Sunday, March 16, 2014
I was going to call this blog Belated February Assessment, March Update and Goals. Because that's what I was going to do. But I changed my mind. Given the stresses of the past weeks and in keeping with the reminder that life is truly and really quite short, I decided to go big! In the end, what do we really have? I am working on keeping things in perspective.
My younger son came home from a visit with his father a couple weeks and told me that his dad was pretty sick, and over the next couple weeks, the news just got worse and worse. It turns out he needs triple bypass heart surgery, an aortic aneurysm repaired and a lot of arterial blockage in his legs bypassed. We are all struggling with this. I feel so sad for him and for my two grown sons, who are scared they are going to lose their father. Iím trying to help as much as I can and be there for my sons. Itís not really a surprise, since he is such a heavy smoker, but just so sad that itís come to this. Hopefully he will make it through the surgeries and go on to live a healthier life. Both of our sons have been there for their dad and the younger one who lives with me has been amazing, going to doctorís appointments with him, asking the questions that need to be asked, scheduling appointments and the surgery and just being with him. His surgery is scheduled for Friday and weíll find out tomorrow what the recovery is.
Most important to me is to be there for my sons, give them the support and the love they need to make it through this as best they can, whatever happens. I also want to support their dad. Even though we haven't been married for a long time, I still care about him and hate that this is happening to him. However much it is self-inflicted.
While Iím trying to keep up with everything, I have not been as disciplined as I might have been otherwise. My girlfriends and I bagged our half marathon, partly because one of them got a concussion and couldnít run, partly because of everything going on here Ė I wasnít sure of the timing of everything and didnít want to be out of town for two days. So instead if the race, my girlfriends and I had a spa day yesterday (massages and dinner) and that was good. I am so blessed to have such good friends. Just so lucky.
And while I had been fairly good about staying with the program up until he week before last, this completely threw me. Iím ready to recommit now, though. Iím not going to do a blow by blow assessment of the past 6 weeks, but I will get back to that next month. For now, Iím going to work on the goals I laid out for February, working out, eating well. I want to be the strongest person I can be, so I can do the things I need to do. And always remember to be in the moment and take all the joy I can from this life Iíve been given.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
This week was even better than last week with consumption Ė I was more consistent about staying in my range and I averaged around 1500 calories a day. Thatís been my general goal, and since I am burning around 2400 calories, I hope to see some results. Didnít hop on the scale like I usually do on Saturday morning, but I feel like my jeans fit better than they did last week. If I donít see any loss, Iíll adjust the calories down, but I have to say, I am feeling pretty good. And I think itís because I was able to control my consumption. And that self control felt really good.
I wasnít quite as disciplined about exercise. I did get all my training runs done Ė 21 miles in all Ė but I didnít do any strength training. I did yoga once.
Next week I will exert the same self control over my exercise and activity as I did with my consumption this week.
I started reading a book about will power and itís pretty interesting. The author maintains that while will power was a very popular concept in the Victorian era and thought to be a critical element of a healthy personality, the idea that we were actually in control of ourselves foundered in the 20th century in Western culture, with the advent of the behavioralists like B.F. Skinner who essentially believed that people could be trained to behave and perform in certain ways, regardless of their willingness to do so. This flew in the face of the idea of free will. Eventually, the idea of will power was replaced with the concept of self esteem and the culture readily accepted that idea. This fit in well with the 60ís ethos ďif it feels good, do itĒ and ďIím ok, youíre ok."
Iím not sure I am willing to accept all of this. But I do think that in our education system, teaching will power and self control do not seem to be emphasized as highly as the promotion of self esteem. Thatís always bothered me, since it seems backwards to me to promote self esteem as separate from accomplishments and values. You feel good about yourself because youíve mastered a skill, achieved a goal, developed good values (kindness, fairness, etc.), rather than the reverse. And accomplishing and achieving have everything to do with discipline, self control and will power. Essentially, delaying immediate gratification for future rewards.
And I think this is a part of what many of us on Spark are here to do...support each other to develop self control and exercise our will power in order to achieve our goals. Definitely a running theme! This author believes that will power is like a muscle, which can be developed and strengthened, so I am looking forward to learning more.
