Motivation

Motivational Monday: Reach for Your Goals

Yeah, I know text on images is overdone, but dang it, I still like them.

I like this quote especially.

I really feel like my goals need to be just a bit of a stretch. After all, if it isn’t challenging, then why do it? As my taekwondo instructor used to say, “If it were easy, everyone would be a black belt.”

Related Posts:

Life Stuff

I have not been around for a few days. This may be a fairly length blog post, so if you want to know what has happened and what will be happening to me, please read ahead to find out.

First of all, the good things. Tina and I recently returned from our babymoon in San Diego. It was a great last trip before we have the baby. Baby Logsdon is still doing great (although our last ultrasound revealed he was going to be a very LONG baby – I’m not surprised; his mother and I are both six feet tall).

Other good things – my entire family is still with me, even though if things had been just a little different the other day, I couldn’t say that now.

I’ll explain that one, first.

My mother is a Type 2 Diabetic. She was diagnosed when I was in middle school. I’ve watched her struggle with it my entire life.

I got a call from my father at 7:30 a.m. yesterday morning, a Saturday. We were all going to meet up later that morning to go to my nephew Clint’s graduation. He was calling to say they would not be able to make it, and he further explained why.

My mother almost died in bed early Saturday morning. Her sugar crashed in the middle of the night, and she was unable to wake herself up to consume orange juice or something else with sugar. Dad only knew it was going on because he heard her trying to scream to get his attention.

He tried to get her to drink orange juice, but at that point, her sugar was far too low. He called 911, and the paramedics were able to get her stable. She didn’t have to go to the hospital, and now, she is fine.

Her sugar has certainly crashed before, but it has never crashed that drastically or caused her to have that dramatic a reaction.

This is the part that scares me. If my father had not been there, my mother would be dead right now.

Just a few weeks ago, my dad left the house at 2 a.m. for a week straight because a nonprofit agency he is the head of was doing security at the Kentucky Derby. If this had happened then, when my mother was alone, she would have had no one to call 911 for her, and she probably would have laid in bed and died, alone. The nonprofit agency is a Rescue Squad, and that means they frequently go out on calls in the middle of the night to search for people who have been reported missing. If he had been out on a call, she would have died.

I may be 34 years old, but I’m not ready to give up my mom yet. She’s only 67. She should still have many years of life left in her.

I called her Saturday afternoon, and we talked for a while. She knows she has to get her health under control. She did Weight Watchers with me in the past, and she was successful at it. But as circumstances change, she stopped going.

She wants to be around for the birth of my son. I want her around to watch my son graduate college.

She and I are going to start going to Weight Watchers again. There is a meeting in my city every Saturday morning at 10 a.m., so she is going to drive up and we’ll attend together. With the structure of the meetings and the weekly support and weigh-ins, I feel very confident that she’ll overcome this obstacle. I hope, sometime shortly down the road, I can write a blog post about how her type 2 diabetes is completely overcome.

Just as importantly, I know that the group support of Weight Watchers will be useful for me, too.

Something else has been going on, too. Let me explain this one by explaining my thoughts on dieting. (It’s relevant, I promise.)

I am a huge fan of moderation. That’s why I can’t ever subscribe to ONE diet plan, because I want to eat… well, everything. I can’t commit to being vegan forever because I like meat and cheese. I can’t commit to being paleo forever because I like cheese and bread. I can’t commit to Atkins forever because I like fruits, veggies, and bread.

But, that said, there is one food that I will never, ever, ever, as long as I live, consume again.

Artificial sweeteners.

They are literally poison, and I am suffering from the effects right now.

Before I explain, let me give a little back history.

When I was in my mid-teens, I was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. It primarily affected my upper body, mostly my hands, and it was painful, crippling, and embarrassing. I remember my fingers swelling up so large they wouldn’t bend. I went to a doctor, was put on some anti-inflammatory meds, and by the time I was 15, it was over and in remission.

In my late twenties, I began having pain and swelling in my right knee. I truthfully ascribed it to my obesity, and kept saying, “Well, when I get to goal weight next year, it won’t hurt anymore.”

I’m now 34, and I’m still not at goal weight. My knee still hurts. It typically painfully swells about two to three days out of every ten. The other days, I’m fine. My chiropractor even told me she suspected it wasn’t because of my weight, as if it was, both knees should have been affected. Regardless, she agreed losing weight would help it.

