Thursday, May 12, 2011
Although I haven't been the most active member of Spark, nor the most aware of what I've been eating, I noticed yesterday that since I joined Spark I have walked a little over 500 km. Now this might be pitiful to some and a miracle to others but the point is I....as in ME.....walked 500km since September 1st. I'm amazed and I'm so glad that I've kept track of my mileage. This is something to be proud of so in my moments of doubt and self-defeat, I have to remind myself that a year ago this time I couldn't (and didn't want to) walk the length of myself!
So, I've learned a valuable lesson. If I started out and said I'm going to walk a minimum of ____km a week, I would have given up within the first few days. The days when the sweat poured down or when the weather became cold would have been enough to send me back to my comfortable chesterfield. But, no, I started out by just saying I was going to try to walk the dogs. I didn't say I was going to do it everyday but I would do it when I felt like I could. And there you have it.....I started out very slowly and never made a conscious effort to pick things up or to do it more regularly. After a time, our walks became a habit and now if I miss a day I really miss it. I don't knock myself out with regret, but I do miss it and miss my lungs breathing in fresh air and looking at two happy and contented dogs.
What else can I learn from this? I can put the same "formula" to work with my nutrition. I am stating here for all of you to read that I am going to become more aware. The days when I can look back and use the 80/20 rule, I am going to applaud but the other not so successful days are not going to be enough to send me off the beaten path! No more all or nothing thinking! If I had that attitude with walking I'd still be on the sofa waiting for the magical moment.
Anyway, like I said, 500 km may not be much to some of you while others may think that amount is out of reach. But I'm ME, and you are YOU, so we have to find what works for us. I can say with pride that over the fall and winter of 2010-2011 I logged 500 km..yeah for me! For once I feel a sense of pride in an accomplishment and that self-appreciation is what makes this our own unique journey!
Sunday, May 08, 2011
This blog was inspired by a friends blog in which she encouraged us to try new things. I am in total agreement but does anybody else live where grocery shopping largely depends on what is available?
I live on the island portion of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. For produce to arrive on our shelves, it has to be trucked to Nova Scotia, be put on a ferry, and driven halfway across the island. The ferry crossing takes about 6 hours and the drive to here is about 7. That is in good weather when the highways are open and the ocean is calm enough to sail on!
We have two grocery stores. Yesterday I wanted some sweet potatoes and there were none in the first store and in the second one they looked shrivelled up. Same goes for bananas, ginger, spinach, strawberries etc,
I'm not complaining! I grew up this way and have become quite used to the store clerks shaking their heads and saying, "no, the trucks are all stuck in North Sydney and won't be here for a few day". It just makes trying new things a game of hit and miss.
Come on now, the staples of the traditional Newfoundland diet has for generations been salt or fresh cod, moose meat, rabbits, ducks, berries and the few vegetables like potatoes and beets. There are parts of northern Newfoundland and most of Labrador for which the growing season is too short for even carrots! Salt beef is something that most people have with every cooked meal...basically meat, soaked in brine and stored in buckets....salted so much that refrigeration is only a polite suggestion.
Now, I'm lucky. I live in a town of about 20,000 people but this is the hub for a lot of communities. So imagine planning your meals, driving four hours to get here to find out the trucks haven't been in and there is slim pickings in the produce section. Is it any wonder people are eating the convenience foods? I watch with horror as people fill up their grocery carts with drink mixes instead of juice, tin milk instead of fresh, tin fruit (packed in sugar) instead of fresh, etc.
This summer I am planning on expanding my food choices. I have never had artichokes, avocados, leeks, papaya, black beans, fiddle heads, but if I can find it I am going to try things out. I found out I love asparagus (we never could get it growing up) and sweet potatoes weren't bought because we had a perfectly good supply of regular potatoes. Maybe this will be the year I try out Ugli fruit (I've only seen them once in our town), Passion Fruit (have never seen them), or try squash of any kind......or maybe I will have to wait for the trucks to come in!
Saturday, May 07, 2011
After the past couple of blogs you will all know I have been working up the nerve to make a change things up a bit. I was up half the night wondering how to revamp my goals and aspirations as well as to how to maintain my motivation.
Well, I don't have any definite answers yet but I'm working on it. I walked 3 km just before supper tonight (good), I washed all of the dog's bedding and line dried it (good), I ate 3 Kashi cereal bars (not so good), I skipped lunch (not so good), I went grocery shopping and didn't buy any junk food (good), I bought flowers and some fruit for my mom and delivered it (despite the home being under quarantine - good), I made a yummy salad for supper (good), and I drank about 6 glasses of water today (good).
So, I'm going to be deep in thought about how to tailor this program to my own needs and quirks. I'm vowing to go back to re-read The Spark and to make any little accomplishments a big deal and to place less focus on my slipups.
