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PRACTICINGPEACE's Recent Blog Entries

Accountability: Checking in on Goals

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

It is time to check in on my goals. I feel prepared to assess where I am, discern what I need to continue to do, and find out how I can make things easier for myself (i.e. how I can get out of my own way!).

My original goals were to meditate daily, exercise 4 times a week, and eat and track all my food. I expected this to lead to a 1-2 lb per week weight loss. Easy, right?

No! I have not met these goals. I asked myself to change A LOT right away. I changed some things, the most important being my expectations that I would change EVERYTHING RIGHT AWAY! This is about accountability, so here is what I did do:

I tracked all my food for 33 days.
I ate within my calorie range for 30 days.
While healthy (no flu) I exercised 3 - 4 times per week.
I meditated on some days.
I lost 3 lbs in 1 month.

Despite the fact that I did not meet my original goals, I am very happy with the changes I have made in my life. I am happy that I have committed to changing my lifestyle and improving my health and happiness. I am happy that I am forming healthy, supportive relationships as part of my lifestyle change. When I joined, I was very focused on health. I find that my focus has broadened to include health as part of a happy life. I don't want to be thin and miserable. Self-punishment is not one of my goals!

I also set a goal to be able to wear a size 10 (one size smaller than my starting size) by my next vacation, March 25th (close to the first day of Spring). Now, I don't know if this is realistic. I have decided to change this goal. Instead of measuring my progress my sizes or weight, I want to measure my progress by my actions.

My new goals are focussed on cultivating happiness and peace in my life and body:

1. Say and write down one positive thing about myself every day.
2. Feel and express gratitude once every day.
3. Continue to track and eat healthy foods within my caloric range.
4. Continue to honor my own process by catching my negative self-talk and adding compassion to this conversation.
5. Exercise 3-4 times each week.
6. Drink 8 glasses of water every day.

When I go on vacation I want to continue these practices with the help of my friend and husband. This will be a gift I can give to myself during that vacation, rather than using my size to either reward or punish myself. I will ask for the help that I need so I can feel connected to and loved by the people in my life.

I also plan to take my body measurements once a month to track my physical progress. I want to hold myself accountable for my physical health. Here are some things I have done to help myself:

I scheduled my first PAP in 4 years. (I am terrified of PAPs).
I scheduled a physical for the first time in a year.
I spent a lot of time on the phone with my new health insurance to ensure that my coverage is in place and ready to go.

Normally I wouldn't connect these kind of actions to my weight loss, but showing my body respect by providing medical care is very important. I am counting these!

Okay. This is a different way to approach my health. But, I want to do this. I want to be happy. I'm ready for the next 5 weeks!

P.S. I turn 39 soon. Wow! Its so wonderful to be on track at age 39. It is never too late to learn to love myself or my body. It is never too late to learn to be happy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRATTECIELLA 2/12/2013 12:09AM

    I love the idea of measuring your actions (which you can control) rather than the outcome of weight loss or new sizes (which it's harder to control). Go you!

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SUNNYAGAIN 2/11/2013 8:54PM

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LALMEIDA 2/5/2013 7:38PM

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CMROBERTS0617 2/5/2013 12:00PM

    emoticon emoticon
You're doing a great job. Just keep at it.

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Pressing Re-boot: What I'm Learning

Sunday, February 03, 2013

I've been off track for the past couple of weeks, first with the flu and then with a slow recovery into exercise. Thankfully, I've been eating healthy (to get healthy), but have had so little energy I am only doing the basics: sleeping, eating, drinking, working. I'm finally feeling a bit like myself again, and have an appointment with a friend at the gym tomorrow. Even if I don't do a lot, I know I will get a workout in.

Its been a little over a month since I've joined Sparkpeople, and I've learned so much. What I've learned the most is how much I appreciate the encouragement and inspiration of other people. The friends that I am making on Sparkpeople are authentic human beings doing their best to live healthy lives. It is so refreshing to be a part of a community concerned about health that is based in reality rather than in fantasies (magazines, news reports and fad diets!). I have discovered a new respect for my body and for my life. I am really lucky to be here, no matter what I weigh!

I'm also learning how much commitment and day-to-day hard work are involved in creating a healthy life. I am no longer thinking of this time on Sparkpeople as a weight-loss program to get back to my healthy weight. Instead its become a place where I take time to check in with myself and new people in my life. How are people doing? How am I doing? Am I living the way I want to be living?

When I log-in to Sparkpeople, I find myself envisioning the life I want to lead; I am re-evaluating all my decisions. Do I like my job? Does it nourish me? What is working in my relationship? How could this relationship nourish me and my husband more? Who is in my life? How do they treat me? How do I treat them? Am I the friend I want to be? Am I being treated with the love and respect I deserve?

I am discovering how, in the past couple of years, I have not just let my health go, I have let my mindfulness go. I have let my ambition go. I have lost my way and let myself off the hook. I have stopped asking me to give my best. And, I have suffered because of that. I want to get back on track with myself; following my own path and living my life in the best way I know how.

Thank you, Sparkfriends, for all the inspiration and support you have shared with me. Just by being yourselves and sharing with me you are inspiring me to be more of who I want to be, inside and out.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATWELL88 2/5/2013 1:52PM

    Great blog! I lkie to check out blogs and articles on SP and make a friend or two allong the way. Am i happy , if not what do i need to change. Your blog gave me some ideas to think about. Hope you feel better and take it one step at a time emoticon

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BEWELL48 2/4/2013 7:11AM

    Keep sparking !

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Out of Patience!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Well, I did it. I gave in to that damn scale! I have been working hard, getting in 4 days of exercise with cardio and weights, eating within my range, and have been feeling all the benefits: more energy, pride, self-confidence, looser pants, more room in my bras. I have been on track!

