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Perfection Is Not The Goal

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I joined the 28 day challenge with high hopes and great ambition only to be laid low by the worst cold I have had in 3 years. I have yet to do one day of the video exercises or much else on the challenge. In the past, that would have been enough for me to give up. I would have said all kinds of unkind things to myself, things that I would not say to someone else or allow someone to say to themselves. The cold was made worse by a drug interaction and it will be a few more days before I get back into my full routine.

My wonderful SparkFriend Chaotickitty has been in a small funk since Christmas and her birthday. She has been far more disciplined or strict about her food intake than I have. To my way of thinking, perhaps too strict, but we each have to walk our own journey, so it would be wrong for me to judge her. She has been ready to throw in the towel both because of holidays, birthday, food in the house, a spouse who is not as strict with his food and she has had what sounds like just the same cold as I have had. In an attempt to encourage her, I posted a comment on her blog saying that perfection is not the goal, but progress is.

Striving for perfection is often admired in others. Too often, the pursuit of perfection becomes warped. Just as our sense of food portions gets distorted, so too striving for perfection leads us astray. Eventually, the perfection of the thing - whether it's being the best diver, the best writer, the best whatever is replaced with perfection of the process and the goal becomes elusive and unattainable. If not recalibrated, the true talents never reach their highest ability and that best seller never gets written, the promising athlete never reaches Olympic glory...

In my attempt to help Chaotickitty, I had to think about the role perfection has played in my life. This is not the forum to delve into events of childhoold, but suffice to say that if perfection was not achieved, the task was not worth doing - at least that is what I learned.
There was no point in learning how to do physical things because, with my handicap, they could never be done perfectly. There was no point in learning to do math because girls were not supposed to be good at it. But what does this have to do with my SP journey?

It means that I do not have to lose pounds as quickly as anyone else. I do not have to run marathons like everyone else. But it means I must figure out what my parameters really should be. It also means I need to push the boundaries that have been there all my life - test them to see if they really are valid or if they need to be reset. It means I need to know myself better than I presently do. I need to challenge my body, my heart, my mind. Exactly of what am I capable?

I will take up running again, I will continue to walk and I will work on strength training. I will continue the good eating and the water intake. And if there are days when I spike in carbs or calories, that does not mean I have failed. All it means is that life happens. The journey is part of the success and, as long as I have more days when I follow this path than not, progress continues. It is not all or nothing. It is an evolution from a couch potato, inactive unhealthy life to one full of energy, health and vibrancy.

I am not saying this well, but it is not any better to change slavery to sugar and fat to slavery to the numbers on a scale or calories. Life is richer and fuller than that and I aim to claim my piece of it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHAOTIC-KITTY 1/13/2011 8:26PM

  I wasn't concentrating on being perfect. I know that I am not perfect. It's just months and months of having less than 1,600 calories - and, then the holidays hit me like bricks & next thing you know it.. I am eating 2,000 calories every day for weeks. I was just frustrated!

But - now thank goodness I'm back on track.

Thanks for blogging about me. And, caring about me.


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ROX2013 1/13/2011 1:37AM

    I love this blog! We expect perfection in ourselves and then as you pointed out we can say I can't do that to perfection so there is no sense in doing it! It is the striving that is important not the perfection. It is a hard lesson for us to learn and even harder to take to heart! You are well on your way!! emoticon emoticon

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CMRAND54 1/12/2011 7:25PM

    I love this blog. It reminds me of something my mother once said. I was ironing and she was after me to hurry up. I told her, "If it's worth doing at all, it's worth doing well." She laughed and said, "There are a lot of things in life worth doing, even if they are not done well, and ironing handkerchiefs is one of them." I think of that often. It's not that we don't have to try. We should do the best we can, but we don't have to do things perfectly to be successful.

It sounds like you are getting things figured out and will do just fine!

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/12/2011 4:02PM

    "Pushing boundaries" and determining one's "parameters" sounds pretty stellar to me. That is really what it is all about in this journey, in life, in everything.

Boy - your epiphanies are groundbreaking and life-altering to say the very least. Um.. wow.

I am happy for you. You are clearly onto something - something very, very good.


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NEWHORIZONSR4ME 1/11/2011 11:56PM

    Exactly! The goal is to be healthy enough to live the life you dreamed. It is not to be a slave to the scale, or marathons, or SP. Just to slowly but surely replace poor habits with ones that allow us to live the life we have dreamed about. Good job for figuring that out and I think you said it quite well!

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MYSTERY4EVER 1/11/2011 11:15PM

    It has been hard for me to realize that perfection is not the goal; changing how I eat and exercise are the goals. It has been hard to give myself permission to go slowly

I hope this finds you feeling better.

