Tuesday, April 27, 2010
One of my favorite movies is The Legend of Bagger Vance. There is a line in that movie you have probably heard before. It goes like this: “Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then.” For the longest time, in my life, you could have said that sentence was going to be on my tomb stone. Really good things would happen to me and wasn’t able to tell you why or how. I would have success and I would attribute it all to luck. I would thank God and my guardian angel for letting fortune smile upon me. I never could quite figure out why it never stuck around. Don’t get me wrong, I’d enjoy my emotional windfall and I was happy I had it. It just never stayed very long. I started calling it “accidental success.”
It took me most of my life to figure out its origin and it will take the rest of my life and a lot of hard work to make sure it stays as far away as possible. Accidental success is the proud child of not knowing what you want and not believing you are good enough to have it. That’s why diets fail.
I know, I know. When you begin any process you set a goal. You work really hard to get there, make all kinds of sacrifices and when you achieve it you throw a large party. Now what? In some cases you are this thin, really good person with no guidance or direction and you revert back to the behavior you always had and in six months you have regained your weight. We decide it’s a fatal character flaw or lack of discipline. It is neither.
Most of us have been overweight for a really long time in our lives. I know I have. I don’t know how to live any other way that “fat.” I dropped two pants sizes and I looked at myself in the mirror this morning as I got dressed and I was marveling at how good I looked. It was like I couldn’t believe it. I should believe it!! It’s the product of over four months of hard work. I deserve it.
What are you going to do when you get there? How are you going to sustain your goal? Diet and exercise are key components, true. What’s going to sustain you spiritually and emotionally? I have discovered that unless there is “something” there very shortly I will start sliding back once I reach my goal.
Enough of the gloom and doom. Here’s the good news: The time to start planning is now!!! Start living the way you want to live when you reach your goal. Remove words like “someday” and eventually” and replace them with “I am in the process of.” Don’t’ look forward, look present and fold all those wonderful goals into your current behavior.
One of the things I enjoy doing is reading everyone’s Spark page. I see all the plans they have, the stuff they are going to do and it challenges me to ask myself. “What are you going to do when you get there?” I need to start looking at those things now because if I am just a skinny version of the fat me I will be the fat me plus all over again.
When I started this journey I told myself I needed to “get in shape” so that I could focus my life on what I really enjoy doing. I enjoy helping good people become better. That takes in a lot of ground and it isn’t just focused on work. I am a good spouse; I want to be a better one. I’m a good dad, but I want to be a better one. The list goes on and on. The time for me to start those things, those goals in motion is today.
I want to write a book………….. Better get started John
I want to do audio and video CD’s and DVD’s…………….. Start the project now dude.
I want to travel the world, speaking to groups of people and giving them hope…….. Stick with your plan!!
All that stuff sustains me and it may mean the difference in me eating the donut or saying to myself it is not worth it.
I lived accidental success for far too long. I am not going back.
What about you? Do you know all the great things you are going to do once you reach your goals? Share them please!!! I love reading about them.
Monday, April 26, 2010
I had two Spark friends reach their goal weights over the weekend. They were proud of their accomplishments as they should be. I was happy for them , until I allowed that evil twin brother of mine, AKA, my creative sub conscious, to lead me astray. No friends, you are not about to read some lurid tale of me donning a disguise and sneaking into an all night pizzeria to gorge myself on non fat mozzarella!!
I looked at the ticker on my Spark page. I looked at the big gap between where I was and where I wanted to be. I thought of those smiling Spark friends having huge parties to celebrate their accomplishments and I became sad. That gap between my ticker and my goal weight looked like a million miles.
“Woe is me, “ (Or something like that.) I sighed.
My shoulders slumped a bit. I’m going to be honest with you it took me until this morning in the shower to shake the feeling. Intellectually I said all the right stuff to myself. I knew I had done some good things in a short while. I told myself to heed my own advice about being patient. I meditated yesterday, thought about how good I felt during my cardio, all to no avail.
“Lord,” I implored as the water cascaded down my back waking me up. “Give me a bit of guidance, here.”
It came in two quick bursts. The first came in the form of a line another bald headed genius likes to say:
“It’s not all about you!!!” (I wish I got the kind and gentle guidance you see in the movies where God speaks while backed up by the Philadelphia Philharmonic.)
I thought about that for a few minutes and then into my head came a prayer I learned as a child. I hadn’t said it in years but as I stood there toweling off it rolled through my mind.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon:
where there is doubt, faith ;
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy
O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
I believe in karma. Give it any name you desire, what you give to others comes back to you. When you give goodness, love and encouragement especially on the days that you really don’t feel like it, I believe it will come back to you with blessings one hundred fold.
My progress in my march towards health has a lot to do with me, my attitude and my program but it has equally to do with you my friends who have opened your hearts to me and supported and encouraged me. There are days you most likely would have rather pulled the covers over your head than been open and present to others. But you didn’t.
