Thursday, November 20, 2014
We all know how easy it is to be derailed and fall off the tracks when it comes to healthy living. But are you aware of the resources you have available to help you get back on the tracks when you slip off? Awareness of these resources and tools can certainly make us stronger in our healthy lifestyle. Each of us here will build a varied library of resources or stock of tools in his/her tool kit. So what's in your library or which tools have you stocked in your tool kit?
For our BLC26 Tighten and Tone Challenge this week our team has been asked to share some of the resources which help keep us living the healthy lifestyle. I am going to focus on a few main resources as there are many more I won't take the time to list in this blog.
1. Spark People - I have never been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle for any length of time in the past, however, now with Spark I may falter but I consistently am able to get back on the rails. It's been close to three years and I'm not giving up. So what is it at Spark? First it was the nutrition and fitness trackers that gave me what I needed but soon I discovered the wealth of information found in articles. Later I started to friend fellow Sparkers and became inspired by others who were teaching me so much about this journey. Then I discovered challenges and teams I could join which tapped into my competitive nature. Personally, my favourites have been the 5km virtual challenges and the Biggest Loser Challenge rounds.
2. Local pool and gym - When it comes to fitness I have learned that I do much better working out outside the home. I have bought weights, resistance bands, and walked the neighbourhood but I do best when I set time aside to attend a class, workout in the gym, walk the track, or swim lengths at the pool. I workout harder and longer because of the inspiration of others around me. I know not everyone has the opportunity to join local gyms or recreation programs so I have come to appreciate this opportunity more than ever now.
3. Discovering and believing more about who I am capable of becoming - You may be asking "What kind of resource is that?" On any journey we have opportunity to learn more about who we are. While engaged in fitness activities particularly I have often found myself thinking and reflecting. These reflections have led to my having to let go of former beliefs of who I am and what I am capable of. These former beliefs were so limiting because they weren't based on truths. This opened up the opportunity for me to begin to believe in new possibilities and to dream! So leaving the lies of the past behind and moving forward makes it easier to stay on track. I believe I am capable of so much more and have proven this by running 5 km runs now even though I'm well into my fifties and becoming a motivator to others including fitness instructors. There is so much strength in what we believe.
Are you building your tool kit or building your library of resources? Truly your tool kit or library will make the challenges of staying on track in the healthy lifestyle easier.
Monday, October 13, 2014
How does one plan for getting back on track after a bad day when one bad day might look so very different from another bad day? What turns a good day into a bad one? Does a bad day begin when I make a poor food choice? What about when I choose to ignore my fitness plan and stay on the couch instead? Perhaps a bad day begins when I get up and already know my resistance to temptations is way down. I may not have made the wrong choices yet but my emotions are such that I know they will strongly influence my choices of the day. Then there are the days which you wake up strong, make the right choices and it all falls apart when youíre about ready to celebrate a successful day. Oh, it happens.
Our weekend challenge for BLC26 asks us to share how to get back on track after a bad day. With so many different aspects as to what constitutes a bad day there isnít one simple way to getting back on track after that terrible, horrible, very bad, no good day. There just isnít.
Just because there isnít a simple answer makes it sound like itís just much easier to give up but thatís not the case in my opinion. Giving up is not an option and so the first thing I must do is realize that choosing the wrong foods, missing an exercise session, letting my emotions lead my choices or binging at the end of a day does not make me a failure. When allowing myself to believe Iím a failure it just leads to throwing in the towel because then this time around isnít any different from other attempts to reach goal weight when I just failed and went back to poor habits because it was easier. No, itís important to believe that this time is and will be different.
Accepting that youíre not a failure means itís time to take action. In order to move forward from a horrible day means I have to make a conscious decision to get back in the saddle as soon as possible because one bad day can so easily lead to another and then another. Remember, I donít want this to be like my last attempts to reach goal weight. I have to get up on both feet and move forward.
It wasnít that long since Iíd had a so very good day before that ďno good dayĒ so now I need to remember what that very good day looked like. On that very good day, I planned my meals and snacks. Those foods were tasty, satisfying, and left me feeling well and not sluggish, blotted and just plain gross. Keeping that in mind I go back to planning and ensuring I have the foods I need for that plan in the house and on hand. What about that bad day that didnít include and fitness because I just couldnít get moving? I need to remember back to how often I didnít feel like exercising, went anyways, and ended up working out much longer than I planned or expected. I have learned that getting started is often the hardest part of the workout so get started, get the engines revved with a commitment for a short, doable workout. I might just surprise myself with what I accomplish.
