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Just an Update for September

Friday, September 23, 2011

I can't believe it's already September, and then almost over! I feel like I've lost this entire month!

This is probably boring and long, but I felt I needed to update why I'm not here much this month.

1. Tuckers funeral (my brother in law) was on the 7th. We drove to Washington for the funeral and since we had planned it we spent the first couple days just getting the final details done. While there were a couple family members who were unhappy (and not speaking to me) most of the people who came said it was lovely, and I think it turned out beautiful. We spent lots of time with his widow and son and it was a very healing visit for us I think. DH and I decided since we had to drive home we'd drive another way, so we went over towards Idaho and down the west side of Idaho instead of through northeast Oregon. It was nice to see something different and gave us some very much needed time together. The rest of the month we knew we'd be spending time apart.

2. Spent 1 week at home getting work in order. We are busy as this is our upstart time of year and we have lots of new students trying to come in. Got most everything handled and all the interviews in we had time for, so work is actually going well.

3. Had to travel for work for a state conference. It's always hard to be away from home but it was a very good conference overall and I learned a lot. I also was very honored to get an award there for the best performing program in the state. I have lots of help, but the acknowledgment of a job well done is always nice. While I was gone DH was going to finally tackle the bathroom remodel in our master bath. He managed the tear out just fine, but as we have found every time we remodel anything in this house-the original builders finished it themselves and did an awful job. We've found walls and floors without insulation, plumbing and electrical done wrong, you name it. We had that happen this time, too. So while I threatened everyone I was not going to come back from my conference and have to potty in the shower....the bathroom had so many set backs it was not anywhere near done. What they've done looks lovely, but it will be a little while longer.

4. I'm traveling again after this weekend. I have just enough time to wash clothes and re-pack and hit the road again. I will be gone until later in the week, at which time September will be almost over. But, no where to go after this, and I plan to settle in. I've had ups and down with the food in the traveling-some good days and some not great days. Tried to exercise when I could. I still feel off my game and am ready to be back to 'normal'.

5. Emotionally I'm feeling off kilter still. I will admit I'm not through grieving for Tucker. I've had him in my life and loved him for 35 years and it's hard to walk away from that. But I have other things going on at home that have added to the emotional upheaval. When I returned today from the conference 3 co-workers were hit in the same day with horrible news about loved ones. One teacher heard her mother was rushed to the hospital and they have found cancer throughout her brain. One, who is getting married in two weeks, found out her fiance' has cancer all through his torso and had to begin chemo yesterday. And another was called that her sister woke up in a pool of blood and they still don't know why as I write this. All of this makes life seem precious, every moment important, our loved ones central to everything and all else very much less so. I am responsible for my choices day by day, but I also know that I am, most of the time, doing the best I can with what I have, and that no one can judge my choices if they are not in my shoes. I try to remember that about others, too. It makes the world a nicer place, I think, if we treat everyone and ourselves with a little kindness. So I'm going to be kind to myself and go cuddle with my DH and enjoy being with him this evening. But I also wanted to spend a little time with my spark friends, all of whom I miss every day I'm gone, and to let you all know I'm thankful to have you in my life.

Take care, Di

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MICKEYMAX 9/27/2011 8:30AM

    Hang in there, Di - and sending lots of love.

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MIZCATHI 9/26/2011 6:11AM

    It's hard to wake up sometimes and witness all this pain and loss. But everyday that we do it makes us stronger, and life keeps pulling us along. Warm hugs.

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CHALLENGER15 9/25/2011 6:21PM

    emoticon

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SHARONSPARKLE 9/25/2011 4:12PM

    Hang in there, Spark Friend as this has been an emotional month for you! I am proud of how you have handled everything and want to congratulate you on your award. Now, hopefully, Oct will be a better month and you'll finish up with the bathroom remodel. It was nice to hear from you.

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_KATHY 9/25/2011 11:56AM

    Ditto all of the above. Or in this case, below
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ITSAWRAP_DIMI 9/25/2011 10:22AM

    You have had a lot going on! Very emotional. Congrats on your award!!! I have had some losses in my life and there are good moments then the not so good but they both serve a purpose so embrace your feelings and feel them!
Hats off to you for all you do in being a leader for the leader team and your individual team!


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BESTCK 9/25/2011 7:48AM

    Wow, Di. What an emotional month. That's a lot to process and you do it with such grace and kindness. Don't forget to care for yourself as you are caring for all of us.

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DONNA_VT 9/24/2011 5:01PM

    Your blog was a poignant reminder of how precious life is and how we need to cherish those around us. Hoping that October brings better times for you and those who touch your life.

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PATRISNA 9/24/2011 10:33AM

    Di,
You had a very emotional and tiring month with all the travel and work. You do need time to grieve for Tucker. How sad your coworkers families are suffering also.

