Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I'd Like to Thank Everyone

This is the text of an email I sent out to friends and family on Monday (25 August):

Time for a Kick in the Attitude

Actually, I’ve needed this for a couple of weeks or more now. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and under-enthused, particularly when it comes to doing the things I need to do in order to keep up with my goal of losing 50 lbs by my 50th birthday. When I got sick with a sinus infection (second weekend in August), it was like I lost all desire to do anything healthy afterward.

Somebody cue the violins as I sing the “Poor Me” song: Oh, poor me! I have no desire to take care of myself properly! I don’t want to exercise or plan my meals! I’m not getting enough positive attention! This is so hard! Oh, oh, poor me! I don’t get enough sleep (the dog keeps waking me)! I don’t have time to cook for myself! The kitchen is a mess! I don’t have time to do the creative things I want to do! I have 12 loads of laundry waiting to be done when I get home! Oh, poor, poor, me! I’m so bereft that I can’t even make this little whiney rant rhyme!

Hey, if you think that’s bad, try having it running around in your head every day for three weeks!

I was feeling really good about myself a week ago because I’d gotten back into gear. I’d tracked my food, made little charts to check off certain things I needed to do (like take nutritional supplements, do some lunges, get my cardio done). That lasted all of one day. Oh, I had good intentions for the next day, but it was the second night in a row I’d not had good sleep and I was something of a zombie when I got to the office. It just got worse after that.

This morning I even flung off my bodybugg (that thing I’ve been wearing on my right arm that monitors my caloric expenditure) because I resent having to keep track. In fact, I resent that I have to do any of this work at all. Really, why should I have to exercise and watch my food intake and strengthen my body and get enough sleep?

Or, maybe the question I’m really asking is, “Why is all of this so hard to do when it’s beneficial and I feel good for doing it?”

All encouragement and insight is gratefully appreciated. I’m really in a hole and I need help to get out.

* * * * * * * * Here are the responses received * * * * * * * *

A swift kick in the keister is in order. You're having a case of the PLOM disease (Poor Little Ole' Me). Now just knock that crap off, pick yourself up, dust off and start from the beginning. It's going to be a lot harder to take it off than it was to put it on. I fight it every single day that I'm alive, awake and kicking. You can do this - look at all the progress you've made so far. You might just need to mix it up a little and change your routine to get your body going again.

You can do this, believe me. /ck

* * * * * * * *

I sympathize. There is a lot on your plate -- you don't have room for the calories but they keep jumping back onto the plate! Dieting is a bitch, ain't it! Keep it up and you can do it as I know how stubborn you can be about things. /mb

* * * * * * * *

[My son] and I volunteered for the National Disabled Veterans Olympics recently. Some of these brave souls were missing hands and feet, yet playing very physical soccer games on sport wheelchairs - and having fun! There are so many things to be thankful for. /bs

* * * * * * * *

We need to walk today for 30 minutes. I'm going to be there to listen, and I'm not going to judge. Also, since this is a short week, this is a good place to start. I'll see you at 1130 today at your building. / rr

* * * * * * * *

Why don’t you get back to basics. Before you eat it, ask yourself whether the pleasure is worth the calories. Do you really like the taste of it that well? And go for a walk – nothing is a better mood-improver in my honest and humble opinion. Go slow – stroll, look for birds. Take your camera and look for unusual pictures. Go by yourself so you can’t spend your time talking and complaining. Focus on the world instead of yourself. /vn

* * * * * * * *

I don't know if this will help, but Ed's laptop has been reloaded and is acting much better. Too bad we all can't just reboot once in a while to make us more active. Hang in there..... /jb

* * * * * * * *

Here's your weekly Food For Thought courtesy of Jim Canale: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -- Thomas Edison, Inventor

Remember to ask your questions:

1. How does this quote relate to my personal situations?

2. How could following this advice change the outcome of my situations?

3. In what way can I apply this idea to better produce the outcomes I desire in the future? /aj

* * * * * * * *

I know how you feel, girl. The kids started school today, and FROM WORK mind you, I had to sort out a stupid argument before they left for school. I was supposed to work out this morning too, and got here and just didn't want I didn't. I started this morning and I'm hot and bitchy...I just want to stop the world for a minute and get off. I know it will get better, but I'm just tired and cranky. So I'm right there with you! Ok, here we go. I want you to say this with me, "This day WILL NOT beat me. I will smile cheerfully to others and greet them and resist the urge to answer truthfully when they ask how I am. I will watch what goes into my mouth today, as well as be careful what comes out of it. I will not allow negative energy to defeat me today." We will take each day, one at a time. /jg

* * * * * * * *

Boy can I relate!!!!

have been thinking this past week how I need to at least send you email to congratulate you on the ten pounds you've lost ( I gained two instead...), and to congratulate Ed on the scholarship. That all got trumped of course by the day to day stuff (messy house, kids that keep wrecking it the moment I get it cleaned, kids that whine and fight me when I tell them to pick it up, a husband who is gone more often than home thanks to two jobs, and blah blah blah. I had to have a pity party for myself Saturday too.

