Sunday, May 31, 2009


"It's not what we eat but what we digest that makes us strong; not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich; not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned; and not what we profess but what we practice that gives us integrity." Francis Bacon

"Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching." -Unknown

This morning, I was laying in bed, waiting for the alarm to come on /again/, snuggling with one of my kittens, seriously considering skipping my walk and going through all the reasons why it'd be just fine to not do it...just this once... again.

But I couldn't, and I'm glad I didn't. I had great walkies/run, and it got my brain going - it's what happens when I listen to podcasts instead of music! LOL!. There were a few instances where the caller was asked specific questions about either their nutrition or workouts and they hemmed, they hawed, they hesitated and finally said "It's fine."

It really got me thinking about the integrity and accountability we /really/ have in our lives, and especially when it comes to ourselves. I've lost count of how many times that I've stepped on the scale, hoping for the best and being either relieved or disappointed at what was reflected. Regardless of what the scale said, I knew I wasn't doing what I needed to.

I know when I was starting out, I would get really annoyed that I would be doing all this work, eating better, getting my head on straight, etc., but yet still wasn't making progress. I wasn't eating /that/ bad, I'd say... but maaayyybeee I had dessert a few to many times, but still, it's not like I ate an entire gallon of ice cream! Oh yeah, there was the happy hour on Tuesday... then on Thursday... but it was /only/ a few drinks... and it was a rough week, I deserved it.

*sigh* The lies I told myself.

I could make and keep promises to anyone besides myself... I was able to face reality with everyone else around me, but I couldn't face it with myself.

That was very disappointing for me to realize. But I was determined to do something about it.

Then I started tracking EVERYTHING: Spending, eating, movement, you name it.

WOW what an eye opener! It kept me honest, and kept me open to change what I needed to, and made those mid-course corrections when I needed to. It felt a little obsessive at first, but it got me where I needed to be.

I finally got to the point where I could truly be confident when I stepped on the scale that no matter what, I was doing everything I needed to be doing to. It was up to my body at that point to respond or not, and there were weeks, and some months where it didn't. Either way, no big. *I* knew I was doing what I needed to and eventually it would catch up. And the times I didn't do my best, well, lets just say there weren't any surprises.

Instinctively, we all know when we're doing the right thing, and we also know when we're just skating by.


And on that note, a larger theme has really shown itself this week - This has been a time of reflection for a lot of folks, but not the usual looking forward to the next month's goals. This one has a bigger weight to it, so to speak.

We're on the eve of the start of the 2nd half of the year... the 1/2 way point between the last New Year and the next. I know I've been going through the 'where am I, where have I been and where am I going' thought process.

The hubby & I did a lot of physical cleaning last weekend - we took a carload of 'stuff' to Goodwill and an equal amount to the dumpster and honestly I couldn't tell you what any of it was, but I know I feel about 100 pounds lighter emotionally than I did before we started... but it also cleared the path for more emotional 'stuff' to rise to the surface that needs to be addressed before more progress can be made.

With that, I wish you all a day of quiet reflection. Look at where you've been, look at the obstacles that you encountered and all of the progress you have made! Don't think you've made any? The fact that you're here on this earth is a sign that you are extraordinary. The fact that you get up every day and do something means you have determination and the ability to succeed.

Embrace this time as an opportunity to create your best life ever. Set a goal, create a powerful emotional picture in your mind, find real pictures that exemplify what's in you, and take daily, determined action to make it happen... find and repeatedly say affirmations that are uplifting and empowering.

Make today and every day your January 1st!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Continuing with the random themes, strength has been a biggie of

late, but all things being random this week, my thoughts and ideas about this are a bit disjointed. I apologize in advance if this doesn't make a lick of sense. :)

It's funny how you can say something that comes back to haunt you. My dear friend posted one of my seemingly off hand comment in her 'inspirational

thoughts' file... and now it's coming back to me again. "There's greater strength in letting things out or letting them go, than there is in holding something so tight it hides it from everyone."

Trying to rebuild my physical strength after a couple of weeks off has been interesting. Nothing makes you feel weaker than shaking arms using 1/2 the weight you're used to lifting, or legs that just don't want to walk, let alone run when you want them to.

