Thursday, May 12, 2011
I'm actively working on a couple of big things right now. But most importantly, I need to manage my stress level, and its effects. That will help make me strong enough to deal with everything else!
-There's so much to do before the month is up, and we're already at the midway point. We need to sell a lot of stuff in our apartment, maybe even furniture too, as fast as possible, but as smartly as possible so that we don't simply give away everything. The ONLY asset we have right now, and potential for extra cash, is the things we already own. It feels overwhelming, but the impending negative (disastrous) outcome would be worse.
-I talked to my husband again last night about needing him to get a job. My unemployment is about to run out. It's difficult to motivate him to take action because we will be divorcing. But it was difficult to do it before, because I always supported us. Nothing has really changed, I suppose.
-I've only tracked my food (completely) for 2 days in the past 2 weeks. Not surprisingly, I've gained/maintained weight. I need to be mindful of what I'm consuming.
-To help negate the effects of stress I need to faithfully exercise every day. Without fail, it makes me feel better.
BASICS: Sleep, Eat, Move - Babies do it, and that's how they grow. Adequate Sleep, Mindful Eating, Joyful Movement will help me grow past this difficult point into a better place with lots more sunshine and I will find even more happiness!
I need to muster more delight for the things I love. Some of the negative thinking, anger and frustration about the rising demands and challenges of my situation have polluted the things I once enjoyed. I am Zumba-spoiled. I've taken Master classes with Heather (NEWSGIRL2177), and we found THE MOST FUN ZUMBA CLASS EVER in Bradley's instruction. The problem is that he doesn't teach at the 24 Hour gyms anymore, so it would cost extra to take his private classes. And, frankly, everyone else pales in comparison to his super shiny awesomeness. HIS enthusiasm is infectious. But I've let my own enthusiasm for dancing and moving to slip away and be obscured by my dissatisfaction with the other instructors, and slight annoyance with other attendees. So rather than criticize, I will actively work to find things I LIKE about any given class. Top 3 recently:
*A week ago the instructor didn't show up and I actually lead the class (for one song) when a gym member brought the CD in. It was a lot of fun, and I was excited to be helping.
*The recent classes seem to be lower-energy/impact than what I'm used to. But this is actually helpful because I'm still rebuilding my strength and endurance after being sick a few times in April.
*There are MORE classes being offered in my hometown. With the price of gas, this is great news that I don't have to trek all over North County to find a class.
And bonus: Once I take these new instructors' classes a few times, I'll be more familiar with their style and their songs, so I can just focus on perfecting my technique instead of learning which way to turn or feeling a bit lost.
So there! I feel better already. :)
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
To see this photo bigger on Flickr.com click on this link:
"Why I Work To Stay Fit" Reason Series #007: Waterfalls!!!
I was born in Hawaii, the land of waterfalls. Tropical breezes tease my hair, and I have hips made for hula (in my mind). We moved to Southern California before I was 2 years old, and I once gave up the dream of ever going back because of my size. I haven't visited yet. But, I'm done limiting my dreams now! I will shower beneath the warm falls!
Many summers (back when my parents were married), we drove from California out to Colorado to visit family. I've seen the 7 Falls in the daytime, and glowing with lights at night, appearing to practically be on fire. As they describe it, "Located in South Cheyenne Canyon, Seven Falls cascades 181 feet in seven distinct steps down a solid cliff of pikes peak granite..." The smell of that wet granite is intoxicating, and I would be lost in flights of fancy, high on the whimsy of the falling water the whole time we were there.
At the age of 8, while attending summer daycare, I avoided the (optional) hike that was offered a few times even though there was the promise of an actual WATERFALL at the end. I remember thinking it was too hot! Too far! Too hard! And I was too fat. But really, that was all too bad, because I wanted it. I've hiked now, twice! So it's just a matter of time before I get someone to let me back on the Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton to discover the hidden treasure I missed so many years ago!
When I was 13 my imagination was swept away in the currents of the Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon. I treasured my single keepsake from the trip - a set of waterfall postcards. The camera & film for the trip were lost on one of the stops so I used them to decorate my room when I got home, not able to bear parting with any by mailing them off.
We can take a virtual 360 view of a Yosemite waterfall (see link), but nothing compares to flooding your senses in person. www.destination360.com/north-america
There are so many beautiful, wild, and wonderful things to discover and experience in the world. I will never blanket my life with limitations again!
"SPARKPEOPLE: Make Your Life an Adventure"
Me: "Yes, please!"
~MY LIFE, MY REASONS~
..Building my book to print (I have a list of dozens, and hundreds more bouncing around in my head)..
