Another Milestone – 300 days on Spark

Friday, February 04, 2011

(I’m posting this 2 days before my official 300-day milestone. Better to blog when one has the time than not at all!)

So here I am at my THIRD 100 days, only 65 more days (about 2 months) to go before it will have been a full year since I joined Spark. In that time, Winter has arrived in full force, we’ve had holiday food, and I’ve had bronchitis. So what has this meant for my Spark goals?

Well, last month I rejoiced about finally reaching my first goal, which was to lose my first 15 pounds (about 7kg). Getting under 140lbs (64kg) was great! The sad news is that it didn’t last and I am back up to 140lbs. Excluding those couple of weeks of bliss when I was 137lbs, I have been at 140lbs for about four months, or since October!

Right now, I am feeling disheartened by the slow weight loss. Unless something changes in the next two months, this will mean that I have actually only lost 12 pounds in a year, or just one pound a month. What is so discouraging is that I feel like I am making much more of an effort to lose weight than the results show.

For sure, my health hasn’t helped matters lately. The cold I blogged about just after New Year’s was actually a sinus infection and bronchitis. I think I was probably more dehydrated than anything else when I was seeing 137lbs on the scale. I am still a little wheezy (apparently it takes a long time to recover from bronchitis), and I haven’t really exercised because of my lungs.

Also, during the Month of Sloth, I did have some cravings that I gave in to. Things like eating a bag of tortilla chips. Crazy. Salty. I am probably retaining some water now, which might explain the extra weight but little impact on my body measurements. And the calorie differential counter also doesn’t justify 3 pounds’ gain, so I think it might be a bit of water weight. I hope so because that should be easier to take care of.

I’ve started watching the sodium content of my foods and am trying to drink more herbal teas. It’s too chilly in the house to drink glasses of water, so herbal tea is my thing. Mint, verbena or chamomile are my favourites, which I buy in bulk and use pure. I’ve never cared too much for the herbal medleys, although I might look into some herbs for getting rid of fluids. Suggestions?

What is next in the Spark journey? I have to admit that I can’t help thinking of this as a Perpetual Diet and I worry about becoming a calorie-obsessed middle-aged woman. I have a very attractive aunt who is now 70 and has successfully stayed slim her whole life, but she has always deprived herself of sweets and limited her portions, and has been quite vocal about her choices. Her daughters (now in their 40s) are also slim, so you could say she’s done a good job of transmitting habits that promote a healthy weight. For me, it just seems so darn hard to keep saying ‘No’ to my urges. It wears me down. I don’t know how to attain that level of self-discipline that my aunt has already learned and taught her kids. Is this what they mean by Lifestyle? Feels like a diet to me.

I’m really not sure where to go from here. Conventional wisdom says ‘one day at a time’, but looking at the day to day frustrates me to no end, as I just don’t have the health to meet the fitness goals. And I don’t feel like starving myself to meet the nutrition goals, not when I already have so little energy. Another piece of common advice is to think of one’s setbacks as merely a small bump on a very long road. Well, looking at the big picture shows me incredibly slow progress and makes me feel unrewarded for my efforts.

Perhaps I have to accept that my road is going to be not only very long but also very difficult. Perhaps the efforts I am making now, while they seem like a huge inconvenience, may just have to be efforts that I make for many more years to come if I am ever to lose the weight and keep it off. And perhaps I need to find ways to change my attitudes, rather than trying to change only my actions - much harder to achieve but probably healthier results in the long term. Wish me luck on this as I roll along to my one year Sparkiversary coming on April 9!
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.