Thursday, June 17, 2010
I've seen an increase in mentions of "sorry this blog is about..." in people's blogs lately. (Maybe I've just been paying attention to it more.) Some refuse to apologize, others apologize profusely. So it's got me thinking about SP Blogs and what they're good for.
First off, the vocabulary of the thing:
Blog is short for weblog, and I like this definition from dictionary.com --
a personal Web site that provides updated headlines and news articles of other sites that are of interest to the user, also may include journal entries, commentaries and recommendations compiled by the user
On Spark you can find all sorts of blogs, but it seems that the unwritten consensus is that blogs are there to inspire others and share helpful weightloss and fitness information. "Not so!" I argue. A blog is a personal thing, just as your "journey" here is personal. And while inspiring others is an added bonus, often leading people to be nominated SparkPeople Motivator, the important thing to focus on, I think, is the personal. What your blog needs to do for you. What YOU need to say. How what you type will help YOU achieve your goals.
There are all sorts of blogs on here too!
You've got the helpful blogs. You've got story blogs. You've got the check-in blogs. You've got food blogs. You've got the goal/weigh-in blogs. You've also got the bad day blogs, which I posted about before. You've got question blogs. And there are happy blogs too!
Length varies too! Some people are the blog every day with one or two lines. A quick check-in and hello, if you will. Others (like me, usually) write lengthy book-sized (or at least short-story-sized) blogs. These people tend to be the writerly type.
And I'm sure there are more you can think of (Vlogs are horses of a different color altogether). The point is, blogs are as different as the people who write them are from one another. What works for you may not work for me.
But the purpose of the blog is to motivate you, not someone else. It's about what you need to say and what you need to get off your chest. For me, I write what I'm thinking about most days because, otherwise, it will hound me until I actually do write it down. It'll keep me up at night asking why I didn't care enough about it to share it with all of you. Sure, I hope some of it helps you now and again. But that's not what it's about. (Like today...I know, right? Another blog about blogs? WTF, dude? Whatever, it wouldn't leave me alone so there it is...do what you want with it.)
A lot of these "sorry" posts I see come because people type out what I call "the life blog" or "the journal entry." Remember when you were 10 and your sister was mean to you and nobody seemed to care, so you pulled out your little leather-bound notebook with a lock (that never worked right) and pulled out a pen and you poured your guts into the little diary? You felt better when you tucked it back into its hidey-hole because you had released that energy and made room for something else. (Usually going back and trying to play with your sister again...even though she's "a mean poopy-head!") It was just the same when you got a crush or had a good day or something exciting happened or you got something you wanted for a really long time. You told your diary because you wanted to remember that on the 25th of December, 1994 you received a box set that included a Nintendo game system, Super Mario Bros. 3 game and Duck Hunt with a gun!
When those diaries went viral, like here on SP, other people got to share in your triumphs and miseries, and you made some friends out of it. You may have even found yourself with a popular blog post sticker... because blogs inspire us, whether you're trying to inspire us or not. What you need to write might be exactly what we needed to hear. What you ate for lunch might be what we want to try for dinner. What you are going through with your spouse might be the same situation me and mine are in. Or you make me giggle. Or smile. Or cry.
But, be all and end all, that blog was about you - not me. And while inspiring others may inspire you to continue growing, it's not about that...at least I don't think so. Thanks for the tears or laughter or the great idea, but I hope you remember to get as much out of your blogs as you can. They keep you honest with yourself. They show you what you've done, where you've come from, where you're going, and what you still need to know. They tell you what occupies your thoughts most days...and let you know if you should reassess how much time you think about THIS or THAT thing. It's like therapy for the soul...so learn and grow from it. And stop apologizing!
Keep writing...and do it for you!
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Okay, so I can check off one of my SIYC goals!
Tonight I contacted my insurance company's Weight Management program. Turns out I DID sign up a couple years ago but I never actually got started with the program. The guy I talked to said that he didn't think this would disqualify for me for the program now. (They have a stipulation that states "if you begin the program and then quit/stop, you don't get another chance" basically.) He seemed to think I should be fine getting qualified for the program!
