Sunday, February 09, 2014

What doesn't Kill you Makes you Stronger

I woke up and knew that I had to get my run in early.  First because Todd and I were planning on doing something during the day.  Secondly because it was supposed to start snowing later in the day.  And thirdly...if I don't get it done early the odds of me doing it all are start to diminish.  I was actually sitting on the sofa waffling about going when I saw a facebook post by my friend Tim over at Reflections in a Murky Stream      He decided that he was going to cheer for everyone today.  It was just what I needed to drive me from my couch and out onto the road.

The run was brutal today.  It snowed/sleeted the whole time I was out there.  It was cold, my eyes were watering and I was seriously wondering if my tears were freezing to my cheeks.  My fingers were numb inside my gloves.  But all of that was minor because about one mile in my legs started to ache.  My muscles tightened up and just plain hurt.  I didn't let it stop me. I ran onward.  It didn't kill me.  :-)

While I was out running I made a realization about myself.

I have been using the website (and corresponding app on my phone)  I actually really the website.  It is easy to use.  It's easy to add recipes that I make.  There are tons of saved nutrient calculations so almost anything you want you can find an estimate (or the real calorie count should it be a commercial item).  It keeps track of any number of nutrients, water consumption, exercise and weight changes.  There are communities that you can be part of.  It really is a great website.  My problem?   They keep track of the days that we log into the website.  And every few days they post "maryFran has logged in for such and suh amount of days"   This is a good thing, I guess.   However, this morning on my run  I made a startling discovery.  The ''MF has logged in for *** days" is actually a deterrent for me  Its a rule....a chore...and something that makes the trend of logging in daily rough for me.

Yeah, I liked it when my stats were saying "MF has logged in for 180 days"  but when I was out sick with the flu in July and I was puking my guts out, yet I still picked up the phone just to log on....I didn't add any food because I didn't eat anything and I certainly didn't exercise!  I picked up my phone an logged on just to maintain my streak.  How wrong is that?  Day two of the sickness I didn't pick up my phone and ruined my streak.  Yup.  Ruined...done!

The streak being ruined by something as simple as the flu...the stinking flu totally caused a sense of disillusionment for me.  I didn't miss tracking anything I just didn't log on!  There have been other days too.  Days where I'm just busy  I'm keeping track of things in my head and I enter it the next morning...but I don't do it 'on the same day' so my streak is broken.   It would infuriate me!    I was focusing on having a high 'days tracked' number. Numbers and rules.......

  I have thus far shied away from setting strict "rules of engagement" for myself.  I haven't said I will do such and such and I won't do such and such.  I have goals but I was very careful to say I will reach the goal whenever I get there.  I didn't put time limits upon myself.    At the beginning of last year I didn't operate under rules and I didn't operate under set time limit goals. I just DID it.

This year was different.  I set up strict rules.  I WILL track such and such times a week. I WILL drink my water.  I WILL do this and that.  Seriously?   That doesn't work for me.  I'm going to TRY.  I'm not going to keep track of my days on target and my days of tracking and my days of this and that.  It's not important.  What is important is that i'm having lots more days of being good than bad.  It's important that I'm getting as many fruits and veggies in each day.  Do I need to be strict and say I WILL eat 5 (or 6 or 7) a day???  NO...  I'm going to eat as many as I can.    5 days of exercise a week?  Sounds good. But it's not a set in stone rule anymore.

I have my goals.  I have my challenges.  I know where I want to be.  I will get there.  I will get there by living and being me.  I will do it by changing my life without the rules.  I will do it because I am changing my life NATURALLY!


Leslie said...

I can so relate to your post. I was just talking to my husband about something similar today. I was talking about how I want sometimes to do more, but I just have do this naturally. I set all these rules for myself to just break them. Great post and great job on your run!!!

Leslie said...

Oh and I hope it is okay I put al ink in my post to yours. I just loved your post. Leslie

Lynn said...

I use the FatSecret app. I think MFP has more options, but I like mine because I don't have to log in and everything is private.

Kitty said...

I use MFP but I never see the messages you talk about because I have it bookmarked on my computer to the food diary page which is all I really care about.

Oh, I keep everything private.

timothy said...

I LOVE that I motivated you, "GO MARY GO MARY!" and I didn't even need to put on my cheerleader skirt or shit-kickers (hows that for an image! lol) you've motivated me so often, I totally get the flu thing everyone in my home is sick but me and I feel it circling so I'm taking all kinds of stuff to ward it off including vitamin c defense and then I checked the label, 20 calories and 6 carbs EACH! and I had eaten 10, OUCH! but I still need em so I'm just having to let it go and not fret too much. this is our year and we are gonna do this for the last time gosh darn it!!!

Fran said...

I love this Maryfran! Strict rules usually work for a short time. I have to admit I have been tracking a couple of days now but I actually do nothing with the information. After reading your post I decided I quit tracking again. Why spend time if you don't do anything with it.
My goals is to exercise 5 days a week to and if I succeed it's great but if I do 4 days it's great too.

Success, you can do this.

Tricia Coniglio said...

I agree. Strict rules can make me feel like a failure if I did not quite make it. A guideline is great and usually easier to follow.

JenBsJourney said...

Different things work for different people, and even something that totally worked for YOU in the past may not continue to work the same way forever. You do need to be flexible and try changing if something is no longer working.

Personally, I'm at a 270 day streak on MFP. To me, it isn't a chore. I'd go a little crazy if you took away my iphone or the website went down and I couldn't log. I need to log for ME, not for my streak. Even when I had the flu, I logged on, recorded my five saltine crackers and apple slice (all I could eat).

I am still in my "addicted and enjoying" it mode. I actually just joined Pact and committed (financially) to workout every day and log my food every day. I'll have to see if that becomes a chore (but I've earned $10 so far).

IF I missed a day on MFP ... I actually wouldn't care about the streak, but I WOULD turn off the notifications :)

Cathy said...

Last summer I was up to 260 days logged or something, I was really high, on mapmyfitness. I even had a friend log my coffee while I was camping (with no internet) so I wouldn't break my streak . . . and then one day, one freaking day, I forgot. It pissed me off so much! I was infuriated. Even though I logged my food for that one day, my counter went back to 0. I disagree so highly with the "Cathy has logged in XX days" because it doesn't take into account that I had 260-some days before and missed ONE day. I quit paying attn so much to that number. Although I'm back up to 40-something I think, so I'm feeling that old feeling of panic if I almsot forget.

I'm going away this weekend, so maybe I'll let my number reset so I don't obsess so much about it.