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Archive for the ‘acceptance’ Tag

Tending your Garden   Leave a comment

I heard the best analogy today.  The person mentioning it didn’t know who originally said this other than they knew it’s an older idea, and he thought it may be Earl Nightingale.  If you know who came up with this analogy please feel free to let us know in the comments.

The analogy likened ones mind to a garden.  When you start a garden you have a new patch of soil.  The soil doesn’t really care what you plant in it.  It isn’t like you plant carrots and the soil says no and grows cabbage instead.  The soil is an unbiased medium.  It just waits for you to plant whatever seeds you want to.

The mind is the same way.  It takes in whatever you choose to plant, without judgement or reservation.  If you plant doubt, you’ll grow more doubt.  If you sow the seeds of fear, you’ll be fearful.  However, if you sow the seeds of prosperity, you’ll prosper.  If you plant healthy thoughts and goals, you’ll be healthy and move in a healthy direction.  The mind simply doesn’t care, it waits for you to decide.

But that’s only part of the picture.  You see if you want good things to come into your life (money, love, happiness), you can’t just plant the seeds and wait for the results.  If you’ve ever had a garden (or even just a house plant), you know that for the seeds to grow you must regularly tend to the garden.  If you just plant the seeds and leave them, sure, there’s a chance you might get some fruits from it.  But why leave it up to chance?

Once you’ve planted the seeds, go back and regularly tend to your garden.  Water your seeds.  Make sure there’s plenty of sunlight.  If you see weeds creeping in, go pull out the weeds before they ruin your seeds.  As the plant grows, trim and prune it so that unhealthy parts of the plant don’t go back to infect and destroy the healthy parts.

What mental crops do you want?  It’s easy to say that you want roses (or whatever your favorite flower is).  But are you truly planting rose seeds?  If you want to be happy think happy thoughts.  When you start having thoughts that aren’t happy (mental weeds), root them out and destroy them.  Give it plenty of good food to grow strong like books on meditation or self-help guides.  YouTube channels that promote positivity and being better.  Spend time meditating to enrich your soil.

Same goes for money.  If you constantly dwell on the lack of it, those are the seeds you plant.  And you will grow lack.  So grow the seeds of abundance.  Nurture your abundance plant by being grateful for the things you already have.  Feel you are worthy of more.  Take steps to create different pathways for the money to come to you.

Or being in shape.  If you’re constantly planting seeds of a bad body image you’ll grow more self-doubt.  So plant seeds of self acceptance.  Be happy with who you are.  Feed your soil by looking in the mirror and smiling at yourself.  Literally water yourself.  The same H20 that makes your plants healthy and strong does the same for you.

Whatever it is you want in your life, plant the seeds of desire for it.  Go back regularly to tend to your garden and remove factors that might hinder your progress.  You’re garden is your life.  How well it turns out is directly proportional to the energy you put in to it as the gardener.  I’ll leave you with that thought, have a nice day.

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09/17/2018 Weigh In   Leave a comment

So this weigh in was a bit of a surprise.  Unfortunately the surprise was in the wrong direction.  I weighed in at 288.0 pounds, which is 7.4 pounds more than last week.  My muscle mass went from 27.1% last week to 26.5% this week.  In pounds that’s 76.0  to 76.3, so that small gain was a bit of good news.  Body fat went from 38.2% last week to 39.3% this week.  In pounds its 107.2 to 113.2.  And finally hydration went from 47.7% to 46.8%, or 133.8 pounds to 134.8.

So six pounds of fat gained in a week.  That seems a bit much to me.  I did have my day off from Keto this week as the 14th was my birthday (I turned 48).  And that was the Friday before my Monday weigh in.  When I first saw that gain my immediate thought was that it had to be water weight, but then I ran the numbers.

