Monday, December 14, 2009

How to motivate yourself in tough weeks

Here's an idea - post a picture of what you looked like at the very beginning of your JOURNEE.

Scary, isn't it?

Even though I'm certainly not happy with what I see in the mirror right now, and I wish more of my clothes fitted me, I need to remind myself as often as possible that I'm STILL 30kg better off than I was in this picture, and I can still do so much more to improve my health and lifestyle.

Revisiting the title of my blog, if I was going to talk about "motivation" (which, as we all know, is overrated), I would say that this week I am feeling very "unmotivated". Why? Well, it's Christmas, the silly season. I have a lot of work to do in both jobs (and am currently wondering what possessed me to get a second job which ALSO involves sitting on my butt all day - not good!!!), I have four singing gigs between now and Christmas. I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day and very much in "stop the world, I wanna get off!" mode. And this mood tends to be an eating trigger. So this is why I need to revisit my non-negotiables. On the list is relaxation, something I am not doing at all right now. I need to! And I have not exercised since Saturday. So much for that "non-negotiable". I need to give myself a (loving) boot up the behind and get things back on track, because I know I'm certainly a happier, less grumpy girl when I have endorphins in my system. And nothing seems as hard either.

My knee is still being a pain and I'm having trouble with my lower right leg swelling up (because of the knee) when I sit to do my job, and that's quite uncomfortable. I need to do a bit of research as to what I can do to make that better. In the meantime, I'm thinking my knee would be a lot easier to bear if it didn't have to take so much weight, so time to refocus there too, methinks! I know I've done relatively well since I got "Craiged", as in my weight has gone down, not up, but I can do a lot more for myself.

Friday, December 4, 2009

NOT having your cake and eating it!

Today the gym I joined just over a fortnight ago had its Christmas party, which was an outdoor family party held in a park. As I'm trying these days to do things that are outside my comfort zone, it didn't really matter that I tend to be an antisocial hermit at times - I was going to go regardless! And I did go, and I enjoyed myself. It was good to catch up with friends who also go to the gym and chat to the trainers as well.

The function today was catered with healthy lunch options of salad and cold meats - all good there - and then there was dessert. Now, anyone who knows me will know what a dessert FIEND I am. If there is one food type I find almost irresistible, it's cakes/biscuits/desserty-type stuff. But something that came back to me today from the CH workshop and I decided to try and put it into action. Craig was saying how he made a decision many years ago that he just would not be a drinker, so he does not drink by choice. He goes to a lot of functions in his line of work and, especially if they are "blokey" functions, there is always a deal of peer pressure to drink at least some booze. He says he never goes to these functions and thinks, "Damn, everyone is having such fun having a few beers - maybe I should too," or, "I wish I could be fully taking part in this function by drinking." He has made his choice and he goes with it, and has just as good at time NOT drinking. Well, today, when it was announced dessert was served, I had a flashback to this part of the conference. In the past, two things would have happened. If I was in eat whatever, whenever I want mode, I would have been one of the first in line for my cake or whatever. If I was in "diet" mode, I wouldn't have had any, BUT I would have sat there watching others eat theirs and feel terribly deprived and a bit annoyed that I couldn't also have it. Today I thought I'd try the CH experiment - choose not to have cake, just because I'd already had lunch and I didn't "need" it because I wasn't hungry, but concentrate on how I felt once everyone else got theirs and I had to sit there watching them eat it. And you know what? It felt OK. I can't honestly say I was sitting there slavering and panting and drooling and wishing I had some. I concentrated on looking at how nice the park was, enjoying the breeze on my face, enjoying the fact that I was with good company - I guess you could say I was "finding the good".

So maybe this is how the process goes - if you fill your life with other things and people you enjoy, the desire to mindlessly inhale food you don't really need to eat will start to ease. Now, I'm a person who can go to a function where people are drinking and not have one single drink and not feel the slightest bit antsy or deprived because I just don't really enjoy booze or what it does to me. I don't expect to ever feel so blase about food, BUT if I can get to somewhere in between, "What are they eating? I MUST HAVE IT NOW!!!!" and total indifference to food, I will be thrilled. The habit can be broken, I know it! It will require diligence and work, but it can be broken!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Slapping around the Inner Princess

Oh, yes, SHE'S BACK! Be very AFRAID!

For the first time, really, since I got Craiged over a week ago, Debbie the princess made an appearance at boot camp yesterday morning. I must say I have not missed her whiny, sooky presence in my life, but I know I have to be vigilant for now because in these early days of my new lifestyle, she is going to be lurking near the surface ready to bleat about how she can't, she won't, it's all too hard and oh, why won't anyone listen to her and seeeee how hard it is? waaaah waaaah!

