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The Last Marathon

Sunday, October 02, 2011

"The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work."
-Harry Golden






My brother John running Twin Cities Marathon, October 2nd, 2011--he is in the green tank top.



Today was Twin Cities Marathon. It was a perfect day for my brother to run, and I'm glad the weather was perfect, because today he ran his 6th and last marathon. My brother has bone tumors covering most of his body and has already battled bone cancer at the age of 30. Despite the pain, occasional paralysis, and the naysayers, he ran. Because all the cards were stacked against him, he ran. Despite doctors telling him it was physically impossible for him to run, he ran. Despite the risk that he may have a spontaneous bone fracture in his leg, he ran.

My brother has been coming to kickboxing with me, and that has been a good bonding experience for us. We've finally been having real conversations for the first time in our adult lives. At kickboxing a few weeks ago, John told me that Twin Cities Marathon would be his last marathon. He told me this with defeat in his eyes. Because my brother doesn't like the slightest hint of pity, I just nodded and said, "Okay," and then we continued kicking and punching. I know it was huge for him to come to terms with this decision and to say it out loud.

He ran his last marathon today without hitting a wall and finished in 3:43:43. I am extremely proud of him, both for the race and for accepting a limit within himself.

Here is my blog entry "Intentional Passion, Unintentional Inspiration" that explains more about my brother's situation, and his unwitting inspiration:


www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4339023





"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional."
-M. Kathleen Casey

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEONALIONESS 10/3/2011 2:45PM

    I cried.

Tell him he is SO inspirational.
I'll be thinking of your brother when I run my 4th marathon this Sunday in Portland. When it gets rough, I'm going to dig deeper. Because he ran. And so will I.



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ALISHAB3 10/3/2011 1:12PM

    I'm so sorry to hear about his condition. I would definitely be kicking and punching something if I couldn't run anymore. I don't think anyone would want to be around for that. He must really trust you to be able to say it. And, what an athlete he is, 3:43 is a great time! Don't give him a hug for me, that would just be too hard, but know that both of you are in my prayers tonight. emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 10/3/2011 9:55AM

    "Despite the pain, occasional paralysis, and the naysayers, he ran. Because all the cards were stacked against him, he ran. Despite doctors telling him it was physically impossible for him to run, he ran. Despite the risk that he may have a spontaneous bone fracture in his leg, he ran."

Yes he did. He.Ran. Emerson says, "That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." And I think that so beautifully reflects a part of your brother's success.

Based upon who you two are, I'd love to know more about your parents!!!
emoticon
Maha
Your pursuit of excellence somehow reminds me of this daughter and father-focused article by Tiffany Shlain that I read this morning that you might enjoy:

http://www.dailygood.
org/view.php?sid=95

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/3/2011 1:49AM

    Wow...your brother is absolutely amazing..Truly an inspiration.

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CANNIE50 10/2/2011 11:06PM

    When I read about your brother, I cry. I don't cry with pity, but with admiration. He is amazing. You are amazing.

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JITZUROE 10/2/2011 8:44PM

    You are a GREAT sister to him and a wonderful supporting cheerleader for him! Congrats to your brother!
What an amazing feat!
I am going to check out your links now..
Bren

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APIRLRAIN888 10/2/2011 7:52PM

    so awesome so inspirational great job

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KKINNEA 10/2/2011 6:07PM

    Sounds like your brother did fantastic and you are a great sister to be out there supporting him! I never would have seen him - too far back in time - but would have loved to run with him for a little while!

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FANGFACEKITTY 10/2/2011 5:24PM

    emoticon emoticon
Your brother is an inspiration to us all!

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TRILLIUM22 10/2/2011 4:31PM

    You have one special brother. Love each other. emoticon

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EMRANA 10/2/2011 2:49PM

  Wow, that's a great time he put up! I'm very impressed.

I also love the support you are giving your brother, and how you handled his decision. You're a sweet sister.

emoticon

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1HAPPYWOMAN 10/2/2011 2:46PM

    I really appreciate that you didn't burden your brother with pity. It's a great gift you have, to be so insightful and tuned in to other people's needs.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BECKY3774 10/2/2011 2:37PM

    Now that I'm bawling my eyes out from reading this and the previous blog, I have a brand new perspective on things. I wish your brother the best, and he's lucky to have such a loving sister. (And vice-versa)

emoticon

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Weight Loss is a Sport

Friday, September 30, 2011

"For each individual, sport is a possible source for inner improvement."
-Pierre de Coubertin



Most sports have a pre-season during which athletes prepare their bodies for the tough task of their sport. Then there is "peak" training during the on-season. Many athletes try to maintain their "peak" throughout the season, although this is a physically unrealistic goal. A "peak" can only be maintained for a few weeks, after which the body will revert slightly and then maintain. Then athletes can let loose a little bit during the off-season. This doesn't mean they go to town and totally decondition themselves, but they lay off the really strict workout schedule and get a little more laid back about their diets. Most conditioned athletes focus on maintaining their weight within a few pounds, despite cycling through varying levels of activity.