The good thing is I didn’t let that quick weight gain ruin my mindset.  I didn’t panic or feel bad or get down on myself.  I realize that there is any number of reasons it could shoot up that quick that won’t necessarily apply to next weeks weigh in.  I keep in mind that while the weight the scale shows me is likely to be very accurate, the other numbers are best calculations from the electric impedance of my body and not definitive numbers.  It could be that the water and fat readings are backwards and next week when my body has had time to get rid of the excess retained water my drop in weight will be as impressive as this gain.  It could be it’s all accurate and I just put on the fat, and I’ll get rid of it like I have the other pounds I’ve lost.  I still feel good about what I’ve accomplished overall and still feel confident that by mid year 2019 I’ll have gone as far as I can in weight loss via fat loss (other than skin removal if I need it).

Whereas my numbers didn’t show improvement in my physical goals, they were part of a bigger picture this past week of my mental improvements.  I don’t get carried away with these feelings, but in the past when I’ve had setbacks or the numbers weren’t as big as I’d hoped there was a little bit of disappointment in the back of my mind.  Not so with this one.  I didn’t feel bad at all.  And that attitude stayed with me throughout the day.  In what would usually be the kind of day at work that would have me clocking out in a foul mood, I actually kept a positive disposition.

I think a good deal of that is the fact that I’ve been much better about repeating positive affirmations to myself throughout the day.  I always intend to do it, but by the second or third bump in the road I’ve just gotten so consumed by the negative things happening it just falls by the wayside.  This time though, each time my mind felt it was looking in the negative direction the little voice in the back of my head reminded me to repeat a positive affirmation a few times.  That kept me happy the whole day.

Plus I’ve been doing much better with planning my life and not just meandering through it.  I think that the goal setting is part of it.  You just feel better when you’re working towards your goals.  But I think the activities themselves to reach those goals are having the biggest impact.  I’m writing more and planning more in my head which brings the creativity out.  This creativity leads to visualizing a better future.  Visualizing a better future leads to better visualization, which is creative, and creates a positive feedback loop.

When I first started the blog back up it was partly to get back into writing.  And now I’m working on a book.  And when I get done with that one I’ll immediately start the next.  And I’ve started planning out my first video for YouTube.  The main incentive when I started all this was creating a new income source to have better control of my life.  So, obviously, I wanted the blog, the books, and the videos to be very well received and very successful.  In talking with a coworker yesterday I’ve come to realize that while I won’t be upset if they turn out really well, I’d still be doing the same thing even if I knew right now it’ll never be successful enough to be a source of income.

The thing is that I’ve come to realize that the biggest benefit of all these things is I’m trying.  I’m actively living my life with intent.  And that’s what is bringing the happiness. Even if it isn’t as successful as I want I know I’m doing my best.  You can’t control the outcomes, only the effort you put into it.  And that thought is where I’ll end this post.  Just keep trying.  Have a great day.

 

Back Up and Running   Leave a comment

Ok, the internet at my place has finally been fixed.  Sorry it took so long.  For my first post back I’m just going to go over last Monday’s weigh in.  I know I usually have pics for the first weigh in of the month but when the internet went out, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to post, it slipped my mind to take the pics for when I could post.  As such this weigh in on Monday will be my monthly weigh in with pics and then next month I’ll go back to the usual schedule for the monthly.

As I mentioned in my quick post about the internet going out, I didn’t think about the fact that the scale wouldn’t upload like it normally does. I looked down at the last second, just as the reading went away.  I wasn’t sure if it was 282.5 or 282.8 pounds.  Turns out 282.8 pounds was the winner.  Now that I have all the data I also know my body fat was 38.5% and muscle mass was 26.9%.

The last weigh in for August (the 27th) had me weighing in at 283.0 pounds with a body fat of 38.7% and the same 26.9% for muscle mass.  So in order that would be .2 pounds lost overall, a .6 pound loss of body fat, and a .2 pound loss of muscle mass.  Doing the math that means I was carrying an extra .6 pounds of water weight, give or take.

The biggest reason for this small loss would be the three days I spent in bed due to the flu.  It might have been the keto flu, but it wasn’t that bad the first time so I’m guessing regular flu.  Even though my food intake was low, my exercise levels were obviously way lower due to being bed ridden most of the days.

On the whole though, the fact that I still managed to go down a little bit in body fat while spending almost half the week laid up is not bad.  Certainly not a great way to lose weight, but I’ll take it.

