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Keep The Good Ones

I was watching tv the other day and saw a basketball commercial. A current player was asking a hall of fame player the secret to a great season. The gist of the commercial was the really great basketball players have short memories and only remember their good moments. While it was comical, the commercial was actually right. Not only was it right, it provided a great lesson.

What’s the lesson? You can’t achieve your goals (be it weight loss or being a great basketball player) if you focus on the bad choices you made or the shot you just missed. Instead forget those moments as quickly as possible and move on to the next moment. The next shot, the next meal, The next workout.

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It’s kind of like how yesteryear was. Believe it or not there was a time when cell phone cameras and digital cameras did not exist. Instead you would snap pictures on actual film inside a camera. Then once that roll of film was full, you would take that roll film to a store to have the film developed. Once the film was developed, you could go through the pictures and keep only the good ones. The dark ones, throw them out. The blurry ones, throw those out too. At the end of the process, you have only the good pictures.

That’s how my weight loss journey has been. There have been bad food decisions. (blurry pictures) There have been skipped workouts. (dark pictures) Like the hall of fame basketball players, I didn’t keep those memories. I threw those out and only kept the good memories. The killer workout completed. The 3 mile run without stopping. The crossfit session completed. The healthy meal with all the portions properly measured. All those are good pictures. Good memories.

I’ve found you get a lot further a lot quicker if you focus on the good decisions, memories, pictures more than you do the bad ones. So if you have a bad moment or make a bad decision(hey it happens) Don’t think about it too much. In fact, throw out that picture and keep only the good ones.

That’s what I did and it has made all the difference.

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Discipline Not Motivation

Two questions I’m asked constantly is “How have you managed to keep the weight off?” and “How do you stay motivated?” Both questions have related answers. Whenever I share my response, people are surprised.

I’ll answer the second question first. How do I stay motivated? That answer is simple. I don’t. I haven’t been motivated in a long time. Motivation (for me) was temporary. Honestly, I lost motivation after the first few weeks into my weight loss. What happened though was an exchange. Initially, I had lots of motivation and not so much discipline. As the weeks passed, I exchanged motivation for discipline. Pretty soon I created habits that were in place regardless of motivation. (or lack thereof) There are/were plenty of days where I don’t have the motivation. Or more commonly stated – I don’t feel like working out, eating right, etc…

In my mind, motivation is predicated on feelings. And a lot of times, feelings were overrated. At least mine were. When I didn’t feel like doing the right thing, I did it anyway. The habits I created while motivation was high have carried me when my motivation didn’t exist.

You don’t need motivation as much as you need discipline to lose weight.

The first question – “How have I kept the weight off?” I just embraced the fact that this was my new lifestyle. Living healthy, eating right, exercising was now an integral part of my life. (Goes back to those habits) I decided the word diet would no longer be in my vocabulary. I replaced diet with healthy lifestyle. That has made all the difference in keeping the weight off.

Hope that helps.

 

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From The Trail

Not too long ago I was introduced to trail running. Just think a few short months ago I was training for my first 5k. Now I’m voluntarily running in the woods. How crazy is that? This was probably the most challenging run I’ve done to date. The terrain – unforgiving. The hills – lung burning. Those things also made today’s run the most gratifying to date. (To make it even more challenging, I parked my car about a half a mile from where the trail started. So I ended up walking an additional mile to and from my car. Talk about maximizing my time. But that’s another topic for another blog.)

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As I finished up, I was exhausted. I successfully pushed myself to the limits. With beads of sweat traversing their way from my forehead to the corner of my eye and heading down my cheek, I staggered to the nearest tree and just plopped down. While sitting there with my head down, I did everything in my power to catch my breath. I was so in the moment replaying my accomplishment I didn’t notice the hand that was held out in front me. I looked up and saw this elderly gentleman reaching for me. He said “C’mon let me help you up.” I smiled and let him help me up. We walked together underneath the sea of uninterrupted blue talking for a short moment before we went our separate ways.

That moment reminded me that I wasn’t on this journey alone. There have been many people who have played the role of that gentleman. While maybe not physically, your words of encouragement have been the hand he extended to me helping me up when I felt too tired to move. Your checking on me to make sure I hadn’t fallen off the wagon were his hand extended towards me. So to you all I say thank you. The encouragement and support have been priceless.

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A funny thing happened after we went our separate ways. I passed a guy who was struggling on the trail. He was bent over breathing laboriously. I walked up to him and said, “Friend, you finished?” He responded “No just catching my breath.” I extended my hand “I’ll run with you a ways, my friend.”

Just like that I was able to pay it forward.

