In some ways, I think I’m discovering the secret to happiness. It includes a variety of ideas and influences that all seem to blend into one overall manifesto of sorts. It includes self worth, the Four Agreements, Growth Mindset (C. Dweck), Flourish (as explained by Seligman), mantras committed to memory from Alanon and groups related to Adult Children of Alcoholics, Brian Tracy’s principles and practices for success, and finally a faith/philosophy that makes sense to me and gives my life purpose.
This year, and I believe as a result of the culmination of all those influences, I’m ready. You can take your country back but I want my body back. I hired a wonderful personal trainer named Bruce Pahl at Little’s Gym in West Jefferson. He is full of information, that I can only absorb a bit at a time but I’m convinced he knows his stuff. In addition to food, what to eat, what to combine, what to avoid, we are working on an exercise plan, again, little by little. So I’m committed to changing how I eat and when and how much to exercise to reach my goal of a leaner, meaner body, that tips in under 200 lbs by my 62nd birthday. That’s only about 15 lbs to loose in the next five and a half months but I have to keep in mind I might gain weight in muscle as I lose fat.
At Tuesdays training, Bruce got a couple of pictures of me; front side and back. Of course I had my baggy t-shirt on, so it was pretty hard to tell just what was underneath. Danielle and I have been talking about taking a “before” picture and then my wise and all knowing brother (I’m serious, the guy knows stuff) said regular pictures is critical. When Paul talks, I listen.
So yesterday, home alone, Danielle at work, I set up the camera on a tripod. Camera has a 10 second timer and took some pics. Wearing only my swimsuit, I clicked away. Holy crap!!! Do I really look like that? Surely, pictures lie, right? I look much better in the mirror. To confirm the prismatic distortions, I emailed Danielle the pics with encouragement to be honest, I’m tough, I can take it. Alas, she said, the pictures were accurate. Well, heck fire, I am not taking it personally (The Four Agreements) and telling myself honest feedback is just data (Growth Mindset) I will accept the reality and use the data to be even more careful with my food intake and exercise.
So, I challenge you. Even though you look in the mirror probably daily at home, or maybe in the gym, let the camera document where you are. Then congratulate yourself for the courage it took to do that, and assess where you are in life and the vehicle that moves you along. If you like what you see, great. If not, then maybe, that picture just might be the inspiration you need to take the bull by the horns and do something different.