HDC Day 18-How do you know?

When You aren't where you need to be, in regards to the mentality you are going to need to lose the weight...

I was thinking about this today while doing many things.
(like coming in under 1500 calories, doing one hour on the elliptical, 150 situps and my upper body with weights, I took yesterday off from the gym So today was a wednesday workout and I will be working out on Saturday as well.)
About why my journey has been different this time. (It's for life)
About what kind of mental work I had done to get to the point where I was ready to ditch the weight. (oodles)

And the first thing I had to do to even get out of the gate..
Which was:
I had to lay aside my expectations.
The first thing that makes me wary when reading a blog is expectations of what life will be like "When they are thin."
I am sure we have all done this.
I know I used to.
When I am thin I will be
more extroverted
have fewer troubles
will be more loveable
will fart rainbows and sneeze sunshine.

Every previous weight loss attempt had an 'end date'.
By october I should weigh ___________
*Insert weight there*
I mean, I would start a diet (that's another warning sign...diets...special ones...)
with the expectation that I would lose the weight for good by a certain and specific date, and the heavens would part, all my troubles would melt away, and I would magically become someone worth knowing.

I would get 20 or 30 lbs in, I would not get the support I felt I needed (more expectations)...or no one would notice, or the reason for starting would come and go (a special event)...and along with it...my motivation would just up and leave.
Because the motivation would be external.

I would have people say "You have to do it for you."
I always thought they were full of crap.
I mean, If you can't do it for your kids...who can you do it for!?


YOU maybe?


Your kids will love you either way.

If you are doing it for your spouse, what if your spouse pulls a fast one and suddenly decides the new, skinnier you is making them uncomfortable?
(That happened to me half way through...He got uncomfortable with the new, more assertive me and started trying to sabotague me...now he is more comfortable again.)
If pleasing him was the only reason, I would have quit right there.

If it was losing weight before going to see my family again...well, I went back and saw my family.
Now would be the time to stop.
The external motivation leaves.
The motivation has to be internal.
And the farther I go, the less weight related I think it is.

It isn't about the weight....well, at least not all of it.
I am not at a place where my weight is threatening my life anymore.
I think this whole journey boils down to
Stay with me here:
Imagine you are ashamed of your weight.
It makes you feel ill and tired and hopeless.
You try to lose weight to please others, but fail.
The food always wins...
Heck it may even be killing you, giving you diabetes...etc.
Your fat might be pulling double duty.
It may be protecting you...not conciously, but subconciously.
If you're weight is tied up in hiding parts of you that you don't want others to see...or the food is protecting you from having to feel....or is keeping others at bay so you don't have to deal.
Then external motivators aren't going to work and any sort of internal motivation will be sabotagued...unless you find a reason BIGGER than the obstacles that are holding you back.

I found my motivator...I had several things happen to me that brought me to this realization....

I am dying.

Do I mean I have a terminal illness?
I mean we are all dying.
I have maybe 40 good years left if I am lucky...(hopefully a bit more if God will grant them)
As I stood there in build a bear I looked at myself and I asked myself:
Is this what I want my life to be defined by?
Do I want to live half a life?
Is this the example I want to set for my children?
Is this the person I want to be?
The answer to those questions was NO!
Every day since has been the first day of the rest of my life.
It was bigger to me than the comfort food gave me.
It was bigger than the fear I had of being seen.
It was bigger than anything.
My reason was life.
I wanted to take what life I had left and believe that I could make it beautiful. That I could make it what I wanted.
That I could either release all the fear, or that I would feel the fear and still live life fully anyways.
After all, I had lived for years with no expectations whatsoever.
What was the worst that could happen?
I would fail?
So, right then and there I let go of every expectation I had of how much weight I would lose and how long it would take.
It didn't matter if it took one year or ten years.
I would eat my calories and exercise.
If I never lost a pound at least I knew I tried.
I wasn't going to die a quitter.
Or even worse, a non starter...
So, if you have all your hopes tied up in being thin to live the life you want.
Then you are putting your hopes in an exterior motivator.
That's a flag.
Start living the life you want now.
Why start now?
Because every day that you let go by without giving it all you've got is a wasted day.
tick tock, tick tock.
You don't get that time back.
Once it's gone IT. IS. GONE.
Let go of that time frame.
There is no time frame on becoming the person you want to be.
I am not perfect,
Sometimes I get ahead of myself.
Sometimes I get anxious.
When I do this, I knock myself back mentally to day one, year zero.
I was continually reminding myself that every day is day one, year zero.
Every day you create the world anew with your intentions.
What you did yesterday is in the history books...tomorrow is unwritten.
All you really are given is today.
So step one...
Know your own reason.
And remove time frames.
It's for life, Your life.
Have a great night guys,


