Thursday, July 28, 2011
Today's word is "resume" which means, "to take up or go on with again after interruption; continue: to resume a journey."
While I have been doing well since restarting my journey on April 25, I let my guard down over the last few days during a camping trip with my daughter. So it's time to resume the habits I am trying to establish for life.
I have to say "no" to the slippery slope.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Today's word is "compliment" which means, "1. an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration: A sincere compliment boosts one's morale."
After I dropped my daughter at voice lessons yesterday I decided to run into the bike/ski/run shop to see if there were any clearance bike shorts. I have one pair to my name and need to add to my "collection."
Lo and behold there was an affordable pair and they fit perfect. As I was paying for them, the owner (who was busy with someone else) actually stopped his conversation, came over to me and said, "You look great!" Then he headed back to his customer.
Now, I don't go to this shop often. But the few times I do go the people are extremely helpful, and I mean SINCERELY helpful. My husband has an ancient road bike that he bought off Craig's List for a song. He wants to put new gears on it. One shop told him it would be impossible (that he should just go ahead and bite the bullet for a new bike) while this shop gave him a $20 fix and told him his bike was pretty good for an old bike.
Back in mid-April my husband and I bought shoes and pedals for our bikes. The shop owner suggested a certain pedal based on our experience level (which isn't much.) He told us what to look for in a bike shoe. He told us how to clip in, several different ways to practice with the clips. He also told me that I would eventually fall and that it most likely would be while flying into my own driveway at the end of a great ride. As a parting shot, he saw me get on my bike and said, "You might want to move your saddle forward a little and dip the nose down a touch. You might be more comfortable." He was right on all counts. I did fall in my driveway three weeks ago and my bike is WAY more comfortable with those minor changes.
The owner is a former champion skier, cyclist and coach who traveled all over the world. He had hip surgery in early 2000s and then dealt with lung cancer several years ago. Through all of this, he's maintained an active lifestyle and his shop (which he operates with his wife who is an incredible athlete. She's another great story!) He's probably my age, maybe a touch older. He's never told me or my husband about his background. We've just heard about it through the grapevine.
Anyway, the last time I was in his shop, it was two weeks before I decided to restart my journey here. I was at my highest weight since starting on Spark. I was 14 lbs. heavier and not feeling very good about myself. Yesterday, the owner noticed my weightloss. That one tiny compliment from him made me feel great. It's just 14 lbs. and my own family really hasn't noticed but somebody did! And what is incredible to me is that he sees dozens of people each week. My husband and I are not "regulars" at the shop. But he still noticed. And it meant the world to me.
Maybe that means other people have noticed.
Yesterday, I got my first compliment in a long time. It was from someone who shouldn't have noticed or cared all that much. Indeed, it boosted my morale.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Today's word is "converge" which means, "to tend to meet in a point or line; incline toward each other, as lines that are not parallel. " When I first started this journey in January 2008, the healthy lifestyle stars aligned, the Spark angels sang and I lost 30 lbs. in about five months. It was a charmed time. Everything converged in way that helped me achieve something I had never been able to achieve before. Yay me!
But then slowly, very slowly, real life crept in. My healthy lifestyle stars lost their shine and went out of alignment, a few of the angels left and most of my roads started to diverge in a variety of different directions.
The one thing I held steady was exercise. I ran. I biked. I burned a lot of calories.
But I ate a lot of calories too. Too many for a woman my age. When I initially lost my weight, I was in the 165-170 range by the end of 2008. Throughout most of 2009, I stayed in the 165-170 range. I wasn't happy that I still had a good 15 lbs. to lose but I was thrilled with my loss and I guess the thrill overrode my will to finish the job.
In 2010 I was in the 168-173 range. I was up a few lbs. but I figured I was exercising so maybe it was extra muscle. Maybe.
When 2011 rolled around, I began to hit the 172-178 range. Yikes! This is exactly what they mean by "the weight creep." I was exercising. I was eating in my Spark-specified calorie range. I was tracking (sort of). But my weight was creeping up.
On April 25, I decided to get back to basics and do the work that created my initial 30 lb. loss back in early 2008. I wasn't looking forward to it since food often equals love in my world. Food restriction equals pain. But the time was right and I made the choice to take the long view.