Now the one exception I’ll make to putting off the monthly update until next week is the exercise challenge I made for myself during the last monthly update.  To meet the goal I’d need to close the exercise ring 21 out of the 28 days between weigh ins.  I got to 20, so I was 1 short of the goal.  I’ll make 2 opposing points about this.

Point 1, the more negative of the two, is that while it would be easy to say that had I not been sick those three days I’d have met the challenge, that’s simply incorrect.  I could miss 7 days total and subtracting the 3 due to illness I still had 4 extra.  And I didn’t close the circle on those 4 days.  Being better is about being honest and the truth is on those 4 days I let laziness get the best of me figuring I had extra days to burn.  That came back to bite me in the ass at the end.  So the object lesson is, since we don’t know what tomorrow will bring, do your best today and don’t put things off.

Point 2, the more positive one, is about goal setting.  Let’s say I had set my goal for just half the days.  Well I went well past that mark, so that would have been an easy goal.  We don’t get better setting easy goals.  We get better setting harder goals.  While I wouldn’t subscribe to setting unrealistic goals, setting goals that will require you to work hard to accomplish them is a good idea.  Here’s the thing with that though, they’re hard goals and you have to be reasonable with yourself should you not succeed.  Going back to the fifty percent goal, had I gotten to the 14 days mark it would be easy to get lax and I may have only did a couple extra, getting to maybe 17 or 18 days.  By going for 75% of the days I knew the finish line of 21 days was farther away and I worked at it longer.  So yes at 20 days I only accomplished 95% of the goal, but got in 2-3 more days of work because of it.  So which is better, 129% of an easy goal (18 days/14 days), or 95% of the harder goal (20 days/21 days)?  Obviously the latter, as long as you don’t beat yourself up for “failing” to reach your goal.  That’s the key.  Set the goal high but be reasonable with how you view the results.

That’s it for this post.  Haven’t decided if I’ll do another post a little later tonight or tomorrow.  So either I’ll see you in a bit, or see you tomorrow.  Either way take care and have a great day.

Gratitude   Leave a comment

A lot of nice things have happened to me lately.  I’m down 70 pounds from the beginning of the year.  I’ve done a decent job on working on my spending and financial habits.  I just got back from a wonderful trip to Bellingham, WA to visit my friends.  I don’t need an extender for my seat belt when I fly anymore.  In the past few months I’ve randomly ran into two people I haven’t seen in years.  It’s a pretty nice list and there’s even more I could add.

I’m certain if you spent a few moments you could come up with a list of your own.  Special things that are easy to notice.  When an unexpected happiness comes into our lives it’s easy to see it against the background of the regular.  Here’s the thing, you don’t only have to be grateful for the big things that stand out.  You can be grateful for all the small blessings you tend to overlook because they’ve become commonplace in your life.

If you’re reading this right now you’re still alive.  That’s something to be grateful for.  And you have some kind of electronic device to read this on.  Again, something to be grateful for.  You have an internet where you can find blogs like mine, you could be grateful for that as well.  Just the events surrounding your reading this post, including having the knowledge it takes to comprehend the language it’s written in, provides a nice list of things to be grateful for.

What if you spent some of tomorrow thinking about the different things in your life from this perspective.  What all goes in to your daily commute that you could be grateful for?  Do you have your own car?  That qualifies.  If you don’t then it’s likely you have access to some other conveyance that takes you too and fro.  Maybe it’s a friend who drives you, or a subway, or an Uber (or Lyft if that’s your preference).  Those are things to be grateful for.  Even if you walk, you can be grateful that you have the ability to walk and the energy to do so.

Anything you do tomorrow can provide numbers of opportunities to be grateful.  Cooking, typing, watching TV, even cleaning the house.  It’s just a matter of looking for the things in them to be grateful about.

Now if each one thing you do has a decent list of things to be grateful about, and you do a great number of things in the day, you’ll have a very long list at the end of the day.  That should make you feel pretty happy.  And it’s probably the same kind of day you’ve been just existing through for months and years now.  The only difference is you’re taking time to realize what’s good in it.

