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Archive for the ‘perception’ Tag

10/15/2018 Weekly Update   Leave a comment

Did my weekly weigh in this morning.  Down another .6 pounds from last week.  I’m now at 277.8 pounds.  My muscle mass is 27.1% and my body fat is 37.5%.  Last week they were at 27.0% and 37.7% respectively.  In terms of pounds that comes in at 75.3 pounds of muscle and 104.2 pounds of fat this week.  That puts me up .1 pounds of muscle mass and down .8 pounds of fat.

So not a lot of big changes but they were all changes in the right direction.  As the speed at which I lose weight varies from week to week I try to keep an eye more on the averages.  I still think that when looking at the averages I’m on target to be at the weight I want by mid next year.  I’ll be at my first goal of 230 pounds by about April I’d imagine.  Now that doesn’t take into account any issues with loose skin I might need to take care of.  This is more a timeline of how I’ll do losing what I can without surgery.  If I can lose the weight and the skin retracts nicely so I don’t need the surgery, all the better.

In terms of exercise progress so far this month I’m really on target.  Since the 1st of the month there has only been one day that I didn’t close all three rings. So that’s two fifteen minute workouts a day for all but one day so far.  They’ve been mainly walking workouts.  I’m planning on including at least one, maybe two, jump rope workouts a week to try to get the weight loss revved up again.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

Food wise, I’m considering upping my calories by increasing fat intake.  I think another possible reason I’m losing more slowly is my body needs to have the fires stoked again.  Temporarily taking in more fat will accomplish that goal.

Meditation wise I’m doing well.  I get my morning meditation in almost every morning.  I’ve started adding a nightly routine where I listen to subliminal messages.  Right now I’m doing the ones on lucid dreaming.  I’ve been interested in lucid dreaming for a while. It’s happened a couple of times in my life but I’d really like it if I were to be able to lucid dream more regularly.  I figure worst case scenario, even if the subliminal messages don’t work as planned it’s still another 30 minutes of meditation a day.  And that can’t hurt.

So I’m liking the progress I’m making.  I’m feeling better and stronger every day.  That’s both on the inside and the outside.  I’ve lost more already then I have to go so happy about that.  I can see a finish line, which is very motivating.  And each day I visualize a better future then I did the day before.  And each day I become that more certain the future will come true.  I’ve had a great day today and I hope you have too.  I’ll see you again in a week for another weigh in and tomorrow for another post.  Take care.

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Your Inner Voice   Leave a comment

Have you ever started doing something and for some reason it just started feeling like a bad idea?  Have you ever wanted to buy something and you get this nagging sensation that you shouldn’t?  Have you met someone before that seemed nice enough to you but for some reason you just feel uncomfortable around them?

I think we all would answer yes to those questions.  We don’t know how we know, or why we know, but sometimes we just know things are amiss.  That knowledge is coming from your inner voice.  And the reason why we don’t know how or why we feel a certain way is because we sometimes do a bad job of listening to our inner voice.

Why is that?  It’s our inner voice, so surely it’s working in our best interest.  It’s a part of us so we should be able to trust it.  And we probably would if we recognized it as our voice.  The problem is that we don’t hear it clearly so we dismiss it as nerves, or a chill in the room.  We rationalize it away because our conscious mind has come to a conclusion on the subject and we accept it must be the right one.

So why would our inner voice be at odds with our conscious mind?  Because our conscious mind is easily swayed in the direction we want to go.  When you started doing whatever it was you’re doing right now your conscious mind had a “good” reason for doing it.  You don’t just start doing something for no reason at all.  Your conscious mind decided this was the action you’ll take because it viewed it as the correct action.  It’s therefor biased towards that decision.  Or when you go to the store to get something your conscious mind has already decided that it should purchase that item.  The decision is already made presumably with rational facts to back it up.  And when you’ve already decided you like someone then surely they must be a good person.  Your conscious mind wouldn’t allow you to befriend a bad person.  And you’re a pretty smart cookie so it isn’t likely they could be fooling you into thinking their nice when they aren’t.

Your conscious mind is acting on the principle of confirmation bias.  It will seek out all the facts that justify its position.  Finding facts to support your position is a good thing.  At least it is when you aren’t overlooking facts that suggest you’re wrong.  That’s confirmation bias.  We only accept the facts that confirm our point of view.

