Why your greatest weakness is your greatest strength...

We are raised in this society to view weakness as a character issue...
Whatever that weakness may be.
We need to heal it, or fix it...
Or ignore it..
or shore up our strength around it.
So it doesn't hinder us.
What if, by embracing our greatest weakness...it could propel is to our true purpose?
What if, by attempting to sand that scar out...
we rub out what makes us useful?
I think this is what God meant when he said
"Through your weakness you are made strong."
Maybe that weakness wasn't an accident.
Maybe that psychological tear, that emotional scar, that physical disability...
is there for a reason.
And instead of fleeing from it, we are to turn and face it..
and embrace it.
And then use it to encourage others?
For Arnold Schwarzenegger, it was his accent...his massive size.
He was told he would never be a big named actor because who could possibly see his name in lights?
No one would go see his movies.
For Sly Stallone, he had nerve damage in his face....It caused his mouth to be lop sided...
It's The same snarl that he is now known by...
Betty Ford's alcoholism turned into the Betty Ford clinic.
The death of five year old Adam Walsh prompted his parents...Reve and John Walsh (of America's Most Wanted) to lobby congress until it opened the center for missing and exploited children.
I have admired people over the years...Mother Theresa,  John Walsh and others...
and I never really put together why....
But now I know.
It isn't just that they were courageous.
It was that they WENT BACK INTO the source of their pain,
to pull people out.
I never really got Mother Theresa's reasoning for living in absolute poverty until recently...
She put herself in a position of weakness so that she could better understand the weakness and the hopelessness of the people she was helping.
I was watching a tv show yesterday called 30 days.
In the show, it teaches people empathy by having them live as another person lives for 30 days.
In the case of a former pro football player...
he lived as a paraplegic for 30 days.
At the end, he understand that those people weren't different..they just couldn't walk.
And it made him want to help.
Did he have sympathy before?
But did he really understand what it was to get up each day and be dependent on someone to help you get in the shower...get in and out of the car....get you a plate of food?
For me, I understand the mentality morph that happens to women in abusive relationships.
From  healthy, to mentally beaten down, and finally to an attitude of self loathing.
My weakness, my damage, was put there for a reason.
I don't think people who have never been in the middle of a dysfunctional relationship can truly understand..
In much the same way a person who has never been morbidly obese can understand what it is like to  try and give up food as a crutch.
The same way a person who was never bullied...
or never had anorexia..
or has never had cancer...
can truly understand.
That weakness is your gift.
Because it connects you in a way your strength cannot, to the people around you.
It is there for a purpose.
Because really...
if you are going through a painful experience in your marriage..
who do you want to talk to?
The person who has a 'perfect' marriage?
Or the person who has been through it and came out the other side?


I am damaged...
But I have been damaged for a purpose.
So that I could understand and have sympathy for people who have been damaged in a similar way.
So that when I am talking to them, and teaching them...
I am not looking down at them.
I am standing with them and helping THEM climb up and out.
All this time, my greatest weakness has been my greatest strength.


Instinct vs. Discipline in Food and fighting

Hey all,
I had a very good day.
The best day I have had in a long time.
In regards to food.
I have embraced discipline over instinct in regards to food.
I have been following the intuitive eating idea for a while now..
And I understand that there are adherents to this idea that read my blog.
I want to give you my reasons WHY I don't follow that flow.

I believe it's 'intuitive' for a human being to eat more than they need.
Because of generations of feast and famine ingrained in our psyche.
It is human nature to stock up in times of plenty to prepare for times of famine.
It is not intuitive to leave yourself slightly hungry.
Which you HAVE TO DO to lose weight.
The amount of food consumed will not support your current weight, which is the whole point.
You are trying to lower your body fat,  your body weight..
Therefore  you have to eat less to sustain less.
That is the antithesis of intuitive.
Science has shown, when you reach your goal weight.

Your body will attempt to betray you.
Your grehlin (hunger hormones)levels go through the roof.
It is  your body's attempt to regain the fat you lost.
For no other reason than it thinks your prior weight was better at sustaining survivability.

