Thursday, November 26, 2009
I wonder how many thanksgiving blogs have been or will be written on this day? Usually, I feel blogs coming on for a while before I actually sit down and write one, but today, the urge just struck me.. Now, for a methodical, plan it out person like me, it is weird to just sit down on a whim, but that is one of the things I am thankful for on this day: that I have learned to be flexible. And on this journey to health, flexibility has been the key to continuing when it seems there is no continuing to be done..
Habits are important., the bad habits have to be eradicated and replaced with good ones, and none of that is easy. Once we have established those good habits, we are very reluctant to deviate from them, for fear that a day of deviation will lead to two days, will lead to slipping backwards, away from the good and back to the bad.. And then once that deviation happens, the mind seems to say to you, well, you've blown it, you may as well keep eating or forget about exercising for the day or, well, you get the picture I'm sure..
But that is where the message of SP comes into play. Because it has taught me that you can't undo lots of good work in a day or even a week..when you have truly committed to changing your lifestyle, you take it all in stride, you don't let one slip turn into a 20 lb gain..
What I have learned the most is that there is a middle ground between habit, which is good and important on this journey, and rigid adherence to a schedule that, once broken, does not signal the end of the good things that are in that schedule.. The key to finding that middle ground is being flexibile..and that is what I am most thankful for on this day (aside from being thankful for my family, having our health, having jobs, a nice home, all that goes without saying, I am lucky enough to be able to say all that and of course I am thankful for all that), that I have learned to be flexible..didn't get up early enough to do my 30 minutes on the bike? Well, is there time for 20 minutes? Cos 20 minutes is better than none, and maybe you can get a walk in later, but even if you don't 20 minutes IS better than none! Not really any healthy choices for lunch here? Make the best choice you can and make up for it with a lighter dinner high on volume (extra salad) so you're not hungry when you go to bed.. Had a bad day yesterday? Today is another day.
Finding this middle ground has made a huge difference for me on this journey. I haven't lost all that much weight (somewhere around 25 lbs, but it's been as high as 34 and has also been down to about 22), but it has taken me most of the 50 years I've been on this earth to develop the bad habits that have gotten me here, it'll take more than a couple of years to break them and replace them with good habits. And I can say this: in the last 2.5 years, I have developed a 5 to 6 day per week exercise routine that has pretty much stayed the course, my blood pressure is down, my weight is down, and I feel good.
So on this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for all that I have, but in addition, I am thankful to SP and its lessons, and I am thankful to my many Sparkfriends who have journied with me, pushing and pulling me along at times, to help me get where I am, and I hope I have done the same for them at times, too.
Happy Thanksgiving Day, 2009, to all my SparkBuddies!!