I was thinking about how different this time around is.
I'm going on two months on SP but really some of the small food/habit changes had started a month before that... For me two months of motivated, stick with it kind of motivation is very unique! I'm not saying that there haven't been days that weren't hard. But WHY? Why this time have I endured the physical roadblocks that would have ended it, right there in the past. Why this time am I faithful to logging and working with my life and making so much better choices but still enjoying life? Still going to parties and dinners... As the calendar turned to February I thought I should try to answer these questions because I believe they will help me with, what SP fondly calls turning external motivation into the internal motivation... Because I know this is life long not just until I reach goal weight. This is a lifestyle and how do I truly make it MINE.
That's a lot of questions to answer, and NO I don't have the answer to them.. but I have insights that I hope will help me to find them.
Why this time am I being so successful, in staying motivated and faithful to my goals? That's such a great question? And there are several reasons:
First, I'm actually enjoying the process. Not just the weight loss, not just the clothes that fit that haven't for a long while, but I'm enjoying the process of connecting on SP, of meeting new people and hoping I'll be an inspiration like they are to me. I'm blogging! LOL. It's all new. I've tried Kale and smoothies (with interesting ingredients) and I liked them! I've set goals long and short and I'm celebrating each milestone no matter how small. It's fun. It's expanding who I am and giving me a freedom to be myself! I haven't met any judgement, only support. I love the motivational sayings... you get the picture.. It's the first time weight loss hasn't felt LONELY and yes, I've tried so many times.
Second, I really evaluated what motivates me. I asked myself, "When have I been successful at forcing myself to exercise, even though I didn't "want" to... or finishing a project that was hard and not "normal" for me?". I thought back to a few examples in my life that I really surprised myself with the dedication and the amount that I stuck with it and overcame obstacles. They had two characteristics, I signed up (and it was kind of a publicly posted goal/program and in all but one instance it could help people or people were counting on me.
As I contemplated this personal trait of mine, I really saw that I was motivated by public personal challenges and a sense of being part of a bigger picture. Through this insight into my competitive side I also saw a weakness that I WILL have to work on and that was that even on some long term challenges/projects when they were done, it didn't translate into lasting change.. Obviously this will be something I will have to find the cure for!
So in identifying this character trait, I have tapped into it! And I have used SP.
First I have joined challenges. The new member challenge and the 30 day walking challenge! I didn't want to fail. It gave me the motivation I needed to get on that treadmill even after a long day at work. Or Christmas day during a down time. Now I'm doing the winter BLC30. (Biggest Loser Challenge). This has made me accountable to a team. And it challenges me to try those new things and meet new people and exercise for 60 mins everyday on the weekend because I want ALL those points!
And I don't want to let my team down. When I signed up, my goal was the accountability factor and the friendship and boy have I been blessed with both!
I want to share one thing that happened, because when I read back on my journey I want to remember or when I encounter the next obstacle I want to find the way around, because I know there will be more.
Though I'm writing this for me, if anyone else were to read this it might be helpful to know that I have pretty bad osteoarthritis in both of my knees but especially my left. And that 4 1/2 years ago I had spinal surgery to fuse 3 cracked vertebra. Knees & I are always aware of each other but since my back surgery I haven't had any problems other than "normal" for a overweight 50year old. So three weeks ago I woke up on a Sunday morning and my right knee was not functional.. I could barely walk on it. I had done nothing that would have injured it and my right side lower back near the surgery was also painful.... I figured I'd slept wrong, the change of weather.... but by Wednesday I called the Ortho (knee dr) and went straight in because everything was getting worse. He gave me injections in both knees and told me to see my surgeon for my spine/back. By the time I saw the surgeon couldn't hardly walk and had to have help getting out of bed. You get the picture... bad... Happily the back was inflammation in my sacroiliac joints (though related NOT the surgery) and some injections into them has really given me relief.. I'm back to 90% of my normal. I know that was a long story for that.... but the point is this would have set me on the couch, depressed, and eating in the past. I frankly would have quit by falling into the habits I'm still working to relearn. But instead I kept finding things I could do because my Spark friends had been there before and could encourage me through. I could still "compete" in nutrition and do chair exercises... For me that is my biggest success story of this journey to date! I didn't quit.
Thirdly, and the last difference is. I set goals and I didn't just hope to reach them. I set out detailed mini plans and goals that were within my current physical limits. They were achievable.
I told one of my SP friends who has been having a tough time that "You only hit bumps and pot holes in the road when your moving forward". I'm gonna need to remember that tidbit of wisdom myself!
Note: To Date I'm officially down 22.5lbs. I reached my 10% milestone last weigh in!