I was watching the latest biggest finale (I love that show, I very much relate to the contestants) and the winner gave this great speech about how he had overcome all the bad things in his life by having small successes and somehow tying them together. That had taught him how to be a winner again. That struck a core. Big steps are hard for me with MD, but what if I can take baby steps and link them together?
Year 2012, 12 months, 12 challenges, 30 days each... I haven't planned the whole year out, one month at a time. each small step interlacing my real world self and MD persona closer together.
Each month I'm starting a discussion "January 2012" an so on, each day I'm going to try to make  a small journal entry. At the end of the month I'm going to make a blog summary (hopefully with some pics) of the month. By journaling the ups and downs.  By trying to measure my efforts I really hope that I can stay motivated and see this through. 
If there is anyone else who wants to join in, you are more than welcome! Your goals and monthly challenge can differ from mine. 
So January. The first order of business is for me to chuck out my ADSL, tv and put my computer under lock and bolt. These are all major culprits in my MD taking a turn for the supernatural and ostentatiousness that will kill my new years resolution. Btw via cellphone  I can't access my blog or most of the other stuff on this site. 
January is media detox and back to basics month. In MD I'm a very fit (runs marathons, has abs) and very organized person. In real life, the only exercise I get is running to the subway in the morning, because I never can find my stuff so I'm always running late...
This month I will:1 get 8hours of sleep2 work out, at least 3 times per week3 eat a balanced diet (no more potato chips for dinner)4 clean and organize my home5 only DD about actual me 

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I plan on making it with my fiance this weekend as well!

The thing I hate about exercise is my asthma. I try not to let it be an excuse but I detest things like running because I end up very light headed. Even working on the elliptical or some other piece of machinery can make me feel faint too and I DO NOT want to pass out because how dangerous and embarrassing would that be? My heart rate normally gets up there too so I have to watch myself when I workout. When I am engaged in an activity that I really love like Zumba  or kayaking, then I tend to do better and have longer stamina. Mainly just running really is hard for me and is the quickest to make me light headed.

Jan 11. Did 20 min cardio (heart rate around 115), smoothie+dinner. Even if I just go to the gym for a little bit it makes me feel really good. It is something my DD self would do, 10h work day followed by a gym visit. Plus it gives me energy when I get home.  
Last night I managed to get the most of my kitchen organized a little remains though... In the past whenever I cleaned my home it would always be for other peoples sake. I would work really hard to make it look tidy on the surface, but then it would always crash, This is the first time I'm really cleaning for my own benefit. It feels good, I'm really putting in the effort to make it clean and logically organized. That way I will be able to sustain it with my 20min night quick cleans and some vacuuming+scrubbing on the weekends. It's kinda symbolic for this year, I'm done doing things to impress others!  
Tonight I'm doing some laundry (I'm trying not to let it accumulate, plus my gym wardrobe was getting thin) and I want to finish my kitchen and start on the book shelfs... 
Sasi- How was your day? I don't think that it matters if/when we fall down... because we are in it for the long run and if we don't sometimes fail, we aren't trying hard enough! I really recommend it as an audiobook btw, listening to it while doing something life affirming and productive is great.  
Elizabeth- Zumba is so much fun! Plus it give you moves you can actually use :) are you doing it in class or at home with a dvd? 
Rox- you are the therapist here, what is your take on this: 
My whole plan with the JM approach is that I wan't to use workouts as a way of not only getting physically stronger, but also conditioning my mind to become a fighter and to finally stand up for the real me. I'm on the machine, my pulse is crazy high and it feels like I going to die or throw up. All my defenses are down, in that moment "Jillian" is forcing me to meet my demons and push through. Afterwards I feel like a warrior... 

I certainly believe the two (or more) are all related.  When you are feeling stronger physically, this spills over into emotional, spiritual realms, etc.  Who do you think is the "real you?"  The real-life you, the DD you, some version of the 2, or someone yet to be discovered?  

A good day yesterday.I finally made it to the gym.30mins on cross trainer then 5 mins on rowing machine followed by 20mins mat work for muscle strength.Surprisingly I was fine while I did it and no aches this morning.Eating was mixed yesterday.Healthy during the day but then succumbed to chocolate in eve.Basically I was awaiting some important news yesterday and the stress got to me.However the massive adrenaline surges that i'm having at the moment are obviously affecting my metabolism as i'm 3lbs lighter this morning???No idea how that happened but my scales pretty accurate and I'm not dehydrated so i'm just enjoying the thrill of it.

 I agree that being healthy and strong physically affects your mental health as well.

