NEW_OLD_ERIN   4,886
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Starting Over, In More Ways Than One

Monday, June 10, 2013

I have been a member of SparkPeople since 2007. (This is my second account, which I created in an attempt to have a "clean slate.") Since that time, I have "started over" with SparkPeople more times than I can count. (Literally. I've lost count.) Every time, I approached the endeavor with excitement, but my commitment always flagged early on ... usually on the first day, when I realized I was STARVING, or I had an emotional WTF moment, or whatever. I did manage to lose about 24# back in the spring of 2008, but I fell off the wagon and never got up again. Each subsequent false start continued to erode my resolve and determination.

Is it a coincidence that I married in 2007? Probably just a coincidence, but even so, I think it is worth noting, if only because I've recently split from my husband of 5 years (we'd been together for over 10). We separated on February 10, so we've been split for exactly 4 months today. It's not official yet; there's no "official" separation period in my state, and I have to wait until we've been living separate for 6 months before I can file for divorce. Even if it's not official, this it the real deal, y'all. I'm finished. You couldn't get me to take him back, not for a million bucks.

The last four months have been very introspective, as I expect the coming months to be. While my husband's behavior was never outright abusive, it was just as psychologically damaging. I've been slowly peeling back the layers, and in doing so, I've found strength I forgot I had. I've spent this time focusing on myself, getting to know myself better, and trying to figure out what I want out of my life, now that I'm no longer tethered to a failing marriage. I haven't come to any hard-and-fast conclusions yet; it's still a work in progress.

Also coincidentally, I turned 34 a few weeks ago, and it's the first birthday for which I've been single in 11 years. I couldn't help but think JUST HOW DIFFERENT my life is now, compared to my 33rd birthday, and next year (my 35th) will be even more different.

I've been thinking, this is quite the opportunity. Yes, my 35th birthday will be very different. And I have two options: I can go with the flow and let whatever happens, happen; or I can make this year what I want, and I can take this new-found strength and use that to focus myself towards becoming the me I've always wanted.

In spring 2008, I think I (initially) succeeded with my weight loss because I was in such a great place emotionally: I was a newlywed (what a high), I had quit smoking the previous spring, and I felt like I was riding on top of the world. But by that summer, my marriage was had already started its downward spiral, and while I wasn't ready to admit it consciously, my husband's behavior was already starting to take its toll on me.

Now, in the early summer of 2012, I'm in a good place again. But not because of external, artificial factors -- because I've finally broken out of that emotional and psychological prison. And the fact that I was able to do that makes me feel like I could do anything. Anything and everything.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEW_OLD_ERIN 6/11/2013 4:00PM

  Thanks for the words of encouragement, ladies!

SHAMROCKY2K, I too am looking forward to my 35th birthday post. But I don't want to get there TOO fast - I have work to do!

Mybulldogs, thanks for the suggestions. I'll be cutting a lot of sugar from my diet, as well as a lot of grains, but I won't be cutting them out completely. My philosophy regarding sugar is: No added sugar. Any sugar I consume will be from fresh (or whole frozen) fruit. Regarding grains, I will limit my portions to 2 (maybe 3) per day of whole grains, usually oatmeal and whole wheat bread (sandwich at lunch).

Starting out, 15K steps a day might be a pretty lofty goal. Maybe too lofty for me. I'll start out shooting for 8-10K and work my way up.

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SHAMROCKY2K 6/10/2013 6:48PM

    WTG on your newfound inner strength! I can't wait to hear how your 35th birthday will be different. Stay positive!
emoticon

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MYBULLDOGS 6/10/2013 6:16PM

    emoticon

i believe in trying what someone else has found to work without drugs or costing lots of money.

i lost 44 pounds at age 61 vby giving up sugar and grain products.

my sister lost 105 pounds by walking 15000 steps a day at age 63.

emoticon

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Inspiration in Popular Media

Monday, August 13, 2012

I subscribe to a healthy number of blogs that I read on a regular basis, and one of them led me to this post, titled "Real Beauty vs. the World's Beauty": kareywhite.blogspot.com/2012/08/ive-
got-two-daughters-who-will-have-to.html
. Feel free to read it if you like, but it's not necessary (although it's a good read for anybody with daughters).

