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What’s your biggest remaining challenge?

Would that I could bottle it: Funk-be-gone

I just went for one of the Best Walks Ever. Just in my neighborhood (on trash day, no less), but it was a beautiful sunny breezy day and I felt good.

I’m getting excited about going swimming in the mornings in the outdoor pool, too, soon. That’s just something transformative about being in the water when the sun is just coming up.

The funk that plagued me for weeks (well, couple months) is Officially Gone. I think with age (I’ve become very sage since turning 40 ;-) ) comes the realization that everything passes. No need for panic.

I have a crazy few weeks coming up, but then I’ll let you guys in on what’s been going on with me in more detail.

For now, I have a chapter draft due, a conference to prepare for, my day (ha! as if just day) job, and a number of personal and family projects. Eek! Busy, busy.

So, how the heck are you guys doing?! :D

Fri, April 3 2009 » Persistence, Progress » 4 Comments

Great read on the plane a few weeks ago — A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

In a previous post, Ria left a note recommending a book: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

What a great book! Funny and inspiring. I read it on the plane to Chicago, on my way to California. The gal next to me probably was concerned for my mental state because I burst out in laughter while reading the book repeatedly.

Basically, Bryson, a travel writer who’s lived around the world, moves back to the US and decides to walk the Appalachian Trail (AT). I don’t know which was funnier: his preparation to walk the AT (mostly focused on reading about bear attacks and being amazed at the cost of equipment) or the start of his walking the AT with his out-of-shape recovering-alcoholic mooch friend Katz. I had my doubts they would make it to the AT (you have to hike about eight miles to get to the start of it), let alone through it.

The tone of the book gets more serious and philosophical as he goes. I learned some fascinating stories about some of the regions he travels through as he goes. (Centralia, for example — a town that was mostly torn down because the coal underneath caught on fire in the early 60s and was still burning at the writing of the book.) I learned a bit about forestry and how the trail is maintained, how the mountains along the AT were formed, etc. Bryson is a great writer to read if you just like to learn and know stuff. He’s insatiably curious, which is a great quality. And his descriptions of the thru-hikers and residents he met along the way are priceless. I will say that the end of the book was a teensy bit disappointing to me, but I don’t want to give it away, so I won’t go into details.

Quite frankly, if these two guys can walk almost the whole trail, so can we. It was a very motivating book and there were a number of parallels between the experiences doing the AT and in life regarding persisting on a journey and overcoming challenges. I was ready to strap on a pack and go! This passage about his friend Katz touched me:

“The Appalachian Trail is the hardest thing I have ever done…. Katz responded to this in a way that I have never seen from him. He showed a kind of fixated resolve, as if the only way to deal with this problem was to bull through it and get it over with.”

This was not condescension, but real admiration and respect.

I followed up with several other AT books while I was stuck in bed sick, as well as the 2009 AT planning guide. Obviously with small children, I won’t be walking it just yet (it takes about 6 months to walk the 2000-ish miles), but when they are teens — perhaps they’ll want to do it with me. And I’ll only be in my mid-50s!

I had a poster of the AT up in my office for years, and then finally got rid of it a few years ago thinking it would just forever be a dream. I’m resurrecting this dream and putting it back on my vision board.

Thu, March 12 2009 » Motivation, Persistence » 4 Comments

It’s official. I’m in a funk. But a thinner funk.

I’ve gotten some private a-hem notes about my lack of bloggage lately. I know, I know. I’m in a bit of a funk.

Some folks are worried I’m gaining weight. I’m not — my goal was to maintain and I have been. Not much exercise due to some circumstances, but no appetite either.

What’s been going on is that I’ve been dealing with some other stuff. I want to blog, but I can’t blog about what’s going on, so I end up not blogging. I could blog about other people’s stuff or books, but, well, it hasn’t been foremost on my mind. Good thing is, eating out of stress hasn’t been on my mind, either.

So I’m here. Still 50# down. In a funk. But things will turn around. That’s the short version of the update.

