Thursday, August 22, 2013
Renee Stephens, practicing therapist, author ("Full Filled"), and host of the "Inside Out Weight Loss" podcast I highly recommend says that there are two kinds of motivation. She calls them "away from" and "towards" but I prefer the more clinically sounding names of Provocation and Determination. We agree that both are necessary.
Provocation is short term, powerful, and basically negative, that you're trying to get "away from" something, some bad experience or one soon to come. You are too winded to keep up with the kids or dread explaining your new weight to old friends at an upcoming wedding. You're at least two sizes too large for the clothes you wanted to buy, the kind you used to be able to buy. Maybe you're just fed up with the creeping weight gains and so is your doctor - or spouse. You decide, rather emotionally, to change, to lose weight.
Trouble is, this is basically treating symptoms of a deeper problem. Something I had to learn from Stephens was that much as we might consciously want to lose weight, sub-consciously we really don't. At some level, being heavy works for us and sure enough, when the fire of Provocation dies, so does the latest weight loss attempt. We need a beacon of success to pull us forward, a dream perhaps, but a rational, achievable dream that even our sub-conscious prefers. This is "towards" motivation, what I call Determination, for this is where the real hard work is.
Famed fitness trainer Jillian Michaels usually takes a phone call during her podcasts, also recommended. Often she first asks why the caller wants to lose weight. Often, the answers are vague and Jillian further probes to either clarify or sometimes demonstrate that the caller has no real focus. They have been Provoked, took some action, but then failed again for a lack of a dream, and the Determination to achieve it. If Jillian asked you what you want to achieve, how would you answer?
I know I really couldn't answer that question very well until fairly recently. I'll confess that a heart attack helps, the relationship of remaining years to excess pounds now in full view. But just as important I think, I have found ways to make the journey enjoyable and fulfilling, the dream being returning to my high school weight. That takes Determination. And a little help from my friends, including here at SparkPeople.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
This middle slice of August ended with a solid full pound of continued weight loss. That makes 8.5 pounds since May 1 when I began this "Sloan" calendar of dividing each month into thirds. And this slice included two weekends.
Now I have the remaining 12 days of August, ending during Labor Day weekend. An out of town wedding and the State Fair loom as possible obstacles but I'm ready for them.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
I had my scheduled follow-up with my cardiologist yesterday. I must be boring her. When I had my heart attack in December 2010, she said come back in 3 months. I did and she then said 6 months. I did and she said 12 months. And now she said 24 months, that I'm doing great. She was very impressed with the weight loss the past three years, that barring any new symptoms, a routine EKG by a nurse practitioner will be sufficient in 2014. In other words, I might actually live longer enough to reach my goal weight!
So what is my goal weight? I asked my new regular doctor during my physical two weeks ago and couldn't get a definitive answer, just that I'm definitely overweight now. Said cardiologist was cautious but she finally said 210 pounds. Less would be better, but she agreed the additional benefits would be minimal.
So now I have some medical validation that my personal goal to get below 200 is good. I'm think more like the low 190's in fact, such that any clothes on readings at the doctor, Weight Watchers, etc also stay under 200. My official weight is buck naked after the morning shower, post-toilet and pre-breakfast, all in the name of consistency.
True, the BMI (Body Mass Index) charts max me out at 184 pounds, even with my certifiably large frame. But BMI is just a rough gauge, so those last ten would really just be vanity pounds. At age 64, I'm over that concept!
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
For whatever the reason, I've been walking the dog almost every night so far in August. Actually, I do this for two good reasons, the obvious being the activity as recorded by my FitBit zip, which is always on my belt. If you don't have such a device, consider buying one, mine being about $60. It comes with a wireless USB gizmo to easily upload your results to the FitBit web site. And Spark People can find it there for you.
The other reason is that since I usually am out for a good hour, the dog insisting on a lot of stop and sniff time, it's a great time to listen to my ever growing library of weight loss podcasts. That of course includes Spark People's own Lily and Karen of Spark People radio, now 40 episodes strong, and very professionally done I might add.
As sundown comes ever earlier, as winter returns to Minneapolis, this won't be as practical. But by then, our new local gym should be open (October?) where I'll be able to do an hour almost any time.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
It wasn't the best start for August given there weren't any real holidays or birthdays to handle. But there were enough special circumstances that pushed several days over.
Still, I didn't gain, which is goal 1. And I still lost 0.5 pound, just short of the threshold where I would call it 1.0 pound. So that has me down 7.5 lbs since May 1 when I started this "maintenance mode" thinking. which works out to about a 27 pounds a year pace. It doesn't sound like much but who among us wouldn't mind waking up 27 pounds down from a year ago?
So now I'm in the middle slice of August, days 10-19. Again, there's nothing on the event horizon. At the risk of counting chickens, I'm looking forward to another solid performance.
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