Thursday, September 27, 2012
I'm still learning, but I can feel myself getting closer. A BIG step for me is learning to set aside my all or nothing mentality and being content with doing my best everyday. Some days are better than others, but, thank God, each and every day is a new day to start fresh and most days I can see the successes and can build upon the healthy habits that I have been practicing.
I do so want to get to the point where I can say that I am happy with my weight and officially begin maintenance, but since the full onset of menopause, every ounce is a struggle, and where my hips and thighs ...and abs, of course, were previously always my hardest areas, that region has now spread to include my waist.
That's why I'm loving the At Goal & Maintaining + Tansistion to Maintenance Team here on Spark. I had lost 45 lbs with Spark, and then after fracturing my wrist, and without the motivation of consistently losing etc etc etc, I started to slide back into old habits and gained back nearly twenty pounds! Over half of that is gone and I may never see the lowest weight that I reached the first time, but I am learning to set goals that are not only acheivable, but that are MAINTAINABLE. Like we always say, this is a LIFESTYLE and I want to be able to keep it up for LIFE. With the help of all of you Sparkfriends and this ever improving program, I will!!!
Sunday, September 23, 2012
This is not a part of the blogging challenge. In fact, I was just finishing up tallying my abismal performance eating today....the worst day in a LONG time....and thinking that, well, tomorrow is another day and I am very glad this is not a race. I clicked over to my spark points and saw that also, for the first time in a long time I managed to rack up 100 spark points today - that almost NEVER happens. I figured that I must have hit some kind of message board post or 30 days active bonus, so I scrolled down and saw that TODAY, I have been sparking for 1000 DAYS!!!
1000 days ago, if you had told me that I would still be checking in daily (or nearly so), still recording my food and exercise, still blogging and reading and participating in challenges, and measuring and setting goals etc etc etc, I would have fallen over in laughter. After all, at 177 lbs, I only had a couple of pounds to lose! Well, I lost those, and about 40 more - and, sure, I gain a few back, but they are almost gone again and you know what? I lost a lot more, I lost the need to turn to food everytime I'm bored or frustrated or angry or tired or sad. I lost the victim mentality that kept telling me I couldn't change. And, I gained, better health, self-esteem, interests, friends and a drive to share what I have come to cherish and a better way to live. Everyday, still, I learn something new, achieve a new goal or fine tune another aspect of this new lifestyle....and all along, I have a bounty of wonderful Sparkfriends, many of which I have now met, and some I have only come to know in this little cyber universe, but all have enriched my life. So, in honest reflection, I'm sure there are more than 1000 reasons that I love Spark. It is all of them and all of you that have me looking forward to the next 1000!!!!!!
Sunday, September 23, 2012
As with any of my goals at this point of my journey, consistency is what I am striving for. When I first joined Spark, it was easy to center my life around food, tracking and fitness.....but, as the months (and years!) have passes, I have come to recognize that consistency is what will allow me to maintain my weight loss. This has required me to get very honest with myself, to let go of some of the perfectionistic tendencies, the all or nothing attitude and to persue balance and realistic goals. I would love to say that I manage to get in at least 10 mins of fitness everyday, but that simply isn't the case. Right now, I am managing to do fitness five out of seven days with at least two of those days being for over and hour to an hour and a half. In an effort to try to regulate my schedule and shoot for more consistency in this area, I am disciplining myself to make sure that I get 7+ hours of sleep a night and that I ban the use of the snooze alarm. So far, for the last three weeks, I am almost at 100% on the no snooze streak and the sleeping project is improved. The work schedule is making it tough and I am having to practice self disciple about staying off the computer too late, but I am making progress. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I will have a routine in place to insure that I get a minimum of 15 mins fitness EVERYDAY. Reality - and living there - now THAT'S A GOAL!!!
