Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1st -- Advice for Others and Myself

Well six months of 2010 are down!!  I can't believe how quickly the time has passed.  Truthfully I thought that the scale would read a lot lower than it does at the moment.  Currently, I a fluctuating between 270 and 275, which is between 46 to 41 pounds lost. In January, I had hoped that I would be passed the 50 pound mark by now.  However, I am currently very happy with my progress.  And I thought that this would be a good time to share my thoughts because I know some people who are fighting this fight along with me and might benefit from me sharing a bit more than the details of my workout.  Also, I know that I need to stop and listen to myself from time to time.  Today I was reading The Fat Man's 180 Day Experiment   and Scott was talking about his injury and feeling discouraged today,and even though I am sure he didn't really need my advice I decided to offer some and as I wrote I just felt like I was talking to myself as much as I was Scott, so I decided to make this post.
 Today I am Sporting the Ankle brace. My Achilles is giving me problems, and it is getting to the point where I may need to shut things down if it doesn't improve over the next week or so. I have had so many tweaks, pulls, and strains over the last 8 months -- it is all part of the journey  Just remember that it will pass and you will be mentally stronger for having gotten past it.   Here are some of the injuries I have encountered along the way:

Strained Hip Flexor
Strained Rotator Cuff
Sprained Middle Finger
Groin Pull
Wisdom Tooth Removal
Strained Neck & Shoulder Blade
Knee and Hamstring Pulls

I am making this list for two reasons.  1) I have gotten past each one of these injuries.  You have to expect injuries when you are over weight, out of shape, and begin a lifestyle change.  The injuries are going to come, but you will move past them. They are part of the process.  In fact they are a pretty good indication that you are getting your body out of it's comfort level and it is resisting.  Of course, you should do everything you can to prevent injuries, but you must push yourself and expect injuries to occur.  2) This process is more about reshaping you mind than it is about reshaping your body.  You have turned the corner when you realize that it is not the external changes that matter but the internal changes.  I had the physical strength to do 50 pushups long before I had the mental strength to do it. 

I know that it is really hard not to focus so much on the scale, but the day to day fluctuations are maddening. Honestly, the scale is a really poor indicator of your effort.  Yes, I want to see the number on the scale get smaller, but I am much more interested in being able to run 5 miles. I won't care what weight I am at when I do that for the first time. I won't care if I am 270 or 265; I'll be happy that I was able to push myself to do it.  We are so focused on the scale that we lose sight of the fact that it is only a number. It is the effort and work that matters. One person's 260 is not the same as another person's.  What is important is how you feel about yourself, and no number is really going to feel as good as the satisfaction that you get from pushing yourself farther than you thought possible.  
It is better to trust your eyes when you look in the mirror than the numbers on the scale.  Take time to stare at yourself in the mirror.  Look at your cheekbones, you shoulder blades, stare deeply into you own eyes, it is not vanity.  It is getting reacquainted with the person that you have wanted always wanted to be.  I can always tell that I am doing good work by the weight I have lost in my face. I'll often wait a few days to shave because the weight loss is really apparent when I shave. And after I have taken notice of that, that is when I will look myself in the eyes and try to assess the more important internal changes.  At the beginning of this post, I said that I thought that scale would be reading a much lower number by now.   But, I am really much more happy with where I am than I could have imagined.  I have put in a lot of hard work and my body has changed a lot, but what makes me most happy is the mental strength and inner peace that I am discovering.  I always thought that I was dissatisfied with my physical appearance and that was why I was unhappy, but I was really dissatisfied with the internal aspects of myself that let me get to where I was physically. 

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