Tuesday, July 31, 2012
SUNNY332 Sparked this blog when she asked in her comment to yesterday's bonus blog: "When are you going to be featured in the WW magazine?"
The short answer to that question is never.
Why? Because 1) I never reached my goal weight with WW, and 2) I was not successful at maintaining that loss. Therefore, WW would not be able to claim me as a success story.
AFTER that, I did keep *most* of the 80 pounds off for nearly 5 years. But then "life happened" and I had, as I kind of hand-waved over, more lessons to learn. And most of MY life lessons have tended to come in the form of lapses in eating and exercise habits, and a lot of self-blame and feelings of worthlessness. I regained.
Weight Watchers is not the ONLY commercial or non-commercial tool I have used in getting to where I am today. I purchased and read tons of books.
At one point I went to TOPS meetings because they were more affordable at the time than WW, but I ended up stopping with that because I did not feel at home there... there was a lot of crafts and food in the group I was in, and it just wasn't ME. I started feeling "less than" the other women who seemed to have different more fulfilling lives than I did. I regained.
I sort of despaired of the commercial tools and even the books at one point, about the time Oprah and Bob Greene's first book came out, and wrote in my personal journal, "I need to write my OWN success story."
Years later, in a therapy session when asked what I did for myself... a light bulb went on and I realized I was at my happiest when I was *working on* my weight/fitness. Spark AHA related to this? That it was the healthy habits that made me happy, not the results on the scale! I started losing again.
After battling the pounds back off, as an empty nester in 2007, I noticed binge behaviors coming back, and I went to the last house on the block: Overeaters Anonymous. There I found a whole new set of insights. Among them that there indeed *is* a physiological element to my own weight issues. And an emotional one. But then I overextended myself into social situtations with THAT group, and ended up leaving and regaining yet again!
I finally ended up with Jenny Craig, not because I believed in their program, but because my daughter in law wanted to try it, and it was less expensive for her if we both joined. I flat out told the director of the center that nothing they had to offer would ensure success! There are still grocery stores, and I have money!
So seriously, the lessons learned in OA are probably the ones most valuable to me in long-term maintenance. One, I now recognize that I truly am a compulsive eater, and some things are just going to require daily diligence... for the rest of my life. Some things that work for folks who just have sloppy habits with food or need to learn about nutrition are NOT going to work for me.
Two, I now fully accept that I cannot control the scale. I can only control my own behavior, and that only through the grace of a higher power who gives me first the willingness and then the ability to stick with the program for ONE decision at a time.
Three, enter SparkPeople. I now have a place to go where people don't get tired of hearing my babbling... my real life friends and family probably *do* wear out from this stuff. The "normals" are puzzled that someone like me has to keep working at it, just to stay in the same place!
So, who gets the credit? ALL of them, to some extent. Because they are ALL good tools. In the end, the decisions are mine. But mostly, I'm grateful to that Higher Power, which re-lights the spark, and gave me the body that amazingly has responded to being treated well.
Life is Good... Spark on!
Monday, July 30, 2012
1989, February. I tripped over this photograph this morning as I was looking for something else. The notes on the back identify it as being from our trip to visit my parents, about two weeks before I joined Weight Watchers at work. This would be very very close to my heaviest. You can see how swollen my wrist is, how uncomfortable it was to even bend over or get up from a chair. Later my mother (to the left in this photo) told me she was worried about my health, but she never said anything during this trip.
I ended up dropping 80 pounds in that first attempt to change my life. And then had to learn some other lessons to get where I am today. The woman in this first "before" is neither healthy NOR happy, and is desperately looking for answers. The little boy in the foreground, grows up to be the man in the next picture.
Hopefully, by this point, I have learned some lessons about how to maintain fitness. Let me say, it is NOT easy to lose, but it is far more challenging to maintain, in my book.
This morning, the woman depicted below had to prove she weighed enough to donate blood.
Be not discouraged if it takes more than one try. Be not discouraged if it takes years or decades. Never, ever, ever give up! Because it is worth it to feel the way I do today... and I wish I could bottle and sell it. NOTHING tastes as good as FIT feels.
Life is good. Spark on!
Monday, July 30, 2012
This is my brother in law, your host, "splaining" what a melodrama is (audience participation) and welcoming you to the show up at Mahoney State Park. I went with my sister (his wife) and neice (his daughter). Now something you should be interested in, Spark buds, is that this particular BIL lost some significant pounds himself last year, to get off medications and manage a family history of diabetes. Besides being a funny guy, author, actor and producer... and working a day job to support his family, too.
