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How do we define success anyway?

Monday, September 15, 2014

I was going to write a blog about my experience at the Indianapolis Spark Rally on August 23rd, post pics, and how much fun we had but this is more important. I had the opportunity to spend some time with Beth Donovan (~Indygirl) and something came out of our conversations that really made my blood boil. (I did ask permission to share some of this story first)

Well ok, here is one pic...


Anyway....Let me explain (as best as I can recollect)

Short version: After an astounding weight loss, Beth was approached by a media outlet to have a chance to tell her story. After some discussion, she was ultimately declined the opportunity due to her appearance being "socially unacceptable"

Socially unacceptable? What does that mean anyway? By whose definition?

She was wheelchair bound and this individual brought herself back from the point of no return. Someone in her condition is typically regarded by society as a no-win situation. I mean after all, people with far less issues struggle to lose a few pounds and have full mobility. While this is nothing short of a miracle, the appearance driven media standard of success was applied and an opportunity to spread hope was lost. What an insult to the rest of us normal people.

There is a ray of light in all of this. We have an example of someone fighting back and winning against the same scenario... A woman lost 170 lbs and was invited to share her story with Shape Magazine. She submitted a picture of her "after" in a bikini and it was rejected and she was asked to wear a shirt. Like the 3 Hebrew Children, she refused to bow to the medias "golden image" and ultimately refused to participate. Her refusal went viral on social media and touched off a firestorm that resulted in numerous media opportunities including Shape all because people just like you and me demanded reality, demanded real life examples and not just those that have a perfect appearance.

Read her story here: brookenotonadiet.com/2014/05/02/refu
se-put-shirt/


Read about the resolution with Shape Magazine and watch Today Show interview here: brookenotonadiet.com/2014/05/12/medi
a-whirlwind-and-a-resolution-with-shape/


Obesity destroys the body, pure and simple. Those that have never been there don't get it. In a world filled with nauseating "fitspirational" posters of people who have never been more than a few pounds overweight their entire life, the general perception created by the media sets the expectation that losing weight also involves the creation of a beach body as well. Those without a six pack need not apply. Because of our media driven expectations, we not only look down upon our own efforts because we don't meet "the standard" - whatever the heck that means, and we also miss the everyday miracles such as these because it cannot be paraded down society's catwalk. This is shameful. There are issues with morbid obesity that no one wants to talk about... never mind the loose skin, the joint issues, the painful reminders, we all want to look like "that guy/gal"... you know what I mean. Comebacks like I mentioned above are almost unheard of. Usually people in said condition are considered lost by society. If they were "lost" then their story of how they were "found again" is crucial not only to a world that needs hope that it IS possible, but to science as well to gain more understanding to metabolic syndrome and how to overcome it.

So again I ask the question how do we define success?

I have been researching this for a while and found some credible, peer reviewed material that will shed some light on the question. Despite the imagery that is thrust in our faces everyday both on the big screen and in print, our ideas of what weight loss success truly is should be defined by those on the front lines in the battle against obesity, the medical community. What does research say? What does science say?

This is only a short list for sure but it is well documented and reputable.

1) It has been suggested that a successful "loser" be defined as an individual that has lost 10% or more of their body weight and maintained that loss for more than a year. It has been determined by the medical community that a 10% loss creates a significant improvement in overall health and reduced risk for chronic disease. If this is you, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!

2) If you have maintained your loss for more than a year, you are considered a successful maintainer and puts you in the top 20% of your peers. If this is you, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!

3) If you have maintained your loss for 2-5 years, Congrats!, you have just made it to EPIC STATUS! Your chances of weight regain (relapse) are dramatically decreased. If this is you, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!

4) Do you have the "apparent ability to adhere to these strategies for a long period of time in the context of a “toxic” environment that strongly encourages passive overeating and sedentary lifestyles."? If this is you, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL and are part of an elite group of weight loss commandos that have successfully navigated their way through the enemy's minefields, overcome psychological warfare and dodged bullets (and doughnuts) Wear your Green Beret with pride.

5) Are you among those who have navigated the "Weight Regain Obstacle Course" and survived? The course consists of the dreaded binge eating mud pit, climbing perceived barriers to exercise, the all or nothing mindset monkey bars, The body image mirage, and of course who can forget the valley of perception? The valley of perception is where you come face to face with strong dis-satisfaction with your achieved weight loss. If you made it through this house of horrors, YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL!

This list could be much longer but I would run out of room. I highly recommend reading it for yourself. Get your perception from facts and science, not Hollywood. Please care enough about your journey by doing your homework.

Material documentation :
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:
Weight-loss diets—can you keep it off? ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/5/1185
.full

Long Term Weight Loss Maintenance ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/222S
.long


American Diabetes Association:
Weight Regain Prevention clinical.diabetesjournals.org/conten
t/26/3/100.full


National Weight Control Registry ( The successful losers Hall Of Fame )
Published Research nwcr.ws/Research/published%20researc
h.htm


It is a shame that "Hollywood Fitness" has defined what success truly is. You can do it and you don't need Hollywood's approval.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DALID414 9/15/2014 1:21AM

    I panicked a bit in the beginning thinking you got into it with Beth emoticon I know, I know.
Thanks for sharing.

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JAMER123 9/15/2014 1:12AM

    Success is in the eye of the beholder and that is you. Success is looked at by the media as slender, unflawed and always smiling because a successful person is happy, on top of the world! Right, NOT! It is so sad the media can't look at an individual as someone caring about themselves and others. Weight loss is just one of the flaws. I am glad that you are following this gal and that she is very brave to expose herself but on the other hand she is proud of her accomplishments and how she looks today. She should be proud of her fantastic loss.
emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/15/2014 12:36AM

    There are all sorts or success. and they all deserve to be recognized. It's a shame they're not.

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30 day challenge Day 31 -Results And Findings...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Well here we are at the end of 31 days of my personal challenge. For those just tuning in, I am off work recovering from a surgical procedure on my shoulder. I have no competition for my time while I recover and decided to challenge myself to see what I can do in 30 days if I had NO interference from life and the stresses that go with it.

