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Friday, September 29, 2017

I've been off Spark for more than a year, and during that time I would guess I was successful in keeping my healthy habits for about 6 months. Which is pretty awesome. Yes, the weight crept back on... yes, I stopped making time to exercise... and yes, I'm now working on losing weight yet again... but I don't really feel like beating myself up. In fact, the one thing I really seem to have gained over my multiple Spark experiences is a positive mindset.

I used to feel really, really bad about myself when I gained weight. Like a failure. Like an unattractive, lazy, worthless schlump.

The truth is, I've just set different priorities over the past year. In just the past 6 months, and I've been really, really busy. Being a good friend, being a good wife and mom, making some work changes and even moving! My plate has been full of very important things--not all of them within my control but my choices all very much within my control. I set my priorities and I don't regret not putting my weight first. I'm 6 months into some huge life changes, and just now beginning to surface and gain better control of my time. In truth, it was a hard summer and I felt pulled in a lot of different directions and ended up feeling pretty depressed and listless for a chunk of it. You know how you manage to put the game face on? Even be super productive? But that bone-deep exhausted feeling NEVER leaves you... even after oversleeping? Yeah. Depression and mounting anxiety-which is new to me but you know, I'm heading toward menopause and I've been told to expect some awesome mood changes. :)

Anyway. I headed back to the gym this week (after a lot of "should" "meant to" sort of weeks drifted by), and I did it mostly to help level out my mood. And it worked LIKE A MIRACLE. So, interestingly, my motivation this time around is MORE about maintaining an even keel, emotionally, than about beating myself up about being a size 16 again. Though of course, there is that, too. 16 is always the size I hit before I get serious about whittling it back down. I feel my best at a 12, which isn't really that big of a difference. Honestly, I look about the same in pictures, but my clothes fit better and I feel more confident, so there's that to look forward to.

My motivation is this:

1. Get into the habit of regular (4+ days per week) exercise to FEEL good.
2. Eat better / cleaner because it's the right thing to do and it's not really that hard. (My habits aren't that out of control.) My husband shares this goal, which makes it a LOT easier.
3. Get my cardio back, so I can DO more, especially looking ahead to next spring and summer with the kiddos, and a trip with my mom and sister.
4. Look better in the basic clothing I like best: jeans, etc. I tend to look like a ship's prow when I gain weight... all wide, matronly bust and thick upper arms and broad stomach. I'm really tall, and it doesn't take a lot of weight loss to get back into proportion.

That's it. I'll be checking in with the blog because keeping a journal is a motivational tool for me. It helps me keep things in perspective, and stay positive. I'll be logging food and fitness for accountability. I also want to mix up my fitness more to avoid over-training. I LOVE running (not that I'm doing more than a brisk walk right now), but too much of it causes knee / IT band issues that sidelined me somewhat (mostly because I didn't cultivate an enjoyment of alternate cardio forms). So my plan is to keep running to a minimum (1-2 x per week) and begin to focus on yoga and biking at the gym. Biking to push my cardio; yoga to help with flexibility and balance (and strength though I lift weights too).
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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.

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