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The Path To The Holy Grail- Regaining Emotional Balance Part 4 of 5 - Realistic Weightloss Goals


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Friday, May 25, 2012

Thanks for coming along on this rather long blog series. In case you are just tuning in, in short, I have been trying to organize and communicate the reasons I feel why I have been successful. This is not as if I had researched all of this and used my own knowledge to lead myself down this path. There is nothing special or unique about me but rather, like a poor beggar that found a treasure chest, so I now share with you. This treasure is of no value hoarded, it only gains interest when shared liberally. Links to the blog series at bottom.

These ideas are not mine, I just bumbled upon them. If they are not mine, then they cannot be bought or sold but can only be obtained when sought for with the whole heart. This is a price that everyone can afford but not all are willing to pay. I believe they are irrevokable principles that will lead you and I to a better journey. I may fail and totally wash out but these truths will live on. I believe that they are the key to success, the path to our Holy Grail.

What is it that made the difference? None of it involved eating a certain way or following any one particular exercise program or method. Those are all externals... Everything conclusion I have reached has all been internal.

After alot of deep thinking and reflection, it all boiled down to 4 things..

1) Seeking out the things that make for emotional stability (this section has 5 subsets)
2) Food Addiction Recovery ie...drying out
3)Reprogramming My Reward Center and Values
4) Mastering Response-Ability

Part 4 of 5 Seeking Emotional Stability- Being realistic about weight loss goals.

When I first started out, I fell into the trap of setting huge weight loss goals once i got the notion that I actually COULD do it. How true it is that when we start out, we struggle with the very notion that we will do it this time, unlike the other 99 false starts so there are huge mental blocks to be overcome JUST to reach the place where one is ready to step up and give it another tug. Once we experience some success, then the temptation is there to set lofty goals because we have a little faith now.

Does this sound familiar? " Im going to lose 50 pounds in 6 months, just in time for my _____ " (fill in blank) ie.. school reunion, beach vacation, shopping trip etc...

I submit that while it is noble to set such goals as a point of focus, you and I have little control as to the rate at which our bodies will shed fat. While it is true that a certain amount of loss can be forced through starvation, dehydration, or God forbid, laxatives. None of this is healthy and will lead to real problems down the road, all for a temporary number that brings a fleeting sense of accomplishment and approval from those around us when they hear of our "success". I learned quickly that my body works on its own clock.

It took a little while before I came to the realization that the goal of this journey is to lead my body and soul beside the still waters, not beat it into submission. All of the above "sins" I have committed and found that they are of no profit.
Yes, thats right, I have tried to force a number before. My self esteem was all tied up in getting just one more pound closer to happiness because I hated myself and what I looked like. This was further aggravated by weigh ins at the gym where I wanted to please my trainer so badly. It really became a problem when I started marathon training and my weight loss came to a dead stop. I was never pressured by the trainer but rather I wanted her to be proud of me. That I was her "star" client, that I was really a champion and was totally on top of it. We are typically desparate to attain some sort of affirmation that we are succeeding, that we have worth, and that we are just a good as anyone else. Maybe to prove that you are even better than others if you are coming from the angle of low self esteem. You want to prove yourself and earn respect so badly that you will go to extremes to get it...like me.

Yes, this is confession time. I wanted the approval so badly that I abused myself in some instances. Truth is good for the soul. It heals and cleanses.

Finally, I got some real insight that I wanted to share with you.

What would you think about someone who comes into a hospital badly injured, leg broken in 3 places and states that they will heal by such and such a date so they can make it to some long anticipated event. We would tell that person to put those plans on ice. They need to heal and tell them that it may not happen according to their preferred timeline. We would basically say within ourselves that that person seriously needs a reality check. That individual is NOT in control of the process. All the doctors can do is stabilize the patient and create the environment for healing to take place. Outside of that, all they can do is let nature take its course.

If this is so obvious in the physical then why do we try to beat our bodies into submission to meet some ''im gonna lose XXX pounds by XXX date'' goal then beat ourselves up because we couldnt make ourselves do it.

I had to let it all go and realize that the only thing I can do is create the environment through nutrition and exercise, work to sustain that environment, then step back and let it unfold. Let the body heal itself on its own time clock.

Remember, you are leading your body beside the still waters, not trying to beat it into unnatural submission with brute force methods.

If your body does not lose it on its schedule, there will most likely be a backlash of some sort. We create those crazy expectations because we believe that rigid adherence will beget success. We do that because deep down we cannot tolerate yet another failure to meet that expectation. We struggle enough as it is. I cannot think of one time I have ever looked in the mirror at 385 pounds and said to myself "wow dude, you are really a stud!" My viewed image was always met with a sick feeling or no feeling at all because we get to be really good at burying negative feelings. Our hearts and minds can only tolerate so much before some type of defensive mechanism kicks in for the sake of keeping us intact...sort of.

