Tuesday, May 04, 2010
I have a full day in the car, with three or four stops over the next ten hours. I'll be back later this evening.
I hope everyone has a great day and thank you so much for all your love, friendship and support.
You are a great bunch of people
Monday, May 03, 2010
If you have followed the adventures of this over weight middle aged traveler, you will know that for the last two days I had checked into the Anxiety Hotel, penthouse suite, for what apprised to be an extended stay. If you haven’t read Saturday and Sundays blogs I’ll wait here while you do.
Good you’re back!!!
Without the guidance and wisdom my wife provided me I might still be stuck in my gloom. As we were getting ready to go to the gym yesterday afternoon I was struck with another feeling. It was one of relief. I’d like to tell you that the relief came from understanding where I had stumbled or failed. I’d like to tell you it came from reinforcing my plan so that I could minimize future weight gains. That’s what I’d like to tell you.
As I stuffed my back pack I was hit with this wonderful sense of relief that I no longer had to be perfect. See, I have had fourteen consecutive weight losses for sixty pounds before yesterday. That works out to around three pounds per week. Every time I would lose some weight I wouldn’t do the happy dance, there was part of me that went “Oh crap. Now I have to do it again next week.”
As an overweight person I know that I spend a lot of time compensating. I do not fit in to the men’s equivalent of a size zero but somewhere deep in my psyche I think I should. But I don’t and then things get all crazy. That means, my evil twin, also known as my ego, says we have to be a lot better than everyone else just to be equal with everyone else. In other words we have to be perfect.
Until yesterday morning I was like a dog chasing his tail. I created this really vicious cycle that with each weeks weigh in, the stakes got higher and higher and I found it harder and harder to be perfect.
I wasn’t eating enough and what I was eating fulfilled an immediate need but didn’t give me what I needed to sustain myself and to lose some of this weight. I threw reason and rational thinking out the window. I have seen this coming for a couple of weeks now. It’s like going to Vegas with the mortgage money.
“One donut won’t hurt!!! “
“Ah it didn’t!!! Cool I’ll have another this week.” (BTW you don’t need to write it down.)
Two steps forward for every one step back. That’s what we are taught here isn’t it?
I do not have to be perfect. I just have to be John and you sitting there reading this have to be you. When we first joined Spark People we were asked to sign a little pledge card. Mine still hangs on the fridge. I looked at it before I wrote this blog and I am quite sure that no where does it say we have to be perfect from now until the end of time. It says “I promise to make healthy and positive choices so that I can have live a healthy life style and reach my goals.” Pretty straight forward and simple. No mention of perfection.
The real beauty of what happened to me this weekend exists on a lot of different levels and as you read this you may find a few more that apply to you.
First I am blessed to have the guidance, support and wisdom of my family, especially my wife. I have a daughter in law in culinary school who is a “healthy chef” and truly is a size zero. She gives me a lot of recipes for good tasting food without paying that “gourmet calorie price.” The rest of my kids encourage me and some of them have amped up their exercise.
I have you guys. I quit reading all the supportive comments on my blogs and my Spark page around ten last night because my eyes were watering. Wow. You wanna talk about an out pouring of love!!! I was over whelmed by it.
Here is my point: Every one of us has people, places and things in our lives that help us make a difference and keep us on the path most days. You and I have Spark in common, but I’ll bet if we sat down and had a cup of coffee we’d find out we had a lot more in common than that.
Lean on each other, support each other and to those of you who are feeling the strain and maybe leaving this experience I tell you this:
“You do not have to be perfect; you just have to be you. The last time I looked we take all comers here, no matter how silly they get some times.”
Just ask me, I know
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Every morning I receive a small meditation via email. It’s something I have done since the late eighties. A friend gave me the book for a birthday present and in close to twenty years it’s been torn and mutilated to the point it was falling apart. I was really happy to discover that it was online. (What isn’t!!!) Every morning when I open my email I get a little motivation right out of the gate.
This morning’s first line reads as follows:
“To conquer adverse circumstance, conquer yourself.”
