Friday, November 13, 2009
I was having a conversation with someone at work and in passing he referred to me as a health freak. It took me by surprise because I certainly have never considered myself to be a health freak! In my mind a health freak is somebody who is a skinny, preachy, vegetarian weirdo who never eats sugar, doesn't have a normal life because they're exercising all the time and is no fun at all (the contents of this blog are not based on any specific person and any similarities that you see in yourself or anyone else are purely coincidental).
Then I started thinking - how DO they see me around here? Hmm. They see someone who eats healthy food she brings in everyday (I stay far away from our local hospital cafeterias, which serve nothing but fried or gravy covered food-like substances). Someone who daily makes a large pitcher of water with the juice of one lemon in it and drinks that instead of coffee or sugary drinks all day. Someone who stays away (for the most part) from the candy, cake and junk that is regularly in the kitchen, doesn't keep any of that stuff in her office and has lost 65 pounds in the last 2 years. If asked, I will tell them how much I've lost and how I'm doing it, including my healthy eating plan and going to the gym regularly. On pot luck days, I generally bring in fruit or vegetables rather than the sugar-filled junk most people bring.
Wait, maybe I AM a health freak! And you know what? Its a good thing. I'd much rather be the person who is known for the healthy habits I am (still) developing than the one who used to look forward to the monthly junk food day because it was a great excuse to eat anything I wanted all day long.
OK, I hereby stand up and announce "I AM A HEALTH FREAK AND PROUD TO BE ONE!" Anybody want to join me? Come on, realizing you are now a healthy person isn't that hard - you can do it!
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I haven't been around SP for too long, but I have noticed a trend. We have a breakthrough moment when we decide its time to lose weight (for me it was the picture of the fat woman waddling into the ocean holding my son's hand - and the realization that that fat woman was me).
We're going to do it this time! Nothing will stop us! We get all fired up and start looking for tools to help us. SP provides many of those tools, food and fitness tracking, support groups, exercise and diet information (from real experts), motivational tools, and its all free!
Why are so many of us still struggling?
Why do so many people join groups that provide daily, weekly, monthly challenges, then not participate? I've seen people join every group they see, but that won't make them successful. I've also seen people afraid to join a group because they were afraid to put themselves out there - actually that one used to be me! Obviously you can get over that one!
And I've seen people join great groups and then have a bad day or weekend and be ready to quit. We all have bad days and bad weekends and there are times when life truly does get in the way. I understand that. Some of us just aren't yet serious enough about losing weight to make the kind of commitment and changes that it takes. Why are you here? Are you serious or just wasting your time?
Now this isn't directed at anybody who has a serious health or life issue and really TRULY needs to drop out (I promise) or CANNOT do the following, but for the rest of you . . .
GET OFF YOUR LAZY BOTTOMS AND GET BUSY! Do you really think that there is an easy answer? There isn't. No one is going to hand you the kind of weight loss success you want! YOU have to go out there and grab it!
BE SELFISH! Put yourself FIRST for once! Or you WILL NEVER get what you want!
DECIDE ON YOUR GOAL
- make it reasonable! 5 pounds, a smaller size, getting through one day without candy! If 5 pounds is too big a goal for you, how about 2?
- make it measurable!
- make it something that is REALLY important TO YOU!!!! Remember, you're being selfish! Nobody else counts!
Then, MAKE IT HAPPEN! Post in your groups! Let them help you, push you and get you excited about doing something good!
I'm here because I'm serious this time. I am losing weight and I will hit my goal!
WHY ARE YOU HERE?
Friday, October 02, 2009
This week, the Fierce Fuchsia Felines are doing something different!
We're not joining a group challenge, although we love coming out ahead in group challenges and we love the back and forth with other groups. Last weekend we had a tough challenge that really pushed us, but less than half the FFF team posted a loss for the week. Even though we won the challenge, I'm not sure I can consider that a win. The reason I like these weekly challenges is because they push me to do what I need to do in order to be successful at the main goal that keeps me here -- losing weight!
We are now one quarter of the way through this 12 week challenge. How many of us are 1/4 to our challenge goals? I know I'm not! There are all kinds of excuses, but that doesn't really matter.
What really matters are the choices we make on a daily basis.
So this weekend, the Felines will focus on what we need to do in order to truly be successful at losing weight:
FITNESS: Sparkguy Chris Downie spoke at the convention last weekend about dealing with his personal challenges (not weight in his case, but extreme shyness and anxiety). He set himself a goal of 10 minutes of exercise a day. Not much, but everybody can do it. By getting into an exercise streak, he noticed that he felt so much better that he started having success in other areas of his life. Now he told this story much better than I can, but it reminded me that whats important is not how much you do, its what you do consistently!
I'm not advocating that we're all going to be healthier with only 10 minutes a day, but that we each need to start at the level we're comfortable with and do that EVERY DAY!
