progress pictures

January 8 – Creating the movie of my success

January 8 – “Hold a picture of yourself long and steadily in your mind’s eye, and you will be drawn toward it.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

When I was a child, I bounced a rubber baseball against the front of my garage for endless hours. The garage had windows, and panels with various designs and angles. The design and angles made for a lot of weird bounces, and the windows made for a lot of trouble for me as I managed to break just about every one of them (4 doors each had 6 or 8 windows. Nearly all were broken by me, some multiple times).

When I would play ball I was always working on my fielding. I imagined myself playing the infield for the Cleveland Indians (my home town team). If a ball got by me, or I didn’t make a clean scoop and throw, a runner would get on. I would play entire games in my mind. In my mind I was a major league infielder, and a darn spiffy one at that.

Sadly, no amount of that practice or visualization translated to my actual experiences playing Little League baseball. I was a serviceable First Baseman, defensively. I threw left handed and batted right, and while I could occasionally hit for a bit of power, I never was terribly successful at the plate. Basically, despite the work I put in, and the mind’s eye that I employed, I lacked the talent. When Little League ended, so did my aspirations of playing in the Majors.

Today’s quote and meditation is about visualization. The book, Weight Watchers Success Every Day. 365 Meditations for Your Weight Loss Journey, explores the notion that we can be more successful when we visualize ourselves in our goal state, and then fill in the details.

The good news is that being a more healthy version of myself does not take any talent. It does, most definitely, take diligent practice and execution. And, I believe, it does take a bit of visualization.

When I was losing weight in 2014 and 2015, I took progress pictures of myself. Those pictures helped me to objectively see my progress, and motivate me to go farther. One of my favorites is this one, which I call 3 Weddings.

3-weddings

I haven’t taken progress pictures in quite some time because my progress ground to a halt. And, since June of 2016, I have been making more of a Regress toward obesity.

Today I am going to work on visualization. I have pictures of myself looking the way I want to look. I plan to keep those handy  to visualize the goal state. But, I think more importantly, I am going to work on visualizing myself doing the tasks, and making the choices that will bring that goal state to life. Namely:

  • Tracking my food every day
  • Working out a minimum of 3 times
  • Walking at least 12 laps (approximately 2 miles)
  • Making my overall step-goal of 8,000 per day on non workout days, and 10,000 on workout days
  • Sensibly snacking, only within my limits
  • Drinking at least 2 liters of water while at work every day
  • Fearlessly stepping on the scale on Friday morning

These are the things I am setting out do this week, and I am going to create those scenarios in my mind to help me achieve them

I know that when I envision myself failing, and making bad choices, I am setting myself up to fail. I am painting a picture of that failure and giving it time to fester in my mind. Instead, I am going to live intentionally and replace an image of failure with one of success.

Bobby-C’s thought for the day… To be successful, I must eliminate the picture of failure I have painted in my mind. That picture must be replaced with a feature-length movie of me marching toward my goals.

An update as the year comes to a close

As 2014 comes to a close tomorrow, it seems like a good time to reflect on this past year in terms of my health. Over the past few weeks, one phrase keeps ringing in my head… “what a difference a year makes.”

That difference has been evident in so many ways. There are the obvious, and easily measured ways.

  • Since this time last year I am down 100 pounds
  • My A1C went down nearly 2 full points from 7.1 to 5.3
  • My BMI went from nearly 47, to just over 32

Then there are the differences that show up in pictures. Here is a series of pictures of me. They go chronologically from top left to bottom right. The top left was a Christmas party last year, the bottom right was at that same party this year:

me progression-3

Then there are the other things, those things that don’t show up in pictures or in measurements.

  • I don’t get winded going up and down one flight of stairs
  • My knees don’t constantly hurt
  • I look forward to activities, like going for a walk
  • It’s easier to hold a child on my lap (because there’s actually a lap there now)
  • I don’t fear breaking furniture
  • I sleep better at night, and wake up more refreshed

I could go on, but the point is that I feel enormously better today than I did a year ago today. It seems that every day I come across another way in which that is true, and another way to make me say “what a difference a year makes”.

I still have a ways to go to my goal weight, and I want to tone up other muscle groups. Those who follow me know that I always consider myself a work in progress.

Here is an update on my Daytona 500km challenge:

daytona

I haven’t been to the gym yet today, but I should get there this afternoon. Through yesterday, even with some days missed while I was out of town, I am still on pace to walk over 500km by February 22.

On Friday I will weigh in again. I have no idea what tale the scale will tell. Whatever it is, I will accept it, and set my sights on the next goal on the road knowing that I am in a far better place than at this time last year, and that I will be in a better place still for many years to come.