Almost a year back at Sparkspeople
Saturday, October 16, 2010
October 18 last year I rejoined sparks for the third time. This time I have a different path. The previous two times lacked the determination to follow through with my plan. Some how depression crept back into my life. The most compelling reasons are because I stopped doing what I loved and I was doing what I thought I loved. I believe this time around is showing evidence of major improvements in both areas.
My most successful time of weight loss during this past year was from October 18 last year through March 15 of this year. I managed to lose over 40 pounds and then I maintained a plateau through July. Then, the horrors of rising weight began to replay it self again through two 5% challenges, yes even as a Teddy Bear. I struggled through the summer combating continued unemployment, lack of focus and the inkling of depression. Thanks to several of the sparks team leaders with their encouragement, I can say I put a potential downward spiral to rest. They charged me with helping lead a team (Teddy Bears) and joining the team leadership of the Fall 2010 5% Challenge. Both of these activities are very positive experiences and help halt my upward trend. For that I am thankful.
Today I posted a weight of 231.0 pounds, which is 16 pounds above my lowest weight recorded earlier this year. This weight represents a loss from where I started this 5% challenge and the start of something wonderful. When I look back at my most successful time over this past year my caloric intake was lower than today by 400 calories and my exercise averaged 40 minutes per day less. After reviewing the nutritional guidelines in late April I increased both at the recommendation of the Sparks website. It has not seemed to help on the scale front. However, my athleticism is much improved, I can almost do three (Yes Three!) pull-ups without assistance, I can walk or hike 25+ miles without collapsing, I can ride my bike 50 to 100 miles in one sitting, and I can run an 10:30 minute mile. I am in as good of shape as I was in high school, albeit I am 65 pounds heavier. I can imagine what I could do if I was not carrying the other third to half-person with me.
This past week I harped on motivation versus determination. The previous week I rambled on about the power of commitment. And during the first week, I discussed planning as a very powerful tool. Today, I believe I should really mention goals, daily, intermediate and long term.
The goals we define in our commitments are the vision we must hold dearest in our beings. We must see ourselves as we desire ourselves to be. Having a collage will help visualize our future. But long term goals can be derailed because time marches on no matter what our internal clocks say. Thus, the use of daily and interim goals is important.
Staying within my calorie range is a daily goal. But, do I reward myself for it? Not really, thus, I need to attach something fun or meaningful to me as a daily reward. I now attach a crossword puzzle to this goal. Make it and get to do a few at night before bed. Make it for a week and I can have a book from the library or Kindle store. I cannot read my book unless I meet my exercise goal for the day.
See how the daily rewards work? These of course lead up to the intermediate or interim goals like new clothes, a spa day, a personal vacation, ect. All of these goals must reinforce the ultimate goal of a healthy lifestyle. Not every day has to be lock stepped and controlled. Some days are their own reward. I must remember to balance all of these things with my determination. I mean if I am out having an evening with my wife and I exceed my calories a bit, am I going to have time to do a crossword puzzle in the evening, or more importantly want to? (See I told you I was rambling.)
With this reflect moment I have considered the sparks input and my experience at reducing weight. Therefore, I am resetting my daily calorie range back to 1600 to 1850, period. This range was my range during my best loss time and I shall return to it. For me this range will require constant vigilance. I know I can do it. Hopefully, next week, the scale will again show improvement as my determination is strengthened again.
Make a commitment to yourself. You are worth it, as am I.
Be at Peace