Three Things I Was Reminded Of While Re-Watching “Good Will Hunting”

Recently I found myself flipping channels trying to catch something to hold my attention and I came across the movie “Good Will Hunting”. I hadn’t seen the movie in years, but I was quickly reminded about some pretty interesting life lessons while enjoying it again. Advance warning – some of the scenes linked in the post below have explicit language.

Talent alone does not guarantee success

In the movie, the main character, Will (played my Matt Damon), has a natural talent and ability to solve complex mathematical problems with ease. He is extremely intelligent in general. There is a pivotal scene in the movie where he is providing solutions to a top, award-winning Mathematics Professor – solutions to problems that even the Professor hasn’t reached in terms of ability. The scene spoke to me in terms of achieving goals and daily choices. There are those that struggle with certain aspects of life and it is guaranteed that there will be others who find those same aspects of life trivial and something they can navigate with ease. Success is something that is defined by each of us. We may have the talent to reach our goal with ease, or we may have to work really hard to reach it. It’s our daily choices that will show our desire to reach our goals. In the movie, Will had his own definition of what success looked like – and it didn’t involve using the talent that others envied him for having.

Those who truly love you will want the best for you

A good part of the movie has Will spending time with his best friends. The bond between them is real, but those within the group that know Will’s ability and truly love him – wish the best for him, even if it means leaving them behind. They realize that he’s destined for more. A wonderful scene between two friends emphasizes this sentiment.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to act on our desires to move us closer to our goals. There are times when we choose the comfort of our current situation and those closest to us over what could potentially make us the best version of ourselves. Sometimes it’s fear of change, sometimes fear of failure. There are many reasons that come into play when we make our choices – but this was a reminder that there are those within my life that want me to look within myself for the answer and to take the chances to experience life to the fullest.

It’s not easy to leave things behind. Whether it be a physical move that causes us to leave others behind, or an evolution of our being that changes us in a way that no longer aligns with those around us in a way that would enable us to continue to grow / thrive in a healthy manner.

Life is meant to be experienced and shared

The last scene that jumped out at me was the one with Will’s therapist (played by Robin Williams) where he put’s Will’s knowledge in perspective as it relates to life experience. It’s a powerful dialog that reminds me that life experience and our individual perspectives on those experiences are what make us unique and sharing those with the world give us the opportunity to learn something from each other that isn’t written in some “effin” book. 🙂

I forgot just how much I enjoyed it. Or maybe I’m just at a time in my life where I’m open to hearing these lessons in a new light. Do you have a movie that you have watched recently that taught you something you ended up applying to your life? Tell me about it – I’d love to learn from you.

The Climb Begins… Again.

Sulphur Mountain, Banff, AB. Photo Credit: Jason Nadon

This week begins a new attempt at my most recent weight loss goal and making the choices needed to have success in my attempt. I haven’t done a lot different than what I’ve written about previously – I’m making sure that my daily affirmations are on point, I’m making time each night to capture what went well and where I find difficulty. I’m planning on reviewing the difficult spots and seeing if there is anything I can do week to week to plan better or adjust so that I’m prepared for those same situations if they happen to come back – which they most likely will at some point. Most of all, I make time at the beginning and end of each day to be grateful for the day and where I am in the process and as me. Being grateful for the day and my blessings hasn’t been an area that I’ve struggled with in the past – but being OK with me as I am, in the moment, has been. It’s a work in progress for me and is outside of my comfort zone.

I have made the choice to head back to a familiar place / plan and that is the ketogenic diet. I’m sure you’ve heard all about it, so I’ll save the details unless someone really wants to know specifics about what I’m doing – but it’s pretty much the normal – “limit carbs, lots of protein and some of the ‘good’ fats” type of diet. I know it works for my body – so I figure why fix something that isn’t broken. There are other areas of me that I would classify as broken or at least severely damaged – but my plan through this journey is to acknowledge and work through some of those areas in the hope that I can better adjust to the new me. I’ve told myself to pause on labeling any area where I think I need work – because I do believe that the power of choice allows me the freedom to adapt – and therefore – things can change. I fear that using labels and accepting them would put me in a spot where I feel that I’m unable to change things – and that’s just really not the case. Is change easy? Nope. Is acceptance of myself easy? Nope. But, I once knew someone close to me that wrote a lyric “Nobody gave you a promise that life would be breezy”, and I’m keeping that in mind.

