Thursday, September 04, 2014
"I learn something not because I have to, but because I really want to. That's the same view I have for performing. I'm performing because I really want to, not because I have to bring bread back home."
Yo-Yo Ma has an incredible talent, but could he have achieved all he has if he approached his art as though it were a chore? NO.
One secret of success is to do what we enjoy. Yol-Yo Ma is a wonderful example for us to consider as we think about achieving our own goals. Having a goal is not enough. We have to truly enjoy the things that will guide us toward getting what we want. It is not always the goal itself, but the whole package of what it represents.
In the case of weightloss, which is what brings many people to SP, it's just not enough to wish ourselves thin. Or even to follow a tried-and-true plan of nutrition and exercise.
We must WANT to do the things that eventually lead us toward that 'goal'.
Perhaps many people fall off track because they focus on the end result without every truly enjoying and appreciating what activities lead to it.
After all, do you really think Yo-Yo Ma would be famous with those strings if he didn't like music?
Don't think just of the goal.
Think of this minute.
What you are doing.
What you will eat.
How you spend your time.
These are not trite or irrelevant issues:
these form the substance that helps determine your success in
self actualization as you grow toward a healthy lifestyle.
Don't just think of the destination and chalk off the markers of having accomplished this or done that. Lifestyle change can be FUN! That is a key to success, so grasp hold of it!
Be your own version of Yo-Yo Ma:
Do what you love of the things that nourist you,
so you can be the best you can be;
when you follow your heart.
Get out of the rut;
explore your options and you'll discover they DO exist!
Like I always say:
ENJOY the journey.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
The past week has been rough for me. Nothing dramatic in the long-term, but stress-filled and stressful. Constant obligations, taking my son down to the VA Hosp for a procedure, hauling grandkids to appointments, appointments with restaurant manager, baker and florist to make arrangements for my mom's dinner party to be later this month.... among other things. BUSY. Wore my out. And.
The week was capped off Sunday by a big pig-roast that my son did for over 100 people.... He also had 400 clams which were included 4 hours after the first serving of food; yup, food rolled out for both a lunch and dinner. He'd asked guests to bring a dish, and wow did they ever! The healthy options were fantastic! I saw only ONE mayo-type salad! (My contribution? Corn, peas, crinkle-cut wedges of carrots, roasted peppers, red onions in a salad flavored by ginger balsamic dressing)
Ok, it started to pour after a few hours, but everyone had had their first meal by then and we actually enjoyed having to huddle our chairs under the canapy coverings; some people were in the garage, the teenagers hung out in my son's Man Cave, the little kids stayed in the pool (no thunder or lightning) or played games. When the rain became just a mist, many men returned to the horseshoe pits. Rain didn't stop anything: everyone adjusted nicely.
The only negative was that my ex and wife AND two of my ex's pals and their wives were there. This was hard for me. (The six of them were all going out to parties, dances, dinners years ago while I was married and home watching my boys. Adultery really stinks, y'know.) They sat back like honored guests while I dased through pouring rain going from canapy to canapy to house and back as I helped with serving, hauling, carrying chairs etc etc.
I was drenched; everything right down to covered skin was soaking wet, dripping water for hours! It was physically and emotionally draining; I spent Monday practically catatonic with pain and being overtired. The day of rest helped and I'm almost back to normal. NO BIG FLARE. Kewl, huh?
Today I return to my pool exercise after a two-month break. Wow, I've got to RUN so I'm there on time!!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
First: Please note that my keyboard has for weeks been refusing to type every letter I hit, so you'll see words that are missing 'something'. Consider it a game, and read on, ok? Thanks for unerstanding?!
Tonight I held the first meeting for what wil now be called "Healthy Lifestyle RoundTable"! After lots of thinking and planning, my pet project EXISTS!!
