looking at SparkPeople and seeing so many new faces on the teams I'd been on (Hello there!)
I find myself needing to come back after a very public 'farewell' post.
I find myself feeling the need to make an apology.
Funny thing about the word 'apology' - it doesn't mean what a lot of us think it does (at least, it doesn't always.)
As Defined by the Googles:
1.a regretful acknowledgment of an offense or failure."we owe you an apology"
2.a very poor or inadequate example of. "we were shown into an apology for a bedroom"
3.a reasoned argument or writing in justification of something
I don't mean to just say that I'm sorry. Because I am sorry; but, I think I need to at least provide a little background.
For those just tuning in (who haven't already just commented for SparkPoints and flung themselves away)
Two months ago I declared I was leaving. And I did it, I left. I left Spark. I left Facebook. I pretty much turned off the world as I thought that I could pour myself into this mold of self-imposed isolation and motivation. And I did it. I failed. Miserably. In fact, the blog I started that lasted for about a week and a half is actually depressing to read. It actually makes me uncomfortable to read it. Because I was literally turning off what had made me so successful to this point: the people in my life.
Part of it was probably because I started to 'check-mark.' I started putting weight back on after surgery and I couldn't seem to find the motivation to put myself back in the game. I started being lax. I started being lazy. I cultivated the most terrible part of my personality: a tendency to be introverted and isolationist. Yes, I do have these delusions that I am my own personal island and that I can do everything I want to alone.
Newsflash: Two months later and I can tell the world one thing conclusively - No, I can't do it alone.
There's a great phrase I've ingrained in my mind: Nobody succeeds quietly or alone.
Say it again: NOBODY succeeds quietly or alone.
It's stunning to think about. There's a certain amount of bravery that comes with not doing weight loss quietly. First, it means you have to admit you have some kind of problem. Maybe you're not attentive enough. Maybe you need to learn to say 'no.' Maybe there are other issues; but, you very publicly and very emphatically need to show in your behaviors that you have a problem. It's saying no to more cake at office functions. It's staying later at work to make up time after you spend too long over lunch working out. It's dedicating yourself to more activity or to more energy focused on you. It's public. It's real. It's impossible to pretend it isn't happening.
When this very public CHOICE to admit and address issues around health and weight happens something even more amazing occurs: you find out who your allies are. You find out who is cheering you on. Not the people who judge you or think poorly of you - but the people who genuinely want you to do what's best for you. These can be friends, family, co workers, or even fellow bloggers. These are the people who lift you from your lows and celebrate your highs. You cannot find these people without crying from the mountaintops, "I am making a change!" These people exist in your life -- you won't find them without making the choice to yell.
I guess I'm back because I realized how much I need the support. I realize how much I benefited from this place. It wasn't a new space I needed - it was the perspective I've gained. Nobody ever succeeds quietly or alone.
For those who made it to the end: Thank you.
For those who can accept my apology: Thank you.
I'm back to daily blogs again. Tomorrow will be Day 1. It's not about the study. It's not about the tech. It's about returning to what I know works. It's about maybe being able to be someone else's support.
It's funny, the best races I've ever had weren't the ones I finished on my own: they were the ones where I was able to both be carried and to help carry those I ran with. There's a metaphor in there somewhere.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
I know, I've been gone for a long time now. I keep promising that I'll come back. I keep trying to find ways to motivate myself to do so.
Well, I've done a lot of thinking and planning the last few days.
I've thought about what's fitting in my life.
I've thought about what's literally not fitting.
I'm thinking about who and what I want to be.
And I hate to say that I feel like I've outgrown Spark - but, I'm thinking about where I want to put my energy. I'm thinking about what I need to do in order to get where I want to be.
I've taken a few first steps. Firstly, I deleted my Facebook. Secondly, I started a very cathartic blog. Thirdly, I'm making a budget. Finally, I'm setting up realistic expectations for what I want to be part of the turning 32. It's exciting and scary and vulnerable and -personal.- It has a completely different context than what this place has been for me. I wish I could bring myself to bring the energy of that space into this space; but, I don't want to focus upon weight loss and I feel like Spark boils down so many things for me just to that. And it's not just about that anymore.
If you're interested in seeing my droning (and right now, the first three posts are drones; but, the fourth is shaping up very nicely) - you can find me at:
Thank you for all the love and support over the last year or so. All of you are truly wonderful people. I wish all of you success in whatever form that holds meaning for you.
