Far From Perfect, Learning Everyday, and The Evolution of Good Choices
I started my Sunday morning with a big mushroom, ham and Swiss omelet. I say "big," and it was, with two 17 calorie egg whites and one 70 calorie whole large egg, extra mushrooms, 65 calories worth of Swiss, and a thin slice of Black Forest ham. The entire omelet checked in at 200 calories, certainly not big in the calorie department. Enjoying a big hearty and filling omelet like this for only 200 calories is the very thing I mean by "good calorie value." We're talking the most bang for my calorie buck!
I've received so many wonderful e-mails lately in response to some of my writing about over-coming food addiction and my methods and philosophy that have made this transformation road a joyous adventure. But you need to know, and if you've read the archives you do, I'm far from perfect. I'm learning everyday just like you. I feel without a doubt that the mental and food parts of the equation are certainly my strong suits. I'm not scared of food anymore. I control food, it doesn't control me...and those changes in me will last the rest of my life. It's one of those things that once you fully embrace, it sticks. We know too much to ever go back. But...
When it comes to discipline in the workout part of the equation---uh, yeah---I need serious help. Maybe after this water challenge ends in a week, Kenz and I can start working on an exercise challenge. Up until the start of this water challenge, I'd never consumed more than 64 ounces of straight water in one single day--at least that I can remember. I've been horrible with two very important elements: Water and workouts. So before you start doing exactly what I've done, just remember---the mental gymnastics to stay consistent and the food philosophy---yes, but when it comes to water and exercise---you can show me a thing or two.
I've said it over and over along this road...If I'm ever to realize the fitness level I dream about, I must change my lax approach to working out. I'm capable, I have zero good excuses for not giving 100% effort with exercise. I could rationalize that I've spent so much valuable time navigating and untangling a lifetime of food addiction and yo-yo dieting, that no wonder I haven't focused on the exercise as much as I should have, especially lately. Whatever...it will not make me feel better, because I know the truth. Here's that self-honesty mechanism kicking in: The truth is, I've become very comfortable with my transformation---and it gives me an out. I could also say that I've loaded my schedule to the point of exhaustion---but really, how long does it take to do a Richard Simmons DVD or my morning non-weighted strength training exercises? It was vitally important for me to get in that walk every single day in the beginning, it was absolutely necessary--but now, that urgency isn't the same.
You can go back 3 months, 6 months, and even a year and read this same kind of personal disgust in my workout discipline. So remember, I'm perfectly imperfect---and I've been that way this entire journey---and we're still 13 pounds from goal. I say that for a reason...Not to make me feel better about my lack of performance in the gym--but for a very important psychological reason:
Because we don't have to be perfect. If you're trying to be perfect, you're probably driving yourself mad. I can remember past failed attempts where I would allow myself to get discouraged if I thought I slipped up even in the slightest--it's all of the self-imposed rules we put on ourselves along this road that cause us unnecessary frustration. Where do they come from, these rules? They come from the conditioning we've had our entire lives on how weight loss is supposed to work. At the risk of sounding grandiose and boastful, the weight loss industry should get ready, because my success flies in the face of most conventional weight loss industry wisdom while making perfect sense. I've changed the way I look at weight loss and the entire industry, and I will keep writing and walking the talk everyday. Now, if I can just get a good workout...
I wasn't prepared food wise for a long rehearsal today. I had my water bottle and that's it. I really didn't plan on being there that long, so when an opportunity came about--I made my way to a convenience store for something good.
My good choices have evolved naturally and so wonderfully along this road. It makes it sometimes difficult to find something to eat in a convenience store. But I lucked out and found a banana and an all natural Clif Bar. It was more than just a snack really, at 350 total calories--it was lunch. I could have had some chips and maybe some beef jerky--but that would have been a good choice from early on this journey. Do you see how the definition of good choices must evolve naturally? And it's different for each of us. My taste have changed, improved really---it's one of the vital mental dynamics of my "nothing is off limits" philosophy. It's gradual positive changes in our choices that I believe have the best chance of sticking...and the only chance of delivering me from a lifetime of food addiction. No right or wrong foods, just right or wrong quantities---and that's where we have to be honest with ourselves.
Alan at Fools Fitness is a proud member of the PEWC. I was delighted to open this email from him today:
Foolsfitness is giving a thumbs up to the whole water idea in general. Fools Fitness even got the picture to prove it!!! We try to drink some daily… We even shower with the stuff ! A great story that came with this shot (see picture below), is immediately after a friend took the picture it started to sprinkle, then it started raining harder and harder. My impulse was to get back to the car, not that I cared much about being wet but I wanted my camera dry.
In the car I asked “Where’s the water jug?“ In my haste picking up my shoes I had forgotten the 5 gallon jug on the beach. It was down pour raining, but I shrugged to my fate and ran to get it. Look closely at that last sentence… see the word *RAN*? I had this weird epiphany half way through ,”Wait? I’m running…a distance?!” I got back to the car and gleefully giggle, “Did you see it… I *RAN*!” to the friend almost like a little kid says “Look momma! Look what I can do!” Let’s just say maybe it’s not a big deal for some folk…(and apparently not that person from that look of “so what?“ I got back) But if you can not remember the last time that you really sprinted, at least not vividly that feeling of flying, almost like there just be that slightest chance that you take one more step and just might float into the air… it’s like a little kid who finally takes those training wheels off their bicycle. I can run! Well, at least for a little bit…
It’s surreal… I guess I had this mental block telling myself “I don’t run” (which was very likely true for a very long time) but somehow I finally forgot to remind myself. I didn’t plan it and didn’t think about it and then it was almost like looking in as third person… hey, you know your running here, right? At Foolsfitness We are all about the water... we even swim in the stuff- Alan
Thank you Alan, very nice my friend! You win the award for the most water in your PEWC picture! Wow, a five gallon jug and a lake? You're rocking this thing like crazy! The sprinting--yes, I love it...let me clarify---I LOVE IT! When I go to the trail for a walk/jog 5K--I always do short burst of sprinting, because of that feeling Alan just described. After years of not being able to even imagine what it might feel like, it's the coolest thing to do. I'm right there with you Alan, maybe someday when we meet, we'll have a foot race. You game? ;)
I spent a bunch of time writing tonight and some other work in front of the computer. Some of my friends and family say I spend too much time writing, but seriously---what it's done for me is well worth the energy I've invested. This blog has, without a doubt, helped me change my life. It means a bunch to me. It's my record, it's my therapy, it's my escape from the prison of morbid obesity--it's my blueprint for change. A nice, comfortable evolution of good choices and a transformation that often leaves me in disbelief--and then I pinch myself, and yep---that's me and this is my life. I'm so very blessed. I give thanks everyday.
I'll be performing Monday night at the historic Poncan Theatre in downtown Ponca City. I play "Jim" in the ReAct production of "Wanda's Visit." If you're within driving distance, you're invited! I'll leave your tickets at the box office. Ok, actually it's a free performance--as we get ready for the state theater festival in Norman this coming weekend. I'm so excited that Kenz and her dad will be there in Norman for that big performance. I can't wait to post some stills from the play...And you know I will!
Thank you for reading. Goodnight and...
My 200 calorie omelet with mushrooms, ham, and swiss! It tasted much better than it looked!
Alan from www.foolsfitness.blogspot.com with a 5 gallon jug and standing in a lake. He's really serious about getting enough water! There's one week left in the PEWC, so email your pictures today!! Send the picture to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com