Monday, February 27, 2012
Alli experiment about to come to an end (I am done with alli on 2/28, at the end of the day). It has been completely meh. Today I lost the weight I gained during the experiment and am now down .6 overall for the five weeks. I'll check again Wednesday morning, when I'll be completely done, but I don't honestly think I'll be suddenly running around and screaming that I lost five pounds.
So, meh. Compare this, BTW, with the prior 5 week period, where I went from 213.2 to 212.2. Yes, folks, I weighed less and I lost more without it. This is not to say that people new to the drug will not see any effects. But I had taken it for a good two years or almost two years there. And it's been a good year and a half since I had last taken it. It remains decidedly ineffective for me.
But that also begs the question of what is really going to work? I walk every single day, and for 80 minutes or more, with hills. I do weight training. I lift 40# for 20 minutes every single morning. My intake numbers are all good, as can be seen on my tracker. I drink not 8 eight-ounce glasses of water per day, but 11. I am in training for my 26th 5K. I eat every few hours. I get 8 hours of sleep every night. I eat breakfast every morning.
In short, I do every single thing that SP tells me to do - and I mean EVERY.
Yet the weight and the measurements have stopped moving.
I also refuse to be a vegan or live insanely. And by insanely I mean, I already watch my food like a hawk. At some point, I do need a few conveniences. I rarely go out to eat. I rarely drink alcohol or soda, even diet. A super low-carb diet is not in the cards. I already don't eat red meat.
And I am tired, tired of being a hawk, tired of being isolated with my choices, tired of hypervigilance and in no mood to become even more vigilant. Bumping calories down by 200 - 600 calories will essentially remove a meal from my diet. Yes, a meal - and would likely kick me into starvation mode, not to mention building yet more isolation into my food choices.
I am tired.
So, while it's an overall loss, it reminds me that this race is not to the swift and sometimes it's not to the slow, either. And here I am, a little over 6 months before my 50th birthday, and I am tired.
Hence, hope is different.
Hope, right now, is not for big, glamorous losses. It is for staving off decrepitude. And I think that that can become the goal, in some ways, in and of itself.
Keep it going.
Keep the streak alive.
Keep on keeping on, no matter how tired, no matter how fruitless it may seem, for fruitlessness is, well, it happens. But going backwards is worse, far, far, worse.
Don't go backwards.
You'll get what you get. You'll get there when you get there – and "there" might be a different "there" from what you had originally thought you wanted, or could do.
Here's to the new "there".
Go forward. Don't go backwards.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Tomorrow marks four years since I started Spark.
That is one LONG time.
I'm not so sure how I feel about that.
I feel good that I am a lot lighter than I was when I started. I don't feel so fab about being more or less stuck where I am. But I am also not interested in becoming overly sacrificing again, in order to move along. After all, it would have to be a LOT more sacrificing (see the article The Fat Trap, in the NY Times ( www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/
ted=all ). I just don't have it in me these days.
And so I am here, at 214 or so, and this number is (like every single other number on the scale, ever, since day one) of my own making. I am responsible for my pretty good cheekbones and small waist just as much as I am for my butt that, while it no longer needs its own Zip code, is still not as awesome as it could be. Me, and me alone.
I did this.
Not my parents.
Not my friends.
Not food manufacturers or farmers.
Nope. It's all me.
Being responsible for the less than wonderful means that credit can be taken for the great stuff. So let's take a gander at some great stuff, okay?
Last week, I had a dental cleaning. And it was super early in the morning. I got on the wrong bus. In my own defense, that number bus is not scheduled to stop there (really; we checked). So we're going along and, so far, so good (and keep in mind that these buses have an intercom system which automatically tells you the stops. This one was - incorrectly - set to the stops for the bus I normally would get on). Then I begin to notice - the neighborhood's declining.
I finally get off. Ewps.
Not a huge panic as it is still early. It was some work, to take a trolley, then walk over a few blocks to change to a different line, then get over to where I needed to be, and then several more blocks, as that stop wasn't so close, either (I made it with 5 minutes to spare).
I was not tired. I was not winded. I was not in pain. Nope.
In fact, it was all less time and distance than I normally walk.
I remember when just the last part of that (because I'd be on the right bus, of course) was a chore. I remember when I would have shin splints for days afterwards. I remember being winded. I remember feeling worthless, that I could not do it and why the hell was I in my mid-forties but feeling, acting and behaving like an old lady of twice that?
