“Allow People to be Wrong About You.”

Hello friends!  If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, you may be a little confused why my weight loss blog has taken a dramatic turn in a different direction.  I have had some major insights into myself lately.  When I was focused on my ability to control my decisions and use those decisions to change my life, I was finding extreme success with my weight loss goals.  Unfortunately, as I began to focus on the number of pounds lost and winning the weight loss competition, I began to stumble on my journey and some of my negative thinking cycles began sneaking back into my life.

That’s when I asked myself whether I created this site to brag about my success or tell you how I’m doing it.  With this new strength, gained through insight, I decided that my blog needs to ditch the weekly weigh in and take its focus in a different direction.  I could give you recipes and weekly menus, but those things are literally splashed on every corner of the internet. What isn’t as focused on?  HEALING THE MINDSET THAT ALLOWS FOR THE WEIGHT LOSS PROBLEM TO EXIST!  How many times have I said that the hardest part of my journey has been the mental one?  So, why am I not focusing on what’s changing THE MOST?!

Changing My Mindset

My last post focused on the damage of being a people pleaser, but I want this post to take it a step further.  We say we are a people pleaser because it sounds like we are a selfless, giving person, but it really means that we are liars that are constantly failing to please everyone and our relationships and mental health are suffering for it.  Today, I want to introduce you to a new, revolutionary figure in my life:  Brooke Castillo.

Remember when I mentioned my life coach buddy a few weeks ago?  He introduced me to Brooke.  He asked me to listen to her podcast episode on self-confidence.  I was immediately hooked.  Brooke spoke on a concept that I have known, but never fully understood quite so clearly.  Seriously, I have been needing to hear this all my life:  “Allow people to be wrong about you.”

Brooke shared that we often times allow the perceptions of others to define us and we are constantly doing everything we can to make people see us in the best possible light.  In my case, this became the unhealthy habit of people pleasing.  By always trying to please others, I was neglecting and abusing myself.  I would put other people’s thoughts, opinions, feelings, and desires above my own.  In doing so, I was constantly reinforcing the highly damaging thought that others are better than me and my identity ONLY comes from their thoughts and opinions about me.

I have done soooo many things all in an effort to ensure people like me.  At best, I would allow others to make my choices for me.  At the worst, I let a former “best friend” constantly berate me while always making him one of my top priorities.  In working so hard to make others like me, I created an environment that reinforced my negative thinking patterns and made me into a person that I really didn’t like myself very much.


So, what does this have to do with allowing people to be wrong about you?  Well, in ending my people pleasing ways, I have had to accept the truth that I can’t make anyone like me, but I’ve also accepted the truth that who I am is not defined by what others think of me.  As I discussed in my last post, I’m learning to live honestly.  Now, when I am tempted to give an excuse or tell a lie in an effort to control how another person views me, I give my honest answer without excuse, explanation, or lie.  If their resulting opinion of me changes to the negative, I have to allow them to be wrong about me.

Last week, I gave a hypothetical situation:  You get asked by your best friend if you want to help her daughter’s girl scout troop sell cookies outside of Wal-Mart on the first pretty Saturday your area has had in weeks. You had planned to spend the day with your hammock and a good book because your kids are spending the day at a birthday party and you finally have some much-needed time alone.

You want time to recharge your batteries, but you don’t want your friend to be mad at you.  You may tempted to help despite not really wanting to.  You could choose to lie and give an excuse that will relieve you from the situation, but also any potential judgement by your friend.  However, the best option is to simply give an honest answer without worrying so much about how your friend perceives you.  If you tell your friend that you are unavailable to help as you are spending the day focusing on recharging your batteries and she thinks you are selfish, her thoughts about you don’t change who you actually are at all.

When you are always honest, people learn that you value them enough to always tell them the truth.  I’m not saying everyone will like it, but you will always have people that don’t like what you are doing.  I had people that didn’t like when I started losing weight and some even tried to talk me out of it, others that constantly told me that I was going to fail, and others tried to sabotage my weight loss.  I had to allow them to be wrong about me.  Some got on board with me and others didn’t.

