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What I Have Learned..

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

As I approach the third anniversary of my Sparkpeople membership, I take pause to think about where I was, where I've been, where I am.

I have not lost any weight. However.. I have learned some things that I believe in my heart of hearts will lead me towards that elusive goal, in the baby steps that have become my mantra.

The first thing that I have learned is that although I know in my heart of hearts that you have to commit to daily exercise, I have to learn to OWN what that means. There is this mish-mash of stuff in my brain about the whole "10 minutes a day" thing. And here it is. I've been at this so long, and do exercise quite a bit, that to go "backwards" to committing to only 10 mintues a day seems like just that, going backwards. So I know that advice, but I don't OWN that advice. And I'm left to sit here and say to myself well, three years and many exercise minutes later, I'm still the same weight, and there have been long periods without any exercise at all, so perhaps what I really need to do is to stop thinking 10 minutes a day is beneath me and to promise that I will do at least, 10 minutes a day. Then perhaps, I won't fall into a 2 week or monthlong period when I don't exercise at all..

My pledge to me at this time is to stop being an exercise snob. I will commit to at least 10 minutes of exercise 6 days a week. My PLAN is bigger than that: 30 minutes of cardio on Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat, full-body ST on Tu and Thurs with another 15 minutes of cardio on those days. But at the VERY least, 10 minutes of activity Mon through Sat. I will do this from now through the month of March, and then will begin to try to expand my time a bit. I will go from 30 minute on my cardio days in March, to 35 in April, to 40 in May to 45 in June.. I hope to stay at 45 and see how that goes, if I begin to lose the weight at that rate, I will stay there until I need more. On my ST days, my goal is to get myself to 30 minutes a day of cardio. From 15 in March to 20 in April to 25 in May to 30 in June.

At some point, I want to try to add some yoga. I was thinking that perhaps I could do yoga on Sundays..sort of the relaxing "reward" for the hard work during the week. But you know what? I like the idea of a day of rest, and I'd rather try to fit the yoga in another way. I will explain that part of the plan later.

I have not at all given up on my mid-range goal of being in good enough shape to be able to play woman's softball in the fall. I don't know if this will ultimately happen, not the getting in shape part, but whether I will have the time to devote to actually doing this. And if I don't, I'm not going to whine about it, as it is not my style to whine. Time will tell whether I can make it happen, but no matter, it's a wonderful goal...

Oh, and one more thing I have learned about exercise. The grind it out part, the 30 or 45 minute part.. It has to happen in the morning. I am a morning person, I like to exercise in the morning, if I don't exercise in the morning, the likelihood of it getting done dimishes rapidly. So I have to make it happen in the morning. And the need to sometimes fall back on the "at least 10 minutes" is more about the time limits I have than the willingness to excercise. I have said for a long time and it is true, I like to exercise, my biggest obstacle is the time. So another commitment is to do as much as possible at night after dinner to prepare for the morning, like make lunches, etc..so that I have time to do what I must. This will become more and more important as I expand the amount of time I need to commit to exercise. And it will be done.

But as I have said, the exercise, even though sporatic at times, is not my biggest problem. Which leads me to the second thing I have learned, and I believe this to be far more problematic, far more my "issue" for not having success in losing weight than anything, is the eating. The eating. The eating. My God, it's the eating. I start just about every single day the same way: a good breakfast, a healthy snack, a good lunch...and from there it goes downhill. If I somehow manage to get through the afternoon munchie period with just a healthy snack and make it to dinner, I usually then have a good dinner and don't have to worry until the after dinner, mindless, closet eating begins. And the only one single weapon I have ever used against this night time eating monster is to go upstairs and stay upstairs. I cannot be trusted to come back down, period, period, period. The thinker in me keeps telling me I am avoiding my demons by just going upstairs (I keep hearing my dear friend Lynn saying just stay up the stairs already!), but ultmately, I have discovered that I don't really have demons, I just have a really, really bad habit of prowling around at night eating. My good friend Ramona explained to me that the only way to replace a bad habit is to create a new, good one, and I have been spending a lot of time trying to find the replacement. Here's where the yoga comes in. I am going to find a nice, gentle yoga routine, and do it at night, upstairs in my room, far away from the food. I'm thinking maybe 15-20 minutes..and I'm thinking some combination of yoga and meditation. Who among us hasn't about the wonderful benefits of yoga? And this week, I think the Daily Spark had an article about trying to use meditation to steer us away from mindless eating. So I"m going to try to marry the two, at the most vulnerable time of the day for me.

As I approach the third anniversary of my time on Spark, I am re-committing to most of the goals I set for myself back when I first joined Spark..there was nothing wrong with the goals, just in my approach.

I would be re-miss if I did not acknowledge the incredible friends I have made here on Spark in the last 3 years..good, dear friends who have at times hoisted my considerable heft upon their shoulders and carried me when I was down. I am not going to name names because I'll miss someone and I would never want to leave anyone out. So I will just say that you all know who you are, and thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your wisdom, your friendship, your support.

