Sunday, July 20, 2014
So we have a challenge this weekend to blog about what we've gotten out of the BLC this round. For those who don't know what the BLC is, it's an amazing team of dedicated folks who are supporting each other to a healthy lifestyle.
There are many different teams and each week two teams are highlighted for weight loss - either the most participants losing on a team and the team that has lost the greatest percentage of weight.
Yes, it's the biggest LOSER challenge, but for me, it's really been much more about getting healthy. And that's true for many members. There are those who keep their eyes on the scale prize, but there are many who are more interested in total health. There is even a dedicated maintenance team.
So I have to say that the thing that is always number one in my book is the people. My team, Azure Destinations, gets to visit other teams along the way, so we really get to know many, many members of the BLC. It's a varied group; some are hyper competitive, some are non-competitive, some are self-competitive, some have a holistic approach, some have to track EVERYthing, some are very chatty and active on the boards, some are almost silent.
I've had the pleasure of a very easy-going, enthusiastic team this round and a very easy-going, enthusiastic cappy team - I'm one of the captains for Azure Destinations and we've had a truly wonderful team this round - decision making has been easy, tasks have been easy (because we have enough folks to get them done) and the support has been magnificent.
We also got to incorporate a new tool, thanks to JaneGSN - a special tracker that lets us build up to 7 personal goals for the week and see how we fared with the goals at the end of the week. This lets us correlate our behaviors to our weight loss. It also means that while we all start with SMART Goals for the ROUND, we also have ways to change them up each WEEK. That's been invaluable for me.
Another thing the BLC has given me is openness to new ideas. Admittedly, this isn't my strongsuit. I have hard held beliefs about what weight loss/health techniques work for ME and often I am stubborn about trying new things. I absolutely blew a fit a couple of rounds ago because a captain suggested a new path to follow, for just one week. And you know what? I DID learn things that week. And while that particular path didn't work for me, it was only the beginning of opening me up to new ideas, options and opinions.
That's the other great thing about travel for me - I get to experience how other teams do it. And that's cool!
There's even a new team - Spicy Sparkologists, that will create their own, personal experiments about weight loss - use science, research, etc., to find what's the best plan for YOU.
So yes... this is all great.
But now... how did it go for me on my health journey this round? Well... I started the round bingeing. I am no longer bingeing. I started the round feeling a bit at a loss in terms of an exercise plan. I now have an exercise/meditation plan that is keeping me calm, happy and fit.
I've gone down a clothing size and am about to jump down to the next.
My weight loss itself? Well... I've been stuck in a plateau. OTOH, I just came back from a two week vacation - the first week was a cruise - and I didn't gain. For me, that's a huge victory. AND my clothes are much looser than when I started (as I said, about to jump down to the next size).
So, I'm pretty darned happy.
But I also need to make a plan for the break (the next round starts mid-September - a longer break than usual) and also to start off Round 26 with a ROAR and push to goal, so... I have two questions:
The first one - what should I TRY over break to get my loss really going again?
Two - interested in the BLC? Sparkmail me or sign up for the mailing list:
Registrations will be starting in the next couple of weeks! Hope to see you there.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I've had many lessons since June 15th. I've continued learning about what works for me and what doesn't, hubris, my skills/lack there of as a leader, and what demons I'm still grappling with.
First off, my rockin' teammate, Jane, wrote this amazing blog:
I was already a texting buddy with someone who was attempting to avoid bingeing, as I was.
I was also inspired by LucyLu22 and her fabulous Streaking Challenge for the BLC (5 days a week of 20 minutes or more of exercise for the 12 weeks) and by Emerald Elephant who did a 100 day exercise challenge and WOWed me, and then by a newer team member, Emssbears who started a 100 day challenge on June 15th for anyone to join and to put in whatever challenge they wanted. (And this was her second one... she is AWESOME!!!)
Well, my mojo and motivation was in high gear. I was coming off the high from the sheer honesty and fabulousness that Jane gave me via her blog.
So I pledged... no bingeing for 100 days.
Yes, I have a problem with bingeing. When I look at anything I struggle with at this point in my weight loss journey, it is probably bingeing. I've got my good habits in place. I love exercise now. I prefer to eat healthily. I have treats in moderation. But then... this takes over (maybe a flying monkey?) and all of a sudden I'm inhaling food and just not paying attention to anything - my hard work, my discipline, how my stomach is feeling, etc. It all goes back to feelings of being out of control, scared, alone... and food was the one thing I could do to "stick it" to certain people in my life.
Yeah... um... that sure showed them.
Anyway... it's still a demon I live with every day. It's an addiction issue.
So, flying high, I started the challenge. I'd already been binge free for over a week? More? And I was going to DO this, by golly.
And I did. Until Day 2 of the challenge.
And I was too hard on myself. I was ashamed and I changed my ticker to a "days without bingeing" ticker, so I'd be PUBLIC with this battle.
But wouldn't you know it, it just made me feel worse.
And then I had a bout of fibromyalgia. Or maybe I'd had one since the day I started bingeing. One question is whether the fibro caused the bingeing or whether the bingeing caused the fibro, but in any case, as soon as I let go of the guilt, the shame, the feeling that I had to do all or nothing - BAM!