My sport is kickboxing, and although there is not a particular season, kickboxers train harder at some times more than others. I go through phases where I focus intensely on technique and may not be focusing so much on endurance. At other times, I try to build my aerobic conditioning. Kickboxing is considered an anaerobic activity, in that there are 2-3 minute bursts of powerful activity, followed by a short rest, so kickboxers build power through drills and strength training. My training program is always varied, and workouts and even my diet will be different based on the particular goals I am trying to reach.

I have taken this idea of "cycling" from athletic training to my approach to weight loss. Rather than viewing weight loss as a single phase, I view it merely as a part of athletic training. I will have "peak training" phases, and I have "off-season" phases. I know I gained weight due to extreme behavior, so it is natural to transfer this all-or-none thinking to weight loss. I find the thought of losing over 100 pounds while being perfect all of the time to be impossible, unrealistic, and well, no fun. I have approached weight loss with "peak" and "off-peak" training, although it had taken a long time to find that balance.

I approach weight loss like a sport. Just like training for anything else, we can't peak all of the time. People who are losing weight seem to expect consistently high performance levels more than a lot of high-level athletes that I know. For some reason, those of us seeking to lose weight expect that we should be able to work out heavily and eat perfectly all the time. If we are perfect all of the time, our weight loss will be consistent and linear. I'm sure most of us have experienced that this is not the case, and the process becomes disheartening. It is also mentally taxing to constantly be in major weight loss mode. I am trying to minimize the guesswork, surprises, and mental anguish by creating plateaus myself, cycled around various fitness training goals.

I have several reasons for purposefully "cycling" my weight loss. Most people focus on "weight loss" first, and then on trying to "tone" muscles. I believe that building muscle mass first (yes, the dreaded "bulking up") helps prevent sagging skin and prepares the body to maintain weight. Weight cannot be maintained if we have the same metabolism we had when we were overweight. I have taken the past 2 months to build some major muscle mass, while primarily maintaining my body weight. Why the heck would anybody purposely bulk up? Granted, I am kind of my own experiment here, I think I'm better off building a bunch of muscle mass now to support fat loss. The body can't support a lot of weight loss while simultaneously building muscle, so I chose to focus on building muscle mass for a while. I can now feel rock-hard muscles in my arms, but of course, they are covered with a lot of fat. I have also been able to do more strength training with my legs and can see some nice muscle cuts coming out (albeit, again, covered with fat); I plan on returning to heavy lower body strength training and feel my knee can handle it. Interestingly, my measurements did not change over the last 2 months, but clothes fit better. I guess the change in my body shape and the changes in the muscles made a difference. I will do a few months of working on fat loss, and then return to maintaining for a couple of months while building up muscle mass again. I am working on a blog about muscle hypertrophy and will try to post in the next couple of weeks.

My line of thinking and long-held suspicion about "traditional" weight loss rules and metabolic flexibility is now finally backed up by some science. We see it all over SparkPeople all the time, "I'm eating like I should, I'm exercising, the scale isn't budging!" The old "3,500 calorie deficit=1 pound loss" line of thinking appears to be fairly flawed. I eat towards the high end of my calorie range, if not slightly above it, and I have either been having small losses or maintaining throughout this muscle-building process. I actually try to err of the side of overeating (not binging, though), because my muscles are better off dealing with a little extra fuel rather than not having enough fuel to recover. In any case, when I am in "weight loss mode," I eat towards the very high end of my calorie range, if not a little more, while burning about 5,000 calories a week through training and activity. If I ate too little while ripping up my muscles with kickboxing and weight lifting, my metabolism would slow down due to loss of muscle mass combined with inadequate nutrients for muscle recovery.

In any case, here is the article about the outdated "3,500 calorie deficit" rule (I realized I posted it to the second page of the article in my blog post last week):


www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/health/20
brody.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=gener
al&src=me



Overall, these "purposeful plateaus" are intended to increase my metabolic flexibility, and while the process may take a bit longer, I think my weight loss will be healthier because I am avoiding losing a lot of muscle mass. Weight loss tends to slow down as people lose weight because they lose muscle mass, which causes the metabolism to be sluggish. Inefficiency in metabolizing fuel sources (carbs, fat, or glycogen stores) leads to metabolic inflexibility. Increased metabolic inflexibility leads to increased inflammation in the body, and when coupled with a loss in muscle mass, weight loss becomes very frustrating. Here is the blog I wrote a while ago talking about metabolic flexibility:


www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_pu
blic_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=44
16891



Well, my plateau is over, and I am about to bring it hard core with the fat loss. I am starting at a new kickboxing gym today, and I will be able to attend Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) training 3-4 days per week, not just 1 day. It will be intense, but nothing got me into shape faster.