I am only 11 weeks into this but today I feel like everything has re-coverged onto the right path. I am at a new low of 166. I had an unexplainable bump in my weight throughout last week. My downward weekly ave. trajectory was rudely interrupted. But I stuck with my plan and the trajectory went back in the right direction with this week's average. Hopefully it will continue. The reality is if it doesn't, that's okay. I am adopting habits that need to be viewed and accepted as life-long habits. This isn't about weight-loss. It's about fueling my body for the long haul.
Here is my daily weight:
Here is my weekly average which is a more accurate picture of my weight over the last 11 weeks. I am averaging a 1.1 lb. loss per week.
This Tues. my husband celebrated his 52nd birthday. We had a brownie cake for him. I was able to have a small piece with a small amount of ice cream - and be perfectly satisfied. That has NEVER happened. Usually I want to eat a huge slice with lots of ice cream and then eat one or two pieces every day afterwards. (And then I think exercise will "take care of it.") Thankfully, this time was different.
Then I figured the one small piece would stall or even create a weight gain. But it didn't. That also has NEVER happened. Usually when I eat processed sugar, it makes my body hold onto weight for days and days. Not this time.
So, for today, I feel like after last week's disappointing upward trend, everything has converged back to where it should be. Everything is moving along the same line. I am doing the work. I am eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. I am exercising. I am eliminating most white sugar and processed foods. And it's working. It might be painfully slow but it IS working. I can't explain last week's gain but this week's loss shows that things can converge again. Last week's gain was just one line off the main track. I was doing everything right and that one line jumped the track for some unknown reason. All the other lines (food, exercise, etc.) were still in the right direction and chugging along. So much so that they literally pulled the weight one back on track this week.
Who knows how the next week will go. I can't worry about that. For now, I am on the right track and everything has converged in the way it should. I'll take it.
Friday, July 08, 2011
Today's word is "balanced" which means, "being in harmonious or proper arrangement or adjustment, proportion, etc."
I've had a difficult week with regard to my weight. In spite of eating within my calorie range, focusing on food quality and exercising, my weight went up every day for five days. It has been a mystery to me, a very frustrating mystery.
I can understand the scale going up after eating too many calories or eating the wrong kind of calories. I'm never happy about it but I understand it. When the scale goes up for no reason and it seems to be a trend, it leaves me unsettled and off kilter. Five mornings this week, I said out loud, "Why bother? It's not working."
While I am still 1 lb. up from my ticker weight, I am feeling better today. The scale has started moving in the right direction and I am feeling balanced. It's funny how the scale has that kind of power.
I've been at this three years. You'd think I'd be used to scale frustration.
April 25 marks my third "try" at "getting serious" about "losing weight." The two times prior, I abandoned my efforts after 80 or so days. My weight would go up or stall out and I'd wring my hands and go back to exercise and magic as my weightloss strategy. It was a protection mechanism, a way for me to say, "Hey, I'm exercising. My diet's okay. The weight will come off some day."
I was looking at it as a diet. Then on April 25, I decided to look at this as a way of life. I knew I attached emotion to food and that I was a mindless grazer, especially in the late afternoon. I didn't overeat as much as I didn't eat with a purpose. I knew this but never wanted to do the work or rather, I was waiting for magic to make me want to do the work.
Today I am feeling balanced because I have passed a critical milestone. My weight went up this week for no reason, I was frustrated and I waited it out. I kept getting on the scale. I kept exercising. I kept eating within my calorie range. I kept considering the quality of those calories. Those are all positive things. The only negative was the number on the scale. Next to all those positives, the gain is trivial.
The scale still has a lot of power over me but I am learning to give voice to the other positives to balance out that big negative (thanks to some great Sparkfriends!). At least today I am and that's all that matters. If I never lose another lb. I am still a healthier person than I was on April 25. And I am far healthier than I was in January 2008 when I started this journey.
I may fall off the wagon in the future but I WILL get back on. I may get frustrated with the scale or the fact that it's "unfair" that I can't eat what other people can seem to eat. I may never reach the point where I don't want brownies or chocolate chips or ice cream. I may never truly enjoy vegetables. But I will learn to regain my balance and deal with the disappointment. I will keep reminding myself that food is food. I will give it the power to fuel my body, not my emotions.
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