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Self awareness vs. narcissism

Friday, September 25, 2009

Like so much in life, it seems like there's a fine line between being aware of how you present yourself, and being narcissistic. Sometimes I wonder if I've crossed the line. Sometimes it feels like all I think about is how I look!

I do know this, tho: unless you live alone, you have to be selfish to lose weight. It's true -- you've got to stand up for the things that you need, the foods you do or don't want in your house, your "me" time, and so much more.

Yet it's time well invested for everyone. Not always easy to convince the others of that, but when you become healthier, you are able to give more of yourself in return.

Yet I feel sometimes as if losing weight has become my job. I still spend so much time thinking about how I look . . . is that wrong? When do you cross the line?

I think about my MIL & my SIL, who between taking care of my FIL & my nieces and nephews, barely have time to themselves. And I have almost nothing but time to myself. When I'm not taking care of DH or the animals, of course, which also occupies much of my time. Still, if I were in their shoes, I wouldn't have so much time to exercise, to prepare healthy meals, etc.

And I suppose that just means that I need to be thankful for what I do have -- and I am. I am a lucky person.

I've been on something of a buying binge lately. It's deliberate, and thought-out, not impulse buying. I've lost almost 30 lbs -- only 1 lb away from that -- and yes, my body has changed quite a bit. I'll get DH to take a photo for a before/after comparison when I hit those 30 lbs gone. I am spending some of the money I saved while I was working, but it's still hard to do sometimes when you aren't currently working.

I still plan to lose another 10. Which would probably still leave me about 10 lbs overweight, but I think it's a good weight for me, hopefully one I can maintain, and from everything I've read, those extra 10 lbs will help me make an easier transition through menopause when it hits. I hope so anyway!

So I guess you do need to be at least a little bit narcissistic to lose weight. And it's something you have to hold onto after you've lost the weight, too. Because losing yourself in others is part of what lands a lot of us here in the first place. We have to keep the spark alive, thru good times and bad, and remember that we always have to put on our oxygen mask first before helping others with theirs.

On the good news front, I will be going to Vienna with my husband. It's going to be a whirlwind of planes & trains (but probably no automobiles). I've always wanted to go to Austria. I didn't think my husband had been there, but apparently he's been there once before -- but just very briefly, and this time at least he'll get to play tourist just a little.

I am hoping to get a short run in today. I probably shouldn't, should probably just rest, but it's my last day for vigorous exercise this week & it's just half an hour. Surely half an hour would be helpful, not hurtful, right? I have the rest of the weekend to rest up in. And I'm probably spending most of today on the couch anyway, after I walk the dogs.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINMOM2BE 9/25/2009 9:47PM

    Wow - this is soooo true! I think that we must be focused on our self, and our appearance in order to be motivated to make changes. How many times have I heard an obese person say, "Oh, I hate the mirror, and I hate pictures". THAT, my friend is denial. Once you get past that, it's a HUGE revelation that some drastic measures must be taken.

We wouldn't be here sparkin' together if we never focused on ourself. And to be successful, we MUST carve out some "me" time. It's the only way.

I do have busy days occasionally when I can't exercise, but I'm OK with that because this is life! I just make sure that EVERY day that I can squeeze in some time for ME to exercise, I do it.

I'm green with envy over your upcoming trip. Have a GREAT time!!!

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 9/25/2009 8:02PM

    "losing yourself in others is part of what lands a lot of us here in the first place" - how true. I need my 'me' time just to focus on myself and this journey.

Have a wonderful time in Austria - lucky girl! Enjoy :)

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MTER67 9/25/2009 5:52PM

    I am not sure if taking care of yourself and caring about your appearance automatically translates into narcissism...I mean, could it? I think, too, it's a little bit like putting your own oxygen mask on before assisting others on an airplane--if nobody takes care of you, how are you going to take care of others?

You must be focused on your appearance, diet, exercise, etc., if you have any hope of being successful at weight-loss in the long term. So in that case, a little bit of narcissism is really good for everybody!

Have a great time in Austria--when do you go?

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DDHEART 9/25/2009 10:07AM

    I loved this blog....as in everything else there is the difficulty of balance but you are so right, the losing of self is often what got us here and if we are to be able to give more we have to take more for ourselves. My parents were people who instilled a very strong sense that it was improper to be selfish and prideful....it's hard sometimes to separate some of those feelings with the natural pride of accomplishment of losing weight and gaining strength and fitness. Often my sparkfriends remind me that I should be proud and it is easy to see in our blogs that the time we spend running or whatever we do for ourselves is so restorative....that time to focus and think about what's important (and even what's not! LOL)

Congrats on your nearly hitting a goal...enjoy the shopping and even more enjoy your upcoming trip...I can't wait for the pictures and trip report!

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KEAKMAN 9/25/2009 9:16AM

    First of all WOOHOO on the going to Vienna part! I am excited for you. After not getting a vacation in a year, you get a little one and then a (business) trip to Vienna. Sounds nice to me!

