Things do happen in the weirdest way and I think that truth can be stranger than fiction.
This is BY FAR the longest blog I have ever written, so if you care to, grab a second cup of coffee and follow me dear reader on a journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Weightloss Zone!
It begins, with a blog post by PIXIE-LICIOUS entitled, “Struggle on....and on”
I read it, as I read many inspirational blogs and thought, “Yeah baby…let’s keep up the good fight. I'm gonna pray for the strength to endure another day without Christmas cookies.”
I’m not being facetious. That is the sad, lame transcript of my wandering mind.
You heard it here first folks (unless you heard it first in your OWN mind…which is entirely possible.)
And then I pick up my iPod to listen to a Podcast by IOWL author Renee Stephens. The title of the podcast was:
“Can Change Happen Too Fast?”
You can listen to it for free at:
My younger, more foolish self would have said, “NO!! Weight loss CAN NOT happen too fast. Get the damn weight off me!”
But my older and infinitely MORE foolish self knows that losing the weight is the same as losing the struggle. And Renee feels I can choose to lose the struggle anytime.
Really, Renee thinks so. Listen to the pod cast. Listen to them all. I have.....She thinks I need to lose the struggle in order to lose the weight and that this can happen in an instant. I just have not picked the instant because maybe I don’t want to or or maybe I don’t know what I would replace the struggle with.
What would that look like?
If I lose the weight and don’t have to struggle, who will I be?
In the podcasts (all 250+) Renee talks about losing weight by losing the struggle. Letting go of your extra weight by finding the ways that make you “naturally slender.” An admirable goal and let me be up front - one I have not yet achieved. I have glimpsed it. I have actually achieved for rather long periods of time a calm detachment around food and been able to release some weight. Not all of it. But before I can get to losing all of it easily….the rebound happens. I gain some of the weight back.
Not all of it. Just enough to give me “renewed purpose"
Renee asks the very pointed and somewhat painful questions:
Who are you if you are NOT struggling to lose weight? How will you replace that identity?
Talking about losing weight, then losing weight, then gaining weight, then talking about losing weight, then losing weight, then gaining weight…seems to be who I am.
Am I really that shallow? or that afraid?
Yes. Yes I am.
What would I occupy my time with if I was not losing weight.
So here it is…this is my written “dream board” of who I would be if I was not spending time talking about losing weight (the way I am doing now.) Some of this is real, some of it is fiction. You decide which is which and I'll reveal some of the answers after my tale.
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Once Upon a Time….
I get up in the morning hungry, because I have not over eaten the day/night before. It has been years since I overate. It’s 5am and I stretch and roll of bed. I’m a little sore from the kick boxing class yesterday. DH works just down the road from our house, so he can stay in bed longer. He trys to convince me to do the same, but I resist his overtures..this time.
I like my quiet mornings.
It’s a week day during the school year, but the kids finished all their homework the night before so they don’t need to get up until 6:30am.
Before I leave the bedroom, I make sure I have my Spark Tracker on as it motivates me to monitor how much I move and to increase my movement if I get too sedentary. It’s tiny, but I’ve trained myself to leave it with my iPhone when it is not on my person. I always know where my phone is and I always know where Spark Tracker is.
I let the dogs out, feed the cats, feed the beta and make the coffee and the oatmeal for DD #2. DD #1 is off at college and DD #3 will have a breakfast bar as usual. I make an egg sandwich on whole wheat for DH to take to work. The cafeteria food at the hospital is horrible. Who would think?
I take out a pitcher and fill it with 64 oz of water and add lemon and cucumbers to it. I know I’m done with water when the pitcher is empty.
I open my computer and I write for the few minutes before the kids get up. I do this everyday. I journal or write a quick poem or work on one of several novels/novellas that take up space on my hard drive. Or maybe I will write a blog for Spark People.
It’s tougher to write a noteworthy blog now that I’ve permanently lost the weight. Who wants to hear about easy weight loss? or even easy maintenance? Who would believe such a thing? It was so much easier to write inspiring things when I was falling off the wagon, getting hit by said wagon and then bravely hauling myself back up over the edge to try again….
….at a loss for Spark blog worthy topics, I pick up on writing the novel where I left off. It’s getting good. I won’t give away any spoilers, but it’s basically “The Count of Monte Christo” in a post apocalyptic future inhabited by Chimeras. I’m so tired of the zombie/vampire genres….So over done.