But why should I punish my body for my bad mood, by eating garbage? Why should I further damage my self-esteem by allowing myself to give in? Why reinforce my belief that I can't lose weight, by eating more high-calorie comfort food? Because the food tastes so darn good, of course. I don't need it, I hate myself for doing it, but like any other addiction, I like it too much to stop myself.

Despite how much better I feel when I am not so overweight, despite how much I like looking at myself in the mirror when I've lost weight, despite how much more shopping I can do because they have more of my sizes available, despite the attention I get from losing it, despite how much better I feel about myself for having a little self control, I still sabotage myself.

Like you, I don't think it's fair that high calorie foods have to taste so good. I will barf before eating something that's "good" for me that I don't like, and I don't like barfing at all. I don't think it's fair that my mom who lived off coffee and cigarettes most of her life is probably in better shape than I am simply because she is thinner and not putting as much stress on her internal body organs as I am. Rotating shift work doesn't help, but I can't blame that for all my problems. People who eat "right" and work shift don't have nearly as much problem dealing with the rotating schedule as I do. People who have nothing better to do after work than run 5 miles are just sick! They look great though, too.

Yeah, the world is unfair. As I think Bill Gates once said, "Get used to it." As my calculus teacher once said "Suffering builds character." I didn't realize how right he was at the time, as I was too busy thinking about how sadistic he was.

The best way to build self-esteem is by challenging yourself to "get out of your comfort zone" and try. Does victory feel as good if you didn't really have to try for it? (well, yeah, sometimes, but...does anything worthwhile often come easy? Do we learn patience by not having anything to test our patience?

When I first trained for my present job, I went home for 5 days in a row thinking "Maybe I can't do this. I don't think I should have done this. It's over my head. I'm going to wash out and fail at this, humiliating myself." But someone pointed out to me that "if the village idiot over there can learn to do it, so can you!" I had to change my mantra to "Keep trying anyway. Don't give up just yet. There is nothing wrong with trying." After another week of trying, I began to see the light. It sure helped to have support from my co-workers, and my husband cheered me on some, but it was still up to me to keep trying, to not give up. In the end, I was the only one who could do it for me.

And that's how I think weight loss has to be. My challenge isn't like my husband's challenge with weight, or my kids. So I can't expect them to take up the cause for me and cook the right foods, and so on. I have to pick up the grocery list and decide what foods I like that will be better for me. I'm not saying "never" to the high calorie good stuff, I'm just saying "Not so much anymore." Keep the candy for special occasions, as it was meant to be. Same with dessert.

It's all well and good to say all this- doing it is another thing. But maybe it helps you to know that you are not the only one who struggles and finds it hard. You are not the first person to feel sorry for yourself and cave in to desire. Caving doesn't make you a failure, it just makes you human. Forgive yourself, don't dwell on the mistakes, then try again. /sm

* * * * * * * *

Oh, poor me! I have no desire to take care of myself properly!
Ok, but this is the only body that you get...May want to make it last awhile!

I don’t want to exercise or plan my meals!
Who does? Life would be sooooooo much easier if we were those b**ches who could eat anything and not gain an ounce...But we're not.

I’m not getting enough positive attention!
So who are you doing this for? Yourself? Or are you doing it so that other people notice you? If you're doing it for yourself, that's the way to go. If you're doing this for the attention...Man, you are so screwed, 'cause trusting something so important like this to other people is asking for failure.

This is so hard! Oh, oh, poor me!
ce when is something easy as rewarding as this will be? And hop out of the pity pool and get into a real one and do some laps, girl!

I don’t get enough sleep (the dog keeps waking me)!
Why does the dog wake you? Is there a remedy for this?

I don’t have time to cook for myself!
No easy answer to this, but cook when you have time and freeze. This can also help with portion control.

The kitchen is a mess!
No excuse. Clean it up and get cooking.

I don’t have time to do the creative things I want to do!
Neither do I but do you hear me crying over it?