But more than that, I've been thinking a lot about inner strength & weakness; that deep down strength that is buried under years of emotional "stuff", that's been discarded, hidden and forgotten about.

Every so often you can feel it trying to make it's way to the surface. Those are the times when you're dissatisfied with life, the times when you struggle, when you face uncertainty and really wonder what the heck you're working so hard for. To use the popular butterfly analogy, it's the times when you're struggling against the cocoon, trying to free yourself and strengthen your wings.

Sometimes you just need to let go and let the process happen. So many times we see letting go and/or asking for help as a sign of weakness - we should be strong enough to do it all ourselves, and we should be able to do it the same way we've always done it.

"The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them." Albert Einstein

It's like the tiny seed that threatens to crack through the weight of an entire parking lot, just to see the light of day.

Question is: Do you pull out the weed killer, or water?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Run called...

...on account of being a girl.

Now, before you get on me about saying 'girls can't run'... lemme 'esplain. I've recently grown to love running. I used to think it was something you only needed to do when some evil monster or rabid wild animal was chasing you, but really, it can be kind of fun.

Unless you're me. And it's today.

I had a Fantastic! workout yesterday - got in much needed sweat therapy before doing yet another round of cleaning/decluttering.

Today, the combo of the squishy & fluid retention made it rough going and I realized early on that running duing the last couple of intervals was out of the question.

Then the pain hit. See... it's a whole lot closer to 'that time' than I realized. (sorta explains the 'meh' from last week, too.) About 20 min in, the crampies started - won't go into detail, but it pretty much stopped me in my tracks for a couple minutes. It also earned me a few curious and concerned stares from people in the park. (the good and bad of having a route that I use a lot... get to see a lot of the same people and their puppies in the morning.) I managed to get myself home and down a bottle of ibuprophen pretty quickly (kidding... was only about 5-6 in there. LOL!)

So yeah... hopefully all will be back to normal and I can have another great workout tomorrow!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Attack of the squishy...

If there was ever a time to be proven that nutrition plays a huge role in the way your body looks and feels, it's today.

This past week has been an interesting challenge of getting back into the game, so to speak - rebuilding my muscular and cardio endurance back up. Both made me realize how quickly you can lose your 'fitness' level and what it takes to build it back up. I was huffing & puffing through a 20 min cardio workout one day, then my muscles feeling weak and shakey at lifting 1/2 the weight I had done a few weeks prior.

It wasn't a good day to be me, that's for sure.

Today's workout was much better - luckily I had some stuff to work out with sweat therapy so that helped me push through the last couple of reps and finish out on the treadmill.

Through it all, I've been back to my 'regular' eating plan and felt a ton better... except for this weekend. I'll admit that I've slacked a bit, especially in the liquid area - it's so nice to sit and have a beer with the hubby, or drinks with friends, and I indulged more than I usually do, but not near what I used to.

Oy, and the food fest at my friends last night. The hubby and I were both post-Thanksgiving-dinner-with-two-helpings
-of-pie stuffed!

And all of this is showing up all over my body. My tummy is bloaty, everything is soft and squishy instead of the slight firmness that I'd been used to... just not fun. And it really was overnight that it happened... or at least over 2 nights.

Yes, you can achieve a great body through focused exercise, but if you don't have tight nutrition to match your efforts, you're only getting a small portion of the results you deserve.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Memorial Day Call to Arms!

We are on the eve of Memorial weekend - the holiday that marks the official or unofficial start of the summer holiday. There will be cookouts, time with family or friends at the beach or pool side, or enjoying the still mild temps before the heat of the summer sets in. Heck, Norm & I will be enjoying a bit of pool time with friends on Sunday to celebrate.

Monday is the official federal holiday, and it was declared as such to honor and remember the men and women who have given their lives to protect, defend, and preserve the freedom that we have grown accustomed to, and I, for one, have taken for granted will always be there, and never really put much thought into.

But how many of us are really and truly free?

In the past week, I have read more people commenting about their falling off the wagon, cheating on their Diet, restarting, binging, blowing it, or finding any excuse to just not get started.

