Saturday, August 06, 2011
I just realized that I have been a member of the Spark Community for a year now, give or take a few days. I felt that was worthy of dusting off my neglected blog and saying a few words. This also marks a year of seriously trying to make a positive and permanent change in my life, to reach a goal I had thought was forever out of my grasp.
The end result? I'm a yoyoer.
I have made absolutely no lasting progress. I am perhaps 5 pounds lighter then I was at this time last year. But you know what? I'll take it. I'm not discouraged, or disheartened to know that. I have made more then my share of mistakes over the last year, and the stress the past few months has been through the roof. What I lack in physical results I have more then made up for in knowledge. Some of my greatest discoveries this year:
Basal Metobolic Rate: Who knew, you could lose weight AND eat? Not only that, but not eating enough is one of the causes of plateaus. Why is this information not more well known? I had never ever HEARD of it! To quote Fat2Fit radio (another fantastic discovery) eat like the skinny person you want to become. Maybe my weight loss hasn't been stellar, but I am eating much better with that in mind, healthy wholesome, home made foods. And my family is coming along for the ride.
Non-Scale Victories: Before it was all about the numbers moving. But not its not. Sure its nice seeing when it goes down but I can do 45 minutes on the eliptical and not have to gasp for breath or have excruciating leg pain. That used to start around the 5 minute mark this time last year. I'm a size down in my pants as well. I can't really SEE that difference in the mirror as much as I would like too but I know its there. I also have more self confidence. If I was just looking at the scale I would just see "I lost 5 pounds in a year, why bother?"
Fitness Is Fun: "Exercise? Blah!" Man, I wish my gym teachers had taught me that exercise didn't have to be about peer pressure and competition, I might not have my weight problems today if I had learned 20 years earlier that fitness can be fun. You don't have to be rail thin to have fun dancing, or to try new and different things. All you need is the desire to it. Exercise is a crucial part of weight loss, but that doesn't mean you're stuck doing a jillion crunches and squats, or tethered to a weight machine. And if thats what you enjoy (I certainly don't mind it!) go for it!
Support Is Vital: I am still working on this one. I haven't made as dedicated a friend, motivator, and team member as I could have been. But the good thing is that I can improve on this. I have spent a year observing learning, reaching out and experimenting. I know my limits a bit better now, and what I am looking for in a support system. I seem to do better with one on one personal communications then I do in teams but I can be a capable team member and pull my weight in competitions when the mood takes me.
Strength Is More Important Than Cardio: Who would have thunk it? I always thought strength training was for people who already were thin to build up muscles. I wasn't worried about it at all. I skipped it entirely. Then I found out how important it was. Muscles forced my sluggish metabolism to take action. Weight loss without the resistance training meant that I was losing vital muscle, slowing my metabolism down further. I know try to do it several times a week. Fitting in decent exercise time is hard, but you do the best you can.
Set Goals: They need to teach goal setting. It needs to be a required course in high school in order to graduate. Its another vital skill I am completely missing and am working on. You would think this would be common sense, but not many people set goals. At least reasonable ones. Losing 100 pounds in 6-12 months, not all the reasonable. I know people have done it, but its not for everyone, and could be doing damage that will take years, even decades to repair Just knowing, and saying you want to lost 100 pounds isn't going to get you there. Have a plan of action, a time frame, be detailed about it and be accountable.
Knowledge won't get me the results I want, but it will help me on the way if I apply it to my life and remain diligent.
Remember my friends, a spark alone isn't very impressive, but given the right circumstances, it can build into an inferno.
Thanks for being my sparks!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Wow, I made today fantastic.
I woke up early when my little niece woke up, got her settled watching Dora the Explorer with a sippy cup of milk and hopped on the exercise bike. I pushed myself to new limits with a harder program then I have been doing lately and completed all 30 minutes of it! By the time Dora made it to the Big Big Hill I had as well.
That made for a fantastic start to what would prove to be a trying day at work. But while I was standing there I began to think: I have tried, and failed to lose this weight for over a year now. Granted its been on and off again effort but I have been trying. So what is the problem?
Well, I know its a problem inside me, and I don't mean medically. I have always been shy and introverted. I keep many things bottled up. Things maybe I shouldn't keep to myself. But I fear confrontation. I strive to make everyone around me happy and I often neglect myself in my effort to do so. It is easy to say that I will stop that, but the truth is its harder to stop then one would expect. It is almost like an addiction, pleasing others.
I think I use my weight as an excuse to be shy. I have never had a romantic relationship, and I hide my uncertainty between my weight and the conviction that no one could ever love me. Its all nonsense of course, but it is a convenient excuse. I know I can be so much more then I am, if I stop letting silly things hold me back.
