How’s Your Gratitude?

The Dyess Boys!!

The Dyess Boys!!

I would say that I am a glass half full kinda guy. But, that glass can get half empty in a real hurry if things don’t go just right.
O.K.- let’s just say that I go and hop up on the scale. I have been working out all week and eating well and I am looking for a 4-6 pound loss for the week…. maybe this is a little ambitious, but certainly not out of the question. So- I hop and low and behold, a two pound gain. SHIT!!! ….Well, SHIT!! That sux!!! I wasted all that time, effort and mental anguish. Not even to mention that I didn’t have that cake!! So now what?
The thing is… it is SO easy for me to end up having a bad day. So easy for me to say SCREW IT- I think I’ll have some wings… not gonna make any difference anyway. SO easy for me to stop trying… stop fighting. Then, what happens the next morning??? It is just a little bit harder for me to get up and get going… a little harder for me to get to the gym.

This is the story of my life. And it doesn’t even have to be the scale. I mean, I could get in a fight with my wife… which I might add happened yesterday at 5am… I mean, WTH??? How do you do that at 5a.m.? BTW- I love her and think she is great- she just pissed me off momentarily… Or, I could have something happen at work and I could just EASILY move into a Twinkies/Doritos bender… I mean, this is NOT a stretch.

But then something happens. And this is the subject of my post today… something says to me that I need to thank God for all the things that I have. These two little boys that God has entrusted to me…. it is an awesome responsibility. Sure, I would love to have a nicer house, a better car than the crappy civic that I drive. I could have a better job and make more money and be more important… but if I want to stay on this path…. if I want to do my best every day… if I want to attack every day and make it the best that I can…. I have to show some gratitude!!!
Do you let the shitty things in life get the best of you?? Or do you roll with the punches? Get back up? Dust yourself off? Keep going? Work harder? Try harder? Eat better?
It is so easy to NOT move in the direction that makes our lives better. What do you do to flip that switch and CHANGE?

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”  ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Benefits of Weight Loss- Not Just Features

feature-vs-benefitYou know, I was reading the other day about sales presentations. I know… this is just one step up from watching paint dry and going to insurance seminars… but I was. Anyway, I was reading this thing and there was a very simple yet profound truth stated. It was, “People don’t buy features, they buy benefits.” It’s true… think about it. The last time you bought a car… it did not make any difference, really, if it had anti-lock brakes- this is a feature of the car. However, the real benefit to having anti-lock brakes is that you don’t make a star in the windshield with your skull the next time you get behind some blue hair, in a monsoon, in the parking lot at Walmart. The point is, you don’t really care about something till it helps you… till it benefits you. (BTW- insurance is the ultimate in this department- there are no features… just benefits)

So, I want to explore some of the BENEFITS of losing weight… maybe you can be sold on the idea.

1. Even minimal weight loss will help with several underlying health issues. Losing 10-15% of your body weight (Say from 256-236) can lead to decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol.

2. This same minimal amount of weight loss will increase your ability to regulate blood sugar… thus decreasing your risk for diabetes.

3. Improve your breathing and mobility. Now, a lot of folks may not be as big as I was… I was getting close to 300lbs… but I have noticed that it is A LOT EASIER to tie my shoes since I lost all this weight.

4. It has helped me sleep better. I was using a CPAP machine (that was the worst, most God-Awful thing ever invented) before the weight loss challenge began with People Magazine. Actually, I was still using it a few months in… then I was able to stop. My sleep apnea was caused by the fat around my neck… it was closing off my windpipe and waking me up at night… sometimes 40 or 50 times an hour. This is one of the big things that keeps me on the right track… the thought of having to use this machine again. Also, when I started working out… I slept a lot better because I was so tired.

These are just some of the things that are real benefits to taking charge. Hope these help sell you on the idea.

“People don’t want to buy a quarter inch drill, they want a quarter inch hole.”- Theodore Levitt

Why Is Change So Hard? Some Tips To Help

Well, I know all too well about this… I just lost my job a few days ago. Frankly, I saw it coming, so, not that surprising, but shocking none the less.

Not anything that I could really help. Not my fault. Extenuating circumstances. All beyond my control. Yeah… try explaining THAT to my super-low self-esteem.

I think that change is so hard because of the unknown. That and the fact that it gets us out of our comfort zone.

courtesy of reallifecoaching.net

courtesy of reallifecoaching.net

So, I’m going to try to keep my head up and give some advice to myself about change. How it works. How I can overcome. How I can attack the problem of how I am feeling.

Well, for me, it is as simple as one thing… my comfort zone. I don’t want to change because it  HURTS!!!! Physically and mentally.

According to Amy Brooks, L.P.T.A., A.T.R.-B.C., Licensed Behaviorist at the Baptist Nutrition Center, “Making healthy changes is hard work, and many people struggle with turning their good intentions into actions.” (Quoted from the Baptist Health Systems Healthsourse newsletter)

So, here are my tips to making changes happen or easing the blow of change that you may not have sought out:

1. Get educated the more you know… the easier it will be. Lately my wife has been doing this for us. She has been finding out all about the new places that we may live in the future (I’ve had some interviews), and she is giving me all the info. Cut through all the clutter that is out there and get a feel for the unknown. There is a lot of good info available right at your fingertips.

