Motivation

I’m working on it.  I’m working on ME.  Sparkpeople’s Coach Dean wrote a couple of articles about Motivation that I read this week and it was all about how motivation is something that we have to work on ourselves–it’s not something that happens TO us.  It’s our choices.  We fuel our own motivation.  Or something like that.  It was a 2 part article and the second one really hit home with me the most.

The article can be found here:      www.sparkpeople.com/resource/motivat ion_articles.asp?id=634

And the part that really resonated most with me was this:
“…history is not destiny. From a psychological point of view, emotional “reality” is the product of whatever story you tell yourself about how things are and why you are the way you are. If you want (or need) to change your reality, then change the story you are telling yourself. This does not mean denying or ignoring your past or present circumstances, or inventing a nice fairy tale to take their places….Your new story can be about how your creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance enable you to find full or partial solutions to these challenges, and to do the best that you can with what you’ve got to work with.

The story you are telling yourself at any moment is the foundation of your motivation, or lack of it. Make sure you are telling yourself the story you need to hear. And the best way to really come to believe your story is to see it come true in the small, well-chosen steps you take every day.”

I printed that part on several pieces of cardstock to post around my house.    I need to remember (Because I’ve known it in the past, I’ve just struggled with some issues) that I am responsible for my choices AND my own motivation.  I’m not a victim.  I am strong.  I am determined.  I can do this.

Vicious Cycle

I’ve been struggling.  A lot.  For the past month, I haven’t felt good physically or emtionally, I’ve been really down–and this heat makes me want to hibernate in my nice cool bedroom all damn day.  This week is supposed to be the worst yet with highs in the 110s all week.

I think I started spiralling while my husband was off on his exciting cross-country road rally trip for 11 days in the middle of July.  That really hit me hard.  I was originally going to be his partner on that trip–but once we realized what all was involved with the physical challenges, I backed out so our brotherinlaw could go with him instead.  I knew I would be a hindrance to his success during the competition, and I didn’t want to be the reason he failed.  I’m mad at myself for being in a position where that was necessary.  I missed a great opportunity for a once in a lifetime trip…because I’m fat.  I am so sick of my weight getting in the way of opportunity.

While he was gone, I was so frickin’ lonely–made me really face the fact that I don’t have any close friends anymore.  It’s difficult (always has been) for me to make close friends.  My husband says that I’m closed off and won’t let anyone close enough because I’m afraid of getting hurt….he knows me too well.

Then, in the past month, I’ve received two Direct Messages on Twitter from the Biggest Loser Casting team asking me to submit a video or come to a casting call.  While I’m sure that I’m far from the only person who received similar messages, I feel paralyzed.  My husband says I could go and he’d support me if I made it–and what an opportunity that would be!–but I’m afraid of being gone for so long  from my family (assuming I would even make it–I don’t want to put myself out there if I’m not willing to commit fully) AND then there’s my terror at the thought of being on national television baring my obesity for all to see in a sportsbra and bike shorts.   I won’t even change clothes in front of my husband.

I can’t do that.  So instead, I’ll continue my journey here at home, alone.

Conditioning

So I’ve been doing really well with my exericse (and mostly good with my nutrition–when I go over it’s not by more than a couple hundred calories).  I’ve been doing SO good with my exercise, being consistent and getting in at least 30 minutes every day that today, when I did my customary 2 Mile WAP DVD I found that my heart rate was not going as high as it had all last week and weekend when I was doing it.  It fell so much that I burned over 100 fewer calories than I did this weekend when I did the DVD!

That’s good.  It means I’m gaining some conditioning.  Strengthening my heart–it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep me going.  BUT it also means that I have to work harder or longer to be able to burn more calories.  Hmmm…. I’ll keep doing it the way I have been for the rest of this week.  I am trying not to let my “all or nothing” mentality slip me into over doing it and burning out.  So, I’ll keep going with the 2 mile for the rest of this week–then possibly move to the 3 mile next week.

I’m making progress!

