Wednesday, October 02, 2013
It is amazing what happens to the mind and body once you step off of life's treadmill.
On Sparks, I have been a little AWOL. A little unpredictable. A little sporadic. But I did not abandon the basics of good nutritional choices or movement. And because I adapted the program to work for the stressed-out me, ... it worked!
My last blog was 6 months ago. And I did exactly as I planned. I stopped obsessing about EVERYTHING. It took a while, mind you, but it was so worth it. Oh, I'm not way down in my weight, but I am way down in my stress. My goal was to learn to love ME. The me in THIS body...no matter it's shape, size, complications or limitations.
AND I DID IT. I was shocked the other morning: I smiled at myself in the mirror. I liked who I was. I was proud of my abilities. I appreciated the creative skills I have. I saw the potential in myself. I am finally comfortable in who I am. And I realized that I'd been feeling that way for a while now. Time does heal. We just have to put in the moments to make time count.
It's not an easy journey. And its not for the faint of heart. I really had to look at myself and my own bad attitudes. I really had to look at my viewpoint of myself and the viewpoint my Creator has of me and realize AND LIVE what I have written in my journals or on my mirror: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made". I gave myself accountablility for the negative comments and thoughts I was pouring out on myself; I made a SparkStreaks "To speak well of myself; do not berate or insult my size or habits - Do 7 times per week". Meaning everyday I had to CHOOSE to build myself up. Like everything - it was a good habit to develop.
I love me. And because I do, I notice it is easier to make the good choices so I can continue making a healthier "lighter" me.
Oh, when you begin to love yourself for the great and the wonderful IN you, the joy of such freedom makes the rest of the journey so much easier. Join me?
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
I have learned so much from Sparks in the time I have been here, but I have also become 'obsessed' with Sparks: the points, the tracking, the posting, and reading everything I can in any spare moment I have.
Unfortunately, I have a perfectionist streak! If I do something I jump in both feet and do it with gusto. So ... I need to learn moderation. Since learning of my health complications a year ago, I have been obsessed and determined to "get healthy". I've made my life "busy", but not enjoyable. Life is streaking by and I'm not any healthier mentally (or physically).
Yes, the Spark tools are awesome. But everything should be in moderation. What good is a tool if it becomes an 'idol' in your life where it must be accessed and logged and read and involved in your every thought. It is not healthy. And that is what I have done. I continue to stress my body by doing this, which is the whole reason I gained weight! My stress levels at work were so out of control that I had to leave the "employment" world. The only thing I have done is exchanged work stress for calorie-count stress.
It's like owning a car. It's a useful thing to have, to drive and use, but if I'm polishing the shine out of it everyday, I'll soon not be driving the wonderful piece of equipment I have. I'll be too obsessively 'busy'! I've done the same with Sparks ... polishing all my points and calories, but missing the blessing of it's guidelines. And that's what they are ... guidelines. Learn from them. Incorporate them. But do not obsess about them!
Because I have become rather unbalanced and stressed about EVERYTHING I put in my mouth or EXACTLY how many steps or minutes I have done to burn calories, I will be more absent from Sparks. I'm taking a bit of a Sabbatical.
I still plan to eat well and exercise, but for the sake of living and enjoying my life. This body ... vehicle for my life will get "good fuel' and "regular maintenance". But I will enjoy the ride. I will relax and love myself a little more. I plan to park the car for a while, and enjoy the views of my wonderful life.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I've been spending some extra time just reading. Been searching for wisdom and balance. I have physically been MAKING myself stop "being busy" and sit & seek wisdom. Yes, the Good Book has much to say to me, but God also gives us some amazing resources that can help us in our journey. And one of those resoursces is a balanced view of health in the form of 'The Spark'.
Going back and re-reading The Spark has been a great thing for me. Doing so has helped me keep my focus on why I am trying to lose weight. It's not just to fit in smaller clothes (though that will be an amazing 'side-effect'!), but to BE healthy. I have just finished chapter three. It has reminded me of so many of the small things in my life that are affecting my health, especially the "stupid stress" Chris talks about. I have let so much of the 'perfectionist' side of me take over my actions, that I do too much with little results. The things I run around trying to accomplish in a day sometimes have little or no eternal or earthly value. They are just superficial actions that are not adding much value to the day or my family's life. Chapter 3 has been one chapter that I have really disected and took apart piece by piece. I really wanted to grasp each idea and concept that would better my life. There are so many nuggets of truth in this chapter that reflect how the whole physical LIFESTYLE I lead is part of being healthy:
1) Stop focusing (and stressing) whether or not I have made a trip to the gym for the hour and a half routine that I adopted! Instead, I'm breaking up my day and the stress of it, by going for quick 10 minute walks or stopping and doing a pilates routine. It has done wonders for the brain! Changing my mind and though process. Adding of physical activity, no matter how small, IS beneficial. Don't discredit the enjoyment and sense of accomplishment from the physial movement I apply to my lifestyle change.
