Saturday, August 04, 2012
You may not even know it, but you have cheerleaders!
I grew up in a family where athleticism was not prized. One of my sisters and I were talking about this recently... how when in grade school she was "this close" to making the President's Physical Fitness Award, and when she said something about it at home, it fell flat, on deaf ears. And she stopped striving for that award because of the response she got at home.
Remembering this painful experience made her more determined to support me when I walk/jogged the Lincoln Half Marathon. She's the one that showed up to give me that all-important motivating hug at mile 11. If she only knew, I told her later, how motivating that was, to have someone I care so much about show support for what I was doing.
Of course she gets it! As a sibling group we have become much more supportive of one another's efforts to get and stay healthy, because as all Sparkers know, it isn't easy.
This week at work, a fellow journey-er who had already retired and moved on to a fancy new job halfway across the country came back to visit. She came over to my cube specifically to have a look at my medals, say congratulations and to tell me I was inspiring her, spurring her to re-start her efforts at exercise. That means a lot, because she in her own right had inspired me. We have both struggled long-term with the roller coaster on the scale.
Here on Spark, every day we encourage one another: in our teams, on the message boards, and in comments on one another's Spark pages... maybe giving a goodie here and there.
In real life there are people cheering you on, too... they may not say it out loud every day, but they are watching... and they rejoice with you and weep with you over this struggle. They may not even know your name. Maybe they see you at a bus stop, or walking in your neighborhood. Maybe they are beside you at a charity event. But they are out there. And believe me, they WANT you to succeed. Because in your success they find hope, motivation, renewed commitment to their own health and fitness.
Maybe you are one of these quiet "cheerleaders" when you see someone making a good choice. Know that your smile, nod, word of encouragement makes a difference. On behalf of all journeyers, I thank you.
Now turn it around if you are both a journeyer and a cheerleader: make sure you cheer for yourself. Because YOU are worth it.
Here's to all the encouragers, the supporters, the people who see in YOU the potential AND the reality. Live, and Love LIFE!
Friday, August 03, 2012
I mentioned in my status that I went back to the gym Wednesday after work. I looked it up on my training calendar... my last strength workout at the gym had been the end of June. The two a days for the tri were eating up my time and energy, and the strength workouts just slid by the wayside. Of course, the tri is over now, and I know how important this is.
That said... it was a good workout and I definitely have been feeling the after effects. In fact, I was feeling it so much yesterday that I was tempted to toss in an extra rest day, or shove them around... but this is the first week of the new training cycle, and it's so nicely laid out.
So I got up on the treadmill and did my planned 30 minutes of run/walk intervals. But TODAY is a planned rest day, and believe me, it's going to be exactly that!
In other news: the professional photos from the tri are "in"... and remember I said I took a tumble in the run portion? Did I mention it was right in front of the photographer? He got me on hands and knees, and again with this huge grin on my way picking myself up, shaking my finger at him (I was saying, "I hope you got a good shot of this"... but I doubt he heard me.) In any case, I ordered a set of the photos (prints), and when I get them, I might just scan that one, to keep me humble. Humility is good.
As is life. Spark on!
Thursday, August 02, 2012
For those who asked "what's next"... I've known for some time that my next long-term target is the Women's Half Marathon in St. Petersburg, Florida, in mid-November.
Y'all know me, gotta have a plan, have to be prepared and trained. So, here are the lead-up events:
1) This morning I finally succumbed to temptation and signed up for the August 25th 10K Mud Run. Last year I medaled in the 5K version of the same event... we're going to see about upping that distance.
2) September 9th, the 5 Mile Buffalo run. It's a hilly course through a gorgeous park, and one of the mainstays of our local running season.
3) October 21st, the Governor's Cup, which I intend to do as a 15K.
The races listed above are part of self-tests / mileage increases leading up to the main event.
And of course, in between, a little bit of everything: 3 runs a week, one of which is a mileage builder. One strength training session a week. And a recovery bike or swim thrown in here and there.
So, that's it... there is a plan. Now work the plan, modify as needed, and kick Polly Perfectionist right on out the door!
Because Life is Good... Spark on!
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
A couple weeks ago, a niece posted this on my FB wall:
"I think you are the most Bad-Ass (pardon the language) Aunt I know! Love the new profile photo & cover photo!!!"
The profile pic and cover photo you've seen, the profile was me before the open water swim, and the cover was that "victory leap" after the Color Run.
When I ask "When did THAT happen?" it's really a question about re-defining one's family identity. You see, I grew up being "the good daughter", "the happy baby" who stuck with mom & dad's church after all the others had left. But I was also "the fat sister".
I have struggled with those labels most of my life, trying for some crazy reason to live up to them? Awakening happens slowly. It does require self-examination. I guess living up to "happy" finally moved me into things that CHANGED the family identity, at least as far as how the next generation sees me. I'm now more identified with fitness and exercise and promoting healthy habits... and overcoming limits!
I'm proud to be a "bad-a$$ Aunt". Glad to leave the "fat sister" label on the cutting room floor. Here's to removing, ripping off, and burning labels that limit, and embracing not just who we want to be, but turning that into who we are becoming... one day, one decision at a time.
Life is good. Spark on!
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!
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