I was struck by the second paragraph, which I'll quote here:

"I was going to add a picture to this post. I Googled "thin supermodels" because I wanted to be fair. I knew if I Googled "anorexic supermodels" I'd get an unfairly skinny assortment of girls. What I found was still shocking and it made me sad. I found girls who have traded health and vitality for a super skinny body."

I decided to do the same thing, so I could know what she saw, and the results were astonishing. (Go ahead and do the Google. I'll wait.) If you didn't do the Google, the results that come up aren't just shocking, they are horrific: image after image of emaciated women who are glorified for their literal skin-and-bones appearance.

But ... there was one image that spoke to me, nestled amongst these images of ridiculous faux-beauty:



(Here's another link to the pic, which is bigger and easier to read: www.adrants.com/images/nike_my_butt_
is_big_2010.jpg
)

This is what it says:

"My butt is Big
and round like the letter C
and ten thousand lunges
has made it rounder
but not smaller
and that’s just fine.
It’s a space heater
for my side of the bed
it's my embassador
to those who walk behind me
it’s a border collie
that herds skinny women
away from the best deals
at clothing sales.
My butt is big
and that's just fine
and those who might scorn it
are invited to kiss it.
Just do it."
JUST DO IT! "

Reading the text, this photo literally SPEAKS to me. I know it's just an ad ... but to me, it reads like poetry, a love song to her body. This woman, SHE is the real beauty on this page. She is curvy, strong, and confident. She works hard and tests her personal boundaries every day. She's my inspiration. I want to be like her.

Her picture is now the background on my phone - so I have a constant reminder of what I'm working towards. When things get tough and my dedication wavers, I can look at this and see what I can achieve. If she can do it, so can I.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FATHINSN 8/13/2012 11:12PM

    From the 1st link, this pop up to me:
" The point is that our bodies are miracles--plain and simple. They weren't given to us for the purpose of looking "hot" or "sexy." Their primary purpose isn't to be a certain weight or size. Our body's purpose is to house our spirit, to give us experiences and lessons that require a physical body. They are to help us learn patience and self-mastery. "

Whether you are naturally curvy or skinny, be happy with your body, we only have one for each person and everyone is unique. You can enhance or improve it but no suffering!

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NEW_OLD_ERIN 8/13/2012 8:03PM

  Aw, thanks, Andrews_Mom! I hope that posting regularly will help me keep to my goals. If I'm every feeling discouraged in the future, I can come back here and see my progress, how far I've come, and the encouragement of others like you :)

And if, in the process, my blog can encourage others, that's awesome, too!

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ANDREWS_MOM 8/13/2012 7:43PM

    emoticon
Thanks for posting this!! I love this blog and I LOVE the photo you included!
The woman is gorgeous, super fit & love the attitude to go with it!
I am certainly NEVER going to be skinny (and my butt will always be too big for my liking) BUT if I can tone & look like that I will be one happy girl!! emoticon
I'll take curvy over skinny any day!!
Thanks again for posting!

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Sometimes, I hate the weekend ...

Monday, August 06, 2012

Weekends are going to be a big hurdle for me to overcome. It feels like everything is harder - eating right, working out - on the weekend, when I lack the structure of my work day, around which I plan my meals. It's also harder because I don't always have healthy options immediately available (lunch: go to the salad place around the corner; dinner: stop at Panera and get something healthy on the way home) ... I have to rely on what is in the fridge, or (even worse): CARRY-OUT.

Here's what makes weekends even more difficult: my husband. We have gotten into the habit that we order carry-out from a local place on Saturdays for lunch, and on Sunday we order pizza (plus wings for him) for lunch. If we don't do this, he grouses and complains - to say that he likes his routines would be putting it lightly. To be perfectly honest, the Saturday carry-out place really isn't very good (not to mention a complete dearth of healthy options), and I don't really want pizza every Sunday. But I don't want to listen to him complain all weekend, so I go along with it. The rest of the week is easy, because he works nights and I work days, so I only see him on the weekends.

