Monday, December 27, 2010
I didn't start a year ago. I started nearly three years ago. It started with a nutrition coach... I was doing pretty good with diet and exercise at the time, but I was consuming five or six cans of diet soda a day. Well, I set it as goal to reduce that number.
What I found was that when I did... I ate more! Ouch. And in fact, that was kind of the beginning of some back-sliding... combined with an injury to my left foot (sounds like a movie title)... I stopped exercising and started eating more. But I did manage to cut down from five or six to three sodas a day.
Then we went through the whole parathyroid mess... the panic over my weakening bones, not absorbing calcium, and all that rot. It was apparent that for me to continue drinking diet sodas even at three a day was not good for me. I had started eating well and exercising again in 2009, had the surgery that autumn, and decided to cut back to "at most ONE" diet soda a day, post-surgery.
I had that one soda at work, on my morning break. It was my special treat to myself. Then I found I didn't drink soda at home on the weekends. I tried skipping it a few days at work... and then, it was Christmas. I had my one can at Christmas dinner (which was delayed until December 27th by a rather significant amount of snow last year). That was my last. It was a Cherry Coke Zero, in case anyone cares.
And then... I started a streak. I had no clue it would last a whole year. There were temptations along the way: I thought the hot weather of the Summer might be a temptation, and it was. I contemplated letting myself have a can at the 4th of July celebration, but God intervened (my sister didn't acquire any). And the longer I went without, the less I desired it.
One thing I did learn: I most crave soda when I'm mis-behaving with food in other ways! And while I did have many slips in terms of overeating, I did not let myself cross the line into soda drinking... I let myself feel how bloated overeating made me feel. I really think I got some cross-over benefit from this!
So... if you're thinking about reducing your soda intake as one of your small (or large) steps, I stand here a year later saying: "I'm so glad I did this... and I don't think I'm going back."
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Remember the movie of that title? The question at the root: "what if this is as good as it gets?"
I started pondering that this morning. I received a Spark e-mail pointing me to this article: 5 Secrets of the 5% www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellnes
Being me, I started pondering was whether I can count myself among that 5%: "people who have lost weight and actually kept it off for the long-term" Maintenance, long-term, is the holy grail of weight loss. I've certainly lost weight, and at TIMES I've kept it off for a very long time. But I've struggled with periods of years of back-sliding that makes me concerned that I will fall into the abyss again, at any given moment.
This morning, the movie title and memory came back to me: What if this, for me, IS as good as it gets? Shortening the cycle from a regain to re-motivation. A comforting answer that came back: this really IS maintenance. Living with the past, learning from it, and moving on.
Maintenance is listening to our bodies, accepting that yes, we may have done some things in our celebration times (or emotional times) that put a couple of pounds back on... but NOT giving in to despair when we do. Maintenance is climbing back up on the wagon right away, not waiting and wallowing in self-pity or self-condemnation. Maintenance is recognizing what's going on chemically in our brains and bodies, and resisting the call to toss in the towel and continue indulging. Maintenance is forgiving ourselves, accepting ourselves, respecting ourselves.
If this is "as good as it gets"? It's good enough for me! 5% be hanged... when it's YOUR life, it's 100%
Here's to a terrific end of 2010, a fresh, hopeful start to 2011, and a healthy REST OF OUR LIVES!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
After my determination yesterday:
"I am NOT my older sister. I am NOT my parents. I am me. If I'm going to do this at all, I have to do it my own way."
And this great advice from LindaKay228 caused a little attitude adjustment:
"Whatever you decide, you can choose whether it's because you are "forced" into it by that desire to please or whether you decide it's something you enjoy regardless of the reason it started."
And the support of all my Spark friends... I sucked it up, mopped the floor and did Christmas eve in the most informal way you can imagine.
I should warn you... my family is a little crazy, and a little bright, and at times, quite amusing! We love ourselves (as a group) quite loudly. As talk proceeds through the evening, the volume rises as each one has to jump into the conversation a level above the last. Not conflict, mind you... all exuberance. (Oh, by the way, did I mention these gathers are completely alcohol-free... this exuberance is pure being together stuff.)
We closed the evening, after the meal the coffee, the Christmas story, the little gifts and some great conversation in love and honesty... with a trip down nostalgia lane for the grown-ups and amusement avenue for the kids: we danced to Sweating to the Oldies and laughed a lot as the young men in the room first dropped to the back and then absented themselves from the room while the sisters and I rocked out. My brother in law walked on the treadmill and offered commentary.
I sent them off to be careful on the icy streets around 9... in time to "do church", but then opted out of driving on ice to do so, myself. It was a good Christmas eve.
Here's hoping you all have your holiday... YOUR WAY!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Andi571 included this phrase in her blog: "I am always so afraid of hurting someone's feelings and I do things I don't want to do because of it. " www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
Insert bell ringing in my head! The holiday blues can sometimes be brought on by exactly that: doing things we don't want to do. Overeating can be brought on by that, as well. At least for me, it can.
For ten years or so, Christmas eve was held at my sister's home. It was our parents' tradition, and she continued it. She wanted to. It meant a lot to her. And then, last year it changed. She had a new grandson. It made more sense for her to fly to spend the holiday with her daughter's family. She announced to the sibling group that this would be the case...
and then, one of another sister's children lamented, "but where shall we go for Christmas eve?"
You see, the remaining two sisters in town are not Christian. Not even nominally (like me). But, I let myself get roped into hosting the traditional chili supper on Christmas eve last year, and this year, it's expected. I'm preparing it... but it dawns on me I've never really asked myself if it's something I WANT to do, or if I'm doing it because I don't want to hurt the feelings of others.
I am NOT my older sister. I am NOT my parents. I am me. If I'm going to do this at all, I have to do it my own way. Maybe it's time to let this particular family tradition go. Maybe this is the last year.
Pondering required. Must be wary of the toddler Barbie syndrome of resisting and then really enjoying once I overcome the resistance, too. To be continued.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Christmas is a joyous time of year... and yet many people struggle with depression and the blues. I was pondering this on the way home from work and in the grocery store last night.
As I wished my co-workers who will be off today and through the holiday a Merry Christmas and walked to my car, I didn't feel very Christmas-y. In fact, I felt kind of detached from the entire holiday. As I purchased the roast for Christmas dinner, again, I wasn't feeling it. I asked myself why. Why is it troubling me this year, as opposed to any other year?
I couldn't come up with good answers. Then it dawned on me that I've been worrying about a lot of things lately... worry is a horrid time-waster, unless it is just a brief warning worry that leads to corrective action.
And this one hit, like a hammer : "What if that Christmas feeling doesn't show up? At all?" Perhaps that is the biggest worry of all. I love that Christmas feeling... that hope, that "everything will be all right... you're not in charge" feeling. That blessing of truly feeling in a state of grace.
Christmas has always come through for me before... even through years when the blues led up to it. Always. Why would it fail me now? And that's where the faith comes in. Faith to be quiet and let Christmas take over my heart.
And then this one: "Go look at your blogs from the past few weeks... you HAVE had that feeling... spread throughout the season, brought on by song, brought on by lights, and visits with people. Go forth and embrace it!"
So, through moments of "down"... hope points "up". There is a spark to faith, too, you know.
May your Christmas be blessed with the balance that recognizes the blues for what they are, acknowledges them, and moves right on to the hope and joy!
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