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Guest Post: “Body Image, Schmaty Image”

I’m excited to welcome Jennifer Robinson as a guest poster while I am off hiking, biking and running away from grizzly bears. Thanks for stepping in, Jen!


Scenario #1: You see a photo of yourself that you think is highly unflattering. In fact, you wouldn’t show it to anyone. What you really want to do is throw it into the fireplace and be done with it. But let’s say you show it to someone important to you and she looks at it and exclaims, “What an adorable picture of you!” This leads you to a couple of possibilities: a) You look that way all the time and so therefore maybe it really is a good picture of you or b) Maybe you’re being too hard on yourself.

Scenario #2: You’re dressed up and ready to go out. You haven’t been anywhere at night for a long time because you have small children at home and you’re always exhausted. But tonight, you’re ready to have some fun. You put on your most flattering outfit. Granted, you don’t look like you did when you were 21, but whatever. You and your friends go to a restaurant/bar/bookstore and then you spot her. She’s you ten years ago. Seeing her ruins your night and you go home depressed.

Scenario #3: Each week, you notice that your pants are getting tighter. It’s the pants, you think. Not me. You go out and buy new pants in a size up.

I’m sure that many women can either relate to one of those scenarios. I’m no exception. Two years after my daughter was born, I came to a chilling realization. Over those two years, I had not lost weight (the nine months to put on, nine months to take off rule definitely didn’t apply to me). Instead, I had gained weight – about 30 pounds! It was awful…but I kind of knew how it happened. I had been so busy taking care of my daughter that food took on absolutely no importance. I ate whatever was there, when it was there. The weight had crept on. And now, looking at myself, I wanted it off.

But life doesn’t work that way, so I decided to try Weight Watchers. After my first weigh-in, I was ready to dive in full force. I was completely obsessed with the Points system. Before I could eat anything, I would calculate the points; you could name any food and I would know the exact count. After the first week, though, when I saw I had lost some weight, I started being easier on myself. It became like a game or contest. How many recipes could I make that contained the lowest points possible? What was the highest fiber food I could find? And could I really eat WW ice cream and still lose weight?

Over the next several months, I lost about 40 pounds and went down three sizes. I felt like the Incredible Shrinking Woman as more came off each week. It was amazing.

Now it’s three years later and ta-da! I’m still at my goal weight! That’s not to say that I don’t struggle with the above scenarios (and many, many more), but I’ve recently realized a few things that I wanted to share:

1. We’re too hard on ourselves about how we look. So many of us base our self-worth by a number on the scale – but that’s not a true measure of who we are.
2. Everyone ages. That 21-year-old girl? One day, she’ll be where we are now. So why not embrace the aging process and do it gracefully?
3. If you feel good about yourself and have genuine confidence, it will come through. There’s no such thing as a bad picture. There is such a thing as too much self-judgment. And who has time for that?

Maybe the trick is to re-write our own scenarios. If we have the power to get in body negative mode, we also have the power to take ourselves out of it.

Jennifer Robinson is tickled pink to be entering into the blogsphere. Her writing has appeared various magazines and literary magazines including Writers Monthly, The Readerville Journal, Full Circle: A Journal of Poetry and Prose, Long Story Short, Looking Back: Stories of Our Mothers & Fathers in Retrospect (New Brighton Books, 2003), and 2DO Before I Die : The Do-It-Yourself Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Little, Brown & Co., 2005). She lives with her daughter and husband in Southern California.

Happy Goal-Day to Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


Party day

Originally uploaded by j_jyarbrough

Today is a big day! It’s a celebration day! I’m bringing a bunch of balloons to my WW meeting tonight. Because ONE YEAR AGO, on June 23rd, 2009, I got to my goal weight!

AAAAAAAAND……(drum roll) I have maintained it a whole year! A year of maintenance. But this also means that I have ACHIEVED one of my big New Years goals for 2010: to be eligible to join the National Weight Loss Control Registry, a group of people whom all the weight-loss scientists study when they want to know how and why people lose weight and keep it off. Yahooooooooooo!

I really did not believe I would get to this place. I kept anticipating bumps and holes in the road and kept expecting to fall off. And I did, more than once, but I always got back up on QUICKLY and recovered. Thanks to the amazing supportive community/family that has surrounded me this whole year. Both online and in person.

