Tag Archives: DPchallenge

A Revolutionary Idea For Resolutions: Not Just For New Year’s Only

In my opinion, resolutions do not work.  Don’t you just hate New Year’s Resolutions?  I do.  They are so ephemeral.  Fleeting.  Useless.  Everybody makes them.  Nobody keeps them.

I do like the idea of a New Year, however.  I love the idea of starting over and getting a fresh start to life.  I really feel that I have been given that fresh start this year in so many ways.  I have made the decision to avoid making resolutions, however.

Resolutions do not work in my opinion. I think everyone has good intentions at the start, but life and complacency often get in the way of the best intentions and resolutions usually go by the wayside by February.

I have found that what does work is setting realistic goals.  I’m not just talking about a name change from “resolution” to “goal” either.  I’m talking about real goal setting.  Every successful person does this.  Here is what real goal setting looks like.

1. Decide what you want to achieve.

2. Set a realistic goal.

3. Develop a plan to achieve that goal.

4. Follow plan.

5. Periodically check the plan to make sure you’re on track.

6. Make adjustments to plan as necessary to keep you on track.

6. Stay focused and persistent.  Achieving a goal is a marathon, not a sprint.  Don’t stop. Keep moving forward.

If you follow these steps, you should be successful. You may not achieve your goal completely, but you will be a lot closer than if you did nothing.  Or announced a resolution on New Year’s Eve and then quit in February.

We set goals in my writer’s group every year.  We try to set specific, realistic, achievable goals.  They can be big goals or small goals, but we try to do something.  Setting a goal of “writing more” is vague and not really measurable.  We push people to be more specific than that.  One short story? Two?  Will you try to get it published?  You get the idea.

I set goals for my health last year…do something about my weight and overall health by exploring WLS.  I did it.  I had the surgery and I’ve lost 57 pounds.  In addition, the steps I took to improve my heath before the surgery were crucial changes as well.  It was a big goal that brought on big changes in my life.

So, what are my health goals for 2013?

1.  Continue with the diet plan set by my doctor to achieve my weight loss goal.  I also need to tweak that diet a little to kick up my calorie intake so that I reach 1200 by the six month mark.

2. Kick up my exercising.  Exercising is a requirement for the health plan set forth in the guidelines of the bariatric surgery.  I exercise already by walking or riding the bike in my exercise room.  I have been doing pretty good, but I feel like I’m not doing enough.  I am going to join a gym and work with a personal trainer.  This was always my plan, but I needed to wait until the surgeon gave me the clearance to begin some mild strength training.  I have that clearance, so I am going to join Gold’s Gym and work with a personal trainer.

3. Get caught up on all of my medical tests and get started on some dental work.  My teeth need some work and I need to get things like a mammogram done.

4. I also have more plans or this blog.  I want to add a page with food ideas and recipes.  Many of the recipes are tailored for food allergies and are gluten-free.

So there you have it.  Health goals.  Blog goals.  Simple.  Achievable.  Already part of a plan I’m working on now, but expanded a little bit to achieve my overall goal of better health.

What are your goals or 2013?

Happy New Year!!  May 2013 be your best year yet!

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Perchance to Dream

I am a dreamer.  I dream almost every night.  Sometimes, I have highly imaginative, vivid dreams.  Some of my dreams are bizzare and unexplainable.  My favorite dreams, however, are about the most ordinary activity that you can think of.  Something so utterly commonplace, people do it every day, reflexively wihtout thinking.

In my dreams, I walk.  This is not an exceptional task.  People walk everywhere, everyday.  They walk inside their homes, up and down stairs, to their kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.  They walk to their cars, through the grocery store, to the bus stop.

I had a dream the other night that I was walking through a park with an old friend of mine.  We just walked and talked.  At one point, I realized during the dream that I was walking pain free and it was the most remarkable feeling of freedom that I almost cried.

In real life, walking for me is difficult.  I have a crushed L5 joint in my spine.  My sacrum (base of my spine) is off center, which I found out a few years ago is a birth defect that I never knew that I had.  I have bone spurs in my feet, asthma, and as we all know, I am morbidly obese.  The first four problems would probably be manageable, but the excess weight I carry make the pain of standing and walking almost unbearable.

I do walk short distances.  I have to stop and sit to rest my back and catch my breath often.  Standing in one place is almost an impossibility.  Going to the grocery store, waiting in line at the bank, and walking to the bus stop are all very slow and painful activites for me.

I am often too embarrassed to go to public events.  Concerts, fairs, and summer festivals are very difficult for me.  In recent years, I’ve stopped going to big events like this.  I always have to think about how far I will have to walk. Will there be places for me to stop and sit? How will the people I am with feel about this?  Will they be embarassed to be seen with me?  Will they be understanding of my situation?  Will they think I deserve all of the pain and difficulty I suffer because it is my fault I am so big?  I also don’t like to be a drag on their fun.  They are capable of donig so much more than me and I will only hold them back.

I wasn’t always like this.  When I weighed close to 200 instead of 300 pounds, I could walk everywhere.  Yes, I had minor pain, but that pain did not stop me.

Let me give you an example.  I had a friend come to visit me in DC and she wanted to see the monuments.  We took the metro into DC.  We exited the Metro at the McPhereson Square station and walked to the White House.  We did a walking tour of the White House.  We then walked from there to the Washington Monument.  Then we walked to the Capitol Building and took a tour there.  We decided we wanted to see the Senate in session so we took the underground Capitol train to the Senate Office buildings and picked up some free tickets from my state’s Senate or Congress office.  I don’t remember which.  (That is a benefit that every US citizen can take advantage of once a year.)  We stood in line for a long time and finally made it in to see the Senate in session.  After we left there, we walked from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial.  While we were there, we saw the Vietnam Wall and the Korean Memorial.  Then we walked from there up 23rd Street to Georgetown where we hopped on the Foggy Bottom Metro to head home.  Then we went out for pizza with friends.  We did all of that in one day.   Oh to be young and relatively pain free.

Just so that you can see some of the distance we walked, here is a link to the National Mall.

Here is a better example.  I drew a red line to indicate our walking route.  Click the link to the google map to see the monuments.

I think just the distance between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial is two miles each way.  I could be wrong though.

As you can see, I did not always have a problem walking.  It came on slowly as I gained weight.  When I was living in Arizona, I became very allergic to everything there and limited my outdoor exposure.  My allergist also had to give me steroids sometimes to counter the allergic reactions, which of course helped me gain more weight.  Because of the pain I experience, exercise is very difficult.  Therefore, losing weight is also very difficult.

It is my hope that after my gastric by-pass surgery I will lose enough weight to allow me to start walking and exercising  more to rebuild my strength and my ability to walk normally.  The idea of regaining some of my former walking ability seems like a dream, but it is a one I hope I can will into reality.