Sunday, February 28, 2010
Yesterday was my one month Sparkversary! My life has changed in the most amazing ways in just a month. Ten pounds GONE An equivalent match food donation is going to Second Harvest Food Bank, and I'm HAPPY to do it! I got that idea from Canned Fat Drive team and I love it. The idea of a two-for-one has always appealed to me. I've also lost about 5.5 inches, probably more because I have not been measuring everything.
But there are MORE numbers: 643 fitness minutes! And I know that's underreported because I don't know how to track everything. Today alone was a 40 minute walk on the baylands, which was fabulous! A gorgeous blue sky day, cool breeze, dry path (I hate mud and it has been rainy). I have been doing all of my exercise myself, so it was a treat to walk with my partner. We saw a pair of huge brown jackrabbits, a couple of cranes or egrets, lots of geese (both flying overhead and in the water), a pair of unidentified hawks and, glorious, a redtail hawk!
We walked in one direction until my lower back started to object. Then we turned around and walked back to the car. I was still in great shape when we reached the gate. The last time we did that walk, I was practically crawling by the time we were in sight of the gate, so I was really pleased. Then we went shopping and I did my usual park-in-the-far-end of the parking lot and walked all over the place. I was walking faster than he was - and he is at least a foot taller than I am!
As we walked, I shared a deepening realization - Diet is no longer a good word in my vocabulary. This is a life change for me. If it were a diet, I would be deprived, negative and planning on going back to the old habits. Not so! I have not arrived, I have a long way to go, but I am not longer impatiently straining to reach the end.
Thanks to the enrichment and participation of my new SparkFriends and the education on the site and in the community, I've stuck with it and am developing the tools I need (both in resources and internally) so that this does become a lifestyle and not just another passing attempt.
More than that, with my SparkFriends connection, I am able to tap into the reservoir of humanity that has been stifled. I am able to reach out when I need to and also able to (hopefully) share some of the sunshine and encouragement that I have received. My heart is softened and grows with each new SparkFriend.
I am humbled by their lives, encouraged by their accomplishment and inspired by their stories. Their example keeps me going when I think I cannot possibly face one more minute of exercise, another glass of water or find the energy to plan a healthy meal.
Realistically, this journey is not a straight line. I cannot expect that every week or every month will be like these have been. I will hit plateaus, I may have days when I don't make the best decisions, I may even gain weight. I expect there will be days of soreness when I don't exercise, but none of that will make me throw in the towel.
My days of couch potato, of living as a spectator, of choosing the easiest or shortest route are ending. Just as I love to go to work because I can't wait to see what happens next, I can't wait to see what's around the bend on this journey! It won't end when I reach my goal weight, this journey does not end until I stop breathing. It is no longer about what the scale says, what the clothing tag is. Those metrics are important, but they no longer define me.
Let's see what the next 30 days bring!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
My friend in HI is on high ground and doesn't have to evacuate in preparation for the tsunami. My friend's family in Chile is safe, as far as we know. My brother in Japan is not yet having to do anything in preparation for a tsunami. That changes today's perspective, for certain.
But I have a lot to do:
reorganize the pantry
walking / explore exercises with resistence bands
possible purchase of running shoes
study for school next week
I am really looking forward to weighing and measuring tomorrow....
Saturday, February 27, 2010
After spending a couple of days studying the online menu for dinner tonight with my friend, eating very conservatively all day "just in case", I was still stumped because I was missing two bits of information: the nutritional information did not capture protein and I don't know exactly what "fat"means in the nutritional tracker on SP. Is it just Trans, Saturated, Mono, or a combination?
So I prepared myself and had a couple of ideas picked out before we got there. Oh, surprise! The menu at the restaurant did not match the menu online. I ended up having salmon (grilled) and had them hold the butter-lemon glaze, the veggies were supposed to be steamed, but I think they were sauted, the rice was supposed to be wild, but was white. A green side salad with a really yummy dressing on the side, which I hardly touched.
Feeling virtuous, I logged everything in when I got home and now understand why I feel hungry! I am still way under in every category. Time for a "fourth meal", but not as advertised.