I’m making a speech now! I’m wearing a tiara! I’m getting up to the podium with my little slip of paper and nobody is going to drag me off this stage until I’m done!!!!!

(ahem) I would like to thank first of all my amazing ONLINE friends who were the FIRST ones to ever meet Foodie McBody. Who embraced me and supported me when nobody else even knew I existed. Shannon (and Angie!), MizFit, Dinneen, Dr. Mo, Pubsgal, DailyKat, JeninRL, Karen, Mary and Kepa, Jack Sh*t, Trish, Josie, Kenz, KathyK, Sweeter, Marsha, PatBarone, Mara, Mrs Fatass, Hanlie, Diane, Lavagal, Fitarella, Miche, HealthyLoserGal, shrinkingjeans, WorkoutMommy, PhatBFF, Tisfan, Damon, Lori, SweatingItOff, Ryan, Bookieboo, Terre and Roni. You all are AMAZING and I truly could NOT have made this milestone without you. And for any of you who want to be healthy and are NOT on Twitter yet, join the party. It is one of the most incredible weight-loss, fitness and healthy living tools out there. I am not kidding.

I would like to thank my awesome Weight Watchers family: my BFF and buddy (and first mentor who taught me how to tackle those insane paper tallies!) Bethany, my boss and friend Stan, my roommate from leader training Roz, and Roger Z and Lori H, Linda and Julie and Jiggs and Creamie and Lynn. Y’all are the best and make me so glad to be part of this organization.Oh yeah and BIG SHOUTOUT to the BEST CEO in the universe, the one and only Dave Kirchhoff, aka Mr. Man Meets Scale! Thanks to the awesome members who show up to my meetings and inspire ME and keep me going.

I would like to thank everyone who has ever walked, run, lifted weights, danced Nia or otherwise sweated with me. Starting with my amazing trainer Doug Jones, who not only trains my body but my mind and heart as well. My workout buddies Ericka, Lisa Marie and Christine (when she can). Then Team Penguin: Mary, Kathy and Michael-David. Thanks for an amazing experience at the Oakland Marathon. Nia people! Alexandra, Terre, Danielle, and Alexis.

Thanks to my family. I’m doing this with you and for you, so we can all be together a really long time. Love love love to my mom, Mr. McBody and my girls.

Thanks to Martha and Kamau for helping me develop my solo show. Thanks to everyone who CAME to my solo show (part 2 is in the works right now!), and to all the other awesome solo performers who inspire me so much. Thao, Nicole, Sarah W, Enzo, Paolo, Ericka, Lisa Marie, Coke, Julia, Mz Debra, Kim, Deirdre, Benjamin!

I’m getting carried away. It’s kind of corny. But it’s my blog and nobody can stop me! I’m just incredibly happy and grateful for this year. I know this post should include about a thousand links but I just don’t have time for the linkfest this morning.

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EPILOGUE:

So I bought these beautiful balloons! and was so excited to bring them to my meeting bc there are often a bunch of little kids there with their moms. But as I was unlocking the door, I was fumbling with my key and they just… flew away! I stood there with my mouth hanging open, watching them fly off into the sky. WAH!

I got in there and Bethany was in there playing Kool and the Gang “Celebration!” very loudly. She gave me a present: a REAL TIARA! That lights up and blinks! So I dried my tears and forgot about my lost balloons.

Right before the meeting, I said, So Bethany, when is YOUR Goalaversary? And she says, with a straight face, “June 24th.” Uh huh. Like, TOMORROW!!!!!!? We laughed and laughed. Our goalaversaries are one day apart! How cool is that!  Only she has been at goal for THREE YEARS so she is even awesomer!! We had a great time at the meeting.

Changing Goal Weight???????


Vintage bathroom Scale

Originally uploaded by totalrod2

So I’ve been virtually at the same weight for almost a year now. YAY.

And now that it’s been a year, I’ve been pondering/musing/obsessing over the idea of changing my goal weight. Ie, trying to lose the “last ten.”

