Monday, September 23, 2013
I've procrastinated in completing these prompts :) I'm sick, I had a cut on my toe get infected after frolicking at the beach and can't wear anything but flip flops, and my work schedule was rough last week. Grrrrr.
Procrastinating no more! Here I go.
Prompt 1: What specific procrastination area do YOU want to focus on for the duration of this challenge? Why did you choose this area? What would it look like if you were able to overcome procrastination in this area? What are you hoping to get out of this challenge? By the end of the 15 days...where do you want to be? At the end of the challenge, what do you want to FEEL like?
I procrastinate on my weight loss - which is why I've been on this journey for so long. Perfect example: when I joined Spark in 2006, it was to lose weight before my wedding. I had been engaged for 1.5 years when I joined just 6 months before my wedding; I had waited that long to do something about my weight! If I overcame my procrastinating, I'd reach this goal and have time to focus on something else, like growing our family. I want to get back on track, and develop a plan that works for me. I tend to suffer from goal overwhelm, and general weight loss overwhelm. On the last challenge, I was working on eliminating black and white thinking, namely that I can't lose weight and still enjoy the food/beverages I love, and I get in the mindset that to lose weight, I have to have my blinders on to everything I enjoy. I want to feel accomplished, proud of myself, and in control (but not too much control).
How long have you struggled to accomplish the goal you've chosen to focus on? What have your plans looked like in the past? Have you been excited or totally drained while you were executing your plans? What would it look like if you took steps that made you feel like you were building momentum instead of hardly chipping away at your goal? How could you change the way you LOOK at your goal so it felt more manageable?
I've been struggling on this goal since I was in elementary school; it's that fact alone that gets into my head and makes me think I'll never make it happen. But I HAVE been successful in the past - I lost 50lbs before I moved to Oregon (and since I've never been able to live in harmony with all the good food and drink here, my weight loss has stalled). I think all the time "What was different about when I was successful, other than living in a different city?". I did have a fantastic sparkbuddy, and we met every week for dinner. But we eventually moved to only talking about social stuff and not weight loss, so it was less about weight loss. Maybe what was different was just my mindset - I had momentum on my side. I was happy with my plan, I had found exercise I liked (which I can't do anymore due to my hip injury - maybe that's part of it too!). I had a plan that fit into my lifestyle, and even though it wasn't always easy, it worked for me. I guess I just haven't found that right plan yet for my new lifestyle.
So how am I going to change that? I've been using the "something is always better than nothing" mindset. It helps. I was successful on the 80/20 plan - being within my recommended calorie range 80% of the time, and allowing to go over that for special occasions (or PMS) 20% of the time. Maybe I need to go back to that.
What would happen if you lessened the amount of time and effort you required of yourself so it felt more manageable? Do you get caught up in black and white thinking (having to do it all or nothing at all)? What would happen if you made an effort to create some grey in your life and found some moderation of the two? What would happened if you used overwhelm as a sign that you needed to scale back your plan? How much more do you think you would get accomplished?
This is totally me. I feel like I need to ONLY focus on eating healthy, planning my meals, exercising, tracking, journaling - and when I have many other things going on, I get overwhelmed and abandon ship on the activities that aren't absolutely vital to survival. A perfectionist. Creating grey in my life would be allowing myself to live my life without being totally in control and rigid on eating and exercising; the 80/20 plan. I keep trying to make myself fit into a plan, instead of making a plan fit me.
Friday, August 30, 2013
Last journal prompt for this round!
It was a good 15 days - at first I was disappointed because I didn't lose any weight, but I realized that the challenge wasn't about losing weight for me. I had thought it would be, but it wasn't. It was about providing insight into why I haven't achieved my goals, deciding to take a new route to a healthy lifestyle, and getting some clutter out of my house! I'm really proud of the clutter I've gotten rid of, and I smile every time I look in my organized closet!