As for the self-aware vs. narcissistic.....great observations and mullings....I often worry that I am spending too much time on "me" But I argue that if I want to live long and healthily I must. Perhaps once I get a real, honest new lifestyle in place there won't be so much time devoted to thinking and planning, but running will always take some time out of my life.

But then, how much time am I NOT spending in front of the TV, etc? So I think it all balances out fine.

Happy shopping!

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My pre-vacation goals (warning: rambling ahead)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Well, the big goal has already been met, sort of: to be in the 130s before I left (I am as of today). However, yesterday my throat was scratchy again, today I'm a bit sniffly & am losing my voice . . . seems like this cold isn't giving up as easily as I thought it would.

It's always puzzling to get sick when you're eating well & working out. Last time I was able to lose a little weight even with the cold; TOM is over. But I only have 2 WIs before I leave -- I might squeeze in an extra one, but it will be one that's less than a week. I'd really love to lose at least a couple of more pounds before I go, because I really can't imagine not gaining some weight. Especially since we might be tacking on a few more days.

DH has to go to a meeting in Vienna now. I told him I'd much rather go to Vienna than Dresden, personally, but he doesn't want me flying over by myself (altho I've almost always flown back from Europe by myself -- much nicer with someone tho, last time I was next to this lovey dovey couple making out almost the whole way back).

So DH is trying to extend my visit, altho it's very tricky with the flights. Not to mention leaving the animals that long. Not to mention being gone more than 2 weeks -- in Europe -- during TOM -- is a bit scary in & of itself. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Trying to figure out how to pack the food I want to bring with me is a real challenge -- without checking anything.

I'm still totally loving the FBD (flat belly diet) cookbook. This really seems to be working for me. Do MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) really make the difference? I don't know. All I know is that both DH & I have liked most of the recipes (and that is truly amazing, considering how different we are in what we enjoy foodwise). I've begun to seek out all Prevention's publications just so I can find new FBD recipes!

Today at my WW meeting there were little cards on every seat, basically asking people to consider becoming leaders/receptionists if they're at or near their GWs. I'm near mine, but not as near as they used to allow you to be before working there. I talked with my leader after the meeting anyway. As of today, I'm about 5 lbs away from being 2 lbs over my GW (confused yet?). Anyway, long story short is that she took my name & number, and had me also write down that I was a leader in another lifetime -- and seemed to think the fact that I'm available during the daytime might help also. So we'll see what happens there. Of course, I could gain next week, and I'm already expecting Europe to push me farther away again.

But I've got some concrete goals here, and a way of eating that seems to be working for me. Now if my health would just cooperate, maybe I could start earning a little money again. And then I wouldn't have to feel quite so guilty for all the clothes I've bought recently! But I've lost almost 30 lbs, and it was time to get more than just new jeans.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 9/24/2009 8:33PM

    Well it sounds like you are doing great - way to go! Aside from the cold - get better soon....do they have chicken soup in that recipe book perhaps? Hope you had a great day - sounds like you are - yeah!

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KEEPSAKES66 9/24/2009 7:21PM

    hope the scratchy throat feel better

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DDHEART 9/24/2009 4:00PM

    Well, I thoroughly enjoyed this ramble and I wish not only that you beat the scratchy throat but that all your vacation plans and weight goals are met as well. Since planning for a trip is stressful, let me urge you to make some serious you time with a nice warm cup of tea....concentrate on how well you've been doing and don't stress about how the WI's will go...you will have a wonderful time and I can't wait to hear all about it. emoticon

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To everything there is a season

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Even after a year and a half, I'm constantly amazed at the brilliance of SP. Sparkguy is a visionary, that's for sure -- and too few people know about it! We do, of course, but I bet if you talk with you friends, most have never heard of SP (unless, of course, you've talked it up).

As I was unpacking yet more books yesterday, today's blog subject came to me. Unpacking happened in stages. First there was try to organize everything, and try to open the most important boxes first.

Then it became just put things anywhere just to get them out of boxes. Then it was just stack the boxes you knew you wouldn't be getting to somewhere they wouldn't be in the way -- you had most of them unpacked, anyway, and it was just time for a break. Unpacking boxes can get pretty boring after a month or so, after all.

Finally, it's time to tackle those last few boxes.

And we're back to why I think SP is so brilliant: the 4 stages. Baby steps are all well and good, but you need some proof of progress, too, and so Sparkguy created the 4 stages to go thru. You're all fired up at first, willing to do whatever has to be done. Eventually, your weight loss slows down and things become routine.

Maybe you fall off the wagon. You forget that it's a healthy lifestyle, and maybe you've become too restrictive and you get bored with what you're doing.

Finally, tho, you do whatever it takes to get the job done. You try new things, you push yourself a little harder, you begin to look at food in a whole new light like I blogged about yesterday.

Which was all well and good until the afternoon hit and I got the munchies. I hate it when my appetite doesn't go along with the plan, don't you? So much for fueling my body! OTOH, we ended up eating late, and that munching in the afternoon helped tide me over.

