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True Confessions

Sunday, November 02, 2014

I really enjoy reading the blogs on here, and I often find myself relating to the various issues addressed; I think the emotional tone of the blogs is often more compelling for me than necessarily weight loss strategies or tips, although I have learned a whole lot of those on here, too.

I am currently grappling with a sort of "Oh Wow" kind of insight that I have gained from reading blogs on here, as well as years and years of talking with women friends and colleagues and basically just existing in the world.

Many women are very, very self-sacrificing, and really put other people's needs before their own. Those tendencies add to weight issues, depression, hyper tension, anxiety, stress, etc.

I don't think I am one of those women. I am pretty good about putting my own needs right out there.

I am not a monster; I love my family and friends and often do very thoughtful things for them. But that is really motivated by me, too. I feel better when I can bring you the metaphorical chicken soup; otherwise I feel helpless and impotent.

I love my children, and have certainly "sacrificed" for them; lets face it, if I did not have kids and we were DINKS (dual income, no kids) we would be quite well off. But I have and continue to get great joy from the kids, and I feel proud of them, and feel some sort of reflected glory when they do well. My husband and I made a commitment that we would do everything in our power to get them through their bachelor's degrees with no student debt; we were lucky enough to be able to do that. In turn, I expect them to pick out a nice nursing home for me some day! :)

Similarly with the volunteer work I do, or my job, or how I spend my free time; while I do things (sometimes) that are for the greater good, it is because I get joy from that; I do not live like a hermit, giving everything I earn to charity except some very basic stipend to live on. I live a very nice, comfortable lifestyle. We don't have a huge house, because we chose that. I work in the public sector, and could have made more in the private sector, because I chose that, and I get both some financial rewards (public pension) and other rewards (less hours, less stress) than when I was in private practice. Plus, I like my work and get rewarded by my community for doing what I do. I enjoy the boards I sit on and the volunteer activities I do.

So how does this insight into my own motivation play into my struggle with health and food right now? Well, I think I have been very easy on myself over the years. I ate what I wanted because it tasted good, or was easy, or both. I used food as a stress reliever and a reward and an entertainment (yes, I eat when I am bored) and a mood regulator. I also stopped moving around! Gradually getting more and more sedentary, because it was....easy! And because I can entertain myself quite nicely without moving. I like to read, watch tv, visit with friends, eat, go hear live music, go to festivals, etc. My husband and I will happily "binge watch" a tv series; I love to cook, I love to sit in my backyard at night with a a glass of wine. When my daughter comes home for a visit we will spend all of one day in sweats and watch tv and gab away. All of these things bring me joy...even writing about them makes me happy.

What is not on that list? I have never been a person who could honestly say I love any type of exercise. When I first met my husband he was hiking the White Mountains; real hiking where you carry a bedroll and freeze dried food and pitch a tent on the trail. I explained to him that it was most definitely not my idea of a good time to strap some heavy pack to my back and walk uphill for a few days, all while not showering, and that if that is what he was looking for he should find another girl. I have never been a runner; I have no eye hand coordination and have never liked tennis, soccer, baseball, etc. I have occasionally enjoyed an aerobics class, but let that slide, too, when life got busy and my knees got sore. Notice I did NOT give up sitting around watching tv, so it is simply not true that it was because I did not have time for it, I just didn't like it enough to prioritize it.

I do like to walk, and I love to dance.

So....here is (I guess) where I am. Recognizing my natural inclinations toward inertia, I need to learn to like movement more. For the first time, I am making myself SAD by not moving and eating like a toddler, because it is impacting on my ability to do the stuff I want to do! I am slowly, very slowly, learning to like healthier foods, and I am moving more. And I have to push myself a little more! I know that I can make excuses...and I know when I am doing it. At work a young lawyer I work with told me the other day that I seem to have a good sense of when people are lying to me....part of that is the cynicism that comes with age and part of that is having developed a bulls&%$ meter....time to start applying some of that rigorous demand for the truth to myself.

And, I do love to: be with my husband and family, be with my friends, travel to fun places, walk in the woods, dance, and engage in my world. I love to wear pretty clothes and cute boots! I can be quite vain, and like to look nice! So applying my real motivation to change anything, to do anything, I need to remember that making these changes now is in my enlightened self interest! In the most basic and selfish of ways, it will make me happy if I lose weight and gain strength and enjoy better health.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SPARKASAURUS
    Wow. Your honesty is refreshing and fantastic. I can identify with a lot of that.

    emoticon
    2345 days ago
  • BUTTONPOPPER1
    I think you're on the mark about self-sacrifice. Sometimes it is completely necessary. I have no doubt you did a lot of self-sacrificing when your children were small, as we all must do as mothers. But it is so unhealthy and even dangerous to take self-sacrifice too far, both for the person doing the sacrificing and the person (in some cases victim) for whom the sacrifice is made.

