Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"I Was So Bad On My Diet" - and other myths...

We hear it all the time, don't we?  We tell it to ourselves.  We see others telling it to themselves.  Does this sound familiar?

"I was SO GOOD on my DIET yesterday!  I didn't CHEAT one BIT!"


"I was SO BAD on my Diet yesterday!  I CHEATED with a few extra almonds."

The first one implies success and "good".  The second one implies failure and "bad".

What if there was another way to look at this, a way which did not tie a moral absolute to your food choices?

Because really?  Eating ON plan does NOT make you a GOOD person, no more than eating OFF plan makes you a BAD person.

I think if we could absolutely identify this and make a paradigm shift in our thinking, it would mean WORLDS of progress to our goal of attaining and maintaining optimal health!

Let me share what I have learned through the years, most of it from Dr. A, and validated in my own life through my personal experience.

For me, part of my hang-up, part of my journey (the part that saw me lose 140 pounds over 14 months and then gain it back over the next 12 months), was staying in a "diet mentality". 

This mentality was highlighted by the goal of "to lose weight", and used self-shame to keep me "on track".  Eating something deemed "off plan" was BAAAAAD and would bring feelings of frustration and shame, an overriding sense of failure to my day.  A "good" day was staying ON PLAN 100% and garning a sense of "I'm a SUCCESS!" at the end of those days.  The goal? 

"To Lose Weight".

The second time I did the plan, I actually read Dr. A's Book and began to implement the Habits of Health listed therein.  And I had a watershed moment.

My watershed moment was realizing that my choices to eat "on plan" or "off plan" had nothing to do with success, failure, being good or being bad.  It was so freeing!  I almost didn't know what to do with that information!

I realized that if I stretched out a timeline and put "Optimal Health (or, in my own words 'attaining and maintaining a healthy weight') on one end of the timeline, punctuated by Habits of Health, and I put "Where you came from" on the other end of the timeline, punctuated by Habits of Disease, that I could look at each choice in light of where it would take me on that timeline, and NOT as a moral decision of good or bad.

Ergo, eating ON PLAN was a choice I could make to MOVE TOWARDS OPTIMAL HEALTH, and eating OFF PLAN was a choice I could make to MOVE TOWARDS WHERE I CAME FROM.

Since I never want to go back to where I came from, I consistently make choices that will move me towards optimal health.  Simple as that.

And the choices I make that don't take me closer to that goal?  The choices that I make which don't support my primary goal of optimal health are few and far between now because I examine every eating or drinking decision in light of where it will take me on that time line.

You know what else I found?  I am a perpetual teen-ager at heart.  Sometimes I just LIKE being BAAAAD!  A little bit rebellious, and that was evidenced in the past by "acting out" with my food choices.  "Because if eating a snickers is wrong, baby I don't WANT to be right".  Seems as though with all the structure and responsibilities of being an adult, a wife to an amazing man, and a mother to an amazing 8 year old boy with medical special needs, well that takes structure, organization, discipline, and responsibility and sometimes I just wanted to be a little bit irresponsible and, well BAD! 

My brain would be a bonanza for someone with a psychology degree but I literally diffused the "acting out with food" by taking away all the moral associations with those choices.  Literally.  It was almost an overnight decision.  And I felt the difference immediately.

How did I do it?  How did I just all of a sudden diffuse the moral associations? 

Intentionally.  I DECIDED that if I chose to eat off plan, that I would NOT view myself as a BAD person.  That is was NOT a moral decision, and I just told myself BEFORE eating the off-plan item "Eating this makes me neither BAD nor a failure.  Eating this is a choice I make, which will either take me towards my primary goal of optimal health or farther from it.  Which is it, Sista?"

And you know what?  Taking that brief moment to STOP and CHALLENGE my behavior in a non-moral way, in a non-failure way, put it into perspective for me.  I would REALIZE that what was about to eat would NOT in fact take me closer to my goals (the goals that I said I wanted, BTW, the goals that I chose, not any goal that was foisted upon me....), and 9 times out of 10 I would put the item down and continue my day ON PLAN.

When my goal became "to attain and maintain a healthy weight" is when I feel I made great strides at breaking free from the diet mentality (which is an oscillating pattern of lose-gain-repent-repeat) and making this a lifestyle change.  And if you rolled your eyes at "lifestyle change" like I used to do, then I recommend you get a copy of Dr. A's Habits of Health and begin to thoughtfully read it (with a journal and pen nearby) because I had NO idea what a "lifestyle change" was until I saw it laid out so beautifully and understandably as in that book.

