Saturday, January 29, 2011
Day one of my 2nd year on SP was stressful and exhausting. But, to put it in context, I have to recap the week.
The widow of our founder died early in the week. Then a senior scientist died while on vacation in Hawaii. I had done some work with him last fall. The new attorney starts next week in Charlotte. Another attorney gave his notice (his last day is next week) and they posted job ads for two attorneys. One will be in our Knoxville office. That attorney will work with my group. In that group, I am the only one still in California. The next day, a new job posting for a government contract negotiator was announced - also in Knoxville.
That posting brought me to tears because I thought, from my present position, that would be a natural path. My boss said I could apply, the company would not pay for me to move to Knoxville (I would have to) and he hinted that I am not experienced enough and am not what he is looking for. I will not apply.
Today, someone in my department was promoted to a senior contract negotiator position and, in that announcement was the statement that eventually all of the governmet contract work will be in Knoxville, including the audit function, which is what I support in California. There is no timetable, but I can read between the lines that, eventually, the work I do will be there. If the company won't move someone from CA to TN for a position more advanced than mine, doing so for my position is completely out of the question.
And I still have not heard a word about my application for the paralegal position. I am sure it's because of all these organizational changes (and there are more that are not in my group).
I came in this morning after a fourth consecutive night of not sleeping, emailed my boss and told him he could approve my timecard and listed my tasks for the day. Almost as soon as I hit "send", the chaos began. I did not get anything done on my list, but I was busy all day. Everything I touched required more research or work or time and it was very frustrating.
I had set a goal of 1500 minutes this month and will not make it. I was starting to work on getting upset and down about that and then realized that it is unrealistic. I was sick for a good part of the month and had very little energy. I give myself permission to miss that mark this time.
I have been HUNGRY the last few days, increasingly so. My food tracker tells me I am not eating enough. I have been ignoring that message for months. But the margin is getting to be significant. My goal is to burn 430 and I burned over 1200.
Reluctantly, I increased my nutritional range. We'll see how that goes. Last time I did that, I started gaining big time.
Whatever I accomplish this month is light years ahead of whatever I did last January. I signed up on SP a year ago yesterday, but it took me a while before I was on every day and really working it. I will enjoy challenging myself each month this year to do more than I did a year ago. Whatever my numbers were last February, they will be much better this February! This will be fun!
I suspect I will be tested on my assertion from yesterday's blog that this year will be about fitness and health and far less about the numbers on the scale and tape measure.
Please, if you have insights about changing nutrition metrics as you increased exercise, I am all ears!
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!
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