Still, the whole choosing food on what my body really needs is something that is truly new for me. After all these years. So yes, everything really does have its season!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDHEART 9/22/2009 11:00AM

    I loved these thoughts! It's great to be back on line so I can get my motivational boost from you and other sparkfriends. Thanks.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 9/22/2009 7:16AM

    I love your blog! You are a very wise woman.
:) Jeanne

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SEKSUNSHINE 9/22/2009 7:08AM

    This is all so true! I love the unpacking. I did the same thing when we moved.

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Fueling yourself

Monday, September 21, 2009

You can, as they say, teach an old dog new tricks (or an old dieter, whatever). Recently I've fond myself ready to reach for a snack -- maybe some cookies to go with my tea, for example. Now, these are Healthy Choice Amaranth crackers, which almost don't qualify as a cookie -- pretty healthy.

Then suddenly I find myself thinking . . . is this what your body truly needs? Wants? Will this fuel your upcoming workout? This morning I found myself reaching for a banana instead. I wasn't planning on a snack at all this morning, but my body during TOM has other ideas.

The change here isn't that I'm eating healthy. I've had pretty good eating habits, with some minor lapses, for a long time. I just suddenly find myself thinking more and more often about what my body really needs, rather than what my mouth wants.

Don't get me wrong, if you read my blog regularly you know that I think pizza, cookies, and even cake has a place in a healthy lifestyle. But these are most definitely treats, and my body only needs the occasional treat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_GRIZZ 9/21/2009 9:11PM

    What a great blog - you are SO right. Thank you.

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 9/21/2009 1:49PM

    You are inspiring me. Food is the spot I have the hardest time with. I love how you are treating your body as a machine that needs to be fueled!!
:) Jeanne

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Sometimes discretion IS the better part of valor

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My husband's workplace seems to be fond of potlucks. The upcoming one is a chocolate potluck. For the first time, I declined to participate. I just made 2 batches of cupcakes this weekend; today is my husband's birthday. One batch was chocolate peanut butter for me, the other vanilla/coconut with chocolate on top for him.

I could have just sent the leftovers into work with him, and not physically attended the potluck myself. But I enjoy having cupcakes at home. They're so portion controlled. I've already frozen all of them except for the 2 we had on Friday night, and the 2 we'll have tonight.

I know that part of a healthy lifestyle is learning to deal with the parties, the holidays, and the eating out. By the same token, though, it's also about knowing what you can and cannot deal with. And at this particular point in my journey, I know that I am better off not putting myself in harm's way like that.

I would love to break into the 130s before we leave on vacation, which is totally doable -- but only if I keep focused. I haven't been in the 130s for probably a decade! I still expect that I will gain some weight on vacation, so I want to be extra vigilant beforehand. Which doesn't mean that I can't afford a cupcake or two once in a while -- but not every night. Not even more than a couple of times a week.

And to change directions completely, I gave my husband a pedometer for his birthday. He actually wanted to borrow mine the other day while he cut the lawn, but I wouldn't let him. I'm not sure that he'll actually end up using it, but I hope that it will -- I think it will open his eyes to just how little exercise he really gets.

He has been working very hard the last few days, trying to make the kennel cat-proof for the cats. It's a big job. And while I know that it's very tiring, too, I don't think he realizes that it isn't cardiovascular work at all -- and that you need both.

I asked him if he was serious about wanting to lose weight, and got the expected answer: no. It's quite obvious in his food choices. For instance, one of the places he's considering going tonight for his birthday is Ted's Fish Fry. I have no desire to even set foot in this place -- I'm not particularly fond of fried foods, and I don't want to waste my points on something I don't even like. Luckily, they do have a grilled chicken sandwich. Otherwise I'd told him that I'd go with him, but I wasn't going to eat anything!

He never, ever wants to think ahead of time about what he's going to eat. For instance, I keep bread in the freezer -- we don't use much, and it gets mushy or hard in the fridge, or moldy if you keep it at room temp. So you have to defrost it ahead of time. He expects bread to just be ready for him.

Well, there are very, very small signs that he does want a healthier lifestyle, too. He just doesn't want it badly enough yet to do the work. All I can do is try to be a good example, and keep gently nudging him (but not nagging him) in the right direction.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY4JEANNE 9/21/2009 8:11AM

    My sister in law, AMYJEANHEALTHY, has lost over 50 lbs this year. My brother joined the weight loss efforts later in the game and started helping her train for the tri. He ended up losing almost 40 lbs. He is now thinner than he has been in the last 22 years.

All of the good decisions are showing and he is watching. You know that you are setting a good example. Good for you!

I know that you can get to your goal weight by vacation! Where are you going?

Have a great day. I loved your blog. Y. Good for you!

:) Jeanne

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HOLLY1949 9/20/2009 12:09PM

    You sound like you are doing great and know what you can and can not handle . It is important to know yourself. I think you are doing a super job! Keep on pressing toward your goals. You can do it! Holly

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MOMMA_GRIZZ 9/20/2009 11:35AM

    Yup, not participating in the chocolate potluck is a very wise choice - I completely understand. Kudos to you! Hope you and DH have fun celebrating his birthday - thank goodness for grilled chicken sandwiches...... Have a great Sunday JLITT62!

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