Monday, January 30, 2012
I was involved in a real good training session last Friday. The group I facilitated was enthusiastic, participative, and into what we were talking about. While I love my job, I can tell you there are times when it seems as if I'm walking through a sea of Jell-O. This group was different. They were eager to participate in exercises and share their experiences. That enhanced the whole curriculum. I wish every group I worked with was as focused and as enthusiastic as this group. Driving home Friday evening I asked myself the proverbial "Why?" Why had this group been so eager and so excited about the day’s events? Here's what I came up with: They wanted to be there.
Usually, the first question I get from a group goes something like this: "What time do we get out of here today?" This group wanted to know: "When are we going to get together again?"
No matter what the task in life, we are basically divided into two groups of people. The first group is those who "Want To," and those who "Have To." No matter what the assignment or activity, you and I have one of two responses. We either want to participate or we feel that we have to participate because someone told us to.
I believe "having to," is the reason our health initiatives often fail. How many times have you heard from a doctor, "It's time you went on a diet!" If you are like me the first thing you do, is dig in. "No one is going to tell me what to do!" You are right, no one is. So you trudge along, in a begrudging sort of fashion, moaning and complaining about how difficult life is and you keep looking at the calendar and the scale waiting for the day that all this nonsense is over, you are size 0 again, you are running a marathon, and while you're at it. "Please pass the mashed potatoes." Having to do something often seems like a punishment. We resist as strongly as we can.
Think about the moments in your life where you done things because you have openly and enthusiastically, "Wanted To." It wasn't a chore or a burden, it was something you did willingly, and in most cases while there might've been hard work and effort involved in reaching your goal, you genuinely enjoyed the experience. Self-improvement, no matter how we look at it, is never an easy task. So this morning as I look out over the landscape that is my life, I am beginning to find ways to change my "have to's," into "want to’s."
Care to join me?
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I don't dread weighing in. I used to. As a matter fact, there were weeks, okay, in the spirit of honesty, months that I didn't weigh in because I knew that even though I had been to myself, the scale never lies. Oh, it may be off a pound or two, but it doesn't lie. I simply choose not to be accountable for my actions. The old saying "What you don't know won't hurt you," is pretty much a fallacy. As it relates to our health, what we don't know might not only hurt us, it might kill us. But as I'm often fond of saying, "Denial is not just a river in Egypt."
Tuesday is my weigh-in day. When I first began SparkPeople I would get pretty nervous today before I would have to weigh-in. I would look over every morsel and crumb that went into my mouth. I would stress out. In other words, I was a basket case. About the only thing I accomplished during that year or so, was that I drove myself so crazy that tension and anxiety caused me to put on 50 of the 75 pounds I lost. Oh, I know, those of you who are so close and dear to me, consoled encouraged me to concentrate on the success I had, but I was driving myself crazy. I was consumed with being on a diet and losing weight. I was so consumed with caloric intake and exercise, that I was about ready for a rubber room. So I stopped weighing myself and the weight gradually crept back on. As I'm sure some of you know, that does wonders for your self-esteem.
At the beginning of 2012, I decided to get back on track for good. I am not getting any younger and while I'm not sick, I am starting to notice some of the little health issues that come with aging. Coupled with a back injury I sustained the summer, it was time for me to "haul butt," so to speak. I analyzed what had gone wrong in the past, and vowed not to make the same mistakes, too often, LOL, again. I vowed to do what was sensible. The first week I lost four and a half pounds. It was time to do the happy dance. The second week, I lost a pound, still not too bad for a two-week loss.
Last week I traveled all week. I navigated buffet tables and food bars fairly well for the first three days. A bit of fatigue, a bit of being homesick, and the grind of being in three cities in five days, took its toll. After a while I simply ate because I was hungry. It didn't really matter what went in my mouth. I am not sure what physicist originally said it but I can't argue with it. "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." What goes in our mouth determines whether we gain or lose weight. I had the option of spreading this trip out, but you know, since I'm Superman, I can leap tall buildings in a single bound. So this morning when I climbed on the scale at 6 AM it really didn't surprise me that I had gained 3.2 pounds in the past week. What did surprise me was my reaction. I didn't freak out, didn't decide it wasn't worth it, didn't throw away all my fruit and vegetables and proclaim that a healthy lifestyle was for someone else and not for me, I simply sat down at the kitchen table and reviewed what I needed to do right this week to lose the 3.2 pounds I gained.
What I am learning, is what makes me tick. I am learning how I can sabotage myself, justify overeating, and just plain rationalizing my way into a 12 inch pizza. Believe it or not, I am in a happy place right now. I am at peace and I know what I need to do. By the way, I have a long life ahead of me to do it. The stress and the tension of being overweight is something I have to learn to cope with. After two years, I think I'm doing a pretty good job.
Thank you SparkPeople while I'm not one of your more visible success stories. You have taught me much, much more than I learned in all the time before I met you.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
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