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To -er is human

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Nope, not a typo. How often have you looked around, wondering if this person is thinn-er than you, or fat-er than you? If they're losing weight fast-er than you? If they're eating bett-er than you?

Well, here's another Olympic insight: instead of concentrating on what their competition is doing, most elite athletes concentrate on how much better they can be than their best. How to improve.

I'm not saying they don't let the competition push them; of course they do. But they're more concerned about their own performance, and how they can improve it, than they are with their competitor's performance.

And that's a lesson for us on our weight loss journey. On one of my sparkteams someone was consoling someone else, saying they were the slowest los-er ever. That they'd only lost 20 pounds in 4 months. Me, I'd be over the moon to have lost that much weight in that much time -- in the same amount of time, I've lost about 12 pounds.

I know that it's useless to compare myself to someone else. They may be young-er than me. They may be heavi-er than me to start with, which means weight will come off them quick-er. They may have a fast-er metabolism. In the end, it doesn't matter the reasons. All that matters is that I know I have done the best that I can do.

That's all that matters for you, too. Forget your "competition". Be the best that you can be. Keep being the best, even when it's hard. I promise, if you be the best you can be, the weight will come off -- no matter how long it takes.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 8/11/2008 4:54AM

    Checking out other people is a good thing only if it is used as motivation. Often it does more damage than good. Thank you for an important reminder.

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LSFBOOK 8/9/2008 10:27PM

    How true. How true. I agree with you--comparing ourselves to others is just a waste of time!

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CRAZYMOM1574 8/9/2008 10:57AM

    so easy to say, so hard to do. when you are getting nowhere it is hard not to compare, BUT, i am trying i am seeing it as getting me healthy and not trying to be like others.

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MTER67 8/9/2008 8:54AM

    I like this! Instead of worrying about others being "-er" than me, I will just be "-est" for me. Sage advice.

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1PHATTGURL 8/9/2008 8:25AM

    I'll definitely use this practice. One of the bett-er blogs I've read this morning. Thanks for sharing.

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Never give up

Friday, August 08, 2008

I have always loved the Olympics, despite not being much of an athlete myself. Most likely because my parents always watched it. The games are such a source for inspiration.

Here are just a few stories:

1. Here on SP, read about Wilma Rudolph, who overcame polio to win a gold medal in running -- www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivat
ion_articles.asp?id=1155


2. Melanie Roach, melanieroach.com/
She's a business owner, the mother of an autistic child (and other children), and a 5'1" weight lifter. She can lift more than twice her weight. She missed the 2000 Olympics due to a back injury, but is poised to make her Olympic debut in Beijing.

3. Lopez Lomong, lopezlomong.org/
Another runner with an amazing story. If you watch the opening ceremonies tonight, Lopez (who is now an American citizen), will be our flagbearer. He was kidnapped at age 6 in the Sudan, and forced to be a child soldier -- but he escaped by running away and has run all the way to the Olympics. I think the most heartwarming part of his story is that he has been reunited with his family, whom he assumed were all dead.

4. Laura Wilkinson, www.laurawilkinson.com/
Perhaps not quite as inspiring as some of the above stories, but she is one of my hometown gals. Or was, anyway. She stunned everyone with her Gold Medal performance at the 2000 Olympics, but had a disappointing showing in the 2004 Olympics. Yet here she is poised to try again.

So if there's a theme here, it's to never, ever give up. Some of these athletes have overcome incredible odds to get them where they are. They work incredibly hard to be the best they can be.

If they can do it, so can we. Watch the Olympics. I guarantee you will laugh, you will probably cry, and you will absolutely be inspired to be all that you can be.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KSTARS 8/9/2008 5:40AM

    Judy,

Like your blog. Great examples. I am so taken with the Chinese culture represented at Bejing yesterday. I didn't expect much because DH said it was "OK". Ha! He taped it, and I watched opening ceremonies this morning after work.

