Thursday, November 14, 2013
Noted author, minister, and counselor Hugh Prather once said, "I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a 'mistake' is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown."
It is easy to talk about my hopes, dreams, and aspirations. That is the stuff that we like to talk about. That is the stuff that we like to read about. Honestly, that is the fun stuff to write about! Don't get me wrong, those are things that we need to to see and hear about if we want to be successful. Knowing the positives and knowing that we can make it happen is very important to our success. But to be successful, we also have to realize and confront that we are not perfect and we will make mistakes.
We are human and we will make mistakes. We always start off with the intention to be perfect and we think we won't make mistakes, but from time to time, we will. We might eat some pizza we hadn't intended. We might skip the gym because we are tired. Mistakes will happen.
How many times have you had a bad day, week, or month and said that today is the day? How many times have you said this time will be different? How many times when you "start over" and have a perfect day, that you think you can do every day perfect, just like that?
I know if you are anything like me, the answer to all of those questions is many times. That is a great attitude as long as we can also accept that we will make mistakes. Life happens and there will be days that are not perfect. Accept that you may stumble from time to time but also know that you won't let that keep you down.
Mistakes are acceptable.
When mistakes happen, do not run away from them. Winner's do not run away from their mistakes. People who are successful, do not run away from their mistakes. Mistakes build character. Mistakes can often offer you the biggest lessons you will learn on your journey.
It can be hard to do, but don't get stuck thinking how you coulda, woulda, or shoulda done things differently! It can feel like one little mistake in your diet or exercise, will undo weeks, months, or even years of hard work. Do your best not to minimize the mistakes. Don't let your mistakes define you or your journey! Let how you rebound and conquer those mistakes define you and your journey!
Remember that mistakes aren't a total failure if you can learn something from it.
So learn from your mistakes. Realize where and how the mistake happened, and do your best not to repeat it. We do ourselves a disservice if we do not continue to learn during our journey. We should never stop learning along this process because the process if forever changing and evolving. You are forever changing and evolving, so your journey should change and evolve right with you.
Keep an open mind. Don't let the fear of making mistakes hold you back. Don't allow one mistake to start you on that downward spiral! Don't keep a tighter grip on the negative experiences more so than your positive ones!
Look at mistakes as an opportunity for growth. Use your mistakes to make yourself even better today than you were yesterday! If we learn from our mistakes, we will conquer them!
Embrace Your Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Earlier this year, I started a blog with the words, "Someday, I honestly want to say, I MADE IT!"
Later that same day, I cringed a bit thinking about how I phrased the first line of that blog. At face value, it seems like a perfectly sound statement. The statement is accurate as it pertains to my health and fitness. Saying, "I MADE IT!" is very important to me. The problem with the phrase is the verb I use, "want". It may be the perfectionist in me speaking, but "want" should have been "will"! I should have said, "Someday, I honestly WILL say, I MADE IT!"
"MADE IT" is up to your own definition. Do you define it as making a certain number on the scale? Do you define it as being able to achieve some sort of physical challenge like a race? Do you define it as making a true lifestyle change that allows you to be as happy and healthy as you can be?
You and I both know how hard this thing is physically. We have to change our lifestyles 180 degrees from what we were doing. We have to get up and move! We have to exercise and push ourselves harder than most of us have ever pushed ourselves before. We deal with the aches in our joints and the soreness in our muscles, all in the name of getting healthy and trying to "make it". But, if you are anything like me, that physical pain is the easy part of this journey compared to the mental strain!
We are constantly dealing with the mental strain of what we are doing. We have to deal with that balancing act of being strict but not too hard on our selves for the healthy or unhealthy decisions we make. We have to have a short memory so we can forget a mistake and get back on track while keeping a long memory to learn from the mistake so we never make it again! It is a delicate game of chess that we play on a daily basis that can put the physical side of all this to shame!
In order to be successful and see the true change in our lives, we need that "WILL" mindset! Not if. Not might. Not want. WILL! No matter how big of a loss you want to see on the scale, you need to believe that you WILL make that number! Believe in the process. Believe in your struggle. Believe you WILL!
Did you fall down yesterday? Did you slip up? That was yesterday and today is a new day! A day filled with new opportunities, new challenges, new goals, and new possibilities! Embrace it! I want you to think to yourself right now, what am I going to do today to make myself better than yesterday? What am I going to do right now to take a step (even a baby one) in the direction to meet my goal? What am I going to do to make that "WILL" a reality?