Congratulations on the award for your program! Hope your travel goes well this week and progress will be made on the bathroom. If walls could talk then your DH would have been prepared. I am sure it will be lovely when he finishes the remodel.

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GEORGIA_KAY 9/24/2011 9:55AM

    My life feels a little off kilter too for some reason. Maybe it's just the time of the year for it--who can tell? But one thing I do know is I'm glad that I have good friends like you.

Love you, Di. Take care of YOU.

hugs-
Georgia
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NO_SNOW_BODY 9/24/2011 8:25AM

    I agree time is precious, lost my brother a few years ago and still feel an emptiness, hug your hubby and ahve a great weekend

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MSWEEZER 9/24/2011 7:07AM

    Good to hear from you and sorry for all that is happening in your world these days. You are doing the best you can and it shows. You are a great role model to so many my friend.

Hoping October slows a bit and you can focus on the more important things in life as well.

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BE-THE-CHANGE 9/24/2011 7:04AM

    emoticon emoticon
I have two brothers and I can't imagine what you are going through. I am sure it will take a while for your grief over Tucker to subside a bit. We are here if you need us.

Congrats on the award! It is nice when your hard work is recognized.

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2BEHEALTHYAGAIN 9/24/2011 2:40AM

    So good to hear from you---keeping everyone in my prayers.

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QUILTINGB52 9/24/2011 12:43AM

    Have had you in my thoughts & prayers during your stressful month. Hope you can be comforted to know that Tucker's spirit will always be with you.

Good that you were able to spend time with his wife & family.

Looking forward to having you back with us.



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WALKINGGRANDMA 9/24/2011 12:13AM

    Good to hear from you. Saying goodbye is always hard. I don't think it is necessary to bury your memories of Tucker. For a while, you will want to remember him and his life. As time passes, it will be less, but he is so much a part of you, you will always remember him and feel love for him and miss him.

So sad about coworkers. It seems you are good for a while, though with bad news. Three is the magic number (for many of life's trials.) What a mess! Do they all live near each other? That would make me a little leery of others.

Congrats on your award. I know there are others involved, but you represent them and you are ultimately responsible. It is an honor to be doing this right.

Hope you have a good October. September seems to be a "car month."

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KNH771 9/23/2011 11:51PM

    It was nice to hear from you. I know the travelling can be rough. Just got home myself. I've actually been summoned for jury duty in October. Means I'll get to stay home for a whole month! Congrats on your award, and prayers for continued healing.

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GRINGUITA 9/23/2011 11:33PM

    Life is precious -- thanks for the reminder. It's a good thing to remember every time we have to make a choice in life.

Love you lady!

BA
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More change cycle

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Sapphire Sisters are doing this exercise with me and it's been wonderful reading some of their discoveries and learning how some of them are going about this activity. We are all so different and we respond to different things. Turns out my inner child likes stickers! If I have an 'on plan' day (which does not equal being perfect all day long, it just means sticking to my plan for this week) I get a sticker on the calendar. The Mrs. had me thinking about stickers long ago, she's a sticker girl, too, for her exercise plan. Turns out I like it!

For those who are not Sapphires,though, I thought I'd post some more information about this that we are all working on. It contains several scenarios that give examples of how to approach change.

And yes, you CAN be in more than one place at a time. Many of us slip from action to relapse to contemplation back to action and so on. The goal is to stay in action, at least spend more time there than we do in the other stages…but it’s a process. Obviously this isn't for everyone. I do know some people on SP who made a decision to change and have never had a moment of relapse since, who have been able to stay on plan every single day. And that is what we're all hoping for, but for those of us who feel like we're sort of floating along this can be a good first step out of the pond. I know it's already helped me a LOT, and I'm already feeling the emotional benefit from knowing I am making positive changes. Take what you like, leave the rest!

SCENARIO ONE:
You want to stop eating chocolate. First, you break that down before you approach the action step.
You have 2 ways to look at that:
1. If you eat chocolate daily you can ask yourself "am I willing to give it up one (or two) days of the week? or
2. If you really think it will be difficult to do that you ask "am I willing to give up chocolate after (or before) 6 pm?

The point is to break it into a small step. Just one step. Then when you determine what you want to agree to, you set a begin date.
Beginning Monday I will not eat any chocolate after 6 p.m. at night. For every day I am successful I will put a sticker or star or whatever on the calendar day. My goal is to give chocolate up 2 nights this week. (If you are a visual person, have an actual calendar and stickers or a happy face or whatever. The computer does not satisfy our need for visual reinforcement, but a calendar or paper with shiny stickers on it will.)
After a week of this someone you will be accountable to (a person, the team) will check back with you and you will report how that week went.
"I gave up chocolate two days this week and it went pretty good. I didn't really miss it."