Fifty pounds down is not that far out of my reach--I just need to bring it. This is my season.



"Sports do not build character. They reveal it."
-John Wooden

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALISHAB3 10/2/2011 10:58PM

    I love reading your blog. You inspire me. Btw, you are right, cycling is extremely effective in weight loss. Check out Leigh Peele's Fat Loss troubleshoot e book. She goes into that with great detail, but basically you are on the right track. I cycle throughout my week even during my weight loss phase. I have 2-3 days of calorie deficit then one day of eating without any deficit, rinse and repeat 2x a week.

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CANNIE50 10/1/2011 11:14PM

    I learn so much from reading your blogs I should track fitness minutes for working out my brain. I don't even know where to start, there is so much good information here. I have been focusing on strength training, 3 times per week, for an hour each session. I know I would lose weight (I have been stuck for a month, and have even gained 3 lbs lately) if I ate less and exercised less, but I am focusing on building my strength. I like the idea of building muscles, and then melting off fat to reveal the muscles underneath. I would rather be chubby than look like I have melted, and I don't want to be weak. I LOVE lifting weights. My problems stay outside the gym door, my anxiety fades away, and it is just me and my muscles and the weights and the reps. I feel more relaxed lifting weights than I do practicing yoga (of course, I am not disciplined with yoga so that probably has a lot to do with it). I wish we lived closer - you would be an amazing workout partner, or, some day, instructor or trainer. You are such an asset to SP.

Comment edited on: 10/1/2011 11:15:16 PM

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/1/2011 4:32AM

    Very interesting blog. You gave me a lot of information that I didn't have before.
Enjoy your new kick boxing class!

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CHAOSTHEORY635 10/1/2011 1:42AM

    This is pretty much the most rational/sane/healthy approach I've ever seen someone take to weight loss. I'll keep these things in mind as I approach my personal "off-season" (not that I'm taking off from training for winter, just that I'll FEEL "off" the whole time).

Also: I'm willing to bet you've effected some kick-ass body composition changes. More "leaning out" than "bulking up" ;) Keep lifting heavy (do what you can around injuries, of course) and not starving yourself (which is always a huge mistake). Here's hoping you LOVE the new Muay Thai gym!

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CRABADA 9/30/2011 6:41PM

    I find this blog entry so interesting. I've definitely been in the mind set of lose first, then build muscle, but you've got me rethinking that.

I also love your point about the fact that elite athletes don't expect (or even want) perfection all the time, so what are we amateurs thinking with our all or nothing attitudes?

Thanks for this - definitely going to pass this along to my other SP pals. :)

Courtney

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APED7969 9/30/2011 5:59PM

    Good luck! And great job so far :) Glad to hear you like your new gym, no point in going somewhere you don't want to be

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/30/2011 4:01PM

    Good luck!!

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EMRANA 9/30/2011 1:22PM

  LOVE IT! I agree with every word. I am doing the same to a certain extent, though your process is much more organized than mine. I'm definitely bookmarking this one.

emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/30/2011 1:18PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

GO GIRL!!!


MARY
emoticon emoticon

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KNH771 9/30/2011 11:24AM

    Sounds like a mentally healthy approach!

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JSALERNO 9/30/2011 11:19AM

    I USED TO LOVE KICKBOXING CLASSES.

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Reality Check: Oh, the absurdity of dumb excuses...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

***WARNING: A couple o' swear words used in satirical fashion in this blog.***




"The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer."
-John Madden








I have a confession. I know I often come across as being very self-confident, and for the most part, I really am. But the sport of kickboxing brings out the self-conscious schoolgirl in me. I have been a kickboxer for almost 7 years, with a primary focus of Muay Thai (Thai Boxing). I blogged about my somewhat negative experiences at my current gym a while ago ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4286111
). At that point I was considering contacting my old coach, Kru Mike, to see if I could come back and train with him. So why didn't I call Kru Mike? Was it because I didn't know where he was? Was it because I couldn't get to his gym? Was there some actual barrier to picking up the phone and calling him?

No.

The reason was simple, and I acknowledged it then as I am acknowledging it now: I was embarrassed to show up at my current weight. I was in the best shape of my life when I was training with Kru Mike, doing Muay Thai 3-4 days a week. I can't remember how much I weighed when I had started training with him, but it was less than I am now. But I had fun, and I shaped up fast. Kru Mike was one of those teachers who changed me as an entire person, and I still value the lessons I learned from him. There was great camaraderie amongst our small team, and we were governed by the rules of conduct in Muay Thai: respect and discipline.

