Thursday, October 22, 2009
Recently as part of a challenge for those of us previewing Chris Downie's book "The Spark" I finally agreed to track my food.
This is pretty big for me...I have been holding out on food tracking since Day 1 of being with SparkPeople...no matter HOW many great benefits and rave reviews of tracking I'd read I persisted in my aversion to tracking food. Too much like the bad old days of "dieting!"
I psychologically prepared myself for this back when I made a commitment to breaking through to ONEderland by the New Year, realizing that if I couldn't make the headway I wanted toward this goal I might have to finally pull this tool out of the chest and put it to work.
So at the end of day two of tracking I've been pleasantly surprised over how EASY it is to do and how COMPREHENSIVE the food data is...finding things listed I didn't think I'd see.
I'm pleased also to see my totals are turning out okay...a bit low, but not too high as I feared they might be.
I enjoy seeing all the stats and figures such as percentages, etc. It's like taking a handful of random change and tossing into a sorter and seeing how the rack up. Except of course my food choices are HARDLY RANDOM!
Another thing I've noticed is the "built in" restraint that kicks in when the urge to snack or nibble comes along..."oh! I'll have to log that! Um...where's the water?" :-)
While I'm not making any long-term promises or guarantees, I'm suspecting I may just stick with this tracking / logging stuff! I have a hunch it may be an invaluable aid while traveling to ONEderland...!
I had a wonderful bike ride today back and forth to work, 9 miles away...1100 calories up in smoke!...woo hoo! Love the Fitness Maps! Froze this morning...shorts & a T-shirt in 48 degree weather. Yeah, stupid, but...I just HATE to be encumbered by long sleeves, pant-legs, straps and elastic bands when riding my bike. I get such a HIGH from feeling so empowered and free I want to compromise that as little as possible with such things! I DID have a pair of gloves though as my hands are the most vulnerable part of me when it comes to feeling the cold.
Besides...I was sweatin' it coming home wearing the same things! :-)
Because of the dark of the morning AND the evening, I suspect that's my last work ride until springtime...drat! Can't WAIT to start racking up 2-3 days a week of biking like this!
Hope everyone's got their Spark lights shining strong out there!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I have to confess to having a little "help" via the cleansing one has to do before having a colonoscopy, but I am still THRILLED nonetheless to having dropped TEN POUNDS this week!
I dropped from 226 to 220 after the first attempt at a colonoscopy. Then bounced up to 224 last week...and now down to 214! Woo hoo! Now I am already mentally preparing myself for some possible rebound as I did after my last colonoscopy attempt...but nonetheless the zig-zag is heading downward! ONEderland here I come!
Other than the colonoscopy, the other changes I've made is for 1-2 days a week I allow myself only non-starchy veggies for the day, which I figure does some shaking up and confusion to my body and promotes more weight loss. I've continued to keep the nuts out of my food choices. An "addition" I've made to my food has been apples. After reading about the higher fiber content that fruit has than veggies and also realizing that NOT including fruit in the interests of maintaining a lower carb approach was something I had planned to change at some point anyhow: I thought why not add an apple here & there? We've been out apple picking lately too which has added to its appeal. Yum, nothing like biting into a crisp, juicy, sweet-sour Cortland!
Beyond this, however, I have to confess to having a weird sort of doldrums this past week. There was a day of unintended, unwanted missed cardio...just couldn't pull myself up onto the old 'mill. I ALWAYS beat myself up for this...don't know WHY it can be such a struggle sometimes! I know I've been missing other types of workout outlets lately, 'millwork has been getting boring...
So along those lines, I've decided tomorrow, since I'm not working late and the weather is bouncing back to the upper 60's AND since the road repairs are largely completed (still some striping and minor stuff going on, but the shoulders are done) I will ride my bike back and forth to work. This is something I want to do on a more regular basis once we're back to warmer weather in the spring...but have to be vigilant for those occasional "do-able" days left here in the fall also! Riding my bike often gives me a great boost and I'm SO looking forward to THAT!