If you spend all that time thinking about how good things are, how grateful you are about these things, you take away time from focusing on things that bring you down.  Or things that try to convince you that life isn’t so good.  You get to choose what to focus on. It’s your life after all.

To help you along your way I recommend getting a note pad or a journal and just writing down three things a day you’re grateful for.  They make apps for smartphones that make this task even easier.  You just have to bring the commitment to do it.  Try this for a week, or if you can a month, and tell me how it feels.  I’m betting if you spend a few minutes every day taking note of three things to be happy for you’ll notice two big differences by the end of the month.

First, I’m betting that along the way you’ll notice that you started writing down more then three things.  It’s contagious.  Once you notice three things it’s easy to see a fourth or a fifth or a tenth.  And when that habit builds and the list gets longer each day you’ll notice a second thing, how much happier you are.  After all how can you not be happier when you realize all the blessing in your life.

It’s up to you of course.  It’s your life, use your time as you please.  But if giving up just a few minutes a day could lead to a happier you in a month, it seems like a small risk of time investment for such a possibly big payout.  Take care, and see you soon.

You never know.   Leave a comment

First things first, a quick weigh in check in.  I’ll do this quickly because I just did the post the other day about my progress coming back from vacation.  This week I weighed in at 283.0 pounds.  At 38.7% body fat that means I’m down to 109.5 pounds of fat.  Closing in on being less than 100 pounds of fat.  Just a little over 76 pounds of muscle.  A small but good increase.  A very pleasant weigh in.

Of course since I’m off of vacation now I’m also back at work.  Today was my second day back.  I’m not really happy with my job right now, mainly because I don’t like how I feel at the end of the day.  My attitude can be pretty negative.  I’m taking steps to look for a new job but in the interim I’m having to deal with those feelings. So I left work with a “glad that’s over” mindset, which isn’t a really healthy one.

On the way home I just wasn’t happy with my life.  I got home and had a nice keto meal.  Still not feeling it, I went to my room and laid back in bed for a quick nap.   I decided to check my phone first.  There was a ton of Instagram alerts about a post I was tagged in from a company I buy my keto creamer from.  It’s http://www.prymal.com if you’re interested (I am not an affiliate nor do I make any money/benefit from this, I just really like Courtney’s creamers).

I clicked on a notification and it took me to her post about how men like flavored creamers too (guilty!).  And right there, top center in a collage she made, was a pic of me I had taken on vacation and posted on Instagram.  It so made my day to be featured in a man crush Monday collage of her loyal, male customers.

As I scrolled through the rest of my alerts I found one from Courtney.  She had left a comment on that picture in my feed.  She commented how proud of me she was at my progress.  I responded to both the post and the comment to thank her for her kindness.  She replied back on the collage post to tell me she thanked me for being such a loyal customer and that she hoped I knew how deeply she appreciated it.

Here is a person I’ve never met face to face and I’m having a positive impact on her life.  By being a loyal customer I’m helping her dream company come true.  By making all the progress on keto I’m a source of inspiration to her.  And to think a short while earlier I was moping about in bed not happy with my life.

Sometimes you never really know the impact you’re having on others lives. In this case it was good, maybe great.  I didn’t take the actions I took that led to that impact with the purpose of creating that impact.  I just lived my life and it happened.  Without even trying I’m impacting someone’s life.

Here’s the thing, it’s a two edged sword.  As I stated earlier I’m not happy with my job, and I’m sure that I’m letting it show through at work.  I’m not trying to have a negative impact on the lives of others, but it’s possible I am.  I’ll never know.

The two points I’d like to leave you with today are this.  First, be mindful throughout the day.  Know what you’re doing and act with purpose.  Try to stay positive even in situations that you’d rather not be in.  Second, be gentle with yourself.  Even if things aren’t looking their best you can still be having a positive impact on someone.  Even when you’re not trying, even if you don’t know it.  And you’re more likely to be having that positive impact if you’re being mindful and positive.

