Bloggers’ Challenge – Week 2 – To reward, or not reward, that is the question….

The reward of a thing well done is having done it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am a primary school teacher, so I spend an awful lot of time every day giving out rewards – both verbal and token. I can claim stamps, stickers and certificates on my income tax. It’s an integral part of my job to provide extrinsic rewards to others, in order to recognise their achievements and encourage them to go on doing their best.

So in this week two challenge, I’m asking you, my fellow bloggers to think about how important rewards are for you on your 12wbt journey. Do you think they are a necessary part of the journey? Do they hinder or help?

Awards are so unnecessary, because I think we get so much out of our work by just doing it. The work is a reward in itself.

Natalie Portman

Question 1. (For everyone doing the challenge)

What are your goals for this week?

What is/are your main goal/goals for week four of the twelve weeks?

What is/are your main goal/goals for week eight of the twelve weeks?

What is/are your main goal/goals for week twelve of the twelve weeks?

What is/are your main goal/goals for one year in the future?

Now you’ve answered the question about your goals, there are three ways you could respond to this week’s Bloggers’ Challenge. Remember though, there is no right or wrong, what you believe is right for you is right for you. This week’s challenge is about exploring how you think about this and considering what is the best thing for you to do for yourself.

So, do you agree with Natalie Portman and Ralph Waldo Emerson? Or not? 

If you do agree……..

2. Why do you think extrinsic, or external rewards, for achieving goals on the 12wbt are not an important part of the journey?

3. If you don’t reward yourself when you achieve goals – do you still recognise your achievements somehow?

So, if you don’t agree with Natalie Portman and Ralph Waldo Emerson, then here is your questions 2 and 3.

2. Why do you think its important to reward yourself along the way as you achieve your goals as a  12wbt?

3. What rewards do you have planned when you achieve the goals?

And if you both agree and disagree with Natalie Portman and Ralph Waldo Emerson, then you can answer both question 2s and 3s.

Remember, your answers can be as long or short as you want them to be. They can be answered in sentences or in point form. You can add photos too if you want to illustrate your point of view, or share how your journey is for you visually.

If you’d like to join in with the challenge then create a post on your blog to answer the questions – or just the ones you’d like to answer. 

Then copy the link for that blog post – not the link for the entire blog – just this one post. Then paste the link in the Linky Tool below. Everyone who wants to – whether you are writing a blog post for the challenge or not – can then click on the links in the linky tool to read all the responses to this week’s challenge.

 

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Set your goals in concrete but your plans in sand. Be flexible with your strategies but firm on your goals.

Tomorrow is Sunday of week 8 of my third round of 12wbt. Mini-milestone day for me. I will be taking part in a fun run.

However, today something happened, that in the long run might just mean more than achieving my goal tomorrow for the mini-milestone.

At the end of the BodyPump class there was the usual stretch track – all done on the floor. At the end of the track we did a hip flexor stretch. And when I finished instead of leaning on the bench for support or using my hand (or both hands for support) I just stood up. This was a huge deal. This time last year at about 155kgs I could not get up off the floor without Mr G literally pulling me up. When I was doing stretches at Curves or a Zumba class I would either roll very elegantly 😉 or scoot on my bum, over to a piece of furniture I could use to pull myself up.

But today, a year down the track at 109kgs, I just got up off the floor – and wanted to shout out, “Look mum, no hands!”

For a number of years as I got close to 165kgs and then hit that highest weight, I couldn’t even get up off our lounge at bedtime each evening without Mr G literally pulling me to my feet. Each night at 10.30pm-ish the feelings of dread and failure would build up as I knew I would have to face yet again how pathetic I believed I had become. It was nothing short of torture going to bed each night thinking I had failed at the last thing I had to do that day. And those negative feelings began a downward spiral, each and every night, that I had let myself go to the point I would never be able to do anything about it.

I am so glad I have proved myself wrong.

The achievement at 10.30 this morning got me thinking about just how far I had come.

