All in a Day's Words

Month: June 2015 (Page 2 of 2)

Stagnation Requires Change

Unlike a nodding bobble-head asserting confidence, assured of its route, weight loss journeys have avenues that require change. When slow-down, plateaus, and stagnation occur, modification is required. Reaching a level of comfort when the focus wanes slightly, the expertise and cruise control take the reins, and gliding  effortlessly equates with a “you’ve got this”-no-problem feeling, weight loss can take a hiatus, necessitating action.

As miles stretch behind, experience, success, and routine establish a foundation. Yet familiarity may lead to a standstill, plateau, and delay upon the scale. Admiring the comfort seems harmless, but addressing the treadmill’s lack of progress is crucial. Breaking the cycle of a body’s maintenance or plateau requires change. Give it an energy boost by alternating workouts, cycle calories and carbohydrates, and change same-old-same-old, to jar the body to release its stronghold of unwanted extra weight.

This means altering food choices, exercise routines, and adding variety to the plan. Identifying food sensitivities, reducing stress, and adding sleep may increase metabolism’s wariness. Scrambling the usual, erasing monotony, and creating chaos awakens dormancy and boosts movement on the scale and within the body. Choosing what to tweak is purely experimentation and examination of the uniform, boring, and repetitive foods, actions, and approaches. With a bird’s-eye view, analysis eases with answers.

Testing out a variety of changes one at a time fosters success. With new knowledge and minute tweaking, cultivating changes often produces reduced weight. Changing it up is good course of action. Rather than spinning wheels, take an alternate route to awaken and empower the body for everlasting transformation. Stagnation leads to an unhappiness only resolved by change. With tweaking, a slight edge propels the weight loss forward.

Weighting and Healing

Diets, for many, alter life’s path by wasted time, emotional turmoil, energy expunged, and affected metabolism. Imagine the past orchestrated differently if healthier self-esteem existed, and shame, weight, and internal dialog had influenced a different outcome. Like a sliding door, movement forward and back, results may have been the same leading to the same conclusion. Either way, emotional pain and dieting regimes scorch and shadow numerous lives. When weight scars internally and externally, healing awaits.

Tight-fitting clothing, humiliation at the doctor’s office from shame of weight gain, and constant reminders from a concerned mother, flowed through my existence. At thirteen, my pediatrician, upon my mother’s inquiry, suggested the benefits of a ten-pound weight loss. The charts confirmed his recommendations. By summer’s end, the pounds dropped by fifteen with a regain of twenty by winter. That sad scenario repeatedly danced through multiple diets rocking up and down like a seesaw. With each cycle of pounds mounting, my self-esteem plummeted. The following years took a downward turn.

Shopping for clothes after my hips and thighs grew disproportionately during puberty was a living nightmare I cringe to rehash even through memories. Arguments with my mother while shopping were nothing more than a shame festival of depressing moments, tantrums, and screaming matches, all a reminder of my body’s limitations and flaws. Dying inside with self-hatred for my body, lacking self-acceptance and self-love, I lashed out at my mother, reactive of the inner hurt that consumed me.

In high school, getting to the field house early for a softball game meant requesting the only pair of size extra large softball pants that existed. The humiliation of wearing a tight, smaller size influenced my high school days. Walking down to the field, I remember a bus driving by when a snarky kid yelled, “Hey, Fat Ass!” Stabbed and slashed by the slur, my heart palpitates even now with the memory of bleeding fear, shame, and depression that it carried. I held my head down as the school bus passed, pretending its lack of effect, when inside something died further, and self-worth deepened with doubt.

Years of debilitating relationships and choosing partners that matched my level of self-worth, heightened the extreme pain. Pounds increased while associated with delinquent, discouraging, and disrespectful men. Fittingly, my high school boyfriend went to the prom with another girl, I dated an ex-con abominably angry with the world, chose a drug-induced man who abused me physically until I had the courage to leave, and continued to connect with men who valued me as much as I valued myself.