Anyway, here is a picture of my all time favourite salad:
Friday, May 06, 2011
Well, it is Friday again and I feel like my grandfather when he used to say that. As a child, I never understood what he meant as the time seemed to stand still at times. Now it just flies by and I wonder where it went or what I accomplished.
I know one thing I've accomplished in the past week! I've eaten enough Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars that I'm slowly turning into one. I never thought I was a binge eater but I've realized that if I'm not careful I tend not to eat all day and then gorge at night. Well, they say the first step in recovery is acknowledging you have a problem. So, here I am admitting that I, Susan, do have an eating problem.
I know if I plan my meals ahead of time, avoid junk, eat all of my meals, limit snacking, and cook healthy, I can do this but why don't I? Am I too strict when I try that I quickly lose interest? Am I just sabotaging my own efforts by thinking this is "all or nothing". Do I use my episodes of depression to eat comfort foods rather than stick with my plan? Unfortunately, I can answer yes to all of these questions and still not be motivated to make any changes.
Okay, so lets be honest! Do I have what it takes right now to throw myself into Spark? No.
Do I think it is an all or nothing program? Yes
Why do I feel this way? I don't know
Did any of you experience this and what did you do to overcome this feeling?
Would a reward system and clear, short-term goals work best for me? Yes
Do I want to set up such a reward system? Hmmmm?
I know some of you are probably yelling at your computer monitors right now to tell me to grow up, not be so lazy and to take this seriously. To be honest, if this was someone else's blog, I'd be rolling my eyes and saying, "enough already"
Since I like projects, I think I will come up with a set of daily goals (duh, like Spark tells you to do but I figured I would bypass that part) and make up some rewards (another Spark favourite!)
I will look at the positive choices I make each day and count those without focusing on the stuff I'm not doing or the stuff I'm eating that is wrong.
I think today's personal challenge will be to start re-reading The Spark book and not rushing ahead this time. I need to establish a few permanent habits as opposed to many temporary ones.
See, how easy it all sounds "on paper" as they say. Thanks again for reading through my scribbles and for not giving up on me.
So back to basics it is for me........................................
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Had a really good and productive day yesterday which was made that much easier because the sun was out in all of its glory. Wasn't real warm but enough to get laundry on the line and a few windows open to air out the house.
I only walked the dogs once all the same and that was around 8:00 a.m. so I feel kind of bad about that. They were out in the back garden with me but most of that was spent lying down or looking at me with "okay, what do you want us to do now" expressions.
I took 2 garbage bags of freshly washed/dried clothes to goodwill which made me feel good on many levels. Some of it still fit but was simply wrong from the start, some of it was too big (YEAH) and others I collected from other people. I cannot stand when people throw good things in the garbage that others might need and/or want!
The highlight of our day was after supper when our 12 year old friend called and said he finally got his dirtbike! We were thrilled and of course had to go along to see him take his first ride. Let me back track here for a minute. We met this little boy about 3 years ago as his mom taught dog obedience. We were instantly smitten with him (not so much with his parents but that is another story) and sort of took him under our wings. He wanted an iPod, so John suggested that his family start recycling (a foreign concept apparently) and we recruited a few neighbours. John spent hours in the woods looking for bottles and by last June, there was enough money raised. He asked John and I to take him shopping for it which we did.
So, his next goal was a dirtbike which we all laughed at (he did too) because we figured raising $1000 would take him straight into high school! But, they did it! They raised $800 from collecting bottles and cans and the other $200 he had from his birthday money. Of course as soon as he got it home he called us to thank us.
Okay, so last night we all (his parents who are divorcing) and John and I. His parents know a thing or two about bikes so they started telling him what to do. Unfortunately they swore on him several times for not catching on, called him a sissy for being nervous, etc, etc. I was almost in tears and John had to walk away on the pretence that he was looking for more bottles/cans for gas money!
Like I said, I'm not a parent but don't they see how humiliating their words are? Alex is a wonderful boy (I know he is not an angel but he is a nice, mannerly boy) and he was reduced to tears by his parents in front of us. He asked them several times to stop pressuring him before his father said, "get the *^%@$ off the bike and I'll show you....see if it gets into that pea-size brain of yours this time."
I felt horrible so I pretended that I was interested in learning how to start the bike too so we could learn together. Everything his parents yelled at him, I carefully repeated and asked questions and Alex explained it back to me. Before we knew it, he had it started and was off across the field. John was at the other end taking pictures and jumping up and down like a cheerleader!
When we are all frozen to death and ready to leave, I gave Alex a big high-five to which his father snapped,"It was about &$%#@&*^ time you *&^%$#### scaredy cat" It was then that I turned and asked his father if he still teaches the learn to ride a motorcycle course, He puffed out his chest and said yes, to which I replied, "well, thanks for the warning because I'll make sure if I ever need to learn I won't be asking you". Then I got in the car and broke down in tears and we drove away. AAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH
Sorry to vent!!!!
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