Motivation

Week #1 Weigh-In

Tina and I both still have our birth stories to write about Moon Pie’s entry into our family. Those will be coming soon, but for today, I wanted to share my weight.

I am presenting my weight without judgment. In the weeks leading up to his birth and the two weeks AFTER his birth, my eating and exercise plans went straight out the window. Some aspects of his birth were a bit stressful, and I found myself eating for comfort on a few occasions. And after he was born and I found myself sleep deprived, I ended up eating a bit more than I might have otherwise.

So it’s not pretty. The weight is up. But it is what it is, and I’ve got this handsome little face to encourage me to keep losing weight. After all, I have to make sure I’m around long enough to take care of him.

Week #1
Date: October 6, 2012
Weight: 368.2
Change from Highest: -34.6 pounds

Weight is definitely up. A bunch. As in twentyish pounds over the last two months.

I often feel like a weight loss blogger failure, because my weight is all over the place. And yet, even though I have dabbled in it, I can’t make the shift away to just a fitness blogger, because I HAVE to lose weight, not just increase my fitness. I’m rebranding my weight loss to Week #1.

I have to get this ship going in the right direction.

I’m working on it, from a mental health standpoint.

Have I ever shared here that I used to work in mental health? I’ve got a degree in Psychology, more professional development trainings in counseling and mental health than I can count, and yet… when it comes to losing weight myself… I’m often a bit of a train wreck. Well, no longer. I am going to use the strategies that I have used with my clients in the past on myself.

I can do this.

I will do this.

I have to do this, because it’s not just about me anymore.

I have a family I have to protect.

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General Blogging Stuff

This post is going to be just a bit of randomness, so bear with me, please?

There are a LOT of different ways to eat, and many people claim their way is the absolute best way. I disagree. Always. There is no best way. You should do the way that works best for you. For instance, I have known people who have had amazing success with calorie counting. They should do that.

I’ve known others who have had amazing success with paleo.

I don’t have permission to post any pics, but google Paleo success stories, and you’ll find tons.

I’ve known people who have had amazing success with vegan diets.

Google Steve Cardenas. Find a current picture of him. He’s the former Red Ranger on Power Rangers. He’s vegan and I’d happily have his physique.

I’ve known people who have had amazing success with Atkins.

I’ve known people who have had amazing success with gastric bypass.

I have personal different opinions about pretty much every diet I’ve ever heard of. Some are diets/strategies that I would never, ever, ever do. Others are diets that I’ve dabbled in. I am a firm believer that everyone should do what works for them. Period.

Right now, I am doing Weight Watchers. It works for me. I am well aware that Weight Watchers is nothing more than glorified calorie counting. I have had people ask me why I pay $40 a month to go weigh in.

Well, I don’t just go weigh in. I stay for the meetings. I’m actually attending with my mother. And yes, Weight Watchers is very cheesy at times, but it helps me. It’s a form of therapy for me.

I need a therapist. I’m well aware of that. I still have serious eating issues, and the structure of Weight Watchers is one thing that is helping me overcome that. I once attempted to find a good disordered eating therapist, and while I didn’t find one, I did find a therapist who gave me a great piece of advice.

Journal. Often. Frequently. And honestly.

And that’s what I’ve turned this blog into. Yes, Stellar Path is VERY random, and it’s frankly suited for my tastes. It’s about food, exercise, Power Rangers, horror movies, and other geeky things that appeal to me.

I started blogging daily in June. I knew, when I started blogging weekly about the Power Rangers and horror movies and other such things, that I would be creating an unusual niche blog that pretty much had the audience of, well… me. I expected my traffic to drop, and I was okay with that. I never started blogging to become famous. I started blogging because I enjoy writing.

Three things occurred – my writing muse has shown up in full force, both on the blog, professionally, and personally/creatively. This was an amazingly unexpected occurrence.

Two, my traffic has increased. Significantly. It may just be the result of more posts equal more to read, but for whatever reason, my traffic has gone up. So unexpected woo hoo there. Granted, I don’t get a ton of comments, but I definitely enjoy the ones I do get.

And third, it’s helping my weight loss and views on food and eating. Stellar Path has become my journal, helping me deal with my own weight loss, body, and disordered eating issues.

If in my journaling/blogging, I am able to help others, awesome. And if not, hey, maybe I’ll entertain someone.

Best yet, I’ve made some great friends on this blog. There are people that I have never met in person who I put in the friend category.

So, today’s post was a bit of stream of consciousness, but I wanted to just put this out there and say thank you for reading and commenting.

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My Thoughts on Motivation

I think motivation is a great thing. It can keep us on program, it can keep us exercising, and it can keep us making the right food choices.

It can also suddenly disappear.

Many things in my life motivate me. The mental image of me at goal weight is motivation. The hope of a long and happy life with my wife is motivation. Being a healthy dad for my son is motivation.

