Friday, February 19, 2010
I’ve been thinking…there’s got to be benefits of staying stuck where I am. There must be some payoff for choosing to overeat or I wouldn’t do it. Our survival is based on moving towards pleasure and away from pain. So I thought long and hard about what my benefits are for each side of the scale.
Here’s what I came up with:
WHAT I GET OUT OF BEING OVERWEIGHT, LESS ACTIVE, AND OVERINDULGING IN UNHEALTHY FOODS:
1. I get to eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I don’t have to talk myself out of it. I can just do it on automatic pilot, without thinking, and then it’s too late to un-ring the bell once it’s done. It’s easier to just do it instead of struggling. In the moment, I tell myself I’ll deal with the guilt later – oh well.
2. I can get immediate gratification--RIGHT NOW--as opposed to having to sustain new habits and wait until some distant future to get satisfaction.
3. I can be sedentary and sit on the couch instead of getting up and moving. And when I’m relaxed and sitting, it feels more pleasurable to sit and it feels painful to have to get up and do a workout. A body at rest stays at rest.
4. I can entertain myself by sitting down to watch a favorite TV show with a favorite snack.
5. I don’t have to feel anxiety; as soon as I feel it rising, I can just eat it away.
6. I don’t have to ever feel hungry.
7. I don’t have to suffer and deal with a food craving…as soon as I eat the craving is gone (at least until the next one comes along).
8. When I’m feeling sad and blue, I can numb the pain with yummy food. Real tears and emotions HURT and I don’t want to hurt.
9. When I’m angry and mad as hell, I can munch and munch to diffuse some of it. I’ll show THEM (crunch,crunch)!!
10. When I’m bored or lonely, I can distract myself with eating something good.
11. When things go wrong, I can blame it on my weight.
12. I don’t have to worry about unwelcome attention.
13. I don’t have to feel uncomfortable about getting complimented on my appearance.
14. I can procrastinate and delay taking on new challenges or risks until I “get it together and lose some weight”.
15. My extra body fat can be used as a “shield” to keep other people from getting too close and hurting me.
16. I can make eating the center of my attention so I don’t have to think about other things.
17. I can punish myself for things I’ve done in the past, for times I’ve disappointed myself.
18. I can dislike myself for being so weak and I can use it as an excuse to not live up to my full potential and achieve my deepest desires.
19. I can be depressed and wallow in it instead of having to do something about it.
WHAT I GET OUT OF BEING SLIM, EATING MODERATE PORTIONS OF HEALTHY FOODS, AND EXERCISING/BEING ACTIVE DAILY:
1. I can have more energy to get more things done: keep up with my housecleaning, work in the flower and vegetable garden, and various other projects that I’ve been delaying for when I “feel like it”.
2. I can feel more like moving more than I feel like sitting. A body in motion stays in motion. The more active I become, the more I WANT to be active.
3. I can power walk around the neighborhood and wave back to the people in their cars who are smiling and waving at me.
4. I can feel the exhileration and pride after a heart-pumping, heavy breathing, muscle activating workout…all sweaty, and a GOOD tired that invigorates.
5. I can enjoy vibrant health and well being every moment of every day. I can feel great 24/7, with no anxiety and worries about potential future health problems.
6. I can wake up each morning smiling and enthusiastic about life; ready and willing to deal with whatever comes my way.
7. I can work on developing the skill of examining my feelings instead of avoiding them – finding out why I feel that way and taking measures to fix it.
8. I can finally determine what’s really bothering me instead of blaming everything on my body size.
9. I can feel pretty. I can look into the mirror and like what I see.
10. I can wear attractive clothes instead of searching for something that will cover up bulges. No more frumpy outfits!
11. I can feel comfortable in my clothes instead of pinching waistbands and tight bra bands, and thighs that rub together.
12. I can feel comfortably lighter and cooler on a hot, humid day without carrying all that extra insulation.
13. I can feel the joy of going into the section of my closet that contains my smaller outfits, trying them on, and finding that they fit perfectly and look amazing on me.
14. I can go shopping and try on a pair of jeans, only to find that I need a smaller size! Shopping for clothes will become a joy instead of a dreaded experience.
15. I can wear a bathing suit in public and feel proud instead of self conscious. Maybe even be able to actually SEE my belly button!
16. I can feel confident, self-assured and empowered in any situation because I know that I can accomplish anything once I put my mind to it.
