Saturday, September 03, 2011
Midweek is not a good time for me to be looking up my "year ago" and taking my "now", so I'm as close as I can get with the updated progress photos. End of August last year, and today. Hair's changed, but for the most part, maintenance is maintenance, and it's WORKING!
If someone were to ask "what's different this time" two years ago, or even a year ago... I would have said, "nothing is dfferent this time". Today I can say that something is different about this maintenance, from prior attempts at maintaining a loss.
The first time I lost weight, I foolishly thought that maintenance would be like life before losing. Well, predictably (I can hear you experienced folks laughing)... it WAS! All the way back up those 30 pounds, and more.
The first time I got serious about losing (as in asked for and got some help with the process... learned about exchanges and nutrition and activity)... I found myself sliding up and down a LOT in maintenance. I used activity to control the regains, but eventually, since I wasn't making it a priority and continued to be an emotional eater, I tossed in the towel and regained a great deal in a single rocky year.
That regain discouraged me, big time. Who gains 50 pounds in a year? Seriously! Dangerous! To your health! But I did, and I knew how hard I had worked to lose it. While it was happening I was exhausted, putting career and finances, child, faltering marriage, crisis of faith... all in a basket of bludgeons with which to beat up on myself... and adding weight to the arguments of my unworthiness.
Still, I got as far as to see what fitness was like. I had been bit by the bug. While buried, the flame never completely died. It kept getting stirred up. Changes in responsibilities and routines challenged it. But eventually I got here again... to the land of fit... and I've been where I am for a year.
What's different this time?
1) I truly got all the way to where my body wants to be. That initial 80 pound loss, as great as it was, got stopped before I was really, really done.
2) The fluctuations even over the holidays were smaller this year. Yes, I had some "bad" behavior days, even some binge-y behavior... but it stopped and returned to sanity faster, as in with a single day or a few hours. I think I'm finally becoming a believer in "Nothing tastes as good as fit feels."
3) If I had to pick just ONE behavior that's physically different, I have to credit giving up soda. The bubbles fed my binge behavior. If I don't drink carbonated beverages, I stop sooner!
4) I know I really, really want it, and will do anything to keep it. I've had a health scare or two, and I value health more, don't take it for granted. I'm treating my body better, in general.
What's different this time? I'm more conscious of the effort of maintaining. I'm not taking MAINTENANCE for granted. Because, dear friends, maintenance doesn't happen like magic. It takes vigilance. It takes, for me "keeping it green".
And it takes a Spark-village to keep me sane. Love you all,
Friday, September 02, 2011
These little pep talks I give myself? They really do work. Yesterday I blogged about the recognition of my own needs, and how it was my job to make sure they were met so that I could then fulfil my other roles that include helping others.
When I wrote it, it was in recognition of getting close to the edge, with concerns about people I care about being high, and my usual work persona of allowing others to interrupt, making their priorities higher than mine for a bit (don't want someone else staying "stuck" on their project, as the whole team's work is important). But I had got to the point where I wasn't getting my own work things done! And by Tuesday afternoon late, I was just about ready to snap. There was NO WAY I was going to stay late. I wanted to go see for myself that my sister really was OK.
I found myself saying "no" at that point to an interrupt request for help, and then falling into the old pattern after the fact of feeling bad for having done so, stewing over the feelings the interrupter might have had.
Then Wednesday night I was in bed and the phone rang. Rather than going downstairs to look at the caller ID, I picked up. It *could* have been my sister or my son, both of whom are high on my priority list right now. But, it was NOT someone I know and care about... in fact, I have no clue who it was, probably some poor tele-surveyer or marketer or charity solicitor... but when they asked if I was available I snapped at them: I was asleep! If you don't know me personally, you should NOT be calling me. This number should be on a "do not call" list!
And again, rolling back over in bed... I had those bad feelings about having snapped at this poor person whose job it is to make those calls. What if it was some organization that I *do* regularly support? Or a survey I volunteered to take and gave my phone number to?
When I get to the edge like this, it's a sign that something is out of balance. I'm *not* prioritizing correctly or keeping things in perspective. Yes, it is also a bit of a sign of the stress I'm not handling as well as I'd like, too.
