Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Tonight I watched the season ending to America's addiction with "The Biggest Loser". If ever there was a show on television to set a horrible message for weight loss, this one is it. It's a guilty pleasure, though, to watch a 526 (FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX) pound man lose half his body weight and win a quarter of a million dollars.
Many years ago I learned that the issue is not to lose the weight, but to maintain that healthy weight loss. That is the true challenge ultimately. It's digging real deep inside to learn what got us to that horrific weight in the first place. And what we need to learn (besides the new building blocks of good habits) about ourselves to conquer ourselves.
I know for certain that shows on television that exhibit a tremendous amount of weight loss in their contestants, in a very short period of time, send a false message about weight loss. It is without a doubt not the way to go. Several seasons ago, I counted all the injuries that that show produced, that they lightly glossed over. One nurse who was a contestant had a ruptured disc and had to leave the show. Several other contestants had shin splints from overuse injury (read: exercising way too much), and were forced off the show that way.
Don't even get me started on the temptation challenges. Why on earth, except for questionable entertainment value, would you put high caloric foods (especially so early on in their journey where temptation to quit is the highest) in the hands of people who are trying to conquer these bad habits? It's like holding onto a stick of dynamite and seeing if it will explode or not.
As I take on one good habit at a time, and, boy, I don't have to tell you, that that alone is a slooooowwwww process, I'm starting to feel better. The days I don't exercise, I have found lately, that my body actually CRAVES the schedule that I have created. Now that in itself is something!
I am really learning to love this evolution. And I love that SparkPeople is constantly improving the site. The progress calendar that another poster mentioned is a nice touch. It's great to see at a glance each day's successes and hoping that the 80/20 rule is followed for the whole month. I like that one a lot. It helps to get an overview of the progress that is being made over time, a month at a time, and what needs to be tweaked some more.
Rather than "The Biggest Loser", I'll stick to the slow and to the steady, and continue more on this inward journey until the inside and the outside match. That will be a great day indeed.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I caught a cold Sunday night, and still feel a bit run down, but not sick enough to stay home from work. It would be too difficult with a major project ongoing now at the hospital, so the rule of thumb for me is, "No temperature, then off to work we go!"
Extending that philosophy a little bit more, I thought, "Well, if I can work at work, why not workout when I get home?" Today would have been strength training day, which I thought would be way overdoing it considering my current condition, but treadmill seemed reasonable since it's just walking, as long as I stay hydrated, which I need to be anyway with my nose running like a faucet. So instead of the usual 30 to 45 minutes on the treadmill, I thought at least 15 minutes at a good clip with a five-percent incline as usual, was fair game.
I'm happy to say that I did it and I'm glad I did go to the gym. Small increments count, too.
Bottom line in this quest: Stay the course.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I'm sitting here this morning, reading the words of a man's "trip to half." Love the imagery of that one! Even love the choo choo on his Spark Page titled "It's a Trip To 'State of Mind'". Who says SparkPeople folks are not creative? Since beginning this journey I've read quite a few Spark Pages of others in their quest to conquer themselves more than simply lose weight. It's something I discovered quite some time ago even before SparkPeople: It's not about the weight. Losing weight is the easier part of the task. It's really more a journey into self-introspection. How we get here, and why. What we need to do to create a new reality for ourselves: body, mind and spirit.
But I do digress. My goal for the week of Passover was to at least maintain the current weight and to drink more water. The latter is getting easier to do now that the warmer weather has arrived. Eight glasses in the winter, I'll be the first to tell you, is really hard. But SparkPeople is about tackling one goal at a time. We're not in a marathon, nor a sprint: this is a life event. So disappointments along the way, as many on the site have noted, is to be taken in stride, and considered as merely a bump in the road. The battle not the war. A lot of smart people here.
I forgot I had gone to my doctor for an annual checkup. That was one of the delights of the past week: She left a message on voice mail that my lab numbers were FABULOUS! Cholesterol in the 180's (but truthfully not a major problem for me to begin with). My hemoglobin A1C, a measure of my sugar control over the past three months, was 5.2! SUPERB! After she left a message of all the good numbers, I had to ponder if it were the new lab, I suspect, she has now. But still the numbers wouldn't be that much different. So why so good? I had been exercising much, much more this past year for sure. Hey, an insurance company that gives you back hundreds of dollars is nothing to sneeze at! More water? Yes!
I did as I promised myself this week: I drank more water. I faithfully logged everything, as always. I know I have to do this, because it keeps me on track. So what can I say then about the Passover week? It was a success. And a loss of 1.2 pounds to boot, but that was just icing on the cake. These holidays, for all of us, are about family, love, being together and renewing connections: to each other, to who we are as a people, to ourselves. I believe that.
And I love what SparkPeople has done to keep me on the straight and narrow. One of the biggest successes is seeing into the lives of others who utilize this site. I think that's one of the best parts (besides the basic tools, of course).
I will conquer myself: Body, mind and soul. See you at the top!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
With so little time to pause, I'm sitting here drinking my water (good move!) and musing over the entry of a young woman who lost 65 pounds with SparkPeople. Passover is almost upon us, which is an extremely high cholesterol holiday by its very nature. Coupled with that, work obligations and the resultant stress of a major, major hospital project have put my stress level into overdrive.
What to do? OK, let's consider the options. We've lost a lot before finding this website (good). And have lost some more with the help of SP (even better). Backsliding is not an option (meaning gaining back the 20 - 30 hard fought, hard earned pounds lost can never ever happen again).
This is the game plan:
(1) Increase the exercise level to help keep any weight gain this week at bay.
(2) Leave out the "treats".
(3) Drink the water!
(4) Drink the water!
(5) Drink the water! (Water is key)
(6) And log everything. Good, bad, or otherwise.
(7) If the weight ticker stays the same for the whole week, treat it as a positive, not a negative.
(8) After the holiday, return to the regular, normal routine.
Sounds like a plan. Now to finish the kitchen and do the food shopping.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sometimes in the course of a day, we come across something so moving that we bookmark it to remember for later. This sent to me is one of those things:
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep... you are richer than 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness... you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death... you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you hold your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful... you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.
If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder... you are blessed because you can offer a healing touch.
If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you, and furthermore, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.
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