Wednesday, January 11, 2012
After my good Sparkfriend WALKINGTHETALK posted her blog about her word of the year, I liked the idea of having a word that could define the new year that's just begun. It sounded like new year's resolutions all wrapped up in one single word! So, I thought about it a lot and finally decided on my Word Of The Year 2012: Change.
Why did I choose this word? First of all, I believe that for me, my family, my country, change is inevitable. We have already faced challenges and we are sure to face many more in this year. We have already changed our way of thinking on many aspects of our lives - like jobs, education, housing, economy - and many of us have changed their whole lives, not always in an easy way. But those are the inevitable changes and I really pray that they are as easy as possible and for the better.
Secondly, it's about the other changes, the ones that we decide to make. I'd like to stress here that, by character, I'm really afraid of change. I like taking things for granted in my life. Anything unexpected really fills me with anxiety and fear. So is this an attempt to conquer my fear of the unknown? (Oops!That sounded too supernatural!) Probably.
So what do I want to change? Let's see...
1. Continue changing ME. The way I look and how I think. Something that I started last year and this site is the main reason for this change. But that's another blog that I have to right some day.
2. Help other people change themselves. Those who want to, of course. Offer the motivation and the guidance they need. How much I love doing that!
3. Try to change anything that I don't like in the way I live. This one may be hard but I'll do my best.
4. Grab all the inevitable changes that will come my way and make them chances for something new. Every cloud has a silver lining, right?
Change can be a really good thing. After all...
If there's anything we don't like around us, we must be the ones to make the first tiny step towards changing it. If you don't like the rudeness of the girl who works at the grocery store, for example, be the first to smile at her. Simply...
So, come on 2012.
"Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change...
The wind of change
Blows straight into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring the freedom bell
For peace of mind."
(Lyrics from Wind of change - Scorpions)
Friday, December 23, 2011
I was never the "internet" type of person. I always thought this kind of communication, through screens and keyboards, was weird. I rarely log in to my account on FB which I created just to look for some old schoolmates. I've never taken part in a "chat" and even texting through my mobile phone is something I rarely do.
But Sparkpeople is different.
When I first came here, I was skeptical about all these friend adds and comments and goodies and everything else that we do here on Spark. As time passed, there was nothing I enjoyed more that learning about people's stories, getting to know some of my Sparkfriends a bit better, meeting their families through pictures, learning about their countries and their habits, offering and receiving support and advice. I've "met" some wonderful people here. People that I would really like to meet in person one day but I know that's very difficult. My Sparkfriends mean a lot to me. And I am grateful for finding Sparkpeople and being able to get to know all of you.
So, with all my heart I want to make a wish for all my Sparkfriends.
May your Christmas be decorated with happy faces and bright smiles.
May your heart be filled with the warmest feelings like kindness, gratitude and joy this holiday.
May you all have your loved ones beside you.
May your prayers be answered in the best possible way.
And let's not forget the real reason why we celebrate Christmas.
Merry Christmas to everyone!
Monday, November 21, 2011
This is a bit early as I started my challenge last Tuesday and I should blog about it tomorrow. But my weigh-in day is always Monday and I thought I'd post the results a day earlier.
To remind you what it was all about I wanted to try and do the following for a whole week: eat no white bread and no sugar, do cardio 4 times a week and have my last meal of the day at 7 pm.
I thought the bread part would be the most difficult but, to my surprise, it wasn't! I liked whole wheat bread - even though it wasn't homemade - and those two days of the week that I made white bread for the rest of the family, I could actually resist the smell!
Sugar wasn't a problem at all, as I expected, since the only sugar I use is a teaspoon in my morning coffee and sometimes another one if I have an afternoon cup of coffee. I can't say I was thrilled with the sweetener I used but it was ok.
My Monday dance class helped a lot with my cardio. Beginning the week with a full hour of cardio was a great motivation which helped me add the remaining three days. Piece of cake!
The most difficult part was the last meal at 7! The first two days I actually did it! But I always go to bed between 11 and midnight and the hours were too many for me to resist grabbing something from the fridge or nibbling from somebody else's dinner plate! But, believe me, those two days that I actually did it, I woke up in the morning feeling lighter than ever!
All this weekly challenge was an attempt to see the number on the scale drop below 75 kilos which was a hard-to-break barrier before. Well, did it work?
