Tuesday, March 11, 2014
How long will it take? How much money will it cost me? How can I do this? Can I do this? If I don't do this, where will I be? What if this, and what if that...
We face a lot of questions along our healthy lifestyle journey. We deal with questions that we answer to either help motivate us to get where we want to be or that will end up sabotaging our own efforts, sending us right back to where we started.
Depending on how you answer those questions that arise, can determine the level of success you will have when it comes to a successful journey into a healthy lifestyle. If you can be positive and tell yourself that no matter how much time and effort it takes, I will meet my goals, then you set yourself up for the best possible approach to achieve the goals you set for yourself. If you are pessimistic about it, your answers to those questions will send you right back into the "Box Of I Can't".
Of course, just having a positive attitude doesn't guarantee you will reach any of your goals. If only it were that simple, right? You and I know that we still have to put in the time and effort it takes to make it, but a positive outlook is certainly a good place to start. On the other hand, if you are negative and answer those questions I posed earlier with excuse after excuse, you will be stuck in that "Box Of I Can't" with nobody to blame but yourself! It is a continuation of the lifestyle that got us where we are in the first place. To get where you want to go, you have to change what you are doing!
No matter what stage of the journey you are on, questions are inevitable, but it is up to you which way you answer them. Will you tackle them head on with a positive outlook and tell yourself that you will reach your goals no matter what, or will you have a negative outlook and make excuses and find yourself perpetually stuck in the "Box Of I Can't"?
The choice is yours.
Embrace The Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
As some of you may know, I hurt my back pretty bad in the middle of November doing my new workout program. I didn't hurt myself doing anything really abnormal or crazy, I hurt myself doing a squat. I hurt myself doing a SQUAT?!?! How did I hurt myself doing something I have done thousands of over the last 18 months or so?!?!
For the better part of 3 days, I could only crawl around my house. For the better part of a week, I couldn't walk without significant pain. For the better part of this last month, I have dealt with the pain in my back. Perhaps harder than dealing with the pain is dealing with the mental side of this injury.
I have had minor injuries and pains over the last 18 months or so. I have had knee pain since I was a teenager. I have had foot pain for nearly as long, residuals of having 3 stress fractures in my feet over a six year period in high school and college. I hurt my shoulder back in January working out and was told I likely have a partially torn rotator cuff. I have even hurt my back a few times and that has kept me from working out a day or two at a time. All of those injuries I successfully rested or worked my way through.
This particular back injury in November has been a sobering reminder to me of how fragile this journey is. A reminder of how important our physical and mental well being are to what we can accomplish with our healthy lifestyle changes and how much the two are intertwined. A reminder of how one day or week we can feel like we are on top of a mountain and we will never be stopped on our way to our goal to the next day or week where it feels like we were pushed off the mountain and fell all the way to the bottom hitting every ledge and tree along the way.
I felt that. I felt like I had scaled Mount Weight Loss! I had conquered it! Why would I not think that? I went from a high of 509 lbs. in May of 2009 down to my original goal of 299 lbs. in July of 2013. I had those days, weeks where I felt like I could do no wrong. But, I have also had those days and weeks where I couldn't get out of my own way!
Yes it happens. Yes, it will happen again. There was something a little different this time. I didn't let my diet get out of control so I am thankful for that. I am thankful that my healthy lifestyle changes probably have sunk into my muscle memory enough to where I didn't let my diet be totally derailed. In the past, I am sure I would have drowned my physical pain in pizza and ice cream...and let's be honest, tacos, candy, cookies, pasta, bread...you know where I am going here.
But I did let the injury get to my spirit. I was on track and doing the best workouts I had done since late summer and then boom! No workouts! It was a unwelcomed wake-up that I could have done without. It seemed like an awful time for an injury like that but then I thought about it. When exactly is a good time for an injury like that?
That got me thinking about how fragile our journey is. If I would have had this same injury when I just started Insanity at 433 lbs., would I have kept going or would I have thrown in the towel? I have a sinking feeling, that Old Brad would have thrown in the towel.
But now, I will speak to Old Brad and use the wise words of one Tom Petty, "DON'T COME AROUND HERE NO MORE!" Old Brad won't get me where I want to go!
