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Archive for the ‘positivity’ 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.

Smile More with Journalling   Leave a comment

I’ve been using the Five Minute Journal each day as part of my journey to better myself.  It’s a really nice journal and really easy to use.  It comes in a physical version or an electronic version.  I prefer to use the electronic version as I can add a daily pic to my journal.  Also, the physical version also only has so much space whereas you can keep writing and make each entry as long as you want on the electronic version.

Whichever one you choose, the idea behind the journal is to be able to jot down your thoughts in about five minutes in the morning and another five minutes in the evening.  Depending on how creative you are, possibly five minutes total for both.  I’ve not owned a physical copy so my comments below will be about the electronic version.

At the beginning of the day I open up the app.  It provides an uplifting or thought-provoking quote on an openning splash screen.  You close that screen to get to the Timeline.  The first thing I do is click on the menu and pick my pic of the day.  Although the actual content of the picture will vary it’s always a picture that makes me happy to look at.  Every time I go back into my daily entry I am greeted by that image.

I then proceed to fill out the morning entries. First up is a list of three things you are grateful for.  I love this. You’re starting the day on a positive note by focusing on things that are good in your life.  And there are no boundaries here.  If what you’re grateful for takes a single line or five to type out the space keeps expanding to let you keep creating.  Having said that the overall idea of this journal is to not take up more than five minutes to complete so try to keep it short and sweet.  The principle here is that if you make it quick and easy to do it becomes that much harder to make an excuse not to do it.

From there you’re asked to jot down three things that you will do over the course of the day to make the day great.  Again, the skies the limit.  In this section I find myself repeating things I’ve done before.  Sometimes because they work so well (like smiling more), and sometimes because I don’t feel like I’ve completed the task well enough to move on (like smiling more).  What you choose is up to you, just make sure that it’s something you feel in your heart will improve your day by doing.

The morning section is rounded off with a daily affirmation entry.  It starts with “I am” and then a line to write down your affirmation.  As with the section on things you will do, there’s no problem with recycling here.  If you want to improve your attitude you could make your affirmation of the day for a week or two “I am a happy person.”  In fact reaffirming the same affirmation over the course of days could actually set it more firmly in hour mind.

After completing the morning section I just go about my day.  It’s just that easy.  At the end of the day within a few hours from bedtime I’ll bust out the journal and start working on the night entries.

This night section is a little smaller and a little quicker.  You list 3 things that happened that day that made it amazing.  For this section I definitely recommend avoiding using the same stuff over and over.  If you’re always putting in the same three things it’ll become way to easy for you to feel those are the only three good things going on in your life.  It’s not that you can never repeat in this section, it’s more why would you as the more varied your entries the more substantial your sense of gratitude will be.

Below this is a one line entry about how you could have made the day better.  This section isn’t about recrimination or beating yourself up.  Don’t be negative in it like “I could have been less stupid” or “I could have not eaten so much”.  Instead use it as a short space to set your mind on making small changes from day to day to improve your life.

That’s the whole process for the day.  Pretty simple.  Do it daily and in short order you will start seeing results in your mindset.  Whether you write it in a physical copy or type it into an electronic one, just make sure to get your daily entry in. On the plus side, in both the physical and electronic copy you can go back and complete an entry from a prior day if you missed it.  That’s the only back tracking I recommend with this journal.  I’m strongly against going back and editing entries.  I think your first entry will always be your most honest entry so you should always go with it.

Which reminds me of another great benefit of going with the electronic version.  It’s pass code lockable. That should help to increase your comfort level wtih being honest.  After all this process only works if you’re being honest with yourself.  If you’re being dishonest with yourself by editing out things because you’re worried someone else might see them, you’re doing yourself a disservice.  So be honest, but stay safe by pass coding the journal.

If you want to get a hard copy of it, they are available on Amazon.  Just search for “five minute journal” and make sure you get the one by “Intelligent Change”.  Others will appear that are similar but it’s the one from Intelligent Change that you want.  I’m not including a link because my Amazon associate account is temporarily inactive.  I’ll let you guys know when I have it back up and running.

If you want to get the electronic version it is available in both the Google Play store and the Apple App store.  Just do a search for “five minute journal” and again make sure to get the one by Intelligent Change.

Whichever format you choose I highly recommend this journal and wish you the best of luck with your journalling.  I know it’s improved my mind and my focus and I hope you find the same success with it.  Have a great day.

Setbacks   Leave a comment

Got some bad news today.  I received an email letting me know that one of the possible new income streams I’ve been trying to get started has dried up for now.  It was definitely not news I wanted to hear, but it was the news I got.  It’s a setback.

We all experience setbacks from time to time.  Since I started on the keto journey at the beginning of the year I have weighed in each Monday.  Most have been weight loss measurements, but a few have been weight gain.  Setback.  I’ve tried improving my fitness doing things like jumping rope.  On a few occasions the jumping has aggravated my ankle.  Setback.  Yesterday when I went to run my errands I knew I’d need to use the downtime between errands to record my weekly YouTube video.  I looked for the mini tripod I bought a couple of weeks ago to hold my iPhone while I record and I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Setback.

