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15 months of Sparkpeople

Friday, April 20, 2012

This weekend is a minor "Sparkversary" in terms of the time but seems an appropriate place to have a bit of reflection. When I did the nursing degree and they taught us how to reflect I thought it was bonkers because we all know how to look back....but there was a method to be learned and a discipline which guides you through the process.
Sparking has the same effect. I "know" how to eat well and therefore lose weight but somehow the guidelines worked to keep me on track. I try to log in every day and keep up with the other members of my teams as they share their blogs. Reading other people's blogs often give you that "aha!" moment when something clicks into place. Very often it's something so simple I wonder how I hadn't noticed it for myself.
I have experienced the "plateau". From Christmas there didn't seem to be much weight loss going on. I was still recording my food and noticed a few things that could be put right. Lots of travelling seem to slow the progress as I don't drink enough those days. The egg sandwiches are counted and part of the daily allowance but perhaps only 500mls of water instead of 2litres during the normal journey time. We drink tea in mugs hourly when we are at home together, mine is black so not much more than flavoured water.
I have joined the 5% challenge team. I only managed 2.9% in the winter challenge but the Spring challenge is going much better. As the tasks are weekly there is no excuse for me to fail. I enjoyed finding a 9" plate to use for a week, I have used it for my lunches to remind me about size control.
I have noticed I don't clock up the same number of calories when I enter my cardio sessions on the tracker. An hour of aquafit no longer crosses 400 callories so I a going to have to do a couple of lengths to keep up the numbers. There was some advantage to carrying the extra weight!! I still haven't been able to see the trainer for my mid term assessment (due in Feb) as she has been sick. However I have used the scale and body fat measure and the numbers have reduced. My appointment is on Tuesday next week, let's hope she keeps it!
My tastes have changed. There are 3 bottles of ketchup in my cupboard unopened. They have been there months (I buy when things are BOGOF) and are likely to go out of date before they get used as I am "eating clean" and only get fish and chips as a treat these days. I do still like brown sauce on a cooked breakfast but that only happens when we have visitors.
My clothes are getting smaller. I was wearing 26/28 tops (even bigger in cardigans) and 24/26 trousers. My size 16 jeans are beginning to slip so I will be ordering smaller next time they are on offer. I have a pair from a charity shop which cost a pound, they can have them back to sell again! The coat I bought last December (after much agonising) is loose. I don't wear it much as I tend to grab my fleece for the beach, it's a trophy to losing inches although there weren't many pounds lost.
I noticed my husband doesn't seem to snore so much. When I mentioned it to him he said he hadn't heard my either. I don't know if I have reduced the snoring but as I have lost fat from my short neck the chances are good.
The psychological side of the weight loss has also been interesting. There has been quite a change in our lifestyle with the move to Kent. I have not had paid work for almost 2 years. I used to "need" to work for my sanity but it brought lots of anxiety which was self medicated with chocolate. I was too tired to cook so we ate out/takeaways most days of the week. I now cook virtually every day and prefer to know what I am eating and how it was cooked. I don't want fried stuff if I can grill it at home. I am happier with our domestic arrangements than I ever was when I was working. Although I make no financial contribution I do not feel I am the junior partner. My husband is doing more maintainance in the houses than he did when I was working too. He is happier, even though he would chose to play on his computer left to his own devices! He is always ready to walk the dog on the beach and has lost about 3 stone along the way. As I am still overweight I'm not yet plagued by the "who am I?" questions that have bothered me in the past. The weight loss is steady, could be faster but I am happy for it to be this rate. I have time to adjust, seeing a slightly different face in the mirror when I clean my teeth. I am not (and I suspect never will be) happy looking in the full length mirror. That's OK, I check to see if I'm tidy and then leave, not spending too much time finding fault. My body is not for the world to see, I am the person inside the body and that is the person that that counts.
This might seem a bit of a ramble but it's here to mark a milestone. I certainly haven't finished my healthy journy. There is a good way to go and several more important markers to pass. I still need to lose a large number of pounds but broken into small chunks there will be little celebrations along the way. I pass a British stones loss in a couple of pounds, pass into "onederland" in a few more so that is something to look out for. There will be another badge following those achievements so keep watching this space!
Thank you dear Sparkfriends for all your encouragements and comments. I appreciate them all, you are a wonderful crowd. I would love to meet up with some of you one day. I know it isn't possible to meet you all, most of you are several thousand miles away, but I hold you as dear as my far flung family who we rarely see but still care about. If anyone in the UK fancies a meet up I'm happy to travel, send me a Sparkmail, we can do this!
Next thing to do? make an appt with the doctor and get the blood pressure meds reduced, I am well within normal limits, the NHS could do with the saving!
Thanks for wading through this, go have a cuppa, you deserve it!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow I'm so glad I read this blog. It's so inspiring and makes me feel like really doing something such as no longer waffling but to stick to my guns re food and exercise.

