one woman's journey to a new life

a girl, a year, a hundred pounds to lose … and everything to gain

here’s what i know about life … it goes on July 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — martiikuznicki @ 9:08 pm

it’s been a rough few weeks for me, personally. my father is in the hospital: he fell and fractured his hip, and at his age surgery isn’t an option. so he’ll be in the hospital for the next few weeks. on saturday afternoon, my cousin’s grandmother (who might as well have been my grandmother as well) passed away. it was sudden, but not completely unexpected – she was in her mid-90s, but it’s still been rough. that’s part of why i’ve been so quiet. apathy girl is winning, i’m just overwhelmed.

 

but, i can’t let it get away from me.

 

so here i am, plowing through. i know i said i was going to share the article i read in the sunday paper back on the 1st, so here it is.

But I don’t want to work out

When we see exercise as non-urgent, we ignore it. So what will move it up the list of priorities? It’s different for everyone.

June 13, 2012|By Julie Deardorff, Tribune Newspapers

When Ande Frayser lacks motivation to exercise, she thinks about the day when she burned a batch of chocolate chip cookies because she was too overweight and out of shape to reach the kitchen in time.

The experience was more than a wake-up call; it was a slap in the face. “It took a mind shift,” said the 40-year-old Maryland mom, who used to find all the usual excuses to avoid working out. “I now look at exercise the same way that I do eating, drinking and going to the bathroom: It is not always convenient, but it must be done.”

Frayser’s experience parallels what researchers are also discovering about exercise: If we don’t think it’s valuable and vital to our daily lives, we simply won’t do it. “It has to be a top priority because we are all too busy to fit anything into our lives that’s not essential,” said Michelle Segar, associate director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy (SHARP) Center for Women and Girls at the University of Michigan.

Still, men and women aren’t necessarily motivated by the same things. Some common reasons people work out, such as weight loss, turn out to be surprisingly ineffective for some people. Our motivation to exercise also changes as we age, because “what we value is determined by our life stage and priorities at the time,” said Segar.

Most women, for example, start exercising to drop weight. But this can backfire; it can actually decrease motivation and worsen body image by fostering unhealthy ideals of thinness and creating unrealistic expectations, Segar said. Not only does that set women up to fail and feel bad about their bodies, but it turns exercise into a chore, and that undermines staying motivated, said Segar, lead author of a new study that looks at the type of ads that motivate men and women to exercise.

“For women, messages might be more motivating if they highlighted the connection between exercise and well-being,” said Segar. Men, on the other hand, may respond positively to ads promoting exercise for weight loss or better health, according to the new research, published in a special edition of the Journal of Obesity. Many men also value competition as a reason to exercise, but women consider it one of the least important reasons to work out, according to Segar’s research.

Segar believes most of us don’t stay motivated because “our society has prescribed it in a very one-size-fits-all way: It has to be intense and make you sweat and has to last 30 to 60 minutes to be worth doing.” In fact, there’s mounting evidence that moving more throughout the day, not just a longer duration, is important for health, said Segar, who advises seeking out any and all movement.

What most dedicated exercisers know is that once they establish the habit and reach a certain fitness threshold, working out gets easier. And while they may have started exercising to impress someone or look a certain way, they often keep doing it because it gives them more energy, improves mental health, can relieve depression and they almost always feel better post-workout.

“Most of the time what got us started running or exercising ends up having very little to do with why we keep at it,” said Christy Lambert, 33, the founder of inspiredrunning.com, who started running because she wanted to prove to an ex-boyfriend that she could run a marathon. “I’m guessing he didn’t care, but it changed my entire life,” said Lambert, of Richland, Wash.

Frayser, who has dropped three sizes since her scorched-cookie debacle four years ago, is now a Zumba addict, takes Pilates-inspired workout classes and walks on her off-gym days. “Physically, I’m sore after a good workout, but mentally and emotionally, it is such a lift to know that I came, saw and conquered,” she said. “Each workout is such a victory for me, that when things aren’t going well in other things, I will hit the gym.”

Some options for inspiration

Some fitness goals can be more motivating than others. Here’s a glance at common sources of inspiration:

Fear of pain. “At the end of the day, avoiding pain is more of a motivator than gaining pleasure,” said Chuck Runyon, the CEO of Anytime Fitness and author of the book “Working Out Sucks (and Why it Doesn’t Have To).” But pain isn’t just physical. “Typically, it’s a hurtful comment that gets people motivated,” he said. “Or it’s a fear of not being able to sit in a roller coaster seat with your child or not seeing them grow up,” Runyon said.

To benefit health or prevent disease. While this sounds good on paper, the goals are too vague and distant. Segar’s research suggests they do a poor job “of bridging physical activity/exercise from ‘important’ to ‘essential.'”

“It’s easy to say ‘I value being healthy’ and much harder to make that non-urgent goal a consistent and top priority in a very busy life,” she said.

Family history: Darla Arni’s grandmother suffered from dementia, and now her mother has also been diagnosed. Hoping to avoid the condition, Arni, 55, walks four miles three to four times a week, practices yoga, meditates and watches her diet. As her mother’s caregiver, she also wants to spare her 17-year-old daughter from going through the same heartache and grief. “My mother’s illness motivates me to keep up the fight,” said Arni, of Slater, Mo.

