Empowering a Life Change

Hello everyone!  How’s your day going?  Aren’t you thankful you have a job today?  By the time this will go “live,” our work week will be in full swing and, sometimes, it’s easy to forget about all the positive things our job brings to our lives as we are faced with all the negative things about our jobs that tend to catch the majority of our focus.  For me, I have been taking a few minutes each morning to reflect on those positive aspects of my job and making a conscious effort to approach my job with a positive and authentic attitude.

I am so excited about the changes that are happening in me that I am writing this post just a few hours after my last post went up on Sunday.  In my last post, I did my best to share how I have been refocusing on the thoughts that empowered this weight loss journey.   Today, I want to flesh that out a little more.  To do that, I have to open a few locked doors and let you into my mind a little bit.  While I admit that I am extremely apprehensive about this, I also acknowledge that this process is absolutely necessary.

When I began to understand and believe that I have the power to control my thoughts and live the life that I want to live, I was empowered to engage in a process of change that has led to the loss of 120 pounds.  This one, single thought was like a bomb in the middle of my former patterns of thinking which were the very opposite of the statement I just made.  Before I realized the power I have over who I am, I had a lot of thinking errors that excused and justified the very unhealthy life that I was living.

The biggest thinking error that I have ever used was that I was a victim of my life and my circumstances.  I’m not even sure that this was an active thought in my life.  Somewhere along the line, I began viewing myself as less than the author of my life’s story.  For the most part, I seen myself in much more of a reactive role in my life.  Honestly, I believed that this was typical for most everybody else and only the lucky ones catch a break that allows them to live above their circumstances.

This thinking error fueled a thought pattern that allowed me to play the victim in every area of my life that I found to be less than desirable. It would be impossible to identify them all, but I want to give you a sample so that you can understand the point I am trying to make.

  • Undesirable Life Reality:  I weighed 450 pounds.
    • Thinking Error:  Bad genes have been cruel to me and I can never be at a healthy weight like everyone else.  (I can’t control it)
  • Undesirable Life Reality:  I have a low self-esteem.
    • Thinking Error:  My past experiences and mistakes have tainted my life and left me damaged.  I am unworthy and will never be as good as anybody else. (I can’t change it)
  • Undesirable Life Reality:  I have experienced repeated perceived rejections by authority figures.
    • Thinking error:  They all can see that I am not good enough and, thus, have never seen the benefit of investing in my life in any meaningful way.  They identify those with potential and spend their time where it is worthwhile.  (This is just who I am)

Again, this list could go on and on, but that’s already enough for me to begin experiencing some of those past thoughts that kept me defeated for so long.  Looking to the past can only give me information about how to move forward.  Lingering too long, especially this close to actually believing those things, can only bring up painful beliefs and tempt me to pick them back up.

Back in September, my friend, Elizabeth, shared her story with me of how she took control of her weight by taking control of what she ate.  Regardless of anything else I had ever heard up to that point in my life, Elizabeth sparked a hope within me that I had the power to take control of my weight.  Within weeks, I was losing weight at a pace I never thought possible.  This experience is what began overtly challenging these thinking errors that I had held dear for so long.  I could not continue to believe that I can’t control my weight when I was so clearly doing just that.

By tapping into the power to take control of my weight, I was beginning to tap into the power to change my thoughts, which empowered me to begin changing my behavior and, thus, I began to take control of who I am.  Through these very liberating weeks of incredible change, I was breaking changes of bondage that were holding me captive.  Chains forged by nothing more than my own thinking errors and faulty perceptions.

A quick review of my pictures alone will show you that much more than just my weight was changing!  My eyes, the very windows to my soul, were radiating with a light that hadn’t been seen in them since pictures before I was old enough to experience those things that began contributing to the thinking errors I had developed.  For the first time in my life, I was experiencing the hope that I was the author of my story and that I decide, today, what my reality will be rather than having my reality be dictated by circumstances that are out of my control or past experiences that I can’t change.

If you have never experienced this type of thinking error, my words my seem frivolous or small, but for those of you that read this that know the weight of similar chains, you know exactly what I am talking about and how life-altering this realization was!

I have the power to change my thoughts and live the life I want to live.  -Me

If you are going to understand my journey and the renewed focus of my blog, you HAVE to understand that my success was never about the number on a scale.  No, my success is found in the daily decisions I make to take my life back from a dark, and defeating, prison of my own thinking errors.  Sorry, dear reader, but it’s not a solitary war I had to overcome.  It’s a daily battle – one that is not easy, but one that is SO empowering, liberating, and WORTH IT!

As I watch the word count continue to rise, I want so desperately to continue with what I am sharing, but I know there will be other posts… other opportunities to share my journey.   Thank you for taking the time to read this post and please let me know what you think.