I read the NY Times article and thought it was extremely interesting.I have thought for a long time that dieting messes long term with your body.I also believe that most people have an emotional relationship with food which lasts lifelong.I was slightly disconcerted that in one of the studies almost everyone who had kept large amounts of weight off for over a year put it back on again.I'm very realistic about my weight.I have kept my weight off for a year but I do have to be hyper vigilant.The article also confirmed something I have personally experienced.I need a lot less calories than most to maintain the weight I am at.Around 1000-1200 per day keeps me steady.I know this is way under the norm but it works for me and I actually eat a fairly healthy diet within those calories.as I said before I also tend to do Mon-Thurs really strictly then more relaxed Fri-Sun.Exercise for me makes no difference at all to my weight(many studies back this up) but exercise contributes to my overall health which is a more holistic goal.

I am trying very hard to keep my real persona in my dd rather than my alter ego one.I think that really helps me stay grounded.

Have a good day all of our weight watching,zumba warriors!

Jan 12. Tonight I had carefully laid plans with a friend, that due to traffic and work got cancelled... So I found myself at home a bit later than usual. I had dinner, then sat and stared out in open space. This is why I at this point always need to have a plan! I shuffled around my apartment a bit and pondered what I have been thinking of all day "Who is the real me?". It feels like  12 years of MD has severed my mind-body-soul connection and I'm just waking up. It's like I'm looking into this foggy mirror and all I see is a blob. So I took a hot bath and brought a mirror, pen+pad and my driving license with me. The bath was a very Jason Bourneish experience, looking into a mirror and in different languages saying "Who are you".  The only thing i got down on paper was water spots. I got out, shuffled some more... Then put music on and tried on some of the better pieces in my wardrobe and tried to get a feel for it.  
The real me is when my mind, body and soul are in alignment. It's my values, personality and dreams. It's the bond I have with the people I love and who love me back. it's the person I already am, just me. Not smarter, funnier, better. It's not something I can get down on paper.   
It's not my degree, job, wardrobe, weight or bank account. Well Im, not going to quit my job, become overweight, throw away my tailored Italian wool blazer and donate all my saving to the Red Cross. But I need to find a way to exist and not think that I need those things to be a loveable person... 
Sasi- You are an inspiration! 
Rox- Thank you for getting me thinking...

Sasi. I also agree with you & the findings.  I stay between 1000-1200 cal. a day. to maintain & have to be hyper-vigilant.  I have read reviews of people in Weight Loss Registry (people who have lost over 10 pounds & kept it off for some period of time - average wt. loss is, I believe 70 lbs.).  I have followed them for years, figuring they were the ones who had actually done it, so was glad to see this study take them heavily into account.  I used to wear sophitocated arm bands ( like on the Biggest Loser) which measured heart rate, heat rate, everything.  They could tell when I was laying in bed awake , as opposed to sleeping with total accuracy.  (This helped me assess how much I DD.)  I would burn 2000 cal. a day & take in 1000 cal. a day.  (I have become quite obsessive about weighing & measuring everything.  I take my own dressing out with me, along with measuring spoons.)  I was supposed to lose 2 pounds a week, and would lose 2-4/10 of a pound.  I kept calling technicians & they would say I was miscalculating my food intake (by like 800 cal. a day?)  I knew I wasn't.  So it actually made me feel very validated to see their study.

 Another thing I got out of it was that our leptin levels are chronically low so we are just hungrier.  For years we've been told here that if you ate an adequate meal & found yourself hungry an hour or two later, it was psychological hunger - stress, boredom, etc.  But now we see that actually we are probably just hungry.  

But it was also a huge wake-up call to not get lazy.  Any time I put on weight, I may well have to deal with that extra pound forever.  It really makes me rethink just "taking off for the holidays" or this "one time."  

I got into severe dieting thru twenties & beyond so that I could stay at about 100 pounds.  That wasn't skinny at 5'2", so no one called me anorexic, but that's what I was.  I was obviously meant to be heavier than that, but that wasn't the look I wanted.  Living on 800 calories for many years started this whole cycle.  Now I'm stuck with it.

Jan 13.
This morning I started with a smoothie, at 6:45am I was in the gym, on the elliptical and did 45min. I picked up a badminton racket on my lunch break and met up with Elizabeth. We had soup in a cafe and today's topic was self esteem and the NY Times article... In the afternoon I had an appointment with an allergy specialist. I have terrible allergies in the spring and summer, it makes my MD worse and really limits me. So I'm doing a allergy vaccine treatment and I really hate needles :( 

This weekends plans: early drive and grocery shopping tomorrow, then I'm playing badminton and having lunch with my friend Danny. In the evening I'm making pizza with my family and watching the gladiators (last week was very entertaining). On Sunday I'm going home early to work out, and fight my never ending heap of clutter. I’m not as vigilant about not being alone at my family’s house this weekend, but I do keep my door open if I’m in my bedroom, baby steps!

