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ABC's of Maintenance: Z is for zing!

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! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

46SHADOW 11/14/2011 8:13AM

    I am so sorry to hear about your ex's sister being ill with such a difficult disease. My sympathy goes out to you.Good luck dealing with the emotional challenge of it all.
Thankfully, there is always tomorow and picking up and continuing forward. emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/14/2011 8:14:48 AM

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MSLZZY 11/13/2011 8:42PM

    That is the kind of news that can push anyone over the edge and back to comfort food. I do hope you treated yourself with kindness today-hugs!

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_LINDA 11/13/2011 7:35PM

    Oh that is just horrible, horrible news :(( So very sorry to hear it. We all can get you being thrown off your game, anybody would. I had met a woman with ALS and it was heartbreaking to see what was once a strong, healthy independent woman be reduced to life in a wheelchair being helped to eat by another friend. She tried to live on her own as long as possible but the disease is relentless :(
Yes, these fastballs can catch us off guard and have us questioning our mortality and the fairness of life. Like why the smoker lives to a ripe old age, while the non smoker gets lung cancer.. Like why are my older brother (who eats all the high fat food and drinks nothing but pop he likes and is obese) and my sister are perfectly healthy (and she is living healthy now thanks to an initial boost from Saprks) and I get all kinds of health problems one after the other.. The only thing you can do is live the life you were given to the best of your ability, handling the zings as they come along and see the way to make the best of it. Yes I get a pity party binge now and then, but prefer to get active and doing something constructive instead which feels a lot better after then the comfort food.
Thank you for sharing your most excellent thoughts on the A-Z of a healthy lifestyle!

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WATERMELLEN 11/13/2011 7:00PM

    So devastating: horrendous news. The Internet - blessing and curse -- too easy to find out way more about ALS way faster than anyone can assimilate it. And understandable that you got "zinged". You write with such devastating candour and it helps the rest of us more than you can know.



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ANDI571 11/13/2011 10:45AM

    It must be the full moon. I had my zingers this weekend also. I like your statement, "Your knowledge of your weakness is not enough to protect you." That is so true.

We found out Friday that Terry has to have hand surgery next week. So there is the stress of him having that done, plus the 2 to 4 weeks off of work. He doesn't get sick pay. Then we woke up yesterday to our refrigerator dying. I had to throw out all of the food, including what I had cooked all week and froze so we would have healthy lunches. So we had to go out and buy a new one. Our stove is the same age, so we just bought both.

So of course that sent me on my journey of eating high fat meals for the day. I am paying for that one today. I knew better, but did it anyway.

You know Barb, my mom was a wise one. When I was growing up, she used to quote the scripture of: It rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). My mom took care of everyone. She was always there. When she got diagnosed with Alzheimer's, everyone just couldn't understand, why her. Even my dad (a preacher) questioned it. I always told them, because it rains on the just and the unjust. She taught me from a child that in this world, things happen. So no survivor guilt. You will be there to give her love and support, and that my friend will be a comfort to her.



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FITFABJENN 11/13/2011 8:38AM

    You are spot on, as always. Just because we have an awareness of our challenges does not prevent us from faltering. And I loved your point about treating ourselves with the same kindness we would someone else in the same circumstances. So true.

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DEBRITA01 11/13/2011 8:26AM

    We all have those "Zingers"...today is a new day and you can do it! As you said, "one Turtle foot in front of the other" emoticon

Are you really at Z already?! I've enjoyed taking the alphabet journey with you. Thanks for sharing.

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ABC's of Maintenance: Y is for yo-yo

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. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 11/12/2011 5:00PM

    We all have good and bad days that bring us up and down. Just like the yo-yo effect. The thing not to give up.

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_LINDA 11/12/2011 8:39AM

    Its certainly a narrow and slippery slope. I have been snacking pretty much out of control at the bridge tournament simply because I am not used to having such high quality home made sweets and they have been a real treat. Portion control? What's that? Out the window for now. Good thing my meals are healthy and low in calories or I would be gaining a pound a day lol. I have to regain the weight I suddenly lost but this is not the way :( I did one diet before and regained all the weight and then some, but for the most part, I am not a person that likes rigid controls. Its fortunate that my love of fresh fruits and veggies is what I prefer to eat and keeps my food calories under control.
Here is to a healthy yo yo, normal weight fluctuations and not a full scale rout!!


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KALIGIRL 11/12/2011 8:23AM

    Here's to giving and receiving a little help!

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DEBRITA01 11/12/2011 7:05AM

    emoticonRemain strong and vigilant emoticon

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ABC's of Maintenance: X marks the spot

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!

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/11/2011 9:45AM

    Good for you, Barb. You know, last night when I was at dinner with my friend, we were talking about all the studies that are coming out now about people who lose a large amount of weight only to regain it back rather quickly. It's all related to hormones and metabolism, etc. I'm sure you've seen/heard some of them. While we were talking about it, you came to mind. You are the one person I can think of who has done well with weight loss and is managing rather well to maintain. I know that that's the hard part -- keeping it off. You inspire me -- I've told you that before. You give me hope that one day I'll get to my goal and I'll be able to maintain the new weight as long as I put in the effort to do so.