For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back.  Find me on social media:

The True Work of Weight Loss

Hello friends!  How is your Sunday morning going so far?  As I began thinking about my blog this morning, I thought about what you all are doing right now in your life.  So many different scenarios flashed through my mind as I pictured some of you still sleeping while others are hurriedly trying to get your families ready for church.  Maybe you are making breakfast for you and your loved ones or maybe you’ve already embarked out into the world to get a jump start on your To-Do List – that always seems way too full.  Regardless of what you are doing, I find it fascinating that we all choose to approach our lives so very differently, but we all seem to make it through each day and life goes on!

I received a message this week that led to a phone conversation with a long-time friend that I don’t speak with regularly.  While I used the word “friend,” I think it’s important to clarify that we encounter people throughout our lives that are not all destined to become a person that we speak with everyday, but their support, friendship, and love, are felt regularly throughout our lives. Yet, when you do get the chance to visit again, it feels as if you pick up and visit as easily as if you had spoken to each other every single day.

Conversations with this friend have always been growth experiences.  You see, my friend is a professional life coach and has worked with so many wonderful people that are in very different stages of their lives.  What led him to contact me was his continuing observation of my journey.  He shared with me how exciting it has been to watch as my journey develops, but he had noticed a very subtle, yet substantial, shift in my thinking which he wanted to process with me.  What resulted was an amazing 75 minute phone conversation where he listened, supported, challenged, and clarified the thoughts that have been fueling this incredible journey.

Using only my words, he masterfully navigated through the mental renovations of this journey and helped bring clarity to what has been occurring in my thought life.  While acknowledging it seemed I would eventually navigate my way through this process on my own, he shared his desire was to help me do so more quickly.

Our conversation started with a discussion about where I am in life and the recent things that I have been thinking, doing, and achieving.  Next, he led our conversation back to the core of what had started this journey and, together, we processed what empowered these changes in the first place. Then, we moved towards the subtle change in my thoughts as my journey continued.  Finally, he skillfully broke down the things I was saying throughout this conversation and assisted me in clarifying the conversation into usable information for growth and continued success.

Regardless of how much I want to flesh this out (because I LOVE talking), I must keep this brief if for no other reason than length and time.  This journey started as a mental one, but my perception of blogging and my own success had slowly transformed the basis of this journey into a focus on external success – pounds lost.  After our conversation, I went back to old blog entries to see if I could find proof of these changes.  In January, I posted an entry that talks about the mental journey of weight loss.  In that entry, I wrote, “You see, losing weight has been so much more of a mental journey than a physical journey.”  I later also admit, “It fits like a glove that is too small and it doesn’t happen for me naturally. I have to FORCE myself to live within my new life choices.”  However, the signs of my shift in focus are also present.  I mention several goals throughout the entry.  Goals for walking, blogging, and “health goals.”  Yet, if you are paying attention, you can easily see I mean “weight goals” or “pounds lost.”

While doing the difficult work of self-evaluation with my friend, I gained a much more clarified insight into what was happening with my thought patterns and the effects that these changes had brought to my journey.  Again, using only my words, my friend was able to help me clarify that the most empowering thought I ever had in this journey was that I had the power to control my thoughts and live the life I wanted to live.  That I was not a victim to genetics, finances, my current life status, or any unseen external force.  If I didn’t want to be morbidly obese, I had the power to change it!

There’s SOO much that has been happening in my thoughts this week and SOO much I want to share with you, but this sharing will have to come another day.  For now, though, I want to clarify my vision for this blog.  When I came up with the address, I wanted a title that expressed that this journey was more than losing 250 pounds.  Thus, 250pounds2forever.com was born.  However, while the title was very appropriate then, the title has come to mean so much more than I even planned for it.

I’m going to utilize my blog to share about my journey, but I want to do so in a way that I am sharing what is changing my life rather than just announcing that my life has changed.  What changed my life was the realization that I had the power to control my thoughts and to choose the life I want to live.  Everything else has been a side-effect of the decision to control my thoughts and use my new thoughts to change my behaviors.

This is where I am tempted to announce a list of what is going to change as a result of my ongoing enlightenment this week, but I’m not going to do that.  I am an ever-evolving person and this blog is an outgrowth of who I am.  So, I’m simply going to allow this blog to grow and evolve with me.  That being said, I do have one big change that I’m implementing today:  no more weekly weigh in.

As difficult as it will be for me, I’m going to resist the temptation to qualify my success through the loss of pounds.  Am I success if I lose 3.5 pounds this week?  Am I failure if I don’t lose any pounds this week?  Perhaps true success is defined by something more than a numerical representation of my body’s interaction with gravity on any given day.  While I may share certain external successes, this blog is going to focus on where the hardest work is done:  my thought life.