Two Primary Observations:

1) Sleep and stress-

The biggest benefit has been sleep and stress. Without question this has been the most noticeable benefit of stepping away briefly from the insanity that is called life. I never realized how burnt out I was until I had those stresses removed. I now have ambition again and feel re-energized. It wasn't until I had the stresses removed that I began to realize how detrimental stress is. When I get back to the real world, I am going to make it a point to draw lines and safeguard myself. I need to recognize that because I work a non-traditional schedule, I need to be even more careful of my time, my life, and those things I allow myself to take on. I am not super-human, I cannot save the world, and I am not going to throw myself under the bus to do it.

2) Self-Discipline-
As much as I hate to admit it, the daily circus of life forces a certain amount of structure into my life where if I want to accomplish anything, I had better use my time wisely because there is not much of it. I must take advantage of openings and opportunities that present themselves. I have always day dreamed of what I could do if I did not have this *$@#% job to keep screwing up my life. Well I have my opportunity and so far I have been astounded as to how little I have actually done. I can almost say that I have gotten more done when under the pressure of daily living than when I had my freedom. After having lived on both sides of the fence, I think I can safely say that it is a cop-out to blame circumstances or your work schedule on your inability to make strides forward. I have learned that it can be done and the responsibility falls square on our own shoulders. If you and I haven't worked out for a week or ate poorly, more than likely it is because we chose to and chose to not make it a priority.

Any one that knows me, can attest to my sense of self discipline and motivation. I lack neither and have done some pretty epic stuff. I can say honestly that even the most die-hard individual, when given total freedom in their time and life, will have to make a focused, determined effort to make their time count.

After this, I believe that in the end, success does not depend on circumstance, it depends on a daily commitment make forward progress. To always maintain an awareness the clock is ticking and if you ever want to see your objective go from dream to reality, you have to keep your focus, renew that focus daily, and make it a point to live in that reality.

Removing the time based obstacles did not make much of a difference in my personal accomplishments. What made the difference was that in my busy life, I hit the opportunities presented with fervor because inside I knew my opportunities were limited. It seems like humans, in general, act differently when presented with a "blank check". For me, the intensity and sense of urgency lessened when the pressure of life was removed. After all, why hit it hard today if I don't feel like it when there is always tomorrow and the pages on my planner are blank?

I guess in short, success is not dependent on the absence of obstacles, it is dependent on what we choose in the face of such obstacles and how effective we are with the opportunities afforded to every one of us.

I do have an opportunity to continue on with this for another 30 days due to therapy so lets see what the next 30 days brings.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSRIGS1 9/13/2014 2:36PM

    emoticon

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NASFKAB 9/12/2014 1:49AM

  great thanks for sharing yur experiences with us

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MOONGLOWSNANA 9/10/2014 12:14PM

  Physically stronger and more mentally aware... A great way to spend your off time.

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2DAWN4 9/8/2014 9:10PM

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with me!

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LISALEEBRYAN 9/8/2014 11:46AM

    Well said...This really hit home with me today! Thank you for putting it all into perspective!

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223DAISY 9/6/2014 6:19PM

    Love it! Just what I needed at this very moment...Thanks for the thought provoking blog. I am so overwhelmed, I decided right before I read this blog that I must find a way to stop. This was my confirmation. Day 1 starts today

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GRACED777 9/5/2014 1:12AM

    After a stroke 6 years ago, I had a similar experience, except that I was also dealing with a lot of relearning. For several years life was very tedious, but as I continue to subtly improve, I've had some decisions to make about what's important. I'm still not in a paying job-my voice is very quiet and my driving is limited, and even with lots of exercise, I still "don't work right," but I think and can do the most important things, so actually have more of a voice in this world than before. And I've decided to use it. I am not using it the way I envisioned when I was working and wished I wasn't, but I have adapted. It's either that or go crazy with my "freedom," and going crazy wouldn't be pretty! So learning to bloom where I am planted is my best option.

Have a great weekend, and continue with your primary task right now, which is healing, friend!

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ROCKYCPA 9/4/2014 11:10PM

    emoticon

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WHITEANGEL4 9/4/2014 3:50PM

    Way to.....here is to your success

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RHAL1462 9/4/2014 3:11PM

    emoticon I too find that when time is available, I don't use it wisely. Being on a schedule is more motivating than one would think.

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GBSLIM 9/4/2014 3:04PM

    Whew. Had an ah ha moment reading this. Thank you.
Wishing you all the best with your recovery and your freedom.

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NONNAOF2 9/4/2014 2:52PM

  We all need to tweek our lives to make things work for us. I hope the next 30 days will be good days for you and that your recovery is quick! :-)

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FRAN0426 9/4/2014 1:31PM

    emoticon Continued success in your recovery

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REBECKY441 9/4/2014 1:03PM

    emoticon

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MCHILSTR 9/4/2014 11:02AM

  Timely post for me to read - I retired 6 months ago, and am amazed at how little I've accomplished in those 6 months!

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BOB5148 9/4/2014 10:53AM

  emoticon

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CHERYLHURT 9/4/2014 7:08AM

  emoticon

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MARGARITTM 9/4/2014 7:00AM

    Thanks - good thoughts to keep in mind

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THROOPER62 9/4/2014 6:04AM

    emoticon

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_CYNDY55_ 9/3/2014 10:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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FRABBIT 9/3/2014 7:52PM

  Excellent point on the self discipline!

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BALTOCHIC 9/3/2014 2:48PM

    I, too, am a goal-oriented person and I find that the more I have going on, the more I get done. It might be for me because I think, "Well I have plenty of time to accomplish X", whereas if I have more going on, I think, "I can fit X between Y and Z." (Even if it doesn't work in the alphabet, haha..) It's a fine line between over-booking and adding stress and under-booking and feeling like there's plenty of time, thus the procrastination.. for me.

