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Tag Archives: healthy-living

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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Ripples of Success

This week has been one of the best weeks I’ve had. Thinking back to when I first toyed with the idea of starting a blog, I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to open up and be transparent. In retrospect, that was probably one of the best decisions I made. I was nervous about the first entry. It took me almost an hour to hit the Publish button. It seems like it was yesterday. My hands were shaking, my heart had exceeded its normal pace. I sat there staring at the screen reading and re-reading the words I had written. Finally, I got a surge of courage and hit “publish” and quickly closed the laptop. I often wonder if this is helping anybody besides me. I think of the impact it is having on others. Is it even having an impact? The last few days have confirmed its impact. I once heard a statement that resonates with me to this day. “You have to understand who wins when you win.” That statement repeatedly plays in my mind. This blog has become much more than a place where I document my trials and triumphs. It’s a piece of me that I’m giving to others to let them know they could do it too. Weight-loss or any other goal or dream you have. You can do it. Don’t believe it? Just read some of the blog entries. I have no idea who reads my entries. However, I was blessed to find out that a special group of people have been following me on my journey. I haven’t met this special group but I know them. I know them because we are all overcoming things and becoming better people. I was so humbled to find out that this blog was impacting their lives. I was told that I inspire them but I want them to know that they inspire me. water-drop-globe-ripple-environment1 I remember one of my favorite analogies because of them. The ripples of success. What is that? Well if you take a rock and drop it in a stream or lake. There are ripples that spread out from the point of impact. The place where the water meets the rock represents the impact you have on someone’s life. The ripples? They represent the spreading of your impact to others indirectly. That’s what’s happening with my blog. I’m impacting others and one of the ripples has reached a special group of friends. To those friends, I say thank you. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for letting me know the blog is helping. Do me a favor please. When you all go to the pond, take a second to drop a rock in the water and watch the ripples. Look at them to see how far they travel from the place of impact. Resolve to be the rock and let your impact have far-reaching ripples of success.

 
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Posted by on 05/23/2013 in Inspirational, Weight Loss

 

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Slow Down To Speed Up

I recently had the misfortune opportunity to really see how much my lifestyle has changed. I had to listen to my body tell me I needed rest from 5k training. For an entire week, I did nothing but rest. (That drove me absolutely crazy!) No running, No weight training. Nothing…..

A few short months ago, that would have certainly spelled doom and destruction to my weight loss plan. This time, however, was different. Instead of mentally checking out for a week concerning all things weight-loss related, I found myself poring old food and exercise logs. I paid closer attention to what I was eating. After all weight-loss is 80% mental and 20% physical. How many times have I said that? Oddly enough, I was even more engaged in the process.

Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up. That’s exactly what I was reminded up during my rest period. I was refreshed, rested, and amazingly I was more productive when I returned to working out.

If you’re not experiencing the results you think you should. Instead of simply trying harder, and continuing to do the same thing and expecting the same results (Isn’t that the definition of insanity?), slow down. Review your logs, identify areas on which you can improve and go from there.

Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.

Hmmmmm… Seems like I mentioned something about that here and here

 

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Lessons From The Treadmill

I’m training to run my first 5k in May. I’ve been talking about doing it for a while. Now I’m actually doing it. (That’s another blog for another day.) At any rate, I’m on week 4 of the Couch to 5k program. This is the first week where it got hard. (for me anyway) Alternating between running for 3 and 5 minutes for 30 minutes. For me it was grueling, it was hard, and it was the most rewarding so far.

I was reminded of three valuable lessons while doing the workout.

You can do more than you think you can
I’ve never been a runner. I’m the guy who absolutely loathed P.E. class when we had to run a
mile. But in week four, I’ve realized that not only can I walk on the treadmill, I can run on it
for 5 minutes straight. Doing more than I thought I could. Now I know, if I can do 5 minutes I
can do 8 minutes (that’s week 5 of the program)

Pain is temporary
During the last 5 minute run, my legs hurt, lungs were burning, breathing was labored. The thought of ending the run prematurely quitting definitely crossed my mind a time or three. But I kept going and finished it. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I finished, the pain that was so unbearable seemingly quickly dissipated. I realized that the pain (well strong discomfort) that I was feeling wasn’t as bad as I thought. Imagine how I would’ve felt had I quit early.

