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On My Progress, Judgment and the Arnold

Saturday, March 05, 2011

“Imagine someone regularly tying small weights around your ankles as you try to climb a mountain. Doesn't sound fair, does it? But that's exactly what you can do to yourself, a little bit at a time, if you don't watch out. When you think of who and what is standing in the way of your dreams, it's easy to forget your own responsibility. Even the best of us can be guilty of unknowingly hurting our own progress. Procrastination, lateness, being disorganized, pessimism, not being honest with yourself, severe self-criticism, downplaying achievements, focusing only on weaknesses while ignoring strengths, keeping goals a secret, demanding perfection, giving up after a small setback--these are all ways you can make it tough to be (and do) your best. Smart systems, the right attitude, and a promise to keep going no matter what will make a world of difference. “ -- from an SP essay about a Robert Frost quote which I had copied and saved in my journal in 2010

These are my thoughts on the above quote and a recent blog I commented on by Fit_Whit about being judgmental.

First, I noticed this past year through my journaling that I indeed am the person tying weights around my own ankles while trying to climb the proverbial mountain. I procrastinate, come late, and am disorganized (in some areas of my life. In other areas, I’m extraordinarily organized). I am NOT pessimistic. I give myself high marks on being honest with myself and fair in my self criticism. But I do downplay achievements. I also ignore my strengths, focus too much on my weaknesses, and demand perfection. Guilty as charged. But I have no problems getting back up from setbacks. I’m tenacious. And this year, I shared weight loss and fitness goals with everyone within earshot (and they were ready to shoot me!! Hahaha. I was a loud convert to SparkPeople.)

I do take to heart the advise to have the right ATTITUDE and SMART SYSTEMS. I’ve been journaling since January 25, 2010, on the SP site. This has been a tremendous tool. If you don’t know about this tool—check it out. It’s fantastic to be able to scroll back through your old entries and SEE PATTERNS. Very helpful.

As for SMART SYSTEMS, I’ve fallen in love with my iphone (actually iTouch). I love the SP trackers both for nutrition and workouts. I’ve been experimenting, though, with mobile apps that do not require me to be online. (The SP ones do.) I think using apps will keep me focused on tracking. I’ll always be part of the SP community. But sometimes I read too much SP when I really need to get on, track, and get off. I don’t know which product I will ultimately settle with, but am excited about the technology and the prospects. I’m slowly acquiring systems for all the realms of my life. For my todo list, I’ve settled on Appigo’s Todo. I just love it. I use Calengoo that syncs with my google calendars (and keeps the color codes and formats!!) I have adult children spread throughout the country. We share google calendars and documents to keep up.

So my systems are getting really smart. I am a weight lifter. Documentation is very important to me. I need to track my progress, keep workouts balanced and keep changing them. I’ve examined ways of record-keeping and like the workout log by Derek Prior. But his log is in paper format. I’ve adopted his principles and am still deciding on the best recording electronically. I’ve been working on it. I have many great fitness apps.

I’ve lost 30 pounds this year. It was slow. I was frustrated for awhile at this same time last year. The scale did not move. I was lifting weights regularly in a YMCA weight class and was losing inches! But, you know what?! It took a toll on my psyche to be working so hard and not see the weight change on the scale. And I KNOW better!!! There is a cognitive dissonance between what we know in our minds and what we feel. Even for science-minded mathematical persons like myself, watching the scale not move in spite of losing inches made me FEEL awful.

The best part of my first year of Spark was decreasing the circumference of my lower calves. My ski boots fit again!!!! I tell you, it was painful for me to ski last year. I would not stop skiing no matter what, and I could not get a bigger ski boot. (I did take them to a ski shop to rig them best I could for the season. This year, I rigged them back to the way they were previously.) I’ve skied like crazy this year-- just celebrating life and the ability to move my body!

Well, now about the judgment part. I’m deflated by other people’s judgments of me and that sensitivity has sometimes bothered me quite a bit on SparkPeople. I know this is an issue that I need to deal with in myself--- and so I journal. But let me share with you how I feel that some people judge on SparkPeople. It will not stop. It is human nature. But here it goes.

People adhere to nutrition beliefs or workouts like they are religion. Honestly, you people should chill out. While the official SP information is good, I’ve been on discussion boards with individuals who are so absolute that it is a turn off. This most definitely is human nature. I suppose that if I myself did not have my own firm beliefs and rules that I adhere to, I would not be as successful. Understandable. But when I see unqualified individuals pumped up by their ego and self-importance give unfounded biased advise, I cringe. With that said, MOST of the advise people give each other on boards and comments is very good and supportive and if it is wrong, it is quickly corrected.

I do not post my picture for a good reason. No, I’m not in a witness protection program or anything like that. I like the anonymity SP gives me. Truth be told, I’m a physician in my community. ‘Nuff said.

I do not post bikini pictures of myself for a very good reason. I would die if they were taken out of context. And anything on the internet is not private. It can and will be taken out of context. As a bodybuilder, you can bet I’m taking pictures. I’m a fan and adherent to instruction by Frank Zane (who by the way, is at the Arnold at booth #1 PLUS his band plays tonight at the Hyatt 2nd floor lounge @ 11pm). He is big on taking regular pics and even drawing in lines to plan out the kind of body that you want. He is right on.

So, sometimes individuals on Spark judge:

“if you are not posting pictures, you’re not honest”…. Hogwash.

“if you are not using SP trackers, you are not tracking”…. Wake up and smell the technology—that’s Bull!

“if you are not losing weight fast enough, you’re not doing it right”…. Incorrect. My pace is just right for me. My skin is shrinking slowly with me and I look and feel great.

I’ve used journaling to change my attitude. I’m creating the best systems I’ve ever had thanks to technology, and I’m tracking in arenas in my life other than fitness. I use a “compass” approach that keeps me balanced. This is powerful, folks.

I’m confident to introduce myself to Frank today. See ya at the Arnold!

Finally--a link on not judging too quickly:
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I watched the video and have had one real life incident that was unbelievable.

    I worked for a company that recapped tires back in the day when they did that sort of thing. I was a jill of all trades, receptionist, tire seller, writer of the service orders, vending machine cleaner, etc.

    One day I answered the phone only to have the caller hang up on me. This happened repeatedly until one of the owner's sons answered it after witnessing what was happening to me. I could hear cussing coming from the receiver.

    He told me it was his wife and he didn't know what he had done. It took some time to find out.

    Their son, sometimes walked from their house to the business He wasn't old enough to be a teenager.

    It turned out he had picked up a condom along the road and pocketed it, thinking it was a balloon, and it came out of the pocket in the wash. The wife thought her husband was cheating on her because she had had surgery so she couldn't conceive. I guess she thought I was the one he was cheating with.

    The video took me back.
    2603 days ago
    Oh, thank you so much for taking the time to post this blog. I have a resounding YES in my heart. I too have tied weights around my ankles. I've also read the judgments and felt sad ... and been guilty of some of my own.

    It seems to me that you have it sorted out for YOU. I'm so pleased!

    Thanks for sharing that link - I snorted on the first one!! LOL
    2607 days ago
    I hope you had a great day at the Arnold!
    2607 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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