OK, to be fair, I think the main problem yesterday morning was that I was just really tired. On top of all the stress and physical effort attached to moving house, plus the other stress of having no Internet for over a fortnight when your very livelihood depends on it, and then still on top of that doing more exercise since the Friday before last than I have for about six months, I think my body was trying to tell me it really needed a sleep in that day. But I didn't listen, because if there is one thing I am not really great at, it's listening to my body. I haven't done it for years, after all. It is a new skill I am learning. What I THOUGHT was happening is that I was being a slack-arse. I was awake in plenty of time and it's not like I have to go far to get to boot camp (about a 5-minute trip), but still I lay there arguing with myself for a good 20 minutes before I finally dragged myself out of bed and went. And right from the start I did not feel good physically but, more importantly, I felt bad mentally because it was me - over 130kg, 43, unfit as hell - and a bunch of people who are in a totally different class to me fitness and weight wise. I am not happy I let it get to me, but I did, and after over 30 minutes, when they decided to make us go up a hill sprinting/doing high knees etc, I just got stroppy and decided I wasn't going to. In truth, I was so angry I wanted to cry (something I always do when I'm angry and can't express it). I wasn't angry with anybody there - just myself - but still, I didn't want to blubber in front of a bunch of strangers. And I know part of this was my inner princess wanting some airtime, but I think I had valid concerns too in that no allowances are made at all in that group. Half the time they don't even remember to give alternatives for exercises a large older lady hasn't a chance of doing. But part of it was also I was so tired. And how do I know? Because I came home, went and did some work. I was sitting reviewing a program until midday and my eyes were literally closing while I tried to check it. I decided I must need a nap and went and lay down, thinking it would only be for 15 minutes (my usual power nap length). Fully two hours later, I woke up with incredibly sore eyes because I'd actually gone to sleep with my contacts in, which is never a good idea. My flatmate confirmed how soundly I was sleeping. He came home for lunch, but when he left to go back to work he says he said goodbye to me, but I have absolutely no memory of it. And there is no way I would sleep for two hours during the day unless I was really buggered.

So, while I have no desire to let Miss Inner Princess run my show any more, I think I do need to learn when it's her whinging and carrying on and when it's my body telling me it needs rest and maybe do more gentle exercise that day. To a person who has been so disconnected from their physical body for as long as I have, this isn't going to be an easy skill to learn, but learn it I will, day by day, step by step.

I have a PT session tomorrow at 9am. Bring it on!

Friday, November 27, 2009

My non-negotiables!

About time I did these - it's been a week since I got Harpered! I haven't fully decided on my goals yet, but I have a feeling that if the non-negotiables are right, the goals will fall into place anyway.

1. Every day, do 30 minutes to 1 hour minimum of exercise. This can be anything from a boot camp to a walk - just move. On what would normally be a rest day, do a 30-minute+ walk or ride.

2. Drink an absolute minimum of 2 litres of water per day.

3. Structure my work hours. Being a home worker doesn't mean I have to be a procrastinating time-waster!

4. Start daily meditation/silence period in order to help stop stressing/overthinking.

Setting the bar high

This morning finds me a rather tired girl because I went to my second boxing session with Breaking Point and, if anything, it was even harder than the first one I did on Wednesday night because at least in that one we got a cardio "break" from either boxing or catching and I lasted a lot better because of that. Today I was with a nice young girl who was very patient with me being so unfit by comparison with her, but MAN, could she hit and kick! I was really surprised how painful it can be if you don't catch properly - the impact goes all the way up through your forearms and right up to the traps, always my weak/bad spot due to my long hours at the computer for work and my habit of hunching my shoulders when anxious or stressed. But probably a lot of other people there were in the same boat - it's just that not one other person there was even close to my weight, and I don't think many were anywhere near my age either.

So that's why the topic for today's post - how high DO we set the bar? I can see merit in pushing yourself, certainly. If you never push yourself right out of whatever comfort zone your body is enjoying, nothing is more certain than that you will quickly plateau and stop improving. However, the other side of the coin is that for a person like me, with more than a smidgin of inferiority complex in my make-up, it can be very discouraging to see just how far behind I am compared to "normal" people and it tends me make me want to give up.

And actually, reading that last paragraph over, it's veering perilously close to overthinking territory, but I think I reined it back in time. hehehe! ;)

Either way I look at it, I need to adjust my attitude and thoughts. Firstly, I think I did well today considering that Mel is younger, heaps fitter and a hell of a lot lighter than me. I didn't truly keep up with her, but I didn't give up even though I really, REALLY wanted to because my traps were screaming at me. And next time, even if I was paired with her again, I know I'd do better. Secondly, I need to drop the inferiority stuff. So WHAT if I'm older/slower/fatter/not fit? If I keep letting that stop me, I'll never do another thing because nothing will change without me making changes. I will be stuck in Groundhog Day, where I have already been for far too long.

