Friday, July 18, 2014
My third round of being with the Biggest Loser Challenge is coming to an end. This was round 25 so, very appropriately, had Silver as the theme. This blog is part of the final Weekend Challenge to reflect on my experience of the round. It can be summed up in a few words: Support, Participation and Fun in the face of stress and medical issues!
I started the round in bad shape as far as weight went after a long bout of over-indulgence on holiday!
Things went from bad to worse when my doctor persuaded me, for the third time, to wean myself off anti-anxiety medication!
So here I am, almost at the end of the round without having made my maintenance weight, with major mood fluctuations, not a lot of patience, and an inclination to tears!
BUT IT COULD BE SO MUCH WORSE -THAT IT ISN’T IS DUE TO BLC, AND IN PARTICULAR TO MY POWERFUL PRISM PANTHER TEAM MATES!
Thanks to their support my weight is stabilising and might even be on the way down! Panther Chat is always stimulating, encouraging, sometimes very funny and above all accepting. It doesn’t matter if I’ve done only 10 minutes of exercise instead of 120 – they praise my participation and encourage more minutes next time! If I start to lose hope there is always someone to lift my spirits and to empathise with my difficulties.
Twice before I have tried, and failed, to end my dependence on the medications but as I write this I’m on Day 5 of no pill at all – not even a quarter tablet! – DH and I put together a weight bench from scratch, without divorce even being touted as an idea , and I have every confidence that This Time I Will Make It! Thank you, Panthers – I wish you’d been in my orbit the other two times!
Unfortunately, the boot camp image of the television Biggest Loser put me off joining for a long time. What a mistake! BLC Spark teams are tailored to individuals’ needs , no one shouts at you or humiliates you. Instead it’s support all the way - all that is asked of Panthers in return is PARTICIPATION. As a maintenance or near maintenance group we place less emphasis on inter-team competition but we rejoice in our achievements nevertheless. Our Panther team takes care to challenge members at their own individual level and capability and the challenges are fun!
Before joining I used to worry that I’d find tracking and posting points burdensome. Not so! In fact the posting is less arduous than on some other Challenge teams! Four times a week and on your own fixed template! Some time leeway, no on-line addition, and the ability to be excused if the unforeseen intervenes!
Of course, as with anything new, at first the weekly pattern can seem daunting and hard to grasp but that is soon overcome with seasoned members all too willing to help , and our own home web page to consult! In fact, for me that has become something like a favourite magazine – each week I go to it full of anticipation and keen to see the new entries! Then I often gallop across to Chat to exchange views on them with the other Panthers. We have become quite adept at picking favourite formats and sharing opinions on what is presented to us!
And most surprising of all - I’ve even moved from ST-phobe to Almost-but-not-quite-ST-phile! I’ve no doubt that by the end of BL26 I’ll be a ST-Fanatic!
BLC26 Here I Come!!
Saturday, June 07, 2014
Stress Management for Women! This is absolutely wonderful!!!!
A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'... She fooled them all .... "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. To 20 oz.
She replied , "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night... Pick them up tomorrow.
1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!
2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
4 * Drive carefully.. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.
5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.
8 * Never buy a car you can't push.
9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.
10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.
13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.
17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colours, but they all have to live in the same box.
18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.
19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY.
20 *Save the earth..... It's the only planet with chocolate!*
Today someone asked me if I liked you. I laughed, and I said, "Ha! That's funny!! I absolutely LOVE that woman!! She's funny, caring, crazy as heck, sweet, beautiful, she's reading this email right now & I love her!!"
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says~~ "Oh Crap, She's up!"
Monday, May 05, 2014
Just recently our local library blog carried an account of reading challenges the writer had undertaken. cclblog.wordpress.com/tag/reading-bi
One of them in particular caught my eye: reading bingo. I don’t know how I’ve missed this idea! But I like it and see it as a very good way of expanding my reading horizons. I tend to stick to an author I like, or a subject I need to know about. For instance, one area I feel lacking in my reading experience is travel writing; the blog mentioned a bingo square listing, “a book set on a different continent”, which sparked my interest. So I googled “reading bingo” and was immediately swamped with a myriad of hits (nearly 3 million results in about 0.36 of a second!).I did not peruse the lot! I easily found the 2014 Random House template, printed it off and started crossing out squares: it’s here if you want to look at it: www.retreatbyrandomhouse.ca/2014/01/
But as the library blogger points out in an earlier post, “The trouble with reading a lot is that it just makes you want to read more.” Very true! My “a book with a mystery “ was “The Twelve Clues of Christmas”, a light-hearted read by Rhys Bowen. After dancing my way through it, I looked behind the title page to find that it is about the 6th in the Her Royal Spyness series! What is more, there were 2 of the earlier titles on the library shelves. They are now beside my bed, and the travel book, and its bingo square, will have to wait! And once I've crossed out all the squares perhaps I'll try this one next?