I have the power to change my thoughts and live the life I want to live.  -Me

For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back.  Find me on social media:

Living Up To My Perceived Potential

It’s been awhile… again.  I guess, by now, you have figured out that I drifted away from blogging.  To myself, I denied it.  I would tell myself how busy I was or give myself excuses, but there were moments of clarity.  Moments when the denial was cracked by a brief glimpse of truth.  These were moments when my honest thoughts would provide a ray of honesty into my existence and my denial would be challenged.  Simple moments when I realized I had time to blog or should create a blog and I simply had no desire to do so.

This exactly matched my pattern of drifting away from the healthy eating patterns that I had been pursuing so strongly.  In May, I became much more lax and ceased working out.  So far, in June, I have given up any pretense of healthy eating patterns.  Unfortunately, I have given everyone the opportunity to say I’m just like every other failure at weight loss.  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?  Those people that announce they are going on a diet, start having a little success, talking about it constantly, and then give up without ever really talking about it.

Why did I stop?  Well, there are a lot of excuses, but no good reasons.  It’s honestly difficult to try and come with something that is creative and new each week.  Also, it’s a lot of work after a busy week of counseling, life responsibilities, and teaching about essential oils, to come home and find the energy to type out a blog.  Not only is there finding something to blog about, there’s making the perfect graphics, creating the an eye-catching title, launching the perfect Facebook post, etc.  All to wait and see how people respond to your creation.  Too short? Too long?  Okay?  Perfect?  Amazing?  10 readers?  4,000 readers?

Those are some good excuses, aren’t they?  Great!  I can play a victim to circumstance and difficulty and go on without a second thought.  Right?  It’s my pattern.  Okay, then, why did I stop losing weight?  Was I too busy to work out?  Yes.  Struggling through windows of bad allergies and back pain?  Sure.  I have tons of excuses, but I honestly lost the biggest majority of my weight through eating patterns alone.  That nullifies all excuses because the eating patterns were cheaper and would help me continue, or at the very least, maintain my weight.  Damnit!  This creates an area where I can’t excuse the behavior and move on.

I crashed.  Hard.  All my worst coping mechanisms showed up and I struggled for a couple weeks without even really understanding why I was crashing.  One night, as I was driving home, my internal dialogue lead me to a place of evaluating this situation and I stumbled upon a thought.  This thought seemed much bigger than me.  A thought so true that I needed to share it here even though it would require me swallowing my pride and being more real than I ever cared to…

As I was having my internal discussion, I realized this is about the third time that I have gone through this cycle.  The first time, I went from 350 to about 340 and I crashed.  The second time, I went from about 400 to 330 (I thought) and crashed when I realized my scale was broken and I was actually just under 350.  This time, I started my cycle at 450 and I got down to ACTUAL 330 (327) and stopped again.  Why would I keep doing this?  I know what is next… I slip and make excuses for big meals and cheat snacks until I’ve gained all the weight back and all the pounds brought friends.

So… You ready for the big reveal?  The real reason I quit my blogging and my weight loss?  I’m stuck in this cycle because I’m living up to my perception of my potential.  Once this thought hit me, I googled it and found this:

I was right.  Though I never watch Dr. Phil and know absolutely nothing about him, I was seeing confirmation of what I was thinking.  In order for me to press forward in this journey, I was going to have to change my perception of what I deserve and what defines the best or highest potential for me.  Unfortunately, this revelation was happening at a time when my best friendship was falling apart, I was missing personal goals for my essential oils business, and my life seemed to be defined by situations that only confirmed the opposite to be true.

So, I just sit on this truth and continued to allow my backslide to happen.  Each week, I committed to change, but never intended to follow through.  That all changes now.  I am committing to myself that I am going to change this.  Not because my friendship has healed.  It hasn’t.  Not because I’ve reached my big goal with my essential oils business.  I haven’t (though I have hit good goals).  Nor because I have been the recipient of some major miracle or visit from an angel to remind me that I’m God’s child and worth the very best this life has to offer.  I haven’t.

I think the only thing that has changed is my realization that I have lived through these things before and I have survived.  Not my friends that stood by me.  Not my family that loves me.  Not my wife that is always there for me.  I have survived my life.  I am good enough – even when I don’t feel good enough.  I am worth it.  I deserve better.  I am worth the very best in life and deserve every form of success that I may encounter in this life – even if the people around me don’t seem to believe it, either.

I know I haven’t lost this battle unless I continue to remain on the ground and allow myself to continue being defeated.  That’s not what’s going to happen here.  Not for readers,  Not for family or friends.  For me.  I can’t lose sight of that or my green personality will torture me back into a position of defeat.  It’s time I rely on my red side to drive me even when it doesn’t feel comfortable and I don’t really want to.

There are no pictures and there will be no weigh in posted.  This blog is as raw and real as it can get and I’m just going to leave it as it is… and that is good enough for me.