Friday, April 29, 2011
Since I joined the Meditation and Mindfulness team, I've looked for different ways to meditate so the practice doesn't get stale, but one of my favorite methods is walking meditation. Today, we arrived at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado, to stay in a cabin (NOT your daddy's log cabin this one), and I was really happy to find a labyrinth directly across from our cabin! I spent a wonderful half hour or so in that labyrinth, entering and exiting at a peace pole and walking mindfully through light, falling snow. I had to quiet my mind several times and bring my focus back to the walk, but it was a relaxing and refreshing meditation that I intend to repeat tomorrow morning.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I just read a blog entry titled "Jumping on the Bed," which I chose because because I heard a commercial on the radio yesterday bemoaning the fact that as we grow up, we stop playing and start stressing. And when we stop playing, we start aging. I thought to myself, "Self, you don't play at all anymore. Work is work, workouts are work, the nasty commute is work, cooking and cleaning are work...where's the fun?" Based on that, when I next evaluate my goals, I want to set a goal for fun time. Maybe I'll find a volksmarch in a place I've never walked before, or plan a reward that is an experience (visit to Spa World?) and not a thing. Whaddaya think?
Saturday, March 26, 2011
My last step class was many years and many more pounds ago, but I decided to try one yesterday. Even at my size, the instructor seemed to think it would be no problem for me and said the moves would be pretty basic. Let me tell you, "basic" does not mean "easy." The class was a truly humbling experience given that I used to be a step dynamo, doing the long classes filled with complicated routines and advanced choreography. Yesterday, I struggled mightily to keep up with even simple routines, and I didn't even try the little flourishes and jumps the instructor added. When it came time to check my pulse and compare it to the prominently displayed table, my pulse was off the chart. It was so high I was surprised I was still standing...but I had made it through. I really want to get back into cardio classes to change up my workout routine now that I'm about six weeks into the program, but I think I'll revert back to my simplest videos at home and work up to the group classes.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Today's Healthy Reflection includes the following quote:
"Stand for something or fall for anything."
On the surface, this idea makes a lot of sense, but it also carries a dark side. I've had those words thrown at me because of my spiritual beliefs, which are more inclusive than most organized religions and based on study of many spiritual paths. For that reason, I shy away from the rigid people who feel their way is the only way.
A related quote is something I saw on a bumper sticker yesterday: "Tolerance is for people who have no conviction." Now how meaningless and mean-spirited is that idea? I live in one of the most diverse areas in the U.S. in terms of languages spoken, and I cry at the response of my county officials and at vocal, hate-mongering groups who rigidly preach intolerance.
Just my thoughts on the quote of the day...needed to get that out.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The picture is just for fun. The weight is not. I've heard a lot of people say they couldn't walk a flight of stairs without getting winded, and I thought I'd never let that happen to me. But I did. It was alarming to be gasping for breath at the slightest exertion, and I was getting so much belly it was hard to bend over enough to put my socks on without holding my breath. So I decided I needed to start again, but I was feeling truly unmotivated from all my past failures and daunted by the hard work successful weight loss would entail.
Some more background: About 3 weeks or so ago, I finally acceded to my trainer's appeal to join her spring weight loss contest (my trainer is a single mom from church who has a fully equipped gym in her home from her days as a professional bodybuilder). I was at my wits' end with the weight gain, and she weighed me in at 224.5. I knew a couple of those pounds would be fluid, since I had eaten a lot of salt, so naturally those pounds were lost easily. Still, I tried to cut down a little on the food, though I didn't add any exercise beyond my once weekly yoga class and my once weekly session with the trainer.
Then I saw something about SparkPeople and followed the link. Not a clue where I saw it, but I'm glad I did. I'm among the group that has tried it all: fad diets, Weight Watchers, TOPS, Overeaters Anonymous, you name it, I've tried it, and I figured I had nothing to lose by trying one more time, so I signed up with a starting weight of 220.
At this point, I'm in my second week, so I don't have a lot of experience to write about, but I have journaled a bit about past attempts and recognized some pitfalls that contributed to my failing to lose weight and/or keep it off:
• Trying to do too much at once (i.e., reaching for too many goals, trying to make too many changes)
• Making changes that were too drastic (too much exercise and too few calories at first, or making Draconian changes in my diet that took away my reason for living :-))
• Injury from trying to do too much exercise at once
• Rewarding myself with food (just a little cheat) on reaching intermediate goals
• Depression. Not sure where this came from, but I’d get to some point and then it would seem to be not worth pursuing the goal, so I’d start eating even more and eating high-calorie foods and yo-yo back to my former weight or more.
• Feeling that it was impossible to lose weight after menopause
• Feeling I didn't deserve to succeed and look good
• Boring tracking took up too much time
I also reflected on what I'm trying to do differently this time:
• Not trying to make drastic diet changes. I’m allowing for wine dinners and parties, but so far logging food has helped me cut back on the days I will be eating/drinking a lot at night. If I go over my max calories, it's okay. No need to beat myself up about it or throw up my hands and say, "What's the use?"
• Going slower with the exercise. Not committing to a belly-fat blaster walk or a step DVD each day. Goals so far are to walk each day (pace not that important, just walk), cardio 3X/week (that had been missing totally from my life), weights 2X/week (trainer session and one other time), and yoga 2X/week (one class and one DVD). The first week I exceeded those goals, but I know life (mostly work) gets in the way, so I want to keep the goals reasonable.
Finally, I like the idea of rewards, so I needed to think up some that weren't food. I don't have an idea of which goals to attach these rewards to yet, but I wanted to start a list:
• Day at Spa World
• Pedicure at a nice, sanitation-conscious salon
• Yoga-and-Wine class with yoga teacher Kelly (okay, maybe a little food)
• Extra massage (beyond normal ones with Natasha)
• Relaxing facial
• Trip to Kripalu (BIG one)
• Find a new acupuncturist in my area
Bottom line from the first week was going from 220 to 215.2...BUT I had been sick the two days before my weekly weigh-in, so I'm not going to crap all over myself if next week's weight is a little higher. My goal for this weigh-in was 218, so I'm hoping to be around 216 next week.
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