10 lbs at a time

Ten lbs gone in two weeks. I wish I could keep up that progress but my head tells me I can’t. It’s not reasonable to expect that. 8.5 was in the first week leaving a pound and a half this week.

Not only was the first week the typical water weight loss–but this was further exaggerated by my hormone cycle and getting off diet soda.

Yesterday was difficult. We are going through a tough financial period which is causing a lot of stress and depression. Plus, today marks my eighth fathers day since my dad passed and my husband’s second since losing his dad.

I didn’t get any exercise/activity in yesterday–that would have helped boost my mood. Then, I ended the evening with way too much pizza and my stomach punished me for it at 1am this morning.

Today is a new day and I am trying to focus on the most important dad in my life–the father of my children. So it’s off to a car show as a family and try to take the kids’ bickering and complaining with a grain of salt.

As for my progress, I will take it one healthy choice at time and ten lbs at a time knowing that sometimes that will mean two weeks and other times (most) it will be more like 4-6 weeks. And that’s okay. It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon.

Dear Me (In 10 Weeks)

August 19, 2011

Dear Me,

I hope you made the most of this summer challenge and the support from your Pink Teammates and the resources on Sparkpeople.  I hope you committed to long lasting change and built a firm foundation for PERMANENT healthy habits.

Please look back at the progress (or lack of progress) you made in the past 10 weeks.  Did you do everything you could to get further down the road to a healthier you this summer?  If you’ve experienced success this summer (and dang it–you better have!) it’s because you put in the effort.  You made more healthy choices than unhealthy choices.  You found ways to compromise without giving into the all or nothing mentality.  You were active this summer.  Maybe you walked, maybe you swam, maybe you worked out indoors where it was cool–but one way or another you found ways to be active.

Now don’t go back to those old habits.

If you didn’t make progress, I guarantee it was because you allowed obsticles to derail you and turned to food instead of healthier  ways of dealing with challenges or stress.

Your 10 week goal was to lose at least 30 lbs.  You are capable of more, of course, but I’m trying to be reasonable here and avoid that “all or nothing mentality” I’ve harped on so much.  If you lost 30 lbs then you should be feeling much more energized and experiencing less pain.

Do your feet still hurt?  If they do, give it another 30 lbs and if they still do, it’s time to visit the doctor.

Thirty pounds gone will put you firmly under 300–hopefully into the 270s or lower if you did more.  What’s your next goal? Stick with your team and work with Sparkpeople,  you know it works!  Don’t sabotage yourself by turning back to your old habits.

The kids begin school today, if you haven’t yet, sit down and examine your goals and make a plan to continue working towards them–not just your health goals, but also your academic goals.  It’s past time to get that thesis finished!

Finish what you started.  You deserve the success.  And yes, the change that it will bring to your life can be intimidating and definitely firmly in the world of the unknown–but embrace your sense of adventure and don’t look back except to remember where you never want to return again.

Remember to “Never give up! Never surrender!”

An All or Nothing Mentality

It’s my biggest downfall.  I have issues–perfection issues.  If I can’t do it perfectly, I don’t do anything at all–and in fact I go to the opposite extreme.  The all or nothing mentality kills me every time.  If I could conquer it, and accept that every little change I make, every little effort I make–actually could make a difference over time–then maybe I’d be down 30-50 more lbs in the course of a year instead of back up the same 30-50 I lost while I was being “perfect” for 3 months.

The yoyo has gone up and down for too many years as I lose and gain back the same 30-50 lbs over and over again. I can lose 30-50 lbs in 3-4 months and turn around and gain it all back in 2!  And I’m left feeling like my efforts to lose are wasted when I gain it all back.

I’m still working on it.  I wish I could find a therapist to talk to about my food issues.  Several years back I called around town asking if anyone dealt with eating disorders and food addictions and had no luck.  So I keep muddling through trying to figure things out on my own.  I’m self-aware enough to understand what I’m doing, my problem is I don’t know how to correct the problem.  I need coping skills and behavior modification therapy.

I’m cutting back on my time at work.  I’ve taken steps to make my work commitments less demanding so that I can focus on my family and myself and my home as well as helping my husband with his endeavors–and let’s not forget my thesis too.  It’s still out there unfinished.