I have some major ambivalent feelings about it. But it’s been on my mind a lot. It’s sort of like declaring a major, you know? It’s a commitment. And it’s not something I want to commit to unless I am sure.

Why do I/would I want to do this? Well. A few reasons. One, I’m beginning to realize that I’m not quite as fit and trim as I used to think I was. I mean, for much of the past two decades I would have DIED of HAPPINESS to be at my current weight. In fact, it did not even seem remotely in the realm of possibility. In fact, it did not even seem possible to weigh what my driver’s license says. (which is 13 pounds more than my current weight)

But now I’ve been hanging out here for a year. It’s good. It’s fine. I wear clothes that range from size 4 to size 12. (and yeah, I fit into all of them. How crazy is that) Also clothes that range from size S to L. I’m within a “normal” BMI. But that’s the thing. I’m very close to the ceiling of that range. Once or twice I’ve come close to hitting my head on it.

I weigh 10 lbs more than I did on my wedding day. I was hardly SKINNY on that day. I was like, regular.

I still have something of a spare tire. I still can grab large handfuls of belly fat, wayyyyy more than “pinching an inch.” I know that belly fat of any kind is not good for one’s health, and especially for diabetic people. So I think the less of that I have, the better. It’s never gonna be flat and i’m never wearing a bikini again. (those days were over 35 yrs ago)

Is it health? (a little) Is it vanity? A little. Is it a combination? Yeah.

That’s what I’m struggling with. I have problems with vanity dieting. Which I have said before. At the same time, I cannot deny the pleasure of shopping for and finding cute clothes that fit me. So vanity has become a weird part of my life.

It is weird when people MY HEIGHT come in to Weight Watchers. They weigh the same as me. Or LESS than me. And they are all, “UGH! GROSSSS! HOW DID I EVER GET TO THIS POINT!?” We are trained to be supportive of every member no matter their height or goal, as long as it is within the Healthy Range. But inside I am cringing and thinking, this person will never have faith in me. How can I be a leader or role model when they are so freaked out to be MY weight? I don’t say a thing. I support them. But still.

I’m never going to be at the bottom of the range. I don’t know if I will ever even be in the middle. No, I don’t think that’s in the cards either. But if I could get my head just a little fraction of a distance away from that ceiling, it would probably be a good thing.

The thing is, I’m nervous. (as if you couldn’t tell) I’m afraid of upsetting the apple cart, tipping the boat, you name it. I’ve actually gotten pretty comfortable with maintenance and I am afraid to get back onto the weight-loss road again. What if I fail? What if I try to lose and end up GAINING because I’ve put too much pressure on myself? What if I can’t do it? And my head goes smashing through the ceiling AND the roof?

All these things make me ponder. Should I let sleeping dogs lie? Should I make peace with my belly fat? Should I Go For It? (losing the last ten)

I know that people will probably have all sorts of ideas about this. And at the same time, I know that the only person who can ultimately answer this question is me.

Excuses, Excuses: Why I Can’t/Won’t Exercise

There’s a story behind each of these things (bet you can’t wait to hear about Chicken-Ito, right??) but no time to write them. But I was inspired to do this great challenge posted by the fantastic MizFitOnline and I encourage each of you to do it too. If you don’t have time for the actual shirt and Sharpies, please tell me YOUR excuses in the comments. Hopefully I’ll have more time to elaborate later.

Meet Frank, Kindred Spirit

Remember I mentioned I met this guy Frank at my solo show last week? Well it so happened that a screening of the documentary film about his experience was taking place yesterday. It just so happened that I was able to make it. I was so glad I went.

I started tearing up right away, pretty much at the opening credits. There were a few moments when I was out and out crying. It was terribly moving.

This is the film in a nutshell:

May I Be Frank documents the transformation of Frank Ferrante’s life. He unknowingly stumbles into a local restaurant in San Francisco, Café Gratitude, a raw, organic and vegan café…where he feels welcomed and free from his collapsing personal life. Frank is asked by Ryland, one of the servers, “What is one thing you want to do before you die?” Frank replies, “I want to fall in love one more time, but no one will love me looking the way I do.”

