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(Undesperately) Seeking Balance June 30, 2009

At one of my WW staff training sessions, the leader warned us all that it was going to be potentially tricky, to balance WW work with our own health and fitness. At the time I didn’t really get what she was talking about. But it hit me last night.

After my traveling weekend, I had plans to go to an exercise class last night. I was realllly looking forward to it. But about an hour before, I got a call from a WW leader that a receptionist/weigh-in person was needed, like right away.

Of course, I could have said no. On the other hand, when one is in a new position it is a good thing to be seen as helpful and responsive. AND, I really feel that I could use as much mentoring/training as I can get. There are so many minute details involved in this job, and I think the more practice, the better. So I said sure.

This was my third training session and my second time doing weigh-ins. My mentor was great in helping me with doing a practice run-through before they opened the doors. I felt a lot more relaxed than I did the last time. I also felt very strongly how incredibly intimate this is, to see someone’s weight like that. It’s so personal. I had a bit of a flash that the little weigh-in booth is not unlike a confessional, but instead of prescribing ten Hail Marys or whatever, we hand them a fresh tracker and the chance to start a new week.

I was less nervous about the myriad little details this time, so I felt like I was able to really focus more on the people. I felt so much tenderness for these people as they performed the ritual removing of shoes, watches, belts, ANYthing before they stepped up. I think it is a really big deal, and important, that WW staff are also WW members. I SO know what they are going through. (in fact, I need to do my WI for this week, and have been procrastinating!) I kept thinking of the Buddhist loving-kindness (“metta”) prayer in my head: (may you be happy. may you be safe. may you be peaceful) But I expanded it a little bit, adding silently: may you be healthy. may you be free of shame.  I kept repeating this in my head in between members.

One woman achieved a big goal she had been striving toward for a long time. She was so happy, and I was so thrilled for her. High fives all around! It was like being a store owner whose customer wins the lottery. It was really exciting! I had four people up for various “recognitions” and I was really so glad for all of them. And for the people who gained, I tried to offer as much support and encouragement as I could. I think I did a good job, and my mentor had some really kind and complimentary words for me afterward.

When I got home, it was pretty late and I had not yet had dinner. I ate and then did not feel like exercising. It was already dark.

AH, I thought. So THIS is the balance thing they were talking about.

I watched the new show, Dance Your Ass Off, which is sort of a combination of Biggest Loser and Dance With the Stars. I am already a sucker for such shows, and this one really really impressed me. It involves a number of very overweight people who are trying to shed pounds AND compete in dance competitions.  For one, these people all had great personalities and were great dancers. Their confidence was so out there, and that put them miles ahead of the general population, as far as I’m concerned.

It’s hard to dance and show your body when you’re not feeling it’s in its optimal shape. But they were all out there – jumping and strutting and shimmying and just going wild with beautiful exuberance. I felt quite emotional while watching them. I am a terrible, self-conscious dancer who has never felt good about how I might look. I feel like I have no coordination and that I just look foolish. Recently a friend of mine had a dance party for her birthday and while I had fun, I also felt like I was the biggest klutz out there.  I only really felt comfortable dancing with my husband. At one point we had to switch partners and I think one of my partners was absolutely incredulous at how bad I was. SO… I am completely awed by the folks on this show who are so good, and they’re definitely choosing a super fun way to get into better shape. My hat is so off to them!!

Today, I am going to exercise no. matter. what.

 

Guest Post by The Fat Geek! May 24, 2009

shapeimage_1It’s truly wonderful to find healthy eating/fitness buddies on Twitter and the blogosphere. One of my newest buddies is The Fat Geek. He just posted my “Got Sweat?” entry on his blog and so I’d like to share one of his posts with all of you.

Week 4: Super Motivated

Week 4 has been a real success. I was super motivated the whole week. Thanks in no small way to all those folks who send encouraging e-mails and tweets via twitter, subscribe to the podcast and of course my family and friends. I am getting unbelievable support from all areas and it is truly what is making the difference. I Thank You all emphatically from the bottom of my heart.

I think the difference between success and failure with weight loss is 95% motivation. More on that another day, let’s get to the week that was and lessons learned.

I had a 2 lb weight loss for week 4. This is fantastic given the travel that took place during the beginning of the week and constraints the hotel gym put on me. However, we (or I did anyway) learned from week 2 that during travel it is your diet that requires the most attention. I was able to improvise the gym routine to ensure I got a good workout in, but I really paid strict attention to what and where I was eating. I think that made all the difference….and my proof is in the results this week compared to the results during week 2. If you remember, during week 2 I worked out like a madman, wasn’t too sure about what I ate and lost nothing. This week I worked out as best I could and concentrated more on my eating plan, which resulted in a weight-loss.

In science we would refer to my “Concentrate on Diet during Travel and less on Workouts Thesis” a hypothesis. To test my hypothesis we require experiments that test the casual relationships among the different variables. In this case it will not be fair. Given my not so good results in week 2 and my good results here in week 4. I will continue to follow my “Travel Hypothesis” (of concentrating  big-time on diet) as I go forward. Thus, we won’t get to see if other factors may have caused the week 2 problem. We are all different but the results of this first experiment (last week, concentrating on diet) gives me enough proof to feel confident in my hypothesis that I will continue with that strategy during travel weeks. Which, by the way, happens again next week.

My workout routine for week four was pretty similar since the beginning. I have been doing strength training and running every day, with the following exceptions: Monday and Tuesday I had to improvise my strength training routine due to lack of equipment. This meant doing some old fashion push-ups and bench dips along with the machine exercises. I didn’t run on Wednesday morning because I arrived back home late Tuesday night. I did my strength training that was scheduled for Friday evening on Saturday morning because I was really tired Friday night. I feel way more confident with this routine right now, because I am confident that I can improvise as required and still gain great benefits from the exercise plan. That means a lot to me, given my work schedule and travel requirements.

My healthy eating plan was excellent for this week. I averaged around the 1700-1800 calories range each day of the week. I had about three Subway meals for either a lunch or dinner (trust the Subway 6 grams of fat meals). I ate out on Friday night, had some Salmon and rice (600 calories). During travel I tried to eat the same way I did when I was home. Bought a bag of apples and some bananas to throw in the hotel fridge, so I always had a healthy snack during the day. Basically, I ate the same as I would at home all during the day and then had a really healthy choice for supper. This worked. I will continue with this strategy for week 5. As I mentioned above I am on the road again. Once again I will be traveling to Calgary for part of the week (Tuesday to Thursday).

So, over the past 4 weeks I have lost a total of 14 lbs. However, if you break down the numbers you see that I lost 12 lbs during week 1 & 3, weeks I stayed home and had no travel. I lost 2 lbs during week 2 & 4, weeks I travelled. Big, big difference. Maybe week 2 skews the results, but it certainly tells me that I need to seriously consider what my expectations are during travel weeks. I need to be patient about my weight-loss when it comes to travel weeks. Finally, I need to trust my process here and that doggedly continuing to concentrate on exercising and eating healthy will have long-term pay-off.

To read more from The Fat Geek, to keep him company and cheer him on, visit his blog!

 

 
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