Friday, September 14, 2012
When I first started on this journey (at 177 lbs) just to lose a few pounds, my sister and I had both thought it would be a good idea to take off some weight. I found Spark and immediately started working the steps. My sis, however, never did jump on the bandwagon. At first, as I started to lose weight, I really didn't share this with anyone else. I guess I was afraid of what people would say or think when I failed. Yes, WHEN I failed, because I ws pretty certain that I couldn't do this. About 15 pounds or so in though, people began to notice, so I shared what I was doing. A few people even made some half-hearted efforts to join me, but they quickly lost interest. At that time, though, I still had the affirmations from others and my sister was still supportive, if not really on board. As I got to my initial goal though and reset to a little lower goal, sis started to become, in a way resentful...even to the point of trying to sabotage my efforts. Over the months, shse doesn't do that quite so often, but still, she would like me to join her chow fests, that just isn't going to happen....at least only on rare occasions if it does
Which leads me to my weight loss fear. It really isn't so much a weight LOSS fear, but more a maintenance fear. I've lost weight before, and even maintained for a year or two, but inevitably the weight would creep back on. Sometimes more slowly and sometime more quickly, but, even this time, after breaking my wrist last winter, I quit doing any fitness or tracking etc etc etc and you know the story. I put back on 20 pounds of the weight I had taken off. Thankfully, I never abandoned Soark and have managed to get back on track and lose half of that. So I will continue till I get to a point that I feel is realistic for me to maintain and then allow myself a 5 pound buffer up or down. The At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Team....http://teams.sparkpeople.com/maint
The journey doesn't end just because you reach a goal weight. In fact, that's when the HARD work begins. Keeping it off is my greatest fear, and there are lots of wonderful, helpful, encouraging Sparkers who have maintained their weight loss for years and even decades. One day, I will be one of THEM.
So, that's my story - or at least this part of it. Stay tuned & Spark STRONG!
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
This is going to be a bit of a combination of two topics...sort of an attempt to catch up on the blog challenge list. It's been a bit of a rough week. Scale is stuck, but that's okay, for now. Nutrition has been really good except one day and even that was in range, so, I know that if I keep doing what I've been doing, the scale will catch up eventually.
I began my journey on Sparkpeople 1/2010 at 177 pounds. My waist was 36.25", hips were 43" and had a BMI of 27.7 - I knew I needed to lose a few pounds, but I really didn't think that I would ever see the 147 pounds that Spark had set as a goal for me. I struggled to make that weight when I was in my late teens joining the Army. At nearly 50, I thought there was no chance...and besides, I didn't think I looked THAT BAD!!!
I started doing some exercise videos and even did a little walking on my sister's treadmill, but even the little fitness I tried to do would make my knees swell up like balloons and I had to wear a knee brace and couldn't walk a mile in 20 minutes.
Lo and behold though, I eventually started to run. Walking was just too boring and took to long. I still had to wear the knee brace, but as I kept running, and the weight kept coming off, my knees kept getting stronger. Before long, it looked like I might actually make my goal weight and I set a new goal for myself. To run a 5K before I turned 50 (in Nov 2010). I registered for a 5K to be held on Oct 3rd, 2010. I would never have imagined how a little encouragement, education and perseverance would pay off! May 8th, I actually ran my first 5K - it was fast, or pretty, but I ran every step and IT FELT GREAT!!! I was hooked! (and I weighed 147 lbs! waist 31", hips 39" and a BMI 22.5!!!) WOOHOO!
But, what to do then, I still had that race to do in Oct? Well, I figured that it wasn't as hard as I thought to hit my Spark goal, so I adjusted it down to 140 and by my 2nd 5K (that July), I weighed 139, waist 30" hips 37.5" and BMI of 21.7.
By Oct after yet another adjustment to 135, I was at 133, waist 28.5, hips 37 and BMI of 20.2.
