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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 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.

Previous blogs...
Intoduction to the Holy Grail

Emotional balance part 1 - journey to the center of the problem

Emotional balance part 2 - Relationship with the scale

Emotional balance part 3 - Self talk

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SUPERSYLPH 5/26/2012 11:31AM

    I love this series so much! None of the information is new to me, but it is way better explained than I could ever explain it. I've tried explaining loving yourself no matter your weight, but it's nowhere near as well-done as this.

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MIMIDOT 5/26/2012 11:22AM

    Another great blog! Thank you.

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SHOAPIE 5/26/2012 10:59AM


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DARLENEK04 5/26/2012 10:56AM

    I am resubscribing...since I got disconnected from the original...

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DARLENEK04 5/26/2012 10:56AM

    Hey Robert,
Great blog....and the point is made....

Really have enjoyed reading all your blogs.

I also checked out your pics on your sparkpage, and you have really
come so are looking great....So healthy looking. What a
handsome guy......and you had been hiding all that behind the weight.
It must really be a good feeling to look in the mirror, know you are now
running marathons and swimming like a fishie....and are so healthy...I
bet your doctor is amazed..............

Hows the family doing????



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LDMCNIEL 5/26/2012 10:44AM

    So true!

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    You have come upon the principle that true happiness is not the goal but the journey. En joy it

Make it a great weekend and remember those who died so that you could!

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DIETH8TR 5/26/2012 10:27AM

  Outstanding insight as always! It helps keep me focused and real. Thanks~

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KNEWMETODAY 5/26/2012 10:15AM

    The beauty of this site is the sharing. The weight-loss journey we take may seem like it's totally unique; however, the traps, temptations, trials,and treadmarks are uniquely similar.

Kathy emoticon

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IDAHOFLOWER 5/26/2012 10:10AM

    Whenever I didn't measure up to
what I wanted I ran to food for comfort
Yes Love yourself can be a hard one.
I Love your insight. Thanks emoticon

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LYNCHD05 5/26/2012 10:06AM

    I have read all your blogs and have enjoyed them so much. How lucky we are to have you put into words so eloquently all of our journeys. emoticon

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GINA180847 5/26/2012 10:01AM

    Thank you for your total honesty. So much truth and the rose analogy is excellent. No angel choir hey?

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IMANADJECTIVE 5/26/2012 10:01AM

    First.....Are you married? I want a guy like you in my life!!!
Second.....This blog ROCKED!!! Loved reading it!!!
Third....I just discovered my inner athlete thanks to Reverend Payne and Calorie Chapel..a.k.a. my brother John!! He's putting me through a Transfiguration!!! HA!!!
Finally...You write from the heart and soul and now Thanks to Sparkpeople...I get to read the rest of your blog's and have a wonderful Memorial weekend.

You put things into perspective goal...Stay active, eat fresh and whole and drink lots of water.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!!!

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JANIED10 5/26/2012 9:56AM

    Just found the blog. Thank you for putting into words what many of us eventually realize. I think your observation about pleasing your trainer really hit me. Il ost 60 lbs working with a trainer but I have put 30 back on and I think you hit the nail on the head for me--it has to be for me and no one else.

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GIRLINMOTION 5/26/2012 9:50AM

    I love your analogy with the rose.

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CARENMARLA 5/26/2012 9:46AM


so insightful!

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BLOOMING52 5/26/2012 9:19AM

    Thank you.

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TEACHING1ST 5/26/2012 9:09AM

    Each of your blogs has been so insightful. Thanks so much for this! Best of luck along this journey!

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    Great blog! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and insights with us. This is the kind of thing I need to read!

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CAPECODBABE 5/26/2012 8:59AM


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EJHEINRICH1 5/26/2012 8:51AM

  Good Job you said it well! emoticon

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LTMURPHY7 5/26/2012 8:37AM


Well said, Thanks

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NEWMOM20121 5/26/2012 8:35AM

    Great blog, thank you. So true

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NEWDRE 5/26/2012 8:35AM

    Brilliant. So much of my journey has been learning to respect my body and its innate intelligence. To let go and love. Exactly right.

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SANFORMRN 5/26/2012 8:30AM

  Excellent advice on a lesson learned. I feel the same way. Everyone asks me what my goal weight is. I tell them I don't have one , I just judge it based on how I feel, how my
Clothed feel, etc.