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MISSY455 1/11/2011 10:57PM

    Loved the blog! I think you are right in that perfection can only, if ever, be maintained for short periods of time. We make ourselves crazy trying for perfection, and usually end up beating ourselves up or feeling guilty when we ultimately fail at it.

Not too long ago I read an article by one of the spark coaches, I can't say for sure which one, that basically said if we can do the right things 80% of the time we are doing okay. I try to shoot for that. It gives me one day every two weeks to flake on exercise or over-indulge on calories and still feel like I haven't undone all my hard work.

As you said, we all have to find our own path.

I hope you get to feeling better really soon!

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KAREBARE506 1/11/2011 10:26PM

    I love your blog post for today. Thanks for sharing.

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Please Pray for My SparkFriend Jhadzia

Monday, January 10, 2011

The light dawned late. On Saturday, I took a decongestant pill and a swig of cough syrup in an effort to beat this cold into submission. Generally, I take half of a normal dosage for even over the counter drugs such as these were. I had no such thought on Saturday and suspect that it was a combination of the "normal" dosage and the combination that left me loopy and nonfunctioning.

We had errands to do on Sunday, but I did not feel safe to get behind the wheel, so we stayed home. I still felt disconnected and "wobbly" today, so I came home after my noon Toastmaster meeting at the VA.

Somehow, I managed to get in 45 minutes of walking. Most of that had to be at the VA. They are doing construction and will be for years, so I park quite a distance away and walk to the building where the meetings are held. I look forward to the walk!

My SparkFriend Jhadzia is having elbow replacement surgery tomorrow. She has a severe and painful case of rhumatoid arthritis. It is unclear how much communication via typing she will be able to do and she posted something of a farewell blog this evening. I really hope this is not the end of our Spark friendship - my life is richer for knowing her, even if the relationship is just via the internet. I hope the surgery goes well, that her recovery is full and complete and that her arm and elbow work better than they did before and that she can continue being a part of my SP family...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMRAND54 1/11/2011 8:04PM

    Watch the mixing medicines. Sometimes you're better off without them. I hope everything goes well for your friend, and for you, too.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 1/11/2011 6:42PM

  Hope all is well with your SP friend. In my prayers.

Get better soon!!!

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 1/11/2011 3:31AM

    Be careful when mixing medicines, even over the counter ones. Definitely praying...

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KNITTABLES 1/11/2011 3:08AM

    I will be praying for our dear sweet friend, I wish her a speedy recovery. I do hope you feel better soon and get over your cold.

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BEAR_GURL 1/11/2011 2:21AM

    Stay strong and you can be sure she'll be in my prayers!



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BEAR_GURL 1/11/2011 2:20AM

    Stay strong and you can be sure she'll be in my prayers!



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RORYLYONS 1/10/2011 11:02PM

    Hope your feeling up to par soon..A prayer for your spark friend & keep those walks going... emoticon emoticon

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GETDONE 1/10/2011 9:53PM

    Keep up the good work----prayer sent for your friend

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Not Safe to Drive

Sunday, January 09, 2011

This cold is a doozy. I cannot walk straight, cannot think straight. I think the combination of the cold meds are not doing me any favors. I have taken nothing today and my head is still quite foggy. We had errands to do today, but I don't feel sharp enough to get behind the wheel, so I will have to do it tomorrow after work...I hate to do that, but I have no choice.

I've dropped another pound overnight. It's the cold and lack of appetitte. The weight will come back.

I worked at a company for almost 15 years and left it nearly 10 years ago when I got one of those unbelieveably good offers. But I kept in touch with Company #1 and was sad to see the company close its doors last March. One of my former coworkers just started a new job this week. He is flying to Australia for training! I am so happy for him, so thankful for his family that he got this job and a tiny bit jealous that he gets to go to Australia!

I am dizzy, so I will end it here...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMRAND54 1/10/2011 8:30PM

    Watch those meds! Sometimes I think they make things worse.

Australia would be fun, wouldn't it?

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MYSTERY4EVER 1/10/2011 3:03PM

    Oh, I hope this finds you feeling better. Take care of yourself.

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MISSY455 1/9/2011 9:53PM

    Any chance you have an ear infection or sinus infection rather than a cold? A cold shouldn't make you dizzy unless you are way under on your calories for the last few days. I hope you feel better really soon, if not maybe a trip to the doctor just to make sure it is just a cold.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 1/9/2011 6:12PM

  Australia are having floods now!

Hope you feel better soon... :(

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ROZELL99 1/9/2011 5:17PM

  I hope you feel better. Good luck.

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One Week Into the Year

Saturday, January 08, 2011

As I write this, the Jets have just beat the Colts and the Saints lost to the Seahawks earlier today. I feel like a jinx - the teams I like are losing! Actually, having lived in Alaska, the Seahawks are one of my teams, too, but I was rooting for the Saints because my VP is from Louisiana.

