Friday, January 28, 2011
When I started on SparkPeople a year ago today, a year seemed an impossibly long time. Then, I was so overwhelmed by the richness of the site that I did not even log in every day, let alone earn every possible point and sponge in every fact I could. Then, I was not thinking about lifestyle, even though I knew intellectually that is what it would take. Then, I thought I would be at goal weight now or at least almost there.
Little did I know
That 11 coworkers/teacher/friends would die last year
That I would experience the longest plateau in my life
That I had to unlearn everything I thought I knew about exercise, nutrition and weight loss and re-educate myself.
That I would make friends and find a community and that these friends and this community would enrich my life and my journey in wonderful ways
(I donít have to be tough and do it alone.)
That my mission to drop tonnage would morph into a lifestyle journey
(Not that I have arrived, which is the point)
That I was more than an emotional eater, stress was a huge trigger, and so was boredom (Does that mean I was an equal opportunity eater?! Yes)
That, because of the influence of SP, I would start to take better care of me
(More still to be done)
The head knowledge would trickle into my heart so that I am now starting to believe
That the journey is saving my life
(not to mention improve the quality of said life)
I no longer give the scale power to govern how I feel about the fact that it has given me at that moment. It is, after all, a snapshot of a moment in time. Yes, I know I am not anywhere close to where I thought I would be now in terms of pounds lost, but that does not mean I am a failure. It means that I have some truths to face. I still donít like to exercise and until I can make that change, the loss will be slower. And, wow, is this hard to put on paper, I am physically challenged and I do have to admit I have limitations that most people do not. I am also middle-aged (picture me looking over my shoulder Ė who are they talking about?!).
This is not a linear journey. Not only have I lost pounds, I have changed how I eat, I have added exercise to my daily (mostly daily) life.
Fun along the way:
walks along the wetlands and the hills around work
hiking Pinnacles National Monument with a friend and her surprise that I could hike it better than she could!
The charity walk which was something I had never done before and I will do again
While I still hate to exercise when someone can see me, I have no problem walking in front of anyone!
I like the elliptical~ I can't wait until I can last on it for longer than 2 minutes.
I changed from 2% to nonfat milk, from Pop tarts to high fiber cereal, from primarily carbs to balanced food. I've even made lowfat Mozzarella cheese my primary cheese AND I measure it! I prefer my high fiber cereal to the doughnuts and bagels that still show up uninvited.
As I stand on threshold of my second SparkPeople year, I know the year will be a lot like last year in many ways. I will lose weight (slowly, most likely), I may hit a plateau or several and there may be days when the temptation to give in to stress/emotions/boredom/whatever eating consumes the day. But it is unlikely that such a day would represent the massive calorie load it would have in the past. And, should that happen, it will be like stubbing my toe in the sidewalk crack. Even if I fall all the way down, I will get back up again. (I have lots of experience, so this analogy could go on for a while!)
This year will be about getting fit and choosing health and less about the numbers on the scale and tape measure. I feel less guilt about an occasional dietary transgression than I do about exercise. WOW! I still have couch potato days and, even on active days, I know I should do more.
This year, the focus is on fitness minutes. I will walk and will start running.
This year, the focus is on strength training. I will keep working on this until it is fully integrated into my fitness routine. Last night, I had a very vivid dream that I used Kettlebells regularly, that I was good at it, that I liked it. I am so far from that now, but it is no longer in the realm of impossibility! WOW!
IF I get the promotion, my reward is the Wii Fit. What?! Not books! Not a meal out!
Not some other sedentary thing or activity?! Who is this person?!
I wish I could talk to Chris Downie and thank him for SparkPeople. He has given me LIFE! This last year has been a year of living and is so different from the previous decades of existence. I wish I could thank the entire team, the IT folks, all the support staff. All of them have created an opportunity that truly is priceless. How else could I have "met" my SparkFriends, discovered that I am not alone in my struggles (I knew this in my head but not in my heart) and learned to love complete strangers, logging in to see what kind of day my friends are having, waiting to hear about a marathon, a job interview, a loved cat....
Mahalo / thank you / tusen takk / gracias / merci to all of you. Without your contributions, I would not be here to mark the day.
I love you. I love SparkPeople. I like me!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
On the heels of yesterday's news about the death of our founder's widow, I came in to work today to find an email announcing that one of our longtime scientists died Saturday while on vacation in Hawaii. I could not get it out of my mind. It's a huge loss for the company, a painful sorrow for friends and an incomprehensible loss for his family.
My last interactions with Chuck were a couple of months ago when we had some technical conversations, background to some research he did and wrote about years ago. I was impressed by the depth of his knowledge, his ability to explain the technology to a layperson (me) and his extensive knowledge of the history of the company.