As already mentioned above, Well Said! :-)

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JANEWATKINS 9/3/2014 1:13PM

    Great advice

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AMYSYOKO 9/3/2014 12:52PM

  great read, thanks for the insight

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WENDYANNE61 9/3/2014 8:48AM

    This sentence is so powerful, Robert - "you have to keep your focus, renew that focus daily, and make it a point to live in that reality". Wow, great food for thought today - thank you! Hope the next month goes well and you can achieve some new goals!

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JEB03253 9/3/2014 7:21AM

    Thank you for sharing your insights. Fitting it all in to real life can make stress soar.
Stepping back and realizing that you can't so everything for everyone is huge.

emoticon

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WRITERWANNAB 9/3/2014 12:16AM

    Some great observations & very honest! emoticon

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TIMEHASCOME56 9/3/2014 12:03AM

    emoticon

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TKOCHERA115 9/2/2014 10:42PM

  emoticon Such an insightful posting

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KEEPITUP62 9/2/2014 10:16PM

    a fabulous read again and once again I agree whole heatedly.
The choices we make with our time whether it be squeezed in or given all the time in the day, the choices we make are what determines our outcomes.

Being retired myself , instead of using my time wasting away and growing old, I chose to utilize it to the fullest and grow wiser and fitter and healthier each day.

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CELLA_P 9/2/2014 10:03PM

    emoticon

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PJB145 9/2/2014 9:43PM

    "...in short, success is not dependent on the absence of obstacles, it is dependent on what we choose in the face of such obstacles and how effective we are with the opportunities afforded to every one of us"

WELL SAID, SIR. emoticon It is and will always be about choice. Those put before us and how we respond.



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BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/2/2014 6:11PM

    Looks like you've learned some great lessons! Maybe spend the next month building the life you want around the hours that you'll be working? So that when you do go back to work, you'll have a good schedule in place.

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AJB121299 9/2/2014 4:54PM

    congrats

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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 9/2/2014 3:33PM

    I can only imagine what it might be like to try and refocus your life on 'you' and not on what is needed from a job, and interesting view! Thanks for sharing.


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SPASCAL 9/2/2014 3:00PM

    So true! As a retiree newbie and a recovering back-injured person I can really appreciate your take on the wisdom of prioritizing goals. Get Well Soon. I look forward to hearing about your next 30 days!

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2WHEELER 9/2/2014 1:25PM

    Great and timely blog, especially about using time wisely. I am reminded of the saying, "If you want something done, ask a busy person."

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SLENDERELLA61 9/2/2014 12:49PM

    Brilliant blog! Great observations. You are so right. I contrast my pre-retirement years with my retirement schedule (although I do child care 60 hrs a week - so working in a way for no pay) and I see that you are absolutely right. Setting priorities is super important when you are busy; setting goals and creating positive routines when schedules are flexible are crucial for success!

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SHOAPIE 9/2/2014 12:47PM

    emoticon

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GRANNIEC1 9/2/2014 12:37PM

    Not only a recuperation period but a learning experience as well. Great use of your 30 days! emoticon

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DSHONEYC 9/2/2014 12:35PM

    emoticon and continue to heal!

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RAWCOOKIE 9/2/2014 12:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHARITYAK 9/2/2014 11:55AM

    Interesting how a different set of circumstances can show us new areas of needed growth, new areas where we are stronger than we thought, things we like, things we don't like. Best wishes on the rest of the journey!

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MOVING2LOSE 9/2/2014 11:53AM

    Thanks for sharing. emoticon


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ZINGALOO 9/2/2014 11:48AM

    emoticon

Wonderful blog! Good luck in your recovery.

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STEVIEBEE569 9/2/2014 11:26AM

    emoticon

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MAYBER 9/2/2014 11:21AM

    Thank you for sharing your thought
Sleep Stress and Self Discipline all so very important in life
Best wishes as you continue on
One day at a time
emoticon


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-SHOREIDO- 9/2/2014 11:02AM

    Great write!! Thanks for sharing and best wishes for a speedy & good recovery!!! emoticon

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RHONDAWI 9/2/2014 10:54AM

  emoticon

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SCRAPPYGAMBLER 9/2/2014 10:30AM

    I agree with the self discipline, that is why I fail on weekends. Oh I am committed enough to the exercise so that is not an issue...but staying on track with my eating is an issue. That calls for self discipline that is almost non-existent if I am not working!

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Day 8 accountability blog - 30 Day Challenge

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

So far I have been doing really good. For those just tuning in, I am recovering from shoulder surgery and am off work until I am done rehabbing. I decided to challenge myself to the following:

What would happen if I was to take the next 30 days unrestricted by work demands to eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest, and improve my family / social ties? What effect would that have on my overall health and weight?

-Improvements would give credibility to the idea that we / I live a fast paced toxic lifestyle that is harming our health.

-Continuation of bad habits would give credibility to the idea that we are our own worst enemy and that we need to quit pining away after the ideal situation, the notion of if it wasn't for this or that, I would be successful in my journey.

So far it is Day 8 of my challenge and these are my observations:

Discipline: - When the structure of work demands, deadlines, life stresses is suddenly removed, it takes purposeful effort to reconnect with your goals on a daily basis. It is far too easy to drift because time is received to be unlimited.There is a certain honeymoon where your work life discipline stays in place because of habit but when that which was such a precious commodity is now in abundance, we have a tendency to slow down and urgency goes out the window.

While I have been fairly disciplined in my approach, I have been finding it easier and easier to sleep longer, stay up later, and generally dismiss urgency to tomorrow. Even more so now since I found out I wont even start physical therapy until after September 12th and that will last about a month so overall, I wont be back to work until early October.

Observation: Time is a precious commodity and it takes a great deal of discipline to motivate from within to seize upon every opportunity. It is a challenge to stay disciplined without external forces demanding it. Take away the external forces and you are only left with your character as a driving force.


Stress: My stress levels have gone down dramatically. Prior to my surgery, I was pretty burned out. I knew there were issues but never really realized to what extent until the stress was removed. I was completely flat and my personal ambition had hit the skids. Now after 8 short days I feel totally recharged and ambitious again. Stress can take away your ability to dream and will make a slave out of you. we are only beginning to understand the full effects of stress on our physiology but the information we do have is not good.

