Sunday, January 06, 2013
It has been a very relaxing and easy holiday this year. DH and I have been working on being more accepting with each other and with events in our lives and the result has been a holiday where we have found ourselves doing very little, but loving every minute of it. We slept a lot. At first this was unnerving, but, seeing as our mantra was acceptance, we just went with it. We found ourselves thinking more carefully about what we actually wanted to do, so when we did go out it was always a pleasure - be it an easy walk, a visit to the cinema, or a trip to a restaurant. It has been an exercise in paying attention.
This got me thinking about exercise.
So often I want to push ahead with exercise because I have goals to meet, but sometimes our body starts getting sore - sore foot, IT band, aching back. I'm learning that rather than look at these things as something stopping me reaching my goals, that they are waking me up to consider something about my training plan. It seems to me that exercise is a constant learning process. I may think I understand my body and I'm doing everything right only to go an injure myself when I move to a new level of intensity. I think injuries are the only way our body can get us to pay attention to it. I'm also beginning to wonder if learning to pay attention is another part of maintaining my goal weight.
I got overweight because I didn't listen to my body telling me it was full. I enjoyed the feeling of eating too much to want to listen to what my body was telling me. Now I find myself sometimes enjoying my run too much to listen to that muscle that's beginning to twinge just a little bit too much and slow down and start walking. There's a similarity there. It's me thinking more about the feelings and the goals as opposed to thinking about what I really need.
So, paying attention. That's going to be my focus this year.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
I decided I needed to lose weight two days before this photo:
Every time I look at this photo I remember how awful I was feeling about myself. My desire to change was extremely strong - strong enough to join spark people!!
My first goal was to fit into my wedding dress again:
That was achieved about two months after I started sparkpeople. The dress looks better on me in that photo than it ever did on my wedding day!
Then I hit my goal weight just before Christmas:
And then became a serious runner (still surprises both me and my family!)
I have gone on to lose more weight and I think my body and my mind has finally settled at 54kg (119lbs):
I know there are those who feel maintenance begins when you stop losing weight, but I definitely went through a transition period, where I was figuring out just how many calories I needed to eat to maintain my weight and also, the more emotional acceptance that I had reached my goal and it was okay to eat more food. I did suffer with the worry that I would end up gaining all the weight I had lost back again. I'm feeling much more confident now about my ability to stick with it!! I feel that it is important for me to acknowledge achieving my initial goal weight because that had been my dream weight for my entire adult life. The fact that I have surpassed that, is simply the cherry on top!!
All I did was track my calories and exercise - every day! The trick is consistency with those two things. Using the options such as blogging, spark teams, and spark articles adds the external motivation when things are hard.
Now, I know statistically, I have a while to go before I can feel totally secure in my weight loss, which is why I'm still on sparkpeople. The need for support doubles after maintenance because 'living skinny' was definitely a mental adjustment for me (still is, sometimes!). But, the joy at reaching my goal is indescribable!! I'm very glad I made the change a year ago, and extremely grateful to be where I am now.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
I've been unable to jog for about a month now. A year ago, this would have been the signal for me to completely give up on the habit, but I've now learned that a setback doesn't mean the end. It just means a brief pause before starting again, and doing a bit more yoga in the meantime!!
It's the same with food. Eating too much chocolate on Friday (yes, I did that) doesn't mean I have to eat too much chocolate on Saturday and Sunday too. It was a little setback, not the end of the road. That happens once in a while, and it's okay.
In a way, maintenance is learning that being healthy does not mean being perfect. It is just learning to accept the bumps in the road and to keep going in spite of them.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Tomorrow is my birthday. I remember my birthday last year so clearly because the challenge was not too eat too much food! It's funny how a year later eating only one cupcake to celebrate my birthday feels perfectly reasonable, when last year I was freaking out because it seemed like too little. How perceptions change.
This week I had an exciting interview for a phd scholarship. It has been a dream of mine to be able to go back to school to complete a Phd, but the practicalities of doing this keeps well in the 'dream' category as opposed to the 'goal' category. It was about the same time that I started with sparkpeople that I decided to take a bit more interest in applying for Phd studentships. Not many have come along and of the few that I have applied for, this is the first that has led to an interview. Now that the interview is done, I'm busy waiting to hear back and the longer I wait, the more nervous I get!
Bizarrely, life is quite good at the moment. I know I'll be able to carry on with my current work without being too upset if I don't get offered the scholarship, so I think I'm in a good place.
I hurt my foot a few weeks ago (from running) so I've had to adapt my exercise schedule to accomodate that. Fortunately, I haven't gained any weight, and yoga is helping me stay a little bit toned. I miss running, but I know how important it is to wait until my foot is completely healed before I start again. I've now learned, that everything will be ok if I take a bit of time off because of an injury. It's another learning curve, understanding that there needs to be flexibility in an exercise programme for it to become a constant part of life.
So, I suppose for this birthday I feel quite calm about life. I'm happy with the goals I have achieved, I have dreams that I can now imagine moving into my 'goals' list and, I know that birthdays are far from ruined by having a cupcake instead of the whole cake!! They are made so much better.
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