I have 12 loads of laundry waiting to be done when I get home!
Do you have to sit on your washer and dryer to make them work? Pop a load in, go exercise...Pop a load in and cook a meal. Pop a load in, stop it after it fills, let the stuff soak a bit and go for a quick walk.

Oh, poor, poor, me! I’m so bereft that I can’t even make this little whiney rant rhyme!
Again, out of the pity pool and into a real one and do some laps soldier! And it's no one's fault but your own that it doesn't rhyme! :P

*hugs* Honey, I know it's hard (as I watch the numbers on my own scale climb...) But you have to do it for yourself, and as much as everyone loves you, we can't do it for you...You have to do it for you. And one day, people will start to notice...I've found it takes a good 20+ pounds, but they will see it. /ks

* * * * * * * *

(You asked for a kick, so, here goes.)

You know you feel better after you've exercised, so "Just Do It!" You're not going to lose 50 pounds sitting around on your duff - you've got to instill better eating and exercise habits - don't you *dare* fall off the wagon now! (Imagine me doing a drill sergeant impression, here.) So you don't feel like sticking to your plan today - *too* *bad*! You *will* stick to your plan today! You *will* *not* indulge yourself in junk food today - that's the *wimp's* way! You *will* eat healthy foods today, in healthy portions! You *will* continue exercising! You *may* change the way you exercise, but you *may* *not* stop exercising! (Ok, that's all I can manage of the drill sergeant.)

You probably do need a change - just don't let that change be a total abandonment of what you're trying to achieve. You know it's going to take a while to lose those 50 pounds. It took a while to gain them, after all. So you're going to have to find ways to keep yourself motivated during the process. You might consider taking up some other thing that would be exercise - dancing, racquetball, roller derby? - not as a complete substitution for your workouts, but as a change of pace. I would also suggest talking to your trainer and, perhaps, your counselor. Just don't get the two mixed up - I don't think your counselor will be able to offer exercise advice that is as good as your trainer's :-)

As for the laundry/time/creative stuff quandary, the only encouragement/advice I have to offer is to do it a little at a time. Don't try to do 12 loads of laundry in one day (or even two). Do the most urgent load (or two) tonight. Then repeat the process tomorrow, and successive days until it's done. Yes, new laundry will accumulate in the meantime, but that can be incorporated into the priorities. Is there any way you can tag-team the laundry with Ed? One of you starts it, the other moves it from washer to dryer, and whoever is available removes it from the dryer? (If this is what you already do, obviously, ignore this suggestion.) /me

* * * * * * * *

Focus on the vision, not on the task at hand. Ha! Doesn't that sound profound, like a quote from someone important? It just popped into my head so I thought I'd pass it on. I had the vision for the painting before I even bought the canvas. I painted the town one building at a time. At the end of the session, the painting wasn't finished by any means, but the task was finished for that day and I could rejoice in that.

So, you're right. All of this planning, prep, etc., is the pits. We should all be as rich as Oprah and have our own cook, nutritionist, grocery shopper, etc. However, thinking that way is just going to heap insult on the reality of our own life. So just focus on making good food choices today, even if someone else has to prepare them. Stay away from the carbs and enjoy the protein.

Now you know everything I know. Do as I say, not as I do! Hang in there. We're all in this together. / jw

* * * * * * * *

Step one for today--put your BodyBugg back on ASAP!

Get back on the bike, horse, whatever metaphor works for what you fell off of.

Question to ponder: do you believe that you deserve to feel good? /tm

* * * * * * * *

What is this all about??? You are a very accomplished lady and you didn't get there just because you are not inteligent and gifted in the creative way. You are bigger than this weight thing. Yes, it is hard, but like you said, you really feel good when you do it and you feel good that you have done something. You have succeeded in so many things. This is just one more thing you can do. Stop the 'poor ol' me' routine. If you don't pull yourself up and get on the healthy life again you are saying that you are too old to learn something hard. This is hard, it is against everything you have done for 49 years. Are you afraid to succeed at this? Are you afraid to look and feel so good that you can't stand yourself? Your mom never had a weight problem because she had different eating habits than you do. ( We will not say anything about the cigerettes - my mom kept the weight off I think by smoking herself into her jar.) You can change and you will. None of us feel like doing anything that is hard when we are sick. But you are not sick and you just have to 'Do It'. Start now! /rs