    Personally, I have self-sacrificed far too much, in the process even throwing away things of vital importance to my physical and emotional health. It's a self-esteem issue. In that way, I admire you for not being too self-sacrificing, for recognizing that your own needs should be addressed first before you can effectively address others' needs (insert here the old oxygen mask on the airplane analogy). This happy blog giving us a glimpse into your happy world tells me that you have enough self-respect to succeed in your weight loss and that what might be holding you back is exactly what you've pinpointed here--a need to fall in love with exercise. I think you're gonna do it, and I'm looking forward to following along as you achieve the good results you're seeking!

    By the way, I, too, am a material girl! Material things, like beautiful clothes and shoes, delicious food, a beautiful house, etc., add enjoyment to our lives in this material world. All these are good for our spirit (if not taken to extremes) and our interest in them is natural and good for the economy. Hurray for pretty clothes and cute boots!
    2357 days ago
  • TWESTEN1
    Oh my gosh - that is how I got so heavy. Enjoying the laziness and not moving. It breaks my heart to this day that I was like that for so long. Even when I started a year ago on this final push to get healthy I jumped into Atkins and did great - but the exercise was tough. I always said I hated it & I believe that. And when I started walking I would get to the hills in our development and get 1/3 way up and have to stop, be huffing & puffing ... and cursing and moaning. That went on for a while. And suddenly I was going up the hills, yeah, breathing heavy but not having to stop. And suddenly I was looking forward to those walks. Now I can honest say I'm loving exercise! This morning I rode 7 miles on my exercise bike - hopped off and went for a 3 mile walk out in the COLD. Came home and a few hours later did a cardio dvd with my husband. I'm feeling stronger and that makes me so much happier. So, yes, you can learn to love exercise! And hey, you enjoy walking and dancing so you're pretty much already there! I'm glad you're putting yourself first and adding the movement into your life :)
    2357 days ago
  • BLUEJAY1969
    I am quite like you in the fact that I love sedentary activities. I am still in the process of literally making myself move more. I do miss it when I don't do a workout and for that I am grateful but I am praying that one day I won't have to haul myself up by my bootstraps to get it done! I don't know that I will ever learn to love exercise for exercise sake but I am learning to love it for what I get out of it - ie: more stable mood, in shape, etc!

    I love how you have taken the time to identify exactly what you need in life to be happy and what you are willing to do to be healthy!
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    Jeanne
    2357 days ago
  • HOLIERTHANTHOU
    Reading blogs here has exactly the same effect on me. Like you, I learn a ton of tips from reading weight-loss / fitness type blogs (and they help a lot), but the ones that really move me are the blogs that let me in and let me se the person on the other side. I am moved by sincerity and substance and humour. What other people write about themselves ultimately gives me perspective on my own life. I actually never blogged prior to SP. Not ever. But I wanted to participate in what I was seeing here all around me every day.

    I think being motivated to care for yourself and to put your needs "out there" is a sign of sound mental health. Your life sounds great and you seem both happy with it and proud of what you've built. These are really good things.

    I don't like exercise either. I really don't. Once I start (and I have to rely entirely on habit to get myself out there every day), I keep waiting for it to be over. But I'll tell you, I feel amazing afterwards and it makes an incredible difference in every area of my life. I have accomplished some really difficult things in my life, things most people would never even consider trying to do, and I have spent years and years honing these skills. But I tell you, after running for 30 minutes non-stop outside, or after working out for an hour in the gym, I feel absurdly proud of myself. Proud! And I see the humour in this. but it doesn't matter. So I really wish you the very best with stepping-up your work-outs. You might loathe and despise it, but you will never ever regret doing it.

