Make Your Someday Today Podcast : Reach Your Goal Weight and Become the Person You Deserve
Summary: Each short show focuses on a single piece of the weight loss puzzle. The show is all about achieving your goal weight and living the life you want, of being the person you deserve to be. These tips, trick and secret life hacks are all common sense advice, and exactly what I am doing to reach my goal weight. I am a Registered Nurse, with cardiac and emergency nursing experience. I use that background to help me find different actions that will bring me the desired results.
What if you could take just five simple steps and effortlessly lose up to 2.5 pounds a month? Without changing what you eat, logging your food, or increasing your activity? Would you give that a try? Photo via PickUpImage.com ————————————————————— Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All photos published on PickUpImage.com are licensed under Creative Commons Zero
Like the oft-quoted Yoda in Star Wars, “Do or do not. There is no try” I make it more blunt. Do it. Now. Or don’t bother. Here is one of the first “tough love” episodes. This show may cost me listeners. I will take away a number of excuses that people use when they fail at their goal of weight loss. I am certain I will alienate a few listeners and anger a few others. Tough. I am who I am, and I cannot be anyone else. Photo via Unsplash.com, by Dan Carlson. ————————————————————— Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero
“Help! I need motivation!” How many times do I read that in LoseIt! from members who are not losing weight. And unfortunately, no one can help them. Oh, we can inspire them, but that really doesn’t do much. Inspiration are the cheerleaders at a football game. They make people become excited, but they don’t change the outcome of the game. Motivation is inside the players themselves. Photo via PickUpImage.com, by Miliman ————————————————————— Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All photos published on PickUpImage.com are licensed under Creative Commons Zero
A listener (and fellow LoseIt! user) asked me “What is the secret to your success?” Do you want to know? Really? Are you willing to do something that is stupidly simple and ridiculously difficult at the same time? —————————————- Photos are by me. Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!
In the last show, I talked about what BMR meant and why it was important. In this show we get into more details of the consequences of ignoring your BMR. Weight loss is all about calories in, calories out, but eating very few calories will not necessarily give you the results you want. Photo via PickUp Image.com. Photo by PeopleShot ———————————————————- Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All photos published on PickUp Image are licensed under Creative Commons Zero
Everyone talks about BMR. But really, what is it? And why do I need to worry about it? Just like many numbers in your life (social security number, phone number, blood pressure) your BMR is a vital measurement. In this case, it measures how many calories you would burn in 24 hours, even if you were comatose, in a hospital. Why does that matter? If you ignore it, you will develop problems. ———————————————————————- Photo via PickUp Image.com. Photo by PeopleShot Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All photos published on PickUp Image are licensed under Creative Commons Zero
Why are some people successful, and they remain so, while others reach their goals, only to slide back into defeat? Is it avoidable? This show will talk about what I did wrong in my weight loss journey. This story will be a familiar one for anyone who has had some measure of weight loss success, because it is very common. Failure is not permanent. But neither is success. Success is a journey that requires constant attention. Photo via Unsplash.com, by Patrick Fore. ————————————————————— Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen! All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero
It has been a long time since the last episode, and many things have changed in my life. Many changes have happened to me, and changes alter everything. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. But the show is back and it is also changed. For the good, I think. These will be shorter shows, averaging 12-14 minutes and will focus on different aspects of weight loss. (This show is longer than most at about 17 minutes.) Each show will talk about just one concept. Each concept will be another piece of the weight loss puzzle. These are shorter than most of the earlier shows, because I want everyone to have chance to listen, without a large time commitment. And the shows are going to be twice a week now. New shows will released on Mondays and Fridays. I’ve chosen those days because I think they are the biggest days for people trying to lose weight. On Monday, many people are frustrated from have made poor choices over the weekend and on Monday morning are looking to “get back on track”. Hopefully a new show will help restart your drive to succeed. Friday is different. It is the day before the weekend starts, and therefore is my last chance to give you a bit of help. I want these shows to give you more strength to stay on track. Please tell me what you think of this new show, and the forthcoming episodes! And, if you enjoy the shows, I would really appreciate if you shared a link to the shows so that others can listen and hopefully learn something new. ————————————————————— Music composed and performed by Jason Shaw, courtesy of Audionautix.com Voiceover courtesy of Matt Young. Matt is a professional voiceover artist. If you have any need of voice-over work, for your podcast, radio spot, or whatever, you can reach Matt by a variety of methods. He is on LinkedIn. On Twitter. And Google+. And you can read his really nice, contemplative blog. Matt was also my guest on MYST 54. Give his story a listen!
