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Archive for the ‘perception’ Tag

A Quick Thank You.   5 comments

I restarted this blog on 03/28/2018 to document my keto and mindfulness journey. When I did I had assumed it would probably take a long time to gain any traction. And now, less than 8 months later, I’ve already exceeded 500 views and have 50 followers. Maybe that’s actually lower numbers than I could or should be at. Maybe they’re really good numbers. What I do know is I’m grateful for all the times people stopped by to view my blog, and I’m grateful for the 50 people who decided to come along for the journey. When I get to my first anniversary (of the restart anyway) I hope to have come farther still. Thank you for your support. Have a great day.

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Weigh-In 11/19/2018   2 comments

Made a little progress with today’s weigh in.  Last week I was 273.0 pounds.  This week I weighed in at 272.0 pounds.

For muscle mass last week I was at 27.7%.  This week it went to 27.8%.  In pounds that’s 75.6 for both.  Not a gain, but not a loss.  I’m good with that.

For body fat last week I was at 36.6%.  This week it went down to 36.3%.  In pounds that’s 99.9 last week and 98.7 this week.  So while I dropped a pound of actual weight, I lost 1.2 pounds of body fat.  So I must have put on a little water weight.

Progress was made, so that’s good.  Would have liked a little better progress but I’ll take what I can get.

Strategies for getting the ball moving faster again include kicking up the cardio.  I mainly walk which keeps using extra fat, but I want to burn faster.  So I’ve gone from using just the basic step to adding the first set of risers for it.  So now it sits 2 inches higher.  And while I do more body weight exercises, I think I’ve been doing it a little too haphazardly.  Now I intend to do them more on schedule.  That way I’m both being more consistent and more accountable to myself.

In the mindset game, positivity is paying off.  I have decided to be out of my current job and into a new job by the beginning of next year, before January is over.  I’ve been keeping a positive outlook about my chances, and I’ve just gotten positive feedback.  A coworker clued me in about a job I was completely unaware of.  It doesn’t pay as high as my current salary, but it does have benefits, and I think I’d be happy doing it.  It also strikes me as a job where I might have free time during the job to work on my writing, which is also good.  So a good lead, out of the blue, on a job that’ll pay pretty well for what I’m doing, and is located where I work now so it’s a commute I’m used to.  I’m very grateful for this lead, and my application has already been submitted.

I also realized today that I’m back to having fun at work again.  At least with a few of my coworkers.  Which shows a mindset improvement of its own.  I am where I am and will be for a few more weeks so why not make the time happy?  All the work I’ve done with meditating and positive affirmations has sure made it easier to be happier in all situations.

So to wrap things up, I’m very happy with the way things are going in my life right now.  It looks like things are only going to get better.  Stress is down and fitness/overall health is improving.  And I look pretty well set up to hit the upcoming 2019 year running.  Hope things are working out well for you, too.  Have a great day.

Be MacGyver   Leave a comment

One of my favorite shows to watch as a kid was MacGyver.  If you’re not familiar with the show, Richard Dean Anderson played the lead character MacGyver.  MacGyver worked for the Phoenix Foundation and would go around the world problem solving as only he could.  He found himself in all sorts of trouble each week and had to find creative ways to get himself back out of it.  And there in lay the appeal of the show.  You actually looked forward to things going bad for MacGyver because he would come up with the most amazing solutions to the problems he found himself in.  And best of all he’d explain it to you in a voice over so you’d understand the principle behind how his escape contraption worked.  The show was so popular that people started referring to creating unique tools for unique jobs by saying “I’ll MacGyver something together”.

We should all aspire to be MacGyver.  Now I’m not suggesting you get yourself caught by criminals once a week.  Or fly to a foreign locale and get captured by spies.  I’m just saying we should adopt the qualities that made MacGyver the hero every week.

Primarily, MacGyver was just smart and knowledgeable.  Remember that episode where MacGyver spent a lot of time in front of the tv?  Me neither.  However there were episodes that revolved around MacGyver learning more or participating in scientific experiments.  MacGyver clearly liked to learn and apply what he learned to make himself better.  So instead of catching up on your favorite show by binge watching a whole season this weekend, pick up a book on a topic you want to know more about.  Or research stuff online.  Maybe learn a language, or how to knit.  MacGyver liked to learn because he realized everything he did was a tool in his tool bag he could use later.