Inspired by the possibility of helping Frank, Ryland invites him to come into the café everyday for the next month. Armed with a camera and a wide open heart, Ryland soon enrolls his brother Cary, and Conor, his best friend, to participate in supporting Frank’s transformation. The final agreement is made that for the next 42 days, Frank will turn his life over to three twenty-something young men committed to his healing and prepared to coach him physically, emotionally and spiritually. Frank will eat only raw food, practice gratitude, visit local holistic practitioners, and get a weekly colonic. Ryland, Conor, and Cary get to support and witness Frank’s miraculous transformation. Frank gets a new body, a clearer mind, and most importantly, a soaring spirit.

The film is pretty much a “Supersize Me” in reverse. I wasn’t sure how they arrived on 42 days for this “experiment,” but he chokes down his wheatgrass shots every day. He eats all his meals at Cafe Gratitude.

Now it’s no secret that I am not a big fan of Cafe Gratitude. I don’t think I will ever be a vegan or ever convert to eating raw food. But I AM grateful to them for what they have done for Frank and probably countless others. And I do not  think I will ever, ever have my colon cleansed. But I am a complete sucker for transformation, and of people having Second Chances, and turning their lives and health all around. I am very interested in forgiveness and in cleaning up one’s relationships in order to clean up one’s overall health. The second installment of my solo show is going to be all about that very topic.

Frank looks like a million bucks now. He’s so healthy looking, and vibrant and athletic. And he’s a blogger! (I was fascinated by his blog post in which he describes feeling objectified for the first time in his life).  I am so happy for him. And it also makes me think about being in this place, of achieving some up-until-now-unachievable goal. Health or a certain clothing size or a number on the scale. Then what? A while back I found myself feeling terrified. That I got to enjoy it for a small period of time but that it was going to be snatched away. (by home? by my own inner troll self that doesn’t WANT me to be healthy OR happy) I could see people gaping at Frank in awe and I was wondering if he ever feels that same terror. That this is just a nice dream and one day he’s gonna wake up to that other life again.

Today I am feeling like my own health and good place is not as tenuous as I feared a few months back. But that’s just today. I wonder if some of this might not be behind my continually striving and pushing that bar up: 5k, marathon, triathlon, WW staff, solo show. What’s next? If I keep doing more and more will I be immune?

No.

So I just have to keep doing what I’m doing, doing what feels right, trying to be mindful every day.  Trying to be gentle with myself.

And in the meantime it feels great to have found yet another kindred spirit on the journey.

Does This Vacation Make Me Look Fat?

I’m home!! I got home from Costa Rica around 1am and if I don’t write a post now, I think it will be weeks before I have time to sit and do it. Things are crazy (again!) just as they were pre-vacation. Tonight is my solo performance show, and next week I begin a brand new job. Whewwwwww. So much for laying back in the slow tempo of Central America – I’m back in the USA again and back to the insane pace of life.

Being on vacation was wonderful, and relaxing, and rejuvenating. But it was a totally different environment and pace than I was used to. For one, I did not have my scale with me (thank goodness!) which gives me constant feedback. I use it to stay on track here at home, and without it, how would I know what was what? I wasn’t super worried about it, because I knew that even if I came out of the vacation a few pounds up, I could get back to it quickly enough. Still, I was curious.

One one hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if I lost weight because:

  • I was sweating buckets every day. Without even moving.
  • I was getting SOME exercise – walking to the beach, to waterfalls and the like.
  • I was not eating a single thing between meals.
  • The meals were what I would consider very healthy – protein, beans, vegetables, a lot of fresh fruit. Our host was an amazing chef!

BUT I wouldn’t be surprised to gain weight because:

  • I wasn’t doing ANYthing near my regular workouts. At one point I ran about 4 steps and then quickly gave that up. It’s like running in a steam bath. I couldn’t deal.
  • I didn’t swim at all like I’d hoped because the ocean was, although gorgeous, brutally rough.
  • The food was incredibly delicious and I often went back for seconds.

It was really, really hard to gage where I was. I couldn’t really use my clothing as a monitor because all my summerweight clothing, I bought last year before I got to my goal weight. So it was all pretty much hanging loose on me anyway. I couldn’t tell by looking at the mirror. I really had no clue at all. And you know, normally it wouldn’t MATTER so much but I do have this WW job you know, and I didn’t want to come home and have to battle back down to my range. So I would’ve preferred to not gain a whole bunch. I felt healthy. I felt good.