I thought "yeah, I've made a lifestyle change, dieting IS my lifestyle LOL" and I'll tell you right now, that previous diet mentality was all about deprivation and bondage to some system. 

A lifestyle change, on the other hand, is all about HOPE, FREEDOM to live the life I WANT to live, and choosing Habits of Health because it is a JOY to do so. 

A diet mentality is all about what I CAN'T have. 

A lifestyle change is all about what I am choosing to create with this process.  All the good things I am bringing in to my life as a result of my decision to get healthy.

And that's a wrap!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The 5&1 Plan waits for no man!!!

Something I have learned is that the Medifast 5&1 Plan is no respecter of person, position, gender, ethnicity, age or socioeconomic background.

It is also no respecter of schedules, hectic lifestyles, budgetary constraints or otherwise, feelings, capabilities, desires, earnest hopes or dreams.

Success on the Medifast 5&1 Plan comes by DOING IT.

Yes, you would think that this is not something I always have to re-learn, you would think that once this concept is learned it is a done deal.

We coaches are not exempt from life happening to us.  And I have realized time and time again that unless I HAPPEN ON LIFE, life will happen UPON me. 

What will give you success on this plan?  Being intentional and mindful about faithfully executing the Medifast 5&1 Plan on a monthly, no weekly, no daily, no hourly, no minutely, no EVERY SECOND OF THE DAY basis.

At first it may feel like you ARE devoting every SECOND to what you are eating, when you are eating it, what you are drinking, when you are drinking it, and if you are Take Shape For Life, there is the additional how much sleep you are getting, how much stress is in your life, how much activity you are getting, and all of what comes along with tying your flag to the Lifestyle Change/Optimal Health flagpole.

But once these things become a HABIT, which sometimes feels like forever but in actuality can take as little as 21-28 days, then you will see these things mindfully and intentionally going on in the background as you live your life in the foreground.

So my advice today?  MASTER the 5&1 Plan as written in the Quick Start Guide.  Do Not Modify, Do Not Modify, Do Not Modify.  Then rinse and repeat.  

Monday, January 21, 2013

As We Are Now, So Shall We BE....

As we are now, so shall we be.  This was a phrase that our College Bible School Principal often reminded us.  It was usually when we thought sleeping in was a better option than going to breakfast and the first class of the day.  Or when we would play practical jokes, such as turning all of the milk in the school's massive refrigerator different colors with food coloring.  Or when we procrastinated on getting a paper in.

As we are now, so shall we be.  Well, I am still pretty playful and have certainly done my share of practical jokes.  I still procrastinate.  I still set my alarm dutifully for 5:30 am and....don't....get.....up.  Just one more snooze, I think, I'll start getting up tomorrow.  I'll really do this thing tomorrow. 

And then I realize that tomorrow is just a BUNCH of "today beads" strung together on the necklace of life.  Yep.  Came up with that one all by  myself.  =)

Look I will level with you.  Pursuing optimal health is NOT easy.  But it IS simple.  It is taking your "today bead" and making it count.  If you repeated TODAY for the next 3 or 4 months, would you be CLOSER to your goal of optimal health or FARTHER FROM it?

Seriously?  Make an honest assessment as you read this blog.  What are you already planning on doing this afternoon or this evening that in your mind you may be justifying as "the last time" when you know full well that tomorrow never comes?

I don't know what world the REST of the population lives in, but in MY world there are ONLY a BUNCH of "todays".  Tomorrow never EVER comes, do you notice that? 

So what can you do TODAY so that ONE DAY you are "At your goal today?"  Because no matter if you have 5 pounds to lose or 500, if you remain on the Medifast 5&1 Plan as written in the Quick Start Guide with the Condiments/Healthy Fat expanded list, you WILL be at goal today.  Someday.

But if not?  If you are winging it, or deciding that  you aren't worth showing up for today in your own life, if that Sprinkles Cupcake*TM or Starbucks*TM CakePop is truly more important to you than your health, then your necklace of life may turn out to be even a bigger disappointment to you than you can imagine.

