CATS_MEOW_0911   68,219
SparkPoints
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
 
 
CATS_MEOW_0911's Recent Blog Entries

Wearing Down Willpower

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The blog post by CANNIE50 a couple of weeks ago about willingness versus willpower got me thinking how I approach the use of willpower in trying to lose weight. I have tried to focus more on "wantpower" than "willpower" throughout this journey, because I find trying to exert willpower to be exhausting. Now it turns out that constantly trying to exert willpower may actually be exhausting. The book “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength” by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney discusses the strength of willpower, and how it can be worn down like any other "muscle." I have not read the book yet, but I plan on getting it after reading the review that was shared with me. The book covers some of the research that has performed on willpower, a generic term used referring to exercising self-control.

Willpower supposedly makes it easier to resist temptation. However, the arguing back and forth in our heads when we are trying to resist temptation may ultimately make it more difficult to resist not only that temptation, but subsequent temptations. Just like holding a 100 pound barbell up in the air wears down muscles, we can only exert mental energy for so long. The authors discuss how willpower actually seems to be fueled directly by glucose, which makes sense, as glucose is the only useable form of energy for the brain. Research had shown that it was easier to resist temptation when people had recently had a simple carbohydrate source. Rather than being mind over matter, it seems to be mind AND matter.

We can't starve our willpower. Just like our muscles need the proper fuel to work properly, so does our willpower. I would say that the evidence of glucose being a necessity for fueling willpower shows the importance of physical activity in losing weight. Regular exercise, especially muscle-mass building strength training, greatly increases the body's ability to utilize and make glucose. Perhaps this is why the appetite seems to self-regulate with regular exercise; the mind more easily exerts its own willpower without us even having to think about it. When we aren't focusing so much on exerting willpower and thinking about what we can't have/do, then we can focus on what we're willing to do.

Perhaps another aspect is that positive thinking is a lot less exhausting than negative thinking. The words "No" and "can't" actually seem to wear down willpower even faster. It does seem that the power of willingness harbors positive energy, especially when we know why we're willing to do something, whether it be resiting a temptation, choosing to exercise, or tackling a chore. CANNIE50 talked about how momentum can be built by having the willingness to start a task and how we may then be willing to do more and more. I like this way of approaching willpower, because it focuses on what we can do rather than what we can't do. Since thinking of it this way, I think, "I can choose not to have/do X" instead of, "NO, I can't have/do X," which brings negative energy in and wears down willpower.

In any case, I find the interplay between willpower and energy to be fascinating. It's simple: self-control is easier when properly fueled and when spurred on by positive energy. When someone says, "I just have no willpower," they probably really mean, "My willpower has been worn down." Approaching this journey without relying on steely-faced willpower has made it possible for me to learn a lot about myself and find out what I am capable of doing. I have unleashed my willingness and let my willpower naturally spill forth.

I had never really stopped to think about how willpower really works, and I look forward to reading “Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength” for further insights. Here is a link to one of the book reviews that was shared with me by Calvin Dietz, the strength training coach for the Minnesota Gophers:


www.newswise.com/articles/view/58108
5/?sc=dwhp



And if you missed CANNIE50's fabulous blog post "Willingness is a superpower," here it is:


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






"The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win."
-Bobby Knight

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 10/14/2011 4:49PM

    What a great blog! "I can resist anything but temptation": in my view and experience, willpower is highly overrated and easily exhausted. Far better for me to avoid situations in which I will have to exercise willpower (or won't power) and to put myself into situations where the decision has already been made. Such as pretracking me meals. And having fresh raspberries but no potato chips in the house!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/14/2011 4:11AM

    BECAUSE I HAVE WILLINGNESS, I HAVE WILLPOWER!!!
I LOVED CANNIE50'S BLOG AND REALIZED I HAVE A "READY AND WILLING" ATTITUDE WHEN I FOUND SPARKPEOPLE...AND THAT ACTIVATED MY WILLPOWER. THEY SEEM TO ME TO BE CONNECTED, BUT I NEVER REALIZED IT UNTIL RECENTLY!!
MARY
emoticon
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 10/13/2011 11:56PM

    Okay, I LOVE this blog (and not just because of the generous shout-outs you gave me, either emoticon) I have long noticed that the more I have to grit my teeth and deal with stressful situations in a day, the more I feel like a desire to eat my weight in sugar hits me like a tsunami, hours later (oh, dear, I do like hyperbole, don't I?). I, too, am fascinated by this phenomenon and I have noticed how many people give up before they start because they feel they have no "willpower". That is why I prefer willingness, because I know that awful "I won't be able to, so why even start?" kind of defeatist attitude. I prefer to think I only need a moment of willingness to get me moving in the right direction, rather than the awful thought of needing hours of willpower to get me through something difficult. Bless you, my dear - you are SO generous with your fierce intellect and the rest of us benefit.

Report Inappropriate Comment
1HAPPYWOMAN 10/13/2011 11:26PM

    Wow! So true! And so fascinating to think about the biochemical underpinnings of willpower and positivity. Have you noticed how many of the people who are doing really well on Spark are fanatically optimistic and upbeat? Witness the profusion of 'Woo-hoos.'

