Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aim High

We all face challenges and we all face a choice....take it on or quit.  The thing about trying to tackle a challenge though is that you might possibly fail.  I think that's what keeps most from trying.  I mean, failing sucks, no doubt about that.  I think most people believe that it feels better to think of themselves as a quitter than a failure.  We can make excuses for quitting.  Failure is pretty much cut and dried.

It's an illusion though.  Quitting causes resentment and regret.  Whereas trying to accomplish something has the likelihood of at least obtaining partial goals, not trying at all gets you nothing.

Sounds like a safe bet to me.  Either stand and complain about obstacles in your life, or aim high and try to overcome them.  What have you got to lose?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 2

One of my biggest self imposed obstacles has been "doing it later". This is especially so with exercise.  It's always "I don't have time this morning" or "I feel kinda lousy" or "I have to prepare for a big meeting"....always something. Then I tell myself that I'll do it later, perhaps during lunch, maybe when I get home in the evening.

Of course I never get to it because the excuses I used in the morning sound just as good at the end of the day. So I miss a day. Then another. And know. This morning I pushed aside the excuses and went out for a run (actually a fast walk, but that's the best I can do right now). It was cold. It was dark. It hurt.

 But feels so good.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Next 12 Weeks

I'm needing to get serious about this fitness stuff.  I have a difficult time staying focused by myself...I need a bit of a program to keep on track.  I've decided to do the 2013 Transformation Challenge for the next three months and see what happens.  I'm going to try my best to follow it to the letter every day.  Part of that is "homework" to be completed every week.  These are exercises to address the mental aspects of fitness...and believe me...they are sometimes harder than the weight lifting.  I'll post those and my responses here as I go along the next few weeks.

Heart and Soul
Having looked inward to do some soul-searching, three heartfelt reasons for making the decision to transform my health and life are:

1: I'm tired of being fat, tired of feeling bad, tired of being inactive...tired of being tired.
2: I see friends my age develop diabetes and heart disease.  I want to avoid these killers if it is possible.
3: I want to set an example to others around me.  I want to be known as somebody who can accomplish personal goals and inspire others to achieve theirs.

In recent days and weeks, the three most predominant inner feelings I have been experiencing are:

1: Dread that I will have a heart attack.
2. Ashamed of my condition.
3. Frustrated and scared that I can't do it.

Three patterns of thinking or beliefs which may have limited my ability to change in the past are:

1: I'm too busy.
2: I'm too old.
3: I've already damaged my body beyond repair.

Three objectively verifiable statements which reflect my physical condition right now are:

1: My weight this morning is 197.4 pounds.
2: My body fat is 34%
3: I've taken my before photos....bleah.  Looking at them clearly shows the work that needs to be done.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Butter vs Margarine

I'm of the belief that butter (or really, any dairy product) is not bad for you.  Overindulgence is...overdoing it on any food is bad for your body.  Eat a sack of bananas in one sitting and see how you feel.  Sure butter is full of fat, it is fat, but one of the goals I have is getting fit and healthy while still being able to enjoy food.  There are just some things I eat that scream for butter.  Taters, broccoli, carrots, peas, asparagus, etc., etc., etc.  Gotta have butter.

One of the things that a lot of folks do in trying to lose weight is to use margarine, especially the so-called heart healthy stuff because it has olive or canola oils or whatever way it's made to convince you that eating this is like eating health food.  It's bullshit.  Margarine has the same fat content as butter.  Sure, butter has cholesterol but guess what; there is no link of cholesterol to heart disease.  Butter is a natural product used for thousands of years.  Margarine is a manufactured product that is more closely related to plastic than any food item that has ever appeared on the planet.

It's all about moderation.  You are not going to lose any weight if you sit on the couch watching TV and eating a couple of sticks of butter every night.  I do think that it's okay to have a pat on your veggies.  Just like there is no one thing that will magically make a person healthy...there is no one thing that will make a person fat.

Eat what you want....but control what you eat.