Lightman- you are doing so consistently well. I need your strength to inspire me at the moment. I am having an uncharacteristic complete failure/ can't be bothered phase the last 2 days. I can't wait for my mind and body to have enough resources to start making amends. I know it will happen. I just hope it will be this week before damage limitation gets too big. Sorry to be negative. I'm just struggling with too much causing me to overeat massively,no exercise at all today and needing to dd about me in super persona to boost my esteem. Not great. 
Roxanne- thanks for being so honest and open about your weight in the past. I misread slightly and thought you were saying 5 ft 2 and 100 lbs was normal. I had slight freak out as checked on bmi scales and it's well below the underweight centile. What was more telling though was that rather than be shocked/ concerned about your weight I immediately started to think how overweight I must be at my height and weight( my bmi is 20). Now what dies that say about my own messed up self image? I do feel a big pressure to be a lot slimmer than I am due to media nonsense. The reality is at a size 8 uk/ 4 US I'm perfectly fine , also if my weight dips below my comfortable minimum I feel really unwell. I realise I have no proper perception of what is " normal" anymore. I'm sure this connect hugely to dd to try to correct my " faults"

Here' s to me having a steadier week next week and the rest of you keeping up the good work

Lightman said:

Jan 13.
This morning I started with a smoothie, at 6:45am I was in the gym, on the elliptical and did 45min. I picked up a badminton racket on my lunch break and met up with Elizabeth. We had soup in a cafe and today's topic was self esteem and the NY Times article... In the afternoon I had an appointment with an allergy specialist. I have terrible allergies in the spring and summer, it makes my MD worse and really limits me. So I'm doing a allergy vaccine treatment and I really hate needles :( 

This weekends plans: early drive and grocery shopping tomorrow, then I'm playing badminton and having lunch with my friend Danny. In the evening I'm making pizza with my family and watching the gladiators (last week was very entertaining). On Sunday I'm going home early to work out, and fight my never ending heap of clutter. I’m not as vigilant about not being alone at my family’s house this weekend, but I do keep my door open if I’m in my bedroom, baby steps!

Well I don't work Friday and since my brother has gone back to school, today was the first day that I've woken up to a house by myself. I have to say that I definitely indulged and DDed a LOT more than I meant to. But I did get some laundry done today and a light little workout. My mom came home for lunch and she and I discussed something that I've been thinking about doing lately: volunteering. 

I feel a void in my life since school stopped. Right now I do have a job but until I can reach for something else, I feel stuck and complacent. I used to volunteer a lot when I was younger - Crisis center, candy striping, etc. - and it gave me more of a purpose than the everyday humdrum. AND its something me and my dd self have in common, a need to help others. As my mother pointed out to me when you help others, you help yourself. I have decided to look into my Literary council and their program on teaching others to read. I LOVE books and reading, which lends a hand to my dding, so I will be putting my love for it to good use. I think it will help and definitely something to consider if you like making a difference. Its also something I'll be held accountable to so I won't flake. :) 

and I do Zumba in classes and some @ home using the wonderful Youtube. lol

Sasi, has your work load diminished at all?  I remember co-workers were sick & you were stuck with a lot extra.  Plus home pressures?  It really tests your mettle when you get hit from all sides. - a test I usually fail miserably.  

BTW, my days of 100 pounds are way behind me, but my efforts to stay there - in retrospect I'm sure I was anorexic - started the whole ball rolling.  Now I'm much heavier & just trying to maintain this.  I'd be ecstatic to be a size 4 again.  I'm happy to be in an 8.  (Well, maybe not happy.)  

Lightman, you look like you could be doing a Fit & Healthy magazine article.  This is very impressive.  

Elizabeth, how are you doing?

Elizabeth, I think volunteer work is fantastic.  You sound like you have so much to offer.  When I worked in the hospital, patients loved the volunteers, because they didn't have to come.  They weren't getting paid or anything, just came because they wanted to spend time with patients, some of whom were very depressed with low self-esteem.  It made a big difference to them.

Another message from MissRepresentation--

Last week we laid out five resolutions for 2012 and this week we are following through on number one: Get healthy
 

Often, when we think about health, we fall into conversations around weight and physical appearance (just browse the covers of so called "health" magazines). By focusing so heavily on our looks - especially in a media climate that celebrates such dangerous ideals of beauty - we risk neglecting our own true inner health and safety.

One of the first steps to addressing this is actually looking at the language we use to describe "being healthy." Not just in our heads, but when talking with others. Something as innocent as a compliment - "you look skinny" or "you look great" - can contribute to this obsession with weight and looks. 

This week's action is simple: try avoiding complimenting anyone on their physical appearance for an entire week, including yourself. No conversations about losing weight or being pretty. Instead, tell the loved ones in your life how smart they are, how you admire their confidence or even just how happy they seem! Celebrate the talents and abilities of those around you without mentioning appearance. 

By shifting the way we talk about this subject we can begin to shift the entire mindset around what it means to be healthy. This is the year we stop judging ourselves and others by what is in the mirror, and instead see in everyone the same potential for greatness.

This is the year we get healthy.

Warmest,

Jennifer Siebel Newsom and the MissRepresentation.org team

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