Thursday, January 24, 2013

#25 - Two Weeks ...

-- Absence diminishes mediocre passions and increases great ones, as the wind extinguishes candles and fans fires.
         --  Francois de La Rouchefoucauld

Well, I've already broken my very short streak of weekly posts.   However, this was not due to any backslide or lack of progress.   I simply got busy.  

Last week, I was excitedly preparing for a weekend trip to Colorado with some of my family.   It was the annual J.G.W.  (Just Guys Weekend).    Participants included myself, my father, brother-in-law and two of my four nephews.   My oldest nephew has grown so old and responsible that he was unable to attend because his job required him to work on one of the days we were gone.   While this was sad for us, we are also extremely proud that he made the right decision to honor his work commitments.   And the youngest nephew would have loved to come, I'm sure.  However, my dad has assured my sister that  Baby B doesn't truly become a "guy" for the JGW until he is out of diapers.   It seems an unreasoning prejudice against the toilet challenged, but for some reason I find that I can live with this policy.  

--  In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
      -- Aristotle

Overall, the trip was fantastic.   I absolutely LOVE Colorado and the time I spend out there.   Some may argue that to go to a Colorado location devoid of ski resorts in the dead of winter is ludicrous.  However, I disagree.   It is incredibly gorgeous during this time of year.   The snow sets off the mountains placing stark contrast between the ridges, valleys, canyons and crevasses.  It even sets off the forests in a fashion which, if you will excuse the old saying, allows you to see the forest for the trees.  

We managed to enjoy a few short hikes and a lot of good family time.   However, these family trips are always a challenge for me.   The family will enjoy whatever foods they want and I will be put in the position of being around some of the things that I crave.   I managed pretty well on this trip and, aside from one moment of weakness where I had to leave the dinner table and go outside, all was well.   I don't know if I am getting better at this, if my family is being more understanding of my issues, or this was just too short a trip to really challenge myself.   I imagine it is a combination of all three.   I do know (and certainly appreciate) that my brother-in-law took pains to not get strong smelling snacks at the gas stations along the way.  He knows that sitting in the car and smelling the chips or chili dogs is difficult for me.   I appreciate it greatly and wish I were stronger so that he wouldn't be required to make these accommodations for me.  But this will do in the interim.

All this said, my results on the scale were disappointing.   My results for two week's effort were a mere pound and a half.   I am awaiting next week's weigh-in before I really get upset.   Marty and I have both noticed that there is a post-Colorado bloat that has happened to me in the past.   That and the fact that I was sick a couple of days before my weigh-in may have resulted in some water retention after I resumed normal eating.   Those could just be lame excuses, but I am hanging on to them until I learn otherwise.

My thoughts for the week:

A great many good things are going on in my life.   Friends are having children.   I am enjoying my outside hobbies.  Things are good!  I need to capitalize on my happy happy joy joy feelings and use it to drive further results.  

--  He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.
      --  Socrates

I am also prepared to make another goal for this year.   I may never become a runner.   I don't know yet if I have a true love of the sport.   However, I do want to run a 5k.   I have walked several.  Even jogged short distances on a couple.   But I want to really run one.   The whole way.   (God help me)  So, it is my intention this summer to complete an entire 5k jogging.   This will be a stepping stone to bigger things if I find that I enjoy the activity.  

Today, Marty gave a speech at a local business and he had me share a small portion of my story with the group assembled.   I think it was good for me.   No, I don't enjoy bragging or in some fashion glorifying my journey.   However, it forced me to list some of the difficulties I had when I was larger and acknowledge the success I have achieved regardless of whatever backslides I have had.   It is interesting to be reminded of all that I have accomplished thus far.   And it reaffirms my position that all Square One members should be forced to record their story.   It is an affirmation of how they are doing.   And reminders of how far we have come can only help to spur ourselves to greater success.    

--  There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
      -- Maya Angelou

So dear reader, it isn't much to report this week, but I hope to give you more soon.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

#24 - The Pay Off

So .....

You mean that if you ...
eat the right amount of calories ...
and go to your workouts ...
and maximize your efforts in those workouts ...
then ...
you ...
lose ...

Really?   Remarkable!  

--  Doing the right thing has power.
     -- Laura Linney

I, of course, knew this all along.   However, it seems so confusing that I didn't realize this months ago and turn it all around.