17. I can achieve my goal of normal blood pressure without any medication. An added bonus is that I'll also save money by not having to take daily meds.
18. I can be graceful, move with ease, and feel feminine.
19. I can look and feel more youthful and sexy…wear pretty nightwear instead of unflattering baggie flannels with oversized tops.
20. I can be fit, toned, and have flexibility – no sore knees, joint pain, or backaches.
21. I can no longer be obsessed with food and eating and weight, and therefore spend more time, energy, and thoughts on other things.
22. I can truly like myself and be proud of my actions.
23. I’ll no longer hear my husband say, “you shouldn’t be eating that".
24. I can actually look forward to my annual check-up and watch my doctor smile as he reads the results of my bloodwork results.
25. I can be unafraid to discover what truly lights me up and go for it!
Now…what do I do with this information?
It’s important to know why I’m doing the things I’m currently doing. Awareness is the first step, and I acknowledge that there are definite benefits I feel I’m getting by choosing food over fitness.
But it’s also clear to me how much more appealing list # 2 is from list # 1 when I put them side by side. Now I just have to remind myself of these benefits in order to tip the scale towards desiring to be slim MORE than desiring to eat whatever I want.
I can’t have both.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Even though I continually say I haven't given up, I'm not acting like a person who hasn't given up. For the past 2 years it's been 2 steps back, no steps forward. I may have progressed forward a little in my thinking, but have not realized any results at all in pounds, inches, or sizes.
March 1 marks my 3 year anniversary on SparkPeople. I was so enthusiastic and dedicated to my goals back then. I was so sucessful and it was almost too easy. Back then, I thought logging in my food into the tracker was fun and I didn't miss one day of it. I put favorite recipes into the recipe builder and tried many of the recipes here. I was following the Eat to Live eating style which is high in vegetables, fruit, beans & legumes; little or no meat or dairy. I had gotten to the point where I no longer craved food, particularly sweets.
I not only walked 3 miles every single day, but I was consistent with my T-Tapp workout. A SparkFriend who is also a T-Tapper and has made great progress inspired me to go back and look at my before and after pictures of when I was regularly T-Tapping. I did a 50 minute Total Workout at least 4 times a week and completed a bootcamp (14 consecutive days) twice during a 3-month period. I had gone from a snug size 18 to a comfortable size 12 jean. The inch loss was substantial. I was 213 lbs. in the before pictures and 183 in the after. A couple months later I got to my lowest weight of 175, just 15 pounds short of the goal I had set.
Today I'm back to 211, and my After Pictures have now become my Before Pictures. I've been away from my T-Tapping and when I've tried it recently I'm so out of shape that it's back to square one. That makes it difficult to do it without having extreme motivation.
This weight is costing me in dollars and in well being. My health insurer raised the co-pay of my blood pressure meds this year. It used to be $50 for a 3-month supply and now it's $135. My monthly health insurance premium is up to almost $900/month and even paying that much I have a $500 deductible for office visits and labs. My brother lost 100 pounds and has kept it off for a year and a half now. After he lost the weight, he was able to achieve and maintain a healthy blood pressure without any medication. That's a huge goal for me.
The reason I'm posting this blog is for me to really step up to the mirror and face what's happened. I've been on both sides now...seen & felt the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. I don't know how I could possibly choose the latter. Life was so wonderful after I'd lost the pounds and inches and sizes. I still had problems, but they didn't seem as significant and I was better able to deal with whatever came up because I felt SO good every day. I was energetic and light and I was genuinely happy.
I want that again.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I just ordered this book from amazon.com:
I already own the workout DVD which combines movements with affirmations. The book takes it even further, with principles to live life deliberately instead of just allowing life to happen to you. This is an excerpt from the book that I copied from the amazon.com web site:
IntenSati = Intent (one's plan or purpose) + sati (the Sanskrit word for mindfulness)
Principle One - As Soon as You Make the Decision to Change, Your Life Will Follow
Think about it: if you want to go someplace new, if you want to change your horizons, you cannot get there by standing still. Maybe you feel that you're at a roadblock. You want to be someone else, someone happier, fitter, healthier, stronger. But just wishing for change is not enough; you have to take the first step. You have to find the power within you that will move you in the direction you want to go.
If you want your life to change from the course it is on, you must be willing to change. Not the circumstances, not someone else, not your parents or your spouse or your boss. It may be a word, an exercise, or an affirmation; all you need is a spark, something that will make you think differently than you have before. Somewhere in this book you will find something that will change your life.
