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Month: June 2015

Internal Revision

The utmost sustainable factor for weight loss and outer transformation is inner change. Altering the body renovates mind, heart, and well-being. A weight loss journey waves the winds of change, implementing an unfolding destiny. Establishing the intended “right” path suddenly breathes itself into being, hidden initially beneath the weight, insecurities, and uncertainties. Who we are reveals itself with immediate intention, concrete dimension, and required actions. Hence, the greatest incentive for change is becoming our authentic selves, living our life purpose, and following a path with our best selves at the helm.

Many grapple with discovering life’s path and purpose, unclear of the road ahead. Swishing and swashing hesitantly, fearfully, and unknowingly through the muck of wrong direction leading to dead ends. Exploration and delving through trenches, we travel through detours, educated from the struggles, yet not quite reaching our goals. These puzzle, confuse, and foil the masses, most of us with wheels spinning, awaiting clarity. Obstacles, excuses, and reasons not to follow innate passion swirl repeatedly like a dog chasing its tail, preventing new direction to life’s intended path.

Uncovering the layers physically like peeling an onion, expose the core, its agenda, and the authentic self. With life purpose revealing destiny, nakedly aware of the journey ahead, certainty, love, and gratitude replace indecision, fear, and forsaking internal gifts intended to enhance the world. As forgiveness unleashes and relinquishes demons and exterior cushion, embracing our God-given gifts, we soar with a freedom unfelt, unrealized, and unreachable until now. Filled by purpose, love, and direction, wholeness replaces emptiness.

Finding ourselves within the void, the worthlessness, and missing pieces, we no longer need a guard, mask, or numbing agents as food, fat, or sugar. Without the layers of excess poundage and need for protection, we lighten externally and internally, flying like an eagle, soaring free, finding our calling, and reach for a limitless sky. Motivation for transformation is discovering the SELF within, inner truth heard, authenticity exposed, and old wounds healed.

Filling the void, eliminating external protection is one healing process for living life with meaning. Without uncovering the core, the inside finds incentive to remain hidden, unrevealed, and continues to search for purpose, unknowingly filling a void with food and painful alternatives. Healing the brokenness, sealing the shards that cut deeply, and relieving the wounds, are freedom from the past enabling the future to unfold with limitless possibility. Finding meaning in our lives is a healing step away, illuminating the SELF within and releasing it from captivity. Transforming and accessing the authentic self allows destiny to take flight, worthiness to shine, and healing to emerge.

Vanity Vanishing

Although most identify their looks as average in a Hollywood-highlighted, magazine-modeled America, vanity runs rampant, causing most to question their physical magnificence. Being the ugly duckling is congruent with feeling ordinary. Many resonate with Janis Ian’s lyrics, “I learned the truth at seventeen, that love was meant for beauty queens,” imagining that relationships are achieved and gender attracted by appearances. Equating physical beauty to accessing love brings fantasies and fairy tales to life. The “Plain Jane” population struggles along a path of feeling inadequate, unspectacular, and average.

Subjective opinion about what constitutes beauty culturally increases the perpetuation of misconceptions of finite truth. Combine feeling ugly with self-loathing by slim self-confidence, lack of unconditional love, and an increased waist size, and a lifetime story of being “ordinary” commences. Gravity towards physical beauty weighs down the masses whose internal attractiveness sits dormant, unrecognized, and inaccessible. Altering these perceptions initiates healthy healing and inner and outer beauty emerges.

When beauty sits within the vision we have of ourselves, it occupies all crevices of our being. Knowing one’s true inner beauty deletes a “Plain Jane” mentality and magnifies the heart’s radiance. Accessing the recesses of self-love restores our well-being and vanity vanishes. Therefore, beauty is no longer the beast of burden that beautifies the world, but a self-held belief that occupies the soul. Knowing one’s internal and external beauty is the source of love, the access to the extraordinary, and the ticket to vanity vanishing. Get the “Golden Ticket” of true beauty, the one that glows within forever.

Going George Costanza

Doing the opposite seems sensible when smart choices lose effectiveness. Sometimes weight loss comes to a halt at the crossroads of a weight plateau. Awakening the body from its comfort zone requires modifications. Altering food choices, varying exercise routines, and reversing past actions, result in a “George Costanza” approach. Avoiding perceived risk, when ineffective results occur, fosters doing the opposite to promote momentum and successful results.

Clean food and exercise remain, yet daringly different choices take center stage. Tucked away in the iced up corners of the freezer may be long ago seen vegetables, boot camp classes exchanged for cardio interval training, and vacation-swapped stress for peace, challenge the norms. Highlander beef, wild boar, and organic chicken sausages, emerge from a deep freeze to thaw, and embracing new foods comes to the forefront. The lonely, dusty treadmill awaits walks or short sprints.

Playing it safe resulting in minimal to no weight loss for weeks requires a pause to change the usual. Scales of justice out of favor wreak havoc psychologically. Swinging high calories to low, alternating carbohydrate levels, and jump-starting the heart rate with sprints, alter outcomes by living on the. Does slow and steady win the race? Highlighting the “should not’s” may support new momentum. Applying opposite principles with new rules may catapult results.

Questioning the status quo is novel protocol. My success has contains challenging norms, raising havoc upon the “usual,” and raising a questioning brow toward societal and lifestyle rules. By considering an alternative, I head along a different path to goals. Safe, expected, and perfected routes have lost optimization. The law of diminishing returns states that when one variable increases, there is a point when the marginal increase in output begins to decrease, holding all other inputs constant. Therefore, if I continue to do what I have always done and assume my results will be constant, I have erred greatly. Changing the unvaried inputs is necessary for optimization.

Going “George Costanza” is necessary action to shake the scale, eliminate perfection of the macronutrient numbers, and thwart the psychological and physical stagnation. Justifying change, alternating paths, while staying true to clean eating, is not making up new rules; it is embracing the parameters and stirring the settled pot. By reallocating choices that deny the usual reaction, success gains greater potential. Consider the default behavior and attempt the opposite. Surprise the predictable with new results. Change is only a thought and leap outside of the box.

Flatlining

You awaken to realize weight loss results are slower than anticipated, decreasing at an unremarkable rate of zero to a half pound per week. Hope rises weekly with anticipation of weight loss, only to fall short of expectations. A flatlining, the stagnant momentum, and the deadened journey approach central station far from the final destination. No longer able to take the bullet train to the intended juncture, you exit the railway car lost, tattered, worn, and in search of direction. At a crossroads, wandering aimlessly while still towing the line of faith, persistence, and burning desire to reach the intended target, you stagger forward intuitively knowing the path, though slow, gets you there eventually.

As a perpetual weight loss student, fatigued by the process of documenting each morsel, prepping for all occasions, and helping others leap hurdles toward health and healing, courage is deeply tested. Weight upon my shoulders, my posture slouches, yet I heave forward with every breath, eliminate the past, and lurch further in the direction of my dreams, present to engage with another day. Wanting the dead weight lifted, the fat dissolved, and maintenance to commence, I wade through open waters certain my destiny lies ahead. Gears twist and turn, plagued by the weight of unwanted pounds expecting their release, plummeting from their plume of protection and purgatory.

