Monday, September 30, 2013

Every Day We Get to Choose!

Every day is a new day to decide which direction we will go today.

Will we go towards health?  Or will we go towards self indulgence? 

Will we feed our souls or will we feed our inner brats?

Because whomever we DO feed gets stronger.

Do we want stronger resolve and determination?  Or do we want a stronger inner brat?

You know, I used to take my inner brat for granted.  I didn't realize that there may come a day where she could actually overpower me.  I was playing with fire.

I'd feed her for a few days, and think "I can always get back on plan" and it was the "always" bit which lulled me into a false sense of security as I'd watch the scale creep up 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 15 pounds, 20 pounds, always thinking "oh yeah, a few weeks of Medifast can take care of that....."

So where are YOU in the process?  Are you in that false sense of security where you can "always" get back to it "tomorrow"?

Well, today IS yesterday's "tomorrow".  So are you doing it?

If not, why not?  What could POSSIBLY be more important that your health?  Right now, this moment, this SECOND, make the CHOICE, the conscious decision, the commitment, to get on plan.  Not tomorrow.  Today.  Not this evening.  Now.  Not after you've had your "last meal" of your favorite tastiness.  Not after you've had that last candybar or package of potato chips or peanut-butter cheese crackers out of the vending machine at the end of the hall.  Not after you finish off that block of cheese you bought just yesterday.

Now.  It's decision time.  Time to rumble with that inner brat and make the decision to be healthy again.

Who's with me?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Habits of Disease vs. Habits of Health

So if I had a nickel for every "I just don't know WHY I do that (insert undesirable behavior here), and I have to figure it out to get PAST it!" I would be a rich girl.

The truth that I have discovered don't have to figure it all out in advance of changing the behavior you want to change.

What you DO need to do is have a strategy, and implement the strategy regardless of how you FEEL about it.

I think it is safe to say that many of us here are/were emotional eaters.  Why, then, do we think that emotional DIETING will get us anywhere? 

Many times in life, coping mechanisms are developed over periods of trauma or stress in our lives, and those coping mechanisms become habits and remain ingrained in us long after the particular trauma or stress which necessitated a coping mechanism be developed disappears.

For example:  Childhood trauma, stress, shame, etc.

Some of us have become emotional eaters and can trace it back to a single event, or a series of events or a timeframe in our past where food seemed our only friend, our only source of solace. 

And we continue that habit long after those circumstances have gone.

So we wonder "WHY do I KEEP DOING THIS?"  And it seems so confusing because we think that we are healthy and balanced individuals.  And many of us are, but our eating for comfort is now a HABIT and is pretty much triggered by any stress or DIScomfort that pops up in our lives.

OK, so it's a Habit.  Now what?

Change it. 


Well I tell you first how NOT to change a bad habit.  You DON'T go about changing a bad habit by continuing to focus on, give strength to, or feed that habit.

Many of us are so concerned with figuring out the route it took us to get where we currently are that we fail to look at the road ahead, to the place we want to go.  We then get lost in our heads and all of a sudden we are paralyzed in to inaction TODAY.

My suggestion instead is to STOP looking at where you've been, and why you ended up here.  It is probably a mystery.  And your bad behavior is probably just a bad habit now, like smoking, that you just need to kick.

Instead, look at where you want to GO.  Think about the life you are seeking to create, the person you would be if you could be authentically you with no fat suit holding you back.  Do a little dreaming.  Write down a description of what that life will look like.

And then do the Medifast 5&1 today.  Today only.  Get through 1 day, and go to sleep.  Tomorrow, rinse and repeat.

Take one skill of being on plan and master it today.  Do you tell yourself you have "trouble" getting in all your water?  Well you continually make it so, you continually  make that your reality when you continue to tell yourself that garbage-recording that plays in your head every morning, which then causes you to not get in all your water.

Instead, master the skill of drinking 90 ounces of water today.  Next week, master the skill of weighing your protein.  Meticulously.  Master it.  The week after, master the skill of counting your healthy fats with a teaspoon.  Get it down pat.  The next week master the skill of parking a little farther away from the office.  Replace your habits of disease with Habits of Health.  And you WILL be headed in the direction you want to go, and focused on your future and not your past. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Difference

So many people ask me what is different about losing the weight "this time".  And it is different, I can tell you that with the utmost certainty. 