(Not made yet)
#005: Carnival Rides
#006: Make Believe
Sunday, May 08, 2011
I've been thinking about this all week, over-thinking it, then avoiding thinking about it, finally forgetting and then reminding myself to think about it. This last half hour of Saturday is my final moment to get the points this week for my Challenge Team, The Cute & Shady Sweeties, so here goes...
MAIN CHALLENGE: For the main challenge, blog about why you decided to change your habits to become a healthy, fit person. Even if we arenít at goal, we have ALL made lots of changes. What motivated you to take that first step? Many of us donít take enough time to think about what brought us here, but holding on to that could help you to motivate yourself when you hit a plateau of have a rough week. Share your thoughts in a blog so that other participants in the FEF challenge who are not on your team can comment.
By the end of 2007, at 29, I had spent more than half of my life obese. I did Jazzercise for Kids as an overweight child, and dieted with Weight Watchers as a pre-teen. When my mom took me to a lap-band/gastric surgery at 17, I decided I was completely finished with trying to lose weight. That option wasn't for me, so I figured there really wasn't anything out there that would help me tackle weight loss. (I think my exact thought was, "Okay, well, I'm just going to be fat forever," in a stubbornly defiant tone.) So I played up my best features, and tried to develop confidence. --But all of this is a different blog, one with lots of pictures, that can come later. Back to the topic.
And refused to talk about my weight loss, appearance, size, or any of that with anyone except my husband. I was fortunate enough to avoid any major disease, but I suffered from migraines almost several times each month, barely slept, and was in pain at nearly 400 pounds.
2006, not my highest weight
Inside, I was hurting. On the outside, I tried to be as pretty as possible, and enjoy the few things I could find. Here's a typical "why are you taking my picture" face, followed by the pose (because I wanted to have something other than a frowny picture for MySpace.. Remember that site? LOL!):
2006, not my highest
But those weren't the only difficulties I had. My work was challenging emotionally, and my home life was worse as I tried to help my husband handle his internal demons. In a way, changing my lifestyle was the only thing I could do. I felt like there was no hope anywhere. I struggled with the same intense depression and suicidal thoughts that I carried since childhood.
But two things happened in January 2008. My friend, Kelly, sent me on a wild goose chase to find her page on "this new site that's totally addicting", and my co-worker and confidant, Shane, suggested that we try walking outside during our "meetings" instead of office hopping.
The first steps out the door at work were the easiest... To get away from prying ears, and breathe in fresh air was a relief. The next steps after that (just getting around the building) were HARD. My lungs burned like they did in P.E. at school, and I never felt like I could make it for the whole 5 minutes. I complained a bit, but he persisted. And I started exploring some of the articles on SparkPeople, still determined that losing weight wasn't my objective, wasn't going to be part of my life.
Learning about how nutrients actually help to fuel the body, and feeling like doing what SparkPeople suggested wasn't at all like the dieting I did as a teen, actually MADE SENSE from a scientific perspective, was what turned my doubt into hope.
And finding success that first month with that little bit of occasional walking (I lost 10 pounds without changing my food), convinced me that my body was crying out for change.
I made a SparkPage and started thinking about how nice it would be to be able to tie my shoes by simply bending over, or crossing my legs (you know, without having to stretch my leg out across the bed and holding my breath to reach). I thought about being able to hold my nephews without having them sit on my tummy and slide off of my "lap". I was about to grow out of the largest size available in stores near me, and was dismayed at the thought of online or catalog shopping, because I like to TRY ON my clothes... And I thought about all kinds of other benefits, too. They were all related to functional ways of getting through the world, markers of fitness and health that are much smaller than running a marathon.
I saw examples on Spark of people who had lost 50 pounds, and thought that I could tackle my extra 200. And so I did.
These pictures related to this phrase showed up recently on my friends' Spark Pages (like Annie's)... And I completely relate to it!
I'm more than half-way there. But I'm fully into pursuing things that make me feel good -GENUINELY feel good- eating well, and moving often.
Tuesday, May 03, 2011
Since I suffer from migraines, I like to think that I don't take feeling good for granted. I feel very blessed that my health concerns are minimal. If I ever do, it's not too long before I'm reminded.
But, following my Bronchitis a few weeks ago, I had another week of weak coughing. And then I was plagued by headaches and muscle tension for another week, and then I was hit with some serious food poisoning last Thursday night that was really horrendous for the hours that I was supposed to be sleeping. I lost over 6 pounds in 2 days. Luckily NEWSGIRL2177 (Heather) is a neighbor down the street, AND my friend. She ran to the store to get me some medicine, when I finally relented the next day. That's what saved me. I started rebuilding my hydration once things started quieting down.
