Monday, January 16, 2012
I weighed in this morning. I lost a pound between last Tuesday and today. I weighed ina day early because I'm going to be out of town for close to a week and won't have access to an accurate scale. One of the things I noticed was that I didn't freak out because I only lost a pound. Joan and I got dressed and went for an early morning swim. And while I was walking in water it dawned on me how much I've changed in the past two years since I've embraced the Spark people concept.
They don't call patience a virtue for nothing. Sometimes, it's difficult to sit and wait, knowing that when you're doing the right things they will eventually pay off. I used to sit and analyze everything that went in my mouth the previous week if I didn't end up with the weight loss I had anticipated. I would overanalyze, get stressed out, and generally drive myself crazy for the next week. I would lose 5653 pounds between now and the next time I weighed and if I didn't, buy goodness, that meant I had to up my exercise and starve myself like a contemplative monk. That sort of thinking usually lead to a 5 pound gain. That 5 pound gain usually leads to a lot of frustration.
This time I believe will be different. This time I approached the loss as a loss and with great joy. I believe I am finally learning that this is a journey and not an event. I believe I am finally learning that this is a way of life and not a "diet." I believe I'm happier, more content and definitely less stressed out. I am not going to worry about why it was only a 1 pound loss. It was a loss.
The most difficult thing for us in this world of 2012 is to be patient. It means we have to play the hand we’re dealt. It means sometimes there's no explanation for the weight gain as sometimes there's no explanation for the weight loss.
Follow the process, drink your water, do your exercise, and love yourself. Sounds simple don't it, lol? I am learning to throw in a healthy dose of patience as well. It may have taken me a little over two years, but I believe I am finally getting the hang of this.
Have a blessed Monday.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
No doubt about it, is his become a "me first" world. We are consumed with ourselves, our activities, and our well-being. Given a healthy balance this is fine, but when it gets to the point that all were interested in is what happens to us, then things are out of balance. I believe that each of us was put on this earth for a purpose and a large part of that purpose is to help other people. So I'd like to issue you a challenge this week. Go out of your way to do something meaningful for somebody else that will have an amazingly positive affect on their lives. I am not talking about paying off someone's mortgage or giving them a job. I am talking about doing something that we often deem small and insignificant that can change the course of someone's day, week, or life. If you have followed my blogs long enough you will know I've told the story a number of times about the lady at the bus stop.
A few summers back, when I would walk every morning I would pass the same person standing by the same bus stop waiting for the same bus at the same time. As I walked past I would always smile and say hello. I rarely received a response. Most mornings it was the night of ahead or slight smile and that was it. It was sometime in mid-August as I walked past her that I heard her say "Excuse me." I thought I might've dropped something. I turned around and saw she was walking towards me.
"I just wanted to thank you for that smile and your “hello” every morning." She said. "You have no idea how big of a difference that made in my day considering everything I've got going on in my life. I actually look forward to you walking and your smile. It helped me get through the day and I just wanted to thank you."
I must've mumbled” thank you” or something like that continued on my walk, mentally scratching my head and wondering why me being me made someone's day. After I got home and was sitting on the front porch gulping down a bottle of water it dawned on me that the only thing I really have to offer are the gifts I've been given to help make this world a better place to live. That simple hello to a person who seemed as if they were at the end of their rope made the difference in their life and I suspect the lives of those around them. It didn't cost anything, it didn't give me any recognition, but it gave me a deep sense of satisfaction to know that in some small way I had helped another human being.
So that is my challenge to you this week. Do something for somebody that they will never ever have a chance to be able to repay you for, keep it to yourself, and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing this planet is a much better place to live on.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I didn't realize there were so many of us. I thought I was the only one. Actually, that made it worse. Imagine that you're standing all alone on an island in the middle of nothing. It causes you to stay awake at night. A few weeks ago, however, a Spark friend who had been missing in action reached out to me in an effort to get back on track. It seems they were suffering from the same malady that I was. Call it being down and out, call it the blues, call it depression, call it whatever you want, I found out there are more of us who have it, then don't.
In May of 2011 on a warm, rainy day, Joan and I went to the grand opening of a new health food store. On our way to the car, I slipped on some wet pavement and fell. As I fell I twisted my lower back. We had to drive about 45 miles to get home and every mile was full of pain and agony. I just couldn't get comfortable. That night I tossed and turned as I tried to get to sleep. I had pulled muscles before. During the course of working out and running but I had never had a pain like this. I even tried sleeping in my recliner in our living room. So I did what you do when you pull a muscle. You rest, apply heat and stretch. In a few days the pain went away and other than being slightly tender, you wouldn't have known I was hurt. A few weeks later my hamstring muscles started to tighten up. It didn't matter if I exercised or didn't my legs started to feel real tight. I started walking like Frankenstein's monster. Everyone close to me kept telling me to "walk right." The problem was I couldn't. As a chiropractor explained to me a little later on my hamstring muscles were actually shortening up.
I went to the doctor. The doctor told me to stretch more and that would take care of the problem. She did order some back x-rays and told me when they returned that I was "getting old." Two weeks later I was back in her office. Now I was in pain. My calf muscles were cramping, my feet were cramping and it was really difficult to move around. She ordered an MRI. Three days later she suggested I see a neurosurgeon. Talk about being scared. I went from stretching to potentially having back surgery. I was fortunate enough to be able to see the neurosurgeon a week later. He poked and prodded at me told me to push my feet against his hands, reviewed my MRI looked up at me and said, "Why are you here?" He told me there was nothing wrong with me, that I was obese and that I needed to walk. Back to my family doctor I went.