Purpose? A social networking group (for the senior community in which I live) for people to have in-depth discussions on a myriad of healthy lifestyle topics. Originally, it was to be called "W8 RoundTable" to start with overweight people an then fanout. I had wanted to have it be for everyone regardless of circumstances physical or otherwise, but had been swayed to focus on weight. Tonight those in attendance all agreed with my original concept and said "GO FOR IT".
I'd hoped to bring SP flyers with me, but they seem to have become hidden. What a shame that the features most important to me keep disappearing or become so hard to find that you only have a chance to find them IF you know they exist. But. After 20 minutes of searching for the flyers, I gave up. Instead, people knew that much of what we do will be totally in sync with SP because I told them about it, gave out the site information to them for those interested in joining.
One interesting topic that explains this unanimous support of lifestyle rather than 'yet another diet' is that many people there do know how to lose weight... but once their method of getting to goal reaches goal... they just lain didn't know how to maintain. Of course, I inserted "yes, that's why ...etc"!! lol, I'm such a SPer!! To me, a huge memory of this meeting was: I was shocked at the number who stated they'd lost a lot of weight and regained that and more. Sure, I knew SOME would have experienced this, but... so many?! This is better proof than any distant study in showing that gradual, enjoyable changes to lifestyle is more effective and lasting than any 'diet'.
In making preparations before tnight, I got the information that covers all people on Medicare or insurance working with Medicare. Sure glad I did. Told them to get out their 2014 Medicare books, turn to Section 3, Page 46 and have that paragraph in front of them when calling their providers' customer service. Every insurance provider will handle the details differently, but must comply with Medicare law: anyone with a BMI of 30 or more can receive up to 22 free nutritional consultation visits (etc etc) during one year.
So if on Medicare and have a BMI of 30+, call the insurer, go to the primary physician for a referral for nutritional consultations.... and be sure that you go to a Registered Dietician or other qualified person who accepts your insurance. RD's LOVE seeing SP print-outs of nutrition logs, summaries and other reports: it helps them work with us in detail. I truly believe that people doing this benefit more than many others, because we are so in tune with what we need. Anyhow. Back to tonight's meeting...:
Maintenance. We all talk about goals. But reaching the ultimate weight-goal and staying there seems to be a truly defeating attempt for many people. Key words in that? "Seems" and "attempt"; think about it! We sure did discuss this tonight: how they reached their goals and then felt unsure about what to do!
One lady said she lost 150+ pounds in less than a year on a doctor-'supervised' Medifast plan; then she was under stress while moving and at a hectic time of work all while preparing for a large family gathering for Thanksgiving! Her doctor said, "you can go off the program for the week while your company is here and you're moving; eat what you want". This and other all-too-similar tales with just different details explains why those who attended AND those who were busy tonight but interested... all said "No 'diet'? GREAT! I just want to get/be healthy!" Wow. Huh?!
This and next week's meetings are the groundwork for setting the loose structure. Using principles very like those of SP, I wrote on a sheet of paper and circled separately each grouping of categories with organized sub-groups. For two hours, truly substantive conversation FLOWED. It was wonderful!
You should have heard how each time a person mentioned a challenge, at least one other discussed workable solutions. You'd have thought these folks were all long-time Sparkers. Sure am glad I provided paper, pens and oter supplies because everyone was busily writing down information the entire time. Sharing the way we all did tonight felt... great. Absolutely fantastic.
When I reserved the room for a two-hour period, I didn't really expect everyone would be thoroughly engaged the entire time... Wow, was I ever wrong! So. The beginning of my real-life support group for healthy lifestyle and all it includes.... is looking promising for future meetings.
Am expecting more people to join in next week, especially since we're expanding the scope to appeal to even those maintaining a good weight and who are active. Their input will be great. And one should never forget that they have -or should have- goals too!