I know mine was.  Having lost and gained 140 pounds my necklace of life was looking like it was broken.  Every bead was in disrepair.  Every bead was cracked.  And so, with painstaking care, I got the support I needed, I adopted the Habits of Health incrementally over time, and repeating them every day I slowly took one cracked broken bead off one end of the necklace and strung one beautiful shiny brilliant bead of hope on the other end.  Every day.  One day at a time.  Allowing for the passage of time, and making good decisions TODAY ONLY. 

Soon enough my necklace was no longer a big disappointment to me.  Soon enough I realized that TODAY MATTERS.

Today matters.  YOU matter.  And that little voice that may be screaming at you that one little bite won't matter is lying to you.  EVERYTHING matters.  This is YOUR life.  And as you are NOW, so SHALL you be tomorrow.

Wishing every one of you success in your journey.  =)

*No Sprinkles Cupcakes or Starbucks Cakepops were harmed in the writing of this Blog.  And none WILL be today.  Not on my watch. =)

Oriented Towards Health or Oriented Towards the Yummy Food?

This is something I have dealt with in my own journey, and I'll tell you I am much more peaceful and content about this process of attaining and maintaining a healthy weight NOW that I am oriented towards health.

There seem to be two mindsets that I can adopt at the start of any day.  The first mindset is what I call the "dieting" mindset, which is overshadowed by a fear of deprivation.  It is a yummy-food-seeking mindset which keeps the "dieter" focused both on what he/she is depriving himself of, as well as keeping the "dieter" focused on how to make everything yummy, because unless everything is yummy I'm having a bad day.  This is a very food-centric mentality, it is 100% the mentality I had the first time I did Medifast back in 06/07 when I lost 140 pounds.

The second mindset is the "oriented towards health" mindset. 
"What can I do today to attain and maintain a healthy weight?"  If I am on the 5&1 I would grab 5 meals and set them aside.  I would go to the store to make sure I had appropriate lean and green material.  I would schedule in some time for a 30-minute walk or run.  And then I would go about my day. 

I didn't think I needed to "change my mind" about food back then.  I thought I could keep my "relationship to the yummy food" in tact, that this "diet" was just temporary, that once I was "done" I could go back to eating my beloved yummiest yummies.

I was in for a rude awakening.

When I began the program again, in the summer of 08, I began the comprehensive Take Shape For Life Program.  I focused on "changing my mind" about things.  I focused on health instead of how to make everything the yummiest I could.  I learned that indeed, people CAN change.  We change by making the decision every day that we will act in accordance with our primary goal today.  If our primary goal remains food-centric, and a quest for the yummies, then we will get exactly what we want.  We will be tempted by the off-plan yummies, we will try to make the on-plan yummies as yummy as we can, and we will remain food-centric.

I didn't want my second journey to be a repeat of my first.

Behavior modification is absolutely KEY if we hope to make this a permanent solution. 

I understand the whole argument that "if the food tastes horrible then the adherence will be lower, which will give lower success, etc etc."  And I see the validity in that.  But there is a difference between food being tolerable, edible, pleasant, and striving to make it the yummiest for yummy-sake.

This is not an anti-yummy blog.  But this blog is begging the question "What are you focused on today?  What are you wanting?"

Because we usually get what we want.  And if we SAY we want something but continually act in a manner that is NOT in accordance to what we SAY we want, then truly we need to re-examine our wants. 

I deprived myself of HEALTH for most of my adult life.  I will do so no longer.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just a lil' ole piece of fruit....

I've been thinking about temptation, and why it seems like we can do good and be in control of so many other areas, but the food seems to be, for many of us anyway, the ultimate temptation that we aren't victorious over all the time.

Normally I would chalk it up to being human. Sin nature and all. But how about this for a monkey-wrench in the works.... In the Old Testament, and the Creation account, and the Fall of Man, Eve took the food that God had forbidden them to eat, and she ate it. She did not have a sin nature at the time. Yet she ate it anyway, because "it was pleasing to the eye", and of course she had been deceived by the serpent, who told her that God wanted to deprive them of it because it would open their eyes and make them wise.  He managed to convince her that they would NOT die if they ate it.  And we all know what happened next! 