Observations: In our frantic efforts to do good, to become all things to all people, we inadvertently become nothing to ourselves. I have seen this play out in other peoples lives including my own. We find meaning in giving of ourselves, caring for others, or devoting ourselves to a cause or work. While this is not a bad thing in and of itself, I have witnessed far too many people throw themselves under the bus making sure that their kids have everything they never had, that they build some sort of financial ivory tower for themselves, or never say no to anyone as if this will earn them a coveted spot behind the pearly gates. An axe is only as effective as it is sharp and unless we take care of ourselves first, we will never be effective in delivering meaningful service to others. PERIOD. Time spent recharging and reconnecting with those things we value is never wasted.

In my newly recovered ambition, I completed my Sports Conditioning certification and am now in the process of collecting and compiling information for a book I am planning to write. That has always been a big goal of mine.



I don't feel I have all the answers, neither am I perfect, but I have learned enough about successfully losing weight and maintaining it that I feel a sense of mission and obligation to pass on what I know in hopes that someone will be helped. Maybe what Ishare will be what it takes for someone to make a break through. Knowing that I was a part of that in some small way would be a reward without price.

I am reminded of the motto for Para-rescue and Recovery (USAF)
"That Others May Live"

Some things are simply worth doing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GBSLIM 9/4/2014 3:12PM

    Mission accomplished. Eagerly awaiting more.

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GARDENCHRIS 8/22/2014 11:59PM

    take the time to recover completely and recharge your batteries.

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LIVEDAILY 8/18/2014 7:47PM

    I'm glad to hear that your recovery is going well. It sounds like you are recovering mentally as well as physically. Continue to get stronger every day!

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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 8/18/2014 12:39PM

    Hope you are 'moving' along just fine, and feeling stronger every day! The very best to you,

j


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123ELAINE456 8/17/2014 3:17AM

  Awesome blog and Well Said Robert. So glad that take Care.Recovery from Surgery is going so Well. Keep It Up. God Blessings Always. Have a Wonderful Week and Time with the Family. Lots Of Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!Coming Your Way. WTG!!!

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KEEPITUP62 8/17/2014 1:08AM

    Absolutely Robert.I fully agree and have been practicing this for the past couple of years now.

I would like to know when your book is published, I'm certain it will be a great seller and a great read. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/17/2014 1:08:45 AM

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SUBMOM2 8/14/2014 12:41AM

    emoticon
Wow, this really rings true. Finding your balance is key, and enjoying life along the way is essential. Glad your recovery is continuing. Thanks for sharing!
emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 8/13/2014 11:38PM

    All of what you have said applies to all of us that have retired. We realize the freedom from a schedule and the chance to get together with friends long neglected due to constraints of work. You work the same shift as I did and that's another thing that changes with the body. Enjoy your time off but try to continue to be somewhat "scheduled" as it's too easy to get out of sink with work schedules. Plan your research and writing to fit a work day. And take care of the shoulder! You appear to be doing great. Take care and thanks for a great insightful blog!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NDKARIKARI 8/13/2014 9:57PM

    Glad to hear that your recovery is going well. I really appreciate that your blogs take on emotional health, not just exercise or nutrition. You are right that without taking care of ourselves, it is impossible to take care of others well. emoticon Slowly learning this lesson; it takes a while to un-learn a lifetime of values that emphasize the exact opposite of this truth.

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SUSIEMT 8/13/2014 8:24PM

    Well said Robert! Glad your recovery is going well.

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ACTIVE_AT_60 8/13/2014 8:01PM

    Probably no-one will read this, but I want to share it anyway. I am amazed to see how many people on websites like this focus on workout and exercise. It is almost to a point where it is an obsession . Clearly there is more to this journey than working out, working out, and working out. An accomplished ultra runner Lucho have a saying - it is not how much you train, but how much you rest.

Nice to read you are making progress after your surgery.

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GABY1948 8/13/2014 7:58PM

    emoticon for sharing....So much valuable information here! Have a great evening!

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LINDAKAY228 8/13/2014 6:50PM

    Stress can do all those things and so can pain if the shoulder was causing pain. Together such a bad bad combination. I've known people like you describe too. Time is such a precious commodity that we can see slip away if we let it. Glad you are working on the things you know now really matter to you and by the time you go back to work hopefully you'll have more insight how to make them all work. Take advantage of this time! Who knows if you'll get an opportunity like this again.

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KITKATSMEOW17 8/13/2014 6:36PM

    Thank you for the great blog. Glad to hear you are better!

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/13/2014 4:59PM

    The last line says it all, Robert! Best of luck with the book. I know it will be terrific! emoticon

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JAZZII4 8/13/2014 4:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 8/13/2014 2:16PM

    Thank you for this great blog. Glad your recuperation is moving along.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/13/2014 2:03PM

    Thanks for the great reminders!!

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BONNIEB1947 8/13/2014 1:58PM

    As I consider retirement in a few years, your observations on motivation and letting the work fill the time you have really strike a chord with me. I have come to realize that the job I have is giving structure and purpose to my life and also keeping my mind sharp. Working just 4 days a week now seems to be a good fit for me; as long as I can keep on that way I will do so.
I do not have the driving ambitions of a younger person anymore; although I did set goals and keep them in the past. It sounds like you are continuing to progress towards your dreams, even via this setback physically. Getting your certificate is a huge step in the right direction; and I also think your careful consideration of your situation and realization of what is best for you now and as you progress shows you are going to continue to be successful!
I wish you the best...do not get discouraged! We will all be here cheering you on! I am really enjoying Spark People!

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EMMACORY 8/13/2014 1:56PM

    Good reflection and observations. I have noticed that when people take two weeks of vacation at a time they come back refreshed and charged up again. So many folks struggle to find downtime. Have a healthy day! emoticon

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DSHONEYC 8/13/2014 1:53PM

    emoticon on the new certification. Your experiment is most interesting. Keep us posted on your observations, motivations, challenges and results.

