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!
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Rudyard Kipling was a favorite childhood read-aloud author, sponsored by my dad. This one was often quoted: dad was a journalist.
"I KEEP six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest."
Link to entire poem here:
It was running through my head yesterday morning on the drive to work, because as I started contemplating "W" words, I couldn't help it. Five of the six are indeed W's. And all of these are important to maintenance... taken in poem order, with my own little comments.
What: the goals. In my case to maintain functional fitness and improve event performance.
Why: the motivation. These ARE the golden years, and it's just more fun to live fit.
When: NOW! Duh. And hopefully for the rest of my life.
How: the program. Spark tracking and community. BodyMedia Fit. Jenny Craig. Whatever works.
Where: RIGHT HERE! At home, at work, in the gym.
Who: ME! Nobody else will do it for me.
Six W's and an H for good measure. Life is good. Spark on!
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
"Be Ever Vigilant - don't get too complacent" is the motto of one of my Spark fellow travelers... Marenamoo. She hasn't been around the Spark for a while and I miss her wisdom and contributions.
Another friend I miss is WalkingAnnie. She was among those who pointed me to the At Goal and Maintaining team, way back when. She, too, started posting less frequently, and hasn't been around in quite some time.
These people have been such an inspiration to me... and I always wonder about Sparkers that I see, then don't see. I sincerely hope they are doing well, still healthy, and just moved on from Spark.
Vigilence is such a key to maintaining. I know, because I lost that vigilence after big losses... several times over a lifetime. I got into a rebellious or discouraged mind - emotional frame, tossed in the towel and let myself eat whatever my little disease (compulsive overeater here) pushed at me! I managed to regain the 30 pounds I lost between high school and college, and they brought friends with them when they came back. I managed to regain the hard-fought pounds I dropped over the course of eating / exercising healthily for the sake of my baby while pregnant (after his birth, I was 24 pounds less than when he was conceived). I managed to regain 60 of the 80 I dropped on my first serious effort with Weight Watchers, after a rolling maintenance of nearly five years.
Since then, I managed to regain a drop of 70 pounds I did "on my own" with books and other resources. And here I sit at maintenance of a weight that I didn't even reach with that first pre-college unhealthy diet, and I did it "right", i.e. balanced diet, exercise, SLOWLY, and working on my mental / emotional issues as I went. In some ways it was the mindset of "maintaining" my way to where my body truly wanted to be.
I know I need to be ever vigilent. I know I am at risk, every day. I live one bite away from a binge. I know this. Knowing it does not always protect me from eating for comfort anyway. Being vigilent about motivation, being honest with myself, and seeking balance in my life might get me to my ultimate goal: staying healthy as long as I can and ENJOYING the life I have been blessed with.
If you are one who has repeatedly lost, regained, lost, regained... take heart. The only failure is giving up. As I said to someone I worked with on those emotional things: "I am happiest when I am *working* on nutrition and fitness." Note: working on, not succeeding, or being at a specific weight or achievement level. This should tell me something: doing these things, eating right, moving, breathing, and giving myself the pep talks... makes me HAPPY!
And what was it I always used to say when people asked what I wanted to be when I grew up? Oh, yeah, "HAPPY"!
Life's good. Be ever vigilent. Spark on!
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