It's taken days and days for my system to start to feel like I could eat anything other than saltines and bananas. The bubbling tummy continued.. But FINALLY, today was the first day that things were more normal! YAY! I still can't eat much all at once, but I've gained back some weight and feel better.
Except for maybe some headaches and related stuff, I should be clear of all sickness for at least a YEAR (my normal) OR TWO! HAhaha. I hope. I'm so very ready for that.
Yesterday morning (Sunday) I went to a 24 Hour Fitness Yoga class. I wouldn't have gone if Heather (NEWSGIRL2177) hadn't accompanied me to the gym. We even left and came back with our mats. She finished the whole class, I was very proud of her! It had been over a year since my last class, and I noticed how much stronger I was from all the pushups I've been doing. The stretching and (major) efforts really loosened those muscles up, and I felt SO MUCH BETTER afterward. No more headache. It was the first serious push toward feeling 100% again. I need to figure out a way to get this class back into my routine on a regular basis.
I took this quiz tonight about what fitness class is right for me. It said that I enjoy FUNCTIONAL FITNESS. So true.
(May Flowers picture from dlburnett at Wake Tech)
So this week, the first week of May, is dedicated to rejuvenation! I'm going to feel STRONG again!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
As I face the mountain of stresses that have built up in my life recently, I'm reminded that I recently climbed an actual mountain... My 1st mountain. Maybe there were some lessons learned there that I can apply now.
Almost a month ago, after the San Diego SparkRally in March where we collectively worked on our individual vision collages, some of us headed out for a post-party event organized by ABB698 and THEMIGHTYLEX. I felt a little trepidation, but had every expectation of being able to make the climb. ABB698 reassured me a bunch of times, it seemed like no big deal, and I had ADVENTURE-GIRL, one of my regular walking partners, to accompany me. (The familiarity made me feel stronger.)
PLUS, I had built up a little confidence after doing my very 1st hike in February. For the San Diego SparkRally, our local team leader, SPRING4FAL led us up the hugely long sloped road to the top of the cliff, across to the beach and down stairs chisled into the rock. It was an amazing experience, worthy of its own blog, especially since I took 350 photos trying to capture the beauty that surrounded SPRING4FAL, CGEM, PINKCIS and me at the top. I was severely breathing hard (it felt good) trekking up there with these women, who were all much more fit than I was but never, ever, EVER made me feel inadequate or slow. I powered up it, and they were so generous with their support and encouragement. I'm so lucky. But more on that another time. I knew I could hike this mountain, because, SHEESH, I did that! Pffft. ;D
I got this neat topography/GPS graph from an internet posting.
Here are the stats: At an elevation of 1,591 feet, the summit of Cowles Mountain is the highest point in Mission Trails Regional Park and the city of San Diego. Views are superb, including the Cabrillo Monument, downtown San Diego, La Jolla, and the Pacific. On clear mornings it seems all of Southern California lies within the 360-degree summit panorama, with views of San Clemente Island (81 miles away), the San Gabriel Mountains (108 miles away), the Laguna Mountains, and Mexico.
More info here: www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail.aspx?t
I have family in Colorado, so I've always carried their attitude that California has foothills, not mountains. I spent almost every childhood summer staring up at Pikes Peak in the Rockies, 9 times (oh wait, only?!) this elevation. So even it being called Cowels MOUNTAIN (pronounced "Coals") didn't faze me. Therefore:
[#1: I believed I could do it.]
Time Up: 1 hour
Distance Up: 1.5 miles
Elevation Gain: Started at 680 ft elevation, so almost 1,000 feet!
Time Down: ~45 minutes
ABB698 & her daughter
THEMIGHTYLEX & his guest
Another Sparker started, and turned back. Her name is Faye, and I'm proud of her effort to attempt it! I wish I knew her SparkName.
***Top of San Diego, "Mountain" Climbing!***
Do you know what's at the top of San Diego? LOTS OF BLUE SKY, BABY! A day-time moon and butterflies dancing in mini tornadoes of their own making!
[#2: The triumph is worth the effort, and you can find unbelievable surprises.]
360-panorama...I should put this on Flickr so that you could see the view in more detail. I set the camera to auto, so it kept changing the focus and exposure. I realized when I got home that there's an "autostitch" function.. OOOH, perfect for next time. ;)
If these miniature doggies can do it...
First bend.. The trail snakes its way toward the first third of the elevation...
Already there were wildflowers and views of San Diego... :) There's nothing quite like being amongst the chapparal and native plants that crowd the hills, because seeing them from the road below and imagining how big or small they are really doesn't compare. It's fascinating to me.
