What I gave up

Like I wrote in my last post...to lose weight, you reason must be stronger than why you want to keep it..
It's a serious decision that our society lauds, yet undermines continuously.
When I decided to lose weight, I had to give up the notion that what I weighed was harmless..and that it hurt only me.
Looking back on the years I spent tired, in pain, ashamed of how I looked, frustrated and defeated.
You can't live like that and not have it affect everyone and everything around you.

I could honestly cry.
If I believed in doing that.
Which I don't.
The only thing worse than the time I wasted in that particular state..
Would be to spend more time wishing it hadn't happened.
I gave up floating along.
Letting life happen, but not fully participating.

I gave up the comfort of food.
Now I have to feel emotions, past and present...
And learn how to feel, deal and express them.

I gave up the comfort of magical thinking.
I think every fat.person has truly believed at one point or another that someday, they were  going to find the magic pill or the right food combination..they would wake up one day and love exercise...and all that weight would melt away.
It's never going to happen like that..
Weight loss, like everything, is a day in and day out commitment to living a disciplined existence where serious work and effort is rewarded.
I learned that respect is earned..
And it starts with treating yourself with respect...
Self esteem is a natural outgrowth of effort and achievement.
To feel better I had to take steps and do better.
And finally..I gave up the victim card.
I accepted that every aspect of my life from the time I reached adulthood to now was a product of my choices, decisions and efforts...or lack thereof.
It's a truly humbling moment.
But until you reach the point where you accept responsibility for your life...you allow the locus of control to remain outside of you. And you will never change anything if you do not accept that you, and only you, have the power to change your life.
The great thing about realising this, is that for every harmful decision made...for every undrawn boundary, every  time you settled or quit...you can, in the next moment, decide something different.
As surely as you can pick up your finger and touch your nose.
You can open your mouth and say no.
Close your mouth at 8 pm to food.
Use your legs to walk away from a toxic relationship.
It's your decision.
I gave up the fantasy that life was happening to me.
And realised I could float, abdicate and die living half a life.
Or I could swim, rule and live, then die knowing I lived every minute.

It was worth it..it's still worth it..and that decision applies to every thing you do.

Chris out.


The essence of achieving lasting change

The essence of change is knowing yourself where you are, envisioning who you want to become..and then charting a course between these two points.

Weight loss gurus tell you it looks like this..

.--------------"eat less"-----------------------"move more"---------------"goal weight".

Problem solved.


I've said before that morbid obesity is usually a symptom of a larger problem.
It can be a shield.
An excuse.
A reason.
A validation.

Your reason to lose the weight has to be bigger than your reason to keep it.
The problem is...
You may not know what the reason for your misuse of food IS, until you begin to lose the weight.
Or how BIG the reason is...
So your wanting to lose the weight has got to be bigger than wanting to look good in a pair of jeans..
For many morbidly obese people..
It isn't even something they can imagine...
Your reason for weight loss is ultimately going to be life altering.
And no one prepares you..
No one.
It is exhilarating.
And frightening..
For me..I couldn't see past two hundred pounds..
I got down to 148 and stalled because I didn't have a reason to continue.i also had overwhelming fear...
My real reason I was fat.
I was afraid of attention from men..
Not a little afraid..
Phobic afraid.
Then life intervened.
I got a job blah blah blah...
Now I have my reason to lose the rest of the weight..and it involved nothing less than finding my life's purpose.
Like a graphic I once saw...your weight loss journey..if it's real change, will not happen in a six month burst of juicing glory..
Or cabbage soup.
Or pills...
It is a long, hard road of learning to use food in its proper context. Learning to cope with emotions...deal with trauma...find your joy and embrace the change.
And that's just the weight loss...
I write this not to discourage anyone..but to encourage someone.
Someone, somewhere...thinks because they've had a setback..it's over.
It's not over...you have learned something essential.
Now move forward.
The essence of change is a continuous process of learning, applying and growing.  
But you have to begin.
So begin.