This morning was not a good morning for a lot of reasons. For the first time since joining Spark I had a weight gain. It was only 1.2 pounds but I am not going to lie to you, it devastated me. Gosh, I really thought all of those old feelings had gone away when I started losing weight. Guess what? They all returned. I got scared, the hyperventilating type of scared. I cried, just a little. My shoulders slumped and in my mind it was the beginning of the end.
Thank goodness for my wife. Seriously or they’d be preparing the papers to admit to a chocolate rehab facility. There is not a lot that flusters Joan. The first question she asked me was “Are you going to have breakfast soon because if you are I’ll wait and eat with you.” Nerves of steel.
As we ate she looked over her glasses at me and posed this question “If you were one of your coaching clients and they called you this morning, what would you tell them?”
I thought for a minute and said “I’d ask them to write down what they thought went wrong, where their behavior had changed from previous weeks and then put together an action plan to correct it. I’d tell them to put the plan into place and move forward and quit acting like the world ended.”
Joan smiled over her cup of coffee. Game, set and match.
After breakfast I went downstairs and took out my legal pad. What had I done differently? In a nutshell I had gotten sloppy and lazy. I was tracking my food but seriously, who needed to write down everything? After all, if I took a handful of chips, it was okay because I had ramped up my cardio. (Any of this sound familiar to anyone?)
Lazy produces results just like healthy activity produces results only it’s not the kind of results I am looking for. I got cocky and full of myself and figured that the weight would just fall off no matter what. It was small things. I never deviated from my calories but I was close to the top end all week which meant with all my little “cheats” I was over the line. I got lazy by eating out four nights out of seven because I said I was tired, too tired to cook. Oh, I ate healthy, LOL, restaurant healthy.
“To conquer adverse circumstance, conquer yourself.”
I need to tighten a few loose bolts, no big over haul, just getting back to basics. While I am in phase three, I pulled out The Spark and am going back to phase one for a week so I can relearn those good habits that got me started.
It’s a wakeup call and thank goodness it was only a 1.2 pound wake up call. My generally positive attitude is coming back and I don’t feel as devastated. I’ll get there and so will you. We are all in this together and I am grateful for all your support, as always.
In one of his epistles Paul says something about “Keeping your eye on the prize.” That’s really good advice, especially this morning.
Oh yeah. I also noted during all this, as I have known for a long time "Behind every sucessful man stands a wise woman."
Have a blessed Sunday
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Today is the day before my weekly weigh in.
Every Sunday morning I get on the scale and I weigh in. The world holds its breath. The night before I write down my previous week’s weight on a sticky note and put it on the bathroom wall. I place the scale in the same spot. I have a pen handy to immediately record my current weight. My computer is left on and set to Spark. Air traffic control clears a corridor so I can enter said weight almost immediately after it is taken. Oh yeah, I weigh myself twice, just to be sure.
Today I am a nervous wreck. Quiz question number one: What do fat people do when they get nervous? They eat. Every flaw from the past week is exposed during this twenty four hour period. I can forget to pay for the newspaper, why can’t I forget every last crumb I ate this week? Will the ice cream come back to haunt me? What about the potato chip I took off the table last Sunday night? Oy vey!!! All day long I pace like a lion. How will I face my friends if I gain weight? Is it the beginning of the end?
I’m exaggerating, but not by much. LOL
This all crossed my mind an hour or so ago when I was sweating up a storm. A year ago, on a rainy Saturday, I would be perched in front of the television with enough snacks to feed a small nation. Today I logged seventy minutes of cardio. Maybe that’s not a whole lot to some of you but it is to me, and I am proud of it.
So it gets me around to my real reason for writing today. This goes out to you folks who have reached your goal:
Please do not leave. I need you (I am not ashamed to grovel!!!)
You have every reason to be happy, excited and pleased. Please don’t leave here just because you have had success, I need you. Your work is not done. For every one of you who has weathered the storm, there are about ten thousand of us still struggling and we need to hang around with good people who are good role models, who have made it to their goals.
