Friday, February 24, 2012
Kaligirl speculated yesterday in her response to my blog over whether we have to repeat lessons until we learn them. Interesting aspect of human life.
I work as a programmer (short version... I could get specific, but who would care?). One of the biggest challenges in programming and analysis is getting the requirements right. Why? Because often they are unstated, or implied, and the hearer "doesn't get" them, because the hearer can't read the mind of the person stating the requirement... only hear or read the words he or she is given. This can lead to bad programs and unhappy users! We've all seen that funny picture of "What the user wanted"... a tire swing hung off a tree by a single rope... going through progressive warps before it becomes three boards linked too closely together for anyone to sit on them, suspended by multiple ropes. What happened?
I'm thinking that some of these life lessons are similar. We actually have multiple forces at work in our psyches!
Let's take the obvious: we set out to lose weight. We succeed. What did we learn?
1. We learned that we CAN change our body size and shape through changing what we do.
2. We may have learned that we felt pretty good throughout the process.
But we may have learned some unstated things that may lead us to be unhappy users of the product (healthy habits). For example:
3. We may have learned that losing weight and changing our body size did not solve ALL our problems. We may have learned that we still had an unhappy marriage. Or an unhealthy job situation. Or ... fill in the blank.
This can be a discouraging lesson to learn, and sometimes it leads us to "give up" for a while, because we had unrealistic expectations of weight loss / fitness.
Lesson from regaining:
4. We may have NEEDED to learn that you have to keep up the behaviors to keep the weight off. Losing doesn't teach that lesson. Regaining does. But sometimes it is hard to convince yourself to start again because during loss you learned:
5. It takes hard work and determination and constant vigilence to lose. It takes those same things to maintain.
6. Maintaining a healthy weight depends on behaviors. For some people those behaviors are natural. For others of us, not so much... and we have to be "obsessive" about the habits to get the results.
Lessons learned during loss/maintenance:
7. We may have learned that we HAVE emotions we didn't want to acknowledge.
8. We NEEDED to learn and practice healthier ways of dealing with those emotions. For some people, those healthier ways are natural. For others of us... again, not so much... we need to keep ourselves fit in more ways than the physical to feel whole.
In short, we learned some lessons that support being healthy, and some that can discourage us... and until we're ready to accept the discouraging ones, and "do it anyway"... we will repeat the experiences.
Life is good... we are learning... and as long as we never give up... long term success is ours.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
When it comes to significant turning points in life, do we recognize them at the time, or only YEARS, nay, in my case, DECADES later? The anniversary of one of those turning points is coming up for me.
Monday, February 27, 1989. That makes it 23 years, coming up. It was the day that I went to my first Weight Watchers at Work meeting. I was miserable. My husband did not want me to go, and in fact locked me out of the room where my winter coat was. I was angry and determined, swiped HIS coat out of a closet, and went, anyway.
The scale said something very discouraging: 224.5. During the next week, I was very strict in following the plan, the old one with exchanges, and limited eggs and cheese. When I went back the next week, I had dropped 10.5 pounds! Of course the losses were less over the following weeks and months, but by October, people I had worked with and not seen in a few months did not recognize me.
I never did reach my "goal" weight that time, and in fact, struggled with maintenance and regained, lost and regained, many times since. But today I look back on that date as the start of my journey of putting health higher on my list of priorities. It was in that year that I learned I could do it, and how. What I've struggled with since has been the maintenance of motivation.
Now, I examine carefully my slips and slides, seeking to learn whatever lesson is there for me. The motto of "Never give up" is a strong one. The motto of "it feels so good to be fit" is also strong. But sometimes it helps to look back at where one came from: from the days of not being able to take five steps across a room without becoming out of breath. From the days of knees hurting, back hurting, because of the excess burden I had put on them.
When tempted to give up, after a time of success... it is good to remember... that this journey is WORTH IT! Feel good about taking each step, even the ones that slip and slide... and go forward... into health. Into feeling good. Into the YOU that you were made to be.
LIFE is good. Choose LIFE. And Spark on!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
What gets your healthy motivation pumping? Seriously, what trips your trigger and makes you start really getting into taking good care of you?
Two things happened today: One, I got an e-mail from someone asking for some help. Two, my new swimsuit got delivered.
Which of these items would spur you to do well? Which would throw you into a tailspin?
It's all a matter of attitude. There have been days in my life when either one would have either a good or a bad effect, driving me further into bad behavior or rejoicing in good behavior.
So... where is the attitude today? I'm hoping it's in the good lean, toward health. Because I'm worth it. Bootstraps, Barb, bootstraps. Grab your motivation wherever you can... it surrounds you!
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Here we go again. This was one heck of a week: I had over 21,000 steps last Sunday and another 18,000 on Monday, starting to build mileage for the half in May. I thought.
And then starting Tuesday, I just sort of crashed and burned (see vent blog and continuation). I started out well on Thursday, with somewhat improved food behavior... but then Friday was a bit of a train wreck. I had the overnight program monitoring job, and left work early. My intention was to nap, but all I ended up with was a couple of hours with my eyes closed and my brain running, then a couple of hours of real sleep before getting up at the normal time my charged task begins, a little before midnight. Next two hours were watching other things that precede it creeping at a snail's pace... and my own "child" didn't start until 2:23 a.m. Frustrating. But not a problem.
The job finished about sunrise, and I napped again for a couple of hours at 9 a.m. The weird food behavior continued, but at this point, I think I'm done with that. I started re-asserting better behaviors with some cooked cabbage and a fresh orange noonish.
Still not able to sleep, I ended up reading and pacing the house. I'm in the midst of George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones Series, and it's hard to put down. I'm getting toward the end of the third book, A Storm of Swords.
Went to bed at a normal hour. Arose at a normal hour. Have some after effects of the disruption in routine, eating, exercise, and sleep all three disrupted. While I may have had "dreams" of dealing well with it... I really didn't. But I know all I have to do to recover is go back to following the plan: gradually increase activity, drink my water, get my sleep. I will start feeling better, really I will. Because the old bad habits do *not* feel good. And the new ones *do*.
To our health. One day at a time!
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Venting blogs can be very freeing. Thanks to all my Spark buds for your supportive comments yesterday.
The bad behavior with food continued ALL day yesterday, as work held a "food day" and I was still in "I need chocolate" mode! I compounded it as I went to pick up a prescription and brought some stuff home that I was craving. I caved to the crave... went with the flow, admitted to myself how much this morning's duties and their implications were influencing it.
I'm just home from the airport, sending son off. Last time I sent him on such a gig, it was six months before I saw him again. He left me his car, his keys, the works.
Anyway, waking up early to take care of this particular duty, I felt downright LOUSY! Self-inflicted. The body does not LIKE these meltdown behaviors. It WANTS to be nurtured and treated well. It's like a hangover. I've never taken a drink of alcohol, but the description of a hangover is what I see myself going through when I get bingy with salt and sugar now. My body knows what healthy feels like, and it rebels in turn to the punishment I put it through the past couple of days.
SO! Enough already. The work things that were bugging me? Re-delegated back to those who handed them to me. I'm not sure I entirely got to the point of "advising" rather than doing it for them... but I limited the amount I did, and handed it back as an example of how to continue with the next task.
I am hopeful for today. I think the food behavior will be better. And I *shall* take my break walks (I did yesterday).
One day. Every day is day one!
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