I nearly reached my goal weight by doing Muay Thai, and then got injured by doing triathlon training on top of it. I stopped Muay Thai training at that point (about 5 years ago) with the intention of returning to training with Kru Mike at his new gym. But 4 years ago, I wasn't sure where he was, so I ended up going to my current kickboxing gym, where I am fairly unhappy. I love my instructors, but the disrespect from other members is palpable. I have realized more and more that I dread going to class, not because I don't feel like working out, but because of treatment from other members. Other members avoid eye contact or talking with anyone who is not in their clique (and this includes me, despite the fact that I have been a consistent member for 4 years). I almost always feel like other members feel like they are getting "stuck" with me as a partner, and have even seen eye-rolling. Sometimes I luck out and get one of the fight team members as a partner, and they make for a great, no B.S. workout. Unfortunately, these partners are few and far between. Fellow students have also tried to coach me, which is considered to be exceptionally rude to the instructor unless they have requested that you help a fellow student. Despite training there for 4 years, I am treated like an outsider. Since I had learned the basic tenets of Muay Thai, I am appalled that members behave this way. The ruder these people get, the more I have longed to return to training with Kru Mike.

I did run into Kru Mike at an event about a year and a half ago, and I don't know if he cared about my weight gain when he saw me then; of course he hadn't said anything about it. Seeing him in person made me miss him terribly, and I decided that I would stick it out at my current gym until I had lost more weight and wouldn't feel so embarrassed about my body. Well, one problem with that plan is that I don't enjoy my current gym. The other problem with that plan is that, well, it's really dumb. I have firmly decided that I would like to change gyms and return to more intense Muay Thai training.

The problem is, Kru Mike only trains in the evenings and I can't count on getting to training all of the time. However, one of his students, Eric, who is one of my old training buddies, has his own gym now and offers Muay Thai classes during the day 3 days a week and Saturdays. The class times are perfect. Once again, the thought entered my mind that I don't want Eric to see me this fat. But he probably doesn't really remember my body weight, and we weren't really friends, so he probably doesn't remember me particularly well after almost 4 years of not seeing me.

Anyways, what do I really think will happen if someone I haven't seen in a while sees me fat? That their head will explode? That they will point and laugh? That the world will come to an end?





You don't need to say it, because I already know what I would say to you if you told me about this:


Get over it. Get your ass to that gym.

Now.





I want to enjoy kickboxing again, so I have to make a change. I can't let an excuse as superficial as my weight stop me from going to a new gym. I have to say that I feel confident that I would enjoy myself so much more going to Eric's gym. Having also learned from Kru Mike, he would never tolerate exclusion or disrespect. The gym is a bit further from my house, but it will certainly be worth it to improve my Muay Thai skills and torch this body fat right off. So, no more excuses in the bag. I'm going to set them on fire instead. I've already contacted the gym and will be going for a free class tomorrow. My SparkPeeps bear witness that I shall be kicking ass at a new gym tomorrow morning.



"Bad excuses are worse than none."
-Thomas Fuller

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 10/1/2011 11:02PM

    I went through this. I took a Boot Camp class from an instructor who challenged me and took an interest in my fitness and we developed a bond. I took the class for two years. I quit taking the class due to a couple chronic injuries, and that, combined with other factors, led me to gaining a lot of weight. I wasn't so much embarrassed for him to see me (though I was embarrassed) - it was the idea that he believed in me and that I let him down that was really hard for me. I went back, and he welcomed me back and just today, after an hour of strength training he told me, in front of other people, how good I look and how much progress I have made (and he is NOT one to give compliments). It meant a lot to me. So, go where you will be appreciated and challenged and respected. You are amazing and anyone who can't figure that out is, well, they are just sort of stupid, poor things.

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MUSICALLYMINDED 9/29/2011 6:35PM

    I think getting out of your comfort zone is the first step to any kind of growth...physically, mentally and emotionally.

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 9/29/2011 5:32PM

    Good for you. Your current class sounds horrible and you deserve to enjoy yourself as you get fitter.

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GIANTPANDA 9/29/2011 5:32PM

    I'm so glad that you are going to a gym where you will feel comfortable. I once attended yoga classes where I felt totally excluded by cliques who had been there a long time, something that I wouldn't have expected at all.

I loved kickboxing and would consider going to that gym where I had a free class just because that instructor made me feel great even though I was one of the heaviest people there. One of these days I'll get classes there, but first I've signed up with a nearby gym that asked me to come back for one year--just over the price of one month at the other gyms where I had attended. I wasn't crazy about it at that gym before, but it will allow me to get in winter workouts. I might even find a few fun classes offered.

But I think you are so lucky to be taking serious kickboxing classes. There is nothing quite like it, especially with a great and supportive teacher.

