Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Disclaimer: These are my personal thoughts/babblings and by no means are intended to ďPreachĒ or force my beliefs on others.
I wonder if the Church purposely placed Lent to follow 3 of the biggest gorging holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years) or if it just happened that way. After 3 months of treating ourselves like Kings at the banquet along comes a time of fasting and reflection. Itís almost as if the powers that be know what we are going to do over the holidays and gave us a way to get back on track. Be it spiritual or physical or both.
Growing up I dreaded Lent. Why do we have to suffer by giving up what we love? But as it turns out Iíve learned that Lent isnít just about suffering itís about reflecting on bettering yourself. Maybe this means that you give up smoking, a vice youíve carried for as long as you can remember only to find that by the end of the 40 days you find you no longer need to smoke and feel better about yourself; a positive result from stopping a negative activity. Lent is like the second New Yearís; itís a chance to reset your resolution and try again.
What makes Lent different from a New Yearís Resolutions, in my mind, is that itís a short term goal. Spark always talks about setting goals. With Lent you have a definite start date (Ash Wednesday) and a finish (Easter or Good Friday, depending on how your parents raised you). This short term goal setting stage is the perfect opportunity to make a change in your life towards a better you. If your New Yearís resolution was to stop smoking or drinking or eating too much junk food did you set a realistic finish line or just 31 Dec? When visualizing the calendar 365 days is a really long time but 40 days is a bit more realistic.
My official Spark journey began 13 Jun 2009 however I essentially started it on 25 Feb 2009 when I gave up desserts/sweets for Lent. After the first week or so I was terrified to even smell cake. By the end I felt almost liberated (still terrified though) and instead of treating myself to a large chocolate bunny I settled for sugar free jelly beans. Not even close to the chocolate bunny so I didnít finish them. In fact, I just threw them out the other day.
Towards the end of Lent I changed my thinking from fasting to how long can I go, setting my own streak. Who knew Iíd later find SparkPeople and see that this is one of their key elements to assisting with goals? Unfortunately I didnít weigh myself before I started so I had no idea what the overall result was. But what I did find is that the longer I went without, the less I craved and even more so the more I was able to stay in control.
This past holiday season was a huge test, my first holiday while on SparkPeople. I did my best to focus on the good foods vs. evil ones and I did slip but I was able to control how far I slipped. Instead of sliding back into the ďcanít stop at oneĒ self-gorging habit I was able to limit myself. One small slice of pie isnít so bad, half the pie is.
This year Iíve already decided how I plan on bettering myself during Lent, at least in the physical sense. My plan is to get back into weight training. I slacked off due to an illness after Thanksgiving and havenít found the motivation to get back on track. Nowís the time.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
So far I've managed to maintain over the holidays. I find this to be a huge step in the fight against gaining it all back. My new goal for 2010 is to cook more meals at home. Ok, my husband will find this funny because I don't cook! I know how to cook and I can make a few dishes but if it were up to me, we'd have fend for yourself night every night. Don't get me wrong, we don't eat out all the time but there are days when we have nothing planned for dinner. When you don't have a plan things can get very bad, very quick. So my new goal is to create menus, shop accordingly and cook.
Hopefully this will not only keep me on track but will help me slip some healthy foods to my family and cut down on our grocery bill.
Wish me luck!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Last week I reached my goal weight. Yeah me! I was very excited but at the same time kind of bummed. All these months I've had something to look forward to, the light at the end of the tunnel. I've reached the end of my tunnel and stepped out into the light very happy to find out that it wasn't an oncoming train. with my goal reached a sadness filled me. Now what? I read the maintaining your weight articles and reset my goal weight to my current weight with a 6 month window for maintenance. But for some reason, this seems harder than the actual weight loss period.
I told my husband that when I reached my goal I was going to have one of those big muffins at Perkins. But you know what, I'm to scared to have one. In the back of my mind I see that reward as sabotage to what I've accomplished. I know I won't put the 28 pounds back on with one muffin but what if I can't stop at one?!
Panic!!! One life lesson that I picked up along this journey is that I NEED to keep a food diary. No question about it. This isn't something that I should do, it's something that I need to do, like breathing. Without a food diary I become out of control. There's no stopping at just one giant muffin, donut or slice of cake.
I've also learned that I DON'T need dessert or sweets. After all this time, they taste funny. Moderation is key to everything. If my husband and I decide to split dessert, I try to pick the lesser evil off the menu. I can make a dessert for a pot luck or family dinner and not worry about eating it because I know it doesn't add to my success; however it may add to a step back. It goes right back to the difference between wants and needs.
I have this fear that now that I've reached my goal, I'm going to develop an eating disorder by trying not to eat the wrong things. I NEED to remind myself that I'm only human and sometimes we make mistakes. Ok, maybe a lot of the time but that's no reason to get fanatical about what I eat or don't eat.
I still have some body toning to get done but overall my weight is in a good place. Now I just have to make sure my mind is there as well.
1. I did it! I can continue to do it! If I falter, I will get up and keep going!
2. Be accountable for your actions (food diary, don't try to hide it by not writing it down)
3. Moderation is key!
When all seems lost, pick yourself up and try again. Each day is a chance to start over.
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