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If It's Not an A .....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Motivated was a bit of an understatement in describing me as a college student. I was a solid B- student in high school, but when I came to college, it was an entirely new ball game. I decided after the semester where I got the spit knocked out of me, grade-wise, that I was going to graduate with the highest honors possible. That involved graduating with a 3.8 GPA.

Bottom line: I needed a lot of A's.

The problem was not that I had a high goal, that the pressure was on, or even that I was not willing to give it up unless it was totally numerically impossible. Rather it was my attitude and corresponding mantra.

By the end of my sophomore year, my friends could practically finish the conditional sentence for me (I'm actually tearing up as I remember it). My motto was, "If it's not an A ..... it's garbage".

Wow.

I carried that ball and chain for 3+ years. Sure some of my closer friends who cared about me tried to reason with me at first, but they fairly quickly realized that this was not an opinion that was going to change. I burnt out three times, destroyed a great relationship and totally let both my physical and mental health go. But I got what I wanted.

Midway through my senior year when I burnt out the second time I vowed that I would never, Never, NEVER do that to myself again. And I meant it. I would finish this mission, but I would find balance in life and never so dogmatically demand something of myself by which I hurt myself/ruined my life like that again. Ever. I meant it.

Then I started working out. I went from 228 down to 225. Yay!!! I started to feel better. I got healthier. 220. A few more pounds dropped, I exercised more. I got really healthy.

Then the same mentality crept back just with a different mantra. I found myself saying to myself, "Better off dead than fat". Yeah.

As I write this, I've once again sabotaged my health this week. I'm feeling lousy. I'm probably going to be over 200 again this Saturday and I was kind of wondering why I'm in this pattern.

The two things that have been killing me since joining SparkPeople are (a) my ability to control my eating and (b) I have no motivation beyond numbers (and then what?). While (a) is mine for the asking as long as I make some easy adjustments to my eating (I was just lazy this week), (b) remains a stronghold.

*Breakthrough*
It occurs to me that I've lived my entire life avoiding failure. It wasn't "A is for awesome". It wasn't "Never surrender". It wasn't "another pound is another step in the right direction". It wasn't about succeeding.

It's always about not being a failure. Not putting myself in a position where I can fail or be perceived as a failure. Failure is like the stain of shame won't wash out of my hands no matter how hard I scrub. Even if it's not really even there.

Even if I don't say it. 2xx.x = failure to me. Heck until I reach 195, I will always look down on myself unless I can figure out how to not do so. I now realize how it ties together.

My whole life is about "not failing" rather than succeeding.

Now it's a matter of figuring out how to over-come.

Thanks for listening/reading.

- TD Out!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 3/10/2011 2:55AM

    Yes, I've done the same as you but I feel accepting failure is part of becoming a better person...thanks for sharing emoticon

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SCRAP317 2/26/2011 9:08AM

    Now there's a break through! You figured out what is holding you back - what is making you succeed only to fail when you can't hold onto it. You will figure this out Trent! You will make peace with your journey and with your numbers. It is a process and you are well on your way to figuring it out! Keep reading, keep searching, keep reflecting - see yourself the way we see you - smart, funny, worthy (just as you are) and determined! Don't give up, because you are worth investing in - you can't afford "all or nothing thinking" in any area. It's not a realistic attitude with grades or anything else. Be human! Go back and read your past blogs - you'll see what we see - an awesome guy who doesn't stop looking for a way to make this journey work for him. YAY YOU! xo

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PICKIE98 2/26/2011 6:42AM

    Hmm, I wonder if Socrates or Aristotle, or Constantine fretted over their weight, hair loss, ingrown toenails,etc.. No scales , Rogaine or podiatrist for them ,but THEY SUCCEEDED!! It's all relative,,
I did B's-D's in high school, so college meant I HAD to make the Presidents List every semester,, AND I DID!! Graduated Magna Cum Laude,, was a newly single mom, divorced, had ten funerals in those four years, held down three part-time jobs, car pooled,, had major surgery,, but I did get that 4.0 GPA!! Know what? Thirteen years later, I look back and say to myself, "What the he-- was I thinking?" My daughter and I suffered in poverty, no time together, etc,,

I LEARNED that I succeeded in one thing, focused on only that, while other things suffered badly,,
wish I had a do-over... now I balance it all out, spread that thinking out like peanut butter,, on the whole loaf, not one slice.. nicer..Just MHO..Linda

Comment edited on: 2/26/2011 6:43:02 AM

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JEN-TINK2 2/25/2011 10:16PM

    I don't care what other peple say
your all a's in my book baby!

