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Always have a plan B

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yesterday I wrote about keeping those small promises so we have the momentum to keep the larger ones. Today my after-the-work-day pep talk is about having a plan B, in case the prime objective gets derailed by what we sometimes refer to as "life happening".

I kept my promise to do a weight training workout after work yesterday. Today was the annual chili cookoff at work. I wasn't planning on having a competitive entry this year, but I couldn't really come up with a proper side dish to take in, either.

What I ended up taking as my contribution was a crock of split pea soup I made last weekend! Funny thing, many people saw the green pot, assumed it to be really spicy, and didn't interpret it as split pea soup at all. Some didn't even try it. Still, it got eaten, which was the goal.

Tonight I was going to swim after work... but as I drove toward the gym it became apparent to me that this was probably not the best way to spend the immediate after work hour on chili cookoff day. 'Nuff said. I came home. Glad I did because one of the kittens had managed to trap herself in the bathroom with the litter box, by closing the door (probably chasing a jingle ball) essentially trapping her brother OUTSIDE of the litter box room!

Which brings us to plan B. I am a classic morning person. The gym (and pool) opens at 5 a.m. Hee-hee. So, I have now packed tomorrow's breakfast AND lunch, and am thinking early bedtime tonight, followed by early up and have breakfast after that swim... as a morning workout instead.

See? Plan B. Take care of those rocks. The pebbles and sand will take care of themselves.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 11/17/2011 9:03AM

    This is why you are so successful at maintaining. You always think things through and analyze the best way to get things done! You are a great role model!!

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MNTWINSGAL 11/17/2011 12:33AM

    Great idea! I used to be a morning person too....wish I could get back into it! My problem: I stay up too late. Now really! It's 11:30 pm. Go to bed, Sharon! Barb will be up in a few hours and headed to the gym!

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KARIDIAN1 11/17/2011 12:13AM

    Plan B is essential! Not everyone believes in planning ahead or evening thinking two steps ahead. Sometimes I think I work with those people all the time.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/16/2011 11:17PM

    A good lesson to learn. Excellent plan, Barb!

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MSLZZY 11/16/2011 10:54PM

    You are so wise and have such a great way of putting things into perspective.
Always have a Plan B!

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DEBRITA01 11/16/2011 8:27PM

    Always good to have a Plan B...enjoy your morning swim! emoticon

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FITFABJENN 11/16/2011 8:14PM

    Love the part about the rocks. You rock, lady!

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WATERMELLEN 11/16/2011 7:56PM

    Split pea soup: love the stuff!!

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HOT4FITNESS 11/16/2011 7:53PM

    Well said Sparkfriend.

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Promises to keep

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. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 11/17/2011 9:05AM

    Way to go Barb! I sure know I need to work on keeping promises to myself!! Another great thought provoking blog!!

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BUGGYS 11/15/2011 3:32PM

    I need to keep the promises I've made to myself!!! The reminder is just what I needed today...once again...thanks, Barb!!! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 11/15/2011 11:58AM

    Wonderful as usual - love your commitment!

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BESTSUSIEYET 11/15/2011 10:02AM

    Fabulous! Thanks for putting a fresh perspective on this journey! You are a STAR in my book!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/15/2011 9:57AM

    Way to go, Barb! Sometimes the hardest part of the workout is convincing yourself that you really do want to do it. I'm glad you found the strength within to follow through with the promise to yourself.

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DEBRITA01 11/15/2011 8:35AM

    Keeping the promises we make to ourselves is just as important as they ones we make to others. I often forget that...thanks for the gentle reminder. Way to go for remembering to take care of yourself! emoticon

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MSLZZY 11/15/2011 7:14AM

    What a great way to look at it. Make a promise to yourself and keep it! You are an inspiration! HUGS!

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KASEYCOFF 11/15/2011 7:10AM

    Yes, hon, you are soooo right! Not only are promises to ourselves a top priority, but I totally agree that the little ones are as crucial as the 'biggies.'

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Beyond the ABC's - what maintenance is all about

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!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

To borrow last year's theme: because we're worth it! Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/14/2011 7:49PM

    Love your pep talks: maybe they're addressed to you, but eavesdropping on them is enormously helpful to me!!

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MSLZZY 11/14/2011 3:53PM

    Awesome! Thank you for the vote of confidence! HUGS!

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NELLJONES 11/14/2011 9:51AM

    I have found that one of the only things in my life over which I am allowed total control is my eating. When the rest of the day and the world is going crazy and dragging me into its undertow, I can still count on being allowed to control what I eat.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/14/2011 9:35AM

    I have been discovering lately that when I do slip-up, I actually yearn to get back to my new, healthy diet and exercise plan. I'm guessing that you feel the same way, but probably to a greater extent, since you've reached your goal and have been successfully maintaining it for such a long time now. Life happens. We overeat sometime. The key is getting back to normal rather than allowing "sometime" to morph into "always."

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46SHADOW 11/14/2011 8:06AM

    That makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing.

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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" 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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