The same goes for fighting.
In class today, we discussed instinct.
We use instinct as a jump off point...but only a jump off point.
Because in a street fight..instinct can get you killed.
For instance.
If someone attacks  you...and  you manage to shake them loose.
What is your instinct?
Well, RUN! Right?
Just because you have managed to temporarily shake that person off..doesn't mean they are going to stay shook..
You have to ensure they cannot follow and attack again.
It means going towards the danger...
Re engaging when you would rather run away.
It is remembering the proper pattern when attacking...not just flailing wildly..
but direct strikes.
High low high....left right left.
Remembering all this is not instinctual.
It is learned through discipline.
Eating less...exercising daily.
These are not the path of least Resistance.
It is not instinctual.
Instinctual is sleeping as long as you can..
eating high fat foods because our palates crave them..
eating a bit more than we need to satisfy our survival instinct.
That's my take on instinct vs. discipline.
What do you all think?


choosing to care

Hey all,
How is it going?
Pretty good here...I have still been going to my defense classes...I have been working out.

I have been thinking.
It is easier not to care.
It is easier to come to a place in life where you simply let go of hoping..
hoping things will get better..
Hoping that what you say or do will make a difference.
I did that...and having done that...I can say it was much easier.
Caring is harder...emotionally and physically.

It's very in vogue to be 'tolerant' of people's choices.
especially when people's choices don't involve you or anyone you love.
"Well", you think "That's their choice."
"They made their bed, I guess they will have to lie in it."
But some people's choices are shaping an entire generation of apathetic and uneducated people.

I was on facebook earlier..
And someone said divergent life choices were like saying 'Potato potahto"
You know...
One person chooses to become a hooker and die of a heroin overdose...that's potato..
another chooses to become a doctor and  heal the sick...that's potahto.

We are all just 'struggling' to be human..so we can't judge the relative value of either contribution.

And to whit...since this is my blog...I say BULLSHIT

I nearly unfriended that person.

well..not that person..but a friend who liked the insanely stupid comment.
It isn't the same.
The reason our society is in the neck deep level of shit it is in
Is BECAUSE of this mentality EXACTLY.
The idea that there are not poor choices or good choices...just choices.
The idea that your choices only affect you, that you only owe things to you..and not your family or friends...the idea that the choices you make aren't a ripple affecting the lives of others.


What you choose to do in life...daily.
Everything from getting up in the morning on time, to making your kids' breakfast...to being responsible in paying your bills OR being kind to that person you meet who is having a bad day.
It does.
What you do MATTERS.
When you sluff off, give into your bad temper...hurt people by being unfaithful or rude or late or inconsiderate.
It's a ripple. 
Does that mean you have to be perfect? No.
But it does matter!
As each day progresses since I have felt whole and capable of moving forward...this phrase has settled into my head "You sculpt your life with your own hands'.

You create it, for good or ill and when YOUR time is UP it is UP.
What does it say?
What do you want it to say..
What do you want it to SCREAM.
What will it mean when you are gone.
Will it be about you...or about the people you loved and loved you.
The people you helped.
What you contributed..what you taught..what you passed on?!
So  the phrase that you could use when looking at two divergent paths isn't potato potahto...

example vs. warning..
legendary vs. infamous.
Saint vs. tyrant.
fulfilled vs. wasted

What  you leave behind you can be a trail of enlightenment...or a path of excrement.
I intend to make the most of mine.
chris out.


F.E.A.R. (how to kick it in the @ss)

False evidence Appearing Real

That was my life in a nutshell up till three and a half years ago.
Loretta made an excellent point yesterday in her comment.
I know how far I've come, but many of you don't.
I know some of you are new(er) to this blog..

At one point in my weight loss journey, I nearly fainted from anxiety while being flirted with by an overly ambitious and obnoxious lotion salesman at the mall.

Panic, racing heart...hyperventilation.

It was my first real experience with flirtation after having been cocooned in my fat layer for nearly 15 years.
It was a humiliating experience.
I tried to laugh it off...but looking back now...it was a blessing in disguise.
It was THEN that I realized the extent of my fear of men, and knew I had to do something about it.

So, I took a self defense class.
It was a one off class to strengthen my sense of self sufficiency, I didn't think much of it before I went..I certainly didn't think it would be life altering.

But in many ways, it is the small decisions that can lead to the biggest changes.
Many times, the difference between success and failure is the willingness to cross over the line of comfort into discomfort.
And that line is almost always the line of fear.
False Evidence Appearing Real.
I was very anxious at the thought of taking that class.

Of what, I don't know.

It was a marked pattern in my life, up to that point.

If I had anxiety, I avoided the situation.
The problem with that strategy was that my anxiety didn't stem from reality...or external situations.

My anxiety stemmed from my internal dialogue.
From a faulty pattern set up from a childhood of abuse.
The patterns of chaos and fear were created by an angry,fearful and chaotic person.