I have worked on reframing my feeling about progress in a positive light – and I’ve decided that I can use the new year as my measuring stick. So far I have 6 days that I would call “off plan”, and 3 that I would call “on plan”. This means that after this week, I’ll have more “on plan” days for 2019. This change in perspective allows me to reach for a very attainable goal and will help with momentum into the second week. I decided to choose the year, but honestly – it could have been anything, a month, a week, even a day. There are times when I need to reframe my perspective to look at the day and just focus on making it the best I can because looking beyond that is too much to handle.

As of today, I’m enjoying feeling better than I have recently while avoiding sugar for the last three days. I’m finding strength in each positive choice that moves me closer to my goals. I’m working to remove stress in anyway possible, and when I feel overwhelmed – taking time to just breathe. I’m looking forward to testing tomorrow to see if I’ve officially reached into the fat burning state of ketosis.

Have you set any new goals recently? How are things going?  

It’s Just A Mountain

The thought of starting over with such a large journey in front of me is a bit scary, a bit frustrating, and a bit overwhelming. I recently heard a song on the radio and it has inspired me to adjust the message a bit and claim it as my mantra for the journey – “it’s just a mountain”.

When I think about it – sure my goal is huge and seems like it can’t be conquered – but I know that the desire to take one step, the commitment to repeat, and the patience to allow for time to pass as steps grow from the first one to the hundredth, thousandth and so on – will eventually see that mountain behind me (again).

There are many beliefs, and much has been written to show that planning your goals out in small, manageable chunks helps to keep the motivation going to set and reach new goals. Some folks call it “small wins”, others refer to it as a different name. The idea behind setting attainable goals is that each time you meet one – you’ll get that feeling of accomplishment, of pride, of confidence in yourself and all of these will lead you to look to the next goal with renewed passion and belief that you can succeed. I used this method when I set my goal to lose weight at the end of 2015. Had I chosen to set my first goal as “lose 200 lbs”, the likelihood that I would have struggle, became frustrated and quit would be certain. I mentioned some of the smaller goals that I had along the way to my main goal in this post about reflection. I plan to use the same method as I re-start, yet again to lose the weight. It’s tough this time around – because I achieved my goal – I made it to where I wanted to be – and then things happened in my life that caused me to question everything that I was doing, including the change to a healthier me. Here is my previous before and after.

Anxiety and depression have taken me back to a spot where I feel like all the work that I did has been undone. It was 14 months of hard work for me to lose over 200 pounds, a 7 month struggle to keep it off and once I felt I had lost the battle it was 8 months to put it back on.

Now I’m starting all over again. Many will tell me that since I’ve done it once, I can do it again. They are right – for it’s just a mountain and I’m mentally preparing myself to start the climb with my first step.

Here’s the song that inspired this post. I’m going to be keeping on high rotation through the journey and especially when I hit those tough spots!

Thanks for reading and following along with me on this new journey.

There’s Just Something About A New Year

New Year’s Eve and my birthday are the two days that I loath the most throughout the year. These are the days that I become hyper-analytical and reflective about the goals I have set and the progress made toward those goals. It is rare that I spend any amount of time reflecting on the good, I seem to spend the majority of the time and energy beating myself up over the lack of progress. Some reflection is good – and doing in a way that expresses gratefulness for the path, the journey and the progress is best, whereas the way I am doing it during my times on these days in particular – is unhealthy.

While these days are a struggle for me, the passing of them eventually leaves me with an emotionally worn-down, tattered soul that feels like it just survived a battle. I knew the fight was coming, I weathered the storm, and although I’m sore – the sun has risen the next day and there is a newness to it – one that whispers, “stand up”.

