Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I love helping other people. Always have and always will. The simple words "thank you", when honestly said and are meaningful, are music to my ears. Even when they're not said, just a look or the smile of someone I've helped can really fill my heart with joy. For a thing as simple as a present, I have to think days ahead, find out what someone really needs and make sure that what I give them will bring a smile to their face. If I could be 18 again, I would definitely start a career as a doctor or a nurse. All this time that I've been here on Spark, there's nothing that makes me happier than leaving comments to people who need support. My comments may have meant nothing to some people or a lot to others but to me each and every one of them is an act of trying to do something for someone.
During this journey, I've learnt a lot about nutrition and exercise. Knowledge that has been passed on from other SP members or that I have acquired from hundreds of articles I've read and videos I've watched. You can't imagine how excited I was when I was asked to use this knowledge to help other people!
A very good friend of mine started her own health journey yesterday by visiting a dietician. So, after setting up her nutrition plan, she asked my help in order to find a way to exercise. I'm already gathering videos and information to send her and I intend to try to motivate her everyday.
My mom was diagnosed with osteopenia this week, which is the first stage of osteoporosis. At this stage, it might not be curable (you can't get back your bone density once you lose it, especially at 70) but we can do a lot to make sure it doesn't deteriorate. What's the key? The same as always! Eat right and exercise! She got the nutrition information from her doctor and I did a research on the right type of exercises for this case. After I talk to her doctor, I intend to help her start a mild exercise schedule.
Yesterday, I went to my first dance class! I joined the parents' dance class at my daughters' school. (Yeah, me!) While we were dancing, another mom complained about calf pain and she had to stop for a while because of that. At the end of the class, we were talking about it and she asked me how come I didn't feel any pain after an hour of dancing. I told her I exercise regularly and she wanted to know what she can try at home, too. I gave her a few ideas and I told her about some good exercises that could help her strengthen her calfs.
Sharing this knowledge felt so great! And knowing that I can help my mom and my friend is just so exciting. Don't get me wrong, I don't pretend to have become an expert on this and I would never suggest anything to someone without the consent of their doctor. I just love helping people. And I want my friend to succeed and love exercise like I managed to do. And I want to help my mom remain healthy for many years to come. Because sharing somebody else's joy is a rare feeling. Knowing that you helped just a tiny bit to create a smile on somebody's face is just priceless!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I've been on Sparkpeople for a long time, actually two years and a little more. My progress has been sloooooooooow. So slow that at some point I thought the SP staff would erase me for being a bad example to other Sparkers!
When I started out, I knew this had to be a lifestyle change. I had been on diets again in the past, successfully I could say, but when the diet was over, so were my newly-acquired healthy nutrition habits. I had even got help from an expert. But I couldn't afford visiting her forever! When I stopped, I just returned to my old ways of eating.
This time I had to do it on my own. I had to make slow changes that would last. I set a goal for myself but I wanted it to be flexible. Ok, I want to lose 20 kilos but I won't set a deadline for this. I don't care when I reach my goal, I just want to establish new, long-lasting healthy eating habits. I want to get into a weekly exercise schedule that will make my body healthier and increase my endurance. So, I shouldn't care about the number on the scale, right?
I admit it! The number on the scale can be my greatest motivation. Even the slightest change (100 grams!) can give me the energy and the spark I need to start my week and do everything right. So, what's the problem with that? you may ask. The problem is that scales move to both directions. Downwards but upwards, too!
That's what happened yesterday morning. I hadn't seen the scale going up for a long time. I don't really know what the reason is. But a gain of half a kilo was enough to awaken the little bad voice in my head...
"Why should you keep trying? If you didn't lose last week, you won't lose this week, either."
"Come on, you can have as much as you like of this freshly-baked bread. Because even if you don't, you'll never reach your goal!"
"You'll never succeed in losing 20 kilos! Not in a hundred years. You'll go back to your old habits at the drop of a hat!"
In short, a slight backward movement of the scale was enough to make me lose all my motivation, my willpower, my energy for working out, and, most importantly, my self-confidence.
