Reaching out for support

march 2011While I’m making progress, I suspect there are others out there that are looking for support too.  Not finding one easily, I posted this on Facebook, and the feedback has been very positive, with at least a dozen folks interested.  I’ll have to wait until this play I’m in is over but looking forward to creating this support group. Fourteen people have responded with interest in just a couple of days.

From Facebook:  Not optimistic that I’ll find what I’m looking for and might have to form a group. I’m looking for a place that offers support for healthy eating and inspires fitness, something of a 12 step approach but also welcomes ideas about changing habits, mindfulness, and addressing the emotional foundation to unhealthy and self destructive lifestyle.

This group would provide support, non-judgement, anonymity, compassion, and inspiration.

Also, if you can suggest a venue, such as a church or meeting place open to use in the evening, maybe one day a week.

(Pictures are from the internet. The guy is not me. I’m overweight but much better looking.)

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

Better Health as a Goal

I’m the last person in the world to tell you how to get healthy. It has been the one area of my life where I have been least successful (so far). But all of us have experiences and knowledge about success in some areas.

Charles Duhigh wrote a great book called the Power of Habit.
I listened to it a couple of years ago and considered it one of the more transformational books I know of. In his story, he lost weight not by depriving himself, but by substituting one positive behavior for another, by giving himself a reward when he did something noteworthy, until the habit was solidified. Here is a short explanation of the book but if it resonates, there are TED talks out there too. Duhigg is well documented. What have you read or heard that motivated you. One more.
Lately, I’m trying to be mindful of my emotions and using them to move forward. Lately fear is up there. I’m in a play and don’t want to humiliate myself, or let the staff down by not knowing my lines. But a fear years ago when I lost weight, it was after listening to a tape by Brian Tracy. He is a very successful entrepreneur, and has inspired others to become successful themselves. He has a 12 step process of goal setting. The most important to me, after writing down all the benefits of achieving the goal, is to VISUALIZE having achieved that goal, and feeling how great it is. He, and many others, say that it is the emotion that truly is the fuel in the engine of positive change.
I’ve got to get on with the day but I plan to start compiling a list of benefits to better health. I wonder how long a list we can come up with. Everyone’s list will probably be different but I suspect there will be some shared items, such as confidence in appearance, longer life, higher quality life, longevity, sense of achievement, energy level, reduction of aches and pains, and oh year…that annual trip to the beach, where you have to wear a swimsuit, and often go shirtless? I dread that part. I admit. I am embarrassed.
What’s on your list?

WWJD

Not what you would think. I have a brother, who will remain nameless here but his first name starts with J, thus, WWJD. The guy is a veritable wealth of information. As he should be. He enjoys retirement and now hoping to supplement his pension with book sales, and wood shop creations. He has lost about 20 lbs and still going strong. He is within 10 lbs of his goal weight.

The picture below is just someone off the internet. It can be done.

You are stronger than you know.

From my brother.  “Here are a few of the people I have been listening to just in case you’re interested or want to get a better understanding of what I’m doing.  All too often with YouTube, the information is good but the goofballs delivering it are virtually intolerable. I found these people to be informative, easy to watch, understand and tolerate.  Anytime I had a question regarding anything about insulin, intermittent dieting, fasting, apophagy, what foods to eat, etc., I would usually look to one of these experts. I know it’s a lot, so save this email to use as a reference when you have the time.

Twelve Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A01SVcqQOC4
How to quit Sugar & Unhealthy Habits https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olEMIohTgzQ

How Carbs Make You Fat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4QY9yU6Inc

How Carbs Turn to Fat: Weight Loss Secret- Thomas DeLauer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-5Y9om1Nfw

Coming Soon

Random thoughts but no time to put it down yet.

1. Using character strengths according to survey at Authentic Happiness.com
2. Understanding how using a fixed mind set to hinder and a growth mindset to help.
3. Brene Brown on shame and weight loss. I might have to just interpret what I know about that one.
4. Generating enthusiasm through visualization.
5. Using your higher power to garner strength, if you believe in that stuff (I do).
6. Forget about blondes; fit people have more fun.
7. More on the skill of changing habits according to Duhigg.
Would you like to write something? I can add you as a contributor.