Here's hoping all my Sparkling friends have a wonderful Sunday and a productive week!
Thursday, February 13, 2014
This week has been much better in terms of staying on track with calories. Why? I set my mind to it. Stayed focus on my goals. If I want this, I canít have that. That simple.
Now, Iím not necessarily saying easy ... But still simple! And it helped that after gaining a couple pounds at the end of last week, it came back down and then some after my long run on the weekend. Success always gives me that little extra inspiration!
I have a nice dinner planned for tomorrow for my BF. Seafood risotto, molten chocolate cake and he is bringing a bottle of wine. Iím really looking forward to it! I donít enjoy going out for dinner on Valentineís day, having worked in many restaurants and owning one (no longer, thank God!) it gives me no pleasure to be in a restaurant on those big special occasion nights Ė too many expectations, too much stress. So I think tomorrow will be nice. A little less breakfast and lunch and a really nice dinner Ė it will be worth it!
So, happy Valentineís Day to all of my Sparkfriends! Enjoy!
Sunday, February 09, 2014
Just a quick reminder to myself that I can find all kinds of loopholes and excuses for doing the things I know are not taking me in the direction I want to go, but at the end the day (or week, in this case) there are specific measures that will let me know whether I am achieving my goals. And what one of those measures - my trusty scale - told me this week was "sorry Kristin, I know you were under a lot of stress but the bottom line is that you can't eat 4 big tasty cookies and drink a glass or two of wine 4 nights out of 7 and expect to lose weight. Or even maintain."
Thank you, scale, for that reality check. I resolve to do better next week.
I commit to holding the calories down and eliminating or drastically reducing the empty calories in sweets and alcohol. I will eat healthy salads and vegetables and lean meats and other good sources of protein. I can do that.
I will find other ways of dealing with stress, like mediation, music and mindfulness.
But I have to say that even with this blip (and I do think itís a blip, even if it wiped out almost all the gains Iíve made this year), this week had some really good outcomes that give me hope for the future. Some long term work problems were resolved: I will have a new boss next week who will be a much better fit for me in terms of management style. I was able to navigate that without creating enemies (at least that is my true hope and belief!). The major project Iím working on is more solid footing, and our leadership made it clear to a number of naysayers and faultfinders this is my project and I have their full confidence.
I also got some good feedback on how to improve and do better, which is something that I am happy to say that I am able to seek out and accept. This hasnít always been the case. And I have great hopes that I will actually be able to follow it. (More on that later.)
So, now I am off for my long run/walk. 10 miles. I can do this!
Have a wonderful day, my friends!
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Itís been a challenging week and I am having a hard time sticking to my plan. Exercise is almost on track but food not so much. Kind of a maintenance mode of eating so hopefully will not gain but definitely not losing this week.
I had a pretty stressful day on Tuesday at work Ė a big meeting with lots of conflict and frankly most of it unnecessary. My boss was fantastic and totally backed me up, which was excellent. It turned out pretty well, but I wasnít able to stay away from the cookies. Which I provided! If youíre going to force people to sit through a 3 hour meeting, you have to give them something, and I donít think fruit is an option from our cafeteria/caterer. But if it happens again, I'll try to make that happen. I also went out three days this week after work, 2 of them half social, half work. Not the best formula for success during a stressful week.
BF is helpful in terms of encouraging healthy eating and we are both focusing on cutting back on alcohol, but we both like a nice glass of wine. So, still room for improvement.
Iím going to redouble my efforts tomorrow and over the weekend. Exercise wasnít bad, only missed one morning. Iím planning to do the run tomorrow that I should have done tonight, and yoga and a long run over the weekend. And shopping with my best friend! Not planning to buy any clothes, but trying them on always inspires me to work a little harder on my plan.
Iím also planning to get my little studio space in order and drawing or painting just a little bit on Sunday. I was doing a lot of painting last year and I want to get back to it. I have a few paintings I need to finish but I donít think Iíll start with those. I need to get back into the mood. I gave my favorite painting to my BF for his birthday and he loved it. Made me very happy.
I got a book about willpower and will let you all know what I learn!
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