Fiona said...

Love the blog. It's exactly right.

I can feel I will be successful this time because I am simply living and making the best choices I can each day.

Life as a Caterpillar said...

Your writing makes me feel so good. i identify so, so much with what you say. I am just starting my journey (255lbs) but i feel enlightened by your words and powerful, yes, i feel powerful this time, and i know the world has not yet seen what i am capable of.

Thank you so much for posting


Tammy said...

This post is so spot-on. I started out with time frames...but somewhere along the way I ditched them. I know I'll get there one day...and I know my motivators aren't external. I've learned a lot about myself, what motivates me, what I want in the last year...and you're absolutely correct...it's not really even about the weight...the weight is just a symptom. Hard concept to put into words..but if you know where you're coming from and where you're headed (inside your head)...then you automatically understand that concept. Thanks for writing this post...you really hit the nail on the head.

MB said...

Another excellent post!

I always started a dieting by calculating 2 lbs. a week for "x" weeks would get me to my goal and the first week I didn't lose those 2 pounds threw me for a loop and off the wagon.

What do you mean, you don't fart rainbows and sneeze sunshine?

Melissa said...

First of all, publishers should be knocking down your door for a book deal.

Secondly, you are 100% right about this! I have watched people in our Weight Watchers group who have made it a few weeks, made it months and stalled, and 3 of us who went all the way.

The difference was attitude.

My hubby had a slightly off-putting reaction about 1/2 way through also. But, he's gotten over it. :)

Shane said...

Another fantastic post. Your writing has a way of cutting away the fat, and getting to the gist of things. Keep up the great writing

Jane said...

I think all of us chronic dieters do the calculations. In fact, it almost became a ritual for me--getting in bed with a pen and paper and figuring out my plan and how long it would take me to lose the weight. There was something exciting about the anticipation of the process of weight loss; but the problem was--it never happened. I had to change my attitude and my thought processes and realize--this isn't a game--it's my life, and I was planning it away with this weight loss game. No more...

Robin said...

You make me think so much. Your pain and my pain are not the same. I do not want migraines. I do not know how to turn them off. I wish that walking them off or doing an hour on the elliptical would fix this. I know that part of my problem is that I am stuck in a pain cycle. The pain doctor has said that we can try to do an outpatient IV, which would cost a lot,but there are no guarantees how long it would last considering how long I have had this one. So we are sitting on our hands waiting for SSD and Medicaid. It's all about money. Once we have that, it's hitting the ground running. But it is so hard to sit on my hands when I have good doctors with great ideas about how to deal with these migraines after the IV deal. Things to keep the migraines at bay and further testing b.c. I have other neuro concerns. Yeah, more money. And one hand I think my brain controls it all and I should be able to meditate myself out of this. And here I sit. I meditate and I still live with the migraine. This isn't meeant to sound whiny. It is more about understanding how powerful the brain is and frustration about not accessing all the power that it has.

Juli's Journey said...

Wow. this is what I needed to read tonight. Thank you for putting things into perspective, Chris. It is so much appreciated. ;)

Joy said...

Chris, Once again, you've hit the nail on the head!! This is the truth!! We have to decide to live life and not choose death!!!

You are inspirational!!