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ANEPANALIPTI 2/25/2011 3:03AM

    Very interesting...... a lot to think about here.

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyy you're no failure!!! You're just coming back to 2-ville because I'm still here!!! emoticon emoticon

OK OK next time I'll tryyyyyyy to push you away, but you know, I really don't want to do that, so how about you just stay in onederland and keep my place warm for me! :)

Elizabeth is a flippin genius. Such insightful comments every time I visit...
Putting away the scale might be the best idea...

You know when I realized the whole number thing? because my scale in Greece and my scale in chicago have like an 8 pound difference. its ridiculous. it shows me that numbers mean nothing. where would I reach the healthy bmi? On which scale?

Health is a FEELING not a number.

How do you want to LIVE for the rest of your life? I've been focusing on THIS and if it means I lose .2 pounds a week, thats cool. It means that in a couple of years, I'll be at goal. Totally fine with me.

emoticon

Dimitra

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MEADSBAY 2/24/2011 10:18PM

    How about putting that scale away for a month and see if you can appreciate eating healthier for the sake of your health and see how good that feels?
Possible?

emoticon

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Weekly Weigh-in (02.19.2011): Look! A New Day Has Begun.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Goal: 182
01/01: 204.8
01/08: 201.0
01/15: 201.4
01/22: 200.0
01/29: 198.0
02/05: 198.8
02/12: 198.2
===
This week 199.8

Eating remained totally out of control again, due to the weight lifting. I said that I would try the heavy strength training, despite the huge spike in appetite, as long as my weight remained below 200.

My midweek had me close enough to 200 to call it a night. I'm back to what I was doing in January.

The mental struggle was giving up something that I know is healthy (strength training) vs. risking/sacrificing the weight loss. The thing is that , being as hungry as I was, there were only so many calories I could eat before dipping back into the sugar. My eating habits just are not up to snuff yet.

Even given that, there was a lot of struggle about focusing on the number.

But here's what finally hit home this week that I've never realized before. I tried something different that didn't work. Last year my instinctual response was, "Oh well, failed again" and give up.

Today for the first time I feel free to say, "OK we tried something and it didn't work. Maybe it would have worked long term, but it wasn't worth the risk of it if it did not."

But wait, there's more.

Today for the first time I'm not just going to go back to what is "safe" and stay where I am (afraid to try again and fail again). I'm going to do some research and figure out how to implement strength training more gradually or in such a way where I don't get so overwhelmed with hunger.

But wait, there's more more

If there is one statement on SparkPeople that has angered me more than anything else, it's been "Tomorrow is another day" when I was not losing weight or had a bad eating day. Why? Because it never was. It was always the same thing the next day (**By the way, please use that only when you know someone is actually only having one bad day/weigh in. Seriously, it's very demoralizing to someone who feels trapped**).

Today for the first time I can honestly say. I had a bad week and a half of eating. But it's OK. Tomorrow is, in fact, another day.

Look! A new day has begun.

- TD Out!

p.s. Have something to hold it next week. Because Trent is.......BRINGING IT!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELMG2010 2/22/2011 10:43AM

    Great blog Trent! I really like and totally agree with the "tomorrow is another day" statement.

Also, look how far you have come...research. I bet you look back last year and that would not have been something you've done. Be proud of your accomplishments!!! You are moving forward and you WILL "Bring it"!! emoticon


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MARCYNA 2/21/2011 1:29PM

    A New Day Has Begun. I love it!!!!! emoticon

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KT-NICHOLS-13 2/20/2011 8:27PM

    I love the fact that you are not willing to go back to what was and willing to try to find a different solution to what is. "Because Trent is.......BRINGING IT!!!!" Make it so my friend, make it so!

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GINGERLY4 2/20/2011 5:45PM

    What a great attitude!

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FITGRL124 2/20/2011 4:26PM

    I agree with Elizabeth - you should eat more protein!!

Onward to a new week - it starts today! emoticon

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SCRAP317 2/20/2011 10:24AM

    I agree with the protein - my son is a weight lifter and protein right after working out is essential in so many ways. Look into it TD.