About three and a half weeks ago, I went through a two-day binge of Diet Dr. Pepper. I drank maybe twenty ounces of water over those two days. My food was fine and spot-on. My diet soda consumption was three two-liters over those two days. Not good. It was, in my mind, an acceptable, calorie-free binge.

On day three, I woke up with the most painful swollen knee I have ever experienced. I took four ibuprofen and the hottest shower I could stand to even be able to move around somewhat easily.

My wife has been trying to get me to give up artificial sweeteners for years. I made a very clear association – my sweetener binge led to a swollen knee. I was done.

I threw away my Crystal Light and poured my last 2-liter down the sink. If I want soda, I’ll have the regular kind and count the calories.

Well, an interesting thing happened.

My body lost it’s freaking mind.

My right knee, which is the only joint I’ve been having troubles in for YEARS, decided it wanted company. Left knee. Both ankles. Alternating elbows. At one point, my left elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t straighten my arm out more than about 120 degrees. Two days later, my left elbow was fine and my right elbow was so stiff, I couldn’t touch my right ear.

Oh, and the newest pain to join my old-guy-aches? Fiery hot nerve flare-ups on the back of my left hand.

I was beginning to believe I had developed rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, or lupus. Or all three. I couldn’t exercise. I could barely walk, and this was with me taking MULTIPLE ibuprofen a day. You know how the bottle says you shouldn’t take more than six a day? Some days, I took sixteen.

I scheduled an appointment with my doctor, fearing the results but knowing I had to do something. But then, on a lark, I visited Dr. Google, and I got the best news I had ever heard.

I wasn’t alone. I probably didn’t have RA or lupus.

I was experiencing the common after effects of going cold turkey on artificial sweeteners.

Except for headaches (which I never get), the symptoms were like a checklist of what was wrong with me. Other people had gone cold turkey and their bodies suddenly hated them. I kept my doctor’s appointment, but I felt a great relief.

But then I got some bad news. Most of these people said it took two to three months to get back to their normal, pain-free lives.

Crap.

So at over two weeks out, I was still hobbling. I was still in extreme pain.

It sucked. My wife and I went to San Diego, and I was in extreme pain for the entire trip.

I did a little research on diets that would help with inflammation.

Time and time again, I kept coming back to various forms of paleo. Give up the grains and the inflammation will disappear.

Paleo, as many of you know, is giving up grains, dairy, and legumes (beans and peanuts).

Last Monday, I decided I would start a paleo-ish diet. I can’t say that I am paleo, because I’m not being too strict on dairy. I don’t really drink cow’s milk anyway, so I have cut that out, but if I want cheese once a week or so, I’ll have it, provided it is a hard cheese. Basically, my “paleo” is giving up grains, legumes, and most dairy. I know some paleo people would call me a heretic, so if people ask, I mostly say I’ve just given up grains.

Giving up legumes is not a big deal. I hate beans and literally eat them only for the health benefits. It’ll be no trouble cutting them out. I do like peanuts (a legume), but I’m going to give them up, too, just because saying sayonara to peanuts or peanut butter won’t be that difficult.

As I said, last Monday, I started giving up all grains, all legumes, and most dairy. By Wednesday, I was taking only two ibuprofen a day. My results were anecdotal only, but I felt SO much better. My daily weigh-ins showed that weight was coming off fairly steadily, too. My suspicion for this? Without eating starches, it is fairly difficult to eat high calorie. I was eating proteins and fats (along with LOTS of veggies and some fruits), and I had no trouble getting satisfied and keeping my caloric intake low. It was clear that I was walking better. I still had soreness, but I felt tons better.

You’d think it would be easy to just keep giving up grains, wouldn’t it? Well, I gave up grains for five days, and I fell off the wagon on Friday. I ate a slice of pizza and had two breadsticks.

By Saturday morning, I was a crippled old man again. It hurt to lay in bed. It hurt to sit on the couch. It hurt to hobble around the house.

Dare I say it? Grains are the devil.

This can’t be a coincidence. Tina asked me if I thought it might be psychosomatic.

If it is, sign me up for crazy pills because I’ll take relief in whatever healthy form I can get it.

I plan to keep eating grain-free. I know that I will eventually have bread again. I’m hoping that someday, I’ll be light enough with healthy joints so I can occasionally have a slice of bread or pizza without being crippled. But for now, at my weight, that is not an option, so if my options are pain-free days or eating bread, I’ll take the pain-free days.