Competition: Racing — and training for a race — can be highly motivating and provide a powerful sense of accomplishment. Or, if you’re a gym rat, try social media. Andrew Bradley, 29, makes an extra effort to get to his club to maintain his current status as the “Mayor” of the 24-Hour-Fitness in Roseville, Calif. The designation means he has checked into the venue on the Foursquare mobile app more often than anyone else. Whenever someone boots him out of office, he simply goes seven days a week until he reclaims the title.

Money: Paying people to attend the gym regularly for a month can serve as a catalyst to get them past the threshold of starting an exercise program, according to University of California researchers. But incentives are best used with people who currently don’t exercise, the researchers said. Paying people who already exercise may weaken their internal motivation so that when the incentives are removed, the people exercise less than before.

“Because I can”: When Mark Black was in end-stage heart failure, waiting for a heart-lung transplant in 2002, he couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without losing his breath. Post transplant, he has run four marathons. “When I can’t get motivated to run, I remember what it was like not to be able to,” said Black, 34, of Canada. “Then I say I get to run rather than I have to run. It makes all the difference.”

jdeardorff@tribune.com

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what it’s been like to be fat my whole life July 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — martiikuznicki @ 7:12 pm

as a lot of you know, i track my food/movement/everything at myfitnesspal.com. someone in the forums posted a topic ” question for people who have been fat all their life” – and it sparked this. this is a little longer than what i originally posted over there, but the feel is the same.

i’ve always been fat. as i write this, i’m sitting here looking at the last official family portrait we took- since my mother hated the way she looked in pictures. i must be 4 or 5, and i’m a fat girl in a red dress. but i’m smiling- that genuine kool-aid smile that only little kids can give you. i have vivid memories of that dress – it was my favorite, because i felt pretty in it. i wish my scanner was working- i’d share the picture. for those of you who have been to my house, it’s on my bookshelf- ask about it.

it’s always been that way. the fat kid. that’s always been me. right now, at 348- i’m probably the lightest i’ve been since i got married 8 years ago. which was the lightest i can remember being since middle school.

i got a lot of teasing. A LOT of teasing. i was the kid that was ALWAYS picked last in gym- to the point that my gym teacher no longer cared if i ever participated- so i brought a book to gym and hung out in the corner and read. the kids didn’t want me to play, so i didn’t want to play with them. my roommate in college (the first time, it’s a long story) wrote an essay about diversity on how it was for her, a petite african american girl to live with me, the fat white girl. how she’d assumed i was lazy and smelled like b.o.- because that’s what fat people are. i think about the guys in middle school who thought it was funny to smack my behind, because they wanted to see the jiggle. i remember being asked how many stomachs i actually had- like not just how many stomach rolls i had, but as if i was some medical anomaly like an actual cow, since i looked like a cow.

and people wonder why i’ve been in and out of therapy for the better part of two decades.

as i’ve grown older, i’ve gotten much more comfortable with who i am and what i look like. but honestly, i can’t wait to feel better- physically and emotionally. i want to be able to go out and do things and not huff and puff about it.

that’s why i’m working toward this. why i’m trying to shed apathy girl (which isn’t working today, because the change in meds is making me sleepy), and get on with my life.

 

weight — 348.6 lbs

 

apathetic girl is winning July 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — martiikuznicki @ 3:15 am

today was apathy day.

i couldn’t blame it on the weather- after days and days of triple degree heat, it was nice today. i was just…lazy. i’m really tired, although i’m not sure why  just having problems with motivation in general. i did get up and take the dog on a short walk- after much poking and prodding- but that was it. i read two books.  i ate okay – under calories and all of that, but i didn’t do anything.

so here’s where i ask for suggestions:

what do you do when you’re unmotivated…

 

Update… July 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — martiikuznicki @ 10:55 pm

No, I haven’t fallen off the wagon- I swear.

It’s been a really stressful week- we had a house guest, my cousin and his family were in town, so there’s been a lot of running around like a chicken without a head. Not all of it was conducive to my progress, but not all weeks are going to be. Factor in ridiculous heat and and an even more ridiculous heat index… and that’s not helping either.

That being said: I don’t think I’ve done that bad.

I haven’t weighed in yet. I’d meant to this morning, but I woke up late and had a job interview to get to (I know- exciting. This being unemployed business is for the birds), so it looks like Friday will be weigh in day. So, when in doubt, you know you’ll see an update here on Friday mornings- even if it’s just blah, a number.

I’m having problems with the carb cravings, which leads me to believe I should be approaching this a different way. Cold turkey didn’t work – surprise surprise! – so a tapering thing has to be figured out. My blood sugars have been working their way down, and thankfully, the metformin isn’t doing ridiculous things to my stomach this go round.

For those of you who are also on your own journeys – there are a few websites I use to track things. I’m big on the accounability thing. Mainly, I’m over at myfitnesspal.com (username is alottamoxie). The last week was bad as far as keeping track of things – but today is a new day, so I’m not going to stress over the fact that last week was in the toilet.

I’ve got 2 posts planned for tonight: one with stuff I need, and the other being a transcript of something I saw in the Trib on Sunday and want to share. Just so you know.