Principle 1 of the IntenSati Method is that as soon as you make the decision to change, your life will follow. It has to. You are the one directing it. You are doing it every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year till death do you part. That is power! To change physically, you have to be willing to change the way you think, feel, and act. The thoughts you are thinking, whether you are paying attention to them or not, are activating emotions within you. Those emotions fuel your energy, and that energy fuels your actions. IntenSati is the practice of keeping your attention on your thoughts, guiding them and your self-talk deliberately to activate emotions that will empower you instead of disempower you. It will enable you to live a life in which you are appreciating, loving, creating, and caring, instead of complaining and worrying most of the time.
Now, usually, when we know we need to change something, we think about the actions we're going to change. "I'm going to start going to the gym three times a week to get rid of this tummy!" we'll say, or "I'm going to start cooking healthier meals and reduce my calorie count," in the hope that these actions will turn us into thinner, happier people. It's a nice plan, but how many times have you started a new program only to find yourself in the same place a few weeks, a few months, or a few years later? It takes an extraordinary amount of mindfulness and desire to take inspired action. Your success starts well before the trip to the grocery store or your first jog around the block. Before you do anything, you have to pay attention to what is inspiring your actions (or your lack of them). You have to take control of your thoughts and mind and first understand the person you really are and the power you have to ignite powerful, positive, loving emotions.
You Are the Thinker, Not the Thought
If you have been hating yourself, loathing your body, or criticizing your lack of willpower and courage to change, it is precisely that inner conversation that is holding you back. It's robbing you of your power. Think of every thought you have not as an observation, but as a command. Most of us don't even notice or question the thoughts we have. But the fact is, you are what you think about all day long.
If you have the belief that you cannot lose weight, that no matter what you do you will fail, then guess what? You will fail. If you feel that weight on your body is stubborn and will never go away, then it will obey. Why? It is not the condition that is stubborn. You are stubbornly holding a thought that is keeping that condition in place. Think about how you speak about your body and what you tell your friends and family. Do you say things like:
* "It's impossible for me to lose weight."
* "No matter what I do, I can't stick to a diet."
* "I am lazy. I have no willpower."
* "I give up! Diets don't work for me."
Now look back at those words not as observations, but as commands. You are the one in charge. Why can't you lose weight, stick to a diet, or find a workout that works? Because you have been telling yourself -- and probably anyone who will listen -- how powerless, helpless, and hopeless you are. And so it is!
Let Your Heart Be Your Guide
You can change your life. No matter how far you think you've gone astray, you can get back on track starting this moment. First, you need to start paying attention to your thoughts. Will you make a commitment to yourself and catch yourself when you feel that negative feeling bubbling? Use those nagging, needling words that pop into your head and your heart as your red flag. Let them guide you to get back on track. When you hear them or feel them creeping up on you, stop, refocus, and choose to replace them with something more powerful and constructive. If you do this, you will begin to see yourself differently. Other people will see you differently. You will begin to wake up to a whole new world of possibilities.
Try this exercise. What if, instead of those negative things you tell yourself day after day, you try verbalizing the following thoughts instead? Say them out loud, whisper them, write them, feel them, imagine them as your truth. When one feels particularly good to you, use it. If it brings up a positive emotion, summon it like a prayer, repeating it over and over. Feel it create a change of focus within you. It's like turning on a light switch! When you turn on the light, all the dark disappears. This is the beginning of creating a new script for the New You. When you have a new script, you will have a new life.
As you read the lines below, take a few moments to imagine what powerful actions would follow these powerful statements of responsibility. This is the beginning...
* "I can change now; I am ready."
* "I choose to believe I can do this."
* "I want this, and with practice I can do anything."
* "What I think about I bring about."
* "Today I am keeping my attention on my happiness and my health."
* "I am powerful now, and I am accepting it."
* "I take full responsibility for my body today."
* "I care about how I feel, and I am ready to feel great."
Mind/Body Exercise: Begining the Practice
To open the IntenSati practice, we begin with a powerful warm-up for both your body and your mind:
"Every day in a very true way I co-create my reality. As above, so below. This is what I know."
As you have learned in this chapter, every day you are creating our experience by the thoughts you choose to think, the perspective you choose to take, the attention you give to what you hate or what you love...or anything in between. You are always creating because you are always thinking.
