Monday, July 21, 2014
Some reflections of my first week back at the gym:
The first day, I had to force myself to go, and I mean seriously force myself to go. I did menial chores and even washed my car, then finally shamed myself into going. After the first five minutes on the elliptical I felt "done" and struggled to make myself finish up. When I hit the treadmill I was slower, far slower, and had no incline. Tried to run in spurts, but boy was I lagging!
Next day was much the same - maybe I started lagging in the fifteen minute range. You get the drill.
Rinse and repeat.
Jump to yesterday. Can't help but notice that although I'm a bit sore (a wonder!?) I didn't really lag at all. I got to 30 minutes before having to mentally count off the rest of the time. And I did five minute challenges the rest of the way (I'd increase speed, or add some incline) so that I was sweating my tail off, and the time passed.
The things I think about while I'm there, those are some crazy silly thoughts! Earlier in the week, I was arguing with myself about going to Planet Fitness as a replacement for my former $50 a month gym. At my OLD GYM, there is a TV on every machine, and I routinely watched Food Network! At my OLD GYM there was an occasional exchange with a movie star! At my OLD GYM, classes and day care are included (like I NEED day care!?).
Then the travel time. It took me 14 minutes to get to my old gym, and 22 to get to Planet Fitness (where there is NO FOOD NETWORK and the TVs are shared). But my old gym was 14 minutes further west, and not on the way home from work. Planet Fitness is a clear sail from work, and when I put my bag in the car it is easy to motivate myself to stop before I go home and flop down on my butt for the evening.
Switching gyms was a good idea, is still a good idea. Planet Fitness is a bargain, plain and simple, and I sometimes see kids or parents there, which is a motivator. I'm getting back in the swing of things, and if this is how much better it feels in a week, I can expect that within a month I'll be used to working out again. I mean really, it's only been a week!
And in truth, I feel kinda proud of myself. You can't be a slug and a Lifetime Member - the two don't connect! Look at the group of Lifetime Members at goal at your meeting: that's a group of active men and women. If you want to be one of them without being on the ten-year plan, you've got to move more!!
** as an aside, my animals are going insane! Can't figure out why in the SUMMER they think 5 am is the time to wake up, or why Buster (10 year old Golden Retriever) is now BARKING at 5 am to go out. Or why the cats are also pawing me in the face to wake me up at 5 IN THE SUMMER, but it's animal HELL in my house. I'm not a late sleeper, but wouldn't it be nice to wake up at 6:30? I can't seem to break them of this new pattern but if anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears (Ok, all eyes, but it's the same!).
Today's lesson? Like everything else, the gym is a practice that is fairly easy to jump back on when you've been a slug! Just stop listening to that lazy side of yourself and put your sneaks on!!
My weight loss
Friday, July 18, 2014
I guess it could be worse? My behavior could be at the bottom of the list of the Seven Deadly Sins - the worst sin, according to Dante, is Pride, or the "desire to be important or attractive to others." Ooops, that's right, I'm guilty of that one, too, but what I was thinking about today was Sloth.
Perhaps ironic, but after writing about how I couldn't figure out why I had been avoiding the gym like the plague, I figured out WHY I had been MIA from an exercise routine:
Sloth, or in other words, laziness. Here's the killer thing about sloth: it is the thing that I detest MOST about myself, and the thing that irks me most about anyone else. Laziness.
And yet I'm lazy. I think it's right up there next to binge eating in the realm of things about myself that I've worked on for an entire lifetime. I catch myself taking the easy way out, which by the way ALWAYS bites me in the butt, smack myself around for it, and change my behavior. There's always a good pay-off, so there's no down side to this equation.
At the beginning of summer break last year I made a huge list of things I'd been putting off (due to SLOTH), and systematically set out on a mission. And by the time I was 3/4 through the list, I was so proud of myself every time I looked at the basement or the garage or in a closet, that the finish line wasn't just in sight - it was achievable! I had one week left at the end of the summer, and in that week I did all my CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!! I was on a roll!
It doesn't really make any sense, expecially when the answer is simply that I was choosing LAZY over all the positives I get from moving more. So I've been going to the gym again, the body is complaining a bit (with soreness!), and the plan is that by the end of the summer I will have logged in enough time and miles and repetitions to stay with it through the school year. But for right now, it's still an effort. Whereas for years I've been the person dressed and running out to the gym at six every morning, a gleam in my eye, right now I'm the girl who is doing endless little chores first, in essence "legitimately" avoiding the thing I need to put at the top of the list.