Mental might

It's all mental.
All of it.
All of life.
From the moment you are born til the day you draw your last.
There is one thing that will propel you, or bury you.
Your mind.
If you can't control your mind, you will never be able to control your life.
My mind was shaped and framed from an early age with two diametrically opposed points of view.
My first shaper was Duane.
My stepfather.
A man shaped by his abusive upbringing.
He lacked the fortitude, the wherewithal, or perhaps the innate ability to change.
His inner rage projected itself through total control of our every movement.
A demand that we not speak or laugh.
To how we chewed our food.
To what we were allowed to touch.
He used derogatory nicknames like "stupid"
When he was drunk.
He would terrorise us for hours with a belt.
Snapping it in front our faces to frighten us.
He would whip us by turns.
For hours.

My other shapers were positive.
My mother, until the abuse started, would read to me...books.
The bible.
She taught me to read at the age of four.
She worked hard.
And she fought back.
There is plenty she could have done in the midst of the abuse.
But I have come to terms with my abuser, and my moms role in it.
Part of the healing and recovery I have engaged in over the last five years.

Up to the age of six it was solely my mother.
After the age of six it was church.
Which I volunteered for.
One day, I simply asked.
And I went.
There I learned how real fathers were supposed to act.
And what real love should look like.
Who God thought I was...planned and precious.
I didn't know it at the time.
But these positive experiences would become valuable weapons in my fight to become whole.
You may not know it, but you have weapons too.
Somewhere, someone loved you.
Someone supported you.
Even in passing.
They spoke a truth you held on to...
Even amidst the constant barrage of pain and criticism.
Even in your darkest moments.
When you are waging a war in your own mind.
Deep down, you know which voice you want to prevail.
Now to let that person win.
It begins and ends in the mind.

The first step is this. 
 Are you where you want to be.
Are you who you want to be.
If that answer is no...
And you feel as if you have been rowing forever, and getting no where?
You are worn out, as if you've been fighting..but in reality, you haven't moved?
Nothing has changed?
For years? 
Then you have two voices in your head...
And your mental struggle is sapping your energy and your will to improve.
It's time to identify your inner dialogue.
If you have to...write it down.
When is the best time to hear your negative dialogue?
When you are in the midst of struggling to overcome something that has been your hangup for years. 
If it's weight...go to the gym to work out, and then stop and listen to your inner dialogue.  
If you enjoyed a dinner but then feel horrible..listen..write it down.
If you want to hear the part of you that is positive...do something you've a natural talent for, that makes you happy.  Write down that inner voice.
This is the very, very beginning of self awareness.  
To Know what your thinking.
It may seem simple, obvious even.
But when I began to listen to my inner voice. 
I was shocked at the things I told myself.
The shame and derision I buried myself under...for years.
No wonder I was stuck and tired.
So...the first step...
Chris out.


Epiphany!!! I figured out my life's purpose.

For over a year now, I have been bouncing around...trying to figure out what in the hell I want to do.
I wanted to help young girls develope self esteem...that's the beginning of everything.
Then I met many young men who were not given the tools THEY needed to excel.
And I thought...what about them?
Then I thought, you can't help everyone.
 Can you?
Then I thought about the way of the warrior...
How much I believe in life in every breath and living every moment...
And how so many people had simply given up.
Or settled for less...

So, today, as I was marking down items at the store...
And I was talking aloud to myself...
Trying to figure out what it was that I wanted..
I said aloud..
"It is not my job to inquire about your battle..
It is to equip you for the fight."

Out loud.
I didn't even know where it came from....until I thought of the idea of the whole armour of God.
Then I thought of bushidos seven guiding principles.
That is it in a nutshell...
I want to teach people how to fight and win their individual battles!
It doesn't matter what it is!
Because many times..the war we THINK we are fighting is not really the war we are fighting.
It's a battle within the war.
What is important is having the keys to the will to fight.
I have been doing it all my life.
Weight loss was just one fight inside this gigantic struggle.
A small piece of a much larger pie.
But the great thing is...it's all the same fight..
The same steps.
The same mentality!
Now...where do I teach that? 
In self defense class...on a new blog? 
Volunteering with tessa? 
I don't know.
But at least I know what I want to do now.
Chris out.


Sometimes the best thing you can do..

Is tell someone to BLOW IT OUT THEIR ASS!

Just did it, felt great.

so ends this public service announcement.


My Achilles heel

Is my open and honest nature.