A status quo existence at my current weight correlates with stagnation, inactive duty from “gettin’ it done.” Yet slim progress persists at a tortoise’s pace, while watching hares whisk swiftly by with ease. Weekly I wish for speed, agility, and strength to run faster, dig deeper, and dial down greater numbers. Certainly, knowledge, persistence, and desire for change produces momentum, movement, and a magnitude of decreased mass, while dedication, follow-through, and daring greatly in the face of adversity constitute struggles worth victory. Has anything been left undone, an education unfinished, or a derailed dietary need gone undetected?

Within the slow I require, sits a pivotal shift. The embedded lifestyle, ingrained with plateaus, a plethora of nutritional information, and strengthening wisdom, pauses with a wealth worth wading through. By readying the mind and body, offering time to embrace, rehearse, and face difficulty during the challenge of transformation and routine practice, the slow process enhances a healthy, lifelong, and successful existence. Guidance, grit, and grace on the weight loss road less travelled prevent fatal errors when arriving at the gate of maintenance.

When the heartbeat of weight loss on the scale distinctively flatlines, deadened by the exhaustive process, the imperative jump-start of the heart pumping blood to the veins of our journey in need of nutrients for the lifelong track ahead is life saving. Jumping from the train early forges detoured, alternate unsuccessful paths. Yet collecting rich wisdom and encouraging strength, bravery, and longevity for the final destination is necessary, sometimes utilizing a slow journey. Flatlining is a prerequisite, preventing fatal, flawed, and diminished success. Awakened, my heart beats steadily. Yet skipping a beat every now and then to take a breath for a pause is a flatline worth traveling along.

Libido Brings Sex to the Surface

When weight plummets from “clean” eating and exercise, the physique transforms and muscles unveil as fat disappears. A svelte, sculpted, and strong body arises to the surface, welcoming “sexy” back to the forefront. With increased strength, emotional well-being, and confidence, the contours ache for a caress while libido peeks from within and touch becomes undeniable. Surfacing desire and seduction of the mind and body leaps amorously into action, to fulfill a need and craving for a climax of primal performance. As “sexy” flips a switch to the “on” position and burning desire stirs, needing to be ignited, we transform to aroused days when physical and emotional connection are in high demand. When “Sexy” returns, the libido shines, sustained by “comfort in one’s skin” and emotional balance parading the physique for attention, satisfaction, and exhilaration.

Sexual relations have an aptitude to flow continuously. Yet when inner and outer confidence deteriorates energy diminishes, sexual priority plummets, and libidos lie dormant. Sexual desire retracts, deteriorates, and disappears from distractions as child-rearing, work-related priorities, and/or hormonal imbalances. Weight loss, an energy surplus, and confidence, via “clean” food, weight loss, and strength training, libidos and sex return. As offspring grow, transformation to a healthy body, attention reverts to one’s partner, priorities deepen with increased desire, and sexual rumblings resume. With a shift of precedence, sexual gratification has a thirst for satisfaction.

Hardwired for connection, humans need physical stimulation. “To touch can be to give life,” Michelangelo said. The science of touch acknowledges the basic need to connect physically. Physical starvation deprives life’s deepest comforts, needs, and joys. Touch is the primary expression of compassion. Studies show physical human communication as a foundation for bonding, and as signals of safety and trust. Warm touch calms cardiovascular stress, activates the compassion response through the body’s vagus nerve, while simple touch produces oxytocin, “the love hormone.” Research shows that touch establishes clear communication between the genders about love, gratitude, and compassion, where facial and verbal communications were unable.¹ Since we often live in a documented touch-deprived society, reacquainting physically fosters greater well-being.

Reducing excess weight that reshapes the body, increases self-confidence, and restores libido, the return of sex supplies a bonus to healthy results. Exposure to this outcome relies upon firsthand experience. With added touch, life’s innate joy enhances. Dormant nurturing and physical needs replenish, restore, and recycle as health transforms externally via priorities changing and internally as the body readies itself for greater pleasure. An improved life needs enriching benefits that replenish the soul physically, mentally, and spiritually. Robust, sexual relations are but one upgrade for a well lived existence. When libido is back, sex returns, and all hands are on deck.

¹Keltner, Dasher. September 29, 2010. Hands on Research: The Science of Touch. The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley

Body Souled As Is

Falling in love requires internal, self- love. Therefore, if falling in love with your body meets resistance via self-deprecation, low self-worth, and an inner critic, reexamination is beneficial. An expectation of standards from magazine models and Hollywood mavens is unfair scrutiny. Airbrushed, makeup, hair styling, and obsessive lifestyles to create and maintain the smoothest, fittest, and healthiest-looking contours constitute unreasonable comparisons. By releasing ourselves from the fanfare, surrendering to reality, and reissuing perspectives on what defines beauty, the normal, natural body represents the ultimate physique, where acceptance and self-love live.

Vital basics including breathing, internal organs, and the five senses, function effortlessly until a breakdown causes pause for resuscitation. Appreciating one’s bodily mechanics, walking, running, and a host of taken-for-granted physical capabilities, is gratitude worth feeling. Experiencing emotions, also a distinctive human quality is worth consideration of grandeur as well. Loving your body’s abilities requires awareness, attention, and acknowledgement for all these systems entail.

Beyond the necessary internal physical and cerebral components, the external, aesthetic body remains. From hair to face, arms to stomach, and legs to buttocks, we analyze physical traits, determining them as fine or foul. With or without careful consideration, we conclude beauty or beast, ugly and ostracized, or stunning and celebrated. No matter the circumstance, the eye of the beholder assesses and determines self-beauty. Whether wanting to love or leave, our physical, exterior assets enhance or destroy themselves by diet and/or exercise, or perhaps are polished or refined by cosmetics, surgery, or elixirs promising to delay, decrease, or disperse the lines of time.

When we observe our image in the mirror, do we ruminate with kind reaction, positive emotion, or loving response? Does our reflection empower or deflate our emotional strength? Joyful with our observation containing pride and comfort within our skin, conjures inner love correlated to a happy existence. Without love within and an acceptance, appreciation, and gratitude for the external parts, a void continues to plague us. This hole exacerbates self-deprecating inner thoughts that hurt our emotional well-being.

The body to fall in love with is the one we occupy, the God-given one, the one “souled” as is. A fitness journey unleashes a body’s strength, definition, and stamina; a healthy food lifestyle cleanses the interior, enhances physical energy, nurtures with nutrients; and an internal voice stating I am beautiful beyond measure, perfect before any action required, ringing loudly is critical. No external transformation changes who we are since internal love or lack thereof consistently decides our fate.

Finding and feeling self- love is the essence for the love of the body, mind, and spirit. Falling in love with your body enhances falling in love with your soul; they connect as one. “Love the one you’re with,” constitutes gratitude, pride, and love for the one body given to us, a gift not to be forsaken nor weighed down. Fall in love with your body and soul; there are no returns. All bodies are “souled” as is.

Palatable Memory

Past travel experiences, often contain food related highlights. A warm, freshly baked waffle cone served at the San Diego Zoo, an introduction to whipped cream chocolate mousse at the Hotel Del Coronado, Sally Lund’s Buns in Bath, England, and cotton candy, popcorn, fried-dough, and ice cream creations from theme parks, all serve up an aromatic, delectable, culinary vision of unhealthy sweet memories. Recreating these tasty experiences while occupying an adult body, tasty treats may lose their fanfare, leaving depression, fat, and low self-esteem in their wake. Fantasy-filled memories of food, the aroma, sensation upon the palette, and colorful creation, translate into a perception of perfection that may change over time.