I look forward to continuing to share my journey with you all, and to all our successes in our goals..
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    LOL! Good friend Ramona, indeed!

    Your plan sounds GREAT! Now the brat in me, late to the party, wants to ask how's it going, but I won't!

    NUGGET: "I will commit to... though my PLAN is bigger than that." This is key for me, and it is exactly what has kept me in the game despite setbacks. I think this is a key strategy for perfectionists, in general, in all areas of life.

    Another current struggle for me is teasing out, and honouring, the value of excellence from my perfectionism. I say it several times a day... I'm striving for excellence. It has become my pole as I balance on the tightrope between all or nothing.

    For me, perfectionism has become about the letter of the law/plan, while excellence is the spirit and intention of that plan... that to which I can actually commit. Excellence is also about who I am and what I am called to be. I know it may seem crazy to some people, but words have an exraordinary power for me, and if I can just shift my perspective a little (find a different word... a better thought habit, if you will), I can often get past, through and around whatever it is that has me stuck, unhappy, unmotivated or floundering.

    3459 days ago
    You FOUND it, T!! The *secret* to your plan has left NO stone unturned!! WOW!! I am in awe of your deliberate unraveling of WHERE all the time has gone, WHAT the sidetracks & obstacles have been, WHEN you're the most vulnerable, and HOW you're gonna' get over, around, under, or through those blocks that have prevented you from crossing your finish lines, girlfriend!!

    EXCELLENT *re-route* with the yoga goin' ta' bat for a home run on that late night prowling!! BRILLIANT plan to organize what you need *ready* for the morning rush too!!

    "Prometheus is action. Hamlet is hesitation. In Prometheus the obstacle is exterior; in Hamlet it is interior. In Prometheus the will is securely nailed down by nails of brass and cannot get loose; besides, it has by its side two watchers—Force and Power. In Hamlet the will is more tied down yet; it is bound by previous meditation—the endless chain of the undecided. Try to get out of yourself if you can! What a Gordian knot is our reverie. Slavery from within, that is slavery indeed. Scale this enclosure, "to dream!" escape, if you can, from this prison, "to love!" The only dungeon is that which walls conscience in. Prometheus, in order to be free, has but a bronze collar to break and a god to conquer; Hamlet must break and conquer himself. Prometheus can raise himself upright, if he only lifts a mountain; to raise himself up, Hamlet must lift his own thoughts. If Prometheus plucks the vulture from his breast, all is said; Hamlet must tear Hamlet from his breast. Prometheus and Hamlet are two naked livers; from one runs blood, from the other doubt." ~Victor Hugo

    and... one last quote:
    "The lover thinks more often of reaching his mistress than the husband of guarding his wife; the prisoner thinks more often of escaping than the gaoler of shutting his door; and so, whatever the obstacles may be, the lover and the prisoner ought to succeed." ~Stendhal

    Sooo, I guess I would say, we must be our own *lover* & we must see *ourselves* as *prisoners* in order to escape the cages set up to trap our desires, my friend.
    3565 days ago
    Well, my dear, I read this last night and went back to my blogs to check when we actually began this friendship/sisterhood of ours... Jan. of 2009, seems like much longer than that, doens't it?

    Fell asleep reading halfway through the blogs and woke up at 2:25 with a hot lap top on my lap... shut it down and went to sleep right there. Boy we connected fast, I had forgotten some of those old blogs and chats, but the memory came back with clarity when I reread.... Next will be some of those old sparkmails... LOL

    But for now, happy happy 3 years year and you betcha stay upstairs.... and do the yoga for heavens sake! Whether it's the demons or the food that's down there, keep away... ( I for one feel that you have vanquished whatever demons there were and now are left with the patterns from when they were there.) But, I am not a psychologist, I just play one on spark blogs....

    I love ya so much... I respect you so much...
    I have treasured the journey with you and thank God it's not a Diet it's for life since diets end and this friendship can't.
    3568 days ago
    Love your insight girlfriend. I will be there someday, I know I will!

    Love ya,
    3569 days ago
    ? what are you doing when you begin your mindless eating at night? I am with Ramona, try to find something new to get away whatever you are doing to get you to mindless eating. Boredom has a way of creating that monster.

    3569 days ago
    Great goals and great insights about yourself and your journey! You're going to make it!!!
    3569 days ago

    This is such a wonderful blog! You have set some great goals for yourself and you will succeed. I like the idea of using the yoga and meditation at night to keep you from eating. Check yogajournal.com . They have a lot of different workouts available. You are a strong person. You can do it!!
    3570 days ago
    You are still doing great. You may not have lost, but you haven't gained... at least not weight! You have gained wisdom, you have gained friendsip, you have gained a support system. We are all here for you!

    Just a thought... if you are looking for meditation and Yoga doesn't work, think about Tai Chi.

    Keep on Sparking and it will all come together!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3570 days ago
    Happy Sparkversary! This year will be "your" year. Give it your all! Edie emoticon
    3570 days ago
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