Saturday, February 23, 2013
I've been thinking recently about what motivates me. What really moves me to do something. There's what motivates me to work, clean my house, things like that. I have to do those. There's nothing really telling me that I have to work out or eat right, though. Sure, I know that if I want to fit into my old clothes again I have to lose weight, and I know that to lose weight I have to eat right and exercise, but none of that really seems as pressing as paying bills or doing laundry. I don't know what it is exactly about this whole losing weight thing that just doesn't seem as important. I know that in actuality it IS more important. It's for my health, and my future. But something about it always makes it take a back seat to everything else. So I figured I'd analyze it, see what it is about getting healthy that isn't as motivating as doing homework or taking the garbage out.
Fitness is one of those ongoing things. It's a daily thing that you have to do. Like eating, or breathing. If you want to be fit, you have to do it daily. Consistency is important. I know I'm not a terribly consistent person. But I can do things consistently most of the time, if there's something that says that I need to (like going to work, or doing my homework) so I know being able to do something consistently isn't my problem.
Personal accountability is another thing that is really needed for fitness. You have to hold yourself accountable for your actions (or lack thereof). If I don't go to work, I could lose my job. If I don't do my homework, I get bad grades. If I don't clean the litter boxes, the cats start to use other things as their bathroom. All of these things have something else that holds me accountable for taking care of them. I'm not terribly accountable for taking care of myself. If I eat 2 dozen chicken wings, no one is going to force upon me any adverse consequences. The only adverse consequences I may see are from the numbers on the scale (or the tape measure, or the clothing tag). While that does give me some outside accountability, I've been dealing with increasing numbers in those areas for years now. It doesn't bother me all that much. I'm also really forgiving. No matter the change in those numbers, it's going to stop me from doing anything, so really it must not be that important, right?
And why, I ask myself, doesn't it bother me? Confidence. That's why. I have confidence in my appearance. Even with all my weight gain, I still have quite the pretty face (which I had to convince myself that I even did have in the first place over the course of several years). I know that when I dress up and go out, I still look very nice. I still get lots of compliments and I can still hold my husband's attention whenever I want. I've become okay with the fact that I'm over 240 pounds. I've become okay with the fact that I have to spend extra money to get a dress that fits me (this is partially due to the fact that I've always been tall, and spending extra money for things that fit right comes with the territory). I'm REALLY okay with the fact that my weight gain has added extra size to my bust line! There's not anything that I want to do that I can't, at this point. I can still climb stairs, go hiking, spend an evening dancing, reach high and low, sit or stand or lay however I want. I can tie my own shoes, strap myself into a corset, and still touch every square inch of my own back. My life is not effected by my current weight. I'm still quite the happy person despite my size. For most people who have been successful in their weight loss journeys, they have some life-changing moment when their daily activities are hampered by their weight, and they realize that their weight is what is making them unhappy, and then they make the change. My weight isn't making me unhappy.
So what motivates me? What could push me, move me to make the changes that I need in my life?
I love that when I'm feeling down, or having a bad week, day, or hour, I can pop onto SparkPeople and find tons of support from others also having bad weeks, days, or hours. I think that engaging in more here on SparkPeople has kept me with my tracking and my exercise. SparkPeople has become something fun for me now, earning SparkPoints, gaining levels, interacting with other people who share my struggle. It's kept me from quitting so far, which is a really important part of things. But I'm still spending almost every day over my calorie limit. I'm still not doing as well as I know I could with exercising, eating right, and monitoring my progress.
So, what on this Earth could motivate me? What can break my old habits so I can form new ones?
Thinking back to other times in my life when I made major changes there was some event, some catalyst, that pushed me into taking the direction that I took. The life-changing events that others have faced usually involve some traumatic life event (heart attack or the like), or something having to do with their children (not being able to play at the park with them, etc.). I don't have children, and I don't want to wait until I'm diagnosed with diabetes or something to change my life. What's more, the catalysts elsewhere in my past have never been so dramatic, and certainly had nothing to do with my health. And this isn't about my health, not yet. This is about my mind over my body.
(At this point I paused to re-read my analysis, and to ponder on what might work for me...)
After a moment of thought, these are my downfalls:
External forces and Accountability - Nothing on the outside is forcing me to do this, It's not effecting me majorly anyway, and I'm lazy, so why should I bother?
Confidence - I know I can lose weight. I've done it before. And I'm not really that unhappy with my body as it is. Sure, there are things that I'd like to change, but it's not going to have a major effect on my life. With no deadlines (except those set by me) and no accountability (except my own), I can really just lose weight whenever I want. I can do it any time. It's easy. I know how. and since I know how and I know I can do it, I don't have to do it now. Or today. Or next week. I can do it whenever I want.
