Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Boy, it's been a long time! I just saw the date of my last blog. I was already about a week into one of the craziest ideas of my life.
Weight loss and major life changes are seismic shifts, I have discovered. There is an incredible interconnectedness when one decides to change. Both bring a certain tenacity and a certain inventiveness to the approach of how to answer the question, "What next?"
And don't forget, of course, the people in the outer rings of your life who are very quick to tell you that you are completely out of your mind. That last, is not only in regard to weight loss. It's also in regard to what you propose to do to change the world. Lately, I have been following people who have charted a trajectory for themselves not unlike what I am attempting to do. Every conventional indicator says that they should have failed. No one has done it the way that they chose to do it. The fact that they did succeed, has created new courses in the Wharton School of Business. I laugh wholeheartedly at that notion.
Here is one I particularly love: the story of Sara Blakely of Spanx renown. If you don't know Sara's story, here's a little background for you in case you were sleeping under a rock. I say that because two years ago, Forbes declared her the youngest self-made billionaire (yes, that is with a "b"). Sara was a door-to-door fax machine saleswoman for a stationery firm, making $11,000 a year plus commissions, and had no business background whatsoever, when lightning struck. Long story short she had this idea to invent footless pantyhose. I'm of an age that I do not relate to this generation's notion of footless pantyhose, but that is another story. What is so inspiring is, she had to fail the law school entrance exam twice to realize that this was not to be her path. The cynics out there would say it was Oprah who made Spanx happen. Not true. She finagled Neiman Marcus to take her first order, and subsequently Nordstrom's followed even before Oprah was on the horizon declaring Spanx a "Favorite Thing."
Here's Sara telling her story at The Edge Connection in Atlanta:
Okay. Here's the thing (and Sara mentions this too): There are people who are put on this earth, heaven knows why, that have made it their job to squelch your dreams. It gives them some unknown satisfaction. My last encounter with this "type" was on Sunday last at my niece's wedding. My cousin's wife said as she was leaving, in her goodbyes that whatever I was planning, "Shouldn't you be retiring?" I just noted nonchalantly, that I was just continuing my work in the hospital. I was not going to get suckered into letting her know what I am working on.
Now, here's the secret (come close, and I'll whisper it in your ear): when you endeavor to take on herculean tasks, whether it be weight loss or some new commercial idea, or something else that has meaning to you, the only person you need to answer to is yourself. Let no one derail you from your goals. You define you, no one else.
So, whether it is "life", or weight, you captain the ship. And you make it happen.
Happy Thanksgiving all. Be safe.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
People look forward to the new year with incredible hope and newfound tenacity. They make resolutions, join gyms, and hit the elliptical, Stair Master, and treadmill with an acolyte's zeal.
For most, this frenetic level of enthusiasm will last, perhaps, according to my gym, until mid-March, when they will quit and slink away. It was an impossible dream, or was it?
Statistics state that ninety-five percent of us will fail at this quest, ultimately. Some of us diehards know that the only thing that is keeping us from that oblivion is our connection to this community. No, this is not a paid advertisement for SparkPeople. It's truly the one thing that separates this company from its competitors.
But what about the successful ones? Those five-percenters? Success has been attained, and they are in full maintenance mode. And continuing to do it successfully. But, was it all one thought it would be? And here's the interesting part: Many expect that once that magic number appears on the scale, their whole lives will be incredibly transformed. Why wouldn't they? They did their due diligence, revised their whole thinking about food and exercise. The rest should follow, no? It's logical.
I won't add more, except to say read the link below ("What No One Tells You About Dramatic Weight Loss"). One person mentioned in the article is a former SP'er. She is now an award-winning photographer, and one of the people interviewed for the article. After you read it, tell me what you think. It's quite an eye opener.
Monday, January 07, 2013
In anything I endeavor to do, all I need is one person to help me be the person I wish to be. That person is me. It's nice to have "a little help from my friends", but the real work to make this permanent has to come from me.
Lately, I have been reading about very successful folks on SP, who through sheer will and determination, have lost a considerable amount of weight. Now that they are realizing their goals, and have successfully maintained it for long stretches of time, even years, they are finding themselves bingeing and eating, when the hard-fought results are not being maintained. Chicken and the egg kind of thing. They hit a "plateau", cannot account for it, and then the destructive elements rear their ugly heads. Some have even posted pictures of these "events". It's painful to see. Not the excess of eating, but the pain that is being experienced.
Others have noted about folks who succeeded who are now scarce and wonder why. Is it because they are so successful that maintenance is a breeze and they no longer need SparkPeople, or is it because they have started with the "creeping back up" of the weight lost, that was hard-fought, won, and now show signs of slippage? It's a curious behavior, but far from rare, and I have noticed it, too.
Which brings me to what I have always stated: In order for this to be a lifelong success, deep exploration is really required. I do not believe, as someone told me not so long ago, that "we just like to eat a lot, and that's the way we were taught as children". It's not that simple, I think. Especially with the evidence that abounds about healthful eating, and how adjustments have to be made in poor eating behavior. I still believe one has to go to the dark places, do a sincere analysis of why they have allowed such unhealthy behavior for so long, self-correct, and then see if this doesn't "fix" the problem once and for all. This I truly believe is the key to maintenance, but who wants to explore the dark corners of one's soul? Many are loathe to do so. Hey, I'm with you there. But I really want this to be the last trip to WeightLossVille there is in this lifetime. So.....
.....anyone got a flashlight?
Saturday, September 22, 2012
As some of you may know, I saw my doctor back in July who sent me "good news" after she received my lab results, that I am now officially prediabetic. That started a flurry of activity and an 82-day quest to lose what I felt was a reasonable amount of weight (twenty pounds to be exact) before the recheck in October. OK. I set out my plan, I wrote my blog and I was determined to see this weight loss in 82 days. Absolutely doable, right? Now here's the kicker [and you women will get this totally], as we start to see progress towards goals that we set for ourselves, not just weight loss ones, we start to feel this overwhelming sense of panic. Am I right ladies? [I see the men in the back of the room scratching their heads and going, "Say what again?"] So many people have written similar blogs to this one, but I have yet to see an answer why this is, and what people have found to successfully combat it. What is it about us, that as we start to check off what we are accomplishing we get really scared, like "Holy crap! I think this time it's gonna work!" Welllll, that's really not something we are terribly used to, and we don't have the coping mechanisms for success. Failure we get totally. That we can write pages and pages about. But when we start winning, we brake to a halt and then more often than not, self-sabotage sets in. We simply cannot handle it. Now, my question is how to abort this behavior, accept that we are fantabulous and get on with the rest of our lives. I have no simple answers, I'm still learning all this myself. So, put in what you think may help the rest of us in the trenches. I'm sure many would be happy with the insight.
All I can say is I have about 17 days left and I will do the best that I can. But I really want to get to the core of this issue, because as many of you already realize, that is why we are here, not because we are overweight. And once I figure that out, I'm going to bottle it, patent it, and make my fortune.
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