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Last Christmas, I Gave You My Heart...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas time last year I bought a dress. THE dress. The one I had been drooling over for MONTHS. It was on sale for $30 (down from $100!), so I was like "Yes, please!" and immediately snatched it up! I went ahead and just bought it in my usual size--the largest size it came in--without trying it on or anything.

I'm sure you can tell where this is going. I tried it on when I got home--even had the boyfriend help me try to zip it--got the zipper halfway up, and it wouldn't budge. I was so embarrassed and disappointed, I started crying.

The customer reviews I read online confirmed that not only does the zipper stick, but the dress runs small as well, which is probably why it was on sale for so cheap. I just couldn't bring myself to return it though. I knew I might be kidding myself, but I could not accept that I'd never be able to wear it. So here I am almost a year later, and that dress has been in the front of my closet, and the back of my mind, this whole time. I tried it on a few more times in the following months, and was disappointed a few more times. So I made myself stop trying it on.

But now, after FINALLY getting my butt in gear and working hard for most of 2013, my body has definitely begun to show signs of improvement. With that and the prospect of a fancy Christmas party coming up, I decided I couldn't wait any longer to try on The Heartbreaker Dress again. So Saturday as I was getting ready to go out, I tried it on--casually telling myself "If it still doesn't fit, no big deal. It will fit eventually, because you're making such awesome progress. You're doing GREAT!"

And wouldn't you know, it fit like a glove!! In fact, if things keep going the way they are, it may even be a bit loose on me 6 weeks from now at that fancy party. I just couldn't believe it. So of course I took the obligatory selfie, to prove to myself it really happened!



This just helps reinforce to me that we CAN DO THIS! It's not easy, and it's not instant, but steadfast effort does have its many rewards. This time it was conquering a stubborn zipper, but with the progress I've made, I've seen too many improvements in my life this year to count. And oh, how sweet it is!

  
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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 11/27/2013 11:21AM

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(¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•*´¨`* ♥☆¸.•*´¨`*♥☆
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`*♥☆ Spread the Spark!!!

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WONDERBRITCHES 11/20/2013 3:04PM

    Thanks everybody! It's so nice to see hard work pay off.

It often feels as if making real progress is such a slow process, so something like this is a big deal for me. I still have a long, slow way to go!

I just have to keep reminding myself that slow progress IS progress. Every little difference I see in my stamina, my health, my mood, my strength, the way clothing fits, and sometimes even the scale, is one step closer to my goal. Like they say, I'm still going faster than the me who used to sit on the couch all the time!

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BURGUNDYBABE 11/19/2013 11:40AM

    emoticon emoticon Keep up the great work!

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PRINCESS_SOFI 11/19/2013 11:06AM

    emoticon Pretty dress! I need to go find a dress for my office Christmas party in a few weeks.

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SEEKNG_RIDERS10 11/18/2013 9:47PM

  u go gurl!!!!!!! keep up the great work and hell if that dress gets loose before that party...consider it a blessing and a great Christmas gift!! emoticon emoticon

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Allergic to Dairy, Barley, Chicken, Pork, Green Beans. In other words, I am allergic to my LIFE.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I have had allergies for a very long time. As a child, I had a stubborn doctor who refused to admit I had allergies or refer me to an allergist, despite the ample evidence of my allergy symptoms. There were other doctors in his practice, however, so I finally had one who said to me "Please, go see an allergist! Here's a referral, you poor child." Turns out, I DID have allergies (duh!). A LOT of them.

Problem was, that was during the summer between college semesters, and I never could get my university to cooperate with my allergist so I could get my shots. So I gave up.

Jump forward 15 years LATER to this week. Time sure does fly. I finally got in to see the allergist again. The inhalant allergies were no surprise to me whatsoever--they were pretty much the same, and they've been there forever. Dust, cat, mold, ragweed and various abundant pollens...yeah, of course. But the food allergies have really thrown me for a loop!!

I just bought a bunch of groceries last weekend--most of which contain dairy or barley. Barley is in virtually all types of flour, so almost all bread products are off-limits. Even vegetable soups usually have green beans, barley, or both. The barley allergy does make sense though, because for a while now every time I have tried to drink even a small amount of beer it has made me feel just awful!

For the next 3 weeks, I will have to sift through ingredients lists with a fine-tooth comb and eat a very different diet from the one to which I am accustomed. It will be a challenge, but I know it will be SO good for me. It's a great excuse to up my fruit and veggie intake even more, and get creative. In terms of weight loss, I think it will be a real blessing in disguise. The last time I went off dairy I dropped serious pounds and felt GREAT. Which should have been my clue, but...cheese is tasty.