My cure? Spite.
I'm a very spiteful person. Even from earlier in this post, it's evident ("No matter the change in those numbers, it's going to stop me from doing anything"). The last time I made a major change in my life, It was because my husband (then my boyfriend) said he though I couldn't do it. I have the confidence to do whatever I want. The problem is that right now, I don't have the give-a-damn. Everyone always says "You can do it!" "You're so pretty!" "You look great!" and my internal response is a casual "Yeah, I know." (I don't mean for that to sound arrogant at all. Usually when I get those compliments, I've put hours into making myself look nice, so I damn-well better look great!) What I need is someone to honestly say that they think I can't do it. Because you know what? Forget them! Not only am I positive that I can do it, I'll show them that I can do it! I'll prove it to them! And then won't they feel dumb! HAHAHAHAHA!
Except no one says that. And I'm pretty sure I've got too much confidence to say it to myself. I have to find a way to break this confidence problem in order to turn it into spite. I'm just not sure how...
Monday, February 18, 2013
It's been about 4 days since I really tracked everything here on SparkPeople and really paid attention to what I was doing and eating on those days. I also haven't really excercised much in that span on time. I figured it would be a good idea to go through those days and see what could have been done differently.
Day 1 - Thursday
I took the day off of work on Thursday. My mother has been in the hospital for a couple of weeks now, and she needed someone to sit with her for the day. My sister and father had both taken time off of work to be with her during the day, so it was my turn. I had to be up early, earlier than I do for work. I didn't do my exercises that morning because of the earlier time to be up. I was at the hospital by 8:00 am, and stayed until about 4:30 pm. Through that time, I mostly didn't eat much. I had a protien bar and a bottle of green tea. I also didn't do much physical activity that day. I helped my mother get out of and back into bed a couple of times, and I walked through the hospital to get her water a few times also. Certainly nothing major. My husband joined me at the hospital around 2:00, and he brought me some pizza from the restaurant downstairs. I ate more than half, but I made sure to log it when I got home. At that point I also consumed a can of V8 Fusion. It was delicious, and healthy for me, but really high in calories for just a drink.
When I got home from the hospital, I jumped onto the task of making dinner. Following several SparkRecipies (with some minor alterations), I made baked falafel, garlic naan, tzatziki sauce. I also made some roasted veggies and tahini to go with the dinner. My little sister and her boyfriend joined my husband and I, and had quite a nice night. I went over my calorie range, but only by a pile of roasted veggies, so I don't think it was that bad. I ended up going to bed late.
Day 2 - Friday
Friday I also woke up late and did not do my morning exercise. This was due to the fact that I had been up so late the night before. I was still feeling exhausted from spending the day at the hospital, so I really wanted my sleep. I started my day off with a horrible breakfast of Starbucks and Chick-Fil-A, but I didn't consume it quickly, so it pretty much lasted me all day. I was expecting to head home, eat some leftovers from the night before, and have a nice evening at home with my husband. Instead, he surprised me by taking me out to dinner at Bravo. It was a very nice meal, I only had one drink, and I tried to order a health-conscious meal of citrus-grilled mahi-mahi that I only ate half of. However, I also had soup, and a fried ravioli appetizer. I didn't track any of it. I just enjoyed the night. When we went home I did some homeowrk, stayed up late poking around online, then went to bed.
Day 3 - Saturday
I woke up at a reasonable time on Saturday. My husband and I had leftover Chick-Fil-A for breakfast, which was not the best start to the day. I went out shopping with a friend, and only had some tea while I was out (I wasn't really hungry for anything else). When I got home I had some chips and salsa with my husband, then went to a party, where I consumed more chips and salsa, barbecue potato chips, pizza, and alcohol. Again, I did not track any of it.
Day 4 - Sunday
Sunday I woke up and madea healthy breakfast consisting of quinoa, bluberries, almonds and bananas. I likely ate far too much of it. I then did some belly dancing, then sewing for most of the rest of the day. For lunch I had pasta with veggies, in an olive oil and butter sauce. Dinner was leftovers from Thrusday and Friday, which I also did not track.
While I know my biggest issue was that I tracked next to nothing over the weekend, I really need to know *why* I didn't track, exercise, or pay attention to what I was eating. Is it just that it's a break from my weekday routine? Is it that I spend my weekend doing fun things and not focusing on doing things that count as "work" to me? Is a lifestyle that relaxes more on the weekends than during the week something that is sustainable for weight loss? I'm not sure. It seems that breaking my "weekdady routine" is what causes me to lose track of things, but how can I keep my weekday routine going through the weekend when I don't do the things that make the weekdays so structured (like work)?