Upcoming Plans

I need to blog more often. It keeps me sane, and it provides an outlet. I know this blog isn’t widely read, but it’s useful for me. (And to those of you who comment or read without commenting, I thank you for being there for me, even if we’ve never actually spoken.)

I’ve come up with a schedule for blogging. I want to blog daily, at least until such point that it becomes a chore. I have a proposed schedule I’m going to try.

Monday – Motivational Monday
Tuesday – Healthy Recipe
Wednesday – Wednesday Weigh-In
Thursday – Geeked Out Weight Loss Review
Friday – Open Letters (a.k.a. Stellar Path Stalks Celebrities)
Saturday – Photog Friday (a photo recap of the previous day)
Sunday – Horror Movie Weight Loss Review

As other things occur that I want to blog about, I am, of course, at liberty to abandon this schedule as I see fit.

Starting this upcoming Saturday, my mother and I will begin attending Weight Watchers. I will continue eating grain-free, and I’m still trying to decide if I’m going to post my Weight Watchers weigh-ins (late on Wednesday, obviously) or if I’ll just continue weighing in at home.

In Conclusion

I realize this was a long, slightly random post about a lot of different things, but I had a lot to get out at once. Thanks for reading.

Related Posts:

Babymoon Guest Post: Erin’s Music = Motivation

Tina and I are currently living it up in San Diego on our babymoon (a.k.a. the last vacation a couple goes on before they turn into a trio). Since Erin graciously agreed to do a guest post for us back in October 2010 for our honeymoon, it was only fitting that I bug her politely ask her again to take over the reins and take care of the place while we’re incommunicado. Erin has long been one of my favorite bloggers, blogging with humor, bravado, and honesty. Erin’s blog was the VERY first blog that I posted a comment to back when I got into healthy blogging, and she was the very first person to leave a comment here at Stellar Path (prior, even, to its current incarnation). Thanks Erin!

***

Hi, Stellar Path readers! While Jeremy and Tina are off on their babymoon, I am going to take over Jeremy’s blog for the day. I blog about my life in general over at This Nebraska Life. I still report on my weight loss, but I don’t feel pressured to JUST talk about that!

Today, I wanted to talk about music. First and foremost, music is a very important part of my life. I grew up in a very music-oriented family. Several of my uncles have been in or currently play in bands. One of my cousins moved to California to pursue her dreams in musical theatre. I have another cousin who is the bassist for a Christian rock band. I grew up singing and playing every instrument I could get my hands on. Theatre was never a major interest, but I once portrayed Aunt Eller in Oklahoma!

But of course, I was skinnier then. Now, before you go thinking that I am beating myself up, I am not. I was always a chubster, but looking back, compared to where I’m at now… (shaking my head)

At my heaviest, I was in the 300 range and I started my weight loss journey in 2009. In 2010, I had lost about 75 pounds and was weighing in at about 227. After
that, “something came undone” and I ballooned back to 260 in late 2011. Currently, I am down to 244 and that number can keep on falling, as far as I’m concerned!

I still struggle with motivation, though. I love to run and I love to lift, but I’ve been definitely slacking in that area. Part of it is laziness, yes. Part of it is that I haven’t created the habit yet. That said, I am trying to create the habit. I went to the gym last night with a new playlist.

I felt like I had more energy, more vigor and more POWER as I worked out. I ran on the track, I walked on the track, but I also LIFTED for the first time in almost a year. It felt sooo good. I am sore as hell today, but I would rather be sore than full of regret over skipping another workout.

As I left the Y last night, I thought that maybe my new playlist was the reason behind my increased vigor. It was the mental boost I had needed. Yessir, it was. I was bored with my old playlist. It was great music, really it was. But I think I needed the change. It will certainly be interesting to see how long I use this playlist before I get bored again. Hopefully next time, I will notice it before the motivation dissipates.

Any songs I should consider for my next playlist? What motivates you in the gym?

Related Posts:

See Ya Daily Scale Weigh-In

You know that thing, where you weigh every day, and you see your weight abnormally drop at times, but then you weigh in on your weigh-in day, and even though your weigh-in was perfectly acceptable, you beat yourself up and call yourself a diet failure even though you actually had a loss?

Yeah, I had that this week.

The weight I posted on Saturday was TWO pounds less than the weight I posted today.