I had to love myself where I was at. Happiness and self love does not come at some magic moment when the number you are seeking for pops up on the screen. When I broke 100 pounds lost, there were no angel choirs singing, no pats on the back, no TV camera interviews wanting to know the secrets of my success. It was all a big non-event. In fact, no one in my world really cared.

Weight loss does not bring happiness. It is the BYPRODUCT of happiness. It is the result of a daily commitment to creating the environment for healing and sustaining it, then stepping back and allowing the magic to happen on its own timeline.

The only thing that you and I can control is the environment that we create. Outside of that, it is out of our hands.

Let it go and love yourself.

Just like the rose cannot be forced to bloom, you cant force your body. Water it with nutrition and exercise, seek to relieve the sources of anxiety that drive the bad habits.

Then, like the rose...Just let it unfold.

Next In Series- Emotional balance part 5 - Independence And Passion.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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Previous blogs...
Intoduction to the Holy Grail
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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al.asp?blog_id=4862929


Emotional balance part 1 - journey to the center of the problem
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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al.asp?blog_id=4867588


Emotional balance part 2 - Relationship with the scale
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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al.asp?blog_id=4883555


Emotional balance part 3 - Self talk
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
ge_public_journal_individu
al.asp?blog_id=4886607
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COURTNEYANNEMT 12/7/2012 7:20AM

  Really liked this one.

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ALIDOSHA 10/17/2012 5:18PM

    emoticon

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NVRDWN88 10/15/2012 8:20PM

    When is was a kid. I stumbled upon a sticker that said I change my life by changing my attitude and I know that's a very simplifies solution to this complex situation but sometimes its a great place to start.....if that doesn't work read a great book by a gteat author the late Norman Vincent Peal....you can if you think you can.....and take a page out of addiction recovery...one day at a time ....these are all great ways to get past the mental...the physical will follow.....great blog and good luck everyone

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 7/10/2012 1:20PM

    Well put! As a non-believer in coincidence, I know your comments came to me at the proper time. I struggle with many of the issues you have so effectively described.
You have helped provide the inspiration and motivation along with that little push I need. Thank you for sharing. emoticon emoticon

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NIGHTOCUPS 6/23/2012 1:49PM

    That last part about happiness being a by product was a wake up call for me. I've always thought that my situation forbid me from having any happiness in my life, but that's not true. I'm in control of how I respond to my life and I can be happy now. Thank you.

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LUCINDARW 6/18/2012 3:44PM

    Robert I have just read the last of your series and went back to reread some of the emotional eating blogs. This is where I am at in my journey and the series has helped to put my feelings into print besides opening my eyes to a different way to look at life. I am looking forward to your e-book so I have the whole series to reread when I need encouragement. Thanks again for sharing your journey with us very insightful. Lucinda

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GINIEMIE 6/15/2012 7:16AM

    Thank you! "Weight loss is a by-product of happiness". So I'll work on goal setting and let things flow after I've set the stage for my success-work and wait.

emoticon emoticon

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CHIPLEY_FL 6/9/2012 8:23AM

    I needed to hear that put just that way. Now I will let it marinate and maybe it will sink in so that I believe it in my heart and mind.

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TERRIMMIX 6/8/2012 12:10PM

    This was my favorite part so far "Weight loss does not bring happiness. It is the BYPRODUCT of happiness."

I've been staying inside my house like a hermit since I gained weight (I started to put my top weight here but does it even matter how much weight you have to gain to feel that way?) I've turned down invitations from my family and friends and even a few offers for dates just because I was ashamed of how fat I had gotten. I think this may be something unique to those that started life skinny and got fat later, but I'm not positive about that.

More than six years have literally passed me by while I ate to console and comfort myself and got even bigger. Only recently have I begun to try to get out and do things with those that love me for me and don't give a flying fig, except for my health, how big or little I am.

I'm still not as confident when I go out in public as I used to be but I'm getting to the point I don't care as much what other people think. I do the best I can with what I've got and then forget about it. I'm not going to let my life pass me by any longer.

