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    SHERRYLHBB   49,731
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Me As My First Priority in 2011

Monday, January 03, 2011

From my previous Blog-O-Rama: "The average North American gains seven to twelve pounds over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays." I wasn't going to be one of those average Americans, but it turns out that I am, gaining 8 pounds during December. However, I know exactly why it happened and have a renewed enthusiasm for refocusing on my overall health. This new focus is a result of all the work I did and insight I gained since starting SparkPeople in March of 2010.

At the beginning of last year, I was feeling so hopeless and defeated. I was still unemployed after being laid off in June of 2009, I had gained so much weight that I was technically obese, my clothes no longer fit, I had difficulty breathing when I was seated. Overall, my health, both physical and mental, was not in a good place. Then something clicked and my outlook changed. I was able to get the tools and information I needed on SparkPeople. I dedicated myself to overcoming my emotional eating and to get fit. As it turned out, I lost 40 pounds and was feeling great. I was so pleased that changes were happening to my body, but also to my mental and emotional self. Each success fed other successes, which started momentum that felt unstoppable. Then, in August, I took a volunteer, full-time position...

I really believed that I could continue my progress towards better health while also working. I continued to exercise and eat healthfully. However, as I got more wrapped up in my "job" I found that I started to ascribe lower and lower priority to both my exercise and my food planning and tracking. I stopped losing weight, but, thankfully, I was able to maintain my weight loss from August through November, which included a week-long cruise, my birthday, and Thanksgiving.

Once December hit, I was feeling a lot of stress because of the holidays, the tight schedules, all the parties and availability of food. But mostly I was stressed because of choices that I need to make in my life, but I don't know what to do. I want to move forward, but don't have all the information I need to make informed decisions, so instead I stress in limbo. I try to tell myself to let it go, but easier said than done. Unfortunately, all of these stressors combined were too much for my new-found coping strategies and more often than not I found myself reverting back to my old emotional eating strategies, which soothed me, at least in the short term. Soothe, maybe, but cause 8 pounds of weight gain, definitely. I'm not happy about it, but, interestingly, I'm not beating myself up about it either. Boy, how far I've come in a year!

So now I start 2011. My renewed focus comes from a few books I read and a CD I listened to over the winter break. I still have the same stressors, but as I work to put things in perspective, these stressors seem to be less important in the grand scheme and, therefore, less stress-inducing. I've decided to commit myself to my health as a first priority instead of letting work get in the way. I've worked out a road map to get me going. I have the tools on SparkPeople to get me refocused.

More than any new year I can remember I feel like I really don't know what this year will hold. I'm afraid, but also curious and excited. I wonder what's waiting for me...
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LMBARR1 1/4/2011 4:50PM

    You can do it and more! Not only rid those 8 lbs, but reach your goal/s for 2011!

You go girl!

xxxxxooooo

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LEASIM1231 1/3/2011 10:17PM

    Yay for renewed vision in 2011!

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ATHENA130 1/3/2011 7:52PM

    You have come a long way! I know how you feel too but change does take time unfortunately (believe me I know!). There will be times when you slip back but it will get easier and easier and then it won't be as much of an issue anymore. I find that when I do slip back from time to time, I get out of it much faster because I can see the difference between how it was before and how it can be and that helps a lot.

I think you're on the right track and it is going to be a successful year for you!

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CKGAWESOME 1/3/2011 7:21PM

    I am also making "me as my first priority". I have taken care of my husband and his drug addiction for going on 10 years now ... and I am done. I have put my foot down and made it clear that I will come first from now on. My health and weight are priority one.

Good for you! It is important that we love ourselves first before anyone else.

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MUSICALGAL123 1/3/2011 7:18PM

    Wow! That's really great that you're stepping back and relooking at everything. And even if you did gain 8 pounds, you still overall lost more than that, which is really exciting. A piece of advice I will give, take it or leave it at your will, is to find some small activity or thing that can be a de-stressor. Personally I love to knit and watch tv shows. In the evening, I like to sit down and knit during a tv show. It's really calming to me. Maybe it can help to find some little thing activity that helps reduce stress that you can do when things get tough. Just a thought. Do with it what you will. But overall, awesome job! Go you!

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