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Freedom Challenge Week 2 - Write it down!

Posted Jan 27 2009 7:06pm
Week Two – Write it down!

One tip that contributes to the success of goal achievers is being focused on the plan and the goal. However, as I have learned, and possibly many of you, it’s far too easy to get distracted among the activities of life.

Get yourself a bound notebook, even one that you can keep with you at all times. It’s been shared with me by a few who have been successful that a major key for them was writing out their goals over and over. We often say, “I’d like…” verbally, and even that’s not a firm goal. “I’d like” is a wish, “I will” is the determination a goal requires. By writing down your goals, you keep focus on them. One person I know, who has been tremendously successful, wrote out her goals multiple times a day, and always kept them with her on a piece of paper. Another said she put Post-It notes with reminders all over the house. “Remember your successes, and forget your slip-ups,” a friend said to me. “Successes reinforce to you that YOU CAN DO IT!”

Whenever you are going to do something, like a fast food drive through or saying, “I don’t feel like it.” Check your decision against your list of goals. If it doesn’t coincide with the success you are striving to achieve ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” At the end of the day take a few minutes to write down the achievements and great choices you made throughout that day. It’s a reference to turn to when feeling frazzled or contemplating giving up. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing written that gets you back on track. You can also write out a struggle and how you specifically overcame it that day. That might just be the reminder you need in the future to overcome another struggle when nothing else comes to mind.

In 2007 I came across a list points to ponder and answer, a ‘Brutally Honest Time Capsule’ I called it. It was a Time Capsule list I believe I found on the television website for The Biggest Loser. In that time capsule are the points and questions below. I challenge you, before any thing else goes in your notebook, write the answers to these, and then write the things I mentioned above each day. Maybe you could call your notebook, 'My weight loss success story!'

Draw/place a picture of yourself
Describe yourself
What do you like most about your body?
What do you like least about your body?
How do you see yourself?
How do other’s see you?”
What is your weight loss goal?
What do you want to be able to do in the future that you cannot do now?”
How is your weight holding you back?
What is your favorite food?”
List the foods you eat in a typical day.
What does your future look like?
What is your most painful moment?
What is your happiest moment?
Why are you overweight?
Are you happy?
What do you want from this experience?
Who are you doing this for?
What are you most afraid of

For those who want to continue reading, below are my own responses in my ‘Brutally Honest Time Capsule from October 10, 2007.

Draw a picture of yourself
I actually didn’t draw one, but placed the first one under ‘A Starting Point’ in the column to your right.

Describe yourself
I am a stout woman, 5’1.5” tall. When doing my measurements quite some time ago I found my hips and abdomen measured longer than I am tall, which is both embarrassing and agitating. This realization makes me extremely angry with myself. I wanted to yell at myself, “What the hell have you done?!!” I was disgusted by that revelation. I’m not sure where those measurements are now against my height, probably not much different though.
When my hair is in it’s natural state, it’s just about 100-percent gray. The bible states, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life,” (Prov. 16:31) I try to remind myself. However, my hair is thinning out as well. My blue eyes are now more green and brown due to the trapped toxins in my body, and varicose veins are running the gamut of my legs. When I look in the mirror, my great skin complexion has been interrupted by the excess weight, and dark circles have taken root beneath my eyes due to lack of sleep and who knows what vitamin deficiencies. I have a belly that looks to be in the advanced stages of pregnancy, and a bottom that is as broad (or more so) than most standard chairs. My legs swell, and are severely blemished. Reddish blotches are decorated with white dots where the weeping happens when swelling is at its premium.
Despite this description, I have a sense of humor, great personality, and I am eager to turn my figure around. I want to find my curves again and wear smaller clothes – one that can be found in regular clothing sections at any store. I want to see the sharp edge of my jaw line and shrink my hands to wear my rings again, plus my neck so that a standard necklace will fit. I want to let the ‘me’ inside free of her turtle shell.

What do you like most about your body?
I always joke that I have inherited big luscious lips from my dad’s side of the family. Some pay money to have full lips. The other prominent feature is my eyes, the true window to my soul, and sometimes too easily read by others.

What do you like least about your body?
Big butt, big belly.

How do you see yourself?
I feel absolutely huge, 2 to 3 times the size of most other people, but that is only when I feel conscious about my body. The ‘me’ inside is not at all like the image others see, but a smaller woman.

How do other’s see you?”
Those close to me are concerned about my health and longevity as a result of excessive weight. They are concerned I will have a heart attack or stroke and die at a young age. Those who don’t know me, don’t see me, and if they do can say rude and hurtful things.

What is your weight loss goal?
I will lose 195 pounds. Starting weight is 335. My goal weight is 140 pounds, which I have not seen since my early to mid teenage years.