Then the next step is "can you give it up one extra day?(or two) and so on...
And you will then do that for a couple weeks.
The easiest way to look at this is something like quitting smoking. If someone can't quit they might be willing to give up 2 cigarettes a day. Then maybe a couple more. If they start with "I will never smoke another one" they tend to get overwhelmed. You can also add things you discovered during planning like, with chocolate, researching on SP and discovering that chocolate over 70% has some really good health benefits and how about if you exchanged 1 ounce of that for one of your current chocolates per day.

SCENARIO TWO:
You want to give up drinking soda.
Take a look at how often in a week you are drinking soda. Let's just begin there for the first week or so.

Here is an example of how to look at this:

I am drinking soda every other day, so about 3-4 times a week.
My goal is to not drink soda.

I am willing to give up soda ONE of those days and I will replace it with flavored water.
I will keep a daily record that I can see and on the days I do not have a soda I will put a sticker on that day. My goal right now is to only have 2 days without a sticker.

You keep this up for a couple weeks. Then you sit down and decide if you can give up 1 more day of soda. And do that for a couple weeks.

Maybe you will need to stay at 1 or 2 a week for awhile. That's okay. This is YOUR process, you control it, you decide.

When you are comfortable with where you are, you look at the next thing you want to change/add and do the same. Maybe switch flavored water with plain water. Or coffee with water.

SCENARIO THREE:
I want to exercise regularly.
Right now I either exercise all the time or days and days go by. I have no real pattern to it.
My goal is to exercise 4 days a week for 30 minutes.
Because things are crazy, I am going to start with 2 days a week. I am making it my goal for the first 3 weeks of the challenge to exercise at least 2 days a week. If I do more, fine, but my goal is 2 days.
You will work with someone/the team to be accountable. At the end of the week you will be able to say “I did exercise 2 days this week! It was okay and I am going to keep my goal that for the next week.”
Then, when you feel good there, you can add 1 day. And so on.
Sometimes when we are in action for a long time (I have been exercising 4 days a week for a year but stopped doing it a month ago) this process can help us get right back to action, because we recognize where we are, we recognize we can CHANGE where we are, and that hopelessness goes away.

The purpose of this is to understand this is a process. If you told us all you wanted to go out and do a 5k walk today we would cheer you even if you came in last place! Because you did it. That same thing can apply to this. Have you made ANY PROGRESS in your goals? if you did, it's total WIN, not a failure.

This is to help us overcome the 'relapse' mentality, which is demoralizing and defeating and we ALL go there.

I am going to focus on night time eating. I am an all or nothing person so my head goes to “I want to stop night time eating, and exercise every day, and stop having any sugar and…..so on and so on.” But that is part of what defeats me, too much. Slow is okay. Slow is a beginning.

One step at a time. We can do this!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 9/14/2011 12:41AM

    We can do anything we set our minds to do!!

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CATEECHER 9/5/2011 1:01PM

    Thank you for sharing this! It is so helpful and right where I am now. Gos hand in hand with my trainer trying to get me to give up the "all or nothing" mentality. Thanks again!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 9/3/2011 6:53AM

    This is an EXCELLENT BLOG! Thanks for showing us the way my sister/friend. You have inspired me to get back to basics. Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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WINELADY01 9/2/2011 9:18PM

    Great blog, Di. I'm a sticker fan too. Just got a batch that were originally for giving kids encouragement for school (this is a great time to stock up on motivational stickers!). I really like how you're breaking it down. I have a couple of things I need to do this with - part of my perfectionistic tendencies. Breaking tasks and goals into manageable pieces is definitely part of the process. Thanks for a really good blog with a lot of good examples! Have a great Labor Day weekend! Arlene

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KOBER9999 9/2/2011 3:29PM

    You are so right - One step at a time. We can do this!
Great Blog!

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SWEETDEEDEE 9/2/2011 8:20AM

    Another great blog! Yes, I believe we must slow it down and take one step at a time. We are defeated before we start if we try to do it all at once. Your process/suggestions will and can work.

Thanks,
SweetDeeDee

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SPHAPPYHIKER 9/1/2011 9:38PM

    Sheila (JAKEANDNELLIE) lead me to this page and boy is it something I really needed right now. Thank you.

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MT-MOONCHASER 9/1/2011 9:00PM

    Lots of good ideas here.

Thanks.

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BE-THE-CHANGE 9/1/2011 8:26PM

    Love it, Di!

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MSWEEZER 8/31/2011 6:01PM

    OH yea, this is good my friend. I am feeling the need to work on some areas and will use some of this plan for sure. I'm not sure I need the sticker part but maybe I do. Can't hurt and if I use my calendar on my desk, where I see it constantly, it might be just what I need. Hmmmm............

Thanks for sharing!

