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Blog Update: Motivation #4

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The following is excerpted from a blog post of mine from earlier this year (postscripts excluded). Updates at the end.

Pity Party Blog I: Not Well Suited For...
(Originally posted Thursday, June 02, 2011)

**Warning: This blog contains the expression of frustration on the part of the blogger. If you are someone who responds to any expression of frustration or "negative" emotion by...
- using the term "pity party" (or some other such emotion-is-bad phrase)
- trying to get the person to realize that they shouldn't be frustrated
- using over-used deflections like "don't beat yourself up", "tomorrow is another day", or "just move on"...
then please either don't read or read and don't comment**

My vacation overall was good. It really was. I got to see my friends and their family in their new home. Their oldest child is growing up so fast. I overate, but had healthy snacks on hand. Given how little I ate out except for the traveling days, I still may actually lose weight this week.

There were two moments involving my weight and health that stuck out (one good and one bad).

The first night the family was hanging around outside playing. They live on a cul de sac with three houses facing a nice rounded end of the street (safe play area for ball and bike). the youngest is "getting into soccer". Basically, he kicks the ball and the adult playing with him kicks it back toward him. Both parties have to chase the ball as needed.

After about 10-15 minutes of this I realized that I was:
* enjoying the light exercise of chasing the ball
* not winded
* not feeling any knee pain.
I would have been 1 for 3 at best when I first started SparkPeople. For all I have read about some of my SparkFriends' goals of wanting to play with/keep up with their children or nieces/nephews, I finally get it. It felt gr8, a nsv!

and then (cue other shoe to drop)......

First thing the next morning (shoe drops), mommy proposes going to the swimming pool (crowd goes nuts)!
"You did bring swimming trunks, right?"
"Not exactly"
"Oh, well you can probably borrow..."

It was bad enough having to sit the two of them down 10 minutes later and explain/admit to them, "No, I really don't want to be seen in public wearing a pair of swimming trunks". But the looks on the childrens' faces followed by the long drawn out" whyyyyyyyyyy" when their parents had to break the news that "Mr. Trent" wouldn't, in fact, be coming with them...............yeah, not exactly a high point in my life.

D*rn it, the whole point of losing the now over 50 pounds was so that I WOULDN'T hate the way I looked. I'm almost 195. I'm supposed to be enjoying FREEDOM to NOT still feeling like the stinking fat kid (yes, even @ the swimming pool)

And isn't this supposed to be something that guys aren't supposed to worry about!? Ugh.

What good is being the Hottest Loser.....if he's not even hot enough to wear a swimsuit at the swimming pool!!??

Don't get me wrong, I really like the way I look in jeans and t-shirt. I am very healthy and am enjoying the benefits of better health. This just kind of pushed the limit and broke me, I guess.
(end of rant)

As I drove to the gym, after they left for the pool, I made a vow to myself. Next year is rematch. If I don't go back and visit them and go to the pool with them, I will plan to go to a beach. And yes, by Jove (whoever Jove is), I will have the body to wear a swimsuit.....

...and I will.

- TD Out.


* Motivation #4: To feel comfortable enough to wear a pair of swimming trunks at the beach or pool when hanging around with friends. No more “whyyyyyyyyyy”s

* Goal: 15% Body Fat and a toned midsection

* Game plan: Cardio, strength training, core training, and focus on abs.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KT-NICHOLS-13 12/28/2011 11:41PM

    I'm loving your inner reflections & explorations! I hope this exploring is helping you move forward toward your truth and happiness.

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MEADSBAY 12/27/2011 8:47PM

I know exactly how you feel and it's not fun.


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FITGRL124 12/27/2011 7:55PM

    You are getting through this TD! I'm so proud of you!

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SCRAP317 12/27/2011 5:44PM

    Nice - your motivation list is getting longer! I'm glad to know men go through that mental break down too. xo

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ARADNE 12/27/2011 5:19PM

    I think it's fair for men to worry about their bodies in public too, especially with how much macho-ism exists 'out there'.

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Strange Visit 2.3: Motivation #3

Sunday, December 25, 2011

(Knock on door, Trent opens and motivation walks in wearing a contemporary high stanced black suit, a wrinkled modern-fit shirt unbuttoned at the top and loosened tie)


TRENT: I hate you.


TRENT: I know exactly what you’re doing.