Vacations transform senses, replenish the relaxation drought, reintroduce depleted joy, and expose our day-to-day life to different experiences, sparking and jarring us from our comfort zone. Happiness easily washes away when we stay and color within the lines of life. Crossing into new territory is necessary to recharge deadened, lazy, low-energy batteries. Removing ourselves from our environment, taking a different route from norms, and challenging oneself with new endeavors, foods, and environments help relinquish same-old, same-old, and light fires within our hearts, minds, and souls.

Therefore, vacations promote elements of change, enabling new experiences to awaken the senses. When novel tastes reveal themselves to our palette, they create greater excitement consciously and subconsciously. New foods that sweeten sensations can carry a long-term memory heightened by awareness, illuminating the experience beyond possible repetition. Attempting to recreate that palpable moment may be disappointing. The parameters setting the stage for a specific tasting experience are sometimes unrepeatable, as the people, timing, do-over actions are dissimilar.

Hence, a memory is just a memory, living its life of fortitude, happily within one’s mind and heart. Taste memories, although dauntingly delectable cannot replace the feelings that correlate with the experience, the where and when, the how and who, and are often greater than the what. Attempting to create repeatable food memories may be fruitless and impede the initial memory from original grandeur. Each food experience contains a different palette from which to paint. Accepting this helps form new memories while leaving the past behind and creates a tasting palette of a different color.

Seeking Normal

“I just want to be normal” -a shout heard around the world

Overweight people with food challenges, eating for purposes other than fuel, often seek normalcy. Eating until comfortably full, wearing clothes for decades without size fluctuation, and living without contemplation of every morsel consumed, are lofty goals for the weight conscious, chronic dieter. Corporations profit within the diet industry while millions donate to them time, money, and effort, with limited results. Unreachable goal weights and fitness levels while being comfortable in our skin elude us during relentless trials to change. Seeking a healthy relationship with food, in search of the Holy Grail, magic pill, and solutions for a sustainable composition and lifestyle, without a relentless gain and loss proposition, continues.

Acquiescing, surrendering, and altering our mindset, to recognize that eating, food, and weight are not all the contributing factors to lifestyle change. Stemming possibly from childhood, awful food habits formed, emotional voids began, and unconditional and self-love remain uncultivated. To numb pain, soothe discomfort, and react to emotional needs, food fostered survival while masking and band-aiding problems. The treadmill of dieting through “loss and gain,” cycles repeatedly until significant change and inner healing occurs, helping us jump off the diet wagon forever.

To alter childhood lessons that shape present outcomes is challenging, yet attainable. Realizing past ingrained messages affecting today’s actions is a healing step. Habitual behavior toward food is a monumental roadblock to overcoming the body and mind’s adjustment while responding to life’s challenges. Changing self-limiting beliefs transforms the past’s effect, forwarding and altering former relationships with food. The repeated dieting cycle dissipates, new attitudes are born, and lifestyle changes have greater probability of sustainable momentum and long-term success.

When inner healing progresses, our relationship with food changes and fitness strengthens, motivates, and fosters well-being. Utilizing food for energy and nutrition, optimizing the body’s engine, is a vital step. When the mind finds clarity through “clean” eating, it enables examination of the emotional needs, clears the cobwebs of the past, and pushes inner healing forward. Strengthening the body simultaneously also affects the entire physical and mental system for change and optimal health.

Whether losing or maintaining weight, “clean” food, and fitness continuing for a lifetime require this road less travelled of inner healing. The journey to emotionally mend and improve quality of life leads to a new normal within a healthy lifestyle, requiring intense focus, deliberate intention, and community support. Self-care depends on these focused channels to repair the past and engage in the present, bringing self-satisfaction, clarity of mind, and overall well-being to us. Lifelong health and normalcy are sure to follow.

Rewriting HerStory

Sometimes our weight loss journey requires a rewriting of our story. We live years affected by the past, time affixed to those memories. Self-limiting beliefs prevent us from returning to the person we once were before the interference of parents, culture, and our own selves veered our direction away from our life purpose. Pleading for an exit, aching to release painful hearts, and wanting to heal, the rewrite from whom we have become readies itself for action and new intention. Forgiveness, self-worth, and self-love are the keystones of this healing, dormant and waiting for liberation. Rewriting your story awaits your penmanship. The following recounts my own review and rewritten tale.

At six pounds, nine ounces, pulled into life by a medical vacuum, I entered the world alone as my mother lay asleep medicated beyond consciousness. Whether my troubles began at birth remains uncertain. The story my mother tells is that my independent ways and means committee of one for survival began early, refusing to take her hand to cross the street. My, I-can-do -it-MYSELF attitude, precluded her from controlling me, and the battles began. I fought and argued defiantly, knocking my opposition with every opportunity, voicing my opinion, and needing to shout my truth. I cried, yelled, and screamed no matter the cost or punishment, yet was depleted from exhaustive disputes and angry tirades that left me alone, sad, and despondent.

The catastrophic conflicts created isolation; my father’s role as referee, indirectly and passively declaring my mother the victor was mainly to separate us from irrational fights over control. My two sisters remained hidden from our mother’s wrath, as I drew all the negative attention. Seventeen years of arguments and anger left me with disdain, contempt, and rage toward the woman that bore me. Cruelty, limitations, and condescension poured out from both of us that inflicted horrific scars that lined my heart by the time I escaped to college.

Yet in reviewing my childhood woes and weary beginnings, oddly there were sparks of joy, happiness, and exceptional optimism that lay between battlegrounds of destructive behavior. Incredibly uplifting, a respite from the malaise were times away from home: school, sports, playing basketball in the driveway, riding my bike as far from home as possible, and traveling parentless to summer overnight camp, a teen tour, or an international high school exchange program. Escape and reprieves established friendships, athletic team opportunities, an academic foundation, and an optimistic attitude towards life.

My spin of any negative situation to a positive was typical, and evident to friends as unusual. In retrospect, anything or anywhere was an improvement from home. My happiness, optimism, and unique perspective about life made me unusual from peers. Others’ opinions of me rarely had any effect upon me, declaring me a rare teenager. Unaffected by emotional teenage drama made me a good listener, objective, and impartial to the normal human melodrama that plays out in life. Rewarding emotional release from stress at home during these reprieves were ceasefires from the warzone.

Conversely, my mother’s opinion jarred great resentment and I lashed out with fury. My self-esteem, deeply affected by age eleven followed a negative, painful, emotional path. Utilizing food to numb the pain and control the uncontrollable, I began the dieting roller coaster where food as fuel was a foreign concept. Active summers away from home enabled normalcy with food; the weight seemed nonexistent until my return.

Additionally, there were uplifting, calm, sublime moments in my childhood. My mother’s compassion, empathy, and love for me when I was ill were notable. Truce-filled vacations as a family were memorably peaceful. Those moments encompassed some building blocks of love beneath the surface that would prove imperative for a healed, positive, and mother-daughter relationship later in life. Her uncanny ability to forget the past quickly reduced punishments she ordered. Pretending arguments had not occurred resurrected immediate peace soon after. Her optimism lay like fresh clouds, free from the turmoil, happy to relinquish any of yesterdays anguish for today’s new possibility. The sun seemed to brighten everyday as if the prior hours vanished as the clock ticked forward.

