Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Simple But Substantial Change

It’s no big secret that I have become a big fan of the reality show, “The Biggest Loser.” The hook for me is seeing people who have let things get so out of hand that they must face massive changes in their lives, often times with life or death ramifications.

For example: The women on the show weigh over 200 or 300 pounds and the men weigh over 300 or 400 pounds. A 2011 Gallup poll reported that women in the USA average 160, and men are at 196.

And while I will be very interested to see the metamorphoses of these folks by the end of the show, I keep seeing and hearing little bits of advice that really can make a difference in all of our lives, and last night I got a good one (but let’s face it, it is a “reality show” - they get to work out 6 hours a day with dedicated staff, have full medical care, and their diets are planned and watched like a hawk. Sign me up!).

One of the contestants was monitoring another team’s session, and sat in with them. The trainer asked her the question, “What is it in your past that has kept you from achieving your fitness goals?”

You see, this very heavy woman is not stupid, nor does she want to weigh 300 pounds. She has tried and tried, as have most of the contestants, to lose the weight over the years, but yet here she is. After some soul searching and further questions, she finally admitted that she had an alcoholic father who had passed away when she was 16, and while she held him in very high regard, his behavior to her was at times very good, and at times very dark – and she’d never really dealt with it, aside from using food as a buffer for her feelings…

And that brought me to my own personal crossroad of sorts, even making it my Twitter #FitnessTip today: “What's personally stopped you from achieving things in the past? You have to truly address that, as well as have goals & plans.” I know I have something to change, and I’m going to do it. I’ll let you know how that works out as we head on down the road this year…

I think we all have something(s) simple in terms of identifying it, and substantial in terms of its effect if we change it, in our lives. That could be obvious things like stopping smoking, increasing exercise, or cutting back on excessive things like sugary foods or booze. But it could also be having the courage to not only identify a person, event, or an illness in our past that we have not addressed, but then taking action to do something positive about it.

So my challenge to you today is to think about what your goals and plans have been in the past, and what really stopped you from achieving them? And have you addressed those issues? If you haven’t, you need to – I know I need to – otherwise we’re most likely going to act out that often quoted definition of insanity, repeating the same thing again and again, but expecting a different result each time. Ciao for now, and thanks for checking in! – Cb…

Thursday, January 10, 2013

10 Questions to Ask Before Giving Up

From time to time I'll be featuring articles I think are relevant to me, and hopefully to you as well. Today I read this over at Tiny Buddha, addressing not that setting goals are important - and they are - but why you set those goals is possibly even more important, and so remembering those reasons of why can help you when you're at the point of potentially giving up.  Good stuff...

by Lori Deschene, Founder, Tiny Buddha
We all face obstacles in pursuing our goals, whether they’re professional or personal.  We think we’re on the right track but realize we’ve chosen the wrong approach. We’re enthusiastic and hard-working, but our support system disintegrates when we need them the most. We’re just about to make significant progress when we run out of time or funding.
Tenacious as we may be, we all have our breaking points—that moment when the potential rewards stop justifying the effort. Usually that’s the hump that separates your best shot and your best reality. Before you throw in the towel and go back to something safe and far less taxing, ask yourself the following questions:
 - Why did you want to pursue this goal to begin with—and has anything changed?

 - What’s the worst that will happen if you keep going and don’t reach your goal?

 - Are you afraid of succeeding?

 - Would your life be better if you gave up on this goal?

 - What would you tell someone else if they were in your shoes?

See the other 5 reasons, and get the rationale behind them and what you can do to avoid them at: