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Archive for the ‘happiness’ Tag

Traveling   Leave a comment

I’m still traveling between my home and Washington State. I’ll be there on vacation for the week. But even on vacation I still want to take some time out to share.

I woke up early this morning to the realization I was about to spend the better part of my day going from Nashville to Bellingham. Including a five and a half hour layover in Portland I was dreading. The whole trip seemed daunting and probably draining.

On the way to Nashville I received notification that I had won a giveaway I entered on Instagram. I hadn’t even made it to the flight and things were looking good.

I got to Nashville and in under twenty minutes I had checked in and made it through security to my gate in an airport I’ve never flown out of before. While waiting I met a nice woman in the gate area and we chatted until boarding.

I got on the plane for the flight from Nashville to Dallas and out of habit asked for a seat belt extension. You see the last time I flew was well before my keto journey began. The flight attendant, looked at my waist, smiled and said, “I don’t think you’ll need one, sir, but if you get to your seat and do ring the bell and I’ll bring one”. I got to my seat and she of course was right. I didn’t need it. I’ve lost enough the belt fit fine.

When I boarded in Dallas for the flight to Portland the flight was packed, except the seat between me and the nice young lady in the aisle seat. We had a nice comfortable ride and chatted most of the way. Made the flight a pleasure.

Now I’m here in Portland at the beginning of my five and a half hour layover and you know what, I’m happy. I’m not dreading it anymore. The amount of time hasn’t changed from this morning when I dreaded it, my mindset has. I’ve had a wonderful day of travel and this will be part of it. It’s all about perspective. You can choose to view things positively or negatively. I’m just glad my day today has shown me that positively is the better way. Take care.

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I Love it When a Plan Comes Together   Leave a comment

These were the words Hannibal Smith would utter at the end of most missions for the A-Team.  He’d usually have a big smile on his face and light up a cigar as the rest of the team looked on with incredulity. That’s because after all the planning they did, the plan would usually fall apart, and the team would have to rally to pull off the victory.  So the plan never really did come together, the team did.

What if you had a team like that?  A team that managed to triumph no matter how far off the rails the plan goes.  Well you can.  We’ll call the members of your team skills, habits, and mindset. And everyone can train these team members to allow them to rally against the worst case scenarios that appear in your life.

Skills are tools you can place in your “tool bag” to call upon as needed.  They can be physical traits (running fast, lifting heavy objects) or mental traits (the ability to strategize on the fly, seeing patterns, identifying potential outcomes or variations on current events).  So when you find yourself stuck at home and can’t get to the gym, no problem.  Using your skills you identify different workouts you can do with the supplies at hand at your house, develop a routine on the fly, and get the exercise in that you intended at the gym.  The plan fell apart, but it came together at the end.

Habits are patterns of repeated behavior.  Your mind and body actually miss them when they don’t occur.  People who feel bad when they don’t get to the gym do so because it is their habit to go there.  Their minds and bodies miss the stimulus a habit provides. The trick is to create positive habits, because your mind and body miss the stimulus whether it’s good or bad for you.  Being in the habit of reading broadens your knowledge.  Being in the habit of going to the gym strengthens your body.  Being in the habit of eating well does so as well.  When you’re in the habit of doing things that benefit you, this builds resiliency.  No matter what bad things befall you to take the plan out, you’ll find a way for it to come together.

And the final team member, mindset, is like your own Hannibal Smith.  A well schooled and creative leader.  If your mindset is positive and always tries to see the good in situations, hiccups in the plan don’t turn into bad feelings, they’re opportunities to try something different.

Did you know that the physiological responses of fear and emotion are the same?  What separates them is mindset.  If you view it as negative it’s fear, if you view it as positive it’s excitement.  Seems to me that excitement is the better mindset.  And that’s why it’s important to develop a positive mindset.  How you look at things shapes how you react to things which shapes which actions you take.  Do you want to be positive mindset Hannibal Smith who loves it when a plan comes together?  Or do you want to be Colonel Decker, the negative mindset that’s always flustered by how the A-Team always gets away?

These are your team members.  And just like on the show, these guys didn’t just become the A-Team the day they showed up.  They became the A-Team because they worked at it and trained to be the best.  To be the team that can take on any obstacle. So starting today spend time meditating on the skills, habits, and mindset you need.  Begin training your team.  Don’t wait until the plan falls apart.  It’s too late then.  Work your mind and your body.  Create productive and healthy habits.  Reinforce the positive in your thinking.  Spend time each day developing your team.  The team that can have a plan fall apart and still have it come together in the end.

Thought for the day   Leave a comment

Ok, so nodded off last night before I got a chance to make a post.  So I’m doing this one right after my jog while I have plenty of energy built up.  Today’s blog will be about perception.

I’ve been reading up on having a stoic viewpoint.  And that is while you can’t control events outside yourself, you can control how you react to them.  It’s completely up to you.

