Monday, September 20, 2010

50 (or 58) at 50 Update - halfway to my original goal date

A quick update to my weight loss/getting healthy 50 at 50 Plan.
The half-way mark. It has been almost 13 weeks since I began this journey to better health on June 22, 2010 (one month before my 50th birthday):

Starting weight: 208 pounds
Weight loss: 23 pounds
Current weight: 185 pounds
Average weight loss per week: 1.77 pounds
Average calorie intake: 1150/day
Average calories burned: 306/day
Goal weight: 150
Remaining weight to lose: 35 pounds
Recalculating expected date to goal weight based on current weight loss average: 20 weeks, or 1/22/2010.

Observations: The first 20 lbs came off fairly quickly and easily. Just eating smaller portions of healthier choices, and doing some form of exercise daily (usually yoga) quickly moved my body from weight-gaining to weight-losing mode. I have not given up my favorite foods, but I am aware of the calorie count as I consciously choose to eat m&ms or nachos. I still am having difficulty making the time for aerobic exercise, i.e walking, cycling, lifting weights. And I know that's what it will take to burn the fat.

I feel better! I feel and look younger, more vibrant and energetic. I was squeezing into size 14s and am now in 12s comfortably. I have a waist again. My back and right shoulder once felt locked up with tension, now are moving more easily. I can fasten my bra behind my back again! My digestion has improved. I used to suffer from frequent constipation, and now I am eliminating daily again.

Acknowledging the early weight loss and then slow down, I am motivated to increase my aerobic activity. I feel encouraged by the progress I have made thus far and want to continue along this path.

It is amazing how easy it is to slow and slow and slow into a place of non-movement. Sometimes on my days off, I still want to stay home in my pjs and do nothing. That tells me that the demands in the rest of my life are out of balance. "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" ~ Newton's law of motion.

Another of Newton's Laws of motion states, "A body in motion stays in motion unless an external force is applied to it." The idea of creating a self-sustaining habit of movement feels good to me.

I took some pictures a few weeks ago and am trying to work up the courage to post them here. It isn't easy to bare myself in this public forum. When I think of the times in my life that I was in shape, it is easy to look with disgust at my current state. I mean, 20 years ago I was competing in triathlons! So I know what it feels like to push my body to see how far it will go. I can make excuses about work and age and... To hell with excuses and justifications!

Today I crank it up! Are you with me?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I may already be there...

This morning I wondered what would happen if I had the time and space and money to live the life of my dreams. What would that look like? And would I have the courage to let go of the excuses, the fears, and the distractions?

The life of my dreams:
Health - including whole foods, movement & exercise, rest, and a balance of spiritual, physical, and mental practice.
Relationship - supportive, loving connection with my husband, kids, family, and friends.
Meaningful work - challenging creative and fun work sharing what I know and love to help people heal and enrich their lives.
Travel - visiting places of beauty and places I am drawn to, learning about different cultures, languages, people.

What holds me back:
Excuses - Convenience, time (imbalance of work to personal time), not enough money.
Fears - I'm sure I have some, but I'm drawing a blank.
Distractions - tv, other people's drama, my thoughts of what I should be doing, or what my life should be by now.

Years of not having a plan, of living by the seat of my pants (whatever that really means?), of just getting through today, has put me in a place of playing catch up. What others learned in their 20's about saving and living within their means, and building a life of stability and security, I came to understand within the past five years. Don't get me wrong, I am not wallowing in guilt, or self-pity, or regret. Just seeing clearly how I am accountable for my actions and choices.

I realize that I am not so far off the life of my dreams. Because truly what I seek is balance, and meaningful interactions, and opportunity to explore, and learn, and share. And though I may not be financially wealthy, my life thus far has been rich with love and experience.

And I am hopeful.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"To sleep perchance to dream"

It's been an interesting few weeks. At work, I was recognized as Manager of the Quarter, filling me with gratitude, excitement, and a feeling of accomplishment. It is nice to be acknowledged by the people with whom I work. The announcement was made at the managers' outing at Angels stadium by way of the center field scoreboard. My name in lights was quite extraordinary!

At home the situation was very different, as meals have been sporadic and unplanned due to Doug working in Hollywood and me working extra hours. I struggled with my commitment to eating healthy, finding myself settling for what was convenient rather than healthy. This simple act, practiced several days in a row led me to cravings for sweets and an emotional implosion, then a downward spiral which ended in tears and frustration.

I have now recommitted to my plan for healthy living and already feel the difference both physically and emotionally. Rather than letting my day plan my activity, I have planned out the next week's exercise and menu. Today, I am reviewing some goal work I started in January and have been following fairly well since then. The focus for September is "living ritual". To me, this means honoring the rituals that serve me, creating ritual to honor life, and truly incorporating ritual into my daily living as spiritual practice.

Sometimes our conscious life is boosted by our dream life...

I dreamed last night that I could see a spiritual presence. This spirit was approaching me and my children (they were much younger) in disguise as a loving presence (she was wearing a t-shirt with "GAIA" printed on the front). Gaia is the Earth goddess from the Greek Gaea. I raised my hand and stopped the spirit's forward movement with energy forced through the palm of my hand and watched as the spirit's disguise vanished, revealing its true intent to harm.

It is interesting to me how I knew of the disguise, and trusted that knowing. And upon awakening, I felt a sense of empowerment. I took extra time in yoga this morning and have been enjoying a steady flow of creative ideas. Now that was some dream!

Living well and consciously takes commitment and daily practice, and for me, remembering to use all the skills I have. The exciting thing is finding ways to share them with others!