Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Oh my - 2013 is one tenth over and I'm just barely formulating my plans for it. It's not that I've been idle. It's just that it's hard to put into words exactly what I think I need to do. But I'll try.
First I must give some special credit to a wonderful SparkBlogger, Pixi-Licious www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=PI
who's posts have struck such a chord of sympathetic resonance in me that I am forming my plan around her vision. She has chosen to focus all her efforts on living one healthy day at a time and that's just what I want to do too.
I know we're all supposed to be doing this. I know that being "on a diet" is a trap that can only get you so far before it turns and snaps shut on you. I know that my lifestyle has to be a healthy one. But the truth is, getting to healthy includes both subtraction and addition. I confess that my efforts are mostly of the subtraction persuasion. I take away the donuts from my life. I take away the french fries. I subtract the Cheetos from my day. And I'm okay with that. That's what I have to do to get to the healthy weight I want to get to.
But if I spend the rest of this journey focusing only on what I have to take away - I think when I get to my goal I'll very quickly add them all back and very quickly add those lbs back as well. I want to concentrate more on the addition aspect so that when I'm at goal I'll have all sorts of wonderful things that I'm already adding that are as much fun as I used to think those donuts, french fries and Cheetos were. This way I won't turn into a sucking vortex drawing back inside all the things that are UNhealthy for me.
So. What's the plan?
I plan to continue doing all the good things I'm already doing - tracking, water, exercise, meditation, educating myself .... but I want to do them all under the umbrella of One Healthy Day at a Time. Each morning, as part of my wake up routine, I will remind myself that for this one day I will choose healthy things. At each meal I'll ask myself the same thing - as if it were a part of saying grace. And as the day goes on, if I can convince myself that I need Cheetos - if my spirit, mind, psyche, even if my body really needs Cheetos - well - then I will have some. I'll track them. I'll own them. I'll savor them. I will really HAVE THOSE CHEETOS (or blueberry donut).
And then I won't have any more.
I'm not trying to live like an ascetic. I just want to live like a really healthy person - healthy in every aspect. A healthy person knows the difference between a snack - which is nutrition - and a treat - which is like a birthday. Birthdays are only once a year. Even a fairly big family is going to celebrate only a few of these every year. That's the way my treats are going to be. Rare enough to really feel fabulous.
I actually began doing this on Saturday the 16th so I am starting day 5 of my streak and from now on I'll put that in my status report till I figure out how to put it in the Spark Streak section.
So Happy Healthy Living One Day At A Time.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
So - when you were a kid did you pretend you were a magician and stir up a magic potent. Did you wish you had a homework drink that would give you speedy homework finishing powers? How about one to make you smart enough to make straight As? Did you dream about the elixir that would make you beautiful? strong? rich? fast? Something that would turn you invisible or let you fly? That would bring your dolls to life or activate your G I Joe or Masters of the Universe action figures?
I was prompted to remember those days and those longings after reading today's dailySpark blog on energy drinks.
Those things really creep me out. Fear not - this won't turn into a rant, mostly because rants stem from a failure to control other people while I believe we all have free will and don't get much out of letting others tell us what to do. Nevertheless, energy drinks really make my flesh crawl.
Yes. I am a black pot commenting on a kettle's ebony hue. I do drink coffee. Cookies pass my lips at an alarming rate. I can quickly fall victim to the siren song of the Cheeto bag.
It's just that I don't expect coffee, cookies or Cheetos to make me feel stronger, healthier, more powerful - to give me 'quick' energy. I might foolishly want them to comfort me, to make me feel like the booboo is all fixed - even to indulge some urge to disobey, to break some constraining rule - to resist a truth that I don't like. But junk food and junk drinks are always going to be just that - junk - and to paraphrase the old computer data adage - junk in, junk out.
Fortunately, the packaging in those energy drinks also offends me, creeps me out, turns me off. The black and silver and red zig zags streaking across the back view of some model's biceps; the red and yellow star bursts - these colors and shapes have a hostile look (to me) that are enough to keep me from even walking down those display aisles, much less picking up the product. Even the energy bars and protein bars are packaged that way and if I decide to buy one I have to make myself pick it up and read its label. Usually I put it back, too and hunt around for a banana.
