This is Sparta--I mean SparkPeople!!!! Today is THE day! Day 300 of my exercise streak and I'm excited. It's also the last day of my Winter 5% Challenge. Go A Team! I took suggestions from my SparkBuddies on how to celebrate and I have a pretty fun day planned. I'm gonna tape parts of it for a vlog, but I wanted to post something this morning.
So, what has happened in the last 300 days? Well, for starters, 34 pounds gone, a lot of inches too--three pants sizes. In fact, the fitted Spark tee I ordered to wear today got here and, whaddya know--it's too big. I'm happy and a little bummed (about the shirt, that is). Here's a before and today pic:
I wish I could show you a pic of my mind/attitude, because that change has been more dramatic than my waistline. I've blogged and blogged about All or Nothing Girl. I keep mentioning her because I know she/he exists for other people too. Every weight loss journey I've taken made me feel like I needed to jump in with both feet, work hardcore, with no mistakes. Eventually, I'd slip. I couldn't keep up with the intense exercise demands or perfect eating. I'd feel like I blew it, so I'd quit.
And then comes SparkGuy, with his "10 minutes is good" mantra. All or Nothing Girl scoffs at ten minutes. What could that possibly do? It's not long enough, or hard enough. It's too easy. She's right, except for the "not enough" part. It isn't long, it isn't hard and it IS easy. But here's what drives AON Girl crazy, making it impossible for her to hang around. It works. It does something to you. Ten leads to twenty, thirty, or more. But ten is your safety net, your cushion, in case you aren't up for anything else. And if you do it one day, you can keep it going for two, three, who knows how long?
Knowing that I didn't have to be perfect or hardcore all the time, gave me the freedom to gain the consistency I needed. As a result, I've been able to exercise without the gung-ho, weekend warrior injuries I used to get. I exercise safer and smarter, with lots of variety and differing levels of intensity. Yes, I had a couple of days in there when I didn't feel so great. There were a few times I thought I'd break my streak and that would've been okay. I just would've had a new high score. But I'd wait until the end of the day and see if I was at least up for an easy walk on the elliptical. Trust me, my husband would stop me from exercising, if he thought it was a bad idea. He's protective of me and the streak at the same time.
Even better, AON Girl has disappeared from every other part of my life too. If it's okay to slip, to set the bar slightly above my head, rather than sky-high--well then, I can try practically anything. Chances are, the world won't stop spinning if I make a mistake. And if I don't try, how will I ever know? How will I know what my little media production company can do, if I don't try to make a go of it? How will I know if I can spin fire? (me fire hooping makes my husband extremely nervous) How will I know if I can play an electric ukelele? How will I know if I can write a one-woman show? How will I know if I can lead a team of in-person SparkBuddies? I want to find out, even if it's an epic fail.
I wish you were here to celebrate with me today; some of you will be. You've cheered me on, some from Day One. In a way, that makes it Day 300 for all of us. Spark on, Brave Sparkers! (and check back later for the vlog)
PS: I shrunk the shirt up a little, so I'm wearing it anyway. :)