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HUGS2013 9/29/2011 4:47PM

    Don't walk but run, girl, run back to that wonderful instructor and positive exercise experience...they will kick box you back into shape in no time and besides if you say they are all about respect and discipline than ..that is what they are going to give you!
You deserve to be happy and in a positive environment. Don't think twice...do it!

You go, Girl! Success is just right around the corner...make a move on it! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CRABADA 9/29/2011 2:43PM

    Good for you for taking the steps to get back to a place that you'll enjoy your exercise and practice! Can't wait to hear how it goes! :)
C.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/29/2011 2:29PM

    I would go back to Mike or Eric. I think you worry too much about your size. They will respect you for trying to get healthy. To paraphrase -

"Get over it. Get your ass to that gym. Now. "


LOL.

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AIRPEACH 9/29/2011 1:16PM

    Way to go! You will feel so much better. :)

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EMRANA 9/29/2011 12:42PM

  You already said it ~ you're gonna torch that body fat right off when you're in a gym you love, so don't worry about it, just go! It won't even be an issue very soon!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHAOSTHEORY635 9/29/2011 12:26PM

    YAY! It's amazing how the community around you can affect your training so much. I really miss my old taekwondo instructor and the people who came to those classes...unfortunately, they're 2400 miles away :( I tried a TKD class here, but it's just not the same. Too cold, too impersonal, a few jerks in the mix. I'm dreading moving away from here and having to find a new Crossfit box.

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UTMIZ_2000 9/29/2011 12:06PM

    Glad you figured that one out. The stress of the current gym can't be helpful at all. Go, grasshopper, be happy.

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FLGIRL1234 9/29/2011 11:23AM

    Kickboxing always brings out the inner beast in me. I feel like I can do anything once I get out of those classes. Keep going toward your goal and find that inner beast and let her "roar"! You are on the right path.

p.s. I laughed out loud at the "Excuses" cartoon and the "chicken" one. Thanks for the laugh!

emoticon

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DARKTHOR 9/29/2011 11:14AM

    You deserve better than you're getting now. Make it happen, because nobody else is going to.

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SMILINGTREE 9/29/2011 11:03AM

    Somehow I missed that post in June about your kickboxing class. That sucks! It amazes me how many adults still behave like children. It's a strange balance between our own perceptions of ourselves and that of others. Disrespect is something you certainly don't deserve, and if a different environment will help you enjoy your workouts more, moving is the right thing to do! Have fun at your new gym.

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STSCOTT11 9/29/2011 10:52AM

    I KNOW how you feel...
And YES...the fluffier person does have different challenges...
Even the mental part of it can be a challenge.
Booting the excuses is A MAJOR STEP in the right direction.

It took me a while to give up making excuses...it took me a while to even figure out they were EXCUSES in the first place.
Keep up the GOOD WORK!
Spark on

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HIPPICHICK1 9/29/2011 10:14AM

    You just kick boxed your excuses right out of your life! You GO grrl!!

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/29/2011 8:50AM

    emoticon
Life is too short to continue doing what makes you unhappy...and to tolerate the disrespect from the ignorant. Go kick ass at your new gym with Eric!

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APIRLRAIN888 9/29/2011 7:40AM

    LOl first of your coach is my SPARK! i fell off the grid and exploded 20lbs... well it was 10 in a month, then it took me a month to wrap my head around it and come back add 10 more

and SPARK took me back with open arms and is now teach me to do this for life! i have a whole new goal and attitude and vision for this time around!!!!

you can do it! go back

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KKINNEA 9/29/2011 7:28AM

    We'll be checking to be sure you have!! I would never scold someone for your thinking - I think we all do this. It's the getting over it that is so helpful!

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BAZOOKABOBCAT 9/29/2011 6:54AM

    I love your honesty! Seriously, Im scared to join CrossFit because I dont want to be weaker than everyone there!

Dont hold yourself back!

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BECKY3774 9/29/2011 6:48AM

    Enjoy your workouts...whatever it takes emoticon

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TASHALNZ 9/29/2011 4:32AM

    A very good blog! I won't tell you what you need to do, because you already know hehe
All the best! Smile, be happy emoticon

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Must-Read Blog from CANNIE50: Willpower vs. Willingness

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CANNIE50 wrote a must-read blog about the difference between willpower and willingness. Her wisdom has been invaluable throughout my journey, and this blog shows one of the many reasons why she is an awesome SparkPeep.

A couple of snippets:

"Willingness is not to be confused with willpower."

"Willingness is the ability to not have the first bite because, as I was taught when I became sober all those years ago, 'it ain't the caboose that'll kill you, it's the engine' - there is no 4th or 5th drink or cigarette or cookie or handful or bowlful, if there is no first one."

"Willingness is the antidote to inertia so when I allow it to propel me to do one task, to do one set of reps, to run one block or one mile, it tends to knock the inertia aside."


