The Emotion Ocean and The Mix Tape of Our Mind
Since crossing the 200 pounds lost milestone on Wednesday, I've talked about the major elements of my success. It's been an amazing journey so far. But in talking with a struggling friend today, I realized something. I realized that talking about the mental changes being 80% of this battle, and talking about all of the little and big psychological gymnastics I've done to stay consistent, well, it just doesn't go deep enough. So take a big breath and let's go diving into the deep waters of our emotion ocean.
Is your past in complete command of your future? Have you given it control of your life? What are you afraid of? What is your biggest fear? Whatever your answer to the last question is, that's what's holding you back. I've always had a fear of not living up to my potential. Never following through. Never becoming what my teachers, family, co-workers, coaches, and comedy colleagues just knew I could be. Potential. Do I fear my potential? Or do I fear not living up to that potential that everyone is so certain I hold within? I've never had a problem convincing people to believe in me, but I've had a devil of a time convincing me to believe in myself. It's like I've had a mix tape playing over and over in my head for so many years. That mix tape would say horrible things to me, and it made me believe them. You'll never live up to your potential. You'll always be fat and ugly. You'll never realize any professional success in broadcasting beyond a small market level. You'll pass your horrible behaviors with food onto your children. You're worthless and not worthy of success. Who do you really think you are? You're just a poor kid from the projects that will never amount to anything special. And you're stupid, an uneducated buffoon just faking his way through life, trying to convince everyone that you really have a clue. What does the mix tape in your brain say everyday to you? I guess what I've done is this: I've hit the eject button on that old mix tape. Then, I destroyed it. It will never play in my mind again. Never. I've made a new mix tape. What I hear in my head everyday now is this: You will exceed your potential in ways you can't even fathom at this point. You will be healthy, thin, and handsome. Your success in broadcasting, motivational/inspirational speaking, and anything you decide you want to do is only limited by your imagination. Your example and guidance for your family is exemplary. You're worth is immeasurable and success is yours for the taking, go ahead, you deserve it. You are a man of integrity with amazing abilities of communication. You're a kid that was raised through humble beginnings completely surrounded by love and acceptance. You're a self-educated intelligent human being who doesn't have to convince anyone of anything. Big difference huh? What we tell ourselves everyday is what we become. It's true my friend. So why after a lifetime of fighting obesity am I breaking free so wonderfully now? Because I destroyed that old tape and replaced it with something worth listening to. How do you make a new mix tape for your brain? Write it out, memorize it, burn it into your brain, and most importantly...Believe it. Maybe it's too much to replace everything all at once. Replace one at a time...transform how you think about yourself at whatever pace you're comfortable. This is what Mr. Ralph Marston is speaking of when he talks about no outside force holding you back. You're holding you back.
Your old mix tape was made over time. It is the product of your past. And if you continue allowing the past to determine your future, then you'll always get the same result. Don't allow your past to own you, OWN IT. Put it in it's place. Let the past know that it's effects on your future are over right now. Don't try to completely forget about the past. A good friend of mine told me, very recently in fact, that you can't amputate your past and walk freely into the future. Your past is your story. It's made you who you are today, good or bad. But you can immediately decide that it will no longer control your future. And someday, that complete story that is you can and will shine as a light of hope to others. Letting them know that anything is possible, anything at all.
I honestly didn't know what I was doing when I started. But I was doing these things, accidentally stumbling upon epiphanies that would prove to be life changing for me. It wasn't until recently that a couple of good friends clarified exactly what I've done by sharing “the mix tape” analogy. Something else that they shared was something I've done without realizing for the last 327 days: I've been “acting as if...”
I've acted as if I was a normal responsible eating individual. I've acted as if I was someone who cared about exercising. I've acted as if I was someone that could share my story and help others along the way. Three very powerful words: “Acting as if.” Why are they so powerful? Because you become whatever you put into your brain. When you're “acting as if,” you're training your brain to accept and transform to what you desire to become. And you will.
So now you know where my resolve comes from. Now you know why my consistency level is unwavering. Now you know why I'm so passionate about sharing my story, my triumphs, and my struggles. Is it perfect? No. I've said that many times along this road. It doesn't have to be perfect my friend. Striving for perfection is the quickest detour to disappointment. But if we continue with a positive consistent effort, and we change the way we think about ourselves...then our success is practically guaranteed my friend. You will not be able to stop it from happening. And don't be afraid of success. Go ahead, you deserve it. And the great thing about weight loss success? It happens slowly over time, allowing you to adjust and get use to the new you. You're going to absolutely love it.
Today was actually a busy day at work. It's been a crazy food day, starting with smoked chicken and a banana for breakfast. What? I know! Crazy huh? But I was in a hurry and I just grabbed things from the fridge. I enjoyed a 110 calorie ice cream bar this afternoon. It's a delightful way for me to enjoy my most powerful craving in a nice normal calorie friendly serving size. We're headed to the trail for a quick 5K power walk. I think I'll use the last of my calories for another ice cream bar right now. Why not? I have to fast after midnight so I can have my blood work evaluated tomorrow. I can't wait to see my numbers after losing 201 pounds. I'm excited! Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...