BESSHAILE   51,772
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One month - time to assess

Sunday, November 01, 2009

On October 1 I decided it was Time To Change Things and I began looking around for ways to do so and make it fun.

The first thing I did was to eliminate sodas from my life. I was drinking a minimum of 1 22 oz bottle of diet soda a day. The worst part of it was - they didn't even TASTE good any more and still I'd scoop one up and glug it down. Sodas had to go and I went cold turkey on them. In their place I added water - glorious delicious wonderful water. I live where the tap water is delicious and even at work our municipal water is good. A minimum of 8 glasses a day has been marvelous switch and it showed up first in my face. 57 year old boomer skin (lots of sun time, no sun screen all throughout my teens) isn't the freshest dewiest skin around, but if it's well hydrated, it looks a LOT better.

The next thing I did was join Spark People. At first I lurked, but after a week or so I was jumping in with my own spark page, my own spark blog, some posts and questions on a few teams and even some spark friends. I love the nutrition tracker and I'm finding my way around the fitness tracker. I've mapped out some rewards for reaching mileposts on the weight loss journey. I even found a goal to strive for - maybe even two!

Third on my list of Things To Do to was to exercise daily. My husband walks 2 miles a day and if he has to miss a day, he just extends his 2 miles every day till he's caught up. I have joined him - though we don't always walk together, I like gyms (he hates them - shades of high school) and I also work in town, close to the gym. Plus - my boss will pay half my gym membership fee if I just go twice a week!! The benefit of this regular exercise is that I really do sleep better at night and have more energy throughout the day. I love feeling energized and active and like I can jump up and do something instead of wishing the world would go away and let me sit here with my knitting and my books.

Best of all, the scale is begining to move downward. There were some missteps at the begining of the month but after 4 weeks I've lost 2 lbs - which is half a pound a week and that is a healthy way to lose weight. Sure I'd prefer to see it move faster. I believe there will be weeks ahead when it does. But I have always claimed that Down is Down and should always be celebrated.

October has been a wonderful month for my health and I really look forward to November. Who knows where I shall be a month from now.

Happy November to you all, my spark friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAYHIKER 11/1/2009 9:57AM

    You're off to a good start, Bess! emoticon Your weight loss will probably pick up now that you are more familiar with the program and the process. The best advice I got was to WORK THROUGH the SparkStages. Hat tip to GrandmaSam for that.

Cindy emoticon

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MSLZZY 11/1/2009 8:40AM

    Down is down-very positive! WTG! Keep on walking. You're doing great!

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Counting the days - Day 11? Day 28? 2Day?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Funny about counting the days. The danger is you start living in the future - to that day when you will be somewhere you aren't right now – and I want to make sure that I count each day as the precious gift it is. That first week I needed all the little seat belts I could wrap around me as I began – yet again – to take control of things. I felt so naked, so new, so raw. I felt afraid that this would be another failed attempt at getting my body back. But I've moved into a different state of mind now. Now – I am having fun and, while I am still aiming at a goal, I'm less concerned about getting somewhere I am not and more happy with being where I am.

This happened to me once before – at least, this feeling of fear, or at least serious doubt about being able to rein in the out of control issues - bad food choices and slothful activity. 6 years ago I was 18 lbs heavier than I am now and had completely quit looking at myself in anything but my Skinny Mirror. I joined weight watchers and dropped 37 lbs and kept it off about a year or so. But then .... Ahhh. Life. It's SO easy to say “Life intervened” and in fact it did. My son got married and we put on the wedding, my husband had a heart attack, I had a stroke. My parents health failed suddenly and we had to put them in nursing homes, clean out their house and sell it – all this and more!

But. What did I think was going to happen – as the years rolled by? We would stay the same forever? We would get younger? Life would ... what ... be held in check? Goof! Life is intervening all the time – till you aren't alive any more. This IS life.

I wouldn't “count the days” if I were already thin and fit and in peak health. Oh – I might count the days till Christmas or count the days till that project was due at work, but those counting days are for making sure I stay on track. When it comes to living life, – and for sure, eating and exercise are part of living life - I want to savor them. So – if I “count” any more days on this journey to health, I believe I shall call them SavorDays, TastingDays, LusciousDays. VigorousDays. LivingDays!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 10/28/2009 10:28AM

    I like the sound of your days! Today is the day-not yesterday and not tomorrow!
Today is a gift and I will enjoy it to the fullest. Today I will have a SavorDay! Sounds like fun. emoticon

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Heart You SparkPeople - Restaurant Guide Has My Back

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Don't you love it when somebody does all the work for you? That's how I felt when I opened up my email this a.m. and found an email from SP with alink to their dining out guide?

I'm about to head off to a professional convention where I'll be staying in a hotel, eating at restaurants and getting next to no exercise - unless I remember to get up way early and take a brisk walk - something that is within the realm of possibility but which I have NEVER done before.

And here I can go, armed with caloric count info, clutched in my wee little hand. Thursday is my weigh in day and I'll do that before I leave but I'm planning on a little mini-goal for the following week - no weight gain in spite of 2 days of restaurant food and a friends retirement party.

so - Thank You Spark People! for having my (fat) back.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 10/27/2009 7:47AM

    There is so much good information on SP that it makes it much eaiser when you have to dine out! Check out the gym if the hotel has one. You might be surprised! Have a great convention!