I never really understood the concept of willpower; I couldn't even grasp what people were talking about when they used the word! When someone says that they have no willpower, it sounds to me like they're saying: "I don't want to do this thing, but I think I ought to want to do it, and I feel crappy about not wanting to." Very defeatist and sad.

A friend once told me that she didn't understand willpower either. What she understood was desire, and cultivating it -- making it grow until it is a strong enough force to motivate change.

Comment edited on: 10/13/2011 11:26:47 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
JILLYBEAN25 10/13/2011 10:16PM

    I think in many ways that's correct. I'd be interested in what you think once you've read the book. It's amazing what some simple rephrasing or adjusting can do for a person.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MUSICALLYMINDED 10/13/2011 6:59PM

    Positive phrasing is a great thing. I learned this in educational psych - Put a child in a room with a lamp, then say "Do NOT touch that lamp." Then leave. What's the child gonna do? Touch the lamp. DUH. You're putting it into your mind by constantly thinking about what NOT to do. Wanna eat better? Shouldn't think, "Do NOT eat sweets." Think, "Eat lots of fruits of veggies." It's simple but it just makes sense.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILOVETOCRUISE 10/13/2011 4:51PM

    Interesting blog. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSALERNO 10/13/2011 4:40PM

    THAT'S FASCINATING. I DON'T LEAVE IT ALL UP TO WILLPOWER. I DON'T BUY JUNKFOOD SO WHEN I HAVE A CRAVING I HAVE TO EAT SOMETHING HEALTHY. FRUITS, VEGETABLES, NUTS, YOGURT(NOT HE SUPER HEALTHY YUCKY KIND EITHER), OR A GRANOLA OR FIBER BAR. I HAVE ONE BAG OF COOKIES IN THE HOUSE AND YOU COULDN'T PAY ME TO EAT THEM. THEY ARE NICK'S FAVORITES THOUGH.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKYWATCHERRS 10/13/2011 4:23PM

    Interesting thoughts here, Erin. I firmly believe that the way you talk to yourself is indelibly chained to your approach to everything in your life, but more specifically weight loss. Like you were saying - if you say to yourself, I CHOOSE X, Y, Z instead of focusing on NO and I CAN'T HAVE, the whole process is a lot easier. Positive, definite, strong self-talk is, in my opinion, vastly and tragically underrated and under-used. You can see it in a lot of blogs and message posts here on Spark. Change the way you talk to yourself and you change your whole life.

The other side, the bit about willpower being a muscle that can be worn down - that is fascinating to me, too. I'll have to do some further reading on this.

Thanks for sharing yet another awesome post.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCHWINNER! 10/13/2011 4:01PM

    Great blog, as usual!! :) I love the mind shift to "I can choose not to do/eat X." I am going to try that, because saying "I can't have/do X" does not work!

Report Inappropriate Comment
APIRLRAIN888 10/13/2011 3:53PM

    interesting I don't rely on willpower anymore! Its either do it or not!

I don't remember the last time I'm fighting!

its a struggle everyday but its an argument more than a battle or war each day.

and I think u r right about exercising making the decision easier! stay on track or undo all That blood and sweat! as I sit here in my car with my DD 10 piece nugget meal! no temptation what so ever

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 10/13/2011 3:38PM

    Sometimes I don't think willpower is actually the way to go. It doesn't work as well for me as other things do.

Report Inappropriate Comment


Kaia the cat: Sadness, relief

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Kaia



My 19-year-old cat Kaia had a 2+ minute seizure the other night. It seemed that her seizures were getting more frequent and lasting longer. She was getting weaker and thinner. I would have been justified euthanizing her a month ago when I first started thinking about it, but I waited. I wasn't ready. She didn't seem quite ready. I was continuously afraid of coming home and finding her having a non-stop seizure and having to rush her in--this was not how I wanted her life to end.

After her seizure the other night, I noticed that she stopped grooming herself, a clear sign that she wasn't comfortable. I arranged with my co-worker to bring Kaia into her clinic and euthanize her tonight. It ended up not being the smoothest night--my mother and I came across a blind dog wandering in the street and had to deal with getting him to his home, and then my friend switched her shift with someone else and wasn't actually working. Kaia sat in my arms, though, until the veterinarian came in to euthanize her. I have been saying good bye to her for some time now, so I was ready. She went peacefully.

I wrote a blog telling Kaia's story about a month ago:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4469592



I will miss Kaia. I also know I gave her 7 extra years that her previous owners would have taken away, and I got to have a great cat. There is sadness in her death, but also relief that she will never have another seizure, and will not continue to become sicker. The decision is never easy, but she is at peace now.




"You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity."

-Kahlil Gibran, "The Prophet"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEMINIAN1 10/20/2011 12:12PM

    Erin, I'm sorry you lost Kaia.
You gave her a good life.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EVERSTEPH 10/13/2011 1:53PM

    Losing a pet is like losing a family member. Sorry for your loss. :(

Report Inappropriate Comment
1HAPPYWOMAN 10/13/2011 1:49AM

    You are in my thoughts, Erin.