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MIZCATHI 8/31/2011 5:14PM

    I like this concept. I have done really well with continuing exercise, but I have been stress snacking on things like pretzels and crackers. So I think I'll give those up completely because I can do that. I went to the grocery store today and got some KLC high fiber cookies and some apples and gum. When I need to crunch I'll substitute with that kind of crunch. You sound good!

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SUSAN134 8/31/2011 2:42PM

    I love the breaking things down......so simple and makes so much sense! The exercise one I can particularly identify with and will try this. Have to get over the 'all or nothing' attitude! Thank you for sharing!

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DYNAMICDEB53 8/31/2011 2:21PM

    Di what a cool plan, first the breaking down to slow and steady steps and the stickers, a very visual reward. I like stickers too, think they are fun.
So what kind of stickers did you get???
You can do it and nothing wrong with slow and steady.
Hugs and love
Deb

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MADKAPKID 8/31/2011 12:58PM

    Thank you so much for this and yesterdays blog. IT really does give me a new view of things. LOVE the ideas you share. Have a joy filled day, Karen emoticon

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BESTCK 8/31/2011 11:02AM

    Thanks for the clarification, DI. Keep explaining it to me and I will get it. LOL emoticon

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DARKTHOR 8/31/2011 10:31AM

    Great ideas here! I really love how everything is broken down into manageable steps.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/31/2011 10:03AM

    Thank you for posting this. Working through this "homework" has really helped me refocus and adjust my program and priorities!
Sheila

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One step at a time

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I always loved the idea of one day at a time. You can do something for one day that seems impossible if all the days of your life stretch out ahead of you. I have sort of fallen away from that a little, and need to get back there. Having been diagnosed with Celiac has created a huge change in my eating patterns and I am still struggling with that a little bit. I know what to do, though, so that is a positive thing.

I spent yesterday in an all day training at work and part of it was looking at the change cycle.


No one here at SP is in pre-contemplation. We're all here because we already know we want to change things. So we are either in planning (how do I do this?) or we are in action and a few lucky people are in maintenance....the changes have become permanent and part of their lives. There is one part this particular graphic left out: Relapse. Relapse will hopefully take you back to contemplation...or planning...and lead back to action again.

Where are you in your journey here? Are you in maintenance? Have you made the changes you came here to Sp to focus on a part of your daily life?

Are you in contemplation? You want to change but so far you are still just thinking about it?

In planning? Coming up with a daily or weekly or lifelong plan that will work for you?

Or maybe you are in the dreaded relapse. You found yourself in action once but have fallen away.

What matters today is knowing that I CAN make the decision about where I am. I know where to go for help. If anyone is still in planning SP has a wealth of information available to help you figure out what to do.

We did an exercise on this yesterday about a habit I want to change (night time snacking) and by the time we were done my partner said 'you already know all this-you've already made the decision and are at action' and I thought...I am? I thought I was still wallowing around unsure of how to take that first step.

Just take it. One step. One day. This is one place where you do not have to get all A's...be 100% at everything to be successful. This is one place where effort counts, where finishing the days race, even slowly, counts.

One step. I can do one step.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLSMOM 9/4/2011 9:56PM

    Thanks for giving us something new to think about. You always inspire me to do better...thanks! emoticon

Gail

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IZZYBEBOP 8/31/2011 3:00PM

    What a great way to look at how we approach our fitness and nutrition, and healthy lifestyle.

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KASEYCOFF 8/31/2011 3:17AM

    emoticon

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SUSIEPH1 8/30/2011 11:31PM

    my Friend Sheila sent me here.
I so agree with you we must take it one day at a time.
If we rush these things, not only can we injure ourselves we can also find it very hard and off putting to change our nutrition over night.
We ned to ease into this way of life gently and persistently in order to succeed..
Thank you for putting this so simply.
I just love the graph emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MADKAPKID 8/30/2011 11:24PM

    Absolutely right on. I needed to read this blog today and am very happy my friend Sheila steered me towards it in her blog today. Have a joy filled day...ONE step at a time for me is doable.....Karen

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BE-THE-CHANGE 8/27/2011 6:36PM

    What a great blog!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/27/2011 4:05PM

    You're right... I can do it one step at a time... one hour at a time.....one day at a time.... I needed to read this today. Love you, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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ESBELL 8/26/2011 11:28AM

    Thinking about doing this for the rest of my life feels so overwhelming sometimes. The burden seems more bearable when I break it down "for today only I must......." And on days when that seems like to much it can be "for the next hour......." or even "for just 5 minutes....."

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BESTCK 8/26/2011 7:27AM

    Great idea. I love the visual but most of all I love the idea that it's okay to be at a different place than where we thought we'd be. Change is not linear, it's cyclical. We have to continue to revisit this cycle.

Excellent! Thanks!

