Li'l shout-out to Jenn for completing Bikram Yoga's intensive 9 week Teacher Training! I have a link in my Lap Band blogroll (to the side) to her blogs (sheshrinks and yogabootcamp)...Jenn had lap band surgery some time ago (is it about 2 years? Maybe 3...) and lost 100 lbs. Now she's fallen in love with Bikram Yoga, went to the "yoga boot camp" known as Teacher Training, held in Acupulco, Mexico, and blogged every single day about the experience, for 9 weeks! She is a true inspiration for anyone who wants to change their sedentary, overweight lifestyle to make the most of their body and their health. Kudos, Jenn! Make sure to check her blog out and congratulate her for her amazing accomplishment. Teacher Training includes looooonng days of lectures, intensive posture clinics, learning and performing the specific dialogue that goes with the 90 minute long class, and of course, 2 yoga classes per day for the whole 9 weeks, all performed in a 105 degree yoga studio. Wow! I don't think any of us who have been banded could have imagined that something like that was within the realm of possibility when we were being wheeled in to surgery, whatever day that was for us. But it is...and she is living proof, if you love it enough, are willing to put in the work and take yourself to the limit, you can achieve unbelievable things with your body (and your mind, my impression is that this experience is even more of a mental and spiritual challenge than a physical one).
Checking out her back-at-home pics in Seattle made me a little nostalgic for my years living in Seattle. I have reasons that I don't live there anymore...but still, it does hold a lot of good memories for me there. Her favorite coffee spot is just a couple of blocks away from my condo that I sold 6 years ago--gosh, has it been that long already?!? Truth be told, the condo wasn't a very good idea for me. It was more than I could afford, but I was just divorced and refused to go from owning a home to owning nothing--and so, it sort of sucked me into much more debt than I could handle, which necessitated my selling it a few years later. Turns out my ARM mortgage would have sucked me under even worse if I had kept it any longer, even though my home appreciated quite well in value--I frankly wasn't in a position to own that place. So I sold and started traveling, and I wouldn't give that back for the world, even if I could have afforded to stay in that little 1 bedroom condo in Fremont. It brought me to different cities and different work experiences, which helped me focus on what I wanted out of life and out of my career...eventually brought me to Portland, which I fell in love with, and someone else I fell in love with, my husband. And then, to this new adventure of anesthesia school. But it all started there, in Fremont. Ahh, the memories.
While I'm shouting-out, I saw another good post on Tulip's blog, The New Me (Thinspiration). Her title says it all: Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. I had a similar conversation recently on LBT with some folks who wanted to know how to get motivated to start exercising. I responded that I don't think motivation is so much the issue as just making a decision. I didn't really find the motivation to start exercising--I just knew I had to do it, and I decided to do it. You are motivated by wanting to lose weight and be healthier--that gets you started. But you don't really find "motivation" to work out, you just put on your gym clothes and get out there. The beauty --and the curse, in a way--is that once you get your butt out there, the real motivation comes in the form of the positive feeling you get from exercising and moving your body. It's a curse because you have to overcome the inertia to get that positive feedback of endorphins and so on that brings you back. But I use that as my reason to work out. I know I will feel so much better if I move, than if I sit on the couch.
In Tulip's post, she talks about hitting a plateau (hi, me too) and just keeping on trucking because she's formed the habits. You do lose that motivation boost when you aren't actively losing weight, and you have to rely on your habits and your long term goals to keep at your new healthy lifestyle. I'm glad that my exercise habits aren't so easily derailed when I'm not losing weight, because I don't really connect the two in my head--but the eating habits are so hard to keep on track when you aren't seeing "results".
Ahh, results. Last week's plan to break my plateau did not work--I tracked calories and they were not terribly off track. I planned meals better, and cooked more. I couldn't find any major problem areas, just little derails here and there that I'm sure add up, but even when counting them into my days, they didn't seem to be the culprit. This week I am prepping for the big exam, and you know what? I think that's going to be my focus. I'll just keep doing what I've been doing eating wise, try to be conscious about not snacking or eating stuff that's going to sabotage me, and otherwise not stress it. I'll just spot this week to the Plateau--okay, Plateau, you get week 6 on me. I don't think a fill is the answer. I "can" eat a lot of food if I push it, but if I eat the right amount, I stay full for 3 or 4 hours, or more, so that seems fine to me. I can keep eating the right amount of food without too much stress, and I do, routinely. So no fill for now. Who knows what will happen? Maybe something good will come of easing off the (food) stress for the week. Will keep you posted.