So an hour and a half later than my best self would start out, I'm heading to the gym. I'll keep plodding along, and try to stop beating myself up when I notice my behavoir is part of the SEVEN DEADLY SINS! I'll try to remember to counsel myself the way I would counsel a friend; with love and kindness.
It takes practice to build a habit, and I'm determined to build this habit back into my daily routine!
My weight loss
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I went to the gym yesterday and worked out.
I'm not quite sure WHY I'm fighting an internal battle over the gym. I've had a love affair with the gym for years now, and find my weight loss better and more consistent when I work out four or five times a week. I've also found that when I'm not in "lose mode" I can EAT MORE when I work out four or five times a week.
I also really like what the gym does for my body. I love having a strong core, I love that my stomach isn't jello, and I love being flexible and muscular.
I love what working out does to my brain. It keeps me "up," and the good feeling lasts for hours.
I really love what the gym does for my metabolism. Work out. Burn faster!
It's a no-brainer, right?
I am not one of those "I hate to sweat" kinda women. I am not one of those "where will I find the time" kinda women. I honestly LOVE the way I feel when I've conquered the gym, and often commented that along with my WW meeting, there are few other things in life that are as reliably POSITIVE.
I'm usually fairly "in touch" with my inner self, and can get a handle on what I'm feeling when I give it some thought. Well, I've given this one a lot of thought, and I can't figure out why I've been avoiding the gym. There's no reasonable explanation.
Maybe this is one of those deep inner truths that I'm just never going to figure out? Years ago I spent far too much time obsessing over "why"I continued to use binge eating to soothe. Therapy, accupuncture, hypnosis. Motivation was hard to find when the binge provided instant relief to uncomfortable emotions. Eventually I used a slogan stolen from AA - "act as if" - and just did what had to be done. Motivation followed success, not the other way around!
It's time I do the same thing with the gym. Stop trying to analyze it and just "act as if" I'm motivated and ready. That's what I did yesterday. I forced myself. This was honestly a struggle. And no, I have no idea why. But I forced myself to go. And as soon as I finish this blog, I'm going upstairs, putting on those sneakers, and forcing myself to go again.
I can't help wondering what positive thing my brain thinks I'm getting from avoiding the gym. But for right now, it doesn't matter. Years of experience tells me I have to ignore my brain on this one: I have to make the gym part of my daily routine again.
I'm wondering, what are you fighting with yourself about? And how to you plan to get past it?
My weight loss
Monday, July 07, 2014
In 1995 I moved from a suburb of NYC to Old Lyme, CT. I moved from a hub of culture and activity and friendship and shared experience to a new home in a bucolic setting. The drive across the bridge over the Connecticut River would often elicit this statement, "Look where we live!" And as is typically my "style," I forged boldly ahead in spite of my fears, "act(ed) as if," and made the move.
It seems a far cry that our Saturday meeting about barbeques and party foods brought me to think about Weight Watchers as a beloved community - but in my eyes, that's exactly what it is. In our group, everyone is welcomed. In our group, there is no judgment. So it's not by coicindence that in our group, there is not only much success (and I mean MUCH success; we ROCK at the scale!) ... but much love!
When I moved here, I was on the down-side what I had coined my "disgusting eating obsession" as a teenager. Primed for a new life after a divorce, I was skinny and confident. But the rigors of being a single mom in a very different life (without the comforts of the friends and support I'd always known) quickly took its toll, and I ballooned up in weight, and down in confidence in record time. That's been a life pattern; the yo-yo drastic ups and downs of a life where food was my drug.
Nineteen years later, a very different woman writes this blog. Through loneliness, despair, a million mistakes, and the rest of the universe of life, I've come to use a new drug to soothe me: community. It seems safe to say that MOST of us NEED the companionship of others, the support of others, even the negative things that others sometimes dump on us, in order to thrive. I know I do.
And the Weight Watcher community, both in the meeting and online, is my pillar of support, of strength, of hope, of confidence, of wisdom, of friendship, of community. I am so grateful that we are all part of this journey together!
