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!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Whoo! I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. The past week, I have been feeling what is called the "Imposter Syndrome". I was blessed to get a job teaching and doing research at a university a year and a half ago. But this week, I had the sneaking suspicion that my being hired was just a "fluke", that I wouldn't make it, that my teaching wasn't effective, that I wouldn't be able to succeed in my research agenda. Insecurity bombarded me this week so much so that I didn't get a good night's sleep last night... I tossed and turned, with different scenarios flashing in my mind about what I could have done or said differently yesterday.
This morning I felt something like paralysis. But no, no, no, I won't succumb to that. I decided to exercise this morning, and this time I planned to put ALL of my frustration into the effort of exercise. I pushed and huffed and did moves I had never done before. And, at the end of it, I exercised for 45 minutes (when last month I could only do 10). Charlene Johnson on the Turbofire DVD said "no joke, you did awesome today", and I felt like she was talking directly to me. Then, I topped off my morning with watching an inspirational video from Sparkpeople of before and after success stories.
If you suffer from the imposter syndrome at times like I do, say this with me: "I am NOT an imposter. I CAN do this. I can lose the weight and so much more. I can succeed in my career. I can reach my goals. I am able to put the work in, and 2013 is MY year".
Waking up on the wrong side of the bed happens sometimes... but it's what you do after you wake up that counts. Let's do this thing!
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Sparkcoach asked me to answer the following question: "Think about the last 'mistake' you made that left you feeling upset or off track. Now re-frame that event as a learning opportunity. What did it teach you? How can you be better going forward? Share your insights in a blog post".
My last "mistake" was just this past week. I had had three difficult weeks prior (had food poisoning, sprained my ankle, my car broke down) and I thought I had handled it well. But last week I was crabby, tired, angry, and pouty. In the past, it was during those times when I felt self pity that I would binge and keep on binging. I admit that I ate more than I should on that Saturday night, trying to drown my "sorrows" in extra food.
But, I acknowledged how I felt, admitted it (even though it feels nasty to see oneself as a self-pitying, tantrumming baby), and told God about how I felt. I got gut level and real with God in prayer, and I didn't try to sugar coat it. I explained to God that although I knew this was not reality, I felt like I was abandoned in certain circumstances. I apologized for seeing things in this pessimistic light, and I asked God to help me see things the way He saw them. And God heard my prayer... I could feel the emotional cloud lifting off of me. I got up out of the pity pot I was in and got on the battlefield again.
My mistake was sitting in self pity for too long. But thank God that I am learning, one step at a time, from my mistakes.
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