Monday, May 17, 2010
Well, I actually wanted to cry.
That was the human, the weak side if you will, that felt totally deflated. Situation hopeless. Who you kidding that you can lose this weight? All those negative thoughts persisted when the scale showed a 1.6 pound increase this week. I'm up, then down, now back up again. What's up with that? I'm eating almost 1,000 calories less a day than I used to eat. I admit, I am not exercising for hours, but I put in 30-50 minutes 4-5 days a week. Compared to my pre-Spark period, that is 30-50 minutes more than I was doing. Yes, before I was doing absolutely nothing. In my book, I should be dropping it like it's hot. Instead I weigh more!
Okay, the "Why Me" phase of this blog is over. I'm doing good, though not perfect. I'm committed and staying on track 85% of the time. I enjoy tracking food, though I am not a big fan of rigid exercising. Yet, I do it. So, though I'm not perfect, I'm pressing forward. This is a bump -- just like when you're traveling on a road and everything's going along fine. And every now and then, there's a bump, a traffic jam, construction. Something inevitably comes along that slows you down. But you always recover and continue on your way. I've absorbed this bump. This bleepin' glitch on my journey. It's history and I'm on the road again. Yeah, just like Willie Nelson.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
This word was said to me recently by a well-meaning friend regarding when I would reach my goal weight. Eventually. At the time, I think I did a slight eye roll and thought, pffft, whatever. It got me thinking later about words and their effect on our psyches. One thing I know for sure, I'm not feeling that word as it relates to my weight loss efforts. Eventually literally means 'at an unspecified later time." Can you be more vague? When you combine the impatience of a delusional dieter who thinks they should be losing 30 pounds a month with the word 'eventually, ' well, that's like throwing water on a grease fire. The resulting combustion will let you know that wasn't the way to go!
The word eventually is the abyss between me and my goal weight. It's like a black hole which sucks in my motivation, enthusiasm and will to go on. I think that along with the dreaded word 'plateau,' eventually is responsible for countless failed diets and lost hope. Eventually is something you say to a 1st grader who asks when they won't have to go to school anymore. It's something a husband tells his wife when she asks when he's going to organize the garage. It's a time waaaayyy off into the future and since the same word could be used in answer to the question, “When will they put a man on Mars,” I think it's clear why this is not a word offering much comfort to me on my weight loss journey.
Please, hubby, do not say, Eventually...
Do you have a word you'd rather not hear on your own weight loss journey?
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Winners don't always win, but they never quit.
I've always been curious about why people do what they do. So I've read a lot of Spark success stories to see what these people have that others may lack. I've learned that while everyone's journey is different, successful Sparkers had one common trait: they never gave up. They were determined and they were persistent. Did they ever stumble? Sure. Did they ever feel like giving up? Absolutely. But they didn't. They followed through on reaching their goal and didn't let minor defeats knock them off course. They forged on in spite of [insert 3000 excuses here]. Some achieved their goal quickly, others took years. Each one kept plugging away until they succeeded -- re-adjusting, re-evaluating, and re-starting as necessary to get to that final prize.
History also teaches us a lot about success. Thomas Edison, so the story goes, had 9,999 'failed' experiments before he perfected a more economical and longer-lasting electric light bulb. Edison persisted and learned from each 'failure.' What if he had given up? I mean would we be able to tell a joke like this:
How many Psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb ?
- Just one. But the bulb has to really WANT to change.
Or take the case of Derek Redmond. He was a track and field star who in the 1992 Olympics, pulled a hamstring muscle as he was leading in the 100m dash. He fell to the ground and helplessly watched his Olympics hopes go sprinting by. But he pulled himself up, and literally hopped and struggled to get to the finish line. He was finally assisted by his dad who had run down from the stands and helped him across the finish line. He didn't win, but in my book, he is a winner. He had a dream to finish his Olympic race and he did it.
At 15, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. He went home, locked himself in his room and cried. But soon after that, he decided to keep working on his game. He turned out to be one of the greatest professional basketball players of all time. Jordan once remarked, " I've failed over and over in my life. That’s why I succeed."
