Sunday, November 03, 2013
My biggest excuse for not doing what I know I should is that I don't have the time. Well, I read one of SparkPeople's motivational quotes a couple of days ago, and I can't get it out of my head:
Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
That puts things into perspective, doesn't it?!
How can I read that quote and say, "I don't have time to make a proper supper." or "I don't have time to unpack the boxes that have been sitting around since we moved two years ago." or "I don't have time to exercise."? All of those excuses seem SO lame when you think of it with reference to that quote.
That started me thinking - surely those people slept! So, how is it that they were able to fit in so many fulfilling activities into their lives when I can't seem to do anything beyond my daily grind? Then it hit me - perhaps if my "daily grind" didn't include three or four hours of television every day, I might get a lot more done! I mean, if we just say I watch three hours a day; that means 21 hours a week (that's almost two whole days in a week that I'm wasting watching TV). Let's keep going - that's 90 hours a month (almost four 24-hour days), or 1095 hours in a year (that's A MONTH AND A HALF of 24-hours days doing nothing but sitting in front of the TV!!!) No wonder I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything!
Here comes the hard part, though. I've figured this out, and I'm sold! I HAVE to cut back drastically on television watching. ...but how do I sell my family on it? Sitting down at the end of the day together to watch television is our "family time." I don't think they're going to be thrilled if I tell them I don't want to do that anymore.
I could try saying, "I'll only watch an hour a night." I'd probably still get some push-back; but it would be a start, and it would be much more likely to succeed than if I just said, "I'm not watching TV ever again."
I could also try to come up with something different for us to do together - something that was still fun (no-one's going to go for "let's all do an hour of house cleaning instead of watching TV"), but accomplishes some other goal. We used to enjoy playing active games on the Kinnect before we moved and piled a bunch of boxes in the exercise room. Maybe that should be my first goal - clear out that room so that we can play on the Kinnect together. At least, then, we'd be spending our time together getting fit.
OK, that's Plan A. Wish me luck!
Sunday, September 08, 2013
So, there I was, popping along with my weight loss and seeing steady progress. Then, around five months ago, I got some bad news. A favorite uncle had passed away unexpectedly. It REALLY hit me hard.
I stayed on track all through the trip back to Britain for the funeral - exercising and eating reasonably - but, since I've been back, it's as though I've completely lost all of the good habits I had built. I am still walking regularly (thank heaven for dogs who don't understand excuses), but I stopped working on on the eliptical machine, stopped lifting weights, stopped even reading my SparkPeople team posts, stopped eating fruits and vegetables regularly, stopped religiously counting calories, and started eating complete junk (e.g. chocolate candies, potato chips, etc.).
First my weight just sat at the same number for weeks and weeks (which was disheartening, since I was used to seeing it go down for so long). Then, it started moving up! At first, I was in denial; so, I didn't even record the new weights. I was sure it was just a blip that would go away as quickly as it came. I have now gained back 10 lbs.!
A number of times, I tried to restart my good habits; but I wouldn't last a day or two before falling back into the bad ones.
I AM NOT GOING TO GAIN BACK THE WEIGHT I WORKED SO HARD TO LOSE!!!!!
Today, I am taking back my life. I walked four miles this morning, despite a migraine; and right now I am going to make a crockpot dinner so that I have no excuse to eat rubbish when I get hungry later on. I have faithfully measured and recorded everything that went into my mouth so far today and pledge to continue doing that. I also switched my SparkCoach program to the Plateau Buster's plan (although I wonder if it's really called a "plateau" if you're actually climbing back up?). I am absolutely committed to following it faithfully for the next 28 days.
If any of my SP friends read this - I'm sorry to have neglected you (and myself) for so long.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Well, I've been working at losing 50 lbs for the past four months, and have lost 30 lbs so far. Sometimes it feels like it's gone past so quickly, and other times it feels like eternity. Today, I'm thinking about what has worked for me in the past to keep me motivated. Here's a quick list (in no particular order) of my favorites:
* My absolute favorite has been setting up mini-goals with rewards. For every ten pounds I lose, I reward myself with something (NOT food); and the rewards keep getting better as I go along. The best so far was giving my son some money to go out and buy/wrap a surprise gift. I couldn't wait to open it, and it will always be extra special knowing that it marked a milestone in my life and was thoughtfully chosen by someone I love.
* One of my toughest challenges is getting myself moving to exercise. I've discovered that, if I leave it until the evening (after a long day of work), it's just too hard to push myself to do it. So, lately, I've been forcing myself to exercise as soon as I get up (even before I brush my teeth). I always feel proud of myself after I've done it, and then I don't have to worry about it for the rest of the day.
* Even once I've started exercising, I sometimes just want to stop. When I start feeling that way, I chant to myself, "Pain is temporary; quitting is forever!" It may sound silly, but it works for me. I also try to break my workouts up into "chunks" in my mind (e.g. just two more sprints to go).
* Another real help has been my motivational montage. You can see a small sample of it as the background of my Spark Page, but my real one spans the two computer monitors that I use as I work all day. I chose pictures of myself when I was at my goal weight around six years ago; because I wanted to envision MYSELF as I want to look and know I can, not a model who's 30 years younger than me and has been air-brushed. I also filled it full of pictures from active vacations with the people I love - hiking up Mt. Vesuvius, kayaking in the Caribbean, scuba diving, etc. I did this to remind me of how strong I was and of the adventures to come if I can get back to that.
* I've also started telling people about my weight loss goals (including making my blogs public for the first time). I find it particularly helpful to tell people about meeting my 10 lb mini-goals; because, once I've told people I've met a goal, I don't want to slip back and have to say, "Well, I did make that goal, but I messed up and now I have to get back there again."
I hope this blog helps someone else to find motivational techniques that help them. Even if my techniques don't work for you, maybe they'll get you thinking about what you can do to keep yourself motivated.
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