Reach out and be part of this community. It won't let you down! We are just people, after all, but we're people who share so many experiences. There are so many role models, even in the WW blog world, people from whom you can steal the BEST IDEAS! People you can hang on to (and with) when reaching goal seems impossible!
Being a Weight Watcher is as much a part of me in the last 30 years as my "disgusting eating obsession." I shudder to think where I would have been without this community!
My weight loss
Monday, June 30, 2014
Sorry to have been "silent" of late. The end of the school year (8 days late due to snow) was frenzied. I took Tuesday to do some errands and clean my house, then scampered to Providence every morning at 6am to participate in my denomination's General Assembly as a delegate. I can honestly say the experience had a profound life-changing effect on me: I have always said, "I came to live out loud." I returned home feeling compelled to add that I intend to live more courageously, and to walk TOWARDS TROUBLE! I mean I intend to stand up for the rights of the oppressed, to open my mouth when I see injustice, and (again!) to steal a favorite phrase, to BE THE CHANGE [I] WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD!
I am proud of myself because I kept my commitment, and attended a WW meeting Saturday morning on the way towards the convention. And I'm not telling you this because I want your applause, but more because I want to movitate YOU to do the same! Make a personal pledge to yourself, a commitment of SELF-INVESTMENT: I am WORTH IT.
I used to attend the 7am meeting, but found it very different from my previous assessment (JUDGEMENT!). I remember changing meetings because the 7am meeting was "full of whiners." First off, shame on me for thinking less of other people because they weren't in the same WW plane as me! Second off, I WAS WRONG! I didn't see any WHINERS at that meeting.
Instead, I traveled up 95 towards Providence with something new to think about, the idea of "Self-Investment" (as I heard a member share). We were talking about party food, summer food, some great, some not-so-great, and what he essentially said was that before eating, he asks himself, "Is this something that adds to my investment in ME?"
Joining Weight Watchers is a farce, and frankly a waste of money UNLESS you think of it as a SELF-INVESTMENT! Now, I don't always take one moment to think before stuffing my face (but that's for another blog!) ... but when I do, I want to follow his example, and ask myself the same question! Is this ADDING TO MY INVESTMENT IN ME?
Food is my friend, until I pretend. Simple truth. I need the help of anything that keeps it REAL! I need to stick to the plan, THINK, and move more! Most importantly, I need to SHOW UP!
Today is my first real day off of this summer. I'm here writing, as a commitment, as part of my SELF-INVESTMENT!
I am loved. I am worthy. And I am WORTH IT! SO ARE YOU!!
My weight loss
Sunday, June 22, 2014
We talked about our summer goals last week at our meeting, and then practiced the "art" of saying, "NO THANK YOU" yesterday.
Declining food as an art? Stop chuckling. All of us can relate to a time when food was in front of us, ANY KIND OF FOOD, someone offered it to us, and without as much as thinking, we ate it! At Weight Watchers we have affectionately coined the acronym BLT to represent the concept. As a confessed foodie snob, you'd think I would have less issues with bites, licks and tastes. Many of the foods people offer me aren't normally problematic for me: store-bought cakes or cookies, less-than-freshest looking veggies and dips, salads with who-knows-what inside them (OMG there could be PEAS in there!).
I can't remember if it was a guy from our meeting, or just an example Courtney shared, but the member confided that at the very least, the ACT of just saying "No Thank You" bought him time; time to contemplate whether he actually felt hungry in the first place, time to figure out if the food was actually "worthy enough" to include in his daily plan.
"Worth it." Another reason why our plan is so very special! WE DECIDE WHAT TO EAT. We CHOOSE things that are WORTH IT.
What's worth it to you? I think making a list identifying those precious foods you think are entirely WORTH IT is worth the effort! Why? The more we understand not only our behavior, but what we really want and need, the more likely we are accomplish our goals.
For me, the worth it list is seasonal, and sometimes even situational. But since the love of food, the enjoyment of not only preparing it, but enjoying it with others is such an important part of what defines me, I have to adapt. There is a time for "No Thank You" and another for "Yes, thanks!" Same end goal: Success.
Yesterday was a glorious, and I mean GLORIOUS first day of summer. Showed up - lost weight. Did a home visit for labs4rescue (a volunteer commitment). Worked on the cloudy pool. Headed to meet friends for an incredible picnic and concert on the green (Diane Reeves - need I say more!).