So, having already put in my results for this week’s fitness test this morning, I went back to look at my results for the beginning of my first round of 12wbt.

September 2011

1km time trial: 11min 47 sec

Push ups: 8 on knees

Wall sit: 15 secs

Sit and reach: -9cm

Abdominal Strength: level 1

July 2012

1km time trial: 7min 10 sec

Push ups: 31 on knees

Wall sit: 1min 49secs

Sit and reach: 7cm

Abdominal Strength: level 3

When I first started 12wbt last August in the preseason my goal was to get to 77kgs by my birthday at the end of July 2012. Well, this hasn’t happened, but I certainly don’t consider myself a failure. My goal has remained the same – set in the concrete, to reach 77kgs. But the plans have changed according to the circumstances of my life. I have had a few setbacks. Spraining my ankle twice in round 3 2011. A bout of clinical depression ( a relapse according to my doctor) in round 1 2012 which caught me by surprise. Three weeks of being seriously ill with two infections in round 2 2012. Who knows, if it hadn’t been for these three setbacks, maybe I’d be 77kgs by now. It doesn’t bear thinking about, because it doesn’t really matter. I am running my own race to get to my goal weight. It doesn’t actually matter when I get there, as long as I keep working towards that goal.

I realised today after my SSS that the last two weeks have proven to be another setback. I had just finished a BodyPump class, followed by a Sh’Bam class and I was talking to the instructor. Ms P, the instructor, the one who takes my favourite 6am BodyPump classes on Mondays and Thursdays. Which of course I haven’t been to in the last two weeks as I am responsible for taking calls from unwell teachers, and then making the calls to secure a casual teacher to replace them. To do so I have to make sure I am available  from 6am to 7.30am each morning.

I admitted to Ms P that in the last two weeks on Monday to Thursday nights I had been to one Bodypump, one BodyBalance and one Zumba class – and one stroke correction lesson. I admitted out loud my excuse was I was just so tired in the early evenings after work. She suggested to not go home first, but to come to the gym on the way home. Then I had to admit that every morning I would put my gym bag in the car,  and five of those eight evenings I drove straight past the gym to go home.

I realised I had ignored what I had written in the sand. I realised I had let myself down. And Ms P reminded me that if I was feeling tired the best thing I could do would be to exercise. Lesson learned for me. Pulling out the JFDI card is just as important at 6pm as it is at 6am. And the bottom line is that if I choose not to JFDI I won’t be any closer to my goal in four weeks time, and my fitness test results may not look too different than they do right now.

I will achieve my goal. I will do the work that is needed to achieve the goal. I will rewrite the plans in the sand to include a JFDI card. I want more moments like the one I experienced this morning.

I can make excuses or I can achieve my goal. Bit of a no brainer really.

(Thanks to my friend and fellow 12wbt-er who posted the quote I have used in the title above. When I saw it before leaving for the gym this morning I thought that sums up my journey so far. Then, breakthrough moment as I am leaving the gym, it is totally relevant for where I am right now.)

Happier and healthier – without a doubt!

Its pretty hard for me to believe that this time last year I weighed 160kgs, and probably more importantly, felt I was never going to get below 100kgs.  Some people who are morbidly obese will tell you they are healthy and totally happy with their lives.  That may well be so, I only know what it was like for me when I was morbidly obese.

It wasn’t fun. And I wasn’t totally happy with my life. And I know I wasn’t healthy.

At 160kgs I was

* morbidly obese – look up the word morbid in a dictionary, and then tell me that’s healthy.  It’s synonyms are “unhealthy – diseased – unsound – ill -sickly”.

* unable to bend down and tie my own shoelaces

* unable to paint my own toenails

* out of breath walking up the staircase in my house.

* having a very *limited* choice when going shopping for clothes.

* always dreading the moment my family were given abooth to sit at in a restaurant.

