Saturday, March 08, 2014
One of my Spark friends, GABY1948, has been blogging a series of "Quotes that will change your life"... she's up to 75 now, and today's was a reference to the Four Agreements - here's the link: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
I had been exposed to this concept previously, I believe it is steeped in Native American cultures. The third agreement particularly spoke to me this morning as I was considering my 64th day of the Mental Toughness commitment challenge:
"Donít Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. "
Seriously, this has been extremely valuable to me in my professional life: if you think you agree, state it clearly. If you think you disagree, state it clearly. Clarity is more important than agreement. Seriously. It will save a whole lot of problems down the line if definitions and positions are clear. The "fuzzier" a set of requirements, the worse the resulting computer program.
But it also applies to our healthy living habits. Having clarity of purpose and program. How about relationships? Do we avoid saying things because we ASSUME we know how the other person feels? Big mistake.
And finally, how about self-talk? From the first agreement: "Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love." Then live out the words: "You are worth it."
Thanks for a great series, Gaye!
LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. Conscious decisions will keep me faithful to the things I have committed to. Consistency over time brings success. Creative adjustments make it all possible. And as always, GRATEFUL, for each and every day.
Friday, March 07, 2014
Let us say that last week's detour on the health front gave me an opportunity. One of the reasons I had NOT stepped down the caffeine before was memories of previous withdrawals. Last Friday, with the cardio stress test requiring me to have gone "cold turkey" I experienced it again, anyway.
So, as part of the recovery plan, I wanted to NOT get back to the same levels of caffeine I HAD been consuming. You know, you have never completely "arrived", right? There's always another area of improvement, offering fresh opportunities to exercise a healthy mental toughness.
So... as I started putting caffeine back in, I went to half caff. The past three days, back at work, even, my levels have moved to 1 pot of half caff, plus one mug of half caff at work, plus one mug of decaf in the evening. I hope to maintain a similar level today and over the weekend.
Lest you all think this is high? I HAD been consuming a pot of full caff before work, two mugs at work, and up to a pot of half caff in the evening after work. We are talking those 10-12 cup pots. This *is* an improvement. And if I can stay mentally tough at THIS level, there may come a time when I can take it even further down.
Baby steps. One back, two forward.
Because LIFE is good. It's better when I'm fit. Conscious of my decisions, consistently choosing healthy options, creative in adapting the plans, and as always GRATEFUL for each and every day of it!
Spark on, and be at peace, my friends!
Thursday, March 06, 2014
A few years back, when I was a new maintainer, a wonderful Spark Friend, WALKINGANNIE (link to her Spark Page - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=WA
LKINGANNIE ) wrote about her concept of not having a "goal" weight, but a "home" weight range, where her body was naturally happy.
She has not been active on Spark for a while (2011 was her last blog, and her last updated status was over 1000 days ago), but those of us who remember her were greatly influenced by her optimism and common sense about the balance of life. Wherever you are, WALKINGANNIE, we love you!
You see, the Spark you share with someone else lasts with them. It doesn't matter that you went away, or backslid, or had struggles, "graduated" from Spark due to competing priorities, or even (it is reality sometimes) passed away... the Spark you passed along to the rest of us... lives on.
Since starting this "Mental Toughness" commitment, I have returned to my "home range" of numbers on the scale... the 2013 back-sliding and brinksmanship after effects are gone. I'm back "home in the range". Feels good. (Of course, "feels good" is also an expression of "whew" based on recovery from the recent illness!)
And I woke this morning with parody lyrics in my head:
Home, home in the range.
Where the body is happy to be.
Where active feels good.
The way that it should.
And the Spark shines so brightly all day!
For you, WALKINGANNIE... this blog is dedicated. Your Spark lives on in many of us.
LIFE is good. It is better when I'm fit. Consistent, conscious, and creatively grateful... for each and every day! Namaste.
Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Well, one of the purposes, anyway. Fat is actually a good thing. We don't think so when we are obese, because we have too much of it... but it has a purpose. Body fat enables us to STORE energy, SURVIVE deprivation, and LIVE.
