Twenty One Years at Goal Weight

I entered the planet at nine pounds 14 ounces.

Assuming that to be normal, thirty years later, as a newly minted father, I panicked when the doctor informed me that my firstborn weighed six pounds six ounces.

Looking me in the eye, attempting to calm my jitters, he replied, “Six-six is normal. I promise he’s fine.”

“But I weighed ten pounds when I was born!” I protested.

“I can’t help it if you were cruel to your mother,” he replied.

Moral of the story: I was born big, and from that moment, packed on the pounds, tipping the scales at ten pounds for every year.

To explain, I weighed 50 pounds at age five, 90 pounds at age nine, and 130 pounds when I was a teen. From there, I accelerated, reaching 230 upon entering high school — poor timing to say the least. Of the 1107 students in my class, I was the second fattest. Further putting this in perspective, that was in the day when childhood obesity was an oddity, rather than unfortunately as it can be today, quite common.

Kids are brutal, so what were supposed to be some of my best years were anything but. Girls ignored me; guys badgered and bullied me.

Physical education was the lowest of the low.

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Avoiding Negative Drivers

Just to clarify, by “negative drivers,” I don’t mean people with road rage or people who tailgate.

“Drivers” are best thought of as models for inner patterns that influence our thinking, feeling and therefore the behavior we will do. Since they begin when we’re small children, one can say they are the voices of external authorities such as our parents. When we’re very young, we need our parents to direct us. However, as we age, we must take a look at what “drives” our behaviors and decide whether they’re still helping us or harming us. (For a great overview of drivers, follow this link.)

The five main drivers are:

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What Comes First, Happiness or Success?

It’s kind of a chicken and the egg thing.


Of course, you’ll be happier when you succeed at your goal. That  is obvious. The sense of accomplishment, success, self-confidence, and happiness are the natural result of achieving a goal.

But when do they start?

For example too often, many people say, “When I lose those 30 pounds, I’ll be really happy.” That makes sense; after all, the sense of accomplishment, success, and achievement (let alone better health and more pride of appearance) will indeed generate a sense of happiness. But, does it happen the day you reach pound number 30? Maybe it’s at 20? How about 15? Dare I say it, is it one pound?

To be successful, it starts on day one.

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Apparently, Losing Weight IS Rocket Science

For years, I’ve quipped, “Losing weight is not rocket science.

rocket-ship-and-planet

Shut your mouth and move your feet and you’ll drop the weight.” (The difficulty is all the “mental noise” that gets in the way.) Anyway, I’ve been proven wrong, as it apparently IS rocket science.

Let me explain.

I coach folks all across this vast land that find me via the internet or through referral. Of course, if they don’t reside in the community I call home, our sessions are via phone. Consequently, it’s unlikely I’ve met them face-to-face, or even know what they look like. Most times, unless it comes up in conversation, I am unaware of their vocations, as my purpose is to help them guide them past the pitfalls of shedding weight or changing another habit they don’t like about themselves.

With that as backstory, after calling my client, he asked me to hold while he shut the door to avoid disturbing his co-workers. This prompted me to ask, “What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a rocket scientist,” he said, “I study [something I couldn’t even begin to understand about solar winds].”

After getting past my initial geek-fest about really working with someone who is doing what I would have loved to do (if I was willing to have been a better student in college of course), we got down to brass tacks about his progress; which had hit a rough patch. Most people who are losing weight — at a healthy and sustainable pace — drop maybe a pound a week as a long-term average. He had only shed about 16 ounces in three weeks, and was understandably disappointed.

However, what smacked me was how he handled this unhappy slow down.

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Monday Motivational Memo: Track it to Change it

That which is tracked grows (or shrinks).

pencils_and_diary

It’s proven time and time again. If you want to build something up, keep track of it.

  • If you want to make more money, track your finances.
  • If you want to improve your attitude, track how grateful you are.
  • If you want to be more fit, track how much exercise you do.

And of course, if you want to lose weight, track what you eat.

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