I recall my mother’s morning routine, arriving in my bedroom announcing, “Good morning, Morning Glory. Time to rise and shine!” She would raise the window shade without warning with a chipper attitude, and smile as if turmoil hours never transpired. Her ability to forgive the past, start over, or pretend it did not happen, was our normal. I recently researched the morning glory flower, to discover a flower that rises each day anew, only to die by the setting sun. From its root, another newly fresh Morning Glory flower appears for its turn to live for the day. My mother emulates this peculiar flower, each day independent from the next. Her optimistic outlook was contagious, and perhaps we each died a little each day, only to resurface anew the next.

Also moments existed when her assumed hatred of me reversed, periodically blossoming. I recall meeting my high school boyfriend’s parents, and excitedly sharing with my mother, “I think they really loved me.” Her response still echoes loudly, “What’s not to love?” That phrase I heard on several occasions, ensuring that she loved me deeply in a somewhat convoluted heart that needed mending as much as my own. That message furthermore raised hope that love between us lay dormant, ready for a future awakening.

Lacking self-worth from constant shaming and a shortage of unconditional love, translated into lousy relationships with men, promoting a series of poor choices. Food consumed to numb emotions resulted in yo-yo dieting, arriving into a relationship thin, and fat by the time I was heading for the door. Relationships included the ex-con, the abusive partner, the law student whose priorities did not include me, and the man who was married to his mother. The common theme, I did not deem myself worthy of better.

My story I had written lived and languished with deficient self-worth, self-love, and forgiveness; I dumped myself like trash into those relationships. To release shame, guilt, and access forgiveness toward my mother, and me, I toiled emotionally to clear the dark clouds from my heart, accept the past as it was, and resign myself to a new, uncluttered future. Yet the repetition of dreadful, ghastly partner choices accumulated over a dozen years, until one fateful evening I rewrote my life story.

Months from reaching thirty years old, my fiancé moves into my apartment and our wedding invitations find their way into 300 guests’ mailboxes. A thunderstorm one night soon after eliminates the lights, the air conditioner is silent and unresponsive, and sweat pours from my brow as the temperature reaches 85 degrees inside. A slight breeze eases through the open windows, flashlights and candles provide dim lighting enough to see one another, and battery-operated fans sputter in a few corners to allay the discomfort.

A laundry basket of clean clothes sits by the bed awaiting organization; clothes lay in a chaotic, unfolded, unraveled, and wrinkled existence, representative of their owners. I begin folding the garments, my shoulders lifted, neck muscles clenched, back aching, thinking about how my life had become hopeless, unhappy, and hectic, yet again. I contemplate the many hands in the pot, planning our approaching nuptials, the continuing arguments with my new roommate, soon-to-be lifelong partner, and the answering machine message from his mother, “…HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY NOW! I was in a car accident because of you, from all this stress. And I hope you’ll be calling your dying cousin, Milton, during his last dying breath, to tell him why he wasn’t invited to your wedding…”

My insides unfold, unravel, and wrinkle, unable to imagine continuing to live like this. When did my life take such a turn, deteriorating to now? Then I see it, the lonely, white, silk blouse, looking shattered, damaged, and destroyed. Although I had purposefully not placed the delicate, graceful, gentle beauty with the rest of the dirty laundry, here it sits wilted, crumpled, and tattered. My heart sinks inside, relentlessly saddened by not one, but now, the second silk blouse destroyed by the man who claims to love me, care for me, but shows consistent disrespect and inconsideration for all that I am.

The greatest heartache is his persistence to defend the woman who gave him life, yet who tortures him emotionally with daily, phone calls. Her crass comments, sarcastic bellowing, and snide remarks, are symptomatic of her latest voicemail, sticking the metaphoric knife deeper than usual into us.

Looking at the disintegrated garment in my hands, sadness flows into disbelief, then into anger and resentment. My life feels like a made-for-TV movie where a monstrous mother-in-law aims to destroy her son and the woman who took him away from her. Yet he agrees, in his words, “It’s all for the best; she means well.” I am not sure anyone would believe the true story, but it would be entertaining enough for ratings.

My anger is boiling; words bubble at the mouth, foam begins to spew as the first letters of words form, “Chuck! You did it again!” Tears begin to tumble to the floor. I am exasperated that we are about to have the same argument over a blouse, about the money wasted, his lack of consideration, his disrespect towards me through his actions. Feeling irritated, I wonder why a repeat performance is in play. The scene, lit up by candles mysteriously dims my ability to see him well.

An angry, I-have-been-interrupted-again voice echoes from the other room. “Whaaaat?” This is not an inquiry, but a what-now, what-have-I-done-now, I-hate-my-life-too response.

“You did it again. How could you do this to me again? It’s ruined. My silk blouse is ruined. You threw it in the laundry and then in the dryer. Why don’t you have any respect for my things? I hate this. I hate this!” I even know in an instant, this is not about the blouse. So much deeper within the wrinkles of our lives are the creases that bury our true feelings, our childhood baggage, and the interference of our mothers, hidden beneath the folds of a crumpled, silk garment.

Yet the yelling, shouting, arguing begins, as if a repeat chorus takes hold of our prior night’s conversation. This time, it is set among the dark, open-windowed apartment, where our eyes cannot meet nor see the truth beneath the insults, the anger, the sadness, and the tension. We know not how to stop this freight train from running through our living room. The shouts are loud, enormously edged near violence, threatening, demented. Words fly like sticks of dynamite, “I hate you. I hate your mother. Fuck You! I don’t want to marry you. You look like you are mad enough to hit me. Do it! Get it over with! Make me leave you! Just GET IT OVER WITH!”

A tirade of words, exchanged under a foundation of aggressive, disturbing, and violent emotions, and I sink to the floor, my feelings reverberating throughout my entire being. Adjusting into a fetal position, I sob uncontrollably, sadness pouring from my pores. My heart literally aches, heaving cries of disbelief that my life experience is repeating itself. Recurring, anguish-filled words exit my mouth, picturing the prior dozen years pass before my eyes: “I hate my life. Why is this happening to me again? Why me? I cannot go on like this. I must make a change.”

Yet as quickly as the words leave my mouth, I realize there is no escape clause for the painful life I have chosen. I have gotten myself into this broken-record, like a piece of a song scheduled to replay itself repeatedly, searing itself into my head. Again, I feel stuck, uncertain how to change the course of my history that feels written in stone. There is no bright light to guide me away from here.

As my mother always said, “You made your bed, and now you have to lie in it.” I see the disrespect, the lack of self worth, the anger, the sadness, and the dysfunctional mess at each relationship’s finale. I hear my voice whispering now, “How do I get out of this one? Help me. Please help me. Help.” But my body feels disconnected from the source of the sound. Not a soul hears my pleas; I sound crazy whispering the words aloud within the empty room. Chuck has retreated to the bedroom. Each of us is alone to sink within our sorrows from our relationship gone awry.

Then the shift hits the fan.

KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! A heavy pounding comes from the door. Disrupted, stunned, and silence interrupted by the sudden thunderous sound, my sobs, my whispers in the silence, and my despair take an immediate break. Chuck returns to the room, hearing the loud, intentionally wanting-to-be-heard pounding upon our apartment door. We both look at each other with uncertainty. “You better answer it, I cannot,” I whimper.