Yet inside, deep beneath the gravity that weighed me down lay the innocent who wanted, needed, and fought for love in all the wrong places. Filling the void between that inner space and the external forces was necessary for my survival. Food replaced the missing pieces of me; it numbed the pain, easing away the hurt temporarily. Pushing away emotional hurt was my modus operandi; food served as a mechanism for efficiently and expertly expunging the uncomfortable feelings.

Acutely aware of the issues that patterned emotionally painful decades, self-worth lay at the root. Growing shards of brokenness lay fixated, remained entrenched, until true healing began to repave my journey. Allaying fears, feeling, and leaning into emotions while addressing sugar addiction, smoothes the sharp edges that used to gouge my insides. Today the bandages await removal after years of recovery. Slowly healing, certain that scars lighten over time, I wait the knowing of a different era when self-worth lines my heart, self-acceptance contours my existence, and self-love reinforces a peaceful, healing path.

Limit the Scale’s Weight

Although non-scale victories along the weight loss journey are valid measures, the number on the scale still holds precedence for the majority. Waiting for the pounds to drop tests our patience, affects our emotional well-being, and antagonizes us with the number’s powerful reign. However, as an inanimate object, the scale knows not the individual who occupies its space nor is it able to give love, encouragement, or subjective feedback. We allow the inhuman object to define our failure or success with its weighty number, affect our food intake, moods, and exercise regime.

Releasing the reins and power given to this metal object is a worthy objective. The scale’s number is a limited, health measurement. While other assessments create significant, useful evaluations, including pant size, muscle mass, and energy level, waiting for the scale to move steadily downward awaits baited breath unnecessarily. Reassessing our priorities and transforming our relationship with the scale is part of a necessary transition for the weight loss journey.

When the scale first was empowered differs per individual. My unsteady, insecure eleven-year-old self stood in a school nurse’s office while a number announced and written upon a brown clipboard, seemingly shouted through a megaphone, and permanently marked in a nurse’s scribble with non-erasable ink transpired. The relationship with this lifeless object had begun, scarring and weighing my self-worth for the years that followed.

Recognizing the relationship began at that moment might have been a foreshadowing, but I was an unsuspecting victim of negative scale influence immediately. Defined by a number, a red flag flew before my eyes, taunting my existence. Diet jargon became a fluent language spoken within my childhood home. I listened, learned, and languished with low-fat, limited calories, and small portions for the remainder of my years there.

Yet even after departure, my diet research, and knowledge changed constantly, recommendations altered, and success rate declined, while the scale like the man behind the curtain reigned supreme. My results consistently met resistance, the pounds increased, and a yo-yo of pounds and feelings illuminated a failure-ridden, diet roller coaster. I gave the scale its power to define my worth, decide my fate, and weigh heavily. The losing weight loss battle plagued a great portion of my life until now.

A scale does not show love, emotion, empathy, compassion, nor does it care whether we lose or gain a pound. Only we know our worth and giving power to an inanimate object is a losing proposition. The pendulum for change swings toward balance and stability, rocking its center at a sane solution. Releasing the scale’s power has proved challenging, yet valuable. Periodically it may still drive a wedge between sanity and delusion, as a steady habit needs time to change.

Yet over time, the body shrinks, energy reboots, and clothing-size reduces. Moreover, if the clothes fit, we must acquit our conscience, guilty of affecting our psyche. Weight fluctuation contains numerous factors the scale cannot measure. Reminded of its limited utility, downgrading its assessment value is necessary. If waiting for the scale to determine success, we allow the scale to weather our journey.

The tumultuous scale-related storms experienced teach that sunny skies are on the horizon with change and reasonable perspective about the scale’s actual utility. Removing its hold upon us is a gradual process. Not a number, we are people empowered to determine our own destiny. The scale carries no weight; the weight is ours to see, feel, and are fit to carry. Limit the scale’s weight along the journey, and the bumpy path readily improves.

Culinary Self-Care

Weather is normally a non-entity contributing to a healthy lifestyle. Yet a blizzard approaching requires intense preparation beyond blankets, shovels, and snow boots. The possibility of electricity loss, lack of cooking potential, and the impossibility of heating options foster immediate action. Experience during past storms teaches us to prepare. Electricity eliminated, sitting by the fireplace, eating prepared, processed foods without considering nutritional value, its quality, or how our waistline, gut, or psychological well-being are affected, is history.

