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Mental Toughness Training - Day 6 Homework

Friday, March 30, 2012

I found myself talking back to the guy in the video today and I don't even remember which particular point I did... so I'm listening a second time. Sigh...

OH, YEAH! Now I remember. It was when he promised that you could achieve the body you ideally want... vision posters of movie stars and athletes. I think this could be very dangerous for young people putting up emaciated models as their goals. I think one needs a healthy dose of reality of what a healthy ME looks like as a vision.

His whole premise that you can have ANYTHING you want, with confidence and hard work? That's what had me talking back. Because you may NOT become a movie star even with talent and hard work. You may not become a CEO just with talent and hard work. But this much I do agree with: if you don't put it out there, the effort, for ANY reason/excuse... that is a recipe for failure.

And if you do put it out there? Gotta be better than if you never tried.


1. How have excuses hurt you in the past?

Excuses... I don't know as I've ever had "excuses"... more I've lacked motivation. I gave up in the past without having an excuse. Self-pity is not an excuse is it? Saying I don't care is not an excuse, is it? Well, if those are excuses, they truly HAVE hurt me in the past. They prevented me from living fully during the times I sank into them!

2. Are you 'swimming to shore' or 'treading water'?

Oh, swimming with all my might. (This had to do with an analogy he made in his pep talk... getting out of a boat 2 miles from shore and treading water, neither getting back on the boat nor swimming for shore...)

3. What percentage of the time is your mental energy focused on getting what you want as opposed to self-pity?

Eh... hard to judge. 80% at this point? Sometimes it's higher. Some days it's flagging. But we all have that cycle. For today... it's improving.

Tonight after work, packet pick up for tomorrow morning's 10 miler. Started thinking about dream times in the shower. Now, to let those go, and just do it!

Life is good... Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUE_2U 3/30/2012 5:56PM

    Well, I have to say that I agree with you on the FatLoserGuy and motivation. Not a good way to do it with those pics, which probably are air brushed.
I'd much rather look at pics of you doing ten miles! Now that is a goal to be proud of!

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MOBYCARP 3/30/2012 5:24PM

    10 miles. A respectable distance, and a worthy tune-up for your HM. Have fun!

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BARBAELLEN 3/30/2012 3:16PM

    I think I'm in the treading-water zone, but your "CliffsNotes" version is making me think about alot of things I should have been thinking about all along. Thanks for sharing your lessons.

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_LINDA 3/30/2012 12:33PM

    I would disagree strongly with being able to acheive the body you want too. You can't change the genes you were born with no matter how hard you exercise. I will always be a pear shape with big hips and stomach regardless of being at goal weight and no matter how many crunches I do..
Good analogy with the excuses. Self pity is always a constant threat with me and one I have to be constantly fighting against and diligent that it doesn't slip in the back door... Good for you swimming with all your might -I can easily picture that!!
Good luck with your 10 mile tomorrow!! Wish I could be there to cheer you on!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Go , Barb, GO!

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1CRAZYDOG 3/30/2012 9:31AM

    Great questions. I feel like I'm right with you . . . swimming with all my might!

As for our vision of ourselves, I have to agree. We are not meant to be the emaciated models! That definitely is a bad mental image for our young adults . . . and adults . . . to have.

In my book it's all about being @ a weight where you are comfortable, can do what you need/want to do comfortable and enjoy good health.

Here's to a great Friday!!

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MSLZZY 3/30/2012 8:17AM

    Lots to think about. Good luck on your 10 miler.
You are strong and emoticonHUGS!

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Mental Toughness training - Day 5 Homework

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today was about "letting go" of the reasons you got where you are, and the reasons why that doesn't have to be any more, and also a bit predictive about how you view your relationship with food. Here's the homework questions and how I answered them.

1. Why are you fat?

I *was* fat, I'm not any more. I *was* fat for many reasons. I know *how* I got fat (eating for reasons other than hunger). And there are a jillion emotional reasons why I got fat *again* having initially succeeded in taking the pounds off: fat was serving me. The fat was speaking for me, things I wasn't willing to say to others. I also remained fat because I didn't think I *deserved* to be thin and fit. Now I know better.