I totally feel ya on the "tomorrow is another day" - not if tomorrow is bound to be like today - yep, only if you make it another, different kind of day. Keep up the great work!

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ANEPANALIPTI 2/20/2011 5:22AM

    Yeah, I can one million percent relate to the whole tomorrow is another day when its NOT feeling that way.....

Ooh, I like Elizabeth's idea of protein. That could SO help! Maybe a powder and shakes?

That said, you're doing awesome being in touch with yourself, way to go !!!! emoticon emoticon

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MEADSBAY 2/19/2011 9:24PM

    You need more protein!
Seriously increase it NOW.
I'm talking eggs for breakfast (1 egg+3 or 4 whites)
3-4 oz protein for lunch
a high protein snack (ask me for a killer smoothie recipe)
4-6 oz protein for dinner.
Listen to momma.

emoticon

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December 21, 2010: Decision Made

Monday, February 14, 2011

After being visited by ghosts throughout most of the month of December, I finally realized that I had a sugar addiction. Much like my original decision to lose weight. I vowed that I would spend the rest of my life if necessary either killing my sugar addiction or finding a way to make life without sugar bearable.

I had tried stopping it altogether quite a few times two days worth of headaches later, I was clean. For awhile. Then I fell. Fell hard.

Yes, if there was a way to not crave sugar I was going to find it.

First step after admission

A few days later, a friend and I were in a bookstore. While my friend was looking for a book that he wanted, I went over to the health and diet section. There I saw a book with a bright white and pink cover titled "Beat Sugar Addiction Now!". I'm usually a find-it-in-the-library kind of guy, but this was different. This was war. It was written by a doctor and not a super hyped diet, so I figure what the heck. Maybe it would work, if not, maybe I could learn something. If it didn't, I would find another book or go online.

The book started with 4 different sets of life-style questions to determine which type of sugar addict I was. Two of them were clearly not me. I certainly haven't given birth recently and certainly haven't gone through menopause. One other was sort of close, but upon reading the profile that one was clearly out as well.

The other type though. my response totals were double the "this is probably you" score. When I read the profile, it described my sugar eating habits to a T.

The problem: Candida yeast overgrowth
The solution: A candida cleanse.

Now the book's prescription on how to handle it was clugy at best. It would tell me what to eat and not eat very generally. It had some natural remedies but never dosages. It diagnosed the problem, but really wasn't helpful. So I went on this new-fangled invention called....

The internet!!

I Googled candida and found a site completely about cleaning oneself of candida overgrowth. Unfortunately, phase one was the textbook overly restrictive diet. As I was about to go looking elsewhere, I saw a link that said, "For more details on how the foods you eat can help cure your Candida, check out our Top Candida-Fighting Foods page."

www.thecandidadiet.com/candida-fight
ing-foods.htm


So I clicked the link and it listed 10 foods that would help fight the problem. I knew that it probably wouldn't be as effective as a full-score cleanse, but I could eat copious amounts of these foods until I was ready for the cleanse.

I started eating lots of these foods the first week in January. I noticed two things:
* My cravings for sugar were greatly diminished
* I lost almost 4 pounds.

I've gone from eating 800-1000 calories of chocolate and sugar a day to 200-500 on average. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. I have started eating more sugar/chocolate when not eating them, but I feel like I have the power at anytime to goose up the volume of these foods and my sugar/chocolate cravings go way down. It's a power that I've exercised a few times

Over the next 7 months, I'm going to introduce and regularly start eating many of the foods in the initial detox step 1 phase that I don't already eat regularly (read vegetables). If I have to give up fruit even for two weeks, it's not going to be in the Summertime

So that's how I lost 6 Pounds in January with almost no effort.

The point of this blog is not to say, "look into a candida cleanse". Rather it is to challenge you to make a decision to fight a stronghold. Commit to exploring many options. Be willing to try something that fails (who knows, this one might for me in the long run).

Make the decision. Fight the stronghold.

- TD Out!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KT-NICHOLS-13 2/17/2011 7:40PM

    It's when we leave our comfort zones that we find the answers that seemly have been evading us. (Insert cheesy grin here) You went left instead of right and found your path. So proud of you ... you must feel fantastic in mind and body.