While all this is going on my mobility is diminishing. It hurt to get out of the chair. I couldn't walk without fear of falling. I realize a lot of this was mental and that I really wasn't going to fall but it only made me tenser. I didn't want to go anywhere; I didn't want to do anything. I just want to be left alone. It got harder and harder to walk. Each step was full of pain and agony. I went to physical therapy for three weeks and that only made it worse. I finally saw a chiropractor who was able to give me some relief. But is all this was going on. I got deeper and deeper into a state of depression. I want from my bedroom to my office to the living room to the kitchen and back to my bedroom. If I could deal with you on the phone, everything was fine. I got so tired of people coming up to me saying "What's wrong with you?"
During the past two years I have become very active. I had run and three 5K’s, had started spinning, and was seriously looking at beginning triathlon training. I had lost 79 pounds and felt great. Then my world came crashing down. I actually had dreams at night where I was running. There was no pain and I was just running and running and oh gosh it felt good. I would wake up in the morning, get out of bed, and the pain would return and I would sink deeper and deeper.
Since every healthcare provider I had visited told me there was nothing wrong with me I decided to stop spending money and to treat myself. I was starting to get scared because I didn't want to leave the house. I thought the whole world was laughing at me. The people from my gym, who were my friends, suddenly stopped calling. Right after Thanksgiving I started visiting the therapy pool at my gym. I walk back and forth for 30 min. each day. At first, those 30 min. were filled with agony. I couldn't keep my balance, I couldn't walk without pain and I felt like everyone was watching me. Slowly I have started to regain my balance, and three days out of seven I am walking in the water without pain. I noticed when I am on land, LOL, which my legs are not as tight and along with it, my attitude and demeanor have improved to. It's a long journey. I'm not sure I'm even halfway there, but the one thing I do know is that I made the decision that if this was going to beat me I wasn't going to take a called third strike. I was going to go down swinging. Falling down in the water provides you with a sense of security and a unique ability to laugh at yourself.
I'm sharing this with you because I'm sure there are many of you out there who are like me. Many of you who feel like you want to give up. I checked out mentally and emotionally for about six months and now I'm back and by the way, I have your back to. So if you'll excuse me, it's almost time to go walk in water. Ever great day.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
We say that a lot to ourselves don't we? Especially this time of year. Even though the skies are gray the trees are bare and the weather often very gloomy and cold January seems to be the time of year that we allow ourselves the opportunity to "start over." When May or June rolls around, we've often forgotten what it was like to "start over." Most of our goals have fallen by the wayside, or we've come up with a convenient excuse to move onto something bigger, better or different. I'm no different. Each year I sit down and tell myself I'm going to be healthier, more active and earn more money. I’ll pay off all of my bills, increase my business and grow some new hair to boot. Usually by mid-February I have gotten so confused and so lost in trying to keep track of all these goals and objectives that I throw my hands up in the air. You may experience the same thing. It's maddening isn't it? Every year we start over with the best of intentions and every year we seem to get derailed. I didn't realize it until I read something the other day that said 97% of people who set goals do not reach them and the number one reason people gave for not reaching their goals is procrastination. It's the old "Oh I'll have time to get that later." I'm one of the world's worst offenders. There is always something more important more timely or more bright and shiny to attract my attention and divert me from my goals.
I started to notice as I got older, that most of my goals were "retreads." They were the same goals spoke differently for a different year. I guess I figured that if I called them something other than what they were I might be able to reach them. There's not much difference between losing weight and getting healthy, is there? If you strive to get healthy, losing weight is a natural byproduct. There isn't a lot of difference between becoming fit in running the 5K, is there? So with each New Year I set out to fool myself. It was a brand new goal. I have to laugh, because each year, roundabout March, I'd be stuck in the same quagmire. This year I decided to do something different. I decided that I was going to look at all the behavior from the past year, 2011, and see where I had gotten off track. No sense rewriting goals that I hadn’t reached anyway, maybe it was time to examine my behavior. Last week, I spent the better part of the week, reflecting on 2011. That was pretty difficult I had to look at my behaviors as they related to the goals I set for myself and as I began to examine them I began to see that I was getting in my own way. That can often be a bitter pill to swallow. It involves standing naked before an emotional mirror and looking at all the blemishes, all the smudges and all the smears.
It asks us to do something we are not quite used to doing – avoiding blame. You know the routine, so do I. When faced with an insurmountable task we look for someone else or something else to use as a reason or excuse for not accomplishing the task. Oh, it doesn't get us any closer to our goal, but it makes life more livable. This year I decided to look at my behavior in 2011 or as Zig Zigler said, "You have to remove, your stinking thinking."
I received more than one e-mail, phone call, text message asking where I was last week and if everything was okay. I had to chuckle a little bit. Although I had a seminar to conduct on Friday, I spent the better part of the week reflecting on what behaviors could be adjusted from 2011 and most importantly what I learned from them those behaviors that'll help me in 2012.
The proof is, as they say, in the pudding. For our purposes let's hope the pudding is low-fat. By beginning to adjust my behaviors and taking a hard look at my thought process I was able to drop 4 pounds last week.
I will keep you posted.
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