Allowing others to be wrong about you is a very difficult thing.  It’s hard to be confident in who you are when you’ve allowed those around you to define you all your life.  However, by fully embracing that you are who you choose to be, you are empowered to break the bondage of always needing the affirmation of others to know who you are and you recognize your power to be the person you choose regardless of what others think.

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

The Danger Of Being a People Pleaser

Good morning, friends!  Before I get started today, I want to take the time to thank everyone that has been following my journey.  This past week was a very busy one for me.  On Monday, I went to a Young Living event to learn about all the new products that were released at convention this year.  I love Young Living events because I get to meet new people and visit with the friends I have made since joining the company.

This week, I met a young woman.  She approached me and told me that she reads my blog and finds the content to be very encouraging. You know, it’s so easy to assume that the same people are reading your blog and to forget that people you haven’t met are finding the blog and following along with the journey.  It was a good moment for me and I found it very encouraging.  So, thank you everyone.  Whether this is your first time here or you’ve been here for every post, thank you for taking the time to share in my life.  While you’re here, take a moment to post a comment and share your life with me.

I Am a People Pleaser

After talking about the power to change your thoughts, I want to take the time today to talk about the dangers of being a people pleaser.  I just went to Google and typed in “What is a people pleaser.”  The first result was an article from Psychology Today and it  shared, “A People Pleaser is one of the nicest and most helpful people you know. They never say ‘no.’ You can always count on them for a favor. In fact, they spend a great deal of time doing things for other people. They get their work done, help others with their work, make all the plans, and are always there for family members and friends.”  Sounds great, right?

Honestly, people pleasers are great… unless you are one.  People pleasers are willing to sacrifice their own thoughts and feelings through acts that are designed to make everybody like them.  These aren’t truly acts of friendship.  They are acts of manipulation.  When you use your behavior in an attempt to control or sway the thoughts/behaviors/feelings of someone else, you are manipulating them.  This relationship pattern frequently leaves us filled with all sorts of negative emotions about ourselves and others and we turn to food to cope with these feelings.  I am a people pleaser and I have noticed a few issues with this relationship pattern:  1) it makes you a liar, 2) it’s not possible to please everyone, and 3) it’s builds resentment which destroys relationship.

It Makes You a Liar

Picture this:  You get asked by your best friend if you want to help her daughter’s girl scout troop sell cookies outside of Wal-Mart on the first pretty Saturday your area has had in weeks.  You had planned to spend the day with your hammock and a good book cause your kids are spending the day at a birthday party and you finally have some much-needed time alone.

As a people pleaser, I can’t tell you how many times I have blatantly lied in an attempt to ensure that someone liked me or to control their opinion of me.  Don’t get me wrong, they were good lies.  Er… well… they were helpful lies… unless you are one of those strict moralists that believes there is no such thing as a good or helpful lie… which I am…

Do you see the problem?  Lies don’t make friends.  We become a liar ANY time we are in a situation where we agree to do something we don’t want to do.  We mistakenly believe that the sacrifice we put ourselves through makes us a better person or better friend, but it doesn’t.  It makes us a liar.

Even when we do tell the truth, there is always a temptation to blanket the truth with a more acceptable lie.  In the situation above, we respond, “Oh… dang.  My week has been so busy.  I have to catch up on errands and housework.  I wish I could.”  We know that our week has been busy and that we have prioritized our mental health over our housework, but we don’t want to risk the chance that we may be viewed in a negative light.  So, we give a more acceptable reason… a lie.

It’s Not Possible to Please Everyone

The second issue that I find with being a people pleaser is that it’s literally not possible to please everyone.  The only person we can control is ourselves.  Everyone else gets to control themselves.  When we choose to define ourselves based on the thoughts and opinions of everyone around us, we create in ourselves an unstable self-esteem that is completely out of our control and never stable.

Take the scenario above.  You agree to help out of fear of your friend rejecting you or viewing you as selfish and sacrifice your own needs (manipulation to control their perception of you).  Then, during the event, you and your friend get into a disagreement over an issue and you’re left at the end of the day having neglected yourself, feeling rejected by your friend, and completely in shambles despite your best efforts to earn the exact opposite.

The people around us are free to do as they please.  Regardless of our tactics, we can never truly control the thoughts/feelings/behaviors of anyone.  When our self-esteem hinges on making everyone around us view us in the best possible light, we have set ourselves up for a life of misery.  It’s simply not possible.

