Why do you collect Disney pins?

My Stitch Pin Board

My Stitch Pin Board

“Why do you collect them?” asked the young boy in line at the Disney Soda Fountain.  I was stumped.  I’ve been collecting Disney Trading pins for a couple of years.  I enjoy going to Disneyland and Disney World and trading pins with cast members.  I like hanging out with my pin book full of traders by Little Green Men store in the park and trading with other guests.  It’s fun. 

“Why is it fun?” How do you explain why a hobby is fun?  He didn’t understand the idea of collecting…anything. I tried to explain that I enjoy scavenger hunts and a lot of times finding a pin for a collection is like a scavenger hunt. That seemed to be a satisfactory answer for him.

However, I think it’s more than that. I enjoy spending time with my fiancé. I enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories. I enjoy the sense of community among the pin traders. I enjoy negotiating for trades. I enjoy spotting cast members with lanyards all over the park like a Where’s Waldo game.

It made me wonder…why do other people find their hobbies fun?

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I lost the weight, now it should be easy to keep it off…right?

beforeafter

So I lost 30lbs in a weight loss program last summer.  This was not the first “program” I was on.  I have lost weight, usually around 30lbs in 6-12 weeks, several times in the past 10 or so years.  I’ve had success with Pilates, Atkins, Metaball, and coaching on TV with a famous doctor.  And each time I leave the program and think, “I can do this!” but then a few months pass and I stop exercising because of time or my bad knee acting up or whatever other excuse I can convince myself is valid when the truth is…I HATE exercising.  Then a few weeks later I will have something stressful happen or go on vacation or some other event causes me to stop eating healthy…I’ll just have a burger today, but tomorrow back to normal…until unhealthy eating IS the norm.  I have been fighting this pattern for years and years.  In March I got engaged and shortly after bought my size 6 wedding dress…this was meant to be motivation to stay a size 6 and NOT return to a size 12/14.  But I realized today I’m a small size 8 and I haven’t exercised in weeks because it’s been too hot and I had pizza for lunch and dinner 4 times in one week….WHAT HAPPENED?!?!? 

Do I not care enough about my own comfort to exercise regularly so that I can walk around Disneyland for the whole day with complaining about my knees hurting or having to ice them at bedtime?

Do I not love my fiancé enough to make sure I prepare healthy meals for us so that we can grow old together and enjoy our lives together?

Do I not care enough about my own life to extend it through eating right and exercise?

What’s wrong with me?  Nothing.  It’s not as easy for everybody to maintain healthy diet and exercise as the trainers, salespeople, doctors, supplement packages often say it is.  I need to get over my laziness and realize IT TAKES WORK to maintain.  I can’t walk into a program with an end date marked on the calendar the first day with my focus on that goal date.  I can’t say, “Once I lose that last 15lbs and reach my weight goal I’m DONE.”  That’s not the way it works.

So if you are like me and you feel like you are constantly fighting with your weight, I’m here to tell you the secret to losing the weight and keeping it off.  You have to consistently eat right and exercise.

Oh, that’s not what you wanted to hear?  Sorry.  I’ve done so many “programs” that worked and even more (not mentioned in this blog) that didn’t…but the trouble is once the program is done it’s up to you to continue living healthy.

I have a couple of tips to help with this…

1. Accountability partner – Have someone that you trust be your accountability partner.  Be honest with them about your progress each week, as well as where you fell a little short (like having that tub of ice cream during your favorite romantic comedy).

2. Exercise buddy – Have someone reliable work out with you 3 times a week or more.  This could also be our accountability partner.  If you can’t find anyone, join a local health club class and find someone in the group to be your buddy.

3. Set goals.  Once you reach your goal weight, bmi or dress size, set fun health goals to keep from gaining the weight back.  Train for a marathon, join a sport team and set personal goals within that game, anything fun and physical.  (Team in Training is a great organization to join for marathon training.) 

4. Before and after pics…take your BEFORE and AFTER pics once you reach your goal and post them somewhere you will see them daily like the bathroom mirror.  I find it very inspirational to see that, and it reminds me what I am on my way to becoming again if I don’t continue to live healthy. 

5. Educate yourself.  Know what food is healthy and how to cook it in the best way.  (I like to make my food for the week all on one day and then separate it in small packages with the correct portion size to keep me from over eating throughout the week as I get busy.  I also keep raw nuts in the car and my purse in portion size baggies for easy travel and snack.)  Learn how to exercise properly and get a full body workout for both aerobic and weights.

Remember…YOU CAN DO IT, but it’s hard work….that is TOTALLY worth it!

www.christinebarger.com