So what IS the difference?  I am the same person, with the same past, the same life experiences, etc.  So what IS the difference?  Why am I ABLE to keep it off this time when I wasn't before? 

There are three things that I can tell you are different this time as opposed to the last time.  Firstly, I read Dr. A's Habits of Health and am internalizing what I'm reading.  Secondly, I had the support and encouragement of someone who came alongside me and who I checked in with every week.  Thirdly, I BECAME one of those people who encourage others.

In helping others, I am helping myself.  In encouraging others, I am encouraging myself.  No matter if it were an "official" capacity or an "unofficial" one, the fact that I am interested in and helping others on their journeys really allows me to reinforce my own journey daily.

So I want to encourage anyone out there who may be keeping Medifast to themselves.  I guarantee if you share it with others, and help them accomplish their goals and dreams also, it can do nothing but encourage you in your own.  Let's get the word out! 

I have heard many times "well if it is such a miraculous program, why isn't everyone doing it?"  Many reasons for that, but let's not let one of the reasons be that we aren't sharing it with others, that they don't have the information or even KNOW about it. 

I intend to continue shouting from the rooftops that this country is in dire need of intervention, and this program is the answer to the epidemic of obesity that is running rampant in this country. 

DID you know that if CURRENT OBESITY TRENDS continue to the year 2030, 90% of the population will be OBESE? 

That is ninety percent.  9-0-%.  We can't let this happen.  And health starts with US.

So let's all work on our health today.  Then let's share it with others and inspire them to change.  Because change IS possible.  It is not just a pipe-dream when there is action set to it. 

Happy TSFL-ing!  Rinse and Repeat!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Developing a Strong Sense of WHO I AM, and Fundamental Choice

Looking back on my journey to Ultra Health I see many things that have been different "this time".  Different by design.  Different with intention.  Not accidentally different, not "I hope that someday I will...." different.

I've become an active participant in my health journey, not a powerless bystander just watching events unfold.

One of the things that I have changed on this journey is that I refused to stay the person who I was before.  I knew that if I did not change some core fundamentals of how I viewed me, and how I viewed the world, and indeed how I viewed optimal health in general, that I would end up gaining my weight back AGAIN, provided I lost it AGAIN in the first place!

So, I stayed connected with my Health Coach for accountability and support, and I bought a journal (a really nice one!), and began intentionally reading Dr. A's Habits of Health to find out WHO this person was who I wanted to be.  This healthy person.  This person who I knew was inside of me, just waiting to come out.

How did I know she was inside of me?  Because I was severely unhappy with who I had become, at Class IV Super Obese, weighing 272 pounds and walking with a cane.  So much so that it pained me to look in mirrors.  I felt like I didn't exist, I felt like I had nothing positive to contribute to the world or my community, to my family or even, really to myself. 

And something inside me knew that was a lie.  And something inside me knew that in order to LIVE I needed to stop believing that LIE and BECOME the person I always knew that I COULD be, the person I MIGHT HAVE BEEN.  I had turned 40, and I knew that I was tired, already, of living a life of regrets. 

So, I submitted to the process fully.  I suspended my own ideas and my own judgment, because I knew that they were faulty as regards my own health, and I was willing to learn a new way of thinking.

This way of thinking is not hocus pocus magic fairy dust, but I can tell you that it absolutely changed my life AS IF it were.

This way of thinking takes some faith.  It took faith that I COULD be optimally and even ultra healthy.  That was a big hurdle, let me tell you.  Because if I relied on PAST performance as my frame of reference as to whether this was even POSSIBLE or not, I would have said "Nope.  Not.  Possible."

So I abandoned past performance altogether.  I ignored it.  I made a DECISION that I was going to be a HEALTHY person, and then guess what?  I started ACTING like it.  I started ACTING like I WAS a healthy person.  I began to explore the habits of health outlined in Dr. A's Book and implement them in my OWN life, because that is what healthy people do, they practice habits of health, NOT habits of disease.