MOTIVATION: …And that is…..

TRENT: The suit. You know my situation

MOTIVATION: Yes, I do. Your SparkFriends don’t, though. Inform them.

TRENT: OK. (walks over to computer. Starts blogging)

When I was in really good shape my first year out of college, I bought two suits. I was a few pounds overweight, but proportioned like a typical American. A size 44 right off of the rack fit perfectly, both the jacket and the pants. Suits usually have a 6” drop (the difference between the jacket size and pants size). A size 44 suit comes with size 38 pants.

When I gained the 50+ pounds, I was forced to buy suit separates and sizes far larger than I cared for (size 46 Jacket and 42” pants). I dreamed that someday when I lost the weight, I would once again be able to buy a regular suit. Not separates.

A few weeks ago, I needed a suit for a special occasion. While my jacket size is now a snug 42”. The pants had to be a 38” waist. 36” pants are still way too tight and a 44 jacket looks big on me. It annoys me.

- TD Out!

(finishes blog)

MOTIVATION: OK, so whats the goal, motivation and game plan.

TRENT: The goal remains the same. 15% bodyfat. The motivation, one of them anyway, is to buy an actual suit rather than separates. The game plan is to burn fat and build muscle.

New Years Eve 2013 is now only 372 days away. Next year is going to be my year health-wise. Lord willing, I will go to a New Years eve party either rocking a modern fit size 42 suit or be able to if the dress-code deems said attire inappropriate. I’ll wear the suit on the last non-jeans day at the office (or another occasion) if the later is the case.

Motivation #3: To be able to wear regular suits instead of separates.

Barney Stinson, watch out. There’s going to be a new player in the suit game!

MOTIVATION: Cool beans, sounds like you’re on this one.

TRENT: I’ve got a couple other related goals and motivations which I will blog about this week.

MOTIVATION: Excellent! Happy New Year, both this upcoming one and the next.

TRENT: Thanks, You too.

(Motivation leaves apartment)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITGRL124 12/26/2011 11:17AM

    I have the upmost confidence that in 2012 for your 2013 New Year's Eve - that you will be in a complete suit not separates.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SCRAP317 12/26/2011 8:12AM

    Barney Stinson will have nothing on you, my friend! Motivation #3 is almost in the bag! xo

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MEADSBAY 12/25/2011 8:44PM

    It's funny how some things just matter to some of us.
If buying a complete suit is important to you, I have utter confidence that you will reach your goal.
15% body fat is an admirable goal, as well.
Bring on 2012!

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JITZUROE 12/25/2011 8:05PM

    Yeah!!!!! You'll get that suit -bought as 1 entire suit of course- sooner than you know it! Ok, just be sure that you don't get some horrendous purple velvet suit like John Cusack did in Serendipity... You'll look like a magician. : )))

Merry Christmas Trent!

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Motivation #2

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Motivation #1: Freedom from Sugar and Salt
"TRENT: (Snaps fingers) I’ve got it. My motivation is freedom. I want to be free to make healthy decisions. I want to be able to reap the benefits of the exercises that I do. I want to have the healthy food choices shape a healthier life rather than offset other unhealthy ones. I want to sail my ship, not constantly be bailing water out! That’s my motivation. Freedom! "

Motivation #2: To be Able to Exercise to the Fullest

Even though I've lost 20-30 pounds over the last 2 years, I've still felt like the fat kid when exercising. I met with a potential personal trainer this morning, and it finally hit me why.

Even though I was able to do all of the exercises with proper form, the stretches were killer and I felt more resistance than the weights should have been giving.

I lack flexibility especially in the neck/shoulders and lower body (a product of sitting in front of the computer all day). I could probably do several more bootcamp, kickboxing and Pilates moves (and moves to the highest level) if my neck and legs weren't so tight.

As I looked back over the survey that my motivation sent me last week, I realize that I ranked my satisfaction with my flexibility really low. It's time to do something about that

So, My goal is to improve flexibility through basic stretching and Pilates (not much into Yoga). I work out the details next year and learn how to stretch properly

I want to feel healthier and less tense throughout the day. I want to recover more quickly from workouts. I want to feel healthier. I've heard that good flexibility will increase strength. I want to be able to do 90-100% of the moves in any given fitness class without having to modify them to accommodate unstretched, tight muscles.