One measure I was able to take was my blood sugars. In the first part of the week they continued to be up because I think I was still dehydrated. I wasn’t able to drink as much as I would’ve liked to, so it took a few days for that to stabilize, but by the end of the week I was in a good place. I have to say it gave me a small bit of comfort to be able to measure SOMEthing objectively.

One thing that I noticed was that I felt more comfortable in my body than I ever have in a hot climate. Before, when I’d gone on a beach vacation, I’d felt awful in a bathing suit, disgusting when I sweated, and extremely unfit. On this vacation, I took a 5 mile trek through the jungle (to get to the waterfall, yay) and it was like… piece of cake. I took one hike to this eco-lodge up a very very steep hill, and it was like… no problem. I felt comfortable clambering around and never got huffy puffy or anything. That felt GOOD. And sweat didn’t bother me like it used to.

I used to be one of those people who was completely sweatophobic. It made me sick. But now it’s just…. water. And it doesn’t bother me. It’s really OK. Maybe because sweat during my workouts is a good thing – a very very good thing. I’ve made friends with sweat! Yahoo!

So when I left on my vacation I was 5 lbs “down” because of my dumb dehydration problem at the marathon. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to maintain THAT because it was mostly water weight anyway. In fact it was ALL water weight. This morning when I weighed myself I was 2 lbs up from that weight, so 3 lbs down from the day before the marathon. OK! I’ll take that! I hope I’ll be able to maintain that because it’s a number I can be very happy at.

So that’s that. Interesting, huh? It’s funny how things change when we don’t have our regular landmarks and ways of checking in. But I felt good about what I was doing overall. I’m eager to get back to my regular workouts. I’m glad it’s not 90 million degrees here. But it was also good to get out of routine and realize there are ways of staying healthy that look and feel different.

Oakland Marathon Recap: Wild Joy and a Crash

I’m lying on my bed. My stomach is in some kind of turmoil. I still don’t feel so good physically. But emotionally I feel great! We did it! *I* did it!

I don’t have energy to do anything but lie here so I’m just gonna do that; lie here and write out my marathon recap. Are ya ready for all the details? (if not, just skip this post!) (AT THIS POINT I STOPPED BLOGGING FOR SEVERAL HOURS)

Picking up the packet and chip at the Marathon Expo was big fun yesterday. It was great to meet up with the other penguins and feel all the buzzy excitement about the event. After the Expo I had about a million errands to run in preparation for my trip to Costa Rica! tomorrow!!! (I honestly can’t even fathom this right now) I came home, had a pasta dinner (carbo loading you know, but with Dreamfields low-glycemic linguine), then tried to go to bed. I was soooooo unsleepy and did not sleep until after midnight. 😦

Woke up at 6:30 by text from another penguin who was already at the starting line. I knew I had a looooong way to go. I was hoping to get down to cheer on my teammates in leg 1 and 2, but there were a lot of road closures going on. I made it to leg 2, and was able to cheer/meet up with/run with my two great pals Mary (Team Penguin) & Lisa Marie (Team Strong Mix). That made me so happy, to be alongside them for a block or two, offer up words of encouragement and love.  

OK then you’ll laugh. I still had a bunch of time before my own leg, so I asked my dear spouse to drive me home for a minute. I wanted to use my own bathroom. There was time. I’m kind of a wimp that way.  Then we headed down to the BART station so I could take the train to my relay start point. At this point it was about 10am and I felt like I’d been up and READY forever.

I got down to the relay point and it was so exciting. I felt great. I spent a bunch of time pacing around to warm up and before I knew it, Penguin #1 (Mary) was leaping out of nowhere to give me a hug, and then Penguin #3 (Michael-David) showed up around the corner and it was time to give him my BART card and get the ankle strap thingie with the chip (or so we thought, more on that later). He strapped  it on my ankle and I just took off. I was so high!

