Wednesday, May 14, 2014
After taking a long hiatus from SparkPeople, yesterday, I signed on, restarted my program, and for the first time ever on SparkPeople, posted my weight on the ticker of my SparkPage.
Up until yesterday, the number 301.4 was an embarrassment for me, a number that I would never openly and honestly admit to. Up till now, all that was posted on my ticker was my weight loss goal, measured by the number of pounds hoped to be lost.
Yesterday, I sat for a bit in front of the computer, contemplating as I thought to myself, "It's got to be different this time. I've got to be committed in a stronger, yet more realistic way." I also thought to myself, "I've got to own this. Without shaming myself, I've got to own this."
So here it goes:
I've got to own the fact that weight loss and maintenance is a struggle for me and may very well be for the rest of my life. I've got to own the fact that I do not make myself a priority, especially in the midst of career deadlines and household chaos. I've got to own the fact that old habits do creep up on me from time to time, and when they do, I have a really hard time getting back to a healthful lifestyle. I've got to own that, after all the hard work I initially did on SparkPeople, with a weight loss from 320 pounds to 255 pounds, I've undone the majority of all that hard work. And although I do love myself, I've got to own that it's somewhat painful and embarrassing for me to wear this heavier body... again.
So I have chosen to own where I stand today, and without beating myself up, I am taking responsibility for my health and my body in a way that, right now, at least for today, calms me and empowers me, and that's by blogging about it.
This excessive weight is killing me little by little, literally, and it makes me so sad. It makes me so sad to think of who I once was, what I looked like, what I was physically capable of doing, how I was able to participate fully in my life, and the truth is I want that dynamic person back so very badly.
Inconsistency and lack of balance have become such a familiar part of my life now, and I wonder if I ever will be lean, strong, and healthy again -- and I mean truly and consistently, and not for six months where I get my groove on until the Autumn chaos comes back around or the holidays bring that all-too-familiar rebellion and feeling of feast-entitlement.
For me, I don't know what the answer is, but I do know this. Coming back on SparkPeople yesterday filled me with hope once again. I told myself, "Give yourself the gift of drinking ALL your water today and tracking your food. Just do that. Give yourself just one day."
Today is Day 2. After just one day of drinking 8 glasses of water, my urine looks clearer and lighter, I have more energy today, I feel more clear-minded, and there's a pleasant calm within me.
Right before my hiatus from SP, I had this recurring thought of "Why should I have to be so neurotic about tracking every single thing I put in my mouth?" I'll admit, it was driving me a bit crazy. But what I realized today, on my second day of tracking, is that it is a very enlightening tool that does help keep you mindful of what, when, and why you're eating. And, right now, that's the tool that will be at the forefront of my journey.
I also realized, that even during the weight gain, where my old eating-absolutely-everything-and-anything habit reigned, many times, I truly wasn't enjoying what I was eating. There is something to be said about the pleasure and anticipation that comes with planning out your meals and taking the time to prepare them and account for them on your tracker.
This was my lunch yesterday on Day 1:
I can't remember the last time I had such a delicious piece of salmon...
And this was my lunch today on Day 2:
That's artichoke bruschetta in the middle... It gave the lettuce and chicken such a good flavor.
And so I am ready to own where I am today, but I am also ready to begin anew, to strive towards attaining the goals that will give me the limitless, healthy, lean body I've yearned for, for so long. I'm also ready to own reaching my goals and accepting my weight loss as it comes. I am ready to own my worth, that I deserve to feel beautiful, healthy, strong, and unlimited. I am ready to own the empowerment of me.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
I completed my Trick-Or-Treat Trot today in 62 minutes! Not only that... The hubs joined me!
I felt so supported. He told me that he's proud of me, proud of how determined I am, and proud of how far I've come, given my physical challenges this past year. It meant the world to hear those words.
And the best part?
We did our trot from beginning to end in the rain!!!
As we started to head out, it started sprinkling. Hubs turned to me and said, "You still want to do this?" I said, "Absolutely. Let's go."