My setting keeps changing too. Maybe it’s on a distant planet or an alternate universe …I need to nail that down.
I write while sitting on an exercise ball. Works my core.
Oh, oh…time to make sure the kids are up and then get them off to school (no bus to the high school) but I jump into my size 6 work out clothes, throw my hair into a messy ponytail and use this as an opportunity to head straight to the gym after I drop the kids off.
I check in at the gym and head up stairs. What do I feel like doing today? I check in with myself and don’t feel like killing myself today, so I hop on the treadmill. I warm up for 5 minutes then do two rounds of tabata drills. Quick and dirty, I’m sweating and huffing and puffing in less than 20 minutes.
Hop off the treadmill and head to the track. Nasty weather, and busy today, so no hiking with the dogs. Let me get in a few more minutes of activity.
Pick up a two 8 lbs bar bells and walk the track as I do bicep and tricep curls. I don’t like sitting still to do strength training. I’d rather be moving. Jog a bit with the weights. Put them back and go pick up a 25 lb plate. I carry it with my fingertips only as I’m scheduled for a rock climbing lesson later in the week and I want to increase the strength in my fingertips and forearm. Man it burns after a few minutes. Switch from hand to hand for a couple of laps then put back the plate.
I keep moving the whole time because my Spark Tracker is recording my steps and the time that I’m moving. Don’t want to mess that up by pausing for too long…
But I decide to stop in a corner of the track and do a round of Tabata planks and then Tabata Wall Squats with weights. This will break up my Spark work out minutes on the tracker, but who cares? My legs need the squats and I LOVE planks. Love them, love them, love them….
Head back to the track and jog for two songs on my iPod. Darn, that’s only 6 minutes. If I want to get another 10 minutes credited to my fitness tracker, i need 10 SOLID minutes of CONTINUOUS moving. So I jog it out for another song. 9 minutes. One more song for good measure and I’m over the 10 minute mark again.
I head back to the car but not before greeting some people in the gym.
I stop at the grocery store to stock up on fruits and veggies. Planning on having a protein smoothie when I get back to the house which should hold me until lunch. Then I planned a HUGE salad with cooked turkey, lots of cooked veggies mixed in and lots of jalepenos. I pre- tracked these meals the night before of course. Makes it easier if I don’t have to think too much. Still not sure about dinner, but I have some ideas.
In between breakfast and lunch I do chores - laundry, bills, maybe some more writing, but I make sure that I get up and move for at least 10 CONTINUOUS minutes every hour or two. My Spark Tracker will not count the movement as “workout” minutes unless it is CONTINUOUS. It has trained me well…
Oh, and then I Spark.
I check my Spark Fitness numbers for the day. I like seeing my work outs pop up on the tracker scene automatically. I check the averages for the week for steps and overall minutes. Then I check on the Spark Community.
Just because I’m at my goal and naturally slender now and this weight loss stuff is done and gone and the maintenance is EASY for me, I like to welcome new people. It pains me to see people struggle, and I want them to know that it is possible to step off the merry go round; to finally permanently lose the weight forever. I want them to know that It’s possible to fall off the wagon and keep marching to an different drummer.
I check my feed and encourage old friends and post to the teams that I’m active with. I like playing “Change One Word” with one team, and I love chiming in with my (usually negative) opinion about the latest episode of Walking Dead with another. It feeds the social/emotional side of my nature. I could read and comment on blogs all day but I look up and realize it’s time for lunch. I make lunch while listening to music, a pod cast or a book on tape. Or maybe some Spark radio today.
While making my salad, I multi task by chopping extra veggies to keep in the fridge to eat or cook with.
DH calls from work while I’m making lunch. Did I see that Facebook post? Are you kidding me? Another viral cat video?
Stopping to see something that makes me smile is not a bad thing. I watch it and we laugh about it. Before we hang up, I ask him how many steps he did today.
He has a Spark Tracker too, so it makes for a little bit of competition.
After I hang up I finish making and eating lunch. I ate quickly (time is flying) but I was sitting down and fully present with I ate. It was a great meal and I really enjoyed it: A large salad with left over cooked veggies, raw onions and mushrooms plus a few tablespoons of leftover bean salad ands ome miso dressing and 4 oz of cooked turkey. I froze 4 oz portions of turkey after Thanksgiving so I would have readily available protein on the run.
Wow. That was a lot of food and I’m full halfway through, so I wrap up the rest to save in case I get hungry later.
