Monday, April 16, 2012

Here I Come, Again

I'm starting a new plan.  The spring into action plan.  The back in the saddle plan.  I need a boost.  I need something. 

I listen to the commercials on the radio for all the various weight loss plans.  I see various facebook friends post about Advo-Care's 24 day Challenge.  "Might that work for me?" I ask myself.

But I am not the kind of person to spend money on something that I fear would turn out to be a gimmick.  I also instinctively don't think such "programs" are healthful.  And I tend to be of a somewhat anti-diet mentality. 

But something has to change.  I have reached that age at which, as many of my older friends have warned, my weight seems to creep upward no matter how much I exercise or how I try to adjust downward my portion sizes.  It's very frustrating to me.

I also have been struggling all winter with a kind of, somewhat, borderline depression.  I hesitate to write about this, or to use the "D" word.  Such things are all relative.  Different personalities can put up with differing amounts of such lethargy and lack of an kind of motivation or responsible behavior.

I have at various time in my adult life struggled with the blues, or a funk, or whatever.  The worst time, strangely, was the first six months or so after I got married.  Here I was, at what I had thought would be one of the happiest times of my life.  And I was totally out of it.  Wacked out.  Out of my groove.  I went for days without leaving our apartment.  I called in sick to work.  It was difficult for me to find motivation to even shower or brush out my hair (which hair at the time was very long; the large rat's nest was quite frightening some days).  I am sure Joe wondered what he had gotten himself into.  But he never complained.  At least I don't remember him complaining.  Probably he complained inwardly.  I know I would have if the roles had been reversed.

Eventually, I snapped out of it.  Spring came.  I got a new haircut.  I talked to my supervisors at work.  I got myself back on track.  And I began to learn that I don't do transition well. 

Later I struggled quite a bit during and following my eighth pregnancy.  I suffered from extreme fatigue during the pregnancy, and it stuck with me until I was pregnant again.  I felt like I was in a pit, just barely clinging to the edge.  It was altogether strange.  With everything I had going on at the time, I simply attributed the situation to our busy life.  I was homeschooling five kids and had three pre-schoolers.  I was busy with my pastor wife stuff and Sunday School obligations, and whatever else happened along.   My brother-in-law had also died suddenly only two years before, so my husband and his parents were immersed in their own grief, and the busyness of settling his estate.  Although not immediately effected in the same way they were, I was doing what I could to help them get through that time.  Who wouldn't be tired?

But suddenly, after I became pregnant with my ninth child, I felt better.  Just when I thought I would start to feel worse, and was wondering how I and my family could survive when I did, I suddenly felt great.  Even the nurse at the clinic noticed and commented.  She said I had been lacking my usual sparkle for quite some time and that it was good to see it back.  Hmmm.

And again this year I've struggled.  I don't know what the catalyst was. I could think of any number of things, most of which you have read about, if you are a regular reader.  Probably it is just regular life, a few big sadnesses, and age related hormone changes. 

It doesn't really matter, though, what brought it on.  What matters is getting over it.  Getting on with my life.  Finding a way to put one foot in front of the other.  Figuring out something that will give me enough of a boost to get the momentum going.  I am in great need of momentum.  My inertia is very much inclined toward accomplishing nothing, and I need to change that.

I am not sad.  I am, however, somewhat emotional.  I feel lonely, and somewhat obsessive about communicating with friends, virtual or otherwise.  (And your guess is as good as mine how I can feel lonely in a household this busy.)  I lack energy in an extreme way.  I have a hard time seeing any reason to get up and do all the little things I ought to be doing.  I can't concentrate.  When I do start jobs, I don't finish them.  I am tired of the mess.  My kids are tired of it, too.  The younger ones don't notice.  They are still flexible.  But the older ones want their "real mom" back.

It's time to take the bull by the horns and get 'er done.

But how?

Introducing theMom's 28-day challenge:

For 28 days, I am going to control my eating habits.  I have scheduled a couple of times of more formal "dieting" and specific portion sizes for the rest of the time.  I have a certain number of treats or rewards planned and allowed.  Except for the two episodes of brief dieting, these goals are modest.  Reasonable.

I'm also setting a goal of keeping up with a certain short list of basic daily chores such as getting the little ones dressed and teeth brushed; doing dishes, etc.  These are really just the basics, but exactly the things I haven't been able to see the need or find the desire to keep up with.  Sad isn't it?

And I am also going to set weekly goals, one big goal or a grouping of smaller goals, for each week.   Hopefully this will allow me to a few of my bigger things done.

Again, my aim was to set achievable goals.  Baby steps.  It is easy to be too strict, or plan too much.  But I have learned over the years, with my busy home and low energy level, to plan small.  If I plan too much, I set myself up for failure.

This is also where the 28 days comes in.  If things seem hard, or I don't feel like I am getting anywhere, instead of throwing in the towel, I can say, "It's only a few short weeks, Mary.  You can do it."

I'd like your support, too.  I will need all the help I can get.  I am going to be reporting on my progress periodically.  You may get tired of it, but, well, if you do, stop reading.  It's my blog.  But if you can stand to read about the mundanities (is that a word?  It ought to be) of my struggles and successes, please leave me a comment now and then to cheer me on.

And more fun yet, if any of you is interested, please join me.  Come up with your own 28-day challenge, or whatever length of time works for you.  Feel free to leave a comment so we can cheer each other on.

You will also notice I've posted a couple of new tickers.   One is a 10 lb weight loss ticker.  It will actually be for 11 lbs, since I like the idea of a nice and even final number.  I was 1 lb off an even ten this morning, so I'm going with the strange and seemingly arbitrary goal of 11 lbs.   I think I can do that.  But I'm only weighing in on Mondays.  So don't expect that one to change daily.

My other ticker is for my 28 days.  I decided it would be fun to mark off each day of the challenge and watch how the days are counting down.


hard2believe said...

Sounds like a great plan, Mary. You might want to check out It is all about baby steps and maybe that group can spur some more ideas for you. I know you can do it.
I too have had the same struggles, minus the husband and children, of course. Being single has it's own challenges, but I won't go there!
You have to do what works for you. AdvoCare worked for me and I am comfortable with my decision because I tried all the other "gimmicks". It isn't for everybody, but it is for some.
If you ever need a cheerleader, I am here for you, but you need to share your needs. That was always my problem. I always assumed others should just know what I need. Not sure why I thought that, because I didn't even know what I needed.
I am glad to say, I have found it. I am much more active in church, my relationship with my Lord is much stronger and continues to grow. I am so thankful for that and for my many Christian friends who always seem to uplift me when I need it.
Again, I say, I know you can do it, one baby step at a time. Just remember, if you take a step back, it doesn't mean you have to keep walking backwards!

theMom said...

Thanks, Mary. I totally know what you mean about not being able share with others what I need, becasue I haven't even figured it out myself most of the time. Thanks for the support!