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SCRAP317 2/17/2011 6:41PM

    I do love me some chocolate, TD - I should look into this as well. Thanks for sharing and continued good luck!

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MEADSBAY 2/15/2011 2:25PM

    We all need to search for what works for us.
I am very happy for you.
Anything that gets a few veggies into you is a good thing.

emoticon

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MARCYNA 2/15/2011 8:45AM

    I'm a sugar addict and I fight this addiction, thanks for letting us know, is there any other type of addict? I must have been of another kind emoticon

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URLEEC 2/15/2011 7:59AM

    Thanks for the bog post. Actually for me, it is about the candida overgrowth :) and so I am going to check out your link. You've given me something to research into.
Ursula

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ANEPANALIPTI 2/15/2011 3:47AM

    I totally got you that your point wasn't look up a candida cleanse. emoticon

It rings clear throughout the whole blog - Find what it is thats eating away at you and attack IT!!!!!!!!

Love it love it love it. emoticon

Thanks for inspiring me Trent, I am really proud of you.


Dimitra

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JEN-TINK2 2/14/2011 9:27PM

    Boy do I relate!

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Weekly Weigh-in (02.12.2011)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Goal: 182
01/01: 204.8
01/08: 201.0
01/15: 201.4
01/22: 200.0
01/29: 198.0
02/05: 198.8
===
This week 198.2 (-0.6)

6.6 pounds in 6 weeks. Yay!

Two things about this week:
* I ate like a horse (I ate a lot of food, not like an actual horse )
* I did some hardcore strength training.

While this week I was technically down 0.6 from last week, I'm up 0.2 pounds from two weeks ago. the 0.2 pounds doesn't bother me as much as the fact that I eat so much when I strength train.

I know that my body needs the calories. I know that muscle weighs more than fat.

But I also know that I'm trying to control my eating and I feel like I'm very much in uncharted territory when I am constantly this hungry. That and the reality that a plateau should be on it's way anytime (so maybe eating more than usual against a infernal metabolism isn't such a bad thing)

I'm going to try to see if there is a way I can feed my body enough of the right nutrients to maybe eat a little bit more, but not out of control.

So I have a few options:
* Keep doing intense strength training and let the chips fall where they may over the next few weeks with my weight and hope that the numbers start going down.
* Give it two more weeks and if I go back over 200 revisit the other options below.
* Go back to what I was doing before (basic core work some cardio). Mostly focusing on eating healthy.
* Continue lifting but do lighter weight workouts.
* Really step up the cardio and leave the weight training for another day.

Each of them has potential advantages and disadvantages. I'll think about it over the weekend.

I am very happy with my progress so far. I've lost over 2/3 of the 9.4 pounds that I lost over all of 2010.

W00t!!11
- TD Out

p.s. How do I log a complaint to SparkPeople? These ads at the top of the blogs are really annoying me.









  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KT-NICHOLS-13 2/13/2011 10:37PM

    "I am very happy with my progress so far. I've lost over 2/3 of the 9.4 pounds that I lost over all of 2010. " In a word, Awesome!


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MEADSBAY 2/12/2011 9:15PM

    Oh, yeah- I see it now- I think I just tune out all the ads on SP.
You can complain to SP over at the message boards.
emoticon

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MEADSBAY 2/12/2011 9:01PM

    emoticon
Make sure you're eating lottsa protein for ST.

What ads?
I don't see any.
emoticon

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JEN-TINK2 2/12/2011 2:44PM

    Awsome as usall!

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ANEPANALIPTI 2/12/2011 2:12PM

    You're doing great trent. :-) Looking forward to joining you

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CMADSTYLE 2/12/2011 10:16AM

    (I accidentally posted 2 comments. LOL!) So yeah...it has truly been awesome following your blog and your journey to get where you are. I LOVE your attitude towards your goals and how you achieve them. You are a huge inspiration to me TD!

Comment edited on: 2/12/2011 10:19:52 AM

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CMADSTYLE 2/12/2011 10:15AM

    Awesome Job Mr. Trent :) Keep up the great work! Hope you have a wonderful Day

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The Power of Negative Thinking (Part IV): Got Guilt?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Let's face it, there are a lot of roadblocks in life. Things that hinder us for success and happiness. Even when we are able to overcome them, they still take a piece of our life and a piece of our heart. But they are things that we still need to overcome to be truly successful, happy and at peace.