The start of a new year brings with it hope that I can write down new goals and do my best to make them reality.

I know in my heart (and my mind) that it is all up to me. Success or failure are destinations that only I define, and the decision to take the journey is one that only I decide.

With this in mind, I am moving forward with keen eye toward a new goal, a passionate desire within my heart to reach it, and a back pocket full of gentle patience – because we all know I’m going to need a ton of that along the way! 🙂

Happy New Year!

Self-Awareness and Some Final Thoughts

The last month has been quite a struggle for me, and the next couple months are sure to be some of the more challenging ones for me to deal with and I like to believe that I’m enough self-aware to know when I can be helpful and when I need to step back a bit.

I have been doing the best I can to turn things around, but the “spark” is just not there right now, and I’m burning through the little energy that I do have to continually try to light the fire inside.

I am going to continue with my affirmations, continue down a path where I seek out a connection with a higher power in search for a purpose. I feel this is the only direction left for me at this time.

Recently I shared the feeling of indifference that had overtaken me as I struggled to manage my goals around weight and the choices I was making.  As I was having a difficult time getting back to my routine – I heard an internal voice that said “sometimes, the Devil just wins…”.

I don’t speak in terms of “God” or “The Devil”, so this really stood out to me and I was aware of how odd it seemed. It felt foreign, but as I nodded my head in defeat – I felt a weight lift. It was a calmness – albeit a somber one. I suppose this was because the battle between what I wanted and what I was fighting to get it had ended in my acceptance of giving up.

The next thoughts that I had were around further isolation, and using the coping mechanisms that I knew of to deal with the depression, anxiety, grief, guilt, shame, and self-hatred that haunts me.

    • Whatever makes me numb
    • Whatever makes me forget
    • Whatever makes me disconnect
    • Whatever makes me disappear

Thankfully, I was able to work through these thoughts, share some of them, and the same self-awareness that told me these thoughts seemed “off” has told me to question them and their source.

As I am working through these things – my negative energy is of no use to others, and for the reason, I’ve decided to pause until I’m in a better spot. I will leave the site up until it’s renewal period as the positive content about chasing goals, and the power of choice are real and things that I’ve experienced first hand. I also believe in the law of attraction and know that until my thoughts move away from such a dark place — they aren’t helpful.

Thanks for taking the time to read and I wish you all the best in your own journeys.

Much love,

Making The Plan, Working The Plan

I am taking back my power – one choice at a time.

After attending several online meetings related to my binge eating and food addiction, I found myself struggling and had a feeling like something was off. The logical part of me couldn’t come to grips with surrendering that my eating had become out of control – but that it was then OK to eat a meal (of normal portion size) afterward. This statement within the first and second steps made me conflicted and confused. To me, the dots didn’t connect because I didn’t consider myself “in recovery” – so I was attending meetings, trying to accept my situation and give power to *something else* and then eating – with similar bad patterns. For someone with an addiction problem, abstinence is the goal – but with an eating disorder – it must be something different – since not eating isn’t an option. I suppose that it’s all about the balance and moderation, making healthy choices and avoiding the unhealthy activity (in my case – binging). My logical side – the one that had lost the significant weight before knows that there is no easy way around losing weight – it’s a method and one that required great control, persistence, determination and tenacity. The losing weight part isn’t something to me that I can let *something else* be in charge of – it’s something I need to be accountable for in the end. Through some talking – I realized and restated that I do know how to lose the weight. My issue was that when I lost the weight – the happiness I thought would be there – wasn’t. There were still other things that I hadn’t addressed that needed fixing for me to fully embrace and celebrate the change that I had worked so hard to achieve. I needed to find a combination that would offer more than that – and something that felt right for me.

I think it’s important to call out that “right for me” statement above – because this was a very similar feeling and sentiment that I had when I first found the program that I followed to lose over 200 pounds. What I want to highlight is the “feeling” – because if you’re like me – you’ll search and search until you find something that you believe will work. If it *feels* right – that indicates that you’re on the right path to *believing* it will work – which is a huge part of the battle, and one that struck me as too significant not to call out as a similarity from my first journey.

