Tuesday, June 12, 2012
As you're all too painfully aware, graduations and related activities have been eating up a good deal of my time since mid-May. I am more than happy to say that the last of such activities took place last night. My mini-me (aka as youngest daughter) graduated from 8th grade. Spectacularly, I might add, but that is the subject for another post (caution - proud mommy blog coming soon!!)
So at first I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. All these prom responsibilities and graduation events were eating up huge chunks of my time, keeping me from being a fully dedicated Sparker.
My weight was up and down by a pound or two with no consistent weight loss happening.
But I've realized over the last week or so, that despite all the chaos and disruption of my schedule, I have managed some non-scale victories that would have completely been my undoing prior to joining the 100 Days of Summer Challenge.
First, with the weekly challenges to track our food and stay within our nutritional guidelines, or eat mindfully, I was mostly making good food choices, even on those days when I was unable to prepare a healthy meal at home.
Next, there have been those lovely bonus points for relaxing! Here is where I have really benefited. Taking 20 minutes a day to read a book has been restorative and has kept me from negating all those good food choices with crazy stress binges. I've even managed to limit myself to one small serving of graduation cake and then walking away.
Keeping to the 20 minutes of relaxation a day, with or without the bonus points, is now a goal of mine - long term.
Lastly, I have really increased my water intake the last couple of weeks. Getting enough water has always been a struggle, since I get bored with it. I'm now getting 8+ glasses just about every day, and I notice a difference in my energy and appetite (and the number of trips I take to the bathroom!!)
So the scale numbers may not be moving much, but I am still reaping the benefits of those weekly challenges.
Thursday, June 07, 2012
The last two or three weeks have been uber hectic. My mancub has just graduated from high school, and the month of May was a whirlwind of prom, awards and graduation activities. My youngest one will leave 8th grade on Monday, so we have her first real Semi-Formal dance coming up. Add in all their sports activities, and there hasn't been much time left for anything else.
So it comes as no surprise that since the 100 Days of Summer challenge started, I feel like I am gaining and losing the same pound over and over again. But I almost don't care. Because at least its ONLY a pound, and not 5 or 10. And because I have this wonderful challenge group, along with some special 40-Something ladies, I am motivated to keep checking in and doing, even if I haven't been able to do it perfectly. And the Week 5 challenge incorporated bonus points for stress busting - 20 minutes of relaxation per day-and that truly has helped me regain some of my focus as all those extra distractions come to an end.
Time constraints have been my biggest enemy to exercise, and I am anxious to get back to Zumba class tomorrow. And once I do, this SAME pound, and many more, will come off.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
The challenge is to blog about my goals for the week. I've given it alot of thought, and it would be easy to say I want to add cardio minutes, or limit sweets, or try a new workout routine. But this morning I found myself stressed out, in the kitchen, pacing and trolling the cupboards for a quick fix. So today I decided on something deeper. Something that really must be addressed long term if I am going to lose weight and keep it off for good.
My goal is to remember to love myself. I often put myself last on my list of priorities. Or I allow others to get into my head and fill my brain with thoughts of self-doubt and sadness. Or let those same people push every button I have until my heart is racing and my head is pounding. And what happens next? I find myself eating cold pizza at 10:30 in the morning(like today), or inhaling ice cream right out of the carton. And once I've done that, the eating just spirals out of control, and then I feel bad about that!!
So just for this week, I want to remember that I am worthy. I am not perfect. I have made mistakes and will probably make more in the time I have left on this earth. But I am worthy. I am worth the time and effort to improve my health. I am worthy of being loved and forgiven. I can be happy, and that happiness does not depend on others, but comes from within me. And if those other thoughts or feelings should be imposed upon me, I do not need food to combat them. No mid-morning chow sessions fueled by emotions that are running amok. Just imperfect me. Happy - and healthy - in both body and soul.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
In touting SparkPeople to my friends who have inquired, or are willing to listen, I often liken the site to Weight Watchers online. Only better, because it's free. A valuable community,chock full of resources, to tap into in my quest for better health and fitness.
And I really feel that way. I love Weight Watchers. What I didn't love was paying for it. Or trying to fit a weekly meeting into my already packed schedule. Add in the fact that the closest meeting to me is 15 miles away, at inconvenient times, and well....you get the point. Pay for it online? I did that for awhile, but I missed the interaction and accountability to my peers. Those other overweight souls looking to achieve the same things I was.
Enter SparkPeople. I found you completely by accident. But I looked just long enough to think "I could do this." And so the next morning I signed up. That was January 30. 12 pounds lighter and still here, still going strong. "So what's working?", you ask.
The answer is community. I am a social creature. I do not like lengthy isolation. I work long hours, from home, alone. I got here, almost 40 pounds overweight, alone. Alone was NOT going to get me back into shape. I needed accountability. I needed someone to pick me up when I fell. I needed someone to pat me on the back for the victories. And I found you, the Wonderful World of Spark.
In one of my Spark Teams, I belong to a small (but expanding) circle of members who have "buddied up." We are like a WW meeting without the fees. We check in to our thread throughout the week and cheer the victories, give reassurance when things don't go right, and maybe even a shove in the right direction when necessary. And the 100 Days of Summer Challenge group has pushed me beyond my comfort zone. This wonderful group of Sparkers has gotten me to try a new exercise (see my Qi Gong blog), start working at some strength training, and today I needed to try something "difficult." Since I was getting my evening walk in during my daughter's soccer practice, I upped the difficulty by incorporating the path with the inclines in it, instead of my usual route of around the flat turf fields. I would not have done this if not for the challenge to try a "difficult" exercise. By the time my 30 minutes was up, I was feeling the difference between my usual walk and my "difficult" one.
In my short time on Spark, I have befriended some wonderful people, who inspire me to keep going, even if they don't know it. I have found a place I belong. No judgment, no negatives, just support, and lots of it. And that, my friends, is what The Wide World of Spark is all about.
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