Wednesday, August 13, 2014
So far I have been doing really good. For those just tuning in, I am recovering from shoulder surgery and am off work until I am done rehabbing. I decided to challenge myself to the following:
What would happen if I was to take the next 30 days unrestricted by work demands to eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest, and improve my family / social ties? What effect would that have on my overall health and weight?
-Improvements would give credibility to the idea that we / I live a fast paced toxic lifestyle that is harming our health.
-Continuation of bad habits would give credibility to the idea that we are our own worst enemy and that we need to quit pining away after the ideal situation, the notion of if it wasn't for this or that, I would be successful in my journey.
So far it is Day 8 of my challenge and these are my observations:
Discipline: - When the structure of work demands, deadlines, life stresses is suddenly removed, it takes purposeful effort to reconnect with your goals on a daily basis. It is far too easy to drift because time is received to be unlimited.There is a certain honeymoon where your work life discipline stays in place because of habit but when that which was such a precious commodity is now in abundance, we have a tendency to slow down and urgency goes out the window.
While I have been fairly disciplined in my approach, I have been finding it easier and easier to sleep longer, stay up later, and generally dismiss urgency to tomorrow. Even more so now since I found out I wont even start physical therapy until after September 12th and that will last about a month so overall, I wont be back to work until early October.
Observation: Time is a precious commodity and it takes a great deal of discipline to motivate from within to seize upon every opportunity. It is a challenge to stay disciplined without external forces demanding it. Take away the external forces and you are only left with your character as a driving force.
Stress: My stress levels have gone down dramatically. Prior to my surgery, I was pretty burned out. I knew there were issues but never really realized to what extent until the stress was removed. I was completely flat and my personal ambition had hit the skids. Now after 8 short days I feel totally recharged and ambitious again. Stress can take away your ability to dream and will make a slave out of you. we are only beginning to understand the full effects of stress on our physiology but the information we do have is not good.
Observations: In our frantic efforts to do good, to become all things to all people, we inadvertently become nothing to ourselves. I have seen this play out in other peoples lives including my own. We find meaning in giving of ourselves, caring for others, or devoting ourselves to a cause or work. While this is not a bad thing in and of itself, I have witnessed far too many people throw themselves under the bus making sure that their kids have everything they never had, that they build some sort of financial ivory tower for themselves, or never say no to anyone as if this will earn them a coveted spot behind the pearly gates. An axe is only as effective as it is sharp and unless we take care of ourselves first, we will never be effective in delivering meaningful service to others. PERIOD. Time spent recharging and reconnecting with those things we value is never wasted.
In my newly recovered ambition, I completed my Sports Conditioning certification and am now in the process of collecting and compiling information for a book I am planning to write. That has always been a big goal of mine.
I don't feel I have all the answers, neither am I perfect, but I have learned enough about successfully losing weight and maintaining it that I feel a sense of mission and obligation to pass on what I know in hopes that someone will be helped. Maybe what Ishare will be what it takes for someone to make a break through. Knowing that I was a part of that in some small way would be a reward without price.
I am reminded of the motto for Para-rescue and Recovery (USAF)
"That Others May Live"
Some things are simply worth doing.
Friday, August 08, 2014
So far, things have gone far better than I expected. My mobility has improved greatly and I have been working out and watching my intake consistently. I will post something more detailed a little later as well as observations and such. Here is one such observation that hit me this morning and pretty much sums it up. What you are about to read is a very condensed version of all that i have learned in the last 6 years of my journey when it comes to motivation.
Here is your thought for the day.
I get asked all the time " what do I do to get motivated?, I just don't feel like it"
I have learned that motivation is only a spark, it's habit that keeps you anchored in a healthy lifestyle. The good feelings come from doing what you know you should be doing, not motivation. The bad feelings come from living in opposition to what you feel in your heart you should be doing. You want the good feelings? Commit in spite of how you feel. Want motivation?, look in the mirror and think of all the reasons why you don't want to be tied to a needle, an oxygen tank, or a wheelchair when you're 70, then refuse to surrender your mobility to convenience, and proceed to get off your butt.
Anything less than this means you love your comfort zone more than your future.
if you analyze this, what starts off as mental contemplation then becomes a verb and verbs are the prerequisite to success. It isn't a noun (person, place, or thing) and it isn't an adjective (anything that describes).
Rinse, lather, repeat.... It's just that simple.
- Author, ME
Find Me On Facebook :) www.facebook.com/robert.wadhams.7
Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Life has put me in the time out corner for a little while. To get to the point, I had an old injury rear its ugly head over the last year and it got to the point that I had to do something about it. About 15 yrs ago I was trying to be macho man at a softball game and swung way too hard and of course, I missed but I did succeed in tearing the cartilage in my right shoulder. July 30th I went in to have it operated on and so far my recovery is going well.