 

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A Year Later

Last April I decided to do monthly updates in the same shirt and same pose so I could have a visual of my progress. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already but it has. I thought about stopping the updates but I was asked to keep them going by quite few people. I don’t know how long I’ll keep doing it but for now, I won’t stop.

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Click to see the April (and all of the monthly) updates.

fyi – Click on the picture to enlarge it.

 

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Pursue

Can you believe it’s pretty much April already?!? This year is flying by! Time definitely waits on no-one. It is my hope that those who made goals, resolutions, declarations, etc. some 85 days ago are still actively pursuing them.

That word pursue is a great word. There are a few definitions of the word. The ones I particularly like are below.

  • to strive to gain; seek to attain or accomplish (an end, object, purpose, etc.).
  • to carry on or continue (a course of action, a train of thought, an inquiry, studies, etc.).

Those definitions do not say anything about quitting err, I mean stopping. Nor do they mention anything about giving up on weight loss because of a few bad decisions.

In fact, it says just the opposite. Pursue tells you to keep going regardless of the bad decisions. It tells you to get back on track. Pursue tells you to persevere even if you don’t see the results you want…YET.

The only way you won’t see the results is if you stop pursuing what it is you said you wanted. Do something daily to get you closer to your goals. That’s all I’ve done. I did do something every day to get closer to my goals. The next day I do a just a little bit more and a little bit more.

I promise you. If you do something everyday, you’ll get there.

So no matter what’s happened in the past 84 days, it’s okay. Good or bad it’s in the past and it can’t be changed. So focus on today. Do something today to get you back in the pursuit! You still have 280 days left in this year.

 

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Position Yourself to Win

It takes a lot to win. There’s no getting around that. There are no discounts for success. Success is never on sale. Winning requires preparation. I wrote about it a while ago. (Victory loves preparation)

What I found, however, is sometimes preparing to win is not enough. There have been plenty of times when my preparation to win was undone by my choices in a moment. ( i.e. I prepared my lunch for work and I still ate a calorie laden lunch in the cafeteria replete with a chocolate chip or white chocolate macadamia nut cookie(sometimes both) and a sweet tea or soda of my choice. After a couple of those moments, I realized preparing to win simply wasn’t enough. (At least for me it wasn’t.) I needed to figure out quickly how to overcome those moments.

So what did I do? I positioned myself to win. I did this by leaving my debit card at home. I did this by eating my lunch at my desk or in my car. When I had to get my lunch from the cafeteria, I brought the exact amount needed for the salad bar. ($2.98) By doing this, I was able to get through those times when preparation wasn’t enough. I don’t know if others have encountered this. But for me, it happened often during the early part of my weight loss.

It might seem a bit overboard but I had to do it. I was determined to back up my decision to lose this weight with actions that paralleled my decision.

To be honest, this still happens from time to time. Now, though, I’m better equipped to handle it. I’m positioned to win….

 

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Surviving the Holidays

This is a great time of year. We’ve officially entered the Holiday season. I’ve already seen Christmas movies on television. As wonderful as this time of year is. It’s also a dangerous time of year for weight loss. Weeks and weeks of healthy eating, working out, counting calories, etc can be undone in the last 8 – 10 weeks of the year. Especially for me. It starts with Halloween and the abundance of candy that comes with it. That gives way to my birthday. From my birthday, we speed towards Thanksgiving. After Thanksgiving comes work pot-luck luncheons, department holiday luncheons & parties, sweets, egg nog, Christmas candy, etc…. The end of the year is indeed a treacherous minefield in the battle for health and wellness. If you’re not careful, the progress made throughout the year will be replaced with weight gain and feelings of guilt, shame & remorse as you head into the new year. Thus putting you behind the proverbial eight ball on January 1, 2014.

So how do you navigate this time of year? How do we make it across the minefield without stepping on a land mine? Well there’s no set way of dealing with it but listed below are some things you can do to help safely navigate the holiday season. They’re not listed in any particular order.

  • Water, water, water
  • Use smaller plates
  • Eat a healthy snack before going to holiday parties
  • Remember proper portion sizes
  • Create daily or weekly goals to help you maintain focus
  • Find an accountability partner
  • Limit alcohol
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Maintain fitness regimine
  • Keep a food journal

By incorporating some (if not all) those tips, you’ll definitely put yourself in a position to go into the new year with momentum. The goal isn’t to refrain from enjoying the holidays. However, for me, it was more important to maintain the progress I worked so hard for throughout the year.

By following these tips, I was able to maintain my weight loss through the gauntlet that is the last two months of the year. It definitely wasn’t easy but it was worth it when I met January many pounds lighter.

Enjoy the holiday season but don’t lose focus on what your goals are. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.

 
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Posted by on 11/06/2013 in Exercise, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Healthy, Inspirational, Nutrition, Weight Loss

 

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