Tuesday, January 15, 2013
January 15, 2013
It’s been so long since I’ve posted a blog. I’m trying not to be too frustrated about not meeting what I had set in my mind for increased frequency. I journal in my own hand on paper, because in my heart, that’s usually my outlet of choice. The end of December through the first week of January was tough for me emotionally, but through the support of good friends and their gentle (sometimes quite forceful actually:) nudging me to be more open with how I’m feeling instead of holding everything in and waiting until I’m so sad and disappointed that the ones I love aren’t understanding what I’ve left unsaid and haven’t magically “fixed” what was broken, I think progress has been made!
During this time, I have also been reading Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst, at the recommendation of someone in a message thread in the Spark team: Perimenopause to Menopause What should You Expect www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
I have really enjoyed the book, and I feel like I have gained a better perspective on communicating emotions in a more productive way. I’ve learned that, with most people, I’m a stuffer rather than an exploder, but over time and excessive stuffing, I can explode with the best of them. I’m less scared to share what’s going on in my head emotionally a little at a time now than I was. I spent some time examining why I have developed that coping mechanism, and also had a nice long “talk” with myself and with God and pointed out that the situation that encouraged me to develop those habits hasn’t been in place for ten years plus now, and that it’s time to move on to more healthy emotional behaviors.
After an initially difficult conversation to initiate got rolling, and many tears later, I’m happy to report that the person I was having difficulty approaching about my feelings has rewarded me with overwhelmingly warm understanding, love and respect. Why did I wait so long to get to this point?? Everything comes to us when we are ready, I guess. I know that my poor/irrational coping skills have played a major role in my past that have contributed to my yo-yo-ing in the weight department, and now that I have achieved a healthy weight after 19 months of diligent work losing it and another almost 11 months maintaining, I must be willing to identify potential de-railing situations- to an extent. Who can predict all life events? No one, but making “imperfect progress”’ toward better coping skills when something unpleasant comes my way is a great place to start.
So, this is where I start with my first goal of 2013-to improve my emotional communications skills. So far it’s made my current relationships better, and I haven’t even been making a conscious effort to do this for very long. Of course I have willingly invited God to help guide my words and my timing of conversations, and I believe that has made a big difference in my confidence and follow through. It’s funny how reminding myself to put God first is something I have to keep doing over time, because I stray after a while and forget to stop trying to fix everything myself, because I can’t...but God can.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
While I love Christmas break ( I work in the school system), I am looking forward to the return of my regular routine. I know I have had a lot of trouble this year steering away from tempting foods. I'm a sucker for sweets and salty, savory foods too. Not fast food or prepackaged stuff as a rule, thank goodness, but I really love all the unique homemade things that people make during the holidays. I also enjoy cooking/baking those things myself.
I feel like I've done a good job of keeping lots of healthy choices in my daily routine too, but I know that if I continued to eat the way I am right now, I would be right back on the gain-train in no time at all. Getting on the scale every day has really helped me to continue to gather information on the trends of my weight paired with the habits I'm practicing over this holiday season. I haven't gotten outside of my maintenance range, and I'm happy about that, but I have been doing some reflecting on my previously practiced habits. I feel reasonably confident that I am just practicing some freedom right now, and I'm not just just leaving all my hard work in the dust.
In the past, I would have looked at some of my recent indulgences as reasons to just give up and give in for the long haul- accusing myself of not being able to really make any real change- so why put myself through it?? Well, I know now that I was wrong about that, and I will not let my recent indulgences become regular habits.
I enjoy food too much, and sharing good food with good company is something that still gives me much pleasure, and I refuse to deny myself that pleasure. I just look at it differently in my new life- these events are occasional- not the rule. I don't beat myself up for indulging in special meals, and I do as much as I can to plan ahead for the splurge- I check online menus/nutritional information before going to a meal out. I bring healthy choices as my contribution to a potluck style celebration, and I take advantage of opportunities to get in extra activity as much as I can.
The last two years, during the holiday season, I have been more restrictive with myself than I have been this year. I was also in lose mode then- not maintenance. My goal during the 2010 and 2011 holiday seasons was to NOT gain, and to possibly continue to experience small loss- which I did. This year, now that I've met my goal, I planned to stay no more than 5 pounds over my goal, and I have stayed under that mark, so I am really happy with that! My confidence in my ability to continue to enjoy my life and maintain my new healthy weight has continued to grow. Finding balance between freedom to indulge some and not crossing the line into oblivious abandon has been a challenge, but I have had success with it these last few weeks.
I am less than two months from my one year maintenance anniversary, and it seems almost surreal to even be able to say that after 20 years of cycling through :lose some, gain it back, gain more, repeat.
Monday, December 17, 2012
I subscribe to WW CEO, David Kirchoff's blog, Man Meets Scale, and his post this morning must be shared! It's called: Holiday Gifts That Matter: The Human Spirit on Display.
He includes an incredibly inspirational video of a WW member success story.
Read it here:
Sunday, December 16, 2012
December 12, 2012
Starting to see some significant trends with my monthly cycle. Today is day 16, and last night I noticed I was starting to feel overly irritable, overly sensitive, having sugar cravings: giving in to it and having a small binge. I looked back through the last 5 months of data I have been keeping at mymonthlycycles.com, and it is pretty much on the mark; every significant emotional event I have experience over that period of time had been between cycle days 14 through 20.
Last month I did not have any notes indicating any events, but that might just mean that I didn’t take/have the time to document the events.
What is my take away from this? Well, it gives me the time frame that I know I need to be more aware of these changes. When I was young, I don't remember having significant symptoms associated with my periods, but as I progress toward menopause, I am definitely feeling them, and I'm glad to have the data to show the trends.
I feel like my next step is to identify some concrete, successful coping strategies for myself to use during that time to help me get through it without feeling so out of control and without resorting to fighting with my family and having mean thoughts about the ones that I love, or anyone else for that matter.
What I’m wondering is this, ladies: Does anyone else have some ideas for coping strategies that have worked when dealing with the emotional mood swings of peri-menopause and menopause? I would love to develop a bank of things that I can turn to when I feel this way that do not include binging on sweets, slugging down wine :), etc.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
I'm pleasantly surprised lately that I seem to be holding about one pound below my first goal weight of 148. Since I have been trying to work to that end for a while now, I'm really quite excited about it. There's just something that really makes me anxious about seeing that scale hit 150- It's perfectly fine too, and I know that, but for some reason I feel all warm and happy inside when it stays in the 140's. I imagine that is rooted in some kind of neuroses, but I think we all have at least one- to some degree anyway.
I've recently gotten back into the groove of regular, planned exercise again after getting off kilter for a few weeks, and I've been feeling pretty good about that. I was actually feeling like I was becoming quite accepting of not going out of my way to exercise, and the little red flags were starting to wave at me. I probably owe that to one of the Spark Teams that I'm active in-At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance ( www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=1111 ). Participating in the daily check in thread has really made me aware of how much I've been slacking off- especially when I look at the wonderful example laid out for me from my fellow Sparkers. Thanks bunches, guys!
I have quite a few things I want to accomplish this weekend- one of which is to get Christmas gifts wrapped- and to access what else I need to be shopping for. I'm not finished yet :( I'm also planning to do some more Christmas baking. So far it hasn't been a big temptation- of course I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that what I have already made isn't at my house...it's at my BF's house, so if anyone has to deal with temptations, it's him :)
Must get to bed if I plan to tackle my early morning routine...early meaning...when I get up, and I hope that it's not too late :)
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