“Who is it?” Chuck checks the peephole as we hear the answer.

“It’s the police. Open this door immediately. We received a call about a domestic disturbance coming from this apartment.” The loud, masculine voice is stern, heavy, demanding, and startling.

My heart is racing now, aware that our loud words had listening spectators, and someone has called the cops to investigate the alarming sounds, the disturbing words, and the potential violence one would suspect. I whisper to Chuck that I will be in the other room. Behind the bedroom door, I listen closely to the conversation.

“We got a call saying there was a disturbance from this apartment,” a commanding voice announces.

“Yes,” Chuck confirms. ”We had an argument. We are fine now.”

“We have to see that she is okay. Where is she?” From the inquiry and his concerned, dutiful words, I know I must make my feet move. My limbs are heavy, but my courage pushes them forward, making my appearance in front of the vocal officer. Another male police officer walks behind him, motioning Chuck to another side of the room.

I walk with my head down, my feet moving cautiously, appearing disheveled I suspect from the concerned look upon his face. His expressive eyebrows furrowed with lips pierced closed, my reddened eyes perhaps reveal my pain, anguish, and distress as I look up and our souls connect. He pauses possibly to reflect and contemplate the situation at hand, sizing me up. His broad shoulders exhibit a strong physique, but his eyes reveal a compassion I crave desperately.

“Are you okay?” he asks with concern.

Shakily and trembling, I softly and slowly speak, “I am okay. We just moved in together. We are supposed to get married in six weeks.”

“Hmmm.” His deep-set eyes seem to connect for just seconds with mine, when the following words come at me like a wave of wisdom. There is a moment of silence, stillness, a stoppage of time when, “You may want to rethink that” drops from his lips like a revelation. They reverberate, as if hanging in the air, resting upon my heart, as if the disordered, jumbled letters of my life have untangled into “You may want to rethink that.”

As the door shuts behind the short visit, I sit down, descending deeply into the couch, and cry, conscious of the severity of our argument, dirty laundry aired to the world, shame of my life leading to this miserable moment, and attune to “You may want to rethink that.” The deep, concerned, compassionate voice echoes repeatedly, simply, yet wisely. In the form of a uniformed officer, a messenger of strength, protection, and authority, arrives to help when I called, needed, and requested it. In search of an exit strategy, a superhero wearing a blue uniform, a messenger spoke words from his heart that I hear intimately now.

His visit feels timely; I sense a shift occurring. The fan sputters in the corner. Slow motion emanates throughout the room, an energy coursing through the train wreck, healing its passengers, and bringing everyone to safety. Suddenly, I know that everything is going to be okay. Like a domino hitting its rectangular, black neighbor with white dots knocking into the next, words quickly connect through my mind, “cancel the wedding, escape this relationship, shift your life, release the pain, free and forgive yourself, unconditionally love yourself.”

Until now, cancelling the wedding seemed insurmountable like a freight train venturing off the tracks, momentum too strong to reverse direction. This is a messy proposition, hundreds of guests receiving invitations within hours of the police visit, deposits paid to caterers, cake makers, photographers, videographers, florists, a band, and a location reserved. An expensive mess to meddle with, no simple solution to execute reversal, and yet, my life is on the line. Spending it with the wrong man constitutes an extremely, poor choice. Like the many errors in judgment, again I needed to right the wrong.

This vision of rethinking my life felt God-sent, my mind suddenly at ease. Relief unravels the tension as Operation Wedding Cancellation, I declare it, aligns itself with my life. My parents, experiencing the greatest financial sacrifice, support my decision, loving me more than I ever recalled prior. Suddenly everything shifts, like a lever lifting the veil that blinded my vision. The wedding train needs immediate work stoppage, retiring it from the tracks indefinitely. I board the next train to find a new direction in life, worthy of unconditional love. Revealed is a destiny calling me toward fresh horizons and finer, peaceful pastures.

I see my life unfolding after this warped train is removed from its tracks, informing the guests, sending back engagement gifts, the ring, and the quintessential details related to this life-changing train wreck. Suddenly I feel free, yet wondering how I led myself upon this unsteady, relentlessly painful path. How unworthy have I felt repeatedly in all the years of my life?

Weeks later with the silence, stillness, and safety felt within, the work to terminate the wedding completed, Chuck removing himself from my life entirely, I am driving down Route 290 on my way to my aunt’s for a Rosh Hashanah celebration. I decide to skip the traditional services at the synagogue, figuring anything I have to say to God can be said anywhere, anytime. Yet as I drive, I contemplate my life, new beginnings, and opportunities for change. A full life shift needs action, a change from the way I view my life and myself. Cancelling the wedding felt like dodging a bullet. Feeling relieved, saved, and reborn, a reinvention of “me” is necessary.

Then something happens quite curiously, giving me time to pause. Although I know my gas meter appears empty, I typically wait to fill up the tank when its level is just below the given line. The phrase, “E is for enough,” my father’s expression, comes to mind, his running joke that there exists enough gas to reach the gas station. Yet the engine sputters, I press the gas pedal with greater gusto, but no acceleratory reaction occurs. In disbelief, I pull onto the shoulder of the highway.

Taking stock, I realize I am safe, happy, and content while contemplating my predicament. Necessary cell phone calls made to AAA and my aunt’s to share my plight are complete. My mother’s response, “That used to happen to my father all the time … Be safe … I guess we’ll see you when you get here.” I imagine my grandfather sitting as I am now waiting for help to arrive. Without cell phones years ago, a slightly different scenario must have played out, but the metaphor, “I’m out of gas” still rings true. Imagining my grandfather watching over me, keeping me safe, I wonder what he would think of me now.

“I’m out of gas,” I state the obvious aloud, aware at how accurate this statement equates to my life. I was running on empty, looking to fill the tank. Yet as I contemplated more, the message came into full view. I was living without a full tank of love, for myself, for others, for the world at large. Without self-love, self-care, self-exploration for healing, forgiveness of the past, I was struggling to live in the present. As I am discovering and understanding the “sign,” I feel the stillness, the mind chatter floating away, and a space of peace full of love descend upon me. Then intuitively I visualize and know the right action. Everything is suddenly at ease, flowing, gentle, and kind.

All relationships are resigned to befall the effects of my unstable childhood should I choose not to change. I instantly recall one relationship at seventeen where one man shared with me a glimpse of unconditional love, but without loving myself, running on empty, I was out of gas then, too. Twelve years later since that beautiful connection, I sit in the shade of the freeway and realize that unconditional love for me must arrive before I can reciprocate to others.

Thinking about such love, and how it presents itself, I imagine the years of not feeling the love within, and a voice instantly infiltrates my heart. I hear it quite loudly, as if the voice enters my soul, “I am love. Love is I. I am the love that has evaded me.” Then as if a memory pervades my thoughts, I hear the words echoing from my mother’s voice loudly, clearly, undeniably, “Good morning, Morning Glory,” said with love, light, and laughter, welcoming me to a new day dawning, the past deadened and a new life awakening. Yet even louder, I hear her kindness deep in the recesses of my heart, audibly connecting with mine, “WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?”

