Tuesday, September 06, 2011
We have just had one of the nicest Labour Day weekends with regards to weather that we have had in some years and for that I am very, very thankful. Today, however, the skies are cloudy but I'm still riding the high of the weekend. We had two lots of company (none of which actually stayed overnight) so it was nice to catch up with friends to see where they are in their lives.
Other than "entertaining", I spent the weekend relaxing. I finally finished "The Book of Negroes" by Lawrence Hill which I have to say was a really good book. I always judge a book on whether or not I am thinking about the characters when I am not actually reading and one that I long to finish but yet am saddened when I do. Do you guys have any favourites that you'd be willing to share?
Okay, so I know some of you rushed to read this blog because of the title so I will get to the point of my blog. At 45 years old, I have discovered the dirty little secret of weight loss. The secret....well, that is just it.....there is no secret because the thing that works for you may not work for me!
The idea for this blog came to me this morning when I was talking to a student who lost 100 pounds since January 2011. She was proud of herself but when I asked what she did her reply was to "watch what I ate". Intrigued, I dug a little deeper. Turns out this woman had been consuming at least a 2 litre of cola every day along with fried food and every meal was junk food! She suddenly stopped that and ate "normal" foods and gave up the cola....voila!
So what does that mean to you and I? Well, I don't drink very much cola as I strive to get my water in each day along with an additional 2 glasses of skim milk. We do not fry anything and I view junk food as an occasional treat. That being said, I haven't lost 100 pounds since January and nor would I want to as I think that is a bit too fast.
I really think my lack of success at the scales comes down to simple math.....I either eat too many calories or too little. I really hadn't realized before that consuming too few calories can backfire on your weight loss attempts. I know I've upped my exercise (I have two more months to go before my measurements will be taken again at the Y but I'm really feeling a difference in my abilities), my weight keeps fluctuating but I know I'm not keeping track of what I eat. (insert slap on the wrist here!)
So my dirty little secret is I have to faithfully record what I eat so I can determine whether or not (on average) I am eating too few or too many calories over a month. That is my goal for September! I will continue on with the exercise but I have to start being serious about recording my food!!!!
P.S. I'm temporarily removng my food tracker from public view as I am a "perfectionist in recovery". Hence, if it is not perfect I won't track in case you all think I'm horrible (which I agree is a total twisted way of looking at things but hey, that is the inner perfectionist speaking!). So, I'm going to track it all for the time being just for me!
Thursday, September 01, 2011
It is a beautiful day here in central Newfoundland and I'm happy for no apparent reason which is so nice! In fact while I was getting my Timmies (Tim Hortons coffee) this morning one of the ladies behind the counter thanked me for always being so pleasant to her! Wow....who knew how much a simple smile can mean to some people.
Speaking of meaning something to people, I wrote a blog yesterday in which I included a letter to myself. I had a lot of feedback ( ) and one WALKZWDODZ inpsired today's blog.
I found this picture on her blog: and I thought how apt.
This is my comment on her picture:
This is so true, isn't it. I mean we are all born with so much potential and life doesn't come with instructions (or at least mine didn't!) and we all fight and claw our way to become an adult only to find out that adults don't have it all together either! You have just inspired my next blog!!!!
When I was young I couldn't wait to "grow up" but yet was hesitant because I lived such a sheltered childhood and I was quite anxious about who I was meant to be. Everybody around me seemed to be following a pre-determined path...they went through the teen years, they dated, experimented with whatever, left home knowing what they were going to do, hooked up with somebody, got engaged, married, had families and had a career. I was not like that at all!
I hated all things "teenager"! I never dated, hated pop music, and only went to university because it was the thing to do and my parents encouraged me to follow my brother's footsteps. He was also "nerdy" like me so it wasn't a hard path to take or so I thought! However, my brother wasn't like me. I hated being away from home, I took forever to get my degree, and I never did go to parties or other things socially expected from me.
I really think I scared off my first boyfriend because I was so anxious about being a "good" girl and I was off on a journey called life but it felt like somebody forgot to provide me with a map! Then along came my husband and we still didn't follow the norm. We dated for 11 years for pete's sake and I still lived at home until we got married. All around us people lived together, people were getting engaged, getting married and having babies. I don't know what was worth the pressure my friends put on me or the pressure I put on myself.
I grew more anxious the longer we were together because we weren't following "the invisible map" that everyone else was. Yes, we did get married (again we bucked tradition and got married outdoors), I never did or could get pregnant and I became more and more depressed and anxious because this wasn't what life was supposed to be like.