But ultimately, none of these things will lose weight for me.

So in a way, I’m against motivation.

Motivation is literally just the desire to do things. That’s all it is.

There have been so many times in the past when I’ve said, “If I could just stay motivated, I could lose this weight!”

That was basically my politer way of saying, “I don’t have self-worth and I want something external to make me better.”

I will continue to seek out motivation, but now, I view it a little differently.

I view motivation as a paint brush. Alone, that paint brush can’t do anything. But in the right hand with the right paints and the right canvas, that paint brush can create a work of art.

So rather than focus on just motivation, I want to focus on the bigger picture. I’m not going to just focus on the paintbrush, because anyone can go buy a paint brush. I’m going to focus on what that paintbrush can ultimately produce. And motivation is going to be a lot less significant if I don’t have all the right tools.

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Richard Simmons’ Day by Day

In the early 1990s, back when Richard Simmons was regularly on QVC and Deal-a-Meal was THE way to lose weight, he released a series of motivational videos called Day by Day.

Day by Day was a 12 volume set. Each video consisted of 30 to 31 five minute video clips of Richard Simmons giving weight loss tips, sharing success stories, or just being Richard with crazy antics and the occasional crying spell.


(picture blatantly stolen from an eBay auction)

I got volume one off of QVC, but I didn’t sign up for the full set. I was still a kid, and while I was able to talk my mom into buying one of them for me, I couldn’t convince her to get me all 12.

Well, I didn’t lose weight in the early 90s. At all. I did exercise, so I had that going for me, but the weight loss just wasn’t happening. In the late 90s, after the internet came about and eBay appeared on the scene, I was able to buy volumes 2 thru 12, completing my set.

And then, they more or less went into storage for the next fourteen years. I think I did watch through them all once, but… that was about it.

Until now. A few months ago, I got my Garbage Pail Kids out of storage at my parents’ house. While digging through my childhood, I found a box containing these twelve tapes.

It was like opening a time machine. I am currently in the process of transferring them all on to my computer.

I upload one to YouTube, which you can see below.

I don’t see myself uploading all of them (even though I would love to) because I don’t have the copyright to them. These are not available anywhere. But if Richard Simmons gave me permission to upload them, I’d happily upload all 365 of his motivational clips.

I may upload a few, here and there, as they strike me particularly motivating.

There is one thing I’ve discovered, though. These video clips ARE like a time machine; it’s a look back at the fitness and healthy living views of the early 90s. One of the first clips is about the evils of fat. Well, as we now know, fat isn’t evil.

It’s funny; Richard suggests eating “lite” versions of mayo, cheese, and other fatty foods, because it’s better for you. This isn’t something I see him suggesting now.

I don’t blame Richard. Everyone in the 90s believed fat made us fat.

And occasionally, The Biggest Loser still does. During the last season (worst season ever, also), they had a cooking challenge, and some of the contestants from a previous season were the judge. They were VERY harsh to Buddy because he used a TEASPOON of real mayonnaise. He said he wanted the flavor, and he’d rather use a smaller amount of the full-fat version. Oh, these previous contestant judges ripped him a new one. They actually stated that a fat-free mayo would be better.

The fat-free, chemical-filled version is better than the one made out of oil and eggs. Riiiight.

So yes, watch The Biggest Loser for motivation. Do NOT watch it for any kind of healthy living tips. Heck, just watch it for the trainwreck. That, sadly, is all the show is good for. The glory days of Ali Vincent and Tara Costa are long gone. (Oh, and I say the show should try to up their viewership next season by bringing Tara on as a female trainer, if they can’t persuade Jillian to come back.)

Wow. I ended up in a totally different place than I meant to. Oh well.

Richard Simmons’ Day by Day series was incredible. I wish he’d release another version, or heck, even release this version on DVD. I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

He’s made fun of because he is an easy target, but I truly believe that Richard Simmons wants the best from people. And one thing he is good at is motivating.

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Most Motivational Video Ever

This isn’t the motivational post I had planned for today, but when I saw this video clip, I had to post it instead.

This was filmed at an elementary school Track and Field Day. The video starts off much like any other, but then you’ll notice something. One of the runners is running with a very awkward, painful-looking gait.

This young man, named Matt, has spastic cerebral palsy. He wasn’t required to run this race. He chose to run a 400 meter dash.

He’s quickly left in the dust. But he keeps going. He almost looks like he is going to fall at one point, but he keeps going.

Watch the video below. It’s about five minutes. Uhm… don’t watch it front of someone you aren’t willing to cry in front of.

Did you get a little teared up, if not full on cry? Yes? Me too.

This kid has been given worse obstacles to deal with on a daily basis than most of us ever face. But he keeps going.

I don’t think I even need to spell the analogy out for this one.

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Randomness

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)