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SEATTLE58 8/13/2014 12:55PM

    I believe in you, Robert, so whatever you decide is best in taking care of your life and family, will be alright with me! I believe you will choose what's best and you will succeed in what you do. emoticon emoticon And I'm so happy that you're recuperating so well! Good luck to you in all aspects of your life, for the future! emoticon Karen emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 8/13/2014 12:32PM

    Congrats on the new certification. Yes, it is easy to slip into procrastination when time seems unlimited. But sleeping in is a good thing! And perhaps your personal circadian rhythm is to stay up later - or maybe its a holdover from your shiftwork. But It is good to enjoy this time and look inward. I know how much you would love to never go back to your job, and I understand it totally. But I also know you have a family to support, and you will go back. But maybe this is when you really work on an alternative income stream so that you won't have to continue where you are. Just a thought...


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DEESHAREE 8/13/2014 12:12PM

    " In our frantic efforts to do good, to become all things to all people, we inadvertently become nothing to ourselves. I have seen this play out in other peoples lives including my own."

OMG Robert - this is me. I have been burned out for years. Now I am home recuperating from an illness, and I never want to go back to work ever again. I know I have to go back, but I lost my passion. I too am taking care of myself and it feels good, even though I am not able to exercise. I'm eating right and my emotional eating has literally been halted. Taking a nap in the middle of the day? I never did that before now. So this is self care, self love. I'm gaining a new perspective on how to be my own best friend.

Thank you for this blog, Robert. I'm reevaluating everything about my life and how I've been living.

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DLDMIL 8/13/2014 12:01PM

    Great insight into recovery and learning to accomplish what it truly important in our lives.

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LOVINGKATE 8/13/2014 11:51AM

  emoticon blog!! Sounds like recovery is going well. Good for you.
I had to quit my job do to RA in my hands and feet. I have found after 5 years how easy it is to put off today what you can do tomorrow. Sleeping in and doing exercise later instead of getting up and getting going. I know the stiffness would be much better if I did that yet I put off. I needed to read your blog to get going and doing what I know is best. Thanks so much and congrats on your certification. I would also love to read your book after you have written it. You are pretty darn awesome!!! Take care and recover quickly. God bless


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Accountability Blog Day 4 of 30 Day Challenge

Friday, August 08, 2014

So far, things have gone far better than I expected. My mobility has improved greatly and I have been working out and watching my intake consistently. I will post something more detailed a little later as well as observations and such. Here is one such observation that hit me this morning and pretty much sums it up. What you are about to read is a very condensed version of all that i have learned in the last 6 years of my journey when it comes to motivation.

Here is your thought for the day.


I get asked all the time " what do I do to get motivated?, I just don't feel like it"

I have learned that motivation is only a spark, it's habit that keeps you anchored in a healthy lifestyle. The good feelings come from doing what you know you should be doing, not motivation. The bad feelings come from living in opposition to what you feel in your heart you should be doing. You want the good feelings? Commit in spite of how you feel. Want motivation?, look in the mirror and think of all the reasons why you don't want to be tied to a needle, an oxygen tank, or a wheelchair when you're 70, then refuse to surrender your mobility to convenience, and proceed to get off your butt.

Anything less than this means you love your comfort zone more than your future.

if you analyze this, what starts off as mental contemplation then becomes a verb and verbs are the prerequisite to success. It isn't a noun (person, place, or thing) and it isn't an adjective (anything that describes).

Rinse, lather, repeat.... It's just that simple.

You're welcome.

- Author, ME



Find Me On Facebook :) www.facebook.com/robert.wadhams.7

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSRIGS1 8/22/2014 2:29PM

    That's my motto!

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MCJULIEO 8/22/2014 10:02AM

    True dat...

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DOTTY7267 8/20/2014 10:23AM

    emoticon

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YA_YAYA 8/17/2014 10:35PM

    Nike didn't come up with the "Just Do It" campaign for no reason. Motivation is intrinsic, there is no secret, you just have to do what's going to get you to achieve your goals and avoid the little devil on your shoulder holding you back! Thanks for the great, straight forward blog.

Comment edited on: 8/17/2014 10:35:34 PM

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PENOWOK 8/14/2014 2:02PM

    Agreed, motivation varies from person to person...whatever it takes to get you moving and eating better!!

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LOVINGKATE 8/13/2014 11:41AM

  emoticon emoticon

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 8/11/2014 7:05AM

    "The good feelings come from doing what you know you should be doing, not motivation."
emoticon

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PROVERBS31JULIA 8/11/2014 2:02AM

    You said:
"The good feelings come from doing what you know you should be doing, not motivation. The bad feelings come from living in opposition to what you feel in your heart you should be doing. You want the good feelings? Commit in spite of how you feel."

and POW! Sock it right in the middle of my head! WOW. I hadn't thought of it in that way before. Applies to other things I know I need to be doing...

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Julia

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WRITERWANNAB 8/11/2014 1:38AM

    Bravo! Keep on keepin' on! emoticon

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1JACKIE542 8/10/2014 11:44AM

    emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 8/10/2014 1:38AM

    emoticon

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1STBUCKETITEM 8/10/2014 12:06AM

  emoticon You struck a chord on this one... Thanks for giving me "pause" to think about "motivation" and "habit" from a different perspective. I've kept some your words in my journal to give me a boost and inspiration to "proceed to get off my (your )butt." I really needed a kick and you gave it to me! emoticon emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 8/9/2014 10:38PM

    emoticon

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PATRICIA-CR 8/9/2014 10:33PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 8/9/2014 8:49PM

    emoticon

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GLORIAMAJDI 8/9/2014 7:30PM

    This is a terrific blog! I agree, instilling the habits helps. Motivation is a fleeting thing. I often don't want to go run but it is what I do so I make it happen. And I am always glad that I did. I think that people don't realize that motivation isn't what makes it happen...it might help in getting started but isn't always going to be there.

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MAYBER 8/9/2014 7:11PM

    Thank you for the motivation will make it a habit one day at a time
emoticon

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 8/9/2014 5:55PM

    emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 8/9/2014 5:44PM

  Good concept Robert. I hope you get to enjoy some of your time off, in spite of the reason for it.

