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Positivity and a 12 Second Plank

Friday, February 01, 2013

I love a challenge.

Tonight was my night to do crunches and dumbbell bench presses as well as walk on the treadmill.

I saw a video blog a month or so ago and the person in the video was doing a plank.

Have you done the plank before?

I hadn't.

Quite frankly, it looked easy.

It looks like a push-up except that you're on your forearms:

(Creative Commons Photo by suanie

It looks easy but...

it isn't.

I was expecting that could do it for...oh... 2 minutes maybe.

At least 1 minute.

I was SURE I could do 1 minute.

It's just one minute.

It's not even a push-up.


Haha... Silly me.

12 seconds.

That's how long I could hold the plank position.

12 seconds.

After 3 seconds or so the big hand of reality gave me a good smack and I thought to myself "wow... this is quite difficult"... or something along those lines.

At 12 seconds I was done.

Recognize that I'm ABSOLUTELY NOT beating myself up here.

I don't do that.

It is counter-productive to add a self-defeating attitude atop my obesity.

So I CHOOSE not to do that.

Do you UNDERSTAND what I'm saying here?

I CHOOSE NOT to create a bunch of drama in my head about my obesity.
I CHOOSE NOT to attach negativity to my reality.
I CHOOSE NOT to allow an attitude of inadequacy or defeat to reside in my brain.

You see, I RECOGNIZE that a 12 second plank isn't spectacular.
But it is a starting point.
And I can improve on this.

I am a FIRM BELIEVER in the idea that:

MY BELIEFS AND ATTITUDES about real things - events in my life and situations - effect (that, is "bring about") my thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

So if I fill my head with a bunch of crap attitudes about where I am, all it does is bring about bad thoughts, crappy emotions and poor behaviors.

Maybe that is where YOU are right now.

Being able to differentiate between an event and your beliefs and attitudes about that event is KEY.
Because they are distinctly separate.
Events are reality.
Your beliefs and attitudes about events are like FILTERS that you apply to events.
Like filters on a camera lens or filters on a photo editing program.

For example, I COULD take the position that a 12 second plank is horrible.
I could BELIEVE that it is evidence of the futility of my weight loss attempt.

Having that attitude and belief about a 12 second plank would make me create a lot of other thoughts about how I'm a failure.

And it would bring about a sea of emotions about being a failure and the utter hopelessness of my obesity.

And it would also cause me to do things which are counter-productive to weight loss, fitness and improved health.
Such as throwing in the towel, perhaps.
Or binge eating or seeking out unsafe, unwise "solutions" to my weight loss.
Or something else destructive.

The mind is capable of bringing about positive change in one's life.

But it is also capable of holding someone back.
And twisting one's view of reality in ways that are unhealthy.

I CHOOSE to view a 12 second plank as my current reality.

I CHOOSE to work on my plank, knowing that it will take work.

I CHOOSE to be positive and recognize that I can improve.

And I CHOOSE to focus my mind on becoming stronger both mentally and physically.
Because a strong mind and a strong body go hand-in-hand.

How about YOU?

The 12 second plank I did is a START.

It does NOT define who I am or where I can go.
And it does NOT pull me down.

My mind is strong and focused.

How is yours?

So today's accomplishment - yes, it IS an accomplishment - is a 12 second plank.

Next time my plank might be 15 seconds.
Or maybe 16 seconds.

We'll see what I can accomplish next time when I do the plank.
If it is only 12 seconds again, I trust that it will improve soon enough.

I'm looking forward to it!

Maybe your thing isn't the plank.

Maybe it is something else.

Whatever it is, I want to encourage you to focus your BELIEFS and ATTITUDES about that thing on the REALITY and POSSIBILITIES that exist.
Focus POSITIVELY on it.

Maybe that sounds corny or goofy to you.
Let me just as you ONE THING then...

How's that negativity been treating you?
How's that victim mentality been treating you?
How are those crappy beliefs and attitudes helping you?

OK, that's three things.

But you get my point, I trust.

You have a CHOICE to make.

You can either choose to be REALISTIC about where you are and POSITIVE about what you can accomplish.
Or you can choose to beat yourself up about where you are and fill your head with negativity.

It is YOUR choice.

I encourage you to choose to look at life as it is and to recognize that YOU are strong.

And by recognizing where you are and that you don't have to remain there, you can effect...

Positive thoughts

Increased emotional stability and strength


Good behaviors.

And the thing is that there's a FEEDBACK LOOP with those thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
Do you understand that?

When you bring about
positive thoughts,
and behaviors in your life,
those feed back into
what you believe
and your attitudes
towards events in your life.

So whether it is the plank, or improving your diet or increasing your walking distance or whatever it is in your life, recognize that...

You are strong.
Strong enough to see things as they are.
Strong enough to avoid allowing yourself to wallow in self-pity and negative attitudes.
Strong enough to recognize that change takes time but is ABSOLUTELY possible.
Strong enough to make changes in your life and fight for the future you.