I met my goal by tracking my food daily and keeping my calorie, fat, carb, and protein numbers within my allotted ranges. I finished Insanity, P90x, Tap Out XT, Les Mills Combat, and a 100 Day Hybrid of the four programs. The hard work I put in every day allowed me to go from 509 lbs. down to 293 lbs! That is how I have and continue to work towards being able to say, "I WILL MAKE IT!"
You won't take the path I took to get where you want to be. What worked for me, worked for me. You need to find your path. Just know, this thing takes work! This journey takes work! The success that you are looking for, takes hard work! We earn it!
We WILL, "MAKE IT!" We will NOT lay our king down in this chess game! We WILL put our unhealthy lifestyle in CHECKMATE!
Embrace The Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Since it is Halloween, what better to talk about than the costumes we wear. No, I do not mean the long-bearded, camo-wearing costume of everyone's favorite Duck Commander , Si. Nor do I mean the once Disney child-tv-star turned "twerking" pop diva Miley Cyrus. However popular those and other fictional character, celeb favorite, funny pun, or creative monsters are going to be amongst adults in the hallways and cubicles of your workplace today, those are not the types of costumes I speak of. I speak of the costumes that we wear from day to day in our lives.
I for one have not actually dressed up in a costume for nearly 25 years. It just isn't my thing. I am not anti Halloween costume, I just either don't have any place to go to wear a costume, such a party, or, I just don't want to spend the money on something I am essentially going to wear one time. On a quick side note, I will admit that there is one costume that I will have to wear one of these years. As some of you know I work in Louisville, Kentucky which is the home of the Kentucky Derby. One of these days I will dress up as a jockey! How funny would it be to see a 6'7" 290 lb. jockey? I've almost lost more weight than the combined weight of two jockeys, but I digress.
I may not have worn an actual "Halloween Costume" in nearly 25 years, but the truth is I have worn many costumes since I last dressed up for Halloween. I have not worn the "traditional" funny or scary costumes that you will see knocking on your door looking for a Snickers or Butterfinger tonight but I have however worn the every day, real-life ones.
We all wear these costumes. We wear our Mom or Dad costumes. We wear our sister or brother costumes. We wear our daughter or son costumes. We wear our wife or husband costumes. These costumes are ones that we wear that are full of love and pride and don't want to change them for anything in the world!
But we have also been wearing this other costume. Often we have worn this costume for most of our lives. We wear this costume and we do not feel pride for ourselves with it on. We do not feel the love for ourselves that we should. We often wear this costume with shame and sadness. I know I did.
I am speaking of our "overweight" costume.
Much like a Darth Vader costume must come with a light saber, the "overweight" costume comes with accessories like shame, failure, and hopelessness.
We don't want this costume and it's accessories. We have tried to get rid of this costume many times and for many years, but it has stubbornly stayed on like a bad version of "Groundhog Day". It is a costume that we wear but we do not want any part of! If there were a life costume contest, we would slowly sneak out the side door when an announcement of "Is there anyone else who wants to enter the costume contest?" Well...no more!
To celebrate Halloween 2013, let's get to work on a new costume. Maybe some of us will work on our "progress" costumes while others will work on our "maintenance" costumes. Wherever you stand in your journey right now at Halloween 2013, let's start work towards our Halloween 2014 costume..."SUCCESS"! In 2014, we will enter our "success" costume in that costume contest!
The "success" costume comes with accessories like increased energy, confidence, and sense of accomplishment! The "success" costume is not something that is given to us. We must earn that costume! The "success" costume takes hard work and dedication! With that hard work and dedication, we will take home first prize in that costume contest...a happier and healthier lifestyle that we can be proud of wearing from that day forward!
Embrace Your Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
Thursday, October 24, 2013
We start this journey at a place that seems hopeless. We start at a place where the answers seem few and far between. We start with just an idea of where we want to be and a dream to one day make it to that point. But...we start.
In the beginning, I started by learning two words, know & no.
Know is hard. Know is something that is constantly changing and ongoing. Know is something that we think we have a grasp on until we realize we actually do not have that grasp on it. Know is something I had struggled with for my entire over-weight life. I thought I knew what I was doing when it came to diet and exercise, but I really didn't.
When I was playing baseball in college, I had a weight problem. Not as significant as it was after college but it was enough to where I had to make real efforts to lose weight. So I took diet pills from GNC. I remember sitting in class, feeling my heart race while my hands literally shook. They later banned that pill because high school and college football players were actually falling over dead from taking it. I also remember riding a stationary bike in a sauna with a garbage bag on. How was that a good idea? How was any of that a good idea? It wasn't, because I didn't know.