SO. It seems, my ladies, that we have an unusual and ancient pre-disposition toward eating "forbidden fruit!" It is tantalizing. It looks good. Sometimes we can't seem to muster the strength of resolve to run the other way when it beckons. It is pleasing to the eye, and then our inner voice takes over and rationalizes it as something "not so bad, won't kill us, blah blah blah...."  How often do we double-talk ourselves into eating something we absolutely know is off-limits for our health and our goals, and something that may even *gulp* kill us. What Eve did is a literal example of what we face every day. Because she at the forbidden fruit from the forbidden tree, she invited a literal death on the whole human race. (Yeah, thanks, by the way.) But how often do we look at something and say "oh, it's JUST a ding-dong" or "oh, it's JUST a little ice-cream cone, how much can it hurt, REALLY?" I wonder if Eve said that about that lil' ole piece of fruit?

I think food is an issue that is doubly hard to deal with, but it does not negate God's promise that there is NO temptation that will overtake us to where He will not provide an avenue of escape. We just tend not to look real hard for that avenue of escape when it comes to food.  I'm sure there were plenty of garden paths in Eden that led AWAY from that tree.  But I do note that Eve didn't take ANY of them.

So next time we think "Oh it's only a lil' piece of fruit!", remember Eve!  =)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

There is no "Perfect" moment. Take the moment and MAKE it perfect.

There really does not exist a "perfect" moment to decide to get healthy.  So take THIS moment, and MAKE it perfect by making that decision.  Now.  Today. 

If you feel a little bit of panic at reading these words, I'm not going to say "then you aren't ready".  What I AM going to say is TAKE THE MOMENT.  Make it THIS ONE.

Nevermind that you have your friends' husbands' dog's birthday party to attend a week from Tuesday at 3:47 in the afternoon.  THIS is the moment you need to decide.

Because if not, seriously, then when?

As you are NOW so you SHALL BE.  Are you ON PLAN now?  This moment?  This day we call "today?"

If not, then I suggest you decide what you desire.  What you want.  Why you want it.  If you want the yummies, you will always get the yummies.  If you want health, then you will do what it takes to obtain it.

So forget what happened last night at 11:34 pm as you were foraging in the pantry seemingly throwing your hopes and dreams for health out the window.  Forget that more-than-a-glance you gave the cookies in the breakroom yesterday afternoon.


It is TODAY and your very NEXT decision which determines the direction you will go.  So what'll it be?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Off Plan Foods and the Power We Give It...

Some days are harder than others to remain focused and oriented towards optimal health.  I find that the last few weeks I have been giving wayward glances to that glass of wine, or that gourmet chocolate, or even the cheese-and-cracker tray and each day that passes it is becoming more painful to say "no".

This is an interesting phenomenon, because I KNOW what giving that type of food ANY attention at all, ANY second thought at all, does to my brain. 

When I begin to take my eyes off where I'm going and instead affix them to what I am "depriving" myself of in this process of attaining and maintaining a healthy weight, I begin to FEEL oppressed.  I begin to FEEL like a martyr.  I begin to FEEL like the tension is rising.

And I am creating structural tension in the WRONG direction.  Structural tension means setting my brain to work on a "problem" or an "issue" that requires a solution, that requires a "working out" of.

Our brains will continue to work a problem in the back ground of our lives for a solution, while we continue living the day to day.  And by taking my eyes OFF of what I am CREATING with this awesome process of attaining and maintaining a healthy weight, I also took my brain off the task of working a solution to that issue.

And I reminded my brain, in focusing on what I am depriving myself of, that I am in fact NOT able to drink wine, eat cheese (please no one tell me that cheese is allowed on this plan...I am not a vegetarian and I follow the Quick Start Guide for optimal results and cheese stalls me out every time), eat crackers or gourmet chocolates.

And my brain gets resentful when it feels like it "CAN'T" have something.  My brain gets resentful when it feels like it "SHOULD" do something else.  And my brain begins working out that solution to resolving the tension of "not having" by increasing the pressure to "just have it already".

Does anyone relate to this phenomenon?  We can suddenly feel "overwhelmed" by the urge to eat something off-plan, so much so that it hurts our head NOT to do it, and we wonder where that came from?  It seems to come out of the blue, but it does not in fact come out of the blue, it is a result of our brain trying to work the solution to our feelings of deprivation, if we have been focusing on those feelings for a few hours, days, weeks, or months.

This is why people who fight so hard and stay on plan for months and months and months can have a "bite" of something off plan and then find it nearly impossible to have another 100% on plan day.

For ME, this occurs when I have entertained feelings of deprivation or martyrdom, feelings of "poor me, why did God make me like this?" and feelings that I'm missing out.

