Monday, March 24, 2014
I can't believe it's been 8 years since I joined Spark. I don't even remember how I heard about it, I think it was just a random ad online that brought me in. It was 6 months before my wedding, and I was so frustrated that, although I'd been engaged for 1.5 years already, I'd waited that long to start losing weight for my big day. I was desperate. I turned that desperation into determination and dropped about 30 lbs before I walked down the aisle. No magic pills, no crash diets. My friends would ask what I was doing, not expecting me to say simply "Eating well and exercising!". It wasn't that easy to make it happen, but my plan was that simple.
We won't discuss the 10 lbs I gained during our all-inclusive honeymoon (it was a week-long food and drink fest), but when I got back, Spark was still a part of my routine. It helped me get down to my lowest weight since high school, maybe even middle school. It's still a part of my routine. I have had periods of time that I wouldn't log in, wouldn't be focused on a healthy lifestyle, but I always come back. I haven't kept it all off, but I've never gone back to my starting weight!!
Spark works, it's the only thing that works. There is no healthy quick fix. There is no magical solution. It's about committing to a healthy lifestyle and sticking to it!! I'm committed, and I'm sticking to it. It won't always be easy, but nothing worth having comes easy, right?
Sunday, March 16, 2014
Over the past three weeks, it feels like the weight loss gods are against me. It's one thing after another! I've been struggling to keep up my healthy habits (although I am still having at least one Green Monster a day, for 4-8 fruits/veggies per day!). I'm struggling most with making good choices outside of my Green Monsters, and getting in exercise.
I know life is never easy, and there will ALWAYS be distractions and things getting in the way - I need to keep pushing. It's just pretty rare that everything has been working against me at once! Three weeks ago, I was out of town - stuck to my eating plan in the beginning, then gave in to temptation pretty hard. Two weeks ago, I had three nights of unexpected late night work meetings, getting in only 2 workouts and struggling with healthy choices at my meetings.
I was ready to get back on my exercise plan early last Monday, and wondered why it was incredibly hard to finish my workout; I was extraordinarily exhausted, yawning through the whole thing. So weird. The next day, I went home sick from work....that's why I was so tired! The next day, I pushed through to go to work, then I got bit in the face by a dog I was examining (first time EVER). My illness has become progressively worse each day. I haven't been sleeping at all. Last night, I finally forced myself to sleep (hello again sleeping pills, it's been years since I needed you!), and today forced myself to stay down on the couch and rest.
It's time to kick this crud so I can get back on track. What am I going to do? Plan my meals for the coming week, enter into my food tracker, and plan workouts. If I end up not being strong enough to workout, at least I'll be eating smartly.
ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, February 17, 2014
This past week was much better than I had thought: down 3.6 lbs at my weigh in today! WOO HOO!!! When I weighed in last week, I noticed that my scale was being wonky. It gave me a different number each of the 5 times I stepped on it. Grrrr. It's one of those fancy ones that tell you body fat, muscle %, etc. So I broke out my old trust one that stuck with me on my initial Spark journey (it's boring. No bells and whistles), and stepped on it: FIVE POUNDS MORE THAN FANCY SCALE! Double-checked with my hand weights and confirmed that Fancy Scale is indeed about 5lbs off. I gained more weight than I had initially thought........Momentary freak out. Totally bummed.
I had to have a serious pep talk with myself to remind me that the number means nothing more than my relationship with gravity. It did explain why my clothes felt so tight even though I'd only gained a couple pounds (or so I thought! No wonder!!). In the end, I reminded myself, it wasn't how many pounds I'd gained or lost, it was about how I was feeling and how many healthy things I'd been doing over the last few weeks.
With my big scale disappointment behind me, I had to focus on the week ahead. It was Valentines Day week, our team meeting week - I knew that I would face many challenges, and here's how I made it work, plus the celebrations I had along the way:
1. Sticking to at least one Green Monster smoothie each day. It gives me about 4 servings of fruits/veggies each day (along with lots of protein and other good stuff) and really does help curb my sugar cravings. I figure that even if the rest of my day goes to hell, I've at least got that under my belt. My skin is literally glowing since starting them, I heard it would, but I didn't believe it.
2. Double workout Mondays!! Monday is my day off, so I can get in a shorter workout in the AM, along with my regular PM workout, and BOOM - an extra cardio session happens! It also helps in case something comes up during the week and I miss a workout.
3. For the first time EVER, I brought my own lunch to our team meeting (I provide pizza for everybody). Being the leader of the meeting helps, because I really don't have a chance to eat with the rest of them, so I can easily bypass that pizza! It felt really good.
4. We did end up getting heart-shaped pizza for Valentines Day, which I enjoyed guilt-free. I had my two pieces, and my two glasses of wine and stopped. I did have a couple pieces of chocolate from the hubs, but then I put the rest away. I may have gone just a bit over my calories for the day, but it was a holiday (not a holi-week!) and I had planned for it, and stuck to reasonable portions. Normally I would have thrown out all my healthy intentions, ate half the pizza and a bottle of wine, and finished all my candy in one night so I wouldn't have to be tempted to have it on later days. VICTORY OVER VALENTINES DAY! That never happens!
5. I was able to fit back into my jeans and favorite work pants that have felt a bit muffin top-a-licious the past two months. They'll be more comfortable as I continue to drop pounds, but at least I can wear them again, even if's not perfect.
Despite what I thought were barriers to success, I still made it work and saw a loss for the week! GO ME!
Sunday, January 26, 2014
I've been back on track with eating healthy and exercising regularly for the last several weeks. And I'm not seeing any weight loss so far. Its really frustrating me.
I'll admit, I've been snacking without tracking in the evenings, but not going totally overboard. I'll track the entire rest of my day, and know I have a couple hundred left over, and then I'll snack while packing my lunch for the next day, or while I'm making dinner. Before you suggest that I eat more during my meals, or consider more nutrient dense foods, let me stop you. That's not my problem. In the time since I joined SP, I've learned more about why I'm overweight, and what causes me to overeat. Before I would say "I don't know, there's no reason, I'm just not into healthy food or exercise". Now I realize that I am dependent on food because it makes me feel good, emotionally good. I enjoy eating because it makes my brain feel so happy, even though I feel not happy after it happens.
Last night, I was a bit tired from a very long work week (Saturday is my last day of the work week), I sat down after dinner to relax and catch up on the few programs I've got on my DVR. Then I started craving sugar - confession: I'm also just a few days before my period and I'm a bit hormonal, which normally lends itself to food cravings. I had a bag of work-related Skittles at home, part of a huge prize bin from our corporate office that I have to save until our awards party in a few weeks that wouldn't have had in my house otherwise. It used to be in my trunk, then I needed the space....maybe I should put it back there.
I sat down and ate the Skittles for 30 minutes straight. And it felt so good. It was relaxing, they tasted so good, and I had this overall feeling of calm and happiness. Then I got a huge stomach ache. But I did it anyway - despite having done 5 days of serious workouts this week, besides packing my lunch every day last week instead of eating out. I undid that in 30 minutes, and no matter how hard I fought it, the Skittles won.
I may have insight into why I overeat, but I haven't yet figured out how I'm going to overcome it. Sure, maybe if I'd gotten on the treadmill instead of watched TV, I wouldn't have stuffed my face with candy. I already know that. But I always choose the food instead of the diversion away from the food. Always. It's not as easy as just not doing it, otherwise I wouldn't be doing it, right?!
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.
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