As I take steps in the right direction once again, I must remember to celebrate. Celebrate each step, however small it may seem, because each step of each day will lead to the final goal. By celebrating the small steps, I can avoid becoming overwhelmed with the big goal so far in the future. Believe me, getting back in the saddle quickly after a terrible day is no small feat. Successfully getting back in the saddle is worth a celebration any time!
Believing in my success, choosing to get back in the saddle quickly, and committing to a plan despite my emotions is moving in the direction of a fabulous, fantastic, wonderful, very good day.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
What have I accomplished over this last year? That's the question I need to answer in today's blog for the "in between" BLC challenges team challenge. One of our team members set up a challenge for any of us Mocharitas who wanted to participate while we await the start of the next round in September.
So what have I accomplished over the last year? It's not easy to answer that question because I am now in my third year here at Spark and one year runs into another so what exactly I accomplished this year isn't easy to identify. Besides some of what I accomplished this year was built on from the previous year.
What have I accomplished then? This past year I have kept off 55 of the 75 lbs I had lost. Now how is that an accomplishment you might ask. If you do the math that translates into a 20 lb gain. Yes, that it does. I know exactly when I picked up the twenty pounds back in December. No, I haven't given up on working towards my goal weight but I'm okay with the fact that I am where I am. That's a big accomplishment because you see in the past I would have long ago thrown in the towel. I would have not just gained the 20 lbs but I would have eaten myself back to my former weight and then some. You know the drill... I have shown myself that I can maintain, get myself back on track, and know I'll arrive at my goal weight.
I may be a bit heavier than last year this time but I know I am stronger. Fitness is part of my lifestyle. I know with confidence that I will get my workout in whether it be morning, noon or evening. I'll even get my fitness in when I'm away from home. Now that's an accomplishment. It's just second nature to ensure I've packed my swim wear, walking shoes, and exercise clothes when I head out of town. I've even been known to hunt down the local pool schedule to find out when their fitness classes are. I know I'm stronger because I walk, run, and swim faster and lift more weights than ever before. I am fit and that counts for a lot more than the number on the scale.
Though when packing my suitcase is heavier from the fitness gear I can pack lighter when it comes to medications. I no longer take my blood pressure medications or my cholesterol medications. If that isn't proof that I am fitter then I don't know what is.
Finally, I have learned what 10 lbs looks like on me. That might sound like an odd accomplishment but it truly is. Before I only ever saw myself as heavy, heavier, or heavier. So when I lost weight I was always just heavy yet anyways and what's 10 lbs or 20 lbs then? No big deal because I didn't see the difference in the mirror. It's all just heavy. Now I get what 10 lbs and yes, even, 20 lbs looks like on me. Like I said perhaps an odd accomplishment but it helps me stay motivated.
Focussing on what you've accomplished makes you realize how much you are capable of. If I'm honest, I'd say it makes me realize that I am so much more capable than what I ever expected I could be. I am surprised by what I've accomplished these last 2 1/2 years. I do wonder what more I am capable of. Admittedly, last night I checked a 10 km training schedule. Mmmm...not sure what to make of that yet.
Look at your accomplishments; however big or small. Celebrate them. Overcome your biggest obstacle. Believe in yourself because you are capable of much more than you realize.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
When it comes to the scale I have been stuck in a slump for some time now. So when I first read that I was being asked to write a blog about some progress I had experienced during the BLC25 I felt like I'd smacked right into a wall. I feel like I haven't any right to claim progress when I look at the scale.
But wait! The first week of this challenge we were asked to complete a fitness test and we were now redoing the test as part of the final Weekend Challenge. So tonight I went off to the gym to do my fitness test. Admittedly, it was rather half heartedly because I just didn't feel very positive about it.
Once there I decided I was going to give it my best despite my attitude when I left home because I am slightly competitive and had some numbers to improve. I had no idea anymore what those numbers were. So I set to getting my one mile walk/run, 1 minute of crunches, 1 minute of push ups, and 3 minutes of step ups on a 12 inch step completed. When done I did feel rather accomplished just having completed the test.
The biggest surprise was yet to come when I got home to enter my stats for the test and discovered I had improved considerably. Here are the results:
Test/ First Results/ Today's results
1 mile walk/run/ 15 minutes/ 11 minutes 55 sec.
1 minute crunches/ 34/ 47
1 minutes push ups/ 16/ 31
Step up Heart Rate/ 128/ 118
I am stronger! I am fitter! I have made progress! I will continue to make progress!
Progress isn't always measured by the scale. Have you experienced progress this last week, this last month, these last few months? Recognize it, celebrate it, and share it. I'd love to hear your story about how you are progressing.
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