Was I "perfect"?  No.  Because I also abandoned the "all-or-nothing" mentality that perfectionists employ as their main tool to justify inaction.

Did you know that?  Perfectionists often don't even ACT because if they can't do it PERFECTLY they don't want to do it at ALL.  In these cases, doing it "perfectly" becomes the goal and I didn't have room in my brain to play around with that stuff anymore.  I chose to risk some IMPERFECTION in my journey IN ORDER THAT I might attain Optimal Health.

I began to ask myself questions like "Who Am I?" and "What am I in the HABIT of doing?" and "Am I oriented TOWARDS health or AWAY from health on this day and with this decision?"

When I began to frame things NOT as a success/failure scenario, not as a "doing it perfectly" scenario, not as an "all-or-nothing" scenario and certainly not as a moral "good or bad" scenario, when I INSTEAD began to view everything in light of whether it would take me closer to the person I wanted to be or farther from her, THEN I began to adhere with joy to the Medifast 5&1 Plan.  Joy.  Not pain, not a sense of failure, not guilt, not even when I faltered.  It was all joyful.  If I fell, if I slipped on a banana peel because I temporarily lost sight of my primary goal of optimal health, I said "No worries Mate!  The next decision WILL be oriented towards health!" and I was consistent with THAT.  I didn't use those slips as excuses to say "well, I knew I couldn't do it perfectly so I will never succeed" because that is a LIE, it was the MAIN lie that I had been telling myself on past attempts "to lose weight". 

So who is this person that I wanted to be?  I had to really define her, I had to get specific about what she did and how she lived her life, so that I could do what she would do!

I decided that I wanted to be someone who was authentically healthy.  The real deal.  Someone who modeled health for her family and her community. I wanted to be a person who consistently made decisions that were healthy decisions, and bearing in mind my propensity to store extra calories as fat every time I consume them, I needed to make pretty rigid health decisions fairly consistently or I'd see the slow (or not so slow) creep back up the scale and in to UNhealthy habits.

It is really all about FUNDAMENTAL CHOICE.  In Chapter 4 of Dr. A's Habits of Health (page 28), he speaks of it this way:

"Fundamental choice is what defines our state of being.  It's where we stand.  I'ts our choice to be free and healthy.  It's what we're willing to fight for.  Let's take an example: Say you try to quit smoking, but you've never really made the fundamental choice to be a non-smoker.  Nothing will work, not even methods that others have found successful.  Soon you'll be back to your two-pack-a-day habit.  If, on th other hand, you do make the fundamental choice to be a nonsmoker, just about any method will work - and in fact you'll find yourself attracted to the methods that work particularly well.  It's the same with any fundamental choice.  Once you make the decision to be healthy, you've made it your business to act in accordance with your goal.  You are taking full responsibility for your actions rather than letting your circumstances drive your decisions.  You become the author of your own life story.  It's important to accept the fact that no one can do it for you.  Others can help with their advice, good wishes, guidance, experience, medical insight and understanding of human patterns and motivation.  But it will always come down to you.  If you're thinking "I'll do my best but it is really someone else's job to see to it that it works" then you haven't made this fundamental choice.  Most of us have been raised to rect to circumstances.  We haven't been taught to believe that we can adopt a fundamental, self-generated resolve.  But in fact this is how we take charge of our lives. - by realizing that, not matter the circumstances, no matter the temptation, we can do what we know is right because we've taken a stand for the choices we hold most important."

I made a fundamental choice that I was going to BE a healthy person.  Getting the excess weight off WAS a factor in that, but it isn't the ONLY factor, it is simply the FIRST factor.  My excess weight needed to be addressed FIRST AND FOREMOST because it was the biggest hindrance to me BEING a healthy person.  So I dealt with it by incorporating the habit of remaining on a clinically proven safe and effective plan designed to do JUST THAT.

Are YOU on the path to health?  Do you even WANT to be?  Are you willing to make a FUNDAMENTAL CHOICE to be optimally healthy?  If so, what can you do today to support that choice?  How will you act today which will AGREE with your fundamental choice?