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DALID414 8/9/2014 5:43PM

    emoticon rinse, lather, repeat. Love that!

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PATRICIAANN46 8/9/2014 3:59PM

  How VERY emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 8/9/2014 2:58PM

    Great blog! When it comes to motivation, for me, I no longer expect to be "motivated" before I do whatever it is that I need to do. Motivation is "after acquired" . . . after I do it anyhow!

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MARYJEANSL 8/9/2014 2:50PM

  Well said.

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JSEATTLE 8/9/2014 2:44PM

  Thanks! I totally agree with you.

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JUSGETTENBY42 8/9/2014 2:13PM

    emoticon

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NONNAOF2 8/9/2014 1:01PM

  I couldn't agree with you more! :-)

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WORKNPROGRESS49 8/9/2014 12:54PM

    emoticon

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DIANNEMT 8/9/2014 12:17PM

    Yep--I don't always feel like working out but, unless I am sick or hurt, I do SOMETHING.

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CICELY360 8/9/2014 12:07PM

  good blog

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SUSIEMT 8/9/2014 11:20AM

    Robert you are dead-on! As I recall from my own experience I had given up on dieting and exercising due to my past failures. I could not face yet another failure! Magically an e-mail appeared from sparkpeople that caught my attention. Just the word spark was all it took. I love sparkles so was immediately intrigued. The rest is history as they say. It was those wonderful nutrition articles that convinced me that making small changes would make a difference. Those habits made early did make the difference for me. Thank you for another wonderful reminder!

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IDICEM 8/9/2014 11:11AM

  emoticon Motivation and habit make a good combination!

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ALEXSGIRL1 8/9/2014 9:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERDIAMONDS 8/9/2014 9:26AM

    "Anything less than this means you love your comfort zone more than your future."

Well HECK!

Thanks for the great dose of absolute reality.

Glad you are on your way to recovery!


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JERICHO1991 8/9/2014 9:22AM

    Thanks.

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DJSHIP46 8/9/2014 9:20AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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SHARON7464 8/9/2014 9:19AM

    After Incurring a back injury and finding it difficult to walk let alone run..it has taken some time to get back in the swing. That being said, I have begun to run again since January. I make my mileage commitment on Facebook the last three months and have found that I won't skip a day because of it.

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SDEHNKE 8/9/2014 9:16AM

    emoticon Right on!

Suellen

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GARDENCHRIS 8/9/2014 8:57AM

    glad to hear you are improving , enjoy the time.

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SARA-SMILE 8/9/2014 8:21AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARRIELYN56 8/9/2014 8:08AM

    emoticon

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TINAJANE76 8/9/2014 7:48AM

    So happy to hear that your recovery is going well, Robert, and I think you're absolutely right about looking ahead to what our future could be like to help us stay motivated.

I think we all have our individual moments of clarity that jolt us into action or bring our motivation to the next level. For me it's been seeing a number of older relatives suffer through long-term, chronic health problems that could have been greatly minimized or avoided altogether if they had taken better care of themselves beginning when they were younger. My dad has been overweight or obese since his early 30s, has eaten poorly his whole life and has never gotten consistent exercise. He's also a Type 1 Diabetic who has never managed it properly. He lived for many years without any serious problems, but once he hit 60, they started rushing in. First, his relatively minor aches and pains started becoming more than inconveniences, but physically debilitating. Then he developed cataracts. Then he started losing sensation in different parts of his body. Then he had a heart attack. Then he had to have quadruple bypass surgery. Then he had complications from the surgery, including pneumonia, and has had to have his chest drained of fluids several times. On top of all this, his blood sugar levels are consistently appalling, fueled by the fact that he continues to make the worst possible food choices for a diabetic with heart disease. You'd think all of this would be an eye opener for him to make some changes, right? Wrong. Minimal effort at best, at first and now he's gone back to how he had been eating (very badly) and exercising (he hadn't been) before all of his problems began. And he still can't get himself into a routine to manage his diabetes!

All of this has happened over the course of just a few short years and I foresee that he'll spend the rest of his life in and out of doctor's offices, the hospital, on unpleasant medications with nasty side effects and with a seriously diminished quality of life. He's still only 65 and this could go on for many more years. It's awful to watch him go through all of this and even more awful that he doesn't seem to care enough to at least make an effort to do more about it while he still can. The only upside is that it's made me even more determined to stay the course, keep my weight in check, keep active and try to be as healthy as I can reasonably be. My dad's situation will not be mine 27 years down the road and I'm going to do whatever's within my control to make sure of that.

Sorry to clog up so much space on your blog, but this obviously hit a nerve with me. Thanks for sharing your journey so openly with us so we can all benefit from the wisdom you're acquiring. You're such a wonderful inspiration for so many, Robert, and I hope your recovery continues to go well.
emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/9/2014 8:28:02 AM

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CHERYLHURT 8/9/2014 7:07AM

  Love it!

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SHERYLP461 8/9/2014 6:55AM

    thanks

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STEVIEBEE569 8/9/2014 5:40AM

    emoticon

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MOBYCARP 8/9/2014 5:21AM

    Yep. Motivation comes, motivation goes. The secret to maintaining is to manage to do what needs doing even in periods of low motivation.

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MARYJOANNA 8/9/2014 5:07AM

  emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 8/9/2014 12:34AM

    emoticon emoticon
We certainly don't want to give up our mobility but some don't have the choices. I for one will fight staying mobile as it is up to me. Thanks for a great blog!

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GABY1948 8/8/2014 6:42PM

    WOW, emoticon blog! It says it ALL...none of us wants to give up our mobility and anything like it! I wish I had known all this when I was far younger! I know I would have had many more years like I am not but I will certainly take it now...all I can ger and it's up to me!

emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/8/2014 6:39PM

    Spark on! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 8/8/2014 6:14PM

    Glad you're recuperating. Have a great weekend.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Recovering From Surgery And A Personal Challenge Day 1.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Life has put me in the time out corner for a little while. To get to the point, I had an old injury rear its ugly head over the last year and it got to the point that I had to do something about it. About 15 yrs ago I was trying to be macho man at a softball game and swung way too hard and of course, I missed but I did succeed in tearing the cartilage in my right shoulder. July 30th I went in to have it operated on and so far my recovery is going well.