The bottom line is that exercise and reduced calories means weight loss.   But there is a rather big caveat to that bottom line.   It isn't easy.    And more than that, it has a varying degree of difficulty for each person wanting to lose weight.   All those minions at the large chain gyms try to lose that holiday 5 pounds they put on eating whatever they wanted.  They will shed those pounds by merely looking at a treadmill.   For those of us with a lot of weight to lose, it is a bit more difficult.

Food addiction constantly tempts us with foods that are counter productive to our journey.   You may be able to fit a Twinkie into your daily calories but you are going to be hungrier for not having nutrition, protein or something to actually fill you up.   The addicted brain says, "Eat it" "Eat it", but logically you know it will ruin your ability to lose weight.   I wish there were an easy answer to this problem but if there is, I have not yet found it.   I do, however, find that the longer I don't indulge in certain temptations, the easier it is to resist them.

The time involved in losing the weight is also something that works against us.   That yoga yahoo, who had a few cookies over Christmas or a few wings at the bar on New Year's Eve, will be back at her fighting weight in a week or two.   So naturally, a "diet" is an easy thing for her.   I work out with people who have months if not years of work ahead of them.  It takes dedication and determination on a whole different level to get to where we want to be.   The next time someone tells you to just eat less and exercise, you tell them "You just jogged to your car, why don't you just run a marathon?"

-- Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.
    --  Walter Elliot

To my compatriots, I salute you.   We have a tough journey ahead of us.  Perfection isn't an option.   There will be ups and downs.  We just need to keep this roller coaster pointing in a generally downward direction overall.  I am hopeful that my roller coaster is done ratcheting up the steep hill that I allowed it to do over the past few months.   I'm ready for a little free fall right now.

Wow.   Way to beat a metaphor to death.

--  Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success.
       -- Abdul Kalam

My thoughts for the week:

Very positive!   I kept my food journal all week.  On top of that, I stayed below that dreaded sad face all week.   I added some extra workouts and tried to push myself harder in each workout.  

And you know what?   It paid off.   I lost 6.2 lbs this week.   Not too bad.  

It isn't all wonderful.  I have a nagging leg problem that is hindering workouts.   And the food issues were neither easy nor perfectly controlled.   I had some indiscretions with my eating but I didn't let them go overboard (calorically speaking).  And for those on the journey, here is the key:   When I ate something I shouldn't, I turned it around immediately.   I am a victim of the All or Nothing thinking.   "I shouldn't have eaten that.  Well, this day is shot.  Might as well eat some more stuff I want."   Why do we turn one minor mistake as an excuse to make a huge blunder?  This week, I didn't do this.   I gave myself a little grief for my poor choice and then moved on.  

Perhaps this is a key element?   There are no irrecoverable mistakes.   So why do we allow them to derail us?   Accept enough guilt to help prevent it from happening again and then move on.   It is when I wallow in my own self-pity or self-loathing over the mistake that I continue to shove unhealthy foods into my mouth.   If you acknowledge the mistake so you can avoid it in the future and then get immediately back on track, there IS ... NO ... FAILURE!    It immediately transforms that silly mistake into a victory!   And we can all use some more victories.  

--  Failure is success if we learn from it.
      -- Malcolm Forbes

Well, this is by no means a trend yet.   But, it can certainly become a trend if I continue to push myself to correct behaviors and extra effort.   I am, however, ecstatic about the results this week and will use it as motivation for the coming week.   It is all hunky dory when things are going well.   I have to store up this good mojo for the tough times.  

Goal for the next week:  Do some shopping and cook at home more.

-- Perfection does not breed happiness.  Results do.
     --  Kevin Riley  ;-)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

#23 - It starts ..... again.

Today was the first day of the new dedication.   I still struggle but I can feel myself getting my determination back in line.  

-- We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road.
           -- C.S. Lewis

I weighed in today and found that I had lost about 0.8 of a pound.   This is both a victory and a frustration.   It is a victory because I had managed to finally get those dang numbers going the right direction again.   It was a result of a renewed vigor in working out as well as stringing together a  couple of decent days (calorically speaking).  

The frustration derives form a feeling of failed purpose.  I had managed to do very well for two days and then, last night, disaster.   I had difficulty sleeping and found myself munching on food that I didn't need.   I can't help but think what my weight loss might have been if I hadn't flaked out at the last minute.   Perhaps it wouldn't have been drastically different but in the long run, I would have felt more confident with that number if I hadn't given in to temptation a scant 8 hours before the weigh in.  