This thought is popping to mind this week, having just been through illness, and is related to dropping pounds "the wrong way". This past week my body had to dip into the stores of fat that remain to survive while I was off my feed, as the old saying goes. Even when I got back to eating what is now "normally" for me, and fully hydrated, I'm down a bit. And the challenge of this week is fueling enough so that trend does not continue.
Back in the days when I was truly obese, I might have thought this would be a "good" problem to have. But as a POW, I recognize the knife's edge... don't want to slip back into a long-term gaining trend, but need to defend against a long-term losing one, too. Hey, this must be what NORMAL people deal with automatically. For me, it's all about the tracking, and making sure I am neither under- nor over-eating for the level of activity I'm at. This is the true challenge of maintenance.
That said, I'm declaring that health episode OVER (pending follow up visit with Doctor later this month), and I worked a full day yesterday, even staying a bit late to help one of my team-mates with something she wasn't understanding. It's a fascinating thing, seeing how we each work slightly differently... and our particular programming tool does one favors. She had copied some code that violated its sensibilities to naming conventions, and she apparently hadn't encountered this particular quirk before.
So I was having the conversation in my head in the car on the drive "home/gym"... that by the way, I saw several others having in THEIR blog-heads yesterday. Must have been the day for it! "Do I go to the gym, or do I go straight home?" One voice in the head says "gym... you really miss active". The other said, "Whine! But you've been sick... one more day off?" I made them play nice. Decided to go to the gym, get myself in the pool (unless it was too crowded), and "go easy."
It turned out that Chloe Jones did NOT have a whole lot of other visitors, and in fact there were 3 empty lanes when I walked onto the pool deck. Ahhh... zen in the pool is available. I did the workout that was on the plan, but probably didn't work out as intensely as it said, respecting the "go easy" part of the compromise. And after I finished the planned distance? Swam another 100 yards of side and breast stroke just because it felt SO GOOD!
Home, good night's sleep... ready for the next day. I'm back. We'll deal with adjustments to the athletic dreams as we go. I am tossing out that stubborn "show up the young folks and do it in 2 weeks anyway" part of the gym's Ironman distance challenge... but my card now shows I'm better than 1/3 of the way to the swim distance already. In one session. I have three weeks. We'll see.
Yes, I'm still me. LIFE is incredibly good. I am FULL of gratitude... funny how recovery from illness does that to a body! Conscious of decisions. Consistently and creatively adjusting the plan for "conditions on the ground" as the military calls it.
Spark on, and be at peace!
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
When I am not well, I have to skip the Spark articles and even some blogs that talk about working out, making yourself go harder / longer, etc. I have to "turn off" even the wonderful Sparkly things I enjoy so much when I am well.
So over the past week, I've been hitting the bit bucket with a lot of those kinds of articles that come in my Spark e-mail notifications.
Rest, hydration, more rest, whatever doctoring is appropriate... and recovery. Workouts come when you're "all better". So with that in mind, the goals for this week:
1. Recover fully. (Pretty much checked off now)
2. Go back to work. (Happening today)
3. Ask the body if it's READY for that first workout back. (it appears to be chomping at the bit this morning, we'll see how it feels after work)
4. GENTLY resume training.
5. At the end of the first few days, re-assess just where in the training plan you belong given the changing ground.
I am SO glad I started my "14 week plan" 20 weeks out. LIFE does tend to interrupt these things, and I need to allow for that.
And one of the good things about having had all those tests done? About knowing it is NOT a heart issue? I can train with more confidence, without the self-doubt of NOT FINDING OUT! So I'm echoing a whole lot of others who say, "pay attention to your body", and "if a rational person would have this checked out, BE that rational person."
And even though being sick sucks, and ERs and such are exhausting: LIFE is still good. It is better when I'm fit. I support that fitness every time I am consistent in self-care, conscious of my decisions, and creative in finding the right activity for today. And as always, LIFE is worthy of the GRATITUDE for each and every day of it!
Peace to all. And Spark on!
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