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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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