I still need to figure out dinner.
Let’s see, checking the fridge, making mental notes. I see some left over crock pot meat. That can be the protein. I keep a bowl of cooked brown rice in the fridge also. I’ll heat that up with some olive oil and parmesan cheese. Or maybe I will stir fry it. Depends on the time I have later, but the rice is there and ready. Then I’ll steam some broccoli right now while I clean up the kitchen and make a crudite plate with greek yogurt dip.
After this, I do a little of this and that and then sit down to write again. I’ve made this a discipline and schedule an hour a day. Suddenly my phone alarm rings. It’s 2:15 and time to pick up the girls. Or usually it is only one girl with the other staying after school for this or that club or activity. Maybe DH can pick her up later.
DD #3 comes home to the crudités plate for a snack and we chat for a bit before she goes to do her thing.
I check my Spark tracker numbers. My steps are no where near where they need to be to reach my 11,000 steps. Crud. I march in place while I finish folding laundry and await the time to go pick up DD #2.
I’m done with my chores and this used to be the hardest time for me.
Between 3 and 4 o’clock. The witching hour. The time when I’m mentally tired (been up since 5am) and my resistance was at its weakest. It was the time when I snacked to take a break. I did not even realize what I was doing or why.
I did not want the food, I wanted to rest. So now, I give myself permission to rest.
Maybe I will take a 10 minute cat nap with a 1/2 cup of coffee after to give me a boost. Maybe I will just sit and watch TV for a bit without guilt.
I have a great life. I have a blessed life. I have healthy life.
But I still get tired.
I used to struggle with this need for down time, this need to play, this need to just “be” without any measure of puritanical productivity. Now I check in with myself and give myself a mental break instead of a food break.
And it’s really easy - it is as easy as zoning out and eating.
I just zone out and do…nothing.
My phone alarm rouses me out of my mental stupor. Time to pick up DD#3 from her after school activity. We will probably need to stop at the store to get something she has forgotten she needs for school….this happens a lot. DH will be home soon. Dogs need to be fed and walked (more steps yeah!) Dinner eaten and cleaned up. Homework done. Need to keep checking my steps. I have made my work out minutes goal today but 11,000 steps takes some work somedays. Then, after I reach that goal, I will pass out at around 10pm and get up and and do it all over again…except tomorrow is Saturday.
I’ll probably give in to DH’s exhortations to be lazy and sleep in. We’ll make time go to the gym or go on a hike. The DD’s will go with us and it will all be easy.
And we will live happily ever after….
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So dear readers, a good deal of this blog is real…and a good deal of this blog is fiction at this point, it is up to you to figure out which is which.
Truth is often stranger than fiction.
Weight all gone? Fiction as of this telling....
Getting up at 5am? Real.
DH waking up with me? Fiction for the most part. His job it 80 miles away and he keeps an apartment there. He’s home about 25% of the time.
DD#1 at college and DD#2 eating oatmeal EVERY morning? Real. (who would have thunk?)
DD#3 eating breakfast at all? Fiction. Can’t convince her.
DD’s getting homework done the night before? Real for DD#3. Usually utter Fiction for DD#2. She is usually up with me at 5 am (or earlier!)
Dedicated time to write? mmmm….depends on the day. But I do love writing! and it is one of the things that “renews” me.
The Count of Monte Christo” in a post apocalyptic future inhabited by Chimeras? Fiction. No really, it’s fiction.
Sitting on the exercise ball? Fiction at first, but then I just switched out my seat for the ball as I was writing this. (yeah me)
Size six work out clothes? Fiction.
Description of the workout at the gym (and the messy pony tail?) Real.
Rock climbing lesson? Fiction. But I think about it a lot!
Loving planks? Real (no really. Again, truth is stranger than fiction baby…)
DH having Spark Tracker also? REAL!! (makes me so happy!)
Me allowing myself those much needed mental breaks? Fiction for the most part. I can do it sometimes, but at other times it eludes me as does the permanent weight loss.
Being so organized with the meals and the planning and the healthy foods? Real (sometimes) and Fiction (most times)
11,000 steps per day? Real for the last two weeks! (yeah me!)
My obsession with checking my tracker numbers? Real.
My love of the Spark Tracker? Real!
My enjoyment of the Spark Community? Real!
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So, dear readers….did you guess right? Do I dare dream that it will be a world without struggle, where things are easy and I'm organized?
What would your perfect, post weight loss world look like?