2. Join a team- By this, I don’t mean that you have to play flag football. I mean, get some folks around you that have similar goals—-  or at the very least will support you. These may be people you already know or they may be new friends.

3. Take baby steps- it is impossible to run a marathon the first day out there training… but if you work hard… walk– then run… you can train for it in less than a year. Break your goals into small bite-size pieces!!

I think that these 3 tips can help me… and can help you if you get into a situation where change is inevitable.

FIRST SALESMAN: I made some very valuable contacts today.

SECOND SALESMAN: Yeah, I didn’t sell anything today either.

God Will Help!!

Keep Calm GodMy wife came up with this one, so I have to give her all the credit- Here it is:
“Your thought for today, can become your mantra tomorrow, and a plan for the rest of your life. To get something you have never had, you have to do something you never did. When God takes something from your grasp, he is not punishing you. He is merely opening your hand to receive something better. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.”

I have heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So, the above is true… we have to do different things to try to change. This thought coincides with the thought that God is not going to give us anything that we can’t handle- with His help.

“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and and our shield.”- Psalms 33:20

Time To Work-Out— Change Your Life!!

weight-lifting-programsI have recently been involved with a Weight Watchers class. It has been, overall, a great experience. However, I don’t think that anyone is really interested in working out. Well, I am not going to lie… I think that you can lose weight if you just go on a Weight Watchers. But I also think that the ONLY reason that I have been able to maintain my weight loss over this past year has been because I work out. I mean, really, I like to eat WAY too much to be on just 35 “points” a day!!! That is RIDICULOUS!!! ONE PIECE OF CAKE IS LIKE 12 POINTS!!!! CRAZY!!!

I want to make a point here also about how to work out. You HAVE to do both!! Now, lots of people think that the only way to lose weight is to do cardiovascular (aerobic exercise). So they run a lot- like I do- And that is a great way to loose some weight. Eventually, though, they notice that while their bodies are a little smaller, there are still a lot of flabby parts.  Aerobic exercise is important for good health, but it’s only half of the equation. I don’t want to downplay the roll of running in my overall success- I think it had a big part in it. But I think that an overall fitness program is very important- meaning running (cardio) plus lifting weights or resistance.

For optimal fitness, weight training is a must. If you avoid lifting weights because you’re afraid of getting “bulky,” – or you just don’t really like it… then you’re missing out on one of the best fat-burning methods around.

When you’re weight training, don’t rely exclusively on the scale to gauge your progress. (When I did the People Magazine Weight Loss Challenge– I lost 12 inches in my waist- This might be better than the scale). You can use a body fat tester or a tape measure to track how many inches you’re losing. The size of your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you expect. After all, the muscle will weigh more than the fat. And lets keep our heads in the game here… what is really more important? Your weight or your shape?

If you’re still not convinced that you need to lift weights and do cardiovascular exercise, here are some reasons why you should reconsider.

Burn more fat. Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle. When you do weight-training- your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward. During regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout.

Change your body shape. You may think your genes determine how you look. That’s true to an extent, but weight training can slim you down and change the way you look. Dropping only 3 percent of your body fat could translate into a total loss of 3 inches off your body. If you keep to your Weight Watchers diet (or just eat sensibly), you’ll burn more fat.

Boost your metabolism. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training AND dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

Get stronger and more confident. Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. Being strong is also empowering. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.

Fight depression. (THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SUBJECTS!!!) You’ve probably heard that cardio exercise can help alleviate depression, well, weight lifting has the same effect. So do both. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training. Many people find that regular strength training, in conjunction with psychological treatment, helps lessen their depression symptoms substantially.

I have gotten to where I can tell if it has been a couple of days since I worked out- simply by the way I “feel”.

Reduce injuries and arthritis. Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis.

Heart health. More than 480,000 people die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of people over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that exercise with weights can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure.

Defend against diabetes. In addition to keeping your heart  strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking diabetes medication. The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood, which can reduce complications from diabetes or even help prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place.

So, I know I have kind of hit you with a bunch of stuff about weight training… but really any exercise will help with your overall physical and mental well-being. Do these things  to keep in shape- or get in shape and you can help yourself in more ways than one.

I have a punishing work-out regimen. Every day I do three minutes on a treadmill, then I lie down, drink a glass of vodka and smoke a cigarette. -Anthony Hopkins

Make the Change Easy to Hit

I'm not the only baseball fan, am I? It's a change up...

I’m not the only baseball fan, am I? It’s a change up…

You know you should exercise more, right? You know that you should eat better, right? You know you know this… but sometimes, o.k., most of the time it is hard to change. Why do we resist change so much.

Well, for me, it is as simple as one thing… my comfort zone. I don’t want to change because it  HURTS!!!! Physically and mentally.

