Sunday, September 09, 2007
After my first week experiment of not counting calories, I gained 1 lb. So my conclusion is that I'm not ready to be taken off the leash! I use that analogy because I got a puppy a month ago. She's so smart and picks up on things very quickly. I've read a couple of books on training and she's doing marvelously. We're working on walking on the lead and having her keep up with my flow...walking along at my pace and stopping when I stop, starting back up when I walk. The object is to get to a point where she and I can walk through the back yard without her having to even be on a leash and she will stay close to me and keep at my pace. But it's going to take many weeks and months of practice for her to get to that point.
The key to getting her to automically do what I want is for me, the trainer, to know the right things to do to communicate with my puppy so she'll understand how to get the desired result and keep repeating the behavior. So for me, I see my subconcious inner self who is connected to the Source of all things and knows all, as the trainer and my conscious self as the trainee. My subconscious speaks to me through my emotions. If it feels good, I'm on the right track. Until I automatically get it right, I have to keep working within boundaries. That's why Spark People is such a great tool. When I am diligent about tracking and staying within my calorie range and exercise plan, there's no doubt that I'll continue to lose weight. I rebel after a while and don't want to have to count calories...I want my freedom!!! But at this point, freedom would only cause me to run fast in the wrong direction and get hurt, just like if I let my puppy off the leash to be on her own before she's ready.
So I'm back to due diligence. I'm humble enough to say I need supervision. I'll be happier in the long run, and over the months it takes me to get to my goal, I'll have been trained well enough to know what and how much to eat to maintain my hard-earned accomplishment and stay safely there without venturing out into danger.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Discouragement has reared itís ugly head. Itís been 5 Ĺ months on Spark and in the beginning I have to admit I had a slow start. But after about a month, I was on fire! I was keeping within my calories and exercising regularly. I was feeding my spirit and soul with positive things. I was losing consistently and people were noticing. I began a slow period again in July thatís continued. I gained weight for the first time and it began to panic me. Iíve yo-yoíd between 185 and 182 for the past month and a half, making no further progress. Iíve tried to think positive and remind myself how far Iíve come. Iíve tried to not think about the mistakes and focus on my goal...keep my eye on the prize so to speak. I havenít reached out to anyone here because of my embarrassment. All my blogs up to this point have been positive, upbeat, and full of encouragement. I guess I was ashamed to admit that 'MS. POSITIVITY' could actually be stumbling, imperfect, and need a helping hand.
Then I read a post from one of my team mates that said sheíd been having trouble sticking with it and re-gained 10 lbs. She had stayed away from the boards and instead got upset with herself. She was basically starting over fresh. It really struck me. So many others go through this and have come out of it. Itís the support and commradery at this site that I believe is the key element in ensuring we do not fail. I donít know how many people are on this site, but it must be upwards of hundreds of thousands and so many are more than happy to rush in and rescue you when youíre out there treading water and barely able to come up for air one more time. They are the invisible angels that surround you when you need it the most. We are never alone in this quest for health and fitness. It makes all the difference.
The team that's made the most impact on me is 'Making Life Happen on Purpose". My team leader, Lisa Sayers, had posted a thread called ĎDealing with Discouragementí. It talked about the warning signs of discouragement. What I did was take all those warning signs and turn them from negative to a positive. Hereís what I came up with:
1. Have faith and believe in my ability to succeed.
2. Focus on and visualize the results daily as if I have accomplished it and get excited about succeeding.
3. Have realistic expectations and celebrate every small success.
4. Only listen to myself and my inner voice.
5. Keep my focus and attention only upon the achievement of my goal and the good feelings of it.
I need to do the things I KNOW will help me get on track. The most important one is to tell the truth to others and to myself: that I need support and encouragement just like everybody else. Iím so good at handing it out, but somehow reluctant in receiving it. Oh boy, the tears are starting to roll now!!!