What a beautiful picture. I love the look on her face -- it's like she's calm and accepting, yet watchful and wary at the same time.


emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 10/12/2011 11:55PM

    You are a hero in my opinion! It's a difficult time and you probably feel a profound sense of loss, but think of how much you offered.

She was beautiful and really glamourous looking. I am sorry for your loss.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 10/12/2011 11:07PM

    She is at peace now. You gave her a good life. My prayers are with you. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHAITEAKITTY40 10/12/2011 3:37PM

    I just said goodbye to my 18 year old Shadow a couple of weeks ago. So hard to let her go, but we gave her a good life and she was happy till the end. I'm sure your Kaia was too. So sorry for you loss.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 10/12/2011 1:35PM

    Sorry for the loss of Kaia - you gave her lots of extra, good years and she gave you joy. She will be missed.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMRANA 10/12/2011 11:33AM

  emoticon to you and to Kaia. You made a very brave decision ~ I know well the love it takes to do that.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BAZOOKABOBCAT 10/12/2011 10:42AM

    I am so sorry and so proud of you for making the loving decision for Kaia. You made her life wonderful.



Report Inappropriate Comment
FREESIA15 10/12/2011 10:38AM

    I am so sorry for your loss, but I think that you are right about her being at peace now. ((hugs))

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 10/12/2011 10:22AM

    Thank you for offering the gift of life...and death...to Kaia and offering us the gift of Gibran's wisdom.
emoticon
You would know the secret of death.

But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.



In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;

And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?

Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling.



For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?



Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

-Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCHWINNER! 10/12/2011 7:30AM

    I remember reading your blog post about how you acquired Kaia. She was a lucky, lucky kitty!! I'm so sorry you had to make this decision, but you already know it's for the best. She is at peace now (aaaand I'm crying).

Hang in there - I'm sure she was grateful to you for the live you gave her! Thinking of you! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECKY3774 10/12/2011 6:53AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss, and happy that she's at peace. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSALERNO 10/12/2011 6:17AM

    emoticon I'M SO SORRY BUT WE CAN'T LET THEM SUFFER.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/12/2011 1:48AM

    I remember a month ago your sorrow in knowing this day was coming. You did what was best for Kaia, and you gave her a loving home...the best we can expect in this life! Take heart in knowing she is out of all pain and discomfort and you were with her to the very end.
Peace!
Mary
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FRAN0426 10/12/2011 1:28AM

    So sorry for the loss of your Kaia, it never easy to put ones pet down--we have been there. You will have your wonderful memories of the years you spent loving and caring for her.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/12/2011 1:12AM

    Big Hugs!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TWO-TOO-MUCH 10/12/2011 12:41AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss, but you gave Kaia the ultimate gift of love. Hugs to you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRABADA 10/12/2011 12:27AM

    I'm so sorry. :(

C.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PONYFARMER 10/12/2011 12:04AM

    So sorry for your loss and stand beside you in the decision that you have made. I have an old dog that I watch daily to be sure she is comfortable and happy. I am in tears over your loss, knowing that i will be facing the same thing down the road, not to far away.

Hugs

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 10/11/2011 11:56PM

    I'm sorry. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHAOSTHEORY635 10/11/2011 11:47PM

    *hugs* kitties should be immortal.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FANGFACEKITTY 10/11/2011 11:44PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
APIRLRAIN888 10/11/2011 11:29PM

    Hugs! U r a good cat mommy 7 more years

Report Inappropriate Comment
GSWINNIE 10/11/2011 11:29PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BECKYSRN 10/11/2011 11:09PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


I felt so fit--until yesterday...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yesterday I went to Muay Thai and boxing, and was having a great time until my boxing coach Ty popped a fitness assessment on us. He had us do 1 minute tests where we had to do as many line touches (running back and forth and counting the laps), full push-ups, full sit-ups, and box jumps as possible. I wanted to come up with an excuse and leave--I did not feel like making an ass of myself. I already felt lame because I couldn't do the box jumps because of my knee. I only did 17 sit-ups and 14 line touches, both which were a lot less than everyone else. And push-ups? Zero.

Zilch.

Couldn't do a single full push-up.

I've prided myself in not letting my body size stop me from doing things nor being embarrassed about my body size (although I discover that does sneak in). I have considered myself to be fairly fit--after all, I can easily do 2 hours of martial arts training at a time and keep up with everyone else. I didn't like feeling so unfit with doing that test. It took me back to my gym class days where my gym teacher poked fun at me and students laughed at me.

Except this time, no one laughed. No one mocked me. There was no judgement. "I suck," I said, making sure to draw attention to my level of un-fitness. Ty shrugged, "It's just a gauge, it doesn't mean you suck." I realized that I really need someone like Ty, someone to really push me and force me to do more than I think I can do. I need to have someone like him in my head during those times when I want to slack, knowing that he will be testing my limits at some point. Moreover, I have to remember that my performance doesn't have to do with being fat, I'm just not very well conditioned right now.