If you begin to view every decision you make in light of this fundamental choice you will find this journey simple and joyful.  Simple.  Joyful.  Because when we really want something, when our "WHY" is strong enough, and we have the right tools, the HOW takes care of itself.

Rinse and Repeat!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Great Television Experiment

One and a half days.  That is how long we lasted.  Two evenings and one full day.

We were hesitant in bundling it in because we haven't had television for 2.5 years, and have gotten so much accomplished in those 2.5 years!  Our lives look radically different now than they did 2.5 years ago when we canceled our Dish Network!

But you know how the "deals" are, and the fact that we could pay the same thing we are paying for high speed internet and a land line, but have TV too...sounds like a no brainer.  "Why not try it?"

So we did.

The last two nights I have found myself plopped on the couch, with the munchies, in front of "House Hunters International" and "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" wishing I had an apartment in Paris AND a cheeseburger to go with it.



Between my husband getting annoyed and the political pundit shows, me wondering why someone thought "I Was Impaled!" was a good show title, and being bombarded (and I DO mean BOMBARDED) by "Trans-Vag**** Mesh Class Action Lawsuit","Cialis" and "Cheezy Cheeto" commercials, we just decided to call the whole thing off.

We had 30 days to do it and be able to "just" get the land-line and HS internet bundle, and actually SAVE a few dollars a month.  It took us 38 hours to decide.

What does this have to do with my journey?  I was not vigilant.  And it took exactly 38 hours to show me that those old habits and desires will always be lurking, waiting for an opportunity to show themselves.  I don't "blame" the television, I don't "blame" anything.  I am actually thankful for the experience, because it goes to show how I will always just need to guard my eyes and my thoughts, and be very discriminating on what I allow in my home.  For me, the power of suggestion, the power of visual stimulation, is a biggie. 

For example, I watched "Julie & Julia" the movie about Julia Child and a contemporary blogger named Julie who decided to cook through Julia's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in 1 year and blog about it.  I ended up with cravings for Beef Bourguinione and red wine.  Poof.  The power of suggestion.

So just as I can't keep certain FOODS in my house because if they are in sight they are in mind, I also realize that I can't let TELEVISION into my house because I choose to guard my content, and be in control of what I expose myself to. 

There is just no redeeming value in Bridezillas, Jersey Shore, and Why Planes Crash.  No value those programs can add to my life.

So POOF!  Decision made.  TV GONE. 

Rinse and Repeat!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did." - Newt Gingrich

Do you ever get TIRED of it?  I mean dead dog, bone TIRED of opening yet ANOTHER Medifast packet?  Tired of nuking another brownie, tired of mixing another hot cocoa, tired of shaking another shake, tired of weighing any more freaking CHICKEN breast?

What do you do in those times?  Because what you do AT THOSE TIMES will be a very good indicator of whether or not you will be successful long-term at attaining and maintaining a healthy weight.

Sometimes this gets old.  But when it does, when I feel like I can't possibly eat any more broccoli, that is when I practice perseverance.

As Newt says in the above quote, perseverance IS the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.

If there is one thing I can say about my journey that I hope you ALL emulate is that I persevered.  I persevered beyond that which even I thought myself capable of.

How did I do that?  I mean what does that look like in a day?  Well, here is a sample conversation I had with myself recently:

Self:  "Ugh.  Nothing in my Medifast Pantry looks good right now."
Self:  "So?  What does that have to do with anything?"
Self"  "Right you are.  I'll choose the Puffs."

See how that went?  Practically it means that it doesn't MATTER how I feel about what I WANT to eat, or WHETHER I want to eat.  If it is time to eat on my schedule, I eat what I'm supposed to eat.  It really matters NOT whether I feel like doing it or not.

Do I feel like emptying the trash?  Not usually.  Do I feel like doing the dishes?  Rarely.  Do I feel like folding my clothes and putting them away?  Do I feel like putting gas in my car?  Get my drift?  I do it because it is on my list.  I have prioritized health.  And this is my strategy.

And do I get results?  Yes.  You betcha.  144 pounds worth of results so far, and I'm 10 pounds from my ultimate goal of a BMI of 21 at 118 pounds. 