I've been previewing Chris Downie's book "The Spark" and I'll tell you, there are some challenging ideas in this book...it really makes you stop, take note and think about what direction you want your life to take...! It's like, wow...I've done so much already, how can I TOP this...?!?! Yet on the other hand I know I've been feeling a bit stagnant, needing a more specific goal to sink my teeth into. Yes, I know I've had ONEderland on my brain...but I'm beginning to question that goal...felt like I was floundering during my zig-zags...still wanting to reach that goal, but already challenging myself: How is life going to be any different when a new number shows up on the scale...?
So how WOULD I like life to be different...? Working through "The Spark" has begun to give me some ideas, some glimmers...but as to pulling this all together and having a clear VISION of what I want to see blooming in my life? Specific, concrete changes? Still struggling with that. I have the same difficulty in making changes in my home...we're looking at laminate flooring. I can see so many styles that appeal. But to store in my head a given laminate color, style and then match that with a specific color wall and decide okay, what kind of furniture would go with that...? Ugh! No can do! I'm having the same struggle taking my values, beliefs...mixing it with a "vision" of my ideal future and conjuring specific Fast Break Goals that will put one foot ahead of the other and take me toward that vision.
I'm looking forward to meeting with other members of SparkPeople locally as one of our new members has recently moved and invited us to her place on Saturday. We came up with the idea as she tongue-in-cheek suggested in her blog that fellow members of SparkPeople come over to help her to move her belongings. I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea and took her up on it! Not sure that there's much moving to do still, but meeting everyone will be super!
I've been SO inspired by ALL of your wonderful blogging lately everyone... Keep up the terrific sharing and support that continues to add to the strength of our SparkFamily ties!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Okay...as you've probably seen by my status, the Nulytely and other concoctions have done their duty...kept me awake almost throughout the night...and they're STILL causing rumblings this evening! Trying to fight it off with the acidophilus in my yogurt...lol! Needless to say my gastro doc gave me an "all's clear, see you in ten years!"
With so little sleep I'm all dragged out, sneezy & drippy with my allergies kicking up a fuss due to my lowered resistance. We got out to enjoy a late buffet lunch and WOW did that Nulytely (hey, they've gotta get a new name for this stuff...there's nothing LYTE about it...lol!) continue to kick up a fuss!
Anyhow here I am tonight enjoying everyone's terrific support posting on my blog and SparkPage (thx BUNCHES everyone...our SparkFamily is the BEST!) when at last I come across an e-mail from AARP:
Congratulations! You are one of the winners of our Vitality Project Sweepstakes.
Please sign the attached affidavit, have it notarized, and return it to me by October 30.
You should receive one pair of LEKI Nordic Walking poles by December 1.
Thank you for entering our contest.
AARP the Magazine
Now how VERY COOL is THAT?!?!
I have been so CURIOUS about Nordic Walking and wanting to try it...the serendipity of this moment just blows my mind! I absolutely *NEVER* win ANYTHING! ...here I am in the doldrums and along comes this most pleasant SMACK upside the head!
OK God, Universe & all you *Forces* we cannot fathom...guess I've just gotta get my SPARK ON! :-)
Here's a link explaining the AARP Blue Zones Project:
I was drawn to this thinking, what a SPARK-like undertaking for a city! Wonder how I could make this happen here in the Binghamton area...? Along the way I entered their sweeps. Oh, and took a survey which predicts how long you'll live based on your current health condition and lifestyle...looks like I'll live to a ripe old 91 years...lol!
And one of my recent habits on my birthday is to visit:
So I can figure out how YOUNG I've grown this year:
Last year I turned 52 and scored a RealAge of 48.
The year before I turned 51 and scored a RealAge of 49.
Now THIS YEAR...drum roll....I've turned 53 and my latest RealAge score is 44.6! Woo Hoo!
Still growing younger every year! :-)
Talk about another way to measure progress outside of the SCALE...!