Another great MacGyver quality is he didn’t complain.  When he got locked in a meat locker and could have frozen to death he didn’t bemoan the fact that people were being mean to him.  He didn’t spend any time wondering why this kind of thing always seemed to happen to him.  No, he immediately got to work figuring out how he could prevail by using what he had at hand to improve his situation.  Complaining wasn’t going to open the door.  The piece of railing going from the light to the door lock, plus some ice he could melt into water using the light bulb, which would then re-freeze and expand popping the lock would.  None of which would happen if he stood around with a “woe is me” attitude.  He just took the situation as it was and did what he had to.

MacGyver never waited for the ideal conditions.  When a madman left an explosive device on a ship he didn’t sit there until he was brought the proper bomb disposal tools.  He used what he had on hand on the ship, like some common cleaning products mixed in a frosting tube to act as a neutralizer to a chemical in the bomb.  He acted with what he had, and used those tools to the best of his abilities.  Therefor every situation was ideal for MacGyver because he saw the possibilities in everything, not the limitations.

He also never gave up.  Plan A sometimes didn’t fix the whole situation.  But you never saw MacGyver saying “Hey I gave it my best shot, oh well.”  No, he went straight to formulating Plan B.  He was trapped in the Phoenix Foundation once with thieves.  He had to improvise a number of devices to get out of that situation.  And he kept making them until the job was done.  Best effort wasn’t good enough for Mac, keeping on keeping on was.

The final trait I’ll mention is the one I loved the most about him, and I mentioned it earlier.  MacGyver always explained what he was doing.  The television is a visual medium.  On the A-Team when the boys got in to trouble they just slapped whatever they could find together and made weapons.  They didn’t explain it, they just did it.  So why did Mac always do the voice over to explain what he did?  It was for the same reason he was always getting himself into trouble.  He was always looking to help others.  He explained because he wanted you to be smart like him.  He explained because he wanted you to think in possibilities, not limitations.  He explained so you would be better too.  And that’s the best trait of all.  Living a life that makes others better as well.

So hopefully in the next week you aren’t stuck fighting an onslaught of ants on a farm.  Hopefully your old buddy Jack Dalton doesn’t drag you into another business deal that gets you both in over your heads.  But there’s a decent possibility some situation will come up needing you to handle it.  So be like MacGyver.  Be smart.  Be resourceful.  Look for the possibilities, not the limitations.  Don’t ever give up.  But most importantly, live a life that makes others better as well.  Have a great week.

Shred the Past   Leave a comment

A popular plot in movies involves a person, or persons, who are able to go back into the past to change something.  The movies generally end one of two ways.  First, the person somehow makes a change and returns to the present and finds a ton of unintended consequences, like in the Butterfly Effect.  Second, the person tries and tries to change the past but no matter what happens the future seems immutable.  The person might create minor changes but the future that is meant to be will be, like in the Terminator series.

Both ways teach us one thing, the past is the past.  And it really needs to stay the past.  Bringing the past into our present (or making your present the past) never ends very well for us.  Thankfully, movie plots aside, you can’t actually change the past.  However, as many prove, you can live in it.

Every time you made a decision, the decision led to a result.  Some good, some bad.  Take me for example.  In the past I decided to eat what I wanted and not exercise a lot.  The result was I put on  a lot of weight.  Other examples might be you have had an unpleasant disposition in the past.  The result is nobody wants to be your friend.  Maybe you were very poor, or just had little skill in managing your money.  The result is you experienced a lot of lack in your life.

The thing is that when you look at these traits you used to have, sometimes you identify with them in the here and now.  Even if you’ve made a lot of changes in that area.  You might have, like I did, lost a lot of weight via dieting and exercise.  Or you’ve learned to be happier.  You’ve created budgets for yourself so that your obligations are met and you aren’t in debt anymore.  All of these are good things, but you won’t be able to move forward if you’re still stuck in the past.

If you identify yourself as always fat, always lonely, or always poor even after you’ve made all those changes you’re definitely living in the past.  And no matter what progress you make if you keep your focus on your past self you’ll sooner or later bring your past back into the present.  It’s the Law of Attraction.  What you think about and dwell on most will be attracted into your life.  In psychological terms it would be refered to as self-sabotage.

