Finding the Confidence in Healthy Living

I am just an average Joe. Not much different from the people sitting around me and not much different from you. I grew up in a small ranch town, was active in school and felt I would accomplish great things in my life. Just by writing that sentence I find myself longing for the good ‘ol days. Here I sit 25 years later thinking what the crap! I am now 43!! This is not where I should be. Excuse me while I hurry to the fridge to find me something to munch on to take my mind off the fact that I am no where my 16 year old self thought I would be.

Eight years ago life was getting hard. My father died, I lost a lot of money in an investment, our small family grew by three more children and I found myself under-employed.  I seemed to be working hard and never getting anywhere. Emotionally I was headed downward. Eating to console my feelings, not wanting to visit with others. I just hid behind the TV and wished that life would go away. It sucked!

I felt that if I could just get healthy maybe I could have the energy to fight a little longer. So I would give it the old college try. I would eat healthy and go for a walk. As soon as I would try to be better life seemed to go to hell and after 1 day of effort I would get on the scales. The scale would scream at me “You are a looser”! You have got to be kidding me! I lost nothing after one day!  I mean I choked down a salad…a salad,  and my pants didn’t even fit differently! COME ON!!! Where’s the love for Pete sake! Then there was the people at work…don’t get me started. Young, trim and eating all the doughnuts they wanted. What the heck! The universe hated me. I would find myself smiling on the outside but being torn up on the inside. This was not working. I was not happy and felt I could not change my life. I found myself blaming everyone around me for the situation I was in.

I could not continue down this path but what could I do? I had tried everything! Well…except one thing. Instead of trying to focus on everything in my life and trying to change everything at once. I decided I would focus on one thing. I would fight one battle at a time and that battle was my weight. I decided I would not let anything get in my way on this one thing until I accomplished what I wanted.

I went into my bathroom and threw out the scale! I was done measuring my success with outward approvals. I was going to be my only judge. Not the world, not magazines, not friends, just me! I was done expecting over night fixes. Was willing to be in this for the long haul.  I was done relying on everyone else to make my life easy. If this was going to work I had to change my mind first. Now I marched to the kitchen and threw out all the junk! I had to do it while I had passion or else I would not have done it. It was hard to throwout the case of Pepsi I had just bought that yesterday.  It would have been easy to say I will start after I finish this case. But I had to many tomorrows filled with “I will start” promises. It was time to say “I will start this second”. I was not going to let another second go by with out me in control. So I did it.

I could not continue to expect different results while I did the same thing. This time I was going to think outside the box. Let me tell you what I did.

Start this second –

Don’t wait for tomorrow. Don’t wait till your ready. Start right now! It begins with a mind set. As of this moment you are in control. No one else.

Your not going on a diet, you are changing your life –

Rome was not built in a day…(however I think it was destroyed in a day) Anyway stop saying you are going on a diet. While diets are good they should be viewed only as a tool (a short term assistant) to help you reboot your system, see quick results and be informative. What you have to get into your head is you are not changing how you eat for a period of time you are changing how you live for a life time.

Become your bodies expert –

If you use a diet as a tool take advantage of that diet. Take that time to educate yourself on eating and exercising properly. Watch how your body interacts with different foods. You will gather a lot of great information as you study. Don’t rely only on that information. You need to test the information in you life. See what works for you. Everyone is different and you are the one that knows what works with your body.

No matter how small take your successes –

You have got to train yourself to see success no matter how small and take joy in them. I said ‘them’ because you should be experiencing multiple success a day. You might be the only one that sees them but you are your best cheerleader so whoop it up!

You’re the turtle, be the turtle-

Slow and steady wins the race. Stop rushing. This is not about losing 100 lbs in 50 days! If that is your mind set you will gain it all back and more. You are not in a race! You are in control. If it takes you 3 months or a few years to get where you want that’s ok. Stop looking at the calendar. Yes set goals, give your self manageable time lines, but don’t beat yourself up by trying to speed up your progress. You will get there. You are the only one in this race. Stop thinking your chasing a rabbit and just keep moving forward.