We act and the impact of those actions ripple through the world we live in.  What that impact is may be something you’ll never know.  Just do your best this week to make it a positive one.  Who knows, if you spend all that time being positive the biggest impact could be on you.  Take care and see you soon.

 

07/09/2018 Weigh In   Leave a comment

Posting this a little late again.  I apologize for that.  I’ve tried to tell myself that it’s because I’ve not been feeling well.  I’ve lived in the great Northwest most my life and now live in Madison, Alabama where this time of year it is both hot and very humid.  I’m doing better then I was last year when I first got down here but the bottom line is this weather still doesn’t agree with my Northwest physiology.  But that isn’t the real reason, and I know it.  For the first time since I started weighing in I’ve gone up in weight without it being connected to my day off from Keto.

Not sure why, or what’s different in this past week.  I ate like I normally do and I’ve been good about exercising even in the heat and humidity.  It wasn’t much (gained .6 pounds) but I know it was body fat as my body fat percentage went up from 40.3% to 40.5%.

Were I a betting man I’d guess it’s because there have been some personal stresses in my life due to changes I’m making.  I’m not happy with my current job and I’ve been looking elsewhere. That creates a bit of uncertainty in my life and that creates stress.  I’ve been meditating each day and thought I was keeping it in check but it’s the only thing I can think of, other then the weather.  I suppose the weather could be partly to blame, and that would suck as it’ll be a few more weeks of this and I wanted to drop at least 5 more pounds before I fly back to Washington State for a visit. However I’m most inclined to believe it’s the stress.

And that creates a little more stress.  That’s the problem with stress is that it so easily builds on itself.  The thing is though I know that’s it now.  So I’m being hyper vigilant about my thoughts.  When a doubt or a criticism creeps in I quickly correct it.  On the whole I just know I’m making the right choice.  That this is what the universe has in store for me.  And I focus on that.  I’m working on adding what I call “mini meditations” into my day where I just stop and relax my mind and repeat positive affirmations in my head.  I’m also journaling regularly to get the thoughts out on “paper” (my journal is on my iPhone/iPad) which makes it easier to deal with them.  I just keep first and foremost in my thoughts that these things are endurable and I’ll be better on the other side.  So to that end I’m going to do a daily post for the next week as a trial run to see how that goes. Maybe it helps me, maybe it helps someone who reads it.  Either way I’m all about taking steps to be a little better today then I was yesterday, and a little better still tomorrow.  Take care.

 

Mid Year Update   Leave a comment

This month’s weigh in is not just a monthly weigh in, it’s the mid point of the year weigh in.  So this post will focus on the journey so far as opposed to just what’s happened since last month.

When I started this journey on January 1st of this year I weighed in at 352.6 pounds.  My body fat percentage was a whopping 52.0%, my muscle mass percentage was under the 25% minimum the scale would show, as well as my hydration, which was below the 43.0% minimum.  I look back and shake my head at the fact that when I started my keto diet I was more body fat then anything else.  I don’t feel ashamed or get down on myself about it, I just recognize that 52.0% was very bad for me.  And that’s very important.  I’ve made a lot of progress in six months and much of that is due to the fact that I didn’t add to the problem with self recrimination or self doubt.  I simply understood I wasn’t where I wanted to be, looked to where I did want to be, and started moving in that direction feeling good about myself making the choice to be better.  A positive mindset is a huge benefit in a weight loss journey.

So where am I now, six months later. My weigh in was yesterday, 07-02-2018.  I weighed in at 293.0 pounds.  My body fat percentage was 40.3%.  My muscle mass percentage is up to 25.9% and my water percentage is up to 46%.  That means in six months time I’ve lost a total of 59.6 pounds of weight, averaging just under 10 pounds a month.  I like that average.  On January 1st I was carrying 183.4 pounds of body fat, a whole human being.  On this weigh in I’m only carrying 118.1 pounds for a total fat loss of 65.3 pounds.  Unfortunately since I fell below the minimum percentage for both water and muscle mass I can’t calculate how much I’ve changed other then to say that between the two I’ve gained 5.7 pounds.  Considering that fact that I’ve only recently started doing things to build muscle I’m good with that gain.