Another young man was fired from his newspaper job. His bosses told him that he “lacked imagination and had no original ideas.” Several years later, that young man came up with a business idea and took his proposal to over fifty banks. He was turned down by all but the last bank. That young man's name was Walt Disney.
I'm sure you can guess who this is: He started traveling by car to different restaurants and cooked his fried chicken recipe on the spot for restaurant owners. Legend has it that Colonel Sanders was told, “No” more than one thousand times before he heard his first, “Yes.” He was 65 years old at the time and wasn't satisfied with retirement.
History is replete with stories like these. Stories about ordinary people just like you and me who did one extraordinary thing: they never gave up. Every one of you is a Spark success story waiting to happen. We just have to keep plugging away -- day by day, week by week, and month by month until all our efforts produce one thinner, fitter smoking hot bod!
Quotes about persistence
Fall seven times, stand up eight." -Japanese proverb
Saints are sinners who kept on going. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Don't be discouraged. It's often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock. ~ Unknown
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ~ Confucius
Never consider the possibility of failure; as long as you persist, you will be successful.
~ Brian Tracy
The most essential factor is persistence - the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that will inevitably come. ~James W. Riley
Friday, May 14, 2010
I don't know how many people exactly there are on SparkPeople, but the common thread that holds us together is the desire to live a healthier lifestyle. Most it seems, want to lose weight, while others are here just to maintain. One thing I've learned in reading other people's blogs and pages, is that losing weight is a real struggle. Or maybe challenge is a better word as that implies something difficult, but attainable, whereas struggle denotes something unpleasant and to be avoided if possible. On the face of it, losing weight should really be an easy process. Burn more calories than you consume. Sounds like the simplest thing in the world, yet you just have to read any random few SparkPages to know that it's not. People come and go here, and come back and go again. Think in your own journey, how many times you have stopped and re-started. I don't even care to count my past efforts, it would just make me sad.
So the other night, I was just reviewing my day, analyzing things I'd done right, and things I could improve. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks
ouch, realizations can hurt, man! Though losing weight is perhaps one of the hardest things a person will ever have to do, it is doable. And not only is it doable, IT IS TOTALLY WITHIN YOUR CONTROL. That's right, the secret's out: everyone on SparkPeople has the ability to reach their goal because IT IS TOTALLY WITHIN YOUR CONTROL. I don't think you heard me: IT IS TOTALLY WITHIN YOUR CONTROL.
I thought of all the problems we can encounter and how many are not within our control. You're looking for a job and you can only do so much. I mean you can get your resume together and learn all the right answers to possible interview questions, but the final decision is not in your hands. You don't have the control to hire yourself, someone else does.
Or what about natural disasters like the recent oil spill in the Gulf. Totally out of your control. World peace -- ha, good luck with that. We can't even control peace on our own block!
We can't even really control the actions of those we love like our children and spouses.
But, the ability to lose weight, eat healthy and exercise regularly IS TOTALLY WITHIN YOUR CONTROL. You CAN eat within your calorie range. You CAN exercise regardless of mobility. There are chair exercises and senior exercises and simple low-impact exercises. So what is all the hub bub about? Perhaps it's lifelong habits that are hard to break. Perhaps we don't really believe in ourselves to succeed. Perhaps we don't know how to go about it. All of these things may be true, but it doesn't change the fact that every single Spark member can do it -- they CAN lose weight. Period. End of story. SparkPeople gives you the tools. It provides a Nutrition Plan when you enter your current weight, your goal weight and the timeframe you want to do it in. It provides a Fitness program for you to follow with all levels of exercises available. It provides about a gazillion articles on everything: nutrition, fitness, motivation, health & wellness, and family. There are tons of success stories to give you inspiration. Teams to join based on your interests. And 1/4 million nutritious recipes. And just for fun you've got goodies and SparkPoints and SparkFriends to keep it interesting. And it is all free!
So though there are various reasons why we're overweight, there is not one good reason to remain that way. Not a one. I challenge you to look in the mirror at some point today and tell yourself: IT IS TOTALLY WITHIN MY CONTROL TO LOSE THIS WEIGHT. And don't just say it, believe it. I just did it and I believe it.
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