You are MUCH STRONGER than you think you are.

I'm sure of this.

Make it a great day!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
PANDORABERRY 2/4/2013 12:57PM

  Thanks! i totally agree with you on all you spoken today Matt! I am so glad I am on your blogs! You always have such positive feedback! So far I have lost 20 pounds with 16 more pounds to go! At one time I was at standstill! But once I start reading your blogs it movivated me to do so more! So I won't to thank you!

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CHOOSE2LOSE2014 2/4/2013 9:21AM

    Way to Go....You will get your 2 minutes before you know it.. emoticon

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HOLLYM48 2/3/2013 7:14PM

    I tried it because I was curious! 16 secs is about as good as it got. But you are right, it is a starting point and 16 secs is better than 0 secs!
Stay positive! I am right there with you.

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SAD64PSYCH 2/3/2013 6:42PM

    You are so right about avoiding beating one's self up! And, indeed, we do have choice in our weight loss and exercise journey! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. emoticon

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SEEINGCLEARLY53 2/3/2013 3:44PM

    I heard the word,,''plank'', but wasnt sure what it was,,,,lol,,,thanks for the great blog!

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BOGUSANNIE 2/3/2013 1:40PM

    I love planks!!!! Haven't done any in a while but gotta say, probably one of my favourite moves!

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MOBYCARP 2/2/2013 7:03PM

    I don't do planks very often, but when I do I'd always just done the top position from a pullup. So I went and tried on the forearms . . . I think it's harder. It puts a lot of pressure on the elbows in a less natural way than the pressure on the hands from a pushup.

12 seconds is a start, and something to work from. Or you could do other stuff that helps the core, and see how that improves your plank as well.

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AJDOVER1 2/2/2013 4:53PM

    I love your blog, Matt! It's so important to have a starting point and the courage to keep at it. When I first started running, I figured I could run for maybe 5 minutes straight. Wrong. I could run for 30 seconds. That was my starting point.

I had a walk/run program and it took a long time to work up to running 5 minutes straight. Then I worked up to 10 minutes. It was a great victory to run a whole mile without stopping. I could hardly believe it when I ran 5k.

The difference between running for 30 seconds and running a 5k is that I accepted my starting point and kept working.

A 12-second plank is a great starting point. Now you can work on improving it. I have faith that you will. Thanks for being there and sharing the journey with us!

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KABMPH 2/2/2013 3:49PM

    It does look deceptively easy, doesn't it? emoticon

Next time you will have 13 seconds, then more!

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SUGAR0814 2/2/2013 1:39PM

    emoticon before you know it, you'll be doing way more than 12 seconds!

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LOSINIT52 2/2/2013 12:21PM

    I'm not gonna lie... My font is small and I am old... I clicked on this blog expecting to read about a 12 second "prank" but I read it anyway. Thanks for a very positive blog and an opportunity to chuckle at myself.

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MEGAMINION 2/2/2013 10:41AM

    You are so right about how both negative and positive thoughts have an impact. I am working on coloring with a positive crayon instead of the negative. Both create ripples and I do have a choice so why not choose the positive. Thank you for your clear and consistent message in each blog. It is such good reinforcement for what I am striving towards.

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JACLYN07 2/2/2013 7:27AM

    12 seconds is GREAT for a first go. And a GREAT starting line.
Go for it!

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DOVESEYES 2/2/2013 6:14AM

    Thankyou so much I needed this today. emoticon

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COFFEELADY68 2/2/2013 2:53AM

    Thanks so much for the great insights about how important it is to choose to think positive instead of wallowing in self destructive thoughts. I needed that reminder today! Your blogs are an encouragement and inspiration to me! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLISS_OM 2/2/2013 2:50AM

    Great Blog! Absolutely right - it's all how we choose to see ourselves, our lives, our challenges as opportunities and our actions as successes because at least we acted! Thanks for the great reminders!

I wish you ALL SUCCESS & JOY! - Bliss!

emoticon emoticon

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BOOKAPHILE 2/2/2013 1:12AM

    Challenges with a positive attitude = improvement over time.
Challenges with a negative attitude = disengagement and no improvement

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MICKEYH 2/1/2013 11:16PM

    Glad you choose to be positive. Congrats on your plank experience. emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHIERKEN 2/1/2013 10:50PM

    Today 12 seconds, tomorrow 30, day after 60 and away you go : )

You're right, holding a plank pose is HARD WORK. And it uses *so* many muscle groups. Now that I can hold it for a bit of a spell, I really like the plank. You will too, in no time at all.


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KARRENLYNN 2/1/2013 10:49PM

    I agree, that plank looks easy but it's not. And 12 seconds is a start you can work on. Nobody started anything at the finish line, they practiced and they worked on improvement.

Great attitude, Keep going!

Karen emoticon

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DALID414 2/1/2013 10:41PM

    Congrats on finding your starting point with a plank.

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