Here’s the thing. I tracked EVERY bite that went into my mouth. I was UNDER my calorie target EVERY… SINGLE… DAY… And no, I wasn’t under it so significantly that I should have hit a starvation mode. My target is 1900 to 2900, based on a BMR of 3400. I was in that range, (admittedly the higher end), every single day of this past week.

So how did I do?

May 9, 2012
Weight: 360.4
Change from Last Week: -1.8 pounds
Change from All-Time Highest: -42.4 pounds

See, I weighed myself on Saturday, and it was 358.6. Woo hoo, right?

Well, why is it, then, when I weigh myself today, that I’m back in the 360s?

Because the human body is a jerk, that’s why. I know weight fluctuates, sometimes for no obviously discernible reason.

I understand that you are supposed to look at the big picture.

I understand that, if you can’t handle it mentally, you shouldn’t weigh yourself everyday.

So what am I going to do?

I’m going to look at the big picture.

And I’m only going to weigh myself once a week.

Because if I had done that this week, if I had not stepped on the scale since last Wednesday, I would have seen a loss of 1.8 pounds, and instead of Tina trying to cheer me up as I scrambled eggs, we would have done a little happy dance. (That… that sounds dirty. I literally just meant we would have done it… danced… in the kitch-… never mind.)

So I am saying adios to the daily scale. It is not for me right now. I hope it will be at some point. I want to be strong enough mentally that I can accept the number and not let it judge me. Right now, I just can’t do that.

This was a tremendously successful week. There is 1.8 pounds less of me!

I need to stay in the NOW of weight loss. From what I’ve heard from those who have made it to goal weight, losing weight is the fun, easy part. Maintenance (while doable and certainly worth achieving) is much harder and not nearly as much fun. I can’t beat myself up over the past where I gained weight; I can’t torture myself over dreams of getting to goal. I can only live in the RIGHT NOW, where I am going to try and be as healthy as I possibly can, regardless of what the scale says.

My first step in living in the positive NOW is to get rid of the daily scale. And if I happen to gain, then I’ll look at my inch measurements and celebrate any change there. And if that is a gain, too, then I’ll truthfully examine my diet and see if it was earned or accidental.

I am about to leave for San Diego in a few days. Next Wednesday, I will be on the road. I have some awesome guest posts lined up. As a result of this babymoon Tina and I are going on, I will not be weighing in next Wednesday. I’m taking my tape measure, though, and I still plan to track all of my food and get in LOTS of activity.

In two weeks, I plan to post another loss, and no matter what it is, I plan to be happy about it.

Failure to plan is plan for failure.

I have many, many strategies to make this vacation one of the healthiest vacations I have ever taken. Recap, of course, will be coming when I get back.

How often do you weigh? Can you successfully weigh every day?

Related Posts:

Visualizing During a Workout

Although I am a few days late in posting this, let me first announce the winner of the Run for Your Lives Indianapolis Race Tickets Giveaway!

Chosen via random.org, our winner is comment #1!

Congrats to Amanda Heathman and her husband! I hope you enjoy the race.

And on to other news…

I am VERY excited about my weigh-in on Wednesday. Last time I checked the scale, it seems I am clearly on target to get below 360! Woo hoo! That will put me ever closer to hitting the 50 pound mark.

The main thing that I am finding helps me right now is visualization.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am vain. My fitness goal, honestly, is to look like this.

Heck, you can judge me. But I want to look like Ryan Reynolds. I want his arms and I really want his abs.

Right now, whether I am flying through a cardio workout or struggling with Jillian Michaels yelling at me, I literally visualize my way through the workout.

No, I don’t necessarily think about Ryan Reynolds’ abs for the entire time. (Much.)

I mostly envision the physical body I hope to have.

Don’t get me wrong – I KNOW I have a long way to go. I know that to even get a semblance of that body will eventually require a tummy tuck and a much stricter, cleaner diet than I am eating currently.

As for the tummy tuck, I freaking can’t wait. I know it’ll hurt, both my body and my wallet, but I want to do it so badly I can taste it.

And as for the diet, well… I’m a firm believer that moderation in all things is key. However, as I stick to my healthy eating plan (which is just “eat less junk and more real food”), I find myself gravitating to healthier and healthier options.

So, my tip in all of this? Visualize. Think through your workout. Picture your end result. Right now, I’m not worrying about if it is super realistic or attainable. I’m doing what I have to do to get through each drop of sweat.

No matter where I am, the end result will be worth it.

Related Posts:

Randomness

What else do you want to know about me? Send me an email!

My RSS Feed
My Sponsors

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