Maybe it’s time to get rid of those past beliefs.  But how would you do that?  You can shred that past.  Here’s how it goes.  Take out a piece of paper and a pen.  I think this exercise works better going old school and actually writing it out because it’s more personal when you move the pen across the paper.  Having said that, if you won’t do it other than on a computer and printing it, by all means do that.  It’s better to do it that way than not at all.  Now start writing out past qualities about yourself that you feel you’ve moved away from.  Include things you’ve done that you regret doing and wouldn’t do again.  Avoid writing down things you know still are in the present.  Like if you had a habit of needlessly complaining, and don’t complain nearly as much any more, but still find yourself complaining about things sometimes, don’t include that.  It all needs to be things you’ve moved on from.  Anything that is in your past, you know isn’t relevant in the present, and you don’t want interfering with your future.  You don’t have to make sure and get it all down on paper.  So don’t wrack your mind and stress yourself out making the list.  Also, keep in mind these are past qualities that don’t apply to you anymore.  So make the list without judgement.  This is who you were, not who you are, so no need to judge at all.

When you’ve jotted down your list and feel good that it’s complete enough, hold the list in your hand.  Tell yourself (out loud or in your head, whichever your prefer) that this is a list of the past.  Tell yourself that as it’s the list of the past you, it holds no weight in the present.  These are things that don’t apply to you anymore and you don’t need to carry with you anymore.  Then walk over to your shredder and shred it.  Or if you don’t have a shredder, walk over to the trash can and rip it to shreds and toss it away.  Shred your past.  I’ve heard of doing the same thing by burning the list as well.  If that’s how you’d prefer to destroy the list, feel free, just be safe doing so (preferably in a fireplace or fire pit designed to contain the fire).

Once you’re done shredding (or burning) just let it go.  Relax.  Take in a deep breath, then breath out.  It’s gone.  Destroyed.  Out of your life.  Keep it that way.  If you feel the past is creeping back in again, repeat the process.  Every time you remind yourself the past doesn’t control your present.  Remind yourself enough of this, and you’ll be more positive about your future.  Have a great day.

The Universe Doesn’t Value Things Like You Do.   Leave a comment

I’m a big fan of Doctor Who.  Haven’t always loved the individual Doctors themselves (never really took to Colin Baker’s portrayal of The Doctor) but I’ve been in love with the show since the late 70’s (when Tom Baker was The Doctor, and still my favorite Doctor) until now with Jodie Whittaker (the first female Doctor, and my third favorite just after David Tenant, the 10th Doctor).

The license plate on the front of my Prius is a picture of the TARDIS in space and says “My Other Ride Is The TARDIS”.  I even have a couple of sonic screwdrivers.  The most frequent question I get asked about my love of Doctor Who is, funny enough, “Why?”  Most of my friends can’t for the life of them figure out why I’m such a fan.  I’m not sure how they can’t be.

Of course the answer to both questions is pretty easy.  We all value different things for different reasons to different degrees.  The fact that my friends clearly aren’t enlightened enough to understand what a great show Doctor Who has been for longer then I’ve been alive is just a matter of taste, or possibly lack thereof.

Seriously though, I’m sure you find this concept easy to relate to.  You’ve been super excited about something and go to explain it to someone else only to get the response “And?”  You go to a movie with a friend and afterward they just rave and rave about it, for reasons that escape you because you thought it was a big waste of time and money.  There are tons of examples in your life about things that are important to you, but not so much to others you know.

It all comes down to value.  We naturally understand that due to tastes, or philosophies, or backgrounds, we all value things differently.  But for some reason when we think something is big and important to us, the Universe and the Law of Attraction (LOA) must put high value on it as well.

The Universe, and the LOA, just doesn’t put the same value on things as you do.  Next time you’re out at night, start counting stars.  You probably won’t go for long before you realize there are just too many for you to count.  The Universe is vast.  Things that you think are so big and so important, generally the same things you are trying to attract to yourself using the LOA, are really small and of no value to the Universe.  It’s all the same.

Take money for example.  It’s probably the most frequently sought after thing using the LOA.  So why isn’t it just as frequently manifested?  Because the people trying to do so are placing such high value on it.  By placing such a high value on it the person subconsciously reinforces the idea that it’s something hard to get.  The LOA can pick up on that subconscious belief and give you what you’re focusing on.  That money is hard to get.  Now stop and really think about this.  Does the Universe really cares a lot about money?  Why would the Universe need or want or care for money?  It’s the Universe, money isn’t important at all to it.

