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What Is Your Attitude Mass Index?

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Friday, May 10, 2013

We live in an appearance driven society. Many of us fret about toning up, getting the sexy abs, removing fat from areas that are not visually acceptable by societies standards. We focus on reducing our BMI (Body Mass Index) but overlook our AMI, our Attitude Mass Index.

As a society, we are far too external when it comes to combating our obesity. Don't believe it? Look at typical mainstream articles and advertising concerning weight loss, what do they focus on? Appearance and how fast results will come.

My journey has been far more internal than it has been external. The most crucial weight I have ever lost didn't come from my midsection, my face, or even my butt. The turning point in my journey came when I lost the spare tire in between my ears.

Obesity is not only something that kills you physically but it kills your spirit as well. Like a python, it wraps around your soul one coil at a time and slowly squeezes the life out of you until you quit struggling, until your entire life is defined by what you can't do, what you can't fit into, or how you can do some activity with the least amount of public embarrassment. When I was morbidly obese, I suffered the ultimate paradox. Living every day being so big you can't be missed yet at the same time be socially invisible where everyone notices you, yet, you are unnoticed. That destroyed me and made me want to live as low profile as possible.

We think that somehow simply losing the pounds will undo it all and our life will be punctuated with an "and he/she lived happily ever after". One of the biggest breakthroughs in reducing my AMI is the realization that life does not begin at goal weight. Life begins the day you decide you are worth it and commit to living your best life NOW, not 50 pounds from now.

Science has determined that by all the known laws of physics and aerodynamics, bumblebees should not fly. Fortunately bumblebees also cannot read these findings. All of the studies done has yet to convince a single one of them to pack it up and go home. What makes bumblebees inspiring is that they are Gods way of letting us know that we shouldn't let ourselves be defined by current thought.

One of the most memorable moments of my life is the day I believed in myself enough to wager my self esteem and male pride against my ability to finish my first race, a 10k. At 330 lbs, I was a bumblebee with a race number. Crossing the finishline was one of the most affirming I CAN moments of my life. After years of I can't, I earned my wings and flew. My life was no longer defined by my spare tire or a number, it was now defined by a sense of empowerment from meeting a challenge head on. My Attitude Mass Index started becoming more and more healthy every time I set a goal and met the challenge. A life unchallenged is no life at all.

The more my AMI fell, the less content I was to simply sit on the sidelines and watch others be happy and reach their goals. It may be easier to tune out and watch others live a fantasy life on TV but it is more fulfilling to carve out your own dream. It's hard work to push out of my comfort zone. It makes me sore, takes away some of my ''free'' time, and exacts a price everyday but the price I pay ensures that my comfort zone doesn't turn into a noose. From observing the process in others as well as myself, I am becoming convinced that the thing that separates those that succeed long term and those that yo-yo is attitude.

So what do I do to keep my AMI in check?

1) I push through my dislike of challenging workouts. I hate burpees, planks and other demanding moves just like the next person but I also know that after I'm all done being sore, I'll be even stronger. I had a very narrow comfort zone and didn't like being pushed. Being pushed meant I was no longer in control and not being in control is a scary place. I might fail or embarrass myself. Then again, life outside the comfort zone is good because it's the place where you learn how strong you are. Go there often enough and you'll never be satisfied with less. Try it.

2) I participate in date oriented activities. In my case, its running events or triathlon. I have a set time to pull out the stops and get ready. It's the habit of pushing aside my petty preferences to get the job done that makes me more able to withstand the pull of my personal whims and cravings. It's in obeying those whims that put me in such an unhappy place to begin with.

3) I view my workouts as something that makes me stronger. Some people treat exercise like a laxative. It is something to be endured to correct an unpleasant condition then discontinued once we're ''fixed''. Exercise is the tool that helps me forge my success, my commitment is for life because it brings me life.

4) When things are tough, I remember that my worst day changing my life is better than the best day when I was 385. Even if this is day 1, day 1 is better than your best day when you didn't care. Don't get frustrated about not doing everything perfectly. Patiently hammering out a routine makes you stronger than drifting in apathy. It will click eventually if you stick with it.

Look yourself in the eye and determine that TODAY you will work on your AMI, that you will live the life you deserve now, not at goal weight.


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATNCAG 11/21/2013 4:59PM

    emoticon We all should live this way! emoticon

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MONTREAL12 8/12/2013 11:01AM

  So true and yet; I have a tendency to forget it! Thanks for hi-lighting this important aspect of everyday living. Good luck in future endeavors! emoticon

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SUPERSYLPH 8/7/2013 11:34AM

    It's definitely all about attitude!

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TDEMAIO2 7/12/2013 7:57AM

    emoticon

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SCRIPTEDFLIGHT 7/4/2013 12:02PM

    emoticon

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MAW_OH 6/8/2013 1:20PM

    emoticon

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GEORGE815 5/30/2013 10:04PM

    Its not a diet its a lifestyle.

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RISING5 5/30/2013 1:03AM

  I loved this post, thanks for writing it and sharing. What hit home most is your phrasing of the situation: "It makes me sore, takes away some of my ''free'' time, and exacts a price everyday but the price I pay ensures that my comfort zone doesn't turn into a noose."

Sums it up perfectly. Looking forward to reading more of your posts. Wishing you a great day.

