Thursday, December 08, 2011
Today, I enjoyed the amazing coincidence of coming across the SparkPeople article "Tame the Emotional Eating Beast for Good" shortly after my "Beast" had been awakened. Read the short article here for the background story:
This morning at work I was forced to deal with an extremely stressful situation. Having a home office, I have the distinct disadvantage of having my entire kitchen available on demand for stress-eating. In the middle of dealing with the unfortunate event, I found myself pacing between our office on the second floor and our living room and kitchen on the main floor. I opened and closed the kitchen cupboards during multiple mindless trips back and forth. I was obviously not "hungry" hungry; it was stress and I needed comfort. My partner and assistant were also both in the office, so I didn't want to jump on the treadmill in the middle of the day and walk off the stress. So, I used a combination of the coping strategies found in the article above. Although, I didn't actually find the article until after I had already played the stalling game several times. And, I wasn't even looking for a stress-related article; it just presented itself to me. It's funny how that happens.
Now, as expected, the situation has passed (and I didn't eat anything). I'm still stressed out, but not as bad as I was earlier. I'm playing the distraction game right now by bouncing over here to post a quick blog and will probably run a few errands in a minute to fully vanquish "the beast" for today.
It's been a long journey, but I'm learning!
Saturday, December 03, 2011
I came across something this week that I didn't think existed... the "before" pictures. Most people who know me also know that I have always avoided having photos taken of me. And, I'm sure my disdain of personal photos grew significantly when I was obese. But, I haven't always been fat, yet there is still relatively little photographic evidence of my existence, even during my thinnest years as a vegan shortly after college. Anyway, just a week or two ago, I was ruminating about how it would have actually been nice to have "before" pictures of me (when I was at my all time heaviest weight). I realized that there would probably be no proof of where I had been or exactly how far I have come, but I might be able to find something fairly close. I think I looked for a few minutes, but didn't come up with anything. And then, I forgot about it.
Fast forward to a couple nights ago. My partner and I were watching TV and poking around on our laptops. He said something to the effect of "Oh My God, look at this!" I turned toward his laptop and my mouth dropped as he toggled between different photos from earlier this year. Most of the photos were from my grandma's funeral or related activities in late March. I was the same weight then as when I started SparkPeople on May 9th.
I never thought I would be glad to see that there were some awful pictures of me taken at my heaviest. And, inside, it is still bittersweet. Maybe the reason I don't like photos taken of me is because I never feel like the photos represent the "me" that I feel like I am. Even at my heaviest, I still felt thinner inside. Only passing the mirror or being easily winded from light activity would remind me of the condition I was in. As I continue to lose weight each week, I celebrate the fact that the true "me" is starting to look back at me in the mirror.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I had an awesome Thanksgiving with my extended family on Thursday. Besides getting to spend some quality time with those I love, I indulged in some of my favorite holiday foods including turkey (skinless breast meat only please), sweet potatoes (topped with marshmallows and infused with brown sugar and butter), pumpkin pie, chocolate pie and ice cream. So, yeah, I definitely went over my caloric range for Thanksgiving, but I tracked everything I ate (all 3,051 calories) and don't feel bad about it at all. I know that if I hadn't tracked my food, I'm sure I would have probably consumed at least three times that amount! With 28 people at our family Thanksgiving, there was a ton of food to go around. There were plenty of goodies that I looked at and thought to myself, "I don't even want to try to figure out how to track that." So, for the most part, unless it was something healthy or easy to measure, I skipped it. I had my food scale with me and was able to access the recipes of the things I really, really wanted to try.
Speaking of my food scale, it's funny how people treat my methods a little differently now that I've actually lost a significant amount of weight. Back in May and June, when I would bring my trusty scale with me to events, I would get a few laughs and "oh brother" grunts out of some people. At Thanksgiving (64 lbs lighter), no one questioned my scale, my food selections or really anything I did. The only questions were "how much weight did you lose?" and "how did you lose the weight?" During Thanksgiving, I think I also received the most compliments on my weight loss since I started. This was probably because of the number of people in attendance who have actually seen me before and after. The results speak for themselves. I have obviously lost a lot of weight. Basically, it's awesome!
So, yes, Thanksgiving was great. I was especially thankful this year because I'm really starting to live life again. And, the more you actually get out and live your life, the more you notice all of the things you have to be grateful for. I'm thankful for my partner who stuck with me during some of the darker moments of my life. I'm grateful for my family and friends. I'm grateful for my business and our clients. I'm thankful that I came upon SparkPeople back in May and that I decided to get back in shape when I did (rather than wait another month, week or day). I'm grateful for being able to walk a long distance now, without getting winded. I'm thankful for being able to run, if I need to or want to. And, I'm very grateful for a summer and fall full of more experiences and fun than I have had in many years.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I'm getting in a quick post far away from home. I'm on my last night of a mini-vacation visiting a friend in Arizona, so I need to keep this brief. It's been a great visit, especially since it is sunny and warm. Tomorrow I head home to a snowy, dark and cold Minnesota. Something else that made this trip memorable is how awesome it was to travel and have the energy to do a bunch of physical activities that I would never have been willing (or able) to do 6 months ago (pre-Spark). I'll talk about it more once I'm back at home. But, let's just say I climbed a mountain. Literally… I hiked up a freakin' mountain!
Friday, November 11, 2011
6 Months. It's amazing what can change in six months. Heck, it's amazing what can change in six days! In my last post, I explained what attracted me to SparkPeople and what keeps me here. Today, I thought I would go over some of those real life rewards and tell you a little bit about how far I've come personally. A couple of days ago, I had my 6 Month SparkVersary. I was down 60 pounds that morning, although my ticker isn't updated yet since Mondays are my official weigh-in days. The best part of this whole experience is that so much more has changed over these six months than just losing 60 pounds. I've lost over 9" from my waist, about 5" from my hips and over 3" from my neck. I have stronger muscles and more self confidence. I feel 1000% healthier. I sleep better. I don't get winded doing ordinary daily tasks. I can comfortably do things now I wouldn't have dreamt of doing six months ago. I've gone from not wanting to leave the house much to really wanting to get out and go places again. Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely a work in progress and still have a ways to go. But, these changes are so rewarding that I know with certainty there is no turning back. Now, more than ever, I know that I will be able to make it to my goal weight.
Speaking of changes, today I also took on the role of Team Leader at the SparkMinneapolis/St.Paul team. I'm really excited about this because it should be a great way to give back to the system that is helping me achieve my goals. Minneapolis is currently the #2 city on SparkPeople in regards to Fitness Minutes logged (#1 when adjusted for population). Because of this, I would really like to *spark* the activity on our team's forums and have more of those members that are burning through the fitness minutes reach out to build a stronger local team and help to motivate those that may be having more of a struggle with exercise, weight loss or other goals. I know people like to do their own thing (myself included) and most people belong to several groups/teams. But, even with all of our different goals, I think a strong sense of local support could be helpful for a lot of people. We'll see how that pans out. Wish me luck!
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