Friday, January 28, 2011

Upon further review....

About halfway through my weight loss journey, I began to be asked a question, which I am still occasionally asked..... the basic gist of it is:

"So how have you changed?"

And for years, my stock response has been that I haven't really changed; that the essential me is the same, only improved; that I'm simply better than I was before.

I've come to discover in the last few weeks that this is not really true. The essential me has changed. The core me is different. All in a good way, of course, but there is a huge paradigm shift in me.

How? Here's an example: ten years ago, if you had asked me to go on a ski weekend, I could not have immediately said yes. Or if I had, I would have been all, "GREAT! I will be happy to be the hostess back at the lodge while y'all are out on the slopes!" Because let's face it, they don't make ski clothes in certain sizes. Would I need heavy-duty skis to support my weight? And if I could do it, would I be needing to yell "GANG WAY!" as I barreled my way downhill? Oh dear, so much to consider, I don't think I can do it.

Just before New Year's, I picked up a little mag called Blue Ridge Outdoors. It was the ski issue, and within 5 minutes of reading, I was mentally mapping out a ski trip this coming December. I picked up the newest issue and there, I read about one of the resorts which also has a cool zipline in the summer. Methinks I will have to take a weekend, drive up and check out this place.... you know, test the zipline and then get information on the skiing.

Ten years ago, I wouldn't have even entertained the idea of skiing, snowtubing, or ziplining..... or anything else along those lines. I hated the outdoors. I hated physical activity because I hated to sweat. I hated the thought of doing much of anything that didn't require me to be inside or to be a homebody.

These days, I can't sit still for very long unless I'm just absolutely physically drained or ill. I prefer to stand, quite honestly. My job requires me to be at my desk most of the time, so in order to keep some semblance of sanity, I fidget. I saw a TV news piece recently about a woman who has a desk that her PC fits on that straddles her treadmill. Yes, she walks at a slow speed all day long while she works. Change "treadmill" to "recumbent bike" and I am totally there; regular-seat bikes and my rear end have never seen eye-to-eye, whether I was heavy or lighter.

Ten years ago, I preferred meals out to cooking myself. Oh, not that I didn't enjoy reading cookbooks or watching cooking shows or making the same old favorites over and over again. And even then, I was a sucker for any kitchen gadget, tool, utensil, cookware, etc. Imagine how it is these days. I love my kitchen; more precisely, I'd love it to be a commercial kitchen, but...... Weekends are my time for cooking: large batches of food to take with me for lunches, Sunday dinner for the family, trying a new recipe because I don't have time otherwise. I love the idea of taking all these ingredients and making something good from them. I also pay more attention to how my food is made. It makes me think more about where my food comes from and what it does to my body. Does it make me choose organic or natural foods? Not always. Too often, it's a buzzword label designed to make me think it may be better for me...... As I'm fond of saying, "Hemlock was all natural too but look where it got Socrates." And really: an organic, all-natural cookie is still junk food, is it not?

But that's my point ---- I'm more mindful. I'm educating myself, and advocating for others. There is a fundamental difference in me. And vive le diference!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A little mid-week inspiration

Some days, we all need a little inspiration. If you need it, please use and succeed!!

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.


It's been 25 years or so since I first read and heard these words below, and I have never forgotten them. I have shared them with friends who have needed them, and written it out to myself (again) when it was my turn. They are powerful ..... and could change your whole perspective on many things:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt, "The Man in the Arena," from a speech at the Sorbonne, 23 April 1910


Go forth and conquer. Move ever forward.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

And exhale............

Winter definitely showed up this week! On Sunday, after I left a special Weight Watchers event, the sky was graying and it turned way colder. I fell asleep on Sunday night and woke up to 5 inches of snow on the ground. Okay, for South Carolina, that's HUGE. We got somewhere around 7-8" of the white stuff before it all wrapped up during the night on Monday.

On Monday, my office was closed and I worked from home. No one else was able to go into work either... but they made it over to Domino's. And so I took a few of my weekly PointsPlus allowance and ate pizza with it. Hoo boy, it was delicious but a treat that I will enjoy occasionally. I got a little poofy (heh heh heh), but drank plenty of water the next couple of days to make up for it. I didn't get in any exercise like I had wanted -- even my plan to use DVD's was an epic "fail" because the DVD player doesn't work with the HDTV (at least until the correct cable can be obtained and hooked up). Jumping criminy on a pogo stick......

So with all that, I weighed in on Thursday and SURPRISE! down a pound from the previous Saturday. YAHOO!!!

And resume normal breathing.

This week: EXERCISE MORE. Period. Get back on plan, get in the game, and get movin-n-groovin' again. Eat more healthily. Prepare my food this weekend for the week.

And breathe!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Cannot ask for more!!

Yesterday was one of the last days before my deadline for turning in my monthly weigh-in. Let me tell you, all this week, I was sweating it. Not only was I trying to get rid of the Christmas Creep and the New Year Nibbles, I had attended a "child shower" for a friend who is a newly adoptive mom to a toddler -- and let me tell you, we had a spread! I was awfully afraid it might just spread on to my backside. But I got back on the exercise track this week, drank more water, made sure I did everything within my control to stay on plan .... and it worked! I was within range!!

This week I have really had the opportunity to examine just what it is about PointsPlus that I am enjoying so much. And honestly, I think it's the freedom and flexibility I feel that I didn't necessarily feel in previous programs. I wasn't one to regularly dip into my Weekly Points Allowance -- or at least not without feeling guilty about it. And now, I don't worry about it as much. I also like the power foods -- I like knowing that they're not just looking at calories, but at fiber, protein, saturated fat, sodium levels .... and aren't afraid to say, "This food is good, but not quite up to being a Power Food." So I have decided that I'm going to revisit my old friends the Power Foods, to live mostly in those, and know that I am doing the best I can for my body!

But this statement -- uttered from one of our members who hit her Lifetime goal this week -- made me realize that sometimes, it's more than just about food or exercise. When asked what she had gained from the whole experience, she said, "I took back control of my life."

G.A.S.P.!!! Let me bold-face that one for you: "I took back control of my life."

What a concept: being in control of your life, of the decisions you make, of owning them, of no more second guessing, of saying no, of saying yes, of not handing your life over to another person or a cupcake. Of having the power and using it wisely. Of deciding to add years to your life by making good choices most of the time.

Does that not ROCK?

That tells me that she is a member who gets it. The light clicked on for her, and there is no going back into the dark.

"It's a New Day" and a new way to live: and yes, it really does work.