Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reflecting and recharging

Tomorrow night, we shall again sing "Auld Lang Syne" and bid a big ol' sayonara to 2010! I think we ought to sing a different tune: "You say you wanna revolution, well, you know...."

Last year, I wrote that I had decided I would not do resolutions, but do revolutions instead: "Revolution: a turning around. What are you doing to turn your health ... your lifestyle ... your family's health ... around? How are you moving from the negative into the positive? Join the revolution." In 2010, we had revolutions along with revelations. And I'm glad that I was part of a move toward being even healthier.
  • I learned to be proactive and take charge for health -- both mine and for others. The words that kept coming up for me, over and over, were "educate and advocate" ..... in ways I never imagined, I find that I am doing exactly that.
  • I took great joy in learning more about preparing food, and finding just how much better my own food could be. And sometimes, the simpler the better.
  • I learned about strength training and worked on it all through the late spring into now. The one regret is that I didn't do enough steady-state cardio on the off-days. I fully intend to remedy that in the coming year.
As I said, the phrase "educate and advocate" were my buzzwords, and it happened in ways I never expected. I expect to educate people about healthy choices, both in my work in HR and in my work for Weight Watchers. But I never expected it to hit home as it did this summer with my mother's health. And the message was, "Never settle for less than the right answer." Keep digging. Had I stopped, we might never have known that my mother had a silent heart attack. We may have pushed her to do more than she was physically capable, and I'd be sitting here typing out a eulogy instead of a story of moving toward wholeness.

I've also become involved with a support group for those of us who live with lymphedema. We are working to educate and advocate.... we all seem to share the story of healthcare providers, and most especially insurance companies, who have no clue about lymphedema and do not understand all that the condition entails. And sadly, some neither know the facts, nor want to know more.

So the journey continues..... viva la revoluciĆ³n!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

OOPS!!! Some random thoughts to end 2010....

In the holiday madness, I just realized it's been a while since my last post. So how did the holidays go? I will be so glad to have the Season of Carbs behind me, I won't know what to do!! I love this time of year, but I'm tired of the endless parade of carbs (especially sweets!).

Oh, don't get me wrong.... I love the taste but holy cow, it's gotta end. I am on a mission to get back to the basics: good lean protein, more fruits and veggies. Real foods.

And I have to get my rear back in gear with exercise. With this event and that event, and this thing to do and that, it's been pretty hard to stick to a routine the last few days. I did manage, of all things, to hit the gym on Christmas Eve .... but that was my last visit. OOPS. And I have a couple more events just after the New Year. As much as I enjoy my strength training, I have neglected my cardio workouts. That needs to change as soon as possible -- but how to work it all in?

Much to ponder as 2011 comes around!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blast from the distant past

Today, my dad found some old photos from a family Christmas dinner, circa 1993. There are a couple I want to share.......

First, this is a picture of myself and my cousin; I'm on the right, as if you couldn't guess. I apparently must have been trying to do an impression of the Michelin Man ... or auditioning for the next Ms. Stay-Puft (because "puft" I was!)

And next up is a small shot from a picture where I was enjoying dessert; I couldn't tell you if it was a first trip, a return trip, or a "hey let me eat something for the road" plate..... Now I ask you: what in heck was I doing with TWO monster slices of red velvet cake? You know, I can't even tell you whether or not it was worth it. I mean, red velvet is pretty much the same, no matter who makes it.

You would think I'd want to distance myself from those days as much as possible: shred every picture, never to be seen again. But actually, I want to remember. I want to recall what it was like to have no energy to do much besides just sit around and eat cake. I want to remember that sinking feeling of having to buy my clothes in a specialty shop -- not just plus-sizes at regular department stores, but the stores that sell the extended sizes.... and afraid that I might have to start making mine instead. I want to hold on to that feeling......

Because I never want to be there again.

Are you kidding me? I'm in sizes I haven't worn in almost 30 years. I was in junior high the last time I wore regular sizes (another sad fact, but true). I don't want to load up my plate and stuff myself to the point where my clothes are pinching and binding. I don't want to be a slug, but to actually have fun moving and living my life with joy and energy.

People complain about the cost of weight-loss programs, or of fresher, better foods in the grocery store...... but the investment that I have made in myself and in my health is worth every penny. You cannot buy this feeling with any amount of silver or gold. Are you willing to invest in yourself? Are you willing to say, "I love myself where I am, but I know I can be even better" ..... to realize that you are worth every triumph and struggle.

One of my favorite authors, Jill Conner Browne, has a great philosophy: "If you don't like your life, change it." When I walked into Weight Watchers that day, I liked myself, and I liked most of my life, but I realized I needed to continue the changes I'd already made in my life. I had no idea what lay ahead. Here I am, nearly 5 years later, and I cannot believe how much better things are, how much I had really missed out on, how good life can be here and now.

Is today your day?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Loving this.....