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IAMFREETORUN 8/26/2011 3:18AM

    I loved this blog! This is a great visual breakdown of the whole process. It seems like I am stuck in a never-ending loop between planning/preparation, action, and relapse.

I know I want this. I know what I need to do to do it. Sometimes, I even do it. But before I know it, I've lost my grip on my actions and I'm right back to have to plan and prep all over again. I used to make excuses and say that life kept getting in the way. But now I realize - it's not LIFE that gets in the way, it's ME. Life is life, we know this. We have accidents and pay bills late and just plain screw up all the time but we keep moving forward (mostly).

I love this graphic because suddenly I realize that I need to make the Planning/Prep and Action arrows closer together, maybe even smush them into each other. By this I mean I need to learn to "tuck and roll" a LOT faster. I need to notice that my grip is loosening and tighten it up before I let go, fall off and have to start all over (and with road rash to boot). If I do fall, I need to learn to be much quicker about reassessing my plan and jumping back into action.

Thanks for your blogs. I love how generous you are with your struggle on this road.

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IMNOTSTOPPIN 8/24/2011 8:20PM

    You've written an excellent blog. I think I will need to re-read it and re-read it. Thanks for the motivation.

I think I'm in the pre-planning stage if there's such a thing.

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KNH771 8/24/2011 6:51PM

    At my job we talk about a continuous plan/do/study/act cycle. Stop every once in a while and evaluate your progress, make adjustments to the plan and put the plan into action... Short and long term cycles.

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ANGIEINTRAINING 8/24/2011 4:18PM

    I love the visual! I am a visual/hands on learner so this is quite helpful. Thanks for sharing!

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DYNAMICDEB53 8/24/2011 1:56PM

    Di love that visual. I can see that it works for so many different goals. I am glad you are taking it one step at a time, its the best way. Like a chicld we need to walk before we can run. I am just so glad you are here, you inspire me always.
Hugs and love
Deb

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MICKEYMAX 8/24/2011 1:20PM

    You go DI! Great job!

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_KATHY 8/24/2011 11:03AM

    Thanks for the great blog Di. I agree the visual is very powerful. It's simple and simple works best. I just have to keep things simple and not over complicate things.

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MIZCATHI 8/24/2011 10:49AM

    Loved the visualization with the chart! I am back in the Action phase after stepping out of maintance for awhile... yet I still experience a blip or two in the grand scheme of things. You will be fine, especially if you continue to visualize what you want and how to get there.

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TESSA321 8/24/2011 10:46AM

    Wow, your blog was just what I needed to get me thru today. I have been wallowing in self pity for quite some time, but because of SP the foundation is laid. I've wanted to give up for quite a few days, suspend my weight watchers and health club membership and try to go it along since I'm approaching my goal date (but no where near goal).

Your blog gave me the realization that I'm where I need to be to push myself forward, and you intro statement helped me see that I could have relapses, but just don't give up! Thanks! Theresa

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DIFROMWYOMING 8/24/2011 10:24AM

    I'm a visual learner anyway, but I love the idea of never feeling like you're just 'floundering' around...I think many of us feel like we're floundering a lot, but we are always someplace! And you can always look at this and know exactly where you are. Action is a great place to be, Mrs, and you have been steadfast in staying there!

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 8/24/2011 10:19AM

    Ugh, I feel like I've been in "action" forever. Maintenance seems like a distant, unattainable dream right now.

Great blog, it's always nice to be reminded to think about the journey in black and white sometimes.

Comment edited on: 8/24/2011 4:51:10 PM

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Balancing act

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I am not very good at balance. When I first got here I had spent many years never putting myself first, or even second. In a busy family of 5 I was usually in 5th place when it came to giving myself any attention.

When I came to SP my boys were mostly grown and it was easier to carve out some 'me' time. I'm a busy person, though. I have a family here at home, I work more than full time, I volunteer on occasion, I'm back taking college classes, I have a mother close by that needs help and I have at least a teeny bit of a social life. So finding 'time' is difficult.

I managed quite nicely when I first got to SP, but it was really to the detriment of other things, like my job. I think it was the case of the pendulum swinging the other direction- everything became about me, me, me. I lost well that first year, though, and haven't since, so there has to be a correlation. The focus went back to work and now other things are suffering: my school, my weight loss efforts, my family life.

I often daydream and wonder what it would be like to just have nothing facing me every day but my own schedule. No work. No kids. Just get up...do whatever I want...exercise all day if I feel like it. Not that I would do that, mind you, but I wonder how different it would be if that was the only thing I had to think about. Maybe that is what retirement is like?

