Friday, June 03, 2011
It's award day... somehow I tend to forget they are coming up, and then, boom! My e-mail is full of folks "liking" my status, and the announcements of the awards themselves. I have to admit I have a favorite... I like the exercise minutes, and the perfect attendance ones, when I achieve them are gravy. But my favorite by far is the Consistency Award.
It tracks perfectly with my "Year of Majority Rules". Once we have the habits firmly established as the default, if we can just "keep on keepin' on", we will prevail. We shall lose if that's our intention, and we shall maintain. But we must be consistent.
Not so much consistent with logging in to Spark and spinning the wheel, as consistent in keeping first things first. In taking care of our bodies, minds, and spirits, so that we can then take care of everything else, our purpose in life. Logging in and Sparking is a kind mind trick to remind ourselves of the importance of our journey to health. So, to me, Consistency is King, and Majority Rules.
Here's to another consistent month, active, and supporting good health!
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Wow. What can I say? I wanted to see this movie from the first I heard it was being made, but I didn't get to it in the theater... and today, courtesy of Netflix, it arrived in my mailbox. Seeing the story is the reward. It also brings a lesson.
The story is well known in history of the younger brother becoming King upon the abdication of the elder. One side of the story is particularly pertinent to us Sparklers: that of the achiever standing in his own way. A man who CAN, fearful of the ambition to BE. When the teacher encourages him, tells him he is capable, he sees it as treason to desire the goal.
Have any of us considered reaching our goals to be "treason" against the "kings" or "queens" in our own little realms? Perhaps we have a beloved or envied sibling who has always been thin while we have struggled? Or perhaps our families are ALL "big". How dare we aspire to thin and fit?
Do we then set out to fight against our teachers, as the King does in this movie? Of course we all know it has a happy ending... the motivation to overcome his fears for the sake of his nation is strong. He works hard, and triumphs. As can we.
Spark on... remember to reward your efforts... and most importantly, remember that you are worth it!
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
I've had this blog bubbling at the back of my head since Sunday, when I went to my sister's home for the family Memorial Day gather. I put this picture as my background for a bit and challenged my musically inclined friends to identify what was "different" about the instrument depicted.
This is a crossover instrument: it is the size of a viola, but it is stringed with an additional high string, a violin's E string. My sister, who is a string teacher, loves it because she can use one instrument to teach both violin pupils and viola pupils, and she can play harmonies and opposite parts no matter who she is playing alongside.
She has another interesting instrument that she had all of us try. A chin cello... another instrument the size of a viola, but strung with cello strings, an octave lower. What one observes, placing it under the chin and drawing the bow over the strings is a vibration much deeper and stronger than that of a violin or a viola.
So, what does that have to do with Sparking? (You know I'd find something... EVERYTHING is connected, somehow!)
Do you ever feel "different" from those around you? Do you feel "different" at a smaller, maintenance, goal-weight size? Maybe you just need to learn what kind of instrument you are! Maybe you're NOT a viola, even though you are viola-sized!
OK, that's my whimsey for today... it's OK to be who we are, and we can be quite unique and interesting in our design and purpose. Maybe you have the deep rich tones of a cello... and you have to ride out some extra vibrations! Or, perhaps you are blessed with a broad range of potential, and could play harmonies with many other instruments. Let's learn to play that extra string!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Twisting old sayings can be fun, and it can make a point in these little self-pep talks. The old saw about March kind of describes my May.
May 1st was the half marathon. It was an incredible achievement high. The rest of the month has been pale by comparison, and I think that's part of my current motivational slump. I truly have been battling the "is this it? Is that all there is? Is this where the turnaround point happens?"
Having observed the phenomenon of burnout, I've been trying to avoid putting on another athletic goal too quickly. Or any other kind of goal, too quickly, for that matter. I feel... fatigued, perhaps? Tired of the fight? Yet I still need to take care of myself.
I have observed Spark folks come and go over my two years of pretty consistent activity here. Get to a point, get complacent, get bored or discouraged, leave... and later return with a new name, or even the same name and a restart. This is something I have done in the past with efforts at health and fitness. I have a tendency to ask "what's next?" And then drop what was taking time to play with some shiny new purpose, unrelated to self-care.
However, I have learned this about myself: I need to keep conscious focus on health and fitness. Shameful as it is to admit, these habits do *not* naturally retain themselves in me. If I stop putting focus on it, I regain weight while eating like a crazy woman.
I have never captured the turning point on paper. It usually starts with the cessation of writing about it. This time, I'm writing about it. It is at the point of success. It is at the point of doing well. I don't think I'm alone here. I'm most familiar with how it feels on the inside... but I've watched it from the outside, too. I'm not the only weight cyclist in the room, and I know it.
I gave myself May to *not* have a goal, to have rewards (non-food) and active fun. Now I'm back to basics. I shall not burn out. I shall, this time, change the light bulb, instead of letting it remain dark and cold.
June is a new month. It's going to be a great month, fellow Sparklers! We shall "make it so."
Monday, May 30, 2011
For me, the focus of family gatherings were of course the people, but seriously, for a compulsive eater? They were about the food! The rich, decadent, bad for me food that holidays gave me an excuse to consume in quantities: while preparing it (don't ya know the cook has to taste it, just to make sure it's OK), of course at the event (someone prepared this special, they'll be offended if you don't show a hearty appetite and rave over their offerings), and then after (I used to make extra just so I could savor it afterwards, too).
And then there were the years of living in terror of food! And of the people, too! When I hadn't seen them in a while, and I would have gained weight, and I didn't want them to see me as a failure (yet again). So I would eat before, in anxiety, during I'd be "good" for show, and after, back in the privacy of my own kitchen, pile it on full of shame over my perception of my fat!
But now? I just observed this: it is as though there is this peace with who I am and who my loved ones are and that it's all OK. What changed? Wouldn't it be easy to say that now I'm at my "home" weight and have stayed there for almost a year, it's all because of that? But it's not.
It truly is the result of the hard part of losing weight: the mental, emotional, spiritual journey of acceptance and nurturing. It makes even family gatherings different. It allows me to attend, observe, participate and yes, love fully what each and every one brings... their stories, their music, their faces, and the food. In balance. With mindfulness.
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