I really like Ty because he actually seems interested in getting to know people, which I think is helpful as a trainer because it helps to know what makes them tick. We were chatting for a bit after class. I didn't realize that being a model was actually his full-time job, not just something he does on the side. Rather than being cocky about it, he revealed that he is camera-shy and doesn't like having his picture taken. I was touched that he shared something personal like that, even though sharing it didn't seem like a big deal to him. I feel better knowing that even full-time models feel insecure with themselves. I appreciate that I'm not driven out like an outcast like I was at my other gym, but rather, am forming an actual friendship with my trainer.

I may not have felt fit yesterday, but I am still fit. I can get even better.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARKTHOR 10/12/2011 2:05AM

    Two hours of martial arts on a bad knee says anything but suck to me. You can get fitter, you have the power. Today is just a stepping stone along the way.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MUSICALLYMINDED 10/11/2011 10:06PM

    Most importantly you're heading in the right direction! I would fail too, but at least we're not sitting on our butts expecting magic to happen. You're working hard and you know that eventually you will get the results you want.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEORGIZ 10/11/2011 9:52PM

    I am glad you have a positive person like Ty that encourages the positivity you are already bringing to the table (unlike that nasty gym teacher)!
Also, fit tests aren't done so you can compare yourself to others, they're done so you can track your own progress through time. Besides, you're enrolled in a martial arts class, not a "how to do push-ups class" (which would be really lame and no one would sign up for it).
Keep kicking a$$!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 10/11/2011 7:31PM

    Oh, sweetie, you SO don't suck. Not even close. When I was in my late 40's I started a boot camp class. We did fitness tests. One of them was "boy" or toe push-ups. I could do ZERO, ZIPPO, ZILCH. I am now 52. I can do 60 push-ups on my toes with good (not perfect) form. I don't do them all at once, though I do them within a two minute period with a few seconds to shake the fatigue out of my arms and then get right back at it. I also do planks and I agree with the Sparkler who said planks will help you with your push-ups. There is a 71 y.o. woman who held a plank position for over 30 minutes! emoticon So, you see, you don't suck, you are just too young! Get busy, honey, with planks and push-ups! PS You are amazing and you deserve that gorgeous, wise trainer.

Report Inappropriate Comment
APED7969 10/11/2011 5:30PM

    I think I'm pretty fit at the moment and I struggle with even one 'real'pushup. I hate how fitness tests take you back to bad moments in gym class but as everyone else has said it is a baseline and something you will only improve on! It's great to hear you're liking your new gym and trainer.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCHELLE62 10/11/2011 5:21PM

    Consider it a "before picture," and let us know when you reach the "after picture." I have been doing quite a bit of walking, biking, some yoga and went swimming yesterday. I feel that for my age and size I have pretty good endurance however there have been several situations that I know I need to improve strenth or balance. One was trying to climb into a friends monster truck. It was bad enough getting my foot up that high, but then needed to heft this much weight up there--it was a joke. I made it, but it wasn't pretty. What I have wondered is if some of this isn't a good idea. Joints and tendons haven't evolved to handle those kinds of extreme stresses that my size puts on them, and I think until I lose maybe another 50 lbs, I really don't want to damage them by risking some actions like running, and hyperextending, etc. Keep going to class, keep working hard, and make sure you blog your milestones for us.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARCHIMEDESII 10/11/2011 3:45PM

    I agree. You definitely don't suck !! Don't beat on yourself because you couldn't do the push ups. How often do you do push ups ? If you don't do them on a regular basis, then you might have problems doing them. It doesn't mean you aren't fit.
There are plenty of different ways to measure fitness. Push ups are merely one way.

Like you, I have bad knees and I can't really jump up on the box either. That doesn't make me any less fit than someone who can jump on the box. It just means they have better knees ! LOL !!! As the old song goes,"accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative". I learned something similar in yoga. You don't worry about what your body can't do. Be proud of what it can do. That's more important.

If you'd like to do push ups, I tell my students three things will help them to do them. practice.... practice... practice... and plank. If you do plank on a regular basis, that too will help you increase your upper body strength to do a good push up. a push up is nothing more than a moving plank. But, enough about that...

Also, keep in mind that if they did the fitness test AFTER your workout you were probably pretty fatigued. That was a rotten thing for your coach to do i.e. give you a fitness test when you've already used a lot of energy to do your workout. They really should have given you the test before your workout when your energy was at full capacity.

So, don't worry, I sure don't think you suck.



Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/11/2011 3:39PM

    You don't suck...You ROCK!!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMILINGTREE 10/11/2011 2:42PM

    One of the things I am finding both wonderful and terrible is the fact that I will ALWAYS feel like I suck at everything fitness related because there will always be progress to make. No matter where I am condition-wise, I will always have a goal to be better. Once you can do one or five or ten push-ups, you will feel like a failure for not being able to do five or ten or twenty. At least, that's how it is for me. I started out being able to run for something like a minute and a half. Now I can run for 25-30 minutes, but feel as if I should be able to run for an hour. My husband would tell you I'm just never satisfied - he might be right LOL!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHELLYKOCH1 10/11/2011 1:38PM

    Don't let anyone make you feel like you don't deserve what you want. ~ Paulo Coelho.

