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    ARTEMISIA47   17,935
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Keeping Motivated

Friday, June 05, 2009

In January of this year I finally decided to get myself back in shape and back to a good weight. Initially I started doing Weight Watchers on my own at home but I soon started tracking on Spark People and have used SP as my mainstay since then. It took me 4 months to lose the 20 pounds but it was a steady and, more importantly, a healthy loss. In addition to really paying attention to what was going into my mouth, I slowly introduced strength training (for the first time in about 10 years) on top of my daily walks. I can't say that I am always good about doing the strength training but I remain faithful to getting in my cardio every day and continue to chart daily after 2 months of maintenance.

The biggest hurdle I have faced is that my closest friend and walking partner was severely injured in a car accident 4 weeks ago. Putting aside my over-riding worry about her condition, on a personal level it has tested my motivation and commitment to my health program. For the past 20 years, she and I have tried to walk at least 5 times a week for 45 minutes to an hour. We have served as each other's motivation and support - knowing someone else has dragged themselves out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to walk with you will keep you a lot more honest about sticking with the program! But over all of the years that we have been walking, both of us have been terrible about doing it when the other one is not around - if she was on vacation for 2 weeks, I didn't walk until she got back and vice versa. That was all well and good when the vacation limited the slump but this time it may be 3 months until she is able to rejoin me on our walks, and then at a much slower pace. The first week she was in the hospital, I spent so much time at the hospital that I didn't get out for my walks even once. The second week, I started balancing my time a little better and I walked three times. Now, 4 weeks out, I am walking a bit more consistently - I missed this morning because it is raining here but otherwise I have walked each morning. I can't lie - it's not the same and I really have to push myself to get up and out in the morning. Listening to an iPod is just not the same as spending an hour yakking with your best friend. Yes, I walk faster (without talking and moving to a beat, it's easier to step up the pace) but I miss the cathartic morning walks/talks. What keeps me going, though, is knowing that 3 months of lassitude would allow me to slip right back into my old ways and undo all the hard work I've put in.
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