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Recovery from set backs, my survival kit.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recovery from set backs

Part 3 in series

The third skill that has really made a difference in my efforts is the ability to recover from set backs. Stay on this path long enough and you are going to encounter discouragement and defeat. I think I am safe in making a generalized statement, that the vast majority of us have no grand visions of weight just falling off just because we decide to make a few changes and eat a few more veggies. We go into this knowing that we are up against a formidable challenge but even so, set backs are a real punch in the gut.

How you handle them will determine your long term survival.

So far I this series I have mentioned nothing about what to eat or technique. Low carb, Paleo, gluten free, low glycemic, South Beach, Atkins or whatever has not been mentioned once. It's all about heart and the filter through which we interpret our world.

One of the first rules in outdoor survival has nothing to do with a protein bar or having the right knife, it's about not panicking and keeping a level head. Sometimes the journey will take you through a wilderness and things happen that will make your compass spin. How you and I react to those lost moments will determine whether we continue on or become a statistic, yet another lost percentage point in the weight loss success rate.

I just recently took a hit myself and regained almost 15 lbs from being out of commission with a bum ankle. So this message is just as much for me as it is for anyone else who will take the time to read this and maybe by sharing we can be encouraged together. I've been lost before in this wilderness so, having survived some scrapes in the past, I can reach into my survival kit and know that in the long run I'm going to be ok.

So what's in my survival kit?

1) Money from my emotional bank account. ( see previous blog ) -

Having set and completed small goals, the sheer repetition of success and consistency reassures me that because I have done it before, I am well able to do it again because I am proven it to myself. I've earned my own self respect and therefore I'm not running on empty. Once I get my balance, I know I will get back on track.

2) An alternative energy source.

Because of my purpose driven fitness (see first blog in series) my self worth does not come from a single energy source such as the scale. I am not a number and my strength does not rise or fall with what it says. Because I challenge myself and have experienced the rewards of meeting those challenges, I have learned that there is a whole lot more to Robert than 15 extra pounds that came my way by not being able workout in the way I'm used to and not adjusting my eating. Because my energy comes from somewhere else, a bad scale moment doesn't have to wreck my overall outlook. Don't get me wrong, it hurts but it doesn't have to destroy our resolve.

3) A pencil with an eraser.

This piece of survival gear is essential. With it I can get my focus when the bad times come. With the pencil I write down all of the things in my current situation that I have control over, those things I don't and what's important to me. When what I do on a daily basis does not line up with what my heart says I should be doing, frustration and depression results. Acknowledging what I can't control, identifying those things that I am still able to do is key to adjusting my expectations I have of myself and then making small goals in those area that are important in keeping the blues away because I'm still headed in the right direction.

The eraser is for removing the references of what used to be from my script so I can adjust to my new reality. I used to be 15 lbs lighter and 15 lbs closer to goal. I used to be a marathoner and a triathlete but due to my ankle, I may only be able squeeze out a 5k with my new orthotics. Am I able to excel in this new reality if that is what befalls me? Only if I don't continually compare my present with my past. That's what the eraser is for, so the ghosts of successes past do not haunt my present and cloud my future. If I am able to run again, the eraser is also so I don't compare my present pacing with what I used to do. Reduced ability due to deconditioning isn't a failure, it's reality and there is no sense in allowing the past to beat me up and affect my future.

4) Friends.

This is the most important item in my survival kit. There is too much at stake to allow shame or depression to drive me into isolation because the banana that leaves the bunch is the one that gets peeled. When times are good, make friends both immediate and here on Spark so that when times are bad you have somewhere to go. A listening ear can make the difference between standing your ground or throwing yourself under the dietary bus. No man ( or woman ) is an island and we all need someone to confide in or talk sense into us when we are irrational.

These things in my kit have proven their worth so many times that I now don't leave home without it. If you don't have one, start building one, you'll be thankful you did.

You'll be a survivor.


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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAMPIAN 4/19/2014 10:06AM

  emoticon Well said.

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KDSTAP 3/3/2014 9:41PM

    Great read. Thanks

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PATTYSPENCER 2/20/2014 8:34AM

    emoticon

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CORNERKICK 2/8/2014 9:46PM

  emoticon

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FANCYSIMAGES 2/6/2014 1:54PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CATNCAG 2/4/2014 4:06PM

    emoticon As always for your words of wisdom! Keep sparking!!!

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SAMMYSWEETPEA 2/2/2014 9:57PM

    What an awesome attitude! I'm going to go back and read your earlier blogs. I really enjoy your analogies.

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MAMA_CD 2/2/2014 2:41PM

    Nice analogies emoticon

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IRISHGAL46 2/2/2014 8:37AM

    Wow!

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SUPERDAD55 2/1/2014 10:37PM

    What an emoticon Blog ! !
emoticon emoticon emoticon
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BETRHO48 2/1/2014 7:56PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your insight.

I find your words encouraging for my own situation.