I INTENTIONALLY practice turning those feelings and that focus around to begin dwelling on what I am desiring to CREATE with this process of BECOMING.  When I intentionally do that for a few hours, days, or weeks, it gets "super-easy" to make decisions that support my primary goals.  But it is a discipline of the mind.  And it is never too late to start creating this positive "structural tension".

So what are YOU focusing on today?  Are you feeling sorry for yourself because you are so deprived of the yummies?  Or are you focusing on WHERE YOU ARE HEADED with this amazing process of becoming fully YOU?

I choose to turn my thoughts towards where I am headed, and why.

And that is that.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Does it Ever Get Easier?

The short answer to that is no.  But it DOES get better.  And the alternative is that it gets EVEN harder, which is not a happy alternative at all.

Being content with process is truly a state of mind.  Physiologically, this process will never be EASIER.  Even in transition and maintenance, physiologically our bodies will always strive against us to store every extra calorie we give it as fat.  Having already BEEN overweight or obese, we know this to be true.

I think too many times people lose the weight, and then somehow begin to think their bodies have STOPPED doing that, that all is "normal" now and since they are a normal weight, that their bodies will behave.

Not.  So.

So what is there to be done?  Is it hopeless?  "KB what the heck, you are supposed to be inspiring me today?  And instead you are acting like a low-pressure system, taking the wind right out of my sails!!"

OK here is the silver lining.  And it is what I keep coming back to time and time again because it is the truth of the matter.  This HAS to, and I mean HAS to become a lifestyle choice if ANY of us have a PRAYER of keeping this weight off.  Losing weight most people can do.  Follow a regimented program for a certain amount of time.  Check the box.  Great results.  Done.

But then UNLESS you have DONE the WORK (and it IS work, folks, let no one tell you it isn' is intentional hard WORK) to develop a fit and healthy mind to go along with your new fit and healthy body?  Well, you may become part of the 85% statistic who gain their weight back.

It's like a rubber band, snapping you back to fatville every time.  Unless you CHANGE what that rubber band is tethered to.  Unless you DEVELOP positive goals to reinforce your REASONS for losing weight and becoming healthy. 

The mechanisms of our bodies will not change with this process.  We can harness those mechanisms for our own good by utilizing the tools that Take Shape For Life fueled by Medifast provides, and bringing our bodies in to a healthy weight, and in that full process we can learn our limitations so that after Transition we can maintain beautifully.

Or we can bury our heads in the sand, white knuckle through every day hoping some day it will get easier, and it doesn't, lose a few pounds and gain it right back.

Well, I choose to engage the process.  I choose to learn how my body operates, how it responds, and live within those limitations IN ORDER THAT my primary goal of "Attaining AND Maintaining a Healthy Weight" will always STAY achievable.

What are you doing today?  Take a snapshot of TODAY'S actions and line them up for a week, a month, a year.  IF you did that, would you be closer to your goals or would you STAY where you are now?  If progress is not being made TODAY, ie if you are choosing not to stay on the Medifast 5&1 Plan, or on your Transition Plan if you are in Transition, or on your Maintenance Plan if you are in Maintenance, if you are not staying ON that plan then where will you be TOMORROW?

As you are, so shall you be.  Are you determined?  Focused?  On plan?  Wonderful.  Then you are getting where you want to go.  Are you saying "I'll be back on again Monday?"   I got three words for you:


Today is the tomorrow you spoke about yesterday. 

Happy Take Shape For Life-ing!  Rinse and Repeat!

Changing my username to "GoetheGirl"

No, I'm not, but after stumbling upon the brainyquotes page for Johann Wolfgang von Goethe I feel like I should!

I had heard of Goethe before, but I never knew that SO many of his quotes were, well, HIS!  So, without further ado, this blog is dedicated to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

*Dream no small dreams for they have the power to move the hearts of men.

*All intelligent thoughts have already been thought; what is necessary is only to try to think them again.

*Every day we should hear at least one little song, read one good poem, see one exquisite picture, and if possible speak a few sensible words.

*Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Willing is not enough; we must do.

*As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.

*Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.

*Do not give in too much to feelings.  An overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth.

*This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew.

*Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.

*A person hears only what they understand.

*Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.

*Common sense is the genius of humanity.

*It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed.

*In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm.  In the real world all rests on perseverance.

*The way you see people is the way you treat them.  The way you treat them is what they become.

*He only earns his freedom and his life who takes them every day by storm.