Winter took it's toll....I still haven't learned to run outside in the cold Chicago winter and the weight crept up a bit. I almost hit 140, but then I finally bit the bullet, joined the local gym and the weight came back off. By March I was back in the low 130's and by the time I could run outside again even dropped down below 130!!! I don't think I'd weighed that since maybe my Freshman year of high school. I did pretty well all year maintaining and training for my first (and second) half marathons. Even gaining a couple pounds but sticking within a couple pounds either side of 135. I kept running and when the weather got just too cold, kept going to the gym and found other activities to stay active.
Then, that winter of 2011, just before the holidays, I fell, HARD, coming off the roller skating rink and broke my wrist. The pity party wagon picked me up and I camped on it for WAY TO LONG! Weight started climbing and by the time I could get outside to run, I had lost all my motivation. Weight continued to climb and then, by the grace of God, I got involved with a non-profit that took people from a homeless/transitional living facility and we led them through a modified C25K program. It took all summer long for the balance to return to my healthy living lifestyle, but as of now I have gotten back down to under 145 (after climbing up to as high as 154. My waist which had swollen up to 35.5 is down to 33.25, hips from 40.5 to 39 and BMI frin 24.9 to 23.37
I have a way to go, and it is slower going this time around, but I have learned an invaluable lesson and that is to NEVER let that happen again. I WILL see 135 again and I think I will leave that as my permanent goal weight with a 5 pound buffer to either side. Of course no telling for sure, but my major goal is to get my running speed back down and shape up again. I had almost gotten to a 30 min 5K, so that is my first fitness goal. The plan is to learn to run further into the winter. I have joined up with another running group of more experienced runners who are very kind and patient and will hopefully learn lots from them. In fact, tonight was my first trail run ever. Very gentle, but one more step forward none the less.
So, that's my story and this has been blog number two. Next installment? Sharing goals and fears about weight loss....stay tuned and spark strong friends!
KUDOS TO ALL OF YOU WHO MADE IT THROUGH THAT NOVEL!!!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Okay, here I go.....I haven't done this in a while, but I really feel that I am starting to get myself back on track, and, when I was doing my "Sparking Best" I was blogging. Not necessarily everyday, but almost. Then, I got complacent (and too busy - a good indication of priorities) and I blogged less and less and then not at all. For months. Now, don't get me wrong, I was getting other priorities in order, which had slipped, but it will be a never ending battle to keep the balance, but my health needs to stay nearer the top of the list. Over the winter and into the spring, after breaking my wrist and milking THAT excuse for as long as I could, I gained back 15 to 20 pounds of the 45 or so that I had lost. It was really hard to admit this to myself, but one look at my ever thickening waist brought me to reality. Harder yet was laying down the sugar, picking up the tracker and many of the other habits that I once had in place. So far, I have lost 9 of those pounds that crept back on and I am becoming much better about my sleep, my no snooze rule, getting in fitness etc etc etc. I'm not to the level I once was, but I am also realizing that I have to be a little more forgiving and balanced and though that may slow my efforts, my life WILL remain more balanced. Yes, my health is very important to me, but that includes my spiritual, emotional and physical health. I am learning to make time for all of these. Time for family, time for friends, time for eating, time for working out, time for quiet, time for sleep, time for work, time for play......like I said, it will always be a balancing act, but overcoming my perfectionistic all or nothing mentality is just another step to making this my LIFEstyle.
So, there you have it. My reintroduction to the blog. As a part of this challenge, I will be working my way through a series of questions in an effort to let you get to know more about me and my journey....maybe I will even learn something new about myself! You may not see a blog everyday, in fact, I can guarantee that! But, I have set a goal of blogging 5 out of 7 days and I WILL be forgiving of myself if I miss that goal by a day or two. It's progress, right, not perfection.
Here's to another big step forward.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
It's been a struggle getting back on track strongly, and, since this is a lifestyle, I'm sure that I'll have small setbacks along the way again. The next time, I will know not to let a small setback turn into a major downward slide.