Last night’s preparation presents a different story. A dozen boiling eggs, a crock-pot simmering, two trays of roasting vegetables, fourteen grilling grass-fed beef burgers, and discussion about the meals of tomorrow arise. This spectacle of cooking prowess is not culinary cuisine’s grandeur of soufflés or Creole gumbos. Simple prepared fare for a few days of hiding in our home while Mother Nature shouts loudly outside is survival skills executed.

Furthermore, underneath the surface of this preparation lies the true crux of our metaphoric crudités. It represents self-care in action, the cultivation of a healthy lifestyle. Without consumable, healthy fuel for the body’s efficient functioning, a successful outcome for well-being is improbable. Creating provisions when “life interrupted” occurs is filed under self-respect, self-love, and self-care. Time, resources, and energy utilized when extraordinary circumstances occur ensure successful results.

Prepared culinary creations capture a snapshot of self-care that becomes a “new normal.” Whether blizzard, travel, or home, defy the mainstream by navigating nutritional needs, and energize the troops to dig deeper when life circumstances attempt to thwart success. Resilience circumvents failure and makes a healthy lifestyle sustainable. In any shades of weather, culinary self-care is weight loss’ consistent, successful contribution.

Daring Greatly

Author, Brene̒ Brown, through her writing, teaches us about courage, vulnerability, and shame resilience, all prerequisites for mending and healing. “Being all in” is the vital element. To fail while being in the arena is a life better lived than having not taken action or attempting triumph at all. The passage (below) by Theodore Roosevelt inspires facing fear, walking into the ring of struggle, and daring greatly in places of adversity. Leaning into fear proves emotionally satisfying, strengthens risk-taking skills and atrophied emotional muscles, and placates past experience with new neural pathways.

Underlying the weight loss journey, the path of daring greatly is required travel, putting oneself into the arena, risk revelation and a fight for healing, overcoming obstacles, and emotional vulnerability. Without daring greatly, the causes beneath the surface of the weight remain dormant, doggedly persistent in maintaining its weight protection, and taunt the beholder typically forever. Boldly recognizing the depth of meaning behind the weight is an imperative step, while exploring, digging, and healing from those scars is imperative for sustainable, maintained weight loss.

Yet after extinguishing the past through healing, forgiveness, and allaying the past, emotional baggage arises from the ashes like rekindled firewood with determination and persistency to afflict its occupants. Daring greatly is the challenge to douse the newly lit flames. Memes, our perceived, engrained qualities immersed from childhood experience, are triggered and reminiscent of the brokenness that shadow fear, destructive downfalls, and distress. Anchored to low self-worth and the bottomless pit of despair during early years, release requires inspiration, understanding, and recovery to reclaim the authentic self with strength and resilience.

Healing often zigzags, sometimes two steps forward and one-step back, attempting to find healing along smooth ground while rattling the past into sacred burial. Although the avenue of change flows unevenly against a tide like a rubber band that wants to resume to equilibrium after stretched in one direction, repeated recoiling when emotional triggers are pressed requires persistence. Rediscovering unconditional love, self-care, and acceptance requires entrance into the arena of worthiness, self-love, and strength toward a badge of courage, honor, and determination in overcoming obstacles, a resilient existence. Yet onward trudging through disarray, disorganized trenches to discover indestructibility, resilience, and strength make the journey worthwhile.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Along the weight loss avenue, shortcutting the process via an instant fix prevents sustainable success. Daring greatly while fear marinates encourages resilience, masters bravery, and illuminates our strength. Thriving, striving, and succeeding in life’s arena, to enter, fight, and battle with courage is the destiny to live a life with meaning. Full of ambition, risk, and vulnerability, we attempt the impossible. Without limits, potential for greatness exists. Without limits, healing is accessible. Without limits, our life purpose dares greatly to be heard, lived, and sung. For successful weight loss, daring greatly is a prerequisite.