Much love and admiration,
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
You know what the hardest thing is about getting your lifestyle under control?
It's avoiding early burnout.
Pacing, as it turns out has it's place in all things - not just in running or racing. This week, I'm taking slow, careful steps into getting back into a healthier lifestyle. So far, I'd say I've kept up about half of what I need to be doing, and that's not too bad.
The things I want to do:
1. Run 3 -4 times a week
2. Eat healthy, properly portioned meals
3. Walk more
4. Establish a balanced routine
5. Incorporate new exercises into my life
Of those five things all of them are governed by number 4. Balance. How many times have I found myself too far to one end of the spectrum at the detriment of other things in my life? For example, yes, I can run five days a week if I choose; but, then my house in a nasty mess and I'm hardly present at work and I want to EAT ALL THE THINGS ALL THE TIME. Five days a week is too much.
Or, how about the time I discovered some DELICIOUS healthy recipes I could make and then proceeded to eat three times the serving size? No balance there.
Let's not even mention the time I biked so much that I got so tired of just LOOKING at the thing. Burnout = a picture of me charred to a crisp and ornery looking on top of a bike.
Balance requires not only attention and planning, but restraint for me. I have what I'll call an addictive personality. When I find something new and I'm excited I tend to jump into it with both feet - chewing it down and consuming it until I'm so full of it that it hurts. Sort of like how I watched the four and a half seasons of Breaking Bad in five days. Yeah, that kind of addiction.
So, I've been trying to ease into my activities of choice. I'm inching back into racing and running with the plan to do at most a race a month. I've packed my lunches and I'm trying to not get too bent out of shape when I forget them - this isn't routine yet. Lastly, instead of doing a run day AND an Insanity day - I'm picking one or the other, and it's okay to not feel ike doing either. There's a time to push and a time to relax.
I think balance is all about being careful and caring about yourself. About knowing that excess isn't going to give as much as just the right amount of something would. Last night I had all of these grand plans for this morning. I'd get up early! I'd take Jack for a walk! I'd get to work early! I'd have my packed lunch! I'd bring my workout clothes and go for a run after work! I'd be the best employee EVAR! I'd be AMAZING.
Well, I did get up early; but, I wound up just snuggling with Jack for an hour. Then I got to work on time; but, I did cajole myself into parking across the bridge. I had a healthy, tasteful breakfast (coffee and banana for the win) and I remembered my lunch I packed. I'm feeling rested and accomplished. I'm still Amazing. I've made good choices.
Sparkfriends, it's all about the lens you choose to view things through. I could have looked at missing my plans last night as a failure - instead, well, I'm happy with how I feel today. I'm happy I'm taking the steps I am instead of no steps at all.
Monday, October 28, 2013
It's been a long, long time SparkFriends - and I sincerely mean it wasn't you, it was me!
To put it simply, I thought I could just go ahead and maintain in the land of 185. I thought I could just be okay there. And then, like the ocean's waves erode at the shoreline my own careless behavior and inattentive demeanor definitely had effects upon the progress I made over the past year and a half. Like GIGA says - garbage in, garbage out. I'm not complaining, I mean, my actions (or inactions) are my own, but it's definitely where I've been.
So, where am I now?
Well, I'm reigning it all back in. Starts with food of course. Peeps, you would not believe it - I've actually cooked food for the entire week. And portioned it out. And I'm looking forward to eating it. Selections include: Broccoli cheese soup, various pastas and meat sauce, toasted almond and apple oatmeal, and chicken waiting for introduction to rice and peas. Today I failed a little at lunch by forgetting to bring it - but, I made a sensible (and tracked) choice instead. So, I'm feeling okay about where I stand at the moment.
In terms of exercise I'm getting back on the horse there, too. I spent something like two months using the excuse of being to busy, too hot, too whatever to get in my lunchtime runs. Well, I'm building my mileage up slowly. I've also been taking Jack for evening walks - which has helped him and me. Tonight I plan to walk the dog as well as get some quality time in with Insanity. Tomorrow is a run day.
This past weekend was the Terrifying 10k - I didn't have a very good time at it. I'm hoping to do better at this weekend's 10 miler. I just need to focus on how I'm feeling when I run, rather than thinking about keeping my reserves in check while I'm in the midst of it. Does that make sense?
Well, I'm just checking in today, I'm hoping to be a bit more active from now on.
I hope all of you have strategies to keep the garbage from coming in your lives! I'm working on getting to that point myself!
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