The plan that I have talked myself into is one that allows me to focus on losing the weight I have put back on. Weighing in at nearly 390 pounds has me at a state of desperation to do something that will stop the gaining and move back toward losing. Since I have had success in the past on the ultra-low calorie, low carb, high protein type plans – that is where I’ll return. It is a familiar space for me, a familiar routine, and one that I know over time (with hyper-diligence) will work without fail. I also know that it’s not long-term healthy, nor will it alone bring me to a spot where I magically find “happy”.

For that reason, I am going to continue to work on the emotional and spiritual in parallel. This may be a challenge, as it will be quite a bit to focus on and will most definitely take away from other areas in my life – and may cause me additional stress. From previous posts, you know how I feel about stress, and that I believe it drains from willpower and the effort needed to make new positive choices – rather than default, autopilot ones which may not be as positive. My anxiety is at what I would call an extremely high level right now – I am fearful to leave my house for any reason and avoid it at all cost. The lawn is about two weeks overdue for cutting, but I am not able to bring myself to being in my yard to do it. I would rate my depression at a medium level – I’m open to change and forward progress – which is always good. The daily dark thoughts have moved along for the time being.

I am taking back my power – one choice at a time.

My first official day back on the plan was Monday. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to stick to the eating plan for two full days. I know the journey ahead is long and I’m going to pack my patience with each new day. I’ll be using many of the tools that I’ve posted about previously that help me in the journey, and will hopefully be able to share new ones I find along the way.

The Concept of Good and Evil – What Influences Our Choices?

I’ve been thinking a lot about “Good” and “Evil” this past week. The concept of something outside of ourselves influencing our decisions has me thinking about Angels and Demons.

I would classify myself as a “spiritual” but not “religious” being. I do believe that there is *something else*, but I don’t put a label on it outside of that. I also have an aversion to any organized religion as I view those who choose to make themselves responsible for holding ceremonies or community outreach as a business first before anything else. I’m of the thought that I can believe in something – but I shouldn’t be pressured into paying someone else to validate that belief.

I also think that personally, I find comfort in believing that those who have passed on are still around and available to watch over those of us left behind. It’s that *something else* and the memory of the loved ones that I find myself asking for strength and guidance when I am able to ask for it.

In my last post, I mentioned that I felt that along with depression and anxiety that I feel that I may also be fighting addictive issues – most recently with my food choices. As part of my research down that path – I attended several anonymous online meetings. In one of the meetings someone mentioned that they felt quite depressed and were isolating. They talked about sabotaging themselves by ‘accidentally’ deleting all the contacts from their phone, and went on to say that “something didn’t want me to talk to them”. This statement struck me immediately as I have had that feeling of actions of sabotage that came from a spot that I find a hard time explaining. In short though – I have them often – and I would relate to this as the “evil” of my *something else*.  I’ve fought the urge to leave this blog in place this week as I have had no fewer than four moments where I was about to take it down.

At this point, we get to the main topic of this post – I’ve been wondering why it seems that there is an internal struggle between doing what is good/healthy/positive vs. bad/unhealthy/negative.

I do understand the power of positivity and the concept of we are what we think. Positive thought patterns are more likely to bring positive feelings and outlook. Negative thought patterns are more likely to bring negative feelings and outlook. This leaves me scratching my head though – as to why there can be times when I’m riding the positive wave and it can crash into a brick wall of negativity that stops it dead in its tracks. Sometimes it feels that way – but others it can be a much less noticeable negative thought that can throw things off – like a crack in a railway rail lying unnoticed but able to break the integrity of a regularly strong structure resulting in what may be disastrous.