Wed, March 11 2009 » Progress » 5 Comments

Well, I did it! 50 pounds down from my high.

Well, just a quick note to say — I passed the 50 pounds lost mark — and with surprisingly little difficulty. I say that with profound appreciation, because I have struggled with weight all my life. It has never been easy.

I’m a different person. The same, yet very different.

Wed, February 11 2009 » Everything else » 13 Comments

My weight loss over time, in a picture (well, graph): yo-yo to steady-as-she-goes

Well, I’m actually down a bit more today — and very close to the 50 pounds gone mark.

I keep track of my progress in a spreadsheet now because, along with my not-dieting, the number on the scale no longer (well, rarely) has meaning to me these days other than a progress metric — it’s not a judgement of my worth. It helps me be accountable, but also have perspective.

I thought the resulting graph was kind of interesting because it shows my old dieting way compared to my new non-dieting way:

For 15+ years, I yo-yo-ed wildly, sometimes down 80 and up 100 in a single year or two. This doesn’t capture all the years, but trust me, the pattern of those early years followed the jagged up and down of the left-most portion of the graph.

Since I quit dieting, look at the nice steady decline on the right — with really little effort to speak of. Well, I shouldn’t say little effort — I’ve been expending effort — I should say with little struggle, deprivation, resentment. It’s not fast and dramatic, the way I used to like to experience things. I’ve learned something about consistency and persistence.

It’s a much more peaceful way to live.

Wed, February 4 2009 » Persistence, Progress, Strategy » 6 Comments

Progress update: down another 1.1 pounds

Just thought I’d post a little update since I haven’t had time to post much else! I’m down another 1.1 pounds so far, which I’m pleased with. (My goal was to maintain for about two months, so one down and one to go with a bit of a bonus loss.)

Total loss so far:

  • 31.6 pounds since blogging
  • 48.6 pounds from highest weight

I’ve been basically doing intuitive eating (in other words, not dieting), but haven’t been feeling great, so eating hasn’t been a struggle at all right now.

I’ve been tired, so struggling more with getting exercise. I went for a nice walk yesterday and I do what I can on a daily basis. In the next few weeks, I expect to start upping my exercise a bit again.

Tue, February 3 2009 » Everything else » 3 Comments

Still here, stable weight, much-needed computer break

Hi, everyone! I have taken a much-needed break from the computer for a bit, but will be back posting tomorrow — got some good ones coming up!

Weight-wise, I’ve stayed the same, which is actually my goal for the moment. We’ve had a lot of stress, so my goal is to be human, deal with things in a healthy way, and not gain. So far, so good. A big change for me, for sure.

Sat, January 24 2009 » Progress, Stress eating » 5 Comments

Woman gets addiction treatment for ‘Coke’ – UPI.com

Woman gets addiction treatment for ‘Coke’ – UPI.com

Now, see! And people laughed when I said I was addicted to Diet Coke ;-)

Happy to report, I am free of the Diet Coke compulsion for today.

Tue, January 20 2009 » Cravings » 6 Comments

Is it easier for men to avoid tempting food?

Is it easier for men to avoid tempting food?

I don’t exactly think there’s enough data here to be conclusive,  but it’s interesting.

“While both men and women said the inhibition technique decreased their hunger, the brain scans showed that men’s brain activity actually decreased, while the part of women’s brains that responds to food remained active.”

Perhaps instead of inhibition techniques, they should teach them to focus on what they can have so they don’t get the deprivation factor. That’s definitely a technique that works better for me.

When you are facing temptation, what works for you?

Mon, January 19 2009 » Strategy » 2 Comments

A miracle has occurred.

I no longer crave Diet Coke. Or soda. Or artificial sweeteners. Or caffeine. It’s been over a week without those things and I didn’t even have a headache. I didn’t even intend to give it up — I just… didn’t have any and didn’t miss it.

No explanation for that one (well maybe one I’ll get into in a later post) — just accepting it and being grateful.

Mon, January 19 2009 » Cravings » 9 Comments