Monday, April 20, 2009
Actually, it hasn't happened yet, but it will tonight. I'm going to be on television!!!
It's GMTV, which is a British Good Morning program (er, programme). And, eep, they have 5 million viewers! They were looking for someone to talk about alli as it is going on the market there on Wednesday. Spark People's PR Dude Extraordinaire, GrantM, asked for volunteers.
I guess they liked me.
I am going to New York, and will be on live. Since it is a five hour time differential, we are talking, oh Gawd, about 1 AM or later. I'll be the woman in the blue floral patterned dress.
I am psyched. I won't be tired. I'll be as nutty as I've been for the past few days, ever since I learned this was coming together.
Nutty enough to do a boatload of extra cardio.
Nutty enough to have a ton of nervous energy burning off as I tapped my fingers and danced around and did little jogs as if I were a hyperactive kid.
And it paid off.
I lost an astounding 7.0 lbs. this week!
No wonder they want me on TV.
I'll blog about the specific experience once it's done, of course.
In the meantime -- and since I have your attention -- I actually have the month in review to do, so here goes.
It's been 1 year, 3 months since I started taking alli.
Weight and Measurements
I have lost over 145 lbs.
My bicep is 13.5"; when I started, it was 19" (5.5" off)
My bust is 40.5"; when I started, it was 54.75" (14.25" off)
My band is 34.25"; when I started, it was 47.5" (13.25" off)
My waist is 35.75"; when I started, it was 49" (13.25" off)
My belly is 39.5"; when I started, it was 59.5" (WOW, 20" OFF!!!)
My rear is 45.25"; when I started, it was 64" (18.75" off)
My hip is 42.75"; when I started, it was 51" (8.25" off)
My thigh is 22.5"; when I started, it was 32.35" (9.75" off)
For the past few days, they've been off the charts so it's a little hard to gauge them right now. But they are very good, even when I'm not on an incredible adrenaline high. One thing I noticed (part of my cardio was cleaning, as my folks are coming over in a couple of weeks) is that certain things either don't make me tired, or they do but I recover readily. One of those was scrubbing. I cleaned the heck out of the oven and my arms feel just fine.
Oops, I'm losing my excuses for not cleaning. Hmm.
The past few days have been a whirlwind but my normal routine is the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with walking every day but Sundays and weights and resistance bands every single day. Everything feels great, and I'm beginning to wonder just a tiny bit about increasing the amount I lift at home. At a certain point, that will hit a limit (that was a big part of the reason why I joined a gym in the first place), but for now I still have a few more weights I could tack onto what I do as of right now, which is 25 lbs. But at 40 lbs. is when I've hit the at-home limit. I just don't want to have a big barbell set at home (plus the exercise room is tiny), so daily lifting won't go above 40 lbs. but I'll make up for that at the gym. I'm not worried about that one bit.
I'm a 14. But I also bought myself a Winter jacket for next year and it's a Medium/10-12. Except for a little hip snugness, it fits. As in I can zip it up and everything, I just have to adjust it around my hips. It'll be perfect in a month, so I'm tucking it away for next Winter, and the old one will go to charity. Right now there's no sense in getting the new one dirty. Currently I'm wearing a pair of size 18 pants that I'm swimming in. Good thing tonight's dress is a 14.
Speaking of tonight, here's a link to the schedule:
The joke at home is that I am now a superstar diva. Hence I am now demanding my own trailer, a personal assistant, a massage therapist and a personal relish tray with radishes carved into interesting shapes.
I'll recount the full experience when I've processed it all.
It's good to be the diva.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I was thinking about this song recently as a number of seemingly disconnected events occurred. The particular lyric that I'm thinking of is this:
Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.
A few days ago my husband and I went to a local park to play frisbee. It was getting late and there wasn't a lot of light left. We'd been playing for maybe 10 minutes and would not be playing for too much longer. Just then about a half a dozen preteen kids came up, attracted by what we were doing. They all asked, "Can I try?" How can you say no to that?
So we played, a bit. They had most likely had never even seen a frisbee before, let alone thrown one, except for one boy who was pretty good. My husband and I gently threw to them and would praise them lavishly whenever anything good happened, no matter what it was. One boy mainly sat and did almost nothing, and was afraid when the frisbee came to him, but still referred to himself as The Boss Dog (my husband was called Doggie and they called me Mama Doggie). Did I mention that this kid who wasn't running and jumping was also overweight?
