Friday, April 25, 2014
I know it's been awhile, but I am still here! I am trying to check into SparkPeople daily, even if I don't always post a blog post.
This week has been a bit rough. Ups and downs with my weight. A cold scare. And today, some personal stuff got thrown on my plate.
But I'm not gonna give up! I'm gonna putter away and do my best!
Friday, April 04, 2014
Today I went into for a follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon on my knee. (As a recap: Back in December, I went ice skating and fell, twisting my knee in the process. I had to stay off the knee/immobilize it for almost 2 weeks and then afterwards, I could only do light work, like cycling.) I have been pretty much doing everything I had been before the accident - running, Zumba, and spin - but I wanted to make sure the doctor took a look and gave me the approval.
It's so funny; the appointment itself took like 3 minutes (and that was with me asking questions and getting clarification too!). I waited probably 30 minutes or more to see him. Ah, doctors!
Regardless of the wait time, I am pleased to report the doctor has cleared me for normal activity! I can run and do Zumba and basically everything I was doing before. I am to continue to do the knee exercises to improve my range/strength, but the pain I'm getting he attributes to atrophied/weak muscles.
SO YAY! I am incredibly excited about this and am eager to jump back into my regular routine - which, granted, I had been doing anyway, but it's nice to know I have a "clean bill of health".
Thursday, April 03, 2014
The news loves to talk about weight. There are numerous articles about obesity and type 2 diabetes in our youth, numerous articles about how most adult Americans are overweight or obese, numerous pages about what foods to eat or not to eat.
One thing I realized today was this: for those of us who are outside the "acceptable" weight range, we know full well we are "fat". We may cloak in the clothes we wear, we may not just come outright and say, "Hey, my name is Carolyn, and I'm fat!", but we know it's true.
And for many of us (I say many, because like with everything, not all people feel this way), it eats at us that we are "fat". We aren't just walking around, oblivious when suddenly a doctor or a friend or the media turns to us and says, "By the way, you are fat." We know it.
But more than that, the community of SparkPeople stands out from the crowd. As I was scrolling through my friends, seeing the beautiful varied faces, I realized something else: We knew we are "fat", we are at a higher health risk, and WE ARE DOING SOMETHING. We aren't the people sitting in front of the TV, scarfing Oreos while watching Dr. Oz, promising ourselves to start a new-fangled diet tomorrow. We are trying TODAY.
This is what I love about the SparkPeople community. We ALL have something to learn. We ALL know we are imperfect. And instead of flailing and fumbling by ourselves in this world of unhealthy food choices, bad food education, and body shaming (God forbid a woman be anything more than a size 2!!), we are joining hands and moving forward.
Some of us are at different stages than others. Some are well into Maintenance, having gotten the swing (or still learning!) of how to do the most difficult of things: keep that weight off! Others are thinking about Maintenance, trying to plan ahead to be one of that small group to not regress. Others have just started, realizing they need to be healthy and drop a few pounds.
And in between, there are many, MANY other stages. For instance, I am technically in Maintenance, but am trying to lose the weight I gained while my knee was recovering. Others start and stop and start.
What is beautiful is that no matter where you are, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have someone else that can mentor you, you have someone who is at the same place as you, and there is someone that you can mentor.
We all know we have a journey ahead of us. Each one of us on SparkPeople is here to make our lives better - our lives, the lives of our family, the lives of our friends. We aren't perfect - that's why we're here! But we're willing to change. We are willing to try. We know we have to change, so we're dipping our toes into the water of Healthy Living. And whatever way we go about it - Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, TSFL, or just good old fashioned "Watch what you eat" - we are doing it. And as we do it, we support and encourage each other. We hold each other accountable.
This is what makes SparkPeople so amazing. Each day I log in and see so many people on fire for their health, it's contagious. It's hard to NOT care, to just eat anything in my face, when I read the comments and recipes and exercise routines and blogs of my fellow Sparkers.
We are in the middle of an obesity epidemic; but the people are SparkPeople are trying to combat that. And together, we are working to a healthier, happier life. I'm just honored to be holding hands with my fellow Sparkers and leading the way.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
I'm pretty proud of myself today. It's not for something big, like exercising or eating a particularly good food. It's just that I logged into SparkPeople for the third day in a row. Again, small, but I am happy to check in and poke around on my page and my fellow Sparkers' pages.
Yesterday was my sister's birthday, so, being the Big Sister, I went into Birthday Mode. She started out her day not too hot at work, and I knew I needed to put on my Wonder Woman superheroine cape and come to the rescue. (NOTE: I had planned on doing these things anyway, but it REALLY came in handy yesterday when she was feeling down.) So I took off the rest of the day from work and began Operation Birthday.