But I'm not retirement age yet. And I need to continue to push myself to find ways to put 'me' first. I have learned from my failures if that is any consolation. I know without any hesitation that if I do not go work out first thing in the morning, I won't go. Oh I'll PLAN on going. I'll say "I'll go at lunch and do it", or "I'll take my lunch later in the afternoon and go then." But work pulls me here and there and I never do leave to go anywhere once I'm there. I also do not carve out time when I am first off work. "I'll go there right after work and THEN go home." No, I won't. By the time work is over home is calling (literally...calling me on the phone and saying 'when will you be home?') and I will drive right past the gym. So morning it is...and that means losing a little sleep to get there. I know sleep is important, too. In fact SP had an article last week about not losing weight being tired to poor sleep habits.

I will just have to figure out how to go to sleep a little earlier...get to the gym... and then move on to a busy day. Balance. No one else is going to figure this one out for me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAINALABAMA 8/24/2011 7:23PM

    way to go di.

and you are back in college?

how do you do it all???

great good luck on the fall focus challenge.

linda emoticon

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SOCKITTOME 8/24/2011 8:50AM

    I think you hit the nail on the head, Di -- balance. I'm having the exact same problem, it appears. My focus was very good last year and I lost weight. This year things changed at work, stress levels went up, and I'm having to work more hours. This single thing seems to have radically shifted my focus and I'm trying to get it back again. Here's to us as we work on balance in our lives...we WILL get it!

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 8/24/2011 1:45AM

    I have problems with balance also, and I am not even working. For me, my strokes have made it difficult for me to organize and have 'flow' - get things done in a timely manner. I don't know how you do all that you do with also working. I'd end up losing focus on some things too. All you can do is do what you can do. And, leave the rest for another day.

Amber

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KNH771 8/23/2011 6:46PM

    I am a big believer in "failing forward." It's a constant learning experience. We just have to pay attention to the lessons.

I'm single, and I can't figure out balance either!

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MIZCATHI 8/22/2011 10:20AM

    You are right, I think, there is a correlation to losing weight and putting yourself first. The thought flashed through my mind this weekend - I wanted nothing more than to stay home yesterday. I had promised my son I would take him to church and I wanted to visit my friend who I haven't seen in a month. And I thought - NO, wait, I don't want to do either today. See? I do put other people first, and that usually drives me.

So instead I spent the day with my husband and FINALLY finished putting my office/studio together. I piddled about the house and dusted and repurposed and did not do what I didn't want to do. I feel ready to begin again.

I heard once that "balance" is not about getting everything done that you want to do. It is not about scheduling all the necessities into your life that will create balance. Rather, it's about knowing what needs focus now, and making sure that you pay attention. Children, work, friends - there are times when you put them first, and times when you put yourself first. The important thing to remember that none of it works well if you don't.

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WALKINGGRANDMA 8/22/2011 12:29AM

    I find that my life changes about every 8 months. This means that whatever I work out so I can do what I want is all shot to pieces by the 8 month mark and life intrudes again and my rhythm changes. Sometimes it is a new family member and a need to be there for my kids, or my mother has been getting more frail. You know...

I'm not sure what the answer is, but I do like your determination to go in the morning. My sister hits the gym on her way home and does quite well. Has been doing it for 5 years. She goes straight from work and NOTHING stops her from going. It is her down time where she unwinds and takes care of her.

Her youngest is in college now and if I call before 6 at night, she is not available.

I don't have a regular enough schedule to do anything on any given day. Can't predict when my days off are going to be (no regular one) so I have to figure out how to make the other stuff fit in.

You can do it. Let me know how it goes. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.

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KITT52 8/21/2011 8:39PM

    Like others I struggle with finding the right balance....some times I do good but other times ...grrrrrr

so I try and do my best, going to bed each night and thanking God for what I did get done and praying tomorrow will be a better day.....

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BE-THE-CHANGE 8/21/2011 7:39PM

    I am having the same struggle, Di, but I know we can figure this out. NATF is right on target!

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SHARONSPARKLE 8/21/2011 5:40PM

    I use to look forward to the retirement years when I could make more "me" time but I've been retired 3 years and find it as difficult as ever. Stuff just seems to eat up our time in this fast paced world. We have to make it a top priority to make time for yourself no matter what stage of your life you are in.

