Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Achieving greatness: it can be achieved with one word

But how can I?  How many times do we utter that s entence when we are talking about changing our life?   We get comfortable in our lives and when faced with the need for change we just don’t have a single clue how in the world we will ever enact that change.  How can I?  How can I find the time?  How can I do that with the terrible arthritis in my knees?  How can I when I don’t have a membership?  How can I when I weigh so much?

It’s been no secret of late that I am unhappy with my fitness level.  Ok, so maybe I’ve been rambling on and on about it...just a wee bit!   It’s seriously been on my mind a lot!  It came up in a conversation at work the other day.   A gal that sits near me who loves to exercise and I were talking.  I shared my struggle.  I talked about my long days...how I leave my house at 7AM and don’t get home until 6PM (if I’m lucky) and how that doesn’t leave a lot of time for exercise in the evening. I mentioned how I hesitate to get home at 6 and break into exercise because I would never have a moment to relax.  I would literally get home, exercise, shower, cook dinner, eat, clean up and then I would be within a half hour or so of the time that I crash and head to bed.  Is that truly sustainable?  For me no.  I want a healthy life and a healthy body...but even more I want a healthy relationship with Jason and we honestly treasure that time we have together each evening. I mentioned to my coworker that I’ve thought about waking up 30 minutes earlier each morning to  at least get a 20 -25 minute run in the books..or a 20 minute ride on the bike trainer.   But in this conversation I whined, “but that’s early”.  (Yes, I really did whine!)

And that is when she said one word that puts it all into perspective and reminded me on how to achieve greatness and success.

Sacrifice

Oh yes...’if you want something bad enough, you will sacrifice something in order to achieve it’. For me and my fitness level it’s the sacrifice of time that has to be made.   My week days are full and I honestly like my routine (well...I don’t like the long commute that makes my day so long...but that’s just how life is...I need to work to pay the bills so that one is kinda non-negotiable at the moment).  But if I want to achieve greatness and reclaim the level of fitness that I had achieved a few years ago I need to sacrifice something in my schedule.  

What to sacrifice?  My mind was in a whirl for a few minutes as I pondered.  But I didn’t have to ponder long.  I will definitely NOT be sacrificing my evening time with Jason on a consistent basis!   Just not happening.  We need that hour or so each evening after the evening/post work activities of life (cooking, showers, etc) is over to reconnect and recharge not only our batteries but to help keep our relationship strong.  That time also doubles as our ‘relax after a long day’ time...which is equally as important.   I’m lucky in the fact that sometimes we do go out for a bike ride or a walk in the evening as part of our time together.  But I still need to figure out a consistent long term solution.  It leaves one thing.....waking up earlier.

If I’m going to be so adamant about not consistently infringing upon my time with Jason them I have to sacrifice in another area.  Waking up earlier!   And if truth be known, I am usually awake earlier than the alarm anyway.   I play on my phone, write blog posts (yup...this was written at 5:30 AM on my phone), read blogs and respond to blogs.    So it’s not really a complete stretch to actually remove myself from the bed and do something active.  I will just need to sacrifice my personal quiet time in the morning!

So....decision is made.   I want to achieve greatness....I am ready to sacrifice in order to achieve it!!!



Monday, October 15, 2018

Why diets fail: food addiction

I have a food addiction.  I know this and have known this for many years.   I have readily admitted it for many years too.  It’s no secret. The sad part about a food addiction?   It is accepted by society because a food addiction is not illegal.  In fact, it’s embrassed and encouraged (just look at the portions of food we find acceptable at restaurants)  in our society of obesity.  It’s not illegal...but regardless, it is killing its victims.  (Obesity related diseases).   So maybe we need to start really treating food addiction like a real serious problem!

So how does one fix an addiction?

I saw this on Facebook a few days back and it really hit me.

Aren’t we only ‘stopping the use’ when we go on a diet???  A diet is not creating a new life and fixing the underlying problem...it’s only treating the symptom!