Have I felt like adhering to the plan every day?  No.  Have I adhered to the plan every day?  Mostly, except those few days here and there where I have forgotten to act in a manner which was in accordance with my values and aspirations, those few days here and there where I reverted to old unhealthy habits.

Does that make me a bad person?  No, it just serves as a reminder that this journey will always take vigilance, and I won't always feel like doing what I need to do but guess what, I try to do it anyway. 

Because ultimately this journey is NOT a drudgery.  This journey has been difficult but it has been extremely joyous also.  There has been MUCH joy in my journey, and there will continue to be.  Because I have broken the spell that food had on my life.  I no allow food to be my idol, I no longer allow my stomach to be my god (little "g").

I am happy and healthy, and wish the same for you.

Now if you will excuse me for a moment, I have a 4 mile trail to run.  Thank you TSFL!

Rinse and Repeat!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Far too many Americans choose pain and disability rather than health.

Here is an exerpt from a book that I am reading presently which I found very true and telling:

"Far too many Americans choose pain and disability rather than health.  They have come to believe that the pursuit of health is a burden, an imposition on their already overscheduled, overcommitted lives.  Yet, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not burdensome - it is liberating.  Time and money are of little worth without health.  Success without vitality is of no value.  It is never too late to get on the road.  No matter what your age or physical condition, the time to begin is now."

I completely agree with this statement.  This WAS  me a few years back.  This IS what many of my peers, the forty-something acquaintences and friends of mine presently BELIEVE, and I'm not sure what to do about it except be a living example that health is AWESOME, health is FUN, healthy is WORTH THE INCONVENIENCE of attaining it, if indeed you consider it an inconvenience to pursue health. 

And then they tell me about the pain in their joints.  And the fact that they have to wear a C-PAP machine.  And their lack of energy.  I say all of THAT is pretty inconvenient, if you are asking my opinion.  But many of them don't ask my opinion because they know what I'm going to say.

They are not sick and tired ENOUGH of being sick and tired, not enough to actually put the "I hope I can get healthy someday" vague (by intention) and distant (because they don't ever ACTUALLY see themselves accomplishing it) sentiment into an actual PLAN to do so.

I wish I could sit them all down for a moment and help them really SEE themselves as CAPABLE of creating HEALTH in their own lives.  Because if they SAW the end result, if they SAW the potential of what they could actually ACCOMPLISH one day at a time by incrementally adopting Habits of Health, they would be amazed and astounded.

And they would do whatever it takes to get there.  Which, they would find, is actually manageable, doable, and joyful.  Sure there are rough patches.  But we get through them, and we get on with it.

Back to my Fleetwood Mac and housecleaning.......

Rinse and Repeat!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Don't Hit The Rock! Don't Hit The Rock!

"Target fixation is a process by which the brain is focused so intently on an observed object that awareness of other obstacles or hazards can diminish. Also, in an avoidance scenario, the observer can become so fixated on the target that they will forget to take the necessary action to avoid it, thus colliding with the object. This is a common issue for motorcyclists and mountain bikers. A motorcycle or bicycle will tend to go where the rider is looking; if the rider is overly focused on an obstacle, the cycle can collide with that object simply because of the rider's focus on it, even though the rider is ostensibly trying to avoid it.
The term target fixation was used in World War II fighter-bomber pilot training to describe pilots flying into targets during a strafing or bombing run.[1]
Wikipedia describes this phenomenon, a phenomenon that my husband experienced all too well last weekend when he was out mountain biking with a friend.  He had waited at a wider spot on the trail so that his friend could catch up with him, and had been standing near his bike, holding on to it.  When his friend caught up, they chatted for a few moments, and as they remounted their bicycles, my husband noted a large boulder to the side in the path, easy to maneuver around.
As my husband began to move forward, he kept his eye on the boulder, so as to avoid it.  Unfortunately, he experienced this common phenomenon called "target fixation" and rammed head on with his front tire smack dab into the center of the boulder, the very thing he was concentrating so hard on avoiding.  He fell off his bike.  He was a little embarrassed.