Way back when, four years ago, the seatbelt in my car was getting to be too short. I would breathe in, in order to get it around me. The idea of buying an extender was a bit attractive, but it also scared me, for I realized that to do so would be to admit defeat. And it would give me more inches of play. I could remain safely ensconced in my denial. So I continued to take a deep breath, pull the belt as far as it would go, and pray I could get it to click.
Four years later, I pull, click and start the engine, just like the vast majority of automobile drivers on the planet.
I do not take a deep breath. I do not pray for the belt to fit. I just click, start and go.
It's the same car. It's the same belt.
The part that has changed is me. It is what is within.
After four years, what and who am I?
I'll tell you.
And I will shout it, for some things need to be shouted.
I AM THE FACE OF MAINTENANCE.
I AM THE BODY OF TRYING HARD, AND NOT ALWAYS SUCCEEDING, AND NOT ALWAYS WANTING TO TRY, BUT STILL HERE AND STILL PLUGGING.
I AM THE SOUL OF QUIT YOUR WHINING AND DO THE DAMNED TRACKING, AND THE WEIGHT TRAINING, AND THE WALKING AND THE WATER AND THE MEASURING AND THE WATCHING BECAUSE, EVEN IF IT HAS STOPPED WORKING FOR OVER A YEAR IT IS STILL BETTER THAN SITTING AND DOING NOTHING AND BEING BACK AT SQUARE ONE AND FEELING HELPLESS.
I AM THE ESSENCE OF COMMITMENT.
I AM A SYNONYM FOR DOING IT.
So let's open up ourselves. Our true selves. Together, or as individuals, but either way, we do it. You do it and I do it. For however long it takes and however steep the climb and however far the road.
WE. DO. IT.
Monday, February 13, 2012
I wanted to write a little bit about the woman singing this song, as she recently passed, but I also wanted to write about myself, and all of you. I am the woman in the pic, which is from 2 summers ago.
This is not her biggest hit. It is not even her first hit. It's just, a sweet, danceable song.
And it's funny, because you talk about a celebrity death (and I am talking about Whitney Houston, if you can't access the link) and a lot of people project themselves onto it. I have seen her death as a railing against drugs, but also used as a justification for taking them. I have seen it as a lament of a wasted life and thanks for getting what we did, that we should somehow be grateful that we were graced with her presence for as long as we were, as if 48 years old (over a year younger than me) was somehow enough. I have seen it as people worried for the well-being of her daughter and railing against her ex-husband.
And amidst all of it is a big mirror. We see a mirror, and it reflects what we want to reflect, and so often that mirror is distorted.
And it got me thinking about our own demons. And while they are less flashy, and they don't act as quickly, they are still there. What if she had died of some obesity-related illness? Would we be reacting in a similar fashion? Would we be railing against Bobby Brown for leading her down the path of too many Snickers bars? Would we be worried that Bobbie Kristina would take to too much fried chicken? Would we be using her death as an excuse and a rationalization for our own overindulgences, or as a motivation for kicking ours to the curb?
One thing that isn't talked about too often here on Spark is that this is your lifespan we are talking about. It is its quality and its length. And I say that 48 is too young. I am not demanding more songs from someone like Whitney. Rather, it is that I am demanding more life from her, more surviving. Because, aside from things like HIV and cancer, a gunshot or a drowning or a poisoning or a car accident, well, 48-year-olds generally don't just up and die.
She committed suicide with a pipe and a needle and a spoon.
Are we committing it with our forks?
I know, I know, that was over the top. It's not the same. And that's true. I totally get that and you're right. It is not the same. But we can stop it, yes? We talk about food addiction but, truth is, I doubt it's on a par with the kind of drug addiction that Houston battled.
I believe that we can put it aside. I am well aware that it is not the only reason for weight gain or for the stalling of weight loss. Oh, I know that all too well, my friends. But a part of this journey is the food that isn't eaten, the calories that don't have to be burned off as they are never consumed in the first place. I am not talking about starvation. I am talking about having enough, and knowing when it is enough and knowing when and how to stop.
For that is what I take away from her death. I take away a thought of – she did not know when to quit. But I do.
And so do you.
Monday, February 06, 2012
The picture has naught to do with the blog entry; I just liked it. I'm a Trekkie so it amused me.
Anyway – what's up in the land o' jes, you ask.
But I am coming to, really and truly, my fourth anniversary of being here. It'll be on the 21st, but I am getting a jump on it 'cause, well, I dunno.
Actually, I DO know.
I am getting a jump because today we were talking a bit about goals for the month of February. Now, it is a short month (despite the extra day thrown in there - er, why isn't that day in July or some other, warmer month? But I digress), so goals maybe need to be curtailed slightly.
