Tuesday, August 19, 2008
For the past 115 days I have behaved like a new person. I have tracked every bit of food that has entered my mouth. I have exercised and been physically active. I have drunk gallons and gallons of water. I have tried to get as close to 8 hours of sleep each night as I possibly could. And I have spent numerous hours on the SparkPeople website talking with new friends, reading articles, blogging and immersing myself in a culture dedicated to healthful living.
The benefits I have reaped from this are many. First of all, I have dropped 35 pounds and several clothing sizes. For the first time in years, I have incredible energy. (In fact, the energy makes it difficult for me to sleep for 8 hours because I wake up after 6 or 7 hours feeling wide awake and ready to go.) I used to nap many afternoons. I always felt tired after lunch and, since I do most of my work from home, I would frequently drift off for an hour or two. Now I probably couldn't sleep in the afternoon if I tried.
I have eaten so much healthy food, that I really don't want much of the unhealthy stuff at all. I used to crave sugar every day. Now I rarely eat sugar. In fact, I think that in the past 115 days I have only eaten sugar on occasions when I was being sociable; i.e. a birthday party, dinner at a friend's house, etc. I do occasionally want ice cream and have found that a local business carries fat-free, sugar-free frozen yogurt with 10 calories per ounce that tastes really good, and I have enjoyed that three times this summer.
When I want something crunchy or slightly salty I eat soy crisps. I especially like Glenny's lowfat ones. A small bag has 140 calories, 9 grams of protein and some flavors, like cheddar cheese, have 30% of your daily calcium needs.
Mostly I want chicken, fish, whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits. I have been loving the berries, melons and other fresh fruits this summer. I have eaten so little red meat that when I do I can now see the effects of it on my arthritis. I have read that red meat is an inflammatory food. I just never tuned in to its effects on me. My arthritis is not terrible, but over the past 6 months I noticed that one joint on the index finger of my right hand had become terribly sore. I could no longer use it to open an envelope because it hurt too badly, and bumping it would send me into extreme pain. After changing my diet, the pain decreased greatly, but one day after I had "treated" myself to steak, the pain was back. I then had another reason to continue on my healthy eating path.
One of the biggest benefits of my new life is that I am HAPPY! In fact, I am darn near joyous! Of course, I am happy about my weight loss, but this goes way beyond that. I am just peaceful and content and confident in ways that I don't ever remember before, and it is coming from inside me. It is definitely not coming from external sources. I have had a hectic, stressful summer for many reasons, both business and personal. Yet, I am weathering it all with a calm that I would previously have thought was unnatural for me. I now realize how very natural it is. I just never realized how much of the pain and unhappiness in my life was being created by the way in which I treated my body. What a revelation!
I have been on a fantastic voyage of discovery during this past 115 days. On this, the 116th day of my new life, I look forward to all the wonders I will encounter in all the days that lie ahead!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
You have already taken the first step to resolving this - reaching out. You can do this. You have already proven that. Don't let your uncontrolled eating for several days derail your goals and dreams. This program is not about what you do for several days, but what you do for the rest of your life. You will have days when the food wins, but you will have lots and lots of days when the exercise wins and the healthy eating wins and your beautiful body wins! Think of this as a test. We are all tested in life. You can pass this test by doing exactly what you have learned to do with SP - take one step at a time to change your behavior.
Plan your eating for the day and plan in a number of small snacks so that you will not get physically hungry.
Log every bite you put into your mouth, no matter how embarrassed you feel about it.
Drink as much water as you can.
Move ----- take a walk, go for a swim, do an exercise video ---- do anything that puts you in touch with how your whole body feels.
Get out of the house if at all possible.
Write about how your feel! Write a list of all the reasons you want to reach your goals, write about how it feels to have lost weight, write about how it felt to be heavier, write about how you feel when your eating is out of control........don't avoid it, just do it. It will help you to get into your feelings rather than avoid them as the food helps you to do.
Explore the SP website. Read about the success others have achieved. Read tips on how to deal with rough patches in life. Read motivational quotes.
You deserve to be healthy and happy. You are valuable and important in this world. You are stronger than you think. You have come this far and you can continue the journey. You aren't alone.
Friday, August 01, 2008
Today is the first day of August and my life is so much different than it was on the first day of April. Four months ago I was living an unsatisfying life in many ways. I was very dissatisfied with myself. I hated my size and I felt pretty hopeless to do anything about it. I had tried diet after diet. I had lost hundreds of pounds and then gained them back. I didn't think I would ever be "normal" in that regard.
Then I discovered SparkPeople and everything changed. I am now 31 pounds lighter in weight, but the difference doesn't stop there. What is truly different about me is that I am no longer afraid of what will happen "later". I have changed my whole relationship with food and with my body. I feel at peace with myself and with what my future holds.
I can't say for sure what it is about SP that made the difference for me. I guess it is everything, but the aspects of SP that I wouldn't want to live without are the Nutrition Tracker and the Message Boards. It is so easy to track calories, fat, etc. with the Nutrition Tracker, and I had sworn to never count calories again. I had become totally clueless to what I was putting into my mouth. Now I watch everything, and I do it with very little effort. The idea of message boards was foreign to me when I joined SP. I did many things on line, but I didn't communicate with people I hadn't met in person. At first I felt awkward about leaving messages to strangers, but soon I didn't feel weird and they weren't strangers anymore. The connection with others who experience the same issues I do has been incredibly uplifting to me. I am buoyed by receiving support from others and I am buoyed by giving support to others. The connection is a lifeline . Now instead of floundering, I am flying!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Today I became a member of the SparkPeople Community Team. Below is what I said to introduce myself to the other members. I thought I would share it with all of you because it is oh so true...
Hi everyone! My name is Jen and I am a proud new member of the SP Community Team. I joined SP three months ago and have lost 29.5 pounds from my body and have removed far more weight from my soul. I have gained and lost hundreds of pounds in my lifetime, but I have never felt like this before. I am thrilled and excited about the changes in me and I am eager for more, but I am no longer impatient about those changes. The changes will happen. I am finally confident and secure in that knowledge, and that has changed everything. I could not have reached this point without the help of SP and all its members.
Thank you, one and all!
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Yesterday I celebrated three months with SparkPeople! I didn't have a party or take the day off, but I celebrated just the same. I celebrated the loss of 29.5 pounds from my body. I celebrated the freedom to lose that weight without following some crazy diet where I feel deprived and miserable. I celebrated the peace of mind that comes with knowing that I can change my whole life one tiny step at a time. That wasn't a new concept for me, but I never truly believed that I could do it. I knew that I could take that first step and even the second and the third, but somewhere on the journey I would grow tired or discouraged or hungry and I would just stop. I would go right back to my old ways and feel more miserable than ever.
In the past three months that has all changed. I have learned to trust myself. I have learned to trust my body. I have learned to trust others with my hopes, my dreams, my ups and my downs.
On April 25th I took the first step - I joined SP and began to learn about the website. From that moment I have never stopped the journey. I have certainly paused. I have sometimes taken a detour, but the journey itself has continued. I have learned that if I change my behavior my body will respond. It may not respond immediately. Things may not happen in my time frame, but they will happen.
I have also learned that I don't have to be perfect for the change to happen. During the past three months I have lived my life. I have traveled, entertained, gone out with friends and enjoyed family birthdays. I have had snacks, desserts, steaks and adult beverages. The difference is that I now have healthy parameters within which I try to live each day. By adhering to those limits I see the changes in my body that I want to see. When I step outside the parameters, it is for a brief detour. The journey doesn't end. I know that I will continue to make good choices in the months and years to come. I trust myself and I trust my body.
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