But what it comes down to is that I don't want to waste my "cheat" meals on this CRAP. I want to use my "cheat" meals for something GOOD, like a lobster roll on a buttered split roll, or a really delicious baked macaroni and cheese, or a sumptuous panna cotta for dessert.. And it makes me mad that I feel compelled to sacrifice/compromise what I want (and need!) in order to keep the peace for the weekend.

You know what? Forget that! This weekend, if he wants to order that crap, he can. On Friday, I'll get a second salad from the Salad Place for my lunch on Saturday, and I'll prep some healthy leftovers that I can have instead of pizza on Sunday.

Yeah, I think that's a good idea. You can't make change if you insist on sticking to your old routines, right? It's time to shake things up a little!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMBERLYNN777 8/13/2012 12:37AM

    Weekends are terrible for me too! Mostly because at work I can have sparkpeople up on my computer (minimized so I don't get in trouble) but I can open it every time I eat. I don't have that easy access during the weekend- have the phone app but it's not as easy. Just need to change my habits I guess. Love that you are making a plan/compromise for the weekend- that's the best way to go about it! To have a plan and stick to it! I'm with you all the way- I want to spend my calories on something I really want! emoticon

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NYMERIAWOLF 8/6/2012 11:31PM

    emoticon Go you!! That sounds like the perfect compromise to keep hubby happy and keep you on track! emoticon

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LEFTHANDLUKE 8/6/2012 1:39PM

    i hate weekend too emoticon

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Oy, I Hurt ...

Friday, August 03, 2012

... but in a good way. (I'll get to that in a minute.)

After my post on 07/31/12, @Karen42Boys asked me what small changes I was starting with, and I thought that might be a good topic for a blog post.

My starting-out small changes is to focus on drinking more water (thereby eliminating liquid calories), eat more veggies (thereby - hopefully - eliminating junky snacks), and wear my BodyMedia Fit armband daily (to help me be more conscious of what's going in and and out, in terms of calories).

And, obviously, moving more.

So, today is DAY 3, post-moment. I keep thinking about that Global Fat Scale, and it's been a pretty good motivator to stick with those small goals/changes. I've done really well with the water, but I need to be drinking more earlier in the day ... I've had to get up 4 times a night to go. It's kind of ridiculous. And the veggies are really easy to sneak in if you have a super big salad from Chop't ( choptsalad.com/ ) for lunch. I wore my BMF monitor for the last two days, but I forgot it today because I had it plugged in to charge.

It also could be because I am sleep-deprived and tired.

I am NOT a morning person. I would love to be, but 30+ yrs of late bedtimes, sleeping in on weekends, and blackout curtains (thanks, hubby!) make it difficult. That, and I am a REALLY heavy sleeper. I'm not very good at getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and I always end up groggy the next day.

But today is a little worse than usual. On DAYS 1 & 2, I worked out after work, but I got home late both days b/c of other post-work commitments, so I worked out at 8:30 or 9 pm both nights. And then had (healthy) dinner after. And who wants to go to bed right after that? Who's with me, people?

So yeah, I'm really tired today -- and I don't have my monitor, but at least I can estimate my steps/calorie burn, based on the last two days. "Really tired" also means that I have to be extra vigilant, because I tend to overeat when I'm tired.

But back to the title of my post ... I'm exhausted, and I hurt like the dickens. My two workouts were really great, and I'm feeling it today. So it's a *good* hurting, like I'm making a difference. Between the soreness and exhaustion, I definitely think today is resting day. But I'm feeling really good about this whole thing today :)

  


So, I think I had my "Come to Jesus" moment today.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So, I think I had my "Come to Jesus" moment today. To be more specific, I think I had it this morning.