Friday, May 02, 2014
SILVER ROUND GOALS
Twelve weeks in which to Achieve! 84 days in which to make a Difference! Three months to Control!
How will I take advantage of this opportunity? And it is an opportunity, freely given and taken up. It is not something foisted on an unwilling participant. Team leaders do everything they can to enliven the task of making me a healthy individual! They provide an exciting team to join, put me with congenial mates, expend time and creative energy on putting new and imaginative challenges in front of me and are always there when needed with advice and encouragement. So it should be easy for me to get where I want to go; but it isn’t!
What’s the problem? It’s certainly not with BLC or my Panther Team. It’s not with setting my goals. I know all too well what they are: lose weight, attain and keep a reasonable level of fitness, stave off as many of the illnesses of age as possible, eat for maximum nutritional value, reconnect with my more creative hobbies, and declutter my surroundings. In the last two lie the nub of the problem. The first four I can handle; I have a strategy, and tactics in place to deal with them.
I know what my goal range should be and am within reach of it. In 2013 I had a relapse into weight gain but BL24 helped me to retake the lost territory and I am still losing. This round should see me within reach of my goal. The loss has been slow, a graph of my weight resembles the all-too-familiar graphs of earthquake movement; however, I have formed the habit of a daily weigh-in followed by recording using a moving average app. This helps to keep expectation, and hence excitement and disappointment, at a reasonable level. My goal for this round is to keep on as I’m going, in a downward direction on the scale: if comparisons to snails and tortoises come to mind, so be it! Remember the tortoise and the hare?
Fitness, too, is not problematic. Although periods of sloth are not unknown, I tend to keep active in house and garden. I also enjoy walking and am learning to like strength training, but I could hardly claim to have a craving for it! I’m fortunate to have inherited a reasonable level of fitness and endurance; at the age of 68 I can still place my palms on the ground without difficulty and complete most challenges on BL without major modification. Moreover, I have super walking around me and DVDs, Youtube and exercycle at home for inclement days. So there is no excuse – I can, and must, do it! I do need to keep an eye on a tendency to sit and compute, read or view but the BLC helps me with that. The fitness test has already had me moving this morning!
In the realm of diet and illness, there too I am fortunate to have inherited a sound basic constitution and to live in a time and place where medical help is there when needed. Finding a congenial and sustainable eating plan has, in the past, been a problem but no more! For some months now we have been eating a largely plant-based diet with pleasure and weight-loss results. After trying various limiting diets and calorie-counting, all of which worked only in the short term, we seem to have come to something we can live with. Again, this round my goal is to keep on keeping on with what I’m doing.
These two goals do not disturb me in any way. I have a clear vision of what needs to be done and concrete plans on how to go about achieving them. Thank you BL25 Leaders! But decluttering and creative hobbies? “Ay, there’s the rub.” Both would be good for my peace of mind, both would contribute to a healthy mental and emotional state. Both tend to get pushed down the list of priorities and disappear in the detritus and lees of daily demands on my time. I’ve been thinking about this and trying to learn from previous experience in other areas. What strategy do I have in place here? Which tactics could I employ in this case? Decluttering and pursuing creative hobbies are intertwined: both are much easier to achieve if each is moved up the priorities list.
What can I achieve in 12 weeks, 84 days, 3 months?
I can sustain my physical health and nutritional tactics. I can formulate strategies and tactics for dealing with mess and mental rest and recreation. I belong to another team, Challengers of Hogwarts, which assists with these aspects of living healthily. I will continue to participate in this team, with an emphasis on creative and relaxing pursuits. I will conscientiously do any “pamper” “Me-time” challenges on BL25. I will make myself two bingo cards for the 12 weeks: one will have 24 decluttering tasks, and one hobby activities. I will cross off 2 items on each a week. Habit forms in 28 days – by the end of 84 those habits should be ingrained!
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