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 8/21/2011 5:02PM

    I have every confidence you will find a way to get the balance you need. Just remember you have to put yourself first because you can't do the best job, be the best wife and mom if you continue to put everything else above your own health. ;)

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/21/2011 1:55PM

    I've been facing a similar issue. I work out a LOT with my water aerobic classes but because it's a "daily gring" my body seems to have become acclimated to it. I need to schedule some ME workout time and vary things up a bit. WHEN? With being the taxi driver, grandmama, wife, mother, employee, friend, sparker blah blah blah.....WHEN? You're right though... it's going to be up to US to find the time that WE need for ourselves. No one else can be our best friend the way that WE can! Love you, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/21/2011 1:55PM

    I've been facing a similar issue. I work out a LOT with my water aerobic classes but because it's a "daily gring" my body seems to have become acclimated to it. I need to schedule some ME workout time and vary things up a bit. WHEN? With being the taxi driver, grandmama, wife, mother, employee, friend, sparker blah blah blah.....WHEN? You're right though... it's going to be up to US to find the time that WE need for ourselves. No one else can be our best friend the way that WE can! Love you, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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ROBINAERIAL 8/21/2011 1:11PM

    ps... this member blog was pretty inspiring!

http://www.sparkp
eople.com/mypage_public_journal
_individual.asp?blog_id=4435880

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ROBINAERIAL 8/21/2011 1:06PM

    I also struggle with balance; your plate is much more full than mine, in terms of commitments, but I still see some similarities. I work in the ER full-time and work as a massage therapist part-time, and until June, also took two classes each quarter. In addition, I try to maintain a relationship with a wonderful man, take care of both our aging, mischief-prone dogs, and also take care of myself. I completely understand your need for "me time." I'm starting to think that the need for personal time, whether it's spent working up a sweat or simply sitting quietly, is the key to balance. If personal time can be carved out of the daily chaos, a lot of other priorities seem to fall into place. I used to work as many 12-hour shifts as I could get my hands on, until a friend told me, "Work isn't life. Work is what you do to HAVE a life." I realized I was letting work dominate everything else in my life, and by doing so, had allowed the ER to eclipse my personal goals and desires. It dawned on me that, by putting myself first, I would make it possible to include more possibilities in my life. Putting myself first wouldn't narrow the possibilities, as I previously thought, but would broaden them substantially. I hope this helps. Don't give up! You can find your balance... it's there, just waiting for you.

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Dear Di revisited

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ten weeks ago as part of my Summer Challenge I was to write myself a letter to read at the end of it. I had forgotten about this, actually. Ten weeks is a long time when life is batting you around.

It hasn't been a good summer. Work, which is something I usually love, was difficult for awhile. I'm still recovering from that. My DH was laid off and we are dealing with the usual financial issues. My dear brother in law died. Still, reflection is a good thing and I'm going to copy my letter to myself here, and then look at how I feel things turned out:

Dear Di,

Ten weeks ago you were just beginning to feel hopeful again. Life issues had been pushing you towards a new commitment to your health, and you were determined to go back to what worked for you before: staying in range, logging your food and exercising. It's pretty simple, really, when you break it down.

You know by now that whatever results you had from the 10 week challenge: you earned.
It is my sincere hope that you earned a loss, that you are feeling lighter, that you were feeling more energized. We know you can choose your path.

I hope you have learned to relax a little more, get a good nights sleep, enjoy the lovely weather and walk outside every chance you got. I hope you learned to love yourself a little more, right where you are.

Finally, you are going to post here a photo of yourself that is a close up, and you are going to look at that photo and not immediately say how old you think you look! You are going to look at this photo, your new profile pic, and tell yourself that you are looking at a strong and capable woman who loves deeply and loves with action and is learning to apply those things to herself.

Now go give yourself a hug!

(End of Letter)
Okay, so here are the positives for the summer:
I finished up a barrage of medical testing and can comfortably if not always happily LIVE with the results. The living part is the good part of this, btw...even with some discomfort and pain I am still able to live. I'll take it.
Some of the medical results were actually positive! My diabetes is totally in control, my heart is strong and I'm free of blockages or clots or tumors. I'll take it.
I AM ending this challenge with a loss. And that is the first time that has happened in a long time. I'm currently at -8.5 for 9 weeks and...I'll take it. It has been a long time since I felt I was moving in the right direction. I am tracking. I am feeling that my new lifestyle is more a habit than an effort. I have adjusted to having celiac's and that isn't a food issue as it was in the beginning. Small additions to my activity are becoming second nature to me. I feel it important that I exercise "with purpose" and by that I always mean I went to the gym...but I am catching myself adding steps, stairs, the long way around almost all the time. Those are very positive changes.

So all in all, difficult summer aside, I am happy with where I stand today. Did I meet ALL my goals? No. Did I bat 1,000...get to the finish line first...get 100% on the test? No. But I DID make some pretty good progress, I'm still IN the game, and the finish line isn't going anywhere so I can still get there. I'll take it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUSAN134 8/20/2011 8:38PM

    Loved this post! Congrats on your successes with your challenge. How great that you can review what you set out to do 10 weeks ago and see how well you have done, even with the upsets that life has thrown you.