Measure your success on how you feel –

This is not about the scale, the mirror, your peers or what you think the world tells you “looks acceptable”. This is about how you feel. Ignore everything else. Just focus on how you feel. Eat so that you have energy. Remove those foods that give you a quick fix and then leaves you feeling like crap! (simple carbs, sugars, saturated fats) Understand that your body will have cravings. Your body has been in control of you way to long. It’s time you took back control. You will start to feel you have more energy and this feeling will become addictive. Your body will crave more of the good stuff. Understand what your body is telling you and give it what it needs, not necessarily what it wants.

You don’t have to take your clothes of to have a good time.

Don’t you dare get on that scale. Don’t even spend a lot of time in front of that mirror. Judge your success with your clothes on. Your shirts are fitting different, your belt can buckle on that next notch, you don’t have to lay on the bed to button your pants. Yeah!!! You did that. That is awesome! What an amazing feeling. Your body screams I want to take the stairs, I want to park the further parking spot, a soda…??? No thanks, not for me! It is an amazing feeling. Success always is. Take it you deserve it!

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

You are the fairest! You have got to believe it. Now that you have seen success in how you feel and how your cloths fit, take yourself to the mirror. You look amazing! Your face is thinner, your stomach is not as round. Wow you look good. Ok, enough! Don’t stand there to long or you will start finding fault. Just take a quick peek and walk away!

Run don’t walk! Move it~Move it!

Your starting to feel good aren’t you? Well you should. Your body as some extra energy and wants to show you what it can do. Your body is trying to engage you to release this new energy in productive ways. Be careful don’t become over zealous, your body will try to convince you that you are ready do more than you should. You will try and push the envelope and your body will give out and your mind will say “Are you kidding me! This exercise should not be this hard! You worked so hard to lose weight and nothing has changed. You might as well give up.” Be careful or you will sabotage your success. Remember take baby steps. Don’t try to do so much that you smother your success. Park farther away in the Wal Mart parking lot, walk a bit faster, take the stairs. Depending on what you want to achieve you will gradually implement, cardio, weight training or just good ol’ fashion play. Remember you are the turtle – be the turtle.

Enjoy all things in moderation

You are not on a diet. Therefore you have to learn how to enjoy this new way of life. Take time to enjoy some of your favorite naughty foods. I could eat a Hersey’s chocolate bar in one gulp. Don’t do it! Remember your are in control! Not your body. What I do is grab a glass of water and drink up. My stomach now feels full and I break off two squares of chocolate and slowly eat them. Enhoying every bite! It’s amazing how that one thing has helped me learn how to enjoy other simple things in my life.

Don’t beat yourself up!

Our experiences are our best teachers. If you demand perfection from yourself today you will never succeed tomorrow! You will actually stop trying. There were times that I would binge all weekend. I would feel miserable! My mind would take over and try to convince me that I was not capable of doing this. That I would fail just like I had in the past. Don’t believe it! So what you ate a box of Oreo double stuff, 4 cream filled doughnuts with a chocolate milk chaser before your pizza dinner and your midnight ice cream. So what! Start living healthy again the very next second. If you don’t and you find you have woke up 3 days later with a Hostess Ding-Dong hangover, Who cares! You are the turtle! You are in control! Get back up. This might happen to you a few times. Your body will start to be aware of the stark differences between healthy living vs  sugar gutter junky living and your cravings for the “stuff” will become less and less. You can do this!

There is a lot of things I have learned about myself while making this change in my life. To much I can not explain in a little blog. If you need help comment below. If I can help I will. If I can’t don’t give up!

I do not feel my life is out of control any longer. I have felt success once again in my life. I have a desire to take control of other things in my life because now I know I can do hard things and achieve! Look out world here comes Jared Ballard.

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