My cold has only worsened. I was wobbly today and did not move any more than I had to. I feel as if I had taken some knock out drugs or consumed a ton of alcohol, but I have done neither. This is a really weird cold!

The layoffs have continued and I don't know when it will be over, so I am not complacent at all. My boss has been sending a really strange vibe, but we have not talked about anything other than urgent business stuff so it will probably come up when I have my personnel review, which could be any time now. I just pray I am not on the layoff list.

No exercise today. I had planned to take a nice long walk today, but, being wobbly on my feet did not dare. I am well under on calories - no appetite. BF has the same cold so we have been coughing in unison...

Thanks to all of you who have commented on my blogs and on my page.
Prayers for those injured and for the families of those killed in the shooting in Arizona today...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMRAND54 1/9/2011 2:41PM

    Do you get your flu shot this winter? It almost sounds more like the flu than a cold. Either way, rest and stay hydrated.

I hope your job is not in jeopardy. It always sounds like you do a lot for your company, and they should appreciate that.


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CHAOTIC-KITTY 1/9/2011 12:28PM

  I hope you and your bf get over having the cold. Not fun at all. :(


Remember - PLENTY of fluids and REST. Nevermind your exercises. Exercises are for people who are NOT wobbly.

Don't mean to be like this.. BUT this is what you would say to me!! SOOOO!!! ;)



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BETTYBOO001 1/9/2011 12:02AM

    Sorry that you are not feeling your best but I believe you will be better soon. As far as the other lows in your life give your worries over to God otherwise its a sin. He and only he can handle it. Be of good cheer, feel better soon.

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ACIMPEGGY 1/8/2011 11:24PM

    Sweets, rest and get better then baby steps back toward exercise.

Be sure you are eating at least nearly the required allotments, though, cuz I'd think that could be the cause of your wobbliness (or pressure on your inner ear balance mechanism).

We have a new member of Toastmasters - an Area Captain.

You and BF get better quickly, please.


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Making Today a Success

Friday, January 07, 2011

"Making Today a Success" is my current status. When I posted that this morning, it was a comment of determination, not yet a statement of fact. This cold has really wrecked the beginning of the year for me. I hated taking 2 sick days in the first week of the year! I have not eaten much because the cold has taken away my appetite. One day, I would drink 12 glasses of water, the next, struggle to get 8 and then the next day another 12. Strange week.

So how was today a success? I got just over 8K steps in. I did some light strength training. I made it through the day at work and am ending the day on the low end of the nutrition metrics. Tomorrow is my weigh-in and I am curious to see what it will be. The kicker, though, will be to see how I do next week. I have noticed since starting SP nearly a year ago that I lose a little, gain a little, loose a little, gain a little, plateau for what feels like forever and so it takes a very long time for the loss to stick.

I spread the Spark to a friend at work. She wants to do some new diet that she's heard about. Something called the 17 day diet.

It was a very good day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMRAND54 1/8/2011 8:01PM

    I Spread the Spark too, today. The Blue Cross nurse called me to check up on my diabetes management and I told her about my 70 pound weight loss, and all the help I've gotten from Spark People. By the time we finished our conversation, she said she was going to join SP to work on her own health issues!

You are always such an inspiration to me, the way you meet challenges and don't give up. I'm confident you will do well next week as your nasty cold clears up.

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ROX2013 1/8/2011 12:36PM

    emoticon I hope your co worker is only trying to lose a few pounds. Those day diets etc always seem to set people up to fail. Hope she trys out sparkpeople and make the changes that will last forever. Losing is never easy especially when it comes to weight and habits. Have a great day!!

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JHADZHIA 1/8/2011 7:58AM

    I am glad you are getting better. I hope your co worker does give Spark a try before going on some fad diet. You appear to have a slower metabolism then even me.. Why don't you try going on the Spark Message Boards and see what people might suggest. You have to do it during work days though to get one of the Spark pros to answer. They aren't around on weekends.
Here is hoping this week is better for you

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MISSY455 1/8/2011 12:08AM

    Overall sounds like a very successful day! I hope the scale cooperates for you this week. I was trying to explain yesterday to my daughter the same two pound gain and loss I struggled with a few months ago, it was very frustrating. I knew I was doing all of the right things but the scale just refused to cooperate. I tried to remain consistent and feel like that is what finally paid off for me. She is now going through the same thing. Hang in there, keep doing what you know works and eventually the weight has to give up the fight.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 1/7/2011 10:11PM

    emoticonIt's always wonderful to hear when a Spark Friend has had a good day! I'm glad you're starting to feel better and can get back into your normal routine.
This year has not started off well, health-wise, for a lot of us. I'm hoping we've got the worst over and we'll all be healthy the rest of the year!

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