Then the game changed, and they started to attach conditions to catching the frisbee. One boy said, "Whoever catches this is the sky, the earth, Saturn and all the planets!" One of the girls said, "Whoever catches this is, is ... Hannah Montana!" Of course all of the girls wanted to be Hannah. Did I mention that the only two people there who were the same race as good ole Hannah were Mr. jespah and me? Eh, that doesn't matter. I suppose Hannah is as universal as Saturn to those kids.
Finally, Mr. j and I called it a day, and thanked the kids. They thanked us, too.
Then two days ago, I saw my friend again, for the first time in a good month. He asked me how Philly was. Funny, to me, it had been a long time since we'd seen each other and I had no idea he would remember -- or even care about -- such a detail. But he did. We discussed Cezanne (he, too, is evidently an art world Philistine) and I mentioned to him that I was surprised he'd remembered that I was going away. Well, he did. It mattered enough to him to remember. I was very touched by this.
Then yesterday on Facebook I got a note from a dear friend from High School, asking me about my weight loss. She asked if I could help her a bit. Well, of course.
These three things may not be obviously related, or at all related to the lyric, but they are. And here's how.
What does it mean to say that the water ripples even when there is no pebble and there is no wind? When the pebble of fate doesn't drop and the winds of chance don't blow?
It means that the catalyst is not something random. It means that the influence, the cause, the generator is none other than YOU.
Not only what you can do for yourself, but the way you can influence others. The way that you can hold out your hand and hold their lives in yours. And that they can hold yours in theirs.
Spreading the Spark isn't just about telling people about a website. It's about sharing your positive experiences, even when they have nothing to do with health and weight loss. It's about giving off the better part of yourself. It's about caring about other people. It's about using your powers for good. It's about rippling that water.
And if you're lucky, you get it back a thousandfold. You get people who remember things about you because they care about what you do. You get people who ask for your input because it counts. You get to be the sky, the earth and Saturn and all the planets.
And if you're REALLY lucky, you get to be Hannah Montana. :)
Monday, April 06, 2009
I was thinking about this song recently because Spark isn't the only place online where I hear/read people talking about weight loss. And there is a lot of despair out there, and a lot of misinformation and a lot of well-meaning kinda, sorta right stuff and all I can say is it's a good thing that there is a Spark where there is good information on nearly everything. Because out there, there are a lot of sad people and a lot of scared people and a lot of people in denial, and they look for answers and they don't always get them.
Case in point #1.
A woman came to my site (I run a general Q & A site) and asked about weight loss. Actually, she didn't ask, she just complained, and claimed that she would eat next to nothing but still gain. She said she'd weigh herself every day and see variations, so - ha! - diets don't work and life is all despair so why try this cockamamie idea of eating less and moving more when it's all going to end in ashes anyway?
A member who means well but has certain ideas told her that eating less WOULD make her lose weight, WITHOUT FAIL. Welllll, that's not 100% true, as then the extreme would be true, too, and fasting would be the quickest and easiest method of losing weight. Which it's not. I said nothing (I have discussed such with this person before and didn't feel the need to rehash it). Now, this member made some great points, that the daily weigh-in idea was insane, and that there are normal fluctuations. This member was not advocating starvation, either. But I do feel that, in order to be truly and fully informative about such things, it's more than just a simple equation of less in your mouth equals less on your butt. That's not 100% the case, and it is not a linear progression. I feel a lot of folks get hung up on that, that the cause and effect relationship is neither perfect nor simple, and then things don't work out in that perfectly simple manner and then suddenly that's an excuse to let it all go to hell in a handbasket.
Case in point #2.
There is a long-term member on my site who also weighs in (pun intended) on the weight loss topics. Not on the one I was discussing above, but on plenty others. This person is near 80 if not already there and is disabled. And this person, I suspect, has been overweight for a long time.
That person lamented that there's no good way to lose weight. And that because that person couldn't exercise, they were doomed to sorrow and despair.
The member who's into the linear progression told this person to not eat so much. And while this is true (albeit not necessarily 100% tactful), it's not, like I said above, a perfectly linear progression. And the elder member balked -- not being able to exercise was tantamount to it just not being good, ever! Nothing could possibly work, so why even try?