According to Amy Brooks, L.P.T.A., A.T.R.-B.C., Licensed Behaviorist at the Baptist Nutrition Center, “Making healthy changes is hard work, and many people struggle with turning their good intentions into actions.” (Quoted from the Baptist Health Systems Healthsourse newsletter)

So, here are my tips to making healthy changes happen: (BTW- you can apply these to LOTS of different goals)

1. Get educated- the more you know… the easier it will be. Follow this blog for healthy tips, tricks and maybe something funny about weight loss and change.. Cut through all the clutter that is out there. Even if you don’t regularly read this, there is a lot of good info available right at your fingertips.

2. Join a team- By this, I don’t mean that you have to play flag football. I mean, get some folks around you that have similar goals—-  or at the very least want to stay healthy. These may be people you already know or they may be new friends… just start working on it WITH someone else.

3. Keep a journal- especially a food journal. I talk to people time and time again that say… “I NEVER knew how much I was eating”… and this is true.

4. Take baby steps- it is impossible to run a marathon the first day out there training… but if you work hard… walk– then run… you can train for it in less than a year. Break your goals into small bite-size pieces!!

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”- Jim Rohn

THAT is Just Perfect

mottzar kitchenThe other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware.
In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food.
Too bad I was eating by myself. There’s nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Feel The Fear; Do It Anyway

bethnal-green-1On March 3rd, 1943 an air raid siren sounded in London. The citizens of London knew they were at war with Germany and that a retaliation attack was possible. But with nothing but the sound of the siren, panic and mass hysteria was the result. 1500 people tried to get down the steps of the Bethnal Green train station tunnel for protection. Londoners went into the “Tube Stations” to escape the bombs. One lady, carrying her small baby, tripped on the stairs and fell. Within a few seconds 300 people were crushed into the tiny stairwell. The chaos lasted less than 15 minutes, but 172 people were dead at the scene, with one more dying the next day.
No German bombers came that night. The largest number killed by any single bomb during the blitz in England was 68. The crush at Bethnal Green was the largest loss of civilian life in the UK in World War II. But bombs didn’t kill those people – fear did.
bethnal-green-signWhat we need to realize is that most of our fears are really nothing to be fearful about. There is a saying in Al-anon- it is- “I can’t, God can, I think I’ll let him.” To me, this means that we need to let God take care of everything. That does not mean that we lay in our beds, waiting for life to happen to us- we have to go out and make things happen, but it does mean that God will take care of us along the way.

Don’t be afraid of the unknown… it’s probably not that bad.

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.”- Marianne Williamson

I Can Guarantee Success

Success

Success

This is true! Well, not really. I can’t do it FOR you… but I can tell you how to have success for yourself.

This principle is one that goes back to the same ole thing that I have been talking about. That is, don’t be so hard on yourself. I am the world’s worst about this, so I need to write this to make sure that I follow my own advice.

Make sure that after you have fallen off of the wagon a bit… let’s say you are trying to lose weight… and let’s say you had a bunch of fried fish (what I did yesterday)…. Don’t freak out and then just say “screw it.” The bottom line is that I have changed my life and about 90-95% of the time, I DO eat right. It is not very often that I have FRIED ANYTHING… so it is not that big of a deal. Just pick up right where you left off. And don’t be hard on yourself. You know, we are not perfect!!!

In addition to this tip, I also want to share another with you. Now, this is one that I have seen in some materials that are about change. It keeps coming up over and over, no matter what author you are reading… it is —— (drum roll) —— establish short term wins! This means that you need to pick a time frame that you can live with and eat healthy. Once you accomplish that goal, then set another one for the same time period and go for it again. This goes back to what I have been saying about one day at a time.

It won’t be long until you will be able to see and feel the difference.

If you want to stop starting over… then stop quitting.- Unknown

Get A Little Help From Our Friends

Associated press photo- but that is me on the right

Associated press photo- but that is me on the right

So, a couple years ago, I was in this weight loss contest/event/reality show. You can check it out here. It was the People Magazine Weight Loss Challenge. And I won the damn thing!!! The way I did this was really three fold.

1. I had a real tough trainer. Former NFL player- bad-ass.

2. I committed to eating right… right portions, right foods.

3. The trainer had me in a GROUP exercise setting. I had help from all the people in that group. I ended up losing more weight than anyone else in the program… they were not in groups.

So, this past week, I was talking to one of the people that has become a good friend of mine through this process. She started her weight loss trip (SO TIRED OF THE WORD JOURNEY) not long after I started. I was asking her what she felt like was the difference this time around. You see, she told me that she had tried to lose weight several times (just like I had).

She told me that the difference was having a mentor… or a group of mentors that helped her. Now… I was one of the mentors, and I can say from my experience, that it was just as valuable to be a mentor as it was to have one. It was great to have those people to lead, but it was great to have them push us along as well.

So, in order to be successful, at least from our (my friend’s and my) perspective- it is good to help others- this way you can help yourself.

So, find a mentor- find a group of people to work out with, to try to accomplish any goal with. Get some support. We all need our friends- you can help some and be helped by others!

We live by encouragement and die without it; slowly, sadly and angrily- Actress Celeste Holm

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