I've noticed something - there are a lot of people who seem sincere, and probably are, in their desire to lose weight, get healthy, look better, be more active, etc. But deep inside of them, in their hearts and minds, there is a battle that is raging. They are still a slave to their past, their habits, their emotions. Still giving in to the role of the victim for past hurts from someone who may not even be part of their life anymore, but holds more power over them than the person standing next to them.

We may live in a free country, but the tyranny that goes on in our own minds is as worse than anything that is going on in a desert across the sea.

You see, in real war, there are rules that must be followed or you will be held accountable.

There are no rules for the atrocities that play out in our minds. The belief structure that was imposed on us - that we are less than worthy, that we can't accomplish anything, that we don't deserve to be happy with ourselves - this has shattered the foundation of our self confidence that we have given up hope on ever repairing. It's too broken, it's too far gone, it's not worth even getting started on, so why even bother.

I am here to tell you that there is nothing that there is nothing further from the truth!

I am here to tell you that if YOU don't defend your right to succeed, to rebuild that foundation, then no one will.

I know that you are smart, funny, intelligent, creative, talented, and amazing. I know that you are a seed of greatness in this world, that you have huge dreams and goals sitting inside of you, waiting to burst forth and wow the world. I believe in your ability to do anything and everything you set your mind to.

But in order for you to do that, you have to break free from the limiting beliefs that are keeping you chained to your past. You have to find that one grain of courage that has been hiding deep within yourself and take the first step out in faith into your new life, to take charge of your life and your health for once and for all. You have to commit to yourself to take simple, daily action (notice I didn't say easy) towards your goal.

If you can't find that belief or faith in yourself, look to someone who sees the giant with in you and is excited to watch it grow. If you can't make a commitment to yourself, find someone to hold you accountable and not let you back down because of one small misstep.

You may think, how does one small step, or a tiny bit of courage get me to where I want to go? "For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed... nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:19-20

I believe in you and I give you permission to succeed

Who is ready to take the first step?

So this is what 'normal' feels like...

As I mentioned earlier this week - the scale has been on holiday till today... and I figured with the hormonal storm going on in my body at the moment, the number would be what it would be. I did my part and that's all that really matters.

And the number was pretty decent: 154.4

That puts me officially in a 'normal' BMI range.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great accomplishment and I've worked my tush off to get here.

Overall, though, it's one milestone among many I look forward to seeing along the way.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rainy Season

It's been an... interesting week. It's not that I haven't had a lot to say - it's more that I'm practicing the age old advice of "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

There's probably a ton of reasons for the continual cranky/sore/worn down feeling (::coughAFgirlietimeapproachingcough::) and it's put me in a weird place overall. It's really not helping in the fitness arena, either. Last night was the most challenging workout I had in a long time. I felt so weak! I understand that I'm getting back to it after a 3-ish week forced hiatus and I drop the amount of weight a lot, but I felt like it was my first time instead of 50th+. On the treadmill afterwards I felt like I was slogging through mud and just couldn't get my body to work the way I wanted it to.

Then I yelled at my hubby.


On top of it, it's been overcast/rainy all week here - which may be signalling the start of rainy 'monsoon' season here in Southern AZ.

It's sort of a metaphor for what's going on in my life - seeds have been planted, and now they have to grow. But growth doesn't ever come easy. You have a tiny seed full of all the potential of the rose, but it first has to sit in the soil, in the dark, getting rained on to gather nutrients and soften its shell, in order to make the transition from seed to sprout.

I also got this in an email from my hubby's awesome Mentor and Coach, John Di Lemme, ""Endless Sunshine causes Deadly Deserts - That's Why in Your Success Journey - Emotional Tears are Important

Yes, the Tears are Exactly what Your Success Journey Needs to build the Roots
to withstand the storms as you keep Pressing on in your Life...

You may not Understand it Now but you will as you Forge Forward to
the Fulfillment and Achievement of Your Why...

Go For it...

Take Challenging Action NOW!"

While I haven't really shed actual tears of late (though the girlie time of the month brings them to the surface pretty darn easily!), the days when things don't go as planned, when progress isn't seen or made, when it seems like you're just taking steps backwards instead of forwards, those are the rainy times. Those are the times when your soul is really being strengthened for the times ahead.