This might seem to be something I would have learned earlier in life, right?

Well.. No.
I got married at 19 and raised a family.
We moved a lot and I was never social for many reasons.
Many times, our strengths can be weakness in the hands of the wrong person.
Just like we don't share our truth with people who don't appreciate it...

I need to learn that people will take advantage of my work ethic and need to excel, if they are a dishonest or manipulative person.

Now that I know how to express my feelings...which is 'good'.   I want to move on to the next hurdle...controlling my emotions in certain situations...particularly with people who would use it to manipulate me.
At work in particular.
I have a boss who wants to make money...loads...because she wants a divorce.
So the level at which I had been keeping the store is no longer good enough...she says things meant to push my buttons...
And I didn't pick up on it...I honestly thought I was doing , or must be doing something differently or wrong..though nothing had changed.
She said 'well, just write the cashiers lists of things...too many things...they will stress and work harder."
That's what she had been doing to me.
Because she knew I placed a high priority in being seen as hard working.
I had given a dishonest person ammunition.
In life, you know who you can trust.
Yep. That person...the one person you could tell anything to. Where you buried the body, your most embarrassing moment etc....and it won't be used against you...it will never be mentioned again.
That is the person you can be completely open and honest with.
Or here with you all...we have nothing to gain or lose here...just increased knowledge, and the feeling of not being alone...but with work acquaintances..associates...no.
Now to regain mystery. It will be quite the slog.
But the first genie is already back in the bottle.
Now I know.
Knowledge is the first step.
If there is someone you have given your innermost motivations away to...and they are living at a basic level...this is your opportunity to withdraw and regain leverage.
Those types believe what they see...never give them undo advantage.
Be firm, polite, friendly...but give no personal information...and when they push your buttons, file it under manipulation and focus on winning the encounter.
One day at a time will win it.
Chris out.


The way of the warrior

*quick edit...I don't advocate women staying in physically violent relationships! FLEE..and do it now.  My fight analogy was more an allegory for life..was not clear and I apologise. By fighting, I mean fight for a life free from abuse..And that only happens when you value your personal and physical boundaries and are capable of backing them up. Mentally, physically and spiritually...and for many women financially. Any woman planning to leave needs to have a safe plan. 

They say there are two general reactions to stress.
Fight or flight.
When I was little, and I was picked on...it wasn't in me to run away.
When told I couldn't do something, it made me want to try harder...
And when faced with an aggressive person...I go into full fight mode.
I get that from my mother.
When I asked her what she thought the first time Duane hit her..she said, in my mind I thought "oh, it's on!" Lol.
I never witnessed an episode of abuse where my mom didn't fight back...her mistake was thinking she was going to save him.
So...what I am saying..is that I come by my instinctive fight naturally.
As my mom always said...they may be bigger..they may win...but when we are through they are going to wish they never messed with me.

I have seen many young ladies..and men who's first instinct is flight...and while flight from physical danger can save your bacon...mental or spiritual flight can trap you...
And I have pondered this problem.
How to give someone a fighting spirit...
You can't.
They have to want it.
All you can do is show them how.
The most powerful moment I have had in martial arts was watching a finger lock take a grown man to the ground. The knowledge that it wasn't sheer force, or size that mattered. But ability and knowledge...
That gave me such a feeling of power and freedom from the illusion of fear, that I was never the same again.http://youtu.be/dSces0ikInY
That is a link to the style of defense I will be teaching...that is the finger lock I was shown. 
I think people flee when they have no hope of winning...and stand and fight when they feel strong.  
But sometimes life has beaten you so far down that fighting seems like too much energy...

Sometimes it takes mini victories...setting boundaries, losing a pound, saying no...to begin to get your fight back.  I have been reading two books...my fight/your fight by Ronda rousey. And modern bushido by a dude named bohdi sanders.
I have a few months left before the traing center is up and running and a year or two before I can conceive of training anyone else...now is the time to  research my teaching style, my philosophy, my approach and really study the different resources here in town so that I am locked in on all fronts with what I am trying to accomplish...I'll be writing here a lot more...there is no fruit without relationship...and one person fighting alone will never equal the combined strength of many committed people pulling together. 
Chris out