My story rewritten at a three-decade turning point set the pace for my future. I discovered forgiveness, self-love, and shame resilience, altering the course of my path. Life is not happening to me, but I am happening to it. We have the power to transform our lives along any path. When you know that life has directionality that orchestrate from one’s heart, it is easy to play a grand symphony. Rewrite your story, play your tune anyway you choose; it can always be altered by listening to your heart, and changing your song. Rewrite your story; change the course of history in your life. We are all worthy of a happy tale.

Alignment

Spiritual film, discussion, and reading have awakened my energy and connection to a higher vibration and alignment with a higher source. Finding stillness, living in the present moment, and aligning with life’s energy and something greater than ourselves, while a fast-paced existence spins by, is helpful for any endeavor. Within the present moment, a connected web of oneness grows from the universe’s origin, from a divine core, from whence we came, and spreads throughout creation. Therefore, everything designed and formed from a divine entity correlates and weaves, interlocking with action and energy. Alignment with this vibration along the weight loss journey is useful knowledge.

This belief sometimes forgotten, misunderstood, or unutilized, leads to a meaningful life. On a wellness journey, it holds the key to manifesting the body, mind, and spirit as deemed fit. That everything felt, done, and thought is a reflection of our energy’s vibration, enables any goal to come to fruition. Weight loss and fitness goals carry the same potential. Goals aligned with Source’s optimal energy receive the same results. Resistance responds with opposition, diversion, and distraction, when a belief, action, or feeling disconnect with intentions set. Clearing thoughts, entering a space of stillness, and retreating from the mind to heart-based living, make anything possible.

Find stillness by tuning into the five senses to feel moment-by-moment sensations with sensitive awareness and perception. Like meditation, experiencing any given moment creates a pause, where no-thing exists, when stillness precludes all activity. Felt easily when the mind is at rest, while taking a shower, driving, running, meditation, or within the energetic “zone” of any activity, allows the heart to sing and sound louder. It is the pause or silence amid the notes of life, between fingers hitting a keypad, and the stillness that echoes throughout a day, and the essence linking things, interwoven and connected to all.

Energetic vibration aligning with fitness and weight loss goals is part of the journey. Excessively slow weight loss speed by resistance playing a definitive role may contain misalignment with goals and self-limiting beliefs impeding progress. Fear of the unknown avenue of weight loss and maintenance, lowers effective energy for successful intentions. To change limiting beliefs, transform into a knowing like no other toward a higher energetic vibration that aligns with goals. Actions then directly correlate with successful outcomes, moving intentions into results.

Beliefs aligned with goals along the weight loss journey are imperative. Believing it possible, deserved, worthy of the beholder, contribute to thriving outcomes. Finding stillness to meditate upon a result, including a lean, fit, strong body is helpful toward transformation. An energetic alignment enables the increased acceleration toward weight loss and fitness success. Pieces fall inevitably into place; the universe acts upon our behalf with inspired actions via healthy foods eaten, and fitness levels achieved. This spiritual sample utilized along the weight loss journey fosters success. An awakening to stillness, reflection, and manifestation are prerequisites. Alignment with goals and acting from intuitive inspiration enable a winning path.

Healing Halts Triggers

When healing occurs, emotional triggers become negligible. Releasing the past, healing old wounds, and establishing independent reactions, enable negative, internal conversations beneath the surface to blur, accessing positive intentions, focus, and drive to live our best lives.

Yet words and emotions heard and felt as a child barrel out of a metaphoric gun to shoot, maim, and injure innocent bystanders within our present and future. Each experience aligns with the next, affecting our present social and emotional situations. The past has us responding long after experiences physically vanish. Beliefs created, pain engraved, and hurt buried within, affect current day circumstances, as well as possible anger, resentment, and need for control that respond as reminders of our past.

Triggered by history, blood pressures rise, Cortisol levels climb, and numbing agents alleviate discomfort of past trauma. Anesthetizing emotions and pain through eating continue to plague many. Wanting to thwart emotional or physical hurt create undesired, accumulated pounds, and narrows the optimum, health path, sometimes squeezing it out entirely.

Changing mindset, acquiring tools to alleviate old reactions, and establishing novel approaches to newly defined situations are crucial to heal elements that trigger self-sabotage and emotional upheaval. Recognizing and learning from personal history while adding forgiveness are steps to healing. Freeing oneself from entrenched, dormant, and reactive emotional triggers is also beneficial. Experiencing self-compassion, utilizing social support, feeling self-respect, self-love, and self-worth align with change.

Alleviating triggers and a misaligned path, avenues for optimal emotional, physical, and spiritual health are necessary for long-term success. Easy in theory, it is a lifelong learning process and practice to heal painful pasts and relinquish reactive emotions. Releasing that which triggers us, we move toward greater consciousness while navigating through the world. “We will continue to be triggered until we are healed.” – Louise Hay

When Weakness Peeks

It happens suddenly. It catches us off guard. It feels like a glitch in the senses. Stamina, perseverance, and resilience play their parts, when unexpectedly a flash of weakness leaks, nudging change. Unsuspecting, its stealth entrance barely announces itself. Reaction time is a crawl, observable, but unavoidable. Motivation, determination, and energy wane from paltry weather, limited sunlight, and extreme temperatures. Smiles dim, attitudes darken, and shadows brew slowing response time, and increase a weakened state of being, until actions snowball and solidify.

Degradation of spirit and reduced physical strength creep silently. Greater time gaps between meals weaken the body; healthy, prepared foods dwindle to scarcity; and laziness lingers. Generated hunger causes cravings, the discomfort developing into subconscious decision making. Unmeasured and unrecorded food intake breaks a cycle of responsible tracking. Unfelt emotions withdraw, lying dormant and hidden, while actions lack alertness.

Ravenous craving leads to over consumption. Sugar-free gum fosters chewing uncontrollably, wanting, needing, pleading for relief of the internal disorientation. Although food options may be healthy, any binge, the subconscious actions, and uncontrollable behavior exhibit an unwise path. This tumbling potentially gravitates toward avalanche-type potential and greater intensity. Physical, imbalanced sugar levels attempt to regain equilibrium, while psychological ramifications take an emotional toll carrying guilt and disappointment. Numbed, unexpressed feelings continue craving an outlet.

Weather, denying emotions, low vitamin-D levels, and hormones attribute to unhealthy reactions, stealthily in ninja –style, targeting weaknesses. Defense of unruly, invisible factors require focused awareness. To counter a downfall along the weight loss journey, journal the consumed, binged food; acknowledge mistakes and practice self-compassion by forgiving yourself; and choose how to respond differently next time. Awaken the senses and emotions by leaning into them when triggered into silent submission. Little needs to occur to falter, yet resuming control and success is a matter of mindfulness and eliminating the elements that downgraded energy and awareness. Return to a place of strength when weakness peeks.

Lens of Insight

Although sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, examining life though an alternate lens when a sign, lesson, or message may exist inspires imagination, truth, and possibility. Sometimes weeks pass before explanation emerges, like the pause in a breath, awaiting the flow of exhalation that breathes out answers. Recently a sigh released a possible message of a prior event, its significance helpful along the weight loss journey.

My eyes flutter open to pain, aware something is amiss with my left eye. Sharp ache, blurred vision, and an unmistakable, guilty knowing catch my undivided attention. Holding my eye with a hand-covered patch, I hobble to the bathroom. Aided by the mirror, peaking through fingers for an explanation, I see a red eye in need of care. Removing my extended wear contact lens, the culprit confesses without coercion. The left lens sits in my hand dry, lacking its normal, supple flexibility, as I glance in the mirror with a “woe is me” expression.