I mentioned hand weights. I mentioned the arm-strengthening cardio used in physical therapy (I've forgotten what it's called, but it's like a little bicycle axle; you push the pedals around with your hands). I mentioned eating fewer calorically dense foods. I mentioned eating frequent smaller meals in order to stave off hunger and binging. Oh no. None of that could possibly work. Never, ever, ever, no sense in even trying and was I ever on crack for even suggesting such insanity.
So I let it go. After all, there are plenty of people -- and I was one of them for a very, very long time -- who really just want to complain that it's not easy. Well, I'm here to say that it's easy to do it. The hard parts are getting started and then sustaining, in particular when things don't seem to be going right, despite your best efforts. But the actual weighing in, measuring and recording of food and moving your body, I mean, let's face it. This is not the equivalent of defending your dissertation. It is not brain power that is necessary. It isn't even, completely, will power. It's determination. It's wanting to do it and being receptive to it. It's opening up your mind to this experience, and letting it work, and giving it a chance, even if you're skeptical. Even if everything you ever thought, or believed or were taught said that it was impossible and that you were foolish and gullible to ever believe in it.
And I wonder -- here's where the title and song come in, folks -- who DID put those ideas in our heads? Who told us that we couldn't make it? Who told us that trying was absurd or wrong or bad or a waste of time? Was it our parents? Our teachers? Our coaches? Our clergy? Our classmates? Our friends? Our neighbors?
Who told us that we'd always be fat? Who told us that we'd never succeed? Who gave us the old line about, "she's got such a pretty face ... but .."? But what? Who was it?
But, in the end, does it really matter? Does it count that someone put a notion in your head that you were not worthy of health, and that you don't matter? It's YOUR head. Choose what to fill it with just as you choose what to fill your stomach with or your house with or your life with. My case in point #2 still laments how things did not work out perfectly back in grammar school sports. That was, what, 70 YEARS ago?
It's time to let it go.
And it's time to let all of those other notions go, too, and replace them with, with what, exactly?
With the knowledge that you can do this. With the strength that you have, even if you don't know it yet. And with the understanding that, even if you're not so sure you believe it right now, that you are so worth it.
And when you're done putting those ideas in your own head, I hope you'll do just one more thing.
I hope you'll do whatever you can to put those ideas into someone else's head.
Because they're worth it, too.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I was thinking about this song because recently my routine was disrupted. And there was a time when that would have caused a complete meltdown, and that time was not too terribly long ago.
But the fact of the matter is that there kinda is a routine, and there kinda isn't. I mean, I get up, I go to work, yadda yadda yadda, but things are radically different from what they were two years ago. They are even different from last year as there is room for a gym in my life now.
This experience has been one long routine-disruptor. And that's all to the good, because the old routine was pretty dull. Sure I still got up, went to work, etc., but would come home, go online and gorge myself in front of the PC. Then it would be time for dinner and more food. Then TV and, you guessed it, more and more and more. When I was cold at home, I'd grab a blanket or turn up the heat, not move myself. My husband did much of the laundry. It wasn't even so much that I was incapable or refused, I was just so slow.
So different things have happened, and life has changed in about a thousand ways and it will a thousand more, I am sure. And while I attempt to put a lasso around some things, others just won't be corraled. I do have a lasso around my eating, and if there is one thing I can impart it is to record the food before you even eat it. Check the numbers and work them out. And if that eclair doesn't fit the numbers, either live with the consequences or select something else. Know before you bite. That way you won't be surprised. That way you won't be blindsided. That way you won't be a victim. That way you won't have an excuse.
But there are other matters that just won't stay put no matter what. For a control freak like me to be able to let go of them is no small feat. But there are days when the weather does not cooperate. But I go out anyway. Or someone is jogging on my favorite treadmill. So I pick another one. Or someone is using the rower. So I do something else while I wait. Or I forgot to bring Cheerios into work. So I grab from the emergency oatmeal stash. Or the restaurant is all out of something I want. So I get something else, or we get up and eat elsewhere.
I've recognized that not everything can or should be tamed. And sometimes going around is one way to get there, and another is to go through, or go later. And those can work, too.
How do YOU handle the curves that life throws you?
I mean, I figure, I might as well jump.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Okay, kindly ignore the oh so saccharine cutesy frolicing of the Olsen twins, circa their eight year old cuter than dirt period, and just concentrate on the song. Thanks.
Today's post, just like last year's on this date (see: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=1101364 ) is dedicated to my wonderful husband.
One of the things they tell you on Spark is to surround yourself with positive, supportive people. If you're really lucky, you get to live with or marry them.
I am very lucky.
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