I Want This but I Don’t Want to Do This….

Filed Under Dealing with Obstacles | 27 Comments

“I really need some help. I have lost something and I don’t know what. It may be the want too. I want to lose, but not the doing to get there I guess. So afraid and I know I will gain the weight back if I don’t at least stay on BLC. I feel like I am leaving you all down. Can’t seem to get it back. I do for a day and then lose it again. I am so sorry to bother you. You must feel like a mother duck with all her ducklings following her around. I know you can’t help me if I don’t want to change. I really do deep down inside, but it seems so hard for me. What is wrong with me? is what I ask myself sometimes. Why can’t I do it ? I think I want a quick fix. The magic bullet and it “ain’t ” gonna happen” –comments from one of the group members of the online diet group I lead.

My response:

HOW DO I STAY MOTIVATED?” Some of us need a short term event like a birthday or a wedding to kick ourselves into gear. That is not a bad idea but the only thing is what happens to the “day after” when the event is past? Do we revert to our former habits and worse yet, regain the weight we just lost back? The drawback to losing weight for “special events” is that we are doing it for “others” like hoping to make others jealous or even like us or like ourselves rather than simply because we want to be healthy for ourselves “long term”.

I personally believe that at the root of this kind of “dieting” (because that is what it is—not a commitment to long term healthy eating) is that it sets you up for yo-yo weight lose and regain as well but does something even worse: it quickly erodes what self-esteem you are trying hard to bolster with “quick fixes”.

Another aspect of lack of motivation is being “lazy”. No one likes to address this since it is something most of us don’t want to admit that we are “guilty of” but quite often we simply want (again here it is) a “quick fix”. We want all the glory without the “guts” it took to achieve a much desired goal. One of the things that I love about watching the Olympics is seeing the “supreme sense of satisfaction” that these athletes have on their faces when they cross that finish line or make that last winning effort that pushed them to that medal status. There is nothing that feels (or tastes) better than “VICTORY”.

When I did really start to seriously take the issue of losing weight to the next level? When I realized that no one but myself is going to make it happen. I have chased a lot of elusive “diet programs” that cost me thousands of dollars only to regain the weight. Besides, draining my pocketbook, they also drained what precious little self-esteem that I was trying to hold onto.

Today, I sit here and I can tell you that every pound that I have lost and then kept off meant I had to make a choice. The better the choices; whether it was to forego the double cheeseburger for a baked potato (like last night at Wendy’s) or to be satisfied with a tall glass of ice cubes while watching t.v. instead of the “Snicker bites” that I was thinking about during the commercials. The choices I make today will show up on the scales on Monday. It is both that easy and also that hard.

Today, try replacing self-pity with self-responsibility. I like to tell myself: “If you don’t steer the ship, don’t be surprised if you end up drifting somewhere you don’t want to be.” I know where I want to be. I have been doing this long enough that I also know what I need to do. There are a lot of things about this weight loss “effort” that I would like to skip but I have come to the realization that “quitting is no longer an option.” I know that I will not be satisfied until I have crossed that finish line. It may take me longer than I want but I will not be satisfied until the “job gets done”.

Bruce Jenner recently told Oprah in an interview that for 6-7 days a week for 6 years he trained to win the gold medals he has now in his possession. At the time he EARNED those medals(no he did NOT win them!) he was considered “the best of the best”. That is the heart and mind of a true champion. Know what you want. Stake your claim and then GO FOR IT.

NOTE: This online blog is intended solely to share my personal experiences with others who are also working on losing weight and keeping it off. They are my opinions and do not reflect anything but that.

It’s More Than “Doing The Time”

Filed Under Dealing with Obstacles, Keeping It Real | 3 Comments

I had an “a-ha” moment this past weekend. I was watching a series of interviews that Lisa Ling did with some prisoners; how they got in, following them when they got out, etc. and I was really struck by something that I felt I had in common with them: being a “return offenders”. One of the prisoners who broke his parole after 17 days said he felt a lot more stress being out of prison than inside. He said that life was too fast “out here” and in prison he had a “routine” where here he had “endless hours where he was bored”.