Your inner voice is different.  It’s your subconscious mind.  It isn’t interested in right or wrong.  It’s merely going by what history tells it.  It will access all the information pertinent to a decision, whether it confirms a position or not.  It’s noticing all the facts and is seeing something wrong.  So when it’s giving you that off putting feeling about the person you’re talking to it’s because it knows from previous patterns that there’s something wrong with this guy.  It doesn’t care that he “seems nice” or comes off as a “good guy”.  It is picking up on subtle hints that your conscious mind is overlooking that lets it know there’s reason to be concerned.

It’s like your own built-in “spidey sense.”  You just have to tune in to it.  How do you learn to hear your inner voice more clearly?  The same way you hear outer voices better.  You stop and listen.  If you get that tingly feeling at the back of your neck, question why.  If you’re looking at that new TV you wanted and something about it doesn’t feel right, pause a moment and ask yourself “what am I missing?”  And then listen to what your inner voice tells you.  You don’t have to blindly follow everything it says, just give it a chance to be heard.

Another way to hear your inner voice better is similar to what you do when you are trying to listen to music or are on a phone call in a noisy environment.  You change your location to a quieter one.  The way you change to a quieter location in your mind is through meditation.  Breathe in and out slowly and rhythmically, focusing on your breath.  When you feel your body relaxing let your mind relax as well.  As thoughts pop into your head that aren’t related to what you’re trying to figure out just gently release them without judgement.  When your body is relaxed and your mind is calm start asking yourself questions about the area you’re looking for insight into.  Do this often enough and it will become a habit where you can quickly slip into the relaxed and self-aware state.

Like many changes you can make in your life, if you’ve been ignoring your inner voice for a long time it’ll take a while to get back into the habit of listening to it.  But it’s a habit worth spending time on developing.  Your inner voice can be a great and helpful guide if you allow it to be in your life.  As with all things the choice is yours.  Have a nice day.

Goals   Leave a comment

Go on Amazon and do a search for books on financial success and you’ll find books about how to be a millionaire with no cash in your pocket now.  How to create passive income to be a millionaire.  How to invest to become a millionaire.  How to do (fill in the blank) in order to become a millionaire.  It’s as if the only possible way to be a financial success is to be a millionaire.

Or maybe you do a search on getting in shape.  You’ll get page upon page about books that will help you create rock hard abs.  90 days to a six-pack.  Maybe even books on how to create an 8-pack because a 6-pack just isn’t fit enough.  Books on how to create 20 inch biceps with no equipment in your home.  Bodyweight exercise books promising to give you the physique of a champion, the champion being Schwarzenegger.  You’ll get muscles on top of your muscles.

You can even find books on how to super charge your mind.  A book that will teach you how to become a speed reader so you can finish a new book every day.  You might be more partial to books that will teach you another language in 3 months.  How to become a human calculator.

These books all have one thing in common.  They tell you what your goal should be in advance.  There’s a preconceived notion that if you want to improve your health and fitness you must be going for the body of a greek god.  Or if you’re looking for financial success the true and only goal is to become a millionaire.  Unless of course you’re a high performer, in which case you’re shooting straight for billionaire or bust.  When it comes to improving your mind, obviously your brain needs to be able to learn and retain things on a level on par with The Matrix.

These are the goals that society has decided are proper goals for each endeavor.  But they aren’t necessarily your goals.  Don’t get me wrong, these goals are perfectly good goals to have.  That’s if, of course, you want them to be your goals.

Take me for example.  This may come across as financial heresy, but I just don’t want to be a millionaire.  What I want to do with my life doesn’t require me to have that level of cash.  My goal is simple.  I want to be able to get a nice class B RV and spend my life just touring North America.  Who knows, I might even decide to try South America as well.  I don’t need to be a millionaire for that.  I don’t even need to be a quarter millionaire for it.  There’s nothing wrong with my goal.  I’m not aiming low.  I’m not settling.  I just don’t see the need to own a huge mansion with several high-end sports cars out front.  I don’t desire that.

Now for the fitness goals, yeah I’d actually like to have bulging biceps, tremendous traps, and 6-pack abs.  However your goal may be different.  To you, being able to walk upstairs without needing a nap afterwards could be sufficiently fit.  You might not be interested in being able to rip that back of your shirts apart with your super broad lats.  Instead you just want to be able to sit in an airplane seat comfortably for a cross-country flight.

