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Paying The Toll

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Positive and negative days. Ups and downs. Success and the failures. That is what our journey's are made of. Our journey's have more potholes, exit ramps, and tollbooths than the New Jersey turnpike. If we want success, we must deal with all of those obstacles. We dodge potholes. We skip past exits. We pay the tolls even if we have to turn our pockets inside out or dig in the car seats for some change. Why? Because if we want our journey to be defined by our success, then we stay on the road!

That doesn't mean we won't hit the occasional pothole and have to stop to change the tire. That doesn't mean that we won't get off an exit for gas only to find we venture away from the highway a bit longer than expected. That doesn't mean that we can only find $1.50 for the toll when $2.00 is needed so we have to dig deeper. Stuff happens. It has happened to you and it has happened to me.

Unfortunately, I had to stop and change a tire recently. I had to find my way back to the highway after I ventured off an exit. I had to dig a little deeper for that change to continue along. Like I said, stuff happens.

Back in August, I weighed in at 294.1 lbs. I set a goal to be at 279 lbs by October 17th (today, my 35th birthday). Since starting back at SP in May 2012 at 466 lbs., I had hit very few potholes and had ample change to pay my tolls. So I cruised along with the top down going 70 mph! Life in the weight-loss lane was great! I did the Rugged Maniac 5k on September 14th and I was feeling on top of the world!

Since September 14th, I apparently got a flat tire. I would get going really well, only to hit a pothole and have to go back to the shop to fix my tire. Physically there wasn't anything wrong with me. The problem was all between my ears. It was that mental side which is just as hard, if not harder, than the physical part. This happened to me back in April as well after I worked so hard to lose weight for my cousins wedding so I would be "looking good" in my tux. I thought that since making my overall original goal that times like that were behind me, but I was wrong. I didn't crash the car or even think about turning around completely. Never! But I was not in fifth gear. It seems that I need that "event" to work towards to keep me more motivated. I need that "event" to keep me driving in the fast lane!

I fought that mental monster that we all deal with. The one who says, "it is only one meal". "One day". "You will do better tomorrow". "I am tired so I will skip exercise today but I will do it twice tomorrow". I fought it every day for the last month.

Last week I wrote a blog called "Remember". I really do love that my story and my journey can inspire and motivate people. That is very humbling and I am deeply honored by that but that blog was as much for me as it was for anyone else. I needed to remember that struggle! I needed to remember that fight! I needed to remember what I have done and what I needed to do!

After I wrote it, I felt like a different person. I felt like the potholes were paved again. I felt like I had found the on-ramp back to the turnpike. I felt like I had change back in my pocket!

So I only lost 1 lb. in about 2 months and I missed my goal for the first time in a really, really long time. That is a tough pill to swallow but I won't let it keep me down. After all, the scale is still going in the right direction. I will focus on the positives like my streak of drinking at least 10 glasses of water a day is now at 478! I have logged nearly 16,000 fitness minutes this year! I have still lost 216 lbs and I will keep pushing towards the 280's!

I have the top down, and the sun is shinning bright! There is nothing but open highway ahead! Let's set the cruise control and roll on, there is plenty of room...

Embrace Your Possibilities

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    1522 days ago
    Excellent! Very good insights.
    1538 days ago
    great blog
    1656 days ago
    What a great analogy! thank you!
    1665 days ago
    I loved your story. Thanks for sharing.

    I have people in my life that constantly tell me that my old ways in my brain are etched paths in stone. They have been used so many times that if I let my guard down I will return to them as default.

    My new habits have mental pathways that are just starting out. They are like the first path made when walking through an untouched thick forest or long grass terrain. The path is first non existent then you start to see the indent in the sand as it becomes a sand path. But if the rains come that path is just washed away and we go back to the stone path.

    For me, I need to keep on practising that habit and walking that path daily so that one day it can be paved and later etched in stone.

    Thank you for motivating me today.
    1675 days ago
    Yes to all of that. The emotional aspects of our journey mirror the weight side of things pretty much at all times. It's a real head-trip when you feel a bit epic, and then things slow down on the scale. You really question yourself and it makes it easier to get side-tracked. But you're resilient, and you're strong, and everything you've done so far has been mind-blowingly incredible. Happy belated birthday, Brad, hope this coming year is your greatest yet.
    1676 days ago
    Brad, I LOVE your blogs! This one in particular hits a chord, because it has been very hard for me to stay on course. Once I got close to my goal, I was so excited to look "almost" how I wanted to look, that I just got complacent. Then hit a plateau, then started gaining a little back and being a little more lax with my workouts. It's really hard to get your head back into the game when that happens. I'll get on a good roll for 4-6 weeks, then fall off the wagon again. Keep having little setbacks like getting sick, etc. But I am bound and determined to reach that goal, and then some!!! You are such an awesome writer and motivator- even if you are having challenges of your own. Everyone can relate. Thank you so much for always having some pearls of wisdom and inspiration on your page!!!! And Happy Birthday, albeit a bit late. emoticon
    1677 days ago
    Brad, this is a great blog.
    1677 days ago
    Iron man Brad,

    Always an inspiration, always a great motivater! I will always be proud of you for the tremendous success, and life lessons you have learned. A lifestyle change is what this is all about and it can take years to make great habits become reality. I loved this blog and congratulations on having a popular blog post! The first day I saw your Spark page was the day I watched your video blog reaching your goal. It made me cry because I saw how hard you work and the determination in your soul. Keep on being the great man you are and you will make it to all your goals. Thank you for sharing this!