That packaging is supposed to make the consumer feel like she has aggressive power - that she can beat the other, win the contest and yes, resist constraints. Mostly, though, it makes me feel like it's encouraging a world of bullies and victims. It's the food equivalent of those old 90 pound weakling ads for weight lifting programs that used to be in the back of comic books.
I am SO grateful that I've come to the point in life where if I want energy I think Dark Leafy Greens and if I want stamina I think Protein.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
Man, I knew 2013 was different, but I didn't think my verbal skills would dry up so completely. This seems to be the year of intuition, not reason. It feels as if I were winging it all the time. Which, as I said, was want I wanted to do - to hook into the flow and let it whisk me along. I just didn't think it was going to leave my brain so ... non-verbal. I written only one blog post on my personal blog and that was just the same old update I posted here a few weeks ago.
And now, of a sudden, it's February already. Time for some sort of progress report.
I'm still not at goal and I don't yet feel like I have the right tweaks I need to get there. But I am back at the gym on my beloved regular schedule. I had to cancel 2 sessions with the trainer but we met last Thursday and had the best session on strengthening my back. He gave me 4 new exercises that I am going to love incorporating into my routine. I was also pleased that when I went in earlier in the week, after a long hiatus, I was able to press 2 15 lb dumbells, 3 reps of 10. Yay Me!
Also, some weight lifting goals have been surfacing, murkily, like the little messages that you see in a Magic8 ball
I would like to be able to to do push-ups. Complete, all the way down to the ground, plank position push ups. I would like to be able to do 25 of them. With ease.
And I would like to be able to do pull-ups.
When I was in high school, those were the hardest exercises I was ever asked to do. I never actually did the plank push-ups - we were only ever asked to do what were called 'women's' push-ups. And of course, nobody ever worked us hard at this - we were quickly divided into ball teams and made to play games. That's right. That's how I felt - just as we were starting to have fun, I was forced to play a stupid game.
I would have LOVED being taught about and pushed hard towards body building type exercises but I hated ball games. I wasn't interested in winning any dumb game. I was curious about and interested in becoming a better me. I still am. Note - I will be watching the superbowl, not playing in it.
So. Just one more great thing about growing up - you get to study what you want. By bathing suit season - which is June 1 around here - I plan to be able to do both push-ups and pull-ups. Multiple push-ups and pull-ups. And I will buy myself a new bathing suit as a reward. I already have lots of bathing suits, one of them new last summer, so aNOTHer bathing suit really is an indulgence. It feels like a reward.
Last fall the Weight Watcher's version of the fitbit finally hit the market and I snapped one up.
I have not had much luck with pedometers. Pricey or cheap, they last only a little while and then break on me. This has left me a little jaded about tracking gadgetry but hope is the little fire that leaps up at the slightest breeze and I plunked down my $. It costs less than half of a fitbit but it has a monthly fee of $5. It syncs your stats with your Weight Watcher eTools though, so it tracks my activity for me.
But the thing I like about the tracker is that it pushes me to to be active all day long. I have never had much trouble "exercising". I just didn't realize the toll I paid by being sedentary the rest of the day. In fact, I would have told you I'm pretty active all day. Only ... I am not. Or .. rather ... I was not. Just wearing this little tracker reminds me to get up out of my chair and go someplace. Walking to the restaurant instead of driving, stepping out in the afternoon for a stroll around town, and yeah yeah, I know, parking at the back of the parking lot - these things make a huge difference in my overall activity scores.
I know there are other monitors that do more - for example the Fitbit tracks your sleep. But this is enough for me right now. I chose to go along with their suggested program when I first bought my little tracker. I'm at week 9 of a 12 week goal to get a certain amount of activity into every day. It will be fun to see what they come up with after this and to see what sorts of goals I can actually choose for myself.
The really good news, of course, is that this tracker has lasted longer than any other electronic body monitor I've ever owned. 9 weeks?! That's a record.
And so - that is where I am right now - in the deep mid-winter of February. I want to leave you with a link to one of the most powerful blog posts about body image I have ever read. Most of you will have seen this because it's going viral right now all over the blogspehere but I want to do my part to share it here. It's called:
SO YOU'RE FEELING TOO FAT TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED
Get An Email Alert Each Time BESSHAILE Posts