Monday, April 26, 2010
So a couple of months ago I was floundering, motivation-wise. The weight loss was stagnant. Most of the decisions I had made in late 2009 were no longer paying off in early 2010. I did a good bit of soul searching to figure out something to get me motivated and came up with nothing.
A few weeks later, I just decided that I had about 12 weeks until Memorial day weekend so I should make a goal to hit my goal of 195. Then I can dawn the cargoes, cotton oxford shirt, sandals, white panama hat and Seersucker Jacket (sleeves rolled up of course) and hit the beach (*en1).
This morning I read another blog from someone struggling with motivation and then I had a flashback to a leadership class that I took a few years ago.
The instructor mentioned that one's motivation is based on the presence/abundance of three factors (if/when any of the three are missing, motivation is diminishes or disappears). The equation: M=DVF. M, the dependent variable of the equation, is motivation. The other three are as follows:
D: Dissatisfaction with the current situation.
* Let's face it, few of us started our SparkJourney with "Geez, I look great. I'm healthy. I'm really happy with my current physical state". We were dissatisfied with out health, appearance, clothing not fitting, etc. It motivates us to do something about it. Unfortunately, once we lose some weight we sometimes are not as dissatisfied and stagnate.
V: Vision of success.
* There is something that drives us. It's an image we see of when we finish losing weight. It may be a reunion, wedding, cotillion, or "Yo Mama" debate at the basketball court (*en2). It could involve a triathlon, half marathon, full marathon, double marathon or quadrupole marathon (*en3). When we're tempted to binge or make bad decisions, it's this vision that can inspire us to trudge on. Without it we will stay out of dissatisfaction, but flounder/struggle in reaching our goal.
F: First Step Success
* How well the first few steps go. I see it all the time. New Sparkie joins. They have a great first week and are excited. They have mediocre second week (not upset, but not happy). Then the weight loss slows, they have a few bad days, they get disheartened, stop blogging/tracking and then they are rarely or never heard from again. Those who take the perspective of overall health, new physical capabilities and clothes fitting can overcome this.
I hit frustration with my weight not going down, but really wasn't dissatisfied with where I was. I lacked a vision of what being a 195 pound Trentdreamer would be like. I didn't really like myself when I was 195 last time. I was at a plateau.
For lack of a better term, it took a blind faith of sorts that it would be worth it. If I gutted it out and lost the weight that good things would come. It has paid off. It was the best decision that I've made in my Spark Journey. I now am enjoying all of the spoils of weight loss once again.
If you are struggling with your motivation, analyze all three. Ask yourself the tough questions:
* Am I really dissatisfied with my health/my physical appearance/my physical fitness/my dancing llama www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUfND
xp3yoQ ? (*en4)
* Do I have a vision of what my life will be like at the other end of the rainbow? What am I really striving for? Forget satisfaction, what does awesome look like!?
* What is a new set of first step that I can take to reignite the spark and get back on track?
Find out where you are stuck. Which independent variable is holding you back?
As these really cute cats and kittens would say.... www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX1Yz
Y'all said a mouthful, kitties!!!
195 by 5.29!
- TD Out!
(*en1) You think he's kidding, but he's totally not.
(*en2) Admit it, they ARE fun!
(*en3) This from a guy who gets winded if he has to climb 2 flights of stairs.
(*en4) He's just checking to see if you're still reading at this point. I wouldn't be.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Throughout the mid to late 00's, I was blessed in a very dark macabre way. I've seen quite a few people (friends, acquaintances, family and co-workers) fall to problems stemming from unhealthy living.
A relative of mine can't raise his arms above shoulder level because of a fall that he took (he's well over 200 pounds with not enough muscle to catch himself). A friend's father had a stroke (Most angry, high strung man I've ever met). An overweight former friend is getting her hips replaced (she's only 42 years old). A boss I used to work for was hospitalized for 5 weeks and was told that he had to give up a lot of foods that he liked (his diet was dominantly doughnuts and munchkins.).
And then there's the 34 year old woman that I used to go to church with. She's getting knee surgery. Again, she's only 34. To put it nicely, she's a big girl who likes her carbs. She stands all day, but even so. I reiterate: She's 34 and needs knee surgery.
I usually like to write generally positive blogs. I like to talk about great victories, beaches, cargoes, closeness to goals, being 195 by 5.29, how one can positively motivate themselves, etc. Tonight though, there is something that is really REALLY heavy on my heart that I want to say.
