Thursday, May 28, 2009

Motivation and endurance

This week, a loss of 3.8 pounds leaves me with just 2.4 to go ..... 225.6 gone!!! And once again, it remains *personal* to get rid of those 2.4 pounds!!! They will. get. gone. And soon!!!

This week's topic is on motivation -- remembering the motivation that got us through the door. Finding the motivation that keeps us going. Thinking of what we need to do to get ourselves to our goals (weight and otherwise). The funny thing is, I was just considering motivation and endurance at lunch today as I was walking in the nice warm(!) Carolina midday sun.

My initial motivation hinged on three things: (1) needing to get in better health, and knowing my doc had recommended WW above all else; (2) seeing a horrendous picture of me and thinking, "My God do I really look that bad?"; and (3) realizing that as independent as I am, this was one battle I could not fight alone. Fighting it alone had gotten me into this pickle. I would have to swallow my pride and rely on others for assistance. I needed better structure.

So with all that in mind, what keeps me motivated? (1) Staying in good health. And I know there's always room for improvement; (2) Seeing the new pictures of me -- many where I do not recognize myself at first, and I always wonder who that girl is....; (3) Relying on the support and friendships I have found through WW -- amazing how that all worked out; (4) Knowing I have less than 5 pounds to go to hit my goal..... you better believe that right there keeps me extremely motivated! and (5) Realizing that at last, my life's mission statement is probably best fulfilled through this process.

What's that, you ask? Years ago, I worked on a special HR project for my employer. As part of the learning curve for this project, I got a copy of What Color Is Your Parachute? In it, readers are asked to create a personal mission statement for their life. Now, I was in my early 20s, and mine ended up being something vague, along the lines of "My mission in life is to help others, no matter what I am doing." (Told you - vague!) Well, heck, I hadn't really experienced enough of life to truly know myself at that point.

Except, it ended up being more prophetic than I ever imagined. That really is what I have ended up doing throughout my career and in my life so far. And I just have a feeling that in this field of self-improvement -- if nowhere else -- I have the possibility to really live that statement. Please note: I'm not trying to toot my own horn, or say "Oh, I am SO special, look at me!!!"

And I could not have made it so far without endurance. Endurance is the quality that says, "I Will." I will do this no matter how long it takes, or whatever obstacles come my way. So with both motivation and endurance, success is not only very possible, but very probable.

Find what is driving you. It may be what sent you running for better health in the first place, or it could be a different motivator. Combine with a generous portion of endurance. Cook until done!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just call me "Manatee"

because I am apparently retaining enough fluid to be labeled a "sea cow" now.......

I stepped on the scale and the receptionist looked quizzically at the screen. "Step off and step back on." More puzzled looks, and "this says you gained five pounds."

The numbers on the scale didn't lie. She turned it around and there it was, in big ol' black LED numerals. 5 pounds up. FIVE. FIVE.

Okay, so I have thought of every possible reason -- from the sane to the silly -- and here's my list of them:
  • It's about "that time" and so I am retaining fluid. This is true, and possibly the root cause. Without being totally TMI, this is an area where I have had cause for concern lately. I'm keeping my fingers crossed on it.
  • I'm just plain retaining fluid. This is also a real possibility. Usually I get up at least once during the night..... last couple of nights, slept right through.
  • I exercised too much during the week. Okay, while I don't believe there is such a beast as this, I have noticed that on occasion, when I exercise just 4-5 days, I do better than the weeks with daily exercise. I know, you're supposed to let your body rest and rebuild....... but I love the feeling. (Holy crap, I am hooked, aren't I?)
  • I have been under such stress, it's gotta be all that excess cortisol. Another possibility? Yes, I had a stressful week -- with the kind and amount of crap usually only thrown by caged simians. But I really don't know about the whole cortisol thing. There could be some validity.
So here's the deal: whatever the underlying cause doesn't matter. Over. Done. Moving on. So the 20 ounces is now back up to 100 ounces. WHATEVER IT TAKES. If it was personal before with that small amount, you bet your sweet bippy that it is beyond personal now.