It's times like this when you really discover what you're made of - do you stop when life gets difficult? Do you keep charging forward regardless? Are you upset because you're forced out of your comfort zone, or do you welcome the challenge?

This certainly isn't the worst week I've faced - I've made a few adjustments, got done what I needed to, I've worked my plan, and look forward to a brighter future, which could be as close as the next minute. I know that I've grown, I've adapted and had a chance to re-evaluate and solidify my short term goals.

So all in all... it's been a productive cranky phase. :)

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Green light!

After yesterday's reality check, I took some time to figure out what the heck I'm doing and where I'm going. There's a LOT going on in my life right now, tons of "seeds" are being planted, lots of potential, lots of opportunities for growth, lots of change on the wind and lots of opportunities for me to want to run around the room screaming and/or having a total meltdown from feeling overwhelmed with how it's actually going to happen.

Oh yeah, and in the midst of it, I'm closing in on my weight goal and have been second guessing my methods and approach.


Now that I have all that out of the way, I can easily look at it and say "Whaaaatevveeerrrr!" As my awesome friend said on my previous SP blog post, "You know what to do. Get over it." Ok, so I added that last part, but know she would have said it if she had the guts. Hee hee. ;)

What I mean by second guessing my methods, I've been plugging away at doing weights & HIIT cardio, eating well and seeing obviously seeing the results from it... then I got caught up in the 'what worked for the first 20, 30, 40 pounds may not work for the last 10-15.

Cue the dance of indecision and second guessing... complete with jazz hands.

Then I got the reality check I needed to bring me down to earth:

PHITNPHAT "I would just eat very clean, work very hard in the gym, lift heavy and see what you look like when you hit your goal. Then decide if you want lean out a little more so you can some weight back to build more muscle. Most people it takes a few years to get where they want to be and they improve a little more every year. I've been working on it for five years and still not where I want to be. :) But, the wait is worth it and the work is fun."

It just reinforces what I know to be true, and what I keep telling everyone else, yet just haven't quite internalized it myself: Success is a 2-5 year process. It doesn't matter if you're building a business or building a healthy life. Know why you're doing it, keep setting the goals, put in the time and do the work.

Besides, just because I want to be at my goal weight by a certain date, doesn't mean that the world is going to stop when that happens... at least I certainly hope it doesn't! That's my initial goal weight, and chances are, my physique won't look the way I want it to, and I'll approach it from a different angle at that time.

For me, there's no "maintenance" phase. Yes, I will 'maintain' the body weight that I have worked to achieve. However it doesn't mean I will just coast along after I've hit the magic number. It does mean finding a new goal to focus on - perhaps a new sport or some sort of fitness goal to go with my life style of health.

I know that all of my internalizing and short term thinking is tied to what's going on in my life. There's a lot of big stuff on the horizon and it's freaking me out to look at it. When I look at the floor at my toes, it's not so scary, but that's not where dreams grow into amazing lives. That doesn't help anyone, especially not myself.

My head is lifted and my sights are set on the next few miles. I know what's on the horizon waiting for me, and it's time to continue moving towards it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Red sky in the morning...

You know the saying: Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning... well that's about what I've been feeling like this week. After reading my friend Ramona's blog, I realized it's been a week full of yellow and red flags.

I realized this after the numbers on the scale started to have more meaning than they usually do.

I weighed in on Friday and this morning at 155.0 and I was THRILLED and RELIEVED!

That's when I knew I was in trouble.

Yes, I'm happy to be even closer to my goal weight and to know that I'm literally ounces away from achieving a 'normal' BMI. But when I felt a sense of relief at the number, I knew I was on a slippery slope.

You see, the only time that the numbers on the scale matter to me is when I know full well that my actions and behaviors didn't match my results. I'd step on the scale and HOPE that it stayed in the same general range that it was in the day before - and sometimes weighing in more than once a day, 'just to be sure'.

Yes, I'm getting back into my habits after being sick, which threw me off more than I realized - I cooked all week, took lunch and snacks, did a little bit of strength and cardio, but overall. In reality, it was all half a$$ed effort and I felt myself straying off the path of health, and feeling content with 'mostly good enough'.