You are so far ahead of others (including me) in your exercise. I am amazed at what you accomplished. Your focus is a little askew. Just think of when you could not do any of those things. emoticon Look in your mirror & smile at your fabulous accomplishments.

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRABADA 10/11/2011 1:35PM

    You don't suck.

Push-ups suck.



:) Courtney

Report Inappropriate Comment
MSKIMBOLINA 10/11/2011 1:11PM

    Just think, if you take the test again and receive better results, you will have a sense of achievement and accomplishment. It sounds like you've found a great trainer, supportive and encouraging when you're feeling down. That's a keeper!

Report Inappropriate Comment
APIRLRAIN888 10/11/2011 1:03PM

    lol I was going to say it's a BASE line! something to compare too!!! i write everything down! and everytime Ithink ARGH I suxed... I look at my chart and there it is in black and white! i actually did better then last time. or missed by X but exceeded day 1 by Y

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/11/2011 12:39PM

    WOW, GIRL! THERE IS NOT MUCH TO SAY BECAUSE YOU HAVE REPORTED NOTHING BUT GREAT STUFF ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING, WHERE YOU ARE, YOUR TRAINER AND YOUR INSIGHTS INTO ALL OF IT. YOU ARE GROWING, YOU ARE CHANGING, YOU ARE GETTING STRONGER, NOT JUST PHYSICALLY, BUT MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY. THIS IS SO GOOD...SO GOOD!!!
BEST WISHES FOR CONTINUED SUCCESS AND INSIGHTS!
LOVE,
MARY
emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 10/11/2011 12:35PM

    Yes! I don't think I have yet done a full pushup and I'm pretty light right now. It just means my muscles are jelly and I need to turn them into steel bands!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FANGFACEKITTY 10/11/2011 12:23PM

    A fitness test is only a snapshot of a moment in time, your baseline. You have to know where you start from in order to know how far you've come. I agree with Ty, you don't suck, the gauge is just where you are today. You have no where to go but up.

Now push-ups...they suck. I hate them. With passion.

Report Inappropriate Comment
STREAKFREAK 10/11/2011 11:58AM

    Try Crossfit!! You'll love it! It'll give you a broad and high level fitness that will support all the different athletic activities you might want to do. You'd have no problem with line runs, box jumps, situps, pushups, etc...

Something I wrote about it recently: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_p
ublic_journal_individual.asp?bl
og_id=4526962

And NO! No matter what you can or cannot do at the moment, you definitely DO. NOT. SUCK.


emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZOOKEEPERMAMA 10/11/2011 11:56AM

    I'm glad your trainer is growing on you. He sounds like a good one. I'm glad he's pushing you and you are responding well it sounds like!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENJESS48 10/11/2011 11:49AM

    Fitness tests are only one measure of how fit we are. And, as always, it's about progress and not perfection. So don't be hard on yourself.

Also, I think it's really great that you've found such a supportive, non-judgmental gym. That alone is worth more than gold. You've found a great place to work out and have the dedication, so you'll soon see great results.

Report Inappropriate Comment


The Week in Review: Punched in the Face By a Supermodel

Sunday, October 09, 2011

People seemed to enjoy seeing pictures of my new coaches in my last "Week in Review" blog. I guess they are both pretty attractive. I never really thought of my Muay Thai coach, Eric, as hot before...he's just Eric, a guy who I trained with on another fighting team. My boxing coach, Ty, is a model. I found this out after deciding to do boxing. Rather than being excited, I kind of rolled my eyes, thinking, "Great, how is THIS guy gonna be?" Although I know he's attractive, he's not my type, so I wasn't terribly excited to have a model for a coach. I was just hoping he would not treat me like a fat girl who didn't belong in his class.

I had met Ty briefly when I went to Muay Thai last Saturday and told him I would be starting to train with him. Within the first few minutes of hearing him talk, he sounded like a brash and crass person--I liked him already. I had my first training session with him last Wednesday. Right off the bat, he seemed like a very intense person. He knew that I had done some boxing before and a lot of kickboxing. He seemed to respect the fact that I had some martial arts skills. He told me that doesn't tolerate people f*cking around and that he expects people to keep up at all times. Then we warmed up on the punching bags. Partner work was next. There were only 2 other guys in class. Ty told me I was going to partner with him first and he would show me a bit how he runs his sessions. He held the focus mitts and started calling out punching combinations.

I dropped my hand slightly and he punched me right in the face. Not hard really, but I know I looked stunned. "Keep your guard up, or I'll punch you." He got right back to calling out punching combinations. I could barely finish the first one before he called out another one. Panting and feeling dizzy from his speed, he told me to go work on punching, blocking, and countering with one of the other guys. They also actually punched me. It was different from the boxing classes I had taken before, but now I know I'll be getting real boxing training.