So I'm going to do what my blog title says - suck it up. Find my inner mongrel - I know she is there!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm not "in the zone" - I'm just doing it

Yes, more Harperesque ramblings from me today. I think it's gonna go on for a while. Hehe. :)

I have been thinking this week about how for the last five or six months, my complaining and whining and procrastinating about my weight loss had reached almost Olympic levels in terms of how good I got at it. THE biggest thing I got out of last Sunday was that there is no special day, no special time, no special mindset required to lose weight and be healthy. I honestly never really thought about just how overrated motivation is, maybe because I managed to maintain mine for such a long time prior to falling off the wagon (and being run over by it several thousand times, I might add). So I thought I was "cured". And what does that even mean? That after being overweight (well, OK, let's be honest - morbidly obese) for the vast majority of my 43 years on this planet, that a bit over a year "in the zone" was going to stick and last and I'd never, ever be tempted to go back to where I'd been at my worst and I could afford to "relax"? When I think about it now, I was being so naive, not to mention childish. What I really needed to realise and accept is that my genetics, combined with my background and history, mean that for however many more years I get on this planet, I will always have to be vigilant and mindful when it comes to food. I do believe in time that if I really make a big effort to change my eating so that I eat only when I am hungry, it will become more automatic and I won't have to think about it as much, but right now, when I'm coming from a place of eating what I like, when I like, how much I want (i.e. lots), vigilance is certainly what I need.

But oddly enough, the one thing I was mostly resisting recently, exercise, is what is going to help me the most. The more I do physically, the better my body works, the better my mind works, which means I have less urges to eat crap for any reason under the sun and my hunger signals become more real and genuine. It's a no-brainer, really. So why, for so long, didn't I just suck it up and do it? That's easy - I was waiting until I "felt like it". No wonder I didn't start! I could have waited another century and I wouldn't have "felt ready". And none of us has that!

My body is tired, but it's slowly remembering what it used to be able to do a few months ago, and the only way is better, stronger, faster. Woot! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

133.1 - D'OH!!!!!

I wish I could blame my scales for that rather sobering reading, but I can't. Honestly, what did I expect? Yes, I did move house and I did a fair bit more incidental exercise than I usually do, but I still found the time to inhale WAY too much shitty, crappy food. So what choice do my scales have but to tell me the plain, unvarnished truth? They are just a machine - they deal in facts and figures, not emotions. So I'm going to take a leaf out of their book a la the CH way.

Today I weighed myself and I was 133.1kg. And soon I will be less than that and going down. That's it. No breast-beating, tears or recriminations or justifications. I ate too much for what my body needs, so I gained weight. It ain't rocket science!

Tonight I want to go do some boxing. I have missed boxing - I love getting my frustrations out of my system in such a healthy way. And since my future life is going to include retraining my brain not to turn to food the instant something - well, ANYTHING - goes wrong, then I'm going to need the physical outlet of something like exercise, whatever it is, to help me through the adjustment.

I can do this because I'm going to make the decisions that will enable me to do it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ground Zero

Last Sunday I attended a Craig Harper workshop called Renovate Your Body. It was a truly awesome and thought-provoking session and I got so much out of it that I almost cannot put it into words. It sounds corny and simplistic to say that it was possibly life-changing, but that is honestly how I feel right now. It has, I believe, given me a new way of thinking about this weight loss journey that I seem to have been on forever and a day without ever reaching my goals, and perhaps that's the point. I think the reason I haven't managed to complete the job is because my thinking HAS been faulty. Well, no more. Now I know a more helpful and productive way to think. Of course, this doesn't mean now the weight is going to melt off me and I'm "cured" forever. ;) Oh, no, far from it! Now the hard work starts. Now is the time to set goals, realise what is going to be non-negotiable for me in the future and do what it takes to live an "exceptional" life. Another thing I learnt on the weekend is that "exceptional" doesn't need to be a word which, if you apply it to yourself, sort of sounds like major big-noting or egotism. What I want it to mean for me is "uncommon" and "being the exception". Because being "normal", or trying to be, has got me precisely nowhere. I now know if you want to get the results, you have to do what others aren't prepared to do or don't want to do. I want to be one of those who IS prepared and is OK about it, and doesn't feel like their life is lacking because they can't eat Macca's whenever they feel like it and they can't go out and get pissed every weekend. That is the exception I want to be, and in that kind of "exceptional", I know, lies freedom from the never-ending hamster-in-a-wheel merry-go-round yo-yo journey I've been on, let's face it, since I was five!

So...I'm excited! Let's do this! :)