Phase I: I got her 25 helium balloons, one for each year. Then I picked up a birthday cake (not the best thing, I know, but a birthday is once a year, and I don't make a habit of doing cakes every week anymore), a flameless candle and a stuffed frog (she loves frogs). I then popped into her workplace with The Entourage. All her coworkers looked up astonished, and she was so touched, she burst into tears as her coworkers sang Happy Birthday. (I was so choked up myself, I couldn't sing!) We shared a piece of cake together, arranged the balloons near her cube, and then parted.
Phase II: Our favorite cupcake store is downtown, and since cupcakes are way better than cake (particularly these rich, decadent cupcakes - one is almost too much for one person!), I buzzed downtown to pick up some for her and the rest of the people for the party later tonight. I also spent some me time - getting coffee, having my nails done.
Phase III: We went to the comic book store! Unfortunately, she didn't find anything she wanted, but we had a good time anyway.
Phase IV: We arrived at the pizza place, where I told her to go away as I decorated the booth with Happy Birthday signs. Fairly quickly, her friends arrived and the table was abuzz with laughter. She also was stunned to get some awesome presents!
At the end of the day, I asked her if she had a good time. She said yes, yes she had.
Maybe yesterday's birthday success is bleeding off today. I love my sister quite a lot, and it was a lot of fun to do stuff for her, to show her how much I loved her. Her day didn't start out great, but by the end, it was pretty dang good.
Being Healthy is more than just what you put into your mouth or how often you exercise. It's also about doing things you love and making yourself and others happy - or if not "happy", at least content and loved. Yesterday was a reminder to me to not only take care of my physical body, but to pay attention to my mental health as well.
Friday, March 28, 2014
There's a part of me that wants to hide the fact that I've gained 30 pounds and am in size 12 pants (instead of size 10 - not that it is REALLY the pant size that makes or breaks the person). It's that part of me that's a perfectionist, that hates to let people down, that doesn't want to be seen as a failure.
But hiding that part of myself does no one any good. Projecting that perfect smile, that attitude that "Sure, I have it together - why don't you?" makes me look like a fake and a fraud when - not if - it is finally revealed that I *don't* have it all together. (Don't believe me? Take a look at our politicians and celebrities.) And of course, most importantly, not acknowledging this does ME the most damage. Because I live hidden, trying desperately to conceal my problems, instead of opening them up and facing them. It keeps me from getting the help I need, from getting better instead of getting worse.
So I have written about my struggles, my weight gain, my stress. And you, my fellow SparkFriends - you have given me overwhelming support in my time of struggle. As I type this now, I feel tears in the corners of my eyes. You guys have been great! Everything I was afraid of - being a failure, seen as a loser - isn't true at all. Because you all know what it's like. We've all been there - lost a great portion of weight only to gain some or all of it back.
This week has been one of my better weeks. I have made an effort to exercise Mon - Thurs (not tonight because of Book Club, but I'll be back in the gym on Saturday). I have made an effort to watch what I eat - how much, what I choose. And I have made an effort to log into one of the best support systems I know - my fellow Sparkers.
Today, I was writing up my story (including the bits about me gaining back 30 pounds - it happened, and I ain't lying or concealing it anymore!), going back over my previous blog posts, and something happened. I was staring at the words on the screen, and I realized: I want THIS. I want this healthy life. I want to run a 5K. I want to ride in a 26 mile bike ride (yes, I am doing that this July 26th!). I want to look good in my clothes. I want to be active and healthy. I want to eat veggies and enjoy them.
And I realized something else: I don't want all that crap I had in my life 2 years ago (I canNOT believe I can say TWO years!!). I don't want to be blowing in the wind, wondering what's for dinner and just picking up a pizza or a burger for dinner. I don't want to be chained to my stomach's whimsical desires. I don't want to be looking at life from a glass box: watching people run and walk and ride and be active and happy, while I'm unable to because of my weight.
Does that mean sacrifice? You betcha! It means taking time out of my day to head to the gym. It means sometimes making the "inconvenient" choice to run, instead of calling it a night. It sometimes means being difficult when going to a restaurant ("I want the salad, no croutons, no X, no Y, no Z, with dressing on the side"). It means not having that snack that I want (I'm finding that right now, chips are my bane), or taking a smaller portion.
But is it worth it? Most definitely!
So I approach today reinvigorated, remotivated to charge forward with Maintenance. I'm gonna eat right, I'm gonna exercise, I'm gonna get my Z's and drink my water. Because I AM WORTH IT.
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