So the value the Universe is putting on it is being created by you, not it.  Same for expensive cars.  Or big mansions.  Or private jets.  The Universe doesn’t value these things.  It really doesn’t care about these things.  The Universe is vast and has everything.  So to the Universe, giving you a new Bentley is no different then giving you a $100 bill.

The next time you decide to attract something to yourself using the LOA use that mindset.  The Universe doesn’t care and value like you do.  So no matter what you’re asking from the Universe it’s all the same to it.  So just ask.  Don’t fear or speculate on the chances.  In fact, go ahead and ask for it, or something the Universe feels you’ll want more.  And then just let it go out into the Universe to be fulfilled

No worries, no concerns about it being too big or too much.  Just ask and trust the Universe can deliver all things big and small to you equally and without judgement.  Have a great day.

 

Monthly Update with Pics   Leave a comment

Time now for the monthly update with pics.  I weighed in this morning and the news was not good.  Last week I was 274.4 pounds when I weighed in.  This week the scale read 277.2 pounds.  I gained 2.8 pounds.  Not sure why or what caused the gain.  I didn’t fast this week, which could be the issue.  I tried a new keto shake, which also could be.  I’m thinking more the former then the later as there’s nothing in the shake’s ingredients that would be any different from stuff I’ve already taken without any issues.  As always I keep in mind that it’s just a number and not a judgement.  And it’s one point on the journey, not a reflection of the whole trip.  So by next week we’ll see if this gets turned around.  If not I just look at the situation harder and come up with a plan.  But I’ve definitely decided not to let it stress me out.

Mainly because at the start of last month I was at 279.8 pounds.  So even accounting for the gain this week I’m still down 2.6 pounds for the month.  Not as much as I’d have liked but down is down.  And I started out at 352.6 pounds so I’m still 75.4 pounds lighter than I was when I started.  It does bring my monthly average down to 7.54 pounds, but it’s still a respectable average.

Body fat this week was 37.3%.  Last week it was 37.1%.  Last month it was 37.8%.  At the beginning of the year it was 52.0%.  In pounds that’s 103.4 this week, 101.8 last week, 105.8 at the beginning of last month, and 183.4 at the beginning of the year.  So up 1.6 pounds from last week, down 2.4 from last month, and 80.0 from the beginning of the year.  An average of 8.0 pounds of body fat lost a month.

Muscle mass this week was 27.2%.  Last week it was 27.4%.  Last month it was 27.0%.  And it registered as 25.0% at the beginning of the year but that’s because 25.0% is the lowest it’ll read.  In pounds that’s 75.4 this week, 75.2 last week, and 75.5 at the beginning of last month.  I won’t do the yearly because it’s not an accurate number.  So slightly higher than last week, and slightly lower over the month.

Overall when it comes to exercising I’ve gotten better since the beginning of last month.  I put more minutes in.  I close the 3 rings on my Apple Watch more consistently.  In the time I exercise I’m working harder on average by including more time on the steps and jump roping.

Meditation wise I’ve reached the point where I’m not making big progress.  It just gets a little easier each time to clear the mind and stay focused.  In other areas of mental health I’m doing much better.  Like this morning when I weighed in and saw the number had went up my total reaction was just “Huh.”  Didn’t get mad or upset or down, just was a little surprised and moved on.  I’m also finding myself less inclined to respond back to every perceived slight.  I just say “Ok” and move on.  Things that used to really irk me now don’t even move the needle.  Some areas, like my patience behind the wheel, could still use work.  But for the most part much better at reacting with calmness and kindness.

So now for the photos.  The one with the neon yellow top is the current.  The one with the gray sleeves is the last month pic.  The plain red top was my first monthly pic.  The flash top is my “starting” pic taken a little over a week after I started.  And the final pic is from 2013 at the bottom of the Staircase of death.  Hope you’re having a great day.

Old Habits Die hard   Leave a comment

We get so used to the way things are sometimes that we don’t realize that it’s actually the way they were.  Over the past 10 months of being on the ketogenic diet my body has changed quite a bit.  I have my next monthly update coming up tomorrow and it’s looking like I may be over 80 pounds lighter than when I started and around 110 pounds lighter then my heaviest weight.