Sunday, August 03, 2014
We can be motivated to reach a goal and then dissuaded or recommitted or continuingly find reasons to stay on track. The very same situations can at different times trigger unlike responses or emotions. Sometimes a negative thought or experience is cited as reason for going off track. Sometimes the negative event encountered strengthens us. I truly believe that we should do our best to allow every experience or encounter, failure or loss... strengthen us.
A question in one of my teams today made me want to share more than the answer... and to blog my thoughts.
The question in the team asked who did we first tell about our commitment to creating a healthy lifestyle. I told two people immediately... and either on the same day or within a day or two of one another. This was in 2007. My answer and thoughts about it:
My R.D. (dietician) or my P.T. (physical therapist).
Can't rmember which I told first.
They both supported me wholeheartedly.
Both were younger and mch healthier than me.
And 2 years ago they both died suddenly and unexpectedly within 4 months of one another.
These collective facts stress to me the importance of doing what we can WHILE we can to be the best we can be... or at least enjoy our efforts to TRY to reach those goals.
I could have said "sheesh! They looked great, were athletic, 'had it all'... and what good did it do THEM, huh?!?" But my reaction was the opposite.
Linda and Sharon believed in me. Believed. In. Me.
They were MY support 'team', my support system.
And they are gone.
For five years they each nurtured this journey of mine and helped me reach a much better place. Their deaths don't mean I can or should even slow down. Ok, I DID feel a little lost for several months. That IS true. These two women wer the ONLY people in this whole world who together SAW how hard I have worked to create a healthy lifestyle. My doctor sees improved bloodwork, but not enough weight loss to reflect the exercise and the care to activity that I now do. But these two ladies saw what I was doing, and without fail cheered me onward.
My journey is slow in ways that show to others. A frustrating fact. But I owe a lot to these two ladies because I no longer really care what others assume when I KNOW I am doing my best. THAT is HUGE.
The reason I'm saying all this is because there are many 'lessons' to be gathered from it.
Interestingly, the two people I first told are the ones who became my most staunch supporters. Ok, they were professionals in fields that were necessary for my journey, but they went beyond requirements for me. They went out of their way. They loved that I was active in SP and put the use of tools and articles as my priority with use of personal interactions as supportive. Would I have stayed here without that support? I have no idea! I could GUESS the answer to be yes or no, but... who knows.
Sharing the decision to focus not just on losing weight or on 'getting healthy again' but sharing that we decide to truly focus on overall BALANCE and healthy LIFESTYLE is important.
I've said and written this many times but the truth is that living in a healthy way is the best measure of success when you consider the befores and afters of changes such as those we each seek. And sharing the goals with the RIGHT someone/s is invaluable. The right someone is not always a friend or relative; it might be a stranger or like me you'll find a health professional who is overjoyed that you focus on well-rounded changes instead of singular ones.
In my view there is a right one and there is a wrong way to share this goal:
Wrong way: "Hey, doc, I'm trying to lose weight so I joined Spark People. What do you think?"
Right way: "hey, doc, I want to lose weight but my real goal is all over improved healthy lifestyle. I joined SP and am really learning a lot about myself. Have you ever looked at the site?"
I tried the second approach with my GP. She'd heard of the site, but slim athlete that she is, she still hasn't found time to look at it. I get that. She is THERE in healthy lifestyle. And she still says there's no mystery to weight loss; just eat less, move more. Yup, the skinny lasses who try to be understanding really DON'T. But these days I'm alone in my support... with a little help here and there from SP friends, even though the vast majority of my friends have different issues and hurdles. And I'm so grateful to those two ladies who gave me the in-person support that strengthened my resolve to stick with all I do for myself here on this site.
Maybe someday they'll look down on me and say to one another, "holy cow, look at SAM! Doesn't she look GREAT now that she lost that weight?!" And at that point my outside will have finally caught up with the way my insides feel so much healthier already!
I am currently talking to some women where I live, sharing that healthy lifestyle is integral to their weight loss and other health goals. They want me to lead a small support group. People have supported me, believed in me. Am I ready to help others?
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