Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I was reading my old economics textbook from college last Friday night (*). In the chapter on economic philosophy, it talked about positive vs. normative economics. The definitions confused me back then.
I figured positive economics was about an economic paradigm that was about making the economy work as best as possible. Where as normative was just "these are the economic concepts. Do A and, ceteris paribus, B will result."
It's actually the opposite. Normative economics evaluates economic policies against the social norms of a subjectively qualitative definition of good and bad.
Positive economics on the other hand, takes an economic decision or set of decisions and evaluates what will actually happen. Basically if one implements a policy, with all else staying constant, this will definitely happen. It's positive as in, one can be positive that this will be the outcome. (**)
I see a lot of non-positive "positive" thinking. A lot of "You can do it." to someone who really doesn't know how to (and therefore can't until they figure it out). I used to be this way. I know the hopeless hopefulness of it.
I used to think "positively". "I can do this!", "I just need to do this", "OK I'll just do it", etc.. That never got me to my goal. Why? Because there was something standing in my way that was inherently going to stop me. I had a sugar addiction. The only thing I could truly be positive of was that I would never hit my goal until I addressed that. I kind of knew that, but wasn't willing to fully admit it.
I am now overcoming it. I really can stop eating sugar any time. The days in the last month where I ate more sugar than usual still netted half as much as before. I have the weapons that I know (i.e. am Positive) will knock down my desire to eat sugar.
Heck, except for the last three weeks where my weight has been at a plateau, I've been forcing myself to eat enough food to keep the weight loss at 1-2 pounds per week.
Bottom line, I'm not thinking "positively" that I'm going to hit my goal in the next few months. I'm actually positive that what I am doing will lead to that. Once I get there, I don't "think" that I can maintain my weight. I know for sure, Lord willing and barring medical issues, that I will easily be able to as I continue to eat healthier.
Oh and here's the kicker. When I invariably eat too much at the holidays or summer cookouts and have a few candy bars too much. I just go back to the usual healthy foods that are now a part of my life.
I'm not victorious, I'm free.
I'm not going to succeed and maintain, I'm just going to enjoy my life.
If you are trapped in the "think 'positively'" mentality but are being held back by something that has always hindered you (you what it is), address the hindrance. I beg you. Until you do that, all of the "positive thinking" in the world will keep bringing you down when the hindrance keeps holding you back.
Again, I've been there and know the hopelessness of it. Read some of my older blogs and ideas that all invariable failed. I had a "positive attitude" that I'd win the battle/war, but not the weapons to actually win it. As a result, I almost always lost. When I won, the victory was temporary. Both of those led to hopelessness and eventually me not being on SP for a year and a half.
Don't be "positive". Address what's actually holding you back.
Once you've got that you can be Positive that you'll do as well as you can.
- TD Out!
(*) It's what the cool kids do :)
(**) I know, how does he stay single?
Saturday, July 13, 2013
I did an early midweek weigh-in and after three weeks the scale finally moved!
It moved UP....!!
But it MOVED!!!
For the last three weeks my weight has not budged more than a few ounces. I would eat in the calorie range that had been losing me 1-2 pounds a week....205.8. I would eat out twice the day before a midweek (really salty fatty meals)...206.0.
I admit that I kind of enjoyed knowing that my weight wasn't going anywhere. It was like a vacation from eating well. In the comments of my 'plateaus are awesome' blog from last week I got the sense that my SparkFriends weren't sure that I was really that happy about the plateau.
**Believe me, I was.**
Would I have preferred to lose weight? Sure. But seriously... It was three weeks of being able to do whatever I want eating-wise without consequence, knowing that when the scale moved one way or another it was going to be go time.
So when the scale had me at 207 earlier this week, I was like #sweet!!!. (#gotime)
Though I had a burger and fries for lunch Thursday, I did not eat out yesterday. Which brings me to today:
June 22: 205.4@22 (Plateau Week I)
June 29: 206.0@22 (Plateau Week II)
July 06: 206.2@21 (Plateau Week III)
July 13: .......(Drum Roll)..........
- Down 1.4 pounds
- Reached my last minor milestone (below 205)
- 5.0 pounds away from 199.x
- 9.8 pounds away from my goal weight
My body fat shot up, but it almost always does when I lose weight, especially the first in awhile. Don't worry, I didn't plan on doing another Comp-In blog anytime soon once the weight started falling again. I probably will when I hit 195.
Nothing dramatic here. Just going to re-introduce the foods that got me to 206. The ones that helped me knock down my sugar cravings.
Probably going to up the ante on exercise. I've been slacking a bit and my mental game has been a bit off.
July 24 marks my 3 year anniversary of the last time I first went under 200. I don't think that that's going to happen by next week or the week after, but we'll see.
August 21 marks my 4 year anniversary of being on SparkPeople. I want 195 for one of the surrounding Saturdays. 10 pounds in 6 weeks is tough, but has never seemed more possible/doable.
- TD out!
Thursday, July 11, 2013
A few years ago, when I was almost at my goal weight. I wrote a blog about visiting friends.
It talked about how I enjoyed being able to keep up with the activities that they and their kids were involved in. On the flip side I also talked about how when my friends decided to go to the local swimming pool, I not so gracefully bowed out. Really didn't want to go bare-chested in swim trunks.
I decided this year to strive for a huge vacation involving the beach next year and have started training to do so. The goal is to build muscle and tone up. I blogged about it and asked for destination recommendations.
A dear SparkFriend, all of whom I love very much, politely and respectfully asked me a really tough question. One whose answer has always been part of my life, but that I've never really addressed and put on the table for discussion. I really appreciate my friend for asking. So here it is.