While the idealistic view of controlling and questioning thoughts makes sense, I also tend to research (and at times over-research) things. The initial reason that I started doing more searching on this topic is because psychology and what I’ve read about how this is treated when it comes to depression, anxiety and other disorders doesn’t make me feel great about it. Let’s just say I’m not ready to say that all my thoughts and feelings are wrong and that I need to question every one of them and then apply a formula of ABC’s against them to reason my way to making my thought/emotion/belief inconsequential. It, of course, is based on my experiences, what I’ve been taught and lead to believe as true. Belief is a powerful thing. I’m reminded of a John Mayer lyric – “Belief is a beautiful armor, but makes for the heaviest sword, like punching underwater, you never can hit who you’re trying for…”

One of the best descriptions of reasoning in regards to the evolution of our subconscious mind vs. conscious mind can be found here. The person who created the post asked the question, “Why is our conscious mind at odd with our subconscious mind”There is a lot of good information in the first response, but the part that stuck out to me while trying to find the reason behind the “good” and the “evil” feeling is …

“We fear our own next bad behavior will render our idea of ourself even worse than it is, and seek to cognitively control our behavior so as to maintain our present status of acceptability (however poor that status is). And in order to control our behavior, we needed to formulate concepts of what constitutes good and evil behavior. And our feeding upon this tree of the knowledge of good and evil (to help us better cognitively control our behavior), which is our species deepest and most destructive coping mechanism, set us at odds with the part of our conscious existence, our subconscious mind , which is a threat to cognitive control of our behavior.”

Perhaps the best part of the response though – was the conclusion…

Your question about the nature of of the conflict between the subconscious mind and the cognitive mind is a rather significant question. I suggest we each work out this issue in our own life, and do so until we find some kind of meaningful answer to it for our own life.”

Which allows me to feel and believe that my search for the answers for my own life is worthwhile. Therefore – I’ll keep searching, develop a plan that feels right to me, and stay hopeful that I’ll find meaning in life – or at least maybe a bit of peace.

Another Tough Week – But I Ain’t Done

It has been another week of reflection, reaching deep inside and doing some soul searching, and although I don’t think I like the answer – I may have found an answer – or at very least – something to explore further.

My inner dialog is interesting to me, as I search out answers to what I think are problems. I’m sure that I’m not alone in my general feeling of having things that I want to change, but the tough part is when I try to understand the “why” of the conversation. There are many perspectives of “why” that come into play – the “why do you want to change that?”, “why can’t you just accept you for you?”, and the more negative “why bother?”.

I’ve been on a steady incline in the numbers on the scale and have felt quite out of control with the situation. The higher the numbers get, the more lost I feel, the more I dislike myself, the more weapons my mind seems to pick up and shred my self-esteem with vigor! It’s a nasty cycle of depression, anxiety, self-hatred, self-loathing, and learned hopelessness.

Deep, deep down – there is my logic sector. The part that reminds me that I know that everything comes down to the choices I make, and if I’m unhappy with the choices I’m making – I can change them. This sector and it’s stupid logical thinking usually frustrates me and causes me to activate another area that is more focused on emotion – it’s also the area filled with “why”. It’s a dangerous area for me because logic drowns in that area.

On this horrible one-directional roller coaster ride of weight gain that I’ve been riding lately – I’ve noticed some things and I need to be honest with myself. I’ve been binge eating. I’ve been hiding my eating, and eating the bad options when I’m alone. In a culmination of horrible decisions last weekend I overate to the point of feeling sick, and then it happened – I was sick.

After cleaning up the mess I knew that I needed to think on where I’ve brought myself to and how it is affecting me physically as well as mentally. Over lots of thought and searching, I landed on “food addiction”.

Others may have been able to get to this same conclusion earlier than I – but I’m pretty good at masking / not being *fully* honest when it’s convenient for me, so it may not be apparent to everyone around me.

I told myself that I just needed to stop with the bad food, with the binge eating, and just get back on the program that helped me lose all the weight in the first place. I listened closely for a response… and then heard a soft, meek inner voice say “I can’t”. At this moment I realized that it really may be addiction.

I gave myself some time to let these feeling soak in and didn’t immediately jump to conclusions. I was gentle with myself for the first time in a long time.

