Friday, April 06, 2012
This last week has been eye opening for me. It has been my first proper break in a long time, and, it seems that when my mind realizes it is on holiday, it feels like it needs to be on holiday from calorie counting too!
How strange to observe my hand as it reaches for the popcorn/ chocolate/ dessert just the way it used to six months ago. Mentally I knew this was not the thing to do, but at the same time, I needed to relax. And, 'this is what I do when I relax' was what my mind was telling me.
The spa break was wonderful and I have come home very relaxed, and, thankfully, only one pound heavier. But, I'm also back to struggling to eat things in moderation again. I let myself relax and now I'm finding it hard to reign myself back in again. I've now learned that I equate relaxing with eating whatever I want to. I've even said to myself 'I can start dieting again tomorrow' - another throw away comment from a few months ago that I haven't said to myself for ages!
I need to spend a bit of time reflecting on this new discovery. Awareness is the first step, right? Now to figure out how to feel relaxed without needing to over-indulge in food.
Monday, April 02, 2012
I have given myself a treat - a few days away at a spa for time to relaz, and treat my body to some well earned massage treatments. What I didn't anticipate was the food I would encounter on this trip.
I've just returned from dinner at their restaurant. Nothing on the meal was low calorie, so i ended up getting a burger and chips, which is something I haven't eaten in a long time. I was so hungry that I ate it all pretty fast, and then gulped down a hot chocolate with cookies. (By the time the hot chocolate came, I wasn't thinking in healthy terms anymore, I was in pre-sparkpeople mode).
Now, however, I am suffering. My stomach is aching from this over-indulgence (a new experience, 6 months ago, I would still be able to eat ice cream after that!)
It seems that pampering cannot equal huge quantities of calorie loaded food for me - it now makes me feel ill (which is a good thing, right?)
But, I do need to somehow persuade the part of me that associates pampering with junk food, that this is ok.
Argh, and, sorry shooting stars, I'm not doing a good job of keeping within my calorie range so fat this week!
Tomorrow will be better.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I have missed being accountable to a group when it comes to exercising. I hadn't realized how much it helps me to do a bit of exercise each day when I know it's leading towards a greater goal. Even if it is an imaginary destination, this group effort is really helpful for me and I think will get me doing all the extra exercise I had intended on doing, but just not got round to doing!
Saturday, March 03, 2012
This is a special marker for me because I spent three months reaching my goal weight and have now spent three months in maintenance mode. I have still lost weight whilst maintaining, but much more slowly. These last three months have felt more like my body has been making its' mind up about what feels right. I think my mind has been doing exactly the same thing!!
I've jotted down a few paragraphs because my thoughts about the last 6 months are quite hard to pin down into something cohesive. These are just some things that I've noticed about my life now that I wanted to share.
I have to start here because this is where it began! I eat less now. I still eat everything that I love and I still absolutely love eating, but in much smaller portions. I have also developed a great love for fruit. I now find that I will gladly choose chopped mango slices over a cookie or cake. That still surprises me. I have also found that I love the idea of a food budget - it works for me. Do I have enough in my budget for this packet of crisps/ If I eat this cookie now, will I be able to eat my evening treat later? Sometimes, just spending time looking at all the calories in various slabs of chocolate at the store is all I need to decide that, actually, i don't want it after all. Calorie counting has taught me to stop and think before I eat.
This afternoon I shaved another minute off my 5km jogging time. When I started sparking I was suffering from a painful leg injury - an injured IT band - and had been told to stop jogging altogether by my doctor and begin working on strength training instead. The articles on sparkpeople, plus excellent guidance from my doctor have enabled me to be able to jog now pain free and it is such a pleasure to have that back again.I'm still not running the 10km races that I was running before the injury, but I am confident that I will be back at it by the end of the year pain free!
I used to exercise so that I could eat more food. Now that seems to have switched around. I eat food so that I can exercise better - another amazing mind switch for me that happened without me really realizing.
The spark programme doesn't increase your calorie intake on days that you have exercised. It seems to encourage an average calorie range based on how much you exercise a week. This has helped me to turn exercise into something regular and has also helped me to see exercise as being a part of my life rather than an excuse to eat an extra piece of pie!
This is probably the greatest gift a person losing weight can give to themselves. We want everything yesterday, but taking time to nurture good habits helps to solidify them and also helps our minds to get used to the idea of change. Patience leads to forgiveness for the days when I ate too much chocolate, or went over my calorie limit, or was too tired to exercise. It was ok, because there was the next day, and the day after that where I would be able to make healthier choices.
This one has taken a while. At first the new image of me in the mirror was quite foreign and I was not too sure if I felt comfortable with this new 'skinny me'. I now find myself feeling happy with the way I look and identifying the person I see in the mirror as the person that I have always wanted to be. That thought - that really all I have ever wanted to be is me - fills me with such happiness and delight.
Not just of what I eat, but of the world around me. Suddenly I'm paying attention to life and to what I want from it.
It certainly started with 'do I want to the fruit box or the muffin' when ordering food at Starbucks, but now this type of questioning is moving into choices I make at work, in relationships and at home.
Spreading the Spark
My husband has now lost twenty pounds. In my valentines card this year, he described me as his inspiration. Sharing a healthier lifestyle is great. It's nice that we are both now more conscious of what we eat and I think it will help to make this a permanent change in our lives. I was having a chat with a fellow colleague at work who told me she had started counting calories too - she called me her inspiration! If that's not motivation to keep the weight off, then I don't know what is!
Reaching my goal weight was anything but a full stop. It is turning into the longest sentence in the world! I wouldn't even call it a new chapter or a new paragraph, because it certainly is a continuation - I haven't stopped sparking and don't think I will for a long time. It has opened my eyes to a world of potential, of what could be, and I'm rather excited about that......
Sunday, February 19, 2012
On Friday night I staged a bit of a fashion parade. I emptied all my clothes out onto the bed and began trying them on, one by one. I had asked my DH if he would mind being my second eyes because I knew that there would be some outfits I was emotionally attached to, but that perhaps weren't fitting properly any more.
So began about an hour and half's worth of working through memories and learning about how I dress. I have clothes that span my adult life and it was interesting to try on the older clothes that fit me perfectly now (because I was skinnier then) and compare it with the clothes from the last four years or so that were just too big. I learned that when by body was larger, I bought clothes that just hung over me - my body had enough shape to not need any tailoring. Now, those clothes just hang. As my DH said,' they do nothing for your figure.' (Now, I would not have thought about it like that as I've never thought about having a figure before - this is why having someone around to help is good. Especially when they know you well and have seen you in all your shapes and sizes.)
Other clothes, the more expensive ones that I was hoping to still hold onto, got the comment 'they looked good when you fitted into them properly, but now they just make you look larger than you actually are'. Hmmmm. So, I created a 'tailor' pile, hoping that some of these items might be able to be taken in a bit.
Then there were the clothes I had bought in the hope that 'one day' they would fit. These were the most rewarding outfits to try on. Almost like a gift from my past self to my current self saying, 'I knew you could do it'.
In the time it would take to watch a movie, I learned that now I needed to look for more tailored outfits - especially tailored tops. I also found it fascinating how some of my clothes were able to adapt to my new figure (they looked different, but still looked good), whilst others had lost all the appeal that they had once had.
In a funny way, I also had a chance to process the memories that go with some outfits, and feel okay about letting the outfits go. I felt that, though the memories were sweet, I was ready to create new memories in outfits that were who I am now, rather than who I was. That was the most special part of the evening. That, and a slightly deeper understanding between my DH and I about what this weight loss has meant.
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