    :)
    2358 days ago
  • STILLMENEWBODY
    Hi Lisa,

    You have certainly put a lot of thought into how you are living your life. You have given a very open and honest summary of how you live life and how you desire to live your life, both being pretty well the same.
    " I do love to: be with my husband and family, be with my friends, travel to fun places, walk in the woods, dance, and engage in my world."
    You have included exercise in that....walking in the woods, dancing! Have you thought about joining a walking group? A dance class? I believe it is important that exercise not be a chore. If you don't enjoy it you will stop doing it. Now, I know you listed a handful of things you do not like or enjoy....but have you ever tried them? You also listed a couple of things you love. How can you build your exercise around those things by increasing the intensity, frequency and duration of those activities?
    Your life sounds very balanced to me in many ways and very inviting. It sounds beautiful in fact.
    We cannot ignore the facts though, That is A ROYAL WE...I need to face the truth too! A sedentary life will not bring us joy for our future. It will impact our health and our happiness. It will impact our families joys of life.
    I was reading a couple of quotes before checking my friends feed. There are a couple I would like to share with you.

    -"You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind".
    -unknown

    --"Motiva
    tion is what gets you started.Habit is what keeps you going".
    -Jim Rohn

    -Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness. – Earl of Derby

    -Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. - Jim Rohn

    Sometimes we think to much Lisa. We talk ourselves out of things before we ever even give them a try. At our ages and stages in life, I believe we have to stop the thinking and take the action. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. I say let's get day 1 underway. If after that time you are not enjoying specific activities choose another, I am willing to bet once you start reaping the benefits from some if this you will be thrilled.
    You know, I was truly distraught this past 6 weeks or so. Instead of keeping on keeping on like I have in my signature line...I moped around, feeling sad, feeling empty, feeling lonely and lacked purpose.
    I had to FORCE myself to do something. Though it wasn't where my activity level was before sadness set in....it was something. I was disappointed in myself but I just didn't have it in me. I decided I was going to quit SP, because I was a complete downer, to me and to all of you (in my mind). I told my team leader for the Grey Wolves that I would not rejoin the team for the Winter Challenge. THEN.....Sparky wrote me and reminded me of a couple of things I had said to her in the past and gave me a little what for. You know how feisty our Sparky is...I love her. I felt I let her down. She let me know I wasn't letting her down but she basically said in so many words...don't let myself down. THEN...Sheryl, my leader from Grey Wolves wrote me and she wasn't pleading with me to stay or join. She did however identify what I had achieved even in my lowest moments. I thought about all of this and SNAP..I realized immediately I needed to keep going. I needed to do this for me and that if I give it all up, I am going to be in a far worse place. So....HERE I AM! I already feel so much better. It is true that EXERCISE gives us ENERGY. I do not want to end up like my dad or my deceased mother in-law. They were both sedentary people in the later years of their lives and both lost a lot of mobility as their muscles were not worked and therefore they basically did not have the strength to do anything. My mother in-law ended up in a wheelchair and my dad can barely move as he is so unstable. I DO NOT WANT THAT FOR ME. I read a couple of days ago that if you stop activity it takes 2 weeks or less for our muscles to start losing strength and doing their job for us. I CANNOT AFFORD THAT.
    I didn't mean for this to be a lecture and pray it did not come off as such. I just wanted to give you a little bit of TRUTH SERUM...lol...opposed to the bu##s#!+...lol! I still think dancing classes or walking groups is a great idea...lol! Take care of you! xo emoticon emoticon
    2358 days ago
  • SUSANSLIFE
    Whew! You really told it like it is! I can relate to almost everything you wrote, and I, too, realize I need more activity if I am ever to solve this health issue. I'm excited to learn from your journey. -- best wishes for success!
    2358 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8054794
    emoticon I am the same way. Before our daughter, my husband and I enjoyed quiet mornings, with our coffee, etc. Each evening was with martinis & fun movies. I have enjoyed tennis, and I do like to hike 'level' trails, but running and 'exercise' has never been one of my strong suits. Now I'm 48 yrs old, and have a 3yr old, and life is not as quiet or laid back as I have enjoyed before having her. But having her in itself does give other rewards. But there are plenty of times that I look forward to being an 'empty nester'.. lol
    I am walking again, and not enjoying it yet, but I know after the 'habit' is created, I will enjoy once again.
    emoticon just keep at it! emoticon
    2358 days ago
  • TIKITAMI

    I love your honesty. I don't believe that we have to give up our lifestyles to the extreme that we are no longer happy how we are living. You need to keep being you but make small changes that will help improve your health. You're walking, your dancing and eating healthier (most of the time). When I started back here I swear that most of my exercise came from getting up during commercials and walking in place. We all have to do what works best for us.

    I also couldn't help but notice that you and your husband are the opposite of my husband and I. I'm still trying to convince him to strap that backpack on and do a 2 day hike, sleep in a hammock so the bears don't eat you kind of trip.
    2358 days ago
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