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MVRANA 10/27/2009 7:33AM

    Good luck! Many hotels have their own gyms, so why not get up early and ride the stationary bike. I often bring reading material with me while I ride, I read.

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Finally set a goal!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I have had the worst time coming up with goals for myself – with health and fitness and body and weight and dress size goals, that is. Oh – it is easy to say “I want to be fit”, I want to feel better, be stronger, look better, even I want to get off blood pressure medicines. But what does that actually mean? Where is the measurable objective I need to get where I'm going. And, can I even get there? I might be at my optimum weight and still need blood pressure medicines.

For that matter, how will I know what my optimum weight is?

Mind now, I am a classic ENFP on the Myers Briggs scale –
- for me it's the journey, not the destination. But worse than the fact that I never seem to have any goals is how easy it is to stray off the path on any given journey because the classic motto of an ENFP is “Hey! Look! A Bird!”

No, it doesn't mean we're bird watchers, emoticon it means that even a bird flying overhead can distract us from something.

I can't think of anything I've ever wanted badly enough to say .... “By ___date I will achieve ____”

This doesn't mean I haven't wanted things and worked hard to get them. I spearheaded a library building program. I had the fanciest garden you've ever seen because I worked 20 hours a week for about 5 springs and summers and in the end Wow! Look what I had.

But there was no ticking off the items on the checklist about that garden. I just dove in and worked my little heart out and one day I looked around and thought “hey, this garden is too beautiful to keep to myself” and invited 100 people to a party.

I know that if I enter into something with joy and passion and concentration I will go far. It's really the only way I know to achieve something. Yet, like having 100 guests in my garden, I would like something I can point at to say “Hey – look! A goal – achieved!”

So. I've really been thinking hard and eventually, digging deep into my past I found a goal I want to achieve. For 20 years I stayed slim and trim and I had a great wardrobe. As time passed and the dress size went up, I held on to one special dress – one beautiful simple classic cotton sun-dress that, when I wore it, always made me fell like a princess – like a beautiful woman. I know I weighed about 143 lbs. when I wore that dress and so I have set that weight as my target weight. But the goal? The goal is to be able to wear that dress again.

I ought to be able to get there by mid-May, so I've set a single goal of wearing it on Mother's Day 2010. I may be able to wear it sooner. I am sure there will be other victories along the way – both Scale Victories and Non Scale Victories. But, like the day I had 100 friends in my beautiful garden, I will know I have arrived when I can button up that wonderful dress and wear it someplace. And when I wear it, I'll have my photograph taken and post it for all the world to see.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 10/25/2009 11:44AM

    Wonderful blog! And beautiful garden. I look forward to seeing you in that dress!

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Days 6 and 7 – Settling into the Plan

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I've been working with the SP Meal Plan now for a week and every day I like it more. It's a little clunkier when I use it from home since I have satellite Internet at home and this weekend is rainy. Even that's turning out to be a small matter, since each day i find I like SP more so I have more patience. It was a tremendous relief yesterday to be in complete control of my meals. I've found it easy to swap out things I don't want for things I do – things that are already in the house for things I'd have to buy. I even suspect my grocery bill will go down with the weekly shopping list in my hand. I don't have to buy Total or Cheerios (or even eat them!) ever week. This week's bill came to about $50 – and it included some extra things for the NDH in the house. Of course, it also did not include 4 meals I will be eating at a hotel later in the week but we will quibble over these matters. I didn't join SP to save money – but to loose. To Loose weight and flab and sluggishness and perhaps even Lipator or hydrochlorothiazideHydrochlorothiazide. Heh heh. No. I don't know how to spell that, I cut and pasted it. LOL

I still feel like I'm learning my way around the site – figuring out what I want to track, setting up the trackers, seeking out teams and friends and maybe someday – a neighbor or two. I've been working out the schedule and logistics of an ideal fitness routine. I am not one who dislikes exercise – I actually love it and have often ridden the high of endorphins pumping through my blood stream. And ;for all that I have suffered recently from high blood pressure, when I had a heart stress test, the cardiologist whistled and said “I can tell you work out!”

My biggest barriers to exercise are time, distance and the dreadful soft water in town – for though I could get up early and exercise before I go to work – (I am an early bird) if I really get sweaty I have to wash my hair in town where the soft water makes my thin hair cling like saran wrap to my head. I am not showing myself in public with saran wrap hair.

But I'm holding to that motto – Do it, and worry about doing it perfectly later. So I'm exercising regularly – and when I get my perfect routine hammered out – well, I'll just be one step closer to .... oh. Yes. And then there is the goal thing. Just what the heck are my goals. Ahh. Well. Even if I don't have a specific goal with measurable objectives (can you tell I write 5-year plans at my job?) I know I want to be someplace better than where I am and I know that I'm headed that way.

So. Happy first week to me. It's been a challenge, an adventure, and a whole lot of fun.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 10/26/2009 10:41PM

    Keep thinking-you'll come up with somthing that fits you!

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