Recovery Room


Shoulder tear



The first 72 hours was pretty tough. Brushing my teeth and other basic things I took for granted now required ninja-like skills (I'm right handed) and dropping something on the floor was bad news. I couldn't just pick it up because bending over put pressure on my shoulder and was painful. That's when I would flip it up in the air with my foot and catch it with my left hand. :: Level 2 Ninja Skills Unlocked ::

Went for a 2 mile walk on the treadmill at the gym and felt really good. After several days of "house arrest", it was a blessing to be released for good behavior (and before family beats me up and throws me out on the street for driving them crazy) Seriously, it feels really good to be able to function again.

I will be starting physical therapy probably toward the end of August or early September. So until then, any exercise I do is pretty much from the core down until the pro's evaluate me and determine what is safe. This is something I DON'T want to go through again.

This also presents a very unique opportunity for me. For a minimum of about 6+ weeks I will have complete control of my time and my life. No shift work, no imbalances caused by my circadian rhythm being all screwed up, no outside influences, no work stress, no demands dictating when I sleep and when I can do what. Nothing. Short of therapy appointments, I am my own man for 30-45 days.... paid.

So... I pose a question.

If you have ever seen Supersize Me, where the guy goes on a McDonalds only diet for 30 days, you may have a clue as to what I am about to ask.

What would I be capable of if I had no distractions or external temptations for the next 30 days?

What this means-
1) A full nights sleep with no alarm clock. wake up with the sun as opposed to something unnatural.
2) Total focus on nutrition, I am in complete control.
3) Fitness is no longer something to be squeezed in, it is my job for 30-45 days.
4) Family time and other enhancing activities, no longer dictated by work demands.

This will be interesting because it would show that:
-Successes, previously unattainable, would show just how toxic and counter-productive our hectic modern lifestyle really is. How our rush-rush life is working against us.
-Failures and difficulties would also show who the real enemy is, ME. That for all the excuse making and finger pointing, at the end of the day, we are our own worst enemy.

There is a certain about of hesitation when I say I am going to do this because I am not too anxious to lock horns with the real enemy, he is truly vicious and unforgiving. We can sometimes lean on reasoning's like "if it wasn't for my job, situation, relationship etc.... I could do X, Y, or Z. Admit it, haven't we all day dreamed a time or two of what it would be like if we could live unrestricted, if we could live in a bubble, oh the things we could do?

Well, this is my opportunity to do just that. I have always wondered this and have often complained of how life holds me back from doing what I have always wanted.

So I am reaching out to you, my friends in the Spark community, to cheer me on. I am going to be doing a blog series here about my journey and my observations. Basically I am going to be a human guinea pig living in a glass box. What am I able to do for 30 days eating right, exercising, getting rest, and tending to much needed family time?

Let's find out.

follow my daily progress on Facebook...
www.facebook.com/robert.wadhams.7

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCJULIEO 8/22/2014 10:00AM

    What an intriguing proposition! I'm going to go look at what you've posted so far...

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MRSRIGS1 8/20/2014 7:36PM

    emoticon

I had a rotary cuff tear that I had fixed seven years ago. I feel your pain. Looking forward to your blogs!

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CFMOSS 8/12/2014 5:55PM

    Day by day....progress, healing, improvement.

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MAYBER 8/9/2014 8:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DMCWJR 8/9/2014 6:31PM

  Get rest, stay positive and continue on the road to a health you. Dorothy

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123ELAINE456 8/9/2014 4:38AM

  Get Well Soon. You Can Do It. Keep Pushing Forward. Hoping for a Complete Recovery. God Blessings Always. Hope the next 20 Days goes well for you. Do try to spend time and do as much time with your Family as you can. Make a lot of Memories and Enjoy Them. Good Thoughts, Prayers and Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Coming Your Way. Thinking of All Of You. Take Care.

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CORNERKICK 8/9/2014 4:16AM

  emoticon

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JRRING 8/8/2014 10:46AM

  emoticon

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PROVERBS31JULIA 8/8/2014 10:11AM

    Oh Robert, Rehab in a Glass Bowl, Two-Way Window! I've never been in a situation like you are describing! Very interesting viewpoint. Someone suggested a Slim Jim, and I've never seen one of those, I don't think, but I have several of those "reacher grabber" things that my elderly in-laws had and we inherited. Some are strictly grabbers with a sort of pistol grip handle, and others have little magnet deals to help hitch things along. And will you have access to a swimming pool where you could basically do water cardio? or can you use a rebounder? I'm sure you are figuring out creative cardios and other exercises!! Your PT place might even have a therapy pool to use to GENTLY work out your arm without doing the Macho thing.

But you know what? I totally believe your rehab NOW will be much easier and faster and a better more complete healing for you than it would have been umpteen however many years you said (I already forgot!!) it was when you first tore it playing baseball!! Why? Because after you tore it and got in poor shape before you joined SparkPeople, it just would have taken longer.. Your heart probably would not have been in it to be faithful to physical therapy. But now... you've been working out like a badass these past few years, with the cardio and kettleball and triathlon etc and your muscles will just be jonesing to "work out" again, even if only gently and carefully in PT. Think of it as sort of a Non Scale Victory??

Rock on, Robert!! May the Healing Force be Ever With You! :)
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 8/8/2014 6:47AM

    I'm sure others have said this, but you cant *truely* focus on fitness because your upper body movements are limited. I feel the treadmill and recumbent bike are going to be your best friends.

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WRITERWANNAB 8/8/2014 1:59AM

    What a great way to make your down time count! I hope for a quick recovery for you. Take care & don't overdo it. emoticon

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DALID414 8/8/2014 12:46AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MISSPEACHES3 8/8/2014 12:24AM

    In 2009 I had surgery for a torn Rotator Cuff on my right shoulder. So I know what you are going through. I had to learn to be left handed, which it sounds like you are mastering very well also. Even now, I can open a jar with my left hand. We learn to do what we need to learn.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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MAKEWEE 8/7/2014 11:29PM

    Sending prayers and good vibes. You will win this!!

emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/7/2014 10:33PM

    That sounds awesome!!

