Thursday, August 12, 2010
Larry was waiting for me at the restaurant yesterday. He apologized for forgetting our appointment and asked me at least four times if I had told his boss, he’d forgotten about our meeting. When I told him I hadn’t he relaxes a bit but I still saw that impatient and frustrated look on his face. We exchanged a few pleasantries and I asked the all-important question: “How’s it going?”
Before I give you Larry’s answer I have to explain my process of working with people. I start out with weekly sessions, sometimes twice per week if necessary. As we move towards the end of our formal relationship I start to space the meetings out so that we meet every two weeks, every three weeks and then monthly. I use this process because I found out early on people can become dependent on the coach and then all we have done, when the day is finished is waste a lot of time and the client don’t feel like they have learned anything. Larry and I are meeting every three weeks.
Larry looked at me and said “This stuff doesn’t work.”
I’m used to this response. Imagine doing any sort of training and having your coach right alongside of you, all the time, telling you what to do and when to do it. Then the coach takes an extended coffee break and you are there all by yourself. A lot of people don’t like it.
“Larry,” I asked. “Do you believe in magic?”
Larry looked back at me and I wished I’d have snapped a picture of the look on his face. His short answer was ‘No.”
“Well it’s simple then,” I responded. “This stuff, as you put it, won’t work until you believe in magic.” I got up and excused myself to go to the restroom leaving Larry to ponder what I had just said. (Working with me is never, ever dull!!!)
When I returned I explained to Larry that the magic I referred to was the process where our belief becomes behavior. We can visualize things all we want and we can memorize mantra’s till the cows come mooing on home. None of it matters. It’s like looking at a plate of bacon and eggs: The chicken made a contribution, the pig made a commitment. Larry found out that simply repeating a bunch of inspirational lines over and over without putting them into practice is a recipe for failure.
I can believe I need to exercise daily and in my head I know it is the best thing for me. Until that magical moment occurs, where I get off the couch and venture out into the world to begin sweating, exercise remains a concept that has no value or meaning to me. I stare down at my belly and see no change and proclaim, “This stuff doesn’t work.”
I believe that tracking my food intake and staying within my calorie limits will allow me reach my goal weight, but if I only do it three or four times a week the result will not be a positive one.
Yesterday morning I was combing my hair (Yeah, go ahead; “What hair?”) and I noticed the shirt I had on fit better. I could start to see some definition to my body. Three personal training sessions are showing a result. I am not going to lie to you. I am one sore dude when I finish and I have asked myself if this is really the best thing in the world for me. Already I am noticing little things. My shoulders and hips are looser. My arms and legs feel just a tad bit tighter. It’s the magic that happens when you transfer your beliefs into action. I ache a bit but Jen is teaching me to use muscle groups I didn’t even know were there.
I left Larry with the same questions I have come to ask myself every morning. I’d encourage you to give it a try. It helps me focus my day a bit better.
If I really believe I am worth the effort and that I deserve to lead a successful and fulfilling life, what am I doing to make it happen?
I ask myself this question every morning and it is teaching me to be accountable for what I do and how I do it. Every small success, no matter how tiny it may seem, encourages me to do more and be more.
This stuff, as Larry called it, is magic. The magic that is you.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
If I ever begin to believe that I have run out of ways to improve myself I always know there is one issue in my life that will be there until the day I die. That issue is being patient. It’s a virtue, did you know that? That’s what I have been told all my life. It sort of makes it seem like if you are impatient well, then it’s a fatal character flaw. It seems that only the saintly and holy practice patience.
I think being an overweight person just makes me even more impatient, especially when I started to see very positive changes in my body, my mind and my health. It’s as if I wanted to wake up the next morning and have “all this done with.” When I drop a size of pants or shirt I expect that next week I will drop another, and so on. Instead of being patient, allowing my body to adjust to its new environment I push myself harder. That creates stress, and stress means I have a half pound gain that leaves me scratching my head. “Work harder,” I mutter.
If you follow my blog you know I began personal training last week. It has exceeded my expectations. Trainer Jen kicks my butt for an hour, smiles and pats me on my shoulder and sends me on my way. It’s a good butt kicking for sure, but at the end of an hour I have my money’s worth. I began this new phase of Project John (Not to be confused with Project Runway or The Rachel Zoe Project.) dead in the middle of my C25K training. I am running 2.5 miles three times a week and struggling to adapt to my trainers way of doing things. To make a long story short I hadn’t run since last Tuesday. My body went on strike. I did other cardio between my training sessions but I was feeling really “antsy.” I had invested all this time into C25K and now I had painted myself into a corner. Things needed to change or I could see a donut or two, or twelve in my future.