I was the higher weights for a really long time.  Like decades long.  And over time I’ve lived with certain physical boundaries or realities that I’ve had to deal with.  Having lived with them for so long I sometimes forget that they don’t apply to me anymore other than as a continuing habit I’ve fallen into.  So I thought for today’s post I’d share a few of the things I’ve learned aren’t true but really have to remind myself of because they are so ingrained in my mind.

The first up is having to pick anything up off of the floor.  One of the realities of being overweight is having a lot of body fat up front in the belly area.  As such, when you bend forward to try to pick something up off the floor your stomach compresses to make this happen.  Well it can only compress so far.  So the flatter or closer to the floor the item was, like a coin  or something made of paper, the harder it was to pick it up.  Also, when you’re compressing your gut in, you’re also pushing back against the lungs.  So by the time you stood back upright you’d be breathing heavy picking something small up off the floor.  For both those reasons I used to dread having to do that.  Especially if I didn’t have something to brace myself against to help push myself back up.  Of course now that I’m substantially smaller it’s easy to do it.  But if I do drop something on the floor, especially something paper, I still automatically get that sense of dread.  It takes me a few seconds to realize that I can do it no problem now, even if I don’t have anything to brace against.  It makes me wonder how long it will take before my mind catches up to the fact that it’s easy now.

Next is booth or table?  You get asked that question every time you go to a restaurant.  The answer was always easy before, booth.  Being bigger means two things when going out to eat, in regards to seating.  First was a concern about whether or not the seat would be big enough for your posterior to get in to.  Although some restaurants have chairs both with and without armrests, anytime they only had the ones with armrests there was a concern they wouldn’t be far enough apart to fit you.  A booth doesn’t have that issue.  Even the half booths at most places are wide enough to accommodate a bigger person.  The other issue with restaurant chairs is will they be able to support your weight.  At 380 pounds back in the day it was a realistic fear I would be too heavy for the chair.  I went to a place once with friends and they had those plastic lawn chairs for seats at the tables.  They had a table available but a booth would require us to wait  My friends, who were much smaller, were like “table”.  I had to explain to them, in front of the waitress, that I’d probably crush a plastic lawn chair (many can hold only 250 max).  They of course didn’t mind waiting when they realized that but it was still an awkward situation.  Booths don’t have that issue as they are more solidly built.  Funny thing is that I’m so used to answering booth it’s still my go to answer.  I have to remind myself that a table is fine now when getting a booth will mean waiting.

Crossing the roads at work when walking in from the parking lot is next. My weight, combined with my “bad” ankle always left me hoping there would be no traffic on the road.  Running across the street simply wasn’t an option because I couldn’t move that fast to begin with, and I risked tweaking my ankle.  That would mean walking on a sore ankle my whole shift.  Definitely didn’t want that.  If the situation came up that as I was trying to cross a car was there I’d have to “speed walk” as quick as I can.  So if it was busy I’d go out of my way to take a longer route to avoid the problem.  Most of the time now I recall I can just dash across, but occasionally I find myself starting to head toward the long way when cars are coming.  Then I have to remind myself to just dash across because I’m lighter and faster and can make it.

The last one is clothes.  As you shrink you start being unable to fit into your clothes for the best of reasons, you’re just swimming in them.  Way too big for you.  Before when I realized I needed to get clothes, maybe for a special occasion or to replace worn out parts of my wardrobe, there was a really negative feeling attached to it.  First, it would require driving a bit of a distance to get to the nearest men’s big and tall store.  You’d think with American waist lines on the rise there would be a ton of them, but not really.  It was usually a longer drive into a more traffic dense part of town.  I love going on road trips driving across the spaces between towns, but I dread driving in bigger cities.  It’s just never a pleasant driving experience.  And then when I get there I know I’ll be dealing with a more limited selection and a much higher price tag.  So as I’ve lost weight and had to buy newer, more properly fitting clothes, I’ve habitually gotten that negative vibe going.   Then I remind myself I can go to any nearby Wal-Mart and get stuff because I’m that much smaller and the feeling goes away.

So there you have it.  I realize it’s a bit silly to be living in the past about these things, but that’s the nature of habit.  I’m still losing weight and figure a lot of this will go away once I’ve lost what I wanted and have held on to the loss for a short while.  In the meantime I get to amuse myself a little when I catch myself falling into these old habits.  Old habit do die hard, but given enough time they do die away and are replaced by new, better habits.  Looking forward to when that kicks in.  Have a great day.