I'm just grateful that the path is wide. I'm also very grateful for all the work I've done to build a solid foundation that can withstand the occasional storm that comes my way. I have a big short goals that is propelling me forward, and I've kept it in my sights. Sometimes, though, life happens. My focus got shifted, but it's also given me the opportunity to plan where I'm going and how I'm going to get there.

So this week, the scale is going on a vacation to the guest bathroom, plan that I have written out for myself is going to be met with much enthusiasm and the weight room at Bally's isn't gonna know what hit it!

To take a page from the cover of Facing The Giants: "Never give up. Never back down. Never lose faith."

Now, I have a ton of groceries and a messy kitchen to deal with!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The day after...

Yesterday was such an amazingly dynamic day and I have all of the fabu Sparky-type people to thank for that! You all rock and I feel sooo loved!

It was also emotionally draining! Luckily it was only partially due to the sparky-type stuff... LOL! I definitely got hit with the 'oh cr@p! now people are watching... look busy!' feeling, but there has also been a lot of stuff going on at home that contributed to it as well...

Basically, the hubby & I allowed the Drama Llama's to invade and it stole about 2 days of our lives that we'll never get back.

But for all the ups and downs yesterday, it solidified in my mind a lot of things about my future. It wasn't really one particular thing, but the mood of the day, and I realized that, if I was committed to achieving my dream, it was time to make an uncomfortable decision.

No, I'm not leaving my husband OR SparkPeople! LOL!

Basically I decided it was time to get a job. Or at least get a part time one.

I knew this time was coming for financial reasons, but in reality, how the heck am I going to be a trainer, coach and mentor in the health & wellness field if I haven't ever worked in it?

The thing that's been holding me back is the usual thing: Fear. What if I don't like it? What if they don't like me (like that would happen! HA!)?

But even bigger is the fact that my hubby and I have conflicting goals of sorts - his goal is to find an avenue of income that allows him to spend more time at home with me. Mine goal, by it's nature, will require me to spend more time away from home.

Then I got this in an email:

"Establish priorities. This is difficult for most of us to practice because it takes discipline, but it is the heartbeat of success. In setting your goals, be sure to count the costs. Oftentimes you will have to forget some things in pursuit of your goal. You must decide where to put your values. Your success depends on how well you plan the game of priorities." -Mary Kay Ash

That Mary Kay is so dang smart!

Short term sacrifice, long term gain.

Tonight will be spent doing the following:
1) Studying so I can get my certification
2) Goal setting
3) figuring out what to say to the hiring person that will show my confidence and vision that knock their socks off so they'd be silly if they didn't hire me.

Tomorrow I'm going to talk with a friend's trainer to get some input and ideas and also to see what the environment there is, and if she'd be someone I'd consider a mentor.

Time to take a leap out in faith and get my future started.

(I knew I'd find a perfect place for this pic one day!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I got the most wonderful surprise this morning in my inbox:

"The SparkPeople Community thinks you are a motivation to others!"


Awww... shucks. T'weren't nothin'!

This is an "award" that's given by my peers - folks who are on SparkPeople with me and whom I have inspired or motivated them in some way. Essentially, I've shared my "Spark" and helped to keep theirs going.

Sparkpeople has helped get me on the right path of my health journey, but it's brought so much more to my life. It's allowed me to connect with people in ways I never imagined! I've been able to help and encourage people that I may never meet, but by helping others, I attain even more success toward my goals.

I've crossed paths with some amazing people that I wouldn't have met otherwise. People I haven't met, and a couple that I'm blessed to have live close to me and have only know a very short while, but consider some of my closest friends in the world beyond SparkPeople.

Thank you to everyone who voted for me! I'm honored to stand with the other SparkPeople Motivators, some of whom are my closest friends!!!

But don't worry, I'm still in the trenches plugging away at being the best me I can.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mind games

"Good timber does not grow with ease; the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees."
J. Willard Marriott

I find it interesting that SparkPeople's blog prompt this week is about maintaining your motivation, on the heels of my 'focus/frustration' post.