But I refuse to let it get me down.   I am basically pleased with my result this week, though it is minimal.   It is a move in the right direction.  It is the first move in the right direction in several months.   For this reason, it is a victory.

--  Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.
                 -- Brian Tracy

Marty has given us something to ponder.   Rather than setting goals based on the scale (which I have still done despite his advice), he wants us to focus on goals pertaining to giving our all.   Set a goal which states that you will push yourself to the limits.   Set a goal that you will be as diligent on your diet as is humanly possible.   Do what is necessary for success.   I like this mentality.  It focuses on good habits which will eventually lead to the numbers on the scale.  

That being said, I have a numbers goal.   46 lbs in two months.   This isn't going to be easy, but I want it.   And wanting it will drive me to push for it.   Why such an odd  number you ask?   I'm so happy you did.   If I can lose the 46 lbs in two months, I will have lost a total of 200 lbs.   This is huge for me.   It sets me up for future goals too.  The 250 lb mark.   After that, the under 300 lbs mark.   After that, who knows?   But this is my plan.  Parcel it out.   Lofty, but manageable goals like stepping stones will lead me to the ultimate goal of health and a new body.  

Why is this thinking different?   I've been lamenting at the length of the journey.   I've been extremely depressed about my recent backslide because of the "extra" work it causes me as I try to lose the weight I've put back on.   I've felt out of control and unmotivated.   But in typing that last paragraph, a sequence of events has shown me the possibilities.  Could I really be under 300 lbs by next New Years?   Absolutely!   That is incredible to realize.   It builds motivation to push hard and bear down.   If I managed another year even remotely close to my first year (a difficult if not nearly impossible task), I could be looking at a total loss of 300 lbs by 2014!  

My thoughts for the week:

Mostly positive.   I am focusing on correct practices.   Trying to limit my failings.   Spending time visualizing what I want.   Do I want a hamburger?   Or do I want to shed this weight?   Once I can envision some of the benefits of these goals, I can begin to identify and do the things I need to succeed.

--  Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control:  now.
         -- Denis Waitley

My goals:
Short Term:  

  • Food Journal Food Journal Food Journal.   Focus on the right foods.   
  • Deal with the inevitable hungers and cravings I will be suffering due to my recent bout of "free" living.   
  • Catalog those cravings to realize the damage I did to myself by going off the rails.   Perhaps it will help me stop when I start to do it again.   

Medium Term:

  • 46 pounds down in two months.   
  • Push myself in my Square One workouts to maximize the benefits of them.   
  • Fit in extra workouts at least three times a week.   
  • Spend time walking in the off times to get the benefit of even a moderate exercise.   
--  Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there.
       -- Bo Jackson

Hope and Dream zone:
These are goals that are probably unreachable.   Or, at least, very aggressive.   Am I setting myself up for failure with these?   I don't think so.  I don't honestly believe I will make them.   They serve the purpose of pushing me to work even harder.   If time proves that I am making headway towards them, I will move them to the Medium Term goals as a reasonable option.

  • 106 lbs down by April 12th bringing me to that coveted new number of "2" at the beginning of my weight
  • Climb Flattop Mountain this summer
  • 146 lbs down by the holiday season bringing me to a total of 300 lbs lost thus perfectly positioning me for the toughest of seasons for the food addict.
  • Run a half Marathon in May of 2014
So this is a week of hope.   This is a week of dreaming.   This week, I can see the possibilities and I am allowing myself to believe they are possible.   Keeping this firmly in mind, I can begin to use it as fuel to drive my journey.   No, I don't want that fast food.  It will hold me back.   Get that excess food away from me!   It will prevent me from the excitement these goals will provide.   

--  Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going.
    -- Jim Ryun

To all my Square One friends, this is my weekly realization.  I hope you all can adopt in your own way.   Identify what you want.   Long term wants.   What is it that can motivate you?   Do you want to fit in that dress?  Buy it now!   Hang it up on the Fridge.   Put a picture of it in your car.   Find something that will motivate you.  Evaluate it daily.

Then use it!   Why am I going to the club tonight?   Because I want to make the progress that will get me what I want!   Why am I not going to eat that thing I shouldn't?  Because it will keep me from what I want.   When you can do this, those tempting foods will be evil demons hell bent on ruining our lives.   And that will help us put them aside.   

It isn't easy.   But I intend to give it my very best.   

Good luck!   I will need it too.   I will let you know how it goes.  Please feel free to let me know your wants, goals and plans to get there.   This blog has shown me that it helps to share.  

Let's do it!   Together!