Years ago I saw a show following patients that had undergone weight loss surgery.  The surgery took away the problem of overeating, but guess what happened to a multitude of the people they followed?  Those people transferred their addictive personality to a different addiction.  Drugs, alcohol, sex....the addiction didn’t go away...they just weren’t latched onto food anymore, they were using other ‘substances’ to fill the void.

Now I’m not saying that everyone that has weight loss surgery is going to turn into a drug addict.  I’m not saying that everyone that simply restricts their food intake will fail.   I’m just saying that we didn’t get to the point of obesity without some major issue....and unless we treat the issue as well as the symptom we will fail in the long run.   And I have personal experience with failure...I lost a LOT of weight and I regained half of it back.  I treated the symptom but not the problem!

Changing and creating a new life is difficult. It’s taking a lot of preconceived notions and habits and running in the exact opposite direction!  It’s changing the norm and distancing yourself from the factors that brought you to the place of obesity.  It’s retraining your mindset to view and see things differently.    It’s creating a life where it is easier to not overeat because the consequences of such behavior will impede you in your new life.    (Need an example?   When I’m running a lot...or hiking a lot, I tend to eat better.  I like those activities and they are easier, less painful and a whole lot more fun when I’ve got my addictive eating problem under control!). It’s a thing of creating a life where eating out is not the sole focus of your day.  Mine used to be.   When I planned out my day  I planned  my activities around food places!!!   I am much better now...It helps that my friends (and Jason) are not as ruled by food...it’s a new lifestyle for me.

We can stop the use of our drug of choice, food....but it’s only temporary....which is exactly why diets fail!!! We need to change our life from the ground up to truly fix the problem of obesity. That means changing how we view food..how we deal with emotions...how we move and are active....and maybe getting your friends on board with your new you...or finding additional friends that do fit in with the new you lifestyle!  Until we find the new life that does not include a simple ‘take away the problem’ we will certainly fail....just like the drug addict that never changes their lifestyle. 




Thursday, October 11, 2018

Friday fun: tired but excited

The end has come. It is Friday. I have finally reached the last day of work before my vacation starts! The end of my long wait has come. It’s been quite a while since I took an extended period of time off for vacation. (I am talking like more than two years…maybe three) this upcoming vacation is long overdue. To say I’m excited is an understatement.


Before I roll into vacation, I need to wrap up this week. (And get my last day of work done.). So let’s get on with it.


Highlights of the week


I work my normal schedule every day this week, and I stay busy every evening with working Through my list of things that needed to be done before vacation. What kind of things? We needed to clean out the car and his work van, (the  work van so that if his boss needs it, his personal stuff was out of it) laundry, packing, organizing… Etc. I am a list maker and us started gathering things as early as Monday night. It made for a busy week, But will pay off tonight and tomorrow morning when we just have last minute things to do versus running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to pack everything at once.


Eating for the week


I went off target this week.I want to say I did really bad. I kept my calories right around  1600 to 1800 calcal each day. It could have been a lot worse. But, it could have been a lot better. I don’t know what happened, one night I ate dinner and found myself ravenous before bed. One day I found myself exceedingly hungry at work. I did not binge on any of those occasions but I did indulge.


Weigh in  results for the week


The indulgence from my hunger...well I maintained at least!


Failure of the week


This weeks failure actually pertains to commenting on other people‘s blogs and replying to comments on my blog post. About a week ago I became unable to post any comments or replies using my iPhone. It doesn’t work on my iPad either. I can post on my computer and I did a test, and using Jason’s  phone and it worked just fine. I am frustrated beyond belief. I comment almost solely using my iPhone or iPad and have for years.  I do a lot of my reading and posting at times where I find myself having a few minutes, but not enough time to go get a computer or be near my computer.  Have I mentioned how frustrated I have been? I think I may have fixed it!!! (By downloading a different web browser on my phone...). But any other suggestions would be appreciated!



Vacation


I have had lots of deep thoughts this past week.  Concepts and ideas  hit me in regards to weight loss and my healthy lifestyle that I am trying to create. There have been way too many for one post… They are written (for the most part) and will be posted while I’m on vacation. So stay tuned for my thoughts on addiction, sacrifices and One or two other thoughts that are swirling around in my head.