The first part of the run made me so happy. I had run this stretch many times before and I love it. A bunch of folks were out in lawn chairs, cheering us on and saying encouraging stuff. I felt fabulous. But after the first mile I got a little surprised because the route changed on me. We ran straight past the point where I usually turn off. This made me kind of nervous and concerned because suddenly I had NO IDEA where we were going, it was all unfamiliar, and worst, there were hardly ANY spectators/cheering people on this part. It just felt lonely and confusing.

Luckily, that only lasted a mile or so and I was back on familiar turf. At around mile 22 (aka MY mile 3, since I started at 19) I was feeling great. And I should remind myself that that was the length (almost) of my regular 5k. I felt so happy. We came into sight of the lake. The lake was full of even MORE people and I did good up until right past mile 23. Then I started feeling kind of sick to my stomach (I should’ve known, first sign of dehydration!). I had a few gulps of water at the water station but didn’t want too much because I was worried I’d throw up.

I thought, maybe this is the time for some Gu. I ripped open the vanilla Gu. OMG. I have not had anything that intensely sweet in… over a year. (it’s like sucking down cake frosting from a tube) I was like, oh NOOOOO I need water! I need it bad! But the water station was what felt like a lonng way away. I could not deal with this thick frosting feeling in my mouth. But I felt like I needed it.

Got to a water station around mile 24. Gulped a big cup of water. Started praying I’d feel better. I didn’t. Then my hands started tingling and actually going numb. OK, I started freaking. And started walking. I knew I had 2 miles left and I didn’t want to be coming in on a stretcher. So I powerwalked about 5 minutes and when I started feeling a bit better, I took a run, starting around 25. But I never felt super great after that point. I kept trying to gauge it. I wanted to have a strong finish for SURE, so I was trying to ration my energy.

At about a mile from the finish, I saw Penguin 1 (Kathy) who had been searching for me all over the lake!! (great runner, good Catholic, she was trying to attend a MASS in between her leg and mine!) This was the last uphill. I said to her, y’know, I’m not doing so hot. I ran a bit then said I have to walk. Then Penguin 2 (Mary) popped up! And finally Penguin 3! They were bringing me in!!!! This would’ve made me so emotional but at that point I realized I was having trouble breathing. My lungs were just seizing up, I was wheezing and I got a little panicky. Luckily (and miraculously?) Mary HAPPENED to have an inhaler in her pocket! so I used that. But I was feeling not so hot. So much for my strong finish. Then we rounded the bend and I knew it was like 3 blocks away. I gathered up all the adrenaline inside and sprinted in to the Finish. Then kinda collapsed.

One of the volunteer dudes gave us some bad news right after the finish. He told us that what we THOUGHT had been the race timing chip was actually the receipt, or the “other” part of the band. Which was INCREDIBLY irritating, since we had asked a race volunteer at the Expo to attach the chip to the ankle strap because we were SO worried about getting it wrong somehow. But voila, SHE got it wrong, and as a result, we had no split times. Which was really maddening, and not cool. Boo on race volunteers who Don’t Know What They’re Doing.

We blasted through the little post-race chute, got our medals (YAY), got our photos taken (YAY). I was like, I’m feeling kinda bad. I’m feeling kinda shaky. I had some PowerAde and a section of an orange, but I still did not feel so hot. I managed to get excited for the photo opps because yeah it felt so great to FINISH the thing, but I was aware underneath it all that I really, really wanted to get home, and like ASAP.

Michael-David had a sausage sandwich that looked really good at first but every time he offered me a bite my stomach got really alarmed. Part of me was like, “I need PROTEIN!” but then I couldn’t face it. So we went home.

Over the course of the next five hours, I just felt worse. And worse. And worse. And I wasn’t eating or drinking because I felt incredibly nauseated, my stomach was in absolute turmoil. I had started writing this recap but after about the first few paragraphs I couldn’t even do that. I tried to sleep. But I was in pain, and feeling shaky and cold and crazy.

FINALLY after many hours of this my husband brought me some chicken soup and said I had to try to eat it, that the salt would help restore me. I choked a bit down and actually it did help me feel better, a lot better. I went into the bathroom and weighed myself and saw that I had lost 5 lbs since that morning. I knew then that my problem really was all about dehydration.