Finding Inspiration

If they can do it, so can I.
My belief in the sentiments of “Seek and ye shall find.” and all the other law of attraction and verbiage about “manifesting your own destiny” continues to be affirmed, day after day. I’m open to, and looking for inspiration, but not going out of my way to find it. But it finds me. The other day, a new friend revealed to me that she lost 70 lbs in the last year. Holy Moly!. And then yesterday, a friend from 46 years ago revealed nonchalantly the loss of 50 lbs in the last 9 months. Wow to them and others.
The how-to of weight loss has been well documented. Find something you are comfortable with and feels right. For some, weight watchers, for others, low carb, for others, Ketogenic.
The real battle is in the mind, and maybe the heart, and the soul. My friend was kind enough to share their thoughts in a long text message and there were three statements that jumped out. They said:
  • I gained all the weight when I was unhappy.
  • I want my body to feel authentic to me.
  • I have reclaimed my life and my body.
“I gained all the weight when I was unhappy.” I was a fairly unhappy kid, and we ate lots of sugar and carbs. Sometime in elementary school, the TV became my friend, second only to a large bowl of ice cream. I packed on the lbs, and those closest to me were either unaware or too absorbed by their own pain to bother. Dad drank. Mom was depressed, and tried to fill the empty feeling with food. Siblings were trying to find their own happiness.
In high school, I decided to lose weight, and did. And damn, life got more fun. Dances, ice skating, roller skating, biking, swimming, scuba diving, jogging, racquetball, skiing and more. I had more confidence, and when bored, I could always “do” something, usually outside to bring me around. On the occasions that I took off my shirt, I wasn’t embarrassed. It felt good to be strong.
Must have been about 18. Plenty of energy for just about anything.
And then (dum, dum, dum, dum), adulting. Stressful job. Unhappy marriage. Gradually put the weight on. There were ups and downs of course, a few years here or there where I rallied and made some progress. Later in my single days, stress of parenting, and my career, I packed it back on. At my peak, I was over 240. Yikes. Even now at 215, I don’t like what I see. I don’t like feeling like this.
Almost hiding my double chin.
I’ve gotten pretty happy over the last ten years. Finally learned how to teach in such a way that it was mostly fun. Found a wonderful partner. Retired and pursuing other hobbies and interests. And now, I am ready to reclaim my life, make it possible to do all the things I can do, including keeping up with my very active partner.
I’m taking back my body, to serve me and enable me to pack as much life in the next 20 years as possible. I have grandkids to watch and help grow, a partner with a eye for excitement and adventure, hiking trails to hike, hills to climb, bikes (both bicycles and motorcycles) that need riding, and who knows? Maybe even a horse to be ridden.
So I ask you.
1. Are you happy?
2. Are you comfortable in your body?
3. What’s on your list to do before you give up the ghost and start counting worms?

Mindset: Fixed or Growth as it relates to healthy eating.

The battle is not in the kitchen, the fast food restaurant or even a fork. It is in the mind.

It occurred to me that the same beliefs that hinders people ability to learn is the same that hinders success in health and weight loss. If you haven’t heard of growth mindset by Carol Dweck, it is transformative to learning. It is not lack of brain power, it is the mindset that enables some to learn, and others not.
I’m guilty for sure. My faulty habit of thinking says I can’t do this. it is too difficult. What’s the point? Other people feed me incorrectly. And finally, even if I succeed, after all the effort, I’ll just gain back the weight I lost. And even worse, even if I get healthy, it won’t matter, I’ll still be unhappy.
It ties into the Brene Brown theme of shame. I’m not strong enough, and ultimately good enough to succeed. And if I do, I’m still the same unworthy person I was before, and no one will love me.
Maybe getting healthy has more to do with loving oneself, and expectation of being loved, if in fact that is the strongest motivator. That’s a blog for another day.
By applying, and I admit, near reprogramming of our brain and self talk, a growth mindset as it relates to healthy eating sounds like this.
  • I can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to do this.
  • I like to try new foods and learn how to prepare new dishes.
  • I like a challenge, and over time can succeed.
  • If I mess up, back slide or slip, I can restart the next day.
  • We are allowed to make mistakes.
  • Feedback, e.g., the scale, clothes fitting looser or tighter, is just feedback and can guide me to continue on the path of success or tell me I need to do something different.
  • There are others out there who have succeeded and will cheer me on and help me.

I am going to think more, and encourage you to think more about what limiting beliefs get in the way, and what statements and truths I (and maybe you) need to remind myself.