Most people think this is all a numbers game- calories in/calories out and you'll lose weight. While spot on nutrition and effective exercise is really important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and body, the turning point for me was when I added a 'mental training' program to my nutrition and exercise/strength routine.

Granted, I didn't realize it at the time - I was just going by all the info that said "successful people track what they eat and journal about what they're going through." I did that and started to see some progress, but felt like I was missing something. I started to identify patterns and behavioral issues, but didn't know what to do about it.

Then I joined what I affectionately refer to as The Cult of Tom - I got Tom Venuto's ebook "Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle" and that was exactly what I needed! It came at a time where I felt like I was lost - I'd had been single minded: Get in shape for my wedding. That had passed and wasn't sure what to do next. Then I read the first chapter of BFFM which was on goal setting. It broke down the why and how of goal setting, AND emphasized the importance of constantly striving for something bigger and better, not just one thing and then stopping.

It also reminded me that self "development" and body "building" are the same, and are essential to long term success. It's not something you can do once and be good for life. It's a continual process, a habit that has to be developed and worked on daily. As the popular Zig Ziglar quote says, "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily."

Once I started to work on "building" my best body through cardio, nutrition and strength training, and worked on "developing" my best self though finding the reason "why" I was doing this, and "what" I was working towards through my constantly evolving goals, it all fell in to place. It wasn't over night, and there were definitely speed bumps along the way, but overall, the doubt and indecision started falling away. I knew what I needed to do, and was excited to do it.

I spent time to clear out all the mental clutter: the old habits and limiting beliefs and started replacing them with new, healthy, positive ones. Before, I was destined to repeat the same cycles over and over again. I allowed my default programming to dictate my actions, instead of realizing that you can't fix the problems with the same behaviors that created them.

Something had to change, and that something was me. I started changing the way I looked at and thought about things, and I started changing the people I was interacting with on a regular basis, and my life began to change in the process. I had weathered the storms of my life that got me to this point, made uncomfortable decisions, and found strength to move to the next level.

I finally feel like I'm growing into the person I was meant to be, and while the energy waxes & wanes, my inner motivation is now on autopilot, constantly fueled by the positive energy from my mental and physical training.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The view from the other side

I know, I said I was done with talking about The Sick, but it's been an interesting week since it all happened. Going from feeling on top of the world to the stuff that's stuck on the bottom of the universe's shoe can give you an appreciation for the little things - like stamina.

Mine is building up slowly, but I'm having trouble feeling the love for any activity, especially since the temps here in Tucson are hitting 100 pretty darn consistently (the forecast said it was only supposed to be 99 today, and its 102!) it's hard to get enthused about anything. :) I went out for a walk yesterday morning and was out the door by around 7:45 am (yes... AM. Yes. On a Sunday. Yes. I'm one of /those/ people. ;). By the time I got home I was sweating - not from the great cardio effort, but because it was close to 90.

Oh yeah, and I haven't gained back any of the weight that dropped during The Sick. It's fluctuated by about a pound either side, but still holding steady. I'm not quite sure how to feel about it. It was about a 4# drop literally overnight, and I worry about the whole potential for losing muscle mass. But things are still firm, just the 'blanket' covering it is feeling less than tight.

I'm looking forward to getting back to things, and this has been a really good opportunity to look at my overall program and make tweaks. Look back at what is and isn't working, and make a plan that's going to get me the results I want. Gonna be fun! :)

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Are you focused or are you frustrated?

I can tell I'm starting to feel a lot better; I'm getting restless and fidgety. I've been having that cabin fever feeling the last couple of days - the caged in feeling, anxious to get moving again.

And my brain is kicking in again.

I've actually had the title of this going through my mind for a couple of weeks. Not because I spend every spare moment thinking of witty blog titles. Its because I've noticed the theme everywhere around me, and it's only getting worse.

What brought all this up was a conversation I had with a co-worker a few weeks back. She shared stories of the different hobbies, interest, things they've bounced around in their lives with no real direction or purpose. This is also the co-worker who's restarting Weight Watchers for the 3rd or 4th time in the 18 months I've known her. I made the comment that she sounded a bit frustrated at her lack of focus. She said "Maybe, yeah, but I'm thinking I'm going to do this or that to figure it out," and then changed the topic.