Whatever it takes. However long it takes. I am reaching goal. I will not be stopped, deterred, or denied. I may be slowed a little, and there are going to be bumps in the road. But I am traveling on.

OOH RAH!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Not too bad....

The 5K this weekend was an unofficial one -- not timed, more to raise awareness about Special Olympics and have a little fun at the same time. But I had my handy stopwatch around my neck .... and when all was said and done, I came up with 48:13. We did it on an outdoor walking track with a distance measured at .49 miles per loop. We did 6 loops, for a total of 2.94 miles. I added a half-loop to make it as close to 3.106856 miles as possible.

So I am looking for the next one to put on the calendar. I found out that the Candlelight Run in Greenville allows walkers, but you must be able to finish in under an hour (okay, no problem there). I'm just wondering if that's something I want to do on a Saturday evening. I like the ideas of the early mornings .... not that I'm a morning person, but I need to have it over and done and enjoy the rest of my day. So we shall see what happens as far as Candlelight Run.

I never thought I'd be the type to visit running websites to look for these events ..... so that is a serious miracle right there! But now I think I'm hooked!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

From 50 to 20.....

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can't see me, but I'm doing a mean happy dance right now. I lost 2.0 this week, for a new total of 226.8 gone, and only 1.2 to go. Those 50 ounces from last week are now down to roughly 20 (and yes, it was actually 52 ounces; I can't count for crap apparently). Yes, a bottled drink stands between me and goooooooooooooooooal!

I am so excited I can't stand it!!!! I am going to work my butt off to get that 1.2 pounds off. I have another 5K this weekend, plus going hiking in the Georgia mountains on Sunday with some friends whom I haven't seen in a very long time. Yes, I'm feeling pretty jazzed.

Now, I am not dumb.... I know very well that next week could bring a bounce-up and I am mentally prepared for that, in case it happens. But again, I am extra-determined. I am going to do everything within my control to do my best, and leave the rest to God. And really with everything in life -- including our weight loss -- that's all we can do. Do all that we can, and leave the rest to our Higher Power (whatever you conceive that to be).

So HANG IN THERE!!!! And together, ounce by ounce, pound by pound, a step and a walk at a time, we can do it!!!!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

I have crossed over.

I think it has happened. I never imagined it, but I have crossed over. I have become that 7-letter word -- dare I even say it? ATHLETE. (HA!)

I did another 5K this morning to benefit a local domestic violence shelter. I had a time of 49:13 -- a little off my previous best pace but only less than a minute off. THAT was phenomenal, and it was a certified distance, so I know I'm doing good.

Next week I have another, for Special Olympics. I just found out there's one the weekend after that not too far from here (not a benefit one, but one just the same). And one two weeks after that.

I made two trips to the sports store that was a sponsor for today's race. I spent over $100 bucks there in the last 24 hours -- new shoes, exercise clothes and orthotic insoles. I can see myself going back to this store at least once a month to just .... you know .... see what's new.

I did not ever expect this to happen. Me, the very definition of a modern maj.... I mean, the very definition of a couch potato .......... and now I'm doing 5K's. My times are still a little higher than I'd like, but for walking, not bad at all!!!!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

And now for Post 201.....

Heh. 200 posts before this.... in just at 3 years. Amazing isn't it?

Let's get the count out of the way.... up 0.8 and back with 3.2 to go (meaning 224.8 gone). I gotta admit: it's a bit frustrating. Still, I've chucked the calendar and when it happens, it will happen. That doesn't mean I quit trying or quit striving to do my very best, but I'm going all Zen-like about it. I am picturing it happening already...... and so it will be.