After an hour of boxing, Ty said it was time for conditioning work. He was going to keep us longer to do it. I had already forewarned him that my knee was bad and that it limited a lot of the activities that I could do. He seemed a bit irritated with that. I'm actually glad that one of the other guys had a bum knee and couldn't do all of his drills, either. I don't think he was mad, but he talked about how he had a knee injury before and how we should both be evaluated because there's no excuse to not be able to return to normal activities once it's taken care of properly. I agree and disagree with him on that. I do have arthritis, so there will always be some limitations.

He said, "You'll get no sympathy from me." I told him, "I don't want sympathy, I just won't be able to do everything you want me to do in conditioning." What the hell, he seemed like he could take a little back talk. "All right, just do what you can." I'll see how this week goes; I just need to assert if there is something I can't do right now.



Yes, he punched me right in the face.
Image from http://www.labdailyblog.com/?p=4568


Ty is right, though...I really need to get my knee taken care of. I didn't want to go see a doctor right away when I had health insurance again in September because I didn't want to be denied coverage for having a pre-existing condition. I've waited long enough, and I've picked a sports medicine clinic and am going to make an appointment with an orthopedist. I'm almost positive that my knee will need some kind of surgery, I just hope I'm not taken out for too long. Moreover, I hope they can provide some relief and that I'm able to return to a normal activity level with less pain.

This week was very packed, and included a 3 day trip with my dad and stepmom to Rockford, Illinois, for my aunt's retirement party. She had been a neonatal intensive care and flight nurse for over 40 years at the same hospital. Her dedication has always amazed and inspired me, and I hope she gets to enjoy some of the things she wants to do now that she won't be working 12+ hour days. Her party was a roast for her, and with my family, this meant that hilarity would ensue. One of my cousins is so funny that he has been told repeatedly that he should be a stand-up comic. His roast had everyone roaring. My uncle, her husband, was also very funny, but would tear up at times. It was very sweet. I was happy that I could make it down for her party. We visited with my aunt and uncle and I also visited with my grandparents on my mother's side, who are getting to be very frail.

I learned some things about how I have changed with this trip, because it's the first time I've traveled since starting this journey. Normally, taking a trip means a total food free-for-all. Although I overate some (which I do purposely sometimes anyways), I didn't feel out of control. I didn't eat something just because it was put in front of my face. I didn't eat something just because it was free. I didn't eat my dad's French fries just because he wasn't going to eat them. If I ate something, it was because I really wanted it. If it was something rich, I only had a little. The biggest thing was that it wasn't hard to eat like that. I also brought my 20 pound kettlebell and squeezed in a workout.



My stepmom Wendy, my dad, and me at my aunt's retirement party.



I didn't shoot progress pics this month, so I'll just use this one.


I didn't weigh myself this week, at least not on Saturday, my official day. I didn't want to use my aunt's scale and figured skipping a week won't kill me. However, the scale had been down by a couple of pounds when I did a sneak peek before I went out of town. I'm not too worried. My eating hasn't been terrible and I exercise a ton, so I'll just see what this week brings. I am dying to see the scale drop below 250 (it was 258.3 when I did a sneak peek last Wednesday), so I hope to make that happen over the next 6 weeks. It's kind of hard not to lose weight when you're doing at least 5 hours of martial arts training a week. While I don't really care about ending up looking like a fitness model, I hope to become a model of fitness. I'm sure Eric and Ty will get me there in no time, but I'm going to try to avoid getting punched in the face in the process.




"I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is."
-Derek Zoolander, "Zoolander"

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/10/2011 9:33PM

    It sounds like you will get a good work out with Ty and the boys and possibly an occasional black eye. LOL. EEK!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALISHAB3 10/10/2011 2:33PM

    You have some serious guts (in a good way, not a fat joke.) I don't think I could tolerate some guy punching me in the face. That would not be good. I wish I was cool like you! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GEMINIAN1 10/10/2011 11:01AM

    He's not "my type" either.
I didn't comment on him in your "Week In Review" Blog.
Different strokes, for different folks ... :-)
Different lids, for different pots ... :-)
Hey Erin, I am super happy that you found a gym that's compatible with you.
emoticon to your Aunt! emoticon
"The biggest thing was that it wasn't hard to eat like that." emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon
Love the dress! You're lookin' happy and great!
I love the "Zoolander" quote; and if you ask me, there is a lot more to life.
Have a good one.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
1HAPPYWOMAN 10/10/2011 2:40AM

    Yay! Congratulations, most sparkly Erin, for being assertive with your coach, for deciding to get your knee examined, and for the very conscious way you chose to eat on your trip. You are amazing, and you look so pretty in your dress!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HIKINGSD 10/10/2011 1:23AM

    emoticon Protect that pretty face :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/10/2011 12:01AM

    YOU GO GIRL! GREAT BLOG! I SO ADMIRE HOW YOU TAKE THIS ALL ON AND CAN STAND UP TO THESE SITUATIONS! GREAT JOB! THANKS FOR SHARING THE PICS!! ALL DOLLED UP..AND SOMEWHERE TO GO! GLAD YOU HAD SUCH A GOOD TIME! LOVE TO SEE YOUR GREAT PROGRESS...
MARY
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 10/9/2011 11:38PM

    Great blog, as per usual. I liked your response to your beautiful boxing boy, about your knee. You are one tough emoticon. PS Cute dress!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JILLYBEAN25 10/9/2011 11:22PM

    Sounds like a wicked good set of classes/training you've got going on there. You'll feel great when you are fast enough and strong enough to punch him in the face right back! Keep it up!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/9/2011 10:25PM

    I'm glad you are enjoying your new class. Sounds great.