Honestly, that’s one of my biggest roadblocks–this struggle to finish what I start.  I’m trying to set myself up in a position to succeed though.  I’m still here (or back, rather!) and my motto remains:  “Never give up! Never surrender!”

Heart to Heart

The husband and I had a difficult conversation last night.  I think it was more difficult for him though.  It wasnt anything I didn’t already know, but he needed to say it.

Basically, he’s afraid for my health and afraid he’s going to lose me. He’s afraid I am going to die too young, and leave him alone to father our children.  We are a team, he’s afraid that without me, he will screw them up irreparably.

He tap danced around it–all but said it was my weight that is the issue here.  He talked in terms of blood sugar and other symptoms. I know that it’s about how my weight affects my health and in some ways it was good for me to know that he knows it too.  He can live in denial at times, but since losing his dad last March, death is something he can’t deny as easily as he used to.  Many times in the past, my husband has been my enabler–I’ve even accused him of being my saboteur.  Unknowingly, perhaps but none-the-less, he’s made it difficult over the years to stick to what I need to in order to lose this weight and keep it off.  But ultimately, it came down to my choices and my own weakness in the face of adversity.

My choices don’t just affect me.  I’m not that self-involved. I know that my choices affect my family.  I have to keep that in the front of my mind.  I have to keep last night’s conversation in front of me as a reminder of how much I have to lose.  Not just MY life.  But the lives of my husband and children. 

Right now, as far as I can tell, it’s still a choice. I can still choose a healthier road and salvage a longer, happier life.  But I have to choose to value myself and my family enough to do so.  I have to make choices that will ensure a future for me and them together.

Happy Birthday to Me…

37 years old and still trying to get things right…. that’s my “bio” on Facebook. And its so the truth. Today, I turned 37 years old and while I have gained a great deal of wisdom in those 37 years, I’m also struggling with the same issues I always have. I made a big deal about how this day had to be special. It’s 10/10/10 and I turned 37 (born in 1973).

10 is supposed to be my lucky number. But its not about luck. It’s about me making things happen–every single day. No matter how hard it may be to make those choices, I have to do it–I haven’t got that much time left to make the changes I need to without doing irreparable harm to my body. I may have already crossed that threshold, I don’t know. I do know that my knees and ankles are hurting me more and more. The past week its been one long ache and pain that I’m pretty sure would disappear completely with the weight.

So year 38 begins now and it has a lot of potential to be great–but I’ve got to make it happen. And if I can finally make that happen that will be the real birthday present.

A healthy start makes a difference, right?

Up and at em. Lord help me.  I’m so sore, my head aches.

I know that the soreness and headaches would go away if I lost the weight.  I don’t need a sleep study to know I’m not getting enough oxygen during the night.  I can’t sleep on my stomach or my back and I can only sleep on my side–and usually on my right. 

My left side hurts too much after about 30 minutes of laying on it.  I wrenched my shoulder this summer falling on a bridge in Colorado.   And after having all this weight on one side most of the night, it hurts too. 

There are so many times in the night when I wake up because I stopped breathing.  That shit has got to stop.

Right now I wake up so sore that I can’t even begin to think about exercising first thing in the morning. 

My tailbone hurts.  Why the hell does my tailbone hurt?

Anyway, all that has little to do with the title of this post. 

I’m up. I made the kids their lunches and in the process made mine too.  I’ve got a nice spring mix/baby spinach salad with grape tomatoes and baby carrots topped with just 5 or 6 croutons and some watered down Fat Free Ranch Dressing.  I’ve got a turkey sandwhich on 100% whole wheat with fat free miracle whip.  I even packed snacks of a small granny smith apple and some light yoplait yogurt in case I get hungry in the morning or afternoon.

I ate my breakfakst–a banana and 1 cup of fiber one honey clusters cereal with a cup of skim milk.  I’m nearly finished with my 1st 32 oz bottle of water of the day.  I’m working on getting back to drinking at least 4 of those a day (if not more).