It's been HOT here....hit 101 degrees today. Last night I wasn't even sure if I would be able (or willing) to get in both of my runs today. I thought twice about it again this morning. I know, though, that given my insane schedule, that if I didn't get it done today, my next opportunity wouldn't be till Sat. Tomorrow is booked from 7AM-10PM and then Fri 7-4 at work and then abs class and group strength.
Life is hectic to say the least, but I'm learning to work in the healthy eating and moving where and when I can. It must be starting to work, because the numbers on the scale are starting to move and better yet, the clothes are not so tight. Still have a way to go to get back to where I was this time last year, but, I did it before and I WILL do it again.
On top of it all - got over 100 Sparkpoints for the first time in a lonnnng time today!
Now, off to bed -
Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Balance has never been an easy thing for me. I guess you would call me an "All or Nothing" kinda gal. All my life, that mentality has lead me to avoid things I couldn't do perfectly, resulting in being perfect only in the art of procrastination and missing out on a great deal of life. Hence, when I found Spark, it stood to reason that although I didn't do it "perfectly", I but an immense amount of time and effort and energy into losing weight and getting healthy and was quite successful. I pushed and pushed and in a year and a half, lost 45-50 lbs, went from not being able to walk a mile in twenty minutes to being able to complete several 5 and 10 K races and two half marathons.....
Then "IT" happened. What was "IT"? Burnout ... obligations ... work ... family ... injury .......... OR ........... JUST LIFE!?!?! I think "it" started with my first half last year. I trained, hard, or at least as hard as I could with obligations to care for a disable family member, work, church obligations yada, yada, yada. I even had to let some of the other activities, and friends I live get put on the back burner to prepare for the endeavor, but it was a goal I had set and I was out to do it the best I could. Well, no, not really.....the best I could wasn't necessarily good enough. I had specific goals and whether or not they were realistic wasn't important. I set myself up and when I didn't do as well as I had wanted, I felt not the joy of accomplishing something I never thought a year and a half before that I could ever attempt, I felt defeat. That didn't destroy me, but it did put a chink in my amour. I still had a second race to prepare for, and prepare I did. I did learn for my first attempt and did better at the second. Much better! I felt myself gaining back the ground that I thought I had lost, then, I broke my wrist! That was my straw....pity crept in, and brought with it the old "I cant's".
That season was not without it's lessons. It gave me the opportunity to put back into place some of the other parts of my life that got put on the back burner. The difficult part is now to reincorporate the healthy lifestyle that I had once embraced so whole heartedly without letting it become my WHOLE life. I am learning to live healthy in order to LIVE LIFE. Tough job, that! That means that I need to schedule my fitness, not let it dominate. Let food become fuel, once again, and consume it for health ... not let it consume me!
I've managed to get some semblance of a fitness schedule together and it has helped immensely to step out of my comfort zone and join a couple of groups of like minded people who make fitness their social activity. One group I work with is a non-profit that is working with people transitioning from homelessness. We are taking them through a program designed to get them running (or run/walking) and to look at fitness and healthy living as a lifestyle to embrace. The other is just a group of very diverse runners who are enjoying the nature that is around us and each others company and learning from one another. Add to that a couple or three (NO-NOT 7-10) fitness classes a week and I think I have my fitness schedule full. Could I do more? I'm sure, but not without sacrificing other areas of my life. There are always those 5-10 minute slots of time. Now, to learn to make the most of them with short "mini-workouts".
I have also had to wean myself back off the higher carbs and sugars that I could allow myself when training for the halfs last year. That may have been one of the hardest things. Still working at it, but doing much better. It will be a BIG challenge as I will be leaving in a month and going out of the country to the Czech Republic to teach stage lighting and productive at a youth camp for two weeks.
Keeping this newly established balance through that will be a BIG test. And, I may find that I will be "Sparkless" for the two weeks. Pray for me friends, and any advice you may have will be appreciated.
Just wanted to let you all know that I am hear and loving you all dearly. My Spark may not be burning quite as brightly as it once did, but it is burning steady all the same. I just need to hold it a little closer to my heart right now so that it doesn't burn so hot that it burns out. I need it's warmth to keep me going for a long, long time!
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