Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday: You're My Inspiration

Cades Cove - GSMNP
March 4, 2013

I considered subtitling this post "what do you do when boredom strikes," but changed my mind.   That, however, doesn't change the fact.  I admit it.  I am bored with the whole healthy eating thing right now.  I've been at it faithfully (and successfully, I might add) for 16 months this time around.  I found a plan that worked for me and that would be sustainable for a lifetime.  I worked the plan and lost the pounds I had regained from my original weight loss of 65 pounds.  And I have more or less been maintaining that since last summer.  

I know the signs and I know what has happened in the past.  Thankfully, I feel much stronger and somewhat wiser now.  That is reflective even in the fact that this is up for discussion BEFORE I have regained any weight.  But I find myself playing the mental games like 1) just relax for awhile and don't think about it, or 2) you've been so disciplined - it's o.k. to eat some of those things that are known trigger foods, or 3) this is just too hard, just don't worry about it anymore.  A willingness to let down my guard and "relax" for awhile is what has put me into oblivion in the past and I've awakened 30-40 pounds later to realize that "relaxing" really didn't work.  

None of the above are going to happen this time.  I feel strong and in control, but nonetheless, I am bored with food, planning, thinking about it, etc.  Heck, I'm even bored with EATING it!  So I'm looking for inspiration in places OTHER than the grocery store.  Probably no surprise that I would turn immediately to my friends in BlogLand.   As I thought about this and reflected on how grateful I am to be a part of this community, I was also reminded of some very unique ways that other bloggers have become an inspiration to me.

Many years ago, I was loved and mentored by an older woman with whom I worked.  She once told me that it was important to have a small inner circle of trusted friends to whom you were accountable.  In addition to those friends, she always talked about the importance of forming friendships with a wide variety of other people that were very different from me.  In other words, a friend who was much older, much younger, of a different race, complete opposite politically or of different religious beliefs.  Perhaps, someone from a culture that made me slightly uncomfortable, a friend of the opposite sex, a stay-at-home mom (since I was an embarrassingly aggressive career woman at the time), a child, etc.  You get the point!  I've never forgotten that and found it wonderful advice that has brought me friendships I'd never have imagined.  

What does all that have to do with finding inspiration when I'm bored with my healthy eating journey?  I'm so glad you asked!   That advice from long ago has come back to encourage me once again and I find myself looking at the faces behind the blogs I enjoy so much and it is there I find the inspiration that I need to keep on keeping on.  Here's what I mean...............

What would I do without the friends in BlogLand who are already maintaining, have kept off their weight for years and are bold enough to continue writing about their maintenance successes as well as their maintenance struggles?  

Five of those friends have just launched a new team effort called, AIM - Adventure In Maintenance.  Four of these women have been blog friends of mine for quite some time and the fifth I'm getting to know by reading her story from its inception.  You think that's not inspiring....well, think again.  If you aren't friends with these women, get acquainted with them now and be inspired.  Between the five of them, they have lost and maintained more than 500 pounds.

This list certainly isn't exhaustive.  Many other maintainers "inspire" me with their words!

And then there is inspiration of a totally different sort.  Very recently, two young women from my church have become bloggers.  One is a newlywed, the other a young mother pursuing a degree in music.  Neither have any problems with weight and most likely never have.  But both are an inspiration to me simply in their commitment to the things that are important to them.  Bethany is a vegetarian and is highly committed to keeping her meals interesting and exciting despite the rigorous schedule of a full-time student with a five-year old daughter and a husband who is also a full-time student.  She does NOT become "bored" with it!  Courtney follows no set eating plan of which I am aware, but I've known her and her family for many years, shared many meals with them and I can assure you that she keeps her trim figure by not overeating and practicing proper portion control.  They are both on a completely different plane of living than I am right now, but both are an inspiration to me in my efforts to maintain my weight.  (Here are links to both blogs.  Since neither are weight loss related, not likely you'll want to follow them permanently, but if you want to see two beautiful women both inside and out, take a peek!)

I could go on and on listing people and places where I find inspiration.  What I hope you'll take from this post is that when boredom strikes (and it will), that's the time to be creative.  Look for inspiration in the most unlikely places.  Look for it in the unfamiliar.  Look for it hiding underneath something uncomfortable.  Look for it in your fears.  Look for it in nature.  Look for it in music.  Just LOOK!

Guess what??   I'm no longer bored with the healthy eating journey.  
Think I'll plan some menus now!

From whom, what or where do you find inspiration when boredom strikes?