Rest in peace, Chuck. You will be missed on many levels. I will pray for your family.
I did not get to take a nice long walk at lunch and I chose not to do so when I had a break between work and Toastmaster officer training. Surprisingly, I got in over 10K steps anyway and some very light ST. I am ending the day on the lower end of nutrition.
I found out that the attorney who was originally going to be supervising the paralegal is now not owning that responsibility. It turns out that my former boss will be handling it. I think he is fabulous, but I am not 100% sure the feeling is reciprocated. I also found out that someone else within the company has applied. Supposedly, I know who this is, but I don't! (The attorney who was the original supervisor told me that.) I am not dwelling on it - no point in doing so since the whole thing is out of my control, but I certainly am curious.
The Toastmaster officer training was hosted by a fancy high tech company's club. Nice facility. I found the training to be both simplistic and alarming. I am not sure I should be club secretary! I missed one meeting already this year, so my record is incomplete. (I did not know I was supposed to maintain notes about meetings - I thought it was only for officer meetings!) I will, of course, continue, but it is a bit more involved than I anticipated.
I wore PXL slacks today (Petite Extra Large) and I really should donate them! Woohoo!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Not much to say tonight, which is kind of odd.
What did I do today?
I walked for 53 minutes which included a different walk at lunch time. I walked a different direction so, while it was not quite as long as yesterday's walk, I felt the work because of the hills. I know it raised my heart rate, but I still have a way to go before I reach what SP calls the target heart rate for cardio. (Almost a year on the site and I am still not there yet!).
I came home and did some strength training and I feel that, too.
The food is within range, with dinner still to occur, and the water is covered.
There are a few things I can share that do give me something to say.
There are now two openings for attorneys where I work. One is to replace an attorney who gave his notice last week and the other is to add an attorney in our Knoxville office. Our newest attorney starts next week (she is replacing the one who was let go in December). With all that and with the company's notoriously slow action on responding to internal applications, I have not heard anything about my application for the paralegal position. I know there are reasons why they might not hire me, but there are also reasons why they should. My insecurity creeps in and I fear that I will not be seriously considered. If I don't even get an interview, does that mean I should take the hint and start job hunting?
I need to drop a lot of weight soon if I do need to job hunt. I don't have the wardrobe to do that and I can't spend nor do I want to replace this size. I would like to defer wardrobe spending until more pounds are history!
My company's founder died in 2007 at the age of 95. He was in the office the day before he died. We had a party for him at his 90th and 95th birthdays. Someone asked what he had to say about his longevity. He said that, had he known he was going to live so long, he would have taken better care of himself. By the end of his life, he used a walker and was in a lot of pain due to zero cartilage in his knees. He was a real inspiration to me. How could I complain about how I feel at my age when he was still active and contributing and working at 95? I am still in awe of his intellect, his humor and his humanity. He started the company after a full life as a teacher, as a nuclear engineer and was already a grandfather! I love the story about him trying to join the military at the outbreak of WW II. The recruiter asked him what he did and when he said something about nuclear energy, the recruiter sent him home saying "you can do more for us at your job." His patented design for cooling nuclear fuel in power plants is still in use in some countries.
His widow died this weekend at 94. I walked past his portrait several times today and all I could think is that they are now reunited in Heaven. I don't know exactly, but I am sure they were married for over 50 years. Their anniversary falls on my birthday (though they were married years before). The company is sending flowers and I sent a card to their daughter. I met her at his memorial service and we spoke briefly. Oddly, I had been thinking of his widow a lot in the past few days. Now I know why.
Monday, January 24, 2011
65 - minutes walked today (not all at once)
02 - mintes on the elliptical (!)
06 - strength training exercises
05 / 02 hip flexor time without help
I can do hip flexors all day long as long as I have at least a finger touching the wall. Standing on my right leg, I can last 5 seconds without help. Standing on my left leg, I can last 2 seconds on a good day without help. I will keep working on this balance exercise.
My legs felt like jello after the 2 minutes on the elliptical. It sets for a minimum of 20 minutes - it will take me a while to work up to that!
I am feeling pretty chunky, but I am not going to focus on THAT number (scale) right now. I am going to keep moving forward (literally and figuratively) and work on building up my energy (I still am TIRED after this month of blah!)
THANK YOU for all the support and encouragement. I really appreciate it!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
A migraine threatened all day. Again, I did nothing productive. I am a bit down. I am tired of tracking food, of exercising, of the journey. I hope the mood passes very soon. I gave in and ate way over today. I am not particularly depressed, angry or upset, just beaten down.
Thank you, SparkFriends, who have posted comments and sent goodies. You are a lifeline!
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