Thursday, August 07, 2014
This blog post is a year after my last post. Last year at around this time, my husband had a stroke and needed my care for months. That was one rocky year! I was caring for my husband in a state away from relatives and loved ones. I got sick myself (due to the crazy weather and arctic freeze that occurred in Chicago and other places), and I was ill with sinusitus and asthma the whole winter. Also, I had to continue to produce at my job - I still had to teach classes, I still had to engage in my research. I moved through the year like an automaton, and it is no surprise to myself that I let my own goals go.
But the bible says that they that wait on the Lord will renew their strength. The Lord saw my struggle, and He blessed me suddenly - new job offer in a new State (near my loved ones), a new apartment, a new church, a new lifestyle and a new attitude. All in one year! So now I am back and so happy to see Sparkpeople, so happy to begin to take care of myself again. Happy, happy, happy!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
I just read my blog entry of April 15 (the last time I blogged), and I was amazed at the similarity of that blog to today. Yes, ups and downs continue in life, but in spite of them, can we remain faithful to our commitment toward health?
My ups and downs are my primary struggle when it comes to weigh loss. Since last posting:
Joys - my car got fixed after being down for 5 months (needed a new engine)
Sorrows - I had minor surgery
Joys - the semester ended and summer began (I don't have to teach!)
Sorrows - had a trip to another state for 2 weeks without access to a fridge or stove
Joys - my daughter got married on 7/20
Sorrows - my husband had a stroke on 7/21
In the midst of this whirlwind of a year I praise God to say that I have lost 35 pounds since January 2013, and I have been able to maintain 30 of that 35 pound weight loss. Now I am back home, and my husband is in a rehab due to his stroke. In spite of emotional ups and downs, I am ready yet again to focus on my eating and exercising. Why? First and foremost, for me, but also for my loved ones who count on me. So, I'm putting on my fighting gloves and using Sparkpeople, Sparkcoach, Sparksolution, and whatever else I need to do in order to finish the next 5 months of this year with a B-A-N-G!
Monday, April 15, 2013
We all have ups and downs in life, and I am no different. Situations that have affected my weight loss efforts over the years have included getting a cold or flu, going through a period of not having money (to buy the food I need), or spraining an ankle (affecting the exercise). Also, birthdays, weddings, funerals, free food at the job, free food at church, free food at a friend's house, you name it. Emotions that have tripped me up include excitement and joy, depression, anxiety or fear, anger or unforgiveness, bitterness or self-pity, fatigue, guilt, or boredom.
So, given all of this, I was very happy to have been consistent with the Sparkcoach program since January of this year. Two weeks ago, I hadn't had anything trip me up. I had successfully navigated a sprained ankle, being temporarily poor, getting sick, and a host of events and food giveaways. What tripped me up happened last week. What was it? Travel!
Two weeks ago, I went on a work-related trip for 4 days. I didn't have a rental car, so eating was difficult. In the past I had traveled with food in my suitcase, but that normally didn't work either because I would end up wasting the food (usually canned things I wasn't interested in eating). So, suffice to say that I ate on this trip, and I gained 3 pounds.
Last week (this past week) another challenge happened that never happened before - indifference. I felt indifferent all week... indifferent about my job, about my family, about Sparkpeople, about my weight loss efforts, about my church, about everything. How do you motivate yourself under those circumstances? I was afraid I would eat a second week and lose all of my gains.
So, this morning I feel better (the indifference has passed), but it is my weigh-in day. I felt a little down about it, but I was determined nevertheless. Be courageous, I told myself. Keep pressing. Even though there are a few setbacks, in the end you will win this war. I got on the scale and I had lost the 3 pounds I had gained a week prior! Sigh of relief. Now I endeavor to keep pressing forward.
Yes we have ups and downs. But it is how we react to these ups and downs that is key. I pray for the strength to keep pressing, no matter what is around the corner.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
I've had a disappointing week - until today. I'm a college instructor, so every day is filled with activity, even on the weekends. This week was Spring break, and when it started last Friday, I was happy and excited. "Finally, I'll get some rest, and I'll go to the movies, and I'll call old friends, and I'll sleep late... I'll have so much fun this week!"
Well, none of that manifested. I realized that I had so much academic work to catch up on that really, my days still were 8 plus hour working days. I thought I'd at least go to the movies yesterday to treat myself, but there was nothing playing I wanted to see. My daughter said, "You mean you didn't do ANYTHING for yourself during the break?!" A girlfriend said, "So what, at least, are you going to do for yourself during the weekend?" I couldn't think of anything.
And here lies one of the reasons I ate so much. I used food as recreation, as socialization, as a friend. And, I would always put others first before myself before I started to get serious about my healthy lifestyle. If someone needed me, sure I'll be there. Nevermind my scheduled exercise, that can wait until everyone else's crises are over.
Well, no more of that. Today I set out to at least get out of the house. My car is down and will cost a hefty sum to fix, so I hopped on the bus. Lots of little mishaps happened along the way. I tripped on my own foot when the bus was coming and almost fell. I ran for a bus and realized there was a hole in one of my shopping bags. I got off of the bus two stops too early and had to walk quite a few blocks to my destination.
But, in the end, I did something for me... finally! I bought myself a bike... the kind I've always wanted. A simple starter bike, with a nice large comfortable seat. A sturdy unassuming bike... it's gray (I didn't want anything flashy or something that would get stolen quickly), but boy is it built well! I rode that puppy from the bike store all the way home, which was quite a few miles. My husband looked enviously at it as I rolled it into the house. Sorry honey, this one is just for me.
"Me first". Those are not bad words after all!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
I feel great! I've been diligently following the Sparkpeople "way" since January, and I feel good. I lost 18 pounds since then, and I have quite a few benefits. I am able to walk up the hill to my job without getting winded. I feel more alert than I did when eating the foods I used to indulge in. I am able to get into some old suits and dresses that I couldn't wear for over a year, so it's like I have "new" clothes without having to buy any. My pants keep slipping down... an irritating yet satisfying predicament. I know I am healthier... I take a multivitamin and omega 3 gummy everyday in addition to making better choices.
So, I'm doing Sparkcoach, and I watched the video today, and it talked about how to maintain consistent weight loss and keep the weight off once you get to goal weight. They asked "how many minutes do you think you need to exercise on average to maintain consistent weight loss?" I didn't know. They answered "245 minutes a week, on average".
Whew! I thought I was doing well with my piddly little 30 min 3 times a week. And in all seriousness, I am doing well... I am not minimizing where I have come from. I couldn't even exercise 10 minutes without stopping when I first started out. But that number... 245... is intriguing to me. It is something else to shoot for. I guess I thought I had "arrived", but there is always more that can be done, right? So, after my initial shock at than number (40 min of exercise 6 days a week, are you SERIOUS with my schedule?!), I am considering how I might be able, slowly but surely, to move up to that number.
I have never been athletic, so all of this is new and interesting to me. I think I'd like to try to meet the challenge!
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