Greatest growth comes when you leave your comfort zone
This whole thing is outside of my comfort zone. Running in a race, 1/2 a mile no less a 3 mile race is so not me. It’s something I’ve never done and training for it is something I’ve never done. But there in lies the beauty of it. I’ve grown in the 4 short weeks I’ve been preparing for it. I’ve run more. I’ve become for fit. I’ve become more confident and most importantly I’ve gained more belief in myself that I can do anything.

Those are three major lessons I’ve learned on this journey. I was glad that I was reminded of them while on the treadmill. Remember you can always do more, pain is temporary, and growth occurs outside of your comfort zone.

 
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Posted by on 03/25/2013 in Exercise, Weight Loss

 

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Three Questions….

dI’ve been reflecting lately on how I’ve been able to finally turn the corner on my health. What made this time different? How was I able to keep going?

The answer to those questions(and many others) was answered in three questions I asked myself the first day I started. Unknowingly, the answer to these three questions shaped the foundation for my weight loss.

The first question I asked myself was “What do I want?” The question, at first glance, appears simple. However, it really required thought for me. What did I want? Did I just want to lose weight? Did I want to be healthier? It took about an hour to answer that question. Knowing what you want is essential. It begins to bring clarity to what you’re looking to accomplish.

With the answer to the first question in hand, I moved on to the second question. “Why do I want it?” When you figure out what you want and why you want it, you start to get an emotional tie. I’ve found that by having an emotional tie to what I wanted, a need to accomplish it was created. The need was so strong that I became almost obsessive over it. (I prefer the term laser focus.) That focus, obsessiveness, whatever you want to call it became the seeds of discipline that sprouted into a no excuses attitude.

Lastly, and maybe most important, I asked myself “What was I willing to give up to get what I wanted?” In my case, it was an hour of my day to exercise. I was willing to give up a couple of hours of sleep so I could exercise before going to work. I was willing to give up soda. You get the point.

Everything has a cost associated with it. You have to decide if what you want, why you want it, and the things you’ll have to give up (some temporarily I might add) are worth the cost. And if it’s worth it, are you willing to pay the cost.

For me, it was definitely worth it. And looking back on it, the price wasn’t nearly as expensive it appeared in the beginning.

 
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Posted by on 03/13/2013 in Inspirational, Weight Loss

 

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100 lbs lost….Not The End…Just A Milestone

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to write this blog entry. 100 lbs ago, my goal was to lose 100 lbs. Honestly, I didn’t think I could do it. I did think I could lose one pound though. I knew if I figured out how to lose one pound, I could just repeat that process 100 times over.

It has been an amazing journey so far. By no means am I finished. I’ve learned alot about myself. It definitely hasn’t been easy. There were days I wanted to quit. There were days I skipped workouts. There were days I didn’t make the best decisions.

People ask me how did I do it? How did I lose 100 (101 to be exact) lbs. I can answer that question a million different ways. There’s one answer that encompasses them all. I just kept showing up. I kept going daily. I kept going back to the gym. I kept making more good decisions than bad. I kept telling myself I can do it.

The key to success is being persisent and stubborn enough not to quit. That’s really all I did. I just kept going no matter what. No matter how I felt.

The rest I figured out along the way. Just keep going. Don’t quit. If you do that, you’ll accomplish all you set out to do.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on 02/19/2013 in Inspirational, Uncategorized

 

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Victory Loves Preparation

I had a break in my work week yesterday and normally that is cause for concern. I have to be extra careful food choice wise. There’s something about the work week routine that helps me make great food decisions. Anyway, I was reminded how important planning & preparation is.

Here I was completely out of my normal routine. In the past, that would have made making wrong decisions easier. (Well making a wrong decision is just as easy as making a good one. But that’s a different blog) But not this time. I prepared ahead of time. I plan my meals ahead of time for the work week. So instead of having to exhaust mental energy on what to eat yesterday – Good choice?…bad choice? -, I simply ate what I prepared earlier. That removed any excuses, any temptations to make a bad decision.

What did I learn from all that? What thought was I reminded of? Victory loves preparation. My brother says that all the time. It’s so true. Victory, success (in weight loss or anything else) doesn’t just happen. You have to prepare for it. You have to plan for it. If not, surprises (like yesterday’s departure from my normal routine) can set you back.

Preparation isn’t just planning and cooking meals in advance. Preparation is packing your gym clothes and putting them in your car night before. Preparation is looking at the menu and deciding the best choice prior to getting to that restaurant. It may appear small and trivial but preparation goes a long way to ensure success.

Remember the will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win. (Not my quote but I absolutely love it)

 

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