The first 72 hours was pretty tough. Brushing my teeth and other basic things I took for granted now required ninja-like skills (I'm right handed) and dropping something on the floor was bad news. I couldn't just pick it up because bending over put pressure on my shoulder and was painful. That's when I would flip it up in the air with my foot and catch it with my left hand. :: Level 2 Ninja Skills Unlocked ::
Went for a 2 mile walk on the treadmill at the gym and felt really good. After several days of "house arrest", it was a blessing to be released for good behavior (and before family beats me up and throws me out on the street for driving them crazy) Seriously, it feels really good to be able to function again.
I will be starting physical therapy probably toward the end of August or early September. So until then, any exercise I do is pretty much from the core down until the pro's evaluate me and determine what is safe. This is something I DON'T want to go through again.
This also presents a very unique opportunity for me. For a minimum of about 6+ weeks I will have complete control of my time and my life. No shift work, no imbalances caused by my circadian rhythm being all screwed up, no outside influences, no work stress, no demands dictating when I sleep and when I can do what. Nothing. Short of therapy appointments, I am my own man for 30-45 days.... paid.
So... I pose a question.
If you have ever seen Supersize Me, where the guy goes on a McDonalds only diet for 30 days, you may have a clue as to what I am about to ask.
What would I be capable of if I had no distractions or external temptations for the next 30 days?
What this means-
1) A full nights sleep with no alarm clock. wake up with the sun as opposed to something unnatural.
2) Total focus on nutrition, I am in complete control.
3) Fitness is no longer something to be squeezed in, it is my job for 30-45 days.
4) Family time and other enhancing activities, no longer dictated by work demands.
This will be interesting because it would show that:
-Successes, previously unattainable, would show just how toxic and counter-productive our hectic modern lifestyle really is. How our rush-rush life is working against us.
-Failures and difficulties would also show who the real enemy is, ME. That for all the excuse making and finger pointing, at the end of the day, we are our own worst enemy.
There is a certain about of hesitation when I say I am going to do this because I am not too anxious to lock horns with the real enemy, he is truly vicious and unforgiving. We can sometimes lean on reasoning's like "if it wasn't for my job, situation, relationship etc.... I could do X, Y, or Z. Admit it, haven't we all day dreamed a time or two of what it would be like if we could live unrestricted, if we could live in a bubble, oh the things we could do?
Well, this is my opportunity to do just that. I have always wondered this and have often complained of how life holds me back from doing what I have always wanted.
So I am reaching out to you, my friends in the Spark community, to cheer me on. I am going to be doing a blog series here about my journey and my observations. Basically I am going to be a human guinea pig living in a glass box. What am I able to do for 30 days eating right, exercising, getting rest, and tending to much needed family time?
Let's find out.
follow my daily progress on Facebook...
Monday, June 16, 2014
I got quite the surprise in my lunch today. I am on midnight shift this week and predictably, I felt myself starting to sink into a slump. It happens every time I rotate to night shift. The feelings of isolation and sleep deprivation all begin to take their toll and it can be quite overwhelming. When I was getting ready for my second 12hr shift, I found a note from my oldest daughter. It wasn't fancy, just a simple note telling me how much she loved and appreciated me and how she wanted to take me out for dinner once I get off nights. She even bought me a Subway with her own money.
It is amazing how something so simple can turn things around for a guy. I can't remember the last time I have gotten a simple note of appreciation in my lunch. I wrapped it up and stuck it in my pocket so when I start feeling down, I can pull it out and read it all over again.
I don't talk much about what I do here on Spark because I try to be upbeat and fitness oriented in my posts. After bouncing around doing various jobs I finally got one of the best jobs in the area. It's union, pays very well, and my family no longer goes without. Unfortunately, that kind of freedom also comes with a price tag. I have given up a normal life in order to provide. Life as a miner is filled with good times for sure but it is also filled with mud, mosquitoes, -30 windchills, grease, high voltage, heights, depths, and hazards that will send you home in a body bag if you are careless. Then there are the missed life-moments. Lots of them. There isn't a price that can match missed birthdays, parties, and moments with friends.
I listen to the stories of what happened at various events, eat leftovers, and fight pangs of jealousy as I read the Facebook posts of people with normal lives as they talk about the things they are doing on the weekend.... As I read them at 3am sitting in a truck waiting for a call out. Weekend? What's that?
While not wanting to be sour grapes, that does accurately describe a big chunk of my life.
Then I look at what my personal sacrifices bring for my family and I realize that it's worth it. I'm human and can fall prey to feeling sorry for myself, then I get a note like that and it makes it all better.
I work hard, I sacrifice, I press on, and I never give up because I am a dad.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Love is strong.
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