I read article after article and blog after blog. I learned from every resource that I could get my hands on to know that I was doing this right. I had to learn what I was doing and to know that I was doing it right! I know I couldn't have done it without Spark and it's endless, free resources to learn from!
The other word is no. Maybe the hardest word for us to get a grasp on. We are doing so great with diet and exercise that week until a co-worker brings in cookies and candy for the holiday. So why can't we say no? Why is that so hard?
It isn't fair that the skinny girl in the next cubicle can have two cookies and not gain an ounce! It isn't fair that the guy down the hall can have all the candy he wants and it doesn't show at all! IT ISN'T FAIR! So what can we do about it?
I started saying NO! No, not this time. It won't kill me to pass on that cookie. It really won't. Seems like a pretty obvious thing to say but I swear that sometimes I try to convince myself that I might actually die if I don't eat that cookie! You aren't saying no to that thing forever. Think of it as just saying no to it this one time.
This journey can seem daunting and never ending, so don't make the no's bigger than they are. Just say no this one time and move forward. You KNOW that cookie will be good, but you also KNOW that when you say NO, you will feel better later on for your decision! It isn't easy, but it is possible!
Keep an open mind and learn. KNOW your diet! KNOW your exercise! KNOW that you have it in you to say NO! KNOW that you don't have to be afraid to say NO!
Embrace Your Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Positive and negative days. Ups and downs. Success and the failures. That is what our journey's are made of. Our journey's have more potholes, exit ramps, and tollbooths than the New Jersey turnpike. If we want success, we must deal with all of those obstacles. We dodge potholes. We skip past exits. We pay the tolls even if we have to turn our pockets inside out or dig in the car seats for some change. Why? Because if we want our journey to be defined by our success, then we stay on the road!
That doesn't mean we won't hit the occasional pothole and have to stop to change the tire. That doesn't mean that we won't get off an exit for gas only to find we venture away from the highway a bit longer than expected. That doesn't mean that we can only find $1.50 for the toll when $2.00 is needed so we have to dig deeper. Stuff happens. It has happened to you and it has happened to me.
Unfortunately, I had to stop and change a tire recently. I had to find my way back to the highway after I ventured off an exit. I had to dig a little deeper for that change to continue along. Like I said, stuff happens.
Back in August, I weighed in at 294.1 lbs. I set a goal to be at 279 lbs by October 17th (today, my 35th birthday). Since starting back at SP in May 2012 at 466 lbs., I had hit very few potholes and had ample change to pay my tolls. So I cruised along with the top down going 70 mph! Life in the weight-loss lane was great! I did the Rugged Maniac 5k on September 14th and I was feeling on top of the world!
Since September 14th, I apparently got a flat tire. I would get going really well, only to hit a pothole and have to go back to the shop to fix my tire. Physically there wasn't anything wrong with me. The problem was all between my ears. It was that mental side which is just as hard, if not harder, than the physical part. This happened to me back in April as well after I worked so hard to lose weight for my cousins wedding so I would be "looking good" in my tux. I thought that since making my overall original goal that times like that were behind me, but I was wrong. I didn't crash the car or even think about turning around completely. Never! But I was not in fifth gear. It seems that I need that "event" to work towards to keep me more motivated. I need that "event" to keep me driving in the fast lane!
I fought that mental monster that we all deal with. The one who says, "it is only one meal". "One day". "You will do better tomorrow". "I am tired so I will skip exercise today but I will do it twice tomorrow". I fought it every day for the last month.
Last week I wrote a blog called "Remember". I really do love that my story and my journey can inspire and motivate people. That is very humbling and I am deeply honored by that but that blog was as much for me as it was for anyone else. I needed to remember that struggle! I needed to remember that fight! I needed to remember what I have done and what I needed to do!
After I wrote it, I felt like a different person. I felt like the potholes were paved again. I felt like I had found the on-ramp back to the turnpike. I felt like I had change back in my pocket!
So I only lost 1 lb. in about 2 months and I missed my goal for the first time in a really, really long time. That is a tough pill to swallow but I won't let it keep me down. After all, the scale is still going in the right direction. I will focus on the positives like my streak of drinking at least 10 glasses of water a day is now at 478! I have logged nearly 16,000 fitness minutes this year! I have still lost 216 lbs and I will keep pushing towards the 280's!
I have the top down, and the sun is shinning bright! There is nothing but open highway ahead! Let's set the cruise control and roll on, there is plenty of room...
Embrace Your Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
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