Friday, May 11, 2012
Ok sparkers...I have to admit I'm struggling.
Being older, the memories of the 5Ks I used to run, the days when I was pain free, the stage of my life when I had a fulfilling career that kept me active through the day - those are my past.
I've since gained weight and although the gaining has stopped, I have had such trouble LOSING weight and trying to maintain a positive attitude about NSV like being able to complete a half marathon or getting into that smaller sized dress...
So knowing that each of you has a word of wisdom, I'm reaching out for support and motivation and hoping I can return the favor in the future...
Thanks for the listening ear.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I'm now officially a member of the gym again.
Today starts a new SparkStreak. TODAY. NOT TOMORROW.
Here is the plan.
Monday - Weigh in, FITN assessment on elliptical weekly
Cardio. Lower body weight training (LB wts), stretch
Tues - Cardio & Circuit training class, Upper body weights (UB wts), stretch
Wed - Core training, stretch
Thurs - Cardio & Circuit training class, LB wts, stretch
Fri - Core, stretch. Occassional yoga.
Sat - Galloway running group, UB wts, stretch
Sun - Core, stretch
15 miles weekly
1000 fitness minutes monthly
I am trying to visualize the transformation in 1, 2, & 3 months
and will reassess progress each month.
Hoping to lose a pound weekly.
Thanks for your support!
Thursday, February 16, 2012
No, you're eyes are not deceiving you! I'm skipping weeks 4 and 5 in order to bring you the latest class, it was too good not to share! I promise to go back and fill in the missing weeks.
Week 6 was something of a breakthrough. We've been doing mindfulness exercises, mindful eating, and rating ourselves on the hunger/fullness scale. I was starting to wonder if this was going to be "successful" - after all, if it were as simple as thinking about what we eat, we would all be at a normal, healthy weight, right?
It so happened that our class fell on Valentine's Day. A special challenge for those used to romantic dinners out and boxes of chocolates to celebrate. Part of our discussion at the beginning of the class was about the difference in the expectation of a food experience and the actual food tasting. After some lively discussion, we spent a few minutes in mindfulness/meditation. Focusing on the breathing and sensations in our body is very calming and centering. It gives you a pause between thinking and action. That's where our choices lie.
After mindfulness, we reviewed the 8 tips for dealing with cravings from Week 5 (I'll get to that in a later blog).
This week we started the new information with a review of how food can't really be treated as an addictive substance because we DO need food to survive. However, we can consider some elements as addictive, and address them as needed - sweet, salty, fatty, and so forth. Think about sugar - originally, it was "hidden" or inaccessible in foods. Either it was in a fruit, or honey - which was guarded by bees and difficult to obtain! So think about treating it with respect and reducing the amounts in our diets.
We then did an exercise called the BEHAVIOR CHAIN ANALYSIS.
We listened to "Gretchen's story" - a made-up scenario about a woman dealing with every day life stressors, from her teen-aged daughter having a crisis to planning a party for her husband's business associates...bottom line, she ended up polishing off a cheesecake at the end of a difficult day!
By reviewing the series of events in her day, it opened our eyes to moments that either set her up for later "failure" or highlighted how she was not taking care of her own needs or maybe not even aware of what she was feeling or needed and how to get those needs met.
Listening to the story, it made me realize that old saying:
"It's not what you're eating, it's what's eating you."
Sometimes we turn to food when our needs are not physical hunger.
Our relationship with food can be a reflection of dysfunctional relationships with others.
Mindfulness creates a space so that we can respond rather than react to situations.
It's useful to check in with our emotional state, our physical state (hunger or not), and our mental state (are our thoughts kind or critical?)
We then went through a guided meditation.
Think about making your own plate for a meal...
Think about having a plate made for you with too much food...
Visualize yourself a year from now...
What would you feel if people comment about you a year from now?...
I found it VERY IMPORTANT to BREATHE BETWEEN THESE VISUALIZATIONS.
It was like "erasing the slate" because emotions will definitely arise when you are imagining these scenarios!
The Behavior Chain Analysis allows us to look over the series of events that lead to or result in eating for reasons OTHER than physical hunger.
If you can figure out what your TRUE NEED was in a situation, you can plan how to have those need(s) met without turning to food.
I hope this was a helpful summary for you, and I'll get weeks 4 and 5 updated before next Tuesday's class.
Friday, February 03, 2012
I'll get to the Changing from within update hopefully tomorrow...
Feb 3 was GO RED FOR HEART HEALTH.
I tilled my garden, although the effort was much more than the small plot I have warranted. Next year I'll just hire someone to do it for me - would take maybe ten minutes for someone with the right equipment. The time, effort, and cost today was extreme.
Will be planning what to plant over the next few weeks, waiting for our weather to have the inevitible cold freeze.
Back to walking tomorrow morning! Let's earn those fitness minutes!
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
(This entry is for last week's class, tomorrow will be a summary of this week's class.)
The third class centered on a mindful eating experience. I must admit I was late to the class - I didn't want to eat cold food, so I got a half salad from Wendy's so I'd have something warm to eat.
However, there was a handout for the day's class and the mindful eating meal is almost self-explanatory.
Before eating, determine where on the hunger scale you are.
-Am I physically hungry?
-Am I thinking about eating for an emotional reason? Is there an alternative activity I can do?
-Am I eating out of habit? Am I on automatic pilot?
If so, reconsider or do something else. Remind yourself of your larger goals.
-Am I responding to food triggers?
If so, recognize them and distract or delay yourself from eating.
Once you are ready to begin eating
-think about what you actually want (both to eat and larger goals)
-prepare a place to eat and SIT DOWN
-minimize any distractions
-relax your body and gauge your physical hunger scale level
-express gratitude (I say a prayer)
-SLOWLY and fully TASTE the first few bites
-put down your utensil after EACH BITE and chew thoroughly, continue this throughout the whole meal
-continue paying attention to your thoughts, body sensations, the tastes of the food, and your emotions
-notice when your taste buds are satisfied (the initial few bites are the most pleasurable)
-stop and breathe
-try to tell when your stomach FIRST feels stretched, a signal of becoming full
-STOP EATING BEFORE YOU ARE COMPLETELY FULL
Remember, it takes some 20 to 30 minutes for the brain to get the signal your stomach is full.
-Allow yourself to leave food on the plate, put it away at the completion of the meal, or discard any you no longer plan to eat.
APPRECIATE yourself for attending to your health!
If you have never tried mindful eating at a meal and want more information, check out the numberous resources that explain the process more fully.
Expect to take over half an hour. It may feel excruciating slow, and is typically done in silence so as to appreciate all the thoughts, emotions, sensations and processes involved. Even if you cannot do this every day, plan to try it periodically to "retrain your brain." It is very powerful.
The next class focuses on recognizing emotions and becoming more aware of the physical sensations of emotions.
Halfway through the course!
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