My biggest moment was realizing how black and white my thinking has been the last few years. Before the challenge, I firmly believed that I could either enjoy eating and drinking, or I could lose weight, but not both. Now I'm working on doing both. I've reframed my thinking about exercise. I've actually caught myself using "should" statements, and reframed them. I've been kinder to myself. I've learned about intuitive eating, and have started trying it out; it is much more of a positive way of being healthy, and I hope I don't ever need to go back to micro-managing my calories!
How am I going to keep moving forward? I signed up for the next round of the challenge, and my goals are to live a balanced life and keep being positive. I am going to continue checking in with this group, supporting others and asking for support when I need it. If I stick with it, I know I can shed the 20lbs I gained since moving here, and get back on track to my goal weight. I NEED to do this. I can feel my body aging. I'm starting to see that if I don't get my body in better shape, I'm going to have a very difficult time getting older. This has got to happen, and it will happen.
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Prompt 4 was a review for me. I've heard all that stuff from Lauren before, but am I practicing it in my life at this point? No. I know about goal overwhelm, about taking baby steps, and about "something is always better than nothing". I am the queen of overwhelm - my first Vitality blog post was dripping with overwhelm. I get overwhelmed just thinking about trying to lose weight and still have the same lifestyle - then I freak out, panic, and quit. Then I restart, get overwhelmed and quit.
Something I don't understand is that if it's true that my plan is the problem, and I'm not, how much simpler can I get from what I'm already trying to do (and not doing)? Eating healthy and exercising 10 minutes. If I can't even do that, how much farther can I scale back?
Ok, so I've recognized this unhealthy behavior, and can feel myself getting overwhelmed by just talking about being overwhelmed!! What do I do about it? How do I change?!
Maybe making a "done" list will be helpful in re-framing my thinking. I used to journal positive affirmations and a few steps I took towards my goals every night, but I stopped, probably because I got overwhelmed that I didn't reach my goal in the timeframe I wanted. Maybe I need to build momentum off of a ridiculously simple task. Like drinking my water everyday for a week, and anything else great I do is just a bonus?
Prompt 5: Forgiveness.
In the past, I could have said I needed to forgive a couple different people, those who caused great pain to my soul, but I think I can say that I've made progress in letting those things (and those people) go. Today, the person I hold the most resentment towards is myself. I'm angry at myself for not reaching my goals. I'm angry that I didn't put down that milkshake in favor of a healthy body, a healthy future. I'm angry that this is a struggle for me, when it's not for others. I'm angry that I can't do what I want, eat/drink what I want and still reach my goals.
My plan is to stop the negative self talk about the past. I can't change the fact that I've been trying to lose weight for better part of the last 20 years. I can't change that I haven't reached my goal, can't change that I've made progress and took two steps back. What I can change is how I move forward. I can decide to take baby steps towards my goals. I can decide to make healthy choices, and I can decide to still be on my own team when I things don't go perfectly. I need to support myself and be my own cheerleader. If I can't do that, how can I expect anybody else to?
Monday, August 19, 2013
This prompt was all about the "shoulds" and how we should stop "shoulding" on ourselves - yes we should! :)
Here's my list of most common shoulds:
-I should lose weight.
-I should be more active.
-I should eat healthier.
-I should go to bed earlier.
-I should be doing something more important with my life.
-I should have a child (or two, or three!!!) by now.
-I should start couponing again to help us save money.
Thinking these things just makes me feel bad about myself; I feel like I'm somehow not good enough. For who? For myself? For the rest of the world? By saying "I should......", what I'm really telling myself is that whatever my current state of something is, it's not good enough. I should lose weight because I'm fat. I should be more active so I can lose weight because Im' fat........and it goes on and on.
OMG, light bulb moment: the shoulds are another form of negative self-talk. When I think how I "should" be doing something that I'm not, I think negatively about myself and instead of being inspired to change direction and make a change, it pushes me farther down the path that I don't want to be on in the first place!