I have a summer goal. A number in pounds. A size in clothing. A way I want to feel. A set of behaviors I want to practice.
So I went to the concert with a plan. I toted my lawn chair, a huge bottle of water, and one of those cool WW containers with the freezer thing inside. I brought dinner for JUST ME. Guilt? Um, no way! There were tons of things for everyone else to eat - I had one person to take care of, the person who matters most. ME. In the center of my dish was a cup of that yummy whipped cottage cheese with a handful of pignoli nuts tossed in. On the sides I had cut up fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, and some thinly sliced red peppers.
People offered me things. I practiced the art of "No Thank You." I loved my dinner: it was fresh, filling, beautiful to look at, and helped me feel powerful and accomplished. Those aren't things to sneeze at!
So what's your summer plan? And what things are "worth it" to you? And how are you going to accomplish both things, so that what you eat moves you towards your goals while being satisfying?
I'm serious - I want to know!
My weight loss
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Again, sorry for seeming as if I was missing in action. The end of the school year has always been crazy, but at the high school it's a new breed of crazy. A little of the panic I feel is my own fault - rather than have no life at all besides my school life, I plunder ahead trying to do everything WHILE I'm also finishing up the last unit, and writing and correcting final exams. And I mean everything, including a whole lot of birthday celebrating, a retirement, a concert, the senior trip, a day of old lady medical appointments (which included the shingles vaccine), and some serious drama from my "extra daughter" that I couldn't avoid.
I made it! And I made it to my meeting yesterday. I have to laugh, because looking back over the week, the hardest obstacle was keeping myself OFF the scale before the meeting yesterday morning!
I've written that I can't get on the scale at home, period. It's a disaster in waiting, and I wasn't crazy for all the years that I never HAD a scale at home. I was wise, in restrospect. If there's one thing I've learned in being OLD and a perpetual Weight Watcher, it's that the program is made for everyone simply BECAUSE we can each manage it in the way that works best for us ... individually! So while YOU may need to get on the scale every day to be accountable, YOU may need to weigh and measure and track, YOU may need to count PPs, YOU may need to eat your APs ... well you get the drift - I don't.
And it may seem counter-intuitive to you, but, Rosemary's plan involves a simple bunch of imperatives:
* Show up and stand on the scale at a meeting. Every week.
* Stay off the scale everywhere else. More times than I care to remember, getting on the scale has precipitated a disappearing act.
* Don't eat after dinner. Try not to even go downstairs after 8!
* Move more. Think of it every day. It doesn't matter if it's the gym (optimal) or a walk around the school during prep, but think of moving as an imperative.
* Filling foods. YUMMY FOODS!
* Eat when I'm hungry. Eat 'till I'm full. Only eat what I love. (This takes most junk off the table!)
* Plan when I can - improvise when I must - and only eat a cup of whatever when I have no idea what else to do!
* Surround myself with people and things to do. Lonely and binge are best friends in my world.
* Do or say or be something valuable and important every day - I'm a teacher - it's not that challenging! Give something to someone else!
* Listen to the genius WW members in my meeting and online. YOU ALL ROCK!!
So as I said, for some dumb reason I just about got on the scale yesterday morning. I lost weight, but regardless: I had PLEDGED to myself to stay off the stupid disaster track, and then almost did it! I guess it's just a reminder that when we're over-tired and over-worked and over-stressed we have to keep it simple; it's really hard to do our best during these times. And I know my life is going to be flat out INSANE until June 30 ... I was asked to be a delegate from my church to our annual convention (this is a BIG deal and a BIG thrill for me), but the convention starts the day after our last day in school! Oh, and I have two concerts this week (finals week!). The plan - just chug along!
As an aside, I just thought of my Dad and sighed. I miss him. I miss having parents. Go enjoy your Dad today if you have one!
My weight loss
Saturday, June 14, 2014
I just wrote what I thought was a great blog about the struggles of a frenzied week. And somehow deleted it instead of posting it!!
I promise to write tomorrow! I am not AWOL - it's just between the end of the school year (as a high school English teacher), my birthday, a family problem, a day having "old lady" medical tests, and finally the senior field trip I didn't post this week!
More - I promise - and I'll find time to read your blogs, too, tomorrow!!
My weight loss
Saturday, June 07, 2014
Because I'm one of those people who "overthinks" - I've heard this from the people closest to me at various times in my life. People I love and respect.
