Friday, May 13, 2011
A friend's blog this morning was not intended to spark this one, but it did. My friend (you'll recognize yourself) was down on herself. Unable to see the good in herself. And it took me back to several (come to think of it) moments in my past. And quite possibly (when I'm honest with myself) in my future.
But one particular moment stands out in my memory. I remember sitting in a fast food joint in Baltimore, with a new blank journal in my hands and a pen, writing that I was tired of reading the success stories of others, I was tired of reading "how-to" books. I KNEW HOW TO, dang it! I needed to WANT to! That I needed to actually DO it. I was disgusted with my back-sliding.
In my blank book, I wrote that I was going to write my OWN how-to, my OWN journey, my OWN success... Not Oprah's, or Susan's, or Jenny's... MINE! Because this is a journey that each of us has to take for ourselves.
I've used writing a LOT in this journey... venting the lows, celebrating the highs, writing out the dreams... I'm a big fan of the journal. For the past year or more I've written them pretty publicly, right here on the Spark page blog. And when I get down on myself... I have them to go back to, to see where my mind and feelings were at other moments on the path. This is encouraging.
So to my friend, and to everyone else who is out there doubting themselves... you know who you are... you can do this. You can write the unique story of your journey through life, to health, to balance, to dignity. Everyone has a story. Live your own. Write your own. Be present and aware...
YOU can do this. And you're worth it!
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Yes, another "insufferable morning person" blog. I love mornings. I love waking up without benefit of alarm. In this morning's case it was 20 minutes before it was scheduled... not too far before, certainly not startled into waking... just becoming aware and awake. Stretching. Hearing house sounds and outdoors waking up, too.
I step out onto the deck and breathe in the cool morning air. I open windows, tempting the allergy gods, but I don't care. Morning is a time of hope and promise. Yes, birds, but other things, too... not much wind, observe the wind chimes being lazy.
Into the kitchen, preparing lunch ahead, starting the steel cut oats to simmer for breakfast, the coffee perking... meander to the home office and fire up SparkPeople to see what other folks are contemplating for this new day. The quiet hum of the computer fan is white noise, as are those birds, whose voices drift through the window.
This time of year takes me back to school days, when the term was almost up... looking ahead to the promise of long, lazy days to be spent mostly outdoors. I don't have that luxury these days, my work doesn't have those weeks off in the Summer. But my mind and soul can still go there in the stillness of a morning.
This is going to be a good day!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
That's where my fickle brain is going this morning. To the lazy days of Summer. Not that I'm planning on not being active... just that I need a "fun" sense about activity and "play" more. Consequently, I've decided NOT to sign up for the 10K in June. And, on the day of that infamous local 10K, I have another horseback ride planned... with others this time, so no skipping out!
I *do* have every intention on putting my focus on those sit-ups, in the hope of passing the APFT on the 4th of July. And I intend to keep up my break-walks at work, and my nutrition plan. Yet, I have some "around the house" things that need doing, and having an athletic goal tends to give me a pass and let me procrastinate more on those things. Time for them to take focus.
I'll be housing the grand-cats for a weekend later this month. So I need to cat-proof my house. These are indoor kitties and it won't be their normal territory, so I'm thinking I need to plan ahead a little bit. Kind of looking forward to having the animal company, myself. I've managed to live pet-free for nine weeks... be kind of nice to have some "on loan" for a bit.
With my windows open to the warming season, I'm feeling good about this plan for now. I reserve the right to set a more specific goal later, but the balance wheel is telling me now is the time to feed another section of the soul.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Sometimes I think about maintenance as being a walk on a balance beam. You can fall off either side! On the one hand is the slip-slide back into compulsive OVER eating. On the other is a dive off into exercise addiction and compulsive UNDER eating, another serious disorder, just in the other direction. The key is finding that middle path of balanced activity and eating and living.
Gymnasts practice, practice, practice to learn how to take leaps and turns and changes in where they place their body, but always coming back to place their center of gravity firmly on that beam. They may fall off a lot while learning. But they get back up and change something a little, and maybe the next time (or the tenth time) they try that stunt, they find the beam and do not fall, but keep on with the performance.
Even the most polished professionals fall at times. There is no shame in it. The really great ones come back from the fall and move on.
In the analogy, our efforts to learn healthy living is the practice and the performance. The leaps and twists and turns are the new things we try or the life events that get thrown at us. We come back to the center of gravity of the self-nurturing habits we have built through Sparking and all that practice. And it is good.
Spark on, my friends! This is for your life!
Monday, May 09, 2011
Most of us have heard of interval training. Many of us practice it regularly, in preparing ourselves for an event, or to increase our athletic abilities. In very simple terms, it is working at a level a bit beyond your comfort zone for a short period, and dropping back to your comfort level to "recover". By doing this, we increase the level of the "recovery" zone, over time. It makes it possible for me, for example, to shave those precious seconds off my time for the two miles.
After two relatively athletic weekends in a row, post-APFT yesterday, I became a slug... puttering around the house a little bit, laundry, grocery shopping, but a goodly chunk of sedentary pursuits as well: upgrading device drivers on the computer and watching streaming video of old TV shows.
I was definitely hiding indoors, though, as Saturday's outing I stayed out longer than I intended and "vile yellow-face", the sun, did a number on my exposed arms and neck. I'm a rather vibrant reddish color on those parts of the body. Nope, no sunscreen, and I know better, but as I said, it was unplanned activity which is what bites most of us. Truth to tell, I detest having creamy stuff on my skin. I am going to have to find a different sunscreen solution for this year if I have any aspirations to do things outdoors at all. Last Summer I hid indoors a lot, resulting in my horribly overgrown yard.
And I started looking for something about 4 p.m. Looking in the cupboards, looking in the fridge, trying things out... bad move. I went through about five times more snacks. It's that Sunday afternoon, weekend's almost over, don't want it to end... dissatisfaction. And I ate over it. Sheesh! I looked back at my trackers and saw calorie deficits the two days before... could be part of it. And the really hard run Sunday morning could also be part of it. Someone last week offered up the "drink more water" thing, and I did some of that, too... but still, this is a slippery disease, compulsive eating... that must be balanced against the real body needs. The good news about the bad behavior is that after going through a certain amount of this aimless eating, nothing looked good any more. I realized what I wanted wasn't in the kitchen, and I stopped.
Today, back to the normal eating plan. Which leads me to the title subject: perhaps some of what we do is, indeed, "normal". We are interval eating, as well as interval training. Exert energy, hungry drives nourishment. Isn't this the way it's supposed to be? I know I have to be careful about thinking too much this way, as I have led myself right down the garden path to regain too many times to think it's not the voice of the disease, the justification.
So... let's keep those rest intervals short... and get back on track!
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