Monday, February 01, 2010
My daughter threw a tantrum yesterday after her swim class at the gym. My daughter is only 3 yrs. old. Yet she already knows the words “pretty” and “beautiful”. It is a mark of “making it” even at only 3 years old. This makes me very sad, and I wondered how had this happened? To my daughter? Me, being a person who values beauty on the inside more than on the out? Hadn’t I taught her right? It was a perplexing situation, as she was screaming on the floor of the locker room, crying because I had brought her glitter tights instead of her tights with the hearts on them. She was screaming over and over again “I won’t look pretty! I won’t look pretty!” I could tell that the other moms within earshot were a.) happy that this situation was not happening to them and b) wondering to themselves what they would do in my same situation.
My daughter, Lucy, started pre-school earlier this year. She’s in a class for 3 yr. olds that meets 3x a week for just two hours. But already there are girls in her class who are considered the “prettiest” because they have the longest hair, or are the best dressed. I was shocked that it starts this early. These same two girls will shun my daughter sometimes and not return her tentative “hi”, and sometimes even call her “pooh-pooh breath”. Now I know kids can be mean. I know all of that. But as a mother, it tears my heart out.
So what to do. Earlier in the day I had given her a bath and we were playing with the suds in the bubbles and I marveled at how much it glittered. I told her she was holding the sky in her hands, the clouds, and that she held a piece of the world within her. I said that she could become whatever she wanted to, and that no dream would be impossible for her. I hope that what I say to her does seep in. Mothers have a big impact on their daughter's self esteem and I want to let Lucy know that she IS beautiful.
I handled the tantrum by counting her down and eventually as I got to "3" I had to give her a timeout in the bathroom of the locker room, away from bystanders. I was calm and gentle and tried to be loving. She was fine after that and we went on our way.
Last night as I tucked her into bed, I talked to Lucy about what beautiful is. I asked her if she knew what it meant and she didn’t really have an answer. I told her that God made us all unique and beautiful and that there are two types of beauty – that on the inside and that on the outside. I told her that being beautiful on the inside meant that you were kind, had a good heart, thought of others, and then I specifically told her what made her beautiful on the inside – the fact that she is a great older sister, that she cares about people and cries during sad parts of movies. That she gives hugs freely and is a wonderful artist, singer and isn’t afraid to be herself. I also told her that she is beautiful on the outside and noted her specific traits - her large hazel eyes, her curls of gold and her toenails, always painted a bright shade and I reminded her that we all are, each unique in our own way and designed by God.
I went online this morning and found that Dove has a campaign for real beauty. Girls of all ages made their own videos defining beauty. The link is below. I plan on downloading the free workbook and going through it with Lucy, no time is ever too young, I guess. Sad but true.
There’s a favorite book of mine that Lucy and I both know by heart. I’m reminded of the ending words of that book, where the girl tells her brother that he can do anything.
“I told him it's very easy, anyone can fly. All you need is somewhere to go you can't get to any other way. The next thing you know, you’re flying among the stars.”
-- Faith Ringgold, 'Tar Beach'
Sunday, January 31, 2010
LOSS of 8 lbs.
Inches lost: one inch from my waist
one inch from my hips
TOTAL INCHES LOST: 2 inches
Fitness minutes: 1,030 for the month - I was aiming for 500. I doubled that goal! I never thought I could do 1,000 minutes a month and those Spark Friends of mine that got trophies for such a feat I looked at in awe. I've found that I shouldn't underestimate myself and that I can do it too!
Miles: I was aiming specifically for 50 miles - a combination of miles w/ Leslie and my workouts at the gym. I met that goal and then some, walking a total of 66 miles in January!
Tweaks: I had to lower my calorie range after losing weight and it's been difficult to adjust to this. I have had days where I've gone over my calorie range. I'm trying to stay within my range now.
I will add pictures to this blog tomorrow, I took a "before" and "after" for January alone in my workout clothes (eek!).
Also a great tool for me this month has been the SparkPeople calendar. Each day has 4 sections in it and each section has a goal, thus 4 goals for each day. Taking Coach Nicole's que, I highlight those sections where I succeed, and put an "X" in the days where I don't. I am going to scan my January calendar page and also post it within this blog tomorrow. My specific goals for myself in January were: water (drink at least 8 cups) workout (workout every day), fruits & veggies - get at least 3 in! And to stay within my calorie range.
Also this month I went shopping for my 45 lbs. lost reward and have gone down several sizes! At my highest I wore a 20/22 shirt, 24/26 pant, 26/28 jean and my bra was a 48 F.
I found out this month that I am NOW: a 14/16 shirt, 22 pant AND jean (almost a 20), Bust 42DDD. (Yes, you read that right, triple D, but it's better than an "F"! And it sounds hot, LOL!)
So am I happy with my results? Overall yes, but I am slightly disappointed at the loss of 8 lbs. this month - see after the Christmas and New Year holidays, I had gained 4 lbs., so at first I thought I had only lost 4 lbs. this month, not 8. Most of the lbs. I lost were the first week of January, after my body disposed of all the extra calories I ate on Christmas and New Year's. But I know my body, and I have always been a "slow" loser. Think of the turtle and the hare. I'm definitely the turtle! I need to clearly see what I am doing right and what I can change. I can't be afraid to change or tweak my plans and goals. But I know that ultimately if I keep on keeping on I will win this race!
I will post my February Move It Plan tomorrow. I am aiming for 10 lbs. DONE in February! I plan on reaching my 50 lbs. lost milestone too.
