Apr 092014


V is for Victory

I think one of the biggest factors that will lead to success in weight loss is positive thinking and recognizing how far you’ve come. Celebrating the successes is SO motivating. It helps us get through those plateaus; it helps us get back on track when we stumble along the way (which we all will at some stage).

When I first decided it was time to lose weight, I knew I couldn’t do both the exercise and the food part at the same time–not right away. I needed to take it step by step. I chose fitness first. I started swimming a few times a week and it was HARD. It was so hard. I hadn’t been swimming in probably 5 or 6 years and I was so out of shape I could barely make it down to the end of the pool. Instead of being discouraged or giving up, I made that my goal–to swim to the end of the pool without stopping.

The first victory came a month later. I hadn’t changed any of my food habits yet, but after just one month of swimming I was 10 pounds lighter. It was amazing! It was the boost I needed to see that this could really work! The next victory came a few months later when I was able to swim the length of the pool. As time went by I made knew goals. I wanted to be able to swim a lap (down and back) without having to rest on one side. The tenacity worked and slowly but surely I was becoming conditioned to swim. My next goal was to swim half a mile. It may have taken me a very long time, but I got there. Then the goal was to swim half a mile without stopping to rest!

Each step of the way I made mini goals for myself and focused on that. Instead of dwelling on the number on the scale I celebrated my successes at each milepost. It was such a good feeling to accomplish my goals. The day that I was able to swim 1 full mile without stopping to rest, I was ecstatic! When I got home I called one of my friends to tell her of my victory. I wanted SOMEONE to know what I had done! The positive support helped me in so many ways.

There were other victories on my journey. Each time I went down in a pant size I was euphoric. It was such a cool feeling to buy new clothes in smaller sizes! When I reached my first goal of losing 50 pounds I celebrated by buying some new clothes.

My suggestion for celebrating your victories is to choose rewards that are not food oriented. That will just sabotage how far you’ve come. Instead, do something nice for yourself. Get a pedicure. Buy some new clothes. Go to a movie you’ve been dying to see, ask a friend to help you celebrate. Basically, make note of your success and relish in!

Your victories don’t have to be the number on the scale, either. As I illustrated above, most of my victories were related to reaching a goal as opposed to the scale. Celebrate those NSV’s!!!

You would think the ultimate victory for me was when I reached my goal weight (150 pounds). As I wrote about before in the post The Arrival Fallacy, that wasn’t the case:

“…the ‘arrival fallacy’ the belief that when you arrive at a certain destination, you’ll be happy. The arrival fallacy is a fallacy because, though you may anticipate great happiness in arrival, arriving rarely makes you as happy as you anticipate.”

Honestly, reaching goal was kind of anticlimactic. Once again, all the things that made me happy were the goals I accomplished as opposed to the scale. Finishing 55 miles in Reach the Beach made me happier than seeing 150 pounds on my scale.

Do I still celebrate my victories? Not as much anymore. My maintenance mode has become the norm for my life and I don’t really think about stuff like that anymore. I do still try to have goals for myself but even those seem to have less emphasis. Time will tell if that changes.

Do you celebrate your victories? What is one you can share with me? 

A-Abstinence * B-Balance * C-Calories * D-Vitamin D * E-Emergency * F-Fast Food and Fine Dining * G-Gym Bag * H-Happy Weight * I-Intervals * J-Jumping * K-Keeping Sane * L-Losing Weight * M-Measuring Mistakes *N-Nemesis * O-Open * P-Plateaus Q -Quitting * R-Runner’s Knee * S-Support * U – Unattainable *

Dec 192013

Holiday Gift Guide: Swimmers

It’s that season! The season of shopping. If you’re like me and hate big crowds– avoiding Black Friday like I’ll get the Bubonic Plague if I go–head to the internets! I love Amazon shopping.

If you have a swimmer in your life, or want to become one yourself, here are some great gift ideas to start out with.

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Swimming Buoy–I love my buoy! It’s a great tool to have for swimming laps. It helps develop your upper body AND it can give your lower body a rest after some hard laps.

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Swimming Paddles– These are also great for developing upper body strength. The paddles are also wonderful tools for beginners learning how to freestyle. Wearing paddles helps you improve your form (and stop slapping your hands into the water).

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Swimming Cap–I never swim without my cap. It protects my hair from the chlorine damage and keeps my hair out of my eyes. It’s so useful for people with long hair!

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Swimming Goggles–They really do make the experience so much nicer. I see people swimming laps in the pool without them and they just look miserable. I don’t know how they do it without goggles.

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Nose Clips–I never swim without mine!

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Swimming Flippers–Some people really love swimming with fins and a snorkel. Give it a try if you want to. Make sure your ankles are pretty strong before using flippers or you could experience some discomfort.

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Swimming Drills–This book intrigues me. I haven’t read it yet but I kinda want it for myself! I do my own drills in the pool. I have a base routine and then make up drills for myself. But if you’re a newbie and not sure what to do, having a guide is a good idea.

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Lap Computer–This thing looks cool. “The Pool-Mate will record and display lap count, time, average strokes per lap, speed, distance, calories and efficiency. The computer has enough memory to store and recall up to 400 sessions, and will record the same data for individual sets within a session (up to 99 sets) so you can evaluate performance changes across a session.” Dear Santa: I kinda want this! :)

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Anti-Fog Spray–I hate it when my goggles fog up!

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Swimsuit–Having a good swim suit makes a world of difference. Make sure you get one that will last. Those cheapy ones you can buy in most department stores will not last long for a lap swimmer. Soon they will be faded, stretched out and maybe even see-through!

As you can see there are TONS of really great gifts out there for the swimmer in your life and they will be forever grateful for new toys to play with in the pool. Happy shopping!

QUESTION: What’s your favorite swimming item?