Monday, February 11, 2013
I was horrible over the weekend. Takeout chinese, pizza, alcohol, mini pretzel dogs, a party with chips and popcorn and all the essentials. I gained 4 or more pounds in one day. Saturday was not my strongest day. But I got a lot of walking in on Sunday, despite having eaten nothing but crap all day and night. The weekend was full of me not paying attention to what I ate, drank, etc. I didn't even log in to SparkPeople at all on Saturday. It was a rough weekend.
Today, I was right back on track! I met all of my FastBreak goals, I tracked everything I ate, and stayed within my calorie range. I even made sure my other nutrients were right up there, too! I drank plenty of water, and even made a healthy dinner, using quinoa for the first time! The one thing I didn't do today was my morning yoga. I opted for the extra sleep, because I knew I was taking a test in one of my classes tonight, and I'd need my mind to be sharp and awake for it.
Tomorrow I do my morning yoga and continue to track and meet my goals. I don't even feel like the weekend slowed me down at all! As long as I take more steps forward than I take back, I'll keep moving in the right direction!
Thursday, February 07, 2013
I've read so many articles here on SparkPeople it's ridiculous. Some of them aren't the most helpful, and only succeed at increasing my SparkPoints. Some of them are more helpful, and give me the opportunity to try new techniques for losing weight, finding motivation and destressing. Here are my new changes to follow along the paths of what I read:
1) How to be a Morning Person (for motivation)
I am NOT a morning person. I don't like waking up early. I do like staying up late. Unfortunately the working world likes people who get up in the morning every day. So that's who I have to be in order to pay for my house. This article (or maybe it was a blog post. I don't remember) talked about strategies for waking up early. In an effort to implement them, I've started doing my yoga every morning. I think this is a sustainable change for me because I really like my yoga and if I get a chance to do it every day, it'll make me feel better. Since I've worked jobs that had me up earlier than I have to be up now, I know I can get myself up in time to do my yoga. 2 days in and it's working out well so far. I didn't even want to do it this morning, but I made myself get up and do it, and I felt better for it! I think this is a positive change that will last.
2) Smiling (for destressing)
Much like I'm not a morning person, I'm not really a cheerful person, either. After reading an article about smiling, I decided to give it a try. Mind over matter can really be a powerful thing. I used to not find myself pretty, then one day I started looking at myself in the mirror and saying to myself "You have a face that is not terrible-looking." Now, my biggest problem with my weight-loss journey is that I still think I have a pretty face! If I can convince myself of that, I can convince myself of anything! What's more, the article I read mentioned how smiling not only makes you feel happier, but makes those around you feel happier. Since my husband has been feeling down lately, I'm hoping to help him feel better by being more cheerful around him myself.
3) Snacking (for losing weight)
As it so happens, I'm also not a big snacker. The time that I lost the most weight, I skipped breakfast, ate a light lunch (usually a lean cuisine or a salad), ate whatever I wanted to the rest of the time, and did 45 minutes of cardio five days a week. This worked well for me, and I lost weight quickly without giving up any foods that I loved. This form of dieting made me used to the idea of simply not eating during the day. Today I tried something different. After my morning yoga, I had a slice of cinnamon bread for my breakfast. It doesn't seem like much, but it was 200 calories more than I had eaten for breakfast in a long time. Later in the morning, I found myself hungry again, and instead of choosing a fruit to snack on, I ate my protein bar, in hopes that it would keep me fueled for more of the rest of the day. And it did! I didn't feel hungry again until I was headed home, when I ate my banana. Maybe there really is something to this breakfast and snacking thing... Here's hoping it goes just as well tomorrow!
Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Yesterday I had a horribly stressful day at work. It made me not want to eat all day. When I got out of work, I knew I had to spend much of my evening working on homework, and I didn't feel much like cooking anyway. I ended up purchasing (and subsequently eating) food for the purpose of comfort. I normally don't do that, as my preferred methods usually involve alcohol. This time, though, I felt much better after eating waffle fries with cheese, TGIFriday's mozzarella sticks, buffalo mozzarella sticks, and cream cheese jalapeņo poppers, as well as Tostito's multigrain chips with salsa con queso. I didn't measure any of it. I also drank quite a few calories in the form of fruit smoothie juice and Dr. Pepper. I rounded off my evening by watching Fern Gully with my husband.
I'm trying to work out with myself how to avoid this kind of situation again. Unfortunately Motivator Me seems to have taken a bit of a vacation. I'll have to hunt her down and have a chat with her about not bailing within the first week of work. She's got a job to do, and dammit, she'd best do it!
I'm still not feeling too much like eating today. This slump has me pretty good. I'm trying to work my way out of it, though, so I guess we'll just see how the rest of the day goes.
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