This [online diet]group [that I formed and lead] has been together since January 2nd and already I have seen some people go and whom didn’t leave narry a good-by note. I want to believe that they are doing well on their own and they are continuing to lose weight but I also “worry and wonder”.

This is unsolicited “advice” but take it if you need or toss it overboard but “stay close to the boat…or the sharks are liable to get you.” Don’t stray too far from “what works” for you. I know that I have and I also felt “convicted” as I watched that program about these prisoners that I too have been “imprisoned” myself only the bars that I see is the extra pot belly and larger than life thighs that I carry on my body. Those are my “prison bars”.

Lisa Ling asked the prisoners’ if they thought they would end up returning and surprisingly two of the ones said “Yes, I believe I will.” They knew in their “heart of hearts” that it wasn’t just about “doing the time” but also embracing a “new way of life”. One man, who was trying hard to “stay clean” said that when he sees one of his old “gang buddies” he waves but then he walks away really fast.

If we want to be truly free of our own “prison”, this extra weight, then we also have to do more than just “do the time”—following a specific food plan and exercising, etc.–we have to be willing to “embrace a new way of life” so we never have to be imprisoned again by our extra weight.

Something to think about…

Claim a Quality Today

Filed Under 100+ lbs To Lose, Keeping It Real | 1 Comment

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

“IT IS EASIER TO CONFESS A DEFECT THAN TO CLAIM A QUALITY”

–Max Beerbohm

I am well aware of my many faults and if I don’t remind myself of them, I know that someone (usually a person I am not particularly fond of) else will. In fact, I am sure that you also grew up with plenty of “fault finders” in your life. It started when we were being disciplined about not washing our hands before reaching into the proverbial cookie jar and followed us as we took our first steps of independence as we ventured out into the world as we entered grammar school. “Don’t do this”, “You can’t have that”, “Who do you think you are?”; the list goes on unendlessly until we finally stop trying to reach beyond our grasp. The day when we stop trying is a sad day indeed.

I remember when the tide changed for me. I had asked my supervisor why I/we never seemed to receive any feedback as to how we were performing at our given job. Her reply echoes what most of us are used to: ” If you aren’t getting any feedback, it means that you are doing everything well. So consider yourself “lucky” if we are silent.”

Really? I don’t think so. People need positive reinforcements. We need to know we have done well. Although I can measure my progress in some tangible ways like moving that much closer to a particular goal, I can not always accurately measure whether my effort was “over the top” or that the obstacles I overcame was amazing in relation to the resources I had at the time. Those very “intangibles” are often the fuel that propells to push myself beyond anything I could ever imagine myself doing.

That day marked me beginning to make a list each day of what I had done “right”. Instead of becoming my own worst critic (which is the rule for most of us), I became one of my most ardent “cheerleaders”. You might ask “How accurate can our own personal assessments be though?” My answer is “How accurate were our personal assessments when we were being self-critical?” As I found out, the “self truth” lies somewhere in the middle.

Like most things in life, it will take some time and practice before you begin to find a balanced self-view but it is a habit well worth cultivating. I have found that the best way to begin this self-assessment is to set a realistic goal, work towards that and after you accomplished it, review the process and your progress towards attaining your goal. The more that you do this the more self-knowledge you will have as you learn both your personal assets and your “areas needed for improvement”.

Soon, you will find you seek less advice from others but turn more to yourself for how you need to proceed in achieving a personal goal. Now, when I read or listen to others (including experts in any given field) I do a “checks and balances” against my own personal experience. Did mine parallel theirs? If not, what was different and what was alike? Answers to those questions enable me to then fine-tune my personal journey as I take the next step.

So, starting today, I encourage you to begin to “claim your qualities” as you become all you wish to be.