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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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November Update

Here’s the update for November. I had quite a bit going on last month and I forgot to take October’s picture. By the time I realized I hadn’t done it, it was almost November! 😦 No excuses though.

We’re entering the holiday season. Can you believe it?

Click to see the November update.

fyi – Click on the picture to enlarge it.

 
 

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September Update

Very glad I started this in April. The monthly updates have proven to be a great accountability tool. I’m starting to see some positive changes! Woot woot!!

Click to see the September update.

fyi – Click on the picture to enlarge it.

 
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Posted by on 09/04/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Look Harder

Rafiki: Look down there.
Simba: That’s not my father. That’s just my reflection.
Rafiki: No, look harder.
[touches the water, as it ripples Simba’s reflection changes to that of his father]
Rafiki: You see? He lives in you.
Mufasa’s ghost: Simba.
Adult Simba: Father?
Mufasa’s ghost: Simba, you have forgotten me.
Adult Simba: No. How could I?
Mufasa’s ghost: You have forgotten who you are and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.

That dialogue is from one of my favorite movies The Lion King. In that scene, Simba is wrestling with who he is and who he is. (Yes you read that right.) Who he is and who he is.
He’s Simba. A scared lion who is filled with doubt, guilt, shame, fear, and unbelief. A lion who has run away from his past mistakes and poor choices. Yet, that very same Lion is the sole heir to Pride Rock and is the rightful king. In fact, everything the sun touches is his kingdom.

How can he be both? How can he be both a king and a nomad? Full of fear yet full of strength? Which one is the real Simba? The reflection or the lion looking in the water.

A major lesson was taught in that scene. What was the lesson? There’s a difference between fact and truth. The facts were Simba abandoned his family, played a role in his father’s death, and was living a life unfitting of the King of Pride Rock. A life ripe with pain, agony, and anguish from his past.

And the truth? Well, the truth was simple. He was the rightful King of Pride Rock and had all the rights, power, privileges and authority that come with such a title. He was strong, fearless, courageous, full of valor.

You’re probably asking “What in the world does this have to do with weight loss?” I’m glad you asked! It has EVERYTHING to do with it. At one point I was the fact filled Simba. I wrestled with the same things he did – doubt, guilt, shame, fear, and unbelief. Basically, my past. Past attempts at weight loss, past bad decisions nutritionally, etc.. However, this last time, I “looked harder” in the water and saw my truth.

My truth was I was powerful beyond measure. I was a conqueror. An overcomer. Once I realized that truth, I was ready to return to my weight loss journey just as Simba returned to Pride Rock to take back his kingdom. In my case, my kingdom was my health. And I did so with confidence knowing what I was and who I was.

So whenever you feel the facts dominating your thoughts, might I suggest you remember Rafiki and Simba at the river on that clear, dark night in the jungle. If you don’t see your truth immediately (And you very well might not), it’s okay. Look again. Look harder and the reflection of truth concerning who you are will become clear.

Remember facts can change (and will change). The truth however, remains constant.

 
 

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August Update

Where has the year gone?!?!? We have six months left in 2013. As I mentioned in the July update, June was an okay month. I regained focus in July. I think this month’s update reflects that.

Click to see the August update.

fyi – Click on the picture to enlarge it.

 

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July Update

Okay, We’re in July! The 2nd half of 2013 is upon us! June was an okay month. Definitely not my best month. I completed another 5k and decreased my time. I admit I coasted quite a bit in June. But I’ve refocused and set goals. I have two weddings in October to attend. (I’m in one.) So that provided a goal for me to work towards.

Click to see July’s update.

fyi – Click on the picture to enlarge it.

 

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Why This Time Was Different

I get e-mails from time to time from people who read my blog. Some are weight-loss related. Some are words are encouragement or notes of similar stories. Every now and then I share them (and my response) through the blog. Below is one of those e-mails. Well a portion of it anyway. Of course it was used with permission.

Antuan,
I’ve been following your blog for a while now. You’re an inspiration. I quit on my goals every two or three weeks but I find myself drawn back to your blog and your words give me hope. It’s like you’re talking directly to me. I have a question. You mentioned that you tried multiple times but this time was different. What made this time different?………..

My response

Hey! First, thank you for following and reading my blog. I don’t take that for granted. I’m humbled that it helps you. To think I was really close to not starting the blog. Also many thanks for e-mailing. I enjoy reading the emails. I actually wish I got more. They inspire me like crazy. lol

On to your question. (Great great question by the way!!) I’m going to answer your question with a question. lol

“There were 3 frogs on a log in a pond. One of the frogs decided to jump off the log. How many frogs are now on the log?”

The answer is 3. The frog merely decided to jump off the log. He didn’t follow his decision with actions.

This time around not only did I decide I would change my lifestyle, I followed that decision with actions. I just kept taking action that went along with the decision I made. I took action when I felt like it, when I didn’t feel like it, etc… And the biggest thing? I didn’t beat myself up when the action I took went against my decision. I knew in the grand scheme of things my actions were headed in the right direction. (Check out my entry on having a short memory)

Make sense? I hope that helps. I can’t wait to read your e-mail about how your life has changed for the better and all the success you’re having with your weight loss!

-Antuan

Here’s the post I made reference to in my response. Check it out.

 
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Posted by on 06/28/2013 in Inspirational, Weight Loss

 

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