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CHANGING-TURTLE 8/7/2014 9:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALNUTT1961 8/7/2014 9:02PM

    You are on the right track. Take care of yourself.

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LIVELYLULU37 8/7/2014 5:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 8/7/2014 4:48PM

    Get well soon

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SUBMOM2 8/7/2014 3:26PM

    emoticon

What a great idea. Good for you for taking on this challenge. Yes, sometimes we do get in our own way, even after the other obstacles have been removed. I think you can do this and I bet we all learn something along the way. Thanks for sharing!

emoticon

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REBIRTHDIVA 8/7/2014 2:46PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BONNIEB1947 8/7/2014 2:44PM

    It will certainly be enlightening to see how you do. Beware of boredom!

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JERALDTX 8/7/2014 2:36PM

    Best of Luck to you... I'm currently closing in on one year post abdominal surgery. My core isn't back to what it was pre-surgery yet. But at six months it was back enough to squeak by on my Black Belt tests. The key is to listen to you body and only do what it can do. Push the envelope but not too hard. And keep us all posted on how it goes.

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AMIEMICHELE 8/7/2014 2:21PM

    emoticon

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DOTTY7267 8/7/2014 1:49PM

    emoticon I'll be following to see how you progress emoticon

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LADYGSC 8/7/2014 1:03PM

    emoticon and after that SPARK ON!!

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SEATTLE58 8/7/2014 1:01PM

    emoticon I'm so glad that it looks like you're on the mend. And it looks like you're in a good place for good, awesome care, which you deserve so abundantly. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EGMINGA 8/7/2014 12:31PM

    emoticon Good luck with the next 30 days. Just stay focused it is so easy to let other stuff get in your way even if you are not working.

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EDWARDSC393 8/7/2014 11:54AM

    My husband practiced using his left arm, became ambidextrous. Practice!!! It will be frustrating! Take care.

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PRESBESS 8/7/2014 10:40AM

    I pray a speedy and healthy recovery for you and that your time of reflection, observation and relaxation serves you well. I can't wait to read your about it all.
emoticon

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SANDRA_E 8/7/2014 10:20AM

    emoticon The most important part of the recovery will, in fact, be taking care of yourself. emoticon I am excited to see what you will accomplish during this time.

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REDSPIRALWOMAN 8/7/2014 9:35AM

    I love your articulation of this journey you are about to embark on. And yes, some aspect of you may, indeed, been an element that gets in your way. But the aspect who is a Spark colleague, the aspect who had the insight to look at this difficulty in your life and turn it into such an opportunity, the aspect who is articulate, thoughtful and insightful - all those aspects are right there within you as well. Never forget your own wisdom and perhaps your limiting self will accept your invitation to change, to grow and mature. What seeds you have planted! Looking forward to sharing the journey with you. emoticon

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DONNELDA22 8/7/2014 8:32AM

    Congratulations on "Biting the Bullet" and getting your shoulder fixed. For the next 6 weeks, we will be watching you carefully. I know you can do whatever you set your mind to. emoticon

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SHOOPETTE 8/7/2014 8:20AM

    Just reading made me cringe, it must have been so painful!
You have a very positive outlook on this forced stay at home, you can only do great!

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HEALTHYCHIC 8/7/2014 7:37AM

    You KNOW I'm dusting off my pom-poms!!!

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LEANMEAN2 8/7/2014 6:43AM

    Wishing you much good luck!

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TALLBIGGUY 8/7/2014 4:02AM

    You might try this: I tore a leg ligament last year and use a slim jim (about $8.00 at an automotive store). It is usually used to open locked cars, but the arrow points on the one end make it ideal for picking things up, putting on socks, pants, etc.

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ROXYCARIN 8/7/2014 1:34AM

  emoticon

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JIBBIE49 8/7/2014 1:07AM

    Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail.

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MAKBABE 8/7/2014 12:43AM

    Sleeping and reading would be how I spent my days while recovering!
Wishing you a speedy and enjoyable recovery

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SUGAR0814 8/6/2014 11:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TXGRANDMA 8/6/2014 11:11PM

    emoticon I know Rotator Cuff Repairs are very painful! I used to care for those patients freshly post op on the post surgical floor I worked on. Your therapy is very important, so work hard, do what the therapist tells you, and take a pain pill about an hour before every session so that you can successfully participate! God Bless! emoticon

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HOLLYSNOWWOMAN 8/6/2014 11:06PM

    emoticon

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CHARTHESTAR 8/6/2014 10:28PM

    I tried your link to your facebook page but it said it was unavailable.

Good Luck!

Only time I had that much time off since I started getting serious about my health was when I had knee surgery. so walking for my exercise did not work for me.

I am naturally a night person so getting up when it is light out doesn't work for me on my days off. But work days I have a dawn simulator that gets me up just fine. How is that for your brain doing things subconsciously?

in your after surgery ---You look good


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SUPERSYLPH 8/6/2014 9:39PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GOOSIEMOON 8/6/2014 9:29PM

    Take care and get well soon!

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CAROLJ35 8/6/2014 9:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KEEPITUP62 8/6/2014 9:18PM

    First and foremost get well soon and I imagine with all that healthy nutrition you will be consuming, your recovery should come along really well.


Be careful when exercising so you don't have any sudden movements in the shoulder area that will cause you pain.

I broke my right hand last year and I am right handed so I know the difficulty you are experiencing. It does get easier as you begin to rely on your super ability to compensate through other means.

All the best to you and I will be keeping an eye on how you manage over the next weeks.
Good Luck.

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MJ7DM33 8/6/2014 9:10PM

  emoticon

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DIANNEMT 8/6/2014 8:50PM

    Good for you! If you had 2 healthy arms, I'd tell you to meet me at MTU on 8/27 and help my DD3 move into her room--but, since you are laid up, you are off the hook!

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