I fully admit that I don't know what that increased flexibility will feel or be like....

But I will find out.

- TD Out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEADSBAY 12/21/2011 9:44PM

    Wow- what great insight, TD.
Think about adding massage to your self-care regime.
Even a 30 minute chair massage would do wonders for your upper body flexibility.
Think about it.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 12/21/2011 5:55PM

    "Increase flexibility" - I finally admitted to myself that I must also do this. I started last night.

I look forward to hearing about your journey as you move toward your goals and strengthen your motivation.

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Strange Visit 2.2: Trent’s Christmas Gift

Monday, December 19, 2011

(knock on door. Trent opens door. Motivation walks in with Santa suit on).


TRENT: To you as well.

MOTIVATION: your answers to the email.

TRENT: Cool, what did you think?

MOTIVATION: Generally average. Some areas better than others. Again, your satisfaction levels reflect that you are a typical slightly overweight American who could use some improvement, but are generally OK.

TRENT: Again, that’s where I struggle.

MOTIVATION: You ranked your satisfaction with your vegetable consumption as “4”. Really, Trent? Really?

TRENT: My lack of vegetables doesn’t bother me. I know it should, but it doesn’t.

MOTIVATION: C’est la vie. So this was to isolate areas that you were dissatisfied. For your eating you had some really goods and really bads, but your overall satisfaction didn’t average out. Talk to me.

TRENT: I still don’t have my eating under control. The dairy intake is good, the fruits are consistent. It’s just that the sugar intake and the eating out is keeping me back.

MOTIVATION: Hmmmmmmmm.

TRENT: Even if I ate 5 vegetables a day this would still bother me.


TRENT: because I feel like I have this weight/burden on my shoulders. Every good thing that I’m doing is being offset by my eating habits.

MOTIVATION: So what’s the remedy?

TRENT: I want to reduce my sugar consumption. I want to eat out less. That’s my goal.

MOTIVATION: Those aren’t goals. Those are restrictions. State that in goal form.

TRENT: (Thinking): My goal is to consume more healthy carbs and to prepare more healthy meals at home.

MOTIVATION: Awesomesauce on Pasta! Great goal. So here’s the real question: “Regarding that, who am I? What’s your motivation for that?”

TRENT: To be healthy

MOTIVATION: You already are healthy. Remember?

TRENT: Right, right….

(Trent thinks for a few seconds)

MOTIVATION: What do you get or have if you are able to achieve that. Why do you want that?

TRENT: (Snaps fingers) I’ve got it. My motivation is freedom. I want to be free to make healthy decisions. I want to be able to reap the benefits of the exercises that I do. I want to have the healthy food choices shape a healthier life rather than offset other unhealthy ones. I want to sail my ship, not constantly be bailing water out! That’s my motivation. Freedom!

MOTIVATION: Gives thumbs up (Santa suit has gloves). That’s probably not going to be your only motivation and goal, but it’s a great start.

TRENT: Thanks!

MOTIVATION: Nah, that one’s all you! I’ll send another email for you to ponder.

(A sleigh being pulled by 8-10 flying reindeer pulls up to Trent’s window. Trent’s motivation opens the window, hops into sleigh, and waves at Trent)

MOTIVATION: Merry Christmas, Trent!!!

TRENT: (Waves back) You too!!!

(Sleigh flies off into the night as a silhouette against the moon)

TRENT: (watches as sleigh flies off, closes window, smiles and shakes his head) What a strange little man.

(To be continued)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUMD97 12/25/2011 7:00PM

    Love it! Thanks for posting.

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MEADSBAY 12/20/2011 12:44PM

    I think you're doing great, TD.
It's probably true that you would eat less sugar if you were filling up on veggies.
Your digestive system will thank you.

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SCRAP317 12/20/2011 6:59AM

    "I want to be free to make healthy decisions. I want to be able to reap the benefits of the exercises that I do. I want to have the healthy food choices shape a healthier life rather than offset other unhealthy ones. I want to sail my ship, not constantly be bailing water out! That’s my motivation. Freedom!"

I love this - this is EXACTLY where I am right now too. So tired of "breaking even" and "not good enough". It really does come down to the food.

Merry Christmas my friend! xo

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BLUE42DOWN 12/20/2011 2:06AM


This was wonderfully done. Cheers!