I’d like to learn another langauge or two.  I would definitely love to improve my reading speed so I can take in that many more books.  But I don’t particularly care if I can do Calculus in my head.  To you a great working brain might entail not being foggy all the time.  It might be having the ability to crush anyone in a game of chess.  Or something altogether different from anything I’d imagine.

What’s important to remember in all this is your goals need to be your goals.  Not what society deems proper goals.  If your dream life is to earn $50,000 a year, the fact that other’s might respond “That’s all?” isn’t a negative reflection on your goal.  It just means it clearly isn’t their goal.  Which is fine because they aren’t walking your path, you are.  You don’t need to justify your goals to anyone other than yourself.  If you have buy in on your goals you’ll accomplish them.  That’s why they have to be yours.  Because if you’re chasing society’s goals you just don’t have the buy in, which means you won’t have the success.

Be happy with your goals.  Confident in your goals.  And most importantly, have a steadfast faith that because they are your goals, and you’re truly worthy of attaining them, you’ll reach that destination.  I wish you the best of luck with your goals.  Have a great day.

Posted 10/07/2018 by senso1970 in Uncategorized

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Why?   Leave a comment

I listen to a variety of podcasts and read a lot of books. I think this moves me forward along my journey to be my best self. I just don’t think there’s anything such as bad information, so long as you always ask “Why?” at the end.

You see the problem with the information we are exposed to isn’t the information, it’s the lack of critical thinking we put into it. We often hear something and either accept it or discount it uncritically. Why?

We’ve spent a long time becoming the person we are now. We’re very invested in that person. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So we hesitate to do anything that upsets the apple cart. But if you’re that certain of the person you are there shouldn’t be any problem asking those “Why?” questions.

If you ask Why? and follow that thought critically you’ll discover one of two things. First is, you were right to hold that view or belief. Yeah you! Or you might realize that you could be a little off. Maybe even way off.

It sounds bad at first but think about this. Once you’ve identified a problem you can fix it. Once you’ve fixed it you’re back to being right again. You’re back to “Yeah you!” That’s a win.

Asking Why? is the path along which we get to the best version of ourselves. We’re often told not to question ourselves. Have confidence in who you are and what you believe. I think questioning yourself is the best way to show that confidence in who you are and what you believe. So go ahead and start asking yourself Why? a lot. You’ll love the results of being comfortable challenging yourself. Have a nice day.

Fear Itself   Leave a comment

Last night it rained a bit, and early this morning it rained a bit more here in northern Alabama.  Shocking, I know.  So when I drove into work this morning the roads were a little wet, and there were a few sprinkles along the way.

The road conditions were not perfect, but not bad either.  There was a car in front of me most of the way to work.  If a vehicle approached our road from a side road he’d start slowing down.  If he came across a puddle in the road he’d swerve a bit to miss it.  When people would pass him on the left he’d quickly move right as far as possible.  His driving gave me the distinct impression that he was fearful of driving on the wet roads.

It wasn’t that any of the things he did were inherently bad ideas.  Puddles can hide pot holes so avoiding them would seem wise.  Except these puddles really weren’t that big which meant it was really unlikely there was an issue there.  Sometimes people ignore stop signs so slowing down for the people approaching on side roads could seem a prudent precaution.  But the vehicles on the side roads were going really slow and showed no signs of bolting out.  And giving someone a wide berth when they pass you would seem reasonable, if he wasn’t moving so far to the right he was crossing the line and driving on the shoulder.  He appeared way more fearful than he should have been under the circumstances.

When you experience a small amount of fear, that’s a good thing.  It’s your mind’s warning system telling you to start being more vigilant.  Experience too much fear and it quickly become negative.  You begin overreacting and stressing out, neither of which is good for you.  If the level of fear rises high enough it can even be crippling, keeping you frozen and unable to react at all.

Making things worse is the fact that your mind doesn’t know the difference between a real threat you should fear, and a perceived threat, that only has the potential for harm because a perception in itself isn’t harmful.  Seneca famously stated “We are more often frightened than hurt;  and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.”  Or more simply, fear’s bark is often much worse than its bite.