Then today I was listening to an older podcast from my favorite fitness guy, Jonathan Roche, (probably the best trainer and coach you've never heard of) <link> </link> (it's also available on iTunes). He was talking about the last fitness challenge on his group that started out with 6,000 people and ended with barely 1,000, and only about 500 of those people being consistent through the entire challenge.


The same reason you see a ton of ads for diet and weight loss products/services the week before January 1, and why you can find a front door parking spot at the gym on February 1: It's really easy to get focused. It's really hard to STAY focused.

One of my fabu SparkFriends has this great quote on her page: "If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results." I'm not sure where she got it from, but it's spot on. Most people tend to focus on the wrong things, especially when they're starting out: Results.

It's totally understandable, too. Society has been set up in such a way that your worth and self esteem is tied more to the size of your jeans and the number on the scale than the size of your heart, and the greatness of your efforts. The sudden _hyper_focus on weight loss is accompanied by sweeping changes like a strict eating plan and unreasonable amounts of exercise. They don't see progress because they're not sure where they're going or why, but they're bound and determined to get there fast! It's an 'all or nothing' approach to failure instead of a realistic road to success.

Hyper focusing on one thing - diving in head first with out figuring out what your deep seated emotional reason for doing so - and not allowing yourself rest or breaks is based in fear. The fear that, if you take your eyes off the goal for one second you'll lose it. How many times have you pushed yourself to work late into the night because you were 'in the right mindset and didn't want to break it' only to feel miserable for days afterward? It's the fear that you don't have enough faith in yourself or in the dream you're working towards achieving to believe that the enthusiasm, inspiration and motivation will be here waiting for you any time you go looking for it.

Then there's that 3-5% that stay the course. They're the ones that got tired of starting over and over again, and decided to take the simple approach - knowing that simple isn't always easy. They focused their attention on a plan that was bigger than a number, bigger than a pant size. They took the time to figure out why they were doing it and where they were going.

And they did it. Every. Single. Day.

See, it's easy to get focused. It's hard to stay focused. It takes daily effort, and understanding that there may be physical set backs along the way - weight fluctuations, injuries, vacations, discouraging family or friends - but they don't let them be mental setbacks.

It also takes courage. But courage is like a muscle. It gets stronger the more it's flexed.

The more it's flexed, the more you can focus.

The question is: are you ready to stop being frustrated?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Long short week!

So here it is, almost the end of the work day on Friday and I feel like I'm just now getting started with the week!

Dang the sick messes with everything!

And while I'm feeling loads better (even went for a stroll this morning!) I know that if I even attempt to jump back into my routine I'll get my behind handed to me... so next week is going to be about easing back into things so I can kick it the following week.

Can I tell you how much I despise the recovery process?!

I'm glad that the clumsy & cranky portion have passed me by... yesterday was just not a fun day to be me and caused a near melt down. The mood has improved, gravity is working normally again, and life is generally easier to deal with...

Which is why I'm gonna be silly and go shopping for some new 'unmentionables' after work. ;)

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Teh dumb... it's catching!

Apparently I'm in the cranky, dumb and clumsy portion of recovery... just goes to show what almost a week of not eating near enough will do to the body. This morning I had to clean the kitchen floor 3 times after spilling my water, dropping the container of cheese, and an egg; my bathroom counter and make up compact after dropping the latter; and the table outside after spilling my tea.

It then took me 3 tries to log into my computer at work because I just couldn't type. (I am sooo grateful for spell check - darn it for not working on passwords!)

I should have stayed in bed.

Then the cranky hit. BIG time. Because apparently Teh Dumb is contagious. And it's all centered around weight loss.

In my little SparkWorld I saw a blog proudly proclaiming how the person was creating a huge deficit in their calories - like 1500 calories a day, only leaving about 800-900 calories for the body to sustain itself - to lose close to 3 pounds in a week.

Then 2 cubes away was a convo about one person who's exercising an hour a day and eating 300 calories, "For now, to get to my goal weight and then will start eating healthy to maintain." This was closely followed by a raving success story of someone who went on a DIET of 700 calories a day and lost a ton of weight. Then the third person chimed in how they're going to do this cleanse fast stuff for the next 2 weeks that's GUARANTEED to help her lose at least 15 pounds.