Sorry, this comment turned into a mini-blog... lol Thanks for a great blog series... can't wait to finish. :-)

Comment edited on: 6/8/2012 12:11:51 PM

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YONNYOO 6/6/2012 9:10PM

    Thank you for sharing your journey and words of wisdom. It is refreshing to hear the truth. emoticon

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TEXASFILLY 6/5/2012 10:21PM

    Hallelujah! I do believe that you've found the secrets to your success, Robert~ just like my secret to success~ it all lies WITHIN us. Thank you, dear heart, for sharing your wisdom and experience. *hugs* BB~ emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GAILITCH 6/5/2012 1:23PM

    "Weight loss does not bring happiness. It is the BYPRODUCT of happiness. It is the result of a daily commitment to creating the environment for healing and sustaining it, then stepping back and allowing the magic to happen on its own timeline. "

I. am. in. awe.

emoticon

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LRSILVER 6/5/2012 9:24AM

    Thank you!! Great blog. I agree with you and desert julz:
Instead of setting goals for pounds lost, we need to set our goals for the healthy choices. I will drink 8 glasses of water daily. I will walk 5 miles every week. I will eat 7 fruits/vegetables every day. I

have reset my tracker to fitness minutes instead of pounds lost. My goal is to be fit.

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NIMAWEYGH 6/1/2012 8:44PM

    This insight and inspiration is just what I need right now to get me back on track and doing what is good not only for my body but my mind and soul as well. Another home run blog.

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KDYLOSE 6/1/2012 9:35AM

    Thank you. I've really had problems with feeling like a plateau is a failure, and the perspective of just continuing to create the environment and stepping back and letting it happen - I think that's going to help me a lot.

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TXHRT4U 5/31/2012 3:39PM

    emoticon blog. The blogs have been long, but I have really enjoyed reading them. emoticon for sharing. My journey has also been like the stock market since 2009. I made a commitment to myself to stay focused on my goals this year. NO MORE falling off the wagon. It gets harder and harder every time I have to do P90X over again and again. I was excited 2 wks ago when I started P90X+ This freight train is running at full steam ahead right now :)

Have a blessed day!

"BRING IT"
emoticon

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MUSHBALL 5/31/2012 11:00AM

  I enjoyed your perspective. however, goal setting does help keep motivation up; of course those goals have to be realistic and may need adjustment.
Your remark that weight loss does not bring happiness but is a by-product of happiness is a statement that should be taken to heart. Who we are is not a number on a scale.
One of my favorite inspirational quotes is "the choices you make today determine the choices you have tomorrow." I need to more frequently consider how the choice for french fries or skipping exercise will impact my future choices for a healthy active life.



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KAREN_NY 5/30/2012 4:30PM

    Love yourself .. leads to taking good care of yourself .. which leads to health on several levels. You got that. Love it.
K:

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KAREN_NY 5/30/2012 4:27PM

    Love yourself .. leads to taking good care of yourself .. which leads to health on several levels. You got that. Love it.
K:

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BMCKEOW1 5/30/2012 2:31PM

    Very inspiring, thank you so much for sharing.

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KIPPER15 5/30/2012 10:54AM

    Fantastic and encouraging series. Thank you.

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CHANGE4THEBEST 5/30/2012 2:12AM

    Hi

Thank you for making time to write this blog. Creating the environment is the best plan forward.

emoticon emoticon

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DESERTJULZ 5/29/2012 1:00PM

    I really love your statement, "Weight loss does not bring happiness. It is the BYPRODUCT of happiness. It is the result of a daily commitment to creating the environment for healing and sustaining it, then stepping back and allowing the magic to happen on its own timeline."

It's so true. Instead of setting goals for pounds lost, we need to set our goals for the healthy choices. I will drink 8 glasses of water daily. I will walk 5 miles every week. I will eat 7 fruits/vegetables every day. etc.

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4TERRIE 5/29/2012 12:06PM

    Thank you, just what I needed today! Very inspiring!

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PJ51798 5/29/2012 10:26AM

    Thank you so much for that image of leading our bodies beside the still waters -- that really resonates for me.

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FORBANDE 5/29/2012 9:27AM

    FANTASTIC!! My favorite part "I had to let it all go and realize that the only thing I can do is create the environment through nutrition and exercise, work to sustain that environment, then step back and let it unfold. Let the body heal itself on its own time clock."

Love the work you are putting into these blogs!! :)

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DIANNEMT 5/29/2012 7:41AM

    You are certainy right. I WANT to hit a certain number...but the body is saying "no". Maybe I should respect what it is saying and just keep healthy!

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SAPUTO 5/29/2012 7:34AM

  Your thoughts are grounded in such logic and wisdom. Thanks for reminding me how powerful I am..and to realize that I have so little control in my plan. Be good to myself, be kind to myself and my dreams will be realized. You are a breath of fresh air to my tired soul.

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CAROLZ1967 5/29/2012 7:28AM

    I agree with you, in that it will happen at our body's own pace and we have to be patient, realistic and confident that we are on the right path. But I don't think setting a modest weight loss goal is always harmful. It can add motivation for people and assist them along the way. But it can be a negative if a person isn't realistic or puts too much of a priority on the scale number. For me, when I plugged in a safe, "2 lb wt loss per week" for a goal when I started SP, and saw I could be at my (then) goal weight by mid-February (it was Sept), I was so excited! To see with my own eyes that I could be 48 lbs lighter by that date made it seem more real or do-able, not like some dream weight I might reach "one day". Just seeing that it COULD be attainable in around 6 months really hit it home that it wasn't some far off fantasy, IF I actually stuck with it and worked hard. But that might not work for everyone and I agree that it can backfire too.