Photo by Vincezo Di Giorgi via StockSnap “Don’t put in half the effort, unless you are okay with half the results!” What an excellent motto. I’m happy to say that I wrote it….well, I wrote it after reading it in a LoseIt Community group from another member. (Today’s show is not going to exclusively be about weight loss.) I’ve mentioned this many times before (and I will continue to for as long as I run this show) but I am very active using the app LoseIt for weight loss. Actually, I am one of seven Ambassadors who work to help provide some guidance to the millions of members, and especially the newer members who may need a bit virtual hand-holding. But not all guidance is from the Ambassadors. In fact, the amount of help we provide is trivial when compared to the hundreds—no thousands—of posts every day from experienced and successful member who only want to share their ideas and help others find success. Theordora has been a LoseIt member since May 2015, and already she is an active and enthusiastic supporter of everyone around her. She is still actively working toward her weight loss goal, and so her words of wisdom are from the perspective of someone who still struggles day after day, and who victoriously emerges from the fight each day. Or…sometimes her victory isn’t as obvious, but she never quits and is always a positive influence. “Don’t put in half the effort, unless you are okay with half the results!” That applies to everything in life, not just weight loss. I mean, LoseIt is all about counting calories and finding a healthy weight, but for me, it is much more than that. LoseIt is a support system. It is a family of “virtual friends and neighbors” who are always ready to lend a helping hand, a few words of wisdom, or that gentle kick in the butt if needed. I needed those words today, for a few reasons, none of which having to do with food. My legs hurt today. Yesterday, I rode 120 miles to an incredibly exciting meeting for our school’s union (I am the local president). I am still not permitted to drive, so my vice-president drove me.) Two hours there. Seven hours sitting, trying to stay awake. Two hours driving home. I arrived home with legs as stiff as possible. And they are not much improved today. And they hurt. Walking is painful. Sitting is painful. I realize it sounds like I’m whining—and maybe I am—but bear with me, I have a reason. I was feeling sorry for myself. I didn’t want to do anything but sit in my chair with my dog on my lap. I wanted to be at ease. I wanted to rest. But how will sitting and resting help me fully recover from my knee replacements? (Answer: not at all!) I was acting like my students. They carry their books in their backpacks, but rarely open them, assuming that the knowledge will magically migrate from the printed page to their brains without any effort. Me? I’m hoping that if I rest enough, my strength and flexibility will return without the effort of exercises. More specifically, without the pain of exercises. Pain hurts, you know? Mmmmm. How do you think that will work? Tomorrow I see my physical therapist, Nick. He is going to measure my knee flexion. Resting is easier, but do you think that will give me much improvement? No. All morning I was giving far less than 100%, yet knowing that tomorrow, I would be hoping for 105% improvement. The same applies to this show. I’ll be honest (as if you don’t already know) but I am struggling with MYST. I still enjoy running a podcast. I enjoy the recording, and the transcribing, and the promoting. But I am running low on enthusiasm. I’m running low on ideas. I want to have my show, but I am acting as if putting in 50% effort is en...
