Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Lost 39.4 pounds so far...
Fasting blood sugar has been below 100 for 21 of the past 23 days...
Been averaging over 100 fitness minutes a week since the first of the year, and that only counts walking and strength training...
Been staying within my calorie range most days....
Decided it looks like I'm going to stick with it....
Took a couple of positive steps in the 'committment to a healthy lifestyle' direction.
Last night, I checked out the weight limit on the Total Gym that's gathering dust downstairs. It wasn't my purchase, but it's there, so I figure someone ought to use it. I now have another major weight loss goal. When I lose another 75 pounds, I can use it. I'm pretty confident I can make that by the end of the year.
Tonight, went to walmart.com and bought "The Gold's Gym Total-Body Fitness Kit" which includes the following items:
Speed Jump Rope
2 Short & 2 Long Resistance Tubes (Light and Medium)
Stretch Resistance Band (Medium)
Stretch Resistance Tube Ring
2 Comfortable Tube Grips
Door Strap Attachment
Mesh Carry Bag
I wondered for a moment if the two hours I spent sitting like a lump at the computer and browsing the web for the best deal negates the accomplishment of actually convincing myself and believing in myself that I will use it. I decided it doesn't because I *WILL* use it, and for a lot more than two hours.
I'm a wee bit sceptical about the 'speed' jump rope...what? It's motorized? Doesn't the 'speed' depend pretty much on the weight of the rope and how fast the jumper swings it???
I'm also disappointed that it's just plain black, or maybe dark grey. It's kind of hard to tell from the picture. I kind of wanted to reclaim a bit of my childhood with one of those brightly colored beaded jump ropes like we had on the playground when we were kids. You know the kind, with the cheap nylon cord threaded through inch-long plastic tube beads that hurt like the devil and left welts when you got smacked with one doing double-dutch, and sometimes, when the ropes got old and frayed and broke, the beads turned into mini-missles, flying across the playgorund like buckshot, putting out eyes and....
Ok, I exaggerate, maybe it is better that this jump rope is a plain cord after all....
And maybe I will keep an eye out for a nine-foot beaded jumprope anyway.
Also drank all of my water again today and got in thirty-five minutes of body weight and dumbell (filled liter water bottle = 2lbs) exercises.
if I went overboard with the emoticons. What can I say? Simple minds are easily amused.
Small steps, still, but going in the right direction.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Am I the only person who sometimes finds it hard to have compassion for some of the posters under the panic button?
Please understand I have done all of the foolish things I have described in the following rant. I am not judging anyone for doing them, because that would mean judging myself. I am just hoping my hindsight can help make others more aware of their current behavior and help motivate them to change it.
A few days ago, a panic button poster was talking about how they had no support from their family. Apparently the other people in the household like to bring home fast food, ice cream and other things not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. The poster didn't mention any effort to weigh and measure portions, said nothing about cutting back sweets drinking water, watching fat or sodium intake, eating fresh fruits and veggies, or anything. Not one "I am trying to…" Just complaining, "I get no support," and asking for advice.
I checked the person's SparkPage, and there was almost nothing there. Just two lines basically saying I used to be fit. Now I am fat. I want to lose weight. This person had been a member of SparkPeople for seven months but had never posted a blog, never updated a status, never designed a ticker, posted only a dozen times to the message boards, never set goals, filled out their profile, designed a program, set any SparkStreaks, or joined any teams.
I couldn't respond to the message board post because the only thing I could think of to say was DO SOMETHING!!! How can anyone support you when YOU'RE NOT MAKING ANY EFFORT???
Now, I realize that some people don't need to use every tool that Spark provides, so this person may have been doing things that just weren't recorded. I also get that you can keep parts or all of your SparkPage private, so this person may have been doing and tracking things that I couldn't see, but access to the page wasn't completely blocked, so I definitely know that there was a lot that he or she *wasn't* doing.
