A Year on Spark People
Saturday, August 06, 2011
I just realized that I have been a member of the Spark Community for a year now, give or take a few days. I felt that was worthy of dusting off my neglected blog and saying a few words. This also marks a year of seriously trying to make a positive and permanent change in my life, to reach a goal I had thought was forever out of my grasp.
The end result? I'm a yoyoer.
I have made absolutely no lasting progress. I am perhaps 5 pounds lighter then I was at this time last year. But you know what? I'll take it. I'm not discouraged, or disheartened to know that. I have made more then my share of mistakes over the last year, and the stress the past few months has been through the roof. What I lack in physical results I have more then made up for in knowledge. Some of my greatest discoveries this year:
Basal Metobolic Rate: Who knew, you could lose weight AND eat? Not only that, but not eating enough is one of the causes of plateaus. Why is this information not more well known? I had never ever HEARD of it! To quote Fat2Fit radio (another fantastic discovery) eat like the skinny person you want to become. Maybe my weight loss hasn't been stellar, but I am eating much better with that in mind, healthy wholesome, home made foods. And my family is coming along for the ride.
Non-Scale Victories: Before it was all about the numbers moving. But not its not. Sure its nice seeing when it goes down but I can do 45 minutes on the eliptical and not have to gasp for breath or have excruciating leg pain. That used to start around the 5 minute mark this time last year. I'm a size down in my pants as well. I can't really SEE that difference in the mirror as much as I would like too but I know its there. I also have more self confidence. If I was just looking at the scale I would just see "I lost 5 pounds in a year, why bother?"
Fitness Is Fun: "Exercise? Blah!" Man, I wish my gym teachers had taught me that exercise didn't have to be about peer pressure and competition, I might not have my weight problems today if I had learned 20 years earlier that fitness can be fun. You don't have to be rail thin to have fun dancing, or to try new and different things. All you need is the desire to it. Exercise is a crucial part of weight loss, but that doesn't mean you're stuck doing a jillion crunches and squats, or tethered to a weight machine. And if thats what you enjoy (I certainly don't mind it!) go for it!
Support Is Vital: I am still working on this one. I haven't made as dedicated a friend, motivator, and team member as I could have been. But the good thing is that I can improve on this. I have spent a year observing learning, reaching out and experimenting. I know my limits a bit better now, and what I am looking for in a support system. I seem to do better with one on one personal communications then I do in teams but I can be a capable team member and pull my weight in competitions when the mood takes me.
Strength Is More Important Than Cardio: Who would have thunk it? I always thought strength training was for people who already were thin to build up muscles. I wasn't worried about it at all. I skipped it entirely. Then I found out how important it was. Muscles forced my sluggish metabolism to take action. Weight loss without the resistance training meant that I was losing vital muscle, slowing my metabolism down further. I know try to do it several times a week. Fitting in decent exercise time is hard, but you do the best you can.
Set Goals: They need to teach goal setting. It needs to be a required course in high school in order to graduate. Its another vital skill I am completely missing and am working on. You would think this would be common sense, but not many people set goals. At least reasonable ones. Losing 100 pounds in 6-12 months, not all the reasonable. I know people have done it, but its not for everyone, and could be doing damage that will take years, even decades to repair Just knowing, and saying you want to lost 100 pounds isn't going to get you there. Have a plan of action, a time frame, be detailed about it and be accountable.
Knowledge won't get me the results I want, but it will help me on the way if I apply it to my life and remain diligent.
Remember my friends, a spark alone isn't very impressive, but given the right circumstances, it can build into an inferno.
Thanks for being my sparks!