One thing that helps me tremendously is to visit lots of Spark Pages of the many who have succeeded. This shows me that itís not only possible, itís inevitable if I do what I KNOW what to do. Thanks for all those who care and lend a hand so willingly. I know Iíll get back on track. When Iíve failed in the past, I never had such a great network of friends to serve as a safety netÖ.a soft place to fall before I get up, brush off, and begin again.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Iíve been on what I call a plateau, or just a pause. Truth is, Iím not pushing myself as much as I need to. I had a little talk with myself tonight. Iíve been doing great on the exercise front. Iím pretty consistent with walking every day and doing strength training most days. But to be honest, I could do better with my eating. My calories have been creeping up there and Iíve been going over my 1650 limit more and more lately. Iíve been losing, albeit slowly, because of the exercise. But I canít help but wonder how much better Iíd be doing if I was cutting calories too. Iíve been in the 180ís for almost 3 months. I keep thinking about what happened in 2003. I had started the Weight Watcherís on-line program on 2/11/03 at 211.5 lbs. By the end of May, I had lost 28.5 lbs. and was 183. Then something happenedÖI guess the proverbial plateauÖwhere I bounced between 183 and 187 for 4 months. Then by October I started gaining and panic set in. Along came November and December holidays, and I was back up over 200 again, feeling defeated.
Itís an eerie dťjŗ vu feeling: I started using SparkPeople tools on 3/1/2007 at 213 lbs. Got down to 184 the end of June, just before I went on vacationÖ.gained almost 3 lbs. over vacation and it took a few weeks to get that off. And although Iíve now lost a total of 31.2 lbs. since March, over the past several days Iíve been Ďfeeling fatí. I had my picture taken with a friend yesterday, and I hated the way I looked. I still have the midriff bulge and the bat wing arms. I thought to myself, ďgosh how bad did I really look before I lost this weight?Ē So I went back and looked at some pictures from a couple years ago and did see that Iíve made a lot of progress this year. But Iím also reminded that Iíve still got a way to go to get to my goal and I canít get complacent about it and start to get sloppy with my eating habits. Thatís the mistake I made before that I donít want to repeat. Every summer we have a lot of zucchini in our garden. This year Iíve been steaming the zucchini and summer squash and eating it with a little butter spray instead of frying it in oil like I used to. But this weekend, I reverted back to one of my old habits and baked several mini loaves and one big loaf of zucchini bread. The smell of them baking gives me a feeling of comfort, just like a drug. After eating a whole mini loaf myself, I decided that I canít have it in the house. And this, after having lost 1.2 lbs. this week! Was this the way I decided to celebrate my success? Iím giving some of the mini loaves away and Iíve decided to freeze most of the rest. I canít seem to resist it, and feel like I have no power over it. Itís something I have to come to terms with. I will always have a weakness for certain foods and itís best to not have them around. I had decided when I first embarked on this weight loss commitment that itís best to only have dessert when Iím eating out. That way, itís just an occasional treat and not there in the house to taunt me and tempt me to overindulge. Just like one drink can send an alcoholic on a binge, so can one day of sweet treats send me into a tailspin and cycle of overeating. As much as I would love to have control over these foods and eat them in moderation, I have to be honest with myself and admit that it turns into an unhealthy addiction. And the biggest truth is that the overeating does not make me feel good. Itís a false friend who lures me in and then leaves me feeling empty. I feel on top of the world when Iím eating healthy foods in moderation.
So itís been a nice little plateau, but itís time to move on again. Iíve been on pause long enough and Iím ready to hit the play button! Goodbye 180ís, and hello to the 170ís for a brief time while I breeze through to the 160ís. This week I am challenging myself to stay below 1650 calories every day (and even shoot for 1450-1500) and go back to eating according to the ĎEat to Liveí guidelines, while continuing to do my daily walking and strength training. That will most definitely get me to break the curse of the 180ís plateau and give me a big boost of motivation. Iím so ready!
Friday, July 27, 2007
The other day, my husband and I were going out to do some shopping and errands. I had put on my size 16 denim shorts and had to take them off because they were so baggy and the waist was falling down. (Last summer I was wearing size 18's that fit snug. ) I showed him and said I'd like to look for a new pair of shorts. He said to me, "Don't get rid of those...you'll fit into them again." I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. I've been working so hard since March and have completely changed my eating habits. I work out every day, and many times when I don't feel like it. Sweating and pushing myself each time to do my personal best.
