When Life Gets In The Way
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Most of my sparkbuddies know that my life has become wrapped around my aging/ailing parents while I am still raising my own family. I heard this is called the "sandwich" generation. (Go figure, it's named after a food item!) So, because of everyone else's needs I gave. I gave to my children. I gave to my husband. I gave to the cat. I gave to my parents. I gave to our home. I gave to my parents home. I gave to my sister, the full-time working, single mom. After all, I am the stay at home mom and everybody thinks I have all the time in the world to give to their needs. So, I gave, I gave, and then I gave some more because that's what I thought I was supposed to be doing.
What happens to the giver when they eventually run out of gas and are on empty? They breakdown and can't go anymore. It's no wonder my body was craving simple carbohydrates, sugar and coffee. It was seeking energy in order to continue giving to everyone else's needs. I heard this all the time...the caretaker is the one who suffers. I didn't actually "get it" until I started to actually live it. I'm one of those people who have to get certain lessons through experience. So, a couple of years and some 20 pounds later, there I was sad, broken and empty.
One year ago I found SparkPeople.com. This was the beginning of applying the airline industry's flight emergency instructions of "put the oxygen mask on yourself first". I had just enrolled in personal training sessions 3 times per week. Those sessions consisted of stretching, a 20 minute cardio warm up followed by 30 minutes of strength training. Other days of the week I often used my own cardio exercise equipment or simply walked outside. My exercise time is now referred to as my "therapy" for that is what it has become for me. If I'm going to continue to be there for others in life, I need to be there for myself first. This is not selfish. This is self sustaining.
You're probably wondering how much weight I've lost in the past year. Not much. For me it never was about a huge weight loss. It was about making healthierchoices for myself first, ditching the middle aged fat roll around the middle of my body and generally building some much needed muscle so I could remain strong. Yes, I lost some weight, but not a lot. Most importantly, I started taking care of myself first, I went from 32% body fat down to 25% and I now drink 12 glasses of water daily. I've got great biceps, can actually see my abdominal muscles again and I've literally picked my booty up off the ground without the help of a plastic surgeon! :)
My main goal for this next year with SparkPeople is to continue with my "therapy" (exercise) and start concentrating on my nutritional needs. The type of food I choose is currently a weak area for me. Now that my "vehicle" (body) is a top of the line Lexus, I need to start feeding it with "premium" fuel. I know I will do this with the help of all my wonderful buddies I chat with daily on here and the enormous amount of resources on SparkPeople.com.
I love this website! It's gave me back to myself. I am eternally grateful. thank you all for being here.