I read this statement from Terrie, and TOTALLY identified with the "should" part of it: "For the longest time I was doing exercises as "shoulds" and once I started doing exercises that make me feel good I have started to see results and my real calling in life.". This week, instead of saying "I should go exercise now.". I'm going to say "I am going to go exercise now because it makes me feel good and is good for my body".
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Catching up on some Vitality blogging :)
So…what have you avoided doing in your life because you were scared of failing? What progress have you chosen to bypass because you were so concerned with being “perfect”? How has black and white thinking impacted you and your goals? What do you think would happen if YOU adopted a progress not perfection mentality? How would things be different if you didn’t feel so pressured to do things perfectly? What would it look like if you completely let go of your perfectionism and embraced your imperfections? How would your healthy lifestyle be influenced? How would your work be influenced? Who would benefit if you adopted the progress not perfection mentality? Would your family benefit? How about your friends? How would it make you feel if you allowed yourself some wiggle room? How are you going to start adopting a progress not perfection mentality?
I'm a perfectionist. I learned that from Lauren a long time ago, and learned how deep that perfectionism goes, and how it impacts my life. They always say not to use that as your one weakness if you're ever asked in a job interview, but it's totally my #1 weakness!
One of my favorite quotes is "progress, not perfection", especially when I see others getting down on themselves, but I'm not so great about applying that to my own life. I was discussing health/weight loss/etc with a good friend last weekend. We both struggle with weight loss, and I told her that I'd lost 60lbs with SparkPeople when I lived in Tucson, but I gained weight and have REALLY struggled while moving to Oregon because of all the fantastic food, craft beers, wineries, etc. I've actually gained weight, not all the weight back, but I've gained in Oregon and have failed at taking it off every time I try. Tucson just didn't have the foodie scene, and I was really successful. My weight gain is due to too many calories in - I can workout every day, and I'll still be consuming too many calories to create a deficit.
Why do I bring this up? Because I see my life as totally black and white. I can be "on track" and not enjoying the great foods, not enjoying the craft beers, staying away from all the food festivals - being unhappy with that part of my life but happy with my weight - or I can be enjoying them and therefore be "off track" - loving that part of my life but being unhappy with my weight. There is no middle ground. As soon as my husband suggests we go out to eat, as soon as our friends want to meet at our favorite pub, it's totally game over in my mind. It's obvious the toll that thinking takes on my body and lack of weight loss, but it takes a toll on me mentally as well. I feel out of control, I feel like I can't possibly succeed here without having zero social life and having to turn down all the activities I enjoy, so I turn to food in excess and the circle continues.
Before I even knew what this prompt was about, I had been trying to practice the "progress, not perfection" mindset. Example: husband was really restless last night and insisted that we go out with friends and not just "sit at home all night". To me, sitting at home is great because I'm not confronted with temptation, that's when I get my workouts in, and I was really tired anyway. But he was in one of those moods, and it would be easier for me to choose to go with him than stay home and do my own thing. So we went out and met some friends to play darts/pool. My mind jumped to black/white mentality: I'm never going to lose weight, I'm failing at my plan. I'm out at a bar, I'm going to have some drinks and ruin my day. Portion control and self-control aren't easy for me, but I decided to pick a drink I really wanted to enjoy, and then switch to diet soda with a lime (which totally looks like a cocktail and doesn't prompt the "why aren't you enjoying drinks with everybody else?!" questions, which I don't mind, but I don't want that kind of attention). Was it what I really wanted to do? No, I wanted to eat and drink to my heart's content because I'm either going overboard or nothing at all. But did it work? Yes. I enjoyed one drink, still spent time with my husband and friends doing what we love to do, and I didn't feel like I derailed my progress.
Still as I sit here though, I have a voice in the back of my head telling me it's useless, I'll never lose weight while living in foodie heaven simply because I've never been able to make it work. It's a process. I need to take it one day/meal/outing at a time.
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