Friday, June 05, 2009
In January of this year I finally decided to get myself back in shape and back to a good weight. Initially I started doing Weight Watchers on my own at home but I soon started tracking on Spark People and have used SP as my mainstay since then. It took me 4 months to lose the 20 pounds but it was a steady and, more importantly, a healthy loss. In addition to really paying attention to what was going into my mouth, I slowly introduced strength training (for the first time in about 10 years) on top of my daily walks. I can't say that I am always good about doing the strength training but I remain faithful to getting in my cardio every day and continue to chart daily after 2 months of maintenance.
The biggest hurdle I have faced is that my closest friend and walking partner was severely injured in a car accident 4 weeks ago. Putting aside my over-riding worry about her condition, on a personal level it has tested my motivation and commitment to my health program. For the past 20 years, she and I have tried to walk at least 5 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour. We have served as each other's motivation and support - knowing someone else has dragged themselves out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to walk with you will keep you a lot more honest about sticking with the program! But over all of the years that we have been walking, both of us have been terrible about doing it when the other one is not around - if she was on vacation for 2 weeks, I didn't walk until she got back and vice versa. That was all well and good when the vacation limited the slump but this time it may be 3 months until she is able to rejoin me on our walks, and then at a much slower pace. The first week she was in the hospital, I spent so much time at the hospital that I didn't get out for my walks even once. The second week, I started balancing my time a little better and I walked three times. Now, 4 weeks out, I am walking a bit more consistently - I missed this morning because it is raining here but otherwise I have walked each morning. I can't lie - it's not the same and I really have to push myself to get up and out in the morning. Listening to an iPod is just not the same as spending an hour yakking with your best friend. Yes, I walk faster (without talking and moving to a beat, it's easier to step up the pace) but I miss the cathartic morning walks/talks. What keeps me going, though, is knowing that 3 months of lassitude would allow me to slip right back into my old ways and undo all the hard work I've put in.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Life has generally been good for me - I have a happy family, a loving husband, good friends, a job.... I am generally an upbeat person who bounces back pretty well from adversity. But this weekend my closest friend was in a terrible car accident. Thankfully, her husband and son were relatively unscathed but she received the worst of it, suffering a head injury, fracturing and crushing of several vertebrae in her neck and upper back, and breaking ribs. I have been on my knees a great deal these past 4 days praying for her recovery and God has been good! Miraculously, she is not paralyzed and surgery to stabilize her spine has been successful. She is alert and upbeat, although she faces months of rehab and pain. The doctors have been positive in their prognosis and are hopeful that she will have a full recovery. It may be cliche but it is so true - life can change in the blink of an eye - it is so clear that we should live each day to its fullest and always, always count our blessings.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I am beginning week 17 of SP and am down 18.5 pounds -it's been slow but at least steady. Been stuck for the past three weeks at one pound away from goal - finally down another 1/2 pound this week. Yay! Hopefully next week I will finally hit goal. But the half pound really doesn't matter. My starting weight was not the highest I have ever been, nor is my goal weight the lowest I have ever gone. At my age 10 pounds less than my current goal is not a realistic or healthy weight. My body just can't maintain it. Have been feeling better about myself for the past few months - just getting the eating under control made me feel more positive. It's been nice getting back into my old 'thin' clothes and feeling attractive again. This weekend I went shopping for a dress for a cousin's wedding coming up in June. Was thrilled to find that I am down two sizes and actually looked pretty damn good in form-fitting cocktail dresses, if I say so myself! LOL. Even nicer, I was able to look in the mirror and like what I see - for once I wasn't standing there berating myself for the size of my fanny or the flab on my belly. Not that I no longer have a fanny or a belly - after 53 years and 2 C-sections, my body has its 'scars' but I can now accept them for being evidence of the wonderful road I have traveled in my life. Would I trade my children for flat, taut abs? Not a chance!
Monday, April 13, 2009
This past month has been a difficult one - both of my parents have ended up in the hospital for different reasons and for the first time I am realizing that they are getting on in years. As I reached my 50's and so many of my friends began losing their parents, I realized I was so fortunate that both of my parents were still living. But honestly, don't think I have really faced the fact that my parents are aging until this latest stretch. They have always been active, vital people, young for their ages. I am generally a take charge person, the caretaker in my family, and tend to swallow my emotions so that I can take care of the situation at hand. Not the healthiest way to deal with stress! But with the illness of my parents, I find that my need to take care of them is warring with an overpowering feeling that I am little again, frightened at the thought of losing my parents. Am aggravated with myself that I am not holding it together better; on the positive side, I have not reverted to eating non-stop to deal with the anxiety. Unfortunately, the anxiety is coming out in the form of migraines. *sigh* Have been trying to take positive steps to deal with the stress: taking walks, exercising but with limited success. One step at a time.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I have always been an emotional eater - food has been solace as well as reward, the solution for sadness or euphoria. I recognize it intellectually and much of the time I can counter the impulse, but every once in a while it creeps up on me and Bam! I'm hit between the eyes and find myself eating til I'm almost sick. At my worst, I get a 'to hell with it' attitude that doesn't stop for months and I pack on the pounds. At my best, I recognize it as self-destructive behavior and struggle until I get it under control. Started with SP in earnest in January and for 12 weeks I have been able to manage my triggers pretty well - got through personal stresses, a vacation, and the illness of my father without turning to the fridge. A major accomplishment for me. And then, yesterday, I had a triumph at work and the first thing I did was throw all my 'healthy living' rules out the window and reward myself: instead of my usual salad and fruit for lunch, I had a grilled tomato and cheese sandwich (super greasy), some chips and a large chocolate chip cookie. The bad news was that I felt sick from the added fat and even worse when I charted the calories. But what aggravates me the most is that I consciously knew what I was doing when I made the choices and continued along the path. The good news was that it stopped there - in the past that lunch would have lead junk food snacking in the afternoon, and half a pizza for dinner, garlic bread, etc. and unhealthy eating for a week before getting back on track. Have to admit I was disappointed with myself yesterday but also proud that I didn't fall prey to my usual self-sabotage - I am back on track again today, making sure that I have planned my meals ahead of time so that the temptations are kept to a minimum. Now I have to work on forgiving myself when I make unhealthy choices and get the word 'bad' out of my vocabulary when referring to myself. It is a long road......
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