I’m successful to a degree. I’ve lost sixty pounds, and it scares me. I need your positive example. I need your help. You been there, you’ve done that. Saturdays are a lot more fun than they were a year ago, I want them to be even more fun a year from now.
Could ya help……….. Please?
Friday, April 30, 2010
Just because I am over weight doesn’t mean I am a victim. Oh, let me tell you, I have played that role enough times in my life to win a major award. But if I am really serious about my own health than I am anything but a victim. I am the sum total of the choices I make in every minute of every day. When I make positive choices then I get a positive reward. It might be the scale dropping a pound or so, a pair of pants fitting a bit better or I can feel that wonderful “kick’ when I am doing my cardio.
It comes down to choices and being heroes to those around us rather than playing the poor victim.
Buckhannon, West Virginia has the very best Dairy Queen in the world. It’s an old fashioned one. There is no place to sit. You walk up to the window and you order. It closes in October and opens on a limited basis in April. Their ice cream machines are the old fashioned kind. That means you get thick, dense ice cream rather than a lot of air. I spent all day Monday traveling , I was tired and cranky and skipped my cardio workout because as I rationalized, “I was beat.” I wasn’t, however, tired enough to drive the twelve miles from my hotel to eat ice cream. I had a positive dinner, chicken breast, fresh veggies and unsweet tea. Then I walked down the block, in the rain, and purchased a small vanilla cone.
I don’t feel the ice cream cone was the bad choice although until yesterday I convinced myself it was. To find the bad choice you have to scroll up a bit to this line: “I spent all day Monday traveling there; I was tired and cranky and skipped my cardio workout because as I rationalized, “I was beat.” The choice I made was to forego the exercise. A jury of my peers would most likely buy the choice I made. I wasn’t, however, too tired to drive an additional half hour, both ways, to eat ice cream. It bothered me all week.
I didn’t see the lack of exercise as the poor choice, I saw eating the ice cream as being the culprit of my guilt. Time to pull out the violins.
It comes down to what we choose. Later in the week a client and I prepared to eat a meal. He said ‘We’ll go wherever you can eat something.” I smiled and said “I can eat anything. It’s what I choose to eat that gives me a positive or negative outcome.” I could have been a victim and sadly nodded my head and bleated “Broccoli and water please!” That fosters guilt and guilt fosters anger and anger fosters that little voice that grows louder and louder inside of say “What’s the use, this stuff doesn’t work anyways!” I might have played the victim.
What I am learning is that our choices are linked together and affect a lot more than we realize. All week long I scourged myself for eating that stupid ice cream cone. Woes is me.
I had the same long ride back home yesterday. I woke up at 4 AM and had to meet someone for breakfast at 5:30 AM. Trying to stick with your plan in a truck stop is a real challenge. I made the choice to do so. I had a seven hour drive home. I was beat. I threw in a load of laundry and checked my email.
“Ah, a new friend!! I said.
A person new to Spark had added me as a friend. I quickly returned the favor went to their Spark page and saw they had just joined yesterday and they had already written a blog!!! Cool beans.
The blog was about being motivated.
“I wonder if they know about that ice cream cone? If they did they never would have friended me!!!”
It went on to say how everything they read on Spark motivated them to go out and buy a pedometer and start walking.
So there I sat, remnants of ice cream dripping down my psyche. I changed clothes and got on my bike and went to the gym. I worked out and I felt good and it wasn’t until this morning that it dawned on me that I was only using the ice cream as the culprit. I had punked out on my exercise and I felt bad, felt guilty, felt like I let myself down. When I found the issues, I corrected it and now I know that I won’t die if I exercise after a seven hour car ride!!!
It comes down to what you choose and when you make the decision you have to live with it. It’s not magic, rocket science or the ice cream cone. It’s just you. I am proud of most of my choices. I should be. The more positive choices I make the better, stronger and quicker person I become. That’s a real positive for me
It’s just me and me here. The question I ask myself every single morning:
“Am I Worth It?”
So are you.
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