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FITGRL124 12/19/2011 9:32PM

    emoticon Ho, Ho, Ho!!! LOVE it!!!

You are an awesome opossum! emoticon

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Snapshot of My Motivation

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Answers to questions that my motivation emailed me

01=extremely dissatisfied. Absolutely hate where you are.
02=really bad
03=needs work
04=could use a bit of work, but OK
05=meh. ok. basically satisfied
06=happy with
07=really happy with
08= really proud of
09=Can't do much better
10=Better than 99%

We’ll talk later this week.

Physical Health
* Upper body (4: need more definition):
* Core (6: been taking pilates and doing kettlebells. Getting stronger):
* Lower Body (5: should get more cardio in):
* Cardio Health (3: need to integrate more cardio into workout):
* Flexibility (2: need to start stretching):
* Basic Activity (7: become a lot more generally active):
* Other:
OVERALL (4: need to work on this):

Food Intake
* Vegetables (4: need to get more of these):
* Fruits (7: three to four per day):
* WholeGrains (4: need to be more diligent in tracking these):
* Dairy (8 usually 3: per day skim milk and yougurt):
* Meat/Protein (5: need to consistently get the leaner types, but generallyh good):
* Fats : (5: get both good and bad ones, need to eat out less to get mostly good ones)
* Sugar (2: really need to get this under control):
* Eating out (3 prepare more meals than I used to, but still get trapped in the cycle of eating out too much):
OVERALL (3 really happy with some areas, but really need to get sugar and eating out under control):

* Amount of Sleep (4 average six to six and a half):
* Energy through the day (5 but I feel like sugrar and carbs prop that up):
OVERALL (4: Want 7-8 hours of good natural sleep)

Stress (Different Types)
* Anxiety: (4 generally good but have trouble coping with big changes)
* Excitement (Going for the brass ring): (7 Growing by leaps and bounds in life)
* Treading Water(Holding things together): 5 Things are pretty stable
* Defending the castle: (4)
OVERALL: (4: getting better but really need to be able to manage stress)

* Family: (5: meh)
* Friendships: (4: need to be more diligent in this area)
* Relationships (5: happy where I am):
* Other:

*Career Direction: (8: know where I want to be and am working toward that)
*Co-Workers: (5: They’re there)
*Work Life Balance (7: Forty hours per week. Struggling with an opportunity that might throw this out of balance):
OVERALL: (5 Some good areas, some bad ones. Really need to make sure life stays balanced)

Hobbies and Other Activities
* Kickboxing (3: Can last a full class but need to implement regularly)
* Pilates (6: Really making good progress. Need to update to 2x per week)
* TV (3: Watch too much)
OVERALL (3: Need to make the fun classes and exercises a bigger part of my life)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCRAP317 12/19/2011 6:47AM

    Trent - nice job! I don't think you are being too hard on yourself - in each category you are making huge progress. You are being honest and pinpointing the the areas in which you want to get better - bravo! We have to take an honest look at where we are so we can really change what we are unhappy with. Work and health is hard to balance but you have the motivation to take initiative and work on it. I love that you are taking the bull by the horns! Just be realistic - change is a slow process and you can't focus on too many things at once or you will get frustrated. Aim first for those things that will give you the energy and drive you will need to tackle more. Be careful at work - stress is the biggest negative factor to success in a healthy life style. Some people can use that stress to motivate them and use exercise to combat it - how do you handle stress? Good luck with your work decisions and with your motivation - you are such a smart guy - you will make the right decisions and your motivation in those areas will improve. I can't wait to watch it happen! xo

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STESSOUTCHICK1 12/19/2011 12:30AM

  Marry Christmas 2 u 2

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FITGRL124 12/18/2011 8:32PM

    Wow - I think you're doing an excellent job! Don't be too hard on yourself! Give yourself credit for everything that you've accomplished and keep pushing on!


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TRACEYROCK 12/16/2011 11:34AM

    TD- To me- those numbers make it look like you are doing really well. Stop being so hard on yourself. Work decisions are tough- especially when they impact your work-life balance. The questions I ask myself are (1) is this a permanent disruption to that balance, or am I putting in the time to prove myself/achieve some goal/etc before the work life balance can return? (2) is this job something I REALLY want or was it a goal I set because I wasn't sure what else/where else to go and I can't imagine the job I am doing now as the job I will do for the rest of my life. Good luck with your decision!

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