Need a good boost right about now? I did too – and I got a great one yesterday afternoon. It was a cold, blustery day here in the South. It was starting to get dark already on my way out the door from work. I had already decided that morning that while I was going to work out, I would do so within the comfy and warm confines of my home and not at the gym. I think that with the weather, my homing instinct kicked in and I couldn’t think of any place I would rather be. Yeah, odd for me…..

There I was, on my way out the door when I stopped to thank our marketing director for all she had done to make our office party a hit. She said, “Oh, I’m glad – you looked like you were having a great time. You had tons of energy!” What a fantastic thought!!!

That was a feeling I couldn’t buy five years ago: not only the glow of the compliment, but the reason itself. Yes, I did have a lot of unexpected energy for 9:00 PM and a pretty busy day. This Saturday was even busier for me than normal. I had work (7:45 until 12:30), and then busted tail to get to an afternoon 5K – the Jingle Bell Jog! This was a 5k sponsored by a neighborhood “Fun Run” group… just a group of concerned parents who wanted to set good examples for the kids in their subdivision. My physical therapist’s husband (also a PT) is one of the group founders and sponsors of the race. So I paid my fee, made my way over, and had a marvelous afternoon! And miracle of miracles, I was only 28 seconds slower than my personal best (I was thinking it was just 20 seconds, but oh well…). From there, it was home to change for the party, back to downtown G-vegas, and then, party on, Garth.....!!!

Five years ago, at the first Christmas party I went to as an employee, I wore a stretchy black dress, in that wonderful drape-crepe material that forgives everything, with a black wrap, and still looked like Battleship Nettie...... I had enough energy to dance to portions of two songs, but that was it. Tired, drained, and feet were killing me. This year, I worked all morning, walked 3 miles (just on the course) and STILL had the energy to get out and dance, and have energy left over when I got home.

I remember what it was like to wake up draggy, go sloggily throughout my day, have enough energy to do a few things at night and drag myself to bed at night..... I do not EVER want to go there again. It is not a fun place to live. These days, I wake early and still go to bed late (that part never changed). But it's how I pack my days in between that make the difference. It really is a feeling like no other.

If I could bottle how good it feels to have that type of energy. While sometimes I do feel tired and want to take it easy, I find that when I get home, I really can't sit still. I seem to be in perpetual motion..... and that's not altogether a bad thing!

Energy: if I could bottle that feeling........ I'd give it away!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

With apologies to Joey Tribbiani.....

"So ... how YOU doin'?"

It's been 10 days with all the tools at my disposal and I am PROUD to say I'm down 2 pounds from where I was last Thursday! YAHOO!!!!! I am up a bit still from a couple of mornings ago, but it's a goal to work toward.

So if you've joined (or rejoined) us this week with PointsPlus, how is it going for you? It's definitely an adjustment, but the changes are wonderful! If you're brand-new to Weight Watchers, WOW, what an introduction, huh? One of my fellow members tonight had just joined last week, and she kicked butt: down nearly 8 pounds!!! WOW!!!!!!

If you're having trouble making the transition, keep working PointsPlus. It may take you a little while longer to adjust but your body is going to say, "Oh wow! Look at all the good stuff you're feeding me!" And you may even find that the things you ate on Points (because of a low value) aren't really worth it on PointsPlus -- or that you have to work them in a little more, but it's worth it.

I had told a few fellow members that the thing I have appreciated most is a greater sense of freedom and flexibility. I'm fretting less over "how am I going to fit this in?" and instead thinking, "Wow! I get to find a way to make this work!" For example, last night, things didn't quite go as planned for me and I ended up eating grocery-deli sushi (and hey, it was brown rice sushi at that, and really good too). Got to choir practice and GASP! we had a reception downstairs. With cake -- a very cool 3-D cake of the building. So you know what I did? I had a slice. Woe is me, right? Nope. Not in the least. Had I used some of the Weekly Allowance? Yes, and I was about to use some more..... :) That was something I was very loath to do on Turnaround or Momentum (a/k/a the Points Plan). With PointsPlus, I don't even sweat it. I also earned activity points this week and so I had that to fall on as well if I absolutely needed to do so.

PointsPlus works. I promise. Hang in there and LOVE it - LIVE it.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Are you excited?!?!

If you haven't been to this week's meeting then make sure you get to one this week .... because PointsPlus is here!!!! PointsPlus is the newest program offered by Weight Watchers, combining the best information in nutritional science with the well-known successful Weight Watchers approach!

Most of my readers know (or at least have figured out) that not only am I a Lifetime WW Member, I am also a Weight Watchers employee. I have been using this new plan for about 8 weeks now, and it has definitely helped me maintain my weight loss -- which is what I wanted anyway..... Now, I am ready to ramp it up even more to lose about five more pounds. I truly believe that PointsPlus will help me do just that. One of the things I appreciate most about PointsPlus is the sense of extra flexibility -- not that the previous plans didn't have that built in, but I really feel it with this one.

I don't want to give away too many spoilers, especially for readers who will be hitting their launch meetings on Friday or Saturday....... but keep in mind that change is sometimes just what we need to get us going in the right direction. So I hope that you will eagerly embrace the change, and enjoy what PointsPlus will do!