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There isn't a person one that isn't, or hasn't, gone through exactly what you are experiencing, and you know what IT'S OKAY!!!!! The good thing is you can step through this and you can succeed! If it feels good give yourself a stress reduction day, take a long soaking bath with your favorite scents, and then find a restaurant and treat yourself to a wonderful salad that has a lot of different veggies and a really good wait staff, find some really wonderful rich chocolate and treat yourself to a piece, then feeling really refreshed and relaxed go for a walk or a bike ride and just enjoy nature. Then the next day you can go back to the Gym and the stricter diet but every once in a while you need to acknowledge your own efforts! Know we all support you and know you are on the right track--keep up the good work!!! /mm

* * * * * * * *

If 50 by 50 is a reasonable goal, then keep reminding yourself! Unfortunately, I would be happy with 30 lbs off for myself....and I am 62 so that isn't much encouragement! I wish it wasn't so much work to be well or get "well" too...not fair that some folks don't look like they put out any effort and are in great shape! Who said life was fair?!

Seriously, when you have an illness, I have found that the mental attitude takes a downturn...the meds don't seem to be working as well. You need to "pamper" yourself a little---eat some soups and things that felt good when you were ill, then work into your other routines. The old saying "take one thing at a time" is best attitude to have right now. You have so many things you are doing/like to do when you are well....I have same problem....when I am "up" I can really get a lot done, but otherwise it is a struggle.

You have been able to keep your goals this long, shouldn't be too hard to get back! As for exercise, try to walk if nothing else. /jp

* * * * * * * *

I sincerely feel you. But no worries because you are doing great! We all need to take a step back now and then. We regroup, remotivate, recover, and press on. It is so difficult to make lifestyle adjustments -- even more difficult to make several at the same time (e.g. amp up the exercise, eat right, take supplements, etc.). I am amazed at the progress you have made so far and think it's terrific you are hanging in there. We all have motivational highs and lows. One of the most underemphasized things that we find when tackling changes like this is the ability to cut ourselves some slack! If you push yourself too hard when you are not up to it, you can do more harm than good. So every once in a while, it's ok to throw the body bugg! Our bodies are amazing. They adjust and learn like you wouldn't believe. Changing things up is actually ok -- it gives us a needed break and allows us to continue on to even greater progress. So take care of you, first and foremost! Take care of your health -- the lack of sleep and rest and recovering from the sinus infection has worn you down (I'm assuming). That'll suck the motivation out of anyone. So get some rest... do something nice for yourself... "indulge" in a creative project to get the energy flowing. Pick one thing that you want to do, and just do it. Messy kitchen be damned (unless that is the thing you want to do). Start small. The motivation will come and it will pick up and grow. Then you can work back toward the body bugg and get back on track. But do pat yourself on the back for all the progress you have made. You are kicking butt!!!! Hang in there! You're doing great!!!! /gp

* * * * * * * *

I'm going to be gentle with you, because I'm in exactly the same place. It's not fair, is it? Shall we try the reward (bribe!) system for a couple of small goals and see if it helps? I know I feel so much better when I'm on track. /mw

* * * * * * * *

I'm reading a good book that talks about tapping into your subconscious/non-conscious brain to achieve all those goals we set with our conscious brain. They highly recommend meditation and visualization for working this miracle. Without harnessing the non-conscious brain, apparently, we can set all the goals we like, but we will not achieve them. This explains a lot.

I think you deserve to treat yourself really good to reward your efforts so far and to pamper yourself after your sinus infection, which are really horrible, debilitating things that sound a lot simpler than they are. The infection drags you into total lack of energy and lack of will. The antibiotics that fight the infection are pretty hard on your overall system too. Be kind to yourself for a couple of days and then send yourself back to boot camp!

Your goal is wonderful and I hope you will find/gain the strength you need to succeed. /dh

* * * * * * * *

I'm in the same hole with you dear, I'm not sure if it's a collective thing or not. I just figure for me I'm getting the sympathy tummy with our pregnant co-worker. And I need to get walking again! /kc

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're so right -- it sucks that this "calorie management" thing never goes away (at least not as long as we're alive). Even after we get to our ideal weight, in order to maintain it, we must continue to manage our calorie input and output.

Those that struggle in this journey either don't have the right plan, are in "lag time" (right plan, but are impatient for results), or they simply forget why they wanted to gain control of their weight in the first place. You have the right plan (in vs. out), so now it's time to work your plan and remind yourself why this is so very important to you.

We're all in this together - just look at the response you've received so far! Yes, we each need to do this for ourselves, but the beauty of the human connection is that whatever we do (or don't do) for ourselves always ends up influencing those around us.

Especially those we love the most.

Do it for you. Do it for us. Do it for every person you hold dear. Be the inspiration that you seek and miracles will happen.