It Builds Resentment Which Destroys Relationship

Nobody likes a selfish person.  When we live the life of a people pleaser, we constantly prioritize the needs and wants of those around us in an effort to make people like us.  All too often, this repeated pattern of sacrificing our own needs begins to feel a bit one-sided and we begin to feel pangs of resentment when that sacrifice isn’t reciprocated.  There are several ways this can show up.  Sometimes we just get sick of always feeling “walked on” or sometimes we get frustrated that they aren’t as willing to do the same for us when we are the ones in need.

Come on, on now, be honest.  This is where our true motives are revealed:  those moments when we are the one in need and our friend doesn’t do what we want them to.  Our discussion (either internally or externally to someone else) sounds a bit like, “I can’t believe they won’t help me.  How many times have I dropped what I was doing for them?!”

In our effort to “earn” their friendship and control their opinions of us, we also built a pattern where we expect our efforts to be reciprocated. When that doesn’t happen, the lie falls apart.  We never did those things because we wanted to do them.  We did them entirely for selfish reasons.  Regardless of the manner in which it is developed, resentment ALWAYS shows it’s ugly head and begins to deteriorate the relationship.  Sometimes this process only takes a few days.  In other relationships, this process can play out over years and years, but it always happens.

What Do We Do About It?

I’m going to be addressing this topic in my next blog post.  However, the simplest way to answer this question is to value yourself and your friends enough to live a life of honesty.  We are adults and can do as we please without needing to explain or justify the choices that we make and our friends are, too.  If we don’t want to help sell girl scout cookies outside Wal-Mart, we have every right to decline the request without the need to lie or explain.  I know this triggers a very real fear for some of us as we immediately begin to panic at the thought of what our friends will think of us if we really lived this way, but we will pick up here next time!

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

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.

Less Than a Failure?

The sparrow has returned to the ark and he was finally carrying a twig!

I can’t believe how much rain we have had and the amount flooding that has impacted our area, but I’m glad the waters have receded, the internet is restored, and I’m back from one of the best events I’ve ever been able to attend!!!  This last month has been one of neutrality.  After months of running hard towards my goals, things seem to have reached a standstill.  I can’t remember the last time that I went to the gym.  I can’t remember the last time that I tracked a whole day’s calories.  I can’t remember the last time I felt the need to get back in the swing of things and start hammering away at my goals.  Honestly, I don’t know when I will jump back on that train and begin shedding pounds again.  Tomorrow?  Next week?  I really don’t know.

(I apologize in advance for the drunk lady in front of my mic)

This weekend was the Garth Brooks concert.  I loaded up with a couple of my buddies and we set out for a concert and arrived at a huge learning experience.  I’m still processing the results of that learning experience and will likely share more later.  However, as I stood in line, navigated the hallways of the Sprint Center, and stood through almost three hours of action-packed excitement with 18,999 other people, I realized I was living my life and having fun (calorie and guilt free)… and it felt good.

Before the concert, I warned my friends that I am one of those nerds that would sing every word.  However, even before Mr. Brooks hit the stage, I found myself entering a mood of silent stupidity.  I didn’t know what I should say, what I should do, or even what I was feeling.  As the first song started, that stupor just continued.  I literally stood and watched the entire event in practical silence as I took in the event that unfolded in front of my eyes.  Despite enjoying the show and the energy of the crowd, I simply stood silently and watched.  It was the next day and I was home and driving alone in the car before I finally caught up with it all.  The surrealism faded and my mind was left with nothing to focus on but the fresh memories that had just been stored.

I didn’t know I would take a month away from here after I posted about self-sabotage, but that’s what ended up happening.  I don’t know that I can think of my last month as sabotage, though, cause I lost about 10 pounds.  Am I failure?  Am I success?  I don’t know, but I had a helluva lot of fun last month and it ended on a high note.  Seems to me, I’m just enjoying “The Dance” without the pressure.  All things considered, maybe my blog is more appropriately named than I realized.