I also understand being overwhelmed, paralyzed, so weighed down, if you will pardon the pun, with the amount of weight you need to lose and the VAST changes in your life that you need to make to get there. Maybe you feel like you can't afford the healthy food and basic fitness equipment you need to eat right and work out. Maybe you feel like you can't do it; like no matter how hard you try, you won't succeed; like maybe you don't deserve to succeed because you let yourself get so out of hand in the first place. Maybe you even feel stupid and worthless.
I've been in that spot, more than once. I have tried and failed to lose weight in every decade of my life. I joined SP in August of 2008, lost 30 pounds, hurt my knee, and quit. Knee got better, but I didn't come back until just this year, after a stint in the hospital with a serious cellulitis infection, three weeks on IV antibiotics, 2 weeks of physical therapy, diagnoses of Type II diabetes, hypertension, and anemia, and no medical insurance. So, believe me, I understand feeling bad and sad and miserable and resigned to a future of more of the same.
I also understand that if I'm doing NOTHING, then there is NOTHING TO PANIC ABOUT. DO SOMETHING. If you don't see results after a few weeks of concentrated effort, THEN maybe there is reason to panic.
A lot of panic button posters complain about trying but not seeing any progress. I can't tell you how many posts I have seen with this vague complaint. WHAT are you trying? Are you trying to 'eat better,' 'eat healthy,' 'eat smart,' 'eat right,' 'eat good food,' 'eat less'? If you said yes to any or all of these, do you have any idea how vague that is?
Eat better. I'm going ask for lettuce and onion on my cheeseburger. I'll squeeze in a veggie if it kills me.
Eat healthy. I'm going to eat whole grain crackers with my soup instead of ordinary saltines. I might eat half the box, but they're WHOLE GRAIN.
Eat smart. Fish is brain food, right? I'll go to Long John Silver's instead of McDonald's.
Eat right. I'm going to fill 50% of my plate with spaghetti and garlic bread, 30% with meatballs, and 20% with alfredo sauce. I might fill it three times, but everything is in the correct proportions, so I am eating right.
Eat good food. A medium pizza with sausage, green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and pineapple. I've got grains, meat, dairy, fruit, and veggies. All five major food groups. That's good.
Eat less. Ok, I'm going to get a Whopper and *small* fries with only a *medium* sweet tea today.
If your goals are not specific, you will never know if you achieve them. If you don't have benchmarks along the way, you won't even know if you're getting close. If you have no clear idea of where you should be on your journey right now, where you want to wind up, and how you are going to get there, then you have no idea if you are succeeding or failing, and you have NOTHING TO PANIC ABOUT.
When you don't have clear goals, I can understand a vague sense of anxiety making it hard to do anything, but if you're in that situation and don't seek to change it, you're just maintaining the status quo. Things aren't changing for the worse, they're staying the same. You aren't failing anything if you're not trying. That's no reason at all to panic.
Instead of panicking, turn that energy into something useful.
Set a goal: Lose ten pounds in the next 30 days.
Make a plan: Weigh and measure my food, log everything I eat, eat within my calorie range, drink 8 cups of water daily, exercise 3x/week.
DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU'RE GOING TO DO.
At the end of the month, check your progress. Did you stick to your plan? Did you achieve your goal? Did you come close? Did you make some progress? If you answered yes to the first question and no to all of the other three, then, and ONLY then, MAYBE its time to panic.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
"Internet explorer has encounterd an error and needs to close."
Sorry folks. I promise it was sarcastically funny, but now that I have vented about the idiots I work with, I don't feel like rewriting it. Maybe another time.
Monday, February 20, 2012
So, I was reading this message board post about how our parents' eating habits affect us: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/messageb
oard.asp?imparent=26827040&imboard=1 and it got me to thinking.
In my reply, I indicated that my parents tended to have a lot of meat and potatoes, cheap starchy dishes, fried foods, and processed snacks and sweets.