Here it is:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4508706



Read it, love it, and "like" it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIKINGSD 9/30/2011 12:08AM

    Thank you so much for sharing!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/29/2011 3:38AM

    I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF READING CANNIE50'S FANTASTIC BLOG!
I COULD NOT AGREE WITH YOU MORE, AND APPRECIATE YOUR HIGHLIGHTING IT, BECAUSE IF I HAD NOT READ IT YOUR RECOMMENDATION WOULD HAVE SENT ME THERE!
I LOVE MY SPARKFRIENDS!
MARY emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CANNIE50 9/28/2011 7:43PM

    Oh my gosh - when someone for whom I have nothing but respect and admiration, is so generous with praise and support, it means a great deal to me. Really, I came here to read another of your wise and informative blogs and was quite surprised to see my name in the title. I am very humbled by your recommendation of my blog. My willingness definitely comes and goes and one of the absolute scariest things when I was at my heaviest was my seeming inability to find any willingness to make any sort of meaningful change. I prayed and searched and waited and waited and waited, and finally, had a spark of willingness which led me back to Sparkpeople, and people like you. I am forever grateful.

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TOTHEFUTURE1 9/28/2011 6:48PM

    Thanks

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KKINNEA 9/28/2011 3:41PM

    Great read!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/28/2011 3:37PM

    Very interesting and insightful.

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FRAN0426 9/28/2011 3:27PM

    Thanks for sharing Cannie50, what an interesting and truthful blog, and very interesting.

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The Week in Review: Rambling Randomness

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I had all sorts of ideas for blogs this week, but I didn't finish them. I had all sorts of ideas for my weekly review, but I didn't feel like expanding on them. So, I bring you a generic blog post reminiscent of my week: aimless and apathetic. There is no theme, there is no rhyme or rhythm. I felt like I sucked at everything this week, starting off with not tracking my food on several days. Oddly enough, I wasn't binging or anything, I just didn't track. I only went to kickboxing once, on Tuesday. I didn't send as much time Sparking as I usually do. I half-assed my way through my strength training workouts. I felt like I sucked at playing my sax.

When I went to my sax lesson on Tuesday, I apologized to my teacher Jeff, telling him that I sucked at everything this week. He told me to play anyways. I blasted my way through a couple of exercises, and then looked at him and cringed. He told me that I actually sounded better than I had the week before. I gave him a genuinely baffled look.

"How can that be? I feel like I suck."

He told me that because I'm getting better, I am just more aware of mistakes. I suppose that concept is true when we are making progress with anything. I could have binged every day. I could have chosen not to log on to SparkPeople at all. I could have skipped my strength training workouts all together, or not have gone to kickboxing at all. I could have chosen not to play my sax at all, rather than hear myself fumble through the music. But I chose to try anyways, even though I was far from perfect. Even though I didn't feel great about most things this week, I chose to try my hardest anyways. I still just felt very "blah" throughout the whole week.

The kicker happened yesterday, though. I was supposed to meet my best friend at her place at 4:00 and we were going to walk up to a music/beer festival. I already had paid for a ticket. We had just confirmed these plans over e-mail 2 days prior. I got to her place just a little after 4:00, and she wasn't home. I don't have a cell phone, so I drove home and called her. She told me she had been waiting for me to call her. I admit I got very snippy, and I told her I wasn't going back to downtown Minneapolis, and that I guess I had just wasted money. Then I hung up. Then I saw she had left a message on my answering machine some time in the prior couple of hours, saying she was calling about our plans, but since I had been running errands, I didn't hear the message until after I got home from her place.

I don't get many Saturdays off, so if I have plans, I'd rather not waste a bunch of time. I'm still a little sore after being ditched on my birthday by another girlfriend, so I guess I'm at the end of my rope with "hoping" that people will keep their plans, or at least give me enough advanced notice if they change their minds that I can plan something else. Perhaps I was wrong to snap at my good friend of nearly 20 years, for the first time ever. I certainly felt guilty about it and spent most of the rest of yesterday night either crying or choked up. I left a message at her home phone, apologizing for snapping, but that I was just disappointed with how the day panned out.

Am I really that old-fashioned? If people have plans set to meet at X place at X time on X day, is it really necessary to reconfirm those plans within a couple of hours of those plans? I'm seriously asking, because maybe I am missing something. I feel like last-minute plan-changing has become very commonplace, and I'm wondering if it's just me who is irritated by this or if it is just par for the course nowadays, and that I'm the one being too inflexible. Although it would be nice to have a cell phone again for emergencies (I don't currently have one due to finances), I don't want to have one just to be glued to it or to have to chase people down when they aren't where they said they were going to be. Maybe my anti-cell phone, anti-Smartphone, anti-Twitter, anti-Facebook attitude is catching up with me, and perhaps my friends don't have a tolerance for me not being glued to a technological device, prepared for last-minute changes or an easy way for them to tell me they will be late.

