The Road from “Never” to “Now”

never-land-&-now-road

Changing a bad habit can be messy, frustrating, and unpleasant.

After all, if it was easy, we’d all be dropping bad habits willy-nilly, wouldn’t we?

It becomes easier if, instead of looking at it like, “One moment I’m here. The next minute I have to be all the way over there,” we understand it more as a series of stages.

I’ll assume one has left the initial stage of denial, and decided to — for example — lose a few pounds; accepting that either forever gaining weight or making a change are his only options.

He lands firmly in stage one: “Never.”

Here thoughts and feelings are extremely negative, perception being an excessive, laborious amount of work and discomfort for what appears to be a pipe dream result. Internal dialog is, “I will never be able to do that” with the obvious coda being, “…so why bother to try?”

In our example, the thought of sweaty, painful exercise; a starvation-level diet; anal-retentive tracking of calories; tasteless recipes; extensive shopping pattern adjustments; and – in general – being forever, always, never-ending conscious; triggers our synapses to scream, “No way! Can’t be done, ain’t gonna happen.” Crossing our arms, scowling, and firmly planting our feet, we refuse to budge.

Or so we think.

You see; the problem is that once consciousness has been raised it cannot never again be buried.

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Does This Harness Make Me Look Fat?

My friend celebrated his 60th birthday by jumping out of an airplane.

screaming parachutist

(Just to clarify, he was wearing a parachute.) When I asked why, he replied, “It was on my bucket list.”

“Wow!” said I. “I don’t think I’d have the courage to do something like that.
Good for you.”

Understand I am not a very adventurous sort, and furthermore, nothing on my “bucket list” has even a remote possibility that while engaging in the activity, I could end up in pieces small enough to fit in said bucket. After all, the way I look at it is if God wanted us to jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane, he wouldn’t have given them locking doors.

Now — should you be so inclined — before mounting high horse and considering me sans courage, realize I get my jollies as a public speaker. According to common knowledge, more folks are afraid of doing that than dying. Therefore, I safely rationalize that my skydiving sexagenarian buddy would watch me in front of an audience and say,

“Wow! I don’t think I’d have the courage to do something like that. Good for you.”

Check. And mate.

Recently, a speaking engagement had me presenting on a cruise ship.

(I know, it’s a difficult job, but someone had to do it.) If you’ve have not had the opportunity to be on one of these floating towns, understand they are indeed titanic. (Hmmm, poor choice of words; let’s just say they’re huge.) Moreover, our ship, Allure of the Seas, is the largest ever.

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Someday, somewhere, somehow…

At this very moment, a frustrated, frightened middle-aged woman is standing on a scale in a state of disbelief.

Depressed Overweight Woman

She hadn’t dare climb upon it for years, afraid of the number she’d see — and terrified of what it would mean. Today however, after finding nothing in the closet that fits, the anxiety of not knowing overrode the faux safety of denial.

Her fears were realized.

As she continues to stare at the number between her toes, confidence is dwindling. Lost, she understands she needs to do something. She’s also not sure she can.

Today, a foreman will unexpectedly be put face-to-face with the unpleasant reality that he isn’t as young as he used to be.

Long ago, feeling uncomfortable in ever-tightening pants, he shifted from a belt to suspenders. After all, he didn’t need to buy larger trousers; this was a temporary situation. As a million times before, he’d drop those “few pounds” as soon as things “settled down.”

Funny thing, that; they didn’t, and his belly now is profound. Having not been witness to his toes in a blue moon, moving has become laborious, bending a chore, and breathing — well, it’s just not as easy as it used to be.

Before today’s calendar changes pages, in the midst of a frustrating conversation with a client, his shortness of breath will ramp up severely; he’ll begin sweating profusely, feel light-headed, and become unmistakably aware of an overwhelming pain in his arms and back.

The day will end not at all the way he planned. [Read more…]

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Setting Realistic Goals During the Holidays

It’s okay to change your goals due to circumstances.

woman-resisting-cake

Simply because you have set a goal does not mean you are never allowed to change it.

As we move deeper into the holidays, it might be more difficult to stick to your goals (such as losing weight). That’s not a rationale for “giving up,” rather it’s an indication that you might want to adjust. After all, sticking to your program in January, when everyone else is doing it; is much easier than in December, when you feel like you’re all alone.

Adjust your goal to meet the conditions. Be realistic.

A goal “etched in stone” can be an excuse to give up when things get tough. Flexibility can be helpful.

You set the goals. They do not set you.

[Read more…]

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