Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I could stop right there; that emoticon says it all! Thanks to MAMAWLINDALOU, I just realized I too have just had my . In that time, I've lost 30 lbs, regained 5, and am back on track to lose the next 30. My recent blogs reflect a level of fitness and activity that I never thought would be "me". Since January, I've been doing SparkPeople Officical Challenges and videos. I so appreciate the free resources here, since my budget does not stretch to include a gym, personal trainer, Curves, expensive equipment and the like. With so many videos to choose from, I don't get bored, and I know those things have made a huge difference in my strength and stamina. How else could I have biked over 26 miles in two days without being winded and without sore muscles?
I've had a several months stall foodwise but am ready now to get seriously back on track. I'm doing the 10 Min Daily Fitness Minutes Challenge, and two other little challenges. One is with a couple of members of the Triple Threat Team. We've committed to tracking our food for the next three days. My personal twist on that is not only tracking, which I do anyway for better or worse, but to stay within my calorie range and get myself solidly back into that habit so the pounds will start dropping again. The other little challenge is a 60 sec fitness challenge from one of the daily Sparkblogs. 60 seconds sounds like nothing, but I've already added two minutes to my fitness tracker just by moving while waiting for my computer to come on, reading my email, etc. Any minutes however small add up and reinforce my fitness habit.
Friends, you are the best! I know if I were doing this on my own, I'd have quit by now, another possibly short-term success followed by another failure. Reading your stories, receiving so much encouragement, staying connected with others who face the same daily challenges I do, swapping goodies for fun and support, accountability--all these are what's keeping me going. I could look at those 5 lbs I regained and say, Aw, I knew I couldn't sustain this forever--but it's not true. I really believe it's not's true. You, friends, keep me here. I want to be one of SP's many success stories. I already am, having dropped 30 lbs and 2 sizes, and having gone from obese to overweight. I'm going for the rest of it, whatever it takes to get to NORMAL/HEALTHY. Together, we can do it!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Husband and I are enjoying a wonderful vacation on one of Georgia's barrier islands. Yesterday we climbed a 129 step lighthouse, climbed to a captain's walk, the last bit of which was a ladder--ugh! and did a fair amount of walking. Today's plan was to rent bikes and ride a couple of miles to a fort where we intended to picnic. The fort was great, the moquitoes were not. So, SABLENESS says, "We passed a park yesterday in this direction; let's try there." Hm. It didn't seem that far in the car. But it was less buggy than the marshland around the fort, and after lunch, we walked a short nature trail. OK, now what? Ice cream sure would taste good. That shopping area down the road surely has an ice cream or frozen yogurt shop. ARE WE THERE YET??? Finally--and...there used to be an ice cream shop there--grr. OK, where is the nearest ice cream? We were told down at the roundabout by the grocery store. OK, another mile...and this one was no longer there either. SO--look! Burger King! The mocha thing I had was really good, and I'm sure I worked off every calorie. We could hardly wait to get back and cool off in the pool. Fast forward to after dinner and a long walk on the beach at sunset. Driving back, we looked at the odometer, added up what we'd done earlier on the bicycles--and found we'd ridden not sixteen, but EIGHTEEN miles! Granted, we were on relatively level bike paths, not as challenging as the bike riding I did while on my retreat a few weeks ago, but that was a lot of miles!
I am pleased beyond measure that I'm physically able to do what I did today--and still trek up and down the three flights of stairs to our room instead of using the elevator, except for the last time today. I feel tired but not exhausted, no part of my body is screaming, and I am pleasantly relaxed after walking on the beach. I looked at myself in the full-length mirror this morning, wearing shorts and a tank top, and thought, "Yes, I'm overweight, but a lot less than I used to be," and no way last year could I have managed 18 miles of biking and still have energy to spare for a long walk on the beach. YAY, SPARKPEOPLE!