It’s why you are amazing.
I am quite sure when I reach my goal weight I will be really pleased. I should be. It will be quite an accomplishment. In the meantime instead of looking at that gap with a forlorn gaze, I plan on spending the time as the prayers says “not so much seeking to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand.”
Care to join me?
(It dawned on me as I write this that nowhere in my journey have I ever thanked any of the main Spark people for making this forum available to me. I’ll correct that now. “Thank you.”)
Saturday, April 24, 2010
“You’re bored aren’t you?”
That would be Joan watching me stand in front of the refrigerator, peering inside looking for something to eat.
“No,” I would reply somewhat defensively and with a know it all sniff. “I am just a bit hungry.”
That’s how you get to weigh three hundred twenty six pounds. The weekend shows up. You have survived the rat race. There is grocery shopping, soccer practice, ballet rehearsal and fill in whatever else your family is involved in and now you have some free time on your hands so you are going to sit down and relax, which means to those of us who are overweight we are going to justify over eating. I mean, don’t we deserve it?
I lived like that most of my life and every year a few more pounds crept on. I ate out of boredom and stress. I am changing. Oh, I still get the “craves.” I think I always will. But since I have joined Spark People I have come up with three new strategies that have helped me survive weekends. I’d like to share them.
One, I have learned to plan better. In this busy world we have a lot going on from seven am Monday until five pm Friday. Things we might be getting done during the week, we put off “until the weekend.” The weekend arrives and we have so much activity and our “to do list” is so large that half way through it all we realize we aren’t going to finish. Stress sets in. Can you say “binge eating?”
It’s raining here this morning and it’s supposed to rain all day. That means no gardening or outdoor work. I have to pack to be out of town all of next week and no matter how you cut it, you still have to buy groceries. I knew all this earlier in the week. The lawn got cut on Wednesday, and I asked me son if he’d come over mid week and cut it again. Joan and I went grocery shopping last night. It was a “two-fer.” We got the shopping done and instead of sitting around last night we were active. I really wish Spark People would add a cardio category called “Navigating Wal-Mart on Friday evening.” In other words I try to plan so my weekends aren’t so stress filled. Rest is a really important factor in maintaining a healthy life style. Get your eight and BTW it is true “Nothing good happens after midnight!!!”
Two, Listen to your body!!! Let me repeat that. Listen to your body. As the weather warms up we step out the front door to get the morning paper and we see all the runners, joggers, cyclists and walkers flying by. We get pumped. We get dressed and we fly out the door and come home an hour later standing in a puddle of sweat. By noon we are exhausted and we either pop in a DVD and graze or we take a nap. How do those six am people do it? They do it because they know that’s what works for them. During the week I exercise anywhere from the mid afternoon until the early evening. I usually exercise in one session. On the weekends I usually get up, eat breakfast, wait an hour, (Even though Joan is pacing upstairs right now waiting for my hour to be up!) go an exercise. I usually do a bit more exercise on weekends because I will split it into two sessions. If the weather’s nice we will ride bikes or walk, come home, grocery shop and then head to the gym. That’s what works best for me, because I listen to my body. I have learned not to save all my cardio for the weekends so that I am wore out by mid day. Just because everyone else does it one way doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Listen to what your body tells you. If you take the time to listen it will guide you. Then one day you look in the mirror and you see a healthier you.
Three, I bet you can’t guess this one. Keep telling yourself you are worth it. Even wonderful old me gets down sometimes. I see these hard bodies flying around the track and I see my jingly middle aged belly in the mirror as I walk by and I get down. Losing fifty seven pounds in four months is quite an accomplishment but I start comparing myself to others and then it seems futile.
I have a new affirmation. Well it’s not new. A friend gave it to me years ago, he used it and got amazing results
“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.”
I am and so are you!!! I can feel it
Off to the gym
Have a good weekend
Friday, April 23, 2010
Here is my veggie pizza recipe. It has 382 calories the way I make it, but if you substitute low fat mozzarella for the parmesan, and no cal cooking spray for the olive oil you can reduce it a bit.
Spinach wrap 90 calories
Parmesan Cheese 1/4 cup 114 calories
Olive Oil 1 teaspoon 119 calories
The rest of what you use veggie wise is your personal preference. Tonight I used red onion, portobello mushroom, roma tomatoes, green pepper, fresh spinach garlic and broccoli. Roughly about 60 calories total.
I brushed the Spinach wrap with a bit of olive oil spread some garlic over the top of it. Then I arranged the veggies and sprinkled a bit of generic Italian seasoning on it. I baked that in a 375 oven for fifteen minutes. I sprinkled the cheese on top and put it back in the oven until the cheese melted.
It was very filling but I really love meals like that.
I hope this made sense. you can substitute any veggie you like. I really love broccoli so I always put it on there
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