What I'm more excited about has been all the non-scale victories this week: how good I feel having exercised. Doing the exercise. Getting all stoked about this weekend's 5K, and aiming for a great finish time..... it might not be the 48:21 from the previous 5K, but anything in the 50-53 range is good. I'll aim for 48, don't get me wrong. But I'm not going to beat myself up.

When I was preparing for the April 5K, one of my Internet pals said to me, "Don't worry about the time; the important thing is THAT you finish, not when." She was right (thanks Leigh!) .... and that mantra is what kept me going at a steady pace. So I will have that going through my head again bright and early on Saturday morning. It's not the time that truly matters, it's the will to keep going when the lesser me would rather give up.

Doesn't apply to just the 5K, right?

BTW, these 3.2 pounds -- 50 ounces. FIFTY STINKING OUNCES between me and my goal weight. I will slay them, ounce by miserable ounce until they are all vanquished. It is personal. They will be mine and I shall obliterate them mercilessly. They. Shall. Croak. By my own hand. Thus sayeth the Netster.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

To quote Brad Majors.....

"What's come over me? WHOOOOO! Here it comes again!" (And if you're old enough to know who Brad Majors is, God bless you).

I did some activity on Friday, skipped Saturday, but have done something every day since. Including twice on Monday. Here it is, 8:00 PM on Wednesday. Normally I'd be at choir practice, but I ended up running a routine at work later this evening so that I wouldn't have to do it in the morning. Now that I've eaten a light but healthy dinner, I feel like doing some more exercise. Maybe the 20-minute Express Zumba workout.

I have a 5K coming up this weekend and one next weekend. I'm still looking for one in early June or even July -- forget August; I may be crazy but I'm not insane!!!

Holy cow. What is this all about?

It's been 2 years, 360 days since I first joined WW. That first night, Debbie (my then-leader) asked us to give her 5 minutes of exercise if we weren't used to anything at all. I figured I could do 5 minutes a day. What I thought would take 5 took 10, and I huffed/puffed the whole time. Sad doesn't begin to describe it.

If you had told me on May 12, 2006 that I would not only be exercising daily or nearly-daily and LOVING it -- I would have laughed you down, called you a liar, and felt totally hopeless. But I've done it. Easy? No. My first time on the treadmill at the Y was disheartening -- I was so out of shape from even just a few years before when I was exercising regularly. But I persevered.

That's the key, I've found: slow, steady progress. Continuity yet not letting myself get too complacent.

And to quote Frank N. Furter: "Don't dream it. Be it." So go, be it.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A thought....

So, my brother and I were driving to my cousin's house last evening for a birthday celebration. As far as the celebration, let's just say I used my 35 points. I may not have actually used them all, but I didn't care. The celebration was worth it, a good time was had by all, and I didn't overindulge (I felt) .... okay, except maybe in the Bread/Olive Oil dealie-o. YUM.

Anyway, we were discussing old photos, etc. and my brother remarked that it was good that I could have a sense of humor about my two-ton-Tillie days. Well, what choice do I have, you know? I have too many years of photographic evidence to prove I was large. I mean, really! He asked what about those years when I said that I liked myself -- did I really?

The answer was yes. I really did like myself. I had to learn to do so, but I did love myself. I did respond that one thing I have learned in this process was this: "Dieting done out of self-loathing never works. Getting healthier out of self-love almost always will."

Was I really a self-loather? I don't believe I was, but who knows what a therapist might say to that. I really did like myself overall, but there were (and still are) always things I'd like to change about myself. Previously, all my attempts to lose weight were because I felt it was something I had to do to change myself for others. It took time and wisdom that comes with age, and the realization that I was at last getting happy in my own skin .... and that self-love made me ready to make some needed changes.

I'm still on that change thing. There's still a lot in my life to examine, especially as I approach the big 4-0. There are some other things I need to consider for my health: a thorough physical, some examination of emotional health, continuing work on physical health.......... There's still so much to do. And it's continuing to learn to love myself!!! :)