Wanna know what my goal is for February?
It's not a weight loss goal. It's not a water drinking goal. It's not a tracking goal. It's not a strength training goal. I will do all of those things (except for the first one) without thinking - they are already ingrained into my life. So I don't need to set 'em as goals 'cause they're habits. As for the first one, it will happen, or it will not, and I will do whatever I can to assure that it will happen but sometimes such things do not happen and I will not beat myself up if such is not to be.
Anyway, my February goal is ...
... wait for it ....
to walk 90 miles.
Last year, I walked about 75 1/2 miles in February, but it was a very, very snowy winter, so most of my cardio was spent shoveling snow. In '10, I walked 85 plus miles. So this year I want to up that to 90. I am, so far, at 22 and change, and I have not gone out yet today. Hence I should make it, exceed it and blow it out of the water, but I am being conservative about it because serious snowfalls (still a very real possibility here in Nueva England) could throw a wrench into that.
That's it? Yep, that's it.
But, but, but, where's the drama? Where's the amazing weight loss goal, the fifty races, the foreswearing of fried beets or whatever?
Been there, done that, kids.
And one thing I have found, as I wend my way to my fourth anniversary, is that most people don't really live their lives as defined by goals. Sure, goals are helpful and sweet and they help to shape our behaviors. But what happens when our behaviors are already shaped?
For me, now, goals and aims and desires are not so much about changing my lifestyle as they are about individual achievements, and attempts to do things better. Do I want to lose weight? Sure. Do I want my arms to be less jiggly? You betcha.
But in all of this, what I really want is to live a normal life, as I define normal.
In 2010, per my pedometer, I walked 970 miles. That's about from here to Ontario.
In 2011, per my pedometer, I walked 1234 miles. That's about from here to Springfield, Missouri.
This year, I hope to have walked 1570 miles, if the annual mileage increase of about 27% holds true. That would be about from here to Arlington, Texas.
See ya in Arlington.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Today is the start of an experiment.
I am back on alli for 30 days, to see if it makes a damned bit of difference.
I suspect all it will do is force me into stricter portion control. Which is fine for losing, and I may very well lose a bit during these days. But I know myself. I'll also get a bit nuts.
My husband asked me - what will you do if it works? Will you stay on alli? And my answer was, probably not, even if it does work. For, right now, I don't see the virtue in making myself insane for sustained periods. But we'll see. Perhaps I'll change my mind. There's also the question of the expense. But I've paid for this course. Let's see if it works before we go jumping into another one.
The other thing, which is very odd to me, is that, if I get through all of today and tomorrow, I will have gone through all of January without TOM. And that would be the first time that had ever happened since I was about 11 1/2 years old (I'm about 49 1/2 right now). Perhaps I am good for 38 years of fertility. I dunno, and have now hit my ovarian expiration date. I know, for sure, that menopause is a game of fits and starts. I may very well be back to it in a month or so. No celebrating yet, no symbolic burning of the Kotex box or anything. Wacky.
Life's been meh. I am looking for work, and so that's what I do with my time. I send in resumes, I accept recruiters' calls and I try to remain positive throughout. I tweak my resume whenever I'm feeling that no one's paying enough attention to me. And I try to network on occasion, but I truly despise that game. And I have found, over the course of my life, that networking hasn't done squat for me, except get me an essentially volunteer gig at the robotics joint.
I am also a walking fiend these days, going a good 80 minutes or so every day, rain, snow or shine. I'm mainly going two routes, which are partial mirrors to each other. I've found, in my area, those are the best routes, in terms of giving me a serious hill to climb, enough space to get 80 minutes' worth in, and they also maximize the potential for seeing pettable dogs or cute bunnies and chipmunks. Hey, I've got my priorities, although I may go elsewhere today as the bunnies and chipmunks have been on vacation for a while.
So, life goes on, as I await my first Unemployment check, I work on our taxes and make sense of my world as best as I can. One of the ways that things make more sense to me is by scheduling 5Ks. I've got eight set so far for this year. The other two just aren't up yet for registrations. Plus we may hunt around for another one, for April, as that month is oddly missing a race (the race that would've been in April is, instead, on March 31st this year). Two hundred plus dollars for registration fees. When the other two or three come in, I think it'll top $300 for the two of us for the year. Plus we get tee shirts and snacks, the occasional finisher medal and a boatload of entertainment and focused conditioning motivation.
Onward, ever onward, ever pacing, ever doing, ever thinking, ever analyzing, ever yearning.
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