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The Spark: Chapter 2: Focus

Friday, February 04, 2011

Even though I had worked through some basic goals in my head, I hadn't actually written them down yet. Now that I have them on paper, it's easier to visualize and stay on track. I have started with 3, but I have begun jotting down notes on developing some more for a little bit down the road. I don't want to get too overwhelmed too quickly.
1: Achieve a Healthy and Fit Me, by reaching my ideal weight of 140 pounds. Deadline: October 1st, 2011. Reach this goal by losing an average of 9 pounds every 5 weeks by sticking to my WW pointplus daily target + my weekly pointsplus allowance and by exercising for 30 minutes or more 3 times per week. (56 pounds to ultimate goal 1/31/11)

2: Participate in philanthropic events that include physical activity. First event Feb 5,2011-Brrry Scurry 4 mile Run/Walk. (raises money for community college scholarships) Prepare for event(s) by completing C25K program with Spark. Program will be complete during first week of March, so my first event will be a work in progress.
Follow up with a program to increase running time/distance.

3: Inspire my children to adopt a healthy, active lifestyle by setting a good example of healthy living. Achieve this by choosing high quality foods and providing easy to choose foods for them. I will be active and encourage them to join in activity with me. I will also plan fun family activities that include physical activity and healthy cooking.

I have a few other ideas to build on later for me, but this is a good place to start.
Other events this year in my plans: Race for the Cure 5K Run/Walk in May, Bix in July

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APIRLRAIN888 2/4/2011 1:55PM

    awesome goals!

you can do it

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My Story/Reflection on Chapter 1 The Spark

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's unbelievable that I am almost halfway to my goal. It feels like I need to write down my story. Even though I have mentioned little blurbs here and there in responses of the moment, I have yet to sit down and recount it all. After all- we all have a story about how we got where we are. The irony of my story is that in this picture