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The past couple of weeks have been hectic (as usual), but also stressful, to say the least. With my sister's recurrence of cancer, my friend losing her 18 y/o son and my boss being transferred and the work situation falling apart, I am grateful to have been able to avoid the stress eating during this time. I even managed to drop another couple pounds. I think the run yesterday (my longest of the year so far) helped to jump start the loss and to jump start my mood as well. I was supposed to meet up with a friend, but she cancelled. I went anyway and ran for and hour and 15 or so minutes.....by myself! Got three estimates for tires. Still had tread left, but they were starting to rot. Went to a Goodwill and got a couple really cute skirts, a blouse a couple of tanks and a duster and some workout clothes so that I can wait a week before washing if need be - not all of them are as matchy matchy as what alot of people at the gym were, but they fit and will be clean and that is all that really matters. Then I went to the local running store for a girls night out event. Won a sweatshirt and picked up a hand held water bottle and got a killer deal on a pair of Asics arm warmers ($11)!!! When I got home, I had a call from a friend from church who was inquiring if I would be interested in going to work for her company. I explained that I needed full time and benefits and she said that the business has really been growing and to submit y resume with salary requirements. It would be office work with regular hours, so there's no harm in send off the resume. Will work on that this weekend.
Today was work from 7-4 and got the tires done on lunch. Skipped the gym, but got dinner cooked, the fridge cleaned out, some Sparking caught up and will do some catch up reading before I hit the bed. Gonna wrap this up though so I can get that reading done and still get to sleep at a decent hour since I'll be back up at 5AM for work 7-4 and hopefully a run with a running buddy right after work.
I have noticed that I am being much more forgiving of myself and not trying to keep up with what everyone else is managing to do. I am doing the best I can to be the best I can be. If that means I am not as perfect as I think I should be in some areas, that's okay. Those are goals to shoot for and I don't have to be perfect, I just need to keep aiming for them.
Guess that's a new lesson......nearly 3 years in, and one that I need to keeping working on if this is going to be a lifestyle change for good. This maintenance thing is tough, but it is so worth it. If I can only learn to see past the numbers on the scale, without losing sight of them, toward all of the other goals that are out there, I will continue to make myself into the best me possible.
Spark Strong friends....thanks for allowing me to ramble.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
What eating "plan" do I follow? I try to stay withing my Spark Range (calories, carbs, fat and protein) and have been doing quite well since I started tracking again. Most days I am toward the bottom or middle, but on special days or if I am in situations where I don't have as much control over the food, I may tend toward the higher end. I don't think I've gone over except in one category one or two days in the past couple of months. I also track my calcium, fiber and iron and try to stay in range or as close to it as possible. I usually do well on the fiber since I try to eat 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies everyday and most days I get my calcium (plus I do take a supplement since osteoporosis runs deep in my family). My biggest challenge is getting enough iron, but there is also iron in my multi -vitamin. Good thing I like spinach in my smoothies!!! Other than that, I try to limit sugars since they will throw me into a binge faster than anything. Also, I prefer to make as much from scratch as possible, but I don't do too much baking, so wraps etc usually come from the store. Lots of fruits and veggies, as I mentioned, lean protein and I use peanut flour to make my own peanut "butter". The peanut flour is made from partially defatted peanuts that are literally ground into a flour that I mix with water and a touch of salt and sweetner. Very high in protein, lower in fat and that helps me keep my protein up and is an awesome dip for my fruits and veggies. It also makes a great snack on a low cal piece of toast, deli flat etc w/banana, chocolate (sugar free) etc etc etc. Excellent in the smoothies too! It is definitely one of my staples.
I still have a way to go (8 or so pounds) before I hit the goal weight I want to maintain, and I have not amped up my fitness burn to the point I want it - it is getting harder too, since the better shape I am in, the lower my heart rate, and the fewer calories I am burning. I am really appreciating the benefits of the pilates, yoga and ST I have been doing, but there is not even the calorie burn that Spark says I should be getting, so I need to find time to amp up the cardio.
Anyone know how to add another hour or so to each day? LOL!!!
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