or or Which is it? Diet or Exercise? When people hear that I once weighed 305 pounds (138kg) and was able to lose—and keep off—125 pounds (57Kg) I still get asked the same question: “So? What’s your secret?” As if there is a secret to successful weight loss! I almost always get the same response to my reply: “Diet and exercise.” It is a little half-frown, a micro-step backwards, and then, “Ohhhhh.” As if that secret wasn’t good enough. But that is it! Diet: in other words, eating the correct amount of calories and Exercise: moving more to burn more calories. Nothing else. But…there is more to it than that! This show will focus on the three phases of weight loss, and how “diet and exercise” remains the foundation of successful weight loss even as how “D & E” habits become modified through each phase. Nothing can stay the same and remain successful. Things always change, even how you lose weight. And first, I want to thank one of my LoseIt friends, Mike Pfirrman. He posed a question in the LoseIt forum about this topic, and in crafting a response, I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever really addressed this specific topic. So, thank you, Mike! I hope that your question will eventually help many people, even beyond the world of LoseIt! His question was “If weight loss happens in the kitchen, why am I reading than nine out of ten people who are formerly obese, regain all their weight over a 5 year period if they don’t exercise?” His question actually addresses not “weight loss” but “weight maintenance”, which requires a different mindset. But I will get into that shortly. The genesis of his question is that many people come to LoseIt as ask what exercises they need to perform in order to lose weight, and the stock answer is a variation on this: “Weight loss happens in the kitchen. Fitness happens in the gym. Focus on eating correctly, because you can’t out-exercise bad eating habits.” And I stand by that answer. It is true. Mostly. In this show, I will dissect it more accurately, addressing each weight loss phase. The first phase is “Early Loss.” Especially when a person has a lot of weight to lose (50 or more pounds) it is not uncommon that not only is the person overweight, but they are also under-active. And their lack of activity is partly due to low/no stamina, painful joints, shortness of breath or other weight-exacerbated conditions that already exist. Could an overweight person focus on exercise only and lose weight? Certainly. Will they? Unlikely. If a person has been sedentary long enough combined with bad eating habits, becoming consistently active enough to promote significant weight loss is probably not a realistic goal. I will take myself as an example. When was 305 pounds, I struggled to slowly walk a quarter mile (400m) with my dog Ozzy. By the time I reached that point, I was short of breath to the point of being lightheaded. I had no stamina. Physically, I was all I could do to walk that short distance. If someone had told me, “Trevor, the only way to lose weight is to start a P90X routine” my response would have been, “Sure. Right after I eat this container of ice cream.” No. In that “early loss” phase, we need to focus on something that is equally hard but within the realm of physical possibility. We need to focus on finding a correct diet. And by “diet”, I mean calorie budget. Personally, I do not subscribe to the idea that any one food, food group, or macronutrient is the source of all weight problems. I know that many people have strong beliefs about this. Some promote eating paleo, some promote low fat, some promote gluten free, some suggest no artificial sweeteners,
Where was I? Did I abandon you? In my last show, I promised that you’d get another episode in the following week, and that while you were listening to it, I’d be in the hospital recovering from my bilateral total knee replacements. Obviously, that didn’t happen. And the reason it didn’t work are actually a good lesson that I needed to learn. Maybe you will be able to learn from it, too. This episode will be about my surgery, and I will go into a fair amount of detail, partly to explain why I was absent, and partly to remind myself of exactly what I went through. I made a mistake. Yes, I know. Shocker, but I’m not perfect. See, I’m a registered nurse with 19 years of experience. I teach at a local college, and I have groups of clinical students at a local hospital every semester. Knee replacements are a common procedure that we see. Consequently, I am familiar with their treatment course. I have been unofficially working with a physical therapist who gave me a number of exercises to speed my progress and I actually did practice those prior to surgery. I’m also a guy, and as such, I can be blinded by my ego and assumptions. I know how all those patients do after their knee surgeries, and since I am only 51 and in generally good health, not only will I naturally recover faster, but my knowledge of what to expect will give me an added edge. That will allow me to quickly advance through the inpatient recovery period with maximum functionality. I’ll probably be the one patient who is ambulating up and down the halls all day, just exercising my legs and preparing for discharge. And I know how to stay on top of the pain, yet not use too much pain medicine that could fog my brain a little. Um. Do you have the sense of some foreshadowing in that paragraph? Do you see possibly where my plans might fall apart? It all started before the surgery, which was Wednesday, May 20 at 7:15am. In anticipation of my convalescence period, I spent the preceding weeks doing as many household tasks as possible, because I knew that I would be very limited for a few weeks. And as the surgery approached, I realized that I didn’t have time to record an episode for Thursday, May 21. With everything I needed to accomplish, I needed to complete items that had a higher priority than the MYST episode. (As much as I need all of you, and appreciate your listenership, I live with my wife and her needs must be met first.) But that’s okay. I had a plan, and I thought it a pretty good one indeed! My surgery was early in the morning on Wednesday. I knew that I wouldn’t be doing any physical therapy that first day, so my only activity will be resting and keeping up with pain control. I’d be out of surgery by noon, and in my room by 1pm. A few hours napping off the anesthetic, and then I’d be relatively awake and alert. As evening rolled around, my wife would go home (she had to teach the next day) so I’d be alone in my room. A room with wifi. And so in addition to my computer, I also brought my portable microphone, because I was going to record a show “on the road”! Yes, I would record a show from my hospital bed, and get it loaded and ready to publish for all my awesome listeners. Plan #1: Record on the night of surgery for an interesting point of view. Dead on Arrival. About the only part of that plan to be accurate was “my wife would go home”. I was never fully awake and alert. I think I have good pain control. I know I was getting pills every 4 hours, and occasional IV morphine (probably relates to me not being awake and alert.) But I had other issues that night. For surgery, I chose to have a spinal block. That is where the anesthesiologist injects the anesthetic into my spinal canal, and that deadens everything from about the navel down to the toes. I chose that because it actually provides about 2-6 hours of relief after the surgery, allowing he long acting anesthetic that my surgeon ...