How many times have we focused SO intently on NOT DOING SOMETHING that we just end up running smack dab into DOING THE VERY THING we were concentrating on avoiding?
Yep.  Target fixation.
World War II Bombers, in bombing training, would do the same thing.  They would fixate on their target, the thing they wanted to destroy, and instead of flying AROUND the target, they ended up flying right INTO the target.  That was the first time it was observed and quantified.
Dr. A talks much about focusing on what we WANT, not what we DON'T want.  Focusing on what we DON'T want, or on the behavior we DON'T want to do anymore, simply causes us to run right in to repeating it, again and again.
So, it there hope that we can accomplish this thing called "Optimal Health?"  Is there hope that we can truly change our habits of disease and replace them with habits of health?
The first step, though, is knowing WHAT WE WANT.  Until we know WHAT WE WANT we can't focus on it, can we?  It remains this misty apparition somewhere off in the distance of future-land, and we continue "hoping" that "someday" we might "get healthy".
Quantify it.  Figure out WHAT YOU WANT.  If you don't KNOW what YOU will look like healthy or what your LIFE will look like when you ARE healthy, then borrow some inspiration from other people who have had the success you are looking for.
I did that in my own journey.  You see, since I had never truly been a fit and healthy person for any length of time, I had no frame of reference for MYSELF as to what that might look like were I to BE fit and healthy.  So, I looked around me.  I found some "heroes" so to speak, people who had done exactly what I wanted to do, and I studied them.  Not in a stalking kind of creepy way, LOL, but I gleaned what I knew about their success from what they themselves had said or written.
Then I mimicked it.  You see, I'm not interested in being a Yo-Yo-er anymore, so why in the world would I try to become an expert on WHY I yo-yo, and why would I want to focus on NOT yo-yoing?  That will only cause me TO yo-yo.  And I'm done forever with that.
So, I picked a few people for inspiration.  I studied what they had done to be successful.  I mimicked it.  And guess what, now I AM successful.  I AM "one of those people", because I did what they did.  I didn't reinvent the wheel, or go modifying the plan because I'm so smart and know so much about nutrition.
Guess what these people did?  I'm thinking of one person in particular, who is living presently in Ultra-Health and has been for YEARS since losing weight with TSFL. 
She stuck to the plan.  She stuck to the 5&1 Plan, and did not modify or deviate.  Consistently. 
OK, I could do that, I thought to myself! 
Action #1:  Stick to the 5&1 Plan, no matter how I feel or what I think I know.
What else did she do? 
She began adding the Habits of Health as described in Dr. A's Habits of Health. 
Action #2:  Begin reading, with intention, Dr. A's Habits of Health and implementing those healthy habits.
She remained accountable to her Health Coach on a weekly basis.
Action #3:  Stay accountable personally, one-on-one, with my Health Coach. 
She waited until she was through transition and in to maintenance before stepping up her exercise, she followed the exercise guidelines of moderate exercise no more than 45 minutes per day on the 5&1.  In fact, she told me once that she merely did the eliptical trainer for 30 minutes 3-4 times per week while on the 5&1.  Cool!  I don't have to kill myself with exercise, in fact it is counter productive to do so!  Check!
People say that "weight loss" is 90% what you eat and 10% how much you move.  I disagree.  I believe, from my own experience, that it is 100% what you eat, and add movement TO that for best results.  I say this through my own experience, knowing that only if I was eating ON PLAN 100% would I have a prayer of success.  The movement that I added was of benefit, but only if I had NAILED the EATING PART.
Anyway, these are some things I have learned.  I am now rambling so let me sum up:
DON'T focus on what you DON'T want.
FIND out what you DO want, and FOCUS ON THAT.
If you don't KNOW what that looks like, look around for inspiration and then DO WHAT THOSE PEOPLE DID to find success.
(You will likely find, as I did, that "those people" didn't reinvent the wheel, they followed the proven TSFL System that is already in place and available for our use.)
Rinse and Repeat!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What if We Expected to Succeed Instead of Expecting to Fail?