I had a good training session Monday and yesterday I was going to run for the first time in a week. I wasn’t looking forward to gutting out the 2.5 miles. I was sore. As I changed in the locker room that little inner voice spoke. “Why don’t you just run a mile today? No sense getting sick.” Did I tell you it was 102 here yesterday? I could live with that. I went upstairs and as I warmed up and then began to run a plan unfolded in my mind. “A mile today, a mile and a half on Thursday, two miles on Saturday or Sunday.” Then I’d be back on track. I finished my workout and I was satisfied with what I did.
Here’s my point. I listened to my best advisor, me. It is so easy to look to the left and right and begin to compare yourself with everyone around you. I have followed some of you as you went from being basically inert, to being athlete/warrior/heroes. You inspire me, but I am not you. My journey will curve to the left when yours curved to the right and even though you and I have the word “challenge” in common, those challenges are all different. Don’t get me wrong, I rejoice at your success, but the minute I compare my progress to yours or anyone else’s, I run off the road and into the ditch.
I am learning to listen to that voice deep inside of me. Sometimes it whips me hard and sometimes it pulls in the reigns to slow me down. If I really believe I am worth it, then I believe I deserve success and I will make the investment to be patient and wait for it to come to me some days.
As I write this I am listening to some music. The words that just ran across my ears were “Be careful. Be gently to yourself, coz’ no one else will. It’s a point of pride.” (Be Careful by Mutual Admiration Society)That voice deep inside of you is yours and yours alone. I am learning to have the faith to listen to it because when I do good things happen.
You are who you hang around with. Can you think of a better buddy or friend than yourself?
Friday, August 06, 2010
I have experienced fifty seven years of life as of today and if you don’t mind I’d like to share with you a few of the things I have learned.
1.If you really want to do something don’t put it off.
There are a lot of things in life I wish I had done. I made excuses not to do them and I packaged those excuses into valid reasons that no one would argue with. I didn’t have the money, or the kids were too young, or I was being selfish. The list goes on and on. When you do not do something your heart really desires the only result you end up with is deep regret. Regret turns to bitterness and that in turn means you gain weight.
Find a way to reach your goals. The result might not be immediate and you may have to make a few concessions along the way but when you reach that goal or dream I promise you that you will be the best you that you can be because you will look in the mirror and be authentic. You may have to do five other things first but don’t ever give up on your dreams.
If you wait for the ever elusive tomorrow trust me it will never arrive. As time goes on you will make more and more excuses and your dreams get farther and farther away until one day you don’t even recognize them. If you have to move heaven and earth to reach them then do so.
Remember, you are worth it and you deserve it and if you don’t believe in your own value why should the rest of us. Make a pest of yourself!!! LOL
2.Own Your Actions
No one is responsible for how I react to something other than me. Owning my actions doesn’t mean I am perfect, it means I am honest. If you’re scared say you’re scared. If you’re happy, share your joy. If you are not sure of what to do, where to go, or what to say, raise your hand high, admit it and I promise you, just like magic, all kinds of people will appear to help you. We enjoy being around people who are open and honest about themselves. It means they are real. It means they have all kinds of badges and medals and ribbons that show they are victors in the campaign of life. Be really leery and wary of someone who tells you they never had a problem or issue in their lives. There is no such thing as a perfect spouse, partner or friend and if anyone tells you otherwise they are lying more to themselves than they are lying to you. You will find you have more friends in life and will sleep peacefully when you begin to belive that the only person responsible for you is you.
3.You Are Who You Hang Around With
If I had a dollar for every person I assigned blame to for my failures in life I would be really rich. When you hang around with people who play the “blame game” you will also in short order. You will find a reason to take all the things you don’t like about yourself and make them someone else’s responsibility. Things are easier to live with that way, aren’t they?
Start hanging out with accountable people and you’ll be a bit uncomfortable for a while but you will start to grow in ways you never dreamed of. Look for people who appear to be “magic.” Usually they are.
My oldest friend is eighty four and my youngest friend is nineteen. In between are a whole host of interesting and enjoyable people who make my life a snap shot done in Technicolor. Wherever you go, for the rest of your life, find a reason to learn something from every person you meet.
I guess there are a lot of other life rules along the way but I have found adhering to these four make me pretty happy. Just thought I'd share
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
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