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79.1 Miles. What Was I THINKING? - December 4, 2011

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I've been on SP for a long time now. Over three years, going on four, to be exact. Once the "Ah ha!" moment has passed, and one "gets" it, the work really begins in earnest. OK, we "get" the point about portion control, more calories out than calories in. "Moving" more than sitting. And on and on it goes.

We start off with such enthusiasm and verve. We got it, right? So the rest should be easy. [Easier?] But the issue is this: When one has a "ginormous" amount of weight to lose, and anyone who has over 20 to 30 pounds to lose will understand this very well, one has to keep the motivation going because this is going to take a while. So we look at the SP guidelines and start planning the meals and staying as much as humanly possible, in the calorie range that has been assigned to us. We design a workout plan that we can live with, and tweak that: Five or six days for cardio [the weight loss ticket for the exercise part of the equation] and strength training for at least two days or even three, again as recommended.

We do great for about six months or so and see the results. We're pretty proud of what we have done, and we're heading in the right direction. Then it happens. Oh, no! "Plateau" time. We stall. We get frustrated. We tweak again. We look back over the last couple of months and try to determine what we are doing differently [thanks, SP, for keeping our data close by even after many, many months]. Did we really measure accurately? Are we really staying in portion control? Old habits don't give up easily. This is, after all, a lifetime [if you are old enough] of bad habits, and it's so much easier to fall back into bad patterns.

So, what to do, to keep our flagging interest from totally bottoming out, and how to keep our exercise habits interesting? We try new things and new activities. For my part, back in the summer, one of the Sparkers and I decided what we really needed, was to start applying our exercise to a virtual trek. Back in July, that sounded great. So, I researched some tracking websites, and finally found one that would work [for those interested: worked well for this]. Then I went over to Yahoo maps, and plotted out our trip from Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, beginning on Sippewissett Road opposite Flume Lake (for no other reason than it sounded funky - got to keep the interest somehow), and picked the final destination on the Cape as Pilgrim's Monument, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Why not? It was *only* a mere 79.1 miles total [it actually came to be slightly over 80 miles in the end, but why quibble? emoticon]. We gave ourselves ample room to finish in time for Thanksgiving, starting in mid-August. It sounded reasonable: About five miles a week, taking into account other priorities and obligations. Hey, neither of us is a marathon runner, well, not me anyway. I have hopes for my partner in this trek though.

After a few months of planning this, and finding charts to convert ST to mileage, we were off and running. After a while I started to wonder whatever possessed me to embark on this challenge, with someone who is young enough to be my daughter. No matter, this wasn't about racing. It was about setting goals. And learning from them. So, what have I learned from these last 17 weeks, and one day?

emoticon I learned that even well into middle age (OK, 60 to be exact), there are still goals to conquer; after all, I'm not dead yet! All planned and plotted and figured within reason.

emoticon That it's grand to have someone push you and motivate you, but in the end, we need to be able to push and motivate ourselves. Our demons need to be addressed, and won over, once and for all.

emoticon That I am eternally in Chris Downie's debt, for creating a website, albeit similar to many others, that is absolutely FREE!

emoticon That this is an extraordinary community, with incredibly supportive people, who even across the miles, reach over to support others while working on their own self-improvement. That on days I did not want to exercise, or recommit to the task at hand, I felt impelled to do so, knowing that upwards of 70 people stop by my page daily to see how I am progressing. It makes the accountability extra strong knowing that.

emoticon That once accomplishing a goal, and feeling incredibly empowered, I am able now to turn my attention to other areas of my life that are crying out to be fixed. And knowing that, in time, with careful, realistic planning, I can accomplish those tasks as well. This is part of the "spill over" effect: Accomplishing one thing, cascading into every area of my life.

So, now it's your turn: What have you set your cap to accomplish for yourself? How are you planning to achieve that? Is your goal a realistic one? And how will you handle it if you falter?

I'm looking forward to meeting you at the top!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I figure I'm going to be a year older, I'd rather be a year older and thinner. :)
    2936 days ago
    What a novel idea you had!! And how wonderful that you went the distance. You are a real inspiration.
    2965 days ago
    I kind of felt like you . . . I'm 57 and what could I be thinking to embark on "torturing" my body with cardio, strength and stretching? How can I POSSIBLY keep up with others younger then I? I guess I'm not such an old "geezer" after all! My DS said to me the other day, "Ma, when did you get muscles in your arms?" LOL . . . I've gotten them with the blood, sweat and tears of almost 2 yrs. of being on SP! And even more astonishing, I challenged him to an arm wrestling match and **I** won! He's 19! Where my SuperWoman cape when I need one!? LOL

    Loved your blog and kudos on a fabulous job. You rock!

    PS . . . indeed, I left my endo scratching his head and since I'd made a bet with my family Dr. that I WOULD lose the weight and NOT need insulin for my type 2 IR diabetes, she owed me a dinner . . . which she made as I DIDN'T need insulin and DID lose the weight! The dinner was EXCELLENT!! I think it's called Paella . . . a Spanish seafood dish. LOL I did make a SP pumpkin roll for dessert. She is an awesome Dr . . . and a friend. The best of both worlds.

    2965 days ago
    As usual, another excellent blog. Filled with accomplishments, humour and always humble. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for giving encouragement to those of us who are suffering from Diet Rage! emoticon emoticon
    2965 days ago
    Great blog! It occurred to me that I might have more fun on the treadmill if I imagined that I was building up miles on a fascinating hike instead!
    2965 days ago
    well as another 60-year-old, i've got to agree. new goals all the time. that means new achievements. and as i'm going to blog one of these days, the spillover effect from my weight loss & fitness success is inspiring me to try to improve my work organization, and have less stress and more time for my family and for me. wish me luck! and much luck to you.
    2965 days ago
    No worry, Nu... I thought you were letting it open, to show the future would tell what you had learned! Now, I must say your blog is truly inspirational for me like this... THANK YOU!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2966 days ago
  • NUMD97
    This is truly a shame. It had been edited and enhanced, and now accidentally got deleted. I'll try and recreate it yet again in the morning. I should have put it in Word first. Actually, I did try and do that, but something in the transfer got lost as well.
    2966 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/5/2011 12:51:49 PM
    79.1 miles, yay!!! Very very impressive! So... what did you learn during these 17 weeks and one day? I guess we'll see in the future, with your next Trek!!!
    CONGRATULATIONS again Nu for a great achievement! It is fantastic what SP inspires us to do!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2966 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/5/2011 1:57:05 AM
  • NUMD97
    The blog accidentally got posted before I could complete it. Now it's done, and thanks.:)
    2966 days ago
    What did you learn? Sounds like a fun idea, congrats on the 79.1 miles :-)
    2966 days ago
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