But - I didn't give up and just order anything. I didn't go over because that would have been easy, I am proud of my preparation. I think that helped me make a good choice even with the menu curveball.
I felt very sore, stiff and unable to move all day. I walked around the office throughout the day, but did not burn a lot of time or calories doing so, so I did not log it in. Tomorrow is a new day and I will move!
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I'm in an inbetween stage. One size is so large, slacks don't stay up, the next size down is still a smidge tight. One of these days, I'll get a full length mirror so that I will know what I look like before I leave the house! I feel chunky and dumpy today!
I started the day off with a bang. Two glasses of water before I even left home and a brisk walk before I started work. At lunch, I took a shorter walk than usual, but I walked MUCH faster! I still felt like a turtle because some guy was walking normally ahead of me and the gap kept widening! But I definitely got my heart rate up! I also continued yesterday's use of the stairs. Amazingly, not much pain at all today! I am thrilled!
I got really hungry about an hour before lunch. Before SparkPeople came into my life, I would have shoveled crackers or some other carbohydrate in my mouth without thinking. Instead, I drank a little water (didn't help) and stayed busy. Then I took my walk and, by the time I treated myself to a frersh salad at the cafe (measured and I brought it to my desk and used my almost-free dressing), my hunger level had decreased considerably.
My life is going to become bifurcated by SparkPeople! Me before SP and me with SP! I am still at the beginning of this journey and I continue to marvel at it. I love seeing my points grow, I love seeing how close I can get every day to the midrange of my nutrition and, amazingly, I have exercise minutes!
Most of all, my SparkFriends keep me honest, keep me invigorated and keep me moving forward!
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Finding balance in food is sometimes a challenge. A friend wants to go to one of our favorite restaurants Friday night and this is a minefield of overload in every category! I went to their website and downloaded the nutritional info. I do have choices (very few) as long as I am mindful and don't eat a lot earlier in the day. I am mentally bracing myself for the temptations that I know are there. My other thought is, by my choices, I can be an example. She had lost over 100 lbs before I knew her and, since she came to take my old job at the company, the weight has started coming back.
I skipped the noon Toastmaster meeting today and had a great walk. I did a lot of walking today, but not all at once. I used the stairs a lot, so I may pay for it over the next few days. We had a company wide meeting in the afternoon and a couple of people commented about seeing me walk. I am surprised how, in such a short period of time, the walks have become a part of my day. Now if only that will happen with strength training...!
One of my Spark teams has a goal for each member to do something for themselves every day. Today, I actually did two. One was not having any snacks at the afternoon meeting. The other was going up to school tonight and dropping the class that has been such a struggle. I passed the midterm, but barely. Mathematically, there was no way I could get an A in the course. Most people don't understand how important this is to me and I cannot articulate it except to say I was an A. mostly B and always one C student in my previous life. My company is reimbursing me for this wonderful educational opportunity, there's a chance for some bonus money for a stellar transcript and there is pride. Yes, pride. At this late time in my life, for me to finish the program with 4.0 is something I REALLY want. I have worked very hard to carry that this far. I do feel a bit the failure for having to drop the class, but I also knew that not doing so would eat at me even worse. With my test anxiety in the class and the fact that the final exam is the only chance to get a better grade, I had no hope of getting the grade I want...
Doing something nice for myself does not come easily and, most days, I either forget about it or, if I do something, I forget to note it in my other goals. This again highlights the wonder of Sparkpeople - restoring all these aspects to my life is already making me a better person!
And I am already looking forward to stepping on the scale on Sunday and pulling out the tape measure! Even if the numbers are not what I want or expect, I know this has been a good week. My self esteem is not measured with inches and pounds. BUT the self esteeem is increasing as those others decrease, so the link is still there a little. The other part of that is that walking, eating a more balanced diet, getting water and being able to move and wear looser clothes are a wonderful motivation for keeping on track. (How's that for a run-on sentence!)
I usually post at lunch time, but it is the evening and it has been a full day. I hope everyone else's day has been just as varied, just as interesting and even more fun!
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