The Why

Why commit to a fit lifestyle and clean food regime that contributes to weight loss and well-being? Why delve to heal the inner, emotional pieces that continue to thwart weight maintenance, threaten self worth, and prevent sustainable fitness. Achieving peace about body image, a mind at ease regarding food, and a spirit that encapsulates emotional stability, gives ultimate meaning to the journey.

“Comfort in my skin” is the paramount metaphor for feeling emotionally balanced and whole. For a significant population, since childhood a void exists, a crack in self-worth from a series of unfortunate events contributing to a self-acceptance deficit. Achieving emotional wholeness enables a comfort, a knowing, and a resilience that fosters joy, self-love, and gratitude with an ability to help others via self-care.

Within another metaphoric realm, the ability to shop the closet and drawers with ease and optimism, and “cleanse the past” of unfitting, unbecoming, and uncomfortable garments, puts the mind at ease. Donning a bathing suit, lounging in a swimming pool, and sauntering through the hallway confident of this body represents inner peace, self-love, and self-acceptance. Living with additional physical energy, strength, and endurance defies the “norm” highlighting that anything is possible.

Although validating reasons motivate and inspire fitness class attendance and “clean” eating, this journey is mainly about healing the broken remnants of the past. Sugar addiction lingering since childhood feeds my unfelt emotions, fills a void where unconditional love felt limited, and sweetens the depths of unworthiness within the heart. To master sobriety is a significant “Why” that offers extraordinary meaning to the path. Healing the brokenness is not about losing weight, nor completing a 120-lb. dead lift. Rather, it is the path to achieving the impossible, feeling self-worth and emotional balance, and filling the void with self-love.

That is a main “why” of weight loss with other “whys” dangling as the icing on the kettle bell, waiting to clang loudly when achieving the impossible, making the vision reach fruition, and arrive at a place of true healing. This supports staying focused, energized for change, and dedicated to the proposition that one day we shall feel “whole,” and devoid of a missing element. Until that day, remain steadfast upon the weight loss journey.

Outer and Inner Strength

Feeling like a truck rolled over the body is a rough reminder of an intense exercise class experienced yesterday. Roundhouse kicks, upper and lower hooks, empowering hammers, cardio versions of squats, planks, sit ups, and surfing burpees, all intensified the speed, balance, and core conditioning. Instead of laying low, a stronger heart, leaner arms, tighter core, and solidifying legs energizes an entire being.

Increasing strength from intense boot camps and Strike Fit classes rejuvenates, invigorates, and engages every element. Feeling younger, stronger,”meaner,” and leaner, the body’s best emerges, with layers of metaphoric alabaster gradually forming a masterful exterior. Achieving inner success to match an outer sculpted masterpiece is cognitive, emotional, and spiritual work.

Strengthening the mind by incorporating cognitive stimulation through daily reading, emotional social sustenance, and brief meditation support the brawn external frame and cleansed interior. Eating clean, resting, meditatively living with mindfulness are integral tasks toward a semi- version of nirvana. Fueling thoughts with necessary action to maintain healthy habits is a constant feed of intention, focus, and energy.

The mindset maintains the visual outcome, a desire for a destiny that lives long past its initial goal of size, strength, and scale outcomes. Peace of mind, self-acceptance of the body, and self-love unfelt in a heart that is always worthy, are the ultimate pinnacles for success. Physical brawn internally and externally, cognitive stamina, and emotional fortitude, strengthen the heart and soul.

Snooze to Lose

Without adequate sleep, losing weight is challenging. Emotionally sensitive, craving carbohydrates for immediate energy, and searching a refrigerator and pantry haphazardly, are common results. When healthy, prepared foods are unavailable, a smorgasbord of disastrous choices beckons the weakened consciousness.

During a temporary hiatus from a responsible, alert, and coherent mindset, the full pantry of processed, delectable goodies, sugar-filled and of poor quality, become accessible. Foods that foster binges lay only steps away. When mindful, a closet of characteristically addictive carbohydrates has little effect upon will power. Yet add a sleep deficit and acute senses crave comfort, relief, and energy, needs met easily by unhealthy choices.