At one point, I asked DH why they kept showing a certain kid; he said that that kid was the one who was the earthquake survivor who tried this year to save his buddies when he was hurt.

Many awe-inspiring stories.



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LSFBOOK 8/8/2008 7:26PM

    We will definitely be watching the Olympics! Summer or Winter--I don't care which Olympics--I love it all! Thanks for the links for the stories of people who have overcome things to reach their goals.

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STARTSPARKING 8/8/2008 5:00PM

    I LOVE the Olympics, and I am looking forward to watching the opening ceremony tonight. The athletes you mentioned and countless others have worked so hard and sacrificed so much to reach their dreams. They are truly inspirational. We may never be such diehard athletes, but we have so much to learn from them.

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MTER67 8/8/2008 8:03AM

    Yeah! I love the olympics! Can't wait to catch a little of it.

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Love, laughter & joy

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Just when I start thinking I should stop subscribing to magazines as a cost-cutting method, I read something that makes it totally worthwhile.

Are you like me: do you hate having your picture taken? Do you look at vacation photos and all you see is how heavy you are & wonder how you got that way?

Why don't we see the truth: the fun we were having and the joy we got from spending time with loved ones?

That's what it's about. Being grateful for what we DO have, not what we haven't accomplished yet. It was a pertinent message for me. I get so wrapped up in how I look, what people will think of me, that I forget what the vacation is truly about: kickin' back, having a good time, and enjoying the company of loved ones.

It isn't just a message for vacation, of course, it's a message for how we live our lives. Of course I think being at a healthy weight is important. But it isn't the most important thing in life (although there are times it really does seem that way). When we get to the end of our lives, we probably won't regret the food we ate or what we weigh, but we will regret not going after the things that make us truly happy and telling our loved ones how much we care for them.

So go ahead, work your darndest to make it happen, but keep your eye on the prize: enjoying the ones you choose to share your journey with.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LSFBOOK 8/7/2008 1:44PM

    We are what we are. When I was in high school I had a teacher named Miss Quint. I graduated many years ago and why do I remember her? I remember her because she said, while we were all looking at our year book pictures and complaining about them, "Never look at your picture and think it should be something else--you are what you are. Be proud of who you are and don't worry about a picture." So I've never worried about pictures. Of course I wish I look different in some of them but I am what I am. We take lots of pictures of everyone--including us. We buy pictures that photographers take of us at parks and on other trips--what the heck. Why not!

Thanks for the blog reminding all of us the importance of accepting ourselves as we are. Is your alias Miss Quint? LOL

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MTER67 8/7/2008 9:34AM

    I read somewhere a while ago that parents spend so much time photographing their kids, they often neglect to pose for photos themselves. The article pointed out that children will one day treasure any photos they have of their parents.

When you are self conscious about how you look, it is easy to let it overshadow other things going on in the photograph--like the great vacation happening around you! Don't forget how important the memories behind those photos will become some day and keep snapping pictures!

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STARTSPARKING 8/7/2008 8:18AM

    I got a couple of good deals on magazines lately. One was getting a four-year subscription on Reader's Digest on Ebay for only about $10 or so. The other was doing some online advertisement reviews for a couple of free one-year subscriptions. Not bad!

I lost my father suddenly almost twenty years ago. One of my biggest regrets was not having more photos of him. He worked so hard all his life that we rarely had outings. He never took a family vacation with us!

As I gained weight over the years, I made myself the designated family photographer because I'd rather be on that side of the camera than the other. Even when I'm in photographs, I'd find ways to hide my overweight body by either standing behind someone or sitting down behind a table or holding a pillow on my lap on a couch. There are long stretches of time with no photos of me. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of photos to document our lives.

