Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I had a wonderful long blog all written about my weekend adventure . . . and then my computer lost it. Sigh; it's been that kind of a day!
Over the weekend I went to a women's retreat in the mountains at a rustic location with NO cell phone coverage and NO Internet access. Talk about having withdrawals, LOL! It was a wonderful time, though, with lots of fellowship and laughter and tears on the part of everyone.
I was a little concerned about how I would do with food since there are always tons of snacks out 24/7, and the retreat food is not particularly low calorie. They had healthy options available, however, so by paying attention to portions and choices, I did okay.
The best part of the weekend for me was Saturday afternoon during free time. I was determined to hike, whether anyone went with me or not. My husband had been at this retreat center a couple of months earlier, and he went hiking with a group to a waterfall; he said the hike was about 7 miles. I really wanted to see if I could do the same hike, although I had forgotten my hiking boots and just had my running shoes, so I set out to find the trail. After a bit of wandering and a false start, I finally found the trail and started off in search of the waterfall. I hiked and hiked, climbing up and down hills, scrambling over trees, and occasionally hunting to see exactly where the trail went. I crossed a couple of creeks (or maybe just one twice) on bridges (hurray for maintained trails!) and eventually came to where the trail from the retreat center met up with the Forest Service trail. Ah, maybe I was getting close! Before long, I heard water--could it be the waterfall? No, not the waterfall, but at least the river that the waterfall was on.
The trail went close to the river, then farther away, paralleling it for quite awhile. I was getting tired and beginning to wonder if I was pushing it too far--no hiking boots, no hiking stick and all alone, with no cell phone coverage if anything happened. Then I came to a steep hill that basically would require climbing up tree roots to get to the top and over; at that point I made the decision reluctantly that I had gone far enough. I'd been hiking for over an hour at that time, and of course I still had to go all the way back.
Going back, I stopped and rested quite a bit more frequently than on the way down, but it still seemed like it was quicker going back than it was going down. At one point, I heard something in the woods off a bit; it wasn't a coyote or a bird or a squirrel, it was something MUCH bigger and definitely not human. My guess from the sound of it was a bear or possibly a moose bellowing. For some reason, I found the energy to pick up my pace a little until I'd put some distance between me and whatever that thing was, LOL!
When I got back, I was hot, tired, and sweaty, but not as exhausted as I would have expected. And I wasn't even sore the next day, which surprised me. Based on the steps my bodybugg recorded (over 14,000!), I'm guessing I hiked at least 5 or 6 miles--not quite the 7 that the guys hiked, but a quite respectable hike for someone my age and size.
I marveled a little at the difference in me. A few months ago, I would have been out of breath just walking around the retreat center because it seemed like everywhere I wanted to go was up or down a hill. Instead, I was able to do a little running on some relatively flat trail and hike for over 2 hours without it bothering me a bit. I may not be quite ready to run a 5K, but I have no doubt I can walk a 5K even if it's on rough terrain, and eventually I'll be able to run one.
And now it's time to go finish packing for vacation--almost done but not quite, waiting for the last few clothes to get dry before I close things up. I wish like everything that I had scheduled to take off tomorrow, but there was no way my boss would let me add a day--she's already a little freaked because I'm leaving early tomorrow and she has so much she wants me to get done. I have a little more confidence after the retreat that I can go on vacation and enjoy myself without derailing this healthy lifestyle I've been working on. Happily I will have Internet access on vacation, though not constantly, so I won't have to go through complete SparkPeople withdrawal again, LOL! You all have become family and are part of any success I've been able to achieve on this journey; I need you to help me keep going the right direction.
Oh, I got on the scale today, curious to see how the retreat affected my weight: down about a half pound from Friday! It IS possible to have fun and still keep moving the way I need to! Woo hoo!
Friday, April 16, 2010
For the challenge this week, we are supposed to review our goals for the Spring Into Summer challenge. It happens our team, the Blue Sky Birds, just did this, so what we are doing is including what we are doing to reach those goals. So one more time, here are the goals I set for myself during this challenge:
1 .Consistently do 3 sessions of the C25K plan or some variation of it per week and sign up for my first 5K (modified from 'complete the C25K plan and sign up for my first 5K').