*Magic is believing in yourself.  If you can do that, you can make anything happen.

*A noble person attracts noble people, and knows how to hold on to them.

*Correction does much but encouragement does more.

*If God had wanted me otherwise, He would have created me otherwise.

*Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.

*The person born with a talent they were meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.

*Everyone wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.

*Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean.

*Happiness is a ball after which we run wherever it rolls, and we push it with our feet when it stops.


So let's go to it!  Make it an ON PLAN day!  =)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

True Freedom?

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Yes, that was me 2 1/2 years ago.  Falsely believing I was "free".

I could eat whatever I wanted, I argued.  I wasn't constrained by the bounds of any "diet".

I was fooling myself.  I was killing myself.  My freedom to "eat whatever I wanted" had become, quite literally, my prison walls.  My dungeon.  Sure.  I was free to "eat" what I wanted, as if this THIS freedom alone was the highest thing I could aspire to.  As if my "freedom" to eat what I wanted was the noblest freedom I owned.

Then I awoke from that nightmare of broken dreams. 

And I began to DO the work and SUBMIT to the plan and DROP the weight and....guess what?  I realized that I had been in a prison of my own making. 

I realized that the ULTIMATE freedom for MY situation was actually the freedom to choose restraint.  The freedom to choose to adopt the Medifast 5&1 and the Take Shape For Life System in order to truly achieve that which had thus far eluded me my entire life.

To attain and maintain a healthy weight.  To feel "normal" and alive.  To NOT have every thought and every desire be food-focused. 

To start living a life of MY choosing.

Yes, that German philosopher Goethe, he was surely on to something.

And I want to shout it to the world.

Happy Take-Shape-For-Life-ing!  Rinse and Repeat!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Which Moment Was THE Moment?

"When did you just KNOW that you had made this a lifestyle and not just another diet?  What was the TRIGGER that caused that?"

While on my walk this morning, I was pondering this question that a good friend asked me the other day.  And it perplexed me a bit.  Because this second time around, I can't point to an "epipha-ME" that set the stage for me just KNOWING that this time I WILL maintain my weight.

And while I DO just KNOW, I can't point to a single causal event which was "the magic bullet" which caused the change in my head.

But I had some thoughts that I'll share anyway about the subject because I think it is a good one to consider.

I can point to THE EVENT which caused me to decide back on 06/07 that I WAS going to DO THIS OR DIE TRYING so to speak, and that was when I stumbled in a parking lot with my 1-year-old son in my arms, we both went down slow motion and he hit his head on the pavement.  THAT was a deep place of emotional pain and conflict for me, knowing that my morbid class IV obesity was not only threatening MY life but HIS as well, that I could actually cause him harm because I was so large and cumbersome that I couldn't catch myself when I slightly turned my ankle in a pothole.  Yes, that was a painful life-altering event for me, very much so. 

And yes, I did lose 140 pounds in 14 months after that.   But I didn't keep it off.  That one perspective-changing "trigger" wasn't "enough" in and of itself to maintain my weight and make it a permanent change.

After I gained it all back and marinated for a couple of years, I decided, made the decision, to "do it again" but this time I committed to going in to the Take Shape For Life process, complete with getting a Health Coach, and reading Dr. A's Habits of Health.  So I did.  And I'm down 130 pounds and maintaining.

I don't "wait" for some emotional pain or conflict to come in and be the "reason" I can stick to this day in and day out.  I wake up in the morning, and I choose health.  I do this daily.  It's not a "once and for all" kind of decision.  I guess that is what makes it a lifestyle is that I do it every morning.

My conversation with myself goes something like this in the mornings:

Me:"So, you're up.  Go get your coffee and first meal"
Me:"Now go for your walk."

It DOESN'T go like this:
"Oh man I'm so tired of this struggle!  What I wouldn't give for a Starbucks Coffee Cake and Venti Caramel Frappuchino with whip!"

NEITHER do I take my emotional temperature to consult my feelings about whether or not I desire to be on plan today, like this:
Me:"I don't feel like having a Medifast Meal"
Me:"Ok then don't.  You can always start tomorrow."

There is one fact about myself that I know will be true today, tomorrow, and in 10 years time.  That fact is that if I give myself extra calories over and above my daily needs, I WILL gain weight.  THIS doesn't EVER change.  And it never will.  And I will never allow myself to get into the place where my weight CAUSES me emotional stress or pain, so I don't use THAT as my motivation.  Because waiting for emotional pain and stress to come and be my motivation necessitates that I GAIN weight and then have to RELOSE it.