After work I got another 30 minutes of exercise in and now I'm exhausted, but very pleased with myself. Even took the ankle biters to the park but it was too cold to stay too long. Judging by the whining and tears I succeeded in my mission of wearing them out though.
Looking for another fantastic day tomorrow!
Monday, May 09, 2011
I have been off and on reading The Spark on my Kindle and I was inspired by the idea of Post-It-Notes declaring what day of exercise you're on in order to hold yourself accountable. Granted, I'm not far in but its a start and no one starts on day 50!
They say that it takes 28 days to make a habit, so here is to hoping!
I have read countless articles about how exercise not only keeps you in shape, but it changes how you think. I can remember not long ago thinking 'Ugh, exercise" but now I can't wait to challenge myself, to push myself just a bit further.
I know I can keep going with the exercise streak, I can be quite competitive when I feel like it, my main problem will be logging the exercise. Enter goal 2, to be more active on SparkPeople. I joined in August but I let myself fall away from the friends I've made and the communities i'm a part of. I don't want that anymore. I want to be a part of it. The support system I know I need isn't going to be found at home so I need Spark!
I'm really excited about everything, even it seems a bit overwhelming. I know I can do it =)
I ate well today, if a little conservatively. I need to work on balancing my meals better so I don't wind up starving in the evening and eating more then I need.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
I had such high hopes for this month, and it has only just started. On the plus side that means I can just hop back onto track quickly instead of mourning the days gone by.
I have found exercise and eating healthier harder these last two weeks. My brother and his family were evicted from their apartment and we allowed them to come live with us while they get back on their feet, but that brings the grand total of people in the house up to 8, 4 adults and 4 children. The two oldest nephews are able to entertain themselves and don't require much supervision, however the 4 year old and three year old are into everything and I can't say I approve of my brothers parenting methods. Tensions are running high and I've never cooked for 8 people before. I've never really eaten much before. I never go back for second helpings, so my first night of cooking I was amazed when it all was gone. I thought I had made enough for two nights but there were no left overs to be found. It boggles my mind that people eat that much.
But I am not giving up. This is definitely taking some getting used too, but I will manage to fit some exercise in somewhere. So far the best bet seems to be late at night, after all the young'ns are asleep. This is my month and I will make myself a priority, I can do this! Somehow...
Thursday, March 03, 2011
I only recently bought The Spark for my Kindle. I've been taking my time reading it so I can absorb the wisdom held within its pages. I've attempted SparkPeople twice before, the first I joined but didn't get active. When I returned I jumped right in, was active daily, tracked my weight, joined challenges and made friends which lasted for several months. I saw progress, and it spurred me on, there was nothing more exciting then seeing the scale finally drop below 240, I can't remember ever being that weight and I cried.
So why did I allow things to change? I've stopped working out, and while I do still try to eat healthy even thats fallen to the wayside as convenience wears out. I see the warning signs and recognize them. I am exhausted all the time, I come home from work in the evenings and feed the boys something quick and simple, frozen corn dogs, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, or a sandwich then crawl into bed. I could easily fall asleep, but I don't. I nap a bit in 10-20 minute spurts for an hour or so then get up and do the rest of my routine. The house is a mess because I am too tired to clean, and if the house isn't clean, finding a place to exercise is impossible, and so goes the cycle.
It has to end, and I realize that. I've taken some steps in the right direction, I am trying to cut all soda from my diet, I drink diet anyway, but its still not healthy for me. I try tracking my foods, but I never seem to get them entered into the spark tracker. I write them down, but I like seeing how close I am to my intake goals. I also signed up for an aquacise class which is so much fun! However progress is still elusive.
I know the reasons why as well: sabotage. My family and friends just don't understand and have no personal desire to get into shape. My mother loves sugar and keeps plenty of sugar and snack foods around, my best friend eats (and serves) massive portions of food. I keep some healthy things about, but it is so much easier for me to eat healthy at work where I can plan my meals and snacks. I bring only what I plan to eat and leave money out of reach so even if something does tempt me, I can't have it. At home where its all laying out I find it very hard to pass up the cheese danish for the yogurt, which I'm not always fond of, truth be told. White carbs are mostly out of the house, but potatoes are still a staple in our house and no one really cares for sweet potatoes, including me. I need to work on my willpower to overcome temptations, and listen to my body when it tells me its no longer hungry.
I have a lot of work ahead of me to get back on the track I once was. But I did it before and I loved it, so I know I can do it again. I just need to stay strong and focused. Aside from a healthy lifestyle and being fit I have other goals to meet. I know that with the help of my friends, and a little Spark to light the fire I can accomplish anything!
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