Because of some physical issues (knee pain and exertion headaches), I've had to scale back on my running efforts. After a couple of weeks of very minimal running workouts, I have more or less found a happy medium in both running speed and schedule, so I am happily running three times a week again. I discovered the headaches come if I'm pushing myself to run too fast or for too long, so I have to be content with keeping my speed down and gradually increasing the length of my running intervals. Totally goes against where I am in my brain, but in this case mind over matter doesn't work, I have to listen to the body God gave me. Wow, learning to listen to my body and work with it instead of against it--what a novel concept!
2. Maintain or LOSE weight while on vacation.
Ah, that's the big one still ahead of me. I start vacation on Tuesday (COUNTDOWN IS ON!) and will be gone 12 days, so cooking at home to keep things under control is not an option. It's going to be a matter of portion control and reasonable selections, but I have more confidence now that I will be able to do that. I'm planning to have FUN and ENJOY my vacation, but I don't want a couple of weeks of fun to undo what it's taken me three months or so to achieve. There 25 pounds off my body that I want to stay gone forever!
That's just part of developing a healthy lifestyle, though, isn't it? Learning to have fun without letting that become license to throw that healthy way of living out the window? I know when I'm happy with myself, I don't *need* to stuff my face with everything within reach; when I'm not, though, food has always been my comfort. I am working on changing that.
So that's what I'm doing and what my plan is. This weekend will be a little mini-test for me; I'm going to a retreat for a couple of days where I don't have control over what is being served, only what I choose to eat. Add to that no access to my food tracker (eek!) or any way of checking calorie and nutrient counts, so it should be interesting to see how I do.
I'll let you know how it goes. I'm going to miss being able to log on to SparkPeople and keep up with everyone for the weekend; you have become a part of my family in a very real sense, even though we only connect 'virtually.' Thanks for helping keep the Spark going inside me, my friends!
Friday, April 16, 2010
I went to a concert tonight (Newsboys), and it was SUCH a great evening! I spent more time on my feet bouncing around and dancing than I did in my seat--added a lot to my step count and calorie burn, that's for sure.
It happened that I read AHEALTHIERME9's blog today, YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS! www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3123299 and watched the video link she posted to the season opener for Oprah's show from September. I hadn't seen it before, and it was amazing--Black Eyed Peas performing "I've Got a Feeling" and then the crowd slowly but surely breaking into a choreographed dance to the music. So that song has been in my mind most of the day--it's just such an upbeat, joyous song, it makes me want to move.
When the Newsboys concert started tonight, guess what song they opened with? Yup, "I've Got a Feeling"--talk about getting an audience on their feet and moving right from the start! It was a high energy night, that's for sure. There was an extension to the stage that ran out into the middle of the audience, and to everyone's delight they used that quite a bit throughout the concert, coming out and shaking hands with people while they sang and getting the audience involved. At one point the whole band moved out to the end of that extension and performed there for awhile. We were maybe ten seats away from it, so I've got pics and video on my cell phone. I may be slightly more deaf from the volume and hoarse from singing when they called on the audience to participate, but it was SO worth it!
This all got me thinking about how strongly music can affect our mood and attitude. Finding songs and music to get us moving and keep us moving in the right direction then continuing to listen to that is one more way that we can keep the motivation alive to keep us moving in the right direction. It's hard to keep from smiling and moving with the right music playing, especially if the volume is cranked up just right!
Many years ago I studied music in college. Music that's written in a major key generally has an uplifting, positive sound to it; if it's written in a minor key, it tends to sound a little more melancholy and sad. I am working on keeping my life in a 'major key' and not letting the bumps and bruises take me down into a 'minor key.' In the long run, those bumps and bruises really are minor, though they don't feel like it at the time.
One of the songs that the Newsboys do is called "Stay Strong" and is definitely going on my playlist for working out. Here's part of the chorus:
"Stay strong, you are not lost,
Come on and fix your eyes ahead
There's a new dawn to light our day, our day
We've gotta stay strong, you and I run
For the prize that lies ahead
We've come too far to lose our way, our way
Get up, there's further to go
Get up, there's more to be done
Get up, this witness is sure
Get up, this race can be won
This race can be won!"