Here’s the reality of setbacks.  A setback will push you in reverse.  It will move you farther away from the goal posts.  But there’s a big difference between a setback and a road block.  A road block keeps you from moving forward along a path.  A setback just slows you down.

However, a setback can become a road block if you allow it to.  If you begin to focus on the negative setback too much you could lose track of all the positive success you’ve had.  Lose track of the success you’ve had and you can become discouraged.  Become discouraged enough and you may stop trying to move forward.  The setback has become a road block.

How do you avoid this?  Accept the setback.  Understand that a setback doesn’t define you or pigeon-hole you.  It’s one event that has happened, and has passed.  And having passed you’re free to get moving again.  You just have to want to and you just have to try.

So while I’m not happy that I got news of this setback today, I realize that it’s just one of the new sources of income I’ve tried to get going.  I still have other options I am exploring which may pan out.  And they may not.  But that would just be another setback that I can move forward from.  And while the well has dried up for now, I can still come back at it later.  I can dig a little deeper to see if there’s water still to be had.  I look ahead on the path and I still see a bright future.  I keep focused on my bigger goals knowing that even if it takes a little longer to get there because of a setback or two, I will get there.  I know this with great certainty because I don’t allow my setbacks to become road blocks.  And I hope you won’t either.  Have a great day.

YouTube Is Up and Running   Leave a comment

Ok, so this will be a short post.  I filmed my first video for YouTube and posted it.  I did this on Wednesday.  I had a short waiting period as I had friends of mine go view the video first to make sure there wasn’t any issues.  I am now ready to post it here.  The video, obviously, speaks for itself.  I would just say that I’d appreciate it if you left a like and a comment.  I only know what to improve when given feedback.  As an example, one friend mentioned my filming it with the blinds in the background put too much light behind me so I look a little too shadowed.  I agree.  So whether it’s content or cinematography, feel free to let me know what I can do better.  If you just straight up liked it, feel free to leave that in the comments too.  Have a great day.

Monthly Update   Leave a comment

I did the September update a week later than usual so this one is actually only three weeks.  I weighed in at 279.8 pounds this morning.  This is a great goalpost for me because now that I’m under 280 pounds I know for sure I’m over 100 pounds lighter than my heaviest recorded weight (which was in the 380s but I don’t remember exactly what it was).  The September weigh in was 280.6 pounds, so over the three weeks I lost 0.8 pounds.  This sounds like a small number until you consider the fact that on the weigh in two weeks ago I gained nearly 8 pounds.  So I’ve lost 8.2 pounds in two weeks, which I think is pretty neat.

My body fat this time is 37.8%, and was 38.2% at the last update.  That translates to 105.8 pounds now and 107.2 pounds then.  So even though my weight only went down .8 pounds I’ve actually lost 1.4 pounds of fat.

My muscle mass is 27% now, and was 27.1% then.  This results in 75.5 pounds now and 76 pounds then.  So I dropped .5 pounds of muscle.  Not psyched about that, but I do keep in mind that this is an estimated amount, not a certain one.

I am 48.1% water now, and I was 47.7% water then.  That right there explains the difference between total weight loss and fat/muscle loss.

Overall I’m good with this weigh in.  When you look at it from the perspective of the last two weeks I’ve made huge progress.  But even looking at it from the three week perspective, the bottom line is I still lost weight while I was retaining water better.

Exercise wise I did rather well this month.  I closed all three circles over 75% of the time.  I got the monthly award on the Apple Activity app.  I did 45 workouts in September, which is 6 more than August.  And this is more anecdotal in nature, but I notice that my breathing is lighter most of the time, suggesting I’m cardiovascularly more healthy.  I definitely feel a lot better.  I move easier.  I’m more flexible.  I definitely move around more.  My body just seems to work better.

I have more energy, which has translated to getting more stuff done.  I’ve been squaring away my living space.  A number of the self-improvement books I’ve read lately seem to carry the common theme that your physical environment is a reflection of your mental one.  And my room was cluttered and messy.  There is still a bit of room for improvement, but overall my physical environment is getting a lot more ship-shape.  I’m sure it’s not coincidental that I’ve been feeling better on the inside as well.

My meditation practice is getting better.  Or deeper would be another way of saying it.  My mind doesn’t race as much and I feel like I’m reaching a deeper and more relaxed state.  That’s no doubt helping with the greater feelings inside as well.

As usual I’m including pics with the update.  The pic with the black t-shirt with grey sleeves (with the pic of Mark Sheppard from Supernatural) is the current progress pic.  The Superman shirt is from last month’s update.  The red shirt is the first update pics I took.  And finally, a pic from back in 2013 which is me probably at my heaviest.

See you in a month for another progress update.

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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.