Lessons, Lessons, Lessons
Saturday, September 06, 2008
2008 seems to be a year of lessons for me and I am doing my best to learn. It really started in Nov. 07 when I had back surgery. Just agreeing to have back surgery was a milestone; I was convinced if I just did my exercises my back would heal itself. It was not to be. Now, 10 months later, I feel like I have my life back. With some minimal tingling in my toes and very minor pains, I can garden, hike, drive, enjoy the beach ... things that were off limits for me for the past two summers because of pain.
Back surgery also taught me the value of friends and family. My DH was able to work from home the month of Nov. Friends drove my kids around and I saw a protective side emerge from my sons that has continued 10 months later. Anytime I want something lifted, my DS (16) just says, "Sure," and he does it ... no questions, procrastination, or grumbling. It was humbling to have to ask a grocery clerk last Thanksgiving to lift a 25 pound turkey out from the freezer for me. The clerk was easily 20 years older than me. But even she, a complete stranger, was so happy to help.
Once again, with this weight loss journey, I am learning the lesson that my stubborn attitude of "I can do it myself" is self-defeating and potentially harmful. My back troubles are partially responsible for at least 10 pounds of weight gain and I expected that once I was able to move around again, those pounds would disappear. But of course, I didn't solicit any help from anyone. I made a few attempts at writing down what I ate, but there was certainly no accountability, disclosure, or fun involved. My weight crept up by a few more pounds and I was constantly mentally flogging myself for my continued failure to get this part of my life under control. It was my DD (19) who sent me the sparkpeople link. Just the jumpstart I needed!
I have learned and am learning so many lessons from Sparkpeople ... ranging from the incredible number of calories in a Panera sandwich to the importance of drinking water. Nutrition / fitness tracking continues to provide me with important information and I now know that small changes can make a big difference! From the blogs and message boards I am also learning from other people and their journeys. We all have our obstacles and it is so motivating to read about and benefit from other peoples' successes, sources of help and strength, and encouragement.
Even though my success in terms of pounds lost has been relatively small, somehow I am gaining a renewed self-confidence. Maybe it is simply that I am now happy with myself for staying within my calorie range, drinking water, eating veggies, and exercising instead of mentally flogging myself for the extra roll around my belly. I feel like I can get my house in order (which took a severe beating with my back problems). I took my first yoga lesson yesterday since back surgery ... I had been afraid to do it from fear of injury ... and I plan to resume teaching skiing this winter (this is a biggie!).
Sure, I plan on doing these things, but not alone. My first 3 yoga lessons will be private with a very experienced teacher. Yes, it is expensive, but it is so worth it to make sure my poses are correct and that I am listening to and responding to my body rather than fighting it. I ski with great people and so many of them will be happy to give me TLC, if I only ask. Our group of ski instructors includes two women who have survived breast cancer, and many others who have had to confront other health issues. I can learn so much from them about confronting fears and respecting myself and my body. I just have to learn to accept their help.
If you have made it this far, thanks for listening to my rambling introspection.