Friday, May 16, 2014
The week I started Spark.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
So yesterday I was in the school locker room changing for the pool. There was a group of middle school girls in there, from another school, who were visiting for a soccer match with our team. I changed in one of the bathroom stalls, not out of modesty as much as out of self-preservation. Groups of middle school kids are loud and chaotic, and I was in no mood to be banged into or yelled over.
As I was leaving the locker room, in my swimsuit, I heard one of the girls say matter-of-factly, "Big Mama". Now, I need to explain first that I live in West Africa. Africans have a far different view of the female body than Americans and Europeans do. I am 5'9" and a solid size 20, and I have never heard anything less than complimentary about my body from someone here, male or female. The girl's "big mama" comment was in no way meant to be insulting, it was more of a general statement. (Ghanaians, particularly the women, have absolutely no filter when it comes to commenting on appearance.)
So, I wasn't insulted, but I was still frustrated. I've gone from a size 24 to a 20, I've got muscles in places that used to be flabby, and I think I am actually starting to look good. Being called "Big Mama" made me forget about all of that and just think about how I am clearly still identified by my size.
So I got in the pool and did my laps and sulked. I hate the fact that the off-hand comment of a 13-year-old can ruin my day, but we're all human.
Then, about half way through my swim, one of my colleagues got in the pool. She works on the other side of campus and I do not see her that often. When I stopped to catch my breath she leaned over and said, "I didn't realize that was you at first; you look so good!"
And suddenly my whole day was turned around.
I know I look better. I know I feel better. And I know that this is ultimately about me, and not anyone else, but it is so nice to have my hard work validated.
Friday, May 02, 2014
So the scale has not been my friend these past couple of months. It hasn't really been my enemy, but I have been bouncing back and forth losing the same two pounds for quite a while. So I am trying to come up with some other ways to motivate myself.
1, I can swim a mile in about 50 minutes now. That's still pretty slow, but it's faster than the hour I was swimming a few weeks ago.
2, I lost an inch in my waist and an inch in my hips this month. Plus one and a half inches in my boobs, and a little bit in each thigh and my upper arms.
3, My rings are getting loose. I wear the same two rings on my right hand every day, and I have just had to move them from my middle finger and ring finger, to my index finger and ring finger. They look weird there to me, but at least they will not spin around like they were doing.
4, I pulled everything out of my closet and threw away a huge pile of clothes that were too big. I have some stuff I bought ages ago that has never fit, and some of it fits perfectly now!
Friday, March 21, 2014
It's easy to be motivated when you're successful, when something is new and exciting, when the scale goes down, or you cross the finish line on your first 5k, but how do you stay motivated long term? I am so tired of tracking everything I eat, of having to think about what goes in my mouth, particularly since the scale has not been as accommodating lately. Why do I keep doing it?
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I had a conversation with a former student about being a writer, about how if he wants to be a writer, he has to write. Even when he doesn't want to. Even when he has nothing to say. He has to sit down, and do the work. And fall in love with the process of writing, not just be in love with having written something. And I think this process is like that. Unless you can make yourself love the process of losing weight and getting fit, you are never going to be able to do it long-term. Unless you can find a way to make tracking and exercising something you want to do, you are never going to keep doing it.
Randomly there was an interesting article on LifeHacker about just this idea.
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