Sunday, October 15

Will-Building, and another day gone

Time... slips away, you know
Seems like every day it goes
A little bit faster
For me

Calendar books are fine
Watches that keep the time
But they don't explain this kind
Of mystery

Oh, all I know
Is just another day gone

I'm not the best at
These kind of tests, I get
A little bit nervous
Every time

Some spinning days
I can't remember my age
It shouldn't matter if I'm late
We're moving at the same rate

Oh, all I know
Is just another day gone

Time goes past
By so fast
Oh, we all know,
It's just another day
It's just another day gone

It's just another day...

Another Day Gone
lyrics to a song by me, circa 1991


Every day, another day of our lives pass.

I'm older today. Wiser? Maybe. Can't help but notice that I'm going to be moving along, every single day, whether I like it or not. Time, inexorable, never stops. A month from now, you and I are going to be one month older, no matter what.

Days are the currency of our life span. How will you spend them?

Next week, I will be a few pounds lighter. This week, I am a few pounds lighter than last week. And even when the weight on the scale isn't falling much, my size is gradually changing, my limber ability to move around improves.


Some days, it seems like I am challenged anew to stay on my eating plan. I don't have much problem with wrong-foods but a couple times I have. Usually it involves someone setting something sweet and bready down by me; I'm nearly beginning to think they should pay as much attention to banning donuts in public places as cigarettes.

Haha. I'm kidding, of course. A red-state libertarian, I don't believe they should ban anything. Unless it's done at the state-level, so people can move to the states with the laws they best agree with. And then, such banning should be by vote of the people or at least their representatives, not by old dudes in robes.

Then again, I don't believe the gov't should be in bed with the AMA, FDA, USDA, and all the corporate marketing interests that are perfecting their ability to kill our population verrrry slowly, so that we require the most amount of eternal 'treatment drugs' (which in turn cause other problems), either. Without which, the issue of banning junk would be a smaller issue for sure.

I once read this book called 'murder by injection' that was a detailed history of the founding of the AMA. Two other things it covered were
(a) a 1986 supreme court ruling from a case that proved the AMA had a mass conspiracy to discredit and destroy chiropractry (which was/is also heavy on nutrition and preventative medicine), by tactics that were basically just like the mob, and
(b) it had at the time of its writing, the board of directors of many gov't food- and health- related agencies, chemical corps, food corps and media corps, and then told you how they all related. All these people are related to each other.

It was probably one of the most shocking books I ever read. Privately published I believe, for obvious reasons, though I bet it can be found if one searches. The guy who wrote it was what I call an american paranoid, someone who is probably a bit obsessive but who has spent half their life in the library of congress researching stuff, and who has the good sense to provide facts that could be followed up on for confirmation, not just claims.


Gosh, how I digress. I was actually talking about time... and how time keeps moving on, every day, no matter what.

Yesterday I was tempted to eat something not lowcarb. And before I did so, I thought about it, and realized something a friend said to me long ago was right:

It really doesn't matter how long it takes you to lose weight. There is no point in my being demoralized over the long time period I am looking at, due to my size. The reality is that a year from now, we're going to be a year older. We can either be a year older fatter, the same, or thinner. It is totally up to us. But the time is pointless to stress about, since the TIME is going to happen either way.
The reality is that a year from now, we're going to be a year older. We can either be a year older fatter, the same, or thinner.

I imagined myself in my tomorrow, looking back at having blown it in the today. It wasn't a good feeling.

I thought about how blowing it can screw up insulin balance, cause cravings, sometimes lead to being off the wagon entirely. I thought about how I lost from 482 to 411 about 18 months ago (in 3 months) and felt so great, and then the pressure of family and high-carb foods and time and convenience made me make the lousy decision to go off low carb (and back to mainly fast food), which resulted in me starting over at 467 back on 9/18. I thought about how I felt when I restarted. About looking at the 411 number and thinking, "What if I had been on lowcarb the last year and a half? What number would that be now? How much less time would I have stretching into the future for weight loss to some healthy place?" It was a form of grief.

And then I imagined myself in a year, looking back on this year as a failure, being even heavier, and it was SO depressing.


Then I made a major effort to imagine myself in the future -- in tomorrow, in next week, next month, and next year -- damn proud of myself, so relieved, so glad about what I had accomplished. I closed my eyes and let those emotions really build inside me, higher and stronger, I was THERE, I had DONE IT. And the biochemicals of self-confidence and pride and success started flowing through me. And by the end of the brief visualization, I was done.

