Tuesday, January 05, 2010
I swear the devil is messin' with me. He disabled my computer this weekend and I was pullin' my hair out trying to get it fixed without partin' with a lot of money. Not sure if I've totally solved the problem, but I'm glad to be online this evening.
In the last couple of days, my mood has become very no-nonsense and business-like. I've been tellin' myself "Do what you gotta do to succeed," or "This is what it takes." I haven't been whining, although I've really had to talk myself into tracking my food intake and exercising. I also bought a DVD player for my new exercise area and treated myself to a new workout video. We're supposed to get lots of snow this week, so this is going to be helpful if I find myself snowed in again.
I'm no longer whining about how tough it's going to be. Since I'm back at work, I've been busy, so that's been a helpful distraction. Plus, everyone at my job's on a diet so my environment has been supportive.
The challenge is going to be staying on task when my environment gets less supportive. Fortunately, that's where this website and the sparkpeople community comes in.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
It's day two of my new eating/exercise plan and I'm snowed in...alone. I spent yesterday fighting boredom and a fierce urge to go in the kitchen and open the fridge just because. Why is boredom the enemy of any new diet program? When I realized what I was dealing with, that didn't make it any easier to abstain from grabbing something from my fridge. I did succeed in acknowledging the old behavior pattern and making a conscious choice to just say no. I visualized how I want to look when I reach my goal; how I'd move and what I would wear. I fantasized running like a gazelle even though I've never been particularly athletic. In my fantasy, I was wearing a fitted women's cap-sleeved t-shirt---not the oversized tees I usually hide behind. And a matching pair of runner's shorts.
Just because I know what I want, doesn't make it any easier to change my behaviors and for a brief moment yesterday I lamented at how much hard work this is going to be. It's one thing to launch into this program as a new year's resolution and quite another to strive for permanent change.
Yesterday, I told my counselor about my goal to lose weight and how well I had been doing last year until my family needed me. She made me promise that the next time I was in emotional turmoil, that I would cope by calling her and setting up an appointment. I think that's a good idea because last year I tried to be the "strong black woman" and ended up gaining 25 lbs behind stress.
I've made a list of why I need to lose weight, but now I need a list of what I will do to cope with stress, depression and emotional trauma. Here goes:
2) Take a bubble bath
3) Call a friend or relative
5) Visit my counselor
6) Walk the dog
7) Give myself a manicure/pedicure
8) Clean house
9) Go to the library/read a book
10) Use this journal to vent, cry, whine and get everything out of my system
I know I'll need to refer back to this list sometime in the future. In the meantime, I will keep on keepin' on.
Saturday, January 02, 2010
I weighed in this morning and learned that I'm the heaviest I've ever been in my life. I am really disappointed in how I let my "all or nothing" mentality get the best of me. I used a difficult summer as an excuse to quit taking care of myself and right now, I'm kinda mad. My BMI is 32.5 which is "obese" and its a miserable feeling to know that I let it get this bad.
Nevertheless, I'm also hopeful about reaching my goal of weighing 155 again. I realized that typically when I drop weight, I start feeling good about myself when I reach around 185 or so. The problem is, I start slacking off and then abandon my program all together. For me, I think the key is keeping the pain of being overweight with me, so I can stay on task. In other words, it's okay to celebrate victories, but I need to be vigilent in reminding myself that there's still more work to do.
Today, I'm off to a good start. I had a healthy breakfast and exercised about 15 minutes this morning. I have an appointment later on this morning with my counselor, to help me with the emotional aspects of what I'm doing.
Friday, January 01, 2010
Tomorrow is D-day and its been on my mind all week. For the first time in awhile, I will step on the scale and take my measurements. I know the news will be bad because my clothes are tight, but I hope it's not too bad.
Last night, I opted to ring in 2010 by attending a watch service at a church I've never been to. I felt more like I was at a gospel concert than a church service. The congregation was one of the youngest I've ever seen. The pastor and his wife are lovely people, but they didn't look a day past 35. Teens and young adults comprised most of the 400 people at the service, which impressed me. The worship was lively; I saw praise dancers, a gospel choir, rappers and even a christian breakdancer. Around the church were large video screens with power point slides of song lyrics and prayers so the congregation could fully participate in the worship. The service was vastly different from my church, but I was fed nonetheless.