What do you want to be able to do in the future that you cannot do now?”
Walk around for an entire day, whether through a mall, a family function or other event without having to stop and sit for fear of my legs buckling beneath me. Plus, I would like to be able to stand in one spot for extended time without breaking into a sweat and feeling intense lower back pain. Also, I would like to go out and deliver Avon catalogs and recruit new team members without being restricted by pressure pain or feeling self-conscious about my size from the perspective of others. I am an excellent Avon trainer and seller, but my business growth is hindered due to what I’ve just written above.

How is your weight holding you back?
Weight makes my lower back burn with pain when out shopping, walking or standing still for longer than a few minutes. It makes me ashamed, embarrassed and drives my desire to stay inside my home. I also prefer to be alone rather than see the digust or concern in the eyes of others. It affects my personal image where I believe I should look great, like I take excellent care of myself, but weight doesn’t provide that message. My weight definitely hinders my romantic side of life. I haven’t had a date since before my daughter was born (now fifteen and a half years). Though I have a great personality, and am appreciated by close friends, I believe men are only seeing my size and refuse to get to know the woman inside this body.

What is your favorite food?”
Brussel sprouts, which I don’t have too often. Usually foods equate to what is quick, sandwiches, pasta, etc.

List the foods you eat in a typical day.
Breakfast is generally a fried egg sandwich prepared with cooking spray, plus black forest ham and cheddar on multigrain bread. I have this with one or two small hash browns and a large black coffee. Lunch varies from a sandwich, carrot sticks and an apple to pasta, to stirfry or the cafeteria special with a 591ml bottle of Diet Pepsi that I drink over the afternoon. Dinner varies too, from homemade hamburger helper or Kraft Dinner, to chicken or fish with pasta or rice and salad, to Arby’s or pizza and wings.

What does your future look like?
Currently my future looks bleak if I don’t change things. I have been diagnosed with diabetes, which does not require medication (yet) to control. I firmly believe that if I loose weight I will never need medication. By being lazy and not exercising I am at a huge risk for heart attack or stroke – all three conditions are prominent in my family. Plus, lack of movement means poor circulation, and that leads to blood clots and ongoing concerns with swelling in my legs.

What is your most painful moment?
Emotionally, after seeing a picture of myself sitting at a chair at my sister’s home, and a portrait taken with my daughter in May of 2006, I was mortified. Turning myself into those images hurt me, and it was pain I inflicted on myself! I am disgusted both by the image and what I did to myself to create it. I don’t feel like the person captured on film! I feel smaller, thinner. I believe I have dishonored God. My body is our temple for the Holy Spirit that guides me, and look at the disgusting accommodations I have provided. I am some hostess! God gave me a perfect body, and I made a not-so-funny caricature out of it. I’ve mistreated it, abused it, refused to exercise it, and ignored it when it tells me something, BUT now I am trying to turn that around.

What is your happiest moment?
When I succeed on any level

Why are you overweight?
The reasons many be plentiful. I believe the main one has been a lack of self-confidence. I’ve been hurt many times, and although I don’t believe that is an excuse, how I handled hurt, rejection and grief turned me into who I am today. I have never felt worthy of others attention, often catching myself thinking I am not attractive or good enough to be loved the ‘right’ way by a man. However, I also fear that if I look good I will attract men. I know that’s an oxymoron, but I fear that attracting men (which is something I want for the right reasons) will have a bad result from abuse to being used for his personal gratification and ultimately rejected. I want to be loved the way God wants me to be loved, but historically that has Never happened, and I fear the right kind of love will never come. Also contributing to my weight, I absorb/contain too much stress, and I keep that pain pent up – not intentionally, but because I feel so alone. I have a lot of responsibilities and I, although my confidence has grown significantly over the past fourteen years, many hurtful events, some far too shocking to comprehend. As a result, I have had to work through many things I never knew needed to be worked through.

Are you happy?
I am content. Happy? Not entirely. There are things I want to see in my life that just seem unattainable.

What do you want from this experience?
A new and refreshed me. I have made great strides to grow from the above information. I have removed a lot of baggage. Plus I want people to see the real me, I want to eventually see shocked looks on the faces of those who see me months from now, much like the expression of families when their loved one returns from camp on The Biggest Loser. They will hardly recognize me.

Who are you doing this for?
I am doing this for me, and second for my daughter and her future, the grandchildren I will meet someday. Third is to alleviate the concern of my father. I will never forget the visit I made when he hadn’t seen me for two years. I had gained a lot of weight over those years. The expression of shock and concern on his face at first seeing me tore me up inside. I still get a lump in my throat. I knew exactly what that look meant, and after a few conversations since then, I know how real and deep his concern is for me.

What are you most afraid of
Myself. For some unknown reason I have a tendency to self-sabotage. It seems as soon as I see the slightest success in weight loss it’s quickly reversed. It’s like having a fight with myself over control, except I don’t know who that part of me is that kills success or why she does it? This is something I need to overcome. I need to persevere no matter what crosses my path, and not beat myself up so much if I slip up. I need to keep my focus on my goals.
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