I felt really stupid. I felt like I had not taken good care of myself or prepared well. I ate my breakfast (whole wheat Eng muffin with peanut butter, and coffee, yeah duh) at 7am. And then had nothing to eat or drink until that Gu at mile 23. In retrospect, yeah, that was super poor planning on my part. But every time I’d approached any station, I was like, “I don’t want to have to stop and pee!” or “I’m not hungry,” or whatever, so I kept passing it all up. Until it was too late.

I don’t know what was up with the asthma except that the allergies are super bad around here and I think with all the other stress, my lungs just freaked out. THAT was scary.

SO now it’s 8pm, I am just now starting to feel like maybe I’ll live. My blood glucose is 172. Which sucks.  I feel chagrined and embarrassed. I’m sad that I didn’t prepare well and thus did not have the great experience I wanted (all the way through). I’m mad that it’s 8pm and I have to leave for Costa Rica in 12 hours and I am NOT READY!

But on the other hand, it was a beautiful experience. I loved the community, the being out in my great city, the energy. I loved that I had zero orthopedic problems the whole time (foot/leg/hip/back). I loved a lot about it. But I’m just feeling sorta humbled now, and really tired. I’m really glad I did it, and so happy I finished, and I do feel proud.  Thanks everyone, for the fantastic support all along the way.

What’s Clutter Got to do with Fitness/Weight Loss?

A lot, in my opinion. See my guest post on this topic over at MizFitOnline!!

An excerpt:

It took me a very long while for my healthy bodily habits to become ingrained and “automatic.” And I am suspecting it will take an equally long while (if not longer) to become an “automatically” organized person. If ever.

Here are a few things I’ve observed that are true in both cases.

Procrastination is the devil.

How many times did I used to say, “I’ll go to the Farmers’ Market… later,” or “I’ll go to the gym… later,” or whatever? And “later” stretched into never. I realize that I am the same way about picking up random crap in my house.

I always tell myself, “I’ll do it LATER.” But later, the pile always grows, it always gets bigger, stuff gets lost more easily, and it’s just a hundred times more awful and messy to deal with it later. Same with being overweight. The longer you wait, the more there is to deal with.

Read more here.

Back to WW School

Last week I attended a one-day training for Weight Watchers, a followup to my initial training last fall. It was awesome.

When I first took this job, I told myself (and others) that if at any time I felt like this company was not good, or I was not benefiting from it, that I would quit. The pay certainly isn’t worth it. But I have found that the deeper I go in, the more time and experience I have, the more impressed I am with this company. They really do want their members to succeed, and they are constantly searching for ways to better help them. It’s so good, really.

The theme of the training was “Facilitating Change” and while I can’t go into the teeny details of it, I will say that it was really so thoughtful and fantastic. I feel like my meetings this week really have benefited from that experience, and hopefully will continue to improve.

At one point during the training, they asked us to describe a moment when we felt like we really made a Difference in someone’s life. A lot of people (other leaders) had some pretty moving stories to tell. I felt okay about my little story, but it felt kinda … I dunno, not a big deal. But then LAST night I was at my regular meeting, and a member came up to me and said she’d had a GREAT week, had made a real change in her habits and it was because of something I’d said. And she thought about what I’d said, during her week, and it made a difference.

I swear. It brought tears to my eyes. It made me so happy. Because honestly, so often I doubt myself, and think, who am I to be doing this. How am I helping anybody. AM I helping anybody? Sometimes I am not sure. And I think I’m just standing up there going blah blah blah.

We learned that WE are supposed to talk a minimal amount, and really the meeting should be comprised of the majority of members talking, sharing, etc most of the time. I am very guilty of letting my mouth run and I have to do all sorts of things to SHUT MYSELF UP. (I am a solo performer, remember? LOL)

One funny tool we learned was to WAIT, and let members speak. And WAIT stands for: Why Am I Talking? Ha ha ha. I thought of this several times last night, and I used the physical reminder of putting my hand on my chin. (one, to assume the “thinking” pose, and two, to hold my jabbering jaw STILL!) I think it went well.

We also recently had a district-wide training on the Science of Weight Loss. Again, super impressive. I feel so lucky to be soaking in all of this great information and am eager to pass it on.

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