Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I am happy to say that I have learned a lot from my short time on Spark. I have been absorbing and sharing insight with other Sparkers on how to get out of my emotional eating patterns (that I have created). I am better educated on how to work out more effectively to lose the weight (that I have gained), and have built some healthy supportive Sparkly shiny friendships to cheer each other on in this journey.
But how am I supposed to take criticism from my spouse about my healthier lifestyle?
"I liked you just the way you were".
"You're curvy, and it's nice"
"I'm not sure if I like where this weight loss is heading..."
I didn't know how to reply to those statements. Was this a test? Since I would surely fail.
I felt like a 4th grader put in front of the classroom who didn't study, and therefore failed - Lose 1 point...
Was I supposed to reply? I wasn't sure. There's an awkward silence now- Lose 1 point...
My insides want to boil over like too much soda in too small of a glass. I'm upset and my time is up - Lose 1 more point...
I wanted to remind him that I have been unhappy and unhealthy for a while, and no doubt taking that out on him at times. I should have reminded him how supportive he was during my countless failed attempts in the past. So now that I am DOING instead of attempting, he's not on board anymore?
Later, I let his comments roll off my conscience since I knew that the burden was not healthy, and would likely trigger some emotional eating - Gain 1 point...
I made sure to be open for another opportunity to have a good conversation and restate my goals, ultimately benefitting our relationship - Gain 1 point...
I have made extra effort to reinforce my love for him each day. I will not repay fear and insecurity with the same actions - Gain 1 point...
I will stay focused on the prize; become healthier, be more calm in stressful times, rejoice in happy times, be more loving all the time - Gain 1 point...
I WILL pass this test when it comes around again (and it will). Life is full of them.
Thursday, July 07, 2011
I had a moment of clarity recently, and am now seeking to change my ways.
I am a runner, or, I was until this foot injury months ago (Good Lord has it really been since April?).
You see, my foot started to hurt out of the blue, so I went to the podiatrist. I had 2 separate bone fractures and was ordered to wear the big black boot you can see on my Spark Page for 12 weeks. Count 'em, 12...
I also had to use some bone regenerator machine to nudge my bones into healing faster, since my system is already compromised by a rare disease that I have.
Oh the thoughts that came at me from all angles were incessant.
How would I get my long runs in? What on earth can I do now to work out?
That doc is just being conservative. Surely I can at least do the elliptical right? Umm...no.
Have you ever tried to ride a stationary bike with a massive foot brace? Well I did. Not pretty.
I even had to sleep with the Bertha Boot for the first 4 weeks. Let me just say, you know that line about when the woman of the house is not happy, no one is happy? It's true.
I even went through the 8 stages of grief, I swear.
I didn't know how I had hurt my foot either. I used to joke that I needed a good story to tell people who inquired about my Bertha Boot. "How did it happen?" someone would ask. "I was running with the bulls in Pamplona" I would reply. The best story yet was that I hurt it while drop kicking toasters (ha!).
Although I had no injury to claim, and yes my body is considered a bit more fragile than others due to my disease, I am now certain that I did this to myself.
I would only run 3 days a week on the treadmill and do Insanity dvd workouts on the other days, so it seemed balanced. But it was the duration of those runs and the mindset behind the hours pounding on that hamster wheel that made me realize I had turned something beautiful into and ugly thing.
With the TV on a news channel as I spun that treadmill wheel, I would later tell my friend, "ask me the weather forecast anywhere in the country. Go on, I dare you!" It seemed funny at the time.
But I would usually run between 13-16 miles on my long runs, and I wasn't training for anything.
I was trying to un-do the damage I had caused by stuffing my face the night(s) prior.
Somehow I had twisted my runs into a caloric depletion mechanism and made my bingeing on junk food OK. How could I turn something so wonderful into an unhealthy obsession?
It hit me like a brick as I looked down at Bertha. This was not good. Not at all.
You can't fix things backwards. I needed to change to behavior behind it.
Since I joined Spark, I have been working day to day to improve my eating choices; my 'relationship with food', as they say. I guess that food and I were really tight for a while, but in an abusive way. If you've ever been in a controlling relationship you might understand that feeling. I had not only been damaging my body and spirit by allowing myself to behave this way, but also injuring my marriage at times by being too hard on myself, directing my blame on him.
So as much as I hated the foot brace and wanted to wear those 2 running shoes, I am now actually thankful for this time, since I can see the true cause of those fractures. Fractures in my spirit if you will, and how I needed emotional (and physical) healing.
I can't wait to get my body moving more and leap into cardio workouts once I get the green light from the doc. But I don't think I will jump back onto that hamster wheel for a bit. I need to re-learn some things; do some mental re-wiring.
And be grateful for this journey, without the spinning tread beneath my feet.
Monday, July 04, 2011
An elderly couple walked past my husband and I as we were waiting for one of my many doctor appointments this past week. They looked to be about in their 80's. I swear they were the same height, about 5' tall. She had a scarf over her hair, and he had a hat on. The woman in a skirt and blouse, the man had a suit on. Both were wearing huge Reebok sneakers, shuffling by, linked arm in arm. They took 2 laps around the block in front of us. It was beautiful.
I look in adoration at couples who have been together for decades and are still happy. Key words: still happy. I often wonder if each feel that their partner has changed, and as a result, their relationship was even better. Was she slim and perhaps a a knock out beauty years ago? Did she ever struggle with her image? With her weight? Was he supportive of her efforts; loving her regardless?