2. Why will you succeed on your diet this time around?

Because I *have* succeeded. Because I am entering my second year of athletic endeavors. Because I know that I am worth it, now. I know that punishing myself by regaining fat or stuffing feelings with food doesn't serve any purpose, for me OR for others. I will succeed in keeping it off this time because I know I want it, and I can no longer lie to myself by saying it doesn't matter to me or that I don't care.

3. In the past, have you seen food as your enemy or friend?

*Oh, I see now that he's asking "in the past". You know, I don't know the answer to that... food was a presence, and something I sought out for comfort or avoidance of other things... a tool of procrastination and sloth?

Today I see food as one of the great pleasures in life. I see food as a nourishing friend. But some friends can undermine you if you hang out with them too much! Certain foods qualify as "frienemies", right? Since becoming fit, I crave healthier choices. I quip that I'm eating less but enjoying it more. And it is true.

Two days off, then the 10 miler. Well, maybe not quite off... might do a little strength training tonight. Getting excited. This is my first timed outing since last October!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAKER1009 3/30/2012 6:51AM

    Thanks for the blogs on this. I've read through yours. A friend of mine are going to do this toughness training, I believe. Good to see what it's like!

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SUNNY332 3/29/2012 5:17PM

    Great post, Barb.

I did listened and did lesson# 5 today too.


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ROSEWAND 3/29/2012 5:13PM

    Thank you for sharing this part of your journey with
us. I am enjoying your blogs as you move this
process and cheering you on! emoticon

I completely agree with your discovery about eating
less and enjoying it more. I am truly enjoying eating
more than I ever have in my lifetime. I love savoring
the healthy foods I choose and the occasional treats
as well. I only eat what I really love and look forward
to every meal. I am trying new recipes and revising
old ones. I believe that finding that balance between
health and pleasure is a major key to successful
maintenance for me. emoticon

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WILMASOTO 3/29/2012 4:07PM

    Way to go Barb! You are emoticon and you will continue to succeed!

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1CRAZYDOG 3/29/2012 11:12AM

    Yup . . . I had to get myself to a place of eating to live vs. living to eat!

Great blog and GREAT questions.

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MSLZZY 3/29/2012 10:08AM

    Those questions really made me think and reflect
on my "past". But it also serves me in the "present",
so that my "future" is bright. Be friends with food,
but not so friendly that it turns against you.
Thanks for making me think today. HUGS!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/29/2012 9:11AM

    I'm learning so much from your blogs, Barb. And, as you might suspect, I see a lot of similarities in our thinking. Knowing that you've gone through it and come out on the other side healthier and happier gives me encouragement to keep on keepin' on.

Good luck with your event on Saturday. I'm excited for you!

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KALIGIRL 3/29/2012 8:36AM

    You will do fabulous!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/29/2012 8:37:05 AM

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Mental Toughness training - Day 4 homework

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This day was about suffering and responsibility. Ugh! He does not pull punches, this guy. I'm going to go beyond what I wrote on his site for homework for my Spark buds, because y'all know more of my history. So here goes.


1. Are you mentally prepared to suffer to succeed if necessary?

Suffer? Heck, yeah... I know there is suffering here. All of life teaches that. No giving up. No turning back.

* Spark friends, most of us have already experienced suffering in our lives, in some form or another. Steve Siebold (the coach, hereafter) talks about people thinking losing weight will be easy. We all know it's not. Simple, yes. Easy, no. And there are times when to get what we want (weight loss or maintenance and fitness), we have to say "no" to impulses.

2. Are you expecting this to be difficult or easy?

I know this is going to be difficult, especially the 90 days of 100% compliance. You get tired of being "so good". But if I can give up soda (over two years now), I can do this next 90 days.

* That's why I chose the compliance goals that I did. I wanted something that has *not* become so habitual in the mix - the gum thing. Achievable, but challenging. Avoiding binges, even the "little ones"... again, achievable, but challenging in times of emotion and stress. The deal is... taking away the "comfort" of these behaviors forces one to face what one is facing: emotions. And deal.

