Thursday, June 10, 2010
Well, I did it. I actually got to the gym four times during my one week free trial membership. I discovered that I do still enjoy watching others work out nearby and that I push myself harder in that environment than I do alone at home. However, along with the elliptical, stationary bicycle and many weight machines I used on each of my visits to the gym, I also felt more motivated to add more to my week. So, I pulled weeds for four hours at my church during our work day there (I've never done that much in one day before) on Saturday. I also discovered a ball workout on television and did that one day for an hour before heading to the gym. I also found myself doing random exercises around my house (on ball, with weights or band or just lunging as I walked about). It seemed the more I did the more I wanted to do. But, even after all of this I barely saw the scale change numbers. In fact, at first I gained a couple of pounds. Well, that came off as did a tiny bit more. I'm about to my low end of the bouncing up and down I've done for several years. The real success will come when I break through that low number and can actually start recording some real progress. I feel stronger and have more energy than I did I week ago. So, I think next week I'll find another gym to try out.
This adventure has just begun anew for me. One day I will probably give in and actually join a gym. I'm watching the promotions out there and see some sales coming up. Since I pretty much refuse to pay full price for much I'm anxious to work the best deal I can find. I have discovered that I really want a pool. The gym I tried did not have that and I felt I could use a swim or even a hot tub after the weights. So, the saga continues....
Monday, June 07, 2010
So, there I was sitting at my computer reading about so many of you and the successes and struggles you've been going through. Well, I've been very stuck for the past several years at about 145-155. It has been so discouraging. I've allowed health problems to keep me more sidelined than necessary. Somewhere along the line I decided that I'd rather try and fail than to just e content with never trying. So, one day I mentioned in a forum that I wanted to look at the possibility of joining a gym. Many years ago that was one of my passions. My husband and I worked out together when we could and individually the rest of the time. But, what I remember most is that there was such support from the others at the gym. That is the kind of support I've found with Spark. It has rekindled a desire, misplaced or not, to also once again try my best at a gym. So, since I said it, I had to do it. Last week I took advantage of a free one week trial membership. I'm not really enthused with this gym (no pool, sauna or other extras and really no people support that I can see so far). But, I've gotten acquainted with a whole new generation of equipment and it has been an encouraging experience. I've got just two days left, but I came across another gym with a free one week trial so I may try that one as well. I suspect I will end up at the gym my husband belongs to, but thought I'd first test some other waters.
So, Sparkers, you got me going on this gym business. It's great to have not only support from all of you, but to know there is some accountability out there. Thanks for encouraging me to take this first step. I know you will help me keep going. If a gym, terrific. If that doesn't work well for me, I know you will help me find another direction. If I write about it and you respond, I know it will be a done deal.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
I started to write this to include all the challenges of this day. Then, I decided not to bore the world so I deleted it all. I am very tired. I haven't gotten to everything on my to do list. But, I've gotten to a lot of those items and it feels so good to cross items off that perpetual list of mine. It makes me smile. Some days I accomplish little, some days a little more. I never did get to formal exercise, but I walked a long way over a lot of time. My pedometer reminds me that just living can be a workout. So, I don't beat myself up that the treadmill was idle. I smile about a full day that will begin to wind down for me in a few hours. It is time to make dinner so we can head off to an evening meeting. This is a special time of day. I love it when my sweetheart gets here and we can share our days, our plans for tomorrow and for all the tomorrows yet to be. Yes, it has been another full day, another long day, to live, to laugh, to love and just to smile.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
