Friday, August 31, 2012
Looks like the past week has had a theme, and that theme is age-related. I won the age group gold in that mud run, the oldest female on the 10K course. I posted the link to the 80 year old Iron Nun article. And today, I'm pondering the word "old".
Old to me means powerful. All my life, I have looked up to older people. Old to me means wise. But old to me means playful, as well... my great-grandfather taught me to waltz and play cribbage. My grand-dad hiked 50 miles with a Boy Scout troop to celebrate his 65th birthday, (if I remember right which milestone birthday it was). My mom and dad taught square and line dancing to senior citizens.
I embrace the goal of "old". When I was ten years old, I met my great-great-grandmother for the first and only time. She at that time was 101 years young. She had been 4 years old when Abraham Lincoln was shot. She was a tiny, strong, opinionated woman who took no guff from anyone.
That's been my concept of "old". So when people say I'm not old? It may be true (59 is not really that "old" any more)... but I really don't mind the term. It's something I aspire to... I feel myself coming into the power and self-direction that I associate with the word... I feel the "me" coming to the fore in my life.
So here's to embracing concepts that the world might think are less than flattering... and cherishing the positives about them. I am a "little old lady in training"... training physically and mentally, hopefully in the cast of my great great grandmother!
Life is GOOD. Spark on!
Thursday, August 30, 2012
SANDIEGOJOHN has issued an Upbeat challenge for September on Team SDJ, and one of the posts there included the link above.
Edited to add this Note: The link above is from 2008. At age 82, Sister Madonna Buder finished Ironman Canada (August, 2012) this link to the article.
I found this link by way of following the bouncing links from today's "featured member blog".
Seriously, this gal is the major reason I had the courage to sign up for my own first sprint distance triathlon. I've had hints from the youngsters I have raced with (22 year olds in my tri, a few at the mud run) that they look at me that way (as an inspiration)... but Sister Madonna Buder really is incredibly inspiring. She puts the lie to the limitations of age. I hope that should I survive to that point, I'm still doing these kinds of things, at whatever level I can.
It makes me smile. Life is GOOD. Spark on!
Bonus photos from the Mud Run coverage... this was on FaceBook from our local newspaper... neither photo shows me, but I remember climbing up this slope!
And over this wall.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
What do I need to tell myself today? What do I need to process through the keyboard to come to resolution?
Those are some of the seeds that start me down the path to a blog... and today I think I want to meander through a conversation I had with my daughter in law last night. Both of us, by the way, have weight issues / habit / behavior issues around food and exercise (or lack thereof). We have different approaches for how we are dealing. This blog is a reverie on the experiment of ONE... and how different approaches work for different people, and that THAT'S OK!
Seriously... I'm on a calorie-restricted maintenance range, with a balance that is majority carbs (hopefully the healthier kind), sufficient protein, and modest amount of fats, preferably the healthier non-saturated kind and heavy on the Omega-3's thank you.
I'm not a vegan. I'm not a vegetarian. But I don't have a whole lot of red meat in my diet as a general rule. I do have dairy and poultry and fish, and limited amounts of beef.
Meanwhile, DIL is on high protein, low carbs. As much fat and protein as she likes. But avoiding sugar / flour carbs in general. She's allowed veggies, but she doesn't like either fruits or veggies.
My exercise routine... well, you've seen it... I'm actively training, for various athletic events. Current focus, long-term is another half marathon in November, but I have a 5 mile road race in a week and a half, and I'm thinking a 15K in mid-October, although there's this competing retreat at the obstacle place the week before that race, and I'm tempted...
Meanwhile, DIL doesn't care much for cardio, but loves lifting weights, and has become quite strong in the process. You should feel her biceps! (I did last night... wow!)
Bottom line: both of us are seeing success as we define it. It's OK to be different. Your program does not have to be the same as mine, in terms of physical behavior. We can still support one another even with these differences.
One thing I have had to learn over time is to go with what works for YOU. If it's not working, figure out why and make changes. But if it's working? (Working means your doctor is happy, too.) Go for it!
