Monday, October 18, 2010
Bad news this week. My ex's new wife (my kiddo's stepmom) is 34 years old and in the hospital with a pulmonary embolism following surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her groin. Her prognosis was guarded before this happened, and now it's looking grimmer.
Also my dear friend's mother is in the final stages of Parkinson's disease. She's hospitalized and my friend is hearing her express a desire to "not go on like this."
I think I'm holding on by my fingernails to not "eat over" this sadness and worry. I know I have a pattern of absorbing other people's pain. It lets me feel close to them, useful (I'm a helper) and therefore worthy of love. All this insight is nice, but I still feel so sad. I guess that's the point. Feel the sadness but do something different with it.
Strangely, I haven't felt like eating ice cream or other favorite self-soothing/self-stuffing foods. But if I got started, I know I would probably do it.
So I'm hanging on and exercising a lot. It seems to help stave off the food cravings, and certainly gives me an alternative focus.
Hug your loved ones, Sparkers, and treat your one life like the precious gift it is -- pain, joy, uncertainty and all.
Monday, October 11, 2010
This weekend my kiddo was looking through photos on my phone and found a picture I'd taken of myself in the bathroom mirror. In this photo I'm wearing a sports bra and yoga pants. You can see my rolls of excess body fat, and my untoned arms and abs. It's simply a record of how I looked at the beginning of my journey here at SparkPeople.
So upon finding this photo, my darling kiddo asked "Mommy, what's THIS?"
I replied, "It's a 'before' picture of me."
"Well, Mommy, when's 'after?'"
I stopped in my tracks. When is "after?" I guess the obvious answer is "after I lose all this excess weight." But darn it, I'm trying so hard not to model "dieting," for my kiddo. Rather, I'm emphasizing good health habits, fitness as fun, and so on in my conversations and attitude. "After I lose all this weight" implies the problem is my fat. It implies that when I reach my magical goal weight, I'll be cured. When the truth is, I'm on this journey be healthy, strong, and proud of my body. That's a positive process that is about much more than shedding weight. So I can't really consider "after I lose all this weight" a worthy answer.
The more I think about it, there can be no "after" if I'm really serious about this being a lifetime process, a lifestyle change. Sure, I'm going to lose all this excess weight, but even then I'll still be on the path of seeking health, fitness, bodily integrity, and goodness knows what positive outcomes.
So in a flash, I realized I had to tell my kiddo that there would be no "after" this time. Nope, only "during." And here I am today, in the midst of my journey, "during" the process of personal transformation.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
I keep noticing my own (and others') "stinkin' thinkin'" about having no time to workout. Here's what I came up with to have some fun sneaking fitness into a weekly chore, grocery shopping....
1. Park at the far side of the parking lot. Walk one long lap around the perimeter of the parking lot, and back to car. If anyone gives me a strange look, make like I'm searching for a cart (so what if I'm right next to the cart round up thingy).
2. Finally walk into the market, pushing cart. Take one or two laps around the perimeter of the store, looking at the lovely fresh produce, meats/fish, and other nutritious foods to be found outside the aisles.
3. Walk up and down all the aisles (not stopping to shop), just noticing what's there and where things are.
4. Feel tired of walking. Begin shopping. Whenever possible, reach up on toes (calf work!) to get items from high shelves, or bend from waist to get things from lower shelves (dead lifts!). Sneak some triceps kickbacks in with heavy cans when nobody's looking. Do more calf lifts while contemplating the produce to buy or while checking list.
5. Do more strength training when nobody is looking or I'm alone on the aisle -- Dead lift the heavy bottles of laundry soap or other heavy items. Use soup cans to do bicep curls or pec flies. Do shoulder press with bags of flour or sugar (then put back on the shelf!).
6. March in place anytime I'm stuck waiting to get into an aisle.
7. Do one or two more long laps around the inside of the market.
8. March in place while waiting in line to check out.
9. Load car. When home, walk the groceries in one bag at a time. For me, this means walking up and down a hill with some steps, so it's a good calorie burn to end the workout!
10. Stretch and feel proud of a multi-tasking victory that kept me from being totally bored at the market!
Monday, October 04, 2010
Some simple goals for this month --
1. Weight: Reach the 5.5 pounds gone point.
2. Fitness: Cardio 5 to 6 days per week for 40 plus minutes per day. Burn a total of 6700 calories this month.
3. Strength train: Be consistent -- 10 minutes 7 days per week, alternating upper, lower & core.
4. Diet: Try 4 new recipes this month.
5. Lifestyle/General: Drink 8 glasses of water per day, every day.
Later that same day.... Okay, so I have to edit these goals and add one more:
6. Spread the Spark: Give encouragement to other Sparkers, as best I can, as often as I can.
Saturday, October 02, 2010
About seven years ago I lost over 40 pounds on Weight Watchers. I maintained for several years. However, a serious ankle injury and a pretty bad break up led me to revert to bad habits. I looked for solace in the bottom of many cartons of Ben & Jerry's. Big surprise -- I didn't find it there.
Even after maintaining a 40 pound weight loss for a long time, I found it very easy to fall back to unhealthy ways when my personal life went kerflooey. While I can forgive myself for that, I'm determined to undo the damage to my health and to avoid repeating that pattern. For me, maintaining good health habits takes constant vigilance. I can't ever afford to get complacent. this means I have to be honest with myself (tracking my food and fitness helps tremendously), and also push myself a little (try a new fitness activity, be willing to go to bed a wee bit hungry, and so on).
Now that I'm in my mid-40s, with an 8 year old kiddo, I know it really is do or die time. Diabetes runs in my family, as does heart disease. And depression. So my goals are to get back to my best level of fitness, to wear a size 8 again, and to feel lots of vitality. I know that if it is to be, it's up to me.
I'm taking this journey gradually. My focus is on living a healthy, balanced life today -- not trying to force the scale down at a breakneck pace. I am living today the way I plan to live while maintaining (making good choices for nutrition and activity). The scale will get to goal eventually.
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