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What makes you forget food?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Before I get into my blog, I want to thank everyone who added a comment yesterday. You have no idea what it meant to me. The irony is that while I may have felt tired, down, & fat, I actually did eat quite healthy yesterday -- and exercised. I think the crux of the problem was that I was so tired. I'm still tired, but I get a pretty good night's sleep last night -- plus we didn't get much rain, which is a good thing because the dogs weren't a problem, but a bad thing because we really, really need it & this is probably our last chance for quite a while.

We all have activities that we pour ourselves into so deeply that we don't even think about food. I know I do. And those activities change over time.

Yesterday it was agility classes with the dogs, for instance. It sounds like a very simple thing to run a dog around an obstacle course, but the truth is it's quite challenging. There's a lot of strategy to it. You have to be extremely aware of your body -- which I often am not, because I'm too busy trying to keep an eye on my tiny dog & remember where the heck the next obstacle is.

My dogs like to entertain, too. Someone commented yesterday that Chester would probably be a crowd favorite if I ever actually competed with him because he likes to run off & visit with the "crowd" (in this case, the other class participants who are sitting outside the field). Which would be charming if he didn't do it about 4 or 5 times yesterday, making me totally forget both my strategy and my position on the course (which was 15 jumps -- you try remembering which of 15 jumps you're supposed to go to next).

Lola, on the other hand, likes to make up her own course. She lives to run and jump, and because this is a class, she has to wait her turn. And because she's still a beginner, we often only do a few obstacles. So she has a tendency to run off and do 4 or 5 obstacles on her own, flying over everything, and totally ignoring my calls to come back to me.

I eat around 5:30 am on agility days. And we don't get back home until about 10:30 am. I take almonds with me, but I rarely eat them, because the truth is it's absorbing enough that I just forget to be hungry.

We all have to try and make time for the things we love to do -- the things that absorb us so much that we forget about food. I'm sure boredom is at the heart of the overeating for a lot of us -- I know it is for me.

So what holds your interest enough to make you forget about food?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARTSPARKING 8/7/2008 8:09AM

    You're right that boredom is the heart of overeating for me. I'm usually so busy in the daytime that I end up having a very late lunch. Breakfast is usually a quick granola bar in the car on my way to the gym. My problem with daytime eating is under-eating, never overeating. It's when I have time in the evening to slow down and relax when I think of junk food. Argh! I AM doing better though, so that's encouraging.

Thanks for the reminder that I need to remember to nourish my body during the day.

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JANDELL 8/6/2008 6:53PM

    I think when you're tired, you feel kind of ineffective. I have gone back to work (school) now, so couldn't do my workout until I got home late this afternoon. I was tired, so I felt like I just didn't put my whole effort into it like I normally do. But I have to get used to doing it this way, so am happy that I stuck out the entire 4 miles anyway. I haven't been eating as I normally do either...school food is nothing but starch...so I need to get back to my fruits and veggies...then I will feel better.

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-COURT- 8/6/2008 5:51PM

    I bet the dogs are a lot of fun to train. Must take patience. When we had our little dog, she leaned some things fairly fast. But, she wasn't of your dogs caliber. She was older and laid back...layed back...lazy.

What holds my interest to make me forget about food...I guess when I'm on the treadmill while listening to my radio.

Courti

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Somedays you just feel fat

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It's true, isn't it? No matter how much weight you lose, no matter if you're at your goal weight or not. But some days you truly just feel fat.

Is it all psychological? Is it physical?

I don't know. All I know is I'm having kind of a blah day, and feeling fat, too. Maybe it's the photos from yesterday -- which would be silly, since they celebrate a 4 lb loss in one month, and an obvious change for the better in my body.

Maybe it's the fact that my husband left (at 3:30 am, no less) this morning, after being here for almost 2 1/2 weeks. Knowing I have a friend whose husband is serving in Afghanistan, how can I complain after having had 2 1/2 weeks with him -- and not having to worry about having to send him in harm's way? I get used to him coming and going, but it's harder after a prolonged visit -- even one of his coworkers mentioned that he's been at work a lot lately!