So how do you fix this?  How do you keep fear at the smaller level of a simple warning system?  You be mindful.  If you are keeping yourself focused on the here and now there’s less time to focus on the fear.  If you aren’t focused on the fear, it can’t grow.  If you’re focused on the here and now you can make decisions in the present moment, not the feared future.  And when you’re making those decisions mindfully and calmly you’re seeing more options and making better decisions.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation, which means it’s stress reducing, which reduces anxiety and fear.  It promotes calmness, which reduces fear.  It makes you happier, which reduces fear.  It enhances gratitude, which reduces fear.

Why focus on an imaginary future of fears and worries when you could spend that time quietly thinking to yourself that “you’ve got this” and that “I am more than enough.”  Focus on the good things in life.  Or dwell in fear.  The choice is yours.  Me, I’m going with calmness, happiness, and gratitude.  I hope you do to.  Have a great day.

 

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.

 

Are You Being Your Best Version?   Leave a comment

How many times have you gone to an action movie, and after watching the hero pummeling all the bad guys into submission, left the theater imagining wha it would be like to be the hero?

Maybe he was an amazing martial artist.  You see yourself blocking punches or dodging kicks and then swiftly countering with precise and lightening fast attacks of your own.

Maybe she was a cop, arresting and bringing the bad guys to justice, or possibly the morgue.  You think of all the bad guys you could confound if you also had the training and the badge.

As a kid I used to love watching the old Christopher Reeve Superman movies.  Well at least the first two.  They went a little off track starting with number three.  I’d dream of what it would be like to be stronger than a locomotive.  Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Being faster than a speeding bullet.  I’m sure we all enjoy striking the Superman pose, or Wonder Woman for the ladies.  I’ll be 48 in a few days and I still day dream from time to time what it’d be like to just go up, up and away.  Flying through the air without a care in the world.

And there’s nothing wrong with any of that.  A healthy fantasy life is, well, healthy.  It’s great to have dreams, even if they’re impossible ones.  No matter how much I dream about it or try to become him, I’ll simply never be the last son of Krypton.

The question is, with all the amount of time you dream about being this hero or that incredible person, how much do you actually spend thinking about being the best possible version of yourself?

Do you really want to be some martial arts master getting into fights with the baddies all the time?  Probably not.  Is it really your dream to be a detective like in the movies?  I’m guessing you’d prefer not to have that many people shooting at you in the course of 2 hours.  Besides, of all the characters you could be, why not be the one you were destined to be, you!

And if you’re going to be you, why not be the best you possible?  Doing that will require you to think about what that version of you is.  And it can be anything you want, even if it’s a cop or a ninja.  You just need to spend a little time figuring out what you want to be.

So take a little time today, or in the next few days, to go somewhere quiet.  Sit or lay down in a position that’s comfortable for you.  Close your eyes and think to yourself, “if I didn’t have to worry about how I would get there, what kind of life would I love to be living?”  Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a writer.  Perhaps a millionaire.  Could be money has nothing to do with your dreams. You’d rather be a healer or a teacher, even if it doesn’t mean big bucks for you.

Just keep sitting or laying there with your eyes closed imagining that future.  What do you do each day?  What’s your job?  Do you even have a job?  How do you spend your free time?  What kind of clothes do you wear?  Where do you live?  What do you look like?  Most importantly, how do you feel?  If it’s happy or content or relaxed or it just plain feels right, chances are this is your best version.  The key is while doing this, don’t worry about how it could come true, the limits you think you have to live within, or the probability of success.  Just dream about living life as the best version of yourself.

And once you’ve decided, then you can spend time figuring out how to get there.  You have to set the destination first before you can consider the path you’ll take.  It might be a difficult path, or it might be an easy one.  Maybe your best version of yourself isn’t that far from who you are now.  Then again it could be a life you’ve literally only dreamed of.

From there you start setting goals.  And then you keep breaking those goals down into smaller goals.  And maybe even again if you need to.  You just pare it down until you have a list of goals you know you can knock over one by one.  Whether the list is long or short is irrelevant. You just take item number one and get it done.  Then on to number two.  And you just keep going.

Along the way I’d recommend meditating regularly on what you visualize as your best version.  Times change and so do you.  Even if you come to the exact same dream you’re reinforcing this view of you in your mind.   If it changes then it’s easier to course correct earlier on the path than later.

But always break the goals down into smaller goals you know you can accomplish and keep moving forward.  You’ll get there eventually, and when you do you won’t care about the journey any more because you’ve arrived at the greatest destination possible.  The best version of you.  Take care and have a nice day.