So what does that mean? For the first three months I'll pay $45 a month for services. This includes not only membership at a gym of my choosing (from their list), but regular visits with a registered dietitian, a physical workup and regular checkups of my progress, and a personal trainer! What's more, if I stick with it, the six months after those first initial months -- only $14 a month! SCORE!!
So, since I will have to make a decision as to where I want to work out -- I could use a bigger gym near work in the city, there are at least 5 within a 20 mile radius of my office - one within walking distance in the hospital across the street, or I could just use the gym by my house. There are advantages to both. -- I decided to visit the gym by my house first to see if they even had the equipment I would need to work out. (Hey, I'm a big girl! If they don't have the good stuff, I'll be over the weight capacity limit of the machines - like that chick who got kicked off the machines at her gym.) I was SOOOO nervous to go in there. I haven't been in a gym since I was like 15 or so. (I *loved* going to the gym back then and have missed even the sweat smell of it! *lol*)
I walk in even more nervous when I pulled up, as a truck pulls up with me and two hot young studs get out and head in, running into a really buff young stud coming out fully sweaty. "UGH!" I thought. "It's one of THOSE gyms!" I went in anyways.
I go up to the girl at the front and before I can say anything, this tall sweaty, well built guy looks at the two girls up front and says, "I think I'm pregnant." *lol* Anyhow, then I said to the girl, "Yeah, I just wanted to see, first of all, if you have the right equipment for a person like me." She started doing this nodding/shaking her head thing...I couldn't tell if she was saying yes or no, so I asked. "I just don't know what you mean," she said. "Well," I said, "I weigh 390 pounds right now and..." She interrupted, "So? None of us is perfect here." That's when I knew that I could totally find myself at this gym! *love* that!
She then encouraged me to tour the gym all I wanted. She said I could even try out some of the aerobic class that was going on (too bad I wasn't wearing the right clothes! *lol*). It's not an incredibly large gym, but they do have a racquetball court, a sauna, locker rooms, tons of weight lifting equipment (we have a huge HS sports program in this area so that wasn't surprising) and a few treadmills downstairs. Then upstairs they have a TON of elliptical machines and treadmills (and maybe some bikes, I didn't see them but I'm sure they're there) and some stair-step machines...and surrounding it all is an indoor track. And then there is a room where they do classes -- line dancing, low and high impact aerobics, zumba, yoga (EEP!!), bellydancing, all sorts of stuff! It was much more than I expected.
So the point to all this --- keep your fingers crossed that I pass eligibility screening and get to participate in this program. They keep it open to me as long as I use it. (And, little secret...even if they don't let me in the program, I might still join the gym...it's only 38 bucks a month! Not too shabby!!) But, still, the extra support would be friggin' awesome!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
~*~SIYC CHALLENGE TEMPLATE FOR ACTIVITIES FROM 6/15-6/19~*~
For the next five days, I am going to exercise at least 60 minutes each and every day!
For the next five days, I will (not attempt, but WILL) do 2 sets of 20 crunches every day.
For the next five days, I will let go of the "don't have" attitude and focus on what I do have, what I can do, and what changes I can make to make what I want come about.
In the next five days, I will log all of my food and exercise, honestly, and weigh in daily so I can see the truth in where I need to improve.
For the next five days, I will blast out of my comfort zone by starting the day off with at least a mini-workout. Every day. No excuses.
On each of the next five days, I will go out of my way to make time to encourage at least 1 person on my team, to get to know them better, and to fight forward together! (In addition, I will encourage 3 new members and visit 5 friends I haven't heard from in a little while.)
I will ask my AB! team members and my Spark Friends to stop by my spark page and HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE for what I SAY I'm going to DO!
The best way to motivate me is to remind me that EXCUSES are for LOSERS and I am NOT a LOSER.
At some point this week, I will go to the gym and ASK THEM whether their equipment will work for me and FIND OUT what the MEMBERSHIP PRICES are to see if I can afford it.
I AM READY FOR THE FINAL LAP BEFORE SUMMER BEGINS!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I fell apart last night. Honestly, I did. I threw a temper tantrum in my kitchen while I prepared Ranch Cheddar Burgers (which everyone loved - even Ethan who snubbed his nose at them when he saw the green onion, but went back for a second one after the first one was inhaled. You can find the recipe at SparkRecipes - I'd only suggest reducing the amount of dry ranch dressing mix to maybe half an envelope...it was a little overkill for my taste).