Now I'm going to show you just a piece of the fun... this particular offering is called "Robber's Roost". And yes, our favorite villian, played by Hunter Larrison (remember the name, for when he hits the big time) targeting MY lap for retaliatory popcorn dumping! He's a stitch... they all are.
Any locals out there... don't miss this year's fun, this cast is just superb in how well they play against one another and feed on audience energy.
So that's my plug for "having fun"... it's so important to have non-food rewards and fun in our lives, because it's not ALL about nutrition and exercise. It's about having full lives and living them. Nutrition and exercise just make the rest of it both easier and feel more like a reward.
Ever punish yourself by withholding "life" for being "bad" with food? I used to do this warped thing, once upon a time. Now? Not so much.
Here's to living our lives, one day at a time, fully, with joy, and love in our hearts, and sharing that love by giving encouragement to others!
Sunday, July 29, 2012
This is where the transition area was set up yesterday. This morning, less than 24 hours later, only thing left is the garbage and the porta-pots.
And the beach where the swim start/finish was, similarly bare less than 24 hours later. I think I need to drive over with my garbage bags... in about ten minutes I intend to.
Edited To Add: I did go over, and discovered that what I from a distance assumed was leftover trash from yesterday was NOT... more likely the remains of a 15- 17- year old male "outing"... it was obviously what was left from a shaving cream "fight". I picked up a garbage bag full of shaving cream cans they had left laying on the beach... and a couple of other pieces of litter on my way back to the garbage cans. Beach cleaner. I feel better. Did my bit.
Today I went walking at sunrise, about a five mile loop, gently, peacefully, taking time to drink in the views and take a few snaps. I was reliving a bit of yesterday while giving my body gentle recovery activity.
What I have observed this morning: triathlon is not as hard on the body as a half marathon ALL on foot. Cross training is a HUGE advantage. Despite the fall (yes, washed, bandaged, etc). I feel pretty good.
This afternoon I'll be headed to the Melodramas with my kid sis and pitching popcorn at the villian. A great way to top off the sporting weekend.
And... of COURSE I'm watching Olympic coverage! Woo-Hoo... the women's cycling road race is on the TV just now. I love the games, there is something so special about them.
Life is indeed good, friends. Spark on!
Saturday, July 28, 2012
JUST_TRI_IT will recognize the pre-sunrise transition area as the excited participants set up before a triathlon. She'll also recognize the laid out gear:
By the time this shot was taken, I already had my goggles, swim cap, ear plugs, swim socks and nose clip in use or in hand.
Lined up and walking to the start, you can't see me, as I KNOW I'm a slow swimmer and am lagging at the back, examining the ages on the right rear calves, hunting for the other gal in my age group. There was only one other. Silly competitor, Barb... I did find her, just because. She looked in good shape to me... deep breath, you're just going to do your thing!
I used the tip that MIZCATHI gave me and licked the inside and outside of the goggles right before entering the water. It worked, by the way... no fogged over goggles today, leading to a much calmer swim. I did not panic, even as people overtook and passed me, and after the half way point, I actually passed a few myself. Shock! Makes a difference between a true swim race and a triathlon, because for the tri, not everyone is expert to the same degree in each of the sports, and even a duffer like me can be better than some others in one leg or another.
Now all the waves are in the water in this next shot... even the relay swimmers. Most of these will pass me, even though I started 4 minutes sooner, in the women's wave.
I finished the swim, and am on my way to the bike in this shot.
Then here I am at the mounting line:
And toiling away finishing the second of three loops in the bike route:
Transitioning to the run:
And finally, in the finish chute, proving my time to be under 2 hours, which was my unspoken dream time:
But it was not without cost... I managed to trip very close to the finish, and scrape up the knees. Here's the shot we call taking one for the team, cleaning up after I picked myself up, kept on running, and finished.
And many, many thanks to my supporters, on line and in person... here's one who is both, photo taken by one of my sisters before the race started... KALIGIRL held my glasses and some of the photos were taken by her and some by one or another of two sisters who showed up to support.
It was a HUGE high... live your dreams, Sparkers. Life's good... Spark on!
Get An Email Alert Each Time ONEKIDSMOM Posts