Six Essential Techniques to Guarantee Failure at Anything You Attempt! Success? Sure, we all want success. Or at least we think we do. But so many people seem afraid of success that they self-sabotage their plans, which inevitably brings about the failure that so consumed their lives with worry. If you are going to worry about failing, and think only how bad it will feel to not achieve your goals, I guess we need to make sure that you are able to achieve your absolute and abject failure as quickly and painlessly as possible. That way you will have more time to worry about your next doomed plan. I’ll steal from David Letterman, counting backward from the least likely to bring catastrophic failure to the one that is sure to end your plans, but unlike Mr. Letterman, I was able to refine my list to the top six essential techniques. Number 6 Set a Goal which is Too Aggressive or Based on Fantasy People who embark on a weight loss journey often want to reach their goal as fast as possible, so they vow to eat only 500 calories a day until they lose their 150 pounds. Or they announce “I will only eat foods that begin with the letter X Y or Z.” Or “I will only eat food that is orange.” That will not work. Trying to lose that aggressively will give you rapid losses—for a few days—and then your feelings of starvation will creep up and urge you to “have just one piece of bread” and soon all your previously controlled dietary needs will crash upon you and you will regain everything that you lost, and then a few more pounds. And you will say to yourself: “See? I know it wouldn’t work.” Maybe you have a physical goal: I will walk the Appalachian Trail, but I will be the first person to walk the entire 2160 miles backwards so that I can become famous! You’ll be famous. In your own mind, because before you get to the first camp shelter you will have fallen, hit your head on a rock and hopefully knocked some sense into you. Or your Appalachian Trail goal could be a little more realistic: Hike the entire length but setting a new speed record (hiking it in less than 46 ½ days. Is that doable? Maybe. But I’ll explain more in… Number 5 Skip the Legwork So you want to hike the AT fast? If you don’t practice, hiking in all conditions, in all terrains, and have huge mental, physical and emotional stamina, you won’t succeed. You will burn out and fail. And you will realize that everyone who said “It can’t be done” was right all along. Legwork is all the preparation needed for any endeavor. If you want to start a podcast, you should listen to many different shows for examples of what works and what doesn’t. Then find someone to help you learn the secrets. (Meron Bareket was my teacher with his Podcast Starter Kit.) Can you do it on whim, and completely alone. Yes, certainly. And iTunes has hundreds or thousands of shows where the creator made a couple shows and then quit. They worked themselves into failure. If you want to lose weight, you actually need literal leg work—get off your butt and move! You can count all the calories you want, and eat all the gluten-free, GMO-free, fat-free food you want, but if you are not burning more calories than you eat—because you are moving more than you used to move—you will do nothing but fail at weight loss. If your goal is to become CEO of your company and you currently work in the mail room, you need a plan on how to move up. It won’t just happen because you carry the mail to someone in a corner office. You can read all the self-help books you can find, you can combine The Secret with Think and Grow Rich and How to Win Friends and Influence People, but if you don’t actually implement any of those strategies, you might as well have simply continued to read your Spiderman comic books. (Maybe a magic spider will bite you and transform you!) No,
Starting over. When we were kids, we’d call it a “do-over”. Golfers sometimes use the phrase “a mulligan.” In any case, they amount to the same thing: what came before does not count. What happens next is all that matters. Photo by Skitterphoto.com via StockSnap.io How many times do we truly start over? Oh, if you are trying to lose weight, it is common to succeed for a while, then regain all that weight and begin losing weight again. Or if you are creating a project, you might decide in the middle that everything is wrong and start a new project. Those are types of “do-overs.” But when was the last time you made a major change to your life? I bring this up because I my wife and I decided it was time to make a change. To start over. And we can’t wait! And maybe this will help you decide it is time to change, too. Let me give you the backstory. We’ve been married for over 29 years, and will celebrate our 30th anniversary this September. We’ve only ever lived in Wisconsin for our entire marriage (and that won’t change) but have lived in four different—and very distinct—towns, with a total of nine different addresses. We’ve lived in Green Bay for most of our marriage, since 