"I have to do everything around here!"
"You sit around doing nothing all day and get paid more than me!"
"I'm at some worthless desk job that I hate where there's drama all day and I drive an hour to get there and an hour back when I really would rather be at home weeding the garden or walking or going swimming, or even sleeping for those two hours!"
"And I went to college for nothing...you know that? I did everything right. I did what I was supposed to. I worked full-time and I went to school full-time, and I worked for the paper - which I hate most days, but I do it because it's a writing gig and is supposed to make my resume look better."
"And I get paid pennies for the work I do. And I hate it. I just hate it."
"I got every honor I could have gotten in college. Summa Cum Laude, top in my class. Seriously - what more could I have done! I was the friggin' president of TWO honor societies, for crying out loud!"
"And I maintained a 4.0 for three years! THREE YEARS of busting my butt and not getting enough sleep and feeling like I was going to fall apart...for what?"
"Oh, I know...so I can sit at the same desk I was at before and do the same meaningless work I did before. And be everyone's B($ at work! Now they've got me working in another department where I've added a ton more work and training and two more bosses, basically."
"How much is one person supposed to take on without getting a raise? Oh, but I forgot - I'm just a stupid state government employee who does nothing and the stupid taxpayers in this po-dunk state have decided that we don't NEED raises, because...you know, we don't even really DO anything."
"Maybe the rest of the people don't do anything - but I do stuff! I'm constantly doing stuff! I'm stretched to the max working in 3 different departments and trying to wear 40 different hats...but the taxpayers decide that I'm not even worth a teachers salary. At least they get the summers off!"
"Don't I deserve more than this? Who decided that this is all I'm worth? Why did they get to decide? I put in resume after resume and nothing. No calls. No emails. NOTHING. I spend hours looking for work - and there are plenty of postings in the publishing field right now, let me tell you - but apparently I'm not good enough for them. Why not? Why can't I ever be good enough for something worthwhile?"
"What am I good for? I wasn't good enough for grad school...now I'm not good enough for a job in any field remotely related to what I want to do with my life? Why did I go through three years of hell if I wasn't good enough for anything?"
It went on like that for about 20 minutes or so. Sobbing and slamming patties together to stick on the grill. (I'm a great multitasker.) But then, just as suddenly as it had begun, it was over.
Now I have no idea what is going on. I know I'm stressing right now over work (duh! that's obvious) and the fact that hubby is doing something for himself on the internet and making more money than me most days...and I just got my check where they took out like 1/3 of it for taxes and insurance...which he doesn't have to pay. I've been working toward one singular goal for so long and nothing has turned out like it was supposed to. And now I'm just stagnant. And I *hate* being stagnant. Before this job I didn't stay anywhere longer than 8 months because I couldn't take the stagnant feeling of it. I've been where I am now for nearly 4 years and I'm done. I was done years ago, but I held onto it because they let me go to school and I thought that would mean something some day. But now I'm here twiddling my thumbs and wondering whether it was all worth it or not.
I am SO hoping that outburst was due to the injection of hormones I was given on Friday (Depo shot), but if not I'm not sure what to do. I'm doing what I can to find a job - and having a husband who isn't really "working" and two kids to support, I can't do what I want to do and just pack up and leave. So I'm in limbo. Stagnant.
All this made it very hard to get out of bed this morning. I haven't done anything I should be doing yet. I didn't get my walk in yet, either - which irks me. All I really wanted to do was to wake up somewhere else - NYC maybe ...to put on my gear and take a early morning walk in Central Park before showering, jumping on the subway and heading to my office in a really tall and shiny building, busting my butt all day - ordering in for lunch from a terrific deli that is probably just right across the street - and then walking the many blocks home to get some extra exercise in. At home I would cook a fabulous healthy dinner, feed my family, and then catch up on some emails or something until it was time for bed. Instead, I woke up in my fake panelled room with the sound of rain and gloom outside, fog rolling in making it hard to catch your breath, laundry half done, a toilet that doesn't like to flush, and countless other annoyances. It will get better...or it won't. I just wish I knew where my hole was right now...
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