I also mentioned the huge garden we had when I was a kid which every year yielded more lettuce, onions, radishes, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, potatoes, sweet corn, red beets, zucchini, watermelon, pumpkins, patty pan squash, and one year, peanuts than we could use. I can remember sitting in front of the TV snapping a grocery bags full of green beans that I had helped pick or skimming little green worms off a five-gallon bucket full of fresh broccoli and water to help prepare our produce for freezing.
Then there were raspberries and blackberries growing wild in the meadows on my grandfather's farm, elderberries we got from the edge of the woods, and the plums, nectarines, peaches, cherries, blueberries, apples and pears my Dad brought home from his work at the orchard where he worked. When they were too ripe to ship/store/sell he got them free and we preserved them by canning or making applesauce, jam, and jelly. Many's the time I helped peel and pack seven quarts of peaches make a couple gallons of jam between breakfast and lunch. Sometimes, when there hadn't been any freebies for a while, dad would a half-peck of whatever was in season just to have it around the house.
Mom also encouraged us to try new things. Every time we went to the store, one of us kids got to pick something we hadn't had before. I was the one who got us eating kiwi and avocadoes.
My parents worked hard to give me all the tools I needed to eat right and live a healthy lifestyle. What they lacked between working minimum-wage jobs (I remember when Mom had 3 part-time jobs and sold Fuller Brush on the side and Dad worked 80 hour weeks making apple cider from September to January), caring for my grandparents, and providing for five kids was the time, energy, and know-how to teach me portion control and encourage me to have a peach instead of a cupcake or six.
I was the youngest of five, seven years younger than my youngest sibling, fifteen years younger than the eldest. By the time I came along, they were tired. They were struggling to feed and clothe three teenage boys and a first-grader. As long as I wasn't hungry, wet, or tired, I was a happy baby. Mom had to go back to work six weeks after I was born and my sitter spoiled me rotten. She gave me whatever I wanted. Tea and toast was a favorite snack, usually with four slices of toast.
Banning cupcakes, ice cream, and other treats from our house didn't make much sense when only one child had a weight problem, but I would often eat a whole box of pop-tarts or Kandy-kakes instead of just one. The more my parents tried to teach me limits, the more I was determined that I would have everything I wanted. If there wasn't any candy in the house, I would stir together peanut butter, oatmeal and honey for a sweet treat and eat it from the bowl with a spoon.
I suppose, if my parents could have afforded for one of them to quit working and stay home to play food police and teach me better eating habits, I might have grown up healthier. Then again, I might have grown up with some serious food issues because I was always very stubborn and the simple act of saying I couldn't/shouldn't do something was enough to make me determined to do it just to show you that what you said didn't matter. Sort of a 'you're not the boss of me' mentality.
I grew up with a lot of nagging, teasing, and humiliation from family, friends, classmates, and complete strangers. I have two memories that stand out and hurt to this day. One is of my youngest brother, who taught me to hit a baseball and ride my bike, wrapping his arms around me as I passed by him with some treat in my hand, grabbing my fat belly and shaking it. He didn's say a word, but the message was clear. I was humiliated and heartbroken that he could do such a thing. He was my best friend growing up.
The other is of my dad, lecturing me when he saw me getting a cup of tea and a stack of toast. I can still hear his voice, right down to the disapproving, disappointed, borderline angry tone, "Do you want to see how fat you can get? Is that what you're trying to do?" He went on and on until I was a snotty, tearful mess. It never occured to me then to point out that he was 5' 8" tall, weight over 200 pounds, his breakfast at the time was black coffee and a couple of cigarrettes, lunch filled a six-pack cooler, and dinner was after he'd had two or three beers at the tavern on his way home from work. He was my daddy and he could do no wrong. I couldn't see what a hypocrite he was being, even if I did weigh more than him by that time. I just sat down at the table and miserably choked down my tea and toast because I'd only get in more trouble for throwing it away now that it was already made.