1991. We started renting a single bedroom apartment, then a 2 bedroom duplex. We bought our first home in 1993, our second in 2001, and our current home in 2006. Each home was bigger than the last. Our current home has 2700 feet of living area, plus 750 ft of storage space in the basement, plus a three and a half car garage for storage. And for each home, we gathered more “things”. Holiday decorations. Furniture. Tools. Appliances. Books. Household do-dads and widgets. That basement storage area of about 750 sq ft (about 70 sq meters) and it is full, floor to ceiling with “stuff”. Oh, it is very well-organized, in labeled boxes, but it is full. As is the rented storage unit (300 sq ft, or 28 sq m). Our garage is full of furniture and equipment filling one and half stalls. Just writing that makes me queasy with all that. My life is full of “stuff”. That isn’t an accomplishment, it is more of a sign of a cluttered mind. That is the backstory. The rest of the story is that my wife and I want to move. We want to find “the perfect home”, and we realize that may mean building it. And it may mean buying a new home before we can sell our current home (which can be expensive if the home doesn’t sell) because the type of home we want is popular and tend to sell fast! We’ve been looking at homes. So far, none have been satisfactory. Last night, we did something different. We looked at an apartment. It is a one bedroom place, with a small den. It has 1000 sq ft (93sq m), no basement, and only a single stall garage (plus outdoor parking.) It is small, but very nicely designed. It is part of a large complex of buildings, with over 200 apartments in total. And we loved it. We have already completed our applications, and are hoping for an August 1 move in date. That is scary! We are going to pare our lives down to a basic level, a level that we have not experienced since our first apartment in 1985 after we married. We need to sell—or give away—lots of stuff. And to be honest, writing that gives me a feeling of apprehension combined with a giddy sense of freedom! We are going to truly downsize! That means giving up many activities that were time-consuming, but not all were bad. I will not need to mow or fertilize the lawn, but those were actually relaxing activities. No vegetable gardens, other than what I can grow in containers. No more shoveling the snow, or running my brand new snow blower, purchased last December and used for a total of five snowfalls last winter. That will be nice!
Photo by Tyler Thomas, via Unsplash.com “Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” Yogi Berra (Major League Baseball catcher, manager and coach) All of life, not just baseball, fits that quote. Successes and failures are mostly the result of our thoughts; our actions are the remainder of the cause. If you go into the classroom thinking “I hope I get at least a 60% on this test”, your mind is shooting for 60% as a goal, and you should not be surprised if you don’t get much more than that. Our mind controls our abilities. Let’s consider a few ways that our mind controls our body. If you play darts, and you need a bull’s eye to win, do you think “I hope I don’t miss the board!” or do you think “I am going to hit a bull’s eye”? When you play a round of golf, you approach the tee with your driver in hand, and address the ball. Do you think “Oh, please, I hope I don’t look up and hook it” or do you think “Straight and true, 300 yards, no problem”? When you shoot a rifle, you look down the sights, but you don’t focus on the sights. You focus on the target. With both eyes open. And you focus on as small of a target as possible. “Aim small, hit small.” Have you ever needed to write a speech? And you find that you have nothing. No ideas. You look into the creative well of your mind, and when you drop a pebble, all you hear is it hit a rock bottom? What is your first thought? If you think, “Wow, I don’t know what to say, I got nothing!” you will probably stay that way. For a long time. Writer’s block stems from the idea, no the unconscious belief, that you have no ideas. Your mind, as powerful as it is, will make sure your belief is realized. But instead, if you sit down with a note pad or laptop and just start jotting down thoughts, ideas, simple random neuron impulses, pretty soon you have a page full of things. Useful? Maybe. Maybe not. But you no longer have “nothing.” And maybe a word pops up and makes you think of another word. Our mind controls our body. Do you know why you hit your thumb when driving a nail with a hammer? (And if you have ever driven a nail, you have hit your thumb!) You hit your thumb because as you swing the hammer, you briefly look at your thumb to make sure “you don’t hit it.” And what happens? You hit it, because in that instant you looked at your thumb, your brain said “New target acquired and locked in!” (This thought is frequently immediately followed by “Direct hit—dammit!”) I used to be a bartender, and one of