Monday, June 25, 2012
I've spent years at the "diet mall". I've counted calories, points, dealt cards, bought pre-packaged meals, made cabbage soup, drank grapefruit juice before meals, tried both extremes on carbs/fats. I've read dozens of books, participated in study groups, danced, walked, swam, downed gallons of water and even went to an Obesity Clinic. I would have success on just about every one of these plans. Many have had great success on all of these.
There was one basic problem (with me). I viewed all of these as a temporary deprivation to a desired end. You know what I'm talking about. I would say things like this: I can't have bread today but after my weight is off... Once I get the weight off I won't have to eat these tiny portions... When I'm thin then I can have the nachos.
Do you see the problem? I was plugging the hole in the dike with my finger which would temporarily make a difference but the minute I pulled it out or even loosened it the flow would start again.
The reason all this matters is that until you are ready to make a LIFESTYLE CHANGE you will have great difficulty achieving your goal and SUSTAINING it.
I have lost up to 80 pounds before. I put it all back on and THEN some. I do not want to return to this:
This was not even my top weight. I guess I hid from cameras at that point. Ha! I know that I will never eat like I did then. I know I will always have to step on the scale, count calories (or points), make BETTER choices and exercise. ONCE I was able to grasp the notion that this is my new life I left that "temporary deprivation for desired outcome" mentality behind.
I don't feel deprived now because what I desire is HEALTH. When I see a chocolate cake doughnut does it tempt me? Of course! BUT - now I want the health and wellness more. THIS is my new life. THIS is my new "normal".
This is me now:
I like the "new normal".
Join me! The journey continues...
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Most of you probably remember learning to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. When you first got your "big bike" it had training wheels and those early miles were slightly off-center riding along balanced on one side or the other. As time wore on you would begin to find your center and eventually Mom or Dad would get the screwdriver out and take off your training wheels so you could ride unaided.
Even though you had found your center with the training wheels still ON the bike, their removal took with it a "security". Mentally you had to find your center again. Perhaps Mom or Dad ran behind your bike holding onto the tote seat or the back of your shirt. Soon you regained your center and were riding without aid.
Did that mean you didn't fall down? I have many scars from skinned knees to prove otherwise. I've even fallen off the bicycle as an adult some decades after those training wheels disappeared.
There is a great lesson in this for our weight loss journey. Many thousands of people join Sparkpeople (and other weight loss sites/groups) weekly. They all come with a desire to be thin. That's NOT the same as "wanting to lose weight" because the latter implies a willingness to do what it takes to achieve the goal. VERY different things but I digress.
The training wheels on your "sparkcycle" are things like Fast Break Goals, Meal Plan Suggestions, Strength Training suggestions, your Spark Class Team, the helpful articles in the Daily Spark and Health news. Blogs written by those that have journeyed before you (like this one) give you lots of tips and encouragement. All of these things are your training wheels. You need to lean on them heavily in the early days to find your center.
Some, using these tools and applying them daily, soon find their center and the weight starts coming off. They take off the training wheels (quit tracking, stop exercising, distance themselves from their support team, skip logging into the site, etc.) and they FALL DOWN (start gaining).
What keeps the person on balance - MOMENTUM. Once up and going if they keep their momentum they won't fall unless they hit a major obstacle (big rock, hole, etc.). This is how it is with OUR journey too. Once we get that balance of nutrition, tracking, exercise, water, sleep, etc. we make forward progress AS LONG AS we steer clear of the obstacles.
Now some of us will ride RIGHT into a hole knowing full well we are going to fall (going on a cruise, buying the bag of double stuff cookies, skipping our workouts because we just don't "wanna". ) Others will turn a corner and be blindsided by an obstacle (illness, family crisis, loss of job, etc.) We WILL fall. So if we do how do we regain our balance? We have to go back to those training wheels!
We need to lean heavily on our training wheels (tracking, teams, exercise, meal plans, articles, blogs, etc) to find our initial balance.
We need to gain momentum to keep us from falling OFF the bike.
When we fail to steer around an obstacle we need to return to our "training wheels" to regain our balance.
We need to MAINTAIN momentum. This is my favorite saying of PRESS ON! Keep those wheels turning so you don't fall off!
Don't be too proud to strap on those training wheels to learn how to find your center. They have helped MANY people find balance and gain momentum on the journey!
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