Best wishes as you continue your journey into better health.

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AJB121299 2/1/2014 5:17PM

    Nice

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MARIEGARCIA 2/1/2014 11:31AM

    What an amazing blog! I haven't been on spark much lately, and decided to browse through the blogs today. I skimmed a couple and moved on, but yours really caught my eye - so glad I stopped to read it completely! Truly inspiring and motivational. It takes things I already knew, and made it clearer with true purpose. These things won't be so easy to forget now, as they have been in the past. The way you write really captures the attention as well. Really enjoyed it. I think I will have to go back and read the blogs that go along with this one. Thanks for posting! emoticon emoticon

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PENOWOK 2/1/2014 10:39AM

    Good thinking!

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LEABRISTOW 2/1/2014 3:44AM

    Great information - a guide everyone can adapt to their own lives.


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CICELY360 1/31/2014 10:34PM

  good blog

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TRAYANDJAY 1/31/2014 9:40PM

    emoticon

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SAMMI-SAM 1/31/2014 9:33PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MNCYCLIST 1/31/2014 8:08PM

    Well, you got a few comments on this one! Thanks for sharing.

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LYNNWANNABE 1/31/2014 7:56PM

    A friend sent me this blog and she was right, it's perfectly said!!! emoticon

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CLPURNELL 1/31/2014 3:42PM

    emoticon

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RENATA144 1/31/2014 3:23PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MJEFFERSON23 1/31/2014 3:12PM

  A 'Survival Kit" What a great idea! That's just what we need! Thanks!

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 1/31/2014 1:25PM

  emoticon

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DIANNEMT 1/31/2014 1:08PM

    Very true.

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RONNIEHUEY 1/31/2014 12:05PM

    emoticon

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LCRUMLEY81 1/31/2014 10:13AM

  Thank you for sharing

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QUEENMOXIE 1/31/2014 10:07AM

    Wonderful blog.... emoticon

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DRLMAZ 1/31/2014 9:19AM

  Great tip

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LAURIE-RN 1/31/2014 7:53AM

    Good points to ponder. The wilderness scenario paints a good picture in my head. I consider this a journey as well. Thank you for posting.

Laurie emoticon

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BJPENNY70 1/31/2014 4:13AM

    Very positive words to go by and good plan. Thank you for sharing. It gives one a lot to ponder on.

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BETRHO48 1/31/2014 3:22AM

    emoticon

Awesome summary of your tool kit. I am learning through SP not to focus on the scale or the diet, but to focus on what my specific health goals are (what I want my life to be). Since I am human, I should expect set-backs along the way. But I should not let them get me down nor should I give in to them.

The tools you listed are what I use to achieve my goals (how I get there) and overcome set-backs.

Thanks for a well-written blog.

Comment edited on: 1/31/2014 3:25:42 AM

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ROXYCARIN 1/31/2014 2:54AM

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WEARINGTHIN 1/31/2014 2:01AM

    Thanks for your good tips. Glenn

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BLUEJEAN99 1/31/2014 1:40AM

    emoticon

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WRITERWANNAB 1/31/2014 12:34AM

    Good information! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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JAMER123 1/30/2014 11:33PM

    Wonderful survival kit. Make great sense!! Another great blog!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JANAYA2424 1/30/2014 10:55PM

    Wow, what an amazing blog! This really hit home for me. Thanks for sharing. You're an inspiration. emoticon

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JERICHO1991 1/30/2014 10:46PM

    Thanks. I'm getting a lot of practice overcoming setbacks these days. Mostly, my own fault for the setbacks.

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SUPERSYLPH 1/30/2014 9:24PM

    emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 1/30/2014 9:21PM

    emoticon

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IAMSODONE 1/30/2014 7:41PM

    emoticon

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TINAJANE76 1/30/2014 6:13PM

    I love this, Robert! It seems like our paths have been quite similar and it's a great comfort to see someone else overcoming their setbacks and continuing to thrive in spite of them. Stay fabulous, my friend!


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LYNCHD05 1/30/2014 5:30PM

    This is a well thought blog and a wonderful motivation for all of us. Great thinking!!!

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JSEATTLE 1/30/2014 4:39PM

  I love #3, pencil with eraser. I need one for my crossword puzzles but it has many more uses! Thanks.

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NEWTINK 1/30/2014 4:21PM

    emoticon

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FOREVERFITCHICK 1/30/2014 3:52PM

    Continuing despite the setbacks is key. Having experienced a lot of ups and downs this past year has made me realize the importance of consistency, even if that means only stretching rather then a workout. Even if movement is limited you can fill your gym time with health related activity.

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SPARKBJOK 1/30/2014 3:50PM

    Well said!

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SHERYLP461 1/30/2014 3:35PM

    You have a very unique wy of looking at weight loss...good for you, you have opened my eyes to a few things.

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RAINBOWMF 1/30/2014 3:28PM

    Great blog thank you

Going back to read the other 2.

Mary

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