I started thinking back to the program that I was on when I lost all the weight. It was extremely restrictive and I was determined to lose the weight. I had wonderful success with it – right until the final phase. In this final phase, I was told that we could add “cheat days” back into our new healthy lifestyle. I was hesitant about this – as I had been avoiding such things with all my might for 14 months at this point.

Slowly I introduced them back in, and looking back I can clearly see that I did have a struggle with it at first. Then as weeks turned to months, I started making it two cheat days a week instead of one. Then as my stress level built and I started to see a bit of the weight come back on – I started to doubt myself and then two cheat days became three and so on. This pattern didn’t stretch (pardon the pun) to the point it has now overnight – it has been a little over a year.

I think that I’m realizing that the introduction of the cheat day was a bad thing for me, because I think (with pretty good certainty) that I’m addicted to certain “bad” foods. I also have an “all or nothing” mindset that makes it very hard to do the “all things in moderation” style of life.

So – where does this leave me? Well – I think that I have a problem that I need to make the choice to address. I know that there are options out there, and I need to battle through the feelings of anger, shame and anything else that comes up (anxiety, depression, self-hatred) that may get in the way of good progress to a better place.

I’m not certain if this will work, I’m not certain if I’ll be able to commit to the change needed to be successful. The only thing I’m certain of right now is that I’m not done… I’m not giving up just yet.

 

The Double-Edged Sword Of Choices

Choosing is not an easy task. The choice of a decision is tough, and for that moment, that unique decision point, is final and we get to live with the decision that we make. Good or bad. Sometimes when we’re at the moment of decision we can’t tell how the outcome will turn out. I’ve been thinking a lot about choices I’ve made in my life.

As I type this – I’m reminded of an old Chinese parable “We’ll See” which challenges the notion and habit we have to jump to a conclusion and label an event as being “good” or “bad” with the inability to know what waits for us down the path of that event.

As I searched out a good link to share for the above noted proverb – I came across someone else’s story in a comment on another blog. To me – this is an amazing example of an event that had every reason to be seen as unfortunate at the time and yet turned out to be life altering in a good way many years down the path.

The other saying that pops in my head is “everything happens for a reason”

I think both of those things are great ways for our mind to deal with the pain or negative feeling of an event and justify that there was a reason for us to go through it.

The one I’m struggling with a lot today is not on that same wave. It’s more on the line of living with a choice that is made at the decision point that ends up haunting me for the rest of my life. Caution: The information I’m sharing is of sensitive nature and it may be disturbing to some people.

A friend posted a video to their Facebook timeline that talked about the tough decision that many pet owners have to make if their pet family member takes ill. The video content is to the point and talks about why family members should never leave their pet if the choice to euthanize has been chosen. They make the point that if the person leaves the pet with the vet, and is not present, the pet will not understand what is going on and why their love one left them. Their last moments will be anything but peaceful.

The video, the content, and the realization of what likely happened when I made that decision to leave is tearing me apart. I am literally in tears as I type this…

In November of 2016 – after several months of health concerns, appointments, and issues with my male cat, Frazier – I had come to the tough decision to have him euthanized. The decision feels as fresh today as it was then – I still feel burning in the back of my eyes and a knot in my stomach. It was one of the hardest, most painful decisions I’ve ever made and the part that hurts more is that I had made other decisions weeks earlier that put me in a place that made it even more difficult to fight this decision.

I was not able to muster the strength and courage to stay with him in his final moments. I will forever regret this decision and the decisions that brought me to that point.

Some may say that I need to pull the forgiveness card out and allow myself some space to heal. I think that’s easy to say from the outside, but from my viewpoint – there is no forgiveness and there never will be. I’ve battled myself and this decision from the day I made it and continue to do it daily. The video that the friend shared solidified and amplified my feelings of remorse.

As I’m trying to keep darkness at bay and get back to some form of mild normalcy where I can feel even slightly productive – I’m left with the thought of how people are motivated. Motivated to chase a goal, motivated to pursue anything. It’s not so much about the “what” or “how” to move forward – but sometimes the “why” – and I’m running really low on “why”s.

