Thursday, January 12, 2012
I’m a loser & damned proud of it!
Jan. 1 was my 1 year Sparkversary. So, as seems to be the custom, both for anniversaries and the start of a new year, here is my 2011 retrospective.
I joined on January 1, 2011, the result of a New Year’s Resolution. OK, I actually made the resolution several months earlier…we are all familiar with the “I’ll start dieting / exercising / quit smoking / etc. on Monday” promises we make to ourselves. In my case it was “I’ll start in 4 months”. I never make resolutions as statistics show resolutions almost always fail. But this time my resolution was simple…I resolved to check out SparkPeople and see if I wanted to try “it” to lose weight…whatever “it” turned out to be. It couldn’t hurt and I avoided failure by not really committing to anything.
So 1/1/11 rolled around, I stood on the scale, swore, replaced the batteries, stood on the scale again, created some awesome new curses, came to SP and created an account. The scale lies…except when it tells the truth, and it was in full disclosure mode that morning. I did all the newbie things…created a page, joined some teams, panicked when I saw the meal plan because it was full of things I don’t like or eat (dairy anyone?)…and then figured out how to turn it off. I started blogging, made SP friends, became addicted to getting points…and somewhere along the way lost a whole bunch of everything.
I lost weight and I lost inches. I lost and reached my goal of 70 lbs on September 1 – four months early. But after a short bit of time on SP losing weight wasn’t even the important part anymore. What were important were all the other things I was losing in addition to the pounds.
I lost embarrassment over my appearance. I lost a fatalistic acceptance of how I was and would always be. I lost the need for perfection that paralyzed me before I even started. I lost the start of weight related health issues. I lost the fear of not being able to do “it”, whatever “it” might be at the time. I lost the certainty of the impossible. I lost impatience, negativity, self-pity, a glass half-empty outlook. I lost the need to self-destruct.
And gained the world.
Why do resolutions fail? Because they are nothing more than wishes. And wishes generally don’t just happen no matter how much we hope they will. Wishes and resolutions are still a way to avoid taking responsibility for oneself and placing “blame” everywhere else.
You want your wish to come true?
Work your ass off for it.
Only then it isn’t a wish, or a resolution, anymore. It becomes the ultimate power…a goal.
A goal has a plan on how you are going to achieve it. A goal has a timeline. A goal has accountability which can be a frightening thing. It is so scary that many people prefer to wish things would change rather than face that monster under the bed.
And this is why SparkPeople works. You start with a resolution, a wish to lose weight and get healthy, to improve your nutrition. And SP is able to turn the wish into a goal. You input your goal weight…so now you have a specific target to shoot for. You’re asked by when you want to achieve your goal…so now you have a timeline. Your Spark Page asks for your goals…and then asks for your plan to achieve them. You track your progress and perhaps choose to share it with the community…and now you have accountability, even if only to yourself.
And that is why I am a loser.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Saturday was our last day in Paris. We started early with the Hotel des Invalides / Musee de L'Armee. Napoleon's actual tomb is surprisingly understated from what I had expected. Afterwards we made our way to the Catacombs, where 6 million Parisians have their bones stacked in an old quarry under the city, from the 18th and 19th centuries. Their remains were relocated there from the cemeteries because of plague and disease kept spreading from the mass graves in the cemeteries.
I was OK with the idea of this until I read a little further and learned that the guy whose idea this was took it a step further and decided to arrange the bones in patterns to be more interesting and get people to come and look at them (apparently tourist traps existed 200+ years ago too). A cemetery / ossuary I can understand, and be respectful of the final resting place of the dead...but somehow deliberately arranging human remains in pleasing patterns crosses the line with me. And then to read there may be a bag check as you leave, looking for bones people try to take as souvineers...seriously, what is wrong with people that they would do that?
It is a very humbling place to visit.
I had wanted to take Jacq to Montemarte to see Sacre Couer and the Espace Dali (Salvador Dali museum) but she really wanted to see the Mona Lisa. By the time we got out of the Catacombs there would not have been enough time to do both, and I've been to Montemarte before, so we went to the Louvre instead for the rest of the afternoon.
If you've been reading my trip "adventures" you'll have noticed art museums have not been on my list at all...they are not generally something I enjoy unless I have a specific interest in the particular artist or style (like Dali / surrealism) and the periods contained in the Louvre just don't do it for me. Yes, I am a Neanderthal but I just don't get the specialness of the Mona Lisa...it really isn't that attractive to me.
But now I can say I went and saw it in person.
We have not had any luck with our hotel/airport transfers. In London the guy left us at the airport; here in Paris the company was to have sent a fax to the hotel Saturday to confirm our pick-up time for the morning and failed to do so. I can't figure out the phone number to call them and when I went to the desk to ask for the hotel's help some couple was there taking forever to do whatever and I gave up waiting after 15 minutes. We will take the subway instead.
Sunday morning we go home. It will be a long day, especially coming back with the 6 hour time change lengthening our day. We don't have a direct flight and have to transfer in Minneapolis to get home to Detroit. Then a hours drive home from the airport. But it will be good to sleep in my own bed again, even if I do have to go back to work on Monday.
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