3. Are you taking responsibility as a role model for your kids and others?

Finally, after years of reluctance, yes. I am the Charles Barkley of weight loss: "I am not a role model"... said it for years, *especially* every time I "failed" (i.e. gave up). But I can tell you from experiencing it, there is nothing more priceless than having your adult son tell you he is proud of you and your journey. Believe it or not, I have observed a change in how people approach and receive my input at work since having dropped the weight and become fit. People are always watching. If I fail at this point, it sends a bad message to those who are watching.

* Spark buds, you have heard me voice in this blog my fear of letting others down when I go on a slippery slide. I *know* people are watching, and I want success for *them* not just for me. I don't want others giving up because something was "too hard" for me. This commitment to the next 90 days is in honor of that, too, of everyone who watches, reads, and also labors on.

WE can do this. And WE are worth it. It isn't all about me.

emoticon Life is good. Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 3/31/2012 9:10PM

    I'm really enjoying all your "mental toughness" blogs: love this fatloser program -- and in particular am interested in your comment about people in the workplace seeing you differently since you lost weight. I've been thinking a lot (and today finally blogged) about how fat affects us at work. The last acceptable area of prejudice!!

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SUE_2U 3/28/2012 11:52PM

    You rock. Your son should be very proud of his awesome mom! emoticon
Sounds like this Fatloser guy is tough!

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COMETER 3/28/2012 7:50PM

    When I read Linda's response, at first I thought she wrote, "awesome reality CHICK." And you are an awesome reality chick!

Great stuff! What you said about having to face emotions when you can't rely on food as a medicator is so true. My brother is facing a liver transplant. When he had to quit drinking and quit eating junk, he was so crabby and depressed. Of course he was. No fun learning to face all that. I've never had the serious health issues he does, but life IS different when you have to ask yourself what's going on that you're standing in front of the fridge--again.

Hang in there, Awesome Reality Chick!

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_LINDA 3/28/2012 12:33PM

    An awesome reality check this is. Nothing like having the eyes of the world watching your every move -and especially those nearest and dearest to you -your loved ones. When you have failed one too many times, it makes it that much harder to make believers out of them. My Mom was skeptical I would keep the weight off, but I think she is coming onside and now respects what I have to do to keep the weight from returning.
I don't believe in absolute perfection -we all know the stressors perfectionists fall into and ulcers aren't my thing, but more power to you if you can keep it up!
Spark on!

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CARRKM 3/28/2012 10:54AM

  Thanks for this great post. I am going to check out Sounds like there is some very motivating info on there! Have a great day!

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1CRAZYDOG 3/28/2012 10:13AM

    You know it is actually daunting to think about how our behaviors influence people, whether we know about it or not! Just a chance encounter with someone can end up being life altering for them (and/or you).

Love this blog. Nothing in life is easy, but there's nothing to lose by trying! HUGS

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/28/2012 9:37AM

    This sounds like a really good program. I'm not ready yet, but I think it would be a good idea to do this at some point down the road, too. First I have to get back to where I was before my "fall from grace."

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KALIGIRL 3/28/2012 8:05AM

    Here's to all of as " watche(r)s, read(er)s, and also labor(er)s on" as we become "AWAKE! ALIVE! AWARE! and Appreciative of ALL that IS".

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MSLZZY 3/28/2012 7:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

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So, how "day 1" went

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

emoticon I counted yesterday as my "day 1" of the Mental Toughness 90 days. These probably sound like pretty easy things to stick to for 90 days, but it feels good to get past that first day, always.

A. No "binges". Small splurges OK, as long as I eat at a small deficit in calories compared to what my Body Media Fit tells me I'm using.

* This one was pretty easy. The first day. I expect the challenge to "not binge" to show up next week, actually, based on what's going on in my life.

B. Track everything, even the non-fat creamers and sugar substitutes in the coffee.

* This was the first time that I tracked these tiny bits. Even the ounce of skim milk I put in the coffee at work.

C. No more than one pack of sugar free gum in a day.
* Believe it or not, this was the hardest part... when those stress cravings hit, this had been my go-to thing, but I was going through way too many, because I use a piece up quickly. Yeah, guilty little secret, I swallow them and was massively relieved when I read that this doesn't actually cause damage.

