Sunday, September 09, 2012
Yes, you get two from me today, due to the 30 day blogging challenge.
Once again, the link to TanyaP71's original challenge post. Feel free to jump in and blog ANY of the topic questions that appeal... don't have to do them all, but they are great questions and make us all reflect on the process and our place in it. And also get to know one another!
Today's topic: "How old are you and do you think your thoughts about weight loss, fitness, and wellness have changed over time?"
A lady never tells her age? Seriously, no shame. It's just a number. And in fact, I'm rather proud of it: 59. I'll be sixty in about ten weeks.
My thoughts about weight loss, fitness and wellness certainly have changed over time. I wrote a whole long detailed thing about how, and then just now erased it. This is one of those that is so "different" for me, I think it will be hard for others to relate to.
It has to do with growing up in a household that was dominated by my parents' faith. As an inordinate people pleaser, I bought in, and spent most of my life trying to be the "good little Christian Scientist". Throw a dose of perfectionism in, and it can get really unhealthy. Add a tendency to turn to food for comfort and a huge ability to be in denial. See? I doubt there are very many other Sparkers out there who can relate to that part.
However, I'll bet there are more who can relate to having parents who were actively anti-athletic. Mine were. Good grades were prized. Brain power was prized. It took a long time for me to accept for myself that I love being active!
But that's where I am today. I love being active and fit. I eat better mainly to support that ability. Eating the crappy way I did looking at food as my drug of choice... had to go... if I was to be ABLE to go do things like I did this morning.
So yes, changes. All our journeys to a healthy balance in life may be different... but in the end... we all want to be there, don't we: strong, healthy, active, and well!
Life is good. Spark on!
Sunday, September 09, 2012
OK, here he is, "the buffalo". This is a statue at the traffic circle at the entrance to Pioneers Park just outside of Lincoln, Nebraska. Every year for the past 36, now, counting today, a five mile race is run on the roads of this park, sponsored by our local track club and various local businesses.
Here's the start/finish line before all the runners showed up. Yes, I'm still a chronic early arriver.
Since the race starts promptly at 8 a.m., and starts headed East, this is what we are running into. So be careful!
Sunrise. Yes. I read my indoor/outdoor thermometer before I headed out for the park. It said it was 50 degrees F. Perfect running weather. But you want to keep the sweatshirt on until right before the race.
Me, of course. Sunglasses got discarded for regular before I started, because of all the light/shadow on the course. My mantra for this race was "don't trip".
So, we lined up, shivering a bit. I chatted up my fellow racers, and right after they played the National Anthem, I invoked my son's name. This one's for him!
You know how you always hold back a goal at the back of your mind? One you don't share with the world? My stated goal was to beat last year's time in the same race, which was 50:20, or a 10:05 pace. I knew I could do that. My unstated private goal was "no walk breaks". I really wanted to go after my PR pace which I came so close to in the Havelock 10K earlier this year. This race is slightly shorter.
The private goal? I did it! I ran the whole way. OK, I walked about 5-10 seconds at the water stations, but it was cool enough I was not feeling dehydrated at all, so just took a mouthful or two and ran on.
In this particular race, there are volunteers at each mile, announcing time since the starting gun. Of course, lining up toward the middle (not the back this time), I was at about 22 seconds when I crossed the starting mats.
At 1 mile, I was on an under 9 minute pace. I resolved to slow down a bit, this is a five mile race. But at two miles I was still close to that pace. At three, again, close. At four, close. As I was going up the last hill, I knew I was under my PR for sure. I crossed the finish line with a chip time of 45:00:00! OMG. I ran five miles at a 9 minute pace, blowing my PR completely out of the water (previously my PR for ANY distance of race had been 9:27).
Can we say "walking on air"? Still, the Buffalo Run is my reality check race. The real racers show up for this one. That 9 minute pace was not good enough to put me in the top 3 finishers (for my age/gender)... but it was wonderful to me.
After the finish, I could not resist walking around the park to snap a few shots of the scenery (including that shot of the buffalo above) that we had run past. And in the process, got to high five with HOT4FITNESS, who was out there on the course, too!
These were the last three partipants on the course, walking it out... sorry, but the pup does not get a racing bib or official time.
Looking down the park entrance to downtown in the distance.
Life is good. Spark on!
Saturday, September 08, 2012
Once again, the link to TanyaP71's original 30 topic challenge: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Today's topic is: "What do you think will be different when you reach your goal weight? If you are in maintenance, what did you think would be different? What actually was different?"
Well, if you've been following along, you already know I'd been through the lose/regain cycle a few times, and I'd even "maintained" most of a loss for close to five years. I am currently in the initial part of my third year of the "maintenance" phases of THIS healthy lifestyle initiative. It is my hope, prayer and resolution that this is for the rest of my life.