I'm talking things like:

* Emotional pain and suffering

* Heartbreak!

* Loss!!

* People who need to end deep thoughts with, "I'm just sayin..."!!!

* Monkeys giving CATS BATHS!!!!
www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9wAqNN-Dic

* BABY PREACHERS!!!!!
www.funnyordie.com/videos/b06486ad70
/baby-preacher-from-that-happened


(Hmmmmm, I hope that this whole YouTube/Internet thing catches on someday.)

Today, I'm going to take on something tougher than all 6 combined.

Guilt.

There is a lot of guilt associated with being overweight, over-eating and not exercising. This is especially the case when others are affected by it (spouses, children, friends, etc.). It's bad enough when one sits pathetically alone on Friday nights eating a whole bag of chips in the one pair of pants that still fits, unable to simply physically stop putting food in one's mouth.

How much worse when one can't walk the mall with friends for fear of knees hurting or eat out at a restaurant with a spouse/date for fear of judgment. The beach and swimming pool are a whole other blog.

I've lived with the sense of shame and guilt of my excessive weight and poor appearance. I know.

Please hear me on this one. There is a way out.

I beg you to take it.

Here's why I no longer struggle with guilt.

First off I looked at motive. I didn't really want to be overweight. I didn't want to live life at half-mass when hanging with friends. I didn't want to eat 600-1000 calories of junk food a day. I didn't want to look disgusting in swimming trunks.

As hopeless as they were, the looking at and trying of all the diets was a cry for help stemming from a desire to not do and be all of those things (Heck, their failure got me here onto SparkPeople).

Was I ignorant of the solution? Yes. Did I know that I was living below my potential? Yes. Was I deliberately doing it to hurt myself or someone else? No. Definitely not.

Failing miserably at life? Yes
Guilty? No

I felt guilty because I thought I should have control over my eating, despite the very cold, clear and obvious reality that I didn't. Once I finally accepted the possibility that I didn't know enough of what I was dealing with to stop trying and start learning, I took my first step to freedom from guilt.

I admitted to myself that:
* I had a sugar addiction
* Trying to give up sugar for good with just "will power" was not working.
* There may be a way out that I didn't know about and that someone else might have the answer.

Then it was no longer "What's wrong with me"

It was "OK, what can I do or will it take to fix/overcome this?"

Please don't misunderstand me. I was responsible for my health and what I ate, I don't deny that. But I was no longer of the mind-frame that *I* was the problem and that *I* was was in some way a bad person. It was an *actual problem* I had that was the problem. And maybe I could figure out what it was and fix it.

That was the first step toward me becoming free of the stronghold that sugar had on me and the end of the guilt in my life.

For your sake, and for the sake of those who you love (and love you (including me)), please take that step. Make sure that the guilt that you experience is real. Test it. Do you really want what you have. Are you really doing this deliberately to hurt yourself or others. If you do and you are, then the guilt may be warranted, but if you're not.....

Identify any strongholds and figure out how to conquer them. Doing so could lead you to a guilt-free life like the one I'm experiencing today.

Doing so would be one of the (if not the) most freeing thing you will ever do for yourself.

I'm just sayin...

- TD Out!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCYNA 2/15/2011 8:49AM

    So lovely thanks!!! emoticon

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SCRAP317 2/13/2011 11:26AM

    "Identify any strongholds and figure out how to conquer them. Doing so could lead you to a guilt-free life like the one I'm experiencing today."



emoticon Love it! You are absolutely right! Guilt is for the guilty - we need to "identify any strongholds" (name it) and "figure out how to conquer them" (fix it). We have the tools and the power to do it. Knowledge is our greatest weapon! Once we figure out step-by-step what our road blocks are we can over come them step-by-step.

Well done, TD! Well done! xo Chris

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ANEPANALIPTI 2/9/2011 9:34AM

    I loved it. YES. YES. YES.!

I agree- It's about identifying what we're actually going through and taking the steps, we're not internally flawed, just dealing with something, OK, so there's a solution, there is!!

You did it! I can too!!! :)

Dimitra

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MEADSBAY 2/8/2011 9:01PM

    Wow- one giant stop down the road on your journey to better health.
It truly does start on the inside.
Most of it is on the inside!
I'm just sayin'
emoticon

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