The evening ended with a final countdown of the last 10 seconds of 2009 and as 2010 burst on the scene I couldn't help but feel optimistic about this year. I have dedicated this year to improving my health, appearance and self-esteem and the journey is almost underway. Sometimes I wonder if my motivation is selfish, or vain, but God assures me that it's hard to love others if I don't love myself. My body is His temple; he knit me in my mother's womb and brought me here for a purpose. If my mind is crowded with self-defeating thoughts and battered with negativity, it diminishes my ability to serve others. Plus, by not taking care of myself, I'm putting myself at risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. I will be 45 this year so if I don't do this now, the price tag will be high. I can't treat my body like I did when I was a teenager, a 25 year-old or even a 32 year old. I'm ready to take the steps and unlock the key to a healthier me.
Sometimes the negative thoughts flash through my mind like a song stuck on a scratched vinyl record: "WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT, YOU'VE LOST WEIGHT THOUSANDS OF TIMES. YOU'LL GIVE UP LIKE YOU ALWAYS DO. YOU HATE EXERCISE. THE FOOD THAT'S GOOD FOR YOU IS TASTELESS AND BORING. YOU CAN'T GIVE UP CAKE AND BBQ RIBS FOREVER. LOOK AT YOU; YOU'RE GETTING FATTER AND FATTER EVERY YEAR; YOU'VE BEEN FAT SINCE CHILDHOOD--WHY CHANGE NOW." And on and on and on.
I've spent the weekend countering that negativity in my mind with more positive self-talk like, "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS ME; DREAM YOUR DREAM; GO FOR EXCELLENCE--GOOD ENOUGH WON'T DO; JUST DO IT; FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION." And other motivational quotes. This really IS a head game. If it wasn't then why is a billionaire like Oprah continually battling her weight. She has access to gyms; personal trainers, cooks, luxury spas, etc. and it's STILL an issue. Why? Because she's got mental baggage. That's why.
Seven years ago, I joined WW and dropped 45 lbs. For the first time in a long time, I didn't have a weight problem. I had fantasized about transforming into a new and different person, but that didn't happen; I was still ME, just thinner. And life still got in the way. My child had tantrums, I had bad days at work, I broke up with a boyfriend, and my grandmother died. Of course, I ended up gaining the weight back and by 2005, I was back to my original weight. What happened? Life happened. I thought it was going to be all-consuming happiness and that wasn't the case. What else? I lost that mind, body, spirit connection that enabled me to do the things necessary to maintain the weight.
I learned important lessons from the failure, but necessary lessons. Ones I will remember as I countdown to d-day.
The experience was a huge lesson for me; now I consider it a gift.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
I'm still in planning mode for Saturday, January 2nd, which is D-day for me. Last night I grabbed a stack of old diet and fitness magazines and ripped recipes I want to try from their pages. I need to find ways to keep my diet interesting and trying new recipes is key. I also read other sparkpages, talked to my daughter and best friend about how to fit in exercise. What I've found is that because I have the attention span of a kindergartner before lunch, I need to mix it up. So I'm going to vary my exercise times, what I do and where I go. That way, if I get bored doing one thing, I will switch gears. My daughter panned the idea of purchasing a stationery bicycle. She didn't think it would keep me interested. Instead, I need to invest in a real bicycle and ride outdoors when the weather warms. I used to love the outdoors as a kid, so I guess that makes sense.
Other ideas I thought of include: 1) work out at gym; 2) mall-walking (don't laugh--I'm middle aged); 3) walking around my neighborhood; 4) walking on the hiking trail that's 7 miles from my house; 5) working out in the morning to DVDs; 6) walking during my lunch break or on my job's campus right after I get off work; 6) dropping in on a weekly Zumba class; 7) turning on some old school Cameo or Roger/Zapp and dancing around the house. My goal is to get 30 minutes of exercise a day, 4-5 days a week.
At my daughter's suggestion, I'm turning a spare room into a fitness area. I've got everything together, but need to buy a new DVD player because the old one is busted, dang it. I think that once I set up the room, it will really help create an environment that will make it easy to exercise in the morning. That way, I'm not stuck having to drive to the gym at ungodly hours. Instead, I'll save the gym for evenings and weekends.
My biggest challenge is going to be building up the habit. I was doing really well with it last spring, but I hit a "wall" where I was bored and not seeing or feeling results. Then life got in the way. As good as exercise is for stress, for me that's the first thing that goes when I'm in pain emotionally. So last summer, I suspended my dream to get back in shape to focus on my family. What a mistake. Now, six months later I have to start over. Well, they say the only time you mustn't fail is the last time you try. So, like a toddler learning to walk, I'm getting back on my feet, scanning my environment for possible obstacles and preparing for that first big step.
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