We have a fun vacation planned. We are spending some time at the beach. We are spending some time in the mountains. We have hikes and bike rides planned. On the agenda is a trip to Field  of Screams. And we plan on getting some relaxation in. The hotels are booked so I know for sure where we are going… The rest will happen as it’s meant to happen.


I know that there will be indulgences in terms of food. I also know that if history is any indication that the trip to the beach will result in one of two things… Maybe both.  There should be lots of walking and/ or lots of miles on the bicycle.


Of course there will be a recap post when I return. Until then…




Tuesday, October 09, 2018

An inspiration like no other

Throughout my weight loss journey I have come across people that have greatly inspired and influenced me.  While my drive and motivation to lose weight is my responsibility,  these people are what helps me to push a little harder....to go a little further....to stay the course.  These inspirational people have come into my life at random times and through many different ways.   Sometimes it is a virtual influence....I might read  an article about someone’s weight loss success online  and it inspires me.  The inspiration sometimes may come from my friends who double as accountability partners.  I have even received inspiration from people that I call angels...random steangers that make comments and compliments...for me this is usually while out running.  Such as the touchy guy and the safelite guy. Inspiration is awesome!

The other morning when I was out running a song started to play in my headphones. It was a song that we  used in Zumba. Immediately memories started to flood  through  my mind. I remembered my first night at Zumba  and how I hid in the back room. I remembered the emotionally battered woman that I was when I started. I remember how I had to exert my independence and wishes within my marriage just to  attend Zumba. I looked back and could clearly see how my independence and confidence grew each and every week of Zumba. Zumba, was a life saver and a life changer for me.  My fitness level skyrocketed and I was inspired almost weekly with each and every class I attended. It wasn’t just the hour of exercise that changed my life and inspired me. It was one lady… The instructor.... Anita. (And yes, I was indeed crying while I was running and reminiscing... it was from the incredible onslaught of memories. Doesn’t everybody cry while they run?)

Anita. I don’t even know where to begin. This lady is just all around incredible.

Anita  is my mothers age, but don’t let that fool you. This lady can out exercise most people. I remember after one class talking to a group of people and we mentioned how the hour long class had been a real tough workout. We were blown away when we realized that Anita had already taught four such classes just like the one that had wiped us out....that day alone. Anita is constantly searching, learning and bringing new techniques and exercises to her classes.    She also practices what she preaches. When you talk to her or glance at her Facebook page you will quickly see and hear that she take the steps to secure her own fitness levels. She doesn’t just rely on the 20 some classes that she teaches to stay in shape...she works out on TOP of leading multiple classes. (I think at one point she told us she was teaching over 20 classes a week… but I could be wrong on the number.).  She leads her classes in a way that all levels of fitness are reached and made to feel welcome and pours herself into these classes.   She reaches everyone in that room, in spite of how she is feeling personally.  And we all work harder because of her example!  This lady is a true dynamo!!

Anita is inspiration like no other. I have seen this lady push through tiredness, pain and sickness to still lead a kick butt exercise class.  I have seen her dancing and exercising with what she suspected was a broken toe… She still stomped her feet in time with the beat!   Surgery/ Procedure on her hand earlier in the day that required her to keep her hand elevated? Anita didn’t cancel the class that day! She arrived, got on stage and lead that class with the same energy level that she always did. She did it all while  keeping her hand elevated for the whole hour. I even saw her lead a class with a case of stomach bug. What an incredible inspiration. She truly leads by example. It’s easier to push through the pain of a hard workout when you see your leader push through her pain.  ‘If she can do it...so can I!’ When you have a leader like that, it makes you realize that you can push through and accomplish so much.

Have I mentioned how fun Anita is?  She makes her classes smile.  Holidays are always celebrated... She dresses for each holiday!!!
Yes, those are indeed her legs!!!