Day 1 is the easiest day of almost any effort. Motivation is high. But if I can give up soda, I can cut back on gum!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 3/28/2012 12:28AM

    My Mom started up on chewing gum to help relieve her stress. I could never stand the stuff, but swallowing it? Wow, can't imagine, eww lol. I haven't read a whole lot on gum other than its a better substitute then reaching for a snack. Maybe if you didn't swallow it instead.. If you could give up soda, I suspect you can give up anything you choose..
Way to go tracking every little thing!

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COMETER 3/27/2012 10:03PM

    Here I am, chewing on some sugar-free gum!

Little things do add up--wishing you well in seeing that happen during your 90 days.

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ROSEWAND 3/27/2012 12:53PM

    Great tip for cravings and even hunger. Keep a bottle
of peppermint or lemon essential oil nearby. When
these urges arise, take several sniffs. This has the
effect of soothing your brain circuitry.

Be sure to use a good quality essential oil. The better
the quality, the more satisfying the result.

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1CRAZYDOG 3/27/2012 11:52AM

    You're so right. Little things add up!

Funny, gum chewing is my "go to" thing too for stress relief, making it through those times when I crave food though food isn't the answer to the problem!

Wish there was a sugar free gum that had long lasting flavor, but I find that the sugar free EXTRA in the various flavors is pretty good. My favorite @ the moment is chocolate chip mint. Delish!

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SPARKARINO 3/27/2012 10:23AM

    I'll think of you and your goals when I reach for the sugar-free gum today -- I would like to cut back on the amount, too (among other things)! Good Luck with your Challenge!

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EBEAMS 3/27/2012 10:16AM

    Yep, Yep, Yep ... You can do it! emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 3/27/2012 9:09AM

    Great job! Developing new habits is never easy - and it makes the day a bit more fun when you challenge yourself!

Didn't your Mom tell you never to swallow your gum!!! lol

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KALIGIRL 3/27/2012 8:57AM

    Here's to cutting back on gum!

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CONCHA77 3/27/2012 8:29AM

    emoticon One day at a time.

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MSLZZY 3/27/2012 8:08AM


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MILLERGIRL719 3/27/2012 7:33AM

    Great job! It's the little things that add up.

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Mental toughness training - Day 3 homework

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Everybody's favorite topic - handling cravings! I have actually thought through a lot of these things before, but it never hurts to take another look.

1. Do you have a strategy to handle cravings?

For the next 90 days, my strategy is to reason my way past cravings. Self-talk is powerful.

2. What three emotional states of mind make you most vulnerable to cheating?

Anxiety, particularly over things I cannot *do* something about. Deadlines and pressure at work, when things are not going well, particularly in "wait" periods.

Boredom at home on the weekend, particularly if I am waiting on a phone call, conserving energy for some promised activity/outing or over tired.

Procrastination moods: the anxious "I don't wannas." Yep, the childish, powerless emotions are my worst.

3. Are you using positive self-talk to interrupt old patterns of thought?

Oh, yes. I'm worth this! My Spark buddies know I use these blogs to get myself pumped. Interesting that Steve Siebold does what he does to keep HIMSELF motivated. Funny how helping ourselves and helping others goes hand in hand, huh?

Life's good, people. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 3/28/2012 12:24AM

    I suspect you have the mental toughness needed to rock your way through the challenge. You are a thinker, and that is what is needed to stop the mindless eating. To talk yourself down from it.
Go Barb!

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KALIGIRL 3/27/2012 8:58AM

    Here's to helping all!

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MSLZZY 3/27/2012 7:27AM

    emoticonAgain, you gave me lots to think about.

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BUGGYS 3/27/2012 7:18AM

    This blog is just what I needed today...although my sweet cravings aren't as strong as they used to be, they still creep up from time to time and I have learned to quickly grab a piece of gum or drink a big glass of water to squash them...if that doesn't work, I will have a small "taste" of the thing I'm craving...I don't need the entire bag anymore!

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BD3269PM 3/27/2012 7:10AM

    Great suggestions to keep ourselves self motivated. I love helping others too with this, it reminds me every time I say something positive about healthy living and Spark, that this is a life journey and we can do it together emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 3/27/2012 6:43AM

    Good for you to figure out the craving thing--- You have done so well Barb-I'm sure you will stay on top of this too---It's a lot of ""mind over matter""---- Lynda

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