Thursday, June 14, 2007
We stayed up late the day before our vacation began, doing laundry, cleaning, and packing our suitcases. When I finally hit the sack, I was looking at two hours of rest before we left for the airport. No sooner had I shut my eyes than my husband was shaking me. He’d opted to remain awake. Amazingly, he was fresh as a daisy.
We both loved our first stop in northern Ohio. We landed hungry, in time for lunch, and found a nice place to eat near the mall. While there, I noticed a new department store I’d never heard of, and of course I just had to check it out.
We entered the store in the womens department, and as fate would have it, I saw something I wanted to try on, and made a mental note to do so before we left. After an hour of assessing all the handbags the mall had to offer (and showing admirable self control) we reversed course and headed back toward our original point of entry. Just before leaving, my husband made himself scarce long enough for me to pick up the lovely things that had caught me eye, and slip into the fitting room with them.
There was a little guess work involved in choosing what size to pick up, and I ended up taking two different sizes in with me. One of them was the size I had on that day; the other one, I thought, was just wishful thinking. In the privacy of the fitting room, I cautiously put one leg into the smaller pants. Then the other leg. They zipped. I put on the matching sweater, and to my surprise, it buttoned.
I stood there for several minutes, staring at myself, wearing these expensive things, and trying to grasp the moment. I turned to examine the fit from all angles, not fully comprehending that I could be wearing this size… comfortably. I searched the seams for signs of stress. I looked for spare tires and muffin tops. I hunted for camel toes. Nope, the clothes fit. I haven't worn this size since 1996.
I knew I would not buy the clothes; they would never work in the hot, humid climate back home. I don’t know what size I’ll be wearing the next time I need a sweater. I slowly removed them and hung them back on the hangers, smoothing them lovingly before leaving the cubicle. They were so pretty.
When I walked out onto the sales floor again, both of the salesladies were standing in my path. They smiled and asked me cheerily, “How’d you do?”
What happened next was completely unexpected. I opened my mouth to say something, and I burst into tears. The ladies looked confused for a moment, and I apologetically babbled something about my weight loss, trying to explain away my outburst. I mumbled that I had not worn that size in ten years.
The womens’ facial expressions changed from confusion to beaming, and they both rushed forward, smiling and congratulating me as if I’d just intercepted a long pass and run a fifty yard touchdown for the team.
One of the ladies was about my size, and asked how I’d achieved my weight loss. I told them about eating right and exercising (that’s usually when people's eyes glaze over and they regret asking me how I lost weight). I mentioned Sparkpeople.
It may have sunk in, I’ll never know. But I’ll always remember this shopping trip.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
I find myself contemplating faith and belief frequently, and have come to realize that the difference between success and failure, the difference between having a positive outlook and a negative outlook about your future, is closely related to the BELIEF that your goals, whatever they may be, are truly attainable, as opposed to mere daydreams about what happens to other people.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your ability to change your life, and create your own new destiny. You CAN do this.
Many people talk about motivation. They describe it as a 'feeling': "I don't feel motivated" "I have no motivation" or "help me" (give me motivation). They ask how to "stay motivated".
What all these people are describing is not a lack of motivation at all... it is a lack of ACTION.
Fact #1- You already have motivation.
A motive is merely an INTEREST, or a reason to benefit from an action. The fact that you are here, on SparkPeople, proves that you are indeed motivated to improve your health.
Fact #2- You can't "get" motivation from others.
Either you have it, or you don't. If you are not interested in something, and see neither reason nor benefit from having it or doing it, you won't be motivated toward it. You can be INSPIRED by others, but nobody can GIVE YOU motivation.
Fact #3- Motivation isn't fleeting.
It is not transitory, and it doesn't ebb and flow throughout the day. It is unaffected by weather or physical limitations. Motivation is driven by goals, and as long as you have not achieved those goals, you are still motivated. If you are sick or injured, you may have lost some momentum, but you have not lost any motivation. If the scale isn't moving, you still have every pound of motivation you started with. Being tired, bloated, or busy does not affect motivation... as long as you have an interest, or recognize that there is something to be gained or lost, you have a MOTIVE. What wanes is ACTION.
It's not that you CAN'T do it. It's that you DIDN'T do it... yet.
Believe... and ACT.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Do you have a "food weakness"? Something crave constantly, and just can't resist?
It's a frequent question on the sparkpeople message boards, and when I ran across it this morning, I had to admit that it's a question I've been considering a lot lately.
To my amazement, I have discovered that my food "weaknesses" really aren't weaknesses anymore.
After five months of clean, healthy, low-sodium eating, I have lost my taste for the fatty, salty things I used to just die for, and now they just taste like fatty, salty things that aren't very good for me.
