As I start this entry, at about ten minutes to midnight on August 29, it's almost exactly two years since I joined Sparkpeople. And I do mean almost EXACTLY. I joined at around 11 p.m. on August 29, 2007, depressed with myself for having spent yet another evening shovelling in the snacks. (Yeah, I'm the kind of person who makes life-changing decisions at this time of night!)
Seems like as good a time as any to take a look at where I am on my fitness journey.
Huh. I guess I could start with that phrase, "fitness journey." I got that concept here at Spark. Before, I was always more concerned with the numbers on the scale, and not so much the other aspects of living a healthy life. Now, I want to be fit, too. I don't just want to wear a certain size (although I won't kid you, that's nice), I want to be able to do stuff.
And I CAN do stuff -- stuff I couldn't do before. One of the biggest thrills I've gotten since starting my Sparkjourney was relearning how to ride a bicycle. I hadn't ridden a bicycle in more than thirty years, when I summoned up my nerve and asked my bike-loving husband to coach me. I was TERRIFIED at first! I fell a few times, didn't break any bones or die
, and kept going. Now, it's one of the staples of my cardio exercise program. And it's FUN. Best of all, I can ride with my son, and even venture on to bike trails with him and my husband.
Another huge thrill was learning to roller skate. My coach there was my young son, more patient than I would have thought he (or any preadolescent) could be. Again, I was terrified. Again, I fell down. Again, I got up. And I learned how to do something that had always scared me as a child and teen. At nearly 50 years of age. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks, eh! And what an astonishing feeling, to be the old dog who LEARNS one!
Other joys have centered around simply having the energy and/or the endurance to do things I've wanted to do, but either couldn't manage, or couldn't manage for long. I can take long walks, even hikes. I can play pickup soccer with my family. When I hear a song I like, I can get up and dance! One day, for cardio, I danced to most of the soundtrack from "Mamma Mia". And it felt WONDERFUL!
And yeah, I do like wearing "that certain size." After all those years of shopping in plus-size departments and stores for larger women, it is just a flat-out pleasure to go into a regular department store and get something off the rack. It feels awesome to pick out a "medium" and try it on and have it, not only fit, but actually look good!
I have to say, though, I still haven't mastered all the skills I need to keep me on the old "fitness path." Eating is becoming an issue, again. I hit my goal weight almost a year ago (not long after my first "Sparkiversary"), hung onto it for a while -- and slowly started to creep upward. I'm 17 pounds above my "low tide." Now, I know some of that is muscle; I can see it in the mirror. But my jeans are getting tight, which is not something caused by muscle last I checked. And I know I've been letting the evening snacking get out of hand, again. And maybe being less careful than I could be about portion control at meals.
First thing to do is, take off enough weight (in a healthy way, of course!) so that my clothes fit comfortably again. Next thing to do is, work on INTERNALIZING the good lessons I've learned about food and eating. BUILD those healthy lifetime habits, with food as I've done with exercise. Keep them.
I've come too far on this journey to let it get derailed now.
Happy Sparkiversary to me!