Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Everyone's weight loss journey is different... so what is true for me may not be true for you. 18 months into this I have realized my weight loss journey is always in one of the following 3 phases. For the most part, it's either the good, the bad, or the meh. Let's break it down.
The BESTEST of all the phases:
The Sweet Spot, AKA 's and 's.
You know that amazing feeling, when NOTHING can stand in your way? Your nutrition is on point, calories in range, drinking all of your water without even thinking about it... You're exercising like a beast and you feel fierce! Rawr! You turn down that at work, you make healthy choices when you are forced to eat out, you take an extra just because you are ! In fact, this spot is so sweet, you feel like this weight loss journey is a piece of ! You might even momentarily forget how much work this weight loss journey is, because the 's and are taking over! There is only one minor problem with the sweet spot... you can't live there permanently. You can stay there weeks even months at a time, but we are only human. We are going to drop the at some point, we are going to eat more than we should, or skip a workout because we all make mistakes. Sometimes life gets in the way, sometimes things get us down, but we can always push forward and return to the sweet spot if we put in the effort.
Now for the WORST of the phases:
Don't let the adorable Sheldon or the bright colors fool you, the Pit of Despair is pure EVIL! This is the phase where you feel like you should just be hiding under the covers! Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. You will skip workouts, you will eat everything in sight, sometimes you may even get attacked by the dreaded Binge Monster! This will make you even more agitated and under certain circumstances the pit can suck you in for weeks at a time. This time in the pit is very costly, it typically means pounds gained , and lots of motivation lost. The good news is, the pit of despair doesn't have to be permanent! For me, I turn to my special Spark Friends to help pull me back out. Asking for help is definitely a sure fire way to get to the sweet spot, or at the very least the 3rd and final phase.
I present to you: Middle Ground!
While the Middle Ground isn't nearly as exciting as the Sweet Spot, it is definitely miles away from the Pit of Despair! It is that balance... today you might pass up the , and tomorrow you might eat it. You may miss a workout or two but you don't feel out of control and get right back to it the next day. The Binge Monster may come knocking at your door but you turn him away, at least for the night. Bumps in the road happen, but you don't let them throw you completely off plan. This is where I find I spend the majority of my time. Going through the motions, mainly good choices with bad choices peppered in. I am learning that a few bumps along the way doesn't have to throw you right into the pit, and that is progress!
I have learned SO MUCH from all 3 of these phases. I've learned that the Pit of Despair can suck you in so easily, a few days off plan can turn into 6 weeks. Yes you read that right, I had a 6 week stint at the Pit of Despair... they didn't even give me a discount for my extended stay. What I learned from the Pit was to appreciate the Sweet Spot. I also remember a good 6 week stint in the Sweet Spot, where I was happy to pay full price. I really learned to enjoy those moments where things come so easily, because that is not always the case.
I am really learning to adjust to the Middle Ground. Things can't always be 's and but they don't have to be & either. There can be a nice balance to life and weight loss where it does require effort, there are mistakes but ultimately you can still come out on top. 1 doesn't have to lead to 10, 1 missed work out doesn't have to lead to 2 weeks on the couch, we just have to take it one day at a time. So some days, if you find your just isn't in it, and you are just going through the motions, sometimes that is okay! Going through the motions is better than not bothering at all. I really believe success is a bunch of tiny victories all strung together! If you have more tiny victories than minor slip ups, you are on the right path and you are amazing!
Saturday, October 05, 2013
I totally love the Spark trophies! I love all of them, I love the awards, I love Spark points, I just love it all! From the day that Spark added the additional fitness minutes awards (1500, 2000, etc) I really wanted to push it to get 2000 Fitness Minutes for the first time ever. Unfortunately, my arthritis had another plan in store for me. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 5 years old. I have it in my knees, and during a flare up it can be pure disaster. My knee is swollen up, and it is getting uncomfortable. The good news is that in the past, with a flare up this size, I wouldn't even be able to walk it would hurt so badly. I don't know if it's the fact that I don't weigh as much (less pressure on the joints) or if it's because I do my walking and keep it moving, or if it is just taking mercy on me, but I am glad it hasn't gotten to the excruciating pain yet. I am hoping that it will be gone before it gets to that point. I was really on a roll with walking Sparky AND getting in workouts but the arthritis is just kicking my tush!