I feel kind of like I do when I am about to be hit with a depressive episode, but I believe I am more in a general funk than truly depressed. Please don't advise me to "go see somebody"--antidepressants have always made me worse and talking to a counselor has not been useful. I plan to just keep plugging away...I will "just go through the motions" for now, and I'm sure I'll start feelin' it again soon. This blog post was basically a random stream of thoughts as they came to me, which is probably the most that I have accomplished all week as far as being introspective. I wanted to be excited, I wanted to be proud this week, but it wasn't there. Hopefully this week will be better. Thanks for reading this rambling randomness.


After a week like this, perhaps I need to follow this philosophy more closely (***WARNING! Vulgar, with profanity and hilarity):

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wS5xOZ7Rq8

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 9/27/2011 11:16PM

    I have battled depression off and on since I was 11 years old and I am with you re: anti-depressants and counseling, they have not been helpful to me. I do take St.John's Wort 3x day and have found that to be helpful. I go through periods where I feel like I am putting more into all the relationships in my life, than others are. It makes me want to withdraw "into my cave" a bit. I think you are due for some fabulously wonderful blessings to rain down upon you. PS Love the point your teacher made about you being more aware of mistakes because your skill level has increased. PSS Feel better, sweetie-pie.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/27/2011 5:47PM

    These days lots of people cancel at the last minute. Im sorry about the rough week and hope this one is better.

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1HAPPYWOMAN 9/27/2011 12:26AM

    You are SO RIGHT that changing plans has become commonplace! Cell phones have completely changed societal expectations about planning. I don't have a mobile phone either, and people even get irritated with me because they can't do the last-minute thing. It's as though everyone's forgotten what things were like when we only had land lines.

I'm sorry that you're having a rough time. It's tough to be on the outs with friends. I admire your stoicism! Just keep on plugging away, you warrior princess, you!

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HIPPICHICK1 9/26/2011 5:02PM

    I occasionally still get upset if friends ditch me too. It's natural to feel that way when it's a good friend because we are attached to our friendships, especially ones that are 20 years and still going.
Sorry you had to go through that.
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PAMELA6289 9/26/2011 12:32PM

  Sweetie,

I'm struck as I read this that maybe it's OK to not be 100% all the time. Maybe what you see as blah and just going through the motions is really just normal effort.

What I know of you is that you give your all to everything you are passionate about. I don't know if anyone can keep up that level of intensity all the time. Does that make sense?

I think this applies to your friendships, too. You give 100% and expect at least 90% in return. When someone gives less than that, it's tough to take because you would never do that to someone.

And I'm talking to myself here too, because I've had the same experience in the last few weeks: It took Kev to point out that I can't expect my friends to do what I'd do in the situation because they aren't me. And I can only expect people to be who they are. If it hurts my feelings, well, then I can decide what to do about it. I can only control my behavior, not theirs. I hate it when he's right like that! :)

Anyway, just a thought.

Bottom line: Sorry your feelings were hurt! And maybe you need to cut yourself some slack sometimes. Your 'blah' effort is more than my 100% effort on most days.

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DARKTHOR 9/26/2011 11:07AM

    The point of making plans is to have them made and done. Otherwise we could say I'll call you Saturday and at that time we'll see if we can fit in an activity or not. As long as a person isn't flaky, once a time is set, they should be there and ready to go.

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GEMINIAN1 9/26/2011 12:46AM

    I had a cell phone, for a couple of years, about a decade ago.
The only web site I belong to is Spark People. No Face Space, My Face, Space Book, or whatever they're called.
I'm not sure I even know what a Twitter is?
In conclusion, I'm the wrong person to answer or give advice on that whole glued to technology thing.

I'm sorry that your Saturday got messed up. I feel your pain with not having many of them off and then that goes down. Total bummer. Your being upset is understandable.

I hope this next week is a great one for you my friend ... :-)

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SYZYGY922 9/25/2011 11:38PM

    I usually reconfirm plans the day before or a few hours before, but if I don't hear from the person, I don't assume that the plans are off. I don't think your etiquette was off on this one -- the actual plans trump confirmation of said plans.

I got my first cell phone on my 16th birthday. We're the same age, so you know how long ago that was! I'm a nerd. I can't imagine someone not having one.

I have a neighbor who never sent an e-mail until last week and he keeps asking me questions about the Internet and it's so weird. I'm the dork who is on every site.