It's June! How can that be? Wasn't I supposed to be skinny enough by now to put on a swim suit or a pair of shorts without all those jiggly bits flapping about? Haven't I thought this same thing at the beginning of a lot of Junes? So true, so true. However, this one is bound to be different. This time I've got such amazing support here at Spark and now even my sweet husband is coming around. I want to join a gym where I can swim a bit without being too noticed, where I can cycle a few miles without worrying that I will fall off in the middle of a road somewhere, where I can work this body at the rate it can do and not try to keep up with those healthy, strong young or not-so-young things. Even though I'm often awkward and slow due to multiple sclerosis, this year I'm not letting myself off the hook so easily. I may crash a few times, but I'll also get up over and over again. This time I won't let anyone tell me what I should or should not be doing. There was a time when my neurologist said to rest, rest, rest. Those days are long past. Now we know that exercise can be very helpful in keeping a body moving and as strong as possible wherever I might find myself in that nasty disease process. Too bad we didn't know back then, what we know now. I sure wasted a lot of time 'resting'. No more. Not today, anyway. There will be days or perhaps more than days that I will have to back off, but I refuse to be defeated this time around. Each time my body rebels, I'll do what has to be done to get it able to get going again. Now, my plan is to find the right gym for me before this week is out. That's my plan and I plan to stick to it. What's your plan this week? We are all different. We can't expect to fit into the same mold as someone else no matter how much we might want to do so. Let's just keep encouraging one another to be the best us we can be each and every day. That way, perhaps we won't face another summer of discouragement and disappointment. We are Sparks...hear us roar!!!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
After reading another Spark blog I started recalling my own childhood influences. My mom liked to cook and bake. We were a meat and potatoes kind of family - lots of beef and chicken. We also grew most of our own produce. We had apples, plums, lemons, quinces, loquats, persimmons, walnuts, berries, squash, corn, green beans, melons and probably lots of other things that don't come to mind right now. I loved to garden with my dad - he focussed on the fruits and veggies. I also helped my mom with all of her flowers. I never thought about how many calories we burned in those gardens. The work was just a part of who we were. So, it was ironic that my mom continually told me she didn't think exercise was important and that she didn't care if I did poorly in P.E. as long as I got my A's and B's in the rest of my classes. Cleaning our plates was expected. And that always included desserts. I can remember a time when I was trying desperately to lose a few pounds and didn't want dessert. That night she got so mad that she took the whole thing and threw it in the garbage. We all sat there dumbfounded. I never refused her sweets again. I learned to starve myself all day when she couldn't see and then eat all that she set before me in the evening. It was kind of a weird way to live, but it worked for me at the time. And so began my lifelong food issues. Through the years my weight has fluctuated quite a lot. Yet, my roots continue to influence me for both good and bad. I still love fresh fruits and vegetables. So, now that summer is coming I am eager for the farmers' markets to open. I still have trouble leaving food on my plate, but I've learned to better manage that one. I serve myself now so can serve myself reasonably. I also make an effort to leave at least a bite or two uneaten as I train myself that it isn't a sin to leave something. When my husband and I go out (rarely) we usually order one meal and share it. If we don't do that, we always bring home at least half. Or, if it wasn't that yummy we sometimes just leave what's left.
I took up running for fun in junior high and added tennis in high school. I always loved to swim but that has always been less accessible to me. I belonged to a gym for a few years before the MS made it difficult to do anything for a few years. Now I'm thinking of joining a gym for the summer. I have a few things here to use (treadmill, stability ball, bands, weights), but I would enjoy being with other women while I can. I now understand that my parents really got a lot of exercise just by managing home and gardens. My mom never understood this connection so thought exercise was useless. She is now 96 years old. She didn't get to that age by sitting and eating cookies all day long. Weight was never an issue for her. She was blessed with good genes and an ability to naturally manage her portions regardless of what she ate. I was adopted and when I met my birth parents as a 30 something it was interesting to see that they had both struggled with weight issues forever. My birth mom died the day before her 75th birthday. My dad struggles with many health issues, but is now 80 years old. Hmmm. Yes, environment is important. Yes, genetics count. But, I know we can reach our goals. For me it includes finding the right motivation each and every day of my life. I won't live in the past. I want to be here for a long and healthy future! I thank all my Spark friends for your encouragement and support. Have a healthy day!
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