Keep SPARKING ON everyone and have a super weekend!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Well I think it's time to put some thoughts down here...been putting this off hoping for more inspiration, more SPARK...but for whatever reason this hasn't happened.
Trying to put my finger on the "blahs" which have been hanging on lately. Haven't been feeling rested, haven't been feeling like working out (although I have, but without any real oomph) and while visiting relatives in MI picked up 4# due to over-indulging in relatively healthy food, just too much. Back in the saddle since returning on Monday. Those long 12 hour car trips really take so much out of a person! I just don't understand why sitting in a car for 12 hours should be so tiring! It's not like our bodies are being taxed in any significant way...
Medically I've been gearing up for attempt #2 at a colonoscopy...am chugging away a gallon of Nulytely after a day of clear liquids, including Miralax, Dulcolax and a quart of prune juice. Yesterday I ate only non-starchy veggies and 3 apples. I'm doing all that I can to make this routine colonoscopy screening happen successfully. Silly of me to do this, but I chose to schedule the colonoscopy for tomorrow...my 53rd birthday! Woo...hoo...? I put it off so I could get out to MI, but then wanted to do it ASAP.
Another nagging thing has been inner ear pressure on my right ear which is NOT an infection, per my primary care doc...however it has dampened my hearing which has had an odd psychological effect of creating a sort of buffer between me and the world...feeling more cut off from people and activity, missing small sounds which whiz by unnoticed... Next week I finally catch up with the ENT to find out what the heck is going on.
I'm just not used to all these medical hiccups and am pretty impatient and irritable over such things...which I realize are so minor compared to the serious health woes of others!
I DO have a Spark Rally to look forward to on Sunday as our local Binghamton Area Losers are going to join our local CHOW Hunger Walk in raising money for the needy. While I'm certainly looking forward to this, it hasn't yet given me the kind of boost anticipating these kind of gatherings usually do.
So it's like my Spark is there, but just sorta dampened lately...and I don't like it!
Will keep on keeping on...doing the work of striking stone on stone until I can get SPARKING the way I WANT to!
Friday, October 09, 2009
Although I had hoped to get out for long walks/jogs while visiting family in MI, it's just been too yucky outside...cold, drippy and dreary. So I had my son set up his bike in his bike trainer and tried mimicking what I imagine a "spinning" class to be like...whew! Great, soaking wet workout! :-) SPINNING the drearies away...! (I've YET to join a spinning class, but would like to someday...you know, like when there's TIME?!?!)
While traveling to MI I had a blast listening to Frank McCourt's Teacher Man in audiobook format. It was wonderful to hear him telling his own story with his Irish brogue mixed in with tough, tell-it-like-it-is New York City influences.
A couple of things he said resonated with my wonderful journey here at SparkPeople. When talking about his philosophy of teaching he drew a big letter "F" on the left side of his chalkboard and another big letter "F" on the right side of his chalkboard and said that when he teaches he hopes to inspire students to move from:
Fear ---> Toward ---> FREEDOM!
...which sums up what I and I think MANY of you are doing here through SparkPeople... BOTH actually MOVING and making that transition from Fear to Freedom, but ALSO to INSPIRE OTHERS to do the SAME! Chris Downie also echoes this sentiment in his book "The SPARK!" Which I've also been reading and nodding my head throughout. Chris uses my well-worn reference to Newton's Laws of Physics...an object at rest tends to stay at rest, while an object in motion tends to stay in motion. This is why missing a day of cardio is so risky for me...I IMMEDIATELY feel the pull of staying STOPPED and have to FIGHT it so!
Another thing McCourt said toward the end of his book referring to retirement was that he wanted to be "out IN the world before" he "was out OF the world!"
Which also sums up a driving force within myself: I want to do ALL those things I've passed up along the way in my life...things I either told myself I was too fat to do or too apathetic to do...I crave it ALL and want so much to catch up and do it ALL! Preferably YESTERDAY! :-)
So SPARK ON, everyone...be your OWN inspiration and pay it forward by inspiring OTHERS TOO!
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