Wednesday, February 09, 2011
So, I have officially been following the Spark program for 2 weeks now. This is the most consistent I have been in healthy eating and exercise in probably the past 5 or more years. Something definitely feels different this time around ... I feel like it has finally "clicked" and that there is no turning back - I AM READY for a new life.
My goal is to weigh 125 pounds by August 31 of this year (2011). That is a little less than a 2 pound loss per week. This is not my number one goal in terms of importance, however. I am more focused on becoming stronger, healthier, more fit, and more confident with respect to my body. I am very confident that these goals are attainable.
So far I have found the Spark program to be very maintainable. I have been exercising at the gym consistently - out of the past 14 days, I have worked out 11 of them (either cardio at the gym; cardio + weights; or group exercise classes). I am already noticing an improvement in my endurance and cardiovascular fitness. I am also starting to (slowly) love the feeling that comes with working out. I have also been tracking my food on Spark every single day. I think this is key to my success - as I was not aware of quickly 1500 calories can be consumed. I have, on most days, stayed within my calorie range (it started out between 1500 and 1750 cal/day and then switched to 1200 to 1550). I have a long way to go with food, I know. For instance, I get nowhere close to where I should be in terms of servings of vegetables. But, I am going to focus on small, sustainable changes. So far, my focus has been on getting between 8 to 10 cups of water per day.
The results? The first week I lost 5 pounds, which was most likely a lot of water. This past week, I lost 1 pound. I am already noticing a difference in how my pants are fitting - twice this week I wore pants that haven't fit since the fall! Definitely made me feel good :)
The only downside is that I am feeling very tired...not physically tired but cognitively tired. That probably doesn't make much sense. It is hard to explain what I feel - but it is a feeling that my head is so heavy and all I want to do is close my eyes and sleep (although, I'm not really sleepy). Like I said, hard to explain. I'm trusting that this is just a result of my body adjusting to a lot of changes all at once and that it will go away soon.
I can't say how thankful I am for Sparkpeople and for all the wonderful, encouraging comments and support I have received from people. It truly is appreciated.
Now, off to the gym...!
Monday, February 07, 2011
I haven't posted a blog entry for a couple weeks now, so just wanted to do a quick post to say that I am still here and haven't fallen off the wagon! I officially started my healthy lifestyle (I refuse to call it a diet, since I see this as forever and not temporary) here on SparkPeople on January 26, 2011. At that time, I weighed in at 183 pounds. (My all-time highest weight was 194 pounds, which I weighed this past summer).
Since January 26, I have been logging into SparkPeople daily to track my nutrition, add in those fitness minutes and accumulate points (I must say that those points are addictive)! For the very first time ever, I feel that I have found a program that is sustainable and is not a short-term fix. Wednesday of this week will be the 2 week marker and I plan to post a longer blog that day about the first two weeks - but for now, I will just say that I am so thankful for SparkPeople and especially the community that it provides. There is nothing better and inspiring than to have strangers rooting for you and providing such motivating and kind comments!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
I am currently making my way through the book, THE SPARK. As I have been reading, there are many sentences that I have underlined because I find them to be particularly motivating, inspirational, informative, etc., or simply because I want to return to the sentence at a later time to think about it more deeply. One particular sentence that resonated with me as I read Chapter 4 tonight was:
"Life is the sum of our decisions and actions; results appear where we place our energies."
This is an incredibly simple, yet powerful, concept. Every second of every day, we are faced with choices: whether it be the choice between pancakes and syrup or oatmeal for breakfast, to the attitude we are going to have towards our coworkers, to the amount of presence and focus we approach a task. These choices may seem insignificant in the moment - in fact, the majority of us go through "the motions" of our everyday life without recognizing the very small choices and decisions that are before us to make; however, over time, our quality of life is shaped by the sum of our decisions and actions in our everyday circumstances. It is only when we set goals in certain areas of our life that we become truly aware of the way in which actions and decisions build on eachother, gaining momentum towards change.
I am currently in my 10th year of university. For as long as I can remember, it has been my goal to go to graduate school and earn a PhD. My passion is learning. It always has been. I never have had a doubt that I wouldn't end up in graduate school. In high school and undergraduate university my energy and focus was to do what it took to get into the extremely competitve graduate program that I am now in. I was always very aware of potential connections I would be making or needed experience I would be getting when I chose to take opportunities that presented themselves to me. And it paid off. Academically, my life today is very successful.
"Results appear where we place our energies."
I ended a 7 year relationship with my high school sweetheart right before I moved to begin graduate school. There were many things wrong with the relationship, which I will save for another blog post on another day; however, I can admit that I had always put school before my relationship. Just like I have always put school before my own health and fitness. While I am set to get a PhD in my dream profession in the next two years, I have not been on a date in the last 5 years. I have gained 50 to 60 pounds since undergrad.
"Results appear where we place our energies."
For all the reasons I wrote about in my last blog post, I want so badly to change my life. I NEED to change my life. I need to start approaching nutrition and exercise the same way that I approached pursuing my passion of higher education. I need to start making small decisions and actions that, over time, will accumulate to big life changes. I need to truly understand that, whether I buy a quick, convenient lunch on the go or whether I take 10 minutes to pack a healthy lunch the night before is a CHOICE and that this CHOICE will, overtime, shape my life and its quality. Whether I decide to go to the gym and workout before going to work or sleep in until the last possible minute and skip the gym is a CHOICE. I need to open my eyes to the choices that I am being presented with every single day and to start making decisions that will lead me to what I so desperately want my life to look like. I need to take OWNERSHIP of these areas of my life...because after all, the only person standing in the way of reaching my goals is myself.
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