So, deep breath, write the blog. Remind myself that a) it's OK to put me first sometimes, and b) taking small moments and putting some interruptions off for a while is not only OK, it's my job to prioritize... this reminder helped me get through the day and back to a better balance point.
Today, I will have time for work, time for me, AND time for the people I care about. Oh, and I *will* remember to BREATHE.
Life's good. Spark on!
Thursday, September 01, 2011
What does all of that have to do with weight and fitness (and for that matter an orderly home life)? Again, forgive a mature gal for taking you down memory lane, while I give myself this morning's pep talk.
When I was seven years old we moved to a new town, and acquired new neighbors. One of the neighbor children was a girl my age, so naturally, you'd think we'd become friends and play together. Which, yes, to a degree, happened.
However, I was (and remain) a bit of a dreamer. I loved just sitting with my thoughts and imagining things, making up stories. Example: after seeing the movie Toby Tyler, bouncing on bedsprings and pretending I was riding barebacked horses... fantasizing that Roy Rodgers would bring his horse Trigger to town and I'd get to ride him... as you can see, yes, I had the young girl - horse thing going, as well as being the self-centered star of the fantasy.
Anyway, my friend next door was shall we say more grounded in reality than I was? There were times when I just plain did not want to play, prefering my solitary fantasy to the work of socializing! But I was a "good little girl", and didn't like to say no to people, either. One can see the conflict, in retrospect. There were times when "Chrissy" would come to the front door, and I would sneak out the back to hide so I wouldn't have to either say to her face I didn't want to play or actually play. Avoidance behavior is deep in the reperatoire of a people-pleasing introvert!
Here's where it gets really warped: my mom would give me a hard time about avoiding my friend! I know she probably had a different life lesson in mind, but what I learned was to do things I didn't want to do or if I did what I really wanted to do, I should feel guilty. I learned that "other people's needs (Chrissy's need for a friend to be there) are more important than mine (time alone to think)."
Over the years and decades since then, of course I've grown up, learned a few of these things about myself, and developed other ways of coping. The underlying conflict of needs remains. I am an introvert who needs a certain amount of time to process real life events into my mental universe... and that time has to be alone time.
Other introverts "get" this, and in our family, we are pretty good about saying when one or another of us is "over-peopled" as we laughingly call it. But there were years and decades of eating the guilt of having said "no" to an invitation or request for help, or eating the resentment of having said "yes" when I really wanted to say "no". Others might recognize themselves in there somewhere.
Having done this little reverie, I need to remember today to ask for what I need, and feel OK about having done so. I need to remember to prioritize and that it's my job to do so. I need to nurture my body with appropriate food and activity, putting that first, so that all the rest works. Because letting one's own needs go unmet for too long is not good for ANYBODY... even those we seek to please.
All that said, Life's good! Spark on!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
First thanks to all who have prayed along with me over my sister's surgery. The initial went really well, and they sent her home to recuperate while waiting on post-surgery results. They should know by Thursday, according to my niece, whether follow up surgery, radiation, or chemo is the next step in her journey to wholeness. For those of you who missed it, we're talking breast cancer, here, caught early, slow-growing, with all the signs as good as they can be under the circumstances.
The "one thing" effort has been flagging a bit the past few days, but I'm going to have to step it up as I've offered my house for the Labor Day gather if we have one at all.
Dealing with the "finish line" of the Mud Run? Deanna (HOT4FITNESS) has once again spurred me to sign up for another local outing... the 5 mile Buffalo Run. It is only a couple of weeks away, and I'm not in shape to run that far, but if Deanna can speed walk those hills... I can certainly give it my best shot! Besides... gotta keep the fitness up in case of half marathon dreams for next year, or at the very least that triathlon I keep promising myself is on the bucket list.
And while I was at it, I also signed up for a 5K in mid-October. So... no slacking allowed! Mr. "you can relax now" has been kicked to the curb. I have ZERO expectations of medals or placement in either of these outings, because they are ones where the real runners show up. I've had my moments in the sun. Now's the time to just show up.
Life's good... Spark on!
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