Morning weigh-in: 73.9 kilos! 1.5 kilos (3.3 pounds) lost!
I think it worked!
12.5 kilos (27 pounds) total loss so far! My ultimate goal is to get down to 65 kilos. So, it's time for me to set a new mini goal. And this is really important to me as it involves a health index and this whole journey is about health, right? So, according to BMI calculations I'm still overweight. I enter the "healthy BMI range" at 71 kilos. That makes 71 my new mini goal. Almost 3 kilos by Christmas. A goal to help me "survive" season's baking and family gatherings around holiday dinner tables!!!!
What do you think? Can I do it?
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Being an experienced dieter is definitely a bad thing. Weight fluctuations and the emotional roller-coaster that comes with them are bad, really bad! There's only one good thing that comes with the multiple attempts to lose weight: Knowledge!
Anyone who has followed a healthy weight-loss plan even for once in their life knows exactly what you have to eat and what you have to avoid in order to lose weight. And I have to stress the word "healthy" because things like crash diets or diets that completely forbid certain types of foods are not considered good for our health. And along with the meal planning knowledge comes the more specific one of how our bodies react to the changes we've made. If you've been there once (or twice or more times), you are wise enough to know when you have to try more or when you are allowed to cheat a little.
The last time I tried to lose weight - about four years ago - I did it with the help of my endocrinologist who is an obesity specialist. She taught me how to eat healthy and I'm grateful for that. Another thing I learnt is how my body reacts to weight loss. Back then, I had started at 89 kilos and it took me six months to go down to 75. It then took me another three months to go from 75 to 73! And that's when I stopped visiting my doctor. And at my last visit, I left my motivation and all my self-discipline at her office...
Fast forward to today - you can imagine what happened in between - and I've reached 75 again but in a much better way. This time I wasn't following any specific weekly meal plans. I was just making healthy choices. So, I don't feel tired by the whole procedure. Most importantly, this is my lifestyle change and I have no intention of stopping or going back to my old habits. But I'd like to reach my goal weight. And here comes the knowledge to help!
I know that from this point down, my body loses weight very slowly and with a great difficulty. Maybe it's because I'm getting closer to a weight that my body considers normal. So, what can I do? Make a few changes. And why not make these changes challenging to add some motivation?
Starting from today, I'll try to make a big streak of the following:
1. Increase cardio days from 3 times a week to 4 times a week. I also do strength training 3 times a week.
2. Completely avoid sugar and white bread. This is going to be hard as I make my own bread at home for the rest of the family and the smell of it when it's freshly-baked is irresistible! But I CAN do it!
3. Fix my dinner time at 7 pm and not put anything in my mouth after that time until I go to bed.
My first goal is to do these three things for a whole week. Depending on how successful I am, I might try to make a bigger streak!
Wish me luck! And if anyone is interested in following these challenges or needs help with their own, just let me know. They say that two minds are better than one. In the same way, double motivation is better than single!
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Last week was really difficult for me. First of all, I was sick. A sore throat and a runny nose throughout the week. I think it was a combination of cold and allergy because I still get it in the mornings. Anyway, there were days that I felt really awful. And all this was accompanied by all kinds of sad news. Relatives who are seriously ill, friends who lost their jobs, people who struggle due to the economic crisis, our own financial problems, etc, etc. Tough!
Some time ago, I would have had the perfect excuses to skip exercise. I would convince myself that it's ok to fall behind on my schedule for just a week. But it seems I've come a long way since then.
I didn't miss one single workout! Not even one! Getting my workout done in the morning was the first thing I would think about once the morning rituals were over and the kids were at school and my husband at work. Everything else could wait. Nothing would happen if I took an hour for myself. After that I could be sick again, I could make phonecalls and visit the people who needed me. But this was MY hour. Not some kind of torture that I used to grab every opportunity to avoid.
I was really bitten by the fitness bug. I'm researching the internet for new ideas, I'd like to start running, I joined a dance class, I tried zumba, I do everything I can to include exercise in my everyday schedule.
After many years I feel proud for something I've managed to do by myself. When people ask me how much weight I've lost, I tell them I've lost 10 kilos but I mostly point out that I did it all by myself! No dietitians or personal trainers included! And that's what's most important for me. I don't feel a failure any more.
I believe in me!
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