What if we really accomplished what we set out to accomplish as regards our health?  I mean really did?  Come with me on a little journey in your imagination.  Let's suspend everything you have done in the past in this area.  Let's pretend that we cannot look back. 

Let's dream a little bit. 

Let's talk about that hope and dream that you have, the one that has thus far eluded you, to finally FINALLY have victory in the area of your weight?

CAN YOU IMAGINE what that would be like?  To wake up in the morning NOT feeling bad about what you ate yesterday?  To go in to your closet KNOWING that everything in there makes you look fantastic, and you don't just have to try on 10 things to find the item that a)fits and b)makes you look "less large"?  With tears involved?

Let's SAY that you could have ANY LIFE YOU WANTED.  Not someone ELSE'S life, but YOURS.  What would that look like?  What kind of person would you be?  What would YOU look like, outside AND inside?  What kind of person would you like to be, and still be YOU?  Imagine it!

Think on it for some good solid time.  WHAT IF all of this Medifast/TSFL stuff actually could deliver you THAT person, provided you took the initiative and followed the simple program?

Some of us are afraid that in order to commit to this kind of transformation we have to become "all about ourselves" and they think that perhaps others might think them selfish.  Let me ask you a real honest-to-goodness question.  Doesn't being fat make us all about ourselves also?  But in a way that makes us feel horrible?  I mean how many decisions do we make in the course of the day that is impacted in one way or the other because we are hyper-aware of our size?  I know when I was morbidly obese I was truly all about myself but in a negative "I hate the way I feel all the time" way.  I couldn't (read wouldn't) play with my boy on the floor.  I couldn't (read wouldn't) go swimming with him.  I agonized over what to wear that day.  I wouldn't go places where I might run in to people I knew because they might see I'd gained all my weight back

And that dream of finally attaining and maintaining a healthy weight hogged up all of my dream power.  It dominated my desires.  It was the one thing that had eluded me my entire life, and therefore I not only felt like a failure, but I spent all my creative energy trying to make it so, feeling like I was running on a hamster-wheel.

Once I got ON THE PATH to optimal health, USING THE SYSTEM that had been proven, and stopped DEVIATING FROM THAT SYSTEM in any way, that is when I began to ACTUALLY ACHIEVE what I had been dreaming about for so long.

And guess what happened?  My creative dream energy began to work on OTHER GOALS that I have for my life.  I began to BECOME that person I had always wanted to be. 

And I found out that taking care of myself physically, by eating right and exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, doesn't take a whole lot of time!  I am actually MORE available emotionally AND physically to my family than I ever was as a Class IV Morbidly Obese individual.  I love what I'm creating with my life!

Do you?  Do you know who you want to be?  Do you know how EXCITING it is to figure that out and then work TOWARDS it?  Or are you still stuck on the hamster wheel of "I can't believe I blew it again today...or last night...or on Saturday...."

If you KEEP "blowing it" time after time then I got news for ya.  You EXPECT to blow it.  If you didn't EXPECT to blow it, you wouldn't blow it.  We always get exactly what we expect our of ourselves
You expect to NOT succeed.  For some reason, you order your day or your life in such a way so that you CAN feel guilt and shame and self-loathing and I SO want to put my arms around you and tell you that you can CHANGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS about yourself in ONE HEARTBEAT.  In ONE DECISION.  Right.  Now.
You can BE the you that you've always WANTED to be, instead of the you that, thus far, you have EXPECTED to be.

My question is, will you?  5&1.  No exceptions.  Day in.  Day out.  Are you ready to transform?  Rinse and Repeat!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Thoughts on Goal Weight Setting....

I was thinking this morning about goal weights in general, and the tendency I had at the beginning of the journey to "not really think" that I could actually GET to a BMI of 21 which is what Medifast/TSFL recommended for me since, oh, 2006!

In working with people on accomplishing THEIR health goals, I see this tendency of setting our GOALS to accommodate our ACTIONS, instead of setting our ACTIONS to accommodate our GOALS.

What do I mean by this?