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    1677 days ago
  • SHERYLP461
    Good for you to pull yourself out of the rut and change that tire
    1677 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    emoticon Thanks for sharing!
    1678 days ago
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    1678 days ago
    1678 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Here's to more great days and no more tolls.
    1678 days ago
    emoticon to you! You have made AMAZING progress and inspire so many! So what if you didn't make the weight goal by a certain date. You'll make that weight goal when you put your mind to doing what you were doing. Even if you don't see that 'magic' number on the scale, you will feel it and notice it in your clothes. If you are the person that needs an event to motivate you, than make the event about YOU! After all, you are worth it!
    1678 days ago
    Happy (late) Birthday!! You are a very good writer, I love reading your blogs because they come off very inspirational and really give me a new view on my own journey. emoticon
    1678 days ago
  • STR458
    emoticon happy 35th to YOUUUUUUUU ! happy belated birthday Brad emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1679 days ago
    Thank you. I need to find another event to train for, the deadline keeps me driving.
    1679 days ago
    thanks for posting this, very inspiring to not give up!
    1679 days ago
  • JEN169
    Well written! You also have a bunch of fans! emoticon
    1679 days ago
    Wonderful blog! Thanks for sharing your journey. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1679 days ago
    Powerful analogy to convey our journey. Me? I want to use the EZ-Pass! emoticon
    1679 days ago
    Your ability to express yourself and inspire others is amazing. Although new to SP, I am 1/2 way to my final goal, having lost 145 pounds and I found SP quite by accident. I loved the use of the turnpike and roads a construction person by vocation, it made your path hit very close to home.
    1679 days ago
  • STARDUST_1970
    emoticon Thanks for the post. I am struggling right now and you inspired me. Thanks so much. God Bless and keep it up. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1679 days ago
  • RENATA144
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    1679 days ago
  • EMILY0724
    Oh MY! This is one of the best blogs I've EVER read! I love symbolism and metaphor. I think it helps to much in understanding things. It's weird, but I have been feeling the same way for about a month. Your blog REALLY helped my put everything back in perspective!
    1679 days ago
    You didn't get off wrong exit...nor run into some potholes. You stopped at a rest area, to regroup, get your attitude readjusted and now that you have, you're on the road again, with renew goals and here's a feather for you've come a long, long ways...there's no dead-end in sight for you. HAPPY HAPPY Birthday!
    1679 days ago
    1679 days ago
    I think you have given yourself a wonderful birthday treat -- the gift of knowledge and understanding that the road that appears to have no end is really just a long and winding one. And when the end appears, no doubt we will have to make a turn and keep going. The struggle in our heads are certainly the most difficult of all. My resolve can change at a moments notice, but I'm learning that inner fortitude is my new best friend. Enjoy the day.
    1679 days ago
    Thank you for sharing the good & the bad.
    1679 days ago
    1680 days ago
    I got off at the wrong exit! After 6 months of successful commitment here at SP I have gotten wildly off track in the last week.

    I love how I look and feel after losing almost 25 pounds with sane eating and reasonable exercise. Thanks for the reminder that I really don't want to go back to the insanity of binge eating and no exercise (already I have gained back 3 or more pounds in just 7 days!).

    Part of me was thinking about giving up but after reading your post I am recommitting to what has worked so well for me these last 6 months. I am going to view these last 7 days as a very temporary detour. Thanks for leading me back to the right path!

    1680 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/19/2013 1:35:04 AM
    1680 days ago
    I can understand why your disappointed that you missed your goal on your birthday, but your so darn close. I mean your not 50 off or whatever.

    I 'm sure it gets tiring having to think about everything you eat and do so much activity. We can understand you get weary and sick of it at times, but you look amazing and I bet how you feel is worth it all.

    I'm going to send you a goodie and HAPPY Birthday!!!! emoticon emoticon
    1680 days ago
    I have learned that you must give yourself room to be human and to not beat yourself up when you don't get to where you think you should be. You sound wise, motivated and know what it is all about, but that doesn't mean it is any easier. Great blog and great days are ahead of you!
    1680 days ago
    1680 days ago
    Happy Birthday! emoticon emoticon Great blog! emoticon
    1680 days ago
    Keep the Faith, you are so right!! Ups and downs but never for long!
    1680 days ago
    So true, so true! Another fantastic blog. I agree with you that the mental obstacles are often much harder to overcome than the physical least they are for me anyway.

    Happy Belated Birthday! I hope it was a great one for you!
    1680 days ago
    1680 days ago
    thanks for sharing
    1680 days ago
    Awesome blog, Brad! Love it....Enjoy the ride...Remember to take it easy.....Follow your good maps, keep looking in all the mirrors, and break for refueling....You ARE the winner right now, in all your races.....Thank you for continuing to be our best pace car!! Hugs! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1680 days ago
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    1680 days ago
  • NEPTUNE1939
    1680 days ago
    Happy birthday! Pot hole awareness is a great gift you gave yourself. And you are so right, we will all come across them, and as someone said in the comments, often when we least expect them. I myself have been moving along steadily and I could feel a mental fear developing around what if things slow or plateau. Now I have a new model - hit a pothole! Pick myself and start all over again, but continue the journey. thanks. emoticon
    1680 days ago
    Great Blog, VERY emoticon
    1680 days ago
  • _JODI404
    I LOVE your blogs!!

    You are right, the scale is going in the right direction, so that is important to remember!


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    1680 days ago
    1680 days ago
    Great analogy and NOW you need to find another event!! LOL
    1680 days ago
    Happy Birthday! We have all been there, and we can all relate. Another great blog, from the Master. Here's something I read, and it sure helps me when I'm trying to talk myself out of doing what needs to be done. . . "Your legs aren't giving out, your head is giving up." This whole weight loss battle is "between the ears" as you put it...well done!
    1680 days ago
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