Mom's way of 'helping' has always been to steal food off my plate. When all it accomplished was to make me angry, she didn't care. It was so bad that once in college, when a group of us went out to brunch after church, I slapped a girl's hand when she reached to take mine for saying grace before we ate. In my defence, we had never said grace around the table when I was growing up, but to be so accustomed to having my food stolen off my plate that I would expect someone I barely knew to attempt it, well, that just shows how little respect my mother showed me when it came to my personal space and my right to make my own chices about food, for better or worse. Now that I am weighing and measuring my food and trying really hard to lose weight and stay in my calorie range, well, she only had to be told off a couple of times about how she is sabotaging me, and she has stopped. It still doesn't keep her from taking off her oxygen and lighting up a cigarette when I am on the treadmill, but that's a rant for another day.
ANYWAY, coming to the point of this little rant now...
Despite their occasional, very painful (for me) missteps, I think when it comes to diet my parents did the best the could for me, both in the sense of making their best effort to help me be healthy and in the sense of doing the best thing for me. When I was little, they didn't have the luxury of one parent taking time off work to stay home to care for me, so my early habits were determined by a babysitter who used food to cope with her stress and resentment regarding an unfaithful husband. When I was older, they could have spent more time talking to me about healthy choices and balanced diets, but by that time, I thought I knew everything. Like I told my doctor at my first checkup after being diagnosed with diabetes: I am the kind of person who has to be hit in the head with a brick to get it.
What my parents managed to do was give me a toolbox that I can reach into to make healthy choices now that it matters to me...now that I am doing it FOR ME.
They taught me to be an adventurous eater, so I am not afraid to try new things. They introduced me to all kinds of fruits and veggies, so when I fill half my plate with green beans and Brussels sprouts, I know I'm going to like it and when I want something sweet after dinner, I know an orange will taste good. They taught me to grow and preserve my own produce, so I get to control the seasonings and sweeteners that go into my canned tomatoes and peaches, my frozen peas and corn, and I get the added benefit of the exercise that comes with tilling, planting, weeding, hoeing, and harvesting. They taught me to appreciate good, whole foods, lovingly prepared, so when I want ham and scalloped potatoes I go to the pantry for potatoes, not a box, and when it's done, it tastes like potatoes and ham, not sodium and preservatives.
Thanks to my mom and dad, I have always had the tools to eat healthy and maintain a healthy weight. I can't imagine what hard work this would be had I been brought up eating out, or eating out of a box or a TV-dinner tray or if my parents had bought more canned veggies and raised less of their own. I know I would not like tomatoes or green beans or cucumbers or bell peppers if I had never picked them myself from the garden.
I have always had the tools to do this job...the only difference is that now, I'm willing to do the work.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
I deserve to wake up in the morning feeling like I can conquer the world!
I deserve to be able to walk down the hill to visit a neighbor without worrying if I will have the strength to walk back up.
I deserve to be able to get down on the floor and play with my little nephews at their level.
I deserve to be able to go to the movies or the theatre or a ball game and fit in the seat and enjoy the show rather than worry about the bruises I am bound to have on the outsides of my thighs and wonder what the people beside might be thinking about how I crowd them in their seats.
I deserve to walk into a room and sit on any chair I like without worrying if I will break it.
I deserve to eat delicious, nutritious food lovingly prepared by my own two hands with no unpronounceable ingredients and nothing in it that I can't recognize as edible.
I deserve to be able to ride in anyone's car without having to worry if the seatbelt will fit.
I deserve to feel fit, strong, and healthy.
I deserve to look in the mirror and ABSOLUTELY LOVE the person I see there.
I deserve all of this and more, because I have finally realized that it doesn't matter what my parents did right or wrong in raising me, it doesn't matter how much or how little money I have, it doesn't matter how mean the kids were in school, it doesn't matter how long I have procrastinate or how many times I have put myself down, or how many times I have given up...
I deserve this because I am back, and I am trying again, and I am working hard.
I deserve this, because I WILL NOT GIVE UP!
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