And, then, this morning, I weighed myself. I know from past experience this is not a good idea for me in first month of re-starting exercise and proper nutrition. Its interesting I decided to weigh myself anyway -- a little self-punishment, perhaps, for feeling so good?

I have gained a lb. I am working hard at not letting this get to me, but frankly, it has gotten to me. I am angry and frustrated. I am taking it out on myself. I am out of patience with me and with this weight.

I need to give myself a break but I am having a hard time doing it. This is the perfectionist rising up and I want to SIT ON HER HEAD! So, I am telling the scale to f*&$ off right now; it is slow and will catch up. But, boy, this is hard today. I want to hit my spring goal and I want to weigh my goal weight RIGHT NOW. Where is my patience and compassion?

I am going to visualize me sitting on the perfectionist's head today. And, go to my spinning class. HMPH! No more scales until February!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JKPONYGIRL 1/19/2013 2:19PM

    sometimes I weigh myslef twice a day. WHY????? Who knows. I think hiding the scale may be a good idea!

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CINIBINI 1/19/2013 2:06PM

    Isn't it just so silly it is to let one moment of weakness and a single pound ruin those feelings of pride and confidence? Obsessing over this (inevitable, if you consider that we are not perfect) stuff doesn't help with progress, and prevents us from being present.

What are you missing out on while you're busy being angry about this? How can you return your focus to being present, and appreciating your growing muscles and energy from healthy eating? I don't know the answer, I struggle with the same things. In fact I could mention a couple of carnitas tacos from Tuesday that I'm still trying to get over!

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INGBADEN 1/17/2013 10:13PM

    I am trying to stay away from my scale until February too. It is hard.

Sounds like you are taking the right steps.

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Choosing my priorities

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Its the end of the weekend and the end of my long winter break. I'm a professor and have been away from school for one month now. In the past I have spent this time preparing for the holidays, throwing parties, and doing everything I could to give my family the "perfect" holiday. Then I would crash, worn out from all the attention I was giving to everyone else.

This year, I started my holiday the same way. I immediately began planning parties, menus, and was ready to start holiday shopping. My husband did the nicest thing; he objected to all the plans. He said no. We negotiated and he agreed to have 4 people over for dinner one night (4 people!! I couldn't believe he was being such a stick in the mud!) and to exchange presents with the most special people in our lives.

This opened up so much time in my life, and my husband said he wanted me to spend it on me. At first I was completely lost. I tried to meditate, but my mind was racing. I thought about working out, but I felt too fat to go to the gym. I tried to read, but ended up surfing on-line sales. I was feeling depressed, lost, and confused. By focusing on everyone else, I had prevented myself from feeling my own feelings and dealing with them. Suddenly, there they were -- all my tough feelings and me. That's it.

I decided I wanted to do something about this. I didn't want to sit around in my pajamas and feel like crap. I didn't want to eat boxes of holiday cookies in the afternoon. I didn't want to ignore my feelings. I spent a few days sitting with my feelings and talking to my therapist, and then I just decided. I decided that I was responsible for me, for my feelings, and for how I deal with my feelings. My family and friends can support me and encourage me, but when it comes right down to it, I am the adult in this body! It is MY JOB to take care of my body, of my feelings, of my soul. It is MY responsibility to take care of myself, not matter how much I want someone else to take care of me!

I signed up for Spark people the day after Christmas. I have been tracking my food, exercising, and sleeping (or trying to sleep) 8 hours a night since. I have read so many inspiring blogs, met so many inspiring people, and have reminded myself day after day that I am responsible for my feelings and for how I deal with them. I can eat my way through the day or I can make choices to get up off the couch and go for a walk.

I am still a sparks newbie, but I am already feeling better about myself. I am proud of myself for joining. I am proud of myself for connecting with other people. I am proud that my clothes are looser, my energy is higher, and my that my body can still do amazing things in and out of the gym.

I've decided to focus on nonscale victories -- my pants are looser! I am eating vegetables! I feel more energized! And, I am still focusing on my goals every day. I am not giving up; I may slip up but I am not giving up!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINIBINI 1/15/2013 2:03AM

    Even without family and a ton of commitments living out here, I had a hard time dialing it down around the holidays. I think that the over excitement that's part of the holidays from the time we're very young is quite hard to give up. I too joined SparkPeople during the thick of it, and even joined a gym the day after Christmas. I also let myself be a little lazy, but this year it was by watching old movies and reading instead of baking (and eating!) my way through the darkest days of the year.

Congratulations on seeing through your own cloud of unnecessary traditions and doing what was right for you!

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GRATTECIELLA 1/15/2013 1:23AM

    This is great. I love hearing about your journey to Spark.

Wanted to let you know that I got to run today - week 2 day 3 of c25k. 35 min, 2.45 mi. I didn't feel great, though -- I really should have eaten a snack before I went. But this is all a learning process!

Hope you are running too!


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New Spring Goal

Sunday, January 06, 2013

This morning I have been inspired by one of my Sparkfriends to set a goal for the first day of Spring. March 20th is 72 days away, and living up north, I am going to be counting down those days anyway -- I might as well count away a few lbs, too!

Two years ago I visited my best friend and her family in Germany. This year, my husband has a conference in her town on March 22-24th. So, I am taking some vacation days and tagging along. I will be in Germany with my best friend, her adorable 18 month old and wonderful husband.

The last visit I made I weighed 155 and wore a size 10.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRATTECIELLA 1/8/2013 8:43PM

    I love this goal it is so much more meaningful to you than simply a number on the scale. I am sure that if you persevere, this will be a reality for you.

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