I would not be eating over-carbs that day.

This is a simplified version of a basic NLP technique. Act-as-if. Imagine you have the power, imagine that whatever you are having trouble dealing with is ALREADY DONE, and you are feeling great about it, and you are telling your friends about it, and you are making some hilarious story about it for others.


We are the heroes of our own movie of life. I love my MP3 player because I can put on something upbeat and classical and imagine that my actions have a soundtrack, as if I am in a character in a movie, and these are the things I am seen doing -- eating well, counting carbs, moving around even when I don't feel like it -- which I know is leading up to that happy ending.

Sometimes I tell myself, that if I were thin, I would exercise every day, and I would eat really well. Then I think, wait a minute. If I behaved that way now, I eventually WOULD be thin. And more importantly, by the time I got there, I would not be "reverting" to lousy habits that cause weight regain, it would simply be a way of life for me. If I daydream of that perfect-me who has the discipline to get up in the morning and exercise, why not make that real? Why does that person have to live in my head for the future? Why not make that who I am right now?

My whiner self complains. It points out that I cannot really exercise in a 'real' way at the moment. My attempt to do the 'slow burn' exercises, which are ideal for everyone but especially the obese, were utterly hilarious. I couldn't actually do even ONE slow situp or pushup for example, and let's not start on how hard it was to get off the floor, let alone rolling around like a beached whale while down there. But despite that, I have to say: I felt decent about myself after trying.

I felt like just the effort to put on some clothes I could exercise in (at my weight, putting on clothes IS exercise), and to do what I could -- no matter how pitiful compared to my former athletic self when young -- was something. That it mattered. That it was a healthy habit. Most importantly, that it was the kind of habit that "a person in charge of their life, disciplined and successful, would have." No matter what the scale or inches said, that made me feel like I was accomplishing something.


So I have a new plan. I call it "Will-Building."

My goal is that every single evening, I will come up with one specific thing that I will accomplish the next day. It might be 'sufficient protein' one day and 'exercise' the next. Ideally it will be the same thing for a week but as days and circumstance vary it might not be. It might even be 'shopping on my own at super walmart' (a whole exercise regimen of its own, sheesh). It might be 'recording everything I eat'. It should be whatever I want most but have trouble doing consistently.
It isn't about me not being fat. It's about me being the person I want to be. That is a much bigger picture of my life.

And when I can go 7 days successfully doing ONE thing each day that I plan ahead of time, then I want to make a goal of TWO things for each day for the next 7. If I blow it, I start the day 1-7 count over, until I have seven consecutive days of accomplishing that number of items.

(I got this idea from nuidog's 'cheat-free' approach on lowcarber.org. But I don't have a problem cheating. I have problems eating enough, taking enough supplements, drinking enough water, or exercising. I very seldom am even tempted with the idea of cheating by eating the wrong foods, and so far have never given in to it.)

The goal is not about losing weight, and it is not really about food though it can be. To me that's what makes it more important: although it is being initially applied toward such goals, the base of the exercise is much larger in scale.

It isn't about me not being fat. It's about me being the person I want to be. That is a much bigger picture of my life.

It is about being in charge of my own life. In many of the more esoteric traditions I've studied over the years, the first exercises are all about self-discipline, about learning to use the will as the muscle it really is, to make proactive changes in your body, your life and your whole reality. It isn't really any different with losing weight; I want to cause change in accordance with my will.

So first, I have to get my will cleaned up and shaped up and focused, so it can function as the powerful, life-changing (and sometimes even world-changing) tool it is capable of being.

Every day that I do my will, that I exercise my discipline, is -- just like if I had NOT done so -- another day gone. That day is going to pass no matter what I do.

Every time I look at the scale, I am not looking at what I accomplished right then, I am looking at what my will helped me to accomplish the previous day, week, month, year. Those days are going to go by for me, whether I am lowcarb or not, whether I am disciplined or not. Every week I am going to look back at and feel good -- or not -- about what I have accomplished.

So in the end, always, it's just another day gone. Days are the currency of our life span. How do you want to spend them? How do you want to feel when you look back a month from now?

And regardless of how many pounds you've lost or muscle you've gained, what have you done for your sense of control over your life?

Is losing weight only about food for you, or is it just one part of an over-all "Will-Building" effort that looks to make the most of yourself in every possible way?
.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Great post!!

You've got a great attitude! Keep it up.

Loosing weight for me is just a side effect, and a wonderful one at that, for me the purpose of following a low carb lifestyle is to get and stay healthy.

Cindy