FOOD: There are so many plans for eating healthy and losing weight that I get dizzy just thinking about it! Everybody seems to have a different idea of what the best plan is. Most of us have had some success at losing weight in the past, no matter how small or short-lived that success. Really think about what works best for you! The plan where you lose weight, your body feels good and you feel good about yourself! For some, its low fat, others low carb. Science is now OK with either. For others, its relaxing about the "diet" and just taking smaller portions. WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU is our motto this weekend. JUST DO IT!
FILE IT: Track your food intake and exercise every day! This is important! Successful losers agree. It's a pain to do and easy to "forget", but it keeps you on track, making you realize what you're eating and often showing you where the problems in your diet are. It will also show you calories in vs calories out, which is the basis for actually losing weight. Dress it up anyway you want, all the diet and exercise plans I've seen all come back to the same thing. You gotta burn more calories than you eat. Period.
So there it is! The FIERCE FUCHSIA FELINE FOCUS ON SUCESS plan for this weekend!
Monday, September 28, 2009
No it wasn't the worst of times, but . . . I think it brought home how far I still need to go! Since there have been so many great blogs detailing the events of the day, I thought I'd make this a little more personal and detail my personal view of the weekend.
It started with a grey, wet, foggy Saturday morning, so I chose to snuggle back in bed for an extra half hour of sleep rather than the morning walk. Then I got up and got ready in my ridiculously reasonable two room suite, which included cooked to order veggie omelet and walked across the street to the convention center.
I entered a surprisingly empty building. Hmm. Walked down the long, empty corridor, turned the corner and saw two smiling young men in bright orange shirts. When I asked them if they were the convention, they laughed and sent me upstairs, so I raced up the escalator (love doing that!) and finally found the crowd of sparkers! It was such a kick to see people from the website in real life! Coach Nicole! and to be honest, other celebrity SparkPeople who I just couldn't place - sorry guys!
Signed in and got my bag of goodies, preordered THE BOOK! and wandered around. Lots of happy, excited people everywhere. Spun the wheel and won a $10 gift certificate (woo-hoo!), bought a bottle of water and wandered into the convention room just as they were introducing Chris "Sparkguy" Downie! Wow! This is a great guy! and it was very impressive to listen to him! He talked about his journey overcoming his issues of anxiety and extreme shyness using principals very similar to those Spark recommends for meeting any goals. He really made each of us believe that we can do anything! Can I get a woo-hoo!
I was also impressed by the panel of success stories - mostly because they were all pretty much normal people who've been where we are and have done well. Each was different, yet much of the advice was similar - the importance of tracking, forgiving yourself for screwing up, loving yourself where you are today. We know these things, but its so hard to remember when we have a bad day .
The speakers were all good, but the one on the panel who touched me most personally was ~Indygirl. She has had such a tough journey - and I think it was even more impressive because she is still a work in progress! She's not at goal weight, she hasn't run a marathon or a 5K (which be honest, how many of us have either?), but her attitude, her sense of humor and her outlook on life are just incredible! She said a couple of things that I know will stick with me. To paraphrase -
- if you get a speeding ticket, you don't then go out and break every law you can think of for the rest of the day! So if you eat a slice of pizza, you don't have to eat the whole pizza.
- If you’re going to think 'I may as well', then you might as well think 'I may as well not'.
- You don't have to be perfect you just have to stick with it.
- It is what you do consistently that shows.
-Life starts now, not 10 pounds from now!
After a great lunch with fellow sparkers, it was time for a nice walk along the waterfront. Then it was upstairs to workout with Coach Nicole. Great workout and she is such a sweetheart! Even nicer (and meaner-what a workout in 15 minutes!) in person!
In the afternoon, my favorite speaker was the dietician Becky. Most of what she talked about was stuff I was familiar with, but she had a great speaking style and much enthusiasm talking about food.
My disappointment with the convention comes from the feeling that we were going to all be one big happy family and while I talked to lots of people I didn't come away with any new friends. I ate dinner alone Saturday night, because I hadn't made the kind of connections that led to dinner invitations and while that was OK, I felt a little left out. So many sparkers had made plans before the convention to meet people and have parties.
Why didn't I? Can't say. For some reason I expected that my online persona - much more open, friendly and confident - would warp over into my real life and I would become a more confident person, able to go up to a group of strangers, introduce myself and start a conversation. It didn't happen and probably wasn't realistic to expect it to.
But you know what? That's really OK. I enjoyed the convention, though I would have liked a little more of some things. I enjoyed my big beautiful hotel room and the workout equipment which was so much better than I have access to at home (even the fact that nobody else was ever in the exercise room when I was - in a hotel full of people trying to live a healthy lifestyle, I expected competition for the machines). Don't tell my kids, but I even enjoyed the peace and quiet of being on my own for a couple of days!
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