I don't make my decision to stay on my eating plan based upon how I am feeling at any given moment.  For me, I have set "attaining AND MAINTAINING a healthy weight" as my primary goal.  So all of my decisions revolve around what will further my primary goal.  And that is it.

My primary goal is not "To Lose Weight".  It is "To Attain and Maintain a Healthy Weight" which, guess what, is a lifetime pursuit.  It doesn't have a deadline.  It doesn't expire.  The need for it never diminishes.  And it keeps me in a place of peace in that area of my life, so that I CAN GO AND LIVE THE REST OF MY LIFE.  Yes, it gives me the freedom to be truly me.  All of me.  All the time. 

So people do still ask "What was THE moment" and I guess my answer would be "This one.  Whatever moment I am CURRENTLY in is THE moment I choose to act in a manner in accordance with obtaining my primary goal."

Happy Take Shape For Life-ing!  Rinse and Repeat!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Too Many Choices!

As I sit here reminiscing on another year gone by, I am floored by the sheer amount of choices I get to make each day!

I get to decide whether I'd like to go for a bike ride, a run, a swim, a walk.

I get to choose whether I'd like to wear my size 4 jeans or my size 6 dress for my next outing.

I get to choose whether I'll wear my knee-high leather boots with that, or my 3-inch heels.

I get to choose to work towards my habits of health today, or my habits of disease.

I choose health.

Because 2 years ago my only choices were XXXL ratty old sweatpants with holes in the thighs, and 4XL men's t-shirts.  Oh and yes, my old worn out "sensible" shoes.

Two years ago I could either choose to sit on the couch and use the remote to switch the channels, or heave myself up to get a snack from the kitchen before watching "The Biggest Loser" and wondering if I should apply.  I did qualify, after all.

No, I'll take my current choices over my options 2 years ago any day and twice on Sundays.

Thank you TSFL!  Thank you Susan (my health coach) and most of all, thank you ME for making the choices and choosing health even though there were days that I faltered.  I am oriented towards health, and health is where I will stay.

When The Bloom is Off The Rose.....

Do you remember when we were kids, and we'd get a new toy, and it would be THE COOLEST THING.... for about 3 days.

Then it would become uninteresting and we'd discard it under the bed going in search for newer and more exciting things?

Well, for the January starters, I don't think it is too early to say "BEWARE" of this phenomenon as regards your program.

I started a new exercise program on December 31st.  I was psyched.  January 1st came and I joyously got my walking shoes on and out the door I went.  Again, excited.  I could FEEL the change in the air.

January 2nd came and I was happy I was doing it, making a real difference, I felt a little lighter and stronger, and that feeling carried me through my program. 

January 3rd came and I found my mind wandering during the program.

January 4th came and I got half-way through and wanted to stop.  I was bored.

I did NOT stop, however, because I recognized that perseverance BEGINS where enthusiasm STOPS.

And the results I desire take TIME, so in order to get there I need to persevere even when I don't feel like doing it.  When I'd rather be drinking coffee and reading the paper.  When I'd rather be surfing Facebook and catching up with all my friends. 

The same with Medifast and Take Shape For Life.  Right about now, for all of the January 1st starters, it is getting a bit TEDIOUS.  A bit BORING.  I'll bet some of you are already searching other programs because perhaps this one hasn't lived up to all of your expectations.  Maybe the food is a little bland.  Maybe you are bored.

And I say to YOU:

So you are bored.  What does that have to do with anything?

We were emotional eaters, let's not be emotional dieters.  Heck, let's not be dieters at ALL, let's make this a lifestyle change which, when repeated accurately and truthfully on a daily basis, will get us to optimal health.

It's the "repeat accurately and truthfully on a daily basis" wherein lies the rub.  This is the difficult part to ACT on.  But I will tell you this, if you execute this plan as written faithfully over the next several months, just one day at a time, you will experience STUNNING results.

So do the work.  So what if it is boring.  Filling your car is boring too, but you do it.  Paying your bills is boring too.  You want exciting?  Go see a movie.  Jump out of an airplane.  Learn how to surf.  Don't try to gain a purpose of "fun and entertaining" out of your eating plan.  That is what got us here, remember?

Keep on keeping on!  Happy Take Shape For Life-ing!  Rinse and Repeat!