I actually get kind of annoyed when people aren't "connected" in certain ways because it does make things a little difficult. I haven't had a land line phone since 2005 and I haven't missed it one bit.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 9/25/2011 11:23PM

    OKAY, SO GET AN INEXPENSIVE CELL PHONE FOR YOURSELF... TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER (SO YOU WON'T HAVE TO DRIVE ALL THER WAY HOME TO CALL YOUR FRIEND). YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES. MY HUSBAND AND I DO NOT HAVE VOICE MAIL, NO TEXTING, NO BIG DEALS, JUST THE ABILITY TO CALL AND RECEIVE CALLS. IF YOU REALLY EXPLAIN TO YOUR FRIEND, SHE WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED AND I DON'T THINK IT IS UNREASONABLE TO EXPECT FRIENDS TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH DEFFINITE PLANS. I USUALLY FIGURE, UNLESS IT IS ILLNESS OR EMERGENCY, IT IS HAPPENING! LIKE MANY SAID TO YOU, LIFE IS UPS AND DOWNS...YOU SHOULD BE GOING UP THIS WEEK, SO HANG IN THERE!
TAKE CARE!
MARY

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CHAOSTHEORY635 9/25/2011 10:39PM

    re: depression--it IS late september, and the days are getting shorter. does lack of sunlight affect you?

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EMRANA 9/25/2011 10:24PM

  I hear you ~ I'm old fashioned too. So I know how you feel when you talk about frustration with people glued to their technology.

I'm about to get a cell though when I move, just because there's really no point to pay for both a landline and cell service. I'm a free spirit, so I'll be very much like Maha said. I'm not going to be a slave to that thing and will prolly not even give the number to very many people!

Hope this week is better for you, my dear.

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KKINNEA 9/25/2011 9:45PM

    I'm a plugger too - I think it's a perfectly fine method for getting through things.

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MUSICALLYMINDED 9/25/2011 9:38PM

    I'm more like your friend...if I don't get a confirmation within a few hours of going somewhere, I assume it's not going to happen. It's not that I'm flaky..it's that I'm so used to people breaking plans that I just expect it now. I wouldn't be so hard on your friend. Maybe she's like you...she has gotten screwed over one too many times, and so now she always assumes if she doesn't hear from someone they won't show up.



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1LATTE4ME 9/25/2011 9:28PM

    Yeah, some weeks are like that! Whenever I have one, it brings to mind the children's book - Alexander And the Terrible, Horrible, No-good, Very Bad Day. So I just try to remind myself that I'm having a T.H.N.G.V.B (insert time period here).

But seriously -(insert unsolicited advice here)- you may want to consider a cell phone. Not because it will tie you down, but possibly free you from the disappointments that other people can bring. Then YOU can make other plans and take back your control. Plus, our weather isn't exactly predictable, so that's a bonus consideration.

Have a non-T.H.N.G.V.B. week!



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APIRLRAIN888 9/25/2011 9:02PM

    I'm getting better, I am just more aware of mistakes

I love that sooo true, double edge sword! you can do it

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/25/2011 8:57PM

    I don't feel the need to reconfirm endlessly when plans are made, so I don't think your outlook is strange at all. If plans are specific enough to say we'll meet on X day, at Y location at Z time I don't see why someone would have doubts about what is happening.

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CDGOLDILOCKS 9/25/2011 8:55PM

    emoticon

I understand how you feel. I think nowadays, people are so plugged in that it makes it so "easy" to change plans at the drop of a hat. I also think that technology makes it easy to be rude. It is making life more impersonal. I understand why you are so protective of your few Saturdays off. Your friend will understand your reaction if she has known you all these years.

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VALERIEMAHA 9/25/2011 8:53PM

    Oh yeah...I can totally relate...instead of apathetic...I'm feeling PATHETIC lol. I won't go into it...it will definitely depress you and you WILL need meds LOL.

Sorry about the misunderstanding with your best friend. But statistically, after 20 years, it was time (haha). My suggestion is to consider acquiring a cheap-o cell phone and the cheapest available plan (if your budget allows), just to have more freedom. No need to become a slave to it like 95% of the population!!! I simply don't have a land line any longer. But I turn my cell phone off at night, or when I'm with others, and I never use it at check-out stands, nor when driving. I totally understand where you're coming from, I think.

One thing we can depend on in this world of dualities...from funk to fun and then back from fun to funk the pendulum swings, back and forth, back and forth! So look forward to feeling better soon...'cause you will.
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Maha
P.S. The NGAF video is raunchy and damned funny, though probably not a life-style you want to emulate LOL.
P.P.S. Are you anti-TV programming? It's clear you're not anti-computer, though you limit social networking (good!).

Comment edited on: 9/25/2011 8:55:41 PM

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JENNYLENNON 9/25/2011 8:49PM

    I think your teacher has a good way of looking at things. You noticed your mistakes because you are getting better. I do feel your pain....I had a very bad week as well. This week will be better. emoticon

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