What you feed, grows.

I fed my fear.

I used my childhood as a basis with which to judge relationships. As a consequence, you couldn't get me to commit to anything except the people who had proved themselves trustworthy.
And being that I did not go out much, do much, or participate much...that was quite a small circle that WAS GROWING SMALLER BY THE DAY..

By the time I decided I was worth the effort, I was 130 lbs overweight and couldn't tell you what I wanted out of life.

Hell, I couldn't have told you what my favorite color was..
(BTW: It's aqua)
Here is what I am trying to say.
To be...Do.

It Isn't some magical moment.

It's a realization that something needs to change.

Many people stop right there, I did many, many times.

Here's the trick.
Within you will be two voices.

One that says 'Don't bother, it won't work." "What if it fails'..and "You aren't worth the effort." That is fear talking.
That was the program I had followed.
I felt I had no real control over my situation or my future.
The best I could do was persevere...the idea of creating something never even occurred to me...I was still functioning from the perspective of a child who had no ability to choose without even realizing I was doing it.
It was F.E.A.R.
False evidence appearing real.

You know how you kick it's ass?

You listen to the other voice in your head.
It may be a whisper..Maybe after years of feeling hemmed in and stymied...the voice isn't very loud anymore.
Maybe that voice was replaced with a tape made by an abused and abusive person.

But nearly every human being who is currently residing on planet earth still has a sliver of it...because when they stop having it they kill themselves or go insane....

That is the voice of hope.

It may simply say "Yes'.
It may say "Give it a try!" or  "Maybe you'll make friends' or "It could be fun"...or 'You were made for better things."

That is the one you listen to.
You listen to it and do it...and then the next time there is a decision to be made...you listen to the voice that affirms you, not belittles you...and so you go.

If you are ever uncertain about which path to take.

You listen to the one that says yes to you, yes to life.

When I listened to the voice of F.E.A.R.  I never joined in. I never went out. I never began new ventures or made friends.. Or tried new things. I had created a safe circle from which I could scurry out, grab what would maintain a minimum existence, and then I would scurry back home. Everything I did was fear based. I told myself I was being smart, or canny. But I was basing my life decisions, relationship decisions..on faulty evidence... As a result, my life was home..TV. obesity. one outside friend. and a feeling on a daily basis that I was being buried alive and had no idea who I was or what I wanted.

Then one day, I decided to lose weight on purpose... The thoughts in my head that day were manifold...but the one that stands out the most clearly was this thought: "I deserve better than this." That was the voice of hope... And when I followed it my world got richer and larger and more wonderful. More friends, A church home, healthy, happiness, self knowledge and a sure path to my future.

Listen to Hope.
Chris out.


knife attack and cardio

Hey all,
Thought I would pop in and discuss what I have been up to..In vee arnis jitsu we have been learning about the five angles of attack and how to block and respond to those five angles.
I go in the afternoon, and basically..I am usually the only one in class. I really enjoy that because it gives me an opportunity to ask questions and get a lot of training in.

My teacher in the afternoons in Jeannie.
I like her.
She is lowkey and funny and very good at what she does.
Every day I become more and more sure of my path.
I really believe in this system and I really want to teach other women how to use this system.

I did the incline on Saturday.

My legs felt pretty good but feel I have let my cardio slip somewhat.
So, muscle wise I am doing fantastic, but I am going to recommit to cardio..
At least 30- minutes 6 days a week while shooting for an hour on my VAJ days.
My goal being weight loss and the ability to do the incline in less than 45 minutes.
Below is a video of the five angles of attack and some of the stick work I am doing.
I am very excited about it.
These are skills and techniques I am eager to learn and share.

On another note....I am still at 160 lbs....and I have been hit on twice in the last two weeks by attractive men.
It's not about the weight level.
I think it's my confidence level.
The happier you are, and the more sure of your path..
the more you radiate that around you.
And whereas before, the attention would have sparked a negative consequence..
This time I felt nothing but perhaps a feeling of being flattered and a bit amused.
One guy said "Don't take this wrong...but you make toeshoes look good'. That amused me.
The other guy yelled across a crowded eatery "Are you married? "  And I found that flattering.
of course I said yes, I am...
again, no negative consequence.
I am calmer...
I am working on being calm in most situations.
Thinking things through and applying the calm determination to every aspect of my life.
Impatience is my biggest problem these days, as it has always been.
So learning to stay calm in situations that would have set me off previously is my focus for the next month or two.
Hope all is well with you guys.

Chris out.