I am not going to lie, when this first happened a couple of weeks ago I started to feel helpless. If I couldn't do the plan that I set out to do (I even made a workout schedule that I was keeping up with), then what was the point? I think that is part of what made the Binge Monster attack, because he knew I was feeling weak. It's like he can smell the weakness, and that is when he pounces.
What I have learned from this flare up is that you need to have a back up plan. Instead of using it as an excuse to do nothing more than walking, I could easily bump up the strength training. The hula hooping (standing in place) would also be some great cardio with no impact on the knees. I was also reminded of the most OBVIOUS thing... if your exercise/cardio has to slow down, you really need to focus that much more on your food! Obviously I took the wrong turn and started comforting myself with food, and that is always DISASTER!
So my goals for October are a little bit modified, but I think they are more attainable and realistic. Let's hope this inflammation doesn't stick around too long, because I'm already over it.
Walk everyday! This is typically a given for me, but with the arthritis this is the most important thing I can do for myself.
Walk Sparky while on vacation in Vegas. Last time we didn't get in any walks because it was 100 degrees all the way past midnight... but this time there are no excuses.
Going for 1500 fitness minutes. It's not the 2,000 I have my eye on, but it is something I think I can achieve this month.
Focus on strength training because it's important and because it doesn't involve my knee.
Beware of the Binge Monster! I feel like he is far enough away, but somehow I feel like he is still lurking! If he does pop up I will do my very best to fight him.
Be happy! I am generally a pretty happy person, especially lately, but I have a tendency to focus on the negatives and psych myself out, so I'm going to focus on the positives.
To trust myself! My brother mentioned I am always second guessing myself about EVERYTHING, especially weight loss! I didn't lose 80 pounds on accident, so my goal is to trust myself and trust in my abilities to lose this weight.
To not compare myself to anyone else! Yes, you'd think after over 18 months I would know not do to this, but I am always wondering if someone else's plan is something I should be doing. I'm done doing that. I have to remember I know what works for me, and my journey is my own and no one else's. I've always known that but I need the reminder this month.
Bust into the 180's!
October is my favorite month, I love fall, pumpkins, Halloween, I love it all. So let's hope I can report back at the end of the month with a happy report and maybe even some weight lost!
I hope you will join me in having a fabulous October!
Thursday, October 03, 2013
My super awesome Spark Friend (Tammy/Mamachambs) and leader of my BLC team the Sassy Shamrock Sheriff's has a motto, "just for today". When we think about all the weight we have to lose, or how we have to keep this up as a lifestyle (aka FOREVER) it can be so overwhelming and make it hard for us to get the job done on a daily basis.
But what she has taught me is that I have to do it "just for today". That's all I have to think about. I don't have to worry about tomorrow or next week, I just have to worry about today. Then when tomorrow comes, I will do it again, just for today. This week I am going to get back to basics, get my eating back under control, and remember that no matter how hard it is, it's okay, because it's "just for today!" Thank you so much Tammy for this motto that I am going to be focusing on this week!
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
If I chose to look at JUST weight for the month of September it is a total fail!
Here are my weigh in's :
As you can see it was quite the roller coaster. I was on track to bust into the 180's when the Binge Monster started to attack and I couldn't win. My weigh in for tomorrow looks to be around the same as last week. I started off the week strong and fizzled out towards the end. So I can mark September off as a total fail, or I can try to find some of the good moments.
#1: I reached out for help regarding the Binge Monster on Spark, and stayed accountable to all of my Spark Friends. In years past, I would have hid the fact that I needed help, and I would have run away from Spark and any form of accountability.