I am happy to say that my back and mindset are doing much better now and I am getting back on track with workouts! I will use this setback as an opportunity to learn as I go forward. I will use this reminder to propel me on to bigger and better things! I am determined to successfully navigate this holiday season eating minefield, and go into 2014 energized and ready for the best year yet!
Who's with me?
Embrace Your Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Noted author, minister, and counselor Hugh Prather once said, "I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful I will not fall from heaven. But a 'mistake' is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder I am not dealing with the facts. When I have listened to my mistakes I have grown."
It is easy to talk about my hopes, dreams, and aspirations. That is the stuff that we like to talk about. That is the stuff that we like to read about. Honestly, that is the fun stuff to write about! Don't get me wrong, those are things that we need to to see and hear about if we want to be successful. Knowing the positives and knowing that we can make it happen is very important to our success. But to be successful, we also have to realize and confront that we are not perfect and we will make mistakes.
We are human and we will make mistakes. We always start off with the intention to be perfect and we think we won't make mistakes, but from time to time, we will. We might eat some pizza we hadn't intended. We might skip the gym because we are tired. Mistakes will happen.
How many times have you had a bad day, week, or month and said that today is the day? How many times have you said this time will be different? How many times when you "start over" and have a perfect day, that you think you can do every day perfect, just like that?
I know if you are anything like me, the answer to all of those questions is many times. That is a great attitude as long as we can also accept that we will make mistakes. Life happens and there will be days that are not perfect. Accept that you may stumble from time to time but also know that you won't let that keep you down.
Mistakes are acceptable.
When mistakes happen, do not run away from them. Winner's do not run away from their mistakes. People who are successful, do not run away from their mistakes. Mistakes build character. Mistakes can often offer you the biggest lessons you will learn on your journey.
It can be hard to do, but don't get stuck thinking how you coulda, woulda, or shoulda done things differently! It can feel like one little mistake in your diet or exercise, will undo weeks, months, or even years of hard work. Do your best not to minimize the mistakes. Don't let your mistakes define you or your journey! Let how you rebound and conquer those mistakes define you and your journey!
Remember that mistakes aren't a total failure if you can learn something from it.
So learn from your mistakes. Realize where and how the mistake happened, and do your best not to repeat it. We do ourselves a disservice if we do not continue to learn during our journey. We should never stop learning along this process because the process if forever changing and evolving. You are forever changing and evolving, so your journey should change and evolve right with you.
Keep an open mind. Don't let the fear of making mistakes hold you back. Don't allow one mistake to start you on that downward spiral! Don't keep a tighter grip on the negative experiences more so than your positive ones!
Look at mistakes as an opportunity for growth. Use your mistakes to make yourself even better today than you were yesterday! If we learn from our mistakes, we will conquer them!
Embrace Your Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Earlier this year, I started a blog with the words, "Someday, I honestly want to say, I MADE IT!"
Later that same day, I cringed a bit thinking about how I phrased the first line of that blog. At face value, it seems like a perfectly sound statement. The statement is accurate as it pertains to my health and fitness. Saying, "I MADE IT!" is very important to me. The problem with the phrase is the verb I use, "want". It may be the perfectionist in me speaking, but "want" should have been "will"! I should have said, "Someday, I honestly WILL say, I MADE IT!"
"MADE IT" is up to your own definition. Do you define it as making a certain number on the scale? Do you define it as being able to achieve some sort of physical challenge like a race? Do you define it as making a true lifestyle change that allows you to be as happy and healthy as you can be?
You and I both know how hard this thing is physically. We have to change our lifestyles 180 degrees from what we were doing. We have to get up and move! We have to exercise and push ourselves harder than most of us have ever pushed ourselves before. We deal with the aches in our joints and the soreness in our muscles, all in the name of getting healthy and trying to "make it". But, if you are anything like me, that physical pain is the easy part of this journey compared to the mental strain!
We are constantly dealing with the mental strain of what we are doing. We have to deal with that balancing act of being strict but not too hard on our selves for the healthy or unhealthy decisions we make. We have to have a short memory so we can forget a mistake and get back on track while keeping a long memory to learn from the mistake so we never make it again! It is a delicate game of chess that we play on a daily basis that can put the physical side of all this to shame!