I've been looking at some gluten-free stuff, which is obnoxious, but it's an easier way to determine a barley-free product (usually). And before I even knew of these allergies I was already considering a vegan protein powder, so I have decided to go ahead and get that tomorrow. I switched to almond milk for most things a few years ago, so that won't be a big deal, though I still usually drank half n half in my coffee.

After the 3 weeks are up, I am supposed to add things back in one at a time and see how they each make me feel. In the meantime I am taking my meds and getting allergy shots. It's a pain, but I am so grateful to finally have the information I need to get well!

  
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WONDERBRITCHES 11/18/2013 1:19PM

    Thanks everyone! I've been doing well, and I have even been able to add things back in--moderation is the key, of course.

And Stessoutchick2, you are so right! Sometimes I think knowing a lot about a subject can make people feel like they know EVERYTHING there is to know about it. Which can lead to a lot of arrogance, errors/mistakes, and generally wrong-headed thinking from people who are usually quite intelligent otherwise.

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STESSOUTCHICK2 11/7/2013 11:38AM

    Dr's may be smart, but they are stupid

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FANGFACEKITTY 7/12/2013 1:30AM

    Finally getting the information you need is half the battle. Good for you for staying positive about the restrictions. I don't have an allergy to dairy, just a sensitivity, and I know what you mean about the cheese! I have recently discovered real cheese (not the processed pseudo cheese slices we have in the US) and it is good! And very hard to avoid here, it is pretty much required and expected at meals. Have you tried goat cheese, to see if you have the same reactions as you do to cow milk products?

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TOGEMON 7/11/2013 7:41PM

    You're the first person I ever heard of who was allergic to green beans! I'm sorry you're having to go through everything you eat, but it sounds like you are looking on the good side of it :) I'm glad you have the information you need now!

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A Few Thoughts

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

So far, I have logged far more fitness minutes in 2013 than I did the whole year of 2012. I think I'm going to raise my goal to 1000 fitness minutes per month. I am pretty close to that number anyway, and I *really* need to add more strength training. I'd like to start with at least 3x a week. During the January Jumpstart I was doing strength almost every day, and I could really see a difference in my body.

I really need to find some better ways to reward myself for meeting and/or exceeding my goals. Many of the things I want as rewards cost money, and I don't always have the money to spend when I hit the goal. So then it's a delayed reward (or I skip it altogether). Some of them don't cost much, but I don't often make it to the stores where I could purchase them. And I have a hard time thinking of rewards that don't involve spending money. Massages, books, clothing, shoes, costume pieces for my burlesque routines, make-up or beauty products, new music for my playlists, more fitness gear, or stuff for my house--these are the rewards that help me motivate myself. I don't really go in for candle-lit baths.

I also need to do better on the calories. The cookies at work AREN'T EVEN THAT GOOD, so I should just IGNORE them! I can do this. Save those calories for something that tastes good--BONUS if it serves a nutritional purpose as well!

I am really proud of the great job I've done at taking a walk every workday during my lunch time! I can't go without it now. And I get points from my insurance company AND from walgreens to use towards real rewards. Can't beat that. And then any extra exercise I get after I get home from work is just a bonus! I love it.

What do you think? Anyone have thoughts on my goals, calories, and/or rewards? I'd love some feedback or ideas!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANKE1028 5/25/2013 3:45AM

    Great job girl! I'm happy for you! I usually don't reward myself for my hard work because to me, my reward is staying consistent and seeing the changes. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to afford it! Ha! Getting new gear does help; however, what helps me MOST is adding a new song or two into my workout play list. It shaves a good 5-10 seconds off my average pace when I change it up.

Keep up the good work!

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WONDERBRITCHES 5/24/2013 12:25PM

    Thanks for the thoughtful response! I am glad to have sparked some ideas for you--I never expected to be able to return the "sparking" favor :)

One of my sparkfriends has recently begun saving small increments of money as part of her goals--just a dollar here and there and a penny for every fitness minute. I think that's a really great idea!

I do work at keeping costs low for my rewards--I'm always on the prowl for a good groupon or a bargain. And I finally got a new library card, so I could always treat myself to some free recreational reading :) Yard sales, thrift stores, craigslist and freecycle are also good places to get some things--especially clothing while I am working on reshaping my body.

Still trying to lay groundwork for a lot of the changes I've been making, so I expect to have plenty of trial-and-error with not only my rewards, but lots of things. The main goal right now is to do something I've never done before: Keep working at it no matter what!

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DAYSPRING-STAR 5/23/2013 6:48PM

    Great blog, WONDERBRITCHES! I really enjoyed reading it and found myself nodding along in agreement and understanding.

Being proud of yourself is such an important part of this. I was glad to read that you are proud of yourself for your workday walks. I am proud also of my efforts to transform my daily choices into healthy life long habits. And when I have those moments when I "get down" on myself, I find it so helpful to look back on those times that I did well and I remind myself of the progress I've made.