These are intelligent people having these conversations! People who have gone to college, raised families, hold down jobs, etc. Yet when it comes to losing weight, the desire for it to be gone NOW is greater than engaging a speck of common sense.

At this point I got up and left the building.

I made a promise to myself and my hubby that I wouldn't offer advice or input or yell at people unless they 1) asked and/or 2) were paying me.

I'm a wee bit calmer now... not much, but a bit. I went for a walk for some forced distance and I started to realise that, in this world of instant gratification, over whelming dramatic changes, and quick fixes, most people don't want to hear that it takes work, that it takes dedication, and that hard work is a huge reward in itself. When I get asked what I'm doing to lose weight, most folks don't believe me - I'm doing it on my own, but I have a lot of help!

I'm doing the exact opposite of what 95-97% of the rest of the world: It's quiet, undercoat, and apparently not interesting enough to learn about - eating enough real food, moving till I sweat, lifting and putting down heavy things, getting to know myself and my personal motives, feeding my brain with positive messages, and surrounding myself with success minded people.

It's not that I've lost touch with the struggles I've gone through, the changes I've made in my life, etc. It's more the fact that the closer I get to my goal, the more value I see in the journey I've made, and the less tolerance I have for the quick fix. If I had gone that route, I would be a different person today, and one that would most likely be repeating the same cycle over and over again, wondering how to stop.

I really do what to help people, which is why (as soon as my brain returns from it's brief hiatus) I'm going to work my tush off and get my certification done so I CAN get paid to help the folks who want it. :)

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Been better...

but I've also been a lot worse.

The problem with getting sick isn't the actual being sick - that's easy. The body goes on auto pilot to preserve itself and does what it needs and you're usually too wiped out to care.

It's the recovery part that really stinks. I mean, you go from feeling great, to feeling like total poo, to somewhere in between, and that's where I'm at today. The good news is that I'm up, I'm dressed and I'm at work. And I already need a nap! LOL!

My bestest friends of late have been Emergen-C, Sprite, Oatmeal and Ramen noodles (just the noodles with broth - need some extra sodium to rehydrate me). Yay for easy to digest and gentle on the system carbs! The down side is I feel like I have no energy to sustain any sort of activity.

But I know this too shall pass. I'm allowing for plenty of rest, working my way up to 'real food' again, and then there will be no stoppin' me!

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

People make plans... God laughs. That's kind of how I'm feeling right now. I had an awesome week all planned out - I was excited about it and couldn't wait for it to start.

Now... not so much. Sunday night, got really, really sick. Not sure what happened - could have been something I ate, could have just been my body rebelling - dropped 5 pounds literally over night. Not a good thing. Either way, plans changed for the week.

It's interesting how quickly priorities change, too. I went from working to run for 5 minutes straight to hoping I could stand for 5 minutes without passing out.

I spent the better part of yesterday with my butt parked on the couch, dozing, attempting to choke down food and liquid but not doing well at either.

Today, I opted to stay home again with the sole purpose of getting my strength back up. So far I've already had more to eat & drink than I had all day yesterday so I take that as a good sign. Now to revise my plan for the next couple of weeks to ease back into activity.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just because

This quote has been very prevalent in my life of late - showing itself more times than I can count in the past month... and it just showed up in my inbox. Again.

Think someone is trying to tell me something?! LOL!

"Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.

Keep your words positive, because your words become your behavior.

Keep your behavior positive, because your behavior becomes your habits.

Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.

Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny."

- Mahatma Gandhi

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Thou shalt not...

...Go on a tirade when other people try to impose their limiting beliefs on what I should or shouldn't do.

..."Educate" people about the importance of FAT loss over WEIGHT loss when they really don't give a s@$t and just want to see the scale move.

...Forget that my job is to lead by example, and and to be the teacher when the student is ready, not drag them kicking and screaming to a place they are unwilling or just aren't ready to go.

Those shall be my commandments for today.

Oh, and I'm so excited! It's finally "Jazz Hands Day!!!" LOL!

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