So even though I fell slightly short of my hopes to be over 60 pounds lost by mid year, and under 40.0% body fat, I feel really great about the progress I’ve made.  I think quibbling over .4 pounds of weight and .3 percentage points of body fat would be silly to do instead of focusing on the great amount of progress I’ve made.

In terms of impact on my life, these are the changes I’ve noticed.  At the beginning of the year I didn’t even try to keep up with my coworkers at the end of the day as we walked out to our cars.  I would be struggling to try, I really couldn’t without their slowing down, and I’d be winded something fierce by the time I got to my vehicle.  Now, I can keep up with them without their slowing down and I can feel that I was pushing myself but I’m just breathing heavier, I’m not winded.

I was wearing 56 inch waist pants when I started (at my largest I wore size 60).  Today it was a hot day in Alabama so I decided to put on the new shorts I bought a few weeks ago.  They’re 48 inch waist shorts.  The fit isn’t perfect but they are wearable and I think a lot of the “fit” issue I had with them revolves more around the fact that my clothes have been extra baggy lately.  So my shorts being a closer fit to the body felt odd.  But it wasn’t like they were at risk of ripping or anything.  I’ve been buying my clothes from the big boy store most my life and like any specialty store the cost of everything is way more expense.  That’s why my clothes are so baggy right now.  I’d ring up a huge bill keeping up as I go along.  I got the shorts at Walmart for under $15.  The important note though is I got them at a regular store.  I’ve gotten small enough I can buy clothes at most places now, which I love.

At the beginning of the year when I got home from work I was done for the day.  Now I do things.  Maybe read, or work on learning a language, or even go back out and do something.  More importantly I’ll exercise at the end of the night.  Even if it’s just to go out on a walk.

On January 1st, starting the day involved me mentally pushing myself to get out of bed after copious use of the snooze alarm and a realization I’d have to get up or I was going to be late.  On my weekends I’d sleep way in if I didn’t have somewhere to be. I’d stumble into the bathroom to get ready.  Lots of coffee to get the engine revving.  But mainly a lot of willpower and not sitting in place for too long out of fear of nodding off.  Now I get up a lot without hitting the snooze.  If I do it’s maybe once or twice.  I get up and get going quick.  By the time I’m done with my shower I’m fully awake and ready for my day.  I get to do a 20 minute meditation every morning now because I’m not afraid I’ll nod off and be late for work.  After the meditation, because I get up so much earlier now, I have time to exercise.  I still have coffee in the morning but now it’s because I get to sit and enjoy my coffee.  But I don’t have to have it to get through the day, and some mornings I don’t have it if I don’t feel like enjoying a coffee. Mainly I start the day strong.

The two biggest changes though are my emotions and my outlook.  Earlier in the post I said that being positive is a huge key to success in weight loss and I did start out with a positive attitude.  The change from then to now is that I had to tell myself back then I was being positive and had to work at keeping a positive mental outlook.  I caught myself regularly worrying and doubting and having other negative thoughts, and I would correct those thoughts.  Today, I have no doubt I will reach my goal.  Today, I’m making decisions about my life, not just in the area of my weight or health, but about career and long term goals that I would never have made before because I had learned to settle because of my weight and health.  I used to believe I had achieved what I could and I should be happy with that.  Now I know that was a lie I told myself because I was scared to change.  Not any more.  I spend a lot of time working on skills to improve myself so that I can do the things I want to do and live the life I want to live.  I smile more often and it’s done naturally not because I’m reminding myself to do so.  I’ve always said I don’t worry about what others think but there was always a nagging voice in the background saying “you kinda do”.  Not sure where he went or what he’s up to now days, but I don’t hear that voice anymore.  I live my life for me and I live it well, and more importantly I live it that way naturally because it’s how I truly feel.

And the best part is I’m only half way there.  On the app I use that captures the data from my scale it shows I’m at 48% of my weight loss goal.  If this is how I feel at a 48% success rate I can only image how wonderful I’m going to feel when I hit 100%.  But you guys won’t have to wonder.  I’ll keep you posted all along the way.  Have a happy 4th of July.