Thank goodness I signed up for the 12wbt last August, and as I did, became determined to ensure it was going to work. It has been a bumpy journey at times, and as it has made me examine why I made the choices I did and why I continue to make the excuses I do (but I’m pleased to say there are significantly less of those) it moves me right out of my comfort zone. So at times it is hard work. But I have never regretted my decsion, and I know for sure I never will.

Last week I gained 0.2kgs – it was week one of the lastest round so I pouted a little, put the scales away and just got on with it.  I knew I had done the work that would have justified a decent loss, but logically, I also know the scales may not show that at the precise moment I step on them that effort for many reasons. I was so tempted to hop on again during the week. But I resisted, because I know the best thing to do is hop on just once a week.

And I was glad I stayed positive and didn’t let the scales dictate my mood. This morning I got on and I was down 5.9kgs. Yes that’s right – almost 6kgs. I don’t see it as a one week loss though – I really see it as a loss over two weeks.

So that now takes me to 110.7kgs.

At 110.7kgs I am

* categorised as obese – not severely obese or morbidly obese – just obese.

* I can stand on one leg to put on a sock (though I do prefer to sit down).

* I can paint my own toenails.

* I can exercise for  two hours and fifteen minutes in a SSS, burn 1655 calories and not feel totally exhausted.

* on the verge of being able to shop anywhere I like for my clothes, and take advantage of great bargains.

* not worried about where my family is seated in a restaurant.

This morning’s weigh in means I have now lost more then 50kgs.

It means I am only 3.8kgs away from having less than 30kgs to lose to get to my goal.

I am in tears now (happy ones I think) because I realise there really is light at the end of the tunnel for me and there is no need to doubt myself anymore.

That was then, this is now

It would be hard to adequately to describe my level of excitement today as I prepared to leave for Melbourne, and then waited for the hour hand on the clock to tick around to three.

My colleagues would probably say I was literally jumping out of my skin.  I can’t remember when I was this excited about something in the last few years. And yet I wasn’t wishing away the hours – I really enjoyed my time spent teaching today. 

And that fundament shift in attitude is part of what I have gained being a member of 12wbt while I have been losing the kilograms. As well as having a much more positive outlook on all aspects of my life, I also appreciate the small things and I am aware of my feelings of gratitude for the things I used to take for granted.

Making the trip to Melbourne – I’m in the air as I type – is time for celebration for the things I have achieved since last August – as well as a time to think about my goals between now and the end of August 2012.

Arriving at the airport and getting off the long term parking shuttle bus I didn’t lose my breath while “running like a girl” (picture Elaine in Seinfeld) trying to keep up with long legged Mr G as he raced towards check in.

Walking through the shops and food court between the security check and the departure gate I wasn’t the least bit tempted by any of the food on offer. At lunch I had last night’s leftover green chicken curry, and was planning to have something yummy and low cal from room service once checked in – so a skim cap for afternoon tea was all I craved. No “treating” myself  with junk food.

I found the perfect bracelet for the Finale Party at an accessory shop in the airport – and it fit!

And sitting down in seat 5A – there was no trepidation about the seat belt being too small.

None of this would have happened before August 2011.

I would have been seriously out of breath walking quickly with my luggage. I would have obsessed wondering if I’d have time for Subway and a dessert.  I would have felt too self conscious walking into an accessory shop – forget about trying something on.  And I would have been hoping desperately – and breathing in with all my might while hoping – that I wouldn’t have to ask for a seatbelt extension.

As we left Sydney the plane headed north at first due to the prevailing headwinds. And I could see the route I had taken last year in the City2Surf all lit up. And I remembered the determination that got me through all 14 kilometers at 155kgs.

And as I traced the route from above tonight, I imagined completing the course at 100kgs (or dare I say less) in half the time. And the determination and consistency it would take to get me to those two goals.

As we approached the lights of Melbourne – I thought about how I had visited the city briefly three times over the last twenty years – so that meant I had a vague idea of where I would be, and how I would get there over the weekend.

And I realised that’s what the next fourteen weeks would be like. And that I was excited about expecting the unexpected.