In the past I know I have been told in a heated argument, "you've changed" when I might not feel the same way about something anymore. My husband and I used to stay up late and then sleep until lunchtime the next day in our courting period. Somehow I morphed into a morning person. I was never into running, but decided to start 8 years ago. Not sure how that happened, but there it is.
Aren't we supposed to change? Was I supposed to retain the naiveté about the all of the things I did when I was married at 24? Should I whip out the canned veggies, ranch dressing and shake n' bake tub to make tonights dinner since this was what I considered a gourmet meal as a new bride?
People mature. Taste buds evolve. What once required American cheese to constantly reside in my dairy shelf now has real cheddar (light of course), and the cupboards are no longer stocked with sleeves of chips a'hoy cookies and fruity pebbles for that afternoon snack.
Educating myself with tid bits about health has encouraged me to keep healthier options for well, everything in my home. From sunflower seeds to SPF 30, I want to lengthen our years as healthier people, and not retain the same summertime behavior as I did years ago (too many cocktails by the pool and baby oil - eeks!)
I think that the evolution of my marriage was first met with strong resistance. Some people don't like change, but how else does one grow?
Growth in relationships with spouses, friends, strangers, even how we relate to food shows growth within ourselves.
After all, I speak for myself personally when I say that my relationship with food needs desperately to grow and mature, far from the adolescent behavior I have had with it for too many years. How else did I gain so much weight? How else will I attain my goal in the long term if I don't change?
How many times have you ruined an otherwise nice evening since you felt bad about yourself, and then dragged your significant other over the coals for it? I've got my hand held high here. That's definitely something that needs to change.
When (and I do mean when) I do change my behavior around food, I know I will be better (and lighter) for it. That healthier relationship is something I have struggled with (and lost to) for years, but I know it will transform other areas of my life, my weight, and my marriage for the better.
As I drink my tea and type away, I can see that little note on my Yogi tea which says, "Realize that the other person is you".
Now where do I order 2 pair of oversized Reeboks???
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Yep, and I need EVERY SINGLE PAIR baby!
Tell me I am not alone. I have at least 8 pair of jeans currently. Actually, even though some might rotate in and out of that stack (acid wash, zippers, etc.), I think I have always had about 8-10 pair of jeans.
Have I become some chipmunk of denim, and my closet is the knot hole in the tree, waiting for winter?
I really do think I have a pair for every occasion.
Need help painting your room? I've got a beat up pair that are so stretched out that I can actually breathe AND paint, which is useful.
Going to a cute-but-casual event? Darker washed longer jeans so I can wear heels. By the way, what is cute-but-casual anyway?
If there is a work related event that is considered casual, I have a rarely worn pair of jeans with a waistline that would not dare threaten to show my bum cleavage (embarrassing!)
Then there are two pair of the exact same size/length of jeans, that seem to be an oddity. One pair is comfortable, and the other is too big and too short in length (???), but I can't remember which one's which, so I have them both...
Waaaay at the bottom is the pair of jeans that I hope I never fit into again, since they were bought when I was at my highest weight. These are a reminder to me.
I think we all hold onto a pair of jeans that there is just no way possible in the physical universe that they will ever fit again. You know, that pair from college or even high school, but for some reason you cannot get rid of?
Lastly, I'll bet you have that pair you really really want to wear soon. The goal weight jeans. They were not cheap, the color is spot on gorgeous, and you use them as a good gauge to see how you are doing with your new lifestyle. Those would be the 'holy grail' pair.
I hang those puppies right on my closet door as a reminder to keep up the hard work.
Maybe I won't need all those jeans in my closet, but for now, let's just call them my blue cotton dyed security blanket, OK?
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Hear me out here...
Both look fantastic at first, but of course there is work involved.
Girls, we all know that when we bring home that perfect bra on that teeny plastic hangar, it STILL needs to be properly broken in to be given that "perfect bra" title, right?
Moreover, sticking to a new regime of eating good, healthy food and breaking a sweat with tough workouts can be work at first too.
My new healthy lifestyle plan and new bra share some other characteristics:
Both can be uncomfortable at times (i.e. birthday parties with my brain screaming, BIRTHDAY CAKE!, and that undergarment beneath your outfit that you wore to that party).
Both can poke at times and be unruly (no need to explain).
Both can seem pricy, but well worth the $ spent in the long run.
Now let's look at the similarities just for kicks:
NEW WONDERFUL PERFECT BRA IN TRAINING:
Slips occasionally until you get the right fit
It lifts! It shapes! It makes you look flattering in anything!
It's breathable fabric will hug you.
NEW LIFESTYLE IN TRAINING:
Slips occasionally with consistency in both food and workouts.
WILL lift that toosh. My body WILL gain new shape, and look flattering in anything.
My clothes will hug me less...
Now let's be honest, the whirly gigs that we sometimes buy into like shiny pedometers and florescent music headphones might not physically make us stronger in the gym or on the trail, but those satin bows and perfect powder pink color of a bra doesn't make supporting your breasts any more efficient.
It's the mental aspect of these things that make us feel just that bit more 'put together' in life, don't they?
And it's worth the work!
Thank goodness my lifestyle changes can't be ruined as quickly as accidentally throwing that new bra in the dryer - AUGH!!!
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