I've tried to abandon the over-thinking habit, but it's not like smoking: I just put them down, never touched one again, and was done with it. It's more like binge eating: I put it down, play with it a little, pick it up, and put it down again.
I had what I thought was a very good week foodwise. In fact, I can't think of any time I ate something that didn't fit with my plan. And then I made the mistake of getting on the scale this morning before my WW meeting, saw my loss was very small, and was so aggravated and discouraged that I had to TALK MYSELF INTO GOING TO THE MEETING.
Rational Rosemary won that battle, and I joined my friends, but with a disgruntled puss on my face.
For starters, I've been at this for something like 31 years - the first time I joined Weight Watchers was when Audrey was a baby, and she's going to be 33 in January. This has been a long haul. I KNOW the drill. I KNOW the scale is not the measure, not the be-all and end-all measure of a successful week. I SWEAR I would counsel YOU very differently from the ridicule and disgust I hashed out internally today.
Oh, and I have to tell you, getting on the scale was a crazymaker (my current favorite psychology word!) in the first place. And doing it twenty minutes before my weigh-in was INSANITY! If the first rule to success (AS DEFINED BY ME) is SHOWING UP, how will getting on the scale prematurely before a meeting help me meet that end? It's a set-up for failure!
Now here's the REALLY INSANE part - I tried on three different shirts, to find the lightest one, before I left. I took off my almost permanent jewelry AND my watch (really, Rosemary?!) AND tried my hardest to POOP!
I badgered myself for having a glass of water when I woke up at four a.m. (what would have been better, a cupcake!?) and wondered if taking my thyroid medicine in the morning for the past few days was the "cause" of the less-than-fantasized weight loss.
And I think I'm only admitting this here in my blog to see if other people are as nuts as I occasionally am! I swear I would have gotten on the scale naked if everyone shut their eyes while I dressed and undressed! I promise, while it may READ as if I'm still torturing myself over this, the truth is, I'm not.
I'm laughing at myself. Maybe all this needs is a good, hearty laugh. Irrational Rosemary may have needed to "make sense out of nonsense," but I don't have to be that woman anymore. I can toss that bad habit to the trash like so many others, wave goodbye, and get back to business.
We were challenged to think about our summer at the meeting today. Summer is always the best time of year for me, and the plan for this one is no different. So I'm posting it:
Lots of time with my loving family
Lots of time with my loving friends
Attending EVERY WW meeting
Lots of concerts and museums
Hitting the gym five or more days a week
Cleaning that garage
No more crazymaking!! For the record, the summer plan officially starts NOW!
My weight loss
Friday, June 06, 2014
I've shared that just about nobody has noticed my healthy initiative - although everyone at work and church has commented that they "Love my haircut!"
Today, I went to the main office to visit my mailbox and get a hit of boiling water for my Smooth Move tea from that electric tea kettle (the virtues of Smooth Move tea another day!). Two office staff friends were sharing a conversation by the counter (you can picture walking into a high school Main Office) when I came out, tea in hand.
Next comes the "finally." FINALLY someone mentioned weight loss! One, then the other shared, "You've lost weight, haven't you?" Oh, how I've WAITED to hear those words!
I was flabbergasted - and my expression clearly showed it. I nearly broke into tears! I thanked them. And thanked them again. And probably again. And explained that they were the only people who had said a word.
They were sweet; even adorable. They explained how we have to be careful what we say to people, in order not to "offend" them. We all know someone who hears a compliment as an insult: "You've lost weight" is interpreted as "You used to look like garbage."
I've been thinking about it since it happened. Been thinking about how to give a compliment to someone that is so clear that it CAN'T be interpreted as anything less than the glowing praise I mean it to be. It's tricky, but I want to practice it every day with my students. I want to be the one who helps them believe they can do it, who helps them believe they "have what it takes" in the same way that Katie (beloved former leader) somehow made ME believe.
Because the magic - if there was really a "magical moment" in this journey - came when I realized and owned that reality: that I already HAVE everything I need to be a success. I write here to pass that magic on (if I can!).
As for turning finally into frequently, the truth is, I don't need to hear it over and over again. That one magic moment was plenty good! I want to continue to work my plan, and grow in mind as I shrink in body.
PASS IT ON!