Here is the important thing about your part in the co-creation process: You may not always have a say in your circumstances, but you always have a say in your perspective of the circumstances. You were born to the parents you were born to; you are as tall as you are going to be; you have a past you cannot change; you have the challenges you face. But either you can use those circumstances as proof of why you cannot be who you want to be, or you can see them as a starting point and go from there -- you participate in the reality your life becomes. By choosing to accept where you are right now and dropping the complaining about it, you will create the opening for a new possibility, a new outcome, a new result!
The Sati life is a conscious, deliberate life. It's about loving, thriving, and taking the reins. Do this warm-up every day for thirty days. Write it down on a note card and place it in many places that you can see throughout the day. Memorize it, say it over and over to yourself as you go about your day. Make it an imprint on your mind and your heart that you are the one responsible for your health and happiness. It takes just two minutes, and if you start every day with this declaration, you will awaken yourself to who you really are. No longer will you see yourself as powerless, unworthy, or unable. Instead, you will begin to see that great things are within your grasp.
Before you begin, stand in the ready pose, hands at your heart, eyes closed, and repeat to yourself your intention: "I intend to feel good"
Once you learn the entire exercise outlined here, do it for at least two minutes. You are harnessing your power of concentration. Even though you may feel that you are "just thinking it," try not to let your mind wander.
Ready: Stand tall, your eyes straight ahead, feet together, and shoulders back, with your arms by your sides. This pose represents your readiness to take action now.
First-Round Action Hold each action while repeating the affirmation below.
Responsibility for Life: Standing tall with your feet together, raise your arms over your head, press your palms together in the pose of Responsibility, and silently say, "With gratitude, I take full responsibility for my health and happiness."
Responsibility for Mind: With your palms still pressed together, bring your hands to the center of your forehead, your third eye of inner wisdom, to the pose of Will and silently say, "With gratitude, I take full responsibility for the power of my thoughts."
Responsibility for Attitude: Bring your hands to your heart and silently say, "With gratitude, I take full responsibility for the power of my emotions."
Responsibility for Actions: Bend your knees to a chair pose, keeping your legs together, as if you are sitting in a chair. With your palms pressed together, extend your arms from your heart toward the floor (make sure to keep your back straight), and silently say, "With gratitude, I take full responsibility for the power of my actions."
I'm looking forward to reading the book. I've started doing the mind/body exercise above and can already feel a difference within.
In my quest for peace this year, this is one of the tools that showed up for me and I'm grateful.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I'm feeling like this...
...always just missing the boat....always missing out. I just have to vent.
Last Tuesday I FINALLY got it together! I was planning ahead, logging in my food, staying towards the lower end of my calorie range, walking 2 or 3 miles every day. By Friday night I was feeling pretty fantastic.
Saturday we had plans to go out with friends and hadn't decided where yet. I had a greek yogurt for breakfast and salad for lunch plus did a 3 mile walk just to start the day out right.
We had a glass of red wine and some cheese/pepperoni and crackers at our house first...not all that bad. The consensus was to go to the Red Lobster. I know that there are plenty of healthy items on the menu. I could have had some broiled fish with baked potato and broccoli and a salad.
But Red Lobster is one of my trigger places. I have to be in a super good place to make the right choices there. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the company, but I had the combo of fried shrimp, shrimp scampi, and shrimp linguine alfredo (probably one of the most highest in calories in fat entrees there). I had not one, but two of the cheddar cheese biscuits and the Caesar salad. The only good thing I got was the side of broccoli. Later that evening, I got on a web site that gives the calorie count of all the food at Red Lobster. My meal was 1500 calories!!!! That made my total for the day over 2500.
Worse was that my weekly weigh-in day is Sunday and I weighed in exactly the same after 4 days of perfection. I've been stuck at 210 for 3 weeks in a row.
I was so down-hearted and again disappointed. I felt like the odds are stacked against me and I'm doomed. The problem wasn't that one dinner at Red Lobster. The bigger problem was how I let it totally derail me and I overate all day Sunday and Monday and am still not getting it together today. What is it that makes me take one event and throw everything else out the window? THAT is what will keep me stuck, not one meal.
Today I'm doing my best to get my mental state back to positive because that's the most important factor in getting back to where I was last week before the dinner debacle.
Thanks for listening to my rant. Now it's time for me to get back up...AGAIN...and keep doing that until I learn to stop sabotaging myself at every challenge and obstacle.
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