Knocking my head gently against the refrigerator door, I close my eyes, and see myself wanting, falsely needing, and craving sweet carbohydrates. My heart hurts from the conflict between weakness, desperately gathering strength to oppose an unruly sugar addiction versus the obvious yearning for anything filled with instant gratification and sugar. It taunts and begs me to inhale sugar’s appeal and reach for the boxes that contain it, reneging from my commitment to change, health, and self-care.

Relief resumes by distraction of other tasks. The courage to dissuade the addiction empowers itself, conjuring me away from the kitchen entirely. I cringe that my mind went asunder easily after months of weight loss success with healthy fuel strengthening me. The addiction feels fresh as if yesterday began the journey, its power ready to pounce when the body is frail, vulnerable, and able to infiltrate when mindfulness dissipates.

Sleep deprivation weakens me physically and mentally, creating dysfunction. Sugar addiction is empowered when sleep lacks. The disturbance disrupts mindful, disciplined, and purposeful behavior. My success relies on these elements. The more I snooze, the more I lose … weight, that is.

Stoking the Furnace

Eating more to drop pounds seems counterintuitive. Food’s utility solely as fuel, like stoking a furnace, with high total calories encompassing “clean,” unprocessed fare without simple sugars or grains is the most successful lifestyle I have experienced. Fueling the body efficiently for energy output to burn fat rather than muscle is a novel concept from past protocol, yet highly effective when put into practice.

Raising my calorie-intake from 1,200 calories to 1,500 calories marks my initial dosage for proof of concept. As the pounds dropped, I delved further adding another hundred. Imagine a furnace, adding coal to burn hotter with more intensity, fueling the flames, infusing energy, and burning brighter. This same mechanism emulates the body’s fueling system. Adding useable, healthy fuel at the right times in right amounts ignites the body to burn fat on a continued basis, without the ebb of starvation or diminished energy.

Mistrusting this process initially rose out of fear of embracing the opposite of most dieting philosophies. Rather than the common calories-in-calories-out theory, efficient input of fuel burning through digestion and an output of energy within a clean, efficient metabolic system released pounds. Time, experience, and patience changed my protocol, mind, and weight loss success. Although a slower process, the body’s ability to fuel itself and run efficiently in a healthy way as intended with real, unprocessed food is the holy grail of weight loss.

The magic pill for pounds dropping is to eat real, quality food that enables the body to digest food successfully. Healthy, “clean” food contributes to efficient energy output with fuel it requires. Losing weight without proper nutrition, we sacrifice muscle mass without burning excess fat. Stoking the body’s furnace is about higher quality calories burning fuel effectively. When your body heals its scarring inefficiency from years of poor eating habits, it runs smoothly, burning fuel, reducing weight, and energizing the entire body, mind, and spirit.

Failure Becomes Today’s Wisdom

As I rise from slumber, “Eat early, eat often,” drowns a negative feeling that initially consumes me. The sun shines as a reminder of a new day dawning. Rather than sinking into failure, a novel thought, intention, and visualization interrupts to improve yesterday’s actions. Past lessons cumulate to live an enhanced future, like gathering wisdom that collectively changes the future.

One such insight is “eat early, eat often. Yesterday without a morsel, the busy world like riding on a treadmill occupied my time in rat-race fashion. This set the wheels in motion for metabolism to slow, the body awaiting its daily fuel. After five hours without nutrition, I consume food; it is one o’clock in the afternoon. Quickly engulfing food as fuel and starvation mode existing, Pandora’s Box opens. A binge results, excess calories consumed, and cravings corner my appetite to consume sugary carbohydrates. Backlogging food, bloating, and slow digestion raises havoc in the body, and weight loss efforts drown under the weight of a cookie.

Yet every day we potentially learn from yesterday, ensuring today and tomorrow receive the gems that came before. Without entertaining the knowledge that accumulates, we suffer repeatable failures rather than fresh starts. Let a new day dawn with immediate vision of successful change from our yesterdays. Eat early, eat often, and eliminate Pandora’s Box from opening and sabotaging efforts. Mistakes are the failures that occupy today’s wisdom; using them is a strategic advantage and foundation for weight loss success.

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