Well, so many people I speak to who are obese when they begin this plan tend to set their "goal weight" instinctively somewhere in the upper-over-weight zone, or sometimes even the Class 1 Obesity zone.  I believe this tendency springs from their idea of what is "realistic" for them, based on what they may have accomplished in the past, or where they may have "felt comfortable", because, for some people, they have truly never BEEN a healthy weight before!

I ALWAYS redirect, and let them know what the very top range of healthy would be for them, encouraging them that it IS POSSIBLE to be a healthy weight.  I think for many people, myself included for a long time, we just didn't believe it was possible.  Or that we had it "in" us to be ACTUALLY HEALTHY. 

But that is what this whole thing is all about for me. 

I want OPTIMAL HEALTH.  I didn't want "still overweight".  I didn't want "still obese".  THAT was not inspiring to me.

So I had to put aside what the little voice in the back of my head was whispering, you know that little voice that tells us that we CAN'T?  That little voice is a liar.

We can.

When I was maintaining for a 18 months last year, before making this final push to a BMI of 21, I was maintaining right on the cusp of overweight/healthy weight.  A BMI of about 25.   I would fluctuate a little here and there, and after my Gall Bladder surgery 11 months ago I was actually a BMI of 28 and brought it back down to 25 again, but I was still right there on the edge of overweight/healthy weight.

And I thought I looked pretty good!  I thought I looked GREAT actually!  Now that I look at pictures from that time, I know that my brain was pulling a fast one on me, not allowing me to see my true size.  Granted, I came down from 272 pounds and a BMI of 48, so to my brain smaller is smaller!  A BMI of 25 or 26 or even 28 was DRASTICALLY and INDISPUTABLY smaller than a BMI of 48.

However, now that I have a BMI of 23 those pictures of me at 25 and 26 look a little puffy if you know what I mean! 

So apparently I am dragging my self-perception and my brain along to health, kicking and screaming, because my brain didn't "see" me as puffy when I WAS still puffy.

Bottom line is I can't trust my self-perception, I need to go by the chart.  I need to go by the National Standards with the National Institute of Health, and what THEY say is healthy, with my frame size factored in.

Now, that doesn't mean that if I had a LARGE frame size that it would be a good goal to shoot for a weight in the OVERWEIGHT category.  No.  The BMI chart has accounted for frame size in the 33 pound swing of what it classifies as a HEALTHY weight for person (male OR female) who is 5 foot 3. 

My healthy weight range is, in black and white, 107-140.  That represents a BMI of 19-24.9 and THAT is healthy.

So when I talk about letting ACTIONS accommodate GOALS instead of the other way around, what I mean is this.

For about 18 months I allowed my PERCEPTIONS of what I THOUGHT I could accomplish dictate what my GOAL was.

What I CHANGED in April of this year is that I made the DECISION objectively that I was going to SET A GOAL and then make my ACTIONS align with my GOAL and not the other way around.

I was comfortable where I was, but I was not optimally healthy.  The difference in how I feel with a BMI of 23 as opposed to a BMI of 25-26 and even up to 28 after my surgery cannot be described, it is amazing.

Things were GREAT at a BMI of 25-26 though, I don't want to say they weren't.  But it was as if I was waiting for something to spur me to finish the job, it was like I was waiting to be motivated externally by something outside myself, and what I finally realized is that:

A)  Whether I BELIEVED I could get to my goal of a BMI of 21 or not wasn't the issue, the facts are that I can

B)  I was waiting to be motivated by emotional pain and conflict, which would be consistent with a yo-yo pattern of dieting, and since I wasn't GAINING my weight back that emotional pain and conflict was NOT ever going to arrive (YAY!), so I had to change my motivation.

C)  When I changed my motivation to what AWESOME and AMAZING things I could ACCOMPLISH and bring IN to my life as a result of obtaining my health goals as spurring me towards action (instead of a negative goal of emotional pain and conflict or what I wanted OUT of my life), I realized that I could finish this thing!  I could take my health and my journey exactly where I CHOOSE to take it.

So, I'm on my way.  I am presently 130, or a BMI of 23.  My goal is 118, or a BMI of 21. 

And so I am setting my ACTION to accommodate my GOAL and I set my GOAL by an objective standard not a subjective one.

Rinse and Repeat!