Q

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ELMA1913 5/25/2013 8:35AM

    Good blog! Thank you

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DARE2LIVE2011 5/24/2013 8:40AM

    Wow, what a great concept and how effectively you communicated it! This line jumped out at me... " It makes me sore, takes away some of my ''free'' time, and exacts a price everyday but the price I pay ensures that my comfort zone doesn't turn into a noose. " Never thought of the comfort zone as a noose before, enlightening. Thanks for a no-nonsense post, keep up the great work! emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 5/24/2013 8:13AM

    emoticon

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GRAMPIAN 5/22/2013 6:25AM

  Good advice. emoticon

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PRETTYATHEIST 5/18/2013 2:02PM

    I found your blog post very inspiring and appreciate reading something so positive. So I apologize if this seems rude, but your assertion about bumblebees is incorrect. The science used to determine they are incapable of flight is from the early 20th century. It's been updated and revised since then. Here is an article about it if you're interested:

http://www.scien
cedaily.com/releases/2009/05/09
0507194511.htm

Again, I really appreciated your blog and as a fellow triathlete, I enjoy reading your entries. I just wanted to let you know that science has a fairly solid understanding of how bumblebees can fly and there's really no question or mystery to it.

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MERRYMERRY6 5/18/2013 9:38AM

    Awesome post! I will be printing this out and saving it... just so true and so inspiring! emoticon

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LANNIEMANUEL 5/17/2013 6:02PM

    love it

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DEBLYNN323 5/16/2013 9:28AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SCOUTMOM715 5/15/2013 8:40PM

    Love this blog!!! emoticon

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ABUFFKIN 5/15/2013 4:52PM

    emoticon You really should compile a book of your blog posts, they are all so inspirational. emoticon

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L1ZB3TH354 5/14/2013 11:50PM

    Your blogs are so inspiring and thought provoking. You should compile them and publish a book. emoticon

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HFAYE81 5/14/2013 12:39PM

    emoticon You are an inspiration, not only because of what you have accomplished but also because of your positive attitude. emoticon

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SFREY217 5/14/2013 3:50AM

    Great advice ! Thanks for sharing it !!

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ROCTHTBODY 5/13/2013 8:55PM

  I just came across your thread and it is very inspiring, thank you. I was beating myself up because I ate three slices of pizza :( but I realized we all have set backs and I'm not going to quit. Therefore tomorrow I will start again more determined then ever!

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SALLY_MANDER 5/13/2013 6:34PM

    You're amazing :)

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KATIEM929 5/13/2013 6:00PM

    emoticon emoticon

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FELINEBETTER 5/13/2013 5:53PM

    Right on! I agree wholeheartedly! emoticon

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LISA_FRAME 5/13/2013 5:21PM

  emoticon

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MINEA999 5/13/2013 4:44PM

    Thank you. Really good timing for me today.

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BABYDRAGONTAMER 5/13/2013 4:14PM

    thank you so much for posting this!

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DAWNSJOURNEY 5/13/2013 3:35PM

    love this .. Great , Fantastic blog and how true..

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BAMAJAM 5/13/2013 3:27PM

  Thank you--- I'll have to remember the story about the bumblebees!

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LADIEKINS 5/13/2013 2:40PM

    Thank you for the insight! Your words spoke to me :) I am going through the difficult changes right now. It's tough but I know the fight is mental. I will be the winner in the long run!

emoticon

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BMCKEOW1 5/13/2013 1:12PM

    This is so true. I am so much happier now, because I know I can do things. It might be hard, it might hurt, but I can do it. Thanks for the reminder.

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GODDREAMDIVA1 5/13/2013 12:45PM

    emoticon

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KALEWINE 5/13/2013 12:20PM

    Excellent post!

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ONTHEPATH2 5/13/2013 12:07PM

    Love it! Obesity has caused me to want to isolate, curl up on my couch (with some food) and never be seen outside - especially in the summer - no shorts, no bathing suit, no beach. If I can't see it, I don't have to face it.

Thank you for this post! Inspiring!!!

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EGREENE4 5/13/2013 11:45AM

  Thank you for sharing this with us.

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ROGERSBABE1 5/13/2013 11:04AM

    This was sooooo well-said and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so well. emoticon

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DDOORN 5/13/2013 10:39AM

    Cheers to the Internal & AMI! Great reminders! Thank you Robert!

Don

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CAROLYNJ18 5/13/2013 10:38AM

  I need those words today.

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DOTTY7267 5/13/2013 10:35AM

    Wonderful blog - and very encouraging.

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JAIMESIZED 5/13/2013 9:21AM

    Thank you for the blog... it was truly inspiring. My AMI is definitely something I'll be working on! :)

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HLOCHRIDGE 5/13/2013 9:00AM

    Thanks for the blog!!!


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SMILELARA 5/13/2013 7:33AM

  Thanks for the post Robert. It was really good reading it. It came at a point where I needed it, not because of weight, but of attitudes with the daily goings on in life.
I hope the exercising goes well. I personally love when the muscles hurt cause it means that something is changing. And about the date orientated activities, they really do help to set a goal, but I personally love team sports, as its competitive and you want to do well for yourself and the team. And the bonus of making friends and looking forward to something every week. But of course, it all depends on the team mates.
Have a great week :)

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LEANMEAN2 5/13/2013 7:16AM

    Thanks for sharing. Good blog.

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CFMOSS 5/13/2013 7:16AM

    holistic journey - body, mind, spirit.

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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 5/13/2013 7:01AM

    Thank you, sometimes it is that kick in the pants.. that was you today!!! Thank you!


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TINAJANE76 5/13/2013 6:27AM

    Fantastic advice and tips! I think part of making that shift of being driven less by changes in physical appearance and more by the other factors that are connected to obesity and weight loss comes with age. Changes in physical appearance can be motivating, but they won't make all of your other issues just disappear. It took me a long time to figure that out and that change in attitude has made a huge difference for me.

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ROXIGIRL 5/13/2013 2:28AM

    Thanks. Loved reading your blog.

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PINKTOFUHEART 5/13/2013 1:20AM

    pretty cool blog

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JETTA4BETTA 5/13/2013 1:13AM

  You are amazing! This has truly inspired me! Love you point of view :)

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