“I’ve done it now,” I thought. Guilty of over-wearing my lenses, injuring my vision, suffering soreness and dire consequences steering me in the face, I cry with immediate regret. Forewarned repeatedly in the past decade of potential hazards of wearing extended, overnight contact lenses, I ignored the warnings, and walked a fine line, finally tripping a wire to one of their roadside bombs. The ache dulls as the explosion settles, and I surrender to my eye doctor for exploration, diagnosis, and solution.

He appeases my self-critic when my ears hear words and phrases as, “an abrasion, eventually heal, and vision will return.” Relief fills my senses and my breath returns to normal frequency. Tension tightly wound released when diagnosis and treatment transfers from his mouth to my ears. My elation celebrates the eventual healing, halting my pity party, and adding gratitude for a second chance. Changing my ways to protect my eyesight’s assets remains vital and present for my future.

With the gift of time, I evaluate the meaning behind the eyelid. Losing focus, lacking clarity, taking senses for granted, ignoring the rules, dry eye – unrealized emotions, squandering vision, and seeking support for deficiency (eyeglasses). Tampering with metaphoric explanation, numerous thoughts reveal themselves.

Along the weight loss journey, is my vision blurred, am I overlooking achievements, forgoing senses, and disconnecting from intuition? Ignoring rules subconsciously within my healthy lifestyle, blocking emotions from reaching the surface, or losing focus, are potential hazards that stunt weight loss. When feeling weak, have I sought help? Am I seeing clearly through the lens of my life or have I blurred my vision from stubbornness, recklessness, or laziness?

By answering these quandaries healing and jubilation occurs with the opportunity to receive a do-over to reestablish goals within a slew of personal and professional pursuits, including the weight loss pursuit. To evaluate metaphoric meanings behind experiences is an inexact science, but adds a key element to growth, learning, and improvement in life through the subconscious mind. Yet sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. How Freud might have interpreted my lost vision and how to regain it is uncertain, though looking through life’s lens in another way contains valuable insight.

Risking Vulnerability

Vulnerability requires trusting the listener, observer, and responder. Sometimes revealing too much personal information sparks discomfort by both parties. Although empathy fosters camaraderie in a world of judgment, isolation, and disconnection, it also heals wounds within those that connect. Yet not everyone is ready for authenticity. Perhaps a space of earning the right to hear one’s story necessitates restraint before catapulting deep dark secrets to the masses. Within the weight loss journey, sharing, helping others, and healing within necessitates vulnerability, empathy, and connection.

Yet how does one know acceptable timing to reveal the “self” to others? Does a society of excessive information create shock value sharing, where revealing truth purely entertains, draws reaction, and negates authentic connection? How does one draw the line or know the difference? Vulnerable emotional exposure sparks reaction. Discomfort shows up in the form of silence, rejection, and sometimes detachment. When real connection relays between individuals, empathy, trust, and bonds form.

Courage to reveal your truth, stripping the shield and armor into vulnerable space fosters emotional gambling. Whether responses are empathetic or detached, the initial reveal requires risk. Uncertainty awaits momentary anticipation for connection or rejection. Either way, speaking truths to the world is a first step toward freedom, revelation, and release of challenging emotions. Gathering support, empathy, and compassion that leads to healing, acceptance, and surrendering emotions is a helpful tool along the weight loss journey.

We are all worthy of healing and therefore, worthy of risking the potential rejection of a despondent listener. When offered sympathy, the result is disconnection; when offered empathy both listener and sharer draw human connection, the heartbeat within a web of human need. Regret not the vulnerable space, where courage lives. Healing and connection are the cornerstone of growth and the human spirit. A sustainable weight loss journey requires the authentic self to heal, emotionally balance, and connect with others. Risking vulnerability is a chance worth taking.

Freedom Aweights

While fearing the unknown is normal, the road to weight maintenance and optimal weight is familiar ground. Warn notches in my belt show extensive experience. Weight maintenance’s limited spotlight remains foreign territory, and boasts a reduced success rate. Seeking a particular number of pounds for removal, a single-digit number on a clothing tag, and proud views in the mirror, highlight several successful stints at weight reduction, while fleeting maintenance followed. Fear of failing lifelong weight maintenance no longer is a future option.

Completing marathons, Outward Bound courses, and fitness programs resulted in reaching summits, while immediately diving off those peaks into failure’s abyss, relinquished my crown of glory to uncertainty, stagnation, and reversal of fortune, marking my unsuccessful journey with weight maintenance. “When you reach the top of the mountain, you are only half way there.” I recognize this reality, yet maintaining weight, its sustainability at any level has eluded experiential practice and success.

Ironically, my strength, climbing down a mountain, exceeds traversing up. On 23 and 30-day Outward Bound courses that took me deep into the High Sierras and Rocky Mountains, my temperament, physical shape, and mental acuity made elevation and ascent the greater challenge, while descending at any rate drew dominant strength. Although views from peaks were breath taking like pieces of heaven, downward slope contained a freedom like flying and soaring like an eagle toward final destinations.

Following every diet and physical success, the weight returned, the muscles atrophied, and failure replaced victory. I reached the top of the mountain without recognizing the halfway point. Post diet, I would eat excessively and unhealthily; following each marathon, I stopped exercising entirely; and subsequent to Outward Bound courses completed, I evaded physical exertion. Like a recoiling, the rubber band snapped back to fat and immobility, large-sized and low-energy, resting at sad and depressed.

Sustainable change requires commitment to a continual lifestyle. Dedication to lifetime maintenance, strength and expertise acquired thus far, maintenance arouses ultimate success, completion, and the second half of the path. Reaching the top of the mountain, the halfway pinnacle for commencement, and experiencing a lifestyle without atrophy, increases strength. Final ascent to weight loss, a peak awaiting maintenance, and “the me” I was meant to be is not a reversal of fortune, but instead a soaring with unfathomable freedom like an eagle’s flight. “Now is my time and nothing is getting in my way.” Freedom awaits lifelong weight maintenance.

Connection Heals

Common threads of struggle weave beneath the surface of excess weight, numbing emotions, and food addiction. Traveling life emotionally unscathed without scarring and influence from negative human interaction is impossible. Some heal while others remain reactive to the past. Physical excess often carries emotional baggage. Yet how people survive, thrive, and alter their circumstances, facing adversity with increasing resilience and healing is a testament to human strength and endurance. Emotional healing is a necessary entity of sustainable weight loss while human connection alleviates dormant pain when others listen with understanding, sympathy, and compassion.

Observing and listening to scores of human woes, the sharing between individuals fosters empathy, gratitude, and inspiration. The ability to speak truth, seek solace, and educate about the toughness to withstand darkness, buoyancy to bounce back, and mutual trust to share and exchange personal, painful stories draws human connection. Tremendous, thoughtful, touching responses fill our airways to breathe in connection. The exchange is heavy, but lightens life in unfathomable ways, while words and revelations empty like releasing a capsule of healing between both the giver and receiver.

Grateful for the human condition to enable authentic communication and connection, an intricate web weaves through the universe. The common thread of struggle and pain between individuals seeking healing, resolution, and solace where atrophied bodies, obesity, and food related issues appear, surpasses weight loss and fitness goals. Never about the physical weight, but instead the gravity of emotional weight pressed upon the human soul in need of therapeutic remedy is the common core of weight loss communities. When that connection filters fully, human empathy abounds, healing restores the masses, and weight releases.