Here’s an example. Over the past few days here in Madison it’s been very rainy with thunder and lightening.  I happen to love the sound of thunder so it’s been a cool couple of days for me.  However, if I had planned on a picnic in these past few days then my perception changes.  All of the sudden the rain becomes a bad thing.  But in both cases it’s the exact same weather.

How I view it is completely up to me.  So the question becomes why would I want to view things in the negative?  There’s no real benefit to me being negative.  And your body doesn’t know the difference between real danger (I’m being chased by a lion) and imagined trauma (my perception that my life has been ruined by this rain delay).  So by dwelling in the negative you’re keeping your body in stress all the time.

Better to try and find the silver lining in things.  You could dwell on how the rain has ruined your plans, or maybe you spend your time thinking how much greener the grass will be when you get on your picnic thanks to the rain.  You could dwell on how you’re not happy at work and how much you hate your job.  Or you could look at it as an opportunity to sharpen up the old resume and maybe learn a new skill or two.

In each case when a situation happens where you could, or possibly do, view it as a negative just stop, take a breath, and think to yourself if you had to name a positive in all this what would it be.  Doing this over time will just naturally lead to you being more positive automatically.  Certainly a much healthier outlook on life.

Posted 07/14/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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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.

Positive Mindset   Leave a comment

I mentioned this during my last weigh in and wanted to go into a little more detail about it now.  In dieting we tend to get caught up in taking care of the physical aspects of it.  Calories in versus calories out.  Exercising regularly.  Eating healthy.  Sleeping well.  All these things are great, and you should be mindful of them, but you should be more mindful of being mindful.

The whole point of getting in shape, for me anyway, is to live a better life.  And that’s generally how people view the journey.  When I get into shape my life will be so much better.  When I hit my weight goal things will be so much better.  Once I’ve got those amazing six pack abs my life with the ladies will be so much better.  Everything is a future event where somewhere down the road when a certain criteria has been met, I’ll be happy.  This is a terrible way to live a life.  Why wait to be happy, do it now.

Dr. Eric Berg (https://www.youtube.com/user/drericberg123) has said many a time that the problem with our mindset when it comes to losing weight is we feel we have to lose weight to become healthy.  He puts it the other way around.  He says get healthy so that your body loses the weight naturally.  He is a proponent of the ketogenic diet and I highly recommend following him on YouTube.

I think that when it comes to happiness we make the same mistake.  We assume we’ll be happy when all these positive things have happened to us.  Which is a never ending pursuit.  It always puts happiness down the road somewhere.  So we need to begin turning our view around on that.  Become happy to get the positive things to happen in your life.  Adopt a positive mindset and positive things will begin to appear in your life.  Whether you believe it’s the Law of Attraction, cause and effect, or you see what you want to see in life, it really doesn’t matter.  If you maintain a happy disposition and your life becomes better, who cares about the specifics of how.

Speaking of how, how do you become happier.  The simple, and very stoic, answer is you can’t control situations, but you can control how you react to them.  So starting today, when you feel sad or angry or bummed, stop and think to yourself “How would things be different right now if I chose to be happy?”  I think that happiness is a “muscle” like the rest of your muscles.  The more you work at contemplating happiness the stronger your happiness muscle gets.  And just like when your real muscles get stronger you can more easily handle heavy loads, as your happiness muscle gets stronger you can handle  heavier emotional loads.  I’m not suggesting this is a quick and easy fix or that you’ll have results overnight.  Far from it.  Just like it takes a long while to pack on solid muscle, it’ll take time focusing on happiness to build that level of emotional resilience where you’re just happy all the time.  It’ll be a long journey but when you arrive you’ll see the trip was worth it.

06/25/18 Weigh In   Leave a comment

This is going to be a shorter post.  As expected my weight did go up since last Wednesday was my day off from keto.  What wasn’t expected was how little it went up.  Just .4 lbs.  Between being really consistent about exercise and mindful about the rest of my eating for the week I was able to limit the effects of the one day off.  Because the weight gain was so little none of the percentages changed from last week to this week so I won’t run the numbers like I usually do.  Hopefully next month I’ll have progressed far enough that the one day off from keto won’t result in any regain of weight, and the month after that it’ll only result in a brief slow down of my weight loss.

Which brings me to another important thing I’ve learned this week.  Being positive and making decisions that positively impact your mood and your life.  I’ve made a lot of progress since the beginning of the year with my body, but not as much with my mind.  Sure I’m generally more positive and feel better about myself, but I haven’t really devoted as much time to being more of a positive individual on the inside.  I want to try and keep the posts related to specific topics so I won’t go too far into this here, but I will elaborate in a separate post.  I just wanted to say that while it’s important to work on your body, I’ve realized that what’s on the inside is just as important.  A lump of coal in shiny Xmas wrapping paper with ribbons and bows is still just a lump of coal.  If you’re going to the trouble of creating a fantastic “vehicle” for yourself, make yourself a driver worthy of it.  Take care until next week.

Posted 06/26/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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