I'm so happy for you. You are in such a good place with your body, mind and soul. Have a great day!

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BUGGYS 11/11/2011 9:04AM

    I am forever trying to find my "X" spot and once I find it I intend to keep it...I just wish the treasure hunt would be a little easier! emoticon

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_LINDA 11/11/2011 8:19AM

    You are doing extraordinarily good at keeping to your X spot in spite of the huge challenge of keeping the binge monster at bay..
Keep up the great work!

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DEBRITA01 11/11/2011 8:12AM

    I'm still in search of my X spot, but I know I'll get there as long as I keep working on it. Good luck keeping yours in sight! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/11/2011 8:00AM

    The thing I like most about this kind of "x" is that there is an infinite supply of goodies for all of us who find this spot! It's not a zero sum game . . . and at SparkPeople we are all engaged in the same treasure hunt to help each other share the infinite wealth of well being where nutrition and exercise co-exist!

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MSLZZY 11/11/2011 7:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ABC's of Maintenance: W is for Who...

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:
www.kipling.org.uk/poems_serving.htm

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! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 11/10/2011 10:24PM

    emoticonWhat a way with words! HUGS!

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_LINDA 11/10/2011 11:27AM

    Great application of the standard journalist's creed.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/10/2011 10:49AM

    When we were kids we'd play the "Who, What, When, Where & Why" game where we'd all take a piece of paper and write down a "who". Then we'd fold the paper over to cover it and pass it to the next person who would wright the "what," and we'd proceed passing the paper and writing the answers. When we got through with the "why," we'd pass the paper once more, open it and then take turns reading the "story." Very funny game.

I like your version SO much better, though!

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BUGGYS 11/10/2011 9:45AM

    LOVE THIS! The poem reminds me of my grandma! emoticon

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FCARMICH 11/10/2011 7:27AM

  Good application of an old favorite - thanx!

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MOBYCARP 11/10/2011 7:27AM

    W is for emoticon

. . . and whenever I see that poem, I hear Dad reading it.

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DEBRITA01 11/10/2011 7:21AM

    That one lone H is just as important as the six W's. The How will get us to our goals...and keep us there. "Spark on!"

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ABC's of Maintenance: V is for vigilence

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! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 11/10/2011 11:47AM

    Great attitude and awareness! Vigilance is a must! I didn't have it when I lost my weight the first time. I had no checks, modifiers or plans. The weight loss center I went to went out of business shortly after I had lost all my weight on their plan. But it was expensive, requiring me to use their suplements and a very restrictive diet, so there was nothing for me on maintenance and gradually went back to my old food as their diet wasn't normal and was aided by the supplements.
Now with Sparks, I am accountable, thanks to the food and fitness trackers and really have no excuses for any gains. I have learned a healthy lifestyle, with the proper checks and balances to keep me on the straight and narrow.

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MIZCATHI 11/10/2011 6:01AM

    Your posts mirror my thoughts perfectly, but also contain a lesson you have learned. Vigilant is a good word, but more than that, it carries a stride that creates a force. It is not about perfection but the work to get there. I always feel best when working out, moving my body, feeling my blood coarse through my veins, and knowing at that moment that I am stronger than I was a moment before.

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KARIDIAN1 11/9/2011 10:30PM

    I have hit my first plateau, and I am being very vigilant right now. Thanks for the great blog.

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BUGGYS 11/9/2011 2:42PM

    This is a blog that everyone should read...to be ever vigilant and never take our eye off the road because we will eventually land in the ditch! MARENAMOO had it right and thank you for reinforcing it!!! emoticon

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LJCANNON 11/9/2011 1:05PM

    emoticonI am so glad to read this!! I feel that I too live "One Bite Away from a Binge".
I have never successfully lost weight before so I don't have the experience that so many of my Spark Friends do with Losing and Regaining the weight.
emoticonI pray that with the support of my Spark Friends and the things that I am learning on Spark People I will be able to maintain the Weight Loss AND the Healthy Lifestyle.

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DEBRA0818 11/9/2011 11:52AM

    As the OAers say: No matter how far down the road, you're always the same distance from the ditch. We have to watch where we're going and be ever vigilant. But, hey, being vigilant means you're living your life in an aware way -- something few people can claim!

emoticon

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ANDI571 11/9/2011 8:40AM

    On the Biggest Loser last night, they had a doctor who was telling a contestant, that it takes all that time to rewire the mind to eat healthy, but can take only a week to undo it and rewire it back to unhealthy eating. So yes, we have to be ever vigilant.

I have walked that road also to healthy eating and losing my weight and being at goal, then turned right back around and picked the weight right back up.

So here's to vigilance and keeping our mind on the right road.

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DEBRITA01 11/9/2011 8:39AM

    Vigilance is key... so many of us "live one bite away from a binge". Inspiring people here on SP, like yourself, give us hope that it can be done.

(I miss MARENAMOO, too!) emoticon

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MSLZZY 11/9/2011 7:26AM

    Very positive attitude and just what I needed. Vigilance has to be one of the keys for success! HUGS!

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