Coasting on Cruise Control

Weight loss journeys require attention, intention, and increased energy to circumvent complacency. During a long journey, there is often a segment when the gas pedal needs no pressure, our vessel cruises with highway monotony, and attention detaches from acceleration. Although you cannot take your hand off the wheel, your actions are habitual, speed is determined, and miles pass without effort.

Danger exists when stagnation occurs. The commencement of repetitive food intake, exercise routines, and motivation moving into a lull typically serve as a holding pattern, producing weight loss plateaus, frustrating failure, and a slowing process. Concluding the initial plan lacks sustainability to explain the slow down, when perhaps, the jammed receptors of the body are simply relaxing into equilibrium.

Status quo is the balance the body requires, attempting efficiency, and perfecting its response to calories, movement, and activity level. All systems are functioning, cycling, and cruising comfortably, with maintenance as the next leg of the journey. Working to prevent the body from preserving its weight requires change and action. Cruise control is not the desired outcome.

“Changing things up” is necessary for optimal success: decreasing and increasing calories, fluctuating food choices and macronutrient totals, and alternating exercise routines and their amounts. This prevents habitual selections, and alleviates the resting state of the pedal that may need pressing to the metal. One must focus energy towards pushing acceleration, rather than relenting into maintenance. Cruising is stagnation, while deepening the force, alternating speeds, and changing direction, is weight loss destination’s dream.

Determination, perseverance, and dedication to shifting routine, awakens the body to increase its muscle, surrender the weight, and propel movement for pounds to drop and kettle bells to soar. Coasting on cruise control is hazardous for a weight loss pursuit. To halt the plateau and shift the comfort level, alter food and exercise amounts and choices. Getting out of the comfort zone and releasing cruise control works the body and revs the engine for sustainable change.

Slow Loser Advantage

Although boot camps and “clean” eating are highly effective, the channel for weight loss remains elusive through extensive variables. What specifically succeeds and fails challenges the analytical mind as it scrutinizes the countless possibilities that contribute to weight loss. Did I exercise enough, eat enough, drink enough (water), sleep enough, relax enough (Cortisol levels), and do enough for efficient, maximum weight loss? Am I digestively sensitive to dairy, egg whites, or an unknown ingredient? Slow and steady may win the race, but slow and unsteady, what say you now?

When the weight loss goal, lifetime maintenance, and primary mission of becoming comfortable in my skin, come to fruition, knowing exactly what led to successful results is advantageous. Understanding what essentially worked or fell short supports lifestyle sustainability. What aspects cumulatively are optimal actions, while others slow the process fighting against a tide? Which tasks, compounded over time, cause the weight to drop and sustain weight maintenance?

The unidentified, intricate detail of the body’s complex system releases weight unevenly, slowly, and sometimes illogically. Without concrete precision, utilizing food, weight loss, and health science becomes inexact, full of trial and error. Hormones, gut health, metabolism, and other variables affect the body via a compilation of factors; there is no definite or direct path. Using guidelines and tweaking successful and failed actions to increase efficiency continues the journey.

When on the slow end of losing weight, observing other bodies losing faster than ours is particularly frustrating. Focusing on self-care, individual results, and non-scale successes as looser clothing, muscle definition, and an energy boost, while “staying in your own lane” are necessary travel tips. Although no one chooses “slow loser” status, accepting and surrendering who we are as we are, is victory. When due diligence fails, ineffective results on the scale exhibit sluggishness, disappointment converting to determination is beneficial.

An undeterred journey of slow weight loss continues to follow successful, clear intentions. No obstacles, immediate success, and missed opportune lessons due to ease and simplicity often skip the struggles that teach resiliency. The education acquired along the journey are worthy of time, learning, and patience. The need for the mind to catch up with the body’s transformation, time for habituating the process and discovering how one’s body uniquely functions, validates a slower journey.

Embracing slower weight loss speed is an acceptance converse to our usual desire. We want the weight to plummet immediately and remain that way for the duration of our lives. Yet the slow journey benefits us by teaching patience, perseverance, and empowers a long-term commitment to a sustainable lifestyle long after the weight vanishes. Speed is subjective; bodies eliminate weight at different, descending rates. Each body responds differently to the same variables, making its results individualized.

Until the final, weight loss goal arrives, altering, correcting, and fine-tuning actions along the path is part of the process. Accepting and gliding at whatever rate, leads us to eventual success. The longer the travel along the weight loss journey, greater education occurs with a better understanding of our body and weight loss tools specifically designed for ourselves. When I reach the end, a new journey commences better prepared than if results occurred instantly. As a “slow loser,” a longer, weight loss journey ascends with while weight descends with additional tools for a sustainable lifestyle.

When Size Matters

My body was considerably larger a half year ago, with the greatest change occurring the last few months, decreasing in pace steadily to that of a tortoise. Experts mention weight loss progress declining gradually as we shrink in size. Many defy the odds and succeed in far greater degrees over time, weight loss increasing at a faster rate, as if bodily systems are functioning optimally like an engine primed and operating efficiently.

Although wishful, hopeful, increasingly prayerful, to be like these quick pound-losing individuals, the goal is not about the weight, but instead decreasing size, increasing strength, and appealing emotional balance and image regarded within. When I glance in the mirror and feel comfortable in my skin, the victorious result is feeling self-worth, self-acceptance, and self-love, arrived through self-care and self-respect.

Feeling emotionally at peace with our body and size enables self-confidence to illuminate. To maintain our body’s size influences comfort within our skin. The number on a scale cannot equate to the feeling of strength, well-being, and the beauty that resides within each of us, but size does matter. Whatever size one finds inner comfort differs per individual, yet matters when it reflects inner beauty. Size matters when it brings out the best in us!

Release the Scale’s Reign

Although an inanimate object cannot measure self-worth, the scale’s reign continues to torment the masses with its number, indirectly taunting, praising, and/or impeding progress by its numeric response. When witnessing the pounds settles visually beneath our feet elation or despair are the emotional results. Heightened influence weighs on the psyche affecting future actions and stress levels.

A scale’s limited utility cannot be overstated. Without measurements of a body’s shape, size, and percentage of muscle and fat, meeting the scale with dubious trust and skepticism is necessary. Should I tweak, change, or alter my behavior based upon a number? Is there an eating habit or one time task interfering directly or indirectly with the displayed pounds? Am I constipated, my hormonal cycle looming, a heavy meal or metal contributing to a slow metabolism and progression to my goal? Have I strayed from the exercise, food, guidelines or goals set before me?

Instead, watching non-scale signs of progress, looser clothing, body measurements, fat percentages decreasing, belt notches changing, or energy levels lifting are superior assessments. Yet without size shifting smaller, and the scale showing a downward trend, confidence often declines and doubt grows in the process. The scale’s hold upon many of us is still the greatest, negative power awaiting release.

Victory is enabling the number, the scale, and any emotional dependence for its validation or assessment to vanish from existence. Allowing it to remain a tool in the shed of loss or gain measurement is an unhealthy component ready for banishment from protocol. It serves no positive purpose currently while an emotional hold and influence remains. When the scale’s power diminishes, its relevance insignificant, we win a major victory along the weight loss journey.

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