2) The "stupid stress" I allow in my life, when all it takes is some organization and applied self-control and habit changes. A little planning goes a long way. Organizing papers and routines. Wow, what a difference!
3) Making sleep a priority...who'da thunk! What a concept. Pushing myself to "keep going" when I am tired and wore is really a useless point. I've learned that I am way more effective even after a nap than when I 'push through'! And with a clearer mind, I am more positve and less critical of myself.
4) Everything in the mind, the thought process and viewpoints I have, will have so much affect on how I proceed. Every positive action propels me forward on the upward spiral and mistakes are to be learned from (not taken and use to beat myself up with!).
I know all these things! I knew all these things! Having them summarized in this chapter really helped me see myself in a more positive light. And to go easier on myself.
So here's to moving forward, not just in physical muscle, but in mental health as well. And mental health includes the attitudd I read and commented on a friend's blog: "I want ... a pretty dress in a body that looks its best for His glory and that functions at its optimal good."
I love that attitude. Sometimes we keep our earthly wants and physical struggles as a separate 'ungodly' want, when in reality The Good Lord wants to be involved in EVERY aspect of our life. And that includes the beauty and joy we have and live everyday in our bodies.
Feel beautiful about yourself - where you are now. Feel the joy. I think I need to pull out a favorite dress or two and remind myself that God sees me as beautiful as those dresses. That's my insight for the week. It's all about balance.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Last week had been a tough one. I PUSHED myself to get to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. My cardio days of Tuesday and Thursday had me pushing myself to walk the neighborhood. I even did a Sunday evening walk to de-stress. This week, so far has been a repeat! I'm finally migraine free for two days, after 4 evenings of sheer pain. But the mind numbing exhaustion is driving me up the wall. My fluctuating blood pressure and racing heart is frustrating me to no end.
Yet I know I am doing the right thing in exercising and eating well. I'm letting some of the old-must-do's go to the way side in order to heal my body and get healthier. The problem is my mind...my biggest battle isn't necessarily the scale, but my mind.
Though I had a couple of good cries on the weekend arguing with myself. "Why I am trying so hard to stay on track when I'm not seeing results on the scale." I argued with my old will to give in: "it's not worth it--nothing is changing." Oh, but it is!
I am stronger than that! I know that I am not as tired as before (Tired, yes. As tired, no.) I feel stronger. I've been able to up my weights in strength training. I can go a longer on the treadmill or elliptical. And I took some measurements this morning and I've lost a total of another 3 inches.
To stay the coarse, I have been feeding this mind (my worst enemy) 'good food' in the form of Psalm 139, health articles, True Identity speaker Jennifer Brommetís success stories, and 'The Spark'. Yesterday's reading in 'The Spark' just happened to be Chapter 3, where Chris talks about the 'tipping point' and sometimes it may be 3-4 months before the body accepts the changes being made. So, I am over half way there!
And today's SparkBlog is: www.dailyspark.com/blog.asp?post=sta
Perfect. And timely. (Isn't God good? He knows just what I need to read, what I need to hear, and when.) Just perfect timing.
So though some days are harder than others and I'm usually too hard on myself, the choices are getting easier!
Never. NEVER ever give up. Stay the coarse set before you.
Friday, March 01, 2013
Got smacked me up-side the head today with a novel idea today: Goals.
Oh, I've had them. Sometimes specific, sometimes attainable. But the real kicker was in re-reading 'The Spark' and realizing that I don't know where I'm going in the long run. Ya I want to lose weight but who do I really want to be?
I'm like the raft drifting downstream with no idea where I really am or where I'm headed. My only goal in life was to be a great mom and wife (I didn't want to be like my own mom). So as an over-achiever, I have poured every ounce of myself into those two things at the cost of really not being myself or getting to know what I really wanted out of life. As a career, my choice was secretary because it was safe and I'm good at it. (But I hate it). I have been so determined to prove to my family that I am a capable and strong woman. I have never made goals that would be risky or outside of my comfort zone. I didn't want to fail and be ridiculed or told "I told you so".
So, as I progress through this Spark Journey, I AM GOING to make specific PERSONAL goals. The first one being: to find out what I really like and what my real interests are! Now, I have to admit, I am so proud of my three sons. They have been fantastic goals to pour into. I know I have poured everything into my marriage to the point of empty, so that goal has been a little unbalanced.
But this month is a goal-setting life-balancing month.
Instead of being that woman all alone and adrift, I am learning from my SparkFriends, my supportive Coffee-Girlfriends, and my Daily Devotions. I'm gaining wisdom, balance and true joy in being who God has made me to be.
And maybe my biggest dream is to look like one of these girls.
I had it once. I can do it again.
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