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Monthly Archives: December 2009

I have a big dry erase white board next to my desk at work. I was on a project last year that created a bit of stress for me. During that time, I started to write quotes on the board. The board writing was more to vent than to motivate. After the project ended, I quit writing on it, but it seemed that everyone had started to enjoy it and asked me to continue. Since then (due to popular demand), I have been keeping it going. Some of it is funny and some I think is poignant.

Since I am coming up on the New Year, I decided to put something up about resolutions. I feel that I know something about it because I started my weight loss process about 4 years ago as a New Years resolution. For once, it was a resolution that I actually kept.

I came across two quotes. The first one was, “So many fail because they don’t get started – they don’t go. They don’t overcome inertia. They don’t begin.” – W. Clement Stone. The second one was “Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.”- Unknown

For me, getting started losing weight was the hard part. Just making up my mind, I mean really making the decision to change was the real work. It was the time I said enough and put the fork down. I told myself I was going to start losing weight as my resolution. The truth was that even then, I was still getting myself in the right frame of mind and it took me some time to really get started.

After I got started, I broke free of that inertia and started moving forward. It was a bit like a rubber band engine on a balsa wood airplane that has been over-wound. It’s wound so tight, it binds and fights itself and just won’t spin. That was me. I was wound so tight that I couldn’t move. I had big plans and desire, but no momentum. After I got my propeller started, I took off. The key was getting into the habit. Someone told me I was determined, but I think my family would just call it stubborn.

The amazing thing was that even as I started to see the changes, people around me were telling me it wouldn’t work. Even now, I hear how I will plateau and not be able to lose weight. So much negative information is out there about how hard it is to lose weight and how you need help to do it. I continue to hear how it’s not possible to do what I have done without some type of assistance. Some surgery, a system, a support group…yada yada yada. It would appear that “fat” has a great publicist and wants to be around for a while.

You just have to start. It’s not a secret that to lose weight, burn 3,500 calories and you lose a pound. Burn 35,000 and you lose 10 pounds.

4 years ago, my resolution was to lose weight. 2 years ago was to get into the gym. This year, I have been thinking I may want to give myself a break…hey I earned it.

I am thinking about the following as possibilities for this year:

  1. Swear more- but in a creative way. Not just going right to the F-word but maybe something from the cartoons…Yikes, Ruh Ro, Zonks, or the best one…Gadzooks!
  2. Stockpile supplies for the coming Zombie Apocalypse (okay, not really a resolution…since I am doing that anyway)
  3. Watch more TV
  4. Get a part time job…maybe an at home veterinarian practice.
  5. Take a good hard look at that exciting career in the field of electronics.
  6. Give some real time to working on a “CB handle”

In all honesty, I have been giving more consideration to what to add this year and I am not sure what I want to do. I have been careful since I seem to take it a bit overboard. But it’s a good exercise in self control. I have learned that a little bit of success can help you break free of the inertia. If you are determined/stubborn enough, you can make real change. With the right direction, it can even be positive.

Even if you don’t make a resolution, it’s good to evaluate yourself. If you don’t keep them, it’s good to give thought to self improvement and at least you have the goal.

It’s like Ben Franklin said, “Be always at war with your vices.” Well said, Ben.

Paul

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It’s good to have goals. Goals are important. As Captain Ron says, “They teach you that in rehab.” I actually believe that a large part of my success in weight loss has been from basic project management. One of the first steps of project management is to identify the goal of the project. For me, it was to lose an amount of weight. I had to declare a goal. I thought this was going to be easy, because it’s a pretty simple thing. It’s just a number of pounds that I want to lose. How hard can that be to figure out?

Declaring a final goal is where my quandary has come from. For about the last year, the people around me have regularly asked what my “final” goal is. I have learned to be vague. My current answer is that I want to get back to my original weight, “8 pounds 6 ounces”. The reason I need to be vague is because I am so damn sick of hearing, “You don’t want to lose too much”, or “you need to be careful you may be anorexic”. I am here to tell ya, I am a long way from anorexia.

If one more person says that I look too skinny, I am gonna punch them in the throat. I do look thinner that what I used to look like, but that is not difficult. I weighed 600 lbs for crying out loud. I recognize that I look better than I did, but I still do not look good. I want to make the jump from looking good to good looking. At the end of the day, it’s all about vanity. Yeah I know, health, long life, and quality of life are a nice byproduct of losing weight, but it’s really about my own personal vanity.

At first, I decided I was going to lose 300 pounds for my goal. My plan was to lose that and then “figure out” where I needed to end up. I tried not to look at the full 300 as my goal. I took it in smaller chunks. I looked at it as losing it in 50 pound steps. Somehow, in my military mind, it was easier to lose 50 pounds 6 times than to lose 300 once.

My original plan was to try to lose 100 pounds per year. This would give me a 3-year timetable. In the beginning, it seemed like 3 years was forever. I am very American in that I want results NOW. A friend pointed out that if it took me 40 years to get to my starting weight, it’s going to take some time to drop it. I found that very profound. I don’t think many people noticed that I had lost the first 150 pounds. Part of that was due to the fact I didn’t buy new clothing until I had lost that weight. I just looked like I was wearing my big brother’s hand me downs. I can distinctly remember having a conversation with a couple of friends of mine and telling them I had lost 140lbs. From their reaction, I don’t think they really believed me.

I then went out and purchased new clothing. That’s when people started to see the difference. Even now, when I move down a size in clothing, people seem to notice it. I had several people then stop me and ask me, “What changed?” I always smile and tell them, “I got a haircut”, then they look and say “Have you lost weight?” No, she is just a really good barber.

It’s kind of funny that even after almost 350 lbs lost, I still get asked if I am losing weight. Some of the defective detectives I work with are just now noticing. I guess it’s understandable since I am only losing about 4 ounces at a time. So, the change to someone that sees me every day is very hard to detect.

When I lost 300 lbs, it was a big deal to me. The problem I had was that I was no closer to figuring out where I needed to end up. I knew that I would need to lose more beyond the first 300 but didn’t know how much more.

Even though I don’t have a final destination, I am moving in the right direction. As long as this movement is positive, I think the rest will come.