Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I've had this absolutely weird, humorous preoccupation with this old "Far Side" cartoon ever since I knew another intervention was going to be necessary to correct my heart rhythm:
So here's how I've twisted that chuckle to "fit" my circumstances: "Hey Biff, I'm going off to the hospital to get my heart "schooled" so it beats right!" :-)
I've been WAY pleased with my weight loss efforts lately. It's so strange how without making any significant changes in my approach how QUICKLY the pounds have accelerated their disappearance! I will have to remember this when it slows down again...lol.
I've passed the big *3*0* so far since January 1st, averaging 15 pounds a month...! I am now only 2 pounds away from breaking 100 pounds lost since joining SparkPeople. And THAT marker (320 pounds when joining SP in 2007) was significantly down from my all-time high of 450 pounds from way back in the late 1980's, early 1990's.
Another motivator for me? Back in 2010 when I previously reached my goal weight of 200 I had the special honor of being one of the guests on Dr. Oz's 100th show featuring 100 people who had lost 100 pounds or more and kept it off.
Lots of cool pics in that blog, even one with Richard Simmons who was a special guest and led a round of Sweatin' to the Oldies ("Hit The Road Jack")! Great memories!
Anyhow, I've saved both the skinny-sized 38 jeans and Dr. Oz t-shirt from that occasion and have the jeans hanging up outside my closet just waiting for me to fit back into them and I can't WAIT till THAT happens! :-)
With this week's big batch o' soup I've decided to dip my big toe back into the waters of grain and put some barley in the soup which is just your basic chicken, carrots, celery, onions & garlic. I figure this will have a pretty low risk of triggering any overdoing it and reacclimate my body in a fairly tame manner.
My workouts have dropped off some in anticipation of my ablation, mostly because it just seems weird to pump up a heart that's doing such peculiar things. I'm still heading off to spinning, just not going as "all out" as I might ordinarily.
I'm liking my weight loss before the ablation as I always figure the fewer extra pounds before any medical procedure the better. I continue to give my stomach a pat on the back when it growls and grumbles at me during the morning hours, awaiting my first meal of the day at noon time...telling me I'm on the right track and didn't overdo the calories yesterday. If I DON'T sense my stomach talking to me I figure I must've run a tad high on my intake.
A confession I'll make regarding tracking: thus far I am not pulling out any food scale. I am more-or-less eyeballing my portions either through packaging (you know, those handy Dannon greek yogurt 80 calorie packages and other such conveniences) or 1 cup - 1/2 cup measures. I figure if the pounds get TOO stubborn as I near goal I can always resort to more precise measurements at that time. I am a huge fan of keeping it simple and if what I'm doing works, then so be it!
I'm feeling so READY for this ablation...top of my game with food which is a major, MAJOR big deal for me.
Now let's get this heart "schooled" good & proper and get on with my Spark even MORE fully engaged!
ps...another bonus old favorite "Far Side" for you cat-lovers (or haters...lol):
Friday, February 28, 2014
One of our members of "At Goal and Maintaining" SparkTeam recently expressed worries about relapse and "obsessing" over food. This got me thinking about some of the changes in my thinking since 2014 began.
I once upon a teensy sliver of time reached my goal of 200 only a few years ago in 2010 and am clawing my way back to goal again (SHEESH but the pounds are getting stubborn, but I'm MORE stubborn!) but with a different attitude this time around that I think will pull me through toward greater success in maintenance this time around.
NELLJONES response summed it up to a "T" in her response, basically normalizing what can seem obsessive to others, what once seemed obsessive to ME: the care and precision in tracking our food which is necessary for folks like us to achieve and maintain healthy weight truly is "normal" within the context of own unique realities. It's not "whacked" or a "pre-occupation" or "obsessive" or whatever derogatory label one wants to give it.
It's our reality: we MUST follow these steps if we are going to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Research continues to bear this out, thank you to the wonderful folks at the National Weight Control Registry who continue to support, pull together and highlight such efforts:
Our fears can be so rooted in our perceptions. If we can shift our "lens" and realize that for folks who have been obese; the steps we must take to achieve and maintain our weight are normal, evidence-based practices; we can pull the plug from viewing ourselves as "weird" or in some way negative and instead champion our efforts by patting ourselves on the back as one of the rare 5% who can successfully lose the weight and keep it off!
PS: NELLJONES' comment in the message thread which resonated: "Food is more than eating. It's deciding what I will cook, making the shopping lists and where I will acquire the ingredients, noting what has to be done in advance (meat out of freezer, soak beans, etc), then the hands on prep and cooking. Eating is just the last piece of it. It's become a hobby like any other hobby. No one questions obsessive quilters or coin collectors."
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Sometimes a workout is just that: a WORK out! It just doesn't come easy and it just doesn't crank up those endorphins the way one would like.