Then when the rain got a bit heavier, I started thinking, "Oh, no. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea." Doubt began to set in, much like has happened in my life when the going has gotten tough. The parallels between the rainstorm and the challenges in my own life became crystal clear at this point.
Then the rain came full blast. My fierce woman attitude took over, and the only words I could keep repeating in my mind were, "Bring it!"
Hubs and I kept looking at each other, at first, smiling and then full-blown laughing. We were transformed into two little kids having fun in the rain. It was one of those beautiful moments that comes along in the most unexpected way.
My husband's words of encouragement today coupled with the rain we plowed through became total validation for me -- validation that I can and will continue to persevere, to pursue wellbeing and healing, to continue learning and attempting, and to make every effort to live my best life.
I'm so glad I found this virtual 5k race and training program. It has helped to strengthen me in so many different ways. I really needed this. Thank you, SP. And thank you, my SparkFriends. Your support gets me through -- little by little, step by step.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
I AM SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW!!!
I just completed my five-week training this morning AND today was RACE DAY! I did my very first virtual 5K, and although it took me a little longer than most -- I am not ashamed to say it... 74 minutes -- I am just so happy that I was able to physically do this. I am happy because my body is adapting nicely and is allowing me to undertake this walking challenge. My back and core are feeling stronger and my optimism has returned.
This morning, everything seemed to align perfectly to allow me the most calm, comfortable, and pleasant walk. It was cloudy enough so that the sun wasn't beating down on me. That coupled with the delightful fall breeze helped to keep me from overheating.
I took it all in... the ducks by the lake who seemed to be waiting for me at my halfway mark, as if greeting me with a "You go girl!"... the four different teams of bicyclists who were out there looking beautiful, living the adventure, joining me in my quest for this accomplishment this morning... the different walkers and runners who'd pass me by who would say, "Good morning," and to whom all I could offer was a smile and a big thumbs up as I walked by because I was slightly out of breath... particular songs on my i-pod that seemed to play just at the very moment I needed them, from "Come Sail Away" by Styx to songs from the Armageddon soundtrack and ending with Bob Seger. Gotta love Bob Seger.
I wasn't focused on speed. I was focused on the miracle of it all... that not too very long ago I could barely get out of bed and walk due to herniated discs in my back and severe nerve impingement. I thought about how uncomfortable and skeptical I was the first two weeks of training and compared that to where I am now on this glorious day... walking a 5K and feeling more positive, confident, and uplifted. I feel like I am back in that Spark Zone, where I have stopped doubting and have started believing again.
I have become a walking warrior, pushing through, pushing myself both mentally and physically, telling myself, "YOU CAN DO THIS; YOU WILL DO THIS, PERIOD." And with each step of my walks, I release more and more toxicity from the deepest anatomical, emotional, and mental layers within me.
Maybe one day, I'll join all you other wonderful walkers in completing a 5K in 48 to 58 minutes. It's a worthwhile goal to have. In the meantime, though, this morning, I am celebrating the possibilities AND the realities, because they are somehow starting to meet in the middle and allowing me to dream... and dream big.
So let's do this!!!
AND THANK YOU, SPARKPEOPLE, SPARKFRIENDS, SPARKCOACHES & STAFF!
You enable me to strive for a better quality of life, a better today, a better me.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I'm on Week 4 of SparkPeople's 5K Your Way Walking Program, and I have to say I am soooooo thankful for the day I signed on about a month ago and saw the virtual 5K program featured as one of the daily topics.
Now that I'm in Week 4, I feel like I now know what I'm doing, although, at first, I was totally winging it. I'd go out with no hat, no face towel. After a while, the sunblock would be drenched by my sweat and the lovely mixture would run down into my eyes and mouth. By the time I'd get home, my eyes would be blood-shot red, stinging like crazy, with complete and total blurred vision. The taste of sunblock in my mouth would frustrate me beyond belief, and it would take a good tooth brushing followed by gobs of water to get rid of the taste.