  1. Thank you for mentioning our AIM project, Sharon! Although it's in its infancy, it's been a blast so far. :)

    Like you, I find inspiration in the experiences of other bloggers (present company most definitely included) and in random encounters and observations as well. I also find myself inspired and comforted by my own boredom at times--it tells me that I've incorporated my changes into something that's routine and natural. (When I refuse to be comforted by that, I go in search of something that fits the routine. This week it's Boar's Head Salsalito [correct spelling] Turkey. Spicy and pricey, but oh so delicious! :) )

  2. Hi Sharon! Luckily, I am really never bored with food or anything. I see inspiration everywhere.

    I use a lot of Indian spices and red pepper flakes in my food. I drink very spicy masala chai tea too. Wrigley's Extra gum has a bunch of dessert flavors (like lemon squares, root beer float, and peppermint bonbon) that I sometimes chew during movies or work. But mostly, I look for my excitement outside of food. :D

    :-) Marion

  3. I think you and I are, again, at similar places. I was thinking just the other day about how I am always "on a diet." Or, at least, that is how it might look to someone who doesn't know me. After all my yo-yo years I know that I will always, always have to watch what I eat. And eat a certain way. To someone else, that might look like I'm still on a diet, even though I am at my goal weight. Is it boring? Oddly, sometimes for me boring is good because I see it as a routine or habit. I sure do wish sometimes that I actually enjoyed cooking. That would make things for me a lot less boring:)

  4. Hi, Sharon. As Cammy said, thank you for mentioning AIM! As for boredom, I do what you do: plan menus. When I get away from planning, I become complacent, and really boring. And when I think about it (and I've not given much thought to the boredom/eating connection), when I have boring food in my house, I eat more of it. A trip to the grocery store is definitely in order today!

    BTW, I added your blog to my blog roll on Lynn's Weigh. Hope that's OK?

  5. I love the idea of AIM.... Is it a specific blog post? Tell me more about it. Can anyone join? I am on maintenance --and have done well so far... BUT--this would be a first for me to keep the weight off indefinitely...

    Glad you are doing well. And yes, we all have special blog friends (and other friends) who are our support system. Glad you have so many special people in your life. I feel blessed in that area also.

    Keep up the good work.
    Started my new Photo Blog today. Check it out.

  6. Yay for AIM! It's definitely been fun to do so far.

    I find inspiration in lots of places when I get bored. Blogs, books, even watching those TV shows about the extremely obese (which scares me more than anything else).

    Thanks for sharing *your* blog!

  7. How could you EVER get bored with food? I find it endlessly fascinating LOL.

    Really, I know what you mean. Sometimes if I get bored with quilting (and that almost scares me!) I get out my art quilting books and just look through for inspiration.

    Right now, with food, I am having fun with the challenge of finding new ways to eat just a little lower calorie while still enjoying it.

  8. Forgot to say thanks for liking AIM. Its been fun so far. What a great group of women to work with. I feel honored.

  9. Those maintainers are an inspiration, as are you!

  10. Sharon, I love your mentor's advice to get to know a wide variety of people. When I first decided to start blogging, I was intimidated because I'd noticed that there weren't a lot of blue-collar people blogging, so I didn't feel like I'd quite fit in. Well, I suppose in some ways, I still feel like I don't fit in, but I truly LOVE that so many different kinds of folks come to my blog, and I've found such pleasure in getting to know them. I love how blogging helps you to see how much you actually have in common with folks that in other ways may be quite different.

    As far as boredom is concerned, well...I guess I really never get bored. As long as I have all these shelves full of books, and trees and mountains and birds outside my windows, and places of wonder to wander, I'll be content. I guess I'm just easily amused, haha!

  11. That was some great advice from your mentor Sharon. I can relate to your post as I do sometimes get bored with my routine be it my food plan or my exercise routine. Right now after being side lined due to my foot issues for 6 months I am so delighted to be moving in any fashion. Even being able to do housework is a blessing and I take great delight in being able to scrub floors and clean toilets again!

    Even though I love to cook I routinely go through phases where I am uninspired and can't think of what to make and get tired of what we have been eating. I draw inspiration from reading other blogs, browsing cookbooks or talking with my friends about recipes they have recently tried. A reader of my blog once suggested that I go back through my own posts for inspiration on what to cook!

    I do get tired of having to watch everything I eat and wish I didn't have to. But the alternative eating with abandon and being overweight and unhealthy isn't what I want. Thank goodness these phases always pass and sometimes I think they happen around the time that the seasons change. With the change of seasons comes new seasonal foods, a change in our activities and getting out that seasons clothes. Just these simple changes are usually enough to get me out of that phase of boredom.

  12. I understand the boredom and that it can often be a reason for regaining weight lost or just falling away from good habits. Good for you on being aware and committed.

    After 15 years of maintaining this 150 pound weight loss of mine I still look for new ideas in food, new ways to feel healthier, and mix up my exercise. And then there is this truth. My food may be a bit boring but my life never is!