Last but not least, I want to talk about the compassion that Anita shows. She is very passionate about making sure that the attendees in her class get a good workout. But what really sets her apart from any other leader, is her compassion for each and every person in her classes. I can’t tell you how many times I arrived for my hour of exercise and received a hug and words of encouragement about life issues I was  facing.  One of the  best examples of her compassion was the last week before I announced my pending divorce in 2014. I was an emotional wreck and could barely hold it together. Anita took one look at me and gave me a long hug but didn’t say a word...just gave me her silent support. A week later  when I announced  that I was getting a divorce, Anita made this comment, “I could see the turmoil within you last week.   I could see that you were barely holding it together. And I knew the only thing I could do was hug you to let you know you weren’t alone and that whatever you were dealing with was something you had to wrestle with on your own.”  Once I made it public,  she was right there continuing to offer her support for me as I went through that difficult change.  How’s that for compassion?  But the compassion doesn’t end there,   I had to stop attending zumba due to schedule changes that prohibited me from attending her classes. Yet, three years after I stopped attending,  she arrived at the viewing when my father died. (I’m sorry for sobbing all over you when you hugged me that night… I was working hard to hold it together, seeing you and feeling your compassion gave me the much needed release for all that pent-up emotion.). Anita is the real deal.    If I can have half the compassion that she  displays, I will consider myself lucky.

This lady is the complete package.  Incredibly fit, tough as nails,fun and compassionate!  I have been blessed to have her in my life.  

A few years ago the local newspaper did an article about me and Zumba. It alluded to and talked about how Zumba had change my life and it even mentioned lightly the inspiration that Anita had on me.  But the article didn’t make it clear enough.   Anita has inspired me in so many ways.  I want to be her age and in the physical shape that she is in.   I push myself through aches and pains when I exercise because of her long lasting influence.   And I try to show the compassion and love toward others....the same behavior she has continually shown toward me.  She really is my inspiration.  And Anita, I thank  you from the bottom of my heart!

Monday, October 08, 2018

Exercise: when is the best time

How many times have I (we) said ‘“I’m starting my new routine tomorrow”?   Or on Monday, the beginning of the month, New Years?  Basically a plan to start at anytime in the future?   I know for me it’s been plenty of times.   

I have been writing a lot about my fitness levels lately. I’ve talked about how they are in the gutter and how I really need to fix it!  That was just one link to a plethora of posts...all within a few week period!  It’s been on my mind a lot!

I’ve worked out some thoughts and ideas in my mind...a plan has been created.  And I was ready to roll.....except one thing.   Do I want to try to start a new routine a few mere days before vacation?   Why start now?   Why not wait until our vacation week is over and I’m back in the groove.

My mind was warring on Saturday!  Why start my ‘new/old’ routine when I know that it will be not happening next week when vacation time hits!  Seriously...a waste of time right?  But then I had a different thought?   Starting now, right before vacation  might be good...I will roll into vacation on a high....I will be active on vacation.  (How can you not be active at the beach..which is the first few days of the vacation.....or the mountains which we will be visiting toward the end of vacation.).  There will be lots of walking, hiking and biking....and yes our bikes are traveling with us for this vacation!  And when I get back from vacation I’ll already be in the ‘active’ mode and ready to create new habits!

I eventually decided that there was no time like the present to start working to get back into shape.  Why wait two weeks?  True I won’t be able to get into a good consistent routine until after vacation (this week will be nuts as we try to get stuff done in the evenings to be ready to roll bright an early on Saturday.). But every little effort is a step in the right direction!  

So this weekend I laced up my shoes and I went out for a run!!!  

It was my first run since July 7th!  Almost exactly three months since my last run!  I went out with a bit of trepidation...I didn’t expect this run to be ‘pretty’ at all!  I expected it to be brutal.  I expected to have to walk a fair amount.  I expected it to be slow.

It was slow.  Very slow!  But I ran every step!   It wasn’t brutal at all.  It was actually a good run...with the exception of the really slow time. It was so good that I didn’t even take a picture!!!

Now is the time!!!!

We got a fair amount of walking in this weekend also.  And I even played around with photography a bit!











Friday, October 05, 2018

Vacation: the perfect motivation

I have written about motivation so many times. It’s crazy how many times I’ve probably written about motivation.   I wrote about it recently when I wrote tips for motivation   But it happens because  motivation is fleeting and ever changing.