the most important lessons I learned was when you carry a drink that is full to the rim, never look at it while walking. You will spill it. But if you look at your customer as you walk, your focus will not be “don’t spill” but rather “deliver to customer, receive good tip.” When you want to reach a goal, you need to focus on your goal. Make “achieving your goal” the focus. How many of your watch (or play) football? Living here in Green Bay, Wisconsin, we are required to occasionally reference football. Often I will watch a game and one team will be dominating the other and by the last 5 minutes they might have a 14 point lead. To win, all they need to do is prevent the other team from scoring two touchdowns and a final 2-point conversion. The leading team goes into the…dreaded “Prevent Defense.” Yes. Their focus changes from scoring and beating the other team to “not losing their lead.” In the “Prevent Defense”, the team is willing to allow short to moderate gains but spreads their defenders out to contain against the long passes. And what happens almost invariably? The other team quickly scores a touchdown, and starts a come-from-behind victory. Why? The leading team was more worried about not losing than they were about winning. Meanwhile the underdog team was even more focu...
“I want a donut! I have no willpower!” When was the last time you thought that? Maybe you have even shouted it, as you reach for a second donut at the office, or into that bag of dark chocolate covered almonds for the second—third?—time that evening? We all want more willpower. But what is it? Willpower is the ability to force yourself to do things that you really do not want to do. You are using the force of your mind to override what your emotions, habits, environment and peers want you to do. Willpower is strong. Willpower will help you accomplish tasks that are unpleasant, or difficult, or contrary to your personal preferences. Willpower will help you reach deadlines. Willpower will make you look like a superman! And you can run out of willpower. Why? It is so frustrating. You would think that the closer to your end goal, and the longer your chain of successes, the easier it will be to power through to the end. But how many of you pick a goal, make a lot of progress and then stumble, fall, and never get up? It happens. It is happening to me, right now. Last week we talked about being stuck, and how to un-mire ourselves. That isn’t my problems right now. Nope, right now, I am running out of willpower. I simply don’t want to keep fighting the weight battle. And it’s more than that, I don’t want to keep doing anything. What happened to me? I’m Coach T! I help everyone find more success…and yet I’m telling you that my only desire is to plant my butt in my recliner and watch Game of Thrones. What’s wrong with this picture? According to Baumeister and Tierny (2012) in their book “Willpower: Rediscovering the greatest human strength” willpower is not supplied infinitely. The more you use your mind to override your habits and preferences, the less you have and the harder it is to keep “powering on.” When you are on a weight loss journey, you are required to make constant decisions using willpower. Every day, for the entire journey, you need to make the same decision. Eat or not eat? Even if you pack a lunch (as I do) there will always be temptations around. Maybe someone brings a box of donuts to the office. Maybe you smell popcorn when you go to the gas station to pay for tank of gas. It might be the sight of pizza, or burgers, or chicken, in a television commercial. Maybe your goal is to write a book. You have been working on this for months. You average 1000 words a day. When you sit down at your computer, you want to write a day’s worth of words….but you notice those dirty dishes. Or you check your email. Or you watch a dozen cute kitten videos on YouTube. You don’t plan to procrastinate the day away, but your ability to override your curiosity (or bad habits) is not strong enough. Many things can happen to derail you off your planned path. Let’s look at some of the more common causes. * Are you bored? * Are you depressed? * Are you under stress (outside of this goal?) * Are you ill or injured? * Now that you are making progress, did you decide that the goal is not worth the effort? Let’s look at the first three, because they are connected. Boredom, depression, and stress are all emotional responses to our current situation. How we address each is based on the source of that feeling. Boredom might signify that your goal is not challenging enough. If your goal is weight loss, and you find yourself bored, you might need to make a change. Maybe you can change your menu for a while. Try a vegetarian—or vegan—diet for a month or two. Maybe you need to find a new cookbook, a new regional cuisine and make three new recipes a week. Maybe you divert from weight loss as your primary goal and switch to a fitness goal. (You can train for a half marathon,