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DYNAMICDEB53 8/20/2011 6:04PM

    Wonderful letter and what a cool idea. Love your attitude which to me is what helped you through this summer and all that happened. WTG on your weight loss. You made good changes and developed better habits, that is really a win win for anyone.
I am wishing you continued success inthe next months to come, I know you can do it!!!
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Hugs and love
Deb

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SOCKITTOME 8/19/2011 9:07AM

    Wow, what a very cool thing to do! You have done an awesome job, despite a difficult summer, and it was good to have this exercise to reflect back. And you're right -- it's not about finishing first or being perfect 100% of the time. It's about finishing and getting through the journey from point A to point B. Keep hanging in there and moving forward. You are living and that is what matters!

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SLCB1023 8/15/2011 12:46PM

    Great to hear about your summer's progress. Sound pretty good to me!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LISA0517 8/15/2011 12:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are finishing our challenge with a strong WIN!! Woo hoo, almost 10 pounds down! That is awesome! But I think even more important is that you are in the habit of tracking, you are more comfortable with how your diet needs to be, and you are exercising. And way to go on getting your diabetes under control!

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You rock!

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LYNNWANNABE 8/14/2011 5:46PM

    Hi Di, so glad to see you here and going strong [your writing is very encouraging to me] especially, with where I'm coming from...

I've been having a lot of illnesses and for the past nine months I've been fooling around with my weight loss [kind of doing the yo-yo thing] until I basically gave up even trying to eat right. NOT GOOD!

Well, I deleted all of my past goals today, re-joined my old team-mates [the White Hawks] for this months challenge and just got done posting all new goals and weight ... thankfully, I'm not up much as being sick for so long has helped keep the weight off [but over the past two or three months I've seen it start to creep back on and I'm so ready to hit it back into the ball park where my clothing fits loose and I don't feel as bad as I did when I was a shut in... that old feeling has also tried coming back. But, we finally got to move out of the basement apartment we lived in for 12 years... and into a well lite apartment that has so many windows I'm almost blinded by the light! lol! I've also, started going for drives with the vehicle that someone gave me [that was a God send] I can actually get out of the house now when Rick is working, and well, things are looking up... but I know how easy [quick] things can go backwards and so I need to pursue this website with the same gusto I did last year... ANYWAY, I enjoyed reading your blog for some extra inspiration, you've always been good at that [and so, thanks] I hope and wish you the best too!!!

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CRAVINSUCCESS 8/14/2011 8:53AM

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CRAVINSUCCESS 8/14/2011 8:53AM

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CRAVINSUCCESS 8/14/2011 8:53AM

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CRAVINSUCCESS 8/14/2011 8:52AM

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 8/13/2011 10:21PM

    Awesome letter, blog & progress. I'm glad that you're losing again. I'm proud of you for sticking with it when it would have been so easy to throw in the towel. You HAVE had a rough summer and yet you have stayed the course and remembered to take care of YOU! For that alone, you should be very proud. I love you! emoticon emoticon

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MICKEYMAX 8/13/2011 5:46PM

    emoticon

That's emoticon Di, you made some amazing progress while going through a very stressful time. You rock, sister! Thanks for sharing. These thoughts really help me also. Congrats on the loss during the challenge!!!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 8/13/2011 8:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ANGELUS__QUINN 8/12/2011 10:19PM

    Thank you for sharing. Inspirational.

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KNH771 8/12/2011 6:32PM

    Congrats on your success in the challenge! Hang in there. Life's little (and big) storms don't last forever. emoticon

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BESTCK 8/12/2011 12:28PM

    Di, I am so glad you posted this. Considering everything you've been through in the 12 weeks, you deserve to be proud of your accomplishments.

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PATRISNA 8/12/2011 11:55AM

    Di,
You made progress! Woo Hoo! I must have missed the letter challenge. I also want to thank you. I really liked the SP blog link you sent me. I sent it to my local team. I am going to keep a copy to remind me we are always trying each week for good results. If we have an off day it is not the end of the world. It is all about perspective. Love you Sapphire sister.

Hugs,
Pat


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DOLPHIN2355 8/12/2011 11:43AM

    Perfect Di. I love your blogs!

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_KATHY 8/12/2011 10:55AM

    emoticon

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MIZCATHI 8/12/2011 10:08AM

    First, I love how you write. Thanks for sharing your affirmation letter to yourself. AND, even more than that, for sharing the positive things you did for yourself despite the obtacles and tragic life events in your way.

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MAMADWARF 8/12/2011 9:44AM

    That is fabulous progress!!! 10 weeks is along time but look at you! You made fantastic progress. I am proud of you and happy for you. You are doing great, Di!

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SHARONSPARKLE 8/12/2011 9:33AM

    It definitely sounds like you are making progress. You have had a rough summer but it is wonderful that you can reflect on the good things and realize that through adversity you have become a stronger and healthier person. Keep on Sparking!

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 8/12/2011 9:28AM

    You know the old tagline: Progress not perfection. Keep it up!

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