Report Inappropriate Comment
APIRLRAIN888 10/9/2011 9:08PM

    U are doing awesome!! Great pic! And one day you'll punch supermodel!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHAOSTHEORY635 10/9/2011 7:45PM

    There's something about martial arts that gets you into fantastic shape. I miss it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ZOOKEEPERMAMA 10/9/2011 7:17PM

    You're doing great! I had knee surgery last year. I injured my knee 10 years ago and finally had surgery after all those years of complaining and using it as an excuse. It does take you down for the count (no boxing pun intended...) for about 6-8 months, but it is so totally worth it. I can walk again! I can RUN again! Let us know what the ortho says!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EVERSTEPH 10/9/2011 7:09PM

    "While I don't really care about ending up looking like a fitness model, I hope to become a model of fitness. "

Fabulous! I love your attitude. Keep up the great work! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MUSICALLYMINDED 10/9/2011 7:07PM

    I love this blog. Your trainer sounds like he's going to be the type of guy who riles you up to keep you working as hard as you possibly can.

And I love the Zoolander quote! I love that movie, especially the gasoline fight, ha! That scene cracks me up every time I think about it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CELTICCAT50 10/9/2011 6:17PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I'm impressed boxing !
That is sooooo kool !

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSALERNO 10/9/2011 5:47PM

    JUST KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND TALKING BACK WILL MOTIVATE BOTH OF YOU. YOU'LL GET BELOW 250 SOON. JUST STAY ON COURSE.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BCARSON11 10/9/2011 5:20PM

    Way to go in the boxing class! Just keep it up!

Report Inappropriate Comment


JILLBYBEAN25 on the disconnect in SparkLand

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

SparkPeople is such a vast virtual land, it's easy to get overwhelmed with trying to connect to people. JILLYBEAN25 wrote a blog entry talking about feeling disconnected on Spark. Her blog got me thinking about ways that I could be a better friend to my fellow Sparkers. I know I am very lucky to have come across some of the coolest people on here and befriend them. I usually feel bad that I don't have enough time to read and comment on everyone's blogs, though; I may be able to read through them while I'm at work, but don't comment. I still feel like I am sharing in their journey because I keep up with what is going on with them, but maybe they need to know that I've been there. Sometimes I will realize that it's been several weeks since I've checked in on a SparkFriend, only to find they were having a problem and could have used some support. Sometimes I go to contact a SparkFriend only to find their page has been deactivated. Sometimes I realize that I didn't get back to someone when they asked me a question. Sometimes I don't thank everyone individually for their comments on my blogs.

I am amazed at some people on here who are both successful on their own journeys and are constantly there for others. It seems some people have an amazing SparkSuperpower where they can do it all. I do feel disconnected at times because it can be so much to keep up with, let alone trying to take care of myself while I'm at it. How can we find the balance between caring for ourselves and being there for our SparkFriends? I hope my SparkFriends know I appreciate them, but maybe I don't express it enough. I hope they know they can contact me anytime to vent.

I know that JILLYBEAN25's sentiment is shared, and I think she portrays this frustration in a wonderful way. Her blog expresses in a very honest way how we can all get a little lost in SparkLand, which could ultimately derail our goals. I hope she does stay, as she seems like a wonderful Sparker, and I'm glad I came across her blog to see why:


www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4518243

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1HAPPYWOMAN 10/8/2011 6:24PM

    Oh my gosh I love the comments on here! Just wanted to you to know that your blogs make you an amazing Spark Friend. You put yourself out there, and it helps me feel not so alone. In your previous blog, you said you hold parts of yourself back.... I do too, and I'm cautious about what I'm going to put up on the Internet.
But the parts of yourself that you reveal in your blogs are honest and brave, and you inspire me to do more, to write more, to open up.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MORTICIAADDAMS 10/7/2011 4:10PM

    Most of understand how hard it can be to keep up with everything and we just do our best. We don't want to be a source of stress for our sparkfriends. My door is always open and the tea pot is on. People can check in when they have time.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/6/2011 5:35AM

    HI,
I WILL CHECK OUT JILLYBEAN25'S BLOG, BUT WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT I THINK WE ALL FEEL THIS WAY AT TIMES. I THINK THAT IT IS IMPORTANT TO TRY TO CONTACT AND CONNECT BUT AS WE CAN AS THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY AND SO MUCH IS REQUIRED OF US THESE DAYS THAT WE CAN ONLY DO THE BEST WE CAN. AS CANNIE50 SAID, WE ARE ALL ADULTS AND ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR FEELINGS, SO TRY NOT TO WORRY ABOUT IT. THANKS FOR THE EXPRESSION, HOWEVER, AS I THINK IT MADE US ALL AWARE AND HOPEFULLY MORE UNDERSTANDING AND PATIENT.
TAKE CARE!
emoticon emoticon
MARY
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JILLYBEAN25 10/6/2011 1:40AM

