Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Entry #9 - Focus

-- Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.
-- Confucius

Why is it so easy to fall off track? I have not been truly naughty with my nutrition and I have been faithful to my workouts, but things aren't as tightly controlled as they once were. I can't let this continue because I know how my mind works. This gap between what I should be doing and what I am doing will be wider tomorrow. It will grow until I am completely derailed.

The odd thing is that I still don't know of any catalyst that moved me off course. It is like my body has what it thinks is its natural state of being and if I let my mind wander, it tries to revert to that state. So the trick is clearly to not let my mind wander. At least, I cannot let it wander until such time as the new habits create a new natural state of being and perhaps a new standard operating procedure can be maintained. I'm not sure that can happen. My relationship with food is such that there may always be a need for a thoughtful reflection on diet and a healthy dedication to exercise. In the end, it will be worth it, even if it is an everlasting struggle.

-- If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride - and never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.
-- Paul Bryant

That is an interesting notion. Work for the rewards. Have any of us on this journey really thought this through? Do we really think there is a magic number on that scale where all our problems evaporate and we are forever changed? In truth, we are not ever going to be skinny people. With effort, we can be fat people in skinny bodies, meaning we will always struggle with the food/exercise ratio. This effort will get easier, but never easy. At first blush, this seems a very self-defeating and depressing thought, but there is more.

Will all this effort for now and forever be worth it if I can live a few years longer? Yes! Is it worth it if I am better able to work, move, play, sing, and dance? Without question! Is it worth it if I am able to be more active in the lives of my loved ones, be a positive role model to my niece and nephews, and able to live long enough to see them grow, graduate, love, marry and make me some new playmates with whom I can share an everlasting love of all things Muppet? Absolutely! It is so easy for any of us to say that there is no amount of money we would accept to give up life, love, children, and family. These are the priceless things in life. If that is so, then the cost of the effort we must exert to lead this healthy lifestyle pales in comparison to the enormous value we place on these other things in our lives. The effort is great, but the rewards are greater.

-- Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.
-- Will Rogers

Thanks for letting me go on that tangent. Back to the problem at hand. I wouldn't say I am off track, but rather I am stalled out on the track. And as the quote above mentions, I better get back to moving. While I do not know the catalyst for this problem, I know many of the symptoms. I realize many of them have already been pointed out to me by Marty and Torri in our bootcamp classes, so please save the "I told you so." :)

  • I need to rededicate myself to the healthiest of foods. I need to eat more at home and less at restaurants. If I do go to a restaurant, I need to make sure it is one of our established "good places" and not one of my "close enough places."
  • I need to focus more on the nutritionally significant foods and meals. Simply keeping it within my calorie level is not sufficient. It still needs to be good food. As Marty so eloquently put it when discussing 100 calorie packs of Oreos, "A hundred calories of crap is still crap. Don't put it in your body."
  • I need to get back to drinking my water each day. It really does help to keep that full feeling and it does make your body feel better. I just wish it didn't require so many bathroom breaks.
  • My most thought provoking revelation is that I need to decrease or eliminate my diet soda intake. I have read all the literature on the hazards and I am beginning to believe. I can honestly say that I notice a difference in the strength and direction of my cravings when I am "on pop" or "off pop". I don't think eliminating soda will eliminate my cravings, but I have noticed that when I am drinking soda, my cravings tend to lead more to the fatty or high-carb foods. I can crave veggies or steak or a certain recipe at any time, but when I am drinking pop, the cravings primarily focus on Mexican food, pizza, burgers and other no-nos. (sorry if that awakened your glutton monster, go back to bed ugly monster). Decreasing pop consumption also has the added benefit of allowing me more opportunity to drink more water.
  • Lastly, I need to push myself a little harder in my work outs. I really don't have a major problem in this area, but I am anxious to get this train rolling a little faster and this will help. I can also commit to more exercise between my times with Marty. All movement helps, so let's move it baby!
I will dedicate myself to making this changes. And thankfully, any of y'all reading this are my witnesses to this vow. So you can keep my feet to the fire (please not literally).

-- The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making one.
- Elbert Hubbard

I know that I have been less focused, so stepping on the scale tonight worried me. I was honestly expecting a zero loss or even a small gain. So by comparison, a two pound loss in a week and half sounds good. However, I think it stinks. That rate of loss will mean I will get to my goal around the time I'm a hundred and two (might be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point). So, I will use this as motivation.

If it depresses me to think of how far I still have to go, then the logical response is not to stop moving or to slow down. It makes more sense to get determined, possibly even speed up the process. This means that distance between here and there will continue to shrink and, with effort and focus, shrink faster. That will combat the sadness. That will replace despair with hope. That will turn victimization into empowerment. That will allow me to be more self-assured of my inevitable success rather than always worried about my potential failure. Actions breed habits. Habits build the lifestyle.

-- Confidence doesn't come out of nowhere. It's a result of something ... hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication.
-- Roger Staubach

No comments:

Post a Comment