This morning was one of those mornings. The old upper body ST moves just weren't happening without a lotta OOF and there were no new increments of weight added...just the same-old, same-old. So after almost an hour of that I move on to Spinning Class for an hour. But again it just wasn't happening. I was going through the motions but none of the tunes grabbed me the way they sometimes do. You know: when the rhythm of the music is right in sync with your pedaling or even better, inspires you to pedal harder?
So after a "meh" morning at the fitness center, feeling like my tank was running lower than it should and thinking about my heart, I head out to the car and WOW:
The great outdoors were beckoning! Clear blue skies, sunshine and mid-40's! Within a couple of days we are in for more frigid single digits and below weather: This was clearly a day to savor and treasure!
Although I wondered about tossing another workout on top of two that were already so-so I simply could not let this day pass without taking advantage of it!
Off to Otsiningo Park I go and pull out my Nordic Poles which had been gathering FAR too much dust, put on my mp3 player and I'm OFF to the trails! It was utterly the smartest thing I have done for myself in a while! I was just enthralled with my music, the weather, the trails busy with families, couples, joggers, kids on bikes and moving my body felt just WONDERFUL! I was non-stop smiles and at times even chuckling and chortling with inner dialogue such as:
My inner critic: "You're gonna PAY for this with all sorts of aches and pains!"
Me: "PAY?!? If what I'm doing is COSTING me I'll gladly hand over my wallet! There isn't any pill, potion or magic that can do any more for me than what I am doing right now!"
The shuffle on my mp3 player was in rare form, first serving up a couple of Sergio Mendes tunes, the first from my very favorite album of his:
Brasileiro - Magalenha
Sergio Mendes, Encanto - Odo-Ya (be forewarned...these two albums of Sergio's will get you up and MOVIN' to the GROOVIN'!)
Marcus Roberts - Cherokee: Virtuosic boogie woogie! You've never heard two hands have more fun than this!
The Who Live At Leeds Shakin All Over (and later Baba O'Riley!) Love the bombast and drive of The Who!
Basia - Someone For Everyone (nice jazzy piece from an under-appreciated Polish singer)...couldn't find the studio version, but this live one is fun!
Had a nice teaser blast from the past: Sly Stone's Hot Fun in the (ahem) WINTERTIME! :-)
And I was delighted to get this recommended tune courtesy of RECREATING_ME! Pharrell Williams - Happy! Such a fun video with this one!
When I use the Nordic poles I try to really get *into* the stride and to remember to swivel my hips with my walk. With all the great music being served up it felt more like Nordic Swing Dance than Nordic Walking...lol! I tossed some jogging in now & then when it got a little sloppy for the poles and fjorded a few parts of the trail which were flooded over.
And yes, when it was all said & done and I finished the 5.25 mile loop I was one whupped and hurting pile of joy! Totally put thoughts of my heart on the way back burner!
Before signing off I just had to share such an inspiring talk I heard on TED TV, courtesy of our local public radio station:
Less Stuff, More Happiness:
"Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life."
This is really great wisdom, HUGELY resonated with me, and is WELL worth checking out!
Find and celebrate your SPARK everyone!
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Beginning in January I've been on a zero-sugar, zero-grain approach and for the heckuvit I've been trying what some refer to as an intermittent fasting where I only eat from noon until 8-9 pm and leave myself food-free for around 16 hours. Keeping calories around 1400-1600 a day.
During the first few weeks BAM! I dropped 20 pounds. I was thrilled, but I knew it wouldn't last...but but but...I've been almost totally flat for Feb. following the same approach that dropped all those initial pounds. Definitely WAY frustrating! But heck...what are my options? I figure I've gotta stay the course on the zero-sugar, zero-grains...this is how I eliminate nearly ALL my trigger foods. Plus eliminating the food option from 9 pm to noon simplifies my life even more not having to contend with food during those hours...always so hectic getting out of the house first thing in the morning, I appreciate not having food get in the way, lol!
So the pounds have been zig-zagging around the 230's during February, but finally hitting 230 today felt like: all RIGHT! Being more stubborn than the pounds is gonna pay off after ALL! I'm still feeling pretty good about my unusual approach to food. I think this is going to work for the long haul with minor tweaks for maintenance. After seeing how flat my weight can be even with this low caloric range I can tell that shifting into maintenance is really going be such a minor change. There is no magic gold ring of bonus calories awaiting when I reach goal weight. Hunger and Patience will continue to be my Best Friends Forever! :-)
My experiments are truly my OWN and I don't mean to suggest this as "the solution" for ALL! We are all SO UNIQUE! We all are our own best experiments and have to tweak and learn from what works and what doesn't.
Monday I meet with my "electrician" and hope to find out more about the "re-wiring" projects he proposes to get my heart back on track. In the meantime I have resumed my nearly daily cardio regimen, albeit a smidgen of a notch down and with Spinning classes still knocking my socks off even after scaling back. This has left me with an "empty tank" and unable to pull off Swing Dance on top of my workouts over the past several weeks, which I miss.
I've updated my SparkPage to reflect current goals as I am now approaching my seventh year with our wonderful SparkFamily!
Keep the SPARK everyone!
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