But back to the conversation: I blog publicly, here on Spark. We got chatting about The Biggest Loser and the popular blog post and all that stuff. DIL has NO desire to go public with her story... she's still at the point (I've been there, too) where life is private, and needs to stay that way.
I explained to her that the reason I go public (in the semi-safety of SparkPeople) is that perhaps, just perhaps, my story might give someone else hope and a spark to make changes they themselves want to make. Yes, there is a risk in the aspect that right now a lot of people are giving me positive feedback. That can certainly turn into negative feed back if someone's "rooting against you" and you trip and fall.
Being concerned about what others will think can be an impediment to doing what you truly desire. (Not that this isn't sometimes a GOOD thing... fear of judgment for crimes, for example!) I've actually felt a little of the "what am I doing, at my age, out here running in the mud, climing over walls... what would grandma think?"
But you know what? LIFE is too short not to go for it, and live your dreams. No matter WHO approves or disapproves. I think I may just have turned this corner.
LIFE is good. Spark on!
Monday, August 27, 2012
As most of my long-time visitors to the blogs know, I really write them for me. They are self-motivators and reminders of why I need to keep up the journey, for TODAY! Sometimes they are celebrations (like the mud run story, or any of my "I did it!" kinds of blogs), sometimes they are a record of feelings I'm dealing with (very important for emotionally triggered eaters), or confessions of lapses. They are a place to keep myself honest with myself.
Because HONESTY is one of the keys to success. Especially honesty with myself. When we are self-deceived about how much we are eating, what happens? Uh-huh... unintended gains or losses. That's why tracking is important, even in my case years into maintenance.
Honesty about emotions is just as important, I discovered. If I tell myself I'm happy when I'm not, or tell myself I'm NOT angry when I am, and so forth... it comes out in my experience as a confusing signal... which in the past I have interpreted as hunger, and fed with food... which obviously won't solve sadness or anger!
Why this now? Because of the intrinsic danger of applause. I've received a lot of positive attention here on Spark the past couple of days. While I have enjoyed every bit of it, it does raise red flags in my head... which is why I wrote yesterday's blog about the heady experience. It's my way of bringing me back to earth.
Because in the black and white mindset of a compulsive eater... a high can lead to a crash the next time one's imperfection is brought to light. Which could well be in the course of my work day, or heaven only knows... for me it can be as small as forgetting to make an appointment... doesn't take much to kick the anxiety trigger in Polly Perfectionist, you know. (I've been trying to get her to move out for years, but she keeps camping in the yard!)
Just now, I'm riding high, savoring the success, and even more savoring that it was a good weekend in general. And that's OK. But life is NOT black and white. It's OK to be less than perfect... it's OK to win a gold medal and come home to a messy house and know that the messy house does NOT undo the joy of the gold.
Here's to balance in life, imperfect and sloppy as it is. This is a good day, it is the day we have all been given. May our decisions be self-nurturing and other-caring ones!
Life is good! Spark on!
Sunday, August 26, 2012
I'd never been a featured blog before. I got up this morning, checked my e-mail and there were 80 comments on my Sparkblog! If I didn't get an individual "thank you" back to you for having commented, please know that I appreciate every one of you who did... and I encourage you all that I am really not that different from you... just a gal who woke up one day and decided she needed to live healthy. Granted it has taken me a couple of decades to figure it all out, downs, ups and downs again. I KNOW I'm not alone (proven by the volume of comments!)
The flurry of attention will subside, and I'll return to doing what I do every day, which is try to live the lifestyle I've been carving out... because it makes me happy. And who doesn't want to be happy?
Today's "happy" included a 17.8 mile bike ride, under gray skies that didn't open up, although I think I might have felt a sprinkle or two. We really need the rain, too.
So pardon me while I try to shove my head back into my normal sized hat and chant today's mantra (another favorite): "Don't get cocky, Barb!" Get through today, one decision at a time.
Life is good. Spark on!
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