Turns out it was what life was supposed to be like, at least for me! I'm tired of trying to follow other people's plans; John and I are creating our own lives and we are far more happy than we ever have been. We have decided to be happy in the moment and enjoy each day and not worry about tomorrow. He is not working at the moment but instead of worrying about that we are enjoying our time together knowing full well that tomorrow will take care of itself.
So here I am at 45 years old and I'm happy! Yes, me! Yes, I still have to take my medication and will still have bad days ahead but I'm actually having fun creating myself. I've discovered that there is no road map to growing up and most people just follow the path that generations before them led. But I'm following my own pathway. If it is muddy I will wear boots, if it under water I will swim, if it is overgrown with weeds, I will hack them away because this is the road less chosen and it turns out is the road for me!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Well, it was a year yesterday that I wrote my very fist blog although I had joined up a few weeks earlier. The reason I waited was because I simply dreaded starting and supposedly starving myself to death while exercising until I dropped. Neither of which has happened, mind you, but what has happened (and so it shouldn't !) is amazing.
My accomplishments might seem quite insurmountable for some while trivial to others but that is the whole point of Spark. What works for one might not work for somebody else and we, as Sparkers, have to find what works best for us.
So, on the day after my unofficial 1st Spark Anniversary I am thankful for many things. First, I'm thankful for my friend who casually mentioned the Spark website to me in July 2010 (and who I am going to thank on Facebook later on today). Second, I would like to thank YOU, because you keep me going. Third, I would like to thank my husband for being supportive and finally I would like to thank ME because all this has been possible because I started to care for myself in ways I never thought of before.
The following is a letter to me from me....feel free to read if you wish!
You've always considered yourself a quitter which is probably the first clue that you really had self-esteem issues along with some mental health ones. Yes, depression and anxiety have been a part of your life for as long as you can remember and they have contributed to your failure to ever see yourself as anything but, well, a failure.
So, you started your Spark journey thinking it was going to be yet another crazy idea to throw yourself into only to abandon when the self doubt crept in several weeks or months down the road. But you know what? The anxiety, self doubt and waves of depression came as usual but this time you blogged about them, binged for a few days, and took them in your stride. It was your new found obsession with your SparkFriends that carried you through the tough days because they, although perfect strangers, showed that they cared for you....yes....cared for YOU!
Not to be a complete idiot, you started experimenting with different aspects of Spark life. You bought sneakers (and actually wore them), you started making conscious decisions about food, you started walking the dogs (even when it was raining or snowing), you started drinking more water, you joined a few SparkTeams, you started using the fitness tracker and off and on used the nutrition tracker.
The key to all of this was that YOU didn't give up! Now, I know your weight loss hasn't been great but that is only secondary to all that you have accomplished. You've established a few key lifestyle changes that are making a difference. You didn't accumulate 13,968 fitness minutes by sitting on the couch nor did you walk those 750 km in one day! If one day of your life was crappy you called it a day and waited until the next to continue on....you didn't quit!
So, here it is one year later. You know drink your water without even thinking about it, you really like how those fitness minutes are building up, and you've not only joined the YMCA, but you actually go! So, what is wrong with this equation? Nothing! But what can be improved....well, several things.
Starting now, I want you to put more emphasis on tracking your nutrition since it has been effective in the past. I know it isn't your favourite thing to do but a year ago you also couldn't walk the length of yourself! If you are honest with yourself, you will admit you are lazy when it comes to taking the time to record your food. Okay, that is fair but why don't you make it a point once a day to keep track. AND, here is the catch. Each week that you do track your food for 7 full days, I will give you $10.00 in gift certificates. You and I both know your favourite store is Shoppers Drug Mart so it is an incentive to start tracking! You will have a few gift certificates to spend on you and you alone but only if you challenge yourself and are true to yourself. In time, of course, it will become a habit to track your food just as tracking your exercise is a habit now!
So, self, you have had an extraordinary first year so lets do our best to make sure year two is just as good. Starting September 1st we are going to earn those Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards and in a few months you will have a new perfume or a new lip gloss to go along with your new habit of tracking your food! Just watch the pounds come off then! Woo-hoo.......
I love you dear self!
P.S. Didn't it feel good the past couple of days to have co-workers who haven't seen you in four months say "you look so calm and happy" and asked what I've been doing!? And didn't it feel good when John looked at you and said, you are really glowing these past few weeks! You bet it did, sister!
Monday, August 29, 2011
I'm just not in the mood to write one of my normal blogs but I gotta share this news with you all.....last night I took along our GPS on my normal dog walking route. The route I always logged as 2.5 km is actually 2.67 km but the best news is.......I can now walk that in 25 minutes whereas it used to take me 40 minutes!
So, I'm still obese, I'm still fighting to lose a pound and not regain it but my fitness ability obviously is improving! Can I say woo-hoo!?!
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