And now the good news! I'm still here. Still fighting. Trying to make this voice shut up. I won't quit. No matter what happens, no matter how many times I fall, I will stand up again. Because in my mind, I have already written this blog about my successful journey here on SP. And I want all my Sparkfriends to be able to read it one day. But above all, I've made a promise to myself. I promised to give myself a proof that I CAN be a winner. And I won't let you down myself. Not this time.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Apparently I hadn't! Last night, after more than 3 months I had an incident of emotional eating. I had a really hard day with children and their homework, bad news about a seriously ill relative, in short a really stressful day. So, late in the evening, while I was putting away leftovers and getting lunchpacks ready for the next day, I caught myself nibbling and munching uncontrollably!
The good news is that it was nothing that bad that could destroy a whole week's work. And, of course I stopped as soon as I realized what I was doing.
This incident, though, made me realize that the battle with emotional eating never ends. You go through a calm and relaxing period in your life - like summer - without any frustrating emotions leading you in front of an open refridgerator, and you think "that was it!" Then, all of a sudden, you have a difficult day and you find yourself with an empty bag of chips in your hands wonderimg: "How on earth did that happen?" Maybe it's like smoking. They say that once a smoker, always a smoker, meaning that a person who has been a smoker will always crave a cigarette even after quitting. (This didn't happen for me, though, as I quit smoking about 9 years ago and I've come to the point of hating the smell now.) Maybe it's the same with emotional eating. Once an emotional eater, always an emotional eater? What do you think?
No harm done. I'm back on track today, with my goals in mind and my defence system ready to fight any beast coming my fitness journey way!!!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
During the past couple of days I've spend a lot of time on Sparkpeople. I read many people's blogs, people who inspire and motivate, people who struggle to make this work, people who have just begun a journey and are anxious to see results. Each and every one of them had a thing to say, an advice to offer, a helping hand needed.
Among them there were some people - very few I'm happy to say - who blogged in order to judge and criticize. I'm not going to get into details, after all nobody judged me personally, but I would really like to express my opinion on this.
This site is a kind of social network. There are many different kinds of people here. But we all come here for a reason. To offer and receive support, inspiration, motivation, all for the same purpose. There's no need to judge other members' actions, choices and words. I've read things that I didn't agree with, either. But who am I to criticize how a person speaks, acts or thinks? If I have a different opinion, I can just share it. Everyone has their own views about life depending on the life experiences they have. They make their choices according to what they've been through.
None of us is here to judge or be judged. Instead of easily criticizing people, we should try to understand them and learn from their experience if we can. This way we'll make this journey worthwhile. Not only for our health and our body, but for our mind and soul, too.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Exactly 9 years ago!
That's how long it has been. Since this morning that I felt the most overwhelming feeling in the world which just can't be described. It doesn't have a name. It's what you feel when, for the first time, you look at your own child. It's a mixture of happiness, responsibility, love, confusion, awe, relief - just to name a few. And it's just the beginning.
They say that if someone acquires a plane, that doesn't make him a pilot. In the same way, having a baby doesn't make you a mother. Motherhood is one of the most difficult "jobs" in the world. Because you can't be given any kind of training. You learn every day by trial and error. There's no other way. You take a small baby into your hands and your job is to make a man or a woman. And the feelings become more and more. Anxiety, worries, agony, fears...
You watch them grow every single day. Time flies but you don't even realize it. Your children discover the world inch by inch through your guidance. And your heart fills with joy, pride, happiness.
You help them discover themselves and they create a character. A strong one that sometimes is not in agreement with you. And, as a human being, you react. Where did I go wrong? Questions, doubts, more worries come knocking on your door.
And throughout all these years you can't help but wondering: "Does my child love me?" Surely, you've heard many "I love you, mom" from their lips but do they really feel it? Especially when they are past the childhood phase and they are almost pre-teens or teenagers. That's when a simple word or phrase can make a mother cry like a baby...
Yesterday, I was talking with my daughter about the basketball team that she wants to join and she was telling me how much she likes this sport. Then she asked me what I really liked when I was at her age. I told her that I've always loved dancing and I still do and that back then my dream was to become a dancer. She said "Why don't you go to a dance school then?" And when I told her that it's a bit late for me now she looked deep into my eyes and said: "But, mom, this was your dream and I want you to be happy."....
Nothing more to say. Just " thank you". Thank you, God, for giving me the privilege to be a mother.
Happy 9th birthday, sweetheart! I love you with all my heart!
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