An often broadcast commercial asks the question:”What’s in your wallet?”
The better question is what’s in your head? or even better who’s in your head? In other words what are you listening to? * When you face something really difficult or imagine something different for yourself what does your head say to you? Do you hear I can’t or shouldn’t? When you look at yourself in the mirror do you see things clearly? I’m not just talking about what we look like; but what we think about ourselves.
You see, six months ago I couldn’t run around the block. Six months ago I was three hundred and seventy eight pounds. I had to imagine that I could lose weight. I had to assess my situation and imagine I could change. Then, I had to communicate my desire to change to interested parties. I had to desire to act. I had to determine to act. and you know what else was needed? Energy to act, you must engage. No more sitting! And then you must follow through with all that dreaming. I’ve been thinking of this blog for a very long time; more than a month in fact. These points came to me on the way to the camping trip I enjoyed with my sons last month. It was then I texted myself this plan:
Accept that change is needed or assess the change that is needed
Believe or imagine an attainable future
Communication incurs accoutability
Decide to do or act
Engage the energy you posess
Follow through with the plan and reforge as needed
Goals are crucial to the process moving forward (not part of my original text)
Every part of this process requires an incredible amount of focused, persistant self-talk. And when it gets hard, or you fall off the wagon you have to get back going. You can’t afford to take a couple of days off because they turn into a couple of weeks. It happened to me last year. I started and lost twenty pounds right before the previous year’s ALM palooza (camping trip). And within six months half the weight was back on. That’s where I found myself last January; at 378 lbs. The previous high water mark was 388! So if I calculate back to last May (2016) I’ve lost eighty pounds. But the weight went back on last year because my persistance failed. I didn’t have the self-talk or frankly the motivation to keep me from stalling.
The same thing is true of the running. When you get out on a run and the body tells you to stop or to turn back the internal self-talk can be your friend or your enemy. Do I really have to turn back? Can I keep going? It’s important to know your limitations, but its also important to have the right stuff ringing in your ears. You can do it; you can keep going; you are not done yet. But I don’t know how . . . You can learn what you need to know. But I’ve tried before . . . You can begin again.
The same thing happens when you pass up a Mcdonald’s or Popeyes because you know there’s nothing in there for you. What do you tell yourself when you are sent home leftover birthday cake? You say that’s not for me. I don’t need that. I’ve got bigger fish to fry.
Set your goals, make a plan and stick to it. Assess when needed. If your needs change maybe your goals do to. I wanted to get in shape for the palooza this year so I started running. This necessitated a larger caloric intake to support the increase of activity. That didn’t mean I went to Burger King to get it. My head had to reevaluate and reform the plan to fit the changing goal. And then keep me in the game with internal verbal reinforcement.
All these things are a part of the will to Ch-ch-ch-change.
* Note, I believe that the bible says everything we need to know about our human nature and identity and the process of change. The scriptures call this process sanctification and what were talking about here is I believe consistent with the biblical process for change.