#2: Despite an arthritis flare up, I continued with my walking. In the past that would have been a huge excuse to take up residence on the couch. I believe my flare up is less painful because I am keeping it moving.
#3: I learned that life doesn't always go according to plan. I was on point doing my exercise plan and was well on my way to 2000 fitness minutes. The flare up threw me for a loop and I am learning that you have to have a back up plan. I am also learning that when something happens where you can't be as active as you like, it is that much more important to focus on your food. Had I put more energy into adjusting my food and fighting the Binge Monster, I would probably be in the 180's by now. But I am learning.
#4: I am working on a new plan for my way of eating. I am going to work on getting in more whole foods and stop relying so much on processed foods. I am also going to work on getting rid of the "refined carbs" again. I did it years ago and I felt a lot better physically, but I slowly got away from it with some of the convenience foods I eat. Getting back to that should be a huge help and I know my body will love me for getting in more freggies.
#5: I had some huge NSV's, from the doctor's appointment, to Universal! I had outstanding blood work, I am healthy and I am fitting into smaller clothes! Not too shabby!
So instead of looking at September as a total fail, I am going to look at it as a learning experience. I learned so much from myself and fellow Sparkers, and I am going to hang on to that knowledge going into October. Here is to making October an amazing month!
Saturday, September 28, 2013
For starters I love love love Halloween and horror movies... always have. I had always talked about going to one of those Hollywood Horror Night events at Universal Studios, and I did actually go last year for the first time ever! I was around 220ish, and I got through everything alright, a little tired and very sore when I got home, but I did it!
This year though I was an additional 30 pounds down from last year (80 total), and I had a blast. According to my fitbit we walked just over 6 miles and I feel great. Not only that but I was amazed at how fast I could actually walk. I even left my uncle in the dust a couple of times and had to slow down. I am home now, and other than my knee that has been bothering me a little for a week (arthritis flare up), I feel great! I might be sore tomorrow, time will tell.
On top of that, I said a phrase like 10 times that night that I would NEVER say last year. "Take my picture in front of ____". Any time I saw a photo opportunity I took it. My brother didn't even get the strict orders to take the pictures "from the chest up" (you ladies know what I'm talking about! ). I didn't care, I am me, and I worked hard to get where I am. And if my stomachs happen to take up half of the picture then so be it!
It was just the ultimate NSV and this is what it is about! I am the girl that could not walk the dog around the block 1 mile, I couldn't do it. I would walk up 7 stairs to my bedroom and be SO winded that I'd have to stop and rest. I am the girl that never wanted you to take my picture ever, and on the off chance I let you I only cringed at the results and would be down about it for days thinking "do I really look like that?" But those days are gone. I may not be done on this journey and I may still have a good chunk of weight to lose, but I am proud of what I have accomplished! I have come a long way and the ultimate reward is being able to live life, however I want, with NOTHING to hold me back. Gone are the days of "I really would like to go, but there is too much walking involved". I never ONCE stopped to look around to see if anyone was giving me looks (for being overweight) or talking crap about me. I used to hear people laugh around me and automatically wonder if it was a joke about my weight. I know that sounds super paranoid and it probably was, but when you actually overhear people commenting on your weight, it makes you paranoid! I just couldn't have been more happy to feel like a regular, plain ol, normal person that BLENDED in with everyone else. I wish I could bottle up this feeling and use it up when I'm not feeling so hot, because it's awesome!
If you are having a hard time or have a long way to go and have trouble staying motivated, PLEASE remember it is SO worth it. These are our lives, we only get one and we deserve to get out and live them however we chose!
Without further ado, here are some of the pictures taken tonight... you may not care but just the fact that I have pictures to show are a huge NSV!
^My uncle said "you guys don't smile!" So this is the result...
^ So fluffy!
^Biggest disappointment of the night, Chucky posed for me but that monster cut him off LOL.
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