Q: " So I ask this - with love and affection and NO judgment - are you working on the mental side of this issue? Yup, 10 lbs CAN/WILL make a difference in your physical appearance but I have to wonder, is there something else going on that's stopping you from really enjoying beach time now? "
A: My thoughts:
I'm not really a beach person.
I live near a few "beaches". These are ponds or rivers with little areas of sand where local moms would bring their kids. Single people are allowed but not really welcomed. There's nothing really there for me. When I go to them it's in the evening after everyone has gone home and I can exercise, walk or just sit on the beach and reflect.
The real beaches are a few hours away clustered near the city. They have huge populations of single people. Lots of great restaurants within walking distance. I enjoy going there and people watching and taking in the shops and restaurants. At the same time, most young single people there are in way, way Way WAY better shape than I am. Those who go shirtless have the body to back up doing so.
40-45 year old husbands and wives with a couple of kids get a pass in this regard. Single people around my age, both male and female absolutely don't. No one will make comments or snicker. Yes, there are young single people who look worse than I do. At the same time...
**Metaphorically, when I'm at these beaches I feel like the guy who showed up to the black tie affair wearing a nice pair of slacks, a blazer and a tie. I don't look bad, but I certainly don't fit in. I don't take solace that others also don't make the grade**
For me, being on the beach itself doesn't offer a lot besides sun-bathing and walking. I can walk with cargoes and a t-shirt and a tanned body doesn't do me much good if I look flabby and have a paunch.
I don't have that group of friends whose center of activity is the beach. My friends aren't physically active so a game of ultimate Frisbee or volleyball on a beach trip wouldn't be a big enough deal to make the trip to play.
If I go to the actual beach itself it's to see and be seen. My sense is if I lived or grew up closer to the beach, it would be more part of the fabric of my life. My friends and I would go there enough so that it either wouldn't bother me to be in a pair of swim trunks in public or I would have put in the time at the weight room to make the point moot.
I would either be at peace with my physical appearance or have fixed it.
There are malls and parks near where I live. Walking around in jeans and a t-shirt, I am proud of my appearance. I am very proud of my weight loss. I look a lot better than I did 4-5 years ago. From a see and be seen perspective, I am proud enough to show up at the beach itself (even if I don't lose the t-shirt).
By next year, I will own the black tux.
- TD Out!
p.s. Again, thanks to the friend who asked the tough question. I really appreciate it.
Saturday, July 06, 2013
This is not, I repeat, NOT (note the all caps for emphasis) a weigh-in blog. This is a Comp-In blog (focusing on Body Fat %)
If you're looking for a weigh-in blog, many others are still posting them. If you're really picky about seeing one of my personal weigh-in blogs, I strongly recommend going into my blog archives. This one is one of my personal faves:
Seriously, someone with the SparkHandle SPIFFYCAT commented on it. How awesome is that!?
** WHAT IS A COMP-IN, YOU ASK:
I have been experiencing a plateau for the past two weeks. Given that I usually post weigh-in blogs, I figured that my Saturday readership would plummet after 3-4 weeks of me whining about not losing weight (or worse, me bragging about being able to eat whatever I want and not gain).
so instead of posting my numbers in 2xx.x@yy%, I'm making the bold move of posting my BODY FAT FIRST (Mua hahahahahaHAHAHAHAHA). email@example.com
Goal: 21% Body fat by end of July
June firstname.lastname@example.org (First Comp-in)
July email@example.com (-1%)
Mission acomplished-ish. My first comp reading had me at 22%. "OK", I thought, "maybe next week". Then the second said 21%. I was, like, "OK, that's weird. Lets go for a third time." And the third came up 21%!!!! WhaAAAAAT!!?? Two out of three wins the match.
I've been working my lower body really hard between walking, Pilates and leg workouts. I know that's what moves the body fat percentage downward on my scale. Not neglecting upper-body, but not giving it the huge focus that I have been
While I'm realistic that this plateau may still have a few more weeks in it, I'm going back to my 2000-2400 calorie range to get to 195. My body reflects a 1% drop in body fat (or at least a two-thirds of one). While I can't wait to start losing wight again and hit 199.x and 195.0. I'm going for 21% three out of three next week.
Time for my morning walk. The body fat isn't going to burn itself!
Thanks for reading.
- TD Out!
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
OMG, let me just come out and say it:
**Plateaus are AWESOME!!!**
I used to hate them very much when I was struggling to lose weight. Now, not so much.
It used to bring up feelings of stagnancy. The focus being on not losing weight. The one thing that I ignored or never fully realized was that I never gained weight either!
In the last 4 days, I have had one day worth mentioning eating-wise (didn't eat out. Ate less than 600 calories of sugar). The other three were hanging with friends and living life. I didn't go much over 600 calories on the sugar, but didn't really pay much attention to it either.
My eating habits are stable calorie-wise. The quality of my eating this past weekend was poor, but the calories were around the range. Workouts are going well.
So last night, after my workout, I had cookie based ice cream and a slice of super salty pizza. This morning's midweek had me at about the same weight as Saturday (slightly less).
This is the 4th of July weekend coming up. I'm going to enjoy it guilt free. Eat to my stomach's desire. Saturday I will most likely weigh the same 205.x or 206.x pounds as I have been.
Next week, I will start making strides to lose weight again. It will be week three of the plateau. My understanding is that that's how long they usually last.
After that I'm going to (Lord willing):
* Bust through 205 like a hot knife through butter.
* Hopefully hit 199.x shortly thereafter
* Hopefully hit 195 by my 4th SparkPeople Anniversary or the following Saturday.
Bottom Line: I'm glad that my body decided on the plateau for now. I wouldn't have thought to do so!
- TD Out!
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