Thursday, April 12, 2012
I love this blog I just read! It's called:
Keep Your Eyes off the Prize.
I have found this approach so helpful this time around, and I don't think I would have been as successful without this fantastic realization that any large accomplishment MUST be broken into small manageable pieces. So many times in my life, when I have wanted something, I have wanted it NOW. Maybe part of this change in me over the past 2 years has come with age and maturity. I enjoy my life so much, and I have enjoyed all the baby steps I have taken on this long journey.
I am so proud of my accomplishments, and in some respects, it feels like I breezed right through it now that I have arrived at my goal weight. Have I stopped looking ahead? No way..New goals and new challenges are part of my everyday existence now that I love! If it weren't for this place (spark) and the wonderful resources and support, I'm not sure I would have all the tools that have been instrumental to this change in me.
I love my WW meetings too, but the interaction here, and with my friends and family who support me have been the biggest inspiration.
If I had been looking at the top of my hill (lose 100 lbs) the whole time, I'm not sure I would have had the will to keep moving forward. It's a big accomplishment- 50 pounds was a big accomplishment!
Having big ambitions is admirable indeed, but being so focused on the big prize can cause you to miss out on so many beautiful revelations about yourself along the way. Appreciate all the little things, and enjoy each step of the way. Pretty soon you will be at the top of the hill looking back and wondering where all that time has gone. Those golden moments along the way are precious too. It's so fulfilling to look back on those memories and be able to say.."that was a challenge, and I did it!" Like my first road race- a 4 miler in February! Then 12 more (mostly 5ks) through out the rest of 2011. Improving my pace each time- except for that one really hot night race in July Of course I also hung back to stay with my boyfriend who got a phone call (that he answered!) while we were running from his aunt who wouldn't just let him go when he said,"I'm running in a race"
Then there was the one this February when I did my first one for the second time...so excited to improve on my time from last year...I did, but barely, because I walked most of it. Note to self....3 big glasses of wine the night before a race affects performance in a big way...It was exciting to improve my time even though I was only walking though.
Golden moments :)
Here's the link to the blog that inspired mine:
Monday, March 12, 2012
I've finished two weeks of maintenance, and more than halfway through the third. I'm starting to relax and trust myself better now. That first week was strange though. I was so excited about reaching my ultimate goal, but so paranoid about either gaining back or continuing to lose. Since I'm using Weight Watchers to track my nutrition and activity, I was given 2 points plus back to my daily allowance. I may get more back over time, but this seems to be keeping me right on target for the time being. If I begin losing again and drop more than 2 pounds below my goal I need to look at adding in more food to my daily allowance, but so far so good.
I was getting on the scale every day to gauge things, but now it's more like 2 or 3 times/week, and I've stayed within my window of 2 pounds either way every time I've been on it. That's probably why I'm relaxing a bit. In the beginning, I wasn't sure how the change would affect me, but I just kept telling myself to trust the program and my leader. I mean- I've trusted it for over a year and a half, and it hasn't let me down-why would it now, right? It's just that it's new territory for me- I've lost large amounts of weight before, but NEVER reached the final goal weight, and never even maintained the previous losses. I have such wonderful tools this time though, and I must remember to trust it.
Thank you to all of my fellow Sparkers who have cheered me on and continue to do so. I've said it before, but can't begin to express how important all of you are to me and to my success. Every time one of you tells me that I'm an inspiration-it gives me more fuel to stay the course. I feel like I might let someone down if I "fall off the wagon"- especially if I were to fall off and stay off. You and the people in my every day life give me so much inspiration.
This Thursday I will be halfway through my six weeks of maintenance to earn that Lifetime WW membership, and that is really motivating to me too!
Those of you new to the journey- stay strong- stay patient with yourselves, and never fail to reward yourself for your accomplishments along the way. Don't forget about those non-scale victories! Those are the ones that have been the most meaningful to me...
*Heel pain from plantar fasciitis (sp) was gone at about 30 lb loss and has never returned!
*One day I realized I could cross my legs while sitting without holding my leg in place (yeah, I know that's not good for my back)
*Putting away books (I work in a library) on the low shelves is easy now that I can squat and get up effortlessly (I used to dead this)
*It doesn't wear me out to push mow my lawn, and I can finish it faster than I did before..I even look forward to it as an excuse for activity
*I run now and I like it! Did my first 5k in Feb 2011 and did about one a month for the rest of last year.
Ok- I'll quit for now-off to enjoy an evening with my oldest son...it's our "date night"
Monday, March 12, 2012
So, do I count this as another reward, or a tool of maintenance? I know it's really both :) I haven't actually gotten it yet, but over the weekend, I went bike shopping. I have a bike of my oldest son's that I use, but it doesn't shift the best, and I still can't tackle hills very well with it- depending on the hill. I've really been wanting to do my commute to work on a bike- you know, save money on gas and do something good for my health and the environment, but with the bike I'm using, I can't climb the last hill to work from a dead stop. I would never have any momentum for the climb because I have to wait to cross a busy street immediately before the hill.