So my expectations this time through the process were pretty realistic, having been honed by prior experience. I entered the weight loss process with my eyes wide open and my priorities set straight. I hired help as needed, and I voiced my needs. I stood up for me and my health. I am so glad that I did.
I expected to feel better, physically. I expected to be able to do things that gave me joy. I did not have false expectations that losing weight would turn my life into a fairy tale, or make other people behave or feel differently. I knew I would have to face discomfort, I knew I would have to FEEL emotions I had been stuffing down. I knew what was ahead. I had traveled that path.
I further knew that I did not have to wait to reach a magic number on the scale to get those benefits (except I would not let myself run on these old knees until I reached my initial goal). As soon as I started eating properly and moving more I knew I would start to feel better.
This all happened, as I knew it would.
Was ANYTHING different? Well, yes, in fact it was. My body responded better than I had hoped or dreamed. I expected the 140's. I did not expect the 120's. I expected to be able to participate in 5K's again. I did not anticipate that I would have medals to show for it. Or, for that matter to go longer distances, like the HM.
This journey is NOT easy. But it is SO worth it. You only get one body issued, for life. Treat it well, for it does so many good things for you! Spark on!
Friday, September 07, 2012
Today's topic, from the list:
"How do you measure progress towards or maintenance? Scale weight? Body fat percentage? How your clothes fit? Other? "
My answer is a combination of the above. My "other" that I measure is my mental attitude and my physical behavior. Because actions follow thought. If I detect anger or resentment, in particular... I have to start examining what's going on. If I see slips in eating... i.e. purposeless indulgences... rationalization of extra treats... that's something to look at. This is truly the early warning system.
But if the early warning system should fail? Reality checks!
I do weigh daily. I do track the 7 day rolling average... that is a reality check of how I'm trending.
I do tape measure my body (monthly), and this is a HUGE check on my fitness, beyond the number on the scale. Am I in training? It shows in the tape measurements when I am.
How my clothes fit isn't quite as big a deal for me... it happens a little too late to make the adjustments I need to make.
Finally, the progress photos... if I'm not training and posting athletic event photos, I *do* take a fitness-posed snapshot of myself end of each month. I tend to skip them when I'm putting up a mud run or race picture... they would be overkill... but through the winter, they are a huge item in my reality check network.
We can do this, but only if we live in the present and SEE what's there! LIFE is good. Spark on!
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Since I haven't included it since day 2, I'll tuck it into a post every so often through the 30 days. This is the link to TanyaP71's initial Challenge to blog on the thirty defined topics: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Today's topic: "What has been most challenging about maintaining a weight loss (now or in the past)?"
I didn't figure this out for a while, but for me the most challenging thing about maintaining a healthy lifestyle has been dealing with what I will call the sea-changes of life.
I often would refer to my regain after having kept it off for most of five years as "life happened" or "life exploded on me" or whatever. But seriously, just about every time I have "lost" my maintenance it was because I became overwhelmed by changes in my life that messed with my then-routine self-care.
Sometimes it was HUGE... like my husband leaving me alone in a city with a dependent child and a demanding job. Sometimes it was less huge, like a change in my flexible work schedule that used to allow a good gym rotation, and "suddenly" did not. Once it was the demands of new motherhood. Once it was an injury... tripping over the dog injured my foot (don't laugh, it happens), and I didn't deal well with recovery.
What went wrong those times, and what has been different in the past few years (entering year 3 of maintenance at this point)? A few problems and a solution for dealing with them.
1. Failure to PLAN for change... because life WILL change, trust anybody who's lived more than 25 years! Look just a bit ahead (not so far that I'll freak out)... and draw that line in the sand (of the minimal self-care I will NOT give up) for the stressful busy times.
2. Losing the sense of priority for myself and my health. Thinking something else was more important than taking care of me. I have found the line in the sand method works well for this, too... there is a certain amount of self-care that has to become as automatic as brushing teeth or taking a shower. That line has MOVED in the past five years.
3. Saying "yes" to outside demands when I really needed to say "no". I have learned the power of "no". Is this going to disappoint some folks? Yep. Is it going to make me uncomfortable if it does? Yep. But it also gains the respect of those same folks, they will not take advantage of my people-pleasing nature if *I* respect my line in the sand and balance my life. As I started to practice this, the response surprised me. In a good way.
Another secret: when I make myself a priority, and manage my stress... it helps me remember (as does hanging out at Spark)... the most important thing: that I'm worth taking care of! I'm not going to "save the world" if I don't first take care of my health.
LIFE is good. But it can only be lived in the present. One day at a time. Spark on!
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