Friday, January 18, 2013


Motivation is that thing which compels you to do something regardless of your preference.  External motivation is the easiest.  Like the photo above; if a Tyrannosaurus is chasing you, it's a sure bet that you will give it your all in running like hell.  No decision making on your part.  You just do it.  One of the best motivators I ever had was waaaaaay back in boot camp.  All day long having a drill instructor screaming at me did wonders in motivating me to do whatever that insane man wanted.  External motivation works dandy.

But what do you do when there is nothing external....when that motivation must come from the inside...when you must motivate yourself?  Not so easy.

Yet...really....isn't all motivation external?  There is no motivation on my part to eat a rack of ribs or a honking big bowl of ice cream.  I can bravely conquer all obstacles in sitting on my ass and watching television.  To do things I may not want to do though, such as eat healthy and exercise...well...I need something to motivate, to push, to MAKE me do what needs to be done.  In my particular case, it's the unsettling knowledge that many guys I know around my age are having heart attacks or finding out that they have developed diabetes.  They all have plenty of new found motivation after the fact.  I just trying to attain that same level of motivation before it happens to me.

I wish I had that old drill instructor at my gym.

Monday, January 14, 2013


What if it turns out the *Ultimate Transformation* is not changing into some other, "better" version of self but releasing the story that there's anything wrong with who you are now--and thus releasing the weight, guilt, burden and compulsive need to "change" which is depleting the life energy you could be enjoying and sharing?

That's not an original question from me.  It comes from a post on Facebook by Shawn Phillips.  Shawn is amazing.  Unlike most fitness gurus, Shawn actually speaks to the common person about health, diet, fitness, exercise....without all the hype and platitudes.  I especially love his comments on Facebook.  He just throws out these profound thoughts all the time.  The question above that he posed has had me thinking about it almost every day for the last month.My conclusion is that this transformation I have chased after all of these years is not to change into a different person with a different's to develop what I already am. It's not me that needs to change, it's just some things that I am doing. I need to let go of this goal of trying to become a new and better me and shoot for becoming a better same old me.

I dunno. This is a concept that is really hard for me to put into words. I want to lose weight and be more healthy...not that there is anything wrong with me but simply because I want to feel better and be able to do more in my life. There is nothing "wrong" with who I am right now and I don't want to change who I am right now.

Though I do want to see less of me in the mirror.

Thursday, January 03, 2013


I started off being fat on my 55th year.  Oh, I wasn't morbidly obese or anything, but I have a fairly slight frame and it really shows around my belly more so than a larger man.  Belly fat is the dangerous kind that kills guys my age, plus it just grosses me out.

It is surprisingly easy to lose several pounds.  The trick is to keep it off.  Like an addict....if you change a behavior (in my case, eating like a hog) you can start seeing immediate positive results.  However, if you return to the old behavior, chances are the addiction will be re-established even stronger than ever.  This is called yo-yoing in weight loss and it can actually leave you in much worse shape than when you started.

I wanted to avoid that so I concentrated on changing my eating habits; trying to eat healthy foods, avoiding the unhealthy ones, maintaining my activity level, managing stress, and not allowing myself to get so hungry that I will eat anything I can find.

The result is my weight today.
Not too bad.  I'm still fat but a lot less.  At least friends (snort) aren't patting me on the belly and making witty comments any more these days.  In the coming months I'll be concentrating on developing muscle and saying goodbye to my sagging belly like I said adios to that seemingly impenetrable 200 on the scale.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


People are always making resolutions at the start of a new year.  Most times, those heartfelt resolutions fizzle out within a couple of weeks and we revert to the same old comfortable patterns...finding ourselves at the end of the year wondering where the time went and coming up with those same resolutions for the next 12 months.

I'm as guilty as anybody.  Hell...I've been knocking myself about a personal transformation for years.

This year's gonna be different though.  I'm ready to break out of loops..those endless cycles...that feeling of spinning your wheels and going nowhere.  I've spent a lot of time and energy to see what works for me but, more importantly, I've found out what doesn't work.

I have a path.  I have a plan.  I have a goal.  All achievable.

This year's gonna be different.