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".
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.
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!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
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!!!!
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....
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."
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!
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
* People who need to end deep thoughts with, "I'm just sayin..."!!!
* Monkeys giving CATS BATHS!!!!
* BABY PREACHERS!!!!!
(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.
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
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!
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