And I truly understand about the rewards and the money. I realize, as I'm sure you do, that there are plenty of inexpensive ways to reward ourselves.

The funny thing I've found is that I'll set up my list of $$$ rewards, then I meet the goal, and well, all of a sudden that $$$ reward doesn't have the same draw. I suppose it is because it's the attainment of the goal itself that is truly my reward.

I'm not sure what others may say. Probably the healthy approach is to say, yes, we all deserve to spend some $$$ on ourselves. I like your approach with the points from your insurance company and Walgreens. That sounds like a great way to find a win/win solution.

The other thing that just came into my mind is that, if you are like me, I've found myself preparing and eating meals at home a lot more often. The money I've saved, at least part of it, might well be redirected to one of my rewards.

Well, see how the magic of SP works? You've got me thinking now about my rewards! WooHoo!

Keep Sparking! Your spark sparks others!

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WONDERBRITCHES 5/23/2013 10:59AM

    emoticon

Thank you so much for the great advice and encouragement! I will definitely check out that team, and the podcasts.

emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/22/2013 5:23PM

    Great blog and it shows some really great insights into what motivates you!

You might check out IOWL Team.

Inside Out Weight Loss (IOWL) is based around overcoming those "internal" issues that stop us from achieving our goals (weight loss or otherwise!!)

The team is quiet, but you will find links to free podcasts by Renee Stephens there a wealth of information on past threads and members always ready to "support and be supported" when needed.

It has been a great help for me - although I have been listening for years and making incremental changes...for whatever reason, this year is the year that it seems to all be "falling into place" so to speak!!

Go figure! I'm glad I did not give up!!

°•.•.¸ღ¸☆´
(¯`♥´¯) .♥.•*¨`*♫.♥
.´*.¸.•´♥ We can do it one day at a time!!

¸¸.•´¸.•*¨) ♥¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•*´¨`* ♥☆¸.•*´¨`*♥☆
;¸.•*´¨
`*♥☆ Keep Spreading the Spark!!!


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Starting Over: 13 Pounds Behind

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ok, I did it. I started over.

Recently I have seen more than a few people who have been able to let go, reset their "starting" weight, and start over. For a long time, I have held on to an out-of-date weight on my page. I tried to just ignore it because I'll get back there soon, right? And my weight is a very small part of why I am doing this. It's about health, first and foremost. The weight is secondary.

But when my page displays a weight lower than my actual weight, it's kind of like lying to myself (wishful thinking), and it isn't hurting anyone but me. And when I'm struggling somewhere above that weight and it is going to take me a while to lose enough to start using the counter again, I never get to take pride in the progress I AM actually making. I see that great progress I made a couple years ago staring me in the face every day, and it mocks me. It undermines all of the effort and progress I am making right now. And right now is all that matters.

Who knows how long it will take me to lose the weight I've gained since last year? Hopefully not long, but there's no reason to punish myself by pretending that this 13 pounds is some kind of prerequisite before the REAL weight-loss can begin.

So, I started over today. I made peace with that 13 pounds, so that I can finally feel GOOD as it disappears.

  


"Make Being Outside A Ritual"

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I recently bought myself a copy of Twyla Tharp's "The Creative Habit". It has been on my list of books to read for a while, so when I needed a few things to round out my amazon cart for free super saver shipping I decided this could be the right book to help me get past some of my current hurdles.

One of the first things Tharp discusses in her book is the ritual. The definition of the word "ritual" she uses comes from the Oxford English Dictionary: a prescribed order of performing religious or other devotional services. This definition moves our daily routine away from the mindset of drudgery, and into the realm of the sacred.

The ritual is not necessarily the act of "doing" what we set out to accomplish, but instead the first step (or couple of steps) we always take to mentally prepare. The simple act of making coffee, putting on your gym clothes, stepping out the door, cranking up your music before you start—these are the rituals Tharp is referring to. Everyone has rituals they perform daily, but how conscious are we of their almost spiritual importance to our goals?

If I change into my workout clothing, I am going to work-out. Stretch, pop the earbuds in, start walking. If I change into pajamas, I am going to rest. Watch TV, read a book, head off to bed. Countless little actions throughout the day causing chain reactions, signaling to the brain what comes next. Knowing this can change everything.

Last night was when I read this, it struck me as so simple and so profound. This morning when I sat down with my coffee and logged in to sparkpeople (one of my rituals), I saw this:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellnes
s_articles.asp?id=1680


The advice to make being outside "a ritual" is, of course, the part that has stuck with me all day.

The weather has been so lovely lately that I have had no trouble spending time outside. By the time work is over I am usually dying to get out and take my walk. The time I am forced to be inside is the only problem at the moment. But when summer happens, I have a feeling that will change.

A ritual.

  
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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/22/2013 5:13PM

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