AT THE START OF JANUARY
AT THE END OF JANUARY
MY SPARK CALENDAR
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I joined back in January 3 years ago weighing in at almost 300 lbs. and very, very depressed. I had just given birth to my daughter 6 months previous and while I had lost most of the baby weight – 30 lbs. of the 40 I had gained – I had not been able to lose that last 10 lbs., and more importantly, I was considered morbidly obese and needed to lose weight beyond that. Especially since we wanted to have more children and it had been difficult to be overweight and pregnant. I didn’t know where to turn and I clearly remember that feeling of desperation I had and most of all, hopelessness. I really didn’t think I could lose the weight. But it was a last ditch effort to try.
That first year I wasn’t really committed, and looking back I think that my attitude had everything to do with it. My heart wasn’t in it. I had tried everything else before, why would this work, why would this change happen to me. Most of all, I know I felt like I didn’t deserve this change. The problem was…I didn’t love myself. I lost and gained the same 5 lbs. that year, but I think inside my mind and body started gearing up for what was to come.
Then the second year I was on again, off again, again, not really committed, but I did manage to lose about 10-15 lbs.
My third year I had just found out we were expecting another child. I did not want to gain 40 lbs. like I did with my first daughter. The doctors all advised me to only gain 15 lbs. I didn’t know how I would be able to do that! I met with a nutritionist and she said it would be really difficult not to gain more than 40 because my body had already done it, and would want to go back to that same place. She gave me a plan and I used SparkPeople to track all of my food and also began doing prenatal exercises at my gym and tracking that in Spark. I also joined teams and began to feel like part of a community.
As a result of SparkPeople I did only gain those 15 lbs. during my second pregnancy. I also learned to LOVE exercise and began to miss it when I wasn’t exercising. Those
I have come a long way since first joining three years ago. I now love myself fully, completely and accept myself as I am. I am losing this weight for me and have the right motivation (to be a healthy wife and mom). My heart is fully invested in this process and most importantly, I know I can do it!
Here’s what I’ve accomplished during my time at Spark:
Went from a depressed couch potato to an exercise lover!
Accumulated 10,606 fitness minutes
Walked 442 miles total in 2008/2009 (58 miles in January alone so far)
Walked a 5K a year
Participated in a mini-triathlon
Finished a boot camp that has 20% drop-out rate
Became a Spark Motivator
Was asked to help co-lead one of my favorite Spark teams
My wedding ring now fits me!
My husband can put his arms around me
Went down at least 2 clothing sizes
Inspired others to start leading healthier lives
Made myself proud
Felt like an athlete
I still have a way to go. My goal is to reach my goal weight by Halloween 2010. That’s a total of 120 lbs. down. I’ve lost over 45 lbs. so far. I hope to reach Onederland by my birthday in August.
I know that this journey isn’t over. Once I reach goal weight I will work at maintaining and being in the best shape I can be. I can’t wait to see the person that I am underneath all of this. I know that I am strong, confident, and have a loyal heart. Now I am applying that to myself and showing myself the love that I show to others. I pray daily for the strength to make it through one more day, and those days will add up to months, those months will add up to a year, and by the end of 2010 I will wake up one morning, look into the mirror, and see the person that God meant for me to be.
Monday, January 25, 2010
I wrote this for my local paper to inspire others and encourage people to join my health club. I plan on writing an article on Spark and how SparkPeople has helped me soon as well.
I went shopping online as my reward for 45 lbs. gone, and can't wait to get my stuff!!!!
I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
There are a few things on my weight loss journey that I use as progress markers, similar to mile markers along a stretch of highway, these are similar markings that let me know I'm on the right track, I'm nearing my destination - I'm making progress. It's important to have such markers in a world filled with numbers. The scale is important, it does tell you an exact number of what you weigh, but it is not the only important measure.
Other measures are levels of happiness, energy and quality of life. Other markers include how things fit - that pair of jeans that have been silently waiting in your closet, ready for the new you. Or that pair of shoes that your feet have outgrown, swollen. For me it's all of those things, but also one very important item. My wedding ring.
I have always had a weight problem, but it was pretty much "under control" when I got married to my true love. However, after being married for only a year, being loved unconditionally, something I was not used to, I began to overeat. I gained so much weight that first year, I can't tell you how much, but I can tell you that a few years into the marriage I had gained 100 lbs.
My wedding ring didn't fit me anymore, hadn't fit me for a long time. It was a gorgeous vintage set with mine-cut diamonds that sparkled like nothing else. Do you know they don't even have mine-cut diamonds anymore? They can't find them or mine them, that's how precious and unique they are.
Much like those mine-cut diamonds the love I have is rare and unique. I have been married for ten wonderful years. The journey hasn't always been easy. Much like this weight loss journey it had its own hills and valleys. But we have thrived under the Lord's care.
This morning I tried on the ring, not expecting it to fit. In the past the band of white gold wouldn't even fit over my knuckle. I didn't expect it to go further, but it did. I didn't expect it to fit around my finger, but it did. Now I can wear the circle that symbolizes that love around my finger. I haven't been able to wear this ring in over 8 years.
I have my family to thank for their support and my friends, especially my Spark friends who understand this journey better than anyone else. But most of all, I have the Lord to thank. I pray to Him daily, at first thinking that my "little weight issue" was too small for Him. Why would He care? Then I began to realize, through reading the bible and being a part of study groups, just how much He cares. Nothing is too small or too big for Him.
Not only do I honor my progress by blogging about such things, but God honors my progress as well by supporting me an encouraging me, as my friends and family do. I congratulate myself for all that I have accomplished, but I know that I could not do this alone. In my heart it is here in the silence that God whispers words of encouragement to me. I can just hear Him:
"As you continue your journey, I will be with you - to guide you, to comfort you, to support you, to laugh with you, to love you through it all."
"When we cry, 'Abba! Father!' it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God."
~ Romans 8:15-16
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