I was 140 pounds- a perfectly healthy weight for my 5 foot 6 frame, but I believed I was fat. I heard it spoken directly by classmates as well as implied by disapproving looks. I was laughed at and teased- because I wasn't a stick. Would that bother me today? I doubt it, but to an eighteen year old who had only a few true friends, it was devastating. How was I to know then that it didn't matter how many friends I had or that it didn't matter what anyone else but me thought about how I looked. It matters when you are a teenager- it matters when you are 11 and 12 too.
As a self conscious young woman, I didn't have the tools to battle it the right way, and I began to believe the things that others said about me.
I had a boyfriend when I was in 9th grade who was 18...4 years older than I. He went to school in another state, so I only saw him on the weekends. He was incredibly wonderful to me. Lots of the kids I went to school with thought he was a dork- he was not a macho jerk- he was sweet- said some silly mushy things in front of people sometimes, but because he was so open and candid- people thought he was weird. He was accepting of me no matter what, and it was really great for my self esteem. We dated for almost 2 years ( I was 16 then), and he started talking about the future, which was natural for him- he was 20. I was overwhelmed by his talk of marriage already, and I panicked. I broke it off with him shortly after that. There were a number of times over the years I wondered if I had done the right thing, but I had made my decision.
A few months later, I began dating a boy from my school- a year ahead of me. He was shy, seemed pretty nice, and we eventually got married and had children together.
At some point after our first child was born, he began to obsess about my weight. I was a bit self conscious about it myself, but it didn't help me to feel better about myself to have him on my case about it all the time. He made me feel like I disappointed him by allowing myself to not return to my pre-pregnancy weight. He believed that was realistic for me to accomplish, and he believed the way to motivate me to this result was to tear me down about being the way I was. Obviously this wasn't a productive approach. Not surprisingly, I spent a number of years losing, then gaining, repeat. This was the cycle of my weight issue for the entire 10 year marriage.
When I had decided to put an end to this unhealthy relationship, I was wrought with anxiety and couldn't eat much of anything without feeling physically ill. Needless to say, I lost a great deal of weight as a result, but while I was glad to see myself returning to a healthier weight, I knew it wasn't likely to be long lasting considering the method by which it had occurred.
By the time my divorce was final I had gotten within about 20 pounds or so of what I consider my ideal weight of 140 lbs., but after the anxiety of the whole experience had died down and I returned to my old pattern of eating, and eating to soothe myself (because obviously all stress did not end) I began to gain again. This was in 2003, probably around June.
In July of 2004 I met the man who has now become the love of my life! I was somewhere around
210 lbs then. The restaurant/gift shop I had been working for during the year before this had closed in May, and I was set to return to college as a full time student in the fall. With my tuition at school was included a membership to the community's fitness center. Awesome!! I used it regularly, and I was getting in better shape, but with a semester change and a schedule change, I wasn't able to easily work it in anymore, so I didn't.
I got my AA degree in December, 2006. I worked at a job I hated in the town I live in for the next several months. It was convenient, but I hated it. My boss was condescending and rude, and I don't think she knew it or cared. One day I had brought some cottage cheese and fruit for my lunch. She asked me if I was on a diet. I was puzzled- I told her that I wasn't- I just like cottage cheese and fruit. Instead of leaving it at that- she felt the need to explain by saying that I look like I could lose quite a bit of weight, since I was going to be performing in a local play in a few months. I was mad, because I couldn't stand her anyway- she was rude- backstabbed customers once they had left the store on a regular basis, and she was not in great shape either, so why was she being so cruel to me? Did she think that maybe I wasn't aware of the fact that I was overweight? I needed her to point it out to me, and that would inspire me. Her ridicule would be well received?
Fortunately for me, I was made aware of a job opening in my local High School, and I applied and got the job in the fall of 2007. I loved my job, I loved my co-workers, and especially the woman I worked directly under. She was a great friend; sadly I only got the pleasure of working with her for that school year, since she found a job closer to where her husband was taking college classes in the area AEA office, allowing them to move closer and spend less on commuting. While I worked with her, she had discovered Spark People in January of 2008, and since I had often talked with her about how I would like to get my physical self and eating under control but didn't know where to start- she hooked me up! What a wonderful find. I had worked really hard- got to know a lot of the great features here, but never interacted on the message boards, never blogged (not sure if it was even available then- if it was, I hadn't found it yet). I lost 38 pounds then.
Once summer hit, I had started walking at least 3 times a week for around an hour with a new friend I had made earlier in the year when we sang together in a local music show. Then I lost my dial-up internet when the company I was getting my 10 dollar monthly access closed. I couldn't afford any more than that, and there was no other provider comparable in my area, so I lost the tracking capabilities of Spark, and then I started back to work in the fall- excited about my new me and thinking I would keep improving. I had a new co-worker, and she and I didn't click very well in the beginning. I spent the first 4 months of the new year trying to figure out why I ticked her off so much. I did my work- helped her to figure out and navigate the new programs she was working with, since I had been using all of it for a year. Everyone who knows me always compliments me on what a kind and helpful person I am- how I get along with everyone, but for some reason this woman was annoyed by me most of the time. I couldn't figure it out.
I had stopped packing my own lunches, like I had done the previous school year and just took the easy way out by getting the cafeteria lunch. Loaded with sodium, fat, empty calories. I gained and gained. The stress and anxiety I had from working with this woman was making me crazy. Something finally clicked about halfway through the year, and we were able to develop a productive working relationship. This woman is not my friend and likely never will be, and we still have our moments when she is rude to me when I haven't read her mind, but I have gotten better at not letting her get to me and at being more assertive when I need to.
In July 2010, at 248 pounds, another colleague and friend of mine had asked me if I'd be interested in joining a small group with her and another friend to learn how to use Weight Watchers and support each other and have each other to remain accountable to. I decided I would give it a shot. When she had invited me to join her at official meetings before, I had declined, since I cannot afford it, but this I would try. She was great at educating us on how the program worked, and it was so realistic. Granted, I know I was eating way more than I needed to before, and it was a little bit of an adjustment, but by switching out the empty calorie choices I was making for more healthful ones, I felt no deprivation. I started losing the first week and was really excited. After about 2 months I had lost about 20 pounds and began considering exercise. Before- exercise was so difficult. My heels hurt so badly after being on my feet all day- and especially after extra walking. But with the 20 pounds gone, my plantar fasciitis didn't flare up so badly, and now after almost 50 pounds gone, I can get up and walk downstairs in the middle of the night without wanting to cry in pain!! Exercise has gotten easier, and increasing my exercise a little at a time has been fun. I'm training myself to run a 5k! My first is a week from Saturday on Feb 5. I won't be ready to run the whole thing yet, but I will run some of it, and I will be doing it alongside my beautiful best friend of 28 years who is in the picture with me at the top of my blog. She is an amazing friend and motivator! She started this journey with me after I was 2 weeks in and so excited about the positive changes I had made.
Learning how to track without an electronic source has been vital to me, and I have gotten that from Weight Watchers. The support from the Spark People message boards, teams, and blogs has been unbelievable. The additional resources here- goal setting techniques, etc. are without a doubt contributors to my success as well. I have definitely learned that I am a paper and pencil gal though. That is a big key to my consistency in tracking, which is vital to my continued success, and now reading The Spark is providing even more essential tools to living this grand life.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BD3269PM 1/30/2011 2:55PM

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is great that you have found good people in your life to help you on your journey to a new healthy you. You can do this! emoticon

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SNUZSUZ 1/30/2011 11:02AM

    What an inspiration you are! Thank you!

