Saturday, January 17, 2015
You're Fat and It's Your Fault: Guest Blog
Myself and My Husband - Evolution Rewind Ring Shoot
Image by: Hayley Marie Photography
My two favorite concepts/words are ACCOUNTABILITY and TRUTH. I truly believe that is where all of your personal power is housed. Today I welcome my husband David with his first guest blog discussing his experience with these very issues, taking accountability and responsibility for your life in the general sense. Specifically he wants to introduce you to his friend pain and truth as they pertain to life changes. We have just started a new year and I would wager that the majority of the goals/resolutions have to do with fitness and weight loss so this post will be a great motivator.
Come on let’s face it if you’re fat it’s your fault. Ouch that hurts! Hey, that’s not politically correct. How dare I say such a thing? Please give me something I can digest, you say. Like how about a magical fat loss pill? Oh yeah that didn’t work and made me ill. Wait a second what about that new juice cleanse diet that so and so just lost all that weight using? That’s right it all came back and with a vengeance not to mention too much planning, too much preparation, the mess and regardless what they said I was hungry most of the time when they promised I wouldn’t be. Oh I know! What about that packaged diet plan where I buy all their food? That’s right I just couldn’t justify the cost or really afford it as it was another temporary fix with yet another big letdown. Hold on; hold a minute while you munch on that tasty comfort food snack that says I will deal with this tomorrow. Well honey let me remind you today is the tomorrow of yesterday and that ditch isn’t going to dig itself.
Companies have made millions in convincing you that there is a painless way to lose weight without all the discomforts that come with a lifestyle change. What was that? a lifestyle change? Oh I’m not looking for that, I am just looking to drop some weight then resume my life again. Well then refer to the top paragraph and continue to ignore the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room or better referred to as the truth.
Before I go on let’s be realistic as this applies to adults who are in charge of what they eat and not the many abused children who are at the mercy of what their parents feed them. Yes it is a form of abuse to feed your children unhealthy food. Have you seen the statistics on Childhood obesity? Let me preface the rest of this piece by making clear that my intention is not to hurt or belittle anyone but to merely bring forth the truth and illustrate what we all already know.
Okay so the “truth”. The truth is a lifestyle change! As the specifics mentioned above in the first paragraph are not sustainable. Even if there are few who are successful in those endeavors the fact is they are the exception to the rule. So what constitutes a lifestyle change? Yeah you already know the equation for good health – a balanced diet low in fat, sugar and processed foods – high in fruits, vegetables, nuts and lean meats, etc. – regular exercise, rest and low stress. Wow no wonder few achieve their goals in this instant gratification society. It sounds simple enough but can be extremely challenging if not approached right.
Alright enough already what is the secret sauce? Embracing and accepting pain and discomfort. Okay for all of you still reading and ready to commit to change start small with realistic goals. As you build momentum you can push a little harder.
Rather than continue preaching I will share my personal experience. I struggled to bring forth change in my daily habits I continued to fail only to resort back to my unhealthy lifestyle but most often to a higher degree. I started to lose confidence in myself and would often give up with the “I’ll start tomorrow syndrome”. Remember today is yesterday’s tomorrow and tomorrow truly never comes in terms of definition.
After so many failed attempts I was experiencing a far greater pain than that of a lifestyle change, my pain was internal and was haunting my self-esteem and well being. Little did I realize I was becoming accustomed to pain and discomfort but of the unhealthy kind. Realizing this was a turning point and became one of my greatest motivating factors. I understood that in order to be successful I not only had to expect and accept the pain and discomfort but I had to embrace it, look forward to it and eventually crave it. We have all heard the sayings, “No pain no gain – Pain is weakness leaving the body”. Well this knowledge has been around for years however multimillion dollar companies with large marketing budgets have been very successful in making us believe we can achieve our goals without pain and discomfort.
So back to my story, I committed to change via the acceptance that pain was key in successfully changing my lifestyle. I planned my meals, my workouts, etc. as that was the easy part. What I changed in my approach was in the result I was looking for – pain & discomfort. The result was instantaneous! Wow I didn’t even have to wait the thirty days it normally takes to see a difference. I humored myself all along the way. I would wake up and pain had become my unrelenting friend. She was always there putting me in check. My mindset had shifted as I knew when she appeared I was making strides and she was a reflection I was moving in the right direction. The pain I had been feeling from being unsuccessful and losing confidence was slowly migrating to my friend who I would start out with each day. I really didn’t realize this until the monumental shift had already taken place. This was in as little as a couple of weeks. That’s right weeks, not days remember we are acknowledging the truth. Again my expected result was not weight loss as in a couple of weeks my weight loss was minimal. We all know weight loss is a marathon not a sprint. If you lose weight in the metaphor of a sprint and keep it off you are definitely the exception to the rule.
How did I make pain my friend? I awoke and went to sleep each night expecting her ever presence first. She didn’t just arrive she was there. So I talked to her and would take her down a notch or two with counting my blessing no matter how small. Breathing is a constant and has been used for centuries in mediating and being more in the moment. I would be thankful for breathing as it is a necessity to live so I would give thanks. I would give thanks for my loved ones, where I lived, that I was in a society that is so overfed that we have this overweight dilemma. How thankful I was not to be in a position of pain from lack of not having any food and many people in the world who face this daily. Stop and take a moment to ponder that. Feeling embarrassed? Me too.
One day when conversing with my new friend (pain) I thanked her for pulling me into the moment that I strive for in meditation each day. Here all this time pain brought me into the moment much easier than all the breathing techniques had. Pain was slowly becoming a catalyst for improvement in so many other areas in my life as well. Those in my life were recognizing I was changing and would make positive remarks. I was gaining confidence each day and now had a way to measure change, yeah you got it by my new good friend – pain. I even named her as we were becoming quite close. As time went on I had good days and bad days but she was always there. When I would back slide she was gone and her brother (the internal pain of failure) would return. He was not my friend and I never liked him. She despised him as well. I yearned for her when I would backslide as I came to realize she always had my best interest at hand.
Unfortunately she subsided into obscurity in time (depending on how you apply yourself will determine how long until she subsides). Months had passed and low and behold I was confident, fit and was enjoying internal peace most of the time.
As I faced challenges in other areas in my life I knew I had the secret sauce and lost the fear I once carried with change. As an example I had the confidence to leave a twenty year career that paid good and had me in what is referred to as the “Golden Handcuffs”. I left that job as it was not fulfilling nor matched my core values and started my own company. I used the same practice with fear as I did with pain and embraced the change in my career. My goal was never money but to create an environment that aligned with my core values. The result of this approach is that I now enjoy working for myself in a successful and fast growing company. The money was never my goal as the weight loss was never my goal however it became the byproduct.
Again, my intention in writing this piece is to share my experience in hopes that it helps anyone struggling with pain of weight loss or any change.
Thanks David for that digital kick in the ass. Truly your current relationship with gravity, fitness level or any other circumstance IS within YOUR control and power. Even if there is something out of your control in life you can control your response, thus it is all up to YOU. So, wow - I am fat and it's my fault? What a powerful and motivating concept! Cheers to accountability and embracing the uncomfortable to achieve the desirable.