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LRSILVER 5/29/2012 7:22AM

    Thank you. It is true that healthy lifestyle is a goal and weight loss does not bring happiness. Feeling healthy helps you to be happier.

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PINKREDYELLOW 5/29/2012 4:53AM

    Thank you for sharing this. It's insightful, encouraging and truthful. I remember once losing weight and it was a byproduct of happier days when I ate healthier and ran 5kms every Friday night with my dad. I wish I could have those days again.

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TERRIFICTONYA 5/29/2012 3:40AM

    So glad you create this series. I know I will be reading it multiple times and encouraging others to do so also. Thank you for allowing yourself to be free with your wisdom in order that others benefit from your greatness.

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SPARKLINGME176 5/28/2012 9:41PM

    This blog is SO inspiring! Thank You!

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DUXGRL1 5/28/2012 9:27PM

    This is SO true! This is my most successful weight loss in my life, and I think that one of the biggest reasons is that at the beginning, I accepted that it could take a long time and that I was in it for as long as it took, and like you said, I could create the environment to do it but ultimately have no control over how fast I lose it, and I just had to hang in there and do the right things most of the time, and hopefully the weight would come off, and it has!

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LESSONSREPEATED 5/28/2012 4:25PM

  Truth nugget: Weight loss is the byproduct of happiness. Thank you for that idea.

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TRAVELNISTA 5/28/2012 4:20PM

    emoticon Love this! emoticon

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LUCINDARW 5/28/2012 3:46PM

    Thank you for another installment of your series. When it's all done I would be very interested to have a copy of the e-book you are trying to put together. It would be very helpful to print off and have handy to refer back to when in doubt. Lucinda

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BUTTERFLY-1976 5/28/2012 12:54PM

    emoticon Another great blog!

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LANNIEMANUEL 5/28/2012 12:45PM

    thank you for sharing this. i have been on a small platue and this is just what i needed to hear to get myself synched up again.

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CASSIES 5/28/2012 11:37AM

    I am pouring over this blog, reading and rereading. Thanks for articulating the calmness I can feel when I simply do my part and let it unfold.

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I look forward to reading your other installments, but rather than binge on them all right now, I will air with this one and come back for more..again and again.

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SANDIBETTS1 5/28/2012 7:24AM

  Once again your insight brings sanity and clarity into an out of focus way of thinking.

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ALDEBARANIAN 5/28/2012 6:49AM

    I want to encourage you to keep on with these blogs. They help me get what's really going on here, to widen the scope of my vision, not just with a weight loss program, but in many areas of my life.

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SMARGED 5/27/2012 11:15PM

    Thank you for this blog! So true!! And I have to admit I've often fallen into this trap! Thanks for motivating us to rethink our attitudes!



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SERASARA 5/27/2012 9:47PM

  emoticon emoticon

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TURNINGTABLES21 5/27/2012 8:31PM

  Wonderful!

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IMIN2GENES 5/27/2012 8:25PM

    Another elusive truth... thanks for sharing your insights.
Chris

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POKEMOM2THREE 5/27/2012 7:06PM

    A little bit of sanity in the insane world of weight loss. Thank you for daring to dig deeper than the mirror. emoticon

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GARDENQE2 5/27/2012 5:49PM

    Great outlook, Robert! You couldn't be more right!

I once had a photographer from a major gardening magazine scheduled to visit my yard. I knocked myself out trying to force my flowers to be perfect. A hail storm arrived just before the camera. So he concentrated on the wildflowers along the ditch, which were lovely without my help.

Nature always wins! All we can do is improve the environment!

And stay in balance!

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THINNYGINNY 5/27/2012 5:38PM

    Ouch - you got me... I am doing so well in so many ways - making a good journey towards health and mental wellness. But I am stuck in a rut about losing a certain amount per month to get to a certain goal in a year...and there isn't even a wedding or reunion that I'm working towards - just a date on the calendar that if i get to it weighing a certain number than I have succeeded.
That looks ridiculous in print! I have already succeeded - I'm already changed. My body is dropping weight because I am changing myself from slug to active person. So why is it so hard to let go of that dream of a certain # on the scale by a certain date???

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PAANDRUS 5/27/2012 4:42PM

    I have at times, believed & have learned exactly this point~but never thought & meandered thru it quite as deep~so "Thank You" for your encouragement & reminders. Loving this series!

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