Thursday, May 17, 2012
It came and went yesterday without my noticing. OK, friends, it's time for me to get moving again. I've done great with exercise, am a LOT more fit than when I started, have done lots of things I'd never done before SP, but these last several months, have not done so well with my food, and it's shown in my weight-loss stall. Granted, I'm not gaining, and some of the weight has got to be muscle!!! but it's time to get serious again and get that scale moving. I have 20 pounds to go in the next five months to reach my original goal. Whether I make it or not is less important than making progress, and that I'm determined to do.
Some thank yous are due to
PRAIRIECROCUS for being a world-class encourager
SparkGuy for this wonderful free site, a real boon for us financially challenged folks
ROXYSMOM for introducing me to SP videos
My loving husband who never once said anything unkind about my weight
All of you who share your ups and downs with painstaking honesty
INDYGIRL for being such an incredible inspiration
Everyone who takes time to read and comment on blogs and feed; it really helps
Much later...I can't count! Starting in mid Aug is NINE months! Where did the time go?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I am SO grateful to have had the opportunity to make that retreat so soon after my mother-in-law's passing. In spite of much to do when I got home, I continue to feel more rested and centered.
Throughout the retreat, I kept thinking of Isaiah 40:1-11, beginning with "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people". It was hard not to sing it except in my mind, that and the following verses that are part of Handel's MESSIAH. I did a meditative walk across the cove with part of verse 11, "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd...and gently lead those that are with young." It served to measure my breathing and my steps, gently, slowly, aware of ocean, rocks, gulls, beach flowers, and a large shell I picked up. For Christmas, my mother had given me a top quality travel set of watercolors. I spent an afternoon painting the shell with little purple beach pea flowers, an orange crab shell, and a dandelion. My art journal often served as my prayer.
That last one is a collage icon, loosely based on the Holy Trinity icon by Andrew Rublev. There was a large one over the fireplace, and it reminded me of the meal my husband, our two daughters, my mother, and I shared on the evening of my mother-in-law's passing. It was so good to be surrounded by loving family, sharing what was truly a sacred meal together. That Trinity icon had the same feeling of loving community and communion. When I told my spiritual director about it at our daily meeting, she suggested that I might want to make my own icon. I didn't have the time or materials to do a formal one, but the silhouettes in collage form serve as a visual reminder of a very special time.
For those who've never tried it, eight days of silence may sound pretty intimidating. I find that silent directed retreats like this one have a strong sense of community even in the silence. I kept meeting the same people, those who also enjoyed the outdoors even though it was cold and wet most of the time. The prayer requests offered during mass told me something about the concerns of my otherwise silent companions. There were whispered exchanges here and there, such as when I found the name of a yellow wildflower that I and another camera-toter were taking photos of--or a question from another retreatant, "WHERE'S the laundry???" In the dining room with wall to wall windows looking out on the ocean, I might be greeted with a smile--or not, if someone happened to be deep in thought. Mass and the daily 30-45 min meeting with a spiritual director offered opportunities for sharing out loud. I looked forward to that daily time to verbalize what had been going on inside, where I was feeling uncomfortable, where I sensed a need. My director asked thought-provoking questions and made suggestions and comments that helped a lot.
It took about half of the retreat for all the stuff on my mind to settle down and to take care of loose ends from having had so little time before I left. I had forgotten, for instance, to reschedule a piano student and had to make a call. Now that I'm home, I'm taking time to sit and savor the peace I felt as I slowed and rested.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I haven't previously taken my computer, but this time it was important to me to stay in touch with my family. Phones were to be used outside where you couldn't be heard by others, and with the rainy cold weather, that was not often a good option. I'd also taken it, hoping to keep up with my Spring Into Shape Bootcamp Challenge videos. I had internet access in my room for only 3 of the the 9 days. However, I got PLENTY of exercise. All the activity--hiking, biking, rock climbing, walking--balanced the quiet times, and I was SO pleased that I was physically able to do all that I did. Here are the promised pics of Brace Rock. I do wish I knew who was taking photos when I was on top of it!
Brace Rock the night of Super Moon!
Brace Rock at low tide. You have to climb over all those rocks first.
Brace Rock in thick sea fog; it's out there somewhere--and I climbed it!
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