In the past I have been motivated to lose weight for various reasons. Sometimes it was competition with a friend, once it was even a personal competition with an enemy who I didn’t want to show me up. I have lost weight to get into goal clothing. And I lost weight trying to make my ex husband love me.  I have probably been motivated by a gazillion and one different things. And that’s OK, because it worked.  


I have a few current motivations running through my mind. There are one or two things that I am not quite ready to share  here yet. But let me tell you, they are good reasons!


But a real big motivation?


We have vacation in one week!  We are planning and hoping for a very active vacation. I know that my fitness level will hold us back a little bit. I also know that my lack of fitness will mean that what I do, will cause me to ache. I am OK with that. However, we are starting to plan our vacation for next year. It’s going to be a big one.  I am not OK with passing on some opportunities that may crop up during that vacation due to my lack of fitness. Nor am I OK with pushing myself through and then aching  miserably for the rest  of the vacation. I WILL have my fitness fixed before then. How’s that for motivation?





Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Combating headaches

I keep vowing to start exercise and to get back in shape. I have the greatest and grandest intentions. But it seems like something always happens to keep me from starting and continuing the fitness routines.  Honestly, they are always valid excuses and reasons. We have had a lot of rain and that has kept us from getting on our bicycles.  We get home from work late.  We have also really struggled with headaches. Sinus pressure and allergy headaches to be exact. Debilitating on some days… And it take everything in us to just make it through the workday. Exercise gets pushed way far down the line in importance. I told you these excuses were valid.


This past weekend we were lounging around at home. We felt sluggish and exhausted. We had massive pressure headaches. The gorgeous weather? We forced ourselves to enjoy it as much as possible, but we felt horrible. That horrible feeling sparked a conversation between us....


When Jason and I first met, I was in incredible shape, probably the best I have ever been in. I was doing Zumba multiple times a week, I was walking a lot and I was consistently running., I was coming off of my training for the aborted half marathon. I do not remember any weekend that I had to cancel a hike because my head hurt or because I felt sluggish. In fact, many Saturdays I would wake up… Go for a 3 mile run… Get home push mow for an hour… Shower and then meet up with Jason to go hiking. I wasn’t kidding a few posts ago when I admitted that my fitness level is currently in the garbage can, because I don’t think I could do that right now.


That first year that Jason and I were together, we never had to cancel a hike because of his allergies. Oh yeah, he may have mentioned them in passing but they weren’t the debilitating kind that make you want to curl up in a ball and do nothing. We talked about this the other day. It was almost a year to a year and a half before his headaches kicked in really bad. Now I have mentioned that his headaches are allergy induced. So did we just luck out with easy allergy seasons up to now???  Maybe. However I think it has more to do with our fitness levels.


During that first year or two, we were hiking mad miles. In the afternoon and evening when we were free from work, we got together end went out for long walks. Miles of walking. Our relationship grew strong during that activity. Our bodies grew stronger during that time too. And I personally think that we were healthier and that our bodies were able to fight off the allergies and the symptoms that go with the allergies much easier.


Last week I was in charge of The morning inspirational quote at work. I chose two quotes from Theodore Roosevelt. While I was looking at them, I read a little bit about our 26th president. As a young child he suffered from severe asthma attacks. By accident, he figured out and learned that strenuous physical activity actually made him stronger and his body reacted in such a way that the asthma was contained and managed… It was under control. Some skeptics will say he just grew out of it, but he fervently believed in the strenuous activity… And strenuous living. Push oneself to the max was his belief. He actually lived his life strenuously… Choosing the hardest route and then reaping the greatest rewards.


Maybe I’m way off base here. Maybe the allergy seasons have just been that horrible the last two years. Maybe I have picked up allergies that I never had before. But maybe… Just maybe the fact that I have become a slug is playing a part. Well, do you know what? I can’t change how bad the  allergy season is… Mother nature decides that. I also cannot change how my body reacts to these pollens (not without medicine). But, I can change my fitness level.