Monday, July 22, 2013
It's been ages since I updated and I have no good excuse. Life has not been too hectic, I was not run over by a bus or abducted by aliens. I didn't even move or get a new job. I did, however, get lured away to counting calories on another site (this feels a bit like confession, no one hold this against me!) and while the food database was bigger and the graphics slicker, I missed the people from SparkPeople. You guys are like a big circle of awesome and it's nice to have people out there who know what you're going through.
I have been buys the past couple months running, I ran my first half marathon in May. I raised over $1,000 for the Alzheimer's Association and it was both the best thing I have ever done (after marrying my husband) and one of the hardest. Training to run 13 miles is no joke. But I did it and it gave me a newfound sense of appreciation for my body and what it is capable of. Once the half was over I cut back on my long-distance running. Running was becoming something I HAD to do, not something I WANTED to do and I cutting back to a few miles a few times a week helped me from feeling burnt out.
I'm also happy to report that I have hardly set foot in the gym this summer. No, I haven't given up on exercise, I've just been able to get most of it done outside. I am not a morning person, but nothing makes me feel happier about being awake at an early hour like being on a walk with my dogs at sunrise. It does a body and soul good.
My goals are still the same. I have a "magic number" that is my goal and I'm working on getting there. It's only 6 pounds away, but sometimes those are the hardest. I'm also working on adding more strength training to my repertoire as well. As for food, I strive to only eat when hungry and stop when full (well, don't we all?), but more importantly I'm trying not to eat when bored, lonely, sad or anxious. Food can do a lot of good, but it can't solve my problems for me and that's sometimes the hardest thing to remember.
I hope everyone out there is having a good summer and enjoying the warmer weather as much as I am!
Thursday, January 17, 2013
So, about a month ago I wrote a blog post, then promptly got busy with the holidays and a quick vacation and forgot all about it. A few weeks ago I got an email from someone at Sparkpeople asking if they could include my blog in an email mailer. "Sure", I thought, maybe a few people will see it and it will be helpful. This morning I woke up to an inbox flooded with "you have a new comment on your sprakpage" emails and I can't stop smiling!
You guys are absolutely amazing! I don't know how people lose weight or get healthy without a support system. There are so many things holding us down and pushing us back. We get bombarded with messages and advertisements that tell us to eat junk. We see shows like "The Biggest loser" (which I love and is totally a guilty pleasure, don't get me wrong) that make working out look painful and difficult. But every day we get up and we take a stand and say "no" to unhealthy messages and "yes" to taking time for ourselves and putting our health first. It's not easy, somedays it feels like torture. But we do it because we want something better for ourselves. Support from people going through the same things and experiencing the same trials is crucial. I know that whenever I have a bad day I will come back and read all of the sweet words you all have written. I will be comforted by the knowledge that there are a lot of people out there just like me, struggling like me, fighting like me. we all have different approaches, some of us are walkers, others love yoga, some weights, but our destination is the same. And together we will get there. Keep supporting each other, you guys are awesome cheerleaders and you cannot know the difference you make with even one "you can do it!" comment.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Sometimes I guess you have to move backward a bit in order to truly move forward for good. In 2007-2008 I finally decided to do something about my weight. I had been overweight for most of life and at 24 I was being told my blood pressure was creeping up, I had high cholesterol, and I would almost certainly be diabetic before long. I joined a gym and started monitoring my food intake. I joined Sparkpeople and started learning about nutrition and fitness. By 2008 I had lost 80 pounds and I was pretty healthy and active. I got engaged and in preparing for me wedding I stepped up my exercise and started becoming preoccupied with exactly how many calories I ate. I lost another 25+ pounds, but I was pretty miserable. I worked out constantly, ate too little, and was generally unhappy. Soon after I got sick and ended up putting about 40 pounds back on. That was my wake up call. I realized that being healthy was much more important than what size pants I wore.
So, I started using my old Sparkpeople account as a reminder of how far I came the first time-around and how to re-lose in a healthy, sustainable way. No more 2 hour cardio session, but yes to running and weights. No more barring myself from any treats, only to binge and eat as many as I could before getting sick. Moderation is key.
Initially it was really hard to see myself regain weight. I would get depressed and think about how I had "let myself go". However, now that I'm healthy again I have a new perspective. Going through such a dark period, and yes re-gaining some weight, was necessary to fully appreciate my health and a reminder to always focus on wellness first. I'm almost in better shape now than I've ever been, and that is entirely due to my outlook.
I only have about 10 pounds left until I hit my "goal weight", and I'd love to get there by my 30th birthday in February. If I do, wonderful, but if not I'm still a better place than I was a year ago, and probably than I've ever been. And that is something I can celebrate.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
It's Lent, and it raises the age old question of what to give up. I look at Lent, not as a season of deprivation and hardship, but as a chance to refocus and think about what really matters. I usually give up something food related because I love food so it is usually something of a struggle and it's pretty easy to do without disrupting your life or becoming a crazy person. Last year Patrick and I gave up factory farmed meat which meant we ate a lot less of it and when we did eat it it came from the Co-Op or Whole Foods. I'm not going to sit here and lecture you on how bad commercially raised meat is for you and for the planet, but just know it's awful. If you're at all curious I recommend reading Eating Animals by Johnathon Safran Foer or The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen.
This year we decided to give up meat in general. I felt bad because this is much more of a hardship for Patrick than for me. With the exception of the occasional chicken schwarma or Chick Fil A nuggets I could easily be a vegetarian. So I felt that in order to make it equal I needed to give up something that would also be difficult. For a split second I thought about giving up coffee, but I soon realized no one wants that. Not Patrick, not my friends and certainly not the people I work with. I can remain calm in most situations, but take away my coffee and it gets ugly. So with coffee out of the question I had to think of something else. I have a pretty big sweet tooth and I realized that I actually do eat a lot of sweets. I go out for frozen yogurt with friends, someone brings in cake or muffins at work, the occasional cupcake or cookie when I'm out for dinner. And while I'm pretty good about keeping the fridge stocked with only healthy food I sometimes bring home low fat ice cream or fat free pudding. I could give up all sweets, but that seemed like a murky line. Does flavored coffee count as a sweet? What about the granola bars I bake for Patrick? So I decided to give up processed sweets. No cookies, frozen yogurt, ice cream, cupcakes, muffins or candy for the next six weeks UNLESS I make it myself. From scratch. I figure this lets me keep my penchant for the occasional treat without making it readily available. It also makes it healthier because I know I won't be eating as much and I know that what I do eat is made from scratch and from real ingredients that I can actually pronounce. It's not going to be easy, but it will refocus me to think about what goes into my body and what I eat. And that's what Lent is all about, a refocus. And froyo, I'll see you in six weeks.
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