If you are living unhealthfully (eating a lot of sugary, fatty and salty foods and exercising irregularly or not at all), there are some harsh realities you may have to face if you don't change. Simply put, "They don't care"
Diabetes Doesn't Care:
* Diabetes doesn't care that you wanted to give up sugar.
* It doesn't care that you feel guilty about not being able to.
* It doesn't care that you needed comfort and tried to find it in chocolate chip cookies, ice-cream, cake or candy. It doesn't care.
**A stroke can end your life or, worse, make it a small fraction of what it is today. Diabetes can lead to said stroke.
Heart Disease Doesn't Care:
* Heart disease doesn't care that you meant to start exercising.
* It doesn't care that you meant to give up high cholesterol and salty junk foods and meats.
* It doesn't care that the leaner, less salty and/or lower cholesterol versions of (and substitutes for) the foods that you eat don't taste as good or feel as good when eating.
** A heart attack can come completely without warning and can easily take your life before 911 is even dialed.
Your Knees and Hips Don't Care:
* Your knees don't care that you wanted to live healthier and lose weight
* They don't care that you hated being overweight.
* They don't care that you hated the pain you felt when walking.
**They just get weaker and weaker until they need replacement.
All of that being said please let me encourage you. It was from seeing three of the people I talked about earlier face the music that I made the second biggest/most important decision of my life. I decided that I will not end up as they did if I have any say in the matter.
It was from them that I made the decision to change the way that I live my life from a health perspective. I say this with the humility of being one who chose to live as they have chosen to: "I no longer choose to live that way". I may still end up with one, some, many or all of the conditions that they faced. I'm going to fight that though.
I love you and want you to live long and live healthfully. At least one of the five people I mentioned knows that they are probably going to have a heart attack or stroke if they don't change. They know what they have to do to to change. But they won't change. They just keep saying that they know that they need to. It scares me. Please don't be like them.
Please PLEASE make the decision to live differently if you need to so that you don't wake up one day 10-20 years down the road a shadow of what you could have been health-wise. Don't wind up a slave to medication and have to worry about all of the things that you can't eat. Please.
Diabetes and heart disease don't care about you.
But I do.
- TD Out.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
All right! Here's the deal!!
TD: Hi Deal!
When I was first accepted at University I wanted to get into the Honor's Program. With my solid B-minus high school gpa, the HP rep kind of indicated that I should take "regular" classes and see how I did. That semester I took said regular classes and got a 3.9. I was sent a letter indicating that I should sign up for an Honor's class.
I did, took an honors level course and very unceremoniously got my 455 handed to me. Got another bad grade to boot. Now most sane/smart people would have said, "OK, maybe I should rethink this. Perhaps this plan wasn't meant to be. Me? Nahhhhhhhh. It was right when I opened up that semester's report card that I made a decision.
I was going to graduate with Honor's. Not regular honors, not Magna Cum Laude. No, I was going to graduate SUMMA Cum Laude (Latin for "Studies Friday Nights").
I looked at my current GPA and did the calculations to determine what it would take and I came up with the two part solution:
Part 1: Get a crap load of A's
Part 2: Get practically nothing below an A in any classes over the next 3 years.
It was extreme. It was tough. But three years, three burnouts, two flabbergasted girlfriends , and one failed thesis defense later I confirmed with the Honor's office that I had gotten the grades necessary to graduate SCL. Give the dreamer his due, victory was in fact mine.
So how does that apply to me and my weight loss?
Deal: How does it?
TD: I'm glad you asked, Deal. I've had a bad weekend eating. I literally need 7 consecutive two pound loss weeks to make my goal of weighing 195 pounds by May 29. I should give up. I should be reasonable and move out the date. I should put less pressure on myself and lower the goal.
But I'm not going to.
I am going to fight with every weapon and last breath so that on May 29 I will weigh 195 pounds. Everything that I eat over the next 50 or so days will be with the questions of whether it will help or hurt my goals.
I didn't tolerate failure then. I won't tolerate it now.
The one thing that's different now is that I have friends on my side. Seriously, I love you all. Any advice on how to pull big numbers would be greatly appreciated.
Ead-re aye-me ips-le (Pig Latin for "Here's what it is, YO!"),
195 by 5.29!!
- TD out
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