Parts of it weren't very challenging, just hard packed dirt.
Then it got steep a bit.
And rocky. Bonnie indulged my incessant photography. LOL. And even turned around a few times so that I wasn't ONLY taking photos of her booty.
[#3: Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.]
The peak is nowhere in sight, by the way, but we keep going up!
1st 1/4 mile marker
The peak is the top of that. Waaaay over there. You can actually see people walking up the trails, but they look like teeny tiny ants.
A peek behind...
The view ahead. Bonnie in the Karate Kid Pose... OMG. I just found out there's a website image blog called karatekidpose.com. We have to add this one. Haha.
Lesa pointing out the peak (better perspective in this photo)... People around us kept asking "Are we even halfway there yet?" "Where are we going?" It was somewhat frustrating, feeling the weariness and like there was no sense of it ending, and wondering about endurance. I said very few words (because I was too busy trying to breathe), but internally I started joining them, "...Where is it?" until I realized that it was NOT helping me.
[#4: Complaining about how hard it is is harmful, saps needed energy. Focusing on how far I've come or the bigger picture or even just the next few steps ahead is more useful.]
The next steps...
How far we've come (that's Lake Murray)...
Bonnie & our goal...
Done with 1 mile!! YAY!!
[#5: Celebrate successes.]
Bonnie was so helpful!
I was tired, but LOOK how HIGH we are!! HEheee.
Views... I was a little dizzy, which explains me leaning back strangely.
We're on the final switchbacks near the peak!! Hooray!
WOOHOO! Done makin' it up the mountain!
Daytime Moon! :D
There really were real butterflies swirl fluttering all around. And lots of wind. :)
I think I made Bonnie pose with me 20 times. LOL.
They had the great idea of posing with FHAMWHEY's house in the picture...So that she could be there in spirit! HEehee. Thanks for letting us come to your house for the vision collage! We waved to you repeatedly!! :D
ACTION STARS!! Whaaaa -wah-waaaah! :D (That's action-themed music playing.)
Look how HIGH we ARE!!! HEheee.
The only other group picture with Marty in it.. We kinda persuaded her. But we had to mark the MONUMENTAL OCCASION!!!
The fun is not over... Now we get to go down.
Times I fell: Once, well it was more of a slip all the way to sitting/landing on my booty than a fall, and happened on the way down. The camera was safe (that's what I was most worried about after not wanting to take out other people if I fell)! Luckily I didn't fall forward, and luckily I had plenty of cushioning, so except for a small cut, lots of granite dust staining the apple bag that my SparkFriend made for me, I didn't break the skin, or get a bruise, or anything! SparkFriends were there to help me up, and Bonnie (thankfully) helped brush all the dust off my clothes.
[#6: The only way to finish after a set-back is to get up and keep going.]
Done! At the bottom!
What I learned:
**I was reminded AGAIN how SparkFriends are as helpful & encouraging in person as they are online. It was a joyful experience, as it always is with them. ADVENTURE-GIRL was my official hike buddy, and lead the way up for me. ABB698 was our official cheerleader, a strong hiker that was kind enough to follow me, MARTY12345 was the girl that gave up giving up, and THEMIGHTYLEX mightily helped me & the others past some of the steeper steps! And his guest was our peak group picture photographer!
**I will definitely do this again in the future to compare how much stronger I am then! I'd love to have hiking boots to help support my ankles and give me more traction.
**Stretching is the miracle motion that I knew it to be. I spent a few minutes getting some good stretches in before washing up back at the parking lot. I was not even sore the day after! During my knees were complaining a little. All of the rebound/recovery reminds me how lucky I am to be so young (32), and how much I want to have greater stamina and flexibility when I'm 3x this age.
**I got a little frustrated that I wasn't going as quickly as I thought I should. This brought a little dark cloud over a super sunny day, filled with victory! I respect that strenuous exercise can bring out unexpected emotions in me. Some of them felt like the very first time I tried walking around my building at work, when I could not walk for 5 minutes without being heavily winded. I've come a long way, but when I really push myself beyond Zumba, and the Arc Trainer, into completely unexplored challenges, I realize how much farther there is to go/how many great adventures still await!
I got home and took a hot hot shower. I felt so revitalized, and burned almost 1600 calories on that hike. I didn't quite fuel myself enough after that, so that's something I'll improve for the next time. But my circulation was good, and I felt like I was glowing. I was proud of my accomplishment, and it helps to put everything else in perspective. The 5k I walked a couple weeks later felt like nothing, even though my lower back hurt a little. There really is something special about PUSHING yourself past your limits, to discover the new limits.
Get An Email Alert Each Time WOLFKITTY Posts