Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Healthy Carol: The Ghosts of Successful Weightloss

Among the many things I find I love about blogging, there is one I don't...the level of personal shame one endures when facing the Blog/Blob for the first time after weeks of neglect.

Well actually I've been blogging at SparkPeople more regularly, and it serves to relieve my blogjones'in. I see these people who manage two, three, six blogs and I wonder...how do they get paid for doing that? They must, because then there is no time for that annoying little hindrance they call w - o - r - k.
Enough intro...I am back hitting the health front on all six (or is it eight?) cylinders. Anyway, inspiration has been coming to me in threes … either that or I’m approaching a manic phase. Whatever. So last week I spent a lot of time studying, reflecting upon the theme of three, and I came up with an acronym that seemed to embody the spirit of my continued frontal assault.

It involves getting reinvigorated employing intense preparation—which I have neglected—and practicing visualization--- I had FORGOTTEN how powerful this can be! --- and staying committed through dedication and communication: commitication! (an homage to Bush--- miss you Dubya! I don’t kerr what they said about you being a moron… don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?)
PVC - Preparation - Visualization - Commitication

PVC is an acronym for PolyVinylChloride. As a building material, PVC is cheap, durable, biologically and chemically resistant and easy to assemble. It’s also easy to remember. This is why I chose it as my mantra du mois (NOT thinking about toxic dioxin by-products in making it or carcinogens allegedly leaching out into the ground). I want my journey to be cheap, easy to follow, last a long time, be impervious to chemicals and certain foods, and be a little bit dangerous. Yeah. That sounds good.
There are not many people I can imagine being more prepared than Adrian Monk. He is my OCD Hero-- I can only aspire to his level of preparedness and organization. I did find a young woman who is in awesome shape and has done great things with her nutrition and physical health. She ranks a close second behind Monk in my book:

I’ll share some thoughts that have been gelling about preparation and how important it is, and how I have been falling a little short, partially due to finances, but partially due to me using “finances” as a welcome excuse to screw around. Pathtofatloss.com is a blog aimed at people who’re looking for sound ideas and proven strategies to lose fat. I came upon it and have added it to my list of blogs to follow about a month ago…written by Anna who decided to start blogging about everything she experienced in the process of fat loss in terms of nutrition, strength training, and mindset. She adheres to one of my favorite philosophies, which I’ve tweaked a bit to shorten:

“If you fail to prepare, PREPARE TO FAIL.”

Following Anna’s prep procedures, you won’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen the rest of the week. All she does is grab the pre-cut required ingredients out of the fridge, throw them in a pan and has a meal in less than 20 minutes. She says she prepares enough for her AND hubby to eat 5-6 meals a day plus enough to take leftovers to work for lunch or a snack. She didn’t start out doing all these meal preparations right away. She started with “small, baby steps which eventually became a habit. I can come up with many excuses not to prepare my meals but those excuses won’t do me any good. They would just prevent me from reaching my goals and living a healthier lifestyle.”
I had forgotten how powerful creative visualization could be until I read an article from Coach Nancy Howard. Suddenly I remembered how I had been introduced to CV...it was nearly two decades ago. I've always been in marketing and sales, and always been reading self-help books and going to seminars. I don't remember if I first picked it up from Think and Grow Rich, or The Magic of Thinking Big... but in one of those (which are old but both excellent) I ran across the concept. That was back in the day that I would scoff and snort to myself about any book that told me to go look in a mirror and tell myself I "loved me" to get over self-esteem issues...or close my eyes and imagine myself practicing my golf swing, perfectly, over and over and I would be able to actually hit the ball better...snort, harrumph!

Thank goodness my self-sufficient, all-knowing shell finally cracked enough to allow me to put some of these concepts into practice... it CHANGED MY LIFE. Literally. The first time I really did the CV thing all out, I copied my goals as affirmations on 3x5 cards, kept them with me and took them out 2-3 times a day and read over them, allowing myself to feel the excitement of actually experiencing what it would feel like IF IT WERE actually true. I also put post-it notes all around. AND I did the 10-15 minutes each nite before going to bed, picturing myself doing and being what I had written down. It did not happen overnight. I practiced this for about 2-3 months, then slowly dropped a lot of the intensity, but it had already changed me. I was thinking differently, feeling differently, acting differently. And within four years, most of what I'd written down? CAME true. I mean, from NIGHT TO DAY type of things.
As Coach Nancy says, "Visualization, [or] mental imagery, is so powerful, it can truly catapult us to our goals faster than almost any other technique. And don’t think this is just for athletes. Everyone can benefit from this technique. When you visualize yourself eating healthy, you will eat healthy. Visualize yourself making it through your workout; you will make it through your workout. Visualize yourself being successful and you will be successful. The irony is the brain essentially produces the same chemicals during visualization that it does doing the actual task at hand. Psychologists have shown that when we incorporate all five senses-hearing, taste, smell, touch, and seeing, into our visualization practice, our chance of success sky-rockets."
Finally, what Three-Spirit Visitation would be complete without an appearance from Janet Jackson, before her wardrobe ever started malfunctioning? I've always like little Janet, her music and choreography, her adorable little films...the persona/image she has branded of herself embodies health and vigor and determination. To me, she is the Heroine of COMMITICATION NATIONSunday was liftoff...C-DAY...the first day of an all-raw challenge that I've actually committed to in a long time. It has taken me several weeks to get psyched up this time, but I have finally reached a level of internal excititude that I hope to maintain, to sustain me through the next 3 (and maybe more, who knows?) weeks. Even though several other people are getting involved, once the ball got rolling I realized, it's for ME. If no one else suits up, shows up, and tells the truth on the forum each day, it is still about ME. I am really the only one I have to worry about getting her fluffy tuchas in gear each day...it's a lot of fun when more than one are actually experiencing what you are, all at the same time-- kind of like Boot Camp, the thrills, the rewards, the sukky parts-- but if that doesn't happen, I STILL have to make MYSELF HAPPEN.


Anonymous said...

Another great way to keep the eating under control is - use the power of small! Take one day at a time, just thin about eating well from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed. It's much easier to avoid getting overwhelmed that way.

Sharon said...

Hi Tamera, I found your blog through Sparkpeople.com yesterday and just wanted to say that I've enjoyed reading your post thus far... keep up the GREAT work.