Last night, I had a Gyro. That oh-so-delectible Greek sandwich that I used to scarf down two at a time. My overall impression was that it tasted way too salty... and fatty, and really, not so good anymore. I thought to myself, how could I have made such a choice for dinner? Would I end up with heartburn (another formerly frequent thing I'd all but forgotten)? And it hit me: my favorite foods were no longer my favorite foods.
I let this foreign concept sink in a while... I imagined the flavors of my other "favorites"... and one by one, I realized a trend away from those (formerly cherished) flavors. Chinese potsticker dumplings, Vietnamese bu cuon (shredded pork rolls), even my absolute FAVORITE, Vietnamese noodle soup (pho), is no longer a big temptation for me... I NEVER thought I'd say that. This way of eating has simply lost it's appeal. My battle with the beast (food) may be OVER. And that, folks, is HUGE.
How strange that, instead of enjoying my greasy, salty gyro at the Greek festival last night, it suddenly dawned on me that I'd rather be at home, eating steamed broccoli and a skinless chicken breast with wheat germ and soy lecithin granules. Who IS this person??
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
I saw a doctor today, at the walk-in down the street. Paperwork First, or something like that, and I do mean literally.
After they verify your insurance and take your payment, the physician assistant records you vitals. Height, weight, BP. This is where something unusual happened: I actually got a kick out of being weighed.
The assistant directed me toward the scale, and moved the large balance to 150, then started sliding the small balance outward as I stepped on. The scale immediately contradicted what his eyes had told him, as the weight bar clanged noisily upward in it’s holster. His eyes widened in visible surprise, and he moved the large balance weight to the 200 mark. I corrected him, saying “250”. He didn’t respond. Uh, buddy, the level is tilted noticeably upward on the right. I have the exact same scale at home, so I *know* where the weights should be set. The large weight moves in fifty pound increments. I tried again, telling him calmly, “it should be about 270”. Finally, he clicked the large balance weight into the 250 position and found the level just about where I told him it would be, but added (a little smugly) “268” – as if to point out that I was NOT 270 pounds, and he was correct in thinking I weighed less than that the whole time. (Okay, so now I know my attire, and the contents of my pockets, weigh 3 lbs).
Did he really think I was under 200 lbs? I can’t tell you how amused I was by this scenario. Perhaps they aren’t used to seeing fat girls dressed in “thin” styles (showing skin). I must admit, I am looking particularly hot today. I almost caused a collision on my morning walk.
In other news, my blood pressure has dropped DRAMATICALLY since my last reading, in fact, it’s as low as any reading I think I’ve had in the past 10 years. This, despite the fact that the cuff was so tight I wanted to throttle the assistant and demand a larger one. This is the BEST NEWS ever, my blood pressure has been dangerously high for the last several years, and I was seriously afraid that I’d be having a stroke soon. This, to me, is even better than the weight loss. The lowering of my risk factors is by far the biggest health benefit I was seeking in controlling my obesity. If todays reading is even close to accurate, I’m very pleased indeed.
I finally met the doctor. She was a very friendly and compassionate young woman, who smiled and looked into my eyes while asking me about my symptoms. However, we still don't know why I am coughing...which, incidentally, manifest itself beautifully while I was there... and not just small coughs, mind you; but great big, honking, deep lung tissue coughs that shook the drywall. I told everyone that I had been coughing for two weeks, yet to my amazement I did not get a chest x-ray. I got: you guessed right, antibiotics; despite the fact that I have no obvious signs of an infection (wouldn't I have a fever?? Maybe I'm wrong). She also prescribed a bronchodilator (inhaler).
Yeah, this is why I hesitate to visit doctors... I don't have much faith that they will make me well any faster than I would get well without them. One more thing: I am very happy to say, she told me I looked like I was “in good shape”. WOW! Biggest head swell of the day! The doctor thinks I’m in good shape… admittedly, I was sucking in my gut at the time, but still, I can’t wait to brag to my husband!
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I've been fighting what I thought was a "chest cold" for an insanely long time... two weeks. The coughing is NOT going away, allergy medicine does nothing, and cough syrup doesn't work. After suffering through this weekend (I sweated profusely and coughed uncontrollably whenever I spoke) I decided to see the doctor tomorrow.
I'm much browner after this weekend too, and very slightly pink. Today, I avoided the sun as much as possible, but still changed color by at least three shades on my arms. The weather was all sunshine, very warm, and very humid. I was barely able to sit down all day, and had to break every 45 minutes to drink water. It was exhausting.
When I came home, I had only 633 calories in my belly, and NO appetite. My husband convinced me to eat (basically because HE was so hungry). So, now I am distended and stuffed. Ugh.
I'm going to bed early (again) and seeing doc-in-the-box tomorrow. My lungs ache. Something is wrong.
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