That's my theme song right now--I want to stay strong and keep going, keep getting up until I win this race. It's music to keep me moving; have you found yours yet?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
No, it's not quite April 15, but I decided that I did not want to be making a trip to the post office at 11 p.m. on the day taxes are due, so tonight I finally sat down and finished our taxes. As you might have guessed, we owed this year--hence the major procrastination on my part to get them finished and filed.
Maybe you're not like me, putting off things that aren't a lot of fun as long as possible. I do that with so many things, not just taxes. "I should really plan out my meals for the next week." Ah, I have food in the fridge and the freezer, I don't want to plan right now. I'll do it later. Besides, it takes the spontaneity out of meals; how do I know what I'll be in the mood for on Thursday or Friday?
That tendency to procrastinate can really get me into trouble. Oops, I forgot to bring a lunch to work; uh, what do I have in the freezer or fridge there to get me by that won't mess me up for the day? Oh rats, I meant to bring X to have for a snack today and completely forgot it because I was rushing out the door.
Procrastination is part of what got me to my highest weight. I knew I needed to do something about my weight, but I just didn't want to do it. I couldn't get motivated to start for the longest time, and as a result, my weight kept creeping up. I am not sure what I was waiting for--a bolt of lightning to snap me out of it? A major health issue developing because of my weight? A doctor telling me lose weight or else? Maybe, but none of those happened (thankfully!).
I've been reflecting lately on how I finally got started this year after failing to get going for so long. What got me off my procrastinating backside? It wasn't because of anything dramatic happening; rather, it was one statement I read that just clicked with me.
"The choice is mine to make."
Changes in my life and in my lifestyle will not come because of something outside of me that "makes" me do it. They will come when I CHOOSE to make them, and the choice is mine alone.
Wow, that does put the ball squarely back in my court, doesn't it, now. If I keep eating things that do not nourish my body, if I take in more calories than I burn, I can't put the blame on anyone else. It is my choice. On the other hand, if I get active and start eating healthy, well, that's my choice, too. Somehow that was enough to get me started, and a funny thing happened after I started; that little spark started a fire inside that has kept me making generally healthy choices for the last three months.
I am working on my tendency to procrastinate, because I know that procrastination is not my friend. It is much better to make a conscious choice to do or not to do something rather than putting it off and avoiding it until the last possible moment. So my taxes are done a couple of days before they are due--not a long time in advance, but it's progress in the right direction. Now I think I'll go pack my lunch for tomorrow . . .
Monday, April 12, 2010
There's a revolution going on, can you feel it? It's a quiet revolution, but a revolution just the same.
It's a revolution in lifestyle, a revolution in attitude, in mindset, in perspective. It started with just a spark, a tiny glimmer of hope that this time would be different, that this time success is within reach and will last.
I'm talking, of course, about the changes we are making here with the help of one another and of the resources on SparkPeople in developing a healthy lifestyle. If you are like me, you are tired of dieting and losing weight only to gain it all back like, let's face it, the majority of people who try and lose weight. We've all run into the doubters who do not believe we can really lose weight and keep it off; shoot, we've thought it ourselves: what makes me think I'm going to be able to do it this time when I haven't before?
For me and I know for many of you, though, this is turning out to be so much more than one more attempt to lose weight. It is not a diet-and-exercise plan that we are either 'on' or 'off,' being 'good' or 'cheating.' It really is a revolution in the way we think and act and live. It's a revolution in our attitudes towards food, fitness, our bodies, and our lives.
We are discovering new strength down deep that we never knew was there before. We're learning to make peace with our bodies and with food. We are learning how to lean on one another on the tough days, and how to lend a hand when someone else hits a rough patchl.
It's not that we don't stumble and fall down along the way. What is different is that we are learning how to get back up when it happens and keep going. We are discovering the bold, strong, fabulous warrior within us and we're not giving up.
AHEALTHIERME9 said it well in her blog UNSTOPPABLE SPARKFRIENDS www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3105654 "I don't know exactly why, but this time, with a little help from my SparkFamily, I know I will do this. For the first time in such a very long time, I know I can. I know I have found the unstoppable warrior in me and I am embracing her and I am not letting go."
That just resonated with me. We are unstoppable together, Spark Friends. Let's dare to believe it, to grab hold and hang on tight, to be all that we can be. Be bold, be strong, be fabulous--because you are!
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