In order to be successful and see the true change in our lives, we need that "WILL" mindset! Not if. Not might. Not want. WILL! No matter how big of a loss you want to see on the scale, you need to believe that you WILL make that number! Believe in the process. Believe in your struggle. Believe you WILL!
Did you fall down yesterday? Did you slip up? That was yesterday and today is a new day! A day filled with new opportunities, new challenges, new goals, and new possibilities! Embrace it! I want you to think to yourself right now, what am I going to do today to make myself better than yesterday? What am I going to do right now to take a step (even a baby one) in the direction to meet my goal? What am I going to do to make that "WILL" a reality?
I met my goal by tracking my food daily and keeping my calorie, fat, carb, and protein numbers within my allotted ranges. I finished Insanity, P90x, Tap Out XT, Les Mills Combat, and a 100 Day Hybrid of the four programs. The hard work I put in every day allowed me to go from 509 lbs. down to 293 lbs! That is how I have and continue to work towards being able to say, "I WILL MAKE IT!"
You won't take the path I took to get where you want to be. What worked for me, worked for me. You need to find your path. Just know, this thing takes work! This journey takes work! The success that you are looking for, takes hard work! We earn it!
We WILL, "MAKE IT!" We will NOT lay our king down in this chess game! We WILL put our unhealthy lifestyle in CHECKMATE!
Embrace The Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Since it is Halloween, what better to talk about than the costumes we wear. No, I do not mean the long-bearded, camo-wearing costume of everyone's favorite Duck Commander , Si. Nor do I mean the once Disney child-tv-star turned "twerking" pop diva Miley Cyrus. However popular those and other fictional character, celeb favorite, funny pun, or creative monsters are going to be amongst adults in the hallways and cubicles of your workplace today, those are not the types of costumes I speak of. I speak of the costumes that we wear from day to day in our lives.
I for one have not actually dressed up in a costume for nearly 25 years. It just isn't my thing. I am not anti Halloween costume, I just either don't have any place to go to wear a costume, such a party, or, I just don't want to spend the money on something I am essentially going to wear one time. On a quick side note, I will admit that there is one costume that I will have to wear one of these years. As some of you know I work in Louisville, Kentucky which is the home of the Kentucky Derby. One of these days I will dress up as a jockey! How funny would it be to see a 6'7" 290 lb. jockey? I've almost lost more weight than the combined weight of two jockeys, but I digress.
I may not have worn an actual "Halloween Costume" in nearly 25 years, but the truth is I have worn many costumes since I last dressed up for Halloween. I have not worn the "traditional" funny or scary costumes that you will see knocking on your door looking for a Snickers or Butterfinger tonight but I have however worn the every day, real-life ones.
We all wear these costumes. We wear our Mom or Dad costumes. We wear our sister or brother costumes. We wear our daughter or son costumes. We wear our wife or husband costumes. These costumes are ones that we wear that are full of love and pride and don't want to change them for anything in the world!
But we have also been wearing this other costume. Often we have worn this costume for most of our lives. We wear this costume and we do not feel pride for ourselves with it on. We do not feel the love for ourselves that we should. We often wear this costume with shame and sadness. I know I did.
I am speaking of our "overweight" costume.
Much like a Darth Vader costume must come with a light saber, the "overweight" costume comes with accessories like shame, failure, and hopelessness.
We don't want this costume and it's accessories. We have tried to get rid of this costume many times and for many years, but it has stubbornly stayed on like a bad version of "Groundhog Day". It is a costume that we wear but we do not want any part of! If there were a life costume contest, we would slowly sneak out the side door when an announcement of "Is there anyone else who wants to enter the costume contest?" Well...no more!
To celebrate Halloween 2013, let's get to work on a new costume. Maybe some of us will work on our "progress" costumes while others will work on our "maintenance" costumes. Wherever you stand in your journey right now at Halloween 2013, let's start work towards our Halloween 2014 costume..."SUCCESS"! In 2014, we will enter our "success" costume in that costume contest!
The "success" costume comes with accessories like increased energy, confidence, and sense of accomplishment! The "success" costume is not something that is given to us. We must earn that costume! The "success" costume takes hard work and dedication! With that hard work and dedication, we will take home first prize in that costume contest...a happier and healthier lifestyle that we can be proud of wearing from that day forward!
Embrace Your Possibilities
Good Day Sparkville
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