Yesterday, I had the same breakfast and only had time to snarf down the sandwhich for lunch.  Came home starving and had way too large a helping of spaghetti and meat sauce and lord help me FOUR slices of garlic toast.  I LOVE my husband’s garlic toast. It’s a definite weakness.

Then, later in the evening, I polished off the cookie dough ice cream.  Another weakness.  But i’ts out of the house now and I’m not bringing it back–not even for my birthday in 11 days. 

I didn’t drink any diet coke yesterday–that was a masterful exhibition of will power.  I WANTED that damn diet coke.  I drove by Sonic twice during the day while running errands and I did not swing in for a Route 44 Diet Coke, telling myself each time over and over again “YOU DO NOT NEED THAT DIET COKE. You may WANT it. But you do not NEED it.  My husband recently referred to our diet pop drinking as poison.  He’s right.  It’s so bad for us. And I’m trying to think of it that way whenever I think of it at all.

This morning I weighed in at 295.something.   That’s down from the 298.8 I popped on Monday and 297.3 yesterday.  It’s water weight beging shed as my body figures out I’m not going to deprive it of what it needs most–and I will take it as a good start.  It means that just the small changes I’ve made in the last three days are making a difference.

I’m working myself back up to exercise.  Right now I just don’t have the energy–but that should begin changing as I continue to give my body the healthy fuel it needs.  Then I’ll start working that back into the routine.  But for now, I’ll concentrate on making the changes to my diet stick and changing my thinking about the process.  I’ve been doing this off and on for years–you’d think I’d have that part mastered too.  But clearly all the times “off” indicate that I have far from mastered changing my thinking.  I can change my eating, but if I don’t change my thinking about all of it and actively work on nurturing that attitude everyday, then it’s all lost the next time I hit a wall of stress.   I’ll just go back to all my old bad habits, and I don’t want to do that anymore.  I never want to see 295 again.  I refuse to see 300 or higher again, and its time I refuse to see each number I hit on the way down to my healthy weight again too.

Making time for myself

For the last five months I’ve barely had time to come up for air let alone take care of myself.  I’ve continued to gain weight back. I’m at 298 again.  UGH.  This cycle has to stop.  I’m putting the brakes on now

I have to make time for myself. Time to eat right and exercise.  Time to plan meals and spend time with my family. Time to reflect and journal my progress and challenges. . . . Time to finish my thesis. 

I don’t get paid enough to allow my job to consume my life.  I’m going to start enforcing that magic word, “no.”  I started by dropping all of my children’s extra-curriculars except swimming–and I kept that for their health and mine.  We need an activity that will bring regular exercise into our lives and swimming is one way to do it.  They can take swim lessons (the oldest will be joining the swim team in November after this last round of swim lessons) and I can exercise in the cardio room or do some deep water aerobics.

I dropped Girl Scouts and my leadership position there. The thought of starting another year with that responsibility had me breaking out and on the verge of an anxiety attack.

Yes, the remainder of this year is still going to be  pretty busy, but enough is enough.  The next major event at work is three weeks away and I have a couple of quarterly reports, a final grant report, and a newsletter to produce.  There are mutliple mini-events associated with the overall big event that have to be carried off, but there is no reason why I can’t make time for myself to plan my meals and exercise.  And time to journal my ups and downs and hopefully some progress too.  I’m supposed to be keeping this blog for myself and to help me reach my goals.  I must start using it that way.

I refuse to take on anymore projects this year and I already have next year mapped out according to priorities as well. I am not superwoman.  I cannot do it all.  I can do my job and take care of myself–I’m not going to kill myself doing my job anymore–I want to keep loving it, and I’m afraid that love is in jeopardy if I don’t make some changes.  And as I’ve said, I don’t get paid enough to do this job as it is–Love has to justify the pay I get, without that love, it’s seriously not worth it anymore.  I could substitute in the local schools, have the same basic amount of pay, more freedom and a hell of lot less responsibiltiy.

I’m sick of falling off that damn wagon.  I want to get back on and stay there for the remainder of my journey.  I’ve got to quit making it so dang hard on myself.