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    1995 days ago
    This certainly is an inspirational blog. I think it should be one that is sent to emails so everyone can read it. You are doing fantastic. And I like that you are learning and have been eating clean. I am working on that myself.
    I will be posting a recipe for barley veg soup on the DD team so you may want to watch for that.
    2002 days ago
    I really liked what you wrote. Yes, the snoring and sometimes sleep apnea can be reduced with weight loss. You have come a long way and should be proud of your efforts. You have worked hard and now it has become your lifestyle.

    I am not there, No, not by a long shot. I would love to have a pay check and a little money to spend on me. I can no longer work hour after hour without a break. I take it easy on myself at home and do a chore standing, followed by a chore sitting. I would not be allowed to do this at a job.

    I do not have the expense of a business attire wardrobe, the cost of daily laundering to make sure my clothes are ready for work, gasoline expense and car maintenance like I would if I was working. Many companies are paying very poorly and it would not be worthwhile to work to just make expenses.

    I believe you are experiencing good things as a result of your weight loss. When I worked, we did a lot of take-out meals. Nobody was home to cook and when I got home at 10 PM, it was too late to eat and then try to sleep on a full stomach.

    I don' t get stressed as much either. Each day is what it is and time passes by much too quickly for me. Enjoy those walks on the shoreline and know that you are a success, my friend. 80 pounds gone is TERRIFIC!
    2004 days ago
    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I think you have a lot to celebrate, you seem to have a lot of non-scale victories to celebrate.

    2006 days ago

    Keep up the great work - you are such an inspiration to me :) Thank you

    2006 days ago
    2006 days ago
    You have so much to be proud of! I have actually gained weight since Christmas! These past 3 months I have not followed a healthy eating or fitness plan. I must do better.

    I appreciated your thoughts on not working for a salary....I am in the process (I think) of retiring. I won't have a chance to see my boss until Monday, and so I'll have to see how that conversation goes. I think I am ready to let go of the paid work ( and all the stress that goes with it), but then I have my moments of doubt.

    Thanks for the blog!
    2007 days ago
    I need to do some reflecting thanks to you for reminding me.
    2007 days ago
    next time i go home to wales(probably next year)i might give you a shout on that meet love.are you prepared to travel to north wales,lol?i think both you and your husband are doing great.keep up the good work both of you. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2007 days ago
    Gosh - how wonderful. I guess I should reflect more too... instead of just thinking about what HASN'T changed... nice one.
    2007 days ago
    I really want to have a meaningful, wise or extra supportive thing to say.
    Instead youll just hear a message from the heart.
    The way you write is how I imagine you talk. I get settled in my chair and let the story roll over me. I realized as I read it that I just had a little smile onmy face. I'm happy you are happy. I'm glad you are making slow and steady progress-that means it will last and you will keep doing healthier things. You are worth taking care of! I also relate to a lot...slow loss, changing tastes, and leaving the condiments in the pantry. I count myself lucky to know you, even if only on Sparkpeople :)
    Thank you for reflecting with us (and I know what you mean about school!)
    2007 days ago
  • LIZZIE888
    I really like this... You managed to capture the feeling of "same only different" about who you are really well, in that you are still the same you while being all at once a completely different one.

    And I will take you up on your offer to meet up soon! As an unofficial "retiree" I have the time at the moment. I think you mint just provide the inspiration I need at the moment.
    2007 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your reflections. I aim to be in the same mindset as you someday.
    2007 days ago
  • MILLIE5522
    Great blog! You have achieved so much and its great to hear how you are getting smaller. I have had the same thing with charity shops. I think I've bought the same pair of M&S brown trousers now in 3 different sizes!! As for the plateau...well I have been at the same weight give or take 3lbs for the last 6months but I feel fitter and the Ceroc dancing has lifted my spirits so even though I'm on a weight plateau I feel I am making progress health wise which is far more important to me. emoticon
    2007 days ago
    Congratulations on how far you've come in the time you've been with Sparks. Nothing wrong with going slow and steady. You've made some impressive new habits become your way of life and that is something you can live with daily. You are a success right now but as you say, there will be more along the way. Good luck on your life long journey to health.
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    2007 days ago
    Lovely to hear that you are doing so well! Reading others blogs does help when one is feeling low.
    Keep up the good work! I'm sure you will soon be where you want to be.
    I'm not so motivated at the moment which I am putting down the virus last month, so tired. BUT up early this morning to get things started again, will not give up. Put the last month behind me and start again.
    2007 days ago
    2007 days ago
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