Monday, September 05, 2011
I'm typing with a lapful of purr. The smaller kitty, Patches, has decided on this chilly morning to warm my lap. When I first came downstairs and sat on the couch, I had two of them draped all over me. When you just relax into the experience, this is so totally calming.
As I predicted from observing their young personalities, she's turning into more of an indoor kitty than he. The Prisoner is the mighty jungle cat, and loves the great outdoors. Patches is more likely to go out, sniff around the deck, then ask to come back inside. Both have captured my heart completely in the few weeks they have lived here.
I've been out this morning to do my "one thing" which is continuing to work on the volunteer trees around the front of the house. It's going slowly, as my "one thing" efforts are time-boxed, but progress is visible.
Today is dedicated to recharging my batteries. I may go for a long walk later. But essentially, the plan is for it to be a quiet day: I have the dentist tomorrow morning, a big work push that will spread over the next six weeks or so, and week after next my sister's follow up radiation treatment. While I'll only be on tap to take her to the one little surgical procedure, it's on my mind... as it would be on anyone's.
Next Sunday is the 5 mile Buffalo Run. It is held in a big park, and the terrain is hilly. I'm trying to listen carefully to my knees in consideration of things like: will I walk the distance, or attempt a partial jogging pace? Five miles is longer than my normal 5K outings, the past two of which I didn't even run the whole distance. I think I'm more concerned about the potential damage to my joints if I overdo than anything else. This is for fun, and to get a baseline time for the distance.
2011 has been an "interesting" year so far. It has been the year of athletic outings, and I'm looking both backward in time and forward, trying to see what is the right balance of these events and what is the right mindset for them, to keep maintaining fitness for the rest of my life.
Meantime, a lapful of purr should help me relax into the plan, and recharge those batteries.
Life's good... Spark on!
Sunday, September 04, 2011
I'm currently reading a novel written by one of the women I work with, Delores Feeken-Schmidt. It is her first publishing, and it is a tale of three sisters and their mother, titled Isabel's Journey. I have found myself pondering about my own relationship with my sisters while reading it. Sisters are wonderful to have (brothers, too).
For those of you who have been praying with me about my older sister's breast cancer, an update: I went with her to an appointment on Friday. I'll also go with her to the hospital for preparation for her course of radiation treatment, week after next. This is the kind of cancer that responds well to the hormone blocker pill treatment. We are grateful for the prayers, and continue to pray for guidance for her in the decisions she has to make, for the doctors in their advising, and for working out the insurance and finances.
On a lighter note, one of the fun portions of my Labor Day weekend: I'm once again trekking up to the state park for the new Fall Mellodrama offering, The Troll of Trafalgar. In this short play, my brother in law plays the villian. Yes, once again I get to toss popcorn at my inlaw! I'm driving up with his wife (another of my sisters) and their daughter. It is a gorgeous day here, and I even got a bit of yardwork done as part of my "one thing" initiative this morning. Provided we all have the energy after the play, we might just meander around the park a bit on foot.
The cats are full of themselves in this cooler weather. For that matter, I have a pair of Spark kitties:
Going to have to get more outdoor shots of them, but they do tend to hide in the foliage, so it is harder to get a good photo. Life's good, Spark On!
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Yes, it's that time again... a holiday weekend. I'm trying to live up to my promise to myself from last November, and this was one of those designated dates.
Original goal post: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
This morning I *passed* the Army Physical Fitness Test for females in my age range for the second time. Not as high a score as on July 2nd, but passed all three sections.
* I did 28 pushups, score = 100 (max).
* I did 29 situps, score = 62 (barely passing, but this has been my trouble area, so I'll take it!)
* I covered 2 miles in 20 minutes and 44 seconds, score = 91.
Combined score 253, which I'll take. Next target test date? Veteran's Day!
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!
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