I came across the mention of the "global fat scale" ( www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18781786 ) on somebody's blog, and I decided to check it out. There's a calculator so you can figure out your personal global fat rank - it's in the upper left-hand corner of the page I linked to above. (Go ahead, click on it and calculate your rank. I'll wait.)

So, here's what I came up with:


As I'm writing this, I'm not sure how well this picture is showing up, so I'll do a little diagnostic/breakdown for you. At 5'6" and 242#, I have a BMI of 39. I already knew this, and I knew it was unhealthy and that I need to do something about it. That's all really abstract and doesn't do much for the motivation factor.

What REALLY FREAKS ME OUT is that, for my sex/age bracket, I am in the 99th percentile for obesity in the WORLD. See that blue line? That's the world average, and the countries of the world are ranked according to their average BMI in the form of a bar graph, highest to lowest.

Tonga has the highest average BMI of all the countries listed, and my BMI? My BMI is 2.5 points higher than the Tonga average, and almost 10 points higher than the US's BMI average.

In case you missed it ...

"I am in the 99th percentile for obesity in the WORLD," which means that ...
... I HAVE A HIGHER BMI THAN 99% OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION.

"My BMI is 2.5 points higher than the Tonga average," which means that ...
... MY BMI IS HIGHER THAN THE BMI OF THE WORLD'S MOST OBESE COUNTRY.

I know that they say, don't compare yourself to other people, but sometimes ... sometimes you have to, because if you don't, how will you know where you really stand? I was so caught up in the "don't compare yourself to other people" positive self-talk that I wasn't really aware of the gravity and the truth of my situation. This positive self-talk allowed me to say to myself, "Well, you're not really THAT overweight," when the comparison of cold, hard numbers and statistics has really opened my eyes.

I need to do something about this. My weight is out of control, and has clearly been so for some time now. I've been consistently carrying these same 242# for several years now, and I'm not getting any younger. Something has to change, and the only thing I can control and change is me and my behavior, and it's not going to happen without a significant amount of effort. But I need to do it, I need to put in the effort, because I can't live like this anymore. I need to make a change.

So, like I said ... I think this was my "Come to Jesus" moment. My husband said a couple weeks ago, "I guess we're just destined to be fat. I guess we've both just given up." Well, forget that! I'm not destined to be anything. Maybe he is, but I'm not, darn.

I'm going to forget a couple of other things, too. I'm going to forget ... giving up. I'm going to forget ... procrastination. I'm going to forget ... complacency. But one thing that I cannot allow myself to forget is the horror I felt this morning when the results of this calculator came up.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEW_OLD_ERIN 8/1/2012 1:12PM

  Dear Sparkers, thanks for the notes and words of encouragement. My moment is still on my mind, and I hope it stays on the forefront indefinitely to continue to motivate me.

@Karen42Boys, my starting-out small changes is focusing on drinking more water (thereby eliminating liquid calories), eating more veggies (thereby - hopefully - eliminating junky snacks), and wearing my BodyMedia Fit armband daily (to help me be more conscious of what's going in and and out, in terms of calories).

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GETFIT2LIVE 8/1/2012 8:55AM

    There comes a point for all of us (hopefully) where we realize the status quo is no longer acceptable. Until our reason for change becomes more pressing than the discomfort of change itself, we don't begin to move out of our comfort zone to do anything about it. You can do this; you are worth the effort. Go for it!

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SHAREDJOURNEY1 7/31/2012 6:44PM

    Eye opening, isn't it. Your destiny is yours to define. I saw this on another blog: The journey is challenging at times. Maintenance is challenging at times. Being overweight is challenging. Choose your challenge. You can do it!

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BARBARASDIET 7/31/2012 5:51PM

    didn't like mine either--although, as you said, no surprise!

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DANIYAHMOM 7/31/2012 5:18PM

    emoticon

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KAREN42BOYS 7/31/2012 5:12PM

    You're right. This is your moment. You've found your trigger to change.

What small changes will you be starting with?

Go make this happen!

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