Tuesday, November 15, 2011
I've long observed that the most empowering thing I can do is to keep a small (or large) promise to myself. The small ones are in fact more important, because they maintain momentum to meet the larger ones.
Pulling myself back up by the bootstraps on Monday, I vowed that I would work out after work, NO MATTER WHAT! I put together in my mind the plan: Monday treadmill run, Tuesday back to the weight training, it should not be as punishing as Friday's workout was, the second time through the workout. Wednesday swim as reward. Thursday spin class. Friday, weights again, so that Saturday becomes a rest day... i.e. walking only.
It was so important to get the training cycle off to a good start. And then my work day slopped over. Only by half an hour, but what a difference that half hour makes in attitude.
As I directed the automobile away from work, I had to talk to myself the entire way, about that promise keeping, and the importance of getting back on the routine. If I have any hope of remaining fit through the Winter, I have to make this adjustment!
I talked myself into allowing the treadmill workout to be at home. "BUT YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY DO IT!" I firmly told myself.
Got home, got inside... immediately changed to running togs. As in immediately! Read e-mail. Saw there was one that merited a phone call, but firmly put it off. Got up on Ariel, the siren treadmill, flipped on an old episode of Numb3rs, slapped on my heart rate monitor, and got in a good workout. Had to slow to a fast walk several times as the heart rate monitor nagged at me... but I DID IT!
Showered, had a healthy supper, and made the phone call... and all the time, the drumbeat of a promise kept reminded me: I CAN do it. And I'm worthy of the effort.
Remember that old deal with the jar, the rocks, the pebbles and the sand? Let's remember that promises to ourselves are the rocks... keep those promises, and the pebbles and sand will fill in the gaps!
Life's good. Spark on.
Monday, November 14, 2011
A Monday pep talk... OK, so the weekend wasn't the best in terms of health and fitness. Things might have got in the way. In my case, Friday was OK, Saturday was a disaster, Sunday was better than Saturday, but still not good.
But now it's Monday. Maintenance is all about "majority of behavior rules". Maintenance is all about "normal" behavior being supportive of good health. Maintenance is all about a functionally active lifestyle and a good diet that supports it. Diet, in this case, meaning the classic "what you eat"!
Maintenance is not about being perfect or rigid. It's about loving yourself enough, respecting yourself enough, and following through with the actions necessary to nurture and care for yourself. Because... no one else will do it for you!
To borrow last year's theme: because we're worth it! Spark on!
Sunday, November 13, 2011
There are a lot of good, positive Z words: zest for life, for one. Zenith, as in a high point as you first reach the phase. Zigzag to handle the fluctuations. Great Z words.
I'm choosing another cautionary one, though: beware the "zing" that can happen to those of us with long-term addictive behaviors related to food. And I managed to run smack into one of those zinger days yesterday.
It was a perfect storm in the making: long weekend is always a red flag for one. For a second, let's add in some physical pain: oh, yeah, that workout with a new personal trainer? I thought the spinning class whipped my fanny? Hah! That was child's play. My muscles are still hollering a bit, as late as this morning.
Several years ago my son told me I would never go in for "real" strength training because "it hurts". Yeah, muscle soreness from having been worked to exhaustion is not for wimps. I think this is the first time a trainer has got hold of me with the goal of increasing athletic prowess, and I fear I may have been showing off a bit during the workout.
But the real zinger was an e-mail I got from my ex's sister. She's the mother of the 34 year old nephew we lost last February, and she had been having health issues of her own. She finally has a diagnosis, and it's a real bummer: she has ALS.
I started reading up about the disease and it is discouraging. I've been going through this horrid bout of survivor guilt... this sister in law is my age, about 3 weeks younger than I. Her news was brief, but I already knew she'd been having trouble walking and speaking. This is just plain heart-breaking. Survivor guilt continues: she lost her son, mine lives. Her health is failing, my body seems to be in better shape than ever (despite the muscle soreness).
Why? This is NOT fair. Not that I desire to give up the blessings I've been given but that makes me feel selfish! My brain goes off comparing not just to her, but to my older sister, the one who is recovering from breast cancer. She always took care of her body, I did not. Again, NOT fair.
Mid-afternoon, I took a walk, listening to the football game on my radio. But the muscle soreness is still there. I tried to call the ex, as I want to know that he's handling this OK... see if there's anything I can do... even listen. He wasn't picking up. Not that I blame him. But it adds to my own fretting.
Then there is my son... don't want to burden him, he's off to training on Monday for a week.
Finally, food... I had purchased a pound of real butter when it went on sale... too soon for Thanksgiving day. I turned to its creamy comfort... way too much of its creamy comfort... like when I was a kid and used to sneak it.
Remember my cautionary tale about how knowledge of your weakness is not enough to protect you? It takes action in addition to knowledge. Yesterday afternoon was an obvious demonstration of exactly that. I knew what I was doing. I didn't care. I topped 3,000 calories for the day by the time I was done, close to 4,000.
Even a ZING like that, though, is recoverable, if one just reaches out... to a higher power, to one's inner strength, to reasoning, or to others.
Punishing my body with excess food will not give my sister in law her health back. It will not keep my son safe. It *might* if it were the right nutrition, help with the muscle soreness... but if not, nope!
Today, just for today, I will treat me with kindness. I will accept what happened, acknowledge the reality of and responsibility for my actions... and I will put it behind me and move on... with caution. I will extend to me the kindness I would to a friend who was having a rough patch.
One turtle foot in front of another, Spark On!
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Oh, my, yes, indeed, I used the word "yo-yo"... and we all know the dangers of yo-yo dieting! Many of us have engaged in this questionable practice... intentionally or negligently!
But I'm using it as a cautionary note, in that during maintenance, as for people with "normal" relationships with food, a fluctuation of a pound or two during the course of a week or a month is NOT truly yo-yo dieting. It's normal weight fluctuation.
For those of us with a history, though, those daily fluctuations can be scary. So I here share what my daily fluctuations have looked like in the past year. Note the narrowness of the range: yes, I have bumped up some and some of that has indeed been "bad behavior with food". I have for the most part been able to bring it back in line fairly quickly. My body did choose its "home range" but I have had to give it a little help from time to time to stay there.
Be ever vigilent. Never, ever give up. Life's good. Spark on.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Last year I used a real X word, xenophobia, in October, to describe my feelings in my "new", "alien" body size.
It has been over a year since I wrote the xenophobia blog. I'm feeling a lot more at home in this foreign land of thin and fit than I did then. Not sure I'll ever feel like it is my native land, but I'm working on not fearing it, or fearing losing it, either way.
This year, I'm simply using X as a letter in its own right, as in "X marks the spot" on a treasure map.
In this year's analogy, X represents the goal, where all the goodies are kept. It's a place to strive to reach (preferably before someone else does and takes all the goodies away)! It's a place to return to, if you're the character that hid the treasure away to begin with. It is a place to be desired. For me, X marks the place where I'm living the life, thin and fit, following the plan.
Sometimes like the buried treasure, X moves around a bit! If you bury the treasure in shifting ground, and go away for a while, it might not match the map, exactly. Better to stay put, enjoying the goodies, and if I stray a few feet, I can get back to my sweet X-spot without too much anxiety or drama!
Here's to keeping the map up to date, and hanging around where X marks the spot!
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