Posted by: cmittermeier | November 17, 2013

Why records are important

Recently the largest storm we have recorded hit the Philippines.  In the early days of weather records it was likely quite easy to top the scales, but at this point, when something like this happens we understand its significance.  Records are important not in the instant, but over time.  Through them we see patterns that help us make sense of our world, and ourselves.

For years I have been logging my weight – correction, for decades.  Though there were a smattering of years with sparse records (for instance after babies were born logging my weight was just not on the priority list), for the most part I have a pretty decent record since my late teen years.  The first time I did a retrospective I noted that during stressful times I generally went up 5-10 pounds, and that unless I really concentrated my efforts to loose weight all I was capable of was maintenance.  That was only one of the patterns I found.

The other pattern was that when others were doing this with me seriously I stayed on track very well.  If I was partnered with people who wanted to loose weight but not in a serious way, well, than I barely lost anything but it was easier to maintain and not creep slowly up.

Recently, I went over my records for the last few years and I am sad to say that there isn’t much of a change in the numbers overall.  Considering my age, and the fact that I tend to gain weight easily I can spin that in a happy direction.  The forties and fifties are decades where many women gain weight, I am minimally less than when I entered this decade and that’s a good thing.  But I had really hoped this year I would have made much greater progress – especially since going vegetarian (primarily vegan).

But remember that first pattern?  The one about stress?  Hows this for a fun few months… the weekend before my husband embarks on a 6 week field campaign my father-in-law breaks his arm and begins to go down hill.  Shortly after my husband returns, he must leave to try and help his father back to health but after a week we had to face he was not going to regain consciousness and so he sat by his bedside as his father finished his time here.  Shortly after the funeral, my older son begins to have difficulties grieving.  Frustrations build, incidents at school begin to increase in number and intensity.  So here I am, two decades past the first time I realized the pattern and I am still repeating it – sort of.  I will be honest, instead of the 5-10 it was more like 3-5, but still… I’m turning to food instead of exercise to deal with the extra hormones.

I recently saw a picture of myself and was faced again with the situation where I did not recognize myself – I am playing into the devil’s mirror thinking I am doing better than I am.  My weight really hasn’t budged in years.  Though physically there are very tangible gains (I am much less fatigued), I have to face the fact that I’m not doing what I need to be doing.

It took facing that record and seeing the graph flat line for me to realize I need to step out of the comfort zone.  I have to stop dreaming the weight off and actually do something “radical”.  As I reviewed those happy success stories, looking for the next inspiration, nothing is jumping out at me.  What will be my radical to get the scale moving again?  My sister always alternated tightening up her diet with exercise – so I think that is my best bet.  I think its time to work on my exercise.  That is likely why those success stories don’t jump.  When it comes to exercise I have always been my own best coach.  Walking is calling to me again – but I need your prayers if I’m going to make it stick.

Discipline is not easy for me, nor perseverance.  I think that is the radical component – I think its time I finally accept I have to do this for 30 days straight.  30 days.  Oh my, that sounds so incredibly long!  How the heck am I to accomplish this?

  • I will allow myself one day off per week (a sabbath)
  • I must log it (ah, the importance of records again)
  • I will be accountable to my blog (I do learn from what works)
  • I will return to the prayers I used to say for perseverance
  • I cannot add extra food in (nothing like extra ins to cancel the extra outs)
  • I have to trust that God will help me succeed.

Not the first plan I’ve made.  I’ll pray for you, and you pray for me.  I’ll report back at the end of the week how its going.

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