Friday, August 22, 2014

August 22nd, 2014 These Days

August 22nd, 2014 These Days

I started my day exactly like I started yesterday and it was refreshing. I finished my morning routine, poured my first cup of coffee and opened an email from a reader who is experiencing some severe anxiety about the time this journey is taking for her. I requested permission to anonymously use the text of her email in tonight's blog, but she hasn't replied as of this writing. I replied to her in the best way I knew how, trying to give her my perspective and experience when it comes to confidence and patience along this road. It's something I've written about many times, I call it a "confident patience." This reader inspired me to share a micro-blog on Facebook before leaving home this morning to do my radio show.

"Do you proceed along this road with a “confident patience?” Our physical transformation doesn't happen overnight. It takes weeks, months and for many of us, years. Finding confidence happens easier when the main focus is taken away from wanting immediate results and placed on the daily fundamentals of our extraordinary care. If we center our focus on what we can do today, we can find confidence. And this confidence gives birth to patience. When you proceed with a confident patience, you'll experience a peace and calm over the process. Results may come euphorically fast or frustratingly slow, either way, adjustments can be made. Releasing ourselves from the frustration and often times derailing “fast and furious” results based focus and focusing instead on the smaller goals of today, gives us the best chance at waking up someday to incredible results."

I've lived this "confident patience" and I'm telling you, it all comes down to the age old philosophy of one day at a time. I can remember weight loss attempts where I mapped out my weigh days for an entire year, complete with a goal weight for each and a place to write my actual weight. On the surface it seemed like a great idea for me. I'd proudly gaze at the calendar and say things like, "See that date? I'll weigh 100 pounds less by then. Isn't that amazing?" It was such a matter of fact tone--not at all considering the different variables I would encounter along the way. How could I have known? I'd never experienced long range success. And keep in mind this "projection calendar" would typically be created in advance of actually starting anything. I had to wait until a predetermined start day and that meant I was free to gorge as much as I wanted in the meantime. In fact, I'm pretty sure I made several of these projection calendars while eating a giant bowl of ice cream at midnight.

The problem with this was, as soon as I didn't meet or best the written goal on the calendar, I'd become severely discouraged because now I was behind!! And after a couple of less than expected weigh-ins, another marked up calendar would find its way into the junk drawer only to be found months or years later, prompting a wave of "calendar regret," as I realized aloud to anyone within earshot "Wow, you know that failed weight loss attempt? Yeah--had I stuck with it I'd weigh 250 by now."

Sticking with it was almost impossible because of my enormous impatience and high expectations. I was setting myself up to be disappointed. And personal disappointment breeds all kinds of negative self-talk. Learning to relax into a day by day approach and allowing a natural evolution of good choices has been a very difficult perspective to adopt--and critical to my success. Not once have I recently sat down to "map out" where I'll be by a particular date in the near future. I'll be wherever I am and it will be okay. If this was a race or a competition, perhaps a results now focus would be useful, but it's not a race--it's life. And I'm confident in my day to day practices and the results they'll bring. This isn't what I'm doing for the duration of a calendar--taking extraordinary care is what I'm making important for the rest of my life. Losing my previously narrow focus has made a monumental difference for me in successfully losing weight.

I've enjoyed a wonderful day. I spent some time this evening with my oldest daughter. We had a fabulous conversation over dinner about the challenges she's facing in this, her first year as a special education teacher. It's all brand new to her. And she's going to make it. I love the conversations with my daughters. I'm so proud of both--their ability to meet challenges and how they overcome, is a source of incredible fatherly pride. If ever I look back on my life and I start focusing on my perceived failures, I must immediately remember, My ex-wife Irene and I did right by our girls. We absolutely did and we can always be proud of this fact. And really, does anything else matter as much? 

I made sure to get a good elliptical workout tonight at the YMCA. I ate well and exercised very well today. I feel fantastic. I'm doing a location broadcast tomorrow morning and getting a workout in tomorrow afternoon before spending some time with Heather.

I think back to where I was not too long ago and I'm astonished at how quickly things have turned around in my life. I must pause and give abundant thanks for this personal revolution. I'm very happy, very confident and very patient these days.

My food Tweets today:

 












Thank you for reading and for your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

10 comments:

  1. I've got a folder on my PC called "weight loss". Inside is a subfolder called "old stuff" that's filled with plans, workouts, goals from past failed attempts.

    After my post yesterday I made the decision to go ahead and start my transformation this week instead of waiting for September 1st. I'm not going to spend the next 2 weeks gaining another 5 pounds just to give myself a "clean" starting point.

    FogDog's Weight Loss - Starting Over (Again!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FD, I get it, man. I'm so happy you've decided to start now instead of waiting. Your perspective is shifting and a most wonderful transformation awaits--one of mind, body and soul--and it's so good--and so powerful, I can't think of any good reason to wait! I applaud you! And thank you for sharing the link to your blog!

      Delete
  2. Sean, having lost (and maintaining) between 50-60 lbs since the beginning of 2011, (I have about 10 lbs to go to meet my goal and stopped weighing myself for a while so I could just focus on my daily habits vs. what the scale says because I found it discouraging. I think this has helped, too.) I found your words about confident patience to be so perfect. Everything you talked about makes the difference in making this a lifestyle and keeping the weight off for good vs a quick fix, because this idea has enabled me to keep weight off for the first time in my long dieting career, LOL! I was guided to your blog about a month ago and now begin my day (after the gym!) by reading it. Love it!

    Dede

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dede, I'm so glad you make this blog a daily part of your schedule! Thank you to whoever or whatever pointed you this way. Congrats on your incredible success!!! Turning the tables on the scale emotions was incredibly smart of you. My best always, Dede!

      Delete
  3. Your words l confident patience were just what I needed to read today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad, Alati. Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  4. When I feel impatient about my weight loss journey, I take a deep breath and remind myself that I will be eating this way for the rest of my life. So I might as well relax and get used to the idea. It is a lifestyle change. This is why I am sure to include my favorite foods in proper portions. The portion control is the toughest part for just about all of us, I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a very tough part. I've noticed, after doing it for an extended period of time--the portions I thought I needed to be satisfied were grossly exaggerated... I can have reasonable portions and feel satisfied--content. You got it on the favorite foods in proper portions. Embracing--fully embracing and accepting this life approach is key in finding a peace and calm. You've found that. It's so beautiful, isn't it? Thank you for reading Betsey!

      Delete
  5. One day at a time, one meal at a time, one decision at a time. This is what is working for me. Some folks can follow a strict regime and get to goal in six months and maintain. I congratulate them. But that didn't work for me. My counsellor made me realise everyone has their issues to work through and there's no one "right" approach to getting back to fitness and health.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nikki-- you said it so well. There really isn't a right or wrong when we're talking about what works for us. I congratulate them too!! :) I get what you're saying. The issues we work through--aside from food and exercise--you know, our issues---those are the ones we deal with and it makes all of the other fundamentals a little less foggy, IMO. Great comment, Nikki. Thank you!

      Delete

I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. Thank you for your support!






Copyright © 2008-2014 Sean A. Anderson

The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. All rights reserved.


"Steel Curtain Zone" and "Calorie Bank and Trust" Copyright © 2008-2014 Intellectual Property of Sean A. Anderson