    Thank you for posting the link to my blog. The outpouring of support and people who feel the same way made me feel less like a unique case and more part of a group of people going through the same thing. It definitely helped. I want to make it an integral part of my Spark Journey to support others as I would like to be supported (and work on not expecting anything in return, but to simply do it out of love.) Thank you again!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRABADA 10/5/2011 8:57PM

    You make some really good points, and this is actually something I thought about from the beginning. When I joined SP at the end of August, I signed up for about 14 teams. Then I realized that I should probably slow down and find my way around first, meet a few people, and go from there.

Don't forget, you have 302 (302!) SparkFriends! You can't possible keep up with that many people. Again, I'm going slow with that too, and not friending every person whose blog I read, or who leaves me a comment. It's just too much, and I want my experience here to be meaningful and to work for me, rather than become a source of frustration.

This is by NO MEANS a commentary on you or the number of friends and teams you have. Like CANNIE said, I think you're great, supportive, and responsive. It's just another way to go about making SP effective.

xo
Courtney

Report Inappropriate Comment
CANNIE50 10/5/2011 7:02PM

    I will check out her blog. I just want to point out that I think you do an exceptional job as a Sparkfriend. You share wonderfully informative and well composed blogs, you send notes and goodies, you show interest, and you share your triumphs and your struggles. I fret about not keeping up with everyone and worry that I may slight someone inadvertantly, or not be there for someone who could use the support, but, then I remind myself: we are all adults on individual journeys and we are responsible for ourselves. So, let me make you a Sparkly promise. If I need you (and believe me, there are questions I know you can help me with so you WILL be hearing from me when I get to a certain point in my strength training) I will ask you. If you can't get back to me right away, I will be patient. I will not pout or take it personally. I may even pester you. I will not hold you responsible for how I feel, I will be grateful for whatever support you are able to offer. You are a blessing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KRAWRS 10/5/2011 2:08PM

    Like you, I read the blogs at work and can't always comment. But I always read!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKYWATCHERRS 10/5/2011 12:50PM

    I think that we have to do what we can and let that be okay - if we tried to keep up with every single SparkFriend we have and respond to everything going on with them, then Spark would be a full time job. And it just can't be. I do agree that it's easy to get that disconnected feeling and to forget about people, or fail to make consistent check-ins with them. But we do what we can, we do our best, and that has to be enough.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KKINNEA 10/5/2011 12:44PM

    I think it's a cycle - sometimes I'm really involved and sometimes I fall behind. I usually have people in mind knowing they're working on things and I try to at least scan on days I can't be involved.

I think it's worth discussing though as you and Jillybean have done.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARCHIMEDESII 10/5/2011 12:30PM

    For someone just starting on Spark People, the website can be really overwhelming in many different ways. Before I came here, I was on another weight loss website. It was much smaller and as a result, the members were much more familiar. Which is not without its own set of problems. but, that's a story for another blog.

When I came to SP, the first few weeks seemed overwhelming. Back on the other site, I more or less knew everyone. Here, it was like the first day of high school. I just don't know anyone and everything is sooooo different. After a while, I started talking to people and making Spark "friends".

Like many new members, I joined a few spark teams only to leave after a few months because I was the only person starting threads or people were asking the same questions over and over. In the time I have been here, many of the spark friends I made at first have left. Others are still here. Some come and go.

One thing I've learned is that while Spark People is an amazing community of people, it's also a very transient one too. So, I can understand how some one might start feeling disconnected. It's because people really do come and go for many different reasons.

Thanks for posting that blog !






Report Inappropriate Comment
SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 10/5/2011 12:15PM

    I totally feel you on this one. Sometimes it feels like there isn't enough time in a day to get to everyone. I try my best, but ultimately, we need to take care of ourselves.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JSALERNO 10/5/2011 12:14PM

    i will check it out. i always hope i'm there for my spark friends but sometimes you miss things. we all have to remember nobody is perfect

Report Inappropriate Comment
SMILINGTREE 10/5/2011 11:39AM

    Thanks for pointing out Jillybean25's post. I think most long-time sparkers have felt that way. You do a fabulous job, by the way. It's hard, sometimes impossible to thank every person who leaves a comment or to comment on every post you read.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DARKTHOR 10/5/2011 11:35AM

    Well said. We can't be everything to everyone all the time here, there would be no time for anything else. But, we can try to be good friends as much as possible. I think you do that well.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEATHERM4444 10/5/2011 11:22AM

    Hi! Sometimes I don't feel like I keep in touch with my Sparkfriends and check on them like I should. My goal is to start doing better about that. I have met some really great people here, and I want to encourage them like they encourage and support me. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 Last Page