I'm back to normal. No fibro, no urge to binge. And Beth, bless her (Emssbears), is letting me continue alongside those who can REACH 100 days. And I will cheer them on every step of the way.
But what I have found out is that pressure does not help me on my journey. I don't do well when I feel someone else is "telling" me what to do. Even if that person is... me.
I've watched folks like Beth go through AMAZING odds and stick to something because they said to others that they'd do it. I admire that tremendously.
This is clearly another thing for me to work on. And that's all it is - something to strive for. It doesn't make me "less than" because I didn't fulfill that. Even as a Captain for Azure. Yes, I'd like to set a perfect example, but then... I'm not perfect.
Ultimately, when I make an unhealthy choice, the ONLY person I'm letting down is me.
And that should be enough in itself.
Sunday, June 08, 2014
It was... fear.
It's now... joy.
That really sums it up. I've spent much of my life reeling between healthy choices and longer periods of unhealthy choices. I was kind of an all-or-nothing kind of gal. I was blessed with great health growing up, and I blew it late teens/early 20s via cigarettes, weight yo-yos and other unhealthy choices.
From the time I was in my early teens I had horrid stomach aches and other digestive issues, and I figured it was just too much coffee, the cigarettes, etc.
By mid-20s the cigarettes were out of my life (as were many of my other unhealthy choices) but my love affair with food and bingeing continued.
I didn't have the most supportive or easy childhood, and food was a major "friend" during that time. As complications in my family and work world took place in my 20s, it continued to provide comfort. As I went through caregiving for various dying family members, it sustained me because dealing with my feelings was just too hard.
As my weight ballooned, so did chronic illnesses - asthma, un-diagnosed joint/systemic issues, GERD, IBS, yada, yada, yada. I assumed it was just the strain of the weight on my body. I joined Spark in 2006/2007 and made some progress, but then hit a sticking point. I kept doing the same things, but nothing came off. A friend suggested seeing a specialist in diagnosing food allergies. As it turned out, gluten was a culprit, but as I got off gluten and healed, I also found that my body started to work "right" for the first time.
Exercise has become a lifeline, not a chore. A day that I don't dance is a day I feel icky. I love yoga and wish I'd started it years ago. I prefer nuts or fruit to traditional dessert. Processed foods taste like the garbage they're made from. I'm calmer, happier and yes, those chronic issues have disappeared.
Do I still have to care for my joints? Yes. Will I ever reach my college weight. Doubtful. Do I care? No.
Due to journaling, meditation, etc. I'm far less afraid of death/disease than I used to be. Things don't bother me as much due to appropriate outlets for my feelings. Whereas the fear of the deaths I saw around me and the fear of disease spurred me on initially, now the journey is *mostly* joy. Yes, I have those days when I splurge and yes, the weight is coming off sssssllllloooooowwwwlllllyyyyy.
But now, each day, each bite, is GOOD. Water is my drink of choice. I get good sleep most nights. I'm happy. I'm peaceful.
Commitment to health=Joy
Friday, June 06, 2014
Here are my results on May 4: Crunches 21, push-ups 21, mile: 20:37, pulse 88 for the step ups.
My own challenge for myself - handle 60 minutes of zumba comfortably.
Here are my results on June 6: Crunches 46, push-ups 32, mile: 16:35, pulse 91.
Not sure what happened with the pulse? I did use the metronome this time, though, and skipped it last time, which may have been the issue.
Zumba - do 40 minutes regularly now, have upped to 60 recently - still a struggle, though.
How I'm feeling about my results halfway through the round? BOOYAH!!!!!
Monday, May 26, 2014
Well, the Mustangs and the Azuritas are partying this weekend - in fact, in honor of the 25th Round of the BLC we're having a Silver Prom!
One of our tasks is to choose a prom date and blog about him/her.
This was an easy one for me:
My husband, Dave.
When I met Dave I thought I'd never get married. And I was cool with that. I had a full life, I was happy, and I had lots of friends. I did want kids, but I was even okay with going the route of being a single mom. I even had a potential co-parent for a hypothetical child. So most of my ducks were in a row.
I also had a "list" of what I wanted in that perfect mate. I was old enough, at the time (28) that my list wasn't a surface list - it had more to do with things like "love of children" and "sense of humor" than being a "hottie" or earning "X".
Dave and I met dancing. We both loved contradance (something like the Virginia Reel, for those of you who've done that in elementary school) and over some months we struck up a friendship dancing.
When I was getting ready to leave town (projects over the summer and starting graduate school across the state) he finally asked me out. He made me an amazing dinner, and as I got to know him more deeply that evening, he met all the "checklist boxes". I got home that night, called an old friend, and said, "I've met the man I'm going to marry".
While it took Dave a little longer to "get with the program", I was right.
And... he's a hottie.
If I can scan a wedding or other dance pic, I will and add that here, but Dave would be my prom date because:
He's a great dancer.
He'd keep me laughing.
I'd never be bored with the conversation.
He'd think I was beautiful.
He's a hottie.
He wouldn't try to stay out all night.
And the real evening would just begin when we'd leave the dance...
Get An Email Alert Each Time JENSHAINES Posts