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BIRDLSLAURIE 5/26/2012 8:14AM

    Well said! emoticon

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WALLINMW 5/26/2012 8:07AM

  Stay motivated!

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SPARKLISE 5/26/2012 7:45AM

    emoticon I just love these blogs. emoticon

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W5VEOTX 5/26/2012 7:27AM

    Thank you - helpful

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GIHUTSON 5/26/2012 7:21AM

    Just found your blog for Friday, May 25th. I am going to read the previous ones too. Some great tips and reminders as to why I want to get to my goal weight and KEEP IT OFF!! I am not runner, but like you said....find what works for you and go with it. THANKS for sharing this inspiration!

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HANDYV 5/26/2012 7:10AM

    Good Stuff

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MEREDITHB51 5/26/2012 6:52AM

    I've been stalled for a little bit, and you just gave me patience and reminded me to enjoy the good stuff I'm doing for my body. Thank you!

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COOKIE_AT_51 5/26/2012 6:44AM

    I just recently "started again" on the road to that holy grail :) ... I so appreciate your thoughts and taking the time to write them down. Thank you so much and God bless you!

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TRYINGHARD54 5/26/2012 6:39AM

    great blog.. thank you

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JPEARL127 5/26/2012 6:35AM

  Bravo--thanks for sharing your Spark!

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THEIS58 5/26/2012 6:30AM

    Love it! Well said.

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NEWTINK 5/26/2012 6:30AM

    emoticon Such wonderful insight in the journey that so many of us take. Thank you

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JOYCRN 5/26/2012 6:22AM

    I have been working pretty consistently since January but only in the past few weeks seen the number on the scale drop. I was definitely not in control of the scale! I have tried to become more grateful for a healthy strong body and to take care of it rather than beating myself up for every "failure",( i.e. changing my thinking). To persistently try new things to be satisfied within my calorie range has helped (and Jessihover1 has some great ideas)

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SUSANK16 5/26/2012 6:07AM

  Wonnderful and wise

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JLITT62 5/26/2012 4:44AM

    "Weight loss does not bring happiness. It is the BYPRODUCT of happiness"

Very true!

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123ELAINE456 5/26/2012 4:34AM

  This is an AWESOME SERIES that you are writing. Im realy enjoying and like it very much. A lot of great things are in it. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Day and Week.

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MAMAWALMART 5/26/2012 3:53AM

    I am really enjoying this series. I'm learning a lot and able to relate to quite a bit. Thank you for the great series. Looking forward to number 5.
Keep Smiling

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TAMPATINK67 5/26/2012 3:27AM

    Wisdom - we each need to find our own path to success! Thanks for sharing, I think sharing your journey will help others too and serves as a fabulous reminder for other - like me!!!!

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02SERENE 5/26/2012 1:40AM

    "seek to relieve the sources of anxiety that drive the bad habits. "

that is all internal work and I how I relate to what is going on outside now. Its the stuff I can't control, like today we have a guest staying that wasn't planned for, needing rest and continuing to go at a pace that isn't overwhelming to me.

So please continue with your insights. It helps me to open the line of communication that I need to address within myself. Thanks.

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GOING-STRONG 5/26/2012 12:31AM

    So true! Spark on!

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RUNNERRACHEL 5/25/2012 10:43PM

    I love what you said about loving yourself where you're at. That was a turning point for me and the start of my success in weightloss. Beating myself up never led to any change and hating the way I looked did not make me change anything. I love that you said that weightloss does not bring happiness, that it's the product of happiness. So true! Thanks for a great blog!!

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SEXBOBOMB 5/25/2012 9:18PM

    I'm late to the party, but great blog -- amazing insights here, and thank you for sharing!

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CARENMARLA 5/25/2012 8:18PM

    I love reading your blog and can relate to your insight about setting a number on the scale as the ultimate goal. It has been a vicious cycle for me. Thank you so much for sharing.

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WANNABFIT34 5/25/2012 7:44PM

    You hit it on the head yet again Robert. I failed at weight loss before because I thought there would be a magical happiness that came with said goal weight and when there wasn't, well we all know what happens right? I have learned not to kill myself trying, to still enjoy the occassional treats, and to be truly happy with where I'm at while I am there.

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JEANNETTE59 5/25/2012 3:50PM

  Truth in every word. A perfectly emoticon blog.

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