After reading some helpful SP articles for walkers, I have learned quite a few things. For instance, I now take water with me, a cell phone, and face towel (in my fanny pack). I still apply my facial sunblock, but I wear a baseball hat. That and the face towel help immensely. And then there's the lovely I-pod. Bringing the I-pod and listening to upbeat music really fills my soul with some positive energy and gets me fired up!
I wear my walking pants and t-shirts and a good pair of walking shoes, and before I leave to start my training walk for the day, I usually turn to catch a quick glance of this new me in the living room mirror.
I ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE A WALKER!!! Heck, I FEEEEEEL like a walker!!!
Not to mention what, to me, has been a God-send. My back is starting to react positively to the walking. My core is getting stronger, my major muscle groups are getting stronger, and I think it's doing a world of good for not only my anatomy, but my outlook on life, especially after a very trying past year.
Even though, at the beginning of this training program, which was not so long ago, there were many days where the pain would kick in and I didn't think I'd be able to do this, today's walk proved to me that it CAN be done, that where there is a will, there is a way. When I returned home with my sunblock intact and fanny pack on my waist, I turned to that same mirror and gave myself a thumbs up. I was not about to collapse, my back and sciatica were not debilitating me, and in fact, after I was done admiring that walker in the mirror, I realized that I had no pain at that moment. THAT WAS HUGE!!!
I think strengthening my core is key for my body to continue healing, and I'm starting to feel my long-lost friends named "Excitement" and "Determination" coming back into my life.
I did 2.5 miles in 52 minutes today and made sure to walk heel first with my neck and back as straight and upright as comfortably possible.
I am now more aware of each muscle group, and as my hips, rump, and thighs tighten with each step and help to propel me forward, I think to myself, "I love feeling my muscles as they awaken. I love knowing that they are still here and willing to work hard for me. I love the beauty of nature that surrounds me as I walk through this path of resilience and determination. I love the fact that there is a place I can turn to, where I feel loved, supported, inspired, guided, and looked out for -- SparkPeople. I love this reawakening. I love this gratitude I am feeling. I love God. I love me. And, yes, I love you.
Let's do this together.
(photo courtesy of bing.com)
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
"You can do this" is the tiny whisper that has been softly echoing somewhere far, far away in the deepest, almost subconscious part of my mind.
Throughout this past incredibly challenging year, this relentless little whisper hasn't faltered. It just will not go away. It follows me even when I want to tell myself that, no, I can't do this. It accompanies me as if it were a loving parent who's patiently allowing me to throw my tantrums of frustration and get it all out of my system.
Then there are those thoughts, those lies, that seem determined to reign at the forefront of my mind. You know the ones. "You CAN'T do this. Look, you fell AGAIN. FACE IT... it's too hard. It's NEVER going to happen. There's just TOO MUCH going on. Life is TOO complicated. Your body and your health are not going to allow this. There's no time for this. Other things need your time and attention. Give up the fantasy already!"
And yet, as loud as those shouts are, that lovingly relentless whisper always returns, as if it has a divine knowledge that carries with it the most nurturing, uplifting, and loving energy.
It sounds so soft that, at first, it almost seems quite fragile -- that is, until you hear the finality in its tone: "You can do this."
And in my heart, I not only recognize its intensity and power, but I can feel its resounding truth: I can do this.
It's as if the whisper knows just how much I've wanted this for myself for so very long and covers me with a veil of calm, understanding, and a knowing that no matter what life throws my way, no matter the hurts, disappointments, challenges, and obstacles, that loving myself is paramount and that taking care of me is priority.
That whisper is my simple truth.
And it's your simple truth, too.
It tells us so much more if we're willing to tune out the negative shouts and just listen to the powerful messages contained in its steady and unwavering whisper:
"Love yourself and honor the life you've been given. Earn it. Treat your body as the sanctuary that it was meant to be. Fill it with all that's good and wholesome. Stay firm in your convictions; be good to others; and make a positive difference in others' lives. Hold onto that which will make you better and discard those things that hurt you. Be happy; fill yourself with laughter; be brave; live your best life; and dare to dream.
And always remember... you can do this."
(Photo courtesy of bing.com)
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