Wednesday, October 21, 2009
"It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not." James Gordon
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Often, we feel defeated. We feel we can't go any further, that we are out of energy and can't resist temptation any longer.
When these negative feelings overcome us, what do we do?
Many times we simply give up. We stop our workout. We quit our run. We reach for the food we know will make us feel miserable after we eat it.
But what SHOULD we do? If we are honest with ourselves we know the answer.
Keep going. Hang tough. Be strong, physically and mentally. Do not give up. Resist temptation.
Easier said than done, isn't it?
Although many of us will falter occasionally, the answer is: Not really.
When you feel the end is near, ask yourself if you can do ONE MORE repetition, even with a light weight. Ask yourself if you can take ONE MORE step or resist that food for ONE MORE minute?
Sure, a time will come when you can't go farther but the point here is that until we push ourselves we will never know what our limits really are.
Until the first time I ran two miles I thought I could never run that far. Admittedly, the last few laps on the track were at a shuffle but the last half lap was at a sprint. When I stopped, I then wondered if I could have sprinted three-quarters of a lap instead of a half, or maybe even one full lap. I never knew because I didn't push myself.
When you feel your resolve slipping, picture having to walk or jog ONE MORE block in order to save a life. Picture yourself needing to resist taking that next bite for only ONE MORE minute in order to to lose that next pound.
Could you do these things? If so, then you haven't pushed yourself to your limit.
You might be amazed at what your endurance truly is.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Today has been quite a surprising day.
I learned I have been appointed to a County Commission committee to assist the area's elderly.
Another county invited me to make five presentations to 9th-12th graders on Drinking and Driving/Highway Safety.
And, the letter that brought tears to my eyes:
"The SparkPeople Community thinks you are a motivation to others!
SparkPeople Members can vote for SparkPages that are motivational, based on Community involvement, personal accomplishments and more. You have received enough votes to become a "SparkPeople Motivator."
I am truly appreciative that so many of you thought to express your feelings about the encouragement and support I have tried to give to others on the SP site.
It has been four months of expressing heart-felt compassion for those enduring financial and other hardships, of praying for those against whom the world has turned, of trying to lift up with my words all of those who have felt defeated and unworthy of being a success.
I have answered the call to take over leadership of two groups, "Bowling For Weight Loss" and "I Can Do All Things Through Christ!" Both groups have shown an increase in membership, the latter from 284 to 361. That some of you are interested in these teams is not because of me, it is because there is something special occurring within the teams and with their members.
During my time on SparkPeople I have laughed at your humor, commiserated with your troubles and felt your disappointment. You, in turn, have been an inspiration to me more than I can express.
I am uplifted when I read your huddle comments and your blogs and posts. I am inspired by the number of members who respond with hope and prayers when a fellow SparkPeople member needs them. And I am amazed at the times I, myself, feel down and then receive a Goodie or a kind post on my profile page.
This is an honor I will not forget.
Thank you all.
Monday, October 19, 2009
This has been a good day.
As I enjoyed an unusual cool Central FL morning, I was thankful for the peaceful quiet while I enjoyed a hot breakfast and I was thankful for a house to live in and food to eat.
As I prepared to get ready to run errands, I was thankful for the hot water of the shower that soothed and relaxed.
As I dressed, I was thankful for the stray dogs and cats that are now my beloved pets that climbed on the bed to watch me put on my shoes.
As I roamed the grocery store aisles, I was thankful to live in a country that offers so many options and for the employees who keep the store clean and who are always smiling, pleasant and helpful.
As I drove home I thought of my parents, now deceased, and was thankful for the strength of character and self-pride, the compassion for others and the work ethic they instilled in me.
As I sit now at the computer, I am thankful for the technology that allows me to have instant "pen-pals" and for the daily support and encouragement I receive from all of you.
I am thankful for being able, in turn, to offer inspiration and prayers for those of you enduring difficult times.
I am thankful for being relatively healthy and for being able to see and hear and read and write.
I am thankful for having belief in a higher power that carries me through trying times and gives me a vision of a better world to come.
I am thankful that even though it is not yet Thanksgiving in the U.S. that I can freely offer appreciation for my life and some of the things in it. Even though there are many tough times, life is generally good.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Today is the new beginning I've been searching for.
For lunch a grilled cheese sandwich sounded tasty. So I made two of them. Why, when I knew inside I'd eat both of them and then feel miserable about myself and my failure to exert self-control? I'm not sure why but I did and ate both of them. A miserable feeling amid my self-loathing followed.
But then the old fire began burning. I washed dishes, cleaned the kitchen and donned my gym shoes. The treadmill beckoned. It was tough at first. I have severe bone spurs in both heels and deteriorated discs in my lower back. I may physically pay for the exercise later but at the time I felt energized by the thought of burning off some of the excess lunch.
Total calories gone: 355, more than one sandwich.
Many years ago I had a trick I used while jogging on the track. No matter how far I'd run, if I passed the track's half-way mark, I'd make myself jog that last half lap. Many times it was a very slow jog, but I always felt mentally tough afterwards and a great number of times I was able to continue even further, although at the half-lap mark I thought I had no reserves left.
In the recent past, injuries have limited the aerobics and new medications have contributed to weight gain. But, after today's episode, I again feel energized and mentally tough. Perhaps it's the endorphins talking, but I don't think so.
Isn't it amazing how epiphanies hit us? After languishing for the last three months I feel that I am finally back on track, mentally and physically.
To hold me to it, I'll commit to regular updates on the "new" journey.
May I ask you to help me stay the course?
Saturday, October 17, 2009
My thoughts wandered today to when I was a young boy. Two things in particular have stayed with me over the years: starting a fire and starting ripples in a pond.
What is so intriguing about these two disparate actions is the immense result that can occur from each one.
I recall when I was in Boy Scouts using flint and steel to start a fire for the first time. After a number of failure strikes, I expressed my frustration to our instructor. He left me with one of the defining remarks I've received in my life, "Never give up. All you need is one really good spark to start a roaring fire."
How does this tie in with ripples in a pond? Toss a stone into a pond and you create ripples that spread out further and further from the center of the pond in ever-widening mini-waves.
The lesson of both actions is that one simple, seemingly insignificant, motion can have major effects when allowed to develop and grow.
With any idea that is cultivated, sustained action can bring forth unplanned, positive results.
Have you thought of starting your own spark (as SparkGuy did) or your own ripples where you live? What is your interest? Literacy? Animal rescue? Senior affairs?
Whatever your burning desire, ignite that spark today. Start the ripples that will teach people to read, that will save pets or help older citizens.
Will you look into your heart for your passions? Will you become the flint and steel that starts the fire? Will you be the stone that starts the ripples? Will you be the moving force in creating a better neighborhood, a better town, a better country?
You can do it. All a great idea needs is one person to believe in it.
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