I know where he's coming from. I've lost a lot of weight several times during our married life, only to put it all back on and more. I guess he thinks this will be the same pattern, it's only a matter of time. At first I was very upset and sad. I guess because I was fearful that he might be right. But then I was angry. Angry enough to vow to prove him wrong. How's about a little faith in me? I decided that I'll show him! I HAVE changed my habits and my view of myself. I AM living as a thin person already. My body is getting stronger. I can see the changes in my body, and also the changes in the way I think and act around food. I have the will and I have the drive to get to my goal. In the past, I would get to a certain point and start slowly reverting back to old habits. But that's not happening anymore. Because I've decided that I'm worth having a slim attractive body and lots of energy.
The bottom line is that I don't need my husband's approval, compliments, support and encouragement. It would be nice to have, but not necessarily required for me to achieve my goal. I believe in myself and my ability to get to my goal weight and maintain it for the rest of my life. I am strong. I am capable. I am living the life I choose to live. I am choosing health and well being.
I won't even try to convince my dear husband....I think I'll just show him by succeeding!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
What a beautiful Sunday morning! Vibrant bright blue sky and sunshine. This morning's weigh-in showed that commitment and persistence pays off because I'm now back down to where I was before vacation and my period of re-establishing my momentum.
I got a SparkMail this morning from one of my Walking for Life team leaders that was very inspirational. The subject title is the same as my blog title and it reads:
"I have not been exercising thanks to a bad pulled muscle in my back that goes down my leg. - yep - excuses, but have a dr note! LOL. I have gained about 3 lbs since I have not been able to exercise for about three weeks and finally gave in and went to see the dr. Just a reminder to all that are feeling like something is gonna stand in your way and you want to give in -- I started this with the intention of getting excess weight off, relearn how to eat healthy and start feeling better and more energetic. If I can see my weight going up and be determined to stick with with the program and stay here with everyone and know in my heart that when I feel better that the weight will start going down again and my energy and health/wellness will be better then you all need to stick with me also and realize that this setback is not a failure. To anyone that is feeling like they are not doing this right and want to give in - stick here with me. Setbacks are bound to happen because none of us are perfect. We will just pick ourselfs up and start again!
Remember - the best way to learn is when you fall, get back up and try again till you get it right "
This inspired me to think about my past couple months of slowing down, gaining, struggling, and then turning it around. I wrote back:
"Amen, Tamela! Thank-you for this inspirational message this morning. I have experienced similar circumstances (which I called a 'hiatus') and have come back stronger.
About a month and a half ago, I suffered a shin splint. I was depressed over it because I had been walking 3.5 miles every single day without fail for over a year. I tried walking, but the pain was too severe. I went to my doctor, and the only thing I could do was stay off it until it healed. It took 10 days, and not walking for 10 days was torture!!!! While I was healing, I went and bought an expensive pair of walking sneakers to properly align my feet and prevent this from ever happening again. During my non-walking period, I didn't gain weight, thankfully, but it slowed me down.
Then, one month ago, we went on vaction for a week. It was harder than I thought to stick to my healthy eating and I didn't get as much activity as I had wanted. When I came back, I had gained 2.6 lbs! This threw me into a tainspin and the week I got back I had a hard time getting back into my routine. I walked everyday, but was eating too many calories and all the wrong foods, so I gained another 0.8 lbs. I realized I was stressing too much about it and it was causing anxiety, which in in turn was causing me to veer off track. So I decided to start thinking positively and focus on success. I believe that weight loss starts in the mind and it's our thoughts that create our actions. Sure enough, once I did that the downward spiral stopped immediately and started it's upward spin. This morning, I'm back to the weight I was before vacation and ready to keep dropping those pounds!!!!
I share this to further reinforce your message and inspire you even more. Never let any so-called obstacles stand in your path of success. Thanks so much for your support to the team. "
Being a part of Spark People and so many great and wise people who are on the same path as myself has been the key to my success. This has been such a blessing to me and I'm thankful for all those who inspire me and who I've been able to connect with in a profound way.
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