Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 164 The Steel Curtain Zone

Day 164

The Steel Curtain Zone

I feel like I'm in another level of zone. There's the zone and then there's the steel curtain zone. I've been in both zones, and I have to say, the steel curtain zone is amazing. In the regular zone, you workout and make good food choices, but you still are sometimes vulnerable to random cravings and excuses as to why tonight's just not a good night to workout. In the “steel curtain” zone, excuses bounce off, your resolve is impenetrable. If you're tired of excuses and rationalizing bad choices, then get in this zone! How do you jump in the steel curtain zone? You decide to do it. Sounds simple, and it can be, if you let it be. But if you can't commit to an excuse and rationalization free performance, then it's nearly impossible. First of all, I had to be honest enough with myself to even recognize excuses . Excuses and rationalizations pretend to be our friends, because they get us “off the hook” for a little bit. I ran with those crazy cats for so long, and there's a bunch of 'em, I just got use to them. I put excuses to work and they made me feel alright about the poor decisions I was making for years. When the frustration and feelings of hopelessness are at their worst, and the decision is made to do it no matter what, that's when the “steel curtain zone” guards take their post. All of a sudden excuses and rationalizations are left at the gate wondering why you don't call anymore. You don't call on them anymore because you know that they're bad news. You have to place a negative value on excuses and rationalizations far greater than you ever did before. It feels over-dramatic to say that excuses and rationalizations are sneaky little cold blooded killers, but they are! You've got to assign any excuse that tries to get in your way the title of cold blooded killer. Because if your health ever becomes critical, and you realize your time is really up, you know what excuses and rationalizations will say? “Oops, too bad, I guess you shouldn't have given in over and over.” And then they'll go off to find some other victim to bring down.

I don't know what it was that made tonight's 3.6 mph on the treadmill feel like 4.0, but it was awesome. Maybe the treadmill I climbed on tonight was amped up a little, or maybe the one I did the 5K on the other night runs a little slower. I don't know, all I know is, I was working harder than ever to keep up. The sweat was rolling, and when it would sting my eyes, I would close them. My heart rate was awesome. I was a fat burning machine on that thing! I could've stopped short of my “hard 2 mile” plan tonight, because of the sweat stinging my eyes and my overall tiredness, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't stop until it turned over 2 miles. The excuses were screaming at me... “you're tired! That's why it feels harder tonight!” and “Hey, watch the eyes, ouch, ouch...ok, enough of this, we need to go wash our face and invest in a headband, then we'll get back after it tomorrow.” These excuses were powerless to my steel curtain zone. They didn't stand a chance and I felt so accomplished in finishing what I set out to do. It was easily one of the best workouts I've had in a while. Even topping the recent 5K's!

I spoke with a young woman today who told me she reads my blog almost everyday. Almost? Yes, almost. She was overweight, and like me, obesity has been a constant struggle her entire life. She was complimentary and I thanked her for the kind words. She then shared that sometimes she has a hard time reading because she relates too much to my experiences and feelings, and it hits home, straight to her heart, stirring up all the painful emotions that obesity can bring. She shared that her medicine for a chronic condition had a side effect that created an enormous appetite, leaving her feeling even more desperate and scared. I really didn't know what to say to that. The pain that showed in her eyes was so familiar to me.

If you're reading this today, just know I'm here to listen and offer any advice or suggestions I can. Just keep in mind, I'm not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian. I'm just a guy who's tired of being fat and who's been back and forth down this road many times. I certainly don't know everything, but I've discovered that mental exercises play a bigger role than physical exercises. I'm a guy who can't help but tell people about how I feel, it's my passion. I want to get to where I'm headed, and then spend the rest of my life motivating and encouraging people to do the same. What could be better than that? Good night and...

Good Choices,

Medium Diet Limeade: Under 10 calories!


  1. Your funny little infomercial for diet limeade made me laugh! I'm still sticking with water and unsweetened tea for now, though. I'm also toughing it through the start of calorie counting--I'm at the end of day 4 now. It's not easy by any means, but so far, so good. I already feel lighter (less sluggish) which is a good feeling.

    I'm not in the steel curtain zone you described in this post, but at least I'm in the zone. I find that I really have to plan my meals ahead of time, writing down all of the components and figuring out the calories, and then sticking to the plan (allowing for adjustments as needed--there has to be some flexibility: life happens!). If I can make it through breakfast without blowing the plan it gives me confidence in my ability to make those good choices you keep promoting the rest of the day. It sure is tough when there is more day left after all the calories are used up! You have my utmost respect for towing the line and sticking to your 1500 calorie limit, no matter what, and for continuing to exercise daily.

  2. Oh, that just cracked me up!! Loved the little infomercial. Now, I wish I had a Sonic around here. :)


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