Apologies for the random thoughts post and for going off the plan for this week. Here’s hoping that I’m in a better place next week.

Reflection – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

As I type this – I’m on a search for inspiration for myself from myself. The past week has been a bit more cloudy than most in the past month and I’m finding that I’m moving into the hopelessness stage. As I’ve been searching to find inspiration and motivation to help drag myself up from the “funk” I’ve been in lately – I have found myself reflecting on past success. The funny part is – it doesn’t seem to be helping as much as frustrating me.

I can distinctly remember in my journey to lose over 200 lbs the first time – setting goals and working really hard to progress through each one of them. In fact, the goal levels that I had originally are listed below – each is crossed out as I hit the goal – and then at some point – I stopped crossing them out, probably because losing weight became part of me.

  1. “Let’s See The Three’s” – It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a three digit number that starts with a “3”, so that’s my first goal. It’s absolutely obtainable and I’m excited to reach that goal. There is a small in-between goal on the way to this one, which is 410lbs, the weight I was able to get to back in 2012.
  2. “Bringing Back ’98” – When I reach this goal I’ll be back to the weight I was in 1998. This is also the lowest weight that I can remember as an adult. The official weight of this goal is 368.
  3. “Three’s Across The Board” – I randomly picked this as a third goal. Achieving this will prove that my fourth goal is attainable.
  4. “The Terrific Two’s” – Anything with a two in the front counts – that means 299 or less. At this point, I’m planning that I should be moving more into a maintenance phase and looking to introduce other activity to help me keep the weight off and continue losing, but at a much slower rate.
  5. “A New Me” – Life in the two’s with a goal of reaching 280. I want to work on my mental state and start getting used to living my new, lighter life to the fullest.
  6. “Positive Motion” – Focused on activity, this goal will drive me down to the 260 lb mark as I work to continue to lose and start to learn how to maintain.
  7. “Training to Maintain” – This goal will have me arriving at 240 with the thought of maintaining that weight or lower for the rest of my adult life.

I managed to actually get even lower than this and the lowest I had weighed in at was 223 lbs. It’s amazing to think back to that point – because I was starting to fit into XL-sized clothing – where previously I was in 6XL shirts. It’s also painful as I struggle with my current motivation level and coming to grips with the fact that I’ve gained so much of that weight back on.

I look back at pictures from that time frame and I feel amazed and disgusted at the same time. It’s a very confusing and frustrating feeling.

I think at some point I need to forgive myself and start down the path again – but holding an already strong dislike for myself is not making it easy to “move forward” again. I’m also feeling a large amount of shame and find myself not wanting to be around people that had last seen me at the lighter weight.

There are other things that I noticed while losing the weight that are hold true as I gain it back. Here was something that I had put in my journal as I was looking at how some things had started to change as I started losing weight.

I’ve noticed a change in how people treat me…

This one is a sad but true fact. As I’ve been dropping the weight, I’ve noticed a large change in the way that people treat me and I’ve been noticing fewer (still lots) of stares from strangers. This has been one of the most welcome changes for me. I don’t want people to notice me – I just want to live my life without instant judgement. This seems like it will continue to get to a more manageable level, which is exciting.

Now as I’ve moved way up the ladder on my weight again – I’m noticing the stares are increasing. This time I don’t get as frustrated with other people as much as I do with myself, since I had gotten to a place where the staring was minimized quite a bit. This builds on the disdain I feel internally.

I’m at a tough spot… on the positive side – I know in my mind that it’s all about the choices I make and that I can start back with small choices, and the more of the better ones I make the better it will get. On the negative side – there is a part of me that remembers what happens when I get to the summit again. The person inside doesn’t change. The hatred I feel for myself will subside, but not disappear. The elusive “happy” feeling won’t magically appear.

Since my mind is in a bit of a fight with itself right now, I decided that perhaps the more personal post with struggles I’m dealing with was better than trying to get in the mindset to share coping strategies for stress and life balance – I think I’ll save that one until I in a more positive spot.