Monday, April 28, 2008
Tomorrow is exactly one year since I began my SP journey. I've had ups and downs, but overall, I am absolutely thrilled with how I have done. A peer in one of my classes even told me I was her inspiration to get herself back in shape. Amazing.
This one year anniversary comes at such a critical time for me. I've been in a "somewhat off the wagon" stage for about three months, never fully recovering from comprehensive exam time. In the last 90 days, I've secured a (real person) job, found housing for the summer, identified a potential roommate for the next year, helped plan two bachelorette parties and bridal showers, studied for and passed two comprehensive exams, and basically survived my last semester of graduate school. I discovered that I can generally stay within my "personal allotted range" by exercising almost every day, but my food intake has not been stellar. I've also realized that I am terrified of maintenance at my goal weight.
To be honest, I have not officially made it to my goal of 140 (140.2...so close!). So here we go, with 20 days left of graduate school, I am off to pack my lunch for tomorrow, get myself off this slippery slope. I'm going to BE that inspiration and get to 140 in the near future.
Doesn't matter how many times we fall--only how many times we pick ourselves back up.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
1. Had a much needed conversation with a very important person in my life.
2. Facilitated a support group meeting for adults who have suffered strokes or head injuries and now suffer from aphasia*. We did introductions around the room (some folks were new, others have been involved for over 15 years!), each sharing something about ourselves, our experience with aphasia, or even just something that happened to us that week.
The most life-changing part of this time for me was the last five minutes of my already-ten-minutes-too-long session. The third to last participant, a man clearly in his thirties, started to introduce himself but then quickly said "Pass." I agreed to let him pass and told him we'd come back to him. Two other participants spoke for a few minutes and we went back to this individual. I gave him a cloze sentence ("My name is ______.") to help him get started because I wasn't sure of his cognitive-linguistic level. He added another short sentence but then stopped, clearly not wanting to fall apart in front of the group. The woman sitting to his right said to him, "Just one more sentence. You can do it."
He looked up at her, and then at the group, and he cried as he told the story of his aphasia in agrammatic fashion to the point where I am still not positive what had happened to him. That wasn't the point. Understanding his story fully wasn't the point. The point was that he was trying, and the amazing survivors in my group went to his side, encouraged him, and promised him that he would make improvements every single day if he kept trying.
I was lucky enough to also have students from another college, an undergraduate student from my university, AND a speech-language pathology supervisor from another college all there to observe this truly amazing moment. The supervisor inched forward and whispered in my ear, "This is my favorite part." I turned to her and my glassy eyes met hers. I looked across the circle and the other students, and many of the participants, were smiling and tearing in that "This is a magical time" kind of way. There is nothing better than watching people who have been there step up and provide hope.
So this second thing wasn't truly something I did, but rather something I was blessed to be a part of.
I am so lucky.
*Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person's ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others, and most people with aphasia experience difficulty reading and writing (www.aphasia.org).
Saturday, January 19, 2008
So today I got up and had no desire to go to the gym. I have to walk .75 miles each way and I just did not want to do it. Don't make me, don't make me, don't make me.
I reluctantly got out of bed and did a little of this, a little of that. Finding Facebook bumper stickers becomes the most important thing in life when there's something else that I really need to get done. I had zero motivation...except to find those stickers.
But then, I put on my new workout clothes, and something clicked. Yeah, they're clothes I've had for about three weeks, but I always forget how awesome they are until I put them on again. Magically, I felt energized. I had on Nike pants that are stretchy and warm and a Nike breathable shirt and zip up. I was ready.
Or so I thought, until I put on my socks. I have these Addidas odor resistant socks that wick moisture and are just an absolute joy to wear. Post-workout, I don't feel like I'm peeling my socks off like I do when wearing regular athletic socks. They are glorious. I ran around the Esplanade. It was excellent.
So, my message today is, if you've been working out for a while in old (and maybe baggy?) t-shirts and yoga pants, it's time to spoil yourself. I know, I know...you don't want to buy new workout clothes that you'll just ingrow (the opposite of outgrow, naturally). Well, then go find yourself a sale. Find a Target, Kohl's, or Marshalls, and buy yourself some nice, new, motivating workout clothes.
Or at least invest in the socks.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Never in my entire life have I been a size 8. Ever. I went from shopping in kids, to wearing a sizes 9, 11, and 13 in juniors, to 14 in women's. But never a size 8.
Until this weekend.
My birthday is next Thursday, so when I went home to visit last weekend, my mother and I went shopping on her dime. I was in desperate need of new pants and bras, so I was pretty excited.
Size 8 dress pants. Size 10 jeans. Medium shirts. And let's just say "much smaller bras." Oh. My. Goodness.
Adding to my glee were all the compliments I got at home. In an effort to continue tracking my "highs," I'll just state that everyone was shocked. My own family told me they didn't even recognize me anymore; when I was checking on dinner in the oven (SP recipe!) and my mother came in the door, she asked my sister, "Who is that?" Crazy!
AND, today at my clinical placement, my supervisor (who only just met me a month ago) and I were discussing the high correlation between voice disorders and morbid obesity and I commented that seeing it so often was a great motivator to get in shape. She actually turned to me and said, "You are in shape!" ME? IN SHAPE?
I still have a few more pounds to lose, but more than anything I'd like to tone up some areas, particularly my upper body and trunk. Life is awesome. For anyone just embarking on this journey, know that it is all worth it.
Also, please consider sponsoring me as I "Walk for Autism Research" this weekend. Even if you cannot donate money, do a little bit of research on www.autismspeaks.com and heighten your awareness about this truly special population of children and their families. There is no greater joy than helping a child succeed.
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