This is the bike I have decided on- Trek 7100 WSD
definitely a splurge for me, but with 10 months of free WW membership from maintaining my goal weight it will have paid for itself- plus, my parents want to contribute toward the cost. I was so touched when my mom told me of my dad's wishes. She said they decided that "you only turn 40 once"- and what better way to celebrate my better health by helping me get something that will help me to maintain it. I live in a fairly small town, so I'm looking forward to doing my errands around town this Summer with my bike! On the test drive I was amazed at how easily it shifts and climbs hills, so I'm thinking I'll be able to ride it to work! It has the quick release front wheel too, so I should be able to pop it in the back seat or trunk of the car to take on trips too!
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I purchased a reward for myself today to mark this exciting achievement. It's more extravagant than I usually am with myself, but I'm worth it. I was toying with the idea of getting a star tattoo of some kind and adding a new star with each year of maintenance, but let's face it, I just have reservations about that. Jewelry, on the other hand... .....is a different story. The quality of the photo doesn't give this justice, but it's a Pandora bracelet with a silver and gold star charm bead. I have the next charm picked out for when I receive my lifetime key from WW,(it has a key too) and I have the charm picked out to add to it every year that I maintain my goal(more stars, but all silver). It will be with me every day to remind me of all the hard work I have done. My daughter was with me and she was so encouraging too. I have never spent this much on myself for jewelry in my life, but it felt like exactly what I needed to commemorate this moment.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I have met my total weight loss goal! When I weighed in at my meeting Thursday night, I had met it there too! I was so excited, surprised, and quite emotional. I nearly cried! I'm a sap though normally, so I anticipated reacting that way. It was a low attendance night, because the weather was crappy, and a lot of members who were there had commented that "so-and-so will be so excited!" It's so much to process, but it didn't happen over night- I have had a lot of time to get used to this new (or old if you want to roll back years:) me, but it's still almost unbelievable to me. I have lost a little over 100 pounds! I have had so much positive support along the way- from people I work with, my family and friends- people at my WW meetings and the Spark community and my faith in God to guide me along the way. All of those things are so important, and I am eternally grateful. Now it is my pledge to cherish this gift and to keep myself healthy and to continue to cheer on the people around me who are still on their way to goal.
I was talking to a work colleague yesterday who was sharing her struggles with weight, and it got me replaying mine in my head.
When I was in high school, I thought I was fat...someone, somewhere along the way had said things that made me think that. I was 5'7" and weighed 135...definitely not fat...but I believed I was. When I got pregnant with my first child, I was 20, and I had gained the normal healthy amount of weight during that pregnancy, and within about 6 weeks after having him, I had lost most of it again. I had made the decision to use the Norplant device for contraception, and had my doctor place the device in my arm. Over the next 8 months to a year I had gained nearly 50 pounds without batting an eye. I hadn't changed my eating habits dramatically, and I was breastfeeding a baby...which burns up a lot of daily calories. Research would later indicate that significant weight gain was a side effect of the Norplant device for many women. I had the device removed, and lost what I had gained over the course of about 6 months...then I got pregnant with baby number 2 (our first was now 2 years old..all part of our "master plan") After she was born, I never lost much of my pregnancy weight...I was dealing with a lot of stress...my marriage was suffering terribly, and I'm a stress eater. I was pretty depressed most of the time looking back. When my daughter was 2 1/2 I discovered I was pregnant again...and I weighed more at that time than I did during my previous pregnancies at full term!! I gained more weight as the pregnancy progressed, and after he was born I continued to gain. Eventually I was so sick of the state I had allowed myself to get in that I did something about it. I started eating healthy and began regular exercise..taking my kids with me on hikes in the state park that we lived next to. They loved it, and so did I. While helping their dad on a project, I twisted my ankle so badly that I couldn't even stand on it for more than 5 minutes at a time, let along hike while toting a 1 year old on my back anymore...so I had to back off for a while...meanwhile, my lack of activity paired with the depression from my poor marriage was fighting against me, and I let it win. Eventually I got strong and fought for my rights as a human being and started standing up for myself...which resulted in my walking out of an unhealthy marriage of 10 years. The stress of those 7 months was so intense that I couldn't eat...I felt nauseous all the time, and turned to my furious cleaning to relieve that stress...I lost lots of weight quickly, but as many of you who have lost lots of weight quickly know, it's not sustainable most of the time. As soon as I had stabilized emotionally to a point- I went back to my old habits...and gained again. In Jan 2008 ( I think it was 2008) a work friend had joined Spark and shared it with me...I joined too and followed the program...I was very successful...had just gotten under 200 when a new school year had started. I had a new work colleague, and we went through an adjustment getting used to each other...suffice it to say, I was stressed and felt like I couldn't do anything to please her...I packed on the weight again...I had also stopped using Spark to track, because I felt like she was looking over my shoulder every second and that she would yell at me for taking any kind of break for myself. In August 2010, when another friend offered to teach my how to use WW with the materials she already had and to be my support group, I reluctantly agreed to give it a shot. (she had invited me a year before and I had turned her down) I had success in the first week, and with this method of tracking, I didn't need a computer...I could do it with paper and pencil..which has been key for me, because I always have it with me. Nineteen months later, I have met my goal, and I will be 40 in less than two weeks! I am so proud of my accomplishment! I feel confident this will be sustainable too! I have learned new habits and practiced them religiously for a year and a half. I know I need to keep practicing them, and I am more than willing to do that...it's like brushing my teeth now.
Thank you for all of your support and encouragement! I vow to continue paying it forward!
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