Archive | October, 2012

Three weeks of quiet

31 Oct

Yesterday I was reminded that I have not updated this blog since my birthday. Three weeks of silence…sorry about that. Truth is I have been struggling and don’t have much to say about it.  Or at least I’m not sure what I want to say about it. Now is a time where I wish I wrote a bunch of blog posts when I felt inspired. Maybe that would have helped to keep my butt in gear, I don’t know.

 

In the meantime, here is a random list of thoughts/lessons that have bubbled up over the last few weeks:

 

Life happens…you eat fried chicken…move on. No big deal.

 

Not every workout will be the best workout ever.

 

Generosity starts with giving your first fruits, not your left overs.

 

When you want to quit, remember why you started.

 

This is not an all-or-nothing game. I may not be 100% in today, but 85% is all right…aim for “good enough” most of the time.

 

When you think you are done, there is more work to do. Self-improvement is a continuous journey.

 

Home construction sucks. (Totally not related to weight loss, but it is the truth!)

 

It is not the fact that you failed, but what you do about it that matters.

 

Listen to what your body is telling you. Things hurt for a reason…physically or mentally. Stop and think about the cause and what you can do about it.

 

Change is uncomfortable, especially when you are entering brand new territory. Keep moving forward anyway.

 

Show yourself the grace that you give to others.

 

Accept the compliments…say “thank you”…even if the attention makes you feel uncomfortable.

 

Let go of size as the anchor of your identity.  It is one aspect of your physical condition…it does not define who you are.

 

When you struggle, go back to the basics. For me that means 100% accurate recording of food, accountability, exercise, drinking lots of water…and most importantly, believing I am worth it.

 

And finally, if you want something different, you need to do something different. And if it takes you weeks, months or years to get that “something different” to stick, it is worth the work.

 

 

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A time to celebrate

15 Oct

This weekend I celebrated my 35th birthday, and while I dread being firmly locked in the mid-thirties, this is a year to celebrate. In years past, my birthday always felt like just another day…nothing too exciting. Everything past 25 was just aging.  So this weekend I did it up right… shopping, working out, dinner and drinks, naps, another dinner and gluten free cupcakes…yum!

Those are some of the silly things I did to celebrate, but there are deeper reasons from this weekend that give me a reason to celebrate or are a reminder of why I celebrate. The most notable from this weekend are:

  • Time with family and friends. Birthdays are best celebrated with those you love.
  • The time I spent walking around the track at the gym. A year ago working out was far from my mind. Now I make it a priority. Today I was able to do a 15 minute mile walking and I can average a 12 minute mile running. Incredible progress from 6 months ago!
  • The clothes I wore this weekend. For the first time in a long I am shopping on the misses side of the store and looking fabulous!
  • “35 by 35” is complete! Looking at where I was in the middle of July and where I am now, this goal accomplished.
  • The rain. Whenever I miss my mom I look to the sky and often get a sign that she is thinking of me…a sunset, a bird, a star. Today it poured all day…a reminder of how incredibly much she loved me.
  • Boxing for my Friday night workout. My favorite work out ever…sit ups and all!
  • Stories of others making change. From the email messages to catching up to daily check-ins…your story motivates me and your success is part of why I celebrate this weekend.

As I write this I realize the celebration does not end with the weekend. There are so many more exciting milestones on the way and the party will continue for moths and years to come. So today might be the day to celebrate my birthday, but it is just the beginning of the party.

Going to extremes

7 Oct

Five years ago, 2 friends and I decided we would lose 30 pounds in time for our upcoming October birthdays (we were all turning 30 within 3 weeks of each other, hence the 30 pound target). We met up to walk, weighed in once a week, and tried to be encouraging to each other. I have no idea if any of us were successful. I know I wasn’t.

Flash forward to this summer. I was somewhere between 20 and 30 pounds down and I started thinking about a weight goal. What if I lost 35 pounds by the time I’m 35?  It sure sounds catchy and would make a dreaded birthday something to celebrate. First I did the math and looked at my current average weight loss.  35 pounds would be a doable, as it was just a little above what I had been averaging already. I asked my trainer and he said it was doable.  I told myself that if I did it, I would buy myself a new car. Okay, it’s on. Let’s roll.

Three weeks in I was struggling. The overachiever in me was worried…what if I couldn’t do it? I had a few weeks of low weight loss because of some poor eating choices. I was discouraged. October 14 was sooner and sooner and the weight was coming off slower.  I didn’t meet the goal 5 years ago, and I didn’t want a repeat disappointment. At the same time, my own expectations were becoming a barrier for me. It was torture…not measuring up, eating crap, feeling bad, worrying…Why am I holding myself to this random weight goal and worrying about it if it is making me crazy?  And so I let it go. Either way, I knew I would be close. I bought the new car and got along with life.

Last week (or 2 weeks to my birthday), I stood 10 pounds away from “35 by 35”. Mmmm….this is tempting. Do I give it a try? 10 pounds in 2 weeks is aggressive. I knew it would be extreme no matter what I did, but I wasn’t sure if it was possible. I talked to Tony.  He said it is doable, but I would have to do exactly what he told me. HA! Yeah right, me listen? Well, I did. I worked out like crazy and was in “bland land” eating wise all week. I took fish oil and even tried coconut oil. (TOTALLY disgusting…it’s like eating super sweet crisco). If I can do anything for 10 weeks, I sure can do this for 2 weeks.

Thursday night I went to my dad’s house to get on the treadmill. I resented every minute of it. I was tired and hungry and sick of eating chicken and spinach. I seriously thought about stopping for an ice cream cone at DQ on the way home. That is when I knew this extreme is no longer good for me.

 

I handled it well for a week, but I also didn’t like the mid-workout crash or feeling hungry throughout the day. I proved to myself that I could do it if I want to. I knew it paid off before I even got on the scale. But nothing, NOTHING is worth going back to food, the success I had gained, and the confidence that has grown. Friday night was weigh in…down 6 pounds. HOLY MOSES! That’s a lot. The greedy, overachiever thought about the possible number next Friday…that would be awesome!  The rational, healthy me knew that another day of bland land would send me in to relapse. I no longer cared if I didn’t make 35 pounds by 35….what was more important to me was to maintain the sustainable, healthy life I had found. I’m not in a race.  What is amazing is that this is all now my choice and in my control.

 

Tony delivered exactly what I asked for, but the minute bland land changed from a tool to a barrier it was done. There are reasons to go to extremes and there are reasons to not. I still might hit “35 by 35”, who knows….you will have to come back next week to find out. What I did learn is more important…I can do what I set my mind to, I am in control of my choices, I can identify and use the tools I need to help me, and my new life is sustainable. I want something different and so I do something different. I try new things. I challenge myself. I go to extremes, but I also recognize my limitations and I adjust accordingly.