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MKELLY72 1/28/2011 3:29PM

    Thanks for all the support- not that I'm surprised. I got so much of that here!

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JUDITHROXANA 1/28/2011 1:01PM

    I am happy that you got rid of the people who were bringing you down! I can relate a lot to you. I am proud that you love yourself enough to take care of yourself and continue towards your goals. I also weighed about 140 pounds in high school and of course I also thought I was so overweight! Boy do I wish I could weigh that now! But we will get there in time! I am also cheering you on! I hope you really enjoy the 5k! Love the picture by the way! emoticon

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RUDITUDI2000 1/28/2011 10:06AM

    Enjoy your first 5K. What an inspiration, you keep moving forward & that is great. Its like saying, Next, next, next, bring it on & overcome. You are learning what works for you & I think that is vital to our long term success. Cheering you on! emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 1/26/2011 11:44PM

    thanks for sharing

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SCOOBYLOVE 1/26/2011 11:23PM

    Such an awesome & motivating story. You'll do great on that 5K...heck...now you've got me thinking...maybe I should work towards doing that one day too!

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Had to take a break from running today- sick day

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I had to postpone today's run. I wasn't feeling well today. I can't believe how assertive I had to stay with myself today about allowing myself to take a day off without bully-ing myself for it. I kept having feelings of guilt start to creep in about missing today. I literally had to chase that guy out with a stick.

Are you serious? You don't feel well, this happens, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to rest and feel better, so this doesn't last any longer than it has to. Wk 3, day 3 can wait until tomorrow. Don't be so anal about your schedule. Be flexible; that's another important part of all of this too...this will not derail you, because you are not going to let it. You have grown too much for that. For heaven's sake- you didn't even rest the whole day. You ended up cleaning the kitchen when you couldn't stand to lay in bed any longer.

I actually feel pretty good now though. Two of the kids stayed home too. It was pretty quiet around here until about 10:30 when I finally crawled out to fix some breakfast- man I was starving- couldn't wait for that bowl of oatmeal! I curled up on the couch and dug into my Spark book. That's a pretty good read. Almost to chapter 4- I feel like I should be doing homework:-)
As long as I go to work, I will be running tomorrow. Tomorrow is also my WW meeting and weigh in. The scale there is about 3 pounds heavier than mine- of course it's a night time weigh in there- mine is morning- that makes a difference too.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDITHROXANA 1/28/2011 12:44PM

    Yes I agree, give yourself a break and don't worry its a lifestyle change so you will be back at it as soon as you're feeling better, which I hope is soon!

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APIRLRAIN888 1/26/2011 9:57PM

    rest is good, it's not counterproductive! u have mandatory rest day b.c new to me too

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Running Day 8 (day2,wk 3)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Today was much warmer than it was on Friday! I'm not sure what the temp was, but it was probably around 30. Compared to 6,, it was a heat wave. I had a great run. I got farther than I expected to. I had found some Cuddl Duds long underwear over the weekend on sale, so I tried those out, and I was perfectly warm!! I'm always ready for bed earlier than usual on the days that I run...and man- I sleep great!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APIRLRAIN888 1/24/2011 9:27PM

    awesome, great job.
do you know aobut the virtual relay! come join we are going around the world! we start in SF in 1/1/11 arrived NYC 1/22/11 3000 miles!
we are on out new leg NYC to UK , 3500 across atlantic!

just go to my link in my relay blog!
subtract your 2011 accummilated mileage ;p


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Running Day 7 (day1,w3)

Monday, January 24, 2011

I did my first running outside on Friday morning. It was 6 degrees, but it wasn't so bad. I need to get used to running in the cold anyway, because I will be doing it in the race on Feb 5. I plan to run outside again today after work for day2,w3. It was hard, because every time my timer went off to tell me to switch to running, I was going uphill! Man! It was a good workout tho. On the 6th run, I was finally on level ground. It was so beautiful outside- quiet! I didn't even miss my music that I had forgotten at the house. I flushed out 4 pheasants when I ran by some reserve land. It was pretty exhilarating.
I'm hoping to get my oldest son to join me today for my run. We'll see:-)

  


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