Maybe it's the weather. We're getting the remnaints from the latest tropical storm. It's much, much needed rain here. But my dogs loathe the rain, so I have to keep an eye on the weather and try to get them out in any breaks -- and of course, this is always easier when you have a partner. Or a full night's sleep.

I also find myself sneaking in little extras without accounting for them. The oil I used to pan fry my tofu for lunch. That teeny, tiny piece of chocolate I just had (probably less than half an ounce). Can not being completely truthful make you fat? Probably, because those little extras add up over time.

I debated whether or not to write a post. I have a couple of subjects written down to write about, but they didn't speak to me. I figured no one will miss me if I don't write. But I'll miss me, won't I?

But as I sit here feeling tired and somewhat sorry for myself, I realize that I have a choice. I can make healthy choices, or not. It doesn't matter if I feel fat today. What matters is the choices I make. Because those choices will determine whether or not I eventually feel healthy. Not thin, mind you, but healthy - because that's the goal.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 8/6/2008 4:16AM

    First of all, a heck of a lot of people would miss you if you didn't write--so just quit that nonsense talk, woman. Certainly one who has a husband in harm's way would. It doesn't matter where your husband is, or how long he's gone: if you miss him, you miss him. No one is more justified in feeling lonely than anyone else. Loneliness is what it is.

Having said that, sometimes I think it is easier to live without somebody for longer stretches of time than it is to have someone constantly coming and going. It is hard to have to welcome someone back and then say good-bye over and over.

I get in a funk sometimes, too--more often than I care to admit! Just acknowledge how you feel, forgive yourself for not being accountable for every drop of oil and chocolate while you feel this way, and then move forward. Gloomy moods pass and you'll be feeling great again soon!

emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/6/2008 4:16:37 AM

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JANDELL 8/5/2008 7:17PM

    Judy, you would have been missed by those of us who read your posts regularly, so glad you chose to write. Yes, we all have those days. You know what the weird thing with me now is?...I feel almost thin sometimes...and then I look in the mirrow and realize I'm not quite as thin as I thought. But I walked up a huge staircase today...twice...and didn't get winded. That's the kind of success that matters!

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LSFBOOK 8/5/2008 6:53PM

    I think you're doing so well. It's ok to have a down day every so often. From reading your blogs, I know you'll pick yourself up. As I've said before I really enjoy your blogs. They say a lot about what I feel and do. Thanks for writing them. Now, get going and do something good for yourself! Have a great rest of the day and a wonderful tomorrow!

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TYMABOY 8/5/2008 6:45PM

    In my opinion - most people need to cheat once in awhile just so they can stay on the right track. Hopefully that makes sense to everyone, but you can not denie yourself all the foods that you enjoy unless in the long run you want to fail. You should be proud of your weight loss, that means that you are still on track & doing a good job. As for feeling fat - I know I feel like that every time I step on a scale, while it is calculating my weight I think of how I just feel bloated, fat & like I just gained 10lbs stepping onto that thing.

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STARTSPARKING 8/5/2008 6:34PM

    Sorry you're having a melancholy day. I'm glad that you blogged about it to acknowledge it. It's times like this when I find myself on a downward spiral. Before I know it, I'll look back and realize I had days of binges. I try to find ways to cheer myself up, whether it's making a list of things I'm grateful for or happy about. Blogging on SP or sending a SparkMail message to one of my best SP friends usually do the trick as well. The most important thing is to catch myself, stop the downward spiral, and get back on track. That would usually make me feel better about myself, and things begin to look up as well.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:

"Life is a series of choices. Today yours are good ones." ~ fortune cookie fortune

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LAVENDERGIRLL 8/5/2008 6:30PM

    Just wanted to say that I think you are on the right track. Just hang in there and know that today you may feel fat but tomorrow you will feel so better. You have to because it is a new day and a new chance to get those things you want to get done or one step closer to your goals! I love your kitties! Got a few myself! Have a great day and give yourself a hug! You deserve it!

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