Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Roller Coaster: Weeeeeee!

Guest post by my wonderful friend Karen who blogs over at Cr8tivecontent.

Tis the season to be jolly and to be grateful, for last minute shopping, for Christmas cookie food comas and for the love/hate relationship with food to spiral out of control.
First, let’s make it clear that food is not the enemy. Indulge. Partake. Drink and be merry. The truth is, for some of us, it isn’t that easy.
Let’s face it - holiday eating can virtually unravel every effort and sacrifice we made and shatter most of the self-esteem and confidence we’ve built up in the previous months. Its almost as if all the pounds lost, the hours logged in the gym, and money and time spent on food and meal prepping was all in vain. A treat turns into a meal, then it turns into an all day eatingpalooza and before you know it, weeks have gone by.
 Suddenly, we snap back to reality. We dust the sugar cookie crumbs off our shirt, wipe chocolate from our mouth and resolve to make RESOLUTIONS to end all RESOLUTIONS (cue Gladiator music).
“I’m going to take the stairs whenever possible.”
“I will walk to work unless it rains.”
“I am going to buy all new workout clothes.”
“I will do boot camps till I puke. If I puke I’m doing good, right?"
"I will punch myself in the face everytime I eat somethng bad."
STOP! Before you go any further. Before you make a resolution. Before you set another goal.
Dig really deep and ask yourself WHY AM I DOING THIS? There have to be reasons why so many of us put ourselves on this roller coaster of emotions.
In Alan’s post Why I Keep Going?, he goes beyond the usual reasons – to lose weight, to feel good or too look good, etc. Those are good reasons but they don’t fan the spark that burns into the fire of what keeps us going.
Our motivation has to literally have us jumping out of our skin we want it so badly. Otherwise, we are merely wishing and hoping, hoping and wishing.
Alan’s core reasons:
1.Vanity – Nothing wrong with that. We live in a very visual world.

2. Family - To ensure he is there for them whenever and however they need him.

3. Future Family - This is probably the anchor, a family of his own, where he can give his best because he is at his best.  

Looking at Alan’s reasons this is what we need to do to help control the yo-yo effects of establishing a new fit identity. The achievement of our goals need to be life or death, as important as the air we breathe or we won’t be successful.
In the next few weeks, if we can answer the following questions we can MASTER our food impulses because we UNDERSTAND them better and we now know WHY we must succeed.

1. Chart your relationship/associations with food throughout the major stages of life. Not all associations are bad but some are. What was/is food to you?

2. Write down why you think your life would be better if you were in better shape.

3. Make two columns marked pleasure and pain. If you do achieve your goals, what pleasure and what pain will you gain? If you do not achieve your goals, what pleasure and what pain will you get?
Hard to believe, but we have been wired to derive pleasure and comfort in eating patterns, even if destructive. If we can change those associations, and visualize them as real consequences we have a better chance. For example, for Alan the mental image of leaving his family to go to the gym or dreading a visit to the doctor, are practically unbearable.
 We encourage you to write your answers in a journal and share whatever you are comfortable with in the comments. Though our paths may be different and we started at different times, our journey is the same.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why I keep going...

Why I keep going? What keeps you motivated? How do you bounce back after a bad week? I get these questions A LOT. Truth be told a lot keeps me going.

 I would be lying if I didn't say that part of what keeps me going is the vanity items that come with weight loss. It's true I want a nice body. I want nice large biceps, I want to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see. I want to be able to buy clothes from any store of my choice. All these things are great and I think many of us trying to lose weight want them. However these items are only a small portion of what keep me going. Don't get me wrong, I WANT all the vanity items that I talk about above but they aren't what keeps my fire inside raging. They aren't what pushes me to get to the gym even when I am dead tired, they aren't what get me to prep my meals every week, they aren't what gets me through the workouts when all I want to do is give up!

First and foremost I want my health, I want control of it. I want to tell my body what it can and can't do and not the other way around. I want to keep my blood pressure in the normal range which thankfully it has been for awhile now. I don't want to be scared to go see a doctor because of what they will say about my weight. I NEVER want to have sleep apnea again, thankfully I got rid of it after the first 60 lbs I lost. I never want to hear a doctor say to me again  "You are pre diabetic". We often take our health for granted until we no longer have it, I dont want to take mine for granted.

Also another HUGE part of what keeps me going is that fact that I want a wife and a family. I want to meet a woman and fall in love and I want to spend the rest of my life exploring everything her. I want to build a family with her, I want all that very badly. I am really tired of being alone and not sharing my life with everyone but that is how I need to be for right now. I know many people have told me I can lose weight and have a relationship and family at the same time and many people I know have done it. But honestly everyone's journey is different and we all will reach our goals in different ways and this is the way I have chosen to reach mine. Some of the reasons why I have decided to do it this way is because when I have a wife and kids I want to give myself to them whenever they need me. I don't want to have to tell my wife I will be home late every night because I need to go to the gym. I don't want to leave her so that I can go deal my MY weight issues. Yes I would love for us to both workout together and go to the gym together but  I want it to be a choice we make together and not because I MUST do it to save my life. I don't want to miss doing homework my with kids, I don't want to miss tucking them in and reading to them. I don't want them to always wonder why I am always working out and not home with them. I don't want to tell them I am too tired to play outside. I want my future family to know that they come first to me and that everything else comes second. Of course I plan to continue living a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life but like I said before I want it to be a choice of staying healthy at that point and not a must to save my life. I am not saying I have 100% locked my heart away until I reach some magic number on the scale, all I am saying is that I am very focused right now and it is possible that I would let someone into my life but I would have to feel that it was THE ONE I wanted to be with forever.

On top of all of this another HUGE thing that keeps me going is my Mama, Sisters, Brothers, Nieces and Nephews. I want to be there for all of them. I want to take care of my Mama as she gets older, I don't want her to ever worry about getting older because I will always be there for her as long as I am breathing. I want all my siblings to know that their big brother is someone they can always lean on and come to when they need anything no matter how big or small. I want my nieces and nephews to know that I love them as if they were my own. That I love them with all my heart and even when I have my own children one day they will always remain in my heart and that I would move worlds for them if they needed it.

That is what keeps me going!