For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…

  • September 11, 2016: 450+pounds
  • Today: 328.2 pounds
  • Total loss  121.8 pounds (45.6% of my total excess body weight)

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So, they announced the winners of phase one for the weight loss competition.  Overall, while I am completely loving my overall experience with Young Living, I have been very wordswag_1491937060457disappointed with their weight loss competition.  Do their products work?  Yeah.  I just haven’t been a big fan of the way they chose to run this competition.  They had a very large registration window – allowing for people to enroll their starting weight a full month before the competition started.  There was no progress chart for us to see our standing.   They changed the rules mid-stream and their announcement of the winners included NO information about the winner’s progress or where we all fell on the chart in standings.  Honestly, something seems amuck and it has left me not caring about finishing their competition.  I mean – I lost like 30 pounds and 19 inches, but another person self-proclaimed they lost 7 pounds and somehow lost over 30 inches?  Maybe I don’t live in their version of reality.

That being said, I started the competition at just under 380 pounds and I am now 337.4 – so I’m still rockin’ it!  I’m proud of myself and my accomplishments.  I’m proud I walked five days a week – EVERY SINGLE WEEK – and made mostly phenomenal eating choices throughout the competition.  Could I have done better?  Sure, but everyone knows that I busted my butt to win this thing and I can’t feel bad about my progress.

I’ve wanted to post about self-sabotage for the last few weeks?  Did you see that I weigh a little more than I did when I last posted?  Yeah… I don’t know if you can call that sabotage, but I feel like it is.

The hardest thing about this long journey of weight loss is that life keeps moving.  Work still causes stress, relationship difficulties still sap all your energy and leave you too depressed to want to go to a gym… heck, even human nature itself sometimes gets in the way of “feeling” the need to get out there and pound the pavement.  For me, though, I still struggle with a spirit that is easy to break.  I’ve experienced this when I hit major milestones and I realize how very far I still have left to go.  I’ve also experienced disappointment with the numbers not moving as much as I wanted after a few days pass.  I have experienced the desire to get to a goal so bad that the stress I place on myself increases my temptation.  Most recently, though, I have noticed how much external validation plays into my weight loss journey.  231ac1e478c6cc93c4c7d01bd4e254d0

After the first phase of the competition ended and waiting period began, I watched as the days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into a month before the results were announced.  To be honest with you, this period of time killed me.  I wanted to know I won.  I wanted my efforts to be validated.  I wanted to feel like I had done something that made me worth it.  As this antagonizing waiting period stretched on, I found I gave into temptation so much more frequently than I ever have.  To be even more honest, this weekend I made a ton of choices that I never would have made before after I experienced the crushing and unsatisfying announcement of the results.

I expected that there would be a post showing the overall progress and, if I didn’t win, I could still show that I came in near the top.  Yet, I wasn’t given that.  I was only given a short announcement that identified the names of the winner…  I cursed out loud and immediately sought out unhealthy food and alcohol.  How could they do this?  Something feels wrong!  I feel so… cheated!  For the rest of the weekend, I continued to make unhealthy choices as I ate whatever I wanted and however much I wanted.

It was with my behaviors during the waiting period for announcements and the choices I made after the announcement, I knew I had to talk about self-sabotage.  With all the success I have been having, why would I have such a strong need to have the validation of this weight loss competition when the ultimate award for losing this weight is so much more important than prizes or prize money?  How much would you pay to be able to tie your shoes or go to the zoo and walk 7.5 miles in 3 hours and still have the energy to make it through the rest of your day?  To me, these abilities have become priceless.  So, why would I sabotage my progress over something so stupid as waiting forever for progressresults or losing a competition?

Maybe I got so focused on the prizes that I forgot what this journey is all about?  Maybe I got so focused on overcoming that I lost sight of the fact that I am already winning?  Maybe I will  always struggle with inner voices that make me incapable of seeing my own worth?  Perhaps it is not about being perfect or being the best? Maybe I need to be okay with just being me and not being so focused on external sources for defining my self worth?  Maybe I just need to be focused on being the best version of myself that I can be and roll with both the good weeks and the bad weeks?

For now, though, it’s back to taking my life back…

  • September 11, 2016: 450+pounds
  • Today: 337.4 pounds
  • Total loss  112.6 pounds (42.1% of my total excess body weight)

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